IT'S ALL ABOUT MAKING A GOOD FIRST
First off, I'd like to point out just how hard it is to come up with new ideas. Something catches your eye and you think "Hey, I've got a fresh viewpoint on that!". While you're surfing about the various sites, you come to realize that everyone and their mother has already beaten that topic to death. The HLA, Lawler being a pathetic horndog, the Billy and Chuck "marriage", Jeff Hardy needs some time off ..... yawn yawn yawn. And since I'm not the kind of writer who seemingly exists to slag my peers, or provide lots of links in replacement for content (Hey, wait a minute... - CRZ), it sometimes takes a while for me to come up with something. I have to be inspired, either in a good or bad way. Sometimes the muses (I call mine Craig and Manny) are generous, sometimes not. I could punch out a column the same day of the week but I know I'd start writing filler and that's not my style. In case you were wondering why I seem to pop up at odd intervals, that's the story.
I've been getting some of my female friends to watch wrestling. Admittedly, I did promise them hot men but you do what you have to do. [smirk]. My friend Jess, a big Cena mark (yes, Virginia, there IS a Cena mark), made a comment that inspired me. As we watched Smackdown, she said "How come some people get fireworks and cool music when they come out, and some get lame stuff?" I started thinking about intros. Good ones and bad ones. Intros that give you an idea of the character versus generic guitar riffs. The wrestlers of the early days didn't have music, video montages or pyro. They just walked out and wrestled. As the business grew, and society changed, the promos first added music. The crowds grew bigger and shows started taking filling bigger halls, leading to the video screens so the people in the cheap seats could follow the action. The screens led to the video montages, the pyro to draw even more eyes to the ring.
A good intro catches the eye and ear. It sums up by music, video and if need be, fireworks, who is coming out to the ring. It should explain the character or gimmick, possibly the face/heel status. Over the years within all three major federations, there have been some classic ones.
Sandman - ECW walked out to Metallica's "Enter Sandman" carrying a beer and smoking a cigarette. Painted the picture of a brawler, the kind of man who got into bar fights and always won.
Shawn Michaels - WWE While I hate the song, it does sum up HBK. A pretty boy wrestler with a tendency to showboat. The video montage shows him in full Heartbreak Kid mode - dancing around, shaking his hips and showing the ladies his hairy chest.
Undertaker Version 1.0 - WWE The ominous organ chords. The dimming of the lights. You knew to expect something dark. Someone evil.
Kane - WWE A combination of organ chords - illustrating his ties to the Undertaker - with a screaming guitar lick - asserting his separate image. Images of fire on the video screen. Sometimes he'd set the ringposts ablaze as well with a dramatic drop of the arms. Side note 1 - if the ringpost pyro goes off pre match, Kane usually loses. They can only fire them one time. If he wins or loses by DQ but beats down the opponent post-bell, the pyro goes off afterwards. Side note 2 - I've always thought the music would make a great entrance for a bride, but I'm the Punk Rock Girly Girl or a nutcase, depending on who you ask.
Triple H - WWE The music has been tweaked over the years, but the core intro is the same. Hop onto ring, look from side to side, throw arms and head back, spout water, flex and growl. Shows intensity, anger and lets him flaunt the body. I've always wondered what the creative meeting for that was like.
"Paul, we've got all sorts of stuff here. Any color pyro, you could swing in on a zipline, have a valet..."
"That's ok. I've got water" [walks away]
Rey Mysterio - WWE The music is generic but the entrance rocks. What better way to introduce a highflyer than to have him pop literally out of the stage, going airborne, seemingly boosted by pyro?
Goldberg - WCW Disliked him in the ring, but loved the entrance. He stood on the middle of the pyro, not flinching as the sparks burned him, then walking out exhaling smoke. The implication was he could absorb punishment and spit it out.
Golddust - WWE The movie-like credits, the dramatic music, the (sometimes) falling glitter. You know to expect someone grandiose and over the top.
Lately it seems like the creative forces in the WWE have been slacking a little. When a wrestler elevates and the intros are updated, there seems to be no thought beyond "well, this will look cool on tv." Spike Dudley's cartoons, Kurt Angle's "point at the roof for fireworks"....ergh. I noticed they've even borrowed music from the Kids In The Hall show. Seriously. Booker T's intro music is the same music used in the skit with Francesca Fiore's perfume commercial. New promos seem to be all flash and little substance. No character build, but lots of pretty colors.
Like Heenan said once, "You don't have to yell at me, I'm not blind." See you around