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Author: Subject: NJPW General Discussion Thread
niles81
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posted on 3-16-2018 at 03:14 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
NJPW General Discussion Thread

Seeing as New Japan has been making waves for a couple years now - I figure it might be time to experiment with a general discussion thread. If this picks up steam, maybe we can pin it to the top like we do with RAW/SD/LU/ROH/Rumors/etc.

Currently - the New Japan Cup is happening and there's one semi-final match left before we hit the finals.

If you are thinking of checking out the tournament - I suggest skipping the first round almost entirely (exceptions: Ishii vs Michael Elgin and Naito vs ZSJ). After that, I'd recommend watching the rest of the tournament. That cuts it down to 9 matches.

For those who haven't had a chance to watch any of the tournament yet but are full well intending to - this is where I will suggest you stop reading due to impending...

***SPOILERS (sort of - matches already happened but some people watch on delay)***

Tanahashi just beat Juice Robinson in an epic match (in my opinion). Sunday morning, Zack Sabre Jr vs Sanada will happen and the winner will advance to square of against Ace of the World 100% GO ACE!!! **Air Guitars wildly** GO ACE!!! 100%

I'm personally predicting ZSJ to win that match as they've been pushing him hard with his "JUST TAP OUT!!!" gimmick (with Taka Michinoku acting as his Japanese mouthpiece). ZSJ had two fantastic bouts previous to this (against Naito in the opening round and Kota Ibushi in round 2).

As for the finals - if ZSJ makes it there, it's anyone's guess as to who wins. As said previously, they've been pushing ZSJ hard and he'd probably have an amazing match with Okada. The story they are telling with him - it would make sense to have him tap out 3 of New Japan's best (and Sanada - who is pretty good but still has room to improve) only to have Okada refuse to "JUST TAP OUT!!!" in the title match.

The one X-factor is Tanahashi. On any other occasion, I'd be disinclined to say that because Okada and Tanahashi have had no shortage of matches in the past (They feuded from Wrestle Kingdom 6 to 10 - headlining 7, 9 & 10 in the process). One more time could be construed as going to well once to often.

That would be true except if Okada's next title defense is successful - he officially ties with Tanahashi for having the longest streak on successful title defenses (11 each). So it would totally make sense to push for those two to have one more match with Tanahashi scraping and clawing to defend his legacy. That would make for one hell of a story.

Personally speaking - I don't know which match I'd rather see. Okada vs ZSJ would be fresh and no doubt it would deliver the goods. The better story is most definitely Okada/Tanahashi but they've squared off so many times before that it could be stale (unlikely with those two though). Either way - I'm stoked.

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CCharger
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posted on 3-16-2018 at 03:20 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
What the fuck happened to All Japan? They were the WCW to NJPW's WWE.

And then they just kind of disappeared. I think it had to do with a mass exodus of talent, but I'm not sure.

Either way, I always though the AJPW Triple Crown was the coolest championship in wrestling, and the AJPW vs. NJPW supershows were awesome.





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niles81
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posted on 3-16-2018 at 03:27 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
All Japan is still around but has a much diminished profile (at least that is my understanding). Cageside Seats actually published an article on that a couple years ago:

https://www.cagesideseats.com/2016/7/22/12207412/the-rise-and-fall-of-all-japan-pro-wrestling

I have to admit - I remember reading this article and am borderline shocked that it was published almost 2 years ago. I could have sworn I read it much more recently than that.

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First 9
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posted on 3-16-2018 at 03:53 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The story is good but it'd be kind of overkill to have Okada beat Tanahashi again right? Okada already has a longer title reign and beat him at WrestleKingdom, whopping him again to surpass another record feels like too much. Like they don't want to leave any doubt at all that the new Ace is heads and shoulders above the old one.

Then again,as somebody who doesn't like ZSJ, I'd rather see Okada completely obliterate Tanahashi's legacy.

[Edited on 3-16-2018 by First 9]

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niles81
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posted on 3-16-2018 at 04:53 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
When ZSJ is a face - I'm 100% with you. My first exposure to the guy left me unimpressed. It just seemed like a bunch of indy wanks liked cheering for their new internet darling while he did bland shit in the ring.

As I heel - I love him. Plus his work at the New Japan Cup has been top notch. He reeks of pretentious smarm when he wrestles as a heel - like he's British Royalty or some shit. It works really well.

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niles81
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posted on 3-18-2018 at 02:57 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
ZSJ vs Sanada happened this morning. ZSJ went over in a match I was more or less meh on. I think the reason for that is Sanada hasn't done much to win me over and ZSJ is only just starting to so I found it hard to get invested in the match personally.

That said - I am absolutely stoked for Tanahashi vs ZSJ. When ZSJ faces off against some I'm invested in, that's when he seems to do his best work.

Still no clue who's going to win this thing but I could see Tanahashi going the whole way and actually beating Okada for the title so as to retain some aspect of his legacy. Okada's been getting cocky & arrogant with his persona lately - he lorded his title over Tanahashi in a tag match on one of the earlier shows (I think it was the show headlined by Ibushi vs ZSJ).

But as far as ZSJ vs Sanada goes - I'd call that match skippable unless you are a super ZSJ mark (and I get the sense there aren't many of those on these boards).

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GodEatGod
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posted on 3-18-2018 at 05:15 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
ZSJ is definitely an acquired taste. I appreciate him, but I don't always enjoy him, if that makes any sense? And his build and bodytype are just...odd. But he's very good at what he does and, when the chemistry's right, he can have fantastic matches.

In a way, I feel the same way about Tanahashi. He's a great worker and I've liked lots of his matches, but I just don't quite get his charisma or appeal as a character. He's definitely an excellent professional wrestler, but he's not my favorite. He's just kind of a guy.





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niles81
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posted on 3-21-2018 at 01:13 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
ZSJ tapped out Tanahashi in one hell of a match that I unfortunately had the end result spoiled for me because I was stupid enough to log onto Twitter before putting the match on and now I'm reduced to writing run-on sentences on an online message forum that hasn't updated it's format since the early 2000's which is exactly why I like coming here because it's simple and charming and I like participating in wrestle drafts and grammar is fun for all ages.

Now that I have that out of my system - this was a great match! I do believe ZSJ has officially won me over. His style seems to be made for New Japan. I loved his ring awareness when he had this crazy looking submission hold applied to Tanahashi at the end of the match. They were super close to the ropes so there was this death struggle between the two of them - Tana trying to grab them and ZSJ adjusting his hold in some impressive way to prevent him from doing so. ZSJ eventually dragged Tanahashi to the middle of the ring and the tap out was not long after.

Great tournament - I'm a little bummed Tanahashi didn't go over because I really liked the potential for that story (and would have been rooting for him to end Okada's title reign and retain what's left of his legacy).

That said - I can't wait to see what Okada and ZSJ pull out at Sakura Genesis.

It's still pretty early in the year and even with Daniel Bryan's return to the ring - New Japan looks to be the front-runner for promotion of the year in my books. They've done a great job developing themselves into a viable alternative to WWE and I'm not a Vince hater by any margin (I'm wearing a Roman Reigns ugly Christmas sweater right now - love the big dog).

Strong Style Evolved is happening this weekend at Long Beach. Looks to be a killer card - stoked for The Golden Lovers vs The Young Bucks. I hope Rey Mysterio has recovered sufficiently from his minor bicep injury because I'm looking forward to his bout against Jushin Liger. Hangman Page vs Jay White for the IWGP US title should be a solid affair as well.

On a different note - any chance we can get this thread pinned to the top? I plan on updating it as time goes by since it seems at least some people are reading and responding to it. Hopefully - I succeed in getting more OOsters eyes on the product so that I can get more votes in the wrestle drafts when I decided to book obscure Japanese talent against obscure American talents in matches that I personally wank to.

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niles81
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posted on 3-22-2018 at 11:40 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Well it looks like Rey Mysterio has been pulled from the show. Will Ospreay will be the one to face of against Jushin Liger now. This should still be a fun match but it is a bit of a bummer that we won't get the novelty of Rey Mysterio in New Japan.
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CamstunPWG187
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posted on 3-28-2018 at 05:40 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
The main event tag match between Golden Lovers and The Young Bucks is my match of the year.
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niles81
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posted on 3-28-2018 at 03:43 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Just finished watching it. Fantastic story. Love the new heavyweight version of the Young Bucks. There's a LOT more emotional depth to their characters now.

Ibushi seemed he was off by a step throughout that match. That counter he tried to pull of where he did the standing back-flip and ended up landing on his head was brutal!

So far - that's the only match I've had time to check out. I'll be looking into watching the US title match and Okada/Ishii vs ZSJ/Suzuki soon.

[Edited on 3-28-2018 by niles81]

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posted on 3-29-2018 at 02:10 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Full disclosure: I am not a Young Bucks fan. Their matches are usually just spotfests with very little storytelling for psychology.

This match was excellent though. They can be a really good team when they want to be.





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"I hate it when I'm watching along at home and I'm envisioning certain common sense things, and WWE just leaves all that money on the table to do something that will have no result other than send viewers looking for something else."

-- The Rick

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posted on 4-2-2018 at 06:18 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Sakura Genesis

If you haven't seen Sakura Genesis yet and you are short on time: Will Ospreay vs Marty Scurll for the Jr Heavyweight Championship and ZSJ vs Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship are essential viewing.

The Jr Heavyweight bout in particular is absolutely match of the night in my books.

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posted on 4-19-2018 at 11:07 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
So I finally got around to watching Cody vs Kenny Omega from Supercard of Honor. Yes - I know that was an ROH show but it's a New Japan storyline and ROH is more or less a feeder promotion to New Japan these days (or if I'm being kind - a sister promotion).

I had the winner of the match spoiled for me by Cody's Twitter account about a week before I watched it so I knew he beat Kenny. The content of the tweet was 'THE BUCKS CHOSE ME KENNY!!!" so I figured they got involved and fully turned.

Thanks to that "misunderstanding" - I was blown away by the end of the match and laughed out loud. The Bucks came in and they were clearly aiming to superkick the fuck out of Cody only for him to fall out of the way just before the simul-kicks landed. This resulted in Kenny getting booted to the face and costing him the match.

Cody spinning that into "THE BUCKS CHOSE ME KENNY!!!" is something I happen to find amazingly hilarious. It was also a pleasant surprise to find out that even though I had been spoiled - the spoilers were incomplete. Cody is on fire these days.

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CamstunPWG187
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posted on 5-5-2018 at 12:12 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Ok, so...given what just happened at dontaku, is it time for OKADA to drop the strap?

Him and Omega will be in a 2/3 falls match at Dominion with NO time limit.

Canít wait!!

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posted on 5-5-2018 at 12:38 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CamstunPWG187
Ok, so...given what just happened at dontaku, is it time for OKADA to drop the strap?

Him and Omega will be in a 2/3 falls match at Dominion with NO time limit.

Canít wait!!


Honestly, I'm not sure. It feels like Omega should eventually find a way to win one of these matches, but New Japan booking doesn't necessarily work that way. It seemed a lock that Naito would beat Okada at WK this year and...he didn't.

Match should be god damn amazing though.





"It is an impressively arrogant move to conclude that just because you don't like something, it is empirically not good. I don't like Chinese food, but I don't write articles trying to prove it doesn't exist." - Tina Fey

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posted on 5-5-2018 at 05:34 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Okadaís title reign is as legendary as it is almost soul-crushing.

I hope Omega finally beats hims.

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posted on 5-7-2018 at 10:05 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I really wish New Japan would get a Roku app. I hate watching on my laptop and it's way too arduous to get it showing on a tv.





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CamstunPWG187
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posted on 6-9-2018 at 06:04 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Holy fuck

After 10 years of watching Kenny Omega turn himself into the greatest pro wrestler alive today, he finally reached the apex of his career.

In one of the greatest pro wrestling fights I have ever witnessed, Kenny Omega put down Kazuchika Okada in 69 minutes in a 2 out of 3 falls war (2-1).

I have followed Kenny Omega since a mere mention of him getting destroyed by Samoa Joe in his hometown promotion because Joe wanted to be unprofessional and not do him any favors, despite him being the star of that local fed.

The first match I ever saw with him was in PWG at the Battle of Los Angeles 2008 against Brandon Bonham. It's one of the best matches on the show and I knew Omega would go onto bigger things, given how much the fans seemed to like him.

Since then, Omega turned himself into what folby described as "an absolute stud", having fantastic matches with Davey, Cesaro, El Generico, Kevin Steen, and Roderick Strong throughout ROH (even met him and had my picture taken with him at Danielson's last ROH show at Glory By Honor 8) and PWG. The man could seemingly do no wrong, and when he finally went to Japan to become the best he could possibly ever become, I accepted it and figured I would not see him again for a long time.

Then, in 2012, he came back to PWG in a surprise match and absolutely stole the show in a tag team with El Generico against the Young Bucks in a HUGE surprise since someone got injured, requiring PWG to need to pull a rabbit out of their hat (his original foes in PWG dating back to 2009. Yes, that is how far back their relationship has gone with each other, including with El Generico), then proceeded to make appearances about once a year in BOLA, not letting his relationship with Japan ever become anything but unbreakable.

In August 2016, the mother fucker won the G1 Climax against one of my favorite performers in Japan, Hiroki Goto, and I realized "holy shit, this guy has a title match at Wrestlekingdom next January!".

Then, it happened. Last year, he turned himself into a bonafide main event war hero in the Match of the Year against Okada at WrestleKingdom 11, in a match I watched sick as a dog with the flu, not once even feeling it during the 46 minutes of intensely gripping action. No spoilers or nothing. It was like I was there live, as Don Callis and Kevin Kelly called the match beautifully.

It was by this point that I completely switched my focus to New Japan. The promotion was pushing big stars who worked their asses off, and every time Omega sniffed the belt or a main event spot, I was there for the ride, cheering him on. Kenny Omega had become a legit draw for me, on the level of a Stone Cold Steve Austin. I love the guy.

If you see this match after having been spoiled and you say "it's overrated", well, whatever. Your opinion on the matter is irrelevant to me at that point. Do yourself a favor and stop spoiling stuff for yourself and watch a match without them. It was beautiful match that Meltzer will no doubt give 10 stars to, and I don't care. It was picture-perfect pro wrestling and it's everything I watch this business for.

Thank you, Kenny Omega, for allowing me to tag along for one of the most monumental, fun rides I have ever experienced in my life.

You ARE Pro Wrestling.

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posted on 6-9-2018 at 10:32 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I have a work trip coming up soon and was considering my options as entertainment for the extended and boring travel.

You just gave me the answer. Find out what and who Omega is.

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posted on 6-10-2018 at 03:07 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Jericho becoming the ten time IC Champion by winning another promotion's IC belt is a twist I didn't see coming.
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posted on 6-10-2018 at 05:18 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
It was one of the best shows New Japan has ever put on, for sure.
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posted on 6-12-2018 at 03:04 AM Edit Post Reply With Quote
Yeah - watched Okada/Omega IV last night and I must admit: it was pretty incredible.

Before I label it the greatest match of all time - I'd have to put it up to rewatching scrutiny to see how it holds up. But as far as a story told in the moment - good lord, that was everything it should have been.

I loved the added touch of giving Ibushi a towel to hold at ringside. I found myself constantly wondering if the match would end with Ibushi throwing the towel in - culminating in an Okada heel turn and Omega/Ibushi being a hot feud.

While that scenerio would be entertaining - Omega winning was definitely the better call. This was definitely a case of pulling the trigger at the right time. Beautifully told in-ring storytelling.

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posted on 6-14-2018 at 08:52 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I went in with the ending spoiled and all the hype in advance and I still thought it was one of the best matches I've ever seen. Best of all time is a silly metric and completely subjective, but my god, it was a glorious display of pro wrestling. Even if it's not the best of all time, you can't fault anyone for feeling like it was because it's that damn good.

So many great little touches. Teasing the idea of Ibushi throwing in the towel. The double countout spot with the crowd audibly being like NO NO NO NOT LIKE THIS. Setting up a table and never actually putting someone through it, because they're both too good and block every attempt. Crazy dives, vicious chops, some of the best selling I've ever seen. Awesome psychology and callbacks to previous matches, or even to earlier spots within the same match.





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posted on 6-14-2018 at 10:12 PM Edit Post Reply With Quote
I always figured Okada woul drop it to either Omega or Naito because they're his only real peers but somehow this still suprised me. The first trilogy had Omega's win buried in the G1 tournament so he needed a win over Okada in a stage where all the attention would be on him, it was a rare gimmick match, Omega is as hot as ever and despite all that it still suprises me they pulled the trigger.

I guess Okada was just that damn dominant as Champion.

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