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Puroresu General Discussion for 2020


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Maaan, I love that Tana/Taichi, Ibushi/ZSJ bracket. Even the other half of that main bracket is nuts. SANADA vs. Shingo in the second round a likelihood unless they go upset there (which always seems to be a thing when predictions like this are made). And I'm there for SANADA/Taguchij.

Damn it, I really never thought of Despy vs. Ishii as a thing but that should be so great. I can just picture Desperado cheating his ass off to hang in there with Ishii, who will brutalize him, and also turning to his speed and mat technique. I think I'm going to enjoy that. Yes. Desperado is the unsung hero of the junior division, though I do guess we've been singing his praises... Unsung at large!

As a friend was just saying, NJPW is the one company that will best pull off empty arena because of the focus on storytelling in the ring and being so snug, generally speaking. 

26 minutes ago, EVA said:

Bring me the Hiromu/Okada semifinal and Hiromu/Ibushi final now, please.

Bro, that Hiromu/Ishii quarter final, though! I need it! GIVE!

Edited by Oyaji
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On 6/8/2020 at 2:11 AM, Oyaji said:

As I said, this is largely arbitrary but the difference was never whittled down to black trunks v Tanahashi hair, it was more about mentality and approach to matches. Even Tiger Mask seemed like an ornery bastard on the best of days and wrestled a flashy yet aggressive style. Compare that to high flyers of today who are often times more gymnasts performing thrilling exhibitions of athleticism rather than trying to hurt their opponent and I think you get more to Suzuki's original point. Showa era wrestlers, according to his argument that I'm sure I'm butchering, saw wrestling as a job, largely did not grow up as fans, and wrestled with anger and violence. Compare that to wrestlers from the Heisei era, particularly with wrestlers who were trained well after the transition period of the early '90s, and almost all of them grew up wrestling fans (Nakamura speaks in his book to so many of the amateur wrestlers in high school and college being pro wrestling fans and it being a natural course to go from amateur to pro) and work a style more built around dramatic stories building to finisher dances instead of a simulated fight. 

There are holes in that thesis, of course, but as a general look at the zeitgeist of wrestling in Japan, I think it works. Again, look at Kensuke Sasaki and compare him to Tenzan and Kojima. It's not just the garish costumes, it's the goofy mannerisms and character work. Kojima is a lovable bread dad now but his nickname is Cozy (yes, I understand "Koji" -> "Cozy"). There is nothing cozy about Kensuke Sasaki except his flowing mullet I imagine would've been cozy. The Mongolian chop vs. an actual chop.

I think the general distinctions between Showa wrestling and Heisei wrestling are true, but only if you view Showa wrestling as being bloody and violent. Showa wrestling had a lot of bloody brawls, but it also had long NWA style title matches, faux Inoki MMA matches, early juniors wrestling, serious women's matches, the beginning of shoot style, and the move towards dramatic stories built around finisher dances in All Japan Pro-Wrestling. There were key All Japan matches in the Showa era that provided the blueprint for most of the 90s classics. There is a working class, blue collar feel to Showa wrestling compared to the modern style, though I do find it ironic that Tsuruta copped flak in the 80s for referring to pro-wrestling as just a job. 

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Apropos of nothing, but I look forward to travel restrictions easing so AJPW can send Dan Tamura on a “learning excursion” then have him come back ten months later juiced to the gills.

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Kaz Hayashi could sign the rest of the W-1 talent that are not showing up anywhere. Maybe Cima and his gang could work there as well.

If they're really gonna make a new fed, they better do something different instead.

Probably will be even smaller than Wrestle-1.

Edited by D.Z
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Not sure what to expect with this combination of Kaz and Lidet and etc. So if they want to be profitable or at least break even in this day and age without very big backers, they should start small. So even less dates than the defunct W-1 and smaller contracted roster of around 16 or less and no Gaora tv. If they try to sign many names who demand higher pay of old and no pay cuts, that isn't very good.
 
Still might end up as a zombie promotion. And spending more than they make.

 

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I wonder why Hayashi did not end up in NOAH/DDT, but I wish his new group well. There aren't really any big names left from the Wrestle-1 closure that haven't already been snapped up. I expected guys like Koji Doi and Ganseki Tanaka to wander around the indy circuit but it seems they might have a place to land after all, so that's nice.

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Well, that is an interesting braintrust, whatever happens. Potentially, they could be to shoot style what DDT is to comedy, and BJW is to deathmatch wrestling, mixing a more stylized variant with relatively conventional pro wrestling. Or they could go all the way with their niche. Either way, at least it's an identity. Wrestle-1 also always did produce good youtube content, which made them very easy to legally follow. They should bring along whomever was behind that work. 

It's also vaguely relevant now, so I'll post this, which rules.

 

Edited by Beech27
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Upcoming NOAH show has Kaz Hayashi and Kendo Kashin (via purolove):

NOAH "NOAH IN THE SPOTLIGHT DAY 2", 11.06.2020 (Wrestle Universe) 
NOAH Special Arena 
ohne Fans 

1. Black Spider VII & SUSHI vs. Haoh & Nioh 
2. Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Kendo Kashin, Kaz Hayashi & NOSAWA Rongai 
3. Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa, HAYATA & Kinya Okada vs. Kaito Kiyomiya, Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & YO-HEY

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Wouldn't mind some kinda hybrid similar to Nakamura vs Sakuraba or rather Akiyama vs Funaki. Shooty with wrestling rules.

They should hire Sekine and Hideki Suzuki.

Anyway if true it might restore the strength axis of pro wrestling in Japan that's missing.



 

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One possibility that comes to mind, seeing Hayashi on a NOAH card: Kenoh seemed to be building a feud with Tamura before Lidet sold NOAH. So, there's a pretty easy invasion angle to write, considering their sniping at one another, and Kenoh's open disdain for his former corporate bosses. 

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13 hours ago, bleloch said:

That Kiyoshi Tamura clip is magnificent. What a pop! I love Tamura's deep bowing. He always came across (and still does in his YouTube videos these days) as a very humble guy.

That has to make some Top 10 pops lists.

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This is maybe a bit pointless to go over, but there still isn't much current news to discuss.

Of course, people are jumping on the fact that Dave's source here almost certainly is Omega. But I'm really less interested in that, if only because people fighting about Kenny and Dave on twitter is tiresome.

I think the second post is interesting, if not unexpected. Maybe Gedo should say "25 minutes, rainmaker" a little more often, but I digress. Regarding the first post, I admit my first reaction was that that seems unlikely, if only because Okada's such a big deal. But we've discussed at length that Okada basically has his template, and lets the other guy work around it. He's the standard, the constant with which they must contest, however they can. That's the story in almost all of his matches, so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising if the process matches the presentation. 

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I'm more inclined to call bullshit because Kenny hasn't had a match close to that good before or since.  

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.  Okada has a magch template that can make almost anyone look like a star and Kenny just worked his stuff into it and it all clicked.

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Okada only has the Tanahashi series and Shibata match that come close. That tag match at revolution was an all time classic and Kenny's had several fantastic singles and tag matches since then not to mention stuff like the '16 G1 Final and the Ishii match from his last G1. I have heard that Okada lets guys call matches for him when he is stateside, including Moose, so I sincerely doubt Omega is full of shit on this one. Maybe embellishing a little. As Beech said, Okada often is adjusting to his opponent as they go about their business. This really shouldn't surprise people who watch Okada regularly and pay attention and don't have an axe to grind with Omega. He's got some signature spots and will differ it up in big matches but he's got a formula. 

Edited by Oyaji
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On 6/12/2020 at 5:50 PM, Oyaji said:

Okada only has the Tanahashi series and Shibata match that come close.

Arguing about who likes what is kinda difficult, but since we are talking about Dave I figure we could look at what other Okada matches he has rated 5 or more:

Vs Ishii in 2016 G1
Vs Sanada in 2019 NJ Cup and G1
Vs Ospreay in 2019 G1
Vs Ibushi in 2019 G1 and 2020 WK
Vs Naito in 2020 WK

Either way I agree that everyone who pays attention has probably noticed by now that Okada lets people to get their shit in and then does a rainmaker, but my problem is that Dave is phrasing that really badly. For example, saying that Omega was responsible for 60-70% would go down way better than claiming 85-90% and that "entire structural layout" came from Omega. Without providing context for what Okada does in these matches it makes it look like it basically was higher level version of Aj Styles/Ellsworth match.

On the other hand we have people saying  "Omega bad, was carried by NJPW guys" so its all kinda irrelevant.

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