Post by Markw on Jul 18, 2018 16:10:12 GMT -5
Hey everyone, welcome to a very special edition of Inside The Mind with GRIFFIN
Oh god, do you really want to go inside this mind?
Of course. I hate to do this to you, but can we start with the infamous hot dog roleplay... what were you thinking?
Oh jeez, starting with this right off the bat, eh?
I had too.
Before I answer the question, I just want to say that I find it extremely disappointing that Schneider’s MS paint job on how to paint a face on a hot dog is no longer on the internet. That was great. Anyway, to the question and to the infamous beginning of my WFWF writing career. I wrote that roleplay when I was 12 (nobody tell Shawn, I don’t want to be retroactively banned). At the time I thought that was a great insult that played on Schneider’s name because of, well y’know, the Schneider hot dog brand. In fact, I told you outright in the roleplay that was my joke.
I couldn’t tell you why I decided to include the old man portion of that roleplay. Uhh… I guess I needed something to flesh out the Randel Benjamin character? I don’t, in fact, hate old men. Oh, and I wanted a title match so bad (and I thought I deserved one at that time when I didn’t) that I created my own little fake championship.
You created a fake championship?
Yup, same roleplay. King of the Deathmatch title. “He was carrying a fake title belt with "King Of Deathmatch" written on the wood and WFWF written on the leather.” Dave was a workhorse both in the ring and in the shop working with wood, I guess?
I wouldn’t worry about it. You’re certainly not the only one with some awful written-at-12 roleplays on the board (nobody go looking). Am I right in thinking the first big story for you was Dave Demento’s clashes with then owner Xavier Pierce. Was that an idea you came up with? How did you find that angle?
If I recall correctly, that was a joint effort between myself and Shawn. I know I wanted to get more involved than just meaningless match after meaningless match so I believe that I shot him a PM asking what I could do. At the time the big angle was Xavier Pierce versus Trace Demon in a power struggle leading into Battleground 2013. So I thought that attaching myself to that feud would boost my star power a bit - which it did a little.
This also played into the whole idea of wanting a title. At the time the WFWF Tag Team Championships (remember those?) were being held by Alex Sean and DGX for like two years without any recent defences. They were long gone by that time so I thought I might as well throw my name in the hat to take them. I had two characters (of what would turn out to be many, haha) and felt it was a natural fit which meant I had my first championship match at “IT’S SUPER EFFECTIVE” in 2012...
I didn’t win those titles until years later, but I like to think that I am the reason those titles were brought back. The feud did continue with Pierce until the aforementioned Battleground where I faced off against Ace Bennett and Thunder… which I lost, but it was instrumental in becoming a better writer in the long run.
This was my first real opportunity at having a high profile match on a PPV. I was third from the top. I knew I had to step it up at that point. My writing had become better and I went all out with the skills I had at Battleground, but it wasn’t enough to beat Bennett and a legend like Thunder. I needed to improve some more in order to reach the very top, which became my main priority after Battleground.
It didn’t take long for you to get your title wish. You followed Battleground up with an incredible performance in a tournament for the vacant International Championship. That tournament culminated in you winning WFWF International Championship beating a WFWF legend in Thunder. A great achievement in its own right, but you followed it up by joint-winning that years Scars & Stripes match as Solomon Crowe.
What motivated the decision to switch characters? How did you feel at the time about that show and looking back now?
Winning the vacant International Championship was cool and beating Thunder was surprising (to me). I thought I had done all I could with the Dave Demento character at the time and was running into writer’s block. Why? I don’t know. I was beginning the run of my life as the character but something just felt “off” at the time. The switch to Solomon Crowe was sudden but I had used the character in the now defunct XWA U.
Scars & Stripes then was a great show for me. At that time I was riding a high. I won the International title and the Rumble on the same night with RPs that I thought were main event stuff at the time. Was it a bit of an ego booster? Yes. Did I think my sh*t didn’t stink after that for a little bit? Yes.
Looking back, however, I think winning both of those things at the same time hurt me. I thought I had made it with my writing, but I had so much to learn still. I think if I had just won the International title, I would have slowly improved my writing to match my position on the card. Winning both made me think I didn’t need to improve much because who else can claim they won the International title and the Scars & Stripes rumble on the same night? But that’s 100% on me. I didn’t improve like I needed to and it went to my head.
I’m guessing you don’t think you were ready for the title shot you’d earned then? At SuperBrawl you’d face Trace Demon, Shawn Malakai, Thunder and Scarlett Quinn for the World Championship. Was it daunting taking on so many great writers for the title relatively soon in your WFWF career?
Ehhh, I wouldn’t say I didn’t think I was ready for the title shot. I would say I thought I was ready at the time but the whole facing Demon, Malakai, Thunder, and Quinn at the same time thing was very daunting. I knew that I needed to do something big to win the match, but that same thought process made me create all these different little angles and storylines within the lore of Solomon Crowe that would eventually hurt the character.
Looking back, I definitely wasn’t ready for the title shot but it’s cool to say I main evented a SuperBrawl… if you don’t count the controversial Ace Bennett post-match shenanigans.
You were getting a lot of support from Mike and Revvie around that time weren’t you? Did they help shape your writing?
They were a big help, but a friendship formed and I think they went a little light on the critiquing of my work. I would send them stuff and they would read it beforehand and I would fix a few little things that they suggested but they would say that overall it was good. Looking back, I don’t think it was as good as they thought (but I might be my own biggest critic).
Mike and Revvie are good guys who were always there when I needed to bounce an idea off of somebody or needed advice for both character work in my RPs and my written matches and segments. I think I spoke to them too much about different ideas (anybody remember that the _WATCHERS are coming?) that it didn’t help me set a long-term plan in motion for my characters. My ideas were always evolving, but I can’t put that blame on them. Once again, 100% on me. They were just trying to help a young 14/15 year old kid at the time.
We then saw you revert back to Demento for a lengthy feud with Joe Bishop, characterised by us playing hot potato with the International Championship. You did a lot of the legwork for that feud, and really utilised things like WFWF.com to keep it in the limelight, did you enjoy that one? How did the formation of the Saviours of Salvation tie into things?
I loved the feud with Bishop. Probably the best thing I’ve ever done in the WFWF. The feud was a great way to keep me focused on writing a character for a long period of time. I think the whole Saviours of Salvation group was formed at the right time to propel me to have such a good feud as well. The Final Revolution were a great bunch of heels and they needed a foil. We played off of that perfectly and had an interesting face dynamic. I don’t want to toot my own horn or anything, but I think the SOS group were the best faces we had around these parts at the time. They were clear babyfaces who fought for good. That really tied the feud together into something fun and unique.
On the WFWF.com point though, I think a lot of newer fedders should use resources like that to further their feud developments. Being able to write segments for feuds on the shows is a good start, but creating a moving dynamic for the feud is key. Having social media updates, blog posts, etc adds another layer to your character and their reasoning for fighting against their rival. I think Mesh pulls this off perfectly right now. Props to you!
Character/writer association time. I’ll throw out a name, you give us your thoughts.
Ah Mikers! A really cool dudeski that was always available to give me feedback whenever I needed it. As much as I liked the written dynamic between Demento and Josh Dean, I think the best pairing to write was Dave and Penny. Penny is probably the best written female character of all time in the history of the fed. While Scarlett Quinn was good, I think Penny Shannon was better. All in all, Mike was really cool and helped me out a lot.
Ah yes, Shawn. Hate that guy. *banned*
Kidding, of course. While we may have had some issues in the past, I think those are well behind us now and we’re cool. If it weren’t for him, I probably would not be doing this whole ITM interview right now. He saw something in me early on and kept pushing me to improve, which I think I eventually did. I have to thank him for that, because without his motivation to do better my writing as a whole would not have improved as rapidly as it did.
As for the Shawn Malakai character, it was cool. I’m glad I was able to get something of a feud against him at SuperBrawl before he died and everything. Shawn, the character, was always a good babyface. Shawn, the writer and now the wielder of the banhammer, was always a crisp writer and it was fun to read his stuff and such. Haha.
Josh Dean was a great guy who really helped me find my voice as Dave Demento with the whole Joe Bishop feud. I bounced stuff off of him for the feud and he fine tuned some small details to make it feud of the year. I’m glad I eventually won those damned Tag Team titles with him, as I think he was a true “tag partner” in my real life development. And sorry bro for once again ditching the Dave Demento character as soon as we won them. I’m really bad at doing that.
One of the most underrated writers in the history of the fed. I was happy to have my breakout feud with him, including that great steel cage match in the Garden where we went #AllIn, but I wholeheartedly believe that he should have been main eventing that card for the World title at that point. He eventually got that championship and I was so happy for him. The progression from the National title, to the International, and finally winning the big one was great for one of the coolest characters in the history of the fed.
But damn it was he a pain in the ass to make graphics for back in the day. He had one specific image for his character when the pic base had sooooo many HQ cuts with short hair. But no, Joe Bishop had to have long hair.
I think I covered Revvie enough earlier, but I just want to add that he had one of the coolest characters ever. I learned many words from reading his RPs and he really helped me out when I needed it. He also came in clutch when I needed a feud after a glorious incident with the now infamous Andrew Carter.
How could I forget?... Andrew Carter
Andrew Carter. What a guy. For those not in the loop, Andrew Carter was a kid who joined the fed in 2013 and showed some promise and was much like me when I first started out. He was looking for a feud and I decided to be the nice guy and help him out and do something with him. The feud died before it even began. I was going to get a storyline going with him post Battleground 2013 but things went sour in the PPV thread...
Let me take a little time to give some tips for those who are looking to get started here in the WFWF. Don’t be like Andrew Carter (and Beast Kahn for that matter). If you are starting out and don’t go out of your way to try and get involved with a storyline, don’t bitch about being in the opening contest. Pro tip (ha, get it?) as well, don’t do so if you have 3 no show losses to your name when you are only five matches deep into your career here.
Results take time to be written, especially if it is a full show with full length matches and such. Complaining about the wait for results is incredibly rude to those who are putting in the time to write quality shows. Comments like “OhmyGerrrddddddd” and “they need to freaking hurry up I'm getting pissed.. So hurry the freak up people” really don’t help those who are writing either. Guess what? The owners of this place, who compile and write most of these results are not being paid for it. This is a hobby that we all do because we have fun with it and enjoy it. Being a d**che about the wait is not cool.
Continuously being a d**che about the wait for the results (ie, posting every day about it) is even worse. Adding comments like “If I want to be annoyed because the results of a PPV arent posted and the card was up for a month, then I will be. Maybe I want to see if I won or lost my match?” doesn’t help your case in trying to make friends with people who will go out of their way to write a feud for you to help develop your character… but wait, it gets better.
Using the word f**k TWENTY times in a two sentences just to prove that you are “badass” while waiting for results makes you seem like a baby - nobody wants to deal with that. Because babies have sh*tty diapers and we don’t want to deal with that. If you do wear a diaper though, please do change it yourself and please DO NOT shove it in our faces.
Moral of the story: f*ck Andrew Carter.
Schneider is one of the best this place has ever seen. One of the top five writers to have ever written in the WFWF. I urge any new writer to go back and read his pieces. He knows how to craft a long-term story that grasps if its your first time reading his RPs or you’ve been following the journey all along. To add to that, his match writing is out of this world. Schneider is a great interview and has always drawn in the big numbers for Inside The Mind.
Fun fact, David Brennan and Randel Benjamin debuted on the same show. Another fun fact, David Brennan and Randel Benjamin faced each other in their debuts. Brennan is one of those guys who was really good really fast but was somehow overlooked, which was a damn shame. He was always a good writer and has his character work down to a tee. I’ve had plenty of conversations with the guy and we usually share the same opinions on events in the fed, which I won’t go into, and I’m happy he’s owner of the place right now. Keep up the good work, brother!
You’ve had a s*** ton of characters (and a s*** ton of pic bases for each) which has been your favourite to write?
Should I list them all for anybody who may not be familiar?
Go for it.
You might want to grab a drink. We’ll be here a while.
We begin with Eric Adams, who was here for a show or two in which he kidnapped somebody’s parents. He then revealed that they were paid actors.
And then we transition to Raiden Takahashi, pic base being Tetsuya Endo. I think he got a National title shot against Daniel Sabat, if I’m not mistaken but fizzled out after one show.
Enter Randel Benjamin, who has always been a knockoff Abdullah The Butcher, pic base is Abby as well. Randel was my first long-term character and that brought in Dave Demento. Benjamin was soon retired as an active wrestler, but I transitioned him to a role as a backstage agent for the company to help Dave’s storyline return.
Speaking of Dave Demento, who was my favourite to write, I screwed up his canon storylines so bad that he has a missing daughter, multiple concussions, multiple DUIs, was in jail, was a rich bad boy, and could have had a fling with Lila Sleater… he started out as an out of shape deathmatch guy. His first pic base was maskless Abyss, and then was changed to Jeff Hardy.
Woah, not sure we’ve got time for you to run through his exhaustive list of face changes .
I’ll make it quick. Haha. Abyss -> Jeff Hardy -> Corey Graves -> f*cking Gunner -> Roman Reigns. I think that is it.
And then I transitioned to Solomon Crowe during that time period between Dave being Corey Graves and f*cking Gunner. Crowe had Bray Wyatt, Sami Callihan, Raven, and Dean Ambrose as pic bases… Solomon Crowe was only around for a few months. He racked up a lot of medical bills.
So we can expect to see any of those characters back in the WFWF soon? Ready to go through another series of cosmetic surgeries?
I don’t think we’ll see those guys back in the WFWF anytime soon. Maybe we’ll see Grave Digger (pic base of The Undertaker, of course) or Pepe Le Plucha (pic base of Kalisto) though.
I’m positive that I am forgetting some other characters as well.
I'd pop. Thanks for your time Proggy. I look forward to having you back in the driving seat for future Inside The Minds. Any closing comments to leave us with?
This was fun. I just want to say thanks to all of those who have helped me progress my writing through the years. It has helped tremendously. Want to see how much I’ve improved? Check out my stuff with Voices of Wrestling - my writing has improved so much that I’ve even been called out by name (or twitter handle, but same thing) by Kevin Kelly. Oh, and keep an eye on the WFWF roster section. You never know who may show up.