A) I do appreciate that you don't just throw snowflakes at matches without logic, or just based on how much of a buzz you get from them. I think there's been a star rating inflation with matches like Taker/HHH getting 4.75-5 stars simply because they go a certain amount of time, and incorporating a base line of brutality. Sometimes it seems like a match going 20+ minutes gets and automatic 3.5 stars, and containing a certain number of spots automatically bumps it up to 4. So I do appreciate your method, even if I don't agree with all of it.
B) Your point of selling the fear is valid, but I think you might be expecting a bit much. I like to point to the Danielson/KENTA match for this. Danielson (yes I'm using his old name) was injured, and still could do a number of moves with his legit injured shoulder. I know that selling is based on what the audience expects, and therefore selling to communicate to the audience is more important than "realism", but I think there's a lot of leeway in here. You brought up Punk not selling on getting Bryan in the fireman's carry (at least I believe that's what you were referencing)but I think Punk did a lot of selling the ribs throughout, so I was ok with it. He was slower on climbing the turn buckles etc. Same with Bryan and selling the leg. He brings it out at certain points to remind the audience that he does actually have a leg thing, and that he can only overcome it with an adrenaline burst (like he gets near the end of the match). A lot of people said that Bryan wasn't selling the leg properly, but sometimes I wonder if they were expecting Bryan to not be able to use the leg at all.
Ah, I do believe you have my point confused.
When I say "selling fear" I don't mean selling of anything physical (say injury, as was the case with Danielson) but rather something more psychologically based. Selling, in this case, is something precursor to the actual move being fully executed and, for me, anyway, helps add a sense of danger or effectiveness to said move. It shows that Wrestler B (the one the move is being done to
) is fearful of what Wrestler A (the wrestler in control and executing the move) is doing, and is trying his hardest to avoid it, and not simply allowing the move to be done to him. Realistically, in a fight, you won't let your opponent land unnecessary offence on you without struggling against it. It just nails home that the move in question has damage-capability and isn't merely choreographed gymnastics (which wrestling is, but should never be portrayed as
). It's the opposing wrestler struggling while Bret Hart applies his sharpshooter. A weakened wrestler squirming his way out of a fireman carry that precedes the GTS. A wrestler, knowing his end is near, struggling in vain as The Undertaker grips his neck and goes for the chokeslam. John Cena covering his face while Brock lays waste with vicious strikes (though in this case the strikes weren't kayfabe, but the point stands).
After all, imagine what the sport would be like if every move was accompanied with as much emotive feeling as this guy brings:
I'd dare to say it would be a very bland sport, indeed.
Wrestling is as technical as it is psychological
Wrestling is as physical as it is emotional
Does anybody rate matches by how much they enjoy them anymore? Putting all these rules to wrestling really kills the fun of it, at least for me. "You MUST sell this, you MUST hold this facial expression, you CAN'T do this..."
If a facial expression ruins an entire match for you, man, I don't even know anymore. It's like the difference between going to movies because you want to see the movie, and going to movies because you're a critic. Difference is the former enjoys what he's watching while the latter doesn't and is doing it for the paycheck. In my opinion, of course. I just think nitpicking every minute detail of every minute of a match kills it. Sometimes it's just more fun to sit back and enjoy the ride.
I'll take that as a dig at my "selling fear" proposition.
That said, do such things hinder a match significantly for me? No, but a match cannot be in the upper echelons if it doesn't have it. What seperates "perfect" from "excellent" is (on its surface) so miniscule I can imagine it wouldn't mean much to most, but it's the nuances that make the match so much more enjoyable for me. Maybe I'm sadistic in my technicalities but I'm overly critical in my approach to everything. Star ratings, by their fundamental nature, involve reviewing and critiquing a match, not simply showing how much we enjoy it, after all
Just because a match needs X, Y and Z to get itself ***** it doesn't mean I'm constantly looking for it in every match. Likewise, just because a match receives a * rating it doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it or find it iconic in terms of its historic value (I'm over-exaggerating to make a point, obviously a * star match would, normally, be some banal opener, a (boring) spotfest or a Davey Richards match (kidding)). Eric Young matches are my guilty pleasure. They're not technical masterpieces nor blow-away performances but they are comedically entertaining to no end. For many weeks (or even months) his segments would be the best part of Impact, for me, and I'd continue with a pathetic episode purely because I knew, at least, he would make my stomach ache from laughing.
All that said I do find entertainment in the subtleties. It's the little nuances that make wrestling unique for me and a pleasure to watch some wrestlers over others. It's also these things that aren't limited to a specific wrestling genre (would style be a better word?) so I don't have to suspend too much of my likes for any specific promotion.
This sprint entertains me (at surface value) more than most matches because it satisfies the lazier part of me. This match is the fast food world of wrestling and delivers, at speed, something of somewhat decent value.
This match, however, is home-made, gourmet cooking. It takes longer to enjoy, it takes more effort, too, but the end result is so much more rewarding than a simple Big Mac with jalapenos and a smidgen of mayonnaise.
Also, basically what Yeah1993 said.
Anyway, back on topic:
PWG - DDT4 2012 - Future Shock (Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly) vs. Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Stupefied)
God I love the Super Smash Bros. I don't think Future Shock should have been broken up and feuding, well they aren't PWG, but you know what I mean, there was a few sloppy moments in the final 10 minutes, but the finish was awesome, pretty damn good match ****
People need to stop being ass-clowns and just watch DDT4 already!