NJPW (Discussion)

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

Post by SamoKuma » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:32 pm

What a good show.

Everything was not perfect, but i enjoyed almost everything of it. Too bad production s.cked as heck. It gave the show an Impact vibe, that's too bad.

I did not find any match bad and enjoyed all of them, most especially Naito/Ishii, Omega/Elgin, and Okada/Cody. About this one in particular, i was quite amused because i listened to the flagship just beforce watching the show, and it gave me the impression that Cody listen to theme and gave us "a very good match" he seemed to refuse theme until then. Good energy, good antagonism, good rythm, from my window, by far the best Cody's match he didd @ NJPW, and I will certainly not give all credits to Okada.

The way they chose to inflict a loss to Cody is perfect, ans if we're granted a feud between him and Omega, i will be thrilled, even if I have more and more the feeling NJPW is hinting Kenny's Departure soon.

We'll see. Eager to see night 2 !

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

Post by BoxingRobes » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:01 pm

Loved the show. First half was just fine. What you'd expect from some undercard New Japan. Second half was great. The big three matches delivered.

Okada continues to prove he is the GOAT. Cody held up his end of the bargain. However, I still felt, like was discussed on the podcast this week...Cody struggles taking a match to the next level. A lot of stalling, taunting, etc in the dramatic latter stages of the bout that, in a high level IWGP title match, don't happen. You see flashes of it...like, when he hits the Rainmaker. Then you see the WWE style ingrained in his soul when he starts taunting and galloping around the ring. A slight step up from the Daniels match a week ago, but similar idea, IMO...its just about to get to that insane finish and taunting, stalling, quick finish later...and alright its done. I'll give it ****, but its in that ***3/4 to **** spectrum, to me. Just looking at how the Elgin-Omega match peaked versus the main event, shows what I'm talking about.

Looking forward to tonight. Should be fun.

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

Post by BackLash » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:37 pm

Tonight’s Matches
https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/4419?showCards=1

Jushin Thunder Liger, KUSHIDA, & David Finlay vs. YOSHI-TATSU, Yohei Komatsu, & Sho Tanaka

IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH TOURNAMENT SEMI FINAL Jay Lethal vs. Kenny Omega

IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH TOURNAMENT SEMI FINAL Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Juice Robinson, Jay White, Volador Jr., Dragon Lee, & Titan vs. LIdJ (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI, & Hiromu Takahashi)

Michael Elgin & War Machine (Raymond Rowe & Hanson) & Bullet Club ( Hangman Page & Guerrillas of Destiny)

IWGP Jr. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) (c) vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta)

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, The Briscoe Brothers, & Will Ospreay vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, & Marty Scurll)

IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Billy Gunn

IWGP US HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH TOURNAMENT FINAL Jay Lethal or Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii or Zack Sabre Jr.
Last edited by BackLash on Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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King Of Indy Style
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by King Of Indy Style » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:51 am

I am ALL IN on the Trent singles run. Trent for NEVER Champion
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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 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:37 am

All those people who were being petulant whiners about the card (more on Wreddit than here) look rather silly now, eh?

Seems like this needs to be said a lot: Never. Doubt. Gedo.*

*Unless you're doubting his abilities to book tag-teams. Then Always. Doubt. Gedo.
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K. Hare
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by K. Hare » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:43 am

I mean, Gedo simultaneously booked successful shows and the most unsuccessful major title fight all at the same time. Billy Gunn vs. Tanahashi was embarassingly bad.

But man, Ishii vs. ZSJ and especially Ishii vs. Omega were great. The dragon suplex was complete insanity.

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

Post by throwstuff165 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:44 am

Ishii was the MVP of the weekend. Tournament finals teetered on ***** for me, but upon reflection I think I liked Elgin/Naito from New Beginning a bit better and I gave that one ****3/4, so that's where this one's gonna slot in as well.

This was the superior night IMO. Gave a pair of ****1/2 ratings to Ishii/ZSJ and the Jr. Tag to go along with the aforementioned ME and everything else was good to great except for the IC match that we all knew would be ghastly and was somehow even worse. 10-man damn near hit **** for me too; only thing that stopped it was the flat ending.

Can't imagine anyone will see this weekend as anything but a smashing success for New Japan.

Oh, yeah, and all of my hype for Heavyweight Trent. Already looking forward to seeing him in next year's G1.

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

Post by suplexberry » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:14 am

Great promo from Rocky to set up the RPG Vice split. For a guy not known for promos, he does well. Ricochet does not do well but I did pop for him announcing a tag team with him and Taguchi. Could be a lot of fun.

Ishii is a monster. Love the guy. I may be the lone person who thought the main event match could've been a little shorter and still packed a lot of punch as an epic main event. ZSJ vs Ishii needs to not be forgotten, too, loved that one.

Ace vs Ass was ...mostly ass.

My casual fan friend, I am happy to report, loved the show. She thought the comedy stuff in the Chaos vs BC tag was more entertaining than "3 WWE shows combined". Definite room for growth there.

I wish Callis and Kelly has done English commentary for these. I know JR has name value but I feel like for all their flaws, the World team does a much better job. I stuck to mostly listening to the Japanese team, Milano deciphering chants and calling Jay White sexy. Good stuff.

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

Post by Garuda » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:21 am

Great shows. Probably liked the second one the best. Omega and Okada are beasts. Cody maintained my faith that he could one day be a very good in-ring worker.

The crowd and atmosphere was tough to beat. The production and commentating is easy to beat.

I love Trent too, Rocky. Can't wait to see him with the heavyweights.

The shows were uneven in opposite halves. Strange, but the highs were very high. Juice got over big; wasn't sure he would. Ishii I thought would get a bigger fandom pop in the states, but people loved his stuff anyways. Omega was a little... off to me in the moments he worked pure babyface. If they turn him fully he'll need to figure that out. He's best with an edge in either case. Kudos to Zack, Elgin, LIJ, and the CMLL talent (especially Dragon Lee). They all really stood out to me.

I will never not love Okada in a multi-man match. When the atmosphere is right he REALLY gets into those.

It's very hard to go away from these events with any impression that Omega's leaving. If he's just playing it up to bid himself higher to his suitors, then the man is going to have the money to match his brilliance.

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

Post by BackLash » Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:08 pm

To address the elephant in the room, I'm not down on Billy Gunn vs. Tanahashi that I figure most will be, but sadly the match was underwhelming. I got the story they were trying to tell with the match and once Billy got pants'd the match finally got going (never though I'd say that). By that point, the action wasn't strong enough or long enough to make up for the basic technical work and all the stalling tactics. It would be a ** special to be for another promotion, but this doesn't resemble anything resembling a New Japan match. And much props to the crowd for at least Roman Reiginsing Billy instead of just dying.

With that said, Night 2 is still better than Night 1. The opening match was straight fire and both semis were awesome. Omega was showing everyone (including Page) how really zone in on an injury or take a Lethal Injection in the first five minutes no less and Jay finally had a great New Japan match. Sure the Cleaner and the crowd had a lot to do with it, by Jay was no slouch either. Ishii and Sabre kept me on the edge of my seat, I had no idea who was going to win. Between this and his WCPW match with Marty Scurll, I've seen enough to make me a fan of how Sabre does technical work, which I don't often get into.

All the remaining tag matches delivered with the Jr. Tag Title match being a brutal but exciting marathon of pain and dives, the 6-man being above-average, and the rest being somewhere in between. Also, I loved how Jay and Finlay got pinfall wins tonight, it makes me proud that the company still does care about them.

I can't top what people are saying about Ishii and Omega for the US title finals, so I'll just say I'm very pleased.

This was a great event with only one real downer, I can't wait to see what the company does in 2018 stateside and I am eager to see the G1 Climax.

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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 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:29 pm

They gave more in the way of big matches and story moments than I thought they would. With Rocky's contract expiring soon and retirement or him leaving being very possible, I'm not sure how long a team of him and Ospreay would go for or if they'd get pushed. That team seems the only logical solution in the meantime. Trent moving up to heavyweight excites me and I'm curious to see how he does and where they stick him. Bring in Chuckie T for the tag division, or put him in the NEVER ranks.

I'm glad Hangman Page is sticking around and next in line. Yujiro isn't much of a partner (assuming they're challenging), but I liked their team and War Machine can carry the crowd's excitement throughout. Also glad Jay White and David Finlay picked up direct wins this tour. I'm going to assume White's coming back a heavyweight and Finlay made heavyweight Yoshitatsu tap so maybe they'll be thrown in the heavy tag division. I'd rather junior tag at first but either way if they're a team I'm all for it.

Gunn/Tanahashi was what it was. A safe match for Tana. I agree with BackLash; they got the story down but the action wasn't that good. Amusing match, but not good.

I seem to be the high man on RPG Vice vs. The Young Bucks. At first I was a bit annoyed and confused with the constant kickouts from both teams (especially the Bucks kicking out of Strong Zero), but that post-match promo connected the dots. RPG Vice going out on their shield for each other, trying to hang in there against a team that completely outclassed, outsmarted, and outmaneuvered them at every turn. The story of a desperate RPG Vice trying to survive but getting completely deconstructed by the vicious Bucks (seriously, this is my favorite Bucks performance; they were on-fucking-point.) put this above any tag match in this company in years. I enjoyed the continuity spots and the Bucks' gameplan of working Trent's back, which neither they nor Trent forgot about, and maiming Rocky. There are a few spots I never want to see attempted again (Herbert Driver, apron piledriver), but this was as exciting as it was dangerous and I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Five stars.

Every tournament match on the second night was very good. Lethal/Omega was hotter than expected, Ishii/Sabre meshed well, Omega/Ishii was great. Really want to see how Omega does this world tour he talked about. I thought he wasn't going to win because NJPW wouldn't lose him to go oversees and defend the title but I guess I was wrong. The dude's either staying contracted for a long time, or he's a better worker than I thought (and I already thought he was great.)
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GuestTimekeeper
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by GuestTimekeeper » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:38 pm

I originally went 1/4* for Tanahashi/Gunn. Worst Tanahashi match I've ever seen, worse semi-main I've ever seen. The crowd hated it, Gunn and Tanahashi seemed to hate it, and I hated it. But at least no one got hurt. But I'm going to knock it down to DUD because it killed the crowd so badly it took one of the most insnae table spots I've ever seen to get the crowd back in.

How good is Ishii? Grabbing the rope with his teeth might be Spot of the Year.

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

Post by BoxingRobes » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:33 pm

I didn't find the Tanahashi-Gunn match to be insultingly bad. Honestly, about as good as you could possibly get from Billy Gunn, perhaps, ever in his career as a singles wrestler. He just stinks and there is nothing Tanahashi could do to get around that. My biggest issue was Billy Gunn working the match like it was some gymnasium "all-star" show in Matawan, New Jersey...openly having conversations with people in the crowd pre and post match. He seemingly couldn't have cared any less about working this match.

As for the rest of the show...I thoroughly enjoyed everything else. Main event was a classic...and the follow up press conference by Omega made it all come together. He trashed the NEVER belt, trashed the original intent of the IC belt and immediately gave the US belt prestige by basically saying, it was the best belt because HE has it.

Omega-Lethal and Ishii-Naito also, both excellent little sprints early in the show.

The extended junior tag really hit high gear...perfect way for RPG to go out. The SUPER MELTZER DRIVER dedicated to Papa Meltzer was amazing.

Multi-man matches I felt were good enough.

Overall, I'm not sure you can have a take that isn't that this was a successful weekend, critically. Numerous great matches...match of the month contenders, match of the year contenders, nothing bad outside of things involving Billy Gunn and JR's commentary.

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Frank Olson
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:18 pm

I was skeptical about this weekend when the cards were announced, but it definitely turned out to be a smash success from both my perspective and seemingly that of everybody else who watched it. There are things I could nitpick - the production issues on Night 1, JR's weirdly uninformed commentary, the inclusion of Ring of Honor or ex-WWE guys like The Briscoes, Jay Lethal, Hangman Page and Billy Gunn when those spots could've been taken by real New Japan guys like YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto, Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, etc. - but overall I thought the shows were great and definitely of the quality that you would expect from second-tier New Japan events. In fact, I would probably say that these shows were equally as good as if not better than the Wrestling Toyonokuni/Wrestling Dontaku twofer from this past spring.

The US Title tournament delivered big time and for me outdid this year's New Japan Cup as far as single-elimination tournaments go. Every match was good (I even thought the Lethal/Page match from Night 1 was pretty solid apart from that very noticeable Lethal Injection botch) and the right guy won in the end. I agree with Suplexberry that the final match probably could've been even better if it had been tightened up a bit and maybe been 5-10 minutes shorter (part of the reason that the Ishii/Omega Dontaku match was so great was that it was a relentless sprint) but it was still a damn fine spectacle. I normally hate table spots, but Omega has a way of bringing the element of danger back into those moments. The way that they built to that table spot with Ishii biting the turnbuckle was brilliant, and the actual Dragon Suplex through the table was just brutal.

The IC Title match was pretty terrible, but as far as I know Billy Gunn has never been a good pro wrestler so I guess it was what I expected. The crowd being so anti-Gunn at least gave it a decent atmosphere I guess, but it was unquestionably the worst match of the weekend.

I really liked the Jr Tag Title match though I preferred the matches that those teams had together at Wrestle Kingdom and Dominion. This is another one that I felt would've been better if it was a little shorter and tighter, but still a very good match. This series of Jr Tag Title matches has definitely produced the strongest tag team action in New Japan since I started watching regularly. RPG Vice breaking up afterwards is very interesting. I wonder if Rocky is going to take that Performance Center trainer job that he was rumored for last year. I'm very interested to see what they will do with Beretta as a heavyweight singles star, though I worry that he will get lost in the shuffle as part of a stable that already has Okada, Goto, Ishii, Yano, and YOSHI-HASHI ahead of him in the pecking order. It's cool that a major storyline development like this happened on these Long Beach shows.

In a way I feel bad for the guy, but it's kind of hilarious that yoshitatsu got pinned by Jay White and David Finlay on this tour, and also pretty much booed out of the building on both nights.

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

Post by JB Gremlin » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:19 pm

The US Title Tournament was exceptional and establishes that belt off the bat as being something of worth, of the 7 matches you had 5 at ****+ and Juice/ Zack a shade below. And this is where I think Gunn challenging for the IC belt almost worked; it fits Tanahashi's story of being the fading ace, he's won the belt that Naito didn't really want and for his first defence he hands a former US "star" a shot completely out of touch with what the US fans would actually want, allowing the US title and the actual US star (for these fans, anyway) to main event ahead of him. In That regard (and that alone!) I think the match sort of worked, and a better match with Tanhashi underneath that main event might not have got the NEW belt over as well as it did (I hope that makes sense)

Anyway pretty much a complete success so far as I'm concerned, from the few matches I listened to in English JR wasn't too bad really, for the singles matches he obviously escalates well and can sell near falls better than Kelly can in my opinion, but he also seemed a bit lost from time to time in the multi mans. Overall I think I'd rather have Kelly and Callis (Ideally Kelly and Barnett). Without checking back on any cards I think you'd borderline have two of the top 5-6 shows of the New Japan year so far (WK and Dominion the only two I'd say are certainly above top to bottom)

Top 5:
1. Ishii V Zack Sabre Jr ****1/2
2. Elgin V Omega****1/2
3. Ishii V Omega ****1/2
4. Young Bucks V RPG Vice ****1/2
5. Naito V Ishii ****1/4

3 of those matches will rematch in the G1... What a time!

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