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elliott

Stock Rising/Stock Falling

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I figure we're several months into the project so we could go for a Stock Rising & Stock Falling thread. Who's rising up your list, who is falling? Any surprising top 10 contenders? Anyone you initially viewed as an all time great that you're starting to question? 

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Rising: Meiko Satomura

Stupendously great wrestler. Out of this world good across two decades and gets massive points for being a "plug-and-play" wrestler in that her story arcs are encapsulated within her matches (so you don't need to have "been there for it" to get them) and you can pretty much slap on one of her matches and find an at least good performance.

Falling: Kawada

Blaming this one on @elliott. He made a point regarding Kawada's selling being illogical and I just can't unsee it now - no matter how many matches I view. I do think he does a lot of things that make him great but his KO spot feels like doing cool shit for the sake of cool shit over functional narrative. The American indy guys get a lot of flak for "King's Road cosplay" but Kawada doesn't feel much different in that department. When you're looking at the upper echelon even the smallest quibbles make landslide differences. I don't think this is a small quibble, either.

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You're welcome, Rah. :) 

Fuerza is steadily climbing the more I watch. I had him penciled into my top 50 but he's even better than I thought. 

All of the classic 80s babyfaces: Steamboat, Martel, Tito are falling. I've got room for Ricky Morton towards the top end of the list for 80s babyfaces. But I think those other dudes are gonna take a tumble. 

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Rising: Tatsumi Fujinami

A well-rounded high end candidate. I guess I expected his matches to be dry but I am always engaged and excited to see what's next. His matches in the late 70s feature great matwork, escalating tension and moments that get a pop out of me. Seemed like he could figure out how to tell a compelling story no matter the opponent. Carried himself like a stud in the 1980s and stood out in multiman matches packed with talent. I know his 1990s work has been the subject of debate, but from what I have seen it is not at the level of his previous work but didn't feel objectionable. 

Other risers: Steve Grey, Mayumi Ozaki, Buddy Rogers, Greg Valentine

Falling: Harley Race

I went into this thinking that Race would be someone I would get behind, but watching a few of his matches made me take a break from this whole endeavor. Somehow feels both too flashy and too boring. I was into his matches with Wahoo and Funk, but I am into basically every Wahoo and Funk match. The only thing I ever really liked was his pointing and laughing while Orton and Slater collected the bounty. I will revisit, but not making Race a priority right now.

Other fallers: Ted DiBiase, CM Punk, Johnny Saint, AJ Styles

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See I feel that way about Fujiwara's reliance on selling being knocked out or snoring/spitting/drooling in submissions after my first round viewing him for the project. I love Fujiwara and I'm far from the point of poking holes in his case but it was something that stood out to me.

I also did a round of Satomura and Fujinami viewing and I agree that both came out Aces in this first wave.

I don't think there's anyone so far that's completely shocked me in how they've faired. Maybe Emilio Charles Jr, who I was ignorant of coming in, and seems like he maximized every minute he had to perform. I'm looking forward to watching everything of his I can. I know it's been one of the main talking points thus far but Jaguar Yokota keeps rising and rising every match I watch. I'll also throw a contrary voice in camp Steamboat, I left my first series of his matches thinking I had him pegged way too low.

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RISING: Brian Kendrick

I'm doing a 2005 indie watch right now but in the first half of 2005 Brian is the 2nd best guy in ROH, behind Joe, and probably the 3rd best guy on the indies, behind Joe and Hero. His matches consistently have more structure to them then other matches taking place, you know with actual strategy. And Kendrick wrestles with an urgency that his contemporaries aren't matching. Sometimes the style gets in the was of a lot of the good work he's doing.

RISING: 1980s Portland

Finally giving it a proper go and Martel looks like a WOTY candidate for 1980, Buddy Rose is a joy, and Piper has this distinct fire. The Sheepherders probably aren't going to rise to being a top team for me and certainly not standing out individually enough to rank but they've been little treats that play well with the babyfaces.

FALLING: Homicide

Kendrick will run into the issue of probably too many down periods to really make an impact but Homicide I have a lot more overall career to still look at. Halfway through 2005, the Danielson series didn't inspire me and he doesn't seem to work great in more one-off occasions. There are chances that going forward and looking back there will be more beef, but right now he looks like the wrestler that folks decided a decade ago was underrated and was actually just as technically proficient as the top dudes of this period, which seems false based on what I've looked at so far.

 

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Homicide is a lot like Eddie Kingston to me where they clearly weren't as good as their contemporaries but had a grit that others didn't have and so people talked them up more than what they really warranted. That's still happening in the case of Kingston, probably still would be of Homicide was active in a visible promotion as well.

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17 hours ago, strobogo said:

Homicide is a lot like Eddie Kingston to me where they clearly weren't as good as their contemporaries but had a grit that others didn't have and so people talked them up more than what they really warranted. That's still happening in the case of Kingston, probably still would be of Homicide was active in a visible promotion as well.

Disagree wholeheartedly with this idea. Will Kingston rate higher than Hero or Danielson? Probably not. Will he rate higher than guys like Nigel, Nick Gage, Kevin Steen, Generico, Mox, and Callihan? Yeah, for sure. If King's technique looks a little iffy at least it typically looks violent. Also he's one of the best leg sellers of the modern era, I think the comparison is weird.

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I like Kingston, but he's a guy, and there are a handful of these guys across a number of circles like this, where you read a glowing review of a match or see a ton of hype, and you just never see where that level of praise is coming from, despite repeated viewings. Like Segunda Caida will drop an EPIC on some Eddie AIW match, and I'll get around to watching it and it just seems like a fine match, and it seems to happen a lot, for me anyway. 

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Yeah I like Eddie, he's great at being Eddie Kingston, and pro wrestling always needs guys like him but I've never come away from an Eddie Kingston match thinking, "man what a great match" or "this man is a great pro wrestler". 

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2 hours ago, Reel said:

I like Kingston, but he's a guy, and there are a handful of these guys across a number of circles like this, where you read a glowing review of a match or see a ton of hype, and you just never see where that level of praise is coming from, despite repeated viewings. Like Segunda Caida will drop an EPIC on some Eddie AIW match, and I'll get around to watching it and it just seems like a fine match, and it seems to happen a lot, for me anyway. 

Its interesting after such little discussion of him leading up to 2016 that several people are saying he's been one of the best around for 15 years. It reminds me  of the AJ STyles discussions during the 2016 project. 

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The Segunda Caida love for Kingston is not new. The discussion on him hadn't kicked up in 2016, but Phil and Eric have been beating that drum for at least three years. I do think there are great Kingston performances going back a long way, to that cage match against Ian Rotten in IWA-MS and his long feud with Hero. I understand why he doesn't come across to some folks, but he's put together an impressive, unusual career. 

As for Homicide, he has no shot to make my list, but he was on the short list of 2000s indy stars who carried a special aura. I remember the air in the room changing when his music hit. That's something.  

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I mean its not really about Segunda Caida. Phil said in the thread that he thinks Kingston was best in the world for the past 5 years. That's all post GWE 2016. What I find interesting are comments like "he was great for 15 years" or "top 10 US workers of the 2010s" when there was all of 3 posts about Kingston the last time around. 

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I mean, no one thought of Fujiwara as an all-time great worker before the film review for the DVDVR set. These reappraisals just happen sometimes. You get a few influential voices touting the body of work. You get a spark like Kingston's move to AEW, which exposed him to a wider audience. Boom, there you go. 

With Styles, it was pretty simple. He went to New Japan and then WWE. 

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I also want to double back to the disappointing best of 5 Danielson/Homicide series being a deciding factor in his ranking. Danielson was every bit as much to blame for those matches falling flat. Considering him and Cide had great matches before and after, I think that series really is one to chalk up to "well at least we tried something different." I wouldn't consider any of the matches except for maybe the cage match to be defining in either of their careers.

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I think things like the Kingston love come around to timing. I signed up for the CHIKARA streaming deal in 2016, and I reckon if I'd signed up one year earlier that I'd have found room for Kingston, Quack and Cesaro on my GWE16 ballot. I think stuff like IWTV has helped with availability of footage too. I always liked Kingston, but he was someone I'd see wrestle maybe once or twice a year, because I was rarely dropping £10-15 on one off indy shows. When you've suddenly got access to hours of indy footage for a bargain price, and can see someone like Eddie having good matches regularly for multiple promotions, it enhances their case.

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I think with Kingston it’s quite simply a case of a guy who you will absolutely adore if you are a fan of great limb selling and smarter versions of common wrestling tropes that tend to be watered down by other guys. He’s kind of another guy like a Christian we’re you either just clearly see the greatness in him or you don’t, because it’s all in the detail work that jumps. He will 100% make my list though. He also is a rare case we’re persona actually does impact my view of him due to it being impossible to disconnect him from his promos in my head, and connect to some of his better matches in such vital ways.
 

Homicide is an interesting case in he ha some legit amazing performances but he’s also kind of an aura pick. He’s kind of RoH’s Sabu in a lot of ways in how much the mood just changes when he’s around sometimes. He’s also got a uniqueness factor of being able to blend styles really damned well. I’m not sure how many wrestlers “feel” like Homicide. He has a chance to sneak into my bottom 20, but I’m not committed to the idea yet.

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14 hours ago, Childs said:

I mean, no one thought of Fujiwara as an all-time great worker before the film review for the DVDVR set. These reappraisals just happen sometimes. You get a few influential voices touting the body of work. You get a spark like Kingston's move to AEW, which exposed him to a wider audience. Boom, there you go. 

With Styles, it was pretty simple. He went to New Japan and then WWE. 

Right but Fujiwara was a case of people looking backwards 10-20 years at someone they had never seen before. Kingston is a contemporary people were able to watch in real time. There are some Kingston matches on the old Goodhelmet MOTYC comps but "he's one of the best of the last 15 years" isn't something I'd seen until the last couple of  years.

And this isn't like a criticism of Kingston or the people propping him up or an attempt to push back. Its merely an observation. Hell based on what everyone says about him, he sounds like my kinda guy as far as modern wrestlers go. 

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I've been buying shows for Kingston matches since 2005 or earlier and while I love him he's not a lock for my list by any means. I'd easily slot Homicide ahead of him for example as stuff like the Corino feud, the great Danielson matches (not from the best of 5), VS Necro, VS Acid, his whole feud with Joe, and parts of his feud with Cabana, pretty much dwarf the highlights of Kingston's career such as the Sweeney feud, the Hero feud, VS Cody, and VS Quack. Although I will say the AIW comment is funny to me as the way they stress how they want "gear Eddie" usually results in some of the most consistently really good Kingston matches for my money.

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I always loved the 2000-01 Low-Ki vs Homicide matches. How do those look 20 years later? I feel like I watched a couple during 2016 and they were pretty awesome still. 

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RISING:

Yoshiaki Fujiwara.  He made my list in 2016 and I appreciated his famous matches (June 1987 vs. Choshu; July 1989 vs. Yamazaki) but in doing a deeper re-dive into his 1984-1990 work, he's got a shot at the top 10 and easily in the top 20.

Akira Maeda.  Special wrestler, who admittingly was very lazy at times and could be quite an asshole, but it's clear watching 1984-1990 why he was able to open the most obscure of the three offshoots of UWF 2.0 and have success with almost no wrestlers of any name value in Japan until they came and worked in RINGS.

FALLING:

Jumbo Tsuruta.  By falling, he is out of my top 10.  Probably still makes top 20.  So not a dramatic fall but he's not quite hitting the top 10 vibe with what I have re-watched of him lately. 

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12 hours ago, Tim Cooke said:

RISING:

Yoshiaki Fujiwara.  He made my list in 2016 and I appreciated his famous matches (June 1987 vs. Choshu; July 1989 vs. Yamazaki) but in doing a deeper re-dive into his 1984-1990 work, he's got a shot at the top 10 and easily in the top 20.

Akira Maeda.  Special wrestler, who admittingly was very lazy at times and could be quite an asshole, but it's clear watching 1984-1990 why he was able to open the most obscure of the three offshoots of UWF 2.0 and have success with almost no wrestlers of any name value in Japan until they came and worked in RINGS.

FALLING:

Jumbo Tsuruta.  By falling, he is out of my top 10.  Probably still makes top 20.  So not a dramatic fall but he's not quite hitting the top 10 vibe with what I have re-watched of him lately. 

 

What have you rewatched lately? Is it a particular era that's somewhat soured you in the not quite top 10 sense?

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1980 - 1984.  Wasn't a great period for All Japan anyway but couldn't find anything that really moved me.  Could also be too hard on him right now as well.

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Thats really like the classic Jumbo experience haha. The closer to voting folks watch 86-92 Jumbo, the better he does. But if the last view is that 80-84 period it's easier to see him dropping even if its just a few spots.

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So, when the 2026 edition started to ramp up, I decided that this was it and would be my gateway to dive into wrestling I’d never seen. Please bear with me on things that might be common knowledge to the community. So these rising and falling comments would be related more to the regular knowledge I had coming in.

 

Rising: Kenya Kobashi

i realize he’s accepted as one of the greatest of all time, but I hadn’t watched a match of his prior to 6 months ago. He now may be my favorite wrestler to watch just with everything he does in the ring. I know this isn’t exactly new news to most, but it is for me, haha

 

Falling: Shawn Michaels

i thought he would be a guy who would be near the top for me, but outside of a couple matches, really hasn’t matched my expectations. It seems like he is matching his opponent a lot and just isn’t as much of a standout as I thought he would be.

 

 

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