Friday, August 17, 2012

String Pullers: The Evolution of the Creative Process in Professional Wrestling (Part 3)

Here is the final part of my Senior Thesis. It takes a look at the future of professional wrestling. This includes my theory on what will make a successful booker/writer in the current wrestling environment. Enjoy!

The Main Event: The Future of the Creative Process

            As professional wrestling continues on with this constant evolution, the rift created in professional wrestling will widen, or begin to verge into a new era of the creative process in professional wrestling. I believe that the next stage of evolution that will solve the rift in professional wrestling is a hybrid of the traditional skills of a wrestling booker to weave the history of the sport inside the limitations of the genre fused with the trained skills and natural talents of a college educated English major with a background in various creative mediums. In seeing the growth of professional wrestling as an evolution then the same traits of the theory of evolution apply to the creative process. The theory of evolution is based on the strongest attributes “accumulating and the result is an entirely different organism” ( This belief in the theory of evolution would lead to the eventual hybrid of traditional booker and creative writer.

            The creative process hybrid that would come from this next stage of evolution would possess the trained skills of a professional writer to develop in depth story lines enhanced with the writer's natural talents in the creative realm. These natural talents in creativity are no different than the athletic skills of a sports figure. As in sports all athletes must respect and understand the limitations of their sport to fully achieve success, something understood and practiced by bookers.

            In the game of basketball the ability to jump is necessary, just as the ability to create a basic story line is necessary to the creative process in wrestling. If a person could jump twenty feet that person would be seen in the same light as some of the professional writers who possess similar amazing abilities when it comes to creative writing. The limitations of basketball would dictate the restrictions of this ability as the basketball hoop, which represents the purpose of the sport, is only ten feet high. If a player has tremendous skills, such as jumping twenty feet, but is constantly violating the limitations of the sport by jumping beyond the basketball hoop then that player is letting that tremendous ability prevent success instead of achieve it.

            This same respect for the limitations of the creative process in professional wrestling is found in the history of professional wrestling. This ability to know and excel under these limitations is what the professional booker in wrestling brings to the new hybrid in the evolution of the creative process. As professional wrestling moves beyond the niche audience that has made up wrestling's fan base, and expands to a global audience, the need for bookers to develop trained skills in creative writing, and to possess a natural ability to understand how to thrive in the new global digital age, becomes a requirement for survival.

            As professional wrestling evolved the need for these skills became a kin to that of predator, who excelled in a small habitat, needing to gain a stronger and faster approach when that habitat became expansive. No longer can the usual skills that helped on such a small scale be of the same effect on a larger scale. This is the purpose of evolution, not only just in wrestling, but in life. Now that the habitat for professional wrestling has changed; the people behind the scenes need to change with it, or become extinct.

The Post-Show Reviews: Criticisms and Conclusions

            As with all things that involve change there can be skeptics toward the evolution of professional wrestling’s creative process. Gabe Sapolsky, when asked about this theory of the next phase in professional wrestling, had his doubts when he said, “This would seem like it would be the best of both world's on paper, in reality I'm not sure if it would work because the two viewpoints might not be able to co-exist” (Sapolsky). I agree that the two viewpoints wouldn't exist because the role of evolution would weave these viewpoints into one viewpoint creating this new creative process in wrestling. In doing this both viewpoints become a thing of the past as the evolution in the creative process replaces them with one viewpoint built on the strengths of both viewpoints while weeding out the flaws.

            While those in professional wrestling can be skeptical towards change; there is consensus that wrestling in some way will always be changing. There is an agreement that for better, or for worse, professional wrestling is in a constant state of change with new ideas and characters to continue the path of wrestling's history that extends centuries before today's current state of wrestling. This new evolution of professional wrestling writing is seen by Jimmy Jacobs when he says,

“There are old traditional wrestling bookers who book good enough television aimed to traditionally get fans emotionally invested with traditional heel and baby face roles; this can work to an extent but can often be unspectacular. There are also many wrestling television writers that, while perhaps entertaining, can fail to emotionally captivate fans and can come off as over the top or cheesy. The foundation of traditional professional wrestling concepts set in new creative ways will, in my opinion, always make for good television“ (Jacobs)

This recognition of the need for a hybrid of the strengths of both traditional booker and professional writer is the beginning of the evolution of professional wrestling's creative process in the decades to come.

            As this evolution continues through professional wrestling, one aspect will never change as pointed out by Roland Barthes. This aspect is that “wrestlers remain gods because they are, for a few moments, the key which opens Nature, the pure gesture which separates Good from Evil, and unveils the form of Justice, which is at last intelligible” (Barthes 25). This basic moral situation is the heart of professional wrestling, and will remain a constant during the evolution of professional wrestling. As the hybrid form of the creative process begins to take shape this role of professional wrestling in society will keep wrestling anchored to its purpose. The evolution of the creative process in professional wrestling, fusing the strengths of both booker and writer, will bring a new way to extend the purpose of professional wrestling to a wider audience in the new digital age for the near future and beyond. 

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