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December 2021 Wrestling Discussion


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Favorite title run?

 

Hmmmmmm.... Savage's IC run had peaks (Steamboat) and valleys (George Steele) and lots of fun TV non-squashes (Koko, Billy Jack Haynes) and endless rematches with Tito. But I'll take Flair's run from taking the title back from Kerry in 84 in Japan through losing it to Dusty in 86 during the Bash. Just 2 years of great matches when he still travelled as champ

James

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ROH Summer of Punk is one of my favorite title reigns. It was a lot of fun and the knowledge that he was going to OVW meant that you never knew which match was going to be when he dropped the belt so there was a lot of suspense to each event.

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8 hours ago, Octopus said:

The legend has spoken. Discuss!

Favorite title run? 

Bryan Danielson, ROH World Champion. September 2005-December 2006.

The New Daniel Bryan, WWE Champion. November 2018-April 2019.

CM Punk, ROH World Champion. June 2005-August 2005.

Bret Hart as WWF Champion. March 1994-November 1994.

Kazuchika Okada, IWGP Heavyweight Champion from June 2016-June 2018.

Kenta Kobashi, GHC Heavyweight Champion. March 2003-March 2005.

WALTER, WWE United Kingdom Champion/ WWE NXT UK Champion. April 2019-August 2021.

Samoa Joe, ROH World Champion. March 2003-December 2004.

The Revival, WWE NXT Tag Team Champions. June 2016-November 2016.

Ricky Steamboat, NWA World Heavyweight Champion. February 1989-May 1989.

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Worst title runs:

Jinder Mahal, WWE Champion. April 2017-November 2017. 

Kevin Nash, WCW World Heavyweight Champion. December 1998-January 1999.

David Arquette, WCW World Heavyweight Champion. September-October 2000.

Vince Russo, WCW World Heavyweight Champion. April-May 2000.

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Worst: you forgot Ron Garvin, NWA World Champion.  9/25/87 - 11/26/87.  IIRC, he had no defenses at all with the gimmick being he was taking time off to train for the rematch. 

Which he lost. 

That would be a funny angle for a chickenshit heel champion.  But Garvin was the babyface.

I believe the story was that whomever was booking at the time wanted a world title change at Starrcade, which I believe might have been their first ever PPV.  No babyface outside of Garvin wanted a lame duck title reign and no heels wanted to job to said lame duck.  I could be wrong and that may just be one of those apocryphal stories.

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7 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Worst: you forgot Ron Garvin, NWA World Champion.  9/25/87 - 11/26/87.  IIRC, he had no defenses at all with the gimmick being he was taking time off to train for the rematch. 

Which he lost. 

That would be a funny angle for a chickenshit heel champion.  But Garvin was the babyface.

I believe the story was that whomever was booking at the time wanted a world title change at Starrcade, which I believe might have been their first ever PPV.  No babyface outside of Garvin wanted a lame duck title reign and no heels wanted to job to said lame duck.  I could be wrong and that may just be one of those apocryphal stories.

Thankfully I've never seen it. Sounds really bad.

I'd say Jinder Mahal's was the worst of them all. A jobber who was released, brought back winning the WWE Championship from Randy Orton at Backlash 2017 and defending it against fucking Shinsuke Nakamura at SummerSlam 2017. I don't think Nakamura ever recovered despite winning the 2018 Men's Royal Rumble Match.

Edited by The Natural
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10 minutes ago, Technico Support said:

Worst: you forgot Ron Garvin, NWA World Champion.  9/25/87 - 11/26/87.  IIRC, he had no defenses at all with the gimmick being he was taking time off to train for the rematch. 

Which he lost. 

That would be a funny angle for a chickenshit heel champion.  But Garvin was the babyface.

I believe the story was that whomever was booking at the time wanted a world title change at Starrcade, which I believe might have been their first ever PPV.  No babyface outside of Garvin wanted a lame duck title reign and no heels wanted to job to said lame duck.  I could be wrong and that may just be one of those apocryphal stories.

Sorta right.  Jim Crockett decided in the fall of '87 that he wanted a title change at Starrcade since Starrcade was Jim Crockett Promotions biggest show of the year.  To create an angle, it was decided that Flair would drop the title and win it back two months later.  Garvin was the pick largely because Flair lobbied for him.  Depending on who you believe, Flair backed Garvin because he felt no one else had been built up enough to be credible and he respected Garvin as being a good hand, or Flair handpicked Garvin because he knew Garvin wasn't at his level and wouldn't threaten his spot on the card.  I personally think it's no. 2.

Regardless, other babyfaces around at the time have since said in interviews that they really didn't want the belt because it was well known Crockett wanted the title back on Flair at Starrcade and whoever did beat him for the strap was going to be booked weakly.

Starrcade '87 wasn't WCW's first PPV.  That was Starrcade '88,  '87 was still promoted under the JCP name.

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The Liger vs. Mysterio question came up as I was leaving work yesterday so I didn't have time to answer,  but I've been thinking about it. I think these are the two best Jr. Heavyweight/ cruiserweight workers of all time. I don't consider Danielson a cruiserweight, despite his size because he works a heavyweight style.  This is a difficult question because both are the face of the style of their specific hemisphere. Liger is kind of the rock solid do it all worker who can fly, work the mat, throw bombs, and do whatever else you need him to do. Mysterio is kind of a specialist who is kind of all flying all the time, but he's good enough to make his offense work with anybody. Both are innovative, both have had to adapt their styles with age,  and both have a legitimate claim to GOAT. I think the '97 Halloween Havoc match is the best match in either man's career,  but it's probably the only Mysterio match that would be in a combined to 5. With that said,  if you were to go week to week,  Mysterio has more good to great matches than almost anyone. If you were to ask me next week,  my answer may change,  but I think Mysterio is better all time. I feel like Rey's ability to work his high flying style with anyone and everyone over 25 years despite his knees being shot for about 20 of them puts him over the top. Liger can work with anyone,  but Liger adapts his style to his opponents. Rey worked a Rey Mysterio match with everyone,  but did it in a way that it worked for every opponent. Seriously, one has a 64 color box of crayons and can use whatever color he wants to paint his pictures. The other has 8 crayons and is able to paint pictures just as vividly as the other. I'm impressed by both,  but the guy with only 8 crayons has a harder job. 

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one time I was in court and somebody needed my laptop to watch a DWI video and I was like sure and I opened my laptop up and a Briscos match started playing and it was Mark Brisco doing his thing and I got totally outed as a wrestling fan to the whole courthouse.

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I missed the Mysterio/Mysterio or Liger question yesterday too.

Rey Jr. is a really interesting case, to me. He has accomplished a ton, understands how to be a great in-ring competitor as well if not better than almost anybody drawing breath, started as a teenager and is still going. But, I've noticed he's been lost in the GOAT discussion...especially within the last decade or so: we've seen the emergence of guys like Okada and Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi having a great decade, Bryan Danielson cementing his claim, etc. 

But...I think it's important that Rey Jr. be recognized as an all time great, if not the #1. All of the points made about how he's not the best promo and not the biggest draw are valid. If you ask me, though, he wrote the book on the modern little guy vs. big guy match template, esp. when he arrived in WWE. If he didn't, he's the absolute best ever at executing the psychology of a match like that. This is before we get to him being the cornerstone of a loaded WCW cruiserweight division.

I don't really have a solid answer to him or Liger. I guess maybe Liger, since he was never saddled with late-career WWE nonsense? One should not blame the wrestler for his booking, however. If comparing the best work of both guys, I feel it's like responding to the question "Which 3-star Michelin restaurant would you like a free meal from today?" There isn't an incorrect answer.

Edited by Teflon Turtle
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11 minutes ago, Teflon Turtle said:

But...I think it's important that Rey Jr. be recognized as an all time great, if not the #1. All of the points made about how he's not the best promo and not the biggest draw are valid.

I'm not arguing that he was a great promo or a huge draw,  but he is among the most over acts of the last 25 years. I'm of the opinion that he could have been a much bigger draw if he was ever given the opportunity to draw. Both Liger and Mysterio are incredibly physically charismatic. They both can get the audience emotionally involved as well as any worker ever and had to do it without showing their faces. It would be great if they were Ric Flair level on the mic, but neither of them has a problem getting the audience to buy into them as characters. 

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3 hours ago, Technico Support said:

Worst: you forgot Ron Garvin, NWA World Champion.  9/25/87 - 11/26/87.  IIRC, he had no defenses at all with the gimmick being he was taking time off to train for the rematch. 

Which he lost. 

That would be a funny angle for a chickenshit heel champion.  But Garvin was the babyface.

I believe the story was that whomever was booking at the time wanted a world title change at Starrcade, which I believe might have been their first ever PPV.  No babyface outside of Garvin wanted a lame duck title reign and no heels wanted to job to said lame duck.  I could be wrong and that may just be one of those apocryphal stories.

I never understood where that talking point came from. He was defending the title on house shows (Cagematch lists 13 specific defenses) and was working regularly on TV (which World Champions at the time just didn't do). I guess because he was working non-title squashes on TV, but really, what World Champion back then was defending their title on TV each week?

Garvin wasn't the right choice as champion, and his reign was weak, but I've seen that "he won the title then vanished until Starrcade" talking point come up multiple times and I just never got where it started.

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6 minutes ago, supremebve said:

I'm not arguing that he was a great promo or a huge draw,  but he is among the most over acts of the last 25 years. I'm of the opinion that he could have been a much bigger draw if he was ever given the opportunity to draw. Both Liger and Mysterio are incredibly physically charismatic. They both can get the audience emotionally involved as well as any worker ever and had to do it without showing their faces. It would be great if they were Ric Flair level on the mic, but neither of them has a problem getting the audience to buy into them as characters. 

Right on. To me, this taps in to the larger overall discussion on how we in the wrestling fandom evaluate what makes a wrestler great/a "GOAT candidate." What gets the most weight, and why? In ring? Promos? Drawing power (which depending upon the fan, often has to do with the previous two - but again, in what proportion)? Longevity? 

Side note, this brought back a random bad wrestling memory for me: Rey Jr. getting booed as the 30th entrant in the Rumble...in whatever year that was...because he wasn't Danielson. I get that it was largely WWE being booed, but it felt so foreign to see Mysterio get a negative reception because he is so great at getting the crowd invested in him even when he's behind a mask, as you mentioned.

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I think the only thing that Liger has over Rey is that Liger was able to to work heel if given the situation (NJ v. NOAH Jrs, 10thJr. title run being a heel build up to challenge Sasaki, CTU). You can argue Filthy Animals were heels but Rey was cheered regardless. I lean towards Liger. Hell. add ring music into it and Liger wins!

James

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Rey has to be considered in the GOAT conversation for me mostly because his physical prime was so short,  but he still figured out how to put together about 20 years of good to great work while his body was constantly breaking down. Mid to late 90s Rey may be the most spectacular athlete to ever step in the ring. He was so ahead of everyone else at the time with his dives and springboard moves, that i wouldn't dream about changing the channel when he was on,  because I knew he was going to do something I had never seen before. His knees went to shit and he wasn't as athletic,  but he didn't stop innovating. He just made up for his diminished abilities by figuring out how to make every move count. He's like a boxer who knocked out every opponent early in his career, moved up in weight and couldn't knock out bigger guys so he turned into a really slick defensive fighter. I wish we could have seen super athletic Rey with the psychological mastery of older Rey. I don't think we'd even be having this conversation if we got 20 years of 1997 Rey.

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1 hour ago, Stefanie the Human said:

I never understood where that talking point came from. He was defending the title on house shows (Cagematch lists 13 specific defenses) and was working regularly on TV (which World Champions at the time just didn't do). I guess because he was working non-title squashes on TV, but really, what World Champion back then was defending their title on TV each week?

Garvin wasn't the right choice as champion, and his reign was weak, but I've seen that "he won the title then vanished until Starrcade" talking point come up multiple times and I just never got where it started.

Did they not push Garvin's house show matches on tv the same way they did Flair's? They would drive home when, where and who Flair would be defending the belt against, maybe they didn't do that for the Hands of Stone title defenses for some goofy reason.

People seem to forget that Garvin only held the title for two months, a short feud with a non-Flair heel really couldn't get rolling in that time frame.

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I don’t know that any heel champ succeeded in pissing me off quite like Lord Steven Regal bringing the English Soccer Experience To WCW in the form of exploiting the TV title’s 10 minute time limit and fighting to endless time limit draws.

so that’s definitely a favorite

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