Category Archives: Idea Factory
“I don’t think that McMahon thinks very much about the fact that J.R and I have been successful. I don’t think that McMahon thinks the wrestling announcers really have that much to contribute the show.” – Jerry Lawler
Professional wrestling may present a “fantasy world of combatants,” but a major part of its success is how the industry personalizes its shows and creates a product that the public can relate to. There exists an “anything can happen” mentality but that usually only occurs during a match. In order to improve the entertainment value of any promotion, attention must be made to every detail, from the entrance ramp, to railings, and especially to announcing.
If each match is announced by the same person, a sense of routine monotony takes over. On Monday Nitro, WCW employed Michael Buffer and his trademarked “Let’s get ready to rumble” phrase to usher in the main events. Occasionally, WWE will invite a celebrity or wrestler as the special guest ring announcer. Mr. Kennedy announced himself and Alberto Del Rio’s gimmick was vastly enhanced by his own spanish ring announcer.
In order to take advantage of the the seldom tweaked aspect of ring announcing, we journey back to 1996 to the Rosie O’Donnel Show. What was innovative and catchy about this show was how it opened with a member of the audience introducing Rosie. While their mic skills weren’t as impressive as a professional, they added a humble personal touch to the show. It’s time to embrace this same strategy in the world of professional wrestling, especially during TV tapings. Before the wrestling action begins, involve the audience by asking for participants to audition for the role of announcer. Invite a mix crowd, from energetic youth, to sassy ladies, to quirky grandparents. Let the audience select one of them, and then for one of the matches, allow this “fan favorite fan” to take over the ring announcing. It’s probably best to use their services for the opening match to help set a friendly and crowd interactive tone for the rest of the show. Make sure that only your professional announcers handle title matches and main events, this is because you want those to have a professional and heightened mood much like when Michael Buffer announced the main events of Nitro.
Sure this has been before, and in some cases on a regular basis, but it definitely needs to be brought back and executed consistently. While only one person enjoys the spotlight while announcing, it empowers all the fans at home, that they too have the chance to be involved. Whenever there is an opportunity, professional wrestling needs to personalize the experience and involve its greatest asset: the fans.
“Damn referees, I’ll miss them less than anybody.” – Abe Lemons
“A women’s greatest asset is her beauty.” – Alex Comfort
Despite it’s PG rating, WWE relies heavily on eye candy to draw in the 18-49 male demographic. Consequently, they’ve put their T&A specialists wherever there was a spot as: managers, valets, “girlfriends,” interviewers, ring announcers, wrestlers, and even in WCW as dancing cheerleaders. How come those girls haven’t adorned the zebra stripes more often? Aksana, who is clearly years away from becoming ring ready should permanently officiate. She’s done it before and she should do it again. Suddenly a tag match between “whoever” versus “I don’t care” has my attention, especially when she has to get down on the mat for the count.
Is it sexist to feature female referees? Not at all. If anything, it’s forward feminism. The role has been dominated by males, and this way women get to be involved. I’m not saying they should wear long slacks and a polo, but I’m also not abdicating they strip down to a thong either. No matter how you strip it, eye candy equals money. Let the true women wrestlers duke it out in the ring, but there’s no reason to make the hot ones leave. Just delegate them to officiating and everyone wins. In addition, if these pretty ladies want to train to become wrestlers their experience in the ring as officials will only help them.
The bottom line is if I was in charge of any promotion, large or small, I would immediately axe all male referees and install adorable ones in their stead. While some are critical of bringing back a Nitro Girls type dance team, or the sign holders from the early days of Monday Night Raw, adding female referees is cost effective because you don’t have to hire additional workers, since the position has to be filled. Plus, if you’ve got some wrestlers insistent on traveling with their wives or girlfriends, why not plug them in as referees. There’s no need for vocal talent, you just need to move around, avoid contact, smooth communication and dictate orders. It’s not a job you can master overnight, but it’s certainly easier then becoming a wrestler and will 100% guaranteed entertain that all too horny demographic.
Ladies, it’s time we see you in stripes on a full-time basis.
Before you think you’ve stumbled upon the spoiler card for Wrestlemania, please understand this is merely a realistic fantasy card for the 28th installment of WWE’s superbowl of sports entertainment. Back in May, I pictured myself in Mr. McMahon’s seat as I penciled in possible matchups. First let’s put all those wet dreams of Sting signing a WWE contract to job to the Undertaker and Brock Lesnar leaving a lucrative deal with the UFC for a one time shot at Wrestlemania. Sure we can all have our dream matches, but let’s try to be realistic here. More importantly, to save my creative skin, please consider how this was thought up back in May.
DISCLAIMER: RingWriters is not affiliated with WWE and by no means is promoting or representing their products.
In all, there are eleven matches, not counting the dark match, and would ideally fit into a 4 hour PPV broadcast. Though given how some of the matches are not likely to occur, I think it would be safe to cut one or two of them and fit it all in a 3 hour format. Even if some of the matches are short, the WWE can always give the fans a prolonged rematch on the house show circuit. It pains me to leave out a traditional tag match for the title, but given the current state of tag teams in the WWE, it’s doubtful there would even be teams worthy to compete on the card. Overall I’m excited at the prospects and would definitely trek to Miami and buy myself a seat in Miami. The matches appear in reverse order from the main events to the opening matches.
PLEASE COMMENT WITH YOUR THOUGHTS, CONCERNS, AND OTHER IDEAS FOR MATCHES.
Champion of Champions Match
WWE Champ Alberto Del Rio VS World Heavyweight Champ Randy Orton VS US Champ Miz VS IC Champ Christian
Championships need to be important again. This match would in fact close the show and would feature the four current champions in an elimination match with every title on the line. Therefore, titles could change hands throughout the match with the idea being that the winner will hold all four titles, which in fact would happen. Then following wrestlemania, the champ can parade around and possibly have a feud with Chris Jericho (first ever undisputed champion) before three of the titles are put up for grabs in meaningful tournaments. You may also be wondering how the winner of the rumble factors in here. Well, they don’t. I would have had the winner of the rumble becoming either the WWE or World Heavyweight champ, thus no longer using the Rumble as a mere stepping stone towards Wrestlemania. I want the Rumble to stand alone on its own. The wrestlers chosen can easily be switched with others, but the match itself should stand. In this version I’ve got two heels (Del Rio & Miz) going against two faces (Orton and Christian). Among them there is enough presence, fan buy in, and talent to put on an epic match. I would have Orton win it all.
The ‘Championship Spree’ is wrestling’s ‘The Odyssey,’ where one departs his homeland and only after he defeats fantastical monsters may he return. In the case of wrestling, the departed will journey to several wrestling promotions where he will ‘conquer’ by defeating their champion and winning their respective title.
- A wrestler vows to capture championships from ‘every’ other wrestling federation.
- Legitimize a promotion’s heavyweight championship.
- Promote relations with independent/interntional wrestling federations.
- An exiled heel/face who vows to return once they win every other championship.
- A face who was unfairly jipped out of the heavyweight championship and chooses to capture other federation titles as a means of redemption.
- A disgruntled heel unable to capture the title.
- Four to twelve months.
The ‘Championship Spree’ angle would take a considerable amount of time to plan as it calls for working with several independent or international groups. If the promotion refuses to work with others, they could ‘fabricate’ the other promotions and titles. Though such an angle would allow the promotion to scout new talent, and develop new partnerships. Realistically, in regards to US based promotions, only WWE, TNA, and Ring of Honor are in a position to execute this angle.
The deal gives smaller federations national exposure for allowing their champion to job (lose the belt). Every other week, the wrestler in question will capture another title. This can be done by airing video footage of the bout at the independent federation’s event, or inviting the champion to defend the title on the promotion’s TV show. This depends on creative taste and the working agreement of each promotion. For example, is it important to show the independent promotion in its true form as a high-school gym operation with 30 fans in attendance? Or is it better to put a professional spotlight on them and invite the group to a larger stage?
Audiences will look forward to seeing new faces, while the promotion doesn’t have to shell out new salaries to bring them in. Eventually, the wrestler will be covered in titles, and the ongoing saga will slowly build to an eventual ‘return’ and a heavyweight title defense.
This is a ‘loose’ angle that can be taken in any direction to fit the needs of the promotion. For instance, A Lex Express element could be thrown in, whereby the wrestler travels across the country in a chartered bus with announced appearances. While this would work in any federation, TNA would benefit more from such a move, as they need to gain more exposure.
Ideally, the angle should commence at a PPV when the multi-crown champion must forfeit his titles for a chance to win the title. The match will mean more if the contender has to give up everything he has accomplished. This also pushes the title, because it says that every other championship in the country combined is only worth a title shot. While the independent groups may not appreciate it, they desperately need the free advertising. Whether or not the wrestler has to win the title is up to the needs of the promotion.
It’s important to follow the story of each champhionship. If possible, the PPV card should feature title bouts to crown new champions for each recently vacated title. While these wrestlers may not possess drawing power (ability to attract audiences), the main event and the uniqueness of the event should bring in a profitable buy. While not highly praised, Starcade 1995 where WCW wrestlers competed against New Japan stars in a best of seven series highlights the potential for such a PPV.
The ‘Championship Spree’ is a breath of fresh air giving audiences a look outside of the norm while one wrestler is given a monumental push.