Fantasy Booking

So since coming back into the wrestling fold a few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to get caught back up on all that I missed for 5 years.

Part of that has been getting caught back up on all the internet smarkdom that I came to have huge following for before I went to wrestling school and started training. Know that by ‘Smark’ I am referring to a breed of fan who knows it’s all a work and thinks of themselves as smarter and more knowledgeable than the average fan. Despite having never stepped in the ring themselves, they think they have the business ‘figured out’.

I pretty much stopped bothering with those writers and those sites once I graduated from wrestling school. Around that time I was more interested in the stuff I was doing than what was going on in the TV world. It stands to reason that since I wasn’t watching the TV product, I wasn’t reading the smark sites which follow them either.

So it came as a huge surprise to me that after I found a bunch of the old internet writers still had sites going, they also all had one thing in common; They were all totally full of bullshit.

Holy crap! How did I eat the words of these people for so long? I actually thought they had good opinions/ideas and had some clue as to what they were talking about. Boy was I wrong!

for example, I was recently watching a DVD of an old WWE PPV from a few years ago where HHH was facing Randy Orton for the world title. About 3/4 of the way through the match they F up a spot (Still not sure who’s fault it was, willing to bet Orton) and Orton takes a header straight into the mat. It didn;t seem like much of a fall at the time, or even on replay, but it was obvious that Orton was in legit trouble. When something ugly happens and one wrestler lies on the floor outside of the ring, and the other wrestler spends 2-3 minutes showboating for the crowd and doing a big sell job, know that something is amiss. Here HHH did his thing for seemingly EVER away from Orton while ref Earl Hebner tried to get Orton up, even saying, ‘Randy if you don’t get back in the ring I’m going to have to count you out’ while standing about 3 inches away from his face. Anyways they somehow finish the match, Orton could barely stand up, and after giving it the old college try HHH just calls it in and barely gets Orton on his feet to take the Pedigree and end the match. It was ugly ugly ugly, the match was decent to that point, but it got all jacked up after the concussion.

I was curious to see what the internet writers back in the day had to say about the match, so I found a review of the show. The writer in question, who was named ‘The Rick’, totally blew the monkey trying to review the match. Here is a linked quote from the review;

“I have NO fricking idea where they go with the Orton/Head Injury thing, if in fact they go anywhere. It might have just been a one-night gimmick to explain HHH’s ability to beat Orton because of a flukey bump. But here’s the thing: if so, they COMPLETELY failed to get sympathy from the fans. And also: the match was laid out that HHH never once cheated during the ref bump. He TRIED to use the sledge, but never did. Evolution never came out. He just straight-up beat Randy Orton, fair and square. Which sends the subconscious message to fans, “HHH is just that damned good. Feud over.” Which is also fine with me. Another one in the same area as the opener: very good, thanks to an excellent final half.”

Maybe the reason for the weird Orton/Head injury angle was due to Orton suffering a head injury! Call me crazy, but sometimes the most obvious answer is the correct one. And then at the end of the tag I listed, he calls the final half of the match ‘excellent’. What is excellent about one wrestler losing his shit, while the other one tries his best to cover for him and work with it? I’d rather watch 2 guys at their best both bring it for the whole time! See Jerry Lynn/Rob Van Dam for another example of a dude suffering a head bump and having trouble in a match. The idea that the WWE had it prewritten that Orton would take an ugly mistakey shot to the head, and also that Orton would be a good enough to actor to fake the after effects that well insults my intelligence. Once again gotta chalk it up to another online smark trying to offer commentary from something he knows nothing about.

but bad internet reviews of shows aside, the worst offender of retarded smarkiness has got to be the fantasy bookings. Basically in the world of internet idiocy smarks try to wear the hat of the booker and write about how they would run the show! Yay! It’s the wrestling equivalent of fan fiction. You know, those lengthy stories that someone who still lives in Mom’s basement wrote about Chewbacca’s heroic adventures as a lone wolf bounty hunter that you never wanted to read. Those same people that write Sailor Moon sex fantasy stories also want to rewrite their favorite wrestling shows to make them awesome!!!~well, in their own eyes.

Basically the smarks out there grab a hold of their favorite wrestler, and then write out a series of events/matches/interviews that will eventually result in their favorite midcarder/curtainjerker winning the title at Wrestlemania. These fantasy booking segments are usually lengthy and always lame. I’m not trying to say that the big TV shows always do a great job of creating compelling television, but I will say that the internet writers for sure do not.

Again the idea of fantasy booking insults my intelligence. The writers who put their fanfic online have once again, no idea what they are talking about. They do not understand any of the backstage stuff that goes on, they do not understand the personalities of the performers involved, they do not understand what will go over with the fans, they do not understand the basic mechanics of a pro wrestling match, they do not understand the basics of how promos work, they do not understand a whole lot about the business. Other than those small details they have some really great things to say!

The whole thing reminds me of sports talk radio, when someone calls up a show in Atlanta with his big 4 team trade that will get Kobe Bryant traded to the Hawks for just a second round draft pick. ‘But it will work, I don;t understand why it wouldn’t work!?’ They say as they get laughed off the air. On the internet, there is sadly nobody to laugh you off the air. So you are free to write 10,000 word bookings about how you will get CM Punk the world title in 3 months. Or how you’ll work Raven back into all the major storylines, or how bringing back The Rock and Hacksaw Jim Duggan together in a tag team title angle will be the saving grace of Monday Night Raw.

I just read an interesting video review of the Shawn Michaels DVD from one of my previously favorite internet smarks, Scott Keith. I was with him for much of what he was saying, even though he doesn’t quite understand how matches work. Anyways, the review of the DVD was going along pretty well until he got in to how he would have rebooked the entire King of the Ring 1998. Which would have taken out the Jake the Snake vs. Austin match. Which would have negated the whole ‘Austin 3:16′ thing, which would have really hurt Austin becoming a huge star. Of course in his mind and I paraphrase, ‘Austin could have faced Jake the Snake the following night on RAW and done the Austin 3:16 thing then, so no big deal.’ Other than the fact that the muse that struck Austin that night at that moment that created ‘Austin 3:16′ might not have struck at any other time on any other show. I suppose if you’re foolish and think that the whole ‘Austin 3:16′ thing was scripted and prewritten before the show that would not be a big deal. In the real world though this is not the case. To fantasy rebook lightning in a bottle in the name of slightly better matches is to mess with something that was shown through time to really work, and that makes no sense.

To those who think that their skills as a booker are strong, I suggest you test that for yourself. It seriously does not cost a whole lot to run an independent show, you could easily pull it off for under a grand, so go for it! I bet you’ll have no problem finding workers for a guaranteed payday. I guarantee they will be willing to do whatever booking crap you want to do as well! Go out there and put on shows in your neighborhood, and if you can grow your audience and not go broke then congrats, somebody will notice that.

Anyways, I’ll keep reading these internet smarks so that I can learn a little bit of their backstage information and research, but I’ll also continue to laugh at them for writing stupid nonsensical things at the same time. A word of advice to you fans out there, read everything those folks say with a huge grain of salt, they don’t know nearly as much as they would have you believe they do.

-Ray

ADDENDUM: Mr. Scott Keith was nice enough to post up here telling me that he did not write the rant that I was calling in to question. Relooking back on it, that rant was posted on his site, was written in a style very similar to his own, but does say that it was written by someone else. Well, the official title is ‘The Princess Rant for Heartbreak and Triumph: the Shawn Michaels Story’. I thought that was just a clever name for it, but I guess that someone named ‘The Princess’ actually wrote it. So there ya go, I’ll have to find something else to complain about in regards to Scott Keith. Shouldn’t be too hard, I’m good at finding things to get annoyed at. :)

One Response to “Fantasy Booking”

  1. rspwfaq Says:

    Thanks for the link, Ray, but I didn’t actually write the article you were slamming me for there.

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