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[3rd RD] REVIVAL vs. CHRIS HERO

REVIVAL vs. CHRIS HERO  

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  1. 1. Choose One



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This choice sucks.  Like, makes you sick to your stomach sucks.  Looking at how the rest of the bracket could shake out, I don't think there's a harder toss-up the rest of the way.

The argument has already been run through enough times, and I don't think there's a bad conclusion to reach here, but boy I hate that it's come to this so earlier for both of 'em.

The Revival made a mark like few others in 2016 by going back-to-back-to-back-to-back with tag classics at four straight Takeovers.  There's no way that isn't one of the top five or so stories for the year, and deservedly so.

Hero put in consistently high-level work (from what I've seen and through word-of-mouth for what I haven't; I'm not gonna front like I've seen anything close to everything he did this year*) crisscrossing the US and UK on a run like nobody else in the same span, without the insulating bubble of the WWE/NXT and facing dozens of opponents.  The level of difficulty and risk taken on would seem to speak for itself there.

On that note, I'm leaning towards Hero, but it's worth sitting on for a few days and seeing if anything gives me a change of heart.

 

(*Obviously, this is probably a point in The Revival's favor when it comes down to a pick: their catalog for the period is more accessible and readily digestible and leaves everyone more or less on a level playing field when it comes to discussion, while every person voting for Hero might have a different favorite match.)

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Try and find the Marty Scurll/Hero matches from the summer, CSC. There was one in Progress (chapter 31) but it was the Rev Pro one from Uprising a friend and I went gaga over. Fenix/Pentagon vs. Heroes Eventually Die from BOLA was ridiculously awesome. 

Going back to the Revival house show match in Seattle with AA, it is hard for me to forget the girlish scream of joy I made when Dawson hit the Arn Anderson fake out DDT. They're great and all but I've gone with Hero for both quantity and quality.

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Chris Hero was so good that he got rehired. He set out to have one of the best years ever and did it his way.

The case against The Revival is that they're a cover band. A great one but still lack much originality. They just cover things we like more than say Dolph Ziggler.

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Megadeath 4 life, brother!

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They're also two guys doing an old school gimmick and yet clearly get bothered that Dave Meltzer doesn't give their matches five stars.

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I'm pretty sure Austin's praise means a lot more to them than Meltzer's.

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Didn't like the backing down from Road Dogg or Bubba Dudley either. 

Hero's Highspots gimmick with Meltzer and Naylor was very good too.

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29 minutes ago, Charlie M. said:

Chris Hero was so good that he got rehired. He set out to have one of the best years ever and did it his way.

The case against The Revival is that they're a cover band. A great one but still lack much originality. They just cover things we like more than say Dolph Ziggler.

Well, NXT is full of cosplayers and tribute acts. They just might be the best at it. 

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1 minute ago, Charlie M. said:

Didn't like the backing down from Road Dogg or Bubba Dudley either. 

Hero's Highspots gimmick with Meltzer and Naylor was very good too.

What was that over?

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Look, I picked Revival to go over Hero because people are more familiar with Revival and because they're easier to encapsulate. I thought that's how the board would go.

It's also the wrong choice. The Revival had a handful of singular tag matches, possibly the best ever in a promotion that never valued tag team wrestling, though matches that aren't as good as some of the ones that they emulate. They were able to double down on the old tricks and combine them with a modern energy, doing as much as anyone ever to justify the (often flawed) concept of progress in pro wrestling. So yes, they had a handful of absolutely singular matches in a controlled setting with good opponents and given every opportunity.

Chris Hero had a singular year. Brian Danielson may have had one year on the indies as good or close to as good, but other than that, I don't think any independent wrestler ever accomplished what he did, wrestling so many places, with so many styles, with so many opponents of so varying experience, and having so many good matches. He was an Ace on the independent scene. I've seen absolute misers who hate modern wrestling and worship the altar of Dory, Jack Brisco, and Flair bow down and drop 5 stars on one of his tag matches. Just like that.He drew crowds in multiple states and overseas, convinced people to travel large distances, did as much as anyone towards helping to make a guy like Riddle by meeting him halfway. He had the sense to do what he needed to in order to get over with the crowd he was in front of, benefiting the match instead of himself, which is no small task when you consider the variety of opponents he faced and the varied crowds he faced them in front of. There are dozens of wrestlers all around the country who had their best match this year with him.

Look, if nothing else, he was good enough this year to get himself rehired even with the current look he has. No one in the history of wrestling has ever managed a feat like that. There's nothing I love more than tag team wrestling. I've spent years every March showing disdain towards indy wrestling and pushing for just about anything else. And here I am, arguing against my own ballot, arguing against my own preferences (even in the face of maybe the best Titan tag team match ever), and voting for the first and only king of the loosely confederated landscape of independent pro wrestling. 

That's Chris Hero's year. There's never been another one like it.

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Which Hero tag match are you referring to, Matt?

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Okay, after 2 long days of work and a board game night, I finally have time to make an argument for the Revival. It's not really one that counters how good of a year Hero had: He's not my favorite wrestler in the world by any means, but he's clearly very very good, and had a fantastic year. Voting for Hero is not the "wrong" vote by any means. It's just the clearly wrong vote to me.

First off, regarding Phil saying that the "Revival as Best Tag Team in a Decade" thing doesn't actually have much traction, I will counter with: Name some better ones. I enjoy the Briscoes a great deal. but I can't think of a time in their run together they were ever putting as complete of matches together as the Revival did multiple times in this time period. I don't think there's a case for any WWE based tag team in the last 20 years, let alone 10. Maybe the MnM, London and Kendrick, or Miz and Morrison run, but as an in ring tandem, they seem pretty far ahead of the ball there. Though shoutout to the Hardys brief return in the late 2000's for being pretty kickass. If there are any die hard tag teams you want to point out from Japan and Mexico, I'm all ears, as I'd love to see some good tag wrestling, because it's always been my favorite kind.

I will also ask for clarification on everyone saying the Revival did it with great opponents. Gable and Jordan had the Revival tags in the time period, and couldn't put up anything else of note to even get them into this field. Everyone counts Gargano and Ciampa as great now (which is a fair opinion), but people forget that most people on this board were very eh on them before their feud with the Revival started. There were multiple people who thought Gargano was pretty shitty, and that Ciampa didn't have enough charisma to really cover for him. Now they are legitimate final 4 threats in this tournament with mainly just the Revival matches and one singles match to build a resume on. And, no matter how many good matches Hero had with a wide variety of (mostly also good) opponents, NOTHING he did is as impressive, in retrospect, to getting a pretty damn good match out of Enzo and Cass, who look like the worst people on the WWE main show roster a year later. How many people did Hero face who are Enzo bad. Hero sometimes had just okay matches with some people who were actually good. 

But, as for why I love the Revival, and will vote for them over any other participant in the tournament: They are the only people who I have seen who blends my favorite style of wreslting ever (80's Tag Team Wrestling) with the current "significantly shittier" version of wrestling we get today, and somehow made the stuff that leads me to drink in current wrestling and put there own twist into it that makes it stand out constantly. Everyone says the Revival are basically just a tribute act, which, yes, they act like the Brainbusters a lot in there mannerisms and work, and actively acknowledge it multiple times with there odes to Arn, but they aren't JUST that. And if all they were was just a fucking great Brainbusters tribute act, that still would make them one of the best things going today. They also manage to be heels who get legitimate fucking heat in spite of the fact they are having great matches. For all the love Styles is getting, he still fails to make the crowd actually boo him as he tears the house down. The Revival are only now starting to get something close to face reactions, and that's partially because they are feuding with other heels. 

I'm fine with others voting Hero. I'm even mostly fine with Hero winning this (though I'll be a bit sad). But fuck if the Revival aren't one of the only few reasons I still actively watch wrestling instead of moving on with my life at this point.

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Funnily - I think #DIY has the case of having a good/great match out of Enzo/Cass level team with their AOP match (AOP will be better than Enzo/Cass. Heck you can argue they are now but it is all because of how truly shitty Enzo is)

Point of order - I didn't say "tag team of the decade" didn't have traction. Just that Cristobal and possibly Dragon were the only person who I had seen say it.

For myself - I would definitely take the Briscoes over Revival. A big part of that is a much larger body of work. (I mean Revival has been a team for what.. two? three? years now).

If we stretch back to "since 2000" (or something like that) - they I am definitely taking Ultimo Guerrero/Rey Bucanero too (Oh and also thinking pure tag team - because The Shield was better too)

American Alpha could have had a chance but they got called up. We will see how Revival does after their post-Mania callup (if the rumors are true)

But it again  shines a light on how shitty tag team wrestling has gotten

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For what it's worth, the best match I saw last year was The Revival/American Alpha at the Seattle NXT house show, and it was actually different in little structural ways than their other matches that were on TV. 

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When in doubt, pick the guy who toured all over the world having great matches with a wide variety of people over the guys who worked mostly in front of "home" crowds in a controlled, insular system.  I feel like NXT is a bit of a cheat and I'll always drop a few points from people who have only worked NXT during the voting period.

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I voted for the guy I actually watched. BIAS~!

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8 hours ago, Cole Miner said:

Heroes Eventually Die vs Sami Callihan and Zack Sabre Jr. This is the review he is referring to http://prowrestlingonly.com/index.php?/topic/31793-jvk-reviews-pimped-matches-from-late-90s-10s/?p=5773877

I know that the basis of the case for Hero is such that one match not counting shouldn't really make a difference, but in case it sways anybody that is very understandably on the fence away from the vote I happen to support I'll point out that this match is not from the time period.

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Shoot, you know what? It's not. Thanks. He saw it within the period and they had other matches as a team in the period so that's what threw me. I do think it's endemic of his run in general though. I also personally feel like his PWG work isn't his strongest of the year due to the nature of the style and my own personal tastes but I think it's a real testament to him how he does make subtle (and sometimes large changes to his style depending on where he is.

That's another example of how the complexity of Hero's year is so much richer and more impressive, really. The more I think about it, the harder it is to compare them. It's the difference between a traveling champ in a world where that hasn't existed in more than thirty years and someone who only wrestled on Saturday Night's Main Event.

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1 hour ago, Matt D said:

SNIPPAGE>>

That's another example of how the complexity of Hero's year is so much richer and more impressive, really. The more I think about it, the harder it is to compare them. It's the difference between a traveling champ in a world where that hasn't existed in more than thirty years and someone who only wrestled on Saturday Night's Main Event.

BINGO! Matt, I think you've nailed the argument for Chris Hero right here. His year was a perfect throwback to the NWA travelling champion of thirty-forty years ago. Changing his style either subtly or vastly as the situation demanded and having good to great matches with as diverse a group of opponents as you could wish for. If the Revival were Anderson/Blanchard, then Chris Hero was peak period Jack Brisco or Ric Flair.

It's really, really close, but for degree of difficulty you have to give the nod to the guy with the widest range of opponents. Certainly the Revival was much more accessible and people (myself included) tend to be lazy, but the discussion here and elsewhere was enough that midway through the year I realized that Chris Hero was doing something pretty special and I made it a point of seeking his work out. Very, very few wrestlers on the indie scene have made me do that in the last twenty years. Off the top of my head, (and limited to North America), CM Punk, A.J. Styles, Brian Danielson, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Super Dragon & the Briscoes come to mind as being compelling enough to make me go that extra mile. Oh, and adding Matt Riddle to the list this year... Pretty illustrious company to be included in. I think the real clincher is: If I have comp disks of 2016 for both, in five years which one is going to get rewatched the most frequently? Pretty clearly there will be something on the Hero comp to suit every mood. I wouldn't be horribly upset if the Revival were to win, in fact, it would be quite understandable due to the accessibility factor; understandable, but short-sighted by just a wee bit.

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I saw the Revival and AA have a tag match in Atlanta that blew away the match they had on tv a few weeks later. It was essentially the same match, spot for spot, just with more energy and without the nervousness of being for the camera.

Chris Hero didn't get to incessantly practice his matches. Vote Hero.

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