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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may seem like a completely ignorant question and I apologize I guess, but I've been watching WWE since it was the WWF and I mean I can obviously tell that the product has gone downhill from a wrestling standpoint. My problem I guess is in trying to figure out WHY certain bouts are bad or why one wrestler is good or bad in the ring.

I mean there's a few obvious things I can pick out, but I always think of them as related more to booking than I do to the individuals competing like:

-Tag matches with the same structure every time out, just maybe having a different finish. (You know...heels dominate one face at first, multiple tags, face gets close to tagging, then finally face reverses something and gets the tag to the hot partner who takes out both heels, then finish.)
-Same can go for singles matches
-No selling and botches, etc.

I mean, I read a lot of praise for Dibiase vs. Daniels on Superstars and so I watched it and I have to agree that it was an impressive match for both, I just can't perfectly articulate why and I'm hoping someone could possibly help me there.

Again, I apologize if this comes across as a stupid question/request.
 

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If I knew, I wouldn't be sitting here talking about it. I'd be out there making millions of dollars.

Long story short: it's an art, not a science. There is no checklist of what makes a great match. You just know it when you see it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If I knew, I wouldn't be sitting here talking about it. I'd be out there making millions of dollars.

Long story short: it's an art, not a science. There is no checklist of what makes a great match. You just know it when you see it.
I hate to point out the obvious but both art and science can and are analyzed...very often.

Hence art criticism, literary criticism, etc.

I mean you can go and say that art isn't a science, it's an art. That's not going to change the fact that you can examine the piece and point out: use of color, strong themes being present, good precision in the handiwork of an artist, etc.

There's no checklist in art either. Both terms (Science and Art) are defined pretty subjectively. Some people say there's a science to acting, others call it an art. They're both referring to a creative process and technique.

If I wasn't clear on this point: I'm not asking what makes a match like Wrestlemania III's Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat stand out, I'm asking what makes a standard regular match, something you might catch on the midcard of a monday night RAW, a solid enjoyable match? What is it that a viewer sees that makes them go "hmmm...you know that was a pretty good match. Dolph Ziggler(or whoever) is quite talented."

The only reason I even ask is because it's not like there's an overabundance of nonsellers or botch artists (Oh...David Otunga....:no:) in the WWE these days, and yet people will still call certain "superstars" untalented or boring in the ring. Yet isn't that moreso up to the booking as opposed to the individuals in a match? I mean if WWE creative wants John Cena to win every match after hitting his "5-moves of doom" isn't that their choice and not his? How does that make him untalented?


And as for the poster who said, "good wrestlers wrestling"

Well what makes a "good" wrestler?

Although that was a pretty funny response, and it would fit into a twelve days of christmas parody. "Six wrestlers wrestling, five stone cold stunnersss"

Not great, but you get the point.
 

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..........okay.



I think I'm on different drugs than you are.
 

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I hate to point out the obvious but both art and science can and are analyzed...very often.

Hence art criticism, literary criticism, etc.

I mean you can go and say that art isn't a science, it's an art. That's not going to change the fact that you can examine the piece and point out: use of color, strong themes being present, good precision in the handiwork of an artist, etc.

There's no checklist in art either. Both terms (Science and Art) are defined pretty subjectively. Some people say there's a science to acting, others call it an art. They're both referring to a creative process and technique.

If I wasn't clear on this point: I'm not asking what makes a match like Wrestlemania III's Randy Savage vs Ricky Steamboat stand out, I'm asking what makes a standard regular match, something you might catch on the midcard of a monday night RAW, a solid enjoyable match? What is it that a viewer sees that makes them go "hmmm...you know that was a pretty good match. Dolph Ziggler(or whoever) is quite talented."

The only reason I even ask is because it's not like there's an overabundance of nonsellers or botch artists (Oh...David Otunga....:no:) in the WWE these days, and yet people will still call certain "superstars" untalented or boring in the ring. Yet isn't that moreso up to the booking as opposed to the individuals in a match? I mean if WWE creative wants John Cena to win every match after hitting his "5-moves of doom" isn't that their choice and not his? How does that make him untalented?


And as for the poster who said, "good wrestlers wrestling"

Well what makes a "good" wrestler?

Although that was a pretty funny response, and it would fit into a twelve days of christmas parody. "Six wrestlers wrestling, five stone cold stunnersss"

Not great, but you get the point.
this pretty much nails it, its all subjective when it comes to who/what makes a good wrestling promotiom/match/wrestler.

Some think that the world of wrestling begins and ends with the WWE others choose anything but the WWE, like TNA, ROH, PWG, Japan, Mexico.

Wrestling matches/wrestlers are even more subjective, some believe that Cena's 5 moves of doom are the greatest think since the invention of the IPOD other consider him the worse wrestler of all time and on the flip side many think Brian Danielson is the best wrestler at the moment because they enjoy his technical skills while others want him to cut a decent promo and interact with the crowd and if he doesn't he's awful. Some people like story lines others just want less talk more wrestling its all subjective.

Heck I've chatted with people after PPV's and shows and you'll get 5 different opinions from the worst ever to the best ever from one show.

I personally watch all types of wrestling, I grow frustrated from time to time with main stream wrestling and prefer Indies, Japan and Mexico but I watch it all. What I consider a great match is when the wrestlers go all out and put their bodies on the line to entertain whether its in front of 20 or 10,000 people, they just want to entertain.

As for wrestlers I prefer the guys like Low Ki, Kevin Steen, CM Punk guys who are innovative and put their bodies on the line and the guys that put their lives and trust in another wrestler to pull off a holy crap move, those to me are good wrestlers.

The bottom line is its all up to you and what entertains you that makes it a good/great match/wrestler/promotion.
 

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@delecast
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tl;dr thread

At the end of the day it comes down to a few simple things:

1. Getting the fans behind you or against you.
2. Getting the fans to come watch you win or get beat.
3. Delivering in the ring.
 

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Is a Snit Head
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3 things make a great match. The moves they do, the story they tell in the ring, and the psychology.

The moves are pretty simple to explain, I like matches with cool spots or something that just really surprises me.

I think story telling is the most important. If I can summarize a match without listing spots they probably told a great story. Cage of Death I think is the perfect example. I know I posted a review of it but it's not in the star ratings thread :no:.... I'm looking at you Platt..... but I'm pretty sure I went into great length on the match but didn't really mention too many spots. Now this match had barbed wire being used and all sorts of Hardcore stuff. But I talked about how Bryan Danielson committed the biggest dick move ever and betrayed ROH so he could fight a weakened Samoa Joe for the title. Or I talked about how Team ROH was done for but it was the returning Homicide that saved them from losing to CZW. I think someone put it best when they said you could write a novel using the same exact story that the match had.

For me match psychology is a simple question. Does it make sense what they're doing? Samoa Joe putting his feet on the ropes to try and pin Punk during their last match is the best example that I can think of. Something so minor really meant a lot. Joe was a fucking monster, nobody could beat him yet he had to resort to cheating to try to beat Punk.

I think all the matches that I've rated 5* have all of these. Most recent was Steen and Generico. The moves they did were insane. The feud had been built so well for so long that telling a story in the ring was pretty easy. It was a simple story too; they really hated each other and wanted to kill each other. They reverted back to a lot of the spots from their previous matches. Generico ending the feud the way it started was the perfect way to end the feud.


I hope what I just said makes sense. It's a good question because everyone knows what they think is a good match but it's not the easiest thing to put into words.
 

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tl;dr thread
At the end of the day it comes down to a few simple things:

1. Getting the fans behind you or against you.
2. Getting the fans to come watch you win or get beat.
3. Delivering in the ring.
That's pretty much it. I think a lot depends on what we expect out of a wrestling match. Personally, I appreciate the new stuff (it's sad how I consider anything after 2000 new, lol) but I love the old school the most so might look for things in a match another person may not and vice-versa.

I think one of the main problems in wrestling is when promoters insult the intelligence of the fans. I believe that if a match is botched or doesn't make sense it should be converted into something funny or made right (e.g if a wrestler misjudges a move then his opponent doesn't have to sell/oversell it).
 

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I think story telling is the most important. If I can summarize a match without listing spots they probably told a great story. Cage of Death I think is the perfect example. I know I posted a review of it but it's not in the star ratings thread :no:.... I'm looking at you Platt..... but I'm pretty sure I went into great length on the match but didn't really mention too many spots. Now this match had barbed wire being used and all sorts of Hardcore stuff. But I talked about how Bryan Danielson committed the biggest dick move ever and betrayed ROH so he could fight a weakened Samoa Joe for the title. Or I talked about how Team ROH was done for but it was the returning Homicide that saved them from losing to CZW. I think someone put it best when they said you could write a novel using the same exact story that the match had.
I am a fan of both hardcore and spot wrestling but usually there is no psychology in these matches. It's basically one-upmanship from one wrestler to another. Spot wrestling involves beautiful moves and almost ballet like timing but it's the same thing...One man does a crazy move, the other pretty much bounces back up after being hit by it and performs another equally if not more crazy move in return ad nauseum until the resulted pin.

Hardcore wrestling is the same. One man hits somebody with a baseball bat, then the other returns the compliment by whacking him over the head with a 2 by 4 with barbed wire around it and then the other will retaliate by putting someone through a table and then the other will do the same but this time put lighter fluid over it...

I saw a clip recently on Youtube of a newly retired wrestler (and for good reason he broke his back and sternum) called 'Thumbtack Jack' and he got powerbombed onto some cinderblocks! Where does it all end shortly before killing someone outright in the ring? How big does a ladder have to be, how many tables does a person have to go through before his match can be classed as great?

For me match psychology is a simple question. Does it make sense what they're doing? Samoa Joe putting his feet on the ropes to try and pin Punk during their last match is the best example that I can think of. Something so minor really meant a lot. Joe was a fucking monster, nobody could beat him yet he had to resort to cheating to try to beat Punk.
I agree. This is all about establishing roles but the problem is the bookers keep trying to establish the roles when they have already been established. Imagine if Earthquake back in the day did that against Hercules in his Wrestlemania 6 match. It would look really stupid and negate his finishing move which was the sitdown/vertical splash.

I hope what I just said makes sense. It's a good question because everyone knows what they think is a good match but it's not the easiest thing to put into words.
Very true.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you guys for the detailed responses. I enjoyed reading them and your insights.

@TaylorFitz: Would you mind sharing a few of the 5 star matches in your mind?
 
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Death Before Dishonor Dishonor 3 or 4 (can't remember which) Team ROH vs. Team CZW Cage of Death
Danielson/Morishima Final Battle 2008 Fight With Honor
Steen/Generico Final Battle 2009 Fight Without Honor
Punk/Joe II
One of the Flair/Steamboat matches, I can never remember which show it's at but it's the one where they had the judges at ringside in case the match went to a draw.
Shawn/Undertaker Wrestlemania 26
Triple H/Austin 3 Stages of Hell from No Mercy 2001 (I think)
Austin/Hart Submission Match Wrestlemania 13
Bret/Owen Wrestlemania 10

I feel like I'm missing some but those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. And a lot of them are hardcore matches I know but it's because they're Hardcore matches that really mean something is why they have the rating.
 

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One of the Flair/Steamboat matches, I can never remember which show it's at but it's the one where they had the judges at ringside in case the match went to a draw.
I think you meant all 3 of the Flair/Steamboat matches in 1989.

Actually, that match (the last one, from Wrestlewar) is my least favorite of The Trilogy. But that's like saying Reverse Cowgirl is my least favorite position, you know what I'm saying? I love them all.
 

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What makes good matches?
Psychology, creativity, credibility, good chemistry between the wrestlers, well it's obvious but I guess there is no solution or any kind of "the perfect answer" on this. This is only what i take into account. Dragon Gate guys can jump, fly and spot as high as they want, but if there's no selling and no psychology at all it's just like a circus to me. Cool and great looking moves are a good thing but less important if you take care of realism.

What makes good wrestlers?
Being credible, being able to make fans hate or love you AND being able to wrestle.

I saw a clip recently on Youtube of a newly retired wrestler (and for good reason he broke his back and sternum) called 'Thumbtack Jack' and he got powerbombed onto some cinderblocks! Where does it all end shortly before killing someone outright in the ring? How big does a ladder have to be, how many tables does a person have to go through before his match can be classed as great?
Although I'm not interested in Ultra Violent Garbage I know him well, he's a german wrestler and from what I have seen he wasn't able to work a good match without hardcore rules which is, well, a reason to call him a bad wrestler IMO. If you compare him to the likes of Drake Younger or Eddie Kingston he wasn't in the same league since these guys CAN actually wrestle without throwing their bodies through tables. It's doubtful if UV even can be considered as wrestling in general, but I guess I'm getting of the subject.
 

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Death Before Dishonor Dishonor 3 or 4 (can't remember which) Team ROH vs. Team CZW Cage of Death
Danielson/Morishima Final Battle 2008 Fight With Honor
Steen/Generico Final Battle 2009 Fight Without Honor
Punk/Joe II
One of the Flair/Steamboat matches, I can never remember which show it's at but it's the one where they had the judges at ringside in case the match went to a draw.
Shawn/Undertaker Wrestlemania 26
Triple H/Austin 3 Stages of Hell from No Mercy 2001 (I think)
Austin/Hart Submission Match Wrestlemania 13
Bret/Owen Wrestlemania 10

I feel like I'm missing some but those are the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. And a lot of them are hardcore matches I know but it's because they're Hardcore matches that really mean something is why they have the rating.
WrestleWar 89 was the one with the judges at ringside. The 3 Stages Of Hell match was from No Way Out 2001 not No Mercy 2001 too btw.

On the UltraViolent topic, anyone can fall of a building and go through a glass table covered in tacks. The trick is making people care about you falling off a building and going through a glass table covered in tacks.

There isn't a definitive answer to the question anyway. There's way too many intangibles to come close to having a correct answer. It depends on so much stuff like the style of wrestling and most importantly your audience for it. If you can entertain your audience on a consistent basis and make them give you money for that entertainment then that's about as good as you can get.
 

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I think you meant all 3 of the Flair/Steamboat matches in 1989.

Actually, that match (the last one, from Wrestlewar) is my least favorite of The Trilogy. But that's like saying Reverse Cowgirl is my least favorite position, you know what I'm saying? I love them all.
Unfortunately, the only Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair match I have seen was The Chi-Town Rumble (the match where Flair comes to the ring with the ladies). Absolutely brilliant - about 23 mins of solid action.

I would love to see the other matches.
 

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Although I'm not interested in Ultra Violent Garbage I know him well, he's a german wrestler and from what I have seen he wasn't able to work a good match without hardcore rules which is, well, a reason to call him a bad wrestler IMO. If you compare him to the likes of Drake Younger or Eddie Kingston he wasn't in the same league since these guys CAN actually wrestle without throwing their bodies through tables. It's doubtful if UV even can be considered as wrestling in general, but I guess I'm getting of the subject.
That makes sense. I feel bad for these 'wrestlers' because in a way, even though they chose their vocation in life, they came on the scene at a time where garbage wrestling became mainstream (1998-ish?).

As said before, I'm quite content seeing a wrestler get hit with objects and going through tables. I loved ECW back in the day, in fact one of the funniest things I saw was watching Tommy Rich getting walloped over the head with a guitar, lol. However, if these wrestlers did train efficiently they could entertain a crowd and not have to retire so quickly.
 

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I think one of the only real answers is......

Personal opinion.
 

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Unfortunately, the only Ricky Steamboat vs Ric Flair match I have seen was The Chi-Town Rumble (the match where Flair comes to the ring with the ladies). Absolutely brilliant - about 23 mins of solid action.

I would love to see the other matches.
Keep posting, my man. Get up to 50 posts or whatever, hit up the multimedia section, and go to town. You NEED to see those matches, especially if you're into old school (and who isn't?).

Or just buy the Ultimate Flair Collection and the Rise and Fall of WCW, which are totally worth the $15 or whatever you'd pay for them used off Amazon.
 
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