NJPW (Discussion)

Talk Puro, Lucha, Europe and "I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS/CARIBBEAN/AFRICA"
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Frank Olson
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:28 am

Just got done re-watching the brilliant Hiromu vs. Ishimori BOSJ finals match. That's definitely New Japan Match of the Year so far for me. Normally when a match virtually starts off with something as insane as the John Woo in the stands, followed almost immediately by one of the wrestlers taking a hurricanrana down a fucking flight of stairs, I would say that the match is better off keeping a frantic pace for a short duration. However they really paced this match out beautifully, and the way that it gradually slowed down as both men got more and more worn down was actually a big part of what made the match so gripping and compelling. Those lengthy submission spots were agonizingly intense, and it truly felt like both men were more worn down and wobbly after spending so much time fighting to escape from them. Hiromu will probably get most of the praise for the match, because he's the most charismatic wrestler on Earth and the unquestionable MVP of this tournament, but Ishimori's performance here was off the charts excellent as well. He did a great job in the late stages of the match showing that powering out of Hiromu's submission sapped all of his energy.

The rest of the show was really fun too. I loved the Taguchi Japan vs. LIJ match. I know that a lot of people have been tired of those matches for more than a year now, but I feel like I could watch Taguchi and any random group of wrestlers take on LIJ on every New Japan card and never get tired of it. ACH's dance to Naito's theme was hilarious.

Okada/Ospreay vs. Ibushi/Chase was excellent as well. I don't know that New Japan will ever actually book a singles match between Ospreay and Ibushi (at least while they are arbitrarily split into different weight divisions) but that's something that every fan would love to see. I also love the ongoing story of Chase attempting to hit his Package Piledriver on Okada.

I'm really intrigued by the setup for this Tanahashi/Mysterio/Liger vs. Scurll/Cody/Hangman Dominion match. It just feels so fresh and different. The Tanahashi/Henare vs. Scurll/Yujiro match from the BOSJ finals show wasn't any kind of 5-star classic, but it was really interesting to see Tanahashi and Scurll pairing off against each other in this setting.

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Ckkj14
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Ckkj14 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:05 am

Watched Takahashi v Ishimori last night and I never fully invest in matches knowing the result and hearing everyone rave about it. Was an excellent match but was never going to live up to my expectations. That's why I'm desperate to avoid spoilers for Dominion

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

Post by themib » Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:28 pm

Not unexpected to say that Okada/Omega was incredible, but I believe they topped their previous three matches today. Great physical and psychological drama from the first bell to the last.

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

Post by rollup » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:11 pm

personally i thought Okada vs Omega was too long , but the emotions was off the charts

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:35 pm

Just got done watching Dominion and wanted to get some quick instant reaction thoughts down before I read anyone else's takes. Overall I thought this was the best New Japan show of the year so far.

The Jr Tag Title match was going along really well, with exactly the kind of fast-paced, high-flying action that I want to see from that division, but then it just kind of ended, flatly and out of nowhere. I'm really surprised that Roppongi 3K didn't win the titles back. I assumed that they would transition Desperado into a singles title feud with Hiromu, but I guess that's on the backburner. I don't really see who the next challengers could possibly be for the tag belts.

Juice/Finlay vs. White/YOSHI-HASHI was pretty much exactly what we all expected it to be, a Road To-style tag to set up a Juice US Title challenge (presumably for the Cow Palace). It was a really good Road To-style tag though, and I liked the flurry of finishers at the end.

The Ishii/Suzuki interactions in the next tag match were fiery as expected, but I actually really enjoyed the interactions between ZSJ and Yano as well. I may be alone on this, but that's a match that I'd really like to see in the G1.

The NEVER Title match fell into a lot of the typical pitfalls of three-way matches, but it was more entertaining that I expected it to be. The lengthy turnbuckle spot was well done, as was the finishing stretch with Elgin doing the Buckle Bomb on Taichi onto Goto. Elgin winning was the second big surprise of the show for me. I figured he would continue to be a jobber to the stars for a while, but they must have some sort of plan for him. Looks like we'll be getting a one-on-one Elgin vs. Goto title match soon (I'd guess at one of the Kizuna Road shows).

The Heavyweight Tag Titles match was really good, with a nice contrast of styles between the teams. Once Nick started selling his ankle I figured that meant the LIJ team was going to retain, so that was a clever fakeout. I don't think that EVIL and SANADA ever quite lived up to their promise as a tag team, but I do think that giving two popular upper-midcarders a long successful reign did a lot to make the belts feel important again.

I love the idea of Tanahashi, Liger and Mysterio as a team of legends, but their match against the Bullet Club was nothing special, and it wound up being my least favorite thing on the show. It did its job of giving Cody a victory ahead of what I assume will be his upcoming title challenge, but there just wasn't much to the match.

The Jr Title match was excellent and thrilling. If that had been part of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament it would've been the best match in that tour aside from the final. Hiromu is definitely the biggest star of the division and I hope he gets a nice long reign. I know that some people thought that Ospreay's run might be getting cut off too early, but I don't know, he already had spectacular defenses against Hiromu, Scurll and KUSHIDA, so I don't really know how much more awesome it was going to get.

I'm interested to see how others react to the Intercontinental Title match. I thought it was just okay. I thought Jericho looked slower and sloppier here than in his Wrestle Kingdom match, and I'm already kind of feeling diminishing returns from his brawl-heavy special attraction matches. (When I say diminishing returns I just mean for me personally as a viewer. I'm sure Jericho is helping worldwide business for New Japan). I can't put all the blame on Jericho though, since to be honest I didn't think Naito's performance was anything special either. I don't know how hot this take is, but I feel that Naito's had a pretty lackluster first half of 2018, at least by New Japan main eventer standards. Granted some of that can be blamed on his booking being all over the place (in a company where the booking is normally laser focused) but I don't think he's been delivering in the ring either. Oddly enough his best singles match since Wrestle Kingdom was probably the Anniversary Show match with Taichi. This match wasn't all bad - I liked the crazy spot where Jericho powered out of a top rope Frankensteiner attempt and dropped Naito on his head before transitioning into the Walls of Jericho, and the image of Naito with a ring of blood around his eye was cool - but it wasn't anywhere near great either. I do find it really interesting that they seem to be building to a Jericho vs. EVIL match though (for the Cow Palace, I guess?). I'd rather see him help give some shine to the younger talent than to keep having dream matches with the main eventers, so I'll be interested to see how that Jericho/EVIL match plays out.

The main event was fantastic and never felt long to me despite going (I think) for around 75 minutes. Lots of great callbacks to the previous matches in their series, and every moment felt like it counted. They really took great advantage of Okada's talent for kicking out at 2.99999. I think my favorite moment was after the second fall, when Okada just continued to sell the effects of the One Winged Angel for the entire two minute intermission, and then Omega just immediately charged at him when the bell sounded for round three. I also loved the spot early in the match where Omega countered Okada's dive over the barricade with a V-Trigger knee, which just looked absolutely brutal. Okada being dethroned after two years felt like a big deal and a special moment.

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

Post by JB Gremlin » Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:47 pm

I thought today's match was Okada and Omega's best since the dome and really did a wonderful job of calling back to not only their previous matches but also in each man's rise to the top and path to this point, it really made the change feel truly historic. Not only that but I really loved the structure where none of the falls felt cheap as they were all (certainly the first two) worked like complete matches, with the final fall being the culmination of the last 24 months, unlike in some 2/3 where you very much feel like they're getting the first out the way early. Anyway a masterclass in pro wrestling and something we'll be talking about for a long time I'd imagine. I gave it 5!

I also loved Hiromu and Ospreay, honestly both guys have been on fire in the past month but Hiromu has just put it all together for me this last tour, he's always been good obviously but he just seems to have picked up his game of late, this felt like a big time match too and New Japan's wealth of Juniors at the moment is crazy, the fact that KUSHIDA has hardly had a look in says it all! PLEASE one of KUSHIDA or Will for G1 this year?!?! I had this match a tad better than the BOSJ final and ****3/4 loved it!

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

Post by suplexberry » Sat Jun 09, 2018 4:01 pm

I'd imagine the less I say about the main event, the less I will harsh everybody's positive buzz about it.

Really great show overall. Only the Rey six-man match was kind of just there, and while some questionable decisions were made (actually, just one, as I thought booking a three-way for NEVER, then having Elgin win was kind of meh, even though the match itself was fun), everything did what it needed to. I guess I was somewhat disappointed in the Jr tag match, but really it was just good, not the great I was expecting.

I loved LIJ vs Bucks. I love how the Bucks use the same formula for their recent NJPW matches but yet the matches are always unique enough to feel different and exciting. Evil & SANADA worked hard as hell, and the closing stretch had me on the edge of my seat. Such an excellent tag match, I was bummed about the outcome until a later development on the show.

The Ishii / Yano vs Suzuki / Sabre match delivered big in my opinion. No time wasted, great stuff by all four guys, the Suzuki / Ishii interactions were amazing and the post-match was fantastic as well.

Hiromu vs Ospreay was great, but there's something about the chemistry between these two that never quite reaches that absolute top level for me. It's not the chemistry Hiromu has with so many other competitors, there's that same blend of frantic energy, chaos, and fast-paced action, but something about it just never clicks to the extent that it does with pairings like Hiromu/Lee, Hiromu/Despy, even Hiromu/Taguchi or on Ospreay's side, him vs KUSHIDA or Matt Riddle or whoever else you wanna name. I'm not saying they have no chemistry, it's jut not that next level that I might hope for. I liked this a lot, but didn't love it - same as I feel with all their other previous matches. Perfect winner, though.

Jericho vs Naito was quite odd. I was hooked on it the entire time, the brawliness worked fine for me, and even the confused crowd sympathies somehow worked in its favor. Osaka still boos Naito, still boos heel stuff, but then they also chant his name the loudest. Jericho stuck to heelishness, Naito's comebacks had an edge, and he had sympathy as well, getting cut up as he did. I suspect this is one of those matches that only really works in the moment. Winner shocked me, and the post-match stuff had me yelling. Very excited to see where this goes.

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Ckkj14
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Ckkj14 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:01 pm

Omega v Okada is the greatest match I've ever seen. I absolutely loved it and popped so hard for Kenny winning.

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

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:39 am

Ckkj14 wrote:Omega v Okada is the greatest match I've ever seen. I absolutely loved it and popped so hard for Kenny winning.
Do you give this match 81 stars ?
Who's Rob Viper ?

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:53 am

I know I'm late to the party(relatively) but I just got to watch the Omega v Okada match and it was perfect. I have never seen a more flawless match. It works perfectly as a story if this is the first match you have seen in the series and also works great when you have seen the previous three matches in the series and have followed the both wrestlers careers since the 2016 G1 and all those grace notes that reference AJ Styles title reigns and how they relate to both competitors. It's truly the most complex and sophisticated and multifaceted and nuanced story told in the ring while also being an excellent simple story of an unstoppable champion getting a 1-0 advantage on his rival and his rival digging deep and overcoming to achieve a lifelong dream. Also note that each fall told its own story and was perfect in that it stood on its own while informing the other falls in the match, which makes it the best two out of three falls match ever.

Onto the aftermath. I was a little overwhelmed with joy when Omega won and that the Bullet Club split has given us that group hug moment from the Golden Elite. It is genuinely the most touching moment in wrestling that I can remember. I hope Kenny drives Cody straight to hell in San Francisco and gets to defend the title a couple more times before he loses it. A 6 month reign with 3 or 4 defenses would be awesome to me but if were 100% honest Omega could retire tonight and I would be happy and fulfilled and not ask anything more of the man, he has earned it.

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

Post by Danwaka » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:14 pm

Buzz Sawyer wrote:
Ckkj14 wrote:Omega v Okada is the greatest match I've ever seen. I absolutely loved it and popped so hard for Kenny winning.
Do you give this match 81 stars ?
9 stars, myself. 3 for each fall.

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

Post by SamoKuma » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:24 pm

What a great time To be a wrestling fan. Merci, NJPW.

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John The Drummer
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by John The Drummer » Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:29 pm

What a great freaking show. All three "main events" were phenomenal... and Omega & Jericho both winning their respective matches made me pop so hard... JERICHO!?!?!? WTF?!?!?!

So.... time for armchair booking... IF Omega ends up going to WWE next year...

Ibushi wins G1, Omega vs Ibushi for the title at Wrestle Kingdom, Ibushi wins... big farewell... It'd be the perfect end to not only Omega's Japan run, but also him and Ibushi's story as well.

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

Post by PW17 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:24 pm

John The Drummer wrote:What a great freaking show. All three "main events" were phenomenal... and Omega & Jericho both winning their respective matches made me pop so hard... JERICHO!?!?!? WTF?!?!?!

So.... time for armchair booking... IF Omega ends up going to WWE next year...

Ibushi wins G1, Omega vs Ibushi for the title at Wrestle Kingdom, Ibushi wins... big farewell... It'd be the perfect end to not only Omega's Japan run, but also him and Ibushi's story as well.
I know you said "if," but I don't really see Omega leaving. Especially since he won the title. I just don't think they would book him to win if his future was uncertain beyond January.

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

Post by mrjoshdude » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:41 pm

Making Kenny one of the biggest stars in the world when he could be gone in 7 months seems silly to me. New Japan aren't having a man who might leave for WWE in January end Okada's legendary reign. Kenny is staying.

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