I watched last week’s episode of South Park and found it very entertaining. For those of you that didn’t see it, they did a spoof on wrestling. I think it was kind of a shot at WWE to tell you the truth. They kept calling themselves wrestlers and they ran wrestling shows, but about 99.999% of the show was them just talking and 0.001% of the show was someone getting hit with a chair. Does that sound familiar? I think the guys at South Park were trying to send a message that fans have been trying to send for a while. When did the interview take over wrestling? I remember watching wrestling back when I was a kid and interviews were usually only about 3 or 4 minutes long and just seg-ways between matches. Sometimes they would play the interview on a small split screen during the match.
What the hell happened?
Now, when Raw comes on we are treated to a 30 minute interview to start off the show, a 3 minute match and another interview. It’s like they have switched places. I have found myself watching less wrestling in the past couple of years for this very reason. I think the mid 90’s are what changed everything. WCW was giving an hour of Nitro to the n.W.o and people watched it…..for a while. Austin, DX, and the Rock were also doing interviews in WWE at the time too. I guess that’s when I first noticed that interview had taken over wrestling.
Think back to the 80’s, very few guys would even get close to a mic. When they did it was short and to the point. They did the talking and told their stories in the ring. In fact there were a lot of guys that were great wrestlers, but horrible interviews. The Iron Sheik was mean and menacing, but listen to his interviews….not too good. Ever hear a Bob Backlund interview that you thought was cool? NO! And don’t say you have either. Wrestlers that could talk were few and far between back then, but it was ok because they could wrestle. Even the guys that could talk (Hogan and Flair for example) didn’t talk for 30 minutes every week.
Switch to the 90’s again and look at the interviews. The guys could talk and wrestle. It made sense for them to do an interview and entertain people in different ways, after a while it got a bit redundant, but all in all people were watching in large numbers. Now, look at today. The guys that get the push are the ones
that can talk….kinda. In a perfect world (or the WWE dream world) wrestlers would all be at least 6’5”, 250 lbs of muscle, run a 40 in 3.99, and be able to captivate an audience by picking up a microphone. Those guys are few and far between these days. It’s like someone told them pick 2 of the things on that list. Don’t believe me? Here is proof: The Miz can talk, he can wrestle ok, but he’s not that big . Shelton Benjamin can wrestle, has a great build, but can’t do an interview. Batista looks like he has been sculpted out of stone, he’s a decent talker, but (in my opinion) can’t wrestle for shit. I’m sure I could go on with this forever but let me make my point before Dustin Starr stops reading lol.
I think its time we went back to longer matches and shorter interviews. WWE has the ability to draw people on their matches alone without the help of 30 minute interviews. I mean I love Randy Orton as a heel, but I would much rather see he wrestle than hear him talk. Think about how many people get lost in the shuffle now days because they can’t talk and the ones that should because they can’t wrestle. Now is the time to make the switch. I realize me saying that hurts my chances for ever doing anything in wrestling as my mic work is far superior than my wrestling. I don’t care though; I can always try out for announcing. I want to be entertained by ring work again. I’m sure I can’t be the only one.
----Born Richard Mullikin, Maxx Corbin is a 7 year pro in wrestling and provides RRO with a monthly column. While growing up in Bemis,TN as a kid, he had no cable and lived week to week on the wrestling tapes he got from family and friends. He likes to think he has a great since of humor and makes light of tense situations. This is why he no longer works at the local hospital. He enjoys playing video games, stand up comedy, and music that very few have a taste for. He won an award in his middle school technology class for building a small bridge out of hobby wood. The bridge held 55lbs. He graduated from his high school with a 3.4 gpa. He was super bad ass at WCW vs NWO World Tour on N64(usually taking out opponents during Jerry Springer commercial breaks).