The art of the act - New York News

The art of the act

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Nearly the entire genre of reality TV features people shouting at one another at some point in the program. But, it's been happening on pro wrestling telecasts for generations.

Often, the wrestler will look straight into the camera and shout a litany of reasons why he (or she) is good and the opponent is bad. In the language of the wrestling business this is known as "the promo."

TALKER OR WRESTLER?

"The promo is what works," Hulk Hogan told me at a recent TNA Impact Wrestling show in Tampa. "You can be a great wrestler without a promo, but this is all about making money and putting rear ends in seats and selling out arenas."

For years, Hogan played to sold out arenas all over the world. Like others I've talked with in the business, he makes no bones about "stealing" promo material from other wrestlers.

"I was in Dothan, Alabama. I saw a guy do this to a crowd," Hogan recalled, cupping his ear with his hand as he spoke. "And it was the loudest reaction of the night. I said, OK, I'm going to make that mine."

Chances are you've never seen Hogan play an arena or television audience without using that hand-to-ear move.

WHAT DID HE SAY?

While shooting our FOX 13 story, Hogan did what he does. He did a promo for our camera, even counting down, "3, 2, 1."

"You know something maniacs?" he growls as the veins come out in his biceps. "I'm here with my brand new tag team partner, luscious, loveable, Lloyd Dude!"

Where do all the words for his promo come from?

"I can do an imitation of my dad," said Hogan's daughter Brooke, now part of the wrestling show. "But I would have no idea how he would pull that stuff out of his head. He like has magical, purple unicorns in his head."

Maybe those unicorns are what lift fast-talking pro wrestlers to super stardom.

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