Over the past week, some comments from Jim Ross about how Randy Orton is his pick as the best wrestler in the world today caused a bit of stir on the wrestle web. That happened partly because that’s what we do on the wrestle web, and partly because Kenny Omega poured gasoline on the fire.
Anyway, it’s reached more of their contemporaries. It’s not surprising which horses Matt Hardy and Kofi Kingston are backing in this race, but that doesn’t mean their comments aren’t interesting (and in Kofi’s case, low key hilarious).
Like JR, Matt has a level-headed take on something so subjective. He even acknowledges a point some of Omega’s detractors make!
Those who can’t see or understand how special of a performer @KennyOmegamanX is are out of touch. Kenny brings a fresh & unique approach as an @AEW champion, along with dazzling athleticism & incredible matches.— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) May 24, 2021
I stand with Omega. https://t.co/80qZNP75Qf pic.twitter.com/WiOher06g3
Feel free to not like or enjoy Kenny’s style or character, you’re entitled to your opinion.— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) May 24, 2021
If you claim to understand this industry & don’t see & acknowledge how much he’s shaping, building & contributing to modern day pro wrestling, you’re out of touch.
Solid & fair take. As people & performers, I like Kenny, Randy & Roman. They’re all very different, but awesome at what they do.— MATT HARDY (@MATTHARDYBRAND) May 24, 2021
Kenny catches flak cuz of his past & over the topness, but there’s no denying he’s currently killing it, esp considering the AEW style. He’s special. https://t.co/Vm9iLf9DYE
Kingston’s comments to Daily Star are all about the Viper, and he takes a similarly reasoned approach to the topic of “best in the world”.
“The whole premise of ‘who is the best’ [is] really subjective.
“As far as Randy is concerned, I think he has the ability to do so many things so well. A lot of people think that because he doesn’t do a lot of moves, he’s not good, but that’s simply not true.
“The industry is not about the moves; it is about being able to connect with the crowd and express what you’re thinking without saying things a lot – to make people watch you. If you watch Randy move around the ring, he moves so slowly and every step has a purpose – you can’t take your eyes off him, yet he doesn’t ‘do’ anything, right? To be able to do that is an absolute talent.
“He looks a certain way, he flexes in a certain way… you feel that. That’s the stuff that makes you great and not just good. What Randy does is unique in that way – he does so much without doing anything at all, so I’d have to put him in the conversation as being one of the greatest.
“To be able to last so long… he’s even more compelling now in a lot of different ways. So as a performer, you can’t have the conversation [about the greatest] without having Randy be in there, from the longevity alone. That doesn’t happen by accident.”
Sorry, “he does so much without doing anything at all” is hilarious to me. It’s also a great assessment of Orton’s appeal, but given all the complaints about Randy phoning in performances over the years, it just cracks me up.
Anything here that changes your mind about your own personal fave? Just happy to hear a couple of legends admit it’s okay to have a personal fave?