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Everything posted by Horangi

  1. 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.
  2. So NOAH is still booking Michael Elgin. The reaction has been...interesting to say the least.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. As for tonight, Fujinami teaming with Strong Hearts is a combo I never knew I wanted!
  6. 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 ?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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:
  14. 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.
  15. This. Thank you @John E. Dynamite for articulating this so well, could not have said it better myself (and obviously haven't haha). The show yesterday was really easy to watch, and didn't drag which was my problem with the old WKs before 14 was. While they were epic in some cases, my god did they feel long. I do think that with the weakened roster that 2 nights is a bit much, but I am fine with the 2 nights of WK in normal circumstances. Its just very unfortunate that, due to the lack of hype and current issues surrounding New Japan that it seems people are not watching or mistaking lack of hype with poor quality. An interesting point brought up is the lack of native heavyweights causing a depth issue. They did lose 3 potential heavyweights from the O-Khan/Wato group due to injuries/other issues (Yagi, Kitamura, Kanemitsu. There was also Honjo but I can't remember if he even officially had a debut) but in the next 12-24 months Umino, Tsuji and Uemura will fix this along with LA Dojo guys once they can travel, possibly Narita too but I still think he stay as a junior. Everything has peaks and valleys, right now NJPW is in a valley (though I do remember the valleys of the early/mid 2000s and this definitely isn't close to that) but I still think there are positives that in a post-COVID (or living with COVID) world that they can build upon. Maybe they wont get back to that WK 14 peak (I was there and the atmosphere and buzz was fucking incredible) so quickly, but things definitely will get better (or maybe I'm just a blind optimist for something I've been following 20 years). Hopefully this being their 50th anniversary, they can use it as a catalyst to restoring that buzz they had pre-COVID. Hoping they announce their 2022 schedule tonight, the girlfriend wants to go back to Japan to see her family and we want to try schedule it around Dominion which I am thinking/hoping could be the first major show with their gaijin roster able to take part/cheering allowed/no capacity caps and there is some semblance of normality. Fingers crossed!
  16. I'll say this about EVIL (many scotches in may I add) - I think he can be salvaged. Pre-heel EVIL was a good to great with the right opponent guy and I also think the lack of vocal crowds does hurt his act. But still, with the current state of things they need to do something. He needs to be a brutal bully, like Cobb, not a weasel heel. Yes Togo can get involved in big matches, but not EVERY match (I.e. he shouldn't have Togo interfering against YOSHI-HASHI). For me, it's just so frustrating to watch someone I really got behind 2 years ago go so bad and it seriously can easily be fixed but they don't.
  17. Probably Okada vs Ibushi at night 1 of Wrestle Kingdom 2020. My first Aussie show had a batshit crazy three way with Ospreay/Robbie Eagles/Adam Brooks that is right up there as I had no idea what to expect from Brooksy and Robbie being my first local live show.
  18. I've been watching BoSJ, most of it has been fun but nothing worth going out of your way for. Night 4 (Aichi) and Night 6 Korakuen probably stand out as they had two really good semi-mains and mains (Hiromu/Desperado & Eagles/ELP for Aichi, Hiromu/Ishimori & Desperado/Eagles for Korakuen night 6). Night 5 in Korakuen was fun too for all the inter-faction matches. Stay away from all the SHO matches if you don't enjoy EVIL's shtick, because SHO is now just effectively junior EVIL. WTL on the other hand has not been great, only stand outs being Taichi murdering TAKA like he owed him money and the Dangerous Tekkers vs United Empire match from Night 4.
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