Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Golden Circle "Creating a Vocabulary" by Greg Anthony

Among the many tasks of running a wrestling company, between finding great talent and producing a worthwhile product there is something that few even think about and that's creating a vocabulary. Creating a vocabulary for your show, especially in television, is essential to making a wrestling promotion successful. WWE are masters at creating a phrase or reinventing a word that assures every time you hear it you think of a specific person or the product as a whole. Announcers play a huge role is this process, it’s not that they say it once, they say it every week. To a different degree or variation but they build a wrestling vocabulary.

It helps that WWE has the greatest announcer of all time in Jim Ross. I hope if Jim Ross ever retires that he is still kept on salary to call in once a week and coach young announcers on this irreplaceable gift. Phrases like "educated feet", "broken in half" and "tougher than a $2 steak" are just scratching the surface of good ol' JR's contributions to the wrestling dictionary. If you notice the word wrestler is never used on WWE TV, but is instead replaced by WWE Superstar or sports entertainer. Those are an intentional choice of words. Sometimes creating a wrestling vocabulary isn't about what you do say but rather what you don't say.

Certain words have been used to further describe a superstar's persona. Calling Steve Austin "Stone Cold" was a perfect complement to his character but adding "The Texas Rattlesnake" provoked a deliberate visual that furthered Austin's image when we didn't think that was possible. Triple H has been working on top in WWE for some time now ,and if being called "The Game" wasn't enough to convey his ability in this business, but the term "Cerebal Assasian" was a perfect fit. Telling the story that some may be bigger or faster but none will be smarter in between those ropes. When "The Nature Boy" Ric Flair was live in living color in front of television camera and said that he was "The Dirtiest Player in the Game" and talked about "Space Mountain" and the limousines, jets and kissing all the girls he was creating a vocabulary. He was probably telling the truth as well but creating terms and phrases that are used in the business to this day.

Even on our level, trying to catch a big break, some of the most successful are those who create a vocab about themselves. I wanted the TLCW championship to be considered the top title in this area, so when I said I was in the best company, with the best talent and that made me "The Best of the Best" it became a piece of wrestling vocabulary in this area. When you hear "I'm Derrick, by God, Greater then Great, King...1...2...3... DAMMIT" he created another aspect to his character. Or when Dustin Starr decided to add a number in the middle of his name. Guys really need to sit down and try to brainstorm to come up with things that can enhance their character.

It would be impossible to list all of the contributions that people have made relating to this aspect of the business. It would be impossible for me in a bi-weekly article. But even as I finish up phrases like "One legged man in an ass kicking contest" and "Genetic Jackhammer" are dancing through my head. I guess what I'm trying to point out is its not just about watching the product but also listening to the product. So eyes and EARS open and you will learn more than bargain for, I promise and when "The Golden Boy" Greg Anthony makes a promise it’s as good as gold.

----Greg Anthony is a regular on the local area circuit. He won RRO Booker of the Year 2008 and is listed in the top 5 of the RRO Top 10 2008. Greg is currently working as booker of NEW and can be seen tagging with legend Bobby Eaton and Brian Thompson as “Midnight Gold”.