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About Belgian_Waffle

  • Birthday 07/30/1985

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  1. I'm just so bored with this lineup of guys by this point. I'm sure there will be some good matches but really who cares when it's the same dudes getting pushed year in and year out. I'd put money on Ibushi winning a third straight year so he can "finally" get his big long run with a belt he's been chasing since he went to the finals with Tanahashi however many years ago. If Cobb won it would at least be something different but I don't see Takagi vs Cobb doing business at the Dome (although it would be a hell of a match) Okada vs Takagi I'd like to see again and Okada hasn't won the GI in a long time so that might be my preferred result (plus I just enjoy his work a lot more than Ibushi's). Beyond those options I don't know what you do. SANADA's work has declined back to his bland AJPW/W1 days. Him and EVIL have that TenKoji kind of vibe where they had a really exciting run as a team but have underdelivered in big singles matches. Naito has just lost too many times after getting big wins, I can't imagine him still having cache in a Dome main event. Ibushi I will never understand the appeal in beyond him being crazy athletic; I think by the time they turned him heavyweight and started moving him up the card his act was already played out. He's had some great matches with Tanahashi but he's too similar to Tanahashi's clean-cut babyface act without having any of Tanahashi's charisma or personality for me to invest in him as a top guy. There was some intrigue when Omega was still around in having him and Ibushi rekindle their long feud on the main event scene, but since Omega left for AEW there haven't been any opponents besides Tanahashi who can really get anything out of Ibushi other than long matches with lots of finishers and the requisite "in the zone" spot where he goes stone faced and starts stiffing guys because he's "snapped" or whatever (all super cringey since he doesn't have the acting ability or intensity to pull it off, no matter how great his strikes look). Tanahashi I love but it's just too late in the game for another G1 win, plus him winning a few years ago already felt like his "Last Stand" kinda moment. I think that covers everyone who conceivably could win? They should have put SHO and YOH in there instead of Yujiro and one of the Gorillas to help get their singles pushes underway. Maybe throw Hiromu in there too and see how he does against all the heavies. Edit: I forgot about Taichi, who I'd actually love to see go to the finals and die a valiant death against Okada or whoever.
  2. Hopefully this isn't a dumb question but is New Japan doing something wrong that other promotions aren't? AJPW has 16 guys in the Oudou Tournament and none of them are missing dates. I know Suwama got Covid but it wasn't like he took 5 or 6 other guys along with him. I haven't heard of any outbreaks in NOAH. Is it just because NJPW runs more shows so it's harder to keep the guys distanced? Is there any legs to the idea that other promotions just aren't being as cautious and are letting guys work through symptoms/exposure? Asking in good faith.
  3. Weirdly enough I was thinking about this recently while rewatching some of their matches with Misawa/Kawada. Gordy in general feels like he must been in the company forever but even without Doc he was only there... what, 87-93? Really sad to think about what could have been if Terry's personal problems hadn't cut his run short.
  4. These are very valid points I kind of sidestepped in my original thinking. What I would like to see is Shingo made the de facto top guy at this point regardless of how he got there and despite it not being the company's original intention. His carrying the company and having barnburner matches every show while everyone else was out is actually a way more compelling story of rising to the top than any slow ascendency of a handpicked guy. If, say, Okada, Omega and Naito had all gotten injured back in 2017 and they found themselves compelled to put the belt on Ishii as a temporary measure, we'd have had a fresher main event scene for however many months than what we got once Okada dropped the belt to Omega.
  5. I'd imagine Chase Owens is another very real if unpopular possibility? Also isn't one of SHO or YOH getting a singles push?
  6. I don't know how legitimate I consider any of White's wins to be. Even if he doesn't win via interference he spends large portions of most of his important matches begging off the face and doing campy heel stuff that undercuts the believability of all of his actual offense. Reminds me of DX-era Shawn a lot, bumping and running away from the Undertaker for 20 minutes before taking it home, although admittedly White works a lot harder than Shawn did in '97.
  7. I think an Okada rematch, even this early in the reign, has legs. He lost to Shingo in a decision match so technically he isn't even a "defense" yet, just the guy Shingo beat to win the title in the first place. He's fresh off his win over Cobb, too. I didn't even realize when I made my above post that this was a Dome show. Are they insane?? My Rikioh comparison feels even more apt now---recall how when he was champ and NOAH ran the Dome they stuck him in a midcard match against, weirdly enough, Tanahashi...who at the time (believe it or not) kind of sucked and wasn't over. But at least Misawa knew he had a crowd killer on his hands when he booked that for the midcard... imagine if he had put Rikioh and Tanahashi out there last...hell, Misawa vs Kawada couldn't even follow Kobashi vs Kensuke, imagine what Rikioh would have been up against if he'd main evented. That being said, Shingo is obviously a million times better and more exciting than Rikioh, and it's not like NJPW currently has dream matches like Kobashi/Sasaki and Misawa/Kawada they can pad this Dome card with. And yet...unless they're willing to drop EVIL as the challenger, I can't imagine putting this on last. What else could they do though? Okada vs Tanahashi for the first time in a long time? Could potentially bring the house down but then you're doing the same move I just described from NOAH where you're making your new champ look secondary compared to the old guard. They need to get some fresh main event matches going pronto, even of it means relying on outsiders for awhile until they can build up new stars. Ive mentioned this a bunch of times but Miyahara working the Dome against Okada (or even Naito or Tanahashi) would be a pretty epic spectacle. Maybe they're planning on doing Heyman booking and having Kota shock everyone by coming out and challenging Shingo to an impromptu match after he dispatches EVIL? As much as I'm exhausted with Ibushi and hate screwy booking, it would probably be a bigger crowd pleaser than anything else they can whip together.
  8. Putting EVIL in there as a padding defense so early in Shingo's reign feels like when NOAH put the belt on Rikioh then fed him Akitoshi Saito. Shingo should be only facing guys like Tanahashi, Kota, Okada and Naito until he's fully established as the top guy at the moment.
  9. Contains recent AJPW spoilers.
  10. Very general question: are NOAH fans invested in the jr title scene at all? I only follow NOAH distantly but it seems like pretty much since Ishimori won the title from Kondo (so after Kanemaru, Suzuki and Aoki all detected to AJPW) the title and jr tag titles have fluctuated back and forth from Harada to Kotoge to YO-HEY to HAYATA etc (I'm sure there's some names I'm forgetting)...I know all these guys are talented but are/were any of them especially over? Has the NOAH jr division kind of become a similar entity to the AJPW Jr division where it's solid but just not especially exciting to the fans? Seems like ages since a Marufuji or a KENTA type has lit the division on fire.
  11. AJPW tends to excel at long, sssssllllooooowwwww builds, so I wouldn't be surprised if Ashino gets his day in the sun after Jake. His getting two shots at Suwama during the same reign make me think they've got something invested in him. Most likely he'll probably be used the way Zeus has been where he'll always be around to challenge Jake, Aoyagi and Nomura (when he returns) but never quite be the centerpiece of the company.
  12. Spoilers and my ecstatic reaction to the TC decision match.
  13. There's a few ways they could do it that I would definitely get behind. They could have Aoyagi score an upset early over Miyahara in match 1, leading to Miyahara being thrown off his game and losing again to Jake in match 2, then Jake proves he is the strongest by narrowly beating a still-game Aoyagi in match 3. Another option could be Jake pinning Miyahara in match 1 at like the 29 minute mark but teasing a draw, leading to Aoyagi scoring a fairly easy win over Miyahara in match 2, with Jake soldiering forth and winning match 3 for the belts., Or, since we just had a long Miyahara/Jake CC final, maybe Jake destroys Miyahara quickly in match 1, Aoyagi seizes the chance to get a win over a winded Miyahara in match 2, then Jake proves his dominance by beating Aoyagi in the final. Basically any equation that ends with a Jake vs Aoyagi tiebreaker final match makes the most sense to me, with Miyahara dropping falls clean to both guys. It's too early for an Aoyagi title reign, and as mentioned earlier if Jake loses again he's in Hirooki Goto territory in terms of blowing his chance one too many times. Miyahara can afford to lose to both guys and take some time away from the TC picture.to "rebuild", and Aoyagi will look stronger as a potential future challenger for Jake if he gets a singles win over Miyahara out of the deal. One very goofy option I suppose they could consider but I'm almost positive they won't is having a draw in the final of the three matches (rather than in the first match like in the 97 Carny final). This would lead to a situation where one guy collected two belts and the other guy still has his one belt (and the third guy is the big loser with no belt). For instance, say Miyahara beats Aoyagi in match 1 to collect his belt, Jake beats Aoyagi (who now has no belt to collect, after having already dropped it to Miyahara) in match 2, and Miyahara and Jake go 30:00 in match 3...you could set up a big rematch a month from now where both guys have to fight again to decisively unify the three titles. Convoluted but it would allow them to build some intrigue with fans waiting for the big payoff unification match after only partially teasing it the first time.
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