FROM LAME TO FAME #2 - By Assaf Levavy
Hi there, wrestling fans and wrestler wannabes. How are you all, fine and in one piece I hope.

It's time to get into business and today I'm going to start talking about important stuff, like getting your wrestlers motivated, building up a character and a wrestling style, and having fun in general. So why not start right ahead.

I received an e-mail this week that featured a problem that a lot of backyard wrestling feds have. This is what the guy wrote me:

"My wrestlers don't put that much effort into wrestling. They joke around and all and can't be the least bit serious. I practice everyday selling and performing moves. They don't...I'm the only one who is not a chicken. What should I do?"

Well, the answer's very simple. Let them joke around. It'll get them to know each other a lot better, and trust each other better, and that will show in the ring, as they will trust each other in the physical sense of wrestling as well. To motivate your wrestlers it takes time. In every fed there are the ones who work harder and those who work less hard. Don't worry. Just make sure that they know that the harder they work, the more wins and championship chances they'll have. After all, it's all about the fun. So don't worry about it, it's not like you're a big corporation that needs to have complete order all the time.

Another huge point is to use a video camera. It will motivate the wrestlers a whole lot. When someone's being televised, he's trying to look better. So they'll sell the moves better, and they'll perform the moves better. The better they perform, the better they'd feel about themselves, as to being recorded on TV. They'd love to have a copy of that tape, to show to their friends, and say "Look at what I can do". Think about it. It may also motivate them to bring their friends into the fed. It happened in my fed.

Also, remember that it takes time to become a good and experienced wrestler. It takes time to learn your opponent, learn the ring, and learn the moves right, both to perform them and to sell them. So give your wrestlers time. The more freedom you give them, the more fun and motivation they'll have. Trust me on this one. But don't give them too much freedom, because after all, it's your fed, and you don't want chaos there. Take everything in good proportion.

Anyway, now I'm going to turn to building your wrestling style. Back in the HWF, my fed, we had a guy that was so good in his brawls in the ring, that it made him an immediate brawler. Me, I could do everything, because I had so much training time, but I was mainly a high-flying daredevil, so my style was, of course, high-flyer. Now, remember, that when you determine your wrestling style, it doesn't mean that you have to use only high-flying moves or brawling moves, etc. It means that your wrestling style shows what you're best at. Everything else you can do just improves your performance. For example, that guy who was the brawler, his finisher was a twister-splash. Now, imagine a brawler finishing his match with a huge top-rope flying move. That's totally awesome. So if you ask yourself what you're good at, you'll find there's more than one possible answer. But if you ask yourself what you're the BEST at, the answer will be your wrestling style.

Now, as for your finisher, there are two options. You can take a move you really like to do, and perform really good, or you can invent a move, that will be intimidating, painful-looking and logical (I mean, farting in someone's face isn't a very good finisher, it's just plain stupid). My finisher, for about five and a half years, was called the Terminator-Plex. I took the opponent crossed on my shoulders, rolled forward with him still on my shoulders, bridged up as I landed with the roll, locked my hands with one of my arms hooking his leg, and the other hooking his head, forming it into a Perfect-Plex. One, two, three, the match was over.

It was about six months before the HWF had to close down, when I discovered one of the most dangerous moves ever. I called it the Hammerlock DDT. It went like this:

You twist the opponent's arm into a hammerlock, and while holding it, you take the opponent's head under your other arm, into a DDT position. Still holding the hammerlock. Then, as you fall for the DDT, you lift your opponent with your strong leg, and all of this while still holding the hammerlock. It looks deadly, it's very dangerous (The opponent falls flat on his head, and in one point, you both are in the air. This move is amazing-looking), and it's a great finisher. And most of all, it's logical. When you see this move, you say, "Man, no one can get up after that". Isn't that what finishers are all about? Exactly.

Just remember one thing when you invent a finisher. You have to be 100% sure you know how to perform the move, and 100% sure you can protect the opponent, and yourself, from getting seriously injured as a consequence of the move. Our ring was amazingly soft, that's why I performed this move. Ask me if I would perform it if we had a pro ring, as in a wood and canvas ring, and I would tell you I don't know.

And now about characters...Everyone wants help in this matter. Let me tell you something, I can help you build your character, but unless the character fits into what you're capable of acting, and into what you want to act out, it would do no good. So I'll just advice you this. Fight a few matches before you decide on your character. See what you're good at and how you're feeling inside that ring. Then, follow that emotion. See where it leads you, and there, your character would definitely be.

So this is it for now, remember, you can always send me questions. And also remember to always play it safe. The safer your wrestling is, the more fun you will have. Just think about it. If you take a very serious bump and your back or head hurts like hell, it will take a lot of fun out of the match, and you won't be able to deliver 100% performance. So don't be hasty. Think before you act. I won't bullshit with you anymore. Until next time...I'm Assaf Levavy. Long live the HWF.

So until next time, I'm Assaf Levavy. Long live the HWF.

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