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Cutting A Fucking Promo 101 Revisited


Thomas Bugg
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I'm going to dust off my old acting degree and talk about Eddie Kingston's bad habits because I can't help but notice them every time Eddie cuts a back-and-forth promo with somebody else in the ring. The problems aren't really there when Eddie is talking (which is why I don't notice as much when he monologues), it's when he's listening and responding to the other person speaking. He was smart to stick his face into Moxley's, when they were maintaining eye contact and talking over each other, they were creating real responses. Once Eddie turns his back, though, he crosses the border hard into Ham Land. Once he lost eye contact, King started to do a lot of indicating, which is to say he was actively trying to show the audience he was feeling an emotion instead of just, y'know, actually feeling it. Eddie has a bad habit of acting with his forehead/eyebrows/mouth in these situations instead of his eyes- a great method to register pain after you've taken a big bump or strike, not a great way to register somebody else's dialogue.

When Eddie is doing the talking, he can work himself up and feel those real emotions - you can actually see Eddie talking to himself to "get himself back into the scene" when it was Moxley's turn with the mic. But the director that I worked with the most used to always say "Theater Isn't Therapy". and Eddie's constant use of his real issues (particularly when he hints at his suicidal depression) is not the most noble kind of method acting. At worst it's dangerous and at best it's hard to sustain, but in any case it tells actor that their actual negative feelings are valuable and special. It doesn't always work in a cathartic way, a lot of the time it just reinforces the idea that "feeling bad is good". For someone who has had very well-documented metal health challenges like Kingston, this kind of method acting strikes me as worrisome.

I blab and blab about this knowing that, despite what a Stanislavsky geek theater professor might tell him, Eddie Kingston's promo work is still miles and miles above average, and that most of his subtle shortcomings don't matter in the historically hammy context of pro-wrestling.  But here's why I care - Eddie Kingston absolutely has a second career as an actor waiting for him once he hangs up his boots. Even if it caps out at playing secondary villains in straight-to-streaming crime movies, all the guy needs is an agent and a little time with an acting coach and he's right there making good money for as long as he wants. And that would be a really cool thing to see.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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On 11/16/2020 at 6:59 PM, Infinit said:

Probably my favorite Flair promo. 

Every bit the equal of Terry Funk's "I had a dream" promo. Higher praise than that I just don't have.

One of the things that always made Flair's promos great, (and it is something that many modern wrestlers should learn), he never failed to put the other guy over.

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29 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Every bit the equal of Terry Funk's "I had a dream" promo. Higher praise than that I just don't have.

One of the things that always made Flair's promos great, (and it is something that many modern wrestlers should learn), he never failed to put the other guy over.

To that point, I had never seen Flair as a vulnerable, underdog babyface. It really humanized him to me. 

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2 hours ago, Hustler of Culture said:

Gary Hart with a short promo, intense as a motherfucker.

 

 

 

 

HoC

Gary Hart just exuded menace. You were almost certain that if his guy got the babyface on the ropes Gary would slice him open with a straight razor. Funnily enough, I learned years later that Hart always carried a straight razor in his pocket in case the marks decided to get cute.

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22 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Gary Hart just exuded menace. You were almost certain that if his guy got the babyface on the ropes Gary would slice him open with a straight razor. Funnily enough, I learned years later that Hart always carried a straight razor in his pocket in case the marks decided to get cute.

I am a huge Gary Hart mark.  He had a different persona from other managers in that he wasn't a pussy, but a coward nonetheless.  Menace is a good word for him as I never got that Albano was a pussy either, but he certainly didn't have the pure evil running thru his veins like Gary did.  Fuji wasn't a pussy either, but he was more of a caricature.  Hart reminded me more of a villain that Vic Mackey would face.  You knew Mackey would get a way out of it in the end, but you didn't know how or at what cost.  That's what it was like watching Gary vs. the Von Erich's as a kid.  But for me it got to the point where even at a young age I couldn't stand Fritz and badly wanted to see him get his comeuppance so I became a fan of Gary's.

 

HoC

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2 hours ago, Hustler of Culture said:

Ace in the hole.

 

 

 

HoC

This is one of my favorite post-match promos ever, partially because they are so happy. It's very positive and enervating. The match is one of the best ever, and I bought the VHS tape by mail - $60, I think and worth every penny - which is such a great tape: one match, but all the set-up, match highlights and promos leading up to it, hosted by thee great Lance Russel.

- RAF

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13 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

This is one of my favorite post-match promos ever, partially because they are so happy. It's very positive and enervating. The match is one of the best ever, and I bought the VHS tape by mail - $60, I think and worth every penny - which is such a great tape: one match, but all the set-up, match highlights and promos leading up to it, hosted by thee great Lance Russel.

- RAF

 

This entire feud has always left me conflicted about Memphis wrestling . So much hokey stuff and wrestling that I don't care for.  Even this had some wrestling I didn't care for like when Lawler handcuffs Idol to the rope in an earlier match.  But overall this was just so smartly booked and brilliantly executed.

 

 

 

HoC

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"The Snuggery in Chicago" - oh boy, I got stories and facts. Too many for typing, lazy highlights: owned by a school pal of Ric Flair and the post-card hangout of of the Horsemen, most WCW folks and many other workers. The ultimate jock/frat/yuppie entertainment boozery on a street of gimmick bars, one time young(er)RAF went in to viddy the Horsemen in action. None of my weirdo pals would come with me (damn Chicago was like a Balkan state with the cliques fighting in the streets, dirty punks don't go there) but I was treated like royalty by the staff because I worked at the biggest club in town at the time and always comped them. Flair & co. were a sight to see, the '80s were a time to be alive, for sure. Moral of the story: give away your boss' stuff to everyone and it might pay off someday and big roided bouncers will usher you around and bikini-clad part-time actresses will give you vodka'n'cranberries and people will think you are Ian Astbury slumming it and you can't even count how many times Tully goes into the bathroom.

- RAF

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