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Watching new footage vs old footage


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#1 fxnj

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 10:13 PM

I was interested in seeing where different views are on watching older stuff compared to newer stuff. What do people prefer and what do they end up watching more?

I used to be all about watching stuff from current year with just a little archival footage on the side. Now I almost only watch older stuff and I've seen a total of 2 matches from 2017. It's not that I dislike newer stuff as I loved both the matches I watched, but there's a few reasons I simply prefer to watch older stuff.

Main reason is there is so much great historical footage popping up online these days I just can't find the interest to watch a full show as it airs. There's always been wrestling on TV or popping up soon after it airs, but historical footage has really exploded online in the past few years, so it's a lot more exciting for me to watch these matches or wrestlers I'd heard pimped for years but which hadn't been online before. A lot of great older stuff also gets taken down all the time. There's been so many matches I'd put off watching until they got taken down. In comparison, just about any new stuff is gonna go up on a streaming service and stay there for the foreseeable future. It simply feels more pressing to me to watch older stuff than newer stuff.

Another thing is that match recs for newer stuff are often heavily influenced by the hype. When I look at reviews for a new big match I often see people buying into the hype and calling it the best thing ever or people giving some backlash to the hype and saying the match sucks without much middle ground. Criticism of recent NJPW seems to revolve around the question of if viewers are watching the greatest match ever with people going in on their first viewing and trying to pick apart reasons why a match shouldn't be 6 stars. That's an utterly shit way to watch wrestling. I prefer to wait until the hype has died down and watch the stuff people are still talking about a year or more later.

One more thing I'll note is that I don't really see much difference in watching a match as it airs and watching it years later. There's always gonna be a tape delay whether it's a few seconds, a few hours, or a few match. Further, you'll always be watching some TV producer's sterilized version of the footage. The only way to truly watch a match as it happens is to be there live. I remember going to AJPW shows regularly when I lived in Japan in 2015 and it was easily the greatest thing about being there. I had such a great experience that I still haven't watched the airings of any of the matches I saw as the TV versions just can't compare to the magic of being there. I completely understood why a lot of Japanese fans only follow one promotion and lose interest in watching tapes from other promotions. If I could still attend AJPW live events regularly, I would probably just be watching that and nothing else. But I am stuck with taped matches that don't have the live magic, so just watching the best available taped matches seems the next best thing.

#2 Loss

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:43 AM

Old. Hindsight is 20/20 for me. That's not to say that I can't enjoy a newer match, but I trust my thoughts on older matches way more. I think when I'm invested in real-time outcomes and don't yet fully grasp where something fits in overall, it's easy to say something rash -- either overly positive or negative -- that's regrettable when looking back. Keep in mind a couple of things:

 

- I'm only talking about watching wrestling with the intent of saying how good it is or for the purposes of posting about it. I'm not referring to all wrestling watching.

- I'm only talking about me and my limitations, not everyone else's.

- No take on a wrestling match is ever locked in. Opinions are meant to live and breathe.

 

I do think a match can be better or worse depending on what comes after it. I know someone like Dave would strongly disagree with that because it's out of the wrestler's control, and it is! But not every problem or attribute of a wrestling match is something a wrestler can actually control, and I've never believed that to be the case. I'd probably see Liger-Ultimo from the 1/4/93 Dome show as a much better match if so many of the sequences hadn't been repeated ad nauseum for a decade by lesser wrestlers. Is that Liger's fault, or Ultimo's fault? No. But when looking at good or great matches now, that makes the match less enjoyable to watch.

 

It's been about seven years since I started watching the 1996 YB. It's probable that if I started right now, I'd have completely different takeaways on a lot of it, if nothing else based on what I've seen in wrestling since then. I think opinions are meant to be challenged, not immortalized, but they are highly valuable as a point of reference. Content curation is part of my professional life and I try to bring it to my personal hobbies, so if something has a rep, or has no rep but involves wrestlers who did or later developed one, then I'm more likely to be interested in watching it. I see that as something different than cherry picking since I want to see the five-minute throwaway TV matches too. Perhaps you could call my approach to watching wrestling the Kawada Model - 3/4ths legit! :)



#3 G. Badger

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 03:49 PM

I would have to say old as well. I wasn't pleased with the "new" wrestling at the time and there seemed to be a whole world that I was missing.

Also, there was a fair amount of historical referencing in US wrestling during the attitude era (when my wrestle dorkiness blossomed). I think it was because top stars were jumping around so much that their past credentials were advertised, even after they left the company. ECW never shyed away from telling you that Austin, Foley, Raven, Guerrero, Misterio, Benoit, Saturn, Jericho et al. wrestled for them. Heck, they even showed the footage and oftentimes it looked much more appealing than what they were doing at the time in WWF and certainly WCW.

WWF touted Foley's death match kingdom...in essence saying OK this guy who plays Mankind used to be Cactus Jack...and if you think Mankind is crazy...Jack fought in exploding barbwire matches in Japan. Ergo we are more hardcore than anything going on in ECW or WCW. At least to get the goofy teenage boys who liked that stuff to tune in :)

Of course, their mention of Japan got me watching all of that. And probably a lot of other people too. I mean there was a reason FMW was selling commercial tapes in the US in like 99-2000s. Onita was in XPW even...goofy

Anyhow, I like watching old stuff because I enjoy doing the research- reading people's opinions, tracking down the video or DVD, discovering stuff and so on. Watching new stuff is fun especially when there's a lot of hype since I'm out of the loop but, I quickly return to my bubble thereafter. Even then what I consider new is 2-5 yes old :)

Brand New stuff like WWE & NJPW: I am not interested in the storylines or the style of wrestling for the most part. I tried but, it's not for me. I watch PWG every once in awhile but, I cherry pick the hell out of what shows I buy...so even then I'm watching old stuff!

#4 sek69

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:44 PM

As someone who grew up on episodic territory shows from JCP, World Class, and the UWF that always holds a special place in my heart. I've never been a fan of watching one match separately, you lose a lot of context not knowing why everything built up to what you're watching. So much of the old stuff was bulding to a crescendo that even if the week to week stuff sometimes fell flat the payoff at the end was almost always worth it.  I think that's why current NJPW appeals to me, as they clearly have a path planned out to each major show. 



#5 concrete1992

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:30 AM

What's considered old? 



#6 Loss

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 08:45 AM

I don't think there's an objective definition. Maybe anything not from the current year. More generally, anything not really being discussed as part of the zeitgeist.



#7 Britwresdvds

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 12:53 PM

I only watch old footage. I hate modern wrestling for the most part. I've tried watching it, but it's just so far removed from what I love that it actually makes me angry, so I just don't bother with it any more. People have recommended new wrestlers and matches to me, I've watched them and my thought every time is how far standards have fallen when this stuff is considered good.



#8 JKWebb

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 10:35 AM

I'm the same way as Badger with the old stuff.  I thoroughly enjoy the research and reading peoples opinions.  I also just love the way wrestling was presented back then - specifically the 80's and early 90's.  I do still enjoy the current product.  I watch Raw, Smackdown, NXT & a decent amount of NJPW. I usually wait to watch Raw and Smackdown commercial free on Hulu, and a lot times will end up switching to an old episode of WCCW or Prime Time (currently).  The old wrestling is my "comfort food" as I've heard some put it.  It's really my favorite thing to watch period.  I haven't been able to connect with the wrestling styles of the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega and some others, but I have really connected to the styles of the Revival and AJ Styles and some others.  I feel like when I watch the older product there isn't anything I'm not connecting to, so I'm just a bigger fan of that style.  You know, Elias kind of reminds me of an 80's wrestler with his in-ring style.  I think I've seen Marty mention that somewhere too.  Anyways, I still like the current product, but currently it doesn't compare to the older footage I seek out on a regular basis. 



#9 SAMS

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 07:47 AM


I do think a match can be better or worse depending on what comes after it. I know someone like Dave would strongly disagree with that because it's out of the wrestler's control, and it is! But not every problem or attribute of a wrestling match is something a wrestler can actually control, and I've never believed that to be the case. I'd probably see Liger-Ultimo from the 1/4/93 Dome show as a much better match if so many of the sequences hadn't been repeated ad nauseum for a decade by lesser wrestlers. Is that Liger's fault, or Ultimo's fault? No. But when looking at good or great matches now, that makes the match less enjoyable to watch.

 

As much as possible I try and watch stuff in chronological order. In that context, when I stumble across something I've seen repeated again and again in the years since, it doesn't bother me -  the caveat is "was it good to begin with?" Obviously one's opinions on that can change over time as you watch more and more stuff, but after a certain point I think it's negligible. Now, when I continue through my watching odysseys and I see the same thing over and over and over again, particularly by the same people, that's what frustrates me. For an obvious example, I still enjoy the original TLC stuff. It's car crash, but it's fun. There's a sense of naivety and earnestness in all the guys involved that I find charming. However, after the original MITB match, the obligatory showcase matches at WM every year and the MITB PPV began to drive me nuts - it's the same stuff but more derivative with every edition. The only outlier, and perhaps the best of the entire bunch, is the Armageddon one where Joey Mercury's face explodes. Okay I'm rambling now....



#10 Zoo Enthusiast

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Posted 08 December 2017 - 05:25 PM

I try to have a pretty even mix between old and new to avoid burning myself out on particular things since my tastes can run hot and cold. So at the moment, I have been following Raw/Smackdown/NXT (only the commercial-free Hulu versions, I’d never be caught dead watching live). I also keep up on indies that I like (PWG and AAW, especially) and NJPW. At the same time, I just finished ‘97 WWF (Raw and PPV) and am working through ‘98 now since that is my nostalgic sweet spot. And I have been mixing in some 2000. Plus World Class.

Big picture, I am a mark for context. Which is why I watch TV and watch things in chronological order, as well. I also tend to watch whole shows when time allows for the same reason. I watch wrestling because it’s fun for me.

#11 With Coil

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 12:26 PM

I don't watch anything new and I haven't watched anything new since 2009. I have thought about why and all I can come up with is that I feel absolutely nothing when it comes to 'modern' wrestling. I don't even think I could attempt to watch anything new ever again. I'm not a Jim Cornette type but I also am not as open minded as I thought I was. I figured I would become more open minded about wrestling as I got older but I haven't.



#12 iamthedoctor

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Posted 11 December 2017 - 02:54 PM

Ill take old over new anyday!

 

New stuff just bores the piss out of me and when I watched the last mania it was such a chore and felt like id been watching the show for a week than a few hours. Todays stars just lack the charisma and integrity that the old stars have and the only thing that has me watching current WWE is if a Legend comes on the show otherwise ill just skip the show.

 

Bray, Roman, Seth, Dean are nothing compared to Macho, Jake, Perfect, Dibiase, Hogan and no matter how long John Cena stays wrestling he just isnt enough to keep me entertained on a weekly basis when he's not there.

 

The main reason I buy the Network on a monthly basis is just for the classic shows!

 

Watching David Arquette winning the WCW Belt or Dustin/Bully is far more entertaining than Miz/Roman or Brock/Joe.



#13 TonyPulis'Cap

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Posted 12 December 2017 - 10:06 AM

I try to have a pretty even mix between old and new to avoid burning myself out on particular things since my tastes can run hot and cold. So at the moment, I have been following Raw/Smackdown/NXT (only the commercial-free Hulu versions, I’d never be caught dead watching live). I also keep up on indies that I like (PWG and AAW, especially) and NJPW. At the same time, I just finished ‘97 WWF (Raw and PPV) and am working through ‘98 now since that is my nostalgic sweet spot. And I have been mixing in some 2000. Plus World Class.

Big picture, I am a mark for context. Which is why I watch TV and watch things in chronological order, as well. I also tend to watch whole shows when time allows for the same reason. I watch wrestling because it’s fun for me.

 

This is pretty much spot on with my preferences, trying to keep a balance between old and new, as there is good and bad to be found in both. Like many others have said, I enjoy the presentation of old school wrestling a lot, but then also find that there are plenty of aspects of the modern scene that can be as good, or in some cases better than old school stuff if you can be open minded.

 

Like you I am also all about context and watching things chronologically. It sounds obvious, but matches are so much better when you have the back story and buildup, rather than being watched in a vacuum. I also went through all of 97 Raws and PPVs last year and it was tremendous - what a year. Rather than just watching lauded matches, I also like to watch TV shows in full as much as I can, rather than again cherry picking matches. It's far more time consuming but find that way you get to see matches and segments and guys that never get much recognition or that get forgotten. It's the best way of finding hidden gems. I also really enjoy watching the way a wrestling show is put together and the how well (or not) the segments flow together. 

 

In general, I'd say with a geographic bias, I watch UK wrestling the most, both the latest shows, but then also World of Sport and then the early 2000s stuff as well. 






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