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The Bret Hart scoring system


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Jerry Lawler, Stan Hansen, Terry Funk, and Nick Bockwinkel would never score over a 25 each at best with this fucking awful system. Yet for my mo ey they are the best four North American wrestlers of the last 40 years. 

 

And that's even before how we'd get into a curve for Lucha workers and the Japan lads. 

 

If a daft system Bret Hart made which he gerrymandered for himself so he could have people shake his hands with tears in his eyes. And even then he overrated himself on promos and work. And if we want to get into cosmetic looks, he's buggered on that too but I'm letting him off as Pink and Black were iconic attire. 

 

Edit: Daniel Bryan joins those 4 as well. 5 best of 40 years. 

 

Edit 2: Other people screwed by the system of dickheads. Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes, Buddy Rose. 

 

All are inherently all more watchable than Bret Hart. 

Edited by PowerButchi
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You have to apply The Albert Coefficient™ 

It’s a convoluted system that’s not worth thinking about. We should stick to the old-fashioned method, scoring out of 5 (maximum score 7).

I score HBK a 26, just because Bret is a moaning old fucker and HBK will always be better than him. It’s like D.C. and Jones. 

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Brets system misses the point because he misses the point. He grew up believing the best wrestler is the one that is best at making it look real, when the international explosion of the WWF was off the back of Hulk Hogan which had fuck all to do with it looking real either from a technique or match structure point of view. It’s about the intangibles of being someone people want to watch, and I write this from the point of view of a Bret Hart fan.

I think a lot of the resentment of WCW fans towards Hogan coming in ties into the difference in philosophy, presenting the sport as sport as much as possible, even their biggest “superhero” characters like Sting who were capable of a “Hulk up” style comeback, weren’t invincible and (for instance) dropped falls clean and even dropped the belt clean to a “bad guy” like Vader. Hogan was the antithesis of the “still real to me damn it” attitude that the Southern states fans weaned on Mid Atlantic were clinging to.

Furthermore, the “making it look real” ethos ended up taking over from the “tell a story” elements of constructing a match over the decades, especially in terms of striking, and long after Brets career ended abruptly due to Bret getting a very real kick in the head, you’ve got a litany of stories about guys like Nigel, Daniel Bryan, Shibata etc whose careers were curtailed or ended because of the amount of physical abuse they took “making it look real.”

Back to the system ; it’s bollocks because it doesn’t account for the intangibles as to what makes you want to watch somebody’s matches, cheer for them, feel passion for seeing them win (or lose). Bret Hart was my favourite wrestler but no system, his or otherwise, would be any good at explaining why. Systems, like star ratings, are a bit crap when it comes to something as subjective as wrestling.

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12 hours ago, PowerButchi said:

Jerry Lawler, Stan Hansen, Terry Funk, and Nick Bockwinkel would never score over a 25 each at best with this fucking awful system. Yet for my mo ey they are the best four North American wrestlers of the last 40 years. 

Assuming this was worth debating, what are you marking Funk down on? Because I'd have him a 10/10 worker (like all four you mention), his look is 9 or 10 at his peak and his promos are the same. He's close to 30, I think.

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If Dynamite Kid gets a 9 for work then i sure as fuck wouldn't want to be a great "worker."

It also depends if you believe Hogan would have got as over "working" differently. I don't think he would. Personally I think a lot of the reason Hogan got so over was because of the way he wrestled. In which case he deserves a far higher score. 

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Daniel Bryan would be 7 look, 8 work, 8 promos in my book, a very credible 23 in this 100% validated and flawless scoring system of Bret's.

Earthquake look 8, work 7, promos 7 = 22.

Brooklyn Brawler look 3, work 3, promos 3 = 9

Yokozuna look 9, work 8, promos 6 = 23

Undertaker look 9, work 8, promos 6 = 23

 

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9 hours ago, IronSheik said:

Daniel Bryan would be 7 look, 8 work, 8 promos in my book, a very credible 23 in this 100% validated and flawless scoring system of Bret's.

Earthquake look 8, work 7, promos 7 = 22.

Brooklyn Brawler look 3, work 3, promos 3 = 9

Yokozuna look 9, work 8, promos 6 = 23

Undertaker look 9, work 8, promos 6 = 23

 

Chris Bart-Williams?

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Always hated the 'make it real as poss' ethos. 

If you want a career as a wrestler as your living surely longevity is the goal and being able to work day?? 

Killing yourself in front of a hall holding 30 people for fuck all makes no sense. 

The biggest stars and earners in wrestling for. The most part were:

Hogan

Warrior

Rock

Austin

Cena

Sting

Common denominator, is all worked a style you could do nightly and made it based on character and wrestling style that worked for them. 

Wrestling appeal was it was always a suspension of disbelief and the characters excitement etc. 

I wouldn't want to watch 'rigged' mma and you may as well watch the real stuff. 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, JakeRobertsParoleOfficer said:

Always hated the 'make it real as poss' ethos. 

If you want a career as a wrestler as your living surely longevity is the goal and being able to work day?? 

Killing yourself in front of a hall holding 30 people for fuck all makes no sense. 

The biggest stars and earners in wrestling for. The most part were:

Hogan

Warrior

Rock

Austin

Cena

Sting

Common denominator, is all worked a style you could do nightly and made it based on character and wrestling style that worked for them. 

Wrestling appeal was it was always a suspension of disbelief and the characters excitement etc. 

I wouldn't want to watch 'rigged' mma and you may as well watch the real stuff. 

 

 

 

 

 

Including Austin on that list is somewhat laughable as he was completely broken down with leg and neck issues, and cut his career way short. I can remember wincing at him taking german suplex after german suplex against Benoit and hard turnbuckle bumps all the time.  

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34 minutes ago, JakeRobertsParoleOfficer said:

Always hated the 'make it real as poss' ethos. 

Brets point was to make it LOOK real without hurting your opponent. He loved to point out his uppercuts for example always looked like full contact but he never hurt anyone. In his book he describes the ideal as looking like it hurts but it doesn’t and compared that level of “working” to Vader’s stuff which looked like it hurt because it hurt, and to Flairs knife edge chops which hurt like hell but looked “like shit.”

Somewhere along the way people decided beating each other up for real was easier than just making it look that way.

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45 minutes ago, air_raid said:

Brets point was to make it LOOK real without hurting your opponent. He loved to point out his uppercuts for example always looked like full contact but he never hurt anyone. In his book he describes the ideal as looking like it hurts but it doesn’t and compared that level of “working” to Vader’s stuff which looked like it hurt because it hurt, and to Flairs knife edge chops which hurt like hell but looked “like shit.”

Somewhere along the way people decided beating each other up for real was easier than just making it look that way.

But the "somewhere along the way" in many cases was contemporary with Bret's own career. The first incarnation of the Japanese UWF started up the same year that Bret debuted with the WWF, PWFG, UWFi and Pancrase were all contemporary to Bret's first singles push and title reign. Then you had plenty of guys like Hansen, Brody and Vader who were famed for being stiff and hard hitting before that. The idea of "beating each other up for real" didn't come along because it was easier - because it absolutely isn't - or because people weren't listening to the timeless wisdom of Bret Hart, but because different people have different tastes and different ideas of how wrestling should be done. 

Admittedly, I would lean much closer to Bret's take on this, but just like his scoring system or any other attempt to quantify what makes certain wrestlers stars and others never amount to anything, it's all intangible. If we knew, then there wouldn't be any failed pushes, or any wrestlers failing to get over, and no one who didn't fit that model would be anywhere near a ring because no promoter would bother wasting time on them. 

There's a (possibly apocryphal) story of old NWA promoters debating who the next champion should be, and each of them claiming a characteristic that a champion must have, only for another to stand up and cite an exception to that rule. At one point they were almost unanimously agreed that a wrestler could never draw money without being a good talker, and The Sheik stood up and pointed out that he'd drawn more money than anyone else in the room without ever saying a word. 

 

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The biggest stars and earners in wrestling for. The most part were:

Hogan

Warrior

Rock

Austin

Cena

Sting

By what metrics? A few years back, Meltzer calculated the biggest draws per decade, and neither Sting or Warrior appear in the top ten for the '80s or '90s. If you're talking biggest draws ever in the US, it's only Hogan and Cena that appear on the top ten of all-time - Rock and Austin are both let down by lack of longevity, which is the exact opposite of what you're praising them for here. Sting was barely a draw full stop.

The Road Warriors were one of the biggest attractions of the '80s, and no one's ever accused them of working light. Inoki was a huge star in the '80s, and Takada in the '90s, doing something far closer to "worked MMA" than anyone on your list, so it's obviously not a hard and fast rule. 

Again, you can't predict taste, and there's a hell of a lot more work that goes into determining who's going to be a draw or considered a "good" wrestler than just playing the numbers. Hulk Hogan was huge, in part, because the bodybuilder look was a major presence across American entertainment at the time - he was on top while Arnie was a huge box office draw, and kids were watching He-Man - but before him the received wisdom was that a champion had to have legit sports credibility; and not to mention you'd still have to ask why Hogan and not Jesse Ventura, or any other charismatic bodybuilder type? And for all we've been talking about Hogan having a great look, we're overlooking his big baldy head. 

 

Going back to Sting, he's another fine example. He was pushed as a muscular, handsome, colourful and kid-friendly babyface in the early '90s because WCW wanted to capture the young audience that the WWF had. But shows with him on top barely drew 1000 fans, he didn't move any additional merchandise, and the demographic didn't markedly change. Sting is a guy who seems purpose-built to achieve what they wanted, and would be close to a perfect score on Bret's scoring system, but at that time, in that environment, for whatever reason it didn't all come together.

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1 hour ago, cobra_gordo said:

Bret's system needs a fourth category- draw. Because Steve Blackman is a 10 look, 10 for work and a 5 for promos but other than inspiring me and my brother to smack each other with kitchen utensils he didn't draw a penny.

Blackman a 10 for work? Are you crazy or did I miss some classics w him in them? 6 tops Id say. Based on what I've seen of him. 

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