Friday, July 31, 2009

Anyone got a question?

Since the Gut Reaction thread was full of people demanding updates, and I did get a good amount of feedback on the last post I did. I figured I'd leave my next topic open to you guys. Otherwise we're gonna be getting into my review of the 40 acts that will be going to the live shows on America's Got Talent (I can't believe they cut the the lady with the cleft pallet and the 8 year old girl, and the cool magician all without a second thought, didn't see that coming at all.)

Save yourself with AGT and The Hoff! Lemme know what to talk about!

So since I am the 'nuts and bolts' blog. lemme come up with a few topics off the top of my head

1) Booking

2) Character development

3) Promo Writing

4) Angles

5) Match Writing

What of those topics should I get into? Or do you have a specific question on any of them, ask away.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crowd heat Fluid Vs Static

While I was writing my 2nd promo in the First/Winters match I was thinking to myself about the nature of crowd heat in E-Fedding and how a character reacts to it, I also thought about the nature of face Vs heel in general.

Right now the main event for the next EPW PPV is going to be Marcus Westscott Vs Sean Stevens. Both men are listed as heels, yet why is Marcus Westscott a heel currently in EPW?

Here's a list of things that have happened to Westscott over the course of his run that has led to his title shot.

-Sold out by Craig Miles at Unleashed and forced to fight The Forsaken by himself. A match he lost when The First (a tweener/face at this time) cheated by spraying mist in his eyes leading to a double team and a finish.

-Had Miles degrade him and force him to abandon the Beast ringname and not make Lindsay Troy jokes to get his hands on Miles.

-Backstabbed by Anarky in a tag match and left to be mauled by Stalker/Fusenhoff.

-Laid out in the backstage area by an unknown attacker(s), thought to be Anthology.

-Is currently main eventing Aggression fighting a member of Anthology, the hated heel stable of EPW.

And he's a heel? I mean my lord, what did this man do to the crowd, run over everyone's dog? Sleep with everyone's sister? I mean, the guy can't catch a break. If I end up writing the main event of the show I'd be likely to give Westscott a little face heat from the crowd, maybe it a bit of a tweener reaction, because he's done nothing but fight a rogue gallery of scum and villany this whole time and he's still standing, the marks have to respect that.

I'm not saying Westscott should act like a face or embrace the fans, far from it. He's a guy who's been over for being who he is and suddenly shaking hands and kissing babies is not at all in character for him, I just think that the masses want somebody to root for in all these fights, and Westscott would be the one who they would get behind.

On the last EPW card, I had Anarky get some face heat in his match with Larry Tact. This is because Anarky was doing a heroic thing, entering battle in spite of being injured (And currently bleeding) and fighting a member of Anthology. How is the crowd not going to think that's bad ass?

I know a lot of people want to be the biggest heel on the block, but sometimes you just have to accept that there's no way you're going to outheel the other guy. It might even be for good reasons.

Let's take Sean Stevens Vs Cameron Cruise, who's the face there? Has to be Stevens, he won Wrestleverse III's main event clean, he's laying down challenges, he's the badass. Cruise is the (de facto) leader of Anthology, he won his match at Wrestleverse III via run-in. Cruise is the chickenshit heel. Hell Stevens wanted to fight Cruise so badly he tagged with a sworn enemy (and face) The First to do so. The crowd is going to gravitate towards the bad ass shitkicker and want to see the cheating bastard get his. This could even be brought up in the commentary that it kind of throws Stevens off that somebody's more hated then him. He's accustomed to being the bad guy and now he's not...

Again, I'm not saying that the character should Rp differently, unless the handler decides they want to. I'm just saying that in a lot of situations I feel match writers/handlers/fed-heads just are lazy and have a switch reading "face/heel" and once it's set one way, unless the handler declares he's going to turn the switch the other way, then they stay on the side they are on. I'm guilty of it myself and I'm going to stop doing that in the matches I write.

So when you're writing a match and you are stuck with the dreaded Heel/Heel match up, review both guy's previous matches, read the promos, do a little research and pick somebody to get a little face heat, fans aren't there just to watch villians fight each other, they want investment in the match, and the sold out crowds (It's always a sell out! I'd love a league that hit a rough patch and brought up that sections of the arena were covered or that they papered the hell out of the place to make it look sold out.) of our leagues deserve that, so give it to them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Love for the little guy

A trend I've noticed in E-Fedding is that newest characters people make tend to be smaller. I think this is because as we've grown up around the business of wrestling, we made 'stat monster' characters in our mark days. We all got a kick out of the 7'4" guys hitting shooting star presses (and they did exist) but on the whole, a lot of old school guys are big.

I think the new crop of smaller guys has come along as we've moved from being marks who wee fans of monsters, and became smarks who are fans of workrate. Nobody's blown away by Mark Henry's workrate, so giant monsters like him aren't seen a lot on the forums.

Like Anthology is a bunch of old school characters...Cameron Cruise (6'4" 263 lbs.) Jared Wells (6'1" 254) Larry Tact (6'6" 260) Copycat (6'4" 280) their newest member, Sean Edmunds, is the runt of the litter (6' 228)

I never really thought of Cruise as a big guy till I read his stats, and I was like "Wow, he's a big guy". Reading the First/Cruise match over I never got the sense that The First was really facing a big guy, in the tag match with Copycat/Cruise...It was made clear that Copycat was ragdolling The First, and he should be, he's a big guy, nearly a monster heel, and The First is a tiny, high flying face.

Currently three of the most over guys I can think of on the forums (If I'm allowed to use one of my own characters in a gross showing of self promotion) are Impluse, The First, and Ice Tre, who are all listed at under 200 pounds on their bios, I really doubt this would have happened back in the old school P* days when people wanted to powerbomb you through the mat and didn't really care if being 250+ meant you shouldn't be hitting shooting star presses. Heck Shane Southern who was a HBK knock off was 6'4".

When you're writing a match it's important to look at the bios and see what the two guys measure up as, because you should play up a size mis-match between two people. Most of the boards know about MMA or Boxing and understand weight classes and two guys 30 pounds apart is a big deal. Of course by that same token you have to sell the little guy's comeback by talking up his speed advantage, the nature of his offense, etc. Bring up the fact that the big guy has to carry around all that weight so he could gas out later in the fight.

Odds are I'll be writing the Layne Winters/The First TV Title match in EPW...Besides just BURYING Winters and putting myself sick over (That's rule #1 when you write your own matches, never forget that.) and one of the things I'd bring up in that match is that Winters has fought Olvir (A absolute MONSTER at 6'7" 317) and Fusenhoff (checking in at a meager 6'3" 263) and has gone from being the smaller man in both matches (If only by 13 pounds Vs Fuse) to now being the much bigger man Vs The First, and how that'll change his tactics and game plan now that he finally enters into a battle as the larger fighter.

Billy talked a lot about this with his writing of the Castor/PC Vs Black/Impluse match, and how he wanted to get over that Castor is much bigger then Impulse, and he should, that's part of both characters. If you make up a character that's under 200 pounds, you have to expect him to get the shit beaten out of him. I'd be a moron if I thought The First was gonna steamroll people, and I'm sure Pete Russo knows the same thing with Impulse.

The move towards smaller guys, while people still have their older bigger characters is interesting, and if Ryan's lucha league ever has any of it's guys move to the "American" leagues, that influence would be even bigger. Not that all new characters are smaller, but I believe the trend is moving that way. So don't fear the 200 pound line, embrace it, enjoy watching your character being stuck like a tack...It's not so bad, really...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Winning a title: The Job Interview

Our forums are ever a source of drama. If E-Fedding drama could be turned into a form of energy, we would be free of the grip of foreign oil. One such bit of drama came from the handler of Frankie Scott, who has unfortunately left the game. On his way out he said he'd fought for the EPW World TV Title twice and felt like he'd done a good enough job in Rp to win the title. Rp is subjective, and it's really hard to judge one's own matches, unless your me, in which case I haven't been out Rp'ed in over a decade and every loss I've suffered is because the booker couldn't understand how brilliant I am. (Sarcasm alert)

So anyhow, let's say you're just about anyone at all in this game, and you're gunning for a title. What is the keys to winning a title?

1. Being Consistant

You get hired for a job because people expect you to show up and do the work. That's pretty straight forward, but it's still important, you have to have been on the last few shows, Rp'ing your matches, signing up for matches, and if you can write a match or two, all the better. Put in work.

2. Networking

It's really important to make friends and build relationships in this hobby. Everything here is political, everything here is based off trust. A fed-head who knows you only as "He's the handler of wrestler X" isn't as likely to put you over as one who hears from you, gets input on your ideas and thoughts. By that same token, it's hard to work a feud with somebody over a belt if the person you're feuding with doesn't know you except as "His opponent". It's hard to get yourself into those spots. You have to find people and talk to them, pitch ideas to them, discuss plans, work angles. Anthology didn't happen because Brunk said "You guys, you're now a stable". No Siegel, Clark, Pena et. all had an idea and made it happen.

3. Storylines

You want to be in the mix of a storyline, this may be more important then the other two, period. Double so if the title you are going for is a major one that's normally tied up to important storylines that are effecting the whole company. Let's take the First/Stevens match for an example. It's a crazy open challenge from a tag wrestler against the World Champ, my odds of winning the title there were very low, but what the match did do for The First's career is get him starting into a storyline with Stevens and has put him in the main event a time or two.

Losing to a champion can be the key to winning a title or getting a push, so if you do fail to win the title, try to figure out the reasons why. Get feedback from the fed-head about why he made the decision as he did. Learn from it and try to come back with better reasons for you to get the title next time.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Agg 45 recappery

The first two matches of this show are hurt by the fact that Contradiction doesn't have a bio posted. Billy and I did two different fake outs (Starting with them in the ring, having Sarge attack Scott) to get the matches started.

Jungle Storm with a screwjob win to kick off the show. Billy's various and sundry take-offs from Brazil's vast MMA army seem to be a force to be reckoned with in EPW's tag team division. Billy wrote a good match here and continues the story of Jungle Storm's infighting.

Scott/Sarge I wrote, it was kind of short, mostly because I was given the match late and wanted to get it done, amazingly enough once I got it done, apparently the card in total finished itself and went up. So I guess my decision to just get this thing done worked out well. A nice farewell for Scott and a win for Sarge, depends on if he wants to stay tagging or go singles.

Up Next is more Winters/First arguing. Winters upping the stakes on himself for the TV Title match, almost promising a win.

I like how the restraining order angle got retained and all the crazyness that happened with Stalker/Ivan/Black/Rocko/Fuse. A well thought out match, with Stalker getting a win, and now Fusenhoff gets busted open badly, a bad omen for his TV Title match.

Anarky found dead...Poor Anarky...Boo people who killed him...

First/Hart up next with a match that's pretty much secondary to the storyline events that go after it. First wins after Anthology doesn't show up to aid Hart, Hart thusly disgusted by the fact that Anthology isn't helping him, quits Anthology.

Tact Vs Anarky...Anarky survives his death, and then decides that doing so sucked and kills himself and Tact...I think I wrote a solid, bloody, brutal match.

Winters/Fuse then blows the roof off the joint for match of the night, big time back and forth as both men land everything they got and then some, with Fusenhoff finally done in by the long bout and his earlier injury, allowing Winters a victory with the Green River Justice. Fuse now has a big bone to pick with Daymon, for the chair shot that may have cost him the title, and Winters of course, for taking the title.

The main event was kind of a mess, given the various and sundry people who didn't Rp. A DQ finish was kind of dissapointing but in such a situation one can expect it. I tried to get Edmunds as over as I could in the match since he did 2 Rp's for the show and put in the work.

As I said in the quick recap, this was a big storyline show, Winters win the TV Title, Hart quits Anthology, Anarky is the latest victim of an attack, and then loses his mind. The start of issues between Westscott and Stevens...I think these next two shows should be an excellent build up to the PPV.

My only bone of contention with the whole show is that Brunk edited the word 'gi' to 'G.I.' in The First's two intros...It's gi pants, like a karate gi. Not military pants.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tag Teams and Stables

I've been reading the posts for the FW Gut Reactions thread and people want more updates. Well I'll give it a whirl.

There were 2 questions on the list about stables and tag teams, I gave a quick answer there and well, I want to try a bigger answer here.

You can have three kinds of stables, a stable that's put together around a gimmick (The Nation of Domination) you can have a mega stable that's going to try to take over (DX, nWo, Horsemen) or you can have one of many short lived counter stables that formed in reaction to those other stables.

I think all three stables are cool, the big difference between real wrestling and E-Fedding is that we're not all here for a paycheck, the reasoning for why your character is in the stable should be made clear. Sometimes the reason for being in a stable isn't really awesome for your character, in the sense that they are a flunkie/tag-a-long, but you might as well roll with it and explain why your guy is doing that.

My major issue with Anthology is that they aren't going after the World Title. I know Siegel had his reasons for not fighting Stevens at Agg 44, and that's cool, but I felt like Anthology was a big time player leading up to Wrestleverse. I wouldn't have been the least bit shocked if the main event of Wrestleverse had had Cruise in that three way instead of JA or Rocko. He'd just won the IC Title, he's now on a roll, I could have seen him being put in the main event.

I feel like if not Cruise, then somebody in Anthology should step up and let Stevens know his time with the belt is running out, he might not even make it to Westscott. Etc etc. Anthology's now been in back to back main events on Agg's and Stevens has been in both, there's no reason for them not to break out the knives for the champ.

(Note: All of the above was in no way, shape, or form designed to turn Anthology's baleful gaze from The First to Stevens, feel free to keep attacking The First!)

As for tag teams, I think the best thing is to do a joint tag team with somebody who you get along with. I love joint promos, I had tons of fun writing them with Felix Red (Barry T.) I mean he's a great handler and for whatever reason he was cool just being in the tag division for a year.

The thing with writing joint Rp's and working with other people is that it forces you to react while in character, really gets you into the mind-set of the gimmick you're Rp'ing, and for me with The First, it was interesting because Felix is so damn insane he makes The First look normal by comparison, I had to play straight man to Felix's madness a lot of the time and just react to what he was doing. It also leads to the two of you doing stuff that moves your character out of their comfort zone and gets you trying to figure out how to roleplay in those situations.

The year and change The First was with Felix Red really let me refine the character and work out whatever the hell it was in my mind that I was trying to do with him, and since I was a tag champ and winning matches, it was getting First over at least in the sense that he was a successful tag wrestler. I don't think I could have spent a year working on the character while he was going .500 or so on the mid-card as a solo act.

So while I think a fully made tag team Rp'ed by one person is good and there's no reason not to do them, I believe that the best way for somebody to build a character is with somebody else in their team.

I want to see Wells/Tact joint promos...My biggest dissapointment with Agg 44 was that I didn't get to write a joint promo with Jamar Short. I was thinking of having Stevens basically kidnap The First and drag him to some sort of high end clothing shop and explaining to him that if he was gonna tag with the champ he was gonna have to quit looking like an idiot, and The First screws it all up by still getting himself a stupid over the top outfit (something in a horrible color with a top hat most likely) and Stevens just giving up on him. Hopefully leaving The First to pay the bill for his suit ("Ummm...You kinda pulled me off the street, I don't have my credit cards handy...Trip...TRIP?)

So if you're trying to figure out what the hell to do with your character, write segments with people, interact with other characters, see what happens and learn from it.