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Posted in: The PEN15 Mightier
The PEN15 Mightier [Jan 6] Blog: Announcers Part 2 + Live Raw Blog TONIGHT!
By PEN15
Jan 6, 2014 - 12:13:57 PM

Jan 6b – Live Raw Blog

Jan 6a – Announcers Part 2

Jan 6b - Live Raw Blog

We’ll See

On a weekly basis, I try to take part in the Live discussion on LOPforums, and I really enjoy the experience of everyone sharing their input together. I want to try to take this to the next level on the main page here. I am guessing what I’m suggesting is probably similar to how Twitter works, but I honestly lack the interest in learning that medium. I’ll advertise columns and blogs once in a while, but in general I have no idea how Twitter works, and wouldn’t know where to start. Plus, the character restrictions would limit me quite a bit.

So, I’m hoping to start a new trend on a weekly basis during Raw where I will post my thoughts live in a blog, but also incorporate comments from everyone. Use the Intense Debate setup below, email me, or I might copy and paste a few highlights from the forums. I don’t know if this will work, but it’s worth a shot.

This will be for Raw only. I tend to not want to be online while watching a PPV, as I would rather just concentrate on the show. This experiment might fail completely, but I have a feeling I can find a way to pull this off. I hope you enjoy it.

Jan 6a - Announcers Part 2

Educating the Audience

I was quite impressed with many of the responses I received to my blog concerning WWE announcing. I had a friend text me only a day or so after I posted, with a link to JR’s Blog where he basically repeated what I had to say. It was nice to see that my feelings were shared by a true wrestling authority, and somehow I was able to publish them first. I don’t write for acceptance in any way, but it’s nice to feel backed up in a fashion by someone who is on the inside of the sports entertainment business.

I’ll admit that JR is part of a far gone era of wrestling, so I don’t believe he has his fingers on the pulse like he once did. But the characteristics missing in today’s WWE aren’t aspects that have been dropped altogether. The problem is that they reserve the best commentary for only the top matches. I highly doubt there would be “selfies” being taken during a John Cena match up. Lawler cuts down on his sophomoric humor when it’s the main event, and JBL worries less about appealing to his twitter followers as well. The WWE announce team is pretty damn good when covering main event matches.

But once it gets to the midcard, they drop the ball. How often have they messed up Dolph Ziggler’s finisher? Cole has corrected this recently, but whenever Dolph performed the Billy Gunn “Fame-asser” it would be incorrectly called the ZigZag. Even worse is when a main event talent like CM Punk would have any submission called the Anaconda Vice. I love when he uses moves like the Koji Clutch, but it’s hard to stay into the match when I hear someone at the booth call it the Anaconda Vice.

Part of an announcer’s job is to explain what’s going on, and educate the audience. Calling maneuvers by their proper names is only the tip of the iceberg, but if they can’t get that right, how can I expect them to explain the psychology involved? Has anyone ever commented on how often CM Punk attacks the head, and how that builds to his GTS? It seems like an obvious and simple comment to make, but without these touches, WWE is slowly building an audience that is only in for the quick and cheap thrills.

I’m not the biggest advocate for the Flair vs Steamboat series in 1989. They are great, but not the best of all time. But that’s not my point. Consider how fans today are only witness to high spots, and ask them to watch Wrestle War 89. I bet they are asleep in 10 minutes.

I was born in 1981, I started watching wrestling in 1986ish, but I don’t think I really enjoyed the psychology of a wrestling match until maybe 1996. I think 15 years old is a decent age to start catching on to the details of wrestling psychology. So I understand that WWE needs to market to those under 15, and that the announcers needs to cater to that segment of the audience The problem I have is that it’s obvious that so much of what Cole does is for those not in that younger demographic, yet he still misses the boat on teaching and educating. Well, he’ll tell you weekly how to download the WWE App…

Hey, if anyone in WWE is reading this, here’s a little message for you: If someone has a phone and knows how to download any app, they’ll figure out how to download the WWE app just fine. We don’t need a tutorial every Raw.
Signed, everyone in the WWE Universe with an internet connection.

Concentrate on the F’n Match!

There’s no doubt a reason that often announcers tend to slip into what may seem like a more important subject concerning talent higher on the card while we are in the middle of a midcard match. There’s bound to be a fan who’ll tune in during a Kofi Kingston vs Brodus Clay match, see that it’s no one special (in that viewer’s opinion) and click back to somethine else. To help avoid that, Cole and his associates have been trained to mention the top names on a regular basis, and cover their storylines during these less important segments. I get that. It’s a necessary evil, and to expect it to end altogether is useless. However, there needs to be a balance. There’s no better way to make Kofi vs Brodus more important than by having the commentators explain and present why it is. Saying these are 2 of the brightest stars in WWE isn’t saying much, because in the case of Kingston, it’s been said for almost a decade now. Instead of explaining why Cena and Orton are taking on each other at the Rumble, explain in greater and deeper detail why Brodus seems to have had a recent change of heart, or how Kofi seems to be struggling to make the impact he made a few years back. With Kofi, bring up his amazing Royal Rumble spots, with a highlight or two.

And on that note, Peace out

Feel free to email me a comment (Email PEN15). One of the best parts of writing is the discussions that come out of it. My hope is that your response could be used in a column to publicly discuss your comments.
Follow me on Twitter if you wish, though I don't really do much with it.

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