Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year In Review + 2016 Preview

Well, we're at the end of the year. It's been hectic, getting this blog going and all. In hindsight, there are things I would've done differently, but overall I'm pleased with the results. Hopefully you've enjoyed the experience so far.

In ten months, I've posted 196 times on this blog, received nearly 500 comments and replied nearly 500 times. The biggest two buckets are obviously stories and reviews. The rest include Who's Who, Casting, Inspiration, general housekeeping and other miscellaneous posts.

Breaking it down, I posted a total of 87 stories (98 posts, as I split many stories in two when I started) and reviewed 50 matches from 8 different companies, plus two books from 1 author.
  • 32 Cave (14 The Cave + 10 The Cave Undercard + 8 The Cave: The Adventures of SuperStar)
  • 30 Route 69 (27 Route 69 + 3 Route 69: Bad Boys)
  • 15 AWL (6 Danny Chase + 5 Jake Justice + 3 Colt Hill + 1 Nikolai Khruschev)
  • 10 Other (7 Encounters + 2 Superheroes + 1 Producers Ring)
Results are hard to judge, because of my two-blog approach, but stories are the most viewed content, which I'm happy about. The Cave series is tops, but there's clearly a bigger appetite for Superheroes as those two stories were huge hits. And the top reviews are driven by external links then who I'm featuring, so guys like Ty Alexander and Guido Genatto/Dirty Daddy are definitely champs around here.

Dirty Daddy's a Cave champ! Source: Twitter


I tried to vary the reviews across companies and I think that worked well. Most of them were positive, but there were a couple of disappointments in there. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with me, my hope is that you see my reviews as coherent, fair, honest and entertaining. As I promised I would, I clearly identified the two promotional videos I received for added transparency.

Social Media

I've started to use Twitter a little more. You can find me at @AlexWrestler68. I tweet out blog updates, re-tweet wrestling pics that interest me, and occasionally post random crap. I'm debating Tumblr, as I've seen a few of my pics on there with no links back to the blog. However, it kind of seems like an extraneous thing I'll need to worry about and might cannibalize blog traffic.


Thanks!

I owe a lot of people a lot of thanks. I'm very appreciative of the support I've received.

Thanks to the guys who contribute content. I wouldn't have all the hot models without outstanding base images from Alex R. and Almatolmen, which you see in my Who's Who posts every month. Lucky Stallion did four amazing images for my Tarzan story, including one that I think is absolutely iconic.

Just a dream image for any Tarzan fan

Thanks for the links. With just one post at Barbaric Brawn, Lucky Stallion made "Tarzan and the Twins of Tibor" my most popular story by a mile. I also get a lot of traffic from Inner Jobber, LaSustanciaP, and He Is Out. As well, links to reviews from Ty Alexander, Movimus and Pablo Greene (How to Kill a Superhero) propelled those reviews to amazing heights.

Ty tweeted this to me, which I appreciated!

I have received other links, like someone posted on Facebook about the Skotch English/Mitch Colby review I did. Unfortunately I can't trace that back, but thanks for that, too.

With everything working, I'm debating actively try to help new people find this place, which I really haven't up to now. However, I'm not sure how much I want that. When Brian Cage posted this reply to my tweet about my review, I didn't know how to take it (and still don't). I started to think that I prefer some people NOT knowing about it. I'm getting good traffic, so it's a question. We'll see.


Thanks for all the comments. Lists are a bad idea, because you forget people, but I do want to call out some of the more frequent commenters ... AH, Alex R., Almatolmen, Arch, Axel, cigamc, heterosp, Ivan, Jose, Lucky Stallion, Luis, Mike, Phil, Sean, Sharlin and the various Anonymous commenters some of whom I'm sure are regulars.

If I missed you, I apologize. I love reading all comments, whether it's a simple "thanks", an in-depth analysis, a suggestion, or a different point of view.

And of course, I owe Bard the biggest thanks. Without his encouragement and story group, I wouldn't have written anything. No stories = no blog. I know he kept the story group going longer than he wanted just for my stories, so I appreciate that. In my head, The Cave is really just an unofficial spinoff of Sidelineland.

What's Coming In 2016?

Honestly, the plan is for more of the same - The Cave, The Cave Undercard and The Cave: The Adventures of SuperStar will continue to be the biggest group. Route 69: Bad Boys Season 1 will wrap up. And I'll have at least four superhero stories, plus my first-ever Encounters sequel with Abuse of Power 2.

For 2016, I've mapped out a total of 26 stories, posting them on the 1st and 15th of every month, plus two bonus stories in August as part of a big summer four-part crossover. Other bonus stories will happen if possible, but no promises. I have already have the first 12 written and 9 uploaded with pics, so hopefully I can keep it going all year. I'll mix in reviews when I can, but not sure on other content.

As a tease, there are a lot of favorite characters coming back. At least six story leads are coming back, maybe in a surprising way for a couple of them. The most popular supporting character studs will of course get another turn. There will also be new guys that I hope you'll like.

Stars, Studs and Rookies:

Stars: Cody, Ryan, Jae, Ben, Jeff, Danny Chase

Studs: Xaq (Spartan), Day, Josh (Mr. Riddle), Ram

Studs: Mason, Logan, John, Beau

Rookies: Ace, Thor, Ryker, Hawk

Heroes and Villains:

Spider-Man, Tarzan, Superman, Hercules

Lou, Caleb, Kyle, Slave King

Phew, so that's a wrap! Thanks again to all of you. Have a safe and happy new year everyone!

Alex

17 comments:

  1. It's really inspiring how successful your endeavors here have been in just under a year -- though it's also equally unsurprising given the constantly high quality of your works.

    Really proud of your progress, and I bet 2016 will be even better.

    There's still a few of your tales I need to take some time to catch up on, but the tease for the new stuff coming already looks awesome!

    And I wouldn't sweat that odd tweet reply. Well, yes I would... but not for too long! I've seen some odd messages on social media before (like one in Korean linking someone else to my old Orc vs Dwarf image story, translated to something like "What even is this..."). It almost made me want to hit the delete button for that one. Hopefully that tweet doesn't deter you too much from expanding your audience. And who knows... maybe that guy is the kind prone to laugh when secretly turned on by something. *grin*

    Thank you for all your support, man, in every way you've given it. I'm really honored by it all.

    I'm sitting here trying to think of a good way to wrap this up... but I'm rambling. Have a great New Year, my friend. :)

    Btw, did your Brawny trophy ever arrive? I might have to wrestle some justice into my local bodybuilder-turned-postal-worker later today...

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    1. Thanks! I'm still small potatoes compared to other blogs (including yours), but I'm pleased.

      That tweet stood out because that's Brian Cage's account and he included Dirty Daddy's account. If it was a random guy, I wouldn't care, but I did worry about what I'd said about them in the review.

      You should definitely wrestle that bodybuilder-postal worker, just on principle! :)

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  2. It was a full and very intense year for you, man! Lots of awesome stories and reviews! I bet it was very tough to accomplish it all, considering the high quality of your writings, but you made it.

    Which was a awesome thing for us, readers, so I want to thank you for all your hard work. Really, you make (specially) my 1st and 15th day of every month a day I´m anxiously looking for. On those days I wake up happy just waiting for the story to go up, pressing F5 every 10 minutes, lol.

    So, again, thanks, Alex. And have a super 2016! :)

    Oh... btw, I loved the little tease and spoilers of what and who is to come. The rookies are spetacular! Can´t hardly wait for more of the Cave and its spinoffs! And, of course, Abuse of Power 2!

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    1. Appreciate the comment!

      Here's a tip ... all my stories are programmed to post at 6:00am US Central Time. :)

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    2. Wow, didn't know that! Thanks for the help. My F5 key thanks you, hehe. :)

      Btw, is Bane going to fight this year? I miss his brute style.

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    3. You're welcome.

      Ryan will be in action 2/1, but Bane won't return to the ring until very late in the year.

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  3. Alex R:

    How do I even begin? Well first with a huge THANK YOU!! Thank you for so many great stories. Thank you for so many characters. Thank you for a great fun blog that almost daily brings us alot of entertainment. For me it is a privilege to help in what little I can! It was around three years ago that I read that first Batman and Bane storyline. I knew that it had to continue. Your storytelling is really great in that it is both well written and excellently thought out. Thank you for your nice comment I really appreciate it.
    ITs very interesting though how you just started with the stories on Bards group bu then expanded to multiple series aka The Alex Miller Universe plus reviews of wrestling matches plus all the other cool stuff that you post about in regards to the wrestling world.
    My take on the comment by Cage...its difficult to determine. He might have found it fun, thats my take. Writing online, specially on twitter has this problem of misinterpretation. It has happened to me way to many times!! The same thing with your stories. You might have people that either dont appreciate or dont know how to express themselves. Those people, well what can you do about them?
    Social media? I tend to think that its all for the good. You might get more attention that what you want, but take it in strides.
    Going back to the stories. I find it fascinating the combination of so many characters. You started with the basic ones, but I think the thing I personally like the most are the AMU characters. Of course Cody, Ryan, Jae, Mr Riddle are my favorites. But your original characters are so open and fresh for development and growth that it makes them very attractive. Spartan is on the list of course, but also RAM, someone whose image I did not provide. That character has jumped to a favorite of mine! Thats one of the things about your stories, the surprise element. There is actually beef to them even thought they are relatively simple. What is going to happen between Cody and Jae? What is up with Mimik? Have Ben and Jeff found success? Did Spartan actually win one? LOL I have learned to care about all of this characters! How interesting!
    One thing that is important is that you have a gift for writing. Weather it is stories, reviews, who's who or a post like this. That is the part I appreciate the most. Dont get me wrong. I LOOOOOOVE the artwork. Specially when you fill the stories up with them. Im a rather visual person. But it is your passion and love in putting your thoughts into writing that makes the difference.
    Am I looking forward to 2016??? HOLY HELL I AM. I wonder what you have in store for us. A crossover??? That sounds insane. You have 2 new hotties down there in the new guys uufff. Cant wait.
    I could probably write more, but its the second time I write. Hopefully my connection wont drop and delete everything I write hahaha, like it happened earlier today.

    Thanks Alex and long Live the Cave

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    1. Alex R, thanks so much! I always love your passion for this stuff.

      Yeah, it's coming up on four years since Bard posted my first story on his Google Group. It's all come a long way. I love when guys compliment the characters, because I think they're what makes it possible for me to keep going. Otherwise I would've run out of ideas long ago.

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    2. Alex R:
      It is going to be 4 years...WOW! How awesome! It's going to be one year of the Cave. Great! You needed your own space on the net because you have lots to share. The characters and their personalities is what keeps things going. They are complex and understandable. Love it. Thanks for the compliment. Storytelling and character development is a passion of mine.

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  4. It's all great fun! So hot, so hard! And thanks for the mention. I'm glad I can make a minor contribution to a wonderful blog.

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    1. You are welcome! You deserve it, both for the images and the comments. I really appreciate your support!

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  5. Thank you for your awesome work, your amazing stories and great reviews and BRILLIANT cast of characters :) Will we be seeing any more black guys though? http://jcwrestle.tumblr.com/image/136614678752 could be fun in a fight... :p

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    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Nice pic. Do you know who he is? With my 2016 wrestling stories specifically plotted and cast through September, there are only 7 new wrestlers. I'm bringing a lot of guys back. Of the new wrestlers, 3 are white, 1 is black and 2 are Asian. 1 (Hawk) I'm not sure about.

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    2. Sadly not a clue and I can't wait to see your awesome stories in the future :)

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  6. I know in your most recent blog post you made known your distaste for Guido Genatto/Chris Dickinson's vocabulary in his match against Ty Alexander.

    However, as I look at that picture of him at the top of your story I can't help but salivate. Also I want to say that not only am I not offended by his language in the match, but I wish he would film several more matches for BGeast now that he has gotten his body in incredible shape and very firm. I really want to see him take on BGeast's newcomers with that gorgeous body, phenomenal wrestling skills, and dominant persona he's known by.

    P.S. It wouldn't hurt for him to return to TA either...I would love to see a rematch between him and Marco and a match-up against Talon, Bolt, and Eagle.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. As I said in my review, I'm not telling anyone else how to feel about wrestlers using gay slurs, just how I feel about it. Obviously people have different opinions, but I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't pleased by BGE's decision to edit the audio.

      I'd like to see a return, too. I didn't infer anything about Guido from the video and it didn't make me delete my downloads or anything. He's a great performer and reminds me of the good old days of hairy bad boys.

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