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Has anyone created or discussed 'standards' for data sources and accuracy?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Jun 16th, 2020 04:52 pm
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AlGetz

 

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Greetings,

As there are many long-term researchers & clip collectors & historians on this site, I (as a newbie) wanted to get your thoughts on something:

As I collect clippings and try and combine/corroborate them with various other sources (results sites like wrestlingdata, results books, etc.), I find myself wanting to come up with a simple scoring or rating system that can be used to evaluate the validity/accuracy of the data.

For example, if I find an advertisement, an article, and results for a particular show, and all the match information (who is wrestling who, the order of the matches, etc.) is consistent and complete, it would be given a rating of 5 on a 1-5 scale. If there were some slight discrepancies in the order of matches, if a match is omitted, or if there is some other minor issue that can be easily resolved, it gets a 4. And so on, down to a card where we only know the main event, or only know who is advertised but no matches, or we don't have an "original" source like newspaper ad or program and all we have is an online second-hand source that doesn't seem correct (date wrong, wrestlers who clearly weren't in the territory at that point in time) which would get a 1.

Has there ever been any discussions about something like this amongst the high-level or respected and experiences researchers?And if not, can we start one?

Sincerely,Allan Barrie
aka Al Getz
Charting the Territories

Last edited on Tue Jun 16th, 2020 04:53 pm by AlGetz

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 Posted: Tue Jun 16th, 2020 05:17 pm
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Kriss
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I don't see any advantage in a scoring system. It's more about common sense. If I don't know where results came from, then I give it very little credence without checking it. There are many, many mistakes in some of these old results that have been doing the rounds for many years. I'm afraid I don't know the names of the researchers, but there one prolific results collector who only recorded brief notes of surnames from library research, and didn't record anything more than surnames and winners, and ignored any women's and midget matches. Now, I have a lot of respect for guys who had to physically go through microfilm in the library, but the effort is wasted if there is no accuracy. People later tried to flesh these results out, but there were many mistakes made, and wrestlers were wrongly identified. Then you have the people who just plain made stuff up to fill in gaps in history. Look at a copy of "Wrestling Title Histories" to see evidence of this. I'm not blaming the authors, but they were given lots of faulty information.

My rule is to record anything where there is a discrepancy. Never assume that something happened because that is what makes sense. When you start grading information, you are adding your opinion to it. Just record the facts. The best example of this is the Harley Race-Ric Flair New Zealand-Singapore title switch. Race won the title in New Zealand, so obviously Flair won the title back in Singapore. But that's not what happened, it was based on incomplete information and assumptions.

There's not a lot you can do about some stuff. We will never, ever, get good records of the masked tag teams.

Not that I am high-level or respected, so this is only my own opinion.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 16th, 2020 07:25 pm
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Magnum Milano

 

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Kriss wrote:  Then you have the people who just plain made stuff up to fill in gaps in history. 
I remember going through Jason Campbell's newsletter scans and finding examples where this had clearly happened.  I was only concentrating my research on the 1980s, but on more than one occasion I would find results for a WWF house show where the results would've been sent in by someone who supposedly attended the show live (there would be a lengthy report on the show as opposed to just listing the results) yet a different newsletter would have a report on the same show, again from someone who claimed to be there, yet this report would be completely different to that first one.  That was the 1980s so who knows what it was like when it came to the newsletters from the 1960s and 1970s.  Shedlock is the one that I tend to trust the least, that publication flat out made venues up for starters when reporting JCP TV taping results.

Personally, I appreciate you're never going to get 100% accuracy when it comes to collecting results, I therefore like to have a source for everything, whether that's a newspaper, a newsletter etc.  At least that way I can always verify where something came from should someone query it.

I really wish something like HistoryofWWE had adopted a similar approach.  I know with Richard Land that's what he's trying to do now, but unfortunately they have been sent results in the past which had been outright made up.

Last edited on Tue Jun 16th, 2020 07:26 pm by Magnum Milano

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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 01:55 am
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AlGetz

 

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Kriss wrote: I don't see any advantage in a scoring system. It's more about common sense. If I don't know where results came from, then I give it very little credence without checking it. There are many, many mistakes in some of these old results that have been doing the rounds for many years. I'm afraid I don't know the names of the researchers, but there one prolific results collector who only recorded brief notes of surnames from library research, and didn't record anything more than surnames and winners, and ignored any women's and midget matches. Now, I have a lot of respect for guys who had to physically go through microfilm in the library, but the effort is wasted if there is no accuracy. People later tried to flesh these results out, but there were many mistakes made, and wrestlers were wrongly identified. Then you have the people who just plain made stuff up to fill in gaps in history. Look at a copy of "Wrestling Title Histories" to see evidence of this. I'm not blaming the authors, but they were given lots of faulty information.

My rule is to record anything where there is a discrepancy. Never assume that something happened because that is what makes sense. When you start grading information, you are adding your opinion to it. Just record the facts. The best example of this is the Harley Race-Ric Flair New Zealand-Singapore title switch. Race won the title in New Zealand, so obviously Flair won the title back in Singapore. But that's not what happened, it was based on incomplete information and assumptions.

There's not a lot you can do about some stuff. We will never, ever, get good records of the masked tag teams.

Not that I am high-level or respected, so this is only my own opinion.

I greatly appreciate your input. I think a big issue is that different researchers may have different ideas of what's most/more important. I personally place significant importance on listing the matches in "perceived order of importance" (which is usually but not always the order they are listed in advance marketing), and it's clear as I look at other people's work or the sites that aggregate data that they don't share my view on that.

In my case, since I am attempting to create actual statistical output using the info, I feel like the 'grading' may be useful. It's not always binary (ie either it looks good or it doesn't), there are varying degrees of 'not good'. And I was wondering if there was already some sort of similar thought process out there, so that at the very least I wouldn't be reinventing the wheel.

And I've actually had a slight bit of success in "unmasking" some masked teams, or either proving/disproving what their identities were believed to be. Part of that is knowing which of my sources were good and which were not.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 07:48 am
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One Fan Gang



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I think you are on a slippery slope drawing conclusions based on a category of "perceived order of importance" because not every promoter structures their cards the same way, and since the calling card of most every promoter was "card subject to change" order of events and their contents flipped around at will. Best wishes on your project, but using criteria that actual events didn't adhere to is a false narrative of a report card for promoters that weren't looking to earn a grade for their work, in my view.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 08:59 am
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Kriss
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One Fan Gang wrote: I think you are on a slippery slope drawing conclusions based on a category of "perceived order of importance" because not every promoter structures their cards the same way, and since the calling card of most every promoter was "card subject to change" order of events and their contents flipped around at will. Best wishes on your project, but using criteria that actual events didn't adhere to is a false narrative of a report card for promoters that weren't looking to earn a grade for their work, in my view.

I basically agree with this. When promoters booked women, midgets or bears, the aim was to increase the attendance and the gate. Unless it was Mildred Burke defending the world title, these matches were almost never the last match on the card. How do you factor in when a promoter brought in a former world boxing champion as a special referee? Larger cards with double main events might bill one match above the other, but the matches were often put on with BS finish second from last and the face winning to send the fans home early, but the BS finish was the money match because it sold next week's rematch. It's kinda like creating win-loss records for wrestling, it's interesting, but it doesn't tell anything like the whole story. You really have to remember that wrestling is as much theater as it is sports when recording its history.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 03:13 pm
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AlGetz

 

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Kriss wrote: One Fan Gang wrote: I think you are on a slippery slope drawing conclusions based on a category of "perceived order of importance" because not every promoter structures their cards the same way, and since the calling card of most every promoter was "card subject to change" order of events and their contents flipped around at will. Best wishes on your project, but using criteria that actual events didn't adhere to is a false narrative of a report card for promoters that weren't looking to earn a grade for their work, in my view.

I basically agree with this. When promoters booked women, midgets or bears, the aim was to increase the attendance and the gate. Unless it was Mildred Burke defending the world title, these matches were almost never the last match on the card. How do you factor in when a promoter brought in a former world boxing champion as a special referee? Larger cards with double main events might bill one match above the other, but the matches were often put on with BS finish second from last and the face winning to send the fans home early, but the BS finish was the money match because it sold next week's rematch. It's kinda like creating win-loss records for wrestling, it's interesting, but it doesn't tell anything like the whole story. You really have to remember that wrestling is as much theater as it is sports when recording its history.


My idea is to create a "depth chart" that best reflects where promoters slotted their regular wrestlers on the cards. The points above are for the most part valid, but at the same time there has never been an attempt to "quantify" a wrestlers' role in the grand scheme of things. I think it is useful, but I also accept it should also be taken with a grain of salt given the unique nature of wrestling. But to your point of "not every promoter structures their cards the same way", I disagree and say that for the most part the cards *as advertised* follow a pattern (with the noted idiosyncrasies of special attractions and "double main events").

You are absolutely correct about win/loss records, and that line of thinking is what started me on this journey. If you were asked to rank all the NFL teams from a given season into 3 or 4 major categories, the top tier, one or two middle tiers and the bottom of the pack, there is a uniform and readily available set of information you would likely use to come up with that )playoff results, win/loss records and some form of divisional strength factor).

If, for whatever reason (and yes, I understand that nobody is really asking this question, but maybe they should be), you wanted to create the same sort of depth chart for wrestling, what would you use? To me, the answer is the house show lineups in aggregate. If somebody could draw money, they'd be advertised prominently at the top of the cards on a regular basis. And so on down the line. In aggregate I have found the output to be useful for an "at a glance" look at the territories at a fixed point in time.

With a large data set and looking over a large period of time, it can be interesting to note a wrestlers' journey, looking at the different territories they worked in, what their role was in each territory, and how that role changed over time. Unless someone was a main eventer for a long period of time in a notable territory or at a notable time, there is nothing resembling a "stat line". And the Randy Colley's of the world deserve some form of quantification of their twenty years as a professional wrestler, something more than just "well he had a couple of big runs as one of the Moondogs and then a big run for Watts as the Nightmare". 

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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 03:55 pm
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Kriss
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Hey man, do what makes you happy. It's not a stat that interests me personally. Then again, I'm doing a deep dive on Texas wrestling that I really can't see anyone else being interested in. The same goes for lots of what we do. Yohe doesn't think anyone is interested his old California stuff either.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 05:29 pm
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AlGetz

 

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Kriss wrote: Hey man, do what makes you happy. It's not a stat that interests me personally. Then again, I'm doing a deep dive on Texas wrestling that I really can't see anyone else being interested in. The same goes for lots of what we do. Yohe doesn't think anyone is interested his old California stuff either.

We sort of shifted away from my original question, which you did answer.

I appreciate the discourse. In the end you're right, everybody has different ideas of what's 'important' or pertinent and we're all doing what makes us happy. And more research is always better than less research. I appreciate all you do!

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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 06:52 pm
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Kriss
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To give you an answer about grading results. I guess I do it, but I would never put a number on it. If I don't note differently, I'm happy with the results or the card. If there is a problem, or if my results differ from something I have seen elsewhere, I make a note in case anyone else wonders why mine are different. If I think the newspaper made a mistake, I also try to make a note of that too. I make a point to do all original research, because I just like to read the old reports myself and maybe find something that was missed y others. If you look at my very incomplete work on the Snyder and Afflis records, I have noted where I think clawmaster included incorrect matches. So I guess I do grade stuff in my head, but I think a description is more helpful than a number. But, as I said, I pretty much do the stuff for myself and add notes if someone asks questions.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 06:59 pm
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Angelic Assassin



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Kriss wrote: Hey man, do what makes you happy. It's not a stat that interests me personally. Then again, I'm doing a deep dive on Texas wrestling that I really can't see anyone else being interested in. The same goes for lots of what we do. Yohe doesn't think anyone is interested his old California stuff either.

I enjoy the Charting The Territories stuff but I am someone who most definitely likes wrestling results.


I don't have the time or patience I guess to do a "deep dive" in an area as you put it Kriss but I'm willing to bet many on here and elsewhere read your results and those of others and appreciate them.


I'm a completist so like as much info as possible. The location and date of the matches. Attendance and gate if available.I like the matches listed in the order they occurred with finish, time and any substitution as well as the referee if known.Some of that isn't necessarily important but again I like the ephemera of a card included.


So Al if you did a ranking of the importance of the matches but left the card listed in the order of the matches then I guess that could work. Like list the ranking you give a match at the end.


Verne Gagne D. Mad Dog Vachon by DQ 22:00 (5). Something like that.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 09:47 pm
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One Fan Gang



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I think of instances a promoter booked talent in two towns in one day and had them work early on the matinee show to allow them travel time to the evening event. Hogan vs. Orndorff jumps to mind immediately because Paul spoke about the breakneck pace involved doing it via air travel and staying in their gear the whole time. Logistics made them double dip, giving one advertised main event a prelim bout status upon delivery. I like hearing the nuances behind these instances, because as a live crowd would see it, there was likely no explanation made. I guess you would find out who was there only to see that match, if they left following its conclusion.

Much like the dismissive wave of uninformed fans' hands at someone's opinion coming from "A guy who was a jobber his whole career...what does he know?" I also think extrapolating data can result in drawing conclusions for a depth chart that inevitably removes the human element. Someone who gets slotted higher than a Randy Colley or any of those Moondogs, for example, may not have been able to create the intriguing mystique that carried them to success in South Africa as the Strongbo family. Since this is uncovered ground, it has its merit; ultimately there will be scrutiny as any research receives.

Last edited on Wed Jun 17th, 2020 09:50 pm by One Fan Gang

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 Posted: Wed Jun 17th, 2020 10:00 pm
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AlGetz

 

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Angelic Assassin wrote: I'm a completist so like as much info as possible. The location and date of the matches. Attendance and gate if available.I like the matches listed in the order they occurred with finish, time and any substitution as well as the referee if known.Some of that isn't necessarily important but again I like the ephemera of a card included.


So Al if you did a ranking of the importance of the matches but left the card listed in the order of the matches then I guess that could work. Like list the ranking you give a match at the end.


Verne Gagne D. Mad Dog Vachon by DQ 22:00 (5). Something like that.


I'm heading towards that. There are plenty of other sources for just the results so I am focusing on something unique and different, with the understanding it might have a very limited audience. But at some point I do want to combine things and come up with the most definitive and accurate collection of info, culled from willing collaborative sources where needed. That's a lofty goal, and a lot of historians are (rightfully) protective of their work.

There are so many cards we don't have results for, only the lineups, and we generally have even less in the way of attendance (and what we do have is often suspect). Most results listings generally list the matches in the proper order, as that's generally how the newspaper reports (or live correspondents) were done. So there's not too much of a need to "fix" that.

A lot of the things you want to see (referees, substitutions, match times) require a significantly greater amount of work to properly record. In my case, I'm not just putting everything in Word; it's usually going into Excel in two separate places in a very specific but different way each time.

And don't forget there were many 2/3 falls matches so that's even more data points if I'm keeping track of the time and outcome of each fall individually, and we often only know the specific details of the final fall. I've also seen several newspaper results where, after reading it, I have no idea who actually won the match. A lot of other researchers have probably encountered similar issues, therefore they limit their data-gathering to the parts they feel are most important.

I'm rambling at this point. It's because there is so much more at play than simply "listing everything we know". And because I'm passionate about it. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my work, even if they read it once and decide it's not their cup of tea, I'm thankful they gave it a look.

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