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Sunday, December 21, 2014

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The Neumann Scale

Ed. Note: We've gotten a few requests on how we score ROH matches in Nathan's reviews. Here to explain is none other than the man himself, Nathan Neumann. And, upon further review, we at EOTR are discussing an implementation of this ratings system in most show reviews from hereon.

Hello once again Eyes On The Ring readers and wrestling fans Nathan here as I have been asked to explain the star rating system that I use when reviewing Ring Of Honor wrestling.  So here it goes the breakdown of what gets what according to me. The star rating system was first created by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter fame to rank matches of importance.  

Everyone’s criteria for a one star rating and a five star rating and in between is completely different as it’s all subjective to whoever is writing said review. While someone may rate a certain match 5 stars others may give it 4 stars or somewhere in between 4 and 5 stars or something completely different because again this all depends on individual tastes as a wrestling fan, what they like don’t like, etc.

But, here is my breakdown of what I believe deserves what rating. Also, these ratings aren’t promotion-specific just because I put certain matches from a certain company in a specific category isn’t necessarily a reflection on the company itself but more of the way the match was presented.

I will start with the one star rating and go from there.

One Star (*)

This criterion is reserved for the worst of the worst. Typically, matches where you ask “why did I waste my time watching that?” when they’re over fall into this category. The matches have no flow to them, no real psychology, and just don’t work from an entertainment standpoint. I mean, let’s face it: if I am not being entertained by a match, then it will get a low rating because as I said earlier all of this is subjective.

Examples of a one star match include but are not limited to these types of matches.

Jeff Hardy vs. Sting from TNA Victory Road 2011 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2V6ulxTRSDc

Here is another example of a one star match this match is considered by many the worst match of all time (Sharmell vs. Jenna Morasca from TNA Victory Road 2009)

Two Stars (**)

This is for matches that are a bit above a one star rating, but still aren’t very good.  These matches typically no flow to them and no emotion from the crowd. If you want an example of this, watch a Michael Bennett match. There is no emotion. These matches can be good, but often include matches that have a few blown spots within (or matches where the execution of said match is very poor). Also, they’re nothing really to write home about, but I digress.

Three Stars (***)

This is your middle of the road match these aren’t considered either good or bad. But, depending on who is watching, one may sway their opinion either way to make up their mind as to the match’s quality. A good example would be a recent match that took place on ROH Television between Matt Sydal and AJ Styles for instance I only gave this match ** and ¾ stars but other outlets (such as Voices Of Wrestling) gave the match *** the match was good no matter what rating you were to give it but in the world of wrestling, you will get differing opinions from different people as seen above.

Above is a link to a highlight video of said match.

Four Stars (****)

This rating is reserved for matches that, by many standards, are very good matches, are very emotional and where the wrestlers both put in quality work. Sometimes, a match can get a lower rating due to one wrestler in a match not doing as much as another wrestler in the same match. Take for instance Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero Mask vs. Title match at WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 which is considered to by many to be the greatest WCW match ever. I would probably rating this match higher than four stars (say, 4 and ¾) but that’s all part of the subjectivity. Either way, whether it’s a four star match or a 4 and ¾ star match, this match is a perfect example of that.  

Another example would be the finals of the G1 Climax this year between Kazuchika Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura watch it below:

Five Stars (*****)

This match is the cream of the crop. It’s a match so good that it makes you happy to be a wrestling fan there are so many great examples of this anomaly that I wont be able to list them all but I will list a few. Matches like these don’t come along too often, but when they do you know it.

A good example of how rare these matches can be for one promotion goes like this.  Dave Meltzer rated the first ever Hell in a Cell match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels five Stars this match took place back on October 5, 1997. There wouldn’t be another five-star match (at least in WWE) per Meltzer until July 17, 2011 (almost exactly 14 years later) when CM Punk challenged and defeated then WWE Champion John Cena at WWE Money In The Bank 2011.  

There was one match within this years NJPW G1 Climax that I personally would rate as five stars they are Minoru Suzuki vs. AJ Styles.  This match blew my mind, if you have the time please go watch it located right here.  

That does it for me and my breakdown of the star ratings I use when breaking down matches. Sadly, we will probably never see a five star rated match on ROH Television. Is it possible? Yes, but it being a possibility and it happening are two different things and being that Ring of Honor Wrestling is only an hour-long each and every week it may never happen.

I want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this article and please check out our other articles over at EyesOnTheRing.blogspot.com check us out on facebook at Facebook.com/EyesOnTheRing and follow us on twitter @EyesOnTheRing.  So long for now and I’ll see you down the road.


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