EXCLUSIVE: Wrestling With Meatloaf

Kevin Kelly
  • Smart, emotionally-driven promos to entice the audience
    • Before the main course, the stage is set! Promos are pure "comfort food".
  • A goal… what is the reason for this match to be in the ring? Settle the issue!
    • Like hunger, I better leave fulfilled or I probably won’t be back.
  • Clearly defined roles—Good guys, Bad guys. Opening match content, main event content.
    • In diner terms, this is the first course, this is the second course, and this is the entrée. As much as the salad wants to be steak, a salad should never do what the steak does. He’ll screw it up and make the steak mean less when he comes out for the main event.
  • A reason to come back
    • If diners weren’t consistently good, the genre would have gone the way of plastic combs in back pockets.

Now, along the way some diners and wrestling promotions have gone out of business because ultimately, those who failed were unable to satisfy the needs of a very easy-to-please core audience.

It’s the old saying… give them what they want and they’ll keep coming back for more.

WWE stays true with their format to create comfort and consistency with the viewing audience. It’s predictable but bland, with small portions of satisfying steak, teamed with largely forgettable side dishes.

TNA consistently has given their audience indigestion and rumor has it, those few who remain to watch are political prisoners on hunger strikes. TNA creative is the proverbial "turd in the punchbowl" and it’s a matter of time before Daddy Deeppockets regurgitates as he picks up the check for his daughter’s folly.

Ring of Honor historically has given their fans too much, as if every meal was Thanksgiving but recently, the promotion has begun to pace themselves, leaving their fans wanting more. ROH also suffers from poor location, which is the “kiss of death” to diners with HDNet not available to everyone on cable.

What wrestling lessons can be learned from this “Diner” analogy”? Keep it simple, serve hot with good portions and proper seasoning. Change the specials but always offer the classics. Don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen and pull the plug on the man in charge if things are getting stale.

Bon appétit!

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