The George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame sent the following interview with WWE producer Adam Pearce, who will be the Master of Ceremonies for the 20th annual PWHOF induction banquet on July 26th, 27th and 28th in Waterloo, Iowa.
How did you get interested in professional wrestling?
I watched wrestling as a kid, mostly AWA television before my family got cable and I was able to see the WWF and NWA products that were available nationwide. I always enjoyed it.
What’s it like to have a display of your gear at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum during the 70-year anniversary of the National Wrestling Alliance, which was formed in Waterloo, Iowa?
It’s an honor. I was lucky to spend two decades performing, and a big chunk of that time was as NWA champion. To have some of my ‘relics’ on display in Waterloo – stuff I wore as NWA champion – is somewhat surreal.
What’s the difference between a good professional wrestler and a superstar?
Worldwide exposure. Of course I could say the ‘it factor,’ but that only gets one so far. Someone with means has to see that and want to exploit it, and only then can you go to the next level. There are a lot of good professionals that may be missing one thing here or there, but if you’re missing the means to get your wares in front of a global audience, it’s next to impossible to claim true superstardom.
Professional wrestling is a fluid business. What do fans really want?
I suppose you’d have to ask fans! Pop Culture changes with time, and with it, tastes in the arts change. I think wrestling follows suit. There have been many different ‘stylistic tides’ in our business, and they are ever changing?just as in television, music, and the like due to the fluidity you mentioned. One thing I think is constant, that I’ve never seen change, is that fans want someone to cheer and someone to boo. And there is the simple answer to how our business really works. Give the fans someone to love and give them the opposite and put them together. It’s magic.
What makes you an effective producer for WWE?
First of all, I’m able to successfully follow AND give directions. That may sound weird, but my primary job as a producer is to bring the vision on paper to life. In order to do that, I have to understand that vision and make sure I know what exactly it is that I’m charged with bringing to life. Once I have my marching orders, it’s all about communication. I have to make others see and understand that same vision, helping them find a way to physically make it a reality. That takes ingenuity and creativity and a working knowledge of the techniques used to make it all go ’round. From there, it’s also my job to effectively communicate to our camera operators and directors what we’re doing (and more importantly where and when). Only when every facet of what I described is executed successfully can I be considered an effective producer. Thankfully, that happens more often than not.