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Raziel

NJPW 2017 G1 Climax 27

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WWE will fire somebody worthy of the role in the next two years. If I were NJPW I'd bank on that or poach the first under-utilized ROH guy that'll jump.  I'm gonna say... Dalton Castle after a heel turn and an ROH title run, then they forget how to book him like they do most of their champs. The current forecast is Kenny leaves in Jan 2019, right? And isn't it great that NJPW contracts expire right before the Rumble?

La Sombra's gonna get fired, right? Ex IC champ. Not a bad looking dude. Just throwing it out there.

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I'm gonna be stubbornly naïve and hope Omega's a lifer, but his contract is supposedly up in Jan of 2019, yeah. The issue, though, is they're teasing a BC split now, and have sorta written themselves into a tough spot, since part of Tama's gripe seems to be that Omega wasn't an original member. Not that narrative cohesion always matters a ton, but it does mean a current or returning member makes more sense than an outsider. I think it's unlikely Bálor comes back, but WWE doesn't seem too invested in Karl Anderson. So, that's a guy.

It is also possible the tease is never triggered, and they all turn as Omega does, sorta like Chaos did. 

They could just disband.

They could hire Rusev, transition to an eastern euro mob gimmick, and sell track suits at Hot Topic. 

Sombra coming to kill his bastard Japanese faction seems a long shot, but it would be awesome.

Kojima could set off a Bread Club takeover.

Lots of options...

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Really digging the old man stuff in the G1 more than anything else.

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The BizCliz will never do. Wolfpack forever. Suck it. *hand gestures*
*turns on Oyaji and joins Bread Club*

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Coincidentally Bread Club is also BizCliz.

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Day 9 live from Aichi!

Makabe-Nagata continues the great run of grumpy brilliance from Nagata, he got even more irate and fiery here, Makabe held his end up well. ****
Ibushi-Fale had shades of ECW in and around a good big-man/little-crazy-man dynamic. Fale was good, Ibushi great. ***3/4
Goto-Sabre was a good mesh of styles that didn't try and burn the house down but I liked it just fine. ***1/2
Tanahashi-YOSHIHASHI picked up steam near the end, Tanahashi acted as if Tacos wasn't in his league, which fed a cool dynamic of the lil guy trying to prove himself against the 1/100 Ace. ***1/4
Naito-Ishii was great, these two just deliver every single time, some new stuff that builds on their established patterns, a must-see ****1/2

good crowd for this one enhanced the whole thing.

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Besides Ibushi totally dropping his leg selling at the end, Fale/Ibushi was every enjoyable.  Better than Falen/Naito, as Ibushi is just better at bumping around and fighting from underneath.

However, Ibushi's potential darkhorse run to the finals seems just about doomed from this loss.  He'd have to win out the rest of the way and have Tanahashi and Naito go 2-2 to get in.

On the flip side, Fale is actually in great shape with matches to go against Nagata & Yoshi-Hashi (where you have to think he's the big favorite) and Goto & Ishii (where he's at least even odds to win considering he's beaten Naito already).

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Thinking about potential gaijin coming to NJPW does make you realize how damn many they have already. With so many Western wrestlers growing up with the goal of working in Japan, it's too bad the drop-off from NJPW to the next-biggest company is so steep. Is NJPW gonna have room for Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Jeff Cobb, etc. when they're ready to tour the country? Does WWE/NXT have the space to poach enough guys (who aren't Kenny) to create a big enough vacuum? I worry about everything.

Ibushi going to the finals was only considered as a possibility because it's what Kenny wants and it would have been seen as a goodwill gesture to their hottest dude. But I never thought it was gonna happen. The match that makes more sense, if Kenny wins (big if) is to run Kenny/Ibushi for the "briefcase". Which, btw, is as embarrassing a concept as anything NJPW does - unless somebody loses the damn thing before the Dome, it's very existence spoils the outcome of matches involving it and even if that changed it's more derivative and corny than a thousand crotch chops.

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I can't stand Goto.  He has no fire or heart.  He's the epitome of a guy who just runs through the puro checklist of stuff to do in his matches with zero emotion to any of it.  And as much as I've enjoyed ZSJ in this tournament, their match went exactly the way I was afraid it would, with Goto bringing out ZSJ's worst tendencies to just...do stuff.

Everybody else in this tournament has been smart enough to not do a bunch of strike exchanges with ZSJ, but of course, Goto leans into it and builds the match like he's in there with Ishii or something.  Ugh.

Tanahashi/Yoshi was another weird match where the lessons of the tournament so far (in this case: working off Tana's arm injury = good) were disregarded in favor of having a standard Tanahashi midcard match, which is just...not that interesting.  Worse, Yoshi comes off looking like a chump as Tanahashi eats all his shit and then puts him away with your run of the mill sling blade/HFF finish.  Ho hum.

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I'm just now gathering the footage to get started. I found something called "G1 Special in USA" dated 7/1 and 7/2. Are these necessary? Useful preshows, perhaps, for someone who has not been following New Japan lately?

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2 minutes ago, Kronos said:

I'm just now gathering the footage to get started. I found something called "G1 Special in USA" dated 7/1 and 7/2. Are these necessary? Useful preshows, perhaps, for someone who has not been following New Japan lately?

They're the special shows they ran in LA that have the IWGP US Title Tournament (with a great Omega/Ishii final), along with the usual multiman tags, an Okada/Rhodes Title match, a War Machine/GoD Tag title match, and a Tanahashi/Gunn IC match if you really care.  It's not required, but it's a pretty good show, even if JR doesn't quite get teh intro to NJPW stuff right.

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Goto is best served as part of a tag team these days. And frankly, NJPW needs heavyweight tag teams.

 

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1 hour ago, John E. Dynamite said:

Ibushi going to the finals was only considered as a possibility because it's what Kenny wants and it would have been seen as a goodwill gesture to their hottest dude. But I never thought it was gonna happen. The match that makes more sense, if Kenny wins (big if) is to run Kenny/Ibushi for the "briefcase". Which, btw, is as embarrassing a concept as anything NJPW does - unless somebody loses the damn thing before the Dome, it's very existence spoils the outcome of matches involving it and even if that changed it's more derivative and corny than a thousand crotch chops.

Omega's gonna have to defend the US title against Elgin at one of the bigger shows, you figure, so that's one big singles date taken. Plus, he said on a recent podcast (squared circle pit on metal injection... which is a thing, I guess) he flatly wouldn't wrestle Ibushi anywhere but the dome, if they don't meet in the finals. I mean, shoots are never totally shoots, but. 

Ibushi does look out of it, though. I think Naito still looks most likely to advance, given he can still put losses on Goto and Tanahashi. And while I try not to watch wrestling this way, it's just hard to see Ishii, Goto, or Tanahashi (now) headlining the biggest show of the year. Naito/Okada, closing the show this time, I can picture. 

Omega obviously fits also, if someone from the other block is to win. Whether he wins the G1 then drops the belt, or just keeps it until then (or wins and keeps it?) it's hard to imagine Okada not being there. So you could put anyone opposite them in the G1 finals, if they're winning anyway. I'm getting WAY ahead of myself though.

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Naito's had a hell of a build and is pretty much the most popular guy right now. It makes sense for him to headline vs. Okada. 

 

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1 hour ago, Kronos said:

I'm just now gathering the footage to get started. I found something called "G1 Special in USA" dated 7/1 and 7/2. Are these necessary? Useful preshows, perhaps, for someone who has not been following New Japan lately?

They're not really preludes and I found the show titles to be strange in retrospect. However there's a wealth of good stuff across the two nights. Kenny was in his element in front of his hardcore fans and Ishii really announced himself to the US market. There are ROH guys in there and CMLL guys too but I quite liked the mixture.

Harsh on Goto upthread. What can he do with the hand he's been dealt? He's shown plenty of fire down the years but the company has never bought his reigns on the tags, the NEVER, or the IC. A tag team with Ishii would be something I'd like to see though. Would save Ishii's body from completely melting down.

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Thx, guys, for the tips re "G1 Special in USA". Sounds like they're definitely worth a watch, regardless. 

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21 minutes ago, Ace said:

Naito's had a hell of a build and is pretty much the most popular guy right now. It makes sense for him to headline vs. Okada. 

 

in spoiler tags for people who haven't seen today or the G1 USA specials

I think this G1 has to be Naito. His loss today to Ishii is his second one to him in the year so he'll want to get that back. Where better than a briefcase defence at one of the B PPVs in September?

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41 minutes ago, sevendaughters said:

 

Harsh on Goto upthread. What can he do with the hand he's been dealt? He's shown plenty of fire down the years but the company has never bought his reigns on the tags, the NEVER, or the IC. A tag team with Ishii would be something I'd like to see though. Would save Ishii's body from completely melting down.

I guess I have the exact opposite impression of Goto.  I see a guy who's been given WAY more opportunities than he deserves because he's been a loyal soldier for a long time.   It seems once a year they throw him a belt or a big win of some sort in hopes that he'll finally do something with it, and he flops every time.  Hell, the whole NEVER program with Shibata felt like one of those WWE-style angles based on the company's real opinion of someone, with Shibata calling him out for having no fire.

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47 minutes ago, Kronos said:

Thx, guys, for the tips re "G1 Special in USA". Sounds like they're definitely worth a watch, regardless. 


For fun, you can try to find @Michael Sweetser or I on camera. You'd only see me on Day 2, though,

 

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I'd love to see Juice pull a huge upset over Okada this morning.

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9 hours ago, Raziel403 said:

It's not required, but it's a pretty good show, even if JR doesn't quite get teh intro to NJPW stuff right.

In his defense, JR was drunk and completely unprepared.

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Naito (current fav) vs Ishii (second fav with Shibata out) never fails to deliver. Great stuff. 

Ibushi having yet another change up match against Fale was great. Him dropping the selling of his knee late was unfortunate but expected.

Goto/Sabre Jr just didn't seem to gel really and exposing Zach in strike exchanges is indeed an awful idea.

Tanahashi/Yoshi-Hashi was very middle of the road. I don't know if YH is getting exposed as needing to develop more or that he has reached his ceiling. 

Dammit I am always pushing for old surly gunslinger Nagata to get a win(even if he had the cupping burns that always kinda creep me out) but even in these loses he is putting on really good matches for his last run.

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6 hours ago, mattdangerously said:

In his defense, JR was drunk and completely unprepared.

How is that a defense?  Obviously, I couldn't shine JR's hat on my best day and his worst, but as someone that's done announcing, I was appalled at the lack of professionalism and preparedness from JR on that broadcast.  I'm actually surprised he's being kept around,.

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Thoughts on what I've seen so far;

Okada/Kojima was great fun, great heel antics from the start from Okada and i genuinely thought Kojima could win.

Ibushi/Naito was crazy

Wasnt a fan of ZSJ/Ibushi but i will give it a second watch because it didnt get my full attention.

Naito/Ishii was a great slugfest.

Going from what ive read here and other places there is so much to watch this year but thats a good complaint. 

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Stayed up for this one, so here are some sleep deprived thoughts. 

-Minoru Suzuki loves being Minoru Suzuki so much, and given his opponent, I was pretty happy with a wild brawl, ending with a chairshot punctuating his music on the way out. 

-Elgin losing does point to Omega/Okada deciding the block, which probably shouldn't be a surprise. I wonder if Okada might go in unblemished, so Omega knows a draw won't do it?

-Omega saw Okada heeling on Kojima, and I guess decided to take it a step further: total disregard. A heel requires a counterpart, a hero to oppose the villain. And he didn't see Kojima as a worthy hero any longer, so comedy tag Kenny showed up. Of course that didn't work, but then he made another mistake, going to the OWA too quick. The second it became a real match, basically, he panicked and tried to end it without doing enough work. Ultimately, though, he can now kick out of Kojima's best stuff, and the V-Trigger is too fast, sudden, and powerful for Kojima to handle. 

-Okada/Juice was a great story to tell right after, insofar as Okada seemed dead set on a relatively workmanlike, methodical approach. No real heeling at first, just do the work. Juice, though, always fires up, and Okada couldn't help but egg him on. A mistake, as it turned out. Not a fatal one however, because Okada's been in these deep waters before; when the counters start flying, he knows how to put anyone down eventually. But while Juice gave everything, he didn't hit everything; his finisher is an unanswered question for now. 

That, I think, was a great display of complimentary narratives. Two main eventers took on opponents below their level, and won. But those oponnents are headed two opposite directions: Kojima simply doesn't have enough to win at that level any longer. He faced an opponent who didn't take him seriously, and made mistakes; he hit everything; it didn't work. Juice, though, is ascendant, and simply doesn't have enough yet.

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