Match Writing 101

This post was written by Jeremy Miller of http://trmoj.blogspot.com. Many thanks for his permission to use it!

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So you think you have what it takes to be a match writer do you? You’ve been given the greenlight from your fedhead in question and have just received your very first match! Exciting times are ahead for you as you get to blaze a trail of awesome match writing and getting praised for your skills by your peers…

Stop right there.

Let me tell you from experience, don’t expect praise from your peers, EVER. Matching writing is one of the most thankless jobs one can undertake in this game of ours. In fact about the only person who’s going to thank you or praise you is your fedhead. I’ve been lucky the few times I’ve actually gotten thanked by someone other than Mark(FFW/SVW), Adam(SCW when I was there and wrote a few matches for them), and a host of others I’ve written for in the past. And to those who thanked me, allow me this chance to thank you all personally.

Cori, Rod, Cory, Roberta, Mina, Josh, and Emma; THANK YOU for appreciating what I wrote for you guys and gals; means the world to me, it truly does.

Moving on. As I said and this is the key to remember; if you are expecting praise for your work from your peers, be prepared to be disappointed. With that being said, here a few simple rules I can give you all who are just starting to match write and maybe refresh a few of us match writing vets.

Rule One: READ THE BIOS
This rule should be common knowledge but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a match someone has written and then I go and check one of the bios and there was not a damned move in their moveset used, let alone any of their labeled ‘strengths or weaknesses’ used. The bios are there for a reason; they are a tool for you as a match writer to take advantage of. If a weakness is say ‘fights to keep their mask on’ USE that to keep some cheap heel heat if it’s the face who’s wearing the mask! And please, don’t try and be cute and add some move you think someone should have unless you ask ahead of time and get the okay from the handler in question.

Rule Two: PACING
This is an often overlooked aspect of match writing and hell I’ve made this mistake myself from time to time; pace yourself in the match. Treat it like a thrill ride, build up the match, start slow and then drop them down the hill with an incredible spot but then give them time to digest what just happened and when you feel they are ready, hit them with another high. Don’t make it a mile a minute ‘car crash gone wild affair’, slow and steady wins the race is a great quote for a reason, folks. Pace the match out, give an even number of highs and lows as to not burn out ‘the fans’ or the readers either.

Rule Three: Further The Angles
If any of the wrestlers in the match you are given has an upcoming match with another wrestler not in the match; have your commentators sell the upcoming match; it can be something as simple as saying that this match shouldn’t be overlooked because they’ll be facing Person C later on and they need to take this seriously. In fact and this is another thing I tend to skip sometimes because I’m human and can make mistakes; if Person A is set to lose to Person B… have Person C, the one they are feuding with be a cause of it. Have their theme hit during a turning point of the match where person A is in charge and that moment of disraction causes Person B to secure the win. It’s simple but it’s effective and you’ve JUST advanced an angle. You’ve killed two birds with one stone by doing this, really. You’ve given a different ending, while selling an upcoming match later on down the road. There are many ways you can help advance angles through the match though not just the one I gave.

Rule Four: Too Many False Finishes Cheapen The Real Finish
I know this rule is going to be pretty unpopular to people who love the false finish; hell I LOVE the false finish too; when its not overused. Here’s the deal, the false finish loses it’s luster and is cheapened if its overused on every match on the card. For me personally I’d save false finishes for big angle matches at PPV’s or for the main events of the regular shows, again that’s just me. For those that don’t know, a false finish is often when the match looks like its over, Person A just laid out Person B with their finisher and goes for the ‘winning pinfall’ but right as that three is about to be registered, they kick out! It’s exciting, don’t get me wrong and it can get the crowd PUMPED like nothing else can; unless you overdo the damned thing. Hi Rock vs. Cena II. If you want to make a false finish not overused; if person B has a manager, have them jump on the apron to distract the ref to buy their client time to recoup while person A is ‘pinning them for more than three seconds’… it builds HEAT for Person B while also not cheapening the real finish to come. Again two birds with one stone; I like them odds.

Rule Five: Arena Awareness
This one is more towards matches that don’t involve ‘rules’, like falls count anywhere matches and the like. USE the arena, the WHOLE arena if you can. There is more to it than the squared circle, the announcer table, the barricade, the steel steps, and the ramp. You got the fan section it’s self, the actual ring apron, the time keeper’s bell; when was the last time you read a match where THAT was used? Yeah, get my point? The arena is your playground, use it; have fun and I bet you’re readers will enjoy it; they may not thank you for it, but they’ll enjoy it.

These are only a few basic rules that come to my mind. As always if I missed something, by all means let me know; I love feedback, whether good, bad, or indifferent. As always, I thank you for taking the time out of your day to read my blogs; because without you guys, I’m nothing but a guy writing for shits and giggles.

Until next time,

-Jer

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