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LET THEM TALK!


Aaron
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Sorry for the long-winded post. I made this on another site about a month ago and wanted to share my thoughts with you. Sorry for any patronizing detail in there.... I originally posted it on quite a marky board!

 

. . .

 

First I will start with a little bit of history and how wrestling has evolved moving further and further towards entertainment . I will try to convey how wrestlers got over in the past as opposed to how they do today. I will then try to outline a few basic problems that the WWE suffers today due to the way wrestling has evolved. I will finish by saying “Let Them Talk!” and then hope you all understand my opinion, and moreover actually agree with me. Maybe all I will achieve is to bore WWE-Club members close to death. I am going to ramble for ages before saying one simple request.

 

***

 

I cannot profess to know the entire history of Sports Entertainment. Wrestling has been around for 3,000 years and used for a variety of reason. Today, we still see competitive wrestling in a variety of forms from UFC to the Olympic games. When the results became pre-determined, I do not know for sure. But the myth is this: A fight broke out at a carnival one week and both lasted longer and drew more attention than the boxing match at the carnival. The carnival owner decided to get the two to stage a rematch…. it drew money and from then on matches have been staged to draw money.

 

Two guys in the ring fighting each other for twenty minutes. The majority of fans never realized it was staged, although if it as real then the fights would obviously be over inside two minutes tops. If you ever fought, or saw a fight, on the school playground, you’ll know exactly what I mean! The two guys in the ring would fool the audience, make each other and themselves look good. No need for moonsaults back in those days, the fans weren’t smart. No need for over the top storylines, the fans just wanted to the contest.

 

But like boxing today, back then the promoters would want to whip up local interest in their matches, the main-events in particular. Nothing has changed in this regard today. The way in which the local, and later on national, interest was stoked was with the good old fashion interviews and this method remained for many, many years and the business never suffered because of them.

 

We wouldn’t need to have a real reason for a match. A match would be scheduled between two guys and that was pretty much it. It was presented as a federation like a boxing federation. A sporting contest. Guys will have to fight each other to sort out the pecking order. Of course, it was predetermined to guarantee a good show and keep the wrestling fans coming back for more.

 

A basic interview back then would take place before or after a match. A heel saying naturally bad guy things and a babyface being a babyface.

 

Does this still happen today? What’s changed? When? How? Why? And what exactly is my problem and what am I getting at? Well, more history….

 

Harley Race, Bruno Sammartino, Lou Thezs, Anotino Inoki…. All these guys drew big. People would travel a few miles, pay a few dollars, and cheer on the babyfaces and boo the heels. Why did they do this? I won’t bother answering that question (okay, ring psychology in the main) but were any of these involved in some of the storylines we see today? Sure, there were feuds. Sure, if the heel lost he’d attack the babyface after the match. Sure, in the one minute interview a face might put the other guy down.

 

The likes of “Superstar” Billy Graham, for example, came along. He was a great guy, a legend and a Hall-of-Famer. He stood out because he used catchphrases in his interviews. He was a flamboyant character and was practically the guy that Hulk Hogan, knowingly or unknowingly, modelled himself on. The public interest began to swing towards these “entertaining” interviews and for some were as entertaining as the matches.

 

The company back then became more and more ambitious. They realized that they could go national, and dreamt of one day even becoming international. They knew that the entertainment factor was important to start drawing on a wider scale, especially if they were to ever get a national TV deal. (Big brave plans they were back then).

 

Anyway…..

 

Wrestlemania came along with celebrities involved such as Mr T and Cassius Clay. At this point we could see that the entertainment side of things was there, it was important, but the matches in themselves were quite similar to how they had been for many years.

 

At the forefront of the company was Hulk Hogan, and Hulkomania was certainly running wild. This was the catalyst that saw big growth in the business and 93,000 fans packed the Silverdome to see Hogan fight Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3. The success of this bought both good and bad elements. The era of gimmicks was upon us.

 

At first, gimmicks were simple. Nothing too far fetched. The British Bulldogs had a Bulldog, that was a tame gimmick. For other guys it was embarassing. But the WWF streaked miles ahead of Jim Crockett’s promotion which later on became the WCW. From here on in we all know the history.

 

A few years passed and WWF become a little complacent, still treating it’s fans as marks and trying to give us gimmicks such as The Repo Man, IRS, Doink the Clown….. but as far as stories, they were just feuds. So and so attacks so and so, etc, etc, and the wrestlers still gave their one minutes interviews.

 

NOTE: I will leave the Undertaker out because the effect he had on the business can not be overestimated. But he will tie in with a lot of what I am getting at.

 

The Monday night wars came. Two companies both now competing for a main-stream audience. In football, we call the sorts that were attracted “fair weather supporters”. These fans came into wrestling because of the entertainment, not because of the wrestling. And when the storylines dry up, they will go back to whatever it was they were doing before. The good to come out of this was major growth for the company and more money for them, greater exposure for the workers, and the gimmicks had to be “tightened up”. No more wrestling clowns. The likes of Stone Cold etc…. well, you all know how it goes.

 

The attitude era came. Great for the “part-time fans”. Entertainment, entertainment, entertainment. Then the Invasion angle after the Monday Night Wars came along. Now it has all been and gone and we are in the year 2004. What have we got left from all of this progression?

 

We have a company that is trying to hold on to the fans attracted during this time. Fans that were either attracted by storylines, or simply just grew up with them. For them, these stories are a big part of their viewing pleasure… but so often are they to their displeasure also. The company wants to maintain it’s income, that’s the bottom line and have again stepped up the entertainment side. So much so that we have the RAW Divas, weddings, and all the rest of it.

 

On a typical episode of RAW we have HHH in the ring talking for what seems like en eon. In the same episode we will have a couple of matches and a main-event. Most of these matches are occurring with no rhyme or reason to them and the same goes for the pay-per-views as the company has so many of these a year they have little time to develop these all-important storylines.

 

Using Rhyno and Tajiri and their quest for the tag team gold, we wonder why they want them so much? It doesn’t make sense to the fans. Why is this? Simple answer and the conclusion to the thread…. they do not get their one minute interview, neither before nor after. It’s only one minute. With four matches at the most, surely WWE can come up with a few minutes for back-stage pre-match interviews. We have them at PPV’s but the feuds and story’s are often about to enter their conclusion, and in fact only the main event guys seem to get their interviews.

 

There was once a time when the interview was everything. I say “LET THEM TALK!” Honestly, a few minutes put aside for something so trivial can really help to 1) Bring some sense to these matches and 2) Help get guys over.

 

I won’t complain about how the all important skill of ring psychology has seemed to be lost. Nor will I complain about how guys with little talent can get over simply because they can take so many bumps, or do so many twists in their splashes. (Andre, Sammartino, Hogan, Thezs, “Superstar” Billy Graham even…. no need for all of that rubbish) The entertainment is the most important aspect now, not the wrestling. All I ask is, WWE, please let ALL the guys talk, just for a minute before a match.

 

LET THEM TALK!

 

Please, your comments and questions…

 

I had to go to lunch half way through my writing of these. I hope I didn’t lose the thread in the middle! I’d like to add that I can live with moonsaults when executed properly and when in moderation, and am more than happy with keeping storylines and entertainment. Just let’s have some sense bought back into it all. And I mean ALL.

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that's all well and good but letting some guys talk wouldn't get them over, it'd make them look like idiots. most of the wwe roster can talk due to the nature of the wwe's product. having someone talk for them, ie a manager, is fine but i don't see why they should let guys who are crap on the mic stink up their product.

 

i also think you're looking at things through rose tinted glasses. how much mic time was hercules ever given? why did haku always have someone speak for him? did the conquistadors impress anyone with their varied interviews?

 

however I do agree that the business has forgotten most of what once made it great. nothing means anything anymore. it's all illogical and all ridiculous. nobody cares about titles, nobody cares about psychology, everyone wants to wrestle spotfests over who has the best hair.

 

I do think it's majorly lopsided when HHH cuts a hugely dull and very long promo all the time on Raw while other guys don't get a chance to speak. If someone has a match that night, why not give them an interview before it?

 

When Hogan was on top how much longer were his interviews than the guys below him? Sure he may have had more of them but he never spent the first 20 minutes of Primetime or Superstars in the middle of the ring with a mic.

 

So, I guess I agree with most of what you say, but I do stlil think there are guys who shouldn't be given a mic, for their own good. And, I do stlil think that back in the day those guys weren't given a mic much then either.

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Cheers for the response guys.

 

I'm only asking for a minute per guy per match, before or after (preferably before). It doesn't have to be like a promo.... look at other sport.s Tiger Woods is boring as hell but get's more mic time than a lot of WWE guys, lol.... Chris Benoit might not excite a crowd like The Rock, but he only needs to get a point across.

 

I actually don't find him that boring although he could do with a gimmick change in WWE, that's for sure... the ruthless agression gimmick is surely taylor-made for heels?

 

Anyway, back to the point at hand.... would we rather continue with matches making little sense or gamble 30-60 seconds of boredom to make the matches seem a little more important? Jeez, Heidenroids (I copyrighted that name by the way) get's to read a full poem (pronounced "poome") every week that stinks the place right up!

 

Anyway, once again, thanks for your response!

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What makes the Rock "The Great One"? His in ring skills are a plus, but it's his stick work that people want most.

 

Hogan was never the most technically sound performer but he did great promos.

 

In his prime Flair's promos made me laugh and/or got me fired up. And he backed it up.

 

I wholeheartedly agree. Those who can should get mic time. Those who can't should get a manager AND lessons so that they can begin to produce good promos.

 

Don't let anyone just ramble on and on and on. Quantity should never replace quality.

 

Promos gave us an insight into the characters motivation and personality. You could advance the storyline well and easily that way.

 

Great work Aaron.

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Again as many have said good read. In fairness though not everyone can cut it on the mic. Theres reasons The Rock was given one hell of alot of mic time while people like say Benoit were given very minimal amounts of time on the mic. Sure perhaps so peope deserve a chance put perhaps try test running them on house shows, i mean afterall House shows were created for testing out things they wouldnt exactly want to just put out straight way on TV. Look at Nova for proof. Hes got a mock of Dean Malenkos name now and well his fitness instructor gimmick wasnt just put on him and then on Tv overnight. they gave it a test run in House shows and it got over well so they stuck with it.
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Again as many have said good read. In fairness though not everyone can cut it on the mic. Theres reasons The Rock was given one hell of alot of mic time while people like say Benoit were given very minimal amounts of time on the mic. Sure perhaps so peope deserve a chance put perhaps try test running them on house shows' date=' i mean afterall House shows were created for testing out things they wouldnt exactly want to just put out straight way on TV. Look at Nova for proof. Hes got a mock of Dean Malenkos name now and well his fitness instructor gimmick wasnt just put on him and then on Tv overnight. they gave it a test run in House shows and it got over well so they stuck with it.[/quote']

 

 

Cheers man!

 

I just don't think that 30seconds on a mic can do any harm... it's not something new and the interviews can be taped before hand so they can shoot again and again until all parties are happy with the interview.

 

Again, it's not really a 'promo' and of they don't sound 'great' on the mic it might instill a bit of 'reality' to the 'sport'....

 

Anyway, cheers for the great responses guys!

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I wholeheartedly agree. Those who can should get mic time. Those who can't should get a manager AND lessons so that they can begin to produce good promos.

Case in point, Brockberg. Was given Heyman when he debuted, which in turn gave him extra time to work on his promos and get better at talking himself.

 

Don't let anyone just ramble on and on and on. Quantity should never replace quality.

these 20 minute piles of crap with people rambling on and on bore me to death. In the nWo era in WCW Sting had me on the edge of my seat by simply saying 5 words, "Hogan, you're a dead man". My point is if that's all that's neccessary then realise that. Don't feel that every time you're given a mic you have to cram as much crap into the ammount of time you're given as possible. And, similarly don't go giving people 20 minutes to kick off Raw in the ring with a mic. It rarely requires that.

 

Randy Orton for instance. He gets given so much mic time sometimes that he totally loses track halfway through his speeches and after he's drifted off onto something else you can almost visually see him correcting himself and getting himself back on track with what he was supposed to be saying.

 

I very much agree with Aaron that one guy getting 20 minutes with a mic in his hand per show, while most of the roster get none is ridiculous. Like it or not, it's gimmicks and talking that will get you over much quicker than matches so how is someone who never gets any, or any sort of manager to do it for them, supposed to get over? Look how long it took Benoit to become a credible world champion simply based on matches and feuds? Look how long it took Rock to become a credible world champion based on decent storylines and charisma.

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Some people like the Rock or Mick Foley can do long promos and keep you laughing or interested, but it's true some people should stop after 30 seconds. But, to be in the WWE you have to be able to do a good promo - if only 30 seconds long. Me on the other hand would bore you all if I continued a post for any much more than this so I'm leaving!
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