Wayne's World: It's Time To Learn Your Craft, Son!
Nov 14, 2012 - 8:28:17 AM
Welcome back one and all to the column that knows first-hand how to feed a family when you have next to no money, my name is Wayne and you are now entering my world. Every wrestling fan has a current favourite in the WWE, be it John Cena, CM Punk, Sheamus or Randy Orton, all the way down to Justin Gabriel, Alex Riley, Jinder Mahal or David Otunga. No matter who your favourite is or why you like them there is one thing that the majority of the WWE roster has in common, before they made it to the main roster they first had to pay their dues in developmental.
It doesn’t matter which developmental territory was the one they were in at the time, be it FCW/NXT, DSW, MCW, IWA or HWA, the effect was the same. This was the place where they honed their skills before being presented to the worldwide audience that the members of the WWE roster experiences. If it was not for these specialist territories throughout the years we would not have the superstars we have today.
Not everyone who goes into developmental finds their way onto WWE TV though as it functions as a weeding tool to get rid of the trash. For every wrestler who makes it to the big time about another 20 wresters have been deemed not worthy and sent back out into the wide world of independents. If the developmental territory was not in place imagine what the WWE roster would look like. If you feel like the likes of Jinder Mahal are not worthy of being on TV, just think of what those 20 other guys that he beat out and didn’t make it must have been like.
Here at Lords of Pain we follow a similar model in terms of our column writers. To make it here on to the Main Page we first have to pay our dues in what is called the Columns Forum. It works similar to developmental in the fact that numerous writers enter to try their luck; some come in for a brief look, while others stay around practising their craft, writing column after column, awaiting their call-up to the Main Page. Only the most consistent writers in both quantity and quality get the call-up, something that every writer here at Lords of Pain was deemed to have done.
But why bother busting our arse in the CF if only minimal amount of people make it here? It is firstly to do with the wonderful community that is there. Nearly everyone who is involved in the CF are column writers, we all know what it takes to write a good column and we applaud the effort that it takes. More importantly we are a community, we band together to help everybody improve. We treat each other with respect and help each other reach our goals, something that also happens in developmental.
The developmental territory is also used as a training ground as most of the wrestlers signed to WWE have had minimal exposure to the wrestling business beforehand. Take John Cena for example; when the WWE signed him in 2001 he had only been in the business for a year. If they had just thrust him in the spotlight at the time he would have been chewed up and spat out again. By putting him into, at that time OVW, he was able to be trained further, developing the basic knowledge he had into something more substantial.
Now I know a lot of you out there do not like Cena but in all honesty you have to admit that he has been a major asset to the company. If he had skipped the developmental phase of his call up and was just put straight on TV his flaws would be more apparent than they are today. If he did survive he definitely would not be the star he became, the timing would have been wrong and his skills would not have done the job needed.
When I first ventured into the CF I was a total unknown just like Cena was. I had no previous writing experience and quite honestly I had no idea how to string together a decent read, I just had a desire to let others know my thoughts on one of my most favourite things in the world. To be quite honest I stunk up the place originally. While my original columns where not the most awful columns the CF has seen, I have seen far worse, it was definitely not the quality you see before you today. The thing is I stuck it out, listened to the advice I was given by my peers and just like with the wrestlers in developmental, I improved enough to convince the powers that be that I deserved a shot at the big time.
Not all signed wrestlers are as green as the hills though; some of the wrestlers are in fact seasoned warriors who have been around for a long time. Take CM Punk for an example, when WWE signed him for a contract he had been around for about six years. He was a World Champion from another organisation and had even been involved in a Meltzer rated 5-star match to boot. What benefit would he get from going to a developmental territory instead of just going to the WWE? The fact is simple; by spending some time there first he was able to acclimatise himself to the WWE style so that he didn’t mess up when in the big time. While we all would like to see the Punk of old do you really think his old style would work in the WWE? He does however still hold onto some of what made him him but to make it in the world of the WWE he needed to adapt his style to fit with what was going on around him.
There are writers in the CF who are more experienced as well than just your basic newbie. Just like CM Punk some of them are seasoned veterans, people who have written elsewhere, either about wrestling or some other topic, be it for fun or for work. Those guys are there to hone their skills even further, to fix any nagging little creases out of their writing, waiting for that chance to entertain all of you readers here on the main page.
Over time though there have been those that have actually skipped developmental and Sin Cara is proof of why it is not a very good idea. As Mistico he was a major star in his home country of Mexico before eventually being signed by the WWE. Be it because of his name power or the fact that it was written into his contract, the masked wrestler skipped developmental entirely, debuting straight onto WWE TV. Of course we all know what happened over the coming months as his style failed to connect with the WWE style and he botched move after move after move. By skipping developmental he missed that chance to adapt his style before making a fool of himself on international TV time and time again.
The good thing about Lords of Pain is that the rules apply across the board. Everyone has to come through the CF first, as only active members can be promoted. There are no pinching writers from other sites and giving them a free pass to the top and there are no loopholes to finding yourself here except by the way everyone else got here. The pen is the only way to get here and everyone knows it.
Developmental can also be used to rehab an injured star. If a wrestler goes out with a serious injury and are out for a long time understandably they would have ring rust. By putting them back in developmental for a short time this will allow them to firstly make sure that the injured body part is indeed working properly but also to get them back into the groove of competing once again.
Another benefit is for a wrestler to return to developmental if the gimmick they portrayed on their call-up failed and they needed to develop a new gimmick before returning. Dolph Ziggler is a perfect example of this. Zigglers first real run in the WWE (I am not counting his small run as Chavos caddie) Dolph was of course one part of the Spirit Squad, going by the moniker Nicky. Once the male cheerleader gimmick had run its course he had nothing to do so he went back to OCW to develop a new character and a bit over a year later he reappeared on TV introducing himself to everyone he came across as Dolph Ziggler.
This also happens in terms of Lords of Pain as well, I will use fellow Main Pager Mazza here as an example. Years ago Mazza was a Main Pager writing numerous columns here before he decided to step down for varying reasons. He went back to the CF and continued to write there changing his style of columns until he felt he was ready to accept one of the multiple call-ups he had turned down. Because of that time away from here you are now able to read his Ranking the Talent series, something that may not have happened if he had not went back into our developmental.
The reason for me writing this column for you today is the fact that at the moment the Columns Forum is in a big slump. While there are still plenty of good writers there who I recommend you all read like ex-Main Pagers Mizfan, Prime Time and ‘Plan, as well as new up and comers like Skulduggery, Sidgwick, Maverick and Dannokaboom, the number of writers are the lowest I have seen in my time there. Without good writers being fed through the system the quality you see here on Lords of Pain will diminish. Without the community pushing each other to succeed no one will get better.
If any of you feel like you could do a better job than me or would just like to try your hand at this writing gig please click on the following link which will take you straight to the columns forum (http://www.lordsofpain.tv/forumdisplay.php?14-Columns). I recommend that before you post your first column take a look around and familiarise yourself with the place and I guarantee you will find it a fun place to be involved in.
For those of you though who do not feel the writing bug biting them on the arse, I do know that you love reading a good column otherwise you wouldn’t be here. I recommend you also click on the link I gave for it is full of wonderful insights on this wrestling world we all love so much.
Thanx for reading,
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