-The First Shot-
Hello everyone and welcome to the 40th edition of The Shoot.
Before I start things off, I want to hype something that will be coming up here on Wrestleview. Anthony Valvo and myself have came up with the idea for a tournament. This was an idea spawned in Mr. V’s head after reading my King of the Ring fantasy tournament and we decided to expand on it, but this time, not only get the readers involved, but the columnists here at Wrestleview as well. It will be a 32 man tournament and we have wrestlers from WWE, TNA, ROH, The Indys, Mexico, and Japan all thrown into the mix. I?ve seen the proposed brackets and I must say that things look very exciting. I think everyone will be able to have some fun with this one? so be on the lookout for it, I am sure that it will not disappoint.
With that being said, let’s delve into this week’s column with a bit of news from around the wrestling world? here are your Quick Shots.
It appears that Bryan Danielson has officially signed his contract with the WWE and can now debut at any time. There is said to be no plans for Danielson at this moment in time, but look at most of the people who debuted on ECW? doesn?t look like a lot of thought went into their plans either. So I say just pick a wrestler on the roster that’s been in limbo and pair him with Danielson. It’s about time we see that clam digger on a WWE screen!
This whole Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair thing is really not interesting me. I saw the video of the attack on Hulk Hogan by Ric Flair and I just shook my head? it looked like two old men fighting over the last piece of mush at the retirement home. Actually, that was kind of half the truth? it was two old men fighting. I saw their match on Monday Night Raw from a few years ago and that was pretty pathetic looking. Hogan has had hip surgery and back surgery since then? this match is not going to be pretty I can tell you that much? on a side note? how fat is Brian Knobbs now?
The WWE might be looking into getting their own TV station. Might be interesting? might not. Can?t really say for sure since it is all just speculation at this point, but I wonder how that would work out. Would Monday Night Raw actually go on there? I wouldn?t think it would right away since WWE just extended its deal with USA Network until 2014. Would this be the new home for Smackdown? I would hope not since that would severely limit Smackdown’s exposure. I?m betting that this is going to end up being a glorified version of WWE 24/7 or whatever their video on demand service will be. Which begs the question? if that’s the case, then what will happen to the website service? I mean at that point, it would make more sense to pay a flat rate for the TV station and watch what they show you than pay per match on the VOD. I?m not a marketing genius, just my own little personal opinion.
-The Big Shot: The Importance of Wrestling Commentary-
This was a column that I had on the back burner for a bit, but I think someone else wrote something about commentary around the same time that I wanted to break this topic out, but after tonight’s Raw, I just had to bring this one out of the closet! (No gay jokes please).
The commentary in professional wrestling is a lot more important than one person thinks. It takes a lot of skill to be a commentator in a wrestling company. A lot of people believe it’s just a couple of people sitting behind a desk calling moves. This sometimes works for companies like Ring of Honor or Total Non-Stop Action where all they do is rely on moves and very little on telling stories. Most of their in-ring product depends on popping the crowd so it’s easy for a commentator to sit back and go ?And Aries with the Brainbuster? he?ll be going for the 450 now?.
Sitting there and calling moves actually hurts the product more than you think. Sure it?ll give the wrestling fans some education on which moves are which, but it loses the true meaning behind the purpose of commentary and that is to sell the match.
Last night’s edition of Monday Night Raw had a great example of this when they brought back the old WWE Saturday Night Main Event commentary team with Jesse ?The Body? Ventura and Vince McMahon. Just hearing the two of them on commentary made me feel a little nostalgic, but most of all, it made me realize how important commentary is to a pro-wrestling match. Wrestling is all about telling a story. Stringing together a wrestling match is more than just putting moves together. It’s about the body language, the selling, the little nuances a wrestler does to sell a move, react to the crowd, and most importantly, react to their opponents and what they are doing to make it completely believable.
That’s only the half the recipie? the other half is, obviously, the commentary. A lot of the commentary in the WWE really focuses on what’s happening storyline wise. They seem to recall things that has happened on past editions of the show to kind of recap why they are having that match. That’s fine to an extent, but the reactions of the commentators seem kind of phoned in or seem forced when big spots happen or major points in the match take place.
I mean, let’s look at Jim Ross? when someone takes a chair shot, Ross might react differently. Like, when a wrestler turns heel, Ross will break out the ?GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!? and then follow it up with his own personal opinion on that wrestler’s decision to turn heel. That’s called selling the story and Ross pulls it off perfectly. Michael Cole always seems like ?Oh come on? and it doesn?t sound genuine at all. You have to mark out and believe what is put in front of you to an extent. You yourself as a commentator have to immerse yourself into the story and act the way you think the fans would react. That would make your commentary much more believable and actually put the match over and sell it.
Even little nuances (I like that word) should be worked in. Vince McMahon did it with his ?come on ref? remark from time to time when a wrestler would come in and cheat behind the referee’s back. It worked because it made Vince seem like a wrestling fan sitting there and immersing himself into the match. If you sat at home and knew nothing about the wrestling business? aka? if you were a wrestling mark? you would probably sit there and say the same thing. You?d probably get pissed that the referee wasn?t doing a stellar job and Vince capitalized on that and said what, he thought, the fans were thinking. He was making a connection to the audience and that is something a lot of commentators are missing? that audience connection.
I know that the WWE is an entertainment business, but a lot of the times, I also hear the commentators make references to upcoming pay-per-views, sponsors, or whatnot instead of calling the match. I understand the need to sell your product to the wrestling fan base and I know that sometimes fans channel switch or forget that Raw started an hour early (like I did this week) and that you need to remind them of what is going on, but you could at least save that for after the match is over or before a match begins. There needs to be more focus on the wrestling matches as far as commentary goes. The amount of selling that they do is decent at best.
This is why a lot of the work has to be done by the wrestlers themselves. It’s very hard to get a wrestler over these days because of the lack of support by the commentary team. Let’s take Sheamus as an example. Jesse Ventura sold the hell out of Sheamus during that match and it actually made Sheamus mean something. This is a great example of how the commentary in the WWE needs to be. It needs to reach this level in order to help get these products, pay-per-views, and matches over. Most importantly, it’s needed to get your TALENT over because that is where the money really is.
So I hope that everyone from Jerry Lawler to Josh Matthews watched Monday Night Raw? I hope they saw how it was supposed to be done and I hope that they realize that they need to step it up because Vince McMahon and Jesse Ventura just schooled everyone.
-One Extra Round: WWE Survivor Series Picks-
Well.. I missed Survivor Series? but it seems that I did another craptastic job of prediction what would happen. Here’s how I measured up.
Batista vs. Rey Mysterio
Thoughts: This one just screamed Batista. Why on God’s green Earth would you job Batista to Rey Misterio and derail his heel push out of the gate? You just don?t do that.. it’s piss poor booking if you do.
Team Mickie (Mickie James, Eve Torres, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim, and Melina)
Team Michelle (Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox, Jillian Hall, Beth Phoenix, and Layla El)
WINNER: Team Mickey
PICK: Team Michelle
Thoughts: I originally thought I picked Team Mickie, but I forgot that I threw the dart because I didn?t really care. Oh well.
Team Morrison (John Morrison, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Finlay, and Shelton Benjamin)
Team Miz (The Miz, Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, and Dolph Ziggler)
WINNER: Team Miz
PICK: Team Morrison
Thoughts: This one surprised me, to be honest. With Miz getting the win at Bragging Rights, I thought this would be Morrison’s chance at retaliation which might lead to an eventual rematch at, say? the Royal Rumble..which is only two months away so it would have made sense? but oh well.
Team Kingston (Kofi Kingston, MVP, Mark Henry, R-Truth, and Christian)
Team Orton (Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase Jr., CM Punk, and William Regal)
WINNER: Team Kingston
PICK: Team Orton
Thoughts: Again, from a storyline continuance, I thought Team Orton was going to win. In MSG, Kingston got the upper hand on Orton and I thought this would have been a nice chance for Orton to retaliate. Again, I thought wrong.
The Undertaker (c) vs. Chris Jericho vs. Big Show
WINNER: The Undertaker
PICK: The Undertaker
Thoughts: Just didn?t seem right to take the belt off of Undertaker. I?m guessing Taker might drop it at Royal Rumble or No Way Out aka Elimination Chamber.
John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. HHH
WINNER: John Cena
PICK: John Cena
Thoughts: Just as I thought? DX eliminated themselves from the formula and Cena capitalized? too predictable.
So I ended up dead even again at 3-3. I need to get out of this funk? maybe next month with Final Resolution and TLC.
Ahhh? 31-14 Patriots. While they were on fire the first quarter, they kind of fell off until the fourth quarter, but still, they handed the Jets a nice receipt for our week two loss? just, once again, proving that once Brady warms up, you either get out of the way, or we?ll push you aside.
So now The Xbox 360 can post on Facebook and Twitter. Great? so now there’s even more outlets for people to post cryptic messages or useless crap like ?I just took a crap? or ?My dog died?. No one wants to read that! But? despite this harmonic partnership? how much longer do you think it will take for Microsoft of Facebook/Twitter to partner up and create an app that auto updates your account each time you get an achievement? I?m betting it’s not that far off!
That’s about it for culture shock this week? shockingly? I have nothing Japanese for you. I know.. you can all gasp in astonishm??
Actually, I?m lying? full theme song for Letter Bee came out three days early which made me happy.. It’s kind of a relaxed melodic tune that you can just sit back and enjoy. Song is called Hajimari no Hi and it is performed by Suga Shikao. Check it out if you want!
And you thought I would let a culture shock go without something Japanese? FOR SHAME!
-The Final Shot-
That’s going to do it for me this week. If you would like to submit anything as far as column feedback, wrestling discussion, culture shock topics, anything? you can do so by using any of the methods below.
Until next week?