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Thread: Non-NJPW Puroresu General Discussion

  1. #521
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
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    I don't remember seeing much of Ishikawa, but I did get to see Miyahara at the All Japan show I went to last year. He was in a tag match and didn't do enough in that show to make any sort of impression on me then. I did catch his recent match against Suwama and dug that one a lot.

    I wish All Japan programming was also more accessible since it they have some really great talent. It looks to be a decent mix of both younger guys with their prime years still ahead of them alongside grizzled vets who can still put on a good show.

  2. #522
    The Brain
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    I know! Another company that needs some honest to god distribution. Deg, did you perhaps see Ishikawa when you went to see Big Japan? He was working over there more heavily until recently.

  3. #523
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    I checked my notes on that show since the name didn't sound familiar, but I didn't get to see Ishikawa on that particular show I went to. I'll make sure to check out some of his work since you mentioned him.

    I was curious about when All Japan was broadcast on TV to see if there's some way I can keep up with the product. Besides being broadcast on a cable / satellite channel which I don't have, the only other form of television distribution for them is a 30-minute show from 11:00-11:30 PM once a month, specifically on the third Monday of the month. That's pretty minimal. I have no idea what they can show in thirty minutes once a month. I set up a reminder for the next time the show will air to see if I'm able to catch it.

    I also checked New Japan's TV distribution out of curiosity, and they also only air a 30 minute show, although theirs is once a week. The downside is that their timeslot is at around 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM, usually on a Sunday or Monday.

    It's really odd to see wrestling thrive here with such minimal exposure on TV. I'm guessing that they have to rely on word of mouth to create new fans since there's not an easy way to get any exposure to the product.

  4. #524
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Does AJPW not have an online network? Would have thought they'd have followed on the heels of NJPW with one.

    I need to get back to watching STARDOM. I don't think I've given it much of a look since Io and Kairi showed up in Lucha Underground and then disappeared from there just as quickly, largely due to time. I know they had Kay Lee Ray and Viper over for a bit recently, so might see if I can catch up with those two at least.

  5. #525
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    I'm guessing either business still isn't booming for All Japan to build an online service, or their management is the type to embrace the future at a snail's pace. For as advanced Japan is with technology, they're very much behind in a lot of consumer technology. The prime example is how fax machines are not only still a thing here, but for a lot of companies it's even more used than email. I'm guessing it's the "not embracing technology" bit, since I'm hoping All Japan must be doing at the very least as well as Big Japan when it comes to business. Besides, with All Japan's catalog from the 80s and 90s, they surely can garner enough subscribers to get all that goodness.

    If my time for wrestling-watching weren't as limited as it is now, I'd definitely be following more of Stardom. With Io Shirai returning after her WWE offer was apparently rescinded, they still have a very impressive roster of women there. Kay Lee Ray and Viper were at the show I went to a few months ago, and as of last month they were still doing shows for the company so they're probably there until the WWE decides to start poaching most of the participants from the Mae Young Classic. Toni Storm is also still wrestling for Stardom for the time being.

  6. #526
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    The only promotions I know of that have an online network in Japan are NJPW, DDT, and Stardom, who amazingly have the best one by far in terms of ease of navigation and full translations for everything. I really want some other promotions to get on that train, especially Dragon Gate. Deg, do you find there is more word of mouth in general in Japan? It's my impression it's a densely populated country but I'm not sure if that means it's easier to find stuff by talking to people or not.

    Strongly agree that Stardom is very worth following, and also actually very easy to do so thanks to their very good online network (really can't say enough good stuff about it). Viper had an awesome run there, her match with Io Shirai early in the year is still one of my favorites. Also had a lot of great Baszler stuff earlier in the year, though obviously that's done now. Shame about Kairi leaving and Iwatani getting injured, two of the top talents, but yeah they got lots to offer still. Digging Kagetsu, Toni Storm, and Kris Wolf especially, along with obviously Viper and Io. I guess Kay Lee Ray has yet to click for me, she's not bad but hasn't done that much for me so far.

  7. #527
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    I don't talk to a whole lot of locals who follow pro wrestling so I don't know if word of mouth is a big thing. I have noticed the occasional flyer / poster around town, though. For example, I had dinner with my wife at an Indian restaurant this past weekend, and as I was paying there were a stack of flyers for Dragon Gate's upcoming Gate Of Destiny show (which I have 7th row tix for, super-psyched to go to that event!). I've also seen New Japan and Big Japan posters at some shops near my place.

    I didn't know that Mayu Iwatani got injured. That sucks. I was sure they would be placing her at the top star, or at least co-star with Io Shirai. Hopefully she bounces back from that. I also vouch for Kagetsu and Wolf, I really enjoyed both of them at the show I went to. All this talk about Stardom makes me want to go to another show now. I checked and they'll be coming to town next month and in December, so I'll see if I can squeeze that in the schedule.

  8. #528
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    !!! Love that you're going to another Dragon Gate show! Consider this my official request for a review column when you go.

    This past week I watched Naito/Ibushi and Naito/Tanahashi from G1. Both were hailed as 5 star classics, but I gotta say though I liked both neither one blew me away. I think I'm burned out on the style to some degree at this point, even though I absolutely love both Naito and Ibushi I thought their match was not at that MOTY level, though admittedly still a great match.

    Also caught up with some more Stardom, and was particularly impressed by a Yoko Bito vs. Takumi Iroha match that happened just a few weeks ago. Was not familiar with either woman and, while I don't think either one is as good as, say, Io Shirai, I was still very impressed and will be looking out for both in the future. I will also say again, Stardom has the hands down best distribution of any Japanese project, notably better than New Japan World in terms of easy navigation, providing subtitles, and even streaming quality.

  9. #529
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    I went to Dragon Gate's Gate of Destiny show last night, so in lieu of a full-out column I thought I'd give my random thoughts on it here. I don't know if anyone follows them enough to not want to read spoilers but be warned that there are a few spoilers here.

    I sadly don't follow much of Dragon Gate, especially since it's not easy to find their work online (at least legally). But I do try to read up on them, so I was a bit prepared for yesterday's show. Overall it was a solid show, although the lack of title changes for such a big event was a bit shocking to me. I thought there'd be at least 2-3 changes, but there was only one (the Open the Triangle Gate Championship).

    I was pretty psyched to learn that Ricochet would be going back to Dragon Gate for this show, which was wholly unexpected since he's been working with New Japan. I'm guessing the rumors of him starting up with the WWE are close to reality and he's wanting to work at a few places before he reports to them next year. He had an awesome match against Eita, picking up the win in the process. I was happy with this match because it's actually the first one-on-one match I've seen Ricochet work in, since he's always been in multi-man matches whenever I've seen him in New Japan.

    I was expecting Genki Horiguchi to get the win against his former Jimmyz partner Kagetora for the Open the Brave Gate Championship, but he didn't. I haven't followed the Jimmyz breakup too closely but it doesn't seem like they've done much with it in the last few months since they disbanded. Maybe there's something in the cards for next year, but I was expecting something to happen here. Instead we got a short 10 minute match with Horiguchi and Kagetora embracing at the end and walking up the ramp together.

    CIMA and Dragon Kid won the Open the Twin Gate Championship at this very show in Osaka last year, and they successfully defended the titles here again to keep their 1+ year reign going. I like both of these guys but their teaming feels very strange to me, like they don't mesh very well. It was a really good match, though. Ben-K and Big R Shimizu were pretty good in defeat.

    The Open the Triangle Gate Championship match was a three-team match, so it felt like a clusterfuck at times, but still well done. I really like the heel work that VerserK puts on, and their team dynamic is really awesome. The mix of the strength of Shingo Takagi, the craziness of Cyber Kong and the smarmy Lindaman works really well. The other teams also worked really well (Tribe Vanguard with Yamato, BxB Hulk and Kzy, MaxiMuM with Naruki Doi, Masato Yoshino and Kotoka). As I mentioned, this was the only title that changed hands with Tribe Vanguard winning the belts. That was okay with me, although I really wanted the heels to retain here.

    The Open the Dream Gate Championship match was between the current champ Masaaki Mochizuki and former Jimmyz member Susumu Yokosuka. Mochizuki is nearly 48 years old and has been wrestling for over 20 years, which is really impressive in itself, so it was pretty shocking that he took the belt off of Yamato who had that belt for over a year. During the match the former Jimmyz members came down ringside, as well as Don Fujii (Mochizuki's former partner, from what I understand). I thought Susumu was getting the win here since Horiguchi didn't get the win earlier in the night and the fact that all of his former stablemates were cheering him on. But at the end of a long, drawn-out match Mochizuki retained. It was a decent match with some good selling and psychology involved but I didn't feel it was main-event level for an event like this. Mochizuki looked winded at the 5-minute mark, and they went for about 23 minutes from what I read online, so it was a lot slower paced than I'm used to for Dragon Gate matches.

    In all, like I mentioned, it was a solid show and I enjoyed it a lot. I really dig a lot of their roster. T-Hawk looks amazing and is just 27 years old so I think he's going to be a big star in the company. The veterans like Gamma and Don Fujii are a lot of fun to watch them do their thing. I really like Punch Tominaga's role as the crazy dude out there mostly taking a ass-kicking in a serious yet hilarious way. A lot of the younger guys like Jason Lee and Hyo Watanabe look like they have a lot of upside to them. The Dragon Gate roster is stable (almost all of the wrestlers I saw last night were also on the card last year) and there's a good mix, so it's really a good promotion. There's a pretty decent fan base - supposedly 5500 fans were in the stadium, which I think is a sell-out crowd, and what New Japan will pull for Power Struggle in the same building tomorrow. I just wish that I could follow their shows easily and stay up to date with them.

    EDIT: I guess I should post a few pictures that I took to spice up this post and make it look more column-like:



    The beginning of the show.




    Ricochet before his




    Yamato, BxB Hulk and Kzy celebrate their championship win.




    Masaaki Mochizuki's entrance.




    After Mochizuki's successful title defense.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 11-04-2017 at 02:58 AM.

  10. #530
    The Brain
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    I’ll take it! Great write up Deg, and awesome pictures. Still very jealous.

    Glad Ricochet had a chance to work DG a bit more, he was a big part of the product in the early 10s, and that’s also where he became close friends with Uhaa Nation and Tozawa. Eita is a great young talent and I think he’ll be big for the company.

    The Jimmyz break up is definitely a big deal, and I’m still not even sure of all the implications. I know right after the loss they did a kind of goodbye tour, so I think we’re still fresh out of that and waiting to see where all the talent winds up. A lot more can and probably will happen with that breakup, considering how long that stable has been around.

    I never thought about CIMA and Dragon Kid not having chemistry. I’ll have to think on that one.

    Verserk is definitely my favorite stable going over there now. I miss Cyber Kong with his mask but he’s still awesome, one of my favorites.

    It’s weird, as much as I like Dragon Gate I don’t always like their singles main events. They tend to be too long, but then again I have the same issue with New Japan (and many other puro companies, actually). I like Mochizuki but yeah, I expect his reign to not be one of the longer ones in DG. Surprised also that Susumu didn’t take the belt but I expect they have someone in mind to take it soon.

    I LOVE that you mentioned Punch Tominaga!! One of my favorite supporting characters in any company right now, he’s just a blast to watch.

  11. #531
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    I don't remember if it was you or IrishSara who mentioned enjoying Punch Tominaga a lot when I mentioned him from last year's column I wrote, but I don't think I saw it back then. Now, I'm definitely enjoying his work. In this particular show, he brawled with Don Fujii through the crowd all the way up to the second floor of the arena. They teased Tominaga being tossed over the railing - of course we knew that wasn't going to happen but it's still a fun spot to watch live. The funniest part was that while the brawling was happening on the second floor, the match was still going inside the ring but everyone's attention was on the brawl outside, and Ryo Saito just started yelling to the crowd from the ring apron "HEY, DON'T LOOK THERE, LOOK OVER HERE!"

    About CIMA and Dragon Kid, I just think it's a bit of a mismatch of their styles together as a team. They're both really good individually and I dig them. But besides the fact they've been tag champs for over a year, they just feel like a team that was thrown together because they weren't doing anything individually, if that makes sense. I would have thought that after a year as champs they would have that more "team" feel to them at this point. Maybe it's more of a different mindset that I have or something.

    I've read a few reviews of this show from people who are hardcore Dragon Gate fans, and all of them are massively praising the main event. It's a really interesting thing to see, since I felt that match was a bit lackluster from my newbie point of view.

  12. #532
    The Brain
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    I was 1000% me, I am an actual fucking mark for Punch Tominaga. You kind of have to "get" him, but once you do it all makes sense. I love that bit with Ryo Saito, that's very DG.

    I think I get your point about CIMA and DK. Basically what they have in common as they are both very, very senior members of the roster, but yeah I'm more used to seeing CIMA team with someone like Gamma.

    Hey, I'm with you on those DG title matches. They just don't live up to the hype for me. The big draw of DG for me is all the interesting combos that make up the stables, especially when they all get smashed together in some crazy multi man with major stakes, like mask/hair or unit disbanding matches.

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