PAUL BEARER AND WWE MOVIE TIME…

I liked the RAW tribute show for Paul Bearer.

I also believe PB himself was looking down smiling with approval of the video tributes as well as Punk interrupting and stealing the Urn at the end of the show.  Percy was a showman and consummate professional.  Paul Bearer/Percy Pringle III/Bill Moody had a passion for the wrestling/Sports Entertainment business.  It was a fitting tribute to one of the real good guys.  Having Punk as a pure antagonistic A-hole was a perfect touch.  Those who thought it was distasteful will never understand. It reminds me of a quote years ago when anyone asked if pro wrestling was fake:

For those who believe, no explanation is needed.

For those who don’t, no explanation will do.

Percy was five years older than me but we grew up on the same style of wild, Southern wrestling and a lot of the same wrestlers.  While he lived in Mobile, Alabama, I grew up in Houston, Texas.  The “Southern ‘Rasslin” and “New York” style was a slight contrast.  Someone explained it as “The New York style was punching and kicking; in the South, they do more ‘wild and crazy’ angles with ‘rasslin.”

Right…

No doubt there’s some major differences between the North and South. I lived in Stamford for eight years and loved every minute of it. Traffic can be challenging at times and there is definitely a faster paced, “get outta my face” attitude in the Big Apple, but there is a lot to take in and appreciate. I got to experience the change in seasons and see some famous landmarks. I saw The Blue Man Group off Broadway and walked around Times Square.  There is no place like Madison Square Garden.  Some say “it’s just a big, old building and nothing special.”  I disagree.  There is an aura about that big old building and nothing can duplicate the mood of a Garden crowd.

WrestleMania will be at the Met Life Stadium in the Northeast this year.  There is no northern or southern style in WWE. It’s WWE or Sports Entertainment ‘style.’  I watched RAW and really enjoyed the tribute and video packages for Paul Bearer,  but I thought there was a little over saturation of movie plugs on the show.   I realize WWE wants to be seen as a legit ‘entertainment’ company.  I’ve always thought good wrestling with compelling stories was entertaining.

Now it seems like some guys are getting more movie parts than wrestling.  I don’t necessarily feel that’s a bad thing.  One of my all time hero’s and favorite wrestlers is Terry Funk.  I knew when Terry was on the card it would be an unpredictable night.  He just had a knack for creating excitement and unpredictability.  He also had parts in movies and TV shows when it wasn’t so common place.  Terry’s style was defintely wild and crazy.  He was hard core before the term became popular. And he was that guy who played his part (no matter what it was) to a tee.  He lived the part. He was a perfect Frankie the Thumper in Sylvester Stallone’s movie Paradise Alley.

The Sheik (Ed Farhat) was an original crazy wrestler who scared the hell out of people just by looking at them.  Pre 1980’s guys like The Sheik, Abdullah The Butcher, Maniac Mark Lewin, The Brute, Moondog Mayne and others were known by their wild antics inside and sometimes outside the ring.  The Sheik  had a movie made about his Detroit territory called “I Like To Hurt People.”  It was more of a documentary style film but showed a side of  wrestlers the public didn’t see a lot of back then.

Verne Gagne and his crew in the AWA starred in “The Wrestler” in  1974 before Micky Rourke did his rendition in 2008.  That movie has cameos with Eddie Graham, Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, Don Muraco, Larry Hennig, Ray Stevens, Vince McMahon Sr. and a young Ric Flair.  Those guys relied on wrestling to make their name and don’t think they were looking at doing movies beyond that one shot.  I could be wrong…

I’m happy for anybody who gets a movie part.  But I also feel the best characters are extensions of the real person; In the ring or on the big screen.  Roddy Piper rang true in ‘They Live.’ Stone Cold Steve Austin has played to his strengths so far and I don’t think there’s a better modern day action hero than The Rock.

So do wrestling fans get an added thrill or excitement in seeing a real life movie star/wrestler in person or at the matches?  I think so.  I think it adds to the star power and aura.  It doesn’t matter that Stone Cold is from Texas and Rock went to college in Miami.  A bad ass is a bad ass.

Wade Barrett in Dead Man Down.  The Miz in The Marine III.  David Otunga in The Call.  The Rock in just about every other movie being shot today.  It’s great to have WWE Superstars doing other entertainment projects. Hopefully soon, there will be another Rock or Austin hit big in WWE and the movies.

Is it distracting at times when the announcers plug a movie and social media continuously?  I thought it was little much this week but I know I’m going to have to get used to it.  The plugs aren’t going away.  I can only hope that the hyping of movies and spots are heavy with quality, not quantity.

There are a lot of untapped talent just waiting for an opportunity to show what they got.  I hope those talents don’t wait for the opportunity to find them!  They need to go out and grab it by the throat and use everything in their power to make their own break.  If this was easy, everybody would be doing it.  But there are some talented young men and women in the developmental system as well as on the main roster who can produce on a consistent basis.  Sometimes taking a chance pays off.

Wrestling, movies, social media all play a part in the Sports Entertainment business today.  World Wrestling Entertainment will continue to evolve.  Talent is their most important resource.  And make no mistake about it, people are looking for break out stars.  They liken themselves to such great movie characters  as the wise, all knowing  Obi Wan Kenobi from Star Wars.  I think they might serve everyone (including themselves) much better by coming back to earth and look at what’s really in front of them instead of pounding their chest and showing how much power they have by squashing every idea they are presented with!

With great power comes great responsibility.  I hope those in power realize it before it’s too late.

Thanks for reading.

 

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