An e-wrestler, in e-wrestling, is the fictional character which is created, designed, and portrayed by a handler in e-wrestling. An e-wrestler will perform in one or several e-federations. Much like their real life counterparts, e-wrestlers come in all shapes, sizes, and gimmicks. While an e-wrestler is a fictional character, and therefore not governed by the real laws of nature, most e-wrestlers are described as having builds, physiques and techniques as real wrestlers, with the majority of moves known by a particular e-wrestler being governed by what could be perceived as real, or possible during a real pro wrestling match, with some limited exceptions.
Although there are some e-federations that use real life pro wrestling names and likenesses, the vast majority use e-wrestlers that are an original concept of a particular handler. In fact, there have been reports that the major wrestling companies have been cracking down on the use of their copyrighted content. E-feds based on the WWE and TNA have either been forced to close or remove anything connected to these companies. A handler of an original e-wrestler will come up with an idea of what their character looks like, choose a name, write a biography, choose a particular style of wrestling (i.e. technical, high flyer, high impact) and decide what moves this particular wrestler is known to perform. Oftentimes an e-wrestler might be an extension of a handler's personality, other times it could be something purely opposite the handler's real life attitude. Some handler's are known for drafting artwork of their e-wrestler or using computer software such as Poser to create a 3D virtual avatar of their wrestler to use in various materials centered around the storyline their e-wrestler is involved in, or for use in promoting the e-wrestler.
While most handlers will use a singles wrestler, occasionally a handler will create a Tag team. It is also possible for two separate handlers to form a tag team and promote their individual wrestlers collectively in order to compete for an e-federation's tag team championship. For the purposes of a storyline, the owner of an e-federation might pair two singles e-wrestlers together as a tag team.
The creation of an e-wrestler can start in many different ways. Someone that has never participated in e-wrestling before might base their first creation on their favorite real life wrestler, with perhaps a twist such as different look, personality, or move set. Someone who has been in e-wrestling a while might design an e-wrestler based on something completely original, establishing their character as something that stands apart from anything in real life. When creating an e-wrestler, in general the following things are decided upon by the handler.
Like most real life professional wrestlers, one of the first things is to try and establish an identity. The e-wrestler's name alone can identify the personality and style of a particular grappler. Names such as Jason Payne or Chaos! could imply the e-wrestler is a hulking mass of man that relies more heavily on power moves, or is a brawler. While flashy names such as Cameron Cruise might suggest the guy is a high flyer. Or, the name could have any other type of significance the handler wishes to attach to it. The one thing common throughout naming an e-wrestler, is just like with real pro wrestling names, they are usually designed to stand out, and be easily remembered. Oftentimes, the handler of a particular e-wrestler will be better known in e-wrestling circles under the name of their most popular e-wrestler rather than their real name.
In wrestling parlance, morality is the term given to an e-wrestler that determines what reaction the fans have toward him/her. There are three basic moralities that a handler has to decide on.
Babyface - More commonly called a 'Face', this is the good guy. He stands by his principles, will rarely ever cheat or break the rules. A face is a clean cut hero and his every word and action points towards some moral value or goodness. In short, he is the embodiment of good, and a hero to many fans. A hero is always polite, never angry, and deal with people in truth and honor at all times. An example of a babyface would be Rey Mysterio.
Heel - The opposite of a babyface, the heel is the bad guy. Fans will rarely cheer a heel, unless in the off event that two heels are booked in the same match. Nothing is beneath a heel, and a heel will do whatever it takes to win. Whether it's cheating, or blatantly breaking the rules, the heel does not endear himself to many fans. Heels are also known to possess large egos, and have an arrogant demeanor about them, looking down on fans and babyfaces alike as people who are beneath them. An example of a heel would be Randy Orton.
Tweener - A morally ambiguous wrestler, neither a bad guy or good guy (an inbetweener). This term is also used to describe wrestlers who use tactics typically associated with heels (e.g., cheating), yet are still cheered by fans in spite of (or because of) these antics. The term is also used to describe wrestlers that remain popular, even though they are actually heels. Tweener type characters also include antiheroes, characters who are generally portrayed as protagonists, but whose character is at least in some regards contrary to that of the archetypal hero. An example of a tweener would be 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin.
A handler will decide just what kind of build their particular e-wrestler has. More often than not, this will decide the type of moves that e-wrestler will use. Attributes such as height and weight will be key contributors to how well an e-wrestler can be viewed as moving around the ring and performing various moves. E-wrestlers with short, muscular builds will more likely to be high flyers or technically sound grapplers. Those that have tall, hulking frames are more prone to use power moves such as variable slams, powerbombs and the like. While these could be stereotypical norms, sometimes a handler will design a wrestler with a build that contrasts with a preconceived style. However, it should be noted that while the thought of a seven foot luchador performing hurricaranas sounds interesting, such e-wrestlers would represent the extreme in believability.
An e-wrestler's wrestling style determines exactly how that e-wrestler will wrestle a match. While an e-wrestler is a fictitious character, usually the handler decides what kind of style to use based on his/her character design including the size of the e-wrestler, personality, prior history, or any other multitude of reasons. Some examples of different wrestling styles include the following:
Aerial - Also known as a 'high flyer', this wrestling style uses high impact moves that generally involve using the ropes as a springboard to perform quick, yet high impact moves onto opponents. E-wrestlers that cater to this particular style are often of small build and physique, which lends to their quickness and ability to propel their bodies as a weapon. In general, high flying e-wrestlers generally are not known for their strength, instead relying on quick thinking, and ever quicker feet to get the job done. High flying moves do carry a greater risk for injury than most mat based techniques, due to the risks involved from leaping from great heights, and missing your target.
Brawler - A fighter in its purest sense, the brawler loves to fight. Most brawlers will simply beat their opponents into submission using a variety of strikes. The brawler is not a very technically refined wrestler, and will simply rely on the most basic of offensive moves in order to beat down an opponent before finally putting him away.
Hardcore - The hardcore wrestler is basically a brawler that likes to use weapons. At home in the hardcore environment, this type of e-wrestler is very adept at dishing out pain with anything they can get their hands on, as well as being able to absorb tremendous amounts of pain in return. Hardcore wrestlers aren't afraid of what can happen to them, they expect it, and some of them even thrive on it.
Powerhouse - A powerhouse might be pretty adept and beating the hell out of someone, but while they can pack a punch, they can also do it with a variety of slams and throws. Most of the powerhouse's moves will consist of moves that show off the e-wrestler's physical strength, such as military press slams, delayed vertical supplex, or even a submission move such as a bearhug. Powerhouse moves will more often than not, knock the wind out of an opponent.
Showman - E-wrestlers that are showmans usually have movesets that are flashy, and appealing to the fans watching it. The moves show off either the wrestlers theatrical moves, such as The People's Elbow, and moves that involve stalling such as a vertical suplex. It can also show off moves that involve high risk. These can include moves off props like the Swanton Bomb, or Mr. Kennedy's Green Bay Plunge. Showman wrestlers are all about putting on a show for the viewers.
Technical - Technical e-wrestlers use different types of wrestling and focus on the basics of professional wrestling. Often well versed in many different types of holds, submission moves, as well as counter holds and reversals, a sound technical wrestler can be a very difficult opponent. While not packing the sheer punch of a powerhouse, nor the high flying ability of the aerialist, the technician is right at home working over someone on the mat, wearing down an opponent both physically and mentally before finishing them off.
Of course, there are a multitude of styles that handlers will bring into e-wrestling such as shootfighting, mixed martial arts, boxing, and other forms of fighting known the world. Oftentimes, a handler will combine certain aspects of two different styles, resulting in an e-wrestler that has a more diverse background, and move sets. An example of such would be a brawler, who also performs as an occasional high flyer. With the different fighting styles there are out there, a handler is limited only to his imagination to come up with the particular wrestling style his/her e-wrestler will use.
Another part of an e-wrestler that defines who and what they are, are the moves that he is known for performing. More often than not, the types of moves an e-wrestler will perform will be directly connected to the type of build he/she has, as well as the morality. When creating an e-wrestler, most E-feds will require the handler to submit a move set. This move set will more than likely contain the following items.
Basic Moves - These moves form the basis around which most move sets are defined. This part of the move set will contain basic wrestling throws and holds that the e-wrestler will perform such as bodyslams, arm drags, clotheslines and the like. This list will make up the majority of an e-wrestler's move set as it establishes the type of style a particular e-wrestler will perform.
Signature Moves - These are the moves that an e-wrestler will be known for. In wrestling terms, it could be a move designed to pop the crowd, or gain incredible heat. This is a move that may or may not be a finishing move, but it is directly tied to that character. Oftentimes, these moves might be given a name to reflect the personality or name of the given e-wrestler.
Finishing Moves - Also referred to as finishers, this is the move that an e-wrestler performs in order to end the match. Usually these moves are dynamic, have high impact, or can be submission type maneuvers. An e-wrestler's finishing move can also be called a signature move, as it is the move that an e-wrestler might be closely associated with. Like signature moves, finishers might be given an alternate name to the actual move's name, in order to readily identify it to that particular e-wrestler. It is also not uncommon for an e-wrestler to have more than one finishing move.