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  1. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    I think you are underselling what Meltzer does. His value is in far more than regurgitating what people could see on a streaming service for themselves. His value is in telling people about what they can’t see on the screen for themselves but want to know. His value is far, far more in news, history, and analysis then it is in recaps or match recommendations. If it wasn’t, he would have been irrelevant long ago. Given that, I think the increased accessibility to wrestling only helps him. His base has always been the hardcore fans. Increased accessibility has only made more fans into hardcore fans. There are far more people interested in learning more about New Japan now than five years ago and that plays into Meltzer’s business. Yes, you can find people on message boards who know a lot about wrestling but how much of their knowledge comes from Meltzer? There is not a single person out there that can match Meltzer for depth and breadth of pro wrestling knowledge. Could someone (or more likely, a group of people) outdo Meltzer on those important facets of his job (news, historical perspective, business analysis) and offer the service in one place at a a better price (or for free)? Sure and that might happen, but it hasn’t yet. In any event, I don’t think the services Meltzer provides are being marginalized and will become irrelevant anytime soon. If anything, the thirst for the reporting he provides will only increase with more and more hardcore fans, which is what more and more viewing options should create.
  2. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    The high and low limits of a scale provide the rest of the points with their meaning. A point on a scale is only meaningful relative to the end points. If there is no upward (or downward for that matter) limit to a scale, then it is useless. A **** ¾ match on a 5-star scale derives its meaning from being so close to 5-stars. A **** ¾ match on an infinite scale doesn’t mean anything on its own. You’d have to dig into the person’s full history of ratings in order to see where on the scale a **** ¾ match falls to figure out how highly the rater feels about a match with that rating. Nobody has time to do that. That’s why we invent scales in the first place so we can easily know what the rater is saying with the rating. To Tim’s point about Amazon, if they had an infinite scale you would have to check every rating for a person to see what a ***** rating really means to them. At that point, the whole thing becomes useless. Also I don’t buy the “Meltzer doesn’t take his ratings seriously so you shouldn’t either” line of reasoning. Why would he waste time on a regular basis with something that isn’t meant to have any value. If it doesn’t have any value, don’t post the ratings. If he continues using them it is perfectly reasonable to discuss them from both a critical stand point (do I agree with his opinion?) and a general standpoint (does it make sense to have an infinite scale?)
  3. stomperspc

    Too much or too little?

    Easily prefer matches that are shorter and/or end before the wrestlers have done everything I wanted to see them do compared to the alternative. In anything other than a definitive, top of the card blow off match, the goal should be to leave the audience satisfied but still wanting more.
  4. I agree this wasn't as good as the Dome match but still a fun tag. I thought Matt's selling was more interesting than it was effective. It felt like the crowd never picked up on it to the extent they probably intended. That's the downside to that sort of subtle selling (both with the move that caused it and the way he reacted to it the rest of the way). The spot where he couldn't get off the power bomb and the spot at the end where he couldn't hold onto the sharpshooter didn't seem to resonate to the level you would hope. The intent and effort were there to do something different but I don't think it totally clicked. It might have been overly ambitious.
  5. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    Only thing Dave said about an Undertaker/Cena angle on RAW in the lead up was that "one would expect an angle" to set up the WM match. He didn't say he heard or knew they were going to do an angle, only that it would make sense to do so. Logically, it would have made sense to use the big audience from last night to set up the big WM match (a point Meltzer made this morning on the audio show). He also didn't' say anything to indicate that Undertaker/Cena is off for WrestleMania on the audio show. Joe was supposed to work Cena on house shows and Dave says they had a big spot planned for Joe & Cena in the Rumble. With Joe out, that spot was given to Elias. The Elias feud is completely separate of any Cena/Taker WM plans.
  6. stomperspc

    Wrestle Kingdom 12

    Far more interested in for this show than I was for last year's but probably a little less so than I was for the '14-'16 shows. I've grown to really appreciate Tananashi (particularly in comparison to guys like Omega) and I don't ever doubt his ability to have a great match on a big show. Really loved White as a young lion and hope he doesn't abandon all of what made him good back then just because of where is on the card now. I don't have much expectations at all for Jericho/Omega being a good match but I am really interested in seeing how they work it. Naito vs. Okada should have some strong crowd reactions. Four Way junior match does nothing me. Not a big fan of Goto but I do like the hair stip in his match with Suzuki. The under card is just kind of there but that's not almost always the case.
  7. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    I think the problem with the generation gap argument is that it assumes that wrestling is always evolving for the better and it ignores the fact that the worldwide pro wrestling audience is significantly smaller right now than it has historically been. Dave’s point on the Midnight Express is valid to an extent (Cornette would come off far better if he acknowledged that there are obvious similarities between the Bucks and MX). My counterargument would be that MX’s athletic spots were generally executed in a less “choreographed” manner (for lack of a better term), they got over in front of bigger and more varied audiences, and their comedy had a broader slapstick appeal rather than the ironic appeal of a lot of the Bucks comedy spots. Dave seems to be taking the stance that as long as a group of people like a certain style that there is no such thing as taking things too far. Not sure that I buy that. Logic dictates that at some point the old guys complaining about the young kids taking it too far will be right. At some point it goes too far. I am not saying the Young Bucks are that line but I wish Dave and others weren’t so dismissive of the idea that line exists. I think it is perfectly valid for some fans to view the Midnight Express’ innovation as generally being positive and viewing the Bucks’ stuff as a step too far. It is a matter of taste. Likewise, the viewpoint that if the live crowd likes a spot or a match and there is no extra level of danger involved then the spot/match “worked” ignores the fact that something else could potentially have broader appeal. By its own historical standards, wrestling is not very popular now. ROH and the Bullet Club are still very much niche entities in a relatively small industry. It is good for the Bucks that they have their audience and have been able to grow that audience somewhat, but it is still a small, niche audience. It seems like a slippery slope. This is an extreme example but if a match gets over in front of 50 fans all with the same very specific tastes, does that mean the match worked and the wrestlers did the right thing even if a different type of presentation might have held broader appeal? Satisfying your core audience is better than not appealing to any audience but not sure the reaction of that audience should be the benchmark for what works or doesn’t work.
  8. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    He harped on the money quite a but also wrote things like: "The bigger star is who gets the most talk, most media, who would be offered the most for appearances." "Most talk" and "most media attention" is where he starts to get into Loss' Big Bang Theory idea of buzz/talk/attention not necessarily equaling success. Dave kept mentioning Google Trends as concrete support that McGregor is more popular. If you compare Westworld with Big Bang theory on google trends for the period they were on the air last fall, Westworld consistently outperforms Big Bang Theory in that metric. Yet Westworld peaked at 3.6 million total viewers for its season finale while Big Bang Theory rarely dips below 4x that viewership number and makes CBS a lot more money than Westworld makes HBO. Point being, by the buzz/talk or even media metric, Westworld is above Big Bang Theory but by viewership and business metrics its the exact opposite (and not particularly close). Dave might be right about McGregor being a bigger star than Cena. I don't know. I don't think pointing to things like Google Trends or something as vague as "who gets the most talk and media inquiries" is as concrete of evidence of stardom/popularity as he thinks it is. Sometimes it matches up, sometimes it doesn't.
  9. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    Yep, people have been tweeting at him that correction and of course, he hasn't replied or corrected his previous talking point. That was the part that irritated me the most. His main support for why Cena might not draw in ROH is completely false. Hardy wrestled one match in 2003 for ROH and a few earlier this year. Neither were after his run as Smackdown champion like Dave claimed. FWIW, Hardy did draw fans for his single ROH appearance (prior to this year) in July 2003. No way of knowing how many but I was there and there were a fair amount of people clearly there for Jeff which would disprove his point even further since pre-peak Jeff Hardy still appeared to draw well in ROH. The hardcore ROH fans rejected him before the match even started, but he sold extra tickets.
  10. stomperspc

    Global Force Wrestling

    I don't think that's the reality of what happened. Ki was a regular in ROH for the rest of 2002 and most of 2003 after losing the title. He was being booked regularly by Zero1 but when he was not in Japan he was on ROH shows during that time period. I've never seen anything to suggest that that the title was taken off of Ki because he was difficult. Honestly, I don't even remember that being speculated about. Gabe's 2002 through early 2003 booking was all about taking the "wrestling as a sport" premise of the promotion and flipping it on its side to create angles. Xavier's "underserved" title reign was part of that and always seemed like a planned booking decision rather than a reaction to Ki being difficult to work with. I'm with Phil. Low Ki might be uncompromising, but that's a big part of what makes him such a fantastic wrestler. Is he hard to deal with? Probably. But I'll take a guy whose a legitimately great pro wrestler that refuses to compromise of a mediocre wrestler who goes with the flow to his own detriment. The fact that Ki continues to get work despite being "difficult to work with" is proof of how good of a wrestler he is. If he wasn't worth the headache, he wouldn't get booked anymore.
  11. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    I agree that Meltzer is probably basing his assessment of Casas' 1990's work on New Japan (where he didn't have any standout matches) and he probably watched very little of Casas in the 90's. To give you an idea, I went through the Mexico portions of WON's from the first half of the 90's rather extensively in the past year and Dave didn't do reviews or star ratings for most of the big Casas singles matches during that period. He has a few star ratings but they are in the results section which I generally tend to assume our his correspondent's ratings. No thoughts or star ratings of his own on 92 Dandy/Casas, 93 Casas/Fiera, 94 Casas/Cota, ect. Dave was into AAA big time during that period and by comparison was very much down on CMLL. He wrote just prior to the first TripleMania about how the young fliers like Rey, Heavy Metal, Winners, and Super Calo were transforming the style and putting on some of the best matches ever seen in Mexico, while CMLL was hopelessly stuck in a bygone era. In retrospect the complete opposite seems to be true (I think it was Loss who pointed out during the 1993 year book that it is actually the traditionally worked matches in AAA and CMLL that year that hold up the best) but that was his opinion at the time. I think it is probably safe to assume that Meltzer's opinion on Casas in the 90's is heavily shaded by his forgettable NJPW stuff, maybe a few opinions from others, the fact that he didn't think CMLL in general was very good for at least a good chunk of the 90's, and that he didn't seem to watch much of Casas' better 90's matches.
  12. I am going to have to watch this again after reading your review. My recollection of the match was that I enjoyed how they pulled out a lot of stops for what was a relatively insignificant and predictable mask match. Between the dozen masked seconds Silver Fox brought with him, the mask ripping, the blood, and the rudo referee, they definitely dug deep into the bag of tricks to make something memorable out of what was only a hastily repackaged Guerrero de la Muerte dropping another mask. I liked the gimmicks, but remember thinking it was more of a wacky apuesta match than a very good one. I didn't think there was a whole lot of substance in between and despite their best efforts, there was only so much drama they could muster. Felt more like an average apuesta match to me (which is still better than the average normal match) and thought both Dr. Cerebro matches from earlier in the month were more fun but definitely want to give it a second look now.
  13. stomperspc

    Dave Meltzer stuff

    I think the argument of “Dave doesn’t take his star ratings seriously anymore so nobody else should” is really flawed. I think he very clearly does still take them seriously. He often utilizes his star ratings as metrics to support his arguments on particular wrestlers/promotions/periods. He discusses and defends his ratings in the newsletter, on the audio shows, and on Twitter. As an example, in this past week’s issue with the Omega/Okada rating, he devotes several sentences to explaining why he gave a Jeff Cobb/Matt Riddle match from PROGRESS **** ¼ instead of the **** ½ that his readers who saw it live gave it. You don’t explain a ¼ rating difference if the ratings aren’t intended to be taken seriously. He continues to devote space in the Observer and elsewhere to his star ratings. At the most basic level, why continue to devote thought and time to star ratings if they don’t matter? That would say more about Meltzer than it would any of his readers. Not sure how you can look at all of that and conclude that Dave doesn’t take his star ratings seriously, at least to some level. He clearly puts stock in them. Having said that, I strongly suspect Dave wouldn’t use the “not meant to be taken seriously” argument on his own. I think that’s strictly an argument that others have levied on his behalf. I think he would – and has – argued that they aren’t gospel and there is not a science behind it, for example that the difference between a **** ¾ and ***** match is a gut feeling (the difference between having to think about whether a match was 5 and immediately knowing it is). There’s a difference between understanding the limits of the rating’s value and not taking the ratings seriously. I guess what I am trying to say is that “don’t take his ratings seriously because he doesn’t take them seriously” is a cop out. If the second part of that sentence is true, then Dave should stop giving out star ratings. That would be the issue, rather than blaming his readers for taking the ratings at face value.
  14. stomperspc

    Finishers as a concept

    Finishing moves are sort of necessary tools to add heat/drama to a match. Great near falls do not generally occur unless the fans buy the move the near fall comes off as possibly ending the match and that buy-in doesn’t usually come unless the move previously won a bunch of matches. The problem is exasperated now on WWE TV because there are no squash matches and multi-man tags are not used as the basic TV match format. If those formats are used for TV, you can establish the finishers there and then tease the finishers in big singles match. Since all we have is singles matches, you have guys teasing and hitting their finishers in basically every match they win. The bigger issue to me – which I think is part of this – is that matches all around the globe have moved more and more to being battles of attrition. A match is won when the losing wrestler is worn down with high impact offense to the point he can no longer lift his shoulders before a three count. To use the Street Fighter analogy, a vast majority of modern matches end when the loser’s energy bar reaches zero. We don’t see as many matches being won when a wrestler catches his opponent in an inescapable and well-executed hold (submission or pinning). You don’t see a whole lot of those finesse finishers any more. Lucha used to be all about that (and they are still better than the US in that regard) but even Mexico has shifted more to the “cumulative damage” structure for big matches. I think the shift has largely been a function of the shift away from low impact offense leading to late match high impact offense to high impact offense being more or less the only offense. It is not a “less versus more” issue as much as it is a predictability issue. It is one thing to know that a match is likely going to be won by a finisher. It is worse when we know that a match isn’t going to be won until a certain point. That’s why so many matches now have dead crowds now early on. The fans have no reason to care until one or both wrestlers have been worn down enough that it is believable that the next signature move will end the match. Bryan Danielson is the last guy I can think of that tried to re-condition the fans to thinking that a well-executed hold can beat anyone at any time when he became the king of the small the package and used it to win some short matches. You don’t see many luchadores anymore who had pinning combinations as their finisher in the way El Dandy and Negro Casas did.
  15. stomperspc

    Best Individual Performance in a Match

    Diamond Dallas Page versus Goldberg at Halloween Havoc 1998. In that one match he did more to get over the title and Goldberg as big deals than the rest of WCW did at any other time during that period. Beyond that, it is an incredibly smart and well-crafted match. DDP was able to plant doubt that Goldberg might actually lose (even though there should have been little doubt) while still managing to put Goldberg over huge. Everyone else working Goldberg around that time was just putting him over quickly or building the match to make themselves look good (the Hogan match to an extent). DDP got that Goldberg would come out even stronger if the match showed that he could take a bad break (the shoulder posting) and weather the strong game plan of his opponent to still come out on top. DDP benefited because he looked crafty and tough, but did so without beating down Goldberg for 5 minutes. Goldberg still dominated, just in a different than usual manner. The Diamond Cutter reversal out of the Jackhammer is an all-time great spot in terms of ingenuity and timing. Goldberg played his part but DDP is the clear reason why this match stands well above any other Goldberg WCW singles match.