Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
elliott

What is the Greatest Wrestling Ever?

Recommended Posts

I know this project is about Who is the Greatest Wrestler, but I was wondering What people think is the Greatest Wrestling? Is 90s AJPW Pillars the best wrestling ever got? Modern NJPW? The best Shoot Style? Is it the French stuff?90s Joshi? Lucha brawls? 80s North American Territories? What do you think is the greatest style of wrestling and why do you think that? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't an answer to your question but I wanted to post this and haven't seen a good place to recently.

Towards the very end of GWE, there were, to my mind, two interesting questions raised. The first was the cultural bits Dylan was poking about how Japanese wrestling was similar to American wrestling in a way that lucha wasn't, etc.

I don't remember who raised the second, but he called the entire exercise into question, as to him it wasn't about people ranking wrestlers, but really just people ranking styles. I don't think it was that simple, but it was an interesting thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't answer the in-ring question because there are so many periods that are wildly different from each other that have nonetheless given us such great stuff. I'd hate to exclude any of them from a conversation like this.

As an overall wrestling presentation, to me, wrestling peaked from April-September 1986 in Jim Crockett Promotions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My short answer is probably WAR v New Japan. 

A longer answer is one I'd need to actually think about properly and for more than 30 seconds. But I suspect WAR v New Japan would still be in there somewhere. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't need stuff to look "real", but I do need things to feel like a real contest and struggle as opposed to holding hands doing stunts, which is why I've never given lucha a fair shake because every time I do tune in, it's the most messy and choreographed nonsense and I hate it. Which is certainly not to say I haven't seen good lucha matches or great lucha guys. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, strobogo said:

I don't need stuff to look "real", but I do need things to feel like a real contest and struggle as opposed to holding hands doing stunts, which is why I've never given lucha a fair shake because every time I do tune in, it's the most messy and choreographed nonsense and I hate it. Which is certainly not to say I haven't seen good lucha matches or great lucha guys. 

Cool. I can't get into modern NJPW for the same reason. BUt that's not what this thread is about. This thread is about the stuff we think is the best. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I left out the second part I meant to type out which was that it's such a broad scope that it could include every type of wrestling, including lucha. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucha brawls might be the answer because the best of them are so transcendent that even people who "don't like lucha" can see what the big deal is. Something like Satanico vs Perro Aguayo is the furthest thing from choreographed that there is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ultimately, the same key element is at play in lucha brawls as in almost every other form of great lucha, that transcendent moment of comeback and revenge. You just have to learn to find it, anticipate it, love it and learn to channel it and embrace the trappings and see how they enhance it. I get that not everyone can do that depending on how you're wired and how you process things. There are dozens of things I like more in wrestling, but there's nothing I love more than that moment that the switch flicks and everything changes in lucha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah definitely lucha brawls are the vast bulk of lucha I've liked, but also some of the weirdo technical stuff and guys like El Canek/Dos Caras in Japan in the 70s/80s, and of course the WCW cruiser crew. It also could be most full lucha shows I've seen are AAA shows and they're the either absolutely horrible or hilariously sloppy in ring and production wise. I've liked a lot of lucha guys doing good lucha things outside of lucha. It's definitely a big blind spot for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably a pretty nebulous answer, and an odd answer considering how scuzzy the business can be, but my favourite wrestling has "soul". At its best it both takes me out of my day-to-day struggles and reflects them back like some kind of morality play. It is the wrestling that gives me goosebumps, that makes me laugh, cry, shout out, that makes me *feel*. It is absurd, knows its absurd, but presents itself seriously. It's the primal nature of a lucha brawl, the hidden gems on a WCW undercard, Tenryu's looks of disdain, baying crowds in Puerto Rico, Lance Russell's exasperation at Jimmy Hart, it's when all life is there before us and something that we know doesn't really matter appears to matter like nothing else in the world at that moment in time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

France in 1957. Futen in 2010. CMLL in 1997. ARSION from 1998 to 1999. Wrestle Yume Factory from 1996 to 1998 ca.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At this point:
- Florida 1974-75, 1982-84
- Georgia 1979-80
- Continental 1987-88
- Mid South/UWF 1984-1987
- Memphis 1983-1988, 1990-1993
- WCCW 1983-1985
- WWF/WWE 1980, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2004 RAW, 2009 SD, 2013-WM30
- AJPW 1985-86, 1988-1997
- NJPW 1982-1996
- Michinoku Pro 1996-1997
- FMW 1989-1993, 1997-98
- AJW 1984-1987, 1992-1995
- JWP 1988-1997
- ARSION 1998-99
- GAEA 1997, 1999
- ROH 2002-2006
- EMLL/CMLL 1989-1992, 1996-1997, 2000-2004
- AAA 1993-94
- BattlARTS 1998-1999
- WCW 1989, 1992, 1996-97
- JCP 1985-1988
- UWF 1988-90
- RINGS 1996-1999
- Osaka Pro 2000

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shimmer 05-07 (so far).

Everything is logically built with character development. Shows are easy to watch, because undercards are kept short and are angle and character development. Wins and loses matter. Upper half of the show has great matches. Amazing commentary too. Love it so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Matt D said:

Portland would be 79-80, right?

Yes, I would have added it if I had another year of watching in either direction around 1980.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got serious about watching older pro wrestling footage fifteen years ago I was under the misguided impression that watching every pro wrestling match was a more attainable goal compared to other mediums. Obviously that was youthful hubris but the biggest obstacle is that I just plain don't like a lot of this stuff.

Wrestling that'll likely be well represented on my list:

CMLL from the 80s to the early 21st century, NJPW 1986-1996, BattlArts, various shoot style organizations, AJPW from 1988-1999, 80s Memphis, NOAH from 2001-2005, WCW from 1991-1994

Maybe I'll add more to that list five years from now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Jetlag said:

France in 1957. Futen in 2010. CMLL in 1997. ARSION from 1998 to 1999. Wrestle Yume Factory from 1996 to 1998 ca.

Have you done one of your (most helpful, excellent) lists on Wrestle Yume Factory? That's a promotion I know nothing about. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd argue lucha brawling is far too formulaic and constrained to be considered the "greatest wrestling ever".

This thread has sort of turned into "What are the greatest eras/promotions of wrestling", which I guess is the best way to tackle this topic. It's an interesting philosophical question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1989 was a pretty great year of wrestling in multiple promotions in North America and Japan. (I'll defer to lucha fans to say if 1989 features a lot of great work in Mexico.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok. 1984 to 1989. Also 1990. And 1991. And 1992. And 1993. Every year is great if you have the right attitude. But I have a bad attitude and I'm going to say whatever the Guest Host Raw era was was dreadful worldwide, too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×