I Need to Get Some Things Off My Chest
November 1, 2005 by Adrian Cotton

For those of you who don't know or remember, I wrote an article a while back called "There's a Black Mark on the Business" and I must say it got some rave reviews. Well I'm back again with another article that will hopefully shake the very foundation of the OWW forever.

I've been doing some thinking and talking with my friends about wrestling (and when I say wrestling I mean ROH, TNA and WWE) and we came upon some real points of interest.

Point 1: We as Wrestling fans are stupid. It's true, we are, and it's best to just admit and get it off your chest. Believe me you'll feel a whole lot better when you do. Think about it: We sat there and cheered Eddie Guerrero for lying, cheating and stealing but when he tried to STEAL Rey Mysterio's son by lying to a social worker and even CHEATING in a match to make sure he got the child, we booed him. My question...What's the dif" A lie is a lie is a lie. Oh and don't hand me that mess about he beat up Rey Mysterio, Sooo what! Stone Cold beat up JR, the King and half the WWE(F) roster and we still cheer him so don't even go there with me! Not only that, but does anyone remember when Taker, "killed" Paul Bearer with the cement in the box and then he said that he took out the one person who meant the most to him" All I'm going to say is, look at the Undertaker's NECK and you'll see what I mean. Let's move on people.

Point 2: WWE is NOT the Only Wrestling Organization: You've got, TNA, ROH, CZW, JAPW, MLW just to name a few and all anyone talks about is WWE. Yes WWE is the biggest of them all, I watch it myself but we do have options people and let's start using them!

Point 3: WWE's Sole Purpose is to Entertain...Period: Do you know why, it's hard for guys like Shelton Benjamin, RVD, Lance Storm and even Chris Benoit have or had such a hard time getting pushes in the WWE" Take your time I'll give you a minute...Times up, the answer: Lack of Mike skills. Think about it, SB, RVD, LS and CB are some of the best Wrestlers of all the ring, on the mike however that's a completely different story. The WWE does want wrestlers but only if they can act as well. Look at Stone Cold and The Rock when they first debuted. They were good wrestlers but it wasn't until they got on the mike and started to verbally dissect there opponents when people started to notice...and that's the bottom line, if ya smell what I'm cookin'.

Point 4: What in the Wide World of Sports and Entertainment is Ring Psychology": I'm serious somebody help me out here cause I have heard this term thrown around for here's and I am confused as all get out what this means. And please no more Jake the Snake comments about him being a mast of ring psychology cause I still don't understand so any and all help would be nice, thank you!

Point 5: Not all Matches Need to "Tell a story": Ok in the WWE it's acceptable because everything they do tells a story but other companies (ex. ROH) are trying to get their product over as a Sport and NOT Entertainment. Oh and don't come at me with any of those "You're a mark and you're a sheep and all those other name you have for wrestling fans who still think wrestling is real, I know that it's all predetermined and what's not, I'm just say if you trying to convince people you're a sport then you need to look like a sport. Football, Baseball, Basketball and Soccer are sports, do they tell stories in their matches or games or whatever you wanna call'em...NO! So cut the crap and leave non-WWE products alone.

Last Point: Leave the X Division Alone: Yes I know there's a lot of highspots and chances taken but people are entertained, and like any sport there always something entertaining that takes place that get people up out of their seats. A dive catch in a baseball game, a flip kick in soccer, a slam dunk in basketball, I could go on, but I think you get my point.

As always questions and comments and concerns are always welcomed so feel free to drop me a line

by Adrian Cotton ..

Troy Tollison wrote:
Great article. I've felt the same way about all these points for the longest time and I thank you for being able to verbalize them. Unfortunately this article will probably get alot of responses from fans trying to explain "ring psychology" but the bottom line is that, just like you, nobody else knows what it truly is either. Just look at the title of Point 1, that's why we'll never know.
Edrom41 wrote:
I love your article man, I agree w/ the fans contradicting themselves, I personally hate that. (ugh, reminds me of being a kid rooting nothing but faces) I don't really know what ring psychology is but I always hear j.r and tazz say stuff like "he knows his surroundings at all times (i.e. Kurt angle is put into a submission lock but immediately grabs the ropes w/o being able to see where they are)" or "he knows the ring so well" and stuff like that so maybe it has to do w/ that.
Jesse Lee wrote:
All I have to say is that while yes, WWE may not be the only group out there, it is still the top company. I, myself, love wrestling, but I don't go to a 2a.m. show of a group I heard about on a 12am infomercial commercial, even thos even exist. ROH, TNA, JAPW, whatever, I'm sure they're all great and I'd love to see all of them. Fact is though, that to the casual fan, there's only WWE and now TNA. If "smarks" love the other groups so much, why not start a fund to get them on television as well"
Touhoua Yang wrote:
Well, this is to answer points 4 and 5. I think that ring psychology isn't overrated and a match with great wrestling and great psychology is even better. Ring psychology is, IMO, a wrestlers' use of moves to tell a story. To tell what he's doing, why he's doing it and so on. This was taken directly from Lance Storm's Q&A website and should help you understand what ring psychology is and why a match with a story is better than a match without one.

Since it's no longer a secret that wrestling is fake, then why be so obsessed with psychology" A match full of high spots with no psychology isn't less impressive to me and i've been watching wrestling since the 80's and know way too much about it. I love guys like Benoit, Bret Hart, and yourself but I don't think EVERYONE should have ring psychology in their matches because that gets boring after a while. To be honest I think some fans and especially wrestlers know too much to let themselves be entertained and that's really unfortunate.

A: I know movies are fake but I still want them to make sense. A movie with no plot is always crap regardless how many chase scenes and car crashes they add. If a match is boring it isn't because they have psychology it's because it's a boring match. If we are going to put on a match we should be trying to make them feel real and progress logically. If you think we should just throw the psychology out the window for a good high spot match, why not ditch the ref and the whole concept of a match and just send guys out to due stunts. Two guys could stand on the floor while guys show great dives. Then they could do other spots and demonstrations. If you are going to 'pretend' it's a match you might as well give the match a good plot. Great high spot matches will ALWAYS be better if psychology is added.
RCWilson17 wrote:
I love this column but I'm gonna talk about each of our comments. first off with "We as Wrestling fans are stupid" let me use a real life situation, if a big person beat the crap out of a midget what would you think" logical answer we will say that messed up and feel sorry for the midget, flipside the midget beat up the big guy what would you say" logical answer we would cheer him on. similar situation with Eddie and rey we all love the underdog when Eddie was cheating to beat jbl we loved it cause we hate jbl and jbl is a "bully" but when Eddie cheated to try to take another man child the we think why would you do that to a family man. Next one:WWE is NOT the Only Wrestling Organization True it's not but aside from tna you tell me what channel roh,mlw,czw and japw is on cause I'd really like to know. Next WWE's Sole Purpose is to Entertain…Period I couldn't agree with you more. NextWhat in the Wide World of Sports and Entertainment is Ring Psychology" Most fans say this but don't know the meaning well I'll tell you what it is. In ring psychology is when a wrestler keeps you watching the match and having the fans say what is gonna happen next or when your like come on get up rey get up basically is for you to not say stupid things like that looked so fake in ring psychology makes you forget that wrestling isn't real. Next up Not all Matches Need to “Tell a story I agree with you every match isn't supposed to "tell a story" if you want a story read a damn book. Last but not least we have Leave the X Division Alone I've heard very little complaint about the x-divison but when i do i want to slap them cause it's stupid think of it this way a baseball game has statagy envoled, a home run derby doesn't, so to use this in wrestling if you love stragic wrestling watch beniot vs angle is you want to see home runs watch aj styles vs jack evans
Freddy Sturguess wrote:
What" Another "Why WWE Sucks" article" I guess this is number 5,384. Doesn't this go against the ten commandments for columnists" But oh well, I've never responded to a cliched "Watch TNA because WWE blows" article, so I'll do it now. The first thing that caught my eye was your brief comment about Jake "The Snake" Roberts, one of the all time greatest users of in-ring psychology. What is that, you ask" Well since your article was just a poorly written been-said-a-thousand-times-already rant, I don't see how you could understand the answer to your own question anyway, seeing as how you're so focused on the present and seem so clueless about the history of the sport you're writing about. You complain about storylines, and matches "telling a story," yet for some reason you gripe when there's a hole in that story. For instance, The Undertaker's tattoo of his wife Sara's name on his neck. Um, Mr. Cotton" Wrestlers have real lives outside of wrestling in case you didn't know. Are they supposed to abandon any signs of a life outside the ring so they can please you" Or would you prefer that the Undertaker put makeup over his throat before every match" Now about fans cheering for wrestlers who have been heels and have done shady things in those STORYLINES you hate before...are you just now noticing this" Is this some new revelation to you" It's been happening for decades, but you seem too solidified with the present to understand how these things work. My main point is: You obviously have a problem with the mere presence of a storyline, so don't waste time contradicting yourself and pointing out the plot holes and continuity problems. It would be like someone stating "I hate red meat" and then going on and on pointing out examples of why he doesn't eat red meat. We get it. And finally: No one is immune from these things. All the precious modern day heroes of TNA, ROH, etc., will eventually fall prey to lame storylines and all the other things that plague wrestling today. I'm sorry, but someone had to say it. P.S. You seem to have as big an ego as some of the wrestlers out there. "My article won RAVE reviews...hopefully this will shake the foundation of OWW forever!"
The Flaming Tiger wrote:
I have a few things to say about your column and I'm sorry but I'm not really agreeing with much of what you're saying.

Point 1: Yes it's true that a lot of the storylines in wrestling are far fetched and sometimes just plain stupid (pregnancy angle anyone") but it's the fans choice weather they wish to boo or cheer a face and/or heel. As fans, they have a right to do that and a lot of the people in the crowd (if not all) know that what they are watching is just a storyline and all the matches are decided before hand but they follow keyfabe and just watch it for what it is. Entertainment.

Point 2: Have nothing wrong with this section. Nice to know that you know of other companies and are not basing your entire column on one example.

Point 3: I believe this is a very mixed issue but unfortunately I do not believe you have taken a look at both sides of the argument. Yes the wrestling business is here to entertain you and the champion should have the ability to talk on the mike and wrestle in the ring. I think the point a lot of people are making is that, great in ring wrestlers that know how to put a good match together are being overlooked for guy that sound good on the mike but have problems in the ring. I believe wrestling skill should come first and charisma later. But that's just me.

Point 4: Ring Psychology is how a match is put together. E.g. you don't use all your big moves in the opening minutes of the match and then continue to wrestle for another 20 mins or if Rey Mysterio came out and started over powering the Big Show or say a person has been working on their opponents legs and their opponent suddenly jumped up and started using kicks and jumping moves as if their leg was suddenly healed. Ring Psychology is about making the match make sense (if you understand me) and coincides with weather if the wrestlers are faces or heels and how their characters are portrayed in the ring.

Point 5: This is mainly why I'm replying to you. Every match tells some sort of story, even if the wrestlers are not currently in a storyline. This ties in heavily into ring psychology I believe that the three matches that C.M Punk and Samoa Joe had are the best to explain this. In case you're not a fan of ROH (and by the way you write about them I'm sure your not) I'll set the scene. Samoa Joe is the ROH world champion. He's held the belt for over a year and is on a role. He's facing C.M Punk and everyone thinks that Joe is just going to go in there and kill Punk in 20 mins or less, like he did to so many of his other opponents. However the match lasts an hour and is declared a time limit draw. This match told a very simple but a very good story. Punk, throughout the match used headlocks and mat based techniques to ground and wear out the much larger Samoa Joe. Punk took very few risks and kept to this strategy allowing him to last for the hour. This match was very well told because, normally when a person would challenge Joe they would just try and go at him dead on. They kept to their usual attack plan and tried to battle the Samoan in vain. But Punk differed from his usual routine and kept Joe down long enough to survive. Punk and Joe explained a lot of the story behind the match in their interview with ROH's straight shooting series. The original idea was that Joe just thought this was a normal title defense and just came out expecting the usual match. Punk however had watched Joe's matches and formulated his plan for the match. The second match played a lot from the first. It was a very similar formula to the first, but with a twist. Joe now knew about Punk's plan and had watched some of Punk's other matches to combat it. The match itself was an amazing show of wrestling and throughout the match the combinations that Punk had hit on Joe in the first match were now being countered and the counters Joe had used before were now being countered by Punk (once again fitting in with ring psychology). The match went to another hour draw. After the match Punk challenged Joe to a third and final match but this time with no time limits. Everyone expected this match to go on longer than an hour but I believe it ended around the thirty minute mark. The idea around this was that if Punk could last over an hour he could beat Joe and Joe wanted a shorter match because he knew he wasn't going to outlast Punk. During the match many things happened that helped with this final idea for the story.

1. Punk was busted open. When your losing blood you want to end the match quicker because you can't last as long, but Punk couldn't because that's what Joe wanted him to do. If he went for a quick win from a head on attack he would lose.

2. Samoa Joe started cheating by the end of the match. You may think what's wrong with that heels do that all the time, so in case you don't know, in ROH heels get heat by being assholes, not cheating. If you cheat in a match the fans will let you now how they feel, very loudly. It's all about being a good wrestler in ROH not an entertainer.

3. The series of flash pins for the finish. For the end of the match Punk escaped Joe's finishing submission and tried to school boy Joe, roll him up and do whatever he could for a quick win. Joe countered one last time into the choke again and Punk passed out. This was an amazing finish, because watching it made you think "oh god he's got him, no wait punk's escaped, punks got him! No wait Joe's coming back ect."

This series of matches proved that wrestling can be taken seriously, without soap opera storylines but instead a story for a match that makes sense and can be enjoyed as a SPORT.

Last point: People don't have a problem with just the X-Division, it's highfliers that don't put together a thought-out match and just go out there and put together a bunch of fancy looking highspots.

Well that was a long reply. Sorry about all the negative comments but your column really didn't agree with me. It's nice to get that off my chest though.
Mike Hartnell wrote:
I'll do my best to explain ring psychology and telling a story in matches, as I'm training to become a wrestler right now.

Ring psychology is where the two wrestlers in a match work the match so it makes sense. Each move has to flow together well. Some examples: A wrestler won't hit a DDT (A move that hurts his opponents head) and then put him in a sharpshooter (A move that hurts his legs), the sharpshooter makes the DDT completely pointless because he switched his focus of attack. A wrestler should save his big moves for later in the match, if he hits all his big, hig impact moves to early, then the small things look terrible and weak. Moves should flow together, not just hit a move, pick them up off he mat, and hit another move, that's boring and basically any backyard wrestling match, there needs to be some little, in between stuff between large moves.

Telling a story in a match isn't nescessary in every match. A match has to lead the storylines in a certain direction and get the point across. When Bobby Lashley destroys jobbers, the story there is Lashley is an unstoppable force. When two wrestlers fight back and forth for twenty-thirty minutes it puts out a story that the two men are equals and the winner is gonna be the one who gets lucky at the end. "Filler matches" are matches with no story. It's a match that is thrown in the card just to fill up some time and it results in no story during the match.

There, I hope I garnered some insight to your questions about Ring Psychology and Telling A Story.
Jim Rush wrote:
I agree us wrestling fans are stupid. But its a television show. I mean back in the day just because Chuck Norris really wasn't kicking the crap out of people on "Walker, Texas Ranger" people weren't made fun of for not watching it. Also I would like to make a comment on the "moves making sense" line that one of the readers put as a comment. A huge majority of moves in wrestling make no sense. Here are some of my favorite examples.

1). Triple-H can bash someone over the head with a sledge-hammer multiple times, but yet its "The Pedigree" that makes it impossible for them to kick out of a 3-count"

2). A wrestler gets put in a sleeper hold and instead of just doing a reverse kick to the jewels or elbowing the crap out of the guy behind him he fights for the ropes"

3). A wrestler gets put in a bearhug and only after his arm drops two times and he holds it up on 3 does he try to punch his way out of it"

4). John Cena slams someone and they cannot move, giving him the time for his "5 Knucke Shuffle", after which his fist is like the hand of God and magically brings his opponent back to life so they can spring up and go into an "F-U", which once again i submit is a GLORIFIED FIREMANS CARRY TAKEOVER and then once again they are unable to make a 3-count.

5). A superplex off the top rope is a set up move, but a choke slam (which most of the weight is held by the wrestlers hand on his opponents back) which carries the same or less amount of impact is a top finisher"

Case in point, if you really think about it too much, wrestling moves and wrestling in general makes little to no sense. But the fun part (at least for me) is not thinking about it too much and just enjoying the in-ring performances.
Dev Hassan wrote:
Sorry to sound rude, but you sound like a wrestling fan who doesnt seem to know anything about the storylines or anything at all. To answer your little questions - here it is

Point 1. You talk about Stone Cold beating up J.R and The King" Austin did that when he was a heel and when he was on McMahon's side. But before that he was stunning Vince and the others who were in The Corporation, D-Generation X or The Nation of Domination. Taker "killed" Paul because he had no other choice and most of the fans knew Paul Bearer had to leave wrestling for his own health sake, which Vince asked him to do, even tho he has a backstage role, I think a agent and he signed a "WWE Legends" Contract. so fan's wouldent boo Taker for it.

Point 2: WWE is mostly talked about because we don't have anything else to watch" when does MLW, CZW, ROH, etc, etc, etc come on" I get MLW and CZW and all that on The Wrestling Channel in the U.K but they are nothing but old ones...and TNA is like 5 weeks behind on The Wrestling Channel for us. And most of the people in America don't even get WWE...we can't talk about WCW anymore or ECW.

Point 3. Yes, WWE's sole purpose is to entertain, I give you that one. But RVD not being great on the microphone" RVD doesnt get microphone time to show off his charisma. He showed it at ECW One Night Stand when he did a great 20 mintue promo and he had the whole crowd behind. Vince was so impressed with his work, he let him do another promo on RAW on Carlito's Cabana. And from the "reports" Vince is impressed with his microphone skills, that when he returns from injury, he'll have more time cutting promos, intead of the "Cool and Dude" persona. As for Chris Benoit, Bret Hart didnt have much charisma, but Bret could wrestle and his wrestling did the talking. When Bret dissed the hell out of Washington D.C, one of the best promo's that Bret ever did. And he got a huge reaction for it. Chris Benoit is the same, but he never gets microphone time.

Point 4. As for Ring Psychology. I could explain to you, but I think someone who know's much better than us, for example Lance Storm. Would be a better option. So here is Lances reply to a fan that asked him ----

It's really just a match that makes sense, one that is easy to believe in, and progresses logically. I hate to bury certain matches but to illustrate this I will describe a match I just saw that in my opinion had terrible ring psychology. Samoa Joe vs Elix skipper this past week on TNA. I had never seen Joe work before and I was very excited about the match. It started off with some great looking kicks and a bunch of great knees by Joe. On his first cover Elix bridges up and kicks Joe in the head and starts mounting all this offence. To me that ruined the match. All this great Joe offence was just flushed down the toilet and no sold, so to me as a fan meant nothing. I no longer believed in Joe's offense, because despite it looking great it obviously had no effect. The match did not feel like a believable competition anymore, to me it looked like my turn-your turn. A lot of guys do this and I don't know if they are told to or it is just them. They may be trying to grab viewers attention early with big stuff but when the opponent just turns around and no sells it and comes back right away it all means nothing to me.

Point 5 - As for "Not All Matches Need To Tell A Story" - When wrestling fans and I think IN MY PERSON OPINION - when they say that. It means a match like Shawn Michaels vs Bret Hart. Stone Cold vs Bret Hart. Shawn Michaels vs Kurt Angle. Stone Cold vs The Rock. You see, all these matches were "the matches" everyone wanted to see. Their matches told storys because of the incredible things people like Shawn or Bret would do in the ring .It was just pure amazing and their wrestling did most of the story telling as did the storyline. And if you watch RAW or Smackdown, you always get normal matches like Christian vs Kane or Kane and Big Show teaming up. That was new wasnt it" I thought that was the whole point of Taboo Tueday.

Point 6 - And what the hell is Point is 6 about" It sounds the most pointless thing in this whole pointless column....nobody was really bashing the X-Divison....who would want to get rid of that" TNA would never ever get rid of that.

As for your last artical about "black wrestlers not being WWE Champs" newsflash. The Rock is half black and half samoan. and He was a 9 time World Heavyweight Champion in the WWE. 7 Time WWE Champion and 2 Time WCW Champion. And he was the "youngest" WWF Champion" and he did beat Austin in Austin's last ever match in the WWE. I think that win was more important for The Rock than him losing the WWE/F Championship to him at WrestleMania 15.
Alex Dance wrote:
I'm sorry but you really don't seem to know what you are talking about alot of the time here. you come up with some extremely petty points aboutthe undertaker having his wifes name on his throat and how you somehow thought that THAT was what made the whole concrete crypt storyline ridiculous and call fans stupid because the we cheered eddie as a face and booed him as a heel (") when his action were the same even though his character was cleary different; being vicious and cold hearted in his heel persona and fun loving and warm as a face. Your point to me just doesnt make sense. then you go on to talk about how there is other wrestling companies besides WWE as if it news to anyone who reads this site, and tell off some unknown entities for bagging the X-Division

i really think you've put this out to the wrong audience; you come across as really arrogant and cocky in your article but then most of your points are either flawed or just dont make sense. seriously its like being lectured on manners by someone talking with their mouth full- irritating

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