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Dave is fairly critical of AEW. The venom he gets for being ‚Äúon the payroll‚ÄĚ is nonsense if you actually read and listen to him. The problem is that he thinks what he likes has to be the best and everyone else is wrong. If you don‚Äôt think the young bucks are the GOATs and fantastic storytellers then you‚Äôre either wrong or a troll. Same with his other favourites like Kenny.

He has gone completely overboard with the importance he places on moves and flips too. It‚Äôs like it‚Äôs all that matters and everyone that is a ‚Äúgreat worker‚ÄĚ should be a star. I‚Äôll never forget when he said Pete Dunne was (not could be) a ‚Äúsuperstar‚ÄĚ after he had a good match. I love Pete Dunne but he‚Äôs as far from a superstar as you¬†can get.

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The glory of Meltzer isn't in his reviews (in all fairness, I don't see why anyone would put stock in anyone's reviews. Wrestling is a thing of personal taste), it's in his analysis and historical kno

Funny how Eric Bischoff can't remember a fucking thing but is sure about everything Meltzer is wrong about.

I couldn't agree more. 

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13 minutes ago, RedRooster said:

His stubborn attitude when it comes to Big Daddy may seem trivial, but if you look at his social media feed he outright dismisses people who he should realise would be in a position to know better than he would about Daddy's contribution to British wrestling. 

Why does that matter? Well, if he's unwilling to believe external credible sources about Big Daddy you really have to question his interpretation of other historical events and figures. Do his biases mean he's giving other historical wrestlers more or less credit than they are due? 

It comes up every year because Allan Cheapshot has a hissy fit on twitter every time Big Daddy doesn't get into the Observer HOF. 

Meltz has mentioned on various occasions that Daddy gets more support in voting from outside the UK than in the UK 

If you put Daddy into the HOF you might as well put Roman Reigns while you're at it 

Also, show me an "historian" who says he is without bias and he's a liar

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I've always put Meltzer's stance on Big Daddy down to him allowing his prejudices to cloud his journalistic clout. As we all know, Meltzer's tastes are about as far separated from Big Daddy's act as you can imagine. But a truly impartial professional would acknowledge that Big Daddy's popularity was such that his (lack of) in-ring abilty didn't actually mean sweet FA.

He completely lost me a year or two ago when he claimed that wrestling had never been better. Its beyond me how anyone can live through the two WWF boom periods and yet claim that the relatively current incarnation of wrestling is superior.

Every metric apart from workrate (which never has and never will equate to mainstream popularity), is leagues behind.

He's a hell of a historian but I don't rate him as a journalist at all.

 

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While I was on a wind-up bringing it up, it is interesting, because it raises so many questions around what things mean in different culture. No, Big Daddy wasn't in dozens of movies - but then, that's not really something that happened outside of Mexico because of what the movie industry was like. Nor was the UK industry of the type that would build to massive gates. 

Obviously, he was a deeply shitty wrestler, who realistically did as much harm as good to the perception of wrestling in the UK. But if UK wrestling is going to be part of a Hall of Fame discussion, there's nobody in British wrestling you could argue was more mainstream, and that is a factor. 

Explaining to younger people and those outside of the US just how mainstream Big Daddy was is difficult. Reading one of @Astro Hollywood's pieces which featured an unexpected Big Daddy (as Santa) cameo recently can make it sound like he was up for appearing on anything anyway, but he was everywhere for a while.

Someone referenced El Santo turning up in comic books, and Batman in particular, as proof of how mainstream he was. And it reminded me of Big Daddy in British comics - what I'd forgotten is that he was in more than one. I read Johnny Cougar at some point, but I now want to go back to it. I also found a Viz appearance, which isn't proof of success, but still amuses me in some ways.

 

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11 hours ago, Tsurutagun said:

Also, show me an "historian" who says he is without bias and he's a liar

The problem is that Meltzer isn't a historian. You're right that no historian is without bias, but a significant part of historiography involves awareness of that, and making sufficient use of sources so that your personal biases become more or less negligible in terms of influencing your work. There's no evidence that Meltzer follows anything like the process of actual academic history research or writing, he just recounts events. And, sometimes, he does it very well.

So much of the problem with Meltzer, as I have said before, and most likely in this thread, is that he's trying to be everything all at once, and pre-Twitter basically managed it. He's a journalist, an opinion columnist, a critic and a "historian", and his work ethic is such that, in the Observer, he more or less managed that division of labour for years. But social media added another layer, in that the way he acts, and the opinions he espouses on Twitter, aren't necessarily the same as what he'd say in the Observer, because of his insistence that the star rating system is somehow objective and not just Stuff He Likes. And people who don't read or listen to him tend to only know his work through Twitter, or third-hand through Newz sites half-reporting what he's said, and through the likes of Cornette and Prichard slagging him off for clicks, so things he's said as an opinion, or what he thinks should or could happen get reported as news or a prediction of what will happen.

He's not this mindless AEW cheerleader that people paint him as, but AEW is very much in line with his taste in wrestling - it's a real chicken or egg scenario to ask whether that's because the modern style of wrestling developed, in part, because of his influence in terms of the matches he rated highly in the past, and in chasing those ratings in the present. The problem is his blind spot in recognising that what he likes isn't necessarily universal, which is only made worse when he says something stupid like "if it was just about my taste, the star rating would be different", as if the scale is objective.

9 hours ago, Chris B said:

Someone referenced El Santo turning up in comic books, and Batman in particular, as proof of how mainstream he was. And it reminded me of Big Daddy in British comics - what I'd forgotten is that he was in more than one. I read Johnny Cougar at some point, but I now want to go back to it. I also found a Viz appearance, which isn't proof of success, but still amuses me in some ways.

There was a Viz one-off maybe two years ago called "Big Daddy vs. ISIS", which again isn't proof of success, but it's evidence that the writers expect the vast majority of the readership to understand who he is, and why the concept of that strip (and jokes about him putting his hands down on a parachute jump because he knows how to take a fall) is funny, some 20 years after his death. I remember maybe 10 years ago you could get a "Who's The Daddy?" T-shirt with a picture of Big Daddy in Next, which, again, suggests the assumption that the majority of people would get the reference. We used to have a bar that had regular '80s nights, and they'd play a compilation of old 80s telly on TV screens, and it always had Big Daddy vs. Giant Haystacks on it - no other wrestling, just that. Pretty much any time a newspaper, magazine, or mainstream TV show in the UK runs a story on wrestling you can guarantee Big Daddy will get a mention, if not in the headline, in the opening paragraph. None of these are quantifiable measures of fame/success, but they're all indicative of him existing in the popular imagination as synonymous with wrestling (for good or ill) in a way no one else in this country does.

Meltzer's thing with Big Daddy just seems to be, more than anything, a complete misreading of how wrestling operated in the UK and, more importantly, a failure to understand the media landscape in the UK at the time, and then a stubborn refusal to listen to people who suggest otherwise. I'm sure he can grasp that there were only (IIRC) two TV channels in Japan at the time Rikidozan was getting record viewing figures, but seems to think it's irrelevant to Big Daddy - particularly his point about not being on adverts, which pretty much everyone has pointed out isn't a fair metric for British telly in the '70s. (Not that I'm suggesting Daddy is equivalent to Rikidozan, but I'd put him arguably around the level of Giant Baba, if I had to make a clumsy equivalence)

My measure has always been that, in the pub, or in a job interview when someone sees wrestling on my CV, with no leading questions, what wrestler's name are they most likely to mention. Obviously there's an age factor at play, but I would say that for blokes over 50 it's almost invariably Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Mick McManus and Kendo Nagasaki, in that order. At job interviews and recruitment agencies, it's come up twice where the person wasn't already aware of there being local wrestling, and both times their frame of reference was Big Daddy vs. Giant Haystacks. 

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11 hours ago, garynysmon said:

He completely lost me a year or two ago when he claimed that wrestling had never been better. Its beyond me how anyone can live through the two WWF boom periods and yet claim that the relatively current incarnation of wrestling is superior.

Every metric apart from workrate (which never has and never will equate to mainstream popularity), is leagues behind.

That is his metric though. He tends to see everything else in wrestling as supporting the in-ring stuff. His argument is that there's more variety of high-level wrestling now than there has ever been, due to a strong run with NJPW over the last five years, apparently good stuff in Lucha at the moment (probably connected to Omega being there in Dave's mind), AEW performing well and WWE/NXT doing 'good wrestling' over the same time period.

If you're a wrestling fan over the last five years or so, you've had some great options, and probably more easy access than in a long time. The two boom periods were great for WWF and for business, but weren't exactly synonymous with great wrestling. For Meltzer, while he covers and is interested in mainstream acceptance, I think his interest (and a large part of his fan's interest) is in how good the actual wrestling is.

I know we tend to be sniffy here about workrate-perverts, but Dave is very much the workrate guy and always has been. It's not inconsistent.

On the Big Daddy thing, the main thing I find fascinating is the inability to explain how big he was in a way that Meltzer will understand. Watching him try (or ignore) how 70s/80s British pop culture works is hilarious - it might as well be alien.

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25 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

I remember maybe 10 years ago you could get a "Who's The Daddy?" T-shirt with a picture of Big Daddy in Next, which, again, suggests the assumption that the majority of people would get the reference. We used to have a bar that had regular '80s nights, and they'd play a compilation of old 80s telly on TV screens, and it always had Big Daddy vs. Giant Haystacks on it - no other wrestling, just that. Pretty much any time a newspaper, magazine, or mainstream TV show in the UK runs a story on wrestling you can guarantee Big Daddy will get a mention, if not in the headline, in the opening paragraph. None of these are quantifiable measures of fame/success, but they're all indicative of him existing in the popular imagination as synonymous with wrestling (for good or ill) in a way no one else in this country does.

 

There was a round on Pointless a few years ago with pictures of wrestlers. I can remember Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Big Daddy being there among a few others. Big Daddy had the highest score out of the lot, followed by Hogan then Andre. This was in about 2013. 

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In my experience, the three wrestlers everybody has heard of are Big Daddy, Hulk Hogan and The Rock. 

Rock is in large part because he's a Hollywood A-Lister. Hogan seems to be (in my experience) a combo of merchandise, movies and (for a certain generation) Hogan Knows Best. People know they're wrestlers but in large part have never seen either of them in a match.

Big Daddy is arguably the only one everyone's heard of because of wrestling. Which in my book might make him the most famous wrestler of them all. Easy.

 

(easy)

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36 minutes ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

In my experience, the three wrestlers everybody has heard of are Big Daddy, Hulk Hogan and The Rock. 

Rock is in large part because he's a Hollywood A-Lister. Hogan seems to be (in my experience) a combo of merchandise, movies and (for a certain generation) Hogan Knows Best. People know they're wrestlers but in large part have never seen either of them in a match.

Big Daddy is arguably the only one everyone's heard of because of wrestling. Which in my book might make him the most famous wrestler of them all. Easy.

 

(easy)

While I agree, I think there's an important caveat there of 'everybody over 40'.

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1 minute ago, Chris B said:

While I agree, I think there's an important caveat there of 'everybody over 40'.

I will caveat your caveat with 'everybody who knows any wrestlers'. A lot of people under 30 would know The Rock as a movie star and Hogan as a reality star, but if you asked them to name a wrestler even those two might not come to mind.

I'm getting speculative now but I stand by my point! Big Daddy's the biggest of them all.

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2 hours ago, BomberPat said:

Honestly, I don't think there's anyone who knows Hogan as a reality star. Anyone aware of Hogan Knows Best knows who Hulk Hogan is. 

My wife would beg to differ! Hulk Hogan is Hogan Knows Best to her and her friends. There might have been the barest amount of peripheral knowledge of who he was away from that (and even then, only from what was mentioned on the show) but they watched MTV in the afternoons and that's where he was on TV and where he was famous from. He's a reality star to the lot of them. Honestly!

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