Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

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

Post by Frank Olson » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:44 am

I only watched select matches from the Kizuna Road shows, but for anyone who skipped them I can recommend both of the Tsuji vs. Uemura matches from last week. The one from the 17th is especially good, with Uemura winning with what I believe is a new finishing suplex for him. Right before he hits it he locks Tsuji's arms and screams in his face, which is pretty awesome. Looks like Uemura's been putting on some mass too, so it looks like he plans to be heavyweight.

The CHAOS vs. Suzukigun 10-man elimination from the 17th is a lot of fun too. Lance Archer had a really great run in it, going toe to toe with Okada, fighting off both members of Roppongi 3K at once, and debuting a new finisher. I've never been Archer's biggest fan, but he looked great in this, and I'm excited to see what he can do in the G1 now that he isn't shackled to the stale KES team.

The other match I saw that I would say is worth watching is yesterday's ZSJ vs. YOSHI-HASHI match. The drama of the match is hurt by the extremely predictable result, but the in-ring work is very good. There's one really cool spot where YOSHI-HASHI goes for his double knee move and Sabre smoothly dodges that to transition it into an ankle lock.

The matches from this tour that I can definitely say are not worth watching are the title matches involving El Phantasmo. He filled a role in Best of the Super Juniors and was very well booked there, but now that he's fulfilled that role I'm tired of seeing him. His in-ring work is mediocre and boring and his character work is unconvincing. The Jr Tag Title match with he and Ishimori vs. Roppongi 3K from the 16th was almost shockingly bad, with a lot of awkward moments with the wrestlers clearly not being on the same page and/or mistiming spots. Yesterday's British Cruiserweight Title match against Taguchi was a lot more competently worked, but they relied way too much on tedious comedy spots and at 24 minutes it felt ridiculously long.

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

Post by rollup » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:19 pm

interesting if they will have kenta beat all 3 of Tanahashi , Okada and Ibushi
春になったら板橋に行こうよ、仲間も一緒して! オープニング

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Ckkj14 » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:41 pm

G1 week!

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John The Drummer
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by John The Drummer » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:12 am

Does anyone know when they will announce the participants for the Super J Cup tour? I'm a little worried since its next month and there hasn't been a single name.....

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

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:09 pm

Interesting note: SANADA has finished with eight points every year he has participated, whereas EVIL has bounced between eight-twelve depending on the year. With all of the new faces threatening to eat up more of the spotlight this year, despite the fact that he has been booked arguably at his strongest in NJ this year, do you think SANADA stays stuck in place for a fourth year? I say yes, but at least his buddy will be right there with him; I would wager both end up with eight and EVIL ends up as an afgterthought by the end of this, whereas SANADA's campaign is remembered mainly because some will somehow end up surprised he wasn't' booked stronger, given how the first half of his year went.


Separate note: I hope all of you going have a blast tonight...and make note of how thoroughly Sabre outshines SANADA in their scrap.

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

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:54 am

Good - Fale vs. EVIL, SANADA vs. Sabre, KENTA vs. Ibushi
Very Good - Okada vs. Tanahashi
Great - Archer vs. Ospreay

Good opening night of the G1. The arena did not look great on TV with all of the empty seats, but the crowd that was there was super hot for everything and all of the matches were at least solid (even EVIL vs. Fale, the one that did not look promising on paper, turned out to be a good and surprisingly fast paced match). This will likely be the only G1 show this year where I watch the undercard (though I may check out some of the tag matches involving the LA Dojo Young Lions, just to see how they're progressing) but those matches flew by and were entertaining. I actually really enjoyed the G.O.D. vs. Roppongi 3K match that opened the show. I'd like to see more short sprints like that from G.O.D. That was definitely their least boring match so far this year.

Ospreay and Archer have really great chemistry. They have a natural David vs. Goliath story that they can tell with their respective builds, and they each play their role in that story really well. There were some amazing spots in that match, like the Code Red on the entrance ramp, plus what might be the all-time craziest “both guys get back in the ring at 19” moment that I can remember seeing. That's gotta be the best Lance Archer match ever, right?

I loved the SANADA/ZSJ match from last year's G1, so I was a little disappointed in their match tonight. There were some really impressive technical wrestling segments, and Sabre's character work was great as usual, but the match didn't have much of a flow and was the one thing on the show that felt overlong to me.

KENTA vs. Ibushi was good but not really the barnburner that I think many people were expecting. It was more deliberately paced and less brutal than I thought it would be (and the GTS at the end of the match was surprisingly tepid). It was still well worked overall and did a good job of establishing KENTA as a threat in this block, but it's not something that I could imagine winding up as anyone's match of the tournament.

I thought this was one of the weaker Tanahashi/Okada matches. Most of their previous encounters have some sort of defining characteristic that sets them apart from the others in the series, and they usually add some new development to the rivalry. Aside from taking place in the U.S. and the victory coming surprisingly quickly there wasn't really anything novel about this match. That said it was still a very good match with some cool moments (like Tanahashi attempting a quick rollup while Okada was in the Rainmaker pose). It just wasn't as epic as a lot of their previous bouts together.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by mlev76 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 5:25 pm

I saw 3 of the prelim matches and enjoyed them all to varying degrees. My big takeaway was I'm anxiously awaiting Cobb/Ishii.

Archer/Ospreay was the perfect first tournament match both in booking and in ring work. Archer got re-established as a force, Ospreay looked great but not quite ready for the heavyweights. Easily the best match of the night.

Fale/Evil was tolerable only because of Evil. Fale is just worthless at this point and I will be doing everything I can to avoid watching his matches unless something important or shockingly good happens.

ZSJ/Sanada really encapsulated my current malaise with ZSJ. It really felt less like he was looking for a win and more looking to look good. The Paradise lock spot bothered me a lot especially given ZSJ status as a submission master. Really, you can counter anything else, but not that stupid move?

Ibushi/Kenta was just a shade under being great and erased any doubts (not that I had many) that Kenta would at the very least have a good matches throughout the tournament. I'm sure live the strikes probably elevated things, but at home, it was still nearly great.

Okada/Tanahashi was unshockingly great, though to the lower spectrum of their matches. I was rooting for a Tanahashi win, but given their recent matches, I get why they went with Okada.

Overall, a very easy and fun show. I do have to take issue with the production and set up as the look of so many empty seats was fixable and completely indefensible. I don't know if they didn't want to make the higher ticket price buyers feel screwed by moving lower priced buyers up, but the upper decks could have been easily hid and the bottom area would have looked better. The crowd that was there was definitely great and didn't make the low attendance seem to matter much.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by BoxingRobes » Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:46 pm

Ospraey v. Archer was pretty great. Seeing it a little overrated by the GenPop, but it was excellent. Dug the story. Execution was on point. The right winner. ****1/4+

EVIL v. Fale - meh. Fale was working a little harder than last year.

Zack Sabre Jr. v. SANADA - solid. ****

Ibushi v. KENTA - I liked it. Had the right winner. ****1/4

Okada v. Tanahashi - It was a greatest hits album that hit all of the notes it was supposed to hit. ****1/2

Really good, easy show to get through. Excellent show for the Dallas crowd, too.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Sun Jul 07, 2019 11:42 pm

Really loved seeing how many of the wrestlers visibly were pumped to be working this show, empty seats be damned: GOD basically dropped the heel act and just absorbed the energy of the crowd, and that set the tone for practically everyone else (except Fale). I was also shocked at how well SANADA performed here (he clearly prefers working in the States as opposed to home, because here he actually comes off more as a complete package), and how over Juice was. Naito doing the wacky arm-waving run after Yano began to undo the turnbuckle was also hilarious.

Ospreay vs. Archer was very good, EVIL vs. Fale was meh, Sabre vs. SANADA was somewhere between very good-to-great (note: Sabre is my favorite wrestler in this tournament), last two matches were between solid-to-good, although I'm willing to give all four guys a pass because I figured KENTA still has to shake some of the WWE style off of himself, and every Okada vs. Tanahashi match from here on out I'm going to compare to the Invasion Attack match.


So uh, I'll be seeing some of you in Boston later this summer, maybe?

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by InYourCase » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:48 pm

Have spent the past few weeks watching KENTA matches during lunch so I can try to get a sense of what kind of KENTA we're going to get. A lot of his 2013-2014 NOAH stuff holds up well and as someone that was a fan of the Ibushi match, I'm very excited at the possibility of what's left to come in this G1 for him.

The match I'm most curious about at this point is his match vs. Lance Archer on 7/18. I am praying that it comes out like this KENTA vs. Takayama match from 2011


Archer has developed into an incredible giant and a brutal brawler and I actually think those traits play best with KENTA. This match is going to give KENTA a shot to work underneath and build the match off strikes. At this point, it's one of my most anticipated matchups of the entire tournament. Luckily I'll be reviewing that show for the site.

****1/2 for Ospreay vs. Archer and Okada vs. Tanahashi, ****1/4 for KENTA vs. Ibushi

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by BlizzardAcolyte » Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:30 pm

Sempervive & Summers brought this up on their G1 preview show the other day, and passed it around as gospel, so I meant to ask the brass here: are you all as hyped for Tana/Umino/Narita vs. KENTA/Connors/Fredericks, tomorrow night, as they claim?

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by ThommyGunn » Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:55 pm

Looks to me like Mox has been studying some Stan Hansen in Japan tapes. I was shocked at how entertaining his match vs. Taichi was.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:20 pm

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

None of the matches peaked as high as Ospreay/Archer, but overall I thought the B Block opening matches were slightly superior to last week's A Block opening matches. This also felt like a night of less predictable results. My first thought when Yano/Naito was over was “I wonder if anyone is 10/10 in the Pick 'em” and sure enough nobody is.

I like Hirooki Goto a lot, and I think he's as good as just about anybody in terms of the purely in-ring aspects of wrestling. But I think the reason that he's never gone past a certain ceiling is that he never seems to show any real character growth. For example in today's match part of the story was supposed to be that he'd traveled to the U.S. to train with his old friend Shibata and get back to the basics, but aside from coming out in an LA Dojo T-shirt I didn't notice anything different about the way he presented himself, and he just wrestled the same way he always has. I still thought that he and White did a good job of telling the basic story of the heel being overconfident and the babyface fighting his way back from humiliation, but I didn't finish the show and think that Goto's place on the card going forward is going to be any different than it has been for the past few years. Despite these criticisms, my favorite individual moment on the show was when Goto blocked the Blade Runner by pulling White's hair and then delivering a series of headbutts.

Match of the night for me was Juice vs. Shingo, as I was sucked into the idea of both of these men trying to get back on track after taking big losses at the BOSJ Finals show. I thought they paired up surprisingly well both in terms of their in-ring styles and their builds, which is interesting considering their very different backgrounds. That match really seemed like it could have gone either way too, so I was in suspense about the result. I was less in suspense for Ishii/Cobb, since I accidentally spoiled myself on the result (a hazard of turning on the live feed in the middle of the show). That was a really awesome match too, and a really good showcase for Cobb's power and imposing size. The part where he blocked Ishii's sliding lariat was awesome.

The only thing I saw from the undercard was Tanahashi w/New Japan Young Lions vs. KENTA w/LA Dojo Young Lions, and I'd definitely recommend checking that out if anyone skipped it. All four Young Lions showed great intensity, and Ren Narita had a particularly great performance. He and Clark Conners did some really impressive and fast paced mat work stuff. Karl Fredericks seems to have come a long way too. I wasn't too impressed with his early performances that I'd seen, but he looked really good here. I thought the result of the match was surprising too, both for who picked up the victory for their team and for the particular move that they used to win.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Sun Jul 14, 2019 1:13 pm

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

This was the weakest night of this year's G1 so far. I still didn't think there was anything less than solid, but I also don't think that most of the matches lived up to their potential. Ospreay and SANADA had some nice moments but was lacking in structure and felt surprisingly slow paced at times. I was hoping for EVIL/Ibushi to be as crazy as the EVIL/Omega matches from G1 2016 and 2017, but it felt like they were somewhat limited by Ibushi's injury (although they did do a nice job of working Ibushi's ankle troubles into the story of the match, and the part where EVIL countered the Kamigoye into the Scorpion Deathlock was cool). KENTA and Tanahashi were able to get a lot of mileage out of the historical nature of their match, but the in-ring work wasn't anything spectacular.

Archer/Fale was the weakest match in the tournament so far, but was also the one match tonight that I would say was better than I was expecting it to be. The possibility that it presented of Archer taking over for Fale as New Japan's dominant big man elevated it from “Decent” to “Good” level for me.

I'm still blown away by ZSJ's ability to counter literally anything into a bizarre submission or roll up, and by Okada's ability to kick out at 2.9999, so their match was easily my favorite of today's even if it never really felt like a big time epic. I was really surprised by the result too, and I wonder what this means for the Copper Box. Presumably Okada will defend his title there, but I wonder if it might be against one of the LIJ guys instead of one of the British guys like most were predicting. (I'm assuming that Ospreay will not defeat Okada, since he will likely be defending his Jr Title against Phantasmo at the show, and since I don't see them putting the Jr Champion over the heavyweight champion in this tournament).

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:40 am

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

I was a big fan of the New Beginning Intercontinental Title match between Taichi and Naito (despite the overlong angle at the beginning of that match), so I had high hopes for their main event today. However I thought this was the weakest 1-on-1 match that these two have had together. It just seemed like it never got into a consistent flow, with the shenanigans continuously disrupting the periods of fast paced action. Still a pretty good match, but I know that these two can do better together.

I really enjoyed Juice vs. Goto a lot. The only thing it was missing was a more invested crowd, but I was very into the action in the ring. Goto blocking the Left Hand of God with a headbutt sounds stupid on paper but was totally awesome in practice. Obviously we're still in the early days of the tournament, but Juice is my MVP so far. It's interesting to see him avoid doing promos and just focus on in-ring work, but I think the lack of distractions is paying off, because he's looked great against both Shingo and Goto.

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