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Thread: The globalization and homogenization of wrestling styles

  1. #1
    too big to fail Tainted Eclipse's Avatar
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    ussr

    The globalization and homogenization of wrestling styles

    In some ways the quality of in-ring wrestling has never been better. This has been partially facilitated by the internet giving fans a platform and exposing wrestlers to both a more uniform, and also higher, standard of what "good wrestling" is. The big draw back, in my opinion, is that first part: a more uniform standard of what "good wrestling" is.

    The best wrestling all over the world all looks the same, basically.

    Look back at the 80s, 90s, even earlier 2000s. Great American wrestling looked nothing like great Mexico wrestling, which looked nothing like great Japanese wrestling. If we go back further, to the 70s, great British wrestling looked like nothing else. Not only that, but in each major wrestling country there were different styles!

    In Mexico, an apuestas match looked like no kind of match anywhere else in the world. America had bloody brawls, sure, but if you watch a bloody American brawl from the 80s and a bloody Lucha apuestas from the 80s, the style of wrestling is totally different. The layout, the pace, the kind of moves that will be used, the way false finishes will be used to hook the audience. Remarkably different matches. And then, Lucha title matches looked totally different. Nowhere else was high-end Mexican-style mat wrestling done. America had technical matches, but Ric Flair vs. Ricky Steamboat trading holds for 60 minutes in between vicious chop exchanges looked nothing like El Dandy and Angel Azteca working the mat for 20 minutes.

    The "technical" American wrestling style was majorly influential in Japan but Japan quickly developed its own very distinctive style of match. Nowhere tried to incorporate a more "legitimate", "martial arts" feel like Japan did. Japan eventually evolved to be much more hard-hitting and more high-impact moves. You couldn't see something that looked like a 90s All Japan Triple Crown Title match anywhere else. Not even in Japan. Similarly, you couldn't see a match that looked like a Shinya Hashimoto match anywhere else; All Japan's main events looked totally different.


    And now, everything looks the same. The standard is high. The athletic ability displayed in the best matches today would be legitimately unimaginable just 10 years ago. But it all looks the same. The moves are all the same. Even just a couple years ago, you wouldn't see a reverse hurricanrana in New Japan. You'd see in on US indies. Now you see it all the time. What percentage of matches in the recent BOSJ tournament featured one? A solid majority? I dunno, maybe. The younger luchadores don't wrestle title matches on the mat like El Dandy and don't have bloody brawls like El Satanico. They wrestle fast paced, highspot focused, workrate style matches like Kenny Omega, Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and whoever else.

    I feel a lot is lost.



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    Home Cewsh's Avatar
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    Okay, old man.

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    Main Eventer corinoismybestfriend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tainted Eclipse
    And now, everything looks the same. The standard is high. The athletic ability displayed in the best matches today would be legitimately unimaginable just 10 years ago. But it all looks the same. The moves are all the same. Even just a couple years ago, you wouldn't see a reverse hurricanrana in New Japan. You'd see in on US indies. Now you see it all the time. What percentage of matches in the recent BOSJ tournament featured one? A solid majority? I dunno, maybe. The younger luchadores don't wrestle title matches on the mat like El Dandy and don't have bloody brawls like El Satanico. They wrestle fast paced, highspot focused, workrate style matches like Kenny Omega, Will Ospreay, Kazuchika Okada, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles and whoever else.

    I feel a lot is lost
    Did KENTAfuji take over?

    What are Shibata's best matches?

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    Home Cewsh's Avatar
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    Long time no see, dude.

  5. #5
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    Interesting perspective ... I don't watch enough of other promotions to really add to the discussion but I can see your point. Although in the grand scheme of things I don't think its a bad thing. It will force those that want to stand out to innovate and slowly but surely we will see a shift to Wrestlers performing moves we can't even imagine today. You can see the same sort of shift in BMX biking, skateboarding - those guys are doing things now that would have seemed impossible even a few years ago due to the spread of content on the internet.

    Anyway ... good post, I feel like I learned a little history there!
    Last edited by G; July 7th, 2019 at 9:05 PM.

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