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  1. #1
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    King of Pro Wrestling 2018

    So the KoPW main has shifted from Omega vs Ibushi to Omega vs Ibushi vs CODY. Only the second ever (I think - Styles vs Okada vs Elgin was the first a few years ago?) triple threat bout for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

    I'm kind of into it, much as I wanted to see Omega vs Ibushi one on one again. Adding CODY is kind of cool, I think, and they did it off the back of him looking strong against Juice and taking the IWGP US Title from him. I'm kind of sad for Juice, as I feel like he's had an excellent year, and especially during the G1. Probably needs some time off for his hand, though, if it's not healed properly yet.

    The main from Fighting Spirit Unleashed, Okada and Ishii vs Omega and Ibushi, is excellent, by the way. As was, surprisingly, GoD vs Bucks on the undercard.

    KUSHIDA vs Scurll is also set for the vacant juniors title at KoPW.

  2. #2
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    Adding Cody was absolutely the right move. Why on earth would you give away Ibushi-Omega on an event that wasn't a massive platform like a Wrestle Kingdom or the MSG show? I understand King of Pro Wrestling isn't a lower tier show but come on; giving away that match on that show (with only a week or so buildup no less) is doing a disservice to a storyline years in the making. Adding Cody allows New Japan to protect that match and save it for another time while still having Omega and Ibushi deliver the goods, with Cody along for the ride and to take the pin. It's absolutely the right move; I think the problem is there's a group of people out there who absolutely hate Cody for whatever reason and think anything he's involved in is shit. There's still actually people who think he booked himself to win the NWA Title (when only Billy Corgan and Dave Lagana can make that call) and now some are thinking he politicked his way into this match or the victory over Juice. The irrationality of some people.

    I thought the show last night was great, aside from Juice losing. I'm not sure how you can have him lose as much as he did in the G1, have him drop the belt immediately afterwards and think that's a good idea. It just makes him look like a goof more than anything else. I'm willing to give New Japan a shot and see how it plays out, and if he wins it back from Cody at Wrestle Kingdom then I'd say this was all a good move. But right now it looks highly questionable. Everything else last night was great though; even JR was better than usual, which leads me to believe Josh Barnett is just really, really bad at his gig.


  3. #3
    The Brain
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    I feel like people are not that high on Cody being included at KOPW but I don't mind it myself, I think he's done great work recently. KUSHIDA/Scurll should be quite fun too.

  4. #4
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    I don't really care for the triple threat.. Because I felt you could have still done Ibushi/Omega... They've run Okada/Omega into the ground. And also because I'm never going to favor a triple threat over a singles match. It has little to do with my opinion of Cody, which is actually higher than most.

  5. #5
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    The full KoPW card - including the debut of a new LiJ member, represented by the 'X':

    Tiger Mask and Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship

    Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe vs. Toa Henare and Juice Robinson

    Chase Owens, Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Taiji Ishimori, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, and Bad Luck Fale

    Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Takashi Iizuka, Taichi, and Minoru Suzuki

    Sho, Yoh, Toru Yano, and Kazuchika Okada vs. X (the new L.I.J. member), Bushi, Sanada, and Tetsuya Naito
    Evil vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

    Kushida vs. Marty Scurll for the vacant IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship

    Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jay White for the contract to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at the Tokyo Dome on January 4

    Kenny Omega (c) vs. Kota Ibushi vs. Cody for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

    On paper, looks like a really good show. Whit Vs Tana will be interesting just to see how far White has come since January 4th.

  6. #6
    New LIJ member at KoPW. Let the guessing begin.

  7. #7
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    I like the rumor of it being Kawato.

  8. #8
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    If you had watched him in CMLL this past year you wouldn't. I still think he's got a bright future but holy hell he is not ready yet; the kid can't even catch dives consistently at this stage and that's something he'd have to do in the Junior Division. On top of that he's also booked on CMLL's Sunday Night show so it would be nearly impossible for him to get from Mexico to Japan in time. It's not him.

    Frankly I would still guess Pac at this point, despite his return to Dragon Gate this morning. Maybe there's bad blood between the two promotions that will prevent it but I would think, provided he's a freelancer, Pac could go wherever and he would be a great fit in any role for New Japan. Add in the fact that I can't think of any other potential candidates at this time and that's the best guess I've got.


  9. #9
    The Brain
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    DG putting PAC in a stable, a heel one to boot, makes me think they expect to use him a fair bit, but it's not unthinkable that he could split time between the promotions.

    I've also heard Shingo Takagi mentioned and I think he might be a good fit. His typical style is a bit different than the NJPW Junior style but he'd be a super interesting foil for the guys they have there, and I'm sure he could be adaptable.

  10. #10
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    My official guess is Kitamura despite reality making that unlikely. He was kept in the fire pro game. That has to mean something.

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

  11. #11
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    PAC was the most-rumored person for that spot, but given that he'll be in Dragon Gate for this current loop they have (he'll be around until October 21st), I doubt he'll show up in New Japan in the middle of that.

    Shingo Takagi was the next most-rumored person, given that he wrapped up with Dragon Gate last night. I'd love to see him in that spot. Selfishly, I hope he'll keep his freelancer status so he can show up in other places like All Japan.

    Another rumor I heard was Dragon Lee, given that he's the younger brother of Rush so there's a pre-built connection. Not sure how that would fit story-wise given that he accidentally took one of LIJ's own out. But they would be able to spin something out of that and maybe sow some seeds for a feud when Hiromu is healthy again.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    My official guess is Kitamura despite reality making that unlikely. He was kept in the fire pro game. That has to mean something.
    I was initially thinking this too until I saw the lineup. The match where this new member debuts in will be a four on four; Okada, Yano, SHO and YOH vs. Naito, SANADA, BUSHI and the new guy. There's two heavyweights and two juniors on the Chaos team, which leads me to believe it'll be the same on the LIJ side, which in theory eliminates Kitamura and any other possible heavyweight candidate. Unless Kitamura has shrunk of course.

    I'm frankly at a loss. I'm leaning towards Pac the most because a) he's already in Japan and b) he seems a mortal lock to be in New Japan at some point soon. But he really only makes sense because none of the others do; most people I know don't think Takagi would be willing to accept a role in the Junior Heavyweight division, guys like Kawato and Red Shoe's kid just aren't ready, guys like Pentagon, Fenix, Bandido and Flamita are tied to AAA (don't underestimate this point; it's largely forgotten that LIJ is an off shoot of Los Ingobernables, a CMLL stable. I don't think CMLL is going to take kindly to New Japan adding guys to the group who are working against their competition) and even someone like Dragon Lee is too busy right now on a reality show for the foreseeable future. It's tough to see who could be a potential member when so many candidates just don't make sense. Hence I'm leaning towards Pac still, with Shane Strickland (Killshot from LU) or someone from CMLL being the next in line.


  13. #13
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    most people I know don't think Takagi would be willing to accept a role in the Junior Heavyweight division
    I'm curious, why is that? If he comes in as a freelancer, it probably doesn't matter to him if he's placed in that division. He could also use it as a foot in the door should he want a more permanent spot.

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    I can actually see that possibly being a barrier for Shingo. Anywhere else in Japan he'd be a top heavyweight contender just walking in the door. Taking a smaller role in Japan might not appeal to him. Then again, as Deg said, I think it's possible he'd be willing to start there.

    I like the idea of Dragon Lee a lot, though I agree with Cult it feels like a real long shot.

    Strickland is one I hadn't heard before but I'd love to see how it played out!

    One name I saw mentioned is SHO, switching sides in the match. Doesn't feel super likely as that's not really a NJPW kind of booking tactic, but Gedo has been known to experiment at times.

  15. #15
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    This has been fun so far.

  16. #16
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    So I guess Shingo was willing to take on that juniors role after all! I still think he may be more suited as a heavyweight but it'll be interested to see what he can do in the meantime. I think KUSHIDA/Shingo could actually be really awesome.

  17. #17
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    I like Shingo in Juniors for a short term type run where he's bigger than everyone else so just dominates. Wrestle Kingdom 13 is shaping up to be quite the show.

  18. #18
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    For some reason I didn't realize that Shingo Takagi was as tall - if not more built - than Naito himself. I'm definitely curious about his role from here on out, in any case. That Last Falconry finisher he hit looks absolutely brutal. Talk about making an impact. Super-excited for him.

    Funny how Jericho's surprise appearances seem to be having much less of an impact nowadays. I haven't seen many people talk about his run-in last night. Anyway, is this setting up a match between him and EVIL for Power Struggle or Wrestle Kingdom? What do you do with Jericho at Wrestle Kingdom if he does face EVIL in November?

    I'm also pretty interested in seeing how the OG Bullet Club (or is it Firing Squad) continues to form from here, taking out Okada and adding Jado, and apparently Gedo and Jay White in the mix. The rest of CHAOS seems to be preoccupied with Suzuki-gun so it's just a confusing mess in that regard.

    This was a fun show from beginning to end, I enjoyed it.

  19. #19
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    I'm kind of wondering if they're doing Jericho vs EVIL at Power Struggle (in fact, looking around now, I see that's confirmed) to spin off into Jericho vs Naito II at the Dome where Naito gets his title back.

    I'm off to start a Power Struggle thread now, if there isn't one, because it looks like a doozy of a card.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post

    This was a fun show from beginning to end, I enjoyed it.
    Just finished it last night; totally agree. Even the stuff I don't normally care about had importance.

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