Wikinews interviews Mr. Orange of IWL in Taiwan about wrestling
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Pro-wrestling, a sport derived from Greco-Roman freestyle wrestling, is often connected with the idea of sports-entertainment. Popularized by Japanese and American federations (e.g. World Wrestling Entertainment, New Japan Pro Wrestling, etc.) the ongoing events and news are often discussed on the Internet. As such, television programs and other mass media focused on pro-wrestling are commonplace in Japan, America, and Europe.
In Taiwan, fans do not simply watch the TV shows and discuss them via the Internet, but some of them participate in the sport of wrestling through communities from the Internet or colleges. Although a Taiwanese wrestler recently won a world-class pro-wrestling title, due to policies that focused only on promoting key athletic sports like baseball, billiards, basketball, and taekwondo (i.e. those with more possibilities to win a gold medal in the Asian Games or Olympics), governmental officials lost a great opportunity to promote sports like wrestling, which has many potential participants.
What's the vision of wrestling in Taiwan? How did the communities drive TV spectators and wrestling fans and government officials pay more attention in wrestling? Is wrestling a future key sport in Taiwan? Wikinews Journalist Rico Shen visited the "2008 IWL Spring Festival", organised by a fan community and interviewed "Mr. Orange", well-known commentator of WWE TV shows broadcasted by VideoLand Max TV in Taiwan, to prospect the future of wrestling.
OpeningHello, everyone! In my side is "Mr. Orange", WWE TV show commentator of VideoLand Max TV in Taiwan, I will do a special interview for topics related to wrestling, and he will do an overview of wrestling in Taiwan with his experiences.
WNGlad to see an unofficial wrestling match in the Taipei City Mall. How did you involve in wrestling initially?
Mr. Orange: Since I'm in a childhood, I often watch (wrestling) shows with my neighborhood to a period when going to kindergarten. And then, I progressively understood the meaning of wrestling and finally involved in it.
WNIn what region of a wrestling match did you watch at first?
Orange: Europe and America. Matches in there are often packaged and refined excellently such as theme music, introduction, momentum of wrestlers better then matches in Japan, which just contained traditional rules.
WNOn the other way of wrestling in Taiwan, what are the opportunities, possibilities, and threats?
Orange: It was considered as a bad sport and not well-known in public opinion in Taiwan. As of some unofficial communities like us, we held periodical friendship matches to help the public correct their biased and wrong view of wrestling, especially the quote: "Wrestling played reality not just a fight, scuffle, or violent sport." Because we [the wrestlers] were fully prepared in several professional trainings, we did wrestling without just acting and dishonesty although we player for spectators. For example, as of a famous sport from Korea - taekwondo, it fought without killing the other one but just to did enough with their best. "Since I entered into the ring, I should do my best in a match to respond expectations from spectators rather than its results." That's a theory gained from a stable law of an action movie, its content besides of starting and ending should be rich and not to be hollowed.
WNIn what opportunities did you become a commentator from a wrestling fan?
Orange: Generally, I'm not a notable person, I just use the media as a promotion tool because we [the public] can't look down the strengths and impacts of public opinions and mass media. At that time, due to some coordination on behalf of broadcasting rights of TV programs, and many serious piracy and copyright issues in Taiwan, furthermore, pirates often used discussion boards to promote piracy. Those badly harmed several companies who do an agent of genuine copies. And accidentally, after a TV broadcaster grasped its opportunities on wrestling TV programs, I finally joined their production for commentary and planning of wrestling programs until now.
WNUndergoing with trendy changes of wrestling?
Orange: I met those opportunities coincidentally because when no one want to do it, and senior elites from media industry may not spare time to do production. I felt luckily on those undergoing experiences.
WNBefore (its) production, what's your opinion on similar programs especially in Chinese-language?
Orange: It's difficult or impossible for a broadcaster to produce their own and significant program because the public opinion have their wrong bias on wrestling. If the bias can be corrected, I think the public will not consider it as just a "fighting" or a "violent" sport, or to say: "What are they doing?" I chose the series programs of World Wrestling Entertainment because of its packages rather than a fistfight match which contained several complex rules like points or fouls, or just results rather than its content. Generally, if a significant program can be promoted, I think several wrong bias of wrestling should be corrected.
WNGenerally OK. In your opinion, which pro-wrestling match do you recommend?
Orange: There were several feature or significant matches in their own years. But I recommended two classic matches like NWA Championship in 1989 - "Ric Flair vs Ricky Steamboat", and a Steel Cage Match in 1981 - "Ric Flair vs Jimmy 'Super Fly' Snuka".
WNBack to the topic of wrestling in Taiwan, besides of media, which tool will you use to promote it?
Orange: The Internet - another media, a better way differ than mass media. By the way, by holding periodical friendship matches, it will work more effective. And of course, we [the IWL] hope the (friendship) matches can be held not only in Taipei but also in several divisions in Central or Southern Taiwan to correct conceptions on wrestling in a simple but relaxed match style.
WNIf promoted via a portal of "citizen journalism"? Briefly, "citizen journalism" is a commentary, introduction, or a coverage with what incidents he or she witnessed or experienced differ than mass media.
Orange: Really, that's a very better way to promote it because when connecting the Internet, the public frequently read topics related to current events like politics, society, and entertainment, focused by mass media and differ than what the common people need to know like some incidents just happened in their peripheral areas.
WNFinally, do you have any expectation on wrestling in Taiwan.
Orange: We [the wrestlers and wrestling fans] hope the common bias of "violence" can be properly corrected. After all, a pro-wrestling match is always ruled by its own policy, every wrestlers should undergo several strict trainings. As of IWL in Taiwan, we restrict our participants by a strict policy, and don't welcome athletes without any wrestling basis to join our community and fight in a ring because wrestling is like a gamble in consequence. Furthermore, parents should persuade their children not to imitate any wrestling moves at home. Like a submission, if not knowing its principle, a damage will be caused in one's body. Roughly to say, DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME.
WNOK, many thanks for this interview, "Mr. Orange".
|This is a complete or partial translation of the article "台灣摔角界：基層體育若要興起，觀念必須被導正", from the Chinese language Wikinews, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.|