Wrestling 101

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Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:38 pm

Ok, I'm coming at this from a point of complete ignorance. As a kid I knew who Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage were. I liked the Undertaker because stoicism & facepaint. My friends liked wrestling, so I heard stuff in passing. Stone Austin, The Rock, sure, yeah, heard of them later on. Wrestlers started to break into movies which I know a lot more about. Buuuuut I know literally nothing about wrestling. I hear about lucha, I've seen some crazy acrobatic stuff out of Japan and it's all cool but I've made zero connection to any of it.

I dunno what an IWGP is, NXP, G1, MITB, ROH, or any of that means. I can just barely guess that PPV is pay-per-view but am prepared to be wrong. BUT I'm confident there's stuff about it to like. I like melodrama and athleticism, I should like wrestling by default, yeah?

So help me out here, start me out ultra basic. What is what, who is who, how things are structured, gimme some vocabulary with which to understand the genre. If I can rattle off mobile suit model ID #s and variants with ease, I can understand this too.

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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:51 pm

Oh mannnnn, I don't even know where to start

Okay, so the major thing to start with is what you want to watch. The WWE is what the WWF used to be, that's where Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock all became famous. If wrestling is a marketplace, the WWE has like 90% marketshare. They are far and away the biggest, most popular global brand. To a lot of people, that's the only wrestling the know about, and it's the wrestling they grew up with. It's catered mostly towards kids and a PG audience these days, and they have suspect ability to build interesting stars because they don't plan out the results of their shows very well. It can also be a huge timesink to try to keep up with, they have 8 hours of original programming on per week, not counting bimonthly pay-per-view events, though most of those shows are now only loosely connected. The WWE runs multiple "brands", where each brand has their own separate roster and championships and storylines and they only crossover a few times per year until it's time to change up rosters. Sort of like a shared comic universe.

Most of those acronyms you mentioned, and things about Japan and Lucha Libre, are things that only the hardcore/nerd fans will really pay attention to. They're indie promotions, which are small events out of small arenas with less star power, or big-time national promotions out of their home countries but with very limited global reach. If you want to talk wrestling with the average wrestling fan, they're probably not going to know too much about any of these, unless you're on the internet. My two favourite promotions, New Japan out of Japan and CMLL out of Mexico, are both a lot simpler in presentation and New Japan is starting to get a bit popular, but both have pretty limited audiences to talk about things (and they're both not in English all that often)

So it somewhat depends on where you want to start and what kind of timesink you want to spend each week. And it all depends on how deep you want to go. Do you just want to watch as a fan would? Do you want to know insider terms and how the magicians pull off their tricks?
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:25 pm

I think WWE stuff puts me off largely because I want more sport less spectacle. Not that I mind spectacle at all, it just seems to cater too much to an audience. Probably safe to say I don't reject it, but it doesn't have the largest pull for me.

I think I'd like indie stuff best, seems like it frees up the medium to do whatever someone wants to do, yeah? I like a good story and I like skilled performances. I gave a speech to somebody else about action scenes, but with any form of wrestling it has to be done in real time with an audience, so there's even less a margin of error. In a movie you can practice, cut, redo, redo, edit, etc. but in the ring eyes on are you. It's do or die time. And chances are there are improvs that occur when someone's off. I imagine a lot of the skill is in making things work organically.

I can't invest tons of time, but watching only highlights wouldn't appeal to me much either. I don't gotta see every bout everybody's ever had, but I need some background or history. Why do I care who's up against who unless they do something over-the-moon crazy?
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by enail on Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:34 pm

I clicked on the title thinking "101 sounds like the right wrestling thread for me" but got scared off by "what kind of timesink you want to spend each week."
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:45 pm

WWE-wise, you can do as little as one hour per week plus a two-ish hour PPV every three months, to a 8 hours per week plus PPVs like every two or three weeks.

The Smackdown Live route might be the way to roll for a beginner. 2 hours per week with commercials so really 1 hour and about 20 mins per week (plus an optional 20ish minute talk-show if you want the extra content/character-stuff), a three hour PPV every month (or once in awhile, every few weeks when the big ones come around), it has Shinsuke on it, and is generally considered the WWE's best brand and best show right now.

A DVR and/or watching on something that has a slider-bar would be your friend if you want to embark on this Wink
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:00 pm

enail wrote:I clicked on the title thinking "101 sounds like the right wrestling thread for me" but got scared off by "what kind of timesink you want to spend each week."

Haha, I made this thread because I feel the same way!

Timesink is a horrifying word tho, innit? Only moneysink is scarier. Stay away from card games.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:25 pm

Y'all still in? Twisted Evil
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by enail on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:01 am

Too much commitment for me, sorry, I just want to be pointed to the occasional cool thing Razz

EncouragementMachine wrote:
Timesink is a horrifying word tho, innit? Only moneysink is scarier. Stay away from card games.

Yep, it just summons up that image of all your time/money pouring down an endless drain.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:06 am

I should change my name to DiscouragementMachine Cool
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:29 am

Madzimum Thrill wrote:I should change my name to DiscouragementMachine Cool

I'm still unclear on proper protocol and ettiquette, but I'm pretty sure you just challenged me to a title match. queen
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Garlic Junior on Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:44 am

Ma, I think maybe we should give these guys a couple of matches to get a feel for styles.

I'm thinking.... Seth Rollins v Brock Lesnar v John Cena from whatever Rumble that was, maybe a more recent Dean Ambrose bout for WWE style, an Okada v Tanahashi, a classic ROH Bryan Danielson match (v Nigel McGuiness maybe?), a good bout from the CWC, Pete Dunne v Tyler Bate and a Lucha. Maybe a decent multi man tag?

Bit of background on each, bit of flavour for each style, find out what works. Before talking about commitments and shit.

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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:56 am

I have shown enail a few matches already, in that case.

I think it would be kind of disingenuous to show someone a really badass New Japan match as an example, get them jacked for it and then go "oh yeah, there's about 2-3 hours worth of matches coming every other day for about a month come mid-August" just using NJPW and the G1 as an example (even the G1 Special is going to be about 6 hours over a two day period in a few days) and they realize they don't have the time for it. Or get them hooked on Lucha Libre and then they find out that even most hardcore wrestling fans don't watch it, so it's hard to find people on reddit even to talk about it. PPV weeks are usually 3+ hours of wrestling at the absolute least (NXT), so I think people should know beforehand that you're gonna need a bit of time every week to get yourself into it.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:01 pm

Thanks for the warning but I rolled in here asking for it.

If you've got badass matches to show, lay it on me.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:22 pm

Aight then, let's start with a match that was basically hailed as the best match ever earlier this year.

Bare basics:

To win a match, you have to pin your opponents' shoulders to the mat for a count of three, or put them in some of kind lock or submission hold that makes them tap out or otherwise quit.

Touching a rope will impel the referee to break contact, including releasing submission holds and stopping a pinning count. If someone refuses to break contact, the referee will give until a count of 5, then the wrestler who refused to break contact will be disqualified and lose the match.

If one or both wrestlers leave the ring, the referee will eventually begin counting. If someone hasn't returned to the ring by the end of the count (10 or 20, depending on the promotion), they automatically lose the match.

Disqualifications can also occur via things like interference from other people, weapon usage, beating up the referee, low blows and basically breaking the rules. In Japan, the fans hate seeing disqualifications, so Japanese referees will tend to let anything go outside the ring and it'll take a lot for them to call for a disqualification. Though it's pretty old-world in how they handle things, there's no instant replays like regular sports, so if the referee doesn't see it, they can't do anything about it

Matches will also end in draws if they go to the time limit, though those have become increasingly rare (the WWE doesn't even provide time limits for their matches anymore)

Generally, wrestlers have a big-time finishing move or a signature submission hold that they use to win matches. Most of the rest of their offense is based on wearing down their opponents and softening them up in order to use these moves to win the match.

If you want to be smartened up to backstage stuff or how they "fake" what they're doing, we can always do that later, but for now, just enjoy not knowing too much.

The match:

This match is from a promotion called New Japan Pro Wrestling. They are the top national promotion in Japan, arguably the #2 promotion in the world in popularity (not that that's saying much, as I said before, the WWE has about 90% marketshare), and is considered among hardcore fans to be the best pure wrestling promotion in the world. They keep things very basic, not delving too much into soap opera or complicated storylines and focusing on it more as a sport with some wilder elements (their tagline is even "King of Sports"). You have to subscribe to their internet service to watch them outside of Japan generally, and there's also a show on AXS TV or The Fight Network that shows matches from a few months ago.

This match is the main event of an annual show called Wrestle Kingdom, the biggest show of the year for New Japan. It's sort of like their version of the Super Bowl, they hold the event in the Tokyo Dome which seats thousands of people, and the main event is usually contested between the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, who is the top title-holder, and the winner of a grueling annual round-robin tournament called the G1/Greatest One Climax (which is the previously mentioned tournament coming up). "IWGP" stands for "International Wrestling Grand Prix", the governing body of New Japan Pro Wrestling. To be considered a Heavyweight, you have to be over 220 pounds.

In New Japan, there is a 20 count outside of the ring. The match has a 60 minute time limit

This match was the first meeting between the Champion, "The Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada of CHAOS, and "The Cleaner" Kenny Omega of the Bullet Club.

Kazuchika Okada is the new "ace" of New Japan Pro Wrestling and at this moment, the Heavyweight Champion.. Similar to a pitching staff in Baseball, Japanese wrestling companies like to peg who they think of as the top wrestler as the company "ace." Okada's character is a sort of smug nouveau riche star athlete who makes it "rain money" wherever he shows up. He is the top wrestler of the "CHAOS" faction, who are sort of like a boxing or training gym, a group of guys who all train together and team up in tag team matches regularly. He's usually accompanied by his manager and a fellow wrestler, Gedo, an older wrestler who has a kind of low-key gangster gimmick.

His finisher is The Rainmaker Lariat



"The Cleaner" Kenny Omega won the G1 Climax that year in shocking fashion, upsetting the person everyone thought was gonna win. He's the leader of a faction called the "Bullet Club", a group of mostly foreign wrestlers who act like every worst stereotype the Japanese have of foreigners. They cheat, they act obnoxiously and goof around in matches, they're bullies, they don't make any kind of effort to learn the language or customs of the Japanese, but they're so cool that everyone still loves them anyways. This is Kenny's first big-time main event and his first IWGP Heavyweight Title shot. I believe the Young Bucks, a pair of brothers and fellow Bullet Club members, are cheering him on outside the ring in this match. His finisher is the One-Winged Angel (yeah, that's a Final Fantasy reference).



The only real story leading into this match is that Kenny attacked Okada after a match that was meant to build up to this main event and hit his finisher, the One-Winged Angel, which put Okada down in pretty devastating fashion. They've never wrestled in a singles match before here, and neither man has ever beaten the other in a match.



This is the English commentary version, so hopefully the commentary team can otherwise guide you along.


Last edited by Madzimum Thrill on Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Garlic Junior on Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:50 am

Laughing you actually did it you madman. I left that match off my list as I didn't think it was fair diving in the deep end with one of the best matches of all time.

Enjoy!

(Re: Time dedication. I'm a hardcore fan but I struggle to keep up with any of it. Usually if there is a buzz around a match I'll find out the background and watch it. So don't worry, you'll find friends here no matter how much you dip your toes in).

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the match!

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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:17 am

I probably wouldn't have if the feud was over, but since it's still ongoing, there's at least the promise that EM might one day see better Laughing
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:51 pm

@Madzimum Thrill

Firstly, that was a terrific write-up leading into it. Thanks a lot!

Secondly, heh, that was pretty damn fun. Omega can MOVE. I can see why that's a particularly good match. Not that I have encyclopedic knowledge of techniques/maneuvers, but they exhausted just about every pro wrestling move I would've been able to name over the course of a single match.

@Garlic Junior

That's pretty much my strat with boxing or UFC stuff. Too many names, too many matches, but I'm familiar with the territory enough to hear when a personal fav is in a match or there's something really big. I catch what I can when I can.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:59 am

Do you have any questions about anything that happened?

What I think I'm gonna do is post the second Okada/Omega match, and thennnnnn you can PM me about the two G1 Special shows this weekend. I'm gonna provide a run-down in the NJPW thread about who is what in New Japan for those shows, and you can watch the full shows and maybe get a general feel for which wrestlers you're more drawn to.

WWE-wise, I think what we'll do it is that you don't have to watch TV but you can watch each of the PPVs (PM me) and do the same.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:27 pm

Omega vs Okada 2

Part 1

Part 2

Japanese commentary this time (couldn't find the English)

This match is from a few weeks ago. Okada, still the Heavyweight Champion, clashed again against Kenny Omega with the title on the line in a 60 minute time limit match at Dominion, one of the five big annual New Japan shows. This one got hailed as the greatest match of all time afterwards, overtaking the previous Kenny/Okada match.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Garlic Junior on Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:26 am

Waiting on reaction post...

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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:22 pm

Madzimum Thrill wrote:Do you have any questions about anything that happened?

Who thought it was a good idea for Omega's backup dudes to have ankle frills? They got David Lee Roth designing costumes backstage? Laughing

Madzimum Thrill wrote:Omega vs Okada 2

Both of them looked tired/drunk when the match started. About 10 minutes in they found their rhythm but before that both were pretty half-lidded at first. Is it adjusting to the lights or something?

I like seeing Gedo smile. He looks like a happy mushroom whenever Okada does well. It's adorable.

Omega belongs on a bloody trapeze. He's part monkey or somethin'.

Garlic Junior wrote:Waiting on reaction post...

DIVIIIIIIIING. ELBOOOOOOW DROPPUUUUUU. ON TABERUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:51 pm

EncouragementMachine wrote:
Madzimum Thrill wrote:Do you have any questions about anything that happened?

Who thought it was a good idea for Omega's backup dudes to have ankle frills? They got David Lee Roth designing costumes backstage? Laughing

Welcome to the Young Bucks Laughing


Madzimum Thrill wrote:Omega vs Okada 2

Both of them looked tired/drunk when the match started. About 10 minutes in they found their rhythm but before that both were pretty half-lidded at first. Is it adjusting to the lights or something?

Considering how long they ended up going, they were pacing themselves and it was a little awkward because they're not used to pacing themselves quite like that.


I like seeing Gedo smile. He looks like a happy mushroom whenever Okada does well. It's adorable.




DIVIIIIIIIING. ELBOOOOOOW DROPPUUUUUU. ON TABERUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!

Do you prefer English or Japanese commentary? The two shows that just happened have options
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:00 pm

Madzimum Thrill wrote:Do you prefer English or Japanese commentary? The two shows that just happened have options

I don't really have a preference. Both have pros and cons. Naturally I understand the english better but the english commentators are less likely to start freaking out in another language. I followed the japanese well enough, probably missed a few remarks/details but nothing I'd assume was major. And they DO freak out in english, which is just delightful. Which do you prefer?
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by Madzimum Thrill on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:02 pm

I tend to prefer Japanese because I more or less know what's going on anyways and they follow their own product a little better than the English commentary does.

Only asking because not every show has options, but the last two big shows (that happened this weekend) have options and I find most English speakers seem to prefer the English commentary or whatever.
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Re: Wrestling 101

Post by EncouragementMachine on Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:16 pm

I grew up in a multilingual household, so I'm kinda desensitized to not understanding every word. I've seen some folks that speak english get straight traumatized by anything else. I'm not partial. Hit me with the Japanese if you've got it.

Just watched The Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice from what I'm assuming is the same event. That was more dynamic than I was expecting since I'm guessing they were lead-ins to the main match.

Yeah, I'm into it. Wrestling seems to scratch that same itch as Jojo in terms of wacky-thing-to-watch-with-a-drink-in-hand. It's a good way to recharge between really having to focus.
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Re: Wrestling 101

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