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NJPW THE NEW BEGINNING 2019

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15 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

MSG is already sold out, so it doesn't really matter what they book there. 

Short term it doesn't. But I assume they'd like to sell out big buildings in America again.

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9 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

Short term it doesn't. But I assume they'd like to sell out big buildings in America again.

I think whatever they put in the IWGP heavyweight title slot will be good whether its White vs. Okada or even a Tanahashi rematch. I hope at least. I expect White's going to retain anyway.

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5 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

Short term it doesn't. But I assume they'd like to sell out big buildings in America again.

Right, so why not show everyone something special like Tanahashi vs Okada? It's a niche product. For however they plan on showing the MSG show (I'm honestly not sure if it's supposed to be a PPV or what) then what difference does it make if you put two Japanese workers in the main event? The people tuning in at home are going to be by and large NJPW, ROH, WWE, and other wrestling fans. For the casual audience, is it going to make that much of a difference if it's a New Zealander vs a Japanese worker or two Japanese workers in the main event? The announcing needs to get over the importance of the match regardless of who is in it so go with your two best workers, right?

Ultimately you then have a better chance at converting some of those casual fans or lapsed fans into returning ones and even ones who will want to buy tickets to see this stuff live. I'd imagine you're more likely to do that with Tanahashi and Okada than White and Okada or White and Ibushi. One match is going to be better than the next or is the thought (sadly) that Americans are more likely to attend a niche product when it's someone who looks like them in the main event?

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I'm doing multiple quotes because I feel like something got mixed up here with how things started about double Dome event and changed into MSG.

1 hour ago, alstein said:

I think the plan for Tana/Okada this year is them vs Evil/SANADA to main event one night of the Dome, with Naito/White maining the other night.

 

1 hour ago, Oyaji said:

I dunno man but that sounds like a terrible idea. Who on earth would think the LIJ team has a chance?

 

1 hour ago, Oyaji said:

I don't see a tag match with EVIL and SANADA main eventing a dome. GL vs. Dream Team, sure. 

Well, two things really:

1. They still got lots of time to build up Evil/Sanada. And it is not like Okada/Tanahashi have been shown to be unstoppable, they lost their first match against Fale/White.

2. They might do Tanahashi/Okada vs Evil/Sanada for MSG with Evil/Sanada winning which would help with making it more believable and elevating Evil/Sanada.

Like, sure, GL vs Dream Team sounds better and likely would move more tickets, but if Omega doesn't want to do it (or has ridiculous requirements) then Evil/Sanada are next best thing.

37 minutes ago, Craig H said:

Right, so why not show everyone something special like Tanahashi vs Okada? It's a niche product. For however they plan on showing the MSG show (I'm honestly not sure if it's supposed to be a PPV or what) then what difference does it make if you put two Japanese workers in the main event? The people tuning in at home are going to be by and large NJPW, ROH, WWE, and other wrestling fans. For the casual audience, is it going to make that much of a difference if it's a New Zealander vs a Japanese worker or two Japanese workers in the main event? The announcing needs to get over the importance of the match regardless of who is in it so go with your two best workers, right?

Ultimately you then have a better chance at converting some of those casual fans or lapsed fans into returning ones and even ones who will want to buy tickets to see this stuff live. I'd imagine you're more likely to do that with Tanahashi and Okada than White and Okada or White and Ibushi. One match is going to be better than the next or is the thought (sadly) that Americans are more likely to attend a niche product when it's someone who looks like them in the main event?

For starters, I don't disagree that NJPW's idea of "must have lots of white wrestlers on USA shows" is stupid, to say the least. But as a fan of NJPW and long time viewer... I have no desire to see Okada/Tanahashi again. I'm sure that this match will happen again and it will be good and I'll end up enjoying it, but it is not a selling point to me any longer. I think that their rivalry will (or at least SHOULD) become less and less important to overall product. White or no White they have been slowly moving to new era and I feel like Tanahashi/Okada being friends instead of rivals will be their role in this new era. This is also why I think they might do Okada/Tanahashi vs Evil/Sanada.

So, you have big USA show that will get more exposure. I think that it should be logical to focus on what is going to happen next and not on what was happening past 6 years, but won't be as relevant in the future. Would Tanahashi/Okada or Tanahashi/Ibushi be a better match? Very likely, but for me there is more interest in White/Ibushi because it is going to be way more relevant to NJPW's future.

But Tanahashi/Okada totally should happen in USA because I think lots of people want to see it live. And I think that G1 in Dallas would be good spot for that.

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I think you are arguing the same point I was making against me Craig. Just because they already sold the tickets doesn't mean they don't have to worry about what the main event is.

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They don't have to worry about the main, but at the same time, without the belt involved, Tana/Okada doesn't make narrative sense in what's going on overall right now.  And if Omega is to be believed, they were gonna have Okada win the Cup and Omega/Okada be the main.  So the changes led to White's story being sped up.  So, I get where they're going with doing White's run now, which also gives a bunch of fresh matches (since White hasn't faced anyone else up top outside of Tana/Okada yet.  And Gedo's gonna stick to his guns and story rather than "just run a good match" 

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22 hours ago, Craig H said:

One more knock against Jay White for me...I really don't like the whole "Breathe with the Switchblade" thing. It's lame and sounds like something an edgelord scribbled on the back of a notebook.

On top of that, he actually said "I don't play by your rules" in his post-match promo, which had me howling.

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For real? Hahahaha, oh man. I haven't even made it to that match yet, but it's been an enjoyable show thus far.

 

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21 hours ago, Archibald said:

Okada got a huge boost from feuding with White and for this type of story it would be natural if Okada ends up beating White for the title.

 

19 hours ago, sevendaughters said:

I see Okada winning NJC and the title back at MSG, with Ibushi v Tanahashi there too.

I'm not saying Okada won't be the next champion, but with the way the Okada vs. White match at WK went, something really big should have to happen for Okada to beat White.  It can't just be "oh Okada happened to win this time".

I would be surprised if it happened as soon as MSG.

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10 hours ago, Oyaji said:

I dunno man but that sounds like a terrible idea. Who on earth would think the LIJ team has a chance?

Tana/Okada has only won one match when teaming together, and it was the 5x5 elimination match last week.

 

 

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They've lost their other matches due to BC fuckery, no? That won't happen with the LIJ guys in 2019 or 2020 unless something changes. 

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3 hours ago, Craig H said:

For real? Hahahaha, oh man. I haven't even made it to that match yet, but it's been an enjoyable show thus far.

 

It was an enjoyable show. I enjoyed White/Tanahashi more than I've enjoyed most Jay White matches, but I'm not a big Jay White fan. I think I liked the White/Juice match where Juice wins the US title more than this.

I find his whole "knife pervert", "breathe with the swtichblade" stuff rather lame. 

I do wish that Kevin Kelly or Don Callis would bring up once in a while that White has the talent and doesn't need to take shortcuts to succeed. I also find it interesting that he was pretty much a white meat babyface during his ROH excursion and returned to New Japan as the opposite.

 

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I was fine with White/Tana until the part where Jay just starts running through his shit.  Even Callis kinda inadvertently called him out on it on commentary.  He was like, “But what about the leg?”  The end of the match seemed very disconnected from the first half.

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Well that happens in almost every match where taping out is teased and eventual ending is finisher getting hit. Like, that didn't stop people from raving about Okada/Omega II despite first 20 minutes being about a leg work that went nowhere, not even a tap out tease.

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22 hours ago, Archibald said:

I'm doing multiple quotes because I feel like something got mixed up here with how things started about double Dome event and changed into MSG.

 

 

Well, two things really:

1. They still got lots of time to build up Evil/Sanada. And it is not like Okada/Tanahashi have been shown to be unstoppable, they lost their first match against Fale/White.

2. They might do Tanahashi/Okada vs Evil/Sanada for MSG with Evil/Sanada winning which would help with making it more believable and elevating Evil/Sanada.

Like, sure, GL vs Dream Team sounds better and likely would move more tickets, but if Omega doesn't want to do it (or has ridiculous requirements) then Evil/Sanada are next best thing.

For starters, I don't disagree that NJPW's idea of "must have lots of white wrestlers on USA shows" is stupid, to say the least. But as a fan of NJPW and long time viewer... I have no desire to see Okada/Tanahashi again. I'm sure that this match will happen again and it will be good and I'll end up enjoying it, but it is not a selling point to me any longer. I think that their rivalry will (or at least SHOULD) become less and less important to overall product. White or no White they have been slowly moving to new era and I feel like Tanahashi/Okada being friends instead of rivals will be their role in this new era. This is also why I think they might do Okada/Tanahashi vs Evil/Sanada.

So, you have big USA show that will get more exposure. I think that it should be logical to focus on what is going to happen next and not on what was happening past 6 years, but won't be as relevant in the future. Would Tanahashi/Okada or Tanahashi/Ibushi be a better match? Very likely, but for me there is more interest in White/Ibushi because it is going to be way more relevant to NJPW's future.

But Tanahashi/Okada totally should happen in USA because I think lots of people want to see it live. And I think that G1 in Dallas would be good spot for that.

I think Gedo has (or had) a contingency plan and that's going to force them to elevate new guys over the coming months. I think IF the matches are good to great, the pushback should largely dissipate. That doesn't rule out seeing Tanahashi vs. Okada in the U.S. finally. I think if and when they end up doing it, it's going to be a several month long storyline similar to the title defense record where it's we may be watching this for last time (again).

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14 hours ago, Beech27 said:

Big, if true.

 

At some point I had this weird thought (and likely posted about it already, but forgot) about how Bullet Club leadership never really changed hands in a big match. Balor was kicked in the face by Young Bucks and then AJ just appeared. Omega dropped AJ, but it was after the match angle. White technically defeated Omega, but match was never billed as that and only months later we found out that White is Bullet Club.

So with Balor returning you can make a story about how White defeated Omega and Balor has defeated AJ in WWE. So lets find out who is the realest real Bullet Club leader. And yes, I know that it is not going to happen.

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If Okada wins the belt back, then it needs to be after the G1. Those pre-G1 shows desperately need important moments again. It’d be similar to what they did with AJ, and they could easily plug Jay back in when they are ready. Maybe still have Okada challenge for the belt at MSG, but don’t pull the trigger on the switch, and have Okada lose again. Okada finally gets his win back at the G1, and then is granted the rematch on Jay’s road to the dome.

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On 2/11/2019 at 7:18 PM, Casey said:

Bad Luck Fale BREAKS FREE of the Bullet Club, wins the New Japan Cup, and challenges (and defeats) Jay White at Madison Square Garden. A new golden age of wrestling in NJPW follows.

"...Wait ... Is that Captain New Japan's music?"

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I still think it needs to be Naito to beat White. 

 

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Oh boy. I finally watched White/Tanahashi and it was... not particularly all that great? While I think Jay White's character and heeling are top of the line, there are some aspects of his style that just irk me. I understand what they're trying to do with these elaborate reversal dances (he's so smart!) but it's so fucking corny and just kills me inside. Cribbing Kenny's sell job and then smiling? 🙄 Super long heat segments without any heat. Admittedly, the Tanahashi Taps Out got a great response. I don't know if this shit works in NJPW all that well long-term. And I really did like his jumping kick to the back of Tana's leg after the missed HFF. Beautiful in its violence and simplicity. There's clearly a lot to work with in Jay but he's still got a great deal of work still to do in putting it all together. But he's smart and will probably figure it out. It took him a good 6-8 months to nail the character stuff, which is harder to do than the in-ring part and most people never get. He can stay true to his character but still put on more compelling matches.

It was what it needed to be. Decisive and one-sided to establish the new top dawg (important). But it wasn't very good (not as important). But I do wonder if NJPW fans accustomed to the highest standard will take to it. Variety is great  and a lot of the top NJPW stars work a very similar style but gimme a bit more plz.

Also, Kevin Kelly used to piss me off all of the time... But now he's quite good in the earlier portions of the match where his forced histrionics aren't needed but he just doesn't have the tone and voice for when shit gets up. Destinoooooooooooooooooooooo is embarrassing. 

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8 hours ago, Oyaji said:

Also, Kevin Kelly used to piss me off all of the time... But now he's quite good in the earlier portions of the match where his forced histrionics aren't needed but he just doesn't have the tone and voice for when shit gets up. Destinoooooooooooooooooooooo is embarrassing. 

There is that English promo video for FantasticaMania  where he tries to hype up every Lucha guy and it is amazing for all the wrong reasons:

 

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I rewatched it and still liked it; I didn't expect White to have everything nailed by now even though I could see he was pegged as a top carder from his return. But it wasn't perfect and I do also worry that it may be rejected. NJPW are probably due some high profile failures, creatively.

However I am now sort of the opinion that maybe NJPW is past a very high recent peak for me. My working theory is that 2012-2017 represents the era where full shows were often very good and you were absolutely guaranteed some kind of great match, big emotion, and narrative continuity that was something to look forward to rather than puzzle over. Now I kind of skip through stuff and get a little tetchy.

How this squares with Okada's big title reign and last year's G1 I am not sure. Maybe I am a bit hurt that it seems like Omega et. al. have used NJPW to boost their cred and then jump off?

I also note that those years squarely align with Shibata being around. Not saying he was the best, though not far from it, and he seemed to give the whole thing a spice that it has sorely lacked.

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I don't see Omega using NJPW at all but I'm biased. They benefited greatly from his time there too. 

I do agree that I think last year's Dominion was the beginning of the end of the golden era (artistically, I'm sure business will be fine). I don't think they're missing a lot to strike it hot again but going back to Tana was looking backwards and nostalgic rather than creating something new and different, which they've since done with Jay. The landscape is a little muddy and I don't have the same level of interest or emotional investment but I'm sure njpw will still be very good to great for years with a few stumbles here and there. 

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