Walker Stewart discusses his adjustment to commentating longer matches.
Before joining New Japan Pro Wrestling earlier this year, Walker Stewart has spent the vast majority of his time on the independent scene, where matche typically tend to be on the shorter side.
Many bouts in NJPW, especially on the bigger shows, tend to be on the longer side, with some matches even eclipsing the sixty minute mark at times.
While speaking to Fightful for a new interview, Stewart talked about adjusting to longer matches and how he is learning to pace himself on commentary.
“Yeah, first and foremost, for anyone that may not know this — That style of match, that 40 minute plus, just balls to the walls in the last fifteen minutes, it’s a long build over a period of time. I’m used to hitting my times, so in a match on a independent show for instance — Hey, you guys have 8-10 minutes. That means have 8-10 minutes to recap two years of history between these people and why we’re here. I’ve gotten into a habit with speeding up that explanation process. One of the things that Chris, and even Kevin, has been super influential helping me realize that these main event matches are gonna go 25, 35, 45 minutes long at some points and it’s okay to pace yourself. I don’t want to say draw out the explanation of the story, you don’t want to bother people like that, but there’s an art to it. Finding a way to tell a story over 40 minutes of in-ring action, you’re inside that ring, the story could change at a dime. There could be an injury, a body part somebody starts to work on, etc. That was something that developed within that match as well, Chris expertly pointing out Red Shoes being the referee and being the father of Shota Umino. Alright, here’s another dynamic we play into for the next 40 minutes. There is an art to calling professional wrestling that is easy to say, it’s generic or whatever. There’s a particular skill set to call those long main events and it’s something that I realized — I'm not saying that I don’t have that, but I realized that there’s growth here. That was an immediate [indication] of what I needed to work on.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Stewart praised his commentary partner, Chris Charlton. Fans can learn more by clicking here.
Furthermore, fans can see Fightful's full interview with Walker Stewart in the video linked above.