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#21 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 09:28 AM

I don't mind if people use those standards so long as they're consistent with them. By which I mean you don't just apply to them to Flair but every nominee. Personally, I think it's a case by case matter -- it works in some wrestler's favour and other times it doesn't matter -- but I would find it kind of odd if someone watched a dozen Kandori matches from her prime and voted her, but held Flair to these standards. I also don't see how a universal standard can be applied when everyone ages differently and we're not always privy to what the wrestler can and cannot do physically. And maybe people are just flat out overrating older Andre and everyone else. 



#22 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 09:30 AM

To be fair, that's true of any standard though. There are so many differences in candidates: footage, opportunities, tag vs singles, territory that they're in, quality of opponents, tv matches vs arena matches, etc. Ultimately, the number of voters and their different backgrounds and opinions will even things out, I think. All we can try for is consistency. 



#23 shoe

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 11:08 AM

I think the Flair didn't adapt like Funk or Tenyru etc. Isn't really a fair argument. Funk or Tenyru weren't on weekly television so they weren't 't getting exposed like Flair in the 00's. Funk and Tenyru didn't have agents and producers telling them this is what we want in a match. I think Flair in the 00's is in a spot where he really couldn't change up a lot or adapt a different style because of the situation he was in.

#24 WingedEagle

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 12:38 PM

I don't see why Flair adapting in the twilight of his career is remotely relevant.  I know its not a perfect analogy, but no one evaluates Jordan based on his years in DC, or slights Misawa or Kobashi for the last few years of their career.  We've got 20+ years of him as an all timer.  What follows that doesn't take away a thing from that stretch unless it somehow ruins your ability to look back at those matches.  I don't think there's anyone I'd consider ranking who will take a hit because of what they did or didn't do in the twilight of a long career.  If that's the approach I think its only fair to similarly go and knock Volk Han and anyone else who's quantity of output during their prime doesn't approach that of someone who was out there producing on a regular basis.



#25 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 12:40 PM

Wrestling is art, not sport. Brando is punished for his late career. Metallica is. It's not a 100% comparison but I don't think it's an entirely outlandish idea either. One aspect of being a good pro wrestler is understanding and working around your limitations, whether you are twenty or sixty.

I won't penalize someone for having a less athletic match later in their career. I might penalize someone for trying to have one later in their career and failing. I think a lot of times you can use data from those matches to go back and better understand their earlier matches.

#26 WingedEagle

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 01:31 PM

Wrestling is art, not sport.

 

That's why this discussion will not get resolved.  I think that statement is as baseless and incomplete as saying that wrestling is pure sport and not art.  There are fortunately elements of both on display to varying degrees every time out.



#27 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 02:48 PM

 

Wrestling is art, not sport.

 

That's why this discussion will not get resolved.  I think that statement is as baseless and incomplete as saying that wrestling is pure sport and not art.  There are fortunately elements of both on display to varying degrees every time out.

 

There is an athletic element but it's more like a narratively-driven improv dance than like Michael Jordan. Maybe I'd be more apt to liken it to folk music duets, where you need to tell a story, have the physical skills and training, and know your range while working with someone else, than anything else, and that's so far off it's not even funny. It's very much it's own animal, which is in part why we love it so much. That said, differences of opinions make the world go round, though "Baseless" might be a little harsh.



#28 Shining Wiz

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 02:53 PM

Pairs figure skating is the best sport analogy.

#29 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 02:56 PM

I don't think the narrative element is there with that, though. 



#30 Shining Wiz

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 03:09 PM

I don't think the narrative element is there with that, though.


Not a figure skating watcher, I see.

#31 NintendoLogic

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 03:19 PM

Figure skating isn't a sport.



#32 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 03:19 PM

 

I don't think the narrative element is there with that, though.


Not a figure skating watcher, I see.

 

 

Who has time for that? Do you have any idea how many Jumbo matches i need to watch?



#33 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:08 PM

Brando is punished for his late career.


He really isn't. In fact, Brando isn't even punished for the shit he did during his supposed peak. More than any other actor he more or less gets a bye for being in loads of mediocre stuff on the strength of a handful of phenomenal performances (Streetcar, On the Waterfront, Godfather, possibly Last Tango if you rate that).

Brando is just about the worst example you might have used. No one is bringing up The Island of Dr. Moreau or The Score as evidence of him not being the GOAT. Those who push for Brando as GOAT don't tend to do it on overall body of work, they argue along the lines of raw natural talent.

I am very confused as to why you, of all people, are adopting this line.

Last week, it was all about how you only need so many Bock matches to show you that he's a great worker, and that lets you know how good he is overall. But now with Flair you want him to be consistent for his whole career including his post-peak? I don't get it.

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I understand both points of view on this by the way. Position A is something like:

- Robert De Niro cemented his reputation as an all-timer back in 1990 and no matter what else he does, his case is already made, he can only add to it.

Position B is:

- Robert De Niro might have made many fine performances in the 70s and 80s but since about 1995, he's coasted and made an awful lot of shit, and we're now at the point where he has almost 20 years of being on uninspired autopilot. This has to be a knock on his GOAT case.

Position A makes the argument "from peak performance".

Position B makes the argument "from overall body of work".

What I don't understand is Matt D -- a guy who has consistently argued from neither of those positions but from something like "overall ability" (which would be the line Brando advocates would tow) -- now switching to insist on overall body of work. Makes no sense.

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I struggle with this question. I get the "overall body of work" argument, but at the same time, you make it an advantage to die early or retire. If Flair dies in 1993, he has a better career than if he retired when he did? Really? If De Niro dies in 1995, he has a better career than he does now? Seems arse-backwards to say that to me.

#34 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:17 PM

It's about getting data points for evidence. You use them to plot a map of a wrestler. It's better to have them scattered throughout the career. With Bock basically all we have is his late career. It's not better for Lawler if he retired in 95. It might have been better for Flair. That's the whole point. Figuring out how or why and what it means.

You figure out ability through body of work and more diverse primary sources you have in type and role and situation, the easier it is to work this out. I think you learn something from a wrestler's ability to adapt to different situations, including the loss of physical gifts.

#35 WingedEagle

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:21 PM

Baseless might be harsh, but I think saying that wrestling is art rather than sport is pretty harsh as well.  It dismisses the incredibly physical nature of any narrative or storytelling that wrestlers may be presenting and takes for granted the ability to do that on a consistent and prolonged basis, which is a huge part of Flair's legacy. 

 

I also don't see the point about Brando or anyone of that ilk as being accurate.  Do Dr. Moreau or Don Juan Demarco in any way tarnish the Godfather, On the Waterfront, Apocalypse Now, even The Freshman?  Did Last Vegas somehow bring about a reevaluation of De Niro's career?  Where an artist has decades of outstanding work, some low quality paydays, output or whatever you want to call it at the end doesn't in any way diminish the greatness that preceded it. 

 

Similarly, If Flair's late career run was the bulk of his career, or even a significant part of it -- let's say taking the place of the '80s, -- I could see one taking the approach that his career, on the whole, wasn't exactly up to GOAT snuff.  But it didn't take the place of that.  It was just what occurred at the end.  Perhaps it comes off worse to you because of the view that is strictly art without any element of sport.  I just happen to also see it as the result of his abilities declining due to his physical condition after doing what he did year after year after year before that.  Which isn't something I'd hold against him.



#36 WingedEagle

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:27 PM

 

Brando is punished for his late career.


Last week, it was all about how you only need so many Bock matches to show you that he's a great worker, and that lets you know how good he is overall. But now with Flair you want him to be consistent for his whole career including his post-peak? I don't get it.

 

 

Great point.  If we're going to be fair, we need to seek out all of the late career and junk someone may have put out rather than choice selections from the peak.  I don't know anyone's viewing habits or history here, but Flair's downside was something I watched basically week to week, as opposed to even his peaks, which I was too young to see and appreciate, but I'm not about to hold that exposure against him.  Its one of my concerns in ranking people I really haven't seen more than a handful of times, Bock included.  I'll have seen the best and worst of many US & Japanese guys from the last 20 years or so, and nothing close to as much from those before then.  There has to be a balance in not penalizing someone to whom we have greater exposure and rewarding those with limited exposure. 



#37 Dylan Waco

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:28 PM

I only hold it against Flair in the context of a debate like this which is based on the sequential ordering of people.  In a GOAT debate you sometimes look for tiebreakers or variables that may separate two very close candidates.  One of those variables (for me) is someones work in their post prime.  Notably this is not the ONLY variable. But I don't get and never will get the argument that it should not be considered in the context of a project like this



#38 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:29 PM

I don't want him to be consistent. I want him to be a good enough pro wrestler to I understand that he needs to adapt and then be able to do it, especially when comparing him to other wrestlers that did just that.

#39 Dylan Waco

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:30 PM

I'm also pretty baffled at the notion that Matt's application of principles is inconsistent or has changed all of the sudden.  If anything I think Matt is TOO consistent in how he looks at wrestling



#40 dawho5

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:32 PM

Sometimes I think Matt and Parv argue just for the sake of arguing.  Whether or not that's true, I don't see how late career coasting can either tarnish the earlier greatness or be completely ignored.  To me it's a matter of the sum total.  Did the great stuff outweigh the subpar late career paydays?  By how much did that late career slide hurt Flair's (or anyone else's) case in your eyes?  Or on the opposite side, did the garbage come out ahead for a career with great matches peppered in?  How much do those great performances elevate the career underachiever to the point where they make the lower part of a ballot?  Those seem like the more pressing questions than the big extremes being presented.






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