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NJPW Wrestling Hinokuni / Wrestling Dontaku 2018

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Bone Soldier as a fakeout for Ishimori is weird, but it gets us Ishimori, so I won't complain. I'm also still kinda *shrug* about the whole BC... thing, but Omega and Okada will be an incredible spectacle of pro wrestling excess, and I'm gonna love it, despite (and because of) all that. Kota being over all the drama is interesting, too.

My predictions: I think Naito can take the loss to Jericho at Dominion; this doesn't really matter to him, and the belt certainly doesn't. Jericho can then flip the title back to someone else at the G1 Special--though I don't have any great ideas who that would be, but I'd like Ibushi to get it--while Naito could then refocus on the G1, and/or beating either Omega or Okada. And I think it's gonna be Omega, both because of the North American push and, if he doesn't take it here, I really don't know that there's a more appropriate end to the GOAT reign than the vaunted epic this will be. (Other than Naito winning at the Dome in 2019.) I would expect Omega to then sell out the Cow Palace defending the title, perhaps getting his win back over Cody. Maybe we're headed for a couple years of Rock-Paper-Scissors, where Naito beats Omega who beats Okada who beats Naito. But I have no idea.

I'm really interested, though, because Okada's title reign can actually end now, and suddenly things feel possible again.

But wrestling happened tonight too, and I really liked Okada/Tana. Thwarted gameplans are cool to me, so Tana failing to really commit to the knee work--and so, failing to benefit from it--worked really well. Okada baited him into the kind of artillery war no one beats him at, and though Tana had more than he expected, it wasn't enough. One definitive Rainmaker ending it worked too, given the DDTs and Tombstones; especially considering we're supposed to believe those fire-up moments and kickouts at one, while momentarily expedient, have a cost a few minutes later.

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I think that for financial reasons Jericho has to be in the main event of G1 Special. So either they are dragging Naito/Jericho till then or they are doing Jericho vs Okada/Omega. And I'd be leaning towards Okada due to previously mentioned reasons.

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You could certainly wait on Jericho/Naito. Dominion will be an easy sellout on the strength of the main event alone, and will take so long that you might not want a big singles match below it. I also have to think the US belt is defended in the US... because it's the US belt. There's also the Bucks' tag challenge to consider. Them winning the tag belts in California would be a big moment, should it happen.

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BONE SOLDIER HAS FINALLY COME HOME! He's shrank 8 inches and lost 60 lb or more, but his rehabbing has done wonders! He looks like a whole new man!

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Good draw. 6,307 would seem legit. I SEE TWO EMPTY SEATS! What a failure.

Theyr'e still so far away from being able to fill the Fukuoka Dome again. Legit full is about 42k, not the 55k they claimed in the golden era.

DSC_8484.jpg

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Holy shit...Omega or Okada are really out to see which can have the shorter career. I'm all for excellent wrestling matches, but with the amount of blows those guys take, plus likely going longer than 60 minutes, risking the same dehydration that affecting Shibata...I just hope they're both safe.

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What are some of the bigger Ishimori matches? I remember his name (probably from NOAH) but can't recall a single match. 

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Is the second night still not available on demand for anyone else?

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There really isn't anywhere else they can hold the show if they hold to only having it during the Dontaku. After the dome, the next biggest venue in Hakata is the Marine Messe which is actually part of the same complex as the Kokusai Center. It holds over 10,000 and it can definitely be configured for wrestling since RIZIN is going to have a show there this coming Sunday. But there is always a big concert at Marine Messe the same time as Wrestling Dontaku so the two day show is their best bet at drawing what they would get for one day at the bigger venue.

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The camera caught Red Shoes blading Naito during the Jericho attack.

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Didn't they also caught Omega blading himself during the WK match?

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Naito's selling and character work is his greatest asset. Somehow he manages to sell that he was completely fucked up and at the same time come out as if it didn't even phase him. Tranquilo. Bonus points for being able to deliver another jab to Suzuki at the same time.

And I guess that Naito making a point about how he was attacked in his home could hint at match happening in USA - Naito defeating Jericho in his home.

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On 5/4/2018 at 12:16 PM, Curt McGirt said:

What are some of the bigger Ishimori matches? I remember his name (probably from NOAH) but can't recall a single match. 

He's been working Impact since last July and I've been loving his output this year.

vs. Dezmond Xavier (January 18 2018 IMPACT) is my favorite and one of my top matches of the year thus far.
vs. El Hijo Del Fantasma (February 15 2018 IMPACT) was also very good and I dug his match vs. Matt Sydal this past week.

Hope he excels in NJPW as well

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I'd also like to add that the Bone Soldier reveal was, like, Exhibit A as to why Tama Tonga is just never going to be anything beyond the midcard tag guy.  Sure, he kinda stinks in the ring, but if he could talk *at all*, somebody could do something with him.  Maybe not New Japan, but WWE, sure.

But dude can't even make it through a simple introduction of a new BC member without rambling borderline incoherently.

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It really was harder to miss than hit on that one. Even a generic "here's our new guy, you're going to die" promo would've been 100x better than that shit. I got bored and just skipped ahead to the reveal.

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Not much to add here other than to ask where Tanahashi goes from here?

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He's gonna be a new dad.   I'm sure this is the end of Tana being any sort of main eventer.

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It wouldn't be shocking to see him trend that way, if only because his thoroughly documented injuries suggest easily worked multiman tags would be the healthy choice; but he's still so, so over, and Suzuki (yes, a very different case for a lot of reasons) is presently demonstrating someone can be credibly presented as just below IWGP title level while pushing 50. I wouldn't be surprised to see Tanahashi pick up a few more title wins--just not the big belt--and main event some pretty big shows with them.

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And he's still so fucking good. 

He's the smartest worker of his generation, and that goes a long fucking way.

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To be fair, Nagata is still awesome and he's relegated to the opening match. 

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25 minutes ago, Ace said:

To be fair, Nagata is still awesome and he's relegated to the opening match. 

This is true.

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Well it is not like Nagata was just suddenly dumped into the opening matches. For a while he was still around getting wins and challenging for smaller singles titles. In 2016 he even got a win over Shibata for NEVER title. So while I think it is likely that Tanahashi will eventually end up in same place, we are probably like 5-6 years away from that. He will still probably challenge for other titles and it is possible that he will get another IC reign or put some work in tag team division with someone like Juice. And hey, while Nagata is awesome, Tanahashi is better and more over so his decline is likely to be even slower unless there some health problems will accelerate it.

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Tana is also a lot more physically damaged than Yuji is. 

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Dave went 5 1/2 for Tana/Okada.

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