VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

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Rich Kraetsch
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VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:54 pm

This week on the Voices of Wrestling flagship podcast, Joe and Rich discuss the return of Daniel Bryan, what we can expect with his return and why the narrative around his return has us bothered. Other topics on the show include a breakdown of New Japan Pro Wrestling's New Japan Cup, the star-making performances of Zack Sabre Jr. and the masterful booking in making Sabre the winner.

We also delve into a short preview of NJPW's Strong Style Evolved show from Los Angeles and ponder why so many tickets are still available on secondary markets.

Last but certainly not least, the annual WrestleMania week tradition: Joe Lanza's Path of Greatness. Joe lets the listener know the best schedule of shows to attend this WrestleMania weekend and why his path is the greatest of paths.

We ran out of time on this show so the WON Awards discussion can be found on our Patreon ($2 tier) at patreon.com/voiceswrestling.

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mlev76
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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by mlev76 » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:44 pm

Three things that must be considered when discussing Bryan being shelved:

1) At the time of Bryan's retirement, a major concussion lawsuit was just ramping up, the Punk/Dr. Amnon suit had just started and there were tons of stories coming out about concussions from the NFL;
2) Bryan has not been forthright about his health to his own wife much less WWE; and
3) It was less than 10 years removed from a major star murdering his family and himself as a result of concussion based trauma. You could argue that Bryan in 2016 was a bigger star than Benoit in 2007 and if something,anything happened, it could be a mortal wound to the company.

Bryan is a big time star beyond just the ring given his involvement in the Total Divas/Bellas series. I don't think staying in WWE is about money as much as lifestyle as a new father. Going to New Japan would be great professionally, but being across the world from a young child probably isn't that appealing to him.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by armsofsleep » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:47 pm

> Joe goes on a month long tirade about Vince being overrated as a "star maker" because stars fell into his lap or he fucked them up for awhile before eventually seeing their potential months after the fact

> Gedo fucks around with one of the top 5 biggest stars in independent wrestling, a guy who has been a star for years of his own making and a champion of dozens of promotions all over the world, puts him in the worst faction and it's a terrible fit because his biggest wins come by virtue of interference which completely undermines him, and then lets him win the B-tournament and the honor to job to Okada in 26 minutes to set up his next real challenger

"In one week, Zack Sabre Jr. was made into a STAR"

Congrats on the nuptials though atleast it sounds like you're sure making TLB into a star. Giving her the rocket push!


Edit:

Glad you went more in depth on the ZSJ thing. I won't do the "I picked Sabre!!!" thing (I picked Tanahashi, although Sabre was so clearly the second most obvious choice once the bracket came out). I still don't really agree with your assessment of the booking, but atleast you try to lay it out pretty factually. Well, besides that "if you think Gedo is a bad booker you are just biased and don't understand wrestling" line, which is still funny because 70-80% of his booking is garbage, and someone with that track record can't exactly be the GOAT for me.


If it makes you feel better, I don't think the "Juice is a top 20 worker in the world" is THAT outlandish of a statement. Especially if you are primarily a WWE/NJPW guy. I think he would be on the low end of my 100, but that's mainly because I tend to watch a lot more different promotions instead of every single show from a handful of promotions like Joe does.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:19 pm

Fwiw, here is what I watch regularly

WWE, and all of which that entails
NJPW
Impact
ROH
NOAH
DG
AJPW

Here is what I watch sporadically

AAW (maybe half of the shows?)
W1 (big matches/guys I like)
CMLL (a few minutes here & there, stuff people rec)
random Texas indies (mostly Lions Pride, Inspire, Circus until recently)
EVOLVE (most shows)
PROGRESS (waaaaaay behind)
RevPro (whatever ends up on NJW)
Aussie/NZ indies (recs, stuff on this forums thread)
random lucha recs
PWG (2 or 3 shows per year)
random Japan indies when they catch my interest or when I'm bored

Stuff I've totally handwaved due to paywall or because it stinks

Chikara
WrestleCircus
Lucha Underground
DDT
Big Japan
CWF Mid Atlantic (boy, did I try hard. so hard.)
AAA (just haven't in ages for no particular reason)

This is just to give context to what my eyes are seeing with that Juice take.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by armsofsleep » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:29 pm

Joe Lanza wrote: Impact
Brother you gotta love yourself. Watch Tuesday Puebla or something lmao.


Also, hard relate to the trying with CWF thing. Has there ever been a bigger difference in a promotion between the highest high end stuff (like I actually adore a lot of the Trevor Lee stuff and a lot of the Cain Justice stuff) and the average house working standard (which is basically a few steps away from backyard wrestling but not as fun)

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:12 pm

armsofsleep wrote:
Joe Lanza wrote: Impact
Brother you gotta love yourself. Watch Tuesday Puebla or something lmao.


Also, hard relate to the trying with CWF thing. Has there ever been a bigger difference in a promotion between the highest high end stuff (like I actually adore a lot of the Trevor Lee stuff and a lot of the Cain Justice stuff) and the average house working standard (which is basically a few steps away from backyard wrestling but not as fun)
Have no idea if you are a subscriber but I bury CWF-MA pretty hard on the WON Awards show, and say almost exactly what you just said here.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by mlev76 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:30 am

Shannon was originally on Z100 and was one of the first "Morning Zoo" guys. All I remember about was Mr. Leonard, "Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey" and being perplexed why the kids at school listened to that when Howard Stern existed (my parents were clearly more permissive in letting me listen to Stern).

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Ckkj14 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:23 am

Just a warning Joe, Progress on Friday will have a much better card than the Saturday I’d imagine as a lot of the top talent is only doing Progress on Friday. Looks like our paths are quite different at the moment. Will see you at Riddles bloodsport though. If your looking for something Wednesday night you can get Pelicans tickets for about $6 on Stubhub.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Ckkj14 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:33 am

As a big sports fan myself was intrigued to hear you both say you’ve no desire to do Mania live and Joe saying he could have gone to a Super Bowl live for his Rams and turned it down. Do you guys enjoy live sport or do you prefer watching at home always? I’d always choose watching sport live over watching at home. Same for Mania.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:34 am

- I think I will hit you up with a request: if the WM Week Preview show goes down as indicated, will it be possible to get both Mike Falcone and Jeff Hawkins on, just so you can say you got both of the Birds of Prey on the same show?

- Many thanks for shouting out Trevor Dane, a real good dude and someone who's become a bit of a hero elsewhere...

- TBF Joe, people can be rich and still cut coupons to save some more money, it's just very unlikely

- While I agree that beating Sanada ultimately doesn't matter, I'm a bit surprised you guys didn't mention that, in beating him, Sabre Jr. dropped the most recent challenger to Okada, someone who has been heated up recently, which in storyline was only slightly less important than the other guys he dropped on the way to this point

- Saying that they're building to Sabre Jr. having Ibushi's number might be a bit misleading--can you really do that when the two are 1-1 in NJPW, and you only have to go back to last year to remember the Ibushi victory?

- So who comprises the rest of the current Joe Lanza/Juice Robinson Top 20, where Juice presumably is #1?

RE: "Some of them are as dumb as a box of rocks"

Sorry

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:49 pm

Ckkj14 wrote:As a big sports fan myself was intrigued to hear you both say you’ve no desire to do Mania live and Joe saying he could have gone to a Super Bowl live for his Rams and turned it down. Do you guys enjoy live sport or do you prefer watching at home always? I’d always choose watching sport live over watching at home. Same for Mania.
Depends on the sport.

Live football is utter shit and I will never go again.

The thing with WrestleMania, is the size of the venues. It just doesn't look appealing to me to watch a show in that environment. Obviously I love live wrestling.

Being able to say "I've been to a SB" or "I've been to WM" as a check mark/experience thing doesn't mean a whole lot to me, so that's why I'll probably never go.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by suplexberry » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:56 pm

The Daniel Bryan comeback is pretty bittersweet for me, and you guys went over a lot of the reasons why. He's a guy so passionate about wrestling that the indy scene would really be great for him. He's talked about innovating his style so it's less heavy on impact (though as you said, all wrestling has its dangers) and doing more mat-based stuff. He's heaped praised on guys ranging from ZSJ to CMLL guys. Not saying he can't ever do great stuff in WWE - he will, because he's adapted to that company and he will excel at anything he puts his mind to. But even if we're not gonna get a series of dream matches, I don't know if WWE even cares enough to pay off some of the stories there's a lot of history for, like his feud with the Miz or his friendly rivalry with Cena or whatever else have you.

I hope he works through his contract and re-considers his options in September or whenever that contract is due. Yeah, a NJPW tour is gonna take you away from family for a few weeks. But you don't have to work every tour - in fact, you probably don't even have to work most tours (though Bryan is the type who would probably enjoy chilling in an 8 man tag as a member of Taguchi Japan against LIJ in the main event of a house show in Beppu). Then you also have the freedom to do it all, from 16 Carat to CMLL, or stay home for a month and just be with your kid. The fact he has options, knows he has options, and WWE knows it, too, means they're probably gonna up their offer to him. I guess we'll see what happens when it happens.

Oka to me is the only young lion who is kind of stagnating. Everybody else seems to be picking up new skills, new fire, developing at a rapid or steady pace. Oka just exists. That's fine for a young lion, but he came in with high hopes from management. Anything can happen from here, but I wonder where he ends up on the card.

I don't know if Juice is in my worldwide top 20 but I do agree he is the total package. Great promo, great energy, pacing, charisma, ability to get the crowd behind him, babyface fire, selling.. He was even good on commentary. When he goes back to WWE (which I still consider an inevibility, even though he talks a great game about marrying a Japanese woman and buying a house, settling down there) it will be a loss for us NJPW fans.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Mar 23, 2018 6:45 pm

Ckkj14 wrote:As a big sports fan myself was intrigued to hear you both say you’ve no desire to do Mania live and Joe saying he could have gone to a Super Bowl live for his Rams and turned it down. Do you guys enjoy live sport or do you prefer watching at home always? I’d always choose watching sport live over watching at home. Same for Mania.
I love live baseball, basketball and small arena/indie wrestling. I'm not a huge fan of gigantic stadiums though and have passed up 100s of free Bears tickets over the years.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by supersonic » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:01 pm

Live gridiron football is absolutely tremendous but it has to generally be during a peak run between two hot teams. The Seahawks run from 2012 to 2016 was exhausting especially the conference title games.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Daniel Bryan return, Sabre wins NJ Cup & more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:04 pm

Lanza...you've got to go to at least one Mania in your life.

I've been to three Mania events...and I can say that each one wasn't great...I've had good seats and even then, you're missing things. The WWE does things for the TV or the guy in Row 87 in the 400 Section. Slow methodical matches, with the need to see facial reactions. Its a weird thing to see come Mania when you can be sitting Baton Rouge and see the scoop slam but not get what the match is trying to even convey.

Having to watch a Hell in the Cell from the suites. Gross. Not understanding what is going on in Ric Flair's retirement match...why are you even there? Watching mat work and submission reversals between Jericho and Punk...what?

But I can at least say I went and check it off the bucket list even if it was never on there to begin with. You've got to do it at least once, Good Brother.

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