Knowing when to go home is very important in life as well as wrestling! Example remember those times when you and your best friend were doing something that you knew you really should not do? You got that feeling that you should go home, when you did everything turned out alright but when you didn’t there was trouble! Well wrestling is just like that and when you go home at the right time it turns out alright but if you don’t then that is when trouble starts! Timing in this business is everything but knowing when to take the match home is critical and sometimes comes before you may be ready to take it home.
I think everyone would agree that wrestling is acting on a sporting level. There are certain rules in acting that you must follow, I learned these rules in high school since I took drama class because it was the easiest class to take! But I was taught one rule that does apply to wrestling and it is a skill that every wrestler should learn. The rule in acting is, “always leave your audience wanting more!” whether its a play or a movie actors and producers always try to leave the audience wanting to see more! This same rule applies to wrestling as well, if you are in a storyline with someone then each match should end with the crowd wanting to see more! So knowing when to go home comes into play in every match and you and the person your working should be able to tell when its time to go home. You can really put to much in a match and you will lose your crowd when you do that!
Listen to your crowd! You work them from the start and once you get them to that point to where they can’t get any louder or in some case you can hear crickets, its time to go home! Don’t over do it and add to the match or keep going just because the crowd is going crazy, cut it off and go home! When you do that they will want to come back and see what you do next time! This is what you want them to do is to come back and see your next match. I can honestly say I have only seen a few matches that went over 15 minutes that kept my attention, they are rare and don’t happen that often! Even on the biggest stage Wrestlemaina there have been matches that went on and on and I stopped watching. Being in shape enough to go an hour is great and really as a professional wrestler you should have that kind of cardio. But that does not mean you have to go an hour on the other hand it does mean you can go and I mean go hard for 15 minutes and give the crowd a great match to watch!
When you get to the level that the promotions you work for is on TV you will have timed matches and you will be told when to take it home. The reason is because with TV every minute is $ and at the level of say the WWE the commercials alone cost a lot of money per second. Its all about timing and getting paid that is the reality of the business. So at the independent level promotors should institute time limits and cues for the workers and refs to look for to tell them to go home. The cues are very simple as easy as an announcer saying, “ten minutes down 5 to wrestle!” Thats the cue to go home, the ref should hear this if the workers don’t and tell the workers,”take it home.” There are visual cues used when TV is involved like the floor producer crossing his arms, things of this nature. Bookers at the independent level where TV is not being used should use the announcers if they are not wired to the ref’s.
The reason I mention this is because as I stated above, this is standard operations for big companies. At the independent level It helps with the flow of the matches and ensures that if you say the show ends at 9:00 o’clock then at 9:00 the announcer is saying, “GOOD NIGHT WRESTLING FANS SEE YOU NEXT WEEK!” Timing is everything in this business so learn when to take it home and keep your crowd wanting more of your show!