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[1st Rd B] NAITO vs. RUSEV

NAITO vs. RUSEV  

88 members have voted

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  1. 1. Choose One



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when I was looking up Rusev's year on wikipedia for an overview of feuds, I entirely forgot he was US champion at any point last year. So, not exactly a strong Rusev year.

At the same time, I can't get over how cooperative Japanese men's wrestling has gotten over the last few years, and I'm not down with it at all. So Rusev by default for me.

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Rusev has married Lana and once rode to the Mania ring in a tank. He has already had enough big wins, yes?

 

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Damn, this is brutal.

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I love both guys, but Rusev got very little to do, whereas Naito consistently performed in increasingly high profile matches. 

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I feel like Rusev didn't really get a lot of chances to have good matches this year but he made the most of the character work he was able to do. But Naito was a beast this year.

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Yeah, I mean, objectively this is Naito all day, but my heart yearns for Handsome Rusev.

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18 hours ago, BL88 said:

At the same time, I can't get over how cooperative Japanese men's wrestling has gotten over the last few years, and I'm not down with it at all. So Rusev by default for me.

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19 hours ago, BL88 said:

At the same time, I can't get over how cooperative Japanese men's wrestling has gotten over the last few years, and I'm not down with it at all. 

I'm curious if you wouldn't mind expanding on this. I get that Naito's finish pretty transparently involves some help, but man, watching that Dragon Lee tag you posted in his thread... there's an absurdly high degree of choreographed sprinting around, kicking out before you're even covered, diving directly into submissions, etc. And I really like that match, and Dragon Lee in general, so this isn't even a criticism. It just seems odd to me to be bothered by Naito, and like the other. (To say nothing of Japan in general, which is an impossibly large conversation.)

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So, like, if I'm watching lucha libre, I understand that that's how lucha libre works. It's been varying shades of that for a long time. If I go back to the 80s, aside from the existence of way more brawlers, there's still that shade of choreography there. Granted, there are some wrestlers that have been pushing it to extremes in the last few years, but it's still ultimately from the same context so I don't mind it.

When I got into Japanese wrestling in like 2002 or so, Shin'ya Hashimoto was still alive. Kawada was a major player. Tenryu was having his resurgence. The majority style was surly sonsabitches making wrestling look like this crazy fight venue, like America taught them of wrasslin and they went "Ahh, so it's a place where it's totally legal to seriously assault someone" and the Americans went "uhh i don't think i said that" and by then it was too late. The further back I went in Japan, the more like that it got, and the more I fell in love with Japanese wrestling. And then I discovered like UWF and Rings and Battlarts and that's how I got WAY in. My favorite things in wrasslin are good matwork and when a match looks like it could devolve in to a fight at any minute.

I mean, there was also the junior stuff that was showing shades of what was to come, but there was also Liger, Sasuke, Minoru Fucking Tanaka and others who when they wrestled, they didn't often have rote, trademark sequences that lasted minutes at a time. There was no Goto Rope Run sequence, for one example. There was no Nakamura punch spot with the long drawn out reactions from him and Red Shoes. Or the post-Kobashi/Sasaki strike exchanges where it's totally your turn my turn, and it's paced so the crowd has time to go "AYY" with every strike. This is why the Ishii/Shibata matches didn't really move me when people were losing their mind over that stuff. It's closer, but all that serves to do for me is remind me of what was. 

And that last point is what it really gets down to. When I watch modern Japanese men's wrestling, it makes me unhappy because I remember too clearly what came before, and what happens now could only pale in comparison.

EDIT: tagging @Beech27 cuz I forgot to hit reply before I started typing so now it'll show up in notifications

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Never really knew anything about Naito until the past few months, and the guy is a workhorse. Rusev deserves better booking, but it is what it is.

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I love Rusev tons, and despite whatever he was in on TV he was still highly entertaining be it on or off TV.  I hope he can get into more meaningful matches/stories for next year, but it's hard to vote against Naito.

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I love Rusev, but he really wasn't given a whole lot to do that would elevate him this last year, whereas Naito is arguably the best heel in the world right now and backs it up in the ring. All of his matches have had that big match feel to them whereas Rusev's were simply entertaining tv. Naito takes it easily this year.

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Is Rusev being over on Twitter costing  him? Being over on Twitter didn't help Zack or Dolph in the long run.

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1 hour ago, Marty Sugar said:

Is Rusev being over on Twitter costing  him? Being over on Twitter didn't help Zack or Dolph in the long run.

I think it's more that he's over with Lana.

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15 hours ago, NikoBaltimore said:

I love Rusev tons, and despite whatever he was in on TV he was still highly entertaining be it on or off TV.  I hope he can get into more meaningful matches/stories for next year, but it's hard to vote against Naito.

Naito wrestled classics in nearly every match in the G1.  Kenny's G1 win felt so huge because the finals was literally two of the best guys in the fed squaring off.

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