Though Deep Inside We’re Battle Worn

“For all of the hope that it brings
And though we’re pawns we could be kings
If we believe
Against all odds we will survive”

Alter Bridge – Pawns & Kings

This is the first run of this kind of post and it is one I took some time in thinking out and wanting to make sure I had a new and different focus for. Now I have been in SecondLife since 2009 and some of you have been here since the very beginnings. I have done and seen many things in our virtual world as you know from reading posts here. I have never participated in, but I have seen SecondLife football played. I don’t know that I could do it but it was amazing to see something like that and that was back in 2011 I believe. We’ve come a long way in scripting and mesh and all of that since then. That brings us to the topic of today’s post, SecondLife wrestling. I had heard about it over the years but I can honestly say I never knew anyone who did it or had gone to it (to my knowledge) until now.

One night I got to sit and listen to how it worked somewhat and it was interesting to me. It made it the perfect topic for this post because while I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who do know about SecondLife wrestling or have been to it or participated in it, I know there are far more who don’t know about it at all. Today we’re going to change that, because for my first interview, I have someone who does it and has been part of it for the better part of 14 years now. We’re going to dive deep into the how’s and why’s of doing it, how things work, and where you can find it yourself. You’re also going to get to know more about the man himself, Maxwell Ryan (BigEvil Mandelkorn). I truly hope you enjoy our conversation.

Welcome in Maxwell, I’m glad to have you here today and truly am excited to pick your brain about SecondLife Wrestling. I guess we should start off with the basics right?

Lucky: Tell us who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?

Maxwell: I’m Maxwell Ryan (BigEvil Mandelkorn), also known as the “Best Big Man in The Business!” I’m currently a SecondLife PROfessional wrestler for Virtual Wrestling Entertainment or VWE for short.

Lucky: Before we dive into the world of SL wrestling, what got you into SecondLife to start?

Maxwell: It was more to hang out with my sister Kenzie, but later on I found things to do on my own that I enjoy myself.

Lucky: How and why did you get into SecondLife wrestling? I assume it’s not something you just happen to fall into right?

Maxwell: I actually fell into it to be fair. I was with a good friend of mine that was also a wrestling fan. He actually told me about wrestling in SecondLife and we went to go see it. The rest of it after that is history.

Lucky: It’s crazy that you just fell into it, I would have never guessed that. I know you were a fan of pro wrestling prior to joining SL, I myself am too, though I watch it less than I used to. What kinds of things translate well from the real world version to the SecondLife version?

Maxwell: With SecondLife, there is literally zero risk and all reward because we don’t go through any actual injures. So with matches on SL, we push the limits more to increase the “wow factor” of our SecondLife matches. Outside of that, real life pro wrestling translates very well into SecondLife wrestling.

Lucky: That’s a really good point that I hadn’t considered on the injuries portion. You would think I’d have thought about that but nope.

So I’m sure people are wondering how it all works, I know when you first talked to me about it I understood it, but it wasn’t until you had me actually try the system out that I realized just how much you’re managing. Tell me about what you use to make this magic happen? How much time planning and working things out does it all really take?

Maxwell: We have a HUD that targets the person that we’re working with and the moves are animations that have sells included. It’s quite a learning process and I still learn new things every time I wrestle.

(Author’s note: The HUD has a targeting option to target your opponent as well as different buttons that are used for a certain thing, positioning is very important and I still haven’t got a good grasp on it. The F button is to follow your target, the D button is to drag your target, the M button is to use a miss on your target, and the I button is to invert, which as I understand it is to counter a move.)

GFORCE Wrestling Hud 2.0

Lucky: There is a lot that goes into doing that and a serious time investment, but it shows the love that you have for doing it. I know you specifically wrestle for VWE currently, can you tell me a little about them and what makes them be -the- place for you?

Maxwell: VWE is one of the longest running promotions in SecondLife. We have VWE Defiance on Friday and we are debuting a new show on Mondays called VWE Octane (starting July 25th). We are a talented group that produces top quality shows from start to finish so that is why VWE is the place to be for me.

Lucky: How many different promotions have you wrestled for in your time as a wrestler? I truly don’t know how many there are currently or have been in the past so I’m curious about that as I’m sure our audience is.

Maxwell: I wrestled for DCWF (Digital Championship Wrestling Federation) as well, but there are many other promotions in SecondLife that do shows throughout the week.

Lucky: I know you started out in 2008, which is a whole year before I even joined SecondLife. I can guarantee I didn’t even know this existed back then. Has your persona changed since you started out, and if so in what ways?

Maxwell: You have to first find the confidence in yourself when you start out as a wrestler. Once you have that, you find out who you are pretty quickly. With me, I used my competitive nature and molded it into an egotistical character in Maxwell. Then as the years passed all of the stories that I have been involved in have changed him even further. He went from being “untouchable” to “unstable” with the failures he has dealt with.

Lucky: As a wrestling fan myself I’m well aware of each wrestler having their patented finishing moves. What are yours and have they changed throughout your career?

Maxwell: I have never been flashy. I’ve always been a powerhouse that bullies his opponents with his size and strength. My main finishing move is “THE Jackknife Powerbomb,” because it is -my- jackknife powerbomb and no one else’s. I also use the chokeslam and as of late I have worked on biel throwing opponents the entire length of the ring.

Lucky: Power and domination, it definitely fits your character. So across all of these promotions through the years, what would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

Maxwell: My biggest accomplishment, to be fair, is creating consistency with Maxwell. I’m very proud of the stories he has told and also very honored to headline VWE Wrestleseries years back.

Lucky: Okay I’ve got a two-part question here and I’m putting them together because they make sense. What are your favorite matches that you’ve been a part of AND are there any matches out there that you would love to be involved in?

Maxwell: I like fights, I have never been a technical wrestler so I force people to fight me. “No Holds Barred” and “Last Man Standing” matches have been my favorites. I’ve also done a “Hell In A Cell” match which is up there for me as well. The only match that I have not gotten a chance to do yet is an “Iron Man” match.

Lucky: What is the biggest moment of your career, ever, the one thing that no matter what happens cannot be knocked from the pedestal?

Maxwell: Winning the Elimination Royale has been my biggest moment in VWE. Defeating 29 of VWE’s best is truly something that can’t be knocked from the pedestal.

Lucky: If you were trying to sell a real world wrestling fan on coming to see SecondLife wrestling what is your sales pitch? Why should they do it?

Maxwell: The best pitch that I would say is that we don’t hold back and we push ourselves to truly produce top quality entertainment. I know people that dedicate a lot of time on here to help give us the opportunity to perform and I will always be grateful for them.

Lucky: Time and dedication to the craft are a good sell to me, quality is always important. So say someone who is into real life wrestling wants to get into SecondLife wrestling, where would you say to start and what should they know?

Maxwell: There really aren’t a lot of hurdles to go through. All the promotions are looking for talent all the time. VWE is also currently looking as well, so head to the City Of Gold and fill out an application.

Lucky: Different wrestling promotions aside, in your opinion who is the best in the business right now as a wrestler, the one individual who is just on another level?

Maxwell: A Maxwell answer would be “Me.” The person behind Maxwell would say Brakman Wylder. I call Brakman a unicorn because he truly is authentic, he’s super talented, and he puts people above him. You won’t be able to find another Brakman Wylder in this lifetime.

Lucky: I know we’re both very big fans of Seth Rollins, and I know you are a massive Undertaker fan, my guy before Seth, for WWE at least was Triple H. He just lived the business and it showed every time. For WCW it would have to be Sting, to be that loyal to them literally to the day they were sold, just amazing, and what a talent. Do you have any others that you love to watch or watch to pick up ideas that you can use in the future?

Maxwell: I like learning from the big men in wrestling. Some of the best examples would be The Undertaker, Kevin Nash, Lance Archer, Brody King, and Braun Strowman. I also love watching Kenny Omega, Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, Cody Rhodes, Roman Reigns, Malakai Black and of course “The Visionary” himself Seth Rollins. The times that do I find ideas I usually mold them into my own. I will never straight up copy anyone.

Lucky: Alright biggest question before we go, where and when can people find you? I’m talking inworld at shows, any social media you want to share, anything at all.

Maxwell: You can find me on Twitter at MaxwellRyanSL and you can find updates on shows at VWEWrestling on Twitter as well. We do two shows, the first one of the week (starting July 25th) is a new show called Octane on Mondays at 6PM SLT. Our second show of the week is Defiance, which is on Fridays at 6PM SLT as well. Check us out at our sim called the City of Gold!

Lucky: I greatly enjoyed our conversation about all things SecondLife wrestling. It’s cool to see something else from the real world translate over to SL. It’s also awesome to see the commitment everyone in the wrestling community has to making it all happen and work how you want it. I’ve played with the HUD a bit as you know and to pull off an entire match, I couldn’t even imagine doing it once, let alone multiple times. Thanks for taking the time to chat and for being so open on everything.

I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to read this and I really hope you check the SecondLife wrestling world out. There are a bunch of different federations to see and you never know, maybe you are the next big superstar in the making. I hope you enjoyed this new post style and if you have ideas for future installments or someone you think would be cool to talk to, let me know on any platform, you can find them all on my About page. Thank you again and I’ll see you in the next one. Credits for the photo are below as always.

If you’re curious about catching a VWE show inworld, you can find them on Twitter and VWE inworld. They have VWE Defiance every Friday night at 6 PM SLT, and starting Monday, July 25th, you can catch VWE Octane at 6PM SLT as well! For more information on all of the other organizations I have found thus far, please check out the SecondLife Wrestling page here on the blog. We’ve also added a Virtual Wrestling group to Flickr to cover any and all photos incorporating virtual wrestling, it’s very new and very empty, so help me fill it up!

“Pawns and kings
Let sovereign wings
Give strength where there is none”

Alter Bridge – Pawns & Kings

Credits:

~Lucky~

Head: LeLUTKA.Head.NOA.3.1 ~ Jaden Nova
Head Applier:
STRAY DOG – GREG – LELUTKA – TONE 04 ~ Gac Akina
Hair: [MAGNIFICENT] THOR Bun – Grooming Hair – LeBarbier Alpha
Hairbase:
LeLUTKA.EvoX.Hairbase.044 (BOM) ~ Jaden Nova (Comes with the LeLUTKA NOA Head)
Ears:
^^Swallow^^ Gauged S Ears ~ Luciayes Magic
Ear Tattoo: { Speakeasy } Scorpio Fresh ~ Jamie Nova
Beard: [MAGNIFICENT] DUCKY SKUNK – Beard – LeBarbier Alpha
Beard Layer:
Volkstone Rey Facial Hair // 004 TINTABLE (BOM) ~ Daves Hexem
Body:
[LEGACY] Athletic Edition (1.1) ~ MeshBody Resident
Skin:
STRAY DOG – Legacy Skin – TONE 04 (BOM) ~ Gac Akina
Abs: {Baecraft} Abs SD Tone 04 ~ Kriztal Moonites
Tattoo Top:
DAPPA – Zugai Tattoo. [FRESH] Lelutka EvoX. ~ Devil Fae
Tatoo Lower L: IDTTY Body Shop – Secret Fate ~ Melissa Hindrabar
Tattoo Lower R: IDTTY Body Shop – Lonely Road ~ Melissa Hindrabar


(The following are all of the various cuts and bruises, check them out specifically to make sure you’re seeing the right one!)
Body Bruises: MARPESIA Body Bruises – Medium ~ Megan Leeder
Body Bruises 2: Landgraff – Bad4ss ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Body Hit: Landgraff – Hited Body / Style 01
Back Scratch/Neck Bruise/Chest Bruise: Landgraff – Too Rough ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Arm Bruises: RZ. Full Body Bruises ~ Rediz Darkheart
Chest Scratch: Landgraff – Ouch! Body Marks ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Nose Scratch/L Eye Bruise/R Eye Bruise/Right Side Scratch: Landgraff – Troublemaker Set ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Mouth Bruise/Mouth Cut/Nose Cut: Landgraff – Facial Marks 004 ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Eye Makeup/Veins: Landgraff – Hunter Set ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Cheek Scars: Landgraff – Pursuer ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Face Scratch: Landgraff – Scratched Face ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Face Marks: Landgraff – Hunter Set (Veins) [Evo X] ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Face Marks 2: Landgraff – Facial Marks 004 ~ Evanmartinez Resident
Hand Bruises: RZ. Fighter Hands – BOM ~ Rediz Darkheart
Bloody Nose: RZ. Nosebleed EVOX – BOM ~ Rediz Darkheart

Shorts: Cold Ash – HURST Cargo Shorts ~ ColdAsh Resident
Kneepads: NOCHE. Street Knee Pads Black – Legacy ~ Daniel UwU
Shoes: [VALE KOER] “REFINED” DUNKS ~ Bob Resident
Earrings: ^^Swallow^^ Earrings Gauged S01 (m) ~ Luciayes Magic

~Maxwell~

Head: LeLUTKA.Head.Skyler.3.1 ~ Jaden Nova
Head Applier:
STRAY DOG – APOLO – LELUTKA – TONE 05 ~ Gac Akina
Hair: Modulus – Pete Hair Right ~ Riot Hollak
Hairbase:
Volkstone Jozsef Hairbase – V1 ~ Daves Hexem
Beard: [MAGNIFICENT] SKYLER – Hipster Bento Stache & Beard – LeBarbier Alpha
Body:
[LEGACY] Athletic Edition (1.1) ~ MeshBody Resident
Skin:
STRAY DOG – Legacy Skin – TONE 05 (BOM) ~ Gac Akina

Vest: Slatanic Mechanic – OUTCAST MC VEST ~ Eldialblo Clvane
Pants: FashionNatic – Polar Pants ~ Ellen Moonites
Boots: FashionNatic – Sekani Male Boots ~ Ellen Moonites

~Scene~

Pose: Belly F-5 ~ Barkha131 Resident
Cage: *PANIK* Hell In A Cell ~ RoxiMonroe Resident
Ring: *PANIK* Superstar Four v.2.0 ~ RoxiMonroe Resident
Announce Table: *PANIK* Announce Table ~ RoxiMonroe Resident
Barrier: *PANIK* Ring Barrier ~ RoxiMonroe Resident
Chair: *PANIK* Steel Folding Chair (Folded) ~ RoxiMonroe Resident
Commentator 1: 3D People – Business People – Man Sitting 2 ~ TalRam Resident
Commentator 2: 3D People – Business People – Kenneth ~ TalRam Resident
Commentator 3: 3D People – Business People – Woman Sitting 1 ~ TalRam Resident
Headsets: Spoiled – Gamer Girl Headset ~ Spoiledstore Resident
Timekeeper: 3D People – Office People – Businesswoman Sitting ~ TalRam Resident
Photographer: ::DisturbeD:: James Photographer Character ~ TalRam Resident
Kid 1: ::DisturbeD:: Dylan Boy Standing Character ~ TalRam Resident
Kid 2: 3D People – Kids – Rocker Boy ~ TalRam Resident
Kid 3: ::DisturbeD:: Scott Standing Boy Character ~ TalRam Resident

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