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rzombie1988

Any other longterm fans starting to feel alienated by the current fanbase?

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It's interesting though because lots of things I've watched since 2011. AJPW 80s set. All the 90s and 70s AJPW classics. AWA 80s set. Mid-South. And on it goes. I didn't grow up watching that stuff, I grew up watching WWF videos fronted by Sean Mooney.

 

The critical mass argument is an interesting one and I wonder how far that transfers across to something like AJPW? For example, there were times on the 80s set where you'd be watching four or five ****+ matches in a row. And in all that certain things don't stand out as they might in other contexts. One example I can think of is Hansen / DiBiase vs Choshu / Yatsu from 85. If that had happened on a WCW or WWF card it would be a match talked about forever a la Bret vs Mr Perfect from SS91 or something like that. As it is, it's "just another" great match in a sea of it and is much overshadowed by Jumbo / Tenryu vs Choshu / Yatsu, an all-time classic.

 

Maybe the focus on in-ring quality now is such that it's essentially AJPW 80s set conditions all the time?

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There's another board that I post on where I get this feeling. My tastes in general just don't jive with the rest of the posters in the thread. Damn near to a man, they're freaking out about the Omega/Okada match. I can't stand Kenny Omega, and I'll have bricks dropped on my head before I watch a 45 minute match of his. They're all really into PWG, too. I dig that promotion, because it's really a venue for wrestlers to come to and freak the fuck out, and that's cool. I've seen some really good stuff that I dug out of that promotion over the last couple years, but I've also seen a lot of stuff that just leaves me cold. It's really, really excessive and numbing. There was stuff like that in RoH back in the day, too. I remember getting an RoH DVD in the mail and some 70s All Japan Classics tape from Lynch with Jumbo, Mil, and Terry about three days later. It struck me how much easier it was to follow the AJ stuff.

 

Also, I've been singing the praises of current Negro Casas and the Brian Kendrick miracle run and it's just kinda falling on deaf ears there.

 

When it comes down to it, though, it's okay and I really don't care. I follow my whims and enjoy wrestling for myself. What I've realized is that what I really like is being able to get caught up in one promotion or TV show that's well-booked and gets me invested emotionally. Ring of Honor did that in the mid-00's, WWE can do it now and then, NXT with Ryan Ward at the helm, etc. Smackdown is currently kicking ass, so I make it a point to watch that. Sprinkle in some stuff from the 80s and 90s and I'm pretty much set.

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I think a lot of the disconnect comes down to a lot of old school fans wanting wrestling to actually seem like a struggle between two guys trying to win a contest. Not saying ALL modern wrestling is this way, but a lot of it now feels just like two guys working together to put on a performance to entertain fans.

This.

 

Sure wrestlers in the past were putting on performances to entertain fans. But the majority of those fans were marks who believed in wrestling. The ambience was very different with the audience invested in outcomes rather than processes.

 

I've been alienated from the vast majority of the wrestling fanbase for 15 years. It just means you're superior to them, don't worry about it. ;)

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One thing I wonder about is the way that indie promotions don't really have set rosters, and the whole culture of the one-shot dream match.

 

Is there anything to this? It feels to me like a lot of the indies now have more of a "travelling world warrior" vibe a la Street Fighter 2. Everyone works in different places having dream matches with everyone else.

 

And surely some of this has crept into WWE too?

 

I kinda feel like a lot of super cards happen in a vacuum. It's the ROH culture.

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I wonder if there has ever been a time when "match quality" as a concept in and of itself has been valued so much? I think in the past the memorable matches haven't always been the "best" matches, but have been historically significant (title changes), great spectacles (Hogan/Andre) or emotionally cathartic performances (a face finally getting a win, or a big angle taking place). The truly memorable matches then combined all of the above.

 

And so "match quality" as the main currency of wrestling fandom is going to alienate some older fans. I would rather watch several hours of Memphis TV or Worldwide than a disc of recent MOTYCs. But then again, I'm probably in the minority in enjoying wrestling more for the whole show than just the matches.

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I' m sure 70s fans felt the same way about 80s fans. 80s fans felt the same way about 90s fans, etc...

Eh, I really don't buy this. Myself, and many friends, started watching in the early 80s and watched all thru the 90s and we never talked about that. We preferred the NWA/Memphis/Mid South style but still watched the WWF.

 

I probably went to 75/80 percent of shows at the Louisville gardens from 82 to 96 and never heard stuff like that

 

WHEN I started hearing it is when the WWF basically became a monopoly in 2001. That's when my friends kinda gave up

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I think a lot of the disconnect comes down to a lot of old school fans wanting wrestling to actually seem like a struggle between two guys trying to win a contest. Not saying ALL modern wrestling is this way, but a lot of it now feels just like two guys working together to put on a performance to entertain fans.

 

While that approach may lead to "better matches" in a star rating sense it ends up making them transient as it rarely leads to an emotional connection to the performers involved and the only real emotion is "oh man that was a cool spot!" which rapidly dissipates after the next match with cool spots happens.

 

Even if EVOLVE may have a "better average match quality" than Houston wrestling a lot more of what you watch on NWAOnDemand is going to stick with you because it creates an emotional response.

I can't argue with this at all

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To take a slightly different angle than old vs new fans, there is an overall trend on both sides to want to list and quantify matches, to add matches to the canon, and basically boil critical judgement and appreciation of wrestling to just "matches". Hence endless match reviews and star ratings and what does or doesn't qualify as a MOTY (now the discussion cuts straight to is this the greatest match of all time or not). We are getting so much footage old and new that we need to consume and either promote or disregard in rapid order to allow us to move on to more consumption; matches serve as the most easily quantifiable commodity in the never-ending quest for "the list".

 

There was something more to be said for the joy of watching tv tapes full of matches that would never qualify for the famed "canon" but also promos, angles, gimmicks, stupidity etc. Is the end goal to have spreadsheets of matches that make "the cut" and is the joy of scouring a John McAdam tape list and reading all about Georgia or Memphis angles and happenings gone? One of the best tapes I remember seeing was a 6 hour comp of Memphis tv from late 85 to 86 which aside from the famed loser leaves town match had no matches that would sniff a respectable star rating yet still manages to be the most entertaining wrestling I've seen thanks to the likes of Dundee, Lawler, mantel, landell, hickerson, Russell with wild angles, incredible interviews and lots of nonsense etc. does that have a place in the new match-centric, list-obsessed world of wrestling fandom?

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To take a slightly different angle than old vs new fans, there is an overall trend on both sides to want to list and quantify matches, to add matches to the canon, and basically boil critical judgement and appreciation of wrestling to just "matches". Hence endless match reviews and star ratings and what does or doesn't qualify as a MOTY (now the discussion cuts straight to is this the greatest match of all time or not). We are getting so much footage old and new that we need to consume and either promote or disregard in rapid order to allow us to move on to more consumption; matches serve as the most easily quantifiable commodity in the never-ending quest for "the list".

 

There was something more to be said for the joy of watching tv tapes full of matches that would never qualify for the famed "canon" but also promos, angles, gimmicks, stupidity etc. Is the end goal to have spreadsheets of matches that make "the cut" and is the joy of scouring a John McAdam tape list and reading all about Georgia or Memphis angles and happenings gone? One of the best tapes I remember seeing was a 6 hour comp of Memphis tv from late 85 to 86 which aside from the famed loser leaves town match had no matches that would sniff a respectable star rating yet still manages to be the most entertaining wrestling I've seen thanks to the likes of Dundee, Lawler, mantel, landell, hickerson, Russell with wild angles, incredible interviews and lots of nonsense etc. does that have a place in the new match-centric, list-obsessed world of wrestling fandom?

 

All of this.

 

The focus on matches, to the detriment of all the other glorious bullshit that goes under the banner of "wrestling", is a great shame and waste. It is a really reductive view of what makes wrestling so much fun, and means we end up with a narrower view of how it can move people.

 

If star ratings, match reviews and lists were no longer the predominant means of critiquing wrestling I think we'd get more interesting and diverse takes. The greatest hits approach distorts things historically and critically.

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I have been banging the "more than just the matches" drum as long as I've been here.

 

And it's all the stuff other than the matches which modern wrestling truly sucks at, which I've also said many many times. And that means promos, angles, commentary, Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan goofing around, Sean Mooney in a cowboy hat, absolutely atrocious skits by WCW (See Motorcity Madman in the pool hall), Memphis BS, Gordon Solie talking about wrestling with such gravity you'd think the world depended on it, the whole lot.

 

But all that stuff is so missing from current product offerings that there is no choice but to focus on the matches.

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Not just modern wrestling though, but the way in which older wrestling is regarded. In a time of abundant, free footage, the trend has now become to cherry pick best matches of a promotion or wrestler and it's rare people want to sit through a 6 hour comp of Memphis tv that will likely have no "MOTYs" by current prevailing standards eg there was another popular tape of uswa from early 92 that focused on the Lawler and co vs moondogs feud that was mainly studio brawls, brutal squashes, mystery tag partners, story progression, intense promos etc supplanted by misogyntic Eric embry angles where women were getting stripped and whipped and racist Dennis corraluzzo promos at koko b ware. But it's a great tape and something which would seem to have no place in the match-focused approach of today where old footage is all about ranking and discovering matches rather than the whole package. there is too much to watch, it's basically all free and watching a match is on average only a 15 minute commitment which can be assigned a star rating and then move on to the next match.

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Nonsense. Just watch Lucha Underground. There's plenty of all of this, plus cool matches to boot.

 

(and the whole crying about focusing on matches only is so US-centric anyway, if you're a fan of japanese stuff, yeah I know it's not cool anymore, there was nothing but the matches basically)

 

(funny how the tide has turned so much that people are actually advocating Vince Russo's old theory about how matches aren't that important)

 

(basically, the snobs of yesterday (aka = workrate) have turned int the mainstream audience, and the "idiots" of then-years (aka = angles, stories, skits) have turned into the hipsters)

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Don't mention it.

 

As far as labels go, I don't intend on putting a smiley each and every time I write something than is not necessarely to be taken litteraly. I know it's 2016, but I'm not an emoticon fanatic.

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And the answer to the question (basically a matter of "us vs them" *again*) is : no. I don't feel alienated by anyone. I have enjoyed current pro-wrestling in 2016 again after more than 15 years of layoff. I've seen some legit great matches, which felt modern and fresh (thank you Naito, Charlotte, Sasha, Revival). I love Lucha Underground.

 

Sure, the smarky chants inherited from the ROH/TNA 00's are annoying. But then again, WWE fans of the Attitude era going nuts for Sable were fucking annoying too, as were idiots WCW fans sitting on their hands during Finley's matches and going crazy for boring nWo shit in 1998. And the ECW mutants… And the racist homophobic fans of the 80's chanting "faggots"… What is the worse, really ?

 

So, the answer is no.

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Not just modern wrestling though, but the way in which older wrestling is regarded. In a time of abundant, free footage, the trend has now become to cherry pick best matches of a promotion or wrestler and it's rare people want to sit through a 6 hour comp of Memphis tv that will likely have no "MOTYs" by current prevailing standards eg there was another popular tape of uswa from early 92 that focused on the Lawler and co vs moondogs feud that was mainly studio brawls, brutal squashes, mystery tag partners, story progression, intense promos etc supplanted by misogyntic Eric embry angles where women were getting stripped and whipped and racist Dennis corraluzzo promos at koko b ware. But it's a great tape and something which would seem to have no place in the match-focused approach of today where old footage is all about ranking and discovering matches rather than the whole package. there is too much to watch, it's basically all free and watching a match is on average only a 15 minute commitment which can be assigned a star rating and then move on to the next match.

I agree that it is an issue if people only cherry pick best matched.

 

It leads to weird scenarios like on the Tag Teams Back Again podcast where Marty Sleaze, a younger fan, had literally never seen a Hercules match or Warlord match before.

 

It is very tough though since there isn't all the time in the world to watch everything. Most of us have lives and interests other than wrestling. To some extent we all have to cherry pick.

 

I always thought Will did a great job on the 80s sets including the extras discs. I remember watching the Dibiase vs JYD feud play out on there, and it's some brilliant storytelling. Likewise, the build to Dibiase vs Duggan multi-stip match is really the thing that earns that its 5-star rating from most people.

 

A brilliant thing on YouTube a while back was how someone had edited the entire Hansen vs Colon feud into one 2-hour package. You see all the angles, and matches and it is a must-watch experience. It is the last time I felt the community here was all together when we ALL reviewed and marked for it.

 

There is a way to watch old stuff without it just being the matches.

 

I remember when we did the Titans specials for Georgia, I edited the footage MYSELF so we could watch whole angles play out. Freebirds vs Dibiase feud all in one package, for example. For the guys who did that show, I think it was a memorable experience for all of us. It's the angles and promos we remember rather than the Uncle Elmer matches. Similar to when we saw Bruno vs. Larry Z feud play out in WWF, or Sgt. Slaughter cobra clutch challenge.

 

I guess what I'm saying is that things can be packaged into storylines or feuds rather than just matches. The 90s yearbooks are quite good at this too.

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Nonsense. Just watch Lucha Underground. There's plenty of all of this, plus cool matches to boot.

 

 

I don't think a C level TV show about wrestling that combines and maximizes the most annoying elements of mexican and american indy wrestling (annoying crowd shots used for JIPs, most of the matches being 50/50 AAA/PWG style spotfests, bad wrestlers being pushed due to ulterior motives) is exactly what the people longing for 80s TV wrestling shows are looking for. It does have the same primitive representation and faux celebration of women through the eyes of the "21st century" dudebro creative team however.

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Come on, it's like a luchaxploitation movie. This is what is great about it. Pro-wrestling will never be above C-level TV show anway. Gotta dig that infamous "wrestling vs porn" thread already.

 

People longing for 80's TV wrestling from their 2016 wrestling TV is just another case of Retromania to me. I'm done with this way of thinking.

 

(off topic : the use of the French term "faux" instead of "fake" as a way to, I guess, put emphasis on the fact, always struck me as a way to "sound cool" when I read it, but maybe it's nothing like that and as no implicit meaning at all, so don't take it the wrong way. I've been seeing it for years and never could quite get my finger on the exact meaning behind that particular "code switching" deal. Just curious about it, if anyone can enlight me on this, that'd be cool).

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You know how Meltzer and really lots of people, like to joke about wrestling being 10-15 years behind the times. I always think about that when I watch an 80s set and go nuts about how great it is. But looking around at music, tv, movies, fashion, etc. the 80s were the worst. THE WORST. But that's my favorite wrestling decade. So if you add that with the idea that wrestling is 10-15 years behind the rest of the pop culture world, 80s wrestling is actually the wrestling equivalent to all the awesome music and movies that came out in the late 60s & 70s.

 

 

 

 

I actually quite like 80s music. 80s cinema is interesting too. You have to dig a little deeper than in other decades but in many ways that's more rewarding. I'm also a big fan of 80s sports and the comic books and toys carry a lot of nostalgia for me since it was the era I grew up in. By and large I feel the 80s get a bad rap in pop culture.

 

As for the topic at hand, let the young people have their modern day wrestling. There's plenty of older stuff for us old farts to sink our teeth into.

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One thing I wonder about is the way that indie promotions don't really have set rosters, and the whole culture of the one-shot dream match.

 

Is there anything to this? It feels to me like a lot of the indies now have more of a "travelling world warrior" vibe a la Street Fighter 2. Everyone works in different places having dream matches with everyone else.

 

And surely some of this has crept into WWE too?

 

I kinda feel like a lot of super cards happen in a vacuum. It's the ROH culture.

 

Some indies promote that way but not that many now. PWG, AAW, Rev Pro would be the biggest offenders. Beyond that, in 2016 indies like CWF-MA, Freelance, CZW and PROGRESS have pretty set rosters of main focal point guys and then book around the rest. I also disagree with calling this narrative "ROH" culture since ROH has been booked from day one around booking around core guys and now has exclusive contracts and individuals that rarely work elsewhere.

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By and large I feel the 80s get a bad rap in pop culture.

 

Agreed. Tons of great stuff in the 80's.

 

And every "decade"'s fashion is ridiculous once you look back at it BTW. Look at the horror of early 90's color schemes. Eurodance anyone ? Wanna take a look back as those nu-rave and tektonik idiots from the 00's too, those damn fluokids ? It's all ridiculous bullshit that looks dated and laughable ten years after.

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The main issue I have is the hot take culture that is rather pervasive, but I also don’t think that is in anyway wrestling specific. Maybe this is unfair but it often comes off to me like everyone is in a race to be the first to watch a match or the first to praise it. I can recall at least a couple of instances this last year where someone got on a website for not having a review up of a show within 24 hours of it happening when the only way to get the review would have been a live one. People have complained about VOD’s going up 4-5 days after a show takes place rendering the show “old news” by then. That all seems so silly. What's the rush?

 

I don’t completely agree with Parv that there is a widespread “you must love everything” attitude. I think there are people like that, but they aren’t the majority. It is more along the lines of there is so much wrestling out there and every wrestler/promotion/match is going to appeal to someone. We all like to have our niche so people find something they genuinely like and they want others to like it, so they hype it incessantly. The end result is everything is hyped (by at least someone) which can create the illusion of “everyone thinking everything is great”. People have always pushed their favorites it is just now everyone has a forum to do so and everyone generally has access to the same insane volume of matches so the impact is magnified.

 

For me, I’ve kind of limited who I follow and read for match quality opinions/reviews. It is not that I want to isolate myself necessarily but there is only so much time and I was wasting a lot of mine watching matches that I didn’t like simply because someone somewhere hyped them. After I’ve watched a handful or however many matches that a certain person or group of people hyped and don’t see the same things in the matches that they did, it doesn’t make sense to continue down that path. I’d rather be “late” to a match by limiting the number of people whose match opinions I follow rather than waste time watching matches recommended by people who I have already determined do not share my same tastes. If something is truly great the hype will persist and spread and I’ll eventually get around to it.

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People longing for 80's TV wrestling from their 2016 wrestling TV is just another case of Retromania to me. I'm done with this way of thinking.

 

I don't want 2016 to look like 80s TV wrestling. In fact, I doubt it could replicate that model in a fully post-kayfabe world. However, 2016/17 TV could (and to be fair, sometimes does) learn from what worked with 80s wrestling and borrow where appropriate.

 

Retromania/nostalgia is definitely a reason I enjoy watching old wrestling. I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with that. And I generally avoid criticising the current product(s) as there are so many alternatives out there for someone who wants to watch wrestling, and has half an idea about what kind of wrestling they enjoy.

 

But I can still find younger fans' reactions odd or confusing. That's what happens when you get older, right?

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