For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

WWE, TNA, and all U.S./Canada based graps talk
User avatar
Joe Lanza
Site Admin
Posts: 2732
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:00 pm

For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:14 pm

Maybe this won't get a ton of response, but I know people like Brandon Howard, Matt Farmer, Daniel Makabe and others who have in-ring experience do post here from time to time.

Do you find that having been in the ring changes the way you break down and/or enjoy matches? There are things you guys can pick up on that the rest of us can't, such as identifying who is really carrying a match for example. Curious if it still comes down to pure entertainment factor or if critical analysis of the actual work weighs more heavily.

Would also be curious about the kinds of things that you notice when watching a match that fans probably wouldn't.

User avatar
Buzz Sawyer
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 6:42 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:47 am

Not for me it doesn't at all.
Who's Rob Viper ?

User avatar
danielmakabe
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:08 pm
Location: New Westminster, BC

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by danielmakabe » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:56 am

I can't speak for anyone else but it definitely has changed the way I watch/enjoy/analyze matches. I am still able to turn my brain off and enjoy dumb/illogical wrestling from time to time but I am more likely to pick things apart if I ever find myself just watching as a fan (especially at indie shows). It's just something that I naturally do now that I don't even realize I'm doing unless I'm ever watching with someone who's not trained (ie my fiancee, friends, etc), who are able to enjoy things on a more surface level.

User avatar
AJR
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:11 am

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by AJR » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:53 am

I nitpick a lot of little things that most wrestling reviewers don't notice. Stuff like feeding correctly, rushing through spots, sloppy Irish whips. Knowing what moves suck to take, and what moves look brutal but are actually pretty clean changes my reaction to things too. Like the big chair bump Adam Cole took on Takeover. I know from looking at the mechanics of how the move works and taking similar bumps that it looks a lot more brutal than what it actually is.

User avatar
danielmakabe
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:08 pm
Location: New Westminster, BC

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by danielmakabe » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:42 am

AJR wrote:I nitpick a lot of little things that most wrestling reviewers don't notice. Stuff like feeding correctly, rushing through spots, sloppy Irish whips. Knowing what moves suck to take, and what moves look brutal but are actually pretty clean changes my reaction to things too..
All of this.

User avatar
Joe Lanza
Site Admin
Posts: 2732
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:58 am

AJR wrote:I nitpick a lot of little things that most wrestling reviewers don't notice. Stuff like feeding correctly, rushing through spots, sloppy Irish whips. Knowing what moves suck to take, and what moves look brutal but are actually pretty clean changes my reaction to things too. Like the big chair bump Adam Cole took on Takeover. I know from looking at the mechanics of how the move works and taking similar bumps that it looks a lot more brutal than what it actually is.
This is the type of stuff i was looking for. I find this fascinating.

This is where I think a lot of wrestlers get into trouble when they get mad at critics and fall back on "you've never been in a ring". A critic for the most part is judging entertainment value along with some of the above, at least the stuff they are able to recognize. I think it's OK that critics approach it this way, and wrestlers approach it their way based on what each values.

It reminds me of how wrestlers always put over Kane as a great worker, because he works safe, his shit looks good, he's over, etc. In general, critics don't like him as much, because they place more value on things like entertainment, innovation, creative highspots, etc. Kane is always my go to dichotomy example when talking about these things.

User avatar
ScorpioCorp
Posts: 370
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:49 am
Location: Cypress Creek

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by ScorpioCorp » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:52 am

Joe Lanza wrote:
AJR wrote:I nitpick a lot of little things that most wrestling reviewers don't notice. Stuff like feeding correctly, rushing through spots, sloppy Irish whips. Knowing what moves suck to take, and what moves look brutal but are actually pretty clean changes my reaction to things too. Like the big chair bump Adam Cole took on Takeover. I know from looking at the mechanics of how the move works and taking similar bumps that it looks a lot more brutal than what it actually is.
This is the type of stuff i was looking for. I find this fascinating.

This is where I think a lot of wrestlers get into trouble when they get mad at critics and fall back on "you've never been in a ring". A critic for the most part is judging entertainment value along with some of the above, at least the stuff they are able to recognize. I think it's OK that critics approach it this way, and wrestlers approach it their way based on what each values.

It reminds me of how wrestlers always put over Kane as a great worker, because he works safe, his shit looks good, he's over, etc. In general, critics don't like him as much, because they place more value on things like entertainment, innovation, creative highspots, etc. Kane is always my go to dichotomy example when talking about these things.
It's interesting that you say that, because it was only recently that a wrestler who I respect had mentioned that he put Kane over Undertaker as a worker. I was thinking 'C'mon mate, really?'.

User avatar
AJR
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:11 am

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by AJR » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:08 am

I get why guys like Kane and Randy Orton get so much praise, but I'm personally not much of a fan either. Timing and positioning are important parts of wrestling, but I still watch wrestling as a fan. A big part of why I enjoy the podcast is because I share a similar taste in matches to you guys.

I think the most egregious thing I can think of when seeing stuff go wrong is that you can often tell when someone is just rushing through stuff or out of place for a spot. A lot of the time that gets called up in a reviews as two people being on different wavelengths, when it's really often down to one guy messing up.

User avatar
Joe Lanza
Site Admin
Posts: 2732
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:03 pm

ScorpioCorp wrote:
Joe Lanza wrote:
AJR wrote:I nitpick a lot of little things that most wrestling reviewers don't notice. Stuff like feeding correctly, rushing through spots, sloppy Irish whips. Knowing what moves suck to take, and what moves look brutal but are actually pretty clean changes my reaction to things too. Like the big chair bump Adam Cole took on Takeover. I know from looking at the mechanics of how the move works and taking similar bumps that it looks a lot more brutal than what it actually is.
This is the type of stuff i was looking for. I find this fascinating.

This is where I think a lot of wrestlers get into trouble when they get mad at critics and fall back on "you've never been in a ring". A critic for the most part is judging entertainment value along with some of the above, at least the stuff they are able to recognize. I think it's OK that critics approach it this way, and wrestlers approach it their way based on what each values.

It reminds me of how wrestlers always put over Kane as a great worker, because he works safe, his shit looks good, he's over, etc. In general, critics don't like him as much, because they place more value on things like entertainment, innovation, creative highspots, etc. Kane is always my go to dichotomy example when talking about these things.
It's interesting that you say that, because it was only recently that a wrestler who I respect had mentioned that he put Kane over Undertaker as a worker. I was thinking 'C'mon mate, really?'.
Wrestlers love Kane. LOVE him. I've heard it's because he works super light but his shit still looks good. Perhaps the wrestlers here can expand based on what they see.

User avatar
DylanWaco
Posts: 190
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 5:56 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by DylanWaco » Fri Feb 02, 2018 4:32 pm

My involvement in promoting/creative stuff in wrestling over the last couple of years has very much changed the way I analyze and think about wrestling and also how I interact with wrestling media/critics.

I always probably cared about matches fitting for their spot on the card, but I care more about it now, and people we book are often booked with very specific goals in mind in that regard less so than "will this match be good." There has been more than once where I've seen a match get panned by critics, but my perception is that the wrestlers involved did exactly what was expected of them, and to my mind that is good work. This sort of thing has made me even more cynical about star ratings than I already was which is saying something.

There are also situations where guys will go over on time, or cram a bunch of shit in to heat themselves up before a loss and it just drives me insane to the point where it's hard not to hold that against them some when I think about them as "workers." I don't want to peel back the curtain so far, but there are two guys I really like who went 25 minutes over on a show a couple of years back. It's hard not to look at that critically when you are more directly involved even if the crowd is into the match, the execution is strong, et.

I also tend to be much less critical of younger wrestlers than I used to, and try go look for what is a possible place of growth in them, rather than pointing out their obvious weaknesses.

Knowing certain things will also really screw with your head when it comes to certain other stuff. For example, last year I listened to a review of a show on a podcast. It isn't a show that I'm overtly involved with, but it's a show where I talk to the promoter all the time and we bounce ideas off of each other and help out with some small scale creative stuff. The review was complaining about booking decisions, finishes, and match order. All of the criticisms were things I would disagree with accept I happened to know that the card order was shuffled because of an incident that caused the delay of a talent, one of the finishes being complained about was an audible and not one that reflects well on the wrestler who called it, certain injuries dictated other booking decisions, et.

Anyway, my point is that I am not a wrestler, but just my closeness and involvement with the business end has definitely impacted how I view and think about certain things in wrestling.

User avatar
Joe Lanza
Site Admin
Posts: 2732
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by Joe Lanza » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:52 pm

DylanWaco wrote:My involvement in promoting/creative stuff in wrestling over the last couple of years has very much changed the way I analyze and think about wrestling and also how I interact with wrestling media/critics.

I always probably cared about matches fitting for their spot on the card, but I care more about it now, and people we book are often booked with very specific goals in mind in that regard less so than "will this match be good." There has been more than once where I've seen a match get panned by critics, but my perception is that the wrestlers involved did exactly what was expected of them, and to my mind that is good work. This sort of thing has made me even more cynical about star ratings than I already was which is saying something.

There are also situations where guys will go over on time, or cram a bunch of shit in to heat themselves up before a loss and it just drives me insane to the point where it's hard not to hold that against them some when I think about them as "workers." I don't want to peel back the curtain so far, but there are two guys I really like who went 25 minutes over on a show a couple of years back. It's hard not to look at that critically when you are more directly involved even if the crowd is into the match, the execution is strong, et.

I also tend to be much less critical of younger wrestlers than I used to, and try go look for what is a possible place of growth in them, rather than pointing out their obvious weaknesses.

Knowing certain things will also really screw with your head when it comes to certain other stuff. For example, last year I listened to a review of a show on a podcast. It isn't a show that I'm overtly involved with, but it's a show where I talk to the promoter all the time and we bounce ideas off of each other and help out with some small scale creative stuff. The review was complaining about booking decisions, finishes, and match order. All of the criticisms were things I would disagree with accept I happened to know that the card order was shuffled because of an incident that caused the delay of a talent, one of the finishes being complained about was an audible and not one that reflects well on the wrestler who called it, certain injuries dictated other booking decisions, et.

Anyway, my point is that I am not a wrestler, but just my closeness and involvement with the business end has definitely impacted how I view and think about certain things in wrestling.
A major problem with match rating is all matches are rated on the same scale. Like you say, a young lion opener or comedy popcorn match or a TV squash or a flippy do high spot showcase or a maestro match or world title bout on one of the biggest shows of the year all have different goals and each require different kinds of work. It's why I have debated with myself to drop star ratings, but ratings have become such an expected part of critique that I can never commit to dropping them.

But you are 100% correct. A truly good worker will set out to deliver the best opening match that he can, not the best MATCH that he can. A shitty worker, a selfish worker, will do the opposite. And like you say, none of us have a clue what the booker asked of the performers unless we are behind the curtain.

Funny you mention the highly regarded guys going 25 minutes (!!!) over. That happens all the time on the indie level. A few years ago, a well known Texas icon and highly praised indie star went way overhis time and did a wild PWG style match working a semi main with an up and coming Texas indie guy (who is now an international star), and the champion of the promotion, a really good local veteran worker, was incensed and wanted to beat the shit out of him because it wore out the crowd and killed his main event match. So the semi got all kinds of praise, and the main got buried for having no heat. Totally unfair, but what can you do? Fans can't be privy to that. Only reason I know is because the promoter vented to me after the show.

User avatar
supersonic
Posts: 3331
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:12 am
Location: Edgar Martinez Dr S
Contact:

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by supersonic » Sat Feb 03, 2018 10:28 pm

“Don’t steal my crowd heat from my main event!”

An ideology that contributed to WCW’s death.

User avatar
Joe Lanza
Site Admin
Posts: 2732
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:00 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by Joe Lanza » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:42 am

supersonic wrote:“Don’t steal my crowd heat from my main event!”

An ideology that contributed to WCW’s death.
Normally I'd be inclined to agree, but they went 20 minutes over and did a 45-minute match with wild spots all over the building. Main Event hit the ring right around the show usually would end.

Either way, the larger point here was they (not really "they" as I blame the star) disobeyed the booker, and screwed up the flow of the show. So is it good work because they had a crowd pleasing match, or was it poor work because they freelanced and disrupted the next match?

User avatar
ScorpioCorp
Posts: 370
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:49 am
Location: Cypress Creek

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by ScorpioCorp » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:41 am

Joe Lanza wrote:
DylanWaco wrote:My involvement in promoting/creative stuff in wrestling over the last couple of years has very much changed the way I analyze and think about wrestling and also how I interact with wrestling media/critics.

I always probably cared about matches fitting for their spot on the card, but I care more about it now, and people we book are often booked with very specific goals in mind in that regard less so than "will this match be good." There has been more than once where I've seen a match get panned by critics, but my perception is that the wrestlers involved did exactly what was expected of them, and to my mind that is good work. This sort of thing has made me even more cynical about star ratings than I already was which is saying something.

There are also situations where guys will go over on time, or cram a bunch of shit in to heat themselves up before a loss and it just drives me insane to the point where it's hard not to hold that against them some when I think about them as "workers." I don't want to peel back the curtain so far, but there are two guys I really like who went 25 minutes over on a show a couple of years back. It's hard not to look at that critically when you are more directly involved even if the crowd is into the match, the execution is strong, et.

I also tend to be much less critical of younger wrestlers than I used to, and try go look for what is a possible place of growth in them, rather than pointing out their obvious weaknesses.

Knowing certain things will also really screw with your head when it comes to certain other stuff. For example, last year I listened to a review of a show on a podcast. It isn't a show that I'm overtly involved with, but it's a show where I talk to the promoter all the time and we bounce ideas off of each other and help out with some small scale creative stuff. The review was complaining about booking decisions, finishes, and match order. All of the criticisms were things I would disagree with accept I happened to know that the card order was shuffled because of an incident that caused the delay of a talent, one of the finishes being complained about was an audible and not one that reflects well on the wrestler who called it, certain injuries dictated other booking decisions, et.

Anyway, my point is that I am not a wrestler, but just my closeness and involvement with the business end has definitely impacted how I view and think about certain things in wrestling.
A major problem with match rating is all matches are rated on the same scale. Like you say, a young lion opener or comedy popcorn match or a TV squash or a flippy do high spot showcase or a maestro match or world title bout on one of the biggest shows of the year all have different goals and each require different kinds of work. It's why I have debated with myself to drop star ratings, but ratings have become such an expected part of critique that I can never commit to dropping them.

But you are 100% correct. A truly good worker will set out to deliver the best opening match that he can, not the best MATCH that he can. A shitty worker, a selfish worker, will do the opposite. And like you say, none of us have a clue what the booker asked of the performers unless we are behind the curtain.

Funny you mention the highly regarded guys going 25 minutes (!!!) over. That happens all the time on the indie level. A few years ago, a well known Texas icon and highly praised indie star went way overhis time and did a wild PWG style match working a semi main with an up and coming Texas indie guy (who is now an international star), and the champion of the promotion, a really good local veteran worker, was incensed and wanted to beat the shit out of him because it wore out the crowd and killed his main event match. So the semi got all kinds of praise, and the main got buried for having no heat. Totally unfair, but what can you do? Fans can't be privy to that. Only reason I know is because the promoter vented to me after the show.
On another thread, I was just talking about a company that had a transitional show (smaller show that is used to build up a bigger show). It was bascially used to experiment with upcoming talents & focus on building storylines for their upcoming shows that they place more importance. From a booking perspective, you could argue that it was a success & that they achieved their goals. From my perspective as a fan & critic, it was one of their weaker shows in the last year & I felt that the booking had hindered the match quality.

Also, I was talking about an act who had great character work & are heat machines as heels, but still felt that their shitck could be limiting them from becoming better wrestlers & having greater matches because they can be too 'over the top'. Although, they are still doing their job as heels & have established their role in the company.

So, it's interesting to see the different view points from people that are 'behind the curtain' compared to those who are outside.

User avatar
BoxingRobes
VOW Staff Member
Posts: 1502
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 1:02 pm

Re: For those that have been in a ring - Does it change the way you evaluate wrestling?

Post by BoxingRobes » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:07 am

Joe Lanza wrote:
DylanWaco wrote:...

A major problem with match rating is all matches are rated on the same scale.
Like you say, a young lion opener or comedy popcorn match or a TV squash or a flippy do high spot showcase or a maestro match or world title bout on one of the biggest shows of the year all have different goals and each require different kinds of work. It's why I have debated with myself to drop star ratings, but ratings have become such an expected part of critique that I can never commit to dropping them.

But you are 100% correct. A truly good worker will set out to deliver the best opening match that he can, not the best MATCH that he can. A shitty worker, a selfish worker, will do the opposite. And like you say, none of us have a clue what the booker asked of the performers unless we are behind the curtain.

Funny you mention the highly regarded guys going 25 minutes (!!!) over. That happens all the time on the indie level. A few years ago, a well known Texas icon and highly praised indie star went way overhis time and did a wild PWG style match working a semi main with an up and coming Texas indie guy (who is now an international star), and the champion of the promotion, a really good local veteran worker, was incensed and wanted to beat the shit out of him because it wore out the crowd and killed his main event match. So the semi got all kinds of praise, and the main got buried for having no heat. Totally unfair, but what can you do? Fans can't be privy to that. Only reason I know is because the promoter vented to me after the show.
Not to veer of the path of an otherwise great thread...

Aren't all forms of entertainment critiqued on the same (slash similar) scale? Rallying against "star ratings" sounds like people rallying against Rotten Tomatoes or MetaCritic now...or rallying against Siskel and Ebert many years ago.

Your post makes more sense knowing how much rage YELP brings to your life, to be fair.

Post Reply