The Fan’s Perspective! MTV Wrestling

WrestleZone


Hello all you wrestling fans and welcome to another edition of The Fan’s Perspective! I’ve taken some much-needed advice and have taken a different direction with this week’s column. Everyone knows that I love TNA. But, at this point there’s only so much that can be said about it. I’ve covered pretty much everything that needs to be said. This week I’ve decided to take on a quite interesting topic in the new MTV Wrestling promotion.

MTV and Wrestling?

As a longtime wrestling fan, when I first heard about the new wrestling promotion that MTV would be promoting, I was really excited. I thought that this could only be a benefit to the business that we all live and breathe for.

A few years back, MTV canceled WWE’s Heat. It showed that the popularity of wrestling was on a decline so much that a network which had in some way had always been affiliated with WWE was finally pulling the plug. And now, years later, MTV wants back into the wrestling business. But they don’t want WWE this time. Hell, they don’t even want to use TNA or RoH to fill a timeslot. They have decided to start their own promotion and run it in a way they feel will fit the network. What does this mean for wrestling? Is wrestling evolving into more of a pop-culture staple? Or is it becoming somewhat of an underground taste? Does MTV’s interest in wrestling mean that there is a boom on the horizon? Or does it simply mean that MTV feels it can help the wrestling industry get to the boom?

Now, we all know that a wrestling promotion owned by a network ends in disaster (i.e. WCW). WCW never had a Vince McMahon. They never had a Paul Heyman. All they had were corporate suits that were in it to make money for Time Warner and not to setup a foundation to make money in the long-term. Will the trend continue with MTV Wrestling?

I really can’t answer any of these questions. I’m not an expert or a pundit. I am a fan who likes to share his opinions with other fans for the sake of having fun. So, in the name of fun I have made up a list of things that the new MTV Wrestling promotion needs to ensure if it aims for long-term success. And as a fan of the wrestling business, I sure hope they do achieve success.

1. Sign the best wrestlers from the Indy scene.

The first thing a new wrestling promotion needs to do is setup a foundation for the years to come. Starting off by hiring the best tag, hardcore, cruiserweight, and heavyweight wrestlers is a must for future growth. New promotions need to start by building up talent that can deliver in the ring. Once you’ve hooked fans with the in-ring ability, then you can afford to add sideshows. Now, if you were to set your sights on the most talented wrestlers, you’d obviously want to start with the youth. The youthful wrestlers are the ones who are most likely to have the most stamina, drive, determination, and immunity to injuries. There are a few exceptions but generally these things are an up side to younger wrestlers.

2. Create an image different from any other promotion.

The next thing a new promotion needs to do is create an image, or an aura, of the company that cannot be compared to anyone else. You don’t want casual fans viewing in for the first time and saying, “Oh…that looks too much like {Insert Promotion Name Here}”. No, you want the viewer to have an eye-popping, jaw-dropping, thrill at what they are witnessing. Sometimes this can be achieved by having unique on-screen graphics. But, most of the time it’s achieved by the overall feel of the venue in which you are emanating from. If it looks like a toilet, it won’t matter how well the wrestlers are performing. Have an eye-catching logo. And make your promotion standout by the kind of entrance stage you use. If it’s simply a wrestler coming through some black curtains people are going to think it’s too backyard-federation-ish.

3. Have an interesting announce team.

This is probably the most common factor that really decides whether or not the promotion can be perceived as ‘watch-able’ or not. If you tune in and hear some high-pitched guy screaming at the top of his lungs for a clothesline…then you are doomed from the start. Because who hasn’t seen a pile driver before? Also, the chemistry between the announce team is vital. The team must be entertaining and informative. Being dramatic to emphasize, not emphasizing on drama. If you play it up as a heel announcer alongside a face announcer, then fans tend to find it entertaining…if the heel is strong enough to make fans laugh or hate him.

4. No stupid gimmick matches.

The one thing that really drove me insane about TNA, during the Dusty regime, was that every match on the card was a gimmick match. New promotions need to worry about getting their wrestlers over first and gimmick matches over last. Now, if you’ve been booking Vampiro vs. New Jack for 11 months in straight singles and tag matches then yes, please throw in the hardcore stipulation.

5. Make the Championships primary, NOT secondary.

The titles in every promotion should be the centerpiece. They should be what the feud is really all about. In TNA and ROH, you see this nine times out of ten. In WWE, you don’t see that as often. If Matt Sydal wants to take a stab at Syxx-Pac because he wants to prove he’s the best in the world and the only way he can prove that is by beating him for the title then I say that’s a great reason to want to wrestle. But, if it’s because Syxx-Pac once dated Matt’s mom and never called her back after sleeping with her…then that should be left for Days of Our Lives. The championships should always be featured in the main event and not secondary to a grudge match between Rocky and Bull winkle.

That’s just a list of a few things I could think of to help the new wrestling baby. I sincerely hope that they do succeed and go head-to-head with TNA or WWE someday. Because competition breeds success and at one time this wrestling business was home to three successful wrestling companies. And as we inch closer to the ‘no-compete’ clause hanging over Ted Turner’s head, there might just be another played added to the wrestling industry which already has 3 big promotions (WWE, TNA, and RoH). With all of these indicators around us, is MTV’s involvement in pro wrestling a foreshadowing of things to come?

Does it spell success for the wrestling industry? Yes, I believe it does.

WWE continues to garner excellent ratings that it hasn’t achieved since before it bought WCW; TNA is breaking records and moving to primetime; PWG is gaining mainstream publicity with FHM; ROH Wrestling continues to sell out venues all across the United States; and now MTV Wrestling seems to be sprouting some long legs and with the right direction, could become a real impact player within the industry; and where does Ted Turner stand?

All of these intriguing questions and no real answers.

Definitely an exciting time to be a wrestling fan…

And So It Is Written And So It Shall Come To Be Known As The Fan’s Perspective!

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