Wrestling Forum banner
1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Once upon a time, stories were told in the ring. Wrestlers would show that whilst inside that ring, they had a personality, they had weaknesses/strengths and most importantly they had STRATEGY. Some of my favourite examples would include

Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels - WrestleMania 19. Karate Kid style storyline that anyone (wrestling or not) can relate too. The student wants to surpass his mentor. Throughout that carefully laid out match, we see examples of Jericho's admiration of HBK and Jericho's evolution as a character. The end of the match showed that whilst Shawn Michaels was relieved that he survived a great challenge, Jericho showed frustration, betrayal and un-sportsmanlike behaviour to further showcase his characters development. The mocking of HBK's signature pose/finishing move was a legendary spot that was executed perfectly.

Practically any Bret Hart match - Survivor Series 1995 will be used as an example this time. Although his match with Owen @ SS94' and Austin @ WM13 are probably more elite. He began his match with Diesel by attempting to attack the leg, Bret shows that he's going in with a strategy. He's not stronger or bigger than Kevin Nash, but he is faster, agile and smarter, so he goes for the leg any chance he gets. In today's WWE, you see Rusev in a lock up with Dolph Ziggler. Where's the strategy in that? Obviously Rusev will win, but there's no clear thought behind it. It's a routine, a habit, that wrestlers use because it's easy. Bret got walloped, every hit meant something. Bret arched his back in complete agony and despair after some stiff clubbing blows from Nash. Too many times, you see wrestlers bounce right up, forget to sell their injury moments later and it just looks ...fake. By the end of that match, Bret was in position for the jack-knife power bomb and actually collapsed to perfection. Diesel needed to hold Bret up in position to even attempt lifting him. Here's Bret showing the audience, "hey, I've taken a belting so hard that I can't even muster the strength to hold myself up". In an industry where wrestlers are creatures of habit and are reliant on routine, there are examples of wrestlers winning matches without trading finishing moves multiple times. Where a simple roll up, creative frontward roll-pin combination tied in perfectly to the match and gave the audience a surprise finish.

Any field of work where you are creating, you call it art. Wrestling is art, but more often than not in todays landscape, we're seeing less innovation and more bastardisation of in-ring psychology. Guys are bouncing up too quickly after sickening blows, wrestlers stay 'dead' for 5-10 minutes after some simple hits (SS14' Ziggler/Rollins) and wrestlers get away with sloppy work. One really good example of this includes Kane taking a simple spine buster from Batista at Unforgiven 2008 in the Scramble match for the World Title. That spine buster was apparently strong enough for Batista to pin him, then 34 seconds later, Jericho pinned Kane again. How am I logically able to explain to anybody that watches this shit with me that one move like the spinebuster could knockout Kane for 40 seconds when Colin Delaney and Zack Gowen have probably kicked out of it before to set up for the finishing move?

Dolph Ziggler is often a culprit of overselling. It looks remarkable and it's a testament to his athletic ability however, Dolph doesn't show enough pain. He doesn't show enough vulnerability during his matches. He could get hit by a damn truck, a few moments later he's bouncing around like a pinball. Daniel Bryan sold his injury at WM 30 like a boss, he carried it over to the main event and continued to show vulnerability and weakness. These traits help develop our love for him. We get to emotionally invest in his character, we root for the underdog.

Even Brock Lesnar, who took a huge table bump, a curb stomp, AAs everywhere in his match at the Royal Rumble, will somehow eventually lose to ONE average punch by Roman Reigns. That's where the booing will lie, that's where the WWE will lose us. That disregard for ring psychology. I guarantee you, if they turn Roman heel. Have his whip out a chair and whack Lesnar 100 times, whack heyman. Use that chair to target Lesnar's throat, ankle, etc, and pin him? We will believe it more. There won't be a chorus of boos for the wrong reason, it will be the right reason. If the WWE honestly gives us a babyface Roman routine that results in the defeat of Brock Lesnar, people will shit on it. Even a lucky roll up by Roman Reigns will better serve him than that.

I apologise to Dolph fans if I've unintentionally used him as an example too often in this post. He's a remarkable worker and there are worse. Dolph's matches are more memorable and in essence, isn't that a complement in itself? haha
 

·
The EST of NXT
The LegitEST BOSS
Joined
·
36,118 Posts
You're right. If you want ring psychology, go watch NXT. Kevin Owens is killing it down there. I can't remember the last time I saw a heel talking trash during a match while simultaneously telling a story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,678 Posts
I wouldn't say so. Not at all. Yes, the WWE style matches are probably spottier than ever, but "psychology" (which is pretty much a weird term for storytelling) is still more than alive, as evident in names like Lesnar, Bryan, Ambrose, Rollins, Rusev, Wyatt, Orton, etc... almost the entirety of the roster, really. And with NXT running in full force, it's not dying anyway.

You're right. If you want ring psychology, go watch NXT. Kevin Owens is killing it down there. I can't remember the last time I saw a heel talking trash during a match while simultaneously telling a story.
Mark Henry. He did it all the time.

But yeah, Steen/Owens does it better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,835 Posts
I think there are plenty on the roster that could easily weave some amazing in ring stories and easily play with the fans emotions like the old school psychologists could... it's just Vince thinking the wrestling is last on the list of what the WWE should be. It's become all about a flashy move or two, maybe throwing out some jibes/reactions to the audience randomly, then going to another flashy move rather than actually incorporating a story into the match.

It's all based on cheap heat type of tactics... illiciting an ooo from the crowd is all they need. Well, that just isn't true and NXT and NJPW make the Raw look like amateur hour most of the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,907 Posts
Ambrose is the man at ring psychology on the current roster. Trying to pop your shoulder back in place during a match is refreshing.

But your answer is the top dog. When your top guy don't sell for shit or have a strategy, it looks bad. Hogan even fucking sold storylines.
To be fair he did a great job selling ring psychology at Wrestlemania against Bray Wyatt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,108 Posts
You're right. If you want ring psychology, go watch NXT. Kevin Owens is killing it down there. I can't remember the last time I saw a heel talking trash during a match while simultaneously telling a story.
Owens is one of the most talented guys in WWE, no question. I think he has the biggest chance to be a top star on Raw of anyone in NXT right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,974 Posts
Suppose it's a lot to do with everyone wanting everything to be fast paced.

Ambrose has a great psychology to him, especially when it comes to differentiating between the larger and smaller opponents.

Ziggler shows shades of psychology and whilst I find him great to watch sometimes finds him flopping around at every single thing can take away from the art of selling and slightly make a mockery of it.

Tons of guys who encompass great psychology though. Lord, the Neville and Zayn match showed tons of it on REvolution. :banderas
 
  • Like
Reactions: Fringe

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
You know I actually find this interesting because of my own experience with watching wrestling. I watched wrestling in the 90's and then stopped somewhere around the mid 00's before coming back to the product last year. During that break I watched a lot of anime and it's funny to me because wrestling now reminds me of your typical shonen anime fight. The good and bad guy square up, some light fighting is done and then the super moves (finishers) get brought out in droves until the winner uses his super move enough to pin the loser and then acts like nothing happened. To me the biggest two examples of this in the current WWE are Cena and Ziggler. I mean it's fun to a certain extent but I can no longer go into a match thinking 'This could end at any time and from any move,' because there now needs to be the prerequisite two or three finishers before a pin.

Likewise I don't see an overall amount of selling, there has been no match since I started watching again that made me think that either or both opponents must be hurt. I mean the triple threat at the RR was an absolutely fantastic match but I never got the impression that those three men were basically just beating each other into submission in order to get a pin. Watching the last NXT PPV gave me hope that the younger guys will understand the meaning of it more and as more of them come up the overall culture of a match will change.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,322 Posts
It's kind of a dying thing now among the WWE. Obviously it's something Vince isn't all that fucked with and when you look at John Cena who is the top dog in WWE you can see he doesn't give a shit about it either. He frequently no-sells, sells poorly and shouts out instructions to opponents really loudly during his matches. His matches have some pretty weird fucking structures to them too.
Ambrose is good at it as is Bryan and Kevin Owens is really good at it down in NXT. But it's something WWE needs to respect a bit more as an organisation as a whole. Because it's the little things that can sometimes elevate a very good match up to that of a classic.

It's the whole "pro wrestling v sports entertainment" debate again. I'm totally in favour of good in-ring psychology in matches though. It adds a lot to them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,700 Posts
I disagree. I think some guys are green as hell therefor dont know proper psychology and some guys just suck like Cena who has horrible psycology. The guys that are the best tho know theyre stuff. Sami Zayn,Seth Rollins,Daniel Bryan,Randy Orton ,trips among others all show excellent psycology.
 

·
The Irish Rapist
Joined
·
3,392 Posts
What's ring psychology? If story telling is to tell a story in the ring that's coherent during the entire match and goes with the storyline and characters involved, psychology is what?
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top