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WON 2019 Hall of Fame Discussion


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22 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

It feels absurd considering Gedo is just in there because he books a good promotion. And who the fuck is Paul Pons? 

Paul Pons is someone that you should read up on. May I suggest a visit to Wrestling Classics would be in order? He's a turn of the century star and by "star" I mean a seriously huge draw at the time and you need to remember that pro-wrestling and "strong men" were a huge, huge draw until the various syndicate's put a stranglehold (no pun intended) on the business after WWI. 

I'm not going to say that I'm a huge advocate of Gedo being inducted, but when you add up all the pieces (great tag-team career, successful singles run, long-term success as booker (granted, you would have to be pretty inept to not succeed with that roster, but in all fairness he's done a pretty damn good job of star-building).

Edited by OSJ
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8 hours ago, Eivion said:

I'm fine with Gedo going in. It just seems wrong for it to be on his own.

That's the tricky part of the equation, obviously as wrestlers Jado and Gedo were greater than the sum of their parts,  but if we look at Jado in a vacuum, I don't think he comes anywhere near the HOF. Obviously, he made significant contributions to the team and was a big help early on in booking (whether he got credit for it or not), but his singles career just shrieks of midcarditis and I don't really think that there's enough other components to his career to make a very strong HOF case. You're really looking at the Japanese version of the Midnight Rockers, with the major difference being that Marty was better than Jado in any way that you care to measure him.

I'm all ears for a compelling argument as to why Jado belongs in, but I'm just not seeing it. I'm seeing 1/2 of a really solid tag-team and early success as a booker, though it's quite demonstrable that Gedo didn't really need Jado's help booking. In fact, you'd have a hard time showing exactly what he did bring to the table as a booker as it's pretty clear that Gedo is quite capable all by himself of a sustained run of excellent booking. Yeah, let's go ahead and torpedo the talking point of "he has such a great roster to work with, how could anyone screw that up?" He re-built one of the most hated heels in the history of NJPW into one of their most beloved stars, he turned a skinny kid from New Zealand into one of the biggest stars on the planet, he kept a broken-down Tanahashi not only relevant, but as popular as ever in his early forties. Not only did he survive the loss of Nakamura, within a matter of weeks it was like Nak had never been there. Let's see, he lost the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, CODY, Hangman Page, Anderson/Gallows, KENTA, etc.  These would be devastating losses to most bookers, hell, most bookers simply would not survive that level of talent exodus. Gedo has not only survived it, he's thrived in circumstances that would have most guys sending out their resume. If you had told me three years ago that we would be breathing with the Switchblade, I'd have laughed at you. Granted, the brass ring was there and the kid grabbed it, but a lot of credit has to go to Gedo for seeing something that no one else did and building on it. Hell, he's even made Goto interesting again and that's a difficult feat. 

Edited by OSJ
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Even I as a Giant New Japan sceptic I have zero problem with Gedo getting in, even with booking as his main credential. His influence turned New Japan from a dead promotion to a gigantic one.

The best news is this helped clear out the Lucha logjam. The bad news is El Dandy still remains arguably the biggest snub in the Hall and still isn’t on the ballot.

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18 minutes ago, The Man Known as Dan said:

Even I as a Giant New Japan sceptic I have zero problem with Gedo getting in, even with booking as his main credential. His influence turned New Japan from a dead promotion to a gigantic one.

The best news is this helped clear out the Lucha logjam. The bad news is El Dandy still remains arguably the biggest snub in the Hall and still isn’t on the ballot.

Blue Panther (dvdvr patron saint) fell off last year. 

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The US/Canada historical  one that I think is really annoying is the Stomper. 

And also none of the Fuller/Welch promoters (roy, Buddy or ron) now seems odd hearing all of Ron's stories about his family's business. Assuming of course his numbers are legit. 

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11 hours ago, The Man Known as Dan said:

Oof, how did I miss that one?  Toss him on with Akiyama, Taue, Dandy, and Buddy Rose as my “how the Sam hell aren’t they in” guys.

Oddly enough you can make pretty compelling arguments against all five of these guys. I'm not saying that I would agree with those arguments, just saying that they could be made. For example:

Akiyama & Taue: Seen as the number 3 & 4 guy after Misawa and Kawada (or the number 4 & 5 guys if you're going to throw Kobashi into the mix. In any event we have to agree that the gulf between Misawa/Kawada and Taue/Akiyama is a pretty wide one. 

El Dandy: Biggest knock on him is a failure to connect with US audiences. Certainly not his fault as he didn't have any say in how he was booked, but at the end of the day you have a guy whose real claim to entry is his ringwork, something very few of the voters have seen much of. Do I think he belongs? For me Dandy is right on the edge, his induction wouldn't hurt anything, leaving him as the lucha gatekeeper works for me too. (If you're demonstrably a bigger draw and/or better worker for an equal period of time in you go... Less than that, Hall of the Very Good. 

Okay, I cannot be objective about Playboy Buddy Rose as I would routinely (with a couple of like-minded individuals) put up with the two and a half hour drive from Seattle to Portland in order to see Buddy do his thing). In the 1970s when the Playboy was in shape he was arguably a top-five worker in the US, even after  his weight ballooned up he was still an awesome worker (comparisons to Adrian Adonis are quite reasonable, I happen to think Buddy was a little bit better, but both guys were awesome at proving how good one could still be even with a massive load of extra poundage. For those that only recall him from the AWA and the silliness of the "blow away diet", you really need to research his earlier Portland stuff. The guy was just dripping with charisma, he was the most hated man in the Northwest for years, and when he finally turned face he could have been elected Governor of either Oregon or Washington, he was that over. With one interview he literally made Curt Henniig and Billy Jack Haynes; that's just how good he was on the stick. If Buddy had chosen to spend his prime years with either JCP or the WWWE instead of staying close to home he could have had near-Hogan level of popularity. But as he did throughout his career, Buddy did things his way and he seemed to have no regrets about the choices he made for his career. 

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I don't think either should be in but the debates regarding Scott Hall and Kevin Nash will be fun. 

Speaking of, I guess I wasn't around for the initial debate but doesn't Big Dave have a pretty good case? Dude drew some of the biggest buyrates in history. 

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This was Batista's vote totals

Quote

2011: 38 votes - 17% [MODERN US/CANADA]
2012: 23 votes - 13% [MODERN US/CANADA]
2013: dropped from ballot after receiving less than 10% [MODERN US/CANADA]

Again - you can't go by just drawing power alone (since Big Daddy isn't in, nor will he probably ever be)

Now that being said - Batista was added to the ballot after he left wrestling the first time. So him being added back to consider his 2014 stuff might change that.

However - a lot of the folks from the same time have struggled to get in (like Dave's baby Edge is compared to Batista A LOT and never got in either)

I am trying to find one of the recaps from those issues because searching old WONs is infuriating

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AH-HA!!! This works perfectly

From the 2012 WON HOF issue

Quote

When I see how Batista, whose was one of the biggest stars for a number of years and was a genuine draw, has done, it shows how difficult it is going to be. Batista was a good performer who was among the top few full-time stars in the business for years. He hasn’t gotten many votes the past two years. Even if his career isn’t completely over and he does make a comeback, the most significant part of his career likely already has taken place.

Edge, whose career is almost surely over, while not the draw Batista is one of the decade’s greatest performers. He was a great worker, with a long history of consistently great matches, and a superlative heel. But Edge didn’t pull down Hall of Fame numbers even among active wrestlers. Edge and Batista were bigger in many ways at their peak than many guys who are in. Sometimes there is a benefit of nostalgia and some people get forgotten in time. One of the differences is when you have a world title, or two, that people don’t take as seriously as in the past, the automatic credential of multiple-time world champion, like both Edge and Batista have, that made people no-brainers in the past is no longer there, and really, nor should it be. It’s not just winning the title, since it gets passed around and is not emblematic of being the top guy at the degree it once was. It’s not just headlining before big crowds, because it’s a touring troupe that, particularly in some foreign markets, is going to do huge business based on the brand. A lot of people look at drawing power as the key, and an individual “drawing money” as the phrase goes, rarely exists today. Combine that with the titles not having the same value and it makes it hard for today’s guys. Eddy Guerrero got in, but that was years of being a super worker all over the world in different styles. Rey Mysterio was a guy who had to get in because of the entire size barrier issue and also because of how big a star he was in many countries. Chris Jericho had his two Thesz Awards and a long run of being a star in a lot of places. You aren’t going to have the guys who have experience in so many places going forward with how the business has changed.

---------------

Everyone ‘s opinions are different, but I see Edge as a Hall of Famer. I see him as good enough and having seen him live he has those intangibles as a performer. I see Sting as someone to consider, but like with Batista, there is a superstar quality both have, but also something missing. Batista was really a lot bigger than Sting when you look at numbers, and in the building seeing both, the feeling you get is they were at the same level. Sting benefitted by being a key part of a boom period and having so many years as a protected top guy that made him feel in a sense like an all-time legend. Really his strongest quality is his positioning, and his charisma. Batista was protected as well for the most part, but didn’t have the longevity. Edge was a heel and thus his role was different, and he carried television shows in a way Sting nor Batista ever really could because of his strength on promos and better versatility. But he didn’t have the length of career due to his body breaking down from working such a hard style.

Again - you can spinoff into a discussion of how much influence of Dave's preferences has on the voting population (Obviously not a lot in Edge's case)

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I have no idea what the argument is against Akiyama. He actually escaped the Misawa/Kawada/Kobashi shadow and became a top guy in his own right in NOAH, with no shortage of great matches along the way. Outside of Kobashi, I'd say he was actually more complete as a wrestler being able to adapt to different match styles, opponents, and having more character range.

Kobashi getting 98% is well-deserved and I'm not saying Akiyama deserves that number, but not being able to crack 60 with the same voters is bizarre.

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7 minutes ago, Go2Sleep said:

I have no idea what the argument is against Akiyama. He actually escaped the Misawa/Kawada/Kobashi shadow and became a top guy in his own right in NOAH, with no shortage of great matches along the way. Outside of Kobashi, I'd say he was actually more complete as a wrestler being able to adapt to different match styles, opponents, and having more character range.

Kobashi getting 98% is well-deserved and I'm not saying Akiyama deserves that number, but not being able to crack 60 with the same voters is bizarre.

To me, this is where I am. The biggest plus for Akiyama over the pillars to me is longevity of great work. We have about 20 years of consistently very good work we can pull from, and he was great right from the word go, to still putting on great matches just before he was basically done. I’m not sure how many years you can say Akiyama wrestler were he wasn’t at least very good to great, if there are any.

 

Also, unlike any of the current New Japan guys who are on the list for... some reason, Akiyama has “Main Evented a Legit Sellout of the Tokyo Dome” to his name. 
 

Really, all of Akiyama, Fujiwara, and Taue not being in blows my mind a little bit. 

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I think he could be a victim of the ten vote limit. In real sports, there is a finite number of candidates, even the guys who only qualify due to tenure. But the wrestling ballot has hundreds if not thousands of candidates and probably a couple hundred viable candidates. And a voter has to prioritize where those choices, go, especially if they vote in all regions. 

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I wish I could remember what year it was but Dave also explained that a lot of Japanese wrestlers are helped/hindered by the way the Japanese voters vote and I believe that what has hurt Akiyama. (Voting in giant blocks and there are specific things they believe in - especially the media voters)

I might doing some poking around while eating dinner

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Yuji Nagata getting inducted ahead of Akiyama is a serious travesty. Nagata was pretty much inferior to Akiyama in damn near every way. Drawing and in-ring, Akiyama > Nagata. Akiyama was never a huge, huge star but certainly played a part in NOAH dwarfing NJPW's business when Nagata was on top. Sure, Nagata was a victim of Inoki-ism but I'm sure he wasn't held at gunpoint to get in the ring with Cro Cop.

Also, I don't get Dave's deal with Ibushi being a lock to get in but Omega being "uh, maybe not yet". Omega was a tip-top guy in NJPW and was right there with Ibushi as DDT grew in popularity. I would think Omega's series with Okada and his main eventing the dome and being one of the cornerstones of AEW should make up for the fact that Ibushi had more to do with DDT's rise than Omega. Omega has the better in-ring resume and drawing resume. I do agree with Dewar though that it's a bit silly that active guys still in their 30s are getting elected to a hall of fame. But I don't see an argument for Ibushi over Omega. Omega's uniqueness in the Japanese scene is also something I would argue that should add to his credentials. He was a foreigner who basically became a Japanese homegrown talent for DDT and then NJPW. He didn't come over after getting popular with ROH or Impact or WWE. He made his name in Japan, lived there, and spoke the language. 

I respect Dave's HOF but it's not without its issues.

Edited by Oyaji
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Thanks, Rippa. 

Re: Dave - I wonder if kind of like how Lesnar's UFC popularity helped his HOF case if Batista is going to be re-evaluated if he continues to be a semi-big movie star. I know that's not supposed to be a factor but I feel like it can only help. 

On another point, regarding guys like Edge and Orton - pretty much ever since the boom period there's been a lot of argument of how "no one is a draw; the brand is the draw."

It seems like the measuring stick is always Austin and Rock. But look at present day WWE which is far less popular than it was during the Cena/Edge/Orton years when they were built around as the headliners. Shouldn't we look at the money drawn and not the money drawn compared to random time in the past?

To Oyaji's point about Ibushi - isn't the general consensus is that Ibushi has been an elite worker for a lot longer than Omega? I'm not incredibly familiar with Omega's work before New Japan with the odd exception but it seemed Ibushi has been considered one of the best in the world for over a decade

 

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RE: Yuji Nagata

Quote

Nagata’s voting was unique. He made the Hall of Fame due to finishing first among current wrestlers, who voted him in almost unanimously. He was only 24th among reporters, 17th among historians, and didn’t place among former wrestlers. It’s a notable induction, because even though he had a long career as a top star, he was never really a legendary star. But he was so well respected as a worker, Bryan Danielson, in fact, called Nagata the best wrestler he’s ever been in the ring with, that it put him just over the threshold, with 101 votes, the exact number needed to hit 60 percent from Japan.

So, while we often talked over the years about how the lucha voters should vote more strategically to eliminate the log jam, I think it just happen to be a moment in time for Nagata.

Plus - and this goes back to the Japanese media voting block - I think many of them will only vote for New Japan guys (similar to how people in the states think that the only wrestling is from the WWE)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/17/2019 at 1:53 PM, odessasteps said:

I think he could be a victim of the ten vote limit. In real sports, there is a finite number of candidates, even the guys who only qualify due to tenure. But the wrestling ballot has hundreds if not thousands of candidates and probably a couple hundred viable candidates. And a voter has to prioritize where those choices, go, especially if they vote in all regions. 

This. I'm a voter in all regions and ten votes doesn't go very far, particularly when I'm using half of them on lucha guys and historical figures.

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