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Everything posted by Horangi

  1. Bloody hell, couldn't sleep so I ended up going down this rabbit hole... Seems to be a lot of different takes, from Ibushi having a legitimate issue to it being a parody of a YouTube account to it all being an angle to form some new team/group with KENTA. I have no idea but am leaning towards Ibushi having legitimate issues with some people in upper management, possibly around trying to rush him back around Wrestle Kingdom and then again for the New Japan Cup. Exploitative workplaces...this isn't just a NJPW problem, this is Japan-wide (both in and out of Pro Wrestling) - my fiance is from Japan and refuses to go back (despite how much I try to push us to move there) because her professional life here in Australia is so different, she isn't working 12-14 hour days and having to be on all the time with only 1 week holiday leave. My brother had similar experiences teaching in Kobe. The pressure/exploitation part certainly is not a surprise based on what I've heard from them, so I hope something positive can come from this at least in NJPW. What I can't figure out is the cheater-gun thing...does he have some issue with TAKA/Taichi? Seems odd considering he appeared on their show (which I think is the unapproved appearance based on the messages). This whole thing is a lot and confusing, I think it might need to take a breather, wait and see what happens. EDIT: Ibushi is up and tweeting again, some of his responses to people asking him to return (either to DDT or NJPW) indicate he might be done with wrestling. As a big fan of his, I selfishly hope not but if he isn't in a good place then I really want him to take as much time as he needs even if it means he doesn't come back.
  2. Agree with the above two posts, incredible tournament final! I have been on the outs with AJPW but renewed my sub as Jake had made the final and this may very well be my match of the year so far, or at least in my top 3 that I can't decide the order of and need to watch all 3 back-to-back. I've always been a bit cool on Yuma, but am 100% on board with him as one of the top guys after this. Jake had his best match I think since the Kento January 2020 match which was my previous favourite modern AJPW match until this one. And a big thanks to Control and his match rankings, gives me a good guide to go and watch over the weekend.
  3. So gutted that Japan still isn't letting tourists in, had everything planned to be at this show (planning for the G1 double header in Osaka now). The announced singles title matches + whatever fall out there is from BoSJ (Jr. title match, possible Jr. tags) and Capital Collision with a hot Osaka crowd make me think this could be the first near normal feeling show since the pandemic started (especially if crowds can make noise by then).
  4. I lost my shit for Jay, I didn't realise how much I missed him in Japan. Anderson/Gallows + Juice definitely helps BC not feel so stale, also interested to see what happens down the line with those who weren't in the end BC hang-out. Tanahashi v Ishii was great, a perfect match for clap crowds. Okada v Naito was the best of their series, but still was missing something to take it to the next level (probably crowd noise, it felt like the kind of match that needed dueling chants and crowd interaction).
  5. Really pumped for this tournament, not familiar with Ace Austin but based on DEAN's reaction I'm very interested to see what he can do. Block B looks to be the more interesting block to me with Despy, Robbie, Lindaman, ELP, Yuta, DOUKI. Based on the matches announced on the last show, I'm guessing Despy/ELP will be for the finals spot for Block B. Block A...probably some combo of SHO/YOH and Hiromu/Ishimori to decide the Block A final with those matches on the last night as well (anyone but SHO...).
  6. Same with Strong Hearts v Total Eclipse, two matches I hope pop up somewhere to see.
  7. Ospreay out too due to Covid, replaced by Ishii in US title match
  8. Maybe I'm just super pro-NJPW in that I don't see the negatives that some of you do, but it felt from top to bottom this was a good show! Nothing that is match of the year must see, but just a good night of wrestling that made sense and built to the next point. Fukuoka looks decent, but mostly am actually really excited for Super Juniors in its rightful place. Also happy for the G1 dates, we've got our fingers crossed Japan will open for tourists by then and I'll be at the Osaka shows.
  9. So NOAH is still booking Michael Elgin. The reaction has been...interesting to say the least.
  10. https://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/njpw/4100060/ If the Great O-Khan has become even more amazing - if my translation is right, he saved a girl from being assaulted by a drunk at a train station. When asked for his name at the train station, his response: "New Japan Pro Wrestling's Great O-Khan, so if you like, look at pro wrestling" (from Google translate so probably off). Also if anyone's been watching the Lion's Roar series (which has been a lot of fun, though I am familiar with some of the guys from the Aus/NZ indy scene), 3 of them have signed 1 year Young Lion contracts
  11. I think the giveaway is the word "bruciare" in the promo video, which is Italian for to be burning or to be on fire so I'm 99% sure it is Francisco Akira. I think this is the last major tour/show before we start getting some foreigners/outsiders back in. Okada & Zack are my 1a & 1b for wrestler of the year so far, so I'm obviously very hyped for this one. Goto/YOSHI-HASHI vs United Empire should be good too if given the right amount of time, I think Chaos retains though as my hope is that post-match (probaby via video) Aussie Open challenge to bring them in (and finally get a full strength United Empire). Hiromu seems to be the guy that gets the best out of House of Horrors EVIL. Their 2020 match in Nagoya was really good and they had a super fun match at Korakuen in the New Japan Cup this year. Of the top half of the card, the only match I'm kind of dreading is Desperado vs SHO, Despy is bloody awesome but I don't know if even he can drag something good out of EVIL Jr.
  12. As for tonight, Fujinami teaming with Strong Hearts is a combo I never knew I wanted!
  13. 2nd & 3rd rounds have had a lot of fun matches, so depending on how much time you want to put in to catching up there is plenty to see. However nothing does match the two stand outs from the 1st round. My top 5 of the tournament so far: - Okada vs Desperado - Takagi v Ishii - Okada v Taichi - Hiromu v Suzuki - EVIL v Hiromu Cobb/YOSHI-HASHI and ZSJ/O-Khan just miss out but yeah, plenty of other matches have also been fun (i.e. ZSJ/DOUKI, Cobb/Kojima) but not necessarily must see if you're short on time. A lot of people seem to be high on Ospreay/ELP but I just don't get ELP
  14. Fucking hell Hiromu is a brave man...there aren't many who would keep fighting after cutting up Suzuki's chest and smile at them for doing it.
  15. If Suzuki is a dangerous murder grandpa, then Fujiwara is just pure frightening. I enjoyed all the legends on the anniversary show - Minoru Tanaka looks incredible and still moves like he did 20 years ago, get him in the BoSJ! No real surprises for special appearances, maybe the video from Sayama was a bit of a surprise as I thought he was on bad terms with New Japan. I think they got mostly everyone big (Fujinami, Muto, Chono, Maeda, Choshu...even Shoji Kai!), but as late 80s into early 00s is my favourite period of New Japan, part of me wanted to see more guys from that era like Otani, El Samurai, Sasaki (surely the bridge could be mended now), AKIRA, Iizuka etc (especially as some like Otani & AKIRA could have been slotted into matches). Still was a good fun show to watch. Go out of your way to see Okada vs Desperado, I don't know where it sits on my matches of the year but its right up there.
  16. Nakajima vs Shiozaki from the New Years show for me was the only real must see match of the first 3 months of 2022. There's been some fun stuff on other cards but nothing I'd say is must see, though I'm admittedly a little behind with NOAH and haven't seen Nakajima v Fujita yet
  17. I think Hiromu has a good shot at getting to the semis, maybe the only junior with any chance of getting that far and I think a Hiromu/Shingo match would have a bit of interest. Hiromu vs Ishii at the 2020 NJC was by far match of the tournament for me, so definitely would not mind a round 3. He also owes EVIL a receipt for last year in Nagoya :P. I'm guessing Okada/Cobb as one semi, Shingo/Hiromu as the other. That could be me just dream booking though. I'm okay with EVIL as a semi finalist if its the EVIL that we have seen in the latter half of the New Year Golden Series.
  18. I was at this show (happened right in front of me actually)...fucking scary! Fortunately DMDU had a paramedic at the show. Broderick only suffered a concussion and is back in training, could have been so much worse.
  19. Agreed, while there are some problems with current NJPW, full crowds that can make noise would make a huge difference and take away some of the negativity. The NJPW long main event style definitely suffers the most I think from the lack of atmosphere. I love 90s New Japan, especially for the inter-promotional stuff with companies like WCW, UWFi and WAR.
  20. I actually had a huge rant about the Sendai show typed up, ready to post, but thought the better of it...it was bad. Despy/Wato was fine, definitely too long, would have been better as a 15-18 minute banger as semi main on either last night's Osaka show or either of the upcoming Hokkaido shows. I didn't watch live, this was the first NJPW show with a title match I decided I'd rather continue watching old James Bond movies than this. I might be one of the biggest NJPW fans here, and even I'm at the point of cherry picking. I wonder if their early 2022 schedule was based on possibly having more of their foreigners in because and booked prior to Omicron as it really looks like they are just running too many shows. If the bigger matches of this show had been split between Osaka & Hokkaido, the Osaka & Hokkaido shows would feel bigger and there wouldn't be shows like Sendai that are just a slog to get through. I stand by that when NJPW is at its best (like Okada/Ospreay, or Taichi/DOUKI...a JTO show I know but an NJPW match), there isn't much better. But damn, do we have to trudge through some shit to get to it. If someone would have told me 12 months ago that a SHO/YOH feud would be dreadful, I would have laughed in their face. Where did the SHO that was having bangers with guys like Shingo, HIromu and Robbie Eagles in 2019/2020 go? I think he's worse than EVIL... Anyway with the changes to Japan's visa rules about to come into place, maybe they can look at bringing LA Dojo or STRONG guys over...Lawlor, Fredericks, Connors and Gabe will really freshen things up. Connors wants a shot at Despy, which is a match I never knew I wanted until now. Last night's Osaka show was fun though, some spoilers below:
  21. I think Kevin and Chris over the 3 nights did a really good job all things considered (being remote), I'm really glad they kept Chris around instead of forcing him back into just translating. That being said, he can ramble on and isn't perfect but I think he does a great job. NOAH twitter on the other hand, not so kind on Mr Charlton's performance last night. Some of it is borderline toxic, makes me remember why I stopped following NOAH in the first place.
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