NJPW (Discussion)

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pol
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by pol » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:15 am

Joe Lanza wrote:I think my #1 objective in some sort of fantasy world where I were to take over the book, would be to rebuild the tag division in the image of vintage AJPW, where the major stars team with a pin eater compete for the tag titles and tag tournaments. That's a great model that allows you to move people away from singles titles for a bit, it elevates a third title, and it gives you tons of opportunities to build & elevate when the junior member of the team scores big falls.

I find it curious that two guys who made their careers as tag wrestlers basically give no fucks and don't value tag wrestling at all.
Yes to all of this. It's never(?) really been NJPW's style unfortunately, although obviously the tag belts have been much more of a big deal at points than they are now.

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pol
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by pol » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:18 am

I'm not an Okada fan but I have never understood the complaints about long reigns, and I came up in the Attitude era so it's not like it's because I'm used to it. You're starting to see talk about AJPW needing to take the title off Kento too. I don't really buy the now-common refrain that it's the responsibility of the ace to elevate others to their level. The responsibility of the ace is to be the ace.

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noggy
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by noggy » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:58 am

Joe Lanza wrote:I think a lot of this comes down to people tiring of the same guys on top. Maybe it's because I came up in an era of longer title runs and guys like Hogan or Flair dominating title scenes for many years, but personally I'm not even close to being over Okada on top.

If NJPW was still building every major non-tournament show around a Heavyweight title match then Okada may be bothering me right now. But with the title only being defended like 6 times per year makes it pretty easy to digest. There's plenty of main event spot light to go around.

Joe Lanza wrote:I think my #1 objective in some sort of fantasy world where I were to take over the book, would be to rebuild the tag division in the image of vintage AJPW, where the major stars team with a pin eater compete for the tag titles and tag tournaments. That's a great model that allows you to move people away from singles titles for a bit, it elevates a third title, and it gives you tons of opportunities to build & elevate when the junior member of the team scores big falls.

I find it curious that two guys who made their careers as tag wrestlers basically give no fucks and don't value tag wrestling at all.

That's what I was hoping to see a lot more of when Okada and Yoshi-Hashi challenged Anderson and Gallows for the titles a few years back. With major matches often spread out across multiple shows on a tour you'd think NJPW would jump at the opportunity to have their top guys in more high profile matches while still being able to protect them both physically and in terms of booking.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Joe Lanza » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:09 am

pol wrote:I'm not an Okada fan but I have never understood the complaints about long reigns, and I came up in the Attitude era so it's not like it's because I'm used to it. You're starting to see talk about AJPW needing to take the title off Kento too. I don't really buy the now-common refrain that it's the responsibility of the ace to elevate others to their level. The responsibility of the ace is to be the ace.
Not trying to derail the thread, but the Kento stuff is maddening. I was in favor of losing to Suwama at Sumo and winning it right back quickly, but now that the dust has settled I realize that would have been a shit idea compared to what they ultimately did. Now that we're past that, I think he should hold it indefinitely. Same for Nakajima to see if he can catch some momentum.

The other reason you see commonly floated to cut reigns short is when the challenger well runs dry. The thing about that is as long as you can create a compelling reason for a challenge beyond "next man up", repeat challenges are fine.

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pol
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by pol » Sun Feb 05, 2017 1:48 am

The idea of Kento breaking the most successful defenses record in his first reign at 27 years old makes me antsy, but other than that I agree.

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throwstuff165
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by throwstuff165 » Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:03 am

Joe Lanza wrote:I think my #1 objective in some sort of fantasy world where I were to take over the book, would be to rebuild the tag division in the image of vintage AJPW, where the major stars team with a pin eater compete for the tag titles and tag tournaments. That's a great model that allows you to move people away from singles titles for a bit, it elevates a third title, and it gives you tons of opportunities to build & elevate when the junior member of the team scores big falls.

I find it curious that two guys who made their careers as tag wrestlers basically give no fucks and don't value tag wrestling at all.
Yeah, this is pretty much what I was saying. AJPW's tag division produced some of the best matches and storylines ever. Even if it's waaay off in the future, Okada is eventually going to be temporarily moved away from the IWGP Title, and he'd be the perfect catalyst for that kind of transition. That's a much better use of him than sticking the white belt on him. But I certainly wouldn't do it anytime soon anyhow.

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Jacob's Bawks
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Jacob's Bawks » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:32 am

Okada/Suzuki was great even though it didn't need to be near as long as it was with as much legwork as it had. I didn't have a problem with Okada winning but I wish he did something other than the German Suplex and three Rainmakers after being assassinated for 42 minutes. Still, they did great work for the type of match they set out to have. Okada was so weak during that finishing stretch his moves had almost no power, which justified the repetition of Rainmakers. Anyone who claims Okada's a terrible seller forfeits the right to be taken seriously. Overall it was just a great experience.

This said, I hope to God 40+ minute main events do not become the norm.
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Murrr » Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:56 am

Damn, that main event went 40+? I didn't even notice.

I really enjoyed Okada vs. Suzuki. An absolute masterclass in selling from Okada, particularly in how he presented the damage progressively as the match went on. Dude just looked like he was dying throughout, and the onslaught was so strong that I was legitimately shocked when he won. Good storytelling.

Some parts fell a little flat for me, particularly the Rainmaker/Kneebar reversal spot, which came far too early. The match hadn't escalated to a point where I felt like that reversal could legitimately end it, which took me out of my immersion for a while. The Gedo/towel spot followed by Callis' "there's no Gedo to throw-in the towel!" when Okada was in a similar predicament 10 minutes later was great though.

Only caught the last three matches as I chose to ignore my alarm clock this morning, but Juice/Goto was the shit. Great little story with the overmatched Juice going bananas from the bell, before Goto's superior skill and experience catches up with him. The tag match was fine, but I really wish it was a straight-up one on one.

Will check the rest of the show later today.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Joe Lanza » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:11 am

OKada/Suzuki had all of the makings, elements, and structure of a 5-star match, but there were a few little things that bugged me.

As Murrr noted, the Rainmaker pose/Rainmaker reversal came far too early. Nobody bought it, everyone knew it was getting reversed or blocked. Badly placed spot.

The one really long kneebar spot was way too long. Overkill.

The run in. It was quick and thwarted easily, but it still took something away and came at a time when the match was really getting cooking.

Okada was so fucking awesome here. It was a leg match, so there will be nit picking, but overall his selling was top notch. The screaming, the collapsing under his own weight, the weak offense/slow follow ups due to the weakened leg...incredible stuff. Suzuki was vintage Suzuki, coming off like a maniacal monster.

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JB Gremlin
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by JB Gremlin » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:45 am

Okada/ Suzuki reminded me a lot of the Nakajima/ Suzuki leg match from NOAH last year, it was probably a little too long and with an over reliance on leg submissions but by the end it was really great. The Low Key best moment of the match was after a brutal Suzuki slap flurry Okada lazily throws a clothesline which Suzuki easily ducks for the sleeper, beautifully sold by Okada, he's the best in the world at things like that. Anyway, I think it's ****1/4 from me, not quite on the level of the superb G1 match from a few years ago but a totally different style of match and probably one that Okada was thankful for after killing himself with Omega at Wrestle Kingdom, if Ibushi is the next man up we're probably going to see more insanity so this was 100% the right match in between for me.

Other than that I thought Goto/ Juice was pretty good, the rope slung GTR looked brutal, the progression of Juice continues, he's still not 100% there for me but with this and the Marty match from this week's ROH there are clear signs of something. Fingers crossed for KUSHIDA as Goto's next defence!

Both tag matches were very messy, Juniors had too much BS and the heavies tried to do too much which led to a lot of shuffling for position, which you can forgive once or twice but it was every other spot, not to mention the fact that Ishii and Honma appeared to be the only two in the match interested in bumping cleanly, a lot of stalled falling off clotheslines and tackles which I can't stand, maybe saving the bumps for next weekend? Anyway the 3 way was better with GoD at Wrestle Kingdom in my book.

It's probably early days but I'm glad Gedo didn't fall into the trap of booking SZK-Gun to win out here, clearly Despy and Kanemaru will get a go next time out and KES could still win the heavy tags but this seems like it's (hopefully) just playing off the NOAH angle and decline rather than outright copying it, which is a relief.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Statoke » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:50 am

pol wrote:The idea of Kento breaking the most successful defenses record in his first reign at 27 years old makes me antsy, but other than that I agree.
Since this is the New Japan thread I wont try to derail too much but I dont think he's getting to 11 defences. After Bodygaah, I wouldnt be surprised if he lost it to Zeus.
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noggy
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by noggy » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:51 am

On the business side, the show drew 5,545. Just shy of a sell out if I understand the Japanese crowd size designation nonsense correctly. That's right in the line the opening nights of the last two G1 tournaments in the same building that drew 5,533 (Okada/Marufuji and Tanahashi/Sanada) and 5,490 (Tanahashi/Ibushi and Styles/Shibata).

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Statoke » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:55 am

Murrr wrote:Some parts fell a little flat for me, particularly the Rainmaker/Kneebar reversal spot, which came far too early. The match hadn't escalated to a point where I felt like that reversal could legitimately end it, which took me out of my immersion for a while.
Haven't watch the match yet but in my opinion, this is a good thing. This spot being early makes it feel more real, if wrestling was real, a guy would go for his finisher as soon as possible. It makes it feel like they are actually fighting and not trying to go 30 minutes you know?
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by JB Gremlin » Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:32 pm

Statoke wrote:
Murrr wrote:Some parts fell a little flat for me, particularly the Rainmaker/Kneebar reversal spot, which came far too early. The match hadn't escalated to a point where I felt like that reversal could legitimately end it, which took me out of my immersion for a while.
Haven't watch the match yet but in my opinion, this is a good thing. This spot being early makes it feel more real, if wrestling was real, a guy would go for his finisher as soon as possible. It makes it feel like they are actually fighting and not trying to go 30 minutes you know?
I believe the argument is if you picked up the same spot and put it right before the finishing sequence you'd get far more out of it as a potential finish (believability and reaction wise) than you would it coming straight out of the comeback (which I think is where it was?) not that Okada shouldn't go for the rainmaker. I'll take it either way, it was a cool little reversal that could have been more believable at the end but at the same time it needed to be where it was so Okada could block the rainmaker reversal at the very end without them going for identical spots on top of each other.

I think it works better for the story of the match where it was, but it probably would have got a better reaction later on!

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by suplexberry » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:11 pm

Gosh Suzuki-gun as a whole is tiresome, while Minoru himself can almost do no wrong in my eyes, phenomenal wrestler. I thought the main event could've been a neat 7-10 minutes shorter but they had me on the hook the whole time, so I can't really fault them for it. Because I watched on VOD, not live, I saw the timestamp of the full event and thought they were going to a 60 minute draw. The crowd was hot for Okada, which made me root for him that much more, though somewhere in the back of my head I had a year's worth of fantasy-booking basic on Suzuki winning.

Great stuff. Genuinely intrigued by the Tiger Mask W nod by Okada - are they really gonna push Ibushi under the hood? What a world we live in.

I watched the undercard with the (awkward, though not that bad) English commentary, what did others think of it?

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