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NJPW STRONG STYLE EVOLVED (aka the US Show)

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8 minutes ago, Infinit said:

For a second it really looked like the lost it on that superplex. Kota saved them.

Say what you will about the craziness of Page/Switchblade but that was probably the scariest spot of the night. Really shouldn't have been as dangerous as it turned out.

Did anybody see what busted Kenny's face? Was it one of the superkicks?

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It had more melodramatic feelings and false goodbyes than the extended edition of Return of the King... but sometimes that’s appropriate. (And I love that movie.) Or if not appropriate, at  least the indulgence is forgivable. This was one of those times, to me. And fwiw, for all of the big spots and power-ups, there were zero real finisher kickouts: Kota never pins people with the powerbomb; The OWA was broken up; Golden Lovers finisher thiefing doesn’t count, because that’s a near-fall in any promotion/match; etc. This was long, but pretty much every New Japan main event packs in at least as many HE KICKED OUT moments, for better and worse.

Granted, nearly every creator is better with some editing; but New Japan was never gonna do that, given the performers and setting. All things considered, I loved the focus on ~feelings~ and sustained damage, and the result felt really special.

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Can a full-bore PWG main event be a great half-an-hour of TV wrestling if there's a year's worth of storytelling building up to it? Or is it always bad, an irredeemably decadent mutation of the artform, regardless of context? This'll be the question (until Sumo Hall).

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Plus there was a lot of stuff going on in terms of Matt being pissed off by the Cody editing of Kenny's video in the latest BTE that bled over through the entire match. The momentum shifts of gradual belligerence and acceptance of violence was pretty spectacularly done between Kenny and Nick with Kota urging Kenny to go all in. They also did an excellent job of putting in motion the story Kenny set up in the hype interviews from this week. Bucks are the better tag team but Lovers are better individually. Bucks' slick tag work carried them through until Lovers started dropping their big solo bombs in the final third to halt constant double team moves. This also played into whether or not the Lovers were going to work over Matt's back, so they blended the two stories into one grand tapestry beautifully. 

In the context of modern New Japan main event style, that really wasn't that bad. What was overkill that hasn't been kicked out of before? I get if New Japan's style isn't your cup of tea but I'm tracking back through my head and the biggest "oh fuck" kick out was the GL swiping the IndieTaker and Matt kicking out. I think Kota followed it up with a pretty savage response that Matt also kicked out of that seemed a bit much but beyond that...

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So we can talk about how fucking bad the AXS production was? So many missed spots.

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Just heinous. Between that, what I can only imagine was another great shift from JR & Josh, and the terrible audio mix, New Japan needs to spend the money and send their crew over there.

I don't smoke, but I feel like I need a cigarette after watching that main event. Just spent 100% completely. 

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Suzuki as Zack's jerk wrestling dad is so great! Zack's constantly looking to follow Minoru's lead here and doesn't want to step on dad's toes, whereas I think Minoru looks over at Zack once throughout the entire interview. I know KES is next in line but if/when they fail, another Suzuki-gun challenge from these two would be greatly appreciated along with Ishii vs. Suzuki.

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I actually really want ZSJ to tap Okada. I don't think it'll happen, but it would be a great surprise end. He beat everybody but then he ran into this guy that just pulls your body apart and refuses to wrestle new Japan style.

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My only problem with the camera work was that they were constantly catching that glaring light on the ringside camera.  It was distracting.

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2 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

My only problem with the camera work was that they were constantly catching that glaring light on the ringside camera.  It was distracting.

That was bad. But then missing this like the Best. IndyTaker. Ever. and whatever happened on Ibushi's side of the Cross Slash didn't bother you?

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Time flew by in the main event. However, during Knife Pervert-v-Flippy Cowboy Maybe? I felt every excruciating minute. 

Merchandise was handled SO much better this time, although there wasn't as much of a variety. No individual shirts, just groups. 

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2 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

That was bad. But then missing this like the Best. IndyTaker. Ever. and whatever happened on Ibushi's side of the Cross Slash didn't bother you?

I think missing Ibushi completely missing the cross-slash was for the best. 

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White isn't clicking. Page bumped crazy. The finishing stretch was great but that needed to be about 12 minutes instead of over twenty.

I actually liked Hangman a lot in it. Killed himself trying to save it.

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Just now, Ace said:

I think missing Ibushi completely missing the cross-slash was for the best. 

I don't know, Barnett trying to explain it was excruciating.

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So happy I didn't have to endure those two. I really like Josh Barnett's MMA and grappling work. JR was a legendary commentator up to about the end of Austin's run. However, those two are just a brutal pairing and I cringe at the thought of listening to them.

It looked like Ibushi and Matto compensated for the miss well enough but yeah, but both the cross slash and the You Can't Escape sequences were messy. To do a Big Dave and explain away New Japan fuckups, it does make sense with the Golden Lovers having severe rust in their teamwork.

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All I saw was half the crowd-pleaser Ingobernables tag, the Liger match, and Suzuki/ZSJ vs. Okada/Ishii. The last one is a fucking stone cold stunner, if you'll pardon the pun. Them stretching the refs was the icing on the cake. And to see that on free TV out of nowhere on a Sunday night... good lord. 

Also, on my rewatch, the Voivod-influenced BC gear on Tama and Tanga was super dope

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17 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

I don't know, Barnett trying to explain it was excruciating.

He jumped and missed the springboard on the other side. It's not that hard, Barnett just sucks at his job. 

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Just now, Ace said:

He jumped and missed the springboard on the other side. It's not that hard, Barnett just sucks at his job. 

That's my point. Seeing it would've been a lot better than Josh spending two minutes failing to explaining it.

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38 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

That was bad. But then missing this like the Best. IndyTaker. Ever. and whatever happened on Ibushi's side of the Cross Slash didn't bother you?

I'm not sure exactly what they missed there.

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5 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

I'm not sure exactly what they missed there.

Ibushi blew the spot. I think. Probably.

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Then it was probably better they shot around that, no?

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If Kenny actually broke his orbital bone, depending on the severity, he should wear one of those masks Cody sported during his post-Dashing phase. Looking back, I think the moment was the moonsault where he came up short, and his face landed right on Ibushi's shoulder. Nothing the Bucks hit him with looked stiff enough to break anything. But man, if it is broken... ROH and New Japan both can ill afford for that to be the case. And I mean, it would suck for him too. 

A few other things:

-Suzuki and Ishii absolutely stole a match that was meant to highlight their respective partners. To a kinda hilarious degree. Right from the crowd shouting "kaze ni nare" so loud that it managed to overcome the weird sound issues, to the "oh, you came here for strong style?" strike exchanges, to the ref torture... I mean it's not a surprise that Suzuki is good, and charismatic, or that America loves Ishii, but still.

-I need to watch White/Page again. At first blush, I'm not sure what consistent narrative there was beyond Jay having very sudden (and suddenly deadly) offense. Which I do like, especially with regards to his finisher. It fits the vignettes, really, that he'd meticulously plan a counter to the other guy's finisher. But beyond that, they generically trash talked each other quite a bit, and there were some cool moves/gnarly bumps. I think I (and maybe many fans) were mostly ready for the main, and perhaps didn't give it enough attention. Or maybe it was only ok, and neither guy is ready for big main events.

-Whatever the case, Finlay as the next challenger is... not a great sign, is it? For a belt that had been defended against big opponents, in big buildings, that's neither. Still, I'm sure it'll be pretty good, and the crowd will be hot. It's just worth noting, to me, that White has gone from a title win against a main eventer, to a defense against a mid carder, to a defense against an opening match guy. (They do have history, granted.)

-What main events the Cow Palace show?

 

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7 hours ago, Ace said:

Time flew by in the main event. However, during Knife Pervert-v-Flippy Cowboy Maybe? I felt every excruciating minute. 

Merchandise was handled SO much better this time, although there wasn't as much of a variety. No individual shirts, just groups. 

You mean both ring announcers LIED when they announced Yano's t-shirts were available for sale during his intro? Those jerks!

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