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jaedmc

2014 Yes/No NEW JAPAN

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Nominate: KUSHIDA vs. Ricochet, June 8th 

 

Solid for the first 3/4 with some nice acrobatics and then they kicked it into high gear for the end, basically building the closing stretch around who can hit their finisher first.  The early arm work by Kushida was sold with enough consistency by Ricochet to make the Hoverboard Lock feel like a real finish every time it gets applied.  The Benadryller doesn't make total sense to me (like why would the shoulder lift add anything to the head kick?) but I like the idea they put out here that it only works if it's done exactly right.  Ricochet just keeps getting better, he definitely knows how to pace a match, and I think he's still a ways from hitting his peak.

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Nominate: Alex Shelley/KUSHIDA vs. Young Bucks, June 21st

Easily their best outing together. Reminds me of last year (possibly the June PPV also?) where Shelley/KUSHIDA had already had a bunch of matches against Romero/Koslov, and then had one late in the series that blew the rest away. This was that match for Time Splitters/Young Bucks. The super hot crowd didn't hurt one bit either.

 

Nominate: Kota Ibushi vs. Ricochet, June 21st

Well, this was pretty goddamn spectacular, and expectedly so. Ricochet landing on his feet out of a Jericho Spike LIKE IT WAS NOTHING made my friend and I stand up watching it. Loved Ibushi busting out the Phoenix Plex for the finish. Made it more special than the standard Phoenix Splash. Ricochet is definitely winning the title by year's end.

 

*Note: I'm super on the fence about Shibata/Goto vs. Nagata/Honma from the same show. It was very good throughout, but I wanted the finish to be hotter. Someone convince me one way or the other.

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Nominate: KUSHIDA vs. Ricochet, June 8th 

 

Solid for the first 3/4 with some nice acrobatics and then they kicked it into high gear for the end, basically building the closing stretch around who can hit their finisher first.  The early arm work by Kushida was sold with enough consistency by Ricochet to make the Hoverboard Lock feel like a real finish every time it gets applied.  The Benadryller doesn't make total sense to me (like why would the shoulder lift add anything to the head kick?) but I like the idea they put out here that it only works if it's done exactly right.  Ricochet just keeps getting better, he definitely knows how to pace a match, and I think he's still a ways from hitting his peak.

 

KUSHIDA vs. Ricochet, June 8th - YES

 

I rarely post here for this stuff because I have not sought out many Japanese matches as of late. I watched this out of curiosity, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I normally do not go for matches with so many unnecessary spots, but the work, psychology, and energy these two bring to the table was something else. I honestly hated knowing that Ricochet went over in this because there are a lot of spots that I would have bit on for the finish down this match's back half. As Spades said, Ricochet sells his arm just enough to make you think that it will be the thing that leads to his demise, and KUSHIDA wisely returns to attacking Ricochet's arm whenever he needs to quickly regain momentum in this match. Great stuff.

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NOMINATE: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, July 21st

 

This is my new MOTY. They go fifteen minutes and beat the absolute dog shit out of each other in a match that was, in some aspects, more like a New Japan match from a decade ago rather than something you'd see either guy doing now, which is a refreshing change of pace. It was fascinating in that regard, because they turned back the clock a bit and proved that and old school strong style match still has a place in current New Japan. The crowd was really good for this match, too.

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NOMINATE: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, July 26th

No, THIS is my new MOTY. Better than the Nakamura match in that the story was a lot better. Tanahashi publicly bashed Shibata's style of wrestling and Shibata responded saying he never liked Tanahashi's style either. This came off like both guys went in to prove that their style of wrestling is better and it had enough hate to fuel World War 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. They did a nice callback to the 2013 G1 match as well.

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Nominating:

Kazuchika Okada vs AJ Styles 7/21/14. This was from the first night of the G1 Tournament and a fantastic match. Okada hit all of his spots and both guys traded some nice reversals. Styles played a cocky heel. I'm surprised this match hasn't been mentioned yet.

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Nominating:

 

AJ Styles vs Minoru Suzuki G1 Glimax Day 7. (08/01/14)

 

MOTY! The work on the arm/fingers from Suzuki is awesome, so is AJ Styles' resistance to give up.

 

Are we all sleeping on the G1 Tournament here, guys?

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I'm gonna say yes to AJ Styles vs Minoru Suzuki G1 Glimax Day 7. (08/01/14), and there's a few matches from the final I'd say YES to, but I'm too lazy to write nominations so I'll let someone else do it.

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Yes to Suzuki/AJ. One of the better matches from the tournament, very intense, and good story on the arm work.

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YES to:

- KUSHIDA vs. Ricochet, June 8th

- Shibata vs. Nakamura, July 21st

- Styles vs. Okada, July 21st

- Tanahashi vs. Shibata, July 26th

- Styles vs. Suzuki, August 1st

 

NOMINATE:

- Tanahashi vs. Honma, July 21st: Honma's run as the most over guy in a tournament featuring Tanahashi, Nakamura, Shibata, Okada, and Ishii starts here, and it's awesome.

- Ishii vs. Kojima, July 23rd: Every bit as good as their much talked about 2013 NJ Cup match that reminded people that Kojima could still have great singles matches. Ishii's sell of the apron DDT is gorgeous.

- Tanahashi vs. Kojima, July 25th: Remember when Tanahashi and Kojima had a really good match at last year's G1 but botched the finish? Well this year they had a really good match and didn't botch the finish.

- Ishii vs. Honma, July 26th: I'd put this on par with their Never Title match from May, which is easily in my Top 10 of the year. The two biggest underdogs in New Japan.

- Nakamura vs. Nagata, July 26th: Wow, I didn't know Nagata was still capable of a war like this. Good for him. Both guys' timing on everything was spot on.

- Okada vs. Naito, July 28th: I recently rewatched their Dome Show match and I liked it more than I did the first time (I initially watched it live at 4:00 in the morning which may have clouded my feelings on it), and I STILL like this match better.

- Anderson vs. Goto, July 31st: The question is: does a GOOD match with an AMAZING finishing sequence qualify? My answer: yes.

- Tanahashi vs. Ishii, July 31st: Their match at last year's G1 was damn near perfect, in my Top 3 for the year, and potentially five stars. So I think people are sleeping on this one a bit because it's not QUITE as good, but this is still a ****1/2 match.

- Nagata vs. Shibata, August 1st: Damn, even more of a war for Nagata than the Nakamura match. Again, super intense and well paced.

- Nakamura vs. Ishii, August 1st: I want to see these guys have a thousand matches together. Their styles meshed perfectly. I think if this had happened earlier on the card than Styles/Suzuki, it'd be getting just as much talk.

- Shibata vs. Honma, August 3rd: HOLY FUCK. This is the most I've marked out, maybe in years. Two great men doing great things.

- Tanahashi vs. Nakamura, August 3rd: Definitely better than their Dome Show match, probably better than their February match, and on par with their April match (and quite a differently worked match than April to boot, showing their versatility).

- Okada vs. Goto, August 4th: Pretty damn close to their Febuary title match (which is arguably the MOTY or very close). A little more compact obviously but it didn't really lose anything for it. These two work great together.

- Shibata vs. Ishii, August 6th: Just like Tanahashi/Ishii, their match at last year's G1 was a little better and arguably five star, but this was still off the charts great. That tends to happen when you pair the two most intense guys in the company.

- Ishii vs. Nagata: August 8th: For whatever reason, I didn't expect this to click as much as it did. Very happy to be wrong. Great to see Nagata keeping up the intensity and not looking any worse for wear on the last day of the tournament.

- Okada vs. Suzuki, August 8th: I liked their Feburary '13 match, and wasn't crazy about their May '13 title match (thought it dragged). This definitely smoked both of them and had a killer finishing sequence (often the case in Okada matches). If you had told me Suzuki would have the best Rainmaker sell of the whole tournament, I'd have called you a liar.

- Time Splitters vs. reDRagon, August 10th: Pretty awesome first match ever in Japan for Kyle O'Reilly. This is easily the second best Jr. Tag Title match in recent memory (behind Splitters vs. Bucks from June, which was amazing). Glad they got a decent amount of time relative to other matches on the card.

- Honma vs. Naito, August 10th: GODDAMN did I want Honma to win. He didn't, and I was sad, but I was so into every nearfall. Probably my second favourite Naito match of the G1 behind the Okada match.

- Shibata vs. Goto, August 10th: I have to nominate this for the amount it made me cringe. That's worth something. I thought their 6/22/13 and 1/4/14 matches were better, but this was their most violent, whether that's a good or bad thing.

- Tanahashi vs. Styles, August 10th: They meshed great as I expected. They may have an even better title match in them come October or whenever, but this absolutely delivered. I like Tanahashi's new "I can beat you with rollups" gimmick.

- Nakamura vs. Okada, August 10th: Best final in years, which is really saying something even given the last two (Okada/Anderson and Tanahashi/Naito). Surprised they didn't save this match for the Dome, but I'm glad I got to see it now.

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YES to:

Tanahashi vs. Honma, July 21st:
Ishii vs. Honma, July 26th

Nakamura vs. Nagata, July 26th:

Tanahashi vs. Ishii, July 31st:

Nagata vs. Shibata, August 1st

Shibata vs. Honma, August 3rd

Shibata vs. Ishii, August 6th

Ishii vs. Nagata: August 8th

Time Splitters vs. reDRagon, August 10th

Shibata vs. Goto

 

NO to:

Okada vs. Naito, July 28th

Anderson vs. Goto, July 31st
Nakamura vs. Ishii, August 1st
Okada vs. Goto, August 4th:
Okada vs. Suzuki, August 8th:

Honma vs. Naito, August 10th

Tanahashi vs. Styles vs. August 10th

Nakamura vs. Okada, August 10th

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Most of your "no"s were borderline ones for me, so I take no umbrage at them. But I would ask you revisit Nakamura/Ishii (and maybe Nakamura/Okada and Okada/Suzuki).

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G1 votes:

 

YES to:

Shibata vs Tanahashi

Nakamura vs Shibata

Shibata vs Honma

Styles vs Suzuki

Nakamura vs Nagata

Nagata vs Shibata

Nakamura vs Ishii

Okada vs Nakamura

Ishii vs Honma

 

NO to:

Okada vs AJ

Tanahashi vs Honma

Tanahashi vs Kojima

Okada vs Naito

Anderson vs Goto

Tanahashi vs Ishii

Okada vs Goto

Shibata vs Ishii

Honma vs Naito

Tanahashi vs Styles

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Yes to:

- Tanahashi vs. Honma, July 21st: Honma's run as the most over guy in a tournament featuring Tanahashi, Nakamura, Shibata, Okada, and Ishii starts here, and it's awesome.

- Ishii vs. Kojima, July 23rd: Every bit as good as their much talked about 2013 NJ Cup match that reminded people that Kojima could still have great singles matches. Ishii's sell of the apron DDT is gorgeous.

- Tanahashi vs. Kojima, July 25th: Remember when Tanahashi and Kojima had a really good match at last year's G1 but botched the finish? Well this year they had a really good match and didn't botch the finish.

- Ishii vs. Honma, July 26th: I'd put this on par with their Never Title match from May, which is easily in my Top 10 of the year. The two biggest underdogs in New Japan.

- Nakamura vs. Nagata, July 26th: Wow, I didn't know Nagata was still capable of a war like this. Good for him. Both guys' timing on everything was spot on.

- Okada vs. Naito, July 28th: I recently rewatched their Dome Show match and I liked it more than I did the first time (I initially watched it live at 4:00 in the morning which may have clouded my feelings on it), and I STILL like this match better.

- Anderson vs. Goto, July 31st: The question is: does a GOOD match with an AMAZING finishing sequence qualify? My answer: yes.

- Tanahashi vs. Ishii, July 31st: Their match at last year's G1 was damn near perfect, in my Top 3 for the year, and potentially five stars. So I think people are sleeping on this one a bit because it's not QUITE as good, but this is still a ****1/2 match.

- Nagata vs. Shibata, August 1st: Damn, even more of a war for Nagata than the Nakamura match. Again, super intense and well paced.

- Nakamura vs. Ishii, August 1st: I want to see these guys have a thousand matches together. Their styles meshed perfectly. I think if this had happened earlier on the card than Styles/Suzuki, it'd be getting just as much talk.

- Shibata vs. Honma, August 3rd: HOLY FUCK. This is the most I've marked out, maybe in years. Two great men doing great things.

- Tanahashi vs. Nakamura, August 3rd: Definitely better than their Dome Show match, probably better than their February match, and on par with their April match (and quite a differently worked match than April to boot, showing their versatility).

- Okada vs. Goto, August 4th: Pretty damn close to their Febuary title match (which is arguably the MOTY or very close). A little more compact obviously but it didn't really lose anything for it. These two work great together.

- Shibata vs. Ishii, August 6th: Just like Tanahashi/Ishii, their match at last year's G1 was a little better and arguably five star, but this was still off the charts great. That tends to happen when you pair the two most intense guys in the company.

- Ishii vs. Nagata: August 8th: For whatever reason, I didn't expect this to click as much as it did. Very happy to be wrong. Great to see Nagata keeping up the intensity and not looking any worse for wear on the last day of the tournament.

- Okada vs. Suzuki, August 8th: I liked their Feburary '13 match, and wasn't crazy about their May '13 title match (thought it dragged). This definitely smoked both of them and had a killer finishing sequence (often the case in Okada matches). If you had told me Suzuki would have the best Rainmaker sell of the whole tournament, I'd have called you a liar.

- Time Splitters vs. reDRagon, August 10th: Pretty awesome first match ever in Japan for Kyle O'Reilly. This is easily the second best Jr. Tag Title match in recent memory (behind Splitters vs. Bucks from June, which was amazing). Glad they got a decent amount of time relative to other matches on the card.

- Tanahashi vs. Styles, August 10th: They meshed great as I expected. They may have an even better title match in them come October or whenever, but this absolutely delivered. I like Tanahashi's new "I can beat you with rollups" gimmick.

- Nakamura vs. Okada, August 10th: Best final in years, which is really saying something even given the last two (Okada/Anderson and Tanahashi/Naito). Surprised they didn't save this match for the Dome, but I'm glad I got to see it now.

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Most of your "no"s were borderline ones for me, so I take no umbrage at them. But I would ask you revisit Nakamura/Ishii (and maybe Nakamura/Okada and Okada/Suzuki).

 

Revisited all three matches before I voted no on them. Nakamura/Okada was complete no for me. Great last five minutes, rest of the match was nothing. Okada/Suzuki was good but the no was a slight one. Nakamura/Ishii was really good too but IMO it wasn't close to the best match on the second half of that show (Shibata/Nagata is my pick for that btw).

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YES to:

 

Ishii vs. Naito, February 11th, - Yes 5, No 0

Okada vs. Goto, February 11th - Yes 4, No 0

Okada vs. Ibushi, March 6th - Yes 3, No 0

Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito, April 6th - Yes 2, No 0

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shinsuke Nakamura, April 6th - Yes 2, No 0
Tomohiro Ishii vs. KUSHIDA April 12th, - Yes 1, No 0
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tomoaki Honma, May 3rd - Yes 6, No 0
Ishii vs. Ibushi, May 25th - Yes 3, No 0
AJ Styles vs. Kazuchika Okada, May 25h - Yes 1, No 0
KUSHIDA vs. Ricochet, June 8th - Yes 2, No 0
Alex Shelley/KUSHIDA vs. Young Bucks, June 21st - Yes 1, No 0
Kota Ibushi vs. Ricochet, June 21st - yes 2, No 0
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, July 21st - Yes 1, No 0
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, July 26th - Yes 1, No 0
 
NO to:
 
Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows, April 6th - Yes 1, No 1
Okada vs AJ Styles May 3rd - Yes 1, No 2
 
 
that was easy!

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NOMINATE:

- KUSHIDA vs. Taguchi, September 21st: I can't believe I'm nominating a Taguchi match, but this is easily his best work since he last seemingly gave a shit in 2012. I guess he figured he should put his working boots on (his weird, gold, working boots) if he's winning the title out of nowhere. Great armwork vs. legwork psych in this, and I dug the "put submission on, hit big move, put submission back on" finish.

- Tanahashi vs. Shibata, September 21st: Meltz gave this his first five-star of 2014, so we should probably at least talk about it, right? I don't know if it's conscious and they're intentionally holding back in earlier matches, but series between NJPW wrestlers (usually one of whom seems to be Tanahashi) seem to build with increasingly better matches. Like Okada/Tanahashi, who had two excellent matches in 2012, then another excellent one at the 2013 Dome Show, but then KILLED IT with easily their best in April 2013 (and then we got a bonus equally great one in October 2013). Same here, Tanahashi/Shibata had a really good match last year's G-1, then an even better one this year's G-1, and then blew them both away with this. And I can't believe Tanahashi's corner dropkick was harder than Shibata's. But it was.

- Okada vs. Anderson, September 23rd: Goddamn do these guys work great together. They put together the best finisher reversal sequences in wrestling, and it's new and different every match out. This being their fifth major singles match, that's impressive that they're still bringing new and creative stuff to the table. This felt like a World Title match, even though it was only for a future shot.

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I UPDATED THIS THREAD! FINALLY.

 

I'll hit the others up soon.

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NOMINATE:

- Ishii vs. Yujiro, October 13th: Goddamn, Ishii is seemingly the only guy who can work with this dude.

- Okada vs. Naito, October 13th: On par with their Dome Show match, and maybe just slightly under their G-1 match. Still very good though.

- Tanahashi vs. Styles, October 13th: Better than their G-1 finals match, which I also liked. The interference didn't ruin anything and actually added to it a bit.

- Ishii vs. Goto, November 8th: I was a little surprised/impressed that this ended up as match of the night over Shibata/Nakamura (IMO). Not sure why, as Ishii is probably the best thing going today.

- Shibata vs. Nakamura, November 8th: I'll have to watch both again to determine whether this or their G-1 match was better, but the fact I can't tell means this is pretty damn great.

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YES to:

Yujiro/Ishii 10/13 (wasn't feeling the first 2/3 but the last 1/3 was killer)

AJ/Tanahashi 10/13 (Not much better than the G1 match IMO but a suitably big main for the Sumo Hall)

Ishii/Goto 11/8 (The slugfest to end all slugfests)

 

NO to

Nakamura/Shibata 11/8 (and it pains me to ever say that about these two in a match)

 

I'm gonna watch Naito/Okada again because I don't want to down vote something I wasn't really paying close attention to when I first saw it.

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