Sweet, it's finally time for Openweight stuff! So when's the tournament? You ask as you scroll through this looking for the TL;DR. There is no tournament. Please keep reading
Before continuing I implore everyone to learn more about The Openweight Belt, what it is, and how it will work on LAW, by checking out the new page I've created in the newbie section of the site.
In an effort to keep things as clear and concise as possible, I'm going to try to keep the details and instructions very short. If you care to read about things like my thought process and why I'm choosing to go about things this way, please scroll to the end for the walls of text that explain my thoughts.
Winner, to heck with your "instructions" and your "wall of text", man. Just tell me what to do to get started
To get started, you'll need to get your girls qualified to enter the actual Apex Event. This is its own process. To get qualified, each girl on your roster that you want to enter must meet certain requirements. You have to scroll down to the table below to see the details but once you have, please reply to this post with a list of girls you'd like to enter, and the alias for their requirements.
Jane Doe - LAW Abider
Abby Smith - Above The LAW
Once you've done that, head over to the Apex Qualifiers section and find an RP partner to begin the Qualifier Matches for Apex. Once you have one or more girls qualified, you'll need to scroll down to learn the actual details of the Apex event itself. But getting qualified is the first step and that should keep you busy a while. You should know that you are allowed to have any number of characters on your roster take part in the qualifiers, even if they are not officially registered. You should also know that the event is projected to last a while, longer than a normal event.
Once you've finished with the qualifiers, you'll want to come back and read the details for the actual Apex event, which I can't summarize as briefly here.
LAW Apex, or Apex for short will be a PPV event where your characters can compete in singles matches that will ultimately determine the Inaugural LAW World Openweight Champion. Your immediate goal is to get one or more of your characters on the card at Apex. But before we can get into the details of how Apex will be structured and how a champ will be crowned, we must first discuss how you go about having characters qualify for a match at Apex.
Those of you who were around during LAW's inception may remember the qualifying process for the Inaugural Light, Middle, and Heavyweight Championship tournaments. The qualifying process for the Openweight Belt/Apex will be somewhat similar. Here are the rules.
- You will participate by posting matches in the Apex Qualifiers Section.
- Any character may participate in a qualifier match, even if they do not register for the event. But only wrestlers that have been registered can actually move on to qualify. That's important so I'll state it again. Any female wrestler from any weight class can be an opponent in the qualifiers for a wrestler that is registered to participate in the event.
- Although I recommend doing all singles matches for qualifiers, you do have the creative license to do tag matches and other multi-woman matches if you want. Though those matches tend to take longer, it does contribute towards more character's qualifiers at the same time all in one match. But please be aware that it is harder and usually takes longer to do multi-woman matches than it does to do singles. So if you do this, plan accordingly.
- You may register any number of characters on your roster. You can also have any number of characters on your roster qualify for a match at Apex. Yes, you read that correctly. You can enter your whole roster into this thing if you feel you can take all that on. And I encourage you to enter multiple characters, as I feel there's storytelling opportunities here for everyone
- In order to register a character for Qualifiers, you'll need to refer to the table below. Characters will not go into Apex Qualifiers or Apex itself on equal footing and this is very intentional. More details on that in the wall of text at the bottom if that concept interests you
- In order to register, you'll need to refer to the table below to figure out how many qualifier matches each of your characters needs in order to qualify for a match at Apex
|# of qualifier
|0||Any Current or Former LAW Champion12||Above The LAW|
|1||Any Former #1 Contender (meaning the title match thread is completed)/
Any Eligible Contender that has challenged for an official LAW Title3,
Any LWS Tourney Winner
|2||Any wrestler that has appeared on the Main Card of a PPV
(and completed their Main Card Match),
The Winner of The Swimsuit Smother Smackdown
|3||Any wrestlers with 3 or more completed matches||LAW Abiders|
|3||No Qualifications Needed/Open to everyone||Below The LAW|
but you can do high-profile qualifier matches with these characters if you'd like. This excludes any custom/unofficial champions and championships, and the loser championship
3 This again, excludes the loser championship and custom championships (like the Belly Belt and the Bedroom Crown, for example). This also excludes special cases such as any title matches with contenders that did not have 3 completed matches (2 matches in the case of tagteams) before they began the thread for their title match (i.e. some Midas Touch matches). Such matches usually aren't allowed, as contenders need 3 completed matches before they can partake in a title match.
- You can register characters for Apex by responding to this post with the name and alias/designation for the characters that you'd like to register with. Please respond to this post to register, as it will be easier for me to keep track that way.
Jane Doe - LAW Abider
Abby Smith - Above The LAW
- After you respond, I will validate that each of your entrants fits the appropriate designations. If everything checks out, I will thank your post and you will be good to go.
- Please note that the left column states number of matches needed. These matches do not need to be won. Win, lose, or draw, you only have to meet two requirements for each qualifier match. 1) Matches must be completed in 4 or more pages (over 30 posts) to count towards the number of matches needed for Apex (so short matches won't count) and 2) one or more of the wrestlers in the match is registered to participate in Apex. More information on the explanation for the 4-page requirement in the kayfabe explanation near the bottom. The short explanation is that the match will be presided over by judges that want to see what both competitors can do
Now that we've gone over everything for the qualifiers, you'll want to know what you're doing for Apex itself. Apex will function like a PPV. The only rules required for the event are as follows: 1) Only characters that have qualified may participate and they only get one match/appearance each, and 2) all matches at Apex will be singles matches.
Before I get into the championship stuff, let me explain your objective as an RP'er for LAW Apex. Your goal for this event is simple: have your best match. Just like a normal PPV and the qualifiers, you will have complete creative control over your matches. You will select your character's opponent, the stipulations, and shape the context and the build-up towards your character's Apex match.
Now, moving on to determining the Inaugural Champ. You may be familiar with The Slammy Awards that WWE does, or with the concept of awards and recognition given out based on merit and performance. The Inaugural Openweight Champion will be crowned this way. After the cutoff date (tentatively a year from the time this post goes up), I will select the finished match that I think is worthy of determining LAW's first Openweight Champion. And I will do a short thread where the GM awards them the belt. There are a few catches though, so please read carefully.
Despite the title being awarded based on my decision, your Apex matches and qualifiers still very much have high stakes. The catch is that the pool of possible Inaugural Champions, the pool of characters I can choose from includes only characters that win their matches at Apex. In kayfabe and IRL, your character is not necessarily fighting for a chance to be Openweight Champion. They are fighting to not lose their chance to be Openweight Champion, to stay in the running. In more malicious terms for people that like to play heels, you can think of the match as a chance to deny someone else the chance to be inaugural champ.
I'll state it more plainly so that it makes sense to more people. From your character's point of view, they're fighting through the qualifiers and getting qualified to get a shot at possibly becoming The Inaugural Openweight Champion. Your character will then wrestle their Apex match to keep that chance alive and to avoid losing the chance to be champion to their opponent.
How will I be deciding? Is something I'm sure you're asking yourself right now. My decision will be based on the characters in the match-up, the build, and the match itself.
Is it a heated grudge match between two characters that wanted to feud over the World Title? Is it a match between two of the ladies with the biggest resumes on LAW? Did one woman have to go out of her way to get qualified while the other got in for free? Are the odds hugely stacked in favor of one wrestler? Will someone get put through three tables stacked on top of each other? I don't know what matches the event will bring, but I know how you can help catch me up when it comes time. If you could please put links to each thread that was used to build towards the eventual Apex match in the first post, and maybe include an explanation of the full context behind the match itself, that would go a long way in helping me assess things. When you have qualified wrestlers ready to begin the match, you can find LAW Apex in the PPV section.
When I say have your best match, I do mean that sincerely. Do the match that you think will be the most hype and the most fun for each of your characters to be involved in, and the most fun for yourself and a partner to RP. Having fun is the whole point of LAW anyways. A match you could see being the biggest match of your character's career so far, a match that you feel deserves to be a World Openweight Title Match is what you should strive for.
The goal of this event in kayfabe is to put the focus on wrestlers that are capable of elevating themselves and others, and in turn, elevate LAW as a company. Apex matches and builds that do the most to make stars out of, and spark compelling character development and conflict out of both women involved will be the frontrunners for the Openweight Championship. A one-page squash at Apex probably won't yield a champion, as I find that usually doesn't often help anyone stand out in a big PPV match. I feel confident that no matter the match, competent booking and writing, proper buildup, and establishment of characters will help everyone shine. Even the wrestlers that are the favorites in the Apex matches have a lot to lose in this event.
TL;DR - If you take anything away from this wall of text, please remember that at a high level the instructions are simple: have the best build up and the best match you can.
One last thing. I don't think I've often asked the community to place trust in me outright. But I'd like to take the time to ask that now. I will be here to help with any questions or concerns regarding the event, and I will be here to facilitate progress and move things along. If we many users end up needing more time, that's fine. I will make every effort to act impartially and render a good decision on this. My goal is to put together a fun and engaging event for everyone. I want to make sure the Openweight Title and LAW as a whole are a well-received success. If you managed to make it this far, please help explain the whole process to other users that might not have understood everything. Thank you kindly, LAW.
Logistics And Possible F.A.Q.'s
- You have time as the event progresses to build up to the Apex match with every character you have that qualifies. You do not necessarily have to do everything in order. You don't have to wait until after each character qualifies to do matches, promos, or segments working up to their eventual Apex match.
If you feel you need to, you can even ask me to create a private/hidden thread to do the Apex match in parallel with qualifiers or other threads.
- When I say there's a cutoff date, I mean that you're expected to complete your all qualifier matches, the build towards your Apex match, and your Apex match before that date, at least a year from now. You have time but please use it wisely.
- You're allowed to post IM matches for your qualifiers if you largely prefer them, though please note that I'd prefer you play the matches out on the forum, and you'd still need to meet the 31+ post requirement for the qualifier match to count. I don't like the idea of using IM's for
- I'm sure some of you wondered if the currently reigning champions are not allowed to participate in Apex. This is not the case. They can participate. Of course, I'll have a strong bias against awarding the Openweight Championship to a currently reigning champion. If I were to do that (which, again, I likely won't) the champion would vacate their current title and accept the Openweight Title.
- For anyone that has a title match currently in progress (thread started before this post went up), if you would like the chance to finish the match before registering the character in the match so that they need fewer matches to qualify, you can do that after you've finished your title match.
- Your first post in this thread does not have to be your final post. If you register some characters now and more later, that's cool. Just make another post to this announcement thread later.
- Just because I'm sure someone somewhere will ask me, no please do not try to enter male characters for Apex. If you're wanting a mixed title, please lobby for it by being active in the mixed division and making promos and other discussion threads besides this one communicating that you want it.
Kayfabe Details and Explaination
- The event is put together by LAW management, and is spearheaded by the GM, DeFranco.
- The terms of the event, who enters, who's qualified, who is set to be an eligible contender after Apex, and each character's rank/designation going in, and how many matches they need in order to become qualified, everything in the table above and the characters that slot into to them- all that stuff is public knowledge in kayfabe.
- Women that fall into the first two designations especially, "Above The LAW" and "LAWBreakers" act as top seeds and are expected to be favorites in their qualifier matches and Apex matches vs the other ranks.
- Wrestlers are allowed to request matches against specific opponents for qualifiers and for the Apex. Any matches that take place without this pretense can be assumed to be matches put together by management
- Qualifier matches are overseen by panels of judges. These judges are nameless NPC's (older wrestlers/coaches/producers/other officials). They judge the match on a pass/fail system. Everyone in the match passes or fails unilaterally. It is binary. If the match is called off or if the match is a draw, it is still a pass if the match progressed over the course of more than 3 pages/more than 30 posts
- The goal of the 30 post requirement in kayfabe is to incentivize wrestlers to draw out the best in both themselves and their opponents. There is no shortage of squash matches on LAW. Beating someone quickly in the qualifiers, while impressive, is seen as being indicative of a wrestler that's gone into business for only themselves, as someone who only wants to see themselves succeed, and doesn't necessarily care whether or not their competition steps up to their level- someone that's not out to see elevated LAW as a whole. And that type of person isn't someone the company wants as Openweight Champion.
You and your characters are allowed to perceive this as bad reasoning. The OOC reason is to prevent people from trying to speedrun qualifiers and to encourage people to have interactive and engaging matches and rp.
- You are allowed to have your characters act as judges for other people's matches if everyone playing out the match consents to it. While judges are expected to generally be older, more experienced people in the business, there are no hard qualifications for this and you can kayfabe a reason for someone younger or less experienced to act as a judge (like an up-and-coming heel jumping a judge/judges and taking their place before a match, for example). The only constraint is that they judge on a pass/fail basis for both/all wrestlers in the match if they do render a judgement after the match concludes.
- You may be telling yourself that you can break the system or act against the spirit of this event by doing long squash matches, and you can. It is against the spirit of what LAW wants and how the event is put together. But one of the many goals of this thing is to give people creative freedom. If you want to do long squash matches for this, you absolutely can, but I wouldn't recommend doing it for your Apex match unless there's an interesting twist or story behind it, as a 7+ page squash in an official match that can determine a champion doesn't sound like the premise for an amazing match or story but you're very welcome to try to prove me wrong.
- I think it goes without saying, but everyone competing in Apex is aware of the fact that they're fighting to be included among the pool of potential picks for Inaugural Openweight Champ. They are also aware that by defeating their opponent at Apex, they put their opponent out of the running. And they are free to choose a desired opponent based on this. They also don't have to agree to requests for a match. Everyone only gets one match at most at Apex. Finally, draws and no contests result in all match participants not being considered for the Openweight Title.
- Apex matches are one time per character. No character is making multiple appearances, so make each match with each character count. Similarly, I mentioned this before but just to be clear, matches at Apex are singles matches and singles matches only. They must be 1 on 1 matches.
- The actual Apex event is more of a recurring special. In-universe/kayfabe, it will be a series of shows/supercards taking place over a televised tour/excursion all over the world. There will be no proper main event or ordering of matches on the card. Just a bunch of wrestlers taking their shots and trying to put on a championship-worthy performance in a match that may or may not be of their own choosing.
You may have your Apex match take place in whatever city/stadium you want, in whatever match type you want. You are encouraged to have both match stipulations and location tie into the story you're coming up with for the characters involved in the match.
Winner's Rationale and Thought Process Putting this together
Man, what do I even type here? I'm gonna have a lose a little bit of my filter as I type this as it's weighed on me for a while
I've thought over the idea for how to introduce the Openweight Belt for close to...two years now. I've had very many people express to me the expectation that it should be done with a tournament, and I've had a couple of people express to me that the only way it could be done was with a tournament. As the admin, I've always been pretty firmly against this for two main reasons.
We've done a crap ton of tourneys, man. LAW loves tournaments. I don't blame the user base. Tournament arcs can be pretty fun. But I really feel like the Openweight belt cannot be feasibly done with a tournament. And that's the first reason that I could never imagine it being doable. Every championship tourney got 8 entrants easily. Even the subsequent championship tourneys after the inaugural ones. If you take that and scale it up for Openweight, you can't possibly condense it to an 8-woman tournament. It would easily be over 16 entrants and that can get hairy real quick. Deciding the criteria to decide who deserves/gets a slot in the tourney doesn't sound like a fun time and that leads me to my second reason.
It'd be a ton of work. Looking at the tourneys in the special events section, by my count there have been 12 tournaments in LAW's history. And of them, I've been directly in charge of 5 of them, as well as 3 qualifying rounds. I've been in charge of every championship tourney, and I've had a hand in booking or directly booked all the ones I've been involved in. I'm gonna undersell it but it's been a lot of work on my end. And it's hard for me to see the idea of an Inaugural Openweight Title Tourney doing anything but scaling that work up exponentially. I also just think that there are better ways to introduce the title. I think that the event I've laid out here in this announcement is a better way to introduce the title, as it accomplished a few things that I don't think a tourney could.
The first thing I think it does better than a tourney is that it's the Openweight Title, right? By its very nature, the opportunity to prove yourself as deserving of it should be available to everyone. Literally everyone. A tourney puts a cap on the number of entries that can vie for it. And I personally believe that goes against the spirit of The Openweight title.
The next thing Apex accomplishes that I think matters is that when it comes to proving yourself for the top title in your promotion, your resume should matter. Your wrestler's body of work should matter. Your body of work as a writer should matter. LAW's history and the characters that have shaped it should matter. Not everyone should begin on even footing and I think that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
At the same time, just as I said earlier, everyone should have an avenue towards competing for the belt inaugural belt in order for it to truly be Openweight. The belt should not be gatekept from newer players and newer characters. I feel that it is only right that the event that crowns an inaugural champ should be open to everyone, even if not everyone starts on even footing. The idea that people aren't starting off on even footing isn't meant to suggest that some characters are better than others. The idea is that some characters have already put in the work and established themselves, so they don't have to do the same amount of work to get into Apex as newer/less established characters now that it's time for the top belt.
So how did we get here, exactly? I thought of very, very, very many ideas. What it came down to is that I realized that this is an RP site. And the same way people enjoy buffs more than nerfs in video games they like, adding fewer restrictions to events and RP, I think, is generally more fun and more heavily favored over ideas that add more restrictions. At the end of the way, you want to be able to have fun, sexy wrestling RP, right? That's why LAW exists. So naturally, you'd want more ways to be able to do that. The idea of forcing a tournament of singles matches, crowning a champion that touts themselves as the best there is when maybe 5 percent of active characters ever got a chance to compete for a chance at it, the idea of making an event or a title feel disjointed from the rest of the user base and characters rather than more connected to them all, to me, just seems lame.
I wanted to give you, the users/roleplayers, the to control your own characters and your own booking. In a tournament organized and booked by me, not only do you not have that but you're also forced to give leverage to the future champion. If the future champion was crowned by winning a tournament, they have a case for saying they're better than the 7 or the 15 or however many other entrants were in the tournament. The future inaugural champion has a case saying they've already proven themselves against the best LAW has to offer. With Apex, you don't have that. Instead, you get a series of matches that builds out the landscape of what the future title scene can look like without forcing the champion to go over everyone. In my view, it gives the champion more to work with after they're crowned, not less. The new champion has to option to prove themselves to all the other participants after they're crowned. And again, I view that as a good thing.
Building out the qualifications and requirements for Apex also gave me the chance to enforce the habits and practices that I already reward on LAW. Finishing matches, appearing on PPV's/events, building towards a big match that's meaningful for your character or character(s), planning things out ahead of time, actively RP'ing. These are all things I've gone out of my way to reward on LAW. I believe I've enforced that further with this event.
While I do like what I've put together here, I recognize that it's not without it's flaws. My biggest concern regarding all this is the fear that it might be confusing for many people to follow. While I hope that isn't the case, I can absolutely see how it could he hard for some folks to wrap their heads around and that's entirely my fault for making it convoluted and for my inability to explain it in simpler terms.
Another one of my worries with putting this together was the possibilty that if I choose an inaugural champion, people might feel less motivated to do matches for Apex. I could definitely understand feeling less motivated under those circumstances, and it's for that reason that I thought it would be more engaging and more fun for my decision to be influenced by the outcome of those matches. The community as a whole decides who the possible Inaugural Champion is. I find that prospect more fun and neat for both myself, the admin and event organizer, and for the users. If you really wanted to metagame it, you could learn all my personal biases and have all my favorite characters either lose or not take part in the event. It's not like I'd go back on my word and call everything off at that point. I'd never do that.
The point is that I feel the pros outweight the cons and I like the idea. But I'm the one who came up with it so of course I do. If you have any feelings on all this or any feedback for me, please feel free to share with me with a reply here or via PM/DM.