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NJPW Power Struggle 2018 Now with Super Junior Tag League Action

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Can't see Sanada ever being above Naito, Okada, Tanahashi and as ace. Only Gaijin get to break the NJPW Trueborn stuff.

 

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Well technically,  Okada isn't a true born.  

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Exception to the rule. They will use Sanada the same way as Gotoh, Ishii, Kota,  Evil.

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4 hours ago, D.Z said:

Exception to the rule. They will use Sanada the same way as Gotoh, Ishii, Kota,  Evil.

So who actually is going to make it to the top level?

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Right now, there isn't even room at the top level for anybody else. Also keep in mind Okada is only 30. They definitely have time to build people. 

 

On a side-note, only one trueborn  holds a title in NJPW right now: El Desperado.

 

 

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10 hours ago, FlaeBlazer said:

So who actually is going to make it to the top level?

Whatever young lion groomed into real star over the years next. In the meantime Okada for the next 7 to ten years. For the top Ace position and multiple title runs with IWGP. Of course Tana, Omega, maybe Jay White and Naito( one more run) on top as well.

Gaijin always get to bypass that, Norton for example. Or special cases like Tenryu winning the IWGP hw but that didn't last long either. Or inter-promotional guys.

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If Hiromu were three inches taller, he'd be an easy choice as the next biggest star in Japan. He may still achieve main event heavyweight status, but 5'7 would be the shortest IWGP champ by some margin. I think Ospreay will the quicker ascending junior, like him or not. He's 6'1, with a frame that could support more weight--he seems to be adding it already--and if Omega does leave, there will be a massive "workrate gaijin face" role he could occupy easily.

Looking really far ahead... Umino? New Japan doesn't seem to be big on years long climbs to main event status, these days, so I think someone coming back from excursion might have a better chance than guys like Sanada or Evil who have been around (and I'll guess probably top off at the IC level, though I love both).

If we're looking outside the company, I'd say Konosuke Takeshita is the most likely guy to watch. We know the DDT to New Japan transition works, and he's got ready-made matches with Ibushi and (if he's still around) Omega. He's also 6'2, 23, crazy athletic, and has worked 30-60 minutes title match main events already. He's pretty vacant looking at times, and a lot of his higher end matches are just spotfests, but that can all be improved.
 

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Yeah, I'm getting a real No Limit vibe off of R3K, with Tanaka in the Naito role.  Kamatsu probably has a higher ceiling than Yujiri, but Tanaka seems the star of the team and destined for a breakout.

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I always figured Hiromu was going to be the heir apparent to Liger and rule Junior Heavy forever and ever. Can't find an IWGP Heavyweight Champion billed under 180cm (Styles, Naito, Sasaki), SHO is 173cm. Not saying it's impossible but the only Heavy he's got size on is Ishii.

Love me some speculation on  potential freelancer pickups. My outside-of-NJ viewing isn't a third of what it used to be but even I know Takeshita is a human cash register. Is Hashimoto's kid keeping it going? I know he's got the finals of that Big Japan tag league coming up and I might check in on him. And didn't Dragon Gate have some crazy-ahead-of-the-curve supernova rookie who got injured this year?

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I've not seen much of Daichi  Hashimoto, but I can't imagine that NJPW would pass him up if he's good, since 2nd generation wrestlers are rare in Japan.

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I remember that Daichi was liked by NJPW higher ups, but certain guys (native wrestlers)in the back didn't want him there for what he represents. If he ever will sign with NJPW, he would be doing what Shibata's role was.

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Didn't Daichi actually leave the dojo to sign for IGF? Anyway I think that horse has bolted. He's just not that great. There are better pick-ups out there. Takeshita, Endo, and Higuchi for me would be incredible.

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It's way too early to tell, but of the young lions, I really like Tsuji. He's already a heavyweight, so hopefully he keeps getting better and doesn't end up like another Hirasawa. 

Kanemitsu got pretty big at the Fale Dojo too. I think he's back in Japan now, but no idea if he's at the dojo again. New Japan have never announced his retirement, so maybe he is? 

Ayato Yoshida is obviously an outsider they see something in. Is he training with the young lions now? Thought I heard Kevin Kelly mention something along those lines last night. 

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I like Tsuji too. I'd like them to have a homegrown powerhouse. Like a better Nakanishi, or a new Sasaki. There's always going to be workraters.

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Never mind his power, he's got the FACE. Yota Tsuji has the steely gaze and toothy grin of a Toshiro Mifune. Or another Japanese actor who looks more like him since I really don't know that many.

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If you could combine Sho and Yoh into one guy, that would be your next megastar.  But Sho on his own is just Goto on training wheels.  He'll be just...fine.  Yoh is great but too small to be credible on his own or ever get much of a push outside of the juniors, probably.

Robbie Eagles sure is a bag of shit, though.

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I don't get the YOH love. Yeah, YOH is slightly more charismatic, but I don't think he's substantially better than SHO in ring. They're both in that solidly in that good but not anywhere near great camp. Komatsu is also 30 already and been doing this for six years now. I'm not seeing it.

Not a fan of Eagles either. If only bandannas could fill in for charisma or not having bullshit offense.

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On 10/15/2018 at 8:42 AM, 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)

Why do people assume that he will stop killing himself if he'll become heavyweight?

Anyway, watched only first night so far and couple of thoughts:

Eagles is probably a definition of trying too fucking hard. On the positive side I think he is very close to "so bad it is good" territory, so you know, he might end up having his spot.

I think that Sho/Yoh are getting better as a team. I don't think that they should win this tournament or get a  match on WK card asides of Gauntlet for trios titles, but I really liked them on the first show and as match went on they got decent amount of cheers. What I'd do in my fantasy booking land is have a rematch against LiJ on PS, lose, but eventually make it back and win those belts from them at Anniversary show, place where they lost them in the first place.

As for them as individual wrestlers, I think that both will be solid hands at BotSJ and occasional challengers and maybe even have a short reign here or there, but I don't really see them as being top singles guys. Which is totally okay, because NJPW needs guys who can be faces of Jr. Tag division. LiJ can't really do it since Hiromu should be ace of aces and Shingo will likely move to heavyweights sometime next year. So there really aren't any other viable options for that, I think.

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Finished watching remaining matches of first 3 rounds.

Overall I wasn't really blown away by any of them, but I think it is going on fine and probably better than previous WTL, and likely this year's WTL as well. Argument about how NJPW should merge both tag divisions is often made, but I think that Jr. tags are completely fine as they are, as far as talent goes. Problem is that NJPW doesn't book many Jr. tag matches outside of this tournament and most guys still wouldn't get booked if divisions got merged. Like, heavyweight tags are taken hostage by BC civil war at the moment so if there was only one tags division then we wouldn't be getting any matches with these guys at all till WTL started. Also, in my humble opinion, YBs end up hurting their opponents and entire division due to their schedule and pull so we'd also have less viable teams as well.

Okay, so what I really love about NJPW is their incremental storytelling. At KoPW we got Okada running in and saving Tanahashi. Later on this tour he revealed that it didn't have anything to do with Tanahashi and he was merely correcting his "student" (I guess this might have been translation mistake since White isn't really Okada's student) so he kinda feels responsible for what he is doing now. Then next night Tanahashi runs in and saves Okada. After the match he says that he did it because he didn't want to owe anything to Okada. So we got two small bits building further their rivalry and if NJPW wants it can leave it at this point and it would be fine. But if they want they can use same bits and actually build towards them becoming "friends" instead of bitter rivals. You know, kinda like that AJ/Omega/Ibushi moment, if GL never reunited it would have worked as an ending to their saga. Not very satisfying ending? Sure, but still an ending of the sorts. But since they reunited it also works as grim reminder that Omega is an asshole who hasn't really changed.

And we kinda got something like that with ACH and Ishimori. They were tag partners for a while and Ishimori defeated him in BotSJ saying that he lacks killer instinct or something along those lines. And well, ACH really sold the frustration after getting pinned by Ishimori in this tournament. On one hand he is upset about getting another L, but to me it sure looked like it was more about getting pinned by Ishimori again. And Ishimori makes some disrespectful gestures at him and even says that Eagles is better partner in post-match interview. So you know, they can leave it at that with Ishimori simply rising to another level while ACH is left behind unable to find his killer instinct. On the other hand if they ever get serious with ACH then ACH/Ishimori singles match with ACH finally being able to beat his former tag partner would be pretty cool stuff and character growing moment for ACH.

I'm convinced that Eagles could really work in NJPW if he was treated like a jobber by rest of the Bullet Club. Like you know, kid who tries to act really cool and edgy to get along with the cool people. And these people keep him around because he makes them laugh and is easy scapegoat for whenever things go south. Kinda like what Chase is now for The Elite.

I'm ok with all teams now being 1-2 and 2-1. NJPW doesn't like to eliminate people after few rounds so if someone went 0-3 or 3-0 then it would kinda make obvious how few other matches are going to end.

And I guess it is cool that Naito, even if not booked, randomly appears on these shows.

And you know what is really, really cool? Ishii vs Suzuki singles match just got added to main PS card. They'll be fighting for RPW title. And well, I think this legit makes it better card, at least on paper, than what we got for KoPW?

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11 minutes ago, Archibald said:

MAnd you know what is really, really cool? Ishii vs Suzuki singles match just got added to main PS card. They'll be fighting for RPW title. And well, I think this legit makes it better card, at least on paper, than what we got for KoPW?

Card looks great but I’m not excited for the main. It’s possible that Jericho/EVIL could be a pile of shit. Jericho was great at WK12 but was in terrible shape and had a bad performance at Dominion. I don’t think EVIL can carry him like Naito did.

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As much crap as ROH gets for being New Japan's bitch, I think Rev Pro clearly has them beat.  Their top title has been traded back and forth between Ishii and Suzuki all year.  Suzuki-gun has their tag belts, too.

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