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Matches you'd show to non-fans to illustrate why you like wrestling

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I've never tried to convert anyone to wrestling fandom, but I'm sure we've all been asked at some point or another why we find it appealing.  What are some matches you could show to people who aren't fans that craft stories or encapsulate what it is that makes wrestling so great? Obviously this hypothetical includes explaining the story leading up to said matches.

Gargano/Ciampa from Takeover came to mind as well as Gargano/Almas from the last Takeover.

Some of Flair's classic stuff with Dusty or Steamboat.

Bayley/Sasha ironwoman match 

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I'm convinced no such match exists, at least as a near-universal answer to this question. 

Both the Gargano matches lack a world of context and are way too long for conversion purposes. Ditto a lot of classic Flair stuff. Ditto any ironman/woman match. Even with context provided, you're asking a lot by going with such lengthy stuff. 

I'd be tempted to say Rey-Eddie Halloween Havoc, but it might look too "fake." It's a mile a minute though and the story jumps off the screen, which helps. 

Maybe Bret-Owen at Mania?

This question has always been stupid. Why would I want to help someone to like wrestling? Wrestling is stupid. 

 

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In college, I showed people Liger/Sano and other NJPW stuff w Mutoh and Chono. 

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Daniel Bryan vs HHH from Mania 30 (with the Monster video providing backstory)

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I think in a perfect world, you would get to pick something with a kick ass recap video package, so the could understand contextually what was happening. I feel like pro wrestling is super hard to explain to folks that don't get it. If I were just giving them one of my favorites, it would probably be 6/3/1994 Misawa - Kawada, or the 1997 BOSJ final of Kanemoto and El Samurai. Or any of the three title changes from the Can-Am Express - Footloose series.

I don't know that this is the right answer, but it ticks a couple of boxes. Nice and short, crisply worked and a truly brutal finish.

 

Edited by grilledcheese
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I'm not all about that goddamned workrate shit, tell me a story and have it be a fucked up one.


Also, copious cameos by myself don't hurt.

 

 

 

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1992 MOTY. Kikuchi in his home town, with the fans absolutely rabid for everything. Dan Kroffat, the best heel in the world for one night. Still an amazing match.

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Arguably the greatest match in PPV history.  Certainly the conclusion of one of the best stories ever told in pro wrestling.

The fan that loses his shit after Rey hits the assisted Moonsault DDT spot = The Best.

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Encapsulates the unsung role of the jobber in pro wrestling history.  Some guys make you look like a million dollars and some guys make you look like a fucking billion dollars.

Watch the match the first time to soak in the glory of the beating and then watch the second time and pay attention to the fans when Jerry Price splats after the Super Back Body Drop From Hell.

Wrestling is fake? Go fuck yourself.

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Samoa Joe/Necro Butcher 

and 

Andre/Hansen

Big, scary dudes being all out of control and violent and shit. 

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2 hours ago, J.T. said:

Arguably the greatest match in PPV history.  Certainly the conclusion of one of the best stories ever told in pro wrestling.

The fan that loses his shit after Rey hits the assisted Moonsault DDT spot = The Best.

Do you also have to explain who Rey is dressed as? 

#slamevil

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I actually had to do something akin to this recently, as two friends from work asked me to host a night and show them some wrestling. I can't remember all the matches I showed them, but included were:

Tomohiro Ishii vs Katsuyori Shibata from the G1 Climax

A two out of three falls Ebessan versus Kuishinbo Kamen match

Samoe Joe vs Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman from Summerslam

Jushin Liger versus Naoki Sano from January 90

They've started going to watch live wrestling with me, so I believe these worked.

 

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2 hours ago, Log said:

Samoa Joe/Necro Butcher 

and 

Andre/Hansen

Big, scary dudes being all out of control and violent and shit. 

Both of those are such great fucking calls.

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I think it'd be something fast paced (Ricochet vs. Ospreay) or violent, but not overly so (Angle vs. Shane KOTR)

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So many awful choices. "Hi, I'm a non-fan and presumably of sound body and mind, I am aware that pro wrestling exists, but choose to ignore it as it's not really my thing......WHAAAAAA, grainy Youtube footage of two Japanese guys trying to drop each other on their head without any context unless I also happen to speak Japanese? WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE? SIGN ME UP FOR A NJPW WORLD SUBSCRIPTION YESTERDAY"

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17 minutes ago, RolandTHTG said:

So many awful choices. "Hi, I'm a non-fan and presumably of sound body and mind, I am aware that pro wrestling exists, but choose to ignore it as it's not really my thing......WHAAAAAA, grainy Youtube footage of two Japanese guys trying to drop each other on their head without any context unless I also happen to speak Japanese? WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE? SIGN ME UP FOR A NJPW WORLD SUBSCRIPTION YESTERDAY"

I was pretty much coming in to say something like this. Matches that are universally praised as the best ever are probably the worst to pick, they're all so ingrained with a specific time or context, that throwing someone in cold would be a waste of time.

Honestly, there are no real matches that are good suggestions. People who are into wrestling have their own specific likes and dislikes about it and wouldn't necessarily be interested in a lot of these matches. Trying to find a match that would hook a non-fan is pretty much a crap shoot.

The closest I've ever come is when a friend came by to hang out when I happened to be watching Lucha Underground. A couple weeks later she texted me asking what the thing I was watching where "everyone is a monster or a cartoon and they're all fighting in a pit", because she felt like watching an episode.

I also showed another friend early Chikara because I felt it might be something they'd think was interesting based on other things they liked. They weren't crazy into it, but thought Hallowicked was pretty cool.

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I'll throw out the Booker/Austin supermarket fight from 2002, because it contains a guy they probably already know of, its entertaining, and it's not necessarily wrestling enough for people to have to sit there and question shit, when I imagine the majority of people watch this stuff because we enjoy not having to think too much.

Maybe even Vince/Shane from Mania X7. 

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So as not to be a complete downer on the thread, my picks would be:

Ric Flair/Terry Funk I Quit. All you have to say is "Funk tried to murder Flair by suffocating him and breaking his neck, he's also just generally batshit and now Flair is back and pissed..."

Mr. Perfect/Tito Santana SNME. Personal choice, because it is my favourite match, which I think is important in something like this. If I'm trying to get someone into music, I'm not going to start with the Beatles, I'm going to start with the music that means the most to me. In the long run, this isn't an important match, but I think it perfectly (um, sorry for the pun) shows what a great heel, great face and great manager, working at a solid pace can do with 15 minutes.

 

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Wasn’t the original topic “show folks matches why you like wrestling” not “show folks matches to convert them”?

i would likely give different answers to those questions. 

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I know, I know. Recency bias and all. But I kinda made my wife watch Revival-DIY 2 out of 3 falls from Takeover Toronto.

The video package showing how DIY just kept coming up short, and the teams' use of each other's finishers, and especially the epic closing sequence, with the heels nobly attempting to stave off defeat ... it was just a masterstroke of storytelling.

It's as good a tag match as you'll see, and it's a perfect example of why I love wrestling. I think she got it and appreciated it.

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3 hours ago, odessasteps said:

Wasn’t the original topic “show folks matches why you like wrestling” not “show folks matches to convert them”?

i would likely give different answers to those questions. 

I think you’re reading it right. It’s a more interesting question that way regardless, because what a hypothetical non-fan friend might like would be endlessly variable. 

That said, I only started watching wrestling because of torrented puro and ROH, so that certainly can work as an entry point for some. So here’s KENTA vs SUWA, one of my first favorite matches, that I think still explains my tastes really well.

 

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I don't even bother. Anytime someone starts shit-talking wrestling, usually drunk at my bar, I just walk away.

Until they start pestering me about how fake it is, and then I tell the story about D David Schultz and John Stossel...

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37 minutes ago, Marty Sugar said:

Until they start pestering me about how fake it is, and then I tell the story about D David Schultz and John Stossel...

I usually take the nuclear option of the Mass Transit incident when people talk about wrestling being fake.

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2 hours ago, Marty Sugar said:

I don't even bother. Anytime someone starts shit-talking wrestling, usually drunk at my bar, I just walk away.

Until they start pestering me about how fake it is, and then I tell the story about D David Schultz and John Stossel...

Don’t tell the Dr. D story, show them. 

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