NJPW (Discussion)

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

Post by Frank Olson » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:17 am

monster mafia wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:24 pm
IWGP Heavyweight Title
White (c) vs. Okada

Ladder for the ROH Word Title
Lethal (c) vs. Scurll vs. Taven

IWGP IC Title
Naito (c) vs. Ibushi

RPW British Heavyweight Title
ZSJ (c) vs. Tana

IWGP and ROH Tag Titles
GOD (c) vs. VE (c) vs. Briscoes vs. LIJ

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title
Ishimori (c) vs. Bandido vs. Lee

WOH Title
Mayu (c) vs. Klein

Rush vs. Castle

NYC Street Fight
Bully vs. TBA

ROH TV and NEVER Titles
Cobb (c) vs. Ospreay (c)

Pre-Show Honor Rumble
Liger vs. 29 other wrestlers
This turned out to be a really impressive card. It feels equivalent to something like Dominion, but with ROH matches taking the place of the multiman tags we would expect to see on a purely New Japan show. All five of New Japan's top main eventers (Okada, White, Naito, Ibushi and Tanahashi) are in significant and exciting singles matches, so it is clear that management understood the importance of this show, and that they are trying to do everything in their power to make this the best show of Wrestlemania weekend.

My one concern is that with 10 matches on the main show plus a 30-man rumble match on the preshow this is going to be a brutally long show. One thing that jumps out at me right away as an unnecessary match is the Bully Ray Street Fight. After the Rumble isn't it just going to be a simple process of elimination to figure out who the mystery challenger will be? If Ishii, Suzuki or Flip don't show up in the Rumble they pretty much have to be Bully's challenger, right? Maybe they have something surprising planned, but it just seems like the Bully Ray segment could take place within the Rumble rather than being its own thing.

I am also curious to see what New Japan is going to do for the Dontaku tour. They've built up a few things (Roppongi 3K vs. Shingo/BUSHI, Ospreay vs. Taichi, Ishii vs. EVIL) but with the company putting IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Title matches on the MSG show it's hard to tell what the main events for the bigger Dontaku events might be. I'm not complaining, but I'm just really curious what New Japan has planned beyond MSG.

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

Post by IIDXias » Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:54 am

if ibushi and okada win i think your next challengers for dontaku are sabre (beat ibushi in the NJC) and minoru suzuki (teased in a promo toward the end of the NJC that he was coming for the title, has a long history with okada, will be in NYC to challenge him). if naito retains i have no idea who the next challenger is tbh. i don't think white retaining is a realistic possibility.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:48 am

IIDXias wrote:
Thu Mar 28, 2019 3:54 am
if ibushi and okada win i think your next challengers for dontaku are sabre (beat ibushi in the NJC) and minoru suzuki (teased in a promo toward the end of the NJC that he was coming for the title, has a long history with okada, will be in NYC to challenge him). if naito retains i have no idea who the next challenger is tbh. i don't think white retaining is a realistic possibility.
That's an interesting point about Naito. I had him pegged to get his win back over Ibushi on this MSG show, both because Ibushi won their last two 1-on-1 matches together and because I was kind of expecting Ibushi to not finally win the IC Title that he's been chasing forever until one of the two Tokyo Dome shows (seems like him finally winning that title would be a good way to close whichever Wrestle Kingdom show doesn't have the main title match on it). But there's really no obvious Dontaku contender for Naito's title if he does retain, whereas with Ibushi you could do Sabre (as you said) or SANADA (beat Ibushi in the G1, would be avenging his faction's leader).

One other thing I thought of in regards to the Dontaku tour is that if Hiromu is healthy in time they could maybe headline one of those shows with him challenging Ishimori for the Junior Title, in a rematch of their insane Best of the Super Juniors Final from last year. I know that they rarely headline big shows with Juniors (I think the last time outside of a Junior tournament was whatever Destruction 2016 show had KUSHIDA vs. BUSHI as the main event), but I think that match would be a big draw and also kind of a natural way to lead into this year's Super Junior tournament.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:01 pm

In the shadow of all of this upcoming important activity, TAKATaichi held another produce show at Shin-Kiba yesterday; a completely odd mishmash of talent featured, Urano & TAKA were on the same card again, and the once-mighty TAKATaichi had...less than stellar results against a thrown-together NJ team. In other words, just another day at the 1st RING...

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by rollup » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:12 am

wonder how the partnership will be after ROH stunk the joint for the supercard ...

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Kirk D » Sun Apr 07, 2019 11:37 am

After having slept over it, I would say this was a good and entertaining show. But they missed making it a great show. Every time they delivered big, they followed up with a real stinker by ROH.

That ROH made Kenny King win the rumble just shows that they have no clue of what their strengths and what their weaknesses are. Nobody ever watched ROH because of King. If want to use the rumble to put over your guy, have the legends face over earlier and have one of your new signees win it by eliminating some of our worthless roster buffoons.

Then the Kelly Klein desaster that took far too much time to just start a match everybody knew would be bad, and then you bring in some washed up TNA plus Mandy Leon, while you are not able to retain Tenille or Madison or sign Tessa or Nicole Savoy.

The Bully segment was disfunctional. He is booked as a heel but then acts face by interfering a bad music performance and nobody understands why their is a six man match afterwards and it was not good either.

The funny thing is that whenever ROH guys engaged in actual matches it was either great (PCO, Bandido, Cobb) or at least entertaining (Rush, the ladder match).

Anyway, Osprey, Ibushi and Okada delivered so I am a happy man. But personally, despite Jim Ross being signed my tendency now clearly goes to AEW over ROH.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:09 pm

Last night's show was very uneven. I will echo the thoughts of seemingly everyone else online by saying that the New Japan stuff was mostly very good while the ROH stuff was mostly atrocious. The English commentary was a clusterfuck, which is a shame considering how great Kevin Kelly is (and from what little I have seen Riccoboni and Cabana are typically a very good team as well). There were too many people talking over each other, especially when they inexplicably brought Caprice Coleman out to announce half the matches.

The Honor Rumble was closer in quality to the typical New Japan Rambo than to an actual Royal Rumble. The broadcast using dubbed music for the entrances of Suzuki and Liger (and to a lesser extent Taguchi) hurt the atmosphere of the match. Also this match really showed that ROH's roster is full of absolute scrubs. The only ROH guys in this match who seem like even remotely worthwhile roster members are Cheeseburger (fun comedy undercarder), Jonathan Gresham (great technical wrestler who really didn't get to show anything here), and I guess maybe if we are being generous the Kingdom guys (who are solid enough in 6-man tags even if they don't ever seem like they'll ever be good solo acts). In theory I don't hate the idea of a guy hiding under the ring and then eliminating two popular legends to win the match, but it's ridiculous that ROH is still trying to make Kenny King happen.

Cobb/Ospreay was an excellent proper show opener, with both men just going balls to the wall all the way through. The Super Tour of the Islands looked devastating. Does this mean Cobb vs. Taichi on the Dontaku tour? If so, that actually sounds pretty intriguing. I hope that Cobb takes Elgin's former G1 spot this year.

Rush vs. Castle was good for what it was. This show desperately needed to shave time somewhere and this seemed like one of the best places to do it. Also Castle seems like someone who really needs a change of direction, so his turning heel was one of the few promising decisions that ROH made on this show.

The Women of Honor title match sucked. I do not understand why ROH think that Kelly Klein, who moves around the ring like a trainee despite apparently having wrestled since 2006, is the best option to be the face of their women's division. I'm not familiar with the two women who assisted Mandy Leon in the post-match beatdown, but their new stable reminds me of that faction with Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson and Victoria from mid-2000s WWE...which is not the best look for a women's division in 2019. Women of Honor is unquestionably the worst women's division in major league pro wrestling.

The Bully Ray segment had an incredibly awkward and indulgent opening, where it seemed like they accidentally turned Bully face by having him beat up that rapper. The match itself was fine for what it was I guess. Plunder matches aren't really my thing, but the crowd seemed to be fully into it, and there were some impressively dangerous-looking sequences between Silas Young and Mark Haskins.

The show got back on track with the Junior Title 3-way. I still would have preferred a 1-on-1 match, but I guess we'll probably be seeing Dragon Lee vs. Ishimori somewhere on the Dontaku tour. I'm a little sad that Ishimori's reign ended here since I think he's been one of the low key MVPs of New Japan in 2019, but I can't complain about seeing more Dragon Lee. This match was a fun and wild spotfest and while there wasn't much depth to it there was definitely some exciting action.

The 4-way Tag Title match was also a fun and wild spotfest, with some particularly insane moments from PCO. That moment where GOD brutally launched him over the top rope and onto the floor might have been the wildest individual spot of the night. The Enzo/Cass worked shoot angle was unfortunate to say the least. This is a particularly bad time for ROH to present themselves as a more out of touch and less progressive company than WWE.

Sabre/Tanahashi was very good, although it didn't feel too distinct from the many other matches we've seen between these two in the past few years. A solid but unspectacular match.

Ibushi/Naito was the clear match of the night from a bell-to-bell perspective (with Cobb/Ospreay not being far behind), as they once again attempted to paralyze each other. There was one uncharacteristically sloppy section (the series of roll-up reversals leading to Ibushi getting dropped on his head for a nearfall) but overall these two brought the goods as expected.

The ladder match felt endless to me but seemed to be very over with the live crowd. I guess I just feel like I've seen every possible ladder spot already at this point in my life, so seeing a version of this match with three guys who aren't known for their high flying just doesn't excite me much. I actually don't mind Matt Taven that much, as I think he's pretty good at being a sleazy heel and he's solid enough in the ring, but he's certainly not World Champion caliber. In a promotion with a healthy roster he'd be in an equivalent spot to Taichi in New Japan, but now Ring of Honor are apparently going to try to make him the face of their company.

Okada/White did what it needed to do but I really would've liked a faster paced match to end this very long show. They did a great job milking the big match atmosphere and bringing this very well-told story to a conclusion, but from a bell-to-bell perspective the match was very average (at least until the typical exciting closing stretch). Kind of a bummer to not get a post-match promo from Okada as they were clearly rushing to get the broadcast off the air by midnight, but even so he did finish the show looking like a huge star. I just wish that the match itself had been more noteworthy.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:34 pm

My two cents on the MSG show.

Wouldn’t this show have been saved if they hadn’t done the WOH match/endless angle, Bully Ray’s bullshit, and the Enzo/Cass mock invasion? All of those things were not just bad but all lasted about 10 minutes too long.

The good stuff was of course all the stuff that NJPW had a hand in booking. We got great matches up and down the card and surprisingly underrated story payoffs in Cobb and Dragon Lee finally winning titles they have spent the better part of the last 1-2 years chasing when they show up in Japan. Ibushi and Okada got the huge cathartic wins and redeemed themselves and the belts they won. Overall if the card is just the tag title smoze, jr three way sprint, Cobb v Osprey in the first half and the Rush squash in the middle to reset the show for the business end of the card we are talking about this show as show of the year.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by SamoKuma » Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:49 am

What a weird show. Good overall, but with a constellation of little points that waste a little bit of everything :

- The Battle Rumble was a mess. Well booked, it could have been a classic, and it was sloppy from the beginning to the end. High five to Kenny King who just... Botched the finish. Guy, you're eliminating two living legends and you can't come to the ring when it needed to ?

- Cobb/Ospreay was quite good. Man, the smile on Will's face when he's entering the arena should put an extra star on every rating of this match.

- Rush/Castle achieved his goal : i do not watch ROH, but this is the only bit of the show who gave me the need to become that beast of rush and follow Castle's future evolution.

- WOH Championship was average. Post Match was too long...

- ... and Bully Ray Segment was longer. At this point, my interest for the show began to go down very quickly (and i did not watched it live, thanks god). Skipped the match after 10 minutes. Would have prefered a one one with Flip.

- Thanks god, here came the Jr Championship which put show on a good trail again. Very good match, but I would have not refused 5 or 6 minutes more. Winner's identity is good, and annouces good things for the following shows...

- 4 Way tag thing was a BLAST. I know it was a good thing to shoot on the ambulance about this match in the various podcast I listen, but man, at this point of the show, was just my favorite match. Very lively, very energetic, very good rythm, everyone busted their asses like never, I just LOVED it... And it was WASTED by the messy end with the shoot brawl of Brisco with what I tought was a fan. And Was in fact Enzo. Probably in a work. Why ROH, why ?

- Sabre/Tanahashi was good, solid 4 stars match, but far from the classics both used to demonstrate. I did not felt Tana very in the match. Maybe cause he was losing at MSG ? Or Maybe because the mess which came before the match?

- Ibushi/Naito was EVERYTHING I want from a match bewteen those two. It was brutal, it was intense, it was passion. I don't know if this rivalry between the two was underlined at this point before, but it is a good move to do it now, especially after Ibushi lost his mirror. the sloppy technician who did not move himself from a Naito throw hurt the match tought, and the 5/7 minutes that followed was very odd, can feel that really angered Naito.

- Okada/White was the match of the night for me, even before the Naito/Ibushi. Only really moment when i felt the in ring matched the MSG aura. It was PERFECT. White, on who i was the first to spit, is a transformed man. I cannont thing the guy who bursted whith confidence was this shy guy who botched his WK first ME one year ago. Plus, his alchemy with okada is on point as heck. Good in ring, good story, even the crowd was good, and man, IT WAS TIME because you can say they kept their enervy only for the two last matches. Good mention with the front row who was chatting, yawning and not giving a F. at the point I tought we were came back to the beautiful town of Jedah.
5 stars match for me, White got his match of reference, and I am quite confident for the following of the NJPW Year.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by dancecab » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:14 pm

SamoKuma wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:49 am

- Okada/White was the match of the night for me, even before the Naito/Ibushi. Only really moment when i felt the in ring matched the MSG aura. It was PERFECT. White, on who i was the first to spit, is a transformed man. I cannont thing the guy who bursted whith confidence was this shy guy who botched his WK first ME one year ago. Plus, his alchemy with okada is on point as heck. Good in ring, good story, even the crowd was good, and man, IT WAS TIME because you can say they kept their enervy only for the two last matches. Good mention with the front row who was chatting, yawning and not giving a F. at the point I tought we were came back to the beautiful town of Jedah.
5 stars match for me, White got his match of reference, and I am quite confident for the following of the NJPW Year.
I completely agree with you. IT's crazy to me seeing people give this anything below 4.5. Or say the entire thing was boring. I can understand the beginning being a little dry for some people. But the finish stretch was so great. I bought into the rainmaker near fall. The drama at the end was so great.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:30 am

So this is pretty interesting...

NJPW Might Have Just Released The 2019 Best of the Super Juniors Lineup Two Weeks Early

Granted, tour posters don't always directly match up with actual tour lineups, but this suggests that the Best of the Super Juniors field will be expanded from the usual 16 to 20 this year. There's 19 guys on the poster, and presumably # 20 will be El Phantasmo, which to me suggests that Hiromu will not be back in time for the tournament.

Will Ospreay is pictured, which explains why video packages and announcers have still been referring to him as a junior despite his having recently defeated guys the size of Bad Luck Fale and Lance Archer. I think everyone expects Shingo to win the tournament this year (especially if Hiromu is indeed not involved), so could we see he and Ospreay in the finals? I'd be into that, and it's probably the biggest match they could do in Hiromu's absence.

Funny to imagine ROH trying to run any shows for the month or so that the BOSJ tour runs without Jonathan Gresham, Marty Scurll, Bandido or Flip Gordon (although I guess maybe NJPW could loan ROH Juice Robinson and Zack Sabre Jr during this time to help make up for the loss of star power).

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:39 pm

Frank Olson wrote:
Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:30 am
So this is pretty interesting...

NJPW Might Have Just Released The 2019 Best of the Super Juniors Lineup Two Weeks Early

Granted, tour posters don't always directly match up with actual tour lineups, but this suggests that the Best of the Super Juniors field will be expanded from the usual 16 to 20 this year. There's 19 guys on the poster, and presumably # 20 will be El Phantasmo, which to me suggests that Hiromu will not be back in time for the tournament.

Will Ospreay is pictured, which explains why video packages and announcers have still been referring to him as a junior despite his having recently defeated guys the size of Bad Luck Fale and Lance Archer. I think everyone expects Shingo to win the tournament this year (especially if Hiromu is indeed not involved), so could we see he and Ospreay in the finals? I'd be into that, and it's probably the biggest match they could do in Hiromu's absence.

Funny to imagine ROH trying to run any shows for the month or so that the BOSJ tour runs without Jonathan Gresham, Marty Scurll, Bandido or Flip Gordon (although I guess maybe NJPW could loan ROH Juice Robinson and Zack Sabre Jr during this time to help make up for the loss of star power).
That lineup seems legit except for TAKA. I wouldn’t put past them to order a bunch of posters with TAKA on them to protect the surprise of Hiromu. If Hiromu isn’t back in time for BOSJ than a Sumo Hall BOSJ Final seems a lot riskier all of a sudden.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:09 am

Considering that it looked like a total one-match show on paper, I thought that Sengoku Lord over delivered.

Juice vs. Fale was a lot better than I was expecting. They kept things simple enough that I could imagine some people finding it boring, but I thought they did a good job executing the basic story of Juice struggling to slam Fale and Fale picking apart Juice's back. It helped that they had the crowd with them the whole time. Fale actually seemed to be putting in effort here, which was nice to see. I also thought that there was some legitimate drama about who would win, since it seemed plausible based on results earlier in the card that they might be setting up Fale vs. Nicholls as the next US Title match. Keeping the title on Juice is a much better choice though.

Another match I really enjoyed was the opening Young Lion tag. Tsuji and Uemura had some really cool double team offense and really looked great together. I haven't had a chance to watch last weekend's Road To shows yet, but I need to at least go back and watch their matches against each other. Narita's belly to belly suplex is legit one of the top 4 or 5 finishing moves in New Japan. He executes it perfectly.

The rest of the undercard had a bit of a Road To feel to it, but all of the matches were good and there were a lot of fun moments (Liger and Suzuki squaring off, Dragon Lee and Ishimori exchanging fast paced offense, Goto coaching Taguchi, etc.). Even the Nicholls vs. Chase match was good if you can look past the fact that nobody in the live audience seemed to give a shit about it.

The main event was the highlight of the show as expected. Ibushi and ZSJ have a knack for giving their matches the atmosphere of a legit athletic competition even though they are mostly using moves that you would never see in a real fight. I think I'd rank this one a hair below their two G1 matches but above their two New Japan Cup matches. I can't complain about getting another round of Ibushi vs. Naito either (presumably as the semi-main of Dominion).

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by OptionZero » Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:26 am

Juice added some stakes with the whole "i will slam fale", so it cracked 3 stars (which many had as the ceiling). 3.5

Ibushi / ZSj was excellent. Magnificent exchanges. This is striker v grappler done very, very well. The ONLY thing holding it back was that ZSJ pretty much couldn't win, given Ibushi was defending it for the first time. If this match were done for this belt and it were down the line and ZSJ had a shot . . . whoooboy

Now . . . Ibushi v Naito looking like it'll be on a Dontaku? or a Dominion? I don't like it. They're going back to it 3 times in half a year? Booking themselves into a corner - Ibushi gonna drop it so fast, or Naito eats 3 losses to Ibushi? Does this have to end in a time limit draw?

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:57 pm

OptionZero wrote:
Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:26 am
Juice added some stakes with the whole "i will slam fale", so it cracked 3 stars (which many had as the ceiling). 3.5

Ibushi / ZSj was excellent. Magnificent exchanges. This is striker v grappler done very, very well. The ONLY thing holding it back was that ZSJ pretty much couldn't win, given Ibushi was defending it for the first time. If this match were done for this belt and it were down the line and ZSJ had a shot . . . whoooboy

Now . . . Ibushi v Naito looking like it'll be on a Dontaku? or a Dominion? I don't like it. They're going back to it 3 times in half a year? Booking themselves into a corner - Ibushi gonna drop it so fast, or Naito eats 3 losses to Ibushi? Does this have to end in a time limit draw?
I don’t think that Naito losing to Ibushi four times in a row( last year’s G1) is a bad thing. Ibushi in Kayfabe has Naito’s number and if Naito bounces back and wins the G1 than he win will be fine. If nothing else it would theoretically give Naito a big IWGP title defense next if does win the G1 and wins the title.

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