DFW: How to Create a More Realistic Match Submitted by Damn Fine Wrestling on 12/11/2020 at 06:18 PM
During his most recent broadcast, Good Ol' J.R. was quoted as saying:
"The DDT is a finish. The superkick is just a part of the flow of the match (now). Nobody wins with it. What does that say to you? Does that say guys back in the day were more proficient delivering a DDT or a superkick than in this generation where ‘things are evolving’?"
The quick answer is YES.
I often compare professional wrestling to football, and much like in past articles, we can draw similarities here. Let's take the only perfect team in NFL history -- the 1972 Miami Dolphins. Without losing a game, their strategy was simple: hand it off to Larry Czonka, who finished 11th overall in rushing that year. Their Quarterback Earl Morrall finished near dead last at 27th overall.
Larry Czonka was just a fullback. So when you think about it, aside from their defense, the Dolphins main strategy to win football games was to hand the ball off to this big fullback, then go win an eventual Super Bowl.
Times have changed. Hell, the fullback doesn't even really exist anymore, and while ground-and-pound backs still exist, your winning teams tend to have a high-octane passing offense at the helm, a la Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Most NFL teams lean towards the pass now, as defenses have evolved to become quicker, smarter, and more able to defend a strong running back over a mobile QB with a strong arm and speedy wideouts.
So much in the same light, professional wrestlers have become stronger, faster, and more agile than what Jim Ross has been accustomed to his entire career. But he's right about one thing: Sometimes the excessive high spot offenses can lead to complete holes in logic.
So let's try getting rid of some of these dumb moves and spots. I'll start with five.
1. Waiting to Exhale -- after getting hit with a high spot.
I was never a fan of one or more wrestlers huddling together to wait for someone to jump off the top rope at them. It's not realistic, and makes the in-ring product look dumb. Both major promotions do this, and while it might be okay in the Indies, let's nix this practice for AEW and WWE. There are ways a wrestling can 'sell' his fatigued state and turn around just in time to get hit by a moonsault/plancha/650/whatever. But let's stop waiting around.
2. Tower of Unbelievability
Tower of Dooms were cool a decade ago in the Indies -- but they aren't realistic. If you're in a fight, are you going to wait around for another competitor to fling you and the guy/gal you're entangled with off the top rope in a giant clusterbomb to the mat? These spots aren't necessary anymore. Let's do better.
3. BAAACK BODY DROP!
I hope you read that in Vince McMahon's voice. Honestly, though, this is an old school move that's pretty outdated. Again, let's use "if I was a wrestler" logic here: If you're running at another wrestler and he bends down in front of you, your instinct is to hop onto their back?
No you wouldn't. Maybe you've give them a knee in the face. Or perhaps a go-behind into a German suplex. There's endless ideas here -- but falling over and taking a large bump? Not a chance.
4. The Classic Collar-Elbow Tie-Up
Yes, even this should go. Again, what would you do? The Test of Strength is more believable than this because at least it's a mini-game within the match meant to literally test out strength. Have you ever watched an MMA bout, or a street fight that starts out in a collar-elbow tie-up? I know it's an amateur wrestling hold, but this isn't amateur wrestling, folks. From go-behinds, to straight mat/chain-wrestling, to even two competitors in a boxer's shuffle looking for the first blow -- there are many more realistic ways to start a match.
5. Code Reds
These need to stop. They look really amazing -- but you need a wrestler to bend down in front of the opponent for a back body drop in order to even pull this off -- which (see No. 3). Again, if someone is running at you, not only are you NOT likely to bend down in front of them in hopes that they hop on your back, but if that's the case, you're going to let them magically flip you over?
I want to reiterate that I love high-flying, exciting matches. I prefer a faster paced match over others, and wrestlers like A.J. Styles, Orange Cassidy, Hikaru Shida (you've only seen about half her moveset), Shanna, and others are my cup of tea. But much like life, there needs to be balance.
We can balance out an exciting in-ring product without giving it away to the layperson that all of this is stage fighting -- even if we already know it is. Simply put, we need more strikes, more knees, more counters, more suplexes and please -- no more waiting on the outside of the ring like a jerkass while waiting for another wrestler to jump on you.
What spots/moves can you think of that need to go? Let me know in the comments below?
Find me on Twitter! I'm a baby to the platform! @BYSuckerPunch