Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coach's Corner "Psychology 102" by Brian Tramel

----So, in the summer of 2007 I adventured to Mississippi to sit through a marathon of matches.  When I got back, I was totally disgusted. It really happens every time I go to watch wrestling in Mississippi. I posted an article titled, “Psychology 101: The Simple Plane” [CLICK HERE] and it was well received by most on the site.  It was just a basic structure to
what a match is SUPPOSED to be. In the years that have followed, I have noticed that the basic structure of matches have improved in this area.  If this site has contributed anything to this area, it is the constant preaching of improving the quality by not only me, but my whole staff.  There is something I have noticed though.  The workers do have the basics down, but after that there seems to be no creativity.  The art of going from basic psychology in a match to having great matches is a process that only the worker can improve.  So, I have some ways to improve your matches – listen to the crowd, watch matches, and ask questions.

----At “Summer Breakout” in Newbern, TN in June, the opening bout is the perfect example of listening to the crowd.  Blaine Devine worked Oz.  They had a real good opening bout.  The crowd was into the match with the fans really into Oz.  The guys did a typical match with basic psychology.  Their psychology was perfect.  You got to remember guys – you know the outcome of the match, but the crowd does not – so build for that.  In this situation, the crowd was sooo hot for Oz that I suggested they go longer with the babyface shine.  Let Oz get more and more.  Devine was going over in the end, so why not let Oz get as much as he wanted?  In the end, it makes Devine look even better, because he is going over Oz. [Oz got all those moves over on Devine, but Devine beat him anyway]  The crowd will tell you when it is time to move on.  It works in tag team matches also.  If the crowd is not there for the hot tag, then they will stay flat.  If you go out there and go too long or you give them too many false hot tags, then they wear out.  You have to know that when it is time to happen, it should be hot all around and the crowd should be up.  If you do not accomplish that, then the hot tag means nothing.

----The modern invention of has made it easy to learn from others.  Type names like Arn Anderson, Bret Hart, Ricky Steamboat, Armstrong [Scott/Brad] and Ricky Morton into the search engine.  These were normal size guys that knew how to sell and work.  Anderson was primarily a heel in his career, and he is an example of a smaller guy that can get over as a heel.  Tag teams like Midnight Express, Rock N Roll Express, The Nightmares, Demolition [big guys that could work] and Heavenly Bodies are great examples.  Study the way the guys come in and out of heat.  Study how they get the hot tag.  Study how they pace the bout.  Study the moves and holds.  Study..Study..Study!!  When you watch RAW or TNA, do the same thing – watch the basics and how many different ways they do things.  I am so sick of seeing people imitating Randy Orton’s arms wide open taunt.  Or how about coming out of heat without hitting an enzuigiri?? Can you do ONE match without a superkick??  You know a heel can be smarter than a babyface?? Babyface can just screw up a move for the heel to take over; right?  If you watch ROH stuff or any other promotion that might do these super out of the world moves, then steal one of them as your finisher.  You don’t want to just throw it in so it makes you look good.  It will look a lot better if you get a move from a promotion that is not watched by the majority of your fans, instead of stealing a signature move from a WWE guy.

----Many guys don’t like asking the old pros for advice, because at times guys will just say everything sucks.  I would be more than happy to give you a one on one critique of your match.  If Flash Flanagan, Derrick King, Greg Anthony, Pokerface, Rude, Alan Steele, Kevin White or someone that has experience and is recognized as a good worker is in your dressing room – ask them to watch your match. They will be fair and tell you what they would have done.  They can tell you what you are doing wrong.  And if they say you suck, then you pretty much suck. LOL!  When these guys take their time to watch your match and you want the input, listen and shut up.  I hate it when I am asked to watch a match, I tell them what they did wrong, and that person says, “Yeah..I know..”  If you KNOW, then why the hell do you keep doing it??  Another good way of asking questions is just to watch the matches from top to bottom on your show if you are able to do so.  This will give you the chance to see what others are doing, so you don’t do the same finish or come out of heat the same way.  And you may ask questions to the guys like “why did you do that?”  It also gives you the chance to pick up extra tips about working a match. 

----You can go from the basics of just doing Psychology 101 to being a better worker.  If you got the basics down and you understand the whys and the hows, then it is time to learn other ways of perfecting your craft.  Listening to the crowd, watching other matches and asking questions will help you go from the basics to the old pro. 

Coach's Corner is a weekly Wednesday feature at RRO by Brian Tramel. Tramel was wrestling manager Coach BT in a former life with Coach's Corner being published on the internet during those days. He has since added it to RRO as his signature column.

Edited by Misty!!  Thanks!!