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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Master of the Mic is Gone
December 5, 2004 by Adam Sprague


I would like to address something that seems to be something that is no longer with us anymore, and that is the so called, "master on the mic". He was that one superstar that could work a mic, and work a crowd almost effortlessly and have the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. Just thinking about the loss of this makes me want to cry on the inside. I can remember superstars such as Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Undertaker, Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, and of course Triple H when he was going on his run that some refer to as the greatest heel run of all time when he was first really being pushed throughout the main events. Every week we knew going in to the week's edition of RAW that we were in for a treat once we hear "Do you smell what the Rock is Cookin"" or that glass shatter.

But now the pacing is slowed down in the WWE, and I don't mean just inside the ring. However, it does seem to me that about the same time that the WWE made a stand to move away from the "attitude" era that we saw less and less skills on the microphone to the point where it doesn't even seem important to have the microphone skill anymore like it was in the past. Let's take a look at last week's edition of RAW for instance, Triple H (arguably their best star on the brand) was talking to Flair and Batista and the dialogue went something along the lines of, "Can you believe this crap"" "I've got your back man", followed by maybe a dramatic stare down and then Batista saying "Yeah I got your back". This folks is the backstage mic work being done in RAW's main storyline right now with Triple H being the focus week in and week out if and when he's going to drop the title or Batista's face turn, we would probably expect the finest mic work to be in these segments to really push the main events every week on RAW.

Now let's take a look at the ability of the WWE to promote its Pay Per View's recently. It would be a lie I think if anyone said the WWE had them on the edge of their seat to buy a Pay Per View lately. Hmmm, what's the best way to promote a feud" Oh yeah, working a great promo on the mic! We have all seen the sneak attacks, the beat downs and everyone's gimmick as of late on both the Smackdown! And RAW brands of "I deserve the title shot more than you now I am going to turn red in the face, pull my hair out and scream". Quite frankly, it's getting old. And how do you mix up feuds" Well, by what the superstars say, how they get under their skin making the final collision in the ring a huge explosion of tension that the crowd can feel. Hey, I can't even tell you why Edge and Benoit hate each other...cuz' they both want the title I guess...remember when superstars faced each other at PPVs because they legitimately hated each other" Me either...it was a while ago

However, this is all fine and good if the WWE wants to focus on the wrestling. Focus on the wrestling. But watching ladies strut around in their undies every week, is not wrestling. What it makes the WWE look like is a shell of what it once was by still trying to promote the sex appeal, I mean there are naked ladies on the internet, and most people are tuning in for the wrestling. On another note, if the mic work does stay the same, why are people who were previously held back because of their lack of mic ability still not getting main even shots on their pure wrestling skill" The closest superstar that I can think of that this is actually happening for is Chris Benoit. However, if the shows are going to be more slow paced, technically skilled why not reward some people that can entertain a crowd without saying a word such as Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam. How long is the WWE going to sit on Rob Van Dam" This guy can work a match and bring the crowd into it almost effortlessly. Is he great on the mic" Sure isn't. Does it matter anymore" Give the guy the World Title. A fresh face in the ring, an ability to work with small men, large men, hardcore and straight up singles matches makes RVD the most versatile wrester in the locker room, but somewhere the WWE is still lost with its slow paced action and old name pushes.

Sure there are a few (mostly on the Smackdown! Brand) who are now in fact getting pushes...but when push comes to shove I would much rather see a wordless RVD in the ring then a wordless Schnitzky or even a Benoit whose screaming week in and week out is getting quite boring any day of the week. I will however give the WWE some credit on their recent push of Shelton Benjamin, however the whole lets get to know who Shelton Benjamin was when he grew up videos seem to have caused the crowd to lose interest as there was a noticeable smaller pop for him when he came out after they rolled it. Dear WWE, if you're going to go for straight wrestling, do it. If your going to go for babies dying and Undertaker coming out of the grave storylines, do it. But the wishy washy product that the WWE has become by playing the middle road is not working.

Before you through these young guys in the ring train them on the mic, make sure they know their gimmick in and out. And on a side note, do we still need to be doing tough enough" Is Maven not proof enough that reality shows should not determine who is being pushed into the ring" Take some time on their character, give them a solid gimmick so when that music hits the crowd is standing up getting ready to boo or cheer hanging on every word he says, otherwise like I said give the pure wrestlers their chance, I don't know a soul who wouldn't want the strap around RVD or Eddie G right now.

by Adam Sprague ..


Jay D Johnson wrote:
Dude you are soooooo correct on this subject. I recall waiting for the Rock to say something knowing all the words to his saying. Drinking cans of cokes like Stone Cold drinks beer. Really being afraid of Kane and the Undertaker. What happen to that" I recall coming home on Mondays and Thursdays and getting all set up to watch wrestling waiting for the Next hardcore match. What happen to that. What happen to the great angles like angle's gold medals getting stolen and he being frantic about it. That felt real. Or there is some one getting kidnapped by an unknown person and getting saved by a unlikely person. that felt real. Or clans of people good or bad competing with other groups to become the best. That felt real. Nowadays this isn't nothing one group being dominate for a full year. The heavy weight champion only has OK matches on PPV's. That is just ridiculous. And don't even get me started on the ladies of WWE there are only 4 of them that really wrestle the rest are eye candy, EYE CANDY!" If I wanted eye candy I will get the swimsuit addition of SI I don't want candy I WANT WRESTLERS!!!!! Do you remember the girls who at any given time could powerbomb the dudes" Or the have a good match with a STORYLINE"""""" Now just the every now and then a fatal 4 way match for the title. Oh oh this is a good one remember when the weekend shows had the same stuff as the weekly shows like the storylines and stuff instead of being a place for the non pushed wrestlers or the place to give a little push for the new dudes"

In all I just want to thank you for putting this article out for everyone this is a true statement from a true fan.
Ben Chapman wrote:
In respones to the Article "the master of the mic is gone" i must say this is ture. As JR always says there will never be another one like him. The Rock had all the mic skills in the world. Although i have to suggest the the WWE isn't completely lost for mic skills.

There are still a few who can get a rise out of the crowd week in week out. The likes of Chris Jericho and Eddie Guererro can still get the crowd going. Although Jericho's words have always been cheap shots they are usually thrown against the heels so the crowd responds. He must be doing something right or the highlight reel would have died long ago.

While Eddie says everything with passion and really gets into his mic work. But surely if your talking about mic skills you can't overlook John Cena" He has the lines, he has the rhymes and the crowds is always into it. Whether cheering at his cheap shots or questioning his controverial material about STD's. He is the next best thing the WWE has to the Rock and should be given the mic at every oppurtunity because somebody out there has to get on the mic and it sure as hell isn't Eugene..
Axel Hawk wrote:
All of you need to shut up with the mic skills, so what, who cares if the guy has mic skills it seems like evrybody is waiting to see who's going to be the next rock, what ever happenes to wrestling, it seems like nobody cares about wrestling anymore, the viewers are more intersted in what the guy is going to say instead of what the guy is going to do in the ring. that's why wrestling is in the shape its in today because nobody cares about wrestling, they just want to see guys run there mouth for an entire hour. so what if the suposed master of the mic is no longer around, that being the consided big moutn poser the rock, who does nothing but talk and give a bunch of dumn catch phrases, i belive that he has found his match in movies, cuz as far as the show goes, the viewers would much rather have him run his mouth off for the entire show than to see him wrestle. If you want to see mic skills watch BET, comedy central and dave chappelle, you'll find plenty of mic skills there. like chris jericho said will you please SHUT THE HEEEELLL UP! and my answer is wrestle!
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