With the infrastructure for PWO Database Plus more or less established, I thought this was a good time to share both my ultimate vision and an explanation of the layout. What follows is a description of what type of information you'll be able to find in each section, and guidance on how you can directly engage the content as it's added.
When most of us think of a database, we think of something that we access more than we think of something with which we interact. It's one thing to have a lot of wrestling information conveniently stored in one place; lots of sites do that (and I recognize the inherent contradiction in what I just said as well as anyone). It's another to have the ability to share your own thoughts on that information and also see what others think. That's why we refer to this as PWO Database Plus -- you can quickly check dates, numbers, and match listings when that's all that you need, but you can also provide your own thoughts and see what other PWO members think as you go. If The Rock was endorsing this, he might call it The People's Database. Now, let's go through each section of PWO Database Plus.
Nearly a decade ago, an affable fellow from Chicago was impressed with the Death Valley Driver Review approach to community projects that involved watching matches. The site had an effective way to faciliate both macro-discussion and micro-discussion. Just as there was a place for DVDVR message board members to share their thoughts on the project at large, there was also a place for members to comment on each match that project participants were watching. As more footage became available, this super nice guy thought it would be cool to expand on that idea by making threads available for thousands of matches from the 1990s. A couple dozen people were often commenting in the individual threads. It was, and is, a hit!
A few years later, posters Ditch and Superstar Sleeze approached this incredibly nice guy and asked him about expanding the scope of this part of the message board to include all wrestling from all eras. This sounded great to this sweetheart of a dude and soon this section of the board, previously branded "Yearbooks", was now called the Match Discussion Archive.
The Match Discussion Archive has become the most visited and active part of the board, averaging over 50 posts per day since late 2010. Only two small changes have been made to this section of PWO Database Plus, now simply called The Matches. The first is that new topics now require approval. The reason for this is not to discourage new threads in any way, but rather just to ensure consistent naming conventions and accurate spelling and dates, and also to make sure there is not a thread that already exists for the match in question. The second change is that threads will now be defaulted to chronological order, based on when the match happened. (For matches from the current month, the most recent replies will still be the first threads you see instead of the chronological sort.) You can discuss matches going all the way back to 1895, when the first known pro wrestling footage exists on video, all the way to the present.
Shows & Full Releases
Where The Matches intends to zoom in on one specific matchup, this section is a place to discuss entire cards, TV shows, and more. It follows the same principle as The Matches and is organized into the following sections:
- PPVs and Supercards
- TV Shows
- House Shows
- Commercial Compilations
- Films and Documentaries
- Shoot Interviews
Wrestlers & Other Personalities
In this section, shift your focus from the message to the messenger, as we are developing individual pages for, at a minimum, every wrestler that has a match in The Matches. Over time, you'll find a biography of each wrestler on these pages as well as an at-a-glance look at all of the matches that exist on tape for a wrestler. You'll also see links to any articles about the wrestler, magazine covers, merchandise, and lots more. You can even get tiered match recommendations and learn about wrestlers who work similar styles, including predecessors, peers, and successors.
As for the "Other Personalities" part of Wrestlers & Other Personalities, you should be able to find similar pages for promoters, writers, managers, announcers, and other people directly involved in pro wrestling, even if they don't have any matches in the ring. This will all be filled in over time.
Over time, you'll see a dedicated thread for every wrestling company or territory. This will include a history of the company, a list of recommended matches in tiers from that company, their publications, their TV shows and commercial releases, and more.
If you've ever wanted to learn more about the history of pro wrestling in a specific city, this is the place for you. If you click on, say, the thread for Chicago, Illinois, you'll get a full list of every match available on tape that has ever happened in Chicago. Likewise, in some markets that have a rich wrestling history, you might find a written history of pro wrestling in that city.
Get a list of all the matches that exist on tape where a championship was defended. Also get tiered match recommendations of championship matches. This makes conversations about just how the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, for example, really was much easier.
Interviews & Promos
This is a place to celebrate and discuss the best interviews and promos in pro wrestling history. If quotable wrestling is your thing, you'll enjoy this section immensely.
If you can imagine Discogs for pro wrestling "stuff", you can imagine The Merchandise. The goal, which it will take time to reach, is to have an individual thread for every piece of official (and even some "unofficial") wrestling merchandise ever released. Categories include but probably won't be limited to:
- Action Figures & Toys
- Board Games
- Video Games
- Wrestling Gear
You'll be able to use this section to log what you already have, track what you want, and even initiate requests from other PWO members through our Classifieds section.
This is a place to really immerse yourself in wrestling media of all kinds, including entrance music, podcasts, YouTube videos released by wrestling companies, and mainstream magazine and newspaper articles about pro wrestling. See what's out there and learn how to access it.
This is the section of the board where you can discover new wrestling that you might enjoy, which could be based on a mood. For example, if you're a sicko and like wrestling tragedies where heels win in the end, you might find a list of those here. If you like watching shoot-style matches, for example, the Styles category will provide more information there. Finally, if you like cage matches, or Texas death matches, or any other specific type of gimmick match, you can learn about its history and all the versions of it that exist on tape in this category.
So there you have it. My goal, from now until the end of time, is to fill in as many gaps as possible, eventually turning this into the most definitive and badass pro wrestling resource that exists on Planet Earth. If there are gaps that you think you'd be great at closing, I'd love your help. Please reach out to me and explain what you'd like to do, whether your desire is to write, research, organize, catalog, or provide me with much needed (pro bono) tech guidance.
Full speed ahead!