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Thread: G1 Climax 2019

  1. #81
    The Brain
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    Certainly anyone who trashes the whole company purely for Naito is overreacting, but I do get where Naito fans are coming from. Here's this hugely talented, hugely charismatic wrestler who has been on more than one occasion the clear front runner for most popular wrestler in New Japan, yet it looks very much at this point like he'll never have more than a cup of coffee run with the top title. That could change, but the more times he comes close and fails, the more of his peak momentum quietly slips away.

  2. #82
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    He's still really charismatic but is he even one of the top talents in New Japan anymore? Aside from the Shingo and Ishii matches I thought his G1 was very underwhelming, and the only time he's really stood out this year beyond the G1 was against Ibushi or Jericho. I certainly wouldn't put him ahead of Okada, Ibushi, Ishii, Shingo and Ospreay (who stupidity outside the ring aside is a tremendous performer) in terms of performance in New Japan right now, and I could probably make an argument for a few more guys. Some of that is definitely because he's working hurt, but that's just another argument against using him in that spot.

    And quite frankly, what decision would anyone change to give Naito the belt between the summer of 2016 (when he first lost it) and now? If you give Naito the G1 in 2016 instead of Omega and have him beat Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 then we don't get Omega-Okada at the Dome at WK, which is a massive reason New Japan gained so much momentum around that time. If you give Naito the championship at Wrestle Kingdom 12 then you either lose Omega-Okada at Dominion or you take the title off Naito in the spring to give it back to Okada, giving Naito another short reign while angering the always angered Naito fan base. If you take the belt off Omega to give to Naito then you've deprived Omega of a long reign and, regardless of how iffy New Japan booked it, Omega had certainly earned the chance to hold that title for awhile after the massive effect he had had on New Japan business abroad and domestically. And if you gave Naito the G1 now instead of Ibushi then you'd be depriving Ibushi, who has long deserved this shot and, oh by the way, has never held the title like Naito has. The only thing I could see an argument for changing would be having Naito win the G1 last year to defeat Omega at the Dome instead of Tanahashi, but even then everyone really loved that angle and how it was done. There really wasn't a good time for Naito to win the title during that time, knowing what we know now, without taking away something that helped New Japan's growth enormously over the last few years.

    Sam compares him to Jon Moxley but he's not Moxley; Moxley was a guy who was vastly more popular than the people ahead of him and WWE still did nothing with him. Naito may be the most popular wrestler in Japan, but he's not miles ahead of Okada, Tanahashi, Omega (when he was there) and Ibushi; if he was then business would've gone down for New Japan instead of going up like it has the past few years while those other guys got pushed. The real comparison (and mizfan will appreciate this) for Naito is late 80's Lex Luger. Lex Luger in the late 80's/early 90's was a really popular guy, a good worker, a guy who probably deserved more than he got and a guy who unfortunately was competing for the top spot with an all time great in Ric Flair (who was still at the top of his game), one of the best workers of all time in Ricky Steamboat and a very similar, popular talent to Luger in Sting. Naito is Luger, Okada is Flair, Omega is Steamboat and Ibushi is Sting (I don't know who Tanahashi is. Terry Funk maybe?). And much like how most wouldn't change what happened the past few years with New Japan, I'm pretty sure no one would get rid of the Flair vs. Steamboat series for a Lex Luger title run. Well maybe mizfan would (and he'd certainly get rid of the Sting reign even though Sting wasn't the guy who booked himself with Sid Vicious, RoboCop and the Black Scorpion) but that guy is nuts!

    In the end that's what all the annoying Naito fans miss. It be one thing if he was the most over guy, the best choice and business was going down without him at the top. There have been. And I just don't think Naito is a better choice for an ace than Okada, Omega or even Tanahashi were over the past few years, and I think the way New Japan's business has grown supports that.


  3. #83
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    When your most popular guy has only one championship run based on an interference, while a straight heel who went to the finals of the g1 got a clean win for the title, you have every right to be pissed that the run of that most popular guy was nothing.

    His only defense was against Ishii when Ishii wasn't a challenger.

    It isn't the fact that Naito isn't the champ, it's that he hasn't gotten more than one opportunity since he lost it and everyone else around him have gotten multiple opportunities sans Jay, and Jay just made the main event scene this year.

    Meanwhile, we can list the # of guys who have had matches against Okada for the title more than once since Naito lost and the list includes... Fale.


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  4. #84
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    I don't necessarily disagree with any of that (the Luger comparison is pretty apt, though he also should have beat Flair at some point!), but you have to admit it's a shame they couldn't strike when the iron was hot. I agree you can't really trade the Omega stuff, even if he did leave less than a year later it still gave them a positive boost.

    The only thing that comes to mind is having Naito be the man to beat Omega on his way out at the most recent Wrestle Kingdom, instead of Tanahashi. I guess that would have run up against their plans to push Jay White, but I'm still not convinced his title reign was the best choice anyway, although I admit I could be wrong about that. Run Naito for a chunk of this year and see where it takes you, could still switch it to Okada at MSG or at a later date since the plan was, understandably, to move back to him at some point.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    The only thing that comes to mind is having Naito be the man to beat Omega on his way out at the most recent Wrestle Kingdom, instead of Tanahashi. I guess that would have run up against their plans to push Jay White, but I'm still not convinced his title reign was the best choice anyway, although I admit I could be wrong about that. Run Naito for a chunk of this year and see where it takes you, could still switch it to Okada at MSG or at a later date since the plan was, understandably, to move back to him at some point.
    That wouldn't have run against the plans for Jay because Jay was never supposed to win the title. The only reason he did (and the only reason Tanahashi did) was because Omega left; if Omega had stayed he would've held the belt till MSG and dropped it to Okada. Instead he left and they gave it to Tanahashi and then to White, I guess cause they wanted Okada to avenge the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Either way I don't know how that pleases Naito fans though. If he wins the G1, faces Omega and then loses because Omega was staying, people would've complained. If he beat Omega and then lost it to White people would've been furious. Even if he had beaten Omega and White and then lost to Okada people would've complained.

    And to Mourn's point, yes others have gotten more opportunities than Naito, but guess what; a lot of them deserved them! Maybe Fale didn't but Omega, Tanahashi and Ibushi certainly did, and I think you could say the same thing for guys like Sabre, SANADA and EVIL as well given how much they've benefited from giving Okada a run for his money (or beating him in the G1). There's also the fact that New Japan is clearly very protective of that Naito-Okada match and don't want to overdue it, which frankly shows how much they value that match and Naito (although I guess it can also be argued they haven't done it because Okada and Naito have minimal chemistry, which I could buy given that their matches have largely been disappointments compared to a lot of other New Japan clashes). And let's not act like Naito has had it so bad compared to others. Tomohiro Ishii is better than Tetsuya Naito in EVERY department except maybe charisma (I'd frankly argue Ishii is the best wrestler alive right now) and he's had a grand total of two IWGP Heavyweight title shots and can't even win an IC title. Hirooki Goto and Minoru Suzuki are both incredibly talented, but one of them is treated like a complete bozo while the other is only now getting a title shot after several years. Fuck, Shibata was at least as good as Naito when he bowed out and that Okada match was his first real shot; does anyone really expect he would've gotten that many more?

    This is the crux of the issue with Naito fans. There's only one way they will end up being happy, and that's if Naito holds the title for an incredibly long reign. And that's just not going to happen in this day and age, nor should it. Maybe Okada isn't as popular as Naito, but he's popular enough that New Japan's business has only gotten stronger over the past few years, and the guy his long reign ended too was 100% the guy who should've beaten him given that Okada's reign really took off thanks to the Omega match. I get being upset; we all want our favorites to win. I don't get this nonsensical viewpoint from Naito fans that New Japan has screwed him when every decision New Japan made the last few years was pretty much the one they had to make. How can you strongly sympathize when so much shows that New Japan made the right call doing things the way they did?


  6. #86
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    "I don't get this nonsensical viewpoint from Naito fans that New Japan has screwed him when every decision New Japan made the last few years was pretty much the one they had to make. "

    This is why Naito fans don't buy it.

    The arrogance in this comment says lots. We don't know the other side of the coin yet you claim that it was the right side. Meanwhile, fans, you know, those who hold onto this notion that it isn't all bout marketability, want their favorite to win something we believe he's capable of doing, yet get this "business" BS excuse.


    Stop with that nonsense.


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  7. #87
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I think now was the time to do it. Ibushi absolutely did not have to win at this point, a Dome main event or co-main against Tanahashi where he finally overcomes his God would be very fitting storyline wise for him and would set him up to win the title at Dominion or WK21 if they do want him to have a run with it.

    Meanwhile Naito has this massive redemption story arc that will probably come to nothing now or if it is finished may be a tad half baked. Now that would be pretty tragically ironic because it all stems from him originally having a half baked main event at Wrestle Kingdom. While that may be a creative ending, who watches wrestling for something like that?

  8. #88
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    But it's not nonsense. The fact of the matter is that New Japan has grown exponentially in the last several years with Okada as the main guy. He is a proven commodity. If you are New Japan, even with Naito as over as he is, why would you displace the guy you know is a massive draw at the top for a guy who you don't have the same assurances will do the same? And why would you have Naito over take Omega as the guy below Okada? Maybe Naito could've overtaken Okada but there's no way I can see him being bigger in the States for New Japan than Omega was. It was the Omega factor in the Okada match that even got US fans to start taking notice in New Japan (bigger than even WK 9 and AJ Styles' run had), it was Omega that was a big reason for the success of the first several New Japan shows and it was Omega and Jericho that brought a ton more fans to the product the next year. More importantly it was Omega who was having the classic matches with Okada while Naito's matches with Okada got nowhere near the same response. Omega was always the right guy to beat Okada, from a business perspective and a story perspective.

    Put yourself in New Japan shoes. You have a certified top star in Okada you know is going to do huge business for you. You have a guy in Omega who is a big star in Japan and a guy moving the needle for you in the United States, a country you want to expand into. Those are things you know for certain. Why would you give up certainty for Naito who, despite his popularity, isn;t a sure thing? Sure maybe he does similar business in Japan to Okada; I honestly wouldn't even doubt that given how popular he is. But you don't know for sure. You say we don't know the other side of the coin, but for all you know the other side of coin isn't favorable to Naito at all. Perhaps it turns out Naito is more over than he is a draw. Perhaps fans are more interested in the chase than the reign. And there's certainly no way Naito would've been the same draw in the states that Omega was for the promotion, even with the prospect of Omega leaving always looming. So with all that knowledge, why would New Japan go away from two things they know for sure will work for something that they don't know for sure would? Why would they take something that isn't broken and fix it with something that, at best, likely wasn't going to improve them much more than the level they were at?

    You say what I say is arrogance, but the fact that you and other Naito fans brush off the fact that everything was working says just as much to me as my statement does to you. We all have our favorites. Unfortunately they don't always win and unfortunately what's best for them isn't always what's best for what a promotion needs. This is one of those times. You don't have to like it, but the lack of understanding as to why New Japan has done what its done baffles me.


  9. #89
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    If Naito holding the title weakens the company, then Okada wasn't as much of a draw as you suggest.

    He shouldn't need the title to be a draw.

    News flash, Naito sells out places when he's main eventing as IC champ


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  10. #90
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    I feel like you must have run into some pretty intense Naito fans at some point, Cult.

  11. #91
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    I've run into one here; just look above! All jokes aside (I love ya Mourn, you're a good dude even if we don't agree here) I have run into some very, VERY intense Naito fans not just this year but for the past few years. Like there are people who out there openly speculate that Gedo hates Naito and is trying to bury him...which is patently absurd because even without the title reigns Naito has been treated tremendously well. It's just been really off putting, as someone who enjoys New Japan quite a bit, to see so many people act like the promotion sucks just because they won't push their guy. I get wanting to see your favorite win and I don't have anything against Naito other than his recent slide; hell initially I thought it was a really bad decision to have him lose to Okada at Wrestle Kingdom. But when Kenny Omega lost to Naito in the G1 Finals two years ago I didn't go talk about how terrible New Japan was or how Gedo needed to be fired; I recognized that Naito was just as deserving of that and had no issue. I also don't go around rage quitting about Tomohiro Ishii not getting any serious consideration to be champion, even though I do feel he's been overlooked and very deserving.

    There's fandom and then there's blind fandom. There was a large element blind fandom with Punk and Daniel Bryan at their peaks, but in those cases both guys were also being held down in favor of guys who, on the surface, weren't as popular. At the very worst, Naito is being held down in favor of a guy who is slightly less popular than him, just as good as him and just as deserving as him for the top spot. It was the same when Omega was there. Ergo it's hard for me to sit here and think New Japan is doing Naito wrong (especially since he is now treated like the second biggest star and headlines all the time) and it's even harder when some fans act the way they do. And this isn't new; it's been this way for years. It's just now more noticeable because the reaction to the Jay White loss was way over the top, probably because White is seen as "anti-New Japan" because of his style.


  12. #92
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    Is Naito going to be that victim of circumstance - the sort of 'at any other point in history, he'd have been the man' type person who just so happens to be about at the same time as three of the best ever in Tana, Okada, and Omega who...didn't 'block', exactly, his path to the main event, but were always there and always in consideration for the title were they to be needed?

    Kind of like in tennis where you've got Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic who someone like Murray can only get past if circumstances are exactly right for him and he plays the perfect game(s).

  13. #93
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    Haha for sure we are thinking about different Naito fans then, Cult. Anyone who is taking that extreme a position on Naito is going way too far for me. I get being disappointed that there wasn't a better chance to capitalize on Naito, and I can definitely understand irritation at Jay White going over him, but I've no doubt there are those out there overreacting.

  14. #94
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post

    Kind of like in tennis where you've got Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic who someone like Murray can only get past if circumstances are exactly right for him and he plays the perfect game(s).
    The beauty of having the show, well, worked, is that you don't have to play into ideas like that when you can easily allow everyone a moment and still keep Okada as the clear #1.


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  15. #95
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    On a different topic and so we don't get stuck in a rut of just fighting about Naito.

    HOW FREAKIN' GOOD WAS THE G1?

    Me and Imp have been picking a top 5 matches each week and every week was an agonising exercise. Every week I'd pencil in something that I found incredibly fun at 4 or 5, sometimes even write up a review but we'd get to the end of the week and I just couldn't keep it. Picking a top match for the whole tournament was tough too as there were just so many great matches of different styles, you had the 'NJPW Main Event' styles of Okada, Ibushi, Tana & Ospreay, the incredible Strong Style matches of Ishii, Shingo & Goto and the wild brawls of Moxley.

    For me I had to put Ibushi as my MVP of the tournament but you could put Okada, Ishii, Shingo, Mox, Ospreay, SANADA, Archer or Tana in that position and you'd get little argument from me.

    Those who have been watching the G1 for a little longer than me, was it as good historically as a lot of the reviews I'm seeing out there that are saying it could be the best G1 ever?

  16. #96
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    MVPs were Fale and Yano.

    I have no idea why, just want to be different.


    “How great the tremors will be when the judge comes."

  17. #97
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    You'll get very little argument from me with Yano. Guy is an absolute breathe of fresh air and was in such great form this G1 too.

  18. #98
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    Was glad to hear how well Archer did. He's been forgotten for quite a while but I've seen him put on some great performances recently.

  19. #99
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Yeah, massive credit to him, after Davey Boy left he really was in a sink or swim position and boy did he do some laps.

    I'm surprised to hear so much praise for EVIL from different commentators aroudn the traps. I really can't muster any feelings for him at all, he isn't offensively bad or anything but I just don't seem to see the upside and talent that some others seem to love.

  20. #100
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    I just don't seem to see the upside and talent that some others seem to love.
    Huh?

    He has the performance aspect of wrestling down more than most people in the company.

    If you have that, you need to be good enough in ring to back it up, and he is.

    I don't get that one.


    “How great the tremors will be when the judge comes."

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