It's a new year and enough is enough, it's time for a change.
English-Canadian, live right here in Calgary, Alberta, out in the acreages, in the peace and quiet. Currently I work for local government, policy advisory being my strong suit.
I'm an old school fan, but when I say old school, I really mean it. I've been a fan of pro wrestling since 1987, though I was just four years old at the time. It's been a fine, rather peculiar ride. From WCCW, the NWA and JCP to WWf and WCW, and now to the present day WWE I have seen a lot of things, some good and some bad, but when all is said and done I love pro wrestling.
I am a fan of Puroresu, Japanese Pro Wrestling, especially New Japan's Strong Style. I follow the action there quite closely and I feel WWE and New Japan can learn a lot from one another. Personal favourites of mine today would be Hirooki Goto, Hiroshi Tanahashi, No Limit, and Minoru Suzuki.
Here's a quick rundown of my favourites in wrestling, both stars of today and yesteryear:
Bret Hart - As a young child growing up in Calgary hero worshipping Bret was the norm.
Randy Savage - When people talk about the greatest of all time we all know who they mean.
Rick Rude - Swagger and narcissism personified. Rick Rude was one of the toughest and most talented men in the business.
The Ultimate Warrior - Childhood favourite. Somewhat of a guilty pleasure to me.
Kurt Angle - Perhaps the most complete package in wrestling since Randy Savage.
I enjoyed the work of Dusty Rhodes, Barry Windham, Roddy Piper, Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff and Owen Hart as well. The beauty of wrestling is that there is something for everyone.
Some of today's stars I enjoy seeing are Wade Barrett, Christian, Fandango, CM Punk, the Shield and Tyson Kidd.
I am heavily invested in NXT, with some of my favourites being Bray Wyatt, Leo Kruger and Bo Dallas.
I'm a traditionalist in some ways, I am often overcome with a bizarre wave of nostalgia, so forgive me if come across as old fashioned at times. I can be passionate and at times aggressive, and if I do, I apologize in advance, it is simply because I care and love pro wrestling.
I'm always down for a chat, whether it be in pro wrestling, association football, politics, movies, TV, books or whatever else you want to discuss.
Currently watching: Community, the Americans, the Office, Hannibal and will soon be seeing Homeland this September!
I enjoyed Kanemaru’s tag team work with Takashi Sugiura in NOAH; outside of that I think he’s okay, but nothing really spectacular.
I am hoping that Okada can come out of the match with Makabe looking strong. I wasn’t really happy about Okada being the successor to Tanahashi, but he is really starting to grow on me as the Champion.
Are you still looking? I'll try find one for you! But it has to wait until I've done with exams, but Im sure there's an epic Hart pic out there somewhere!
I haven't watched Final Burning yet. I am going to wait and watch it once I receive it on DVD. I actually haven't even read the results from the event (although I'm 99.9% sure that Kobashi wins the match by either Lariat, Moonsault, or Burning Hammer, Haha!)
After the Okada versus Suzuki match from New Beginning I didn't have high expectations for the match at Dontaku. I really thought that match at Dontaku was just overkill.
Okada and Makabe intrigues me because I want to see how the match will play out. However, I don't like Makabe. Here's a funny video to show why:
Goto vs Shibata 2 is definitely on my radar as well. That should be a great match.
Change the pic to Bret! :D
Oh for sure, me and Winnie go way back. We've been childhood friends and even appeared on a few shows together. You might of seen them actually, they're pretty famous. Since the show ended we haven't seen as much of each other due to other commitments. I've been trying to make a name for myself in the writing and marketing world and he's still scoffing his face full with jars of honey. So yeah me and Winnie go way back and have some great memories together.
There is definitely a case for Suwama, but there are so many others that I would put ahead of him.
I can’t agree with you on Michaels, but hey that’s what makes debating All-Time Greats is all about. Not everyone is going to see eye to eye.
As far as Mr. Perfect is concerned he is one of my personal favorites. The only reason that he doesn't break my top 10 is because he never was a main eventer after his time in the AWA which is a complete injustice if you ask me. Not only was his in ring talent flawless; I believe he had a unique charisma that has never been duplicated.
Your comment regarding Bret Hart and Chris Benoit is one of the main reasons neither of them break my top ten. Also I feel like Bret’s time in WCW is a negative on his career, especially coming off of a phenomenal and career defining time in 1997.
I’m glad you mentioned Kawada and Fujinami because they are vastly overlooked by Puroresu fans at the expense of guys like Antonio Inoki and Kenta Kobashi. Don’t get me wrong I like Kobashi, and I have a respect for Inoki (not particularly a favorite of mine), but I hold Toshiaki Kawada and Tatsumi Fujinami in higher regard.
I also am in complete agreement with you about New Japan Pro Wrestling right now. I was actually disappointed with Dontaku too, but I did really enjoy the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title match and the Tanahashi vs. Karl Anderson bout. The double main event matches just ran too long for the work that the wrestlers were performing in my opinion. DOMINION has promise in my eyes. I am looking forward to Naito’s return match as well as the Okada vs. Makabe main event.
I was fortunate enough to have an aunt who was living in Japan from 1988 to 1995 that would send me tapes in the mail of NJPW and AJPW so I was able to follow them very extensively during those years. After that I got into tape trading and I started retrospect viewing the federations.
The popularity of Pride in the 2000s really damaged NJPW and Inoki definitely didn’t do it any justice by making the moves he did. That was undoubtedly a low point for NJPW. After Gedo and Jado started taking over booking powers the product turned around and in all honesty I think they have done a remarkable job rebounding from the damage that was caused during the MMA/Pro Wrestling crossover period.
Looking at your top ten and reasoning and I can’t argue with your opinions and in fact we have a very similar view of talent (besides Michaels and Chono, and the Ultimate Warrior, Haha!)
Here are my feelings on the wrestlers that you listed didn’t make my top ten:
Randy Savage- In my opinion as great as Savage was there are areas that stick out to me as glaring holes in his career. In his entire career there are only 2 matches and 1 feud that really stand out to me and those are his matches with Steamboat (WMIII), Hogan (WMV), and his WCW feud with DDP. Outside of those the rest of his matches and feuds were always good, but I honestly never found them great. The other thing that holds me back from placing him in my top ten is that he is a 4x WCW World Champion and not a single one of those title runs were impressive. Savage was the complete package, but those areas really hinder him from breaking my top 10.
Ricky Steamboat- Here is another one of my personal favorites. Steamboat was one of if not the best performer from 1987 to 1989, his tag team years in the late 70s to mid-80s were outstanding, but from 1990 to 1994 his career took a major decline. Granted he was still a mid-card champion in WCW but that was a fall from grace from his World Heavyweight Championship days, and don’t even get me started on his return to the WWF when he would blow fire from a stick, that was painful for me to watch.
Tatsumi Fujinami – There is honestly no sound reason for him being excluded from my list except for personal preference. His career, skills, and influence speak for itself and an argument for him to replace Dynamite Kid or Keiji Mutoh on my list is very legitimate. Again this one is just personal preference.
Bret Hart – I listed above.
Jushin Liger – This is a tough one because Liger is a great argument to Dynamite Kid. Thinking about it realistically he should bump Dynamite from the list because his career, accolades, and influence is greater.
Jack Brisco or Harley Race – I admire both of these guys and they would have a place on my top 30, but in all honesty I think that their history as Champions, admiration from other workers, and politics within the territories did wonders for their careers. I personally would hold guys like Bret Hart, The Undertaker, Stu Hart, Dory Funk Jr., Jushin Thunder Liger, Roddy Piper, Toshiaki Kawada, Tatsumi Fujinami, Ricky Steamboat, Curt Hennig, El Santo, Hiroshi Hase, Rick Rude, Jun Akiyama, and Ultimo Dragon above them.
This has been a great conversation. I really appreciate it Alden.
Thanks as always for the praise Alden. It's much appreciated!
My list is based on general talent, records, memorable moments, honors outside of their promotion, accolades within their promotion, reputation as a worker amongst their peers, connection with the fans, impact that they have left on the business, and their influence on the future generations of wrestling.
Shawn Michaels is a multi-time PWI Match of the Year winner (1994-1996, 2004-2010), WWE Match of the Year winner (1997, 2008-2010), and 2X recipient of 5 Star Matches (1994 and 1997) as well as the Match of the Year winner (1994, 2008-2010) by Wrestling Observer. He is a multi-time tag team, mid card, and world champion in every promotion that he has performed in. I already talked about his standing amongst his peers. He has been dubbed “Mr. WrestleMania” by the WWE and the fans. He has raised the bar for wrestlers of this generation and future generations as far as creating a “WrestleMania moment. To question his wrestling ability is crazy to me. Michaels performs his move set perfectly and tells a flawless story in the ring. You will need to elaborate more on how exactly he isn’t the complete package or not a top 5 wrestler as far as ability.
Dynamite Kid as far as just in-ring technical wrestling skill is concerned can definitely be considered#1 or #2. Also considering his work in Stampede and Japan you could argue top 5, but he definitely had areas in which he lacked, especially in the department of charisma, records, and accolades. For whatever reason, he just never was afforded the benefit of being a main eventer in any promotion he worked for so the combination of my previous examples and this is why he landed where he did on my list.
Jumbo is of course superior to Flair as far as in ring talent, and during Jumbo’s prime he was a breakout star from Japan, however he never reached the popularity that Ric Flair did Worldwide; and to me that is significant enough to bridge the gap between the 2. Granted I watched most of Tsuruta in retrospect because I didn’t start following wrestling until 1986, so during that time he was a tag team wrestler with Yoshiaki Yatsu, but I can still confidently say I put the Nature Boy over him.
I am a huge NJPW, AJPW, All Japan Women’s, and GAEA Japan fan. During the time from 1987 to 1995 I believe that Japanese Wrestling was superior to United States wrestling, and I think that it is regaining that status now. We will definitely not see eye to eye on Chono. I think Chono is just an above average wrestler that has had the benefit of a good push as opposed to actually earning his place. Again that is just my opinion.
Like I said in my earlier comment, to me Hashimoto is an innovator of the martial arts/wrestling hybrid style of Inoki. His accolades and influence speak for itself and I personally think that he was the best out of The Three Musketeers. As far as Goto I agree. His heel run is what stood out to me too. I also agree about Tetsuya Naitō being better, but honestly I never liked Sakuraba as a Pro Wrestler.
I am interested in your top 10.
Hello Alden. Thanks for the comment and praise on my Ryback article. Thanks for your support
XD aggressive? Read it again Alden? XD Such an epic pipebomb. I dont think he saw it to be honest. But RIP Nesbitt XD