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Most kayfabe-shattering moment you've witnessed?


Maikeru
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For me it was the semi-final of the G1 Climax 2008; in an early encounter between two future rivals, Shinsuke Nakamura faced AJ Styles in a tag match. I was sat in the third row at Sumo Hall, at a time when there were VERY few non-Japanese fans of NJPW (especially ones that would attend shows). 

Perhaps having assumed nobody would understand anyway, and/or not realising how loud his voice was when speaking in what was very much his second language, Nakamura tells AJ straight up: "I'm gonna kick ya; catch!".

Sure enough, Styles catches the leg right on cue.

I don't remember the next move; I was too busy trying to process all over again that Santa wasn't real. I mean there I was having paid seventy quid to watch the best company in the world as far as pure wrestling is concerned; kind of felt like ''well I know it's still an act like but you don't have to rub it in my face!". I guess that's what was so shocking - that it wasn't some small indie up the road, but two of the best in the world at one of the biggest events of the year. 

Afterwards I kind of felt pretty intrigued by it though; like I had gotten a 100% exclusive peak at something nobody but the performers themselves were ever meant to see (or hear). 

Any similar stories out there?

 

 

 

Edited by Maikeru
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Wasnt live but WrestleWar 91. Cameraman is inside the cage and right in the corner with Sid and Rick Steiner.
Sid goes 'Is he there? Is he there?'. Rick goes 'Yeah' and Sid goes 'Let's go!' before getting reversed on an Irish whip and clotheslined by Scott who was stood on top the opposite buckle.

Camera was RIGHT next to Sid when he said it.

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Can't say it ever really bothers me. It can be amusing, like Rico perching on the top rope screaming for Jeff Hardy that time.

At NXT a couple of years ago, I saw Cass miss a big boot by about three miles which we chuckled at but just carried on enjoying the match. 

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I like him, but Jericho is terrible for loud calls. He's done it more times than anyone else I remember doing it.

Also, an isolated incident, but not particularly surprising given the company: Bobby Roode, during his main event heel turn and feud with James Storm. Dixie Carter was still a face and there was a bit where Roode had her cowering in the corner, just after smashing either her husband or Storm (I forget which). The camera is behind Dixie, facing Roode, just as he says clearly: "OK, now, go protect him".

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There was a recent thing from Wrestle Circus between Christi Jaynes and Rachel Ellering. 

After a couple minor botches, Jaynes gets it into her head that Ellering is shooting on her and after what is meant to be an Irish whip into the ropes, she just stops and the two proceed to just have  a conversation mid-ring. Rachel goes to kick Jaynes to get things moving again, but Jaynes no sells it and just stands there. Ellering then drops to her knees, hands behind her back saying "just hit me" and again Jaynes just stands there. They then do some sort of roll up for the finish and the match is done.

Its on the latest Botchamania (349) for anyone that wants to see it

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Probably Shawn Michaels kicking off at Vader at Summerslam '96.  I've always enjoyed the 'suspending the disbelief' element of wrestling, so to see Shawn putting on such a petulant display midway through what was a cracking match ruined it for me.  Proper put me off Shawn Michaels for a good while.  

 

I was a right saddo back then.  

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Thing is, when we consider all these instances, are we talking about "kayfabe-shattering", or just instances where the "flow" was just disrupted or broken?

I ask this because there are so many things done in kayfabe that, in themselves, outright break kayfabe just through the simple fact that they're not possible in the slightest, such as people having competitive matches with a blow-up doll in DDT, or the Florida Brothers doing the mime door-screen block, Ebessan dancing the tango with his opponents, or, if we get right down to the bones of it, the Irish whip.

That these matches exist and, what's more, are accepted and enjoyed by their audiences would suggest that what we have a problem with in this thread is instances of wrestlers "showing their working", so to speak. 

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40 minutes ago, Carbomb said:

I ask this because there are so many things done in kayfabe that, in themselves, outright break kayfabe just through the simple fact that they're not possible in the slightest, such as people having competitive matches with a blow-up doll in DDT, or the Florida Brothers doing the mime door-screen block, Ebessan dancing the tango with his opponents, or, if we get right down to the bones of it, the Irish whip.

I've seen the Irish whip mentioned several times in discussions like this and it's something that's never bothered me. I think if you want you can give reasons for almost anything.  For example, in my head, when a wrestler is being 'Irish whipped', in their mind they are going to go with the momentum and run to the ropes and return with a move of their own on an opponent. Obviously it doesn't always come off but would be worth the risk.

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I share that perspective, and I suppose if you're going to be a wrestling fan, it's something you're going to rationalise to fit with your viewing, because it's just too much a regular and frequent part of wrestling to have problems with. 

That said, the rest of my argument stands - when you have guys taking a Canadian Destroyer from a blow-up doll, or a mime-screen as a way of blocking your opponent, and the crowd not only go along with it but enjoy it too, then I think what we're talking about in this thread is more about our enjoyment being disrupted by work where the seams are showing, so to speak.

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It all comes down to whether the spot fits the logic of the match, whether it makes sense for it to happen in that particular match at that particular time and place. The invisible screen door spot is perfect during a Florida Brothers midcard comedy match; I think it’s hysterical and I laugh every time. But put that in a IWGP title match, and I’m not going to be laughing. And it’s not because the spot isn’t funny. It’s because the spot doesn’t make any sense for that match at that time in that place.

Any spot can enhance or ruin your enjoyment; it all comes down to whether it’s done at the right or the wrong time.

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1 hour ago, Noah Southworth said:

It all comes down to whether the spot fits the logic of the match, whether it makes sense for it to happen in that particular match at that particular time and place. The invisible screen door spot is perfect during a Florida Brothers midcard comedy match; I think it’s hysterical and I laugh every time. But put that in a IWGP title match, and I’m not going to be laughing. And it’s not because the spot isn’t funny. It’s because the spot doesn’t make any sense for that match at that time in that place.

Any spot can enhance or ruin your enjoyment; it all comes down to whether it’s done at the right or the wrong time.

I agree, 100%. But this is what I'm getting at - surely by "kayfabe-shattering", what we really mean is "enjoyment-ruining"? Because kayfabe implies portraying wrestling as a real contest, and an invisible screen door, funny or not, enjoyable or not, is going to break that.

Unless, at this point, "kayfabe" now means "in character", as in acting, in which case, I could see the argument.

I appreciate we're probably down to discussing semantics now.

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