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Reactions to the List: 50-26


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#641 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 08:43 PM

Re: Styles...Lord knows I'm not the one to go back and check but it seems his TNA work is being better received now than it was in '06 when a lot of people were still dismissing him as a spot monkey. El-P sounds pretty high on him in the running TNA thread and he's not the only one praising his work in that era.

 

Fair enough. He's actually a different case from anyone else in the top 40 in that he can strengthen his case in real time while prompting further re-evaluation. Kind of a unique position. I suppose the flipside to that is that he could bomb as a WWE main eventer. 



#642 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:00 PM

Him leaving TNA for New Japan both exposed him to people who refused to watch TNA, and made it acceptable to think of him as a great worker. But he's been great for a very long time, it's not like his case is based solely on a two year NJ run or anything.



#643 Matt D

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:03 PM

It also got him away from opponents with bad habits and overbooked matches so that he'd wrestle a broad range of opponents in a lot of different places without any sort of house style. That helped, I think. The difference between a lot of great performances and less than great matches and great performances that could lead to great matches?



#644 WingedEagle

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:35 PM

I think there's also something to be said for watching his matches in isolation for the sole purpose of considering the wrestling versus as part of a poorly booked wrestling promotion.



#645 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:45 PM

Him leaving TNA for New Japan both exposed him to people who refused to watch TNA, and made it acceptable to think of him as a great worker. But he's been great for a very long time, it's not like his case is based solely on a two year NJ run or anything.

 

Do you really think he would have finished in the top 40 without that New Japan run? Especially if these TNA re-appraisals are retroactive. If he crashes and burns in the WWE where does it all go? Up in a puff of smoke? He strikes me as the only guy in the top 50 who's still active and can make or break their case over the next few years. 



#646 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 09:56 PM

 

Him leaving TNA for New Japan both exposed him to people who refused to watch TNA, and made it acceptable to think of him as a great worker. But he's been great for a very long time, it's not like his case is based solely on a two year NJ run or anything.

 

Do you really think he would have finished in the top 40 without that New Japan run? Especially if these TNA re-appraisals are retroactive. If he crashes and burns in the WWE where does it all go? Up in a puff of smoke? He strikes me as the only guy in the top 50 who's still active and can make or break their case over the next few years. 

 

 

No I don't, and that's my point. He was toiling away in TNA doing good work for a decade, but he was also victim to TNA shitassery, hardly anyone (in these circles I mean) saw a lot of it and TNA is such an unfashionable place from which to claim there is good work. Then he left for NJ and not only has he been doing really good work there too, but it is without stupid booking dragging him down, in a style that people are more likely to appreciate, and he's in a place where more of us are willing to watch him regularly and more willing to give the work the benefit of the doubt.

 

If we did this poll in 2013 he'd have had nowhere near the support he gets now. But I'm saying it's not that he's only been good in NJ, it's that his good NJ run opened eyes and allowed his whole career to be explored on its own merits without worrying about TNA stink.

 

I think there's a similar point to be made about Daniel Bryan, frankly. No way Bryan without the WWE run gets into the Top 10. None. The WWE run was a great run in its own right, but it also got MANY more eyes on him, and prompted many people to revisit his indy career and analyse it retroactively and a little detached from the style itself (which could turn people off just like TNA does, although clearly not as much).



#647 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 10:32 PM

37. El Satanico

 

Another contender for my Greatest Wrestler Ever. I used to make the claim that he was the best luchador of the past 35 years, but I guess the consensus is that Casas, Santo and Dandy are one, two and three. Satanico is a guy who could do it all -- title bouts, apuesta bouts, matwork, brawling, every style of trios bout there are, lead man, supporting cast, stooging, acting, promos, feuds, the whole shebang. And like Casas he was a guy who could add a different wrinkle each night. You rarely saw the same Satanico performance twice. He had so much confidence as a performer and such a feel for wrestling that he could ad lib with the best of them. And the whole thing was based on the truth to his claim that he was El Numero Uno. The only thing he couldn't really do (aside from tolerate working with dudes like Octagon, and sorry elliot that Satanico performance is not good) is fly. You could probably count on one hand the number of times Satanico did a tope. There is evidence on tape that he did one, but it was rare. He'd rather stalk a guy on the outside or have someone feed him an opponent in the ring like feeding time at the zoo or a frenzy in the shark tank. If he'd had Chicana's tope it would have been mindblowing, but he probably didn't need it. He didn't need a jumper when his post game was so strong. And from an old time smark's point of view, nobody was better at working transitions in lucha matches. The man was a genius. An artist! 

 

 

 

36. Buddy Rose

 

I've tried and tried, and I'll try again, but I haven't gotten over the hump with Rose yet. One day I'm gonna watch a Buddy Rose match, the YouTube clip will finish and tears will be streaming from my eyes, And I'll flip tabs and send Matty D a message, "mine eyes have seen the glory." and I imagine it'll be like a revival meeting and folks will shake my hand virtually and say: "congratulations, son." I should like this Portland stuff way more than I do. I don't exactly hate myself for it, but maybe I need my head checked. I will persevere. It'll probably get taken down the day after I convert. 

 

 

 

35. El Dandy

 

Well, here he is. From memory I went super high on Dandy in 2006. When you first get that '89-90 stuff in, and I was still getting tapes at the time, and you watch it all at once, man what a hit. It's like wrestling smack. It surprises me that people don't "get" Dandy as in they don't find him charismatic. Dandy seemed like the baddest man on the planet in 1990. A supreme talent at his absolute peak, he just oozed charisma. He was an amazing two-way worker in 1990. I've seen come to appreciate a guy like Super Muneco as a pro-wrestling story, but back then when you saw Dandy make Munceo look like a million bucks it was impressive. Whether he was hitting moves or taking them, Dandy was phenomenal on both ends. Once the euphoria wore off, I started picking holes in his stuff and realised there were some pretty big gaps in his career, but for pure talent, Dandy is hard to beat. Finishing behind Casas and Santo is probably right even if I have bones to pick with them as well. If Dandy had done more in '93-95 he would have pushed them hard for the top luchador spot. 

 

 

 

34. Chris Benoit

 

Didn't fall that far. If he'd retired in 2007 rather than the murders, I think he would have fallen into the teens so this is about 20 places lower than that projection. Anyway, I have a hard time watching Benoit matches. What am I gonna do, praise him for being a great worker? Overly scrutinize him because of the murders? For years I avoided watching his matches even ones I wanted to see for projects like the Smarkschoice WCW & WWE polls. I watched a few of his matches during this project from UWA, CMLL, and against Liger and El Samurai. I thought his selling was spotty, his transitions crappy, and he wrestled like the robot he was often accused of being. But that was early Benoit. Maybe he got better. It's not something I'm gonna explore.



#648 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 05 May 2016 - 10:38 PM

I think there's a similar point to be made about Daniel Bryan, frankly. No way Bryan without the WWE run gets into the Top 10. None. The WWE run was a great run in its own right, but it also got MANY more eyes on him, and prompted many people to revisit his indy career and analyse it retroactively and a little detached from the style itself (which could turn people off just like TNA does, although clearly not as much).

 

 

I'm sure you're right about Bryan, but he was 117 in 2006 and trending upwards. If he'd failed in the WWE and had another strong indy run he probably would have cracked the top 100. Not sure Styles gets in the top 100 if he leaves TNA and has another indy run. 



#649 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 05:45 PM

33. Ricky Morton

 

I like Ricky Morton, but you'd have to be a much bigger fan of tag wrestling than me to rank him this high. Maybe I have a disconnect with the Ricky Mortons of the world because I wasn't raised on the teat of Jim Crockett Promotions, if you wiiiilll. Morton has all the credentials -- best babyface ever, greatest seller ever, literally defined the face-in-peril role in wrestling, and had great runs pre-Crockett and post-Turner. His SMW run looms large in my mind as a massive feather in his cap. Like a huge fucking feather that a pimp might wear. I have an inkling that he has indy work beyond that run too. He may still be active for all I know. The guy's a pro-wrestler, pure and simple. It's the only thing in the world he knows how to do, and like a lot of lifers, there's no corner of the world where he wouldn't lace up his boots and perform. I respect that. I really do. But it doesn't add up to me loving Ricky Morton just like I don't love Doug Somers or Tommy RIch. Trying too hard to like those guys to me would be like trying to fit into some kind of scene. Morton's cool, though, and did well to finish 33.

32. Dustin Rhodes

 

Dustin of the Day was one of the most exciting things to happen on the forums in donkey's years especially for a guy like me who hadn't seen a lot of 1992 WCW up until that point. Early Dustin is really good. I thought he had a case of the "second year blues" in '93 (yeah, it wasn't his second year, but you know what I mean.) A few people vehemently disagree with me about that, but after the feud with Windham goes nowhere, he struggles through the remainder of the year before picking things up again in '94 with the wonderful Stud Stable feud. Just don't subject yourself to that never-ending best 6 out of 11, 7 out of 13 Rick Rude feud where even the one match I liked nobody thought was that good. I've never paid much attention to his Goldust stuff, not even the heralded stuff, so I can't say for certain whether he's too high, too low, or just right, but as a youngster he was a chip off the block of the great Texan asskickers and a strong hand.

 

31. Shawn Michaels

 

They see him walk, they hear him talk... I have nothing bad to say Shawn Michaels. I have nothing good to say about him either. I used to be a Shawn Michaels fan but that feels like a lifetime ago. One of my favourite things about the GWE was seeing folks stick up for him. Okay, I lied, I do have something bad to say about Shawn Michaels; he's a horrible actor. Inside the ring he's charismatic, but outside of it he's fucking awful. But he thinks he's so good. That's half the problem. Pro-wrestling hell for me might be Michaels overselling a storyline on an endless loop. 

 

30. John Cena

 

I need to bite my tongue on Cena. 

 

29. El Hijo del Santo

 

Formuliac worker whose routine never got old. Pretty to watch. Wish we had more of his UWA work as those unfilmed years strike me as his peak years perhaps because of their mystique or maybe because the majority of wrestlers were working a style of lucha I like. In any event, I'd love to see some more UWA Santo unearthed. Suffers a bit from the burden of expectation. Since he's Santo, I'm always looking for something special from him and can be cruel if he doesn't deliver. Mostly recently, his Juarez stuff failed to impress, but you can find a lot of other work that fits that bill. Doesn't get enough credit for his transformation as a worker during his 1996-97 feud with Casas. I'm a bit of a purist, and some might say a lucha snob, but he incorporated the Japanese influence into his work extremely well along with others such as Felino, Casas and Wagner. Don't think his career as a whole gets analysed enough for a guy who finished 29th, but a ton of positives. Amazing brawler. Classic tecnico. Elegant flier, strong mat worker. Carefully controlled image like Michael Jordan, but a hero to the people. Superhero comebacks and a champion of every style of lucha.  Lived up the legacy of his mask and then some. 



#650 elliott

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Posted 07 May 2016 - 10:15 PM

OJ, I'm really enjoying these :)



#651 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 18 May 2016 - 06:57 PM

28. Bobby Eaton

 

Bobby Eaton is another guy who I don't have any strong attachment to. Every time I see him, I think he's an excellent worker, and I get sucked into Jim Cornette and the Midnight Express any time I go down that particular viewing path. Loved the Enforcers and the Dangerous Alliance. Could quite happily watch random Bobby Eaton TV matches even on a sunny day. But I won't go to my grave telling the grand kids that I saw Bobby Eaton on a computer. This is a bit of a good worker vs. singles worker dilemma, and maybe it shouldn't matter, but I just don't think he was good enough at the singles stuff to rub shoulders with the folks he is. The same argument can be made about Ricky Morton and Arn for that matter. To me there's a clear dividing line between the likes of Eaton, Morton and Anderson and a guy like Tully, who was the architect of at least two all-time great singles matches. I suppose Eaton could come back swinging with all of his tag stuff, but it takes four to tag, two to tango and one to lead. Every guy in the top 30 should be a leading man, and Bobby wasn't the type to naturally lead. Still, he was an excellent worker so no harm, no foul.

 

27. Jun Akiyama

 

Haven't watched his veteran stuff, which is supposedly great. I'm skeptical that I'd personally enjoy it since I've never really enjoyed anything Akiyama's done. Didn't really enjoy him as rookie, didn't really enjoy him playing Robin to Misawa's Batman, and didn't really enjoy him as an overrated singles worker in the late 90s. That's the point where I jump off usually. The prospect of watching him in NOAH is something I turn my nose up at, and if I can't dig that scene I wonder how much I'd enjoy him in the later Japanese scene. Unfair? My loss? Probably. I do find the discussions about him interesting since there is rift between people who've left the tape watching scene (can I call it that any more?), folks who continued and others who started fresh with the NOAH stuff and beyond. Akiyama's never been as universally beloved as the All Japan Big 3, but I almost see it as a badge of honour for folks who have persevered with the Japanese scene that he finished this strongly. I should probably give him a fair shake and watch some of his '10s stuff, but I have such a prejudice against him. If I were to sum it up, I'd say he was more Hiroshi Hase than Kiyoshi Tamura and that's damning for no-one bar me. 

 

26. Akira Taue

 

Lovable oaf. Everybody who gets into Taue ends up thinking they're the first person to recognise how great and underrated he is. I don't mean for that to sound snide. On the contrary, it's almost become a rite of passage. I went through it myself as did many others. Pompadour Taue is great! Taue was the best guy in XX/XX/XX tag! It's like a kid trying to prove he has better taste in music than his old man. It's fine, addictive, and a hell of a trip. But it also contributes to an endless cycle of Taue being underrated, overrated, and everything in between. Has there ever been another wrestler where the pendulum swung so wildly? I suppose it stems from the unique position he was put in, but here's the thing: there wouldn't be so much debate if there wasn't a kernel of truth to both sides. He's not so bad that another guy taking his place would have made his matches better, but he's not the best of the Fab Four just because he brought something different to the table. He's Taue. He somehow wandered into this debate over how good he is without even staking a claim. To me the debate over his merits is bigger than the things he accomplished. People are having these arguments over what's really important in wrestling while Taue's trying to co-ordinate that large frame of his and hit his spots cleanly. That shit seems miles apart. I would have had him on my list. Maybe a little lower since I have my doubts over how great he wanted to be. Maybe a little higher since it's easy to get on a Taue kick. 



#652 El-P

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:16 AM

Don't let the French tell you he fell by the wayside in 1990. 1990 was one of the best years of his career. 

 

I would agree with that, he had some of the best matches of his career in 1990. Having great matches with peer great workers. Maeada. And yes, Takada.



#653 El-P

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:20 AM

 

30. John Cena

 

I need to bite my tongue on Cena.

 

No. Just say that he's not a great wrestler by any stretch of the imagination, that his offense mostly looks bad, that his "great" matches are either pre-planned WWE formulaic self-conscious epics either overrated "selling clinic" against monsters who "played their role right". (and I like Cena)



#654 El-P

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:20 AM

OJ, I'm really enjoying these :)

 

Indeed.



#655 funkdoc

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 12:31 PM

yea, these posts have been sweet and i'm excited for you to tackle the top 25!






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