Monday, August 8, 2011

Responding To Anonymous

Anonymous said...

PCW only has one belt, and that is the World Heavyweight Champion's Belt (currently held by Grotesque). All other belts worn are from other federations. What do you have against using real monikers or names?
August 2, 2011 4:36 PM

This comment was left on my last Platinum Championship Wrestling recap. I don’t know who Anonymous is (obviously), but I feel that they’re probably closely tied to PCW (if not a worker) and almost certainly one of my Facebook friends. I’ve added quite a few different wrestling personalities and fans on there and it could be any one of several. I wish they had left their name, but I’m going to address this now anyway.

Here’s the response I left:
Anonymous - Thanks for the championship info. Your question is a good one and it actually brings up a number of points about what I do, why I do it and the process by which I get it done. I have a lot more to say in response than you'll probably ever want to hear; so I'm putting it up in a post on Monday. For now, I'll just say two things: 1) I am a goofball who does not take anything on this blog too seriously 2)I find just a wee tiny bit of humor in the fact that somebody posting as "Anonymous" is asking about my avoidance of real names But seriously, there's a reason behind all of it. It'll be up to you to decide if it's good enough or not. Please check back in Monday.
My concern isn’t that this person doesn’t like my silly, made-up names; it’s that I might have created the impression that I don’t respect these guys and the work that they do. I think the tone of Anonymous’ comment suggests that some sort of offense was taken by my recap; but there’s no specificity. I wish I could have a one-on-one conversation because it mystifies me that Anonymous takes issue with the fake names but not with the fake promos or fake match descriptions. This leads me to believe that Anonymous does enjoy my recaps and doesn’t like being left out.
I’m not going to speculate too much on who Anonymous might be. I’d rather explain the style of these recaps and how that style came about.
From the time of WWF No Mercy until about the time WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2007 came out I had a serious problem: I was the booker for two huge wrestling companies. Granted, they were two entirely fictional companies; but it was still a grueling and thoroughly fun job.
The first company was my own version of a conglomerate of every wrestling company I was aware of – WCW, WWF/E, TNA, ROH, ECW; whoever I saw in a match and liked was fair game. I had my own versions of Nitro and RAW competing with rosters that came from everywhere made up of in-game wrestlers and created wrestlers. I started off using a simulator I downloaded online (I can’t remember the name exactly – Extreme Warfare Revenge, maybe?). Gnoll had brought it to my attention and it was fun to play around with for a while. It’s also how I became aware of guys like AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels. Heck, I had Styles and Jerry Lynn feuding before TNA even existed. I remember building up to this huge cage match between the two of them that I scheduled Styles to win by way of a sick bump (I don’t remember the actual mechanics, but you could do that sort of thing) and I ended up losing my top babyface for a couple of months. I had to bring in Scott Hall (!) to keep my audience. He feuded with Lynn’s faction – Hatebreed; consisting of Lynn, Jeff Jarrett, Ken Shamrock and Scott Steiner – until AJ could return. Hatebreed ended up being one of my longest-running and most successful factions; existing in one form or another until shortly before I discontinued my digital fantasy booking. The final iteration was Vampiro leading Sinn Bodhi (check sp.), Jeff Hardy, Lucy Furr (Daffney) and Kevin Thorn. They got disbanded after an extended feud with Samoa Joe.
Over the years that I maintained my fed I went from mentally tracking things to keeping a notebook to creating an Excel spreadsheet to keep track. I was running shows twice a week for a fed that consisted of fifty-plus wrestlers, then – after my own brand split – two feds consisting of thirty-plus wrestlers each.

The second company was the one populated by fictional wrestlers my friends and I made up. This started with No Mercy. We would all get together once a week and treat it like a real fed as far as ongoing feuds, title contention, etc. The only difference is that we made up totally ridiculous characters; the goofier the better. Fudgeted Holerodeo, Meathead, Herschell Goldstein – The Chosen People’s Champ, Shit Nozzle Jim, Grizzlebiscuit – more names than I can remember. This is also when Phantom Troublemaker first came into being. We each “managed” around ten characters and I maintained the storylines and scheduled the “shows”. The height of this nonsense were the years of the TNA pay-per-views. We started ordering the $10 Wednesday night shows after the first couple had debuted and then we’d do our own afterwards. It went on that way for a while; to the point where even after TNA changed their schedule Wednesday was still our night – Wednesday Night Whoopass, we called it. Our fed started off as ICW – Idiot Championship Wrestling – and later became DWA – Duluth Wrestling Alliance (which actually seemed sillier at the time).
So I invested an awful lot of time into this nonsense.
You should take two things away from this:
  1. I don’t take myself too seriously
  2. I fucking love professional wrestling
I’ve loved wrestling ever since I was a kid and had to watch the Saturday night recap show on USA with the volume way down so my parents wouldn’t know I was up late the night before church. I can’t remember the name of that show, but I think it covered a bunch of the regional feds. There was also a WWF show, but I don’t remember when it came on. I want to say it was before Commander USA’s Groovy Movies but I’m not sure. My clearest memory of that one is when that dirty fucker King Kong Bundy ambushed Hulk Hogan and shattered his spine (that’s what I thought at the time, anyway).
More importantly, I respect the profession of wrestling and the people that do it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t like having a little fun with it, as evidenced by how seriously I took our goofy little video game federation.
Fast-forward a few years to the first Dragon*Con I was able to attend for the full weekend and the first Dragon*Con Wrestling show I was able to see in its entirety.
There is no better wrestling experience than seeing a live indie show. While I wouldn’t trade my experience seeing WrestleMania earlier this year for anything, the fun I had at that event pales in comparison to being five feet away from a ring with two people working their hearts out to entertain a room. My favorite live event isn’t the Nitro I attended where Goldberg beat Hogan. It isn’t the Royal Rumble where Edge made his surprise return and won. It isn’t even WrestleMania. It’s a show that I saw in a high school gym where the main event saw the Midnight Express square off against the Steiner Brothers and Lenny & Lodi in a steel cage made of the same stuff that surrounds my backyard. And I take it back. I’d gladly trade that WrestleMania night if I could go back in time with a camera and get some pictures of that show. But my memories will have to do. (I don’t remember exactly when that show took place, but I know it was right before Toy Biz’ TNA figures hit retail because I was shocked that some dealer there had them).
So I love indie shows; and there is no better indie show than the one held at Dragon*Con on Friday night every year. Guys from all over the Southeast come to compete and have fun. There are no storylines and you never know everybody on the card, but all the guys work their asses off and put on the best damn show you could hope to see. I was so impressed with the first full show I saw that I was inspired to write a recap. The problem was that I didn’t know who anybody was and there was no background to build narrative drama on. If you will.
So I made it all up. Using my well-honed talents for creating absurd characters and storylines, I assigned names and motivations to the DCW workers and basically followed the events of the night, filling in the gaps with my own personal conjectures. It was fun and it passed the time.
Which brings me to another explanation. I’ve covered this before, but I often operate under the assumption that either nobody reads what I write or the people that do are the same ones that have been reading since the beginning and already know all of my quirks and methods. When I’m writing a PCW recap, I’m assuming (incorrectly) that anybody that reads it has read every other wrestling recap I’ve done and gets what’s going on.
What’s going on is this: Everything I write is straight off the top of my fool head; including this. The words spill out of my fingers as I think them because I am writing for three reasons (In order of priority):
  1. To pass long 12-hour stretches of time where I am separated from my family and have only one other thing to occupy me that does not involve every minute of those 12 hours but does require me to remain awake and alert (I don’t get specific about where I write anymore).
  2. To keep my memory sharp as I forge toward fogeydom
  3. To maybe entertain a few friends and even strangers that stop by Needless Things
So in all seriousness, it sometimes doesn’t even occur to me that other people are going to read something, let alone the very people I might be writing about. Imagine my shock when the company that created a toy I reviewed left a note on my Facebook page after I had said some unflattering (but entirely true) things about them but given their toy a perfect score. And even with the consideration that such people might read my stuff I would never change the way I write it. If I’m talking shit about someone I feel they have it coming. Same thing if I’m gushing with love for something – you can bank on that gushing being genuine. Nothing will change that, I promise. I’ve often wondered if there was any chance I might get advance toys from manufacturers like some other sites do. I doubt it; but I’ll tell you right now – even free toys won’t shade my opinions here.
So; having said that – if you’re PCW World Heavyweight Champion Grotesque and you’re reading this just know that your gimmick does nothing for me. Nothing personal, I just feel like the masked gimp thing was played out long before Abyss got to it. And if you’re “The Human Hand Grenade” Dany Only, Andrew Pendleton III, Pandora, Jeremy Arnold or the guy in the skirt that looks like Fairuza Balk – aside from CM Punk you guys are my favorite heels working right now. I’d also like to point out that “Human Hand Grenade” is a much better nickname than “Human Suplex Machine” because I have seen many hand grenades in my life but not one single suplex machine.
Also, I hate those baggy, shiny indie pants. That’s neither here nor there, I just thought it needed saying.
If you don’t know – the above group of five that I mentioned are the Legion of Gloom in my recaps. 
CM Flunk, Dollar William, Pandora (formerly Crazee Ted), Seanbaby and Cravin the Red Lantern. Even though I know full well who all of them are, I love the name “Legion of Gloom” and the story I have in my head that explains them. Seanbaby is the dedicated manager who struggles to find teams for his charges to fight. CM Flunk and Dollar William are a great tag team that just never get quite the right opportunities and Flunk is constantly brimming with rage about it. Dollar William is just there to have fun because, hey – he’s loaded. Cravin is the tagalong who just joined up and is trying to be one of the boys – think Jason Newstead’s entire stint with Metallica. And Pandora kind of scares the heck out of the other four. She just decided to join one day and nobody dared say anything against it.
I know that’s all horseshit, but I can’t ever get to PCW’s regular Friday night shows so I have to fill in the blanks myself.
So I’ve made my little story for this PCW faction and I like it and the names a bit too much to give them up entirely. Ridiculous, but that’s how my mind works. My imagination probably takes up a good forty percent of my waking life. If I could think directly into the internet this blog would have posts three times a day or more. Imagine a story instantly popping into your head for every unfamiliar action figure you see. That El Dorado thing I did a few weeks ago? That happens all the time. I usually just don’t have the time or opportunity to write it all down.
Oh, and as far as why I write the recaps in the way I do: I’ve long been a fan of Matt Hocking’s RAW Satires on OnlineOnslaught.com. I know my stuff will never be as good, but that’s kind of what I shoot for. I’ll never have the kind of recall or sobriety to do a proper recap, so I try to have fun with it. I would be interested to know if anybody does do serious PCW recaps because I’d like to keep up with what goes on at shows I can’t make.
So, Anonymous; if you read this I hope it explains things somewhat. I guess I could probably go with real names, but I’m never going to be able to stop embellishing the events. And as for DCW – that’s always going to get the silly names and recaps. If you’re wondering, I’ll be in the front row at DCW with all the drunken punkers chanting “Muffin Top, Muffin Top!” for Chip Day and having the best time of our lives. Come on over and say, “Hi”. Or punch me, I guess.
P.S. – This Anonymous person is everywhere. I haven’t come across one blog where they haven’t commented. And they’re usually very negative.

Until next time, stay creepy
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. I am really disappointed by the lack of comments.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yeah, well - that's how I feel pretty much every day.

    ReplyDelete