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WRESTLE KINGDOM 9 in TOKYO DOME (with Spoilers!)

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First standout match of the night. Fucking great and Ibushi manned up. Shinsuke is the fucking man, though, so not quite yet, Kota. Has Ibushi ever done that out of this world springboard German before? Like in one of the DDT Kenny Omega matches? That's the first Ibushi match I've seen that didn't drive me nuts, either.

 

Somebody gif this plz:

https://pbs.twimg.com/tweet_video/B6fw6XgIQAEuqzm.mp4

 

Or better yet: capture the swagger prior to that video.

 

How long is Okada/Tanahashi going to go? Still an hour of PPV time left, right? :)

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Echo all those sentiments. Started out alright, but once things got grumpy everything was taken to the next level. Can't wait to hear JR call that one on rewatch. So goddamn crazy.

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Okay, while not as good as the semi-main, I adored Tanahashi channeling Fujinami and going for roll-ups and then destroying Okada's knees to keep him down.

 

All that's left to see now is how well this did on American PPV. Twitter is lighting up over the quality of the show.

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Shock of shocks - THIS SHOW RULED. I wasn't expecting to stay up through it all, I did, my thoughts are here -

http://jayreviewsthings.blogspot.com/2015/01/njpw-wrestle-kingdom-9.html

 

b39c51378666043.jpg

 

2af536378666967.jpg

 

23f423378678665.jpg

 

bb2718378683351.jpg

 

A great many images are here -

http://www.imagebam.com/gallery/pri56u6qi4sdbfgvy3tf02gqrxq4a3gz

 

Good night. Good morning. God bless you all, and God bless New Japan!

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Hmm, New Japan reported 36,000 in attendance. Only 1000 more than last year. Looking at past years, did they really do 43,000 in 2012? I mean, I know they paper numbers big time in Japan but 43K for a main event between Tanahashi and Suzuki with a semi-main event of Mutoh and Naito sounds like a bit much. Even if we're talking relative numbers, 7K more people for that show over this one is surprising. I thought they're doing better business now than in 2012?

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I'll put my thoughts in spoilers incase someone clicks the thread before they watch it tonight.

 

Tanahashi fully cemented himself tonight as my version of John Cena. God dammit do I ever hate him. I now totally understand why people feel the way they do when Cena wins a big match.

 

Nakamura/Ibushi was fucking amazing and the clear cut match of the night, 2nd place would probably be the tag title match. Those were the 2 matches I dug the most and I really loved seeing Saito, Kabuki, and Fujiwara in the rumble match. My feed was shitty during the opening 3 matches and didn't work again until halfway through MiSu/Sak so I can't comment on what I missed. Makabe/Ishii was totally different but good. The juniors match was OK since it wasn't too long but even though Taguchi is a great tag wrestler he's not very good in singles matches, IMO. I was surprised by how polarizing Kenny Omega was on Twitter. I didn't like the main event, which I knew going in since Tanahashi is probably one of my 5 least favorite wrestlers on Earth and that cancels out my love of Okada, and I absolutely hated the booking. The tag title match was a really good, solid match and I liked it quite a bit. AJ/Naito made such little impression on me that I forgot about it until this edit. I liked the finish, Naito really is a genius for taking the finish from the 2nd rope so AJ couldn't possibly cripple him.

 

The show was absolutely worth staying up for and watching and was great fun. The rest of the show could've been monkeys throwing shit at each other and the Nak/Ibushi match would've made it worth it. That was one of the most enthralling and compelling New Japan matches I've seen in years. I'm not sure if it was as good as Neville/Zayn from the NXT special but it was close to it. I don't know if I'd call this a one match show since I liked the tag match a lot and I know others are going to be over the moon for the main but it might be, I can see myself rewatching Nak/Ibushi a lot and nothing else from this show again.

 

I think the attendance has be seen as a bit disappointing, at the very least. You had people saying it was a for-sure sellout and JR was telling anyone who would listen it would be upwards of 50-60,000 people. 36,000 is a really good number and they would've killed for that many people a decade ago but with all the hype and predictions it'd have to be seen as a disappointment, even if it is a slight one. Mind you, I don't think anyone on Earth that follows the Japanese scene thought there was any chance on Earth they'd draw 50-60,000.

 

I'll give them credit though the Dome looked fucking full whenever they'd pan back or show the crowd. They could've easily claimed a much higher number, I think. It looked much better than it did when I watched the '03 Dome show a few weeks ago and that "drew" 30,000.

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Well, that was an excellent show. Definitely better than last year's Dome show. This was the 12th year I've been watching the January 4th show, but the first time I've watched it live. It was definitely worth it.

Nakamura/Ibushi, Tanahashi/Okada and Ishii/Makabe were the matches that I liked the most (in that order). Those three were just great. The last few minutes of Nakamura/Ibushi in particular were on another level. The post-match with Okada was quite emotional. And Ishii and Makabe destroying each other was all sorts of fun. I enjoyed most of the other matches too, just not as much as those three.

It was disappointing that they didn't go all out for the entrances like they did the previous two years. Nakamura's was great though.

I thought the English commentary was okay. Could've been better, but also it could've been worse. JR marking out big time for Okada's dropkick was great.

 

Hmm, New Japan reported 36,000 in attendance. Only 1000 more than last year. Looking at past years, did they really do 43,000 in 2012? I mean, I know they paper numbers big time in Japan but 43K for a main event between Tanahashi and Suzuki with a semi-main event of Mutoh and Naito sounds like a bit much. Even if we're talking relative numbers, 7K more people for that show over this one is surprising. I thought they're doing better business now than in 2012?

 

The 42,000 number is from the days when they were still announcing inflated attendance numbers (the real number for the 2012 show, at least according to Meltzer anyway, was 23,000). That policy has since been dropped and they've started announcing the real numbers.

36,000 is a strong crowd. But as mco543 stated, guys like JR and Jarrett were suggesting a significantly bigger number and so I can see why someone would be disappointed with 36,000 if they bought into the pre-show hype.

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JR was great in the Nak/Ibushi match, like he went inside himself and dragged out whatever 1989 JR he had left, but him marking for the dropkick was great. JR was alright, not horrific and not great, overall, stronger in the Nak/Ibushi match and tag match than anything else, IMO, but Striker single handily dragged down the whole thing. God he was so insufferable all night with how much glee and joy he got in saying certain words and then ending it by saying "I'm marking out, bro". Striker did nothing to dispel feelings that he is absolutely terrible at broadcasting.

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The thing that annoyed me the most about Striker is that he kept dropping all these random references to stuff and it just came off as him trying to show off as opposed to him enhancing the action. The marking out comment was cringeworthy, indeed.

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I think Striker was just trolling us with that comment, because everyone expected it from him! :)

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Only half way through, but..

 

Lord of Light FUCK, MAKABE AND ISHII ARE FUCKING MEN~!

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Yeah great show. I'll spoiler it anyway but

I was sure Okada was going to win. But the match was so good that it doesn't matter

 

Nakamura vs Ibushi was unreal. Not sure if this one, or their match at G1 2013 was better. I jumped out of my seat at that king-sized German suplex. 

 

No special entrances except Nakamura's great Crown and jacket. Perhaps New Japan used their Entrance budget on advertising in the US? No big deal, though.

 

Watched the first 5 matches live, and saved the rest for this morning. I'll have to re-watch Ishii/Makabe because I was nodding out a but by that point. Love Ishii though.

 

I'm glad I didn't watch the pre show match last night because it probably would have put me to sleep. Checked it out this morning. It was a bit awkward. Glad Tonga looked like a bad ass for a while.

 

For those of you who watched the GFW stream, is it worth re-watching for JR? I watch Lucha Underground in Español to pretty much avoid Striker. 

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Incredible, memorable show. This is the only time in wrestling history that we’ve had two five star matches back to back. It may never happen again. These two matches were beyond special and the fact that they happened one after another was amazing.

 

As Tanahashi got the pin, I felt it was the wrong call but I didn’t want to piss & moan about it because the match was so incredible. Then I saw OKada in the aisle with Gedo – it was the most powerful imagery I’ve seen in a long long time, and then the story clicked with me and I realised that Tana winning was 100% the way to go.

 

Okada conquered the Tanahashi mountain in 2013. He had surpassed the ace. It was a pretty standard story – a classic story when done right, and they did it right. But the story has taken a twist. Tanahashi came back on him. He didn’t knock Okada back down the mountain – he just made it higher. Now Okada is staring up again, and it’s even more daunting a climb. Okada has become an incredibly sympathetic character which I thought was impossible given his talent, swagger and natural ability. Tanahashi with this win, has become a truly legendary figure.

 

This result did a huge amount for both guys, their feud, their story and New Japan in general

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Agreed. I think there would be a sense of closure and finality had Okada won, whereas with the ace holding out for one more day (or year, perhaps) you can elongate the story without sacrificing quality or running into diminishing returns yet. I think they have an even better match next time because Okada can have an answer to the dragon screws and other leg work, maybe add a layer of variety to his finishing sequences with a new move to surpass Tanahashi on the big stage once and for all.

 

The only thing I can detract from that match was the intensity in the striking felt pedestrian almost after watching Ibushi and Nakamura destroy each other just prior to the main event. Other than that, it was fantastic. I'm going to have to rewatch the October '13 match because I initially felt like that was a bit better than this one but maybe I'm crazy.

 

The 42,000 number is from the days when they were still announcing inflated attendance numbers (the real number for the 2012 show, at least according to Meltzer anyway, was 23,000). That policy has since been dropped and they've started announcing the real numbers.


36,000 is a strong crowd. But as mco543 stated, guys like JR and Jarrett were suggesting a significantly bigger number and so I can see why someone would be disappointed with 36,000 if they bought into the pre-show hype.

That makes a lot of sense. I had heard or read that they stopped papering crowd numbers for dome shows recently (at least to the extent they used to) but that particular comparison now makes sense. Agreed with mco that it was a bit disappointing after everybody and their mother was saying 40,000 at the least but I don't really care all that much after the two main events delivered so damn well.

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For those of you who watched the GFW stream, is it worth re-watching for JR? I watch Lucha Underground in Español to pretty much avoid Striker.

No. He wasn't nearly good enough to make up for how annoying Striker was. JR went back in time for Nak/Ibushi but other than that there was nothing remarkable about his performance. If you watch LU in Spanish to avoid Striker then I can't imagine how awful you'd find him on WK9 when he was literally just saying words to get his jollies.

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While not technically their best match, I think I got behind this Tanahashi-Okada match more than any other, just because I loved the underlying theme.  Tanahashi knows that his days as the ace are numbered.  He moves slower, his body is starting to fall apart, and as a result, he came across as a dude fighting for his wrestling life. It really reminded me of Jumbo in the rematches with Misawa.  Tana KNOWS Okada is taking his spot, and soon, but he fought off time one more day. 

 

But yeah, echoing thoughts, awesome show.  I'm going to go back and watch the English version for a couple of matches.  I can't take 5 hours of Striker though.

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You won't have to, it's only 4 hours long! ;)

 

And Striker was needed, JR was all over the place and needed guidance. I was surprised how well Striker worked here.

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I'm just ballparking based on the run time World has on the video.  Actual match time and all is like 4 hours, yeah.  The SHOW was way fucking longer lol.

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Tanahashi: "Okada! Okada! How do you feel right now? I'll tell you one thing, so listen closely. IWGP is still so far away from you."

 

Heelturn? Would fit the crying of Okada.

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For those of you who watched the GFW stream, is it worth re-watching for JR? I watch Lucha Underground in Español to pretty much avoid Striker.

No. He wasn't nearly good enough to make up for how annoying Striker was. JR went back in time for Nak/Ibushi but other than that there was nothing remarkable about his performance. If you watch LU in Spanish to avoid Striker then I can't imagine how awful you'd find him on WK9 when he was literally just saying words to get his jollies.

 

 

I mean, I do speak Spanish, so it's not the only reason, but Striker is pretty bad.

 

I found the English version online and re-watched the first two matches. Striker's done a couple of annoying things ("Lariato!" "WHAT") but it's not that bad. JR's fine. Their commentary took away from Honma's big moment though. 

 

Prior to JR saying it, I don't think I knew Kushida did MMA. Which explains some of his moves that don't necessarily fit in with the rest of his moveset. I appreciate tidbits like that, cause I went years watching Kushida without knowing this. And in fairness to Striker, he's also able to explain several things JR wouldn't be able to.

 

According to someone on Reddit, Tanahashi's words to Okada while he was leaving the ring were something like this "How does it feel? Frustrated? I have one thing to say, the IWGP championship is far from your grasp." EDIT: Looks like I was beaten to the punch on that one. Anyway, like everyone else, I initially thought this would be the end of the rivalry. Can't wait to see where it goes now.

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It's tied now. So they always needed one more match against each other. But it changes the roles. Tanahashi can work heel, if he wants to, so it's no problem running that match with a different dynamic.

 

And who says something against another *****-match?

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Gawd, the Bucks doing chainsaw noises for Kenny was soooo awesome and goofy. Kenny's got a great deal of incredible spots, I just hope he can put together the pacing and storytelling to make them mean more in the future. After listening to his shoot, though, I don't know if he sees it that way. He said old wrestling isn't very good and that he more or less is about doing physical feats that nobody else can do.

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Tana and Okada are just incredible. It's such great story telling as well, no bells and whistles.

I fully expected Tanahashi to win being the dome and their most widely seen show. He's their biggest draw and star. If they don't draw this storyline out to headline wk 2016 I'd be astounded.

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