PDA

View Full Version : NJPW Dominion 2018



Prime Time
05-10-2018, 03:46 AM
We're around a month away from Dominion. Thoughts on what we're likely to see at the event?

Degenerate
05-10-2018, 04:05 AM
What we're likely to see? Hopefully the best show that has ever existed in the world of pro wrestling. I say that selfishly because I have front-row seats to the event and am extremely hyped. In all seriousness, they're going all out on this show.

The main event, of course, will be the most-talked about thing here. Okada and Omega have such amazing chemistry with each other. The added stipulation that it's going to be two out of three falls with no time limit is insane. There was chatter online that the match is going loooong, like 90 minutes or some ridiculous number like that. I'm not sure about that in today's wrestling climate, but if there's any pair that can pull it off nowadays, it's these two guys. I'm going to guess they'll be given about an hour or so in any case, which will still be long any way you slice it.

Jericho vs. Naito is also interesting. Would it be crazy to think that New Japan is crazy enough to give Jericho a short Intercontinental title run, maybe dropping it back to Naito in the Cow Palace show?

The other thing I'm really curious about is who will be Rey Mysterio's opponent. They'll probably go ahead with the previously-scheduled match between him and Jushin Thunder Liger, but something I read online was more interesting - Will Ospreay winning the Best of Super Juniors tournament and picking Mysterio as his opponent. Given Ospreay's year, it's a strong possibility and it was teased kinda directly at the Strong Style Evolved show, so who knows.

Oliver
05-10-2018, 04:47 AM
Okada/Omega IV has me so, so hyped, and I can see it leaning in to the no time limit stipulation really heavily one way or the other. Like, either it goes 30 minutes and they really just played everyone, or it goes 90 minutes with a fall every 30 or something.

I want Scurll vs Rey, just to pay off that mask stealing from before.

And I certainly think there's a chance they give Jericho a short IC Title run, yeah, and in a way why not? They can, as you say, put the rematch on at Cow Palace.

Oliver_ix
05-10-2018, 10:09 AM
With the recent 'return' of Bone Solider aka Taiji Ishimori could they give the BOTS win to him to challenge Ospreay? Leaving Rey to either the originally planned Liger, which Rey has mentioned he wants to do, or as Oliver says even Scrull which would be a fun match.

mizfan
05-10-2018, 02:42 PM
I'm less enthralled generally by the Okada/Omega series than most. I do find the matches interesting, but they have kind of been marathons to get through, and have more flaws than I feel like people are willing to admit. I'm half interested and half in fear of a no time limit match, because I don't know if I can handle how long these two might want to go. I do really like the idea of Omega finally winning the belt, I think it's time and the story is there.

Naito/Jericho is probably more or less interesting to you depending on whether you like Omega/Jericho. For my part, I liked it much more than I thought I would. I didn't think it was great and thought it was pretty clear Omega was driving most of the action, but it was definitely good. I like Naito more than Omega overall but I'm not sure if he'll have the same chemistry with Jericho. I'll be interested, at least!

LIJ vs. the Bucks might be good, I'm not a huge Bucks fan but I can see value in them winning the title right now, as the BC breakup stuff is very hot.

Goto/Elgin/Taichi is a weird one to me. I'm not sure New Japan needed to add three way matches to their repertoire, to be honest, especially kind of a weird one here. Anyway, I've liked Elgin in the past but not enough to really want to see much more of him after the recent controversy. Taichi is underrated so maybe he'll get a nice nod here. I've never had much time for Goto, in all honesty.

I can dig Ospreay/Mysterio. I'm not as high on Ospreay as I used to be as I feel like he's come to embody some negative indy stereotypes (sell, sell, sell, do a billion moves, oh right back to selling, then kick out at one) but he did have a legitimately great match with Rey last year in the UK, so I think Mysterio is good enough to reign him in and bring out the best in him. Ospreay/Ishimori might be interesting but doesn't light the world on fire for me. Mysterio/Scurll is more interesting because yeah, they set it up, though Scurll is another guy I'm less high on than I used to be as his shtick has kind of gotten out of control.

I think for New Japan fans the show will definitely deliver. I'm a little more mixed on them so the results for me personally will probably be the same, but if you've liked them so far this year this will be another great one for you.

Amazing that Deg has front row tickets though! I look forward to scanning the rail for a guy towering over everyone else! :)

Oliver
05-10-2018, 05:02 PM
Am I right in thinking Ospreay vs Ishimori is set for night one of BOSJ?

mizfan
05-10-2018, 05:27 PM
Yup, you got it!

Macho Mourn
05-10-2018, 10:15 PM
Best part should Taichi get a run is we'd be able to see his full performance!

Degenerate
05-11-2018, 01:22 AM
One thing I was thinking about yesterday was with Omega entangled with Okada and the rest of the Bullet Club drama, where does this leave Ibushi? And what happens to them if Omega wins? I dig that there are a lot of possibilities that can happen after Dominion, with the G1 coming up soon after.

I forgot about LIJ versus the Young Bucks, too. I'm really curious seeing how the Bucks will fare against the heavyweights. I hope they do well. I didn't get the hype about them before but they've grown on me a lot in New Japan.

mizfan
05-11-2018, 01:43 AM
I think someone (Cult?) floated Ibushi/Omega at Wrestle Kingdom, which is an idea I am seriously down for.

Cult Icon
05-11-2018, 02:53 AM
Seeing as I called how this card was going to down despite certain people doubting me (Mourn!), let me tell you all how this is now going to go! Kenny is beating Okada at Dominion. There's little doubt in my mind about that. It's Okada so you can never say never, but now that's he broken the title defense record, become the longest reigning champion in history and holds the record for the most combined days as champion all he has left to beat are combined title defenses and title reigns. You can break the former during this reign but you can't break the latter unless he loses the title a few more times (and obviously he can break the former record upon winning the title back). Combine that with New Japan likely wanting Omega, who has been their number one US draw, as champion going into the Cow Palace and Kenny now saying he wants Ibushi in his corner for emotional support and that's all you need to know. Kenny is winning the title. He and Ibushi will then have a moment, the Bucks may come down and make up with Kenny to make even more emotional and afterwards Cody, who as I pointed out in the Bullet Club thread has a legit case for being number one contender, will make a challenge backstage to set up Kenny-Cody II at the Cow Palace.

After that I have no idea. I would personally keep the title on Kenny, have Ibushi win the G1 and set those two up for the Wrestle Kingdom main event. But that would leave Okada out of the main event and considering he's the new Ace I just can't see that happening unless he and Jericho is the plan, in which case that can be a semi-main. Otherwise my guess is that sometime in the fall Kenny will drop the title to Naito, the next guy who deserves to have a title run. Okada will in the meantime take home the G1, setting up Naito-Okada II at the Dome where you can either have Naito get his revenge or Okada gets the title back; either or works. Kenny and Ibushi can then have their match lower on the card and it'll either be where Kenny finally proves to Ibushi he's better or Ibushi beats him and Kenny goes off to WWE. Again either or works. Again, maybe that all gets changed around if Jericho does decide to stick around and work Okada (which is the next step for him after Naito) and New Japan decides to run with Naito in the Nakamura role as IC Championship ace. But my head tells me Naito/Okada headlines again with Ibushi/Omega as the semi-main, while my heart says Ibushi/Omega main events.

As for other Dominion predictions quick; the Bucks will beat EVIL and SANADA for the tag titles, BUSHI and Hiromu will finally conquer Desperado and Kanemaru to win the Jr. Tag Titles, there will be another "get everyone on the card!" NEVER Six Man Title gauntlet, Cody will defeat Ibushi to further cement his #1 contendership status, Suzuki and Tanahashi will battle in a special one on one match (the winner will determine whether they're going to drag that out till Wrestle Kingdom or if Tanahashi gets his revenge now), Mysterio will face and defeat Scurll, Ospreay will defeat Ishimori and then challenge Mysterio to a match at the Cow Palace, Taichi will defeat Goto and Shitty Elgin to win the NEVER Openweight Championship, Juice will defeat Jay White to win the US Championship (though I'm secretly hoping White retains, pisses off Ishii and gets challenged by him to a match at the Cow Palace, where Ishii wins the title) and finally, Jericho will upset Naito to win the IC title after SANADA turns (that's right, turns) on Naito and forms a stable with Jericho. Maybe EVIL joins as well. Naito then regains the IC Title at the Cow Palace and transitions into a feud with SANADA that helps establish him as a singles star. Thank you and please drive home safe.

LK3185
05-11-2018, 04:31 AM
Sanada working with Jericho means he'll still play that shitty heel persona... Probably the least interested character in New Japan for me... He should work face against Evil.

Otherwise, I think the predictions are pretty much spot on. Do wish Rey sticks around a bit to work KUSHIDA

Also, I think Omega is the type of guy where I don't think he'll want to a 100 min epic with Okada unless they had vastly different falls planned.. This is the same guy who's wrestled a blowup doll, a 9 year old kid and has Toru Yano's best comedy matches. He knows what people expect and I think he'll go against the grain to try to keep them fresh.

Can't wait for Dominion. Could be the best show all year.

Macho Mourn
05-13-2018, 04:30 AM
(Mourn!)

KRAMER!

What? I don't try to dive that analytical into the product. Most my predictions are from a fan's perspective. I don't go for accuracy.

Macho Mourn
05-19-2018, 07:39 AM
Night two of BotSJ has been amazing. Go out of your way to see it. I haven't even seen the main yet.

mizfan
05-21-2018, 11:42 AM
What's your favorite match of the tourney so far, Mourn?

Cult Icon
05-22-2018, 11:09 AM
I can't speak for Mourn but through the first three nights and the first match of night four, Chris Sabin vs. SHO. Sabin has still got it! I think he might be even better now than he was in TNA. And SHO looks like a superstar in the making.

mizfan
05-22-2018, 12:22 PM
Wow, good for Sabin!! I thought his best high flying days were past him when he blew out his knee the second(?) time, but I always like the guy. I'm all for him showing that he's got lots left in the tank.

I admit, I'm still waiting for SHO and YOH to really click for me, but I've only seen them a few times so far so I gotta make time to check them out more closely.

Cult Icon
05-22-2018, 12:29 PM
His best flying days are behind him (though he still does a little bit of it); what's happened is he's become an incredible technical wrestler. I couldn't believe how good he was against SHO, who granted has always been really solid (I loved him as Raijin in CMLL) and now looks like a superstar in the making. They were tremendous. And naturally they were topped a few matches later by Hiromu and Desperado. I'd go the full five stars on it. What a match; so much intensity to it.

mizfan
05-22-2018, 02:04 PM
Damn!! That is one that I'm gonna have to check out. For some reason I've barely seen any Desperado stuff, gotta plug that knowledge gap for sure.

Macho Mourn
05-22-2018, 03:41 PM
What's your favorite match of the tourney so far, Mourn?

Of what I've seen? Toss betwen Hiromu/Scurll or Sabin/Kushida

Seriously, that Sabin/Kushi match was smooth.

mizfan
05-22-2018, 04:37 PM
KUSHIDA is probably my favorite Junior going right now, with Hiromu being the only other guy in serious contention. Can't wait to check out some of this stuff when I have time.

Oliver
05-23-2018, 05:51 AM
I know we're only a handful of nights in and it could all go to crap, but this is the most promising opening to a BOSJ I can remember seeing in recent years, for me. And we've still got Takahashi and Dragon Lee trying to kill each other to come, among other stuff.

Despie/Hiromu is my favourite match so far. That thing was lucha as shit, and just an absolute brawl.

mizfan
05-23-2018, 11:12 AM
Is Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu Takahashi the greatest in ring feud of the past few years? I honestly feel like it should be in the conversation. It's amazing how they absolutely kill it every time they go out there, and they do so without having to go 45+ minutes.

SirSam
05-28-2018, 06:47 AM
I'm going to be away for the weekend of Dominion on a camp. I will find it so hard to avoid spoilers for this one.

I am 1 part intrigued about the main event, 1 part excited, 1 part worried at exactly how long it will go for.

I wonder exactly what Naito and Jericho will get up to and Will Osprey has been damn near untouchable this year.

This will be the first time I've watched Dominion, how does it normally compare to Wrestle Kingdom in terms of show size?

LK3185
05-28-2018, 07:19 AM
Think of it as the Summerslam of New Japan. its in the second biggest building they run annually and i'd say only show that probably matches it is the G1 Climax final but that's more like a Royal Rumble show to me.

mizfan
05-28-2018, 01:41 PM
I hope Omega and Okada pull a Joe/Punk and shock everyone by going short. I don't see much chance that happens though, if it goes under 75 minutes I'll be surprised, and I won't be shocked if it goes over 100.

Honestly, as far as juniors go, I think I've enjoyed Takahashi this year more than Ospreay.

SirSam
05-28-2018, 06:31 PM
I will admit that I haven't been following closely at all so I'm hardly an authority on who is really hot and who is not but what I have been watching I've really enjoyed, particularly from Osprey.

mizfan
05-28-2018, 07:01 PM
I think more people are in your camp than mine, I've heard some say he's having a banner year. I thought the Scurll match was good rather than great but most people loved it, so that's probably part of the disconnect right there.

LK3185
05-29-2018, 12:53 AM
I know people expect Omega/Okada to go really long but i wouldn't be shocked if they went just over 60 minutes... I know New Japan likes their long mains but its quite hard to make a 70 plus minute match that compelling.. plus you have other stuff on the show. I think Omega is smart enough to know that you don't have to go too long.

Degenerate
05-29-2018, 02:03 AM
I wouldn't want to see them go over an hour long. But then again, I thoroughly enjoyed last year's hour-long draw so provided that they can bring something as compelling, I think it'll blow the roof off the place.

I was thinking sometime last week that it would be interesting if they did something like one of them gets the first fall in under a minute for the shock value, and then have the rest of the bout take over an hour.

LK3185
05-29-2018, 03:57 AM
The 2 out of three falls stip plays a huge part in why i don't think it will go into 90 min territory or even be close to that. For 2 falls, you need a match that is different to the last fall, while being entertaining. I don't doubt their ability but finisher spam is not the way to go.. in fact, I still want the One Winged Angel protected no matter what happens

Degenerate
06-02-2018, 09:46 AM
In the last episode of Being The Elite, there's a short little montage of Kenny Omega training for his match against Okada. I never realized how jacked the guy is. He's really in shape for this event. I can't wait!

Speaking of the show, there's only five matches officially announced with just under a week away from the show. The New Japan website says that there will be 8-10 matches, but I think usually by this time the card is already set up, right? I wonder if that's a sign that the main event is going long and they're keeping the card open with some quick filler just in case.

mizfan
06-03-2018, 11:42 AM
I don't usually watch BTE but I did see a bit of that, and yeah, Omega looks ridiculous in that shot. He was probably using every bobybuilder trick in the book to look as jacked as possible but yeah, very impressive physique. Still think he's winning the belt, feels like it's time.

When I first saw the line up I assumed they were gonna throw a bunch of multi-man matches on the card, as they tend to do, but now considering the idea that Omega/Okada goes 2 hours, haha.

SirSam
06-04-2018, 09:38 PM
Kenny is bodied up for sure.

I wonder what role, if any the Cody/Young Bucks/Ibushi story will play in the match? I can't imagine it not playing into it at all but then again if the title is indeed going to change hands after such a momentous run by Okada surely they won't want it to be on a screwy finish. NJPW strikes me as a little too serious for that kind of thing.

Degenerate
06-05-2018, 08:43 AM
I hope the Bullet Club shenanigans are kept to an absolute minimum, particularly until after the match is over. I want to see this match to completion with no outside interference.

The full card for the show was finally announced today:

- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: Suzuki-gun (El Desperado / Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Roppongi3K (SHO / YOH)
- Taguchi Japan (David Finlay / Juice Robinson) vs. CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI / Jay White)
- CHAOS (Toru Yano / Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. / Minoru Suzuki)
- NEVER Openweight Championship Three-Way Match: Hirooki Goto vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi
- IWGP Tag Team Championship Match: Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA / EVIL) vs. The Young Bucks
- Special Six-Man Tag Team Match: Rey Mysterio Jr., Jushin Thunder Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bullet Club (Marty Scurll, Hangman Page & Cody)
- IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match: Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: Tetsuya Naito vs. Chris Jericho
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship (No Time Limit, Two out of Three Falls): Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega

Interesting that the U.S. title will not be defended on their second-biggest show of the year - maybe they'll save that for the Cow Palace show next month.

I thought Rey Mysterio would be having a singles match, so that's a bummer to see him lumped in a six-man tag. Still, it'll be awesome to see him teaming with Liger and Tanahashi.

Now that I think about it, there are a lot of people I wish were not stuck in multi-man matches, like Suzuki, Ishii, White, and Tanahashi. I think that shows the crazy depth that New Japan can bring in for these shows.

EDIT: I also noticed, no Ibushi match??? Criminal.

Oliver
06-05-2018, 11:28 AM
I've kind of assumed Ibushi will be the corner man for Kenny in the main - which admittedly doesn't preclude him having a match but will at least mean he's still present on the show.

I'm actually pretty into a good portion of that card - the top five matches all interest me, and I think I might be a YOH/SHO megafan in the making at the moment. It's definitely not going to be a one match show, in my opinion, and hopefully Ospreay and Takahashi can come close to stealing it, off the back of their New Beginning match earlier in the year.

mizfan
06-05-2018, 11:29 AM
I mean, AJ Styles won the title thanks to BC interference, so it's not outside the realm of possibility. I do think it won't be a factor for the match though. Post match is fair game.

I dig that Sabre/Suzuki tag team. I know they tagged a bit in the UK but if they won the tag belts, or even feuded with the Bucks for them, that could potentially be awesome. Suzuki plowing through the Bucks nonsense in an effort to murder them is something I could get behind.

Definitely a little bummed for Rey to be in a six man tag, though it'll be cool to see him matched up with Cody again, and the Scurll thing will probably advance too.

And great call about no Ibushi, WTF New Japan??

Cult Icon
06-05-2018, 11:39 AM
Once New Japan made the call to put Cody in the six man tag it kind of left Ibushi with no other option outside of being in Kenny's corner. That's fine; if he was on the card at this point it just be in a match like what Rey is doing and you guys would all be wondering "why waste him in a six man?" He'll be far more valuable just showing some emotion while supporting Kenny than if he was just doing a few cool moves and a moonsault in a six man.

If there are any Bullet Club shenanigans in the main event I expect it to be in the form of The Bucks coming out towards the end to show Kenny they're with him, leading to him finding that extra gear and winning the match. But otherwise that'll be that. Aside from Cody threatening to throw in the towel last year (which helped the match in my opinion) these bouts have been played completely straight. There's no way that won't happen again knowing how Okada and Kenny both like their matches to be clean.

mizfan
06-05-2018, 11:43 AM
I'd still rather see Ibushi in a six man than doing nothing, but I guess it's true that it's not really a big deal.

Macho Mourn
06-05-2018, 05:22 PM
Is this where I say once again that Cody's gonna fuck over Omega at the end?

LK3185
06-05-2018, 05:42 PM
No one wants that to happen.

Macho Mourn
06-05-2018, 05:49 PM
And? Cody's a heel. Like he cares about that.

mizfan
06-05-2018, 07:18 PM
Haha, it's possible, but I think that'd be less "good heel heat" and more "fuck this booking" heat.

Cult Icon
06-05-2018, 07:37 PM
The only, and I mean only, way Cody possibly gets involved here is if they tease him coming out to throw in the towel like he did last year, only the Bucks stop him with some super kicks. That's it. Otherwise you won't see him till after the match, where they set up him vs. Kenny for the Cow Palace.

LK3185
06-05-2018, 08:15 PM
its just not something New Japan does especially considering how the stakes are raised for the match.. Of course, Cody could interfere if you took all the characters motivations into play.. but then you also don't really have another match for Okada.

This isn't a promotion that runs shit back over and over lol.

Oliver
06-06-2018, 11:18 AM
IF they were going to have Cody interfere, I think I'd do it to cost Omega the first fall - get it in quickly, get done with it, but still let the two guys work the next couple of falls straight down the middle.

Of course, the better way to do it is to have Ibushi kick his face into row Z for turning up.

LK3185
06-06-2018, 11:55 AM
I'd be fine with the first fall or second fall have some interference.. i know others who won't like it but you can't have the falls be the same or its gonna be a 3 hour match lol. I'm just against Cody or anyone really deciding the last fall. It would be a slap in the face of New Japan fans tbh.

XanMan
06-07-2018, 09:35 AM
Dominion looks like an amazing show. I'm a little disappointed in the six-man they are doing; would have far preferred Page (who is growing by leaps and bounds this year) taking on ZSJ, Cody vs. Ibushi III, Rey vs. Liger one on one, and Suzuki vs. Ishii one on one. I don't need Yano or Tanahashi on the card. Tana is still really good, but he should take some actual time off to recover and return for WK. You might say increasing the matches by 2 would make the card really long, but I don't care how long a card is if it's really good. I'll already being staying up until 6 a.m. to watch it all the way through; what's another hour?

XanMan
06-07-2018, 11:47 AM
Reposting in the right thread:

Dominion looks like an amazing show. I'm a little disappointed in the six-man they are doing; would have far preferred Page (who is growing by leaps and bounds this year) taking on ZSJ, Cody vs. Ibushi III, Rey vs. Liger one on one, and Suzuki vs. Ishii one on one. I don't need Yano or Tanahashi on the card. Tana is still really good, but he should take some actual time off to recover and return for WK. You might say increasing the matches by 2 would make the card really long, but I don't care how long a card is if it's really good. I'll already being staying up until 6 a.m. to watch it all the way through; what's another hour?

Macho Mourn
06-07-2018, 12:43 PM
XanMan...

"what's another hour?

You must hate those in attendance.

XanMan
06-07-2018, 12:51 PM
If they can't sit for an extra hour of fantastic wrestling, they shouldn't be going. I don't hate anyone, but I don't feel sympathy or empathy for people I have never met. I am probably going to be at the arena for nine total hours next weekend and I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for me about that!

LK3185
06-07-2018, 01:29 PM
New Japan wants everyone that's available on the show though, they always have.. Plus, more singles matches and not only does it become really long, it also lessens importance of those singles matches on a show when the biggest match in a good while is taking place in the main event. Actually one time i agree with less singles.

Team Farrell
06-07-2018, 04:39 PM
NINE HOURS!? Jesus, what card is that? There's a reason I haven't gone to a show I'm not booked on in years. I don't have an entire workday worth of time to dedicate to watching wrestling.

LK3185
06-07-2018, 04:59 PM
Think he's talking about Money in the bank, coach. And exaggerating a bit. It will only be 7 hours lols.

XanMan
06-07-2018, 05:09 PM
I'm going to both Money in the Bank and Takeover: Chicago II, so I expect I'll be in the arena around 9 hours total.

Team Farrell
06-07-2018, 05:27 PM
Man, I feel like if I went to one of those shows I'd probably do like I do with the stream. Show up 20 minutes before the show is slated to begin and skip all the pre-show bullshit. I'd probably skip the tapings before Takeover, too. But I just don't have the patience to sit in an uncomfortable seat shoulder to shoulder with the person next to me for that long.

Macho Mourn
06-07-2018, 06:25 PM
9 hours is entirely too long for any single one event where you must occupy a chair. I don't get how that could even be close to comfortable. heck, 7 hours as well.

Happy you like being there that long. I guarantee you are in the extreme minority.

Degenerate
06-08-2018, 02:14 AM
While being in attendance at this year's Wrestle Kingdom was awesome, I didn't particularly enjoy being in my seat for about six hours, maybe more since I arrived just before the Rumble began. I was just drained by the end of it and went straight to my hotel room and crashed instantly.

I'll be at Dominion tomorrow and considering it will start at 4:00 PM, I'm thinking the event will go over five hours long - I'm sure it'll be one hell of a show but I can't say I'm looking forward to spending that amount of time sitting in a small uncomfortable seat.

LK3185
06-08-2018, 02:33 AM
I don't mind a show being long really and i'm not in the arena but i do want to watch dominion live, at least the important matches cause i don't want to know when Omega/Okada ends. its one of those in the moment things and as such, i don't want a crowd to die cause they've rose and fall for five hours. Sure, they won't turn on it like WWE crowds but its still important to pace a show so that the people aren't dying to leave when the main starts. There's a balance to be had.

Another reason why i don't think the main is going really really long.

Macho Mourn
06-08-2018, 03:16 PM
Final card for tonight:


IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (2 OUT OF 3 FALLS/NO TIME LIMIT)
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Kenny Omega

IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Chris Jericho

IWPG JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
EVIL and SANADA (c) vs. The Young Bucks

NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Michael Elgin vs. Taichi

IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) vs. SHO and YOH

David Finlay and Juice Robinson vs. YOSHI-HASHI and Jay White

Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki

Rey Mysterio, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, and Cody

Degenerate
06-08-2018, 09:30 PM
Those top three matches... Can't wait.

Happy Dominion Day, everyone!

LK3185
06-08-2018, 09:44 PM
Kinda excited for the Bucks/ vs Evil/Sanada match as well.

Have fun Deg

Degenerate
06-09-2018, 02:15 AM
These are by far the best seats I've ever had at a wrestling show.

https://i.imgur.com/mthnIxUl.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/4OjD8x7l.jpg

I'm just super-excited for this.

XanMan
06-09-2018, 02:42 AM
That's awesome, dude! I'm watching on a 100 inch screen, but still jealous.

Oliver
06-09-2018, 07:38 AM
That was special. So, so special.

XanMan
06-09-2018, 08:04 AM
Wasn't it, though?

LK3185
06-09-2018, 08:13 AM
So amazing. Excited for the things to come. The main event was so epic and had the perfect pace. The other title matches were different from each other and all delivered. bring on the Cow palace show.

Omega's vision for wrestling is why i still bother.

Degenerate
06-09-2018, 08:48 AM
So, so lucky to have experienced that in person.

https://i.imgur.com/vXTw3nAl.jpg

EDIT: Lots of personal thoughts about the show now that they're fresh in my brain:

- The new CEO of the company has immediately endeared himself to the Japanese fans. His Japanese is excellent, much better than Kenny Omega (who even I noticed saying one or two things incorrectly in his post-match promo).
- Minoru Suzuki is an absolute frightening human up close when he's performing. He was just a few feet in front of me during part of the post-match brawl and I was just scared he would come my way. By far the most believable guy in wrestling to me.
- Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. make one hell of a team, I dig them a lot. That double submission they did on Yano was awesome.
- Michael Elgin was in tremendous shape. When he took off his jacket / robe my jaw dropped. He seems to have shed a lot of fat and gained muscle which I didn't think was possible. I don't know when that transformation happened but last time.i saw him he definitely wasn't in that good of shape.
- I admittedly never paid much attention to Taichi's valet outside of her looks, but she's actually decent in her role, at least tonight. Her facial expressions whenever Taichi was getting beat down were good, and she looked inconsolable when he lost. It look like she even tried seducing Elgin before the match began (which is weird to see knowing what we know about Elgin nowadays).
- The Young Bucks are pretty amazing - I got really sucked in to the story of Nick's foot throughout the match and popped huge when they got the win together. Evil and Sanada deserve huge props for their role in that match too, they were great.
- I don't know how it looked on TV but Will Ospreay took way too many nasty direct bumps to the head and neck. I can't see that guy being over 35 without any major physical issues. He's so good but it just kinda pains me to see all the crazy stuff he does.
- Chris Jericho's role in New Japan is awesome, but I kinda thought that he didn't mesh very well with Naito. There were a lot of spots where they seemed to not be on the same page. Not sure if it was a communication issue or physical issues or what, but some parts looked odd from where I was. Still a good match in any case.
- Kenny Omega almost killed me. In the spot where he got on the barricade to do his moonsault and Okada shoved him forward, that was right where I was and he almost landed right on my lap. I haven't watched the replay yet but if you spotted a dude in a white shirt, that was me.
- Gedo is annoying as hell, shouting non-stop for the entirety of the main event. Also, his beard distracted me much more than it should have.

I'm sure I have more notes but I'm drained. It was a long event, but definitely worth it. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

EDIT 2: I forgot to mention, I almost got spit by Naito. He spit into the crowd and his loogie landed less than 3 feet next to me. Part of his spit did land on the dude's leg sitting next to me. I was pretty pissed about it.

Oliver
06-10-2018, 03:37 AM
Sounds like you had an ace time, Gen, Naito spit aside.

Researches, and I think the 2/3 falls match was the best of the series Okada and Omega have had. Everything felt a bit crisper than before, there was tonnes of story in there that, for example, match one lacked, it didn't slow down too much like match two, and worked slightly better for me than match three (which is an entirely personal thing, I think - I loved match three, but think while it worked well in the context of Okada's G1 it wasn't necessarily great in terms of their feud).

Point being, if I've rated their first and third matches at 6/5, and their second at 6.25/5, I think this has to go higher than both. Meltzer's going to break his rating scale again, and while I know that's not the be all and end all I think it's incredible that these two are going to do it again.

Degenerate
06-12-2018, 02:14 AM
I just noticed that I meant to say in my previous post that the guy who got spit on by Naito was pretty pissed about it, not me. I probably would have been if it landed right on me, though.

I think based on what Meltzer has been saying online since Dominion, he's going to rate this match higher than the previous matches. I rewatched the match twice already in the last few days and I wouldn't blame him if he broke is rating system again. It was such a great match.

I'm surprised no one else has been talking about that match here! It was good! Let's chat about it! Or go watch it right now if you haven't!

SirSam
06-12-2018, 03:08 AM
I was away this weekend, got back yesterday arvo, spent it with the wife but first thing on my list today was to watch it. I didn't know the ending and it was phenomenal. I'm keen to watch it again but I am so impressed at how NJPW has basically beaten WWE at their own game with the week-by-week Elite/Bullet Club story that has been going on for the last 6 months while staying true to their more traditional long term rivalry style for feuding between Okada & Omega. I think I'm actually going to try and write a column about it tonight even.

I think I need to rewatch the match itself to get more out of it as I was very much living in the moment on first view but I sure noticed a lot of throwbacks to their two previous matches.

What story bits did you get out of it?

I'm gona be looking for you on that re-watch Degen, they look like insanely good seats.

Degenerate
06-12-2018, 03:53 AM
I spotted myself on screen a handful of times. You'll have a better chance at spotting me where Okada pushed Omega off the guardrail into the crowd that I mentioned, and where Omega did the springboard cross body from the ring onto Okada on the outside (which I had to hastily get my ass off my seat for like 5 seconds before Omega jumped). It's always cool to see oneself on screen.

There were a few nice callbacks to their previous matches. My favorite was Omega being so drained that he collapsed on the ropes causing Okada to miss a dropkick. But they were so scattered that I didn't even notice them until after re-watching or reading about it. That's the thing that amazed me the most about the match. Even though these guys have fought each other in three matches totaling over two hours of in-ring action in which they pulled out as many stops as possible, they still managed to get an hour-plus match that felt like it was completely new.

One thing I wanted to mention to see how others felt about is is the two-minute break between falls. I felt like the breaks helped a ton in the pacing of the match. It gave the three matches its own distinct feeling. I was unaware there would be breaks, and when it was announced after the first pin I was thinking that it was a mistake for them to do that because it would make things die down a little. But it actually did the opposite - the crowd seemed to have gotten hotter, especially after the second fall.

Man, after talking here more I want to watch the match one more time. I haven't felt like this about a match for a long, long time.

SirSam
06-12-2018, 05:43 AM
I loved the callback to his G1 final match with Goto where he did the moves of Ibushi, Balor and AJ Styles. I didn't catch a Bloody Sunday but there was the Styles Clash and the Phoenix Splash was quite a big moment. It fitted that he would go back to that wheelhouse here where he had to pull out all stops to finally beat Okada.

With the collapsing, if I remember rightly I think there was a moment where Okada collapsed while trying to pull off the Rainmaker just like when Omega collapsed, avoiding it last year.

I agree that the two minute breaks were really effective in pacing, it was super cool the difference between the two where in the first Omega was kind of wondering what happened while Okada was just the picture of confidence, Don Callis emphasised that bit really well on commentary, talking about how it would have thrown their strategy. In the second one it was different by also cool how Gedo was stalling for time and Kenny just exploded into Okada when the bell rang, reminded me of an actual MMA match where that happened.

I'm really glad that they resisted the urge to having Ibushi/Bucks/Cody drama play a big part, it cast a shadow over the whole match but it made it more triumphant for not having them get involved some how.

Team Farrell
06-12-2018, 10:30 AM
One thing I wanted to mention to see how others felt about is is the two-minute break between falls. I felt like the breaks helped a ton in the pacing of the match. It gave the three matches its own distinct feeling. I was unaware there would be breaks, and when it was announced after the first pin I was thinking that it was a mistake for them to do that because it would make things die down a little. But it actually did the opposite - the crowd seemed to have gotten hotter, especially after the second fall.
The first fall I hated it, probably because I wasn't expecting it. Then the second fall where they were they did that awesome bit of storytelling that Sam mentioned with Gedo stalling to let Okada recover was great.

The whole show was really strong. The Bucks tag team match with that incredible sell job by Nick was great.

The only real "down" point was the Jericho-Niato match. I didn't think that the match was bad, and I like the wild brawl elements at the beginning, but there seemed to just be some miscues. The Destino attempt right off the top I'll chalk up to Niato trying it in his suit, but then the finish got fucked. How's Niato's English? Heading into that finish, after the first Destino got messed up they went into their little punch exchange (and I loved Niato not selling and slapping the piss out of Jericho when his punch totally whiffed) Jericho had to literally stand in position with his back to Niato to telegraph the move. I wonder if that's an issue with a language barrier (if you can't call something, telegraphing it is the next best thing) or if after two fuck ups Jericho just decided to make extra sure this last one was going to work.

Awesome show from top to bottom though. Even the legends vs Bullet Club six man which felt like a throw away match was a lot of fun.

XanMan
06-12-2018, 11:56 AM
I broke this down about on the LOPR show I did, but Omega vs Okada was fantastic. I felt like in order for it to fit the rivalry, Okada had to win the first fall. The way he did it left every single person in the arena--including the character of Omega thinking he was walking out with the title. A 2/3 no-time limit match where Okada wins the first fall without hitting the Rainmaker? Fuhgeddabout it. Then, in the second fall where he countered a sunset flip attempt with the exact same cradle? Man, really preying on our emotions. The dive you're talking about, Deg, where you had to move; that was a great callback to the Tokyo Dome match. So was the attempted back body drop onto the table. The dropkicks Omega still can't avoid made me yell, "Goddammit" at the screen several times; including once when Callis did it. The chops being the equalizer for Omega in this one were a nice touch.

What I loved the most, though, might have been the arrogance of Okada after the first fall when his victory has energized him and demoralized Omega. Omega's chops don't have a lot on them anymore; partially because maybe he just doesn't have the stamina he was bragging about and partially because he is down 1 fall to zero without even been hit with a finisher yet. The look Okada has on his face like, "You poor, poor mortal fool" is priceless and engaging; you just want to see it smacked off of him. The collapse of Omega at the dropkick spot and the Rainmaker Okada couldn't follow through on were other things that made this match really special, along with both the Rainmaker to start the 3rd fall with Okada crawling over just like the end of the match a year ago and the snap-Angel too close to the ropes. This time, of course, Omega realized it, hit another trigger, and finished off the champ. I have only had the opportunity to watch it once, but I really want to take a day soon and watch the entire trilogy.

mizfan
06-12-2018, 08:53 PM
LOVE Deg's live experience report, looks like you had an amazing time man!

SirSam
06-12-2018, 09:40 PM
In the Naito one my take away is that Jericho was showing Naito what it truly means to not give a fuck.

I've largely got this story from others and added the Jericho stuff on but my impression was that Naito came back and truly didn't care which reaped him the IC Title and G1 but on the road to Wrestle Kingdom he slowly let the crowd and his popularity get to his head. At WK he lost himself the main event because he wanted to relive the days of his Stardust Genius character. In this match he tried to put up a facade of not caring, spitting and dragging the belt but deep down he kept fighting back with the crowds cheers.

Jericho on the other hand doesn't care about a thing, his years as part of a the corporate WWE machine have left him a burnt out husk of malevolence, all he wants to do is hurt those who have a chance to express themselves outside of that machine, as his theme song says: "I will drag you down and sell you out".

He said he was going to get Naito truly ready to win the IWGP title and he did so by showing him how he needs to be if he is truly going to be tranquilo.

Degenerate
06-13-2018, 02:49 AM
I'm really glad that they resisted the urge to having Ibushi/Bucks/Cody drama play a big part, it cast a shadow over the whole match but it made it more triumphant for not having them get involved some how.

A million times yes. I was dreading some involvement by either Cody, the Bucks, or even Ibushi just because he was just clenching onto the towel throughout the entirety of the bout. But I'm eternally grateful they just had this straight-up one-on-one bout.


The Bucks tag team match with that incredible sell job by Nick was great.

Again, a million times yes. It's unfortunate that the Bucks' performance is almost forgotten due to that main event, but I loved almost everything about that tag team bout.


The only real "down" point was the Jericho-Niato match.

I mentioned before that I feel the same way. I've been surprised that some people elsewhere have been giving this match rave reviews. I haven't had a chance to see the replay of the match to see how it came off on screen, but in person the match felt off to me. I'm still trying to process it, wondering if it was just bad communication before / during the match, over-hyped expectations on my part, or a poor pairing between the two. It was also following that awesome Jr. Heavyweight title match, so that probably didn't help matters either. It was still good, and the surprise ending (at least to me) was welcome, but for a semi-main event match I just feel it didn't deliver.


I broke this down about on the LOPR show I did, but Omega vs Okada was fantastic. I felt like in order for it to fit the rivalry, Okada had to win the first fall. The way he did it left every single person in the arena--including the character of Omega thinking he was walking out with the title. A 2/3 no-time limit match where Okada wins the first fall without hitting the Rainmaker? Fuhgeddabout it. Then, in the second fall where he countered a sunset flip attempt with the exact same cradle? Man, really preying on our emotions. The dive you're talking about, Deg, where you had to move; that was a great callback to the Tokyo Dome match. So was the attempted back body drop onto the table. The dropkicks Omega still can't avoid made me yell, "Goddammit" at the screen several times; including once when Callis did it. The chops being the equalizer for Omega in this one were a nice touch.

What I loved the most, though, might have been the arrogance of Okada after the first fall when his victory has energized him and demoralized Omega. Omega's chops don't have a lot on them anymore; partially because maybe he just doesn't have the stamina he was bragging about and partially because he is down 1 fall to zero without even been hit with a finisher yet. The look Okada has on his face like, "You poor, poor mortal fool" is priceless and engaging; you just want to see it smacked off of him. The collapse of Omega at the dropkick spot and the Rainmaker Okada couldn't follow through on were other things that made this match really special, along with both the Rainmaker to start the 3rd fall with Okada crawling over just like the end of the match a year ago and the snap-Angel too close to the ropes. This time, of course, Omega realized it, hit another trigger, and finished off the champ. I have only had the opportunity to watch it once, but I really want to take a day soon and watch the entire trilogy.

These two paragraphs are honestly the best I've read on this match. Beautifully put.


LOVE Deg's live experience report, looks like you had an amazing time man!

I did! I'm super-fortunate to have been able to go. Looking forward to next year's show already!

XanMan
06-13-2018, 09:00 AM
Thanks, Deg.

I haven't read the rave reviews to which you are referring for Jericho/Naito, but I think it was around a **** match. Did it have the crispness one would normally like? No, but it, too preyed on our emotions. It was actually the perfect type of match for the spot it was in. This bout was sandwiched between a Jr Heavyweight Title match full of high spots that excited the crowd and a match that may have been the most anticipated in NJPW history. The filler had to be solid, but also bring the crowd down between the two so that Omega/Okada could resonate when it was hitting its highest highs.

The way it started out shocked the crowd and brought it down immediately. The beatdown Jericho gives Naito leaves no doubt Jericho is walking out with the title, as Mr. Tranquilo is beaten before the match even starts. Then, just like Lesnar vs. Styles from Survivor Series '17, the sick bastard in complete control underestimates his advantage and makes a small mistake. Once the door is opened for Naito, he pours on the offense and we think (which Osaka despises) that the champion has a chance, after all. He has more than a chance, as he begins to dominate Jericho the way he was dominated. The hero in the story--but the villain in the arena--is going to be triumphant, after all. Except Jericho isn't just vicious; he's also wily. He's that southpaw who has been saving his devastating forkball for when he needs it to put away the most dangerous hitter on the other team with the game on the line. He finishes their assault on our emotions with a low blow, a second code-breaker, and Naito's reign comes to a disappointingly early, screeching halt, as our hearts drop. The story was exactly what was needed for the semi-main of this show. Give it another chance.

Oliver
06-13-2018, 10:11 AM
I, too, love that call back to the end of the first fall being in the second fall. I actually thought they laid the whole match out perfectly - the first falll was great, but not enormously laden with storytelling based on their previous matches. It almost felt like a very extended feeling out process between the two of them, and the ending played into that. Not giving Okada a pinfall with the Rainmaker left that open to create doubt for the rest of the match, which was a stupendous decision. And then the second falll dialled everything up, call backs to the first fall, call backs to their other matches, call backs to even near falls of other matches I think. It's the fall I actually liked the most of the three because of alll that. And then for fall three they just turned it all up to 11 - maybe even beyond 11 - and delivered some great pro-wrestling which was two guys throwing the best they had at each other and neither one wanting to die.

Okada needing to prove himself because he's the Ace and won't say die. Omega needing to prove himself because four years ago he left DDT to pursue international acclaim and bided his time while others were in his way. Just the perfect coming together.

I loved it all.

Team Farrell
06-13-2018, 10:36 AM
Thanks, Deg.

I haven't read the rave reviews to which you are referring for Jericho/Naito, but I think it was around a **** match. Did it have the crispness one would normally like? No, but it, too preyed on our emotions. It was actually the perfect type of match for the spot it was in. This bout was sandwiched between a Jr Heavyweight Title match full of high spots that excited the crowd and a match that may have been the most anticipated in NJPW history. The filler had to be solid, but also bring the crowd down between the two so that Omega/Okada could resonate when it was hitting its highest highs.

The way it started out shocked the crowd and brought it down immediately. The beatdown Jericho gives Naito leaves no doubt Jericho is walking out with the title, as Mr. Tranquilo is beaten before the match even starts. Then, just like Lesnar vs. Styles from Survivor Series '17, the sick bastard in complete control underestimates his advantage and makes a small mistake. Once the door is opened for Naito, he pours on the offense and we think (which Osaka despises) that the champion has a chance, after all. He has more than a chance, as he begins to dominate Jericho the way he was dominated. The hero in the story--but the villain in the arena--is going to be triumphant, after all. Except Jericho isn't just vicious; he's also wily. He's that southpaw who has been saving his devastating forkball for when he needs it to put away the most dangerous hitter on the other team with the game on the line. He finishes their assault on our emotions with a low blow, a second code-breaker, and Naito's reign comes to a disappointingly early, screeching halt, as our hearts drop. The story was exactly what was needed for the semi-main of this show. Give it another chance.

I like the wild brawl aspects of the match a lot. I think it was definitely something needed on that card, especially between two awesome wrestling matches. My only real faults on the match come from what seemed like a lack of communication. I love that it felt like a fight. Jericho busting open Naito's face twice gave it a lot of added realism.

mizfan
06-13-2018, 12:48 PM
Had a chance to catch Okada/Omega last night and thought it was great. It's not my favorite match ever but I knew it wouldn't be, as it's just not my favorite style. But I do think they did an awesome job and maximized a lot of their best qualities without going overboard, as I thought they've done at other times. I'd say it was my second favorite of their matches to date, still like the first one best of all but this was a really strong entry and the perfect way to segue the title to Omega satisfactorily.

Also, pretty sure I spotted Deg!

Degenerate
06-14-2018, 06:42 AM
Dave Meltzer has spoken:

- Roppongi 3K vs. Suzuki-gun: 3.25
- Finlay/Robinson vs. White/YOSHI-HASHI: 2.25
- Ishii/Yano vs. Sabre/Suzuki: 3.75
- Elgin vs. Goto vs. Taichi: 3.5
- LIJ vs. Young Bucks: 4.5
- Liger/Mysterio/Tanahashi vs. Bullet Club: 3.5
- Ospreay vs. Takahashi: 4.75
- Jericho vs. Naito: 4.5
- Okada vs. Omega: 7

The scale has been broken once again. Insanity. I would not disagree with him.

I do think he over-rated the Jericho / Naito match (I'd give it a solid 4) and slightly under-rated the Bucks / LIJ match (I'd give it at the very least a 4.75, if not a 5 altogether). But hey, that's the beauty of opinions - everyone's will be different.

XanMan
06-14-2018, 07:10 AM
I think the ratings of the opener and the 6-man are way too high and Naito/Jericho is a little high; but I can see where he might have rated it that way if he had a similar opinion to my earlier post. The rest I think are right on.

Oliver
06-14-2018, 09:21 AM
Gen, I was literally reading that list and got to LiJ vs Bucks, saw the score, and thought it was slightly low too.

Jericho vs Naito was a curious one for me, but I think tonally it was pitched perfectly for where it was on the card. I'm loving this evolution of Jericho, and I'm super into it. I thought this was better than the Omega match at the Dome.

Just as a general question, as someone who has no idea of these things - the Dominion card based on Meltzer's scores averages a 4.1 rating. Are there any cards in history that have averaged more? Obviously this is greatly pulled up by having a 7 in the main (assuming it was a five the card is a 3.8 average) but I'd be interested to see what other big cards have a similar average - by which I'd say something like a 'standard' PPV length, 7/8 matches or more, as opposed to a Takeover with five bouts on it.

mizfan
06-14-2018, 01:09 PM
Throwing on that 7 kind of screws up any kind of attempt at an average. I'd be curious what it looks like if you cap that one at 5. I bet there are a couple PWG shows that might compete, he tends to throw lots of snowflakes at those too.

Here's an except from Meltzer's comments:


"When it had ended, my thought was that this was the greatest match I’ve ever seen. Not arguably, and not by a little big [sic] either. It was at a level far beyond when it came to emotion, storytelling, and attention to detail. It was almost astonishing watching it. But the biggest difference was I thought I would never see another match this good again. This was not some five-star match or six-star match."

I'll be honest, to me this feels a little overblown, but at the same time I think it's really awesome that others are having this experience even if it's not full translating on that level for me. I still think the scale breaking thing is very silly, but it's just one man's opinion after all.

Cult Icon
06-14-2018, 01:40 PM
I mean, I can't call it overblown because I pretty much felt the same way! I thought it was the best match I had ever witnessed, which is now about the third time I've said this regarding match between these two. Part of it is definitely because the previous three matches helped set the table, not to mention Kenny's own personal struggles this year between becoming estranged from the Bucks, the Bullet Club infighting and reuniting with Ibushi that all tied into this. But let's say you take the first three matches away, take away Okada's reign and all of Kenny's stuff; it's still the best match ever to me! I've seen matches with equally good in the moment storytelling, attention to detail and I've seen matches with more emotion and athleticism (especially in lucha libre). But all together at the same time? Not even close. That's been the genius of these two; they combine every single quality that can make a match great and do all of them at an exceedingly high level. Once you add the other elements in you get a seven star match. I truly believe it was that good.

And frankly I think the only thing about this "star rating system being broken" thing is that we're even having the discussion. It be one thing if this was the first time Meltzer had ever done anything like this but it isn't; it's pretty well documented that the system was originally four stars before he rated Tiger Mask-Dynamite Kid the full five, not to mention that's he at least given a Kawada-Misawa match and a Flair-Steamboat match five plus stars prior to Omega-Okada I. No one ever said a damn thing about silliness and systems being shattered when that happened, which I think tells you this whole "controversy" is less about people being ticked off about that and more fans being a) hesitant/unwilling to give Okada and Omega full credit for what they've done and b) being unhappy that something is being rated higher than something they believe to be the best. That of itself is silly. If Meltzer, myself or anyone else thinks this match or any other was beyond five stars then it should be rated as such. Otherwise you're copping out labeling something on the same level as a match you think it was vastly better than.

mizfan
06-14-2018, 03:31 PM
Overblown wasn't really the right way to say it, more accurately I should say it didn't resonate on that level with me, but that's fine, that's just how wrestling is, and it's better for the variety of tastes and opinions.

I also don't have stake in the star ratings thing because everyone does their own, and everybody does it their own way. But as someone who spent a LOT of time digging through Meltzer star ratings in the earlier part of this decade, I will say that I never, not once, saw any reference to a six star match before Okada/Omega. Everyone referred to Kawada/Misawa and Steamboat/Flair as being 5 stars. That may not have been Meltzer's intention, but regardless the only conversation I ever saw, from Cornette bumping up the scale from 4 to 5 in 1981 all the way to 2017, was 5 stars. Now the conversation is different, and that's fine too. If I see my new favorite match, it'll just be my favorite 5 star match, but someone else can give it 7 stars, 8, 12, 15.7, a billion, whatever works for them. But it does mean there's a bigger adjustment if you want to compare and discuss based on star ratings (which isn't the best way to compare and discuss anyway, but it does come up a lot).

XanMan
06-14-2018, 03:33 PM
That's my take, too. If you have a series of matches rated at 5 stars, but then you see matches that are clearly better than that to your view, what else can you do? Say, "This one is far and away better than these others, but since I have this system, I have to give it the same rating?" That is the approach that makes no sense to me. And really, Meltzer didn't break the scale; the matches broke the scale. And, as far as I'm concerned--criticize me or not, Omega has now wrestled the 4 best matches of all time; three against Okada and one against Naito.

mizfan
06-14-2018, 04:30 PM
Honestly, I get that view. If it makes sense for your personal scale, I'm all for it. I just hope y'all seven-ers can understand why it sounds a bit like this to me: ;)

https://grizzlybomb.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/spinal-tap-11.gif

XanMan
06-14-2018, 04:58 PM
Really don't; I can't until you explain why. To me, there were four choices:

1) Re-grade every match ever reviewed.
2) Put a far and away best match you've ever witnessed in the same class of something you feel is immensely inferior.
3) Allow the matches to break the scale.
4) Get rid of the scale altogether; which would be dumb, it's kind of his money maker.

LK3185
06-14-2018, 05:40 PM
I think breaking the scale is just dumb because eventually, 5 stars will be as common as 3 star matches and you shouldn't need to break the scale to show how great a match is. Movies that get rated out of 5 don't get 7 stars just to show they're better movie than a 5 star movie from 20 years ago.

I just think Dave wants to stay out there and relevant now that other people do what he does, and some better than he does.. so break the scale! Keeps his name alive.

jmo

XanMan
06-14-2018, 06:01 PM
I can see that point and maybe that's what Mizzie was getting at, but isn't it possible that there hasn't been a movie critics feel about the same way that Dave (and I, and Ollie, etc) feel about these matches Okada and Omega have been having over the last couple of years? And how do we know there isn't a movie critic out there that hasn't done the same thing? It's all subjective. I haven't seen an increase in 5 star matches to compensate. If it starts happening, I would be happy to rally against it. And if he did it for the reason you suggest, I'm not as much with it; even if it's a smart business move. It might be best to not use ratings altogether and instead keep some sort of list where matches could be fit in where you see fit; more of a ranking than a rating, if you will.

Cult Icon
06-14-2018, 06:10 PM
I think breaking the scale is just dumb because eventually, 5 stars will be as common as 3 star matches

I don't see that and I'm not sure how anyone could. Certainly there's been a lot more of them in the past year or so but a) only Elgin-Naito, Lee-Dijak and the Takeover Ladder Match in New Orleans were unworthy of the rating in my eyes (and at most they were a point or two below that) and b) it's a fucking amazing time in wrestling were even the worst promotions are delivering dozens of great matches during the year, some of which are actually underrated (CMLL has had several matches I'd rate five stars and not a single one has gotten that). On top of that it's not like Meltzer is breaking the scale every week; the only ones to get higher ratings are the Okada-Omega matches, Naito-Omega, Tanahashi-Okada and Ishimori-Hiromu. That's seven matches out of thousands; they're the anomalies in this situation, not the other way around. And none of those matches have made me stop and appreciate matches like Shibata-Okada, the When Worlds Collide Tag match, Punk-Cena, Gargano-Sombra, Kikuchi/Kobashi vs. Can Am Express or any other only five star matches less.

It's much to do about nothing from where I stand. I can get not liking it if you're someone who thinks (like I think mizfan does) that once you set a limit you stick with it (even though I don't agree) but beyond that anyone complaining about this just seems to me like they want devalue what Okada and Omega did for whatever reason or because it's something to do.

XanMan
06-14-2018, 06:14 PM
Off-topic, but I definitely think Naito-Elgin was 5 stars.

Degenerate
06-15-2018, 08:23 AM
I saw that match in person and thought Meltzer's rating was more than fair. Crowd was super-hot that night for Naito and Elgin more than brought it that night. Awesome match.

I would have preferred that the rating system stayed in its five-star limit, as well. It is what it is, though. I think at this point Meltzer is just doing this to get people riled up.

Oliver
06-15-2018, 11:41 AM
I think breaking the scale is just dumb because eventually, 5 stars will be as common as 3 star matches and you shouldn't need to break the scale to show how great a match is. Movies that get rated out of 5 don't get 7 stars just to show they're better movie than a 5 star movie from 20 years ago.

I don't think that's quite it - Meltzer's not going out of his way to say there's a new scale, he's just saying the scale has been broken by these certain matches. What I do find a little bit lame is him adding in these 5.5/5.75/6.25 matches, because that suggests he's extended the scale.

But he's not saying that a five star match is somehow lesser than it was before - he's just saying that he's watching wrestling that is blowing him away.

If he adjusted the scale and worked his way back through, you end up with a five star match previously now being a three star match, and those ones are far from average.

The film critic argument is an interesting one - I wonder if there is ever any consideration to break that scale? It's much more widely established, it feels, to rate films than it is to rate wrestling - and is certainly more public.

mizfan
06-20-2018, 12:03 PM
Film has the benefit of having more than just one singular guy whose ratings hold the biggest weight. Even Ebert was just one of many at the end of the day.

For me, I guess I already love my favorite 5 star matches with basically all my heart, so the idea that a match would come along and be so clearly in a whole new class is pretty much impossible for me. It's just a different perspective though, so I'll (try to) just leave it at that.

Team Farrell
06-20-2018, 12:13 PM
Two questions:

1) Does Meltzer's rating really matter? It's just the opinion of one guy who clearly favours certain things.

But, with that said...

2) Is it possible that many of those previous 5 star matches are 3 star matches when judged by today's standards? There are so many matches that are so good every week today, that if you put some of those matches on in 2018, would they not be 3 star matches? So, with that said, maybe the scale has been adjusted. If not officially by Meltzer, just by the quality of work being put on.

At the end of the day, though, FDM. Who cares how he rates a match? If you think it's a work of art and he gives it 3 stars, you're going to think he's wrong. If he gives a match 5 stars that you think was just pretty good, you're going to think he's wrong.

LK3185
06-20-2018, 12:52 PM
To the second point, you can't judge matches as if they float back and forward in time imo. if someone thinks a match from 1992 is 5 stars and someone works the same match in 2018 and its not judged as such... oh well. I believe that while time moves forward, wrestling evolves, matches are very much of their time.. similar to black and white movies, or 70s movies. Doesn't mean those movies are still the best ever made, just of that time, they were.

Same with wrestling and why i would have no issue of just throwing 5 stars at match in 2018 but no break the scale and act like somehow wrestling today is better. That's pretty arrogant imo.

mizfan
06-20-2018, 01:27 PM
I think they matter insofar as he is a taste maker, and there are a lot of people who hold his ratings in high esteem or use them as a benchmark when talking about wrestling in general. How much THAT matters is debatable, but I think it influences wrestlers as well as fans to some extent, so it does matter more than your average Joe Schmo giving his opinion.

Past 5 star matches aren't 3 star matches to me. I watched a match from 1952 recently that I liked quite a bit more than Omega/Okada IV. But it's completely subjective, so to others maybe the scale slides, and that's fine.

Cult Icon
06-20-2018, 02:10 PM
Two questions:

1) Does Meltzer's rating really matter? It's just the opinion of one guy who clearly favours certain things.

But, with that said...

2) Is it possible that many of those previous 5 star matches are 3 star matches when judged by today's standards? There are so many matches that are so good every week today, that if you put some of those matches on in 2018, would they not be 3 star matches? So, with that said, maybe the scale has been adjusted. If not officially by Meltzer, just by the quality of work being put on.

At the end of the day, though, FDM. Who cares how he rates a match? If you think it's a work of art and he gives it 3 stars, you're going to think he's wrong. If he gives a match 5 stars that you think was just pretty good, you're going to think he's wrong.

This is hilarious you're saying Fuck Meltzer Coach when the dude says the same thing you just said all the time. They are his ratings and his alone; if a match he gives 4.75 is a 5 star match to someone else then excellent. No skin off his back. That's why it bewilders me that so many people get so riled up one way or the other over this whole thing. At the end of the day Dave Meltzer is just a guy, albeit a very visible and respected voice in the wrestling industry, who watches matches and gives a grade.

Now do his ratings matter or mean that much? Depends on if you're a rational or irrational fan. I personally use his ratings more or less as a guide for matches to check out and I think most reasonable fans do as well. The problem is you have a small number of people who take his word as gospel when it comes to ratings for better or worse, and both sides (those who think him rating one match a certain way guarantees it's the greatest match ever or those who think him rating Naito-Omega better than Taker-HBK makes the former better and HOW COULD HE?!) take it so seriously that it gets warped into a be all, end all sort of deal. It's those people, not Meltzer, who have made this something it isn't. To me the ratings are more or less recommendations; if he rates it 3, 4, 5 or now 6 or 7 stars then it's a match I should probably see and more often than not I'm going to agree it's a match of high quality. It doesn't necessarily mean I'll agree with how great Meltzer thinks it is or isn't and it doesn't mean matches Meltzer hasn't rated or seen aren't great. But if he gives a match five, six or seven stars, the likelihood is myself or anyone else who sees the match isn't going to think that much differently. So from that standpoint I think his ratings do matter. It's when you treat them as the only thing that matters when it becomes problematic.

LK3185
06-20-2018, 02:19 PM
I don't care about Meltzer ratings and how he rates... but when he's rating something 6 or 7 stars, I feel it has a negative impact. I see people on twitter on everyday hate on Omega for no reason other than the matches Meltzer rated.. or WWE fanboys who avoid new Japan cause people feel its overhyped only to find out its not for them...

I don't know, like i said, Meltzer can rate however he wants, but I don't think giving a match 6 bazillion stars helps the business. But maybe Meltzer doesn't care about that.

Cult Icon
06-20-2018, 02:36 PM
I don't care about Meltzer ratings and how he rates... but when he's rating something 6 or 7 stars, I feel it has a negative impact. I see people on twitter on everyday hate on Omega for no reason other than the matches Meltzer rated.. or WWE fanboys who avoid new Japan cause people feel its overhyped only to find out its not for them...

Are we really going to blame Dave Meltzer rating a match a certain way for people hating on certain matches or Kenny Omega? That's those fuckers fault, not Dave Meltzer. If Meltzer had given the Okada-Omega matches five stars on the normal scale then those same people would've just said "New Japan gets all the five stars matches, Meltzer hates WWE" or "Kenny Omega can't be the best wrestler in the world till he goes to WWE" and so on and so forth. Dave Meltzer has nothing to do with people being close minded; that's on them and they would've found a way to put the match or New Japan down anyway.

Team Farrell
06-20-2018, 02:59 PM
I personally use his ratings more or less as a guide for matches to check out and I think most reasonable fans do as well.

See, this is where I don't fully comprehend the concept of Dave as a tastemaker. I genuinely would have no idea what ratings he assigns to matches if they didn't show up on this forum. I legitimately had no idea he'd broken the scale with Naito-Elgin, (or that he'd rated anything other than Omega-Okada above 5 at all) because I can't be bothered to look his ratings up.

I'll watch what I watch, and try and keep up with most stuff that I enjoy. I'll look up a specific match that I might not have otherwise if people are raving about it, but that usually happens on Facebook/Twitter/here before Dave publishes a review with star ratings.

XanMan
06-20-2018, 03:05 PM
I agree with that last point and the way Cult uses Meltzer's scale is correct. Using it to decide which matches to watch or as a debating point makes perfect sense; using it as gospel does not. Some of you may remember that I said multiple times after Okada/Omega I that I would have given it 7 stars. I stand by that and I do think both Dominion matches were better, so where would I rate those? Probably 7.25 and 8, I guess. It's up to you how much weight you put on that; I know Mizzie will scoff. :cool:

My money and my time are both in limited quantities. I won't play a video game that hasn't gotten at least an 8 review from a gaming site I'm a fan of, because I don't have time for mediocre. The same is true of pro wrestling matches, though I just tend to watch the matches I'm interested, rather than seeing what Big Dave thinks as a way to gauge what I want to watch. A lot of that is because I don't want to be spoiled, and I'm unaware of a way to see his ratings without knowing who won. I occasionally check his ratings, but don't live and die by them. Those that do are fools afraid to have their own opinion.

LK3185
06-20-2018, 03:53 PM
The good reviews point is interesting cause I get it with video games or even books/movies even though i usually just go off a blurb or trailer. You don't get that in wrestling really.. I guess a rating would help but am I not going to watch an Omega match if I like him if its rated 3 stars? No... Cause the performers matter to me more than someone's opinion on a match.

I think i'd be more curious to see a match if a wrestler i didn't care for had a highly rated match. Like how that happen? lol.

like if someone rated a Jinder Mahal match 5 stars i'd be like i have to see this.

Oliver
06-21-2018, 11:22 AM
I mean, LA Park is having a better WOTY shout than Omega right now, and he hasn't got a single five star match in the past six months, so whatever.

I'm very much in the park that I use Meltzer's scorings to guide me for things to watch that might be good. And I like to think that if someone who has watched years of wrestling in 2040 and gets to 20, like me, and then goes 'oh, I wonder why these Omega/Okada matches are so highly rated?' and starts watching back to fall in love with this period of NJPW in the way that I did 90s AJPW and Misawa/Kawada as a result, who cares? It's just a guys opinion. Others will continue to rate out of five stars, pop tarts, or testicles. Dave has a 7 star scale that he might start to use now, or alternatively he just leaves it and goes back to five.