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Setting the Magic for Setting

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  • Setting the Magic for Setting

    Sitting here, I’m amazed something as simple as “what the magic of setting is” only now occurs to me. Does wrestling need a seventy-thousand seat stadium dressed in fireworks, humongous palm trees, and a second ring in the sky to feel special? No. I’d argue it needs two chairs in a locker room as long as Paul Heyman and Roman Reigns or Sami Zayne and Roman Reigns are in them. It needs a stage that looks like a quilt as long as Roddy Piper is conducting chaos on it. It needs a warehouse by the bank of America, as long as Dario Cueto is turning it into a blood sport arena.

    As a child, it hurt me to move from a yard with no land more than an acorn tree to something spacey with privacy and much to do. The reason being? The magic of setting. What’s under the magical hat, Houdini? It’s characters and their ongoings. Matter of fact, magic lives forever and energy can never be destroyed. In childhood, it wasn't many memories I had in that yard; nay, it was all of them. And while three decades of a full life and years of a lot of whiskey drinking have clouded those memories this morning, an acorn on the ground still gives me warm fuzzies. Aren’t acorns sharp and anything but fuzzy? Read this a couple times, the characters and ongoings on a set weave transformative magic.

    What kind of set do you want to be on? One where everybody knows your name? Cheers fans will get that reference. In Cheers you had Sam Malone, the ex-athlete bar owner, who all the “average” bar goers lived vicariously through. Sam hound-dogged the women who came in his bar. Hound-dogged them! In Cheers, you had Diane Chambers, a person devout to her views and education, charming in a sometimes-innocent way, and other times she was flawed as Sam but in her self-righteousness. Her contrast with Sam in that bar made magic. Other characters, Norm, whom everybody shouted his name when he came in, and Cliff, who was repugnancy incarnated, made that bar. This show was superior to Wings that took place in an airport, for instance, and if the cast and characters were switched, I’d be using an analogy about a show with an awesome airport instead of bar.

    If you're lost about Cheers, turn on Netflix and get caught up on the best show in television history and come back. Nah, enough about acorns and Cheers. Let’s talk wrestling. Why is it that Piper’s Pit has often been imitated but never duplicated? We’re lost in all the wrong details. We’re trying to give other wrestlers talk show settings and forgetting what gave that talk show setting its magic. It wasn’t even that it was a talk show segment that made it magical. It’s the characters on the setting doing what they did to build those first three WrestleManias that transformed the pit. It’s a coconut over Snuka’s head, it’s Piper harassing celebrities like Cindy Lauper and Mr. T, it’s Piper turning on Orndorf, it’s Andre, with Heenan by his side, ripping Hogan’s shirt off, doing something nobody thought the giant would do.

    Much of Miz TV is forgotten. That show isn’t the evolution of Piper’s Pit. The evolution is two guys in chairs. In twenty years of terrible backstage segments, two guys in chairs have set the stage for WrestleMania goes Hollywood. The difference being, for nearly twenty years backstage segments have been flat characters poorly reciting lines. This Bloodline thing is different. If you walked in Roman’s locker-room ten years from now, you may see two empty chairs. Stay around a minute though, soon you’ll see Roman laughing while Sami does his dance. Soon Heyman will be appealing to Roman Reigns in counsel as his “wise man.” See, energy cannot be destroyed and when magic happens a chair is more than a chair, and an acorn is more than an acorn, forever.

    In literature, we learn the importance of setting. Do you want to write something set in 1862 about a conflicted southern soldier, dying for and with values he’s wrestling with, or do you want to write about something futuristic, like the Orville spaceship with a nurse falling for a robot, who cannot reciprocate her longing? Just know, whichever setting you choose, it’s going to be the characters that make it great, and with great writing and characters and ongoings, all you really need for setting is a couple chairs.
    Last edited by Benjamin Button; 02-25-2023, 09:09 AM.
    See the latest of my Ric Flair saga click here. View my story inspired by colorful wrestlers I've come across in my fandom.

  • #2
    I love how this storyline has captured wrestling fans. I love the people in the center of it, and I love that I'm feeling hype for a WWE storyline like I haven't in a long time. But an even bigger pop for showing all this love to Cheers! Tremendous show. Sami and Roman could have conducted some business on those stools I think. That live studio audience would have loved Sami.

    The '92 Rumble! The Brain's Finest Hour!