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Old 04 Feb 2004, 11:46 AM   #1 (permalink)
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When a wrestler spends 260 to 300+ days a year portraying his/her in ring persona, do you think that the persona tends to over take the rest of the wrestlers life, or can they keep themselves completely sepaprate from their "gimmick" ?

I realize that in order for a wrestler to pull of his gimmick he has to believe in it and live it, somewhat. A good example is Jake Roberts, the man and the character almost walk the same line. Both give of an aura of pshycological instability and by watching many of his interviews and reading about the man, you are not sure where "the Snake" stops and Jake begins but this led to him being one of the most convincing characters that the WWF/E has ever seen, no body or "superstar" look to speak of, but his mind and behavior controlled the crowd.
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Old 04 Feb 2004, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think the characters these guys play come from within themselves, from a certain aspect of their personality that is emphasized and for entertainment purposes put in front as a "defining feature." However, I doubt seriously that the character takes over the wrestler's off stage person.

A few years ago, MTV did a show on wrestling. They contrasted HHH (who at the time was banging that guy Chyna) with Tony Atlas. HHH was WWE and Atlas was living in a two room apartment, struggling to put on shows in high school gyms.

I won't get to Atlas, because that was just some depressing shit to watch.

HHH, however couldn't have been cooler. Of course he had his on stage persona, and having seen recent interviews with him on shows like "The Best Damn Sports Show Period," HHH is still pretty cool and funny, but he's mellowed.

In the MTV special, HHH was really happy and bubbly, I got the impression (and I know it can't be far from the mark) of a kid who had a dream, followed it and was at that time being paid more money than he thought he'd ever make to do the one thing that he loved.

I can't remember all the aspects of the special b/c it's been at least three years since I've seen it, but HHH was funny, happy and nice. At one point he turned to the camera just as he was about to go onstage and said, "All you people out there who are working hard to get here...keep pushing because once you get here, it's the best thing ever." Or something like that.

HHH was actually kinda inspirational in that special, but his character at the time wasn't the kind that you'd draw inspiration from. Now, HHH is a true professional, and he has always had a great amount of respect for the business. I'm pretty sure that had something to do with his differential between the 'nice' HHH I saw and the heel HHH we all see at the shows.

I'm not sure if that holds true for all the wrestlers, but I'd have to say the best ones know where the line is between fantasy and reality.

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Old 04 Feb 2004, 03:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A one of a kind thread. That kinda is thought-provoking. I remember watching this VH1 special on Ozzy Osbourne concerning his on-stage character as a psychopathic, satan-worshiping maniac. It turns out he went on tour so much with that gimmick that out of nowhere he strangled his wife Sharon. So I guess playing the character alot can have an effect on your life.
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Old 09 Feb 2004, 04:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I really don't think many of them let it get over their heads. Most of them have familys and wifes and they aren't about to let the undertaker hang out around the house. These guys are just playing characters. We've seen them go through their matches with each other beforehand. We've seen Rock talk about what a piece of shit Rock is and how it's going to help Foley go over. We've seen them on SNL or Letterman. Hell, you know who really seems to live is gimmick? Vince McMahon. In everything I see him do he's pretty much the same evil fucker. Now, I know that's not true, I know he didn't drug his wife or fuck Dawn or whatever, but he plays that character anytime he's in front of a camera. Living your gimmick is what Bret Hart started to do. When he was unable to let his character go and instead made it his reality. He became The Hitman and he believed in it.

Jake isn't really his character anymore, he's just fucking nuts. I don't know if he even sees himself as 2 different ppl. I've heard him recently and he sort of fades in and out of character. You never really know what he's going to do next. And he's in awful shape.

Warrior wanted to live his gimmick. I'm forgetting his name right now, but I'm pretty sure he did in fact change his name to Warrior. I know he's got some problems too. I've never really dug up much history on him though, so I'd have to find out what's up.

Now it's interesting, because I mentioned Rock earlier, and I'm pretty sure he owns that name now. Basically so he can market it in hollywood. I don't think that's too far fetched, and I don't see Duane being a big player, besides, lots of stars have stage names anyway. But I don't think he goes home and says some shit like "The Rock wants a grilled cheese samitch"
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