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NJPW Dominion 2018

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Things I forgot to mention:

Chris Jericho's new look, with the Crow/Alice Cooper inspired makeup and wrestling in tights.

Someone jumping Tetsuya Naito  as he makes his slow dismissive entrance.

The video playing before Kenny Omega's entrance with the Avengers: Infinity War influence.

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My top five worldwide matches 2018:

1. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega. NJPW Dominion, 9th June. *****

2. Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, 27th January. *****

3. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa.  WWE NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 7th April. *****

4. Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan. WWE NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 7th April. *****

5. Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12, 4th January.

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Winnipeg rules Japan. Pretty cool to see guys you used to watch work at the local community club/dive bars winning some of the top titles in the world.

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11 minutes ago, The Natural said:

My top five worldwide matches 2018:

1. Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega. NJPW Dominion, 9th June. *****

2. Andrade Almas vs. Johnny Gargano. NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, 27th January. *****

3. Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa.  WWE NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 7th April. *****

4. Adam Cole vs. Ricochet vs. EC3 vs. Velveteen Dream vs. Killian Dain vs. Lars Sullivan. WWE NXT TakeOver: New Orleans, 7th April. *****

5. Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito. NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12, 4th January.

I'd switch #4 and #5, but other than that minor quibble, you're showing excellent taste, cheers!

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1 minute ago, OSJ said:

I'd switch #4 and #5, but other than that minor quibble, you're showing excellent taste, cheers!

Cheers, @OSJ!

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Better than I expected, and I expected MOTY-caliber. Incredibly restrained in some ways, with no excessive danger or eye rolling kick outs, but also wholly indulgent in its own backstory and present. They fought for and countered everything from the first lockup, melding the best of “real fight” old school work and modern choreography/athleticism. Trying to avoid being prisoner of the moment, but that felt like a real classic.

And god, what a fairy tale ending. “What are you willing to give up?” Kota asks. “Everything,” Kenny insists, but instead he gets everything he’s ever wanted: he wins the title as the wholly adored gaijin-who-is-anything-but, with the people he cares about most by his side. 

(But now they gotta fight. Ibushi for G1, 2018.)

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Nothing but respect for my pansexual IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

 

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I usually have watched NJPW shows the next day through... well... other means.

I'm currently in Europe for work so im closer to their time zone where watching these shows live would make sense. After a little google-fu, I saw as I was leaving the gym it was 8pm in Japan, so I thought, "I'm headed back to my room and signing up for NJPW World and watching this..." Not realizing the show started at 9am my time.

When I finally got logged in, the stream started with them putting the belt on Kenny.... FUCK!!! Then I made the stream start from the beginning, opened up instagram on my phone and got the Bucks with the belt photo and Jericho with the belt photo.... 

Still amazing either way. Even knowing Kenny won the last 15 minutes has me on the edge of my seat.

GOLDEN ELITE!

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1 minute ago, ComingToAmerica said:

So Desperado and Kanemaru are the only non-gaijin champions.......amazing to consider.

Um.

I think you missed a match.

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2 minutes ago, ComingToAmerica said:

So Desperado and Kanemaru are the only non-gaijin champions.......amazing to consider.

Hiromu plz.

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Hahahaha....whoops. 

Still, a lot of the belts in the hands of gaijin (if you include the largely assimilated Omega)

I suppose you could be cheeky and include 'El Desperado'  :-D

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I was really digging Naito/Jericho more than Omega/Jericho until the (honestly, predictable) point Jericho couldn't figure out how to get in position for Destino.  And then it had a boiler plate Suzuki-gun fuck finish that was pretty "blah."

Jericho winning made a lot of business sense, because I thought they would try to run back this match in the States in July.  But it's interesting that they seemed to set up EVIL as an interim challenger, so maybe that's next.

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I don’t want to post random spoilers in the all in thread since it isn’t being discussed, but don callis agreed to be all in to wear the headset after the bucks won their match. Guess that is gonna stream?

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If it doesn't stream, there will at least be a DVD, I would imagine.

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I'm completely spent. Never been so emotionally drawn into a match as I was in the third fall and Beech's description of restraint/excess was perfect. I loved it. I am still unsure if I love it more than the first but perhaps the conclusion and aftermath put it over the top, even though the first one was slightly better paced bell-to-bell.

Okada's facial reactions throughout the match really helped ground the story. He is the king of modern pro wrestling storytelling and I don't think it's close, as much as I love Kenny Omega. The derp face after that immaculately executed counter OWA was just unbelievably awesome and pro wrestling. If I'm booking, I run Okada vs. Ibushi for the G1 final with Kota going over, but I ain't gonna complain once if Okada wins the G1. The man can't go wrong.

Ultra aggro Jericho was smart and well executed. Him trying to take some of Naito's offense wasn't, but it was a very good/great match regardless. Was it just me or did the Osaka crowd boo Naito's dirtbag tactics more than the usual NJPW audience? That eye injury looked gnarly and was he bleeding from his ear or cheek?

Also this

 

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The crowd reaction to Naito was interesting.  Like, they were clearly behind him and wanted him to win, but they hated it every time he stooped to Jericho's level.  They wanted him to be better than that.

I think Jericho busted his ear with a slap.  Hopefully not his ear drum.

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So Cody vs. Omega II this time for the IWGP heavyweight title and Jericho vs. EVIL for San Francisco it would look like. I don't know if anybody will buy EVIL beating Jericho in the US, but Jericho's name alone should help sell some more tickets and I think so will Cody/Kenny even if the feud has cooled off big time since the first match.

Can't wait for the awkwardness of watching Michael Elgin live. O_O We coulda had Taichi da champ, baby, but instead he eats the fall and is immediately brushed aside so we can get Goto vs. Elgin probably at the Cow Palace. Fun. 

They need to start announcing matches ASAP to get as many tickets as possible moved.

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Elgin looked phenomenal, for real tho.  Maybe he's trying to trick people into thinking the original Big Mike died.

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I’m pretty lukewarm on Kenny/Cody II, but I’m also a corny idiot and one episode of BTE will bring me around. 

Jericho winning makes sense: Naito hates the belt anyway; Jericho can literally defend it between continents, on a boat; a younger guy can win it from him, and look like a big deal. 

Plus, a beltless Naito, Okada, and Ibushi makes this G1 insane to pick. 

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That Osprey match was pretty good, but man he is going to die in the ring someday with the way he gets dropped on his head. 

Jericho vs. Naito was a fun hate filled brawl. I love this Chris Jericho. Its like he's been holding all this back for years and now he's all "hey, I can do whatever I want". 

Honestly I'm surprised that Okada lost. It's obvious they want Kenny vs. Cody for the title and control of the Bullet Club, but the way they have been building up this title run I figured he might hold it till next years Wrestlekingdom. 

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16 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

I’m pretty lukewarm on Kenny/Cody II, but I’m also a corny idiot and one episode of BTE will bring me around. 

Jericho winning makes sense: Naito hates the belt anyway; Jericho can literally defend it between continents, on a boat; a younger guy can win it from him, and look like a big deal. 

Plus, a beltless Naito, Okada, and Ibushi makes this G1 insane to pick. 

I feel the exact same way and I'm sure they'll do a sufficient job of heating it up. Also, hopefully losing the belt means pantless as well as beltless Okada. I don't care if he wears jorts, just please drop the flared pahnts. 

46 minutes ago, EVA said:

Elgin looked phenomenal, for real tho.  Maybe he's trying to trick people into thinking the original Big Mike died.

He's definitely losing unnecessary weight. He can still fuck off. We even got a very nice Miho Abe entrance for Taichi, as she was praying for her saviour. Then he arrived and then he got squashed. :(

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14 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

Also, hopefully losing the belt means pantless as well as beltless Okada. I don't care if he wears jorts, just please drop the flared pahnts. 

BLASPHEMY!

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7 hours ago, The Natural said:

Timed NJPW Dominion 2018 right watching the two wrestling matches I wanted to see most: Kazuchika Okada © vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Title and Tetsuya Naito © vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Both delivered. This was the first of the four Okada/Omega matches I watched live. My initial reaction is that it was the best of them. I’d rank them: 4, 1, 3 and 2.

Yeah I forgot what day this was on so I went for a long-ass bike ride thinking I'd spend the day cleaning the flat (why am I saying this) and then my twitter DM chat group was like OMG WHY AREN'T PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT WHAT A GREAT TEAM REY-LIGER-TANAHASHI IS and I was all ohhh fvkkkkkkk so I dived in the shower and ran to the office where I can use the big screen in peace at the weekend and arrived LITERALLY as Chris Jericho Pierrot Era made his entrance. Phew.

Anyway I thought the top two matches were just great. Possibly a better pair than the WK top two, by a shade. Jericho-Naito possibly couldn't live up to the hotness of the open but it was a lot of fun, smartly worked, different (I have now seen it all) too. It's what turned me back onto NJPW in 2012 - there's variety!

Main event was incredible. Probably MOTY out of that which I have seen. I have it equal with III. The original genuinely took my breath away in a way that can't really be recaptured - it was a new kind of magic, where later iterations will be at least a little familiar. It was everything that Rikio defeating Kobashi to end the last truly great streak was not - it gives us a credible and well-written sense of direction that we can be confident will be well-received. The post-match angle, I thought, was excellent. And ending and a beginning at once.

I'd warn against super long matches in future though for a number of reasons. Mostly health, but partly because you don't want punk rock to turn back into prog rock.

Expect Cow Palace tickets to shift now. Slightly hmmmming at the amount of shifting titles onto N Americans. Feel you could have sold it on Kenny's first defence alone. But what do I know about the business.

 

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Before the main event, I had this sinking feeling that neither man winning would feel quite right. I thought it would have been anticlimactic for Omega to lose, but also that he lacked the right kind of momentum to win the belt now, having been sidetracked by the Golden Lovers and Bullet Club storylines. I figured they might still hold off on Kenny winning, maybe by having him take the first fall, so there would still be the sense that he's getting closer: from losing the first match, to getting a draw in a match he was about to lose, to beating an injured to Okada in the G1, to beating a full-strength Okada in the first fall of a 2/3 falls match, to maybe finally beating him outright down the road.

But after Okada took the first fall, my perspective changed, and I was suddenly rooting for Omega to come back and win it all. And when he did, I was elated. That was the most fun I've had watching wrestling in a long time.

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