Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wrestling Revolution Sounds Mighty Interesting to Me

I dig it
I'm going to do something that I did yesterday on here. I'm going to pimp to you the podcast that my Fair to Flair colleague and this week's guest on The Wrestling Podcast, Razor of Kick-Out Blog!! did with Jeff Katz, the Hollywood producer and rabid wrestling fan behind the new concept promotion Wrestling Revolution. It really does give a look inside the mind of a guy who made it in life and now is going to attempt to create something different in the world of pro wrestling.

For those of you who are podcast-a-phobic or who have an axe to grind against Razor and KO or who won't listen for whatever reason, Wrestling Revolution is basically turning wrestling into seasonal format. Before you start cringing at the idea of having a wrestling show working like an icky TV show, realize that Katz isn't here to bastardize the product. At least that's what I got from the podcast. It'll still be wrestling. There'll be matches, promos, everything else that makes wrestling wrestling, but there'll be major differences:
  1. The wrestlers will be playing a character ideated and developed by Katz and his producers, not playing their "regular" characters
  2. In fact, there won't be any "names", just guys being invented or in the case of folks who have WWE/etc. history, reinvented
  3. Like I wrote yesterday, storytelling will reflect scripted drama and the "three act" format
  4. It will be in seasonal format, meaning there'll be an offseason
So right off the bat, this is something that is striving to be what Impact should have been all along - an alternative.

Katz is saying all the right things, and unlike some other people hawking things that he is promising now, I'm inclined to believe him. For one, he's got a lot of friends in the wrestling business. He's also got Hollywood connections, and that's a huge incentive for guys who may not want to kill themselves in the ring for their whole careers.

I think what's most appealing about this project to me is Katz's candor and realism about it. In the podcast, he claims that he's not really getting his hopes up, and if he can do one season of good TV, then he'll be happy with it. The biggest mistake an auteur in any medium can make is to get too greedy and think his or her project is going to own. I think it's that perspective that gives me the most hope. Katz isn't going to try and reinvent the wheel through some grandiose science experiment using the most dangerous form of energy to fuel it; he'll try to start something grassroots but real, and hopefully that will leave an impression on the industry to go along with (and maybe even influence) WWE.

I know that hope always springs eternal in the wrestling industry, and the perception is that it's rarely ever paid off. While I think there has been more than enough in terms of good resolutions, I'm not going to say that a majority of the stuff that has started out good in wrestling has ended well either. That being said, I still think this has a much better than normal chance of providing good content at the very least. I'll be sad if it doesn't succeed, but if Katz gives me one good year with Wrestling Revolution? Then you're damn right I'll be happy about it. That's the thing, finding quality wrestling rather than trying to latch onto something because you think it'll be successful.

So with that in mind, I'm really looking forward to this, and I hope that Katz at least creates a cult classic if anything. Honestly, there needs to be more people with his mindset rather than the one that has poisoned the industry for as long as I've been following it. Trying to recreate the past to a tee doesn't work1. Trying new things doesn't always work either, but that track record has a way, way, WAY better percentage of success than blatant and blow-for-blow rehashing. With all that in mind, I hope you're as jazzed for this as I am.

1 - There's a big difference between trying to catch lightning in a bottle twice and using tried and true tropes that have worked in wrestling for over 100 years to help get new stories and people over. The former sucks. The latter should be a part of any wrestling promotion, whether old or new, traditional or innovative, if that makes any sense to you.

Remember you can contact TH and ask him questions about wrestling, life or anything else. Please refer to this post for contact information. He always takes questions!

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