It’s time for another edition of Pro Wrestling Punditry. The first edition seems to have gone over smashingly, and it made me even more excited to bring more of these to our loyal readers. Just to reiterate, here’s what this column is all about;
Each week I’ll be posting an interview I conducted with a pro wrestling pundit, podcaster, writer, or prominent personality. Basically, if someone is the interview subject in this column then they are approaching wrestling from a critical perspective in some capacity. The catch is, each and every interviewee will be getting the same set of ten questions. This is being done to a provide opinions on the same subjects as well as to avoid any specifically tailored questions for individual guests. It’s also my hope that together with my policy of not editing any of the responses (aside from grammar or structure issues) this approach will lead to a series of unbiased takes on the world of wrestling.
And now it’s time to get down to business. This week I welcome Courtney Rose. I became familiar with Courtney thanks to her joining the staff of The Tag Rope. I’ve been writing for The Tag Rope since issue two and it only took one article for me to realize that we’d managed to snag quite the talented writer in Courtney. More of Courtney’s wrestling musings can be found on Femmezuiguri, where she provides takes on any and all wrestling related topics with a decided emphasis on the female viewpoint. In addition to those outlets Courtney also has her own website, Wrestling with Makeup. It’s a site combining wrestling, makeup, and well, Courtney. Basically Courtney tries out various makeup designs on herself, action figures, friends, and even pro wrestlers like Chris Hero! The catch is that, in case you haven’t figured out where Courtney’s passions lie quite yet, the designs are all wrestling related. It’s a very interesting website, and a unique approach to pro wrestling fandom. Wrestling with Makeup also has a Facebook Page. Lastly, Courtney can be found every day using the moniker @ChicagosCRose on the Twitter machine.
1) How old are you?
2) When did you first start watching wrestling?
“I was about 8 when I started watching. I can never remember the first show I watched or anything like that, but I have a lot of childhood memories of Sting in WCW (World Championship Wrestling), especially him coming from the rafters. My sister and I thought he was the coolest. I know Chris Jericho in WCW was my first real crush, ridiculous hair and all.”
3) When do you recall first thinking critically about wrestling?
“I don’t think there’s a specific point that I can recall beginning to think critically about it. I remember as a kid being angry when girls didn’t get to have matches and things like that, but I was so young at the time I don’t think I was even aware as to why it bothered me. It probably wasn’t until I was in college and started watching again, going on social media to see reactions to things that I finally started to process opinions on things at a deeper level. So within the past few years. I would have my own opinions on things but it wasn’t until I started becoming active on social media that I was fully developing thoughts I could verbalize.”
4) What is your favorite promotion of all time?
“Of all time it would probably be WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) because there’s so much history there and so much to go back and watch. Otherwise I think PWG (Pro Wrestling Guerrilla) has had a great history of matches I go back to over and over again. Lately I have been watching PWG and New Japan (New Japan Pro Wrestling) far more than WWE, so it ebbs and flows back and forth.”
5) Who is your favorite wrestler of all time?
6) What is your favorite era of wrestling?
“Whatever future era leads Dalton Castle to being Champion of everything.”
7) What is your favorite style of wrestling?
“Whatever you call what Kenny Omega does.”
8) What are the elements that make up a talented pro wrestler?
“Personally I am all about that personal/crowd connection. I have to feel something when I watch a person wrestle, whether I’m cheering for them or not. Charisma, confidence, and individuality are all really important to me. When I think of my favorite wrestlers, I think of people who are technically incredibly skilled, but I view them more as someone whose motivations I understand and who I can believe in. You have to try something different and be willing to take risks with your personality in order to get me on board. Also, being funny helps. I’m a sucker for a good laugh at a wrestling show.”
9) What is most important to you when it comes to spending your time with a pro wrestling product?
“I think the most important thing to me would be that I would need to feel engaged in the product. There has to be a reason for me to care about what I’m watching, whether it be story-line wise or technical performance wise, I have to connect with it in some way. One of the reasons why I like Lucha Underground so much as of late is that there’s so much going on, it’s hard to not find something to connect with. There’s story, there’s strong female characters, there’s excellent in-ring performance, there’s intrigue of new performers coming in. I get bored of watching the same matches in a feud over and over again, so being able to connect with a product and feeling like I’m getting a good payoff for the amount of time I’m spending with it is important. Honestly, I want to have fun when I watch wrestling. I’m not the kind of person to watch a show and go on twitter to complain for an hour about everything that was wrong with it. If I felt like it wasn’t worth my time, I move on, so having fun and enjoying myself is the most important thing to me. Watching wrestling should never feel like a chore.”
10) What major changes do you see in the pro wrestling landscape ten years from now?
“I am hoping that we see a continuation of the model that’s currently going on with NXT in that there will be more “guest appearances” of independent stars coming and going. I think they have something really interesting and strong in what they’re doing with (Johnny) Gargano at the moment, because people are seeing him on WWE television, but then can also catch him at independent shows. Obviously I don’t know the money situation there, but I would like to think the exposure is a positive thing and can only help. I like that model so far and I see that continuing in the future. Also, so many of the bigger companies have partnerships now, with NXT and Evolve (EVOLVE Wrestling) and New Japan and Ring of Honor, it’s fun to see the crossover potential and different matches with a variety of talent. I hope that trend continues, and I hope women start to play a larger role in wrestling in all aspects as well. 2016 started off great with Kimber Lee being the first female to hold the highest title for any independent promotion, so I would really love to see that trend continue and to see more women being given the opportunity to reach those levels. Plus, please god let us have a singles match for the Women’s title at WrestleMania at some point.”