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Raziel

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome 1/4/19

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Ibushi turned down Goto’s challenge, which makes me think Ospreay is on the mend. (God, they... wouldn’t do a triple threat, would they?) I know Will screams too much and is dumb on Twitter, but I still think he’s really, really good, and improving. And Murdertwink Ibushi is my favorite thing in wrestling. 

I am also really curious to see what Main Event Jay looks like, one year later. I feel like I was higher on his G1 work than most, so I’m ready to be impressed.

This doesn’t exactly go here, but I feel bad putting big New Japan stuff in the general folder. Anyway, it’s interesting. He’s careful and corporate, as you’d expect, but a little more pleasantly digressive and open than that implies. 

 

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100% agree with you on Ospreay. He's come a long way the past six months or so in terms of toning down some of his bullshit and trying to focus on the "good" parts of pro wrestling. He's also got that petulant side to him that Ibushi shares and you know the dome will fucking pop hard when Ospreay does what Ibushi did to Nakamura and others. The disrespectful death stare... Only for Ibushi to return it tenfold and take his fucking head off. I need that match in my life.

edit: WOW. Finally watched the press conference between Tana and Kenny and Tanahashi savaged Omega. "I feel like they are satisfying themselves, while leaving the fans behind." I mean... his title reign has been incredibly self-indulgent, so not wrong. 

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50 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

Okada vs. White will rule and you will eat crow, brother. I also say this as somebody who doesn't get Ishimori's appeal other than those abs. I give no shits about his character and he is a classic case of style over substance, but I don't even dig his style all that much.

ZSJ vs. Ishii will be phenomenal as all of their matches dating back to the US title tournament have been. But Omega vs. Tanahashi? Win or lose, this match will define Omega's reign and make the less than stellar past 5 months  forgivable (and let's not pretend his G1 was anything but amazing).

I thought Ibushi was working Goto for the belt nobody wants? Ospreay is hurt isn't he?

The fact that they didn’t announce it for the Dome yet makes me think they will do it at WTL Finals or Road to Tokyo Dome. Ospreay is hurt but he’s recovering and will probably be ready for the Dome. 

Anyway, I like Jay White’s character but his only match that has truly impressed me is the Juice Robinson match in Cow Palace. He’s a good not great worker to me. I’m bracing for Okada’s worst Dome match since his first one against YOSHI-HASHI.

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I'll be amazed if this won't be Okada's second worst match at the Dome. And thats not a dig at White, I like him, he is decent and he is improving, but he is not on Tanahashi/Omega/Naito level yet.

As for whats next for Suzuki, trios titles sound very likely now. Someone needs to take those belts from GoD and there aren't many good combinations that are still available. Sure, Iizuka is "special attraction", but Suzuki and Taichi are probably better/more over than anyone else who still doesn't have a match. That is with me assuming that Evil/Sanada are winning WTL and Juice getting a rematch for US title at the Dome. Plus Suzuki was clearly pissed at BC after that G1 match with Fale so this would work as a revenge.

I always wondered why they'd put the title back on Goto if the idea is to still do Ibushi/Ospreay at the Dome. Ibushi could have easily taken that title from Taichi, but if Suzuki/Taichi/X are booked to win trios titles then I guess it makes sense.

And well, thinking more about it I wouldn't mind if Suzuki had extended run with trios belts. He still has his aura and his offence looks good for the most part, but he clearly does not want to sell much anymore (and probably shouldn't). So him getting tagged in, doing some signature stuff, tagging out and letting someone like Iizuka eat a pin might be a good strategy to extend his career.

And unfortunately now I totally see GoD vs YBs vs Evil/Sanada vs KES match for tag titles at the Dome.

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11 minutes ago, Archibald said:

I'll be amazed if this won't be Okada's second worst match at the Dome. And thats not a dig at White, I like him, he is decent and he is improving, but he is not on Tanahashi/Omega/Naito level yet.

As for whats next for Suzuki, trios titles sound very likely now. Someone needs to take those belts from GoD and there aren't many good combinations that are still available. Sure, Iizuka is "special attraction", but Suzuki and Taichi are probably better/more over than anyone else who still doesn't have a match. That is with me assuming that Evil/Sanada are winning WTL and Juice getting a rematch for US title at the Dome. Plus Suzuki was clearly pissed at BC after that G1 match with Fale so this would work as a revenge.

I always wondered why they'd put the title back on Goto if the idea is to still do Ibushi/Ospreay at the Dome. Ibushi could have easily taken that title from Taichi, but if Suzuki/Taichi/X are booked to win trios titles then I guess it makes sense.

And well, thinking more about it I wouldn't mind if Suzuki had extended run with trios belts. He still has his aura and his offence looks good for the most part, but he clearly does not want to sell much anymore (and probably shouldn't). So him getting tagged in, doing some signature stuff, tagging out and letting someone like Iizuka eat a pin might be a good strategy to extend his career.

And unfortunately now I totally see GoD vs YBs vs Evil/Sanada vs KES match for tag titles at the Dome.

KES is going straight to the Rumble, I think. They don’t matter that much to NJPW. But yeah YB are getting shoehorned in there for sure.

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Watched Juice/Trent from Global Wars Toronto and at the end Juice cut short promo to say that he is coming after Cody. Nothing is official yet, but I think it is safe bet at this point that Cody/Juice for US title will happen here.

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Cody’s getting knee surgery (meniscus, so minor compared to what it could be) after Wrestle Kingdom too, so he really ought to drop it back. (And then we’ll see where he signs.)

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I think the thing about Jay White is that the Juice match showed that this is something he COULD excel at.  It’s just everything surrounding that leaves the viewer with more doubt than confidence.

 

Minus that last part, I don’t think he is disqualified from from making those required steps up.  The Okada match could be the antidote to changing the doubters.  Because for me White isn’t a guy who I generally go out of my way to see.  I mostly watch individual matches from NJPW as opposed to full shows.  But I will watch the Okada match.  A great deal of the reason is to see if he actually pulls it off and fortunately the booking is set up to get him there.

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I had bizarre thought today. Remember how last year they threw Jr. title around 4 people that eventually led to 4-way at WK? Doesn't this remind you of something that is happening now? I obviously mean NEVER title. It looks like Ibushi wins it at WTL finals and Ospreay wants to challenge Ibushi... but Goto might want a rematch... and Taichi might want that as well.

You might think that well, what sense does it make? Taichi didn't lose to Ibushi so how he'd want a rematch. Well, last year Hiromu and Kushida weren't defeated by Scurll either, but both of them got into WK match. And regardless of what we think about Goto (great wrestler, but stale and not going anywhere) he always tends to get something decent for WK. If not this then he is going to the gauntlet or pre-show rumble since I don't think that more matches will get added. Just like last year they didn't drop Kushida/Hiromu to pre-show or the gauntlet.

Financially I doubt that Ibushi/Ospreay match is going to sell more tickets for Dome, but if it is further teased there and eventually happens as semi-final/final of New Japan Cup? That might be hot main event.

I hope it doesn't happen (unless it is for Taichi to get a big WK win) because I don't like 4-ways, but whole thing feels similar, does it not? And you can make a financial argument for it.

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I hadn't considered that, but it's a good point. And while Ibushi/Ospreay won't have time to draw for the Dome, it certainly could later. For instance: Although the tickets are already sold, they could main event the MSG show with that, in the event Kenny leaves. The crowd wouldn't be disappointed, and they could save the a big-belt title match for home soil. (The Cup is another good choice, especially as it's often used to push forward somewhat ascendant challengers.)

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Charlton sometimes works a little hard to get his obviously prosey prewritten lines in, but I've mostly really enjoyed him. More importantly, he should be very helpful in catching up once or twice a year viewers on who everyone is and why all of this matters.

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This'll be shown live, worldwide, on FITE TV, according to PWInsider.

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This is really odd, since the top two matches of this card haven't had the champs of those matches around to build the matches at all.  I mean, I know the WTL Final crowd is the WTL Final crowd, but holy shit there was some dead silence for Omega/Tana.  We got the tag match we though we'd get and man does the crowd not seem interested.  Mostly because we'll know in 2 minutes of the Bucks are going over or not based on how fast Matt's back blows up, since that's the only selling the Bucks can do.  There are some bright spots and matches I'm looking forward to, but I'm not near as enthuasitic for this WK than I have been in the past.

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I forgot about the two road to shows they do for the Dome. That's where we'll get the six man tag title match and a hotter Omega v Tanahashi tag. 

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22 minutes ago, Raziel said:

We got the tag match we though we'd get and man does the crowd not seem interested.  Mostly because we'll know in 2 minutes of the Bucks are going over or not based on how fast Matt's back blows up, since that's the only selling the Bucks can do.  

Your back would be hurt too if you had to carry G.O.D.

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Decided to put this here, rather than the tag league thread, even though the context is over there:

I think it’s only with hindsight that we can assert the first Okada/Omega build was especially hot. That is, I remember plenty of quiet crowds for Kenny, that didn’t buy him at that level, and even more online commentary that expressed as much. And I mostly agreed with them! Of course we now know what the match would be and what the feud would become, but I think it’s important to remember how near to being the cold spray guy Omega was.

I don’t think either Tana or Omega will get the rapturous welcome Naito did last year, but the match itself will be really hot, I’m sure. It’s a Tanahashi Tokyo Dome main event—probably his last. There’s no way the crowd treats him as less than a hero the whole time.

That said... it’d be better if Kenny were around more, and/or if the feud wasn’t online meta commentary on workrate. There’s something interesting to be done with Old Man Tana, who was once the flashy blasphemer of true strong style, facing off against Kenny’s video game theatrics; but I think they’ve leaned way too heavily on “the other guy is boring” rather than the potentially interesting comparison and contrast. 

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Agreed. Way more positive and constructive ways to build through their contrasts. It's still an interesting departure from the usual but maybe this is what happens when Kenny is given more or less free rein creatively. He'll make some excellent decisions and sometimes go too far without a serious filter. Still, this is much better than the opposite end of the spectrum as seen elsewhere, when most everything is cookie cutter material coming from the same handful of minds.

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We have a card, and it’s what you’d expect. Maybe the only noteworthy thing is it appears the NEVER cluster is pre-show, so maybe no rumble? (And it only decides #1 contender, so it doesn’t seem BC will drop those belts soon.) And then Ospreay/Ibushi is the *opener*. It’s certainly not the least-big match on the card, so in a subtle way this slight step away from precisely top-down card construction feels as “western” as anything New Japan has done recently. 

But I’m going to get excited about this first:

 

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17 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

We have a card, and it’s what you’d expect. Maybe the only noteworthy thing is it appears the NEVER cluster is pre-show, so maybe no rumble? (And it only decides #1 contender, so it doesn’t seem BC will drop those belts soon.) And then Ospreay/Ibushi is the *opener*. It’s certainly not the least-big match on the card, so in a subtle way this slight step away from precisely top-down card construction feels as “western” as anything New Japan has done recently. 

But I’m going to get excited about this first:

 

They’re really doing WWE match order now. Putting one of the top matches on the card early to “pop the crowd”.

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It's saying something that the Roppongi vs. LIJ vs. Suzuki-gun jr. tag title match looks like the weakest match on the main show. I thought last year's card was the deepest WK and perhaps even any show I'd ever seen. This one could be even more littered with greatness. 

I don't love Ibushi/Ospreay opening because "getting the audience into things" is the last thing those two should be doing. It's going to be so weird with them killing each other to a cold audience that will be forced into engaging early.

That Saturday tag tho. tenor.gif?itemid=7349796

Whoawhoawhoawhoa... WHOA. Okada vs. Gedo Friday! Shingo vs Umino as well.

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I'm sure that Korakuen will have strong reactions for Road To Tokyo Dome shows, but thats Korakuen, they have strong reactions for everything. And maybe that is one of the problems with NJPW, that they don't have many acts that are hot outside of Tokyo/Osaka.

On one hand it makes sense that GoD/Ishimori won't be defending their titles before WK because result would be obvious and you can make a point that neither of them should eat a pin now. On the other hand this makes those trios belts even more irrelevant. They weren't defended on Dominion and they won't be defended here. I think that idea of trios belts is good and it somewhat worked last year when we had extended LiJ/Taguchi Japan feud and few LiJ/Chaos matches for them. I hope that decent team wins pre-show gauntlet and actually does something meaningful with those belts in 2019.

NEVER title being in the opener is also weird. But... Jr. tag titles actually had better year than NEVER belt despite being in the hands of same 3 teams all year so on that level I'm happy that they were moved up the card. But sure, Ibushi/Ospreay in opener looks weird regardless of the NEVER title being crap. Maybe fear is that many western fans will tune in only to see two main matches? So they added another match that western fans would be very interested in at the start so that you'd be more likely to watch the entire thing? Random thought.

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That's fantastic news. Here's hoping big boy Kitamura is up next.

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25 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

That's fantastic news. Here's hoping big boy Kitamura is up next.

The main issue with Ibushi/Ospreay opening is that on paper, it’s the 2nd strongest match on the card. If a MOTY opens the show, it’s going to really hamstring all the matches following it. Junior Tag will be cold. ZSJ/Ishii will be great but I wouldn’t expect a hot crowd for that one. Tag Titles will probably get a few pops but I doubt anybody will be invested. Cody/Juice will be the show’s bathroom break. I could see the crowd not getting back into the show much until KUSHIDA/Ishimori. 

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