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When exactly did Dave's MMA = pro wrestling talking point begin? I didn't start reading the Observer until 2006, and the first I remember of it was when Dave referred to Tito Ortiz as doing a Ric Flair heel act because he was seen on a UFC event wearing a suit.

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It started to go overboard when K-1 and Pride fighters and matches won awards in Japanese wrestling magazines.

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[WON 100] Shawn Michaels and Nobuhiko Takada... These posts by Dave are from April 2003:

 

Arguing that Pride isn't pro wrestling in 2003 would be like arguing WWE isn't pro wrestling in 2003. Neither are close to what pro wrestling was in 1970. Whether you like it or not, when you get Japanese wrestling magazines or watch wrestling TV news shows, a Pride big show gets more coverage than anything. Until recently in the DirecTV listing of what Pride was when you buy the show, it read "professional wrestling." It only changed because the people in charge of Pride in the U.S. think pro wrestling is a dirty word in this country and they've actually done a 180. So now all references to pro wrestling are banned on the English telecast (which is funny when Inoki and Goldberg are on the show). In Japan, Pride management doesn't feel pro wrestling is a dirty word and know that without being part of pro wrestling and really the next step of evolution of the product, they would be like shooto drawing 5,000 people instead of 50,000 for their big shows. You could say Pride isn't pro wrestling in the U.S, but it is in Japan if you want. Since a discussion of Takada's career has nothing to do with the U.S., Saying a choke isn't pro wrestling in 2003 or that non-predetermined endings aren't pro wrestling would be as silly as denying that putting someone through a table in 2003 isn't pro wrestling. Is next week's New Japan show not a pro wrestling event? Will the pro wrestling media at the show ignore half the card or cover the entire card? Will the wrestling fans ignore the matches that are shoots (well, they may if they aren't good, but that would be the case if they were worked matches that aren't any good)? It is clearly just another form of offshoot, and the test of time will determine how important in the long-run historically it is.

 

This business is constantly changing. What constitutes successful pro wrestling is what a promoter can successfully sell to wrestling fans. Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie in a bikini posedown has absolutely nothing to do with pro wrestling in a lot of people's standards of pro wrestling, but to deny it is pro wrestling is to deny what pro wrestling really is.

The new company in the U.S. that did the recent tapings called itself pro wrestling. It is real wrestling matches where the competitors are paid--professional wrestling. Their motto is that finally the U.S. has real pro wrestling. If they can make money, are they not pro wrestling even though they are professionals who wrestle?

 

When the fans in Japan's biggest polls, forget about the media, the biggest fan voting is the Nikkan Sports poll which is a mainstream newspaper, and voted Sapp Wrestler of the Year, Takayama second and Takayama got it mainly for a match with Don Frye and Sapp for his matches in Pride, and matches like Sapp vs. Nogueira beat out every worked match as the fans vote for Best Pro Wrestling match of the year, I think you guys are missing that pro wrestling has changed greatly in the eyes of the public in that country. When Kondo was pretty much universally recognized in Japan as the pro wrestling rookie of the year without participating in one worked match, and that's eight years ago, then he must be a pro wrestler in the fans and media's eyes. The pro wrestling news shows all cover Pride that I've seen. The biggest complaints I get from Japan is that I don't cover Pancrase deeply enough. New Japan's own TV show pushed Ishizawa's Pride matches as a bigger deal than his title matches within their company. The 5/2 Tokyo Dome contains trained wrestlers, who are getting paid to wrestle, on a promotion called New Japan Pro Wrestling. But it is not pro wrestling because it's not fake? Pancrase in 1993 was the change. It was pro wrestling, the participants called themselves pro wrestlers and were pro wrestlers. Last year when their business started rebounding, it was a pro wrestling feud on their shows based on the guys who claim to be pro wrestlers against those who claim not to be. I'm really surprised at you on this one John because when AAA came to this country and did business, you know that so many people wanted to ignore it on the guise it was not pro wrestling. In fact, most everyone in U.S. wrestling did ignore it because they didn't want to take the time to learn something new, except the younger wrestlers who watched tapes and copied it and that style became a significant part of the style we now see. Just like what in Japan? Based on their definition, Lucha spots were not pro wrestling and we spoke many times on the ignorance of such people to fail to see the obvious. Or jumping off buidings through tables isn't pro wrestling. It don't think it's usually a positive part of pro wrestling, but if wrestling fans are buying it, then that's what it is.

 

Being worked is not in any inherent definition of pro wrestling I know of. It is just a major component of almost all of it historically until the past ten years. You can use the term it's not traditional pro wrestling and I'm fine with that, but if you want to learn about the wrestling world as it is in 2003, Pride was the No. 2 promotion last year.

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I feel like there should be a roller derby joke right about here, but I'm not sure what it is, especially with shoot roller derby becoming a thing (and apparently an incredibly pointless and boring thing that inexplicably draws well).

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Darn, I thought there was an easy "split" function that would let you move stuff, Loss. :( Was even about to suggest it last night.

 

John

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On Keith's post... I wonder if I've changed my mind on anything I wrote (which was a hell of a lot) in that thread. :)

 

John

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Correct. Before that, he might occasionally mention the PPV buys of the biggest events for comparison purposes, but that was about it.

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And to be honest, Dave doesn't really cover Boxing now. He talks about it a bit, but only on the big fight level. How much of this will Dave cover:

 

Upcoming Boxing Schedule

 

Just focus on the HBO, ESPN, Showtime and PPV stuff. How much of that does Dave truly cover? Not much at all of it.

 

Dave doesn't report on Boxing. He just uses it as a comp to what he covers: Wrestling and MMA.

 

John

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I can see Dave dipping more into boxing in the future. It doesn't hurt to try to appeal to different audiences. He already covers Wrestling, MMA and K-1 a little, so he might as well do boxing too.

 

I like Dave. He's always responded to any questions I had and has kept me happy over the years as a customer. I'm not going to agree 100% with everything he says, but hey he gets me to pay for his opinions.

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When exactly did Dave's MMA = pro wrestling talking point begin? I didn't start reading the Observer until 2006, and the first I remember of it was when Dave referred to Tito Ortiz as doing a Ric Flair heel act because he was seen on a UFC event wearing a suit.

I don't remember if he actually called it pro wrestling, but Dave covered UFC since the beginning. I think it was more a "pro wrestlers (like Severn and Shamrock) doing shoot-fighting" kind of vibe. By the mid-90s MMA had it's own subsection in the newsletter.

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I think if the fight gets 24/7 appeal on HBO then he talks about it but very rarely will he talk about it at other times.

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On Keith's post... I wonder if I've changed my mind on anything I wrote (which was a hell of a lot) in that thread. :)

Lordy was I quite the prick in that thread. :) Still... other than the tone, not sure how much of it I would change.

 

John

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What constitutes successful pro wrestling is what a promoter can successfully sell to wrestling fans.

Let's be fair and assume he meant to say "What constitutes successful pro wrestling is what a promoter can successfully sell to wrestling fans as pro wrestling." People successfully sell things like, you know, food and shelter and miscellaneous non-wrestling entertainment to wrestling fans all the time. Let's assume he meant for us to fill in that blank and not make this claim any sillier than it already is.

 

Looking over the WON Award winners from recent years...

 

2002 Feud of the Year: Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock

2006 Feud of the Year: Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock

2006 Promotion of the Year: Ultimate Fighting Championship

2007 Promotion of the Year: Ultimate Fighting Championship

2008 Promotion of the Year: Ultimate Fighting Championship

2009 Promotion of the Year: Ultimate Fighting Championship

2006 Best Weekly Television Show: Ultimate Fighting Championship: The Ultimate Fighter

2007 Best Weekly Television Show: Ultimate Fighting Championship: The Ultimate Fighter

2008 Best Weekly Television Show: Ultimate Fighting Championship: The Ultimate Fighter

2006 Worst Major Wrestling Show: UFC 61

2008 Best Booker: Joe Silva

2009 Best Booker: Joe Silva

2002 Promoter of the Year: Kazuyoshi Ishii

2005 Promoter of the Year: Dana White

2006 Promoter of the Year: Dana White

2007 Promoter of the Year: Dana White

2008 Promoter of the Year: Dana White

2009 Promoter of the Year: Dana White

 

That's not even counting runners-up. Just the winners.

 

So someone remind me...when did UFC or K-1 ever market themselves as pro wrestling? I'm not talking about wrestling-like promoting or a fighter's wrestling-like mannerisms. Like I said, giving Dave the benefit of the doubt that he's not including people selling Cheetos to wrestling fans as "successful pro wrestling". Assuming he meant people actually trying to sell pro wrestling. Have UFC or K-1 ever tried to sell themselves as pro wrestling? Hasn't UFC gone out of it's way a few times to get across the message that they're not pro wrestling? And K-1 is a kickboxing promotion, for crying out loud! It's not even mixed martial arts. It's one martial art, which is in no way, shape, or form pro wrestling. How do you justify extending inclusion to them? Because Bob Sapp was a big crossover star for a year or two? Gimme a break.

 

He did a live round by round for one of the recent fights.

This. He doesn't cover boxing as much as he could...but he still covers it more than he should.

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Hum... I guess that's why I think pro-wrestling sucks in the US in the 00's. I just haven't watched the right pro-wrestling promotion. Hum... I see, I see... Well, I used to watch K1 at the beginning of the decade, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Never struck me as something comparable with WrestleMania, a New Japan Dome show or a AJ night at Budokan... Must have missed something...

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The argument is that Dave shapes their opinions, and people vote how he says they should.

Good thing you guys are too smart to fall for that.

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Why do you show up every few months to criticize us for not agreeing with him on every single issue? Sometimes, he's spot on, sometimes, he is way off, just like anyone else. He gets talked about a lot because he's great at what he does, and the things he gets criticized for are outnumbered by the things he does right.

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The argument is that Dave shapes their opinions, and people vote how he says they should.

Good thing you guys are too smart to fall for that.

 

No one here (that I know of) is a WON HOF voter, so it doesn't matter if we're smart enough or not.

 

 

*edit* I saw this was for awards, not the HOF, but my point sort of still stands since Dave pushes for guys to be voted in the HOF as well.

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It's one thing to call early PRIDE "pro-wrestling" when Takada is the chief star and a few matches are contentious to say the least and they're (supposedly) building their shows under a "pro wrestling" banner, so to speak. Calling UFC pro-wrestling on the other hand... I mean I get the MMA/Pro-Wrestling comparisons; talking about fighters as "good promos" or "great heels" (inc. Floyd Mayweather) is fine with me and if you want to say they "get that" from pro-wrestling, assuming that Ali quote about Gorgeous George is accurate then, y'know, fair enough.

 

I don't object to any of it, and at this point (or at least the last few years) Dave'd've probably been forced into covering the UFC somewhat, anyway, given how it's kicking Vince's ass on pay-per-view with a similar kind of product that targets the same demographic that Vince's last boom period went for. Mayweather/Pacqiuao is the biggest story in any form of combat sport (or an exhibition deriving from such) so that whole thing is fine (and it was the Mayweather fight he covered round-by-round I'm sure).

 

The whole "being pre-determined/worked isn't a prerequisite of pro-wrestling" line... I mean I guess in its earliest incarnations (going back much earlier than 1970) you could make the case if the earliest stuff billed as pro-wrestling was, in fact, legitimate competition. Anytime in the last hundred years though? You hear "pro-wrestling" and you assume "work".

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