NJPW (Discussion)

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

Post by suplexberry » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:07 pm

NJPW World dropped a bunch of old Sapporo shows. Those matches with Liger against Otani, whether singles, tag or multi-man tag were all fire. Loved it.

And NJPW re-launched an English website! There's a great Suzuki interview on there: http://www.njpw1972.com/news/news_0127.html

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Guilherme Jaeger
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Guilherme Jaeger » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:35 pm

I'm so happy NJPW launched a good, very functional English site. The translations are also clearly a notch above most other English-language work they've done officially thus far, so I'm glad to see they're taking care of quality.

The Suzuki interview is really amazing. Japanese wrestlers have a great way to express themselves on the inner workings of wrestling in a really smart manner that doesn't explicitly break the illusion of realness. Suzuki parlays the immediate match for the title upon his return into a great heat generator, saying that he knows that if he does something a certain way, office will capitalize on the reaction generated and grant him a title match. He comes off as an unapologetic manipulator on top of being a badass.

Well, you get it, I absolutely loved the interview, and am going to follow the site thoroughly. If they can manage to put the same effort into World, then English speaking fans would be set.

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

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:37 pm

Guilherme Jaeger wrote:I'm so happy NJPW launched a good, very functional English site. The translations are also clearly a notch above most other English-language work they've done officially thus far, so I'm glad to see they're taking care of quality.

The Suzuki interview is really amazing. Japanese wrestlers have a great way to express themselves on the inner workings of wrestling in a really smart manner that doesn't explicitly break the illusion of realness. Suzuki parlays the immediate match for the title upon his return into a great heat generator, saying that he knows that if he does something a certain way, office will capitalize on the reaction generated and grant him a title match. He comes off as an unapologetic manipulator on top of being a badass.

Well, you get it, I absolutely loved the interview, and am going to follow the site thoroughly. If they can manage to put the same effort into World, then English speaking fans would be set.
It would be nice if you could shop in English on the website.
Who's Rob Viper ?

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Guilherme Jaeger
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Guilherme Jaeger » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:53 pm

Well... Ideally, I think it would be all up in one site, right? If they could put the new site's content on an English-friendly World, that would be amazing. A one-stop shop for all things NJPW. It's nice to dream.

About Suzuki again, he is fantastic, but his faction... I just wish Suzuki-gun had something... fresh, you know. I know it's been two years, but I sat through a good portion of their stuff in Noah, so I don't particuarly feel excited for any of them, even if I appreciate most of their faction as wrestlers.

Even something simple, like adding a good second-in-comand guy, would be perfect for novelty purposes. Suzuki is great, but Suzuki-gun feels relatively weak compared to the other stables in my opinion.

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Jacob's Bawks
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Jacob's Bawks » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:18 pm

Guilherme Jaeger wrote:Well... Ideally, I think it would be all up in one site, right? If they could put the new site's content on an English-friendly World, that would be amazing. A one-stop shop for all things NJPW. It's nice to dream.

About Suzuki again, he is fantastic, but his faction... I just wish Suzuki-gun had something... fresh, you know. I know it's been two years, but I sat through a good portion of their stuff in Noah, so I don't particuarly feel excited for any of them, even if I appreciate most of their faction as wrestlers.

Even something simple, like adding a good second-in-comand guy, would be perfect for novelty purposes. Suzuki is great, but Suzuki-gun feels relatively weak compared to the other stables in my opinion.
It really is a conundrum with Suzukigun. The way they present themselves is perfect, and I'm not saying Taichi or Iizuka are top-tier workers, but they can contribute more than they have with how poorly their characters and matches are written. Being kinda there is better than being actively bad.

Going back to the Korakuen thing for a sec; I know it was a joke about the attendance but attendance on all shows aside the Nak farewell Korakuen are up by a decent amount. The highest NB house show last year did 1,173. All NB house shows have been higher than that, being in the 1270-1340 range and today's house show was an exceptional 1,529. Iizuka on top draws, brother.

I thought someone would find that interesting.
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Buzz Sawyer
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:25 pm

I don't think lizuka made the trek back to NJPW.
Who's Rob Viper ?

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Jacob's Bawks
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Jacob's Bawks » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:32 pm

Buzz Sawyer wrote:I don't think lizuka made the trek back to NJPW.
Hm? Yeah he did. He attacked Nogami on last week's show and is fighting YOSHI-HASHI in a singles match in Sapporo.
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Buzz Sawyer
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:00 am

Jacob's Bawks wrote:
Buzz Sawyer wrote:I don't think lizuka made the trek back to NJPW.
Hm? Yeah he did. He attacked Nogami on last week's show and is fighting YOSHI-HASHI in a singles match in Sapporo.
Didn't know that he did. Cannon fodder.
Who's Rob Viper ?

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

Post by EvanDeadlySins » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:01 pm

I found it interesting that Joe wrote in his New Beginning preview "Like Nakamura, Naito draws money without the title anyway and doesn't need the extra rub."

Do people think that Okada's drawing power would be diminished without being champion, in a way that Naito's is not?

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cbacon87
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by cbacon87 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:30 pm

I don't really know either way, but Okada's character/story arc is very much based around the title, being the ace of the company and has been since he returned. It makes sense for him to either be champion or chasing for essentially the rest of his career. They could keep him away from the belt for a while if they can find a feud to sustain him, but in the end it's going to come back to him wanting to be the top guy in the company.

So, I don't really follow business and drawing and what-not. But from an Okada importance sense, I guess he's the same level of star and character if he's chasing the belt and he'd probably stay the same level of star in a grudge feud for, say, 6 months, so long as it's the right feud. But I don't think you could keep him out of the title picture for long before the character started to lose a bit of lustre, where-as Naito and Nakamura are just as interesting characters regardless of what they're up to.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:44 pm

EvanDeadlySins wrote:I found it interesting that Joe wrote in his New Beginning preview "Like Nakamura, Naito draws money without the title anyway and doesn't need the extra rub."

Do people think that Okada's drawing power would be diminished without being champion, in a way that Naito's is not?
Okada needed to be thrust into the title picture in 2012 to catapult him into stardom. Now he's there, and like cbacon alluded to, he's the Ace and all of that, so his role is to be the centerpiece of the championship puzzle. His gimmick is that he's the best wrestler in the company. It makes sense to have him heavily involved in the title scene until he's moved down in 5 or 8 or 10 years or whatever. Like Tanahashi.

It's not that I think Okada couldn't draw in non title scenarios, it's just that Naito has proven that he doesn't need that extra juice to do so and his gimmick works better when he's playing off the idea that he's being unfairly denied something.

In Nakamura's post 2012 case, he was drawing money anyway and inserting him into the title picture would have mucked up the four year Tanahashi/Okada story that was instrumental in getting Okada over. That's why I was never wrapped up in Nak getting a run. I may have felt different had he never had one, but that wasn't the case. I just didn't see a good business reason to interject Nakamura into that scene when he was already producing for the company anyway headlining as IC champ while staying out of Okada's way. They were building a star through Tanahashi, and it proved to be the correct strategy while Nak did his thing in alternate months.

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

Post by Danwaka » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:58 pm

I mean those four years have come and gone Joe so it's spilt milk at this point, but a four year story for Okada-Tanahashi was fucking overkill. That was so spread out you could serve it on toast. That Nakamura never got one last Heavyweight title run before WWE came calling was a damn shame, especially with him strangling the fuck out of the IC title.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:32 pm

Danwaka wrote:I mean those four years have come and gone Joe so it's spilt milk at this point, but a four year story for Okada-Tanahashi was fucking overkill. That was so spread out you could serve it on toast. That Nakamura never got one last Heavyweight title run before WWE came calling was a damn shame, especially with him strangling the fuck out of the IC title.
Nak "Strangling the fuck" out of the IC title is what got it over as a drawing title, Nak dominating that thing was essential and was one of the key booking moves of that era. It now allows them to run split shows, and more importantly, not burn out IWGP title matches. Nak was the perfect guy for that. If you take Nak out of that picture, and off of those shows he was headlining, you have to tell me who would have gotten that key drawing spot and what you subsequently do with Okada & Tanahashi.

I'm just struggling to see where shoehorning in a Nak IWGP run would have benefited business or the longer term goal of getting Okada over. I've never been a fan of "(s)he deserves it" title runs. Your mileage may vary on the Tanahashi/Okada story, that's in the eye of the beholder. To me it was great. More important to the discussion at hand, I think it served it's long term purpose of elevating Okada and drawing money, and ended just as it showed signs of flatlining.

I'm a huge fan of how that era was booked big picture. They had a plan to elevate Okada & the IC title, they stuck to it, and it worked.

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

Post by Buzz Sawyer » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:40 pm

EvanDeadlySins wrote:I found it interesting that Joe wrote in his New Beginning preview "Like Nakamura, Naito draws money without the title anyway and doesn't need the extra rub."

Do people think that Okada's drawing power would be diminished without being champion, in a way that Naito's is not?
Naito couldn't draw files to shit before he became the " cool bad guy". If it wasn't for his new gimmick, he would still be in that same boat.
Who's Rob Viper ?

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Jacob's Bawks
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Jacob's Bawks » Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:38 am

With Okada, I'm thinking they have to start toning down his reigns in the next few years because he's been the focal point of the title scene since coming back five years ago.

It took Tanahashi two and a half years after first winning the title to become Ace, but two more years and his fifth reign to hold it for a whole year (3/4 of his first reigns were under 130 days). He was gradually getting better in kayfabe. Okada got the title a month after returning, he had his year-long reign fourteen months after his first title win, and has held it 505/575 days since AJ and Tana traded it a few times in '14-'15. It took him longer to become cemented as the Ace after his first win in comparison to Tanahashi, but by the time he took the throne he had completed more than Tana did when he defeated Mutoh in 2009. There's not much more he can do with that belt or in general barring some major character or style change. His run at the top has been more front-loaded with accomplishments right off the bat in comparison to Tanahashi.

Okada's the top draw and he should be in the main event scene. But for the sake of keeping things fresh, he needs an extended break from the title scene and Naito/Shibata/Omega should have their runs. Taking a year+ long break and chasing for a while before going for the IC Title or the Tag Titles would help him give the rub to the people who are at the levels SANADA, EVIL, and Elgin are currently on while still drawing on top and let Naito and possibly someone else cement themselves as the 1B or 1C to Okada's 1A. Okada with the IC belt could also finally raise its stock to a point where it's of damn-near equal importance as the IWGP Title, meaning they might not have to run smaller buildings for the title anymore.

Joe's right about Nakamura's reigns with the title. He raised its stock and it reinvigorated his career after he fell in a rut and was still able to draw on top. Naito's almost ready for the IWGP Title again. I'm thinking 2018 is his year. Okada's at a point where he can't be hurt; Naito and the IC Title are both capable of more. Naito and Okada trading places for a while wouldn't hurt at all and would actually help. This is about the only way I can see them keeping Okada and both titles fresh for a while before Okada jumps back into the IWGP Title scene after two or so years. He'll still be a top featured star and draw so it wouldn't hurt, and it's not a step-down like it would have been if it was still at the level it was at during the MVP and Masato Tanaka days.
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