Jerry Lawler suffers heart attack ringside in Montreal

KSP, a friend and most trusted wrestling/liberal arts critic, on Jerry Lawler:

What I’m trying to say is Jerry Lawler is really fucking important and good and necessary and a treasure, and I want him to be okay, and if I ever made it seem like I didn’t respect his day job I’m sorry, that wasn’t my intention.

He continues, on his being a critic:

I dig deep and think really hard because I respect the people who put on this show, who wake up every day and do a phenomenal job doing a thing that doesn’t get nearly enough respect. I don’t say that enough. None of us do.

Guilty as charged. I am much less a critic than I am merely a fan, and I have my opinions on the in-ring action, the mic work, the commentary. But regardless of any of any of that, I do respect any and all performers involved with the product that I love so dearly.

Jerry Lawler, our thoughts and prayers are with you over here on Hurry up the Cakes. Beat this, King.

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On mid-match commercial breaks

K Sawyer Paul responds to Matt at the Wrestling Journal, about the annoyance of commercial breaks during long TV matches:

Other sports don’t have this problem. No sport with any popularity can play an entire game between commercials, and fans understand that. Other sports also have believable lull periods: time-outs, half-times, infield-outfield changes, etc., where it makes sense to place a commercial. But wrestling matches can last anywhere from 18 seconds to over an hour.

Airing commercials during matches is really only a problem if wrestling is still viewed through the lens of sports and competition.

Seeing wrestling an art in the medium of television, I see no other alternative to having commercial breaks in the middle of a match. On any given episode of Raw, the narrative progresses more so out of the ring than in it, and the important parts of the matches we missed are replayed anyway.

I’ve gotten used to the timing of the commercial break during the first featured match on any Monday Night Raw: always on the first “act” of the match, one of the wrestlers (usually the heel) gets thrown outside the ring, presenting the image of the other being the dominant competitor in the match. Once the show returns from commercials, the previously dominant wrestler is trapped in a submission hold (usually a chinlock), with the tide having turned during the break. The move that caused the shift is then shown to us in a “double-action” replay.

I have a theory: mid-match commercial breaks are much more grating now because of the commentary. Michael Cole (or, his character) has always placed more value in WWE storytelling and corporate line-toeing than in the importance of whatever match is taking place, so when he throws us to commercial break by emphasizing the uncertainty of wrestling competition, it feels like he’s insulting our intelligence.

As lovers of wrestling matches, we’ve probably gotten used to tuning out the asinine commentary on Monday Night Raw, so it can get quite jarring when commercial breaks take place–we get forced to “un-tune-out”.

When it was Jim Ross (or Joey Styles, or anyone who places more value in in-ring action than stupid things like Twitter Trending Topics) on lead announcing duties, the commentary added a narrative layer to the action, which we, as wrestling fans, accepted. So when he threw us to the commercials, we accepted the suspense they were portraying on-screen. It didn’t feel insulting.

Not some dumb wrestling thing

K Sawyer Paul of International Object, on Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” chant:

I think that’s why so many people look at it as the natural replacement to Steve Austin’s “What” chants: you don’t have to think about it at all, you can do it anywhere, and people won’t automatically assume you’re doing some dumb wrestling thing, like crotch chopping.

Daniel Bryan may be the best professional wrestler in the world. But his next T-shirt—and this chant—is going to make him a millionaire.

Let’s hope so.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

❖ Hubris, Focus, and Wrestlemania XXVIII « International Object

K Sawyer Paul on WrestleMania:

The opening contest of the show can rile up a crowd, but is also, in special circumstances, there to set the tone. Daniel Bryan and Sheamus was the second kind. It was there to say, “every match tonight is going to be a variation of this simple equation.”

What’s the equation? Focus vs Hubris. Every match on this card extented and toyed with that idea. It began simply, and quickly. The dominant Sheamus never took his eyes of his opponent, while Danial Bryan—by demanding a kiss from his girlfriend—did. It cost him. End of story.

He makes many more points that resonate with the heart of Hurry up the Cakes. Fantastic read.