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Everything posted by Horangi

  1. I think you kind of eluded to the problem, the over saturation of the Tokyo market by New Japan with all those Korakuen shows and random near empty Dome/Stadium shows. I guess the slight positives are that the numbers were up for this Yokohama show from the previous and BoSJ Korakuen night 1 is apparently sold out. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and see how things go next year but it's going to be a struggle in Tokyo. It really does feel like 2004-06 again...NOAH spanking New Japan in Tokyo. New Japan still seems to be doing much better outside of the Tokyo area (all 3 Osaka G1 shows in Edion did better than Marufuji/Nakajima, similar story in Hiroshima). Maybe one solution for 2022 would be to hold more bigger events outside Tokyo? Part of me thinks how badly EVIL bombed is what us stopping them from pulling the trigger on someone else, atleast until crowds and their roster are back to normal (I was rooting for Zack too). Injuries haven't helped either, stretching a very thin roster even further. I'm not sure what else they could really do, even I have cut down my NJPW watching for more NOAH, AJPW and DG (and this is coming from someone who comes off as very much a NJPW-stan).
  2. Finally caught up, my top 5 in no order would be Okada/Tanahashi, Okada/Taichi, O-Khan/ZSJ, O-Khan/Ibushi and Takagi/ZSJ
  3. O-Khan I think gets more negativity because of the current negative feeling towards New Japan, he and Wato kind of personify the current COVID-stale period. I think he's great! His match with Naito in the New Japan Cup is one of my favourites this year and he's really shining in the G1. Outside of the Yano stuff mid-year, he's delivered in every featured singles match.
  4. The inner mid to late-2000s K-Dojo fan in me is really happy to see Mashimo and KAZMA team again, hope they have a good run, though I can't see Twin Towers not advancing.
  5. Naito is out of the G1 due to knee injury. No replacement, instead all competitors will receive 2 points for the forfeit and compete in a special singles match instead. The special single matches: Tanga Loa and Shingo Takagi will face Yuji Nagata in theirs, Yujiro Takahashi and Toru Yano take on BUSHI, KENTA and Tomohiro Ishii get Hiromu Takahashi, and lastly Kota Ibushi and Great O-Khan face Satoshi Kojima
  6. Thought night 2 was better than night 1. Solid undercard and two really good matches to finish. My best 3 matches of first two nights: 1. Okada v Tanahashi 2. Takagi v Ishii 3. Taichi v Goto Pumped for the 23rd, can't wait for Shingo v Zack and Ishii v Ibushi should be a war.
  7. Last 2 matches in all seriousness are well worth a watch. The first two tournament matches were fun but not noteworthy. The Yano match enjoyment really depends on how you feel about his antics.
  8. They can, a lot of them (I.e. White, Juice) are just choosing not to because of the quarantine and restrictions. Cobb, Robbie, GoD have been back and forward a bit over the past year.
  9. Short thoughts considering I'm many scotches in:
  10. Block A looks like it'll be the more interesting and better match-wise one. I do understand this is the best they could do considering everything. Should be some good stuff, but it's getting harder and harder to get excited with 3/4 empty arenas and dead crowds. I'll still do my best to watch everything though haha I'm sure there'll still be some great stuff somewhere.
  11. DOUKI has really upped his game in the last 12 months, he might be the most underrated guy on the New Japan roster. Really good match! I was worried DOUKi was going to land on the railing when he did the DOUKI Bomb... Robbie and Wato was good too. I remember their BoSJ match being very sloppy, so I had my reservations about this. I'm hoping Robbie gets a bit longer with the belt. As much as I love Hiromu, I want to see him chase again. Hiromu and Robbie had my favourite non-final match of the BoSJ last year so I'm really looking forward to this one. Agree with Fujita and Oiwa looking good so far. Nakashima getting frustrated on the outside will hopefully lead to some fun young lion rivalry stuff, I'm guessing he is very close to an in-ring return.
  12. A couple of new young lions debut tomorrow - Ryohei Oiwa and Kosei Fujita. Both have amateur backgrounds, Oiwa is a little bigger (180cm/90kg vs 178cm/83kg) but Fujita is the first from the dojo to the debut born after 2000 (he's 19)...boy do I feel old haha.
  13. There won't be any AEW or Impact I don't think, unless something changed, Japan isn't issuing new work visas at the moment so only guys who already have visas (I.e. Cobb, Owens, Eagles) can go to Japan. I guess the gaps will be filled with juniors and veterans. Kojima and Nagata would be fine, but there's no way Makabe, Tenzan or Honma could handle the schedule.
  14. Shingo and BUSHI just both tested positive for COVID-19. They should hopeful clear in time, but still if not, that title is definitely cursed.
  15. For the replacements of last year's competitors, Owens and O-Khan are locks. I guess for the others, possibly Kojima and some juniors (Hiromu and Desperado?).
  16. Hell of a show! Imagine it'd be held in a higher regard with a bigger and vocal crowd. Ranbo was what it was, wish they'd make the order less predictable in these. Enjoyed the Jr. Tag match and (obviously) loved the second match! Such a huge result for Aussie wrestling and am so looking forward to Robbie/Hiromu - they killed it during the BoSJ. Need to rematch Cobb and Okada as I was cooling down from the previous match. Tag Title match went long but didn't feel as long as it was to me. Much better than the Sapporo match. I hope Dangerous Tekkees get a good run this time, but I'd also like to see both guys chasing Shingo. I don't think I need to say much about the main, it was excellent. I thought EVIL was going to challenge after no-showing the Ranbo. EVIL vs Ishii in Nagoya was shaping up to be a great match until the usual shit happened, but should be a safe defence for Shingo.
  17. It's confirmed (unfortunately not the 5 way or Dick Togo)...Hiroshi Tanahashi will replace Kota Ibushi in the main event tonight. Go Ace!
  18. Taichi was the real MVP of those matches, loved the callbacks to old All Japan. Purely my own opinion but I rank the 4 matches as follows - Taichi v Naito, Taichi v SANADA, Zack v SANADA, Zack v Naito. All were really enjoyable though, can't go wrong with any of them.
  19. Tanahashi vs KENTA at Nagoya could easily be made into a number 1 contenders match. I guess Ishii v EVIL could also be made into one as I think they're the only other top-ish guys not on the Dome besides Suzuki. Is it known why New Japan doesn't work with other promotions? You'd think while they can't really bring over AEW or foreign talent as easily it'd be a no-brainer to stimulate interest. Even if it isn't at the Dome, Takagi v Kento or Kiyomiya or even a big rival from his DG days (YAMATO maybe? Not super familiar with DG since 2008) should generate buzz than say Takagi vs EVIL or SANADA presently.
  20. Completely agree, pull him and have either Okada or Tanahashi challenge him in Osaka for the Dome, still enough time to change it. Maybe Tanahashi so Shingo can avenge the February loss.
  21. Long post maybe, so my apologies (what can I say, I am passionate about NJPW and have been for nearly 20 years). New Japan certainly has problems, but I don't think it is as bad as some people are making it out to be. The matches are definitely too long, the Dangerous Tekkers/LIJ tag title match would have been much better if 5-10 minutes were shaved off (and I still think it was a great match!) but we also need to take into account why matches are too long. New Japan isn't running 8-10 match cards like other promotions as their way of being COVID responsible (from what I understand, could be wrong). They certainly could run a young lion match and a veteran match to make a 7 match card which would help reduce main event match times, but I can't see that happening until probably 2022. Despite this, I do think New Japan's top level matches are up there with the best matches this year (i.e. Shingo v Cobb, Shingo v Tanahashi, Okada v Ospreay, Ospreay v ZSJ). While the booking has problems, I do appreciate the attempt to elevate some new guys to the top in the past 12 months (EVIL, Ospreay, Shingo). EVIL fell flat and I do agree he would have been served better either in Suzuki-gun (who are missing a top level singles guy - Suzuki, ZSJ and Taichi are credible but are not on that top tier) or in his own group, which I kind of feel was the original idea..but again COVID left Bullet Club with no leaders and no idea when they could be back. I wont comment on Ospreay as a personal choice, but his matches with Shingo, Okada and ZSJ this year are some of the best this year. The Takagi rise is an opportunity for a lot of fresh top level matches, as long as they don't panic and switch back to Ibushi. There are other positives too recently, the Young Lion challenge series produced some really good matches, O-Khan has really stepped up in his major singles matches (Tanahashi, Naito etc) and the NEVER 6-Man matches have been a real highlight. Dangerous Tekkers/GOD at Korakuen might be my favourite tag match of the year (I don't watch WWE or AEW so I don't have a broad scope however). I really like EVIL, I think he has a number of upsides that unfortunately his current position doesn't highlight. He SHOULD be a relentless ass kicker, not a cowardly heel relying on Dick Togo, and his 2021 booking has made it very hard for him to recover (not writing him off yet, but he's got a mountain to climb). I'm not as high as SANADA, something doesn't connect with me to him. He is a good wrestler, but I don't look forward to seeing him if that makes sense. I am fine with the Dangerous Tekkers being plugged in the GOD place in the tag division - they are super entertaining and matches are generally good, but I am admittedly super biased as a massive ZSJ & Taichi fan. Anyway I am very much looking forward to Wrestle Grand Slam. Having seen how much work Robbie has put in the last 8-9 months (and I loved him wearing a Velocities shirt in his challenge, super underrated Aussie team that everyone should check out), I'm really excited to see him in a featured match. I don't think he wins, but then again Australia just cut its returnee arrivals in half so he might be there a while, so there is a possibility. I still think Despe wins as I think either ELP or Hiromu take it from him, but Robbie certainly would be an interesting and fresh option for the Junior division. Phew that was a lot...thank you to anyone that does actually read through all of that and I hope it made sense.
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