Listening to a Wrestling Observer podcast a while back with Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez, Meltzer brought up a concept that I never thought up before and he kicked it old-school for me (he brought me back to my childhood). Meltzer said that the WWE Creative Team could learn a lesson from Popeye the Sailor Man. What lesson could the Creative learn? Booking logic.
The booking logic Dave Meltzer was talking about was how in each episode of Popeye, the bad guys would come in and take Olive Oyl (Popeye’s lady friend) and in the end, the bad guys would get what’s coming to them and Popeye would come out on top.
Let’s look at one of the WWE storylines that interest me (and shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m writing about it) and that’s the return of Chris Jericho. Seems like people are split about his return (as of me writing this, and this is after the third Monday he’s back). Either people hate it (in part of because he isn’t talking) or people love it (because he isn’t talking). Jericho is an admitted old-school performer when it comes to the squared-circle and wants everything he does to come as a surprise, and I agree with him. I don’t want to know his storylines or his returns until it happens. I guess to catch myself from a rant; the element of surprise is gone from this business.
How does the element of surprise and logic tie in together?
Easy. Most wrestling surprises are tied in with logic by that no one expected it to happen. Look at WWE Survivor Series 1998 when the Rock and Mankind did a double turn (Rock went from face to heel and Mankind went from heel to face) in a matter of the PPV card (and when the Rock hit the sharpshooter on Mankind and McMahon ran the bell). That came as a surprise to everyone. And looking at it, for the whole card and even the build-up to the card, everything that happened made sense. It had logic tied in with it.
I’m not trying to get at with this piece is that the good ole days were better than now. Well, in my opinion, it was. But lessons can be learned from the past on what worked and what didn’t work. There were a lot of things that didn’t work back when I thought wrestling was at its best. I’m sure the other writers on this site would disagree with me on the time period on when wrestling was at its. I’m sure editor of this site to (cheap plug for Eric Gargiulo).
To end, I believe the Creative Team of the WWE could learn a lot from such simple shows like Popeye the Sailor Man. The babyface gets out on top in the end and the heel gets what is his in the end. Everything that happened ties in together and looking at it when it’s finished, makes sense. Nothing stands out as odd. It all ties in – everyone goes home happy.