Brandon Stroud at Best and Worst of Raw wrote that the Daniel Bryan/Kane match on Monday, which featured the tag champs in a “blindfold” (creepy sex mask) and with one arm tied behind their back,
“was awful and a waste of time. It made everyone involved look stupid. The Prime Time Players are worthless, and in a few months when you decide to give them the ‘this is the team that is WINNING now’ push, we won’t believe it. Kane doesn’t look good beating two worthless guys with one arm. Daniel Bryan in a gimp hood having blindfold matches is depressing.”
Monday’s match was like a living nightmare. Any regular listener to The Intercontinental Podcast knows how much Brayton and I are willing to complain about the current tag division, as is nearly anyone with interest in the tag belts.
On Friday Night Smackdown, the two teams did literally the same exact thing, and yet somehow, the match was entirely entertaining! I should step back for a minute; the match was different in that the roles were reversed, Kane wore the sex mask and Bryan had his arm tied. However, the characters were exactly the same and the scenario nearly identical.
Putting Kane in the mask became entertaining in a way that it simply was not with Bryan in the situation. The Prime Time Players won, AS THEY SHOULD HAVE on Monday. The match felt very Chikara-esque… comedic in the right ways given the situation all of the characters are in.
Even the Prime Time Players had a couple good spots, one at the beginning where Darren Young was trying to trip Kane by bending on all fours. Eventually Young yelled, “It’s not working, Titus!” as if this was their big plan going into the match. Hilarious!
I don’t know how it happened, but the match on Friday that nearly mirrored the match on Monday was so much more exceptional. If only it had happened in front of the larger, live Raw audience.
The Intercontinental Podcast Episode 18: Happy National Pro Wrestling Day!
Brayton and Paul air so many grievances today, you’d think it was Festivus. Paul laments the tragic loss of Team Rhodes Scholars. Brayton is disappointed that so many young stars are being passed over in favor of past stars returning and being whisked right into a main event story.
We both brighten things up by talking about National Pro Wrestling Day, and the stacked card of known to lesser-known independent talent.
archived to mediafire. Download HERE
not that this sort of thing matters to me
but aside from omitting the Show/Del Rio match, I called every single match at the Rumble on The Intercontinental Podcast. And, really, anyone who was upset about the results of the Championship match should just sit down and think about it. As I said on the podcast episode, what was CM Punk’s story post-Rumble with the Championship? There was none.
I’m more disappointed that Team Hell No still has the Tag Team Championships.
Stop Calling Wrestling “Theater”
I’ve been developing this on The Intercontinental Podcast for the past couple weeks. We all do our best to justify professional wrestling in an artistic sense. Professional Wrestling is art, simply put. If it were a perfect world and people were accepting of others’ interests, we wouldn’t have to go much further than that.
Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. Roughly ten years ago, people called WWE a male soap opera, in a bit of a derogatory sense. We as wrestling fans have done our best to redirect that and make claims that professional wrestling (I’ll just keep writing professional wrestling, however, granted, a majority of my knowledge comes from WWE) is theater in most senses. I have begun to try to change that narrative on the podcast. I’ve been calling wrestling organic theater at the least.
As I stated one week, theater is the production of performances meant to be repeated. How many times has A Midsummer Night’s Dream been performed? How many times have theater companies given us another iteration of Death of a Salesmen? That is the core of theater: what is your vision of a play? You can do whatever you want with it, but the story is always the same. Even an independent production team trying to create new works will only turn serious profit when those works are bought and done by other theater companies. That’s fine.
Professional Wrestling does not do that. Ever. Vince McMahon isn’t going to “sell the script” of Austin v. McMahon, 1997, or Bret Hart’s Anti-Canada storyline, or CM Punk v the WWE - Money in the Bank 2011. The atmosphere for those periods of time in WWE will never be recreated. People will try to recreate Stone Cold Steve Austin (Mr. Kennedy in TNA c. 2010 would be an example, or CM Punk summer of 2012), but it will not work. The players and characters will not be the same, no matter how they try. Not only that, but the crowd will not be the same. We will never see another Money in the Bank 2011, and I don’t want to. I want to see where the story goes from there.
This is the crux of my argument that if anyone tries to make the claim that WWE/professional wrestling is “theater,” the word “organic” must be placed beforehand. The way stories are built can be pushed by scriptwriters and obviously there are many recycled ideas, but the way those ideas are remembered and truly develop is incredibly reliant on the audience’s reaction to the performer and “supporting cast,” for lack of a better term. The way the crowd accepted Mick Foley as a folk hero will not be exactly the same, ever again. No matter how much they try.
If we as wrestling fans are to truly claim ownership of the fact that we aren’t embarrassed to enjoy it, then we need to stop hiding behind trying to label it as something it’s not. Professional wrestling is not theater. It is better than theater. Despite how bad the show can often be, the reality is that professional wrestling is something we own. We are responsible for making memorable characters everytime we buy a ticket or write a blog post or twitter post and laud our favorite performer, be it Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, or even an emerging talent like Kaitlyn. The way their story progresses relies on us, and that is critically different from theater.