Monday, October 10, 2011

Scott Norton [RF Video Shoot Interview]

The Good
On occasion it seems like someone who might have an interesting life story, career, etc. might not be the most interesting person based on their pro-wrestling persona. Scott Norton was a hulk of a man who had a solid career in the US and an often overlooked, but extremely impressive career in Japan. He was, however, never known for being charismatic. Norton kind of (and self-admittedly so) "barked" through promos and tried to get his point across. In the shoot interview atmosphere, he doesn't need to yell, he doesn't need to get over as a bad ass and he doesn't need to build up a match or angle. It works. Norton is reflective, funny, honest and is able to share a perspective on Japan that few could. He has anecdotes about native stars and gaijin alike that are rare gems for the puroresu fans. While Scott Norton worked a few places in the states, most notably WCW in their heyday, he did not have the level of success or length of time like he did in New Japan. Some might find his thoughts on WCW and the personalities there interesting, particularly on why some things worked and some things failed.

The Bad
If you look at the career of Scott Norton, you could pick several aspects to explore. However, it seems like covering his time in Japan should be the primary focus. There is definitely some detailed discussion of his New Japan career, but it seems like that would be the area to focus on. One of the key differences between talking about international wrestling and talking about American wrestling is that interviewers tend to just ask about specific wrestlers, some about the culture and the differences. Scott Norton could talk about Antonio Inoki, Keiji Muto and Shinya Hashimoto in isolation, but he had enough experiences over there that it seems like some deeper discussions could be going on. I have seen that approach attempted and often guys were not really aware of politics or were able to contextualize things, but Scott Norton seems like one who could have and would have done that. The absence of that potential depth really took away from what was a decent shoot interview otherwise.

The Rating: ***1/2