Welcome back to the Locker Room CSS.This time sees the fifth and final installment of my fundamentals of a wrestling promotion series, which I used as a starting point for my Locker Room column. It has taken a while to get to the final part of this series due to my schedule but here we are. I have had a very enjoyable time authoring each of these fundamentals and I hope CSS has enjoyed reading them, even if some may not have agreed with my analysis.
Everyone has visions. We have them all the time. Some involve picturing a perfect life, others are ones that strike us at certain moments and we say, " A Ha! Thats it!". Some of us like to keep our visions to ourselves(like Stevie Nicks) and others just can't help but share their visions with the rest of the world. Believing that if they could just make people SEE what they are envisioning, things would be different. In the world of professional wrestling no one person has had a greater vision, or tried to make others see that vision, than Vince McMahon. He envisioned professional wrestling on a nationwide scale, with wrestling becoming a staple in the American sports arena. A world where wrestling would no longer be a guilty pleasure for some men and women, but a national phenomenon for all to enjoy. Like any vision one receives, it's a matter of acting upon that vision that creates history. Mr. McMahon acted on his visions and(with the help of many others) made his vision a reality. Creating the most successful wrestling promotion in the history of the sport, and arguably the most beloved. I won't expound on Vince and the WWF/E's accomplishments as they have been well documented. My purpose for this final installment is to talk about the two actual terms I used for my title: Vision and Identity.
Vince certainly had a vision of what he wanted, but he also had a brand identity. That is to say, "what do I want this company to do that sets it apart?". The brand identity of the WWF was: We're different. We have the Rock 'N' Wrestling connection, we have top quality talent at every level, we have a hollywood esque showmanship. It was completely different than any other wrestling offered at the time. Other wrestling promotions/promoters had their own vision of what wrestling should look like, what the identity of wrestling was. Each promotion proclaimed their version of wrestling to be the best. To be the proper way of wrestling, to be the most exciting, or to be the most relevant. Really the beauty of professional wrestling was that there were so many different territories. No territory was exactly the same. They didn't wrestle the same in Texas as they did in New York. That meant fans got to choose what type of wrestling vision and identity entertained them more. Sure it would depend on where your location was and sometimes you had to stick with what was shown in your local area, but most of the time fans got to see different visions of wrestling on at least a bi-monthly basis when territory champions would visit another territory. That was a HUGE DEAL. The reaction to those visits by fans will never be rivaled as the most pure and honest reactions in the history of the sport in my opinion. A main reason why they were reacting so passionately was because they were seeing something new that they had not seen before. They were seeing another promotions vision other than the one they had been used to. To me this a oft overlooked example of how truly creative wrestling really is. Someone had a vision, they made it a reality, and people reacted to it passionately. That's the reason promoters and performers are in this business. I also believe that Vince's main vision was to create a promotion that combined all of the wrestling styles in every territory and give everyone what they wanted on a nationwide scale. We could argue all day whether that ACTUALLY happened, but we can't argue that his vision and identity of the WWE didn't deliver. It did, and it did BIG TIME. Whether you call it sports entertainment or just plain old wrestling,The WWE has Given us some of the most memorable and important moments in wrestling history. Other promotions have done the same with their own vision/identity, I cannot stress that enough. Other promotions other than the WWE have ALSO blessed fans with memorable feuds, moments, champions, and overall entertainment. Please check some out if you call yourself a wrestling fan.
My parting questions cagesiders are these: What is your favorite style of wrestling? Who's/what vision of wrestling do you enjoy the most? What is your vision of wrestling?
Once again I hope everyone has enjoyed this series and I thank everyone who has supported me. I'm looking forward to continuously bringing CSS a thought provoking column that offers all members the chance to participate in great discussions.
See you next time in...The Locker Room