During a recent episode of Eric Bischoff's 83 Weeks podcast, the former WCW President explained that promos allow a promotion to advance a particular storyline or character presentation on a professional wrestling program.
Eric Bischoff would explain that it is not possible to complete an entire storyline without a sufficient amount of "narrative" from all of the particular characters involved in the story:
"I've been thinking a lot about promos and the narrative. We use terms in wrestling that are different than terms in other forms of television and entertainment. Promos is one and bookers is another... It's the elements of storytelling and the presentation that allows you to advance a story or character. That's the reason you do a promo – to advance a story or character, any story is gonna need some dialogue and that can't just happen in the ring. It can manifest in the ring and we can see things physically happening that are a part of the overall story or narrative, but they're only a part. You can't complete the picture, or story, or add the level of detail to that story to make it really compelling without a sufficient amount of narrative from the characters involved." (h/t Wrestling INC)
Continuing to discuss the importance of promos in professional wrestling, Eric Bischoff suggested that in 2020 promos are more important than ever.
Eric Bischoff even speculated that the lack of promos used to further storylines on television could be a factor in why the likes of SmackDown, AEW Dynamite and other wrestling programs have seen a decline in viewership after their respective debut episodes:
"I believe it more now than ever. I've been doing some research into where has the audience gone… Last Oct. 14, 2019 SmackDown premieres on FOX. 3.4 some-odd million viewers – f***ing awesome! A month later they're down to 2.5 million. Where did those million people go? What are they doing today? How come they're not watching next Friday? This is pre-COVID, one million people showed up because they heard the restaurant was opening its doors. They came in, ordered a meal, and they left and never came back. I want to know why." (h/t Wrestling INC)
"If I'm Tony Khan and I'm looking at my current situation, I would sit back and go, 'Hmm, when we premiered last October, we opened up with 1.4 million people. Now we're fighting tooth and nail to get to a million.' And by the way, pre-COVID we were averaging 850-900 [thousand]. Where did those 500,000 viewers go? How come they showed up for the premiere, they sampled it, may have ordered an appetizer or meal, and they left and they never came back?' I would really wanna know that." (h/t Wrestling INC)
Do you agree with Eric Bischoff's statements on the importance of promos in professional wrestling today?