Titanes Del Ring. A product that dares you to review it fairly.
I find review scoring systems to be a necessary evil. When I was planning this blog, I went back and forth on whether I was going to use an official scoring system, and which scoring system to use. Ultimately I settled on yes. I will use a scoring system.
The main thing that gave me pause about using a scoring system is that I view professional wrestling as an art form above all else, and I don't think you can quantify an art form pass a certain level. Let's take the standard Professional Wrestling scoring model, which I believe was created by Jim Cornette and popularized by the Wrestling Observer. "5 Star Match". I hate it - a lot. I find it silly that anyone thinks they can quantify match types across promotions and styles to the point that there is a meaningful difference between a 4 1/4-star match and a 4 1/2-star match. What exactly is the difference between those two? Especially when you are using the same scale to rate matches that can be as wildly different as UWFi and Kaiju Big Battel. Then there are negative stars, and above 5-star matches, etc. The more value that one places on the standard scoring system and more hardcore one gets about it the more the scoring system starts to break down, which is a shame because it's one of the few universally accepted analytical tools in today's wrestling fandom.
A promotion like Titanes Del Ring out of Argentina is an example of a style of wrestling that the standard scoring system doesn't work with. It was wildly successful for many years. It featured some very good in ring wrestling that has aged surprisingly well. It also featured mummies, robots, spacemen, knights, and all sorts of cartoon antics. How does one reconcile the intentional silliness of the product with the technical quality and overall success? Sadly, most people today would just dismiss the product outright because it's very different from a modern NJPW or WWE style of wrestling. It doesn't matter that someone like Pibe 10 was doing impressive modern flying moves back in the early 1980's because there was also a mad scientist with a remote control robot in the promotion around the same time.
With all of that being said, scoring systems in general are useful. They give fans a good starting point when discussing wrestling. Is a match considered good? Is it considered bad? Is a match underappreciated or over-appreciated? I think the usefulness is apparent, and the value outweighs the problems that I have with the flaws.
The following is my scoring system and a short explanation of what each score is intended to mean:
My thinking is that a match starts at 2-stars(average) and either goes up or down from there. There is no such thing as a perfect match. I'm not too harsh of a critic on small botches. A match can be ugly and worthwhile fun at the same time. Once a match dips below a certain level of quality then it's just terrible and not worth wasting time on. Match styles can affect scoring somewhat in the sense that a great deathmatch has different elements at play from a mat grappling classic. But I will try my best to be as fair about style differences in various match types, different promotions, and different periods of time as I can be. Regardless of style, I'm a sucker for emotion(drama, comedy, thrills, etc).
Will this scoring system fall apart? Maybe. I'm figuring things out as I go.