armsofsleep wrote:Lots of Gedo booking talk in detail, which is always fun. Undeniable that they've built stars and the stars are drawing, which I guess is the point of the business. I still think it's fair to be disappointed with the current booking strategy though.
I don't mind dominance, but why does Gedo feel the need to telegraph decisions months in advance? Why are the final four of the G1 made up of Naito and three guys who are holding belts already? Why are we giving Naito a big main event WK win a year late? It makes his previous title win against Okada feel pretty worthless. Just like it'll take another year or two (or three!) for Omega to finally get his main event win, and it won't have nearly the same impact (in terms of being good. I'm sure itll do fine business.) And if he loves dominance so much, why the weak flop back to KUSHIDA when Hiromu was more deserving than anyone of a monster push? Why did Hiromu lose meaningless matches in the BOSJ? I wish he would apply that philosophy to literally any other part of his booking (lets not even touch tag belts).
I get the motto with Gedo is to be patient, but approaching strictly from a storytelling perspective and not caring about business, it's a pretty tough pill to swallow. These young lion crops keep getting bigger and better, and the roster is getting a bit crowded. Give Ospreay and Ricochet something to do. Give Evil, Juice, Elgin, etc something to do. NJPW won't run out of talent, but we are going to look back in 5 years and see a nice chunk of Mascara Doradas because Gedo couldn't let go of his 600 year old booking plan scrolls.
Edit: Got farther in, the point that Shibata and Honma would've bumped Juice sort of furthers what I was saying. IMAGINE this G1 without Juice. God that's sad. He's my second in line for MVP behind Nagata.
Good post, and I feel like it deserves a response. Let me tackle it piece by piece.
-"Why are we giving Naito a big main event WK win a year late?"
I disagree strongly here. In hindsight, I don't see how anyone could argue with how WK, and ultimately the rest of the year, has played out. That match solidified Omega as a worldwide superstar and set the tone for Dominion, Long Beach, and everything else that followed. If Omega doesn't win G1 none of that happens. Naito beating Okada also would have derailed the most successful IWGP title run in years. WK was smack dab in the middle of Okada's momentum building run of drawing sellout after sellout. It's his signature run, the one that has lifted him from star to mega star. A Naito G1 win and WK victory changes all of this. Omega never gets to the next level and Okada's 2017 never happens.
They went with Okada over Naito, and it was very clearly the right move. Naito was already hot, he can have his big moment/year in 2018, and I'd argue he's peaking right now anyway.
I also disagree that his previous title win was worthless. It established him as a top guy capable of winning that title. And again, a longer run interferes with their Okada story, which considering how it has played out, has been a massive success and the correct path to take.
No no no on Naito winning last year. Just no.
-"Why the flip flop back to KUSHIDA?"
Agree 100%. Hiromu should have never lost to KUSHIDA, and he's being flat out abused ever since. He should not be dropping falls. He was ultra protected all year, working semi main events, even had billing at WK, never dropped falls, and was looking like a future main eventer (heavy or otherwise). Now he's just another junior pin eater on the undercard. Baffling, baffling stuff. KUSHIDA had his time. He helped get Hiromu over as unstoppable. That redemption story was rushed and a mistake.
And don't get me started on Daryl. Goofy prelim shit not befitting of a main event player. But maybe they don't see him as a main event player, which to me is crazy, because he could be, even as a junior. It's all the more frustrating because it looked like the juniors were moving up in perception and treatment, and now Hiromu is eating pins from low level heavies like Juice. No beuno.
-"Give Ricochet & Will something to do."
YES. If Hiromu HAD to lose, it should have been Will. KUSHIDA should have been in the rear view, the story should have been that he simply can't hang (for now) with this new guy. Will was fresh, the only guy Hiromu hadn't beaten yet, and is a worldwide superstar. He's the most neglected potential star in the comapny since 2012, and yes that includes Shibata or anybody else people want to bring up.
-"Give EVIL, Juice, Elgin something to do."
Sure, and it looks like EVIL will be getting a title match. But you can't push everybody. If you push everyone, you're pushing no one.
-"The roster is getting crowded"
This is a good problem to have. Some guys will be left out when it comes to pushes. That's unfortunately how it works. At the end of the day, the booker's job is to draw money, not to ensure everyone gets an at bat. So far, they've pushed the right buttons nearly every time in regards to the top of the card.
Gedo's booking is slow, and it is deliberate. This produces some frustration in terms of rematches or slow deveoping pushes, both valid asthetic complaints.