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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 11, 2018 12:30 am

rollup wrote:it has to be said the crowd was still very happy and reactive to okada's win , so while people on twitter (dun talk to me about business and spreadsheets!) might say NJ is now stale , the japan crowd is still liking it atm .. shoulder shrug i guess
"People on Twitter" have been calling NJPW stale for years now. Paying customers don't agree, and neither do the large majority of Western fans. Especially now, with so much cool stuff going on like Jericho, Rey, Taichi moving up, Okada/Will, heavyweight tag titles worth paying attention to, R3K absolutely killing it every show in the junior tags, the first trial series in ages, Jay White, etc etc etc. "Stale" is pretty much the last word I'd use to describe the company right now, and anyone saying that is either lost without a clue or the same louses who have been pounding that drum since 2013. Disregard.

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

Post by packerman120 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:34 am

Ospreay/Takahashi was great, as expected. Other than that, a weak show. Goto/EVIL was trash. Like, holy crap, I did not care. Okada/SANADA was solid up until the finishing stretch, and when the crowd heated up and Okada did those amazing nearfalls, it become great for me. Ospreay/Takahashi at ****1/2 and Okada/SANADA at ****1/4 going on the old spreadsheet.

Also, Mysterio vs. Liger! Taichi vs. Naito! Okada vs. Ospreay! NJPW is switching it up and it's awesome!

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

Post by Tigerkinney » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:59 am

Joe Lanza wrote:
rollup wrote:it has to be said the crowd was still very happy and reactive to okada's win , so while people on twitter (dun talk to me about business and spreadsheets!) might say NJ is now stale , the japan crowd is still liking it atm .. shoulder shrug i guess
"People on Twitter" have been calling NJPW stale for years now. Paying customers don't agree, and neither do the large majority of Western fans. Especially now, with so much cool stuff going on like Jericho, Rey, Taichi moving up, Okada/Will, heavyweight tag titles worth paying attention to, R3K absolutely killing it every show in the junior tags, the first trial series in ages, Jay White, etc etc etc. "Stale" is pretty much the last word I'd use to describe the company right now, and anyone saying that is either lost without a clue or the same louses who have been pounding that drum since 2013. Disregard.
I think the phrase 'Empty vessels make the loudest noise' applies to the 'fans' on twitter. You could have made the argument that the NJPW product was stale in 2015, when Okada vs Tanahashi dominated the IWGP Heavyweight scene (not that I was complaining- an all time great feud) and Nakamura had a vice like grip on the IC belt but since the WWE raid in January 2016, the NJPW product has been getting progressively less stale and predictable.

As for the Osaka show- loved Ospreay vs Hiromu and thought SANADA had his best performance in an NJPW ring (even if I never really bought into him being able to dethrone Okada) and though I didn't hate Goto vs EVIL as much as some, recognise it could have been a better match and suffered being sandwiched between two excellent matches.

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

Post by SamoKuma » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:56 am

Empiresk wrote:I absolutely loved the main event. Best match I have ever seen Sanada have. Loved the comparisons between Sanada and Naito both having Okada beat but went for a flashy move only to let Okada slip back into the match. Loved the crowd slowly getting behind Sanada and then exploding when Sanada started hitting his signature leapfrogs and topes.

I really enjoyed Ospreay vs Hiromu but felt it was abit flat as the crowd had no investment in Ospreay and as a result never got near the standards of Hiromu vs KUSHIDA or even the KUSHIDA vs Ospreay matches from last year.

Really didn't feel Goto vs EVIL. For whatever reason, I didn't get into it and is arguably my mots disappointing match of the year so far.

2015 Ospreay vs Okada was great in Rev Pro so one could only imagine how good 2018 Ospreay vs Okada will be. That could be spectacular.
I just felt asleep during the Evil/Goto. Man, Evil's matches bore me to DEATH, i still cannot get along with the character. I don't like his shape, i don't like his face, i find him boring as heck in ring, i do not convey any feeling of power, and please god don't let do his "everything is evil" promo again. It's just cringe fest every time.

That's funny, i think that's Collin from the purocast who used Evil to counterbalance his dislike of Jay White's Gimmick the EXACT same way I feel about Evil.

Very good show by the way, i absolutely loved the ME, even if the beginning was quite sloppY. Do no lost hope with Sanada.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:50 pm

I have mixed feeling about yesterday's main event. In a vacuum I thought it was a really good match that exceeded my fairly low expectations. The first 5-10 minutes were maybe a bit too slow, but once they hit the point where they were both on the apron and SANADA rammed Okada into the ringpost the match got really exciting and never really let up. I still prefer SANADA's 2016 matches with Tanahashi to this one, but it was certainly his best performance since then.

That said, I agree with suplexberry that SANADA seems to be lacking that x-factor that makes a wrestler a true star. Superficially he has many of the qualities that a top guy in New Japan needs - the matinee idol look, the in-ring skills, etc. - but he still comes off as someone with no real personality, despite the company finally giving him some mic time. He always just has that blank expression on his face regardless of what he's doing. I think he's a very strong midcarder but he'll have to have a charisma injection like Naito got when he became LIJ Naito if he really wants to reach the next level.

Obviously the Osaka crowd was getting really fired up during SANADA's moments of dominance in this match, but I really think that has more to do with the crowd being deeply invested in Okada's epic title reign and being hopeful that they'll be there live for the historic moment when he is finally toppled. Notice how the crowd turned on Okada during the match but they were hanging on every word of his post-match promo with very little backlash. Perhaps I'm bringing my own biases into this, but I really credit Okada and the booking of the IWGP Title with the hot reaction that the match got more than I do SANADA.

My favorite match on the show was definitely the Jr Title match, as expected. It was exactly the kind of insane sprint that I want to see from the two most explosive junior wrestlers on earth. Just an insane match and probably my favorite for the title since the previous New Beginning in Osaka's Hiromu vs. Dragon Lee match.

I agree with the consensus that the NEVER Title match was kind of a bore. It was an okay exhibition of two beefy guys slapping the shit out of each other, but they never picked up the pace to reach that next gear that big New Japan matches seem to routinely get to. It just felt way too methodical, especially coming after Hiromu/Ospreay.

I thought that Naito/YOSHI-HASHI was really fun. YOSHI-HASHI matches work so much better when the crowd is firmly behind him, which they were here (even if their reaction to Naito is obviously a “love to hate” kind of thing). I'm not sure how I feel about Naito's next program apparently being with Taichi. On the one hand I've grown to appreciate Taichi's finer qualities over the last few months after genuinely hating him and not wanting to see him for a long time. On the other hand I mostly like him as a guy in undercard tags, and don't really want to see him as a pushed singles star. I dread the possibility of him competing in the G1.

I liked Gedo vs. BUSHI a lot. I could understand someone not liking all the shenanigans, but since they all played into the story of the match I thought they were well executed. For me this type of match is probably a better way to use these two guys than to put them in a regular match against each other anyway. I loved when Gedo slapped the mist out of BUSHI's mouth.

The Nagata match was probably the best of the Kitamura trial series so far. I might have personally preferred the Juice match a tad, but I admit that that probably has to with me being more invested in Juice than I am with Nagata. I still think that Kitamura has a long way to go as a bell-to-bell competitor, but Nagata did a good job of working around the big man's limitations.

Desperado/Kanemaru vs. RPG 3K was a nice little match. I look forward to seeing SHO and YOH more than almost anyone else on New Japan cards these days and their matches always excite me. The Suzukigun juniors aren't as strong of foils for them as The Young Bucks are, but they'll make for a fine filler title defense. I thought they did a good job in this match of acting like sleazy heels without overdoing the bullshit.

The two multi-man tag matches were nothing too special, but I do really enjoy the Juice/Finlay/Henare trio and I wouldn't mind seeing them as an official unit going forward.

I thought this was a very good show overall. Is it weird though if my favorite match from the entire New Beginning tour was White vs. Finlay? I know that there were matches on the tour that had higher workrate (RPG 3K vs. Young Bucks, Ospreay vs. Hiromu), were more epic (Tanahashi vs. Suzuki), or had an ever better post-match (Omega vs. White), but I don't think there was another match on this tour, or maybe even this year so far, where I've been hanging on every moment like I was with White vs. Finlay.

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

Post by suplexberry » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:17 pm

Frank Olson wrote: That said, I agree with suplexberry that SANADA seems to be lacking that x-factor that makes a wrestler a true star. Superficially he has many of the qualities that a top guy in New Japan needs - the matinee idol look, the in-ring skills, etc. - but he still comes off as someone with no real personality, despite the company finally giving him some mic time. He always just has that blank expression on his face regardless of what he's doing. I think he's a very strong midcarder but he'll have to have a charisma injection like Naito got when he became LIJ Naito if he really wants to reach the next level.
I was gonna bring up Naito but it feels unfair to compare anybody to such a charismatic guy. Then again, Naito is also a good lesson - he went from an average guy who had good matches (and should be noted, not blessed with traditionally handsome looks) to a compelling character and charismatic superstar who has very good to sublime matches. And it's a good lesson, too, because I think you need that next level talent in all regards if you wanna rise to the top of this company in particular. Naito learned that the hard way, but he also had the tenacity and the support of the company to get to that level himself. I won't write off SANADA for good, since I doubt this is the last of his flirtations with the main event scene, but boy do I hope something dramatic changes in him if we do get a truly big push for him.
I'm not sure how I feel about Naito's next program apparently being with Taichi. On the one hand I've grown to appreciate Taichi's finer qualities over the last few months after genuinely hating him and not wanting to see him for a long time. On the other hand I mostly like him as a guy in undercard tags, and don't really want to see him as a pushed singles star. I dread the possibility of him competing in the G1.
I rewatched the TakaTaichimania match and paid closer attention to how they matched and how Taichi looked as a heavyweight. I think this will be a fine program, the two have chemistry and when Taichi cares, he can put his best foot forward and work hard. His kicks are devastating, and paired with Naito's bumping and their general dickery, I think it'll be a fun program.

Again, I am miffed it's another filler program for Naito, but my salt aside, there's no harm in doing these kinds of things with a guy who the crowd is incredibly invested it. It's a soft landing for Taichi as hebby-kyu and the two guys seem to like working together. Heavyweight Taichi will be weird for the first few months but I think we'll get used to it sooner than we expect. G1 is another thing, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

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

Post by Empiresk » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:14 pm

SamoKuma wrote:
Empiresk wrote:I absolutely loved the main event. Best match I have ever seen Sanada have. Loved the comparisons between Sanada and Naito both having Okada beat but went for a flashy move only to let Okada slip back into the match. Loved the crowd slowly getting behind Sanada and then exploding when Sanada started hitting his signature leapfrogs and topes.

I really enjoyed Ospreay vs Hiromu but felt it was abit flat as the crowd had no investment in Ospreay and as a result never got near the standards of Hiromu vs KUSHIDA or even the KUSHIDA vs Ospreay matches from last year.

Really didn't feel Goto vs EVIL. For whatever reason, I didn't get into it and is arguably my mots disappointing match of the year so far.

2015 Ospreay vs Okada was great in Rev Pro so one could only imagine how good 2018 Ospreay vs Okada will be. That could be spectacular.
I just felt asleep during the Evil/Goto. Man, Evil's matches bore me to DEATH, i still cannot get along with the character. I don't like his shape, i don't like his face, i find him boring as heck in ring, i do not convey any feeling of power, and please god don't let do his "everything is evil" promo again. It's just cringe fest every time.

That's funny, i think that's Collin from the purocast who used Evil to counterbalance his dislike of Jay White's Gimmick the EXACT same way I feel about Evil.

Very good show by the way, i absolutely loved the ME, even if the beginning was quite sloppY. Do no lost hope with Sanada.
Sometimes I love EVIL, sometimes I feel he puts out duds. His closing few matches in last years G1 were amazing. I LOVED his matches against Okada and Omega and were some of my personal highlights of the year but his title match against Okada is arguably Okada's worst title defence even including Cody.

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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 11, 2018 11:17 pm

EVIL's best matches seem to be intense 15-or-so minute brawls, and the Goto match was not that. I don't know whether to blame the guys in the match or whoever wrote-out the match, but it didn't play to his (or even Goto's) strengths and was terribly boring.

There were a few moments in the SANADA match I liked: the moonsault near-fall, SANADA's diving to get control, and parts of the ending sequence. Okada and SANADA also have an undeniable chemistry and there was a good energy underlying the whole thing, but despite all of that it was completely average. It's been ten years, SANADA is not going to be a big deal if he's going to be as completely average in the biggest match of his life as he's been in the last few years. He's not charismatic and in-ring he doesn't do enough cool stuff to justify a 30-minute match and if this was supposed to be a coming out it wasn't a very good one. Okada was the same Okada as always in this match, just with a mediocre opponent.

Despite the worst showing yesterday, I still think EVIL is the better of the EVILNADA team because he's better at what he does than SANADA is at whatever it is he tries to do.
I dunno what I'm doing but come follow me on Twitter @Jacobs_Bawks

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

Post by Frank Olson » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:53 am

Another advantage that EVIL has over SANADA is that he does amazing things like this on Twitter...

Image

Bloodbuzz Bunk
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:50 am

I just finally got to watch the show and I have to say the negativity surrounding it baffles me.

Yeah Evil and Goto sorta stunk it up for 10 minutes of a 20 minute match but aside from that everything delivered to expectations.

Osprey v Hiromu was AWESOME and was the most insane thing I have seen in a Jr title match since either Lee v Takahashi or Takahashi v Kushida I. That was a clear 4.75 star affair and I love that Hiromu has something to chase that feels tangible. Hiromu is great but I'm glad that someone who is a little bigger and at times a little flashier can dazzle him enough to get beat. I think Hiromu is clearly winning the BOSJ this year and taking the title from Osprey at Dominion.

Okada v Sanada started off hot with the piledrivers but then they cooled off almost a little to much. Sanada needs to be aware that he can't get in these long cool down stretches because if he is gonna maintain this "cold skull" emotionless gimmick than he is gonna put people to sleep. Those cool down stretches work great for Naito or Suzuki because their personalities carry the lulls. However once they got cooking again the match was almost perfect. Aside from a botched Skull End reversal that lead to a legit pin for Okada over Sanada at the 20 minute mark the last 13 minutes are flawless. When Sanada hit that Rainmaker, Osaka exploded, and I almost had a heart attack. Bought it hook line and sinker. I also loved the callbacks to Okada v Naito with Sanada trying to get cute on the destino like reversals once too often. 4.5 star match to me and a match that makes Sanada a viable star going forward. Especially loved suit wearing, talking, no mohawk Sanada from the VTR. That Sanada is a star in waiting and makes me wish that LIJ( in particular EVIL and Sanada) had more of a wild man/yakuza edge to their gimmick than gothic freakshow vibes but alas we can't have everything.

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Kirk D
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Kirk D » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:47 am

Being new to New Japan I did not have any expectations to this show. From my point of view it was a solid in between show with a great display of the junior heavyweights. Nothing wrong about it overall but also only a few things stand out. I like the consistency they put on with their shows.

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Leo C
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Leo C » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:57 am

Nagata and Kitamura was very good. Did exactly what it needed. Kitamura showed heart, but in the end he could overcome Nagata in the slap trades and he just got killed with the greatest Rolling Kick I think I've ever seen. Loved it.

The Jr. Tag also did exactly what it needed. The heels worked the injury over and it lead directly to the finish. I love when a body part is worked over and the finish of the match is a move that actually targets it; if SHO had reached the ropes again and Kanemaru just hit his DDT I wouldn't have been nearly as happy with this. Plus the humiliation of putting him away with a Boston Crab, plus the fact that they cheated. They did enough to make it fun while still saving stuff for the title match. This also did exactly what it needed.

The two 6-man tags were alright. I'm actually kinda curious to see what Makabe/Suzuki is gonna look like bell to bell. Makabe's G1 wasn't bad, who knows? Juice vs White for the US title should be fun when/if they do it.

Gedo/BUSHI was a fun match even if with the sloppy execution. Besides BUSHI I'm probably the only one who remembered that BOSJ match. I was actually glad that Gedo won that and was sad BUSHI got the win back here, but it was fine.

Naito/Y-H was pretty good as well. The crowd really helped, as I expected people to start jumping the rail when Tacos stole Naito's fake dive/pose. :lol: It really heated up towards the end.

Ospreay/Hiromu was a good match, although I wasn't blown away by it. Just really not my style. The match layout was pretty much what I expected with them just having a war.

EVIL/Goto was boring. Beefy guys throwing bombs is my favorite type of wrestling, so I was disappointed when they just fucked around for 20 mins doing nothing. I do like that Goto brought that necklace to, I guess, scare the spirits that accompany EVIL to the ring. It worked well, but the match was lame.

I really enjoyed the main event. The first 10 mins or so really were slow, but I think that actually plays into the story. SANADA's deal is he never gives 100%, and throughout the build Okada kept trying to get him to do so. But when the match started SANADA, again, was not giving 100%. He took over early and worked over Okada slowly, but as we've seen you can't play around with Okada; as the tables turned Okada started taunting him and only then did SANADA go all out, with the turnaround point being that springboard to the outside. From that point on it was on, and SANADA almost had him many times. He's still not at Okada's level though, and lost. I thought the story was great. I was also very happy that he didn't use the Paradise Lock in this match. Only criticism really is that his Dragon Sleeper looks like shit.

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

Post by Lawsoncomedy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:06 am

It felt like the whole EVIL/Goto match was about getting to the Buddha necklace spot. Weirdly sports entertainment-esque. Wish they had just killed each other with strikes and bombs the whole time. Didn't ruin the show for me, but a great match there would've really elevated this show above the previous 2.

Main event and Jrs match were both excellent. I'm not worried about Hiromu but I do want both him and KUSHIDA to get into something interesting sooner than later, whatever that may be. That's probably this year's BOTSJ final.

Yoshi-Hashi brought it.

I'm ok with being late to the whole 'Suzuki-Gun Jr.'s are good" thing because they still don't do a ton for me. That said their match was good since I'm into everything RP 3K does and the first Taichi/Naito match was also surprisingly good, so I can't say they haven't stepped up.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Garuda » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:32 pm

https://njpwworld.com/p/o_original_0002_63

I'm only halfway through and have to go to work, but this documentary is AWESOME. A must-see - I am so jazzed for this team's official debut. And it's such an amazing way to establish/hype a new finisher.

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

Post by EvilJason » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:39 pm

Lads how good is that Golden Lovers segment? Blurred the lines between storyline and reality, as mentioned built hype for their new finisher plus their tag run while establishing that they will still do singles. Gave different motivations for the team reforming and leaves open so many potential routes to go with this reunion.

Leaving aside that this was reunion was something ready-made and NJPW could have pulled the trigger on at any time (credit them for their patience because this is definitely the right time) ALL promotions should be doing segments like this. Having ott streaming services with a captive audience all in one place makes doing stuff like this such an easy way of developing characters and storylines yet so promotions do it and none do it as effectively as NJPW. A homerun.

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