01-24-2014, 01:10 PM
The Sleeping Giant
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The Fountain of Dreams
The 2013 BTB End of Year Newsletter
THE 2013 BTB END OF YEAR NEWSLETTER
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re already more than three weeks into the New Year. So what. This is going up a whole week later than I intended, but I had people drop out of sending me stuff like flies up at the end (some understandably telling me they couldn’t, others disappointing me a little bit more). Anyways, this took more effort than it did last year because of all those setbacks, my ridiculous schedule so far this year, and the lack of participation some areas have gotten. I came really close to just not doing a Newsletter after the pieces got cut to only two, but one of the pieces is so awesome, I just couldn’t not give it a proper stage.
So here’s your Newsletter – an (over)analytical piece, the Awards presentation, and a very special treat from an old coot who has been here officially ten years. KIRBY! Roll tape!!
THE BTB HALL OF FAME AND YOU
Do we have what it takes to end the dry spell…?
There was to be an article surrounding the idea of what happened this last year in BTB, but I figured the #1 thing on everyone’s mind when they think of last year was the return of the big guns (although last year I ‘officially’ won the King of the BTB Tournament, not that anyone wants to remember ). So what better way to kick off that with a piece somewhat dedicated to them?
The BTB Hall of Fame. The Mount Olympus of the Wrestling Forum BTB Section; the final home for the writing and booking gods that leave behind an incredible legacy for we mere mortals to wander at. I don’t think it needs anymore embellishment than that. A BTB Hall of Fame nod is the pinnacle of what you can achieve in this section. It is the intersection of your accomplishments, your talents, and your reputation among your peers. And yet, as many bookers have given us wonderful pieces of work, it has been four long years since anyone has been inducted into that illustrious hall of immortals.
Now, this isn’t some sort of traditional standardized sport. No one is entitled to be inducted into the HOF year after year. But why hasn’t anyone been let in for this long? This has happened for a variety of potential reasons. Could it be we just don’t have the talent? Do we have the talent, and we haven’t recognized it? Do we just not have anyone to help run the balloting? Or do we even have interest in it anymore?
Well, this article probably won’t answer these questions, but I hope it will shed a great deal of light on what is an integral part of the BTB Section that I think has been lost in a little bit of a shuffle in years past. With the sudden return of several Hall of Famers, bringing with them a pair of perennial potential HOFers, and of course, the perpetual presence of the Wolf Man, I feel this issue should be brought to the forefront (and, as such, this article writes itself)
So, much like my last article, this will be divided into four parts. That way, you can eat it in select morsels rather than ingest the entire awful course.
WHO IS IN THE BTB HALL OF FAME?
From its inception in 2005 until 2010, there were at least two guys inducted into the BTB Hall of Fame every year. But other than perhaps a handful of bookers here, most of us haven’t been here for the entirety of that time. As Wolfy will later note in his testimonial, not everyone who has since gone in the Hall has aged gracefully as far as contributions. But the fact is is that at the time, they were the ‘Best in the World’.
Seen here: Kid o Mac
So with just a quick glance back, here’s the legion of men who have had the honor of being raised to the highest praise BTB has to offer –
Class of 2005:
Class of 2006:
Kid o Mac
Class of 2007:
Class of 2008:
Class of 2009:
Class of 2010:
Each of them inducted for many different meanings, but all judged on a very similar scale. And that scale is one that has actually remained one of the least changed things in BTB from the dawn of the HoF.
WHAT MAKES A HOFer?
So what exactly makes someone Hall of Fame worthy? Do they get in by being here for a long time? Kissing the right ass? Not kissing ass at all? Well, no, and no. There’re guys who have been around a while that aren’t in, guys who have sucked up to the ‘right’ circles and gotten nothing, and then there’s guys who tried to ‘take down the system’ and
got laughed out the door because they couldn’t take a joke didn’t come close to making it. The guidelines for what makes someone HOF worthy has always been boiled down to what can be broken down into three different sections – Accolades, Accomplishments, and Acclaim.
I – Accolades
Accolades, or more aptly put ‘Awards’. This is the first level and probably the area with the least depth and surface value, but it still requires some form of acknowledgement from the other two. So in reality, there are no real ‘least depth’ areas, I suppose. Anywho, for a lot of this article, I’ll probably be referencing the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame because a) that’s my sport of choice and because b) last year, the MLB didn’t induct anyone in the Hall of Fame (although this year, two of my Braves are getting in )
Ahem…back on track here, this category speaks for itself. How much (metaphysical) gold do these guys have on the shelf? On the mantle of their control panel? In the gallery of their long bars of green rep? Things like Most Creative, Best Used Character, Mega Standings placements, and of course, the Best BTB or Best Booker of the Year Awards are things that seem trivial on the outside for writing wrestling on the internet, but being recognized for your hard work by your peers is one of the most uplifting things about being a booker.
This isn’t to say ‘oh hey, Barry Bonds has 7 MVP awards; he’s a Hall of Fame shoe-in’. Nope. Awards are the pinnacle of people’s success, but as has thankfully become the section’s mantra in the past few years – quality over quantity. Bonds’ accomplishments as a player have been highly suspect for years now and the same could be said for some people who win awards. Some may think the winners are undeserving, others think they are great, but not as great as someone else. In recent baseball years, analytical defensive stats have emerged to tell how good a guy is with the glove, but most old-schoolers say the best stat is your own pair of eyes. Yeah, your credentials sheet may have you with BTB Award after Award, but it’s subjective who the reader. We do nothing but judge with our eyes in this section (or on the Internet, really) and I would think being able to come out on top of all that judgment, nay, be rewarded for it deserves some consideration when it comes to the Hall of Fame.
II – Accomplishments
“But 619, aren’t ‘Accolades’ and ‘Accomplishments’ the same thing?’
“Silence, you squires. Your King is continuing his decree.”
“Wait, you’re writing an article about Hall of Fame guys returning and you’re still calling yourself ‘King…?”
“IT’S ALL I HAVE LEFT! Ahem…I mean…yes. I am still your King.”
“I didn’t vote for him!”
Now, by ‘Accomplishments’, I don’t mean things like Awards. I mean what did you get done here and leave here? To be a BTB Hall of Famer, I think, is that you have the transform the section and leave something behind; to genuinely accomplish something other bookers can admire. That doesn’t mean just making a good thread. Take for instance - Szumi, the guy who reinvented the way we write and construct promos. Hell, I’ve taken to it to unofficially name the ‘Promo of the Year Award’ the ‘Szumi Award’. But not just in the way we write shows. As Wolfy will opine later (sorry Wolf man, I’m stealing your thunder a little), Szumi is the guy who came up with the BTB Newsletter, the BTB Mega Standings, and (I think?) the BTB Interview on top of being perhaps the best Tournament competitor this section has ever seen.
And this isn’t even adding the incredibleness of his actual writing. Anyone can tell you in Szumi’s heyday, there weren’t many, if any, who were better. But the point is Szumi didn’t just make an impression with his transformative writing, but also leaving something behind to make the section a better place. Now of course, you don’t necessarily have to do as much as Szumi has done as he’s a very extraordinary case. But just taking the last HOF class – AMP changed the way people looked at TNA threads and Legend has changed how people look at lots of things, mostly match and character writing and show formats. Even little things like that go a long way.
I used the word ‘transformative’ a moment ago, and I think it describes it nicely. Again with baseball analogies, Babe Ruth transformed the game for good with the refinement of power hitting. Jackie Robinson wasn’t just a black player, but he was black and good, setting the tone for others like him. Walter Johnson and Nolan Ryan re-affirmed power pitching was godly, but Cy Young and Greg Maddux let it be known that control and movement were king. Hell, even George Steinbrenner, the infamous New York Yankee former owner, changed the way teams spend money. All those men did great things, but it’s what they left behind that truly established their legacy and who they were remembered as.
III – Acclaim
Ah, now comes the hardest part. Because it doesn’t matter how good you are, if your peers don’t take kindly to you or your work, you might have a problem getting the highest honor. The hardest and most indirectly important leg of the three, ‘Acclaim’ is exactly what it sounds like – the word of approval from your peers. Not just the fact that virtually everything in this section is chosen upon by it’s members, but in that everyone speaks of you highly and you carry yourself with the poise of someone respectable. There’s a laundry list of guys who have been denied things like MVP Awards and Hall of Fame votes because they ‘rubbed the voters the wrong way’ (i.e. they were assholes).
In many Hall of Fame circles in other places, content of character is a defining factor of what helps getting someone in the HOF. Now while this isn’t saying you have to know one another personally, it does mean you have to have had a good and even helpful demeanor around the section. Being not a douchebag helps tremendously. But also helping other bookers is a thing that would be beneficial. Leaving feedback, spreading good words, and helping other bookers in the Discussion Thread are all ways to help out and at least show you’re not a complete tool.
You don’t have to have pages of feedback to show that people like you. And you don’t have to leave feedback or help that’s as long as a novel. But garnering the good word of your peers, both character-wise and content-wise, is still a huge part of being able to pass along through the HOF process.
THE ONES TO WATCH
One of the most fun things about Hall of Fames in any vicinity is looking and even debating about who could get in. There’s cases for and against virtually anyone genuinely up for nomination, and the BTB section is no different. But there are four guys in particular who, should the HOF be somewhat revived in the coming year, be looked at now and some who could be looked at in the not-too-distant future. And, of course, you can all let the debates run wild. And yes, they are in order from ‘most must-watch’ to, I guess, least.
1 – Nige
Best Known For – WWE: A Strong Response
It kind of begins and ends with this guy. Nige has been in this section for a pretty serviceable amount of time, but what separates him from many other bookers who have been here a while – his unbridled consistency.
Pros: The aforementioned consistency. Both old and new bookers know his name and he’s never, ever really let up. He’s always pumped out some pretty quality stuff, so that’s never gonna hurt his HOF candidacy. He was also a BTB Mod for a spell, performing several efforts to clean up the section and may have even been the one to start the BTB Resources subforum (which I strongly recommend more people to look at b/c some of those threads are actually helpeful). He’s also undoubtedly got several accolades to his credit, being here so long and such.
Cons: Nige has been up for HOF nomination before, but for whatever reason, he never quite broke through. Way back a few years ago, I remember Nige, for whatever reason, rubbed several bookers the wrong way and that seriously hurt his chances. Another was the argument that Nige was a ‘safe booker’, meaning he knew what it took to write a good show, but not one to actually break through the norm of the mold and create something truly breathtaking. Perhaps Nige getting to a second Wrestlemania and ending ‘Taker’s streak could help out with that…? In addition, in recent years, Nige has become sort of BTB’s hermit to an extent – he’s kept very much to himself and doesn’t much leave his own thread (although with readers like Terry G, I probably would too).
2 – PARANoIR
Best Known For – Presenting Paul Heyman’s Evolution Pro Wrestling
I’ve been lobbying for this guy to be in the HOF for quite a while now. I’m sure quite a few of you are surprised he’s not in already, but look back up at the list of guys in – he’s one of the only original IC members not in there. And his place amongst the best is long overdue.
Pros: The guy undoubtedly set a whole new standard for the created fed. While I’ve gotten lots of positive reviews for AOW, it was this guy’s thread laid the groundwork for any of that even becoming a reality. Anyone who wants to set up a created fed or even something like a WWExTNA crossover needs to take a peek at that thread. While doing his best work for EPW, PARA also managed to rack up several Awards, most notably winning several match writing accolades and, of course, most creative honors. Also, it doesn’t hurt that he’s a pretty cool cat who made his name alongside other big names who have all returned recently.
Cons: While establishing himself alongside those other HOFers, PARA could suffer from being lost in the crowd. Created feds have a narrow reading field as it is, but to be at your best as something ‘different’ when Szumi, KOP, Wolfy, Legend, and even fellow Aussie Renegade were running wild, a guy can easily be overlooked – as noted by his thus-far HOF snuff.
3 – Caesar WCWR
Whatever the hell he wants to call himself, the guy will always be known as Dubya to everyone and anyone. The self-proclaimed ‘Tim Burton of the BTB Section’, he’s in the middle of this list because he’s a very special case.
Pros: Probably one of the hardest working Mods I’d ever seen when I was active several years ago. He doesn’t have a most notable thread for being that innovative, but he did work his ass for this section. And that says a lot considering his tendency to always float in and out. The Graphics Request Thread and the BTB Advertisement Thread are all things that gained prominence (or straight out gained existence) in his tenure as overseer of the section. There’s also the fact that it’s pretty unanimous he’s not only the king of opening post aesthetics, but also the single best writer to ever grace the section.
Cons: In direct opposition to Nige, Dubya has an incredible lack of consistency. There’s a reason he is the ‘King of the Opening Post’. He’s a self-described perfectionist and his imagination, as incredible as it is, doesn’t seem content with sticking to things very long. Many also argue that Dubya’s probably the best creative mind to grace the section and probably has the most potential of anyone on this list (or any list, rather), but a HOF doesn’t reward potential, one could say. And of course there’s his lack of any notable one work to attach his name to. (We love you Dubya)
4 – BKB Hulk
Best Known For – The World Wrestling Entertainment/The New World Wrestling Entertainment
“Oh look. Now he’s sucking up to the current Mod.”
“What’s a Mod to a King?”
“What’s a King to a god?”
“What’s a god to a –
Hulky’s last on this list because he probably has the least amount of tenure on his resume than everyone else on this list. But what I said about Dubya working his ass off for this section goes double for the recently revived overseer of the section.
Pros: In his time as Mod, Hulky has really shown out. He did so much and got so much out of everyone else, he really pretty much became the one-man engine of this place for a time. He powered it so much by himself that when he up and died, the section didn’t have a true, whole-hearted Mod until the motherfucker got back (Love you Brye, but your allegiance can be disputed ). Interviews, Newsletters, Awards…the guy did it all. And he did it all while becoming a better booker with each passing show. The evolution of Hulky frm talking lik dis to, well, being an engine is pretty remarkable. It doesn’t hurt that his thread is way above quality and he’s a universally adored icon of the section (and, from what I gather, the Forum too.) Posting a highly anticipated and pretty damn good Wrestlemania will also get you points as a big positive step towards HOFdom.
Cons: The problem with being dead for a couple of years and then coming back is some people might not know who you are. That could hurt, but then again, Hulky knows everyone so I don’t know if that’s much of a con. The only big, legitimate one I can think of is he brings to light the discussion/debate of how long someone’s been here to contribute and whatnot. Personally, I don’t think it’s a debate - if you’re damn good, you’re damn good; if you’ve made the section grow, you’ve made the section grow. But that’s why this is a debate starter, I suppose.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE…?
So I said at the beginning of this article that this piece will not answer the question of ‘what do we do with the Hall of Fame now?’ This was just to maybe get you guys thinking or to at least turn your head back in that direction. There are a few things that could be done to re-up the HOF process, however, so it makes things a bit easier. One of the reasons I wanted to jump on this topic wasn’t just because of the surge of returning Famers, but because if they stick around, the biggest glitch in the voting process could be possibly remedied/revisited – gaining approval of other HOFers.
To those unaware, one of the clauses of a person actually getting in the BTB Hall of Fame is that after being nominated and being voted for, a user must be approved by the previous members of the Hall of Fame (which is one reason why I said the ‘Acclaim’ portion may be the toughest). In years past, that was no problem because most of the guys were active anyway. But in the last few years, it’s become apparent that that may need to be changed. Of course late last year, the big guys all came back. Would that be something that needs revising to keep HOF voting/interest up? Should it stay so long as the HOFers stay? Who knows how long this many guys will be around, so should it be changed? That’s not up to me to decide. That’s probably more of an ‘us’ thing to think of.
Another big question that lingers a bit is who wants to run the HOF nominations/voting? In years past, again, a Hall of Famer always ran it. For as long as I can remember, that guy was KOP. While he still pokes his head around and posts something every now and then, should it be passed to someone else in the Parthenon…? Not taking a shot at KOP at all, but if more HOF guys stick around, would one of them like the reigns? Or anyone else for that matter? Getting someone to get the ball rolling is always a big deal with things like this. In fact, it’s probably one of the most important things.
So there you have it, folks. A retrospective and introspective look at what could be as far as the rewarding the best in the section. I and others can only dream of being a part of something so cool, and a very belated and accumulative congratulations to all the guys already inducted and good luck to anyone who is to be inducted (or takes up the induction process) in the future.
Now, if you’ll all excuse me, I must be off to celebrate my one-year anniversary as King. Or perhaps I should just get your hopes up and then leave, only to post once every six months.
Seen here: Re-hashed and obligatory poke at Melvis <3
A DECADE OF EVOLUTION IN BE THE BOOKER:
By Wolf Beast
As of January 7 2014, I’ll have been part of this forum for ten years - and for essentially that entire period, I‘ve spent it in BTB. Indeed, one day after becoming a member here, I opened my thread. And despite a few set backs over the years, and some periods of inactivity, I‘ve been pretty much a piece of the furniture in this section for ten long years. That depressing statistic aside, I asked to write an article for this newsletter, and share my thoughts on this section, and how it has changed; dramatically in some cases over the last ten years…
THE EARLY DAYS…
The landscape of BTB in 2004 was much different than what it is today. Very few bookers stayed active for long, and for the most part, even the good bookers only stuck to a thread for a month - two at a push. At that point in time there wasn’t any long running threads - or, at least, long running threads that were still active. The thread by Big Evil Red Devil88 had ended over six months prior, and to my knowledge was the ‘standard bearer’ thread at that time - at least in terms of it’s longevity.
Because of that lack of activity, the lack of long standing threads, by the end of my first year in the forum, I was being referred to as a ‘veteran’, already having one of the longest running threads in the forum, standing on the verge of the first WrestleMania the forum had seen. Nowadays, it takes a booker sometimes twice as long just to receive some form of recognition, and ‘veteran’ status.
Bypassing longevity and looking at the standard of writing/booking - the actual talent levels of the writers and the writing ability throughout the section was not of a high standard. Indeed, as another example of how things have changed over the years, I’d like to share a link to the thread that hooked me in (the thread you should all blame for me being here still today), and made me want to try BTB out for myself. A thread by future BTB Hall of Famer; Hollywood Event.
If someone posted that show today, on presentation alone, let alone the actual writing, it wouldn’t get any attention. No disrespect to that thread is intended, but it’s safe to say that things have improved around here in the decade that has followed. Still, it’s worth seeing just how dramatically things have developed in the BTB section. In 2004 though, this would rank as the standard; the measuring stick of the section. Today, it’s show’s like this …
That are seen as the measuring stick. And really, there’s no comparison between the two shows - they‘re simply from two different worlds. What I will say though, is that Event continued to improve - constantly moving with the times when the bar was raised by others - in his time as a booker in this forum until he departed, and I’m sure had he stuck around, he’d be seen as one of - if not THE - greatest booker to write in these parts … but the change between shows then and now is staggering.
THE CHANGING FACE OF BTB…
Now, this is where ‘innovation’ comes into the equation. Obviously, something had to radically change for things to come so far in the last ten years. And it all starts with Grendrill. A ridiculed figure at times over the last five years and more, but in those mid-2000 years, Grendrill was the most popular figure in BTB. Just look at the traction this thread got;
Ignoring the drama that surrounded it, and the various other threads that it may have spawned when the tug-of-war over the Smackdown writers position reared it’s head (look it up if you wish to witness an internet debate over a writing gig), RoG was the first thread to be universally followed by everyone that frequented the BTB section - whether deservedly or not, Rise of Glory was the first ‘legendary’ thread in the BTB section. But when talking about innovation, in terms of promo layout - Grendrill changed the game.
He was the first to legitimately nail it when it came to writing out promos, and doing them in-character. Others tried, but for the most part in those early days, promos weren’t written as they are today, it was much like we see promo segments in recap shows. Grendrill was the first to show the rest the way with promos. However, much like everything else in this section over the years; where Grendrill set the bar and led the way for his peers to follow, others have since raised it to an even higher level.
But, it’s not just promos that have changed considerably. The actual lay outs of shows have drastically improved in the last ten years - the minute details like presentation make a big difference. Just look back to the links I posted of the shows posted by Hollywood Event and DDMac - just no comparison really. Again, I think the credit for that change belongs to Grendrill too, and his fellow Aussie; JarMac shouldn’t be forgotten. See the graphics that are essentially taken for granted nowadays?? Thank JarMac for that little piece of innovation. Graphics and banners weren’t even thought of until his introduction of New Generation Wrestling in 2004.
Matches, and the amount of detail that has gone into them, has changed too. At one point, there’s no doubt that people looked at Quantity and skipped over Quality, and in the next section, I’ll show a prime example of that mentality. At one point, between mid-2004 and early-2005, shows appeared to be judged a lot on how long they were. I remember posting my first Royal Rumble PPV, and one of the first comments was along the lines of; “wow, 68 pages?? That‘s unbelievable.” Thankfully, that mindset doesn’t exist nowadays, and it’s certainly a Quality>Quantity forum in this era.
The likes of Grendrill helped initially shape the change in how promos were written in the section, and I’d give myself (and Orton17 from the 2004 days) a pat on the back for the change in detail put into match writing over that time period, but it’s safe to say that the bookers of today have followed that example and improved on it - considerably.
You’ve probably just rolled your eyes reading that heading. But if you were here prior to circa 2008, you’ll be aware of just how much fun tournaments were once upon a time. Looked upon now with disdain, tournaments used to be the driving force of the section, and for a long time - in my mind - were looked at with more importance than the threads. Roughly every 3-4 months, a Match Writing Tournament would be held, and every big name booker would be jumping at the chance to take part for supremacy - but that doesn’t happen anymore. Admittedly, at one stage, match writing became rather ridiculous in the section, where the general consensus seemed to be; the longer the match, the better the match. Take a look at this final for instance…
The two highest scoring matches in the final were a sixty minute Iron Man match, and a weekend long Survivor Series tag match. They also happened to be the longer matches in that final. Still, as crazy as the length of matches got in the end, the tournaments would always be a source of great fun in the section - nowadays, they aren’t even an annual occurrence - they’re a dirty word - which I find a real shame.
In fact, my favourite period in BTB will always be the 2006 (and to a lesser extent 2007) BTB World Cups. Running those events rank higher for me as highlights of my time here than any of my WrestleMania events ever will. Every big name booker of that time - and every up and coming legend that wasn’t a big name just yet - all took part, representing their (in some cases adopted) nations, and the first tournament to feature promo contests. I would love to share the link for the discussion thread of that tournament … but alas, it appears to have been deleted somewhere along the way. Regardless, here is the matches/judging thread…
A fun time all around … but it had a knock-on effect on the section - the place quietened down completely during that period, the section was essentially dead for six weeks because of the tournament. That said, it had plenty of positives too; it made ‘stars’ out of people that previously hadn’t had any sort of following (more so the second tournament I believe), with people seeing what they were made of, and helped shape some of the up and coming bookers of that time period into better match writers and promo writers. But hopefully the people involved in that first World Cup; JBLoser, Renegade, ChainGangRed, KOP, Szumi and The Showstopper all remember it with the same fondness I do.
I’d love to run another World Cup, but I doubt that day will ever come for a number of reasons; lack of activity, lack of willing participants (or, at least, a lack of willing participants of a certain standard; the reason it worked so well was because every big name booker took part), lack of interest. A bit of a shame … but another sign of the changing with the times over the last decade in Be The Booker. But, maybe it is a good thing that tournaments have little impact in the forum in this day and age - all the onus is on the threads, and that’s probably where it should belong.
The most important factor of BTB, right? Of course it is, the title of the section gives it away. And it’s what has changed the most over the course of the last ten years. If you want a timeline of how the booking (grouping writing and booking together actually) in this place has evolved, just take a look at my own thread. And that’s not some cheap plug either, or a boast for that matter. I’ve never been an innovator at any time in my ten years - I was lucky enough that I managed to evolve with the times, and my own thread is a perfect example of changing to keep up with those who pushed the boundaries.
Like I said before, Grendrill set the bar with how to write promos, and I followed suit, working from his template. Orton17 raised the bar with matches, and it was up to the rest of us to match him when he was around. Forever-Delayed had a great run, and pushed the others like KOP and Renegade to raise their own game. NatureBoy was brilliant initially, and for a very short period, he was - to me - a guy that could‘ve potentially been held in the same regard as any Hall of Famer; he had a brilliant mind for booking - if maybe a bit of a big head . Anyone that had dealings with him will know what I mean
Now, the likes of Mac and Legend are the ones leading the way, and I‘ve tried to adapt and keep up. And that’s what I’ve tried to do every time another big fish has emerged. No doubt in my mind, the booking now is stronger than it’s ever been before in BTB. We can all whine and hark back to the ‘glory days’ of 2005/2006 when the forum was buzzing, but the level of booking today - to me - is better than it was then. The newer crop of guys in the section just get shit on because they joined in 2009, 2010 etc.
But, back to the evolution of booking in BTB. What was once your typical WWE standard fare; “I don’t like you, you don’t like me - lets fight”, or “I want a shot at the title - because…” has changed dramatically. Not that anything is wrong with those angles; they work for a reason, and generally, form the foundation of any successful thread … but the landscape has changed - the simplistic angles aren’t on their own anymore.
Angles have become much, much more; more personal, better storytelling, more outside the box thinking. The characters in BTB are much more layered nowadays. Shawn Michaels is always a popular character for bookers to play around with - but that all seemed to stem from Legend. Him flipping the HBK character was an eye opener for everyone. And even today, Melvis with his sick, sadistic use of a maniacal CM Punk just shows how much the development of characters has changed throughout the last decade.
We’ve become accustomed to seeing created feds in BTB. The majority suck. And for one reason; they just seem like a WWE knock-off. Some have been successful, indeed many have had much more universal love than the created fed I would consider the best I’ve seen in the ten years I’ve frequented the forum - and that’s 619IDH and his AOW thread. And while people can argue perhaps the merits of the booking in other created federations, no one can deny just how different AOW is from the WWE - it’s a company with its own identity, whereas the majority of created federations in the past have essentially been a WWE thread under a different banner. Another example of the evolution we’ve seen in the section over the last decade. In 2004, you would never see such a unique, novel idea for the fledgling organisation.
There’s no doubt that the creativity levels in Be The Booker has risen ten fold over the last ten years. This article is littered with examples of how times have changed - but there’s someone, more than anyone, who deserves the credit for inspiring others to find that creativity to stand out from the crowd. And that’s Szumi. The owner of the best WCW thread we’ll ever see, the master of the promo - and an all round good guy, who contributed so much to this forum (and I believe he was doing this stuff long before he came to WF anyway) for a number of years.
Hell, this newsletter you’re reading; he started it. The Mega-Standings?? He introduced them to this forum. For all his contributions to this forum in the mid-late 2000’s, Szumi deserves a lot of credit (and certainly should‘ve been a mod for the ‘06-’08 years at least to reward his endeavours for this place). And for me, his recognition in this BTB section all stemmed from that first ever World Cup…
Just take a look at the promo he submitted (posted by Spartanlax on that page with the rest of Team Europes entries). We’d never seen anything of its kind before, and the only thing we’ve seen similar to it since was his work too. He opened peoples eyes to what could be achieved in the BTB environment, and raised the bar with the nWo/Horsemen angle in his WCW thread.
It truly is essential reading. The Nitro on that page is just one of a long line of unbelievable shows he churned out as the end of that angle came along. That angle hasn’t been topped since. I don’t think it ever will be.
Lets face it; the highs of 2005 are long gone. Anyone who was around then for that summer especially; Renegade, King, KOP for example, should remember how busy the forum was then. It was a hive of activity. Those days will never be seen again, but despite that fact, much of the feedback nowadays is a lot better. It’s rare we see one line feedback such as; ‘Good show. 8/10.’ in the section today … yet it was the norm when I arrived in 2004. To see some constructive feedback then would be unheard of - but that all started to change around the end of ‘04 and into ‘05.
For the newer bookers today; Don’t be afraid to state an opinion. If you’ve got a fair reason for questioning someones booking ideas, let them here it - it helps. I know that King has gotten a lot of flak over the years for some of his booking - but I’d consider him the best feed backer this section has, and it’s because of his 100% honesty. He doesn’t just say something sucks because he doesn’t like the wrestler you’re pushing (Renegade ), if he believes something sucks, he’ll tell you exactly why he thinks it; he’s not afraid to state an opinion.
Feedback from him comes rarely, but if you ever get it, cherish it, and accept it, and use it to your advantage.
THE BE THE BOOKER COMMUNITY…
The one area I feel has regressed. Just look at the Discussion thread. In years gone by, a new thread was required every month. We’ve had the same one now for a few years. Could it be that I just look at the ‘olden days’ with more favour?? Maybe, considering the discussion thread only came into existence some time around 2007. But, to me, even before the advent of a ‘discussion’ thread, the section felt more like a community back in 05-06. The whole section would be waiting with baited breath when one of the leading bookers would be set to post a big four PPV - I remember the anticipation for Grendrill (and Limit/Fail) posting Summerslam 2004, I remember the anticipation when I was set to post my WrestleMania 22.
That same level of anticipation seems to be missing today. But that could be down to my non-existent forays onto MSN nowadays - perhaps on MSN (do people still use it?) that same level of excitement still festers between fellow bookers. To me, it just felt like there was more camaraderie in those older days. It could be that I’m simply missing out on it now…
JERRYS WOLFYS FINAL THOUGHT…
If the me of 2014 could have visited the me of 2004 and told me that in ten years I’d still be posting wrestling shows on a forum ten years later, I would turned my computer off, and never returned to WF. Yet, at the same time, now that it’s done, I wouldn’t change it. Booking has become a great past time for me as opposed to just playing computer games - it’s a creative outlet. And while I wouldn’t dare tell a soul what I get up to in my spare time - seriously, I have never told a single friend or family member about this forum for fear of ridicule - I’ve had countless fond memories being part of BTB for the last ten years. I’d love to say I’ll not be here in ten years from now, but I would’ve said it ten years ago too.
I think I need another girlfriend.
Till next time; keep on keeping on.
The 2013 End of Year BTB Awards
And now the moment you vainglorious bastards have all been waiting for. Got almost twice the amount of participation on this than I got for the nominations, which is good, but it still wasn’t a very high or desired number. But alas, I’ll quit bitching about all the participation stuff and let you enjoy it all. KIRBY! The envelope please! And your Awards go to (a quite predictable bunch)…
Best BTB of the Year
2) 2007 & Beyond – Recovery
1) Being the Booker
Best Match Of The Year
2) Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero – Last Man Standing – iMac
2)Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle – Mask vs. Medals – Wolf Beast
1) John Cena vs. The Undertaker – Hell in a Cell – DDMac
Best Promo Of The Year
2) Kennedy invades – Wolf Beast
2) RVD reveals his hitlist - Legend
1) Ric Flair is the smartest man in the room – DDMac
Best PPV of The Year
1) Survivor Series - DDMac
Best Individual Show Of The Year (non-PPV)
2) The Draft Show – Melvis
1) RAW XV Anniversary – Wolf Beast
1) Wolf Beast
Most Improved Booker
Most Underrated Booker
Best Match Writer
2) Wolf Beast
Best Promo Writer
2) Wolf Beast
1) Wolf Beast
2) BKB Hulk
1) Wolf Beast
Best Used Character Of The Year
2) Christian – 619IDH
2) Tazz – JBLoser
2) CM Punk – Melvis
2) Batista - DDMac
1) Mr. Kennedy – Wolf Beast
Best Feud Of The Year
2) Mr. Kennedy vs. The McMahons – Wolf Beast
2) CM Punk vs. The Machine – Melvis
2) John Cena vs. The Undertaker - DDMac
1) Batista vs. Ric Flair – DDMac
2) Cena Ends The Streak – Nige
2) Flair/JBL get world titles - DDMac
1) Umaga’s Rampage – Wolf Beast
1) The IC/GOATS/Oldies return
2) Lesser known names get lost in the shuffle
2) PPVs get little feedback
1) iMac disappears...then comes back...and disappears again
Funniest BTB Moment of The Year
1) Terry. Fucking. Gyimah.
Greatest BTB Moment of The Year
2) The Oldies/GOATS/Inner Circle returns
1) The most active section in years
Well folks, there you have it. I’d like to give a huge show of appreciation to anyone who agreed to do something for this edition, even if you didn’t get it done. An even bigger thanks to Hulky for allowing me to run this another year and for you guys to have this in the first place, as well as doing more work for it than we could wind up publishing this time. And of course, thank in HUGE to the Wolf Man for a particularly epic time capsule of a piece. And you, fair, reader, are also in thank because you guys helped make this possible.
I apologize if I had any wrong information or just rubbed people the wrong way in the HOF article. None of that was every my intention, just wanted to kick up some thoughts and debates among people. Congratulations to all Awards winners; I think everyone got what they deserved out of this one. Thanks to all again who voted. Again, I know this edition is late, but perhaps it can help set things up a little bit as the months roll by. Hope all enjoyed
01-24-2014, 01:38 PM
I'm an Eric Bischoff Guy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: La Florida
Re: The 2013 BTB End of Year Newsletter
I love you (not like that, Kirby
) and your commitment to getting things like this done in the section. For that, I commend you. Honestly, I would not mind heading the Hall of Fame this year, because there is only one man I have in mind for it. Everything you wrote about me in the 'Cons' portion is absolutely right. I don't really have a notable piece of work here, but I'd like to have one. I'm not sure if I was one of the hardest-working mods in this section, as I did fumble many things, but I appreciate it.
Also, this is to Wolf King. You know, I don't believe I've ever posted a damn word in your thread and I don't believe we've ever conversed through IM (save for maybe group talks), but I appreciate your longevity and presence in the section. I know this is just a forum and it's all for fun, blah blah blah, but you have a lot of gravitas here. Honestly, without your presence here, this would be a dull place. As the Grandfather of WF BTB, your work is much appreciated in the section.
Also, congratulations to the winners of the awards. I'm setting a challenge for myself this year - my name and/or work will be on a few of those come next year. That's my challenge.
01-25-2014, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Behind Blue Eyes
Re: The 2013 BTB End of Year Newsletter
Congrats on reminding us how old you are, Wolfy.
Thanks for the effort 619IDH. He put a lot more into this than people realise, and while a lot of the stuff didn't come together for differing reasons, this is still a great read.
I think the award winners were deserving. Granted, they were mainly a certain two guys, but a certain two guys are head, shoulders, midriff, hips and knees above everyone else.
My thoughts on the Hall of Fame have remained the same for some time now - Para should go in. Nige maybe too. No one else beyond that right now.
Anyway, enough ramblings. Thank you 619IDH.
__________________michael owen @themichaelowen Dec 26
Frustrating when it takes 30 seconds to defrost the rear window of my car when its not essential yet 5 minutes to do the front.
01-25-2014, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Six inches from a computer screen
Re: The 2013 BTB End of Year Newsletter
Thanks for taking the time to put this together again, 619. The newsletter is always a personal highlight, whether it's once, twice or three times a year. A great article too, and personally, I think it's overdue for the 'Hall of Fame' to be re-opened.
And, thanks to anyone who voted for me for the awards I had the fortune to win. Even still, they mean a lot
Also, Dubya; Thank you
ROLLINS > REIGNS & AMBROSE
01-28-2014, 04:12 PM
save_btb IC2.0 <3
Join Date: Jan 2006
Re: The 2013 BTB End of Year Newsletter
This was a fun read, and I must say, thanks to you guys for so much love in it<3. Especially my beautiful old Wolfy - he's such a doll.
It's nice seeing all the old guard back in this place, and I really enjoyed Wolfy's recap on the history of BTB. Certainly was tremendous.
When An Empire Falls - The Tale of World Championship Wrestling
Szumi's back, but not in black - back in BTB! And yeah, I know, he's doing WCW again - so unoriginal.
2008 - Best PPV - Starrcade
2008, 2007, & 2006 - Best Promo Writer
2007 & 2006 - Best Promo(s)
2007 - Most Creative
2007 - Best Feedbacker
2006 & 2007 BTB World Cup - Top Overall Scorer
2007 BTB World Cup - Booker of the Tournament
Only Person to Ever Score Perfect Score in a Tournament
BTB Hall of Famer
World Championship Wrestling 2001 - The Trio Ownership
This was The Trio Ownership; I did it a long time ago, for a long time. T'was a good ready, I think. People liked it and stuff.
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