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Beech27

New Japan Cup 2019

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It’s too early for this! But, I don’t want to hijack a different show thread.

Notably, since the belt for which the winner will challenge is decided, other champions can enter. Naito has requested a spot already. My suspicion is that both he and Ospreay will be in, lose, and get a challenger that way.

It also looks like every show on the tour will be live this year.

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Has it been confirmed that Naito and Ospreay will be in it? Because if they are then whole thing is loaded and I really doubt that they are going to run any Naito/Tanahashi/Okada/Ibushi matches here considering that they don't run very big buildings for this tour.

I mean, I understand why they'd want them in it, but at the same time it basically means that we'll get like 5 upsets. And if every second match is an upset then are they really upsets?

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Neither are confirmed. Charlton did post that Naito has officially requested a spot in the tournament, but of course he could be turned down for... reasons. You could write that the office doesn't want someone to hold both big belts, and thus won't give him the chance, which would be another grievance of his to throw on the fire.

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Sounds like other champs are going to be in this year, with the reason given that "the title match has already been decided"

Given the need for a top challenger to White, only three possible winners this year : Ibushi, Okada, and Naito. 

 

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So, working with the idea that singles champions (for fun I removed ZSJ as well) are not allowed this is what I came up with:

Evil, Sanada, Makabe, Fale, DBS, Finlay, Goto, Tanahashi, Okada, Ibushi, Elgin, Suzuki, Kojima, Taichi, Henare, Ishii

I think this is pretty strong field already that can be improved by swapping in ZSJ since I doubt that they'll recognize RevPro title despite it basically being in the hands of NJPW guys for past 3-4 years.

So, I don't know, maybe all the champs are in as well, but even without them they can do great tournament.

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27 minutes ago, Archibald said:

So, working with the idea that singles champions (for fun I removed ZSJ as well) are not allowed this is what I came up with:

Evil, Sanada, Makabe, Fale, DBS, Finlay, Goto, Tanahashi, Okada, Ibushi, Elgin, Suzuki, Kojima, Taichi, Henare, Ishii

I kinda like the idea of leaving out the other champs, as it gives other singles opportunities and protects the champs--Juice especially doesn't need to drop a fall right now. Although if he is in, and doesn't win (a safe bet, I think), that would set up a defense of the US title on this show too.

I know Okada is the popular favorite (and I agree with that), but I feel like New Japan might want to save that match to sell tickets in Japan. And narratively, Okada facing White but just winning this time doesn't strike me as incredibly satisfying.

But then, either Suzuki or Ibushi challenging to win their first IWGP title would draw a good house in Japan also. Although, as has been noted elsewhere, it's dangerous to just say "the tickets are sold" and not make an effort to ensure the fans feel good about that purchase and would make a similar one next time.

I don't know. I could find a lot of results compelling, and I find the possibilities compelling already.

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Taichi vs. Jay White headlining MSG to really kick off the next phase of American expansion. Honestly I'd prefer it to whatever we end up with. It is depressing that he's become the heel version of Yoshi Hashi. 

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Jay/Okada at MSG would be fine but I think you have to put White over and I don't know how that's gonna read with a fanbase that will likely chant "We Want Kenny" during the heat segment.

Put Jay against (and over) Ibushi and all of a sudden toying with the emotions of the Elite bandwagoners that bought most of the tickets becomes riveting drama. It also opens up a potential Okada/Tanahashi meeting somewhere on the card, but... a singles match doesn't make sense and if you ran a tag, who would tag w/ Tanahashi? Juice is very likely defending his belt and any other Tana/X vs. CHAOS tag match would have a really obvious fall guy.

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NJPW Army aren't facing off with CHAOS right now, CHAOS has been teaming with NJPW Faces and GBH against the forces of Bullet Club, so any Okada/Tana interaction will be them teaming if not  in their own singles matches.

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I feel like it's more flexable at MSG, especially since so much of the crowd won't be aware of NJPW's week-in-week-out booking patterns and which factions hate which at a given time. NJPW needs to win a little goodwill back with the North American fanbase; this might be the correct time to indulge in some dream-match booking.

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I like Jay and I kind of like the Breathe with the Switchblade thing mostly because it works with his accent. It sounds like something the Toecutter would say from Mad Max. 

The clip above with the Taichi burn was amusing. 

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Just for Jay completely blowing off the idea of Taichi as a challenger makes me want to see the match with Taichi taking White to the limit. Maybe an attempted BC beatdown afterwards leading to Suzuki-Gun making the save. I would love to see Suzuki vs. Jay White. I want to see "The King" stretch Jay out and chop his chest into hamburger.

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1 hour ago, John E. Dynamite said:

I feel like it's more flexable at MSG, especially since so much of the crowd won't be aware of NJPW's week-in-week-out booking patterns and which factions hate which at a given time. NJPW needs to win a little goodwill back with the North American fanbase; this might be the correct time to indulge in some dream-match booking.

That's just it, they're not going to.  They're going to run it as a normal show that they're doing jointly, and they're not going to change narrative direction because some fans want dream matches that don't line up with the current booking.  They're stubborn, they have the plan set, and they've already had to change course because of AEW's creation.  They don't change course easily for Japanese crowds, they sure as hell aren't changing anything up for Americans.  They sold out the show, they're giving the NJ Cup winner's tiitle shot, they don't need to worry about losing goodwill until they stop 3/4 to selling out shows.  

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The only avenue that made sense for Tanahashi/Okada at MSG was Tana retaining and Okada winning the NJ Cup. When White won, that was done. In my mind, it's a huge missed opportunity.

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12 hours ago, Beech27 said:

I kinda like the idea of leaving out the other champs, as it gives other singles opportunities and protects the champs--Juice especially doesn't need to drop a fall right now. Although if he is in, and doesn't win (a safe bet, I think), that would set up a defense of the US title on this show too.

Well if Juice gets beaten then we can safely assume that whoever won against him ins't wining the tournament either because he is going to challenge for USA title... So champions being in it are bound to remove some drama.

I find Okada unlikely because I doubt that they'd start suddenly doing bunch of short (zero defences??) reigns. So White would have to retain in my book and him being 3-0 against Okada is a bit too much. Plus as was already mentioned, if it was Okada/White then fans could really start chanting for Omega since it perfectly fits into Omega/Okada rumours.

As for "we sold the tickets, fuck you" thing... Last two G1 finals had sold out in advance as well and we still got Omega/Naito and Tanahashi/Ibushi. So I doubt that they are going to do here a match that couldn't sell tickets. Unlike what some claim, they are thinking about the future. Just not the future you or me might be thinking about and thats why Okada/Tanahashi likely won't happen again outside of G1 for some time now.

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10 hours ago, Nice Guy Eddie said:

Just for Jay completely blowing off the idea of Taichi as a challenger makes me want to see the match with Taichi taking White to the limit. Maybe an attempted BC beatdown afterwards leading to Suzuki-Gun making the save. I would love to see Suzuki vs. Jay White. I want to see "The King" stretch Jay out and chop his chest into hamburger.

 

Suzuki vs White was in the G1 last year and it was hilarious seeing Jay get what he deserved for once.  I want to see a full program for an in-between show as Minoru starts easing into evil dad status.

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One more name that I forgot initially and I think lots of people want to see is Cobb. He has TV title match announced for Roh's Anniversary show which is happening in the middle of this tournament, but considering that almost every show gets only 1 tournament match and that Cobb is unlikely to win (or advance far) I think it could be booked around.

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while I have 20 minutes spare at work here is fantasy bracketeering (what I expect, not what I want). caps indicate winner.

NAGATA v Ishii
Honma v TAICHI
Nakanishi v YOSHIHASHI
JUICE v Chase
OKADA v Elgin
MIKEY FREAKING NICHOLLS BAYBAY v Leo
OSPREAY v Fale
Henare v ARCHER
UNIVERSE ACE v El Hijo de Zapatos Rojo
Tenzan v FINLAY
IBUSHI v Naito
Evil v ZACK
Makabe v COLT
YANO v El Hijo de Bulldog Británico
KOJIMA v Suzuki
GOTO v Sanada

Nagata v TAICHI
Yoshihashi v JUICE
OKADA v Nicholls
OSPREAY v Archer
TANAHASHI v Finlay
IBUSHI v Zack
Colt v YANO
Kojima v GOTO

Taichi v JUICE
OKADA v Ospreay
Tanahashi v IBUSHI
Yano v GOTO

Juice v OKADA
IBUSHI v Goto

OKADA v Ibushi
 

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Nakanishi/Tenzan final!

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Didn't expect this to have double amount of entrants than previous years, but I guess it makes sense since the prize is bigger than ever.

On the other hand I'm not sure if I like this, I think that if they did 16 entrants then this could have been really high quality tournament, kinda like last year. But now some of those first round matches look ugly:

Nakanishi/Yoshi, Juice/Chase, Mikey/Leo (sure, will be cool to see new guy, but I doubt that Leo is ready for this), Henare/Archer, Tenzan/Finlay, Cabana being in the tournament in general and possibility of him beating Makabe or even advancing to block finals. And I think it is likely that Fale/Ospreay ends up being a dud.

Then there are some booking decisions that I'm a bit skeptical about:

Elgin is back and he is going to get eliminated in the first round. yeah, yeah, fuck Elgin and he does more bombs than he has to, but him being out in first round blows while people like Archer, Cabana, Finlay and Yoshi will advance to second round.
Same thing with Naito/Ibushi. I think it is bad that we are going to get only one singles match from either Ibushi or Naito.
I hope that Evil beats ZSJ and we don't get 50/50 booking.
While I liked Yano/DBS last year I'm not sure if I want to see DBS losing again to Yano. I'd really take DBS/Makabe over Cabana/Yano match.

Looking at the brackets I'd place my money on these being "block finals":

Juice/Taichi sounds absolutely great.
Okada/Ospreay sounds good.
Tanahashi/Ibushi sounds like obvious big match that needs to happen.
I'm not sure about the last block. Lower bracket has cool options, but upper one is like wtf? Honestly my favorite option would probably be Sanada/DBS. Goto is cool, but I want another Ibushi/Sanada match more than another Ibushi/Goto match.

Ibushi should win this and I think he should beat Naito, Evil, Tanahashi, Sanada and Okada to get there.

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Cabana will get his due and face Nicholls in the final, just wait! EXPANSION!

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Whoever seeded this should be fired, but that Ibushi has such a difficult road makes him more likely to win, so that's ok. Or maybe Naito will just beat him. In any case, there are a few duds here, but also several matches I'm going to watch very, very hard. And it'll be interesting to see how many title matches are set up via champions losing.

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Speaking about title matches:

Evil beating Zack again could lead to RevPro title match. I think other Zack's possible opponents are above that title. Unless Sanada/Goto beat him in semi-finals? But I can't see either of them being finalists.

Ibushi beats Naito, but if he wins the entire thing then Naito has no challenger... So Ibushi possibly is not winning?

For juice only plausible opponent to me sounds like Ishii. I'd prefer Taichi going further, but Ishii beating Juice could be a USA title match that many people would love. And this would be like third straight loss to Ishii for Juice so it would be warranted as well. Plus that could lead to Ishii/Okada which sounds great as well.

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