Rock on Tape; Kevin Kelly Reveals Other Rock Promo Secrets

Nick Paglino

The RockOK, so The Rock was caught using a crib notes while taking a test on Monday and tattletale John Cena told. Big deal. But, does this go to Cena’s larger point? That Rock is a part-time player and his attention isn’t 100% fully on what he’s doing and is just playing a role.

I will let you in on a little secret from when Rock and I did promos together in the WWE.

The little toad writer Brian Gewirtz would sometimes hold up a piece of paper just off camera that Rock would glance at during his promo. Not all the time… only when he needed it. Some promos were easy, others were more complicated. When he had sunglasses on, he could read the whole thing if he wanted to and no one could tell.

Does that mean the promos he did back then when he was full-time weren’t awesome? Of course not. No one ever knew and that was another part of his skill.

But here’s the real problem… damn HDTV is ruining sports-entertainment! That amazingly clear picture… the big screen… awesome clarity! It makes moments like Monday’s “Tapegate” a huge issue. Back in the day of regular old cable TV, you could write the Declaration of Independence on your arm and no one would see it. You may not know this but Lanny Poffo used to have his poems written inside the Frisbee before he’d throw it to the crowd.

OK, I joke there but I was totally serious about The Rock reading off paper held by Brian Gewirtz and that Gewirtz is a toad.

But if there is an issue I have with that is when writers script out interviews for wrestlers. (I know, the WWE doesn’t have wrestlers). Let them get out there and feel it. I always go back to basics. The talent knows better than anyone else what they want to say. Guide on how to say it but let the words come from them. If the promoter/producer finds that the talent can’t do it on their own, make decisions about their future, in combination with their in-ring ability.

The Rock is so gifted on the mike. So was Dusty Rhodes and Jim Cornette and Austin Idol and Ole Anderson and Arn Anderson and Ernie Ladd and so many others.

They understood who they were and what their job was. Talk people into the building.

Advice to the sports-entertainment industry… stop beating the soul out of wrestling. This advice came from a conversation I had with my friend Eric Santamaria, who runs the Wrestling Roundtable website. We both agree that wrestling is at its best when it gives fans what they want.

So The Rock wrote notes on his wrist… Cena calls him on it. Not sure how this gets them to 1.2 million buys but that’s what they are hoping for/projecting.

And if any of the other boys in the WWE locker room are pissed that Rock is getting a “bigger than a Main Event Payoff”, don’t get pissed at him. Get pissed at the writers who prevent you from being who you should be and at yourself for being controlled.

Forget a union… if wrestlers unite to be who they want to be, maybe the soul will stop getting beaten out of wrestling.

I’ll be in Baltimore this Saturday for Ring of Honor. The event at the DuBurns Arena starts at 7 and will be another National Television taping for show that will air on the Sinclair Broadcast Group of stations. Want to join us? Here’s info…

And then Sunday, I am privileged to call the matches for ROH’s 10th Anniversary “Young Wolves Rising” on iPPV. Special 5pm start time from the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. I hope you enjoy it and here’s how to order…

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