Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Jim Ross on The state of Wrestling in 2015

My Thoughts on Jim Ross state of Wrestling Blog

I think Jim wrote a fantastic blog on state of wrestling and i have been a Wrestling fan since i was 5 (now 29) I could really relate to it as what i used to see even in my lifetime isn’t what we see now.

I am an avid listener to Ross Report Podcast and enjoying listening to Jim Ross every week talking Wrestling Business and talking to his guests about the sport and entertainment we all love. I saw a tweet from Jim on Sunday and it was his newest blog partially titled “Rant on Today’s Wrestling Business”
You can read the full blog by clicking the link below
 Jim has 40 years of experience in the Wrestling business as Broadcaster/Announcer, Talent Relations, Business Management and so much more.

Jim has far more experience and know how than I will ever gain in my lifetime and is one of the greatest minds in wrestling today.

 I write on all my blogs that I am a fan of wrestling and have been for over 20 years everything that I write is from a fans perspective I’m not a wrestling “expert” or proclaim to be one I am writing this as just my opinion and perspective.

Let me break it down here and explain why from my standpoint. I am using excerpts of his article here the parts that really caught my attention and inspired me to write this blog today and then writing my standpoint on it after the quote 

(please do read Jim blog in full 1st)

Please read and enjoy!

Jim stated
“I've said here many times that I hope that all wrestling promotions are successful and make it through their respective rough waters that many are currently encountering. Nonetheless, some within these organisations can't handle constructive criticism and seem to take some things that I say personally which is both childish and unprofessional. It is my prerogative to criticise bad acting, over scripted promos, no selling major moves, illogical creative and other eye rolling creative content in an attempt to re-invent what isn't broken. I think that I've paid my dues, earned a decent track record within the biz and, above all, I am still a fan of over 50 years”

Jons Perspective
I don’t think Jim is wrong to criticise production values of some companies, if you have heard his podcasts he has talked about this in depth  and has said many times that if you’re on TV you need to have a polished product.

You need to make sure that the non fan flipping the channel happens to see your product that they are impressed by it visually and then stay with it to see what it is and to invest their time into the show.

 Not only that in the highly competitive world of television you’re not just competing against other Wrestling shows but everything else on TV too. Being that I’m from England we know all too well that bad production and non investment in your product can cost wrestling dear, we lost British Pro Wrestling in England in early 1990’s because promoters weren’t willing to invest in the look of their product as a result ITV stated that wrestling was “too behind the times” and we have not seen British Wrestling back on mainstream TV since in the UK, to me get your production looking right or get cancelled its an extreme example i admit but look and feel are so important today.

Jim Continues
“The vast majority of wrestlers these days are not good promo talents. Reason being is that creative staffs seemingly have to justify their existence by role playing with these individuals and scripting virtually every word that the talents say. That system is both outdated and unproductive as fans today can recognize a wrestler reciting a promo from memory instead as from their heart within a few sentences.
Wrestling is best when it comes from a logically, realistic place and is executed inside the ring as an athletic contest built on common sense and not an acrobatic show that exposes the business as a sham with no selling and the complete lack of some talent's ability to properly apply an actual wrestling hold.
The faster some talent perform the louder that they tell us that their skill set is lacking and that they are trying to get by on sensationalism instead of realism.

I get taken to task because of my 21 years in WWE as if I'm picking on the TNA's, ROH's, Lucha Underground's, etc of the world when nothing could be further from the truth. I've dedicated 40+ years of my life to the wrestling business, proudly I might add, and would do it all over again if the opportunity presented itself. But that isn't going to happen. I want the business to be healthy and to prosper long after I'm gone for future generations to enjoy. At the rate of some of the things that I'm watching each week on TV are happening,  I'm not sure that's going to occur.
Some feel that we are allegedly in a pending "boom" period because there is so much TV wrestling product available o n a weekly. Does average, at times at best average, TV product indicate "Boom" to any one who actually thinks about it? I think not”

Jons Fan Perspective:
I grew up watching wrestling via VHS tapes of 1980’s and got  to see Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Ted Dibase, Macho Man and so many more cut great promos and there is a difference today to then. In that these characters from years ago could make you feel their emotion and get across  eloquently their match or opinion. 

Today It feels like wrestlers aren’t allowed to fly and see what happens as Jim says, they have to have everything written out and it feels devoid of that emotion because its not coming from the heart of the person saying it. In life people can feel and see when someone is lying to them and can see when someone isn’t who they are and is trying to be someone different.

 They can tell when someone isn’t speaking from he heart and meaning it. Wrestling today can blossom and prosper but companies seem to want to try to get it down to a science and have this perfect formula that is always going to work, being too constrictive is never going to find the next big star, I would venture to say that if Steve Austin or The Rock came up in this era their promo style, delivery and ability would be very different for what we know and love them for.

Jim then goes on to say
“The product is by and large over thought and those in creative charge seemingly feel compelled to take a tried and true product and put their personal finger prints on it as if they are going to be the one who is forever known as "changing the wrestling business forever." The wrestling business changed forever when the territories died due largely because local promoters got lazy and complacent and did not want to move into the modern era of marketing and producing TV programs plus they stopped developing new, young stars.  Blame who you want but the territory system stopped doing what brought them to the dance and that was featuring new stars in compelling rivalries that were based in easy to understand, common sense story lines produced in weekly, episodic television. Plus, the talents back in the day were, by and large, better story tellers than we are fed today with some exceptions.
An essentially, easy to watch, non complex hour of TV that virtually anyone could understand and enjoy was what worked best for many of us lifers.
Where have  those days gone?"

Jons Fan Perspective:
This was the part of the blog for me that really caught me it made me in terms of WWE and Jim talking about “non complex easy to watch TV”  WWE PPV’s recently and Network Specials and how the pace of WWE seems to me to be too fast. So much happens in the space of two weeks at this point and WWE are burning through things so quickly that i can’t take it all in as a fan. 

There is so much content to digest and get your head around that it gets too much. Raw is 3 Hours, Nxt 1 Hour, Smackdown 2 Hours PPV/Special 3 Hours that’s 9 Hours from WWE, not to mention Main event, Superstars too and that’s just from WWE don’t forget to include TNA,ROH, Lucha Underground and GFW to that list soon.

For any fan of any product that is so much time to invest, Wrestling needs to be doing storylines that everyone can relate too, not everyone is going to enjoy everything you cant please all the audience all of the time, but I feel that especially in the case of WWE that the long term effects of their strategy with programming is leading us down the path of less meaning and with less meaning as I said before in this blog means less investment and that leads to less fan live attendance and interest.

Jim Continues
“Perhaps some day someone in a promotion will understand that simpler is better and the majority of fans don't want bad acting or predictable promos but instead want to get lost in personal issues featuring the stars settling the conflict in the ring utilizing superior athletic representation.
It's just not that hard to figure out from where I sit or perhaps the feedback that I receive from some young fans on Twitter @JRsBBQ is true....times have simply passed me by”

Jons Fan Perspective:
I love getting my mind so absorbed and lost in wrestling its been said before but watching a live show or TV show I want to get lost in the entertainment and enjoy what I’m seeing in front of me and forget all my problems, issues and my reality and immerse myself into something that I love. I don’t believe that Jim is lost and behind the times at all, because I don’t believe that wrestling in itself has changed what has always drawn the most interest is 2 men/ladies/groups in conflict with one winner and one loser one good guy one bad guy. It works and has been the foundation for many great feuds over the years as an example see Austin vs Mcmahon.

I think wrestling maybe is overcomplicated itself in 2015 that wrestlers feel that they need to be something different to what they should be. If the company will allow it and be less restrictive, The Talent in my eyes should be themselves that’s when you get the best out of them and the company employing them gets the best of who they are.
Let the talent Turn things up, amplify your personality and let things happen naturally, if wrestling companies could create, foster and encourage and environment like that with less micro management, and a little more leeway the wrestling business could thrive creatively once again.

Thanks for Reading and again Thank you to Jim Ross for an excellent thought provoking blog and giving me inspiration to write this

Jonathan Orchard

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