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  1. #241
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    I don't think there's a red line, nor do I think banning this or that is the answer. There are some moves that maybe shouldn't be done. But who's enforcing that?

    Everyone is trying for that 55 star match, because it's what fans have demanded and come to expect from big shows. They feel like they have to top themselves, or the match that came before them, so they are taking stupider and stupider risks.

    It's almost like there were vets 15 years ago warning that eventually fans would come to expect you to top yourself every time. We're in an era today where Adam Cole give Johnny Gargano a destroyer on the floor and it's not the finish. What's next? Off the apron through a table?

    If you're Ricochet or Ospreay and can do a standing back flip over the top to the floor and stick the landing every single time, then by all means please do it. It's incredible to watch. (Until the 999th out of 1,000 times where you snap your ankle.) But now everyone is expected to keep up that level of athleticism.

    So Naito and Ibushi go out there and do what's expected of them...but because they had some rough landings, the fans eat them up.

    So I ask again: what the fuck do people want?

    Cody said on Twitter not too long ago that in today's era you'd better be able to do all of Ospreay's shit, or cut a promo like Dusty in order to make it. So everyone now is just looking to be that next insane spot that goes viral so they have a chance.

    Have we finally actually gone too far in fan expectation? How many apron germans before Ibushi is paralyzed? It didn't happen this time, but it only takes one.

  2. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    Yeah... the game that's been upped in terms of high spots concerns me.

    Like, Dragon Lee/Ospreay get a pass because they're smaller in terms of size and popularity?

    Kota/Naito have been slowly upping the danger level over their encounters. They also have the utmost trust in one another. To me, it comes down to what they can do without losing time in ring.

    Almost every guy who does those spots has missed time in the last few years. Naito hasn't. Weird, huh?
    Ospreay and Dragon Lee get a pass because there's no need for criticism; for what they were doing that match was very safe from what I saw. High risk yes but there's always going to be risk with a high flying style, and for what they were able to do (even on the amazing suicide dive move) they did it incredibly safe, which makes sense because both guys are world class and they didn't try anything outlandish. Frankly I thought a good chunk of Naito and Ibushi was safe as well, especially in the back half of that match when they absolutely had to be after that infamous spot. Naito and Ibushi are both so good at bumping and selling that I think at times they fool people into thinking their bumps are worse than they are, such as the Cuerno Driver spot Naito took (which looks bad but you can see he tucks his head safely if you look closely), the DDT Ibushi took and the reverse rana.

    Now having said that...the match should've been full blown stopped after the German Suplex, even if Ibushi is okay (and all accounts are he is). That was a disgusting, unsafe landing and the fact that New Japan didn't stop it right away is baffling. Frankly the spot shouldn't have been in the match. I know people killed New Japan and Dragon Lee last year for the injury to Hiromu Takahashi, but that was a case of a move Lee and Takahashi had done a thousand times just went wrong. That happens (see Samoa Joe and Tyson Kidd) and they finished that match quickly. I had no problem with that spot being in the match. This was a case where a man was going to German Suplex a dude from the tightest of spaces onto the floor, where a million things had to go right for it to be pulled off safely. It's just a terrible idea and it produced a terrible result, one that makes the rest of the match null and void. Yes they worked safely after that in my opinion, but whether they did or didn't doesn't matter; the match should've been called immediately after that spot and the fact that it wasn't makes the whole thing just as troubling as the Goldberg-Taker debacle or the Shibata headbutt. I'm just glad Ibushi is alright and hopefully no one ever tries that again.


  3. #243
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I'd say the majority of fans - myself included - are definitely conditioned towards those types of moves and come to expect them nowadays, unfortunately. I've tried to think that I'm not like that, but I realize that I anticipated Ibushi and Naito doing things like this and would have probably been disappointed if they hadn't done some crazy WTF spots like that during their encounter.

    The worst part of it all is that I doubt it will get any better until someone gets seriously hurt or worse. The mentality is that no one has gotten seriously messed up so they just need to be careful. It doesn't make it right, but that's how human nature is.

  4. #244
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    A Japanese blog is apparently stating that Gedo stepped down as booker before Dominion. Huge potential news

  5. #245
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    Already debunked, I believe. Just as well, his booking style doesn't always thrill me on a personal level but it's been a big part of New Japan's success this decade.

  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    So what do people want? Are people willing to accept that maybe these guys are going to take stupid risks that make you feel uncomfortable watching, or are they going to adjust their rating curve?
    I know this is the NJPW thread, but I was bothered by the craziness of the NXT 4 way ladder match for the tag titles, especially from Undisputed Era who obviously were the veterans of the match, helping make everyone else look great. Now I read Kyle O'Reilly has a back injury, and hasn't competed since.

    I loved how innovative that match was, but I don't think I put words to screen anywhere saying I was a fan of it, because it did cross my limits for spots and insanity. And it looks like one of the stars is paying for it now.

  7. #247
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    A big part of the problem is that while there are certainly high profile matches where the emphasis is put on story, character and less on insane athleticism that is something that is held against certain wrestlers when it comes to ranking and discussing their achievements: 'oh he's just a character wrestler', 'he relies on the bells and whistles to make things work'.

    Lip service will be paid to the risks but ultimately the matches are held up by the general consensus as the greatest matches there are, there is no qualifying it with 'well he has to nearly kill himself every match' when discussing the achievements of the most athletic wrestlers, at least not in a negative way. Just look at the fanfare around the Ibushi/Naito series or Will Osprey's run in BOSJ.

  8. #248
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I spotted this at my local supermarket today, thought people reading this thread would find it interesting:



    Those are boxes of Japanese curry. I didn't buy any since it was pretty expensive. For some reason it was 2-3 times more expensive than other brands. Maybe one day I'll give in and try one.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 06-17-2019 at 08:36 AM.

  9. #249
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Well Yano (by the looks of that pic) has to get his pay day some how...



    Great post Degen, how random that they would have an official curry. Do they have any other random stuff?

  10. #250
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    If WWF could have ice cream bars in the 80s, NJPW curry makes sense to me.

  11. #251
    The Brain
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    Ha, love weird wrestling related products!

    A big part of the problem is that while there are certainly high profile matches where the emphasis is put on story, character and less on insane athleticism that is something that is held against certain wrestlers when it comes to ranking and discussing their achievements: 'oh he's just a character wrestler', 'he relies on the bells and whistles to make things work'.
    This is a good post. Just want to say even though I do use the phrase "bells and whistles" myself, I don't mean it as a negative! Bells and whistles can be great fun!

  12. #252
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    Great post Degen, how random that they would have an official curry. Do they have any other random stuff?
    I didn't see anything else at the supermarket but it wouldn't surprise me if they have all sorts of food-related stuff elsewhere. New Japan recently did a live stream with Cookpad, a tech company that has the largest recipe-sharing platform in Japan. They had Yano and Ishii cooking stuff. It sounds like a strange crossover but that's actually good promotion to do because Cookpad is really popular here. My wife and I pretty much use that site all the time, they're mentioned on TV all the time, have tons of popular cookbooks, and so on.

    I also remember a year or two ago New Japan had a brief promotion at one of the larger retail chain stores here called Loft and they had all sorts of New Japan-branded goods like pens, pencils, notebooks, and towels.

  13. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    I don't think there's a red line, nor do I think banning this or that is the answer. There are some moves that maybe shouldn't be done. But who's enforcing that?

    Everyone is trying for that 55 star match, because it's what fans have demanded and come to expect from big shows. They feel like they have to top themselves, or the match that came before them, so they are taking stupider and stupider risks.

    It's almost like there were vets 15 years ago warning that eventually fans would come to expect you to top yourself every time. We're in an era today where Adam Cole give Johnny Gargano a destroyer on the floor and it's not the finish. What's next? Off the apron through a table?

    If you're Ricochet or Ospreay and can do a standing back flip over the top to the floor and stick the landing every single time, then by all means please do it. It's incredible to watch. (Until the 999th out of 1,000 times where you snap your ankle.) But now everyone is expected to keep up that level of athleticism.

    So Naito and Ibushi go out there and do what's expected of them...but because they had some rough landings, the fans eat them up.

    So I ask again: what the fuck do people want?

    Cody said on Twitter not too long ago that in today's era you'd better be able to do all of Ospreay's shit, or cut a promo like Dusty in order to make it. So everyone now is just looking to be that next insane spot that goes viral so they have a chance.

    Have we finally actually gone too far in fan expectation? How many apron germans before Ibushi is paralyzed? It didn't happen this time, but it only takes one.
    Not to WWE-up this specific sub-forum, but that's what I bloody love about Velveteen Dream. There's nothing more complicated than a top rope elbow drop in his arsenal, and yet he's over as balls in NXT. He's the simplest wrestler in the world.

  14. #254

  15. #255
    The Brain
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    At his age it might be wiser anyway for him to sit out. Let him keep killing it when it really matters as long as he's able to, no need to get greedy.

  16. #256
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    The storyline he has going for himself, being bitter about not being in the G1, is more engaging to me right now than if he were a part of the tournament that he has little chance of winning. I actually am looking forward to seeing his non-tournament matches to see how they play out.

  17. #257
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone here, I was initially sad to see him miss out but the thought of this pissed of brute of a man hanging around while all these guys try to have their tournament is a very interesting one, there are lots of possibilities for what they could do with him.

    On a slightly different subject, I got tickets to go and see them in Sydney, seems a few of the matches will be acting as try outs for some local wrestlers, really cool to see them embracing the Australian scene even thought the tour is a little scaled back this year.

    Im crossin my fingers for a g1 round here next year, the time zone works pretty comfortably and with the Tokyo Ole there are all sorts of rumors flying around.

  18. #258
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    More Aussies breaking into New Japan sounds cool to me! Still wish TMDK had gone there instead of WWE, I think it would have gone much better for them.

  19. #259
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    It kinda feels like the calm before the G1 storm right now.

    I'm pumped the Sydney show on Sunday but that is small fish.

    Who has a fearless prediction.

    Here is mine: KENTA wins Block A and Tanahashi comes 5th.

    In Block B I'm tempted to have Juice Robinson finishing in the top 3.

    Also Shingo finishes higher in Block B than Ospreay in Block A.

    Let's get some more.

  20. #260
    The Brain
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    KENTA winning Block A truly would be a shocker. To be honest I'm more comfortable making the prediction that the hype around KENTA will have dropped a lot by the end of the G1, but I'd be happy to be wrong about that one.

  21. #261
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    Not just hype but like NJPW tends to be very selective with their mega pushes. I think KENTA will do well in the block but not make it to the finals

  22. #262
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    Oh yeah, they bothered to bring him in so he'll get some solid wins in terms of push. I kind of thing he's too broken down to really wow people at his old mid 00s level, he had a few good ones in WWE but nothing really jaw dropping, and I don't think that's a result of the booking. Again, happy to be wrong.

  23. #263
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Remember your refrain 'did anyone watch Luch Underground' Mizzie? As talk about KENTA ces up I find myself saying the same about 205 Live.

    He said something about being 'defanged' in the WWE & yet in 205 Live he managed to still project an aura of danger like few others.

    His body might not be what it once was but if he is able to dial that up I'm expecting a very interesting character, almost a Suzuki like kind of guy.

    Of course I could be way off base with that comparison but it is certainly how he came across in 205.

  24. #264
    The Brain
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    I have watched some 205 Live and I didn't get the same vibe, but if he's still got it in him to deliver that then he should have no problem!

  25. #265
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    All KENTA really has to do is raise his level a few nights for the G1. I think some will have unrealistic expectations thinking it’s 2005. I’m more interested in what they would do after the G1 with him. Like where would he be slotted. I’d say probably IC title range.

    Outside chance that if Shibata comes back (he’s not retired) that they team together.

  26. #266
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    So the New Japan live show in Sydney was incredible.

    Started out with a lot of guys from Fale Dojo and the local indy scene. Probably the highlight was Mick Moretti v Jack Bonza. Some guys that know the local scene way better than me say they have been tearing it up against each other this year and from what they showed it was no surprise.

    Honestly the crowd was a bit flat for the first half of the show, only a few NJPW names were sprinkled in amongst people not many knew. Apparently this was the try out for a few of them so it will be interesting to see how that reflects on them, all of them were trying damn hard but just didn't get much of a response from the crowd who weren't really there to see them.

    After an intermission they got to the more NJPW focused matches and boy did the crowd respond. The NJPW guys were treated like gods, getting a huge response from not doing much at all. The one exception to this was Mikey Nichols who didn't seem to fit in between his tag team of Yano & Juice.

    The first main tag match: Toru Yano, Mikey Nichols & Juice Robinson v Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Gino Gambino was a lot of fun. Lots of comedy spots involving Gambino who was acting overly eager to impress the other Bullet Club members. Considering he was the least known of all the guys he did avail himself very well. The highlight though has to be Yano selling his often promoted DVD to some guy in the audience for $50, as I joke with Imp, now he is unburdened by the DVD he is set for a huge G1 - now that is long term storytelling!

    The match ended when each guy stole Jado's Kendo Stick until Gambino was caught with it and when the refs back was turned Yano low blowed him & got the pin.

    Next up was Ishii v Toa Hanare which was as brutal as you would expect. Lots of stiff ass chops, forearm exchanges and very impactful suplexes. I dunno if it was the influence of Ishii or if it was the fact I was there live but this was one of the best matches I've seen from Hanare and even though everyone was loving Ishii his hope spots got some huge reactions & he earnt a huge cheer as he walked off unassisted after the match. Ishii won it but it really was a fantastic match, everything you would want from a match between those two.

    I'm a much bigger fan of Hanare having seen this match, the guy really puts everything into his matches and you can really see that live. Long term he is a really good prospect for NJPW, he will never be IWGP champ but he could well have the same kind of career as Ishii if he keeps developing.

    The main event was Will Ospreay, Okada & Tanahashi v Robbie Eagles, Bad Luck Fale & Jay White and boy did this get a big response. Eagles came out first and got a absolutely huge home town reception and things only built from there as the stars everyone came to see basked in the cheers. Seriously Okada & Tana drew reactions with every single move they made. Was also funny because Jay White's family was in the front row and Okada was cracking himself up by playfully trolling them.

    The story of the match though revolved around Robbie Eagles and the tension between him and the rest of the Bullet Club that had been building through BOSJ and peaked at Melbourne the night before when he attacked ELP during his title match with Ospreay. Him and Ospreay had some awesome back and forth during the match but the story really kicked up a gear after Ospreay got the win with a Stormbreaker on Eagles.

    Fale, Switchblade & Gedo jumped the winners and then after they had ejected Tana & Okada from the ring they pinned Ospreay to the ground, pulled out a chair and told Robbie to hit Ospreay with the chair. At this point the crowd was exploding with NO and 'Don't do it Robbie' chants and after a long reflection Robbie threw away the chair and to the absolute jubliation of the crowd super kicked Switchblade, knocking him down. He then combined with the other three to hit their finishers on Jay White (although Tana hit Slingblade not High Fly Flow). He then accepted the Japanese flag Ospreay had offered him years ago to join CHAOS.

    I always say that when it is great there is nothing like wrestling and that is only doubled when you are in the live crowd. I went expecting some great matches and to see some of the guys I love to watch but I don't think anyone went to what looked more like a house show expecting them to pay off a story they had been building for a number of months. The crowd went absolutely mental when Robbie kicked Jay White and accepted the flag and because I was there live it ranks up as one of my favourite wrestling memories ever.

    Kudos to NJPW for paying it off at Robbie's home town too, must have been a buzz for him to get to stand in the ring with Okada, Tana & Ospreay and get the biggest ovation of the night.

    Anyway, bottom line is if you get the chance go see NJPW live. Considering how much tickets were I was initially a bit pissed off when I saw the line up had so many indy guys on it but I couldn't care less now, just an amazing night of wrestling.
    Last edited by SirSam; 07-01-2019 at 07:50 AM.

  27. #267
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Glad you had a good time at the show and will have some good memories to take with you. Hopefully they can continue to build that base in Australia not just for them but for the pro wrestling scene in general there.

  28. #268
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    Really cool review Sam! Almost made a column out of it!

  29. #269
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    The card for New Japan's next big overseas show, Royal Quest, has been announced. It's a big one with four title defenses:

    - Taguchi, Shota Umino & Ren Narita vs. R3K (Rocky, SHO & YOH)
    - Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Hikuleo
    - Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles vs. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo
    - Tetsuya Naito & SANADA vs. Jay White & Chase Owens
    - Guerrillas of Destiny defending vs. whoever wins the Road to Royal Quest tournament for the IWGP Tag Team Championship
    - Tomohiro Ishii vs. KENTA for the NEVER Openweight Championship
    - Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the RPW British Heavyweight Championship
    - Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

    Should be a good event. Even the undercard has a lot of interesting bouts.

  30. #270
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    I'm always surprised Chase Owens still exists. I've got nothing against the guy, he seems fine when I see him, but you never hear a word about him.

  31. #271
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    I'm taking this off the G1 discussion, although it does tie in to what's being discussed there - but boys, it might be about to get very interesting. And apparently I'm behind the curve and this news is a week or so old.

    It seems that Ibushi wants a piece of Naito again - but with a twist. He said at the press conference where his contract was signed off:

    Of course I accept and will use this contract. But I have one proposal. We have events in the Tokyo Dome on January 4 and 5, but I still have an attachment to the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. How about, if I win the Heavyweight Championship on January 4 and then challenge for the Intercontinental Championship on January 5? Whoever it may be. I will of course defend this right to challenge against KENTA and EVIL who beat me during the G1. That’s it, that’s my suggestion.
    If this was just an odd comment in a news article, I'd say it might not have legs. But this is at an official NJPW press conference, and reported on their website, so I'm seeing smoke and fire.

    Looks like we might get that Naito IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom after all - although whether it's against Ibushi or Okada remains to be seen, of course. I'm assuming that it will be title vs title, and not just the IC title on the line in the second match - given the way Naito has been chasing having both the belts at once, it would make sense that he insists the IWGP Heavyweight is on the line before he accepts Ibushi's challenge.

  32. #272
    The Brain
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    Damn, that could be a pretty great 1-2 day punch. I admit I'm interested in that ida.

  33. #273
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I've heard the idea of a mini-tournament where Jan 4 the IC & IWGP defences headline with the winners going on to a unification match the night after. It is something I would not be mad at one bit. You could throw anyone in as the fourth person, Jay White would make the most sense probably.

    Did anyone happen to catch the Super J Cup opener? It wasn't streamed live but will be VOD. I only saw Ospreay's tweets about how it was an honor to face Amazing Red.

  34. #274
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    I'm taking this off the G1 discussion, although it does tie in to what's being discussed there - but boys, it might be about to get very interesting. And apparently I'm behind the curve and this news is a week or so old.

    It seems that Ibushi wants a piece of Naito again - but with a twist. He said at the press conference where his contract was signed off:



    If this was just an odd comment in a news article, I'd say it might not have legs. But this is at an official NJPW press conference, and reported on their website, so I'm seeing smoke and fire.

    Looks like we might get that Naito IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom after all - although whether it's against Ibushi or Okada remains to be seen, of course. I'm assuming that it will be title vs title, and not just the IC title on the line in the second match - given the way Naito has been chasing having both the belts at once, it would make sense that he insists the IWGP Heavyweight is on the line before he accepts Ibushi's challenge.
    My only problem is that it completely give away Ibushi winning the belt. Unless either Okada agrees to the same challenge should he win, or Ibushi gets the match regardless.

    It feels like from a storytelling perspective, that idea is kinda off. Either Ibushi wins, or your second night main event is up in smoke.
    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    I've heard the idea of a mini-tournament where Jan 4 the IC & IWGP defences headline with the winners going on to a unification match the night after. It is something I would not be mad at one bit. You could throw anyone in as the fourth person, Jay White would make the most sense probably.

    Did anyone happen to catch the Super J Cup opener? It wasn't streamed live but will be VOD. I only saw Ospreay's tweets about how it was an honor to face Amazing Red.
    This idea I really like. Jay White beat Naito in the G1, so for him to hold off on that title match until WK, and New Japan to announce that White and Naito will wrestle, Ibushi and Okada will wrestle and the two winners will face off the next night with both titles on the line would be a lot of fun.

    The only problem going forward is what do you do with the IC title? Do you kill it, does Naito defend them separately, is it a Conor McGregor situation where you get that one night, two belts photo, but the company says that Naito has to vacate the IC title to go on defending the IWGP title?

  35. #275
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I would go with either title unification or vacate it, I don't think it makes sense to have them defended seperatly because why would you only fight for the IC if you could beat the Heavyweight Champ?

    Either of the other two options would be fine, unification would probably be my number one choice to allow for the U.S. & NEVER titles to carve out better niches and gain a little prestige, I think particularly the US Title suffers from there being too many heavyweight belts and ends up almost being the scraps of the division competing. It is at the point where I almost don't want Juice to win it again because I want him to be more prominent than just the U.S. Champion.

    Vacation could set up a lot of possibilities, perhaps it gets added to the New Japan Cup and that becomes a tournament to crown a new IC title holder. Traditionally it seems to have been held by someone very high up the card but it could be a great chance to give someone like SANADA, EVIL or Zak who is just that tier below the very top guys a run with a belt.

  36. #276
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    If Naito wins both titles, it would make some storyline sense for him to just abandon the IC title. He's spent a lot of his time showing that he has no respect for that title because it's not the one he wants - he's desperate for the Heavyweight one - so him just going 'nah, not bothered about that one, this one's better' is in keeping with his character but potentially gives you a situation where he declares that one title is more important than the other.

  37. #277
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    That'd be a nice continuation of the angle where he let the belt get beat to shit because he cared so little about it.

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