Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Buzz Words and Nicknames

Hey Scott,

We all know that Vince loves to hammer home buzz words, phrases, and nicknames but two things recently have really infuriated me. First was at TLC where every commentator whether it was on the actual show or on the pre/post game show had to refer to the event over and over again as "WWE's version of a demolition derby". Now a story comes out that every time Sting is mentioned they absolutely have to refer to him as "The Vigilante".

Tagline's and nicknames are fine but why does Vince feel the need that the commentators need to say these things over and over again? At TLC it made no sense because what are they trying to do, sell a show that i'm already watching? And what's wrong with Sting being just Sting, why would a famous wrestler who's been around for almost 30 years need to have a new name attached to him.

Does Vince truly believe these unnecessary lines and names help the product or is it just another one of his weird obsessions?

Thanks,
Tom

That's more likely to be Stephanie's influence, as she's all about the "branding" and preaches it when she does her inane interviews and business school talks.  Vince has always been pretty bad for it, but it's never been this ridiculous (The Architect!  The Lunatic Fringe!  Big Red!) until Steph suddenly became "Chief Brand Officer."  

Also, why is there both "Big Red" and "Big Red Machine" in the same company? Shouldn't one of them have to change their name to Garrison or Gregory?

54 comments:

  1. The Dudley Boyz were 'The Wizards of the Wicked Wood' at Backlash 2001, likely my all time favorite.

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  2. To be fair, Kane hasn't been referred to as the Big Red Machine in forever.

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  3. Not a single one of these nicknames has ever, or will ever, be chanted by a single fan at any show. You'd think that would alert them to the fact that none of this gets over. I'll throw Mr Stephanie McMahon under the bus too, because "Cerebral Assassin" strikes me as one of the first "nicknames" to be beaten into the submission of the viewer.

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  4. JR coined "Cerebral Assassin", not HHH himself. And it got over quite well at the time.

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  5. Is roman reigns still the juggernaut?

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  6. I think he's simply the Botched Promo now.

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  7. We're probably about 6 months away from Eric Rowan corn-rowing his beard, picking up a dance move, and changing his name to E-Row. Hornswoggle will be his hype man. We all know this is just as likely to happen as to not, so I wouldn't worry too much about the whole Big Red thing.

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  8. I still hate "WWE Universe".


    Seriously, it's one of those buzzwords that just doesn't roll off the tongue easy. When your CEO can't pronounce it right, it's time to drop it.

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  9. "I'm a member of the WWE Universe". NO.

    A good buzzword should be something that people might ever be willing to actually say.

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  10. Example #400 of why Jim Ross was a much better announcer than Michael Cole. JR used the nicknames (and made up a number of silly ones himself) just as much but made them sound as organic as possible...well, maybe not 'Booger Red,' but the majority sounded organic.

    With Cole, it's just JUGGERNAUT JUGGERNAUT JUGGERNAUT ad nauseum with no subtlety.

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  11. They kind of did the same thing with Vader (The Mastadon), Steve Austing (The Rattlesnake--and he already had a nickname: Stone Cold!), Rocky Maivia (The Blue-chipper), Shawn Michaels (The Show Stopper), Bret Hart (The Excellence of Execution) among other guys. It does seem a little more obnoxious now, but I'm not sure what makes it different. Perhaps it's the way they prepackage these tags now, or maybe it's just that JR applied such brandings with a little more tact.

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  12. "Cerebral Assassin" was the perfect nickname for Triple H, besides the "The Game".


    It was when he started going crazy with it and calling himself "The King of Kings, the Measuring Stick, The Greatest of all Time, the MOSES, etc" that everyone started rolling their eyes.

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  13. Forget the 'universe' part, WWE is itself difficult to say.

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  14. Never made sense to me. HHH always hits people with a hammer or gets his cronies to beat people up. It's not like he ever played mind games or anything, apart from pretending he wasn't a bad guy the week before he revealed he got Rikishi to run over Austin and marrying Steph.

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  15. This is true. Justin Roberts never managed to say it in a way that didn't sound ultra douchey.

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  16. Dude, his feud with Vince was nothing BUT mind games.

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  17. The problem is that these names are always so tacked on, convoluted, and forced - just like with the dialogue, they don't sound like anything your average person would actually say in a conversation. For example, Austin was always called "The toughest son of a bitch in the WWF" or some other variation, but that's a pretty straightforward phrase and is a common superlative that anybody could theoretically bring up when talking to somebody.

    Who the the hell do you know would commonly refer to somebody as the "The architect of the ____" or "Lunatic fringe?"

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  18. That's amazing. I lament the fact that I'd totally forgotten about that for over a decade.

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  19. "WWF" always rolled of the tongue a lot better. The combination of syllables just doesn't mesh with a long e.

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  20. In the UK it will be forever called "The wrestling"

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  21. All these branding ideas gave us "Sexual Chocolate", too. So for that, we can be thankful.

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  22. "It's the Apex Predator against the Lunatic Fringe, as Smackdown rolls on...."

    *screams*

    A computer wrote this sentence!

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  23. I just realized, had this actually caught on, we could've had a PPV commercial or vignette where Stacy Kiebler in full on Dutchess of Dudleyville mode skipped along a golden road lined with broken tables while singing

    "We're off to see the Wizards, the wonderful Wizards of (Wicked) Wood!"

    That would've gotten all the buys.

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  24. The Juggernaut Roman Reigns. That's just honey in the mouth, that is. Clunky as fuck.

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  25. The nicknames nowadays are almost used like titles or occupational names rather than mythical aliases you associate with a certain guy.

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  26. And I think the current internet and social media era makes it really hard for nicknames to come naturally. A lot of old nicknames in sports and entertainment in the old days either didn't make sense or were heavily dependent on context. Somebody said the nickname organically, people would like it, and it'd become part of the common lexicon.

    Now, you can just incessantly attach whatever nickname some shitty branding agency comes up with ad nauseam. People of different groups will either come up with their own nicknames or just take whatever's force fed. That's why damn near every athlete nickname nowadays is the lazy "Initials+number" formula.

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  27. I know we joke about it but the truth is Vince is an old man, he needs things repeated to him and so feels as though things needs to be repeated for everyone in general. Even yesterday during Jericho's opening promo, how many fucking times did he mention "my Slammy for the most extreme moment of the year when I dived off the cage". It really felt like he was purposely told to repeat it over and over


    But by far the most annoying thing is the way Michael Cole enunciates 'double you double you e championship'. Drives me fucking insane

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  28. I remember in one of Jim Cornette's many many shoot interviews that he hated the Mastadon nickname Vince was trying to use for Vader. Mostly because Vince was trying to phase out the name Vader, because The Mastadon would be his creation...I believe Cornette said in the shoot "No his fucking name is Vader".

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  29. It's like calling Batista an animalbwhen he wasn't a wild man, they are just generic buzz words. Austin getting labled a tough s.o.b after he refuses to tap out to the sharp shooter, or turning up on Raw after getting his neck broken, makes sense. Vince still thinks wrestling is like a stage play where he can cast people in roles when it works out better when the guys get a direction but instead make things their own.

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  30. Whenever I think of him he's more of a power abuser or a smart ass with thuggy leanings.

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  31. I agree and I think Triple H's "The Game" is an example of that.

    They just didn't start repeatedly calling him The Game. "It's The Game! Here comes the Game!"

    It came naturally from the performer. JR continually called Triple H a student of the game because he would study wrestling, he would study it's history and his opponents. Common expression. And them Triple H made it his own "I am the fucking Game JR" and it grew from there.

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  32. I actually like the vigilante Sting. It'll be annoying when it has to be said over and over but I like the nickname.

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  33. WWE's version of a demolition derby really got on my nerves watching the show too but at the end of the day it did describe the booking of that show pretty well.

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  34. Well branding comes into play with "the vigilante"

    When it comes to shirt money and royalties.

    WWE produces a sting shirt... It just says "sting", how much money (percentage wise) does wwe and sting split?

    Now, wwe make a tshirt "the vigilante" sting... Money may tip in wwe favor...

    What if wwe produces a shirt that reads "the vigilante" only? Does sting get a cut?

    Rhetorical questions.

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  35. MikeyMike, JuggernautDecember 16, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    Agreed. Good example is when the Rock returned during the Invasion and said "FINALLY. The Rock has returned...to the WWF."

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  36. Plus it just sounds more like a Rasslin' company. The "E" just makes it sound like a neutered entertainment enterprise...then again, that's exactly what they are these days.

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  37. You don't become something by doing it in WWE, you just say it and it's true (see the Survivor Series main event as "the most important match in WWE history")

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  38. This is part of the corporate culture we live in now. It is what it is.

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  39. Maybe Vince is catching up with the times and is watching Season 1 of Arrow on Netflix. That could explain the Vigilante name. :)

    Maybe not....

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  40. The Apex Predator is one of the worst nicknames ever.

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  41. I think the Viper's cool but Apex Predator is so awful. It's somebody trying waaaay too hard to be edgy and complex.

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  42. We need a Gregory again in rasslin. COME BACK, HELMS.

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  43. Eric rowan is the big red..big red what??

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  44. What I don't like about this is that the WWE assumes its fans are all dumb enough to just buy it whenever they have Michael Cole force some new corporate nickname down our throats and pretend it's what everybody has been calling them.


    And why is it Michael Cole doing this, instead of the wrestlers themselves?


    They could cover the blatant corporate branding a lot easier if they did that like they used to. I don't remember Cole giving The Rock the "People's Champion" nickname. I remember the Rock just deciding he was the fucking People's Champ.

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  45. In non "Big red" related news...

    Raw ratings--- the day after a PPV AND with Jericho and Lesnar on the show--- continue to drop from the week before. Fucking WOW.
    http://prowrestling.net/article.php?WWE-Raw-viewership-for-the-post-TLC-edition-40173

    And as usual viewers dropped off throughout the show, with the John Cena main event drawing the lowest viewers of the night.

    But I guess everything with WWE is still fine and perfectly acceptable?

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  46. I agree that the nickname works for him, but yeah--it's just how they're hammering us over the head with it that's annoying.

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  47. Just like how Sheamus was "The Great White."

    It'd actually make more sense without "The" added on. Somebody needs to alert WWE that "Big Red" is an adjective phrase, not a title on its own.

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  48. It's clearly that damn millennial Rollins' fault for not connecting with the audience.

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  49. Cena is LOVE. Cena is LIFE.

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  50. That's what they get for booking Cena to lose. Definitely Rollins' fault--he deserves all the blame here!

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  51. I haven't heard him call that in the last 5 minutes, so I'm not sure anymore!

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  52. shit you beat me to the joke!

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  53. Lunatic Fringe is the worst because it's an actual term that doesn't apply to Ambrose whatsoever. He's just a lunatic, and he's even referred to as a lunatic by the announcers.

    Apex predator makes sense, but it's as forced as it gets.

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