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NJPW THE NEW BEGINNING 2019

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FWIW, Dave said they applied for the Visas in November.

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Elimination main event was fun. Probably first time Taichi enters last from Suzuki Gun :D and it obviously comes down to Dangerous T and Naito.

Other than that nothing really noteworthy. I guess one minor thing is that Henare started picking up wins slowly. And well his entire Fantasticamania arc was about trying to make something happen against Naito. So looks like he is slowly moving up, probably won't be in G1, but I think that by the end of the year, maybe WTL, he'll start doing okay and in 2020 we will see more of him.

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Tonight is the night/morning: KUSHIDA’s chance to shoot on Tanahashi and force New Japan to make him a last-ditch offer and grant a heavyweight push. 

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That Jado/Honma tease was top stuff. And it feels like I'll never get tired of Suzuki-Gun/LiJ 5-man brawls.

Main event was good send off for Kushida. It is weird when you think about it. Kushida is leaving and gets very good, very competitive match with Tanahashi. Dean wants to leave and he is about to get destroyed by Nia Jax. Maybe they'll even turn him into wife beater. Anyway.

 

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Oh and it looks like tomorrows show will be streamed, they either changed opinion or I was stupid and didn't notice it initially, and here is the card: https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/37890?showCards=1

Two singles matches between LiJ/Suzuki-gun juniors and 3-man title match. I hope they finally get taken off GoD/Ishimori. And another Tanahashi/Okada team up that will likely end like every other team up.

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nIDLn66.jpg

Goodbye and stay hello to 205.

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Plenty of tickets for tomorrow night's Los Angeles NJPW USA show are going for super cheap on the resale market right now. Went ahead and bought a Floor GA ticket for 20 bucks including fees (on-sale price was $44 including fees). The venue is one block from the office I work in, and I figure folks booked will be working hard to try to salvage the show and I'll get 20 bucks of live wrestling entertainment out of it.

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Main event from today was something else. Half expected Yoshi to run in and split his head again. But a big and necessary win for Taguchi. And Makabe with Yano on same team and being champs.

LiJ/Suzuki-Gun junior singles where pretty much identical to what happened last year, just replace Hiromu with Shingo. Still fun, but it is probably time to end this LiJ/Suzuki-Gun feud before things get too repetitive. Time to bring on LiJ/BC.

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How was Despy v Bushi?  I only caught a snippet of Bushi selling a leg heavily (NJPWorld posts little 30 second clips on Instagram). 

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1 hour ago, The Magnificent 7 said:

How was Despy v Bushi?  I only caught a snippet of Bushi selling a leg heavily (NJPWorld posts little 30 second clips on Instagram). 

Decent, but not something that anyone will remember two weeks later and you kinda have to watch Kanemaru/Shingo as well since one rolls into another. I think that if you are fan of either of the 4 guys involved then it is worth watching.

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On 1/29/2019 at 9:02 PM, clintthecrippler said:

Plenty of tickets for tomorrow night's Los Angeles NJPW USA show are going for super cheap on the resale market right now. Went ahead and bought a Floor GA ticket for 20 bucks including fees (on-sale price was $44 including fees). The venue is one block from the office I work in, and I figure folks booked will be working hard to try to salvage the show and I'll get 20 bucks of live wrestling entertainment out of it.

NJPW Los Angeles show ended up being a fun house show, nothing more, nothing less. I wouldn't say there is anything worth going out of your way to track down if this shows up on NJPW World. I could see maybe being a little grouchy if you paid $100 for ringside, but it seemed once the bell rang on the opening match that the crowd was receptive and into the show all night. The only time the crowd really died was during the main event whenever Tracy Williams went on offense. His presence compared to the other three competitors in the match was sorely lacking, and the crowd went spooky quiet whenever he took charge. He is competent but there's definitely a charisma black hole issue going on with him.

Favorite match of the night was Marty Scurll/Brody King vs Killer Elite Squad. They had great chemistry with each other and Archer was damn awesome at working and goading the crowd whenever he was on the apron. Finlay and Chuck had a fun plunder-filled WWE-style hardcore match, and Jeff Cobb had a great Techwood Studio-level competitive squash against Karl Fredericks.

But the biggest takeaway is that Shibata is doing a damn fine job with the LA Dojo Young Lions. The level of intensity and crispness of move execution of the Young Lions in ring is night and day compared to other US indy guys of similar experience level. Crowd reaction for the opening Young Lions match - Alex Coughlin vs Clark Connors - was polite at first but the crowd was on its feet by the end of the match due to the intensity of their ring work alone. You can tell Shibata is making them train and work hard at the LA Dojo. If they and Fredericks can stay injury free, it's going to be damn fun watching them develop these next couple of years.

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I had same reaction to Tracy and LA Dojo Young Lions while watching RoH's Tag Wars tour.

I like Tracy's wrestling style, but It is hard to take him seriously as even a midcarder. I expect him to become fall guy for LifeBlood faction. Which is crazy since they have Finlay, but I guess it says a lot about how bland Tracy is because with Finlay I don't get what is going on with him, but at least I feel like something is going on.

And my biggest annoyance was that LA Dojo guys on final night lost to RoH Dojo guys + Chessburger. Like I get why it happened, Young Lions are supposed to lose a lot and RoH certainly doesn't want to show on their own show that guys from their school are worse than guys from another dojo. But man, difference was stark. They still don't do that much in their matches compared to "graduated wrestlers", but I think they could be shipped to Japan now to do opening matches and nobody would say anything negative about them. I guess at some point idea is to introduce them on big-ish Japan show as "students of Shibata" and I think that audience will eat it up.

And since I'm probably biggest KES fan on the internet it is nice to hear that Archer did good job at working the crowd.

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Finlay is the Lieutenant in lifeblood to me.  He's definitely improving, and his finisher is now the good kind of trash instead of the bad kind.  I think I'm higher on Finlay than a lot of folks around here though.

 

I get to watch what they put out tomorrow night- hopefully I get my money's worth.  Still mad no Nagata but I understand why.

 
 
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VTR's for Sapporo shows have been released and Naito/Taichi is funny one. Naito is having his match against Jericho in the Dome while Taichi is sitting home and playing Fire Pro Wrestling World where he is obviously running Taichi/Naito match and Taichi is winning. New hero, with Omega gone, for gamers.

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Taichi is like the embodiment of the "pot monster"- which is one reason I find it so easy to identify with and appreciate how cool he is.   I get the frustration.  It's a lot easier to root for the Taichis of the world for me than it is the Kennys, because I could never be as good as Kenny, but I can see myself winning a midcard belt by upsetting a top guy and thinking everything is rigged.  Taichi's just a lot more relatable for me. 

 

 

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I appreciate Tama's commitment to The Good Guy gimmick. (I am just starting the New Beginning shows).

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Went to the show last night- my opinion on things

The US Young Lions are being trained to the standard of the Japanese ones.  Shibata's going a damn good job.  Fredrichs especially is good to me.  I think he's the one most likely to make an impact in NJPW proper.  Would like to see a Young Lions Cup with the American Young Lions.

In terms of being over, Juice, Tiger Hattori, and Marty were the only guys really over.  Rocky was a little bit over.  O-Kharn, Brody King, and the Lions get themselves over.  Overall there was a bit of lack of energy outside of the Young Lions and the main, where Juice and Beretta brought their working boots.   People were really upset about no Japanese stars, though the blame was not put on NJPW (most seemed to blame politics)

The ROH-only guys weren't over at all  except for Brody.

O-Kharn himself, can still see a bit of roughness to him, and I think he's gaining a bit too much weight, but he's good, seems to have gained a good amount of charisma with the gimmick.   Most folks pegged him as belonging in Suzuki-Gun when he's finished as he's a cool heel.   (Folks I talked to generally preferred Suzuki-Gun over the current Bullet Club)

Merch section was pretty bad

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When O-Khan showed up on those SSE:UK shows he looked rather weird, but saw some recent RevPro shows and he looked better. Glad to hear that audience liked his work.

And holy shit Evil/Zack. It was at times hard to care about it much, because it obviously would come down to Evil attempting to hit his finisher and Zack countering it, but those last couple of minutes were very intense. If it was a bit shorter then it probably would be on my MOTYC list.

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Is Suzuki growing his hair out in the same way SANADA has his mohawk setup? When MiSu grows up he wants to be like SANADA?

Love the crowd going insane for false eliminations on BUSHI and just their general love for him. Like, he's fine but clearly the weakest link of LIJ in terms of ability/charisma and stature. Is that why? He's like their YOSHI-HASHI and people want to support him because he's their lovable loser?

The first night in Korakuen was pretty good but only the main event was worth going out of your way to see and boy was it awesome (not that you already would've done that by now if you were interested). The standard fare LIJ/Suzuki gun wild brawl had more intensity than normal and the elimination set-up really adds drama for the Korakuen fans (even though I will always claim that the old Oudou, traditional elimination rules make for a better match rather than the cheaper over the top rope rule NJPW uses to protect stars). The elimination gimmick is almost as contrived as the CMLL 2/3 falls set-up with feuding stars taking each other out. Such a cheap out but the crowd eats it up every damn time.

Young Boy Tsuji looks so much more like a pro wrestler with the longer hair and facial hair. Before he looked like Just A Guy with a halfway Takayama face.

SANADA, please stop dying your beard. 😓

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Okay, I was just scrolling through twitter and saw Jay White cutting a promo with the IWGP heavyweight championship and just about died and was confused. I knew I was behind on this tour but not to that degree.

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And finished watching second day.

Naito/Taichi is getting and is going to get mixed reception, but I thought it was really good for what it was. It wasn't traditional big NJPW match and while there was fuckery I though that it was well done in a sense that it happened before the match official started and there was brief 30 seconds run in that didn't do anything. Like you knew that Iizuka has to come back so he did, but he was immediately dealt with so it didn't detract from what was happening. I think it is very good that NJPW breaks from traditional match from time to time and this was perfect match up to do that. And with history of Sapporo + Evil/Zack match getting cancelled last year it looked somewhat plausible that this match might actually not happen.

And well, I love Taichi, but lets be real here. He is not going to beat Big 4 guy in big title match or make it look competitive without some fuckery. He is third guy in his own faction and guys above him are notch below Big 4 so he is like two tiers below Naito. And don't give me bullshit about how this does nothing or buries Taichi. He main evented show that sold 6.1k tickets. He was star of the tour and, with fuckery and all that, took Naito to the limit. He is never going to be IGWP or IC champion, but now he can easily go back to NEVER title and do work there or do good in NJ Cup. I can totally see him beating Ospreay now during Dontaku or some other tour.

And holy shit, they drew almost 1k more fans than Omega/White last year.

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One last thing. Taichi was put thru the table with piledriver, got hit with his mic stand, got kicked in the nuts and took 2 Destinos and all the usual big Naito moves. I think he would have taken half of that and lost if NJPW wanted him buried.

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last year at this time, he lost to the ball kick/mic stand/destino combo, so they showed Taichi was tougher than one year ago.   I think he gets into the G1 from this, even if he'll go 0-9 because they do like to humiliate Taichi.

 

I'm bummed, but a big reason I cheer for Taichi is because he doesn't give up despite the humiliations.

 

 

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Taichi is full of grit and determination. 

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