When wrestling started, it was bigger in America than apple pie-scented baseball. They packed into smoke-filled gyms to watch the matches. Then they realized that genuine wrestling matches can last up to two hours. No matter how exciting, two people can’t hold an audience’s attention for two hours in the same spot with limited moves.
So wrestling expanded, and now we have entertainment. Punches, kicks, bites, slams and chairs were introduced. However, despite this, wrestling still wanted to keep their secrets. They loosened fists and honed their body to make it look as real as possible. I remember watching blood gush for the first time and thought that it was fake, like Hollywood stunts, but it looked so real that I couldn’t tell.
It turned out to be real, and performers go to great lengths to keep their crowds guessing.
This tradition has to continue with professional wrestling. Even though we are walking around with tiny computers and the world is no longer as private as it once was, promoters have to keep us guessing. One way they can do this is to actually have technical announcers again. I watched TNA, WWE and ROH recently and noticed that they do little play-by-play commentary of moves given, and instead deal with opinions and storylines in excruciating detail.
Why? I love stories, but why can’t they have their technical man still calling the plays?
Remember the late Gorilla Monsoon and how he called the moves that we all know and love? It was one of the ways that made wrestling more convincing. The psychology in the ring is just as important as the storylines. It kept wrestling honest.
Now we have jabbering monkeys throwing their feces at each other. We have the traditional good announcer and the bad announcer, but they both are equally obnoxious. Did they get bored with wrestling moves? It seems very likely because all of them have broken with tradition and now their dialogue reminds me of gossip you can catch on TMZ.
Bring back the no-nonsense, technical announcer armed with dry humor for the sake of wrestling fans everywhere. Wrestling thrives on extremes, and that doesn’t exclude the ones calling the match. Heck, Jim Ross has made a career out of it.