New show coming now!
Welcome to another version of hit talk show, Inside the Tights! Last week we had a great interview from Grind which sparked up some strong debate here. So how I'm I going to top that you wonder? By going Inside the Tights of this weeks guest, everyone's favorite business man Bennytheball!
Welcome to the show man, as always, would you like to tell the world about your characters and any creative positions you have around here?
Just wanted to start off by saying thanks for having me on. This is one of my favourite ‘features’, if you like, on the efedding boards and it rose up during one of the low points that I’ve personally seen and experienced on here. It was like a nice ray of light, so kudos to you for creating the idea and running with it.
Anyway, onto the question: my list of involvement won’t be as extensive as others, so I’ll try and pad it out a bit so it doesn’t look comparatively pathetic!
I’ve got one character, and that’s Mr. Smyth. The back story is that I was a member of this forum, then I went to a different wrestling forum which is where I met Bear and he introduced me to this weird thing called efedding. I didn’t really grasp the concept at first, and probably had it explained to me more times than it really should have been, but I eventually got there.
I came back to these forums and I created Mr. Smyth. I wanted to create a character that could be used as an authority figure because I wasn’t really interested in the wrestling aspect of it, and that was where the businessman gimmick came from. I’ve got real life experience in management and as well and my Monday to Friday job, I do run a small business, so I know about managing people, the use buzz words, the fact that someone in a management position isn’t always a liked individual and, if I’m honest, being a bit of a knob come a bit too natural to me. I guess I wanted to force Bear’s hand and say “Right, I’ve created an authority figure for you,” and he just clearly fucking ignored it!
Mr. Smyth made his debut in ICW back in July (I think) and after winning my first match, I based my first promo around the concept of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. My initial goal was to make everyone sit there and say: “dick!” Managed to do a few promos with a few good guys (Des is one that sticks out to me). Bear gave me the encouragement with the promos and Eddie kicked my arse during the IC’ing. Good memories.
After ICW’s demise, I signed up to TWE and I started a...I wouldn’t call it a feud...sort of an on-again/off-again thing with Kaige Chamberlain (TJB). After a while, from my perspective, things came to a bit of a stumble and I wasn’t used for what seemed like a long time. I got really frustrated and annoyed because I felt (and I still do) that I am a really strong promo writer and I could write a great promo given the chance. But it seems like I’m getting a chance to show what I can do now, so I’m a bit happier with my status there.
After signing up with TWE, I signed up with SRW. Yeah...
Then came IWA, and my first real feud. Eddie floated the idea to me a few weeks beforehand and I was reluctant at first because Kyojin is way up there and Smyth...well, isn’t.
It has been great fun to work with him though, and a huge learning process. The way I do things now is a little different from before and I have had some input on the direction of the feud as well, which has been pretty cool. Under the stewardship of Bear and Eddie, I feel Mr. Smyth is a much better character than he was 4 months ago, and I know that this sounds like a massive arse-kissing session to Bear and Eddie, but I don’t care. If I were to single out two guys who have helped me the most, it’s them two.
Finally, I became a member of the Jabe family. Had another feud with Des (de ja vu) and it will be interesting to see where things go from here.
Away from Mr. Smyth, I have recently become IWA’s apprentice creative guy and I’ll be working with the guys there writing matches and throwing in the occasional idea.
2012 had a lot of really strong characters debut and some new users joining up (you and I included), what do you think sets your character apart from some of the newer guys and some of the older characters that are already established?
To be honest, I don’t know. I don’t know if I do stand out and if I do, I don’t know why that is. There are some moments where I believe that Mr. Smyth is a guy that everybody knows about and everyone has paid attention to, then there are some humbling moments where I realise that Smyth isn’t actually all that. Just that point there kind of solidifies my argument of what I have said on several occasions: beyond the love of wrestling, there are three reasons why we do efedding: ego, insecurity or both. If you’re wondering, I fall under the latter category.
If I were to speculate, I think one of the strong points that I have that I have seen lacking in other characters is pride and planning. I won’t start a promo off and make my way to the end in one motion. I plan what I want to say, how I’m going to say it, when I need to say it and what motions will I be describing. There’s no point building a house without a foundation and while some guys can do a promo in one swoop really well, I have seen just as many do it poorly and you can spot them a mile away when repetitiveness kicks in.
That’s the planning part and when that is done, there is the pride. I proof read my promos and while I still am a culprit of making mistakes and leaving them in, you can again spot a mile away the guys who don’t re-read what they have written and if I am honest, that really pisses me off. If you can’t be arsed to put the effort needed to write your promo, then I see no reason why we should read it and a lot of the times when I see that, I skip the rest and move on.
With the actual character itself, I think Mr. Smyth is more noticeable than others because it’s a character that everyone can relate to and immediately dislike. We’ve all worked for a boss who is a complete and utter bell end, and while that person will always be doing what’s best for business (sorry!), nobody can really see that because the guy doing it is your boss, and he could feed starving orphans every weekend, but he is still that guy who gave you a telling off for being late, even though it wasn’t your fault.
Or maybe I’m completely off the mark. I dunno.
Is there anything you would go back in time and do differently for any of your characters here, or any action you wished you would have taken that you didn't earlier?
That’s a head scratcher...
I think if I was to do something differently, I think would have gotten more involved earlier. For the first few months I just waited for assignments and didn’t contribute anything beyond that but I think that if I let my creative juices flow sooner and start bombarding people with ideas for angles, feuds and other things then maybe I would be more noticed, or already doing creative, or something.
I think that would be the only thing I would change. I am happy with my character, there is room for him to develop so from that side of things, I have no regrets thus far.
When you write promos, what do you use as an inspiration for yourself?
This one's a bit of a difficult one, because my initial reaction is that I don’t really have any influences. Like a lot of efedding characters, it is just me dialled up to eleven, but then I started to think it through and I guess there are some influences there.
The use of ‘buzz words’ and business mentality comes from my days when I used to be a deputy manager at Sainsbury’s (a supermarket in the UK). The head honcho there is Justin King and while he is nothing like the Mr. Smyth character, a lot of the terms I use come from him.
The use of ‘smarter sounding’ words has been something I use all the time, but I think watching Damian Sandow has kinda added to that as well. Smyth is a weak alternative to the linguistic skills of Sandow, but there are some hints of him in there.
There are plenty of people here who have influenced my promos too from the layout, to the description of motions, to the use of commentators during a promo. There’s no real point in listing names here because I read promos and I think “That’s a good idea, I’ll use that” or I’ll see something that I think is worth avoiding.
It’s a bit sad that I cannot pin point an individual that has been a massive influence on me when it comes to writing promos. Here comes the ego, but I do think that about 99% of what I use to write promos comes from me.
Is there anyone in particular you want to work with or any feuds you like to see happen?
This is an everlasting list! There are so many people that I would be delighted to work with that we would be here all day. I think for the benefit of this question, I’ll restrict it to people who I would love to work with and could happen:
I’d like to do something with Arthur Lansdale. I think those two together would be a much hated pairing, and I’m sure we’d come up with some really creative stuff to keep it interesting.
Rob Rage and Mr. Smyth have had a very interesting dynamic during some IC’ing and on a promo from JBW and I would be intrigued as to how that could be used in a feud of some sort.
Sag Blue is another one I’d like to see Smyth feud with. The guy is fantastic with the stuff he comes out with, and his IC posts are quality.
It’s always fun doing stuff with Black Blooded. It is only small things that Smyth & BB have done together, but it is always a pleasure to work with Asher.
Other honourable mentions would be Elric, Slayde & Hawk. Not sure how either would work, but it would be great to do so.
As for what I would like to see that doesn’t involve Smyth, well that’s easy. Sadly, any IWA answers I could have given will have to be kept to myself for the moment as I am now in a place where I can have some (not all, but some) of my fantasies played out in front of me.
I’d love to see Kaige Chamberlain feud with Gaileo and I wouldn’t mind seeing Lansdale against Sag Blue. Beyond that, I’m generally happy with what is put in front of me to read.
What have been some of your favorite matches to read and what makes them special to you?
As unpopular as this is going to be, I don’t read matches. Not fully, anyway. I tend to skim them. Promos I am 100% for, but if I am honest, I find matches boring.
This is no dig at any writers and in no way do I think I do a better job, but I do find that matches don’t hold my attention like a good promo does.
Sorry. *hangs head in shame*
With some of the one fed main-eventers joining 2 or more feds, do you think this makes it difficult for lesser known characters to break in to the main event scene?
Yes. Absolutely no doubt about that and this is not a disgruntled ‘mid-carder’ saying that. I am happy with my position in this efedding world. I don’t need the glory of main event status. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice, but give me a tasty storyline and the chance to write a damn good promo and I am happy – be it at a jobber level or top of the card, it makes no difference.
As an example, in the last few weeks we saw Jman debut in IWA and earn an immediate spot in the main event at Destined for Immortality (IWA’s Wrestlemania). Jman has earned the right to be up there through his work elsewhere, but there are some guys who were already in IWA that deserved it too. Shining Light is a guy I would have put in there in a heartbeat, but he is in a really hot feud now with Malcolm Adonis, so maybe it’s a timing thing, I don’t know.
It can be demoralising at times, but it shouldn’t stop you from being engaged in what you are doing. I’m kinda in a position where I think “Ok, X, Y & Z have come in. It doesn’t affect me, so I’m not fussed right now.” The reason they get that spot is because they have a reputation of being really good at what they do, and it is true. If we mid-carders were that good, we’d get the spot.
So going back to my example, I don’t begrudge Jman being in the main event. Saying that, I wouldn’t have booked it.
What are the top priorities on your efedding bucket list?
Create engaging and entertaining content for IWA shows, carry on establishing Mr. Smyth as a strong efedding character and, most importantly, to enjoy myself. The latter is the most important to me and while I do hope that others enjoy my work (insecurity), it is ultimately me that I am doing this for (ego) and if it gets to the point where I am no longer enjoying this great hobby, then there is a big problem.
Is there anything you want our viewers to be on the look out for?
Creatively in IWA, there are plans to get some really interesting things going for after Destined for Immortality (which will be an epic show in itself). There is already a great group of guys there and I’m looking forward to learning more as I carry on working with them.
As for Mr. Smyth, I’ll do whatever I can to make whatever I am given the best it can be. Be it a one month feud, a three month feud or a throw away promo for the hell of it, I’ll give it my all. IWA, TWE & JBW are great places to be right now and I can only see Smyth becoming better and better in those environments.
And that...well, that’s what’s best for business (had to be done!).
Theme of the week
Great read, a nice look into the mind of Benny far as fedding goes. Looking forward to next series of interviews if I remember correctly it should be The HeartBreak Kid, VanHooliganX and Torphy soon. So like Benny's, they should be a hell of a lot of fun to read. Looking forward to my interview as well and Bear's new project whenever that may start :)
Nice to hear the thoughts of Benny. Very interesting read again! I feel that these interviews have gotten even more interesting with the last few.
Can't wait to hear more thoughts in the near future!
Great interview! Another cool insight into the mind of one of the rising stars of the feds.
For the record, Smyth and Lansdale would be an awesome team!