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Everything posted by Horangi

  1. Was gonna wait until after night 2, but yeah, I'll add myself to the list of people who thoroughly enjoyed the two Block A future generation matches. Umino and Narita do feel like they're still figuring themselves out to an extent (especially Umino), but it was a great first chapter to their rivalry. Tsuji on the other hand, I feel just has "it" and would not be upset if the strapped the rocket to him and had him win the whole thing. Taichi/Ospreay was really great too, though wasn't a fan of the concussion-sell job. Last 3 minutes were crazy, highlighting the sense of urgency the new formula brings. ELP/YH and Okada/O-Khan were both fine matches but not really worth going out of the way for. I really don't see how Tanga Loa is going to survive this tournament...that was not good. KENTA also looked rough. There's 2 guys right there who could probably do without being in it. Main event was an odd choice, kind of just there. Do think Taichi match should have gone on last.
  2. NJPW are now calling Narita, Tsuji & Umino the 'Reiwa Three Muskateers' Interesting that they've left out Uemura, but also perfectly sets up his return as the forgotten one with a chip on his shoulder.
  3. So my big takeaway from Forbiddon Door was how slow and banged up Tanahashi looked, and how good shape Kojima is in...kinda now wish they'd sub Tana for Kojima and give Tanahashi some rest...
  4. Definitely way too many guys was my initial feeling, but I do prefer the even 8 per group over the odd 7 from last year. I think in the next year or two we will end up with that 40 man G1 which is just insanity. I don't think the groups are that bad, but there were better combinations for sure. Blocks A and D in particular are interesting to me, I like keeping most of the kids separate from the bigger names to hold off on blowing their first big meetings in the G1 group stage but am also curious to see how they gel together too. D has my curiosity, mostly as ZSJ/Haste is a match I never knew I really wanted until now. Also it seems like the block that could be the most competitive in terms of who could advance to the next stage. As I don't really watch AEW, I only really know Eddie Kingston from this NJ STRONG matches so I am curious to see how he goes but guess Finlay tops the group with probably Tama or Shingo. Block B is probably the least interesting group, and I'm saying that as a big fan of at least half the group...hope Taichi gets a few big wins this time! Not sure how I feel about the 20 minute time limit, I did like the shorter BoSJ matches and the amount of matches in the G1 probably makes it a necessity (and also why I think they are trialing the idea for a potential 40 man G1 down the line), but as pointed out it screams that there is going to be a large number of draws compared to other years.
  5. RE: Kevin Kelly & Chris Charlton burying guys - They do this quite a bit with House of Torture in particular (EVIL & Yujiro in particular, SHO they do play off that he's so capable but has gone down the wrong path) which is very much understandable, but I do think they can take it a bit too far at times. Specifically until this year's Super Junior they've been extremely harsh on Master Wato, who initially was the drizzling shits but sneakily started improving in 2022 yet they'd constantly bury him at nearly every opportunity. Sometimes I think they try to push online sentiment too much... RE: Worst NJ dojo graduates - Mitsuhide Hirasawa (Captain New Japan/BONE SOLDIER) is the first to come to mind. Outside the one amazing Nagata carry job, Tadao Yasuda was terrible too. Michiyoshi Ohara is another that comes to mind too that was just as bad as Yoshitatsu/Yujiro/Kenzo. There are a fair few of those 80s/90s dojo guys that maybe someone that has seen more can judge better than I too that could go on the list (i.e. Shunji Takano, Fumihiro Niikura, Shinichi Nakano)
  6. Convinced myself that, as he hadn't had a main event win and opportunity to close a show, Robbie was gonna go over. Hell of a match though, the counter of the Trigger into a Dragon Leg Screw was nuts. Despite it only being 4 minutes, loved the chaos of Dan Moloney vs Clark Connors Out of the final 4, I want either Bailey or Desperado to win but think it'll be Wato which is fine, as I think the winner is just going to be another number in Hiromu's attempt to break Minoru Tanaka's defense record so why not use it as a catalyst to push someone new (and I think the inevitable Desperado match would be better saved for when Hiromu is closer to that mark).
  7. Ishimori was released from hospital and allowed to recover at home, so it seems he will avoid surgery at this stage. "After being given an assessment, Ishimori was discharged and is able to recuperate at home. He is currently comfortable and able to move normally, but does not have a timetable for a return to the ring at this time." On a brighter note from Korakuen, Desperado vs Akira may very well be the match of the tournament so far. A Desperado master class, and also quite possibly the best match I've ever seen of Akira, a real star performance against an extra heelish Desperado. Crowd was absolutely bonkers for the match too. Rush vs TJP was really good too, TJP might just be the unsung hero of the tournament. Moloney finally stepped up and looked great against an always awesome Robbie Eagles, and Taguchi/Bailey was a blast too!
  8. Aussie Open have had to vacate both their titles due to an injury to Mark Davis. No word on what the injury is, or how bad it is but they cannot make the Dominion show so from what I understand, Bishamon vs House of Torture is a decision match for the IWGP Tag Team Titles only (initially it seemed like it was announced for both sets ,but today's card change announcement only indicates one) Really gutted for Aussie Open, just a really shitty run of a few days for NJPW with injuries (Ishimori, Mone, Davis). I understand the decision match, but do wish Kyle partnered with another UE member to keep it from being a straight 2 vs 2 HoT match (O-Khan or Henare).
  9. Iwate last night was another really enjoyable show. Hiromu's epic 2023 continues with a really good match against KUSHIDA, and most of the rest of the card delivered (Wato/Eagles, Titan/Rush, Bailey/DOUKI & TJP/Taguchi all worth watching). Admittedly Taguchi has always been the guy in the junior division I've never really been a fan of, and before the start of the tournament I was hoping he wouldn't be included, but I am really enjoying the serious Taguchi story arc with each match he gets better and better. The TJP and Titan matches in particular were quite good, am interested to see if he does figure it all out and pick up a win down the line, he does have KUSHIDA on the last day which I could see Taguchi picking up a win. If I do have any disappointments in the tournament so far, it'd be Connors and Moloney, Clark still feels like he is figuring out his new character, but when he's been given time he has been okay (I did like the Knight match at Korakuen, and last night against Desperado was good). Moloney on the other hand I just don't get, but in saying that his next two matches are Desperado (Aomori) and Eagles (Korakuen) so I am hoping he can change my mind, and I think there is a good chance when he is against two of the best juniors in the world so lets see.
  10. Finally caught up with nothing to do at work over the last few days. Night 1 & 3 are the definite better shows, but night 4 had some fun stuff (KUSHIDA/Bailey and Rush/Ishimori). Hiromu really is having a hell of a year, his matches with Bailey and Rush I thought were great, the DOUKI match is probably the only one really seeking out from Nagano on night 2. BoSJ is my favourite tour that New Japan does, for the reason Salads mentioned, there is just so much variety and matches don't drag on. I hadn't seen much of Mike Bailey for example before this, and now want more (I really need to watch more IMPACT). Would love to see Bailey/Eagles or Bailey/Desperado in the semis...fingers crossed!
  11. Feels very similar to last year, but I am not sure what anyone was expecting, it isn't like they are just going to remove half of their contracted juniors. There are four new entrants (Knight, Moloney, Rush & Bailey) as well as KUSHIDA who hasn't been in it for 5 years, and Catch 22 are on their second entry. Sure, Taguchi, BUSHI and Kanemaru are older and are expendable (but after his evergreen performance last night, I'd definitely keep Kanemaru and BUSHI for whatever reason is over) and would much rather see a combination of Zayne, Soberano, Slex (TMDK) or a GLEAT guy (maybe Minoru Tanaka) in their place but in reality, NJPW is still going to prioritise their guys. I think the biggest reason it feels the same as last year is that the people replaced were new entrants bar ELP. Maybe an idea would be to cap factions to having 2 entrants only (could lead to some interesting play-in matches)? The one thing that does feel different though about this tournament to me is that Hiromu really doesn't have a shot at winning it. On the flip-side, they really are pushing Hiromu's goal of breaking Heat's defense record, so the winner is more than likely just going to be fodder for Hiromu. I'd love Despy to win to get the accolade, and undoubtedly he will be part of Hiromu's potential record-run at some point, but I think its early for Despy unless they are going to semi-main Dominion. I think Ishimori, Rush, KUSHIDA & DOUKI will be in the mix for Block A, Block B is Despy's to lose but I can see Wato, Eagles and possibly Connors making a run. Was talking to a mate at the Tamashii show, he's adamant Wato is winning, so lets see what happens.
  12. I'll second Robbie vs Shingo at Tamashii was an absolute blast. These Tamashii shows, especially the Melbourne ones are becoming something special @matwarz are you Melbourne based? Would be more than happy to say hi to a fellow Melbourne wrestling fan at a show!
  13. Not yet, will likely become one if ZSJ retains against Tom Lawlor on one of thr US shows. Most of the title matches look interesting, personally hyped for Aussie Open vs TMDK of course as well as another KOPW Takagi/Taichi match (both on the 29th). The December 22 KOPW match was one of my favourite matches of 2022...surely Taichi wins it this time?
  14. Many many whiskeys in, but a hell of a show, possibly the best show since pre-COVID times. Some great stories told, I think every title match delivered. For me, my favourite match...
  15. I am not sure if he qualifies based on achievements, but one of my answers for this would be Scott Norton. On paper, his achievements probably disqualify him as a choice, but at the same time I kind of feel like they also qualify him as an answer as he isn't spoken of on the same level as heavyweights of that era like Hansen, Vader, Gordy & Williams, and he's definitely not spoken of with the same revere as the modern gaijin like Omega or Ospreay. He's even well overshadowed by NJPWs junior gaijin of the era too (Guerrero, Benoit etc.). Maybe it is because of the lack of epic, famous matches, but I always enjoyed Norton and thought he was solid & consistent in his role. Trying to think of my favourite Norton match...maybe vs. Muto in the 95 G1, or the Nagata title win. I just can't decide if he's underrated due to his success.
  16. Full Card: - Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare & Francesco Akira vs EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & SHO - Tama Tonga, Hikuleo & Master Wato vs David Finlay, KENTA & El Phantasmo - Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI vs Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI - NJPW World TV Title: Zack Sabre Jr (c) vs Shota Umino - IWGP Tag Team Title: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (c) vs Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher - IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs Robbie Eagles - IWGP World Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs SANADA Other non-mentioned bits: Oleg Boltin has his official debut at Korakuen on April 2nd, teaming with Umino & Taguchi against ZSJ, Eagles & Kosei Fujita. NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Titles are on the line on April 3, a rematch of Strong Style vs House of Torture. Sakura Genesis looks like it'll be a good show, a big night for the Aussies, hoping Aussie Open get the big win finally but I do think Hiromu is retaining. Zack vs Shota should be fun, their New Japan Cup match I think was my match of the tournament. Also hopefully a bit more comes out on that mysterious hype vid.
  17. Daisuke Sasaki vs El Desperado announced for Wrestle Peter Pan in July! Have not watched a DDT show in probably 15 years, but I guess I'll be checking this one out. My 2023 wrestling watch expansion continues
  18. I think if SANADA wins, he beats Okada, otherwise he surely would be Goto'd (and yet at the QF stage, Goto was the guy I was pulling for...shock NJC win, go on to beat Okada, slay his demons...oh well). Liking SANADA's new look though Finlay on the other hand, if he was to win, I think it would make more sense for him to lose to Okada, cause more friction in Bullet Club (with ELP in particular) as he couldn't get the job done. The Ospreay injury really messed things up, either SANADA or Finlay was probably meant to get a big win over him to cement their title challenge. I don't have a ton of interest in this final, but am hyped for Hiromu/Rush.
  19. Ospreay is out of the cup, replaced by Dunkzilla. Ospreay vs EVIL was kind of intriguing as a styles clash (they did have a good G1 match a few years ago when it was pre-BC EVIL). Still no word on how long he'll be out for, apparently he did hear a pop in his shoulder when it happened.
  20. Fletcher has been having a really solid run of singles matches over the past few weeks with the Robbie Eagles match at Tamashii, then both the YOSHI-HASHI and Goto matches now. He's only 24, bulking up too, I'm sure if NJPW doesn't snap him up on a proper contract (Davis too, but part of me thinks they probably do have some kind of agreement with New Japan), someone else will very soon. UE has probably been leaning more face than heel ever since Bea left, they don't cheat & have each other's backs, the only heelish thing they really do is that they are cocky loudmouths. Still on the Empire, apparently at the WSW show in Sydney last night, after beating Robbie Eagles, TJP handed him a United Empire armband which Robbie kept. I guess this is something that may play over the next Tamashii shows in April. Hirooki Goto & Shingo Takagi will be making the trip to Aus for these, which I am so stoked for as I've been a huge Takagi fan since he debuted in Dragon Gate as a Crazy MAX member (have my meet & greet ticket!) Most of the New Jacan Puc (thanks KENTA...) has been fun, no huge MOTYCs but some really solid, good wrestling. The aforementioned Fletcher/Goto, Davis/Ospreay and probably SANADA/Taichi are my top 3, but most has been pretty good outside of the HoT matches (who thought it was a good idea for another EVIL push?) and I really didn't dig SANADA/KENTA. Some of the undercard TMDK matches have been really fun, Fujita is really coming into his own with Zack, yesterday's one against Shota & Tama was a blast for an undercard 10 minute match.
  21. Seen a lot of reviews calling the main event one of the best NJPW tag matches of all time. I don't think it was THAT great (compared to lets say Nagata & Iizuka vs Kawada & Fuchi), but certainly one of the best in the modern era where the tag division really hasn't been that heavily in the spotlight. YOSHI-HASHI's growth has been impressive, it wasn't long ago that the only real thing of note with him was slipping and KO'ing himself on a big save spot.
  22. I re-upped my AJPW TV subscription due to the hype behind the Miyahara/Nagata match, really enjoyed it! So much that I probably do have it so far as my second favourite match of the year (ahead of Omega/Ospreay, behind Okada/Takagi). Nagata (and Kojima last year) proving he's still got gas in the tank and I wish New Japan would utilise better. I'll stick around for the CC, specifically looking forward to Kento/Yuma/T-Hawk matches with each other.
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