F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

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mlev76
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F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mlev76 » Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:45 pm

Just found my F4W/Observer subscription has lapsed due to my credit card expiring and for the first time since subscribing (right before the merger), I'm debating whether to re-up.

When I first signed up, the main reason was the podcasts, the newsletters being secondary. Over the last year, with more choices on the podcast side, from opinions and reviews to interviews, I've found myself listening to less and less of the podcasts especially the post Raw shows and the B&V shows, both of which range from mildly interesting to insufferable.

Right now, the only thing worth the money is probably the Observer newsletter and Alan's podcast. Beyond that, can't really say I'd miss it if I didn't re-up. Is that alone worth the money?

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by ceftaxias » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:00 am

mlev76 wrote:Alan's podcast.
You just answered your question.

But foreal Alan's stuff is worth money. And I still love the Observer newsletter and we're not at the point where twitter scoops give you the same scope of things.

You see a lot of people being negative about him but I have to think part of that is getting deeper and deeper into the wrestling nerd abyss and figuring out that even the great Dave Meltzer is just one guy with his own opinions. His take on things and influence on what's what in wrestling has never meant less, but that was inevitably going to happen because of social media. I wouldn't at all say that means his site isn't worth it anymore though.
Last edited by ceftaxias on Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by TGD287 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:13 am

Specific critiques for the site aside, and there are many, I ultimately think it's worth paying about $3 a week for the Observer.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by duyarvish » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:12 am

If I didn't really like all of Dave's weird Dave traits l'd probably find it really hard to justify paying for.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by thecubsfan » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:20 am

i have many thoughts about this for some reason.

if I followed wrestling but stopped writing about it, I think I would try not to subscribe on annual basis. Doing something like subscribing every other month would make sense. The best stuff on the site tends to be stuff that isn't as time dependent and could be enjoyed a lot later. Like you, I like Alan's podcast and I like the newsletters, and I like a few other things, but there's a lot of content that I guess I'm paying for that I'm not really all that interested in. And there's content that I was interested in that isn't being produced anymore.

(examples: I'm sure me and only about 10 other people care, but I don't think I'm getting to listen to any more 40 minute Dr. Lucha shows unless I start my own podcast. Figure Four Daily exist simply as fourth and fifth takes on a very boring WWE promotion. Maybe Bryan would know of more indy guys if he was still interviewing them. Adam & Mike might not have done double digit shows in the last couple years, but at least finally gave up the pretense that they were going to be back 'real soon'. Figure Four Weekly only seems to exist because Bix lost a bet or something - the good stuff done in it is actually handicapped by the format and being a link on the site no one thinks to read. And on.)

Honestly, I'd like to a not pay them for a month or two out of dissatisfaction with the general state of things, as a protest vote. I think they take their customers for granted. People complain about how the site change was handled - and rightly so, since all the little issues with the redesign are apparently never going to be fixed - but the thing that annoyed me personally me was them (Nason?) sending out the site survey again right before it. Seemed like everyone kind of told them the changes they wanted to see made last year, the people actually in charge totally didn't want to do anything, and now they were asking their customers to tell them it all over again? That's was awful obvious lipservice - and just as obviously exposed as not really being serious when they promoted the new website as something in the works for a while. It fit the usual pattern of promising big changes, those changes lasting a short time if at all, and then going back to the same thing they always do.

(I though the people wanting money back for downtime were generally being silly, I thought it would've been nice if they did some extra show or interview to make up for it, and I wasn't at all surprised when they complained about how tough it had been for them and moved on.)

The Observer is the Observer and I'm probably subscribing as long as it exists. But the audio's different and I'd jump to a cheaper newsletter only plan if it was cheap enough. There's so much more good interesting and interesting audio (wrestling and other stuff even more so) now than there was at the time of the merger that I could easily replace all the podcasts I listed to from F4/WON with stuff nearly as good or better. I'm not saying to pimp this site or anything I'm involved in, there's just more stuff to listen to than you could ever possibly listen to right now. And because the wrestling world is so varied, a lot of the podcasts are much more knowledgeable at their specific topic than Bryan and even Dave sometimes. (Bryan & Dave are a little less likely to mark out bro, but the tradeoff is Bryan seemingly evaluating everything on how likely it is to get someone signed to NXT tomorrow, as if that is the standard for enjoying matches.) Bryan & Dave do what they do because covering WWE & UFC heavily is going to attract the biggest audience and pay the bills, but I haven't ever cared much about MMA and WWE is getting increasingly less interesting so that approach isn't working as much for me. There's also a general fatigue too. I defintely wouldn't miss them rehashing the same points over and over - did you know the new star can't be the same as the old star? here's four minutes on that again - and then complain about getting the same questions when they're kind of free to talk about what they want.

but, in the end, I'm paying and probably still going to pay. I wish I was happier about it.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Joe Lanza » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:47 am

I pay for the Observer. I've been reading it for 20 years, and I feel $10.99 per month is fair. I read it for very different reasons than I did in the past, and I think that's probably true for everyone. It hardly ever breaks news anymore, the internet killed that, but I think after all of these years anxiety would kick in if I missed an issue.

I often wonder what the Observer would have been like for all of these years if dave never got immersed in MMA and was able to put all of his attention towards watching wrestling. He half watches (at best) lucha, watches zero Japan aside from NJPW major shows and 2 or 3 Dragon Gate shows per year, and the only indie stuff he watches are the PWG shows he attends. We've missed out on a ton of analysis he could have done on thousands of hours of wrestling that he never watched because or covering MMA (and this isn't really bashing him for that, as I understand completely why he covers MMA).

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Statoke » Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:58 am

Well I'm a new subscriber, only been doing it for two months, and only use it for the radio. The news letter, whilst I'm sure it insightful, is just a pain to read/pain to find what I want to read. Maybe its just me but why are there no headers? Surely when the New Japan section starts there should be a header to indicate it. To be honest, if it wasn't for Alan I'd probably not be subbed to it, I like the WON Live and Bryan and Vinny but I can live without them or find them on YT, Alans the draw.
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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mlev76 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:59 am

Joe Lanza wrote:I pay for the Observer. I've been reading it for 20 years, and I feel $10.99 per month is fair. I read it for very different reasons than I did in the past, and I think that's probably true for everyone. It hardly ever breaks news anymore, the internet killed that, but I think after all of these years anxiety would kick in if I missed an issue.

I often wonder what the Observer would have been like for all of these years if dave never got immersed in MMA and was able to put all of his attention towards watching wrestling. He half watches (at best) lucha, watches zero Japan aside from NJPW major shows and 2 or 3 Dragon Gate shows per year, and the only indie stuff he watches are the PWG shows he attends. We've missed out on a ton of analysis he could have done on thousands of hours of wrestling that he never watched because or covering MMA (and this isn't really bashing him for that, as I understand completely why he covers MMA).
I understand why he covers it. I just don't care at all about it no matter how many times I try. But, I've accepted that for what it is and that alone wouldn't drive me away.

I think what everyone here has said resonates in one way or another. But, your comment about missing an issue is probably what will turn me one way or another. Even though I've subscribed for far less time, it has become a part of my routine every Thursday and I may feel compelled to re-up if I need to scratch that itch.

And for what its worth, this site is part of why I would even consider not resubscribing. The podcasts are SIGNIFICANTLY better and you get a whole lot more diversity and far less same, tired, repetitive points. And the people here seem to actually like wrestling and writing/discussing it rather than hate watching it or considering it a chore. So, thanks for that.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:45 pm

Four Observers a month for $10.99 is still a good deal. When I first subscribed I was an avid listener of WO Radio, Figure Four Daily, Bryan & Vinny and an active participant on The Board. I think The Board being such a god damn cesspool killed most of it for me, I've since obviously developed these forums as a way to ACTUALLY talk wrestling and not be bombarded with trolls & gimmicks. Bryan and Vinny has lost any and all of my interest, not because of anything they did, I just don't have the time to devote to a show like that. Figure Four Daily/WO Live is not worth my time either and the shows are tiresome and cover the same 3 topics.

At this point it's post-Raw and post-PPV Wrestling Observer Radios and the Newsletter. Is that worth $11? Eh, maybe not but like Joe, I can't imagine missing an issue. I'm also an avid reader of the WO Back Issues and I would hate to lose those too.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Ageyev » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:37 pm

Joe Lanza wrote: I often wonder what the Observer would have been like for all of these years if dave never got immersed in MMA and was able to put all of his attention towards watching wrestling. .
Do you think there many MMA fans that aren't pro wrestling fans who subscribe for Meltzer's (and Alvarez's !) insights into MMA/UFC? From the best I can tell based off of online comments and forums etc. there are many MMA fans, fighters, jujitsu practitioners who despise any association with pro wrestling so Dave's talk of heels, faces, promos, angles etc. in UFC would surely turn them off.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Headbutt Stoppage » Wed Oct 14, 2015 2:47 pm

According to Dave the only thing that moves the needle w/r/t WON is WWE news and UFC news. Putting both of those two into that echelon tells you why Dave covers both as well as he does.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by JFC3400 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:42 pm

Maybe it's habit, but I still look forward to the Observer newsletter every week more than any other weekly aspect of pro wrestling. I seriously anticipate it every Wednesday in a way that I don't for any TV show or podcast.

I get less from their audio than I did even a year ago. I used to listen to B&V to hear the humorous Impact bashing...but that got dull when TNA became boring as opposed to offensive last year. It also irritates me that they only review ROH (which is easily the most-watched non-WWE TV show in the US) once a month or so, and when they do it's obvious they don't regularly watch.

Dave's audio is still must-listen for me, but I don't expect much from it in the way of scoops and I don't mind his quirkiness.

I miss Todd Martin, who I disliked at first but came to enjoy and really miss the Observor segments he was doing.

All in all, I very much feel like it's worth my money to subscribe.

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F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by JML » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:18 pm

I used to be an Observer/F4W subscriber and I started the day that they merged together. (I never got my shoutout on the B&V show).

I enjoyed it very much cause I was an avid MMA and wrestling fan. Then my interest in both started to wane and it got to the point where I didn't even watch actually live action but just listen to the Dave and Bryan shows recapping them. Then the audio shows got too much for me to keep up so I let my subscription lapse.

I used to like Coughlin's fight breakdowns but I saw that he's gone from the site and does Tough Talk still run on the site?

I'm happy for Mike Sempervive that he's the co-host of WOL cause he was favorite guy from the site and I've followed him since the PPH days.

It's weird being a wrestling fan again without having the Observer but when I see people complain about the site and being able to decipher the lines when Dave reports something, I don't regret not subscribing.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by MobbVanDam » Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:50 pm

I'd say it's worth paying for if only to not have to suffer through other sites taking things out of context and reposting them with clickbait titles.
Statoke wrote:pain to read/pain to find what I want
to read. Maybe its just me but why are there no headers? Surely when the New Japan section starts there should be a header to indicate it.
There is. Maybe try ctrl F'ing it.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Statoke » Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:27 pm

MidSouthMonster wrote:I'd say it's worth paying for if only to not have to suffer through other sites taking things out of context and reposting them with clickbait titles.
Statoke wrote:pain to read/pain to find what I want
to read. Maybe its just me but why are there no headers? Surely when the New Japan section starts there should be a header to indicate it.
There is. Maybe try ctrl F'ing it.

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Well I swear it wasn't like that before the website update.
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