Originally Posted by Hohenheim of Light
Personal opinions can be wrong like everything else. But you misinterpreted my point.
Headbanger Mosh is better than Steve Austin = wrong opinion.
Personal opinions can only ever be "wrong" if they attempt to subjectify an objective analysis.
Personal Opinion #1:
"Doink The Clown was a much better wrestler than Daniel Bryan will ever be!"
Insane and completely inaccurate.
Personal Opinion #2:
"Doink The Clown was a much more entertaining wrestler than Daniel Bryan will ever be!"
I'd personally find this a bit of a muddy water to swim through, but I'd have no qualms with someone saying it.
In these cases personal opinion has relied either on talent (an objective marker) or on entertainment (a subjective marker that the viewer each holds differently). Talent is objective in that you either are a phenomenal worker or you just aren't. Entertainment, however, is left up to viewer preference. Some people love popcorn actions while others like psychological thrillers, that isn't to say a movie from whichever genre is thus better
, the viewer merely finds more enjoyment in it. Likewise, if someone doesn't like popcorn action movies, they should still be able to find the talent in one if its a great movie
Which leads to:
Nice to know personal opinions can be wrong, especially in regard to something as subjective as one's enjoyment of a wrestling match. I've seen people rate Davey/Elgin anywhere from 3.75 to 5, reasoning varying from the selling to the facial expressions and everything in between. There is no such thing as an objectively good, or bad, wrestling match, since everybody watches for different reasons. Even the reasons I watch, from match to match, vary. Sometimes I want to sit back and enjoy the ride, not breaking a match down piece by piece. Other times, depending on my mood, excitement level and emotional investment, I can be a little more critical.
Ah, but there is!
We merely pollute our views with our subjective biases. It's only human to do so. An objectively perfect match is, thus, one that doesn't have faults or gaffes, is worked excellently, has strong structure and meaning behind its spots. At the surface that seemingly removes "spotfests" from the concept of a "perfect match", and I'd have agreed (I was in two minds in writing that sentence, already) but there does lie one example in recent memory to make justice to my point - Steen/Generico from PWG SteenWolf.
I can't remember who I had the argument with (bigbuxxx?), but it was this exact point. It was a spotfest, "spots" were used in beautiful excess, but they all had meaning behind them. They all added to the story that the title was secondary to the main objective in killing their opponent. After all, why is the word "spotfest" synonymous with "meaningless fun"? When did it stop being both fun and well-worked? Subjectively, an average-worked spotfest can be immensely entertaining, but a spotfest can also be objectively great, too, albeit possibly harder to do (?).
The second dimension to wrestling, though, is what creates the biggest incongruences amongst its fans - that of subjective enjoyment which you've pushed in the latter part of your post:
To the point, I don't blame people for being critical. Obviously selling and expressions and pacing and structure all are important factors in any match, but I maintain that it's possible to be too critical. Maybe it's just me and my simple mind, but I don't always look for that stuff when I watch. Occasionally I do, but most times I like sitting on my couch, turning up the volume and taking it all in at a more surface value. Rather than asking myself questions like, "Did Punk sell his arm as much as he should have?" and "Did Davey hold that facial expression long enough to make the submission believable?" I ask myself THIS question: "Am I enjoying myself?" While I'd agree there are a number of smaller factors that make up my overall level of enjoyment, I don't pay mind to those. I don't go into viewing with a number of qualifiers that must be met in order for me to enjoy myself. It is possible to just sit back and mindlessly consume a product, which is why I have no problem eating up a good spot fest from time to time. They're like the popcorn action movies on wrestling, replacing an overage of unnecessary explosions with, well, an overage of unnecessary spots.
It depends on how you view things. Maybe I'm not conditioned enough to appreciate all the subtleties and nuances of wrestling yet, which leads me to take a broader approach to my viewing. But I've found more enjoyment in that -- and, again, that's just me. When I'm able to watch a match and keep an open mind, I always have more fun than if I sat down with a pen and paper, taking off points for minor gaffes here and there. That's my opinion. Find it as hilarious or "wrong" as you'd like, but just know I'd rather be stupid and have a reason for it than be smart and back it up with nothing. So, I'm wrong. You didn't explain why. Fancy argument there.
Woah! You don't need to be conditioned to do anything. I'm actually glad you have a differing opinion. It's created quite a lengthy debate that otherwise would have been filled with (possibly) asinine posts merely spouting random numbers of collected *'s after bolded titles and with no meaning behind them.
debate > random rating droppings, imo. I don't think it's going to do so here, but it can help open our eyes to a new way of viewing something. At the very least, though, I think this will all help us understand each others opinions in future matches and why we rated them as such (and especially in what matches to look out for, as we roughly now know our subjective differences).
I'll admit to the pen and paper scenario. I do it at times, but this is only if I'm going to review it at length. I don't instinctively wait for each moment and tick it off against the box, but if a moment blows my mind (or, inversely, makes me cringe) I'll write it down. It's merely something I can go back to after the match so I can, in sum, tot up my feelings on it in a coherent and articulated manner that is free from random interjection of thought and criticism/praise. Perhaps others can write/review, perfectly, ad lib but I cannot. But do not confuse this for me having a printed out ticker-list of "sells fear", "facial expression" and "bleeds the correct shade of sanguine" which I mark each match against, because I don't.
Perhaps, to you, I try to objectify my ratings too much with entertainment stemming from the nuances and "flawlessness" rather than "flawless matches" stemming from my entertainment. But I'd much rather be at this point than simply rate something on how much I enjoy it. To me, a review is meant to be critical and be as least bias (and, thus, as least subjective) as possible. It's meant to be a go-to for someone else in seeing how great a match truly is, not how much the reviewer enjoyed it (even if that's what it inherently comes down to being as a match is meant to suck you into its soul).
The objective does make my subjective, thus. A wrestlers emotions and his selling lead to building his plight. A plight that makes me sit on the edge of my seat and root for him in attaining victory, in overcoming the odds. That makes me feel like nothing else matters, and that wrestler represents me (as weird as it sounds) and him winning means everything. It's a slow process with each nuance adding to the build, and each stark contrast detracting from it. That's what makes me go batshit-bananas for a match. When I'm in the match, and I don't feel like I'm merely watching (with however much enjoyment) from a cinema seat, I know its done what it was meant to do. But that's just me
In my view, selling shouldn't be treated the same as every where else. Like how you wouldn't see a guy no sell in the WWE like you would you see a guy in NOAH or old school AJPW. It is two completely different environments. Like I never got how people would go bonkers about Super Kicks not being sold crazy in other places where it is only in the WWE that the move is such a big deal and it is in the same category is as the lariat is in the WWE(Every other place goes crazy for it but in WWE, it is just a clothesline). So in the case of Richards vs. Elgin where Elgin pops up after a German Suplex, I don't mind because it's indy and that is something I, as well as I think everyone, should come to expect. Not WWE where they are built around that sort of style(Which is a style I love btw). No selling was actually one of my criticisms of the highly praised Rollins vs. Ambrose match last year where Ambrose no sold a Super Kick. That's a move that made no sense especially when it is guys being developed into stars for World Wrestling Entertainment and are reverting back to how they work elsewhere instead of adapting to the proper setting.
Point is not everyone should be nailed to a cross for how another company does their business. That being said, I do believe there are certain rules in wrestling and certain things that should be placed in the proper position. Like timing is one of them. One of my biggest criticisms of Sami vs. Finlay in Evolve this year is Sami's constant use of the middle finger and his shitty facial expressions when Finlay was doing his work over segment(Made him a terrible FIP). If you want something to come off as a big deal and a great character moment, you have to put them in the proper place no matter what. Like Richards spitting in KENTA's face and flipping him off before KENTA started playing Soccer with his Skull at Supercard of Honor was a fantastic moment. That moment when Kobashi got slapped by Joe and you can sense the ass beating rage coming from within Kobashi(Best facial reaction guy in fucking history btw) sent electricity through the crowd. If you do these things all the time, the moments don't come off as special and instead become of a poor presentation of what could of been done better had it been handled properly. Would HBK/Undertaker II really had that climatic end had HBK been doing that throat slash throughout the whole match? Would Triple H doing that DX Chop really come off as that big of a deal had he been using during each and every time Taker had control? No.
I actually had this somewhat written in to my other post, but I thought I'd remove it from keeping the post from being too long. I do agree with your first paragraph completely, and it is how I approach certain promotions. RoH for wrestling perfectionism, and WWE for sport-entertainment.
Completely agree with every single word you wrote here, the Sami stuff especially. I fucking despise him constantly sticking his middle finger up in like, every match when he's being worked over. It's fucking pathetic and just makes you want to see him get legit beaten up, when he's supposed to be the FIP.
You see, the thing is, Sami is not a babyface in EVOLVE, and he's not "supposed to be the FIP". He's an annoying DUF heel that people want to see knocked the fuck out, and good old Finlay just gives people what they want. He's like Vegas of pro wrestling.
Firstly, what is a FIP and DUF?
Secondly, a great heel is a master manipulator of the crowd. He makes them despise him because of his character. What I believe Capone and JoeRulz to mean is that they wish for him to be beaten up simply because of his continuous over-usage of the same shtick, not because he's effectively working a heel persona. When the crowd hates you for being shit it doesn't mean you're good, it means you're, well, shit.
I'm not one to call Sami that, but I can see their argument holding ground. He does do it in every
match that he plays subservience in. Even his DDT4 matches. Though Steen viciously biting into his finger was a nice crowd-pleaser.