In a candid discussion on Sportskeeda's "Wrestling Time Machine" podcast, WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long shared his insights on a crucial but often neglected element in the realm of professional wrestling. Long emphasized the importance of authenticity in the ring, particularly in how wrestlers react to their opponents' moves.
Professional wrestling, a blend of athleticism and performance art, demands a high level of skill and showmanship to engage and convince the audience. While spectacular moves and daring feats often elicit strong reactions from fans, Long pointed out that the effectiveness of these moves hinges on how convincingly they are 'sold' or reacted to by their recipients.
This aspect of wrestling, according to Long, is pivotal in making the action in the ring believable and engaging. Speaking to host Mac Davis, Long explained, "You have to make them believe. They have to believe in you, and it is so simple.
What would you do if you were in a real fight? If somebody knocked you on your butt, you know what I mean, what would you do? Would you stay down (...) or would you get up and try to fight back? But if you really got a devastating move, you are gonna stay down.
You ain't gonna jump up." This philosophy underscores the importance of realism in pro wrestling's narrative storytelling.
Orton's Impressive Return
Furthermore, Long also commented on the impressive return of Randy Orton, a 14-time World Champion, at WWE's Survivor Series: WarGames 2023.
Long praised Orton's dedication to maintaining his physical condition, especially post-surgery. "Ya, he looked really good man. That means once he got over his surgery and was able to go back to the gym, he went right back to the gym.
So that's a thing you gotta do too. You can't quit working out. You gotta keep on going and keeping yourself in shape. Because once you stop, you are like a car out of gas," Long remarked. These insights from a seasoned professional like Teddy Long highlight the intricate balance between physical prowess and the art of performance, a balance that remains a cornerstone in the world of professional wrestling.
As the industry continues to evolve, maintaining this balance is crucial for the authenticity and longevity of pro wrestling as a beloved sport and entertainment medium.