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[Wrestlepack][Let's Play - Original Choose Your Own Adventure!] Pushing Too Far - A Booker's Adventures

Regis

Interdimensional Monarch
Validated User
Word, Wrestlepack.

So, original CYOA stuff has been done well on Other Media before. All well and good, but why this? Why now? Well, take a look at this: Slammed! A wrestling-themed Choose Your Own Adventure game. Check it out, it's available on Steam as well, but after playing it I wanted something different. Slammed focuses on the choices of a wrestler, on a promotion where the divide between kayfabe and reality is practically non-existent, on the personal drama of whether or not someone can get away with having shoot matches in a major promotion. I fancied seeing something where there was drama in the business without wondering whether or not the matches were real. And if you want something done properly, it's worth trying it yourself.

So welcome to Pushing Too Far, in which a retired veteran starts to feel the itch and opens his own promotion. How will he handle fellow promoters? What will he do when talent spotters from the big leagues come sniffing around his top talent? And will he ever get that smell out of the locker room? YOU DECIDE!

For those unfamiliar, leave a comment below with your favoured choice. At an arbitrary (but not too distant) point in the future, I'll see what choice is the most popular and write the next installment. So, let's get cracking, shall we?

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“Are you ready?”

A crazy question. If you weren’t ready, you’ve had plenty of time to say it. It was over a year ago you started thinking about retirement, and since then the discussions have all been building to this. Some days you’re grateful that it’s gone as smoothly as it has; other days you wish that your bosses had made at bit more of an effort to get you to stay. Still, you’ve always known your worth. Your career in the squared circle has always gravitated inexorably towards the midcard. Whether it was the early days touring the American Indies, honing your craft in Europe, or your current (soon to be over) job in the International Wrestling Federation, your place has never been at the top of the card. You’ve had to reconcile yourself to that. After all, the main event sells the tickets, but if the rest of the card sucks then the crowds won’t come back next time. Even now, in your last match, you’re dead-centre in the middle of the match listing. Someone might be ribbing you. It’s hard to tell these days.

“Okay, screw ready, are you awake?” Alright, Bill wasn’t going to leave you alone. No matter how many times you told him that you liked to have a few quiet moments before a match to get ready, the road agent still never got the message. Bill Coleman had been quite the performer before injury put him on the shelf, but you always thought he was a better trainer than wrestler. At least he knew when to back off, leaving you to call most of your own matches with only the few spots the booking committee demanded.

“I’m fine, Bill. Don’t you worry about me.”

“Good. So you didn’t miss the bit where they’re announcing you right now?”

“I’d be out there already if you weren’t still pestering me.” Harsh words, but your friend knew there was no malice behind them. As your music reached its first crescendo, you stepped out onto the ramp as the announcer blasted your name out to the crowd.

But which name is it?

A: Helmut Sternberg, real name Josef Stern. You’ve always loved the European technical style, and you’ve turned a lot of audiences on to it over the years. Being German has made you a Heel by default in most places you’ve wrestled, and you’ve learned to make it work. Whether it’s green rookies or past-their-prime veterans, you’ve made them all look dangerous as hell.

B: ‘Hollywood’ Joe Mitchell, your real name. Your matches have always been sold more on the stick than in the ring, a fact which suits the fans just fine. Whether poking fun at a hated Heel or talking trash to an up-and-coming Face, you’ve known how to read an audience and give them what they want. The things you don’t know about selling a character aren’t worth teaching.

C: Teddy Firebird, real name Edward Moss. In an age when nobody who couldn’t crack a walnut with their biceps was even allowed to breathe on the word championship, you were wowing the crowds with athletic displays they had never seen before. Of course, every kid these days knows how to do a suicide dive and the top rope isn’t the uncharted territory it used to be, but you bring the spice of experience to the old high spots.
 

Lee Casebolt

SUCH a BOY
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
STERNBERG! Because if the question is, essentially, should we be MORE like Fit Finlay or LESS like Fit Finlay, the correct answer is obviously more.
 

Regis

Interdimensional Monarch
Validated User
And with 100% of the vote (and a general desire to get going quickly), Helmut von Sternberg takes his place as the 'hero' of our story!

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Too many kids these days think that all they have to do is stalk down to the ring, glaring at the fans as they go. It’s not anything that’s going to go wrong, but it hardly gets people hyped. You make sure to pause a few times to lock eyes with fans waving signs for your opponent, staring them down with a contemptuous sneer. Good material for TV, and the kind of personal connection that keeps people buying tickets.

You make your way to the centre of the ring, running your hands through your close-cropped hair, grey as a ghost since you were twenty years old. ‘Engel’, your theme music for the last fifteen years of your career, slowly fades down. You share a quiet nod with Tim Robinson, the referee for this match. Tim’s been in the business almost as long as you, and you’re grateful to have him officiating. He knows most of your spots, and always visibly winces for the camera when you put on a submission.

As the crowd begins to settle down, your opponent’s music begins to rise. Here it is. Almost time. You bounce back and forth, trying to keep your breathing steady. Your retirement had to mean something, your last match had to be memorable. And it will be.

But how?

A: The end to a long-running feud. A rivalry that has never truly been resolved for most of a decade ends in defeat for you tonight, giving the fans a solid match of your greatest hits.

B: Tonight your career ends, and later on a world title program finishes. And who better to challenge the champion than the man who ended your career in an absolute barnstormer of a match?

C: At first it was video packages, then calling you out for your dastardly tactics, and now the company’s hottest new talent will debut with a splash by laying low a hated veteran.
 

Lee Casebolt

SUCH a BOY
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
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B! Let's give the next champ a boost. And we might as well go out to a top guy.
 

ranson

"Two Sheds"
RPGnet Member
Validated User
And, thus far, we are unanimous.

Is this the emergence of the Tangency Booking Hive Mind?
 

Lee Casebolt

SUCH a BOY
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
And, thus far, we are unanimous.

Is this the emergence of the Tangency Booking Hive Mind?
I can't tell if this means I need to put you all on the Hypothetical Booking Committee, or if I don't need to because you all already agree with me.
 
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