Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Talk Puro, Lucha, Europe and "I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS/CARIBBEAN/AFRICA"
User avatar
pol
Posts: 624
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2015 11:50 am

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by pol » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:50 pm

You're taking a guy whose critical analysis of his HIGHEST RATED MATCH EVER amounted to "there was a lot of drama and great moves" as a leading authority.

I like Dave but he's a bad critic and always has been.

User avatar
mlev76
Posts: 2571
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:32 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by mlev76 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:14 pm

BoxingRobes wrote:
mlev76 wrote:
BoxingRobes wrote:
An opinion by an authority is valid. And, of course they can be considered raw data for a discussion. The same can be said for things like film. The Godfather is a great film. Roger Ebert gave it four stars. You'd use that in a discussion of Godfather's greatness, because Roger Ebert is a long standing authority on film.
It still remains opinion. You can't win or lose a star rating by some definable characteristic. And not everyone will agree with Dave, Roger Ebert or anyone. This is not an insult to these men, but in the end, they cast their opinions as such and not as definitive statements of fact.

And you're correct that Dave saying Okada had a lot of great matches makes him worthy of discussion. But, other factors exist that can and should be considered beyond simple star ratings from one person no matter how respected.
I'd love to see more empirical data that would help support or refute the discussion. However, no offense, no one has posted anything. No one has actually said anything that states why, empirically, Okada isn't the best yet. Hell, I'm the only one that has mentioned cagematch (which at least aggregates some match ratings and provides SOMETHING) of all places as a source, which, too, puts Okada right in the discussion as greatest among the sea of inactive wrestlers that currently hold the mantle.

Of course, simply using Roger Ebert as an example is not the best way to make a point, but when you couple HIM with dozens of other long time professional critics and their raw scores, ehhh, you can start to say something is critically the best ever. Unfortunately, for wrestling, there isn't dozens of others with the cache, there is really only one. In 10 years, with sites like VoW and guys who log their rankings and post them for historical purposes like Alan and some of the dudes on other sites, maybe we can expand the discussion in the future.
Empirical data, you say? Well, I believe you said you used Cagematch to track down star ratings, correct? So, let me do some analysis of what's available.

Here's Okada's matchguide. 146 Matches rated (144 since 2012) (note, not all Observer rated)

https://www.cagematch.net//?id=2&nr=4324&page=10&s=100

Here's Misawa's. 264 matches rated

https://www.cagematch.net//?id=2&nr=541&page=10&s=200

Here's Danielson's. 252 matches rated
https://www.cagematch.net//?id=2&nr=86&page=10&s=200

Here's Flair. 114 Matches rated
https://www.cagematch.net//?id=2&nr=1091&page=10&s=100

Okada averages 24 matches rated a year over 6 years.
Misawa averages 11 matches rated a year over 24 years.
Danielson averages 16.8 matches rated a year over 15 years.
Flair averages 3.6 matches rated a year over 31 years.

Kinda hard to make an empirical argument when there is not equal data to compare and contrast.

User avatar
Rich Kraetsch
Site Admin
Posts: 2173
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:12 pm
Location: Wheaton, IL
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:19 pm

Buzz Sawyer wrote:Johnny FUCKING Valentine says hi.
Glad to know he reads the site. I thought the whole "being dead" thing would get in the way but good to know.

Let him know we said hello as well!

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

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by BoxingRobes » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:31 pm

Even, still

% of scores over a 8.00 on the cagematch scale. The equal of a ****, I suppose...although plenty of matches in the 7 range are **** or better, but hey, we're taking this dataset.

Okada 45/146 - 31%
Misawa 48/264 -18%
Danielson 80/252 - 32%
Flair 22/114 - 19%

I could probably make a point about those Danielson matches but numbers are numbers and still Okada is much better then all but Danielson and look how close it is.

Thanks for being the first person to bring something else to the table.

User avatar
MobbVanDam
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:36 pm
Location: MO/TN
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by MobbVanDam » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:00 pm

I think a lot of people are looking at this too literally and getting caught up in arguing over minutiae rather than big picture. I think the point here is not star ratings or one man's opinion, but rather a justifed way to generally look at whether or not something is good. Like, nobody is going to agree with every particular aspect or detail of Dave's ratings, but it's generally agreed that he's not throwing 4 stars or more on something that isn't going to be at least pretty fucking good by any standard that isn't from contrarian Jinder Mahal superfan typs.

Okada has undoubtedly worked at a consistently high level for the last few years and the density of which he's had these great matches is kinda outrageous. Pointing to Dave's ratings is just an easy way to point that out without having to sit there and try to recall everything. He also has like 30+ years of living and breathing wrestling as it's happening in real time. Someone now might not consider a match from 82 to be a 5 star classic after being exposed to the different styles and matches of today. The benefit of using Meltzer is that he doesn't have that problem. He saw a match, came up with a rating for it immediately after in the moment, and did it based on what was happening at the time. He has a unique perspective and an established history that makes him a decent way to measure general quality whether or not you full agree with the smaller details.

So, here we have Okada, who, by a generally agreed upon measurement, is just KILLING IT, and done so in a very short period of time. I think that's the main thing to take away from this. If he put up these numbers and matches over the span of a whole career he'd still be in the conversation, but he's done it in a short period with YEARS ahead of him (assuming he doesn't magically start sucking or get hurt or retire).

(I also don't think it's relevant to point out holes in Dave's ratings because we're still comparing the careers of retired wrestlers up against someone still producing work. Even if you account for holes, the numbers still aren't going to surpass Okada's even before you account his potential future matches. I also don't think it's fair to bring up unrated house shows that nobody outside the building ever saw. If a 5* match falls down and there's nobody around, it can't really make a sound or count for or against someone. We're just kinda assuming they were good without actually knowing. Is it unfair to say someone is better based on rating matches that make tape? Maybe. But at the end of the day you can only judge what you can see.)

User avatar
MobbVanDam
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:36 pm
Location: MO/TN
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by MobbVanDam » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:01 pm

pol wrote:You're taking a guy whose critical analysis of his HIGHEST RATED MATCH EVER amounted to "there was a lot of drama and great moves" as a leading authority.

I like Dave but he's a bad critic and always has been.

But Dave's reviews have always been more reports than analysis, so that's hardly a slight against his criticism which is typically reserved for articles and WOR discussions.

User avatar
saviorofstrongstyle
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:16 am

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by saviorofstrongstyle » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:13 pm

What if I just don't like Okada? What if I would never call him the greatest of all time because I just don't like him because I'm not invested in the guy or his character or his story or his journey?

User avatar
MobbVanDam
Posts: 185
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:36 pm
Location: MO/TN
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by MobbVanDam » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:22 pm

I don't think any of that has anything to do with what's being discussed though and that's the matches themselves. I think worrying about those thing is irrelevant when considering the actual wrestling, but people watch wrestling for different things. You might need investment into characters or stories while someone else just watches it for athletic competition's sake.

Though your post makes me wonder about something I forgot to bring up earlier: in my experience it seems like a lot of people outside of Japan don't "get" Okada as a character or personality. I don't think this is a problem in Japan, but it seems like he doesn't connect with a lot of fans abroad. Is it the lack of over the top or bombastic gimmick? Is it just a personal connection that people can't make because they can't project themselves onto him like an Omega?

Personally, Okada got me into NJPW because I thought the whole presentation of him was super cool and I loved his dickhead tendencies, but I've been able to see him transform into who he is now and I've been real into it. I will never forget him crying after his loss to Tanahashi while that cocky motherfucker made fun of him while playing air guitar. It humanized him and set forth his whole path since. I'm invested, but if you think he lacks personality I can see you not being into it. But I still think that's a cultural divide issue rather than anything wrong with Okada himself.

User avatar
mlev76
Posts: 2571
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:32 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by mlev76 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:32 pm

BoxingRobes wrote:Even, still

% of scores over a 8.00 on the cagematch scale. The equal of a ****, I suppose...although plenty of matches in the 7 range are **** or better, but hey, we're taking this dataset.

Okada 45/146 - 31%
Misawa 48/264 -18%
Danielson 80/252 - 32%
Flair 22/114 - 19%

I could probably make a point about those Danielson matches but numbers are numbers and still Okada is much better then all but Danielson and look how close it is.

Thanks for being the first person to bring something else to the table.
My main point is with regard to Flair since I believe there are many missing matches not factored into this database. I mean, look at some of the career stats during his peak years during the 80s. There are tons of missing matches. Furthermore, the amount of matches that were televised especially the big show matches, in the 80s is miniscule compared to today. So, in reality, empirical comparison may be completely impossible.

Which brings us back to what realistically is the best gauge-opinions of people who've seen both and who can compare and contrast.

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

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by BoxingRobes » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:14 pm

mlev76 wrote:
BoxingRobes wrote:Even, still

% of scores over a 8.00 on the cagematch scale. The equal of a ****, I suppose...although plenty of matches in the 7 range are **** or better, but hey, we're taking this dataset.

Okada 45/146 - 31%
Misawa 48/264 -18%
Danielson 80/252 - 32%
Flair 22/114 - 19%

I could probably make a point about those Danielson matches but numbers are numbers and still Okada is much better then all but Danielson and look how close it is.

Thanks for being the first person to bring something else to the table.
My main point is with regard to Flair since I believe there are many missing matches not factored into this database. I mean, look at some of the career stats during his peak years during the 80s. There are tons of missing matches. Furthermore, the amount of matches that were televised especially the big show matches, in the 80s is miniscule compared to today. So, in reality, empirical comparison may be completely impossible.

Which brings us back to what realistically is the best gauge-opinions of people who've seen both and who can compare and contrast.
Here's the thing, you are proposing (either stated or not explicitly) that there is an unknown number of Ric Flair matches that would make him an overwhelming favorite in this discussion.

I'm willing to go as high as doubling Flair's numbers right now (while not assuming an unknown number of unqualified matches), and his raw numbers are still going to fall short of Okada, if they don't already.

I'm doing the same for Danielson as well, and while Danielson comes a long way in the discussion, its still Okada with some inordinate amount of matches for such a short period. This is what Mobb is ultimately trying to explain. We can go a long way in making exceptions and new rules for some of the unknowns of this discussion, but my lord, we don't need to make any leaps for Okada and he's still right there...and he's only 29 years old.

User avatar
Tigerkinney
Posts: 507
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:58 am
Location: Ashford, England

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by Tigerkinney » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:20 pm

Fact is no one is ever going to agree on who the greatest wrestler of all time is, it's always going to be a subjective thing, even if you do try to use facts and figures to back up your argument, because at the end of the day star ratings are just someone's opinion.

One thing we probably will all agree on though (the odd contrarian aside) is that Okada will end up amongst the greatest wrestlers of all time, provided he stays on the same trajectory and doesn't trash his legacy by becoming a shell of his former self during the twilight of his career.

Personally for me- the greatest of all time is another NJPW wrestler, one nearing the end of his career but probably hasn't come up in the discussion, because he's never held a World title but yet despite that has managed to become a truly iconic wrestler all over the world. A wrestler who despite wearing a mask most of his career is able to display emotion and tell a story in the ring better than pretty much ever wrestler who doesn't have to wear a mask. A wrestler whose work during his prime measures up to just about everyone and a man who even well past his prime and into his 50's is still able to churn out very good matches, Who am I talking about?

Jushin Thunder Liger.

But though Liger may well be my candidate for greatest of all time, I wouldn't say those who feel that Misawa, Kobashi, Flair, Michaels, whoever really- wouldn't be wrong either- because whoever is the greatest of all time to one person, isn't going to be the same as everyone else.

User avatar
Garuda
Posts: 776
Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:15 pm
Location: Chicago, IL
Contact:

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by Garuda » Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:27 am

I love Dave and have no issue with any man's personal ratings. But God if I could go one day with people not whining about his ratings I'd be a blessed man.

People continue to scream about how bad his ratings are or aren't and miss that they shouldn't care. They shouldn't be taken as objective data nor should people spend so much time criticizing one guy's opinions as though they are supposed to be some ultimate judgement. Dude gives his personal response to art; let it be just that.

Let the Meltzer ratings debate die, please.


Okada, barring some incredible fall from grace, will be considered one of the very greatest wrestlers to have ever lived. One can have fun discussions about who ranks where, but let's not pretend that "objectivity" can or will ever play a role unless you crunch down the criteria to things that are measurable and are only half the story. Have a fun time. These discussions SHOULD happen but don't take it so seriously; it's impossible to do definitively.

User avatar
aivaz
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 5:27 am

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by aivaz » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:17 am

BoxingRobes wrote: Have any of you written an essay in your life? College educated? I've presented my thesis and I've provided ONE piece of supporting evidence to support it. Of course I think he's the greatest ever. That is why I am making this post. But there is a huge difference in the discussion with me stating it as an opinion and trying to use empirical data to help support my claim.
Dave Meltzer ratings are supporting evidence for your hypothesis about as much as the average July temperature in Sevilla supports my hypothesis that July is the best month of the year. If I did that I would be presenting an impossible argument for which I have one source, which is only relevant on the loaded assumption that Sevilla is important, and the best month equals the hottest, with temperatures around 35 degrees celsius. Neither of these arguments are the foundation for a good essay, or a demonstration of a college education, they don't even make sense. It's the framework of a tedious and boring discussion, and so this thread is. I would have better luck with my racist grandma after reading the tabloids.

Also, your supporting evidence is the five star system of a man who just rated a match six and a quarter stars. He is either deliberately taking the piss out of people who inflate the importance of his ratings, or has unintentionally made it impossible to take seriously.

User avatar
Rainmaker_F7
Posts: 370
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 8:47 am
Location: Warsaw, Poland

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by Rainmaker_F7 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:52 am

Using Dave’s ratings to determine who is the GOAT is stupid and the “X has more 5 star matches than Y” argument in particular is dumb for me. Sure, it is fine imo to bring them up in a loose discussion, but come on, even Dave himself doesn’t take those too seriously. And God, there is not a single thing I hate about wrestling more than talking about Meltzer’s star ratings.

Kazuchika Okada is having an all time great year right now. He could probably get the fuck out to Maledive rn and stay there till the end of the year, and he would still run away with WOTY, Most outstanding and MOTY. For me, what is making this run so epic is how different the Omega, Shibata, Suzuki, TMW and Fale matches are from one another – all matches were worked so differently from one another, and yet people will call him out for being too formulatic. He was already one of the best in the world in 2013 and he is soo much better now than he was before. Is he, as of 16.06.2017 the greatest wrestler of all time? No. He is not there yet. But he is not even in his 30’s now. Think about it – people are already comparing him to Kobashi or Flair, and the guy still has about 10 years of wrestling at the top level (if everything goes right ofc). So I do think he will end up as one of the GOAT’s eventually. As of right now, I think he would be somewhere in the in between 15th and 20th place for me.

User avatar
cbacon87
Posts: 334
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:50 pm

Re: Kazuchika Okada is the greatest singles wrestler in the history of wrestling.

Post by cbacon87 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:13 am

I'm in the camp that wrestling's just too subjective to have a consensus greatest ever.

In basketball, the point of the game is to score points. Or, on a wider point, to win games. (But then you get the issue of is it weird to value and hand out individual awards in a team sport, but that's a different issue). What's the point of professional wrestling? There's no statistics because there's no end goal to get to. The point of wrestling isn't unequivocally to get highly rated matches. You could probably argue that if there is a definable point, it's to draw money, but goodness knows I don't care about that side of things so let's not get into that.

I don't want to say "it's art" and make it seem pretentious because give me a Taguchi ass match and I'll eat it up, so to speak. But, there's more of an element of art to it. And with films and music and such, I feel like a lot of "best ever" discussions are probably lead by perception and reputation to some degree. That'll come with Okada with time.

Post Reply