The idea that fans hate older wrestling now is completely inaccurate, as of course is the idea anything's really changed in how fandom works. Put this into perspective Loss-Ric Flair's classics on those DVDs may not have been as old as Attitude Era matches are now, let alone the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels stuff that's also part of the cannon. The 80s stuff just isn't the relevant older wrestling people look back to and compare current things to just like 60s/70s stuff wasn't relevant when people were talking about how much the Attitude Era sucks and how it was better when Hogan ruled. If anything older wrestling is now remembered more than ever due to how easily footage is available to find and share.
I just don't agree with this. I don't think the 60s/70s comparison works because we don't have nearly the same amount of footage for those decades that we do for the 80s. It's less an issue of being uninterested or deeming it irrelevant (although admittedly some of that was probably in play) than it is that there just isn't a huge amount of that stuff out there and accessible. (It is now more so than it was then because of things like the Chicago Films project and the emergence of French catch.)
It's interesting that you say the 80s stuff just isn't the relevant older wrestling people look back to, because I don't think that's the case for 1990s or 2000s wrestling either, nor am I sure it's even the case for wrestling that is more than six months old. I can't recall a time when historical comparisons of matches were more out of style than they are now, or where people can give a match ****+ and it's considered old news within a month. I also didn't say the old stuff isn't remembered, I said it's resented, and to an extent, I do believe that to be true.
I can like or not like the disposable approach to even the best wrestling matches that seems more common now (Do people still talk about something like Tanahashi-Suzuki or Styles-Suzuki?), just as I can like or not like that higher value is placed on All Things Current than All Things Good. (If you've never seen a match, why does whether it happened two days ago or two decades ago even matter in determining whether it's worth watching?) But it's hard for me to deny that either is the case. The constant focus on the here and now is ironically a concession to the Dave Meltzer approach to watching wrestling that so many in our circles have critiqued for years. And in that constant here and now focus, you get false assumptions about previous eras from people that should know better, like the 30-minute headlock comment goc mentioned or in a more benign example, Dave calling the 2014 G-1 Climax the best tournament in wrestling history without even attempting to identify other great tournaments that have happened and make side-by-side comparisons.
So I wrote the above post then immediately questioned things about it, but I still decided to post it because it captured something that even if it's not entirely right is worth sharing, because it allowed me to flesh out my thoughts. But then I started thinking about it more and it's not so much that there's a bias against old people or old matches. French Catch caught fire at PWO, as did the Chicago film archives project. It's that there's a bias toward uncharted and undiscovered wrestlers and matches, many of which happen to be current. I even have that bias to an extent in that I get excited if I find a match from a long time ago and it looks interesting on paper, yet I've literally never heard a word about its quality. I don't think ageism in wrestling is ageism in the literal sense -- I think it's more ageism of any time-tested beliefs about wrestling's matches and performers. That can manifest itself as ageism, and has for sure at times during the Vader-Ospreay debate. But there's probably a better term for it. We live in a time where people have tremendous distrust in institutions, so I think it's a logical extension of that. In a larger sense, Vader forming the conclusion he did about Ospreay isn't much different than Bill Clinton claiming Bernie supporters think everything would be okay if we would just shoot every third person on Wall Street. Both are ill-advised broad statements based on skewed undersampling. However, the one thing that is lost is that I think it's perfectly valid to form whatever conclusions of a wrestling sequence after seeing the wrestling sequence in GIF form, which is what *most* of the critique was.