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FEBRUARY 2021 Discussion of Wrestling


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Also, my favorite thing from the awards issue: Dave bitching about the way people vote for best box office draw, because it wasn't all UFC fighters. Why is this even a vote? Just use math to hand it out.

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9 hours ago, alstein said:

 

MVP is probably going to go down I think is one of the more underrated folks of this era.  He does a lot of things so well- and he had fun matches, especially after the Kane stuff and even more after Benoit beat the wrestling into him.   I was really hoping he'd end up on NJPW Strong and doing something with Ren Narita- even moreso after hearing Shibata's criticism of Narita lacking fire (probably kayfabed but you never know)

 

If MVP had joined New Japan 2-3 years later than he did, he would have probably been at Omega or AJ Styles level of top Gaijin. He did make history by being the first IC champ though. His run was pretty decent but it wasn't as strong as it could have been. He's a guy that was very open about Japan being where he actually wanted to go, and his being a protégé of Benoit, you would've that he would have gotten a stronger run.

I've been a fan of him since he debuted on Smackdown, that hole play off of being treated like a number one draft pic and coming in like he's this big prospect before actually wrestling was so dope, and the fact that he is such a great talker. He didn't even  have to be anything special in the ring. His program with Benoit really put him over with me even more. When he got diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson and was out of the ring for several months, it was still early in his run and he was still about to have a memorable run with Matt Hardy. They he'd got a few petty punishments causing him to lose every week for way too long. 

Is crazy now he's been given the chance to be featured more prominently than ever when he should've been given that chance 15 years ago.

I feel the same way about Benjamin and Lashley too. They all still look very  good in the ring but seeing they now just makes be think how they dropped the ball on them when they were young. Even Lashley first came back. They should've done he vs Lesnar 

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My best friend and I do a Zoom watchalong of old wrestling matches every Thursday. I try to pick a mix of good matches, topical matches, absurd matches, etc. Last night we watched Flair vs. Funk from Superbrawl 2000 due to the fact that Flair's birthday was yesterday. But, I saw that the Tank Abbott vs. Big Al match was on that card so we had to watch it. What a glorious, hilarious trainwreck.

1. I have no clue who the fuck Big Al was. I remembered the match happening and always assumed it was either 911 or Al Greene playing the role but it was just some random dude.

2. It was a leather jacket on a pole match which would scream "Vince Russo booking" but Russo had been sent home at that point IIRC. The leather jacket in question was supposed to be a "skin" akin to a motorcyle jacket that Tank had for a long time and had when he was in a motorcycle club with Al or some shit but it was clearly a brand new jacket with UFC logos on it.

3. They start the match by strapping their wrists together with a belt for some reason and trade slaps. Big Al gains the advantage when he eschews slapping to forearm Tank. 

4. Tank attempted to climb up the pole with Al over his shoulder (Al was a fairly big guy, at least 250lbs) and dropped him from the top turnbuckle to the floor in a horrifying bump.

5. Tank gets the jacket and sort of tries to wear it, gives up and roots around in the pockets to get a knife.

6. Tank holds the knife to Al's throat. Mark Madden screams, "he's going to cut his throat" or something like that while Tank audibly goes, "I could fucking kill you right now."

7. Tony Schiavone valiantly tries to save the whole thing by going, "Are those scissors? He's trying to cut off Al's beard."

8. Al was clean shaven.

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12 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

 

Yeah, of course if you want to stack the deck and pick one of those matches where The Anvil was all hungover, it makes your point (j/k). I do think that too many folks look at being the weaker and/or less celebrated worker of a tag team = being carried. Neidhart was a respected and in demand worker pre-WWF, with stints in Stampede (where he worked and trained with Bret Hart), Georgia, New Japan (multiple times), Mid-South, Florida and other top territories. His style doesn't translate well to more modern sensibilities but he could  hold up his end and more. Thee Anvil definitely was the personality and promo man of the team for most of their run, since Hart was out from under his Daddy's wing (and Canadian (j/k (?)). His laugh and beard-tug elevate him greatly in my eyes. I am not a fan of the Hitman, so I could argue that JN was the soul of the team but I won't. Also to tip the scales pro-Anvil for RAF is that Jim Neidhart did generously share his Jack Daniel's with me (but not any other, um, treats) in a Milwaukee hotel room post-WWF and also gave me tips for pleasing the ladies which I will treasure always. It was an odd tour, that one.

- misty water colored memories,

RAF

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38 minutes ago, D.Z said:

Triple H challenged Elon Musk to a match on Mars. Wrestlemania Mars.

This will be worth it when Vince tells his people to write a RAW segment for Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins and someone has to tell him that John Carter flopped twelve years ago and not even the stars want to remind people they were associated with it. 

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7 hours ago, D.Z said:

I disagree with all this years WON awards and I have nullified all results from my dimension of existence.

I understand (and support) that most of the fun of awards season is disagreeing with the results, but I really don't see anything too egregious this year. I mean, taking into account that a lot of people who read the WON and participate in the voting likely agree with the Meltzerian take on what makes a great match (overlong, full of big moves and near falls, self-consciously going for "epic" or "five tars" etc etc) it makes sense that those types of matches and those types of wrestlers are generally going to dominate. And given that I am far from alone in just being happy that  AEW exists and tending to view them, at this point, through very rose-coloured glasses, I think most of the awards this year make pretty good sense. 

I mean, I personally and you personally might make different specific choices, and I'd be very interested in hearing the hyper-specific choices people here might have made... but...

LOU THESZ/RIC FLAIR AWARD (WRESTLER OF THE YEAR)
Winner: Jon Moxley

Yeah. My choice would be Ishii, just for his amazing run in the G1, and Zeus is my personal favourite guy who had a good year this year, but Mox certainly captures the spirit of what made pro wrestling in 2020 so fun and interesting. A guy who we all knew had it in him, being used right, and absolutely shining.  

Combining kayfabe and in-ring considerations, you could argue for Ibushu, Naito, Roman, Go... they all made the top 10. I think Mox is the best choice, and all things considered I don't see any crazy snubs on the list.

MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
Winner: Current AEW World Champion Kenny Omega

Shingo, Ishii, MiSu, Go, Fénix... at least they all made the top ten. Neither Gresham nor Danielson did, but they were nos. 2 and 3 in the Danielson Award voting. Amusingly so, as @ReiseReise pointed out.

This is the award where I'm most interested in hearing what other people think. I always learn something from those takes.

TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR
Winners: Current AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks

In terms of representing what 2020 was all about, I think this is the right choice. Purely on in-ring terms they weren't even the top team in AEW, I think... but all other things considered 2020 really was their year. 

BEST ON INTERVIEWS
Winner: Eddie Kingston

Can confirm!

PROMOTION OF THE YEAR
Winner: AEW

Can confirm! Any other choice would have been insane this year. 

BEST WEEKLY TV SHOW
Winner: AEW Dynamite

I mean, was anyone expecting a different result here? I love that BTE finished at # 3. 

PRO WRESTLING MATCH OF THE YEAR
Winner: The Young Bucks vs. Adam Page and Kenny Omega at AEW Revolution 2020

Very reasonable representation of the best Meltzer-style match of the year, and very enjoyable even if that kind of match is not to your tastes. My personal choice would be Ishii vs MiSu from night one of the G1, but I am neither shocked nor dismayed that it missed the top 10. It's not a Meltzer-style match. I am chuffed that the brutalist clubbering classic Dragunov vs. WALTER made the top 5! I think a list that contains both that match and the Stadium Stampede really represents pro wrestling in 2020 pretty well. 

Also interested in hearing other folks' personal choices here. 

UNITED STATES/CANADA MVP
Winner: Jon Moxley

Makes sense.

JAPANESE MVP
Winner: Tetsuya Naito

Makes sense. I also would have accepted Ibushi, Ishii, Go, MiSu... and they all made the top 10. Zeus would have made my list but I'm not surprised he didn't here.

MEXICO MVP
Winner: Rey Fenix

I am not knowledgeable enough to have an opinion here. I am curious what others think.

EUROPE MVP
Winner: Current WWE NXT UK Champion WALTER

Also not knowledgeable here, but this feels correct to me.

HODGE AWARD/NON-HEAVYWEIGHT MVP
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi

Can confirm! Came back from a broken f'n neck and worked like a star. So sad he's out injured again (but not surprised). Fénix and Darby are 2 and 3, which also seems good to me.

WOMEN’S WRESTLING MVP
Winner: Bayley

Yeah! Happy it's not 100 % an AEW fanboy list. WWE's womens' division is so strong, seems right that they got a win here. I'm guessing Sasha Banks would have made sense here, too. 

BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW
Winner: Conor McGregor

Agree with @Brian Fowler here. Why is this a thing that gets voted on? Isn't more of a simple match problem?

FEUD OF THE YEAR
Winners: Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston

I enjoyed it. I'm assuming most of us did. What would you rank higher? Edge vs Orton? I'm almost surprised that sentiment didn't carry Cody vs Brodie to the top of the list.

MOST IMPROVED
Winner: Britt Baker

Fair choice! There were a lot of wrestlers stepping up in AEW this year. My personal choice might have been Jeff Cobb. I'm mildly surprised he didn't make the top 10. 

MOST CHARISMATIC
Winner: MJF

I'm fine with this. I would have voted for King, but he got the award for stick work... I think OC and Naito got more out of their charisma than MJF this year. They both made the top 10.

BRYAN DANIELSON AWARD (BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER)
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Meh. Interested whom everyone else liked for this.

BRUISER BRODY MEMORIAL AWARD (BEST BRAWLER)
Winner: Jon Moxley

I might go with WALTER here, but that's mostly based on that one match. 2020 was a pretty good year for clubberin' considering how much Meltzer Style has dominated otherwise. I'm sure there were Mexican Indie guys having great brawls in tents in parking lots that missed the list, but what are you going to do?

BEST FLYING WRESTLER
Winner: Rey Fenix

Lot of competition here, but I won't argue this choice. 

MOST OVERRATED
Winner: Bray Wyatt

Over-pushed would make more sense.

MOST UNDERRATED
Winner: Ricochet

Under-pushed would make more sense.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Pat McAfee

Sure! Seems like a fair choice. I also would have accepted Powerhouse Hobbs, but again it is nice that this isn't just a pure AEW fanboy list.

BEST NON-WRESTLER
Winner: Taz

I prefer Schiavone's work this year, and Taz is very hit-and-miss with me, but I did enjoy his interactions with Negative One.

BEST TV ANNOUNCER
Winner: Excalibur

He's been stellar this year.

WORST TV ANNOUNCER
Winner: Michael Cole

Honestly surprised JR didn't take this one.

BEST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW
Winner: AEW Revolution PPV on February 29 from Chicago

I personally preferred nights 1, 14, nd 17 of the G1 but I can see how this won. Again, a good representation of pro wrestling in 2020.

WORST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW
Winner: WWE Super ShowDown on February 27 from Saudi Arabia

Didn't watch it, but I can't say I disagree on principle. 

BEST WRESTLING MANEUVER
Winner: Kenny Omega’s One Winged Angel

Tour of the Islands, brother! Didn't even make this list. These awards are a sham!

Again, love to hear what everyone else would have chosen.

MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC
Winner: WWE firing people during a pandemic during a year where they were setting profit records

Agree with @John from Cincinnati that this dosn't particularly seem like a "tactic." Definitely disgusting,though.

WORST TV SHOW
Winner: WWE RAW

Didn't watch it at all this year, I believe. Seems right, though.

WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR
Winner: Braun Strowman vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Swamp Fight from The Horror Show at Extreme Rules

Didn't watch it. Seems right, though.

WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR
Winner: Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman

Seems about right. Out of major feuds I watched, EVIL vs. Tetsuya Naito did the least for me. I have no trouble believing that Braun Strowman vs. Bray Wyatt and Bray Wyatt vs. Randy Orton were worse, though.

WORST PROMOTION OF THE YEAR
Winner: WWE

Hard agree, particularly if we are considering who did the least with the most.

BEST BOOKER
Winner: Tony Khan

Can confirm!

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Tony Khan

Can confirm! (And can conform as well).

BEST GIMMICK
Winner: Orange Cassidy

He deserves it (clap clap clapclapclap). Also would have accepted Adam Page.

WORST GIMMICK
Winner: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Sounds right.

BEST PRO WRESTLING BOOK
Winner: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from the Backyards to the Big Leagues

Haven't read either yet, but I'm more excited about the Andre book. I'll buy both eventually. 

Curious about everyone's picks here, as well.

BEST PRO WRESTLING DOCUMENTARY
Winner: Dark Side of the Ring – Owen Hart

That one and the Benoit one were both heart-rending. Damn, man...

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3 hours ago, cwoy2j said:

My best friend and I do a Zoom watchalong of old wrestling matches every Thursday. I try to pick a mix of good matches, topical matches, absurd matches, etc. Last night we watched Flair vs. Funk from Superbrawl 2000 due to the fact that Flair's birthday was yesterday. But, I saw that the Tank Abbott vs. Big Al match was on that card so we had to watch it. What a glorious, hilarious trainwreck.

1. I have no clue who the fuck Big Al was. I remembered the match happening and always assumed it was either 911 or Al Greene playing the role but it was just some random dude.

2. It was a leather jacket on a pole match which would scream "Vince Russo booking" but Russo had been sent home at that point IIRC. The leather jacket in question was supposed to be a "skin" akin to a motorcyle jacket that Tank had for a long time and had when he was in a motorcycle club with Al or some shit but it was clearly a brand new jacket with UFC logos on it.

3. They start the match by strapping their wrists together with a belt for some reason and trade slaps. Big Al gains the advantage when he eschews slapping to forearm Tank. 

4. Tank attempted to climb up the pole with Al over his shoulder (Al was a fairly big guy, at least 250lbs) and dropped him from the top turnbuckle to the floor in a horrifying bump.

5. Tank gets the jacket and sort of tries to wear it, gives up and roots around in the pockets to get a knife.

6. Tank holds the knife to Al's throat. Mark Madden screams, "he's going to cut his throat" or something like that while Tank audibly goes, "I could fucking kill you right now."

7. Tony Schiavone valiantly tries to save the whole thing by going, "Are those scissors? He's trying to cut off Al's beard."

8. Al was clean shaven.

I was there at the cow palace. I had a really cool photo of flair funk pile driver through the table that’s been lost to the ages. That tank Abbott stuff was such a mess haha. 

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3 hours ago, thee Reverend Axl Future said:

and also gave me tips for pleasing the ladies which I will treasure always.

Look, you can't just casually drop that in there without giving us more details. I think we all need to know the Anvil's philosophy for making sweet love to the ladies. Was he big on foreplay? Did he focus on oral? What were his thoughts on butt stuff?

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10 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Has ZSJ won the Danielson award more times than Danielson yet? I know Foley has more Brody awards than Brody.

 

no, Danielson currently leads 9-7

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@El Gran Gordi. My go at the WON Awards:

Spoiler

LOU THESZ/RIC FLAIR AWARD (WRESTLER OF THE YEAR)
Winner: Jon Moxley

Natural: Jon Moxley.

MOST OUTSTANDING WRESTLER
Winner: Current AEW World Champion Kenny Omega

Natural: I'd go with Kenny Omega. Very honourable mention to Minoru Suzuki.

TAG TEAM OF THE YEAR
Winners: Current AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks

Natural: I'd go for FTR.

BEST ON INTERVIEWS
Winner: Eddie Kingston

Natural: Eddie Kingston.

PROMOTION OF THE YEAR
Winner: AEW

Natural: AEW by far.

BEST WEEKLY TV SHOW
Winner: AEW Dynamite

Natural: AEW Dynamite by far.

PRO WRESTLING MATCH OF THE YEAR
Winner: The Young Bucks vs. Adam Page and Kenny Omega at AEW Revolution 2020

Natural: Same.

UNITED STATES/CANADA MVP
Winner: Jon Moxley

Natural: Same.

JAPANESE MVP
Winner: Tetsuya Naito

Natural: Same.

MEXICO MVP
Winner: Rey Fenix

I am not knowledgeable enough to have an opinion here.

EUROPE MVP
Winner: Current WWE NXT UK Champion WALTER

Natural: Same.

HODGE AWARD/NON-HEAVYWEIGHT MVP
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi

Natural: Same.

WOMEN’S WRESTLING MVP
Winner: Bayley

Natural: Sasha Banks.

BEST BOX OFFICE DRAW
Winner: Conor McGregor

Natural: Same.

FEUD OF THE YEAR
Winners: Jon Moxley vs. Eddie Kingston

Natural: Sasha Banks vs. Bayley.

MOST IMPROVED
Winner: Britt Baker

Natural: Yes.

MOST CHARISMATIC
Winner: MJF

Natural: Tetsuya Naito.

BRYAN DANIELSON AWARD (BEST TECHNICAL WRESTLER)
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Natural: Daniel Bryan.

BRUISER BRODY MEMORIAL AWARD (BEST BRAWLER)
Winner: Jon Moxley

Natural: Same. Honourable mention to Eddie Kingston.

BEST FLYING WRESTLER
Winner: Rey Fenix

Natural: Same.

MOST OVERRATED
Winner: Bray Wyatt

Natural: I'll go Braun Strowman.

MOST UNDERRATED
Winner: Ricochet

Natural: Under-pushed would make more sense. Cesaro is my pick.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Winner: Pat McAfee

Natural: Same.

BEST NON-WRESTLER
Winner: Taz

Natural: Same.

BEST TV ANNOUNCER
Winner: Excalibur

Natural: Same.

WORST TV ANNOUNCER
Winner: Michael Cole

Natural: Same.

BEST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW
Winner: AEW Revolution PPV on February 29 from Chicago

Natural: Same.

WORST MAJOR WRESTLING SHOW
Winner: WWE Super ShowDown on February 27 from Saudi Arabia

Natural: Didn't watch it, but I can't say I disagree on principle. 

BEST WRESTLING MANEUVER
Winner: Kenny Omega’s One Winged Angel

Natural: Same.

MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC
Winner: WWE firing people during a pandemic during a year where they were setting profit records

Natural: Same.

WORST TV SHOW
Winner: WWE RAW

Natural: Same.

WORST MATCH OF THE YEAR
Winner: Braun Strowman vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – Swamp Fight from The Horror Show at Extreme Rules

Natural: Same.

WORST FEUD OF THE YEAR
Winner: Bray Wyatt vs. Braun Strowman

Natural: Same.

WORST PROMOTION OF THE YEAR
Winner: WWE

Natural: Same.

BEST BOOKER
Winner: Tony Khan

Natural: Same.

PROMOTER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Tony Khan

Natural: Same.

BEST GIMMICK
Winner: Orange Cassidy

Natural: Dark Order. If it's one person, Adam Page.

WORST GIMMICK
Winner: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Natural: Retribution.

BEST PRO WRESTLING BOOK
Winner: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from the Backyards to the Big Leagues

Natural: Not qualified to answer.

BEST PRO WRESTLING DOCUMENTARY
Winner: Dark Side of the Ring – Owen Hart

Natural: Fantastic year for documentaries. I'd have gone with Dark Side of the Ring - Benoit. Surprised it was beat by Owen's. Felt Owen's was a little rushed.

 

Edited by The Natural
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BEST PRO WRESTLING BOOK
Winner: The Young Bucks: Killing the Business from the Backyards to the Big Leagues

 

that list of award winners reads like a joke someone made up about who the regular listeners of Dave 'friends with everyone in AEW' Meltzer would vote on (even if wrestling is so awful today it might actually be accurate), but at this point you really are just taking the piss....right? i refuse to believe this isnt satire.

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6 hours ago, Happ Hazzard said:

Since AEW acknowledge the WON awards Dave may as well get some plaques made up so the wrestlers can show them off on TV and/or social media.

Just bite the bullet and have the Revival attack Dave while he presents the tag team of the year and have the Bucks make the save.

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Shut up and vote for what I like. I haven't seen a wrestling match since January of last year, so you're fairly limited.

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15 hours ago, El Gran Gordi said:

MOST DISGUSTING PROMOTIONAL TACTIC
Winner: WWE firing people during a pandemic during a year where they were setting profit records

Agree with @John from Cincinnati that this dosn't particularly seem like a "tactic." Definitely disgusting,though.

I mean it may be a tactic, but they didn't really use it for promotion. I understand the Drake Maverick storyline was a thing. But it wasn't like they were trying to drive viewership by emphasizing that they made massive cuts to their talent roster. As you said, it's definitely disgusting. But it's not "promotional." 

The rest of the awards are whatever and about what I'd expect considering the tastes catered to by Dave's newsletter. But that one award was outlandish enough to get the eyebrow raise from me. 

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