For the tens of you that were hoping there would be more statistical analysis of Japanese wrestling, you’re in luck. Last month, I looked at the results of Dragon Gate in 2015, specifically, the people involved in the falls. Now, I’m turning my attention to New Japan. Every New Japan card since January 1 is included in this analysis. I am excluding some wrestlers from the charts, though. Most of Suzuki-gun has been removed, due to their only participation being at Wrestle Kingdom 9. This helps make the graphics a bit more concise.
The first table shows each wrestler’s raw record (Matches), along with the number of times they were involved in the fall (Falls). For example, Shinsuke Nakamura is 26-24 overall, but he is 19-3 when involved in the fall. On the flip side, we have YOSHI-HASHI. He has an overall record of 21-27, but he has an abysmal record of 2-24 when directly involved in the fall. The record in falls creates a pretty clear hierarchy in the New Japan roster.
It’s interesting to note that of the wrestlers with more than two total matches, only two of them have yet to lose a fall. Current IWGP Heavyweight champion A.J. Styles (11-0) shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Hiroyoshi Tenzan (12-0), however, caught me off-guard. With the way he has been booked, a victory of Tenzan should still be held in high regard. They don’t hand them out regularly. Kazuchika Okada is currently the leader in Net Falls (Falls Won – Falls Lost). This is mostly due to his complete domination during the current Best of the Super Juniors tour.
The next table shows Okada’s climb on a month by month basis. After having a quiet January-March, which included losses to Hiroshi Tanahashi and Bad Luck Fale, he has been on fire for the past 8 weeks. Okada gained ten Net Falls in April, seven more in May and has already picked up another three in June. He is being built as strong as possible heading into his title shot at Dominion in July. On the flip side of Okada is Jay White. White has had 36 matches in 2015. He has been the fall guy in 34 of them. The race is on between White and Cody Hall to see who eats the most falls this year.
Just like in my Dragon Gate analysis, I wanted to look into momentum. To track momentum, I give each match a certain amount of weight based on how long ago it happened. For example, a match that happened two months ago carries half the weight as a match that happens today. Right now, Okada is almost lapping the field. His weighted score (16.2) is nearly double the score of his stable mate, Shinsuke Nakamura (8.2). The redemption of Kazuchika Okada is in full effect. Current IWGP Intercontinental champion Hirooki Goto sits in third, which is unsurprising. I was a little surprised to see Ryusuke Taguchi with such a strong total, but it makes sense. He was booked strong around his title shot and had a solid showing in the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
With another month to go before the Dominion PPV, the landscape of these ratings should change. I expect Hiroshi Tanahashi to continue make a climb with the G1 looming in the distance. I would expect one of Togi Makabe/Tomohiro Ishii to build up some momentum with the NEVER title. That belt has become a bit stagnant with those guys playing hot potato over the past few months. It’s time to build someone up and get them a real challenger. I’m most interested in Nakamura’s build. I don’t expect him to regain the IC title, so there will be a balancing act of him dropping a fall to Goto while simultaneously staying strong for the G1. I will be re-visiting this analysis before the G1, with the hope of using these momentum numbers to pick the winner. I have a feeling this will shed a lot of light on the potential winner.