Monday, August 14, 2006

The Mechanics of Your Biggest Show of the Year

We're officially in "biggest show of the year season" for many feds. PRIME is set to post Colossus III tomorrow night. A1E is building up towards Golden Dreams VI. AWC is gearing up for Coast 2 Coast. NEW is building towards BattleBrawl 2. And of course, lest we forget, the grand-daddy of them all, The C-S-Dub is in high gear with RP for their Anniversary 18 show... which of course no one knows as Anniversary 18 and everyone knows as GOLD RUSH~!

Yes, the summer time usually is the time most feds kick in their big shows. This is antithetical to the real thing, at least traditionally. WrestleMania is always in March/April. ECW had their November to Remember, and WCW ended the calendar year with StarrCade (which was my least favorite PPV name ever... well, I guess not ever because I pretty much loathe the name Taboo Tuesday). However, summer's when most of the college and high school aged e-fedders in years past would have their time off to devote more to the hobby. Now the ages skew older, and we seem to get more time in the winter months becuase summer's for vacation. 8-)

Still though, no matter when you have your big event as a fedhead, you no doubt have to make it big. Huge. Bigger than any other PPV you have on your calendar. You should strive to make it the event on the e-wrestling calendar in total. How do you do that aside from spamming the boards and saying that it's going to be the biggest event ever? (which, by the way, is the WRONG way to do it) You do it through your matches. Not just in the writing, but in how you build them.

For any fed, you have to make your "WrestleMania" larger than life. It has to have an aura. You can't get that unless you have build to it months in advance. Your uppercard can't be thrown together at the last minute. You have to have some kind of plan of action going in.

Other than that sort of general criterion, here are some other things that I think should be included into your giant card. Of course, your card doesn't need to have all of these things to be a great main card, but it should have a lot of them.

First up, you need to have a match or two that is on par with or even bigger than your World Championship match. I know the World Championship is the reason you're in the fed, yadda yadda yadda, but it should ALWAYS play center stage in any event. It's special when you get to hold it, but the fact that a PPV has a World Championship match isn't that special. You need other matches to have the same kind of gravity. That's not to say you should downplay your World Championship match or have it take a backseat. But there should be something else there to make people say "DAMN! That's one loaded card!"

For example, Colossus III, Killean Sirrajin and Tchu... that's the unquestioned main event, for the Univseral Championship, four years of hate, finally coming to a head. No doubt this is the biggest match in PRIME all year. However, to go along with that, you have Karina Wolfenden taking on Ignatius Liseaux, two Hall-of-Fame caliber wrestlers in a match that could have headlined the PPV under different circumstances. It doesn't make the Sirrajin/Tchu ÜBERMATCH take a backseat, but it adds to the mystique, the gravity of the event.

Another example is Golden Dreams VI, where arguably the main event will not be the A1E World Championship. No offense to Phil or Andy here, but Housefly vs. Spoiler, the two LEGENDS from their respective A1 e-feds, squaring off. This match is the culmination of eight months of build towards Spoiler's one-man invasion of A1E for the sole purpose of taking down its legends. The World Championship Match, Farnswirth vs. Gilkison, would main event any other PPV and it also adds to the gravity of the event. Not only do you have this monumental clash of the Titans, you have a very hot World Championship match which is the culmination of another long feud.

I think it also goes without saying that you need to have your World Championship defended. I mean, it's the crown jewel of your fed, and you have your fed on showcase. One of your hot matches should have The Strap involved in it. Having an angle surrounding the title is a great idea. Kinda like how AWC's got their Transatlantic Championship all in a tizzy, with Adam Dick still holding onto one portion of it through a contract loophole, despite his quitting the fed, and Pierce Lavelle having his own portion of it, winning it though more legitimate means. In between, you have Garbage Bag Johnny, who's got a shot at both forms of the title... on two different continents. Interesting to say the least.

Another thing that helps is showcasing your midcard in secondary title matches, having guys you've earmarked as being ones you're going to push in the next couple of months. Kinda like how the WWF showcased Jericho, Benoit and Angle in those three-ways at WrestleMania 2000 for the Intercontinental and European Championships. PRIME's got Nova and the Illustrious Face-Eater going for the Intense Championship and AWC had featured Darcy Crisis and Anton Assault on a collision course for the Frontier Championship... well, that is, until Mikey O'Reilly unceremoniously ended Assault's title reign at the last Fresh~!Special. Talking about giving your secondary titles attention though, no one gives them more attention than the CSWA does now with each ring in their five-tiered battle royale being devoted to one of the lower titles. Which leads me into my next point...

Clusterfuck matches are a good way to include everyone in a match that means something at your biggest event. Usually, you don't have these kinds of matches for sport; something's on the line. Whether it's the UNIFIED Championship and every other CSWA title at Anniversary, Number One Contendership for the NEW World Championship at BattleBRAWL or a shot at a PRIME title of your choice at Colossus III, these matches often prove fun and give motivated members of your roster a chance to shine on the big stage, prove that they know how to crash the party right proper and who end up in the bigger matches as years progress.

"Dream matches" and one-offs are also really great to have on your card. I mean, when guys from other feds want to appear on your big card, it makes your event seem that much more special. Your event's so big that everyone in the e-wrestling world wants to appear on it. That's a good boost for the ego of any fedhead. I can't really think of any big examples of one-on-one one-offs; most of the outsiders have been attracted by BattleBRAWL and Gold Rush~! In the past though, the biggie was GXW's Battleground Britain, which attracted guys from all over the map. Eli Flair, Cross, Beast and Mark Windham were among the guys making special one-night only appearances in the fed if memory serves me correct. These dream matches may not have a whole lot of history behind them like your main event caliber matches should have, but the novelty of them will help give your card even more of a punch.

Now, when you actually get to the card itself, you should keep a few things in mind. One, your big-time card should be the place where most of, if not all your bigtime angles should draw to a close. It's a new "year" on your fed's calendar, and you wanna wrap up the stories you've been working on for all those months now.

Two, have some surprises in store. Sometimes, your card may seem a little transparent, which is okay if you have the writing to back it up. Even if you do though, it's good to throw in a surprise here and there just to keep people talking, to give them something more to talk about. I mean, don't think you need to have shock after shock after shock. We don't wanna be like Vince Russo and live and die by the SWERVE~! now.

And last but certainly and definitely not least, make sure the writing's good. This is your card of cards for the year. Make sure the matches you write are among the best you'll write all year. Hype is only one part of making your event special. You can have all the buzz around it in the world, but if the writing doesn't come through, your event won't be remembered.

Now that I've gotten all that out of the way, it's time to sit back, relax and watch as these shows of shows start rolling in.


Hyde said...

It's "Coast To Coast", damn it! I knew calling the SECOND Zero To Hero "Zero 2 Hero" would come back to haunt me...

AndyGilkie said...

A little bit of me felt the same way you do about Spoiler vs. Fly, and that it should go on last. I said as much on the BC boards when we were doing the official Building to Golden Dreams discussion.

But Phil felt that while Fly vs. Spoiler had a big marquee feel to it, it was Andy vs. Farnsy that has been the biggest story going, and with the World title added to it, that putting it on last was warrented. Fly felt the same as well. He felt he couldn't really justify putting Spoiler vs. Fly on last because the World title wasn't involved.

I do feel Andy vs. Farnsy has more going for it than just about any World title match A1E has had for a long time in terms of story. It has essentially been in the making for over a year, ever since Andy was brought back into the HPSC and forced to serve their needs as a member.

I am extremely lucky to be part of something like this in A1E. I was most likely going to be face Farnsy regardless of whether or not he held the World title, but him holding it does add even more weight to the match, and up the sakes even higher than just it being a personal grudge match (all be it one a year in the making).

Being in one of the two main events (the other being Fly vs. Spoiler) for the biggest show of the year is going to be very nice, and I have Dan, Bill, and Phil, to thank for it.

I am looking foward to Golden Dreams, period. I think this year's GD has the potential to be bigger and better than last year. I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

And no love for the culmination of the three month fued between Irishred and Mr. Amazing for the Triple Star Title...*sigh*

But really...Golden Dreams up and down should be sweet. Every title will be defended.

World: Farnsy vs Andy

Cyber: Cross vs Anti Cross

Tag: Ryan and Dog vs Promo and AJ

Triple Star: Red vs Mr. Amazing

The undercard has the potential to be huge. The HPSC comes apart at the seams with Chip vs Slambo and Dick vs Drew. Besides Chip and Slambo look at the rest of the talent in the non title matches for Pete's sake. Troy Douglas, Sarge, James Irish, Duchess, Daymon, Drunken Tiger, Eddie Weston, Jack Gilkison, Elim, Freakshow, JA...holy crap.

Plus I wouldn't be surprised to see a return or two. The talent is SO deep in A1E right now.

If you aren't keeping up on the action tune in and catch up. A card every two weeks put out like clockwork, participation from all handlers, compelling stories....A1E is back and ready to prove why it is the number one fed in the game. (IMO)

Shane G

Joshua C. Ray said...

Don't forget that I'm going to be working on MCW Finale! I've just got to finish the Korean language finals (tomorrow morning), graduate (next week), and finish vacation (mid-Sept). I want it to showcase what I am capable of putting out!

BigDaddy said...

What's interesting about Golden Dreams is that, although it is unquestionably the biggest event on the A1E calendar, it rarely is our best card of the year. Nor does it usually include a MOTY candidate.

Not really sure why that is, especially since I can think back to some amazing matches that have been held. But for some reason, it just seems to fall flat.

Maybe it's the lofty expectations. Hard to say.

However, I do have to agree with Andy and Shane that this year's show is shaping up VERY nicely. I've definitely got high hopes.