The hot news currently is all about Hulk Hogan and Eric Bishoff signing with TNA. I sincerely wish them well and from the one comment I read, Hulk might be able to bring a positive shift to the company. Hulk stated that he wants to help the new talent learn and appreciate the “Art of Professional Wrestling”. If he is allowed to do this, the product will greatly improve and it will be positive for the business.
The “Art of Professional Wrestling” has been lost recently and I place the blame squarly on the shoulders of the promoters of the business. Wrestling talent currently is over-produced to the point that most wrestlers are reduced to trying to be actors, (which most are not) by giving scripted interviews and robotic matches. To make matters worse, the scripts are written by producers who don’t have a clue what professional wrestling is all about.
In about five years the business changed and in my opinion for the worst. I discovered in 2002, when we started TNA, that the heart of the business had been removed and all that remained was the illusion of professional wrestling. I walked in the building in Huntsville, Ala. to find the ring filled with wrestlers rehearsing every move that they planned to make during their match. I watched as wrestlers sat reading and memorizing interviews. I was dumbfounded when I discovered that basic principals of the business were alien to the new wrestlers. I felt that I was talking in a foreign language. What is heat? What is a ring general? What is selling? What do you mean when you say listen to the fans?
I was told after I broke into this business that it was our duty to teach the new talent the “Art of Professional Wrestling”.I was told when we began TNA that the business had changed and it was not possible to go back to that art form. I have my personal excuses for not going in that direction, but I regret not trying and this is why I truly hope Terry can do what I could not do.
The business today has truly changed. The new wrestlers are taught in “training camps”, or wrestling schools. It seems to me that if you put twenty wrestlers in a school and one man teaches them all, they would tend to be somewhat clones of each other. Wrestlers should be taught the business by other wrestlers in live situations. A student who goes to a wrestling school will learn everything he is going to lean at the school in 90 days. He will never advance until he learns from veteran wrestlers in live match situations. Far too much emphases is placed on in ring work anyway. I think this is the result of wrestling websites, written by people who have never had a match, telling wrestlers that they have a 5 star match or a 2 star match. I’d guess that Hulk Hogan has never been given one 5 star match rating in his career. I’d also bet that he had drawn more money in the wrestling business than all the 5 star rated wrestles combined.
Superstars of the wrestling business become Superstars because of their personalities and not because of their in-ring wrestling abliity. Verbal skills are much more important that physical skills when it comes to drawing money in this business. You don’t develop verbal skills in a talent by writing a script and allowing the talent to read his lines. How can a writer of these interview scripts not produce clone interviews? The unique personalities of wrestlers are hidden and only the thoughts of this one writer are expressed.
The uniqueness of professional wrestling and it’s great public appeal is based on the interaction of personalities of the talent. To not understand this concept is to fail. If you take a walk in your memory and remember the great stars of professional wrestling, you will find that you best remember the personality and not the matches of these stars.
So Terry, good luck in your efforts. You have a big job in front of you.
TNA Founder Comments On Hogan & Bischoff Signing With TNA
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