The State of Wrestling: Aura

Welcome to this week’s edition of The State of Wrestling, I hope that everybody has had a great week and are anticipating the upcoming Wrestlemania festivities as much as the rest of the wrestling world! This week we will be talking about something that every independent wrestler strives for yet only a few succeed in doing and that is creating that ‘aura’.

Now, I know what you all are thinking: What do you mean by creating an aura? I am talking about creating something that will make you indistinguishable to the fans at the show, which will cause them to remember you once the show is over. This can come in the form of some big move, a crazy character or even the little things like costume design or a unique way of playing the crowd. The point is you need to become someone who the fans will remember in order for anybody to care the second they leave the venue. Go ahead and look over yourself and determine if this is something that you already do… Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Now that you have all decided that you are indistinguishable from other wrestlers and people will inevitably remember you, I’ll go ahead and call bullshit on the majority of you. Sorry but it is the truth and I will have to speak it. This is mostly for the people who are stealing their moveset from a Ring of Honor main event or piecing together lines from old Raven promos and claiming originality. This is not going to make you remembered. It will provide nostalgia to people who remember said ROH shows or Raven clips but will inevitably not get you ahead in most cases. If your goal is to get into other indies, you need to create the aura. And yes, I will keep using that word.

The WWE is all about marketing. TNA is all about marketing. The majority of all independent wrestling shows is about, you guessed it, marketing. Do you know why the workrate messiahs are booked in a majority of the federations they work? It is because a niche has decided that they would pay good money to see them. Do you know why this is? It is because they have made themselves unique enough with their wrestling skills so that they could market themselves as unique workrate wrestlers. Not because they stole other guys moves but because they created that aura around them with their unique wrestling ability that people decided they wanted to come see them.

This is to say that there is only one Low Ki, one Bryan Danielson and so on. The majority of people who mimic their moves will never be them and, for the most part, never be utilized like them. If you send another promoter your DVD and all you show is a match where you are throwing stiff kicks and applying a Cattle Mutilation, more than likely you are not going to be booked by that organization. Why? It is because they don’t see how you could draw in extra fans. Remember, this is a business of attracting fans and not all about the wrestling moves themselves. Promoters would book you quicker if you wrestled in a shark costume than if you could throw a great kick and sell your ass off. Sad but true.

So, what advice can be offered to the people who want to create this aura? Step out of the cookie cutter and become your own person. It is great to take a move or two from another professional wrestler but create a unique moveset, which will make you a character rather than a prototype (No pun intended). Create a character that is so unique that other wrestling companies want to book you because fans would want to see you. This is to say do not use the over-replicated Raven persona or copy Bryan Danielson’s entire moveset and claim you are the “best in the world”. Nigel McGuiness pointed this out recently in saying that you must truly develop yourself, as a unique entity before anybody will take notice and that is absolutely correct. How can you create a unique persona? Well, if you have to ask that question then you are already asking to be someone else. This entire column may seem jumbled and incoherent and there is actually a reason for that. If you need to rely on someone to tell you how to be unique or to give you advice on being your own wrestler then you are neither going to be unique nor yourself. So, with that, use your mind. Wrestling is all about creativity so prove it by creating something nobody else has seen before. That will inevitably be your ticket to greatness.

This week I am going to also mention a wrestler to look out for who is actually a referee. For people in the business, many of them will complain left and right about how a bad referee can ruin a match and one of the best referees I have ever had the chance of working with would be Rob Buster. When I think of great referees, this man is one of the first who comes to mind. He has refereed all across the country for organizations in Colorado, Utah, Kansas, Illinois and many others. He is a true professional in and out of the ring and is a helping hand to any match.