The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

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Dragonzombie
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Dragonzombie » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:59 pm

Njpw 90's was great, expecting it be a workrate big bombs fed on the level of Ajpw 90's is silly. And it didnt have to be, it was fine.

Chono had his own appeal, Mutoh too, they also outdrew Ajpw 90's guys and scored higher tv ratings.

Njpw didn't expect workers to conform to a set style like Ajpws 90's style which is homogenous outside of certain spots and strikes. Mutoh always a showman who stressed American pro wrestling style, while Chono became a heel brawler.

The old 90's style and booking had some pluses not found in today's pro wrestling, submission finishes, a diversity of styles, choshu-ism workers for example, the Brawlers, power-houses, shooters who refused to do pro-wrestling etc.

The Old Njpw atmosphere was the fight aura. Something Baba never cared about.

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NiGHTS
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by NiGHTS » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:21 pm

Dragonzombie wrote:
The Old Njpw atmosphere was the fight aura. Something Baba never cared about.
Hell yes. Didn't know what to call it, but fight aura sounds just about right. No idea how they managed to make it feel like that, maybe the colors of the arena? Could be the wrestlers themselves, very larger than life.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:39 pm

saviorofstrongstyle wrote:What I really like about this era of New Japan is the vibe and atmosphere.... it has a feeling of... I don't know how to describe it... That things feel volatile and dangerous?
Dangerous in a way that the matches a lot of the time felt like they could end at any moment or implode or something, versus the All Japan matches that focused on long build ups to finishing stretches?
Great post.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:40 pm

Dragonzombie wrote:Njpw 90's was great, expecting it be a workrate big bombs fed on the level of Ajpw 90's is silly. And it didnt have to be, it was fine.

Chono had his own appeal, Mutoh too, they also outdrew Ajpw 90's guys and scored higher tv ratings.

Njpw didn't expect workers to conform to a set style like Ajpws 90's style which is homogenous outside of certain spots and strikes. Mutoh always a showman who stressed American pro wrestling style, while Chono became a heel brawler.

The old 90's style and booking had some pluses not found in today's pro wrestling, submission finishes, a diversity of styles, choshu-ism workers for example, the Brawlers, power-houses, shooters who refused to do pro-wrestling etc.

The Old Njpw atmosphere was the fight aura. Something Baba never cared about.
Another great post.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:41 pm

It's funny, because the modern New Japan heavyweight style is much closer to the old King's Road style than the old Strong Style.

It's sort of All Japan meets modern North American main events.

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pol
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by pol » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:18 pm

Inoki's vision of wrestling was heavily influenced by the catch-as-catch-can grappling he learned from Gotch. Even as early as the 70s, you can look at something like Inoki/Brisco as an attempt to present a legitimate-looking product to an audience with a 70s understanding of what legitimate grappling looked like. Meanwhile King's Road grew out of the NWA title match style. There's that line attributed to Inoki, "Ours is a strong style, Baba's style is showmanship."

I've made the point before that Inokiism wasn't necessarily anything new, nor did it represent Inoki suddenly going crazy. It was just an (extremely ill-informed) attempt to update the essence of Strong Style (i.e. wrestling as legitimate sport) for a post-MMA understanding of what real fighting was.
Last edited by pol on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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NiGHTS
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by NiGHTS » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:23 pm

pol wrote:Inoki's vision of wrestling was heavily influenced by the catch-as-catch-can grappling he learned from Gotch. Even as early as the 70s, you can look at something like Inoki/Brisco as an attempt to present a legitimate-looking product to an audience with a 70s understanding of what legitimate grappling looked like. Meanwhile King's Road grew out of the NWA title match style.

I've made the point before that Inokiism wasn't necessarily anything new, nor did it represent Inoki suddenly going crazy. It was just an attempt to update the essence of Strong Style (i.e. wrestling as legitimate sport) for a post-MMA world.
Would you say King's Road evolved (or devolved depending on how you look at it) into Smackdown Six/indie clusterfuck style?

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pol
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by pol » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:28 pm

I think King's Road is the originator of the bomb-throwing near-fall-heavy stretch run (although there's early examples in the third fall of old lucha title/apuestas matches too) which is present in dumbed-down form in pretty much every big match style these days. I'm not sure if any of the other aspects that make up the style were really adopted anywhere.

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Dragonzombie
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Dragonzombie » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:58 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:It's funny, because the modern New Japan heavyweight style is much closer to the old King's Road style than the old Strong Style.

It's sort of All Japan meets modern North American main events.
Yeah, the bookers and Tanahashi wanted a more American style promotion. Tanahashi loves the 80's American style and liked Kobashi growing up and had no interest in old Njpw style.

While Jado and Gedo in the back wanted to switch from working limbs and holds a lot to head and torso work or just wild bomb throwing in the match structure from 09 to up.

But once Bushi-Road bought Njpw, submission finishes in the hw main events was finally killed off for Good. ( except armbars)

You can see aspects being slowly turned out over the years for Ajpw/WWE style stuff instead.

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Chismo
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Re: The 90's NJPW heavyweight scene

Post by Chismo » Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:30 am

New Japan needs more guys like Yano in main event scene, guys whose matches have a real sense of unpredictability where often you don't know whether they'll go 4 minutes or 14 minutes. Yano/Tanashi heavyweight title match from 2011 was wonderful. Shame he never got another title shot. Shibata could've been that guy (for reasons opposite of Yano's), but even with him you know he'll never win a match until pulling out all the certain stops.

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