|ZERO TOLERANCE #5 - By Zero|
Fifth issue?!? Damn right. Since I notice a lot of things about gimmicks\characters and whatnot being thrown about in the backyard wrestling world as we know it, this column will be about character development. No, its not that special point in a young person's life, but the act of making your character known, or finding you character's "niche." So now, when someone asks me "How exactly do I go about distinguishing my character?" I can just slap them and send them to WOBW for the answer. Now on with the show!
Originality: You can't have an original character without this... being as originality is needed for an original idea\thing\whatever. If you don't have an original gimmick, chances are that somewhere else, some other people will have the same gimmick as you, thus, letting you become nameless in a sea of ripped off gimmicks. For the purposes of this column, I will call this sea of ripped off gimmicks "Gimmick Obscurity Land." Ok, back to originality. Not all highflyers have to be like the Hardys', not all powerhouses have to be like Kane, not all tag teams have to be like The Acolytes. Think outside the box. If you have to, take a piece of paper, and WRITE DOWN EVERY SINGLE GIMMICK IDEA YOU HAVE. Even if its corny or whatever, because chances are that in your twisted little mind, there will be something original floating around in there, and it will end up going on that paper. Then, all you have to do is take that gimmick and run with it.
Already in Gimmick Obscurity Land?: Have no fear, this section will be your lifesaver. If, you've accidentally stumbled into Gimmick Obscurity Land, then all you have to do is make a believable angle (I.E. injury, accident, going to train, fight in Vietnam War... ok, maybe not the Vietnam War one), go away for a week (if you really can't stand not wrestling for a week, then get a mask, a ski mask, hell, get a stocking, put any one of the mentioned on your head, and job a match or two), then come back with a totally new gimmick. To get help on thinking of a new gimmick, look at the first topic. Of course you will have to work in a story as to why your gimmick changed, which should involve the reason that was given for your absence.
Original Original Gimmick: Ok, once you've found your gimmick, have well, a gimmick for your gimmick. Its kind of like subdividing your gimmick. Have a set gimmick, and have a set attitude... if that helps you to understand what Im trying to say. Because on the rare (hopefully) occasion that someone else will pick up your gimmick, then can never pick up your attitude. They just can't. Try to approach your gimmick in your own unique way. This is really just a safeguard to ensure that your gimmick can never truly be stolen, but it can really be fulfilling to actually be your own character.
Ring Presence: Ring presence is basically the attitude you bring to the ring. Now your ring presence attitude doesn't have to be the same as your "in character" attitude, but its generally a better idea to keep the two as one same attitude. However, if you're working some kind of split personality attitude, or something where you're happy-go-lucky until you get in the ring, then the two HAVE to be different, which will add originality to your gimmick.
Interviews\Mic Cuts\etc.: These are some of THE best ways to build up your character's...well, character. This is where you, as the backyard wrestler, get to show off your excellently well-thought out gimmick. Go wild, run with the gimmick thing, act crazy, act scary, act like you're going to beat the shit out the next person that looks at you the wrong way! Have some fun, and while you're having that fun, unbeknownst to you, you'll also be defining your gimmick more and more!
Feuds: Ahh, nothing like the classic feud. Where would some of the greats be had they not feuded with other greats? I'll tell you where... NOWHERE. Heres a simple little formula: Feuds=Character Definition+Great Matches. Lets work backwards. Ok, I said "Feuds=Character Definition+Great Matches" lets look at great matches. Now this SHOULD be pretty self-explanatory, but just in case it isn't, heres a little example. Now you've been wrestling guy A in a feud for quite a while. You and guy A know each others styles, due to wrestling each other so much. This pretty much means really good matches, that people will like. Ok, now for character definition. Now according to how your "nemesis" was picked, character definition can be at a maximum level, or a not-so maximum level. The bottom line is, feud with people that your character would feud with, not just people who are your friends or can work a match really well. Sometimes, the point in feuding is to learn other people's styles, and to be able to work a match well with other people in your fed.
As Everlast puts it in "Shook Ones" "Takes these words home and think em' through, or the next column Zero writes might be about you..." or at least its something like that. Well, this concludes my fifth column, I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it, and that it helped you. If you have beef with me, make sure to email me at GimmieTheDonut@aol.com... punk. Thats right, punk. Look at me, I'm talking trash to a computer screen. Welp, have a nice week, and have fun wrestling. Zero, over and out.
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