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NJPW Summer Struggle and Jingu Stadium 2020


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So next tour is Summer Struggle that is going to end with big show at Jingu Stadium 29th of August.

It looks like so far we have:

Evil vs Naito for double titles
Tanahashi/Ibushi vs Taichi/ZSJ for tag titles
Hiromu vs Ishimori for Jr. title
Shingo/Suzuki for NEVER title
4-way for KOPW 2020 title
Kawato/Kanemaru

I'll update this post as more matches get announced/teased.

We also have 8000 Road to shows, but looking at the cards of first two it looks like they are not going to have big or interesting matches. Their main purpose is probably to "let" fans see their favourite wrestlers live since they can fit only few hundred people now on these shows, so you know, 4 shows instead of 1. Another reason might be that they have a contract with Korakuen Hall that says that NJPW is going to run X amount of shows in 2020 there so they are "catching up" with what they missed during the time they weren't running shows.

Edited by Archibald
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July 31st show will have Nagata/Suzuki singles as main event. Their match at NJ Cup ruled so this should be great as well. My guess would be that winner challenges Shingo at Jingu show.

As for this new Okada thing, yeah, nobody probably saw that coming. I don't know, sure it is a good thing that they are trying to spice up things and Destruction-KoPW period was often a bit underwhelming so if in following years it is going to happen on those shows then maybe it is a good idea. Then again, I'm not a fan of gimmick matches and I can see how this could end up being really, really stupid.

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Remember, Okada was huge friends with the Bucks and yelled Scooby Doo in a match- this is going to be stupid as hell.

Okada has the soul of a DDT wrestler, and probably secretly wishes he could have been around for HUSTLE's heyday so he could give birth to Yoshi-Hashi.

 

Edited by alstein
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Seems they combined NJPW's old use of gimmick matches and NWF world beater trope and parts of the old IWGP tournament into one. 

Anyway NJPW have been changing up things recently, probably to move to a new era.

Edited by D.Z
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The tournament sounds pretty silly to me, but I realize they’re just throwing stuff at the wall, trying to make it through the pandemic, at this point, so whatever.

At least I hope this wasn’t a plan beforehand.

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6 minutes ago, EVA said:

At least I hope this wasn’t a plan beforehand.

I mean, it's possible. When EVIL won the titles, someone on here pointed out how that felt like the curtain closing on the previous era. This feels like another step in that direction

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People have been saying about Evil winning and KoPW title announcement that oh well, pandemic so NJPW has to adjust. But it all fits in rather nice and I'd think that if they were panic moves then it wouldn't fit in at all. You know, kinda like Impact completely changes each year and you see that it certainly was not what they were planning to do.

Obviously if pandemic wasn't a thing I'm 100% sure that Okada currently wouldn't be feuding against Yujiro, Nagata/Suzuki likely wouldn't have an extended feud and so on. Possibly whatever was supposed to happen (and still could happen) during Anniversary-Dominion period was compressed into NJ Cup and Dominion. But broad strokes? They fit to me too well to be random things.

Jericho recently on his podcast said that 18 months ago Gedo told him that he was going to give Evil a run with heavyweight title. Obviously Jericho might be making shit up so he now sounds like he had some inside information or maybe Gedo just lied to him. And obviously Gedo didn't plan for Covid so if he had plans then they probably were different to what actually happened.

But then, why would Evil be only non big 4 wrestler to face Jericho? Surely they could have used in that spot someone else. And there is that big win over Okada in G1. And while last year there was lots of focus on Sanada its not like Evil was doing nothing, he was in semi-mains of Dontaku and KoPW shows. So even if he wasn't the focus he was still there to remind us about himself. And he lost a lot of big matches that perfectly played into his heel turn.

So you know, maybe if White and other BC guys were around Evil wouldn't have joined Bullet Club, but had formed his own stable? I mean, it is fairly obvious that if/when rest of BC returns we are going to have another civil war that leads to some kind of a split.

Shingo/Sho was teased before pandemic and I think likely would have happened either way, only that Sho would have likely pinned Shingo during tag team match.

Kawato likely was going to return for BotSJ and had some highlights so now instead he is having a non-title feud against other juniors, this usually does not happen, but in the end is going to serve same purpose.

And same now for this gimmick tournament. Assume that Okada is not in the title picture this year, well then, creating a new thing for him to win and dominate sounds like an obvious direction when you think about it. And if it was random idea then they probably wouldn't have presented it as being yearly thing.

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I have all but given up on Sanada at this point. Last year, despite the new look and everything, it felt like Evil was going to be the one to get elevated. Also, as much as I used to like Sanada, and I still do, Evil was putting in better and more consistent work. Sanada just kinda feels like discount brand Okada. Looking back, the pieces have been in place for Evil to have this run. Whether or not that was moved up due to the pandemic is beyond me.

I also wouldn't have been completely shocked to see BC turn on White and get behind Evil instead if there wasn't a pandemic. It already felt like we were going to eventually get White going freelance or something and some of us were already pondering what White's place was when it looked like Kenta was taking more of a leadership role.

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Naito said he never meant for the two top titles to be merged and wanted to defend both at separate times. He also said he will fix this.

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Meanwhile, the True Ace is literally making calligraphy with brushes made out of Hiromu's hair. I assume this sets up a hair-vs-hair match.

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It probably won't surprise anyone, but the (as far as I can tell unsourced) rumor is that the KOPW title is very much Okada's idea. He likes goofy things, and this kinda fits with the notion that whenever he loses the title, he also loses his mind a little. Anyway it seems pretty low-risk. If it ends up going well, you can keep doing it. If it doesn't, you can never do it again, and let it fade away quietly as a COVID-era experiment. 

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Is it only from KOPW to the New Year every year or is this something to keep Kazu busy for the whole year round? 

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At least for now, they've said it's until the end of the year. Which would mean Okada--or whomever--would still be free for WK. 

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Clearing the slate at the end of every year is actually a great way of avoiding WK influencing the booking like it does the G1. In the same way it also enables its crowning to be something of note for the tail end of the calendar when they are usually treading water (sorry tag league).

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14 hours ago, Beech27 said:

It probably won't surprise anyone, but the (as far as I can tell unsourced) rumor is that the KOPW title is very much Okada's idea. He likes goofy things, and this kinda fits with the notion that whenever he loses the title, he also loses his mind a little. Anyway it seems pretty low-risk. If it ends up going well, you can keep doing it. If it doesn't, you can never do it again, and let it fade away quietly as a COVID-era experiment. 

I'm a big fan of Kazuchika Okada but I'm not sure about this one. I'll give it a go and see.

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Maybe this show/tournament should get its own thread, but I’ll put it here for now:

Not exactly stoked on this field, but it’ll be interesting to see if they really do strap the rocket to Fredericks. Winner gets Moxley for the US title at a date TBA.

Edited by Beech27
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Maybe this show/tournament should get its own thread

Announcement made it sound, at least to me, that it is long term thing and not only few shows for this tournament, so maybe one thread for all of these "NJPW tries to do American expansion in the middle of pandemic" shows?

Anyway, since we all love tournament NJPW announced another one, for NEVER trios belts that will take on next 4 Korakuens.

August 6th:
Okada/Yano/Sho vs Yujiro/Gedo/Jado
Suzuki/Desperado/Douki vs Shingo/Bushi/Sanada

August 7th:
Tanahashi/Ibushi/Wato vs ZSJ/Taichi/Kanemaru
Goto/Ishii/Yoshi vs Makabe/Honma/Taguchi

August 8th semi-finals and 9th finals.

So Suzuki pins Shingo to set up NEVER title match at Jingu? That Chaos vs BC match will probably be in the running for worst match in 2020. Is this going to be first title win for Yoshi-Hashi? On paper their team is rather strong and neither guy has any matches going into Jingu show so could get their first defence at that show as well.

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I hope everybody trolls Okada and picks TNA stips.

Okada: "Ladder match!"

Wrestler #2: "I also want a ladder match but ladders are illegal and you have to climb the wires the belt is attached to in order to retrieve it."

Wrestler #3: "I too want a ladder match but you have to hang the belt up in order to win and you first have to pin one of the other competitors in order to qualify to hang the belt and the man gets pinned will have to sit in a penalty box for like 90 seconds."

Wrestler #4: "Man, fuck a ladder match.  I want a battle royal but we all start on the floor and the last man in is eliminated then we have a regular over the top rope battle royal then the last two men have a regular one on one match."

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I would like to see NJPW redo the following gimmick matches..island deathmatch, exploding barbwire match, Konami cagematch. Please make that happen Gedo-san.

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