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Thread: New Japan Pro Wrestling General Discussion

  1. #241
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    I'm actually curious, what it is you find so ridiculous in New Japan? I thought they were relatively straight laced, but then again I'm the kind of guy who accepts time travel as part of his wrestling without blinking.

  2. #242
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    On both the shows I saw it came in the middle of the card. On WK it seemed like there was a tendency to just throw everything at it, so after the first couple of matches it slipped into everything I don't like about the American indy scene. Then on New Years Dash, which I loved the first few matches of, there were a couple of matches with the bullet club featuring lengthy sequences where the idea of a contest was clearly out of the window: everyone wanted to get their shit in and were damn well going to, while a referee stands there with his thumb up his butt while you get a 5 on 1.

    On both shows, I loved the start, hated the middle, and liked or tolerated the end. Maybe all these years later it is still just all about Yuji Nagata to me?
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  3. #243
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    Well, I freakin' love Yuji Nagata, so I won't argue there! To be honest I'm not sure I've ever watched a FULL New Japan show, it's a promotion made for cherry picking big matches, or for whomever has caught your eye after watching for a while. They definitely have a glut of meaningless six-eight-ten man tags that only serve to fill up the card and can devolve into nonsense.

  4. #244
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    The way its booked now where they have six man titles its a little better and keeps singles matches fresh. I try to check out the road to shows to see if they are building any angles (new years dash being the example) and I like to check out the Young lions..but even that is a crapshoot cause you don't know if they'll get a good gimmick upon return or if they are just thought of as a comedy jobber.

    But yeah most of the time, I'm only watching the title matches. Just saying, I've felt like they've made more of an effort to make more shows important.

  5. #245
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    I can respect that, but I don't think I could find the time anyway. Those cards can be loooooong.

  6. #246
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    oh defintely! Its not like I watch every show, i missed the whole Ibushi/Omega thing live lol. I find though that the road to shows are like 3 hours, the bigger shows are of course sometimes 5 so unless its wrestle kingdom, I try to just watch the big stuff.

    My problem with new japan isn't really the endless tag matches its the fact that everyone has to be on a show. I think they book too many people

  7. #247
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    Maybe I can get better at being selective as time goes on but in the first instance I think you have to sample widely to see what appeals.

    I will finish for the day with a more positive comment, which is that to go along with the older people I was already familiar with I enjoyed the two Jay White matches I have seen.

    EDIT: That Suzuki-Tanahashi match, huh? The phrase 'instant classic' jumped to mind, and I haven't even liked any of the other Suzuki stuff I've seen so far, so yeah, went a long way to winning me over.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 02-02-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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  8. #248
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    That's good stuff, Prime. That match is sublime.

    So, this is interesting - https://www.njpw1972.com/20622

    Representing New Japan Pro Wrestling and Los Ingobernables De Japon, your Tokyo Sports MVP is Tetsuya Naito. I’d like to thank the Tokyo Sports editorial board for naming me MVP. A lot of people saw me and Los Ingobernables De Japon as a flash in the pan, that just as quickly as we got popular, it’d all be over. Yet here I am, only the fifth in history to win this award two years straight. And I did this in a year where the IWGP champion held his belt from start to finish. What that means is that I exist on another plane. It means that Tetsuya Naito is bigger than the IWGP Championship. That’s not arrogance talking; that’s something that I’ve proven to everyone.
    — You could perhaps surpass Okada this year and win MVP three years straight.

    Naito: In my mind, I’ve already surpassed him, it’s just that now the numbers are finally agreeing. But make no mistake: I will be here this time next year having won MVP for the third year in a row. Look, Okada is tough, and I respect that, for sure. Toughness is the most important quality in a pro wrestler. But there’s a few areas where Okada comes up short, right? Naito has what Okada doesn’t. That’s why even if he stays champion he can’t be MVP. And if he doesn’t step up in those areas, I’ll be an easy pick for MVP again.
    Quite like those two quotes from Naito. Plays into the character I saw from him at the Dome a bit, too.

    Shibata won the Fighting Spirit award.

  9. #249
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    Things like this are going to make his eventual victory over Okada that much sweeter.

  10. #250
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    People generally like him, then? I kinda love to hate him, if anything.
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  11. #251
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    He's arguably the most popular guy in New Japan, even ahead of Okada. In all the live events I've gone to, Naito's merchandise (and Los Ingobernables de Japon in general) is by far the most visible in the crowd, much more than any other wrestler or faction.

  12. #252
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    Yeah, Naito has a major coolness factor going for him. Japan is also not immune to the modern trope of fans simply cheering whom they like best, regardless of alignment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    That Suzuki-Tanahashi match, huh? The phrase 'instant classic' jumped to mind, and I haven't even liked any of the other Suzuki stuff I've seen so far, so yeah, went a long way to winning me over.
    I love Suzuki but I do think he's a "greatest hits" wrestler, rather than a "knock it out of the park every time" wrestler, though I do love the scary vibe he always puts out whether he's come to work or not. I didn't think much of his feud with Goto, but keep an eye on him and he'll blow you away when he really turns it up. If you get a chance, check out his match with AJ Styles from the '14 G1 Climax (August 1st). That one is pretty damn amazing.

  13. #253
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    We're getting Okada/Ishii vs The Young Bucks in 9 days time in Adelaide. Might have to fly over for that.

  14. #254
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    Wow, that's a very unique match. A bit hard for me to picture, even. I wonder if it's a sign that they want to use the Bucks in the heavy tag division or just a 1 night only nod to how popular the Bucks are internationally.

  15. #255
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    So I've been watching a mixture of older and newer stuff. You'll have probably gathered from some of the other threads I've got a pretty set way of how I see wrestling. But even so, having watched stuff from a few years ago and the more up to date stuff, there's one guy that I haven't been able to say a bad word about his work so far. And that's Hiroshi Tanahashi.

    I know, I know, I'm late to the party when it comes to the former Ace. But honestly, I've not been able to fault his work. I don't really think of him as an old school guy because he's only really the same age as Cena and Lesnar, but still, I find myself believing what he does and more importantly, he seems to get how to build a match so that when you do transition into the more implausible stuff, you still go with it. I don't think I can say that about anyone else I've seen for a long, long time.


    This is not a challenge to show me matches where he's sucked. Frankly, it's quite nice to have an admiration that I don't feel I have to qualify again, and I'd rather it wasn't ruined. But as I feel I sometimes run the risk of being a bit of a wrestling grumpus around these parts I thought when I did have something really positive to say post-2001, that I might as well say it.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 02-09-2018 at 10:09 AM.
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  16. #256
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    You don't run the risk....

  17. #257
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    I have nothing bad to say about Tanahashi except is current hair style lol. He drew me to current New Japan over anyone else, he's in my top 5 pro wrestlers of all time. He connects with the audience in Japan like no other current star and He is the main reason the promotion turned itself around. Okada now gets all the credit but if not for Tanahashi, there is no Okada to make into a star.

    Even people would love Nakamura over Tanahashi and I was like Tanahashi never coasted like Nakamura did and still does. Sure, Nakamura is more charismatic but Tanahashi was the perfect man to carry the brand

  18. #258
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Tanahashi has never sucked. I mean, I think Okada is currently on another level to him, but throughout his NJPW time Tana's been consistently the top guy for a reason, and the reason is he's damn good.

    In fact, the only blot on his copy book is that he's so bloody minded he won't heal his current injuries. That tricep or bicep tear must have been absolutely wrecked over the last 8/9 months of him wrestling with it and trying to heal it around his big matches. Add to that the osteoarthritis in his knee and he needs to take it properly easy. Having Suzuki tear him apart the way he did probably helps put him on the shelf properly now.

    Ooh, can I share something fun? Here's 2006 Tanahashi vs 2006 Shibata:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5bs5n9

    So Shibata here had just a year or so previously gone freelance and left NJPW. NJPW was arguably at its lowest as a company here, and with Shibata having been viewed as one of the guys they wanted to build around for the future it was kind of a big deal that he left the company. He wrestled for another year or so, but at the end of 2006 hung up his wrestling boots and went full time in MMA. He wouldn't return for another 6 years.

    Meanwhile, this is Tanahashi on the rise. He's done his Young Boy spell and is clearly on his way to becoming the Tanahashi we know, even if there are aspects of it that aren't there yet. He still has lovely hair. He's reached the G1 final in 2004 and is clearly primed for great things, holding the U-30 Openweight title for 6 months before this match. 6 months after this match he'd vacate that title to focus on the IWGP Heavyweight Title in a match against Lesnar - which never happened because Lesnar refused a pay cut. The ensuing tournament would see Tanahashi crowned the champion and the rest, as they say, is history.

  19. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Tanahashi has never sucked. I mean, I think Okada is currently on another level to him, but throughout his NJPW time Tana's been consistently the top guy for a reason, and the reason is he's damn good.
    So far, I'm yet to see an Okada match that hasn't made me roll my eyes at least once. There's no doubt he's got more weapons in his arsenal, but I get the feeling he's sometimes more worried about showing off that range of tricks than he is in telling the better story. He's undoubtedly very good, though. I haven't seen what are supposed to be his best matches and even without that I've seen he is capable of some beautiful stuff. If anything, that actually just makes it that bit more frustrating when he shatters the illusion for the sake of increasing the pace.

    I actually had a similar thing with the Bucks. I never liked them anyway, but have seen enough in their NJPW outings that if they wanted to, they could be the tag team that someone like me would rave about for years. But they've got a different view of things, and they don't really want to work that way: a fact that doesn't really make me warm to them anymore than when I thought they were just fucking around for the smark crowd, even if you do have to give them a bit more credit.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  20. #260
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    In New Japan, I find the Bucks way more agreeable to my tastes of wrestling than any time they're on the US indies.

  21. #261
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I'm the same with the Buck, in fairness Prime. Any of their RoH or PWG stuff has left me pretty cold, but their NJPW work (especially their two matches with Roppongi 3K recently) have made me warm to them much more. If I only watched them in NJPW I'd probably think they were the best tag team on the planet.

  22. #262
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    I would love to see a Revival/Bucks match

  23. #263
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    When I started going to New Japan shows here, I was instantly drawn to Tanahashi. As I dug back into his past, that admiration has grown a lot and still does with every outing he has nowadays. It's incredible that he still puts on the type of work at an age when most people are visibly on the decline. That makes it all the more impressive if you consider all the nagging injuries he's been dealing with. He's also one of the most recognizable people on TV since I see him random TV shows all the time. Even my wife and her family, who don't watch any wrestling, know who he is.

    I've enjoyed what the Young Bucks have done at the shows I've seen them in. For the longest time I didn't get their shtick, especially since the only things I had seem before was their U.S. indy work. I guess it's an acquired taste. I'm still not completely sold on them but I do appreciate their matches quite a bit.

    Today is The New Beginning in Osaka. I'm psyched to be going to the show (5th row seats!). Definitely looking forward to the three title matches.

    Looking at the card, I just noticed that the second half of the card are all singles matches of Chaos vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon. I don't know why I didn't notice that before, especially since I thought that a random Gedo vs. Bushi match was kind of odd. I wonder how they'll book it, since LIJ is extremely over in Osaka and it would kinda deflate the crowd if most of them took losses here.

  24. #264
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I can't imagine Naito will lose Vs Yoshi-Hashi, and could see EVIL taking the NEVER title from Goto and Hiromu beating Ospreay. Bushi/Gedo seems tough to call simply because I wouldn't bank on either of them winning.

    Then there's the main. It seems like a lay-up for Okada, but there's enough doubt for me to consider a SANADA win too.

  25. #265
    I think LIj will lose 2 of 5.

    If that's the case, Naito's a sure fire win... BUSHI is as well. But, then, only Hiromu winning in the last three? That doesn't seem right.

    this is the toughest show I can remember to figure out. It could easily be Naito/BUSHI. I've seen stranger things happen....

    BTW, where the hell is Y2J tonight. Cuz, he's a way for Naito to lose to Yoshi-Hashi.



  26. #266
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    Holy shit, Ospreay/Takashi was so fucking insane.

  27. #267
    Well, I was wrong. They actually had a "chalk" show sans the jr tag match which is normally a joke this time of year.

    Those of you happy with the show match wise, it was fine. Just didn't feel like a big show after it was done.



  28. #268
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    Sanada doesn't connect with me as a heel and so I tend to not get into the matches.. and saying that thought the finishing stretch was really good. I didn't expect a big show or massive title changes because of what's around it, which isn't much. Not until the NJ cup and Sakura Genesis... You've got the Anniversary show which will be headlined by Okada/Ospreay and then the Long Beach show.

  29. #269
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    That destroyer is the Ospreay match was mental.

  30. #270
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Rey Vs Liger!

  31. #271
    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    Well, I was wrong. They actually had a "chalk" show sans the jr tag match which is normally a joke this time of year.

    Those of you happy with the show match wise, it was fine. Just didn't feel like a big show after it was done.
    I mean, it wasn't Wrestle Kingdom but it was still a pretty dope show. The Rey announcement was a nice surprise and I personally thought Naito/Yoshi-Hashi, Ospreay/Hiromu and Okada/SANADA were all pretty great (and Goto-EVIL was pretty good too other than the crowd just not giving a shit). So yeah, not the biggest show ever but it was the typical quality of a New Japan show. The only people who I imagine didn't like it are LIJ fans, and frankly those people are becoming annoying with how they feel those guys need to win every match.


  32. #272
    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    I mean, it wasn't Wrestle Kingdom but it was still a pretty dope show. The Rey announcement was a nice surprise and I personally thought Naito/Yoshi-Hashi, Ospreay/Hiromu and Okada/SANADA were all pretty great (and Goto-EVIL was pretty good too other than the crowd just not giving a shit). So yeah, not the biggest show ever but it was the typical quality of a New Japan show. The only people who I imagine didn't like it are LIJ fans, and frankly those people are becoming annoying with how they feel those guys need to win every match.
    Na. Not every match. Just not lose every big match. Every single one.

    If you call the tag titles big, remember that they had three straight shows with the same match within 3 weeks. There were three teams last year. Right now, with the current tours, there was 1. the tag champs.

    Just seems pretty funny is all. Since the G1, LIJ hasn't won a big match. At all. Wait, Naito beat Ishii... everyone beats Ishii in a big match.

    If that happened to Okada or Omega we'd have people crying bloody murder.



  33. #273
    Except that's exactly what happened to Omega last year; he lost to Okada, then he lost to Ishii and then he wasn't allowed to beat Okada on the second try in Dominion. In fact he had it worse; Naito beat the guy who never wins a big match while Omega didn't till the second go around, despite being just as hot (if not hotter) than Naito has been during the same time.

    I get it; the group is great and is wildly popular in Japan. I personally think all five guys are great myself. But come on; Okada shouldn't have lost to either EVIL or SANADA in those two matches, Ospreay shouldn't have lost to Takahashi today (unless you want him to be established as the dude who immediately drops the title in his first defense) and, while I would've put EVIL over Goto, I get why they didn't go that route either. The only legit point is that Naito should've beaten Okada, and again, that wasn't exactly a bad decision when a) they did the same thing to Omega last year and it didn't hurt him and b) unless you're prepared to credit Naito/Yoshi-Hashi or SANADA by himself, this mornings show in Osaka sold out largely because Okada was defending the belt in the main event. The guy is still rolling as a draw. So yes, it is a tad bit annoying to hear LIJ fans crying about how they have it so bad when, in reality, there's perfectly good reasons they aren't winning right now and just as many dudes who deserve the opportunities as them. They will have their time. It's just not now.


  34. #274
    It annoys you because I wanted my guy to win. Think about what you are saying. So, what you are saying is, as a fan, I'm not supposed to get emotionally invested in the guys I like. Want them to win. You know, like a fan should.

    You are telling me to "wait." Wait while I watch a guy I don't like as much run around calling himself the best.

    Meanwhile, Naito gets Yoshi-hashi and Taichi. I adore Taichi. He's a great character. But far far far below the type of person Naito should be feuding with in NJPW.

    So, when you look at the alternative, Naito being champ and facing legit guys, you are damn right I have a right to be upset with the direction. I've seen 17 (exxaggeration, maybe) say "trust the booking." Maybe they shoulf start to "think as a fan" for once. I'm really just trying to piece together a story other than "omg, record broken." You never tell a story to break records. In anything. You tell the story to tell the story. and the story of Okada right now is totally overdone.

    As a fan, i have legit complaints. Okada has gone through:

    Omega/Naito/Fale/Sanada/Shibata/Cody/EVIL/Suzuki

    If you break those down, that's every upper card to main eventer (not in CHAOS) they have sans Y2J and Tanahashi. The latter of which has made it clear he wouldn't challenge Okada again and a Y2J who while a "dream" match, is no threat to the title. (Ibushi is left off the list. His whimsical status doesn't lend me to see him every holding the title.)

    In faster paced places, you have a guy beat 8 upper talent in one title reign people would be throwing conniption fits. Because Okada has this thing with "best in ring guy," I'm just being a skeptic. Instead of raising valid point.

    When is enough, enough? Are you really thinking that if all of a sudden Okada wasn't champ, they wouldn't draw? That's not true and you know it.



  35. #275
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    For New japan though, They obviously love Okada and want him to break all the records. Even if that's not a great story, that's the one they're telling. Would I prefer Naito as champ right now? Yeah cause they would have to do something different with Okada and the rest of the roster would have a reset button..But also, I only think Naito or Omega are worthy to even be champion. Shibata is effectively retired, Evil isn't quite there imo and I think Sanada is a bad heel. Its subjective to each fan but the Okada story is interesting to me in thinking about who will beat him and how. in terms of escalation, usually that would mean someone new or someone changing their game plan..

    Plus i'm quite hype for Okada/Ospreay.

  36. #276
    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    It annoys you because I wanted my guy to win. Think about what you are saying. So, what you are saying is, as a fan, I'm not supposed to get emotionally invested in the guys I like. Want them to win. You know, like a fan should.
    I'm saying you shouldn't think a product is in trouble because your favorite didn't win. I don't think LU is missing the boat when Angelico doesn't win a match and I didn't think New Japan fucked up last year even though I really wanted Omega to win. There's a difference between being emotionally invested and thinking the only call is your favorites winning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    So, when you look at the alternative, Naito being champ and facing legit guys, you are damn right I have a right to be upset with the direction. I've seen 17 (exxaggeration, maybe) say "trust the booking." Maybe they shoulf start to "think as a fan" for once. I'm really just trying to piece together a story other than "omg, record broken." You never tell a story to break records. In anything. You tell the story to tell the story. and the story of Okada right now is totally overdone.
    This is where you're really missing the boat. The story might be overdone...to you. From where I'm standing it's not overdone to anyone else; I'm not tired of Okada headlining as champ, most people I know aren't tired of him headlining as champ, and judging from the tickets being sold and the eyeballs on the product, the vast majority aren't tired of him as champ. Could New Japan have done a better job at giving Okada more options for challengers? Sure. But Naito would've had the same problem; they aren't running Naito/Omega at anything other than a massive event, they just did Tanahashi/Naito to death last year, Elgin is now toxic and Suzuki is off the board because he's NEVER Champ. That leaves you with challengers like Ishii (who you yourself pointed out as a challenger no one takes seriously), Yoshi-Hashi (HA!), Juice (who isn't built up enough) and...anyone else? If you're New Japan you're basically left with the option of going with your biggest ticket mover (Okada), your biggest international name (Omega) or your biggest merch mover (Naito). They chose their former and as long as Okada is still over (he is) and is selling tickets (he is) I see no problem with that, and the only reason I see you having a problem with it is because his name isn't Tetsuya Naito. I'm sorry; that's not a good enough reason to say what they're doing is the wrong choice.


  37. #277
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    I won't complain about anything because I really enjoyed the show. I think everyone pointed out the good and the bad about Okada's reign already and have beaten those points to death. It's not a perfect world, but regardless of who holds the belt or what story they play it won't ever be. All I know is that I'm enjoying the ride because just about every title defense has been solid. That's all I ask.

    As an aside, I spotted Honma getting ready to sign autographs when the doors opened. He looked to be recovering well, which made me happy to see.

    I also won a fan club lottery to have my picture taken with a New Japan wrestler, who turned out to be Michael Elgin. He treated everyone nicely but it's a shame that his reputation is pretty much in ruins to me.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 02-11-2018 at 10:56 PM. Reason: Japanese names are hard to spell

  38. #278
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    I'm a fan of the Okada reign, I can see the points brought up by his detractors but by and large I think the run he's having is good both for him and for New Japan. I think there's a solid chance Naito is still the guy to dethrone him, just not yet.

    I must be the only guy in the world who doesn't think that much of Tanahashi. He's fine, but something about him turns me off. He can be a bit melodramatic, and his offense is often so light compared to the house style. I mean, in fairness too many New Japan guys seem to be trying to concuss themselves every night and I appreciate he doesn't go that far, but when he's trading strikes with someone like Ishii I find it hard to fully suspend my disbelief.

  39. #279
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    Not sure I have ever seen a pro-wrestler I wouldn't describe as melodramatic!
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  40. #280
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    New Japan posted this yesterday:


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