Paragon League Wrestling is a new, upstart independent promotion that’s going to revolutionize wrestling. The plan on doing this through the one thing that’s been missing from pro wrestling for far too long – STATS! I recently purchased PWL’s 34-page rule book, and not only am I going to provide a run down of what makes a Paragon Wrestling League Event different from everything else, I might even apply their weird rules and stats to matches from other promotions. Before I dive into the rulebook, here’s some choice quotes from an interview with PLW’s creator, Mikey Chase.
“I have been working on this for years. Paragon League started really when I was a small boy playing with action figures. I used to scribble down wins and losses in a notebook and have rankings. When that got to be too one dimensional I started to quantify wins and losses by adding values to different kinds.
But a few years ago, my buddy Nick D’Angelo and I developed a Road to Wrestlemania fantasy game that tracked in-ring and out-of-ring stuff…gave those actions a value…and then…it didn’t really do anything for us. It was fun as (heck) to play, and made watching WWE way more tolerable because it caused us to root for Santino Marella and other jobbers. You had to strategically pick who you wanted to have on your “roster” or team…and it ran from Royal Rumble to WrestleMania and every WWE televised event was scored…I was in a car with Nick who did commentary for CTWE…and we just were like “let’s make the fantasy game…a promotion…” which was great considering I had my own ideas for a promotion like this…with a ranking and scoring system since I was 12.
I used to have excel sheets that scored and ranked my CAWs in video games. I mean…this concept really has been with me for most of my life. I’m 27. I’ve been working with statistics and pro wrestling since I learned how to use basic excel at the age of 12. I used to just track wins and losses…but that got boring ‘cause one of my favorite CAWs seemed to always lose in simulated matches. so I was never able to put him in the championship matches based on the rules I wrote for the system. So I started making wins and losses quantifiable by style. You win by submission you get more points than winning by countout and so forth.”
Everyone got all that? Nerd kid is incapable of just smashing action figures together and making explosion noises like a normal person and has to quantify everything. Kid grows up and tracks wins and losses in video games, becomes frustrated that one of his characters is terrible, tries to rewrite the rules for the benefit of said character. Okay, with all of that sad back story in mind, let’s look at the rulebook that will revolutionize the world of professional wrestling.
INTRODUCTION AND DEFINITIONS
1.a. PARAGON LEAGUE WRESTLING is a statistic based professional wrestling organization that takes the drama and excitement of professional wrestling and blends it with the statistical tension of major sports.
Yes, because there’s nothing that can add tension like stats! I know in between each nail-biting pitch of these last few extra-innings baseball playoff games, I’ve rushed to recalculate everyone’s VORP to make things more exciting.
1.e. COMPETITOR RATING or PARAGON RATING refers to the amount of points that a competitor has accumulated over the course of the season.
1.f. MATCH POINTS refer to the points earned within a match.
1.g. COMPETITION POINTS refer to any points earned for competing, but are not earned during the match itself. These are the points given for winning championships and for competing in specific match-types.
Yeah, the basic gist of PLW is that while winning matches is important, so does the manner in which you win, because then you can earn more points, and more points means a higher score. Scores are important in other sports, so to put them in wrestling will mean the wrestling also becomes important!
SEASONS AND EVENTS
2.a. Paragon League Wrestling uses a season format
2.b. The 2014 Paragon League Wrestling Season will run from September 2014-February 2014
I know it’s a simple typo, and I’m sure I’ve made more than my fair share throughout my post history, but I like the idea that PLW runs backwards, Benjamin Button-style. That concept certainly seems like more of a Chikara move. “We have crowned our champion at the start of the year, now to determine how it happened!”
3.a. Events are host to the matches for the season.
3.c. While matches are the primary attraction at the events, other attractions may occur.
3.d. Most events are subject to a brief intermission.
I want to know what other attractions could possibly occur during an independent professional wrestling event. Interviews? Fan interactions? RAFFLES?
4.a. Paragon League Wrestling is divided into three singles divisions and one tag division
4.b.i. The Elite Championship Division is the top singles championship division in Paragon League Wrestling.
4.b.iii. No competitor, under any circumstances outside the Elite Championship Division is eligible to compete for the Elite Division Championship.
4.c.i. The IronHeart Championship Division is an additional singles championship division
4.c.iv. Unlike the Elite Division Championship, which is restricted to being defended within its own division, the IronHeart Division Championship is defended against anyone in the Elite and IronHeart Championship Divisions.
4.d.i. The Quest Division is home to the Competitors whose ranking does not qualify them for title contention.
Because everything is STATS-driven, PLW can’t just say “this is the world title and this is the mid-card title”, everyone has to be placed in a division. I like that there is a special division just for the jobbers. Force them to hang out with each other and flail away.
4.e.i. The Tag Team Championship Division is where the Tag Teams in Paragon League Wrestling compete for the Tag Team Division Championship.
4.e.ii. The Tag Team Championship Division is ranked based on the combined singular scores of each member of the team.
4.e.iii. The Tag Division is open to any two single competitors who are willing to work together to achieve success in Paragon League Wrestling.
4.e.iv. To become an official member of the Tag Team Championship Division, a team must submit an application to the Championship Committee.
4.e.ix. A team’s win-loss record is represented next to the team’s name, and only affected when that team is competing together in a match.
4.e.x. An individual competitor’s win-loss record is affected by the results of a tag team match.
Oh man, I hope each Paragon League Wrestling DVD features the THRILLING scenes of teams filling out applications and then the various committees reviewing and then either accepting or declining them the right to become an official PLW Tag Team. Also, the idea that an individual’s wins and losses are affected by the team is an actually solid concept for breaking up tag teams.
6.a. A Close-Out is the reviewing process of finalizing the stats by The Scoring Committee.
6.b. If an error occurs, the Scoring Committee review if it effected anything major to the rankings, and if it did, they submit it to The Championship Committee.
Paragon League Wrestling is the brainchild of Hermes Conrad and a sentient copy of MONEYBALL.
8.a. Matches have different classes, which designate special bonuses for a win.
8.b. Standard matches are the most common match class in Paragon League Wrestling.
8.d. A Main Event is the final match at an event.
8.e. A Title Match is any match where a championship is contested.
8.f. Epic Matches are matches that have more to them than just ordinary stipulations. Epic matches are somewhat rare, but when they occur they almost always are guaranteed to be something special.
I really like how vague the definition of what an Epic Match is. “Dude, it’s just a really awesome match that is super rare and cool!” BUT HOW CAN I TELL IF I’M TRYING TO KEEP SCORE AT HOME?
TAG TEAM MATCH RULES
9.a. Tag Team Matches are contests between two or more teams.
9.b. Only one member of the team is allowed to be in the ring at any given time, he is considered the legal competitor.
9.c. The status of being the legal competitor in the ring can be transferred by physical contact, most commonly a palm-to-palm “tag” which resembles a high five.
9.d. The inactive competitor must be holding the tag rope that is attached to their corner for a tag to be considered legal.
9.e. The tag rope is a 20 inch thin rope tied to opposite corners.
9.f. A legal tag is signified by the referee indicating through him clapping his hands to resemble the tag he saw, and point to the competitor being tagged in.
I know that there are lucha-style rules for tag team wrestling that counts a competitor’s feet touching the floor as a tag (But we will soon see that PLW is not fond of anything lucha-related), but the definitions for tag team rules sound like someone who has never heard of wrestling getting the rules explained to them. Though I will give PLW a lot of credit for requiring tag ropes. That’s far too often overlooked.
FINISHER EFFECTIVENESS RATING
12.a. The Finisher Effectiveness Rating (FER) is a statistic to show how effective a competitor’s finishing maneuver is while actively competing in a match.
12.b. For a move to be considered a Finisher, a competitor must register it with the Championship Committee by submitting the proper form.
12.c. A competitor can have up to two finishers registered with the Championship Committee.
12.c.i. When registering a new finisher, a competitor must also submit the finisher he chooses to relinquish if he already has two.
12.c.ii. The relinquished move becomes retired.
12.c.iii. If a competitor uses his retired finisher during a match, it does not affect his Finisher Effectiveness.
12.d. If a competitor hits both of is individual finishers in his first match, and wins, his FER would be .50, because it took two finishers to win.
Again, more FORMS and PAPERWORK because that’s what wrestling is really all about. Also, if a guy uses one finisher 50 times, would his FER be 1.0 since that above example was pretty clearly based around using both finishers, not simply using a finisher twice. If you want to go into overkill, does that devalue your Finisher Effectiveness Rating?
13.a. The following acts constitute fouls in a match in Paragon League Wrestling, and may result in penalties at the discretion of the referee if committed:
13.a.i. Punching with a closed fist.
13.a.ii. Butting with the head.
13.a.iii. Eye gouging of any kind.
13.a.xviii. Using the ropes for any reason including climbing, choking, stomping, punching for more than a count of 5 seconds.
13.a.xxvi. Leaving the ring for any reason, including but not limited to:
13.a.xxvi.(a.) Involuntary force.
13.a.xxvi.(c.) Intent to attack an opponent already outside the ring.
13.a.xxvi.(d.) Diving to the outside.
13.m. A member of the Championship Committee who speculates that the referee doing an unfit job at his position, may discontinue that referee’s participation and replace him with another referee.
Honestly, a lot of the fouls read like the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, other than a ban on closed fists. I am concerned that it’s a foul to leave the ring through involuntary force, which, if my brain is correct, means it is illegal to get thrown out of the ring. Also, making outside dives illegal is like cutting off one of the biggest parts of independent wrestling at the knees. Way to take out the fun, PLW. Though, again, I do like their foresight in realizing that some officials are terrible and basically instituting the Johnathan Barber Rule to get rid of awful referees before they ruin things completely.
APPROVED RING ATTIRE/GEAR
17.a. All competitors in Paragon League Wrestling are expected to wear approved ring gear.
17.b. Failure to comply with the approved ring gear requirements may result in a forfeiture disqualification.
17.c. The following are acceptable forms of ring gear:
17.c.i.(b.). Hair ties
17.c.ii.(b.). Elbow pads
17.c.ii.(c.). Elbow sleeves
17.c.ii.(e.). Forearm sleeves
17.c.ii.(f.). Wrist tape
17.c.ii.(g.) None required
17.c.iii.(b.) Spandex material, custom tailored tops.
17.c.iii.(c.) None required
17.c.iv. Waist and Legs:
17.c.iv.(a.) Wrestling trunks
17.c.iv.(b.) Wrestling tights
17.c.iv.(i.) Pads not required
17.c.iv.(j.) Midsection must be, at all times
17.c.v.(a.) Wrestling shoes
17.c.v.(d.) Approved athletic shoes
17.c.v.(e.) None required
17.d. The following are unacceptable forms of ring attire:
17.d.i.(a.) Masks or any kind of material that obstructs the visibility of a competitor’s face
17.d.ii.(a.) Medical casts
17.d.iii.(b.) Tank tops.
17.d.iii.(c.) Under-Armor brand tops.
17.d.iv. Waist and Legs:
17.d.iv.(b.) Track pants
17.d.iv.(c.) Basketball shorts
17.d.iv.(d.) Football pants
17.d.iv.(e.) Baseball pants
17.d.iv.(f.) Cargo shorts
17.d.iv.(g.) Jorts (Jean Shorts)
17.d.v.(b.) Street shoes
The approved list seems okay, since it even allows guys that want to wrestle barefoot. However, the unapproved list is just chock full of awful decisions. Paragon League Wrestling doesn’t want any of the following: Luchadores, Cowboy Bobs Orton, Dasher Hatfield or Mr. Touchdown, which is a huge mistake (Though leaving out Mr. Touchdown is probably for the best, since he’d work himself into a frenzy, coming for all the NERDS). Again, though, they have also effectively banned dudes in shame-shirts and all iterations of John Cena, so I guess the banned list isn’t all bad. I am a little confused since neither the approved or unapproved list has anything to say about gloves. Brock Lesnar is mostly approved (MMA shorts and wrestling shoes), but can he wear the four-ounce MMA gloves or not? Despite the numerous rules, PLW sometimes misses out on some important stuff.
Throughout the rulebook, the various methods of scoring or being deducted points have come up. I have decided to imitate the back cover of the rulebook, which has a general guide to the scoring system, and list all of the ways a competitor in Paragon League Wrestling accumulates points.
Attemping a pinfall:
1-count – 1 point
2-count – 2 points
1-count – 2 points
2-count – 1 point
Attempt – 2 points
Break – 2 points
Reversal – 2 points
Pinfall – 1 point
Submission – 1 point
Pin to Submission – 1 point
Pin to Pin – 1 point
Submission to Pin – 1 point
Submisison to Submission – 1 point
Perform a finisher – 2 points
Win with a finisher – 3 points
Reverse/Break a finisher – 2 points
Kick out of a finisher – 2 points
Disqualification – 5 points
Pinfall – 5 points
Submission – 7 points
Knockout – 9 points
Rumble Games – 1 point
Disqualification – 35 points
Pinfall – 35 points
Submission – 40 points
Knockout – 45 points
Countout – 15 points
Forfeit – 10 points
Rumble Games – 125 points
Main Event – 3 points
Championship – 5 points
Stipulation – 3 points
Epic – 5 points
Main event – 5 points
Stipulation – 15 points
Epic – 15 points
Elite – 100 points
IronHeart – 100 points
Tag Team – 55 points
Disqualification – (-25 points)
Minor infraction – (-25 points)
Major infraction – (-50 points)
Extreme infraction – (-100 points)
Okay, now that we all know what counts for how many points, it’s time to score a match!
Ignoring the penalties John should receive for wrestling in Jorts and Nikes, the break down is as follows:
+2 Kick out of finisher
+1 Kick out at 1 (2x)
+2 Reverse finisher
+2 Perform finisher (2x)
+2 Two count
+2 Submission attempt
+3 Compete in main event
+5 Compete in title match
TOTAL POINTS – 22
FER – 0.0
+2 Perform finisher (2x)
+2 Two count (2x)
+2 Submission attempt
+1 Kick out at 2
+2 Kick out of finisher
+2 Break finisher
+2 Break submission
+3 Win after finisher
+35 Win by pin fall
+3 Compete in main event
+5 Win main event
+5 Compete in title match
+100 Win title match
TOTAL POINTS – 168
FER – 1.0
Okay, you know what? That is a really accurate display of what happened in that match.