The general blandness of WWE today made me think about how wrestlers are portrayed and how it has changed.
I am not a wrestling historian but it seems to me that initially wrestlers were portrayed as athletes that had catchy nicknames on occasion. Then basic gimmicks like cowboys and Indians were introduced. After Vince took over the gimmicks turned into cartoon characters until the attitude era hit and then came the gritty anti-heroes. Ruthless Aggression Toned down the gimmicks and for the last decade we have slowly moved back to wrestlers being portrayed as athletes with catchy nicknames. I know the Fiend and a few other gimmicks are still featured but everyone else is just an empty suit with branding.
My question is this, for wrestling to be popular again with the masses do you think it needs more crazy gimmicks to grab attention or do you think portraying wrestlers as athletes is fine, just make them relatable and more genuine, or do you need both?