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NJPW Power Struggle - 7th Nov 2020


sevendaughters
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The Briefcase has been a Chekov's Gun for YEARS. This had to happen eventually, I'm relieved. In a perfect world there just wouldn't be a briefcase - it was defended like, twenty times in a row or something? And the overwhelming majority of those matches went on with half the heat they should have, knowing that they weren't going to swerve the 1/4 main. All this time I've been waiting for someone to win back-to-back G1s, figuring that would be the only way somebody could lose the briefcase and not look like a chump. Here you go.

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Jay White is really good, but I was invested in seeing some struggle for him before a redemption arc—of course, maybe that was never the plan. Also, Ibushi is basically the last wrestler I just cheer for to win, with no real critical lens applied. So I don’t love this. Also don’t love that it just seems messy for the sake of setting up back to back main events at WK. Obviously that has to be a consideration, but I feel like it’s an over-correction for the predictability of the briefcase. 

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5 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

Jay White is really good, but I was invested in seeing some struggle for him before a redemption arc—of course, maybe that was never the plan. Also, Ibushi is basically the last wrestler I just cheer for to win, with no real critical lens applied. So I don’t love this. Also don’t love that it just seems messy for the sake of setting up back to back main events at WK. Obviously that has to be a consideration, but I feel like it’s an over-correction for the predictability of the briefcase. 

The double dome nights have created some less than great ideas so far in my opinion.

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1 hour ago, SturmCRF said:

They still have a second Dome show to think about, surely they repeat last year and have Ibushi beat Evil to earn a title shot on the 5th? If he never wins the IWGP title I'll be very sad.

Jay is saying he wants to challenge on the 5th and take the 4th off.  We’ll see where that goes in the next month, but that’s probably going to be the booking.  Maybe they would do Naito/Ibushi on the 4th?  That would be a pretty shitty deal for the loser, though.

The finish for Jay/Ibushi was pretty slick.

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I enjoyed the first two matches of Power Struggle. ZSJ's frustration with his bootlaces was just great. Tapping out one of the Young Boys who was trying to help him? So good. Running with scissors? Wow.

Suzuki v. Takagi was fun. Some strikes looked legit dangerous. Suzuki's facials are top level. The best. Crowd was super into this.

The last four matches just didn't hold my attention. Liked parts of the second half of the show, but was tuned out for a lot of it.

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I brought up in the G1 Climax 30 thread and before then that the G1 Climax winner defending the contract introduced in 2012 had to lose it at some point, I didn't think it be here. Kota Ibushi's big enough to carry that first like when John Cena became the first to lose a cash in of the Money in the Bank briefcase. I also didn't think it be Ibushi as I expected him to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 15. I believe and still do that if Wrestle Kingdom 14 was a one night event this year, he'd have beaten Kazuchika Okada for it but it was Tetsuya Naito's time.

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7 minutes ago, Six String Orchestra said:

So what was the point of Ibushi losing then?

Agreed. Guess it was done so NJPW can say the contract was lost for the first time so it can happen to future G1 Climax winners while leaving the detail that Ibushi is still getting an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match.

Edited by The Natural
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Ugh.  I thought that’s where they were going, but that absolutely sucks.  Ibushi losing his challenge for the 2nd year in a row would suck.  Naito dropping the title on night 1 after his big win last year getting shit on, too, would suck.  Honesty, not very excited for WK, at this point.

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I feel like there was a better way to get us there then Ibushi lost but it's really not fair Bullet Club cheated this time so he is getting it anyways.

I'm not opposed to Jay winning the briefcase but there was no consequence to losing it for Ibushi so why would I be concerned in the future if the briefcase holder lost it? They just get the shot anyways!

Ibushi should get a participation trophy he has to carry until Wrestle Kingdom.

I'll reserve judgement on the cards once we see them fill out more. Honestly with how things are going with COVID-19 in the US and Europe, I want to see if they can make it to Wrestle Kingdom. 

Edited by Six String Orchestra
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This must be what Gedo had penciled in for WK15 but with the limited timeframe due to COVID I'm not a fan of how they got there. If there was more time between the G1 and WK maybe the path to the main events would have played out better. 

But either way not super excited about the shows right now, there's so few satisfying out comes.

Naito losing on Night one is a big letdown from his ascending to the top last year, but Ibushi losing his G1 shot and the title makes him look bad too (though him turning hard into the emotionless killer Ibushi from it could work for him)

Ibushi Winning the title and losing it the next night doesn't do much for him either so either Gedo is going to try to go all in with White as the man for while while mildly sacrificing Ibushi and Naito to make it happen or White is going to get more fuel for his redemption/face turn. 

I also find it interesting that this WK is going to involve the 3 fresher faces of the main event scene/top of the mountain so its going to be kind of where do they go afterwards, all three have done a lot with Tanahashi and Okada already and now they're going against each other so idk how the spring will go, guess EVIL, KENTA and SANADA will get be up for some title shots depending on who wins 

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I think Ospreay will be slotted in as a challenger to--and maybe winner of--one/both of the big heavyweight belts, at some point early next year. He and Ibushi have history, and he's been mostly kept away from Naito and White. (I'm not really stoked on this, but he has a faction now. Seems inevitable.) 

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3 hours ago, EVA said:

Ugh.  I thought that’s where they were going, but that absolutely sucks.  Ibushi losing his challenge for the 2nd year in a row would suck.  Naito dropping the title on night 1 after his big win last year getting shit on, too, would suck.  Honesty, not very excited for WK, at this point.

It's a lose, lose like you and @Sublime point out. I do feel confident that Kota Ibushi will become IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Tetsuya Naito's never had an iconic reign with it like greats in Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi.

Edited by The Natural
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