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New Japan gets TV deal in US

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^i spotted that Hiromu shirt too! I looked into it and it's not official merch, but somebody's selling them on Etsy.

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OKADA/NAITO: Well, it was a lot of big moves. And they sold all of them, which is nice. The drama was there, the impact was there, but they have more matches in them and better ones too. If you have a problem with New Japan Main Event Wrestling then you might find this a little more tolerable than, say, Omega/Okada, etc. but it's not too far from it, except Naito rules and they do a great job of being wore down and punch-drunk towards the end. Both guys are getting better in their respective roles on the card but this isn't some stone classic. And Okada really needs those pants to be some pull-off shit, they look good with the full outfit but wrestling in them is silly. 

Fantasy booking: I want Naito to pull an Abdullah and start stabbing people and having LIJ beat the crap out of CHAOS in press conferences

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I'm legitimately happy Cody and Ibushi got on the first night (even if it's mostly for time reasons) because the match was really good (I had it neck and neck with MiSu/Goto for second best of the night)

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You're on your own this week. I was talking to a friend on the phone for over an hour. What Yoh/Sho vs. Bucks I saw looked alright; what's on the screen with this four way I refuse to review. 

Will say though, if Scurll stuck his umbrella up his ass and opened it up I'd be pleased. 

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Coming in a little late on this one. Hey, what do you want, it's been a month since the last one.

NEW YEAR'S DASH~!

Wasn't paying attention to Knife Pervert and Omega until the shirt deal. Jay should have done AT LEAST three more Flatliners because just one seems like it might have given Kenny... well, not even the need to take an Advil. 

The first 10-man was what it was: a bunch of big guys doing cooperative finishers and juniors shit. Most everybody was not on the apron the entire time. At the very least we got a build to Tanahashi getting his leg ripped off and more sadistic laughter from our boy Suzuki. Red Shoes stands by holding the belt while Tana gets his leg torn to shreds. Good job buddy!

The theme of Gedo's beard getting abused is pretty funny. You gotta appreciate him sticking himself in as comedy sidebar/old guy getting beat compared to the main storyline of Okada/Naito to give some flavor to affairs and structure to the match. I think he just wanted to do some shit in the ring for a change and this is a good venue. If they keep doing these 10-mans, can they please have people on the apron for tags? Does EVERYONE have to lay on the floor the whole time while there's either a singles match or a tag with one other person on the apron going on in ring? Boy that Enzuguiri didn't hit and Warmaster valiantly says it just clipped him. Now everyone jumps in at once. God that is silly; they need to go back and watch some '80s NJ and stop fucking up trying to do '90s M-Pro. YOSHI-HASHI eats the pin like you expected. Gedo, feeling it tonight, gets back in the ring to take a bump off that stupid BUSHI finisher. 

I know all these guys had a huge night prior but maybe book these things better and not smash two nights together. 

Wait, what?! Jericho jumped Naito? Guess I missed that one. Should be a fun match down the road (YOU SONOFABITCH!!!)

Oh, and fuck Michael Elgin

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20 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

If they keep doing these 10-mans, can they please have people on the apron for tags? Does EVERYONE have to lay on the floor the whole time while there's either a singles match or a tag with one other person on the apron going on in ring?

In that venue, kinda. Otherwise a lot of people can't actually see what's going on in the ring.

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Ah, didn't think about that. Maybe not run those tags in Korakuen then (though from a heat standpoint, you can't blame them)

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Suzuki gleefully booting Tana right in the mush anytime he stood on the rope to try and tag in warmed my heart. God, I love that sadistic ol' bastard.

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NEW BEGINNING IN SAPPORO 2018 PT. 1 

Missed the tag with Bucks/Omega vs. Sho/Yoh/White; it was JIP anyway. As far as Tanahashi/Suzuki I'm gonna cheat and go back to when I originally watched it: 

Quote

Watched Tana/Suzuki. Not sure if I liked it as much as the Goto match, but the selling was off the charts and Suzuki is, once again, the master of evil. Fujiwara headbutt and armbar, faking out Tana after the Hi Fly Flow, those disgusting heel hooks. Just vicious. Tana's selling is A #1 and the best for everything and he clearly looked lesser in defeat. The Dailymotion file had the English commentary and though I'm no fan of Kevin Kelly it wasn't half bad, kind of subdued for the most part. Don Callis needs to learn the difference between a Sharpshooter and a Texas Cloverleaf though, haha. 

This version clearly has the superior commentary. Suzuki deadlifting the chair like he was the Iron Sheik fighting Sgt. Slaughter is awesome. Warmaster says if 50 Shades of Grey was written about Suzuki it'd just be filled with blood and JR says "that's an edifying thought, ladies and gentlemen" haha. During the elbow exchange Tana's all wobbly, throws a weak elbow and Suzuki LAUGHS IN HIS FACE. It's so fucking sick. JR says he looks like a Bond villain. OUCH THAT DROPKICK! Barnett: "He kicked him so hard his eyelids about flew over his head." 

Strong Style Evolved is gonna be aired live, FYI; next Friday is Bucks vs. Roppongi 3K.

Wow, when Suzuki gets that kneebar + heel hook the crowd completely flips out. The ladies sound like they want to rush the ring. Speaking of the ring, can somebody tell me why there's a Pacman ad on the apron? Do Lawson's have an arcade now or something? Suzuki doing a headstand on the Cloverleaf is pretty brilliant. After Suzuki finally gets the win the crowd goes silent and he waves the fucking belt in Tana's face like it was his dick. The translation is different on this one with Suzuki saying "snap crackle pop" but I'll be damned if it still isn't the epitome of evil. We also get a great different camera angle of the toast with TAKA giving the most dickish smile ever. What can I say? Great match.

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Damn, guess I haven't done one of these in awhile (again). This will be short though. 

KAMAITACHI/OSPREAY: Came in a little late but here's the Reader's Digest abridged version: bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, kickout, bomb, bomb, bomb, kickout, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb, kickout, bomb, bomb, bomb, kickout, bomb, kickout, bomb, kickout, bomb, pinfall victory. At least Hiromu is good at selling this shit. 

GOTO/EEE-VIL (tm JR): Evil's gear looks to have a bit of an upgrade; the Spirit of Halloween scythe now actually looks pretty cool with chains and a hanging inverted cross. Goto eats a nasty lariat and gets his neck pseudo-Pillmanized with Evil putting a chair on his head and shoving him him into the rail. Fucking Red Shoes helps catch Goto's leg and actually holds it there so Evil can kick him in the face, then doesn't do shit when Evil shoves him down so they can do some more chair-fu outside. Who needs enemies when you've got refs like this? He gets bumped again and Evil uses Goto's beads so we have... BLEEDING FROM MOUTH!  Now Goto's wrestling with the giant beads on haha, at least momentarily. The Hangman Reverse GTR (as Barnett calls it) looks pretty nasty. Neat little reversal series in the middle of the ring before the GTR. Still, this was pretty much the definition of your New Japan midcard singles match for the New Japan midcard singles title. 

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Missed the first half unfortunately (I'll catch the replay) but from the second half I can tell that OKADA/SANADA is really good. SANADA's execution is looking incredible -- the Dragon attempt into probably the most beautiful Tiger Suplex I've ever seen was amazing, and so was the moonsault right into the Skull End. Also liked them stealing each other's finisher. The final Rainmaker looked pretty damn final. Hopefully SANADA didn't tweak his knee too bad because there at least two specific moments where he really looked to be hurting. It's cool seeing him step up. 

Boy Ospreay looks like a wanker with the belt over his shoulder like that. And sorry Okada, he ain't no Karl Gotch.

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SUZUKI/MAKABE went about as expected, except Makabe was forced to actually sell for a change. Suzuki just doesn't give a shit. Every single forearm/elbow, and that dropkick... I just thought, "He dead." Of course Makabe fucked up a couple spots like the crappy wrestler he is, and probably concussed himself trying to give Suzuki a Death Valley Driver. None of it mattered though because of the majesty of a forceful and non-lazy MiSu and him picking up the mic after the match and telling the crowd they are the dregs of humanity and that they should go out and get hit by a car! Now THAT is a fucking heel. 

EDIT: Oh yeah, extra credit for giving Red Shoes extra shit during the match, then after, then choking and decking the young boy who stepped up to defend him. And pinning Makabe with his knee on his throat. 

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NAITO/TAICHI: So, Taichi's moved up to heavyweight, let's see where this goes. Apparently the auditorium they're in here for the 46th anniversary was where the first NJPW show was held (though the building was rebuilt), featuring Karl Gotch vs. Inoki in the main. Taichi immediately attacks with mic stand and powerbombs him right on the rampway which Naito had a crazy face and sell for. Smart to do it with his back to the camera so we can see Naito go bug-eyed. Taichi is great mocking Naito with the pose and even rips off his hoodie and smacks him with it. He comes back with a trio of rail rides though. Barnett references Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies regarding Gedo's bandanna wear, haha. I've been waiting on that one. Then Taichi rips off his pantalones and Barnett says it might be turning into a Chippendales show! Goddamn I love that man. Shit, Naito hits an honest to god Scott Steiner top rope Frankensteiner that lands Taichi right on his dome, then Taichi hits an honest to god Dr. Death Backdrop Driver! Then a Last Ride, ooof. They're just trading finishers now, with Naito responding with a Poisoned Frankensteiner. Taichi smartly shoves the ref for a nutshot and a Gedo Clutch which amuses Gedo to no end. Crowd is big behind Taichi. However, he goes for the mic stand again and Taka tries to help with interference, but Naito shoves the ref into him and well and truly receipts the previous lowblow, kicking him right through the uprights, the grabs the mic stand, raises it above his head like an axe and blasts Taichi DIRECTLY ON TOP OF THE HEAD. I'm sure that was gimmicked but it looked gnarly with the mic popping right off into the air. He tosses the stand, Gloria, one two three. This was pretty good with them going finisher-for-finisher and cheat-for-cheat. It also helps that Taichi has one of those faces that you just want to slap. 

There's a serious rainstorm going on outside so this might not get finished, we'll see. 

OKADA/OSPREAY: This might be a chore. Neither guy is a particular favorite of mine, especially the ugly Brit. He does have a neat belt with a bunch of flags on it though. We get the handshake of respect to start and some matwork. JR and Barnett goof off about Cattle Decapitation and steak aaaaaand there goes the feed. It comes back and they're rolling around in a knucklelock pinning each other. 

Ooooo, ZSJ vs. Ibushi is next week. I am All In! 

Ospreay neatly steps on Okada's foot for a straight punch but gets dropkicked into the corner for his disrespect which just beals him. Jesus, then Okada comes running around the corner of a ring and kicks the living shit out of him. I'm talking KICKS him, at about 1000 MPH. Ospreay manages to spike himself on a DDT which looks really stupid but sets up the psychology of working the neck, which occurs maybe once or twice. The omnipresent leg slapping is getting pretty irritating. Reeeeeeeealy high flapjack that did not look fun to take; at least you know Ospreay will bump bigtime for you. He also has a pretty Sasuke Special. Thank god that fucking springboard stunner gets met by a Cobra Clutch though, he deserved that so much. It needs to happen every time. The Macho Elbow also looks like it hits Ospreay directly in the throat which should happen every time too, but, of course... doesn't. Another one of those dumb cutters gets countered by a dropkick. You know how this ends because it was a New Japan Main Event. For this style, it wasn't too egregious, even with Will fucking Ospreay in the match and Okada at the other side of the ring. Basically, just like you'll know how it ends, you'll know if you like it or not just based on them. 

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Watched the show this morning with my GF while making breakfast. She doesn't watch wrestling at all and loved Taichi right off the bat. She also liked Osprey so she's 1 for 2 today.

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I recently cut the cord and got Sling, so I just started watching the AXS show.  I'm really struck by how awful Ross is as an announcer.  I mean more power to the guy.  If I could drift in life and get paid based on minimal efforts and past laurels, fuckin' sign me up.  But god damn, he's just bullshitting out there.  He's really exposing how limited his wrestling knowledge really is.  For example, when discussing Naito's learning excursion and transformation, he tries to name drop other Japanese wrestlers who grew their game by going overseas and taking time away from Japan.  All he can grasp for is Rikidozan, Antoni Inoki, and the Great Muta.  It was so obvious these are the only past Japanese wrestlers he knew, period.  Literally, this is the answer to the question, "hi there, 2010 Jim Ross.  Please name three Japanese wrestlers."  I was watching last night and he's talking about how Marty Scurll reminds him of William Regal.  Like holy shit, in what way?  Both are British and both called themselves "villain?"  Or is it that Regal is the only English wrestler Ross can name?  Holy fuck, so awful.

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He lost his wife and is only still in the game to keep moving so I give him a pass. Warmaster carries the load just fine.

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That would be fine if he wasn't just as bad prior to Jan's passing. He's slowly gotten to no fucks given level ever since Austin retired imo.

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Oh, I agree. I just don't feel like pointing it out much (aside from the goddamn closed fist thing)

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I guess I should be thankful he's not making up NFL or college footbaw backgrounds for all the workers.  "BAH GAWD, Ishii was a nose tackle on the 2014 Saints practice squad!"

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I don't even understand why he has to keep comparing everyone to someone else.

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He probably feels like American fans need a reference point. Meanwhile, anybody watching has probably been into New Japan for ages...

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This week we start with clips of New Japan at the local high school gym, apparently, for the NJ Cup quarterfinals. Juice rules. Needless to say, Fuck Michael Elgin. Fale has a sweet (heh) Godfather ripoff shirt reading "The Tongans" with the Too Sweet holding the strings. Him and Tana come up with a neat finish as Tana's about to be powerbombed onto the floor while the count's going; Tana pushes off the post and sends Fale sprawling over the barricade to get counted out. Good stuff. 

SANADA/YANO: Now we're in Korakuen. Warmaster kills me describing the Yano DVD: "Featuring such classics as Spitting Water. Low Blow. And Removing the Turnbuckle Pad!" Sanada needs to get a stylist. If you can't keep your hawk up all the way around, you're just lazy. We're off to the races with the comedy as Sanada pulls Yano's shirt over his head and Oklahoma Rolls him for about two dozen repetitions. This is short and pretty fun for a Yano match with all the expected rollups, lowblows, Yano trying to steal the Skull End and Last Ride, etc. Sanada's game but grumpy and ends up putting Yano, Marty Isami and a young boy in the Paradise Lock after the match. 

ZSJ/IBUSHI: Taka comes out to introduce Zack and talk some shit. Zack ducks a wickedly fast switch kick from Ibushi and Zack complains he was in the ropes, JR says "Sabre Jr. seems to be questioning the refereeing of Red Shoes". I just said out loud to nobody "we do that every week!" ZSJ plays the distaff torturer that he's so good at but every hit from Ibushi rocks him bigtime. Ibushi hits a sick half-nelson suplex but Sabre gets the gnarliest STF variants ever seen. They do a great strike exchange that was salty as hell and has Ibushi lariating ZSJ out of his boots at one point. I have no words for how painful the Octopus Hold looks. This was some really fantastic back-and-forth the whole time, and it ends on seemingly a pin but is actually ref stoppage. Zack tries to celebrate but just collapses, which he's done a lot of through the match. Taka comes back out and talks some more shit. This is great, Zack does things that nobody else has done or can do. Then he says he's got "the underlying hatred of the British Conservative Party" which is 1. gross and 2. a great heel move. I highly doubt he'd be wrestling in Japan if he really felt that way so the disingenuous nature of the comment is appreciated. 

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FWIW, ZSJ in real life is a rather outspoken socialist.

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This just came up in the ROH thread, didn’t it? I’m honestly not sure a left wing—or just broadly ethical—wrestler could work anywhere if they insisted on their employer’s politics mirroring their own. In any case, if Zack Labour Jr is a work, it’s the most consistently adhered to kayfabe in a couple decades, since he’d have worked Corbyn into a twitter thank you.

 

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On 4/18/2018 at 11:31 AM, Curt McGirt said:

He probably feels like American fans need a reference point. Meanwhile, anybody watching has probably been into New Japan for ages...

While I had been watching NJPW off and on for years,ever since my buddy moved to Japan,cause of the AXS show most of my friends now watch NJPW.

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