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Thread: New Japan Pro Wrestling General Discussion

  1. #1
    Word Enthusiast Steve's Avatar
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    New Japan Pro Wrestling General Discussion

    NJPW now has its own Forum. Given how strongly they've come on and the amount of headway they've made in the US market, one could say that it was only a matter of time.

    This thread can be used to discuss any and all things NJPW. You can, of course, create threads about specific topics, but it's always nice to have a central thread for random, general discussion.

    Who's first?

  2. #2
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    I think Suzuki's run here has been one of the pleasant surprises of 2017. Maybe in all the wrestling world sans Braun. Dude's 49 now and he's had his best run in forever or so I'm told.

    Anyone actually think Elgin takes the title off of him? If not Elgin, who?



  3. #3
    Member Rich Latta's Avatar
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    New Japan 2017 has Barbequed WWE 2017
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    Either Elgin or Juice. SANADA would be great also.

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    I don't follow New Japan super close, but Naito might be my favourite worker on the planet.

    Everything he does is so crisp, he works just the right amount of stiff and everything is fucking safe as hell. The hangmans neckbreaker he gave Tanahashi in their G1 A Block final (I'm watching it on YouTube right now at work) is fucking CLEAN. One of the safest bumps I've ever seen someone give off a move like that.

    He comes off as a straight up killer, but he gets that it's a work.

  6. #6
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Naito's one of the best in match lay-outs in wrestling (so I've heard). His work with everyone this year has been great. He helped make Juice look credible. He hasn't had the matches that Okada/Omega have had, but he's been every a bit as important as at least Omega. Being the guy to main event the extra shows is an important spot. It is evident that they realize what they've got here and WK can't get here soon enough.



  7. #7
    The Brain
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    I honestly like Omega/Naito I from last year significantly more than any of the Omega/Okada matches, so there's that. The guy is awesome and he's got insane level of star vibe too.

  8. #8
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    Naito definitely has that "It Factor" to him, for sure. He's supposed to be the heel but people can't help but adore him. Based on the shows I've gone to, Naito is by far the most popular guy with the fans in Osaka. The number of Ingobernables / Naito shirts and hats that I see on the days of the shows, and even in my every day life around here, far outnumbers anything else related to wrestling. I don't know how much merchandise drives someone's booking here, but if it does I expect Naito to be on top for a while.

  9. #9
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Naito was suppose to be one of their top guys and pumped their breaks when the fans revolted.

    Wish WWE learned that lesson with Reigns....



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    I started watching recently so I never caught when Naito was first being groomed for a top spot, but read a lot about how people did not like him at all. Crazy how a little retooling can change someone drastically.

    I've been hearing a lot of bad things about the recent Destruction in Fukushima show. I haven't gotten a chance to watch it, but if it's as bad as it sounds online maybe I'll skip it. Anyone who saw the show have any comments on it?

  11. #11
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    It wasn't horrible. Just, it wasn't up to their standards. An easy watch, really. But not much happened.

    The main event, sadly, underwhelmed,



  12. #12
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    Ah, that's a bummer. The main event is the match I really wanted to watch since I really dig both Minoru Suzuki and Michael Elgin. I'll probably watch it when I get some time but won't go out of my way to catch it.

    Hopefully the other two Destruction shows fare better. I think New Japan would probably be better served in merging the Destruction shows to two or even just one, instead of potentially watering down any / all of the shows.

  13. #13
    Thoughts on Chris Jericho's recent statement that most of the NJPW roster are overrated?

  14. #14
    Member Rich Latta's Avatar
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    I thought he was clearly trolling ans folks ran with it. Lol
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    Count me in among those who couldn't have given a shit about Naito a few years ago. I first saw him in early 2015 and thought he was bland as hell, had really no interest in him as well. Even when he turned heel it took me a bit to get into it, especially since at the beginning it seemed like he was just spitting at people a lot and not much else. But once the LIJ stuff kicked it, my tune changed almost overnight. I think it was around the time he won the IWGP title that it clicked for me, something about him throwing the belt around like he didn't give a shit really did it for me.

    Sad to hear Elgin/Suzuki didn't deliver. I think it could if they go back to their usual style, what was the deal with them doing some kind of lumberjack death match out of nowhere? I know it's not entirely unheard of but it's pretty rare for modern NJPW, seemingly for a good reason. Then again I sometimes like weird stuff so maybe I'll check it out anyway and see for myself.

    As for Jericho, he's a notorious pot stirrer, so I'm not paying much attention to that stuff. Plus, the term "overrated" is a really annoying one because it's entirely subjective and dependent on perspective. Overrated by who? The fans? The "smarks"? The "IWC"? Meltzer? Gedo? It's too vague to really mean anything. Personally I find many people rate NJPW stuff a bit higher than I do but that doesn't mean they're wrong, it just means my tastes are a little different.

    EDIT: Or perhaps Jericho is still salty because he never really got over in Japan... oh wait, of course I mean Japanese fans are just "quiet and respectful", not that he just never caught on there.

  16. #16
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    I started to notice him when he was in a match that had Goto/Shibata in it and he was disrespecting the hell out of them Didn't fully get on board until his Tag league run with Evil.

    It is as if he went to Mexico to soak up all the IDGAF's he could find while watching old Memphis tapes. Dude is an old school heel that is so good at it you can't help but to cheer him.



  17. #17
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    I didn't hear what Jericho said about New Japan, but I wonder where he was coming from. I think it might be from people just putting New Japan or any other Japanese wrestling up on a pedestal and crapping on everything that's not from Japan.

    One of the issues I had with getting into Japanese wrestling is that I found a more "holier than thou" attitude within that community than the rest of the IWC in general. I've seen places literally cuss people out if they even compare something they saw in the WWE to something from Japan. I don't know if it's because Japanese wrestling fans outside of Japan are such a small yet vocal minority or if that's really the attitude in general. I've steered clear of places like those since it just felt so negative. It's easy to get turned off by that and respond negatively in kind.

    EDIT: Is anyone here planning on traveling to Japan for Wrestle Kingdom, out of curiosity? I just got an email on the pre-sale lottery for the tickets that they do with the fan club here, and the pricing for tickets is a lot pricier than I expected:

    - Royal seats: 50,000円 (about $452.50)
    - Arena A: 22,500円 (about $203.65)
    - Arena B: 12,500円 (about $113.14)
    - 1F stand: 9,500円 (about $85.98)
    - 2F stand (A): 7,500円 (about $67.88)
    - 2F stand (B): 4,500円 (about $40.73)

    I'm planning on going and wanted some good seating, but not sure which tier to get now that I see these prices. Considering I'll have to pay for a bullet train to Tokyo and a hotel stay for the night, I'll probably have to look at some of the middle-of-the-road seats.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 09-14-2017 at 02:28 AM.

  18. #18
    The Brain
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    It's true, some fans are way too defensive about New Japan. Then again, that can happen with WWE too, and to a lesser extent with any hot product.

    Someday it'd be nice to go to Japan for some big wrestling event... or maybe a whole bunch of them. Not any time soon, though.

  19. #19
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Going for an event is cheaper than I thought it would be. Was doing some pricing and it comes out to something around 15-1600 on the cheap to go and see a show then come back. For a whole trip to see more than one show, probably looking at 2 grand.



  20. #20
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    That's still a lot just to go watch a single show. Obviously you could extend it into a full-blown vacation but it'll definitely be a lot more than that since Tokyo is not a very cheap city to be around. Still, the experience should be an awesome one to have. I'd enjoy the show a lot but I mostly want to be able to say that I went to a Wrestle Kingdom event.

  21. #21
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    I look at it like WM in terms of a trip. Go for just the show. Walk around and see things. Eat good food. See the show the day after, go home.



  22. #22
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    I guess it can be done for that purpose only. I traveled from San Francisco to New York for Wrestlemania 29, although it ran me far less than $1,000 for everything in the four days I was there. I also got to meet up with my brother so that was a nice perk. In any case, if anyone does make the trip to Tokyo this year, reach out to me since I should be around the city during that time.

    Getting back to current New Japan stuff, I hadn't paid much attention to the Destruction cards. I just noticed that all three Destruction shows have War Machine vs. GoD vs. KES - I wonder why that is, and why they didn't just make regular tag matches with different combinations of those three, maybe adding another team in the mix like Ishii / Yano. Especially Ishii, who would at least be doing something more worthwhile than being in random multi-man matches. Why they waste that guy's talents like that, I have no idea.

  23. #23
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    You mentioned Ishii. I think it's okay to share this.



    To put it in perspective, he guy makes a case that Ishii may indeed be the most important person on the roster.



  24. #24
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I love Ishii. I think with Shibata likely out of the game he's probably my favourite guy on the NJPW roster.

    I'm really excited to see ZSJ headline an NJPW show, against Tanahashi no less. Seems like they are high on him there, as the push has been pretty stratospheric. Also interested to see how Omega vs Juice works out - Juice, for me, had a real breakout performance in the G1, and whilst taking the title off of Omega wouldn't necessarily be the greatest move I think Juice is hot enough to run with it.

  25. #25
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    That video makes sense, but that's not what I'm seeing happening now. Besides tournaments this year, the only singles match that I remember Ishii having this entire year was against Omega in Wrestling Dontaku. Everything else is tournaments (New Japan Cup, U.S. Championship tournament, G1) and tag matches with whoever's available that night in Chaos. I just don't get why he's stuck in tag matches all that time when he puts on great showings just about every time he's in singles matches.

    I don't know what that U.S. championship means in the long run for New Japan, but putting it on Juice would certainly be more helpful than having Omega keep it. Omega doesn't really need it, but maybe it's because they haven't really done anything with it since it was introduced.

  26. #26
    A Professional Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Watched the show last night. Seek out the Kushida/El Desperado match. That was a coming out party for Depsy. He's a guy I've been hoping they'd do something with all year. Wrong man won last night and I cannot explain more how much I am annoyed with the post match seg/direction...

    ZSJ/Tanahashi was what you'd expct. 75-80% of the match on the ground with counters but nothing really ramping up. Match was anti-climatic and in the end was good for a ZSJ match but still way too slow for my liking.



  27. #27
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    What's with Ospreay just knocking Hiromu out with one punch? At least give them a bit of a brawl or something.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I love Ishii. I think with Shibata likely out of the game he's probably my favourite guy on the NJPW roster.
    I hope he cools it on the headbutts so he isn't at risk to join Honma and Shibata in the serious injury club. There's a lot of people in NJPW who could stand to cool it on dangerous head moves, to be honest. There's not much excuse left in a post Benoit/Misawa/Shibata world.

  29. #29
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    I 100% agree on the headbutts. No reason to do them at all.



  30. #30
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    Is there a safe way to do a headbutt that doesn't look like crap? I went to a BJW show last year and during a match two of the guys decided to have a legit headbutting contest - the thuds were sickening and I really don't understand what the purpose for doing something as obviously damaging as that. I like seeing a good headbutt in the ring but not at the risk of messing someone up for real.

    Has there been any further news about Kenny Omega's injury? He's going to be facing Juice in a few days and I remembered that he was hurt.

  31. #31
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    They're still promoting the match, so I guess it's happening? I think it was on Facebook that NJPW posted something about him having to overcome his injury to defend his title.

    RE: Headbutts - surely the best way is to grab the opponent's head and, in doing so, cover them up a bit so you sort of headbutt your own fingers/thumbs rather than their forehead? Not sure how good it would look, necessarily, but at least takes a lot of the impact out of the move.

  32. #32
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    I think that's the best way, if you MUST do headbutts. I've seen legit headbutt spots like the one Deg mentioned and yeah, they kind of make me sick at this point.

    I totally missed something, what happened to Omega?

  33. #33
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    Earlier in the month New Japan announced that Omega would be missing most of his dates in Japan during September due to a knee injury, but was still scheduled for his U.S. title defense against Juice Robinson at Destruction in Kobe. So it didn't sound serious enough to cancel that title match, but serious enough to keep him off the rest of the multi-man matches he was most likely going to be competing in throughout the month.

  34. #34
    The Brain
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    Probably good they're playing it safe with him, he takes the craziest bumps in big matches. I'm honestly amazed he hasn't been injured more in his career, hopefully breaks like this help him stay healthy. People should be asked to work hurt less in general, it's 2017 for god's sake, we know what it does to the body.

  35. #35
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    I still wonder how much damage the whole G1 tournament causes throughout the roster that isn't visible. It's a lot of shows in a short period of time, and even though Japan is small I think they do all their traveling on buses. It's still a lot of hours to travel between some cities, and it isn't the most comfortable thing for someone who has messed up knees or a tweaked back or something.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    The G1 always seems to end up in at least one injury of some sort, doesn't it. But could they really do it over a longer period and still hold interest? Obviously they extended it from 2014 onwards, as before that it was a 10 (?) day thing, and in 2015 they switched to doing this split shows thing with four/five matches per block on each card. Should they be trying to add another couple of weeks and spacing shows out more?

  37. #37
    The Brain
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    Honestly I'm of the opinion that the Climax has way too many fucking people in it. Is it really necessary to tease the possibility of Tama Tonga winning? Of YOSHI-HASHI? You can still give them singles matches with big names somewhere on the calendar if you really want to, but having a bunch of filler guys just elongates the tournament.

  38. #38
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    It used to be only matches would happen. No tag matches. They expanded it to not only have more dates, but to give their wrestlers a cool down day (or more)

    Yano is in there as another off day. Why he gets booked every year and why I let it slide. As a person who is always on the side of talent in such a scenario, him being an easy match, often with 1-2 bumps in the match and under 7 minutes) it helps the guys out.

    So, actually, making it smaller may end up truncating it further. This schedule is no different than a WWE schedule. Only difference is the amount of ring time. But if you break it down, the winner really only wrestles 11 singles in a month and has a bunch of easy going tag matches.

    On the side of "they have no chance" role, just because someone doesn't have "a chance" doesn't mean they shouldn't be given a shot to see how they look in the ring with someone. YOSHI-HASHI (the good Yoshi) was given a good spot last year with him working Omega a few times based on how they booked the G1. It was to test the waters. He flopped, but at least if was tested.

    If nothing, NJPW has too bloated of a roster and these extra dates everywhere is allowing for people to get more singles matches than was happening earlier in the year.



  39. #39
    The Brain
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    I suppose that's fair, but I still think if they cut it down the number of participants without condensing the dates, it could still save on wear and tear. There's just so much pressure now to have world beater after world beater through the G1.

  40. #40
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    I think that's kind of the main issue there, where some of these guys are putting on some intense bouts for just about all cards they're on. Thinking back at it now, just thinking about the match that Okada had versus EVIL in the Osaka stop of this year's G1 that I went to had that nasty bump on the chairs outside (right in front of my seat). Although everyone isn't doing things like that at every show, it still wears them down.

    In any case, there's related news with yesterday's announcement of the upcoming King of Pro Wrestling card, with the headliner will be Okada versus EVIL for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Other main matches are Naito vs. Ishii with the Wrestle Kingdom 12 title shot on the line, and Kushida vs. Will Ospreay for the Jr. Heavyweight title. I'm sure those three matches will deliver, but the rest of the card is full of the tag matches that New Japan likes to put on that I'm not too keen on. No Intercontinental or NEVER Openweight titles on the line, most likely to set it up for November's Power Struggle with the IC title headlining again like they normally do on that show.

    I also find it strange that with New Japan's constant tag team matches, they can't find a way to book the main heavyweight tag teams since KES, GoD and War Machine are facing each other in a triple threat match yet again, as if we didn't see that enough during this month. I read someone comment elsewhere that they should make this match that the losing teams can't challenge for the titles again for at least a year. I would kind of love that. Or at least have some normal two-on-two matches for the championship soon.

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