Monday, 27 October 2014

And Don't Underestimate the Importance of Body Language

Writing is not the be-all and end-all of story in wrestling.

Image © tuku via Pixabay.

Do I put a lot of emphasis on it? Well sure. I'm a writer myself. Writing is my focus.

But sometimes, it is possible to pay too much attention to what people are saying, and not enough to what they're doing.

And this is something that I think TNA sometimes forgets about.

I've been to several Revolution Pro Wrestling and Southside Wrestling events recently.

And unlike TNA, most of them don't have the luxury of a dozen talking segments to provide exposition.

So what do they do instead?

They rely on the wrestlers to tell the story.

Wrestlers are actors. They put on performances. And just like any good actor, they can use their appearance and actions to explain their personalities.

What do I mean? Well let's look at an example.

Take Party Marty Scurll. He doesn't have to say a single word to tell you who he is and what he's about.

Image © Stark Remarks.

He attacks his opponent with an umbrella before the match. He spits on people. He gets his mates to come down and help him win.

In short, he behaves like a tosser. And doing that screams "villain, villain, villain" without him needing to say anything.

It's personality and character expressed through body language and behaviour.

This kind of non-verbal communication is vital in professional wrestling.

When your performers can't talk well or don't have time, it's the only thing connecting them to the audience.

And that makes it just as important as anything a writer can come up with.

If you express personality through movement, you've got a relationship with the viewer.

And that's just another reason why character is so important.

If there isn't enough there, not even the best writing in the world will make the audience like you.

Look at some wrestlers who know what they're about.

People like Marty Scurll. Like Austin Aries. Like Eric Young.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

They know who they are. They know what they're doing. And they express that in the ring by the way they act.

And if they didn't, we wouldn't care as much.

Mind you, promos do still have their place.

They're a useful method for conveying plot. And they also help establish back story and personality.

But they're like bread in a sandwich, and non-verbal communication is the filling.

If you have a sandwich without bread, it tastes good but your hands get messy and it ends in chaos.

But if you have a sandwich with just bread, it's bland and tasteless.

It's the same with wrestling. Promos give structure and form; body language provides flavour and interest.

Writing is never a solo affair.

Even a novel needs editors, copy editors, proofreaders and many other professionals to make it happen.

And writing for wrestling is no different.

Image © niekverlaan via Pixabay.

You need your performers as much as you need to write well. You need your wrestlers.

And that's why writing is not the most important thing in wrestling.

Wrestlers are.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: I'm The Cult of Personality

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