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Kevin Wilson

Purotopia General Discussion: 2017!

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I haven't watched NOAH consistently since 2005 -- that was my first introduction to puro as a college lad with a T1 line and access to file-sharing services. I've been completely out since Misawa's death. 

With some time between G1 and the Destruction Tour, I was considering checking in. What's a good starting point, and what's the most reliable option for viewing in the States? 

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7 hours ago, Curt McGirt said:

If there's a link to that please post it (unless its Rutube)

As for where to go with NOAH, it's pretty spotty. If you're looking for non NJ puro from this year, I'd recommend Miyahara's Triple Crown defenses and Hideki Suzuki's run with the BJW belt.

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Does Nakajima do Canadian Destroyers normally or is that a Brian Cage match thing.

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I popped hard for that ridiculous spot. That's almost entirely Cage's doing imo.

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Yeah I think Cage does one or a variation on the reg. I'll get around to watching that tomorrow, thanx bucky

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Cage saved the match after they botched the catch a guy in a vertical suplex position spot by sheer strength.

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apparently that Cage-Nakajima match was given 4.75 by DAVE, no less.

agree that NOAH is spotty from 2005. Suzuki's title reign started with loads of SZKG bullshit but the last three matches - against Takayama, Sugiura, and Marufuji - were great.

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Well, at @bucky's recommendation I checked out Miyahara vs. Jun Akiyama from last year. Pretty surreal to see Jun, who was the star of many of the NOAH matches I mentioned downloading back in the day, working in front of roughly 100 fans. Even still, he absolutely brought it. And Miyahara, wow. He was impressive. Great match. Thank you for the suggestion!  

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I quite liked Takao Omori's shot at the Triple Crown from...January...against Miyahara. I am an Omori mark though, his ten mins on the Triple Crown had me in tears. Underrated talent imo, held down in his prime.

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34 minutes ago, The Iron Yuppie said:

Pretty surreal to see Jun, who was the star of many of the NOAH matches I mentioned downloading back in the day, working in front of roughly 100 fans. 

Is this seriously all the better NOAH draws these days?  So they've become, what, K-Dojo?

I liked Nakajima quite a bit back in the Kensuke Office days.  I may have to check out some of his recent stuff.

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12 minutes ago, Horton Hears a Wooo!!! said:

Is this seriously all the better NOAH draws these days?  

Oh, this was All Japan, not NOAH. I don't know if that's more or less depressing. 

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If you're a fan of the MIyahara/Omori TC matches make sure you check out the awesome finals from last year's RWTL (Omori and the Mighty Soya vs. Miyahara and young upstart Jake Lee). Great match with Omori going all-out and stealing the show. As a lifelong Omori mark it's been a really unexpected but happy surprise to see him thrive (both in terms of his push and the quality of his work) in his late career after two rocky decades. 

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If you dig modern Omori, I highly recommend his matches fron June 2014 against Akiyama and Suwama. That couple of months felt like a major resurgence for All Japan. It didn't happen, but honestly 2017 is an incredible year for them. If people are wanting to venture outside the Miyahara stuff, I'd also recommend the Tajiri vs Hikaru Sato match for the junior belt from the end of July. Super cool match that probably couldn't have taken place in any promotion that wasn't weird ass modern AJ.

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UNSCIENTIFIC AUDIENCE WATCH FOR JAPAN'S SMALLER PROMOTIONS

NOAH does like 900 at Korakuen these days, 500-600 at the EDION#2 in Osaka. They're basically Zero1/FREEDOMS level right now. Depressing.

Zero1 have stopped releasing paid numbers. Not watched them since Fire Festival 2014 (which was very good). Onita seems to be the top card for them right now.

Wrestle-1 does 700 at Korakuen. I'm sure they have good workers but if that promotion was a dog it'd be shot. I tried to get in on the ground floor back in 2013 but it was just mediocre. When they broke up Kondo/Kaz there was nothing left for me.

Dragon Gate have apparently seen a dip but they're still able to sell out Korakuen for their regular shows.

Big Japan got 3100 to Sumo Hall for their big show and seem to waver between 900 and 1200 for Korakuen. Not bad I suppose! I don't think their Strong division is as compelling as people think it is, but they do put on entertaining shows all the same.

DDT run so many shows and sub-shows that it's hard to get a handle on. They've got a Sumo Hall coming up headlined by Takeshita and Endo with an undercard that seems relatively spartan in terms of interest. Korakuens of late have done 1200 and 1300 for King of DDT final. That seems down on the past, but no Kenny or Kota. They also ran for like 5 days straight at Shinkiba First and did solid houses for every show. Kodaka's sub--promotion BASARA is doing fine in the smaller Tokyo dives.

All Japan did 1500 at Korakuen last month for a Triple Crown match, and 1300 the month before for Ishikawa/Jake Lee. They're NOAH level in Osaka. They've also been really hammering away at some of the more out-of-the-way places in Hokkaido (presumably holiday resorts?) that New Japan haven't touched in years. Akiyama deserves a medal for the hard work he's put in since that idiot Shiraishi stepped aside. I'd love them to regain their place as the comfortable #2. Their prelim guys are coming through nicely and despite all the hardships they book the TC like a meaningful strap. I worry about a dip once Akiyama/Omori/Suwama retire though.

Occasional companies still have some pull; Sayama's Real Japan got 1500 in Korakuen for a Masakatsu Funaki-Otani headline. Kobashi's Fortune Dream is always good to watch and they sell out the place.

HEAT-UP did nearly 1000 for a big show at Korakuen, as did Stardom (running without Shirais).

NEW was doing 1000 at Korakuen and 500 in smaller places before folding. Inoki-ISM sold Korakuen out.

 

 

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I doubt Suwama is retiring any time soon but I'd imagine Akiyama,  Omori,  and for Christ's sake Masanobu Fuchi are about ready to pack it in.  I think if they could put together an offer and steal one top guy from NJPW,  even if it was Makabe or Goto,  it would shake up the roster enough and provide some new opponents for Miyahara and Zeus while Lee,  Nomura,  Aoyagi and the other young guys ascend to their rightful positions.  

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Not that it's likely to happen--for a few reasons I understand, and probably a dozen more I don't--but what might NOAH finding its hypothetical/metaphorical Mount Ararat look like and result in? You'd think an infusion of Nakajima, Shiozaki, and Marafuji into AJPW's main event would give them a boost; but then, that talent isn't doing a lot for NOAH, right now. (And maybe All Japan's trajectory is positive enough already, that they're better off developing their own guys.) 

Regarding the upcoming Takeshita/Endo match, it's amusing to be reminded that Okada/Omega II was actually not the first title match broadway in Japan this year. I've only watched the match once--which maybe doesn't say the best things about it--but I'm a little surprised that it didn't seem to generate much buzz. 

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AJPW is steadily rising to a respectable point in attendance. NOAH is struggling mightily. That's about the gist of it.

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A quick look at AJPW's summer tour

D4bP9sA.jpg

they did two nights in Sapporo and one night at the end in Asahikawa. Outside of the big two cities on this schedule I ain't heard of any of these places before, and I scour maps and Japanese wrestling tour schedules more than at a guess 99.9% of people (in the world, maybe not here).

they kicked off with Ishikawa-Lee for the Triple Crown followed supported by Suwama-Miyahara, a Big Guns title defence and what the fuck Osamu Nishimura has a title in 2017 I need to watch this shit. 1300+ in Korakuen. Not bad.

355 show up the next night for a house show in a small town though you do get Strong BJ and Tetsuya Endo making an appearance. Guessing it was near enough to Tokyo to do a quick payday.

Onto Hokkaido for a house show in Hakodate headlined with a Jr title defence between the divisive Hikaru Sato (some say boring, some say great) and Yohei Nakajima (the former Menso-re Oyaji, probably then my least favourite gimmick ever). 460 in.

Pair of house shows draw either side of 500 in Sapporo. Highlight seems to be having Zeus crush Sato, but then have Sato pin Fuchi - who is a heavyweight, despite being 429 years old.

700 in the next night in Obihiro! Headlined by an All Asia tag title match pitting Onita and Fuchi (World's Oldest Tag Team) against Sato and Atsushi Aoki (Jr Grapplerz). Nakajima went 18 mins in his title shot loss three nights ago. He's losing in 4 mins to Minoru Tanaka here.

Only 283 see the house show in Nemuro. That said it's a small place and the show had a Yutaka Yoshie main. And I've been to smaller shows that ruled and bigger shows that sucked.

500 in the next night in Kushiro. Akiyama books himself in the semi, defending the GAORA belt.

Solid 620 the next night in Bihoro for a card filled with tags.

670 in Monbetsu for a tag title defence with the Big Guns and Akiyama/Omori. Not bad! I can't believe Fuchi works every frigging night.

363 in Nayoro for a total house show.

Last show had 409 in Asahikawa for a show with another jr title defence (Sato vs. Iwamoto) and the quite awesome-sounding singles match of Ultimo Dragon and Masa Fuchi.

I'm just wittering here but this seems pretty encouraging, right? That All Japan can pull an average of about 550-600 in these random-ass towns, possibly through novelty, while some of their recent direct rivals struggle to crack that in Tokyo (admittedly a town not short of wrestling).

their next tour seemed a bit quieter, whilst the current one (may have finished) seems to be on this kind of level - focused, tight, hitting small towns, pulling 400-600, moving on. At an estimate AJPW has hit 60 different towns in 2017, so they're true to their name!

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Just watched Nakajima/Cage, it was pretty good. You know what you're in for with any Cage match -- he's gonna show off his brute strength and every move he does is a finisher -- but his other strength than his actual strength is selling, and he does a bunch of that here (aside from that dumb no-sell at the very end). Has one of the best strike exchanges of the year and that's something I didn't expect to write. Hot crowd, too, for being small. 

And yeah, that Canadian Destroyer reversal was stupid

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this looks like a decent upcoming card. worth watching for the headline (presume Miyahara is getting the belt back?) but I guess Kojima is on there to beat Suwama and challenge for the title to give a credible first defence? I like it! Plus STRONG BJ!

 

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Is Kojima hard like Sekimoto though? The world wants to know.

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I really hope Kojima isn't going over Suwama. He just went like 1-10 or whatever in the G1, it would make AJPW look pretty weak if he shows up a couple weeks later and beats their longtime top guy.

I actually wouldn't be surprised to see Ishikawa retain either just to really establish him as a force to be reckoned with and to give Miyahara something else to do for awhile after getting beat twice by his new rival (maybe a tag title run with somebody). I'd rather them finally pull the trigger on Zeus and have him beat Ishikawa, then have Miyahara win his first Carny in April to set up a definitive  Zeus vs Miyahara title match (which Miyahara can win and then have a super heated defence against Ishikawa where he finally beats The Guy He Could Never Beat). 

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