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 » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:19 am

Mediocre - Bad Luck Fale vs. SANADA
Very Good - Lance Archer vs. EVIL
Great - Zack Sabre Jr vs. KENTA, Will Ospreay vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi vs. Kazuchika Okada

I really don't understand the point of Fale pinning SANADA. It seems like Fale's story in this tournament was supposed to be that he is no longer good enough to get wins on his own and that Archer is the new main monster in New Japan, but then Fale randomly started getting wins over big names with awkward looking technical wrestling moves and I just don't get it. At one point I was hopeful that this tournament would signal the end of Fale as a pushed commodity, but I guess the three straight wins at the end of the tournament mean that nothing has changed.

Sabre vs. KENTA was the latter's best match of the tournament. He needs to continue focusing on striking and technical wrestling like he did in this match and stop trying to do high spots that are beyond his current physical abilities like he kept trying to do in the Ospreay match.

Ospreay/Tanahashi was interesting for a lot of reasons. Obviously it's been clear for a while now that Ospreay is very over with the New Japan crowd, but it was wild to hear him be the crowd favorite over Tanahashi in Budokan. There was some really great wrestling in this match, with the highlights being Tanahashi countering the Stormbreaker into a sling blade, and Ospreay doing his hook kick thing to Tanahashi just as the latter was firing up for a comeback. But beyond the in-ring action itself this just felt like a very significant match in terms of both characters' positioning in the hierarchy of the company.

Ibushi/Okada was great as expected. Even though I knew intellectually that it was unlikely given the way that New Japan typically books that the IWGP Heavyweight Champion would make to to the finals, they still fooled me by having Okada do the wrist control thing, and by having him cut off the Boma Ye with one of his beautiful dropkicks. The closing stretch was really playing out in a way that made it look like Okada was going to win.

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

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:38 pm

I really love the way they built up Block B finals: they shape up most of the night exactly how think it would go--as opposed to the night prior, where most of the matches were 'meaningless' but still managed to have a couple of head-scratchers to surprise you, as noted above--and then BAM! A lot of people's predictions wiped out in one, single impact. One.

The next Omakase is going to be fucking glorious. (the next Lanza review will be pretty good too, thanks to the semi-main.)

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

Post by rollup » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:55 pm

very brave and gutsy move but this is a booker who is not afraid to take risk when it comes

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

Post by Murcatto » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:34 pm

Big opportunity for Jay. Gedo staying in the back should mean the shenanigans are kept to a minimum, so it's his chance to show he can deliver in a big-time 30 minute singles match (I wasn't blown away by the MSG Okada match)

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

Post by Tigerkinney » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:48 pm

Can't say I'm too enamoured with the booking decision. Nothing to do with Naito being thwarted yet again, all to do with the fact I think Jay White is over-pushed. I don't think he's terrible, just think that New Japan are trying way too hard to convince us that he is a big-show main event calibre wrestler. I do think that his heel character work is good (he truly is a punchable shit-bag), but his matches are too heel BS heavy for my liking, especially when placed in a big time main event slot.

That being said, if Ibushi wins tomorrow, all will be forgiven. I think a lot of people (bar the psychotically obsessed L.I.J fanboys), would be happy with Ibushi overcoming the most hated man in New Japan in the final. But if White wins, then I'm not really sure if that booking decision would be not so much brave, as more reckless. Though that being said I'm looking at this from a western fan perspective, maybe White is genuinely more over with the Japanese fans.

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

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:35 pm

Dave perpetuating this ongoing narrative is odd to see:
I don't want to say that Naito can't go any more, but this version of Naito can't hang with the top in-ring guys in the industry right now. He's just too beaten up. If I were booking, I'd be putting Shingo in Naito's spot for whatever long-term plans I had.
On the plus side, it's good to see that he's as enamored with Takagi as everyone else seems to be...only noticing now that, irrespective of what goes on with Naito for the remainder of the year, LIJ is primed to go on a fucking tear once Hiromu comes back.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:46 pm

Good - Jeff Cobb vs. Toru Yano
Very Good - Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito
Great - Taichi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Juice Robinson vs. Jon Moxley, Shingo Takagi vs. Hirooki Goto

Wow. I always knew that there was a possibility of White defeating Naito either to spoil him or win the block, but to see it actually happen is...interesting. I guess I'll reserve judgment on that booking decision until we see what happens tomorrow (both in the finals match and in whatever multiman tag Naito is in, which will hopefully give some indication of his direction for the fall), but as of today the decision to put White over certainly seems dubious. Especially considering that today's main event, while very good, was not up to the Match of the Year-level standards that we are used to seeing from G1 Block deciding matches.

My favorite match of the night, and one of my favorites of the tournament, was Shingo vs. Goto. I think I might have actually preferred that to the excellent Shingo vs. Ishii match. Just an incredibly hard hitting and exciting match. That Pumping Bomber toward the end that Goto did the flip bump for might have been the single best-looking clothesline I've ever seen. Hopefully this match doesn't become forgotten because of the shocking result of the main event.

Juice/Moxley was awesome as well. I really liked the story of Juice refusing to use the weapons that Moxley introduced. It got across the idea that Juice had evolved past the point where he would have let his emotions get the best of him, and instead this time it was Moxley whose anger cost him the match. Can't wait for the inevitable US Title rematch.

I wasn't as high on the previous Taichi/Ishii matches as most fans, but I really enjoyed today's bout. I wish that Taichi would wrestle like this all the time. He's shown several times this year, and a couple of times this tournament, that he's capable of having exciting action-packed matches like this one, but too often he goes back to WWE-style heel shtick, and he really doesn't need it.

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

Post by Murcatto » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:15 pm

BlizzardAcolyte wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:35 pm
Dave perpetuating this ongoing narrative is odd to see:
I don't want to say that Naito can't go any more, but this version of Naito can't hang with the top in-ring guys in the industry right now. He's just too beaten up. If I were booking, I'd be putting Shingo in Naito's spot for whatever long-term plans I had.
On the plus side, it's good to see that he's as enamored with Takagi as everyone else seems to be...only noticing now that, irrespective of what goes on with Naito for the remainder of the year, LIJ is primed to go on a fucking tear once Hiromu comes back.
That wasn't written by Dave. Although I think he may have said something similar about Naito in the latest Observer

Speaking of Naito, I wonder what his Dome direction is. Perhaps he wrestles Jay for the IC title?

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

Post by JB Gremlin » Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:39 pm

Shingo/ Goto was absolutely great stuff, it's another one that, were it not for the context of the G1, would be getting a lot more buzz as being a must watch. It's crazy that Shingo and Will both went from being shining stars of the BOSJ tournament to being borderline the two shining stars coming out of the G1 too! With a view to Wrestle Kingdom I think I'd have Ishii lose to Shingo for the NEVER then have Will challenge second from the top at the dome for his big moment.

I was late watching White/ Naito and I was pleasantly surprised based on some of the poor reviews it got(as someone who really sin't hot on Naito or White right now), that said if the plan as for Ibushi to win tomorrow and Naito to get his win back V Jay for the IC at the Dome I struggle to imagine that doing particularly well as a headliner at the gate.

I've got tomorrow off work specifically for the final and going into today knowing it would probably be Ibushi V White or Naito I was a little bit down on it (Naito/ Ibushi has been done to death this year and I don't think White is the big match wrestler they want him to be yet) but the angle and the prospect of Ibushi/ Okada at the dome has got me a little invested at least.

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

Post by BoxingRobes » Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:11 pm

Random Thoughts through both Block Finals.

Top 5 matches from the Tournament

Shingo Takagi v. Tomohiro Ishii
Shingo Takagi v. Tetsuya Naito
Kazuchika Okada v. Will Ospraey
Tomohiro Ishii v. Jon Moxley
Kota Ibushi v. Will Ospraey

Seems pretty stock, to be honest.

**I want to start off with JON MOXLEY...because I was blown away by how good he was throughout the tournament. I never thought much of Moxley as a singles wrestler. His WWE run was pretty JAG-ish from a singles in-ring perspective. For a guy - like Moxley - to jump into the deep end right away (how much of the WWE stink was he able to wash from himself, really?) and basically average ***3/4 to **** throughout the tournament, including a Big Dave five-star match is really impressive to me. I'm begging to see more of Moxley in NJPW, including a 1v1 match versus Okada at some point. To me, this G1 showed he is a legitimate complete package as a performer. Stock WAY UP. I said way back that Lance Archer is the most improved wrestler...I've changed my mind...I think its Moxley.

**Big Tom Ishii is probably everyone's MVP...but I am going with SHINGO because I am a mark. I am pretty certain he'd be my highest star average if I pulled the numbers including the two highest matches of the tournament.

**Everyone likely hates it...but FALE by the end of this tournament, beating dudes with school boys and backslides is hilarious to me. I'd invite him back next year to run this gimmick full time.

**I had some issues with booking...in real sports...after big games and big wins that take a lot of energy out of you...you have let down spots. There were several times I thought there were prime spots for let down spots that had some silly booking as a result. One that really stood out to me was SANADA. After a big, energy draining win over Okada...I would have had him lose his next match to Lance Archer. Would have helped Archer look better by the end of the tournament, too. KENTA's matches down the stretch after the Okada loss were a bit questionable, too. I am not sure I would have had him lose his last five matches. A win over Fale or ZSJ would have been better booking to keep him strong coming out.

**I just can't get into Jay White bell-to-bell. I just feel at the top of the card there is a working standard at the high end and he just hasn't shown the ability to get there yet. He's a great heel...just...can't get into him bell-to-bell.

**I am a mark for EVIL.

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

Post by rollup » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

A great angle in todays final and a very good finals to boot ....

is he ..... coming back ? he looked to be in great shape and never missed a beat

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

Post by JB Gremlin » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:07 pm

I think the final is probably Jay White's best match. Loved it and I thought the Gedo spot worked for that moment. It's been a phenomenal tour with dozens of matches that are up there with the best of the year, although I don't think anything reached the insane heights of the BOSJ final. my favourites of the tour:

1. Okada V SANADA
2. Okada V Ospreay
3. Ibushi V Jay White
4. Shingo V Naito
5. Ibushi V Tanahashi
6.Ospreay V Tanahashi
7. Okada V Ibushi
8. Goto V Shingo
9. Ospreay V Ibushi
10. Shingo V Ishii

I'm hard pressed to pick an MVP because so many guys performed out of their skin all tour, clearly Okada, Shingo, Ospreay, Ibushi and Ishii were all excellent but EVIL probably had his strongest G1 to date and I actually thought KENTA had a few great matches (Okada, Evil and Zack in particular) despite clearly not being at the top of his game for large portions.

One of my main takeaways from the tour is Naito, who I've always been a little mixed on, showing very little that says "I should be headlining the dome" his match with Shingo was superb and the Ishii match was great too but both those guys had great matches most nights, Ibushi is clearly going to be elevated and I think that's the right call over Naito at the moment who will still probably get to headline the second show, maybe SANADA, maybe White? It'll certainly be interesting to see what they put him in over the next few months.

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

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:06 pm

JB Gremlin wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:07 pm
One of my main takeaways from the tour is Naito, who I've always been a little mixed on, showing very little that says "I should be headlining the dome" his match with Shingo was superb and the Ishii match was great too but both those guys had great matches most nights
You think Naito knew well ahead of time he wasn't going to be involved in the finals and decided he was going to hold back a little this year? I wonder if he's finally accepted he's going to end up as New Nakamura in NJPW and work accordingly.

I do laugh at how Bullet Club, the supposedly gajin-heavy stable, now has almost as many Japanese in it as gajin.

Looking at results, I'm just happy that Suzuki/Sabre Jr. scored yet another win; the AceMaker, meanwhile, is becoming as successful a tag team, relative to the hype/expectations surrounding it, as Dragon Kid/HUB (a strangely Zodiac-based team) was in DG...

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

Post by SamoKuma » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:23 pm

Am I dumb to see a IC vs WK ME and Naito "Stealing" the dome from Ibushi ?

Quite a final show, but it is strange to admit the best moment of it was not the final, but this bullet club ending match. God I marked, and i marked hard.

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

Post by BoxingRobes » Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:37 am

idk what the rest of the world says...Ibushi v. Jay White was five stars. That shit was fucking incredible. Flawless. Work. Story. Commentary. Crowd.

THIS IS THE GRADE ONE CLIMAX BABY. LETS GO. FIGHT ME IF YOU DISAGREE.

The look of joy on KENTA's face when he got his face kicked in on the corner drop kick spot is the very moment when he realized he's really made it in this industry. Like...yo...life is really great.
Last edited by BoxingRobes on Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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