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Thread: New Japan Pro Wrestling General Discussion

  1. #281
    The Brain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Not sure I have ever seen a pro-wrestler I wouldn't describe as melodramatic!
    Fair point, but there is a spectrum, you know?

  2. #282
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    Of course, yeah.

    Well again, this isn't a request to have examples flagged up to me (I'm so jaded at the moment that ignorance is bliss here) but based on the limited work I have seen, I'd say he's not as guilty of that than plenty of others. Off the top of my head, HBK, The Rock, Eddie Guerrero all jump to mind as worse offenders (though with Eddie it depends massively on time and place). And personally, overselling a bit but doing it consistently well is infinitely superior to someone who does it spot on, but only when they feel like it.

    Just recently went back to WK10 and the main event. Thought he was great again and I could have really loved the match, but Okada's poor selling kept taking me out of it. So frustrating.



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  3. #283
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Hmm. I reason there's probably no way I'm going to sell you on Okada's selling, but him being a poor seller (especially on the legs) has always made me feel a bit weird because I like the way he sells a lot of the time. Some of it gets into that BUSHIDO!!!! style of powering up and being able to use his fighting spirit to gut through it all. But I do kind of think there's an interesting story behind his leg selling.

    I mean, his very very first singles loss in NJPW after returning from excursion was at Dominion with Tanahashi, and he lost because Tanahashi worked the leg to the point where Okada could no longer stand. I think, kind of, Okada then recognised that this was a weak point (if you like - although NJPW never really acknowledged it) and then tried to work through the problem. It kind of goes full circle in the end, because Tanahashi works the leg in basically every subsequent match they have to less and less impact. WK7, Invasion Attack, G1 23, WK9 - they're all defined by Tana working the legs to look for a win. By Invasion Attack it's kind of like Okada has worked on his weakness and now can resist a lot of leg work - Tanahashi has to change tactics to working the arm, but that fails. WK9 is Tana going back to the legs becasue he now has the Cloverleaf in his arsenal as a much more pronounced part of his finishing moveset. And in the run up to WK10 he's using that to tap guys out in tags and so on - sending a pretty clear message to Okada that he knows his weak spot and will be able to attack it again.

    I think, broadly speaking, the idea that Okada is trying to get across is that he's worked up his legs to the point where they are now significantly stronger than they were so he's able to repel a lot of leg attacks. It's kind of the same thing he did with his neck over the last G1, but in reverse - he basically told a story across the whole of the G1 that he was in bad shape having been champion for so long, and wrestling so much in such a short space of time degraded his neck strength and left it as an open attack spot - hence EVIL and Omega beating him and Suzuki getting the time limit draw in the last three matches.

    It's like...I suppose in terms of personal development, if you have a weakness you might work on it until it no longer becomes a weakness. Okada saw his weakness was his legs and so worked on them to the point where his legs are no longer a point of weakness. Arguably he now has no weaknesses, although they can develop (his neck as mentioned, Marufuji wrecking his arm in their G1 match) over time he's not entering a match now with an obvious weakness - his opponents have to develop one in him.

    Like I say, I reason that's not going to sell you on it, because if you don't like it that's just the way it is, and not all wrestling has to be the same for everyone. That's just how I explain things on Okada's leg selling in my head.

  4. #284
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    I don't actually think he's bad at it, in terms of when he's doing it. And if he was kind of consistent with it then I'd not have as big a problem with it. Not everyone has to sell everything the same, and selective no-selling can be an effective technique.

    But the 'selling the leg, selling the leg, RUNNING FAST! JUMPING HIGH! aaaand back to selling the leg'... yeah, it's just poor storytelling for my money. You're either selling the legs or you're not, you can't move between the two without a good reason, and you can't really pull the same trick more than once. But he's not alone in it, it's true of most of the NJPW roster from what I can tell, that they sell when they fancy it rather than when it makes sense to do so.

    To be fair, when he does want to do it, he's very good - but he either forgets a lot, or more likely, wants to get whatever fancy move he wants to do in regardless of the situation in the match. There are few things more anathema to me than that.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 02-15-2018 at 08:58 AM.



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  5. #285
    The Brain
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    Yeah, Okada's selling has been known to get under my skin too. I really like Ollie's explanation on paper, but I'm not sure I actually see that when I'm watching his matches.

  6. #286
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    Meltzer Star Ratings are in for New Beginning in Osaka:

    - Yuji Nagata vs Katsuya Kitamura: 3.5
    - El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Roppongi 3K: 3.25
    - Ryusuke Taguchi, Kushida, Michael Elgin and Togi Makabe vs Taka Michinoku, Taichi, Takashi Iizuka and Minoru Suzuki: 3.25
    - Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii and Jay White vs David Finlay, Juice Robinson and Toa Henare: 2.5
    - Bushi vs Gedo: 2
    - Tetsuya Naito vs Yoshi-Hashi: 4
    - Will Ospreay vs Hiromu Takahashi: 4.75
    - Hirooki Goto vs Evil: 3
    - Kazuchika Okada vs Sanada: 4.75

    Decent scores all around. I am kind of surprised at the main event score, to be honest. I dug the match a lot, but I felt it started a bit too slow. But then again that's not an uncommon thing. The second half of that match was pretty solid and it was loud as hell in the arena.

  7. #287
    The Brain
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    I think it'd be a really good idea for New Japan to book a few shorter main events, not just for my personal gratification (though I would appreciate it!) but also to remind the crowd that the match can end at any time. We are getting to the point where the crowd just dies for the first half of the main event of a major show because they are just waiting for the real match to kick in 15-20 minutes in.

    I will most likely at least check out that Ospreay/Hiromu match. Ospreay has his flaws but I still enjoy him, and Takahashi has been a serious pleasure to watch for a while now.

  8. #288
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    So the stuff I am now watching is a bit like the contemporary stuff, in that Omega attacked AJ the way Cody eventually attacked Kenny.

    Basically being the leader of Bullet Club is about as dangerous as being Emporer of Rome, it seems.



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  9. #289
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    We still don't know if that's the case, though. This apparently happened at a Ring of Honor show yesterday to further the intrigue:


  10. #290
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    I mean, we know he attacked him, surely? Unless I dreamed it?!

    In all seriousness, interesting to see this being set up properly. If this were WWE the feud would already be over, so...
    Last edited by Prime Time; 02-16-2018 at 07:29 PM.



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  11. #291
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    I meant it more in the sense of we don't know if the attack by Cody marks the end of Omega's time as leader, like it was pretty clear when Devitt and A.J. were attacked respectively.

    The main theories popping up now is that this will lead to a split creating separate Bullet Club / The Elite squads, or Kenny's out for real. Not sure which of those two I'd care about more in the long run.

    Also, still no sign of the other Bullet Club members chiming in on this. I've been reading a lot of people saying that Tama Tonga or Fale should step up as the two most senior BC members but would that really go anywhere?

  12. #292
    Tama is in desperate need of a push. He's ready. Fale is also ready for something more. Thus, the state of NJPW's mid card. So many people so few roles right now.

    If anyone would benefit from an elevation in this story, it is them.



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