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BIG wrestling vs. small wrestling


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#21 CapitalTTruth

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 08:22 AM

My gut response when I started reading this thread was to say, "both". After reading a few responses it is clear to me that that response has been fleshed out pretty well. I - like many here - really value a combination and think the context matters a lot. Small venue vs stadium, tv vs live, even binge watching for a few hours vs catching a quick match: all of these affect what I might be looking more closely at, but none of them determine what pops off the screen for me.

 

Instead of focusing on which one i care about more, I started to think about which one of those strengths has influenced who my favorite wrestlers have been or what wrestlers really stood out to me.  I recently went through a huge surge of wrestling watching, getting exposed to Lucha, joshi, and lots of 80s territory stuff I hadn't been before. I think in that I might have gone through a bit of a shift to big wrestling. I don't think it has quite as much to do with the people i really rank as personal favorites, but I big wrestling started jumping off the screen to me a little more than it used to. It is likely a matter of ebbs and flows. I have probably been paying more attention to the small stuff over the last 5-6 years and then I took in a few waves of new stuff and the big stuff stood out.  In the early 2000s I was only really watching mainstream American wrestling and lost interest in wrestling as a whole until I got into the indy boom, NOAH, and backtracking into the All Japan stuff. Of course there is big wrestling in all those, but it was the little stuff that stood out to me.  I think that is where the dynamic is really most interesting to me, when one strength can really jump off the page for one reason or another. For me, it is probably in my own ebbs and flows of interest, but it also stands out when someone is really good at the big stuff or the little stuff while everyone else around them tends to have the opposite strength. I have always thought this was one of the reasons Dragon connected so much with the audience. Of course it was the Yes Chant, of course it was his charm, but I really think his in ring work connected with people and it was because he was good at both, but his bread and butter is the little stuff.  I think the same holds true for Kobashi. All Japan was always a place to find big and small wrestling, but - at least to my eye - the real strength was in the small stuff. Kobashi is a big stuff guy. It is what set him apart. Among the four pillars, it was his niche. That was part of the reason he stood out so much for me and why I think he connected with the audience on such a white hot emotional level. Those are two of my favorites of all time, both of them are good at the big and small stuff, but I think they really excel in different places and both contrasted every so slightly with their surroundings in ways that made them pop. 






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