One Voice

Corbin Macklin


Because I am a mark for Roman Reigns, every time WWE posts a clip of him on YouTube I watch it. I've noticed something I hate: Shane McMahon, Drew McIntyre and Roman all keep saying some variation of "I/he will kick your ass and take your name". This bothers me because, first, no one in the history of ass kicking would ever say that in real life. I'd tell someone I'd beat their ass and take their girl or their mom, but never "their name" and I get the reference to "whipping ass and taking names"... still corny. The thing that occurs to me is that you have multiple people saying the same line because the same person or persons are writing this dialogue.

The biggest problem with having scripted dialogue in pro wrestling is that pro wrestlers aren't actors. They usually stop wrestling to start acting. Most wrestlers are not good actors. A lot of wrestlers know how to do a bunch of moves, but they do not know how to make all those moves look like they're in a real fight. They don't know how to use degrees of facial expressions to get over different emotions and the pain they're in. They DEFINITELY don't know how to deliver memorized lines word for word and not make it sound like they are reading lines. Wrestlers ARE artists. They can tell a story with a mere look, how they sell and register and the sequence of their moves. Which do you consider the truest expression of art, paint by numbers or an oil painting?

Boxing and mixed martial arts are selling pay per views by selling us the notion that the competitors have a personal issue they will settle in the ring or cage. HOW they sell this to us, is we see the competitors fighting at the press conference. We hear them talking trash to and about each other. Nothing appears or sounds inauthentic. Now... Imagine every single time Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier talk to or about each other they keep saying they're going to beat on each other and take their name. Now you can't suspend your disbelief and you know it's fake. In real life, Jon Jones would talk about how everytime they fight he wins. Which is true. Cormier would talk about Jon Jones having drug problems which he obviously does have. You have a grudge match built on them saying things you know to be true which means IT'S PERSONAL.

If you'll excuse me not being family friendly for a second: Shane McMahon, Drew McIntyre and The Revival could run a train on Roman Reigns' wife and somehow I know WWE would make it so fake and stupid that I wouldn't see it as true motivation for Roman's character. I'm not implying they need to go that dark. I'm saying STOP SCRIPTING PROMOS. Let the wrestlers talk in their own voice and talk extemperaneously. The fans would react more because they would know immediately the difference between the scripted promos and someone shooting from the hip. Full stop.

I hate "shoot promos" for many reasons. First being that it's not really a shoot promo if it doesn't bring to people's attention that wrestling is fake. All shoot promos use insider terminology, talk about backstage politics and things fans only learn from dirt sheets. Oftentimes they LITERALLY say the word fake. When most people discredit your industry for BEING fake, you know what the last thing you need to do is? Yeah. Tell people it is fake. People don't spend billions of dollars going to see Avengers movies because they think the Marvel universe is real. You also don't have the actors doing interviews about how fake everything is. The concept of kayfabe is 1000% about respect. Respecting the audience's intelligence.

Another important reason I hate shoot promos is the implication that "right now I'm telling you the truth but I'm lying all the other times" because I think it's important that you're building a trust with the audience that everything you say and do, you meant that shit. Because at that point when you have a personal issue with someone else, awwwwww man... the marks have to see what you're going to do. Because they know it's going to be good.

AEW interlude: I hope that they bring back real wrestling for real wrestling fans. They won't have 3 million viewers from the first episode but if word gets out that they've been doing good work for a year or two, the audience will come. And I bring this up, because I think that's what it's going to take for Vince to shake out of this complacent malaise he has been in for far too long.

Back to WWE, I don't think it's going to end well if Shane wins the championship to transition it to Roman because WWE fans have proven they blame Roman for the bad creative. It will be Roman's fault WWE didn't let Kofi be champion for 2 years straight, nevermind the fact that his reign coincided with the lowest Raw after Mania ratings ever and the lowest ratings they've ever had in the aftermath. Shane McMahon's reign of terror will be his fault. It will be his fault no heels or faces TRULY get over. Not that Vince writes terrible dialogue and no compelling personal issues.

Imagine if the one voice wrestlers spoke with... Was theirs.