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joeg

Shawn Michaels vs Kenny Omega

Omega vs Michaels   

31 members have voted

  1. 1. Shawn Michaels vs Kenny Omega

    • Shawn Michaels
      15
    • Kenny Omega
      16


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When the term "self conscious epic" was being used around here, these were the two guys I most associated with that style. These are two wrestlers known for epic, spectacular matches but whose work is often times blatantly cooperative. 

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6 minutes ago, joeg said:

"self conscious epic" 

Since I actually coined the term, I have to say this. Before CM Punk and Danielson showed up in AEW, I rewatched some of their most famous WWE stuff. Including the match I coined the infamous term about : CM Punk vs John Cena (the Chicago one). And I was wrong when I did it. I was wrong about the match (it's great), I was wrong about John Cena's performance in the match (he's absolutely terrific) and I was wrong about coining that phrase. Watching Taker's matches at Mania earlier this year also taught me that I was wrong about calling the two Shawn matches by that denomination, these matches absolutely worked as epic Mania matches, whether I love them or not (and I don't love them, especially the first one, my favorites Taker matches being vs Edge and vs Batista).

I voted Omega, of course.

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@El-P I didn't know you were the guy who came up with that term! Yeah when I think of that sort of match, for good or bad I think the big Shawn matches, the big Omega matches and the NXT main events of the past few years. 

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8 minutes ago, elliott said:

El-P turning heel on the "self conscious epic" is like Hulk Hogan telling these fans to stick it.... :D

:lol:

Me "Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks are GOAT 4 Life, brutha"

PWO : "You can go to hell ! Straight to hell !"

7 minutes ago, joeg said:

Yeah when I think of that sort of match, for good or bad I think the big Shawn matches, the big Omega matches and the NXT main events of the past few years. 

I haven't watched the last few years of NXT Takeovers (none of the Gargano vs Ciampa stuff after the very first match I think), so I wonder what I'd think about them. I mean, even Meltz who's a big fan of the style said many times they were going too long.

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19 minutes ago, BigBadMick said:

Or was the term all wrong?

I think it was just wrong. Because I don't think any great workers having a great match do it ignoring they are having it. It's been said that Steamboat & Savage at WMIII absolutely wanted to have that great match that was gonna steal the show. And the more things evolve, of course there is more and more recorded great pro-wrestling matches that workers are aware of, and maybe want to inspire themselves from or simply try to outwork. And the more discourse is produced about pro-wrestling the more everybody is aware of all of this, so it's hard to not be self-conscious about it. Plus it feels like a judgement passed on some sort of matches that should be less thought of simply because they reached for epicness as a definite goal, which in retrospect seems silly to me (silly me!). I mean, whatever works.

Of course I'll have my preferences, like I said the two Mania Taker vs Micheals matches and the first (second actually) HHH one are not exactly my preferred style (especially the HHH one, which I don't even enjoy for the most part), but there's no way I'm gonna deny today that these were matches that successfully created a sense of epic and were great especially in their context (well, the HHH one is tricky though, but conceptually it sure worked).

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50 minutes ago, NotJayTabb said:

Neither guy has a chance of making my list. But I voted Shawn because the Rockers were great. 

I really like Hell in a Cell 97 too. And the Foley match. 

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18 hours ago, El-P said:

I think it was just wrong. Because I don't think any great workers having a great match do it ignoring they are having it. It's been said that Steamboat & Savage at WMIII absolutely wanted to have that great match that was gonna steal the show. And the more things evolve, of course there is more and more recorded great pro-wrestling matches that workers are aware of, and maybe want to inspire themselves from or simply try to outwork. And the more discourse is produced about pro-wrestling the more everybody is aware of all of this, so it's hard to not be self-conscious about it. Plus it feels like a judgement passed on some sort of matches that should be less thought of simply because they reached for epicness as a definite goal, which in retrospect seems silly to me (silly me!). I mean, whatever works.

Of course I'll have my preferences, like I said the two Mania Taker vs Micheals matches and the first (second actually) HHH one are not exactly my preferred style (especially the HHH one, which I don't even enjoy for the most part), but there's no way I'm gonna deny today that these were matches that successfully created a sense of epic and were great especially in their context (well, the HHH one is tricky though, but conceptually it sure worked).

I agree it's unfair to use it on Taker Maniac matches, but I still feel like the term has validity when applied to the 2010's puro cosplay stuff you get on US indies, where you get guys building matches entirely around finisher kick-outs and i-hit-you-you-hit-me strike exchanges out of the idea that that's a guaranteed epic match formula. There's definitely a distinction there between guys working to "earn" those spots in the context of a coherent match and guys building a match entirely around those things with little concern for how to actually sell things. 

Richards/Elgin 3/2012 and Richards/Edwards 12/2011 are probably the clearest examples out there of that sort of style, far more so than any Taker Mania match. Looking at the thread here for Richards/Elgin, it is interesting how some people seem to actually enjoy the match specifically because of how self-consciously it leans into those "epic" tropes, so I can see the argument for self-conscious epic, rather than an indictment of match's quality in itself, to be more a set of tropes that people enjoy seeing repeatedly in a similar fashion to 80's cartoon heel stooging stuff.

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I voted for Shawn, because at no point has he pretended his arm was a chainsaw like he was in a bad improv class.

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On 10/11/2021 at 1:33 PM, fxnj said:

Richards/Elgin 3/2012 and Richards/Edwards 12/2011 are probably the clearest examples out there of that sort of style, far more so than any Taker Mania match. Looking at the thread here for Richards/Elgin, it is interesting how some people seem to actually enjoy the match specifically because of how self-consciously it leans into those "epic" tropes, so I can see the argument for self-conscious epic, rather than an indictment of match's quality in itself, to be more a set of tropes that people enjoy seeing repeatedly in a similar fashion to 80's cartoon heel stooging stuff.

That's quite interesting and seems it would be a fair use indeed !

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I cannot fathom not voting for Kenneth here. I like Shawn and I find him entertaining but I think a lot of his stuff is very 'floaty' for want of a better word. They're both obviously known as being big bumpers when the opponent is on offence but Shawn's shitty little chops and atomic drops have nothing on the viciousness that Kenny can bring with his chops, the V-Triggers and his multiple moves than just drop people on their head.

I know some of this is the changing of time and expectations but I would also stack Kenny's best matches up against Shawn's very easily and see Omega coming out on top. The advent of AEW Dynamite has also shown Kenny to be a really good TV worker, especially in tags and trios matches. He works exceptionally in the New Japan format of building to big set piece singles matches or going through grueling tournaments and now we see that he works exceptionally in the condensed format of US TV matches as well. 

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I have no dog in this fight, but why would it matter if Kenny's had a match in the US as good as Shawn's best? Has Shawn had a match in Japan as good as Omega's?

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I have not watched a Shawn Michaels match (apart from the Taker @ Mania project) in eons, and I have not seen everything from his comeback in the 00's, but from memory I don't think I'd put any of them against Omega vs Danielson, his deathmatches with Mox as far as gimmick matches go, or even his draw with PAC. And as far as TV matches, his stuff with Fénix and Jungle Boy are a pretty high level and I'm not sure I could find anything in Shawn resume in a comparable context that even measures up. Not even mentioning the Omega/Hangman vs Young Bucks match from last year, because this is the GOAT tag team match ever probably, so let's be serious for a moment here, I loved the Rockers but come on now...

And of course, Omega's NJPW stuff is clearly out of reach anyway. 

That being said, I'll probably re-visit Shawn's post-comeback eventually.

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5 hours ago, elliott said:

I have no dog in this fight, but why would it matter if Kenny's had a match in the US as good as Shawn's best? Has Shawn had a match in Japan as good as Omega's?

Omega is meant to be a big star in US wrestling. Shawn was formerly a big star in US wrestling. That's the comparison that interests me. 

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if Omega were a WON HOF candidate he would probably still count more in the Japan category than North America even now, to put it that way. not for too much longer at the rate things are going but yeah

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On 10/15/2021 at 4:07 PM, ohtani's jacket said:

Has Kenny Omega had a match in the US to match Shawn's best matches?

Yeah, like two weeks ago.

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Neither guy is making my list I don't think, but I had to go with Shawn because his worst traits are not nearly as annoying as Omega's to me, and while Shawn's Rockers run has rightly been mentioned, I don't think Omega has put everything together in terms of character work and in-ring work which incorporates character work and personality into matches, into an incredible package with a great consistent run, the way Shawn had during his heel 1997-98 run. From his role as the guest ref for Bret-Taker at Summerslam to the time he dropped the belt to Austin at WM 14 in 1998, his run was absolutely stunning. I don't think any heel in WWF has got the heat he was getting then, even with Vince at his peak, I don't think the crowd hatred was that visceral. The only thing that works against him is Omega's lackeys, the Good Brothers, while completely useless and always stinking up the screen, haven't been as harmful to wrestling as Shawn's minion ultimately turned out to be. 

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I've gone to bat plenty for Shawn's work in the Rockers and the Rockers as a whole, but I think Kenny's body of work at this point trumps Shawn's by a decent margin. I would put Shawn's best match slightly over Kenny's, but Kenny has more total great matches. Kenny has him beat in offense. Bumping and selling is interesting as Kenny's leg selling has been iffy just as Shawn's back selling has been iffy, and both are really good bumpers. Shawn's comeback run also doesn't hold up particularly well (although I do want to revisit) while Kenny has a ton of gems before his big NJPW run.

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