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What did you learn about your fandom from GWE?


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#1 Grimmas

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 12:50 PM

One thing I figured out about myself is that I value smarts over most skills in wrestling. The smarter the worker the higher the praise from me. The more stupid things a worker does, the more down I am on him.

 

What did you learn about yourself during GWE?



#2 MoS

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 01:08 PM

This is weird, but I learnt that while I love fluid, smooth matwork sometimes, I do not love it all the time. To make it clear, I can watch Hansen brawl for 6 hours and not get tired. I can watch Breaks for an hour and love it, but probably not for more than that.

 

I also realised that while I do not mind formula, I do hate repetitive spots, particularly if said wrestler is eating those spots. I have no issues with Lawler matches following a formula, and involving only punching and brawling, but after the fifth time I watched Flair get thrown off the top rope in the exact same way, it started to really annoy me. Not annoy me in the sense that "This match is horrible. 1 star!", but more like "Fucking hell, this takes it from 4 stars to 3.75/3.5 stars." 

 

Pre-comeback Shawn smokes post-comeback, and I have zero idea how so many people claim his 2nd run is better than the first. 

 

I fucking love Sara Del Rey, and I think she is criminally underrated. She is someone who understands selling and psychology really, really well.



#3 Matt D

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 01:16 PM

Probably more later, but I care much more about purpose now. What is a match meant to accomplish? What is it trying to accomplish? etc. Every match in the history of wrestling had some purpose or another and usually it's not just to entertain or to fill time (though some are). I think it's really interesting to look at the balance between those goals, how the wrestlers try to achieve them, and if they can do so while having an entertaining, engaging, compelling, interesting, (and maybe logical) match. 



#4 Timbo Slice

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Posted 11 March 2016 - 01:27 PM

I'm with Matt. I really started penalizing people who didn't work smart. I think if the story is easier to follow, you rate higher with me.

 

Also, I realized that my likes didn't really change that much over time. The things I liked more, I just looked for more in wrestlers and they showed up in those I voted for.



#5 JerryvonKramer

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:16 AM

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.

#6 Jingus

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:45 AM

Also, I realized that my likes didn't really change that much over time.

This was pretty true for me as well. If I'd made such a list back in 2006, I don't think most workers' placement would be all that different from the one I've got today. Of course there's some changes (ten years ago, I'd never heard of Yuki Ishikawa and had never seen much Destroyer, just for two examples) but largely my tastes have stayed pretty consistent.

Aside from that, I guess "variety is the spice of life" is the main theme of my list, because there's simply no underlying theme to any of the placement. Lou Thesz might be right next to Great Sasuke, who might be right next to Necro Butcher, who might be right next to Sergeant Slaughter. There is no real rhyme or reason, I pretty much put the whole thing together on pure impulsive "do I like This Guy better than That Guy?" instinct.

#7 Grimmas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:47 AM

To me working smart means doing logical things in the ring.

#8 Loss

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:48 AM

Is that about selling? Most wrestlers do logical things in the ring -- hit moves and go for the win.



#9 GOTNW

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:51 AM

Selling is an illogical concept. Pro wrestling is inherently illogical.



#10 fxnj

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:02 AM

^I agree. If you want to see guys doing logical things to beat each other go watch MMA.

I didn't participate due to lack of time but the handful I've went out of my way binge watch random matches from guys so I could speak of them in vague generalities I just couldn't enjoy it. I agree with JvK that it's much more enjoyable to be able to go in depth on specific matches. I'd argue it gives much more solidas the format by its nature is going to give undue weight to those 5 minute TV matches while we're often missing huge untapped sections of guys' careers.

#11 Grimmas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:14 AM

Is that about selling? Most wrestlers do logical things in the ring -- hit moves and go for the win.

Selling, logical progression of moves, moving to get into position for your opponent to hit a move on you, etc.... If I watch a wrestler and don't think to myself that "this doesn't make sense" or "why would he do that" then they are logical.



#12 WingedEagle

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:33 AM

 

Is that about selling? Most wrestlers do logical things in the ring -- hit moves and go for the win.

Selling, logical progression of moves, moving to get into position for your opponent to hit a move on you, etc.... If I watch a wrestler and don't think to myself that "this doesn't make sense" or "why would he do that" then they are logical.

 

 

How far does logical go though?  Shouldn't most offensive moves actually finish someone?  Where each promotion can essentially establish the rules of their own universe it would seem to take away quite a bit to only buy what's logical.  Shouldn't every wrestler roll away from an opponent coming off the top?  Once there are certain standards or "laws" with consequences then it would seem at that point we can react to occurrences in the ring that prove consistent or not.  Sometimes those inconsistencies make for tremendous moments, such as kicking out of something near the finish that has previously been the death knell, or can be problematic where it happens too early. 

 

It just seems if we're really being logical then every match should end pretty quickly and just about everything a wrestler does is illogical.  Once he's taken any sustained punishment, how is he alive, much less able to mount a fiery comeback?  Enjoy it!



#13 Matt D

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:33 AM

Sorry Steven. Its not about logic to me. Logic is a tool. Selling is a tool. Spots are tools. Physical ability is a tool. Blood is a tool. Stiffness is a tool. Jim Cornette at ringside is a tool.

 

Working smart is using the tools on the table efficiently and effectively to maximize the potential meaning of everything that happens in the ring. 

 

I would add "in order to achieve a specific purpose" at the end of that sentence (or "in order to create a greater whole" works as well, or hey, "in order to achieve a specific purpose and to best build to a greater whole"), but that's something I'm still working out and I can see if other people care about that less.

 

And if anyone wants to get more clarification, ask me in 2017. I'm good for now.



#14 Grimmas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 07:53 AM

 

 

Is that about selling? Most wrestlers do logical things in the ring -- hit moves and go for the win.

Selling, logical progression of moves, moving to get into position for your opponent to hit a move on you, etc.... If I watch a wrestler and don't think to myself that "this doesn't make sense" or "why would he do that" then they are logical.

 

 

How far does logical go though?  Shouldn't most offensive moves actually finish someone?  Where each promotion can essentially establish the rules of their own universe it would seem to take away quite a bit to only buy what's logical.  Shouldn't every wrestler roll away from an opponent coming off the top?  Once there are certain standards or "laws" with consequences then it would seem at that point we can react to occurrences in the ring that prove consistent or not.  Sometimes those inconsistencies make for tremendous moments, such as kicking out of something near the finish that has previously been the death knell, or can be problematic where it happens too early. 

 

It just seems if we're really being logical then every match should end pretty quickly and just about everything a wrestler does is illogical.  Once he's taken any sustained punishment, how is he alive, much less able to mount a fiery comeback?  Enjoy it!

 

It doesn't have to be MMA, it just has to make sense within the context of wrestling. An irish whip is completely fine. 



#15 GOTNW

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 08:17 AM

Expecting consistency in all of wrestling is ridiculous. Things vary a lot from setting to setting.  A Piledriver is a deah blow when Buddy Rogers does it but it's no sold when done on the floor in the 1984 New Japan gauntlet several folks think is the best match of all time. Both "make sense" in their respective settings. And even if they chose not to follow the selling "rules" established in the promotion you'd probably get plenty of people defending it (see: Shibata-Ishii Wrestle Kingdom).



#16 Grimmas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 08:59 AM

Expecting consistency in all of wrestling is ridiculous. Things vary a lot from setting to setting.  A Piledriver is a deah blow when Buddy Rogers does it but it's no sold when done on the floor in the 1984 New Japan gauntlet several folks think is the best match of all time. Both "make sense" in their respective settings. And even if they chose not to follow the selling "rules" established in the promotion you'd probably get plenty of people defending it (see: Shibata-Ishii Wrestle Kingdom).

I don't care what people defend.

 

Obviously different promotions have different logic.



#17 GOTNW

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 09:40 AM

And their logic changes with time. Sometimes the different usage of selling and such leads to change, sometimes it doesn't. And of course there's the question of whether someone likes the setting altogether. Anyway I just find it too interesting of a topic to think it can be summarized with such a brief comment.



#18 WingedEagle

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 09:41 AM

 

 

 

Is that about selling? Most wrestlers do logical things in the ring -- hit moves and go for the win.

Selling, logical progression of moves, moving to get into position for your opponent to hit a move on you, etc.... If I watch a wrestler and don't think to myself that "this doesn't make sense" or "why would he do that" then they are logical.

 

 

How far does logical go though?  Shouldn't most offensive moves actually finish someone?  Where each promotion can essentially establish the rules of their own universe it would seem to take away quite a bit to only buy what's logical.  Shouldn't every wrestler roll away from an opponent coming off the top?  Once there are certain standards or "laws" with consequences then it would seem at that point we can react to occurrences in the ring that prove consistent or not.  Sometimes those inconsistencies make for tremendous moments, such as kicking out of something near the finish that has previously been the death knell, or can be problematic where it happens too early. 

 

It just seems if we're really being logical then every match should end pretty quickly and just about everything a wrestler does is illogical.  Once he's taken any sustained punishment, how is he alive, much less able to mount a fiery comeback?  Enjoy it!

 

It doesn't have to be MMA, it just has to make sense within the context of wrestling. An irish whip is completely fine. 

 

 

Point is that there are different contexts, and those contexts can be changed.  You have Jumbo piledriving Kawada on the floor on 4/20/91 and then later following with a spike piledriver on the floor, but that's still regarded as an all timer rather than a stop the presses moment because the piledriver wasn't a finisher that told everyone it was time to go home.

 

Or a series of spectacular dives in countless lucha matches where one should be sufficient.

 

Not suggesting there's a problem with an Irish whip, but where do you draw the line?  Is it what's been put over as a finisher or a Mortal Kombat fatality that must end things, or when the viewer thinks its enough, conditioning and history be damned?



#19 Grimmas

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 09:55 AM

Logic as it not doing things that don't make sense and take me out of things.

#20 InYourCase

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Posted 12 March 2016 - 10:23 AM

I appreciate consistency more than anything. The Dragon Gate crew, Fujinami, Hansen, and Vader are all going to benefit greatly from that. Guys like Misawa, Cena, and Jumbo are all ranking highly for me, but they are hurt by their lackluster performances more than anything. 






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