Introduce Yourself

In our last article, we covered just some of the ways to develop a wrestling persona for the SRG Universe. Now that we have the concept and have put some of that together, its time for the world to meet your alter ego.

Shoot or Script?

I personally am a fan of scripting your first promo. Why? Because if you have a great idea in the middle of a live promo, its hard to integrate it on the fly. Rehearsing the script gives you some time to get comfortable with your new identity. How you speak, what kind of words you use, your tone, etc.

Of course there are some people who are comfortable and can work in front of a camera. By all means, go ahead.

Recording or Live?

Doing your intro live gives you the ability to interact with an audiance. This can give you some serious engagement and can create some of those “it” moments that solidify your identity. However, there are more opportunities to stumble and not be able to recover in a live intro.

Recording gives you the ability to re-shoot and re-cut anything you are not happy with. This is your image you want to project, so having the ability to edit and re-shoot when you stumble on a word, or say “um”. Depending on your skill level, you can do some pretty amazing editing to give your into that pro feel.

What do I need?

To start working on your intro here are some tools to get you started.

OBS – OBS is a free livestreaming and recording software that is used by many video creators through youtube and twitch.

Heres a guide on shooting high quality video with OBS.

A Webcam – The Logitech C920 Webcam is the standard webcam most people use. The price is around $50 (during the holidays you can find them much cheaper.) They can shoot 1080p High Def at 30 frames per second giving you a high quality video. To get any better, you may have to invest in a DSLR camera, which can run anywhere from $200+.

The Youtube Sound Archive – This is a library of free use songs and sounds. You dont want to get hit with a copyright strike on twitch or youtube.

Free Use Video Loops – If you hasve a greenscreen or want to create a title card, you can find some free use loops here to add as a background.

Hitfilm Express – Hitfilm is an easy to use, free video editor that comes with some effects built in. If you’ve never edited video, here is a tutorial that can get you pretty deep into hitfilm in a hurry.

Its all in the attitude.

Just make sure your new persona’s attitude shows, and have fun. The rest will follow! Like Shawn Michaels told Becky Lynch before she was “The Man”, “Act like youre the best thing going, and people just might start to believe it.”

Next week, we will cover being IN persona live and at the table while playing.

Behind The Mask: Martin Novosel

Hello Martin, it is a pleasure to meet you, and get you on Behind the Mask so that you can talk about your newly created character Duff Martin. When he was first shown off on Facebook, I know quite a few people seemed to take notice, and for good reason. Not only does he seem to be a reference to one of the most popular and longest running tv shows of all time, but as a competitor in the game he seems like he could be quite strong!

Martin: I wanted to make a competitor that could survive in the current meta. After playing him at GenCon, it seems that I succeeded. I despise bury/discard decks and wanted to foil that if I could. As far as the Duffman idea, you can thank the Boss for giving me that identity last year at GenCon.

When it came to creating this character, what were your thoughts on the overall look of the character? He definitely seems like he’s a blue collar type of guy.

Martin: I have a red Duff beer hat and tan Duff work shirt that came from Universal Studios. So, that is the outfit that I went for. I did not want him to look like a wrestler at all. He looks like a beer delivery man and that works for me, because beer is first, wrestling is second. I couldn’t go for the Simpsons Duffman outfit because I didn’t want to come close to a copyright violation.

When you decided on his stat breakdown, what sort of things did you keep in mind while you figured it out? Were any stats changed around from what you had wanted originally?

Martin: My favorite competitor for tornado and trios is Night Terror. I just love spoiling people’s combos. Sure, it’s rude but so are some of the tornado tag teams out there. So, the stats are almost identical to Night Terror. I wasn’t really concerned with the stats really. They were the least important part of the competitor. I got no push back on the stats. They came back exactly as I asked.

Let’s move onto the gimmick, which is normally the most important thing about a competitor in this great game. How did you come up with it? It looks similar to Trent?’s gimmick, but slightly different, is that what you were going for?

Martin: The gimmick came from that fact that I am horrible at turn rolls, so I wanted to have something positive potentially happen even on my opponent’s turn. Trent? is good, but the fact that I can trigger the gimmick after they draw for the turn insures me that I am going to draw a card most of the time. That and my hatred for discard fueled the idea. I found out during GenCon that the gimmick is super good in tag matches. I have no problem saving my partner when I know I can get cards back relatively quickly. That was an unintended benefit. I believe the Dangerous Alliance took Duff Martin to the final 4 of the tag tournament.

The finishers that you have for Duff Martin are pretty awesome, and it’s not just because of their ability to finish a match, but also the way that they can impact a match even from the discard pile like your submission finish. How did you come up with them? Is there something certain you were trying to accomplish with the set, or did it all just happen to come together?

Martin: Ah yes, the finishers…the Six Pack Attack is the weakest of the 3. Once again, I hate discard, so if that lands, I get a huge draw advantage. Problem is, with the gimmick, I almost never have that few cards. So if I could do that one over I would. To be honest, I think Frog Splash is better in the 28 slot against anything except heavy discard. The thought process behind Kegstand was that I wanted to get a benefit every time I played the card. If it’s not stopped, I get a pin roll. If it stops, I grab a card from my deck. Either way I get value. The ability to play as a follow is nice, but there are no stat boosts, so all in all it works. Finally there is Twist Off…Originally when I sent the ideas over for the cards, I gave 2 gimmicks. The first one is the one on the card, the second prevented finishers from being moved from discard to hand. Somebody has to stop the 4:20. My original idea for the sub finish was a STOP. That got shot down immediately because frankly they are strong and any one creating a competitor wants one. So the Boss suggested I put my second gimmick on the sub finish and I could not be happier with the results. That card is to be feared for sure and I have to give the Boss credit on that.

So with this being the first character that you’ve made for the game, what was the creation process like when it came to working with the boss? Did he give you a lot of good feedback? Did he push you to change a few things to make it more compliant with the rest of the competitors in the game? Let us know how it went.

Martin: Working with the Boss is great. The only thing that got shot down was the STOP finish. Everything else is pretty much as intended. Like I said, without his idea to move my gimmick to the finish, one of the best cards in the game would not have happened. He kept me informed of the process, showed me the art as it came in and really tried to deliver the competitor I wanted. There is truly no other real game in the market where you can get that interaction.

It’s quite expensive to purchase the rights to create a character for The SuperShow, do you feel as if it was worth the money spent? Would you want to do it again in the future for a similar price?

Martin: Like I said before, it is so rare to collaborate with the head honcho of a game to make a significant impact. I was treated like a prince through the whole process. It is costly, but, to be honest, it’s rather inexpensive for being able to add something permanent to the game. As soon as I got the cards in my hand, I realized that it was without question worth the money. As long as people play SuperShow, my ideas are a part of that, which is pretty priceless.

When it comes to making a deck for Duff Martin are there any certain cards that seem like a “must have” for the deck?

Martin: First off, Rolling Forearm, Call to the Crowd and Strength in Numbers are essential. Not only are they great cards, they help you keep the gimmick active. After that is Crossbow, getting access to Twist Off early is pretty strong, so that helps. The one obvious thing to avoid is draw card abilities. So I find the line cards that let me put cards from discard to top of the deck work well. Also the 718, although counter intuitive to the gimmick, is just to good to pass up. Nothing draws out stops like that card.

If you could, please share some advice for other community members who may decide to create a competitor in the future.

Martin: My best advice is to collaborate with the Boss, he knows the game better than anyone and will only make your competitor stronger. If you go in rigid and resistant to advice, than you could possibly miss out on something special. The other piece of advice would be to do it ASAP. The cost for doing a competitor is only going to climb as the game grows.

Do you have any ideas for other characters you’d like to add to the game, and if so, would you like to share anything about them?

Martin: I really would like to create a tag team now that the formats are changing. I have a few ideas that I’m working on with a friend but as far as characters go, it’s up in the air. I think I would do something completely different as far as characters go, not just slap Duff Martin with somebody else and call it a day. Right now I’m going to enjoy Duff Martin and who knows what will happen down the road.

Once again I’d like to thank you for this wonderful interview, and if you’d like to say a few words, or give some shout outs to members of the community, now is your chance!

Martin: Thanks for the forum to talk about my experience throughout this process. Shout out to my boys in the Rustbelt. Shout out to the Dangerous Alliance for making me their official beer sponsor. Special thanks to The Brain for tagging with me at GenCon. Finally, thanks to the Boss and the GM for taking the Duffman beer challenge.

Behind The Mask: Everett Stephens

Hello Everett, thank you for joining me today to talk about your character in the L.F.F. “The Phoenix” EV Fresh. I must say, the nickname of “The Phoenix” is pretty cool, how did you get it or come up with it?

Everett: So originally in this game I was called Kid Fresh because I was known for playing Kid Fresh at PAX Unplugged. I had to make a new name because I didn’t want to steal the name from a kid who is portrayed as Kid Fresh. I wanted a name that symbolized someone getting back up after getting knocked down and I thought of a phoenix because after a phoenix dies it comes back to life. I had to keep something that symbolized my beginnings so I kept the fresh as a last name for my character. That is how I became “The Phoenix” EV Fresh.

When it comes to the overall look of your competitor, what sort of thought process went into it? Do you actually have that full outfit?

Everett: I wanted bright colors for my competitor and I thought red, orange and yellow would be great colors for my competitor. I wanted a jacket that had the hood shaped like a beak. I don’t own an outfit like that, it would make me look too much like a chicken rather than a phoenix like my friends keep telling me. If you see me, you see me usually wear a phoenix hoodie.

When it comes to your competitor card, how did you come up with your stat line up? Was there any certain moves you were thinking about when coming up with those numbers?

Everett: So my stat line that I thought of did change. Originally it was going to be 8 power instead of 8 submission, but Chris Pagillo aka The Italian Bombada told me that he was going to have my character on the impact bomb card and asked me to change my 8 to submission so my competitor can actually play it. I am a fan of “Full Nelson” and “The 718” so I wanted my competitor to be able to use those cards.

How about we move onto your gimmick? It definitely seems like a good gimmick to use against characters that constantly try to dominate turn rolls. What was the thought process when you were coming up with it, and did it change at all over time?

Everett: I wanted a competitor that does something when losing turn rolls because at that time there wasn’t one in the game and my least favorite thing in the game is losing several turn rolls in a row which puts me extremely behind. Originally, I wanted my gimmick to be “when I lose the turn roll, my next turn roll is +1.” I had other ideas when talking to Chris Pagillo and Sarkis Babikian, the creator of the immortal warrior, but Steve gave the final idea of giving my gimmick +1 to three of my stats when my opponent wins a turn roll to make my competitor more fair in singles and multiplayer formats.

When it comes to your finishers, what went through your mind when you were coming up with what each one did?

Everett: I wanted all of my finishers to do something with losing turn rolls, only the strike stuck because it was the only one that the wording would make sense. The submission finish was an idea Chris Pagillo gave to me, but it was crowd meter 2 originally not crowd meter 3. The grapple finish I came up with was just more about utility and to get more cards along with getting a +1 to the turn roll.

Throughout the process of creation of your character, what was it like working with the SRG Boss? Did he give you any cool ideas for your character or finishes?

Everett: Working with the SRG Boss definitely helped me with actually making a competitor work. He more so fine tuned the competitor to make it fairer and easier to play.

When it comes to purchasing a competitor set, do you feel as if it was well worth the money?

Everett: It was definitely worth the money spent to immortalize myself into a card game that I love and being able to stand out against other competitors in the game.

When you build a deck for this competitor, what are certain cards that you feel are a must have? Is there a certain play style that fits the character better than others?

Everett: I don’t want to tell people what are must haves in the deck because other people have certain play styles that they like. I say play my competitor however you feel like because my competitor doesn’t restrict you to playing a certain play style.

What sort of advice do you have for the community if they’d happen to show interest in making a character for the game in the future?

Everett: All I can say is if you have a certain aspect in the game that you don’t like and want to make a competitor, just do it. It will help out not just yourself but others in the community.

Do you have any immediate plans to make any other characters for the game, or are you done for now?

Everett: I don’t know what I want to do with Edwin Carlton Patrone yet, but expect a CCC appearance of a certain east coast promoter.

If there’s anything you’d like to shout out, or shed some spotlight to, here’s your chance. The floor is yours sir!

Everett: I’d like to give a shout out to Jeffrey Reilly, Jonathan Van Derziel, Chris Pagillo John Polverino, Joseph Ritchie, Micheal Deans, Kyle Kreiger, and Nick Ciuffreda for allowing me to continue my time in this game because if it weren’t for you guys, I’d probably be out of the game by now. Also, I’d like to thank Andy Rossi for introducing this amazing game to me at pax unplugged.

Making a Monster

Making a Monster is a new series where we discuss wrestling personas and help gain some insight into how to build a character, and how to BE that character.

One of the things I love about this card game is that we all treat it like the real squared circle. The personalities, the promos and the fanfaire. Some of us struggle, but we really want to participate! Were gamers and a lot of us are introverts. So we see people cutting promo’s in the facebook group and we want to participate, but dont know how. This series is for you.

I was inspired on a flight as I watched “Fighting With My Family” on the way back from Detroit. There is a scene with the Rock where Paige and her brother Fanboys/Fangirls out over meeting The Rock. Dwayne switches on The Rock persona, and switches it back off in an instant.

Sure, its The Rock. He’s had a lifetime to craft The Rock. But, The Rock is not Dwayne Johnson and vice versa.

I also did about 10 years of Live Action Roleplaying, and part of that was developing a character that interacted with others in the game, and doing so successfully.

Step 1 – The Concept/Gimmick

What do you want to be? It seems like a simple question. But its not.

The Ogre, being the Ogre.

For me, being the Ogre is natural because its grounded in reality. I’m a big guy. The word ‘Grace’ has never been associated with me. So it made the concept easy. A big, angry guy who breaks stuff.

The concept dosnt have to be some overarching all consuming concept either. Look at Kane. He was “Isaac Yankem, DDS” before he was Kane. A Dentist. While some people gel with very high concept ideas, others dont. Gimmixks dont have to be so high concept or pervasive either. Superstars like Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins dont have gimmicks, but tag lines. Like Beast Slayer or The Big Dog.

Personally I find its easier to take a part of myself grounded in reality and develop that into a character/persona and stay close to myself. For some people staying close to the truth and exaggerating certain personality traits is mor comfortable.

The Look

Weather you have a mask, or a crazy hair color, or even just a cool shirt. Be remarkable! Be the purple cow(Its a book by Seth Godin. Read it if you havnt!) But have something that makes you stand out. The Big Guy, well he’s naturally big, hence the gimmick. But he stands out, literally. It dosnt need to be so extreme, but definately recognisable.

The Attitude

How does your persona speak and act? You dont need to decide on this immediately and can hone and craft this as you continue to do promos and play in tournaments, but you need to be concious of this and when you feel something, use it. Its amazing how many catch phrases come out of just speaking.

And then turn it up to 11…

When you think you have reached the limit before being ridiculus, turn it up another notch. Exaggeration plays well. Two examples that are on complete opposite extremes.

Image result for macho king
Copyright Hasbro

Macho Man Randy Savage: The Macho Man, King, and Madness took machismo and went way over the top. The way this character played propelled him to the top with the crowds. Combined with his technical wrestling ability led to multiple Wrestlemania Championship matches with Hulk Hogan. The rest is legendary.

Copyright WWE 2019

Alexa Bliss: Alexa Bliss has taken the stereotype of being a beautiful blonde, and amplified it to a tagline of “The Goddess”. The way she speaks and acts is crafted to relect that attitude. She speaks down to everyone. Her face in the ring is that of discontent with her opponent. And even in her current story line, she uses people who she belives beneath her. Leading to her being a crowd favorite heel today.

Cranking it up to 11 dosnt mean you have to just scream and be loud.

Don’t be married to it.

It may take you several tries or iterations to find something you are comfortable with. It may even be something somone else comes up with. But dont be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to fail. Be open to recognize if you arnt resonating with your persona, and pivot. If you arnt feeling it, you just arnt feeling it.

In San Antonio River City Wrestling, an Italian pizza maker named Luigi is the current champ. I kid you not.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and indoor
Photo copyright RCW 2019.

The SRG Universe is a community, a family, and inclusive. No one will belittle you for your character. But if someone steps up and engages, dont be afraid to engage their persona.

Next week – Introducing Yourself to the World

Behind The Mask: Alan Hawkins

Hello Alan, thank you for joining me today. You definitely have a lot of experience making characters for this awesome game that we play, so it’s a pleasure having you on to talk about a few of those characters. Today we’ll be talking about Lunatic Ginge and Monster Asylum, the first of which being your most known character in the community. Please tell me, how did you come up with the character Lunatic Ginge?

Alan: Thank you for having me. At the time, I was actually wrestling on a YouTube show called GTS wrestling. The Lunatic Ginge was the gimmick I was using on that show at the time. So I took what I was doing as that character and tried to put it in card form.

How did you decide on the stats for your character? Technique is still the least used 10 in the game, so that has to be nice if you’re planning to run a Single Leg Crab in the deck.

Alan: Well, I feel that when you see the technique stat, it is to convey that characters skills in a technical sense. Like if Bret Hart was in the game, I feel his stat line would be Technique: 10 Grapple: 9 Submission: 8.

What about the gimmick for the character, how did you come up with that? It can be quite strong to keep you in a match as long as you don’t roll your botch. Was there any other versions of the gimmick that was come up with before this one was finally settled on?

Alan: Ok, so as I stated earlier,  I wanted to take what I was doing as the character and do my best to put it in the game. I have over 20 years wrestling experience and when I was on GTS they were no rules, hardcore wrestling. I’ve always contended to them, you can do with me what you want but you may not like what happens back. So there was this match I had that I think was pulled by YouTube where I had like 3 guys hit me with their finishes before I grabbed one and just started supposing him repeatedly. One guy hit me with a chair, I just looked at him, one hit me with a stunner and I no sold it, then one guy hit me with a superkick. When he hit me with a superkick I grabbed him and German suplexed him, then another got hit with a bossman slam and the last guy, I grabbed him and did a pump handle Suplex to him that I basically threw him as hard as I could and he did like a bowling ball/bowling pen effect with them. So I was thinking “hmmm how would no selling work in this game?” So originally what I wanted was “if you would get hit with a strike or grapple finish, discard a suplex card and get +4 to your breakout rolls.” But installing with Steve and play testing, it was decided, that it should be “if you would get hit with a strike or grapple finish, discard 2 cards, if one is a Suplex, you get +4 to your first breakout roll.” Then when the card was printed first, the stat line was messed up. And that one had a gimmick of “When your opponent hits a strike or grapple finish: You may discard 2 cards from your hand. If either of those cards had ‘suplex’ in the name, your first breakout roll is +4.” And when I pointed out that the stats were wrong, the corrected stat line card had “When your opponent hits a strike or grapple finish you may discard 3 cards and add +3 to your 1st breakout roll. If you discarded a card with Suplex in the name, add +4 instead.”

What about the finishes. How did you come up with the names for each finish, along with the images you chose?

Alan: So the Lunatic Ginge is a crazed truck driver gimmick. So I would talk with Grim about my finishes, which I was using a clothesline from hell, the iron claw, and it varied with a powerbomb and various suplexes along with a bossman slam. So if you know anything about trucks, the air line is what connects to the trailer from the truck that gives it the ability to move and stop. If the airline blows, it’s like a rubber hose that flaps wildly and can cause major injuries.  So that’s what we started calling my clothesline from hell. The iron claw is basically how I hold the gear shifter as I run through my gears and some times you have to force the transmission into gear which looks like a ironclaw/chokeslam style move. The wild ride is a generic name for getting thrown around “they really went for a wild ride tonight folks”.

Each finish has an interesting mechanic that goes with it, what was the thought process when coming up with what they do?

Alan: Well, this game has an interesting mechanic in “bury”. So if you are able to, bury a card you want to draw then use wild airline to get the “stacked” card and bury something you don’t need. Forced into gear was because I had played in my first worlds making top 16 at gen con 50 and someone hit me with the masked llama strike finish and I wanted to be able to not have to deal with it any more. And I felt for wild ride that if I’ve been suplexing you all match, it should be easier to win, right?

Is there any staple cards that you’d always put into a Lunatic Ginge deck? Is there a certain way that people should attempt to play the deck?

Alan: DRAW AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!! In my deck there is so much draw. I like options and in TCG’s I’ve always been a control player. So it’s best to play Ginge as a control deck. Lots of stops, lots of draws.

Thanks for the insight on Lunatic Ginge, now let’s move onto one of the very few printed tag teams in the game, Monster Asylum. How did you come up with the idea for the tag team?

Alan: Well again from GTS and SWF wrestling, in the Jersey area, they are an actual tag team there. Giant Leather and Sprinkles the clown, with their manager, Dr.K. good guys, a little bit murderous, but good guys.

The team definitely looks like quite the powerhouse from the art, so it’s no surprise that you chose to make them a power based team. What was your thought process when coming up with the other stats for the team?

Alan: Well knowing them and being involved with their matches, you got a guy that is 6’8, and one that is 6’4. Big meaty guys. They wont be as agile as Flip Gordon or Ricochet. But they are 2 strong guys. They beat you into submission and then beat you a little more. So their power had to be the big number, then their strike, then grapple, then submission, agility, then technique… I’m guessing it doesn’t take much technique to beat people to a pulp.

The gimmick for the tag team can be incredibly strong, especially late game. How did you come up with it?

Alan: So the guys are freaking huge…so yuge, like the best yuge….and are extremely intimidating. So when you have someone small like the Young Bucks, or Ariel Lipstick and Night Terror, they will be intimidated. Plus, you basically have Pennywise from IT and Leather Face from Texas Chainsaw Massacre…there really isn’t much, physically that you can do to them. So they would no sell a lot. But if you are able to out think them you are able to beat them. And that’s what I wanted to do in card form.

Let’s move onto the finishes, how’d you come up with the names and images used for them?

Alan: The images were from their matches in GTS and SWF. I got their permission to use them and their likenesses. It’s good to have friends in the business!

How’d you come up with the text used for the finishers in the set?

Alan: Well, I thought horror movies, and thought about how to translate that into the card game. Like the straight jacket, is basically the monster under your bed themed.

Is there any certain cards that you would always pack into a Monster Asylum deck? Any special deck tech you’d like to share if someone wanted to play the tag team?

Alan: The cards that allow you to discard cards they have in play. Make them play your game.

How was it working with the boss during the creation of your characters in general?

Alan: I love bouncing ideas off Steve. If he has questions about cards that I’ve created or how I think something should work, I don’t mind talking my thoughts about it over with him. And I try to balance the characters I send his way enough so that there isn’t much that needs to be done as far as mechanics go.

Do you feel that whatever you paid for the characters was well worth it?

Alan: Yes and no. Don’t get me wrong, the price is a steal for what you are getting. I mean you are getting immortalized in a game, and it’s great having people come up asking for your autograph on the cards you’ve created. But sometimes the process is kinda irritating. Like the play testers to me, have been the biggest obstacle in trying to portray a gimmick or idea in card form.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to create a character for the game?

Alan: Yes… STOP WITH ALL THE BURY GIMMICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We get it, you only like to fishbowl the game.

Would you be willing to come back to talk about a couple of your other characters in the future?

Alan: Of course. I have one coming out at GenCon52 that this game DESPERATELY needs. Got one that we are waiting on all the other things for like ideas for the artwork and all, got 2 I want to do so bad, and 2 that are already out (one is last years Competitor of the Year).

Is there anything else you’d like to talk about or show off before the end of the interview?

Alan: Sure is, so the competitor I have coming out at GenCon, it is a game changer, and I wont let the gimmick be spoiled (mainly because of the diversity rule), but I can spoil the moves for your audience! So many people don’t know but I am actually an ordained minister, so I have a new gimmick for wrestling, Reverend Robert Torn. He has no masters above him except for the Trinity. His sole purpose is to spread the word of the #Trinity by reciting the verses of the #GoodBook. So his strike finish is aptly named: The Good Book, 3 Kings ed.

Alan: Very simple but very effective, and one of the first verses of the Good Book of major significance is in the book of Newman: Scriptures of the Trinity, Newman 3:16.

Alan: Kinda gives you the ability if they kick out to not basically start from the ground up again. Now one of my favorite verses comes from the Book of Torn. The Hand of the Trinity, Torn 4:69.