Safety is by far the most important thing in backyard wrestling. Never do something you aren't comfortable with. If you aren't comfortable with it, there will always be time later to practice more and eventually use it in a match. If you try something you're uncomfortable with and mess up, there may not be another chance.

Finding Wrestlers
Finding the right people to wrestle is important. The wrestlers joining your fed must want to wrestle, and they must want to improve. If they're just joining because eveyone else is, they may get bored in a few months and leave. Try getting people that already have experience in the backyard or amateur wrestlers.

Finding a Location
Where do you plan to wrestle? In your friend's backyard? In your basement? On a trampoline? Will you build a ring? (Constructive Ideas has lots of ring plans) If you can find a permanant location, it will be a lot easier to practice and plan your events. Having a stable location allows you to get comfortable with the area and use the area to its potential.

Practice and Experience
Don't expect to be the next Chris Benoit or Toshiaki Kawada the first time you wrestle. All the moves you see on TV may look easy, but this is due to the fact that all pro wrestlers have been trained on how to perform and take moves. Try to practice falling to start with, then work your way up to more and more ambitious moves as time and practice sessions go by. Don't rush into perfecting all the moves. Practice one or two moves per practice session until everyone is comfortable with their progress.

If pro wrestling didn't look real, it would not be as popular as it is. When wrestling an opponent you both need to sell the moves. If you get hit, stagger backwards while holding your face. If you get suplexed, don't just get back up. Grab your back, grunt, scream, make faces, or anything else to make it look like you're in pain. Don't forget to continue selling more painful injuries throughout the match, such as an arm that got put in every type of submission hold you can think of for several minutes, or your back after being dropped onto it hard several times.

If you want your fed to be popular and be entertaining, be original. Don't copy names, catch phrases, and gimmicks you see on TV. Think of your own style and make up an original name and gimmick. If you're a high flyer think of a name that reflects this, or if you're a brawler think of a name that reflects this. Make sure your costumes are different, or else fans will get confused as to who's who.

Naming Your Fed
Every fed needs a name to identify it from all the others. This is something that really needs to be thought about. There are countless feds named "Backyard Wrestling Federation," "Backyard Championship Wrestling," "Hardcore Championship Wrestling," etc. Just check out the fed listings. A good idea is to use your city, state, or country in your fed's name. Also, don't use profanity in your names. I have nothing against swearing and I do lots of it myself, but it looks really stupid in a fed's name.

You will no doubt want props to use sparingly in matches. Think about what sort of props you want and what they should be made of. There's ways to make tables, fake glass, kendo sticks/Singapore canes, and any other weapon you could ever think of in our Constructive Ideas section.

Getting Noticed
Creating a web site is probably the best way to attract attention towards your fed from people outside of your local area. You will want to start with info on the fed itself as a sort of introduction to get people interested. A bio page for each wrestler is a must. Definitely try and get video clips and pictures on your site. If your site becomes popular, a message board and some polls would be good ideas. Have a good looking web page with lots of useful information. Your web site will be the decision maker for most people on whether or not to buy your tapes. To get fans to attend your shows put fliers in town, talk to people, or try to put it in the newspaper. If you are having your first events, a good idea is to donate a large portion of profits to charity. If you become good, send a tape with your best matches to a local-access TV station and try to get a weekly/monthly show.

Final Comments
Here's some final tips. Work hard and stay in shape. Don't put up with slackers and people that always complain. Have your fed be a democracy, not a dictatorship. Know the limits of you and your opponent. Finally, the most important thing of all, have fun and always wrestle safely!

Good luck with your fed!

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