VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

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VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri May 25, 2018 8:12 pm

This week on the Voices of Wrestling Flagship Podcast, we break down the Top 20 Wrestler of the Year candidates as chosen by you, the listener. What names stood out to us, who were surprises and what names were left off the list.

We also talk FOX billion dollar deal, OTT, RevPro, and review last week's ROH, MLW, and Impact TV shows.

A loaded spray to all fields show, all ad free!

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by supersonic » Fri May 25, 2018 9:22 pm

Current news analysis shortly before the 90-minute mark.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by Ckkj14 » Fri May 25, 2018 9:28 pm

Thought Colin Cowherd was doing the flagship for a while with that basketball talk!

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat May 26, 2018 4:42 am

Someone on Twitter said Seth Rollins not being in the Top 40 was extreme. I figured I'd compile a list of every wrestler that I think is DEFINITELY having a better year than Seth, bell to bell, and see if I was indeed being unfair. Here we go. No particular order.

1. Ospreay
2. Okada
3. ZSJ
4. Gargano
5. WALTER
6. Ibushi
7. Ishikawa
8. Almas
9. Miyahara
10. Suzuki
11. Omega
12. Tanahashi
13. Roddy
14. Riddle
15. Matt Jackson
16. Nick Jackson
17. Sho
18. Yoh
19. Scurll
20. Hiromu
21. KUSHIDA
22. Doering
23. Keith Lee
24. Juice
25. Ishii
26. A. Black

To me those 26, off the top of my head, are DEFINITELY having better years. Everyone on that list has peaked higher at some point and also has some volume.

Here are some names that are having about the same quality of year as Rollins. Some have peaked higher but lack volume, like Naito for instance. I'm being generous to Rollins in a few cases as I prefer a lot of these years to his, but to be fair I'll give Rollins benefit of the doubt for volume for his TV stuff that i'm not quite as high on as others.

1. Naito (Okada match smokes anything Rollins has done)
2. Marufuji (Carnival vs Akiyama & Carnival final both smoke Rollins best)
3. Aries
4. Styles
5. Nak
6. Pentagon
7. Strickland
8. Ishimori
9. Goto (really should be on the first list because nothing Rollins has done can sniff the Suzuki match and imo the Juice match beats Rollins best)
10. Nomura
11. Despy (again, probably belongs on the first list, he's got a ton of 4+ stuff in tags and now singles with BOSJ)
12. White (Rollins top stuff is about as good as White's supposed letdown matches against Finlay & Page)
13. Ced
14. Ali
15. Cole
16. Akiyama (Carnival vs Maru smokes Seth's best)

Here are the guys I think are probably a shade below Rollins, but I wouldn't fight you if you thought they were having better years. I can't say myself I'd take any of these over Seth.

1. ACH
2. Flip
3. Shingo
4. Takeshita (haven't seen enough)
5. Fenix
6. Dragon Lee (haven't seen enough, but I'm willing to bet if I had he'd be higher)
7. Sekimoto
8. Henare (his rank & file work is every bit as good as Rollins TV stuff. Rollins has more peaks as Henare only has the Ishii match)
9. Finlay
10. Yoshitatsu (his highs are high but his lows are FUCKING GARBAGE)
11. Punishment Martinez (lacks volume & consistency, Rollins is just way better)
12. Gresham (great work, not enough chances to really shine, at least that I've witnessed)
13. Page
14. Suwama
15. Zeus
16. Starr
17. Gulak (gun to my head...)
18. Murphy (lacks volume)
19. Miz (he's in all of the Rollins matches that everyone likes)
20. Balor

I'll stop there, names coming to mind now would be pushing it. I'm sure I forgot a few people.

You guys be the judge, I don't know if I could say 40, but it would be close.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by ceftaxias » Sat May 26, 2018 4:57 am

I'm not gonna do spreadsheet math at this point in the year but Asuka is the first person that comes to mind for me as a Most Outstanding candidate. A lady wrestler from the nefarious main roster, so there's that. Doesn't have any Long Epics but that's not exactly a criticism to some of us weirdos.

Agreed with more burials on this ep than usual. The only people I've seen online who also don't get Ilja are you and Childs from PWO. Otherwise he seems to be over with everyone else, and whenever I've seen him I'm just actively looking for what everyone else sees, I wasn't even into the big WALTER match last year. One of the rare guys in wrestling where I don't understand the appeal at all. And I say that as someone who's favourite Euro promotion is wXw and thinks they have some pretty good homegrown guys.

And then Seth Rollins is another one, it's wild what a Thing he's become with the hardcore WWE guys, which you could borderline categorize me as because I just don't agree that they're on a bad run for in-ring. But anyway, are we just gonna ignore that he doesn't sell and almost everything he does offensively looks weak as shit? I get that not everyone cares about that and just like drama and athletic spots, but even from that perspective it seems disingenuous to put him above X number of guys out there wrestling an athletic style. It feels like because he's the most athletic WWE guy who has volume and is booked in longer matches of decent importance, he's just become the default #1 for that camp. Hard no on Rollins for me, if you want extreme, I'm not saying I'd add another zero to the #40 range you'd have him at, but I'm not not saying that either.

I think Tessa's good from what I've seen of her though.
Last edited by ceftaxias on Sat May 26, 2018 10:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat May 26, 2018 5:10 am

Dead on with Rollins. He's the guy the WWE hardcores have to hang their hat on, because guys like AJ & Roman are having down years, and he's the guy in the long workratey matches.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat May 26, 2018 5:18 am

Here's the thing about WWE main roster. I wouldn't call it a bad run either. It just doesn't peak super high very much over the last two years or so. There hasn't been a classic match on the main roster in forever. Pretty amazing when you look at the roster and how they almost never have bad matches that don't involve Jinder.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by suplexberry » Sat May 26, 2018 9:36 am

Re: Ilja [ill-ya]

I think his is a mix of having followed the story (as many passionate fans of wXw have over the years) but also just the immediate intensity the guy has that sucks in newer fans who haven't followed the story. But something as vague as "intensity" is never going to be something you can see if you don't see it to begin with and have watched plenty of his stuff already. This somewhat reminds of me of when Haskins caught fire in PROGRESS and trying to explain why to somebody who just didn't see it. I can't put it into words, because it's not "you had to be there" but then, maybe it kind of is? When Haskins caught fire it just felt like his journey made perfect sense, he was the right guy in the right company and his matches hit all the right keys for him to finally cap it off by holding the title. Similarly with Ilja, there's that fight and that fire and that effort and mood that just gets you behind him. (And actually another similarity is the unfortunately timed injury and incredible comeback moment. I hope Ilja's story goes places different than Haskins' though, whose moment seemed to have passed when he came back in PROGRESS.)

I think Ospreay is a great pick. I would speak up for Ishikawa, purely on the basis of consistency. The man does not have bad matches. Shingo Takagi vs Ishikawa is the standout by far but everything else he's been involved in has been great, albeit on an indy level.

The Tag Team of the Year discussion might be pretty boring. Young Bucks is the arguable #1, both in terms of match quality, popularity and box office. I still rate both the 3K matches very highly.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat May 26, 2018 12:44 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:Dead on with Rollins. He's the guy the WWE hardcores have to hang their hat on, because guys like AJ & Roman are having down years, and he's the guy in the long workratey matches.
WWE this year is having the same issue it had last year with regard to great singles matches. Too many main events are multi man matches and those that aren't haven't delivered. Mania could have changed the narrative, but neither big title match delivered to that level.

Rolins is probably the guy who is most over on RAW so that mean most over in WWE. Depending on where they go with Bryan, that can obviously change over the next few months, but right now, he's consistently great in the ring and seems to have surpassed Braun in terms of the person people want to see as 'the guy.' Which is a testament to him since he was pretty cold this time last year.

Like I said elsewhere, Riddle deserves better than you gave him credit for. He's basically killing it everywhere he wrestles. He doesn't have the exposure Ospreay does-and I agree that as of now this is his year-but he's certainly worth tier 2 if not tier 1.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat May 26, 2018 12:48 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:Here's the thing about WWE main roster. I wouldn't call it a bad run either. It just doesn't peak super high very much over the last two years or so. There hasn't been a classic match on the main roster in forever. Pretty amazing when you look at the roster and how they almost never have bad matches that don't involve Jinder.
I have 10 WWE main roster matches rated 4 or better. 3 are 4 1/4 or better (2 if you don't count 205 live which I do). Best one is the men's rumble which I had at 4 1/2.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Sat May 26, 2018 3:30 pm

I think my top 5 for WOTY if it ended today would have to be:
1) Ospreay
2) ZSJ( very close two)
3) Walter
4) Riddle
5) Okada
Wildcard) Omega

Ospreay Outlook: Just looking at the calendar year schedule you can see that Ospreay’s biggest challenge is going to be keeping momentum after the Cow Palace Show in NJPW. G1 will happen and that will suck away all his interest. If he doesn’t lose the Jr title he probably has 3 more title defenses before WK13 but he very well may not have the same level of dance partner as Hiromu, Kushida, and Marty. There also won’t be a Wrestlemania weekend looming for him to get a ton of shine. Now he could always pick up the slack in U.K./Irish promotions or spotlight Australia again. If he came in and worked some notable places in America it wouldn’t hurt either.

ZSJ’s Outlook: ZSJ has already done the hard part in that he has performed great and kayfabe wise he has narrative shape his resume around. To put it another way, let’s say at the end of year a new fan or a lapsed fan asks what did this ZSJ fan do that was so special this year, you would tell him that he won the New Japan Cup, Strong Style 16, and had a great running story on Wrestlemania weekend. Throw in what might happen in the G1, any subsequent G1 matches, and fact that he is headlining Wembley in Progress biggest show ever and he will have a lot to point to.

Walter’s Outlook: Walter is basically the western audience’s Ishikawa. Walter works in more notable places that get western audience eyeballs( Evolve, Progress, PWG, WXW) so his great matches get more juice on them. I think if Walter continues having great matches, gets booked to the top of several of those companies, and maybe pulls an Ospreay by going to a lesser renowned area and elevating it or maybe makes a run in Japan( imagine him swinging through Big Japan again) and gives those promotions some western exposure than he has a chance at catching the two guys ahead of him.

Riddle’s Outlook: Similar to Walter’s tbh only he doesn’t have as much beef on the resume as Walter does at this point. Would sorta love to see him work in some different places with different people to create some buzz.

Okada and Omega’s Outlook: Both guy’s fates are linked by this Dominion main event imo. If Kenny wins and then has some great G1 and IWGP Heavyweight Title defenses than he could catch the field. Everyone will yadda yadda the Cody influenced match quality dip of the first half by noting how that storyline is feud of the year and helped changed the business in a small way.

Okada wins and continues the reign its a little harder to see his path to victory just because narratively people are tired about talking about Okada. But let’s say he has another classic with Kenny, sells out the Cow Palace, tears down the house at All In, squeaks out 2 or 3 consensus unanimous 5 star matches in the G1/ back half title defenses, he might become 2017 undeniable again.

The loser of the Dominion match seems destined to be the 4 -10 spot on everybody’s ballot. So it is a huge freaking match.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Sat May 26, 2018 3:40 pm

How many guys in the past few years, by proxy of there being no real great main roster matches (under two handfulls over say...idk...4 years?...5 years?)...have taken that role as fan favorite because they were strapped up with a mid card belt (US or IC) and just went out there and had a showcase to present some above average to good type matches weekly on RAW or Smackdown? I would say the answer is a lot and Rollins is just next in line.

I'm still convinced its simply a directive by Vince to not have great matches...how in the FUCK does the NXT crop consistently have absolutely great matches at Takeover and really good matches on weekly TV...how in the FUCK does 205 Live have some ridiculously good TV matches RIGHT AFTER SMACKDOWN...yet, you can't muster together more than one four star matches every few months on the main roster? It makes no fucking sense other than the CONSPIRACY.

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by King Of Indy Style » Sat May 26, 2018 5:37 pm

Completely agreed with Joe about Tessa Blanchard. I've seen a few of her matches, and they've all been okay at the very best. Besides being a Blanchard, I can't see how she has so many big opportunities and people that think she's incredible.
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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by mlev76 » Sat May 26, 2018 5:44 pm

BoxingRobes wrote:How many guys in the past few years, by proxy of there being no real great main roster matches (under two handfulls over say...idk...4 years?...5 years?)...have taken that role as fan favorite because they were strapped up with a mid card belt (US or IC) and just went out there and had a showcase to present some above average to good type matches weekly on RAW or Smackdown? I would say the answer is a lot and Rollins is just next in line.

I'm still convinced its simply a directive by Vince to not have great matches...how in the FUCK does the NXT crop consistently have absolutely great matches at Takeover and really good matches on weekly TV...how in the FUCK does 205 Live have some ridiculously good TV matches RIGHT AFTER SMACKDOWN...yet, you can't muster together more than one four star matches every few months on the main roster? It makes no fucking sense other than the CONSPIRACY.
You could also be overreacting and underestimating the amount of great matches that there have been.

Matches I've rated 4 stars or better
2014-14
2015-13
2016-31
2017-22
2018-10 through May

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Re: VOW Flagship: WOTY Candidates, FOX/WWE & much more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Sat May 26, 2018 5:52 pm

mlev76 wrote:
BoxingRobes wrote:How many guys in the past few years, by proxy of there being no real great main roster matches (under two handfulls over say...idk...4 years?...5 years?)...have taken that role as fan favorite because they were strapped up with a mid card belt (US or IC) and just went out there and had a showcase to present some above average to good type matches weekly on RAW or Smackdown? I would say the answer is a lot and Rollins is just next in line.

I'm still convinced its simply a directive by Vince to not have great matches...how in the FUCK does the NXT crop consistently have absolutely great matches at Takeover and really good matches on weekly TV...how in the FUCK does 205 Live have some ridiculously good TV matches RIGHT AFTER SMACKDOWN...yet, you can't muster together more than one four star matches every few months on the main roster? It makes no fucking sense other than the CONSPIRACY.
You could also be overreacting and underestimating the amount of great matches that there have been.

Matches I've rated 4 stars or better
2014-14
2015-13
2016-31
2017-22
2018-10 through May
I'd have to go back to my excel sheets, but off hand, I don't think I have anything near those numbers.

1 - I do not count NXT or 205 Live as main roster matches...they get categorized in "WWE Network" on my list...
2 - off the top of my head...I might have 3 WWE Main Roster matches at 4* or better this year and they were all very low 4* matches. Nothing that would sniff any MotM type fare nevermind MotY.

As Lanza mentioned up top and as I've said in other threads...its very strange considering the working standard is actually pretty high throughout...they don't often have DUDs or 1* fare, either. Main Roster WWE, IMO, has been very comfortable in that traditional **1/2 to ***1/2 spectrum for a really really long time. Very little pops higher, equally, very little drops lower.

Which is why, under the same general umbrella...NXT and 205 Live having such excellent resumes of workrate make me question what the directive is to the main roster considering all of the horses they have on the main roster that can work like crazy. NXT, I'd buy since its so self contained...but 205 Live is on right after a Smackdown taping and its improvement post-Vince is eye raising.

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