Saturday, December 23, 2006

Feature Article: "A View From Afar" by Mark Bravura

----Mark Bravura should be known by many of your in this area. [CLICK HERE for the Bravura entrance video] In his shoot job, he is a Senior Consultant in Video and MultiMedia Production for Booz Allen Hamilton [and international consulting firm] Basically he produces video and multimedia project for internal and external clients like Medicare, USMC, Installation Management Agency, Harris Bank, The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and more. He also does freelance work for various companies and produces films and shorts in his free time. Bravura will be celebrating six years in the wrestling business in April and has been a loyal subscriber to Wrestling Observer Newsletter since 1998.

----I first met Bravura during my last stint in wrestling. I watched his stuff and thought he had all the raw talent in the word, but needed a bit polishing. I sit down with him one night to talk about his match, but I think we ended up talking about movies and the newsletters. Bravura is a very smart guy and would be an asset to any promotion in the world – if not as a worker, but as a writer. I am working on an interview with him for next year, which he will tell how he was hired to work as a writer for the WWE, but actually turned the offer down.

"A View From Afar" by Mark Bravura

"Sometimes you have to step back from a situation to really get perspective."

It's been really interesting observing the happenings in Memphis from nine hundred miles away for the past year. Reading things online. Emailing back and forth. Dropping in every month or so. Calling the guys who's cell phones weren't repossesed.

Some things that have happened have made me laugh. Others have made me shake my head, but the latest big dustup between Dustin Starr and Seth Knight just makes
me say...


Sometimes I just don't get it. Really I don't. Nobody in the wrestling business at our level is making a living at it. None of us are getting rich. Some of us do it because we hope that one day we will make our living with it. Others try to make a little money off it. Others used to make a living at it and want to again. Others don't give a shit if they make a dime, but we all have one thing in common... WE ALL LOVE THE BUSINESS. If we didn't we wouldn't beat the shit out of ourselves every weekend and go limping into work all sore every monday. Doing something you love is supposed to be fun so what the fuck is the point of taking it so fucking seriously that you kill the fun of it. If they ask you to job fucking job. Who gives a shit? You don't like how a guy works. So what? Who gives a shit. If a guy annoys you. Deal with it. Who gives a shit? I'm not saying don't take the business seriously. Everyone who knows me knows that I do. When you are in front of that crowd to respect the business. When you're at the show you respect the other workers. You respect the business above all else. You work your ass off out there every time you perform or you don't deserve to be out there, but when it comes to the little stuff... Grow up.

I've never had a problem with Dustin or Seth. Dustin can come off like an arrogant prick, but in my experience if you stand up to him in the right way and respect the business he'll be cool with you and be respectful back. When I first went up to D-burg and was floundering at the bottom with nothing to do, he gave me a shot and suggested something for me to DK for no reason other than he's a stand up guy. He's a good guy and nobody can say he doesn't respect the
business and didn't work his ass off to get where he is.

Seth talks a lot, but so do a lot of guys. He and I tagged for over a year. We disagreed about shit all the time, but that's what made the team work. There was a contrast. We'd argue about finishes and psychology all the time. I'd call him an idiot. He'd call me a dumbass, but I'd team up with him again in a second cause he's a good guy and a good worker. He works hard and he respects the business. Does he think a lot of himself? Yeah, but so what? If you don't think you're good then what the fuck are you doing in the business? Just cause you think you're good doesn't mean you think you know everything or that you have nothing to learn.

I'm sure Dustin thinks he's good and he is. He wouldn't be doing squashes on SD if he wasn't, but I'm sure he knows there's stuff he can improve on. Does he have an ego? Hell yeah, but you have to have an ego to even be in the business. You have to have an ego to want to go out in front of however many people in your underwear and have them stare at you. It's essential. If you don't have confidence in yourself YOU WILL NEVER BE ANY GOOD. Look at CM Punk when he started on ECW. At first he was nervous and unsure and he didn't look that good, but the crowd started getting into him, people starting complimenting him and now he looks great.

Dustin said in his commentary that Seth can't work. I'm sure Seth would say the same thing about Dustin. Well guess what? They are both wrong. Both of them can work. They just work differently. And there's nothing fucking wrong with that. Flair doesn't work like Austin who doesn't work like Mysterio who doesn't work like Misawa who doesn't work like Foley who doesn't work like Perro Jr who doesn't work like Joe who doesn't work like Hart who doesn't work like Savage, but all of them can work. If everyone worked the same THE SHOWS WOULD BE FUCKING BORING. Dustin works a heavyweight style that gets over. It works for him and he has good matches. Seth works a more x-division high spot style. It works for him and he has good matches. Both are good workers in entirely different ways. That's one of the things that's great about the business. If you don't like the style of match A maybe you'll like the style of match B or C. Instead of shit talking each other see what you can take from each other to appeal to the fans who like that other style of work. Disagree. Argue about it. At worst you'll learn something.

Why the fuck would you refuse to job on an indie show? OK, so you disagree for whatever reason. Talk it over with the booker privately, but don't be a dick and say "I'm not jobbing cause I'm a big star" in front of the locker room. That's just fucking ridiculous. You're just asking to make enemies. What the fuck do you think every other guy on that show who's putting someone over thinks of you right then. Sure we'd all like to win every fucking time, but fuck its a work. That's the beauty of it. You can get over even if you lose. What happens when a mid-major college basketball team nobody thinks of loses a close game to Duke or UNC or Arizona? People think more of them even though they lost. You can get over when you lose so get over yourself and do the fucking job.

All this crap with shooting water on people in the back is fucking stupid. It goes on all the time, but its still fucking stupid. That being said should Seth have spit on Dustin? No. To me it's one of the most disrespectful things you can do. I've fought people for spitting on me before, but if he doesn't have a water gun what should he do? Piss on him? Try to fight him? Like Dustin said he's 225 and Seth is maybe 170. That's a losing proposition, but the guys already blasted you now he's fucking with you in front of everyone so what do you do?Ignore it and don't put it over.Yeah, that's probably best, but things have already escalated so its a no win situation. Frankly both guys were in the wrong.

One last thing about ribbing, how does the fact that it goes on in the WWE locker room make it cool. Guys in the WWE are making their living of the business. None of us are. Those guys are with each other more than they are with their families. We're not. We work the show and go home. There's little traveling together. The only time we hang out, in general, is at the shows. That's a HUGE difference. There's ribbing in NFL, NBA, NHL, MLS, and whatever other pro-locker rooms cause they are together all the time, but I've never gotten ribbed on any adult league football, basketball or soccer team I've played on. When you're around people all the time you can rib them and its all in good fun. I prank my best friends all the time. They might be pissed off for a minute, but they know I did it because we're friends and they'll just get me back.

You want to fuck around with your boys... Cool. You want to play a harmless prank on someone... Cool. I've done it. We've all done it, but when you're doing it to start something with someone. When you're not doingit out of fun then you're just being a bully picking
on someone.