‘Win The Crowd…’
Storylines; Gimmicks…those are part of it…but the bigger part is the wrestlers themselves (and the people who run the show). The gimmick and storyline catches our attention; but it’s the wrestler who makes us love them or hate them…or even have complete indifference to them.
An old saying goes ‘The Clothes make the Man’; when it comes to professional wrestling it’s more like ‘The Wrestler makes the Gimmick’.
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is a prime example of this; previous to his being ‘The Rock’ and his many catch phrases (to damn many to list here…Do you smell…yadda yadda yadda); he was Rocky Maivia and well…for this writer…I was of the mind of the following:
Please…just go away…
When he became The Rock; The People’s Champion; a corner was turned and before long Rocky Maivia was forgotten.
Anyone remember Skip Sheffield? Yes…I am sure Ryback would most certainly prefer if we did not.
How about ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin? Sorry Stone Cold…
I could list a dozen or so more names of wrestlers who’ve had varying success with gimmicks until they hit the nail on the head with a gimmick that goes over with the crowd. Daniel Bryan comes to mind at this stage as well as does Wade Barrett…err…sorry Bad News Barrett (sorry mate).
There is the rare wrestler that hasn’t had to change gimmicks these days…Goldust being the most obvious. Dustin Rhodes ‘ Goldie looks better than he ever has; and can still pull off ‘The Bizarre One’ gimmick; even after almost 20 years. This longevity speaks more about the wrestler than the gimmick; could you picture someone like Triple H running with the Goldust gimmick? Neither can I; although Cody Rhodes as Stardust is keeping a pace with Dustin’s Goldust nicely.
These men in the current gimmicks won over the crowd…
Ah yes…the crowd…like the mob of Ancient Rome…can be a fickle lot. They cheer one day…and ‘bay’ for ‘Blood’ the next.
Yet…wither it be the cheers or the baying…either way…it is beneficial to the wrestler. It shows that the crowd cares; yes even loathing comes from a place of care. It shows that they are invested in the story being told; and in the people telling it. Cheers for the ‘Hero’ and jeers for the ‘Villain’ like we do for any story where we’ve come to care about what is happening and who it is happening too. Which is why there is some seemingly random matches; but they are not so random; for the powers that be need the ‘Hero’ to draw a pop…instead of boos…*cough* Cena *cough*.
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