Views From The Turnbuckle: WWE Wrestling Style And Its Future
Traditionally, WWE has been the slowest wrestling promotion. Today, wrestling in WWE has the slowest pace out of any company around. Part of this is because WWE has more time to fill with its matches, and part of it is also because WWE has a wide range of wrestlers when it comes to in-ring ability. Some wrestlers in WWE need to work at a slower pace because their talents do not allow them to work fast without screwing up frequently. Another reason is that the WWE is dedicated to being a more tradition-based company. The man in charge of the company has been a part of wrestling since Bruno Sammartino was the WWE Champion, and the tradition of WWE has likely helped keep the pace down in WWE.
Historically, wrestling has been moving faster and faster as the years go by. Ever since Ed Lewis and Joe Stecher wrestled for five straight hours, promoters have been looking to speed up the pace of wrestling. A match from 2013 is faster than a match from 1995, which is faster than a match from 1985, which is faster than a match from 1965. Even though WWE has been somewhat behind the times when it comes to pace, they still are part of the timeline that indicates that the more years go by, the more the pace of wrestling accelerates.
The knock on faster wrestling is that they require less selling from the wrestlers. Wrestlers getting up quickly after being taken down and kicking out of pinfalls after a series of finishing moves almost dismisses the idea that these moves are meant to inflict pain and incapacitate your opponent. Kayfabe is still very important to WWE, even if they sometimes like to pretend that it does not exist. I don't think we will ever see WWE work at the pace that Dragon Gate works for that simple reason. WWE, like all major wrestling companies, is afraid that wrestling will die without kayfabe, and jeopardizing that any more than they already do could lead to disaster.
Another thing is that WWE really likes finishing maneuvers. 95% of matches in WWE end in either a disqualification or a wrestler hitting his or her finisher. When Randy Orton hits the RKO, it is the end of the match. Only a rare occasion does someone kick out of a finishing move, usually only in the main event of a PPV match. I have to think that Vince McMahon is behind the sacred use of finishing moves in WWE. Before VKM came along, wrestlers in WWE didn't really have finishing moves, and only a few wrestlers had signature moves. Once 1984 and Hulkamania took hold, almost all of the wrestlers on the roster had finishing moves, and it has been that way ever since.
For some unknown reason, WWE also likes to limit guys move-sets once they arrive in WWE. It is almost if WWE tells wrestlers that they can only use 10-12 moves in the ring under normal circumstances. I can understand a limited worker like Ryback only using a handful of moves, because he may not feel confident doing an extensive amount of moves. However, a technical genius like Daniel Bryan being limited to only a short-list of moves seems to be very suspicious.
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