Hello again! I am Matt, The Doctor, and welcome to my next column in the “eWrestling is Terrible” series. I had planned to start my “specifics”-series of columns today, focusing on personal dislikes in characters, written results, CAWs, social media, and more. In fact, this one was originally going to be about eWrestling websites and eFed main pages, but something more important to discuss came up, thanks to fellow contributor Craig Thompson.
First, I wanted to say thank you. Thank you to everyone who read my first article, to those who commented on it, and especially to Craig Thompson, who wrote a great rebuttal to my points that you can read on this very site. Seriously, it’s really awesome of all of you, and I hope you continue to read and comment and discuss. You’re great.
To address a few of his points – I’ll be the first to admit that I wrote the initial article and indeed chose the title of the series as I did as a bit of a Modest Proposal, a way to get people talking. While I may believe what I write, I’m not so bold as to really think that my articles on a small eWrestling blog can change something that’s been marching steadily for over a decade. That said, the initial article accomplished its goal, and I hope that future ones do the same. I love eWrestling, and I love discussing eWrestling. Let’s all discuss it together.
One of my favorite lines in the article is that good characters and feds can develop from bad ones. That’s something I agree with whole-heartedly. Even the blandest self-insert can become something more with the right angle, gimmick change, or idea. That’s what I want to help with these articles. I want to lay out some issues I have with characters, feds, handler attitudes, and the community as a whole. I want people to read my articles and have a think, decide whether they agree or disagree, and open some real discourse on this hobby we all love so much and learn from it.
Now, enough preamble. Onto the meat of the thing!
The biggest thing holding eWrestling back today is the lack of inter-federation cooperation.
Story time. A few months ago, Armbar Error Society held an event which was intended to be interpromotional not just through the feds on the site, but ones off as well. It was called National eWrestling Day. Now, this was before knowing about eWspot or advertisement boards, so maybe if this were to happen again things would go differently, but I digress.
National eWrestling Day was bold. It was meant to be a night of eWrestling, uniting CAW feds and text feds, with cross-promotion and everyone seeing the best other feds had to offer. CAW feds would submit a match that’d be streamed live, and text feds would submit a match that everyone would read together. The organizer was enamoured with his vision, so sure it would be one of the biggest events ever. With bright eyes and shining face he reached out to six non-AES federations to join the party.
He got none.
Now, maybe there were other factors in this. Maybe it was poor timing. Perhaps the feds were in the middle of a storyline that required all hands on deck, or a PPV cycle. Maybe they weren’t completely sure how it worked. But judging from the reaction he got, I think it’s evidence of a much deeper problem at work.
Most of the responses the event-runner got were ones of uncertainty, of distrust. Some said that they didn’t want to participate in something that wasn’t “theirs”. This, to me, represents a massive issue in the eWrestling community.
You see, eWrestling is fragmented. Every federation works independently of itself, the people in charge so sure that they need no one else, that their way is the right way. Honestly, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you aren’t running a fed or participating to be the best you can be and have fun doing it, you shouldn’t be in. This is a hobby, and hobbies are about having fun. But you know what would really be fun? Cooperation.
Everyone wants views, handlers, fans. Everyone wants to grow and improve, or they should want to. Everyone wants a consistent and entertaining product. What better way to expand your audience than by working together with another eFed? I don’t mean stealing handlers, I mean sharing handlers, or viewers, or fans, or tips. Right now, there are a trillion eFeds on the internet, and a few small blogs and forums dedicated to uniting them. eWspot seems to be one of them. But how much has it really, truly helped? How many people found AES through eWspot? How many actual handlers and fans did we really get?
There’s a comfort zone I feel most eFeds settle into. They find their spot, they stick with their spot, and no one is going to budge. It’s disheartening, because everyone in this community has something to offer. Whether you’re an excellent RPer, graphics artist, match-writer, video-editor, CAW creator, or maybe you’re just a fun person with fun ideas for angles and characters, you have something to offer. Feds that I’m in average around 40-to-50 regular characters and handlers. Now imagine if we took those 50 and combined them with the 50 from another fed, and the 50 from another, and another, until we have this huge mass of people willing to discuss, debate, share ideas, and give feedback on each others’ shows and RPs.
I’m not asking for a central eFed, forum, or hub. There are so many facets and aspects to eWrestling and no real “right” way of doing it. I just want everyone to work together to make eWrestling the greatest hobby in the universe. I want ideas to be shared, I want cross-promotional shows, I want viewers all over the board. All I want is for people to step forward, stop competing with each other, and start working with each other. Some people do. But I want everyone to.
Through the years, eWrestling has survived on microcosms of competition. If you ask me, that’s old hat. That’s antiquated. That’s the past. If you ask me, eWrestling’s future is not about competition. If we want eWrestling to truly move to the future, we need to band together. Turn our small fragments into a big whole. Step out of your comfort zone. Stop assuming a fed is automatically inferior or just “different”. We’re all in this together, and if we can work together we can build a bright future for the hobby together.
Cooperation. Togetherness. Think about it.