Wrestling is huge business. The popularity of the sport and the spectacle surrounding it, has increased to stellar proportions over the last decade. The shows are huge, they make enormous amounts of money and the stars are celebrities. So what will happen in Wrestlemania 35 when it takes place in 2019? Well, judging by the past shows, there are certain expectations that will probably be fulfilled. They are well orchestrated and planned and much of the events are pre planned. The shows are made to be true spectacles and that means they need to look impressive. So much effort and stage management goes into them to ensure they appear to be the slick, glamorous events that the public expect. As the next Wrestlemania event is announced and anticipated, these are some of the secrets about WWE that are not evident from the shows that we will no doubt see in Wrestlemania 35.
10. They pump noises into the stadiums
Wrestling matches are noisy. The crowd appear to be pumped and hyped and the commentators and comperes appear to be encouraging this. Noise makes a good show, cheers and boos provide atmosphere. When watching some of these events, viewers can hear loud noises and cheers or boos as stars enter the arena, much like a boxing match. This is partly because WWE organisers pump extra noise into the stadium to increase the atmosphere. There are loud crowd noises added to the audio to increase the impression that the crowd are loving every moment and gripped by the entertainment.
However, if the crowd is scrutinised when the noise seems intense, it can be seen that they are not actually shouting or screaming but chatting amongst themselves or not even in their seats. This will not do for the organisers, who need to give the image of wrestling a noisier feel. WWE events are pre-recorded before being shown on tv, so the editors have time to add extra noise into the tapes. They need to hype up their superstars and make them look even more popular.
9. Camera work
Camera work is a huge part of the impression that WWE needs to create. There are many cameramen and women involved in each show and editors work tirelessly to give the best image of the stars and the audience. Editors make sure that the image that they want to portray is shown on screen. Wrestlers understand how important this is to the success of the show. They are encouraged to ‘play’ with the cameramen and to look in the direction of cameras that will give the best and most dramatic shots of their facial expressions or demeanor.
The camera operatives are also well trained to avoid focusing on the wrestlers when they are speaking to each other. If a camera catches this, a different shot will be chosen to avoid seeing the close conversation between the stars. If they happen to be filming live, this is vital to keep the integrity of the show intact. So many cameramen are involved in the filming that another shot can easily be chosen instead, and this is a vital part of the format of the show. The producers have a range of camera angles they can choose from to ensure they are portraying the image they want to create.
8. Referee involvement
The referees in WWE televised matches may not seem to have an awful lot to do but this is far from the truth. The cameras may not pan onto them when they are carrying out their work, but they are in fact concentrating on their work permanently. The referees are integral in working out the timings of the matches and the rounds. They warn the wrestlers when they are about to finish their round or to go to a commercial break. They also have the task of setting up the wrestling ring before the match and of scrutinizing the script of how the match will go and how it will finish.
The referees know when the match needs to end and will inform the wrestlers in advance of the time when they need to finish, so the referee actually has an integral part in the theatre of the wrestling match. The referees control how a match flows and can pass on any information from the backstage area to the fighters. They determine when a match starts and finishes and are highly skilled and trained individuals according to Whatculture.
7. Writing team
The writers are a huge part of the WWE machine. They will sit down and discuss the shows for weeks in advance in vast teams, scrutinizing every detail and eventuality. The character of each wrestler is a huge part of their persona and of their popularity with the viewers. Hence each wrestler has a team of writers dedicated to their story and the different facets of their personality and how it is displayed on each show.
Although writers remain backstage and receive little credit for their work, they are choreographing events on stage from behind the scenes. This creative writing team is professional in their own right. They are the best writers that WWE can attract, some have spent their lives in the wrestling business and others have written Hollywood scripts, according to Sportskeeda. The creative team has great control over what might happen in each match. They come up with the ideas and start the proceedings off. However, the ultimate control for what ends up on the screen is given to Vince McMahon, the overall boss of the show. Nothing passes onto the screen without Vince’s say so.
This is not a pleasant part of WWE. The term blading refers to the practice of wrestlers intentionally hurting themselves with blades which are often concealed in parts of their clothing and used during moves without the cameras picking it up. Referees have even been known to pass blades to the wrestlers during a match to facilitate fake injuries. Wrestlers generally cut themselves on the forehead where bleeding will be more profuse, and will often wait until the match is well underway so that the sweat they have produced will mix with the blood and make the bleeding look more realistic, according to Wikipedia.
Since the popularity of wrestling with the younger generation, blading has been banned so that the shows could gain a PG rating. If any blood is seen on screen it should have been caused unintentionally. The practice of blading has proven to be incredibly dangerous and it is wise that moves have been made to ban it. Some wrestlers have been seriously injured from trying to imitate injuries, including one wrestler unintentionally cutting into an artery. Other wrestlers have claimed they were attacked by combatants and received infections and have had to be financially compensated. Nowadays, injuries to participants are taken very seriously and cleared up as soon as they occur. There is no doubt still those wrestlers who will breach the ban, but until then it is frowned upon by those who monitor the sport.
5. Scripted promos
The promos used to be the wrestler’s chance to really show off their personality or rather the personality of their character. They could prance and shout and make their mark on the crowd. Promotion for WWE matches is huge. The anticipation for a show or match is hyped up for months, weeks and days before the event. Critics claim that the promos have lost touch with reality and that they appear too staged. There are indeed scripts for these promos and participants are told exactly what they should say. Wrestlers used to be able to exercise much more freedom of speech and to have more input in their character and how it was portrayed.
Today, promos are scripted, and the personalities are manufactured, and the wrestlers need to fit into this persona. The wrestlers have to be actors as well as sportsmen and really put their passion into the delivery of their promo rather than the content. They can rehearse this and put in dramatic pauses and emphasis, but the content is not their own. Wrestlers complain about this process because of last minute changes. Writers often decide on changes hours before a show and this means they have to learn a whole new script at the last minute.
There are many props involved in a wrestling match and these add to the drama of the event. Anything to hand in the ring can be used to punish an opponent, including chairs, tables, and ladders. These props are real rather than props and bought from general shops. Guitars, bull ropes and brass knuckles are all weapons that have been seen on shows, brought on to the set by the participants. As the shows are scripted, these props are bought in advance to fit in with the format that the match will take.
Even the sledgehammer that Triple H uses is real. He needs to be completely professional when wielding it and good camera work makes the injuries and blows look more realistic than they are. The sledgehammer was actually used on one occasion against the show’s boss Vince McMahon who was attacked with the item on air according to WWE. The steel chair is a popular weapon of choice and has actually produced the winning move in a match. There are those wrestlers who take the use of weapons to another level, one even used a baseball bat covered in barbed wire as his weapon of choice.
3. Commentators talking to Vince … on air
The boss of WWE, Vince McMahon is heavily involved in each show. He is the chairman and Chief Executive Office of WWE and having attended military school, has had brief stints at wrestling himself. He has become the most influential person in professional wrestling and still has an enormously powerful say in what happens on each show. He originally appeared as a commentator initially on the shows and viewers were unaware of his power, however, he created the character of Vince and plays up to it every episode. He has well-publicised feuds on air which may or may not be real, but are no doubt hyped to add to the drama of the shows.
Everyone involved with the show will wear a headset so that instructions and information can be relayed to them. This includes the commentators who wear a headset so that Vince can make his opinions known to them and influence what goes out on air if he feels it is necessary. Commentators need to be extremely careful in terms of what they say to ensure that they are complying with Vince’s wishes. He has a list of words and phrases that he will not tolerate and if any of these are used, he will let the commentator know in no uncertain terms.
2. Storylines written months in advance
It is rumored that storylines for WWE are written months in advance and that producers ‘know’ who will win matches and titles in advance of the events. Whilst this makes a mockery of the proceedings if it is true, it can also cause great headaches for the team. While wrestlers are tied into contracts to ensure their participation in matches, no one can predict injuries or health issues that might befall the wrestlers.
This creates a great headache for the writers who need to sit down to work out how the storylines are going to alter. It is a risky business because no one can predict what might happen to a wrestler and how their performance can be interpreted by viewers. Some can rise or fall in popularity, and if a wrestler gains an enormous following, viewers are going to want to see more of them, and if they have not been scripted into many shows, then the writers need to re-think their strategies and come up with new plans. The rise in popularity issue happened in reality when Daniel Bryan became hugely popular and creators were forced to re-write their scripts on a number of occasions. They hope that these instances will be rare and for the most part, scripts are prepared months in advance.
1. Determining what goes on in a match
Despite the massive amount of planning that goes into the matches, there is room for improvisation, and about half a match is improvised by the wrestlers. They will talk to each other in the ring and practice moves in advance that they think will work in certain situations. The actual outcome of the match has been predetermined, but the participants can influence the match content. The better known, the more experienced wrestlers tend to dominate proceedings over the newcomers, but there is room for showmanship and showing off in every match.
They have the confidence to call the match and dominate what happens, and they have the right to do this as they have earned the respect of their wrestling peers and the crowds. Wrestlers remain ‘in character’ during the matches and have the flexibility to improvise within the confines of this personality. It is, however, a wise move to predetermine the content of a match, as the wrestlers are hugely powerful and if they were to be allowed free rein, many more injuries would no doubt occur. The outcome is always planned in advance by the teams of creators who then script the show ‘backwards’ in order to determine what action should take place to make the end result look more fluid according to Quora.