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WON HOF 2018

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How does Fredo not have a ballot?  I could name ten people who have no qualifications to get a vote but for whatever reason have a ballot.  Really hurts Mexico.

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4 hours ago, Tim Cooke said:

How does Fredo not have a ballot?  I could name ten people who have no qualifications to get a vote but for whatever reason have a ballot.  Really hurts Mexico.

It's absurd that he does not have a ballot. It's basically an indictment of what the process has become when you're a voter because of who you know rather than what you know. Add that there is no check as to where some of the voters decide to vote region wise and express their 'knowledge' then it results in the travesty that is the current panorama of the Mexico region. 

We can do better. 

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I would propose requiring voters to pick one region of primary expertise and only allow them to vote in other regions if they've been certified as knowledgeable by an unquestioned expert. That would eliminate the problem of US/Japan voters deciding to round out their ballot with a random luchador and driving down everyone's percentages.

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On 9/24/2018 at 5:56 PM, elliott said:

I've put together Gordy Lists for Yoshiaki Fujiwara and Volk Han. Enjoy:

 

Volk Han Gordy List:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Very well done.  As a huge fan of Han, I completely agree with everything you wrote.  

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On 9/26/2018 at 8:34 AM, Tim Cooke said:

How does Fredo not have a ballot?  I could name ten people who have no qualifications to get a vote but for whatever reason have a ballot.  Really hurts Mexico.

 

I wonder how many people who would be considered knowledgeable about lucha have a vote. I would imagine Steve Sims has a vote, and cubsfan stated he would give his to Fredo in a heartbeat. 

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How do you defend Jerry Jarrett not being in with the money and TV ratings he drew as a booker in a smaller market from 67-87, and the Atlanta run, and as a bonus developing Dundee as a booker to pop Watts's business and Dutch with Puerto Rico. Seems egregious. I know my bias but it has lead to me being more educated on the subject and feeling more passionate about it.

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About Jerry Jarrett, Its always been said that his contemporaries don't support him because he was a cheap payoff.

Someone please teach me about Rueben Jaurez, Ricki Starr, Johnny Barend, and Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff.

Is Universo 2000 a better candidate than Mascara Ano 2000? If Cien ever falls off, I bet Dave just adds Los Hermanos Dinamita.

Is Rayo Jr someone who should be looked at eventually?

Did Sangre Chicana fall off the ballot last year or did Dave forget to include him?

 

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Has Dave ever explained his reasoning behind putting Arn/Tully/Dillon on as a trio or clarified what years you should be taking into account?

Because I see them and if I was a voter I would only look at the period when Arn and Tully were actually a full time team (Aug 87 - Sept. 88) whereas others would probably go from the start of the Horsemen till they left (Jan 86 - Sept. 88) and you know there are voters who most likely just looked at their whole careers.

 

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On 9/25/2018 at 11:31 PM, Benbeeach said:

No panther or Akiyama and they can just throw this whole thing in the trash

Yep. 

Akiyama has been a top 10 worker every year for the past 25 years. He sold out the Tokyo Dome three times in three years despite being the worst booked/ worst promoted champion ever in his home promotion.  

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On 9/25/2018 at 9:25 PM, NintendoLogic said:

My understanding is that a voter has to nominate someone for them to be on the ballot. Dave can't just place them there of his own volition.

I'm pretty sure you see cases of both when new candidates appear.   Some due to voter demand, others due to Dave giving it more thought.  Don't think there is an official nomination process. The ones who turn 35 automatically go on if they are notable enough to Dave.

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Sometimes folks lobby Dave to put a name on the ballot. At other times Dave does it on a whim. I'm 99% sure that Fujiwara is on the ballot simply because Dave wanted to confirm his own inkling that Japanese-based voters wouldn't vote for him. 

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On 9/28/2018 at 8:30 AM, Sean Liska said:

How do you defend Jerry Jarrett not being in with the money and TV ratings he drew as a booker in a smaller market from 67-87, and the Atlanta run, and as a bonus developing Dundee as a booker to pop Watts's business and Dutch with Puerto Rico. Seems egregious. I know my bias but it has lead to me being more educated on the subject and feeling more passionate about it.

Memphis TV ratings are tremendously impressive but it's not a top 20 market in the US.  Jarrett made a ton of money but was also known for not paying out a lot.  He'd probably be in already on my ballot but Meltzer has never loved the Memphis style and thus hasn't given the push that someone who is not in the 50% range to get over that final hump.

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I'm not sure what it's going to take to get people to vote CIMA in, but there's no one on the ballot more deserving than CIMA. Just a brief overview: 

-Worked on top of the #2 promotion in Japan for 15 years. When he split in May, attendance dipped rapidly. 

-Since leaving, he's worked in Wrestle-1 and DDT and has spiked interest. Is easily the best draw W-1 has ever had. He's semi-main eventing DDT's biggest show of the year in a few weeks. 

-I had him in my 30's for GWE. He's a generational talent who doesn't have bad matches with anyone. Can do lucha grappling, can fly, can work the contemporary super puro style. He's proven he can do it all. 

-Jack Evans, Matt Sydal, PAC, Ricochet, Rich Swann, and Apollo Crews would not have been signed without CIMA. There is a clear "before CIMA' and "after CIMA" difference with these wrestlers. 

I can always go more in-depth if anyone has interest or wants to discuss it, but I fully understand that PWO is more concerned about lucha guys getting in (and I don't think that's wrong of them) 

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I agree that CIMA is probably a stronger HOF candidate than is given credit for around these parts. The Dragon Gate style has proven to be highly influential, and the decline in DG's business since he went to China shows that he is an appreciable draw. I wouldn't go to bat for him, but I wouldn't necessarily argue against him either.

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On 9/30/2018 at 5:53 AM, ohtani's jacket said:

Sometimes folks lobby Dave to put a name on the ballot. At other times Dave does it on a whim. I'm 99% sure that Fujiwara is on the ballot simply because Dave wanted to confirm his own inkling that Japanese-based voters wouldn't vote for him. 

I'm curious who makes up the pool of Japanese based voters (even the Mexican based voters as well) if Fredo doesn't have a vote. I'm stating the obvious that the Observer HOF is flawed but there's more problems to it than ever before. 

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Quote

I'm not sure what it's going to take to get people to vote CIMA in, but there's no one on the ballot more deserving than CIMA. Just a brief overview: 

 

Oh cool. I've always thought of CIMA as an interesting candidate just as an outsider. I haven't followed his promotion since the very early 2000s and have only seen a few matches here and there past that. He stands out in my memories of someone who was really great when I watched it, but greater interest in other styles drew me away from him and the promotions he worked in. The few things I've read about him do intrigue me and I'd love to see a detailed case.

 

Quote

-Worked on top of the #2 promotion in Japan for 15 years. When he split in May, attendance dipped rapidly. 

Was Dragon Gate the #2 promotion in Japan for the entire 15 years? If not, how long was it the #2 promotion? What did they draw on average? What were some of their biggest shows? What are some of the company's biggest/most memorable matches? Was CIMA in all/most/some of them? Was he the undisputed top draw of the company or more of a package with other guys? My impression was always that Dragon Gate was a stable based company with numerous folks cycled in and out of the main events. Was CIMA the fixture?

 

Quote

Since leaving, he's worked in Wrestle-1 and DDT and has spiked interest. Is easily the best draw W-1 has ever had. He's semi-main eventing DDT's biggest show of the year in a few weeks. 

 

How big are these shows?

Quote

-I had him in my 30's for GWE. He's a generational talent who doesn't have bad matches with anyone. Can do lucha grappling, can fly, can work the contemporary super puro style. He's proven he can do it all. 

Recommend me some matches. One of my big disappointments from the Greatest Matches Project is we don't have anyone pimping Dragon Gate stuff. CIMA always stood out in the late 90s and early 00s as one of the most interesting and best of the new wave of juniors. I'd love to see his biggest and best matches.

 

Quote

-Jack Evans, Matt Sydal, PAC, Ricochet, Rich Swann, and Apollo Crews would not have been signed without CIMA. There is a clear "before CIMA' and "after CIMA" difference with these wrestlers. 

Can you speak more to the importance of this?

Quote

 I can always go more in-depth if anyone has interest or wants to discuss it, but I fully understand that PWO is more concerned about lucha guys getting in (and I don't think that's wrong of them) 

Please do and thank you!

 

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To me the argument for CIMA getting in is similar to the argument for Ibushi and Hayabusa. Smaller guys who did good business anchoring  smaller promotions and the promotions suffered Attendance wise when they left. I don’t think that means they should get in before Akiyama or Taue. Guys who main evented in promotions with network TV and that drew 10s of thousands of fans for big shows. Not to mention all of the big name luchadors, Goldberg who should get in on selling out the Georgia Dome alone, Jarrett, etc.

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CIMA really should get in on work alone.  And even though supposedly someone can get in on work alone, that doesn't seem to be the case in practice.  It seems there's an unstated criteria that your great work had to be done in meaningful, top level promotions.  This is getting a bit into the "historiography" as mentioned.  It seems like CIMA, Chris Hero, Chris Daniels, great workers who have had long careers are penalized for not making it in the big leagues.  It seems like Dragon Gate has always been kind of snubbed by more "mainstream" Observer reader types as something that's mainly spot monkeys doing spot matches.  It's weird though that whenever Dave has covered Dragon Gate and its excursions to the US lots of stars were thrown around but the promotion itself never was seen as important enough in the grand scheme of the landscape for Dave to cover it regularly.  If Dave had been doing monthly reviews of the TV in the Observer, no doubt CIMA would have gone in right away.

 

I'd be curious to read some more stats & analysis behind the claim that DG has been Japan's #2 promotion for that length of time.  Seems like in Observer world, regardless of who is #2, it's largely been irrelevant since Japanese coverage has been NJ and not much else for years now.

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On 10/4/2018 at 7:33 PM, elliott said:

 

Oh cool. I've always thought of CIMA as an interesting candidate just as an outsider. I haven't followed his promotion since the very early 2000s and have only seen a few matches here and there past that. He stands out in my memories of someone who was really great when I watched it, but greater interest in other styles drew me away from him and the promotions he worked in. The few things I've read about him do intrigue me and I'd love to see a detailed case.

 

Was Dragon Gate the #2 promotion in Japan for the entire 15 years? If not, how long was it the #2 promotion? What did they draw on average? What were some of their biggest shows? What are some of the company's biggest/most memorable matches? Was CIMA in all/most/some of them? Was he the undisputed top draw of the company or more of a package with other guys? My impression was always that Dragon Gate was a stable based company with numerous folks cycled in and out of the main events. Was CIMA the fixture?

 

 

How big are these shows?

Recommend me some matches. One of my big disappointments from the Greatest Matches Project is we don't have anyone pimping Dragon Gate stuff. CIMA always stood out in the late 90s and early 00s as one of the most interesting and best of the new wave of juniors. I'd love to see his biggest and best matches.

 

Can you speak more to the importance of this?

Please do and thank you!

 

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. 

I think it is a safe bet to say that Dragon Gate was the #2 promotion from 2009-onwards, maybe even a little sooner because New Japan was in such rough shape at the tail end of the 2000's. By 2011 they are a definitive #2 behind New Japan and have remained that way ever since. There are some that will argue that DDT is as big, if not bigger than Dragon Gate, but DDT continues to be unable to draw outside of Tokyo. They had some ridiculous Korakuen sellout streak (1,850 a month) that was ended when CIMA left the company. I want to say the streak went for over 2 years, but I am not 100% positive when it started. All I know is that I started following Dragon Gate religiously in 2013 and since then, it has been a very rare occurrence that DG has not sold out Korakuen, and again, the sellout streak officially ended after CIMA left the company. 

Outside of the monthly Korakuens which are a big part of their business, they run 5 big PPV-like shows a year, with the biggest being their Kobe World show in July. Prior to this summer, numbers have always been inflated for these shows so it is impossible to say for sure what numbers they were doing, but I've never heard any rumors about shows flopping at the gate before CIMA left. I firmly believe that they were drawing 6-8K at Kobe World Hall every July for an extended period of time, even if they were saying 8-10K. 

Dragon Gate is based around units, but the leaders of those units are always the true draws. CIMA has always been the figurehead of the company. There have been numerous times where myself or other Western fans have criticized CIMA for putting himself over, but the fact is he has always drawn. That is backed up by the fact that his appearances in DDT and W-1 have immediately become the most popular videos on their YouTube pages ever, and in W-1, droves of people are leaving their shows after his matches. People are paying specifically to see CIMA and his new Strong Hearts unit. 

W-1 has never drawn and now their big shows with CIMA are seeing a spike in attendance. He's the semi-main at the DDT Sumo Hall show this week, and that show is probably the biggest annual non-NJPW show in Japan every year at this point. The fact that he came right into the company and was announced for a semi-main match against Konosuke Takeshita (DDT's golden boy) is a huge deal. I believe I was told that there was a spike in ticket sales after CIMA was announced, but I'd have to double check with someone that follows DDT closer. 

In terms of his influence, I listed guys that have had successful careers in large part due to CIMA. The career of Jack Evans alone does not make CIMA a HOFer, but with guys like him, PAC, and Ricochet, they would have NEVER reached the heights they would have without CIMA. The gaijins that last in Dragon Gate have all eventually elevated their careers in a big way. He also gets credit for training Shingo Takagi, who I had in my Top 15 for GWE. Takagi was the first graduate of the Dragon Gate Dojo and for a very long time was the #2 in the promotion behind CIMA. It's funny now, as the two have real life heat and it is mostly due to the way Takagi wrestles. CIMA hates his style and said that if Takagi's style ever became the house style, the promotion would soon fold. That's just a small anecdote. 

Amazingly, I think CIMA's weakest category is his in-ring. There is a great debate in the DG community over what CIMA's greatest singles match is, because no one seems to have a truly good answer. We just discovered that CIMA has a shockingly low amount of singles matches in Korakuen Hall, which is shocking considering that he's wrestled there on a monthly basis for 20 years now. The stock answer on CIMA's best singles match is his 2015 bout with the aforementioned Takagi. Takagi was on a run as champion where he was taking down Dragon Gate's first generation of stars (CIMA, Don Fujii, Masaaki Mochizuki) and it concluded with this match against CIMA where towards the end, CIMA starts to do his buddies signature moves to try to overcome Takagi. It's a beautiful match. 

I'm always amazed that the PWO-type crowd isn't more into CIMA because he wrestles in such a different way than most contemporary puro stars. He works a lot of "TV style matches" and eventually builds to these epics with crazy callbacks, including his work in tags and trios. I'll try to dig up some DG gems to post here, but this match from July was brilliantly laid out. Having watched hundreds and hundreds of CIMA matches over the years, this match felt like he was calling all of the shots. This match basically felt like his vision of pro wrestling. One of my favorite matches of the year. 

And finally, I think reducing him the level of Hayabusa is completely unfair. Every aspect of his case is stronger. Ibushi I can't speak on because there's so much more to unfold there, but if CIMA retired tomorrow, the puro industry would suffer as a result. He is a legend. If he was in a company that was respected by the Japanese press or was covered consistently by Dave, he would have gone in two years ago. I want to make it clear that if I could vote, I'd be voting for Akiyama (and probably Taue) but even if CIMA wasn't selling out Budokan Hall monthly, he's never been on top of a sinking promotion like Akiyama. Taue was never the main draw in All Japan. Akiyama doesn't have the influence CIMA has because to my knowledge he isn't a renounced trainer and for God knows what reason, he's never caught on with Western fans the way that Kobashi, Misawa, and Kawada have. He smokes Taue in influence. Forget it. I think CIMA is overall a better worker than Taue, and not far off from being a better worker than Akiyama. 

The last thing I'll say is that Joe Gagne brought up a good point when he mentioned that he won't be voting for CIMA this year because he wants to see how the Strong Hearts invasions play out. That is entirely fair,  and to me it's the only logical reason not to vote for CIMA, because he's arguably having his best business year ever this year. Still, I think he's already done more than enough to warrant getting in. 

Sorry this was so long. 

 

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From what I understand, the DDT Sumo Hall show is very likely going to sell out, which is huge for DDT, and the real drawing match on that show is CIMA vs Takeshita (the company ace) even if it's officially slotted as the semi. Tickets sales spiked when the match was announced, and it's considered a dream match of sorts.

DDT posts their weekly TV show on YoutTube, and the two episodes featuring CIMA's invasion angle & match are by far the most viewed eps by a mile. 40-50k views for what typically averages about 1,000 or so. 

Same for the Wrestle-1 invasion (CIMA is working invasion angles in both places). It's spiking their YT, and as InYourCase mentioned, CIMA is popping a dying promotions houses to the point that fans are leaving in droves after his matches end. 

Combined with the DG Korakuen streak ending (it was way longer than two years) and overall attendance plummeting since he left, the old narrative of DG drawing as a collective has sort of been destroyed. It's pretty clear CIMA was pulling the cart to a significant degree. A HOF degree? That's for voters to decide, but we have ample evidence this year that CIMA wasnt simply a cog in the DG wheel.

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18 hours ago, InYourCase said:

 

Sorry this was so long. 

 

 

No no! This is awesome and exactly what I was hoping for! Thank you so much. I'm still at work so I'll read through this thoroughly in a few hours and I'm sure I'll come back with more questions. Thank you again for taking the time to do a write up! 

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My ballot:

I FOLLOWED THE HISTORICAL PERFORMERS ERA CANDIDATES X

Sputnik Monroe
Enrique Torres
Von Brauners & Saul Weingeroff
Johnny "Wrestling II" Walker
Bearcat Wright
Wild Bull Curry  
 
I FOLLOWED THE MODERN PERFORMERS IN U.S/CANADA CANDIDATES X

Junkyard Dog

I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN EUROPE/AUSTRALIA/NEW ZEALAND/PACIFIC ISLANDS/AFRICA X

Big Daddy
Jackie Pallo
Mario Milano  

NON-WRESTLERS 

Stanley Weston  
Jim Crockett Jr.
Howard Finkel
Jimmy Hart
Jerry Jarrett

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