The Efed Podcast - Episode 1
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Latest OOC Retrospectives

20 YEARS OF EWRESTLING - PART 3: LESSONS LEARNED

Posted by Neal Thayer

Just as in life, we've all made mistakes in eWrestling.  The important thing is to learn from our mistakes and strive not to repeat them.  In this part, I'll discuss some mistakes I've made over the past 20 years.  Some were minor and some were great, but all were valuable lessons learned.  First I'll discuss my mistakes as a fedhead and then I'll discuss my mistakes as a handler

The first big mistake I learned as an e-fedder was trying to take on running 3 feds simultaneously.  That taught me very quickly that there was a lot of work involved in fedheading.  Some people may be able to run 2 or more feds simultaneously, but you've got to know your own limits.  If not, learn the hard way like I did.

This also applies to running a successful fed (NAWC) on my own doing all the show results for 2 shows a week over the course of six months.  Again, some might be able to do that, but it's been a long time since I've seen a fed put out two shows per week.  In the rare cases where that does happen, the fedhead's got a lot of help.

So again, it comes down to what you're able to take on.  High school kids may have all the time in the world to write shows all by themselves, but that's a quick way to burn out.  Plus, once you go into college, get a job, get married, have kids, your spare time gets less and less.  So the moral of the story is: "Get help."  Ask your handlers to take on matchwriting once a show.  Cut down to one show a week, or one every two weeks, or one every four weeks.  Take into consideration how much you can comfortably handle.

I mentioned Diamond Star Wrestling--my first all female fed--in part 2.  In late 2002, a handler we'll call Sam from Lexington and I were spinning our heels in a fed called IGA.  Their fedhead had a tendency for dumping his women's division into trios and four-way matches all the time.  He just didn't know how to book the women.  I was still very new to the game at the time, and Sam was a better writer than me.  So out of frustration for the situation in IGA, I decided create DSW.

Sam played an integral part in bringing handlers in for DSW--half of the roster to be exact.  So we start pumping out shows and everything's going grand.  Our first Diamond Star Champion was a character called "The North Star" Polaris--who was the top face in DSW.  Sam's character--"Pretty Pretty Princess" Iris Galiver--was the top heel.  So naturally there was a feud between Polaris and Iris to conclude at the supercard.  DSW was too small--holding shows in high school gyms and the like--to have PPVs.  The supercard comes along and Polaris wins.  Mind you, I was a huge fan of both characters, but liked Polaris' RP a bit more.  What's more, I didn't yet understand how angles and quality booking work.

The long short of it was that Sam threw a fit.  She threatened to leave if the belt wasn't put on Iris.  What's worse, half the roster--the half she recruited--sided with her.  I was terrified of losing half my roster, so I put the belt on Iris.

In all reality, looking back, I should've put the belt on Iris in the first place.  Polaris as a face chasing after her would make perfect sense.  But giving in to her demands out of fear of the loss of half my roster was a huge mistake.  It left Polaris' handler out in the cold, and gave everybody else the impression that I was a pushover.  Apply the right pressure and I'd give them what they wanted.  That also completely ruined my friendship with Sam for 8 years afterwards.  We did bury the hatchet in 2010 or 2011 though.

The lesson learned her was not to let people pressure you into making rash decisions.  If you're a fedhead and a handler threatens to leave if you don't give them what they want, let them leave.  They up and leave or they may decide to stick around--having called your bluff.  Either way, stand your ground.  They and your other handlers will respect you more for it over the long haul.  While Sam was a big part of DSW, you might find that the person threatening to leave probably isn't that important to begin with.  If other handlers threaten to leave if that handler doesn't get what they want, let 'em go.  Keep in mind though that if they're upset over a decision you've made, something you've said, or the like?  Own up to it.  Try to work with them before you go making rash decisions.  If you're running an angle fed, maybe work out a plan to put the belt on them in time--especially if they deserve it.  If it's an RP fed, tell them where they need to improve so that you can put the belt on them.  Of course this is just an example based on my mistake, but you get the idea.

Throughout my 20 years in this game, burnout has been the one major issue I've dealt with consistantly as a handler.  One regret I've had as a result of burnout has been needing a break midway through a feud or angle.  This happened in UWF when Myra Benedict feuded Arielle Starr, it happened in The Pitt when Hannah Kristianssen feuded Ursula Von Rossbach, it's probably happened a few other times, but those are the two I regret the most.

The best course of action here is to just tough it out.  I've done that once, but needed help along the way.  It can be a real challenge toughing it out when your brain's friend and e-fedding is the last thing you want to think about.  Out of respect for my friends, I'd rather go that route than just up and leave or duck out for six months.  Unfortunately, like I said, I only did that once.  And the downside is that your burnout may worsen and require more recovery time as a result.  The upside is that you give those you're working with the respect and courtesy they deserve, rather than wasting their time by dropping out midway and leaving them hanging.

Another mistake I've made was leaving the game without giving anybody prior notice.  This has happened within the past couple years and I know better.  Just about every new fed you join wants to be notified if you're leaving or going on hiatus.  It's almost an unwritten law because it's just good common courtesy.  Truth be told, I left without giving prior notice because I thought I was done with the game for good.  I've been doing this for so long now that I figured it was time to hang up the ol' boots.  The game and the handlers have changed a lot since my glory days, so I figured e-fedding was no longer for me.  Heck, I wanted out of the game, wanting to start writing novels instead.

Well, it seems I can't leave.  Lord knows I've tried.  Nevertheless, I owe an apology to James from Omega Academy for leaving without giving prior notice.  James, if you're reading this, I'm sorry.  Again, I knew better.  Leaving without letting someone know first is disrespectful to the fedhead and to the handlers alike.  Especially if you're working a story with a fellow handler as I mentioned above.  They're pouring their time and energy into this game, so the least we could do is put a little time and energy into our goodbyes.

My biggest mistake of all though was letting this game get in the way of my education.  It is only a game, after all.  By no means will it ever pay the bills or keep the roof over your head.  So if you're still in school, then stay in school.  Get your diploma.  Get your degree.  If you're in the workforce, go to work.  This game will be here when you get home.  Put real life first, because real life is what really matters.  Get out there.  Have a life.  Then write roleplays when all the important stuff is taken care of.

That about covers it for part 3.  In part 4, I'm going to get into career of my top female character Myra Benedict from 2003 to 2011, including her blood feud with cousin Sonya Benedict that spanned the same amount of time.


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THE EFED PODCAST EPISIDE 20 IS NOW LIVE ON EWMANIA

Posted by eWm on Mar 24, 2020


Episode 20 of The Efed Podcast can now be streamed through the audio player right here on eWmania! While we want you to listen to it casually through us, make sure you're also hitting their other sites and liking/subscribing/following. Show your support for The Efed Podcast!

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