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Grimmas

Reactions to the List: 25-11

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Between the pic of Shawn and Windham's, we've reached a new level of Pro Wrestling is Gay. Pretty awesome. Hard to recognize it's the same guy under the Blackjack hat.

 

Windham was my #40, and it almost feels too low in retrospect, considering how much I love WIndham. I guess I had to be objective. I'm one who even loves Blackjack Windham and his WCW work teaming with Curt Hennig. I also consider peak Windham (86-88 maybe ?) better than Flair. Yeah, "what could have been" sounds right. One of the most graceful wrestler ever this side of Misawa. Great in every role he was put in. Love me some Stalker.

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I'd probably call BW the most naturally gifted wrestler I've ever seen. Just a guy who could do it all, and even old, out-of-shape Windham at the end of WCW still looked more fluid and graceful than just about anyone else on the roster. What a guy.

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And yet... I feel this is very much a case where the holistic view of Windham and his skill set doesn't match with his output especially in terms of longevity. I mean I love Barry like soooo much and even I'm wondering if he's ranked too high in the position of 25.

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130 ballots and around 40 average vote for Mr. Windham. Great performer, he was definitely a 'five tool' guy who could do it all. The float over superplex is still one of the coolest moves ever.

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And yet... I feel this is very much a case where the holistic view of Windham and his skill set doesn't match with his output especially in terms of longevity. I mean I love Barry like soooo much and even I'm wondering if he's ranked too high in the position of 25.

I agree Windham's output is on the weak side at this level, but I'd put him above Austin, Savage and possibly Bret on that front.

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I love Barry, but I don't see how he can rank above Buddy Rose.

Another case where one guy was perceived as elite by more voters but the other beat him by appearing on way more ballots. I voted Buddy higher but don't see a huge gap between the two. Both incredibly adaptable workers with shortish peaks. I do think Buddy was more consistent and creative within his peak. But the bottom line is a lot of people still haven't dived deep on Portland.

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It comes down to visibility. I'm not going to accuse people of not doing their homework, but Buddy Rose's most notable run for the vast majority of voters involved a vignette about the blow away diet. I think there is a vast difference between the careers of both men, but let's say for the sake of argument the careers are perfectly equal. Does anyone really think Barry Windham would be a top 25 worker of all time if he had the exact same set of matches, but the only nationally televised stuff was him as The Stalker?

 

I think Windham's placement is actually one of the most interesting of the whole project. It shows more than anything else the biases that we all come in with, and in a way shows the attempts or lack there of to address those biases and achieve some sense of objectivity. Even if you don't agree with that, it shows how many participants value "input" over "output", or value a greatest hits CD over a 30 disc boxed set. I'm not saying these things as complaints, or to dismiss the process. I think they are arguments that we have been having since the mid 400s, and I can't find a candidate that better speaks to the divide than Windham.

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I love Barry, but I don't see how he can rank above Buddy Rose.

Another case where one guy was perceived as elite by more voters but the other beat him by appearing on way more ballots. I voted Buddy higher but don't see a huge gap between the two. Both incredibly adaptable workers with shortish peaks. I do think Buddy was more consistent and creative within his peak. But the bottom line is a lot of people still haven't dived deep on Portland.

 

 

Sorry for the immediate double post, but I think this is an interesting point, because the average vote between the two wasn't really that different, despite Rose getting 12 top 10s, a #2 and a #3. This is compared to Windham who got more votes (38 more, to be precise), but only one top 10 vote, which came in right at 10. To me, this says that despite Rose seeing a heavier contingent of voters that views him as one of the best of all time, there was an equal or greater block of voters that placed him on the back end of their ballots. More than anything, I'm interested to hear from someone who decided that Rose was worth ranking, but only in the bottom 25. That's a position that no one has really addressed for anyone throughout this project, and is inherently more interesting to me than leaving a person off a ballot completely.

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It comes down to visibility. I'm not going to accuse people of not doing their homework, but Buddy Rose's most notable run for the vast majority of voters involved a vignette about the blow away diet. I think there is a vast difference between the careers of both men, but let's say for the sake of argument the careers are perfectly equal. Does anyone really think Barry Windham would be a top 25 worker of all time if he had the exact same set of matches, but the only nationally televised stuff was him as The Stalker?

 

I think Windham's placement is actually one of the most interesting of the whole project. It shows more than anything else the biases that we all come in with, and in a way shows the attempts or lack there of to address those biases and achieve some sense of objectivity. Even if you don't agree with that, it shows how many participants value "input" over "output", or value a greatest hits CD over a 30 disc boxed set. I'm not saying these things as complaints, or to dismiss the process. I think they are arguments that we have been having since the mid 400s, and I can't find a candidate that better speaks to the divide than Windham.

This also speaks to a distinction between inner biases and external or systemic biases. There is a big difference between the kinds of bias that delineate and stratify wrestling that we have seen, understand, and judged and the kinds of bias that are external from our judgements and have more to do with what we have access to (usually as a result of media technology and the business end of wrestling, particularly through the 90s). I have been really interested in that part of it. Some of maybe the broader patterns in the list seem to be highly (but certainly not exclusively) impacted by access.

 

As you rightly allude to, it isn't necessarily a matter of doing one's homework. Almost every person I have heard or read walk through their list that started with the birth of this project admitted to some pretty sizable blind spots that they just couldn't get to. I am not sure anyone's blind spot is mainstream American wrestling between the 80s and today.

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I noticed that too and found it funny. Appeared on over 100 ballots, average in the 30s, I know I've got huge blind spots in my viewing, but I was a bit surprised he didn't crack the top 20 (especially as there's been some talk about the process favoring the major US stars). Proud to be the high voter on him.

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More than anything, I'm interested to hear from someone who decided that Rose was worth ranking, but only in the bottom 25. That's a position that no one has really addressed for anyone throughout this project, and is inherently more interesting to me than leaving a person off a ballot completely.

 

I did. And I did adress why. Familiar with the AWA stuff and the Hennig feud in Portland. Basically : not seen enough for him to go higher. I'll be honest, I've heard so much hardcore pimping of Buddy Rose Portland years, that I have a hard time believing it can live up to such a hype at this point. I'll only know if/when I'll check it out.

 

Yep. I had Austin at #61. Really enjoyed his entire WCW stint, it's actually his WWF Attitude Era years that hurt him. Basically, nothing stands out after his injury except the Foley matches (and the Taker SummerSlam match), then he has ons of bad stuff (like mostly everybody else) until he comes back and has maybe his best year ever in 2001. I just need to see his rookie USWA feud against Chris Adams.

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More than anything, I'm interested to hear from someone who decided that Rose was worth ranking, but only in the bottom 25. That's a position that no one has really addressed for anyone throughout this project, and is inherently more interesting to me than leaving a person off a ballot completely.

 

I did. And I did adress why. Familiar with the AWA stuff and the Hennig feud in Portland. Basically : not seen enough for him to go higher. I'll be honest, I've heard so much hardcore pimping of Buddy Rose Portland years, that I have a hard time believing it can live up to such a hype at this point. I'll only know if/when I'll check it out.

 

 

I'm not saying this is what happened, but do you feel like you're punishing Rose because of his vocal fanbase? It seems like your viewpoint on this is inherently contrarian. It's like picking apart a movie just to be different from all your friends.

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