Katsuhiko Nakajima

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dylanjstx
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Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by dylanjstx » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:06 pm

People seem to be down on him right now which is pretty crazy but Nakajima has had a number of great matches both this year and historically. The KENTA feud alone is enough to get him nominated. He had a match with Brian Cage in July that is one of my favorite matches in company history.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by Joe Lanza » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:10 pm

People are conflating his failure as an ace to move business (it actually moved down), but I suppose if that's part of your criteria than it does matter.

Bell to bell he figures to finish high, at least off the top of my head. Some of that KENTA/junior title stuff was Kensuke Office though, keep that in mind. At least one match was, anyway.

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armsofsleep
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by armsofsleep » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:15 pm

Big decision will be if you view Noah flailing because of him or in spite of him. IMO his good stuff in the low periods has been too good to ignore, even if his status as flopped ace will knock him down a few pegs for me.

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rollup
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by rollup » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:14 pm

Oh boy , he has been a flop as a draw, and the fact the company decided to headline a big show in yokohama with Eddie vs marafuji instead damages his ranking for me.

That said, his stuff with kenta was great.

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elloziom
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by elloziom » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:59 pm

I'm going to defend Nakajima here, because if we talk about history of Noah there maybe like 4 guys who were not considered a flop as aces at their times and these were: Misawa (all title reigns), Kobashi, Kenta and Maru in 2014. Almost every single title reign except those could be considered a flop. Even though people say that Akiyama was a draw in 2001 he was still considered a flop as a champion. Rikio's title reign was a huge flop. Morishima's title reign in 2008 might be an even bigger flop. There is a reason Go lost in his 2nd title defense in 2009. To sum up Sugiura's title reign I'll just give you those records:
-Takashi Sugiura beat Go Shiozaki at Budokan on 6.12.2009 - 12,000 reported fans
-A year later for Sugiura vs Morishima they drew 8,600
-By the time he was about to lose his title they stopped running Budokan and they weren't even able to sell out Ariake because for Shiozaki beating Sugiura on 10.07.2011 they drew only 4,400
So in 1,5 year for the same match in the same city they drew only 36,6 % of what they were able to do before his title reign. And I know that this was directly after the time they lost TV, but the statistics are fucking catastrophic. After Sugiura's title reign it's really hard to talk bussines, because they always lost money and the only non-failures would be Kenta and Marufuji because in their times at least we didn't have that big decline or maybe even slight growth.

To sum up, if we want to talk about history of Noah we are basically going to talk about history of failed aces and if you want to hold it againist other people than I think the only people that are going to make your list are going to be Misawa, Kobashi, Kenta and Marufuji and some random people that were never put in a position to be the main guys.

Now let's talk about Katsuhiko. In my opinion he should have won the Global League in 2015 and beat Suzuki in December 2015, because at that time they didn't lose as many fans and he seemed like a fresh new face that could really help. Instead they chose Maru, so they could prolong this story for Shiozaki, who failed again and finally they went with Nakajima. I think he is a victim of bad timing similar to Dean Ambrose. Also his Kenta stuff is fucking tremendous, but I also recommend to check out some of his Jr tag league from 2008-2009. He had some really fun matches with Kotaro (I remember loving the Kotaro & Kanemaru vs him & Miyahara from Jr Tag League in 2009 and really liked their stuff in 2011). I also really liked his matches with Sugiura from recent years and his Kitamiya and Suzuki matches from 2016 were awesome too. His tag team with Sasaki produced some of the most awesome stuff of each year (with 3 matches being especially great: them vs Go/Kobashi, vs Kobashi/Kenta, vs Kenta/Go) I really want to catch up on some of his stuff from this year, because I really dig his style and even though Noah right now struggles with drawing 1000 people I'm probably still putting him in my top 10 for so much awesome stuff that he produced over the last 12 years. It's still hard to imagine that he was only 17 when Kensuke Office vs Go/Kobashi match happened and only 21 when he was having those ****1/2 to ***** matches with Kenta in 2009.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:19 pm

elloziom wrote:I'm going to defend Nakajima here, because if we talk about history of Noah there maybe like 4 guys who were not considered a flop as aces at their times and these were: Misawa (all title reigns), Kobashi, Kenta and Maru in 2014. Almost every single title reign except those could be considered a flop. Even though people say that Akiyama was a draw in 2001 he was still considered a flop as a champion. Rikio's title reign was a huge flop. Morishima's title reign in 2008 might be an even bigger flop. There is a reason Go lost in his 2nd title defense in 2009. To sum up Sugiura's title reign I'll just give you those records:
-Takashi Sugiura beat Go Shiozaki at Budokan on 6.12.2009 - 12,000 reported fans
-A year later for Sugiura vs Morishima they drew 8,600
-By the time he was about to lose his title they stopped running Budokan and they weren't even able to sell out Ariake because for Shiozaki beating Sugiura on 10.07.2011 they drew only 4,400
So in 1,5 year for the same match in the same city they drew only 36,6 % of what they were able to do before his title reign. And I know that this was directly after the time they lost TV, but the statistics are fucking catastrophic. After Sugiura's title reign it's really hard to talk bussines, because they always lost money and the only non-failures would be Kenta and Marufuji because in their times at least we didn't have that big decline or maybe even slight growth.

To sum up, if we want to talk about history of Noah we are basically going to talk about history of failed aces and if you want to hold it againist other people than I think the only people that are going to make your list are going to be Misawa, Kobashi, Kenta and Marufuji and some random people that were never put in a position to be the main guys.

Now let's talk about Katsuhiko. In my opinion he should have won the Global League in 2015 and beat Suzuki in December 2015, because at that time they didn't lose as many fans and he seemed like a fresh new face that could really help. Instead they chose Maru, so they could prolong this story for Shiozaki, who failed again and finally they went with Nakajima. I think he is a victim of bad timing similar to Dean Ambrose. Also his Kenta stuff is fucking tremendous, but I also recommend to check out some of his Jr tag league from 2008-2009. He had some really fun matches with Kotaro (I remember loving the Kotaro & Kanemaru vs him & Miyahara from Jr Tag League in 2009 and really liked their stuff in 2011). I also really liked his matches with Sugiura from recent years and his Kitamiya and Suzuki matches from 2016 were awesome too. His tag team with Sasaki produced some of the most awesome stuff of each year (with 3 matches being especially great: them vs Go/Kobashi, vs Kobashi/Kenta, vs Kenta/Go) I really want to catch up on some of his stuff from this year, because I really dig his style and even though Noah right now struggles with drawing 1000 people I'm probably still putting him in my top 10 for so much awesome stuff that he produced over the last 12 years. It's still hard to imagine that he was only 17 when Kensuke Office vs Go/Kobashi match happened and only 21 when he was having those ****1/2 to ***** matches with Kenta in 2009.
Great post. I think you're absolutely right that he should have beat Suzuki in December 15, we were screaming about going with Nakajima on the Flagship around that time, but it was clear that, as you say, it was all about Marufuji regaining the title and setting up Go to continue his "nobody likes him" story. It was a total case of diminishing returns with Maru vs SZG. The first match vs drew 6300. Even the December match drew over 3k, which was up at the time from what Suzuki had been doing. That show felt like a conclusion, every lost aside from KES, and as I've said a million times, I think Sugiura beating Marufuji so soon a month later was the final "FUCK THIS" for fans, as you can see a clear and steep decline after that no matter what they did (including the disastrous Go run), and they still haven't recovered.

So Nakajima was clearly behind an 8-ball, because not only had the NOAH fans had been run off, but the SZG fans were also gone. Doesn't change the fact that bad business dropped to terrible during his reign, and they did give him plenty of time (nearly a year and SEVEN defenses), but I don't think anyone would have had success under his circumstance and it's a shame the timing was what it was. I think Go's reigns were all victims of poor timing as well, but those are discussions for another thread.

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Rich Kraetsch
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:41 pm

elloziom wrote:To sum up, if we want to talk about history of Noah we are basically going to talk about history of failed aces and if you want to hold it againist other people than I think the only people that are going to make your list are going to be Misawa, Kobashi, Kenta and Marufuji and some random people that were never put in a position to be the main guys.
This is super interesting and I'm glad you brought it up this early into the process. We are all going to have to reconcile how we want to treat "drawing" in NOAH. As you said, it's essentially a promotion that started out super hot with great attendance became a major player in the Japanese wrestling scene overnight. Since that early period it's been a steady almost constant trend downward. The chart below (thanks to ProWrestlingHistory.com's data) show Budokan attendance for NOAH for all shows run at that venue in their history. As you'll see, save for a few bumps here and there, it's been a steady climb downward. They did pop a number for their return to the venue in 2013 but as many of you know that was Kobashi's retirement show so calling it a straight "NOAH" show may not be fair.

Image

So do we compare everyone as draws to what Kobashi, Misawa, etc. did at the beginning or do we consider era-specific "draws" and go from there? As elloziom said, if we compare everyone to Kobashi and Misawa w/r/t attendance it's going to be bloodshed.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by Joe Lanza » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:53 pm

Rich Kraetsch wrote:
elloziom wrote:To sum up, if we want to talk about history of Noah we are basically going to talk about history of failed aces and if you want to hold it againist other people than I think the only people that are going to make your list are going to be Misawa, Kobashi, Kenta and Marufuji and some random people that were never put in a position to be the main guys.
This is super interesting and I'm glad you brought it up this early into the process. We are all going to have to reconcile how we want to treat "drawing" in NOAH. As you said, it's essentially a promotion that started out super hot with great attendance became a major player in the Japanese wrestling scene overnight. Since that early period it's been a steady almost constant trend downward. The chart below (thanks to ProWrestlingHistory.com's data) show Budokan attendance for NOAH for all shows run at that venue in their history. As you'll see, save for a few bumps here and there, it's been a steady climb downward. They did pop a number for their return to the venue in 2013 but as many of you know that was Kobashi's retirement show so calling it a straight "NOAH" show may not be fair.

Image

So do we compare everyone as draws to what Kobashi, Misawa, etc. did at the beginning or do we consider era-specific "draws" and go from there? As elloziom said, if we compare everyone to Kobashi and Misawa w/r/t attendance it's going to be bloodshed.
Your final statement is how a lot of people tend to analyze the business side of wrestling, and I think in a lot of cases it's incredibly unfair. The best recent examples is the New Japan resurgence circa 2012-2013 constantly being shit on because it wasn't stacking up to the very hottest periods of the company (something people still do today, even). "The hottest period becomes the benchmark/only comparison point" is something Rich & I have rallied against in the past in projects like this and on the show. There is value and relevance in contextual comparisons.

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armsofsleep
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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by armsofsleep » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:22 pm

Look at how many people still talk about how WWE needs to create STARS like they did in the ATTITUDE ERA BABY.

It's a different time, with different needs, and drawing is different. It boggles my mind when people only consider attendance when looking at current NJPW business.

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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by soup23 » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:51 pm

Comparing vs the peers of the era is the approach I generally take as far as initial placement but In evaluating the promotions as a whole such as this project or wrestling history in general with GWE, I do think the overall dominance as a draw in the hottest period a company ever established should count for something. In the case of Nakajima, he would have to be a much stronger worker in my eyes compared to Kobashi/Misawa for me to have him outrank them.

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Re: Katsuhiko Nakajima

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:14 pm

Oh, for sure and I don't think anyone is going to rank Nakajima over those two on any level but he should be treated fairly on the merits of what he did in his prime era versus how he compares to those guys.

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