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I think there are diminishing returns for Dave being over the top. You hit so many spots in a row, month after month, and soon nothing means anything anymore. Social media's allowed him to become just like the wrestling he loves the most. He could give it twenty stars and I doubt we're going to have the same reaction we did a few months ago.

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I ended up not tweeting this, but this is my thoughts:

 

I am really glad and love that you folks love NJPW as much as you do. However, if you tell me 6 different times in 2 years that you just saw the greatest match in history, I'm not going to believe you.

 

People would have you believe this run of NJPW is the greatest run of any company in history. Even 90's AJPW they were not turning out the new greatest match ever 1-3 times a year.

 

If you were an NWA fan in 1989, someone might have told you the best match ever happened a bunch of times over the course of the year. NJPW right now is successfully building epics within their style, so naturally - if that style really works for you - there's a lot of best match ever contenders in the recent past.

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I do think Grimmas touched and interesting topic. Two or three years ago there was a ton of talk about the Okada vs Tanahashi series being the best ever and compared Flair vs Steamboat (and Kobashi/Misawa IIRC). Now we fast forward to today and even though that rivalry is still highly regarded, the talk around it is not nearly as great as just a couple of years ago.

 

Now the "this generation's Flair vs Steamboat" talk has transferred to Okada vs Omega. Even Dave tweeted about it, and he was the main guy pushing the Okada/Tana series as "this generation's best".

 

I guess it's something that comes with the territory in today's fandom, but it does ring hollow when there's a new "best all time" every year or couple of years. Specially when the previously praised stuff gets downgraded or forgotten so easily.

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"If everything is the best ever then nothing is" is my concern more than anything else. Even with the Okada-Omega stuff I've thought was great, I didn't get the GOAT hype whatsoever past the people most invested in NJPW fanboyishness having a narrative to build. There was nothing you could point to making them the absolute best ever past the degree to which they were athletically impressive (it's not Toyota-Kyoko, but they've kept an inedible pace) and the self conscious sports entertainment WrestleMania Moment spots.

 

That said: I still haven't watched the whole match, but I woke up early in the second fall as the live stream was playing on my TV. From what I saw, it's an incredible match, and the degree to which they had the crowd was amazing, biting on the smallest things. I'll try to watch it in full in the next couple days, but it felt like it was by far the best match in the series and had a lot of what was missing from the previous "ZOMG best ever" Omega matches. It probably helps some that Omega is 100% a babyface now and is much better in that role.

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The point underlying all this is it's very easy to get swept up in the moment and say something that might seem baffling in a few years when a promotion you care about has a great match. Everyone does it and Dave is just an easy punching bag for it since he's been covering current stuff the longest. Trying to figure out what matches are gonna stand the test of time is only marginally easier than trying to figure out what stocks are be big players a few years from now.

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Dave has consistently held that matches can only be fairly judged contemporaneously because nobody can predict the tastes of future generations with any degree of certainty. If a match felt like the greatest he'd ever seen after watching it when it happened, then it was. How well it holds up 5/10/20 years from now is irrelevant.

 

More broadly speaking, I think you have to distinguish between evaluating matches as a fan and evaluating them as a critic. It's one thing to say that, say, Tiger Mask and Dynamite Kid's matches don't hold up for you thirty-plus years after the fact. It's another thing entirely to say that they were therefore wrong to have worked their matches the way they did.

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Not sure why people are still hung up on the "Dave broke the scale" aspect of this. When Cornette came up with the star system 4 was the max. The idea was when something that was head and shoulders above the previous benchmark, the level would be raised. There's never been any fuss about it until New Japan matches started becoming the ones raising the bar and now people are losing their shit and honestly acting silly over it.

 

I have a theory that a lot of it stems from most folks' intro to non US wrestling being 90s All Japan, either as it was happening or years after the fact via tapes or internet. Most folks have an inherent bias toward what they grew up with/were introduced to and have a kneejerk reaction to the idea that something better might have come along. There's been good matches since then of course, but this is the first time we've had a core group having consistent high level matches on a regular basis since then and some people seem weirdly threatened by it.

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I think you might be on to something. People get really really defensive in some places if you mention DragonGate and DDT being bigger companies than All Japan has been in recent years.

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Not sure why people are still hung up on the "Dave broke the scale" aspect of this. When Cornette came up with the star system 4 was the max. The idea was when something that was head and shoulders above the previous benchmark, the level would be raised. There's never been any fuss about it until New Japan matches started becoming the ones raising the bar and now people are losing their shit and honestly acting silly over it.

 

I have a theory that a lot of it stems from most folks' intro to non US wrestling being 90s All Japan, either as it was happening or years after the fact via tapes or internet. Most folks have an inherent bias toward what they grew up with/were introduced to and have a kneejerk reaction to the idea that something better might have come along. There's been good matches since then of course, but this is the first time we've had a core group having consistent high level matches on a regular basis since then and some people seem weirdly threatened by it.

I don't know if I totally buy a 4 star scale being the original, since movies and shit are 5 stars, but even if true the bar was raised in 1989 to 5 stars. No one was really around to complain back then. To claim it's because it's NJPW doesn't seem to make sense.

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Not sure why people are still hung up on the "Dave broke the scale" aspect of this. When Cornette came up with the star system 4 was the max. The idea was when something that was head and shoulders above the previous benchmark, the level would be raised. There's never been any fuss about it until New Japan matches started becoming the ones raising the bar and now people are losing their shit and honestly acting silly over it.

 

I have a theory that a lot of it stems from most folks' intro to non US wrestling being 90s All Japan, either as it was happening or years after the fact via tapes or internet. Most folks have an inherent bias toward what they grew up with/were introduced to and have a kneejerk reaction to the idea that something better might have come along. There's been good matches since then of course, but this is the first time we've had a core group having consistent high level matches on a regular basis since then and some people seem weirdly threatened by it.

Nah I like NJPW but I watched a random Misawa-Fuchi match from 1/92 today, and AJPW was just better.

 

Well, actually, it's different. I think it's fair to say that the modern NJPW style has deviated far from the 80s/90s AJPW/NJPW general style. It's much more Americanized and has a sense of being scripted out move for move ahead of time. 90s AJPW, I don't know, it probably was scripted out move for move but it didn't feel that way as much. And stuff like Jumbo/Tenryu, that just felt like two badasses calling it in the ring and is a whole different style that's so hard to compare to modern stuff.

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Straight from the horse's mouth:

 

http://www.jimcornette.com/fighting-spirit/stars-their-eyes-fsm138

 

The scale stood at 4 stars until March 23, 1981, when we saw Jerry Lawler's match with Terry Funk in Memphis' Mid-South Coliseum. For excitement, intensity of live atmosphere, and aura of violence alongside great work and crowd response, this bout was the greatest spectacle of a wrestling match we had ever seen, and we agreed to award it the first-ever 5 stars. This was the match that broke the scale and became the "greatest wrestling match that has ever been held" to that point in time on the official scale.

 

And I don't think modern NJPW is a significant deviation from 90s AJPW at all. It's a continuation of the direction the style was going in 2000s NOAH. Current NJPW is far closer to King's Road than it is to 80s/90s strong style.

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Straight from the horse's mouth:

 

http://www.jimcornette.com/fighting-spirit/stars-their-eyes-fsm138

 

The scale stood at 4 stars until March 23, 1981, when we saw Jerry Lawler's match with Terry Funk in Memphis' Mid-South Coliseum. For excitement, intensity of live atmosphere, and aura of violence alongside great work and crowd response, this bout was the greatest spectacle of a wrestling match we had ever seen, and we agreed to award it the first-ever 5 stars. This was the match that broke the scale and became the "greatest wrestling match that has ever been held" to that point in time on the official scale.

 

And I don't think modern NJPW is a significant deviation from 90s AJPW at all. It's a continuation of the direction the style was going in 2000s NOAH. Current NJPW is far closer to King's Road than it is to 80s/90s strong style.

Ok, so it changed in 1981, when I was only 4 months old and there was no internet to house the outrage. Don't see why saying people are annoyed only because it's NJPW.

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Not sure why people are still hung up on the "Dave broke the scale" aspect of this. When Cornette came up with the star system 4 was the max. The idea was when something that was head and shoulders above the previous benchmark, the level would be raised. There's never been any fuss about it until New Japan matches started becoming the ones raising the bar and now people are losing their shit and honestly acting silly over it.

 

I have a theory that a lot of it stems from most folks' intro to non US wrestling being 90s All Japan, either as it was happening or years after the fact via tapes or internet. Most folks have an inherent bias toward what they grew up with/were introduced to and have a kneejerk reaction to the idea that something better might have come along. There's been good matches since then of course, but this is the first time we've had a core group having consistent high level matches on a regular basis since then and some people seem weirdly threatened by it.

I don't know if I totally buy a 4 star scale being the original, since movies and shit are 5 stars, but even if true the bar was raised in 1989 to 5 stars. No one was really around to complain back then. To claim it's because it's NJPW doesn't seem to make sense.

 

 

Siskel and Ebert rated from 0-4 stars. 5 stars seems to be more of a current standard (Amazon, Netlfix)

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I think you might be on to something. People get really really defensive in some places if you mention DragonGate and DDT being bigger companies than All Japan has been in recent years.

 

Who are those people and have they been living under a rock?

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I think you might be on to something. People get really really defensive in some places if you mention DragonGate and DDT being bigger companies than All Japan has been in recent years.

 

Who are those people and have they been living under a rock?

 

 

I have no idea. I'm guessing they don't follow the scene closely. I just know I get weird comments on Reddit from All Japan fanboys if I mention they have to start doing better than DDT before they should be aiming for New Japan.

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I think you might be on to something. People get really really defensive in some places if you mention DragonGate and DDT being bigger companies than All Japan has been in recent years.

Who are those people and have they been living under a rock?

I have no idea. I'm guessing they don't follow the scene closely. I just know I get weird comments on Reddit from All Japan fanboys if I mention they have to start doing better than DDT before they should be aiming for New Japan.

As an all Japan fanboy I can say of course ddt and especially dragon gate are bigger. Ajpw just ran a Korakuen and got 1000 people in for a relitivly weak card, Dragon gate can run one without a single match announced and get 1600+ (they will announce it as 1850 but that is bullshit).

 

Ajpw are the 4th biggest promotion in Japan but are growing quickly so they do have the potential to move past ddt and dragon gate, especially if DG does not recover well from the recent changes. I don't see it happening all to soon as both ddt and DG have very strong core fanbases.

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I'm still amazed that DG keeps working the numbers for their shows :lol:

I love how every Kobe World hall outsells the previous despite them all being sold out. From 2008-2014 the next one outsold the previous by 100 until they get to the point now where they are announcing that they get 9800 in kobe world hall a building that holds 6500 at the most. DG always has huge gaps from the big stage to where the audience seating starts at kobe or dead or alive, final gate, gate of destiny and dangerous gate which is obvious space they are not using.

...

...

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Not sure why people are still hung up on the "Dave broke the scale" aspect of this. When Cornette came up with the star system 4 was the max. The idea was when something that was head and shoulders above the previous benchmark, the level would be raised. There's never been any fuss about it until New Japan matches started becoming the ones raising the bar and now people are losing their shit and honestly acting silly over it.

 

I have a theory that a lot of it stems from most folks' intro to non US wrestling being 90s All Japan, either as it was happening or years after the fact via tapes or internet. Most folks have an inherent bias toward what they grew up with/were introduced to and have a kneejerk reaction to the idea that something better might have come along. There's been good matches since then of course, but this is the first time we've had a core group having consistent high level matches on a regular basis since then and some people seem weirdly threatened by it.

I guess I would qualify as someone who grew up with 90's AJPW. King's Road is the most popular style in the world right now. I don't know about DG with its lucharesu thing, but NJPW, DDT, AJPW, NOAH, and BJW all have clearly styled their big matches after it. It's also had a big influence on US Super Indys and WWE. I also hear there's a big movement among European indies to incorporate it under the erroneous name of "strong style." Not much reason to be resentful about the current scene when nearly every name promotion outside of Mexico seems to be catering its product towards fans of 90's AJPW. If I speak out against newer stuff it's simply because I don't think it's as good as the best of 90's AJPW. Also, I don't think Lawler/Funk was so great it deserved to blow the roof off the 4 star scale, but what's done is done and the 5 star scale is so firmly entrenched that anyone saying a match can blow the roof off of it just looks silly.

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5 stars also feels more natural since the average grading scale is either 10 or 100. You can easily translate ****3/4 to 9.5/10 (thus 95/100, or an A+), whereas a scale based on 6 just feels odd.

 

RE: King's Road everywhere

That may actually be why I don't care for a whole lot of current wrestling as I didn't care too much for 90s AJPW.

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I can't wait to the fuckery that will ensue once Dave goes 7 stars - I personally want him to go 6.75, that would be hilarious on so many levels - but I do hope we don't get discussion n°20 about Dave and his tastes in wrestling in here. At this point we all know the deal, no need to get worked up about it, just have fun as others are the ones losing their shit :lol:

I think it all comes from a place of disappointment, that the top wrestling reporter (or whatever) is essentially Scott Keith.

 

 

I think he's Ebert. As he gets older, he inflates ratings for things he likes.

 

Dave's match ratings don't really have anything to do with him as a reporter, except to the extent some people conflate his ratings with facts, which they aren't.

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