NJPW (Discussion)

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

Post by stienerontheforklift » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:32 pm

Garuda wrote:
stienerontheforklift wrote:So this just kind of quietly slipped out there.
► Show Spoiler
If it's really only a short term thing then that's fine. The most disappointing thing about NYD was the complete lack of change to any of the stables. Most of them feel really bloated and stale, and if there's any promotion that needs a stable shake-up then it's New Japan. I've been spoiled by Dragon Gate and how many moving parts and constant changes there are to keep things interesting, and it serves their storytelling. NJPW factions still just feel like they are there to fill out undercard matches without any effort.

Glad it's temporary, I think that's a weird fit.

Yeah CHAOS more than anyone. If you count the Briscoes there are 14 (and now 15) CHAOS members. The Bullet Club has *only* a dozen and there's something tolerable about that because they all show up with consistency and there's a hierarchy where you understand everyone's place in the pecking order, (minus the overlaps that are leading us to a possible Bullet Club civil war).

CHAOS is totally bloated, and there's a lack of cohesiveness where they barely show up for each other's stuff, and there's a ton of part-time in-ring guys like Jado and Rocky and Gedo... Goto and Ospraey and even Beretta don't really fit or have their personalities accentuated by being in that faction, it's more of a cassarole of random misfits then even the New Japan Army. They don't even have a defining personality or agenda to their faction. Half of them are cocky?
You could even count Jericho since he's somewhat aligned with Gedo and Jado, making it roughly 16 members. The only faction that seems to have a real identity is LIJ, which is probably why it's the most popular faction. Every member has a unique personality and role. Naito is the anti-hero leader. EVIL is the goth gatekeeper of the group. SANADA is the silent bad-ass who is waiting to break out. Hiromu is the junior ace weirdo. Bushi is the mask collecting pin eater. It's really well balanced, and immediately identifiable. The rest are bloated and haven't had a shake-up in forever; CHAOS being the worst of the bunch and the most confusing when it comes to identity.

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

Post by BoxingRobes » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:33 pm

The Omega segment at DASH was really corny. It made Omega look like a goof.

Comes out to defend a non-BC member...cool. There is a history there.
But touts to Cody "IM THE LEADER...IM THE LEADER!"...gross, but ok **not on this after the jump
Then...Omega, for some reason says they need unity...and to do it...he is bringing in SWITCHBLADE. I have no idea why this would unify the squad.
Then, in what is an awkward segment anyway...Kenny's attempt to "unify" BC results in SWITCHBLADE turning on him.
I didn't give a crap about Jay White beforehand, and I still don't (NJPW hasn't given me a reason to)...he's just getting title shots without earning them.

So...ultimately...this entire segment is supposed to do several things, but the one thing it does, it makes Kenny look like a complete goof in everything he does. I don't even see a Bullet Club civil war. There aren't two sides. There is The Elite (Kenny and the Bucks)...there is the BC OGs (Fale, Tama, and Loa)...and then there is everyone else, including the jobbers (Cody, Marty, et al). A breakup angle makes sense...but all of these dudes make so much cash off of the merch, I can not see them wanting to break the group up for the American audience.

**in regard to CHAOS...they are deep with talent...but its not like they are a cohesive unit (have they been in like the past 5 years? I'd say no)...they don't even have a leader (its not Okada...it used to be Nakamura, I guess...really, its just Gedo, I suppose?)...they are just a loose affiliation of talent under Gedo, I guess? I wouldn't even consider them a faction...similarly to the way I would have never considered the New Japan Army a faction. Just an affiliation. In a way, I think the Bullet Club is morphing into this...not a faction, but a loose affiliation of talent under the banner.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:35 pm

So I've watched most of Wrestle Kingdom twice now (once in full with the Japanese commentary, and once skipping a few of the lesser matches with English commentary). My initial reaction on Thursday night was that it was kind of a disappointing show. But I also had had a really shitty day at work before I watched it, and was also having some buffering issues with New Japan World, so I thought that maybe I was just in a bad mood.

Now that I've seen most of it more than once I can officially say that I thought it was a very good show, but definitely a step down from Wrestle Kingdoms 9, 10 and 11. On those earlier shows we got at least one (sometimes two or three) match that felt like it redefined the standards of what a classic match can be. For me nothing on Wrestle Kingdom 12 came close to raising the incredibly high bar that this company has set for itself.

I'm surely in the minority (and maybe even entirely alone) on this, but my favorite match of the night was actually the Jr Tag Title match. A really unique and creative match layout, with one member of each team suffering from a back injury. YOH and Matt did such a great job selling their backs that on the first viewing I was afraid that they were actually hurt. They also did a great job calling back to the most memorable spots from last year's Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice match. I'm disappointed in the result, though. Like suplexberry said above, this was the chance to officially anoint RPG 3K to the status of aces of the division, and bring the junior tag scene to the next level, and instead they just fell back on hot-potatoing the title yet again.

NEVER gauntlet was fine for what it was. I had predicted that Juice would get the decisive fall (paying off his year-long storyline of unsuccessfully challenging for most of the singles titles), but it's cool that they gave Beretta the big moment after the great year he had. Yano countering Taguchi's ass attack with a rollup was the highlight of the match for me.

I'm a little baffled by the praise being thrown around for the Cody vs. Ibushi match. Take away the sick bump that Ibushi took on that Cross Rhodes and this was basically just another boring Cody appearance. Sure, it may have been Cody's best match in NJPW (apart from the Long Beach Okada match), but it was also maybe the worst Ibushi match I've seen.

The Heavyweight Tag Title match was pretty bad. I've never really liked K.E.S., but I also have to say that while I like the idea of EVIL and SANADA potentially re-establishing these titles as something to care about that I also haven't been impressed by most of their matches as a duo so far.

The NEVER Title match was really good. I wish that we could see this Suzuki (the mean ass-kicking MMA guy) more often than the one we normally see (the one who only does crowd brawling and waits for interference spots to happen). He was really good here, and the post-match stuff was great too. Goto has maybe the best looking offense in New Japan. If I was some sort of powerful king I would hire him to use the GTR to execute my enemies.

I really enjoyed the Jr Title 4-Way. Like everybody else I have some issues with the booking leading up to this match, but I think this was about as strong as any of the 1-on-1 matches for the title last year. This was a point in the show where I really wanted to see something fast-paced and exciting and it definitely fit the bill. KUSHIDA nailing Hiromu with the Sunset Powerbomb was a great moment.

The IC Title match was so disappointing. I gave it a second watch and realized that it was a fundamentally solid match, but just the totally wrong match for the moment. Jay White did not come off as a star at all. He rebounded well on the New Year Dash show (and apparently on this morning's press conference, which I haven't seen), but it's a shame that this was not more of a coming out moment for him.

Jericho vs. Omega really overdelivered. I'm not quite as high on it as some people, and I don't think it's a surefire classic like the semi-mains from the previous three Wrestle Kingdoms, but it did the job that it was meant to do exceptionally well. Jericho didn't feel out of place at all, and really stepped up. It didn't feel like they were using the No DQ stipulation as a crutch and they did a good job of spacing out the "hardcore" spots so that it didn't feel like they were doing them just for the sake of doing them (unlike in the Omega vs. Elgin ladder match from Dominion 2016, where it felt like they were determined to shoehorn in every ladder match trope). I think it would've been even better if it was about 5 minutes shorter, but it was a really exciting match overall.

The main event was disappointing. I'm not upset about the result or anything, and I'm willing to give Gedo the benefit of the doubt as to the direction that he's going with Okada, Naito, and the IWGP Title. But the match itself was honestly just kind of unremarkable to me. For me it didn't come close to the quality of the last three Wrestle Kingdom main events. Okada and Naito have a great long-running grudge, but they both have better in-ring chemistry with Tanahashi and Omega than they do with each other. It was a very good match, but I didn't leave with that feeling of "how is anybody going to top this?" that I normally end Wrestle Kingdom with.

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

Post by miles » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:56 pm

Frank Olson wrote:I'm surely in the minority (and maybe even entirely alone) on this, but my favorite match of the night was actually the Jr Tag Title match.
You’re not alone. That was my favorite match as well.

I agree with everything else you said about the show as well. Though I’m probably a little more down on Naito losing.

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PW17
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by PW17 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:16 pm

I don't understand the criticism of the last two matches. Both were very good. Jericho vs Omega was just as good as the Tanahashi vs Okada matches from WK9 and WK10, and Naito vs Okada was pretty similar if not close to it. I also don't understand the collective groaning that took place when Naito lost. We all knew coming into this event that the Ace usually wins at WK and Okada is the guy. NJPW doesn't book like WWE, and Naito's story is still ongoing...so why have him beat the greatest modern champion? The VOW review nailed it. Naito became too confident and lost his grip. He got his main event, but he wasn't ready to beat Okada on the big stage yet. It took Kobashi several tries to beat Misawa on the big stage...so why should Naito be crowned at his first WK main event? Give it time, folks. Honestly, the groaning, particularly on Twitter, was very offputting.

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

Post by Mootio » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:20 am

I can understand why people are upset about the finish to the main event. After a year of title defences where I never really honestly believed he was going to lose any of them, Okada went and won the one that I felt he had no business winning. I understand why it makes business sense, with "aces never losing at the Dome" and the Okada mega push but I do feel that it's not even debatable that this was Naito's big moment, one for all the pro wrestling fans to have. The magic they have with him doesn't come along very often at all, he's been my favourite ever since the awesome match he had with Ishii at the New Beginning in 2014.

To have Okada win this match is, to me, NJPW establishing that Okada is to be their John Cena, often protected even if it's to the detriment of the story being told or whatever business they may be able to drum up outside of Okada's ever-growing sphere of influence. If like me, you've seen a lifetime's worth of Okada matches already, I'd like it to be understandable that some people can be jaded of this same old song and dance in the face of such seemingly unquestionable praise.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:24 am

Bloodbuzz Bunk wrote:
Garuda wrote:Also, and not to double post, but I wouldn't worry SO much about Jay White. Some people are reacting like he's radioactive or something after that match. It for sure exposed the guy as "Not at that level," but I wouldn't say the dude's contaminated in some major way. I'd say he's at a small disadvantage now. But with time and slower booking I don't think this represents some difficult perception to overcome. It just represents that he wasn't ready THAT NIGHT, both in performance and in kayfabe. I'm still super turned-off by what I think is an ultra derivative gimmick, but even I don't think that it's impossible to work if he has time to work on it.

And one more note about the booking overall, in the form of me retaking my W: I was confident that Okada and Omega were retaining. Not only does it fit the Dome booking patterns, but I was also assuming their thoughts went like this: Wrestle Kingdom 12 is drawing record numbers for this era here and abroad. Okada's our Ace and Omega's our Western Ace (or however they think about it). We're NOT going to introduce these huge stars to a new casual audience by beating them at the Dome. And in Kenny's case you add on top of that the optics of a WWE guy moonwalking in and beating their top US guy on this day of all days? That's anathema.

Besides the fact that I think they're naturally disinclined to do that, I think the primary objective of "retain these new eyeballs" would make them even less likely to want to introduce their stars by beating them. If I'm in that business, I'd think that way - they already have us as NJPW fans, the best thing to grow the business is to appeal to the fresh audience, not the lifers. The new fans ought to see their stars being dominant. And depending on how the follow-up is booked, they can make this work, too.

In fact, it's telling that even sticking to those ideas the results were even MORE conservative then I predicted, not less, with Tanahashi retaining against White, which I didn't see coming. I figured that that would be their one allowance.

Also there's something to be said about having a little more faith in Naito. He's ultra charismatic, especially when he's pissy. I'm not sold on the booking, but the more I think about it the more I think that this is something that's going to end up being at least fine in the long run. And part of it is having faith in Naito to get over regardless of this loss.
I'm gonna reply to you again because you make a great point that a lot of us hardcores miss if we aren't careful. Every show is some fan's first show or last show( that's a comic book adage that applies to wrestling perfectly) and it makes sense that if this is someone's first show that biggest star is triumphant.
There are some really good points in these posts. Speaking for myself, my first show that I watched in this modern Bushiroad era of New Japan was Wrestle Kingdom 9, and even more than the great wrestling, the thing that really hooked me and made me want to see more was the way that Okada broke down in tears after his loss. Wrestle Kingdom 12 was even more aimed at gaining a new international audience than Wrestle Kingdom 9 was, so perhaps Gedo's idea is to firmly establish who the current Ace is to the new fans while also getting them emotionally invested in the struggles of the person who will eventually topple them. Granted, this might make the top of the card feel stagnant to people who are already hardcore fans, but it's unlikely that many of those people are going to actually stop watching the product anyway.

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PW17
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by PW17 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:53 am

Mootio wrote:I can understand why people are upset about the finish to the main event. After a year of title defences where I never really honestly believed he was going to lose any of them, Okada went and won the one that I felt he had no business winning. I understand why it makes business sense, with "aces never losing at the Dome" and the Okada mega push but I do feel that it's not even debatable that this was Naito's big moment, one for all the pro wrestling fans to have. The magic they have with him doesn't come along very often at all, he's been my favourite ever since the awesome match he had with Ishii at the New Beginning in 2014.

To have Okada win this match is, to me, NJPW establishing that Okada is to be their John Cena, often protected even if it's to the detriment of the story being told or whatever business they may be able to drum up outside of Okada's ever-growing sphere of influence. If like me, you've seen a lifetime's worth of Okada matches already, I'd like it to be understandable that some people can be jaded of this same old song and dance in the face of such seemingly unquestionable praise.
It's more than getting their John Cena, it's making their modern-day Inoki. Someone that makes the title mean something when it changes hands again...whenever that may be. This wasn't a problem when Tanahashi was having his run and we saw how things paid off from WK9 to WK10. Naito will have his moment eventually, but this is Okada's time, and I'm all in. He's an amazing wrestler and athlete, and we shouldn't be comparing his accomplishments to what WWE has done with Reigns or Cena because neither of those guys are as compelling as Okada.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by suplexberry » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:19 am

I feel like Naito's moment can't come with the usual slowburn. He's not in his 20's, you can't wait around three years, and if you do a title switch later on, I'm not sure fan sentiment will be as strong as it was at the Dome. Somebody (Real Neat Puro?) pointed out that Tana always took 3 years for anybody to ultimately overcome. I don't think Naito has 3 years. But then, that's me - I fail to imagine a role for him, or an evolution for him, that will surely come because he's the kind of guy who will never allow himself to sink lower, been there done that. He will continue to be relevant, I just don't know in what capacity and what role and that's what Gedo needs to show fans like me. Naito will do his best, he always does - even as Stardust Failure he worked his ass off. This guy loves the fans, loves wrestling, loves this company, he will continue to try to improve in every way. Right now Naito's focus is LIJ and that's great, because LIJ is family.

Like I said in my previous post, if I'm wrong in six months to a year so be it - got no problem eating crow if it means one of my fave redemption stories in all of media gets another good arc to his epic tale. But we shall see.
Frank Olson wrote:YOH and Matt did such a great job selling their backs that on the first viewing I was afraid that they were actually hurt. They also did a great job calling back to the most memorable spots from last year's Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice match.
We agreed on being excited for this match and we agree on the outcome. Superb match and I totally bought into both worked injuries even though when they replayed the YOH one I saw that he seemed to have landed fine - even so, the selling made me believe maybe I was missing something, even when it became the defining story in the match. Really cool stuff. Once my jets have cooled on the booking, I will rewatch and enjoy this tremendously.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Rainmaker_F7 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:35 pm

So could anyone who subscribes to the patreon gimmick post a quick summary on the contracts, major matches planned etc, whatever big things Joe and Rich talked about?

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PW17
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by PW17 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:02 pm

suplexberry wrote:I feel like Naito's moment can't come with the usual slowburn. He's not in his 20's, you can't wait around three years, and if you do a title switch later on, I'm not sure fan sentiment will be as strong as it was at the Dome. Somebody (Real Neat Puro?) pointed out that Tana always took 3 years for anybody to ultimately overcome. I don't think Naito has 3 years. But then, that's me - I fail to imagine a role for him, or an evolution for him, that will surely come because he's the kind of guy who will never allow himself to sink lower, been there done that. He will continue to be relevant, I just don't know in what capacity and what role and that's what Gedo needs to show fans like me. Naito will do his best, he always does - even as Stardust Failure he worked his ass off. This guy loves the fans, loves wrestling, loves this company, he will continue to try to improve in every way. Right now Naito's focus is LIJ and that's great, because LIJ is family.

Like I said in my previous post, if I'm wrong in six months to a year so be it - got no problem eating crow if it means one of my fave redemption stories in all of media gets another good arc to his epic tale. But we shall see.
Frank Olson wrote:YOH and Matt did such a great job selling their backs that on the first viewing I was afraid that they were actually hurt. They also did a great job calling back to the most memorable spots from last year's Young Bucks vs. RPG Vice match.
We agreed on being excited for this match and we agree on the outcome. Superb match and I totally bought into both worked injuries even though when they replayed the YOH one I saw that he seemed to have landed fine - even so, the selling made me believe maybe I was missing something, even when it became the defining story in the match. Really cool stuff. Once my jets have cooled on the booking, I will rewatch and enjoy this tremendously.
I think the main thing is that we all need to accept Okada is the guy. When Naito hs his moment, it's not going to be a passing of the torch. He's going to have his run for a year or two, and Okada will get the mantle back. So, we shouldn't be viewing this through the lens of Naito needing to be put over now because he's older than Okada. He's in his mid 30s. Plenty of time left for a decent run at the top.

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Buzz Sawyer
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:30 am

Does anyone know on what Togi Makabe's role in the company is currently? Ever since Honma went down, he's done literally nothing this past year.
Who's Rob Viper ?

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Danwaka » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:51 am

Man, I really want a Bad Luck Fale vs. Hirooki Goto match for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Tigerkinney » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:18 pm

Buzz Sawyer wrote:Does anyone know on what Togi Makabe's role in the company is currently? Ever since Honma went down, he's done literally nothing this past year.
Without having a psychic connection to either Makabe himself or Gedo, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you what Makabe's role in the company is? But then again I don't think even Gedo know's himself- the plan was clearly for GBH to be one of the cornerstones of the tag division but when Honma went down, Makabe was left in the position of 'creative has nothing for you'.

Maybe they'll have a clearer plan for him this year. Personally I think one of the tag division's, whether that is going after the IWGP tag with a new partner or for the NEVER Six Man as part of a Taguchi Japan team would be the best place to utilise Makabe.

But anyway there's probably quite a few other people, I'd be more concerned about getting a decent push/having something to do....such as Tomohiro Ishii for a start. Makabe's time as a pushed commodity was about five years ago, he's been gradually drifting towards New Japan Dad territory since his lone IWGP Heavyweight title reign in 2010. I think give it a couple of years, and he's doing regular Dad/Young Lion curtain jerker matches and competing in the Rambo at Wrestle Kingdom.

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

Post by stienerontheforklift » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:59 pm

Tigerkinney wrote:
Buzz Sawyer wrote:Does anyone know on what Togi Makabe's role in the company is currently? Ever since Honma went down, he's done literally nothing this past year.
Without having a psychic connection to either Makabe himself or Gedo, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you what Makabe's role in the company is? But then again I don't think even Gedo know's himself- the plan was clearly for GBH to be one of the cornerstones of the tag division but when Honma went down, Makabe was left in the position of 'creative has nothing for you'.

Maybe they'll have a clearer plan for him this year. Personally I think one of the tag division's, whether that is going after the IWGP tag with a new partner or for the NEVER Six Man as part of a Taguchi Japan team would be the best place to utilise Makabe.

But anyway there's probably quite a few other people, I'd be more concerned about getting a decent push/having something to do....such as Tomohiro Ishii for a start. Makabe's time as a pushed commodity was about five years ago, he's been gradually drifting towards New Japan Dad territory since his lone IWGP Heavyweight title reign in 2010. I think give it a couple of years, and he's doing regular Dad/Young Lion curtain jerker matches and competing in the Rambo at Wrestle Kingdom.
I could see a Juice/Makabe team being quite fun if Honma isn't coming back any time soon. Aside from that, like you said, Makabe is a fading force. His last G1 has to be coming up in the next couple of years.

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