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NJPW Honor Rising 2018


Beech27
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3 hours ago, cubbymark said:

I thought Yujiro's shirt read "CRACK ROCK" which seems far worse if my understanding of Japanese culture towards drugs is correct.

And I believe it's a Frank Ocean reference.

 

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"The three star savior!" :lol:

All of Cody's machinations are going to lead to Golden Lovers vs. Young Bucks match at Long Beach I reckon. It will be fan-fucking-tastic.

Tama watching on from the background was perfect. Guy looks cool AF at all times.

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I don't know why, but Tama in the background in full IDGAF mode made me laugh so hard. Here's this heated situation between Cody and Kenny, Matt is desperately trying to keep a straight face, and in the background is Tama and he's all like, "the fuck is this noise?"

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Tama isn't a superworker on the level of the rest of New Japan's main event scene, but then neither is Cody, and both have charisma and presence enough that I can easily picture them leading factions. (Which is what I hope is gonna happen, though Cody's splinter group would need to add a few people who aren't already in the group. Mostly I like the idea of smaller, more internally consistent/coherent factions, like LIJ. Chaos would be next, I hope.)

 

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Do people actually see Tama as being charismatic? He seems like the most forced fake cool guy ever to me. I don't watch a ton of the promotion these days outside the major shows, but his work inthe G1 when they were teasing the tension between him and Omega, he seemed like a really poor performer when it came to his character work.

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His G1 was terrible all around, I won't disagree with you on that, though I didn't mind his role in the Omega build-up. I don't think he's a great talker and both he and his brother use profanity to mask how awkward they can be on the mic but they've both gotten better. There was one particular backstage promo during The New Beginning tour, and for some reason I cannot find it on their Youtube channel, where Tama trashed both Cody and Omega without directly mentioning either of them and it was some of his finest mic work to date. I don't know if inconsistent charisma/mic work and mediocre in-ring ability (particularly as a singles, GoD is fine with me as a tag team) is enough but maybe that's what Bullet Club becomes: a midcard stable while The (Golden) Elite and/or whatever Cody's stable is fight it out near the top. I'm all on board with Beech's recommendation of groups paring down to core members. Guys are just there because you have to be associated with a stable these days. It's lame. The world isn't lining up to see a third prelim CHAOS/Bullet Club six-man tag on Korakuen shows. It's not going to hurt the bottom line if some guys are unaffiliated. And if they can't stand out on their own, maybe they don't belong in NJPW. I understand loyalty in Japanese culture is taken way more seriously, so it's unlikely to ever happen.

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Does Cody really need a stable? He isn't regular and when he needs to be in tags they could book someone like Page or Marty with him. And yes, by that I mean that Page and Marty should be thrown out too. And same really for Young Bucks, in past two years they have been mostly challenging and defending junior belts while most of their multi man tags were with Omega as The Elite.

If it was up to me I'd remove Omega, Cody, Young Bucks, Page and Marty from the group. Omega could obviously be unaffiliated and tag with guys like Ibushi and Juice while rest of The Elite cast could have a pseudo faction with which they'd appear whenever they are needed. A bit similar to Taguchi Japan I'd say just obviously less regular thing.

Remaining BC members would obviously lack in star power, but I think that Tama and Fale should be given opportunity to swim. Will they drown? Very likely, but at the same time current situation isn't really good either I'd say.

And yes, Tama was probably weakest overall performer in G1 and Fale is Fale. But I was thinking, does every faction leader really needs to be a contender for Okada's title? I don't mind them holding trios belts (eventually replacing Fale with their third brother sounds like obvious decision) and maybe it would be good for those belts too if important people (in terms of kayfabe, faction leaders basically) held them and weren't used just as a filler for guys that don't have anything else to do.

So my crazy fanfiction boils down to this:

Omega as unaffiliated
Cody, Young Bucks, Page and Marty as The Elite 2.0
4 Tongans + Chase + Yujiro as Bullet Club 4.0

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Intersting. My only concern is that it's pretty clear that Cody's hoodwinking of The Bucks will likely only be short term and they will probably make up with Omega in the long term, hopefully moving up to heavyweight in the process. They've made Omega the total  babyface in the BTE videos and I don't see the Bucks going full heel on him in their own series. But we shall see. I could just be seeing what I want to see. 

As for Cody not needing a faction, sure. But I think everybody will want a spin off of the BC for merch reasons. 

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T-shirt sales, dude. You know how many Villain Club/American Nightmare/Terminator/Bucks/Etc BC shirts they sell?

I think it's more likely Cody keeps the BC name and the OG crew gets a new one. It's not fair to Fale and Tama, but Bullet Club is the face of their Western expansion.

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7 hours ago, Archibald said:

But I was thinking, does every faction leader really needs to be a contender for Okada's title?

I don't think so, though it strikes me intermittently as totally logical or nonsensical that New Japan insists on presenting things (more or less) that way. That is, if perpetual faction war is your standard undercard filler, I understand why you'd want the factions to seem relatively equal. But it does contradict how their tiered, stratified booking helps make singles feuds and matches so compelling. It seems to me they should (as you suggest) be able to apply the same principle to factions. Tama can lead his group without being an absolute gold star main eventer; someone like Goto or Ishii (or at least half a dozen other guys) could do the same. People would complain that more factions would be confusing, but I don't think seven or eight well-defined and more tightly-knit factions would be harder to keep track of than the sprawling five they have now. (I'd also totally be happy with more unaffiliated wrestlers/tag teams, but don't think there's a chance they go that way, so more and smaller factions is my concession to that.)

As for Cody specifically, I suspect New Japan wants him as a leader because he's got the profile to carry that title, and his work has risen to that level as well. And yeah, merch. Maybe merch most of all. I think he'll be in this year's G1 as well--at least, he's said he wants to--so he may be a more consistent presence on tour as well.

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Seconded the idea that I would spin off the Tongans/Fale/Owen etcs into a Bullet Club spin-off stable. 

How this all shakes down is so fascinating. I don't see any of these guys a) wanting to leave the Youtube show, which is such a driving force of merchandise and promotion b) wanting to break up their touring vaudeville act. 

Omega, I guess, is the most likely to separate when this angle is over, as New Japan may end up pushing him to the title. As champion, I don't think they'd want him to be doing soap opera stuff. 

Also, and I may be way off, but wasn't the purpose of the Bucks and Omega spinning off into The Elite to get away from the NJPW Bullet Club branding, which they felt was watered down? 

I guess I always got the sense that The Elite thing was something they had more control over, but I have like zero knowledge of how that shit works with New Japan.  

 

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