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!