Not to sidetrack anybody from the Tourney talk, but this is an old post from a member named Flip that has to be at least 3-4 years old, seeing as how I got this back when I was much more active (like 2008ish). Evidently, I had it copied and pasted onto a document that I just stumbled upon. It concerns match writing. Posting it to perhaps spark a little bit of discussion...
Originally Posted by Flip
Flip’s tips for match writing:
This may be completely useless but I’ve seen a lot of people complain that they don’t enjoy matches, so maybe this will help out and give some bookers a medium through which to control and structure their ideas. Another reason I’ve chose to do this is the recent comments made by senior members that newer bookers aren’t doing anything to further the section, so this is my little contribution. Hell, maybe this could be added to the handbook if anyone has found use from it, and if not, what the hell, It’s killed some time and kept me entertained. So here we go…
1) Different people use different formula’s but there are three things you must balance to produce a quality match: reaction/heat, finish and flow. The first we will deal with is flow: The match has to convey the right message and on PPV, you almost always want to make the match seem competitive. Therefore, chains of moves and quick shifts of control are vital. However, the most common problem is that this is seen as a necessary evil and is rushed through, thus making it weaker than it should and could be. Try having both men look like they are going to take full control only for it to be reversed at the last section. Make both men look like they’ve done it before snatching away, making them almost equivalent to near-falls. The method I use is to imagine you were being hit with a move, and think how you would escape, before quickly switching roles and repeating the process. This makes it seem more realistic and not rehearsed or pre-planned.
Also, use submissions early on, as they can be your friend. A simple headlock can be a major spot in the match as a whole, especially in today’s MMA-crazed world. Do something different by over-emphasising a simple headlock and making it seem extremely hard to break. Doing this makes the controller’s arsenal seem more dominant while showing the resistance and heart of the person in the move. This tactic also works well when you switch from a submission by one wrestler to a submission by the other, meaning that both men have been in trouble. These holds work well because when put over strong enough, they can be powerful enough to make the audience lose their subconscious expectations and make them believe the match could end at any point, in a way that early near falls cannot.
2) Eventually, as the match progresses, power moves will start to be hit and it’s far too easy to be drawn into the typical structure of heel control before the face comes on strong. Here is a great opportunity to fuck with this. Have the heel control for longer than expected, or make him unable to hit any offence. It doesn’t matter which route you go down, either way you’re doing something different, which, with the amount of threads in this section, is always a good thing. Here’s a nice time to incorporate some blood, jus make sure it’s there for a reason. A nice thing to do is to have someone get busted up from nowhere, completely unexpected. This hit’s the audience hard and forces them to watch or read in this case. For example, if a face is dominating for too long, people start to become passive. But if from nowhere he’s cut by a looping right hook or a knee to the face, the audience will become active again. The key to any match is keeping the audience active. But blood isn’t the only way to do this, there’s many more and they don’t require much thinking. The only reason I prefer the crimson mask approach is that it stays all match long and therefore is more memorable. Seemingly, making a simple strike seem like far more and tricking the audience into thinking they have seen more than they actually have done.
3) I’m big on match realism and believe that it should replicate a straight fight to a certain extent. So there’s something I do here which contributes heavily to match flow. In a real fight, people don’t do some damage before just walking away and taunting the fans or pumping themselves up. So this should be mirrored in a match, especially early. Have the two competitors go hard in close, and throw the momentum around several times, giving the upper hand to each guy a few times before unexpectedly hitting a power move. The moves in the exchange have to hard hitting and if possible have both men copy their opponents move: so says Fisherman Suplex on B…Fisherman Suplex on A. This makes the match seem more competitive and shows how close the two men are.
4) Moving onto ending. My main tip here is make it unexpected. Doing this for Orton or HBK is easy as their finishers are unexpected and come from nowhere, but for guys like say Lance Storm or Ric Flair, their finishers take a little more preparation. So here’s how to get over it: look at the way the wrestler usually hits or locks in their finisher, and then dream up any way possible where they could hit their finisher, finally, choose the one which would be least expected. We as wrestling fans love that kind of thing. An example here is, Lance Storm catches Rey Mysterio in a Powerbomb position as Rey goes for a Huracanrana. Storm puts Rey in the Styles Clash position before dropping him down and quickly locking in the Canadian Maple Leaf Submission. Things like this, mixed with a some really close near falls = awesomeness.
5) And now reaction…First off, as mentioned earlier, you need to keep the audience active and believing that the match could easily end at any moment. I’m not going to go over these again as there’s no real need. But what I will say is that the audience should be part of a match. A simple chain of moves, followed by a puro-style stand off accompanied with applause always works well in this situation. As does taunt to the fans, getting them riled up. See Joe vs. Punk in ROH when the fan in the front row gets owned by both wrestlers in quick succession. Or The Dudleyz bullying Hat Guy in the old ECW. Things like this add an extra dimension to your work and makes it stand out.
6) Your matches also need a big match feel. Therefore, drag out your entrances, build the tension, maybe even make the first few minutes of the match really sluggish before letting it explode. Any of these will do the trick. Fore really big matches, have both men maybe wear robes (just a thought) and/or have them introduced when they are already in the ring. Or have the announcer read out their title history or do a tale of the tape. The possibilities are endless.
I hope some of these things have been helpful, and if they haven’t…….meh.
Anyone have any thoughts regarding these? How it compares to your match writing style? A writing style you enjoy reading? Or just the tips in general?