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Three spots and a finish does not a decent match make...
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 05:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Three spots and a finish does not a decent match make...

Eureka!!!

I've finally discovered what has been bothering me about pro wrestling over the past, oh, about 4 years. After MUCH thought, and MUCH to my surprise, it ain't the writing. It all comes down to one word: spots.

Thank you to so many fellow posters for constantly berating RVD for his spots-only matches that have allowed me to see the light and finally, FINALLY figure out why I'm quickly becoming a FORMER wrestling fan.

It seems to me (there are exceptions of course, the reason I still watch at all) that the average WWE match has become little more than a small handful of pre-planned "spots" and a finish. Gone is the psychology. Gone is the strategy. Gone is the tactical aspect of the match that made Ric Flair and Bret Hart what they once were. Going is my interest for what ultimately happens in the wrestling ring.

Most matches today consist of a little punching, a spot, a little more punching, another spot, yet more punching, maybe another spot, and finally, a finish (ALWAYS either the face wins, or the heel wins by cheating). Heels never win clean, but that's another problem. That's not a match!

Okay, I know the average viewer doesn't have the attention span to sit through too many twenty+ minute matches, especially if were talking about Test or Steiner, not to mention that guys like them and Goldberg are completely incapable of lasting that long and keeping it interesting. Plus, when you've got JR sitting there trying to sound like the world is ending and King only showing any interest if there's some cleavage in sight, it's hard to generate any kind of excitement for what's happening in the ring. But when almost every match is designed and scripted for the single purpose of hitting one big spot, with no attention being paid to what leads to, or comes out of, that spot, why bother having the match at all? It simply isn't wrestling.

Maybe wrestling doesn't actually exist anymore, but guys like Angle and Guerrero and Benoit and Lesnar make me think it does. When they're in the ring, I am reminded of why I got hooked in the first place. But when they're not...let's just say I understand why matches are interupted for commercial breaks. Bottom line is, there's no reason to watch the match because there is no match - it's just happening to hit the finish.

I know it's not just the wrestlers, but those who plan and call the matches as well who are only interested in getting to the finish as quickly as possible that are the problem.

The talent pool is deeper than it's ever been, it's just not showing because two or three spots and a finish doesn't make a good match.
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 09:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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quote: Heelface

It seems to me (there are exceptions of course, the reason I still watch at all) that the average WWE match has become little more than a small handful of pre-planned "spots" and a finish. Gone is the psychology. Gone is the strategy. Gone is the tactical aspect of the match that made Ric Flair and Bret Hart what they once were. Going is my interest for what ultimately happens in the wrestling ring.


this is why im such a triple H mark....he is one of the few guys where he will technically destroy someone the the only "spot" is the pedigree....now thats good wholesome entertainment
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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great post HeelFace, I agree with you 100% that is the very problem right there. I bet if you asked the average wrestling mark even on the internet who was Tully Blanchard, they look at you like you had eight heads. See it was guys like Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson that maid me love this business. They had match's that were worth watching, great technical ability a showcase of moves and were able to wrestle for 60 minutes on any night while entertaining the crowd. Ric Flair was a better champ back then, then any champ is now. He could go all out make you love to watch the match, and the next thing you knew it was 40 minutes in and only getting better. It was a big deal who won a match back then because it looked like the winner actually earned the victory. The problem today is that when watching a horriable match in WWE (exspecially Raw) is that hardley anyone knows how to wrestle in a way to entertain me. Some people will say the sport has changed, I disagree, I think Vince doesn't promote wrestling, he promotes shitty writting with the occasional wrestling match, that last for about 5 minutes. A person like Goldberg would not even exist in wrestling 15 years back. Lugar, Sid, Windham, Nikita, even Dusty would have whiped the floor with Goldberg, he wouldn't know what to do past the first 10 mintue mark, but be winded and out of moves.
That is why it wasn't good for WWE to buy everything up, there wrestling had sucked before, and it got good for about 6 months and now were back to the shit that makes mad. I think the last deceant World Champion was Shane Douglas in ECW, he would wrestle and defend his title in ECW week after week, and nothing but phenominal match's came from this, no one can argue this because i they did then they must have not see Douglas in EC'Dub, because he was a mordern day Nature Boy in a hardkore setting, and it don't get much better then that. I want wrestling to come back, but that can only happen if the wrestlers take a stand and take their sport back, it won't be easy but until they take a stand they can't complain like some have annonomisly(sp). They need to leave the WWE, it is the career killer if you are not on the Mcmahone agenda.

ex: Albert and Test suck but they get pushed regarless of how bad they are and how much they don't appeal to the crowd. Perry Saturn for one is better then both these guys together. but who got let go?
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 01:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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^^excellent post, Dre and Heelface both.....wrestling at one time was a psychology game in which everything led up to a finish....imo, Bret Hart was the master of this, but there have been some great ones in the past.....it made you want to watch Harley Race and Ric Flair go at it for the seventh time becuase there was going to be a new twist or angle to the match.....they would plot out the matches during their interviews, and the audience would watch to see how they put it together.....now, as Heelface said, it is spot...spot...high spot... roll up...pin if you are a face and spot...spot...high spot...interference for the dq if you are a heel....that's not wrestling, it is bad entertainment.....we all talk about how good Chris Jericho is, for example, but have you really watched one of his matches lately?....it has about the same set of seven moves, ending with a lionsault for the pin.....and i'm not just picking on Jericho, he was just the first that came to mind....

my counterpoint is this.....have we the fans caused this?.....in the 80's the favorite thing was to have someone bloodied, so all the wrestlers would blade halfway during the match in a main event.....the 90's evolved from that to the nWo's antics of 3-4 on one in a dq.....now, have we the fans dictated that all we want to see is people flying over the top rope to take out two other guys or the somersault dive off the ropes?.....Vince has his own ideas, but he also will usually give the fans just what they want.....and what a lot of fans seem to want is the one big spot in each match, not caring what else goes on or whether it is a credible build up to that spot or not.....thus creating the three moves and big spot finish.....

now, there are few wrestlers that can carry out the psychological side of wrestling anymore, just because they are in the hurry up mode as well, thinking they just have to create that one spot.....but, if we would see more of this type, i believe the true wrestling fans would reappear on the scene.....and, if wrestling is lucky, the spot fans would continue to stay on.....just my opinion....
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This may sound extremely stupid. What is a spot?
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 01:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ok, say you are watching a match between RVD and whomever.....RVD knocks them down by a simple move and amazingly, they lay there while he runs to the other ropes, then somersaults onto said wrestler.....or, to use someone else, two wrestlers have been knocked down outside the ring, and they both stand in the same SPOT while the in-ring performer runs and leaps over the top rope, knocking all three down in the process.....did i explain it well enough, guys?.....
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 01:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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oeo, ur post hits every single nail on the head couldn't have said it better.
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 01:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Like things that are just too coincidental?
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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^^yes, knuckles, you got it now....

side note: thanks, Dre.....i appreciate the kind words, especially coming from a legend like yourself....
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 03:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for perfect elaborations to my point Dre and oeo.

Ric Flair was the guy I've had in mind most when trying to understand what has changed. There can be no doubt...he was the best in an era when wresting was about wrestling.

Tully and Arn were great too, no wonder they were Horsemen.

All this is the reason I prefer Smackdown today...there are still some actual matches on that show, and some guys who can still do what Flair did. I think there are guys on Raw who could do it, but imo aren't being allowed to.

The fans are only partially responsibe imo. Maybe this is what they've gotten used to seeing. Maybe it'll be tough to go back, but I remember recently that WWE tried to get guys to slow down their matches and "tell a better story", but I haven't seen it happen much yet.

Like Flair, though, hard as I try I can't turn back the clock, but rather put hope in the future. Angle and Lesnar did it in their ironman match, and Eddie Guerrero does it to a certain extent as well, almost every time out. These rare events are the only reason I tune in anymore.

Maybe wrestling has evolved to the point where true fans of real wrestling have been passed over. I keep watching though, hoping that eventually they'll put the "sports" back into "sports entertainment".
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 04:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 04:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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More like 5 years ago, Slashhh.
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 05:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Personally, I don't really mind spots. Don't ask me why, it's really kinda funny when I see something that queues up the move that *we all know* is coming next, and I get excited anyway. When guys will take a bulldog and then roll over to their *spot* so they can take a Lionsault or Rolling Thunder (et.al.), that's just funny to me.

My enjoyment of spots probably stems from watching wrestling as I was growing up through the early eighties. I really liked it, but that was mainly because of the personalities of the wrestlers, and even the most mundane of wrestlers that weren't total jobbers had plenty of personality. However, sitting through a half hour match of those guys work a hammer lock back and forth eventually became very lame. Back then the Piledriver was one of the most exciting moves there was, and Bret Hart on the Jim Rome show a couple of years ago said that at that point, "Wrestling was basically tumbling on a mat."

That's why when I was a kid, I gravitated toward Savage, Steamboat, Koko B Ware and Tito Santana...I liked that they did *different* moves. Not different moves every night, but their moves were different from what most other wrestlers were doing. Everybody threw body slams and suplexes out there. Tito Santana threw the flying elbow, Randy Savage had his flying elbow, Steamboat and Koko were always coming off the top rope...and that's what I liked the best.

Spots are usually obvious and sometimes painfully so (HHH surging toward RVD with the chair and then pulling it in front of his face comes to mind), but looking at WWE today, unless you have a Flair or HHH in the ring (guys who prefer to improvise...just like Phish ) you'll usually find at least two spots per match. Kids I know in local feds plan their matches assiduously to A) make the spots as smooth as possible and B) make the spots good ones. That appears to be the direction a lot of the younger wrestlers are going in. In a few years, that could be the way it's done across the board. Then again, maybe it won't be. Who can know?

I like them because the move is different. Yeah, RVD uses all the same moves, but so does HHH, Austin, Goldberg (all three of them), the Dudleys, Jericho, etc...every wrestler has his/her own repertoire(of moves, not spots). RVD takes heat for not changing up or coming up with new moves/spots, but I think that's largely because he used to do that and doesn't anymore. Motivation is at play there, which is why I think RVD's wrestling will again rise to great heights once he's in TNA. It's a shame that he doesn't put as much effort into his WWE work that he used to.

Anyway, I like (many) spots...but that's just my uncultured opinion. Strange as it seems, even to myself, what matters most to me is who is put over...and of course the sick bumps are nice, too.

Late.
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Old 06 Nov 2003, 09:09 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Nice post, Glue. A solid argument.

I agree with a lot of what you said. I don't dislike spots in matches. My problem is that most matches are nothing but a couple spots and a finish. A spot is supposed to be a turning point or high point in a match, not the only thing. I'd just like to see wrestlers mix it up a little more often, and use some variety. I don't need every guy to learn twenty mindboggling moves, just throw in some generic ones from time to time.
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Old 07 Nov 2003, 05:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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While I enjoyed reading the posts in this thread I found one eroneous statement.

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Originally Posted by HeelFace
a finish (ALWAYS either the face wins, or the heel wins by cheating). Heels never win clean, but that's another problem. That's not a match!
The bit about heels never win clean............obviously hasnt watched much of god(HHH). Hes the only one who can.
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