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Kevin Wilson

Purotopia General Discussion: 2017!

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2 hours ago, Beech27 said:

The G1 was a better conclusion than I thought was possible, given how much it had to accomplish (and how much it still had to leave on the table). It's so unfair a standard I can hardly even call it a criticism, but the extent to which it incorporates their previous matches and G1 tournament journeys leaves it a tick below as a stand-alone match, to me. That is, the story doesn't work perfectly if you haven't seen Okada/EVIL and Okada/Suzuki. And as someone who loves watching everything and indulging that level of narrative investment, maybe that's more a point in its favor than anything? I don't know. I'm kind of talking myself in circles here.

I think my only real criticism is that Omega's uranage counter to the Rainmaker should have been saved for later and accomplished more. (You could say the same for the Jay Driller and Croyt's Wrath, albeit to a lesser extent.) As is, he busts out this new secret weapon... then gets spammed with Rainmakers anyway, and really only wins because Okada started the match from behind and couldn't hold up, not because he made any adjustments. Of course, maybe that's the story they wanted to tell? That Kenny didn't really solve Okada, so much as win via circumstance? And so when they wrestle next--presumably, both at 100%--there's still an open question of how he can win.

And for all of that micro-analysis, I like their draw best because the finishing run made me feel a sort of deluded euphoria that's usually reserved for the moments following a marathon or something. Just stupid stoked.

(If I could I'd cheat and say the trilogy is my favorite "match" of the year, taken together. That would also leave me more room in a top-20 I'll never make to represent the insanely great year had by others and elsewhere.)

I feel like they intentionally made it seem like Kenny won the third match not because he solved Okada but because he didn't take nearly as much damage from EVIL and Suzuki, and just as importantly, the other demanding matches of Okada's reign. That's why a fourth match is still so exciting and necessary. That wasn't the right time to truly blow off the feud. I'm greedily wanting Okada to retain at WK so we don't possibly have to wait until next year for the proper conclusion, but that's unlikely. I agree in that the third match is only incredible if you've been following along and I applaud and adore that kind of layered storytelling. 

It really is remarkable that they were able to have three truly epic, legendary matches that changed wrestling but were distinctly unique from one another and still played off the previous encounters and beyond. You rarely see that kind of stuff these days. 

As for the Miyahara stuff, I'll say this... As much as people adore the match structure of the Ishikawa matches, there are problems Imo. IIRC Miyahara does a lot of no selling later in those matches that doesn't fit in with his superb bumping and selling all the way up to that point, and to an extent betrays his excellent ground work he laid down getting to that point. There's also a lot of move spamming in the final acts of those matches, which is fine but don't act like it's 1983 Portland in comparison to NJPW. 

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Thanks, @Beech27 remdining me about Omega splatting Okada with the Uranage as a counter to Okada's Rainmaker. Now THAT was a Uranage.

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That was a GOLDEN ARM BOMBA~! straight out of the Hiroshi Hase playbook.

 

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I haven't seen the match on AXS, but it is my sincere hope that JR called it a rock bottom. Regardless, it did look great, and had the Tokyo Sports interview mystique, which always helps. And it made perfect sense, because Omega had just seen EVIL beat Okada by countering the Rainmaker with an STO. So, why not do a move with a similar setup, but then uses his unique explosiveness? I love everything about it... except, again, I'd contend it should have set up his winning stretch more directly.

Though @Oyajiis right, it keeps the trajectory of Kenny doing only a little better each time intact, while leaving that final step: Okada beats Omega --> They draw, but Okada would have won given another minute --> Omega wins, but Okada was hurt --> Presumably, Omega just wins

Miyahara winning the TC back from Ishikawa did strain credulity for me, and probably does kill immediate rematch interest--if Ishikawa can run over him like that, and not win, what could he do differently? It's not necessarily the story I thought they'd tell--or the one I wanted--but looking at what they aimed for, I think it worked. And they got me really wrapped up. "Pure, good looking babyface getting clobbered by a big ugly dude, then impossibly fighting back" is as simple as pro wrestling gets, but can still work if the roles are played well enough. And if All Japan is literally going to call Miyahara The Ace, he's going to have some superman tendencies. The King's Road is paved with unreal nearfalls, after all. But if it all felt a little "Kento wins LOL", I can see that. (Him losing so soon to Suwama does contradict this a bit, I admit, though obviously they wanted to take advantage of his rivalry with Doering and the cancer comeback angle. And I love Joe, so this is fine with me.)

Also: Did NOAH have anything anyone would say is essential viewing this year? I saw Nakajima defend against Cage (too much even for me), drop the belt to Edwards (meh), and... I think beat Shiozaki? I don't remember. 

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Going off of Alan's MOTYC list:

Hajime Ohara vs. HAYATA (5/27) (NOAH) ****1/2
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenoh (10/14) (NOAH) ****1/2
Taiji Ishimori vs. Daisuke Harada (10/1) (NOAH) ****1/4
Taiji Ishimori vs. Hajime Ohara (1/7) (NOAH) ****1/4
Shiozaki/Taniguchi vs. Kenoh/Kitamiya (1/21) (NOAH) ****1/4
Atsushi Kotoge vs. Daisuke Harada (2/14) (NOAH) ****1/4
Go Shiozaki vs. Eddie Edwards (3/25) (NOAH) ****1/4
Shiozaki/Kotoge vs. Marufuji/Taniguchi (5/4) (NOAH) ****1/4
Kenoh vs. Go Shiozaki (11/19) (NOAH) ****

Among others found in the above link. After really digging the little I saw of Kitamiya at the end of last year, I'm disappointed he's not on there more.

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How have Sami Callihan and Jeff Cobb looked in New Japan?

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5 hours ago, Edwin said:

How have Sami Callihan and Jeff Cobb looked in New Japan?

Cobb got over in 30 seconds on show one. Callihan perhaps needs more time but he did look generally good from what I saw.

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18 minutes ago, sevendaughters said:

Cobb got over in 30 seconds on show one. Callihan perhaps needs more time but he did look generally good from what I saw.

Callihan apparently got heat from Kojima for kissing him.

Not sure if it's legit or not, but he sent out a tweet mentioning it.

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Kojima is a joker on Twitter. I don't think he was serious at all. 

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I thought Callihan's work came across well, but his look is always going to make him a bit of a sore thumb over there.  Cobb looked great at times, but also apparently had the misfortune of being tagged with a partner who didn't like him and got frozen out at other times.

Chuck was the only real flop IMO.  Just never really gelled outside of the gaijin he was already familiar with.

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8 hours ago, Edwin said:

Callihan apparently got heat from Kojima for kissing him.

Not sure if it's legit or not, but he sent out a tweet mentioning it.

Tenzan got one later on in the tour.

 

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New Japan apparently told Callihan to stop the kissing, so there's that.

Cobb got over in this first match but seemed less over the farther the tour progressed - probably a sense of playing all your cards too quickly.

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Nothing too surprising, once you consider it was a hashtag vote and Omega can campaign in two languages. (Which isn't a criticism. In fact, it's probably one of the arguments why he should do so well.) I think the real story is EVIL cracking the MOTY list, and Hiromu passing Tanahashi on the MVP vote. Good run for him these last few days: Getting to look like he belongs trading big moves with Okada, then this.

 

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Meltzer was asked "are there tribal allegiances among the Japanese fans or is it largely the same people going to New Japan, All Japan and NOAH shows these days?", to which he responded:

This is kind of incredible to me. I could imagine someone following New Japan and nothing else, since they're the biggest. But what possesses someone to be, say, an exclusive fan of NOAH at this point?

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Im sure there are people in North America who only watch ROH or IMPACT, if only to boycott the WWE product.

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I have a really hard time imagining what his excursion might look like, but I'm very curious to find out. (Granted, I could see him being fast tracked and nearly skipping it.)

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now all the matches are done for the year pretty much here's my top 10 matches of the year. I pretty much only watched New Japan this year.

01 Okada-Shibata
02 Okada-Suzuki II
03 Tanahashi-Ibushi II
04 Okada-Omega I
05 Naito-Tanahashi III
06 Omega-Ishii III
07 Okada-Omega III
08 Tanahashi-Naito I
09 Naito-Omega
10 Ishii-Nagata

some unreal work not even on the list. Okada-Omega II would be MOTY most years. Okada-Suzuki I was great. Nagata couldn't stop having good matches in G1. Ibushi-Tana I, Tana-Naito II, the other two Omega-Ishii matches, EVIL-Okada I. spoiled rotten.

Shibata gets the win not just for martyring himself but I was genuinely locked into that match like no other before.

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I'm glad someone else liked Okada/Suzuki from the G1 as much as I did. And yeah, that entire tournament... Nagata and Kojima's mutual refusal to go gently is the stuff DVD comps were made of, a decade ago; Ibushi and Sabre brought real excitement and novelty, with very different approaches; Juice and EVIL made stars of themselves; Omega tried different stuff basically every match, and while maybe 70% of it really worked, he was never boring; Naito is better at being Naito than anyone in the world is at doing anything; except maybe Okada at being Okada, and somehow, he always managed to bring his opponent near that level.

I think, in a weirdly paradoxical sort of way, that the smaller stories of no real consequence--in the G1 and otherwise--stick out even more since we had so many Epics. It would make this year really hard for me to evaluate.

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On 12/19/2017 at 6:40 PM, MapRef41N93W said:

Meltzer was asked "are there tribal allegiances among the Japanese fans or is it largely the same people going to New Japan, All Japan and NOAH shows these days?", to which he responded:

This is kind of incredible to me. I could imagine someone following New Japan and nothing else, since they're the biggest. But what possesses someone to be, say, an exclusive fan of NOAH at this point?

Is there a difference between say, Bullet Club fans and Suzuki-Gun fans?

 

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Personally, I think Kenou is great, and has pretty much always been good to great.  

Your question is quite relevant, as I can confirm that tonight's main event of Edwards vs. Kenoh at Korakuen was indeed, also pretty damn great.  I'm not a big Edwards fan by any means, so a lot of that praise goes to Kenou, but to be fair, Edwards held up his end and I think I can finally say I might finally be able to enjoy this older, slightly more grizzled version of him.  The match is pretty nasty and brutal, absolutely worth a watch, and if you like it, the matches versus Shiozaki and Nakajima won't disappoint either.  

Bonus points for tonight's match was the fact that Kawada was one of the announcers.  Let's just say Kenou didn't go light on the kicks.

 

 

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