Posts Tagged ‘Degeneration X’

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling Episode: Comedy!

September 22, 2014

WILPW

I realized that I could really use a laugh after a long weekend after a somewhat uncertain week so that is today’s subject.  That realization made me realize the obvious fact that we could all use a laugh sometimes.  I will say right away that pro-wrestling is not my main source of comedy.  I have funny friends, funny family and funny co-workers to keep me laughing.  However, when I’m watching my wrestling shows, I like a little comedy there too.

The problem with comedy in pro-wrestling is that, according to the show’s internal fiction, these guys are at either at each others’ throats or allying with each other.  They are all fighting for the top spot so why would they stop and make jokes when their paycheck is on the line?  This is a valid point.  It definitely takes a light touch.  Just like any other comedy, the joke cannot be forced or clash with the fabric of the story around it.

The WWE (back when it was the WWF) ran into this problem with serious wrestlers like Bret Hart having to fight Doink the Clown.  Of course, much of the company had become pretty cartoony by that point.  This led to a backlash movement that quickly became the Attitude Movement where performers dropped the characters they were given and began to play characters closer to their own personalities.  Of course, the comedy continued and segments from Degeneration X, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were especially funny.

The WWE is definitely maturing in its comedy as the company ages.  Occasionally, the company will assume that poop and barf are comedy gold.  This is never ever true.  It was not funny when Betty White (yes, that Betty White) dosed Billy Gunn with laxatives.  It was not funny when Titus O’Neil barfed all over the announcers and ringside crew.  I know that little kids do watch their program and they do find barf, poop and pee funny.  Should we really cater to that?  Really?

There are plenty more examples of comedy that does not make me sigh or wish I was watching anything else.

Shawn Michaels returns to Degeneration X

Shawn Michaels and HHH have great comedic timing together and whenever they weren’t trying to kill each other they often teamed up as the leaders of Degeneration X.  This is the most polished of their work that comes to mind.  Sure they did a lot of funny stuff over the decades they’ve been together but for some reason this sticks out in my head more.

Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady

Enzo Amore continues to be the funniest person in mainstream wrestling today.  Everything he says makes me laugh and smile mainly because he just has great delivery.  He does some fun wordplay and purposefully pronounces names and words wrong.  With Big Cass by his side, his jokes will never be S-A-W-F-T.

Chikara Slo-Mo

I have mostly watched Chikara through Youtube which I feel a little bad about.  I should probably break down and purchase some DVDs to support the cause.  If there’s a funny pro-wrestling clip on the internet, it’s probably Chikara.  Since every wrestler in Chikara is a cartoon, they go to outrageous extremes in interrupting matches for comedy bits.  Everybody involved gets in on the act and it’s what fans pay to see so there’s no problem.

Chuck Taylor Scares Kids

This will never stop being funny to me.  The Kentucky Gentleman Chuck Taylor just loves scaring little kids in the crowd or sometimes he will just pick fights with them.  It’s not only funny but it goes a long way towards making him a funny heel.  He’s a villain in the way that Pete is a villain to Mickey Mouse.  He’s a villain because there has to be a villain but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a lot of fun.

Dance Off!

I discovered these a while back.  I have seen these dance offs between wrestlers mostly in Youtube clips from English promotions.  In the WWE they often do a dance off and the joke is that one person is great and the other one is obviously horrible.  Here, the match stops and the two (or more) performers bust out their moves and the fans decide.  Here we get to decide between Curry Man dance moves or AJ Styles’ nerdy dancing.

3MB Verbal Gaffe

Not much to say about this one.  The 3 Man Band was one of the best comedy heel teams of all time.  Thrown together on a whim, three young wrestlers made the most of it.  They really pushed their gimmick to the limit.  I didn’t even complain when they took the dwarf Hornswoggle on and (unofficially) renamed themselves 3.5MB.  Here we get a look at them being the goofballs we all knew and loved.

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Catchphrases

June 2, 2014

WILPW

One of the things that can get a performer over (aka popular) quicker is the use of a catchphrase.  The performer really has to sell the catchphrase.  Therefore, a good catchphrase needs to be shorter, repeatable by the fans and must come naturally from the character.  The catchphrase doesn’t even have to be cool.  It just has to resonate with the fans.   A catchphrase can help get a performer a foot in the door but then talent and charisma gets them the rest of the way into our hearts.

That’s not to say that a catchphrase is even necessary.  Some of the best talkers in the business did not rely on catchphrases.  I’m talking about Mick Foley, Jake the Snake, Brian Pillman, Kevin Sullivan, William Regal, Rick Rude, Terry Funk, etc.   However, I love a good catchphrase because it resonates in my head long after the interview is over and the crowd enjoys delivering it along with the performer.

“Yes!” – Daniel Bryan

I have personally shouted this one at the top of my lungs at a wrestling show.  It was a wrestling show where Daniel Bryan did not even appear.  It was a wrestling show for a completely different company.  That is the power of the Yes Movement.  It is amazing to see a crowd of thousands chanting ‘Yes!’ and raising their hands in the air in unison.

“Are you ready?” – Degeneration X

Alright, I could have included how they always used to yell “Suck it!” but I never really liked that catchphrase.  The one that got me fired up was Triple H growling ‘Are you Ready?’  which I think was more recent.  Still, you can hear the crowd chanting along with him so it was undeniably popular.

“Believe in the Shield.” – The Shield

This catchphrase never fails to get me excited, especially since they stopped having Roman Reigns scream it at the screen.  Now one of the members of the Shield delivers the line with a seething growl.

“Rest. In. Peace.” – Undertaker

I am a grown man now and seeing the Undertaker slowly growl out this line while rolling his eyes back makes me shiver.  It always made me believe that his opponent was about to succumb to the Tombstone Piledriver.

“Woo Woo Woo!  You Know it!” – Zack Ryder

Alright, I included this one on the list because it makes me laugh.  It is a truly goofy and ridiculous catchphrase but Zack Ryder definitely sold the hell out of it.

“Because I’m the Miz and I’m Awesome!” – The Miz

A simple catchphrase for a cocky performer but it totally fits.  I have to admit that I completely ripped off this catchphrase several years ago.   It really helped a third rate reality star boost himself into being a top level performer.

“I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news.” – Bad News Barrett

This one was actually really annoying at first but it really has grown on me.  This one started as Wade Barrett appearing and actually delivering some bad news.  He repeated it over and over and over until I liked it.  Part of that is he obviously gets a lot of pleasure out of delivering the catchphrase.


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