Depending on who you ask WWE’s biggest flaw changes. Whether it’s the lack of characters week-to-week, or the same wrestlers being “shoved down our throats” at every possible opportunity, but there’s one flaw that sticks out over the rest, the constant nauseating camera changes.
A lot of the blame could be placed solely on WWE’s Producer for more than 20 years, and he is known, primarily as of late, for the camera cuts that leave many a fan dizzy.
Take this article from Deadspin by David Bixenspan for instance. In it, he talks about the distracting nature of the overproduced WWE product. He has a very valid point. A lot of times, especially in multi-man matches like we saw over the weekend, the action will just be starting to pick up, and the camera will cut from one side of the action to the other. Causing us, the fans watching at home, to miss a big move, or a great spot.
It’s infuriating. You know someone is diving over the top rope, you’re ready to see it happen, and just as they’re ready to take flight or make contact the camera cuts, and you miss part of it, and you only get to see it if WWE decides to show a replay.
Most of the time, the hard camera, the one to the left of the ring above the crowd, that wrestlers look at when cutting a promo, gives a broad enough shot that we can see what is happening in the ring.
I understand getting a close up of the action. But we don’t need to see every angle of Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens beating up John Cena as we see in the video above. For some reason though, Kevin Dunn thinks we do.
As noted in the above tweet, there are 32 camera cuts in a 34-second clip. I know I don’t need to tell you this, but that’s almost a camera cut a second. That’s insane. The only cuts that were really needed were the ones that showed Zayn and Owens coming to the ring to attack Cena and Styles, and Ziggler coming out to join the brawl. Obviously keeping the action in frame, while at the same time, not making those watching at home want to vomit.
But why does Kevin Dunn do this? I know the age-old argument of, “That’s just the way WWE does things.” But why is that? Does Vince order all the camera cuts? Or, does Kevin just sit back in the production trailer and blindly mash buttons? Or, is it a combination of both?
I’m sure there is a certain way Vince wants the action shot. But not even Vince could want this sort of nauseating camera work every week. I understand that certain camera angles are used to cover up the fake punches, and kicks that the wrestlers throw. But it almost seems like Vince and Co. are trying to distract the viewers from the fake strikes but making them dizzy.
I also believe that another crutch in the WWE producing is them having too many cameras at their disposal. There are at least three cameras at ringside, and the hard camera out in the crowd. With all these cameras for Dunn to chose from it’s no wonder, we’re constantly getting different angles. It’s like Dunn is a kid in a candy store that’s never seen candy before and can’t decide what he wants to get.
He picks one angle that shows the action just fine, but then there’s the other camera on the other side of the ring that shows the fight from another angle it has to be better, *switch*, and the process repeats itself until our eyes cross at home.
Sometimes it feels like WWE is trying to show us the action from each wrestlers point of view. Like they think we want to know what John Cena is seeing when Baron Corbin is raining down elbows from above, followed by what Kevin Owens, and then Sami Zayn see when they get in the ring, and then decide to go after Cena and Styles themselves.
While it is nice at times to see a big move from multiple sides, that’s what replays are for, show us the impact from one angle, and then show us the other angle in the replay. We won’t be nearly as dizzy at home, and we get to see the big move multiple times.
There have been times when Kevin Dunn got it right though. He’s not always terrible. He nailed the “Festival of Friendship,” last year at this time. The camera work of Jericho lifting up the list of KO, and realizing his name is on the list, then the expression change on Owens’ face right before he attacked. Great directing, and producing by Dunn and the camera crew.
Even after the initial attack, the camera cuts aren’t that often. They fit. Dunn used the cameras he needed and didn’t use the others, which was a nice touch. Now if only we could get him to learn to do that for an entire episode the complaints just might stop.
Honestly, it’s a struggle to watch WWE every week. Not because of the bad storylines, it’s the camera work. It leaves me with a headache most of the time, and especially in a big brawl like what highlighted the end of SmackDown Live this week.