VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

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Rich Kraetsch
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VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:51 am

The Voices of Wrestling flagship podcast is back after a crazy week in pro wrestling to talk all things NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11: the incredible four match streak, Hiroshi Tanahashi's new reality, the continued evolution of Katsuyori Shibata and Hirooki Goto, the breathtaking main event that Joe Lanza gave ***** and so much more.

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suplexberry
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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by suplexberry » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:15 pm

Great fucking show. I had to hide many a giggle on public transport on the dick measuring segment and "Joe calling them cartoons" segment. I 100% agree on Cole. It's my New Year's Resolution to avoid this guy as much as I can in any company he's in. And I'm totally with Joe on the jr tag match.

I don't really have that much to say about The Match 2.0 (ie Okada vs Omega) but I have tons to say about Naito vs Tanahashi. I rewatched their earlier singles matches and holy balls, this was about as callback heavy as you can get. Tanahashi punched Naito in the ribs in the corner in the opening stretch of their match in 2011 Destruction, and in the Dome in 2017. When Naito beat him at the G1 in 2013, Naito put his fist over Tanahashi's chest, in a gesture that can be interpreted in a shoot way ("thanks for making me look great on the biggest win of my career") but also in a kayfabe way ("you destroyed me and I still beat you"). The same way that same gesture can be read in 2017.

But this wasn't Naito the young babyface struggling to convey character and passion, nor was this the Ace Tanahashi at the top of his game. Naito was always ahead of him, and most importantly, Naito was confident. Tanahashi was desperate. Naito loved it, even when slapped around he's got a shit-eating grin on his face because he knew he was better. Tanahashi knew he was fighting insurmountable odds and tried to play mindgames with his usual disrespectful slaps and deeply stitched in cloverleaf submissions, wanting to make Naito tap like a young boy. Wasn't going to happen. This was so gripping, especially when you apply that full context of all those callback spots and amazing facial expressions, and yeah, holy fuck.

To tie this further into what Rich talked about wrt the heel/face stuff; I think in 2015, Naito was absolutely a heel, but in 2016 his character morphed and he definitely became this guy who did things his way, regardless of what you thought of it (*cue My Way promo package from WM17*). And most people loved it, so now it's just who he is. One of my favorite things about this Tana match was Red Shoes shrugging off Naito's shenanigans, almost like he was this neighborhood kid, always up to some japes but not really seriously being bad. At the end of the day, he fistbumps little kids who love him like he's their cooler elder brother.

You can also see shades of grey everytime KUSHIDA decides his title is more important than playing nice, or when Tanahashi turns into a dick mid-match or whatever else have you. It's interesting. I don't know if I'm reading too much into it, but yeah, it's interesting.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:18 pm

suplexberry wrote:You can also see shades of grey everytime KUSHIDA decides his title is more important than playing nice, or when Tanahashi turns into a dick mid-match or whatever else have you. It's interesting. I don't know if I'm reading too much into it, but yeah, it's interesting.
Not at all. I think it's done with purpose and better conveys actual human emotion much better than the old wrestling "THIS GUY IS GOOD AND SMILES ALL THE TIME AND DOESN'T BREAK RULES" vs. "THIS GUY IS EVIL AND ALWAYS BREAKS THE RULES". Most people are shades of gray, particularly athletes who are self-driven, self-motivated creatures who want to prove they are the best. In many of those instances even the nicest people have to get a little mean to win or to reach the next plateau in their career.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by noggy » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:57 pm

Jut finished the part about the NJPW shows in America, and forgive me if you guys went back to the subject later on, but I'd one up just doing a Okada/Omega match. I'd have Omega win the title there. What better way to make a statement about how serious they are about international expansion than having the IWGP Heavyweight title change hands outside of Japan for the first time?

Is that too crazy?

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by rwa2play » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:11 pm

noggy wrote:Jut finished the part about the NJPW shows in America, and forgive me if you guys went back to the subject later on, but I'd one up just doing a Okada/Omega match. I'd have Omega win the title there. What better way to make a statement about how serious they are about international expansion than having the IWGP Heavyweight title change hands outside of Japan for the first time?

Is that too crazy?
I, for one, don't think it's too crazy; I think it's putting your best foot forward in America.

About WK and New Japan in general: That is why I'd rather take my hard-earned money and support NJ rather than the WWE. I want this, I want to support this and I want NJ to know, to understand that not only are there fans in America that want to take the bad taste that is the WWE out of their mouths. There are fans in America that want a promotion like NJ to be the #1 promotion in the world. To give a message to Vince that there is a better company than you that's a more satisfying experience than anything you can put out.

People want to spend ungodly sums of money to watch a mediocre show in a dome? That's their money. Me? I want to feel like I haven't burned through my money to go to a city, to watch a show and to feel satisfaction that I haven't burned through my money. The WWE makes me feel like I burned through my money, NJPW makes me feel that I got what I wanted in buying a ticket or buying a subscription.

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ch3cooh
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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by ch3cooh » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:16 pm

Which has made Rich more uncomfortable butt stuff banter or dick measuring/straight missionary everytime banter?

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Joe Lanza
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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:48 pm

suplexberry wrote:Great fucking show. I had to hide many a giggle on public transport on the dick measuring segment and "Joe calling them cartoons" segment. I 100% agree on Cole. It's my New Year's Resolution to avoid this guy as much as I can in any company he's in. And I'm totally with Joe on the jr tag match.

I don't really have that much to say about The Match 2.0 (ie Okada vs Omega) but I have tons to say about Naito vs Tanahashi. I rewatched their earlier singles matches and holy balls, this was about as callback heavy as you can get. Tanahashi punched Naito in the ribs in the corner in the opening stretch of their match in 2011 Destruction, and in the Dome in 2017. When Naito beat him at the G1 in 2013, Naito put his fist over Tanahashi's chest, in a gesture that can be interpreted in a shoot way ("thanks for making me look great on the biggest win of my career") but also in a kayfabe way ("you destroyed me and I still beat you"). The same way that same gesture can be read in 2017.

But this wasn't Naito the young babyface struggling to convey character and passion, nor was this the Ace Tanahashi at the top of his game. Naito was always ahead of him, and most importantly, Naito was confident. Tanahashi was desperate. Naito loved it, even when slapped around he's got a shit-eating grin on his face because he knew he was better. Tanahashi knew he was fighting insurmountable odds and tried to play mindgames with his usual disrespectful slaps and deeply stitched in cloverleaf submissions, wanting to make Naito tap like a young boy. Wasn't going to happen. This was so gripping, especially when you apply that full context of all those callback spots and amazing facial expressions, and yeah, holy fuck.

To tie this further into what Rich talked about wrt the heel/face stuff; I think in 2015, Naito was absolutely a heel, but in 2016 his character morphed and he definitely became this guy who did things his way, regardless of what you thought of it (*cue My Way promo package from WM17*). And most people loved it, so now it's just who he is. One of my favorite things about this Tana match was Red Shoes shrugging off Naito's shenanigans, almost like he was this neighborhood kid, always up to some japes but not really seriously being bad. At the end of the day, he fistbumps little kids who love him like he's their cooler elder brother.

You can also see shades of grey everytime KUSHIDA decides his title is more important than playing nice, or when Tanahashi turns into a dick mid-match or whatever else have you. It's interesting. I don't know if I'm reading too much into it, but yeah, it's interesting.
I called Kenny a genius, and he is.

Tanahashi is a wrestling genius is a completely different way. His matches with/against Shibata & Okada are loaded with a lot of similar shit.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by dancecab » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:41 pm

Glad I'm not the only one who's loving GoD now. I was worried I was getting some weird Stockholm syndrome. They are soo much fun to watch now. Great show once again. I was DYING at the Shibata/Goto match breakdown at work.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by BackLash » Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:00 pm

I wouldn't mind Tanahashi beating Okada, Omega, and Naito but never truly "clean". Like if his opponents do an injury angle or Tana pins a Gedo/Yujiro/EVIL in a tag match with them in it. Just so he could say "I beat you on so-and-so so I'm still an Ace" and further delude himself.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Garuda » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:13 pm

Hell of a breakdown. I'm so jacked for NJPW 2017.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Mustybacon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:07 pm

Great show as usual. I listen as quickly as possible every week and I am always bummed when the show ends. Joe's enthusiasm and passion is always a highlight. Dick measuring and butt play discussions ensure I don't listen in mixed company, but that is certainly not a criticism. I do not have access to NJPW World through my Roku or XBox, so I will wait for the Axs broadcast. Joe and Rich's review of the show tell me it will be worth watching. I do have a question for Joe: I recently purchased 'The Legend of Tiger Mask' set and 'Dynamite Kid in Japan' from Highspots, have you watched either one? Thanks, and keep up the great work!

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:11 pm

Mustybacon wrote:Great show as usual. I listen as quickly as possible every week and I am always bummed when the show ends. Joe's enthusiasm and passion is always a highlight. Dick measuring and butt play discussions ensure I don't listen in mixed company, but that is certainly not a criticism. I do not have access to NJPW World through my Roku or XBox, so I will wait for the Axs broadcast. Joe and Rich's review of the show tell me it will be worth watching. I do have a question for Joe: I recently purchased 'The Legend of Tiger Mask' set and 'Dynamite Kid in Japan' from Highspots, have you watched either one? Thanks, and keep up the great work!
I haven't, but chances are I've seen most if not all of the matches because I've seen everything I could get my hands on from both guys in that era.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Mustybacon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:21 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:
Mustybacon wrote:Great show as usual. I listen as quickly as possible every week and I am always bummed when the show ends. Joe's enthusiasm and passion is always a highlight. Dick measuring and butt play discussions ensure I don't listen in mixed company, but that is certainly not a criticism. I do not have access to NJPW World through my Roku or XBox, so I will wait for the Axs broadcast. Joe and Rich's review of the show tell me it will be worth watching. I do have a question for Joe: I recently purchased 'The Legend of Tiger Mask' set and 'Dynamite Kid in Japan' from Highspots, have you watched either one? Thanks, and keep up the great work!
I haven't, but chances are I've seen most if not all of the matches because I've seen everything I could get my hands on from both guys in that era.
If I were to review the sets, where is the best thread to post them?

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by throwstuff165 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:23 pm

Great show. Especially enjoyed the KUSHIDA/Takahashi discussion. I wasn't as high on the match as a lot of people I saw, but going back and watching it after hearing y'all break down Takahashi as a character and wrestler made me appreciate it a lot more. There was some stuff I hadn't considered in there.

I agree with Joe that Okada/Shibata is the likely WK12 matchup, but I'm curious: do you then see Okada dropping and regaining the belt at some point during the year? If so, to who? Looking over some of the options, it seems to me that he might be holding it all year and then dropping it at the Dome, either to Shibata or possibly Naito if they go that direction instead.

And speaking of Okada, it's always good to see him get his due. I think newer wrestling fans in 10-15 years are going to watch his stuff and be baffled that he had as many detractors in his time as he does. They'll look back on this time the way we look back on the era of the Four Pillars.

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Re: VOW Flagship: NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 Review

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:26 pm

Mustybacon wrote:
Joe Lanza wrote:
Mustybacon wrote:Great show as usual. I listen as quickly as possible every week and I am always bummed when the show ends. Joe's enthusiasm and passion is always a highlight. Dick measuring and butt play discussions ensure I don't listen in mixed company, but that is certainly not a criticism. I do not have access to NJPW World through my Roku or XBox, so I will wait for the Axs broadcast. Joe and Rich's review of the show tell me it will be worth watching. I do have a question for Joe: I recently purchased 'The Legend of Tiger Mask' set and 'Dynamite Kid in Japan' from Highspots, have you watched either one? Thanks, and keep up the great work!
I haven't, but chances are I've seen most if not all of the matches because I've seen everything I could get my hands on from both guys in that era.
If I were to review the sets, where is the best thread to post them?
create one

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