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Thread: Puroresu General Discussion

  1. #321
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    typically NJPW big shows start from anywhere 2am EST to 430AM est... so an hour ahead of you 1am Central to 430am Central.. and yes NJPW World has ondemand up pretty quickly (within a few hours)

  2. #322
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    Sara, I don't have your depth of experience with puro, but I in no way think the Tana/Okada match is on the same level. Hell, it wasn't even in the top two matches of that show. And Okada/Marifuji was good, but not great. You may be right that BC interference makes the overall story better, but this match isn't as good with it and nobody is talking about Omega the same way. I have been watching professional wrestling for nearly 30 years and as soon as that final count hit 3, I believed it was the best match I had ever seen; the same way I felt about Omega's match against Naito at G1.
    No heat. but a couple of things.

    1. Tanahashi vs Okada at the Dome for WK10 was great because of the context. This was a feud which had been running since 2002. It was like Raven vs Dreamer at Wrestlepalooza 1997, It had a little of everything from the previous match (including the Rainmaker spot). It might only be epic if you had seen the previous few matches (especially the WK9 Match). It had peices of it with Okada overcoming it to take his throne. everything in that match had a purpose. There was no wasted movement, no flashy ooh ahhh spots, just real basic psycology. And when they went into a mirror of the finishing sequence i thought they were going to do it to me again (and have Okada lose and turn heel). That finishing sequence is one of the best I have ever seen. When it was over I pop'd but it wasnt until i watched 6 of the Okada/Tanashi matches in a row before the G1 this year (they were in the same block) that it really showed me how great the match was in the context of the whole. If you have access to NJPW World, Do it.

    2. Maybe I give Okada vs Marufuji a bump because it is two Aces from two different companies working eachother. Maybe it is WWF Champion vs NWA Champion (watch the matches on the Network friends) and yeah it being the Number 1 Company's Ace wrestling the Number 3/4 company's Ace and defeating him with his own finish probably causes me to pump the tires on it a little bit. Their match in the G1 was fun too but the way that Okada gave Marufuji a rub here and the ring opera aspect of it made me love it. Oh and there is this rumor with the 45 anniversary coming up, if New Japan and All Japan start running joint shows that there will be some matches. If Kento Miyahara and Okada wrestle like this, i might die. If sekimoto and Okada wrestle like this, I might also die.

    Edit: If I overrated Okada vs Marufuji then so did Tokyo Sports (who named it their Match of the Year).

    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    So, the guy, in my opinion, has helped to craft the greatest match of all time twice in 5 months. Is that hyperbole? Maybe in your mind, but to me, it's fact, or as close as it can come with the understanding I haven't truly seen every match ever. I don't always agree with Meltzer; I'm firmly with him on this one, except I might have given it an 8.
    I think Omega did it on the big stage. Again, he had a better match against Naito and the world didnt sit up and take notice (I did though). Omega did it on the second biggest stage in Pro Wrestling and deserves the credit. Best Ever? I cant do it. Seriously, so much better matches. Match of the last 12 months I might give you. But even then, id want you to go back cold and watch Naito vs Omega.

    Also, now that they got a real story to tell, next time Omega and Okada lock up, they will be able to tell a much deeper story (and it might be able to turn Omega if they do it right).

    T.O. I almost never watch it live and I've never had a problem with New Japan World watching G1 matches in the morning with my cereal.
    Last edited by Irishsara; 01-10-2017 at 02:49 AM.

  3. #323
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    Like I said, when I watched Omega/Naito, I felt the same way I feel about this one, and hyped it as such at the time. That's why after the Okada match I said Omega has now cemented himself as the best big match wrestler in the world.

    I watched WK9 and thought you overrated that match, also. I think the best matches Tanahashi and Okada had were at WK7, Dominion of that same year, and this past G1. Those were all marvelous, but still not Omega/Okada.

    T.O., the CMLL shows aren't available to non-Japanese subscribers. It's very rare i watch a New Japan show live due to the time difference, but even at like 8 a.m. our time, they are usually available to watch. It's ready on demand very quickly. Not many of their shows have English commentary, but once you have watched a few of them, you don't even notice. I promise. Some of the shows (especially for G1) have no commentary at all and that is really fun; gives you the feeling of being at the show live.

    The only complaint I have about the service is that the search function doesn't work great. You basically have to search by the year and then sift through for what you're looking for.
    Last edited by XanMan; 01-10-2017 at 08:51 AM.

  4. #324
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    Sara, can you provide a primer on Minoru Suzuki and a few matches of his to watch to get an idea of who he is?

  5. #325
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    Sara, can you provide a primer on Minoru Suzuki and a few matches of his to watch to get an idea of who he is?
    Ofcourse I can. I’m thinking 5-10 matches but if you want more, just ask. Mostly pulling from his current stuff but feel free to check out stuff under legend.

    Before I get started, couple of Minoru Suzuki fun facts.



    Technically, Minoru Sizuki came out of the NJPW Dojo in 1988. But the legend states that Karl Gotch and Billy Robinson had a hand in training Minoru Sizuki when he was being trained by Yoshiaki Fujiwara in the Dojo. Minoru Suzuki is one of the few wrestlers still wrestling today who can make a legit claim to being trained by Karl Gotch.

    Minoru Suzuki was one of the founders of Pancrase (one of the first Japanese MMA promotions) with the likes of Ken Shamrock. He is a legit shooter and was one of the few fighters to beat Ken Shamrock twice when Shamrock was in his prime. He is probably one of the 2 or 3 best MMA fighters who ever wrestled.

    During Minoru Suzuki’s run in AJPW, he won the Triple Crown Championship and held it in dominating fashion for nearly a year. His shoot style and legit background means that even at 48 years old, he is a legend in Japanese pro wrestling and gets respect nearly every time he laces up his boots.

    He has put on some amazing matches. Despite seemingly terrible booking, Minoru Suzuki continues to spin gold in the ring. Before Okada vs Omega gave Big Dave such a boner, the last match he called better than Steamboat and Flair was one of Suzuki’s.

    Now I’m done kissing his boots, let’s shoot. Minoru Suzuki and Jado’s terrible booking almost killed NOAH. It got so bad they almost lost everything. Suzuki-Gun had all the titles, it was worse than the NWO because they were all invaaders. Other than KES, the entire Suzuki -Gun is not good. Suzuki was the opposite of a draw and NOAH lost fans in droves.

    Honestly, I think I hate him. He is over the hill, and not in the lovable way that Tenryu was or Onita is. He really did almost kill NOAH and the entire Suzuki-Gun storyline is dogshit booking full of unwatchable dreck but just when I am getting ready to cut bait with him, he goes and wrestles Katsuhiko Nakajima to one of the best matches of Nak’s career. ( https://rutube.ru/video/d84c73741fb7...3efc3f5d0dc9a/ ) Then, after the match, I am forced to sit there for a moment and go Fuck, Suzuki is good.


    Recent stuff

    Minoru Suzuki vs Hiroshi Tanahashi at King Of Pro Wrestling 2012*
    Minoru Suzuki vs AJ Styles G1 2014*
    Minoru Suzuki vs Takashi Sugiura Great Voyage 2015* - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x38026h
    Minoru Suzuki vs Okada G1 2014
    Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Minoru Suzuki UWFi Rules Wrestle Kingdom 9

    Legend stuff

    Kenta Kobashi vs Minoru Suzuki NOAH Great Voyage 2005 http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4t...h-8-1-05_sport
    Minoru Suzuki vs. Satoshi Kojima (AJPW: 2/17/2007) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2x...i-Kojima_sport
    Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki from the first Wrestle Kingdom Show (1/4/2007).
    Minoru Suzuki vs. Toshiaki Kawada [NJPW] (8/11/2005) http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ionlx

    Do you need NJPW Links? I can probably get links for everything on this list but i linked to the stuff not on NJPW World. Watch the stuff with the stars. They are not suggestions.
    Last edited by Irishsara; 01-11-2017 at 12:54 AM.

  6. #326
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    Minoru Suzuki is freaking. I loved his stuff with Marufuji in 2015, some MOTY level stuff easily.

  7. #327
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    Mizzie, I assume I can probably find those on Daily Motion?

    Quote Originally Posted by IrishSara
    Do you need NJPW Links? I can probably get links for everything on this list but i linked to the stuff not on NJPW World. Watch the stuff with the stars. They are not suggestions.
    Thank you, Sara. Much appreciated. I'm sure I can find the NJPW ones on NJPW World. I thought he looked old watching NYD, but I had no idea he was 48. Wow. Ric Flair territory, there. Listing an AJ Styles match and then putting a * next to it is overkill, far as I'm concerned. I'd even watch that dude wrestle The Great Khali.

    I must have seen the WK9 match you listed, but I really don't remember it. Too bad I don't have my Dish Network anymore to watch on my DVR; but that's what World is for, after all. I'll try to watch some of these today.

    BTW, anybody else find Ryusuke Taguchi as annoying as I do? He comes on my screen and I audibly say, "Ugh." and look away. I even shut off NYD last night because he was in the main event, though I will probably turn it back on today to see the champs wrestle. I'm all over SANADA.

  8. #328
    Suzuki's match at WK 9 was the MMA style match if I'm not mistaken. It's been awhile since I've watched it but I thought it was one of the better matches on the card and really underrated in retrospect.


  9. #329
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    Minoru Suzuki just has a presence about him that says dangerous... He's really freaking good and some have consider him the best wrestler in Japan. He may be 48 but with his style, he doesn't really lose a step

  10. #330
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    Those NEVER tag straps just need to go away.

  11. #331
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    They won't because per New Japan Tradition, they must have every wrestler on every show on the tour thus all the six man tags = trios tag titles...So unless New Japan changes how they do business, i don't see the titles going away.

  12. #332
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    That's an excellent point. If they have to exist, though, Gedo needs to book them better. They have not meant anything yet. I would have thought LIJ holding them would change that, but they held them barely 24 hours.

  13. #333
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    Gedo's focus is on the main titles. In theory, having one faction control all the titles is a nice idea but i think the Trios titles is just an added incentive to house shows.

  14. #334
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    Taguchi is hit or miss for me. Sometimes I think he's really underrated, sometimes I think he's bringing others down. Depends on the day and the opponent, maybe?



    This is my favorite Suzuki/Marufuji match from 2015, but they had several good ones. Yes, most are on youtube or dailymotion!

  15. #335
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    Those NEVER tag straps just need to go away.
    Ok so here is my problem with NEVER titles in general. What is NEVER? It wouldnt bother me if, for example, The NEVER straps were like the X-Division where "weight limits didnt matter' and then the idea of Openweight titles means something. You could get exciting matchups without the traditional constraints of Japanese weightclasses. The trios would work the same way. It makes sense for NJPW to have a six man title because they do so many six-man matches BUT the problem is, they have 2 sets of tag titles already.

    Ideally, Gedo should book New Japan like this

    IWGP Heavyweight Champion - Your top heavyweight feud

    IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion - Your top Jr. Feud

    NEVER Openweight Singles Championship - Your workrate title. Guys, regardless of size who put on crazy fucking matches. It would act sort of as a bridge title between the two divisions and allow for interesting matchups rarely seen in Japanese wrestling.

    IWGP Intercontinental Championship - Your strong Style championship. So for the past year the NEVER title has sort of been your Strong Style title (as held by Katsuyori Shibata). Well if we change the NEVER title to sort of be the bridge title between the Jrs and the Heavyweights then we need a title for the fighters. This title should be the warrior's title, that title for the fans of those matches that look like fights.

    This way, each belt has a purpose and it's own distinct feel (without overbooking or stupid rules). This way the prop itself becomes more effective because it isnt the same or interchangeable.

    The tag belts sort of would have the same effect. I wish the World Tag belts got more pub on cards. I would love to see more tag wrestling on New Japan cards but New Japan has always been a singles title company (sort of like the WWE)

    What could be cool would be for the NEVER Six mans to serve as a real bridge title. You could pair a heavyweight with Jr tag champs or a Tag Team could like adopt a Jr.

  16. #336
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    Suzuki is so good. Here's a couple of my favourites with him (I don't think these have been mentioned)

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xks...-07-2005_sport - Marufuji and Suzuki vs Hashi and Akiyama
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x13...ito-njpw_sport - Suzuki vs Naito

    Frustratingly, I can't find one of my very favourites of his (and possibly favourite tags of all time) - Suzuki and Sasaki vs Tanahashi and Nakamura. This was from, I think, the tail end of 2004 and is superb. Nak and Tana spend about 30 minutes of the match getting the hell beaten out of them by the two vets, but the place comes unglued for the last five as the youngster finally get into the match. It's really, really good. I know I've seen a video of it somewhere but for some reason can't source it now. It's an NJPW match, so I'm sure it's on NJPW World if anywhere.

  17. #337
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    Thanks Ollie, Mizzie.

    Sara, I like your ideas, I just think they would take time to implement. The NEVER Title as a true Openweight worker's title is a great idea, but it has been the Fighter's Title for longer than you suggest. Makabe and Ishii had a war for the title at Wrestle Kingdom 9 and continued through most of 2015, so it wasn't Shibata's reign that cemented it as such, he just has become synonymous with the title because it fits him so well. He also was the only one I have seen who had true "openweight title" matches when he defended on different shows against Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. Still, I think if he were to win the Intercontinental Title towards the latter half of the year, he definitely could make strides in making that the Fighter's Title. Goto can have a great match against anyone from any class, so he may be perfectly positioned to change the NEVER style. I could see Tana doing that, as well, as another step on his way down the card until it is eventually transitioned to younger guys. Along the Openweight lines, I think it would also be a great idea to combine the Heavyweight and Jr Heavyweight Tag Titles. You could still have everybody on the cards; they could just be fighting in matches to determine rankings and this would also allow for more dynamic tag team title matches. You could still have two heavyweight teams against each other or two Jr Heavy teams against each other, but you could also mix and match and have something like the Bucks vs The Briscoes from last year's October card--can't think of the name right now.

    Has anyone seen the New Beginning cards? Carrying on from New Year's Dash, Suzuki Gun is getting shots at the Jr Tag Titles, Heavyweight Tag Titles (in three way dances on both shows,) and the Heavyweight Title (Suzuki vs Okada, of course.) LIJ is getting a rematch for the 6-man titles, Dragon Lee is challenging Himoru Takahashi for the Jr Heavy Title, Shibata and O'Spreay are facing off--possibly for the Rev Pro Title, Juice is getting a NEVER Title shot after pinning Goto, and Naito is closing out the February 11th show with an I-C defense against former champ, "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin. On that second card, there is also what should be a fun 6-man match, with Okada and Roppongi Vice taking on Suzuki, Taichi, and Michinoku. The title matches break down like this:

    February 5:

    Roppongi Vice vs. Taichi and Taka
    Goto vs Juice
    Ishii and Yano vs GBH vs KES
    Okada vs. Suzuki

    February 11:

    6-man title rematch
    Shibata vs. O'Spreay
    Ishii and Yano vs GBH vs KES Pt 2
    Takahashi vs. Lee
    Naito vs. Elgin

    For those on Omega watch, he is not on any of the New Beginning cards and there are conflicting reports on whether his contract expires 1/31/2017 or 1/31/2018, but either way, he will not be at the Royal Rumble, which is on 1/29.

  18. #338
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I assume they're playing a long game with Omega in NJPW - they've left his story with Okada to come back quite easily with a claim to a rematch, despite his loss. Trouble is, when do they pull the trigger on that? After the first match, I feel like a rematch on a big show is due, so that leaves you with one of the more major events. I don't think Omega wants to go to WWE, based on his comments recently (unless he's really working the fans in his interviews).

    Really like the idea of Naito vs Elgin. Mostly because I want to see what crazy reversal into a Destino Naito will do this time - he's countered a spinning powerbomb and a suplex into one in two of their matches.

  19. #339
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    Big Mike is somebody I was super impressed with throughout last year. Omega winning the New Japan Cup and challenging at KOPW or challenging at Dominion would make the most sense. Him being champ when they roll into California would be perfect.

  20. #340
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    I could see an Omega/Okada rematch happening at the big April card.. You don't have many matches for Okada as champ and if Omega is getting a run, i'd like them to give him as many challengers as possible.. (maybe even Ibushi)

  21. #341
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    Archer and Smith are a great tag team and I hope they win the IWGP Heavyweight CHampions. I am a fan of the Killer Elite Squad.

    Taichi and Taka Michinoku suck and i hope the Bucks or RPG Vice keeps the Jr tags.

  22. #342
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    I agree about KES, really like the little I've seen from them. Have no clue about the other two, other than Taka's WWF run, which was ugh.

  23. #343
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    I echo the same sentiments about KES. They worked singles matches at the NOAH show I went to a few months back but they both looked vastly improved from their U.S. television days. From what I hear they make a solid team. I can't echo the same about Taka, though, just because I mark out for him. I enjoyed his WWF work a lot and wished I could have seen more of him in Japan besides his limited role now.

    I'm going to the February 11th show in Osaka. Really looking forward to those championship matches, especially the Junior and Intercontinental championship matches.


    2016 Columns Forum Classic Champion

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  24. #344
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    And I'm still jealous. I'm going to find a way to pull a Freaky Friday with you one of these shows.

  25. #345
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    Just watched the Kobashi/Suzuki match. Man, what an arrogant, elusive, sneaky pest that Suzuki is! Loved the spot where he appears near death and the ref tries to pull Kobashi off, only to get shoved aside. It's like Kenta is saying, "He's not fooling me again, I'm making sure he's done this time." Really strong match and it never sucks to watch Kobashi.

  26. #346

  27. #347
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    Good lookin' out.

    So at first I was thinking Omega/Okada made a lot of sense for Dominion. Then I listened to the Purocast and now I'm thinking that not only should the rematch not be until Wrestle Kingdom 12, but that Omega should fail again both to hit OWA and defeat Okada; that they should take a year off and then finally, with roles reversed, Omega finally beats The Rainmaker at 14 in their third match against each other. Anybody with me on this?

    Fwiw, that doesn't mean Omega doesn't get the belt this year; just that Okada is his Moby for a few years.

  28. #348
    Queen of Extreme Irishsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    Good lookin' out.

    So at first I was thinking Omega/Okada made a lot of sense for Dominion. Then I listened to the Purocast and now I'm thinking that not only should the rematch not be until Wrestle Kingdom 12, but that Omega should fail again both to hit OWA and defeat Okada; that they should take a year off and then finally, with roles reversed, Omega finally beats The Rainmaker at 14 in their third match against each other. Anybody with me on this?

    Fwiw, that doesn't mean Omega doesn't get the belt this year; just that Okada is his Moby for a few years.
    I disagree. They stalled Fergal Devitt vs Okada a year and it led to Finn Balor going to the WWE and we never got Jr Heavyweight Champion vs Heavyweight Champion.

    NJPW needs an english speaking draw at the top of the card for the US tour. Their previous solo foray into the US market was a failure. They need draws.

    If you are going to give Omega that title then he should beat The Man to get the best rub. If you have him beat Suzuki or Goto then you will not get the same heat or the same shine. Omega should not beat Okada clean (that is what the Bullet Club is for) that loss should be a heater for Omega and when Omega gets beat after the US tour, it shouldnt be Omega (great way to get the title on Naito).

    Now you get to Wrestle Kingdom 12, Omega should be IWGP Champion, Okada should win the G1 (beating CODY in the finals). In the Road to Wrestle Kingdom, you do Omega and the Bucks vs Okada and the IWGP heavyweight tag champions. Obviously this becomes a brawl with lots of interference which allows The Bucks to pin the heavyweights. During the WK 12 match, interference is banned and then either you have Okada go over again or Omega gets the clean win.

    Have you guys heard about the Shibata/Infidelity stuff affecting his push?
    Last edited by Irishsara; 01-17-2017 at 04:24 PM.

  29. #349
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    No, please dish. Shibata is my favorite.

    EDIT:

    I'm definitely with you on Omega rolling into WK12 with the title and dropping it to the G1 winning Okada. I don't think Kenny is lying when he says Japan is where his future is and where he wants his legacy to be established. He truly seems like he wants to be the Sting of his generation now that the E wasn't for him. All of which is a long way of saying I wouldn't change the natural booking out of fear. I'm really surprised the reverse Dreamer of it all doesn't appeal to you, of all people.
    Last edited by XanMan; 01-15-2017 at 05:54 PM.

  30. #350
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    In a perfect world the idea of telling a story that long is appealing, but I think I agree with Sara that it's better in this case to go forward sooner rather than later. Omega's hype is at an all time high right now. In 2 or 3 years, who knows?

  31. #351
    Queen of Extreme Irishsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    No, please dish. Shibata is my favorite.
    Shibata seems to be caught in an affair. Sending shirtless pics, real Weiner shit. The problem is, in japan, this is like getting caught beating your wife. It is taken very seriously as a loss of face. Celebrities are supposed to be role models over there.

    Basicly Shibata was with a rat. backed off a rat, and his side piece then screen capped and leaked their convos.

    Recent history says NJPW is not impressed with this stuff. Taichi got busted cheating on his wife and ended up suspended for two months and taking a 30% pay cut because of the NJPW character clause.

    BUT

    Tomoaki Honma got accused of Domestic Violence (and fighting with his gf about his dogs) and nothing ever came of it. So who knows.

    It also seems that Shibata was telling a story that Zack Sabre Jr might be gay (or he might have been making a gay joke which some of the boys took seriously)

    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    I'm definitely with you on Omega rolling into WK12 with the title and dropping it to the G1 winning Okada. I don't think Kenny is lying when he says Japan is where his future is and where he wants his legacy to be established. He truly seems like he wants to be the Sting of his generation now that the E wasn't for him. All of which is a long way of saying I wouldn't change the natural booking out of fear. I'm really surprised the reverse Dreamer of it all doesn't appeal to you, of all people.
    You could have said the same thing about Fergal Devitt and Karl Anderson. 2 guys the WWE had no interest in. Ferg was too small and would never get the main event push in the WWE. There had been no interest in the WWE in Karl Anderson, ever. Then it is the blowaway number. WWE has the ability to buy anyone they want. If these US shows go well and their TV expands (which there have been talks that it might) then the WWE will see NJPW as a threat and buy their top star. Omega hasnt gotten his number yet or his guarantee. If they give him that AJ Styles offer, i doubt Omega turns it down.

    Even Dreamer took a job with the WWE. Sandman went to WCW. Even Paul Heyman was on Raw before ECW was dead.

  32. #352
    Senior Member Oliver's Avatar
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    I'd be OK with them having Okada as Omega's kryptonite. Everyone needs one. Only issue is it normally works with the roles reversed, where the heel is the kryptonite and the face can't get a win. But they could have Okada drop the title to Suzuki with loads of interference in their match coming up, then Omega take it from Suzuki to run to the dome with it. Omega/Okada II with the championship roles reversed but Okada gets the win. Play it up a bit and have Okada beat Omega in the Cup and G1. Then at WK13 you can pay it off with giving Omega a win, finally (even do it alongside a year long Okada title reign, maybe), without holding off on giving Omega a run with the title while he's hot.

    If they wanted to really go to town, they turn them both during this. Omega vs Suzuki would probably get cheers. You could run to the dome with a heel-leaning tweener Omega and a face-leaning tweener Okada and switch them up at the event somehow. That crowd is getting thirsty for heel Okada.

  33. #353
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    Finally watched the Omega/Okada match, by the way. Fantastic stuff, even if I'm still not down with the whole "six stars" thing. But ratings are all subjective anyway. Honestly though I want to shout out that KUSHIDA/Kamaitachi match, that was freaking awesome.

  34. #354
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    My brain doesn't process matches by way of stars when I watch them. It just tells me when we like something or when we don't, and we did like the Omega/Okada match. Maybe if I had more than a passing knowledge of the two I'd rate it higher, but I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw.
    Last edited by JSR-13; 01-17-2017 at 03:41 PM.
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  35. #355
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    I've been trying to watch more All Japan pro wrestling and ive had mixed results. But I am so happy to have matches (and to avoid listening to Donald Trump defame a Civil Rights icon) lets talk a little about All Japan Pro Wrestling. This is kind of a throwback post for me. It probably could be a column but honestly, i dont think it is enough to be a column. People should post more in threads.

    In 2015, All Japan Pro Wrestling were slowly falling apart. They had stopped drawing. Wrestle 1 had drained them of all their stars and the ones left were too young to draw. Jun Akiyama was left with hard choices and, in my opinion, very few options. All Japan needed to draw and quick. Sure NOAH was down but it had allied with NJPW. DDT was seemingly on an unstopable rise. Wrestle 1 seemed to be able to run at a loss and Japan had a thriving independent scene.

    In 2016, a lot happened. NOAH did not get that promised bump from NJPW, in fact, the opposite happened. Their numbers cratered worse than during the Yakuza scandal. The Sizuki-Gun storyline failed to draw. Wrestle-1 struggled in ratings and DDT lost most of it's top draws. NJPW retooled and thrived. With all of this loss, how did the Grey Lady of Japanese Wrestling survive?

    Well let's remember how AJPW got to this point in the first place. How did the top wrestling company in Japan fuck up? All Japan Pro Wrestling was known for one thing in the modern era, Exdous. Without a strong hand like Baba at the tiller, All Japan struggled with infighting and fractured into pieces. Beginning with Tenryu's SWS, and followed by Pro Wrestling Noah and eventually even Wrestle-1, All Japan was the company stars left to form their own federations. To give you an idea of how bad these were, when Misawa left to form NOAH, he took 26 of the 30 contracted wrestlers on the roster. Each successive leaving hurt them a little more and a little more, where today, All Japan is unrecognizable from what it was in 1999.

    Since 2014, the most recent Exdous, it seemed that things were nearing the end. It was rumored that they were in talks with WWE to buy the tapes and property. Contracts were revised to TNA-style per-appearance deals, various stunt gimmicks like movie crossover entrances and branded wrestlers brought in sponsorship money, and even the Baba family had started it's own federation, Royal Road, and taken a few more of All Japan's stars. Their top Gaijin draw (and the guy supposedly slated for the Triple Crown) Joe Doering, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Things looked grim. They were lucky to draw 300 people to a show. Then something happened.

    Jun Akiyama, One of All Japan's legends from the 90s, finally got total control from Giant Baba's widow. He brought in Japanese Automobile Federation and other big sponsors and then he did something unspeakable in Japan. He started working with the bastard children of the Japanese indies. These were guys with reputations. These werent the guys who came out squeaky clean from the Dojo system. He reached out to the indies. While using a small and tight roster of full time talent, All Japan opened the door to freelancers, older talent and organizations like Big Japan, a promotion with serious stigma from their death match wrestling history (but who also have a remarkably interesting strong style division) and K-Dojo, (ran by Kaientai's Taka Michinoku) along with freelancers who made their names in places like Zero1 or even smaller indies to fill out their shows. This willingness to go against convention has left All Japan with a broader and fresher range of talent than almost any of Japan's federations. It also means it gives a reason to tune in, if, like me, you are a giant fan of Big Japan's Sekimoto or K-Dojo's Kengo Mashimo. It was amazing.

    Uncle Jun (the name fans of All Japan have granted Jun Akiyama) also did something else I would have thought impossible if you had asked me in January. He stabilized the Triple Crown. He put it on a wrestler then let that wrestler both make his name and the title in one move. That wrestler was Kento Miyahara. Kento is only 27 and the youngest ever wrestler to hold The Triple Crown of All Japan Pro Wrestling. The Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship was once the most prestigious belt in Japanese pro wrestling. At the beginning of 2016, Kento Miyahara was hotshotted to the belt. There simply was no one else. He was far too young and I probably bashed the move. I was wrong. Kento Miyahara is the future of Japanese Pro Wrestling. He has all the things. He has big match potential. He can make a challenger look good. He can carry a guy. He can draw a crowd. He is only 27. I am going to post some matches at the end of this and I implore you people to watch some of his work.

    Finally, All Japan Pro Wrestling went from struggling to draw 700 people to their Korakuen hall shows to drawing 1,300 and more. Not only have they doubled their attendance, lowered their costs, but there are rumors of an All Japan/New Japan joint shows and cross promotion on the horizon to celebrate their joint 45th anniversary at Sumo Hall. All Japan did a Sumo Hall show that drew over 6,000 people. All Japan has kicked out. Now get ready for the big comeback. Get on board. Now is the time. I still think, if the WWE is going to buy a japanese promotion to put on the network, this is the one. It has a legit history, a history with the WWE, a highly rated japanese TV show and it would kill for the exposure.

    Oh yeah and Joe Doering kicked out of cancer and is back in the promotion.

    So who wants matches?

    Kento Miyahara vs. K-Dojo's ace Kengo Mashimo - https://rutube.ru/video/573e21be946c...34d5feea877f5/

    The Triple Crown Champion Kento Miyahara vs Big Japan's Strong Style icon Daisuke Sekimoto - https://rutube.ru/video/c678e50a8a81...cc5d2abb06cf8/

    The young champion of the company vs Uncle Jun Kento Miyahara vs. Jun Akiyama - https://rutube.ru/video/e361a3b748f7...fed9cfbfae7c8/

    The Fighting, Reigning and Defending Triple Crown Champion vs the man who never lost that title in the first place Kento Miyahara vs. Suwama - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y0Z8CXxQGk

    Bonus matches

    The Bodyguard and Zeus (The Big Guns) vs Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi (Strong BJ) - https://rutube.ru/video/84e90ed23cb7...0cae4e70e09d7/

    The Bodyguard and Zeus are All Japan's monster tag team. They are big tattooed hosses and if you like that kind of thing, you might love this.

    Naoya Nomura vs. Kento Miyahara - https://rutube.ru/video/b9f3f419a27a...7b5b9c0fa7e63/

    Jun Akiyama vs. Daisuke Sekimoto - https://rutube.ru/video/39c20da6a060...70e7ac95d56ba/
    Last edited by Irishsara; 01-17-2017 at 07:58 PM.

  36. #356
    The Brain
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    I had no idea that the reason Doering was out for a while was a brain tumor. That freaking sucks, I'm really glad he kicked it because he looked great when I last saw him (early 2015 I think?).

    Is Kento the future of Japanese wrestling? I'm not sure. I watched a bunch of his matches this past year including that great one with Akiyama, but the future? Tough sell. He does have youth going for him though and if he trends upward in the next few years, I could possibly see it.

    The idea of WWE buying AJPW and putting it on the Network is a really interesting one. I hadn't thought of it before and my gut says they'll go a different way, try to run something themselves for better or worse rather than buy something existing, but god knows stranger things have happened. That'd be quite a trip, that's for sure.

  37. #357
    Queen of Extreme Irishsara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    I had no idea that the reason Doering was out for a while was a brain tumor. That freaking sucks, I'm really glad he kicked it because he looked great when I last saw him (early 2015 I think?).
    Yeah, All Japan's biggest problem for the first month or two of the year (and the second half of 2015 really) was that the talent pool was so thin. Go look at the card of the Sumo Hall show. Here is just a taste. A Black Tiger, Chavo Guerrero Sr., Ultimo Dragon, Dory Funk Jr. (At 75), Great Kabuki (at 68), Kendo Kashin, Atsushi Onita (59 with a broken pelvis) and his tag partner, Masanobu Fuchi. Seriously, this was a thing. Watch the Sumo Hall show though. It was kind of awesome.

    Actually, I am not really complaining. Onita and won the All Asia Tag Team titles, which means he first graduates from AJPW’s dojo have become the 100th All Asia tag champions in All Japan history. That is pretty fucking cool.

    The real question is, can they keep Doering strong with all these new, arguably better, talents starting to taste the main event. I worry because AJPW is so wrestler hungry (much like the US, Japan has started to really need stars) that they might end up making a deal with the devil to take some of NJPW's talents off their hands. I hope Uncle Jun drives a harder bargain than Jado did. All Japan needs bodies, hopefully bodies who can draw, but more importantly bodies who can work. They need to keep establishing their stars. Certainly, All Japan would pay the contracts of a few of the surplus NJPW guys if they wanted to send Shibata, Ishii Makabe, Tomoaki Honma or YOSHI-HASHI because they have no room on cards in NJPW, then please take them. Those guys lose nothing working with the younger talent in All Japan and could teach them loads. Hell, Honma should have a run on top against Kento Miyahara. Just dont get fenced into having to put them over like NOAH did. I think the outsiders get plenty of rub in All Japan, but it isnt excessive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Is Kento the future of Japanese wrestling? I'm not sure. I watched a bunch of his matches this past year including that great one with Akiyama, but the future? Tough sell. He does have youth going for him though and if he trends upward in the next few years, I could possibly see it.
    He is 27. Have you seen where Hiroshi Tanahashi was 10 years ago? or where Nakamura was in his development? Or KENTA? Sure, he isnt the natural star that Okada is, but his workrate is better already. Does he develop more of a personality as he keeps working with top guys? I dont know. I hope AJPW can continue to hand him top range talent. As Jake Lee develops, i think you have a Tenryu vs Jumbo Tsuruta in development. There are so many great potential stories if you can keep that flow of talent.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    The idea of WWE buying AJPW and putting it on the Network is a really interesting one. I hadn't thought of it before and my gut says they'll go a different way, try to run something themselves for better or worse rather than buy something existing, but god knows stranger things have happened. That'd be quite a trip, that's for sure.
    See. There are 3 main reasons that All Japan is sexy for the WWE.

    1. The tape library. All Japan Pro Wrestling's is full of great matches from WWE Hall of Famers. It has great stuff that the WWE could easily market and allow them to rerelease new dvds. Stuff from Harley Race, Ric Flair, Stan Hansen, Johnny Ace, Brusier Brody, Jimmy Snuka, Dynamite Kid and The Funks. They also have unedited NWA Champion matches which werent shown in the US (and not in the WWF's current library.

    2. The All Japan infrastructure. All Japan has relationships but very few actual long term contracts, assets or liabilities (unlike NOAH, NJPW, Dragon Gate, Wrestle -1 or many of the other companies). Because of their corporate structure, there would be little cost to incorporating them into the WWE. Their brand, on the other hand, is really strong and could consistently outdraw the WWE almost anywhere in Japan. All Japan has a history of Gaijin working in the office and it's fans would probably not spit the bit if they became involved with the WWE (unlike NOAH or Dragon Gate). Because of the way All Japan exists too, it would benefit from a global talent pool like the WWE greatly.

    3. Shiraishi, a speedboat mogul, bought everyone out of New Japan and then rode the company into the ground. he bought out Widow Baba, he bought out Mutoh (the money Mutoh used to start Wrestle-1) and then the company fell apart. When they brought in Uncle Jun, he, reportedly, in the new company, turned that speedboat mogul into a sponsor, consolidated all of the stock and is now running a lean corporate machine which he has led back from bankruptcy. BUT what that means is that all the shares are under one owner. There are no money marks, no corporate owners, no 20% to this Yakuza personality or hostile takeover required. It is all through Jun Akiyama's company. So if the WWE either wanted to contract with All Japan or purchase it outright, it would only have to work with a single seller.

  38. #358
    Queen of Extreme Irishsara's Avatar
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    Rare Double Post but I think y'all will want to hear about this.

    https://streamable.com/le51d

    Kenny Omega adressing the Jim Cornette heat.

    The heat between Kenny Omega and Jim Cornette is one of mutual dislike. Jim Cornette dislikes Kenny Omega for doing some things that Jim conciders to be cardinal sins in the wrestling business Some justified (wrestling a 9 yr old girl, Arm Wrestling during a match, doing a hadoken in a wrestling match) and some not (Wrestling a broom, wrestling a blowup doll and a collection of silly shit in DDT). Jim's heat with Kenny Omega stems primarily from Final Battle 2010.

    The facts not in dispute. Kenny Omega was booked and advertised to work ROH Final Battle 2010. He was booked to wrestle Eddie Edwards (ROH TV Champ at the time). Kenny Omega sends an email to Delirious (Hunter, ROH Booker) saying his ankle is fucked up and he will have to miss the show. Kenny attaches a picture of an ankle which is not his ankle.

    Jim Cornette says Omega no-showed ROH Final Battle to work a show in Japan. Kenny had made the second booking and only gave ROH 2 days notice.

    "So of course Omega worked in Japan that weekend, so he didn't even have the f--king guts or ability in him to be honest with a guy that had booked him, a company that had booked him early in his career to say, 'I've got a booking in Japan - that's my priority,' which would have been understood. But instead, he lied and sent this bogus f--king picture of somebody else's f--king foot. Where do you get that? I don't even know. And so that's why he didn't show up at Ring Of Honor anymore, because he was written off because he was a lying sack of s--t that no-showed a booking under false pretenses instead of being honest."

    (Cornette gets the year wrong and the booker in his most recently telling of the story but in the past has said the right booker and the right show)

    Kenny Omega says he had a badly dislocated ankle and could not wrestle on it. He did back out of the ROH booking. He did send the picture of someone else''s ankle but it was an obvious joke. He claims he did not work on the bad ankle and the booking in Japan was the 2010 Tokyo Sports Awards where he just accepted the award. The Award was for his match of the year match where Kenny Omega teamed with Kota Ibushi (called the Golden Lovers ) against Finn Balor (then Prince Devitt) and Ryusuke Taguchi ( Here it is : http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xxv...ion-2010_sport) He claims he was too injured to wrestle on the dislocated ankle and had to cancel dates. Calls Cornette a liar. Says he is only doing it to stay relevant.

    Who was right? Did Kenny Omega fake an injury to get out of a booking in ROH to attend an awards show in Japan? Did Kenny Omega really have an injured ankle and was he really unable to wrestle? Who do you believe?

    Well Sarah took the time and did the legwork. (Dont Tell GNR711) I went back, consulted my sources, asked some people who have better knowledge than me and really did the work. These are my conclusions.

    In my opinion, it is a mix of the two. Yes, Jim Cornette is right, Kenny Omega, the day before he had to fly from Japan to New York City, claimed he was hurt and did not attend the event. Yes, Kenny Omega is right when he says he attended Tokyo Sports Awards and did not wrestle. But how hurt was Kenny Omega? Did he wrestle on the ankle and did Jim Cornette read results where Kenny Omega wrestled while he had the "injury"?

    The answer is "sort of" it isn't as cut and dry as either make it out to be. Kenny Omega and Kota Ibushi were the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team champions at the time. This was a big deal because they were not NJPW talent. Kenny also cancelled a booking with NJPW for Road to Kingdom less than a week after Final Battle. About 10 Days after Final Battle, Kenny Omega was booked to wrestle with Kota Ibusi against Jado and Gedo (The booker of NJPW) for those titles at Korakuen Hall in arguably the most anticipated match of the year for DDT. Kota Ibushi was going to wrestle on Wrestle Kingdom a few weeks later. Kenny had to make the match at DDT NEVERMIND 2010. So, in front of 2,010 paid fans in Korakuen Hall, Kenny Omega wrestled on the bad ankle. Then he missed another date in Japan but made the Tokyo Dome show.

    So now it comes down to what you believe. Do I believe Kenny Omega had an injured ankle? Probably, he missed a total of 3 shows. Did Kenny Omega wrestle on the injured ankle? Probably but Japan was his priority. That spot with New Japan put DDT on the map. Kenny Omega worked at top match in a no vacancy Korakuen Hall and a Tokyo Dome show. DDT needed Kenny so Kenny probably made a decision to stay home in Japan and protect his health for the big upcoming shows where DDT would need him the most. I believe Kenny Omega is playing the babyface on this and ignoring the fact that he took a booking in Japan the night of Final Battle and wrestled on the ankle a little over a week later. Did blowing off ROH Final Battle get him heat with the office or just Jim Cornette? It clearly got him heat with the office as Kenny Omega was persona non grata from that day in 2010 until New Japan forced ROH's hand and sent him as a replacement for AJ Styles in 2016. Is Jim Cornette wrong? Well, in my opinion, guys from Jim's heyday, if they were as injured as Kenny seems to have been, probably would have made the date (Terry Funk had a broken tailbone and couldnt sit on an airplane but still made all his dates, for example). I can see why Jim Cornette has heat, but I can also see why Kenny Omega made the decision he did. Just don't take Kenny's words as Gospel there because he is certainly being selective with the events.



    * In Japan, if you are in a major title match on a show, you work it, no matter how injured you are. It is a point of pride and one of those sacrosanct unwritten rules of Japanese pro wrestling. To give a quick example for you to understand how real this is. At Tokyo's Sumo Hall, All Japan Pro Wrestling is having one of it's biggest shows in years. Atsushi Onita was booked in a match for the AJPW All Asia Tag Team Titles, the problem was that the 59 year old wrestler had fractured his pelvis a few weeks before. He showed up, wrestled, won the match and became one half of the 100th All Asia Tag Team champions in All Japan Pro wrestling history. If you are wrestling for the titles, you make the date no matter what.
    Last edited by Irishsara; 01-26-2017 at 12:21 AM.

  39. #359
    The Brain
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    Very interesting stuff. At this point I feel like Cornette getting as worked up as he does is at least 50% gimmick. My inclination is to side with Omega because, as you say, he didn't wrestle in Japan on the date in question and missed other shows as well, even though he powered through a match or two on a bad wheel. Obviously he could have handled it better, sending a picture of an unknown injured foot just seems stupid, even as joke. I guess it's kind of moot since Omega's working ROH again and Cornette is no longer relevant except for his rants, but it's still interesting to hear about.

  40. #360
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    My thoughts on the February 5 show:

    http://www.lordsofpain.tv/showthread...564#post153564

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