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Is it "easier" to play an unpredictable wild man character?


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I've been thinking about this for a while and couldn't quite work out how to articulate what I want to say on it.


Most of us here find two workers -- Terry Funk and Stan Hansen -- to be quite irresistible. They have one thing in common: they are both workers who toe that line of craziness, violence and unpredictability that leaves even the most hardened of hardcore fan with that very slight element of doubt that what they are doing might be a shoot. You're never sure with either Funk or Hansen what exactly is "in the script", because you know that a lot of what they are doing is ad hoc.


My question is ... does this give these two workers an unfair edge when we're thinking about them over ones who have, for example, more cerebral characters?


My good friend Johnny said it once about Arn Anderson, that you knew he was a "thinking man's" wrestler because he pointed to his head. But watch two dozen Arn matches and there's only so many times he can go to that same well. Watch two dozen Terry Funk matches and you can be sure that he'll be doing some different crazy shit in each of them, that's the nature of his character. The nature of Arn's character gives less scope for variety.


Who suffers most from this sort of thing? It's guys like Ricky Steamboat with quite squeaky-clean bland babyface characters. As we've seen the stock in guys like Funk and Hansen rise, so stock in guys like Steamboat has fallen. Is this because of the nature of the characters?


Let me know what you think on this? There may be more to say. It's something I've been quietly thinking on for about 18 months, but struggled to put into words.

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I don't think it gives them an advantage. A thinking man's wrestler and a wildman can both be played in a variety of ways and if a wrestler chooses not to incorporate that into their style that's their own fault. I think it is often because of laziness or a lack of creativity. Bruiser Brody didn't wrestle like a wild man. Triple H never really wrestled like the 'cerebral assassin' he was supposed to be. He pulled out a lot of stuff at this year's wrestlemania that really fit the gimmick, so you know it was possible. Squeaky-clean babyfaces are bland by definition, but there are ways around it. A big reason Steamboat suffers is because he had shitty offense.

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It's more difficult because with a wild man character if you don't do something that could be called unpredictable people feel like they are cheated. From a performer standpoint, it's way better to be predictable because that means when you do veer off the norm its a huge deal.

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