Amalgam Rhapsody: Connecting... Submitted by LoneLee on 03/25/2019 at 01:42 PM
It's good to be back. First off, let me start by saying I've been going through a few personal issues which has led to my article to being put on the back-burner. Which in the long run didn't make too much sense. My two constant escapes from the pain of everyday life have always been writing whatever comes to mind and the reverie of professional wrestling. Whether it comes in the form of a match, the blaring of an entrance theme through my cheap brand headphones, or chattering with the always clever Twitterverse about injustices brought upon us by Mr. McMahon, Wrestling continues to be my overall solace in this daily episodic drama we call life.
Now with that out of the way, I want to take a moment and examine why not just me, but all of us continue to trek with that profession through thick and thin like a bad relationship. For me, and I'll speak only for myself here, it's to witness these modern day superheroes defy the odds and tell a story over a set course of time. Granted, I reach a point of complacency when the story doesn't "go my way" but isn't that the same principle essence of life? Wrestling can be more than a few high risk spots in the ring and drawn out soliloquies on a microphone, the basis for it all is one simple word: Connection.
The connection we all find for each of us is subjective and individual to our own personal aspects. We may collectively "ooh and ahh" at the quick wit of Becky Lynch or groan simultaneously once Baron Corbin's music hits. For me, I know what it's like to bust your ass at a job for over 10 years and not get recognized. I'm pulling for ya, Kofi. This is how WWE connects with all of us, through characters in which we can live vicariously through. Remember that word "Character." They focus on getting to know a certain Superstar's motives and traits in a lengthy promo or weekly drawn out segments rather than a series of matches. Why else would the McMahon family frequently implement themselves into storylines featuring top tier talent? This was something recently brought up to me during Facetime with a wrestling personality whose name I shouldn't mention on here. (Let's just say it was a "Primetime" conversation).
I posed the question as to why it is that WWE tends to keep the stigma of holding down its international Superstars due to the fact they have difficulties learning the language. Whereas, in other promotions someone like Pentagon Jr. declines to speak a word of English but has become one of the most popular names on the indie scene. Mr. Primetime simply replied with that's how WWE connects with it's audience, through characters. WWE has the luxury of having a product with a broader audience and they relate to them through PR and extended storytelling, which comes with dependency in the form of speaking. But on the indy scene, they work for the moment. They work for the audience in attendance. They connect through their matches. if it's flip-flop and fly or hardcore melees, it's actually the type of crowd they're trying to reach for each different product. That live-for-the-moment crowd is expecting to see a wrestler.
Remember when TNA used to mean Total Nonstop Action and within a few years somehow changed to Total Nonstop Acting? The little-promotion-that-could was on its way to being something special and unique until it tried to be WWE lite. Why watch another show "like" WWE when there's already WWE? The core fan base of the original TNA appreciated the high-octane bouts and innovative match types with minimal to no talking at all. Lucha Underground was the perfect platform for theatrics and a character speaking in subtitles. Hell, I'll even include NXT in the conversation, a developmental territory than has grown into it's own sovereign promotion. The Full Sail faithful are spoiled on the fact that they witness "wrestling" matches and not a marathon of promos. Which is why it isn't uncommon for an NXT call-up to have a loss in momentum and popularity on the crowded main roster.
Perhaps the most diverse part of the spectrum are the characters themselves. I already made mention of someone struggling with the English language having difficulty climbing the ladder in WWE, but what about a WWE character in another promotion? Imagine Matt Hardy's Broken Universe in The Temple of Lucha Underground. It gradually gained attention in the darker side of IMPACT Wrestling but didn't work very well in the WWE Universe. How about Elias' main tactic of insulting the hosting city's sports teams? If he's in a promotion that's stationary, his character is cooked! Even though there is a ton of material for criticizing the Dodgers and Lakers, hearing it every single week would get tiresome.
I guess the point I was trying to make before i got lost in my own rhetoric was we have more chances to connect with wrestlers and/or characters as different promotions continue to grow and grow diversely. This can only draw these independent contractors to go where they see they fit best, rather than hope to make it in the only show in town.
Do you prefer a master on the mic over a wrestling wizard?
Who are some wrestlers you'd like to see switch promotions?