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Grimmas

Reactions to the List: 50-26

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Shawn-Cena-Santo is a hell of a triple. I'm a little surprised I was the only one to lift him all the way to the top. He has that "mystique".

 

I didn't have Hart on my list at all. Carl Greco was my No 100, and Hart ain't no Carl Greco. Not gonna whinge about Hart though. People like who they like.

 

With Santo, Satanico, Dandy, Fujiwara and Murdoch 5 out of my Top 10 are gone.

 

EDIT: I just noticed the average vote for Santo is 22. Damn!

Santo was my number three so I had him just behind Fujiwara and Satantico who felt like true GOAT candidates to me. That leaves me with five of my top 10 left as well (I also had Ishikawa and Han in my top 10).

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Santo above Shawn and Cena. This list couldn't be more mainstream if Maroon 5 was talking about it on a special episode of Oprah that takes place in a Wal-Mart where everyone is eating McDonald's.

 

Santo was already above Shawn Michaels in 2006. But Santo is lower this time. While Micheals is higher.

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I don't mean to sound smart or start an argument by saying this, but why is it unacceptable to believe that a good proportion of the greatest wrestlers ever are 'mainstream' guys?

 

Is it not plausible that many great wrestlers became mainstream guys because they were great wrestlers? Surely most wrestlers who are/were great get noticed, gain higher profiles and therefore become 'mainstream'.

I've had this thought as well...

 

 

But a lot of the workers who are niche candidates in the U.S. are mainstream in their own contexts. So that's where this line of reasoning frays a bit.

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Eaton is feeling really over rated at this point especially when you consider how long ago his tag partners dropped. I can't really see an argument for him over Santo.

 

Well, I can't either, and I'm sure his average vote will be lower than Santito's. But I really love Bobby Eaton. He was almost the perfect offensive wrestler, maybe the greatest tag wrestler of all time and a top-shelf in-ring heel. His skills were elite and his body of work fell behind only the best of the best. I'm pleased to see him climb so high and to me, he's an example of a "mainstream" choice that actually isn't that mainstream.

 

I have no issue with Bobby and had him on my ballot. It just feels weird for me to see him finish so much higher than Dennis Condrey (199) and Stan Lane (260) when most of his case is made from teaming with those guys. Especially when those 2 guys were also part of great tag teams away from Bobby.

 

It's not like I've ever watched a Midnight Express match and felt like Bobby Eaton was ten times better than his partner, it was a pretty equal pairing with both versions.

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Outside of the hardest of the hardcores, Bret has been pushed as one the greatest wrestlers ever for at least 20 years, so even at a place like PWO, I don't think it's that surprising that he's going to end up where he does.

 

Does his career match up to a lot of the others in the top 100 based solely on in-ring, consistency, and longevity? No it doesn't, but it seems like only a relatively small percentage of voters are basing their lists entirely on those criteria

 

Here is the thing. If I start factoring in those other things (promos, presence as a character, angles, drawing power, et) I don't see how they really help Bret's case either.

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Bobby Eaton has that great punch too. Easily enough to knock him into Top 30. I had him at #75 or so, but him in the Top 30 is cool. I'm more puzzled about Dustin Rhodes finishing so high. That guy has some really big chunks of bad in his career. If it weren't for his awesome 2010s runs I may not even have included him.

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I had Eaton maybe 40 spots above Condrey and it was a footage issue mainly (and I even like Condrey in his singles run in Continental). I also had him 3 over Santo and I'm happy with that too. I trend lower than a lot of people on Santo. I wasn't at all high on the rudo run save for the first couple of weeks. i think there are lots of footage gaps and it's harder to get a sense of him as a week to week worker than Casas and even Satanico. I think he's more two dimensional than some of the other wrestlers in my top twenty (though those one-two dimensions are amazing). He still ranked high, but I had Eaton just a little higher and and Casas and Satanico significantly higher.

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Santo above Shawn and Cena. This list couldn't be more mainstream if Maroon 5 was talking about it on a special episode of Oprah that takes place in a Wal-Mart where everyone is eating McDonald's.

 

Santo was already above Shawn Michaels in 2006. But Santo is lower this time. While Micheals is higher.

 

What Santo has added since 2006: Mostly some cool stuff in TxT and England that about 40 people have seen.

What Shawn has added since 2006: 12 **** matches from Meltzer amongst a whole lot of other crap.

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Santo above Shawn and Cena. This list couldn't be more mainstream if Maroon 5 was talking about it on a special episode of Oprah that takes place in a Wal-Mart where everyone is eating McDonald's.

 

Santo was already above Shawn Michaels in 2006. But Santo is lower this time. While Micheals is higher.

 

What Santo has added since 2006: Mostly some cool stuff in TxT and England.

What Shawn has added since 2006: 12 **** matches from Meltzer amongst a whole lot of other crap.

 

 

And that's the power of MAINSTREAM. ;)

 

(it is turning into a running gag)

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Eaton is feeling really over rated at this point especially when you consider how long ago his tag partners dropped. I can't really see an argument for him over Santo.

Well, I can't either, and I'm sure his average vote will be lower than Santito's. But I really love Bobby Eaton. He was almost the perfect offensive wrestler, maybe the greatest tag wrestler of all time and a top-shelf in-ring heel. His skills were elite and his body of work fell behind only the best of the best. I'm pleased to see him climb so high and to me, he's an example of a "mainstream" choice that actually isn't that mainstream.

I have no issue with Bobby and had him on my ballot. It just feels weird for me to see him finish so much higher than Dennis Condrey (199) and Stan Lane (260) when most of his case is made from teaming with those guys. Especially when those 2 guys were also part of great tag teams away from Bobby.

 

It's not like I've ever watched a Midnight Express match and felt like Bobby Eaton was ten times better than his partner, it was a pretty equal pairing with both versions.

Eaton proved he could work singles really well too. He had a nice singles run in WCW for a bit, and I personally haven't seen anything singles from Lane and Condrey to compare it to. He gets points for his punch, and seemed to be more innovative. I had Eaton high on my list.

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Eaton is feeling really over rated at this point especially when you consider how long ago his tag partners dropped. I can't really see an argument for him over Santo.

 

Well, I can't either, and I'm sure his average vote will be lower than Santito's. But I really love Bobby Eaton. He was almost the perfect offensive wrestler, maybe the greatest tag wrestler of all time and a top-shelf in-ring heel. His skills were elite and his body of work fell behind only the best of the best. I'm pleased to see him climb so high and to me, he's an example of a "mainstream" choice that actually isn't that mainstream.

 

I have no issue with Bobby and had him on my ballot. It just feels weird for me to see him finish so much higher than Dennis Condrey (199) and Stan Lane (260) when most of his case is made from teaming with those guys. Especially when those 2 guys were also part of great tag teams away from Bobby.

 

It's not like I've ever watched a Midnight Express match and felt like Bobby Eaton was ten times better than his partner, it was a pretty equal pairing with both versions.

 

Condrey will always be underrated because he was in the less-famous version of the MX (and his lack of non-MX work), and Lane will always be underrated because people have regularly made the argument that he was the second best guy in all three of his big teams AND that Condrey's MX and Del Ray's Bodies were better.

 

Most importantly, though, and if I'm showing some philistinism-- what the hell is either guy's best singles match? I am a reasonably well-informed though chronically absent-minded PWO member and I don't have a clue.

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Jmare, that's a good point. i guess i shouldn't have said "anonymous", more like "non-PWO regulars".

 

people bring up AJ Styles in the top 40 but i think when people look at this list even a couple years from now, the poor ranking of the women will be far and away the most embarrassing part. Brock in the top 50 will also be up there - guys like Hogan & Dusty are more understandable when you realize not everyone was voting just on in-ring work, but Brock doesn't have anywhere near their track record as a draw.

 

i've been pleasantly surprised with the list aside from those issues, mind you!

 

I doubt that, Joshi is a pretty dead style and its prime is even further in the rear view mirror, I can't imagine there will be some sort of Joshi review, unless its something like LLPW which wasn't beaten to death by guys in the 90.

 

 

you're missing on a couple larger points here:

 

1. WWE taking women's wrestling seriously. if they stick with it, you're going to see more people take an interest in what came before it. it's also going to produce a generation of new female hardcore fans.

 

2. feminism is eventually going to become a real factor in our circle, like it's already doing with basically every other nerd fandom. there will be re-evaluations of the joshi style and the circumstances that developed it, and there will be more people refusing to rank sexual predators on principle. knowing how wrestling is, it'll probably be like 5 years from now...but it *will* happen eventually.

 

 

1. May be true. I hope it's true, even though I sort of hate the top-down model of "join the power structure to beat the power structure!" of change that such a thing implies.

 

2. Is already happening, but it's had little effect on how people think or talk about the Joshi of the past up until this point. To be perfectly frank the rape pornish elements of something like Chiggy v. Dump is something that isn't likely to play with many feminist either, and that's something that shouldn't be undersold. Someone like Kudo is rated even by many of the predominantly male critics of the Joshi style, but the last time I tried to watch a Kudo death match in the presence of a self-identified feminist woman it was met with total disgust, and a long discussion about what the existence of such a match said about women in wrestling and male wrestling fans (note that this was maybe two months ago).

 

I understand what you are saying, but your point seems heavily dependent on the idea that feminism is a monolith and that feminism is a sort of "static" position that is fully fleshed out, rather than a constantly evolving egalitarian impulse that adjusts to situational realities.

 

A far more interesting thing to think about is whether or not feminism (or perhaps more accurately feminists) will shape or influence the depiction and characterization of wrestling talent (male and female) in the years ahead in significant ways. Thinking along these lines I actually think it is far more likely that current female performers on all scales and in all locations (Hojo, Asuka, Bayley, Banks, Lovelace, Athena, et) will receive measurable support in 2026, than it is that many of the old Joshi performers will have their profiles resurrected. I say this in part because I think Joshi may be subject to feminist critique in certain cases (see Kudo, Chiggy/Dump, et.) and partially because social movements tend to exalt those who are presumed to have emerged from within them at the expense of those who are seen as predecessors of sorts who may not have been ideal representatives for one reason or another.

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Eaton is feeling really over rated at this point especially when you consider how long ago his tag partners dropped. I can't really see an argument for him over Santo.

Well, I can't either, and I'm sure his average vote will be lower than Santito's. But I really love Bobby Eaton. He was almost the perfect offensive wrestler, maybe the greatest tag wrestler of all time and a top-shelf in-ring heel. His skills were elite and his body of work fell behind only the best of the best. I'm pleased to see him climb so high and to me, he's an example of a "mainstream" choice that actually isn't that mainstream.

I have no issue with Bobby and had him on my ballot. It just feels weird for me to see him finish so much higher than Dennis Condrey (199) and Stan Lane (260) when most of his case is made from teaming with those guys. Especially when those 2 guys were also part of great tag teams away from Bobby.

 

It's not like I've ever watched a Midnight Express match and felt like Bobby Eaton was ten times better than his partner, it was a pretty equal pairing with both versions.

Eaton proved he could work singles really well too. He had a nice singles run in WCW for a bit, and I personally haven't seen anything singles from Lane and Condrey to compare it to. He gets points for his punch, and seemed to be more innovative. I had Eaton high on my list.

 

 

I agree that Eaton's singles run (where he won a singles title and actually got to main event a COTC challenging for the World title) works in his favor in separating him from Condrey and Lane (at least it did in my case).

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I think Morton was a better singles wrestler than Eaton, and I prefer selling as an art, to offense as an art. So I had Ricky above Eaton. That said it's hard not to be happy about Eaton finishing so well because he's such a nice guy and such a consistent hard worker. I mean I'm sure he'll never see this and would likely barely care at all if he did, but it feels like a nice gesture even if I don't personally believe he's one of the 30 best ever.

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I explained Eaton over Morton (just by a couple of spots) on the pod we did today but I don't think I did a great job at it. I think they're the mirror image of each other. A lot of it comes to the variety of partners creating a sort of compelling illusion of variety to me, the fact that I'm higher than most people on Eaton's babyface work (even if I also probably like Morton's heel work more than most), and the fact that frankly, I think Eaton's physical reactions to everything that happen in the match, good and bad, are almost as good as Morton's selling, with Eaton having the stronger offense. Some of it is footage too since Morton was in the wilderness more. I voted before seeing Morton vs Bock and the Lucas tag, but then Eaton's been helped by Houston footage as well. They're very close.

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1. May be true. I hope it's true, even though I sort of hate the top-down model of "join the power structure to beat the power structure!" of change that such a thing implies.

 

2. Is already happening, but it's had little effect on how people think or talk about the Joshi of the past up until this point. To be perfectly frank the rape pornish elements of something like Chiggy v. Dump is something that isn't likely to play with many feminist either, and that's something that shouldn't be undersold. Someone like Kudo is rated even by many of the predominantly male critics of the Joshi style, but the last time I tried to watch a Kudo death match in the presence of a self-identified feminist woman it was met with total disgust, and a long discussion about what the existence of such a match said about women in wrestling and male wrestling fans (note that this was maybe two months ago).

 

I understand what you are saying, but your point seems heavily dependent on the idea that feminism is a monolith and that feminism is a sort of "static" position that is fully fleshed out, rather than a constantly evolving egalitarian impulse that adjusts to situational realities.

 

A far more interesting thing to think about is whether or not feminism (or perhaps more accurately feminists) will shape or influence the depiction and characterization of wrestling talent (male and female) in the years ahead in significant ways. Thinking along these lines I actually think it is far more likely that current female performers on all scales and in all locations (Hojo, Asuka, Bayley, Banks, Lovelace, Athena, et) will receive measurable support in 2026, than it is that many of the old Joshi performers will have their profiles resurrected. I say this in part because I think Joshi may be subject to feminist critique in certain cases (see Kudo, Chiggy/Dump, et.) and partially because social movements tend to exalt those who are presumed to have emerged from within them at the expense of those who are seen as predecessors of sorts who may not have been ideal representatives for one reason or another.

 

 

Just like with any social rights based movement, figures from the past being judged by the standards of the day will produces for lack of a better construct winners and losers wrestlers like Madusa, Nakano, and Hokuto come to mind as strong female characters that rarely if at all seem to express traits or actions that are driven by patriarchal expectations or desires while others will be seen as exploitative minstrel showesque "rape porn" but it seems that even you are implying a monolithic fandom from female-feminists as I could cite anecdotal cases of female-feminists that enjoyed joshi death matches.

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I think the discussion of feminist critique for wrestling is worth its own (awesome) thread -- there are many different schools of feminism and we could burn page upon page discussing how various matches would play within feminist conventions (male gaze, etc.).

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1. May be true. I hope it's true, even though I sort of hate the top-down model of "join the power structure to beat the power structure!" of change that such a thing implies.

 

2. Is already happening, but it's had little effect on how people think or talk about the Joshi of the past up until this point. To be perfectly frank the rape pornish elements of something like Chiggy v. Dump is something that isn't likely to play with many feminist either, and that's something that shouldn't be undersold. Someone like Kudo is rated even by many of the predominantly male critics of the Joshi style, but the last time I tried to watch a Kudo death match in the presence of a self-identified feminist woman it was met with total disgust, and a long discussion about what the existence of such a match said about women in wrestling and male wrestling fans (note that this was maybe two months ago).

 

I understand what you are saying, but your point seems heavily dependent on the idea that feminism is a monolith and that feminism is a sort of "static" position that is fully fleshed out, rather than a constantly evolving egalitarian impulse that adjusts to situational realities.

 

A far more interesting thing to think about is whether or not feminism (or perhaps more accurately feminists) will shape or influence the depiction and characterization of wrestling talent (male and female) in the years ahead in significant ways. Thinking along these lines I actually think it is far more likely that current female performers on all scales and in all locations (Hojo, Asuka, Bayley, Banks, Lovelace, Athena, et) will receive measurable support in 2026, than it is that many of the old Joshi performers will have their profiles resurrected. I say this in part because I think Joshi may be subject to feminist critique in certain cases (see Kudo, Chiggy/Dump, et.) and partially because social movements tend to exalt those who are presumed to have emerged from within them at the expense of those who are seen as predecessors of sorts who may not have been ideal representatives for one reason or another.

 

 

Just like with any social rights based movement, figures from the past being judged by the standards of the day will produces for lack of a better construct winners and losers wrestlers like Madusa, Nakano, and Hokuto come to mind as strong female characters that rarely if at all seem to express traits or actions that are driven by patriarchal expectations or desires while others will be seen as exploitative minstrel showesque "rape porn" but it seems that even you are implying a monolithic fandom from female-feminists as I could cite anecdotal cases of female-feminists that enjoyed joshi death matches.

 

 

I anticipated this criticism and almost adjusted my post to deal with it, but figured it would be more productive to just leave things as they were.

 

My point wasn't to argue that the correct feminist position was the one I was advancing, but rather to note that there are feminist who have and likely will continue to react that way to something like a Chiggy/Dump or a Kudo death match. As you note there are also feminist who do or will enjoy those matches for one reason or another.

 

That said, I do think critique of things in the past are likely to be deeper, more hard hitting, or at the very least more likely to result in rejection. In part this is because they are things that have already occurred. No redemption is possible, no adaptation can be made. They existed and judgment to be rendered. By contrast a worker, promotion, genre, et can respond to feminist critique, or at least directly engage with criticism going forward. Perhaps more importantly, feminist voices can engage in narrative creation which presumes and promotes the best in certain performers and bouts.

 

Of course all of this is shaky because we have no real idea where feminism, or more importantly feminists, are going to be in ten years. I can just as easily envision a world where Shimmer and AJW are both rejected as male owned enterprises that profited off of the exploitation of women's sexuality, as I can a world where the corporate WWE's increasingly positive depiction of women in the ring is viewed as the most significant achievement in the history of women's wrestling.

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Outside of the hardest of the hardcores, Bret has been pushed as one the greatest wrestlers ever for at least 20 years, so even at a place like PWO, I don't think it's that surprising that he's going to end up where he does.

 

Does his career match up to a lot of the others in the top 100 based solely on in-ring, consistency, and longevity? No it doesn't, but it seems like only a relatively small percentage of voters are basing their lists entirely on those criteria

 

Here is the thing. If I start factoring in those other things (promos, presence as a character, angles, drawing power, et) I don't see how they really help Bret's case either.

 

 

Not part of Bret's case, but we are seeing that emotional attachment and voting for favorites is responsible for boosting a lot of guys who don't stack up to those who check all the boxes. But not enough to affect the top 10 I believe

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John Cena seems absurdly high. Still not sure if I even consider him to be a great wrestler. He is certainly a great big match wrestler. But does he have the body of work to compete with Kong or Hokuto or even Toyota? Maybe if you love modern WWE style. He is clearly a beneficiary of the fact most people have seen most of his stuff and the fact he has been able to work on top for a decade and thus in a position to have the top match on the card. Doesn't have too many glaring flaws either, although his matches do tend to drag massively in the middle before they go home with the nearfalls and table spots and drama.

 

Have no problem with Steve Austin finishing above him. He brought an intensity and charisma that elevated his more minor matches, and I'm not sure John Cena ever managed that. He was hurt in this respect by overexposure - it is hard to make television special when you are wrestling them every week for a decade.

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People pointing to individual examples of a luchador placing over a US favorite to show how 'not mainstream' the list is is getting pretty tedious. For what it's worth I think it's less a matter of "mainstream" and more of both US workers and workers that made their case in the last 10 years over-indexing (thanks Parv). Pointing out when X recent WWE candidate places below X luchador isn't really relevant when the question is less who they did or didn't beat and more "where did they place relative to where they should have placed if everyone was familiar with everything?" (Which I recognize is fraught with subjectivity.)

 

Stompers' point about average vote vs. actual placement is interesting. Would be cool to see some more analysis of that once the whole list is out.

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I think Cena's body of work brutally destroys all three of the aforementioned Joshi workers combined, but I say that as someone who firmly believes that there is far more good tv wrestling now than at any point in history.

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