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Reactions to the List: 100-51


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#1221 MasterJonBurr

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Posted 23 April 2016 - 11:45 PM

And that's why OJ is still king of wrasslin posts!

Yours,
JHHBjr

#1222 stunning_grover

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 03:22 AM

55-51 feature five wrestlers in a row that were on my list...

 

55. Curt Hennig

I had him at #50. He ranked #45 in the overall rankings in 2006. 100 people voted for him this time. I think that's "absolutely Perfect."

 

54. Greg Valentine

I had him at #32. It's amazing to see he was ranked at number 170 in 2006 in the overall rankings and is now 116 places higher in the overall rankings. It's a good thing though.

 

53. Dick Murdoch

I had him at #11. Probably the 4th greatest American pro wrestler ever, in my opinion.

 

52. Akira Hokuto

I had her at #30. Her 1993 (and 1992) was great and even though her 1993 was better than many people's entire career, her lack of longevity makes it hard to rank her over great wrestlers who had a longer peak.

 

51. Andre the Giant

I had him at #94. Interesting to see that Andre is now 113 places higher in the overall rankings, compared to his 2006 overall ranking. I don't think I could have a top 100 without Andre, but I also don't think I could rank him much higher than #94. He was great during his prime though. I personally like his early 1980s stuff the best. He was really good in the 1970s too. But, as much as I don't want to think about it, it's hard not to think about how much lesser in quality his 1985-1991 was when he became increasingly less mobile (even though he got the most out of his matches, I guess). Either way, I mostly rated him based on his 1972-1984 work.



#1223 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 24 April 2016 - 05:08 PM

63. Giant Baba

 

I'm not entirely convinced that Baba was better than Inoki. I need to watch more of Baba's JWA stuff before I make any grand statements about that, but I think if we're being honest that it helps that Baba founded that wee thing called All Japan that some people like. Just a few. I also think it helps that he was a goofy looking bastard and people are kind of mesmerised by how strange looking he is and how he moves around the ring like some kind of puppet. The older he gets the less human looking he becomes until it's like Stan Hansen vs. an alien. That's a unique brand of charisma. If you've never seen him in the mid-60s when he was bulked up and had muscles then that's a sight to behold. Forgetting about how he looked, I dunno if I buy the master psychologist chess master stuff that gets thrown out about him, but he had some great matches against The Destroyer, Billy Robinson and likely more, and then some fun old man performances that are a bit overrated in terms of how much credit Baba gets for them. We live in an age where maestro performances get credited more than ever before and Baba's old man stuff isn't on that level, IMO. . 



#1224 goc

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 06:00 PM

If Ishikawa had managed to hold on a few days you could have used this pic

Cg7Q0YkUgAArphF.jpg



#1225 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 25 April 2016 - 06:08 PM

62. Kiyoshi Tamura


Clearly one of the best talents of the 90s. I'm not as high on his early work as elliot and others are but that's mainly due to the promotion he worked for. And I still maintain that the turning point in his career came when Tamura and Sakuraba put together a series of matches that was closer in look and feel to what was happening in Japanese MMA than the sports entertainment version of shoot style his promotion peddled. From all accounts, the pro-wrestling world came pretty close to losing him to MMA but fortunately he went to RINGS and eventually produced some of the most exquisite worked shoots known to man. For all that, he was never better than Volk Han. That would be like arguing that Funaki was better than Fujiwara because he was more athletic and had a better body. No. There's been two geniuses in shoot style. One of them was Yoshiaki Fujiwara and the other was Volk Han. Still an exemplary worker, though.

61. Bull Nakano


I was surprised she did this well. I guess people remember her for her look, but she was a versatile worker who was good for pretty much her entire career. She was good as a rookie, good as a midcard heel and good as the girl on top who took over during the most difficult transitional period in the company's history. She carried the young 90s stars when they were still greener than green tea then stepped aside and let Kong take the spotlight during the biggest boom period of her prime. And that was in spite of being the senior talent and in many ways the spiritual leader of the promotion. But she travelled and took the opportunity to do things she'd wanted to. And when it came time to retire she did so without fanfare or a send off of any kind. Really a girl who rocked to the beat of her own drum.

#1226 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 05:59 PM

60. Volk Han


The shoot style master. If shoot style were a wuxia film then Tamura would be like the main protagonist: young, bold, impetuous, full of passion, fire and emotion. Volk would be the wise old master. The one who's more at peace with himself and has a deeper understanding of his art. And the one who conceals it behind a trickster's guise and adds comic value to the piece. But above all, the one who can really kick some fucking ass when the situation absolutely calls for it. I don't think anybody worked shoot style finishes better than Volk. I still get a shiver done the spine thinking of that finish to the '95 Yamamoto fight and wanna go blast his theme music every time I do. But the best thing about Volk Han is that there's only ever been one Volk Han and only ever will be. What a legend.

#1227 elliott

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 06:04 PM

 

60. Volk Han

But the best thing about Volk Han is that there's only ever been one Volk Han and only ever will be.

 

 

I just wanted to separate that last line out because I fucking love it.



#1228 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 26 April 2016 - 06:18 PM

OJ has all the best lines.



#1229 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 27 April 2016 - 03:55 PM

59. Samoa Joe

 

I was surprised Joe finished this high given the wasteland that is TNA. I guess people really like Samoa Joe. That inspires me to put him on my playlist going forward.

 

58. Owen Hart

 

A childhood favourite of mine. The number of times my buddies and I imitated Owen was insane. Lines from his promos or television commentary would creep into daily conversation and anything remotely heelish would get the full Owen treatment. This was in the days before memes, but it was basically the same thing. And I think that's a testament to the fun, twisted, but incredibly consistent logic that Owen brought to his heel turn. It was a heel turn that lasted for years not weeks or months, and like all good villains, Owen believed that he was the hero. Even when he reunited with Bret, he still believed he'd been right all long. For my money one of the great wrestling characters. I actually credit him with getting me back into wrestling after a long lay-off between 1991 and 1995. It was the Bret/Owen feud that really sparked my interest in wrestling again and I never looked back after that. If Owen hadn't captured my imagination I probably wouldn't be here today (blame Owen folks.) The line on Owen used to be that he was better before the knee injury, or whatever it was, that robbed him of his athleticism, but I don't like his early stuff at all. I don't know if it's directly attributable to Owen or not, but I once read an interview where he talked about not liking the "Mexican style" because of how flippy it is and shit (and I think Bret has said similar things.) If you watch Owen's early stuff it's the flippiest shit out. It's some of the most dated late 80s-early 90s stuff around. But as soon as he becomes the Rocket, gold. 

 

57. Bill Dundee

 

With this guy I don't even care about the matches. The matches are just gravy. I could watch Bill Dundee do nothing but talk all day long. Promos, vignettes, interrupting other people's matches, you name it. Another of the great wrestling characters. He's one of those guys where it's hard to draw a line between where the real Bill Dundee ends and the character begins. An incredibly energetic guy. Tireless self-promoter. Complete motormouth who could talk a guy's ear off and fire off comeback after comeback. Oh, and he wrestled too. Love Bill Dundee.

 

56. Jim Breaks

 

Holy shit, Owen, Bill Dundee and Jim Breaks all in a row? Like brothers in arms. Could you imagine the arguments those three could get into? Or how much fun it would be to watch them all pile on Lance Russell or Kent Walton? 

 

56 was an okay finish for Breaks. During the voting period it dawned on me that it's still early days when it comes to Breaks. A lot of people have seen his stuff on YouTube, but we're not at the stage yet where people can compare his early, more athletic work to his older, more heavily shtick based stuff. I'm not sure whether people could say with much certainty which Breaks they prefer, his work against other top lightweights or his carry jobs of teenagers. Whether they prefer slightly serious Breaks or full on comedy; technical bouts or playing to the gallery. You don't see any discussions about which of the Young David trilogy is the best, or any sort of analysis of post-prime Breaks. None of the stuff you see with the serious candidates. Not that many people wade into the Breaks vs. Grey argument either. Breaks remains that funny little British guy in the bumblebee tights who whines a lot and hates being called crybaby. I remember Ditch once saying if you've seen one Breaks match, you've seen them all. I've seen them all and can comfortably say folks haven't scratched the surface of what Jim Breaks is all about and until that happens 56 is about as far as he can go. 



#1230 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 06:37 PM

55. Curt Hennig

 

Hennig is never a guy I'd go into bat for, but I think he has enough highs in his Portland, AWA and WWF work to justify being this high. I'm not a territories first kind of guy, but one of the added benefits of that is that I don't care that his career petered out or he failed to deliver on his early promise and can just enjoy a good Curt Hennig match without any of that baggage. 

 

54. Greg "The Hammer" Valentine

 

I fucking love the Hammer. I mean I really love the Hammer. While people are reflecting on Flair and Funk, I'd sooner spend my time thinking about the Hammer. Remember that old Shirley Doe story about Valentine? The one where they they had been drinking all night and Valentine suddenly asks Doe, “What’s this BattlArts shit all about, anyway?” How can you not love the Hammer? I know a lot of people like Buddy Landel's real Nature Boy act, but to me the real Nature Boy was always Greg Valentine with the same robes, the same hair style and the same bumps. He just wrestled a little bit more like his father and you won't find many who think that's a bad thing. I'm a huge fan of his stuff from the late 70s through to around '85 but will watch any of his random shit from '86 onward. If that's not love and dedication, I don't know what is. Valentine dropped the elbow on the rest of this list.



#1231 El-P

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Posted 30 April 2016 - 04:39 AM

I fucking love the Hammer. I mean I really love the Hammer. While people are reflecting on Flair and Funk, I'd sooner spend my time thinking about the Hammer. Remember that old Shirley Doe story about Valentine? The one where they they had been drinking all night and Valentine suddenly asks Doe, “What’s this BattlArts shit all about, anyway?” How can you not love the Hammer? I know a lot of people like Buddy Landel's real Nature Boy act, but to me the real Nature Boy was always Greg Valentine with the same robes, the same hair style and the same bumps. He just wrestled a little bit more like his father and you won't find many who think that's a bad thing. I'm a huge fan of his stuff from the late 70s through to around '85 but will watch any of his random shit from '86 onward. If that's not love and dedication, I don't know what is. Valentine dropped the elbow on the rest of this list.

 

Ah ah, the Batllart quote is pretty funny. And yeah, I'd also pop whenever Valentine had a random JTTS match on Nitro in 96. He should have gotten the TV title and feuded with Regal. Loved the robes and shit. And I would always imitate the Fink introducing the Hammer for whatever reason. "From Seattle, Washington. Greg. The Hammer. Valentiiiiiiiiiine." Classic.



#1232 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 05:53 AM

53. Dick Murdoch


I'm kind of torn on Dick Murdoch. My feelings are similar to Matt's argument about Blue Panther in that I think I love the idea of Dick Murdoch far more than the reality. I love the idea of this fat, beer guzzling redneck who can blend comedy, brawling and mat work together seamlessly, and deliver a masterclass in pro-wrestling the way that people feel Funk or Buddy Rose do, but then I watch the matches and they're never as good as I want them to be. But I'll persevere because I really want to love Dick Murdoch.

52. Akira Hokuto


Well, she fell, but not as far as I thought she might. It's fair to say there's not the same cult of personality surrounding Hokuto as there was in the tape trading years. Though I will point out that during the years where people would pimp her '93 as the greatest year ever by any worker there were guys like Mike Oles rubbishing the claim. The things I liked about Hokuto are tough to get back into. I expended enough energy and emotion on her hard luck story back in the day. I was interested in seeing whether any of her post baby comeback work was worth reevaluating but I couldn't find the motivation to check it out. Maybe a worker I've closed the book on unless somebody comes up with a new take on her.

51. Andre the Giant


I don't believe in Andre. I've seen all of his good matches, and I'm sure there are more out there, but it's not enough to rank him as the 51st best worker. I don't care how novel the dude was, the list of people he best in this poll who were consistently better than him is longer than 7 foot, 4 inches tall.

#1233 El-P

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Posted 01 May 2016 - 06:22 AM

Though I will point out that during the years where people would pimp her '93 as the greatest year ever by any worker there were guys like Mike Oles rubbishing the claim. 

 

I love when old-timers randomly bring Mike Oles into the debates, knowingly that about 10% of us at best will know or remember about him. Should I drop the infamous "pro-wrestling as figure-skating" stuff now ? :)

 

And you're right about Andre. He was really good when he was younger to the early 80's, but yeah, I just shouldn't have ranked him, even at #99. Raven is much better.






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