Esoteric sports such as horse racing and curling have simulations to call their own, so why not professional wrestling? Developer Adam Ryland and .400 Software Studios are filling the gap between sports and sports entertainment with Total Extreme Warfare 2004, a turn-based, text-management simulation that lets grappling fans unleash their inner Vince McMahon. It's a successful look at the sweaty soap opera that is pro wrestling, although a few interface issues and complex mechanics make it a little unfriendly to wrestling newbies.
Wrestlers on your roster come with 14 stat categories, but having good numbers isn't always the key to winning over the fans.
And when we say complex, we mean it. Ryland has been working on the Extreme Warfare series of management simulations since 1995, and he has built up a solid following among squared-circle buffs due to his games' detail and authenticity. Total Extreme Warfare allows you to play a promotion owner or head booker, or a combination of the two, in one of more than 20 federations spread all over the globe. Each is fictional, so don't expect to find Chris Jericho or Triple H bouncing heads off the turnbuckle here.
Some of these promotions are small-time operations, such as the Canadian Charisma Championship Combat (4C) based out of Montreal. Others are multinational conglomerates, like the WWE-like Burning Hammer of the Wrestling Gods (BHOTWG) headquartered in Tokyo, or the American Supreme Wrestling Federation (SWF). Challenge varies depending on which promotion you join, as things are a lot easier with access to the BHOTWG's $15 million bank account than they are with the 4C's paltry $60,000. You can randomize numbers before beginning play as well, and tweak the difficulty by choosing either a strong or a weak wrestling industry. Each promotion comes with background information, including date of formation, current roster of wrestlers, and so forth. They also wrestle according to one of nine different style portrayals, ranging from the blood-and-guts garbage to pure wrestling to a combination of just about everything.
Six world regions are represented in the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK, Japan, and Australia, along with more than 100 cities--so you can stage pay-per-view extravaganzas in every corner of the planet. No matter where you set up, however, the goal remains the same--establish your promotion as the big kid on the block by making more money than your rivals. Of course, the best way to accomplish this is by signing a roster of top grapplers who people will pay to see.
Wrestlers are rated in 29 categories that grade their skills in athletic areas like brawling and high-flying, show biz areas like microphone skills and sex appeal, and personal areas like menace and morality. You need to balance these scores against the portrayal that best suits your viewing audience. For instance, running a Lucha promotion in Mexico requires wrestlers who are skilled in wrestling basics and high-flying so that they can pull off the requisite acrobatic feats. Running a sports entertainment-styled promotion needs stars with good charisma and microphone talents, hardcore has to have the best brawlers, and so on.
Even after you've hired the best, you need to utilize your stars properly. Much time must be spent tweaking each grappler's moves. You can make wrestlers babyfaces or heels, move them into different divisions, assign them managers, and choose their two finishing moves. Even crazy gimmicks can be selected, so you can turn your stars into pimps, porn stars, cross-dressers, lumberjacks, and just about anything else you can imagine.
Getting together a crew of wrestlers that go over with your fan base in Total Extreme Warfare 2004 is difficult, both because of the many skill categories and the heavy demand for talent. Promotions have been set up geographically so that everyone has rivals ready to poach disaffected wrestlers. Also, you have to fine-tune your promotion in many other ways. Tag teams are set up, announcers hired, merchandise sold, TV broadcast facilities upgraded, storylines written, and so on. The latter is one of the most enjoyable parts of the game, as you get to concoct whatever outrageous soap-opera storyline you can imagine and then write up a description of the planned antics.
It all plays in a much more abstract way than the traditional sports management simulation, but it does have a great deal of charm. It feels more like a business strategy sim than a sports sim--sort of a sweaty version of something like The Corporate Machine. Part of the reason for this is the turn-based mechanics that divide days into AM and PM sections, and each section has specific tasks within it that need to be fulfilled. Another reason that the game is different from the usual sports sim is the statistics-light nature of professional wrestling. Where the average pro sports sim forces you to track stats game by game, the focus here is on getting wrestlers into the right position to win over the fans and to make money.
The focus in this game simplifies play in some ways and it makes it harder in others. The non-mathematically inclined will appreciate having fewer numbers to wrangle, although not having those stats to lean on means that you must make more intuitive decisions when it comes to recruiting wrestlers and setting up cards.
Relying on instinct is actually a huge part of booking a regular television show or pay-per-view event, as you need to entertain viewers during every minute of the broadcast with backstage brawls, ladder matches, interviews, story angles (you can set up nearly anything, including having a car run over a wrestler in the arena parking lot), and so forth. Scheduling is critical, since you need to make sure that good matches aren't cut too short, that poor matches end quickly, and that wrestlers doing interviews and angles be skilled enough with charisma and mic skills to win over the crowd. If you don't hit it just right in all these areas, your show flops and the fans don't come back.
Scheduling TV shows and PPV events are at the heart of Total Extreme Warfare. You have to set up fights, backstage brawls, and story segments, and keep the length just right so the audience doesn't get bored.
The one problem with all this complexity is the interface. It just isn't good at allowing the player to get into the game. Bland visuals don't help matters, either, since menu screens lack color and they all appear the same after a while. We needed a good three hours before we could figure out the basic options, and a couple of days of steady play passed before we were able to play without getting lost in the myriad menus every 10 or 15 minutes. A tutorial and a better online manual are sorely needed. There is a really nifty feature where you can ask specific questions of your wrestlers and booking team, but it's just not enough.
But even with those omissions, Total Extreme Warfare 2004 is a very enjoyable and addictive game. There is even a play-by-e-mail multiplayer mode that is good to try out after you've conquered the wrestling world in solo play. The amount of detail and depth here is simply spectacular to behold, especially if you're a hardcore wrestling fan. And if you're not a hardcore wrestling fan, this game might just turn you into one.
Total Extreme Wrestling (PC) [formerly Total Extreme Warfare]
Document written by PyroFalkon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Current version: 1.01
Last update: 02 August 2004
v1.01 (02 August 2004)
Added the Roster Management section.
||TABLE OF CONTENTS||
2. General Overview
3. Promotion Types
4. Booking for Dummies
a. Time Management
b. The Four Segment Types
e. For Whom the Belt Tolls
5. Managing the Roster
a. Brand Splits and Divisions
b. Worker Morale
6. Fighting Burnout
8. Version History
9. Copyright Info
10. Contact Info
The lights go low, but thousands of flashbulbs illuminate the arena. Three
words were all it took to get the crowd of people from a low murmur to a stiff
"IF YA SMELL..."
And down the entrance ramp walks The Rock, the People's Champ, who has recently
turned heel. He gets in the ring, poses to the boos but uncaring flashbulbs. He
hops on each turnbuckle, then stretches, facing the ramp for his opponent. The
number one face in the business. And the crowd absolutely goes wild when they
hear those six magic words...
"TEST! TEST! THIS IS A TEST!"
...Well, okay, maybe your fantasy booking isn't quite that ill-conceived. But
if you ever wanted to push Test to the moon while keeping Chris Benoit as low
as possible, this is your chance.
This FAQ, as you can tell by the top line, is all about my favorite game to
come out of .400 Software Studios. First called Total Extreme Warfare, its name
changed to Total Extreme Wrestling as of v1.2.6, which was released June 13,
Hopefully, you know my FAQ writing style, although I've written about a game
like this. If you don't know my style, I try to give consistent information,
quotes from reliable sources, information to make the game seem logical (at
least logical enough for its purposes), and a little bit of humor thrown in
here and there. As always, friendly constructive criticism is welcome, as is
all corrections and additions.
I think it's fitting I cover this game. Adam Ryland, the brains behind TEW, is
a very reachable person for a programmer and designer. Granted that .400SS is
an indy company, but even for an indy operation, Ryland talks to his fans and
flamers alike. Similarly, I try to make myself very available to my readers,
always reading e-mail, answering ones that aren't already answered in my FAQs,
and adding any piece of advice to FAQs that are plausible, or at least tested.
In my opinion, being available and reachable to the consumers of your
profession gives them a courtesy that keeps them coming back for more. I've
digressed, though, as I do.
Now that you know my style, let me tell you a little about what this FAQ is
NOT. I can NOT tell you how to "win." First of all, this is a simulation. Like
most simulations, you determine your own success rate. My success rate in this
game is to run quality shows and maintain a profit. Maybe yours is to try to
become a monopoly. Maybe you just want money. Maybe you just want to try to
manage a 200-man roster. I don't know... Only you do.
Second, I can't tell you how to even succeed SPECIFICALLY because every game is
a little different. Let's say I tell you to push a particular worker. You fire
up your game, and he gets injured in his first match. Now what do you do? I
avoid that by giving complete information, but it's vague in its completeness
so it can apply to roughly any situation you've got.
Third, with an ever-changing and totally customizable experience, there's no
way I could narrow down one strategy. If I talk about how to succeed in the US
region, how will you know what to do if you play with the Japanese or
My strategies and methods will try to universally correct, so even in multi-
player games, you will have some idea about what you're doing, and will
hopefully at least avoid bankruptcy. I'll quote from the game now and then, but
I'll be sure to attribute the quotes... in many parts, Ryland's simple
explanations are far better than anything I can muster.
Now, I hate to say this, but I'm aware that most wrestling fans are borderline
fanatical. I've caught a lot of heat on throwaway comments I made in my Madden
FAQs, to the point where I will NO LONGER write them. I know that I'm playing
Russian Roulette with this FAQ, and the wrong comment will set off the wrong
people. I shouldn't have to ask this, but I request that any e-mail you may
send me is mature and well thought out. If you disagree with me on something,
just explain it. Don't try to bait me into a flaming war, because all I'll do
is delete your e-mail and ignore you. If we can keep discussions civil, I
promise to write more FAQs for any future sequels that may come out for TEW. If
I get flamed too badly, this will not only be the last TEW FAQ I write, it may
be the last update I do for it.
By the way, this FAQ assumes you know the basics. You know, where all the
buttons are located, how to start a new game, things like that. The message
boards and in-game help pages can help out with all that. I'm here to talk
about keeping your financial head above water.
Finally, I just want to give my thanks to OTBs Bill Parkman from the .400
Software Studios message board for unwittingly giving me the opening bit to my
I'm not going to quote the entire wrestling lingo dictionary here, just a few
terms that I'll be using throughout the document. The game itself has a much
COLOR - Blood; having a worker bleed.
DISPOSITION - The general term for whether a worker is a face, heel, or
FACE - The good guy.
HEAT - Fan interest. In this FAQ, heat usually refers to the fans' interest in
HEEL - The bad guy.
OVER - How known and popular a worker (or organization) is. Just because you're
a heel doesn't mean you're not over... you're just over in a different way than
a face. A heel tries to get heat - that is, tries to get people interested in
his character and why to hate him - but that is different than being over.
PUSH (noun) - The rank a given worker has achieved (main eventer, announcer,
PUSH (verb) - Trying to get a worker up the ranks.
TURN - Making a worker change his disposition.
TWEENER - Neither a good nor bad guy. A tweener is normally a guy who wrestles
to lose to make a face or heel look better, or a tweener can be someone who's
going through a turning phase.
WORKER - Anyone who wrestles, announces, referees, manages, books, or is a road
agent for a wrestling organization. Basically, a worker is everyone but the
ring and set staff. (In game terms, all your workers can be found in the Roster
screen, and all your non-workers can be found on the Staff screen.)
||2. GENERAL OVERVIEW||
All right, first things first. No matter what kind of promotion you want to
run, there's one basic truth: you need to make money to stay alive. I'll
describe the different promotions in a moment, but first I want to answer the
million-dollar question: how do you make money in TEW?
For starters, you need to know what makes and breaks your checkbook. Obviously,
you get the majority of your money through ticket sales. This is an ever-
reproducing cycle. The more bodies you get into the seats, the more exposure
you'll get. That'll lead to MORE bodies in the seats, and eventually you'll
have enough exposure to green-light a national TV program. That'll send
exposure through the roof, and pack those seats to the rafters. Of course,
there are alternate methods, but I'll touch on that later.
The things that hurt your balance are mostly salaries. The most over workers
will demand outrageous salaries. Unless you're playing with unbalanced data or
are a great financial wizard, you may find yourself in a monthly battle to
determine who to keep and who to cut for the sake of cash.
Your ring will cost money too, and you'll pay out the nose if you're going for
flashy sets and kickin' music. If you go for cheap stuff, you'll make more, but
will be more boring (or at least less interesting) than potential rivals. That
will detract attention, which sends the spiral downward.
The economy and wrestling industry strength are factors too. If the world
economy is down, people will be investing in things like food over wrestling.
And as we all experienced in the mid- to late-90s, wrestling hits its peaks and
its valleys like other hobbies, fads, sports, and so on.
Obviously, the ideal situation is to have a strong economy, a strong industry,
high overness, low stage and ring costs, low worker costs, and a product that
keeps the fans coming over and over. It's nigh-impossible to achieve the
perfect scenario, but what fun is that anyway?
If you have a high buildup of money, you should not sit on it. I don't mean to
do stupid stuff, although I won't mention any *cough* XFL *cough* real-life
financial mistakes that a real company made. Luckily, you can't do anything
that dumb, but it's also ludicrous to try to buy million-dollar stars if you
don't have the long-term financial growth to balance the cost. Upgrade those
stages, or grab a couple stars you can afford, or get some more staff to help
out... whatever. Just don't sit on your cash flow.
||3. PROMOTION TYPES||
Before you get to booking matches and angles, you need to be aware of what type
of federation you're running. It really does make all the difference, as I'll
explain in just a moment. For this section, I'll paraphrase Adam's description
of it, then explain what it means for you.
These promotions are a little wild. They have risky content and focus on the
workers' in-ring ability. While they gain reputation quickly, fans get bored
quickly too, forcing you to come up with new ideas all the time.
To succeed in a cutting edge promotion, you need to sign workers who have high
in-ring stats, especially wrestling basics and wrestling psychology. These are
the guys who can tell a story in the ring, but aren't necessarily good on the
mic. A real-life example would be ECW (Extreme Championship Wrestling) from the
Garbage feds are to wrestling as Howard Stern is to talk shows. Garbage feds
rely on blood, EXTREMELY risky content, gimmicky matches and effects, and the
Garbage feds don't make a lot of money, but don't spend a lot either. They can
work with a limited roster of workers who have little to no talent. They have
to deal with injuries and the lack of sponsorships, but what fans do get hooked
are hooked for life. Basically, any of the so-called "backyard wrestling"
organizations would be considered a garbage fed.
Hardcore feds are, ironically, softcore garbage feds. There's a lot blood and
weapons, plus plenty of chaos and risk, but it's a hair more organized than a
standard garbage fed. A greater emphasis is placed on workers who have in-ring
talent, but it's still not the highest priority.
Basically, hardcore feds need to be run as mature garbage feds. You need to
sign low-budget talent to offset the lack of TV deals and sponsorships, but
what talent you have should become very popular, at least within a given area.
The fans won't get as bored as quickly as with garbage feds either. Although
the case can be made that ECW falls more into the "Hardcore" category than
"Cutting Edge," but cutting edge feds rely SOMEWHAT on the mic, whereas
hardcore feds do not.
A hybrid fed is one that mixes pretty much any or every style otherwise listed
here. It may go so far as to feature "shoot" (real) matches in addition to
booked ones. While hybrid feds appeal to everyone, by its nature it can't
specialize in one style, nor one set of fans. So who comes to the shows very
much depends on what kind of competition is in a given location.
Any moron can run a hybrid fed, because it takes no talent to throw together a
bunch of people and try different things. However, it takes a truly skilled
person to run a SUCCESSFUL hybrid fed. It requires studying what your
competition is and what types they are, what kind of people are on your roster
and what they are capable of, and the kinds of fans in a given location. If run
correctly, a hybrid fed could in theory compete with any or ALL of the other
feds in the game. If run incorrectly, every single rival will crush the hybrid
in a certain way and bankrupt it quickly.
Lucha is by far the most popular style in Mexico. Lucha is all about guys
spending more time in the air than Shaq's free throws. Mexico shells out money
to pretty much any lucha fed that comes along, provided it can give quality
matches and such. Mexico is also full of guys dying to break into the business,
so there's rarely a shortage of workers. The downside is that few other places
in the world like that lucha style, so there's little to no chance a lucha fed
will go global to make the huge money.
If you're a running a fed inside Mexico, lucha is by far the best choice you
could make. If not, then having a lucha fed will mean a very tough road for
you. Inside the Mexican borders, you'll find plenty of talent. The States,
Japan, and the UK won't have what you need, and you'll probably see your
profits get hacked into if you try to break into those markets too quickly.
Make sure you have a healthy, steady profit and plenty of banked money before
trying to go international.
Let me start this section with a preface: MMA FEDS ARE NOT ABLE TO BE
CONTROLLED BY A PLAYER. MMA feds are "real" fighting. They have different types
of fighting, from submission to sumo, karate to judo. The participants are
real, and they really can be nasty. Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, is
the current high-profile one.
So why are MMA feds in the game if you can't control them? Because MMA feds
have spawned several great stars, at least talent-wise. If you're running a
pure fed, where in-ring talent is everything and the style is stiff, you can't
go wrong trying to get someone from an MMA fed. An MMA worker may be a little
out of place in a sports entertainment fed, but Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn
made it in the WWE, at least for a little while.
Pure promotions don't use all that fancy soap opera-ish style that many of the
other feds do. Pure feds treat pro wrestling as a legit, non-choreographed
sport, and many of its workers will be stiff (follow through with their moves).
While winners and losers are still determined beforehand, the action in the
ring and the story that is told through the moves is the most important aspect.
Pure feds, especially in Japan, can be wildly popular. However, the roster you
keep must be large because of the above average number of injuries that will
result in the rough matches. Also, a pure fed will alienate the fans if it even
dips into the over-the-top gimmicks and such from the Western-style feds.
Still, it's pretty easy to secure a fan base with a pure fed.
Sports entertainment feds are those that focus on characters for their workers,
out-of-ring storylines, glitter and glitz, and a general Hollywood feeling
about it. While SE feds appeal to the casual fans, it means that changes in the
economy or industry will have a SEVERE impact. SE feds need to stay strong,
because they may not have the money to get through the downtimes that will come
about when fans get bored and do something else with their time.
SE feds are both easy and hard to run. It's hard because you have to focus on
angles, storylines, bookings, merchandise, gimmicks, characters, turns, and fan
reaction to everything. It's easy however because if you've seen even one WWE
or WCW show, you know the general makeup of how things go. Plus, you can get
guys who are just over. Hulk Hogan is one of the most technically horrific guys
in the business, but until The Rock, Steve Austin, and Bret Hart came along in
the 90s, you couldn't find a more popular, more mainstream pro wrestler. And of
course, popular and mainstream means marketable, and marketable means cash.
A traditional fed is a lot like a pure fed, although there's more focus on
storylines. However, the storylines and interviews are more believable and
realistic than the gimmicks and over-the-top shenanigans of sports
To run a traditional fed, you need the same guys from an SE fed, generally
speaking. However, traditional feds need guys who can work in the ring, so my
above example of Hulk Hogan would be fairly inappropriate here. Organizations
like Ring of Honor are traditional feds, but they appeal to the less casual and
are therefore not as marketable, nor profitable.
Women's feds lay their claim to fame in their specific method of operation.
However, that MO is a double-edged sword. While Women's feds are few and
therefore have little competition, they hire women who are more than pretty
figures, and therefore they don't have too many workers to choose from. Women's
wrestling is fairly unpopular outside of Japan, but what women's feds that
exist are hard-hitting and entertaining.
Controlling a women's fed is tough, but doable in almost every region. You need
to get women who can WRESTLE, not simply have high charisma and mic skills.
They need to be able to give and take punishment, but the charm necessary to
keep fans around. Still, as esoteric as a women's fed is, you should have
little to no competition wherever you go.
So, which is the fed for you? If you plan on using a data pack to control the
WWE or another real-life fed, you'll obviously be using the style that the
given fed is. If you're using the original data however, you can be a little
more choosy. If you want money, go for a sports entertainment fed. If you're an
old-schooler who loved the 70s and 80s action, try a traditional or pure fed.
If you want a challenge, try a women's or garbage fed.
Personally, I'm in pure-mark mode whenever I watch the WWE, so I go with a WWE
data pack and use them. But whatever... it's your game, and my advice applies
to all styles. Just know that you can ignore certain parts of the strategies
depending on your chosen fed style, and I'll point those out as we go.
||4. BOOKING 101||
Total Extreme Wrestling introduces an interesting concept. Unlike Ryland's
previous games (which I won't mention by name since he's been trying to
distance himself from them) which basically had you make a show by number of
segments, TEW causes you to book segments by length in minutes. That means
there are two words that are EXTREMELY important for you to know. Know the
concept, and love it, because if you don't, you WILL fail. The two words:
|4a. Time Management|
Sure, I *could* make Rey Mysterio Jr. face John Bradshaw Layfield in a 60-
minute match. I *could* revive the Austin/Vince feud, compress it into a 10-
minute video, and end it with a 5-minute cage match. I *could* try to cram a
90-minute Royal Rumble around several angles and interviews on a 120-minute
show. But trust me, the results would not be pretty.
You have to know ahead of time what you want to do. You have a limited amount
of time in a given event or TV program to get your point across. Fans will
enjoy three hours or more of quality programming if it's paced well and not
overwhelming. Luckily, you don't have to determine the pacing of the actual
MATCHES... that's the responsibilities of the workers. But if you try to push
workers too long, or don't give a match the time to develop, you'll be making
the fans pretty ticked.
Comedian Henry Rollins goes off on tangents. He doesn't plan every line of his
skits, but they all come to a point eventually. That's what you have to do as a
booker. Let's say you want Randall Orton (I salute you, Rick Scaia!) to cut a
promo. You want him to challenge Shelton Benjamin. And then SB will come out
and accept. Then SB gets jumped by Evolution backstage. That weakens him for
his match. But it goes along until... eh... Sgt. Slaughter comes out from the
back to do a Cobra Clutch on Orton. And then after that, there's a huge brawl
between Evolution and SB/SS.
You can't make that one segment. You also have to time it right, because it can
go wrong anywhere. Make the opening interviews too long, and either Orton or
Benjamin (or both) will bore the crowd. Make the match too long, and they'll be
dragging themselves at the end. Make the Evolution angle too short, and there
won't be enough heat on the match or storyline. See the problems that can
There's a concept in the game and real life booking. You have to choose a
handful of people to build your shows around, and commit the most time to them.
Remember a few weeks or months ago, The Rock, Eugene, and The Coach cut a promo
that went 20 minutes WITHOUT COMMERCIALS? The WWE was building that Raw around
That's the way you need to book. Let's say you're trying to build your shows
around Kane (sans the pregnant Lita crap). You need to commit most of your time
to his angles and matches. Then look at the next level... say, Tajiri. You give
him some time, but not as much as Kane. And you keep trickling down like this
until you're at the bottom of your card. If you still need to fill some time,
try out some of the guys who are not involved in storylines. It's almost always
better to take too little time then fill, than to take too much time then
So in summary, you have to find a balance between keeping the matches short
enough to get in everything you need to, but long enough to keep the people
interested and to apply enough heat to the stories. In the WWE, they typically
have a bunch of angles that are two minutes or less, interviews that are three
minutes or less, around four matches other than the main event that are around
five minutes or less, main event storyline angles that are around two to three
minutes, main event interviews that are five to six minutes or more, and a main
event match or two that is/are fourteen to twenty minutes.
Of course, that's for a two- to two-and-a-quarter-hour show, and an SE fed to
boot. Your shows may be shorter or longer, or you may be running a different
style of fed, so you'll have to adjust accordingly. Obviously the harder-
hitting feds, like garbage and pure, will need shorter matches due to the risky
nature of it.
You really need to play for a month game-time before you can get an accurate
feel on how long your segments should be. It's a trial and error thing in the
beginning, but once you get the flow, you'll be fine.
|4b. The Four Segment Types|
While it could be argued that this should be above the Time Management
subsection, I feel that knowing how to manage your limited show time is more
important than knowing WHAT to book, because it's far easier to pick up the
different types of segments than to just pick up how to manage them.
The four basic segment types are matches, interviews, angles, and videos. We'll
go backwards here...
Videos are simply that: video packages. You can make videos to hype a worker, a
team, a stable, a storyline, or a match. While the worker, team, and stable
vids help get workers over, I believe that the storyline vids are the most
important. They had heat to the storylines, and the more interest a storyline
generates, the better the involved workers will get over (and that will
indirectly affect how many bodies you get in your live events).
Videos can be no more than 10 minutes in length. You don't usually see videos
for every match, but the biggest storylines will have many videos. Think about
it... how many times did we see what Kane did to Shawn Michaels's neck a few
Angles are storylines. Angles have NO place in pure feds, and if a worker
doesn't have charisma and mic skills, then any angle he is in will be terrible.
For that reason, angles are best suited for sports entertainment feds, and in
general should not be used for the others. Angles come in all shapes and
flavors, so I encourage you to explore all the possibilities.
Some people on the .400SS message boards complained that there are no angles to
simulate a recap of action that happened "last week." I disagree that those are
angles anyway. After all, what is a "last week" recap other than a hype video?
If I've got a storyline going, I use a video to simulate the recap... A lot of
this game is imagination people, don't forget that.
Interviews are when a worker talks.
A worker can talk to another worker as an interviewer-
Or a worker can to just the audience-
Or another worker it issue a challenge or insult.
...You know what, I'm going to stop that now. I'm even annoying myself.
Anyway, when you make interviews, remember not to go too long. Interviews that
are longer than a few minutes usually end up having the star ramble. The length
of time a worker can go is based on his or her mic skills, and possibly
charisma. Guys like The Rock and John Cena can go awhile, whereas guys like
Batista or A-Train can't go much longer than 60 seconds.
If you watch an interview with a stopwatch, you'll see that they're generally
much shorter than you might otherwise think. Even when the most charismatic
guys get on the mic, if they're only doing an INTERVIEW (as opposed to an
angle), it won't be that long. I can't even think of too many Rock interviews
that went longer than four minutes unless they were the sit-down type.
The more people involved in the interview will USUALLY help. (Note: that was a
recent patch change. It used to be that when multiple people were involved, it
when by the average. That's changed, and now a crappy interviewee will not
bring down his partners... at least not as badly.) A strong interviewer will
certainly get things clicking better. Imagine Jim Ross interviewing Triple H.
Now imagine Bob Holly interviewing Triple H. Y'see what I mean? (And if that
scenario didn't bring a smile to your face, I seriously have to wonder what the
hell is wrong with you.)
Interviews, for the purposes of the game, are like mini-angles. They don't have
the story-heavy effects of angles, and they're a little more subtle. Interviews
tend to add heat to a story pretty well, so take advantage of them to fill time
or add a little variety to your show.
No matter what fed you're running, you'll have matches. Every show, even little
half-hour B-shows have to have at least one match in them to be booked. Though
angles and interviews will amplify storylines (in the right feds), as Rick
Scaia from Online Onslaught says, wrestling at its core is always a story about
two or more men trying to beat on each other. And that story is told primarily
in the ring.
The variety of matches is astounding, and made thousands of times more
astounding with the match editor. Want to have a 30-man battle royal? Done.
Want a match that ends after 30 minutes by submission only? Done. Want a match
where a worker has to throw another into a vat of manure? Done. How about a
match where you've got four teams of three men using weapons to ultimately set
their opponents on fire inside a steal cell with ladders? Done, done, and done.
Of course, the most basic match is a simple one-on-one affair. Given that
you're not running a cutting edge, garbage, or hardcore fed, that's where
you'll spend most of your time. But you can easily make matches that are five-
on-five, or fours teams of three, or six teams of two, for some major tag team
action. And if you really want to punish a worker, put him in a five-on-one
match. It's all possible.
The match editor is infinitely awesome when combined with the import option.
Let's say while I'm setting together a feud, I get this great idea for a match.
I only have to exit from the game, load up the full editor, make the match, go
back into my save, and import it. Just like that, I've got a perfect ending for
Take care when you set the minimum match time. Five minutes is the minimum
minimum, and that normally covers so-called "squash" matches, where one worker
or team beats another in a short time. 60 minutes is the maximum minimum, and
should only be reserved for matches that are long in nature, like Iron Man
matches or Royal Rumbles.
The other thing you need to be careful of is the list. When you set a match
segment for an event or show, the thing will default to the first one of the
list. Try to make it alphabetically set up so the first match is the one you'll
use the most. That'll save you some time down the road.
Most feds benefit from storylines, although they are different depending on the
type of fed. Pure feds will run rivalries, two guys just trying to get a title
they both think they deserve. Sports entertainment feds are all about
crucifixions, hit-and-runs, food fights, and other over-the-top stuff. Either
way, you go about setting up storylines the same way. I won't cover the
controls here; that's what the in-game help is for.
The biggest thing I can advise for storylines is THINK AHEAD. Let's say you
want a storyline featuring Triple H and Shawn Michaels. And then halfway
through, you think, "Hey, this would be a million times better if I get
Undertaker and throw him into things!" But you can't, because the people are
locked in. All you can do is end the storyline, then start a new one with all
three. Which can end up being a real pain if you're as flighty as I am.
You need to think a storyline through before firing it out. Remember that you
don't have to start EVERYBODY in the storyline at once. You can start a
storyline between Triple H, Shawn, and the Taker, but not mention the Taker for
a month. Then he comes in, and fights with both of them. Then he could "injure"
one, and feud with the other while the other is on vacation or something. Then
the other comes back, you're back to a three-man storyline without having to
You don't need to plan a storyline on an event-by-event basis. But you need to
at least do what I showed in above paragraph. Think about everyone you want
involved, then take people out and bring them back, and figure out how many
times you want to do that and how long to drag it out, then end it.
Speaking of dragging it out, remember that if played right, you can keep heat
on a storyline for a LONG time. Steve Austin and Vince McMahon's storyline went
on for three and a half years. I doubt you can pull off something like that in
TEW, but if you use the right people in the right way, you can go for months or
a year with the same storyline.
"Multi-Segging" is a term I invented. It means to use multiple segments to
create the illusion of a grand segment that may not be an available angle to
use. Again, a lot of this game is imagination, and multi-segging is the way to
do what you ordinarily couldn't.
Here's an example:
Evolution hits the ring. They, especially Triple H, brag about how cool they
are. They go on about how they've won gold, and they're the best in the
business. Then The Rock's music hits, and he tells them to shut their mouths.
He says he's the people's champ, and he's the best one in the world. Triple H
retorts that The Rock is a moron who's been in so many washed up Hollywood
movies that he doesn't know reality from fantasy. The Rock says he'll whip
Triple H's candy ass tonight. Eric Bischoff comes out and says that he'll up
the ante and make a match, and if Rock loses, he's fired. Rock doesn't care,
and accepts. He hits the eyebrow, and we're clear.
So here's how to set that up in-game:
Segment 1: Evolution interview in-ring, no target, Self Promotion, 5 minutes.
Segment 2: The Rock interview in-ring, no target, Self Promotion, 3 minutes.
Segment 3: Triple H interview in-ring, target The Rock, insult, 2 minutes.
Segment 4: The Rock interview in-ring, target Triple H, challenge, 1 minute.
Segment 5: Authority angle w/Bischoff, makes 1v1 fired match, 2 minutes.
Segment 6: The Rock interview in-ring, target Bischoff, accept challenge, 2
Total time: 15 minutes.
And 15 minutes is roughly the amount that's taken up for main event storylines,
so it all works out.
Now, if you read the play-by-play reports when you multi-seg, it won't make
much sense. And the virtual fans of TEW do not remember things like that...
they can't comprehend that all of it adds up to a single match that night.
However, assuming you already made a storyline between The Rock and Triple H,
or those two and Bischoff, every segment (except the first one) is adding heat
to the storyline.
|4e. For Whom the Belt Tolls|
Even though it's scripted, belts still hold a moderate amount of respect by and
for workers. Chris Benoit is the same guy that he was six months ago, but now
that he has the big Raw belt, he looks a little more legit. And there's a
reason that Trish Stratus, not Stacy Kiebler or Sable, have the women's belt.
It isn't just a storyline device, it's tangible proof that you've made it in
On the other hand, you can get too big for a belt. You'll probably never see
Shawn Michaels or The Rock hold the Intercontinental belt anymore. They're
bigger than it, and it would at worst detract their overness.
TEW simulates it pretty well through a worker's morale. It's not just belts,
specifically; it's winning. If a worker is unhappy and he's getting the push he
wants, he may just be displeased at his losing streak you've put him on. Giving
a worker wins, or a belt, is a good way to cheer him back up, provided the belt
is bigger than he is. Of course, if it's too much bigger, he'll drag the belt
image back down. (I can't imagine having much respect for the Smackdown! belt
if it was on Rico. Then again, I already don't have much respect for it being
on JBL, but I digress.)
Give belts as rewards for hard work, or payoffs to storylines. Even if you love
a worker to death, keeping a belt on him for a long time will actually detract
the belt's value, because it looks like the worker is too selfish to give it
up. (I could name names here, but I think we all know who I'm annoyed at about
Also be sure you give belts the right way. Faces shouldn't ever win belts by
cheating. In fact, they shouldn't win belts outside of huge matches. Remember,
the appeal of the face is that they are battling the odds, so getting a clean
win over a rival will be almost as sweet as the belt itself.
On the other hand, heels need to do everything they can to keep belts. Clean
wins help, especially over rivals, but clean wins won't give a character heat.
Have them cheat. Get some run-ins. But make sure those cheating tactics are
against high-profile faces. Randy Orton shouldn't have to cheat against Funaki,
so if he does, he doesn't look like a good heel... he just looks like a coward.
He's got to cheat against guys like The Rock or Shelton Benjamin to keep heat.
Feel free to make a lot of belts, especially if you have a lot of workers.
However, don't go too belt crazy, because every belt that appears cheapens the
value of all the others. You still need a healthy mix of belts between the
different pushes, but several main event belts will just hurt you.
If you really want to try something different, especially if you're a hybrid
fed, trying making specific titles. In my game, I've got the WWE, but I made a
title called the Submission title. I made a special type of match that's
basically a cross between a Hell in the Cell and I Quit matches, and the belt
only changes hands during that type of match.
||5. MANAGING THE ROSTER||
Dealing with your workers may very well be the most challenging aspect of the
game. Even after you master how to put matches together, you've got to worry
about contracts and morale forever. But before we get into that, we need to
talk about how to deal with the roster in general.
First of all, you can only make changes to workers in the AM part of the day.
You can always view information about workers (even while reading the match
reports during shows), but can only make contract offers and such in the
morning. To access your roster, click the "Your Promotion" button along the
top, then "Roster" on the right side. There will probably be some loading time,
especially if you have a WWE-caliber roster. Once loaded, you'll see every
worker you've got in the box on the left.
Clicking any name will give you the details on him in the main part of window.
From there, you can see his major stats. If you click the Information View
button at the bottom, you can view his position among your company, such as his
push, disposition, and manager. If you change anything there, be sure to hit
the Save Changes button at the bottom too before leaving the screen or
selecting another wrestler to look at.
The other major button there is the View Profile button at the bottom. That
will give you the full info on that worker, everything from his physical
condition to his morality rating. You can view match and title history, as well
as worker relationships. If you wish to renew or terminate a worker's contract,
head into his profile like this, hit the Contracts button, and the two buttons
in question are at the bottom.
Finally, get to know the Talk button in the roster screen. Clicking it will
enable you to ask your worker some questions, such as how much he likes his
push and gimmick. It's a good way to keep tabs on your workers, and it's the
only way to send a worker on vacation to recover his body and morale.
But that many people could be a little tough to manage. There's a search
button, sure, but only when viewing the roster like you are. What if you're
dealing with matches? For that, we have...
|5a. Brand Splits and Divisions|
Brand splits and divisional splits are almost the same thing, but the
difference is extremely important. Neither are necessary for small feds, but if
you've got like 100 workers on your roster, it may be too tough to manage
alone. First, let's start with Divisions.
Divisions are simple ways to organize your roster, and you can have up to four
of them. To add and delete divisions, go to the Your Promotion button (again,
you can only do this during the AM part of the day). At the top is a dropdown
box that currently says "Overview." Click that, and change it to "Structure."
Now you can see the divisions and brand splits as so on. Simply click the
Change Divisions button, and you can rename any of the four. (Renaming a
division to "None" removes it.) Then you can click the Assign Division button
to quickly sort your guys, but if you want to change one or two workers, you
can do that through the roster screen too. Just select them as normal, than hit
the Information View button, and you can change the division in there.
When you set up a match, you can use the Division drop down box to limit the
workers to that division. This way, you can quickly set up certain matches. For
example, I've got a Cruiserweight belt, which is for everyone under 220 pounds.
I also have a division called C. Weights, and I put everyone who is under that
weight is in it. Now when I want to set up a cruiserweight match, I just change
to the C. Weight division to restrict the number of people I'm looking at. I
don't have to deal with A-Train, Big Show, and so on in the dropdown box for
the match participants.
Divisions do no other purpose than sorting, however. You could choose to never
use divisions at all, and the only thing you'll lose is a bit of insanity
dealing with large dropdown boxes. Brand splits, however, have a large impact
on the company.
A brand split is basically a way you take your company and divide it into two.
You assign workers to either brand, and they usually work with people in that
brand. You can also assign a worker to "None" as a brand, and that worker will
be able to appear on either show.
On the surface, a brand split looks like a way to make two divisions. So what's
the big deal then? It's the way the workers look at it. For example, let's say
you have no brand split, but run two shows a weak, and feature your
heavyweights on the first show and your cruiserweights on the second show. Both
sets of people will be upset because to them, you're only featuring them on
half the shows you run! To fix that, you make a brand split.
Because the brands are independent of each other, workers on one are not
affected by workers and shows of the other. So let's say you've got your
heavyweights and cruiserweights were divided like my above example. With a
brand split enabled, the heavyweights will feel that they are on ALL their
shows, and the cruiserweights feel they're on ALL their shows too.
Brand splits are near-suicide when your roster is thin. But once you have 100
workers or more, the splits become almost necessary in order to keep everyone
happy. And that is a good segue into...
|5b. Worker Morale|
The hardest thing in the game is keeping EVERYONE on your roster happy. Their
happiness is an actual number called the morale stat, although you won't get to
see the specific number unless you go into the editor. Instead, it's displayed
from a range of Beyond Depressed to Extremely Happy. Average is 50, and
anything less is a problem.
So, what can you do about morale? It's best to start by knowing what causes it.
In short, pretty much everything changes it, but certain things are weighted
more. Here's a list that is complete as far as I know... If you find something
else, please e-mail. I list them in no real order.
1. Appearance frequency - Workers are not happy if you put them in too few
shows. Main eventers should be in damn near every show, whereas jobbers will be
happy to deal with only a handful. It's a small puzzle to figure out how many
shows a given worker should be on, but after you play awhile, you'll get it.
It's variable on your individual preferences and game, so while in my WWE
universe I pretty much need John Cena every week, you may not need him as much.
2. Win-loss record - Nobody likes to lose, even if it's scripted. If a worker
is on a losing streak, then his morale will generally go down. If you put a
worker on a winning streak, it should steadily climb.
3. Quality of wins and losses - Despite point 2, workers get even more upset
when wins and losses are unfair... but less upset if they are fair. For
example, if you book Rosey to lose to Triple H, both guys' morales won't change
much. But if you book Triple H to lose to Rosey, Rosey's morale will take a big
jump up, and Triple H's morale will take a HUGE drop.
4. Friendship - Workers who are friends with other workers don't mind losing as
much. On the flip side, if a worker hates another, he'll hate to lose too.
Workers perform the best when they deal with friends, so keep that in mind when
you book matches and angles.
5. Gimmicks - All workers have a morality stat. While they will follow your
orders, they will dislike gimmicks that they feel are too risky. Even if you've
got a guy on a winning streak, his morale WILL steadily go down if he's unhappy
with the gimmick. I've got living proof of it too. The data pack I installed
had a mistake. I had put Undertaker in the show every week and had him win
every match, but his morale always dropped. I found out that the "Deadman"
gimmick he was using was "too risky" for him. I just edited his stats to bring
down his morality, and then it was okay.
6. Push - A worker who is not pushed to what he feels he should be will upset
him even more so than being in the wrong gimmick. In the same data pack, Tazz's
stats were too strong, and he felt he should be an in-ring competitor, but I
kept him as an announcer. Within about two months, his morale had plummeted to
zero. Of course, it works too if you've got a Lower Midcarder who thinks he
should be a Midcarder, and so on. You'll get e-mails from your workers if they
think they should be promoted. It's naturally up to you to choose to promote
them when ask for it, though.
All six factors constantly contribute to a worker's morale, but it takes only
one of them to be bad to kill your worker's morale.
||6. FIGHTING BURNOUT||
Sim games can get pretty boring eventually. Hell, I'm about the biggest fan of
The Sims there is, and I've had to take LONG vacations from it in these past
four-and-a-half years. It just gets too repetitive. This is no insult against
TEW or any other .400SS product at all, but text-only games tend to get boring
faster than ones with graphics and action.
I experienced burnout with TEW myself. Though I didn't have to ask, a few
threads were started on the message boards that talked about what to do when
that happens. Here are my suggestions, pooled from various sources.
1. STOP PLAYING - This is a game, and it's supposed to be fun. If it's not fun,
then don't play. You're not being paid for it, so no one is making you play.
You plunked down $35 or so for it, so I understand you not wanting to
completely stop, but don't keep at it day after day. Take a few days off, or a
whole week, or even a month. When you come back to it, you'll be fresh, and you
may find your love for it again.
2. TRY A DIFFERENT FED - There's 10 save slots for a reason. If you've been
doing a Sports Entertainment fed, start a new game and try a women's fed. Even
if you only play a different fed for a couple game weeks then quit forever, so
what? It may be the break you needed to get back on track for your primary save
3. TRY A DIFFERENT LOCATION - Want a challenge? Play with most of the regions
up, and try to run a fed in Australia. Or Japan. Or anywhere other than US.
4. MIX UP THE ROSTER - If you're playing with the WWE, you can do some crazy
things to refresh the league. Destroy and recreate the brand extension. Do your
own lottery draft: put all the main eventers on slips of paper, and draw them
one at a time, and put alternating workers on different shows. Or, turn long-
time faces or heels. If you're playing with a fed you don't know, sign some
random people from the free agent people. Try to push your rookies to the moon
as quickly as possible, and see if you can keep the fans from resenting them.
5. PLAY WITH FRIENDS - While TEW seems to be made for the single player, it's
made to have up to four. Grab some buddies or advertise online that you're
looking for opponents.
6. PLAY WITH YOURSELF [insert lewd comment here] - If you're feeling really
bored, run two companies at once. Start a multiplayer game, but control all the
seats. That doesn't have to be as "cheap" as it sounds. It's kinda fun to run a
lucha fed in Mexico while running a women's fed in Japan. Because the two will
never compete, you won't have to worry about cheating yourself out of
||7. CONTRIBUTOR LIST||
Should anyone contribute anything, their name and e-mail address will appear
here. If you submit something and want me to withhold your e-mail address, just
say so, and it shall be done.
||8. VERSION HISTORY||
v1.01 (02 August 2004)
Added the Roster Management section.
v1 (06 July 2004)
||9. COPYRIGHT INFO||
This document is copyright 2004 for J. "PyroFalkon" Habib. If you plan to use
any of it as part of another FAQ, you need my permission first. However, if you
plan to post it on a website or e-mail it to someone or whatnot, you may do so
without my permission AS LONG AS IT IS NOT ALTERED IN ANY WAY. I'd like you to
drop me an e-mail so I know where you're going to take it, but I will not
require you to do so. You may download it or print it at your leisure.
The most updated version will always be found at these sites:
Other sites may have up-to-date versions, but check GameFAQs or first.
||10. CONTACT INFO||
If any information is incorrect, or you wish to submit something, please e-mail
me. My address is found on the bottom of the FAQ. Credit will be given where
If you submit something to me, I will credit you by the name you signed in the
message body or by the name attached to your e-mail. I will also post your e-
mail address unless you specifically tell me not to.
If you wish to be e-mailed when this FAQ is updated, send your request to me.
If you have a junk mail protector on your e-mail program, make sure you put my
e-mail address on the safe list, or my messages may not get through.
Good luck in Total Extreme Wrestling, and may all your workers be as over as
And that's the bottom line, 'cause PyroFalkon said so.