Garuda wrote:I've been catching up on the G1 and loving it. I respect your Marufuji MVP pick, but I'm looking at either Okada or Ishii for that slot. The former, in particular, needs to be more discussed for the Thesz/Flair after this tournament. I guess people are getting tired of him, but I think you overvalue shiny-newness if you think Naito is significantly ahead of Okada.
Totally agree with this! I have a hard time understanding why no one is talking about Okada for Thesz/Flair. He is the main eventer of one of the biggest companies in the world, he has had some remarkable matches (Tanahashi in the dome, Naito matches, Ishii and Marufuji) and NJPW is drawing quite well considering they lost Nakamura. Styles, Bullet Club in theory and only had Tanahashi for half the year thus far. The fact he is overlooked baffles me.
Okada will do well, I don't know if he'll win, but he'll do well.
There is a segment of people who have turned on him and turned hard. It's confusing to me. "He hasn't evolved" is one argument I hear, and to me it reeks of bullshit. What does that even mean? Should he totally change who he is? Go through a gimmick change? Grow wings? How has Tanahashi evolved since 2010 or so? What great evolution did Hulk Hogan undergo from 83-94? Inoki? How about Ric Flair, how did he evolve from about 1978-1993? The idea that Okada hasn't "evolved" being some sort of huge negative is the biggest crock of shit going today. I legitimately have no idea what it even means.
"Is he a heel or a face?" Who cares? Is this 1985 WWF? Fans cheer and boo who they want, and NJPW seems OK with that. We see it with Naito, we see it with The Elite, we see it with CHAOS. Another bullshit critique.
"He can't draw on his own." First of all, what does this mean? Who can? Everyone needs strong opponents. Secondly, he is a proven draw, and I'm not going to do it now, but I can list all of the instances that he has drawn, including "on his own" if I am to assume that means with very little support if challenged. It isn't very hard. You only have to go back to Dominion drawing close to 10,000 with literally NOTHING underneath the Okada/Naito match or selling out Sumo Hall for Invasion Attack with GORILLAS OF DESTINY as the semi main event. Of course, some will say Naito had everything to do with that, and while they both deserve the credit, let's not forget hat Naito was an utter and complete failure as a top guy until he came back from Mexico with somebody else's gimmick. Okada has been drawing big boy houses for years.
"He can't work". Everyone is entitled to an opinion here, but consensus says otherwise when the guy pumps out great match after great match, including the Tanahashi match that will probably win or seriously challenge for MOTY and was an all time great match, the Naito matches, the Ishii match that will also challenge for MOTY, the Maru match, etc. This is a guy that dragged the corpse of Tenryu to a great match by sacrificing his body and his face to a guy who could barely move, let alone work at a competent level, saving a potential trainwreck. And he still has a Tanahashi match in front of him and several title matches that will likely rule, too.
I think Alan said it best with the anti Okada stuff. It's a small group of people in the grand scheme. They are wrong. Ignore them.