Rating Philosophy

If you read about professional wrestling on the internet, then you’ve come across your fair share of reviews and ratings for shows and matches. Every good reviewer has their own little nuances to their reviews to make them stick out, and at the risk of tooting my own horn, I have my own philosophy on reviews that I will explain here below.

In all my reviews I do Quick Results, a Preview, Recap and Review of each match, as well as an Overall review of the entire show at the end.

The Quick results are intended for those who don’t want to get into the finer details of every match that takes place. Not everyone wants to spend 5-10 minutes reading about something that was on television or DVD. Not everyone wants to even spend one minute doing so. Not everyone wants to read a play-by-play recap, and so for all of these reasons, I start every recap with a simple who-beat-who list. This allows the reader to absorb the quick and dirty results in mere seconds.

Previews are written before I watch the match (genuinely) and allow me to lay some groundwork for what I’m about to watch. Sometimes I recap how exactly the match came about, sometimes I give predictions, sometimes I just make jokes.

Recaps are the really in-depth section of my reviews. Some fans want a play-by-play, move for move transcript of what aired, and for those that are after that it can be found here. I am not personally into it, but I know many are, so who am I to shun the desires of others? I make sure to highlight the winner and how they won in bold at the end for those that are skipping over this part of the review. But if you are one of the people who wants the blow by blow account I like to think I do a good job of throwing in some comical statements amidst the action to keep things light-hearted.

Reviews are my post-match thoughts, breaking down the action and the storyline implications. I try to keep a good mix of comedy and serious analysis, and this is where I take the chance to rant about the speculative aspect of wrestling. It’s all hearsay, and I won’t pretend my word is gospel, so feel free to take them with a large pinch of salt.

The Overall thoughts are where I recap the show as a whole. I focus on how the entire episode/event flowed as a complete product, bring out some thoughts I may not have touched on from the matches, draw on particular highlights, provide a very brief summary of my individual match thoughts, and look to the future.

I also try to include a picture summary of the match, because let’s face it, nobody likes to look at an entire page of text.

One thing you’ll probably notice about my reviews is that a couple of common conventions are missing. The first is match times, and that is purely because I don’t have the desire to check them due to not personally caring how many minutes and seconds a match lasted. If I feel the rough match time is noteworthy I will allude to it, but you will not see “Wrestler A defeats Wrestler B in 14:38 via His Finisher” in my reviews.

The second key omission from my reviews is star ratings. This is likely the only controversial part to my recaps but allow me, if you will, to justify my choice to leave them out. Star ratings are incredibly subjective. I don’t like rating things out of 10, and much less giving them 1-5 stars. There are too many mitigating factors. Firstly, are we saying 5 stars/10 out of 10 is the absolute perfect match? If this is so then nothing is ever going to get that rating out of principal. Nothing is perfect, and there is infinite capacity for superior iterations to occur in the future. Secondly, do we use the same scale for every company? Do we judge WWE, TNA, ROH, Chikara and Dragon Gate matches by the same standards? Furthermore, do we differentiate between television and PPV? I would if I had to give ratings, but as far as I can tell, nobody ever goes north of 3 stars for a Raw match. If nothing is getting north of a certain level then it diminishes the meaning in my opinion. Finally, it’s just far too cheap a method of rating a match. Some people toss stars away while others are intentionally reluctant to give away too many. A 5-star recommendation from one reviewer can sour your opinion on a match if you wouldn’t have rated it so highly. One man’s 10 is another’s 8.5.

I believe you can get a better grasp of how good a match was from complete sentences EXPLAINING what was good and what wasn’t about a match. If I lay the cards on the table, you can draw your own conclusions about how good it sounds. Now sure, my descriptions are just as subjective as a star system, but I’d like to think that it gives a reader more to go on than a cold, unforgiving point system.

Anyway, I’ve ranted quite enough about why I review the way I do, and chances are you’ve grasped it from looking at my recaps, so there’s a good chance I’ve simply wasted your time. For those who are disappointed I will refund your price of admission.

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