The Wrestling Genius: Punk’s Reality Era Grows and My Interview with Savage
Some of the best storylines lie in the real world. The wwe has entered into interesting territory with this workers united against HHH story arch. I don’t know how other people feel but I’m really enjoying this new direction. From having the talent voice their gripes on twitter, to having a few of the top faces stay out of it. The Miz and R-truth have been given an amazing opportunity when they were ‘fired’. They have now become the face of the workers revolution and are airing the same grievances that Punk was airing a few months ago. WWE brilliantly worked in The Miz’s natural speaking ability, took him out of his rut of saying the same thing repeatedly and allowed him to flourish again. I have to give credit to r-truth who I didn’t care for, for most of his career because now I really like his character. He’s a little less insane and a little rawer emotion and he looks more comfortable. Dolph Ziggler has really been on top of the workers message on twitter. Some young people are being given a real chance here, Wade Barrett, Ziggler, and Cody Rhodes just to name a few. Speaking of Rhodes I’d just like to say that I love that he brought back the old school white Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship belt.
HHH has now been pitted as the renegade boss with few allies, but the WWE universe seems to be behind the entrenched leader. I don’t know if we’ve seen this kind of rift between crowd and the workers. Usually if the locker room is against someone he’s a heel, and the crowd hates him or her as well. That’s not the case here at all, and it adds another layer to the story. This is really an interesting story that I’m excited to see play out over the coming weeks, it feels like the WWE is working very hard to come up with creative ideas we haven’t seen in a while or haven’t seen at all. HHH is playing his role perfectly as if there was any doubt. Say what you want about his legacy, whether you buy that he was worth the push he got, or if you are of the school of thought that thinks he was given the “brass ring” because of his marriage. I think he learned from two of the best, Shawn Michaels and Rick Flair, and that he earned what he got. Now, did he stay on top longer because of his relationship with Stephanie? I believe so yes, but he got to the top through hard work and studying his good friends.
If we have entered the reality era like Punk says, then we are probably going to see more ‘real’ story tines like the occupy Wall Street being turned into occupy raw. Twitter is abuzz with WWE superstars shilling the hashrag #occupyraw. Twitter and the Internet add more and more ‘reality’ to the story and its fun to see the WWE embrace such a powerful marketing tool. Vince has been a visionary in the wrestling world, but it has taken him a while to come around on using the internet as a way to market his wrestlers. Now however it appears he has embraced the internet and has allowed the talent to run with it like never before. Seeing Punk use it a few months ago to create free buzz probably is what pushed Vince over the cliff and into the Twitter and Internet pool. Punk’s reality revolution is growing in ways we didn’t anticipate and it is more and more enjoyable by the day. Some think Punk has been pushed on the back burner, but I think Punk is going to be used in new and inventive ways. Punk is too big of a star to keep down; his t-shirt sales and other merchandise sales are too high for that to happen. He is now on the same level as John Cena, and that is rarified air. The WWE is realizing that the stale product they had them losing audiences in droves. This ‘reality’ era Punk started is branching out and growing in fun inventive new directions.
As part of my on going profile of Northern Outlaw Wrestling I have been interviewing a few of the wrestlers and will be adding those interviews to my next few columns. This week I interviewed Northern Outlaw’s top face, Savage. I hope you people enjoy the interviews, and again you can find all of their information on northernoutlawwrestling.com, and you can see a few of Savage’s matches online on You Tube.
Jared: What was and still is the reason you sacrifice your body for the sport of pro wrestling?
Savage: Ever since I was young, all I ever wanted to do was be involved in pro wrestling in some way. I love pro wrestling. I remember watching wrestling on TV and thought it was the greatest thing ever. My main reason for being a pro wrestler and getting in that ring and risking it all is for the fans. I want to be able to provide the same feeling to all of the fans in the crowd that I had when I was a kid. Some nights I come out of that ring with more aches and pains than other nights, but when it’s all said and done at the end of the night, it’s all worth it.
Jared: What is it like wrestling for a territory like NOW, is it a challenge to get smaller crowds over, or do you find them to be more receptive of the product?
SSavage: I feel very privileged to work primarily for Northern Outlaw Wrestling. When I first broke into the business it was with N.O.W. in June 2009 and I’ve been on every show ever since. I’ve worked for a few other promotions, and I have to admit that there is nothing like being a part of an N.O.W. show. I’ve learned to appreciate the smaller crowds. I believe that many of the smaller crowds in the smaller towns appreciate pro wrestling more. When there is an event like a N.O.W. show in a small town, I believe the citizens of that town look at it like it’s a big deal, and it is a big deal. When I was young there wasn’t very much live pro wrestling shows around here. I’m really glad the fans get to have the opportunity to see pro wrestling live here in North Dakota. I didn’t get that chance when I was a kid. I’m very proud to be a part of Northern Outlaw Wrestling, and it’s just as exciting for me to wrestle for the crowd that it is for the crowd to watch.
Jared: Darren Corbin is the current NOW champion, you two have had a few battles in the past. You getting another title shot, and if so how are going to beat a talented wrestler?
Savage: Darrin Corbin defeated me this past summer for the N.O.W. World Heavyweight Championship after Sammy Savard came into the ring and hit me in the back with his steel chain. I have yet to have a one on one rematch with DC. I’ve voiced my opinion time and time again with the N.O.W. Board of Directors and I’m that hoping in the future I will once again have a shot at the title. Right now, after winning the Vegas 8 Tournament that took place in Minot, ND Sept. 23 & 24, Mr. Inkredible is the number 1 contender for the World Title. He earned that shot and I have no bad blood towards him about that. Like I said, someday in the future things are going to come around full circle. Honestly though, that is secondary on my list of things to do. My number one priority now is seeking my revenge on Sammy Savard. All of my Little Savages out there know that he is the reason I no longer hold the title. Before I even think about going after the title again, I need to show Savard that he picked a fight with the wrong person. Savard likes to call himself the Bulldog, well Oct. 21st in Williston ND he is going to find out first hand what happens when a bulldog crosses paths with The Savage. And when it’s all said and done me and all of my little Savages, that give me the strength and pure intensity to get the job done, will show the Bulldog that it’s SAVAGE TIIIME!!!
Jared: What’s it like wrestling someone who’s been in the business as long as Savard has? Crafty veteran who has probably seen it all has to be a challenge to wrestle.Savage: Back in may, Sammy Savard put a video out on youtube that was directed toward me. About how I was asking him for advice in this business when I first started. I’m not going to deny it; I did ask him for advice on things. How could I not, he’s been all over the place, wrestled all kinds of different wrestlers, been on national TV when he wrestled the Boogie Man. I figured he has a lot of knowledge to pass. However, when he made that video after I became champion, making accusations about me not respecting the ones that came before me, it was a complete lie. I honestly believed he was out to get my attention, and thought he would challenge me for the title. That never happened; instead, he caused me to lose the title to Corbin. Now, I’m not saying wrestling Sammy Savard is going to be a walk in the park. However, I can assure you of this, Sammy Savard wrestling The Savage will be no cakewalk for him either. I have the backing of all my Savages in the crowd. They give me all the strength I need to meet face to face with Savard. I in no way under estimate Savard, however he had better not under estimate me.
Jared: Best match to date, and do you know when you are having ‘one of those nights’ where you and your opponent are just in a zone? Conversely how difficult is it when things just aren’t working, how do you learn from both scenarios?
Savage: I have had many matches that I have had over the past year that I feel could fall into my “best match” category. If I had to pick one, it would have to be “The Irish Shooter” Benny Blades vs. The Savage for the N.O.W. World Heavyweight Championship. We were all over the N.O.W. Arena at the Vegas Motel that night. In the end, I pinned him and became the World Champion for the first time in N.O.W.
In a match where I feel like things just aren’t going my way, I just have to roll with the punches and just remember that all of my fans are in that crowd, but at heart, they are in the ring with me. If I set my opponent up for one of my moves whether it’s my Savage Slam, or my Savage Decimation and I don’t hit it, well then I know that as long as I’m still in that ring, and those fans are still behind me, my opponent will eventually slip and I’ll capitalize on it.
Jared: What sets NOW apart from other territories/Indy organizations you’ve seen?
Savage: Like I said before, I’ve been on every N.O.W show since June 2009 and every time I step into an arena for N.O.W., there is just something different in the air. I really can’t explain it, but I would strongly urge any and all pro wrestling fans in the area, that if you have not been to a NORTHERN OUTLAW WRESTLING event, you need to.
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The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt