The hardest decisions in pro-wrestling are always left to the bookers, those knowledgeable figures who know how to put everything together. Not only do bookers have to put together matches and storylines on any given night, but these decisions have to be weaved into a larger, more complex web of interconnected stories and narratives that define wrestling programming.
Because of that complexity, bookers sometimes make mistakes. In the past, even the greatest wrestling bookers ever have made terrible decisions that have cost them dearly. From changing the company’s direction too radically, to pushing the wrong person, to refusing to adapt to change, wrestling history is filled with notable mistakes.
But there are also numerous success stories. On some occasions, a wrestling booker made such a great decision that they reaped the rewards for years to come. The ten bookers discussed in the subsequent pages all took calculated risks and timed their decisions very carefully.
The results were overwhelmingly positive, so much so that you could consider these ten bookers’ decisions the best that they could’ve ever made.
Whether it was the decision to change a company’s direction, to adopt a new booking philosophy, or even picking a specific person to carry the company as Champion, all of these decisions benefited the bookers and their companies tremendously, both financially and in terms of programme quality.
The bookers of tomorrow should look at the decisions of yesterday to figure out where how to become more successful.
Alexander Podgorski is a writer for WhatCulture that has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was 8 years old. He loves all kinds of wrestling, from WWE and sports entertainment, to puroresu in Japan.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen's University in Political Studies and French, and a Master's Degree in Public Administration. He speaks English, French, Polish, a bit of German, and knows some odd words and phrases in half a dozen other languages.