It’s one I partially saved yesterday. At the behest of another wrestling fan, who told me this would be awesome, I watched the episode of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions podcast with Sasha Banks, yesterday and finished it today. I know there are lots of wrestlers, managers, and others associated with professional wrestling who can give you valuable insight into their business and how it functions. But I have rarely heard someone discuss wrestling in the context of storytelling the way that Sasha did in this podcast. “Character,” “character,” “character,” she kept driving home. People tune in to wrestling to see characters, she said. Not just moves and spectacle, but the drama.
Watching YouTube videos where people walk around, ride around on bikes or scooters, or drive around and talk and make their living that way. There really must be an audience for everything. Perhaps even for me.
A Past joy:
Sitting on the balcony at the Inner Harbor Barnes and Noble and reading and drinking a tea or lemonade on a spring or summer day.
To illustrate her notion further, Sasha gave a story about when she was fresh in WWE NXT. She would show up to the TV tapings and she’d wrestle somebody. Just a match, nothing big. Come back the next month, same thing. And she’d just repeat the process. Eventually, she asked the writers why she was just doing matches, but didn’t have a storyline that might build up to something. She was told that the reason was that she was a good wrestler, good at her craft, and because of that, they used her to make other wrestlers look better.
At that moment, she understood that she had to create a character for herself. She said that Tyler Breeze, another wrestler who was there at the time, had written several character biographies.
What? This is stuff you learn in like regular acting class.
So she did her work and she came up with the character you see on TV these days. It’s a fascinating interview, even if you’re not into professional wrestling, of a person who pursued their dream and also who became a master of their craft. I definitely recommend it.