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  #141  
Old 11-05-2017, 10:30 AM
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Every time I make a prediction, New Japan laughs in my face. I'm just gonna stop.

Omega vs Jericho is cool. Ibushi would have been better, but ehh.

I think he's challenging Cody now. They had a confrontation backstage after the show today that NJPW tweeted a picture of. https://twitter.com/njpw1972/status/927180316283879424
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  #142  
Old 11-05-2017, 11:00 AM
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Omega vs. Jericho, in all honesty, feels like a major step down in some ways for Omega. True, you've got the novelty of Chris Jericho wrestling for New Japan for the first time since he was a kid but aside from that, it's ultimately Chris Jericho doing what he's been doing in WWE for much of this decade in WWE: putting over a young star with a lot of buzz at one of the biggest shows, if not THE biggest show, of the year.

Also, to me, it really, really just seems that Omega has been spinning his wheels since he won the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship as his title feuds have been/are all against guys that you know for about 99.99% have no shot of beating him, one of the complaints you'll see lobbed at WWE from time to time; first it was Juice Robinson, then it was Yoshi-Hashi, then it was Baretta and Jericho is next. Don't get me wrong, I've little doubt it'll be an entertaining match but I also see this as something that'll be pretty heavily overrated when it's all said and done
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  #143  
Old 11-05-2017, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack-Hammer View Post
Omega vs. Jericho, in all honesty, feels like a major step down in some ways for Omega. True, you've got the novelty of Chris Jericho wrestling for New Japan for the first time since he was a kid but aside from that, it's ultimately Chris Jericho doing what he's been doing in WWE for much of this decade in WWE: putting over a young star with a lot of buzz at one of the biggest shows, if not THE biggest show, of the year.

Also, to me, it really, really just seems that Omega has been spinning his wheels since he won the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship as his title feuds have been/are all against guys that you know for about 99.99% have no shot of beating him, one of the complaints you'll see lobbed at WWE from time to time; first it was Juice Robinson, then it was Yoshi-Hashi, then it was Baretta and Jericho is next. Don't get me wrong, I've little doubt it'll be an entertaining match but I also see this as something that'll be pretty heavily overrated when it's all said and done
It definately is a step down for Omega, regarding Omega's career as a singles star. Obivously, Okada is a bigger deal than Jericho since he's the NJPW champion, BUT, Chris Jericho is just way more popular. At the end of the day, popularity is what makes a superstar the superstar that he is.

Chris Jericho vs the guy that has put two-three 6+ star matches sells. It is a right step for Omega and a right step for NJPW. As for Chris? Who knows. He doesn't really need anything at this stage of his career, other than to wrestle and him versus Omega is a bigger match than any match Jericho could've had in the WWE right now.

The spotlight falls on everybody: Jericho, Omega and the promotion as well. How can this be anything else than good?
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  #144  
Old 11-05-2017, 06:38 PM
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I don't really follow New Japan, but this is a good move for the company and Omega in my mind. Jericho isn't a Rock or even a Batista, but he has some name value in the mainstream and that will get people talking about Omega as a competitor and New Japan as a company. It may be a step down in terms of fighting New Japan's elite like Kenny should be doing, but it will only help his career in the long run. This will probably be a very solid twenty minute affair and while I doubt it will be a classic, it will get Omega and New Japan more mainstream exposure than any Omega/Okada "6 Star Classic" ever could.
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  #145  
Old 11-05-2017, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deoxyribonucleic A.C.I.D. View Post
It definately is a step down for Omega, regarding Omega's career as a singles star. Obivously, Okada is a bigger deal than Jericho since he's the NJPW champion, BUT, Chris Jericho is just way more popular. At the end of the day, popularity is what makes a superstar the superstar that he is.

Chris Jericho vs the guy that has put two-three 6+ star matches sells. It is a right step for Omega and a right step for NJPW. As for Chris? Who knows. He doesn't really need anything at this stage of his career, other than to wrestle and him versus Omega is a bigger match than any match Jericho could've had in the WWE right now.

The spotlight falls on everybody: Jericho, Omega and the promotion as well. How can this be anything else than good?
Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea for New Japan. They want to expand in America and they're going about it in a smart way. For instance, Jericho wrestling is bound to get some people who've never ordered a New Japan show to do so and their next show in the US is going to be the weekend before WrestleMania. Unlike TNA back in the day, New Japan is trying to, metaphorically speaking, walk before they can run and what I mean by that is they're not trying to do anything to even remotely suggest they're going to go head to head against WWE. When it comes to WWE, they're better off not even trying to compete as it's just too soon and a LOT of format changes would have to go down.

It's just that for me, as a fan, this match just doesn't really do much for me and I suppose one reason is because I'm just so used to seeing Jericho in this spot in WWE that seeing it again in another promotion just doesn't get me excited.
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  #146  
Old 11-06-2017, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack-Hammer View Post
Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea for New Japan. They want to expand in America and they're going about it in a smart way. For instance, Jericho wrestling is bound to get some people who've never ordered a New Japan show to do so and their next show in the US is going to be the weekend before WrestleMania. Unlike TNA back in the day, New Japan is trying to, metaphorically speaking, walk before they can run and what I mean by that is they're not trying to do anything to even remotely suggest they're going to go head to head against WWE. When it comes to WWE, they're better off not even trying to compete as it's just too soon and a LOT of format changes would have to go down.

It's just that for me, as a fan, this match just doesn't really do much for me and I suppose one reason is because I'm just so used to seeing Jericho in this spot in WWE that seeing it again in another promotion just doesn't get me excited.
Oh I see.. From my point of view, I'm actually interested, because I'd like to see how Chris would wrestle out of the WWE. Don't get me wrong, Jericho is a great wrestler, but of course his work rate in the ring has decreased in the last years. I'd like to see if Jericho is holding anything back, that he has not shown inside a WWE ring.

Omega is obviosuly going to win. But I'm interesting to see how good this match will turn out to be.
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  #147  
Old 11-26-2017, 01:33 AM
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Finally got my WK ticket. I was going to hold off until I was in Tokyo, but Kidani tweeted out about tickets selling out faster than any other WK to date thanks to easier access for gaijin to book, so I bit the bullet and grabbed the best ticket available and got a 1F Standing ticket. Slightly worse off than last year since I won't have a seat, but luckily for me I typically work 10 hour days in a kitchen, so being on my feet for the entirety of the show should be a breeze.
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  #148  
Old 12-27-2017, 11:37 AM
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Final Wrestle Kingdom card is up, sans the NJR participants.

1) New Japan Rumble: Participants TBA
2) IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles: Roppongi 3K (c) v The Young Bucks
3) NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Titles Gauntlet Match: Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa) (c) v CHAOS (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) v Michael Elgin and War Machine v Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka and Zack Sabre Jr) v Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson, Togi Makabe and Ryusuke Taguchi)
4) Special Singles Match: Cody v Kota Ibushi
5) IWGP Tag Team Titles: Killer Elite Squad (c) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA)
6) NEVER Openweight Title No Seconds Match where the loser gets their head shaved: Minoru Suzuki (c) v Hirooki Goto
7) IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Fatal Four Way: Marty Scurll (c) v Hiromu Takahashi v Will Ospreay v KUSHIDA
8) IWGP Intercontinental Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) v "Switchblade" Jay White
9) IWGP United States Title No Disqualification Match: Kenny Omega (c) v Chris Jericho
10) IWGP Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) v Tetsuya Naito

Not a single bad looking match on the card. Only one I'm not really interested in is the 6-Man Tag title gauntlet, but that's only because of the non-existent build, while the match itself will be acceptable quality at the very least. Everything else has gotten solid build and should deliver well on match quality.

My flight leaves in a little under 24 hours, so this will probably be my last post here until I get back from Tokyo on the 12th. Enjoy the show all.
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  #149  
Old 03-20-2018, 03:48 AM
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Here's the card for the New Japan Cup finals:

Shota Umino vs Tetsuhiro Yagi

Tomoyuki Oka vs Taichi

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Tanga Loa

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.

Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI

Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi vs Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka,
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado

Kazuchika Okada & Chuckie T vs Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens

New Japan Cup Finals Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr.

Looks like mostly a one match card, with the only other intrigue being what could be a fun semi-main tag(Ibushi and Chase have looked good together on the tour), continued build toward a Naito/Suzuki showdown, and a sooner than expected match-up between KES and Ishii/YTR with both teams being built recently toward possible title shots.

As for the cup finals, I could legitimately see it going either way. Conventional wisdom would've dictated Okada having another successful title defense(the one that would tie Tana's record for a single reign) prior to facing Tana in the match that would potentially break the record; however, seeing as Tana's program with Suzuki has been put temporarily on hold and replaced by the aforementioned tension between Naito and Minoru, and with past tensions seeming to be reignited between the company's two aces on this tour, it would appear that it is now ripe for the Tanahashi versus Okada defense to occur at Sakura Genesis with Tana looking to preserve his record proper.

Then again, flying in the face of all of those observations, ZSJ has been booked as a killer here and would be a believable choice to win this whole thing and be pegged as the man to provide the record tying defense for Okada(with the hopes that a Naito/Suzuki double main at Sakura Genesis is enough to make up for a lower name value opponent for the IWGP champ than the cup has provided in recent years).

My pick goes to Tanahashi, strictly due to how I've seen the stories play out during the tour.

As for the tournament itself, it's been awesome, with the matches having more a G1 feel than recent iterations of this tournament. ZSJ has been the MVP thus far, but Juice, Tana, Ibushi, and YOSHI-HASHI all deserve their share of the credit as well.

I'll rank all 14 matches of the tournament thus far(for anyone with the time and desire to cherry pick tourney matches):

1) Ibushi vs ZSJ
2) Tana vs Juice
3) Ibushi vs YOSHI-HASHI
4) Elgin vs Ishii
5) Naito vs ZSJ
6) SANADA vs ZSJ
7) Elgin vs Juice
8) Juice vs Yujiro
9) SANADA vs Yano
10) Tana vs Fale
11) SANADA vs Chuckie T
12) Tana vs Taichi
13) Fale vs Archer
14) Yano vs DBS Jr.

I've seen many suggest that the Ibushi and Sabre match is a MOTYC, while still others preferred the Tana/Juice match over it. Both were truly great. Also YOSHI-HASHI continued a bounce back year with one of his personal best matches ever, and Elgin/Ishii predictably had an awesome hoss battle. One last note- the Smith Jr. match is about the worst example of a Yano match, while conversely SANADA makes for an awesome opponent for Yano and their match was one of the better Yano singles matches that you will find these days.
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  #150  
Old 03-21-2018, 04:00 PM
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Warm beer at the presser or not, Sabre made the same pretzel out of the Ace that he made out of the rest of the field, furthering proving why I should know better than to try and get a handle on where Gedo is going to go next with the booking.

Congrats to the second ever Gaijin, and first ever British, New Japan Cup champion Zack Sabre Jr.

ZSJ was no question the star of this tour, and he more than earned this nod. The Sakura Genesis main event is super intriguing now, even if the outcome is mostly a foregone conclusion. The freshness of the pairing(ZSJ and Okada have never shared the same ring), combined with the uniqueness that Zack will create compared to other Okada defenses, makes for something worthy of high anticipation.

The final itself was a four and a half star effort from me, and I'd say that it surpassed the Tana/Juice semi as Tana's best match, and the overall second best match, of the entire tournament. This thing went 35 minutes, but never dragged or stalled, and the pace was spectacularly worked by two masters, and the crowd was eating from their palms. Just borderline perfect stuff.

New Japan Cup 2018 can be argued as the best iteration of this tournament. No one is touching New Japan right now... Now bring the fuck on Strong Style Evolved!!
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