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#41 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:32 PM

And I opened up the idea above that maybe I do need to look up Flair inconsistently than other wrestlers due to his delusions and other mitigating causes.

#42 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:34 PM

It's a plus, but I don't subscribe to the idea that wrestlers have to be great when they get old in order to be talked about at that level. If a wrestler happens to get great when he's old, it's a feather in his cap because it's rare and unusual. If all other things were equal, I might use it as my tiebreaker too. I'm interested in looking at the whole of a wrestler's career, to the point that I think I was narrow-minded in the past in only focusing on the peak. But a made man is a made man - there's nothing an established GOAT contender can do to bring his case down in my eyes, no matter how sharp the decline. He can only enhance it with additional work. And Flair definitely has plenty of matches after the 1980s that are excellent and worth watching. But even if he didn't, I don't know that I'd see him all that differently.

 

That doesn't only apply to Flair. There's little in wrestling I hate more than Kobashi chopfests late in his career, but that has absolutely no bearing on how I rank him. He made his case long before that started.



#43 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:34 PM

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.


No. Because people peak at different times. It's entirely possible for example that Bock was better in the 80s than he was in the 70s. We don't know for sure until we see a good sampling for Bock in the 70s, but it's possible. It's also possible that Bock is a strange case of someone who simply doesn't have a post-peak. Well, great for him. But I don't see why this should necessarily be a knock on guys who do have one. Bock is a freak of nature, because he seemed to be able to bump around like a 25-year old when he was in his 50s.

Flair didn't work a style that was going to see him well into old age. He was all-action, he thought on his feet a lot of the time, he relied on his stamina and workrate to see him through. So, yes, by the time he's 50 a lot of his key tools are taken away -- because unlike Bock he wasn't able to keep going.

I don't see how any of it detracts from Flair's career before that.
 

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


Okay fine, but then it becomes a case of "well, do you have the goods to even get to the tiebreaker with Flair?"

And let's say someone does. How does one call it? Do you go back to 1978 and bring in extra Steamboat matches? Do you go to the HBK match? Or the times when he was tagging with Batista and actually working pretty smart?

Let's say it's a theoretical someone whose peak is "tied" with Flair's and then he's got nothing else because he retired ... what do you do? Is Flair's post-peak an overall plus or minus? Well?

#44 Shining Wiz

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:39 PM

Sometimes it is better to burn out than to fade away.

A guy like Jumbo or Steamboat was done so quickly, he never had the chance to grow old and decline before our eyes/on video. Flair (and I by no means think he is the worst 'offender') and guys like Foley, Wahoo, Watts and others stayed around long enough that the lasting memory, or at least an aspect of it, is them struggling to be 1/2 as good as they were in their prime......or worse, 1/2 as good as when they were already past their prime.

For the record, I don't personally think it will effect my booting that much, but we are talking the elite of the elite here, and the vote isn't for "best wrestler at their absolute peak", it's for the best of all time, and for that, all their time in the ring matters to some degree.

#45 Dylan Waco

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:43 PM

I don't necessarily consider Flair's post-peak as a whole, because I think it was so long and the quality of what he was doing varied greatly. For example if you think his peak ended in 90,the WWF run through around 94 is still very good stuff. 95-97?  Eh.  I don't hate it, but it's a mixed bag.  Dying days WCW?  Bad, but not entirely his fault.  Evolution-era?  I wouldn't call it smart - in fact I thought Flair was in the running for worst guy in the world during much of this run.  American Onita Flair?  Loved it.



#46 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:46 PM

A lot of this goes back to what I value, and again that is different than what is my favorite, though it does inform it. I value a style were physical tools aren't the most important and so long as I am honest and open and consistent about this, then I don't see what the problem is if I use the tools that I have available to make the decisions I need to make.

#47 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:48 PM

Kenta Kobashi is a very interesting wrestler to evaluate with that criteria.



#48 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:49 PM

Out of interest, is anyone going to bother to consider matches that Terry Funk has had aged almost 70 with his brother looking like the Cryptkeeper?

Or does Flair only get this because he happened to be doing it on WWE TV?

#49 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:54 PM

Sometimes it is better to burn out than to fade away.

A guy like Jumbo or Steamboat was done so quickly, he never had the chance to grow old and decline before our eyes/on video. Flair (and I by no means think he is the worst 'offender') and guys like Foley, Wahoo, Watts and others stayed around long enough that the lasting memory, or at least an aspect of it, is them struggling to be 1/2 as good as they were in their prime......or worse, 1/2 as good as when they were already past their prime.

For the record, I don't personally think it will effect my booting that much, but we are talking the elite of the elite here, and the vote isn't for "best wrestler at their absolute peak", it's for the best of all time, and for that, all their time in the ring matters to some degree.

 

Jumbo had a whole period where he worked comedy 6-man tags. I don't know how many are on tape, but I'm damn sure people ignore them.



#50 goodhelmet

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:54 PM

The problem is that we aren't penalizing Flair for getting old. We are rewarding Tenryu, Lawler etc having multiple great post prime performances after they got old. Nothing wrong with that.

#51 Shining Wiz

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:55 PM

Out of interest, is anyone going to bother to consider matches that Terry Funk has had aged almost 70 with his brother looking like the Cryptkeeper?Or does Flair only get this because he happened to be doing it on WWE TV?


I think there's a difference doing a match I front of 75 people at aVFW Hall and one in front of 12,000 people live and 3.5 million on tv. So, yeah, I'd say Flair's "post-prime" being so open that it gets considered more.

#52 Loss

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:58 PM

That's not fair. The guy you've said is your likely #1 made a big chunk of his case wrestling in front of smaller crowds. Does that mean that it matters less?



#53 Shining Wiz

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:06 PM

In a way, yes. I think I'd get a lot more push back on Bryan as a #1 option if he hadn't had the WWE run he has.

More specifically in terms of declines, it's a rare wrestler who does it in the ring for the biggest company going. I'm sure Sting wasn't so hot over 50 in TNA, but it's TNA so who saw it? Simple truth that higher profile positions are going to have a wider effect on opinions of wrestlers.

#54 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:07 PM

I don't really recall guys bringing up the careers of guys like Ricky Morton or Greg Valentine working indies in the 00s and 10s. I didn't see anyone talk about Morton's run with the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship title from earlier this year. No one talked about botch-y late Vader. Even in recent discussion about Ron Garvin, no one talked about how he fell off a cliff in late 90-1.

It seems like since Flair is the man, he has to be subjected to extra special scrutiny.

How about someone instead trying to demonstrate that the other contenders can even go toe-to-toe with Flair's volume of great matches and performances before trying to pull down his career based on his old-man years?

It shouldn't be a disadvantage to be the frontrunner and "man to beat" in a thing like this, but at the moment it feels like it is for him.

#55 Shining Wiz

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:09 PM

Well, he's not the man to beat for me, and I'll probably consider everything you just mentioned in figuring who goes on my list and where.

#56 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:11 PM

Personally, I'm going to absolutely look at Terry Funk when he gets old. I'm going to look at how he understood and modified his act for the Philadelphia Crowd or for the crazy stuff in Japan he was doing at the time and if he as able to continue to have good matches despite and because of that. I'm going to look to see what happened to him when he was in 00 indies and couldn't quite do some of the stuff that allowed for his post-prime career, and I think he had a match with Lawler a couple of years ago and I'm really interested to see what I can learn from that, pro or con. 

 

Likewise Ricky Morton.

 

I don't get why people don't think there's something to learn in how a wrestler adapts to not being able to use the same tools that they once did. I just really don't get that. It's not about giving or taking away points, it's about understanding a wrestler and how well they understand their craft and thereby how well they potentially understood it when they were younger and how that understanding shaped every match of their career and how it developed or didn't develop over the years. How is this not interesting to you guys? When I watch wrestlers I look for clues in almost everything they do. How else am I going to figure out whether they're good or not. You look for patterns and how they handle different situations. I get that not everyone does it that way, but there's so much to learn about a wrestler in almost every match. That's what makes a project like this so great.

 

To be fair, when I'm done looking at everything, what I might come up with is that Flair not being able to adapt just paints a new and different light on how well he DID know how to the tools that he had when he was younger. I don't know yet. It's not about penalizing or giving points. It's about figuring things out.



#57 Dylan Waco

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:22 PM

Out of interest, is anyone going to bother to consider matches that Terry Funk has had aged almost 70 with his brother looking like the Cryptkeeper?

Or does Flair only get this because he happened to be doing it on WWE TV?

 

I watch every Funk match that shows up every year if that answers your question.



#58 Dylan Waco

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:25 PM

I don't really recall guys bringing up the careers of guys like Ricky Morton or Greg Valentine working indies in the 00s and 10s. I didn't see anyone talk about Morton's run with the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship title from earlier this year. No one talked about botch-y late Vader. Even in recent discussion about Ron Garvin, no one talked about how he fell off a cliff in late 90-1.

It seems like since Flair is the man, he has to be subjected to extra special scrutiny.

How about someone instead trying to demonstrate that the other contenders can even go toe-to-toe with Flair's volume of great matches and performances before trying to pull down his career based on his old-man years?

It shouldn't be a disadvantage to be the frontrunner and "man to beat" in a thing like this, but at the moment it feels like it is for him.

 

It seems to me like people just don't like it when Flair is criticized.

 

Over the course of this project we will see who can and who can't go "toe-to-toe" with Flair career v. career.  I'll say flat out - not many are able to.  But I do believe there are several people who are at least in the discussion with him.  He's not an unquestionably, obvious one, who's peak lapped the field, or at least I've not been convinced by anyone who has tried to present that case.

 

Also worth noting that I have written and talked about post-prime Ricky Morton (including this year) and others as well because I watch that stuff.  How much wrestling from the last fifteen years have you watched Parv?



#59 goodhelmet

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:27 PM

Parv... is anyone considering Valentine or Morton as their #1? If they were, those eras should be considered. We are looking at guys who had incredible comparable peaks in deciding who is #1. If somebody wants to go beyond the peak to decide #1 and #2 then that is a valid way of breaking a tie. 



#60 Matt D

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:36 PM

That's it. A lot of the scrutiny is because these guys are the BEST of the BEST, but at the same time, I think there's a ton to learn from watching any wrestler at any point of his career especially in limited situations. 






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