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New Japan gets TV deal in US

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Hey, know what? John's right. I'm catching up to these tags on the replay and these are fun as hell. The Best Friends and Flip doing silly spots while Goto and Cobb get to build a feud was cool and so is ZSJ and EVIL building their own in another pretty inconsequential three way. Davey Boy Jr. even gets a spot where he does an Indian deathlock and does like six different poses to piss off the crowd; afterwards ZSJ is all middle fingers and jaw jacking to do the same while EVIL hangs his head in shame. Gedo going back to his true nature to support Switchblade is also something I fully endorse. All angles were moved forward within the context of what look like thrown together tags. 

Also have to say, building a show on US shores based 90% on tags, and with a ton of foreign talent when you'd expect the crowd to want to see the native talent, and STILL getting such a good deal of proper heat despite whatever turnout expectations occurred, is pretty damn good. The people there loved what they were seeing and they'll be back. Lesson being, you can't/don't have to/maybe shouldn't have every card hold a six star singles "classic". 

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I'm banished to using the phone tonight (get your shit together Verizon) so no reviews tonight. It'll be Ishii/Omega again so you do the math. Plus, Honma's back again... for better or worse. 

EDIT: Jim very presciently says "Kenny can't help himself". Then he tries to do what he thinks is a senton off the top that pretty much turns into a Sasuke Ryder Kick. I shall say no more

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Taichi reminds me of a smaller Suwama, down to the Last Ride. Clipped match with far too much external ga-ga to be good.

Suzuki/Naito was 30 minutes of Naito getting the shit kicked out of him before winning, which was fine. MiSu took a total of about five bumps but one was through a table. The young boys getting abused, Red Shoes putting a triangle on a chair, and Suzuki's spit nailing a camera lens from above were all good times.

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Tana/Okada was their typical fine match, centered around Ace overcoming his crumbling knees. See, I don't mind Okada with the right dance partner.

Anyway the real fireworks are afterward as Knife Pervert runs out to beat on both guys, throws a chair Sabu style into Yoshihashi's face (and yes, they switched cameras on his run in botch), then Gedo comes out and turns on Okada for being a loser. "New era, coming soon!" Gedo is a great simple storyteller, bringing up Jay beating both guys in the G1 to solidify the reasoning behind his turn. Also love him telling one of the cameramen not to look at the "dogs" on the mat and focus on White, whereupon they switch to another guy that's looking directly at both said dogs haha. Fun stuff.

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I'm always up for a Tana/Okada match. The cut around the Yoshi fall was hilarious along with JR and Josh not calling attention to the blood until after the chair throw.

And I love Tana's over dramatic post match press conferences.

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Watching Botchamania just reminded me about that fucking Red Shoes three count in the match that he said was 2.57875336. Dude that wasn't "razor thin". That was a botch. Slow down you moron.

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I'm done with this goofy, corny, video-game type wrestling in the main event. Cody/Omega/Ibushi sucks. That's all there is to it. 

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POWER STRUGGLE '18 PART ONE 

Haven't done one of these in awhile. I missed all but the end of the NEVER match, but did catch

ISHII/SUZUKI: It's been a rough day. I've not had a good last week or so, and today I not only had to drive about an hour back from work at 45 MPH in the thickest fog since I had to do the same in a freezing fog a couple winters back, but on my way TO work some stupid motherfucker in a pickup swerved into my lane and almost hit me directly head-on going 60 MPH, which I luckily avoided by a quick turn of the wheel (otherwise I wouldn't be writing this, or probably any of these ever again). So coming home to two days off, a decent horror film I haven't seen yet (Life), and these two guys beating the hell out of each other is pretty sweet. There's a forearm from Ishii that literally made me do an Eigen-esque spit-take. The sound on the the one that finally dropped him at the end of the exchange was completely unreal. I sincerely hope that after these two have a match, they share every single MGD laid out backstage on the press table and then have seconds, because they damn sure deserve it. A kick from Suzuki might be as bad as his forearms, and Ishii's selling is probably the best in the entire world right now. If you haven't seen this (or their others) get on it.

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AXS is gonna show a TEN. HOUR. Kenny Omega marathon on December 28th. You gotta be shitting me. 

Last week was my birthday so let's pick up with

POWER STRUGGLE '18 PART THREE

OKADA/BERETTA VS. WHITE/FALE: Okada comes out with the balloons and immediately slingshots over the top onto Knive Pervert. So, you know what the story is here. JR makes a good point that Fale losing all that weight is a big plus because agile super heavyweights tend to gravitate toward the big money. Aaaaaand it's over in a flash with a Beretta rollup on said super heavyweight. Jay and Okada brawl like mad outside with young boys eating shit all over the place. It's like a pair of Suzukis out there. 

OH SHIT!!! WOW COMING IN JANUARY!!! Now that's an announcement I can get behind! 

TANA/FINLAY VS. GOLDEN LOVERS: It's nice of them to give young Finlay such a high spot on the card. And he shows some nice agility, and then some nice selling. Plus his hair and beard seem to have grown tenfold since the last time I remember seeing him. And SHIIIIIIT the kid has a wicked uranage/chokeslam that Ibushi of course eats like a death move. He loses to a double-team dual kneestrike from the Lovers. Nothing much to say about Tana and Omega here personally; I just hope Omega doesn't do something stupid and cripple himself or Ace.

JERICHO/EEEEE-VIL (tm JR): Well you know what this is, a straight brawl which thankfully is what Jericho has decided to do with his current NJ residency. His shirt has a nice Diamond Head lyric on it and the photo of him looks cooler than he does live. EVIL ends up getting a DDT on a table that he flips completely over back onto the floor for. Haha, Chris blows his nose in a New Japan banner then yells "You see that Kelly? You stupid bastard!" They finally get in the ring. Barnett one-ups Jericho's Diamond Head reference by making a Slayer one, saying that evil has no boundaries. They're back on the outside in no time by which time Jericho's chest and back are bright pink. EVIL puts a chair on his head and blasts it with another one; the cameras get a nice shot of the seat back broken off on the floor. More plunder interferes with EVIL uranage-ing Jericho off the apron through a table with the latter taking a nasty bump on his hip. That's can't be fun to have on an unbreakable Japanese table for anyone of any age much less his. Poor EVIL comes off the top with a senton with him smacking the back of his head into Jericho's midsection -- definitely no Dick Togo there. Now they start trading big moves and nearfalls before a double lariat drops them both. EVIL gets a pretty big nearfall off an Osotogari (fuck, whatever -- it's an STO) but he ends up tapping to the Walls. I miss when it wasn't a reglar' plain ol' Boston Crab and actually looked like it would hurt somebody (though if you've ever been in a Boston Crab, that shit hurts). He won't release the Walls so Naito comes out to run him off. Jericho refuses him a rematch backstage and I'm amazed there isn't a pyramid of beer in front of him with one already cracked in his hand. Perfectly fine match. 

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I'm glad I don't have AXS and don't hear JR calling New Japan. I'm going to keep the metal lyric theme going. JR calling New Japan is The Thing That Should Not Be.

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He really doesn't bother me anymore. I haven't heard a complaint about a closed fist in months. 

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Barnett constantly bringing up the threat of a heel hook bothers me more than anything JR had said recently.

"He's leaving himself open to a heel hook, but I guess his opponent isn't thinking that way"

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TBH I'd rather have Barnett in the ring than on commentary, something I've been clamoring for since his match in Dream against Hideki Suzuki. Dude can go.

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Woof, been awhile since I did one of these. Here is 

NEW YEAR'S DASH~! PART 1

BEST FRIENDS VS. JUICE/FINLAY: I dig Juicey Boy and Finlay as a white meat (especially insofar as Finlay is concerned, that dude is pale as a vampire) babyface team, but I like Trent? and Chuckie too. This feels like a fun ROH match that gets a little extra juice (pardon the pun) from being at Korakuen. Unfortunately Chuckie loses his shit and goes chair-happy thus a DQ. Snap piledriver on the chair was plenty nasty though it would be nice if Chuckie had some kind of facial expression to signify his snapping. 

GOTO/ISHII/OSPREAY VS. NAGATA/COBB/KUSHIDA: Now THAT is a lineup. We start with the juniors who of course have their own history; some nice trading of armwork before Ishii comes in to play crowbar as he is wont to do. He headbutts Nagata on the apron and, well, go figure. CHAOS are doing a good job playing heel here, trying to isolate Kushida, but to no avail as a very grumpy Yuji gets tagged in against Ishii. Nagata promptly proves he still has a bit in the tank by forearming and kicking the crap out of Ishii then Exploidah-ing an attacking Ospreay. Finally Cobb gets tagged in against Goto but sadly gets tagged out -- back to the juniors again. I need more Matanza throwing people around in this one, please. And just as I write that he pitches both Ospreay and Kushida! Fun stuff. Then, everyone peels off to brawl outside and Ospreay hits Stormbringer to win... ehhhh. Thankfully Nagata and Ishii decide to keep pasting each other as the bell rings endlessly. That would have been my preferred designation for the match rather than the juniors reviving their feud, but I'll take it as the secondary storyline. Still, this could have been longer and better for all the talent compiled. 

SUZUKI-GUN VS. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON: Shit, how long has it been since I saw Kanemaru in a match? Ingobernables won bigtime at Wrestle Kingdom and MiSu's faction lost bigtime. Presumably, this will be heated. Sanada's beard is not well advised. And yes, this starts heated, with Taichi blasting Naito with a chair and MiSu letting loose with the punches immediately. Things just disintegrate from there on out -- though what would you expect, this being heel vs. heel and all. Poor Bushi gets split in twain by Suzuki and ZSJ which probably means lots of groin icing that night. EVIL and ZSJ get tagged in and rip it the fuck up. Those two need a bigtime singles match. Naito and Taichi follow them and Naito is still hurting but doing his best, great selling from him here. TAKA distracts the ref so Taichi can hit him with the belt, White Noise for the pinfall. Taichi is such a smarmy looking shithead of a heel, you just want to slap him in his pretty fucking face. Suzuki-gun got their revenge at least. Taichi goes on to insult the belt, the fans, even Chris Jericho. You can't beat that. 

Fun stuff, a hot Korakuen never fails. It is weird hearing Kevin Kelly again though after all these years. Nothing against the guy but he is Generic Wrestling Announcer #78936 and I still think of him doing Sunday Night Heat or whatever the fuck back when I was a kid. 

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Considering that the opening tag match was supposed to lead to the Nagata/Ishii and Cobb/Goto matches for the USA shows it makes sense, but we're not getting those now.

Watching the matches last night I couldn't help but think that JR would be shitting all over the outside shenanigans. I think Kevin is fine, but I never believe that he's actually excited/outraged. That's probably Mauro's best attribute, he's able to project his emotions and not seem faked. I always believed he got excited when Fale would hit the Grenade.

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I haven't watched last night's stuff yet, but I'll go on record and say I enjoyed Mauro and Barnett and Ross / Barnett much more than the new team.  Callis is too over the top with the old school cynical heel stuff for me. 

Barnett was good at selling rest holds, mat work sequences, and stuff with the "this actually hurts a lot more than one would think because your espohagus is wrapped around this guy's foot and a little pressure there brings a lot of pain" kind of thing.  He had a way of selling mat wrestling with his catch wrestling experience in making it exciting vs. Callis OTT selling of the angles and characters.  YMMV, but I miss Mauro and Barnett.

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@The Magnificent 7 I agree with you on Mauro and Josh being the best combo. I just think that this particular episode which was about a couple of multi tags that fell apart to set up other stuff down the line wouldn't be to their strengths.

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HONMA/HENARE VS. CHASE OWENS/YUJIRO TAKAHASHI: They try to explain the reasons why these guys are where they are and all the factions and everything but you know what this is. It's a jobber tag match. At least Takahashi has his valet, and hey, they did air it. And none of them are Yoshi-Hashi.

TONGA/LOA/ISHIMORI VS. YANO/MAKABE/TAGUCHI: I have very little to say about this either except to wonder aloud how stiff the NJPW turnbuckle pads are. Christ, Ishimori looks like he has inhaled every single performance enhancer in all the isles of Japan. Since the Elite are doing their own thing this Bullet Club shit has the distinct stench of NWO B- and C- team. Which is totally unsurprising. 

Ah, I'm just not being nice at this point. Enjoy this if you do. 

 

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Naito/Taichi was surprisingly great despite all the ga-ga (and I even missed seeing the open with Iizuka beating the crap out of Naito). It was basically a late '90s AJPW bomb-fest but the heel vs. heel edge to it gave it a bit of flavor. Both guys were working hard to make something that could have come off way worse a lot of fun, so Taichi was practically Mr. Gannosuke in this and Naito had a great comeback. Along with The Man he has to be the best tweener in wrestling right now. Get an eyeful of this one, good stuff. 

The tag before it was long as hell and I couldn't pay attention at all, unfortunately. Was interesting seeing Kanemaru still going at it again after viewing those NOAH vs. NJPW tags last week, though. His belt seems to have shrunk...

EDIT: Almost forgot! Kevin Kelly and the other guy knowing what "Kawada kicks" were but calling a Stretch Plum a Dragon Sleeper was a next level of hilarious

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I just can't do it anymore. The interest is at 0%. No Ishii, no Shibata, fucking Kevin Kelly and the Jackal doing play by play... tell me when this becomes something I need to watch again. Or if I need to just get New Japan World or something. It was fun getting tanked and reviewing this stuff on Friday nights but I'm out. 

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

I just can't do it anymore. The interest is at 0%. No Ishii, no Shibata, fucking Kevin Kelly and the Jackal doing play by play... tell me when this becomes something I need to watch again. Or if I need to just get New Japan World or something. It was fun getting tanked and reviewing this stuff on Friday nights but I'm out. 

New Japan World is well worth $10 a month. The recent Honor Rising shows were pretty fun. I want more Jonathan Gresham in New Japan. Jeff Cobb vs. Hirooki Goto was a pretty awesome hoss fight.

Edited by Nice Guy Eddie
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Thank you bud, I need some positive influence in this direction, so to speak (shit, in my life in general). The drop-off I seem to feel in the quality of what's on AXS just isn't helping.

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I'm afraid you are stuck with Kevin and mostly Callis though.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Curt McGirt said:

Thank you bud, I need some positive influence in this direction, so to speak (shit, in my life in general). The drop-off I seem to feel in the quality of what's on AXS just isn't helping.

I'm hoping for some positivity coming your way. I could certainly use more than what's come my way the last three months or so. 

Edited by Nice Guy Eddie

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I also winced at the announcers missing the Stretch Plum.

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