Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Too many chiefs, not enough Indians

I was having a conversation with Garbage Bag Johnny's handler today about AWC RPs today, and we got around to discussing The Legion's first RP. He had said that he liked what Bryan was doing with the managerial character, but that he hadn't done enough of developing the individual members. I agreed to an extent, but I also thought that a little leeway was not only allowable but necessary, seeing that Bryan was introducing an entire stable into AWC at one time, handled ostensibly by himself. It's done all the time in wrestling anyway... guys come in who can't talk and they have a mouthpiece build heat for them out of the ring while they do it in the ring. However, that's besides my point here. My point for allowing Bryan the leeway was that he was taking on a very ambitious project here. In most cases, I feel ambition should be rewarded.

In e-fedding, the pinnacle of ambition is to start your own fed. For the most part, being in a fed requires much less work than actually running one. You need patience and determination as well as ambition, but the point stands. If you think it's in short supply, then you haven't seen the Advertisement forums at FW and other hubs. There's an advertisement for a new fed weekly.

Once again, I would be more than happy if every fed that sprang up filled their roster with guys they were happy with. It would thrill me to no end, if only because it meant the hobby was bursting with handlers and everything was ├╝ber-healthy.

But things aren't as robust as the supply of feds to join would suggest. In plain economic terms, the demand for feds is dwarfed by the supply of them to join. People scrimp and scrape for handlers, and you get guys who keep trying to start feds, advertising with messages like "Hey, this is my third fed I'm starting, hopefully this'll get off the ground." I get several people I don't know IMing me asking me to join their feds. I admire their courage to IM a perfect stranger, but sorry, the demand's just not there.

Usually, it's the people who come to sites like FW, EWN and PTC just to register a name and post an advertisement, never to be heard from again are the ones who oversaturate the market, and it would be nice if they settled down into a fed in any of the established spheres of influence. Lord knows feds like A1E and MCW need the infusion of new blood. Things would be a lot more interesting if we had waves of guys in each community applying to handle. If just a quarter of the folks who were registered to post at FW were to actually post and handle actively in feds, then the place would be teeming and we wouldn't be having any discussion about downturns and lulls and blaming Vince McMahon for ruining our hobby. That's not the case though, and it's a shame.

Of course, the usual suspects start their own feds too, but it's with much less frequency, and it's usually to test out a new concept. I've gotten behind several concepts, and I will continue to do so. Guys like Yran who are trying a summer wrestling tour fed (Sunshine Wrestling), or folks like Stanton and Koby with LVW or Bolich and now Josh Ray with MCW... these are projects to get behind. I know, I've been there with TEAM.

But there's no denying even these feds are having or have had trouble with recruiting and getting a healthy roster size. It happens to all the feds, not just the small-scale ones.

(PTC seems to be immune to this for some reason, but every now and again, you get recruting drives for either AWC or PRIME for tag teams and what-not...)

So if there's a plea I have, it's this. Channel your ambition elsewhere. There are a ton of feds out there who could use you to help the hobby by putting out strong angles and building hot feuds within them. Take a step down. Sometimes, when you scale the ambition down, everyone wins. Right now, guys like Bryan who are taking it upon themselves to do risky things in established feds are far more interesting to me than new feds that sprout up by the dozen every month. I'd say hold off on doing a fed unless you have a concept that's so great and innovative that you can't hold it back any further.

The health of the hobby is measured by how healthy the existing feds are, not by how many feds there are. No matter how ambitious you are, next time you have an idea to start a fed up, think about channeling that energy into bringing another fed up.

Trust me, we don't need Vince McMahon to make an upturn in the hobby. We need you and me.


James Irish said...

This is quite possibly the most well thought out, well reasoned, and plain old "dammit, the man has a point" posts I've read in a long time.

Really, as much as I want to try new stuff, commitment to A1E (post that Vengence review, Tom!) and my new commitment to EPW (match writers, get yer butts in gear!) not to mention other hobbies I maintain limits my time and creativity. I don't want to half-ass something, a fed head worth his roster doesn't deserve that.

That said... I do think that Summer Tour is a nice idea.

Hyde said...

You're preaching to the converted. Go post this at RoughKut.

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate the positive comments thus far, both from you and Josh. And as far as the criticism goes, I feel it's a fair one. It IS hard to handle a cast of five regulars (Sean and his four clients). And when the four clients dress the same, don't speak, and have hidden identities, well...yeah, it's a challenge. Which is part of why I'm doing it.

However, to (hopefully) assuage some of the fears...I've had a plan set up. The first RP will focus on Sean, the second on the dynamic/characters of Ares and Susanowa, the third on Horus, and so on from there, depending on who's wrestling on a given night.

While I'd like to be able to jump right into their heads and hearts, I'm trying to play on the mystery thing a bit. Especially when at least one of the characters is an established guy.

But regardless, you've hit the nail on the head in regards to innovation in the hobby. More people need to do more things than just running a bad-ass face who curses and drinks. '94 called and wants it's gimmick back. Whether it be in character gimmicks, styles, matches, or just trying new things, more people need to do more than just RP or post on forums these days. And with the number of staggeringly talented writers on-board in the hobby right now, it's not impossible to see it happening.


Anonymous said...

I think some of the smalled feds could and should be combined to form a stronger overall federation. I hate to see talented people struggling to help a federation and then watching the federation stagnate and interest and storylines die out.

I like what happened with MBE with the little off shoot of Extreme wrestling. I like what Brunk was doing with the Heat type show.

I'd like to see more wrestlers actually join the bigger federations and watch them adapt...adding shows to accomodate.

Good thoughts Tommy.