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Most overrated "quality" in a wrestler?


Guest DietSoda
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Guest DietSoda

I was reading through the "Who Is Better?" thread and stumbled across this post by DylanWaco on being innovative in wrestling:

Trying new things is not the problem. *Occasional* innovation is not the problem. But when someone says to me "that wrestler is innovative!" I almost immediately know it's going to be some shitty indy spot monkey that starts all of his matches with an obligatory matwork section far more contrived then what we get from one trick pony Hulk before "building" to a sequence of shitty head dropping moves that are no sold in order to set up silly looking dive spots.

 

Innovation being elevated to some sort of really important quality in wrestling is ridiculous. Southern tag wrestling is anti-innovative. Traditional wrestling roles are anti-innovative. Hell even a lot of wrestlers that were innovative in one way or another were extremely predictable wrestlers that settled into effective routines (i.e. 96 Rey Jr.).

 

Point is not that all innovation is terrible, but that innovation is overrated as a "quality" in wrestling.

This is a great post and got me thinking... what are other aspects of a pro wrestler that people talk up as being a significant quality, that is in large irrelevant in the big picture?

 

I'll go with the importance of being a "technical" wrestler. Sometimes you'll get into an argument with someone and their argument against, say, a Mick Foley or a John Cena type would be "he doesn't do technical wrestling holds, so he can't wrestle", without seeming to understand the fact that it's not about what you do but rather how you piece the match together.

 

What are some of yours?

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A wrestler's "look". WWE is certainly guilty of this. Not that we shouldn't be able to say "so and so has a great look", but look at guys who didn't have a good "look". Guys like Dusty Rhodes, Dick Murdoch, and Adrian Adonis wouldn't so much as get a job as enhancement talent today because "they don't look like a wrestler" despite, in Dusty's case, being so charasmatic it's hard to hate him and, in the case of Adonis and Murdoch, being able to outwork a majority of today's WWE roster.

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Size. It's nice to have, but I'd put it dead last behind all the other qualities any good wrestler should possess. I'm past tired of hearing people claim "it's not credible for Little Guy to beat Big Guy, the fans won't believe it" despite having many years' worth of incredibly profitable examples to the contrary.

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I love this thread. In a few days pretty much everything quality a wrestler can have will be considered overrated.;)

Speaking entirely for myself, but "innovation" and "carrying ability" are really the only two qualities that I really think smarks and hardcore fans put too much stock in. It's especially funny to me when someone like Cena establishes himself as a "carrier" of sorts (see v. Khali, v. Lashley, v. Snitsky) and certain fans will still insist that while those matches are good, he's not good because he's so stale - i.e. not "innovative."

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I think "it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it" is overrated. I'd actually it's what you do AND the way you do it.

 

I can't think of two many wrestlers I like who do crap stuff in a charismatic way. If I like a worker just because they're charismatic, generally it has a flow on effect that what they're doing is pretty good.

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I love this thread. In a few days pretty much everything quality a wrestler can have will be considered overrated.;)

This is honestly my fear too.

 

I don’t see why this should be a fear. This is how ideas get sharpened. The importance of one quality gets talked up eventually leads to other qualities being overlooked…people start talking about those qualities till others fall secondary, etc. This is how our understanding of all that goes into a particular wrestlers performance gets sharpened.

 

A quality that we thankfully don’t talk about anymore is shooting ability.

 

Yohe wrote on wrestlingclasics:

 

In early 1996 or late 1995, John Williams and Dave were on a plane trip to or from Japan. Guys like me had been bugging Dave about doing a HOF, but he didn't seem to like the idea, at least at the time. John & Dave ran out of things to talk about, so the topic became "who should be in a wrestling HOF", which didn't exist at the time. They went over names and it was either yes or no. At times a discussion took place and a decision was made after. Someone brought up Bert Assirati, and the legendary hard ass shooter seemed OK...but no one really knew too much..but he was feared and they thought they were safe because no one would know more than them. So he was in.

 

Dave played this game with a few other people he respected and came up with a pretty good list and that was the first class of the WON HOF in 1996. The did leave out a few names like Earl Caddock, Bill Longson, Ed Carpentier, Orville Brown, Wladek Zbyszko etc....but we all know more now.

 

I think a lot of guys get extra points for being hookers and having double crosses on their record. Dick Shikat gets a lot of respect for double crossing Mahoney but it led to the destruction of national pro wrestling. Stan Zbyszko shot on Wayne Munn but he did have a major career & his action did lead to a better sport. People do think of him as a major wrestler but if you read his early reviews he seemed like a stiff. Pesek did all kinds of stuff that led to his reputation, not all of good wrestling. Gotch probably screwed over Hack twice. Rikidozan double crossed Kimura. So, in general, double crosses gets you extra points. Seems Assirati got double-extra points.

I can’t imagine anyone in 2009 arguing that shooting ability is more important than ability to entertain. If someone today argued that legit shooter Baron Von Raschke was a better wrestler than Shawn Michaels cause Raschke had a reputation for shooting….it would be laughed off.

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Ok, so let's play...

 

Here's one : athetic ability is overrated. How many "great athlete" ended up sucking at wrestling. Billy Gunn was refered for years as the "best pure athlete yaddi yadda", and it was certainly true. Didn't keep him from sucking, like a whole lot of "great athletes".

 

I agree with Dan on "it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it" being overrated. It's a bad cop out to excuse some poor workers who have the right idea but just suck at execution to me. Kinda like "Size doesn't matter, what matters is how you use it.". Same thing.

The "playing your role well" has been ridiculously overrated too, maybe since the Mark Henry pimping days. It's not because you play "your" role right that you become a good worker. This can pretty much excuse any big stiff around who know how to play the role of a big immobile stiff. It's easy to play a role when it doesn't take much talent. Overrated quality. I'd rather watch a worker who's still searching himself and makes mistakes but shows good stuff in the ring.

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I think "it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it" is overrated. I'd actually it's what you do AND the way you do it.

 

I can't think of two many wrestlers I like who do crap stuff in a charismatic way. If I like a worker just because they're charismatic, generally it has a flow on effect that what they're doing is pretty good.

I don't think you're wrong, strictly speaking. That said, I'd wonder how many crap things that a wrestler could do are impossible to be done in a non-crappy way. It's why I'm a little hesitant to name specific traits in this thread. Unless you go in really outlandish directions (I'm hard-pressed to think of a way that a wrestler could shit himself during a match in a really effective way), most of your notable wrestler "qualities" can be done well or poorly.

 

I agree with Dan on "it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it" being overrated. It's a bad cop out to excuse some poor workers who have the right idea but just suck at execution to me.

"The way that you do it" = execution. Also, not a cop out if you genuinely like what they're doing.

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I think "it's not what you do, it's the way that you do it" is overrated. I'd actually it's what you do AND the way you do it.

 

I can't think of two many wrestlers I like who do crap stuff in a charismatic way. If I like a worker just because they're charismatic, generally it has a flow on effect that what they're doing is pretty good.

I don't think you're wrong, strictly speaking. That said, I'd wonder how many crap things that a wrestler could do are impossible to be done in a non-crappy way. It's why I'm a little hesitant to name specific traits in this thread. Unless you go in really outlandish directions (I'm hard-pressed to think of a way that a wrestler could shit himself during a match in a really effective way), most of your notable wrestler "qualities" can be done well or poorly.

A lot of wrestlers rely on schtick. Some people dig their gimmicks, but I think if you're an average worker you've got to have at least some redeeming features that make you entertaining. A guy like Rayo can bring that when he's feeling it (which is about once a decade), but has there even been a good Jimmy Valiant match?

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Billy Gunn was refered for years as the "best pure athlete yaddi yadda", and it was certainly true. Didn't keep him from sucking, like a whole lot of "great athletes".

:huh: Really? What were these great "pure" athletic credentials that Billy Gunn had? I always thought it was a BS talking point Jim Ross made up to cover for his ridiculous gimmick and push.

 

Most great workers in history actually have a good athletic background. I think you'd be hard pressed to name many legitimately great workers who weren't college level athletes.

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Yeah, you're probably right, I'm being unfair because *I* feel the workers they're defending with that line of thinking are crap.:) But this is still one of the easiest way to defend poor workers to me. That and "Oh, he plays his role well".

Don't forget "he throws good punches". Always an easy out for us. :P

 

A lot of wrestlers rely on schtick. Some people dig their gimmicks, but I think if you're an average worker you've got to have at least some redeeming features that make you entertaining. A guy like Rayo can bring that when he's feeling it (which is about once a decade), but has there even been a good Jimmy Valiant match?

I don't think anyone's arguing that Jimmy Valiant is a good worker. Does his comedy shtick well, but does everything else poorly. "It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it".....the way Jimmy does a lot of stuff stinks, so I thing the saying holds true.

 

Rayo I don't see the problem. I thought we were past the whole "aging CMLL main eventers of the 90's suck by default" thing.

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