As predicted, the bout between Will Ospreay and Ricochet in New Japan's Best of the Super Juniors tournament last week has re-ignited the debate between camps predicting the acrobatic style the pair worked is the future of wrestling , and those for whom spot-heavy, choreographed action "isn't wrestling".
The man known as Prince Puma in Lucha Underground stated his position well yesterday, but that isn't the end of the discussion on wrestling Twitter.
Some who've faced similar criticism, like Matt & Nick Jackson of the Young Bucks, and Joey Ryan, responded with humor:
"Tell a story in the ring."— The Young Bucks (@MattJackson13) May 29, 2016
We did. It was a story about a guy being told to suck it & then getting kicked in his face 20 times.
Who's "killing wrestling" more? Because we can't all take the credit.— Joey Ryan (@JoeyRyanOnline) May 28, 2016
Others with facts and logic:
For some reason I feel compelled to point out today that in 1978 people thought Flair & Steamboat did too many spots, no psychology— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) May 29, 2016
How to kill the business of Pro-wrestling in one easy step. Everybody wrestles one style. Enjoy the show folks— Shelton J. Benjamin (@Sheltyb803) May 30, 2016
It was William Regal, responding via TwitLonger to MVP re-Tweeting Ricochet's response to Vader, though, who pretty much dropped the mic:
I watched the match and was shocked. You need to start doing real stuff like people from my era like kip ups, flying head scissors, cart wheels and criss crosses. Get a grip! When I started the job in '83 a lot of the older fellas used to say that Marc Rocco and Marty Jones (who were the real pioneers of the CW [catch wrestling] style) had killed the business because they did to much. Although they may not admit it anymore,most of the heavyweights in Europe thought the brilliant lightweight and middleweight wrestlers were bad for the job because their style was "not believable enough". Every country I worked in before I came to the US had different styles and ways of doing things as long as there's effort then it's right. If the people paying you are happy and you get reactions then make your stuff as good as it can be with what skills you have. May not be for everyone but that's ok. In the match I saw two fellas who looked like fighters having an excellent,hard competed match in a different style. Win win!
When one of the right-hand men for Triple H (who, in case you forgot, is WWE's Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events, & Creative) has your back, you're probably okay.
Not that there weren't critiques, but throw in a few other insiders with the biggest wrestling company the world has ever known...
@JoeCroninSHOW @WillOspreay @KingRicochet it was awesome to watch but imagine if they sold some of it. Kudos however on some great stuff!— Brian G. James (@WWERoadDogg) May 30, 2016
I just watched @KingRicochet @WillOspreay @FSM_Editor it was awesome stuff #RaiseTheBar— Fit Finlay (@ringfox1) May 30, 2016
...and Ricochet & Ospreay should be just fine.
The subjective debate will never end - nor should it. This is an artform, and the audience will appreciate art according to their own criteria.
From a business perspective, however, the fact that the match has generated this much publicity for the performers is pretty much the only answer anyone should need.