Character Development


The first step of any e-fed player is to create a wrestler capable of taking them to the top of the division. A lot of people rush into this too fast, simply throwing together a character so that they can start playing as quickly as possible. This is almost always a mistake. Without a strong character, it is very hard to be successful in an e-fed wrestling federation of any worth. Listed below are some pointers that you can follow to begin your journey into the world of wrestling on the World Wide Web.

Heel/Face/Neutrality

Usually the best thing to start out with is deciding what type of wrestler you're interested in running. Although it's not as much of a clear line as it used to be in professional wrestling, there are still babyfaces, heels, and guys inbetween. Always have a clear-cut idea in mind before you create the character. Will he be a fan-favorite who doesn't cheat no matter the circumstances? Will he be a more sinister type who loves the easy victory, and doesn't mind taking a shortcut? Or will he not worry about the fan reaction, and be similar to a Stone Cold persona? Of course, no matter what you choose, the character can 'turn' somewhere down the road. But it's usually a good idea to know which side of the fence you're on when you enter the federation.

Originality

A lot of e-fedders select their favorite professional wrestler and copy their personality traits to suit their new character. While I am not against this, I would recommend that you use the pros only as a starting point. Lookalikes are rarely treated with respect in e-feds. Don't come out and act exactly like the Rock or Goldberg. If you want to have him talk in the third person, or be an unstoppable machine, that's fine, but don't make him a carbon copy. Give him your own quirks. If that means combining the attributes of various wrestlers, then give it a shot. Anything that makes your character more interesting to you will make it easier to roleplay for him in the long run.

Size/Style

Once you have the basic outline for how your character is going to behave, the next step is figuring out what he is going to look like, and through that, what type of wrestling style he will be using. The most common types are:

* Powerhouse (Batista, The Undertaker)
* High-Flyer (Rey Mysterio Jr, Jeff Hardy)
* Technician (Sting, Kurt Angle)
* Brawler (John Cena, Bill Goldberg)
* Hardcore (Raven, Rhino)
* Martial Arts (Steve Blackman, Ernest Miller)
* All-Arounder (Christian Cage, Booker T)

With each type of competitor comes a different way of wrestling. After all, you wouldn't expect to see a high-flyer utilizing powerbombs and gorilla presses, nor would a brawler be that skilled in submission holds. There can be combinations, however, as very few professional wrestlers fall into one field. Figure out how you want your wrestler to come across inside the squared circle, as his wrestling will most likely contribute heavily to his personality.

The style of the wrestler usually leads to what his weight and height are. A high-flyer should definitely be a cruiserweight, or at least close to it, while a powerhouse should have some bulk under him. If you want to contend for the Cruiserweight belt as well as the rest of the titles, you need to find out what the weight limit is for the division. There are also usually maximum size limits as well (seeing as how there aren't too many 8-foot wrestlers around). Try to find the right balance for your wrestler, so that he'll fight the way you want him to. Remember, if you make him a 7-foot giant, he'll undoubtedly have less speed and agility than some of the other wrestlers, while a cruiserweight might find himself being tossed around by stronger opponents.

Appearance

You have a feel for how large your wrestler is going to be. Now what is he going to look like? Many e-fedders will grab a real wrestler and truly pattern their appearance after them. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, although you want to make sure that no one else in the federation is using the same wrestler you are. You can create the wrestler in your own image, giving him the same color hair, same build, etc. Or you can simply create him from scratch, picturing him in your mind as you go. Does he wear a mask? Is his hair long or short? Blonde or black? Or does he even have hair? Is he black, white, hispanic? Is he completely muscle like Scott Steiner, or is he a little overweight, like Rikishi? That's just the start of the process of making the character real to you. But it's worth it, since this will make it that much easier to imagine this man between the ropes, fighting the battles that you create for him.

Gimmick/Name

A wrestler's gimmick can be very important in the writing of a roleplay. Some professional wrestlers have based their entire careers on their gimmicks (the Undertaker, the Rock, etc), and may have never become successful without them. Usually you want to try to come up with something original for your man (as mentioned above). Look for something that makes the wrestler unique. A good nickname can be the start for some, such as Michael "The Man" Breaker or "The Dragon" Kevin O'Connor. This gives both of these wrestlers something to talk about in their roleplays.

Of course, you'll want the nicknames and gimmicks to work with the appearance of your wrestler. A guy nicknamed "Lightning Bolt" should most likely be fast on his feet, while someone called "Superstar" would be expected to have a healthy ego. There are many possibilities for a good gimmick, as seen in professional wrestling today. One way to choose one that will work well for you is to look at what you yourself enjoy. Knowledge of a particular subject, for example sports, can lead to a potential creation (e.g. James "Highstick" Hawkins, hockey player-turned-wrestler). He could be a ladies man or a hardcase loner. There are tons of options here, and it may take you a few tries to find that perfect character that you will be able to take to the top of a federation.

History

Background on a character is always important. How can you write about someone if they don't have a history? Was your wrestler formerly a professional athlete? Did he come from a small town, or were his parents very rich? Is he married, single, divorced? How long has he been a wrestler? Unless your wrestler is styled after the early Undertaker, the past can be a very handy tool. You do not have to create it all right at the beginning, of course. Usually the most in-depth histories are built over time. But a starting point, such as where he came from, what his life has been like up to the moment he joined the federation, and who his family is can add texture and realism to the fighter.

The place the wrestler comes from usually speaks towards the character himself. If he's from Death Valley, Arizona, you'd see him as a dark-side character. If he came from Wall Street, he most likely is a "Million-Dollar-Man" variation. Texans usually have cowboy qualities, Californians are invariably pictured as surfers, and people from the deep South can be considered "rednecks", for lack of a better term. Look for the best place for your man to have come from. It could be your hometown, in which you know landmarks where roleplays can be based at. Once you have the placement of his life, build from there. What happened in that city to inspire him towards wrestling? Was there a coach or manager that encouraged him, and thus could be used in roleplays? Or was it simply the pressure of his family that led to him being a wrestler? Ask yourself these questions and more, and you should have a fairly decent picture in your head of the many aspects of your wrestler.

Theme Music

A wrestler's theme music is rarely a major factor in his creation, but it does add one more facet to his personality. A rock theme gives a very different message than a country tune. It's hard to picture "Stone Cold" Steve Austin without hearing the rumbling of his theme behind him. The Undertaker's original theme could send chills down your spine, while Ric Flair's triumphant music has become a true statement of his greatness. How many times have you heard a wrestler's music start playing unexpectedly, sending the crowd into a frenzy? Take a little time and browse through your favorite tunes of the moment, and pull out the one that most suits your character. Don't choose too hastily, or else you may soon find yourself annoyed with your decision.

Trademark Maneuvers/Finisher

Once you've got your wrestler looking and acting the way you want, the final step to consider is the moves that he most likes to use to finish a match. This goes back to the type of wrestler you have chosen. If you want him to be a high-flyer, then a turnbuckle maneuver would make the most sense. A martial arts fighter would lean towards a devestating kick or chop, and a technician would most likely use a submission hold to wrap things up. You want to choose a move that you think would work with your wrestler. Most e-fedders select a wrestling move seen on television and make it their own. There are so many tremendous finishers out there to choose from. Find one that works for you, or come up with one of your own. Just make sure that it's feasible, and that it could be pulled off in real life.

Once you have the finisher, come up with an original name for it, usually based around your character's attitude or name. Examples of this would be Dynamic Dynamite's "Dynamic Pain", Richter's "8.0", and Nightmare's "Sweet Dreams". Naming your finisher the DDT or the Superplex is usually looked upon as a naive move by an inexperienced roleplayer. Try and be inventive with your finisher, however it's used, so that other wrestlers can see it in their minds as a very dangerous threat to them. A stunning finisher can really make the wrestler complete.

Summary

Hopefully, the information listed above has allowed you to put together a composite of a wrestling character you would like to control. Most of the things mentioned will be asked of you when you fill out an application to join an e-fed. I can guarantee to you that the first impression of a President is very important. Some Presidents won't even acknowledge a poorly-conceived wrestler, or will turn it down without even knowing your skill as a roleplayer. Most federations are not set up to allow you to learn as you go. If you want to win, you have to start off on the right foot, with the right character. Take a look at the two examples listed below:

Name: Michael Johansson
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 220 lbs
Hometown: Unknown
Style: All-Arounder
Theme Music: "One" by Metallica
Trademark Maneuver: Frog Splash
Finisher: Chokeslam

Name: "The Rookie Sensation" Johnny Wonder
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 229 lbs
Hometown: Hollywood, California
Style: High-Flying Technician
Theme Music: "Ladies Man" by Johnny Wonder
Trademark Maneuver: One Hit Wonder (Superkick)
Finisher: Wonder Land (Twist of Fate off turnbuckle)

Looking at these two wrestlers, which one do you think had a better start in the e-fed world? Johansson has no nickname, little creativity throughout his character, and even has a finisher that patently makes no sense for a wrestler his size. Wonder, on the other hand, can be seen in your mind with little effort, just by reading a few typed lines. The same cannot be said for Johansson. Test your character using this method. Put his stats in front of you, and see if you can picture him in your mind by just reading what you've got. If you can, you're on your way towards an e-fed wrestling career.