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Push that jobber and enhance your talent

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Vortexvoid here, first blog post.

When I was a kid, I used to watch WCW all the time, with Tony Schiavone commentating. OK, the guy isn't on everyone's Christmas card list, but one thing he always did was try to make jobbers and low-carders look like a credible threat. The point of this wasn't to get them over, but rather to validate the inevitable victory of the mid/top carder who was squashing them, thereby enhancing the victor. So, for example, Rick Rude would face off against some "currently in the ring" guy like Frankie Lancaster. Whilst Rude was kicking the crap out of Frankie, Schiavone would be saying things like "Frankie Lancaster, he's no slouch, he's had a lot of success in this sport" etc etc. Ditto when it was a face like Bagwell beating on some jobber like Bob Cook or Nasty Ned; Tony would be gamely saying stuff like "yeah, Nasty Ned, he's got a real mean streak and a vicious left hook, Bagwell needs to be on his game today to avoid an upset". The net result was that an easy win nevertheless boosted the credibility of the winner, rather than being an utter waste of time.

Fast forward to today's WWE, and what do we get? On the rare occasions that the commentators bother to call the match rather than talking rubbish about twitter, there's absolutely no attempt to make the enhancement talent look anything like a threat, with the result that the winning talent looks like they've achieved nothing. For example, Lord Tensai v Yoshi Tatsu. Why not start the match by the commentators saying something like "Tatsu has been in the WWE for some time now, he's an accomplished guy, and has taken out some of the best. This could be a close one, and if Tatsu uses his speed he could stop this juggernaut in his tracks." Something like that then makes the one-sided squash look all the more impressive. Example 2: Ryback v jobber. Instead of laughing at the jobber, why not say "currently in the ring is Dave Jobber. He's a mixed martial artist, and i've seen this guy powering through the lower echelons of the sport, a lot of people are tipping this young man as one to watch. Ryback has been dominant thus far, but he'd do well not to underestimate Dave Jobber this evening". That way, the viewer is left thinking that Ryback has actually achieved something when he snaps Dave Jobber in half. Example 3: Clay v Reks. Instead of a load of goofy commentary about Clay's dancing, how about "meanwhile, the unstable Reks is on the outside of the ring pacing up and down, he's taking out many a superstar with his burning hammer finisher, and we know he's a powerhouse, so Clay had better get focussed when the bell sounds".

Just a thought.

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  1. Vondraco's Avatar
    Good post. I agree.
  2. TheLegendaryIcon's Avatar
    They need to do away with the actual (ie: no-name) jobbers. I would've rather seen Ryback squish Tatsu, McIntyre, Hawkins, JTG, Kidd, Slater, Mahal, O'Neil... or anyone else actually from the main roster. (Hell, that's 4-8 weeks of squish right there depending on how you play it out.) The reasoning here, is that it helps to expose the talent you already have, even if you are burying them. It makes your monster look a little more legitimate by crushing people with even undercard names within the company. What would've been awesome is Ryback Mason Ryan or Reks... Maybe even start an undercard feud between Reks and Ryback after squishing and "injuring" Hawkins? -- As a side note, the under-mid card is why they need to resurrect the cruiserweight title. I'd rather see undercard guys for that title on a PPV over titleless mid-card storyline matches.

    Schiavone was one of the best salesmen the business has ever seen. I like to think of a commentary table of three guys having specific, but overlapping roles. You have the "Salesman", the "Brain/Technical Speaker", and the "Relief/Color Commentator". Generally speaking, if you want good commentary at least two of the three should at least appear to dislike each other and the third should be the neutral party to bring things back to talking about in-ring stuff.
  3. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    Good Blog. What I agree most with is the fact that there's no commentary at all anymore.

    In all honesty, I don't even know why they wrestle anymore.
  4. Lucas Chapel's Avatar
    Fab blog.
    Completely agree 100%
  5. scribbler_jones's Avatar
    Very relevant blog and so are the comments I've seen so far. I remember that commentary was commentary once, actually commenting on the match, calling the moves, and telling the viewer relevant info about the contestants. The commentary actually sold the match and the performers, making you invest in the match - even if it was a squash. Now it seems that commentary is used only to push a storyline, talk about their social media followings, or just waste time. This is especially fatal to jobbers and squashers, in my opinion. As mentioned above, the jobber needs some credible build-up to establish them as a legitimate threat and get the audience to be interested - and the squasher needs this so that, when it's all said and done, they get credit for getting it done instead of "it's just another squash, blah."

    Also, TheLegendaryIcon was onto something good: the occasional no-name jobber is okay, but if you want to turn heads, why not use the low to lower-mid card guys? And the formula of three announcers is excellent - too bad WWE doesn't seem to use it. They hardly even call any moves. Sigh, where has the science gone...

    Again, excellent blog and discussion.

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