Let’s start with this whole confusion issue. I think I’ve figured out why reviewers get confused with the angles. It’s probably because their heads are still spinning from watching the matches, which these days play out like one big giant 5 minute run-on math equation. It’s amazing watching the guys go over their matches in the back at shows. YoudothisandI’lldothatthenyoudothisthenI’lldothatthenyoudothisthenI’lldothatthenyoudothisthenI’lldothathatthen BOOM! 1,2,3. You know what’s really confusing? Showing matches today to someone that used to be a wrestling fan, but hasn’t watched in the past seven years. “Why isn’t that little guy dead after taking all those big moves?” Now THAT’S confusion. But, unfortunately, the internet community likes that type of stuff as opposed to slowing down and showing some charisma while the opponent actually sells some of the moves. I’ve been working with some of the guys in TNA that are open to the idea that I actually know what I’m talking about, and hopefully in the future you’ll see some of the guys deprogrammed from the style that the internet schmucks have grown comfortable with and accustomed to, because that set of standards by which matches are judged hasn’t seemed to grow any STARS, industry wide. You can’t keep blaming creative, folks.
For example, when “He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken” was writing for The Attitude Era, he was never given credit for Rock and Austin. “They were allowed to be themselves” internet schmucks would say. Well, today, the new “stars”, according to the standards the internet schmucks have set, are being held back by “He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken” and other writers in the business because of their lack of creative ability to turn them into the next big thing. “He’s being booked poorly.” This actually confuses ME, because “He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken” has never, not one single time, laid a match out for two wrestlers. Booking usually has nothing to do with the precious moments that the worker has to get over from the time he walks through the curtain till the gong of the final bell. Austin and Rock were placed in those exact same situations, and they knew what to do with every second of tv time they were given, with extra emphasis given to the very first second they set foot on the stage as their music played.
The bookers give you the finish of the match, and the wrestlers are given excessive flexibility to fill in the rest of the match with what they feel will improve their emotional connection to the audience. So therein lies the problem. You can’t “write” charisma for a character for their match if they don’t have any, and when they’re not really open to do the things that are necessary that will give it to them, because the irrelevant set of standards by which the internet schmucks judge the characters has nothing to do with charisma or the ability to promote yourself through the spoken word, and everything to do with the technical artistry of the fake fight. Most wrestlers today are more concerned with having a good televised match than actually trying to get themselves over. NEWS FLASH!! Try to do things that will get yourself over, and stop worrying about how many stars the internet schmucks are going to give you for your match. In summary, you can’t blame “He Whose Name Shall Not Be Spoken” and others for not being able to create stars in this business, without giving him credit for Rock and Austin. It’s a double standard. Today’s workers have all the time in the world to “be themselves” when they’re in that ring, just like Rock and Austin had.
And who are the ultimate judges of this style that places the emphasis on technical artistry, and have brainwashed their readers and followers into thinking that a style which is bankrupt of charisma, and selling, and drama, and logic is good for the business and able to draw fans? The tattletales. Meltzer, Keller, and all of the other pundits that like to get behind the curtain into the personal lives of the people that work in this business and post it on the internet for the whole world to see. The only problem is that they’ve never performed, or wrestled, or done anything in the business beyond telling stories and reporting “news” and giving their personal review of a show or a match. About the best example I can give that these guys’ opinions on what a good worker is has no relevance, would be to reference John Clayton, an ESPN football news reporter. Now Mr. Clayton can report that Pacman Jones is going to be suspended for conduct detrimental to the team because he spoke with the commissioner, but is he going to tell me the best way to beat a cover 2 defense when it’s third down and 16? Of course not. I’d rather hear that from someone that has actually called a play, or been on the field, or been in the huddle. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not necessarily saying that you HAVE to be in the business to have a knowledge of it’s workings, John Clayton obviously knows alot about football, it’s just that these specific internet pundits have tried to anoint their stars, and when it hasn’t worked they’ve placed the blame on factors other than their faulty prognosticating. The fact that those guys have so much say in this industry is a sad testament to the gullibility of the internet schmucks that think those guys know what they’re talking about. If I’m not making sense so far, then please contact your local politicians and let them know that I’m desperately trying to save the wrestling business from the crappy style that it’s been grown accustomed to, and I need to be censored so you can continue to rate matches based on the star system, and the guys with the highest amount of stars in their matches can keep getting shoved down people’s throats.
ECW has alot to blame. That’s the genesis of the interent schmuck community, where wrestling observer newsletters were passed around at the shows, and the fans got smartened up and started chanting “You F**ked Up” when someone would miss a spot. That’s where the emphasis on technical artistry was formed, because EVERYONE knew it was a work, and EVERYONE wanted to be part of the show, and they thought it was cool when one guy would trip a guy by the leg and cover his opponent, and then the guy would do it back to him, and then they’d go into some ridiculous fake exchange that would end with both guys kipping up and facing each other in a standoff, and the crowd would applaud respectfully as if to say, “Great exchange! What a great acrobatic fake fight this is going to be!” But then, of course, to try to make it look real, the other half of the roster would have to go bang chairs off each other’s heads while not protecting themselves while the announcer screamed “Oh My God” at the top of his lungs and the crowd chanted “Holy Shit!” Well, since that didn’t seem too difficult to do for the average layman, everyone and their mother started wrestling, with no desire to work a gimmick or learn how to sell, but instead figured if they went through enough tables or copied enough of Kanemoto’s stuff they might get noticed in the kayfabe sheets and given some stars in their match rating and maybe get to work in Japan someday. I guess they just ignored what was going on in WCW and WWF at the time and what was REALLY drawing money. Now guys like myself, and Sting and Jarrett, and HHH, Shawn, Booker, and Jericho and Nash are reaching the twilight of our careers, and we can’t seem to get the younger generation to listen to what needs to be done, because the irrelevant set of standards that the internet schmucks think creates stars is the guidebook by which the future of the business is learning.
Now mind you, the technical artistry in today’s wrestling has evolved. It’s more exciting, and more athletic. As a matter of fact, I’m a fan of it, believe it or not, but the problem is that it hasn’t merged with the other necessary ingredients that today’s workers need to employ to get the fans to show genuine interest in their characters.
The inconvenient truth is that Sting’s promo on Impact! wasn’t far from the truth at all, and the fans you heard cheering him were the REAL wrestling fans, that know what THEY like. They know what works, and they’d really like to see it again. The next generation of wrestlers are indeed disrespectful to the knowledge of their elders that were around when everyone made a bunch of money, and alot more people watched wrestling. The set of standards by which we judge stars in this business needs to change. It’s just a fact. The internet community has no clue how to create stars, lack of current stars presented as evidence. If you internet guys want to think that your voice has such a strong say in this business, then you’re going to have to take alot of the blame. Go ahead and keep booing Cena, and put an exlamation point on the fact that you have no idea what a star is.
*Football season’s starting. I’m supposed to write articles about wrestling, but I’d rather talk about fantasy football. How about a couple quick prognostications from someone with 24 years of fantasy experience.
*Tony Romo leads the league in td passes
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