Posts Tagged ‘IWC’

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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Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Creepiness

May 22, 2014

WILPW

I have very fond memories of watching wrestling on Monday nights (and eventually Thursday nights) and being creeped the hell out by some of the more spooky denizens of sports entertainment.   I would have been on the edge of my seat if I had not been sitting on the floor.  Sure I thought wrestling was real for a bit when I first got into it but I quickly smartened up.  Still, like all the horror movies I loved, I could get sucked in and my heart would start pounding and I would lean in.  It was alright, because I knew the babyface (good guy) was always going to win.

I am only making a statement about the performers and clips I chose.  The performers are the ones that stuck out in my mind and the clips are frankly subject to what is on youtube.  I briefly worried that my lists so far are mostly comprised of WWE talent.  There is a reason for that.  WWE is what I grew up with so there’s something to be said about brand loyalty.  I watch ROH and TNA but the first’s production values aren’t good enough to allow for creepiness and TNA is mostly too cartoony to be anything but laughable.

I read a lot about creepy/scary WCW performers but I did not watch much WCW back in the day since the DVR had not been invented yet.  When I watch WCW now, I find myself so removed from it because I have read so many stories about the old days.  For instance, I hear that Vampiro was scary but I just don’t see it, especially after reading Chris Jericho’s first book.  I hear Kevin Sullivan was creepy but everything I read just sounds silly.  Anyway,  here are some examples of stuff that creeped or weirded me out.

Undertaker
Entrance Music from the Ministry Days

Hands down, when I was scared while watching Monday Night Raw, it was probably the Undertaker who was the culprit.  I mean, it’s enough that he can do that trick where you roll your eyes back and leave just the whites of your eyes showing.   Add onto that his habit of taking horrible punishment and then just sitting up like a vampire in a coffin and you start getting nervous.  He has come back from the dead on at least two occasions and slowly became a legendary, elemental force rather than a man.  He was especially creepy during the period where he took on satanic overtones and became more ruthless.  He gained the power to convert people into members of his “Ministry” and mind control is one of the things in fiction that scares me most.   Sure his mistique has faded heavily as he has aged but still, when the gong hits and the lights go out for his entrance, I get a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The Boogeyman

I fully admit to being creeped out and weirded out by The Boogeyman when he first showed up on Smackdown to terrorize people.  The way he would show up suddenly and stare and sing innocent songs in a very creepy way was actually legitimately creepy.  He looked and sounded unbalanced and seemed to have access to anywhere in the arenas that WWE visited.  He also ate worms and moved his body like a crazy person.   The only problem with the Boogeyman is that the spent a lot of money and time on promoting him and giving him a huge crazy entrance.  They did not actually train him to be that good in the ring.  Maybe his gimmick prevented him from really showing his stuff but he kind of went over like a fart in church.  Still, while it lasted, it was fun to see him preying on the heels on the roster and he was definitely memorable.

Bray Wyatt

Now, I am currently 31 years old and this guy still scares me a bit even almost a year after his debut.   See, Bray Wyatt is the leader of the Wyatt Family which is a backwoods cult with vaguely Cthulu leanings.  I mean, the guy calls himself “Bray Wyatt, Eater of Worlds” and claims to be more monster than man.  He speaks cryptically about changing the world but in order to change the world, he must first watch it burn.   He has two “sons” in Luke Harper and Eric Rowan who are both just as crazy as he is.  Luke Harper speaks the Wyatt gospel whenever he can with a glossy-eyed, adoring look on his face.  Eric Rowan wears a sheep mask and so far has only spoken one word: “Run.”.  They are beholden to a mysterious “Sister Abigail” and much of their story is still shrouded in mystery.   I find myself curious but also I don’t think I really want to know.

Samuel Shaw

Hey, a TNA guy.  The rest of the guys on this short list are all supernatural, spooky bad guys but that is not what Samuel Shaw is all about.  He is that guy you might have met who is a little too focused and maybe the words come out of his mouth at a different rythym.  The gimmick here seems to have a healthy dose of Dexter and then you throw in every crazy ex-boyfriend who was ever served a restraining order.  He is obsessed with Christy Hemme and stalked her for months.  He was not able to take no for an answer and pummeled anybody who so much as looked at her.   Who knows what he would have done had he caught her.   My mom always used to say that horror films like Cujo scared the crap out of her as a little girl because they were plausible.  Maybe that’s why Samuel Shaw is so creepy.

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Bad Guys

May 18, 2014

WILPW

Pro-wrestling can be stupid and it can be mindless and it can be all of the things that the stereotypes say it is.  It can be these things but I watch it for the same reason that people keep watching long running shows Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show.  Is every episode golden? Probably not but when the show is on its game, it is on its game.   That’s what wrestling is to me.  I watch it for its potential on any given night to thrill me or give me something to complain about.

Yes, pro-wrestling is “fake”.  Just about everybody on the planet knows that by now.  Just about everybody on the planet should be at least vaguely familiar with the concept of suspension of disbelief.   I appreciate Pro-Wrestling for its storylines, impressive athletics and showmanship.

Important Note:  I’m looking for a term to replace Pro-Wrestling for my own use.  My brother was an actual wrestler in middle school and high school.  I respect the guys who wrestle in school, college and the Olympics.  Pro-Wrestling is not an actual athletic contest even though it recquires actual athletic skill and it’s important to understand that.  This is why I do not use the term “amateur wrestling” since it belittles a great sport.
Here’s reason one in what I love about Pro-Wrestling (in no particular order)

Bad Guy’s That You Love to Hate

I love it when a bad guy performs so well that I look forward to seeing them again.  I love to hate them while somewhere in my head, I’m cheering the performer and writers.  To further explain, here are some examples from outside of the world of Pro-Wrestling: Loki from Avengers, Logan from early Veronica Mars and Lindsey from Angel.  Now for some Pro-Wrestling examples.

Tyler Breeze

Mattias Clement must have watched a bit too much Zoolander because he debuted with a gimmick as a professional model who became a competitor for NXT.  He takes endless “selfies” of himself before, after and sometimes during the match.  He’s arrogant, obssesed with his looks and, to make it even worse,  he wins matches.  I mean, click the link above and tell me you don’t want to punch this guy in the face?  That might not be a good idea since hitting him in the face puts him into a raging tantrum that actually helps him win.  I like when his music hits because even if he wins, he is probably going to be hit in the face.

3MB

That’s 3 Man Band as their entrance theme makes clear.  Heath Slater is a wannabe rock musician from down home in Atlanta.  Jinder Mahal is a rich Indian from the Punjab region.  Drew McIntyre is a brutal competitor from Scotland.  Together, they form an annoying but entertaining band that plays no instruments and can’t sing.  They lose just about every match they’re in but they are never boring.  It is definitely fun to watch a group of guys who don’t realize that they are losers.  They have nothing to back up their arrogance but that doesn’t stop them from believing they are the best around.

Aiden English

Aiden English is a character that I ran into during my career in the theater arts.  A theater performer who thinks the world of himself.  It’s not a stretch to say I have met this guy, in fact I can give you a list of names.  Mr. English is, as implausible as it sounds, trying to launch a Broadway career through pro-wrestling.  He thinks he’s the greatest performer and competitor the world has ever seen.  His pale skin and the way he kind of hunches over makes him look like he is unsuited for both Broadway and NXT, where he currently wrestles.  Still, he wins matches by being an underhanded opportunist.  The theater nerd in me loves how he sings parodies of songs from musicals on the way to the ring (including a song from Dr. Horrible at one point).

Chris Jericho

Chris Jericho has gone through many different transformations but when he was a heel (bad guy) back in WCW he was so enjoyable.  While most heels were cocky and cool and bragged about how they would beat the crap out of the good guy, Jericho went another way.  He would still brag and boast and try to top everybody else.  In a memorable segment, he countered Dean Malenko’s moniker of “The Man of 1000 Holds” by saying that he was the “Man of 1004 Holds” and then tried to list them all.  However, when faced with a threat he would often cower and when he was beaten he would whine and cry and make excuses.  He treated each and every promo like a comedy sketch and made the most of his camera time.


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