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Author Topic: [WON 100] Shawn Michaels and Nobuhiko Takada...
jdw
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47. Shawn Michaels
52. Nobuhiko Takada

Anyone find this an odd order in which to rank the two? If so, why? If not, why?

John

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SMN from CA
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I sort of hate nitpicking the order of these type of lists, particular the ones in the middle because it is splitting hairs.

Having said that, I think Takada should definitely be above Michaels. Takada helped revolutionize an entirely new style of wrestling in Japan, whose influence is still seen today.

Michaels main claim to fame was being a small guy to win the WWF title in a big man's promotion. No small feat (no pun intended) but on the whole, I would say Takada's influence is clearly greater, especially over the long-term.

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Boston Idol
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: I sort of hate nitpicking the order of these
: type of lists, particular the ones in the
: middle because it is splitting hairs.

Well the supposed purpose of the list was to
"inspire discussion" so we ought to support
John's efforts. The rah-rah Dave crowd has
gone into hiding. Not much dicussion there
beyond "neat book."

And in this case it isn't splitting hairs.

: Having said that, I think Takada should
: definitely be above Michaels. Takada helped
: revolutionize an entirely new style of
: wrestling in Japan, whose influence is
: still seen today.

Well Michaels supposedly inspired guys like
Jeff Hardy, though their in-ring style looks
more like Sabu or NJ juniors than Shawn.

: Michaels main claim to fame was being a
: small guy to win the WWF title in a big
: man's promotion.

Ditto Vince Russo, er, I mean Bret Hart.

: No small feat (no pun intended) but on the
: whole, I would say Takada's influence is
: clearly greater, especially over the long-term.

Influence is just part of the package. Takada
has strengths in other areas as well that put
Shawn's case to shame, from longevity to number
of quality matches to drawing power. Of course
Dave will dismiss Takada's schedule in UWFi,
he already did in the Flair thread, but Shawn
was legendary for phoning it in on house shows.

I look forward to John walking through the case.

Frank

(Don't anyone dare question Brody's slot. [Wink] )

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Scott E. Williams
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quote:
Originally posted by Boston Idol:
: I sort of hate nitpicking the order of these
: type of lists, particular the ones in the
: middle because it is splitting hairs.

Well the supposed purpose of the list was to
"inspire discussion" so we ought to support
John's efforts. The rah-rah Dave crowd has
gone into hiding. Not much dicussion there
beyond "neat book."

And in this case it isn't splitting hairs.

: Having said that, I think Takada should
: definitely be above Michaels. Takada helped
: revolutionize an entirely new style of
: wrestling in Japan, whose influence is
: still seen today.

Well Michaels supposedly inspired guys like
Jeff Hardy, though their in-ring style looks
more like Sabu or NJ juniors than Shawn.

: Michaels main claim to fame was being a
: small guy to win the WWF title in a big
: man's promotion.

Ditto Vince Russo, er, I mean Bret Hart.

: No small feat (no pun intended) but on the
: whole, I would say Takada's influence is
: clearly greater, especially over the long-term.

Influence is just part of the package. Takada
has strengths in other areas as well that put
Shawn's case to shame, from longevity to number
of quality matches to drawing power. Of course
Dave will dismiss Takada's schedule in UWFi,
he already did in the Flair thread, but Shawn
was legendary for phoning it in on house shows.

I look forward to John walking through the case.

Frank

(Don't anyone dare question Brody's slot. [Wink] )

You know, as part of what you might call the "Dave rah rah crowd," I'd be a lot more willing to participate in discussions about this stuff were I not convinced that your sole aspiration is to cast stones at anything associated with the Observer.

I write a column that appears on the Observer site. I am a minor contributor to the newsletter. There. I've stated my association. It doesn't taint my statements or thoughts, and I often disagree with Meltzer's views on things, but anyone can take them as a qualifier if he or she wishes.

I question whether the "Dave Boo!" crowd doesn't have some ulterior motive for their backhanded bashing. You guys have a falling out? Business deal go bad? Lose a bet and refuse to pay?

For what it's worth, Michaels would not make my Top 100 list if I independently made one, but Takada would.

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Boston Idol
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: You know, as part of what you might call the "Dave rah rah crowd,"
: I'd be a lot more willing to participate in discussions about this stuff
: were I not convinced that your sole aspiration is to cast stones at
: anything associated with the Observer.

What's your aspiration? You followed me from another thread in this
forum to lob the same complaint at me. Does that make you obsessed?

As you yourself wrote in that other thread, Dave's opinion and the
collective history of the WON carry a lot of weight with wrestling fans.

If I didn't respect Dave and the position of his work in wrestling history,
I would bother dicussing him. You don't see me talking about what Wade
Keller wrote years ago.

: I write a column that appears on the Observer site.

So does Ben Miller. It's a low bar these days.

: I am a minor contributor to the newsletter. There. I've stated my association.
: It doesn't taint my statements or thoughts, and I often disagree with Meltzer's
: views on things, but anyone can take them as a qualifier if he or she wishes.

I don't wish to disqualify you. I didn't dismiss you in the other thread, though
now that you've followed me here with the same accusation I'm starting to
wonder if I can mention Meltzer's name without incurring a loadedglove run-in.

: I question whether the "Dave Boo!" crowd doesn't have some ulterior motive
: for their backhanded bashing.

Backhanded? I thought my "bashing" was out in the open?

: You guys have a falling out? Business deal go bad? Lose a bet and refuse
: to pay?

What any of that would have to do with when Choshu won WON Wrestler
of the Year or whether Backlund's reign was "disgusting" is beyond me, but
by all means ignore the message in favor of attacking the messengers.

: For what it's worth, Michaels would not make my Top 100 list if I independently
: made one, but Takada would.

Michaels probably wouldn't make my top 100 either, so we've got something
in common here. Now let's get back to substantive discussion.

Did you realize that Choshu was inactive for much of 1987, the year he won
WON Wrestler of the Year? Nothing against Dave or Choshu, I would have
given Choshu the award in 1985.

Choshu's Invasion had so much impact that All Japan ran shows at Budokan
for the first time in ten years and got television specials in prime time. On top
of that Choshu and his group had a tremendous influence on the style of the
promotion. Also the rivalry with Choshu turned Tenryu from Jumbo's sidekick
into a marketable commodity.

Would you like to make the case for Flair beating Choshu for that award in 1985
and Flair beating Hogan for that award in 1986? It looks like WON bias to me and
a pretty discrediting level of bias in both cases given the facts.

I suppose one could argue that Choshu got the award in 1987 as a "make good"
for the mistake in 1985, but it strikes me as totally goofy to give that award to a
guy who was inactive for much of the year.

I'm not looking to knock Dave down or take his spot. I'm looking to right wrongs.
You've already testified as to how much stock you put in the Observer awards.
It's an uphill battle overcoming that level of bias, even armed with plenty of facts.

Frank

"I think the people who read the Observer and vote in its polls are fairly
knowledgeable fans, as fans go. I hold them in much more regard than
any online poll, or anything in any other wrestling publication."
- loadedglove

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JRM
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quote:
Originally posted by Boston Idol:

Would you like to make the case for Flair beating Choshu for that award in 1985
and Flair beating Hogan for that award in 1986? It looks like WON bias to me and
a pretty discrediting level of bias in both cases given the facts.

I suppose one could argue that Choshu got the award in 1987 as a "make good"
for the mistake in 1985, but it strikes me as totally goofy to give that award to a
guy who was inactive for much of the year.

I'm not looking to knock Dave down or take his spot. I'm looking to right wrongs.
You've already testified as to how much stock you put in the Observer awards.
It's an uphill battle overcoming that level of bias, even armed with plenty of facts.

But Frank, Dave Meltzer didn't give Choshu the award.

His readers did. Or, more to the point, his readers who voted.

Holding Meltzer accountable for Choshu getting the award is like me holding Bud Selig accountable for a bad All-Star Game selection.

JRM

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Scott E. Williams
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Boston Idol:
What's your aspiration? You followed me from another thread in this
forum to lob the same complaint at me. Does that make you obsessed?


Didn't follow you anywhere. Came across two of the same threads you did. Had different versions of the same basic point to make. My point in answering this was to respond to your apparent idea that valid discussion is dead here.
All I'm saying is that what at the VERY least appear to be strong anti-Meltzer biases in your writing might be part of what's discouraging discussion about the topics themselves.

You don't see me talking about what Wade
Keller wrote years ago.


Point.

So does Ben Miller. It's a low bar these days.

Wasn't meant as a bragging point. It was meant as a qualifier. In making the point that I get the impression you have an anti-Meltzer bias that taints your writing, I am disclosing my own association. To be fair, I am someone who could be accused (wrongly, I believe, but the potential is there) of having a pro-Meltzer bias. I disclosed, because I was (in a manner of speaking) asking for disclosure.

I don't wish to disqualify you. I didn't dismiss you in the other thread, though now that you've followed me here with the same accusation I'm starting to wonder if I can mention Meltzer's name without incurring a loadedglove run-in.

Go look at the 100 Top Wrestlers Book thread aqnd stop wondering.

What any of that would have to do with when Choshu won WON Wrestler of the Year or whether Backlund's reign was "disgusting" is beyond me, but by all means ignore the message in favor of attacking the messengers.

Not my intent. Just goes back to my point about whether you have a bias against Dave Meltzer that colors your perceptions and writings. Case in point: The Beyond the Mat thread. You make a point of talking about Meltzer being so full of praise for this film you didn't enjoy so much, even though Meltzer was but one of many who praised the film (I'm not arguing with your assessment of the movie, per se -- not one of my favorites, either, and I share your belief that the guy missed the point of his own movie).
It's like you can't discuss anything on these awards, lists, or whatever, without disparaging Meltzer. If that's not the case, that's at least the impression you're giving me, and I doubt I'm the only one.

Did you realize that Choshu was inactive for much of 1987, the year he won WON Wrestler of the Year? Nothing against Dave or Choshu, I would have given Choshu the award in 1985.

Yeah, I probably would have gone with Choshu as one of my top 2 in 1985, but I can see the case for him in 1987. While he was inactive for much of the year, his move to New Japan was one of the most impactful of the year, and he still had some great matches that year. I don't know if I'd pick him first (I think I voted for Hogan), but I can understand why he got it.

[QB} I'm looking to right wrongs.
You've already testified as to how much stock you put in the Observer awards. It's an uphill battle overcoming that level of bias, even armed with plenty of facts.[/QB]

I do hold the Observer readers in general in higher regard than the base level of online fans. That does not mean I always agree with them. Or Meltzer. Just going over this year's Observer awards, about 15% of my picks matched Meltzer's, and about 10-15% matched those of the readership overall.

I avoid a trap I think you might be falling into, though. I am not confusing, "I don't agree" with "That's totally wrong."

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Boston Idol
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: But Frank, Dave Meltzer didn't give Choshu the award.

Good point, he did give Backlund the 1982 award, but
we've already got a thread going on that.

: His readers did. Or, more to the point, his readers who voted.

Yes, influenced by his writing. If Dave had written "Choshu
isn't a strong candidate for Wrestler of the Year because
he was inactive for six months" they probably would have
chosen someone else. You've got the old Observers and
yearbooks laying around. Was Dave touting for Choshu?

: Holding Meltzer accountable for Choshu getting the award
: is like me holding Bud Selig accountable for a bad All-Star
: Game selection.

Bud was held accountable by many people for stopping
the game and declaring a tie even though the managers
had used up all their pitchers. It wasn't really Bud's fault.
Is he supposed to manage the teams?

When a process yields screwy results, people look at
the person in charge of the process.

Maybe you can flip open an old Observer and tell us
if Dave was arguing against Choshu prior to the
balloting or discussed Choshu's lengthy absence and
questioned the result when announcing the awards.

The bottom line is that plenty of folks like loadedglove
tout for the Observer as the publication of record and
plenty of fans see those dry, empty lists and internalize
them as fact. I don't expect Dave to take the award back,
just as he can't toss Fargo out of the HOF, but it would
bo comforting to know Dave wasn't leading the parade
in the wrong direction back then and it would be nice
if he was willing to revisit some of those awards now.

Dave has a tendancy to certify things and move on,
with fans like loadedglove closing ranks behind him.

I'd say the 1985 to 1987 WON Wrestler of the Year
awards are highly suspect and should be revisited.

How could such a knowledgable body of readers
have gotten it wrong three years in a row unless
the "knowledge" they were relying on was wrong?

Frank

[ 02-11-2003, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: Boston Idol ]

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SMN from CA
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Not sure what this has to do with Shawn Michaels or Nobuhiko Takada, but I found in the 80s, there was a clear and obvious JCP-bias among Observer readers as compared to the WWF, which would explain Flair beating Hogan for WOTY all those times.

This would always be justified by the claim that Hogan was such a poor worker that you couldn't justify giving him an award that was for all-around (influence, drawing power, importance to promotion, in-ring ability)performance, and that the Best Babyface Award, which Hogan won several times was more appropriate.

Of course that doesn't explain why Flair, with substantially less drawing power than many of the top WWF guys, continually won WOTY instead of merely the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award.

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JRM
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Yes, influenced by his writing. If Dave had written "Choshu
isn't a strong candidate for Wrestler of the Year because
he was inactive for six months" they probably would have
chosen someone else. You've got the old Observers and
yearbooks laying around. Was Dave touting for Choshu?


I'll try to check when I get home.

: Holding Meltzer accountable for Choshu getting the award
: is like me holding Bud Selig accountable for a bad All-Star
: Game selection.

Bud was held accountable by many people for stopping
the game and declaring a tie even though the managers
had used up all their pitchers. It wasn't really Bud's fault.
Is he supposed to manage the teams?


It was Bud's fault, since he made the decision. I know, I'm getting off topic.

When a process yields screwy results, people look at
the person in charge of the process.


I disagree. In team sports, screwy awards are routinely handed out.

plenty of folks
tout for the Observer as the publication of record and
plenty of fans see those dry, empty lists and internalize
them as fact.


They shouldn't. It's just an award, and if you look at a breakbown of the balloting, it's obvious there is not a "mind melt" of reader opinion.

I don't expect Dave to take the award back,
just as he can't toss Fargo out of the HOF, but it would
bo comforting to know Dave wasn't leading the parade
in the wrong direction back then and it would be nice
if he was willing to revisit some of those awards now.


1987 Wrestler of the Year is a matter of opinion. I don't think there's a true "right vs wrong" involved.

I'd say the 1985 to 1987 WON Wrestler of the Year
awards are highly suspect and should be revisited.


Not sure what you mean by revisited. I'd strongly oppose Meltzer changing the result of the balloting, regardless of the result.

Look at it this way:

Q: What qualifies a wrestler to win "WON Wrestler of the Year"

A: They need to finish first in the balloting.

It really is that simple.

JRM

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JRM
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quote:
Originally posted by Sam Nord:
I found in the 80s, there was a clear and obvious JCP-bias among Observer readers as compared to the WWF, which would explain Flair beating Hogan for WOTY all those times.

Perhaps, but as a long time wrestling fan I preferred JCP and World Class over the WWF long before I discovered the WON.

The WON has always been for the more serious fan. You'll always find different results in polls and awards that cater to the more serious fan than the ones that deal with more casual fans.

Example: Alex Rodriguez wwas voted the 2002 AL MVP on Baseball Prospectus' site, but Miguel Tejada won it on ESPN.com.

JRM

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Boston Idol
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: Not my intent. Just goes back to my point about whether you have a bias
: against Dave Meltzer that colors your perceptions and writings. Case in
: point: The Beyond the Mat thread.You make a point of talking about Meltzer
: being so full of praise for this film you didn't enjoy so much, even though
: Meltzer was but one of many who praised the film...

Among wrestling pundits he was alone in praising the film. Neither Keller nor
Mitchell had much to say publicly and no one cared what Scherer had to say
though the pictures of him boozing it up at the sneak preview were a riot.

I saw Dave speak about the film at the premier in LA, I heard Dave interview
Blaustein numerous times on Eyada, and I had an opportunity to discuss the
film with Dave in person at the San Jose Film Festival, so I got the chance to
get more comment from Dave than from anyone else in or around the business,
some due to timing or proximity, some due to Dave's level of exposure.

: If that's not the case, that's at least the impression you're giving me, and
: I doubt I'm the only one.

I'm sure you're not, but the situation is forced upon anyone taking issue with
Dave. If I simply disagree, I get people like you touting for Dave irrespective
of the process used or the end result. Did you know the original HOF was
done in a few hours with little discussion and no research? I brought that
out not to embarrass Dave but to explain why the Top 100 lacked credibility.

The original statement made by the author mentioned three people. It was
only later that he got his story straight and we still haven't heard from any of
the panel of historians who were supposedly involved. Frankly Dave is not
above working his readers, but that's a case you'll never be ready to hear
so I don't bother making it. I try to focus on the results, occaisionally trying
to demistify the process for the unitiated. Thanks again for clearing up 1982.

: Yeah, I probably would have gone with Choshu as one of my top 2 in 1985,

Well he did finish second, but I can't fathom how Flair beat him that year.

: but I can see the case for him in 1987. While he was inactive for much of the
: year, his move to New Japan was one of the most impactful of the year,
: and he still had some great matches that year.

He was active for about six months out of the voting period, if I recall correctly,
and his move to All Japan in 1985 (late 1984, started wrestling in 1985) had far
more impact in many more ways. By 1987 Choshu was a bigger star, but New
Japan was already recovering thanks to the return of the UWF workers and
Choshu only had a month or two to make an impact within the balloting period.

: I don't know if I'd pick him first (I think I voted for Hogan), but I can understand
: why he got it.

Choshu's case was far stronger in 1985. Any comment on Flair's case in 1985?

: I avoid a trap I think you might be falling into, though. I am not confusing,
: "I don't agree" with "That's totally wrong."

Giving the top award to a guy who was inactive for half of the year seems
totally wrong to me, especially since his impact in 1987 paled next to 1985.

Frank

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Boston Idol
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: I found in the 80s, there was a clear and obvious JCP-bias among Observer readers as
: compared to the WWF, which would explain Flair beating Hogan for WOTY all those times.

*bingo*

That's what I'm looking for. I don't think anyone is going to accuse Sam of being out to get
Meltzer for welshing on a bet, but he was willing to say what many others refuse to say.

The Observer was biased and that bias tainted their awards. It had more to do with the
information in the Observer than with the faux elitist concept of more knowledgable fans.

Frank

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wannabehistorian
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Quote: "That's what I'm looking for. I don't think anyone is going to accuse Sam of being out to get Meltzer for welshing on a bet, but he was willing to say what many others refuse to say."

That's because Sam didn't continually show disdain for Dave, or the Observer. He clearly, and succintly stated his problem, and why. However, you clearly show disdain for both Dave and the Observer..."The Observer was biased and that bias tainted their awards. It had more to do with the
information in the Observer than with the faux elitist concept of more knowledgable fans."

Nowhere in Sam's message (unless edited) did he make a statement like that.

Jason (Edited by inserted the word "and" in the phrase "Dave, the Observer to read: Dave, and the Observer.)

[ 02-11-2003, 04:32 PM: Message edited by: wannabehistorian ]

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SMN from CA
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I do agree with John though, that it is hard to really BLAME Meltzer for the tainted awards due to the fact that it is simply inevitable that the readers of a particular publication will be influenced by the opinions of the author.

In fact, one big problem I've always had with the Observer awards was the inclusion of Japanese candidates into all of the awards instead of giving them their own categories. I'm far from the first person to bring up this point, in fact I remember reading Letters to the Editor about this as far back as `88 when i first started getting the Observer.

I'm sure a far larger proportion of Observer readers as compared to average wrestling fans, seek out and regularly watch Japanese wrestling tapes. But I also suspect that many people who vote in the Observer year end polls are simply voting for wrestlers and/or matches that they haven't seen and are just parroting the opinions they've seen expressed in the newsletter.

There was a period of time in the late 80s, early 90s when I was a voracious tape trader and got to see almost all the major and minor promotions in the US, and would regularly visit the Japanese video store to watch the Japanese promotions. During these years I would regularly vote in the Observer year end awards because I felt qualified. I stopped regularly seeking out tapes from Japan in the late 90s, and haven't tape traded much at all the last few years, so I haven't voted in years. I'm not sure other people have been so restrained.

Years ago, before the Observer covered Lucha regularly, someone who was also against Japanese wrestling being eligible for Observer awards made a unique challenge to Dave, which was to start covering Mexican wrestling, and just pick some random Luchador and tout his greatness, and then see how many votes in the Observer awards the guy picks up. This would prove that many readers were just parroting Dave's opinions in the awards voting.

Again, I don't blame Meltzer for this, half the fun of reading the Observer is reading his opinions and either agreeing or disagreeing. But it does put the qualifications of some of the year-end voters into question.

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Boston Idol
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: That's because Sam didn't continually show disdain for Dave, or the Observer.

I find that most disagreement with Dave and the Observer is mislabelled as disdain.
I don't take it personally, but it is frustrating because it ignores any factual points I
try to raise while instead questioning my motives for raising them. It's a deflection.

: He clearly, and succintly stated his problem, and why. However, you clearly
: show disdain for both Dave and the Observer...

As I've posted before, people ignore the message to focus on the messenger.

: "The Observer was biased and that bias tainted their awards. It had more to do
: with the information in the Observer than with the faux elitist concept of more
: knowledgable fans."

: Nowhere in Sam's message (unless edited) did he make a statement like that.

Only the first sentence is attributed to what Sam wrote. Did he say that the
voters were biased? Yes. Did he imply that bias tainted the results? Yes.

The second sentence is me responding to McAdam's notion that the level
of knowledge or sophistication among Observer readers justifies the bias.

I'll go back to lurking now like I was before I jumped into the Backlund thread.
Feel free to focus on substance instead of me.

Frank

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Frank,

I am sorry that you find that most disagreement with Dave is mislabled. If it all is disdain, than I have disdained him many times.

I wasn't meaning anything personally by my comments here or on the other WON thread. I was responding to a post.

It is not a deflection. When facts are presented as facts that's one thing. When they are presented in such a way to go beyond mere persuasion in an argument, that's an entirely different story.

I'm sorry...but you as the messenger...if you are true to your message...are inseperable from it.

Feel free to treat those who may respectfully disagree with you with some respect.

Jason

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jdw
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Sam Nord wrote:
I sort of hate nitpicking the order of these type of lists, particular the ones in the middle because it is splitting hairs.

The hell with "nitpicking". [Smile] Some have stated that the point of the Top 100 was to inspire discussion. How else does it inspire one to discuss recent wrestlers on the List if not to (i) discuss whether they are worth of being on it, (ii) whether their specific placement on the List is reasonable, and/or (iii) compare their placement relative to others on the List? If it isn't, than why assign a number, and just instead list 100 wrestlers. [Smile] Seriously - there have been baseball Top 100s that have done just that.

So set aside the concept of "nitpicking", and instead look at the criteria that Dave's intro set forth and apply it to the two wrestlers. Does Michaels rating above Takada make sense within the guidelines the *contributors* set? If so, why? If not, why?

I'm not trying to slap you around here, Sam. [Smile] I just hate when on one side there is the claim that the point is to start discussions and when the attempt is made, the first comment on it is that it's nitpicking.

John

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quote:
Originally posted by jdw:
Sam Nord wrote:
I sort of hate nitpicking the order of these type of lists, particular the ones in the middle because it is splitting hairs.

The hell with "nitpicking". [Smile] Some have stated that the point of the Top 100 was to inspire discussion. How else does it inspire one to discuss recent wrestlers on the List if not to (i) discuss whether they are worth of being on it, (ii) whether their specific placement on the List is reasonable, and/or (iii) compare their placement relative to others on the List? If it isn't, than why assign a number, and just instead list 100 wrestlers. [Smile] Seriously - there have been baseball Top 100s that have done just that.

So set aside the concept of "nitpicking", and instead look at the criteria that Dave's intro set forth and apply it to the two wrestlers. Does Michaels rating above Takada make sense within the guidelines the *contributors* set? If so, why? If not, why?

I'm not trying to slap you around here, Sam. [Smile] I just hate when on one side there is the claim that the point is to start discussions and when the attempt is made, the first comment on it is that it's nitpicking.

John

Forget I said it. For my viewpoints on Takada's placement vs. Michaels, see the rest of my initial post. I can't see any reasoning that would have Michaels ahead...and that is coming from someone who is a far bigger Michaels proponent than most.
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loadedglove wrote:
I question whether the "Dave Boo!" crowd doesn't have some ulterior motive for their backhanded bashing.

I'd echo Frank's earlier comment - there aren't very many backhanded criticism of Dave from the "Dave Boo!" crowd. They're pretty open and direct criticism. I was often openly criticize Dave even in the years where we were friends. I was also critical at times of Wade when I wrote for the Torch, and have after I stopped writing but still maintained a relationship him and Bruce. Friendships and associtations do not put blinders on, at least for me.

Same goes for Frank - I've had quite public rows with him over things that we didn't agree on. He's also quite strongly disagreed with me on match analysis, publically stated that popular opinions of mine are off base, and forced me to rewatch matches and rethink my opinions. Similar to what I've tried to get across in analyzing the 1986 Jumbo vs. Hamaguchi match, he tried to get across in revisting the two 1990 Jumbo vs. Misawa matches. He actually was successful as I did revist them, and agree with him analysis. I'm fairly confident I'll never have the same success with the Tsuruta vs. Hamaguchi match... at least as far as the person who original rated and review the match. But I digress...

You guys have a falling out?

I don't think Frank ever had a "falling in" with Dave.

Just to quid pro your earlier pointing to your writing for WO.page, I'll admit Dave and I have had a falling out. It does happen in friendships. If one wants to dismiss any criticism I may make of Dave because of that, feel free to. What can I do.

People were dismissing positives things I said over the years about Dave because I was "Dave's pal" (to quote Scherer) or "Meltzer Jr." (to quote Lano). So I've seen both ends of it, and it's also an easy out for people to grab onto rather than really address with the positives or the criticism run opposite of their points of view. Again, what can I do.

Business deal go bad?

Frank's never had a business deal with Dave.

I wouldn't term anything Dave and I had as a business deal, anymore than I would term anything Wade and I had as a business deal. Herd, Marvez, Cooney, Marek, Molinaro, the guys over at PowerBomb.com... those guys have had "business deals" with Dave. I tend to think business deals with friends are a bad idea.

Lose a bet and refuse to pay?

I don't recall Dave ever betting, even jokingly. I've won many a bet from Yohe over the years. [Smile] Maybe Takada and Maeda can come out of retirement and have a match so Yohe can force me to pay him back for that "loss" of his. [Smile]

Anyway...

John

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Fair enough.

Anyway, to the original topic, I'd have Takada somewhere on my list, but probably not Michaels. Takada was a bigger influence on the styles of those who immediately followed him. He did more business. He was a better, more believable worker than overselling, overrated Shawn.

--------------------
"There are some pleasures in life you just can't put a price on. Nailing a two-bit hood like McGee good and proper with a bus is one of 'em." -- Franky

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jdw wrote:
47. Shawn Michaels
52. Nobuhiko Takada

Anyone find this an odd order in which to rank the two? If so, why? If not, why?


Just for reference, and perhaps spur *more detailed* discussion, here's the criteria used to rank wrestlers on the List, as set for by Dave in the introduction:

* professional success
* importance to history
* ability in the ring
* drawing power
* mainstream status achieved

And for wrestlers active *prior to* 1960:

* actual inring "toughness" a/k/a shooting ability

The last is a little vague, but I wouldn't worry about it since Michaels and Takada were both *born* after 1960. [Smile]

Anyway, any more thoughts based on what Dave claims were the criteria that the wrestlers were judge on and ranked by?

John

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Can someone fill me in on who Takada is, please?
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Das wrote:
Can someone fill me in on who Takada is, please?

One of the top junior heavyweight workers of the 80s, Nobuhiko Takada was a pioneer who helped popularize "strong-style" wrestling in Japan.

After debuting in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1980, Takada jumped to Hisashi Shinma's Universal Wrestling Federation, the first strong-style pro wrestling group of its kind, in 1984. He returned to New Japan a year later and engaged in a classic feud with Shiro Koshinaka , capturing the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title on May 19, 1986.

He left New Japan for a second time in 1988 to join the resurrected UWF. With its emphasis on clean finishes by either knockout or submission and worked bouts composed of punches, kicks and suplexes, the UWF became the hottest promotion in Japan among Japanese teenagers starved for legitimate "shoot" matches.

The last incarnation of the UWF disbanded in early-1991, but not before Takada established UWF International (UWFI) in February, setting himself up as the group's top star and world champion while feuding with Vader and Gary Albright. The high point of his reign as champion in UWFI came on December 5, 1993, when he defeated WCW World Champion Vader via submission before 46,168 fans at Tokyo's Jingu Baseball Stadium.

Takada was a key figure in the landmark New Japan vs. UWFI program in 1995-1996, which was the biggest money-making feud in wrestling history at that time. His October 9, 1995, match against IWGP Champion Keiji Mutoh drew 67,000 fans to the Tokyo Dome, setting the record for the largest pro wrestling crowd ever in Japan and breaking the all-time gate record, at more than $6.1 million.

A mere three months later, Takada won the strap in a rematch before 64,000 fans on January 4, pulling in $5.5 million at the gate. Takada dropped the belt to Shinya Hashimoto on April 29 before 65,000 and drawing $5.7 million at the gate, ending a historical feud that will go down as one of the top two biggest grossing feuds of all-time.

Takada moved on to PRIDE, where he lost to Rickson Gracie on October 11, 1997, before 37,000 in the Tokyo Dome. Their hotly anticipated rematch a year later drew just as many fans, and put the no-holds-barred outfit on the map. Takada turned the company into the hottest promotion in Japan during the late-90s and the beginning of the new century, helping PRIDE draw in new fans not only from the martial arts audience, but also from the much larger pro wrestling audience.

-John Molinaro, Takada piece in full from Top 100 Pro Wrestlers of All Time

John Williams, just quoting... don't look at me if you have issues with the piece

[ 02-15-2003, 09:40 PM: Message edited by: jdw ]

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Well, I seem to be talking to myself at this point... but that's never stopped me in the past. [Wink]

To amplify some points in Molinaro's piece on Takada, or add new ones, or simply disagree, here are some thoughts. Molinaro's piece is in italics, but are not.

One of the top junior heavyweight workers of the 80s, Nobuhiko Takada was a pioneer who helped popularize "strong-style" wrestling in Japan.

This will come off like two nitpicks, but here goes.

The style of wrestling in UWF and UWFi _was not_ "strong-style". Strong-style is a term New Japan applies to their "art", as in martial arts. New Japan's wrestling is the "strong style". UWF broke away from that, so far as pointing that it was phony and their style was "real".

Lots of us over the years have followed Dave's lead on this. Look - we were wrong, as was he. It doesn't mean we need to keep using it. If you want to call UWF-style wrestling "shoot-style", fine. At this point I wouldn't, since it only confuses the point of with actual shoots. "UWF-style" is fine. UWF 1.0, UWF 2.0, UWFi, RINGS for much of its history, Fujiwara Family usually... these were all promotions that worked UWF-style, more or less.

The second point is "One of the top junior heavyweight workers of the 80s..." This is an introductory paragraph/sentence on Takada, trying to catch the highpoints of his career that will be discussed later in the piece. Takada worked as a junior from about 2/86 to 3/88. He was a great worker prior to that and a great worker after that, and also a great worker as a heavyweight, so the comment fails to give him enough credit for his work by limiting it.

He also, as the piece points out, did many other things in his career far more important than the two years he spent as a junior. The piece does cover that, but the introduction doesn't do a good job of highlighting them.

After debuting in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 1980, Takada jumped to Hisashi Shinma's Universal Wrestling Federation, the first strong-style pro wrestling group of its kind, in 1984.

The piece glosses over this period. It's worth noting that while still with New Japan, just days prior to his 22nd birthday he had a match with Yoshiaki Yatsu on 04/19/84 that was thought so highly of and so memorable that it ended up in Jeff Bowdren's 100 Greatest matches of the 1980s, which was published in the 1989 WON Yearbook. Takada was already noticed as a worker to keep an eye on even before he left New Japan for the first time, even when quite young.

Also missing from the piece is how quickly he went from "worker to keep an eye on" to "great worker":

"December 5 - Tokyo Korakuen Hall (Universal Wrestling Federation)

4. Kazuo Yamazaki pinned Nobuhiko Takada with a German suplex (right) in 23:57. This match consisted of only realistic wrestling moves, extremely hard slaps and severe karate kicks. The fans were mesmerized by this match. UWF is different from other groups because of results like this, since Takada is the bigger star of the two. This bout was even throughtout and there was no telling who would win. The kicks, where Yamazaki was superior by a little, were stronger than the actual wrestling, were Takada held a slight edge. These guys are a great even match-up, and this was definately the best match I've ever seen in my entire life. The two friends I attended this show with agreed. One thought it was the best match he'd ever seen, the other ranked it behind only the Super Tiger vs. Maeda match 9/11 as the best bout in Japan this past year. This match was very close to being a "pure shoot". *****"
-Dave Meltzer, 1984 Wrestling Observer Yearbook

A year before he went back to New Japan, still a 22 year old puppy, Takada kicked out the best match Meltzer had ever seen live up to that point of his wrestling fandom. That's saying something. It's also worth noting that match involved one of Takada's great rivals - Kazuo Yamazaki. The Takada vs. Yamazaki feud would blaze across four different promotions: UWF 1.0, New Japan, UWF 2.0 and UWFi. This was hardly the only match of the year candidate they ever had against one another. Yamazaki's name is mentioned nowhere in the piece, which for a Takada bio (mini or otherwise) is a bit like failing to mention Scott Hall in a Shawn Michaels bio, or Rick Steamboat in a Ric Flair bio.

Either way, Takada was well known in hardcore circles as a top worker before he came back to New Japan.

He returned to New Japan a year later and engaged in a classic feud with Shiro Koshinaka, capturing the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title on May 19, 1986.

I know there are space constraints on how much can be said, but this again short changes Takada's accomplishments upon his return to New Japan, and misses a critical element of him that isn't mentioned anywhere in the piece.

Upon returning to New Japan, the UWF wrestlers had pretty strong ideas of how to work a match, and a distaste for many elements of "pro-style" wrestling. This limited a lot of the workers as there were things they just wouldn't do in a ring because it was "fake". Takada took a different approach from most of his UWF mates - bend but don't break. He looked to meet his pro-style opponents midway, finding things that they could do together in the ring that wouldn't compromise his style, but also didn't force his opponent to completely work UWF-style. It wasn't just that Takada could have great matches with someone like Koshinaka, a traditional puroresu worker through and through. He could have great matches with George Takano back when Takano was working the Cobra gimmick as a high flying Tiger Mask style worker. Takada could work great matches with someone like Gary Albright who was a control and suplex machine, and extremely limited beyond that. He could have exciting matches with a gaijin monster like Vader. He could even find middle ground with Tenryu to have matches that were well thought of at the time.

This is a core central element of what made Takada more than just a "good UWF-style worker", like Maeda at his best was. Takada didn't just push the boundries of work by helping to develop the UWF-style, but also found ways to cross back and find common ground to work with pro-style workers, and many different types of workers.

He left New Japan for a second time in 1988 to join the resurrected UWF. With its emphasis on clean finishes by either knockout or submission and worked bouts composed of punches, kicks and suplexes, the UWF became the hottest promotion in Japan among Japanese teenagers starved for legitimate "shoot" matches.

I don't know if Japanese teens were "starved" for legit shoot matches. If they were, UWF 1.0 would likely have done better. UWF 2.0 did take off, and did take off as something "different" from what New Japan and All Japan were kicking out at the time. But I wouldn't limit myself to claiming that it got red hot because there were teens "starved" for shoot matches.

More importantly, glossed over here is the more important point of UWF 2.0 on Takada's career. It was here that he was elevated up into being a main eventer. More than just main eventer, but one who could main event some of their biggest shows - Budokan. More than just a main eventer of big shows, but one who could beat the top guy in the promotion - Akira Maeda. This was mentioned in cursory fashion in the Maeda piece, but I'll emphasize it. Maeda was the first native superstar wrestler of his generation (Tsuruta, Tenryu, Choshu, Fujinami, Maeda) to put over a wrestler of the next generation (Hashimoto, Mutoh, Chono, Sasaki, Misawa, Kawada, Taue, Kobashi, Takada) cleanly in a singles match. Reversing that, Takada was the first wrestler of his generation to get such a win. It wouldn't happen in New Japan until April 1989 when Choshu with his piece of the book chose to put over Hashimoto in a tourny match. It wouldn't happen in All Japan until June 1990 when Jumbo put over Misawa, which was the _only_ time that happened in All Japan while Baba was alive. Takada was the first of his generation to get pushed up strongly as a singles main eventer. He was the first to headline Budokan as a singles wrestler. He was the first of his generation to beat the promotion's top wrestler in a singles. The trend for all of those things happening in the other promotions started here, not just with Maeda jobbing to Takada, but then the two taking their rematch to Budokan and packing the place.

Which leads to another point missed both here and in the Maeda piece. Budokan was a brutal place to try to sell out. As in next to impossible. All Japan simply didn't pack the place, usually getting between 8,000 to 10,000 *real* attendence (as opposed to the announced crowd), even for things like the Tag League Final Night and the first two Tsuruta vs. Tenryu matches in 1987 after they split up. The Brody Memorial show in 1988 had an estimated 12,000 people in the building, which the person there live said was the most All Japan had ever put into the building up to that point. It was a hard place to pack.

The January 1989 Maeda vs. Takada sold the place out. In advance. And drew another 1,500 on closed circuit.

*After* this, All Japan would start doing much better and much hotter business in Tokyo, as would New Japan when they got around to running their occassional shows at Budokan. But the flood doors opened with Maeda vs. Takada. UWF was red hot. Maeda was red hot. And Takada had been made hot enough as an opponent after the earlier win. You want another flood gates match, you'll find it here. The November 1988 match ushered in the era where it was okay for the top starts in a promotion to job to younger natives to elevate them. The January 1989 match ushered in the era of Budokan sell outs as a reasonable goal for a promotion, rather than an impossible dream.

But you'll note that Maeda's name, like Yamazaki's, is nowhere in the piece.

The last incarnation of the UWF disbanded in early-1991, but not before Takada established UWF International (UWFI) in February,

Actually, UWF 2.0 was disbanding even as it ran its last show in 1990. Everyone knew it as Maeda and the promotion's president had a falling out, so strong that Maeda wasn't booked on the final show. That of course led to a memorable moment at the end of that show, but that's a digression.

It would also be incorrect to say that Takada "established" UWFi. He wasn't the owner. He wasn't the booker. It wasn't "his" promotion, like All Japan was Baba's. It was built around him.

setting himself up as the group's top star and world champion while feuding with Vader and Gary Albright.

This comes across a little swarmy towards Takada. He did not set himself up as the top star, nor as world champion. The promotion was created with the intent that he would be the top guy, but he wasn't running the ship. Picture the people of WC pooling their money to start a new fed, and they sign Austin to be the top star and world champ. It's not Austin booking himself to be the top star, but rather the promotion who made the offer to Austin, and he said, "Nice offer, I'll take it."

The high point of his reign as champion in UWFI came on December 5, 1993, when he defeated WCW World Champion Vader via submission before 46,168 fans at Tokyo's Jingu Baseball Stadium.

That was the high point, but again glosses over the success of Takada. You'll often see in HOF discussions the term "he built up territories". This has been used to build up the cases of people like Wahoo and The Andersons, or in the case of Buddy Rogers to try to get across just how good of a draw he was.

UWFi wasn't a territory built up. It was a promotion that didn't exist, was created from scratch, and seven months after their first show were able to sell out Ryogoku Sumo Hall. Within a year after that, they were able to sell out Budokan. The year after that (1993) they sold out Budokan all three times, Ryogoku Sumo Hall the one time they ran it, and sold out the baseball stadium. They ran 9 shows, and averaged 13,805 fans. The year after (1994), they sold out Budokan six times, and drew 14,000 at each of their two major non-Budokan shows of the year. 15,813 per show over 8 shows, even without a stadium show.

This wasn't territory building. This was being *the* anchor of a promotion that started up and turned into a monster. The stadium show mentioned in the piece doesn't begin to scratch the surface of how successful the promotion was in 1993-94, nor touch on how successful the promotion was until the wheels fell off. It's also a key part of the Takada arc when it comes to drawing. He went from being a successful draw in UWF 2.0 as the younger rival for Maeda to being the anchor draw of a wildly successful promotion started from scratch. What follows after is his drawing power after that promotion collapsed, where he became a monster drawing "opponent".

Takada was a key figure in the landmark New Japan vs. UWFI program in 1995-1996, which was the biggest money-making feud in wrestling history at that time. His October 9, 1995, match against IWGP Champion Keiji Mutoh drew 67,000 fans to the Tokyo Dome, setting the record for the largest pro wrestling crowd ever in Japan and breaking the all-time gate record, at more than $6.1 million.

A mere three months later, Takada won the strap in a rematch before 64,000 fans on January 4, pulling in $5.5 million at the gate. Takada dropped the belt to Shinya Hashimoto on April 29 before 65,000 and drawing $5.7 million at the gate, ending a historical feud that will go down as one of the top two biggest grossing feuds of all-time.


This is generally fine, though I would make two points that the piece didn't make. One would be that UWFi collapsed in 1995 largely due to poor financial management. In the wake of that collapse, they entered into the arrangement with New Japan that led to the big business. The second point I would make would be some mention of Takada getting off a defense of the IWGP title in March 1996 against his old junior heavyweight rival Koshinaka, selling out Budokan. It's a small point, but it does (i) tie in nicely to earlier mention of Koshinaka, and (ii) show that there was more drawing power to the feud than just selling out the Dome three times in six months.

Before going into the Pride stuff, mention should be made of the 35,000+ he drew against Tenryu on 09/11/96 to cap his one year run as a monster draw in fresh "dream matches" against Mutoh, Hashimoto and Tenryu. It also should be mentioned that there were discussions of him going to All Japan in a similar role as he had been in New Japan with dream matches against the likes of Misawa and Kawada, but Baba in the end wouldn't go for it. After that, he turned to Pride and the money offer he felt he couldn't refeuse.

Takada moved on to PRIDE, where he lost to Rickson Gracie on October 11, 1997, before 37,000 in the Tokyo Dome. Their hotly anticipated rematch a year later drew just as many fans, and put the no-holds-barred outfit on the map. Takada turned the company into the hottest promotion in Japan during the late-90s and the beginning of the new century, helping PRIDE draw in new fans not only from the martial arts audience, but also from the much larger pro wrestling audience.

I find this an interesting cap to the Takada piece, and it was one of the primary reasons I tossed up the question of Michaels vs. Takada. Takada's pro career through 1996 *alone* is rather impressive. Hot younger worker. A key factor in developing a new wrestling style. At one time thought of as perhaps the best worker in the world, and though much of his career from 1986 well into the 90s throught of as one of the best. Draw as a young rival, massive draw as an anchor, and record setting draw as a special "outsider". Main event draw from as early as 1989 and right on through the records of 1995-96. So he wasn't a short term blip on the radar as either a draw or as worker. The influence was there. And then this strange Pride thing, whatever we want to make of it.

I frankly don't know what to make of it. Molinaro's piece implies massive credit for Takada on the success of Pride:

"[Takada vs. Gracie] put the no-holds-barred outfit on the map."

And:

"Takada turned the company into the hottest promotion in Japan during the late-90s and the beginning of the new century, helping PRIDE draw in new fans not only from the martial arts audience, but also from the much larger pro wrestling audience."

I don't know if I would go that far, but...

Takada was in on the ground floor. His matches at the time drew very well, though obviously not what the promotion has draw since. He was willing to go in there against Gracie in shoots and did blaze the trail for other pro wrestlers, most notably his old UWFi mate Sakuraba, to follow. Of course Takada's shoot matches have been embarassments to watch. But they did get the promotion off the ground. They did draw. And they did set a trend. He does deserve *some* bonus points for them on top of a HOF-level career in regular "pro wrestling".

So even though I think the Molinaro piece is missing a lot of important elements of Takada's career, even in its glossed over fashion it hits on so many things right up to Pride that I having difficulty seeing how they rated Michaels ahead of him.

Dave called out in the book to "let the discussions begin". Here is a restart of the discussion, at least on one of them. I'm not even trying to tear down Michaels in it, but just walking briefly through Takada, both in Molinaro's own piece and in some quick additions. Does anyone, even Dave or Molinaro or Marek, want to join the discussion? Or was "let the discussions begin" lip service?

John

[edited to correct italics]

[ 02-18-2003, 08:57 PM: Message edited by: jdw ]

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John:

Not sure I can add much to the discussion at this point, but wanted to thank you for the great Takada history lesson. I already felt, as I mentioned earlier in the thread, that Takada should be ahead of Michaels, and this just solidified it.

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You seem to be talking to yourself because you've covered the subject so well there's no hole to fill. Molinaro is now publish and a pro and a good guy but he can't write or think as well as John Williams. Ive read most of your stuff and I think the above is one of the best things you've done. That includes the Torch stuff & WON letters. It top of the line wrestling writing. Wish we wrestling fans could get away from raging on each others & Dave Meltzer and try to do similar work.

IM really not interested in if Takada should rank above Michaels....that's a no brainer....IM wondering how Takada should be rank in relationship to Akira Maeda. I would have ranked Maeda above Takada but after reading the above I wonder how you feel about it?

Probably the reason for Michael being rated above Takada is that Molinaro was under pressure from the publisher to list people the readers watched on TV. That's why he left Joe Stecher off the list....he had too many old guys, that WWE fans didn't care about. We all know there are American fans who would be upset that their favorite Michael would be behind some unknown Japanese guy. Would Keller place Takada ahead of Michaels? No one wants to write a book that doesn't sell.

Wait a minute, I do those stupid record books & no one buys them!!!--Steve Yohe

[ 02-19-2003, 04:20 AM: Message edited by: Steve Yohe ]

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Maeda vs. Takada should probably be a thread unto itself. My first instinct, without thinking about it very much, would be that Maeda should be ahead due to influence, but if we are supposed to discount his role as a promoter and judge him simply on talent and influence as a wrestler, then I think it becomes a lot more debatable. Takada, IMO, is way ahead on in-ring ability, so it would take another jdw level of analysis for me to be convinced one way or another on who was more influential.

I think Steve is spot-on regarding Molinaro either being or feeling pressured to include as many "familiar" names as possible to make the book more marketable. Ultimately, the goal of any book is to sell copies, and I'm sure there was those in the publishing process who felt that having names like Jesse Ventura in there, whether deserved or not, would strike more interest than others.

[ 02-19-2003, 09:23 AM: Message edited by: Sam Nord ]

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Steve Yohe:
You seem to be talking to yourself because you've covered the subject so well there's no hole to fill.

There must be some "hole", since the rankings were this:

47. Shawn Michaels
52. Nobuhiko Takada

[Smile]

I don't want to beat it into the ground or get too snarky about it. I would love to see Dave or Molinaro or Marek explain why they were ranked in this order.

In reading Molinaro's interview on WO.page, I think we can let Marek off of any responsibility for Shawn ranking so high. Molinaro indicated that Marek doesn't think Michaels is worthy of being in the WON HOF. You would think that anyone Marek considered to be a Top 100 wrestler of all-time would by definition be someone that he also considers worthy of being in the WON HOF. So one would think Marek left Shawn completely off his Top 100 list, but he was rated so highly Dave and Molinaro that he still finished #47.

I wonder if they did the old #1 on each person's ranking would get 100 points, #100 would get 1 point, then add them all together and see how they ranked. So Flair got 100 + 100 + 100 = 300 and finished #1. And Michaels got:

X + Y + 0 = Z

where X is Dave's ranking, Y is Molinaro's, 0 for Marek since he left him completely off, and Z would be enough points to rank #47.

Hmmm... you'd think that for that to work out, both Dave and Molinaro had to have had Shawn ranked *way* better than #47 on each of their respective ballots... like Top 30.

Wait... I am getting too snarky here. [Wink]

Anyway, I'd still enjoy seeing Dave or Molinaro walk through why Michaels ranked ahead of Takada. This isn't "nitpicking", but instead "letting the discussions begin".

Molinaro is now publish and a pro and a good guy but he can't write or think as well as John Williams.

I'm a crappy writer at this point, and my "thinking" is far below what it was six years ago. It's either age, or lots of mediocre wrestling dumbing me down. [Razz]

IM really not interested in if Takada should rank above Michaels.... that's a no brainer.... IM wondering how Takada should be rank in relationship to Akira Maeda. I would have ranked Maeda above Takada but after reading the above I wonder how you feel about it?

I don't know where I would rank Maeda compared to Takada. That would take a lot of thinking, and a better understanding of how one weighs the five criteria listed in the book by Dave. If they are weighed the same way they are to allow Flair to be #1 (i.e. Work Ubber Alles), then of course Takada hammers Maeda seven ways to Sunday because in addition to being a better work both at his peak and for a longer period of time, he:

(i) also was a great record breaking draw like Maeda was

(ii) had a big impact on the business. Not as big as Maeda's, but Flair did not have as big of a historical impact as Hogan yet still trumped Hogan in the rankings.

(iii) Takada did achive mainstream status of some note, though not close to Maeda's. But again, one could say that his mainstream status was closer to Maeda's than Flair's was to Hogan.

(iv) Takada out points Maeda in professional success - all three titles in New Japan, UWFi's Pro Wrestling Championship and bagging a win over WCW's World Champ. Maeda has a IWGP Tag Title reign to his ledger, along with bagging RINGS' annual tourny a few times.

So, if we rate by The Flair Formula, Takada wins. However, if we rate by a formula that favors impact strongly, Maeda might close the gap.

Probably the reason for Michael being rated above Takada is that Molinaro was under pressure from the publisher to list people the readers watched on TV. That's why he left Joe Stecher off the list.... he had too many old guys, that WWE fans didn't care about.

I find this excuse of Molinaro's to ring hallow. Look at the Top 20:

1. Ric Flair

Semi-active, and known to current fans.

2. Lou Thesz

Old guy, now dead. His last national exposure was Mark Madden bad mouthing him on WCW TV. He means a lot to you and me, but little to WWE fans.

3. Rikidozan

Old. Dead. Dead before most current fans were born. Dead before some of their parents were born. He's one of those Japanese guys.

4. Antonio Inoki

Old Japanese guy. What did Russo say about Japanese wrestling?

5. Hulk Hogan

Still on TV.

6. Andre the Giant

Known to current fans, but let's be honest by pointing out he's been dead for a decade now.

7. El Santo

One of those flippy-floppy Mexican guys. Wait, that's his son. This guy is dead. Did he ever mean anything in the US?

8. Giant Baba

Japanese. Old. Dead.

9. Steve Austin

"Stone Cold! Stone Cold! Stone Cold!"

10. Buddy Rogers

Old. Dead. 20 years since he was even around wrestling on TV.

11. Frank Gotch

He's been dead for 85 years. Think about that.

12. Jim Londos

Another old dead guy. When was the last time you saw him on Monday night?

13. Ed "Strangler" Lewis

Older and deader than Londos. And at least Londos "died still a champion". [Razz]

14. Stan Hansen

Wasn't this the guy who drooled tobacco all over himself when feuding with Lex Luger? If he was anybody, he would have gotten signed by WCW in the Monday Night Wars.

15. Bruno Sammartino

Bitter old wrestler. Older than Hogan, and let's be honest that even though Hogan is the creator of the Rock & Wrestling Connection that took wrestling out of the smoke filled arenas, he is one old ******* . That means Bruno is *really* old.

16. The Rock

Now we're talking about a current star.

17. Gorgeous George

Dead. Didn't are grandparents watch him around the TV?

18. Bruiser Brody

Who?

19. Riki Choshu
20. Mitsuhara Mitsawa

More of those Japanese guys.

Note - comments were in a WWE Fan mode.

So looking at the Top 20, the most important fifth of the List, we see a lot of old, dead and foreign wrestlers. Of recent or semi-recent wrestlers known to WWE fans, we have Flair, Hogan, Austin, and Rock. Many probably know about Andre to some degree, and Bruno to a lesser degree. After that, they would draw a blank on almost all of the rest.

We all know there are American fans who would be upset that their favorite Michael would be behind some unknown Japanese guy.

He is:

3. Rikidozan
4. Antonio Inoki
8. Giant Baba
19. Riki Choshu
20. Mitsuhara Mitsawa
22. Jumbo Tsuruta
27. Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama)
36. Jushin Liger
37. Toshiaki Kawada
38. Keiji Muto
42. Tatsumi Fujinami
44. Akira Maeda

Mutoh is sort of known, though his heyday in the US was 1989 and he's made very few appearances here since, not many of them very significant or of impact. Liger was a blip on the radar back in 1991-92, and has made few appearances since. Tiger Mask was a blip on the radar two decades ago. Baba was a star... back in the 1960s.

So that one doesn't work either.

Would Keller place Takada ahead of Michaels?

Keller wouldn't rank the Japanese wrestlers.

Then again, Keller wouldn't write such a book. He knows that it's beyond him.

No one wants to write a book that doesn't sell.

Well...

Wait a minute, I do those stupid record books & no one buys them!!!

There you go. [Smile]

John

[edited to correct a "did" to a "did not"]

[ 04-21-2003, 07:12 PM: Message edited by: jdw ]

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Sam Nord wrote:
Maeda vs. Takada should probably be a thread unto itself.

Yep. I'll break it off when we finish up with the Takada vs. Michaels and Hogan vs. Flair threads. Hopefully someone involved in the book will drop by to discuss it, and I wouldn't want to swamp them with 50 of these threads. [Smile]

My first instinct, without thinking about it very much, would be that Maeda should be ahead due to influence, but if we are supposed to discount his role as a promoter and judge him simply on talent and influence as a wrestler, then I think it becomes a lot more debatable. Takada, IMO, is way ahead on in-ring ability, so it would take another jdw level of analysis for me to be convinced one way or another on who was more influential.

It's pretty tough on the more influential. My knee jerk reaction would be Maeda. Without Maeda there wouldn't be a Takada at the level Takada reached. There wouldn't have been a UWF 1.0, UWF 2.0, UWFi, RINGS, Pancrase, etc. That said, Takada did help develop the UWF-style, and was with Yamazaki the best worker of the style during its salad days. Takada also gets those bonus points for impact with Pride... which I'll confess to having trouble quantifying it. Molinaro's piece articulates *massive* credit to Takada for it, even if Takada's actual ranking in the book seems to give it very little credit. I'm probably somewhere inbetween Molinaro's articulated view (Takada bio) and applied view (Takada's ranking).

The others categories are tricky as well. As you say, it's another thread. An even tricker one that Idol mentioned on the phone once was Takada vs. Misawa, thinking I was setting my sights too low by pointing to the Takada vs. Michaels rankings and should instead hunt bigger game. [Smile]

I think Steve is spot-on regarding Molinaro either being or feeling pressured to include as many "familiar" names as possible to make the book more marketable. Ultimately, the goal of any book is to sell copies, and I'm sure there was those in the publishing process who felt that having names like Jesse Ventura in there, whether deserved or not, would strike more interest than others.

Perhaps. But like the application of criteria that Dave listed, it doesn't appear to be applied in either a consistent or obvious fashion. They really did get a lot of old-timers into the book, and many of whom are little more than names in title lists to current fans (if they even look at title lists). I also think that of the post-1984 wrestlers (as far as the lions share of their career accomplishments coming after that point), *more* of them are from Japan and Mexico combined (from a standpoint of where they achived their fame) than from North America. The post-Rock & Wrestling North American wrestlers would be:

1 Ric Flair
5 Hulk Hogan
6 Andre the Giant (who could as easily go pre-84)
9 Steve Austin
16 The Rock
25 Bret Hart
31 Dusty Rhodes (could as easily go pre-84)
34 Vader (who is 1/2 NA and 1/2 rest of the world)
46 Ricky Steamboat
47 Shawn Michaels
50 Randy Savage
53 Mick Foley
61 The Dynamite Kid (who is probably 1/3 Japan at least)
62 The Undertaker
65 Jerry Lawler
66 Roddy Piper
67 Ultimo Dragon (split Japan, Mexico and US)
81 Ted DiBiase
95 Sting
99 Jesse Ventura

That really isn't that much from current US, with current being the last 20 years.

Perhaps we can read Molinaro's comment to mean:

As many "familiar" names to WON readers as possible to make the book more marketable to WON readers.

That seems to better capture the majority of the *current* wrestlers, and quite possibly also the older wrestlers as well. The majority of the older ones would be known to WON readers to a pretty decent degree.

John

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Todd Martin wrote in Topic: The top 100 Pro Wrestlers of all time: Spoilers, from the book!:
I saw the Takada-Michaels thread. No offense, but it seemed kind of silly to me. The two are so incomparable.

The book is about comparing wrestlers of different eras, styles, countries, sizes and shapes. It's an essential part of actually *ranking* wrestlers.

One's a great worked shooter. The other does a very unrealistic athletic style. They were stars in radically different companies. They influenced the business in very different ways.

Flair worked one style, Rikidozan worked another. They worked for different companies/associations. They influenced the business in different ways. Yet one is #1, and the other is #3. They were compared and judged. That not only implied in the book, but also explicit both in Dave's intro and in Molinaro's Flair piece. Perhaps you think it's silly, but it is the whole point of assigning numbers to the wrestlers rather than simply listing 100 people in alpha order.

Maeda vs. Takada is interesting to me, as is Bret vs. Shawn. Shawn and Takada seem too random.

I find Maeda vs. Takada and Bret vs. Shawn to be obvious comps, and as such are far less interesting to me. Less obvious comps, like Takada vs. Michaels, or contrasting comps, like Flair vs. Hogan, are far more interesting to me. They also tend to edge up against biases very fast, and those are always interesting to explore.

For what it's worth, I would put Takada above Michaels on a list like that. I'm a big proponent of the importance of the shoot-work movement in Japan, and Takada is vital in that. That was more important than what Shawn did in WWF. But I think they belong in a similar area on the list, so a difference of less than 10 spots doesn't seem to matter much either way to me.

I wouldn't even have Shawn on the list, while Takada is an interesting debate with how he ranks relative to Misawa. So in my mind they're clearly more than 10 posts appart.

I know this should probably be put in there, but rather than break into 2 points, I'll just include it here. Towards the end, you mentioned Marek didn't vote for Michaels and thus Molinaro and Meltzer must have wanted him higher. That's not salient logic. Marek didn't vote for Michaels for HOF solely because of professionalism. Even if you didn't use that professionalism argument, that was basically his entire rationale. Listening to him last summer had more influence on me writing my "firmly worded" letter that riled you up than anything else. That professionalism argument has little relevance to a top 100 list, so I'm sure he didn't have a radically different vision of Michaels' spot than the other two.

If professionalism plays a role in Marek's mind for the WON HOF, why would you think it plays no roll in his coming up with a Top 100? Is Marek inconsistant?

John

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On weighing dissimilar wrestlers, I think you get at what I find fruitless about the process. It just tends to have people draw a line based on their biases and inherent judgments, and there is no give and take in the discussion. Thus, you're just not going to accomplish as much as you could comparing similar wrestlers. That's just a difference of opinion though. I'd rather talk about easily comparable wrestlers.

On the last point about Marek, I can't speak for him. But I listen to his audio show most weeks, and have heard him speak on these subjects. My opinion is that he thinks a "Hall of Fame" has a certain dignity about it, and that Shawn disrespected wrestling so much he doesn't deserve the honor. Sort of like Pete Rose. But he would include Rose on "greatest 100 baseball players," because that's about how good he was, not how deserving he is of the ultimate recognition of his contribution to the sport. Whether that's inconsistent is up to your personal judgment. I happen to think it is, and again, this is the sort of thinking that irritated me about Shawn in the Hall of Fame. I still posit that group is much larger than the group of people like you, but who knows. I can't interview voters one by one.

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ToddMartin wrote:
On weighing dissimilar wrestlers, I think you get at what I find fruitless about the process. It just tends to have people draw a line based on their biases and inherent judgments, and there is no give and take in the discussion. Thus, you're just not going to accomplish as much as you could comparing similar wrestlers.

I actually think a good deal was accomplished in this and the Hogan vs. Flair threads, both about dissimilar wrestlers. It got people thinking about the criteria Dave stated, about how they apply to various wrestlers, and about how they're weighted. It got people who know more about Michaels to learn something about Takada, as the one poster asked and was responded to.

In any HOF or ranking discussion, we are often comparing wrestlers who are disimilar. The same goes for sports. Who's better, A-Rod or Giambi?

That's just a difference of opinion though. I'd rather talk about easily comparable wrestlers.

I just don't think it's either as interesting, or as challenging. Frank brought up Misawa vs. Takada on the phone. I haven't rolled it out on the board, or given it great thought. But it is a fascinating one that I'll probably roll out. The interesting aspect to me *isn't* to find out whether Takada should rate above him, but what their various stregnths are when compared side by side. We can learn things about *both* of them that we might not learn by simply doing Misawa vs. Kobashi and Takada vs. Maeda comps.

On the last point about Marek, I can't speak for him. But I listen to his audio show most weeks, and have heard him speak on these subjects. My opinion is that he thinks a "Hall of Fame" has a certain dignity about it, and that Shawn disrespected wrestling so much he doesn't deserve the honor.

I find it hard to believe anyone thinks the WON HOF has a certain "dignity" about it. It's full of drunks, drug users and liars. People talk about Cobb and his racism, but Ric Flair has been working race baiting angles in wrestling for years, and is not surprisingly right in the middle of another one right now. One member of the HOF made it known that he wanted to kick the living hell out of the HOF's creator... and it was something the creator took serious enough to keep his distance from said nutty wrestler.

If Marek thinks that the WON HOF reflects the dignity of this scummy business, he's delusional.

Sort of like Pete Rose. But he would include Rose on "greatest 100 baseball players," because that's about how good he was, not how deserving he is of the ultimate recognition of his contribution to the sport. Whether that's inconsistent is up to your personal judgment.

It's not a matter of personal judgement, because the analogy fails:

* Shawn Michaels is eligible for the WON HOF.

* Pete Rose is banned from baseball and *not* eligible for the MLB HOF.

* WON HOF voters have chosen *not* to vote Shawn in yet.

* MLB HOF voters (the BBWAA eligible voters) are not allowed to vote on Pete.

* Were the ban removed from Pete, and he placed on the ballot, Pete *would* be voted in instantly.

They're not analogous.

And this is a common problem you have, Todd. You make statements that are not factually supported. And then when it's pointed out to you that you're wrong, you attempt tp wrap yourself in the protection of "it's all a matter of personal judgement". It's not.

I happen to think it is, and again, this is the sort of thinking that irritated me about Shawn in the Hall of Fame. I still posit that group is much larger than the group of people like you, but who knows. I can't interview voters one by one.

Then you should probably admit:

* your statement that the only arguments against Shawn related to unprofessionalism was false.

* that you have zero *knowledge* of exactly why *each* person who didn't vote for Shawn made that choice.

* that your theory on unprofessionalism is just a wild ass guess.

John

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Again, I disagree that in sports it is better to compare dissimilar figures. Do you hear more about who's better, A-Rod, Jeter, Tejada or Nomar, or do you hear more about who's better, A-Rod or Giambi? The answer's obvious. The same goes for history. You don't see too many comparisons of Walter Johnson to Roberto Clemente. They're so different. Hogan and Flair aren't all that different, which is why they are an interesting discussion. They're from the same period, they were the top stars of the two top American promotions and they had a long feud. There is much more to go on than Takada vs. Michaels.

Marek isn't the only one who talks about professionalism in the Hall of Fame. Why do you think Dave talks about that argument every year in the Observer? It's because that's what people bring up to him. There are numerous people who enter into this professionalism argument. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Give me a break with your "proving false" of Pete Rose/Shawn Michaels. Here is why the analogy is fine. Because they both are being held back for what they did off the field/out of the ring. Rose is held back by the commissioner, Michaels is held back by some voters. Does it make you feel better if I say some and not ALL? How do they not compare? There is no perfect comparison. A statement that is not factually supported is "The United States entered into WW2 because China attacked Pearl Harbor." But you would have the statement "The United States was drawn into WW2 because of its own economic choices that brought about war" be a false statement, because you have a different perspective. It's interpretation. Stop playing psychological games.

On the three things you want me to admit (which by the way, I already did earlier):
Yes, not ALL arguments about Shawn relate to unprofessionalism. I still stand by my assertion that MOST people who don't vote for Shawn are looking at lack of professionalism.
Of course I can't know why everyone who voted against Shawn made that choice. I don't have telepathic powers. Are you trying to agree to the corollary to that: that no one can interpret the actions of others because they aren't that person? Because that's a pretty stupid argument.
No, my assertion on professionalism is not a "wild ass guess." It's a judgment based on my experience, which is reading letters to the Observer, talking with people who think about these sorts of issues, and listening to public comments by voters. So you fancy yourself an exception. What does that have to do with a general observation?

I'm not replying to this trend again. You're not interested in talking about points, you're interested in disparaging me, and it's growing tiresome.

I edited the strongest points on this post since CM obviously felt it was too harsh. I don't want to disrespect the rules for this board, and I apologize for making you feel that way, CM.

[ 03-08-2003, 10:26 PM: Message edited by: ToddMartin ]

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The borderline flaming and personal comments are against board policy. Please keep it civil and take personal issues to E-mail or PM. This applies to everyone. Thanks.

[ 03-08-2003, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: Crimson Mask I ]

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ToddMartin wrote:
Again, I disagree that in sports it is better to compare dissimilar figures.

I'm not saying it's *better*. I'm saying that it's *common*.

Do you hear more about who's better, A-Rod, Jeter, Tejada or Nomar, or do you hear more about who's better, A-Rod or Giambi? The answer's obvious.

Come MVP voting time, they are all tossed in the same bucket. And the two constants over the past three years in the AL have been Giambi and A-Rod. Jeter, Tejada, Alomar, Thome, Ichiro and Nomar have been moving in and out of the conversation.

The same goes for history. You don't see too many comparisons of Walter Johnson to Roberto Clemente. They're so different.

You don't see it too often because they're of different eras. But people were doing comps between Koufax and Clemente in 1963, 1965 and 1966. And Koufax vs. Mays in those years. And Wills vs. Drysdale vs. Tommy Davis vs. Frank Robinson vs. Willie Mays in 1962. And Pedro vs. The Rest of the AL a few years ago. It's common, Todd.

It's also very interesting to ponder questions such as:

* Just how valuable are starting pitchers?

* Just how has the value of starting pitchers changed over the 125+ year history of MLB?

* what are the value differences between a middle IF and a 1B or a wing OF?

* what are the value differences between a C and other position players?

And on and on. It's not only common, but it's often heated, and quite a bit of knowledge about baseball has been discovered by persuing those questions and similar ones.

Hogan and Flair aren't all that different, which is why they are an interesting discussion. They're from the same period, they were the top stars of the two top American promotions and they had a long feud.

They are wildly different. One is considered by hardcores to be a worker of epic levels. The other isn't. One worked long matches. The other didn't. One was seen in the eyes of the general public in the US to be the personification of pro wrestling. The other wasn't, had little main stream status, but was seen by hardcores to be close to the personification of pro wrestling in that era. One led two national promotions to their greatest sucess. The other did so in a regional sense, but was far less succecssful on a national promotion basis. One is a tall super heavyweight. The other is a mid-to-small heavy.

And on and on and on.

They do have things in common, but the same can be said of Takada and Michaels.

There is much more to go on than Takada vs. Michaels.

There's a lot to go on about Takada vs. Michaels. And that there are differences, much like Hogan vs. Flair, makes it *very* interesting. It challenges us to think about and/or rethink our opinions of the wrestlers. Perhaps you don't like to, but *I* like to revisit and re-evaluate my opinions on wrestlers or match or promotions.

Marek isn't the only one who talks about professionalism in the Hall of Fame.

Not saying he is. However, elsewhere in these threads you indicated (i) that your letter was based on one voter who used unprofessionalism as their reason, (ii) you admitted you haven't and can not poll all the voters to see if they have the same reason, and (iii) cited Marek as another person who used unprofessionalism to hang his hat on.

So your claim that it's the sole reason isn't supported by your own admissions.

Why do you think Dave talks about that argument every year in the Observer?

Because he was mistaken and mispoke.

It's because that's what people bring up to him.

I haven't. I walked through the reasons from the start with him. I've also been rather outspoken that Dave's wrong in overplaying this. He seemed to back off of being as extreme about it this year compared to prior years.

There are numerous people who enter into this professionalism argument. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Todd - I'm not saying it doesn't exist. I'm saying you statement, published in the WON and repeated here, that it's the _only_ reason is *false*. Now that you've read what I have had to say about Shawn, and why I haven't voted for him, were you to continue to hang you hat on that claim, it's would be knowingly false. A lie. Prior to that I'm willing to conceed your claim was false due to ignorance. But it's time for you to put it away.

Give me a break with your "proving false" of Pete Rose/Shawn Michaels. Here is why the analogy is fine. Because they both are being held back for what they did off the field/out of the ring. Rose is held back by the commissioner, Michaels is held back by some voters.

It's wildly different, Todd. Were Dave to take Shawn off the ballot while the overwhelming majority of the voters wanted to vote for him, then it would be analogous. But that's not the case, so they are not. Joe Jackson isn't analogous either.

Orlando Cepeda is somewhat analogous - a borderline HOFer who had a minor negative off the field. It had a minor role in slowing down Cepeda from getting in, but the major thing that slowed Orlando down was that he wasn't an overwhelmingly strong candidate. There are a dozen similar candidates who aren't in right now.

Of course Orlando's thing was off the field after he retired and had _zero_ impact on his company. Shawn's nonsense were *during* his career and impacted his company, often negatively, and often massively. So they're not really analogous, when you get right down to it, other than being boarderline candidates.

Dick Allen would be more analogous since his nonsense came while active, and it does appear to have impacted several of his teams. One will note that not only did the BBWAA fail to put Dick in before his eligibility lapsed, but the Vet committee has blown him off as well. But... they're not truly analogous since Allen was a much, much, much better baseball player than Michaels was a wrestler.

Does it make you feel better if I say some and not ALL?

Quite a bit. Something positive has come out of this for you.

How do they not compare?

Listed both in the prior post, and in this. It's rather obvious if one thinks about it a little deeper.

There is no perfect comparison.

Oh, there often are ones that are near perfect. But normally there are good ones and bad ones, or better ones and worse one. Rose is a poor one for Michaels. Michaels is neither as good as Pete, nor faced the same HOF debate. Cepeda is a decent one.

A statement that is not factually supported is "The United States entered into WW2 because China attacked Pearl Harbor." But you would have the statement "The United States was drawn into WW2 because of its own economic choices that brought about war" be a false statement, because you have a different perspective. It's interpretation. Stop playing psychological games.

It's hardly a psychological game:

A. "The only reason people don't vote for Shawn is because of unprofessionalism."

B. "Some voters chose not to vote for Shawn is because of unprofessionalism."

A is false.

B is true.

You were guilty of A in the WON, and repeated it in these threads. You've made a number of other claims that are like A, and that's where you've been false in the thread.

On the three things you want me to admit (which by the way, I already did earlier):
Yes, not ALL arguments about Shawn relate to unprofessionalism. I still stand by my assertion that MOST people who don't vote for Shawn are looking at lack of professionalism.


This is contradicted by your own statements earlier that you have not polled all the voters, and that you really have talked or read most of them. So this is an unsupported claim on your part.

As for me, I haven't a clue why people are voting *for* Shawn. I would assume for most it's his work since it's his greatest strength as a candidate. But I'm not sure on that. I haven't a clue on why people are voting against him. I do not doubt that for some it's unprofessionalism. I also do not doubt for other voters that it's for one or more of the other weaknesses that I've outlined in the Gordy List and in these threads. Most? Majority? Haven't got a clue. I can not take Dave's opinion on it because I believe he mischaracterised the reasons the first time Shawn failed to get in. He's softened that characterization since, but that hasn't rebuilt my willingness to accept his statement blindly.

Of course I can't know why everyone who voted against Shawn made that choice. I don't have telepathic powers.

So you again are contradicting yourself - you *do not* know why most people voted against Shawn. You're just pulling a WAG on this.

Are you trying to agree to the corollary to that: that no one can interpret the actions of others because they aren't that person? Because that's a pretty stupid argument.

It's not what I'm trying to do.

What I'm doing is admitting my lack of knowledge. I do no know why every voter who failed to vote for Shawn made that choice. Hell, I don't even know why most made that choice. Or even more than a handful or two. Not only that, but I also don't see anything from which I could extrapolate their reasons for that choice.

Admitting when you don't know something is a good thing. You may want to learn it.

No, my assertion on professionalism is not a "wild ass guess." It's a judgment based on my experience, which is reading letters to the Observer, talking with people who think about these sorts of issues, and listening to public comments by voters.

The WON letters are pretty tricky to follow, since most of the ones on the HOF are from subscribers rather than voters. Also going based on talking with people is tricky since most of the people involved in these conversations *are not* voters, such as Todd Yates and Sam Nord. Their comments are valuable to the discussions, but I couldn't possibly extrapolate as fact how *voters* see things from their non-voter comments. Which leaves public comments by voters. I really don't think we have a good sampling of comments by Non-Shawn Voters to make any reasonable statements about "most" or "all" of Non-Shawn Voters.

What we can do is make Wild Ass Guesses. You choose to. I don't. I admit my lack of knowledge. You charge blindly forward.

So you fancy yourself an exception. What does that have to do with a general observation?

I don't fancy myself as an exception. I'm hopeful that other WON HOF Voters have looked at Shawn in the detail I have. I'm not sure one way or the other if they have. But I really don't care to put words in the mouth or claim knowledge of their reasoning.

I'm not replying to this trend again. You're not interested in talking about points, you're interested in disparaging me, and it's growing tiresome.

I've talked points in detail. Read the Gordy List on Michaels thread and I dare you to claim that I'm not willing to talk points. In fact, I've quoted nearly every point you've made in your posts and responded to them.

I edited the strongest points on this post since CM obviously felt it was too harsh. I don't want to disrespect the rules for this board, and I apologize for making you feel that way, CM.

That's too bad. I would have liked to have read it.

John

[edited to correct bolding]

[ 03-08-2003, 11:38 PM: Message edited by: jdw ]

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LigerMark
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What makes Takada being ranked lower than Michaels even more screwed-up was his Pride involvment. Meltzer considers Pride pro wrestling (why, I have no idea) and Takada drew numerous big crowds in PRIDE fights. There were four shows (Pride's 1, 4, 1/30/00, and 23) that Takada was in the main event or most heaviliy hyped match that drew 35,000 plus.

He also established Pride and it went on to greater heights after Kazushi Sakuraba took Takada's spot as #1 star in late 1999.

In the 2001 HOF Issue, in a one sentence summary of Takada's career, Meltzer mentioned Pride.

My take is that Pride is not pro wrestling, no matter what anyone says. Takada's success in establishing Pride does show that Takada's pro wrestling fame was great enough to make an impact in an entertainment field other than pro wrestling. That should count for something.

But it's not one of the strongest qualifications that Takada has for a *pro wrestling* list. Takada's incredible run from 1984-1996 is more than enough to put him in the top 50, or maybe even the top 25. The Pride stuff serves as a nice icing on the cake.

As for Shawn Michaels, I'd consider him for the bottom of the list, but would probably chuck him overboard. [Cool]

Mike

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Scott E. Williams
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quote:
Originally posted by LigerMark:
What makes Takada being ranked lower than Michaels even more screwed-up was his Pride involvment. Meltzer considers Pride pro wrestling (why, I have no idea) and Takada drew numerous big crowds in PRIDE fights. There were four shows (Pride's 1, 4, 1/30/00, and 23) that Takada was in the main event or most heaviliy hyped match that drew 35,000 plus.

He also established Pride and it went on to greater heights after Kazushi Sakuraba took Takada's spot as #1 star in late 1999.

In the 2001 HOF Issue, in a one sentence summary of Takada's career, Meltzer mentioned Pride.

My take is that Pride is not pro wrestling, no matter what anyone says. Takada's success in establishing Pride does show that Takada's pro wrestling fame was great enough to make an impact in an entertainment field other than pro wrestling. That should count for something.

But it's not one of the strongest qualifications that Takada has for a *pro wrestling* list. Takada's incredible run from 1984-1996 is more than enough to put him in the top 50, or maybe even the top 25. The Pride stuff serves as a nice icing on the cake.

As for Shawn Michaels, I'd consider him for the bottom of the list, but would probably chuck him overboard. [Cool]

Mike

I agree with you about Michaels, but not about Pride.

I'm not a fan of it, but it is pro wrestling, by the most basic of definitoins. They wrestle. They get paid, which makes them professionals. Thus, they are professional wrestlers. Pride is professional wrestling. It's just not worked professional wrestling.

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LigerMark
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I'm not a fan of it, but it is pro wrestling, by the most basic of definitoins. They wrestle.

No, wrestling is just part of it. They fight. Antonio Nogueira choking Enson Inoue unconscious is not wrestling.

Pride fighting consists of a variety of styles, which is why it is called Mixed Martial Arts. MMA is closer to boxing than it is to pro wrestling.

Thus, they are professional wrestlers. Pride is professional wrestling. It's just not worked professional wrestling.[/QB][/QUOTE]

The only pro wrestling is worked pro wrestling. Rendering the term "worked pro wrestling" a laughable term.

It seems to me that the WON and Tokyo Sports are trying to give the term "pro wrestling" credibility by including real fighting.

BTW, there's no such thing as "sports entertainment" either. [Smile]

Mike

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Dave Meltzer
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Considering Shawn has always come a few votes shy of consideration, and more than that many people have come on Wrestling Observer Live and specifically said professionalism was the reason they didn't vote for Shawn (and of those in the profession who didn't vote for him, I'd guess that would be close to 100% of those I've talked with), that is the reason he's not in. You can argue that there are other reasons he's not good enough, but that is the reason he's not in.

Arguing that Pride isn't pro wrestling in 2003 would be like arguing WWE isn't pro wrestling in 2003. Neither are close to what pro wrestling was in 1970. Whether you like it or not, when you get Japanese wrestling magazines or watch wrestling TV news shows, a Pride big show gets more coverage than anything. Until recently in the DirecTV listing of what Pride was when you buy the show, it read "professional wrestling." It only changed because the people in charge of Pride in the U.S. think pro wrestling is a dirty word in this country and they've actually done a 180. So now all references to pro wrestling are banned on the English telecast (which is funny when Inoki and Goldberg are on the show). In Japan, Pride management doesn't feel pro wrestling is a dirty word and know that without being part of pro wrestling and really the next step of evolution of the product, they would be like shooto drawing 5,000 people instead of 50,000 for their big shows. You could say Pride isn't pro wrestling in the U.S, but it is in Japan if you want. Since a discussion of Takada's career has nothing to do with the U.S., Saying a choke isn't pro wrestling in 2003 or that non-predetermined endings aren't pro wrestling would be as silly as denying that putting someone through a table in 2003 isn't pro wrestling. Is next week's New Japan show not a pro wrestling event? Will the pro wrestling media at the show ignore half the card or cover the entire card? Will the wrestling fans ignore the matches that are shoots (well, they may if they aren't good, but that would be the case if they were worked matches that aren't any good)? It is clearly just another form of offshoot, and the test of time will determine how important in the long-run historically it is.

This business is constantly changing. What constitutes successful pro wrestling is what a promoter can successfully sell to wrestling fans. Torrie Wilson vs. Dawn Marie in a bikini posedown has absolutely nothing to do with pro wrestling in a lot of people's standards of pro wrestling, but to deny it is pro wrestling is to deny what pro wrestling really is.

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