Hi there Scott! I'm a longtime fan (read all your books, rants, etc.) and I had a question for you:
In Bret Hart's book, he stated at one point that in his opinion, wrestlers can be rated in three categories: 1) Physical presence/look (ie. looking tough), 2) In-ring skills, and 3) the ability to talk or sell yourself. He said if you rank guys from 1-10, guys in the high twenties usually turn out to be great wrestlers, while shitty guys (he specifically calls out Dino Bravo) don't have many. He gives himself in the early 90s a pretty fair score: 7 Look (he had a good physique and was in shape, though I'd argue this might be too low), 10 Skill & 4 Charisma, adding up to a 21. Hulk Hogan scored a little better, being 10 Look, 3 Skill and 10 Charisma (if I recall correctly).
My question is: Do you think his system is accurate? I've found that many guys work well with it, with Main Event guys hitting the mid-20s (Flair has high Skill & Charisma, but less Look, while Hogan had Look & Charisma, but less Skill), and IC-level elite midcarders hitting the low 20s. The only guys who mess with it are guys like Dusty Rhodes (not a great worker, and had a terrible look), but I find that overall Charisma is worth more than the other two (a wrestler could get over with JUST that, whereas a great look with nothing else gives you The Warlord). The highest overall scores go to guys who were great (or at least good) at everything (Savage in the 80s, Mr. Perfect, Kurt Angle).
Obviously, you can't assess a wrestler purely by some equation, but I think the system tends to be pretty accurate- you can often measure guy's success by how they'd score on these "Bret Hart Categories". Except for say, Val Venis, who seemed good at everything, but had middling IC-level success only.
I'd say it's fair to judge people by look, skill and charisma. I'd call someone like Angle damn near a 10 in all three during his glory years, although today the look is getting worse by the day. Savage, yeah, 10/10/10, no question in my mind. Dusty was pretty much all charisma and had enough skill to get by. The thing too is that look and skill can be altered by cosmetics or teaching, but charisma is pretty much set.
It's a good system, I'd say.