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  1. #81
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    Hiromu Takahashi is back in Japan and apparently doesn't need surgery. Good news

  2. #82
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    That's surprising, honestly, but encouraging.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    That's surprising, honestly, but encouraging.
    It is huge when you think of the ramifications of neck surgery. Most notable one in Japan was Chono. He was pretty much immobile in his 40s and had to quit earlier than most people do in Japan (his last fully active year was in 09 at 45). By avoiding that, hopefully his mobility is fine in the long run and his career won't be effected.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  4. #84
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    Absolutely. My only concern is he may be choosing not to get the surgery so he can try to come back sooner. But that's total speculation on my part and I won't dwell on it.

  5. #85
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    When they say suspected Broken Neck, it sounds really bad but it could have been varying degrees of that.. Where rest and therpy will heal things.. I don't know but if it was really bad, I don't think they'd be stupid enough to not get it taken care of..

    That doesn't mean he won't get injured later.

  6. #86
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    If you listen to The Doc Says, Chad has said multiple times on there that surgery is not a great route for neck injuries and is often rushed to by doctors when there may be better solutions available.

  7. #87
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    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  8. #88
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    That's cool

  9. #89
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    Haha, the little doodled guy is my favorite.

  10. #90
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    In a bit of sad news, Hiromu Takahashi is going to be out for 9 to 12 months, according to the Observer. It seems like he actually did suffer a broken neck, which is why it'll take that long. On the bright side, it seems like there wasn't any nerve damage so it could have been a whole lot worse.

    I'm guessing we'll be getting an announcement about what New Japan will be doing with the Jr. Heavyweight championship either on the last day of the G1 or immediately after.

  11. #91
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    Unfortunately, what I said above come to fruition: Hiromu Takahashi had to give up the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. While I'm bummed about it, I have to say that the way they went about this was one of the most creative ways I've ever seen:



    Out of that announcement, a four-man tournament will take place to crown a new champ. They announced the matchups along with more announcements on the upcoming events:

    - Destruction in Hiroshima (Sept. 15): Ishimori, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa vs. Taguchi, Finlay, Juice Robinson for the NEVER 6-Man titles, and headlined by Omega vs. Ishii for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
    - Destruction in Beppu (Sept. 17): Goto vs. Taichi for the NEVER Openweight title, special main event of Naito vs. Suzuki.
    - Destruction in Kobe (Sept. 23): KUSHIDA vs. BUSHI in the first round of the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship tournament, Tanahashi vs. Okada with the Tokyo Dome title shot on the line.
    - Fighting Spirit Unleashed in Long Beach (Sept. 30): Juice vs. Cody for the U.S. title, Young Bucks vs. GoD for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles, Scurll vs. Ospreay in the first round of the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship tournament.
    - King of Pro Wrestling (Oct. 8): IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship tournament finals.

    Another solid month of wrestling coming up. Really looking forward to most of these matches.

    I'm hoping that Jericho makes a surprise appearance somewhere here because it's a bit unfortunate the IWGP Intercontinental title is inactive in all of these cards.

  12. #92
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    I would imagine they hope to have Jericho on King of Pro wrestling.. Think its befor his cruise.

  13. #93
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    Hopefully that's the case so that it can set something up between now and Wrestle Kingdom. Power Struggle has been headlined by a IWGP Intercontinental Championship match for the past 4-5 years, and it's looking like less the case for 2018. I'm curious if that's the reason why Omega's defending his title so early in the Destruction cards instead of King of Pro Wrestling, so that he can be around to headline Power Struggle.

  14. #94
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    It's odd that Ishimori isn't in that tournament.

    The last show in Kobe looks like the best of the bunch to me. I wonder what Omega's doing at Fighting Spirit Unleashed; I had thought he'd be defending against Tama Tonga.
    Last edited by XanMan; 08-21-2018 at 10:27 AM.

  15. #95
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    I think KUSHIDA vs. Scurll would be a really interesting final, but I feel like they'll send Ospreay through instead. We shall see.

  16. #96
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    Let's go BUSHI!

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by XanMan View Post
    The last show in Kobe looks like the best of the bunch to me. I wonder what Omega's doing at Fighting Spirit Unleashed; I had thought he'd be defending against Tama Tonga.
    It might still be the case. They just can't announce it now since it'll potentially spoil the result of his match against Ishii.

    Now that I think about it, those two dates are really close together - have there been two IWGP Heavyweight title defenses in a two week span? It always seems like there's a few months in between defenses.

  18. #98
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    I don't think so. But Tonga is already booked for the show, as well.

  19. #99
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    New Japan posted this Chris Jericho interview on their YouTube channel a few days ago, done the day after Dominion:



    He put over the company and other talents in general along with putting himself over. There's nothing new here, but what's interesting is that this interview was recorded months ago but they just released it now, so I wonder if we'll be seeing Jericho pop up during one of the Destruction shows.

    I'm also trying to guessing if he was jet lagged or spent the entire night partying in Osaka after Dominion because he looked completely spent.

  20. #100
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    He is 47 after all! At first I thought with the All In appearance they were going for an Omega rematch, before he mentioned the cruise. Could still happen though. Strange to think Jericho and Omega are the two top champions of the company!

  21. #101
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    All of the top champions in the company are Gaijin and have been since Dominion. In fact, the only Japanese champions are Goto and Kanemaru/El Desperado.

  22. #102
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    I don't think that's a good thing, personally.

  23. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    I don't think that's a good thing, personally.
    Who are you taking out then? Kenny Omega should be IWGP Heavyweight Champion. The Young Bucks should be IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions (and probably aren't holding them for too long anyway). Juice should be US Champion. The NEVER Six Man Titles are made up of two Tongans and a Japanese guy. The Junior Title was held by a Japanese guy until he got hurt. Jericho is arguably the only one I'd say you should probably take the title off of and that's only cause he isn't around that much. Otherwise I don't see the issue, especially since the first half of the year every major title was held by a Japanese star and not a single person was sitting there going "it's not good, we need more foreign champions." The guys who should be holding titles right now, for the most part, just happen to be foreigners. Come Wrestle Kingdom it'll all probably flip back around.


  24. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    I don't think that's a good thing, personally.
    I'm curious about why you think that way. Not that I think you're wrong or anything, but it's something I hadn't given much thought to.

  25. #105
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    I wasn't looking for a hot take, although I will say I think New Japan is partly focused on pushing Gajins because they are trying to expand to America when that's not what people care about here.. Its the New Japan product more than anything (Meltzer did a informal poll at Starrcast, and everyone there wanted a New Japan show here, not Americanized. )

    As for the champions, its not a big deal really but it shows me that they haven't built up enough Japanese guys to take those spots. You've got Okada, Naito, Tanahashi, All 3 could be champions at one time, Goto, Ishii as the older vets.. Suzuki... There's not many young talent pushed as stars though. For years, the tag team divisions have been dominated by non Japanese wrestlers, Evil and Sanada had a short run but still feel midcard after what 2 years? The latest guy they've started to push (Henare) isn't Japanese... So the next wave is still far away.

    I get that they have the young lion system and its great but at the same time, I think New Japan could bring in more Freelance Japanese workers (Shingo would be a perfect get) instead of the next hot American Talent that Gedo seems to love.

    My overall point is I think the Japanese talent is getting a bit of the short end of stick and I'd like a little more balance. Not knocking Omega or the Bucks talent at all.
    Last edited by LK3185; 09-10-2018 at 10:57 AM.

  26. #106
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    I get what you're saying. There seems to be a bit of an imbalance for now, and it seems like it'll remain this way for a while. To be fair, it's what's been giving them a bump in NJPW World subscriptions and their on AXS TV. That's what they seem to want to do more now. And attendance for shows inside Japan are solid too, so it's not like they're losing the Japanese audience by doing this. It's a bit of a win-win for them, it looks like.

    If they decide to shift the focus back on Japanese wrestlers, they'll have some people they can use who won't be past their prime yet. You have guys like EVIL and SANADA who are barely in their early 30s. They have a couple of Jr. Heavyweights who aren't 30 like SHO, YOH and Hiromu, who probably can transition into a heavyweight role. There's also some others who are in their mid-30s like KUSHIDA who can still go. As for the Young Lions, I think the ones they have now will pay off in the future. You have Oka and Kawata on excursion now doing well the last I read. They were also giving a nice solid push to Kitamura before either he got hurt or screwed up (did we ever get any news on that?) but still seems to be in play. Umino and Narita might pan out if they keep them on track.

    Still, I share the concern that there's not enough people. Most of the guys they have are getting up there in age, and I'm not sure if they have more Young Lions in the pipeline, either. They'll have to continue depending on foreign wrestlers to keep the interest going, especially if they do want to continue the growth in the U.S.

  27. #107
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    I think when New Japan wants to make a star, they'll have no problem making a star. Okada was basically nobody when he came in in 2012, and they developed him into a big star basically overnight. Kenny Omega was doing stupid comedy shtick and spraying guys with hairspray one day, and then they refocused him and he broke out pretty much instantly. Gedo seems to like having only a couple guys truly at the top, but when they need a new one I think they'll deliver, and possibly from a really unexpected place too.

  28. #108
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    That's true, but it can be hit and miss, based on what I've seen from New Japan's past. I've read stories about guys people given that top spot and the fans being lukewarm on them. Granted, that was during a different time (when New Japan seemed to be enamored with shoot fighters), and given the recent track record of Gedo there's probably no reason to worry.

  29. #109
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    I remember when Naito before his Los ingornoble days bombed as the stardust genius face. That was the one miss by Gedo I can recall. While i agree with MF on Gedo being able to make others stars quickly, Gedo also doesn't really need to if I'm being fair. Okada if he doesn't leave, will be the guy for the next 5 years at least, likely more depending on health. At the time of Okada's arrival, he NEEDED to work as a top guy cause if he didn't, then an aging Tanahashi would have had to carry the load for alot longer.

    Can we say Goto was a success or fail? He's never been able to be that top guy I think they wanted him to be.

  30. #110
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    This might be a bit of hindsight rewriting, and could be because he was always my fave, but do you guys think the Shibata injury and (seeming) complete retirement slightly hurt NJPW developing a new top guy? When I think back, he was the one person who I think had a massive swell of support behind him, they'd spent quite a long time slowly burning him up to the Okada challenge, and I don't think there wasn't a bigger plan for him given all of that. I often wonder what might have been without that injury. Probably my most heartbreaking moment as a wrestling fan, recently.

    I think Juice could be huge in NJPW if he hangs on for another couple of years. He's incredibly over as a scrappy good guy right now, and I don't think I've watched a match of his in the last calendar year and not though 'this guy has it - how was he so shit in NXT?'.

    Ishii would be the one person I would say was primed and ready to be IWGP Heavyweight Champion. He's had one shot at it when Naito was champion and came up short, but has never had an opportunity since Okada won it and the whole Chaos thing prevented him from really challenging.

  31. #111
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    Are they going to bother building a new Japanese star? Okada is only 30.

    I think that EVIL has IT and could be a huge star with the right treatment.

    At the end of the day, though, Okada is still very young. Even Naito is only 36 and performing at a very high level. The two of them with a cadre of American, Aussie, British and Tongan talent makes NJPW seem like a truly global promotion.

    I'm not from the country, but from what I've heard people have taken well to Kenny's earnest attempt to relocate his entire life to Japan, immerse himself in the country and learn the language fluently and have basically accepted him as a Japanese star.

  32. #112
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    I think that generally the idea that people can only cheer for people from their own country is fairly misguided. It certainly helps if someone has an in depth knowledge of the culture but hardly a requirement,particularly in the globalised world we have today.



    @Sir_Samuel

  33. #113
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    I agree with that assessment, although I do think there is some bias to invest more heavily in someone who has a similar background to you. That's hardly universal though and should be only accounted for in moderation, some guys surpass that rule by a mile.

    Sam asked me to check one Suzuki/White from the G1 and I finally got around to it. Suzuki is a big favorite of mine, though I do think he sometimes is a "greatest hits" kind of guy instead of guy who is amazing every time you see him. Love that aura though, always comes off as one of the toughest and scariest dudes ever. Jay White is a guy I've had my issues with. He was athletic but bland before this year, and now... well, I still think his whole "switchblade" persona looks like it was doodled by a 13 year old boy during class. I wear red and my hair is jet black! And I like knives! The whole thing feels so "try hard" and I'm just not sure White has the chops to really pull off what they seem to be going for. Perhaps this match will turn me around? The answer turned out be "perhaps a little bit?". White did do at least one thing I really liked in this match. He presented his chest to be chopped by Suzuki, but then actually used a strategy instead of standing and being chopped like a dumbass! It's almost like White's confident enough in the size of his dick that he doesn't need to ask for extra offense to prove how manly he is! If you're getting the idea that I'm a bit burned out on fighting spirit, you're on the right track. So god bless White for that, at least. Overall though, I thought this was the Suzuki show. White was kind of snide and disrespectful but in a way I feel like I've seen others do a lot better. Suzuki, on the other hand, can give me chills with even simple things. At one point Jay White tries to apply a Muta Lock, but first slaps Suzuki on the head a few times. Suzuki gets this faraway look in his eyes as White applies the hold, and suddenly breaks it by snatching White's finger with terrible power and precision and starts to bend them off his hand! The way Suzuki uses these little moments is brilliant, and watching him break down White was just awesome. Suzuki does get the win here, as I'd say he well deserved to. My quest to "get" Jay White continues, if there are any better matches to do that with, feel free to point the way!

  34. #114
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    I like Jay a lot. I really enjoyed his stuff with Juice and I really buy him as the sleazy dude who is willing to take shortcuts, but is cerebral enough to study his opponents and use their own game against them. Like what you said with the Suzuki chop spot.

    I really would like to see a little more of his apparently trying to take over Chaos. He's seemingly against Okada and trying to create "his" Chaos. It's unfortunate that it's at the exact same time as the Elite vs OG angle because I think that it would be really compelling to see the only heel in Chaos trying to take it over with the babyfaces resisting. I could see someone like Ospreay maybe siding with White, maybe even Ishii and Goto.

    I'm a big fan of his style, and just the way that he carries himself.

  35. #115
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    Figured I'd share it since it is of NJPW past.

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  36. #116
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    I think it'd be easier for me to go along with Jay White if his focus was on being sleazy and cerebral, instead of trying to appear "evil" with the look and the knife stuff. Shaking up CHAOS does seem like a good thing for him to do, as they've been a pretty meaningless stable for a long time. Doing Okada/White at Wrestle Kingdom could be just the ticket.

  37. #117
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I think you are right about the sleazy and cerebral stuff there Mizzie. ONe of the more fun subplots in the tag matches through the G1 was White trying to corrupt his tag partners and that side of him did shine through, he just needs to completely embrace it.



    @Sir_Samuel

  38. #118
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    It's interesting that the main event of Fighting Spirit Unleashed is the Golden Lovers vs. Ishii & Okada. I wonder what this means for Ishii remaining with Chaos now that Jay White has taken over; or if means it is going to be a civil war like BC, which I don't necessarily want to see. I'd rather just a new (or any) direction for Chaos if they are going to remain.

  39. #119
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    I have a hard time picturing a guy like Ishii following White as a leader, though if CHAOS remains as nebulous as it's been I guess it might not be an immediate concern. I'd be interested in seeing each member pick what they wanted to do but at the same time I agree doing another stable civil war angle doesn't seem that exciting.

  40. #120
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone wants that. But I'm currently holding back any opinions on the angle until Power Struggle. I think that's where all of this shakeup will settle to lead us to Wrestle Kingdom.

    Seeing the card of Fighting Spirit Unleashed, I wonder what the plans are for the storylines. There are plenty of meaningful matches, so it feels like a significant card. But with King of Pro Wrestling just a week after and the only match set for that card is Kushida versus whoever wins between Ospreay and Scurll, they'll have to set something up for that show sooner rather than later.

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