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  1. #201
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    That's a big chance for Umino. They must be high on him.

  2. #202
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    That's what I was thinking about Umino. It's a pretty big opportunity for someone in his position. I wonder if they're going to give him or other Young Lions more shots on bigger events sooner rather than later. They need to get some of these younger people more visible.

  3. #203
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    Are y'all high on Umino? I've only seen him once, thought he was good but didn't leave a huge impression.

  4. #204
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    It's far too early to tell, as with most Young Lions when they're at this point. But I've seen a few of his matches by now and he strikes me as someone who's on a really good path. It's particularly impressive to me because he's just 21 years old right now. I might be wrong but New Japan seems to rarely put that young of a talent on major shows like this.

  5. #205
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    Jushin Thunder Liger is retiring at next year's Tokyo Dome show. He will travel the world in meantime and have last matches.

    What a legend

  6. #206
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    Damn, that is sad news. His longevity and continued quality of work has been awesome, he's STILL having good matches at 54.

  7. #207
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    I remember first seeing him in WCW sometime around ‘95 or ‘96, and they were already touting him as a legend. More than 20 years later, and he’s still going at it. Amazing.

  8. #208
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    He's also one of the better known pro wrestling figures to the general public here in Japan. My wife - who doesn't follow wrestling at all - was the one who broke these news to me because it was on some of the news outlets here. She knew who he was because he's constantly featured on random TV shows.

  9. #209
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    Deg, is he bigger than Tiger Mask over there?

  10. #210
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    Honestly, I'm not sure. I've heard some references to Tiger Mask by TV personalities. But I've seen Liger talked about more, and of course seen him on TV for all sorts of shows (usually comedy shows, though). I don't watch a whole lot of TV these days so I might be way off on those assumptions.

  11. #211
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    GO (CH)ACE!


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

  12. #212
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    Catching up on NJC matches and DAMN Ibushi vs Naito was straight fire.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oliver View Post
    Catching up on NJC matches and DAMN Ibushi vs Naito was straight fire.
    I have no recollection of that match. Or the one from the G1 either.


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

  14. #214
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    With those two, can't say I'm shocked! Are we still thinking the winner of that match takes it all?

  15. #215
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    I've said it before and I'll keep saying it until everyone wakes up and realizes it's the truth; the best wrestler in the world isn't Okada, Ibushi, Omega, Naito, Rollins, Styles or Fenix, it's fucking Tomohiro Ishii.


  16. #216
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    And here I thought he was third between LA Park and Teddy Hart.

  17. #217
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    Stop it mizfan! As much as I love LA Park and Teddy Hart, neither guy is getting the classic Ishii just pulled out of Taichi this morning. I think Taichi is better than many give him credit for but he's never been this good. That credit has to go to Ishii, never mind the fact that he's had at least six of the ten best matches I've seen in the past year.


  18. #218
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    So...

    ROH Tag Team Champs are now PCO and Brody King.

    They will face title for title against GOD at MSG.


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

  19. #219
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    That's pretty awesome actually. I'd love it if they won, two super talented and invested guys, albeit on opposite ends of their career.

  20. #220
    hey guys !

    So, this weekend was a wrestling weekend for me and my friend! After catching up on RAW and Smackdown, we decided to take a voyage to NJPW. I asked for a few matches over on Twitter and both Sir Sam and Mizfan asked for my opinions on the matches. I think putting them here was the best idea!

    I don't get to see my friend that often but when we see each other, it's 95% wrestling and 5% food. That's all we do! hehe. I showed her the Omega documentary, and we decided to watch some NJPW, so thanks for all the great matches suggestions! I really appreciate it! We put them in a roulette app and spin to get our matches selected for us!

    1- Tanahashi v Ibushi G1 Climax 2018
    This is a great match to see why Tanahashi is in fact the Ace. I was already sold on Tana because of Imp's awesome columns from last December. I felt like I already knew Tanahashi even before seeing any of his matches! And he surely did not disappoint. As for Ibushi, I discovered him in the Omega docu, he is absolutely awesome at what he does, but it feels like he is missing something (or hasn't reach quite the top yet). Maybe he is just a great top-mid-carder too. Can't really judge at the moment. But he sure is as athletic as can be, it was really nice to look at youth vs experience in this match. Clearly, Tanahashi waited for Ibushi to try to force the match and that's when he strikes back.

    You have all told me that the biggest difference is the way the matches are build, and the stories are front and center to everything that is happening. So true.

    2- Tanahashi v Nakamura G1 Climax 2015
    When we were about 10 minutes deep in the match, we told each other, there is a pattern to Tanahashi's matches. Maybe it's spread out to the whole company, but I can't tell for now. They start by the grappling, on the ground, and then it's a crescendo of moves until the serie of counters that will finally lead to the end. That's 35 minutes of wrestling heaven resumed in one sentence. It doesn't mean that Tanahashi's matches are all the same, far form it. This guy is a magician in the ring. Nakamura is my friend's first love in the category "Japanese wrestler in the WWE". It all made sense, suddenly, why he is the king of strongstyle. What is just a catchphrase in WWE is a way of life in NJPW. It's the "same" Nakamura in the ring, with almost the same move set and all, but somehow it makes more sense and feels more powerful and more genuine there...

    3- 3-way between Prince Devitt - Ibushi - Low Ki WK7
    wow! When the match ended, she told me "that's the closest match WWE we've seen". Maybe it was more of something close to the cruiserweights/high fly style and that's why we felt that way. It's a great example of what Devitt/Balor can be when he has structure in his matches. We both enjoyed seeing wrestlers in their early years, her Balor and me Ibushi. It's fascinating to see the progression of someone's career, and see where he came from. Ibushi is growing on me, even if for now I seem to be drawn to the bad guys!!

    4- Tanahashi v Minoru Suzuki 10/08/2012
    wow and WOW. This match was everything I was hoping/expecting to see in NJPW. I told her, after the match, that the brutality reminded me of WALTER v Dunne at TakeOver a month ago. She agreed. Suzuki is a tough guy, he looks tough as nails and man I wouldn't want to step on his toes. His character work is what got me into this match. There some things that we don't see in WWE, when was the last time, after a long brutal match to take a chop to the chest or a elbow to the head and don't flinch. Like never. That's what a real tough wrestler looks like and both Tanahashi and Suzuki have shown just that. Again, it's not hard to understand why Tana is the Ace !!!

    5-Cheated for this match, went for Okada v White G1 Supercard 2019.
    I want to showcase what NJPW looks right now. We hadn't had a Okada match yet, and I wanted her to see him. I'm sure it's not one of Okada's best match, but I stand by my point made a few days ago in another thread, I like Jay White, and I like how he is a heel. It's the sum of all his small actions that makes him convincing to me. But, as I also said, I am nowhere near deep enough in NJPW to know if that feeling I have about him is correct or not! We both were quite amazed by Okada, no surprise there, he is the face total package at the moment in NJPW (as far as I know). The match was quite enjoyable, even if it was wrestled in the U.S. and the crowds are different from the Japanese crowd.

    6- Tanahashi v Omega WK13
    Last but certainly not least, it's not surprising this ended up being our last match. My random roulette app sure wanted us to see Tanahashi ! And we didn't complain at all! I had already seen this match, but it's the kind of match that you sure don't mind to see many times. My friend was excited like I've rarely seen her, especially considering she didn't knew either before this weekend. It's not hard to see why Omega is considered like a best bout machine. He gave everything and then some, exactly like Tanahashi . Even if Tanahashi is getting closer to the end of his career, he still has some great matches inside of him. He wrestles smart, and it makes for matches that have logic behind them. I really don't want to draw any comparisons to WWE, but seeing both companies, we know there are none possible.


    Again, thank you guys, I am lucky to have you all in my wrestling fandom life. It was an awesomely satisfying day of wrestling for two ladies today! We are keeping the rest of the matches for another day.

  21. #221
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    Your friend seems very cool! Nice to have someone to watch wrestling with, always seems to make things that much more fun.

    1 - My favorite New Japan match from 2018! It's funny, I'm not the biggest Tana fan around, but in this instance he not only pulled his weight but I thought for once he actually looked even better than Ibushi. One of my fondest memories of last year is the way he fired up and leaned into Ibushi's strikes to the chest, normally I think these "fighting spirit" moments are overdone but in that instance I 100% bought into the story of Tana being energized past the point of feeling pain by his need to show he's not riding off into the sunset just yet. Great choice!

    2 - Ah, nothing like watching older Nakamura matches to remember just how great he once was! I can't blame him for taking it easy in WWE after beating up his body for so many years, but it is nice to look back and see exactly why there was so much hype for him coming.

    3 - There's a very real possibility that I actually like the Juniors division of New Japan more than the heavyweights, and this match is a very good example of why. It's a shame Low Ki let his backstage problems get in the way of his future with New Japan, I think if he had kept on track he might well still be over there doing great work. Not that he isn't doing great work with MLW and others here in the states, but still!

    4 - Love, love, love Minoru Suzuki! Perhaps the best aura in the business. Glad you had a chance to check this one out!

    5 - Ah, as you might recall I just can't seem to get into Jay White. Glad you enjoyed this one though!

    6 - Definitely a good example of the Omega signature style match! I wasn't so thrilled by this one, I think I may have seen the formula too many times, but most people loved it so I'm not surprised you were digging it.

    Enjoyed this post a lot! Looking forward to more, or if you wanted to beef it up just a bit I think something like this could make a very fine column!

  22. #222
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    New Japan showed this return teaser last night:



    Any guesses on who it could be? Most of the chatter I've heard was Oka / Great O Kharn coming back from his excursion, but that seems to be a stretch to me.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 05-03-2019 at 09:47 PM.

  23. #223
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    Stupid insane guess...

    Dean (or do we call him Jon now?).


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

  24. #224
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Guess we have our main event for Dominion next month:


  25. #225
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    Jericho the character has been winning me over in a big way. Interesting that he's working AEW and New Japan so close together.

  26. #226
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree with the character bit. I first read about the video before watching it and I honestly didn't know what to think of it. When I watched the video, it intrigued me a lot more. We haven't seen Jericho in a match since January and I wonder what kind of bout we'll have at Dominion.

    We got two more matches set up for Dominion as well. Taichi will put the NEVER Openweight title up against Ishii, and the semi-main event will be the rematch between Ibushi and Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Still a lot of matches being set up so we'll see what other title matches are set up in the next month.

  27. #227
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    Seems like they're stacking up the card, I dig that!

    Have we seen Cobb vs. Ishii yet? I don't think we have and now that I've thought of that match I'm pretty sure it will literally tear the house down.

  28. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Seems like they're stacking up the card, I dig that!

    Have we seen Cobb vs. Ishii yet? I don't think we have and now that I've thought of that match I'm pretty sure it will literally tear the house down.
    I'm hoping Cobb for the G1. If so, he's gonna get that and a lot more.

    BTW, Cobb/Taichi was probably Taichi's greatest match.


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

  29. #229
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    ((Sorry for double post))

    https://twitter.com/JonMoxley/status...68564132741120

    So.........

    Is this the most obvious thing ever? I mean, no way ROH will be happy with Y2J and Mox both being on Dominion in prominent roles.

    Friendly reminder, NJPW has two dates set for the dome.

    Also... Poor Juice...


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

  30. #230
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    Heyyyyyyyy now that's quite interesting! Interested to see how his style goes over in New Japan. Also makes me think further that the bonds between New Japan and AEW may be tightening?

  31. #231
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    I don't get to do this often...

    Told you...

    But, yeah, obvious is obvious.


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

  32. #232
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    There is no bond. Maybe that changes and maybe this helps but as of yesterday it's the same situation. The reason you're able to see Moxley and Jericho in New Japan is because they have it in their contracts that they can work New Japan (or in Moxley's case, anywhere internationally). It's the same clause Omega has in his contract. Beyond that there is no relationship and until New Japan dumps Ring of Honor AND CMLL or AEW dumps AAA (neither of which is happening) there won't be. This is a case of Moxley and Jericho having it in their deals that they can work wherever, nothing more and nothing less.


  33. #233
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    The cards for Kizuna Road have been announced. The key highlights are Roppongi 3K vs. El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships on June 16, and two RevPro championship matches on June 25: El Phantasmo vs. Taguchi for the RevPro British Cruiserweight Championship and Zack Sabre Jr. vs YOSHI-HASHI for the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship on June 25. Nothing really is happening on the June 17 show, just a lot of tag matches.

    New Japan also announced the cards for their two Australian shows later this month. Not a whole lot going on outside of Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship on June 29 in Melbourne. The rest of the card for both shows is a mix of local Aussie wrestlers and New Japan in different tag matches.

    To me, the main thing happening during this time is that on the first Kizuna Road show we'll get the official announcement of the participants for the G1 Climax, and on the next show they'll highlight the main matches for the tournament. Let the hype train begin.

    EDIT: Lost in this shuffle was the news that the Super J-Cup tournament is making its return after three years, and the tournament will be held throughout three shows in the U.S. (Tacoma, San Francisco, and Long Beach). No participants announced yet but it's expected to be the same 16-man format as before. I'm curious to see if they'll bring in wrestlers from competing promotions as they did last time.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 06-11-2019 at 01:59 AM.

  34. #234
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    Super J Cup is definitely the coolest news in that batch of stuff to me, though using more local Australian guys could also be very cool!

  35. #235
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Question for a relative NJPW noob, what is the difference between the Super J Cup and the New Japan Cup at the start of the year?

    It hasn’t been around since I started paying attention so it must have slipped under my radar or I just assumed any references to it were about the New Japan Cup.

  36. #236
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Based on my limited understanding, the only real similarity they share is that it's a single-elimination tournament (unlike the G1 or Best of Super Juniors which are round-robin tournaments).

    At a high level, the New Japan Cup is a yearly tournament where the winner gets a title shot of their choice between the Heavyweight, Intercontinental, or NEVER Openweight championships. There's no weight limits or anything like that, although it's mostly geared to the heavyweight division. It also is solely focused on wrestlers working for New Japan or their partners like Ring Of Honor, hence the name of "New Japan Cup".

    The Super J-Cup is a tournament solely for Junior Heavyweights that runs every couple of years with all different types of promotions participating. The last Super J-Cup was in 2016, and there have been only 7 tournaments held since the first one 25 years ago. In the past there has been participation from pretty much every major Japanese promotion (Dragon Gate, All Japan, Noah, Wrestle-1, Osaka Pro, etc.) and even some foreign promotions like WCW and CMLL. There's nothing on the line like titles or anything, so it's like a stand-alone tournament a la NXT's Cruiserweight Classic tournament (except the Cruiserweight championship given at the end).

    I'm sure there are other details but I think that's the gist of it.

  37. #237
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    Structurally they're very similar but they have very different history and implications. I do love how the Super J-Cup tends to attract people from all over, hope they keep that tradition going strong.

  38. #238
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    So, that Naito vs Ibushi match. Apparently Ibushi is a little fucked up coming out of it and people are giving them shit for "taking too many risks" and doing all those neck bumps.

    Here's my question for us to debate: what the fuck do people actually want? When Takahashi breaks his neck and Ospreay drives himself head first into the apron on a needless Spanish fly, and I say that maybe some of those moves they're doing are unnecessarily dangerous people jump all over me because that's just the style and they've done it before and who are we to tell them to stop if they want to do it. But then Naito and Ibushi try to kill themselves and they're jumped all over for doing unnecessarily dangerous stuff.

    But then, if they don't do that kind of stuff, the match will be written off as not being as good as expected or not all that special and they'll only get three stars instead of four and a half because some raters like to jerk off to guys getting dropped on their heads and then feign upset later.

    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?

    Also, out of curiosity, when did fans need to be "comfortable"? I legitimately had a fan tell me recently that they don't like when guys are too stiff or a guy gets a little blood -- accidentally or on purpose -- because then it's too real and makes them uncomfortable and they just want it to be fun.

    Also, also. I see a lot of people giving Naito shit for that german. Naito is one of the safest workers on that roster and goes out of his way to take care of guys most of the time. He's got about an 18 inch area to execute that move in, and his own safety comes first. Ibushi should be (and is) looking out for himself. Did anyone think that bump was going to go swimmingly?

  39. #239
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    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?


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

  40. #240
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    Can't speak for others but I think I've been pretty consistent that I'm specifically not a fan of moves with a high risk of head/neck trauma. Honestly really disliked that one Ospreay match where he nearly killed himself on the apron. I admit where a draw the line is a feeling rather than a science so I guess it's hard to pin down. I'm sure some fans are ready to jump in even now and point out other kinds of moves can also be damaging or that WWE has more injuries than New Japan, or some other reason why I'm wrong to worry about such things, and that's fine. All I can say is I see Ibushi's head cracking off the apron and I'm not having fun, that's not what I'm looking for as a fan.

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