NJPW (Discussion)

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

Post by suplexberry » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:43 am

I love a good in-kayfabe preview, and this definitely did that. A bit unsure about the bickering thing between Rocky and Mark but it didn't bother me a lot here, because it didn't really play a huge role or anything. They pretty much tied all the story elements of the major matches in a neat little package; I'm not surprised because Kevin Kelly is doing extra credit on keeping up with all this stuff.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:14 pm

suplexberry wrote: 7. Suzuki-gun vs Tiger, Liger & Kawato, Road to Sakura Genesis 3/26

Suzuki-gun juniors had the lowest key great year absolutely nobody is talking about, so I will. Taichi Kanemaru boring and poor jr tag team run aside, their Road to tags were the reason Kawato got over huge with Korakuen and other crowds, their antics actually added a lot of energy to a million undercard matches, I loved TAKA/Taichi tomfoolery from BOSJ and I don't think there was a more heated tag team match all year than Liger & Tiger putting up with the fuckery of Kanemaru and Despy in the Super Jr Tag Tournament. It was just plain vicious, and a great, memorable match. Taichi vs Liger in BOSJ was another super heated match. I've rewatched these Kawato multi-man tags from early in the year like a million times and they never get old. So sue me, it's not a NJPW list unless you got a multi-man tag on it, surely.
I went back and watched this match, which to be honest I think I skipped the first time around (I always watch the big shows in their entirety, meaningless multi-man tags and all, but tend to skip around on the Road To shows, and pretty much always fast-forward anything involving Iizuka aside from his hilarious entrance). But you were right, this was a really entertaining match. I'd forgotten how fun the Liger/Kawato dynamic was. I always loved Liger running into the ring and kicking or slapping Kawato because he is disappointed that the eager Young Lion is getting his ass kicked.

Kawato is an interesting Young Lion in that he is way more entertaining when he is tagging with and/or wrestling against the veterans. For me the Young Lions from previous recent classes were most enjoyable to watch when they were wrestling each other, particularly when White and Finlay or Tanaka and Komatsu were keeping their friendly rivalries going. I don't find Kawato particularly compelling when he is wrestling the other Young Lions, but I do love him in the mutli-man tags where the veterans are reluctant to let the lovably overenthusiastic dork into a contest that he isn't ready for.

My NJPW multi-man tag MVP has to be Ryusuke Taguchi. He and a rotating cast of supporting players must have wrestled various combinations of LIJ hundreds of times between January and July, but I never got tired of those matches, and I think a lot of that comes down to Taguchi himself. He's really mastered the art of reading the crowd and knowing exactly when to do comedy shtick (which is usually genuinely funny) and when to wrestle seriously, and when to showboat vs. when to hang back and let the bigger stars get their shine. He's a really valuable part of the midcard, and somebody who I always look forward to seeing.

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packerman120
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by packerman120 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 12:58 am

This tweet by Chris Charlton is very interesting to me ( It's led me to speculate on how Cody could be involved in a potential Omega vs. Ibushi feud. At this point, I'd expect that the two are set to face at either Sakura Genesis or Dominion. On top of this, Kenny has been showing face tendencies lately, and is absolutely the babyface in the Jericho match. Remember back at Dominion, when Cody looked ready to throw in the towel? As far as I can recall, we never got payoff from this. Having Omega break off from the BC would be, IMO, a good choice.

So imagine this:

Cody cheats to beat Ibushi at WK12, and afterwards, the Bullet Club come out and beat down Ibushi, which brings Kenny out to save his friend. Kenny vs. Cody then happens at some New Beginning show, leading to an eventual Omega/Ibushi interaction.

Just some food for thought.

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

Post by thecubsfan » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:01 am

CMLL guys are never getting pushed in NJPW, but Dragon Lee turned up New Year's Dash.

He's not booked in CMLL next week, which could mean he's turning up in Tokyo again...or he's just still on vacation.

I wish they ran BUSHI vs Dragon Lee as a Number Five Contender's Match on the Fan Festa (where the winner would not get in the title match, just be the #5 contender) but these ideas are probably why I'm not running things.

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

Post by suplexberry » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:47 am

Frank Olson wrote:
I went back and watched this match, which to be honest I think I skipped the first time around (I always watch the big shows in their entirety, meaningless multi-man tags and all, but tend to skip around on the Road To shows, and pretty much always fast-forward anything involving Iizuka aside from his hilarious entrance). But you were right, this was a really entertaining match. I'd forgotten how fun the Liger/Kawato dynamic was. I always loved Liger running into the ring and kicking or slapping Kawato because he is disappointed that the eager Young Lion is getting his ass kicked.

Kawato is an interesting Young Lion in that he is way more entertaining when he is tagging with and/or wrestling against the veterans. For me the Young Lions from previous recent classes were most enjoyable to watch when they were wrestling each other, particularly when White and Finlay or Tanaka and Komatsu were keeping their friendly rivalries going. I don't find Kawato particularly compelling when he is wrestling the other Young Lions, but I do love him in the mutli-man tags where the veterans are reluctant to let the lovably overenthusiastic dork into a contest that he isn't ready for.
I'm glad you enjoyed the match! Feels kinda weird recommending a multi-man tag from a friggin' Road To show but I swear to god, this match was fun and makes you take notice of Kawato. These SZG vs Team Liger multi-man tags were my comfort food all year round. They were always strangely heated, something about the combination just brought it to the table, and I was lucky enough to see one of them live at Korakuen, too. Next to LIJ vs Taguchi Japan multi-mans, they were my low-key faves of the year.

I said in response to some flagship that Kawato has kinda been "protected" in these multi-mans (protected not in the sense that he's not losing, but in the sense that he hasn't had to live or die by those opening YL singles bouts), he's learning but he isn't learning to put together singles bouts as much as guys like Umino and Yagi etc are. When he gets out of that multi-man environment he's almost a different guy; a guy I root for just as much but definitely a little bit less exciting. Kawato has had the disadvantage of his "partner" in Kanemitsu being on the shelf. Who knows what his 2017 would've looked like, had they been able to come up together like the plan probably was.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:33 pm

I have to be honest, I completely forgot about Kanemitsu. There are so many Young Lions now that I almost can't keep track of them. I do remember he and Kawato having a crazy, brutally stiff match back in 2016 (I believe on the World Tag League tour), which I think is the same match that Kanemitsu unfortunately got injured in. Have there been any updates on Kanemitsu's status?

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

Post by throwstuff165 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:51 pm

Been watching the Okada/Naito title matches from prior years over the past couple days in the interest of preparing for the Dome and, man, I forgot how good the first one at the 40th Anniversary Show in 2012 was. I think Dominion 2016 is still their best, but it's close. Highly recommend going back and giving it a watch.

Kinda fun to see a young EVIL and Hiromu at ringside for it, too.

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

Post by thecubsfan » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:36 am

frankpellow wrote:There's a very good preview show on the New Japan Youtube channel.

For me it's the perfect hype for the Dome as it covers the background to all the matches and doesn't try to calculate what's going to happen next or what would be the best results for 'business'. I hope New Japan do more stuff like this.
two things of note from that video
- the four way junior title match gets the "other matches happening", with a video package explaining the build up but no more. I understand spending some time on the junior tag titles because Rocky is there, but the Never trios titles getting some discussion and that one not is eyebrow raising.
- the entire conceit of the video is they're sitting in a secret location known by Rocky but he doesn't want to talk about it yet. It's obviously the new LA dojo, so this felt like a tease for a formal reveal of that concept really soon - or maybe it just was the easiest place to tape this.

As someone who only subs a couple months a year, the English language NJPW World sign up process has gotten so much better than where it was when they started, or even one year ago. This felt like the Dome show sign up where it felt like everything translated correctly and was easy to understand. There's still things that can be tweaked (something that might let you easily figure out what 999 Yen means in your home currency), but they needed to have this work right to really benefit from Jericho and they seem like they've got it covered.

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

Post by frankpellow » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:54 pm

thecubsfan wrote: - the four way junior title match gets the "other matches happening", with a video package explaining the build up but no more. I understand spending some time on the junior tag titles because Rocky is there, but the Never trios titles getting some discussion and that one not is eyebrow raising.
I thought that was weird as well. I can only imagine there was a technical or time issue with the recording for this which meant it had to be redone by just KK afterwards. It's one of the matches i am most looking forward to and i am sure is not just an afterthought for the company.
The recent short interviews with Jericho, Omega and White on the Youtube channel have been very good as well.
Looking forward to watching the matches from the fan festival shortly.

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

Post by frankpellow » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:01 pm

I jumped through the fan festival video but only really gave proper attention to the last hour (the three matches) although it brought a smile to my face to see everyone in their smartest duds as i skipped. Tama Tonga's hair was amazing, Marty & Cody both looked swish in their suits and Kushida's get up was stellar.
The matches are solid examples of the mixed (veteran and lion) tags on the Lion's Gate shows. The main was a step above the other two and was a gentle warm up for the big show tomorrow.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Ferrante207 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:38 pm

Praise the great randy savage in the sky for destroying the north east with a blizzard just in time for WK. Didn't take the PTO day this year, yet now we are all but forced to stay home tomm. Still not going to watch it live like you animals. I <3 my circadian rhythms.

IMO this is a 1 match PPV with a lot of cool window dressing.

Interested to see if Naito wins over the Jericho/casual hardcore audience. His work is complex (I consider him to be the most re-watchable big time wrestler, where as I find Omega's work loses luster with re-watches). and doesn't garner the praise from casual-hardcore/bc fans that an Omega or even an Okada gets.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Weirzbowski » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:20 am

Welp, they certainly weren't ready for the web traffic. Can't get the video to load.
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by BoxingRobes » Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:15 pm

Was a great WrestleKingdom.

Junior Tag was ****1/4 and the crowd was hot for it.

NEVER 6-Man was fine fun and was kept tight. Nothing insulting.

Cody v. Ibushi was the best match of Cody's life. ****1/4+ Cody himself was pretty great here. Ibushi is on another planet. Cody has 100% improved in the ring as a result of this Indie run of his...he's improved his charisma, too, even if he still comes off a bit try hard...I just wish he'd adapt just a bit to some strong style or whatever other style he's working. Everything is still based in that WWE style and he's gotten very good at that...just wish we saw him do a bit more. When he goes back to the WWE, I feel he'll connect like they want him to with that crowd though. His Indie "Excursion" has been a success and I think this match proved that.

Tough to rate the Goto v. Suzuki match, but loved it. Goto simply asked Suzuki to beat the shit out of him and that delivered. Suzuki pushing everyone away and going back to the ring and shaving his own head is unique. I can't recall anyone else doing that. Plays perfectly into his character. A big FUCK YOU to Goto as he left was great.

Four way for the Junior title was lit. ****1/2 easy from me. Right guy won. Great spots. Everyone played a role.

Tanahashi v. Jay White was a very weird match. The work was good, but it was worked like the 2nd match on a C-level show. Not a bad match, but not to standard for a WrestleKingdom. I'm fine with ACE winning, too. The SWITCHBLADE character needs some refinement, but I think ultimately, Jay White will get over. They have faith in him, to a point, but going over the ACE at DOME? ACE ain't letting that happen after his go-home promo featured him stating he'd never let the fans down again.

Alpha v. Omega was, as I predicted, one of the best singles matches of Jericho's career...this was a helluva performance by Jericho. I am shocked he could keep up. Kenny kept the pace perfect. The No DQ stip helped it out tremendously. ****3/4 from me. Worked like a FIGHT as advertised. Can not credit Jericho's work enough here. He still has it.

Because it wasn't a SEVEN STAR CLASSIC and because Naito didn't go over, people won't give this match five stars...but it was five stars. I find it hard to move Okada down the card considering business for DOME has jumped 10K with him at the top over two years, no matter how hot Naito is. Okada is the ACE and I don't see him taking an L yet. Sometimes, the star needs to stay at the top, even if there is another potential star. I was cool with either result, but that final stretch was amazing. Great match...just not as great as last year's match.

Need a translation on what Okada told Naito as he was walking away...gave me vibes of Tana mocking and talking shit to Okada at the end of WrestleKingdom a few years ago when everyone thought Okada was winning.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Empiresk » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:12 pm

Really good show but I feel it never topped last year. Feel like nothing will for a very long time.

Junior Tag was good, felt it had some similarities to the back selling from Baretta in the Bucks vs RPG feud but didn't match it. Feel 3K just aren't over enough despite their push.

Didn't like Cody and Ibushi as much as everyone else and am amazed to see people throw 4 stars plus at it. Ibushi bumped like a madman.

Goto vs Suzuki was the match I enjoyed the most all night. That dangling choke at the start of the match and Goto's selling was great. Went 4.5

The 4 way was another great match and love that Ospreay might be getting a significant run. Would love Hiromu to win BOSJ and face Ospreay at Dominion.

Don't know what to say about Jay White vs Tanahashi. The crowd just didn't react until the High Fly Flos and when Jay came down from the top rope. Can't wait to hear what everyone else has to think of it as I can't put it into words yet. Feel Jay is in a similar position to Sho and Yo. Maybe the gimmick is just too much and over the top?

Jericho vs Omega was brilliant. Completely over delivered. Despite a couple of gripes like Jericho going after Umino in front of Red Shoes with no follow through, Red Shoes giving the blade to Omega right in front of the camera and Omega coming down in Cosplay to a "fight". Still went 4.75 and loved it.

I 100% had Naito beating Okada. Felt something was up when Okada had a special entrance and new pants when Naito just came out with a new mask and cape. Loved the match and went a full 5. Loved the reason as to why Naito lost and the possibilities from where he can go as a character but there will always be that snagging feeling that he should have won today.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by cheapshot » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:28 pm

I thought the show was solid and consistent throughout. It was better than I expected, and to be fair it had no hope of delivering what we got for WK11, however I felt some of the booking choices were odd.

I guess I'll have to wait and see how they play out, but honestly, what a waste of Jay White if he wasn't going to go over Tanahashi.
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