armsofsleep wrote: ↑
Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:57 pm
I think being along for the ride for a buzzworthy promotion is fun, and it's always cool to see companies do well, but as a NOAH ride or die I've learned that people are just going to shit on your favorite promotion for jokes even when it's really good inside the ring.
I do think that people need to stop conflating the quality of booking/wrestling with business though. Lots of "this booking isn't working because the business isnt' reflecting it" or even worse "this booking is good because the business is reflecting it". It's not like we think a movie must be good because lots of people are watching it, so why do that with wrestling?
In my mind, NOAH has been booked perfectly in the main event scene over the past year. I wasn't the biggest Kiyomiya fan in the world but he's become way more endearing because the story has been so well told. After the misstep of Kenoh's heel story not totally working I think it's pretty perfect. Would is be awesome if NOAH's business boomed to match the story? Sure. But I don't think that somehow Dragon Gate's booking is better because their business is better all of a sudden.
Another interesting thing is the notion of regional business (touched on a big in both the DDT and AJPW sections). Is a company "bigger" if they draw more nationwide vs in a specific region? What does streaming service/TV stuff factor into this? Obviously it's really hard when we don't have a lot of the numbers (and streaming services in Japan especially are such a mystery). But I think you could make the case for DDT as a sort of Japanese PWG: solid business that always makes money, always draws great in a very specific home base, gets big names and usually has a sort of underlying buzz (albeit sometimes more through gifs/videos than anything else)...... it's a really interesting case study. Consider how many people in America viewed TNA as the number two promotion in the country long after relevance because of it's TV deal and name recognition among casual fans. Even when it was getting outdrawn by random regional indies!
I haven't listened back, but I don't think I "shit" on NOAH. I probably shit on AJPW, and I took a massive dump on BJW.
As far as conflating quality of booking with business. It all depends on how you view booking and the job of the booker.
Undoubtedly, the job of a pro wrestling booker is to book wrestlers, angles, and matches that draw money. That is the job description. Full stop. Whether those wrestlers, angles, and matches appeal to me is secondary when I assess the performance of a booker. The WWE Attitude Era was an objectively well booked period of pro wrestling from the perspective of giving people what they wanted and hitting on all chords even if I personally hated it so much that it not only drove me from WWE but also turned me off so much that it led to my greatest period of disinterest in wrestling overall in my life. It would be incredibly foolish as a pundit or analyst to say Vince McMahon did a shitty job of booking his territory during this period when he achieved the objective of his position perhaps better than anyone else ever - presenting wrestlers, angles, and matches that appealed to the widest possible audience and drew money.
Of course, you may not care about any of that, and may simply view bookers through the lens of whether they deliver compelling stories for you
. That's fine. When I break down booking, I combine a whole lot of the previous paragraph with some of this paragraph, and a dash of "ok, they are doing well/not so well, but could they be doing better/worse
if some things were tightened up/adjusted? Is this booker wholly responsible, somewhat responsible, or somewhere in between for the success? Where are things moving? What are the long term signs?". This is where it becomes more subjective and deeper critical analysis enters the discussion.
Where I think people get into heated discussions about booking/bookers, where you get wild variance like "Gedo is the best ever!", "Are you crazy, Gedo fucking sucks! He's the worst!", is that people are viewing booking through two totally different lenses and are having different conversations without realizing it. This is why I've basically stopped discussing booking with people unless I know they are approaching it the way I do, with business at the forefront, and you go from there and inject subjective analysis. Using Gedo as the example again, it's a waste of time discussing booking with someone who is mad that New Japan doesn't push their faves or doesnt like Jay White or something. They are 100% correct in disliking the booking, because they are coming at it from a perspective of "it does not appeal to me and I am not entertained". And that's fine. But I break this stuff down based on whether the booker is successful at his job, not whether I like what he is doing, although there is nothing wrong with noting both or pointing out warning signs or signs of life. It is possible for a successful promotion to be poorly booked and vice versa, but these are arguments that must be made with some evidence beyond "I don't like [the star]" and other such subjectivity. Otherwise, we are just talking raw opinions, and I have about as much interest in that in regards to booking as I would in discussing why I like a song and you don't. What's the point? It appeals to me, it doesn't to you, and after five minutes or so there is nothing else really to discuss on the matter.
As far as NOAH, and I hope this was expressed, I don't know where the Kiyomiya thing will eventually land, but as noted im a bit worried they've rushed the whole deal (while understanding why they did so). I'm largely "wait & see" on it, while pointing out that it has not captured the attention of people or produced any growth (yet). Nor has it been a bust. We'll see. If it eventually clicks, then you have a good argument that you were right and it was all booked "perfectly" all along. But are we having the same conversation? I'm not sure. To me, he still comes off like a young boy forced too early into the role, and he needs to start kicking peoples asses. I think it has a better chance to click once that happens. My issue is actually more with match layouts than booking, if you want to get real granular about it.
Regional business isnt everything or I'd put AJPW or NOAH ahead of DDT which is absurd. But when all else is relatively equal, it matters. I can't slot DDT ahead of Dragon Gate when Dragon Gate has good TV exposure and draws all over the country while DDT is essentially a Tokyo promotion. If DDT was blowing Dragon Gate out of the water like they do everyone else, it wouldnt matter. But at the end of the day you could slot either at #2 and im not going to go to war over it. AJPW over either of them? No, that is dumb, uninformed, and deserves to be called out for blatant stupidity.