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The W - Pro Wrestling - psychology
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MarchOfThePigs
Salami








Since: 10.2.02
From: Sudbury, Ontario

Since last post: 4477 days
Last activity: 4408 days
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#1 Posted on
I swiped this from the WM flashback show thread.


    Originally posted by EastCoastAvenger
    "I didn't much care for it, but I suppose of awesome psychology and old school wrestling is your cup of tea, then maybe it will do something for you"

    Come on! Psychology MAKES the match. Lack of ring psychology is the reason the WWF product is inferior today. Yeah, spotfests are nice once in a while, but when basic logic is sacrificed to that particular altar, the product suffers. So, Stone Cold's been wearing those knee braces for years, yet only one or two guys has thought to attack the legs. Of course it would be nice if he sold a leg injury once in a while (That natural limp from the shitty knees doesn't COUNT!!). I'd bring up the Rock, but that angry bastard (God bless him!) Eric S. has that angle taken care of! So, Triple H is trapped in a car and dropped 40 feet, but is back a few days later with no ill-effects. How about any Hardy Boy match where damage seems to be measured like a video game "life meter" instead of selling injuries (like the back after a missed Swanton Bomb). The Undertaker seems to be the only one not engaging in these incidents of bad psychology. You know... because he's an undead biker who feels no pain and can regenerate tissue at inhuman rates! :-)




A few concerns I have here. I really doubt that Jeff Hardy selling his back after missing a swanton bomb or people attacking visible injuries such as Austin's knees is the reason the WWF product is "suffering". Whether it's suffering or not is a whole other can of worms, but I find it really hard to believe that the casual fan sits around saying things like "damn if he would just sell that back injury the WWF would be so much better". No one really notices these things, and if they do, they don't care enough to never watch the show again. Psychology is great, but it's not going to save the WWF. The first part of that quote is in regards to the Bret/Shawn iron man match. That match is psychology driven and it's boring as hell. Rest hold after rest hold after rest hold. Some people love that, and that's fine, but if WWF matches today followed the pattern of that match, the fans would disapear in droves. Today's fan wants to see Jeff Hardy miss a Swanton and get right up and do it off a 20 foot ladder through a table. They don't want to watch two people trade arm bars for twenty minutes. Obviously psychology has to be there to some degree, after Triple H's fall in the car, it's tough to believe he can come right back, but on the other hand, this is wrestling, it's a tv show, it's not real life, so sometimes you just gotta go with it.



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Tragic1
Chourico








Since: 2.1.02
From: Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Since last post: 4371 days
Last activity: 4362 days
#2 Posted on
You seem to be confusing 'psychology' with 'rest holds'.

A match can still have psychology without being a snooze fest. Just look at last year's Kane/Kurt Angle match.
Normally, Kane is an indestructible monster. Angle had never beaten Kane cleanly up until that point, he either cheated or got dq'ed. So what's a fan supposed to think when they hear Kane is facing Kurt Angle? Kane will destroy Angle. That is until the psychology of the match kicked in.

The psychology was simple: Kane had an injured ankle due to a chair attack from Austin, and Angle was exploiting it. Every move Angle did was to weaken Kane's ankle solely for the purpose of getting the Big Red Machine to tap out.
Kane sold the ankle for the entire match to the point that his own signature moves suffered (Kurt escpaed the Tombstone twice IIRC and Kane hurt himself doing the top rope clothesline).

It was probably the only time the Kane character was in a position that the fans actually thought that a monster like Kane would tap out. And the crowd was into the entire match. Every time Angle clamped on the anklelock people were screaming for Kane to find a way out of it. This was no longer a throw away squash for Kane, people has no idea whether Kane would tap out, or fight his way back to victory. And even though Kane tapped out in the end, you still had the idea that had Angle not focused on that one body part, Kane could have still beaten him.

That is waht the WWF is missing from it's matches. That suspense of not knowing how a match is going to end. Will wreslter X dominate wrestler Y? Or does Y have that 'secret weapon' whether a special move, knowledge of an opponent's weakness, or just a game plan to counteract X's style? That's what psychology is all about. The ability to grab onto you and hang on from the start of the bell to the final slap of the referee's hand on the mat.

Just my two cents.



One of these days I'll come up with a sig that does not suck.
Punkinhed
Salami








Since: 23.1.02

Since last post: 4249 days
Last activity: 4225 days
#3 Posted on



I fully agree, psycology can and does add a little extra something to a match if done right. The casual fan notices it and responds to it, not in the "he should be selling that more" way but more in the "will he tap out" way Tragic is talking about. However, ECA has a point too, in that little psycology seems to be happening in the WWF today, and more would really help.


Incidentally, when exactly was that Kane/Kurt match? You've made me want to go read the recap again :)



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Tragic1
Chourico








Since: 2.1.02
From: Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Since last post: 4371 days
Last activity: 4362 days
#4 Posted on
It's the November 1, 2001 Smackdown just after Kurt jumped from the WWF to the Alliance.

Click Here



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Qubber
Boerewors








Since: 7.1.02
From: Sheffield, UK

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
Well said, Tragic1. Good psychology in a match is what pulls you in and makes wrestling great, it is the factor which can make a match a classic, and hook you into a character (or even the product) and make you come back for more.

LLakor's newest column and Llakor's last but one column address the psychology issue, and are blinding reads if you have the time. Check them out and compare the wrestling scene he eloquently describes with the one we have now. We're not totally devoid of psychology by a long shot, but there's certainly room for more of it in today's landscape. The problem is though, how do you work intricate psychology into a two minute match? The playing field isn't level in that respect, as todays wrestler's don't really get the oppotunity to hook in the fans until PPV when they have more time to work with. Maybe longer matches (combined with better storylines) would bring some viewers back, I wonder whether trying to hook fans with the "sports" part of the equation might work.

That Angle/Kane match is one of my recent favourites precisely because of the way the story was told in the ring, in the way that it was. I would love to see more of that kind of thing, but I don't think today's TV format would allow it. Here's hoping that the split will allow for a new variety of WWF on TV.





"Nobody enjoys a good time more than I do, but this business of yours is as legitimate as a three-legged donkey...which of course is illegitimate because as we all know donkeys have four legs."

Lance Storm, 21st January 2002.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#6 Posted on
"psychology" is a dumb term if you ask me. Just insert the word "drama" instead and all these discussions make much more sense.

There are a million different ways to add drama to a match depending on the characters, angles, time allocated for a match, etc. It's not just the "let's work on the leg for a while" thing. And drama is the reason why anyone watches any television show. It's the purpose of entertainment. So I think the whole "only smarks appreciate psychology" is garbage.

My last point is that I want a return of the Bret Hart "playing possum" spot. That was always one of my favorite "psychology" spots, even if it never worked.

Moe



Expressing myself EVERY day!
EastCoastAvenger
Bockwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: Clearwater, FL

Since last post: 1993 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#7 Posted on
Rest holds are part of ring psychology, or drama if you prefer. Wearing down a single body part, actually trying to make your offense look somewhat "real". That's what takes a match from good to great. I'm not saying have every match be a 20-45 minute snooze-fest with slobs doing rest holds because they're tired. But when used correctly, some ring psychology is a beautiful thing. Keep in mingd though, that my taste in what makes a good match may be completely different than everyone here. I like technical exhibitions, I LOVED the UWFi, and Rick Steamboat is probably my overall favorite wrestler ever (occasionally switching places with Nikita Koloff-his offense was SICK looking!)

http://slashwrestling.com/guests/stinko6.html

There's a pretty cool article about the importance of ring psychology. Stinko Malenko: Bringing the believable offence LOVE!

(edited by EastCoastAvenger on 14.3.02 0941)
"As the riders loped on by him, he heard one call his name. 'If you want to save your soul from Hell, a-riding on our range, Then, cowboy, change your ways today, or with us you will ride, Trying to catch the Devil's herd, across these endless skies.'" (Ghost) Riders in the Sky by Stan Jones
Parts Unknown
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Darkenwood

Since last post: 52 days
Last activity: 1 day
#8 Posted on
I think a big problem with pyschology in today's product is the announcers don't put it over anymore.
Back in the old school, announcers like Gorilla Monsoon were there to make believers out of us. Monsoon would say things like, "He's got that patented bear-hug locked in tight on that lower lumbar region! You gotta wonder, Brain, how much more can Martel endure here?"
Nowadays, our suck-ass announcers are too busy talking about other angles to put the talent over. I think if Ross and Lawler would shut up about Lucy for five minutes during mid-card matches and talk only about the MATCH THAT'S GOING ON RIGHT NOW, the matches would seem much more dramatic.
This isn't a bash-the-announcers thread, I know. But to me, that's a really big component of psychology.



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EastCoastAvenger
Bockwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: Clearwater, FL

Since last post: 1993 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#9 Posted on
Good point, most announcers today do suck. Thanks for the ATTITUDE, Vince! We need a new Gordon Solie STAT!



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Translation: It was like drops of water boring into my skull.

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Qubber
Boerewors








Since: 7.1.02
From: Sheffield, UK

Since last post: 2751 days
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
I don't think "only smarks appreciate psychology" at all. In fact, I think quite the opposite as good psychology in a match is what draws you into the competitive/sports aspect of the match, thus playing on the target audience's (males, sorry female posters! ) natural predispositions. If we're going to go all technical psychology wise, then anyone, therefore, would be drawn in by that sort of thing, regardless of the arbitrary smark/mark tag.

PS ECA mentioned the UWFi! Whoo-hoo! RIP Gary Albright .





"Nobody enjoys a good time more than I do, but this business of yours is as legitimate as a three-legged donkey...which of course is illegitimate because as we all know donkeys have four legs."

Lance Storm, 21st January 2002.
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 127 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.01

“My last point is that I want a return of the Bret Hart "playing possum" spot. That was always one of my favorite "psychology" spots, even if it never worked.”

Ooooh. That is so not true, though. The one time I can remember it working was during a WWF Title match against champion Diesel.

Diesel had been pounding the living shit out of Bret for the last several minutes, and when he tried to get Bret in position for the Jackknife Powerbomb, Bret actually fell over. Nash just shrugged and picked him up to try and do it anyway...

...but it cost him! Bret suddenly rolled him up and got the surprise 1-2-3.

That is the only time I can remember it working, though. Actually, that's the only time I can remember Bret using that strategy, period, to be honest.

(edited by ekedolphin on 15.3.02 0410)


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DasJeepGuy
Weisswurst








Since: 10.2.02
From: Pittsburg, KS

Since last post: 4550 days
Last activity: 4549 days
#12 Posted on
I think a bigger reason there is less psychology in matches on the typical RAW then there was is the use of high spots only. They have a huge roster, matches only are rarely given more than 10 minutes, and they want to highlight moves that make the crowd go "ohhh". Now in theory you could have someone go out target a leg work on that leg for 6 minutes and then apply a finisher to the leg and make them tap out. OR you could have the two trade power moves, top rope moves, and jaw dropping moves for 6 minutes and then have somebody get the win. In that kind of format psychology really doesn't fit in. (Un)fortunately, that is usually the format they choose to put on TV. PPV matches usually get a little more time and thus usually involve more psychology.
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 1 day
#13 Posted on
That is the only time I can remember it working, though. Actually, that's the only time I can remember Bret using that strategy, period, to be honest.

I forgot about that match. It's not quite the spot I was thinking of, but it's more or less the same.

I was thinking of:

1. Bret does a move (usually a whip or toss) to the other guy that either leaves the other guy outside the ring and Bret inside or leaves them at opposite corners.

2. While doing the move Bret pretends to blow out his knee.

3. While lying on the mat clutching his knee one announcer says "it looks like Bret blew out his knee on that move there" while the other announcer says "I don't know, he could be playing possum."

4. The other wrestler, seeing Bret Hart in clutching his knee, saunters over to try and finish him off.

5. But low and behold! He let his guard down and Bret roles him up for a quick 2.

You don't remember this spot? I remember him using it, like, every match, even back in his Hart Foundation days.

Moe





Expressing myself EVERY day!
The Vile One
Chourico








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4446 days
Last activity: 4323 days
#14 Posted on
ekedolphin, I remember at least one more time Bret used this. At Wrestlemania 8 in 1992 in his IC title match with Roddy Piper. He did the playing possum trick, but it didn't win the match.




"It is a strange fate that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing."
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Weevil
Polska kielbasa








Since: 19.3.02
From: Ireland

Since last post: 3216 days
Last activity: 3216 days
#15 Posted on
Hi I,m new


    Originally posted by DasJeepGuy
    I think a bigger reason there is less psychology in matches on the typical RAW then there was is the use of high spots only. They have a huge roster, matches only are rarely given more than 10 minutes, and they want to highlight moves that make the crowd go "ohhh". Now in theory you could have someone go out target a leg work on that leg for 6 minutes and then apply a finisher to the leg and make them tap out. OR you could have the two trade power moves, top rope moves, and jaw dropping moves for 6 minutes and then have somebody get the win. In that kind of format psychology really doesn't fit in. (Un)fortunately, that is usually the format they choose to put on TV. PPV matches usually get a little more time and thus usually involve more psychology.


You're still missing the point. Psychology is not just matwork or attacking a body part, It's anything that tells a story.
For instance, a while ago there was a tag match Taker/Kane against Test/Booker. You might remember it as the one where Taker almost fell over the top rope while trying to powerbomb Test. At one point Taker hits a vertical suplex on Test, a rare move for him and somewhat of a feat of strength.Test then hit back with a delayed suplex,even rarer and more impressive. They continued the story of one-upmanship throughout the match culminating in Taker attempting the Last Ride against a guy who he had trouble lifting. All power moves, probably not a long match, but great psychology nonetheless.
Swordsman Yen
Frankfurter








Since: 16.2.02
From: Shaolin

Since last post: 3938 days
Last activity: 3921 days
#16 Posted on
I do remember one time where Bret's fake knee injury trick got him the win. It was against Paul Roma (insert Nelson laugh here).



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