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The Tampon Spot

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14 minutes ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

I agree about consistency but the problem is those examples are not consistent with what virtually everyone else in wrestling does.
If it was agreed or accepted that, in wrestling, people could be killed - no problem. It's accepted that if you shoot someone into the ropes, they will bounce off and run back towards you.
If a massive dragon suddenly turned up and torched the Rovers in Corrie everyone would go 'C'mon, that's bullshit!' because that is not the reality they have created. In Game of Thrones, no-one bats an eyelid if a massive dragon shows up because that is the reality that has been created by them. It's what has been sold to the audience.

Wrestling has been sold as a fight. Wrestling fans, and wrestlers, will accept some lapses in logic if the overall presentation is within the parameters of the reality that has been created. 'We know they're not REALLY fighting but we are going to go along with it'. It's when hypnosis and things that are so far outside the realms of what has been sold as believable start creeping in that people like myself start going 'Yeah... not for me, thanks...'

 

You messed up your own point there. Yeah, a dragon showing up in Corrie is silly but par for the course in GoT. Hence why certain promotions have certain 'rules' and flexibility regarding the logic and storytelling of wrestling within their own walls. That's why there are so many different promotions that appeal to so many different fans. Pro wrestling isn't (and has never been) a cookie-cutter experience, outside of a few set hard rules such irish whips and extending your legs during a vertical suplex.

Edited by Accident Prone

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It depends on if you treat each promotion as it's own "universe" or not. Within the rules CHIKARA has established, that kind of thing can happen.
I've worked shows where wrestlers have frozen time, used superpowers, done the hypnosis dance-off routine and had lightsabre fights, and it all makes sense because it's logically consistent within the world we've created. Lucha Underground can produce shows where characters are time travellers, immortals, Aztec Gods and so on, and again where characters are canonically killed, and it doesn't kill my enjoyment of that show to think, "well, he's not dead because he's wrestling in PWG this weekend" or "well, no one ever time travelled in Mid-South, I'm out". But then, are you that much of a stretch from saying, "well, UWF-i feels like a realistic fight, but 1995 WWF doesn't, so the WWF are doing it wrong"?

I've seen spots where someone gets Irish Whipped outside the ring and just keeps running until they hit a wall - is that exposing the business any more than an Irish Whip in the ring, or is it just a nod to the fans that, hey, we know it's daft?

It depends on if you think wrestling as a whole should be trying to convince you it's real, or if individual promotions should - I think it's far more insulting to the audience's intelligence for everyone to pretend it's real than to allow some promotions to play around with the format, allow fans to be in on the joke, and try fun new things. Wrestling's a broad church, and one that has room for something as goofy and overtly "fake" as Kaiju Big Battel at one end and "shoot style" or worked MMA like Matt Riddle's Bloodsport at the other, and everything in-between, without one undermining the other. 

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19 minutes ago, Accident Prone said:

You messed up your own point there. Yeah, a dragon showing up in Corrie is silly but par for the course in GoT. Hence why certain promotions have certain 'rules' and flexibility regarding the logic and storytelling of wrestling within their own walls. That's why there are so many different promotions that appeal to so many different fans. Pro wrestling isn't (and has never been) a cookie-cutter experience, outside of a few set hard rules such irish whips and extending your legs during a vertical suplex.

Why was their less variation in the past then? Why were we not seeing dick flips and time travelling 20 years ago? Wrestling has always had 'silly' spots but was always, up until quite recently, presented as 'legitimate'. Even if there was a goofy character the commentators would usually [I stress 'usually'] go to great lengths to go 'look this person thinks they're this mythical creature' rather than going 'this person IS a mythical creature that CAN, say, hypnotise people].

I'm not asking that to be antagonistic but genuinely curious - is this just a natural evolution do you think? I guess I just don't fully grasp why those involved in wrestling would want to openly mock it by making it look more stupid than the average person already thinks it does.

and, again, just thinking out loud but 'I think it's far more insulting to the audience's intelligence for everyone to pretend it's real' - why? I'm not saying 'If someone asks you have to say it's real' but what's wrong with, when you are in the arena and watching the show, having the people who are presenting the show to you pretending that what is happening during that time is real? Isn't that the point? 

Edited by Snitsky's back acne

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Could you say it's like Deadpool?  He exists in the Marvel Universe but breaks the 4th wall but given the context, it's not going to harm or make you question the whole idea of the other films.

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1 hour ago, Snitsky's back acne said:

and, again, just thinking out loud but 'I think it's far more insulting to the audience's intelligence for everyone to pretend it's real' - why? I'm not saying 'If someone asks you have to say it's real' but what's wrong with, when you are in the arena and watching the show, having the people who are presenting the show to you pretending that what is happening during that time is real? Isn't that the point? 

It's the point if you make it the point. 

What you're missing is that the performers in the ring, even when they're doing hypnosis, time travel and penis-plexes, are treating it that it's real. Nobody in a Joey Ryan match is stopping and saying, "you just suplexed a man with your penis, that doesn't make sense!". Within the internal logic of the match, it is all treated as real, in the same way that nobody in the last Avengers movie is turning to the camera and saying, "of course, men can't fly, and Bruce Banner would be dead of radiation poisoning, not turning into a green rage-beast, but just play along".

It's only inconsistent if you think there should be a consistent sense of "reality" across all wrestling promotions, but then that has always been inconsistent to some degree or another, and to me is as absurd as saying a dragon in Game of Thrones is unrealistic because they're not treated as real in Coronation Street (to turn the earlier analogy on its head).

 

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 I guess I just don't fully grasp why those involved in wrestling would want to openly mock it by making it look more stupid than the average person already thinks it does.

I've never seen it as mocking the business at all, it's always affectionate. Most people in wrestling, and all but the most cringeworthy of fans, have a sense of humour about wrestling and know it's daft. Personally, most of the shows I work are to an audience that aren't your "traditional" wrestling fans, and the first show we ever ran, we started out with some matwork and technical wrestling, to a near silent crowd and the occasional titter - because wrestling is inherently quite silly. There's nothing wrong with giving the crowd a little something to say, "hey, it's okay, we're in on the joke" to take them from laughing at you, to being on board. Without comedy, we'd not have lasted past our first couple of shows.

And, in my experience, you're far more likely to win over the average person by showing that level of self-awareness than by treating wrestling as the legitimate sport that absolutely nobody thinks it is. 

 

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Why was their less variation in the past then? Why were we not seeing dick flips and time travelling 20 years ago?

I'd argue that there was considerably more variation in the past. Maybe not to the extreme of dick flips and time travelling (though wrestling has never been without its silliness), but there were more distinct styles of wrestling, differing approaches to presentation, and differing philosophies as to how wrestling could or should work, whereas if anything right now I'd say wrestling is globally the most standardised and homogenised it's ever been. 

I do think it's a natural evolution of the business. If people want to watch something that looks like a real fight, they can watch a UFC show. People watching wrestling, by and large, don't want something presenting itself as a real fight, they want a simulation of a fight. More than that, they want to be entertained, and want an emotional investment in the show they're watching - sometimes the way to garner that emotional investment is through convincing them that what they're seeing is real, but it's not the only way.

If look over time, thirty years ago the old timers complained that Shawn Michaels was killing the business because his offence wasn't believable enough. Before him, Ric Flair was killing the business because he was selling too much, bumping for referees, and too acrobatic. Before him, Karl Gotch thought Harley Race was exposing the business for his bumping being too over-the-top. I've read a book on wrestling history written in 1936 which complains of the modern wrestler being too showy and acrobatic, and not as committed to a believable, hard-fought contest as the wrestlers of twenty years previously. I'm sure if you go back to 1911, you'd find crotchety old shooters complaining that Hackenschmidt was making a mockery of the business. 

In terms of how we get from that to dick flips, tampons and hypnosis - aside from the natural progression of the sport, also factor in the growth of MMA over the past twenty years, that wrestling has been entirely "out of the closet" in terms of kayfabe for longer than the majority of today's wrestlers have been alive, and that changing media formats and changing media consumption has meant that people can watch a broader range of wrestling from all over the world easier than they ever could before, and it's only natural that it moves in myriad different directions as promotions are no longer able to dictate to a narrow set of fans what the "reality" of wrestling is, and promotions and wrestlers need to try new things to stand out.

Mike Quackenbush gave a great speech at a Philadelphia arts festival a few years back about how nothing has stifled wrestling's creativity more than the insistence that we view it "through the lens of sport", whereas if you take that away and allow yourself to view wrestling from other perspectives; as theatre, as genre fiction, as a live action comic book, a whole world of possibilities opens up in front of you. Some of those possibilities are still gritty, hard-hitting matches that leave you questioning "is this legit, do these two really not like each other?", and it's part of wrestling's unique charm that it can make you ask that in a way no other medium can, but it doesn't, and shouldn't end there.

 

Anyway, here's Genghis Khan fighting an evil businessman in 1978, in a promotion that also featured The Invisible Man (in the late '60s!), a Mummy, and a sea monster. 

Edited by BomberPat

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Maybe comedy is the way forward then. It seems a shame that you feel the promotion you work for would not have survived without it and it's a shame the wrestlers felt that was the only way they could elicit a response from the crowd. 

I guess the 'we'll let you in on the gag' approach is worth a try and see how it goes. If it attracts more fans then, great.

I don't agree with Quackenbush though because then where do you stop with his analogy? DDT had a table 'wrestling' a chair.
If you set no parameters then anything is possible and while on the surface that sounds great it is also incredibly problematic.

I also don't buy the analogy that wrestling is 'art' and can be interpreted however you want it to be either, but that's just a personal thing.
Wrestling's just wrestling. 

*EDIT* However, even IF we acknowledge that it IS art that also does not mean it can be whatever it wants to be.
Many an artist has gone 'I don't know what that is but it sure as shit isn't art'.

Edited by Snitsky's back acne

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@Accident ProneI understand what you mean about its not real but should look it, but how is that spot anymore unrealistic to most top rope moves or finishers where the person stands waving his arms around to show he is doing it? If people like Ross are OK with those moves what was wrong with this spot?

Edited by westlondonmist

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8 hours ago, BomberPat said:

I'm sure if you go back to 1911, you'd find crotchety old shooters complaining that Hackenschmidt was making a mockery of the business

Ignoring all the blinding brilliance of your post and picking up on this non-sequitur, just today @JNLister's old sig came to mind, which had a quote followed by something like "George Hackenschmidt slams the spotfests of 1915." 

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