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Evil Otto

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  1. If I'm not mistaken, Ricky Reyes showed up on the Talk'N Shop podcast fairly recently on a Romero-only episode, so the general timeline in regards to NJPW Strong kicking off this angle would seem to match up pretty well. Hopefully to the surprise of no one at this point, the latest episode may have been one of the best ones so far, especially with the Philly crowd who brought some tremendous extra energy to the proceedings. Jonathan Gresham vs. Alex Coughlin was quite a thing of beauty, and did it's true job by making me want to see more someday down the road. Violence Unlimited with Daniel Garcia is a simmering storyline I'd like to see revisited as well. Tons of delightful brutality on display from top to bottom.
  2. Buddy Matthews has the potential to be a top-tier performer, I've seen glimpses of that through the years, although I'm no longer a regular WWE watcher. He's absolutely someone who's worth giving a shot to, in my opinion. In this particular case, I'm going to cut him a little slack, as I think for lots of the folks coming directly from WWE, it may take a handful of matches for them to get acclimated to the different style and expectations. I mean, they could have easily put him in there against Alex Coughlin, just for example, but they didn't, and slotted him second to the top. He's coming in rather cold, I'd say. Against Okada, no less. Pretty daunting. On the flip side, Jonah (Rock) came in hot like he fucking owned the place though, that development certainly has me intrigued as well.
  3. I'm jealous, not just because you had fabulous seats, but also because the NJPW World feed was kinda wonky. I reckon it may have been a FiteTV issue; bearable to watch, but somewhat disappointing. Nevertheless, it was damn fun card that never seemed to drag. Ospreay-Narita was outstanding, and I might have to say that the 10-man tag was my second favorite because the crowd seemed to just eat it all up. Like Resurgence, lots of newsworthy happenings and storyline stuff as well. I'm sure it was a blast to see it live. Solid-looking venue, too.
  4. Saw some clips of the match, looked really promising. Can't wait to see it in full. Cavernario has looked decent but not quite 100% since coming back, but he looked to be back in form last night from what I could tell.
  5. Aaaarrrrrrgggghhhh! It was inevitable, but arrrrgghhh nonetheless. Just because I knew the dagger to the heart was coming, doesn't make it any less painful. Seriously, fuck it, give it to Cobb. (Or, in other words, the second dagger still awaits!)
  6. If you feel like cherry-picking from the past 3 or 4 weeks, most of the matches were solid, but I would strongly recommend Coughlin vs. Ishii, Rosser vs. Narita, and Lawlor vs. Narita. In particular, the last two matches, and if you only choose one, the last one. Lawlor-Narita was outstanding, and the less I say about it, the better. Just watch it if you can. But, if you're curious...
  7. The O-Khan-Ishii match delightfully exceeded my expectations. I thought it would be good, of course, because Ishii would make it so, and he did. However, it would be far too easy to say, as has been implied elsewhere, that O-Khan's best matches, with ZSJ and Ishii, were only due to the quality of his opponents. I feel that argument simply doesn't work anymore after the Ishii encounter, as O-Khan wasn't necessarily being led so much after a certain point, and it was him equally as much as Ishii who took the match to the next level in terms of creativity and brutality. The G1 has really allowed him to show his overall in-ring prowess and he has quite the bag of tricks, which he has obviously refrained from fully dipping into until now. I still think he's a bit of a work in progress, but all the key elements appear to be there.
  8. Stephanie Vaquer does indeed fucking rule. Constant, fluid motion, takes charge when needed, and most important, when she gets vicious, it's all done so crisply. I just started to notice her this year, and she's definitely someone I'm keeping my eye on going forward. She already feels like a top star to me.
  9. I didn't think anything could ever top "Violent Giants". Yet, here we are.
  10. You've probably already figured it out, but they've changed the schedule to Saturdays going forward (or Sunday mornings for me). By the way, a tremendous episode. Crowds for NJ Strong now officially exist going forward! Lots of big names. Brutality. Enjoy!
  11. Obviously, the favorites are Okada, Ibushi, and Naito. Both 2-time winners. So, if being stale is the issue here, and by the way it most definitely is, well then... Just give this to Cobb. I absolutely loved Shingo and Cobb from Wrestle Kingdom, it's still on my short list of my favorite matches this past year. It also felt like that match, as epic as it turned out to be, was in fact a beginning of something potentially much bigger, if the New Japan bookers were so inclined to take it in that direction. Obviously, Shingo rode that momentum from the start of 2021 to where he is now, and Cobb hasn't been far behind in retrospect. Both guys are also peaking in their respective careers, and are pushing 40. In January, most likely you'll have Ospreay on the show, so a match with Okada, Ibushi, or even Naito would work fine and could easily be built up as a top match, likely some hoo-hah concerning the "real title" and whatnot, so if Shingo-Cobb is already slotted in, it will be surrounded by a lot of strong matches. By January, some AEW involvement could also be factored in, it's still iffy but possible. I really wouldn't have any problem with the other candidates since a match with Shingo is pretty much can't miss (unless you're Evil). Again, great, but predictable. New Japan needs some further changes to truly feel energized again. Cobb just wiping everyone out in the G1 would certainly do that, as least for me. But I don't think I'm alone.
  12. Another solid episode this week. I know the landscape has changed since Resurgence, and that we are likely to see some bigger names pop up on Strong imminently, but I appreciate the fact that they are also sticking to the original formula and are focusing on the LA Dojo guys along with up and coming indie talent. Hey, if NXT doesn't want the latter, I'm sure New Japan would welcome some of them! Random thoughts: as usual, a pretty easy-to-watch hour, as all the matches were solid. DKC does the "scrappy underdog who's potentially lethal" shtick quite well, it would be nice to see him on the road for the upcoming shows, as he's a guy a live audience could easily get behind. I like Barrett Brown as a heel, it suits him well. Lio Rush is so good in Strong, and I'm selfishly hoping he sticks it out for a while in New Japan. It was clear in the final match that Juice might be an upcoming title contender, and I'm pretty confident he will thrive in these conditions, as he's a top-tier guy in the States for NJPW but mid-range over in Japan. I look forward to Lawlor and Juice at some point, it seems like they already have good chemistry. That all being said, if there's one match you have time for, watch Alexander James vs. Karl Fredericks. Fredericks has been fine since being moved up from young lion, and I know New Japan have him earmarked, but he's rarely been the highlight on Strong episodes for me. James had his first match in Strong a couple weeks ago, and that was good, but I was still a little unsure what I thought of him since he was completely new to me. Well, in this match, James is clearly much more in control and confident, and as such, lays it in pretty heavy on Fredericks. I like that Fredericks is really being pushed here, as to be honest, it's kind of what he needs. Super physical and intense, really good stuff.
  13. Wow, Minoru Tanaka is wrestling Koji Iwamoto and that's gonna be a bit confusing to watch.
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