Less is More
Frequent readers of mine will know that I am a big fan of the idea of less being more. A large drawing factor to NJPW is that it is not an over-the-top promotion that hinges on the uses of LED ring skirts and posts, elaborate entrance ramps, and frequent camera cuts. The strength of NJPW is that it puts the focus on the in-ring product rather than the outside factors that do not really add to the product. If you watch NJPW you’ll notice that the ringside area is relatively basic with steel barricades and announce tables that are actual wooden tables with a tablecloth over it. While advertisements do find their way onto the ring canvas and aprons in NJPW, at least we don’t have commentators awkwardly plugging advertisements periodically throughout the program.
Camera angles are a big factor in the way the product is displayed. Promotions such as NJPW, Evolve, Progress, Defiant, as well as all other independent wrestling promotions who have televised matches are not heavy on the uses of multiple cameras. Many small promotions simply do not have the budget for such technology. But one thing that is consistent is the use of the hard camera. Having a camera that is focused on the ring and can capture the majority of the action is a great and simple way to display the product. Camera cuts when the action moves to apron or spills to the outside can be effective, but the frequent camera angles that WWE uses makes it hard for the average viewer at home to follow the action easily.
Overall, I particularly do not mind the amount of technology that WWE uses in their stage and ring setup, but I do enjoy watching NJPW and independent wrestling promotions who offer the alternative. Who says the big stage doesn’t have to have all the glitz and glamour?