Thursday, August 1, 2013

Guest Booker with JJ Dillon - A month of WWF TV [KayfabeCommentaries]

The Good
JJ Dillon is one of my favorites to listen to because he is very articulate and is able to express a deep understanding of the business. I knew this "Guest Booker" would be excellent and it truly delivered. The premise is that JJ will book a month of WWF TV around the 91-93 era that will include a late night special and build up to a pay-per-view. The catch is, it's an inter-promotional deal, so people like Sting, Nikita Koloff and others who never set foot in a WWF ring are thrust into fresh matches with Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and The Undertaker. While JJ does not touch on angles and such for all the matches, he hits on the big ones and has some very simple, politically aware and effective stories that help build everything up. They spend ample time talking about Vince McMahon's creative style, his micromanagement, the process of writing TV and the use of "A" and "B" shows. While getting into one of the great minds of pro-wrestling is great, it is the sharing of that process that only a few have been privy to that is so amazing.

The Bad
"Guest Booker" is always limited by time and scope, but usually it works out. They spend so much time going into the details of weekends at Vince's that JJ does not have as much time to develop his TVs. He keeps it basic and is working in the old squash match format, so the TV expectations are a bit different nowadays. Instead of numerous angles, intricate details and every match having a backstory, Dillon keeps it simple. Some might find this less interesting in that regard than, say, Kevin Sullivan or Jim Cornette when they were the "Guest Booker," but that is largely up to your perspective. JJ Dillon is certainly an acquired taste as he is not particularly funny, does not cuss out or bury people and has a very measured approach. I guess that is why he was such an effective Head of Talent Relations for over five years.

The Rating: ****1/2