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The Natural

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 *contains King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 SPOILERS*

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The Stardom match is really a total dark match? That sucks. I wanted to see what all the fuss with Hana Kimura from the midnight chokers was about.

As much as I miss the hardcore jacket (Negative Approach FTW!) Hiromu coming out to the ring dressed like it was right after his gig as Master of Ceremonies at the Tokyo New Year's Pride Parade is awesome. Will looks to have fixed his grill too. Unfortunately the match is basically Cirque du Soleil with thigh slaps. The part where Will "hits" a missile dropkick with big-ass thigh slap and Hiromu sells it like a gunshot is really sad. Finisher looks like an Emerald Frosion to me, I thought somebody said it was complicated.   

Boy, Jay White sure has gotten good at this whole pro wrestling thing. His mannerisms are almost Rick Rude level with the posing and the posturing. Hiding his face when about to be struck seems so simple but it's perfect heel schtick. Unlike the last match this has a lot of legwork before the blowoff to go into finisher mode. The backwards figure four was especially nasty. Lots of spitting in this match, and like the previous one with the Shooting Star someone decides to do a tribute to Liger, this time with the kappo kick from Naito. Gedo is effective as a heat magnet and deserves the kick in the nuts he finally gets. I had no problem with the length or anything, even Red Shoes only bothered me once by refusing to count a pin, dude quit being the face version of Tirantes already. 

After that I do have to take a break. Those of you who sat through the whole next hour and 40 minutes including all the pageantry after that pinfall deserve a medal or something.

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Posted (edited)

If you look closely, Hiromu still carries the jacket with him to the ring both nights.

 

He keeps it real.

I thought his finisher looked like the Goliath Bird Eater turned into a head drop instead of a submission.

Edited by Tromatagon

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I thought I noticed it sitting in the corner. I just watched enough of the entrance to see how crazy the outfit from the photo here was.

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47 minutes ago, Rehabilitated Rick said:

@gordi they could easily just run the 3rd if they wanted to take advantage of the weekend next year. With the onus being on the more traditional 4th rather than the 5th. I hope not. But seeing the numbers this weekend it may be worth pursuing.

The dome is booked for The Rice Bowl American Football game on the 3rd every year.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah, I think Hiromu/Ospreay is being way overhyped based on the emotion of Hiromu being back and him getting the belt.  This was not nearly as good as the first time Hiromu won the belt from Ospreay.  Heavyweight Will is growing on me, but the second you put him back with the juniors, all his old, annoying tendencies come back.  Worse, he tried to aggressively work Hiromu’s neck while at the same time protecting Hiromu’s neck, and...he did not pull it off well.  The missile drop kick whiff is the most obvious case, but there was other stuff that looked pretty shit and undermined the story he was telling, too.

Edited by EVA
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I think my favorite match thus far was KENTA -v- Goto.

 

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Re: the show closing angle with KENTA

On some level, I guess I get it.  Gedo’s conceptualization of Naito’s character is that he has to have a chip on his shoulder, some kind of grievance to drive him, and it’s hard to be aggrieved when you’ve just won DOUBLE GOLD in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom.  So, I guess having someone show up and shit all over his celebration, depriving him of taking the champion’s walk up the ramp, is certainly one way you could go about ginning up future motivation for him.  However, while that booking philosophy has certainly played well over the past several years, I do think there comes a time when fans just want to see their guy win and to revel in the moment with them, and this angle may have crossed the threshold of testing the patience of Naito fans.  I know the VOW guys defended this by saying BUT THE HEAT, but I have to wonder how much of that heat was BOO KENTA and how much of it was FUCK WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS AGAIN?  Time will tell, I suppose.

That said, a big factor in how poorly this angle was received was KENTA.  The guy just lost to fucking nobody Goto in the midcard (and pretty much has no heat that isn’t shamelessly leeched off of Shibata) and now he’s standing tall at the end of the biggest show of the year?  That’s a baffling call.  It really is like if Sheamus had stood tall over Daniel Bryan at the end of WM30.  I think the angle would have been received very differently if it was somebody else.  Like, if this was SANADA finally turning on Naito, then it would’ve felt like a legitimately earth-shaking development that would’ve merited that spot.

Another factor working against it is that it felt really manufactured and artificial .  All of Naito’s prior grievances flowed very naturally and kind of blurred the lines of reality, to varying degrees.  This was just like somebody dropped a random pro wres angle out of thin air.  They even had to leave the rest of LIJ in the back and make Naito do the roll call alone like a doofus to even contrive a scenario where KENTA could do this.

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Posted (edited)

KENTA's attack was the NJPW equivalent of the Dark Order angle from a few weeks back, only this was the capper for their biggest two shows in forever. 

Couldn't agree more with everything you just said. Perfect post on why that didn't work and why Gedo's booking of Naito has jumped the shark. I was just staring with my head tilted as to why he was doing the role-call without the LIJ guys there. And SANADA should be stabbing him in the back. They've hinted at dissension forever, he's primed and ready to go for a main event run, he's envious of Naito's success, and disappointed in his own failure. It is the perfect time for him to get the fuck out of LIJ. That doesn't mean SANADA should become a moustache twirling villain, but it would hopefully give him a much needed added dimension and chip on his shoulder.

Edited by Oyaji
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Just finished night 2. Both were amazing shows and I probably rank my favorites as Naito vs Okada, then Naito vs White, and then Hiromu vs Will. Nothing much more to add to any of those.

But I will say that when KENTA came out I laughed out loud at how ridiculous it was and was like "oh come on!." To echo what EVA said, I get it, this is how you keep a chip on Naito's shoulder, but holy shit sometimes less is more and you just need to let a dude celebrate. You could have let Naito walk out with his head held high with both titles and then on the next show run the KENTA angle. This was just Gedo doing shitty, "bad WWE" overbooking and overthinking. To add to that with how little sense it made to do this tonight, KENTA lost! It's also weird that it's KENTA attacking Naito and not White, but whatever.

Both shows were great, but I hope this doesn't become a regular thing.

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I get why they did it last night: everyone expects the big angle on NYD, so it got a lot more of a shock reaction last night.

Plus it let's Jay White react tonight at NYD.

And it got heat. It's hard to say if it was good or bad heat yet, but it was definitely heat.

But, I do agree, if it had been SANADA....

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I dunno if it got that much heat and certainly not to the level with which you'd want to end a double dome event like this. 

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The boos sounded thunderous to me

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Maybe I was only awake physically and mentally shut off. I feel like I should re-watch Jericho/Tanahashi (... fuckin' Bakahashi, jackass!) too while I check that out.

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I think anyone saying this is Naito's Kane feud is being over the top.  It doesn't make sense right now for KENTA but the match itself will be great,  Naito will win and then we move on. 

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Two points:

I saw many people, not here, defending Ospreay's botches as him being protective of Hiromu. This is crap excuse, none of those botched spots were marquee Ospreay spots that he does in every match and has to hit them. If he was hesitant then he shouldn't have done them.

I saw here some people saying that it should have been Sanada instead of KENTA, I disagree with this 100%. What KENTA did was pure heel thing and they are clearly positioning Sanada as the face. Him turning on Naito here would probably have ruined his chances as becoming one of the top faces of NJPW. I do think that Sanada will eventually leave LiJ, but it will probably be either a friendly moment or LiJ will actually turn on him. Sanada is a good guy, he is not going to back stab his friend on his biggest day.

KENTA on the other hand is heel who does heel things and he is an outsider who does not respect the structure of NJPW. Only other wrestler who could have done this was probably White and I'd assume that he figured that he got this locked down after beating Ibushi so it will be interesting to see how White will react to KENTA trying to get ahead of him.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, EVA said:

Yeah, I think Hiromu/Ospreay is being way overhyped based on the emotion of Hiromu being back and him getting the belt.  This was not nearly as good as the first time Hiromu won the belt from Ospreay.  Heavyweight Will is growing on me, but the second you put him back with the juniors, all his old, annoying tendencies come back.  Worse, he tried to aggressively work Hiromu’s neck while at the same time protecting Hiromu’s neck, and...he did not pull it off well.  The missile drop kick whiff is the most obvious case, but there was other stuff that looked pretty shit and undermined the story he was telling, too.

 

I'm not going to fault a guy for doing the whole working on the neck while protecting it imperfectly, given Hiromu's broken neck.  There's a certain amount of leniency I give in the name of protecting folks.  Ospreay should be working Hiromu's neck, even if it's not his normal style.

 

As for KENTA/White, I can't see KENTA leading BC, or a White face turn until Shota returns from excursion and/or Okada/Ibushi pull a Nakamura and leave before being pushed down the card (I do see Okada/Ibushi both eventually doing an AEW retirement tour)  most likely we might get a seed, with no real BC help for KENTA except maybe Yujiro.

 

 

Edited by alstein

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My issue is that he protects the dude one moment then lariats him in the back of the head the next. Either do it or don't.

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Another thing..   I think this spells out that Naito is in for a lengthy reign.  You give him KENTA now and then build it up towards Jay White and then probably an eventual rematch with Okada and possibly Ibushi.  

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Posted (edited)

[/spoiler]

Thought I'd post this here considering Wrestle Kingdom was the location of Jushin Thunder Liger's final matches. There will never be another Jushin Thunder Liger. Thank you, Liger.

Edited by The Natural
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Holy fuck Korakuen HATES KENTA

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Who was the last guy to get that level of heel heat in NJPW?

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Simon Inoki? Wait, no.

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So for everyone upset about KENTA: The story is that Jay White said that he was never going to let someone cut to the front of the line for a title shot after Jericho did last year, which is exactly what KENTA did. White is adamant he has no problem and there was no tease of dissension but it seems pretty clear where the story is eventually going.

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Posted (edited)

That's even weirder because it almost necessitates a face turn for White and that dude should be anything but a face. Unless the face is going to be KENTA, which I don't see happening because of his actions against Shibata and now Naito.

I also really, really don't want another "dissension in Bullet Club" angle.

Edited by Craig H

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