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Thread: New Japan Pro Wrestling General Discussion

  1. #401
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    The Observer is now saying that it's being reported that Kitamura's career is over due to concussion-related injuries, but that those reports are actually a cover-up for some other undisclosed reason. The plot thickens...

  2. #402
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Oh man, I hope it's nothing too shady. I liked Kitamura. I sort of felt like a couple of other Young Lions had surpassed him from this crop - Umino and possibly Kawato - but still felt like Kitamura had the talent and potential to be a big deal. And even if he didn't, sucks to have his career shot down so early.

  3. #403
    Like I said it sucks what happened to him (if it was injury related)...but I wasn't that high on him. He had a few good singles matches during his seven match challenge, but that was coming against guys like Nagata who could make him look good; he was otherwise just a guy with a good body, some talent and little else. Kawato and Son of Red Shoes easily surpassed him I thought. I hope it's nothing serious to his health or a huge scandal, but otherwise I won't miss him.

    Then again, maybe this is all a ploy and Kitamura will be returning as an old gimmick; Bone Soldier. Yes, Bone Soldier is coming back. May he not be Captain Fookin New Japan this time.


  4. #404
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    So I just went through Okada's current Meltzer ratings for his 11 title defences - dude is currently rocking a 4.84 average in his title defences.

    Vs Naomichi Marufuji- 4.75
    Vs Kenny Omega - 6
    Vs Minoru Suzuki - 4.75
    Vs Katsuyori Shibata - 5
    Vs Bad luck Fale- 4
    Vs Kenny Omega- 6.25
    Vs Cody- 4.5
    Vs Evil- 4
    Vs Tetsuya Naito-4.5
    Vs Sanada - 4.75
    Vs Zack Sabre Jr- 4.75

    Even if you think the ratings system should have been capped at five and rerate the two Omega matches accordingly, it's still a 4.64. That's madness.

  5. #405
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    The Suzuki and Cody matches are both too high, but still, the guy is amazing.

    Did anybody see the Suzuki/Tana match from New Beginning in Saporro Night One? That was awesome and might have flown a little under the radar.

  6. #406
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    I think it got some good attention at the time, but yeah it's sort of been lost in the usual New Japan avalanche of top rated matches. I thought it was excellent personally, I'm not really a Tanahashi fan but they both really brought it for that one.

    I know I'm in the minority, but I'm still uncomfortable with the Shibata match being 5 stars. A match where one of the best wrestlers in the world cripples himself falls short of perfection, but I guess it wasn't known conclusively at the time and Meltzer never amends ratings, so here we are. I was intensely uncomfortable with every move they did after the headbutt though, knowing what was going on inside Shibata's head.

  7. #407
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    I watched the Shibata match live, it hurts the match for me on rewatch, if i go back which i haven't in awhile because i gave up hope on him returning.. but live, it was like oh god i hope he's okay. I didn't think at the time that he was seriously fucked up. Maybe that's just me being naive. I also didn't have a problem with headbutts as much as i do now because while i knew the danger, for me to enjoy those matches, with headbutts, I have to accept that its their choice. Now I just see it as a reckless thing that could kill you since it almost did for Shibata.

  8. #408
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    Yeah, I have been even more uncomfortable with headbutts in general since the Shibata thing, and I was already down on them after what happened to guys like Benoit and Misawa. Head injuries are no joke, and a great wrestler should have no problem putting on classic matches without them. It's hurt my enjoyment of Ishii too, as he can't seem to stop himself from cracking skulls.

  9. #409
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    Haven't seen Ishii lately do many head on headbutts unless i missed some. Maybe that's why they don't push him higher up the card? I don't think a headbutt makes a great match, like the visual of Shibata the blood dripping down is a cool visual if he hadn't gotten totally fucked from it.. but it doesn't really make me think they're more badass.. Like I don't see Suzuki throwing his head around and he's the most badass wrestler i've ever seen.

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post

    I know I'm in the minority, but I'm still uncomfortable with the Shibata match being 5 stars. A match where one of the best wrestlers in the world cripples himself falls short of perfection, but I guess it wasn't known conclusively at the time and Meltzer never amends ratings, so here we are. I was intensely uncomfortable with every move they did after the headbutt though, knowing what was going on inside Shibata's head.
    I hate that Shibata did that to himself. As you know, Mizzie, it made m contemplate not watching wrestling at all anymore and I actually stopped for a while. That said, I do think it's a 5-star match. Yeah, he fucked himself up in it, but the story was perfect.

  11. #411
    The Brain
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    We'll definitely have to disagree on that one, because the main story I came away with was one of the best wrestlers in the world gave into bad habits and wrestled such a destructive style that he ended up crippled. The really sad thing is I have no doubt they could have had an undisputed all time great match without the controversy, but Shibata couldn't stop pushing himself until he was literally a danger to himself and others. Imagine if Okada had suffered the same injury and also ended up in hospital bed, career cut short? It very well could have happened. It was reckless, dangerous, and irresponsible, and I just can't condone it.

  12. #412
    I miss Shibata...



  13. #413
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    Me too man, constantly.

  14. #414
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    Me too, and I'm not condoning what he did even a little.

  15. #415
    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    Me too, and I'm not condoning what he did even a little.
    He's a moron. I miss him, but he's a moron.



  16. #416
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    Oh man, this was recently announced: A six-disc DVD box set of New Japan's Three Musketeers vs. All Japan's Four Pillars to be released in July - https://njpwdvd.com/thethreemusketee...four-dvd-box6/ Here's a promo video of it:



    Looks like it's going to have a lot of matches from the peak of this in the 90s along with some of their later work, along with commentary and interviews with the five surviving members of both groups. This has to be one of the best DVD box sets for Japanese wrestling ever. That price is insane, though (24000 Yen / 220 US Dollars / 180 Euros).

  17. #417
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    That looks amazing. I'd buy it in a heartbeat, if I thought I'd ever sit through a lot of it.

    I think I'll always miss Shibata.

  18. #418
    The Brain
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    Man, that does look like an interesting set, especially if you speak Japanese (or they bother to subtitle it, which would be great!).

    I'm guessing everyone knows the big matches these guys had within their own groups (as in Pillar vs. Piller and Musketeer vs. Musketeer). If not I can definitely pull up some examples, but I was motivated by the idea of the set to look up examples when guys crossed the line and faced someone from the other side. These crossovers inevitably happened after the All Japan split, so everything is post 90s when the lines had already kind of broken down, but still there are some great ones in here. The only examples I couldn't find evidence of actually happening in any context were Muta vs. Taue, Kobashi vs. Hashimoto, and Taue vs. Hashimoto.

    Probably the best cross-over of them all was also a big part of staving off the decline of All Japan after the Noah migration:

    Muta vs. Kawada 2/24/02 AJPW

    If you only watch one match from this post, I recommend making it that one!

    Next up is later that year, Chono vs. Misawa in a New Japan ring. Chono is by far my least favorite out of all these guys but Misawa is maybe the best ever, so you're sure to get something solid out of it:



    Next dream match is also from New Japan, the year after, where you get Chono vs. Kobashi. I haven't seen this one but it's supposed to be pretty great, one of Chono's best:



    Then we go back over the the All Japan side for more Kawada goodness. Worth mentioning that Hashimoto is easily my favorite of the Three Musketeers:

    Kawada vs. Hashimoto 2/22/04 AJPW

    I was also able to see that Chono and Kawada faced off in the 2005 G1 Climax, but can't seem to find a video of it through google or on njpwworld, so New Japan should probably get on that!

    That's all the singles matches I could find evidence of having happened, but some more gaps are plugged through some big time tag matches through the years. We get our best taste of Hashimoto vs. Misawa in this loaded match:

    Akiyama & Misawa vs. Hashimoto & Nagata 3/2/01 ZERO-ONE

    Chono ticks off Taue, making his only appearance on this list, in a 2003 Noah tag match that almost reunites the Four Pillars.



    Misawa and Muta finally met in a 2004 Noah tag match that was built around them finally interacting:



    And last but not least, by far the latest chronologically, Muta finally matched up with Kobashi in this 2009 Noah tag match:



    I hope someone finds this half as interesting as I did!

  19. #419
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    That's a damn good post, mizzles!

    So, NJPW have just put a pair of videos on Youtube which cover the finishes of all elevent defences in Tanahashi's reign and now Okada's reign. They're worth a look, if only as hype for their forthcoming match.

    Tanahashi:



    Okada:



    I'd not realised Charlie Haas had had an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match before...

  20. #420
    The Brain
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    Yeah, what a bizarre fact. I'm happy for him, honestly, always thought he was underrated.

    These videos really are great. This is the way to get fans into the product who are on the fence.

  21. #421
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    They're simple but they nail the talking point for the match, which is pretty cool.

    I'm kind of of the mindset where I think Okada should win this one and continue his run. But the idea of Tanahashi winning nags at me - I think him winning (and indeed, anyone taking the title off of Okada) opens up opportunities to move that belt around a bit without getting it immediately back to Okada.

    Of course, the question is - when Okada loses the title, what does he then do? The IC Title feels like it would be a bit below him at this stage, so NJPW need to line something up for him as either a storyline or a feud that gives him a really high focus.

  22. #422
    The Brain
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    I'd be gobsmacked if Okada drops the title to Tanahashi. I figure he'll hang onto that thing until they decide to pull the trigger on Omega.

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