On the latest edition of Wrestling with History, Ken Resnick talked about the contrast in styles between 1984 and today, the difference in psychology between the Piper/Valentine dog collar match and the Cody/Brodie Lee match, and more. Here are some highlights:
His thoughts on the AEW dog collar match:
The match itself between Cody Rhodes and Brody Lee was really good. It was entertaining from an announcer standpoint; I’m a fan of Jim Ross. Jim calls the match; it’s wrestling but he still calls what he sees. When there were some great spots, he called those; when there were some spots that were missed such as someone was a little shaky on the top ropes or (when) Cody’s dog collar loosened up, he acknowledged that. Overall, especially where wrestling today is trending toward more high spot after high spot after highs pot where they do it so quick you can’t even invest in what you just say, I thought it was a really good match.
On why 50/50 booking hurts the business:
It’s no different than any pro sports team in any sport. If you’re a .500 team, you have your loyal fan base but you don’t really build a national audience. If Alabama, Clemson or LSU is playing, they’re one of the great teams out there and people are tuning in to watch that team. It’s like anything else, when someone is so good, fans from other sports that weren’t necessarily wrestling fans were tuning in to see Hulk Hogan. It’s also fair to say, even with Hulk going over and always winning, if Hulk had not had the charisma, the passion, the interviews, and the look, all that booking could not have made him as great as he was without all the other factors.
On the reputation Vince McMahon has of being unfair:
Vince, when you were there, he treated you good. It was once he decided he didn’t need you or didn’t want you, he would kind of forget your name. Let’s be honest, none of the other promotions gave you health insurance either. But because of his success, people try and point to Vince. He may not have provided it but neither did anyone else. On the flip side of the coin, Vince was suddenly paying you more than anybody else. They want to complain about it but they knew what they were getting into. I think in some ways, Vince is being unfairly persecuted for not giving health insurance, it’s not like everybody else was and Vince wasn’t.
On talent not being able to invest into their storylines:
In today’s business, the bookers book a match, book an angle, and there’s really no time for the wrestlers involved to really take that booking or angle and make it their own. It’s just instant gratification, do it this way and then we’re going to do that regardless of what happens. The really great talent just doesn’t have the time or empowerment to take that where they want it to go or to build on it.
Wrestling with History features former AWA and WWF announcer Ken Resnick and drops every Wednesday on VOC Nation. Ken looks back at the 80s and early 90s and tells stories from his time in the business.
You can listen to the complete episode below.