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NJPW G1 2019


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So far my MOTNs:

Sanada/ZSJ, Goto/White, Tanahashi/KENTA. Not sure about Night 4, technically Ishii/White was superior match, but Naito/Taichi was heavier on the story and callbacks to New Beginning and Iizuka's retirement. And it drew close to 7k people, 500 more than last years G1 show and close to 1k more than New Beginning show. So Taichi has now main evented two big shows in his home town.

While Juice doesn't have MOTNs so far, but I actually think that he has been one of the MVPs so far. Both his matches have been great, it is just that someone else outdid him slightly on those shows. And his new gear? It feels a bit like he is a video game character who slightly changes his appearance every time he level ups. I don't really remember now how many looks he had, but I think that each of them somehow ends up being weirder and better than previous one.

Mox on the other hand has been underwhelming to me so far. I was optimistic about his run after Juice/Mox title match, but so far he has given close to nothing for me in this G1. If someone made a list of 5 worst G1 matches so far then likely both of his matches would make that list. And looking at how things are going it looks like only Fale can deliver more underwhelming matches than Mox. I don't mind short matches, I think that NJPW has too many epics, but shorter matches have to be worked in a bit different manner I think. Here they get some back and forth and then Mox just wins, when you think about it it looks like a squash, but when you watch it it doesn't feel like that. Don't get me even started on bringing out table for 7 minutes match.

I like that Archer combines claw with pin attempt. Looks extra difficult to get out of that spot.

White is insanely good. Best part about it is that everything he does matters. I can't even imagine how he'll look 10 years later if nothing drastic happens to him. Meanwhile, Ospreay might be out of the G1 with the injury.

Booking has been very strange so far. Naito, White, Ibushi, ZSJ, Tanahashi are all with 0-2 score. Probably we are now getting bunch of streaks. Possible scenario that Naito and White lose one more but both beat Mox, then on final day either Naito or White wins with 12 points and Juice delivers third loss to Mox.

White also lost to Goto and Ishii, looks like a very obvious set up for White winning G1 and challenging Okada at WK.

 

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to be fair to Mox he hasn't been in any marquee matches. If he doesn't deliver against Ishii this weekend then I might start to call problem. What I like is that he brings a big superstar energy and wrestling style that feels unco-operative and anti-smooth, in a way more 90s New Japan than 10s. the Umino stuff is A+ too.

Edited by sevendaughters
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9 hours ago, TheVileOne said:

I'm expecting Moxley to make it to the finals at this point and not lose until then. 

I could see him losing the rematch to Juice, to set up another title match. I could see Yano scoring an upset over him, too.

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I have to say that I’ve decided to check out the English commentary the past couple of shows as a curiosity. Kevin Kelley, and Rocky Romero are fantastic together. Although Ive heard the complaints that Asai TV aren’t letting Chris Charlton call the show, which is upsetting the fans. I wonder what’s going on there, because if he’s doing a great job too, I want to hear it. 

Edited by LoneWolf&Subs
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The lack of Charlton has me going back to Japanese commentary. Kelly is still a cornball and I don't love Romero either. Charlton's ability to add context and drama is phenomenal. 

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I think Mox was justified in getting the table out. He's a babyface asskicker. You try and jump him then he's gonna fuck you.

I think he'll get to the final and put someone over, but there'll be a WK big match booked along the way.

Jay White is killing it for me btw.

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White really is smart in that everything he does has purpose. He's like the anti-Omega in many ways in that his finishing stretches don't do a lot for me but his control segments early on are sublime. Omega improved the early portions of his matches in his last year or year and a half of his NJPW run but there were times when you're just waiting for shit to pick up. Jay, on the other hand, is so good at portraying petulant dominance and getting a lot from not doing a tonne. The crowd still isn't as heated for his heel shit as they should be but he's a great character. The way in which he would continually goad dumb bushido Goto into striking him so he could reverse was brilliant shit. Love, love, love that stuff.

Edited by Oyaji
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Jay/Ishii and ZSJ/SANADA are my favourites so far, although I enjoyed Naito/Taichi and Ospreay/Archer a lot too. Yes, Mox isn't lighting the world on fire with 5 star work-rate epics but he brings the variety and the intrigue. I agree with @sevendaughters that turnabout is fair play and if you want to try and 'speak the language of violence' too, you better be ready to bring it.

I've only been watching New Japan for about 18 months, since the Wrestle Kingdom with Omega/Jericho. The Japanese commentary was my big barrier previously, as for me the announcing is a core part of the wrestling experience. I still get such a kick out of the variety in the post-match interviews, from the ZSJ tantrum to Jeff Cobb's matter of fact advice to Ishii 'study some tapes and see if you can learn how to not get thrown on your ass', to Tanahashi's earnest stoicism. 

Speaking of commentary, the decision to demote Carlton to translation duty only is just totally asinine. Arguably the biggest selling points of NJPW to frustrated Western wrestling fans are the logical long term booking, the evolution and development of wrestlers and the rich storied rivalries stretching across many years. And you're going to remove the person most equipped to bring the new audience up to speed on all this history, and who has already proven himself as a solid addition to commentary and perhaps the only justification for a three man booth in the whole of wrestling today? No, he looks like a teenage geek and doesn't have a nice, resonant announcer voice so make him sit in the corner and speak when he's spoken to. It's a real head scratcher.  

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I'm fucking loving the G1 so far. I think it's a combo of having fresh guys like KENTA and Moxley, in addition to being more familiar with the product and learning to love Yano, and it feeling a lot more unpredictable. Maybe that will change, but fucked if I know what is going on at this point.

Suzuki as the brooding human Sword of Damocles waiting to drop on someone is genuinely petrifying.

Edited by ComingToAmerica
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10 hours ago, sevendaughters said:

I think Mox was justified in getting the table out. He's a babyface asskicker. You try and jump him then he's gonna fuck you.

I think he'll get to the final and put someone over, but there'll be a WK big match booked along the way.

Jay White is killing it for me btw.

 

Mox/Jay should be great.  Looking forward to that the most of Mox's matches.  Jay's winning but I can see like 100 different matches playing out already.

 

 

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I’m so far behind on this it isn’t funny, but I’ve watched both Mox matches and I think he’s been fine.  I really liked Mox/Taichi as a fun sub-10 minute match.  The table made perfect sense in the context of the match.  On his way to fetch the table, Mox even said something like, “So you wanna piss me off?” Taichi tried to play Mox’s game and lost.

The Cobb match was pretty blah, but I put that on Cobb, who has looked bad this whole tour so far, imo.

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On 7/16/2019 at 8:18 AM, Oyaji said:

The lack of Charlton has me going back to Japanese commentary. Kelly is still a cornball and I don't love Romero either. Charlton's ability to add context and drama is phenomenal. 

Opposite for me. Charlton calling a Tanahashi match and rambling on about "theology" or something sent me running for Japanese commentary. 

I'm beginning to think it's impossible for me listen to any current English commentary without thinking someone on the team sounds like an absolute goober. Being in the same room as Josh Matthews is almost certainly one of the circles of hell. 

Edited by West Newbury Bad Boy
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52 minutes ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

Opposite for me. Charlton calling a Tanahashi match and rambling on about "theology" or something sent me running for Japanese commentary. 

 I'm beginning to think it's impossible for me listen to any current English commentary without thinking someone on the team sounds like an absolutely goober. Being in the same room as Josh Matthews is almost certainly one of the circles of hell. 

I live for that theoretical bullshit, though.

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There is a lot of crap in NJPW storyline and backstage speak about Tanahashi being God and all that with Kota Ibushi and I'm sure others, so it fits.

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5 hours ago, alstein said:

I think the NJPW World commentary has been great- outside of Poffo.   I enjoy them a lot more than I enjoy any WWE or ROH commentary.  They even made Caprice tolerable after a couple of shows.

 

Granted I don't listen to a lot of pro wrestling commentary nowadays, but I don't mind Kevin Kelly all that much. IMO He sounds like an actual wrestling PBP guy and can anchor a show. Proof of this is the shows he missed with the aforementioned short lived Lanny Poffo experiment. 

I think besides his voice, the overzealous babbling Chris Charlton does makes the commentary seem too markish for a promotion the size of New Japan which is probably why they reeled him back in. In small doses, he is totally fine.

Sidenote: I'm just finishing catching up on BOSJ and Juice being surprised Chris had kids was fucking hilarious. Mean spirited but still funny.

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