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Everything posted by Horangi

  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Buddy is great, but I think people were expecting a lot more considering his hype and, of course, Okada. The match wasn't bad, I had it equal with Narita/Ospreay as 2nd best match of the night. I do agree that Buddy probably is still adjusting, and once he does he could be a huge get for New Japan, especially with guys like Jay White, Juice and Finlay potentially on their way out. The other thing I think about the match is that Okada isn't going to be doing any Okada-style classics on this US tour with Wrestle Kingdom coming up. I'm sure with the recent injuries, the office has probably told him to do his thing, but don't overdo it or risk anything leading into the new year. I did lose my shit for Jonah though, I remember he and Suzuki had a fun match on the first Australia tour so I am really looking forward to seeing what he can do now.
  8. Robbie 2 Belts! So happy for him, an all-round top bloke who definitely deserves it. I'm sure it means he's dropping to Despe at Power Struggle though.
  9. 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).
  10. Finally caught up, my top 5 in no order would be Okada/Tanahashi, Okada/Taichi, O-Khan/ZSJ, O-Khan/Ibushi and Takagi/ZSJ
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Short thoughts considering I'm many scotches in:
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