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There Are No True Interfeds

BenHalkum

Reverend Asshole
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This is my latest opinion piece from ewspot.com. I wanted to share it here for those who may not visit on a regular basis. If you enjoy it and want to read more, visit ewspot.com. The original article can be found at http://ewspot.com/archives/3474


There is no clear-cut definition for an interfed in our hobby, and unfortunately the standard has seemed to be forgotten over the years. By today’s standards when someone thinks, “interfed” this think a site that host news and events for multiple eFeds, which occasionally have the eFeds interact. Sometimes there will be a championship that is defended throughout the entire interfed. To me, someone who has been in the hobby since 1996 and has been apart of the core foundations of what an interfed really is, this is not correct.


Any eFed can work with another to run storylines and angles. Occasionally a title can move from one to the other, this is nothing that at all that says that these eFeds are apart of an interfed. Take High Octane Wrestling for example. Over the last two years, they have run several shows in which characters from other eFeds came in for storylines. The eFeds in question all ran on High Octane Wrestling’s fictional television station HOTv.


From an outside perspective you see that:

  1. Multiple eFeds all on one “network station.”
  2. Character’s interacting with other eFed characters on shows that are not in their home eFed.
  3. A working relationship of news and stories between the eFeds.
If you look at that, by today’s standards, HOTv was an interfed. But if you ask Lee Best, who runs High Octane Wrestling, if it was he will say it was not. You may be saying to yourself, “But Ben, that’s basically what my interfed does!” Well, this is an opinion piece and my opinion is that you are not in a real interfed. It’s that simple.


For the purpose of this article, I’m going to refer to the United Wrestling League. This is currently the only “interfed” I follow on a regular basis. You can find them at http://www.uwleague.net. Kevin Hill, the owner is a great guy, and I am sure he wont mind me using it as my example. Who knows, maybe he’ll get some suggestions from this piece?


In his FAQ section, Kevin defines an interfed as:


An Interfed is best described as a community of individual eFeds. The interfed helps these eFeds grow, get exposure, and gain experience, among other things. But every Interfed is different.



Sound familiar? It’s much like I described above about the perception of what an interfed really is. By Kevin’s description, theoretically you could call FWrestling.com an interfed, or ArmBar Error Society one. Are these not communities, of eFeds, that help the eFeds grow, get exposure, and gain experience among other things? What this is looking like to me, is that by today’s standards, directly from the interfed owner’s mouth, that a basic eWrestling community that has a number of eFeds are an interfed. Which takes me to my next point.


The eWrestling Community killed the interfed.
Take that in for a moment, really do. Prime Time Central in it’s last bit of life, FWrestling, EWZine, eWmania, JTF Squaretable and so one, so one. RoughKut even to an extent. These communities, and others, have effectively destroyed the true ideology of an interfed. Lets take a look at how.


Although I have yet to cover what a true interfed is, and I am getting to that, with the creations of eWrestling communities things that are absolutely needed have been washed away. Multiple eFeds join these communities, and I am including UWL in this, making it their home “region.” The community aspect allows handlers and fed heads to talk to each other, work stories and angles out and overall make a better experience. However, it also gives people less of a reason to put work in to make the interfed idea legit.


Yes, as always this article is coming down to putting work in and the amazing amount of people who do not do so in our hobby today.


The more people you have with their hands in the pot, the less people feel they should have to put work in. Also, the less chance of having one or two known “leaders” to direct things. People become lazy. They become content with just doing their normal thing but at the same time working with people from other eFeds. The idea gets watered down at first then lost. That’s how an “interfed” like UWl becomes just another community site.
Remember PTC? When it first came out, as the number two interfed on the internet it was banging. It had all of the required items I will go over soon. But what happened? They became too big, overtaking other interfeds as the number one top dog. Much like when WWE purchased WCW, when the competition is gone people tend to not put as much heart into it. Over time, the features slipped, and in the end, as described above PTC was nothing but a mire community site where people just did their own things.


It was during this time when there would be a break between new interfeds coming up, and when they began to, they only had interfeds of the past to look back on for inspiration, these interfeds now all gone or just community shells. The art of the interfed was dead.


Now, I know you have been reading this and wondering when I was going to get over myself and tell you, in my opinion, what makes an interfed. Well, worry no longer the time is here. Coming from a strong interfed background in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when the interfed was in fact an art form, I am about to bring you up to speed on what an interfed really is, and hope that someone, somewhere will gives us a true honest to God interfed again.


To begin, lets start with the base of the interfed. The guy who is stupid good enough to open one up. For the purpose of this article I am going to call him the interfed head. This is the guy who will oversee the day to day operations of the interfed, much like a fed head oversees the day to day operations of an eFed.
I want to make it clear, first and foremost with no exceptions to this rule no matter what your excuse is, the interfed head should not under any circumstances own, operate, or have a staff position in any eFed that is under the interfed banner. I know, this is probably going to piss a lot of people off, but the role of an interfed head is a tedious one, it is a role that requires a lot of work to be put in by someone who is 100% unbiased in every way. Personally, I feel it should even be stricter and this person should not handle in any associated eFed either, but I’ll relax my position a hare for the purpose of this article.


Before I even continue, I know you are already thinking of your reply to this. “But Ben, I am a fed head and I KNOW I am not bias in the least bit!” Well good for you, you want a damn cookie? Even if somehow, some way you can be completely unbiased, even if say, your eFed sucks horrible compared to others in the interfed, you still should not come close to driving the interfed ship.


It’s perception. If you have a successful eFed in your own interfed, lets say you are in fact that baddest mutha on the block, there will be someone who yells out that you are being biased. Now that may not seem like a big deal, people claim others are bias all the time. But one person vents to anyone who will listen, another decides they are right and it snowballs. Next thing you have is an internal argument that spills to the outside and all of the hard work that you have hopefully done is for nothing in the end. That’s all I’ll expand on this, as I need to get back to the article. Just don’t do it, please.


Next up is what’s already been touched on. Remember Kevin’s definition of an interfed that we have debunked to prove this is just the definition of an eWrestling community? Let’s use it again as our ground level, core community foundation of an interfed.


An Interfed is best described as a community of individual eFeds. The interfed helps these eFeds grow, get exposure, and gain experience, among other things. But every Interfed is different.


Good, we have that in place. Yes, these values are still relevant to the success of an interfed, they just do not make an interfed. No, for this community of eFeds to actually be called an interfed it takes the interfed head and his staff/board to put in work and offer more than just a platform for inter-promotional events and conversation. This is where the thankless job of an interfed head comes into play.

REGIONS/MARKETS.
Now, the UWL has a pretty good grasp on this one. How does the real life NWA work? Each promotion under it’s umbrella operates out of a different region of the country/world. Even WWE and TNA are located in their own regional markets if you break it down, overlapping some, but still found in places where they are a staple.
For a successful interfed to operate you at least need to break down the regions and/or viewer markets enough that eFeds in your interfed are not operating shows on the same night, in the same venue, at the same time. That really throws off the realism.

HITTING THE AIRWAVES.
Not all eFeds in an interfed have to be televised. They do not all even have to stream online. However, for those that do you need to be able to break down what eFed is airing where and at what time. Having two on one network generally is not something that would really happen unless the network was sports or wrestling related. You wont find WWE and TNA both on USA. The best thing to do as an interfed head is to have a pre-determined list of stations, either real or fake or a mixture of both and when a new eFed enters; let them decide from the open stations where they will air their shows. The goal is to make sure weekly events are not over lapping.

RATINGS.
Here is the big daddy of missing features from interfeds today, ratings. No matter how good, or bad, of a show you thing WWE and/or TNA have every week, what is the one thing you know that the company is striving for? Ratings. A true interfed will develop a way to assign ratings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for shows put out by their partner eFeds. These ratings should reflect the better shows getting higher ratings. This gives the eFeds as a whole something to strive for. I’m not going to break down how to do this, just that for you to run a real interfed you need to be doing it. Develop a system and play with it until you get it right for you. Trust me, it will require a lot of work but the moral and excitement payoff is well worth it.

WHERE DO I RANK?
The second of two interfed requirements that are missing in today’s product is an honest to God ranking system. This requires even more work than the ratings but is a must have. This is what keeps the handlers in the interfed eFeds wanting to stay connected and pushes them to be better. This usually will require interaction with the fed head or staff of an eFed to give you their top list of characters, and then the interfed head would mix that in with the other eFed list and build a valid ranking system out. Weekly is the best, but bi-weekly or monthly will work. Think Power 25. I’m not going to break down how to do this, just that for you to run a real interfed you need to be doing it. Develop a system and play with it until you get it right for you. Trust me, it will require a lot of work but the moral and excitement payoff is well worth it.
So, there you have it. Yes, I didn’t expand into great detail, as like Kevin’s FAQ answer says, every interfed is different. It is up to the interfed head to work the systems in a way that works for him and the site.

Lets recap though before we go though.

  • An interfed is not just a community site in which several eFederations occasionally interact with each other. Although this is awesome, it does not make an interfed.
  • For something to truly be an interfed, work must be put in. You must have the community foundation and everyone share ideologies.
  • Then you need to cover the areas which make sure eFeds are not in simultaneous places at the same time, this is done through regions/markets and television networks.
  • Finally, what truly gives people a reason to be apart of an interfed isn’t just a roaming title, or working shows with other eFeds, it’s that extra special thing. Rankings and ratings. These two features are what differentiates a community from an interfed. Our hobby is competition based, and if you give them a way to see that competition this is what fuels the passion.

Well, that’s it. There is my run down of what an interfed is, what an interfed isn’t, and gives you an outline of what it will take to help bring the interfed back. Will anyone step up to the challenge? Who knows? Chances are you wont as the passion is few and far between. To be successful interfed head you must be prepared to do a lot more work than a normal fed head and realize it is a thankless job that not everyone is cut out for.


Seriously, being a fed head is not for a normal person in the game, you really have to be a sicko to want to run and interfed and enjoy doing so. So, with that being said, where are my sickos? Lets bring the interfed back. I hope someone steps up to the challenge, I’m waiting.
 

Evildoer #2

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Mar 13, 2013
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There's a lot of good analysis here, Ben. I don't agree with everything, though.

I was a handler and show writer in the NWC. I became a co-fedhead for a fed that joined the NWCal, which later became the CAL. I also was a handler, if only briefly, in the WfWA.

None of those interfeds dealt with ratings or rankings. I don't think that they're a "by definition" necessary part of an interfed. They can be useful and effective depending on what you're trying to simulate.

If you're trying to simulate the Monday Night Wars...or incorporate elements of that era, only imagining it all happened under the auspices of a regionally based NWA-type umbrella organization...then, yes...you want the fight for ratings to be your MacGuffin...with rankings as the shiny reward. From what I could tell from the outside looking in, this is what PTC was attempting to simulate.

...but if you're just trying to simulate an NWA-type experience, then neither ratings or rankings really matter.

If I was going to put together a definition of what an "interfed" is...the first thing I'd start with is: shared continuity. The things that happen in any member fed "happened" in all member feds. They all exist in the same universe.

The second thing I'd assume is that there is an umbrella organization that officially links the various member feds together--and I'd say that there has to be a top level championship associated with that umbrella organization. (A strong interfed maintains distinct value in each member feds' individual titles. That is one of the traps when it comes to an interfed, that the individual flavor and importance of each member fed could get lost if too much emphasis is put on interfed storylines and championships.)

The third thing that I'd incorporate to the definition of an interfed is that there is a robust internet home for all of the member feds to interact with each other.

Anything beyond that is individual tailoring to the type of wrestling simulation desired by the fedheads, writers and handlers.

The NWC, NeWA and WfWA all seemed to want to answer the "What if the WWF national expansion hadn't broken the NWA model?" question. From the outside looking in, the PTC seemed to want to simulate an expansion of the Monday Night Wars to include a number of national/global wrestling television production companies.

...but you could think of other ways to make an interfed work. Imagine an interfed that would simulate a "World Cup" for wrestling--where there are member feds, but every so often, teams--possibly intrafed teams based on nationalities--would compete against each other for the World Cup of Wrestling. You could incorporate rankings but ratings wouldn't matter.

I'm sure there are countless ways that one could imagine an ewrestling interfed could work--and the details (like having to space out shows on an imaginary television line-up) are only important in that it helps define what is being simulated...which is only as important as it makes it a fun setting for organizers, writers and handlers to interact with each other in...

The key to making any interfed work--and the reason they often implode--is that you need people who all actively want to share what they're doing with others. If you have a strong independent efed, what are the benefits of joining or forming an interfed--where you give up some autonomy and control over what you can do?

Personally, I've always enjoyed the deep continuity inherent in a shared setting. When I was in the CAL, I was always hoping to maintain storyline ties with the NWC--but not every CAL fedhead agreed. There were definitely handlers in various CAL member feds who didn't even want to be in the CAL--they were happy with how their member fed simulated the wrestling experience that they wanted to imagine their characters in.

And that's hard enough to create...
 

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