Last night I had a lot of assignments to do for work so I decided to pop in some DVDs after Smackdown. A few days before I watched Orton/Cena from Summerslam 2009, Punk/Cena recently from RAW, as well as Orton/Christian from Smackdown. So last night I decided to watch some Ric Flair matches. I watched his epic battle with Ricky Steamboat from Wrestle War 1989. After that I watched those two again from their Spring Stampede Match in 1994.
A few things stuck out to me:
1. The matches from today's era are faster paced with more fluidity. While I enjoyed watching those two Flair/Steamboat matches it was obvious that the matches were slow paced, somewhat dragging on.
2. The crowds are more emotionally involved in today's matches. The Flair/Steamboat match from 1994 was in Chicago (a vocal town always), but the crowd was dead for the whole match. The three matches I watched from today's era had the crowds completely into the match from bell to pinfall.
3. Most important: the finishes in today's WWE are so much more convincing than the matches from years ago. Flair defeated Steamboat at WW 1989 with a lazy looking pinfall and in their 1994 match it ended with a controversial pin that came off flat, whereas the controversial pin from Cena/Punk from last year's match came off well. The finishes from the old days were very sloppy. One that comes to mind is when Flair defeated Race for the title at Starrcade.
Most fans probably don't appreciate the match quality from today's WWE compared to years past. It seems like in any sport it's always hard to accept if something is possibly better now rather to then. Like a golf purist shooting down the idea of comparing Tiger Woods to Jack Nicklaus or a fan trying to argue that Lebron isn't in the same class as Michael Jordan -- fans like to cling on to the past while second guessing the present. For me I would much rather watch a 15-20 minute match than a 30 minute match that drags on to a sloppy finish.