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Which is more important? Character work or ring work?


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Why the false dichotomy. The best workers let their “character” shine through their in-ring. Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and The Rock we’re all brilliant in the ring, whether people want to admit it or not. It’s not one or the other. This is bad framing, and I think it was made popular by Vince Russo.
 

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The Empire will Reign again
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It's obviously a mixture of both but the question is what is the ratio of that mixture?

Jeff Hardy has been doing good character work but I still had 0 interest in watching his match at ER because I don't like his work. I think it's 40:60 character work to ring work, I can watch an exhibition match between 2 great workers but I'm probably not going to watch a match between 2 shitty workers no matter how good the feud build has been.
 

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It depends on a great variety of things but generally speaking, and off the top of my head, I'd say its 70-30 character work to ring work.

Without a characters who cares what happens in the ring? What happens in the ring also has to reflect and be an extension of said characters or else, gain, who cares
 

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HEADBANGA
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They both need to go together. There were character guys like Sandow, Elias and Ken Kennedy who portray great characters but cannot deliver in the ring. Then you have great wrestlers, many of which are littered across all 3 brands in WWE but many can't give a shit about them because they lack a character to get the audience invested in them. You need a mix of both to become a great pro wrestler.
 

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I've said this a million times over you ideally should have both aspects in your formula as a Professional Wrestler, Character's are what fans are drawn to to eleviate interest in everything else they do with their craft that includes Workrate both should not exist without the other no matter how much upside or downside a wrestler had on either end.

Bret Hart actually is more remembered for his mastery of Ring Work psychology than his flashy entrance and sunglasses he's never been a Promo god but a Ring general that sells more substance with what he does inside the ring and telling a story about it, His image would not mean anything compared to Legends like Hogan, Austin, Rock, Taker etc if not for his forte as a prodigy in the ring.
 

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Character is everything. If the crowd is totally emotionally invested you in and wants you to win above everything else, then all you really need at the minimum is selling to get sympathy and a good comeback for example. That's Jake Roberts, incredible character, didn't do a whole lot anything in the ring apart from great selling, a master of timing and leading the crowd. Same principle for heels. The really good ones in wrestling get more reward out of less risk, or get more reaction out of doing less to say it another way.
 

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Character is everything. If the crowd is totally emotionally invested you in and wants you to win above everything else, then all you really need at the minimum is selling to get sympathy and a good comeback for example. That's Jake Roberts, incredible character, didn't do a whole lot anything in the ring apart from great selling, a master of timing and leading the crowd. Same principle for heels. The really good ones in wrestling get more reward out of less risk, or get more reaction out of doing less to say it another way.
We're going to reach the same point in different ways, but isn't great selling, timing and leading the crowd part of being excellent in the ring?
 

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We're going to reach the same point in different ways, but isn't great selling, timing and leading the crowd part of being excellent in the ring?
Of course that goes without saying. I think regarding the thread I was more talking about the more modern popular view that 'ring work' often means a bigger and more varied moveset. Of course if whatever you do in the ring, no matter how minimal it appears, gets people invested and rooting for or against you then it doesn't really matter what those moves are.
 

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Definitely character work is more valuable than in ring work.

Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold, Undertaker, Foley, Flair, Andre the Giant and more are uber successful because of the characters they portrayed rather than their in ring work.

There are anomalies like Bret Hart, but those are exceptions and not the rule.
 

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I'm more drawn to character work. I would rather watch a random Ultimate Warrior match than a random Chavo Guerrero or Charlie Hass match. Those two were both skilled in ring workers, but I didn't care about their characters very much so therefore I didn't usually care to watch them wrestle. They had characters, but just weren't very charismatic.
 

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The mixture should not even be an option because it is obvious. Now, if I had to pick one, it would be character work. The biggest name of all time are all character, Hogan, The Rock, and Austin. Sure they can wrestle but it is their character that sells $$$$.
 

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They both need to go together. There were character guys like Sandow, Elias and Ken Kennedy who portray great characters but cannot deliver in the ring. Then you have great wrestlers, many of which are littered across all 3 brands in WWE but many can't give a shit about them because they lack a character to get the audience invested in them. You need a mix of both to become a great pro wrestler.
Sandow and Kennedy were actually decent in the ring.

I do agree with needing both, as Rock, Austin, Savage, Flair, Michaels, Sting, Cena, HHH, Edge, Christian, Jericho, Angle, Eddie, Punk, AJ, and Bryan are/were all extremely charismatic, great on the mic, and good in the ring, while the likes of Hogan, Warrior, Batista, and Goldberg (all oozed charisma though Hogan was easily the best mic worker of the four) could easily be carried to a great match with the right opponent. There are also a few known almost completely for ring work like Bret and Benoit (they also had in-ring charisma despite not being known for their personalities. Lesnar is also one of these people though he's known for his size as well), while RVD, Jeff Hardy, and Rey Mysterio all had ring work and charisma yet were terrible on the mic. It is true that there are a ton of wrestlers that are/were only known for ring work (like Haas, Benjamin, and numerous cruiserweights) or just their size (Mason Ryan, Ezekiel Jackson, Heidenreich, Snitsky, Test, Nathan Jones, Jindrak, Luther Reigns, etc.) and those who only check one of the boxes don't get over.
 

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The mixture should not even be an option because it is obvious. Now, if I had to pick one, it would be character work. The biggest name of all time are all character, Hogan, The Rock, and Austin. Sure they can wrestle but it is their character that sells $$$$.
No, thanks. We don’t need yet another thread where having good in-ring work gets downplayed to absurd levels.
 

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The best performers have both. Rollins, Austin, Michaels, etc.

Guys like Rock and Hogan have the character work but not the in ring work. Which is why I don't consider them to be among the elite.
You are entitled to your opinion, but to claim that Rollins is a better in-ring worker than The Rock is just preposterous.
 

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Wrestling in ring work is important to a degree. But I've always liked john cenas character before he turned into complete PG garbage. Every time I watch his matches it felt like the dullest thing ever but he can tell a story much better than Trips. Still though, those guys weren't memorable for their wrestling but their characters are really what stood out about them and put them on top. Same can be said about Hogan.
 

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100% character work. The people who stood out for their ring work did so BECAUSE they were surrounded by people who focused on character work, so their in-ring capabilities stood out.

When everyone's trying to be an in-ring technician, it isn't fun. Its way easier to have a different character than stand out as a in-ring beast when everyone's doing it.
 
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