Posted by Chris Surrency
The last few weeks I’ve been posting articles about my being a wrestling fan, and how psychology is finally starting to become important in WWE again. I’ve been wondering what I would do next, running idea into idea, thought into thought, and coming up with nothing fast. Until last night, I’d been in a little drought mentally, and while I didn’t write, anything last night the thought just slammed me right in the forehead this minute. I have a habit lately of talking about the Steve Austin Show and how much the shows with stars of the past get me thinking about why I loved this business so damn much my entire life, this article will be no different. When Scott Hall appeared on the show the first time he mentioned how Vince McMahon taught him a huge lesson during one of his first vignettes as Razor Ramon, that there’s a difference between commanding an audience and demanding their attention. This is something that I’m noticing more and more in recent weeks, and it’s another one of the reasons I’m getting hooked on the product once again.
One moment that is still burned in my mind from last night is something I saw a few days earlier from a post my cousin put up on his Facebook page. I’ve been a huge supporter of the Bray Wyatt character, even going as far as suggesting that maybe he could be the man to replace The Undertaker as the supernatural being of the WWE Universe when the Deadman decides to hang up the boots. Wyatt’s mic work has been spectacular in recent weeks, getting reactions from the crowd and captivating people whenever they see him on their television. The vignette they aired on Raw this week as damn amazing, that’s the only word that fits in this instance, I can’t imagine anyone seeing it and being able to turn away as he spoke. The Sister Abigail promo was so beautiful, and the way they cut the video together was outstanding, as with every time he’s been on a show when I’m watching I couldn’t turn away. This is taking into account that I’ve already seen this promo and I STILL couldn’t turn away. If that’s not DEMANDING attention then I must be missing something.
Another moment in my memory is the Paul Heyman and CM Punk situation that we’ve been watching unfold as times gone forward. The personal side of the storyline has been worked out beautifully and it is making people care more and more about Punk. Until Monday Heyman had been pushed as loud mouth blow hard with pretty much no backbone, as well as a liar who never really cared about CM Punk, last night we saw that he’s severely conflicted with his emotions. On one hand, he loves Punk, but on the other, he absolutely hates him for turning his back on him in order to gain favor with the fans. People have said for years that wrestling was a soap opera for men; this storyline is a perfect example of that being true. There’s action, there’s drama, there’s love, there’s hate, it’s everything you expect to see in a blockbuster movie and it’s packaged in little segments keeping our attention every single week. Once again, this is a perfect example of demanding the audience’s attention. I challenge anyone out there to tune in, watch one of these segments, and decide to turn the channel because it’s “not interesting.” I’m absolutely loving it and I can’t wait to see the next installment in the storyline.
The biggest reason that Raw has been such an amazing show to watch lately is the main event storyline with Daniel Bryan versus the evil corporate entity created with the McMahon/Helmsley family. Leading up to SummerSlam we saw Bryan being put down time after time by Vince while Triple H supported him and Stephanie played the middle ground between the two head honchos. After this huge buildup, we finally saw Bryan take the WWE title from Cena, making him the top face in the company, after celebrating for a little Randy Orton came out, leading to the ultimate storyline progression. The man who had supported him all along took out Bryan giving the WWE title over to Orton and becoming the face of evil and greed in the WWE. People tune in each week to see what’s going to happen next, where this storyline is going to go, and how Bryan is finally going to get his revenge. This story is another perfect drama, and the ratings are showing that it’s brining people into the fold. It’s been ages since we’ve seen a storyline this grand, garnering a lot of comparisons to Austin/McMahon, and once again it DEMANDS your attention, you just can’t look away until the final moments of any segment these men are part of now.
Young workers who want to know what it takes to become the man on top of the mountain, look to these three situations and you’ll see exactly where you need to be going. While having spectacular ring work will get you ahead, you need a character that forces people to pay attention to your every move, otherwise you’re just another great hand who never got over. I know this all traces back to psychology, and I’ve done an article about that, but this is a different psychological philosophy. It’s one thing to be able to tell a hell of a story while working a match in the ring, but it’s another thing entirely to be able to work the crowd enough on the mic or in vignette form to make people stop everything they’re doing and pay attention to every single thing you’re doing on screen. I’m getting more and more interested in wrestling every day, and I can honestly say I can’t wait to see what happens next week on Raw. I know these wonderful storylines will progress, and Bray Wyatt will either be taking someone out or weaving another masterful speech on the mic, so I’ll be sitting watching everything unfold, hopefully you’ll join me.
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