NJPW (Discussion)

Talk Puro, Lucha, Europe and "I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS/CARIBBEAN/AFRICA"
User avatar
Frank Olson
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 am
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:57 am

Great - Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White

Despite what looked on paper like a one match card this whole G1 Finals show was really excellent. I'm really glad that I resisted the urge to fast forward straight to the main event, both because the undercard tags were mostly really strong, and because it would have sucked to have been spoiled on the incredible KENTA heel turn. That angle was so well executed, from KENTA refusing the tag from Ishii to Shibata making the save to Shibata then getting beat down by the Bullet Club and then finishing with that incredible visual of KENTA sarcastically doing the Shibata criss-cross applesauce pose on Shibata's chest. My one nitpick is that it feels like Goto should have been involved somehow. Maybe they could've swapped the position of he and YOSHI-HASHI on this card. I've also seen some complaints about KENTA joining Bullet Club rather than Suzukigun, but if they are going to keep BC around they could really use a better # 2 than Fale or Tama Tonga, so I don't mind.

The LA Dojo vs. New Japan Dojo opener was the best Young Lion match since that crazy 6-man that kicked off the Super Jr Tag tournament last fall. Karl Fredericks and Clark Connors both looked really smooth and had an impressive snap to all of their offense. That thing that Fredericks did where he leapt over one of his charging opponents and then quickly did a crossbody dive onto them was especially impressive. Plus we got another incredible looking Narita overhead suplex and an absolutely fantastic ending sequence with Tsuji struggling not to tap to the dreaded Boston Crab.

Suzuki/Sabre vs. Okada/Tanahashi was really good too. Suzuki looked the best that he has in a long time, and I was amazed when he did that almost lucha-esque move toward the end where he wound his body around Okada's. That didn't seem like something that he would be physically capable of doing at this point of his career.

The finals match was less spectacular than we are used to G1 Finals matches being, but both Ibushi and White did a great job of milking the maximum amount of drama out of each move and making everything feel like it mattered. Ibushi also did well at consistently selling his various injuries, which is not always a strength of his. The crowd was also REALLY into everything that these guys were doing, which helped smooth over some of the aspects of the match that I didn't particularly care for (like the ref bump/Gedo interference spots, which definitely would have seemed tedious if they weren't generating massive heat). The closing stretch was much smoother than we are used to seeing from White matches. There was one point where Ibushi did an absolutely incredible job of looking like he was definitely getting caught in a match-ending Blade Runner, only to catch his balance and escape. Great stuff.

User avatar
sizzle
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:49 am

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by sizzle » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:07 pm

Hi all,
I unfortunately have to leave London for a weekend work assignment and will miss Royal Quest, which is really annoying. But I at least want to make sure some other NJPW fan can go instead of me. I have put the ticket up for resale on the official venue resale site here: https://www.seetickets.com/rd/event/new ... rk/1305710

User avatar
John The Drummer
Posts: 457
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:04 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by John The Drummer » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:22 pm

Once the shows are posted, everyone needs to go out of their way to see Amazing Red vs Will Ospreay from night one of the Super J Cup. One of the best matches I have ever seen live.

User avatar
sizzle
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:49 am

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by sizzle » Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:36 pm

I unfortunately have to sell my ticket for New Japan Pro Wrestling Royal Quest in London on Saturday at a discount, but hope someone else can go! #njpw #NewJapanProWrestling #RoyalQuest
https://www.twickets.live/block/782749200134847,1

User avatar
Frank Olson
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 am
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:41 am

Royal Quest was a fun show overall, but there were a lot of issues with the presentation. Delaying its arrival on New Japan World for a few days when it was taking place the same day as two of the other biggest companies in the world were running live PPV-level events made the show feel minor league, as did all of the sound issues on the English broadcast. Plus, as I understand it there were a lot of problems with the live stream that Fite was charging a bunch of money for. So not a great look.

That said,the wrestling was strong. The main event was the clear match of the night, with a great crowd atmosphere that even the tinny sound mix couldn't destroy. I've never seen Suzuki this massively over anywhere. There were a lot of fantastic moments like Suzuki laughing off Okada's weak elbow strikes, Suzuki charging at Okada with that crazy dropkick of his, and Okada spinning out of that dropping hand knockout check into a clothesline. In a year of mostly lackluster IWGP Heavyweight Title matches this one stood out as a clear highlight.

My second favorite match was the junior tag. I'm not a fan of Phantasmo, but the three-way story between he, Ospreay and Eagles has been really well told and this was a great way to continue it. The CHAOS team have spectacular chemistry together and with their matching gear and series of double team moves they instantly feel like the best team in the company.

I don't really know how to rate the NEVER Title match. It had great crowd heat to start, but just as it seemed like the match was about to really get going KENTA got knocked loopy and never recovered. They kept the match going way too long after that, and there was a really awkward spot where Ishii had to pretend that KENTA kicked out when he very clearly did not.

It was cool to see Tanahashi win the British Title (especially since the crowd was so ecstatic about it) but I'm ready for he and ZSJ to take a break from each other for a while. Of course that isn't happening since they are headlining the Beppu Destruction show the weekend after next. Their matches together are never bad, but they tend not to hit that higher gear that you expect big New Japan matches to reach, and it just feels like we've seen so many interchangeable matches from this pairing at this point.

User avatar
Frank Olson
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 am
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:11 am

Just binge-watched all of the Young Lions Cup matches to this point and I'm really enjoying the tournament so far. I didn't even watch that much of the previous YLC, as I was never that big a fan of Kitamura or Oka, and while I loved Kawato his main appeal was as an underdog wrestling veterans. But I'm heavily invested in the current Young Lion class, and have been wanting to see more of the LA Dojo guys, so this has been a treat so far.

None of the matches have been mind-blowing or anything but they've all been short and entertaining. The best ones so far have been Narita/Fredericks from the 5th, Tsuji/Uemura from the 8th, and Umino/Narita from the 8th. Tsuji busting out a giant swing in the match against Uemura is my highlight of the tournament so far.

For me Narita is the clear standout of the Young Lions. Everything he does is so crisp. Ever since his Best of the Super Juniors run he's legitimately been one of my top 10 favorites on the New Japan roster. That crazy spinning cloverleaf thing he does - which he is adorably calling the “Narita Special No. 3” - is a really cool move. And so far he hasn't even used his beautiful no-release front suplex thing that he's won matches with in the past, so it's going to be really exciting when he finally hits that.

I'm really glad they are doing the tournament during the traditionally boring Destruction tour, to give these shows a little extra juice.

User avatar
mlev76
Posts: 2571
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:32 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by mlev76 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:10 pm


User avatar
Frank Olson
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 am
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Sep 15, 2019 4:20 am

Watched the Super J Cup today and found it mostly underwhelming. The lackluster way that the shows were released (several weeks after they took place, with the second show inexplicably presented single cam despite there being two ringside cameramen) certainly didn't help. It's obviously a lot tougher to get excited about the matches of any tournament when you already know the results, and it's frankly baffling that the company didn't make any effort to present these as significant shows.

For the most part the wrestling is solid but unspectacular. The New Japan veterans (Romero, Taguchi, and BUSHI) were clearly putting in house show efforts. TJP did nothing to make me want to see him as a regular part of the roster. His match with Clark Connors was pretty good, but I thought that the Young Lion actually came off as the more impressive performer. The luchadores did a good job for the most part, with the quarterfinals match between Soberano and Caristico being a fun little flippy spotfest that is unfortunately destined to fly under the radar.

The clear best match of the tournament was the first round main event of Ospreay vs. Amazing Red. It really delivered as a dream match, with Red somehow looking like he hasn't lost a step despite his age. It was more of a spotfest than a match with a real structure or story, but when the spots are as consistently impressive as they were in that match it's hard to complain.

The other matches that I would say are very good are the semifinals match between Ospreay and El Phantasmo and the finals match between Phantasmo and Dragon Lee. I'm not a fan of Phantasmo as a performer even though I think he's been booked perfectly, but I will say that he really stepped up his game for these two matches. He still relies too much on corny heel shtick, but I can't deny that he gets good crowd reactions and he pulls off some impressive spots here. He also gets some accidental blood in the finals, which really ups the drama of that match as it heads into its closing stretch.

The most frustrating match of the tournament is Ospreay vs. SHO. They each execute their moves beautifully, but the match goes on way too long (over 30 minutes) and after they spend the first half of the match successfully telling the story of SHO targeting Ospreay's arm and Ospreay having to modify his offense to compensate for that they just totally drop the story in favor of throwing bombs at each other. Which wouldn't bother me all that much except that the match just feels so unnecessarily drawn out. It's a shame because a condensed version of that match would definitely be a tournament highlight (especially if we could somehow get a version of the match where we could see what's going on during the portions where they leave the ring) but as it is it feels like squandered potential.

User avatar
Frank Olson
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 am
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:20 pm

Damn, I didn't even realize until today that New Japan uploaded all of the house show Young Lions Cup matches which I had for some reason assumed were just going to go untelevized. It's funny that they presented that tournament so much better than they did the Super J Cup. Are there any Young Lions Cup matches from the house shows that I need to make sure to go back and check out?

Out of the Korakuen Road To and main Destruction show Young Lions Cup matches I would say that my favorites were Tsuji/Uemura from the 8th, Uemura/Connors from the 16th, and the nominal final of Fredericks/Umino from today's show. Narita is still my favorite current Young Lion, but none of his matches that I saw from the tournament quite stood out the way that those three did. Coughlin and Richards don't do a ton for me so far, aside from some of Coughlin's submission spots where he shows off his crazy flexibility. I know that some people consider Tsuji a step behind the other Japanese Young Lions, but I think he has a really great look and presence, and while it's true that he moves around a bit awkwardly compared to some of the other Young Lions I think that kind of works for him in an Akira Taue-type way. Also I love his giant swing. Fredericks winning the tournament was an interesting call. I wonder if they send him on an excursion somewhere, or if he just moves from the LA Dojo to the regular New Japan Dojo or what. Personally I'm actually most impressed with Clark Connors out of the LA Dojo guys, and I like that he looks like a square-jawed Capcom fighting game character.

I treated the three main Destruction shows the way I do most Korakuen Road Tos, in that I watched the Young Lion stuff and then skipped straight to the semi-main and main events. It looks like I fucked up by not watching the Liger/Suzuki tag matches though. I caught a gif of the Kishin Liger reveal from today's show and that looked like an incredible angle. That feud is getting so heated that they have to blow it off at King of Pro Wrestling, right?

Best match of the tour for me was definitely today's Goto/Shingo match. I'm not normally the biggest fan of the “two tough guys relentlessly clobbering each other” style of match, but these guys have exceptional chemistry, and Shingo brings a sense of speed and intensity to the striking exchanges that I think is missing from the usual NEVER Title-style matches. Their dueling clothesline spots look amazing. I loved their G1 match and I thought this one was about equally as good.

I really enjoyed the Intercontinental Title match as well. Naito and White really play off of each other well with their character work, and they both brought out some spots and move variations that I hadn't seen from them before. I really liked that exchange where White was ramming Naito into the turnbuckle posts, then Naito got caught up in the ropes when he tried to reverse out of it, and then White hit him with a running uppercut. I still think that the amount of Gedo interference spots seem like something that White shouldn't need at this point, but I did laugh at Gedo doing another super weak chair shot toward the end of the match. White's promo after the match was really excellent too, with the sarcastic Bullet Club roll call.

I enjoyed the British Title match from the 15th more than I thought I would considering how sick I am of seeing ZSJ and Tanahashi square off. I thought this was one of their better efforts together, with maybe the best closing stretch I've ever seen in a Sabre match with that crazy rollup thing that he caught Tanahashi in at the end. It is kind of lame that Tanahashi won the title in London just to justify this rematch, but I really have no complaints about the match itself other than that it feels like these two have been paired up way too often this year.

I did not enjoy the Ibushi/KENTA main event from the 16th. It started off well with KENTA in super dick mode, but then the beatdown of Ibushi just kept going and going and going and I got more bored than I ever should be watching an Ibushi match. And when the match did threaten to pick up G.O.D. appeared for a lame interference spot. I think Ibushi and KENTA would be better off doing more of a worked shoot-style striking/technical battle rather than whatever they were trying to do here or in Dallas.

The heavyweight tag title match from the 15th was thoroughly mediocre. There have been exactly three memorably good G.O.D. 2-on-2 matches in their 3 1/2 year run so far (vs. Ishii/YOSHI-HASHI from Power Struggle 2016, vs. GBH a month later at the World Tag League Finals, and vs. Young Bucks at Fighting Spirit Unleashed last year) and I thought that the Ishii/YOSHI-HASHI one was the best of those, so I was actually cautiously optimistic about this rematch being good too. But weird structure - Ishii getting beat down for YOSHI-HASHI to eventually get the hot tag - was all wrong, and whenever the match did pick up the flow would be ruined by YOSHI-HASHI putting on his stupid Butterfly Lock or by KENTA running in for the dumb distraction finish.

The Jr Tag Title match from the 16th was much better. As much as I don't enjoy Phantasmo as a performer, I have really liked the storyline between he, Ospreay and Eagles, and I thought the tag structure of this match allowed Phantasmo to hide most of his flaws. There were some overly ambitious spots that didn't quite work out, but overall it was an exciting spotfest.

User avatar
Murcatto
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:39 pm

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by Murcatto » Wed Sep 25, 2019 2:07 pm

Now that Liger vs. Suzuki has been announced for KOPW, I wonder Liger's Dome match will be him challenging for the junior belt one more time. They've been teasing a Liger vs. ELP match, and ELP would be a good foil for Liger. If the idea is for Liger to win the title then it's probably better that he beats ELP rather than Ospreay, so a junior title change at KOPW might be a sign that Gedo is thinking in this direction. Although if Liger is going out on his back, then passing the torch to Ospreay sounds like a better idea than losing to ELP …

User avatar
steve
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:27 pm

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by steve » Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:06 am

The real world has impeded my wrestling watching this year. But I want to catch up now.

I'd be most grateful to any pointers of promos, matches and angles that I should catch up on post-Wrestle Kingdom (and I might even start by re-watching this as it feels a very distant memory).

I'd say that I'm aware of the very top level stuff (Ospreay wins, Kenta turns, etc.) via listening to the Flagship and seeing reviews, but it is maybe the next tier down that I've forgotten. Thanks in advance for any recommendations that can help streamline my catch up.

User avatar
rollup
Posts: 497
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:02 am
Location: Asia

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by rollup » Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:36 pm

a simple one would be to watch both Will and Shingo's BOSJ and G1 run

User avatar
steve
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:27 pm

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by steve » Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:47 pm

rollup wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:36 pm
a simple one would be to watch both Will and Shingo's BOSJ and G1 run
Thanks. I've got that down on my list. But wouldn't you know, I got a mail from NJPW today saying that my credit card had expired. Now, I see from their sign up that they are a bit sneaky as if I sign up again now, I'll be billed the Yen 999 and they'll bill me again on the 1st of October. So, I'm going to have to hold off for a day or two. Of course, New Japan could well find out that I've spent my money elsewhere by the time the 1st gets around and I might just hold off to have a binge over Christmas and in the lead up to the Wrestle Kingdom events.

User avatar
Frank Olson
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:42 am
Location: Milwaukee WI

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by Frank Olson » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:16 am

steve wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 2:47 pm
rollup wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:36 pm
a simple one would be to watch both Will and Shingo's BOSJ and G1 run
Thanks. I've got that down on my list. But wouldn't you know, I got a mail from NJPW today saying that my credit card had expired. Now, I see from their sign up that they are a bit sneaky as if I sign up again now, I'll be billed the Yen 999 and they'll bill me again on the 1st of October. So, I'm going to have to hold off for a day or two. Of course, New Japan could well find out that I've spent my money elsewhere by the time the 1st gets around and I might just hold off to have a binge over Christmas and in the lead up to the Wrestle Kingdom events.
Sounds like you may not be getting back to this for a while, but I definitely second rollup's recommendation of watching as much of Ospreay and Shingo's BOSJ and G1 runs as you can. Really any singles matches (and many tag matches) from either of these two in 2019 NJPW are well worth watching, and their match together in the BOSJ Finals is my favorite of the year so far.

In addition to that here are 15 matches from this year not involving Ospreay or Shingo that I think are definitely worth checking out if you have the time. Obviously not a comprehensive list of everything that's been good, but just the ones that stand out to me at this time...

New Beginning in Sapporo (2/3) – Tetsuya Naito vs. Taichi
Takashi Iizuka Retirment Show (2/21) – Takashi Iizuka/Minoru Suzuki/Taichi vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Kazuchika Okada/Toru Yano
New Japan Cup (3/8) – Yuji Nagata vs. Tomohiro Ishii
New Japan Cup (3/23) – Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kazuchika Okada
Wrestling Dontaku (5/3) – Dragon Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori
Best of Super Juniors Finals (6/5) – Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White
Best of Super Juniors Finals (6/5) – Juice Robinson vs. Jon Moxley
Dominion (6/9) – Kota Ibushi vs. Tetsuya Naito
G1 Climax (8/3) – Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
G1 Climax (8/10) – Kota Ibushi vs. Kazuchika Okada
G1 Climax (8/11) – Tomohiro Ishii vs. Taichi
G1 Climax (8/11) – Juice Robinson vs. Jon Moxley
G1 Climax (8/12) – Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White
Royal Quest (8/31) – Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki
Destruction in Kobe (9/22) – Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay White

I'm not kidding about the Iizuka retirement match, it's seriously great, and a super memorable finale for one of the company's most bizarre characters. The Naito/Taichi match is very divisive due to the pre-match angle, but I thought the match itself was fantastic and maybe Naito's best performance so far this year.

I would say that the IWGP Title matches have, for the most part, not been up to the epic standards set by previous years, and are probably mostly skippable if you are trying to catch up from a pure match quality standpoint rather than a storyline standpoint.

User avatar
steve
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:27 pm

Re: NJPW (Discussion)

Post by steve » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:59 am

Thanks so much for the detailed recommendations. TBH I think that’s the difference maker between me subscribing again on Oct 1, or letting it run to Dec or even Jan. The Iizuka match would never have been on my to watch list, so that was exactly bang on the button of ‘what have I missed (and I’d forgotten him already) but is worth catching up on).

Post Reply