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The best wrestlers of all time - AUGUST 16, 2018

Who is a better in ring performer?  

50 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is the better wrestler, considering "in ring ability"?

  2. 2. Who is the better wrestler, considering "in ring ability"?

  3. 3. Who is the better wrestler, considering "in ring ability"?

  4. 4. Who is the better wrestler, considering "in ring ability"?

  5. 5. Who is the better wrestler, considering "in ring ability"?



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Good afternoon. Like last time I opened a poll in which you should compare some of the best wrestlers of all time.

The criteria is exclusively IN RING ABILITY, that includes criteria like storytelling, workrate, in ring psychologhy, selling, versatility, cleaning in the execution of moves, technical skills, high flying skills, brawling skills...

 

The comparisons are:

 

-Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels

-Kazuchika Okada vs Kenta Kobashi

-Daniel Bryan vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

 -AJ Styles vs Toshiaki Kawada

-Rey Mysterio vs Kenny Omega  

 

 Thank you very much

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I voted for D-Bryan only because he was always in Booker T's Fave Five.

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I’m new here but it seems you guys are way higher on Okada than you are on Omega which I’m not used to seeing.

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I enjoyed his work prior to the WWE steroid bloat, but after that I am not nearly as high on Mysteiro as most of you are. Has there been a more contrived finisher in WWE than the 619? I loved him in WCW as a kid and enjoyed catching up with his AAA/ECW/WAR matches after that but I probably don't see him as a top 50 wrestler.

In saying that, I haven't seen his match against Jericho, which Cagematch has as his highest rated. But I've seen enough of WWE Mysterio to know he's not my cup of tea, one great match withstanding.

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Also y’all seem be higher on Okada than Tanahashi which REALLY surprised me.

 

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7 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

I enjoyed his work prior to the WWE steroid bloat, but after that I am not nearly as high on Mysteiro as most of you are. Has there been a more contrived finisher in WWE than the 619? I loved him in WCW as a kid and enjoyed catching up with his AAA/ECW/WAR matches after that but I probably don't see him as a top 50 wrestler. Not a big fan of his WWE run and his steroid bloat always depressed me.

In saying that, I haven't seen his match against Jericho, which Cagematch has as his highest rated. But I've seen enough of WWE Mysterio to know he's not my cup of tea, one great match withstanding.

Wait, you’re on Cagematch? Which one are you?

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I just peruse the recommendations to see what I should be watching outside of the promotions I closely follow.

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Everyone gets old and shitty.  Why should Rey be judged on his WWE run when he has a background as the most influential Jr heavyweight since Tiger Mask and possibly the greatest high flyer of all time?

In 20 years Kenny could be a guy who has to rely on making faces and his finish will be YOU CAN'T ESCAPE or some shit.

My favorite match of all time is Rey vs Eddy at Halloween Havoc 97

Kenny Omega isn't in that match

REY WINS.

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26 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

In saying that, I haven't seen his match against Jericho, which Cagematch has as his highest rated. But I've seen enough of WWE Mysterio to know he's not my cup of tea, one great match withstanding.

That Mysterio/Jericho match is great but I don’t understand how it has such a high rating. It’s rated as 9.54 which is the highest of both men’s careers. Like how does it have a higher rating than Eddie/Rey Halloween Havoc? 

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16 minutes ago, Tromatagon said:

Everyone gets old and shitty.  Why should Rey be judged on his WWE run when he has a background as the most influential Jr heavyweight since Tiger Mask and possibly the greatest high flyer of all time?

In 20 years Kenny could be a guy who has to rely on making faces and his finish will be YOU CAN'T ESCAPE or some shit.

My favorite match of all time is Rey vs Eddy at Halloween Havoc 97

Kenny Omega isn't in that match

 REY WINS.

He's spent most of his career there though.

Is Rey Mysterio Jr. more influential than Jushin Liger? I would argue Liger's style not only worked its way into the junior work ethic and approach as a whole like Rey's did, but additionally the heavyweights across Japan and North America fused parts of highspots and finishing sequences into their matches. Still, that would put Rey behind Tiger Mask and Justin Thunder Luger as the most influential junior heavyweights and that ain't shabby.

I'll never say a bad word against the Halloween Havoc match. It was perfection and definitely one of the best matches I've ever seen. 

Omega, while his peak has been short lived and is only just beginning, has produced not just the best or second best match I've ever seen but my top 10 would be littered with his name. He's also starting to get better at injecting some character and meaning in the opening portions of his matches. I get people's frustrations with his sometimes ridiculous overacting. He's far from perfect and not even remotely as refined as Mysterio was or even is today. But I'll take him with his flaws over Mysterio's polish, though I completely get why I'd be in the minority here. I don't usually feel much in the way of emotions when watching Mysterio. Omega is the king of getting me emotionally invested in his matches, particularly the finishing sequences. I don't think there's ever been a wrestler so expertly skilled at putting together compelling, unpredictable, and lengthy finishing stretches as Omega in that style perhaps ever or at least going back to Misawa in the '90s. Even with the Havoc match, I think Eddy serves as the emotional anchor of the match while Rey brings the panache. 

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If you talk to 10 current high flying luchadores age 35 or younger 10 of them will list Rey as an influence and maybe one will say Liger.  I love both guys but I watch more lucha/check out more luchador interviews than anything else so it's really skewing my numbers.

Also when talking about polish, I believe Rey is probably the best wrestler ever at fucking up and making it look like he meant to do it and turning it into something else.  Psicosis and a young, prime Sabu are probably right after him.

TELL THAT TO MR. LEAPFROG SPOT OMEGA (I'm kidding though that was one of the greatest fucking matches I've ever seen)

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I'd love to try selling some people in this thread on the merits of, for example, some Rey-JBL matches. But you've got a bulked up Rey who had already changed his style, who was in the midst of polarizing and mishandled title run, against another polarizing figure who was on his last legs as a performer. Not an easy sell. But Rey was great working underneath in the WWE style and he meshed so well with bullies like Bradshaw. Rey did a great job adapting to his new reality, and amongst the larger fan base his work there will likely always be wildly underappreciated. 

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Watch more pre-split All Japan and peak NOAH, you lubberworts.

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Man, 06-07 Rey might've been the absolute best in the world. I like Omega, but this isn't even remotely close in my mind.

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There's one name consistently missing from all these polls, the true best wrestler of all time, Terry Funk

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On the subject of Rey/Liger's influence: I think there's almost two conversations happening. "Liger is the more influential junior, and insofar as New Japan's junior heavyweight style has become the de factor main event style for Japan and the United States, that makes him more influential overall," versus "Rey is the more influential luchador, and anyone who self identifies as such--or as influenced by that style--would acknowledge him as their north star, so that makes him more influential." I kinda think both are true?

Anyway, uh, I voted for Kenny. He's a weird performer for me, in that he does a few things in nearly every match I love that grate like hell... but I love those matches, regardless. I'd also grant that Kenny's highest profile main event run gives him myriad "great match" opportunities against guys like Ibushi, Ishii, and Okada, all of whom might (might) be better than he is; whereas Rey's highest profile main event run featured him getting squashed by a random giant every week. Obviously, that isn't anything like the totality of his career (and his stuff with JBL is really good) and maybe skews my perception unfairly, but it skews it nonetheless. I get why the poll is going the other way, though.

Kobashi/Okada is perhaps an easier comparison. Both had high profile epic title runs, and spent (or have spent thus far) a large portion of their career working primarily other super workers. And yet, their career trajectory could hardly be more different. Kobashi was a spitfire bump freak babyface forever, before becoming an almost-ace alongside Misawa, and then aging into the stone against which waves broke in NOAH. Okada showed up as an arrogant savant, won a ton, and basically hasn't stopped--this balloon diversion doesn't really count, yet. So Kobashi has demonstrated more versatility; but Okada's got 10-15 more main event years to change that. Still, if making the comp now, we can only go on what we've seen. I think it also helps Kobashi that the biggest criticism you see leveled against him--that his bumps, and the bumps he dished out, had an overall negative influence, especially when combined with his "fighting spirit" hulk ups--can sorta be applied to Okada, who doesn't drop people on their head much, but lands on his plenty, and has had his share of grotesquely violent matches. Dude also loves the "I'm actually fine now!" dropkick, after getting killed with something.

Tanahashi versus Bryan breaks my brain and my heart. Bryan has excelled at more styles, by necessity; but god, Tana has defined a style for a decade-plus. And he's shown fantastic versatility, when that's been required. He heeled brilliantly whenever "invading" other promotions, when against an underdog--the Ishii G1 match--and has transitioned brilliantly from ascending to dominant to clinging ace. So uh... maybe Bryan's not really more versatile? Maybe I voted for Bryan because Tana made me sad by beating Ibushi? I'd change my mind a dozen times over the next day, between these two. I should have said I don't know.

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Lol was anyone else emailed by the person who started this poll and asked why they voted Bryan over Tanahashi?

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Probably trying to get you to change your answer for next week's poll. 

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I answered them sincerely. Maybe they're just trying to compare viewpoints from different parts of the internet. No big deal.

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Kobashi/Okada was a hard pick for me. Okada has been on fire over the last 5 or so years. But Kobashi actually made me cry during one of his matches so he gets my pick. Maybe that’ll change in the next 10 years.

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Kobashi had roughly 15 years of being one of the best wrestlers in history going through multiple phases due to injuries and was already a good wrestler the first 3 or 4 years of his career on the bottom of the cards too. Okada's had 6 years of good to amazing wrestling. He's got a long way to go, but he should hold up a lot better for the long haul. He's already at his peak too in the ring and in booking. Kobashi it took 15 years before he was "the guy" which was probably 5 years late even if Misawa was still the top draw. Took way too long with Kawada too and by then it didn't matter.

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1 hour ago, olythegreat89 said:

Kobashi/Okada was a hard pick for me. Okada has been on fire over the last 5 or so years. But Kobashi actually made me cry during one of his matches so he gets my pick. Maybe that’ll change in the next 10 years.

 

1 hour ago, Ryan said:

Kobashi had roughly 15 years of being one of the best wrestlers in history going through multiple phases due to injuries and was already a good wrestler the first 3 or 4 years of his career on the bottom of the cards too. Okada's had 6 years of good to amazing wrestling. He's got a long way to go, but he should hold up a lot better for the long haul. He's already at his peak too in the ring and in booking. Kobashi it took 15 years before he was "the guy" which was probably 5 years late even if Misawa was still the top draw. Took way too long with Kawada too and by then it didn't matter.

That was my hardest call but went with Kenta Kobashi. If I had to vote for the greatest wrestler of all time, Kobashi would probably still get top spot.

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