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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Lets Put it This Way (Part 2)
August 17, 2005 by Rohit Ramnath


Over the past few articles, I have compared wrestling to a variety of other forms of entertainment. There was an article where I compared it to a soap opera and one where I compared it to sports. Although I have received mixed reviews, I couldn't resist doing another one. I truly believe wrestling is nothing but another form of art. After hearing it in Bret Hart's own words (on wrestling with shadows), I became a believer. And now its time to show you people what I believe.

I'm probably going to get a lot of heat for this and I'm probably going to have a huge following of critics, but think about it people.

Think of it this way. In a movie, you have about five characters. They develop through the movie and you see more and more facets of the person they portray. Thoughts, beliefs and principles are highlighted and if it is good, then by the end of it you are sucked into the movie world and out of your own. You begin to feel like you are one of them and your world begins to seem a dream.

Now in a good PPV (I'll take the example of ECW's One Night Stand), you may not be able to hear the characters vocally express their attitudes, but in the ring you get to see what they stand for and what they believe in. For example, Rey Mysterio might not tell you at any point in time in an interview or otherwise that he believes in fighting to the death and never giving up, but do you know he does" Hell yes. His fight with Psicosis exemplifies it. Benoit might not tell you he believes that the best way is to go about scientifically breaking down your opponent while the Dudleys believe in just hurting them. You know though that Benoit is a thought-oriented individual while the Dudleys are muscle oriented. These are the facets of character that I'm talking about.

If that didn't get enough heat lets check this one out. Each week on your TV show, you see some core characters again slowly developing themselves as they see fit. I don't need to go into the comparison of a TV show and wrestling, read my first article instead, but suffice it to say hate to believe it or accept it, in the core strategies of marketing and story, they are the same. Not similar, but the same.

What about plays" Everyone knows about them and everyone has seen one on Broadway sometime in their lives. I myself saw Bombay Dreams on "the biggest stage of them all" and was surprised as to how much of the production took place behind the scenes. The stage effects (turntable like stage), make up, costumes, lights, sounds, etc... are little appreciated but highly essential to the making of a great play.

And how many of you know about who the pyro artist for the WWE is" How many of you know the in-charge of sound staff" How many of you know who the logistics head is" Medical" Security" Merchandise" Yet, think about how boring wrestling would be without these things. Yes I know ECW was amazing and they didn't have these things, but think about it. Imagine the Sandman entering without his theme; imagine Tazz entering without the towel on his head, imagine Undertaker entering without the blue lighting and the fog, imagine Mysterio's entrance without the pyro, imagine Al Snow's entrance without the heads being bobbed, imagine any fight spilling into the crowd without optimally placed cameras, imagine Shane O'Mac's leap off the Titantron without adequate preparations, imagine a body slam where the ring adds nothing to the impact. Sounds kind of corny doesn't it" Would you watch it then" No.

Ohh and since I'm in the mood to garner a lot of heat, think about this too. What does it take to be a successful actor" A dedicated study of acting- the skills involved and the aptitudes required. A focused effort to improve these qualities and a constant desire to be better than what you are is one path. A second one is to play to the audience. Have the natural timing and words which would make the audience instantly laugh, cry or share your emotion. You need not be a learned actor, but you have the flair. A third path is just to be someone famous and milk it till its end by which point you have to have some talent which you milk again.

Now what does it take to be a successful wrestler" A dedicated training and study of all the aspects of the business and the sport like Angle or Hart. To have the natural charisma which overrides the need to be a great sportsman for example Hogan and Austin, or to be someone famous and milk it to make money for example David Arquette or David Flair.

Well, now that I have got that cemented firmly I would dare ask and answer the question: what does this mean and how does it affect the business" This, my friends, is the secret that Vince McMahon should be trying to seek out and focus upon to make the WWE a better product. I like it now, I think both champions are great and the youngsters are getting a push and are starting to show experience, but McMahon is still involved in thinking this is cheap entertainment where any stupid angle will work.

There have been TV shows that have "jumped the shark" where after one failed angle or a bad patch have not been able to recover and have therefore suffered their death, but WWE has reeled from it, or so it seems, now. This time is crucial, like it or not, to determine the future of the industry. This time is crunch time. It is the time when every move will decide whether the wrestling industry will enjoy a great future ahead or will suffer an untimely and disappointing demise. Don't deny that currently the WWE is the industry. Once that is gone then wrestling as a whole is gone.

So I plead to you Vince to please bring back wrestling to what it was. Please realize you had been doing something right all these years and you need that formula again. Character development, high intensity episodes, shocking moments, teetering between chaos and order are features that make a TV show great and Vince you need to bring that back to the WWE.

And with that I'll end this column. I realize that this might not be the best written one but I am attempting to write this at 2:00am because I am stuck all day with work to take me to university. I will take a small break if required from writing for OWW to get settled into Carnegie Mellon University and I request anyone who knows where I can learn wrestling to please give me contact details.

And since I have garnered this much heat, and offended these many people it's only right that I take a small break and return with a new character and a new gimmick. Kirsty, maybe you could Last Ride me off the stage with your comments on this article.

by Rohit Ramnath..


Kirsty Quested wrote:
As usual Rohit tackles the tough issues in defense of the entertainment we all love so much. He was one of the first names that popped into my head when considering our new staff of Official Columnists, and while I'm sorry that we may not see so much of his unique point of view in the future, I do wish him all the very best in his studies and in any future ventures. Rohit, I for one will miss the wit and humour you bring to OWW, and hope that you'll find time to pop your head round the door now and again.
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