So y’all liked the book idea, eh? Seriously, I didn’t expect that kind of reaction. That much enthusiasm for a post is usually reserved when Kate Upton’s boobs are involved, so to say the least, I’m flattered.
Well, today, I’m writing for a couple reasons. One, to let you know where things stand for this RTB book idea I have, based on feedback and some preliminary research. Two, to get some more feedback. Because at the end of the day, while I’m writing because I enjoy it, you, the loyal readers, are the blood that keeps RTB’s heart pumping. Your years of support (and patience) have earned you the right to have a say in the book. It isn’t me who’d be putting cash on the barrel head for this.
Okay, so, first, the status update. The general consensus is obviously, and overwhelmingly positive, and I couldn’t be happier. If the idea had crapped out, I had another for a book, a non-fiction idea that will almost certainly be the follow-up to the RTB anthology. And if you think I’m getting ahead of myself plotting my second book before putting pen to paper on the first, I have the third book (also non-fic, but having nothing to do with wrestling for a change) mapped out too. Anyway, so the temperature of the room seems to lead to a couple conclusions:
With a couple exceptions, most everybody wants all new material. Director’s cuts don’t seem to light many fires for people. Fair enough. Make me sing for my supper why don’t ya. Jerks.
Ten bucks seems to be the ceiling most people can conceive paying for this.
So, to that end, my train is thought is to do three to five stories, depending on … whatever whimsical mood I’m in. No, really, it’ll come down to inspiration and the size of the damned thing. If I’m pushing the outer limits of a Tolstoy novel on three, then so be it. And I’m thinking the number of stories will determine the final price. Three stories, maybe six bones. Five stories, a ten-spot. Is this cool? Speak now or forever hold your peace … and even then, I may ignore you.
As for what stories are getting in? Well, so far, I have one idea nailed down. The idea was provided to me by Wrestlecrap’s very own “The Big Cheese” Paul Kraft: what if Ric Flair left the NWA for WWF in the summer of ’88? I thought he was just riffing at first, but it turns out there really was some contact between WWF and Flair around Summerslam that year. The more I thought about it, the more a story started to gel, and the more I knew you’d get a kick out of it. It’s gonna be a real wrestling history geek’s story, so bone up.
Here’s where you come in, though. The rest of the slate is wide open. As longtime fans and readers who frequent the forums know, I have a List (capitalization required). The List, at one time, had somewhere in excess of 200 ideas on it. I guess I thought I’d be doing this on a weekly basis until I was in my mid-sixties? Over time, I’ve whittled away some of the ideas that just didn’t have the legs to make the run … eliminated ideas that might be uncomfortable (mostly those negating deaths like Pillman or Guerrero) or could be divisive (anything involving Chris Benoit in a prominent role) … and yet, I’m still flush with about 100 ideas or so. And that’s not including the virtual library of ideas I’ve been given over the years. A quick look over the comments section of any recent article, or the RTB thread in the forums, probably has another 100 ideas, minimum. I’ve poured over ever idea I can find, and I’ve come up with eleven that give me a little tickle. Now, please, please keep in mind that this is not an official vote. I’m simply seeing what moves your needle. If there’s an overwhelming favorite in the bunch, okay, I might be compelled, but if it’s all over the board, or say six of the eleven get attention and the other five get shade, then at least I have some mile markers to judge distance by, so to speak. So, here’s the list:
What if The Undertaker defeated Bret Hart at Summerslam ’97?
What if the Alliance won at Survivor Series 2001?
What if Andre The Giant didn’t surrender the title to Ted DiBiase?
What if Magnum TA didn’t get in the car accident?
What if Sid and Arn Anderson never had their backstage brawl?
What if Harley Race jumped to the WWF the night before Starrcade ’83?
What if Shane Douglas kept the NWA World Title?
What if the “Mass Transit Incident” never happened?
What if Jamie Kellner didn’t cancel WCW Monday Nitro?
What if ECW got onto another network?
What if Cactus Jack convinced Tommy Dreamer to give up wrestling the hardcore style?
Another thing to think about while you’re mulling over the list: obviously, some of these stories lend themselves better to the non-kayfabe “documentary” style, and some will be more suited to kayfabe. Personally, I prefer the non-kayfabe stories, because it’s a lot easier to write in my own voice, and I get to inject some bits of humor, but don’t let that influence you. If you have a preference, let your voice be heard on this, here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. But just know that, if you say “do the Nitro story in a kayfabe style!”, I’m going to assume you had a bowl of crack for breakfast.
So, that’s where we are for now. In the meantime, if you’d like to see this column continue for more than just book updates, please let me know. What would you like to see me blather on about? Or should I just get to work on the damned book?