Something I don’t really understand sometimes with mainstream wrestling, the top levels of it at least, is the restriction of creativity that you often see on display.
To me wrestling is a very creative medium, it’s one of the greatest forms of improvised theatre that there is, and while I understand the need to be a bit more regimented when you are selling a TV product and have advertisers to answer to I think that sometimes the fear of that restricts what we see as the end product.
I did however see recently an example of wonderful creativity in a promo, on WWE as well. The thing that really showed the creativeness to me were the little references and self deprecating humour. The people talking were almost poking fun at wrestling, themselves, other wrestlers and all the while getting the fans to go along with it and even getting them involved.
In fact if the crowd interaction hadn’t been there the promo wouldn’t have worked at all which is what flagged up the creativity to me. Too often I feel like we get fed catchphrases and lines for the sake of putting them in but in this particular promo they played with the crowd and it seemed liked they were allowed to keep talking because it was going well because it went on longer than you would have expected it to whilst still keeping the crowd with them.
The other thing that was great was that the wrestler talking, who is generally very good on the mic anyway, had the confidence to know that he was on a roll with what he was saying and roll with it sensing how far he could push it before losing the desired result.
For me it was a great example of what we do this for, which is ultimately the reaction of the crowd. Whether it is because we are thinking of how the overall result looks for broadcast or just overly concerned with how we feel about our own work I think that being too rigid in your approach to promos and matches stifles the creativity and the first to notice that are usually the crowd because you stop reacting to them, they then stop reacting to you.
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