Originally Posted by MonkasaurusRex
Why do people separate workrate from psychology. In my opinion if you don't have psychology you can't really work. Anybody can learn to do moves that's not special or a talent. The real talent id making what you do matter to the audience to engage them in the match. You can take all the ridiculous masturbatory spots and flips and stick them where the sun doesn't shine, because if you can't give me a reason to care it isn't worth my time in watching it. The people who are truly great make you invested emotionally. You don't need to have 100,000 moves just make the moves you do matter. The biggest part of a wrestling match is what happens between the moves. It's not often that Russo is wholly right in his opinions(I like the guy because he admits who he is and his views on the business and holds fast to them unapologetically.). This however is one of those times where he is right. The guys today don't give a damn about putting on show where people are actually invested in what goes on they just want the crowds to cheer for them and say "this is awesome" and "you deserve it" even though they are all mostly shells of past talents. Many of the guys in WWE and other places today wouldn't be worthy of shining the boots of guys like Michaels, Hennig, Hart, Flair, Savage, Steamboat, Roberts, Rude, Guerrero etc. They are all marks for themselves.
I agree with your philosophy here. Telling a captivating in-ring story that makes narrative sense is an important part of working. "Workrate" is a silly term, and it's entirely subjective as well. Well, even more so than psychology. If the best play-by-play commentator in the history of modern wrestling is doing his best not to bury you by shutting up with his analysis (bonus points if you know who this is in reference to), then you aren't "workrating" as well as you think you are. You're just doing Movez. Russo doesn't honestly give a shit about this, though -- he is talking to hear the sound of his own voice. He would have gone nuts for this in '99, because he would have felt it would have held an audience.
Originally Posted by The One Man Gang
He's right. How many suicide dives do we see every week just on Raw alone? At least 2 or 3.
Charlotte almost broke her freakin neck doing a moonsault to Nia Jax a few weeks ago. Yes, Nia was mostly at fault by not catching her properly, but it still shouldn't have been done in the first place in a throwaway match nobody will remember.
Save the high spots for PPV.
Lance Storm said something really interesting about this in one of his early podcasts in regards to the Clash of Champions PPV. I'd listen to Lance Storm on this sort of stuff way before I listened to Vince Russo. He's come to the right conclusion, but you cannot trust his working. Storm, on the other hand, identified something that I had experienced whilst watching the PPV. It was a distinct feeling of "sameness." Sasha Banks followed a Sami Zayn match (I cannot tell you who Zayn was working from memory, and I've usually got a pretty good memory). Sasha Banks was in a Triple Threat with Charlotte and Bayley. But there were the same spots as every women's match and even the same spots from Banks as there was from Sami, like either the same agent put both matches together and didn't give a shit, or different agents did it and no one bothered to watch the show to keep an eye on these things.
Part of being a worker is being flexible and being able to respond to what a crowd is hungry for. If they've been given a suicide dive every match, why would they mark out for yours? And Storm succinctly pointed out that everybody does a dive and tries to work their dive in. In really put me in a bad mood about wrestling when he identified what I was feeling. I imagine a bunch of geeks all sitting around comparing dicks and saying "Cool dive, bro! Check out mine later!" instead of actually trying to get ahead and put together a well-constructed show. Ugh.
This is when I started noticing the work of Rusev more. Less than other guys he does the kick out of finishers thing. He's presented as a tough dude, but he doesn't need false finishes to pull that off. He doesn't do anything particularly flashy in the ring, but it all makes sense and a lot of it looks really good. He did try to work over Roman Reigns with a kendo stick despite him wearing body armor the following month...but not everything can be perfect.
I honestly think that Rusev might just be one of the more promising workers in the entire industry right now. He glues me to his stuff a lot more than other guys who do the very same thing as everybody else.