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Raziel

NJPW Power Struggle 2018 Now with Super Junior Tag League Action

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2018 Super Junior Tag League:

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado (Suzuki-gun) - 10*

BUSHI & Shingo Takagi (Los Ingobernables de Japon) - 10*

Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (CHAOS) - 10*

KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin - 6

Taiji Ishimori & Robbie Eagles (BC Firing Squad) - 6

Ryusuke Taguchi & ACH - 6

Jushin "Thunder" Liger & Tiger Mask - 4

Volador Jr & Soberano Jr (CMLL) - 4

 

 

 

*advance to final

 

NJPW Power Struggle 2018 - 11/3 - Edion Arena Osaka

IWGP Intercontinental Championship

Chris Jericho (FREE) (c) vs. "King of Darkness" EVIL (Los Ingobernables de Japon)

 

Special Singles Match:

Tetsuya Naito (Los Ingobernables de Japon) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-gun)

 

RPW British Heavyweight Championship

Tomohiro Ishii (CHAOS) (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-gun)

 

NEVER Openweight Championship

Taichi (Suzuki-gun) (c) vs. Hirooki Goto (CHAOS)

 

2018 Super Junior Tag League Finals:

Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) vs. L.I.J. (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (CHAOS)

 

Golden Lovers (Kenny Omega & Kota Ibushi) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Baretta) vs. BC Firing Squad (Jay White & Bad Luck Fale)

KUSHIDA & GBH (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) vs. BC Firing Squad (Robbie Eagles, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)

Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Volador Jr. (CMLL) & Soberano Jr (CMLL) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Chris Sabin, ACH, & Toa Henare

 

 

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The last two years, they've brought in a lucha team from CMLL, so I'd imagine that's another spot accounted for.

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Is there a chance the Lucha bros get picked up.

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None, I'm pretty sure the AAA Mega Champ isn't going to work NJPW's 2nd from bottom tier tournament.

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34 minutes ago, Raziel said:

None, I'm pretty sure the AAA Mega Champ isn't going to work NJPW's 2nd from bottom tier tournament.

Wait if this the 2nd from bottom tier tournament, what’s the bottom tier?

Isn’t the pecking order this?

G1

New Japan Cup

BOSJ

WTL

Super Jr. Tag

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7 hours ago, Raziel said:

You could probably stick EVIL/Jericho and Naito/ZSJ to get to Naito/Jericho for WK, but does Jericho work PS?

If he doesn't and Jericho/Evil is moved to WK then I don't see what Naito would be doing then?

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Full cards for Road To are released: https://www.njpw1972.com/schedule/

Tournament is 8 teams in one block. Two top teams face off again on Power Struggle. The teams are: Tiger Mask/Liger, Desperado/Kanemaru, Sho/Yoh, Shingo/Bushi, Kushida/Sabin, ACH/Taguchi, Soberano/Volador and Taiji/Eagles.

Omega being real star that he is obvious skips Road To shows and Tanahashi does the build up for WK main event with Ibushi and Yujiro instead. Omega returns only for main PS show where he tags with Ibushi against Tanahashi/Finlay. Honestly this feels kinda pathetic. Ibushi gets dragged into civil war that he has nothing to do with, gets patronized and beaten by Omega and now is basically doing warm up matches instead of Omega and when Omega decides to return he is his tag partner. Talk about being a supporting character. If Ibushi is fine with this type of booking then I'm fine with him never reaching that next level.

Looks like Naito/Evil/Sanada are not on Road To shows since obviously Jericho is not there and Zack isn't either.

Okada with Chaos friends is feuding against White and BC. Looking at Road To shows it looked like Best Friends might be getting tag title shot against GoD, but for PS they got Okada/Trent vs White/Fale. Maybe Chuckie/Yano vs GoD? Would prefer Goto/Ishii vs GoD, but unfortunately that doesn't sound likely since they are in Chaos B squad that is building up towards Taichi/Ospreay.

For big singles matches at PS we got Jericho/Evil, Naito/Zack and Taichi/Ospreay.

Overall this tour, especially Road To shows, look weaker than what I expected.

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5 hours ago, FlaeBlazer said:

Wait if this the 2nd from bottom tier tournament, what’s the bottom tier?

Isn’t the pecking order this?

G1

New Japan Cup

BOSJ

WTL

Super Jr. Tag

Young Lion Cup?

 

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7 hours ago, Archibald said:

Maybe this could get added to first post:

 

I'm busy working at the moment, and am planning on doing my usual updating the point totals as the league progresses like I do with G1/NJC/WTL/BOSJ/etc.  I just don't have time to update it all now, but will later tonight, along with the PS main card so far.

 

6 hours ago, alstein said:

Young Lion Cup?

 

ding ding ding.

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Looks like NJPW decided to do another pool for Jr. Tags like they did for Jr. singles:

Bushi/Shingo blowing everyone away not really surprising. Ropongi 3K being in second place (even if distant one) has to be a good sign for them. A bit surprised at Super 69 being that far behind, but I guess it is same deal as with Scurll. People might find you funny, but at the same time they won't see you as a champ either. And well, BCOGz team in third place. This surely has to be Ishimori because likely nobody there even knows who Eagles is?

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18 hours ago, Archibald said:

Looks like NJPW decided to do another pool for Jr. Tags like they did for Jr. singles:

Bushi/Shingo blowing everyone away not really surprising. Ropongi 3K being in second place (even if distant one) has to be a good sign for them. A bit surprised at Super 69 being that far behind, but I guess it is same deal as with Scurll. People might find you funny, but at the same time they won't see you as a champ either. And well, BCOGz team in third place. This surely has to be Ishimori because likely nobody there even knows who Eagles is?

These polls are kinda cool. I’d love to see one for G1.

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I think they did it? I might be mistaken, but I think that Evil and Ibushi won their blocks.

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10 hours ago, Archibald said:

I think they did it? I might be mistaken, but I think that Evil and Ibushi won their blocks.

The fuck? EVIL beat Tanahashi and Okada? Ibushi beat Naito?

 

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Well I don't have those results anywhere on hand so maybe I'm messing something up, but from what I remember it was for A block: Evil, Tanahashi, Okada. For B block: Ibushi, Naito, Omega.

Evil was surprising, Ibushi less so because before G1 started I felt like lots of people thought that it is time for Ibushi to wins this and become a real main eventer.

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You’re remembering right. Fans like Evil, they like Ibushi, and they like novelty/narrative movement. It’s not that they’re the most popular guys in the company, but they’re the most popular for whom it would have been the biggest step forward. Put another way: they were the furthest down the card you could go and find a plausible finalist.

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On a related LIJ note, I think it's interesting (frustrating?) that Sanada and Evil were given a big win at WK, then much of the first half of this year was spent on building Sanada as a legit uppercard guy and the last half has been spent building Evil...but neither guy looks to have a big match on deck for this coming WK (if the IC picture plays out as expected).

Unless they get back into the tag title picture in WTL, they're probably headed back to the NEVER 6-man gauntlet.

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In terms of match quality, I'm not so sure either guy is where they need to consistently be for big pushes to work. EVIL has had some disappointing high profile singles matches since his star-making G1 win over Okada last year. I'm thinking of the 2017 KOPW rematch in particular but his G1 was good, not great, and IIRC his NEVER title challenge in Feb against Goto was nothing. The Jericho match should be a huge test for him. SANADA has had excellent matches when given the platform but I don't think he's quite credible yet. He's missing a few layers of emotion when it gets deep into those matches and, while I appreciate his "sophisticated" avoidance of head drops, he needs a more decisive finisher or set-up for the moonsault. Skull End is a fine midcard finisher, despite his poor application, and it's a decent set-up for the moonsault against main eventers... but I don't see it working long-term and, in the Heisei era, New Japan doesn't really do submission finishes all that often.

The tag team run was a nice diversion but both EVIL and SANADA need to grow a bit more before I think they're really ready. 

PS it's crazy to look at EVIL's cagematch match listing and see he's only had three singles matches this year outside of the G1 and two of them were in ROH. That in itself is a big issue. He needs some more opportunities to showcase that growth directly. He was injured but still, holy shit.

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There will be more singles opportunities soon, I think, or perhaps even a need. Ishii is 42, Goto is 39, Tana is probably on his last real main event run, Suzuki might finally be slowing down a bit, and of course Omega could leave. Ibushi could be next up, but who knows what kind of commitment there will be between he and New Japan, and he really isn’t that young; Sabre is well positioned, credible, and has shown well; I really think Ospreay is on his way to heavyweight as well. But even still, there should be a little room near the top, beneath Okada and Naito. 

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Who's going to be big Japanese star to step up- the only person who I can see doing it is Hiromu if he steps up to heavyweight and recovers fully (and he prob should step up to save him from himself at this point)

They still got a few more years in Naito , though I think he's break glass in case in emergency at this point.

 

I can see Ibushi having a small run, but I don't think it's going to happen.  He's going to be one of the biggest what if stories of all time.

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1 hour ago, alstein said:

Who's going to be big Japanese star to step up- the only person who I can see doing it is Hiromu if he steps up to heavyweight and recovers fully (and he prob should step up to save him from himself at this point)

Hiromu is the only guy at the moment that when I watch I feel this guy is going to be an absolute star. SANADA comes close, but I always kind of wonder if New Japan hesitates a little with guys they don't develop themselves. EVIL at best feels like a future Ishii, but let's see what he does with the Jericho opportunity. Maybe after excursions, one or two of the current young lion crop will show something. 

In other news, apparently last night Ospreay cut his match short after a bad neck landing and was rushed into an ambulance. Hope he's okay, was kinda looking forward to him vs Taichi as something fresh. 

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From the sounds of it, he's injured, but no idea how bad.  He did respond on Twitter.  Hopefully he's able to be close to 100% against Taichi.

 

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Interesting to see Shingo's gear change and move name change. I assume Dragon Gate might own rights to his move names or something. Or he just wants a fresh start as I think it was the same move he's been finishing with forever.

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in my mind they're being really dumb not building SANADA a little quicker. i know he's not the finished article yet but he's pretty much got all the tools. way more charisma than Okada had before he found some thru Gedo. he can be a cross over and his style is not too risky. if anyone in Japan is the new Tana, it's Sanada not Kento.

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I harp on this, but SANADA needs to stop playing a guy cos-playing Mutoh while not showing 1/10th of Mutoh's presence and get a finisher that guys don't visibly have to hold themselves in before he goes any further.  I agree the toolset is there, but he's got a ways to go before he's ready to go higher than he is.

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