Friday, 11 October 2013 09:38
I've been watching some early 1984 Jim Crockett Promotions TV of late. The contrast in how they used to get wrestlers over back in the day and the way they just bury everyone in the WWE is honestly night-and-day.
David Crockett and Johnny Weaver, when talking about guys who are doing jobs, always talk about how tough the wrestlers are. I'm watching a guy like Bill Miller, on a team with 2 guys who are unproven and all they do is remark about how Miller is a well-traveled veteran who is "always ready for a fight." When he ends up doing the job, they make it sound like a big deal when one of "the young lions", Tim Horner, beats Miller in a six-man tag match. Crockett and Weaver position the victory as a huge accomplishment that Horner has pinned such a tough competitor.
All of the rookies are not treated as dirt and inter-changeable; they're all labeled as Young Lions who are trying to further their careers. Even a job guy like Gary Royal is an "exciting competitor." Angelo Mosca, Jr is said to "kick like a mule" when the kicks he are delivering are, you know, really not that great. In fact, the way the wrestlers and announcers put over Mosca Jr is refreshing when you compare it to how HHH pisses all over the guys who work for him. Whether he deserved it or not--and you can see he doesn't deserve the push he was getting with your own eyes--the announcers are actively trying to get him over by using positive language regarding everything the kid did on TV.
The other thing that is surprising is how the other established "name" wrestlers talk about the young guys making strides. Jimmy Valiant comes out and says he'd be proud to have a guy like Mosca Jr or Tim Horner as a partner in his war with Paul Jones and the Assassins. If someone misses a move, it all gets framed positively by Johnny Weaver, who would just explain what a guy was trying to do and even though he missed the move, with experience he'll gt the hang of it. No one is told that they suck. No one is told that their worthless. And it is amazing. People in the crowd are cheering for these guys. I dare say that in Feb of 1984 the young guys are more over than the vast majority of the undercard of today's WWE.
The question that needs to be asked is whether it is a generational thing? Is it a presentation thing? The product is obviously presented 180 degrees away in 2013 than it was in 1984. But as we saw with Jim Ross over the years, the phrasing of the announcers and how they describe the matches and wrestlers can make the workaday exciting or at least, much more interesting. Instead of snarking along and trying to be like the cool kids, why not try to each guy's strengths? It actually seems like it would be easier to do that rather than sitting around trying to be funny while you're shitting on your employees.
DM: Things do have to constantly change in wrestling because something that works big one week often doesn't work the next week. But I think the basic rule that if the people involved don't care about their stories making sense, they won't, and the public won't either. At the end, whatever you do to hurt the emotional involvement in stories is not a good thing.
Hey Dave, just saw Generation Iron, the bodybuilding movie about the top guys competing in the 2012 mr. Olympia. I'm not a bodybuilding fan but really enjoyed it. Lots of great characters and personalities involved. Main story is Phil Heath trying to repeat and Kai Greene as his top challenger. Heath is the big star with a nice house and car and Kai is more humble, training in a little gym in Brooklyn, you get the idea. Very little talk of steroids other than a part where narrator Mickey Rourke says most of the guys didn't wanna talk about it, but everyone is saying things like "I'll do whatever it takes" and being one injury away from ruining it all. One guy had missed the Olympia the previous 2 years because of muscle tears. One guy almost tore a muscle by falling down while walking which reminded me of a Batista muscle tear story from a few years ago. Anyways' I'd recommend it to wrestling fans. Take care