Undertaker: Today’s Talent Relies Too Heavily On ‘Comic Book Stuff’
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Ever since Will Osprey and Ricochet changed the game at 2016’s Best of the Super Juniors, a new style of wrestling has emerged. Warriors trade choreographed high impact moves and tons of finishers on their way to a show-stealing performance. It has its fans and its detractors, and WWE veterans like Randy Orton have recently come out on the latter side of the argument.
Thanks to a conversation he had on Corey Graves’ After The Bell podcast, you can count The Undertake on that side as well. He specifically called out younger talent for relying too much on physicality over ring psychology.
It’s like comic book stuff, superhero stuff. I think what happens though is that these guys rely too much on that aspect of their performance, and not enough on their character and their willingness to sell and to make things mean something.
You have to work smart to make this thing last…You can work hard, and you should work hard every night. But you have to work smart. And I think the guys right now are relying too much on athleticism, and not enough on storytelling.
Taker also admits that WWE wrestlers today are overexposed when compared to when he was first working shows in WWE. Even so, there are tricks a wrestler can use in order to stay relevant and keep the audience engaged.
We didn’t have as much exposure then. But I had to figure out, week after week after week, they’re seeing the same thing. As cool as it can be, it can become monotonous too. So I had to keep a gauge on where to tweak things and where to make little changes here and there to catch people off guard…I had to keep trying to evolve the character.
It’s a flavor of the week business, especially now because there is so much exposure. Even then, I was really cognizant of that. I want to keep this character fresh. If I started feeling stale, then in my head I would start thinking, okay my audience must be feeling this too.
The WWE Legend doesn’t call anyone out specifically in his comments, but he does praise Edge and Orton’s recent main event clash at Backlash as an example of how to do things the right way in his eyes.
It restored so much faith in where I think the business should be and could be. But that tape right there, that needs to be studied by our main roster guys. That is what professional wrestling is supposed to be.
Thanks to our friends at Cageside Seats for the above podcast transcriptions!