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In my world, I have a combat sport for superhumans who are peak humans. They are pretty much your typical quasi pseudo normal humans like Batman, Punisher, and Legends/Myth Bruce Lee. This sport is so high level. Top Fighters like Conor MacGregor can't even compete in it. Because he is not superhuman enough to. He would get stomp by the weakest superhumans.

What I mean by vague is what type of combat sport does my fictional combat sport falls under.

Growing up I was a huge fan of both MMA and Pro Wrestling. UFC and WWE especially. I mixed UFC with the WWE with my fictional combat sport. I'm afraid my fictional combat sport might come off as too vague. Because WWE and UFC are two different things despite similarities like two big sweaty men fighting each other.

I didn't want the Superhuman Fighters to be generic A and B fighters like the UFC. So I wanted to add the langer-than-life characters WWE has to my fictional combat sport. With all the gimmicks and themes. I wanted my superhuman fighters to have unique personalities outside being really good martial artists.

I wanted to add all the WWE theatrics and gimmick matches like royal rumbles and ladder matches. But im afraid that is too outlandish for a UFC/MMA-based setting. I also used the fact that the fighters are superhuman as an excuse to explained the fighters competing in dangerous gimmick matches.

But im afraid this hybrid combat sport I made might be too alien to an audience. Like is this MMA or Pro Wrestling. Can I get away with a combat sport that blurred lines between both and has overlap between both?

It's doesn't help that have no weight class or gender division lol. Meaning small dudes can fight big dudes. And Women can fight Men. Again using the fact that the fighters are superhumans as an excuse to why smaller fighters and female fighters can take on big fighters and male fighters.

My fights still follow MMA rules. So no Pro Wrestling pinfalls. There are still rounds. Fighters still lose via Knockouts, TKOs, and submissions.

So is this sport too vague to be the top combat sport in the world?

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    $\begingroup$ Do you want a proper sport, like MMA, or a staged entertainment, like (modern) pro wrestling? Trying to split the difference between these is probably not a good idea, for the safety of your participants if nothing else. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jun 18 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ Pro wrestling is not a sport, it is a performance art. Nobody is fighting anybody in pro wrestling; they are acting. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Jun 18 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ I know this. The keywords in my post are Kayfabe here. $\endgroup$
    – BackBack33
    Jun 18 at 17:23
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    $\begingroup$ I'm VTC as you're asking our opinion on some element on your world. This cannot by definition be answered by a best answer. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Jun 18 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm... What do you take exactly from wrestling, if the rules are the same as MMA? By chance, are you simply worried that people say "Wait a minute! This move is too slow for a real box fight!"? If so, remember that people are always fond of cool but actually inefficient moves, as long as they look coherent and don't break the flow of the fight :). Look in movies at how often guys leave their guard wide opened, it's ridiculous. But watching them make that wide and sweaty uppercut at the end is so nice to look at, and it's what matters in the end! Also the reason people watch pro wrestling :). $\endgroup$
    – Tortliena
    Jun 21 at 2:44
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Gladiator fights.

There was an ancient martial tradition that had all of these elements, gladiator fights. Gladiators were elite fighters who performed for the masses, having a mix of individual anything goes duels, and extremely performative plays that were designed to entertain the audience.

People understand gladiator fights, so you could easily have all the elements you want if you explained it using that. You have some matches that are more focused on MMA style slugfest, and some that are more dramatized and WWE style, depending on who they are performing for and the personalities.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good reccomendation, they had different types of figths, definetly a thing to lookup $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 19 at 9:55
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Pankration

LOOONG before WWE, UFC, or MMA there was a sport called Pankration (meaning 'all force'). Pankration was a sport that had very few rules:

  1. no biting
  2. no attacking the genitals
  3. no eye gouging
  4. no weapons

Other than that you could do pretty much whatever you want to force your opponent to submit or lose consciousness. There were no points or other ways to win.

So why do I bring it up? Because the people who competed in this sport were among the most famous people in the ancient Mediterranean World to the point that many of thier names and matches were still well known hundreds or even thousands of years latter!

Instead of the events being orchestrated to be grand spectacles, the fact that there was no structure to the competition made grand spectacles naturally arise.

Arrichion of Phigalia was famous for winning a match AFTER being killed because the final maneuver that broke his neck left his opponent in so much pain that he submitted. Kleitomachos who once outmatch an opponent so much that the crowd started booing him; so, he addressed the crowd WHILE the fight was going on to inspire thier support before choosing to beat his opponent. Then there was the skinny little man who beat the reining champion of the Pankration games just by running around making the other guy chase him until he got so exhausted he forfeit. And there was another guy who's entire strategy revolved around breaking his opponents fingers. So on and so forth...

What made Pankration competitions so spectacular were not the gimmicks built into it, but the gimmicks that naturally arise out of such unstructured sports. If you want to add gimmicks like cages and royals, etc. that is fine too, but history tells us that the less structured a sport is, the more people will like it; so, making your rules vague is not the problem you may think it is; the structure of modern sports is there for the benefit of the athletes to prevent injuries, not for the amusement of the audience.

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  • $\begingroup$ running around - lol, this is smart, guy had the guts. This is the answer. Thechnology can bring the solution keeping althlets save and public engaged. Can't wait for real sword figths that way. Idk, by means of good VR, or some interface to artificial bodies out of gray goo or else, whatever. There were shy attempts to bring it up, but soo faaar off of what a sword figth is, people had no proper skills and yeah still long way to go. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 19 at 9:50
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    $\begingroup$ I would be afraid that in modern times we know too much about fighting. No one would learn fighting techniques that don't offer the best advantages. However there might be a way to upset the stage, literally: gadgets. These are semi-superhumans. As long as the batman lookalike doesn't use his grappling hook directly against his opponent all is fair game: swing from the rafters and slam into your opponent. Add some randomized environmental stuff for them to use against each other and you could be on to something. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Jun 19 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Demigan What we know in modern times makes a LOT of assumptions about an opponent because we cram fighters into weight classes, divisions, rule sets, etc. Once you can no longer assume your opponent is similarly fast, or similarly strong, or has similar training, it means that matches will become far too diversified for any one person to learn how to counter every possible matchup in a single life-time. Besides, even in modern times, top level fighters still often develop "counter-culture" techniques simply because no one knows how to deal with them. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jun 19 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ For example, I knew a national champion wrestler in highschool who could beat nearly any opponent because his whole approach to wrestling involved fighting from his butt (a strange choice where pinning is a thing) but he got so good at it that from his sophomore year onward, he only lost 1 match. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jun 19 at 19:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Demigan "we know too much about fighting." quite a statement, so this as well "best advantages" in which setting, for which goal and purpose, how sofisticated and how well it fits you - really there are so many things to consider. There significantly more than one system which is in active use and development. And which one is "more better" out of those there aren't hard answers for that. We do not have universal systems, so as people do have different abilities and preferences. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 19 at 20:32
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Monday night RAW has rules right?

Because your fights are ridiculously unfair, nobody would actually watch this as a sport. People would watch it like they do pro wrestling, but nobody actually critiques the fights. There is only so much commentary you can do with "Yeah, "muscle man" is pretty strong but "the building" is called "the building" because he turns into a building and falls on people."

Boxing is boring

Also, boxing is comparatively tame in comparison to acting, so over time people will be pressured to not fight and just act. Normal humans can make a punch look like it hit harder than a super hero punch, so even if you do hit someone hard normal humans can still out act you.

You can be a sport or an act, not both.

In 1971 Muhammad Ali won his famous Rumble in the Jungle fight, cementing his fame and popularity. However, this was a competition, the other guy could have easily won. However, people would understand that since it is a sport. On the other hand, one of the most famous pro wrestling moments is when Mick Foley won the WWE Championship in 1999. By all accounts Mick Foley was the inferior fighter, but because it was his story, he got help from others due to it being his story, and he could endure pain like no one else in the WWE, he won. If this was a normal competition then the extra help he got would be interference and he might have gone down in the first round. That would be a much worse story and may have lead to less people watching. So it makes more sense to not have strict rules and have this be a sport if things will be so unbalanced.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's not that's I want it to be a sport and act at the same time. I just want some elements of the act to be features of the sport. If that makes sense. $\endgroup$
    – BackBack33
    Jun 18 at 17:34
  • $\begingroup$ Like competitive cheerleading? $\endgroup$ Jun 19 at 0:43
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/I wanted my superhuman fighters to have unique personalities outside being really good martial artists/

In your story, you never describe the fights.

The sport is alien. It is pretty weird. And your characters all fight. But you never read about the fight. You read about the characters who fight, going about their lives. They talk about what happened, what they think is going to happen, what they worry about. The gimmicky crap fight that one has to do because his skillset was popular a decade ago but not much any more. The one with a desperate manager. The one who is paid to throw a fight.

The fighter who is a government agent. The fighter who is betting on herself. The fighter who is sick, and trying not to let anyone know. The fighter who is cheating.

And there is no written exposition about the fights. Never author to reader: "This is how the fights work!" The reader learns only from discussions between fighters. Perhaps an experienced one lets a newbie in on a trade secret but that is as close as it gets.

Porn is fine but romance is more interesting on a cerebral level. If you want to develop characters and you worry your fight is too weird, then leave the weird fighting to the imaginations of your readers and let them see your world through the eyes of your characters. The weirdness will inject energy into your story and your characters without ever being on display front and center.

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    $\begingroup$ To be clear, your answer to the Q "are these fights too vague" is "no". I'm thinking of The Necronomicon as similar. It's full of dreadful dark secrets, and we hear about the madman who wrote it, the madmen who read it, but we don't know anything about what's in it, which is fine. $\endgroup$ Jun 19 at 18:31
  • $\begingroup$ @OwenReynolds - exactly so and a much better analogy than port and romance ; thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Jun 20 at 15:26
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If superhumans are just as an excuse then introduce technologies.

A capacity to heal anything as long as brains are not smashed in a pulp, good VR(not like one we have today, but more on pair with one conspiracy are about), introduce nanomachines which can create artificial bodies and connect with people's brains, so as to enhanced brains and maybe enhanced things beyond what possible for human enhanced brains by making combinations of 1 half of brain ai and 2 enhanced halves of your typical human - 3(or more) halves of brains so to say.

In general in such things fights what is important, look any anime of that kind, nothing makes sense, except the fights.

Nanotech is your horse really

Then you can bend things in any shape and way you like, answers are quite good and you need to look for the history of things when lives were considered an expendable resource.

If such danger is removed, and using technologies it can be done, then who would miss the opportunity to show off, eh?

Defeat an opponent with a combination that has a 10% crit success rate(for lack of better words - in a risky way) to prove your own skills, show superiority.

What was that McGregor fight against the boxer - 100% show off. If you introduce such a system it lifts restrictions on weapons - swords can become great again, a whole new dimension to look for.

By new dimension I mean all sorts of combinations become possible. It is an eternal question which system of martial arts is better, to which we do not necessarily have definitive answers.

And then it really can become mixed fights - if you capable, show it, bring your bazooka to test it against my qi/speed/brains whatever. One who capable survives - on the arena, no one really dies if it isn't part of showoff to set your real body against an opponent, but it really about showing own confidence and outcome would be the same because of good fidelity of representation/mapping in cases VR or artificial bodies.

Restrictions, like classes (no nukes, no bazookas, a cold weapon is the top, no weapon, only fighter jet packs and nukes, etc whatever flies with the public) also possible, but the pinnacle is what human would value and like. (And the public, in that case, is more like you, who defines things)

Maybe no firearm(or maybe guns allowed Equilibrium style - maybe there is something to it and it may be a thing), no poison, no rules.

It was more like a comment, but it was too much for the comment section.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your nanotech idea sounds great. But from a world-building standpoint. Fights will happen every week like WWE Monday Night Raw or Friday Night Smackdown. Because the Nanotech would heal the fighters after fights. In real life, UFC champs only fight 2 or 3 times a year. Now there is nothing wrong with including tech that heals the fighters after fights. But it seems like the tech would make fights happen more often in a year. And there is nothing wrong with that too. $\endgroup$
    – BackBack33
    Jun 19 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ @BackBack33 frequency of event it really depends on a lot of factors. Olympic games happen once 4 years. I mean there plenty of reasons to have it at and frequency, and first reason is the public, so as grand events, with a lot of battles grids and all that, to gather have fun on a big scale like those gathering in nevada and such and some figths once a weak - they can coexist. In general healing does not remove necessity to train and do other stuff $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 19 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ @BackBack33 what I would expect is more local activity. Anyone can try and there is no toll to pay in case of accident, wrong move, loss etc. Then the thing can easy be on the scale of soccer in therms of how it conducted and fan base etc, fully replacing that ball thing. So it really up to how things are organized $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 19 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ This is OP. Nano healing tech or not. Fights in my world are automatically going to happen more frequently I believe. Because my fighters are superhuman/peak human. Meaning they heal more faster than normal humans. And can take more damage than normal humans. So that reason alone fights might occur more often in a year. $\endgroup$
    – BackBack33
    Jun 19 at 22:47
  • $\begingroup$ @BackBack33 I know. Sure it up to you, but I meant to say that the thing that defines frequency is the public, the spectators. If they ready to watch stuff 24.7 and organisers make better profit that way it will be 24.7, and if not then not. So shedules and frequenvies can be any, free for you to choose, and the thing does not affect it. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Jun 19 at 22:58

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