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VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:26 am
by Joe Lanza
No Rich, no problem. Rich is away on his belated honeymoon, so New Japan expert Mike Sempervive of Wrestling Observer Live steps into the co-host chair to break down Sakura Genesis. Among the deep dives – where Kazuchika Okada stands historically, the booking treatment of tag teams and juniors, and the controversial topic of shoot headbutts. Semp brings the goods, so don’t miss this one!

http://www.voicesofwrestling.com/2017/0 ... esis-2017/

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:32 am
by rollup
I enjoy these guest host spots ... maybe rich should go on a longer hiatus :lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 7:15 am
by suplexberry
Loved this show. You guys had great chemistry.

I think this match finally made believers out of some Okada doubters because literally everywhere it seems the talk is of how great he is and what a run this has been. I think he worked the match to perfection, making Shibata look like a billion yen and playing to the pro-Shibata crowd. It wasn't really out of character because Okada is kind of a cocky brat at times, and flirts with heelishness depending on opponent. Being there live, I really loved this match. It's my #1 of the year and gonna be tough to beat.

I'm not gonna rake you over the coals, Joe, but man was I shocked that you rated Kawato's ceiling as low as you did. He's so young I have no clue where he ends up, for every Tanahashi there is a Yoshitatsu etc but guys that age can change dramatically in just a few years. Right now he inspires those underdog feelings in the crowd and people are fond of his awkward demeanour but he's so young literally anything could happen. He could be the next Naito in terms of charisma because even Naito took until 32 to become his current form. Kawato has 15 years to hit prime. Considering young lions take about 5-7 years, excursions included, he's gonna be only 25-26 until we even see him in a gimmick. He's gonna grow, literally and figuratively, he's gonna find his personality, his look, his style of wrestling. He looks super awkward now but some guys are just a good haircut, some extra hours at the gym and some years away from being the next fangirl favorite hunk. He's not ugly or anything.

I personally think he's gonna become a junior to begin with and who knows, maybe even stay that way. I think that's also what this Liger thing is about. He's the only jr heavy young lion so Liger is taking a special interest and both cares for and is frustrated by this kid. It's so great. I think it's also fascinating they are not putting Oka over Kawato, and they end up in these time limit draws.

I hope to God NJPW doesn't start raiding other companies. For one, they have an already bloated roster. If you're gonna add anybody, please banish Tatsus and Taichis first, or start giving stables whole tours off. Second, I'm gonna feel bad for companies I watch but also don't watch. Everybody works so hard to secure their future prospects. And third, I couldn't deal with the puro fandom becoming a warzone.

Anyway, some older man came to chat to me while I was listening to the podcast at the Osaka park I went to today. I tried to talk to him about puro but he only knew Rikidozan and Inoki.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:31 pm
by Joe Lanza
Good response to this show so far.

Next week will be a very different guest.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:33 pm
by Empiresk
Great show. Was hoping for Sempervive after recently going through my DKP Show backlog and Joe and Mike was definitely the high point of another great podcast. Great chemistry and it is rare to hear two people with so much knowledge of Japanese wrestling just bouncing off each other with so much enthusiasm.

It will be very interesting to see how New Japan will react when WWE finally goes for the long term roster members it can realistically get. Omega, Bucks, Ospreay, Ricochet, GoD, Trent, Juice, Jay White and Finlay. If that happens alongisde one or two locals who decide to jump like Nakamura over the next two years then that would leave a big hole in the roster that can't be fixed by calling back Tanaka and Komatsu. They will have to do something.

Whether it is going after known commodities such as Shiozaki or Nakajima or gambling on youngsters like a T-Hawk, Endo or Kamitani it will be very interesting to see what would happen and how it would all theoretically play out. Sure they will get great foreigners over to replace the ones they will lose, but they still need a Japanese base and the Dojo isn't the Performance Centre churning out 30 guys a year.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:45 pm
by Brian Elliott
Looking forward to listening. :)

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:27 pm
by BoxingRobes
We were discussing Okada being a Top 100 worker all-time on another site, after one year of his push post-first title win.

This sudden revelation that he is one of, if not the best in the world seems like the world catching up. Very similar to Rich's comparison to LeBron James. For years people just fought the idea he was an All-Timer...until now, its just accepted he's an All-Timer and its not about if he is one, but where do you place him on the All-Time list. Okada is that, to me...when his career is over you may consider him #1 by volume of all-time great matches. He's having them with EVERYONE.

Modern day Ric Flair.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 1:11 am
by powerfulmgp
Always nice getting Mike in a more longform format, that's where he really excels.
Really enjoyed this one. Thanks Joe.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:22 am
by BackLash
This was my first time hearing Mike Sempervive and I'm happy that he filled the co-host role like a glove. I hope he comes back for a future podcast.

Including the NWA stint, I can't remember the last year where Tenzan and Kojima didn't win at least one title together or in singles. Tenzan is so over and Kojima's the man, they're just great. I'm going to be sad when the finally retire.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:34 pm
by BoxingRobes
The string of Young Lions they've had in the dojo recently is seemingly insane.

That 2010 class with Hiromu, Tama Tonga, Watanabe...and then Tanaka, Komatsu...to Jay White, David Finlay, Juice...to now Oka, Kitamora, and Kawato.

This company knows how to produce these guys at this point. WWE should take some notes. Got guys from all over the world, too.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:16 pm
by mlev76
Hearing Mike here made me miss his old shows with Dave a lot. I thought your chemistry was a little better since it sounded like contemporaries rather than a professor/assistant professor with Dave.

Listening to the show post Shibata news was a bit depressing. He has really been near the top of my favorites in the company over the last two years and the idea that he will never be back is both depressing and infuriating.

The whole Suzukigun stuff is well past the point of tolerable and having is seep into a match I actually cared about in ZSJ/Goto really pissed me off. It doesn't even help them because the interference doesn't actually get them wins and doesn't help them truly at all. I don't know about how they are using Zack as it seems like Ospreay redux in terms of wasting him.

Hiromu seems like someone who, depending on how Nakamura pans out over the next year or two, WWE will probably make a play for. He and Okada are probably the two most likely native targets by WWE.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:11 pm
by skeach101
Just thinking about the discussion on "Who is the next guy" in NJPW. SANADA I think will get a nice push... but I don't see him getting a "Shibata-like" run until 2019. For 2018... I could see Elgin getting a nice push. Maybe he wins NJ Cup next year.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:20 pm
by Ferrante207
Semp talks about Kushida moving up to heavy as if it's a foregone conclusion. Is this the case?

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:50 am
by suplexberry
Ferrante207 wrote:Semp talks about Kushida moving up to heavy as if it's a foregone conclusion. Is this the case?
I wondered about this, too. People keep doing and while I'm sure it's applicable to some guys, other guys, especially Japanese guys, I can see staying smaller and being good in that division, and hopefully lifting that division back up to its former height. "Moving up" is not an inevitability IMHO.

Re: VOW Flagship: Mike Sempervive talks Sakura Genesis

Posted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:56 am
by avengers23
Big Semp is one of the true godfathers of wrestling podcasting.