The BTB Interview – November 2010
Hey there. Just because there’s been no mention of this, you thought I had forgotten? No sir. Originally this was going to be apart of last month’s newsletter as sort of a blockbuster return edition, but plans fell through because the guy who I’ve interviewed had a lot of school to deal with, as did I. However, with this guy being a legend of BTB – perhaps even the best ever, and if not, certainly one of the big three – this interview HAD to happen. A lot of guys who will read this now probably look on at WCW Rules as the official Georgia font aficionado, but oh no, oh no no no, the guy who’s the official Georgia font aficionado is a guy who brought countless add ons, much like this interview, to the section, including the Newsletter, the Mega Standings (which will return at the end of this month, btw) and the Yellow Pages. He’s also the best damn promo writer this section has ever seen, the writer of what is widely known as the best show in BTB history and a trailblazer of the BTB section. Basically when he says something you take notice, if not because he’s a damn good writer then because he’s, well, a Nazi. The guest? Szumi. Enjoy.
BkB Hulk: Okie dokie. Thanks for doing this. Guess I've got to start off with the clichéd opening and ask when exactly you got involved in BTB.
Szumi: Well I got into wrestling back in 99 when I was 10. Loved it. I would kind of do storylines and feuds in my head with action figures and stuff when I was a kid. Did some backyard wrestling as well, and helped out with writing angles and storylines too. Found a website one day, WNW, saw a Fed Frenzy section (BTB, for you lot), and the rest was history
BkB Hulk: So you obviously didn't start at WF then. How long was it that you were doing BTB before you stumbled upon WF?
Szumi: Oh geeze, you're going to make me look at my profile. My profile says I joined WF in January 2006, and I'm quite sure I started writing in 2004, like March or May, something like that. So almost two years of writing before I came over to WF. I wrote at WNW for a little bit, and more at EWB, a forum some of you will be familiar with
BkB Hulk: You're almost as old as Wolfy in BTB years. A very scary thought.
Szumi: Haha yeah. Me and Duane have been doing this for years, although it's been sometime since I've actually written anything. College has taken a big toll on my activity. Shit, it feels like it's been a year since I wrote
BkB Hulk: I'm sure people like PatMan and Stojy now how long it's been to the day since you've written for BTB.
Szumi: Hahaha. I've certainly collected a fanbase of readers throughout my time, but that goes both ways. I'm a fan of their work as well. Back when I was more active, I had a lot of conversations with PatMan about BTB, and life outside the 'net. Both are good guys.
BkB Hulk: Both have been inactive lately, so as far as I'm concerned they both suck.
Anyway, since you've been around almost as long as the fossil, I'm assuming that you've had at least a few threads in that time outside of the TTO? Any ones that you'd deem as successful?
Szumi: Eh, I think I've had some good ideas outside of TTO, but I've always had the problem of being unable to decide whether or not I wanted to write TTO or not. You do so much with one project, create some excellent work, and it's hard to stay away from it. I think if I would've stuck with them, I would've produced quality work with an ECW 2001 and WWF 99 BTB.
ECW had a hot angle where I faked RVD breaking his neck, where he was out in the ring a wheelchair, had a very emotional promo, turned on Paul Heyman, and made himself the most hated man in ECW. That won a Promo of the Year, I think. I dunno, I just remember people going crazy over that angle... but then I don't think I wrote a show after it
BkB Hulk: :lmao
You let down the section as a whole. Nice.
Szumi: I aim to please
BkB Hulk: What about your first thread? What was that and was it any good at all or did it just suck the dick?
Szumi: At WF, or in general?
BkB Hulk: Let's say in general. That's likely to be more amusing.
Szumi: haha, oh yes. I remember at WNW, everyone did created feds, so mine was as well. Had you know, Austin, Rock, HBK, Taker, Angle, etc. I was an on-screen character. It's a thread I would shit all over today. Just so dumb. After a few shows I got a lot more comfortable and better at writing, at least.
It started off atrocious in terms of just being a fantasy roster and myself being included, but it was a great experience for me as a writer. I learned a lot about the writing process, the do's and don'ts, etc
BkB Hulk: Any memorable angles, good or bad?
Szumi: Not really. It was over 6 years ago
BkB Hulk: Pfft, senile old man.
Szumi: That I am. At 21, I am indeed an old man. Seriously. I go to bed early. My girlfriend hates it.
BkB Hulk: She should put you in an old person's home. Possibly in TNA with the rest of the senior citizens.
Szumi: Come on now. Don't lump me in with that piece of shit.
BkB Hulk: Russo could teach you a thing or two.
Szumi: All Russo would preach to me is religion, and crash style booking. Well Mr. Russo, I watched and loved the Attitude Era, so I don't need those lessons, and I'm a man of logic, so I don't need to hear anything about the Great Christian Myth
BkB Hulk: Hey, be fair. When he put the two together for a totally rockin' wrestling promotion it was a success.
I'm not sure how long it lasted, but it can't have been more than a month.
Szumi: Clearly wrestling needs more God. Just ask HBK or Sting.
or Chris Benoit.
God's greatest moment was jobbing to Mr. McMahon at Backlash.
BkB Hulk: Benoit jobbed in his final match too. Getting a bit "controversial" there though.
Szumi: yeah, well I still maintain an angle where Benoit suicide dives through the ropes, overshoots it, and accidentally hits a kid, a gold angle.
BkB Hulk: :lmao
Getting this thing somewhat back on topic for now, I'm guessing your favourite BTB to date is TTO?
Szumi: yes sir
BkB Hulk: What made that thread so good? Obviously it was something different and it's something a lot of BTBs have attempted to replicate since on WF to no success. What do you think made it a success for you?
Szumi: The backstage stuff was something people weren't used to. That helped for starters. Plus I think a lot of the WCW vs. nWo angle was golden stuff. The promo work and characterization was something many BTBs did not have at the time. They still don't. WF has always been a more match-oriented place.
While people were writing 15-20 page matches, I was writing emotional and tense Ric Flair or Sting promos about the nWo destroying their life, or Scott Steiner just being ridiculous.
Plus, that whole show where I had The Outsiders break into Shawn Michaels' house and Jeff Jarrett did the same thing to Flair and attacked David Flair in rehab... I like to think it was some good stuff.
BkB Hulk: I was going to get to that. The show where this happened is, I believe, the show that is generally considered to be the best in BTB history. What did you initially make of people saying that and do you agree?
Szumi: I truly felt like, at the time I was writing it, it could match up to that label. Some people knew ahead of time what was going to happen; it was an angle I had planned for months, almost a year, probably. I was hesistant that it might be too over the top, that it might go too far.
That's what would've stopped it from being able to reach such a high level of acknowledgment and praise. However, it went off without a hitch, and I can say I am truly proud of that show and those angles
BkB Hulk: Do you think there's any other angles or shows that have ever come close to matching it, whether written by yourself or by others?
Szumi: I can remember Forever-Delayed writing a really good storyline years ago. Oh I wish I could remember it all. It was a spin on the Montreal Screwjob, I think with Jericho and Michaels. It was a great angle, more of an arc than a one-off angle. Legend's stuff with Paul Bearer and Big Show is great stuff too.
I like a lot of promo's I wrote with Sting in TTO too. I captured a dark side of that Crow persona really well, I thought. For individual, one-off stuff, I think that was great stuff too.
But for longer arcs, I look at FD's stuff, Legend, and of course, Wolfy's done some good stuff too.
BkB Hulk: Outside of the nWo angle, overall, what has been your favourite angle since you've been on WF, or even just doing BTB?
Szumi: My favorite angle would've been from ECW 2001, stemming from the RVD fake broken neck injury. I had some fun ideas for Rob Van Dam & Rhino trying to destroy ECW and Paul Heyman, but really, it's always been TTO. The nWo angle has been my favorite stuff overall though
BkB Hulk: How about by other bookers? Does FD take the cake?
Szumi: For me, FD was the best overall booker during his time at WF that I read. I think he had just the right blend of everything. I love Wolf Beast, we've been good pals on MSN over the past few years, and love his work. Many label him the best ever at WF, and perhaps he is, but for me and my subjective opinion, I preferred FD's work over Wolfy
Although to be fair, I haven't read a whole lot of stuff at WF for a long time now. I always tried to keep up with Wolfy's stuff, as well as Legend, DDMac, and KOP. Always read that jobber Reney's work too.
BkB Hulk: When you were more active at WF, what was it that made it appealing to you? What were your favourite parts about the BTB section?
Szumi: I loved writing. I had fun writing. I still want to write, plan on writing, but just haven't had the time to do so. Plus, I think BTB is a great place to just post and have fun. Yes, there was dumb drama and shit at times, but I can say I've met some fucking chill people here.
From a lot of the IC running buddies - Reney, DC, KOP, Legend, Mac, etc. - to guys like Stojy, PatMan, FD, WCW Rules, the list goes on and on, there are some great people that have come through this place
BkB Hulk: What do you think the negatives of the section are that sometimes can make it a pain in the ass?
Szumi: I think anyone who knows about some of my past with the section knows about some shitty politics coming into play. The big boys of WF didn't like me too much. I "ran Grendrill out of BTB" and was too much of a "bully" to other people
So when there were times that mod spots were open, when I actually wanted and deserved the spot, I was continually denied, despite the mods of BTB going to bat for me, over and over again.
That definitely put a damper on my desire to be involved with WF for a while.
Other than that, my biggest negative is that it's just way too much WWE. I don't like the WWE, haven't since the early 2000s. I like WCW, ECW. I liked TNA up until about 2006. That is stuff I want to read. I can only read so many WWE BTBs in a general timeframe. It's all the same to me after a while, which is what made it so hard to get into Wolfy, Mac, Legend, FD, etc. at the same time
BkB Hulk: I hear those current mods are pretty great though. :side:
Szumi: Haha yeah. You and WCW do a fine job (Y)
BkB Hulk: We are the best. No modesty is needed here.
Szumi: And I'm glad too. You two both are good guys, and do your job well.
BkB Hulk: Two interviews ago I was called a prick. This is a nice change.
I'll never forget that btw, DC.
Anyway, for those who wish to know what you're really like and if you truly are a Nazi, how would you describe the real Szumi?
Szumi: Haha. I don't know you too well, but you seem like a nice guy.
Well, I am an Anti-Zionist. The Holocaust never happened. The Jews are the cause of all of the world's problems, and should be obliterated. Hitler was the greatest ruler ever. What more needs to be said?
Naw, I'm pretty chill. Huge soccer/footy fan, depending on where you're from. Love the game, played it forever, love the Prem. I actually don't like wrestling anymore, hate the current product. I haven't been a fan for several years now.
I'm a fan of sports in general. Big fan of Kevin Smith and his movies. A fan of comic book superheroes and their various theatres of entertainment. I'm nothing out of the ordinary (Y)
BkB Hulk: Random question I felt like I had to ask. Now that you've changed your name away from TAFKA Szumi, does that make you TAFKA TAFKA Szumi?
Szumi: Yes, yes it does.
I am The Artist Formerly Known As, The Artist Formerly Known As Szumi. Suck on that, Prince.
BkB Hulk: I'm sure everyone reading is wondering why in the hell I ever asked that.
Szumi: Haha, probably. It was out of nowhere.
BkB Hulk: I couldn't think of an a segue for it.
Shall we distract 'em with name association?
Szumi: Not a problem.
BkB Hulk: Awesome. If people notice I'm actually no good at this I'll be replaced.
We'll start with the old bugger. Wolf Beast.
Szumi: Great guy, great booker. I've had some good times talking with the old fuck, and while I've never been able to sit down and read as much of his stuff as I've wanted to, I know he's still one of the best writers to ever grace WF. I've learned from him through our talks, and he helped inspire the always comedic WF BTB...BTB. Although he's a fucker for not ever keeping our split lasting
BkB Hulk: PatMan.
Szumi: Another pretty chill cat. I like to think I've helped him a fair bit with his writing and booking. I remember kind of taking him under my wing during a World Cup, and kept going from there. He's a good booker, who sadly just couldn't break into that top realm. I think he was just missing one spark of creativity to do it.
BkB Hulk: WCW Rules.
Szumi: Creative motherfucker, who probably has never wrote more than one month's worth of shows in a BTB . It's a shame too, because if he could harnass that creativity, it would make for some killer work
BkB Hulk: kid o mac.
Szumi: He seems like a nice enough kid, really. I was never a fan of his work. I found it horribly dry and the writing nothing spectacular. Don't mean to offend, but don't think he was ever truly that great of a booker.
BkB Hulk: Well if we're speaking about people who we don't think are good, then TKOW. :side:
Szumi: Haha. I haven't read much of his work, in fairness. What I do remember reading, I found to be quite good. He has some talent, a smart mind, but I guess never really has had a long/productive BTB.
BkB Hulk: JBWinner.
Szumi: Haven't heard of him in forever. Is he even still around? Had talent, but never kept a BTB going for long enough to do anything.
BkB Hulk: Nah, he's been gone for awhile. Tragic boating accident.
Szumi: No one dies in BTB, sir. DDMac and WCW Rules are proof of that.
BkB Hulk: Wolf Beast may go any day now though.
Szumi: He is in a wheelchair, after all.
BkB Hulk: Poor fella. While on the theme of him (well, we were), DDMac.
Szumi: Another pretty chill guy who I'd like to catch up with. He's definitely a quality writer. I sadly struggled to stay caught up with his BTB, although I remember appreciating the quality of his work when I did read it. If only he could've laid off the Kennedy and Batista pushes
BkB Hulk: Kennedy is absolutely awful. I don't mind Big Dave though, especially as a heel.
Szumi: Both suck dick, tbh.
FD sadly fell off the face of the Earth. I haven't talked to him in probably 2 years or so, I imagine. He was a great all-around booker, and he and kane01 had the best split out of anyone in BTB. Quality booker.
BkB Hulk: Tragic boating accident.
Szumi: He's a funny ...., who, again, was a creative guy, but just couldn't stick to a thread. He had good ideas, I know that for sure. He just usually had a lot of other shit going on that stoppd him from putting together a quality BTB
BkB Hulk: Nige.
Szumi: He seems like a decent enough guy; I just think he just did what he was told pretty much when he was a mod. Never rated him as a booker though. The style was just awful for me to read, and found the booking nothing too spectacular. It was definitely better than some said, but nowhere near as good what a lot of his fanbase made it out to be
BkB Hulk: sc2004.
Szumi: Again, seemed like a nice enough. Didn't rate what little work of his that I did, but he took the jokes we would make about him being Nige's bitch in stride, so he can take a joke. Alright in my books
BkB Hulk: Stojy.
Szumi: Always enjoy a good chat with him on MSN. Again, he has talent, just hasn't kept a solid thread running for a good length of time
BkB Hulk: Not necessarily a person, but something I wanted to get your opinion on: the BTB HoF.
Szumi: I think it's a good concept, but shouldn't be every year
When you do that, you just start putting in too many guys, perhaps guys who don't deserve to be there. Plus, I think older guys who were good get passed up on. I know I was vouching for guys like Rated R Superstar and Jushin Liger to go in when others weren't, and there were guys who I didn't even know that Wolfy would vouch for.
Should only occur like every other year or something. Try and make it mean "something," if an internet writing forum Hall of Fame can mean anything
BkB Hulk: Reney.
Szumi: He's a silly Australian fucker. A Man Jew worshipping ..... But, at the end of the day, I love the bastard. He's probably the guy I'm closest with at WF, just because we've shared some funny stories along the way and can talk about stuff like soccer and shit outside of WF. He's a phenomenal booker and match writer, in my opinion, but to me, he's more of a friend than a writer by this point
BkB Hulk: Para.
Szumi: Haha, did he die in a lifeboating accident too? He's cool as shit, and I loved his work because he had something outside of WWE. That made me a big fan of his work, and he was most certainly a quality writer and booker. He kept improving show by show with EPW, and it's a shame it didn't go longer. Good friend, although I haven't talked with him and forever.
I think he and Wolfy both had a lifeboating accident.
BkB Hulk: R.I.P
Szumi: Wolfy was in a lifeboating accident too?
BkB Hulk: Wolfy fell out of his wheelchair and broke a hip.
Szumi: yes, but was it in a lifeboat?
Oh wait, he's Irish. The Irish don't know how to fish, let alone get on a boat.
BkB Hulk: Potato potato potato.
Asking about Alcoholic feels fitting now with the talk of the Irish.
Szumi: Haha, yes, yes it does.
I like his GWE Hogan-Bischoff stuff. It was really good booking, although not always the best writing. I appreciated it for its originality and refreshing booking. He was always a funny enough guy too.
BkB Hulk: Jon Power.
Szumi: I talked to him a bit on MSN, but haven't in ages. He seemed like he had some talent, but no clue if he ever did much with it
BkB Hulk: I'm running out of people from the last time you were active in the medieval times. I'll go Legend.
Szumi: Haha. Legend is a great guy, despite being a Tottenham fan. He's definitely a top quality booker, although I think he writes TOO much sometimes. I love his booking, but the single shows just drag too much. Great mind for writing and booking though, and has definitely done some excellent stuff in BTB. Miss talking to that fucker.
BkB Hulk: Finally, the Nazi, Szumi.
I am The Fuhrer of BTB. I think I have written some really good stuff throughout my times in BTB. I definitely feel like I have done a lot for this section: Newsletters, Mega Standings, Yellow Pages, etc. I've put a lot of time into BTB, and am glad I have. It's been a good/fun place over the years. I think I could've done more, wish I would've been able to stick to projects better for whatever reasons
However, since you're asking me about myself, I guess I should make my little announcement and all. Otherwise this interview would be kind of silly, wouldn't it?
BkB Hulk: Indeed.
Szumi: Despite being gone for quite a while, I would like to say, "Hey, I miss you fuckers. Sometime soon, I'm coming back to BTB, ready to make a return yet again. A bit of a swan song, if you will."
Oh, and I am suppose to also say, that I am not coming back by myself. I'll be coming back with a partner; you may or may not know him. Hell, he just might have been one of those fuckers who fell off a lifeboat, back from underneath the surface like those miners.
BkB Hulk: Let the anticipation begin.
Well, I guess the time has come for me to thank you for not just wasting this time with me, but also taking time out from writing what sounds like an ever so fun paper.
Szumi: Haha yeah. I finally gave up on writing it and am playing FIFA. And I thank you as well for not wasting your time. I feel like this would've been a pointless interview for you to conduct if I wasn't planning to return to BTB, seeing as I wouldn't be contributing to the section and all
So yes, thanks again BKB, and hey, hopefully we'll be seeing more of each other here in the near future.
BkB Hulk: Indeed. Should be fun. (Y)
Szumi: I sure hope so (Y)
BkB Hulk: I'm gonna jump on out now to watch cricket and maybe study (okay not really)
Szumi: haha, i know what you mean. Take it easy, and thank you again for interviewing, BKB, and to you for reading, BTB.
Goodnight everybody, and remember: take care of yourselves, and each other.
Excited? Well you should be. Not much more needs to be said, really. Szumi’s coming back.