Ariya Daivari loves a 20 to 30-minute mat classic just like everybody else, but the recent free agent sees so much value in pulling out the pen and paper to study the memorable bouts under eight minutes or less.
Ariya Daivari recently spoke with Dominic DeAngelo of WrestleZone and was asked about some must-see matches that he’s had in his viewing rotation. Daivari, ever the veteran, gave an insightful perspective as to what type of matches aspiring talent should be watching rather than which.
“When you think of these epic matches,” Ariya started, “Let’s say for example, Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Michaels from WrestleMania 21. You watch those matches and you go, ‘Okay, I’m going to pick some good stuff from that. I’m going to TV on Monday and try them out,’ and when you’re in the WWE system a little bit, you forget that there’s a lot of circumstances around these matches whether it’s time or story, or what they’re allowed to do versus what you’re not allowed to do. So sometimes you realize, ‘Man, these like 20 – 30 minute epic matches, you aren’t going to be able to replicate anything of that match in eight minutes you have on Monday Night RAW or 205 Live. So one thing I always tell people to do, cause it seems to be like we’re moving into this like ‘TV only’ era of wrestling. I don’t know how much live events are really going to be going on, maybe for the next like, year or two, but I still feel like it’s eventually going to go away where it’s doing TV only and TV wrestling is completely different.
“So in the last few years when I watch old SmackDowns or old RAWs or old IMPACTs or stuff like that, I look at these timestamps and I see there will be two great wrestlers: whether it’s like Booker T vs. Chris Jericho on Monday Night RAW of 2001 and I see the timestamp is [around] seven minutes and I’m like, ‘Oh, let me see what these guys do in seven minutes.’ So I go up cause I said there’s plenty of situations where I’ve had six-minute, seven-minute matches,” he explained, “and that’s kind of hard to do. How much selling you do? How much of my moves do we do? How much of [his] moves does he do? What kind of pace do we have?”
Daivari understands why some of the shorter matches on TV could cause an itchy trigger finger on the fast-forward button, but if you’re a student of the game, the devil is in the details.
“I’m like, ‘No, watch those matches.’ See what some of the legends of our business did and [answer] ‘how did they come up with only having eight minutes to do a match?’ You watch these matches,” he explained, “and there’s been times when I get lost in it. I go, ‘Damn! That match was only six minutes long?'”
One match Ariya Daivari does mention as a standout bout is Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle at WWE SummerSlam 2002.
“It’s like the most epic eight-minute match ever. They do a lot of crazy stuff in the short amount of time they have, so that’s something that more wrestlers need to learn,” Daivari said. “I’ve definitely been in the ring before where we’ve had to cut stuff out because of time and we’re getting close to the end and I go, ‘Damn, we’ve planned way too much stuff.’ Whether you’re wrestling on Dynamite or you’re wrestling on IMPACT, RAW or SmackDown or NXT, you’re always going to get somewhere in that six-to-12 minute timeframe of ‘standard’ matches, so know how to handle a good exciting match in a short amount of time.”
Ariya Daivari’s 90-day no-compete clause with WWE comes to an end on September 23, 2021. Watch the full interview in the video at the top of the article.
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