2021 is right around the corner, so it's time for some updates. There are a few key things to go over here.
- First up, the schedule will be taking a bit of a change. Massacres will continue as they are, but supershows will now be shortened by a week. Instead of having 21 days to write for supershows, everyone will now have 17 days and supershow deadlines will be Monday, just like Massacres (except, one Monday ahead). Then results will go up on Thursdays, as they normally do, with the next card on Friday. The main reason this is being done is to allow more Massacres throughout the year, since we only had two Massacres in between supershows for the most part before and that isn't an ideal amount of time to build feuds. There will now be three Massacres before every supershow, with the lone exception being XWA On a Boat, which will only have two preceding it.
In addition to this, some of the supershows are being moved around to what we believe is a better fit. For instance, XWA On a Boat will now happen in late August/early September instead of October, since summer weather would probably be better for a show that takes place outside, on a boat, than fall weather. XWA on a Pole will happen in late April/early May, Lord of the Ring will be late June/early July and Legends will remain in December. There will be six supershows per year, although there is the possibility that we end up lowering it to four at some point and just having more Massacres throughout the year. If we do that, we could keep the supershows the same length they are now, since we'd still have more time for Massacres to build feuds anyway. I'd like to get everyone's thoughts on this and see which schedule would be preferred.
It's been decided that we'll be going with four supershows a year, starting next year. Supershows will remain the same length, as will Massacres, but there will be more Massacres between the supershows and in general.
Finally, in regards to the schedule, there will be a two week break from the fed after Legends, which will likely be the case every year. During this week, threads will be up for Piledriver Award nominations, as well as the BattleZone Awards voting for the Legends period. Once the two weeks are up, we'll continue into the following year's first Massacre while the Piledriver Awards go to voting and the official Piledriver Award episode of Massacre will be the second of the year. Hall of Fame inductees will be announced alongside the Piledriver Awards results and anyone who wants to make acceptance speeches for the Piledriver Awards or HoF induction speeches can do them at that episode of Massacre.
- Grading is a thing. Not a lot of people actually like doing it, although it does allow them to read some excellent stuff sometimes (especially right now, with all the talent we have in XWA). At the moment, the grading team consists of myself, Rufus and Caleb. I wasn't actually supposed to be doing any grading when I agreed to be on staff, that wasn't gonna be an area I touched, but that ended up being impossible. Now, with Rufus getting more and more busy with work (and being a perfectionist to the point of writing novels for gradings), a lot of the grading load will fall to myself and Caleb. So, I'd like to ask for some help here. Being on the grading team doesn't necessarily mean you'll need to grade every show, since we sometimes have shows where only one or two matches even go into grading, but supershows are the area we really need help with. If anyone is interested, let me know, in a PM, in the XWA Discord, wherever. Mind though, we do want to maintain a certain level of quality in our gradings that makes it's clear why one person is getting the vote over the other, since it's been a far too common issue in the past where gradings were too bare-bones and the loser of the match didn't really know what they could've done better or how they could've won. Gradings don't need to be Rufus-size, but they need to be thorough enough to properly explain things.
- The XWA BattleZone in Chicago, Illinois is being left behind. Starting with the first Massacre of 2021, our biweekly show is on the go. The shows will be traveling all over the world, generally leading towards wherever the next supershow is. The schedule topics will have full details on the arenas and their crowd capacity, as they do for supershows.
- I don't believe I've officially announced this yet, just hinted at it in a promo, but No Man's Land will be making its return in 2021. It'll either be on a No Man's Land supershow or XWA On a Pole, depending on the direction we take the schedule (four supershows or six), but either way it'll be on the first supershow of 2021. The champion, whether that be Frank Lawson or Caleb Spires, will take on three others who earn their shot via qualifying matches, likely to take place on the Piledriver Awards edition of Massacre. The qualifiers will be chosen via the XWA Top Ten. The top 6 on the list will have qualifiers, unless any of them opt out and then their spot goes to the next one up. If you win a qualifier and enter No Man's Land, your spot on the Top Ten will reset, just like anyone else getting a title match via the Top Ten. If you lose your qualifier, you'll maintain your Top Ten spot. So, consider that when deciding if you wish to accept a qualifier or not. For those unfamiliar with the match, it happened in 2018 between then-champion Emery Layton, Lx-Tim, A.J. Morales and Joey Miles, with Tim ultimately winning. It takes place in a structure similar to that of the Elimination Chamber, but with two pods instead of four. Two wrestlers start, two enter pods. After five minutes, one person is released from their pod. Another five minutes pass and the other is out. Each person gets to bring one weapon of their choice with them. In the original, the weapons were tied to the cage wall at the beginning of the match. In the 2021 version, each wrestler will have the weapon of choice on them, meaning two weapons will be available at the start of the match and the other two will be in the pods with their respective owners.
- This was already announced, but I blundered and didn't include it for supershows, so just to clarify, matches will have referees assigned ahead of time going forward. In the match card thread and the individual match topics, it will say which referee is assigned to which match. This is just an update to add flavor, really. If people don't like it, we'll remove it.
If you have any questions or comments about this update, or want to join the grading team, you can contact myself or Rufus via PM on here, on Discord (via DM or in the XWA server) or on Twitter (@XWA_BattleZone). I'd like to get more thoughts, in particular, on the schedule situation.
XWA show and site updates from staff can be found here!
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