WWE: CM Punk Discusses Kayfabe and the Art of Twitter
You can't stop the signal.
If you haven't seen Serenity, you should. One of my favorite characters is the nerdy Mr. Universe, more or less the equivalent of a hacker or Internet nerd in the "Firefly" universe, he speaks two very true lines.
I touched on something yesterday (for me anyway, I'm a night owl) in another article about how the WWE seems to be trying new ways to use the emerging power of Social Media to further storylines. Ten years ago, things such as the Internet and Internet Dirtsheets were seen as the enemy.
Now, with things such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and BleacherReport, interaction in cyberspace is unprecedented, almost to the point where to live "off the grid," you have to live in a cave.
Overall, major use of Social Media is most recently exampled by the recent "walk out" angle, which used the twitter keyword "#OccupyRaw" to help generate some rather cheap hype, and Ziggler and Ryder's feud over "Z! True Long Island Story" happening on YouTube.
It's not like it's an entirely new thing either, but it has been brought more into the forefront in recent months as the WWE looks for new ways to connect with their audience.
Gizmodo Australia touched upon a similar thing thing when they had a chat with the IWC's Superhero, CM Punk. Mark Serrels, the author, is an unabashed wrestling and Punk fan, so I can only imagine what it was like.
Anyway, the subject got right to the point about Pro Wrestling's use of twitter:
“You know,” he begins, “I was so anti-Twitter for the longest time, because I like to try and stay old-school, and I’ve always tried to approach things in a ‘What Would Harley Race Do’ kinda way. Harley Race wouldn’t have a Twitter! Dick Murdoch wouldn’t have a Twitter!"
“But then, if you really try and sit down and think about it—they didn’t have those things because they weren’t around then. I have the ability to be in contact with like 330,000 people—and that’s kinda wild! It’s like everybody knows what you are doing at every possible time. I will admit there’s a lot of stupidity on Twitter, but it’s really a fascinating tool.”
The article goes on to discuss Kayfabe and how it is more difficult in today's day and age to pull off, but it notes Punk, more or less, doesn't have an issue with this as he actually lives his gimmick:
“I’m not some crazy person who thinks, you know, I am not Phil Brooks anymore [CM Punk's real name] but I got into wrestling because I could pick a cool nickname and be a GI Joe guy! All the GI Joe guys had codenames–CM Punk is my codename. At the same time, I’m not playing someone. I’m not a phoney Russian! I’m not an astronaut, I’m not a clown, I’m a straight-edge kid from Chicago. I’m a pro wrestler.”
Overall, the interview is fascinating to read and discusses a few other topics as well. I won't post more here simply because I don't wish to ape Serrels' work, simply point out the highlights. Punk does go on to discuss more about characters and how and why some bomb out, and interacting with as many fans as he does on Twitter.
As the world continues to get smaller and the Internet becomes the absolute forefront of communication, entertainment, and all things in between, one thing is certain. Those who evolve with it win. Those who don't are left by the wayside.
More or less, with stars like Cena, Ryder, and Punk reaching out to fans in ways only ten or even five years before couldn't even be fathomed, wrestling and the WWE will still have a place.
"There is only the truth in the signal."
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