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Thread: NJPW Superthread

  1. #226
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Takahashi/Lee headlined Day 1 of New Japan's Best of Super Juniors series. Both guys put together a decent match, super-hot opening stretch before they settled into their routines and trading high impact maneuvers. With Ospreay/Scurll on the same show, it seemed to be a deliberate ploy from Gedo to deliver a safe but enjoyable opening to the tournament. As a booker, Gedo rarely gets it wrong and that was true here as well with the champion putting Lee over in the showpiece match of the night which wasn't too dissimilar to KUSHIDA doing the favours last year for Kyle O'Reilly.

    Meanwhile Day 2 which just aired was headlined by arguably the most anticipated rematch of the tournament, Ricochet vs Will Ospreay. The pair had one of the most talked about matches in 2016 and once again were given plenty of time to tear the house down, with a total run-time of 27 minutes, 11 minutes longer than their 2016 exhibition. I'll have to check the match out, but it's interesting to see Gedo really double down on those two. In other matches, Dragon Lee faced off against Marty Scurll, Hiromu Takahashi faced legendary super heavyweight Jushin Liger and Taichi took on Taka Michinoku.

    The tournament concludes on June 3rd, just in time for Dominion which takes place on June 11th. That show will of course be headlined by two big WrestleKingdom rematches, Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. However, like last year, Tanahashi faces a nervous wait as he suffered an injury during NJPW's recent shows with ROH. Tanahashi reportedly injured his bicep, but the severity isn't known just yet. No word on who would replace Tanahashi, but New Japan has so many options, it wouldn't be as big a blow as it may have been 3 if not 4 years ago.

  2. #227
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Naito broke the IC title face plate. This guy.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    RT is referring to this: https://streamable.com/2kia6. The reaction is amazing.

    In other news, NJPW recently updated the conditions of Honma and Shibata and discussing some of their health policies.

    Just prior to the business strategy announcements made yesterday on May 16, NJPW trainer Takeshi Misawa was joined by Chairman Sugayabashi and President Harada to give an update on the health conditions of Tomoaki Honma and Katsuyori Shibata. He also outlined New Japan’s health policy for its wrestlers.

    Misawa firstly explained that Honma has been moved from a hospital specializing in cervical vertebrae to a rehabilitation hospital in Osaka. While his discharge date is currently unknown, he has begun muscle training at the gym with permission from doctors. His rehabilitation includes activities such as light running as well.

    As for Shibata, his original condition was considered to be life threatening. However, after follow up operations he has now been moved to the general ward. While he currently has no trouble walking and talking, it is impossible to comment right now on any possible after-effects due to his condition. He is currently focused on being discharged from the hospital, so he asks for everyone to “send your shouts of support.”

    Next, a description of New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Medical Committee highlighted efforts to support the health and well-being of NJPW wrestlers. The Committee consists of a team including neurosurgeons, spinal specialists, orthopedic surgeons, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling trainers. Misawa elaborated, “The Medical Committee decides on the best course of action to deal with these circumstances,” referring to accidents during matches or training. The Medical Committee’s function in these scenarios is to quickly assess the best treatment and support the immediate follow through of that treatment through its network of professionals.

    As of 6 years ago, all New Japan wrestlers undergo a yearly MRI and CT scan. This data is analyzed by the Medical Committee to assess each wrestler’s condition. Also, medical staff are on-hand at venues to monitor for health risks and help prevent injuries.

    Finally, it was announced that the Medical Committee will limit the number of matches a wrestler may compete in during a series if there is any question over the wrestler’s health.
    https://www.njpw1972.com/8314

  4. #229
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Checked out Day 2 of the Super Juniors.

    Taichi vs Taka is well worth a look, the match between Suzuki-gun stablemates. It's the Toru Yano match of the Super Juniors. That's not to say they wrestled a match full of Yano's moves and antics, but it is to say that they did something very different from the norm and it was a ton of fun from start to finish.

    Wasn't overly impressed with Scurll vs Dragon Lee. The crowd are already familiar with Scurll's shtick, which surprised me a little given that this is his second match with the company, but good for him. The first five minutes was great, with a lot of character work, and Dragon Lee playing along nicely, showing some personality that is uncharacteristic of the average luchador. But as the match wore on, I got a bit sick of Scurll's taunting. He was literally taunting after every move, looking to the crowd and throwing a too sweet or flapping his arms or pulling a face. It killed the flow of the match and made him look like a bit of an idiot. A shame because the match could have been so much more if he toned down the taunting. @Big Pete, did you watch Scurll vs Ospreay? Any good?

    Liger vs Takahashi won't go down as one of Takahashi's best matches simply because of the phenomenal body of work he's already put out, but it was very good and should be one of the better matches of the tournament.

    Ospreay vs Ricochet blew the wrestling world's mind last year. Now this is the big pairing of the whole tournament, so they are given the main event slot and a ton of time to put on something even better. I think they failed, but I don't expect to be among the majority when I say that. It was more or less an extended version of last year's match. The first 5-10 minutes were great. We got some chain wrestling, the mandatory gymnastics choreography ending with the double superman pose, we got a strike exchange won by Ricochet and his hard chops. Ricochet dominated the match for a while. He worked it very slowly and methodically, torturing his opponent with chops and fancy submission holds. He clearly revelled in toying with his nemesis. The climax of this was a false hope spot. Ospreay gets whipped and goes for a handspring kick, shouting "Gotcha!" mid move, only to be caught with a Ricochet dropkick to the face. Ospreay's comeback would start with his second (successful) attempt of the same move, and then it went downhill. My problem was that there wasn't a gradual build. It was a super high spot followed by some slower stuff, then another super high spot, rinse and repeat. It was a very bumpy ride. That said, the super high spots were pretty incredible and there were some sequences that wouldn't have looked out of place in a martial arts film. Even if it wasn't 100% to my tastes, they did what they set out to do, they wowed the crowd (although given how they were reacting from the very start, they would have gone crazy for a 30 minute political debate as long as they did a flip every few minutes) and put on a hell of a show.

  5. #230
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    He was building to his finisher. Taunting always filled the bar in No Mercy.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    @Big Pete, did you watch Scurll vs Ospreay? Any good?
    No, I was only interested in Takahashi & Lee. I've seen Scurll & Ospreay go at it in the past and decided their rivalry isn't for me. One match that I did enjoy was ACH & BUSHI. I was intending on skipping through everything until the main event, but was impressed with ACH's showmanship. I'll be very interested to see how he goes with the rest of the Super Junior tournament. It's fair to say ACH always had potential, he just needed to fine tune his matches. I'm not sure if @Baker was a fan, but I thought he was one of the better workers in ROH back in 2015. Always seemed like somebody who with a bit of polish, could have been a top talent in the company.

    Nice review of Day 2, I still need to sit down and watch Ricochet/Ospreay. I've made a decision to skip through the bulk of the tournament, only seeking on pimped matches and the finals since those are the matches that matter at the end of the day. Last year, I was so burnt out on the Super Junior tournament that I had to go on a sabbatical. I don't even remember watching Dominion that year. If memory serves, was that the show where Omega faced off against Elgin in a ladder match?

  7. #232
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    I'm also only going to watch the pimped matches. Not seen ACH before so might check out a match or two of his.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    EDIT- Accidental double post
    Last edited by Baker; 05-21-2017 at 08:33 PM.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Pete View Post
    It's fair to say ACH always had potential, he just needed to fine tune his matches. I'm not sure if @Baker was a fan, but I thought he was one of the better workers in ROH back in 2015. Always seemed like somebody who with a bit of polish, could have been a top talent in the company.
    My thoughts exactly. He wasn't necessarily one of my favorites. Thought he went overboard a bit too often. But he definitely had potential. Also had more charisma than your average ROH worker from that era. Crowds were often really hot for him. They were fools for not pushing him more. Should have been TV champ at some point imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor View Post
    Not seen ACH before so might check out a match or two of his.
    He had at least one good match with Matt Sydal in ROH.
    Sydal & ACH vs. Young Bucks from November 2014 was fun live.
    Sydal & ACH vs. Tanahashi & Naito from ROH tv was good until a lousy finish. Naito was just starting to transition from old Naito to new Naito.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Anyone been following the Super Juniors? Can't say I have. But I had a peek at the latest standings.

    Defending champion Will Ospreay won Block A outright with 10 points (5 wins, 2 losses). He defeated Dragon Lee (8), Takahashi (8), Ricochet (8), Taka Michinoku (4) and Liger (2). Scurll and Taichi were able to inflict defeats on him. The other 8 pointers all took points off each other. Taichi was the only one to lose to Liger. The title holder Takahashi lost to Dragon Lee, Ricochet and Ospreay. Ospreay is the only one of those three who has yet to challenge Takahashi for the belt. Likely he'll get a title shot in the near future even if he doesn't win the tournament.

    Block B is up in the air with the final round to come. The entire field is on 6 points, which makes sense since there isn't a clear favourite or a clear jabroni like Liger and Taka (well, maybe Tiger Mask IV), but it's still remarkable. The final matches, taking place tomorrow, are Tiger Mask IV vs BUSHI, Taguchi vs ACH, Volador Jr vs KUSHIDA and the Suzuki-gun derby Kanemaru vs El Desperado. Very hard to predict a winner, especially with the large amount of tiebreak possibilities. Kudos to whoever worked that one out in advance. I'll just throw a name out there: ACH. NJPW pushing another fresh talent to the top of the junior scene.

  11. #236
    PW Tag Team Champion!! HilaryFan's Avatar

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    I always said KUSHIDA, and I stand by that

    I would prefer ACH or Ospreay though

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Kanemaru defeated El Desperado. Taguchi beat ACH. BUSHI beat Tiger Mask. KUSHIDA beat Volador Jr. All four winners are on 8 points. Who the heck won the group? I'm going to try and work this out. I believe the way to do it is to put the four 8-pointers in a mini-league and work out who won that. It's actually quite easy. KUSHIDA defeated all three of his rivals. KUSHIDA vs Ospreay in the final.

    I'm sure it will be a good match, but I'm sick of KUSHIDA being constantly at forefront of the junior division especially with so much new talent around. He's not the champion and after the four minute loss to Takahashi he's been in a slump, being pinned in every match, including his first two matches in this tournament. I figured that it would be a slow burn back to the top, but nope. He just wins his group and he's good again. Just like that. Unlikely he will win the final, though. NJPW loves Ospreay even more than KUSHIDA and he's clearly the biggest threat to Takahashi.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    I am 95% sure KUSHIDA will win

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Stop calling it HF, you're making KUSHIDA win stuff!

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    KUSHIDA is the junior Okada. Make it stop.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    To be fair, it was a freaking phenomenal match

    It's hard for me to pick a favourite match of the tourney from

    KUSHIDA vs Ospreay
    KUSHIDA vs Taguchi
    Ospreay vs Richochet

    all absolutely brilliant matches




    Edit - and you know what? I'm glad KUSHIDA won. Ospreay should be the one to eventually dethrone Takahashi but I don't want his reign to end yet

    Now if KUSHIDA beats Takahashi at Dominion....


    Edit 2 - as good as those other 2 were, the final is definitely MOTT without a doubt. Was a genuine MOTY contender
    Last edited by HilaryFan; 06-03-2017 at 10:49 AM.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Agreed that KUSHIDA vs Ospreay is easily match of the tournament, but it falls far short of the best matches of the year. The previous two Super Junior finals were much better. I just felt that they went a bit too excessive and some of the spots were eye-rollingly contrived.

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    Man with a Plan Ness's Avatar

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Any minute now we find out if NJPW sucks ass or not.

    Die Okada die.

    Although him getting it back in January will suck...

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Time limit draw? Gimme a WK win and I will be satisfied.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    OK.

    I'm finally okay with Kazuchika Okada. The dude has been beyond fire all of 2017. He and Kenny Omega create wrestling magic, and I'm finally, finally BAH GAWD FINALLY cool with the Rainmaker.
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Quote Originally Posted by Djm View Post
    OK.

    I'm finally okay with Kazuchika Okada. The dude has been beyond fire all of 2017. He and Kenny Omega create wrestling magic, and I'm finally, finally BAH GAWD FINALLY cool with the Rainmaker.
    On the other hand, I still don't get Okada. For about the last 20 minutes his only offense was dropkick, tombstone, Rain Maker. His moves are pretty generic, but he does them spectacularly. His personality is like cardboard. It just feels like (to me) that he's just the Champion, and that's it.

    I am pretty new to NJPW, as I came in WK. I feel like either I am missing something with Okada, which is likely the case, or that Okada is a pretty one dimensional character.

    Kenny should have won it, and this match was about 20 minutes too long.

    Tanahashi x Naito was much better and felt like there was much more to it. It was on from before the bell, and you knew why. I am hoping for a Tetsuya Naito World Title reign very soon.

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    Senior Member nath45's Avatar

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    I'm a lot like Hollywood Nova on this - I'm fresh to NJPW, having really only seen a handful of matches in the last few years - unashamedly the ones involving Bullet Club.

    I don't get Okada either. He's great in the ring, but his personality is like watching paint dry, even in some of the dire moments in these last few big Omega matches - he's emotionless, when really he needed to be showing a lot more. But what do I know, these are 6 and 7 stars matches.

    I've turned to listening to the likes of the Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer podcasts to understand NJPW more - I like the story told here, Okada has been the champ for a long time, he beat Omega last time and now, he's fading, he's beaten up, he's tried, he's worn out - the pressures of being Champion. The finish of this match: Okada didn't beat Omega - he didn't make the count. Omega has done enough, learnt enough from their first match to go 60 minutes with Okada. And really, Omega going into the next match should be of equal status and if anything, there should be no doubt Omega can beat Okada.

    I like the inevitable Bullet Club implosion. Cody doesn't fit the BC mold and never has. With NJPW's western expansion it seems, cementing Cody has a top guy will be a really good move and help western fans adopt NJPW as he is someone familiar.

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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    My big gripe with Okada is that, to me, he was never a babyface. He was always the super entitled "I'm the champion. Deal with it." guy, rather than someone people could root for and get behind like Tanahashi (who is an all-time great) and Tetsuya Naito's Ingobernables character.

    In the match with Kenny Omega at Dominion, I finally saw his babyface side, and it finally convinced me as to why Japanese fans love him. It finally clicked.
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Quote Originally Posted by nath45 View Post
    I'm a lot like Hollywood Nova on this - I'm fresh to NJPW, having really only seen a handful of matches in the last few years - unashamedly the ones involving Bullet Club.

    I don't get Okada either. He's great in the ring, but his personality is like watching paint dry, even in some of the dire moments in these last few big Omega matches - he's emotionless, when really he needed to be showing a lot more. But what do I know, these are 6 and 7 stars matches.

    I've turned to listening to the likes of the Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer podcasts to understand NJPW more - I like the story told here, Okada has been the champ for a long time, he beat Omega last time and now, he's fading, he's beaten up, he's tried, he's worn out - the pressures of being Champion. The finish of this match: Okada didn't beat Omega - he didn't make the count. Omega has done enough, learnt enough from their first match to go 60 minutes with Okada. And really, Omega going into the next match should be of equal status and if anything, there should be no doubt Omega can beat Okada.

    I like the inevitable Bullet Club implosion. Cody doesn't fit the BC mold and never has. With NJPW's western expansion it seems, cementing Cody has a top guy will be a really good move and help western fans adopt NJPW as he is someone familiar.
    One aspect of the feud that is difficult to reconcile is the domestic v global element. Omega's main motivation is that he wants to take New Japan global, but Kazuchikda Okada's biggest quirk is that he's an amalgamation of all styles. So they're on the same side, meaning they have nothing that sets them apart from any other feud.

    Omega's character in New Japan is non-existent. Initially he was The Cleaner who used to rely on his utensils and equipment to get the better of his opponent. Then AJ Styles failed to beat Shinsuke Nakamura at WrestleKingdom X, Omega usurped Styles and has been on the quest of becoming Prince Devitt 3.0

    If they could tweak the storyline just a little I believe they could find something that would get the Japanese Wrestling fans riled up, but as it stands it's merely an athletic competition that relies heavily on stylistic finishing sequences.

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    Moderator Emperor's Avatar
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    Default Re: NJPW Superthread

    Okada certainly has a character. He's a lot more subdued than American wrestlers which is understandbly off-putting for people who don't watch puro all that often, but it's pretty standard for Japanese wrestling. They're athletes first and foremost, not soap opera characters. Sure, recently NJPW has become more Westernized and started creating more cartoony characters, but there's still plenty of stoic samurai types around. Okada is sort of like an early-career Randy Orton. Has been gifted with physical capabilities that few others have, and he knows it. He's cocky, entitled and spoilt. He doesn't tend to react well to big losses, but he doesn't lose very often because he's the best, which justifies and fuels his cocky confident. While he isn't a pure white meat babyface, he's more babyface than most, and the standard fighting spirit shtick gets him over with the fans in spite of his cockiness. Probably the best example of this is the match against Minoru Suzuki.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollywood Nova View Post
    On the other hand, I still don't get Okada. For about the last 20 minutes his only offense was dropkick, tombstone, Rain Maker.
    To be fair, at that point Kenny was just throwing knee strikes and little else. The point is that both guys were exhausted and staying alive as best as they could by throwing out their signature strikes. They lacked the energy to try a more elaborate move.

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