1. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The greatest wrestling promo of all time. Expert dialog!

    Discussion in 'Dialogue Development' started by Seven Crowns, Apr 18, 2022.

    I watched this a half dozen times. It's so funny. What really started to impress me was the looseness of the dialog. Unless you're George Will or someone else in a bowtie, any rant is going to be grammatically suspicious. It almost has to be. Outside of Denis Leary, very few people can keep the flow pure.

    [​IMG]
    Here is the mathematician, for those
    who don't follow wrestling.


    I'm wondering if these wrestling promos aren't an untapped resource? You have guys in character extemporizing a pre-planned script, but they're not reading off a monitor. It's almost impromptu, right at the edge of it. So it's character dialog. Notice the dramatic difference in the speech of the three actors (Lauren the interviewer, Steiner the wrestler, Petey the sidekick). If this was a work of printed fiction, it would be absolutely flawless dialog. Add a few dialog beats to show the pauses. Make sure Steiner uses appositive phrases because he loves them. (You can hear them in the audio better than you can read them.) Here's the full excerpt. It has more content than the video. It's even funnier. I appreciate the politesse of the female interviewer. A very classy dodge on her part.

    Lauren: Scott Steiner, it's going to be a three way for the TNA Heavyweight Title at Sacrifice between you, Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe. Now, before you get there, you have an important step tonight, as you and X-Division champion Petey Williams take on the unlikely duo of Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe.

    Scott Steiner: You know they say that all men are created equal, but you look at me and you look at Samoa Joe and you can see that statement is not true. See, normally if you go one on one with another wrestler, you got a 50/50 chance of winning. But I'm a genetic freak and I'm not normal! So you got a 25%, AT BEST, at beat me. Then you add Kurt Angle to the mix, your chances of winning drastic go down. See the 3 way at Sacrifice, you got a 33 1/3 chance of winning, but I, I got a 66 and 2/3 chance of winning, because Kurt Angle KNOWS he can't beat me and he's not even gonna try!

    So Samoa Joe, you take your 33 1/3 chance, minus my 25% chance and you got an 8 1/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. But then you take my 75% chance of winning, if we was to go one on one, and then add 66 2/3 per cents, I got 141 2/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. See Joe, the numbers don't lie, and they spell disaster for you at Sacrifice.

    See, but I'm gonna break it down for all you ladies. Would you rather be with me? Or would you rather be with Joe?

    Lauren: : Well, I think Joe's kinda nice, y'know...

    Scott Steiner: See, you're one of those girls that like romance. I'mma talk to all my freaks out there. Would you rather come home to me, a genetic freak, to be satisfied every night? Or go home to that fat ass Samoa Joe? See, tonight we're going to win and I'm gonna be the World Champion at Sacrifice. C'mon Petey.

    Petey Williams: Hey, Scotty, just like you always say: Big Poppa Pump's your hook up. Well the Maple Leaf Muscle is who you need to look up. Holla if you hear that!

     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2022
  2. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Conspicuously Conventional Contributor

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    Steiner is clever, but Macho Man Randy Savage promos are the cream of the crop!

     
  3. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is true, haha. If I remember right, Macho Man gave "Mean" Gene his moniker. It's something he would say and it stuck.
     
  4. Azuresun

    Azuresun Senior Member

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    Brian Zane did a top ten of the best / worst wrestling promos of all time. And believe it or not Steiner Maths wasn't at the top one. Well worth a watch!



     
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  5. GeoffFromBykerGrove

    GeoffFromBykerGrove Active Member

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    Dusty Rhodes - hard times promo. That man could tell a story in 60 seconds.

    Anything MJF does. A story teller and hilarious too.

    Macho Man was bonkers. I loved his promos. Built that insane character and weaved the story into it as he went.
     
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  6. ShannonH

    ShannonH Member Supporter

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    No love for Jumpin' Jeff Farmer?
     
  7. GeoffFromBykerGrove

    GeoffFromBykerGrove Active Member

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    Yep!
     
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  8. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Here's what I'm talking about . . . I used that funny one with Macho Man. I like the part where he puts a creamer on his head, haha! Sadly, I had to truncate this before I got that far.

    I added an intro. (it's a true story, some of it, I didn't make that part up)
    I had to condense some of the actions and shift where they happened.
    Step 2 would be to simplify the dialog in spots because realworld audio doesn't translate perfectly to text. That's an exercise in itself.

    Anyway, I feel this is a great way to get dialog practice. You get to work on action beats too. You can take them right from the visuals.

    -----------------

    Mean Gene Okerlund has been dreading this moment. The Macho Man is off camera, hopping from foot to foot, psyching himself up for the microphone, as if he is ever lowkey. He tips his head back and does a shot. Gene doesn't understand it. Macho Man doesn't have a glass—he stuffs something in his pocket— and there he goes again! He smacks his lips loudly. Gene assumes it's pantomime. Gene's as nervous as an alley cat. The Macho Man Randy Savage is unpredictable. The last time he sat in on an interview, Gene had offered The Lovely Elizabeth an apple—it was part of a Halloween skit—and from the eaves the ever possessive Macho Man had started growling like an animal. Gene knows he was courting danger.

    Steady, Gene tells himself. If you're attacked then it will be a promo for the ages. He breathes in, affects a deadpan gaze, and begins.

    "Wrestlemania 3 at the Silverdome Pontiac, Michigan, it's a day that I'm certain my guest at this time will not forget, I'm talking about the former Intercontinental Champion of the World, Macho Man Randy Sav—"

    The Macho Man storms onset. He's dressed in tight pastels. With his hobo-on-the-rails hairdo and unkempt beard, he looks like a giant Easter egg hatching a werewolf. He cries out: "Nothing means nothing!"

    "Noth—?"

    "Nothing mean nothing, man?" The Macho Man sounds unsure.

    "Nothing means nothing? What do you mean by that?"

    Gene moves the microphone closer. The Macho Man's eyes rove maniacally behind his ski-slope shades. From this angle, Gene can see them, bloodshot and pinpricked. Gene is ready to leap away because he's seen this look before. The Macho Man is high as a kite.

    "I'm talking about all the way to the top, yeah! Unjustifiably in a position that I'd rather not be in." The Macho Man sounds pained. "But the cream will rise to the top, ooh yeah." From his closed fist, he produces a plastic single-serve cup.

    This creamers! This morning the entirety of the coffee creamers disappeared from the craft service table. The other wrestlers were incensed. Terry Funk and Snuka almost came to blows.

    "Macho Madness, yeah, has got more to offer than President Jack Tunney thinks that I got."

    Macho drops the creamer on Gene's shoes. The camera wheels closer.

    "Yeah," Macho Man continues, "and let me tell you something right now, cards stacked against the Macho Man Randy Savage in Wrestlemania 3, let me say it, yeah . . . Let me say it out loud! And let me point to the President of the World Wrestling Federation." He jabs his finger at the camera and produces another creamer. He flips the creamer at Gene's head. "The Macho Man Randy Savage is not happy with your decision, yeah. I am the cream in the World Wrestling Federation and there is no doubt about it, yeah, you Mean Gene Okerlund, you know that I'm the cream of the crop!"

    Macho Man stuffs a creamer in Gene's lapel pocket.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2022
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  9. GeoffFromBykerGrove

    GeoffFromBykerGrove Active Member

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    I learned so much about story telling from Jim Cornette. Obviously he’s not a novelist, but if you listen to his advice on how to book a match or a feud, he says a lot of transferable things. His ideas are simple: tell people what they need to know, but build character at the same time; don’t change the character without good reason and without a build up that explains it; don’t do anything that takes the audience out of believing it is real (even though they know it isn’t).
     
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  10. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I listen to him too! Good old Corny, haha. That youtube channel he's running is pretty funny. Man, is he opinionated, but he definitely knows his stuff. I'm impressed with how quick he thinks on his feet. He's big on believability in story too. I guess the old gimmicks were more authentic, in his opinion. Seems incredible. You had hillbillies fighting Arab sheiks, Australian bushwhackers versus voodoo priests. Though the following really did happen (not really):


    But you haven't seen anything yet. Watch this! (triumphant music starts playing)

    I guess that's too scripted to be useful for dialog practice. Sure is funny though. I also like the one where Mr. Perfect bowls a perfect game and the pins always fall in the exact same pattern, almost like it was the same footage in a loop. That's perfect bowling!
     
  11. Cdn Writer

    Cdn Writer Contributor Contributor

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    WWE is heavily scripted right now. WWE has professional writers that write promos for the wrestlers and they're expected to FOLLOW that script.

    At this point, the only people who don't have to follow a script are The Rock and John Cena.

    Yes, I know The Rock is gone but when he comes back for special matches at Wrestlemania or Survivor Series etc.
     

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