TNA's Art of the "Butter-Up" Before the Kill

Discussion in 'The Wrestling Archives' started by D-Man, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. D-Man

    D-Man Gone but never forgotten.

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    You are my sworn enemy. You have wronged me in every way possible. You are the only thing that stands in my way of the pinnacle of this promotion... the world heavyweight championship. You've done countless amounts of professional, emotional, physical, and deliberate wrong to my colleagues, my friends, some of my family members, and me. I have an opportunity to speak to you, face-to-face, in front of a live audience, to get all of these things off my chest. But before I do....

    ...

    .....

    ......

    ........

    ..........I'm going to talk about how great you've been to the industry, how important you are to the business, and how much I don't like you; however, I must mention the fact that I can't help but "respect" you.

    Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?????? If you're answer is EVERYTHING, then welcome to the cookie-cutter art of the modern-day TNA promo.

    It happens week in and week out on Impact Wrestling, online promos, and during pay per views. And whenever it does, I find myself constantly rolling my eyes and saying to myself, "Give me a fucking break. Are you serious?!? I thought this guy messed with your family/friends/career?" If a person was truly angry about these things, how can they (in their right mind) take a minute to praise an opponent before verbally going for the kill, like any normal athletic competitor would??? Needless to say, it annoys me to no end.

    WHO CARES if the opponent is a legend in the business? WHO CARES about past relationships they've had in other promotions? WHO CARES about titles they've held, stables they've been a part of, or who they're associated with? If you're a professional athlete and their enemy, don't they stand in the way of you reaching your goals? Then why would someone waste their time in buttering them up before they verbally or physically go for the kill? Maybe they should spend less time on sucking each other off and more time on DEFEATING them.

    To me, none of this make any sense. If any of you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear your thoughts on TNA's use of this method during promos.
     
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  2. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    It's because TNA's main event is a nostalgia circuit for the good old boys and about how they're trying to make things like they were before. Think about it:

    Sting's motivation in all of the past year and a half has been to keep Dixie Carter in power because that's how things used to be in the good old days. He wants Hogan to be the good guy again, like things used to be in the good old days. He wants Bischoff and evil Hulk out, like things used to be in the good old days.

    Kurt was feuding with Jeff because Jeff messed up the way things used to be in the good old days. Kurt is now mad at Dixie because of how she lied and brought in all these new guys who want to keep things from being how they used to be in the good old days. Angle wants to beat Roode at BFG because Angle wants to be on top like he used to be in the good old days.

    I could go on and on but in short, it comes down to old vs. new as every story written by Bischoff has been for going on 17 years. As for the promos it's the same thing. We have to talk about how things used to be in the good old days because we don't have anything new to talk about now. Everything in TNA is about how we can try to recapture the glory days of the past because we have the same people and the same bosses and we used to have a bunch of success with them, back in the good old days.

    TNA uses the old guys and has them talk about themselves and their pasts all the time because that used to work and maybe they can squeeze a few more dollars out of people that are fed up with WWE and the Five Moves of Doom of SuperCena and the bodybuilder look and the cookie cutter style of FCW guys or whatever the latest IWC complaint is. TNA is trying to be not-WWE by having the same guys and the same stories that got them over in 96-97 in hopes that they can recapture lightning in a bottle like they did back then, not realizing that you have to have a good product in order to do that and not just old guys talking about how things used to be in the good old days.

    In short, everything is about the past and trying to get as close to it as they can instead of looking forward with the new guys and the new possibilities. Once Sting gets rid of Hogan and Bischoff and gets Carter in charge again, where do they go? There's no answer to that, because it's never going to happen. Sting can try to get the past back all he wants but he'll spend the rest of his career trying to get there in vain while less and less people remember what he's talking about at all. He's spent a year and a half trying to get back to that and I have no idea what he even wants anymore. I don't think TNA does either.
     
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  3. Zeedeevel

    Zeedeevel WWE Historian

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    Honestly this is one of the reasons I just read about TNA instead of watching it. It never seems to make sense to me. I know that you are supposed to make your opponent look good so you look good when you beat him, but that doesnt mean praising the guy that just attacked your family.
     
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  4. Foshinzo

    Foshinzo Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy

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    I just wanted to give you props on the awesome analysis. Seriously, that's great stuff.

    I think that's a big reason I don't watch TNA. No matter who they bring in, it still feels like 1998 WCW, except even more played out because it's 13 years later. I didn't care for WCW in that time period. I thought Hogan had already played out the nWo story, I thought Sting had already played out the, "Crow," gimmick, and it was just depressing to watch Flair either get pushed around or try and perform; basically, nothing has changed in 13 years.

    If TNA were smart, they would have just used these guys in a PR capacity or as managers, if you have to put them on TV. It's really pitiful to see Hogan carry on the, "Hollywood," gimmick, it's sad to know Sting has lost it in the ring and that his gimmick is so beaten down, and it's depressing to just look at Flair. There are plenty of other guys in the company, though, and I understand that. Kurt, I suppose at least for me, still has a little nostalgic value and genuine name value. He can still compete with young guys because he's such an athlete, but his personal life is becoming tragic.

    I'm just going to summarize by again agreeing with KB: TNA needs to move forward. By this point, AJ and Joe should have already been their top guys. They should have made Nigel McGuinness a champion before he got Hep C. Their young tag division shouldn't have withered. Now, instead of getting more top, young talent (though, to be fair, they did pick up Austin Aries and that's pretty good,) over, they're just getting around to pushing Bobby Roode, who I question whether or not can carry a show, but at least I'm excited to see if he can. Also, they have Gunner (why?) and Crimson in the quarterfinals of the BFG series, who I feel that neither have any star power, and let's not forget that they've pushed Bully Ray, another guy from the late 90s that, though he's done a good job reinventing himself, lacks single's star quality. There's a lot more going on in TNA, I understand that, but at the top, we have the focus of the show around these old guys, still trying to show us that the WCW days could have been done right. They couldn't have, because a lot of these men left their glory days years behind them, and it just feels like they're trying to prove something that's unprovable, and it's sad to see them still clinging to that.
     
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  5. sweetcosmicpope

    sweetcosmicpope Occasional Pre-Show

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    I've always thought this weakened the promos.

    One of the main reasons I don't like Bobby Roode is for this very reason. To me, he comes off as the main culprit, here.

    Honestly, guys like Austin Aries and Kid Kash, are coming as a nice breath of fresh air. I like intensity, not respect, and "I grew up worshipping you." I want people to just come out there and say "you fucked me, and now I'm going to kick your ass."
     
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  6. Rip

    Rip Pre-Show Stalwart

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    This issue came up several months back. It was when Steiner and Morgan were feuding. Steiner ran Morgan down on the mic, then Morgan basically said "I disagree. We both come from athletic backgrounds, so from one athlete to another, I respect you. May the better man win."

    Then a few weeks later, Hogan (and someone else, can't remember who) in an interview with some other website said something like:

    "We have tremendous talent in TNA, but we need to teach these younger guys mic skills. Recently, Steiner basically said Morgan was useless turd who doesn't even deserve to carry Steiner's bag, then Morgan responds with 'I respect you'??"

    It was a very good point, and I haven't seen any improvement since then.
     
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  7. Vintage

    Vintage Goin' to da pay windah!!

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    You are adding adding a layer to the Sting story that isn't there. He wants to help Dixie Carter get her company back from the people who stole it from her. Him wanting to turn Hogan back into a face is the only way he can do anything about Bishoff since he's the puppet master pulling Hogans strings. The only entity with more power than them is the Network but they couldn't fire them or Foley would have done it before he got canned. All that stuff about the good old days doesn't exist here.

    Same thing with Kurt Angle. This is about Dixie lying when he asked her if Jeff was boning Karen. She said no, we know that wasn't true. To get back at her he's making sure Hogan stays in power. He couldn't give a rats ass about anything else and especially about the good old days. She didn't hire any younger talent to push him out or any nonsense like that either. He did however say he'd hurt her young guys, but that's only because it's just another way to kick her while she's down.
     
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  8. waylon p

    waylon p Pre-Show Stalwart

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    It is simple. You have to build your opponent up before you tear him down. If you act like your opponent is nobody, then who did you beat/beat you? Nobody. If you beat a nobody, what does that mean for you? Nothing. Even less so if he beats you.

    For people who supposedly know so much about wrestling, you guys sure sound like you have no idea how it works.
     
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  9. sweetcosmicpope

    sweetcosmicpope Occasional Pre-Show

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    I disagree, Waylon. Person A is supposed to build themselves up. They come off as a total badass, who can whip up on their Person B. Person B gets his, then comes back as the underdog (or perhaps person who was done wrong) and then whoops up on Person A. In between there is supposed to be a whole lot of "I'm better than you," "I'll kick your ass," etc, talk.

    When you start talking about respect, it slows down any kind of excitement or momentum, and just isn't entertaining.

    A good example that I've seen not too long ago, and, which IMO made James Storm look like a star, to me: When Beer Money was fueding with Mexican America, Mexican America was doing their whole schtick, when Beer Money comes out, and James Storm says something to the effect of "Don't you have something better to do, like mowing my lawn?" Then proceeds to talk about kicking some ass.

    How would that have looked if Storm would have said "you are strong, talented guys. I used to respect you. Why can't you be the Hernandez I used to know?" or something like that? No build-up, and it makes Storm look like a wuss, no?
     
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  10. Sub-Xero

    Sub-Xero Rationality Trumps Cynicism

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    The "Butter up" used to be a cool thing that the mid-card faces would do before challenging someone above their spot for a title. Much like everything else Bischoff puts on TV, it used to be a cool device used to get people over. Now it's a hackneyed, overused, played out gimmick that does nothing but stroke the egos of the geriatrics who continue to be pushed, despite their inability to string together a half decent match. Unfortunately, I'm addicted to this shit, so what's the use in complaining, right?
     
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  11. Rayne

    Rayne Sally Section

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    Waylon P is pretty on the mark here, but I don't think he catches it entirely.

    Ric Flair was a master of the butter-up. He could make a guy look like a god while at the same time talking about how he was going to take his wife out and show her what the Nature Boy, so on and so forth. Ric Flair understood that you have to beat somebody. No one cares what happens when you beat nobodies. (Like EV2, which is the only time in Ric Flair's career I've ever seen him run someone down for the sake of running them down.)

    The problem with TNA/IW is that their performers aren't Ric Flair. Ric Flair was a fucking legend before most people on this board were born. When Ric Flair says you're a great wrestler, it might as well be Moses saying it. The schtick only works when it's the best who's saying it. I think the only other performer who carried the "I hate but respect you" bit as well as Flair would be Bret Hart.

    I see the reasons why you'd build up your opponent; the real issue here is that it's not being executed as smoothly as people are familiar with.
     
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  12. D-Man

    D-Man Gone but never forgotten.

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    I have never watched a sport on television where a grown athlete needed to verbally suck off his opponent for five minutes before explaining how badly he wanted to beat said person. The obvious way of thinking is that these guys are trying to build each other up but they all wind up looking like total *****es. Want a better way to build each other up? How's winning matches?
     
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  13. sweetcosmicpope

    sweetcosmicpope Occasional Pre-Show

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    I can actually jive with this. I do enjoy the way Ric Flair will always say "you're a damn good wrestler, but I'm God. Now, I'm gonna kick your ass and go fuck your sister backstage."

    That's a whole lot different than what we're seeing with these younger guys who just lick somebody's asshole and say they wish they were a good guy, and leave it at that.

    Now, I like how the whole thing between Matt Morgan and Joe went down before No Surrender. He said something (not to Joe, but on commentary) about how "it's one thing to be injured in good sport" but that it was unsportsman and unrespectable of Joe to beat people out of jealousy. This culminated in Morgan saying "not this time," and stopping Joe from intervening in the match and then brawling outside of the ring leading to the pay per view. Not quite talking about respect, but still acknowledging that he is disappointed in Joe's actions while not making himself look like a wuss.
     
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