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NJPW 2017 G1 Climax 27

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1 hour ago, sevendaughters said:

Both he and I agree that WWE's roster is incredible. With AJ, Joe, Brock, KO, Bryan (yes), Sami, Roman, Cena, Rollins, KENTA, Nakamura, Gargano, Balor, Rusev, Cesaro, Neville, Harper, Gable, The Miz, and Matt Hardy you could have a tournament that put the G1 Climax to shame in terms of star power and equal it in terms of general match quality, variety, etc. And sure, tournament wrestling is more of a Japanese thing, but it's an example of how WWE won't push match quality or complex booking under the current regime.

Oh man. Who wants to take a stab at booking a WWE G1? 

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1 hour ago, Pete said:

Oh man. Who wants to take a stab at booking a WWE G1? 

WWE would be tailor-made for its own version, thanks to the brand split. Instead of A Block and B Block, you have the RAW bracket and SmackDown bracket. In addition to those rosters, and much like how the G1 will include outsiders or reintroduce its own talent, I'd use the tournament to intro NXT talent without necessarily putting them up full-time. Perhaps also elevate some 205 Live talent. 

Air matches on each TV show, of course, but also run tourney matches at the house shows and stream that shit live on the Network. I mean, you've got the outlet. You need inventory. Slam dunk. If I was starting it tomorrow: 

RAW Block: 
Braun

Roman 

Seth 

Ambrose

Bray

Balor 

Neville 

Joe 

Miz 

Jason Jordan 

SmackDown Block: 

A.J. 

Corbin

Nakamura

Cena

Sami Zayn

Owens

Luke Harper

Sigh...Orton, I guess, though I'd prefer bring up Drew McIntyre to get some shine here. 

Chad Gable 

Rusev

***

Since you couldn't have Lesnar working all those dates, I'd just use the stipulation World/Universal champs don't wrestle. That also spares the indignity of Jinder eating up a spot in the SmackDown block. 

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You'd have to start a little earlier than the G1 does, but you could then run the brand winners as a ppv/network special, the winner getting a WWE/Universal title shot as the main event of Summerslam. 

WWE already has the top half of its roster working singles a few times a week; might as well pick a spot on the calendar where those matches all matter. (The counterpoint would be that since they do work all those matches all year, you lose the novelty that makes the G1 feel so special.)

I actually think WWE would be more comfortable doing an NXT version, since Full Sail already hosts tournaments and has fans who are likely to be familiar with the block format/overall concept. It might also boost their house show attendance (since they'd need to tour with it), and give less experienced wrestlers a chance to work with and adapt to a range of opponents. (So it would ideally be a mix of indie stars and more truly developmental talent, I think. Maybe even the odd unsigned talent, like Liger was.) The current taping schedule would make this hard to do, though.

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with regular TV you could slow it down, less body pressure, do it between WM and SS to really give some meaning and renewal to what has often been a trudge of a period.

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13 hours ago, The Iron Yuppie said:

Since you couldn't have Lesnar working all those dates, I'd just use the stipulation World/Universal champs don't wrestle. That also spares the indignity of Jinder eating up a spot in the SmackDown block. 

Or you give the winner a title shot with him or Jinder and play it up big. 

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You could book the King of the Ring into a Summerlong version of the G1.  

have matches every week: 9 matches a show for the 10 folks on each side  (Smackdown might have to put 1 or 2 matches on the network).

Raw side: Braun, Roman, Dean, Seth, Miz, Joe, Balor, Cesaro, Sheamus, Bray

Smackdown side: AJ, Owens, Sami, Big E, Xavier, Nakamura, Cena, Orton, Rusev, Corbin

throw in one tag team on each side to let them fight it out.

the final is the semi-main at Summerslam.

The winner gets guaranteed #30 in the Rumble and can choose who is #1.

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1 hour ago, alstein said:

You could book the King of the Ring into a Summerlong version of the G1.  

have matches every week: 9 matches a show for the 10 folks on each side  (Smackdown might have to put 1 or 2 matches on the network).

Raw side: Braun, Roman, Dean, Seth, Miz, Joe, Balor, Cesaro, Sheamus, Bray

Smackdown side: AJ, Owens, Sami, Big E, Xavier, Nakamura, Cena, Orton, Rusev, Corbin

throw in one tag team on each side to let them fight it out.

the final is the semi-main at Summerslam.

The winner gets guaranteed #30 in the Rumble and can choose who is #1.

Sorry, but there's weak tea and then there's "grueling tournament champion wins the chance to compete for a title shot."

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18 hours ago, RIPPA said:

Something I might be reading into to but it seemed in like reading the new WON that Dave has decided to use a 6 star system for New Japan and 5 stars for everything (because he made some passive aggressive comment about the Roode/Strong NXT match and how it was 4 1/4 starts on the WWE scale or something like that).

Again - should you get worked up over it? No but just providing a little more content into his possible motivations

To be fair to Dave,  there are plenty of people, myself included, that judge NJPW on a different scale than everything else.

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I think I judge on the same scale. I mean I don't have an actual scale. I just know what I feel about stuff. And because wrestling is actually bound up with complex emotions and shared by young men, I tend to award a score rather than unpack those complex emotions at length. I digress.

Dave seems to think that wrestling only gets better. That wrestling now is incredible and that Flair/Steamboat is only 5/6 stars for its time. His line of argument regarding match quality seems to divest his enjoyment of the story and take the work in isolation. I'd be interested to see what he'd give Flair/Steamboat now. I personally disagree with Dave there (not with that specific trilogy, just the idea: I only saw the one of the Flair/Steamboat matches anyway). It's ahistorical too, given the relative scarcity of 5* Dave matches between 1997-2011.

Most of my favourite matches, in my opinion, just hold the fuck up against - and surpass - stuff in the G1. But that''s because the stories count and matches are hardly ever top-shelf on work alone. And I think Dave knows this in his heart too. He fuckin' LOVES Flair. God that obituary is going to be a tearjerker.

Anyway, I don't think wrestling just gets better. Nor do I think it has peaked, or bottomed out. Perhaps what one can physically do becomes more outlandish, or maybe you could have a situation in a stadium where two workers are more over than anyone ever. But wrestling is not merely physical feats or $ gates or decibels.

And I don't think 'storytelling' just gets better: it changes to reflect its era. There are no new stories. It would be weird to think that the novel just gets better, or that music just gets better. What changes is you and what you want out of things. And I think that that which remains constant is actually the stuff that you truly love. Which sort of argues that you can't give a match or an album or a book a top rating until some time has passed...which is probably not a bad thing to suggest, as you can get past hype and trends and look into your heart.

Here is a list I found in an email I wrote in 2013.

  • Masakatsu Funaki vs. Tatsuo Nakano, UWF Fighting Star Hakata, 1989
  • Jumbo Tsuruta vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, AJPW Super Power Series Day 19, 1990 
  • Kenta Kobashi vs. Stan Hansen, AJPW Summer Action Series Day 22, 1993
  • Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart, WWE Wrestlemania X, 1994
  • Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon, WWE Wrestlemania X, 1994
  • El Hijo del Santo and Octagon vs. Eddie Guerrero and Art Barr, AAA When Worlds Collide, 1994.
  • Kyoko Inoue vs. Manami Toyota, AJW G*Top 2nd, 1995
  • Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera, ECW Big Ass Extreme Bash, 1996
  • Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, WWE Wrestlemania 13, 1997
  • Mankind vs. The Undertaker, WWE King of the Ring, 1998
  • Kenta Kobashi vs. Mitsuharu Misawa, NOAH Navigate For Evolution Day 9, 2003.
  • Bryan Danielson vs. Naruki Doi, Dragon Gate USA Open The Untouchable Gate, 2009.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Minoru Suzuki, NJPW King of Pro Wrestling 2012
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada, NJPW Invasion Attack, 2013

Now I've seen a lot more wrestling since, so there's way more matches from before, during, and after this time frame that I'd award my top rating to. I note that a lot of these 5* matches coincide with "when I was watching closely", so there's that sense of nostalgia bound up in it. But it's impossible really to say what makes something a personal favourite other than at the end you have that feeling that it definitely is, that is all that matters. When I see these matches again I am always like "yup, classic" after my heart stops racing. I'm looking at the matches in this 4 year old email and I would downgrade maybe one of them like a whole quarter star?

But look at this. The work in Mankind-Taker is, technically, the shits. There have been better backyard matches from a work perspective. Part of Misawa-Tsuruta is knowing the backstory with Baba at the merch table, same with Hart-Austin and the perfectly executed double turn. But I can't forget that sort of stuff so these matches won't diminish in my mind.

tl;dr I think Dave needs to have a word with himself about scores and scales. not necessarily the upper bounds, but perhaps writing a lengthy Bill James-esque justification of his approach and methodology that puts his judgment in context.

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Nakano/Funaki FTW!!!

Completely on board with your main  point too. Dave, and I love him, is lacking logic when he talks about sliding scales because wrestling is better now. I know he's big into athleticism and moves but the core heart of a match, the story that allows us to get emotionally invested in a match is more important than that shit and that doesn't change over time, just the means to get there shift in different eras or regions. 

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It took me a long time to catch up and thankfully I was able to avoid spoilers.  This really was the best tournament I've ever seen.  The big matches are what they are,  incredible stuff all around but each night had gems all the way through like Ibushi/Ishii for example or many of the Negata and Juice matches.  Wonderful tourney.  NJPW is on a tear. 

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