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Wrestling overload?


Wahoos Leg
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Posted this on another forum...

 

As a fairly recent contributor/poster here to this humble little community of wrestling nerditude, I found myself initially blown away by the wealth of matches and shows made available, the discussions and the general breadth of knowledge of wrestling around the globe.

 

It's definitely seen the amount of wrestling on my want-to-see list grow exponentially... the point now where it's almost overwhelming.

 

How do y'all follow/keep up with all of the wrestling going on--not to mention all the good stuff from yesteryear you might have missed the first time around?

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The amount of commitment, time, and money required to be a halfway-informed wrestling fan has honestly made me much less of a wrestling fan than I've ever been over the past few years. My personality type is not one that leans toward just casually liking anything -- I either love it or hate it. So I feel like I'm in this weird place with wrestling right now, because real life and career responsibilities make it hard to justify investing so much energy in wrestling.

 

I'll always be a fan to some degree and like what I like, but it's way too overwhelming.

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My interest in wrestling is still present, but it's in a different form now. I much more enjoy things like shoot interviews and discussions about other aspects of the business. Before 1/4 I hadn't watched Raw since September, and before that it was probably April or May. Wrestling just doesn't hold my interest.

 

I still try to keep up with the current happenings, thanks to the wonders of the interweb. But the current WWE and TNA products feature next to nothing that makes me want to go out of my way to watch. Factor in my recent fatherhood and things like my job and other non-wrestling related hobbies and wrestling just isn't high on my list of priorities anymore.

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It's interesting because finding sites like this and CM and all of the stuff that's out there from the territory era has really made me fall in love with wrestling all over again...but in love with THAT era of wrestling. It did nothing to reinvigorate my passion for the current product. I watch Raw but find myself fast forwarding through most of it.

 

I'll pop in an old Southeastern, Mid South, one of Goodhlemet's comps...etc in late at night and watch an hour or two and that satisifies me. I love the old school stuff and enjoy having such a backlog of stuff that I'll have new(old) stuff to watch for years but overall I don't try to keep up.

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I think at this point I'm more entertained by Meltzer and Alvarez reviewing/complaining about wrestling than actually watching it. I find it really hard to sit through any of the shows nowadays and I don't feel like I'm missing anything. Also, I'd rather do other things at night than watch TV, so that hurts it also.

 

It's really funny though because now that I have all of the wrestling I always dreamed of watching, I don't want to watch it anymore. If I do watch anything though, it's most likely to be an episode of Primetime on 24/7, BJPW main events or selected joshi matches. I feel that I've seen it all now and that it hit levels before that will never be reached again.

 

And to actually answer the question, between DVDVR, thecubsfan, and the Wrestling Observer, I'm pretty well connected to everything that goes on. I'd rather read about it than watch it anyway.

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Interesting to read that I'm not the only one who actually got to the point of reading about the business and hearing interviews has become more interesting most of the time than watching matches. 10 years ago, I would have totally burned my time watching everything that is available these days.

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How do y'all follow/keep up with all of the wrestling going on--not to mention all the good stuff from yesteryear you might have missed the first time around?

Mostly thanks to You Tube. My wrestling enjoyment now is probably more than it was 10 years ago. I watch all the WWE shows, A lot of lucha(IWRG, some AAA, some CMLL, Arena Coliseo Monterrey), WWC, plus older stuff. Ah the joys( and consequences) of being unemployed I guess.

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I'm similar to others here in that I like to discuss wrestling but don't watch it anywhere near the amount I used to. I seldom watch the current product, and when it comes to catching up on wrestling from the past, I buy what DVDs I can.

 

And really, it would be impossible for me to track down and watch every single match I enjoyed in the years I watched wrestling on a regular basis. There is just too much to catch up with and not enough time to see it all.

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I go back and forth and have for years. Right now I'm as interested as ever as I really liked WWE last year, I'm finally following through on my promise to really start following Lucha, and I've pretty much been watching shit for various projects and polls non-stop for almost three years now. I've also got a shitload of stuff coming my way from Will and Bix over the next month or so. To be fair my daughter becoming a really big wrestling fan has probably aided and abetted a lot of this viewing as she likes to watch stuff with me, go to live shows, et.

 

Low point of my watching was probably 01 as the death of ECW and WCW killed the interest of my main viewing partner, plus I was playing in two semi-series bands and living in a house that doubled as a cocaine/pot/acid depot.

 

I have basically given up on Puro though.

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Japanese wrestling is SOOOO bad now. Even the matches that are probably good just don't do anything for me because they all feel like re-runs. One of the great things about 90s Japanese wrestling was the variety. Yes, you had the heavyweight epics in All Japan that went long, but there were also plenty of good 20 minute matches mixed in, and the juniors matches were wrestled in a different style and went a shorter amount of time. Even singles matches with the same players felt different. The Kawada/Taue bloody brawl in January '91 is not at all like their excellent draw in March '96, but they're still both great. Then, there was Joshi, which on its own had so much variety in terms of singles matches, gimmicks, multi-person tags, etc.

 

I guess that variety still does exist in some ways -- NOAH, Muga, Big Japan, and what's left of Joshi are pretty different from each other, but they're not doing anything that wasn't done better years before. You could say that about wrestling pretty much everywhere come to think of it.

 

But I think what killed my interest in Japanese wrestling more than anything is all the no-selling. I really, really hate wrestlers just trading stiff forearms without selling the impact, and that seems to be the one thing that transcends setting or style in modern wrestling in Japan. It's even bled over the U.S. indies a little too.

 

Expanding that, I think something that could get me more into modern wrestling again would be more matwork, and not just going through the motions because it's what happens at the beginning of the match. I miss early matwork actually having consequences later in the match. Moves are teased in the opening minutes that are finally delivered near the end of a match and get a big pop.

 

Another thing would be less clean finishes. I know that sounds weird, but whereas there were too many cheap finishes in the past, now wrestling has gone to the opposite extreme. There are times when a DQ finish (or even better, a draw!) building to a finish would be appropriate, and they rarely happen. I loved Orton/Cena at No Way Out '08 with the DQ finish because it was so awesomely done, but that's rare now. It's hard to build interest in rematches when the first matches are usually won and lost so decisively. I realize that's not a blanket statement, and WWE does this well sometimes, but I'd like to see more of it.

 

I'd also like to see the return of more flash pins: quick inside cradles, rollups, and pinning combos. It's another good way to build to rematches because it's not such a decisive finish, and the match could have gone either way.

 

Anyway, I think I'm taking this off-topic.

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I'll continue off topic.

 

For nearly a decade and a half Scott Keith has convinced online fans that non-finishes can *never* be good so now a new generation of fans blow a gasket anytime a match doesn't end cleanly. And Todd Martin is continuing the tradition by driving home the point week after week

 

I HATE that line of thinking. Sometimes it is good booking to have a DQ or a countout because it protects wrestlers and then you have a reason for the continuation of a program. Having a bunch of clean losses (ala Kofi - Orton) kills programs and stifles progress.

 

and I'd be up for more roll up and quick pins but the WWF had an overload of them in early mid 90s during Bret's first few reigns that made him look less than dominant

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What I've seen of recent puroresu doesn't seem bad at all, but I agree about the trading forearm bit, it drives me nuts. Might as well work a headlock, at least you get more out of it. WWE has become unwatchable to me though, no matter how hard I try. I didn't even bother with the Rumble this year, and I didn't even watched Bret come back (which says a lot since I was a huge Bret fan). I guess I'll watch Mania, just like every year, and be bored, just like every year save for one of two things (last year was, unsurprisingly, Shawn vs Taker although I thought it was very overrated as usual). I've been a fan for 20 years. Seems like a long time, but at the same time I got to the point I don't think I'll ever lose total interest in it. I'm probably a lifer.

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I go back and forth and have for years. Right now I'm as interested as ever as I really liked WWE last year, I'm finally following through on my promise to really start following Lucha, and I've pretty much been watching shit for various projects and polls non-stop for almost three years now. I've also got a shitload of stuff coming my way from Will and Bix over the next month or so. To be fair my daughter becoming a really big wrestling fan has probably aided and abetted a lot of this viewing as she likes to watch stuff with me, go to live shows, et.

 

Low point of my watching was probably 01 as the death of ECW and WCW killed the interest of my main viewing partner, plus I was playing in two semi-series bands and living in a house that doubled as a cocaine/pot/acid depot.

 

I have basically given up on Puro though.

I'm in a similar boat as Dylan. My low point was probably in the middle part of the decade, when I had absolutely zero interest in the product at all. At the time, my attitude was "Well, I've seen all my favourites do what they wanted to do and what I wanted them to do, what else is there to watch?". I sorta regret it because I skipped out on a lot of stuff in '05 that I like today (Eddie-Rey, Edge-Hardy, etc.). That's sort of been a contributing factor as to why I still watch the current product today: You never know what you're missing.

 

Other reasons include upping my TV plan. I finally have joined the world of HD, but not only that, my increased plan included the TV channel which shows some old St. Louis and Memphis highlights as well. If I don't have time to watch them all, no problem, just a quick PVR task to keep them until I have time to watch. The plan also includes HDNet, which means trying to get into ROH more (although, that said, footage on YouTube has taught me that promotion had better days before, but there's still some stuff I'm enjoying of it today). And even if RAW or Smackdown is shit, it's easier to watch on HD. I'm superficial, like the guy who dates the most uninteresting women only because they're hot. :unsure:

 

Similar also to Dylan's case, my live-in girlfriend has become a fan and, upon learning about things like the Attitude era, enjoys the current era more because it's better for kids and families. She also has a good number of favourites, so it's not hard to watch with her. Aside from hockey, she probably watches it more than any other sport I watch heavily. We've gone to one live show, and have been to a few PPVs at a local movie theatre (cheaper than ordering them).

 

So yeah, I guess I'm still into it. I don't watch TNA, though.

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Personally, I've managed to narrow my tastes to the one or two styles I like. I might sample the odd match from another promotion or take part in a poll if it interests me, but I don't feel the need to track down everything. Just a bit of high end stuff is good. I sometimes take a few months off from watching any wrestling and dive into other hobbies or scale it back to a couple of times a week. This year has been pretty fun so far with the Black Terry Jr. handhelds.

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I download around four gigabytes worth of wrestling on a daily basis, but never watch it. Well, it takes a long while to watch it. I have hundreds of DVDs, unwatched. I buy, or download, and then it takes me forever to get around to watching the footage.

 

Oh, I only buy and download single matches, full shows are often unbearable.

 

Being a hardcore wrestling fan is very demanding, especially if you have a wide range of likes and interests, (AJPW pre-split, '90s NJPW juniors, fabled lucha, '90s WCW, ROH from '02 to present, BattlArts, NOAH from 00 to present). That is a lot of footage. Now, keep in mind, when stuff is being pimped by reputable posters, I go out of my way to get that match(es). So yeah, it can be overloading.

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My case is much the same as Loss' and Tim's. Over the last few years, I've tried to do everything in my power to streamline my wrestling watching so that I can get to see everything I want to see without wasting my time on stuff I don't. At this point, that means....

 

1. I don't watch any TV show or PPV live unless I'm hanging out with friends for that exact purpose. Even that caveat is usually only limited to the Rumble and Mania. It can extend to SummerSlam, but I always take a week-long excursion to New Hampshire during late August, and often, it's the week of SummerSlam, which puts a stop to that. It sometimes extended to Survivor Series, but I suppose that's not an issue anymore. My closest "wrestling fan" friend is really into the Night of Champions concept, so that can sneak in there. We used to go ROH shows when they ran them on Long Island. When they stopped, we started heading out to the Manhattan Center shows. But my interest in ROH has waned considerably, so that's not really on my to-do list anymore. There have always been weird, freak occurrences as well. We bought a WWA PPV once, just for kicks. We watched the first episode of TNA Impact on Spike, just to see how hard they would fail. My friend was training to be a wrestler with Mikey Whipreck's outfit at one point, so I went to an NYWC show out of support. But otherwise....

 

2. I only really watch stuff that's been hyped, or that has guys who I'm really digging lately. Of course, not every match that gets hyped deserves it, and not every match between good wrestlers ends up being good, so....

 

3. I've grown impatient. If a match doesn't grab my interest fast, I'm hitting the fast forward button/chucking the file in my recycle bin/clicking another YouTube link.

 

4. I almost never watch full shows. Sometimes, a show or a company will get on a roll, and I'll figure "what the hell" and watch the rest a show that I pulled a match from. If I'm really inspired, I might even check out the show after that (CMLL Puebla, baby!). Otherwise, I'm sticking with individual matches.

 

5. Those four rules really only get waived when I take a big project upon myself. Namely, watching he various 80's sets and putting together the 80's Texas set means watching everything, like it or lump it.

 

So that's what I've come up with after several years of refinement, and it's still a little daunting. But really, we should all be so lucky if "there's too much wrestling" is the biggest problem in our lives, so I figure I can deal with it.

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I agree with that as well, and as I said, I download a ton on a daily basis. I do that because I never know when a link is going to die, and since I only use Megaupload, I have to often act quick. Oh, I will say this, it sucks when matches I have wanted for a while show up online in sendspace or rapidshare :angry:

 

But quick glance at my categorized list, I have over 1500 matches on my external hard drive, and about 300ish DVDs. That is a lot of matches, obviously it pails in comparison to many, but it is nevertheless a lot of wrestling.

 

But yeah, there is never enough wrestling, but the catch game gets irritating sometimes.

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I watch the WWE because it's easy to follow on TV. I can't say I'm all that regularly gripped by it, but they're doing a good job at the mo' heading towards Mania, and the PPVs that we do have to pay for over here are only £15 so me and my brother split them alternately. I'm up into the early hours of the morning anyway most nights so it's no big deal for Raw/PPVs.

 

I don't really follow Mexico much, I'd sooner watch older Lucha and I'm only half way through Will's Santo set so when I do feel the inclination for that I go to the DVD rather than the stuff OJ follows though I try and catch the stuff he raves about and his blog's great for that.

 

Current Joshi I don't really follow either, I'm trying to build up my Zenjo Classics and the run upto the interpromotional era, getting every tape from mid/late-90 onwards. A couple a month, maybe, depending.

 

Downloads make it much easier, that can't be said enough, and the people who cap matches religiously do everyone such a great favour. I like All Japan (comparatively less actually airs so it's easier to follow) and the matches people rave about over at DVDVR or wherever for New Japan, NOAH, DG, I tend to grab, and whilst I'm not a massive Indy fan if something gets a lot of hype from ROH and I can find it online then I'll give it a spin.

 

As far as actual NEWS goes... nothing much there, I'll admit. I couldn't tell you off-hand the champions in most places... but I like to follow what I can. God bless the internet and 1MB/sec downloads. I remember old ECW clips 12 years ago taking as long to download than 40-minute great quality matches do now.

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The thing about WWE is why I agree with people like Jerome that the shows are overproduced and the mic work is shit compared to what it used to be (with a few notable exceptions) the average match is much better now and the sheer number of good matches they have a year is jarring. For example last year the WWE had three shows a week until April when they started with four shows a week. Of course they also had a ppv every month (maybe more?). As someone who watched a lot of WWE tv last year I think a low end estimate would place the number of "good" televised matches at about 3 a week. That means you wind up with over a 150 quality matches a year and that is a really conservative count (I think the number is closer to double that, but I'm a bigger fan of the WWE in ring product than a lot of people).

 

The funny thing is this works both ways as far as keeping fan interest because on the one hand the liklihood of seeing something solid is higher than ever, but it also results in people "giving up" on following the shows closely if they miss a few heavily pimped matches and the great matches don't stand out nearly as much as they used too.

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As a teenager I was one of the most voracious wrestling fans you could find. Today, I have a stack of DVDs and a wealth of files on my hard drive I've yet to watch. I can make myself watch a few matches here and there and I do pay attention to the current product, though chiefly through web sites. I did attend the last WWE card that came to Sacramento, the Bash PPV. It's not that I don't enjoy wrestling, I still do. I guess I've found myself more interested in other things within the last seven years or so.

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