Int'l Region, Fargo Subregion, First Round: (14) Giant Baba vs. (19) AJ Styles

Discussion in 'International Region' started by klunderbunker, Mar 17, 2015.

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Who Wins This Matchup?

  1. Giant Baba

  2. AJ Styles

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. klunderbunker

    klunderbunker Welcome to My (And Not Sly's) House

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    This is a first round match in the International Region, Fargo Subregion. It is a standard one on one match held under International Rules. It will be held at Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota.

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    #14. Giant Baba

    Vs.

    [​IMG]

    #19. AJ Styles



    Polls will be open for three days following a one day period for discussion. Voting will be based on who you feel is the greater of the two competitors. Post your reasons for why your pick should win below. Remember that this is non-spam and the most votes in the poll win. Any ties will be broken by the amount of posts of support for each candidate, with one vote per poster.

    Also remember that this is a non-spam forum. If you post a response without giving a reason for your selection, it will be penalized for spam and deleted.
     
    #1
  2. Bernkastel

    Bernkastel Reaper of Miracles
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    Not only was Baba one of Japan's most popular superstars, but his popular spread faster than Antonio Inoki's And like Inoki, Baba had an exceptional record against against gaijins both domestically and internationally. I don't I have list off all the Americans he's defeated, but former NWA champions Jack Brisco and Harley Race are among them. Baba was the first Asian man to become NWA champion and even served as as a high ranking member of the Alliance when AJPW was still an affiliate.

    AJ Styles has won every title in TNA and is arguably their most successful "home grown" talent. But he's not been very consistent in his career, often being overshadowed by bigger and more popular stars to the point where Fans would probably consider Sting or Angle the "face" of the promotion over AJ.

    Really though the match isn't close. Vote Baba.
     
    #2
  3. FunKay the Inevitable

    FunKay the Inevitable People Like Me, We Don't Play

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    I think Ech is selling AJ Styles way short here. For one Baba's record against gaijin may be impressive, but we aren't in Japan, thus AJ Styles is no gaijin. Furthermore, from what I can tell, Baba's success was largely kept within Japan - all his NWA World Title wins are about six days long and are parts of tours of Japan. Also, to say AJ wasn't the face of TNA is kind of like saying Sting wasn't the face of WCW even though he was surrounded by the likes of Hogan and Savage, he's still the face of that company and the same with AJ.

    Having said all this, I may end up voting for Baba here anyway. He's the bigger star and the bigger attraction who did things on a bigger stage. He's an industry legend who founded the second most succesful Japanese company ever and stayed at the top of it for a long, long time. I'll have to think about it, and it's closer than it's being made out to be, but Baba is edging it for me. A good, pro-AJ post might persuade me though.
     
    #3
  4. Bernkastel

    Bernkastel Reaper of Miracles
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    It doesn't matter where we are Funkay, do you really think TNA would job prime Giant Baba out to AJ Styles even in TNA? Location should not matter. It's not like Baba hasn't lost in Japan to Americans, but even if the shoe was on the other foot that wouldn't discredit Styles if he were on the level of someone like say... Bruno or Race... who did defeat Baba in Japan.

    Baba was far more accomplished than AJ Styles. Even if his reigns were short he was trusted with the belt because of his reputation and the respect he earned inside the Alliance. And he was instrumental in opening allot of doors for future gaijins to work in Japan. Like AJ Styles does now. Plus Baba managed to carry his promotion for more than 30 years with his popularity. AJ Styles couldn't even consistently carry his. He was often overshadowed by stars that weren't even TNA originals for long periods of time.

    The match really shouldn't be close. Do the right thing and vote Baba.
     
    #4
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  5. FunKay the Inevitable

    FunKay the Inevitable People Like Me, We Don't Play

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    AJ wasn't just a top dog in TNA though, is he? Look at how he's taken Japan by storm the last year. He's on IWGP Heavyweight title reign two in the midst of one of the hottest main event scenes in the history of that company.

    And unlike say Christian vs. Ricky Steamboat where the location really doesn't matter, I think the location does matter here somewhat.

    Antonio Inoki travelled and was a huge international star as a result. Baba didn't and wasn't as a result. Known and very much respected sure, but not revered anywhere near the level of Inoki as a result. If this match were to take place in front of an actual crowd, they'd cheer AJ easily because a good portion of them would audibly say 'who's this guy?' when it came to Baba.

    Also, from what I can tell, Baba lost when he went to the States. He was beaten by both Bruno and Buddy Rogers when their world titles were the line during excursions to the States.

    He was trusted with the NWA title to sell tickets and get a pop out of the locals. It also probably helped that he held key positions within the NWA during his times with the championship.

    Indeed Baba is probably more important to wrestling's history, but that doesn't guarantee victory. Rikidozan was probably more important than 95%+ of the field in this tournament and he'll likely be going out in round two or three.

    And let's be fair: Baba was a) booking his own promotion while Styles was busy getting fucked in the ass by various idiotic regimes in TNA (Russo being Russo, Hogan/Bischoff thinking far too highly of themselves as 'creative' minds, Dixie being a clueless klutz – which also answers your question of do I think TNA would book Baba over Styles, probably not because they’d likely do it in Japan too) and b) in charge of All Japan for, let's say 30 years (founded in 1972, he died in 1999), he stopped competing regularly in the mid 80s and wrestled once or twice ever so often (I.E. every few years) in the 90s. He was top of his own promotion for, if we're being generous, 15 years.

    It's closer than you think and while I’m voting Baba at the moment I'm still open to being swayed.
     
    #5
  6. Bernkastel

    Bernkastel Reaper of Miracles
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    True, but combine that with his less than stellar consistency in TNA and he doesn't have near the longevity that Baba had as a top star.

    Not really. It's the same argument that Misawa and Santo face every year. Just because they didn't venture outside their countries doesn't mean they would just auto lose to someone who wasn't an undisputed top name in America. Styles wasn't. He was a moderate to big fish in a small promotion. [yes TNA is still small compared to WWE/NJPW/CMLL.]

    NJPW also didn't have the working relationship with the NWA that Baba and AJPW did. Most foreign wrestlers who became big in Japan during the 70's did so because they went through Baba. He was even vice president of the NWA at one point. And that was still the top promotion in the world then. Even more so than the WWE.

    Uh... yes he was.

    Now you're the one underestimating Baba my friend. I'm sure the smarks that frequent the TNA shows would know who he is. Especially if they revere AJ enough to follow his career in Japan.

    Of course. But both of those men were on a entirely different level than AJ Styles or the TNA belt ever have been. I could understand your argument better if Styles were say, Steve Austin, but he's not.

    And he held those key positions due to his consistency and popularity in the first place.

    Shouldn't it though? Isn't that half the reason why modern stars like HHH and Austin go as far as they always do?

    Rikidozan also had quite a bit of help popularizing wrestling in Japan from men like Lou Thesz and Karl Gotch. Gotch got bounced out by a part timer, and I'm sure Thesz will lose some bullshit match later because he can't swing a chair or climb a cage.

    I don't understand the "he founded the promotion and made himself champion so that's a detriment" argument. AJPW took off in the first place because Baba was that popular with the fans. He made it work for 30 years because he was that popular with the fans. At his peak he could draw 50,000+ and a million dollar gate at the Tokyo Dome twice a year. TNA's biggest gate was Lockdown 2013 I believe, when AJ wasn't even on the card.


    It's really not. And you should vote Baba. It's the right thing to do.
     
    #6
  7. Tastycles

    Tastycles Turn Bayley heel

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    I'm not interested in getting embroiled in a big argument on this, but for me it's pretty simple. Baba is definitely bigger in his home region than AJ Styles ever was. Baba was not well travelled, but Styles has done the job against a number of foreign big stars over the course of his career and I think the same would happen. Baba wins.
     
    #7
  8. FunKay the Inevitable

    FunKay the Inevitable People Like Me, We Don't Play

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    At the moment, New Japan is considered the greatest (in terms of quality) company in the wrestling world. It has achieved critical acclaim the world over. In less than a year AJ Styles, at the age of 37, has won their top title twice in the midst of their hottest period ever.

    Giant Baba was wrestling in his late 50s and not even competing in his own company’s most competitive period.

    But the point is Baba did venture outside the country and he lost. He was only world champion on his own watch. We aren't on Baba's watch, he won't be perceived as a mega star as he were in Japan. He'll be seen as some big Japanese fella squaring off with this fairly well-known and very talented American.

    Baba went to foreign markets and got beat including for the NWA. You think the territories were talking about the great Giant Baba competing in Japan as if he were a top star equal to say a Harley Race in the early 80s? Unlikely.

    Inoki came to North America and was praised as an international sensation, marketed as a top star and recognised because of his mainstream attention courtesy of his (admittedly pathetic) fight with Muhammad Ali.

    People stop in the streets and bow to Inoki as if he were God himself. It's considered an honour to be slapped by him and rite of passage.

    I've never heard such stories about Baba. In fact type Giant Baba and popularity into Google and the only posts are quoting an unsourced Wikipedia article which claims Baba's popularity was equal to Hogan this very thread where you are quoted.

    The people who would attend a show in North Dakota are hardly going to all be smarks are they? So who do the casual fans cheer for? The American who does the flips and the technical jazz or the big lumbering Japanese bloke?

    And besides the smarks would still cheer for AJ because he does the flippies and shiz.

    Were they? Buddy Rogers is remembered as the first WWWF Champion and as the first Nature Boy...that's it for the most part. The history books are favourable to him because Vince McMahon remembers him fondly. He was never regarded in that upper echelon (forgive the pun) that someone like Bruno is.

    On the subject of Bruno, take him to North Dakota and he would receive a similar treatment to Baba I'd wager; respectful reception because he's a known name. He was a regional mega star but if he'd wrestled in California or Texas or the Carolinas he would never have been as popular. Baba falls into a similar category. Would he have been as popular in the States had he wrestled there full time. Probably not.

    You don't have to be Steve Austin. AJ Styles would be more known in North Dakota than Giant Baba, regardless of the smark crowd.

    This seems like a chicken or the egg question: was Baba popular because he booked himself into such a position or was he in such a position because he was popular. Given that he was the founder, owner and booker of All Japan, it looks like the former.

    We no: HHH is a notorious under-achiever in this tournament and Austin has only won two previously in spite of being considered one of the two greatest legends in western wrestling, ever.

    It's the same as the Verne Gagne thing: Verne was AWA Champion ten times. He would have always been a major star regardless, but the fact he was booking himself to hold the belt more times and longer than anyone else always raises a red flag. The same with Triple H being married to Steph.

    Baba being in control and giving himself the belt looks like politicking rather than credentials. You factor in the fact that AJPW's zenith wasn't until Baba had largely retired. It was only when he stepped aside and Misawa, Kawada and Kobashi were the main guys that it reached its peak thus his reigns don't exactly look like they were best for business.

    Baba also had some weird phobia about the Tokyo Dome. He only took AJPW there (crossover shows not withstanding) in the late 90s where they drew a 50,000+ crowd. It could be construed by some that Baba somewhat held AJPW back by not going to that well like New Japan did and still do.


    We'll see...
     
    #8
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  9. jmt225

    jmt225 Global Moderator

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    AJ Styles 100%.

    Only way Baba wins this match is if he's booking it himself, and I don't think that's the case here.

    Baba had a great look and was a very good guy, but he was trash in the ring. Listen to any interview about the guy and all the wrestlers who worked with him say the same thing. They loved working for Baba and his wife because they were trust worthy people who paid extremely well, but in the ring? He sucked and only put himself in positions for his opponents to make him look good.

    AJ Styles, in my opinion, is an all time great. When it comes to professional wrestling, there are two kinds of all-time greats. First are the big draws like Hogan, Austin, The Rock, etc. Second are the guys recognized masterful inside the ring, putting on countless great matches like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, etc.

    It's time AJ Styles gets lumped in that 2nd category. He's a top five ever on the list as far as I'm concerned; Kurt Angle would be the other guy.

    I think AJ doesn't get the respect he deserves because, of course, all his classic matches belong in TNA, ROH, and Japan. He's never stepped in a WWE ring, but does that really matter? Would Ric Flair not be considered an all-time great if he never wrestled in WWE?

    First thing you say about guys like Flair, Michaels, and Hart is that they can wrestle a broomstick and have a great match with it, meaning they bring the best out of anyone they step in the ring. AJ Styles fits that category 100%. Name one person AJ wasn't able to get a good match out of? You can't do it.

    Those guys also have a very versatile set of opponents. From big guys like Sid, Diesel, Vader.... to Japanese wrestlers, cruiserweights, and each other. AJ Styles also fits this description. Look at his work against Abyss. Those two had some of the greatest small wrestler vs. big wrestler matches ever. Abyss is talented but he's not THAT good; however, every time AJ stepped in there with him he made Abyss look like he was the greatest "big man" to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. And of course AJ's work against X Division and other smaller guys speak for itself.

    It feels like AJ is still a young man because he just had an incredible year last year, who many, including myself, thought he was the 'Wrestler of the Year'. And he is pretty young in pro wrestling years, but he's been in the limelight now for over 13 years. Bret didn't become a singles star until 1991 and he was out of the business by 2000. Shawn Michaels prime singles run only lasted 5 years before he took a 4 year break from the business. Ric Flair is Ric Flair of course.

    My point is, AJ Styles has been killing it for over 13 years now. Great matches after great matches against any and everyone he steps in the ring with. He is indeed, an all time great. And when people start mentioning all time greats, AJ Styles needs to be one of the names that roll off their tongue or type on a keyboard.

    And AJ deserves to go over here because he is an all time great, whereas Baba is a great name in the business for totally different reasons. Not because of shit he did in the ring, but because of stuff he did outside of it.

    AJ deserves to go over because he's the better wrestler. And he would work circles around Baba, and beat him in a match. I mentioned AJ's work against bigger wrestlers... Baba would have his greatest match ever against AJ Styles, and AJ would beat him in the process (unless, like I said earlier, Baba himself was booking it, which isn't the case here), just like AJ has done with countless other "big" wrestlers he has gone up against.
     
    #9
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  10. Pay Per Ghost

    Pay Per Ghost What they f*ck happened in the thread section here

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    Is this AJ's prime? The lone wolf from TNA to now? Just asking.

    My head says Baba, coz of his accolades and if he really was the first Asian NWA champion (back when it meant something), thats pretty impressive. I know about the politcs too, and STILL is a big deal.

    But I just wanna see Styles go further. someone who has been dumped with so much shit storyline sby TNA in recent memory and the kind of caliber he has, I wish he steps into NXT, I hope stays AJ Styles. I wanna see the global juggernaut broadcast this man. He deserves it.
     
    #10
  11. nightmare

    nightmare ...7, 8, Better stay up late...

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    AJ Styles has broken the door down since leaving TNA & his stuff with NJPW has been great. I always liked AJ & he has sure not let me down lately. For that reason, I have to give the edge to Styles. Bullet Club is lurking and this is the perfect situation for their tactics.

    Baba is a legend in his own right, but you cannot deny the book of Styles continues to add chapters as we speak.
     
    #11

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