This won’t appeal to a lot of you, but none the less, I know it will appeal to a few. I play lots of games and one of them I’m currently playing in Total Extreme Wrestling 2016. If it’s not your thing, then just ignore these pieces :). I’ve decided to write about it and do the off piece about it as I play. This will help me keep track of all my shows, my roster and definitely help with storylines. All of this is fantasy booking and not real! It’s using TEW 16 and the Genadi 1987 mod (once it’s released in the next few days).
I’ve got various other saves on the go too but I’ll not be writing about them. I’m not interested in building a little company from the ground up, been there and done that lots of times already. All I want to do now is focus on putting people over and putting on good shows. So if you’re one of the TEW fans who only like the posts that are following realism or focus on playing a ‘truer game’ then you probably won’t enjoy this.
To give you a little idea of what I have planned, in this first post I’ll add a bit of background to set the story, so you know what my plan is long-term and can see what direction I’m going in. I’ve not settled on a style that I’ll be presenting this series though, so my writing style might change several times until I find my feet. So if you have any feedback then it would be greatly received.
Fox News reporter Leanne Bishop recently took an in-depth look into the world of wrestling when she spent time with World Wrestling Federation Enterprises. She got an exclusive interview with Vince McMahon and the new ideas he’s put in place for the future. Leanne also spent the month going to all the shows and even attended Wrestlemania 3. So let’s join Leanne as she looks at the Sports Entertainment giants WWF.
Before this month I’d known very little about wrestling let alone WWF, so it was quite the surprise when I was approached to do this feature. As I was starting out, the first thing I did was take a look at the roster and familiarise myself with it as I’d be seeing a lot of them over the next 30 days.
These are the tag teams currently on the roster. However I was perplexed with them having three teams all with the same names? Is this normal? I had to ask someone and I was told they were different people in the teams. Fabulous Freebirds is made up of Buddy Roberts and Terry Gordy. The Fabulous Freebirds was made up of Terry Gordy and Michael Hayes while The Fabulous Freebirds 2 is made up of Michael Hayes and Buddy Roberts. Confused much? I was but I’m told its simple, they’re a stable and wrestling fans will understand that.
Then we have what is effectively knows as the mid-carders;
Then we have midcarders;
Then we come to the main eventers, the people who carry the company and are well-known normally as a rule;
Some of these names I had heard off before, everyone knows Andre don’t they? And Hulk Hogan was quickly becoming a well know name not only in wrestling, but he was becoming a household name.
While it might be a male dominated industry there are still a few women involved too;
Vince McMahon actually mentioned the women wrestlers to me earlier in the week, he says he’s keen to add more depth and find the next big women star.
The shows I attended were really good, there was a relaxed atmosphere but at times it would descend into chaos when one of the wrestlers portraying a villain would enter the arena or when someone with star quality like Andre would appear.
All of these shows were building towards the World Wrestling Federation’s yearly spectacle, Wrestlemania!
The show got off to a slow start really but the crowd was very vocal, you could feel the energy in the arena. The months leading into this moment were all about the build for these matches and to get fans interested in the storylines. This show was almost the ending for all those storylines and it seemed fitting that this fifty thousand capacity stadium was sold out and to see the big pay off for the wrestlers who have invested so much time into the storylines.
The show ended with a double main event and the fans were eagerly anticipating these matches all throughout the night. It was magical, unless you was here at this exact time you’ll not understand the emotion, the electricity and the feeling you’d just watched something really special. By the end of the night I was a fully converted wrestling fan. I was hooked!
At the beginning of March, Vince McMahon announced that at the start of April, the wrestling landscape was about to change for ever. Vince said;
“This is a conscious effort on our part to open the creative envelope, so to speak, in order to entertain you in a more contemporary manner. ”
He went on to add
“One of the reasons we are pushing for change is longevity: As the times are changing, we must also change our ways and adapt to these new times. We also think that you’re tired of the same old simplistic theory of ‘good guys vs. bad guys.’ Surely the era of the superhero urging you to say your prayers and take your vitamins is definitely passe.”
“We want to make the brand feel fresh and exciting again. We also want to focus on the superstars of tomorrow and lay foundations not only for now, but for 10, 20, 30, 40 years down the line. Securing our future long-term has to be the goal in these new times. So along with the rebranding of the TV shows such as Superstars of Wrestling and Wrestling Challenge, we are looking to invest in a development territory (NXT)that will attract the next generation of wrestlers.”
“Behind the scenes these foundations are currently being put into place with the opening of our new state of the art Performance Centre.”
Vince was then asked how this helps talent and what can we expect from the Performance Centre;
“You train them, you teach them how to do this [and] you try to give them all the tools necessary. And that’s really what we’ve tried to create here in the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. [It] is just the ultimate performance center, for lack of a better term, that gives them every tool that they would need to succeed in the WWF. And then, what they do with that is up to them. If they work as hard as possible and they’re dedicated and passionate [about] it and work as hard as they can, then, the sky’s the limit.”
During the statements from Vince, we also learnt that the shows formats and how they are broadcast is also changing. Vince said;
“From April our new show Monday Night RAW, will see for the first time ever, WWF broadcast its flagship show LIVE every week. The audience will be a big feature of Monday Night RAW and it will seem more interactive. The superstars have a real chance here to showcase their talent with no rehearsals.”
“It’s a big risk on our part, anything could go wrong “ added Vince.
He also noted that the WWF relish the challenges ahead and think this is what will take them to the next level. He went on to add;
“We’re now entering the Sports Entertainment era, where storylines and great matches will be seen every week. The focus is on giving the crowd and fans at home watching, an entertaining night.
Vince certainly seemed in buoyant mood and who can blame him? He’s a confident man at the best of times. He’s trying to implement his vision and be the driving force that moves not only his company WWF forward but the entire wrestling/sports entertainment industry. It’s certainly a brave move and a gamble as he has no guarantee that his crowds will get bigger and pay for the extra outlay. So it’s going to be a big year for Vince and for us, to see just exactly how this plays out.
I was also privy to an exclusive from Vince as he gave me access to a list of names of the first ever Performance Centre intake.
The first thing that struck me was the sheer amount of people in the intake, it seemed rather excessive. I think Vince could see this on my face because he quickly explained that the people on this list won’t all make it long-term. He says it might be a case of them releasing some of them and seeing if things change in a few years time and take another look at them. He seemed to be stressing this point and also pointed out that if someone does get cut from the roster in the next 12 months, it doesn’t mean they’re not good enough. It could mean that timing is not right for both parties currently but further down the line that might change.
Vince also explained that in 12 months time they’ll be looking to retain no more than twenty names off the list above. Then every year they’ll sign ten more recruits and take a look at them, then after 12 months, keep the ones who made the current grades and offer them a further 3 year contract.
It seems really ambitious to me but Vince gives off the impression he won’t stop until he achieves what he sets out to do. This could end up being his overall downfall but it could also be the start of the future and secure his legacy. I guess only time will tell.