I’ve made my decision to move the Professional 3 OFFICIALLY onto HardwayHQ.com. Although Tumblr has been awesome for trying to make a push to the next level, there is no other pride that I have than finally bringing in house my pride and joy. This blog has consistently helped improve my passion for writing and my writing has helped showcase my passions to the world. This has been a joy to do.
What also is a joy is the fact that I have been consuming myself with old school wrestling as of late. In particular, I’ve really enjoyed the Rock-N-Wrestling Era of the World Wrestling Federation. Whether it has been through the WWE Network, Dailymotion, and YouTube, there is nothing like how the WWF built up stories and characters through their syndication packages.
For starters, the emphasis on stories through their “Updates” and “Special Reports” are nothing short of fantastic. Combine that with the emphasis of the abilities of the performers utilizing interviews and short matches to really enhance what a character could do in the ring, it was a haven for wrestling fans. If there was a way to enhance the art of the story, the WWF had it down pat in the late 1980s-early 1990s.
The beauty of this time period also treated staff members as authentic parts of the show. Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “the Brain” Heenan literally patrolled Prime Time Wrestling and made it entertaining television. Mean Gene Okerlund’s creativity and charisma enhanced every aspect of the show. Jesse “the Body” Ventura was revered as the inventor of the “heel” commentator. Even Sean Mooney and Craig DeGeorge were treated with respect as they handled the Event Center duties throughout syndication.
Yet, my favorite was always Vince McMahon.
Yes, that Vince McMahon.
The man that ran the whole World Wrestling Federation was my favorite. As a kid, I genuinely believed that WWF President (and #HardwayHQ Hall of Famer) Jack Tunney ran everything. It wasn’t until 1997, when the Montreal Screwjob happened, that I realized Mr. McMahon was the owner of the company. Having that glass shatter on me, it was always in utter awe that now 20 years later; Vince McMahon is better known as an evil promoter than the epitome of commentary in WWF.
McMahon’s style of commentary can still be heard today, as his influence is heard on the voices of Michael Cole, Tom Phillips, Josh Matthews, Jonathan Coachman, and countless others that have walked through the door of WWE as a commentator. I know that some might see that as a negative, but there are several positives to that fact.
What made Vince McMahon a great commentator? Well, in the Professional 3, I will indeed show you those facts. Without further hesitation…
PASSION: If you’ve ever heard Mr. McMahon commentate a match, you could always tell one thing: how passionate he was to call the action. It did not matter if it was Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior or Max Moon, Vince always showcased the importance of every performer that stepped foot in the ring. Granted, as the promoter of the whole thing, passion should come through your pores, but you knew that every WWF match was special whenever Vince McMahon called it. The greatest line that always fired me up about a Vince McMahon called match was “Un-be-livable!” Once you heard that, you knew that not only he was impressed, but you really were in the midst of watching something special. Not many commentators maintain that particular trait. McMahon always did.
STORYTELLING: Vince McMahon was not known as a commentator that knew the names of every hold. His “What a maneuver!” calls were always among a staple of his commentary whenever a performer unleashed a fantastic hold he did not know the name of. To make up for that trait, Vince always enhanced the storytelling aspect of a match to the extreme. Being the man that runs things, Mr. McMahon utilized that to his advantage, expertly explaining the motivations of each performer. Also wanting each match to have a specific format, McMahon would know what body part hurt, and, with constant repetition, magnify that to the home audience, who would, in turn, gain sympathy for the good guy in peril. Was it a bit too overproduced? Perhaps it was. But it is all in the name of business, branding, and marketing, even from a commentating perspective. McMahon never gets enough credit for that as not only a commentator, but a businessman as well.
ELIMINATING PRONOUNS: On a leaked document from a fan on Reddit a few years ago, a major no-no in the WWE was the usage of pronouns. No he or she are to be used when describing a performer during a match; instead, use a nickname or the performer’s name at ANY COST. Believe it or not, in spite of what many people believe, it is a great decision. It further enhances a match and is repetition to allow a fan to subliminally remember performers within the concept of the match. Go back and listen to Vince McMahon called matches from the 1990s. It is ingenious and, most of all, another form of branding. Since this feature is also used for sports broadcasting, it is fantastic that McMahon was able to bring another form of intellect to broadcasting by eliminating the act of pronouns.
Many people will disagree with me, but I believe Vince McMahon was a very underrated and influential broadcaster that needed more recognition. I might be in the minority, but McMahon is untouchable in that regard. Although many of you people hate Michael Cole, Mr. McMahon did it way before anyone else. And in truth, we are better off for him.
Even if his over-producing of other commentators are a little much, Vince McMahon will always be “the Howard Cosell of wrestling”.