On February 6, 2020, Splat! Sports presents the first time ever, Tournament of Mystery. The premise of this tournament is that wrestlers will be disguised as they compete and in addition to trying to win the tournament, there is a financial incentive to keep from getting recognized by the guest judges. Tonight, we sit down with the creators of the tournament and get their impression on their attempt that this particular type of tournament.
*The following text should be considered OOC. However, we have decided to create some characters to portray the creators of the tournament in order to get this information out to those participating as well as those viewing.
Jeff: Splat! Sports had been wanting to do an inter-federational tournament for a very long time. They attempted to run a couple of events back in 2018 before they rebranded, but despite there being hundreds of wrestlers, there was very little interest. So, when things started to pick up after the rebranding late last year, they decided to attempt to run a few wrestling specials again and asked to come up with a unique concept that would draw interest.
Bob: So, we started putting together a tournament. We wanted to start a branding because Splat! Was interested in not just doing a single tournament but multiple tournaments. So, we came up with the idea of branding them in similar fashion to some of the classic comics from back in the day. “Tales of the Unknown”, “Tales of Mystery” those types of comics. So, Jeff came up with the Tournament of Mystery for the first name. At first, it was just going to be a tournament, but then.. I don’t even know how it came up, to be honest.
Jeff: It was one of those things where we were considering a masked tournament but every match was a mask vs. mask match, but we just weren’t sold on that concept. It was lacking something. We needed another aspect to really break this forward as an original concept.
Bob: I think Jeff said something about having the public vote online about who might be under the mask, but then I thought — what if we bring in some judges to do that instead? So we pitched the idea.
Jeff: It was kind of funny because when we pitched it, they said, “Oh, like the Mystery Singer” or whatever that show as called and Bob and I just looked at each other. We had no clue what that was.
Bob: So, we went and watch a few episodes and decided, yeah, kind of like that. Only there’s a tournament where people fight instead of sing. The Tournament of Mystery was born.
Jeff: So we started posting ads looking for wrestlers to compete. We really thought this could be a showcase for someone who needs that little boost. We had several spots fill up rather quickly and then there was a stall for a bit of time.
Bob: We were about to cut the field from sixteen to eight, when we started getting more applications in and before you know it we were not only full, we had standby participants just in case we had an injury or a cancellation. But luckily for us, we didn’t have either.
Producer: So, how did you come up with the brackets? Did you have a path you wanted this tournament to go?
Jeff: *laughs* Have a plan? Please. We created a bracket and started filling in names without any reason or rhyme. Just randomly.
Bob: We thought, let’s just slap these names up there and see what sticks. Honestly, we knew who were going to be in the tournament, but we really didn’t remember all the aliases so we just placed stuff on the board and then worked from there.
Jeff: Third match in the Pink Bracket should say this is the truth. Kuro Ryo vs. Suicida probably could have been a killer tournament finale, but because of how we laid out the tournament, they met in the first round.
Producer: How were the winners determined.
Bob: So, we wanted this to be competitive. But Twitter was out because it would completely reveal the participants. So, promo judging was part. But all in all, the promos were all really great. There were a few matches in the first round that were not that hard to call. But the majority of the matches were just too close to call so we had included a stipulation that the winner could be decided via a random factor.
Jeff: We flipped a coin in a lot of cases. More cases than we’d like to admit. That being said, all in all, we were happy with the outcome of the tournament and who won the tournament. I’m not sure we could have asked for a better final match. There were a few issues that did arise that we had to take into consideration as well. The fed they represent didn’t have a roster page, or the roster page didn’t have their bio. We felt it necessary to go ahead and eliminate those as early as possible.
Producer: Any issues with the judges?
Jeff: None at all. In fact, we were a little worried after the first episode that we’d made things a little too easy for them, but after the second episode our fears were put to rest. They all did great, but not too great that it ruined the concept for the future.
Producer: Putting the shows together must have been tasking?
Bob: At the beginning, yes. Episode one was rather rough and actually, looks a little rough. But as we got ready to start episode 2, we came up with a few changes that makes the show run more smoothly. So, hopefully those who watch episode 1 will come back and give episode 2 a try. Episode 2 ended up being the format of the rest of the tournament, but we didn’t really have time to go back and make all of the changes required to episode 1 in order to make it match up with the rest of the tournament.
Jeff: Honestly, outside of episode 1, we were happy with the entire production.
Producer: So there are plans for a second Tournament of Mystery.
Bob: Provided all goes well, Splat wants to make this an annual event. This year was a great first attempt but we did identify a few key issues that caused some trouble, but we know what we need to do to correct those issues in the future. So, the next tournament will come next year, but that won’t be the last tournament this year. We are almost finished finalizing the concept for a summer tournament based off an old OWA PPV event that they used to run back in the late 90s called Endurance’s Evil Challenge with a key twist. The official announcement will come during the finale of Tournament of Mystery and we will probably start looking for the competitors shortly after. On the plus side, no masks for this tournament and it will be a one night event rather than a series of episodes.
Producer: Any finals words about the tournament?
Jeff: I think one of the fun aspects it we have a few folks lined up to live tweet during the live broadcast. Each show will have a debut showing at 8pm EST every Thursday beginning February 6th. During the premiere showing, we have already identified Anaquin Adams as being the one who will live tweet during the show and she will give the others who was watching a chance to vote with the judges or against the judges. We believe that week 2 will be Kan Tai who will be live tweeting.
Bob: I also think you’ll be excited with the outcome in the end.