I've tried to separate my thoughts into three chunks, only have time to share the first one, next two maybe later or tomorrow:1. Workers vs. Matches
One thing I figured out about myself is that I value smarts over most skills in wrestling.
Over 20 hours of reviewing 90s AJPW matches with Steven and over however many years of reading Matt's posts, I still have to admit that I don't really understand what this means. In a recent post
I made, I talked about how I was concerned that fans are losing the fundamentals or basics of psychology, storytelling and logic in wrestling matches and angles. And I praised my man Ted for his ability to work around the limitations of someone like Bob Sweetan. But this doesn't seem to be what Steven or Matt mean by "working smart". Or if it is, Ted working around Sweetan or the Midnights working around Watts and JYD is not typically the sort of context in which I see those guys talking about it.
After doing the first part of the WTBBP countdown with Chad, he mentioned how much he struggles to rate workers as opposed to matches. And I've come to realise that about myself too. I'm far far more comfortable talking about specifics in matches and breaking them down and talking about who did what well in those matches than extrapolating out generalisations about workers from five-minute TV matches. Whenever the debate moved to generalisations and away from specifics, I found myself getting pretty frustrated. Like let's say when people brought up certain tendencies of Flair (let's say the idea that he always worked the same match), my response was almost always to point to specific matches against specific opponents. I didn't like it when things tried to move beyond the match as our basic unit of analysis.
And I've come to realise that about myself as a fan. Like Chad, I am pretty wedded to match analysis. I don't think it is a coincidence that I host all the most review-driven shows on the feed. I guess I like to have a text to analyse and to point to tangibles and that's much easier to do with guys working great or very good matches than guys working "just there" TV matches.