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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by FilipPejic » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:30 pm

GuestTimekeeper wrote:Tanahashi has to get one of the next two title shots. So he could win the cup, beating a SZG guy each round, and challenge Okada for his record-tying 10th defense. I much prefer Tanahashi challenging at Dominion as Okada tried to break the record. And the Cup is made for upsets. Tana/Taichi screams upset to me. Tana could get his win back at Sakura Genesis and challenge Okada then.

The Cup is often used to give a boost to a guy who wasn't quite main event level. This is the main reason I don't think Tana or Naito win. With no Suzuki, a Tanahashi redemption angle would feel flat.

Ibushi is the most likely winner. Ibushi/Okada is the freshest match, and Ibushi is the biggest name Okada hasn't defended his title against. In fact, the last time Okada and Ibushi had a singles match was 2014, when Ibushi was IWGP Jr champion. The match makes too much sense to not do.
Are we not counting the Tiger Mask W match from last year
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Danwaka » Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:36 pm

FilipPejic wrote:Are we not counting the Tiger Mask W match from last year
Why would we count another wrestler? :?:

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Garuda » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:08 am

This bracket is a lot of fun to think about. It's arranged in a way that gives a lot of plausible routes to victory in which they could encounter meaningful opponents on the way. For instance, I see the tease of a 2nd round bout between Y-H that I know I'm meant to consider even though I'm pretty confident it isn't happening. Stuff like that.

But I'll share some of my prediction ideas by making some gradual cuts to the field of sixteen. I'm only considering who I think can actually win, not trying to forecast every possible slot. Also assuming that only Okada and Suzuki are viable targets of a Cup victory - White's scheduled f

First Cut

I feel like you can immediately cut nine of the sixteen without analysis. Yujiro, Taichi, Archer, Fale, DBS Jr., Yano, SANADA, Chuckie T, and Yoshi's chances all feel like functional zeroes. I'm a fan of most of them, but none have any real chance at winning the Cup and challenging for a title. Unless it's Goto's and they wouldn't blow a Cup on that.

Second Cut

Then there's a couple who only very technically have a shot. That's Juice and Ishii to me. Juice I give a non-zero just because he's a popular midcarder who would be a really popular underdog, and who Okada hasn't defended his title against. But honestly, he's not going to take on Okada or Suzuki in a spot like Sakura Genesis. He is due for another heat-up period, but I think people who throw this one out there are way off-base.

Look, I'd love Ishii to win it and challenge Okada, but it's fantasy booking. There's a popular sentiment floating around that Ishii winning and challenging Okada naturally extends the Jay White disruption. But for a company that likes to plant seeds, I haven't seen any kind of set-up in that direction, nor does it even fit with his character. He's gotta be the LEAST likely member of CHAOS to be led to sedition by Jay fuckin' White. What I have seen from New Japan is the consistent booking of Ishii as an upper-midcard respected gatekeeper - he's not winning it!

Third Cut

We're down to five people who have any kind of realistic shot at the Cup.

5) Michael Elgin - Is that verified, the things I've read recently that he did officially re-sign? If so he's got an actual chance just by virtue of not having any major programs going on, having credibility, and having not yet challenged Okada. He could do and, and I'd love to see it. THe major problem for him is, again, I don't think that Okada vs. Elgin is a draw to top a major show.

4) Tetsuya Naito - Naito's too big a name, and too in need of an Okada rematch to discount. And yet I can't help but largely discount him anyways - the timing is all off for Naito to win this thing. To lose at Wrestle KIngdom, have a filler feud with Yoshi-Hashi, and then challenge Okada again in a must-win scenario already at Genesis is really off-rhythm for how New Japan is building this thing and how they've built similar programs in the past. He needs more opponents, yes, even past Taichi.

And what's this, Zack Sabre Jr. in the first round? We know that Gedo loves to book upsets, first round losses for big names, the avoidance of big matches, and Yano and Fale to go far in the New Japan Cup. At mentioned earlier in the thread, this feels likely on patterns alone. Then it makes a ton of sense for Naito to lose to ZSJ and have him as another, larger obstacle on his path to restoration. Speaking of which...

3) Zack Sabre Jr. - The two general New Japan Cup stories are:

1) Upper mid-carder gets a big rub on his way to challenge larger game.
2) Defeated main-eventer gets his act together to return to glory.

ZSJ would be fantastic for the former, even better than Naito would be for the latter. He's fresh for Okada, his Cup matches won't blow anything big, and he's got history with almost any of the heavies he'd face in the finals. Problem is that him losing just fits better. Like Elgin, Sabre isn't a draw on the Sakura Genesis main event level. Look back at the previous main events - top guys only. And Although I think ZSJ is incredible, he's not booked consistently enough to be at that level all of a sudden.

And speaking of history, I looked back at previous NJ Cup brackets, and almost every single time the persons responsible for the big upsets lose immediately after - they've already gotten the rub, they don't need to win the Cup as well. And the only times they went further it was no further than the third round. It makes far more sense for ZSJ to lose, and to get involves with Naito or LiJ instead of making it all the way to the main event.

Which leaves us with...

I think Tanahashi and Ibushi are the only truly strong candidates for victory in this year's Cup. And although both are being bandied around, I think one may be more overrated than the other.

2) Hiroshi Tanahashi - I get it, he does fit quite well into this story. But like Naito, I think it's all too fast for the redemption story. First of all, it's a weird fit into the title picture. Does he win (perhaps beating Suzuki-gun flunkies along the way) and challenge Suzuki? The way they've teased it, I"m still assuming that Tanahashi is going to challenge Okada to save his record. So he'd either lose again, which wouldn't set him up for an Okada challenge, or win and have a title vs. title match, which I just don't see. And if he does challenge Okada, it puts him in that sub-optimal position of challenging him to stop him from TYING, not breaking the record. Although in his favor, it also seems unlikely that Okada's going to have no challenges in between Sakura Genesis and Dominion just to wait for the Tanahashi bout (That's no title match at Dontaku).

And where would an Okada challenge leave him with Suzuki-gun, the people that shelved him in the first place? It's unlike NJPW to just drop that. Granted, losing again to Suzuki and immediately challenging for a superior title IS what they'd do, so I can't rule it out.

Ultimately, I find myself feeling like a first round loss to Taichi or a second-round loss to longtime NJ Cup rival Fale would be more likely. IT prolongs his story and frees him up for the Okada challenge whenever that feels right for them. That leaves the field open for...

1) Kota Ibushi - This just fits. Better than the others, even Tanahashi. Putting aside that Tana hasn't challenged Okada during this title reign, Ibushi is the biggest star they've got who hasn't had a run at his belt yet. Winning the Cup would be meaningful for a guy whose place in the pecking order is still pretty murky given his history, and yet his star power is definitely strong enough to represent the top of Sakura Genesis. And it gives him single's stuff to do, and seasoning for the Golden Lovers, while Omega deals with BC drama. He can beat Yoshi-Hashi, ZSJ, SANADA/Yano/Chuckie/whoever comes out of that quadrant, and then win the finals probably against Ishii, Elgin, or Fale (probably not two finals years in a row for him, though).

Everyone else, even Tanahashi, feel like they have too much baggage and too many other things going on right now. I don't think it's a lock or anything, but Kota feels like the most natural choice by a decent margin. And bonus points if during the Okada/Ibushi match Omega does something that echoes that great moment from Styles/Ibushi, the match Ibushi last earned from the NJ Cup.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Garuda » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:12 am

FilipPejic wrote:
GuestTimekeeper wrote:Tanahashi has to get one of the next two title shots. So he could win the cup, beating a SZG guy each round, and challenge Okada for his record-tying 10th defense. I much prefer Tanahashi challenging at Dominion as Okada tried to break the record. And the Cup is made for upsets. Tana/Taichi screams upset to me. Tana could get his win back at Sakura Genesis and challenge Okada then.

The Cup is often used to give a boost to a guy who wasn't quite main event level. This is the main reason I don't think Tana or Naito win. With no Suzuki, a Tanahashi redemption angle would feel flat.

Ibushi is the most likely winner. Ibushi/Okada is the freshest match, and Ibushi is the biggest name Okada hasn't defended his title against. In fact, the last time Okada and Ibushi had a singles match was 2014, when Ibushi was IWGP Jr champion. The match makes too much sense to not do.
Are we not counting the Tiger Mask W match from last year
Non-title match, that one.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by FilipPejic » Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:59 am

Garuda wrote:
FilipPejic wrote:
GuestTimekeeper wrote:Tanahashi has to get one of the next two title shots. So he could win the cup, beating a SZG guy each round, and challenge Okada for his record-tying 10th defense. I much prefer Tanahashi challenging at Dominion as Okada tried to break the record. And the Cup is made for upsets. Tana/Taichi screams upset to me. Tana could get his win back at Sakura Genesis and challenge Okada then.

The Cup is often used to give a boost to a guy who wasn't quite main event level. This is the main reason I don't think Tana or Naito win. With no Suzuki, a Tanahashi redemption angle would feel flat.

Ibushi is the most likely winner. Ibushi/Okada is the freshest match, and Ibushi is the biggest name Okada hasn't defended his title against. In fact, the last time Okada and Ibushi had a singles match was 2014, when Ibushi was IWGP Jr champion. The match makes too much sense to not do.
Are we not counting the Tiger Mask W match from last year
Non-title match, that one.
He said the last match between Ibushi and Okada and that was non title match. So technically I wasn’t wrong
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Jacob's Bawks » Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:25 am

Point-blank this New Japan Cup field is terrible. With the roster NJPW has, putting Taylor/Taichi/Archer/Smith/YOSHI/Yano in it is pitiful. If you're going to include the NEVER as an option for the winner to choose at least include some juniors, God.

Anyways, if we're going off the normal booking patterns than I expect Tanahashi and Naito to be eliminated early-on. Too early for a Naito challenge and Tana's still got Suzuki to deal with. I think Taichi's just here to play the role Yano did in 2015. The only two I think are winning are either Ishii since White is pushing for Okada/Ishii, or perhaps Elgin as a wild-card and filler challenger. He just signed that new contract so I think they'll stop the de-push they gave him last year and start pushing him once more.
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:21 am

One interesting thing about the upcoming New Japan Cup cards is that on nights when he doesn't have tournament matches Ibushi is teaming with Bullet Club members. I get it, since he is aligned with Omega who is still the leader of the Bullet Club (at least for now), but it's just weird to see these cards where Ibushi is teaming with Chase Owens and Yujiro and guys like that. For the most part I'll probably just stick to watching the tournament matches during the New Japan Cup, but I will check out those Ibushi tags because I am curious about what his dynamic will be with the non-Elite Bullet Club guys and if him being an odd man out will be an ongoing story in the New Japan Cup undercards.

There is also a Shota Umino vs. El Desperado singles match on the undercard of the March 11th show that sounds like it will be worth checking out.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:08 am

Second Cut

Then there's a couple who only very technically have a shot. That's Juice and Ishii to me. Juice I give a non-zero just because he's a popular midcarder who would be a really popular underdog, and who Okada hasn't defended his title against. But honestly, he's not going to take on Okada or Suzuki in a spot like Sakura Genesis. He is due for another heat-up period, but I think people who throw this one out there are way off-base.

Look, I'd love Ishii to win it and challenge Okada, but it's fantasy booking. There's a popular sentiment floating around that Ishii winning and challenging Okada naturally extends the Jay White disruption. But for a company that likes to plant seeds, I haven't seen any kind of set-up in that direction, nor does it even fit with his character. He's gotta be the LEAST likely member of CHAOS to be led to sedition by Jay fuckin' White. What I have seen from New Japan is the consistent booking of Ishii as an upper-midcard respected gatekeeper - he's not winning it!

Third Cut

We're down to five people who have any kind of realistic shot at the Cup.

5) Michael Elgin - Is that verified, the things I've read recently that he did officially re-sign? If so he's got an actual chance just by virtue of not having any major programs going on, having credibility, and having not yet challenged Okada. He could do and, and I'd love to see it. THe major problem for him is, again, I don't think that Okada vs. Elgin is a draw to top a major show.

4) Tetsuya Naito - Naito's too big a name, and too in need of an Okada rematch to discount. And yet I can't help but largely discount him anyways - the timing is all off for Naito to win this thing. To lose at Wrestle KIngdom, have a filler feud with Yoshi-Hashi, and then challenge Okada again in a must-win scenario already at Genesis is really off-rhythm for how New Japan is building this thing and how they've built similar programs in the past. He needs more opponents, yes, even past Taichi.

And what's this, Zack Sabre Jr. in the first round? We know that Gedo loves to book upsets, first round losses for big names, the avoidance of big matches, and Yano and Fale to go far in the New Japan Cup. At mentioned earlier in the thread, this feels likely on patterns alone. Then it makes a ton of sense for Naito to lose to ZSJ and have him as another, larger obstacle on his path to restoration. Speaking of which...

3) Zack Sabre Jr. - The two general New Japan Cup stories are:

1) Upper mid-carder gets a big rub on his way to challenge larger game.
2) Defeated main-eventer gets his act together to return to glory.

ZSJ would be fantastic for the former, even better than Naito would be for the latter. He's fresh for Okada, his Cup matches won't blow anything big, and he's got history with almost any of the heavies he'd face in the finals. Problem is that him losing just fits better. Like Elgin, Sabre isn't a draw on the Sakura Genesis main event level. Look back at the previous main events - top guys only. And Although I think ZSJ is incredible, he's not booked consistently enough to be at that level all of a sudden.

And speaking of history, I looked back at previous NJ Cup brackets, and almost every single time the persons responsible for the big upsets lose immediately after - they've already gotten the rub, they don't need to win the Cup as well. And the only times they went further it was no further than the third round. It makes far more sense for ZSJ to lose, and to get involves with Naito or LiJ instead of making it all the way to the main event.

Which leaves us with...

I think Tanahashi and Ibushi are the only truly strong candidates for victory in this year's Cup. And although both are being bandied around, I think one may be more overrated than the other.

2) Hiroshi Tanahashi - I get it, he does fit quite well into this story. But like Naito, I think it's all too fast for the redemption story. First of all, it's a weird fit into the title picture. Does he win (perhaps beating Suzuki-gun flunkies along the way) and challenge Suzuki? The way they've teased it, I"m still assuming that Tanahashi is going to challenge Okada to save his record. So he'd either lose again, which wouldn't set him up for an Okada challenge, or win and have a title vs. title match, which I just don't see. And if he does challenge Okada, it puts him in that sub-optimal position of challenging him to stop him from TYING, not breaking the record. Although in his favor, it also seems unlikely that Okada's going to have no challenges in between Sakura Genesis and Dominion just to wait for the Tanahashi bout (That's no title match at Dontaku).

And where would an Okada challenge leave him with Suzuki-gun, the people that shelved him in the first place? It's unlike NJPW to just drop that. Granted, losing again to Suzuki and immediately challenging for a superior title IS what they'd do, so I can't rule it out.

Ultimately, I find myself feeling like a first round loss to Taichi or a second-round loss to longtime NJ Cup rival Fale would be more likely. IT prolongs his story and frees him up for the Okada challenge whenever that feels right for them. That leaves the field open for...

1) Kota Ibushi - This just fits. Better than the others, even Tanahashi. Putting aside that Tana hasn't challenged Okada during this title reign, Ibushi is the biggest star they've got who hasn't had a run at his belt yet. Winning the Cup would be meaningful for a guy whose place in the pecking order is still pretty murky given his history, and yet his star power is definitely strong enough to represent the top of Sakura Genesis. And it gives him single's stuff to do, and seasoning for the Golden Lovers, while Omega deals with BC drama. He can beat Yoshi-Hashi, ZSJ, SANADA/Yano/Chuckie/whoever comes out of that quadrant, and then win the finals probably against Ishii, Elgin, or Fale (probably not two finals years in a row for him, though).

Everyone else, even Tanahashi, feel like they have too much baggage and too many other things going on right now. I don't think it's a lock or anything, but Kota feels like the most natural choice by a decent margin. And bonus points if during the Okada/Ibushi match Omega does something that echoes that great moment from Styles/Ibushi, the match Ibushi last earned from the NJ Cup.[/quote]

I like your way of cutting out the non-options and ranking from there but there is one distinction that I would flip. That would be Elgin and Juice. Juice has a proven track record of meeting the challenge when it comes of drawing. He sold out a small building headlining with Naito before Dontaku last year and was given the shot against Omega on the Destruction show in Osaka with zero undercard support and still drew 5,500 or so fans which was a mild 100 fan improvement from Naito v Elgin the year prior. Then you look at Okada and consider how he has drawn 9,000+ with EVIL in Sumo Hall and 6,000+ with Sanada in Osaka. I just can't see Juice not being a draw that gets to that 8,500-9,500 mark with Okada at the last Sumo Hall match for NJPW until KOPW.

Elgin on the other hand is definitely in time out. You can argue whether or not he deserves his demotion or deserves to still be blessed with the job period( I'm perfectly happy with the professional funk he is in. He doesn't deserve to lose his career in total but he is gonna have to restart from the bottom and earn the fans and the bosses respect back over time and prove that he isn't a total insecure and belligerent jerk.) I just can't see how Elgin wins barring Naito, Juice, Ishii, Tanahashi, and Ibushi are locked into long term stories that can't facilitate them having a secondary feud with Okada. Even if all 5 of those guys are locked in with something else, I think you make a good case as to why the office would rather take a chance on ZSJ getting a challenge over giving the Cup to Elgin.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Garuda » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:29 am

Bloodbuzz Bunk wrote: I like your way of cutting out the non-options and ranking from there but there is one distinction that I would flip. That would be Elgin and Juice. Juice has a proven track record of meeting the challenge when it comes of drawing. He sold out a small building headlining with Naito before Dontaku last year and was given the shot against Omega on the Destruction show in Osaka with zero undercard support and still drew 5,500 or so fans which was a mild 100 fan improvement from Naito v Elgin the year prior. Then you look at Okada and consider how he has drawn 9,000+ with EVIL in Sumo Hall and 6,000+ with Sanada in Osaka. I just can't see Juice not being a draw that gets to that 8,500-9,500 mark with Okada at the last Sumo Hall match for NJPW until KOPW.

Elgin on the other hand is definitely in time out. You can argue whether or not he deserves his demotion or deserves to still be blessed with the job period( I'm perfectly happy with the professional funk he is in. He doesn't deserve to lose his career in total but he is gonna have to restart from the bottom and earn the fans and the bosses respect back over time and prove that he isn't a total insecure and belligerent jerk.) I just can't see how Elgin wins barring Naito, Juice, Ishii, Tanahashi, and Ibushi are locked into long term stories that can't facilitate them having a secondary feud with Okada. Even if all 5 of those guys are locked in with something else, I think you make a good case as to why the office would rather take a chance on ZSJ getting a challenge over giving the Cup to Elgin.
I see where you're coming from on both counts, but I see it differently.

First off, I've just never taken NJPW as a company that's interested in how shitty their wrestlers behave unless and until it causes a PR stink, and I just don't think the Elgin thing is going to buzz about in Japan. If they re-signed the guy, I think it's a sign that he's going to continue as usual. If anything is going to affect him it might be the War Machine/Jeff Cobb stuff that has a more direct effect on how he works in that company.

Second, I maintain that Invasion Attack/Sakura Genesis has been an event where they put their best feet forward at the top of the card. Look at the main events:

2013: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) versus Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2014: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) versus Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
2015: A.J. Styles (c) versus Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2016: Kazuchika Okada (c) versus Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2017: Kazuchika Okada (c) versus Katsuyori Shibata for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

They stack their main events to draw this show, and I think "Kazuchika Okada (c) versus Juice Robinson for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship" looks a LOT unlike the others. I love an upper midcard push as much as the next guy, but I think you've gotta be either a main eventer or a HOT, on-the-rise upper-midcarder to take that spot, and I don't think Juice or Elgin or ZSJ really fit that bill.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:44 am

Garuda wrote:
Bloodbuzz Bunk wrote: I like your way of cutting out the non-options and ranking from there but there is one distinction that I would flip. That would be Elgin and Juice. Juice has a proven track record of meeting the challenge when it comes of drawing. He sold out a small building headlining with Naito before Dontaku last year and was given the shot against Omega on the Destruction show in Osaka with zero undercard support and still drew 5,500 or so fans which was a mild 100 fan improvement from Naito v Elgin the year prior. Then you look at Okada and consider how he has drawn 9,000+ with EVIL in Sumo Hall and 6,000+ with Sanada in Osaka. I just can't see Juice not being a draw that gets to that 8,500-9,500 mark with Okada at the last Sumo Hall match for NJPW until KOPW.

Elgin on the other hand is definitely in time out. You can argue whether or not he deserves his demotion or deserves to still be blessed with the job period( I'm perfectly happy with the professional funk he is in. He doesn't deserve to lose his career in total but he is gonna have to restart from the bottom and earn the fans and the bosses respect back over time and prove that he isn't a total insecure and belligerent jerk.) I just can't see how Elgin wins barring Naito, Juice, Ishii, Tanahashi, and Ibushi are locked into long term stories that can't facilitate them having a secondary feud with Okada. Even if all 5 of those guys are locked in with something else, I think you make a good case as to why the office would rather take a chance on ZSJ getting a challenge over giving the Cup to Elgin.
I see where you're coming from on both counts, but I see it differently.

First off, I've just never taken NJPW as a company that's interested in how shitty their wrestlers behave unless and until it causes a PR stink, and I just don't think the Elgin thing is going to buzz about in Japan. If they re-signed the guy, I think it's a sign that he's going to continue as usual. If anything is going to affect him it might be the War Machine/Jeff Cobb stuff that has a more direct effect on how he works in that company.

Second, I maintain that Invasion Attack/Sakura Genesis has been an event where they put their best feet forward at the top of the card. Look at the main events:

2013: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) versus Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2014: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) versus Shinsuke Nakamura for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
2015: A.J. Styles (c) versus Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2016: Kazuchika Okada (c) versus Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
2017: Kazuchika Okada (c) versus Katsuyori Shibata for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

They stack their main events to draw this show, and I think "Kazuchika Okada (c) versus Juice Robinson for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship" looks a LOT unlike the others. I love an upper midcard push as much as the next guy, but I think you've gotta be either a main eventer or a HOT, on-the-rise upper-midcarder to take that spot, and I don't think Juice or Elgin or ZSJ really fit that bill.
I actually agree for the most part. I think its going to be Tanahashi v Okada because of the defense record and the fact that match actually feels like the freshest thing right since it has been about 18 months since their last match. But you never know, Gedo and the office have never been ones to shy from risk( except when it comes to booking American venues)so booking a guy like Juice doesn't feel to crazy to me.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by suplexberry » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:47 am

I don't doubt we'll get good matches, even underrated ones (everybody forgets about the Shibata vs Ishii and Ishii vs SANADA bouts from last year's Cup, both which I loved the hell out of) but the Cup is always weird. It's always full of possibility and ends up being good, not great. Most Cup finals are great matches but never in MOTY conversations. So I'm half dreading it half optimistic. Part of the dread is how they build up the next Okada challenger, considering how utterly flat I felt about SANADA as one. Even the good options seem kind of "meh" for me at the moment. I seem to be one of the few who didn't love the Elgin vs Okada G1 match. It was good, don't get me wrong, I just didn't get sucked into it all that deeply.

Tanahashi may honestly be my favorite pick out of the bunch, but I have a suspicion he will be occupied with Suzuki-gun throughout the coming months. Ishii or Ibushi would be amazing, too, but I don't know. Ishii would be my pick, but then, he always is. I think that rematch would draw a good crowd to SG but Ibushi is in essence a safer bet, having been a draw in the main event for that venue already.

Hyped as fuck about Long Beach, though. What a card this is shaping up to be.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Garuda » Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:52 am

For sure, that's why I didn't count Juice out in the first cut. I agree that he has a chance, but I think it's a <1% deal. Hell, I'd be into it, and they could make it work for the crowd, I Just don't think they'd be confident that it'd draw to what they expect - and they'd be right, I imagine.


EDIT: I mean, I'm on board with the appeal of an Ishii win. But to actually take it seriously I'd need more than a couple of shit-stirs by White, or at least one where it was shown to have an effect on Ishii. White's shit-stirring everyone in that faction, it doesn't mean each will be seen through. What else makes this unlikely scenario likely?

Additionally I have the anecdotal evidence of ALL of Ishii's booking, saving perhaps the one real pity-fuck he got when Naito needed a title defense. I love the guy, but people are always over-inflating his odds at scoring some major program. I never say or said never, but c'mon.

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

Post by GuestTimekeeper » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:05 pm

FilipPejic wrote:
Garuda wrote:
FilipPejic wrote:
Are we not counting the Tiger Mask W match from last year
Non-title match, that one.
He said the last match between Ibushi and Okada and that was non title match. So technically I wasn’t wrong
Tiger Mask W was never unmasked. Could be Cheeseburger under that hood for all we know.

In all seriousness, they have never fought as heavyweights, with something on the line. Barely ever in the same ring together. It would be the freshest, most interesting, match.

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

Post by Leo C » Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:09 pm

So according to the dude in the press conference, the winner can't challenge for the US title. Maybe they gave him the wrong info, but he was probably correct. If so, does that change somebody's prediction?

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

Post by greenmanRD » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:19 pm

I am picking Kota Ibushi. One thing that seems to be hyped up is Ibushi's inability to win the big match lately, and the boost of Kenny by his side should have an impact on him winning some big matches. Maybe that doesn't happen right away, but the way this Ibushi and Kenny storyline has gone, Ibushi should probably be the one to ascend immediately and probably be the one to take the title off of Okada. Ibushi has been the better man historically between him and Kenny, so Ibushi beating Kenny to the punch one more time should add more angles to their long history.

But, I am also an idiot and can't wait for Juice Robinson's main event match at Sakura Genesis.

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