Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Checking In!

Hey everyone, your friendly neighborhood Anglo Luchador is here again with an update. I have to say, I'm getting pretty amped for Aggression 53, mainly because of King of the Cage. I've been through that tournament once before, capped off with a killer final match against Trip, which I thought was one of the best matches of my career. I thought we really left it all in the cage, and Trip came out looking like a million bucks because of it. And here he is, Champ for what, three years with a couple week interruption? Haha, I don't want to say I made him, because he'll definitely come looking for me, but hey, put two and two together. lol, just kidding Sean, you know I think you would have made it if you had faced even that Damien Priest or whatever dude who carried the brain in the jar. Man, whatever happened to that guy? Whatever happened, I hope that whatever fed took him on doesn't care about ratings!

Anyway, I'm really excited because the guys left in this tournament have that same fire, the same drive as me and Trip did back then. Hell, Trip is still in the tournament himself. He's got a helluva challenge this week from The First. I'm not privvy to the booking for that match (and if I were, do you really think I'd spoil it?), but man, that feud has been ongoing for so long and there's so much heat, even though it's been fairly one-sided. It reminds me of back in the day in MBE, when BobbyR was ever able to beat The Spoiler, but every time the match happened, the crowds were really into it. Other than the winner of that match, the guy I'm watching is Layne Winters. The guy never goes into a match looking to skate. He's always intense, always serious about his craft. He's one of the rising stars in the company.

In other news, everyone still asks me whether I'm going back to A1E or whether I left on bad terms. Again, like last time, me and the guys over there are still on great terms. It's just between being an agent here in the Empire and rehabbing, I have very little time to follow other feds in depth anymore. However, all you A1E fans will get a taste as I recorded a little something for their historic 200th episode.

Finally, even though my return is a bit off, I've been toying with the idea of new theme music. Yeah, I know, Fozzy has provided a great track for me for the last decade, but I think after 10 years, especially in a corner of the world where some people have new theme songs every week, I think I'm entitled. I wanted to move away from the Chris Jericho-worship part of my character a bit. I found this really awesome band called The Black Mages, recommended to me by, who else?, Seymour Almasy. They're the brainchild of Nobuo Uematsu, who does all the music for Final Fantasy. They're rockified tracks from games themselves. I picked out this number. What do you guys think?

Pretty neat, right? That's it for now. I'll check in after Aggression with my thoughts!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A New Lease on Life

(Hey guys, I'm bringing the blog back in a very retooled way. This will now be Jericoholic Anonymous'/JA's in-character, out-of-kayfabe blog that details his backstage travails in EPW. If you're looking for a wide spectrum of feds, sorry to disappoint, but for those who are into EPW, hopefully, you'll enjoy this)

Just in case you don't know who I am, and judging by the amounts of fan e-mail and wall posts on my Facebook page, that's not the case at all, I'm Jericoholic Anonymous, or Tom B. for those who are into that sort of thing. The last time you guys saw me in a wrestling ring, I was working an EPW show, high on cortisone trying to keep the throbbing pain in my back from hampering my abilities in the ring. As it turned out, that throbbing pain was a torn latissiumus dorsi. That's a doozy of an injury for anyone, let alone a professional wrestler.

Now I know what you're thinking. JA's washed up, no one comes back from an injury of that magnitude. Well, that's where you're wrong. On December 1 of this year, I'm going to turn 33. Usually, guys in that age range are just beginning to win their share of World Titles, to carry promotions on their backs. Obviously, I've been there and done that. Two World Championships, several pay-per-view main events, iconic status in two different promotions, all before I got too far into my 30s. So yeah, it seems like I'm an old guy.

But that's the thing. I'm not an old guy at all. I still think I can go, and I still think I can go at a high level. Rehab's been a bitch, but it's still going, and I'm chugging along, making sure that I come back at 100 percent. So yeah, Jericoholic Anonymous will come back to a wrestling ring eventually. But fear not, I'm keeping myself busy.

Thanks to Dan Ryan and the other guys in EPW, who seem to think I'm a great guy for whatever misguided reason, I'm a road agent. That's right, I'm on the road, helping the guys put on a great show for every Aggression, PPV and house show. It's been a cool gig so far. I've worked with a lot of guys that I've both been in the ring with like Trip and Shawn Hart as well as new guys like Donnie Astros. Being on the coaching side has been a revelation, since I've never been the kind of guy who's been easy on road agents in the past. Hey, just ask Kayafaber from my A1E days. I thank my lucky stars that he was never in arm's reach of a blunt object for the amount of times I balked at a spot.

So think of this blog as sort of a journal of my time as I lay in wait for my back to fully heal up. Expect some stories, some insights, thoughts, reviews and even some juicy quotes from your favorite EPW wrestlers and Cameron Cruise too. LOL. Hopefully, you guys will get as much out of this reading it as I am writing it.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reinvention, Complacency and Falling into Ruts

Of all the e-wrestling characters I've produced over the years, I've been prouder of none than I was of Roderick McRatrick. Sure, he didn't win me a World Championship, but he provided me hours of fun, a good creative outlet for me to be as silly as possible and yet still provide an outlet for satiring some of the things that I thought were stagnating the game from the inside out. For someone like myself who is his own toughest critic, I look back at the stuff with Roddy as fondly as anything I've ever done in eW. I also know that I can never go back to that well again, which is evident from how flat that Roddy's been with each reboot I've tried with him. The same goes for why I've never been able to produce another cracked-out fantasy booking posts like the one I did way back in December of Aught-Five. I was in a very certain frame of mind and in the middle of a very certain time-period that helped me produce such levels of insanity.

For the fantasy booking post, I was working retail during the holiday seasons, getting barely any sleep, working ridiculous hours for peanuts, so my mind was just in this fog, and the whole thing made sense to me. For Roderick, I had stepped out of the game and came back in to find that a lot of the characters were putting out what I thought was boring and formulaic. So I just set out to mercilessly make fun of them, and then I got into such a groove that I just kept going and evolved Roderick until I just couldn't evolve him anymore. The reason why I can't do him effectively anymore is because he was originally based on a transparent parody of a certain style. I can't do him in FW because most of the successful characters there are good characters, and I can't do him in PTC not because the material wouldn't be there, but because I can see people getting butthurt because they think I'm making fun of their writing, whether I am or not. Seeing as though I'm already public enemy #1 over there, I'll pass.

Okay, okay, so what's the point for bringing this up? Well, you know how people are always saying that x should bring y character back because it was the best character ever? If that character's run its course and is brought back out of nostalgia, it doesn't have the luster, it feels forced. In most cases, you can tell if the person has another story to tell or a new spin on the character or if they're just bringing it back just because, hey, it was popular and successful before, why not try it again?

I've fallen into that pit a few times, and I was never happy with the output. So, as a handler, I've learned that I always have to reinvent myself, reinvent my style or at the very least, what I did with Suleimon, reinvent my surroundings. I'm not saying that perpetual change is the route to take. What is true, though, is that there's a marked difference between comfort and complacency, between doing what works and getting into a rut. The worst feeling that I've ever had, outside of some dark episodes where I got into it OOC with other handlers, was the feeling that I *had* to RP. Not RPing because I wanted to, but because I had to, so to speak. As unsolicited advice, never get to that point. That's how you get burnt out and leave e-wrestling when in reality, you still have a lot to give.

It's all about RPing with a character that's comfortable for you to assume the role. It's all about telling a story that you want to tell. It's all about cutting the promos that feel right to you. If you're a talented handler, people will accept your changes even if they get disappointed with the departure of a character familiar to them.

The worst thing you can do is try to get back to a place in your mind where you were years ago and not have the road map. Sometimes, our best material is borne out of personal hardship. If you're happy where you are now, don't relive pain just so you can put out a good RP. The mind's journey is a complex one, and the best thing to do is to use your natural talents in context of the ride you're taking.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Isamu League: A Little More My Speed

I've pimped FMLL on here before when it was active, and really, I think it's a great concept. That being said, lucha libre really isn't my thing, so while I had interest in joining it for awhile, I really didn't think I'd do too well or fit in and help give it its own voice. I was always more a puroresu guy myself. Well, someone at FWC is finally trying something that's a little more up my alley.

Enter Isamu League. Headed up by relative FWC newcomers, it's a fed that best tries to recreate a puroresu atmosphere, which admittedly can be very hard. Japanese wrestling is more about the sporting aspect and about what happens in the ring. Angles and feuds are based around matches and rivalries, about respect and that sort of thing rather than outrageous storylines and out-of-ring stuff. Sure, there are more than one flavor of puroresu fed out there, but most of them stress in-ring stuff. Characters and fed atmosphere, though, can range from the most straitlaced of straitlaced (think AJPW in the '90s with Misawa, Kobashi and Kawada) to goofy as all hell (HUSTLE and such characters as Daneshoku Dino, Razor Ramon Hard Gay and Survival Tobita).

Judging from the mission statement, IL will be a sort of hybrid between the traditional Japanese workrate fed and the kind of garbage fed like FMW and Big Japan were/are. In terms of fed mechanics though, they've put forth a very lax RPing schedule, which they basically require one RP every two weeks. This seemingly leisurely pace seems like it's a great fit for the more mature FWC audience.

Where I think they might run into some problems is their RP set-up, where they explicitly say that you won't have to get into promo battles and can write RPs that don't have anything to do with wrestling at all. This might throw some people off, as FWC has always been a more "traditional" community, NFW's presence notwithstanding. Still, I think this mission statement is a positive; the philosophy will allow people to get acclimated and perhaps try something new. Yeah, NFW is another place with a freestyle attitude, but it's harder to work something different in an established fed, or let's put it this way, it might seem harder to the handler. I know Katz, and I know that he, like every other FWC fedhead, pushes on a merit basis. If you write well, you're going to get pushed.

That being said, in a fledgling fed, you might have less pressure to perform right away, and thus might be more prone to try something different. IL could provide the best sort of portal to the PTC/narrative out-of-arena RP style on FWC.

Either way, I'm very high on IL, and I hope people give it a fair shake. I've got something I'm going to try out there, and hopefully you all will like it. In the interim, I'd love some feedback for my character profile :p

Masaharu Keichigawa

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wanted: Someone to Run TEAM

In case you guys haven't noticed yet, it's been about three or four months since the last TEAM card. That would have been all well and good had the last TEAM card not been the semifinals to the TEAM Invitational Tournament.


RPing is finished for the grand total of two matches that were on the card for the finals. I have no idea about the judging, but that can be redone. The fact that this was left for three months without a peep from the guy I left to run the place while I stepped away is a little embarrassing. I got a promise from him that he'd take care of the place and run it the same way I did. I think I've been let down. It's one thing to have late cards. I mean, I was hardly ever on time, especially if I planned a long-form card where I was writing the biggest match on there.

However, I'd like to think that I was always communicative with the masses, that I kept people informed of progress and what was going on. The fact that three months have gone by without a peep from the new management is embarrassing. Therefore, I'm making an executive decision. I'm taking TEAM back for the interim until I can find someone who'll take care of it. But that's the rub.

I need someone who'll take care of TEAM.

What I need is someone to take care of the day-to-day operations. That person should be ready to:

- book
- coordinate judging
- coordinate writing
- recruit
- advertise

You'll have complete freedom to do what you want with it. I will stay on as an advisor, but rest assured that it'll be more of a "hey, what do you think about this?" or a question-answering guy rather than the kind of advisor Vickie Guerrero is to Teddy Long on Smackdown *groan*. If you're interested, please contact me in any way possible. If all else fails, just reply here.

If no one steps forward, then I'll produce the final card, and we'll lay TEAM to bed, Irish wake style. IF someone does volunteer, then we'll move forward. Please though, I think this is a great opportunity for someone who wants to try his/her hand at fedheading but doesn't really have the time or patience to do a full-time fed.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Worst Criticism of E-Fedding Ever

Oooh, a post!

As many of you know, my love for wrestling has been rekindled in the last two years, so much so that it's grown my interests past the WWE and the other company masquerading as a major wrestling promotion (TNA for the rubes out there). Chikara is pretty much my favorite fed going right now. With their comic lucharesu stylings, it's hard not to see why. Their message board can be rough sometimes. It's a great read for the most part, but when they start getting on the hate train, well, game over, man, game over.

One such example of this came in about e-fedding. Look on Page 3 and get this nugget of blissful ignorance:
if you want to pretend to be a wrestler find a shitty wrestling school and train. or find a good wrestling school and train.

dont sit in your house typing about how hardcore your imaginary personality is...

There's training centers all over --- if you live in the north east theres litterally 100's of places you can learn, and im sure a smattering everywhere else as well. Some you can get good deals at.

Just become a wrestler. even if its for a little bit.
Oooh, where to start.

For one, most people who participate in e-fedding, at least in the FW/PTC corner, can't just pick up and go to wrestling school. For some, they can't afford it. For others, they're too entrenched in their real careers and just do e-fedding as a game or *shudder* hobby. For some others, health concerns get in the way. It's way easier said than done, people.

Two, wrestling is a fucked up business. Let me repeat that, wrestling is a fucked up business. You take body-degrading bumps every night you work. You travel long distances in cramped cars, or have to end up spending all your purse if you want to fly to where you're going. You work for sleazy promoters. You may end up getting addicted to painkillers just to deal with the aches and pains. You share a locker room with some of the most depraved individuals ever (I've heard the stories, they're not pretty). I mean, God bless people who have the mental constitution to enter the business, but it's not for everyone. Why should people who want to express their fandom by pretending to be a wrestler compromise their relatively normal lives for the freakshow that is professional wrestling?

Three, people e-fed to express their creativity (or try to at least). In wrestling, even at the low indie level, your creativity is stifled from the very start. You have bookers and writers telling you what your gimmick is and what you're supposed to say. Granted, there's way more freedom at the indie level than there is in the terribly-scripted WWE or TNA, but still, a lot of times, you don't have control over your content. Screw that, unless the fedhead you're working for is a total douche, you have complete freedom. No restraints at all. Sometimes, this can be a bad thing, but I'd rather err on the side of letting people be free rather than restricting them.

Honestly, this criticism of e-fedding smacks of ignorant elitism. Oooh, let's make fun of the roleplayers! They're D&D nerds! My response? So fucking what? Everyone has their nerdy side, and if they don't, well, they probably have anuses tighter than an infant's belly button. Next thing you know, they'll be saying you can't play fantasy football unless you try out for the NFL, or that you can't criticize actors unless you were in a school play. Total and complete horsecrap.

There's no better way to express your fandom for wrestling than to pretend that you're a wrestler. Live vicariously through e-fedding (and through Smackdown vs. RAW or other video games). Keep your health and your creativity intact. This is a great game. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Unfamiliarity Breeds Contempt

What is it about tournaments that gets everyone's panties in an uproar? Christ, you would think that we'd all have learned our lessons by now... tournaments where diverse crowds come together and mesh are recipes for disaster. A lot of times, you get guys who think their shit doesn't stink coming into a tournament, posting something that is unfamiliar to the tournament administration and then ends up losing. Then, afterwards, there's some kind of stink. This time, it wasn't so much raised publicly in the area of e-fedding by the guy who felt he was wronged, but it by two of my other fellow bloggers, Billy Ferraro and Dave Brunk.

The incident happened in something called the Total J Cup Tournament, which was entered by a bunch of people from feds that I don't know... and then Pete Russo, who entered Impulse/Randall Knox. Apparently, he got jobbed in the first round to a guy who broke some of the cardinal rules of e-fedding, some real asshole n00b shit. I read the excerpt of the RP that this guy wrote and actually bete Impulse with. He basically rewrote history for Impulse's character to retrofit the promo he had in mind for whatever opponent he had going for him. It's one thing to put on the no-sell for a guy you don't know about (one of the more annoying techniques I come across in my travels), but it's downright unfair to write someone else's character, especially someone foreign to the community.

Billy was the first to speak out, and he tore the whole operation, the organizer, the RPer (whom I wouldn't let within a 5-website radius of any tournament or fed I would theoretically run), Ben Halkum for associating with them and trying to bring them into the FW fold... Brunk then followed up with a scathing tome of isolationism, with Katz following up in the comments that the reason why it happened was because folks like me and Halkum are too nice.

Let's face it... it's basically the kind of thing that I took the WfWA to task for. The fact that objectively, Pete's beef is way, way, way, WAY more legit than the assfucks at the WfWA who bitched about Nova's talent amounting to that of a midcarder in their feds beating out the "stellar" writing of their luminaries like Khalid Jad, really doesn't make much of a difference. On the surface it's bush league, but not because they're complaining about this kind of shabby treatment.

I won't take them to task for feeling the way they do, but I will say I told you so.

I was naive once, I thought I could invite people from different communities to partake in a TEAM event and judge it fairly enough that everyone would be happy, even if they didn't win. Hey, I had PTC guys in my tournaments and they adjusted fine. Of course, it didn't hurt that they were enough good e-wrestlers coming over to give the image that they'd be treated fairly, but I can't put over the maturity of their guys that came over and even didn't place well in events enough, the straggling Chris Bagwell aside (a straggler that actually didn't get disgruntled until I left my post, actually).

So I sought out more communities, which was a mistake. I had the luxury of going to a community that featured a lot of older handlers, a lot of handlers who knew FW personalities via the fWo and Katz's headway that he made shilling for NFW over there first. And I paid the price. It took a long time for me to get my enthusiasm back, and you could say that I never fully did maybe until now.

But the thing was that the lesson was mainly public. It was there plain as day - People fear what they don't understand, and they lash out at the stranger because it's the easy thing to do, especially when the people we're talking about are younger and more stubborn in what they think is good. A tactic that most sane people think is bushleague might be considered "taking the bull by the horns" or... wait for it... "avant-garde" by some other retarded communities where dick-measuring between characters is done mainly with banners and graphics rather than writing quality.

It's because of crap like that that I don't fully disagree with what Brunk had to say. Sure, e-fed isolationism is a sad thing to practice, but it's a very welcoming strategy to practice at times. In a world where every community is different and where partnerships like the one shared by FW and PTC are few and far between, it's not worth the effort to make a bridge so that testy armies can have chances to get at someone else's throats.

That's why I give this advice. If you want to try something new, go to a different community or the like, be prepared to take a lot of shit. Carry the burden silently. Don't bitch in public when you get beat on bullshit tactics. It's bullshit, but take it to the man, and if he doesn't listen to you, fuck, it's their loss, not yours. Know that you're going into hostile territory and that you may never be able to win anyone over with a style of writing that is unfamiliar.

This is still a game dominated by the immature and the insular. FW and PTC are the exceptions to the rule. We do this for fun, and I think that the options available to us are good enough to satisfy unless you're not a fan of delays between cards and want something more regular. It's not worth it to go somewhere where the kids rule the roost and just want more fresh meat to carve up and serve to their n00bish "main eventers".