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  1. #1
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Bull from the Bulldog: Faction League - Part One (The Introduction)

    OK, so I had a dream the other night. Not the sort that requires a change of bedsheets, but the sort that I figured needed writing down and remembering. Iím usually really crap at remembering dreams, very rarely do I remember having them Ė I just occasionally wake up aware that I had one, with no real memory of what happened. This one though stuck an image firmly in my mind, one which I figured Iíd explore as a column.

    Iíve thought for a long time that everyone on the WWE roster should have a recognised tag partner, even if for the majority it would only be an occasional thing used as and when required. My dream inspired me to essentially take that a step further: What if everyone was part of a recognised Faction?

    The image stuck in my mind from the dream was of a grid of 9 squares, each square featuring 4 wrestlers (no idea how the dream led to that image, itís all I remember!). In this column, Iím going to expand on that idea and try a bit of fantasy booking to see how it would fit the current roster and how it could be utilised as a longer term booking system.

    Iíve always believed that 4 people is the ideal number for a Faction. It gives essentially a main eventer, a mid card title challenger and a tag team. When I get on to pulling the Factions together in the second part of this column, that is the theory Iíll be using. Although there will obviously be lower ranking Factions that donít challenge in those leagues, they will use that general theory of having a clear leader, second in command and tag team.

    As an aside, despite not being a huge fan of New Day as a Faction, the fact theyíve always worked as a 3 man tag team is most definitely in their favour. Although they often get referred to as a Faction, they havenít pretended that theyíre anything but a three man tag team and so far itís worked, giving us much more variation of matches in a division that would otherwise be overrun with repeats, as the same teams face each other on countless TV shows and PPVs in an attempt to prolong a storyline.

    Those repeat matches are something this system would work to avoid. It also adds meaning to the lower card matches that otherwise have no reason to happen. This is achieved by all Factions competing in a League. Each singles wrestler would earn points for their faction based on the results of their matches, wrestling all singles wrestlers from all other Factions once through a league season. Using the standard football league system Iím going to call it 3 points for a clean victory (pinfall or submission) and 1 point for a non-clean victory (count out or disqualification). Double count outs get 1 point each. Tag Team matches will earn points for their faction on the same basis, facing all the other tag teams (probably twice in order to boost the number of matches).

    Obviously this would require WWE to adopt a Creative Memory (something which is long overdue anyway), but the league could be used as a method of continuation of storylines. Instead of individuals, feuds have the potential to be extended to be between Factions. They wouldnít necessarily need a start and end point, when wrestlers are scheduled to face each other those ongoing feuds would be referenced by both wrestlers, pre-show panels and commentators. This doesnít rule out individual feuds, league matches would not take up the entirety of any show, but a couple would be scheduled for the majority of shows.

    If Iím talking Factions, I have to cover Survivor Series. Iíve never been a fan of the Raw vs Smackdown concept feeling that is just a cop out that requires minimal build, believing instead that it should be used as a way of settling feuds between Factions. Obviously in this system, the Faction feuds required to make this work would be ongoing so although the Survivor Series matches could be incorporated, they are unlikely to be the feud ending match I have always felt they could be. However, I feel the Raw vs Smackdown concept actually works to the advantage of this idea. What if Survivor Series was used as the prize for winning your showís league? The leagues themselves could finish a few weeks before, with the winning team for each show going on to represent their show at the annual event. A couple of mid-card Survivor Series style matches between Factions, plus the grand finale putting the winning Factions of Smackdown & Rawís leagues up against each other to win the title of Faction Grand Champion could truly make Survivor Series a significant event on WWEís calendar.

    I think thatís enough to give you all an idea of what Iím working on. The second part of the column will focus on the Factions themselves, splitting both the Smackdown & Raw rosters into recognisable groups of 4 wrestlers each, with an explanation of the logic (or lack of) for the selections.

    As well as any general thoughts on how you guys think this concept could get over, I'm also interested to see if you have any questions about the technicalities and practicalities of implementing the system. Some may be answered by default in the future column(s?), but this is such a broad concept I doubt I'll have considered everything so ask away....

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  2. #2
    The Brain
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    I love that you have basically invented Dragon Gate in this column! That's a promotion that actually is built entirely around factions, and though they don't have the point system you described (which sounds quite interesting), basically everything else works just as well as you've described here! An extra bonus to this structure is every once in a while you can have a match where the losing faction will be forced to disband, which always adds huge relevance and excitement to the match. Looking forward to more on this subject!

  3. #3
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    Nice idea here Dyno, I'm looking forward to seeing how you will be implementing it.

    I know all too well how you've been championing that everyone on the roster has a recognised tag partner. I never thought you would expand that to factions.

    But faction wars can provide some great entertainment, as seen by Shield vs Wyatts, Evolution and New Day. Nice point about Survivor Series. That idea could work well but WWE can't book too many factions well at the same time. The League Of Nations had alot of potential but WWE used them as a side act.

    Anyway, as a suggestion, I'd have the leaders of each faction do battle to see who is the best leader, whether it be in one-on-one matches or multi-man matches. I'd also have two factions who are feuding have one-on-one matches and use a points system to see whose the best faction. Sure, it defeats the purpose of entire factions doing battle but this should just happen on occasion to switch things up a bit.

  4. #4
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Prime: Aside from the name, I know absolutely nothing about Dragon Gate! I guess with disbanding Factions, that would have to come. Obviously with call ups from NXT & transfers between Raw & Smackdown, there will be a certain amount of free agents that could either form a new Faction or fight for a place in an existing one. The initial thought was that the lowest ranked Faction at the end of the league would be the one to go, but that would only serve to remove the jobber Faction which obviously has to exist and essentially demote a higher ranked team to that role. I suspect that sort of loser leaves town type match would be a good way to run things during the league's off season.

    Don: I'd never considered expanding it to Factions before either The advantage of this system is that a Faction such as the League of Nations can be a side act for a lot of the time. Although they are fighting for their team in the league, each guy/tag team would be primarily fighting their own battles. As a current ongoing storyline Faction feuds wouldn't require ALL Factions to have something going on all the time, however it gives the advantage of when one individual needs help with their own feud, they have someone there for them. I kind of think it could be good occasionally to do something like have a feud between Faction leaders, but have someone else from each team face off to determine who gets to pick a stipulation for the next match etc.

    The leaders all doing something is a good idea. It's given me an idea that I'm going to incorporate into a future installment of the column (which may end up being a long time in the making) so watch out for that.

    Also, a quick aside: You will only rarely see me comment on your main page columns, since the upgrade to disqus the firewalls in my office have blocked the comments section I will definitely be reading though, and hope you still find the time to play a part in the forums as well.

    FACT or FICTION: The Future of Smackdown
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  5. #5
    Love the idea. And honestly, if WWE really wanted to try something radical to generate new interest, it could just take 3-4 months and do something like this; announce the factions season/wars/whatever, spend a month building up the teams, and then go at it for whatever prizes they determine(title shots, money, etc), ending at Survivor Series.

    Excited to see what teams you dream up!

  6. #6
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Thanks for the read Burn - I'm not going to cover how the factions themselves form, a lot of that will be self explanatory and a lot will be left to the imagination.

    Part two covering the teams should be up later today though, so watch out for it!

    I havenít done the maths yet to figure out how many matches it will be, but Iím hoping it would fit into the WrestleMania to Survivor Series period, so that gives me 7 monthsí worth of TV to utilise.

    FACT or FICTION: The Future of Smackdown
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