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Dave's star system

 
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 3159
Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John & I have never been all in on Dave's star system of rating matches. Probably for different reasons. Part of Dave's living comes off this star system. Some tape watcher just read the WON to see how the god rates a match. Dave has done well with that system, and I understand. I think he doesn't want to come off as a old fart, who is out of touch with today. Kind of like me. To keep the hot shit smart fans of today involved with his newsletter, I think he has to play around with the idea that pro wrestling today is special, and the art form is advancing. 5 stars seemed to be getting routine, so he had to move on to a 6 star rating system. And he seems to be moving on to a 7 star system in the future. I really don't pay much attention to it anymore, but at times it's interesting.)

What I always believed is that a rating system should start at 1/4 star or something, which would mean the match was the worst of all time. 5 stars should have meant perfection. You couldn't do better than perfection, within the system it would be impossible. ** would be average, *** stars is a good match, 4 stars is a great match & rare, a match of the year candidate. I went out of my way to just about never go above ****1/2. In our group, everyone knew I rated thing about 1/2 of a star below Dave & the others. The rating system should be able to cover every thing from the past to the future. (John is going to tell you I once gave a JWA Woman match 5 stars, I was trying to praise the match on the phone to John & I wouldn't say that now. I've never seen a 5 star match. NEVER..) 5 stars could only be possible after a large number of years. You know stand the test of time.

But a large # of fans reading Dave today, think WWF cards are history. So time would never fit in today.

I was right, and now Dave to forced to move on to a 6 star system, and forget about old Misawa matches. He should have stuck with the old system which could have adapted to a change in style. Dave's change keep his fan base talking about the WON.

Dave now has a wife & kids & bills like everyone. I respect no one more than Dave Meltzer, he seems to have compromised like everyone else in this world to keep the business going. I don't think it's important , but that what seems to be happening.

Dave most likely reject this idea, & I don't blame him. But stuff happens with time, (& marriage) and the star system is a victim to it & a bad sign. The way he worked it, it was never going to be perfect. Hope Dave can keep it going another 10 or 15 years. Today's fans probably likes 6 star matches & think it a great idea --- and Misawa is dead. --- Steve Yohe
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jdw
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Joined: 01 Sep 2005
Posts: 17271

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2021 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved this over here since it has to do with Wrestling and not New Posters. Think that makes sense, and people might see it over here.
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Steve Yohe



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.--Yohe
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 807

PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always been hard for me to be overly critical of a star review because it's completely subjective. The main purpose for me with any review system is to find a reviewer who has similar tastes to what I have and that way I can check it out by what type of rating they give. The secondary purpose is their insights on whatever they are reviewing. I may tend to disagree with the reviewer quite often, but if they can present a compelling take it's worth it to me.

Dave used to be very similar to what I like in terms of matches. I valued his ratings because he would get to watch puroresu matches before I would and I would know what to look for. And his takes on those matches were usually very interesting.

To me, his match ratings lost credibility when he started to aware more than 5 stars. 5 stars was a standard and it's obvious to me that he started giving 7 stars to get people talking about the WON again.

Then when I started to see his ratings for AEW matches (particularly giving The Best Friends vs. Santana/Ortiz 5 stars) I lost interest in how he rated modern wrestling.

Twitter has also hurt Dave greatly. He just doesn't make any sense anymore and then acts like you are the problem when you show the Grand Canyon sized holes in his logic. Then he just leaves it at 'you're out of touch.'

I've said the same thing about Dave for a while...he lives in one of the most expensive places in the country with a wife and a teenage son who will likely want to go to college. And makes his living covering a dying industry. It's important for him that AEW does well. I think he hasn't learned from the history that he points to such as how he sustained his credibility during the dark days of the business in the early 90's.

On a bit of a side note, if AEW was doing really good business or at least showing a steady increase in their ratings, PPV buys, etc...I would agree with Dave that I am 'out of touch.' I wouldn't like the promotion, but I would give the devil its due that what they are doing is right thing.

But they aren't doing great business and their business has already plateaued. A TV deal of $840K/episode is really a very cheap TV deal (typical TV deals go for $2-$5M/episode budgets). It's a good deal for TNT because the ratings are very good, particularly for the expense of the show. But as far as growing their business the metrics should be very worrisome.

I always found it funny that Dave, who is in his 60's, would tell people like myself who are in the main demo that we are 'out of touch' because we don't like modern wrestling, particularly AEW. But given their rankings in TV ratings, merch sales, etc compared to wrestling of yesteryear it's readily apparent that people like myself aren't out of touch...it's just that they don't like today's wrestling and most of the AEW viewers are diehards that will like anything.





YR
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jdw
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Yohe wrote:
The rating system should be able to cover every thing from the past to the future. (John is going to tell you I once gave a JWA Woman match 5 stars, I was trying to praise the match on the phone to John & I wouldn't say that now. I've never seen a 5 star match. NEVER..) 5 stars could only be possible after a large number of years. You know stand the test of time.


John is going to tell them that you thought the Dream Rush Toyota & Yamada v Kansai & Ozaki was the greatest match you'd ever seen when we watched it together for the first time, and that if anything was 5* that was it. Having already know how carefully you gave out stars, that comment blew me away at the time and has always stayed with me.

FWIW - I agreed with Steve at the time after he said it. I've always thought highly of the match over the years since.

For clarity, the Dream Rush match was the first between them, not the second that took the WON MOTY in the following year's 1993 awards.

I have some other thoughts on this, and probably will better explain the John aspect of the "John & I have never been all in on Dave's star system of rating matches" comment. But I'm tired at the moment, and would like to get some sleep before (i) watching the new episode of Falcon & Winter Soldier in the morning before (ii) a rare trip the office. An hour of driving each way is a pain in the ass when you're so use to working at home. :) So other comments later.
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jkc31



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love the star rating and always have. But the older i get the more i realize its just one mans opinion on what he likes and my tastes often differ from his. But i always used the star system as a guide for what matches are important to watch. Peoples obsession with Dave ratings not perfectly concurring with their own never fails to crack me up.
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jkc31



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me ask another question ive thought a lot about. Do you think Daves star ratings has changed the style of wrestling in this country and a little in Japan and Mexico. Wrestling has become an art form. I dont like it as much as when winners and losers and who the toughest wrestler was. The star system changes the way a wrestler views wrestling.
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Steve Yohe



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Wonderful Montebello CA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was a valuable way to describe a match. It was a short cut in conversations.

If someone asked you, what was that match like? ..... you might answer: "I thought it was like a 2 1/2 star match." And everything was explained. End of discussion.

It was a fun thing. Our group after a match would ask what every one thought about a match & we might just give out answers in stars. It was subjective & we all knew it.

In the WON, it just gave us a direction to matches we might want to see or buy from tape dealers.

None of our group were followers. We all had our own ideas, and those ideas were respected. What the other guys thought was important, but it didn't mean we believe it. For three or four years, Dave was a part of it ...... and he didn't force his opinion on us. I'm sure there was times when John & I told him he was wrong about stuff...even matches.

Matches today are not better than matches of the 90's and 80's & 70's. There's just a different style. When you set up a system for anything, it has to cover a complete period of time. To think your present time anything is always better than the past is childness. Same with thinking the past was always better than now....maybe that's old age.. A system of grading matches needs to cover & explain everything. Needs to respect the present, the past, and the future. To now be forced to change it, means it was wrong, & not thought out, to begin with. Dave seems to have changed the system to find a way of saying" "this is the greatest of all time, and better than anything to follow", and not subject to the old rules.

This 5 star rating thing didn't start with Dave, it was used for years in reviewing films & other stuff, but Dave made it a tool for describing wrestling matches. But after 40 years, it's become part of wrestling culture. To change the system makes readers question things, maybe, just maybe, it will make readers question and think about the need for the Observer. If they abandon a rating system, that steps on it's past values, maybe the next step is to abandon the source. --- Steve Yohe
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Yakuza Rich



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 807

PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jkc31 wrote:
Let me ask another question ive thought a lot about. Do you think Daves star ratings has changed the style of wrestling in this country and a little in Japan and Mexico. Wrestling has become an art form. I dont like it as much as when winners and losers and who the toughest wrestler was. The star system changes the way a wrestler views wrestling.


Dave's opinions have clearly influenced American wrestling, lucha and puroresu I'm less inclined to believe that's the case.

I don't find wrestling today anymore artistic than it was say 40 years ago. The 'art form' today is more about gymnastic style flips and spots. The 'art form' of 1980 was geared towards working the audience.

I think Dave has influenced so many of the workers today in that regard, but there were numerous marketing focus groups done back in the 90's that showed that fans wanted more athletic in-ring action. But given how the business has declined, something is not connecting between the style of wrestling today and what fans want to see.

Where I see more of Dave's influence is in Jim Ross' criticism of AEW talent 'standing around like quails' and waiting for their opponent to dive onto them so they can catch them.

From what I've heard the AEW talent collectively bristled at Ross' critique and I'm guessing they think that JR is 'out of touch' because that's what they have been programmed to think from reading the WON.





YR
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Yakuza Rich



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2021 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem with the 5 star rating system is that one can basically assign 21 scores going from DUD to 5-stars (DUD, 1/4*, 1/2* 3/4*, 1*, etc). And yes, I know Dave has given negative st, rs before.

That's why I tend to like Dave Portnoy's Pizza rating system which is similar in concept (6.8 is considered average, 7.5 is very good, 8.0+ is worth traveling for, etc).

It has more scores available and you can differentiate better between 5* matches like the Sheepherders vs. The Fantastics or Misawa v Kawada 6/94.

But then you may hit a level of pretentiousness that would make Hollywood execs blush.

Anyway, Dave's explanations for why the modern matches get high ratings makes no sense. On Twitter he explained that back in the day you didn't need to have great matches to get over which doesn't explain why Hogan vs. the Rock in Toronto only got 3 stars while The Best Friends vs. Santana/Ortiz gets 5 stars.

He's clearly got skins in the game whether it's AEW's success or not wanting to come off like an old curmudgeon. Either way, it's greatly hurt his credibility.





YR
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