Friday, April 1, 2016

What is a pro-wrestling legend?

What makes a pro-wrestler a legend? Many fans use the term "legends" all too often to describe their favorite pro-wrestlers but there's not many who meet beyond the standards of a wrestling legend. Modern pro-wrestlers like Roman Reigns unfortunately don't equate to the legends of the past.

Pro-wrestling legends are unlike any another pro-wrestler in the known world of pro-wrestling. They are absolutely amazing. Pro-wrestling legends have these must-have traits:

* Passion and character - Pro-wrestling legends have unbelievable passion for the pro-wrestling business and it shows. They have highly built athletic bodies, wrestling styles, charisma, drive, the list goes on. Most of all, they have believable characters. Creating an unforgettable character begins by unleashing the deepest sides of yourself in the ring. Legends also make the promotion they work for their home. They give their best in everything that they do both in the ring and locker room.

* Solid promos - Outstanding promos consist of a beginning (a strong hook), a middle (build up to an event), and end (concluding remarks). Highly successful pro-wrestlers cut memorable promos. They don't just scream "i'm gonna win!" They all have their own emotional appeal, gimmicks, characters, catch phrases, and so forth. Take Raven for example, he almost always shares a deep philosophical insight on life during his promos. He starts by stating an interesting thought then sometimes goes into comparing his opponent to himself before listing the qualities that make him superior. Promos are delivered effectively with intensity and assertiveness. They're never rushed, but perfectly put together.

* Creative in-ring performance - Just because pro-wrestling is scripted, doesn't mean there's no creativity or athleticism involved. Pro-wrestling legends blend the two together, creating unforgettable matches. Kurt Angle is very athletic in the ring executing intense signature amateur wrestling moves at a fast pace. Why do you think pro-wrestlers like Sting and the Undertaker are entertaining? Because they have various types of moves: Power moves, high flying moves, submission holds, etc. However they don't just wrestle, but entertain the audience by doing something unique to their character and building anticipation in the crowd. For instance, John Cena likes to do his "you can't see me!" hand gesture before executing a finisher. Most of all, pro-wrestling legends sell (make pro-wrestling look realistic) like no tomorrow. One example is when the Undertaker limped on one leg after Kurt Angle put it in an ankle lock.

* Storytelling - You can have outstanding signature moves, but you will bore people if you do not tell stories. Storytelling is when a pro-wrestler builds drama during a match. How do you tell a story? Using your body. The Undertaker, arguably one of the greatest storytellers in pro-wrestling, is the finest example of how story-telling is done. He sometimes begins by having a staredown with someone he's been feuding with like his brother Kane. He then begins by fiercely attacking a pro-wrestler he's been feuding with more than the average opponent. When he gets locked into a chokehold, he sells and leaves you asking "how is he going to get out of that hold?" He also builds anticipation and plot twists by sitting up after a devastating finisher. Great stories happen when there is something at stake such as the Undertaker's streak at Wrestlemania. Just watch the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. What made the match so great? Storytelling. It was the way Shawn Michaels put everything in his being to defeat the Undertaker and how the Undertaker gave everything to defend his streak.

* Strong fanbases - Stone Cold, Jeff Hardy, Hulk Hogan, and Sting are all examples of pro-wrestlers who built a strong interaction with their fans. Building a strong relationship with fans starts by creating slogans, hand gestures, catch phrases, or naming fans. For example, Jeff Hardy often refers to his fans as "creatures" and vouches for them in the face of adversity. Gimmicks can also inspire people to dress up as their favorite pro-wrestler, giving him or her further exposure. Legends (heel or face) almost always make their fans apart of the action.

* Revolutionary accomplishments - Every pro-wrestler has contributed in some way or form to the success of a particular set of moves or company. Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold, the Undertaker, and others have popularized the WWF/WWE with their entertainment reaching beyond the ring. They've dominated the entire promotion and that's what led them to revolutionize pro-wrestling. Only legends can leave long lasting impact on the pro-wrestling business.

If pro-wrestlers today would be inspired by all-time wrestling legends and learn what made them so successful, pro-wrestling talents would be more than athletes. Pro-wrestling legends go far beyond the norm and that's why they'll forever be engraved in the hall of fame.

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