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New Japan gets TV deal in US

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9 hours ago, Beech27 said:

I’m honestly not sure a left wing—or just broadly ethical—person could work anywhere if they insisted on their employer’s politics mirroring their own.

FTFY

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Not paying full attention to this show but I like that Gedo booked a face v face/heel v heel matchup so we can get our obvious face v heel faceoff for the final. Pretty basic I guess, but the matchups are nice. Juice emotes and emotes. If I wasn't more preoccupied with music and boozing right now I'd have paid closer attention. ZSJ/Sanada is nice because it makes Sanada actually show some emotion, specifically pain. Then again, Zack has that problem too, so it's about even. A funny thing about this broadcast is LFA went super long so they are showing like a single 15-30 second commercial and jumping right back into action. Highlight of this one beyond the usual ZSJ gruesomeness is Sanada tying him up in the Paradise Lock then dropkicking him in the ass to break it. I mean, he COULD have just rolled him over and pinned him, but... ZSJ wins with another extremely horrific looking sub that is impossible to describe. Better be ready for some time off, Ace! Even better, in the post-match interview he tells Tana he's "held up with hairspray and athletic tape" hahaha. Sounds about right.

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Tanahashi vs Juice was really cool. Juice continues to demonstrate how good he really is. Dude made you believe that he maybe sorta of not really butbwouldnt it be cool if he did pull it off against Ace a couple of times.

Sabre vs Sanada was a lot of fun. Sabre can hit anything from anywhere. Sanada shows how tough he is by going at Sabre in his own game and was pretty successful at it. I had a blast watching this match. Wrestling ass wrestling.   

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I missed Okada/Sabre, saw that Scurll/Ospreay was next and said "fuck no", then fell asleep before the replays

EDIT: After reading what Eric wrote, I don't think I missed much. There is not enough good will Ospreay could possibly have to make me watch another Scurll match, especially after the last couple Ospreay matches I've been exposed to. 

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I know we discussed it a lot at the time, but Okada winning with the Rainmaker doesn’t bother me. Yes, Sabre worked that arm; but an arm with some sore tendons is no less proficient as a club than a fresh one. I know we can’t exactly “shoot logic” a clothesline, but Okada sold the pain and reluctance to use it, which was enough. It’s also important that Sabre’s never been treated as someone who can kick out of anything in New Japan; he’s hard to hit, and it’s dangerous to try, but his hit points aren’t very high at all.

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It's a very good point that Sabre has never been presented as someone who can kick out of a lot of big moves, and he really didn't get caught with a ton before the rainmakers and that piledriver on his damn head. 

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Yeah, Sabre falls like a tree every time he gets struck, so that is pretty much working in canon. Hopefully they replay that match next week. 

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I had bigger problem with Zack's (and Okada's) selling than the fact that one rainmaker did it.

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I’m halfway through Sakura Genesis I have to Cody and Page vs Golden Lovers and Okada vs Sabre.

 

The 6 man was ok I mean there wasn’t much to it just Final four or so minutes of the match. It was cool to see Naito and Minoru beating each other up at ringside though. I liked the verbal exchange between the two of them after the match. They do not particularly care for one another that Title Match is gonna be snug to say the least 

 

What’s with the Marty Scurll hate? He’s not one of my favorites but I don’t actively dislike him. I thought the match with Ospreay was very good. There was enough flippy stuff to keep me happy. It also had a story, Ospreay might have pinned Scrull at Wrestle Kingdom but he had yet to pin him one on one. There was in ring psychology with Scrull viscously targeting Ospreays neck throughout the contest and then later when Ospreay was hitting the ropes and shit he was grabbing his neck. I enjoyed this match. 

 

The Junior Heavyweight Tag Triple Threat was fun. It was a spotfest, a well put together spotfest. It was like a circa 2005 X Division match on Jolt Cola. The sunset flip seared powerbomb Triple German suplex spit was especially cool. New Japan on AXS has a sort of ECW on TNN vibe in that the same 20 or so guys are constantly featured a good portion of the roster is not showcased nearly as much. I appreciated getting to see El Desperado and Kanemura Wrestle, haven’t seen em wrestle before. I did some research *cough* Wikipedia *cough* and Kanemura has been around forever. He looks like a younger thinner Kensuke Sasaki to me.

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Since I really only see Scurll in New Japan, and his singles participation is somewhat limited (current tourney aside), it keeps me from getting too sick of him. And credit on two points: the Japanese fans have really taken to his gimmick, and he’s totally willing to look like a stooge in any context in order to get anything or anyone over. 

Of course, that’s also the problem. He hits every spot every match, and so his clever moves and counters start to look incongruent and ineffective. I know it’s pro wrestling, and people will do stuff that gets a pop, but the “just kidding” kick and finger break spots (for instance) don’t make sense when deployed as often as they are. 

That said, I consider him a net positive in New Japan. Some juniors need to get by on character, gimmick, and a less athletic moveset in order to keep the division diverse. 

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Marty's shtick is annoying, but it's over.

 

Sabre's glass jaw as mentioned above is why I could buy Okada winning after all the armwork.  Okada's had some really good matches with the midcarders like Sabre and Sanada lately.  Sabre would be well suited as a tag guy in NJPW if Suzuki-gun didn't have KES.

 

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Wasn't up for typing last night (broken right arm will do that). KES vs. EVIL/SANADA was like three minutes of finishers and a pinfall. Suzuki/Naito actually underperformed for me. I love both guys to death but Naito sitting in holds struggling endlessly was a lot of this match, and the end was pretty abrupt. Still enjoyable, but methinks they have a better one in 'em. 

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Solid pair of matches tonight. Cody and Kota have proven to have good chemistry and Cody emptied the bag of heel cheats on him, even raking the back. Ibushi double stomped him twice to make a nice hole in a table but Cody won with some kind of fucked-up Gori Bomb. As always, Ibushi is great at directing any move directly onto his head. Page/Omega had Page wrestling over his head a bit with some nice work (the flip over the rail into lariat, the Cradle Tombstone) and there was some psychology with Omega getting busted open from a DDT on a chair and feigning some concussive effects through the match. Missed the end due to a phone call but what was seen was perfectly fine. 

Next week we get a reiteration of KUSHIDA/Ospreay, plus Jericho in lipstick! 

EDIT: Watching the replay. There's a funny moment when Omega topes onto Cody and two young boys, one completely avoids him and Kenny pops up with a grin on his face and his hands held out to the guy apparently asking him "where were you, dude?"

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11 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

Shame about that Fukuoka crowd, though. Consistently disinterested.

The closeup of that guy's girlfriend who looked completely blank-faced and bored in the crowd while he clapped on was amusing. 

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Cody's new finisher was ass. Was that supposed to be some kind of Gory Bomb backbreaker? Pretty decent match outside of that. 

I dozed off twice during Omega/Page and then once more when I tried to watch it again. Kenny spiking himself on that chair was pretty gnarly, admittedly. 

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Din's Fire is a Zelda reference. It was a spell in Ocarina of Time. 

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I’m so behind on my Japanese Wrestling.

 

I finished Sakura Genesis. Like two weeks ago but here we go:

 

Cody and Hangman vs Golden Lovers was good. It was a week before Cody vs Kenny and they played on that. Cody has been hitting his stride as a heel since January when the whole Kenny vs Cody thing really started heating up. I think this is going to be the big breakout year for Cody I do. What I liked about the match was that yes there was spots (tables, outside dives all that good shit) but it was more about the story of Kenny vs Cody, the Blizz Clizz friction, Kenny and Kota reuniting and being on tear. The Young Bucks coming out and telling Hangman to reign it in a little and not Superplex Kenny through the table was a nice touch. This is getting out of hand, Matt and Nick know this. I also like Cody trying to shake their hands and them walking away. They want no part in that shit. Cody vs Kenny-New Japan way better than Cody vs Kenny-Ring of Honor.

 

I enjoyed Sabre vs Okada too. I want to say before I go any further that as kid watching those poorly dubbed Kaientai promos I get a big kick out of Taka MiChinoku being the mouthpiece for Zack Sabre Jr. On to the match, it was very good. There was discussion on this thread about Okada ending the match with a rainmaker after Sabre had been targeting his arm with submission maneuvers the whole match. I think the finish works it made sense. The build of the match was Gedo and Taka arguing over who was going to win by what. Gedo was saying Okada with the rainmaker. Taka was proclaiming “just tap out”. Match was interesting, Okada may not be a renowned submission specialist but he more then held his own against Sabre playing Sabres  game almost better than the man himself. I also liked how well versed Sabre is at submission holds and his he can hit them from anywhere. For instance it took a long minute for Okada to really get going and go full Okada as every time he would start to edge out the advantage Sabre would stick him with another hold. It was a chess match.

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Tiger Hattori with perfect English yelling "Whattaya doin' in heeya?!" like a bodega clerk who just saw somebody throw a punch is golden. 

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TANAHASHI/OKADA: No need to review, you know what this is. The music they play for Okada after he wins (again) is corny. I'd rather it sound like something after you beat a video game than the closing round of a John Williams soundtrack. Tana cries in the back, haha.

Next week we fast forward all the way through the Super Juniors to the final! This should be fun, to say the least. Not like everyone doesn't know already but they spoil Kenny winning in the ad for the G1 Special in SF. 

EDIT: Oh hey! They're giving away a pair of free tix for the latter show here http://www.axstv.com/sports/njpw-g1-special-in-san-francisco-giveaway/

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KAMAITACHI/ISHIMORI: Christ, Ishimori looks like he injected every single steroid and supplement the Midbreath gym's locker room could provide. Whether you like this or not is dependent on your tolerance for the New Japan Main Event style (and the Junior style), but I thought they mixed it up well -- we got a Korakuen crowd brawl, some submission attempts, and the expected rope running and bomb throwing. There were some gnarly bits like Ishimori's German while sliding out of the ring to Hiromu hanging in the ropes and that evil driver Hiromu delivered towards the end. You still have Hiromu hanging in a Yes Lock for a really really long time (at least Korakuen is about to explode the whole time) and also popping up right after a poisoned Frankensteiner to deliver one of his own. Regardless, solid enough match. The Super Juniors trophy is boss as all get out and would look really nice on a fireplace mantle or behind glass; unfortunately one of the wings gets broken off of it. Ospreay is called out and now hopefully our beloved Kamaitachi is back on the right track. This is the first time I noticed the DRI skankin' man logo on his jacket, btw...

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