Debuting on The Grandest Stage of Them All - Wrestlemania 32 - Roto Street Journal
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Debuting on The Grandest Stage of Them All – Wrestlemania 32

The idea and inspiration to begin The RSJ hit me shortly after the depressing final whistle blow of the NFL Superbowl. What originally seemed like a weak attempt at quenching my fantasy football addiction has evolved into ideas so huge they could script an American Dream narrative worth millions.

Many thanks go out to my incredible friends who encouraged me to slow down and map out the true ceiling of this venture. In one word: limitless. After examining the market, mapping out 3 and 5 year plans, looking at the competition, there’s more room for green than I could’ve ever imagined. For the fee of a few domain names, a website hosting site, and some time doing what I love most, the cost of this scratch ticket was pretty easy to pay.

The main question, however, was when to launch.

Did I need x # of articles done? Does every aspect of my site need to be clearly detailed? Is it necessary to have perfectly written About the Author and Mission Statement? What about the Podcast dream?

Yes, the long-term road map and some articles are ready. Indeed, if this is to be a true moneymaker for the future, flawless execution will be essential. Having the right team will be equally crucial. Part of launching now is as a recruitment poster for talents that can help get this done perfectly.

However, as successful American entrepreneur Seth Godin notes: “Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.” I don’t have the skills or time to do it on my own. This tremendous market space might not always exist. Each day I nitpick the phrasing of this sell or the color of that logo, every moment I hold out for this web designer or that columnist, the stuff I’m here to write and you’re here to read gets more stale: fantasy football gold.

So yesterday, somewhere between reading the latest rumors and watching Spanish Announcer Table Destruction Highlights, an ominous gong rang in my head and the ideal date for a huge entrance hit me:

Wrestlemania. “The grandest stage of them all.”

So Wolf, you might ask, why do two spandexed men slamming each other through tables and jumping off of 20 feet of unforgiving steel have anything to do with your fantasy football blog?

The answer: more than you think.

Why Wrestlemania 

1. The timing: 

By now, the NFL coaching carousel has stopped spinning. The major dust of free agency has settled. With really only the NFL draft and training camp talent emergence & injuries left as the major value shakers, about 75-80% of important fantasy narratives have already been written. The time is truly ripe to begin looking into the fantasy football crystal ball and forecasting 2016’s stories.
And yet, consistent, quality fantasy football content beyond the humdrum Rotoworld Blurbs is still at a low — despite a massive audience craving otherwise. Establishing a name now, making big claims before others, and getting feedback while I discover my voice will have us perfectly set up for a huge summer when viewership will be at a peak. A first step now will be far more noticeable than one in June. Especially with the excitement of Mania in the background.

2. Promoting Content We Love

Something I pride myself about The RSJ, and something that I believe will separate us from the pack, is our “strict” & unique focus on fantasy football. The vast majority of our articles will center around either hard hitting but fact-based advice and player analysis, or examining the culture of fantasy football that makes it the best damn thing ever created.

The trash talking. The side betting. The punishments and glorious trophies. How all of these things keep groups of people bonded together that might otherwise be out of touch, all for the same sole goal:

Proving you’re better than everyone else. If there’s one sole area in my life I can actually accomplish this, it’s fantasy football.

So why write about anything else, the WWE nonetheless?

As is the case with most endeavors in life, there’s plenty to learn from Bill Belichick and his infamous 2014 “Do Your Job” moniker. Writing a blog is no exception: “Do the 2, 3 things you need to do, that you’ve been coached up on, and do them to perfection.” Instead of over-expanding to other fantasy sports which no one really cares about and executing many things at “OK” levels, we’re going to focus solely on the things we truly know and love writing about. This will allow us to do so at the highest level out there.

So if I had to pick a second area I love and could offer a unique take on, it’d be WWE.

Clearly I have mature passions for a long, fruitful life.

Now, I can’t pretend to be able to predict what will happen in WWE by any sane stretch of a brain. It’s fixed, after all.  But while my knowledge is not nearly as strong, my wrestling viewing roots are even deeper than my fantasy football ones.

This passion was born in 2nd grade on the couch next to my pops watching Macho Man deliver the finest of elbow drops on Monday Night Nitro. The love was cemented even further with the incredible action, character development, and storylines of the Attitude Era.

No, nowadays I might not catch most Raws, or even PPVs for that matter. I can’t say I stayed loyal through the slug years of Cena and Orton the only headliners available.

But I can still suicide dive into the ‘Mania narratives and obsess over which directions they could take it. I can get wholeheartedly invested in the emotions and storytelling of each match & what the outcome means for the future of wrestling.

So while the vast majority of content from here on will be football based, I want to stick true to my philosophy on writing:

Write about what you love, and your passion and creativity will come through.

What better time & place to put this to the test then the Super Bowl of the WWE. Most importantly, though, debuting tonight will allow:

3. Blogging Practice + Voice Development

Quality blogging often involves timeliness and responsiveness to breaking events. There’s something about the raw, organic voice that comes out when you’ve got the fire lit under your ass to get a unique take out while the material is still fresh. No time for perfect word play or the ideal lead, just getting out the information that needs to get out, and still doing it in a unique, entertaining way.

With the greatest night of the year for us wrestling fans, there won’t be the time for nitpicking each word choice or adding in the ideal level of description; this will be an important step in my development as a writer and blogger. I love holding out for perfection, but in today’s fast-paced world, this will not lead to long term writing success. Time to workout the blogging chops so they’re chiseled by summer (at least one part of me will be…)

A New Era of Fantasy Football Content, A New Era of WWE

In sum, there’s so much to gain. Exposure. Development as a writer through practice and feedback. Ideally some talented recruits to join the RSJ and help execute this at the million dollar level it could be.

But more so than anything else, Wrestlemania has been the stage for launching so many talents to the Superstar level. Perhaps more than any year prior, the WWE needs to execute and properly book their young talents and brand a whole new era of wrestling:

Dean Ambrose has been impecabbly booked the last few months by the WWE. He has gained tremendous traction as a more dynamic “Mick Foley” glutton-for-punishment type of face. Even better, he’s now been perfectly carded at Mania in a No Holds Barred Street Fight against the greatest savage and abuse deliverer of all time; a man literally nicknamed “The Beast Incarnate” in Brock Lesnar. Win or lose, Ambrose is in a fantastic position to leave Dallas as a bonafide superstar.

Meanwhile, Roman Reigns has been criminally mismanaged as the force-fed face the crowd can’t get behind. He doesn’t have the mic chops or “excitement” factor to ever succeed in this role. But a saving grace remains: a drastic heel turn booking and the addition of a manager to do his talking, a la Paul Heyman for Lesnar.

Perhaps this could happen with a win and flip during a celebration with his cousin, The Rock? Maybe Ambrose, his old partner, could come out to celebrate as the 2 new faces of the franchise, only to absorb more punishment in a feud-establishing flip. Maybe we wait until Monday Night Raw. But amidst the deserving boos towards this forced storyline, hope can be salvaged where it once seemed abandoned.

Meanwhile, The New Day appears ready to stake a claim as a potential Hall-of-Fame level of tag teamers. Extreme, yes, but that’s truly how popular their hilariously unique, self-aware, and true-to-character routine has become. There staying power as top faces is here to stay, even if unintentional. Plus, the perfect balance of Kofi’s top-level athleticism, and Big-E’s elite strength, size, and raw power makes the in-ring action equally as enjoyable to the Unicorn Theatrics. A memorable handicap win could continue them on this path to all-time status.

Kevin Owens could emerge as a top-end heel for the company and legitimize the Intercontinental Title with one show-stopping win. Perhaps AJ Styles could be his next opponent, two newer talents fresh off their first ‘Mania victories? Sasha Banks could ride her fan support into a Trish-Stratus level of face. The Wyatt’s could re-emerge as the terrifying, unpredictable force they once were.

Plus, even new ownership is on the line. Shane McMahon could emerge as the usher of this new WWE Era and the fresh wave of talent it brings should he achieve the impossible.

The set-up is perfect. Creative simply needs to listen to the calling of their fans.

Lucky for you fantasy footballers, I’ve listened to your calls. The pleas for actually entertaining content that still maintains accuracy. The space and forum to allow the incredible culture of fantasy football to flourish. Content for the fantasy addict, by the fantasy addict.

April 03, 2016 indeed has potential to change the entire landscape of WWE for the better. While we often can’t count on WWE Ownership to do the right things, at least we know a new era of fantasy football content is on the way.