Arn Anderson recently spoke on his podcast about what it takes to draw an audience into a wrestling match, and the difference between bumping and selling.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
How reactions make wrestling easy to follow: “I have a theory; this is just a theory. If we’re sitting on the bench talking, Paul. We’re chatting back and forth, we’re yukking it up, whatever we’re doing… and just out of the blue, I thump you in the nose? I’m going to get a ‘what the hell’s the matter with you’ reaction? It’s a real reaction. If you take everything offensively that is done to you and sell it the way it should be — not more, not less — our business becomes so easy to follow. A match becomes so easy to follow.”
The difference between taking a bump and selling: “It’s where guys don’t sell at all. Let’s don’t mistake selling for taking bumps. You can come screaming off those ropes and if I stick an elbow in your mouth, and you take a textbook flat back bump; but you can come off the deck and never feel for those teeth that you think are missing? You missed the boat. That’s not selling, that’s just taking bumps.”
Selling the correct amount: “It’s a real simple theory. Just sell everything that is done to you to the degree that it should be. Not more; not less. And it’s a piece of cake.”
How to bring an audience into a story: “If it’s a kick in the knee, reach down, grab your knee, and sell it! Let your facial match it. Take the audience’s eyes with you into the sell. Got ’em right where you want them to be paying attention. If you don’t, if you get kicked in your knee and never grab your knee and just move onto something else, it might as well have never happened.”