F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

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ayaashm
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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by ayaashm » Mon May 23, 2016 3:47 pm

Rich Kraetsch wrote:
ayaashm wrote:
Rich Kraetsch wrote:
This part right here. It's a big reason why this site exists, I wasn't happy with the wrestling writing I was reading so I went ahead and created something. I wasn't happy with the type of wrestling podcasts that were out there, so we now have a huge selection of podcasts covering nearly the entire international scope of pro wrestling. I hated what the Observer board had become, so we made this forum right here.

It's easy to sit around and complain or claim you're able to do it better, it's another thing to actually do it. I would absolutely love to see some of the folks we get news from really put it to great use and turn the wrestling journalism game on it's head. I really would.

Will we see a rovert-VoW-twitter scoop fringe stable ?
As you can probably tell from the content we put out, we're not big on being a scoops/news site. Nothing again those who do it, but I've never had a real passion for it. I like reading and discussing it but the bulk of my writing and the writing I've wanted from the site is more of the exploration of pro wrestling, the art of wrestling, the hard lined business of wrestling as well as match reviews.

I'm not big on it either, to me it's not how fast you put out a news report but the detail of the report.
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Rich Kraetsch
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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Mon May 23, 2016 3:48 pm

ayaashm wrote:
mlev76 wrote:I believe the bottom line with F4W/Observer at this point is that it is what it is and will not be changing. So, we all have the same choice-go elsewhere or stay. There will always be enough people paying based on Dave's rep or even those who have B&V as a engrained part of their fandom that they'll be fine.

Personally, the podcasts and articles here are better and there are plenty of other great podcasts around to more than satiate my desire for all things wrestling. I still read the Observer each week, still listen to WOR most Tuesday mornings and after a PPV and will peruse the Board every few weeks.

But it is obviously less essential than it once was.

Also, just wanted to add to your point that it's not changing because they do subscriber surveys and clearly most people are happy with the service. Those who are in the minority are in this thread. The VoW articles and podcasts eclipse the F4W ones except maybe WOR And VoW forums >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> THE BOARD
Thank you! We appreciate the kind words.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Uhaacrews » Mon May 23, 2016 5:09 pm

I would love to see more new blood emerge in wrestling news reporting. With the current "major" reporters it is so obvious who their friends/sources areand who is not based on who or what they praise and bury. With their friends they will also go easier on them with anything negative in comparison to others.

Also, personally I have always hated the Observer lumping MMA and wrestling together. To me it always comes off like Meltzer is acting on behalf of UFC to make it seem like wrestling is so unappealing in comparison to MMA. He's really like Bob Ryder in terms of reporting in a lot ways.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by rovert » Mon May 23, 2016 5:53 pm

I wish the Observer Newsletter still operated as a clearinghouse of all/most of the news in the Wrestling industry. But far too often I stay up for the Newsletter to be posted only to read a major story everyone is talking about privately isn't in the Newsletter at all. Then I have to annoyingly to everyone involved have to essentially bully Meltzer into covering it subsequently to the publication of the Observer.

When he does report on what was "missing" he often offers little if any new additional information or is really flippant or passive aggressive in his coverage.

Also he should be chasing scoops and cultivating sources rather than arguing with egghead accounts (no offence Lanza) on Twitter.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by kjharris » Mon May 23, 2016 6:05 pm

InYourCase wrote:One of the things that really turned me away from F4W was Dave's coverage of DG in one of his newsletters. I don't remember exactly when it was, but he proclaimed that DG was "not a major company" and when you're that off the pulse, I can't pay for your product. He'll watch World always, and he seemingly always goes out of his way to watch Final Gate, but he's not clinging onto Korakuen shows and he's not paying attention to the product outside of their biggest shows or if I or someone else email him saying that he needs to go out of his way to watch something. I'm not expecting him to be Jae, or even Alan or Jules or Angry or myself. But he's simply wrong about a topic that I'm passionate about and I have an issue with that.
I would love to see Dave give more coverage to Dragon Gate and other promotions, but it can't happen without a radical overhaul of how he writes the newsletter, so it won't happen. With Dave covering everything, the majority of his time is going to be spent writing about WWE and UFC. Until he frees up time and space in the newsletter by delegating grunt work like Raw reviews to someone else (and paying someone who would do a good job), then we're stuck with what we got.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Mon May 23, 2016 6:22 pm

rovert wrote:I wish the Observer Newsletter still operated as a clearinghouse of all/most of the news in the Wrestling industry. But far too often I stay up for the Newsletter to be posted only to read a major story everyone is talking about privately isn't in the Newsletter at all. Then I have to annoyingly to everyone involved have to essentially bully Meltzer into covering it subsequently to the publication of the Observer.

When he does report on what was "missing" he often offers little if any new additional information or is really flippant or passive aggressive in his coverage.

Also he should be chasing scoops and cultivating sources rather than arguing with egghead accounts (no offence Lanza) on Twitter.
This is the part that I think should really be focused and expanded upon in 2016 as I agree. There are many people talking about and confirming news stories that don't get touched on by Dave. When will someone finally rise up and begin REALLY going public with this stuff as opposed to just saying "Hey, has anyone talked about THIS yet?" There's your outlet, TALK ABOUT IT. I'm not referring to you specifically Rovert, but more or less the entire culture right now that seems more content telling Dave what he should be doing rather than just doing it on their own. As Viper said above, if you can do it better, then do it. It's never been easier to build a following, build a website and turn your passion into a business than it is in 2016.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mprentice84 » Mon May 23, 2016 6:37 pm

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” -Buckminster Fuller

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mprentice84 » Mon May 23, 2016 7:08 pm

The WON has been and continues to be an invaluable resource. What Dave has managed to put out over the last 30 years, both in quality and quantity, is absolutely astonishing. Nobody can argue that point. What is up for debate is the value in the rest of the content on the site. Rich and Joe have done a great job building a platform and community in VOW that fills a lot of those holes. If others see a hole that they can fill, absolutely take the jump and build something.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by RobViper13 » Mon May 23, 2016 8:56 pm

LesMoore wrote:Lol "@prowrestling" ... that made me smile.

I don't think anyone should stop reading the Observer. I read it every week, certain parts sometimes twice. It's a fabulous publication, and Dave is essential reading for anyone who wants a deep view and understanding of the wrestling business. But it's not THE single source of truth anymore. I just don't think there's a lot of room for the "I'll take Dave over 72 twitter accounts claiming to have SCOOPZ" #oldethink anymore. It's needlessly dismissive of the fact that twitter, reddit and plenty of other places have been more right on stories, and had them sooner, on occasion than Dave.
I don't know your real name, welcome to the internet, so I wasn't sure how else to address you. If I was talking about InYourCase I'd do the same thing except without the "@". Your handle makes that a bit more odd to do.

Twitter is generally a tire fire when it comes to "scoops" between how many people claim to have them & the gimmick accounts that parody the people who claim to have them. I'm not a reddit guy but it doesn't exactly have the reputation of being any better. And once again... you may have the time/energy to go through a bunch of twitter accounts and dig through a ton of nonsense on reddit to find the one anonymous account who has the real story. Some of us are not going to go through those measures whether it be time constraints or general indifference to needing to be the first to find things out. When it's something I care about or need to know, I'll inquire. In the past Dave has been able to confirm stuff privately (which doesn't end up in the newsletter as it's off the record) but he has also not been able to clear up many things I've asked. Then again neither have the twitter scoops guys who when I've asked for more details on certain subjects end up either talking in circles or mocking me for even needing to ask about clarity on a situation. There doesn't seem to be one right way unless I'm missing something here.
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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mlev76 » Thu May 26, 2016 5:07 pm

One area where both Dave and Bryan have a rather large blindspot is in reporting things in context of a broader picture. Specifically, given the last year of declining ratings, a regular reader of the site would assume WWE was of a diminished value to USA and might be in trouble.

The changes to Smackdown and the brand split are now being reported as the opposite of that-namely, that WWE's one of the most, if not most, valuable commodities USA has and they are doubling down on their investment in the product. To be fair, this 'sky is falling' narrative is widespread across the wide spectrum of wrestling pundits, but like many things, Dave tends to lead the call first and others follow.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by wac » Thu May 26, 2016 7:22 pm

mlev76 wrote:One area where both Dave and Bryan have a rather large blindspot is in reporting things in context of a broader picture. Specifically, given the last year of declining ratings, a regular reader of the site would assume WWE was of a diminished value to USA and might be in trouble.

The changes to Smackdown and the brand split are now being reported as the opposite of that-namely, that WWE's one of the most, if not most, valuable commodities USA has and they are doubling down on their investment in the product. To be fair, this 'sky is falling' narrative is widespread across the wide spectrum of wrestling pundits, but like many things, Dave tends to lead the call first and others follow.
I think Dave is pretty good at putting ratings in context of the television industry and televised sports.

The biggest problem I have with the site is that it's literally impossible for one person to stay on top of all the current wrestling going on, let alone wrestling + MMA. The other writers don't really get a chance to establish themselves as credible, independent authorities on the subjects they're writing about. They should have someone who watches and reviews every EVOLVE show and PWG DVD, someone who consistently follows the European scene and can write about matches and shows in context, rather than reviewing matches as a one-off. There are plenty of people who are bilingual and closely follow Mexican and Japanese wrestling and are immersed in the culture. Meltzer is still really good at what he does and is an invaluable resource, but the site as a whole could be so much more complete.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by AmplifiedtoRock » Thu May 26, 2016 8:32 pm

wac wrote:The biggest problem I have with the site is that it's literally impossible for one person to stay on top of all the current wrestling going on, let alone wrestling + MMA. The other writers don't really get a chance to establish themselves as credible, independent authorities on the subjects they're writing about.
This is such a huge issue. There are so many promotions that are important to the overall landscape of professional wrestling that are rarely reported on. There seems to be very little prioritizing of coverage short of giving WWE, NJPW, and UFC the bulk of the time. Occasionally ROH is covered. We get the weekly Lucha Underground review. Other than that, very little is reported from the independents.

Unless Dave goes to PWG. Then we get an in-depth, match-by-match review of a show we won't be able to watch for months.
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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mprentice84 » Thu May 26, 2016 8:39 pm

mlev76 wrote:One area where both Dave and Bryan have a rather large blindspot is in reporting things in context of a broader picture. Specifically, given the last year of declining ratings, a regular reader of the site would assume WWE was of a diminished value to USA and might be in trouble.

The changes to Smackdown and the brand split are now being reported as the opposite of that-namely, that WWE's one of the most, if not most, valuable commodities USA has and they are doubling down on their investment in the product. To be fair, this 'sky is falling' narrative is widespread across the wide spectrum of wrestling pundits, but like many things, Dave tends to lead the call first and others follow.
Dave has been saying that in the WON for well over a year. Despite WWE"s freefall in ratings and viewership, USA is in a much worse spot and is more reliant on WWE to boost the station number than ever before.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by mlev76 » Fri May 27, 2016 1:40 pm

mprentice84 wrote:
mlev76 wrote:One area where both Dave and Bryan have a rather large blindspot is in reporting things in context of a broader picture. Specifically, given the last year of declining ratings, a regular reader of the site would assume WWE was of a diminished value to USA and might be in trouble.

The changes to Smackdown and the brand split are now being reported as the opposite of that-namely, that WWE's one of the most, if not most, valuable commodities USA has and they are doubling down on their investment in the product. To be fair, this 'sky is falling' narrative is widespread across the wide spectrum of wrestling pundits, but like many things, Dave tends to lead the call first and others follow.
Dave has been saying that in the WON for well over a year. Despite WWE"s freefall in ratings and viewership, USA is in a much worse spot and is more reliant on WWE to boost the station number than ever before.
The site is consistently trumpeting, almost gleefully, the dropping ratings. And that may be more Bryan than Dave. Quite honestly, the ratings review process is kinda outdated given they have no direct competition.

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Re: F4W/Observer-Is it still worth paying for?

Post by Bix » Sat May 28, 2016 9:08 pm

mlev76 wrote:
ayaashm wrote:
mlev76 wrote:The story in this week's back issue that Dave recounted on WOR is some tremendous "Vince being Vince" stuff. I feel bad for Dave, but no sympathy for Phil Mushnick. F that guy.
Yes, that was quite a story. I am not aware of why Phil Mushnick is so hated. Please enlighten me.
In the wrestling world, he's been hated for a long time since he's been a very outspoken critic of WWE and wrestling in general for years. In many ways, he has a point with regard to his criticism of the steroid and drug culture. But, his criticism becomes easy for his critics to ignore because of the hyperbole.

His writing style is very caustic, muckraking type of writing and he's engendered many enemies from that even outside writing.
He also made some really negative comments about wrestling fans in a 1997 TV Guide column, which blew up after Jim Cornette gave that speech about them on Raw. He later apologized on an episode of Wrestling Observer Live on eYada, and subsequently, he tempered his criticism to be more about WWE, the McMahons, and the physical tolls of the business.

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