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Has this project meant anything outside our bubble?


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#1 funkdoc

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 04:46 PM

hello everyone, this is something i've been thinking about recently...

 

searching for the GWE project online mostly just turns up our own threads & podcasts.  from what i can tell, there hasn't been much discussion of it among the wider internet, and what little i've seen is dismissive and rather confused about the overall singles list.

 

i think part of the reason for this was the sheer amount of content that came out.  i talked with someone on Twitter who found all the GWE podcasts unbearable and "masturbatory", saying that it was impossible to get into them when there were so many and it seemed like every one was as long as a Between the Sheets.  this is someone who's just discovered the PWO podcasts within the last few months and hasn't checked out the forum yet - i told him about some of the good stuff here like elliott's Satanico posts, and that intrigued him a lot more.

 

i think the bigger issue, though, is that our entire way of viewing wrestling is just completely unheard of outside this little scene.  most smart fans are still about Meltzer as the end-all be-all of criticism, and a large number are now heavily influenced by Youtube stuff like Botchamania & OSW Review.  judging wrestlers by the number of moves they use is probably a more widespread gospel than ever now, as we can see from reactions to Cena & Reigns.

 

what's interesting is that non-PWO people who look at the GWE list don't bat an eye at all the Japanese wrestlers or even the shoot-style & WoS guys, probably because they don't know them at all.  it's Jerry Lawler at #10 vs. Undertaker & Kurt Angle being in the lower half of the list that kills it.  people tend to comment that the list seems inconsistent, having no idea that guys like Lawler & Ronnie Garvin (one of the main punching bags on OSW Review, FYI) genuinely are considered elite workers by a bunch of people, or that many of those same people despise the modern WWE big-match style.

 

what's the point of all this?  well, this is where, loathe as i am to admit this, rovert may have a point.  if a goal of ours was to make more people think beyond workrate dogmatism (and all the podcasts make me think it is), we are failing pretty miserably at the moment.  and if that's the case, then perhaps this project truly was "masturbatory" in the end.

 

this is tough, because people here have done a lot in recent years to step up their internet presence...yet it doesn't seem to translate to this fundamental issue.  one thing i notice is that the PWO people most active on Twitter tend to give out hot takes on the current stuff, and not engage people as much on cool old matches or historical tidbits.  i actually think Twitter would be a great avenue for something like Dustin of the Day, to give one idea.

 

the larger point that ties into is the ongoing decline of forums.  PWO's best work is still on here, but it's podcasts & social media that grab the attention of newcomers.  that was particularly problematic for GWE due to the reasons i discussed above, but it goes beyond that.  i mean, how many people have even heard of the Yearbooks?  in my view that's the single most valuable thing yall have done, but it's totally stuck within the bubble.

 

i'm at work so i need to stop here, but i would love to hear if anyone else has ideas or criticisms of my points here.  in particular, i'd like to know if i'm misconstruing anybody's motivations here!



#2 El-P

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 05:52 PM

Short answer : no. 

Long answer : no.

 

It was always the case.

 

if a goal of ours was to make more people think beyond workrate dogmatism (and all the podcasts make me think it is), we are failing pretty miserably at the moment. 

 

Was it ? Wait, I thought there was no "groupthink" in PWO ? So who is supposed to be that "we" ? 

 

The goal was : let's rank who we think are the top 100 greatest wrestler ever. Masturbatory ? Well, it was fun (at least for some it was, I guess). But masturbation can be fun.

 

Anyone thinking further than this is dead wrong.

 

So yeah, answer is : no.



#3 Childs

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 05:55 PM

Can't speak for others, but I really don't care if it meant anything to anyone else or not.

#4 Ricky Jackson

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 06:58 PM

I have a friend here in Vancouver who is a big wrestling fan going back 30 years and has been into the PWO podcasts, but it was the hype around the top 100 reveal that finally got him to really explore outside the WWE/modern bubble for the first time. Now he's trying all kinds of 80s stuff and getting into guys like Murdoch and the Destroyer

#5 Cross Face Chicken Wing

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Posted 16 June 2016 - 07:21 PM

I really don't care what others think of the GWE project. I loved it and had a great time.

As far as the podcasts, to me most of them were guys (and gal) who really love wrestling talking about wrestling in the GWE context. I didn't think anybody set out to try and influence the wrestling community outside of PWO or those who were participating in GWE.

The only thing that bugs me a bit about GWE is the fact that a handful of longtime and interesting posters here at PWO have disappeared since the project finished. Not sure if they took it a bit too seriously and got burnt out or what.

#6 El-P

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 02:03 AM

The only thing that bugs me a bit about GWE is the fact that a handful of longtime and interesting posters here at PWO have disappeared since the project finished. Not sure if they took it a bit too seriously and got burnt out or what.

 

I think it happened the last time around too. SC had less activity after the GWE poll in 2006 too. I think it drains some people.



#7 Gutenberger

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 05:15 AM

I have not been invovolved in the voting process, just becaus I was a bit too late. Although I don't know if I would have participated, since although I'm an enthusiast I don't have that deep of a knowledge to really have a validated opinion.

 

I can't say if this has changed anything for the wrestling community in general. What I can say though is that is has changed my view. I haven't gotten into a lot of stuff, but I've done a bit of digging and been trying to overthink some things or watch for small details, which has changed the way I watch wrestling and has drastically improved my attention to what I am watching.

 

So, has the project changed anything on a big scale? No idea. Has it changed the way I am watching on a small scale? Definitely!



#8 Loss

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 05:45 AM

There was no goal to create or reshape or take back any type of narrative about what makes a good worker. This was just meant to be fun. There was no power struggle over the accepted truth that was attempted, and if there was, we would have failed miserably in that regard anyway. So what? I don't really care for the tone of the first post because it suggests a type of calculation that was never in play. That is never what this project was supposed to be. If someone sees a high number next to someone's name and decides to check that wrestler out for the first time, that is the most anyone can hope for.



#9 Loss

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 05:53 AM

The one thing that I do think is most regrettable about this project is the tribalism that has spun out of it around here. I appreciate how soup watches and enjoys very different kinds of wrestling, but it seems like most others are separating into camps where they primarily like a specific style of wrestling and that's how others judge them. So you're part of the Southern indy crowd or the Dragon Gate crowd, as examples, but there isn't enough crossover because there is too much identity politics at play. And when people talk about matches, it often seems like little more than a collection of cliched buzzword-style thoughts about control segments, my-turn-your-turn, selling the arm/leg, etc. 



#10 El-P

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 06:02 AM

The one thing that I do think is most regrettable about this project is the tribalism that has spun out of it around here. I appreciate how soup watches and enjoys very different kinds of wrestling, but it seems like most others are separating into camps where they primarily like a specific style of wrestling and that's how others judge them. So you're part of the Southern indy crowd or the Dragon Gate crowd, as examples, but there isn't enough crossover because there is too much identity politics at play. And when people talk about matches, it often seems like little more than a collection of cliched buzzword-style thoughts about control segments, my-turn-your-turn, selling the arm/leg, etc. 

 

I agree with this. I was the "old workrate guy lost in the 90's" apparently, despite high votes for CM Punk, AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Fujiwara, Fujinami and Bock in my top 10. But what can you do ? I think a bunch of people took this version a little too seriously (as showed by the tone of the first post) with some actual agendas in mind. As far as the board these days, sure, it seems like he's asleep a bit, but it was predictable.



#11 Matt D

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 06:17 AM

The one thing that I do think is most regrettable about this project is the tribalism that has spun out of it around here.

 

I think such a thing existed before we started, to be honest. People view art through schools. People pick theories in order to understand the world. It's just the way of things.

 

As for the initial thought, some people said from the get go the only list that mattered was their own. I appreciate that thought. I didn't go along with it. That said, I didn't think we were making an authoritative list that was going to change the internet either. What I cared about was the people here. When Stacey and I came up with the podcast name, we were told we weren't going to get as many listens because the global podcast audience tends to shy from lucha sounding names, and that was both well-meaning and likely valid, but that was never the point. The point was to produce something for the hundred-odd people here that we were in the trenches with who might have been interested, because that's who we cared about. 

 

That said, I have found it a lot of fun to look on other boards where this was posted, like an alien disease. What's great about the list, I think, is that for the most part, it is alien to people not here. It makes no sense to people how Hogan, Andre, and Cena can rate when it feels, in some other ways, like a "wrestling, not drawing" list. Or where Tiger Mask or Brody are if that's the case. Or how Nakamura or Tanahashi or Angle could be so low. Or how Jerry Lawler or Rey Mysterio are so high. My favorites were the big question of Dolph Ziggler! Or a board which had two pages of back and forth about Randy Orton. 

 

I think it's a list that is wholly consistent with itself, but in a way that is completely impenetrable to someone that wasn't part of the discussion. I get some sick amusement out of that.



#12 El-P

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 06:32 AM

The point was to produce something for the hundred-odd people here that we were in the trenches with who might have been interested, because that's who we cared about. 

 

Retrospectively and considering some of the results, opening the gate to a flood of voters who were 1/never around the board as active member 2/didn't participate one bit in the debates/pimping process was a major mistake though. For instance, take Daniel Bryan's #1 votes… it's pretty telling.



#13 GOTNW

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 07:41 AM

The one thing that I do think is most regrettable about this project is the tribalism that has spun out of it around here. I appreciate how soup watches and enjoys very different kinds of wrestling, but it seems like most others are separating into camps where they primarily like a specific style of wrestling and that's how others judge them. So you're part of the Southern indy crowd or the Dragon Gate crowd, as examples, but there isn't enough crossover because there is too much identity politics at play. And when people talk about matches, it often seems like little more than a collection of cliched buzzword-style thoughts about control segments, my-turn-your-turn, selling the arm/leg, etc. 

Wrestling twitter has turned many into caricatures and gimmicks.  There is also an unwillingness to discuss current wrestling beyond surface level twitter discussion and hot takes.



#14 El-P

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 07:56 AM

Twitter sucks.



#15 concrete1992

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 08:25 AM

Twitter is great. Thank you very much!

 

I had no idea the goal was for this project to be some sort of standard or whatever. Though admittedly I was wondering if it was would be noted anywhere else though that wasn't important, was more of a curiosity thing. 

 

I don't believe Daniel Bryan's placement is telling at all as far as the process is concerned.

 

For me being younger, though that becomes less truer by the day, this list has been as good a place as any to help develop my own baseline. 



#16 Loss

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 08:54 AM

There has almost (almost) always been less in-depth discussion of current wrestling from a critical point of view, and I think the reason is that it's harder to separate oneself from the moment. I often make a fool of myself when I talk about current wrestling, because my contextual frame of reference is usually not the same as it is when I'm viewing something from 20 years ago that's over and done, where I don't have an investment in the outcome. I'm a firm believer that hindsight is 20-20.



#17 Childs

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 09:54 AM

I guess if I have any hope related to GWE and the outside world it's that the threads will be a resource for someone who comes along in a year or two, hoping to dig deeper. The Smarkschoice threads played that role for me before they disappeared.

 

As for the post-project lull, it was inevitable. I know that whenever I go through an intensive wrestling analysis period, I usually need to exhale for a few months before I dive back into something else. I assume it's the same for others and that things will pick back up when the '80s sets come out or there's something particularly interesting to talk about in WWE. We can't have a board-galvanizing opus going on all the time.



#18 Gutenberger

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 10:15 AM

I have to say it's a shame that the lull is happening right now where especially WWE is picking up some steam and there's some real good stuff to discuss about.

 

What's wrong with Bryan's #1 votes though? I wouldn't have had him at the top, but he'd been pretty far up, I'd imagine.



#19 The Thread Killer

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 02:30 PM

I just figured it had gotten slow around here because it's summertime. For those of us who live in climates where we only get 4-5 months of the year where it's actually nice outside, I assumed people were out more.  That's the television network's logic behind summer reruns and fall premieres, no? It never even crossed my mind that people had decreased or stopped posting because of the GWE project.  I'd hate to think that was the case, but maybe it is. :(



#20 funkdoc

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Posted 17 June 2016 - 04:00 PM

There was no goal to create or reshape or take back any type of narrative about what makes a good worker. This was just meant to be fun. There was no power struggle over the accepted truth that was attempted, and if there was, we would have failed miserably in that regard anyway. So what? I don't really care for the tone of the first post because it suggests a type of calculation that was never in play. That is never what this project was supposed to be. If someone sees a high number next to someone's name and decides to check that wrestler out for the first time, that is the most anyone can hope for.

 

thank you very much, this is the sort of thing i was worried about with the OP!

 

it just seems to me like if you're putting yourself out there publicly as much, across multiple formats, as someone like you or Dylan does, that shows some desire to be heard and to be taken seriously.  speaking as someone who's done something similar (live streaming) for years, it always seemed to me that influencing others & gaining popularity are inherent motivations for broadcasting yourself.  otherwise it would be a lot less stressful just to shoot the breeze with your pals off-air, no?

 

if there's some other perk here i'm missing, i am genuinely curious and would like to hear more thoughts!






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