2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

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Rich Kraetsch
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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:46 pm

I want to have a discussion about Bryan Danielson. Last year (his inaugural year), he got 54%. I found this absolutely fascinating as he should have been an absolute, no-doubt slam dunk. He's the best wrestler of a decade and one of the best ever. He was a star in the little amount of time he was given to be the top guy, main evented one of the biggest WrestleManias ever (though this is getting increasingly redundant year-in-year-out).

He seems like a no-brainer, he should've waltzed into the Hall. Why did he miss out? People waiting to see if he gets back in the ring? People not wanting to vote him his first year? What gives?

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Garuda » Wed Sep 28, 2016 11:52 pm

The "common wisdom" was that current wrestlers didn't go out for him, that a lot of the balloted current wrestlers are WWE, and that those WWE talents didn't see/didn't value his lengthy ROH career that comprises much of his candidacy.

Can't really speak to the legitimacy of any of that, but I didn't expect current wrestlers to be the negative swing-vote category.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Brandon Howard » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:02 pm

I'd guess that and there being a lot of voters who voted for the max number of candidates (as suggested by the high number of candidates elected last year), and Bryan didn't make their cut.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Garuda » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:04 pm

That could easily be part of it. Last year was a buffet - the first year since the baseball rule cleared out all the hopeless vote-soakers. 2014 saw the big ballot dropoffs and 2015 saw a ton go in off the slimmer ballot. It'll be interesting to see how the sveltest ballot yet gets voted on.

Hard to imagine Bryan, for one, not getting in this year. He'll probably get a rebound. It's also possible that people with more then 10 choices left Bryan off thinking he'd be a no-brainer. But we'll see; it was also hard to imagine him not getting in last year.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:21 pm

The stigma of "you did it all on the indies" could be a thing too. Of course, many of those same people (wrestlers included) won't apply that to territories because territories drew more. This leads to a much larger discussion of do we reward the relative drawing ability of ROH (comparable to the amount of wrestling fans there are today) or stick to a straight ideal of 10k+ = draw~!

Regardless, the work speaks for itself. If you have that level of output in your backyard for 10+ years, I'm probably still going to vote ya.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Brandon Howard » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:55 pm

Rich Kraetsch wrote:The stigma of "you did it all on the indies" could be a thing too. Of course, many of those same people (wrestlers included) won't apply that to territories because territories drew more. This leads to a much larger discussion of do we reward the relative drawing ability of ROH (comparable to the amount of wrestling fans there are today) or stick to a straight ideal of 10k+ = draw~!

Regardless, the work speaks for itself. If you have that level of output in your backyard for 10+ years, I'm probably still going to vote ya.
Would you really though?

This is probably the big issue going forward for the future of the HOF, assuming wrestling stays at this level of popularity or becomes even more niche.

For all three major criteria... Like, is there any way to resolve this other than being arbitrary? If my local indie guy turned around his promotion from drawing 100 and tripled it to 300... He tripled attendance at the local bingo hall and set the territory on fire! If the criteria should truly be considered relative, then said indie guy is a legit HOF candidate. That doesn't feel right, certainly for a institution with the word "fame" in the name. Maybe that's the case only if we arrive in an even more decadent era where the gold standard for drawing really is 300. So drawing 100 or 300 doesn't really matter today, because WWE draws at least 3000 to almost every one of their events. But if that's the case, if you're being consistent, I don't think you can give Bryan any points for whatever he drew in ROH -- although I would give him related points under the "influence" criteria for helping build the influential ROH brand. Looking the article back over, that's one of the admissions I made while arguing for Bryan's case. http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2015/0 ... l-of-fame/

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Headbutt Stoppage » Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:52 pm

We should note that since Ivan Koloff fell off the ballot and both Sting and AJ Styles (who fell off anyway) main evented a PPV, there is no one on the "Modern North America" list that isn't indelibly linked to working for Vincent K McMahon. You're choosing based on how well someone appealed to him first, and the audience second.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:31 pm

Brandon Howard wrote:
Rich Kraetsch wrote:The stigma of "you did it all on the indies" could be a thing too. Of course, many of those same people (wrestlers included) won't apply that to territories because territories drew more. This leads to a much larger discussion of do we reward the relative drawing ability of ROH (comparable to the amount of wrestling fans there are today) or stick to a straight ideal of 10k+ = draw~!

Regardless, the work speaks for itself. If you have that level of output in your backyard for 10+ years, I'm probably still going to vote ya.
Would you really though?

This is probably the big issue going forward for the future of the HOF, assuming wrestling stays at this level of popularity or becomes even more niche.

For all three major criteria... Like, is there any way to resolve this other than being arbitrary? If my local indie guy turned around his promotion from drawing 100 and tripled it to 300... He tripled attendance at the local bingo hall and set the territory on fire! If the criteria should truly be considered relative, then said indie guy is a legit HOF candidate. That doesn't feel right, certainly for a institution with the word "fame" in the name. Maybe that's the case only if we arrive in an even more decadent era where the gold standard for drawing really is 300. So drawing 100 or 300 doesn't really matter today, because WWE draws at least 3000 to almost every one of their events. But if that's the case, if you're being consistent, I don't think you can give Bryan any points for whatever he drew in ROH -- although I would give him related points under the "influence" criteria for helping build the influential ROH brand. Looking the article back over, that's one of the admissions I made while arguing for Bryan's case. http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2015/0 ... l-of-fame/
My point about the yarder has nothing to do with drawing, for what it's worth, I'm talking about high-level work. Danielson was a HOFer before he even stepped foot in WWE. If a dynamo no doubt draw hits the ballot, they are in 100% of the time yet an all-time great worker has to wait while people discuss his drawing ability? Doesn't seem fair...

Anyway regarding the draw moving forward and the part I talked about w/r/t 10k+/drawing, etc. I think you have to think era-relative in any sport or wrestling. That's always been my thing. As a baseball fan, you have to do that to have any semblance of discussion on the best players of all-time. Pedro Martinez is an all-time legend, even if he has 200 less "wins" than Cy Young. They also pitched nearly a century apart and things evolved in that time. "Home Run" Baker is a HOF power hitter with 96 career home runs. Barry Bonds had 73 in a single season, this year there may be multiple guys with 50. Does that make "Home Run" Baker's accomplishments any less impressive or Hall worthy? Not at all. He was X better than contemporaries giving his environment (park, league, etc.) that's how you look at it. I don't think it's fair to judge any single candidate of any HOF without the context of their era. Bryan Danielson should not be compared 1:1 with a Junkyard Dog or whatever.

They existed in entirely different worlds, even if it was the same sport or medium.

Improving ROH attendance by 200 relative to where they were before should be judged on it's own merits or as much as we'd judge someone gaining an extra 1k to take WWE house shows from 10-11k for instance. You could argue that if he was so good he should have been in a bigger promotion or company, but that's not always so easy.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Brandon Howard » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:20 pm

Rich Kraetsch wrote:My point about the yarder has nothing to do with drawing, for what it's worth, I'm talking about high-level work. Danielson was a HOFer before he even stepped foot in WWE. If a dynamo no doubt draw hits the ballot, they are in 100% of the time yet an all-time great worker has to wait while people discuss his drawing ability? Doesn't seem fair...

Anyway regarding the draw moving forward and the part I talked about w/r/t 10k+/drawing, etc. I think you have to think era-relative in any sport or wrestling. That's always been my thing. As a baseball fan, you have to do that to have any semblance of discussion on the best players of all-time. Pedro Martinez is an all-time legend, even if he has 200 less "wins" than Cy Young. They also pitched nearly a century apart and things evolved in that time. "Home Run" Baker is a HOF power hitter with 96 career home runs. Barry Bonds had 73 in a single season, this year there may be multiple guys with 50. Does that make "Home Run" Baker's accomplishments any less impressive or Hall worthy? Not at all. He was X better than contemporaries giving his environment (park, league, etc.) that's how you look at it. I don't think it's fair to judge any single candidate of any HOF without the context of their era. Bryan Danielson should not be compared 1:1 with a Junkyard Dog or whatever.
While I am inclined to agree with you, I think an advocate of the opposite viewpoint would argue that in essence the "quality of play" in the current era is absolutely inferior to, or, at the very least, less important than that of past eras. If "importance" or "quality of play" are directly correlated to popularity of pro wrestling as a sport/medium/whatever, then it's true that the current era is inferior to past ones, because I don't think it's even disputable that pro wrestling was more popular before the 90s than after, with the possible exception of 1998-2000.

I think the name "Hall of Fame" is the sticky issue here, and the reason why drawing power gets weighed with what you might argue is disproportionate value. It's not a Hall of Greatness or a Hall of Love; it's a Hall of Fame. I imagine a lot of voters have an issue with giving credit to indie stuff because they're voting on a hall of fame. The idea of crediting fame to someone who performed in front of relatively small crowds is probably unappealing, especially if you yourself are a performer who performed in front of exponentially larger crowds.

If pro wrestling itself becomes less famous, doesn't that mean there are fewer candidates worthy of the Hall of Fame?

I think another issue is that Al Snow point: that few or nobody was ever trying to be a great in-ring performer or have great matches before maybe 1987. And obviously that outlook among wrestlers has changed. Rather, wrestlers pre-1987 (you could pick any number of particular years, but that one seems as good as any) were generally only concerned with drawing money; that was the only objective. So probably the older a performer you are, the more inclined you are to judge someone's Hall of Fame candidacy based on how much they satisfied the original objective. If the WON HOF was founded in 1980, it's questionable whether the in-ring performer criterion would even be defined.
Rich Kraetsch wrote:They existed in entirely different worlds, even if it was the same sport or medium.

Improving ROH attendance by 200 relative to where they were before should be judged on it's own merits or as much as we'd judge someone gaining an extra 1k to take WWE house shows from 10-11k for instance. You could argue that if he was so good he should have been in a bigger promotion or company, but that's not always so easy.
Then you are saying the drawing power criterion should be given relative value as well, aren't you? Which I think opens a can of worms where if you start giving credence to a 800 to 1000 difference, why shouldn't you give credence to a 600 to 800 difference, and therefore a 400 to 600 difference and a 200 to 400 difference, and so on?

Maybe the "fame" in "Hall of Fame" shouldn't be taken as literally as I'm sketching out here. Anyway, I think the custodian of this Hall of Fame should encourage a discussion in earnest about the criteria and consider improving and clarifying them.
Last edited by Brandon Howard on Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Brandon Howard » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:39 pm

Brandon Howard wrote:I think the name "Hall of Fame" is the sticky issue here, and the reason why drawing power gets weighed with what you might argue is disproportionate value. It's not a Hall of Greatness or a Hall of Love; it's a Hall of Fame. I imagine a lot of voters have an issue with giving credit to indie stuff because they're voting on a hall of fame. The idea of crediting fame to someone who performed in front of relatively small crowds is probably unappealing, especially if you yourself are a performer who performed in front of exponentially larger crowds.

If pro wrestling itself becomes less famous, doesn't that mean there are fewer candidates worthy of the Hall of Fame?

I think another issue is that Al Snow point: that few or nobody was ever trying to be a great in-ring performer or have great matches before maybe 1987. And obviously that outlook among wrestlers has changed. Rather, wrestlers pre-1987 (you could pick any number of particular years, but that one seems as good as any) were generally only concerned with drawing money; that was the only objective. So probably the older a performer you are, the more inclined you are to judge someone's Hall of Fame candidacy based on how much they satisfied the original objective. If the WON HOF was founded in 1980, it's questionable whether the in-ring performer criterion would even be defined.
To elaborate on the mindset of this prototypical old-timer voter... and to further analogize the Baseball Hall of Fame... For this voter, drawing money in wrestling is akin to winning in baseball: that's the ultimate objective, what everything is for the sake of, so of course that's the basis you've been voting on. Then all of the sudden people start arguing that you need to vote for players who were involved in exciting games too, because the audience got more self-aware and cared less about wins and losses and more about the drama/entertainment value of the games themselves. Even if those exciting players never really won any championships or competed for MVP or Cy Young awards or were leaders in stats.

Again, this is not a mindset I necessarily agree with, but I can see where a voter like that would be coming from. And again, I think criteria is something we need to think about, and something that maybe the written criteria should address as the objectives of pro wrestling have evolved over time, should it even be possible to write a satisfying set of criteria.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:30 am

Brandon Howard wrote:While I am inclined to agree with you, I think an advocate of the opposite viewpoint would argue that in essence the "quality of play" in the current era is absolutely inferior to, or, at the very least, less important than that of past eras. If "importance" or "quality of play" are directly correlated to popularity of pro wrestling as a sport/medium/whatever, then it's true that the current era is inferior to past ones, because I don't think it's even disputable that pro wrestling was more popular before the 90s than after, with the possible exception of 1998-2000.
See my problem with this is why does Bryan Danielson for example get punished because Vince McMahon put all the territories out of business? People wrestling is less popular than it was 30 years ago that means Bryan Danielson isn't Hall of Fame worthy? You may as well close the thing down then, nobody else is getting in because nobody is going to draw the consistent large houses from the territory days.

That's why I'm not comfortable removing context and putting everyone on an even playing field. We're punishing guys who have nothing to do with the overall health of the business. I guess you COULD argue that if Wrestler X was such a big deal and "Hall" worthy he should be able to bring legions of fans back to the product but again, that's not entirely fair. We live in an entirely different world than in 1974 or 1984, both wrestling-wise, culture-wise and entertainment consumption wise.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by wac » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:54 am

We badly need a Drawing Power Over Replacement Worker statistic.

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Alan4L » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:26 am

Could someone who knows more about his peak tell me if there is a fair comparison to be made between Mistico and Goldberg? That feel very similar to me right down to the disappointing WWE run

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by Brandon Howard » Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:36 pm

Interesting point. Was Goldberg ever even on the ballot?

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Re: 2016 WON HOF Ballot & Discussion

Post by kjharris » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:52 am

I really don't see the comparison between Goldberg and Mistico, as Goldberg's hot drawing run lasted about 12 months before WCW's business fell off a cliff, plus Goldberg wasn't the catalyst for sparking the boom in WCW business (that was Hogan's heel turn and the nWo). Mistico's big push started in the summer of 2004, quickly became CMLL's top tecnico, a position he retained until he left the company in January 2011, outside of a short-lived heel turn. That's a six and a half year run. Although business wasn't red hot for the whole of that run, he was still CMLL's biggest draw for the whole of that period and it took the company quite some time to regroup from his departure.

I think a better comparison would be someone like Konnan, who was the top tecnico draw of his era in the early 1990s, had a longer, fairly disappointing run in major United States promotions, before returning to Mexico and drawing some big houses.

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