Moments Ago: From “This is AwesomeÃ¢â‚¬Â to “You F*$#ed Up:Ã¢â‚¬Â A Look at Chants in Wrestling
There are many things that make wrestling a truly unique form of entertainment. It takes some of the best aspects from many other genres and combines into a testosterone loaded spectacle. In its purest form it is theatre in the round. Good and evil do battle while paying customers look on from all sides. It is a rock and roll concert with sounds, lights music, and all other forms of sensory assault. It is an athletic exhibition. Some of the finest athletes in the world perform feats that wow the imagination and dazzle the senses. It is a magic show with performers of the highest class leaving the audience with their jaws left on the floor.
That is professional wrestling can be all of these things if it is done well. Done poorly it is a sad excuse for entertainment and a laughing stock of both the acting and sporting world. But enough about my favorite pastime, this week’s edition of Moments Ago is going to focus on one particular aspect of professional wrestling, and that is the crowd.
Anyone who has attended a wrestling show can tell you that the crowd is one of the most eclectic gatherings of humanity one can lay eyes on. Each and every fan becomes emotionally invested in every contest and finds a way to show simple support. The most common way this support is shown is via the medium of the chant. Wrestling has seen some of the most unique and interesting chants this side of a European football stadium. I am going to look at some of the more common chants of the last few years and their overall impact of the atmosphere of the match.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂThis is AwesomeÃ¢â‚¬Â: This chant was quickened during the earliest days of TNA. This is one of the most controversial chants in wrestling. Many people decry it as breaking down the fourth wall that is kayfabe by chanting it during a match. It is true that you don’t hear “This is awesomeÃ¢â‚¬Â chanted during a basketball game or a live taping of the Colbert Report whether or not that show being presented is truly awesome.
The chant has bled over into Ring of Honor, and it may be my own biases present, but when the chant shows up in RoH, the event that birthed it truly was awesome. I am not a huge fan of the chant for reasons stated above, but some fans have gone as far as trying to ban the chant in much the same way that Jimmy Rave’s toilet paper showers were banned. Banning chants is just ridiculous especially one that many feel is worth chanting.
The one time I felt the chant was truly warranted and added to things was during Joe vs. Kobashi. The chant came fairly early in the match and the atmosphere could only be described as awesome. Otherwise I think the chant is best left alone.
“Holy S#!&Ã¢â‚¬Â: To the best of my knowledge this chant first showed up in the original ECW. If one federation produced more than its share of Holy S#!& moments it was ECW. Men being put through flaming tables were a matter of course, barbed wire, chairs, ladders and other more violent weapons were not uncommon. The chant continued into the WWE and the several ladder matches between the Hardyz, the Dudleyz, and Edge and Christian made several censors attempt to use their delay with their antics.
In my opinion this is one of the most overdone chants in all of wrestling. At some shows a dive to the outside which happened in the previous match and will happen in the subsequent match (but that is a critique for another day) will bring about the foul mouths of the fans. I have also found that young children at wrestling events are quick to spout off this tiny bit of vulgarity with the greatest of fervor for they must believe this is their one chance to get away with it.
Dueling Chants: I am not sure if this chant can be attributed to Ring of Honor or TNA but if any chant I will mention tonight truly adds to the atmosphere of most matches it is the alternating chants for the competitors in the match. Much like the previous chant it can be a bit overdone.
Ring of Honor has never put much emphasis on the heel/face dynamic preferring instead to let the fans cheer for who they want. Unfortunately, it leads to dueling chants in nearly every match. When these chants were few and far between it truly gave the matches it was in something extra. Now, however, it like almost everything else in the world of pro-wrestling has become overdone.
Promotion Chants: This chant can without a doubt be credited to ECW and every other federation from TNA to RoH to 2CW can only be thought of as copiers of the original. It is still a great chant, though. The big question is, when is the right scenario to chant it. Ring of Honor fans chant it immediately after classic matches or when a wrestler performs a stunt that had never been seen by wrestling fans, such is the signature of RoH. If TNA were to follow the same format they would chant the promotions letters during overbooked segments that insult the intelligence of even the most unenlightened wrestling fan. Either way, I would guess that few wrestling promotions could start up, put on a quality show, and not have their letters chanted by every fan in attendance.
Ã¢â‚¬ÂYou F*$#ed up!Ã¢â‚¬Â: This chant is pretty self explanatory. Philadelphia fans at the ECW arena would not let a mistake go unnoticed by the athletes in the ring, and when a wrestler erred in the attempt of a move the expletives would fly and the star in the ring would have to fight through the embarrassment.
This is not a chant I particularly like. Adapting to a mistake is the mark of a truly great performer, and likewise this chant takes many fans outside of their suspension of disbelief. The only time I have found this chant enjoyable was when it was said in response to someone slapping a behemoth the likes of Samoa Joe. It adds a whole new dimension to the chant and the scenario in addition to providing a good laugh.
The attitude of the fans can truly make or break many matches. One great example of this was from the Respect is Earned weekend. KENTA vs. Delirious was an excellent match performed in front of a lukewarm crowd, at best, and as a result the match suffered. The next night Brent Albright and Tank Toland wrestled in front of a white hot crowd putting on an average performance that had me raving at the time, and took only further consideration to have a more objective opinion.
So next time you go to a wrestling show chant your heart out and even come up with your own chant, it could be the only way to etch yourself into wrestling history. Also check out Friday’s edition of VS. with a very special judge.
I’ll see you next time
Tags: ECW, ROH, TNA