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Author: Subject: Wrestling "Rules" and traditions
Flash
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posted on 8-28-2017 at 06:06 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Wrestling "Rules" and traditions

There was a post in the rumours thread about someone going into business for themselves by intentionally hurting their opponent in a match, with some discussion about how you would think that this would be the cardinal sin in wrestling; but history has shown us otherwise provided you are on the right side of the locker room and the promoters.

It got me thinking about just what a curious place the wrestling locker room is with it's bizarre traditions, wrestlers court, and various "rules" that must be navigated...

Like for example; you apparently must go up to each and every wrestler and shake their hand and look them in the eye introducing yourself... this is apparently what cost the (I want to say, but could be wrong...) Young Bucks a job in the WWE as while backstage they did not do this... I seem to remember Booker T being the offended party in this instance.

There also seems to be rules around ring gear... like it's okay to rib someone by hiding their gear, or shitting in their bag if they are unliked; but it's apparently grounds for being expelled from the locker room for several months if you eat chicken over a referee's bag... now I'm not sure if it's case of ref's are off limits (although with the hazing some of the announcers have put up with you would not think so) or if there's a perceived difference between deliberately messing with someone's stuff (throwing it in the shower, shitting in it) versus carelessly getting crumbs on it because you don't have sense enough to eat over a plate.

Anyone else know of any rules or traditions that make up a wrestling locker room; be it currently still practiced or something historical?

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Paddlefoot
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posted on 8-28-2017 at 06:47 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The current heat on Enzo is partly because he allegedly brings fans or friends into the locker room. Apparently this is a big deal, and I'll assume it's because they wouldn't want outsiders to see things like someone in really bad pain after an in-ring injury or if a fight broke out between two wrestlers due to a botch during a match. They all seem to agree that the locker room is sacred ground and that non-talent or non-company people just aren't allowed.





You know, everyone says it's not supposed to make sense, like that's the whole point, dude. And I'm just saying, you know, that's like an excuse for lazy storytelling. Just don't sell me shite and tell me it's gold, all right? I might be stoned, but I'm not high. You know what I mean?
- Cassidy from Preacher, commenting on The Big Lebowski and/or professional wrestling

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Flash
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posted on 8-28-2017 at 09:21 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
That makes sense; I mean aside from the fact that the locker room was once a pretty impenetrable curtain of kayfabe not that long ago; it's also a place where guys can relax, prep for matches, and probably one of the few places where they are free from fans looking for autographs and a few minutes of their time. This would also seem to apply to time in the car as Shawn Stasiak learned.

One bizarre rule I came across has to do with who can fly first class, even if you pay for an upgrade yourself... it would seem that first class is reserved for main eventers, and guys who've put in enough time (or again, are on the right side of the locker room cliques)... I came across a story about Christian catching some heat over upgrading himself to first class years ago because Raven had to fly coach and had been in the business longer.

This one kinda makes sense; and Edge recently touched on it in his show with Christian, but the polite thing to do before stealing a guys signature moves after they've left the company is to call up said guy and ask him if it's cool. Edge said he didn't care, but called out Sheamus and Sandow as the two guys who poached from him without a tip of the hat to him.

Again another one that makes sense in terms of camaraderie is that I've heard you're supposed to wait by the gorilla position post-match for your opponent to thank one another for the match.

I haven't come across any specific stories but have seen a few blurbs about etiquette pertaining to stuff like who eats first at catering, and who gets what parking spots at the arena.

Apparently never sneeze or yawn in front of Vince...

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williamssl
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posted on 8-28-2017 at 04:41 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
edit: wrong thread.
post count +1

[Edited on 8-28-2017 by williamssl]





Don't Mess With Texas

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First 9
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posted on 8-28-2017 at 04:57 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
According to Nash, everything is fair play unless enough people bitch about it. He says that Arn was fine with the Horsemen parody until other people told Arn they made a fool out of him .Also, Vince himself had approved the MSG incident and it was the ones under him that raised hell over it.

There are no hard rules, it comes down to who you are and who you've pissed off.

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DKBroiler
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posted on 8-29-2017 at 09:20 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Rule 1: Don't fuck the bosses daughter.
Rule 2: Ignore rule 1 if you can make it into a career move.
Rule 3: Wipe your feet.





Braun Strowman guy.

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bopol
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posted on 8-30-2017 at 04:27 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
There seems to be WWE lockerroom rules ... the no upgrading to first class is a particular one and there seem to be general wrestling lockerroom rules ... the hand shaking everyone thing.

The WWE rules seem to be around having a hierarchy in the lockerroom. It's Vince's way of saying who are the locker room generals and not to upset the order.

The general rules seem to be more around respect for the business and each other. Like the Sexy Star incident reminds us - the wrestlers are partners in performance and hard feelings or lack of trust would turn into a shitty match really quick. If you shake hands or thank each other for a match, it gives everyone a chance to not let bad feelings burn internally and become a problem.





I only signed up so I can read the forum.

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Paddlefoot
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posted on 8-30-2017 at 04:50 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The "generals" thing though is all pretty hypocritical when it's seen in the light of what the locker-room veterans decided to do to Muhammad Hassan just because they thought he was too new and unworthy for Vince to build a major story around. Just a bunch of jealous dickheads punishing a new hire for something that wasn't even his thing to control. Probably all just pals & cronies first, the same way it always is at any jobsite on the entire fucking planet.





You know, everyone says it's not supposed to make sense, like that's the whole point, dude. And I'm just saying, you know, that's like an excuse for lazy storytelling. Just don't sell me shite and tell me it's gold, all right? I might be stoned, but I'm not high. You know what I mean?
- Cassidy from Preacher, commenting on The Big Lebowski and/or professional wrestling

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Flash
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posted on 8-30-2017 at 05:35 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
It's such a weird environment where you want a guy like Cena, Rock, or Austin on top because he draws money for everyone, but at the same time you're jockeying for position against the very same guys you're working with because where you are on the card directly impacts how much money goes directly into your pocket. Throw in that yeah you can have good matches and work well with others, but if creative doesn't have anything for you, or even if they do and it bombs, or hell... if you don't look sullen enough when the boss walks by in a dumb angle you're career (and thus bank account) hits the skids.

I was reading some of Bob Holly's book on one of those google samples (I went out and ordered it after as it looks like a good read) and he painted a picture about some of the hypocrisy about how they are independent contractors but have (maybe had now?) dress codes where steep fines were applied. You could be fined $1000 for a pot (which he points out is illegal) bust in the wellness policy, but use something like NECA (which he said is legal) to recover faster from injuries (which the office pushing you to always be available) and you're suspended for a month without pay.

Ryback may not have articulated himself very well in his rants when he left, but he kind of had a point about how the game is rigged against certain spots on the card- like does Reigns make so much because his merch' moves, or was he handed a spot and then given far more merchandise streams than everyone else... kind of chicken and the egg argument.... Meanwhile he needs guys to work against who are often paid little compared to him.

So you can kind of get it that in an environment like that where the difference between getting paid a couple grand to sit around backstage all night with nothing to do, or do a few minutes on Superstars, and even what a mid card guy in the WWE pulls down is a lot of incentive to politic and band together to bury the next guy on his way up to take your potential spot... throw into the mix where you get some guys who are just there for the cash that Vince gets a hard on for and then walk (Lashley is one Holly sites as this) meanwhile you keep showing up night after night and are benched.

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bopol
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posted on 8-31-2017 at 01:12 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Well, it is a weird business too. The working with each other better than others was a whole bitch about the Clique where those outside the clique claimed that the only time they would be motivated to have good matches was when they were in the ring with each other and sandbagged the shit out of everyone else.

I've heard that Kofi has no ambition to really be a world champion and is just content to do whatever is asked. To me, in the post-territory era, you pretty much have to do this to survive in the business or it'll drive you nuts. That said, it also means the business will never be great again because you won't see wrestlers naturally rise out of their circumstances and reach for greatness because they'll get their legs cut off. In today's WWE, Steve Austin would still be the Ringmaster; the Rock would still be the bluechipper and Mick Foley would be a jobber.





I only signed up so I can read the forum.

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CheMateo
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posted on 9-1-2017 at 04:14 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Everything mentioned was immediately came to mind. I recall Booker catching heat for not knowing the WWF edict. Booker did not wait for Austin to return backstage and did not shake his hand. That along with Booker gingerly tossing Austin onto the announce table just brought more and more heat on Book.

The Bucks caught a lot of heat in TNA when, according to RVD, they never shook his hand. Bucks claimed they did. Then lampooned it on a following PWG show.

Did they get rid of that stupid dress code? That was under the underwhelming Johnny Ace regime. Along with fining for being "tardy".

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Flash
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posted on 9-1-2017 at 06:37 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Judging by that hidden camera show they had on the network I'd say the dress code is gone... which if it is, probably made everyone happy as it sounds like pretty much everyone hated it as it meant bringing extra clothes along, and not being the most comfortable to do their copious amounts of travel in... especially since the WWE (well, Johnny Ace was singled out) downgraded everyone from business class airfare to coach right after that (Holly had a nice rant about how he's dressed up in a suit to look professional, but has to be cramped in coach, not exactly broadcasting that image of success that Vince wanted).

Vince also didn't do himself any favours by immediately applying a double standard by saying everyone but Taker, Cena, and one or two other guys didn't have to dress up. Per Bob Holly Taker honoured the dress code like everyone else to show he was one of the boys, which just furthered his spot as the locker room leader (already long established by that point).

Apparently one of the things that also caught Booker heat when he got to the WWE is that the WWE kind of expects you to sit around a monitor glued to the show, whereas he was happy just chilling and playing video games before he went out there.

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lz4005
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posted on 9-1-2017 at 02:13 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CheMateo
Did they get rid of that stupid dress code? That was under the underwhelming Johnny Ace regime. Along with fining for being "tardy".


When they got a Tapout sponsorship everyone was allow to wear that stuff instead. Don't know if it went beyond that.

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Paddlefoot
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posted on 9-4-2017 at 10:40 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Just a question for anyone to clarify. In the bigger promotions (WWE, WCW, TNA/GFW, Japan, CML) is a wrestler ever "forced" to do a hardcore match? Like can (or would) a boss like Vince McMahon or Bischoff or Jarrett go up to someone that clearly doesn't fit into that extreme element and say "we're putting you through a piece of plate glass/table wrapped with barbed wire/whatever tonight" and the wrestler is just obligated to go along with it? I don't include the garbage carny promotions in any of this because I assume with them, if someone's moronic enough to get into business with slime like Ian Rotten or Rob Black, that hardcore will be part of the deal. Same too with somewhat more respectable old ECW, where if extreme is in the company's name get used to it or go somewhere else.

I guess I'm asking this because while I don't mind things like TLC matches or someone getting tossed off the entrance stage I've always really kind of detested the shock shit like weapons matches, barbed wire for ring-ropes, use of thumbtacks, etc. To me that kind of stuff really only appeals to sadists, or to idiots who like D-grade torture-porn/gore-horror films. I understand why it gets trotted out every once in a while to settle major feuds. I'm just wondering, in this sport of ours full of "independent contractors", if those performers who are just not into going along with that kind of work are given the choice to do it or get fired if they refuse.

[Edited on 9/4/2017 by Paddlefoot]





You know, everyone says it's not supposed to make sense, like that's the whole point, dude. And I'm just saying, you know, that's like an excuse for lazy storytelling. Just don't sell me shite and tell me it's gold, all right? I might be stoned, but I'm not high. You know what I mean?
- Cassidy from Preacher, commenting on The Big Lebowski and/or professional wrestling

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Flash
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posted on 9-5-2017 at 03:31 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I don't know if there would be a definite answer to that questions, but I would imagine it's equal parts "I'll do that for money", coerced opportunity (as in it will get me on the show and then maybe a push, and if I don't... who knows if I even make it onto Superstars), and in some locker rooms probably a dash of peer (maybe only implied) pressure.

I know, and do believe he was successful in his suit, that Sid sued WCW as he claimed they pressured him into doing a top rope spot that resulted in that gruesome leg break he had... on the flip side while his stay wasn't long in ECW, I remember hearing stuff about how Austin wouldn't do certain matches, and refused to wrestle in other guys blood.... so apparently you can say no.

The WWE seems to do matches by committee; as in hey you guys have 8 minutes in a hard core match, go off with an agents and your partner and plan it out... then they decide how far they want to go and what spots to plan.... so you kind of have a hand in deciding if you are going to get the old flimsy trash can to the head spot, or if you are going to take a body slam onto thumb tacks. That's not to say the WWE is complete leave it to the talent to do what they are comfortable with, as wasn't a big part of the Owen lawsuit over him not being so keen on the entrance stunt?

I would guess that it's like any job; you CAN refuse anything you don't feel is safe, but that wrestlers are used to getting beat up for a living, and are always fighting to get noticed... so a lot of stuff you probably don't have to ask them twice about... in saying that, history has shown that some guys have a rep for certain types of high spots and bumps, and others don't.... I don't remember HHH for example doing a lot of high spots like coming off ladders, but he's a guy who is game for a lot of other types of brutal spots, so there's probably enough cases where guys can safely turn down a spot, or do a match but do it their way.

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bopol
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posted on 9-5-2017 at 04:10 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I remember there was a 80s-90s WWF enhancement talent that used to post on the internet and he said that he could say no to spots he was uncomfortable with. Specifically, he wouldn't take the bump on the Road Warrior's Doomsday Device. He said that it wasn't that he didn't trust them, but he said if he slipped or Animal slipped or Hawk slipped, he could break his neck. He also said that there were many that didn't realize they could say no.

But then you get cases where wrestlers feel pushed to do things they are uncomfortable with (Daffney/Abyss), so I get the feeling is that you can say no, but you are always worried that the push you didn't get is because you said no and so you feel pressured to say yes.





I only signed up so I can read the forum.

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Flash
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posted on 9-8-2017 at 02:18 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I'm reading Bob Holly's book right now; which I highly recommend if you haven't read it- very no nonsense, straight to the point tell it like it is style... like he'll bury HHH for his backstage garbage, but praise him as one of the best guys to work with in the ring...

Anyway; he's been a good source for "rules" and traditions thus far... one he points to is back in the days of unscripted promo's- that as a courtesy you would always run what you were going to say by the person you were cutting the promo on to make sure what you were going to say was cool

It also sounds like messing with someone's food, and clothes were big no-no's, so was leaving someone waiting for a ride- these could be grounds to go to wrestlers which he touches on wherein Taker was the judge, JBL the prosecution, and Faarooq was the defense... although he say's Faarooq would rarely say anything. Punishments were rarely physical, unless it was something really bad (he hasn't elaborated thus far) and generally amounted to making it right with the grieved party, and buying Taker and the Acolytes various amounts of booze- then depending on how big of a transgression it would change the amount of booze and number of people you had to buy for going by seniority. He gave an example about how Foley and Snow left him at the airport and as a result of this Foley got fined $500 to Holly for all his trouble, and had to buy some booze for Taker.

He also elaborated on how Edge and Christian got taken to "court" for buying a thank you gift for writer Brian Gerwitz, which is apparently also against a company rule- as a result they had to buy booze for Taker, JBL, Faarooq, and Holly.

He also talks a bit about the pain killer culture in the WWE- that guys were always kind of supplying each other- like he'd spot so and so this week, and when they'd fill their prescription they'd get them back- Management had rules about this, but they knew it was going on and turned a blind eye to it as they knew guys would need them to work.

I remember a recent rule that made the rounds out of the WWE office, in addition to the constant memo's about what words not to say and how to call a match, but there was a story that came out about how talent could no longer fraternize with non-talent- I think the incident that kicked that off was some cameraman that had a relationship with Darren Young went a bit nutso.

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Paddlefoot
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posted on 9-8-2017 at 03:04 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Seems kind of silly for the most part. Like Kevin Nash hints at just get it over with by throwing potatoes at a transgressor during matches for a few shows in a row until they get the message.





You know, everyone says it's not supposed to make sense, like that's the whole point, dude. And I'm just saying, you know, that's like an excuse for lazy storytelling. Just don't sell me shite and tell me it's gold, all right? I might be stoned, but I'm not high. You know what I mean?
- Cassidy from Preacher, commenting on The Big Lebowski and/or professional wrestling

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