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Grimmas

Reactions to the List: 10-1

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I went back and rewatched a lot of his indie run and it more then holds up. The guy has been a top ten wrestler in the world his whole career.

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Kobashi probably would have been my number 1 if I would have put a ballot through; I see all the flaws and can't really argue with them. But then he has just so many visceral moments that stick with me; when he goes for and hits the moonsault against Takayama, his man on the apron tagging with Go, the memories of seeing him live against Joe that he would have to be my 1 because he hits that perfect spot for me more than anyone else. Even if there's moments in even the same match where I somewhat roll my eyes.

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Is Bryan in the top 5 considered a big shocker?

It shouldn't be, he's had a long and awesome career.

 

Recency bias + US mainstream bias (and before people get worked up, I of all people am guilty of it with Bryan, so I speak for *myself* first). I absolutely don't believe all the people voting for Bryan had scrutinized his ROH career. I for one sure didn't do it, as ROH is a black hole that I'm not I ever want to get into. Too afraid I might just blast the whole company (for the record, I *hated* everything about Samoa Joe vs Kobashi, to give you an idea). Maybe one day. When I'l done with TNA.

 

I think people started going back and looking at high points for sure. I have kind of seen references to some of his early matches pop up her and there.

 

I followed his career pretty closely since about 2004, so i was following the ROH stuff as it happened. I recently went back and watch quite a bit it and admittedly some of it didn't hold up so well and I found some flaws with him that I didn't see before. However, I still think his ROH stuff is an overall positive for his case. He played lots of rolls, he put on lots of interesting and unique matches, showed versatility, excelled with the belt and without it, worked with so many different types of wrestlers, and very rarely had a bad match. His work holds up A LOT better than most during that time.

 

I think you are right though. He is the beneficiary of some potential biases you mentioned, probably benefits a little from the sentimentality around him lately, and also gets a bump for the reasons I discussed above (easily accessible career, appealing to multiple types of fans). I think he MIGHT lower a bit should this ever be done again, but I a can also see him gaining some positive evaluations elsewhere. I think his high end indy stuff will be thought of more fondly down the road. How unique his run to WMXXX was will stand out as time goes by. His relentless consistancy will stand the test of time. I can also imagine more gems of his popping up or gaining some recognition from other indy companies too.

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Bryan's indie run held up shockingly well when I binged watched it in the weeks before the deadline. I expected it to feel dated and it simply didn't. If anything I may has underrated him to offset recency bias.

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I had Rey at 7 right where he landed and Liger at 8 and he made it to 6. I have no problem with that as we're talking a top 10 spot either way.

 

I'm not surprised Bryan made it into the top 5, I just personally couldn't do it. I had him at 17. I only went from memory on his ROH stuff as I have a hard time revisiting some of that old stuff due the crowds ( chants and responses drive me nuts) and production values. That's my fault for feeing that way not Bryans. Obviously I still think highly of him at 17.

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Bryan benefits a lot from no one really going back and looking at his Indy work with a critical eye. During the last few years of his run, I noticed the Wrestling KO guys were pointing out the holes in his work and how he often gave in to the worst tendencies of his opponents when against a Davey Richards or Naruki Doi. Most voters, though, just seem to assume he was having classic after classic.

WKO also LOVED his WWE run and judging recent posts like Mike watching the Super Dragon match it would hold up just fine for them. Personally I watched a fair amount of his earliest indy stuff I hadn't seen before and may have overrated him on my list if anything. His early run being so good and him (imo) clearly being the best wrestler in the world in his last run after a sketchy 2013 really helped him for me. I'm as emotionally detached from him as I could be a great wrestler. That said I did bring up a couple of my issues with him in my last post in his thread and for those reasons I'm not really sure I should've had him top 20 like I did.

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I'm not sure if I can hold it against a guy that he let his opponent do their thing. It depends on context, but I think that's something that can actually speak in a wrestler's favor even as it produces matches I dislike. That's how I felt about Minoru Suzuki's recent GHC title run, where as an invading heel it made sense, if he was going over, to at least let guys like Marufuji and Sugiura have their kind of shitty match for the NOAH fans that were into them.

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Too afraid I might just blast the whole company (for the record, I *hated* everything about Samoa Joe vs Kobashi, to give you an idea).

 

I wouldn't judge the promotion on that match - it was pretty much an anomaly at that point since the fans were incredibly excited to see Kobashi and he gave both them and Samoa Joe what they wanted, which was a facsimile of a 90s AJPW main event, just without any of the important context. Most of the pimped matches from the promotion bear little resemblance to it, either in terms of the match or the crowd reaction.

 

ROH from 2003 until 2006 is very good. Worth watching, especially considering you are putting yourself through hours of self flagellation watching TNA. ROH was the far superior product at that moment in time. From late 2003 onward they also started having some cool feuds and storylines, so it isn't just a ton of workrate matches back to back with no reason to care about them. The crowd is also pretty cool up until all the "This is awesome" bullshit crept in - I remember ROH fans mocking the shit out of TNA fans for inventing that one until they adopted it themselves.

 

The Samoa Joe & Bryan Danielson title reigns are both worth exploring in full, and there are a ton of great individual shows with a good variety of wrestling and some really good talent. Unified from 2006 might be a good place to start - super hot sold out UK crowd, and a bunch of solid matches other than the tedious Davey Richards twenty minute wankathon.

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Bryan's indie run held up shockingly well when I binged watched it in the weeks before the deadline. I expected it to feel dated and it simply didn't. If anything I may has underrated him to offset recency bias.

 

Not everything in his run is a classic or on par with AJ's best if you're high on it. But it absolutely doesn't feel dated, even the early stuff from '01-'02 where he was essentially learning on the job and developing his game. Then you watch how his work develops and the wrinkles he adds at various junctures along the way in ROH and the Indys before reinventing himself in WWE.

 

Don't think the Eddy comparison is a fair one at all, as even if you don't rate his run as highly as those of us who go gaga for it, Eddy looked to have written many matches off. I'm not sure you can argue Bryan did that even if you don't appreciate the output.

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Danielson absolutes smokes AJ Styles in ROH. No comparison. Styles often just felt like someone passing through, in random matches that were usually solid but never felt particularly special. In comparison Danielson felt like a huge attraction, had a unique connection with the crowd, excelled as both a face and heel, had long, beautifully worked matches with a variety of opponents. Stuff like the 75 minute match with Aries are probably a bit tedious now but it was what people wanted to see at the time and it was cool to see the workers developing and testing their limitations.

 

His WWE work left me a bit cold until he got really hot as a babyface. Felt his heel run took away most of the cool little touches he brought as a heel in ROH.

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ROH from 2003 until 2006 is very good. Worth watching, especially considering you are putting yourself through hours of self flagellation watching TNA. ROH was the far superior product at that moment in time. From late 2003 onward they also started having some cool feuds and storylines, so it isn't just a ton of workrate matches back to back with no reason to care about them. The crowd is also pretty cool up until all the "This is awesome" bullshit crept in - I remember ROH fans mocking the shit out of TNA fans for inventing that one until they adopted it themselves.

 

Interesting. The idea I have of early ROH is two bland guys in MMA shorts and kickpads doing AJ cosplay for 45 minutes while the crowd is doing dual chants. Maybe I'm completely off on this, and in this case well, one of these days, why not.

 

I didn't know TNA audience were responsible for "this is awesome" chants. Damn them then.

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I agree about Styles/Danielson. Styles best match - for my money - in ROH was his Main Event Spectacle match against Danielson in 2003. Danielson got Styles out of his comfort zone early and got him out of some of the formula Styles would often go to in ROH around that time. I didn't love the final quarter of the match, but it is one of the key pieces to Danielson's case in ROH.

 

I also agree his heel work in ROH was way better. I really thought that letting him be that shit-eating heel champion was the ultimate way to go with him as WWE champion. I am not sure they would have ever let him work heel on top, but it would have been the perfect way to keep him fresh and let maximize his skill set.

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What he did as heel in WWE is much more special to me than what he did as heel in ROH. Having matches vs. Big Show and Mark Henry treating them like proper monsters, the screwy finishes, nearly losing to Santino....it was a unique run in a setting that almost never allows those and he did it not by breaking the rules of his universe like Punk did but by actualizing the tried and tested but forgotten tricks of yesterday. His ROH heel run was just...him still being the great wrestler he was before but the ROH fans get sick of everything after a few months? That's just...whatever.

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I love AJ as much as the next guy, but the highs Danielson was able to consistently hit were just higher. AJ had the ability, talent, the pedigree. He was of Danielson's caliber, but Dragon was Dragon. Like Parv said "it's not about the career you could have had" and AJ's had a great one. Danielson was having great matches as early as 2001, and was legitimately a great wrestler by 2002. My brain says maybe he's a little high. My gut says he's as good as anyone who's ever laced em up.

...had he gotten a proper Ace run in the WWE, who knows where he could have landed.

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...had he gotten a proper Ace run in the WWE, who knows where he could have landed.

 

Probably around the same spot, since it's nearly impossible to be higher!

 

Sorry, that was me being a smart ass but it is amazing that he was able to make such a strong historical case for himself during a time period where it was difficult to do so.

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What he did as heel in WWE is much more special to me than what he did as heel in ROH. Having matches vs. Big Show and Mark Henry treating them like proper monsters, the screwy finishes, nearly losing to Santino....it was a unique run in a setting that almost never allows those and he did it not by breaking the rules of his universe like Punk did but by actualizing the tried and tested but forgotten tricks of yesterday. His ROH heel run was just...him still being the great wrestler he was before but the ROH fans get sick of everything after a few months? That's just...whatever.

Yea his heel run in WWE was awesome. My favorite moment from that run is the lumberjack match he had with Mark Henry on Smackdown where Bryan just starts kicking all the lumberjacks from inside the ring until they get tired of his shit and rush the ring to get him which causes the match to get thrown out and while all the lumberjacks wind up in the ring fighting each other he just slinks off with the World Title.

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I shouldn't have said "way" better. I love his heel work in both. I just like the overall heel character he played in ROH better. He didn't have the same types of opponents so he was put in a completely different position. I am not sure the ROH run is a better case maker for him, but I enjoy it more myself.

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With Kobashi over Kawada, The List truly being booked like Baba circa 1995. Misawa the one true ace.

 

 

:)

 

Kawada Fan: "It was Kawada's turn to go over in the GWE!"

 

Baba-san: "He isn't ready. Misawa is the ace, and Jumbo is jobbing to him as well."

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Bryan's biggest flaw as a heel was his seeming inability to get fans to dislike him. But he did have the performances.

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...had he gotten a proper Ace run in the WWE, who knows where he could have landed.

 

Probably around the same spot, since it's nearly impossible to be higher!

 

Sorry, that was me being a smart ass but it is amazing that he was able to make such a strong historical case for himself during a time period where it was difficult to do so.

 

lol good point

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ROH from 2003 until 2006 is very good. Worth watching, especially considering you are putting yourself through hours of self flagellation watching TNA. ROH was the far superior product at that moment in time. From late 2003 onward they also started having some cool feuds and storylines, so it isn't just a ton of workrate matches back to back with no reason to care about them. The crowd is also pretty cool up until all the "This is awesome" bullshit crept in - I remember ROH fans mocking the shit out of TNA fans for inventing that one until they adopted it themselves.

 

Interesting. The idea I have of early ROH is two bland guys in MMA shorts and kickpads doing AJ cosplay for 45 minutes while the crowd is doing dual chants. Maybe I'm completely off on this, and in this case well, one of these days, why not.

 

I didn't know TNA audience were responsible for "this is awesome" chants. Damn them then.

 

 

Damn, and here I was recalling ECW Fans for inventing it, since they claimed at the time to have invented all audience related things. :)

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Bryan's biggest flaw as a heel was his seeming inability to get fans to dislike him. But he did have the performances.

He seemed like he was actually getting heel reactions during that time period (although it's Smackdown so who can say for sure) and the crowd didn't really start cheering for him until the loss to Sheamus at WrestleMania.

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