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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15.


The Natural
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1 hour ago, D.Z said:

Read views were up more for the show.

As in more people watched than previous years or what do you mean?

Anyway, I think that my prediction came true. Card didn't look very impressive, but it overdelivered.

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1 hour ago, Archibald said:

As in more people watched than previous years or what do you mean?

Anyway, I think that my prediction came true. Card didn't look very impressive, but it overdelivered.

For NJPW world.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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The show was very good, if a bit surreal to have the Tokyo Dome so empty and quiet (and not be an empty arena match)

Okada/Bird was one hell of a match. I legit was shocked when they said 35 minutes.

Main was very good. Nothing was bad. ElP's moonsault was a thing of beauty.

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So... knowing Gedo, and how he loves to pull the rug out from under the plucky face even after getting what they were fighting for, *and* that he's running 2 concurrent ascension at the Dome stories, clearly Jay White has to win the Double Titles tomorrow night...

 

But seeing that NJPW has a US TV Deal (of sorts), Gedo is going to tease a match that many people have wanted for a couple years now and that it didn't happen 2 years ago might've been the driving factor in another promotion's current champion jumping ship so clearly that means that Ibushi is going to retain...

 

BUT... we know there are grudges involved between NJPW and 2 NA promotions, so clearly they're going to pull the rug on the fans that are expecting it so Clearly White will win...

 

BUT... we all know that Moxley has been forbidden from being on NJPW US stuff, and he cut that promo from the NJPW Strong studio, so there must be some kind of deal, so clearly Ibushi is going to retain...

 

But that doesn't really mean anything because it could've just been some place to film the promo (even though it would've been easier for Mox to film it at home than fly to LA from Vegas) so we're overthinking and Gedo is Gedo and White will win...

 

But Gedo doesn't usually book people to lose more than 2 singles matches in a row to the same opponent, and White's won the last 2, so clearly Ibushi is retaining...

 

 

 

Fuck, I actually don't know who's winning tomorrow.

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My baseless prediction: Ibushi retains against White, is challenged for the Heavy only by an Okada who has found his main event form again; Okada wins, Ibushi gets a long run with the IC, and the belts are split again. 

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I think Ibushi is retaining. White swept him in 2020 3-0 in singles matches, the first at Wrestle Kingdom 14 Night 2.

Motn for night 1 was Ospreay-Okada but the whole show was solid.

Less interested in night 2 but hopefully it'll be good.

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There's valid arguments to be made for putting heels over in front of diminished crowds, but I can't call this one.

Kota holding the belt for a day and losing is certainly dramatic, just like his losing the briefcase was. Some might say both together would bury him, others might think it's a good setup for his winning the belt back in front of a hot crowd. But five of the last six IWGP Heavyweight Champions reigns had one or zero successful defenses. One more like that and you're calling back to the darkest days of Inoki-ism.

They say NJPW has a new US TV deal in the works. NJPW might think that Jay White as an English-speaking champion would be a good anchor for a second attempt at a US expansion - although, as it's been consistently proven, NJPW fans both at home and abroad prefer Japanese guys in their Japanese wrestling, and Ibushi is as well-known and over as any NJPW guy amongst the Reddit-and-Youtube zoom-llenial demo they should be chasing. Save Okada, of course, but Ibushi's fresh.

Of course, if you really want an English-speaking IWGP champion, maybe you should keep the belt on Ibushi. There's kind of this guy he could drop the belt to... a guy that he has a bit of chemistry with... history, too... who's in a storyline where that kind of title change would make a lot of sense... and would provide a mutually beneficial amount of hype to the entire non-WWE wrestling world... make pretty much every wrestling fan on Earth happy... please....

 

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Anyone that thinks Omega v Ibushi won’t happen again is either not paying attention or has no grip on reality. It’s not if, it’s when

Edited by matwarz
Grammatical
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48 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

 

They say NJPW has a new US TV deal in the works. NJPW might think that Jay White as an English-speaking champion would be a good anchor for a second attempt at a US expansion - although, as it's been consistently proven, NJPW fans both at home and abroad prefer Japanese guys in their Japanese wrestling,

 

It absolutely kills me that they just can't seem to grasp this basic concept. We tune in to NJPW because we want to see New Japan Pro Wrestling. It can't be that hard to figure out. 

It reminds me of WWE putting the strap on Khali before going to India. 

Just overthinking it and outsmarting themselves.

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I don't think it happens in a NJPW ring though.  I suspect it will be AEW, as kinda an age in the cage with diminished versions of both.

 

Jay is accepted as a NJPW guy at this point, he wrestles the style (with his variation), and he's been through the system.   It's not like making Mox the centerpiece.  Folks accepted Juice just fine.

 

 

Edited by alstein
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37 minutes ago, El Gran Gordi said:

It absolutely kills me that they just can't seem to grasp this basic concept. We tune in to NJPW because we want to see New Japan Pro Wrestling. It can't be that hard to figure out. 

It reminds me of WWE putting the strap on Khali before going to India. 

Just overthinking it and outsmarting themselves.

It's not like Jay White just came from off WWE TV though. He's about as homegrown a New Japan talent as say a Sanada, Ibushi, or Okada are...they just happen to be Japanese. I think in order for New Japan to work on a bigger platform than what AXS was, they're going to need at least a semblance of a heel/face dynamic. NXT has shown just putting on great wrestling matches doesn't work on TV. Their best heel and one that manages to have great matches with most of the guys on the roster is Jay White. Ospreay still comes off a guy trying to play heel. If I had to pick between White and the Great-O-Khan (or hell even EVIL), I'm not picking the latter just cause he's Japanese.

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18 minutes ago, Curt McGirt said:

You've watched those guys wrestle. They have never done anything anywhere APPROACHING that term. 

I'm thinking when they're both in their 40s and breaking down physically.   With their style it will be hard for them to keep at their current pace for too much longer.  Look how Naito is starting to slow down.

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Cool seeing the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship and the division as high as it is on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 15 behind only Ibushi/White for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and IWGP Intercontinental Championship main event. I predicted the first half of my prediction right that Ibushi would best Naito for them and I still think Ibushi will retain them vs. White. Jay White's best opponent is Kota Ibushi. Just limit the Bullet Club interference for Christ's sake.

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59 minutes ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

It's not like Jay White just came from off WWE TV though. He's about as homegrown a New Japan talent as say a Sanada, Ibushi, or Okada are...they just happen to be Japanese. I think in order for New Japan to work on a bigger platform than what AXS was, they're going to need at least a semblance of a heel/face dynamic. NXT has shown just putting on great wrestling matches doesn't work on TV. Their best heel and one that manages to have great matches with most of the guys on the roster is Jay White. Ospreay still comes off a guy trying to play heel. If I had to pick between White and the Great-O-Khan (or hell even EVIL), I'm not picking the latter just cause he's Japanese.

Jay White might be a dojo boy through-and-through but I'm not buying the fan's complete acceptance of him. And I can't speak a lick about East Asian xenophobia other than what I've been told about it, but there's grounds for concern outside of that.

Jay came out last night and cut a promo in English, and like usual, he got no reaction. He doesn't use simplified English that the crowd can pick up on. He doesn't sprinkle in the odd Japanese noun, I'm not asking him to be Kenny and grasp the syntax. He could even do more gesturing, anything to communicate WHAT HE IS SAYING to a crowd that DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IT.

You think they don't resent that? Don't forget that he's a chicanery-based heel in the world's premiere workrate promotion, that he's leading a very long-in-tooth faction, that he is *obviously* heavily favored by management. Those are commonly resented qualities in pro-wrestling. To anyone who's ever argued for Jay against an Ospreay-loving Meltzerist, imagine the person you were arguing were a Japanese NJPW diehard who regularly attends shows. I think some of this can, and will, be alleviated by an eventual face turn. But I could see a future where Jay White, who I love to pieces, would be better served working for a Western company. Hell, that could be now.

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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42 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

You think they don't resent that?

But I could see a future where Jay White, who I love to pieces, would be better served working for a Western company. Hell, that could be now.

That's what makes him a perfect heel for the American/English speaking audiences. He has something that Omega didn't (or doesn't) have in the heel charisma department which is why New Japan better use him correctly now before AEW or WWE snatches him up. He's not the Rock or anything like that, but he has a dickish sense about him translates very well. It reminds me of Guerrero and Barr in Los Gringos Locos did in the early days of AAA going against the grain of what Mexican wrestling/culture is. If it was 2020/2021, there is no way that Guerrero even has to go through ECW after Art Barr passes away and then WCW. He's in WWE as soon as his deal with Pena expires. Had Barr lived, they're likely brought in as a tag team.

New Japan is lucky he doesn't want to go to WWE right now (at least that's what Meltzer says). The worst possible thing for New Japan could right now is let go a 28 year old who has very little mileage on compared to everyone else he's wrestling. We have Tanahashi at 44 entering year 22, Ibushi at 38 in year 17, Naito also 38 in year 15, Okada's only 33 but in year 17, Takagi 38 in year 17, Goto 41 in year 18, Ishii 45 in year 25, and Suzuki being 52 in year 33. That's WCW in the mid 90s level of old fogies at the top. It's doesn't look as bad cause guys like Takagi and Ibushi still look relatively young and perform in the ring at a top level. I'm not saying put all these guys out to pasture. However, in four or five years these same guys save for like Okada and maybe Ibushi are still on top, something is incredibly wrong with how New Japan is developing new talent. Now you're asking for people to invest in new TV show that's going to cater to an American or English speaking Western audience. Just having middle aged Japanese men wrestle isn't going to do it. It worked on AXS because AXS doesn't even really track ratings. If it's something lower than AXS, then hells bells, you can do what you did there cause it's not like people are watching great numbers anyway. If it's something bigger than that, you're going to have to curate your content to fit in with that. You don't get a TV deal without expectations. The greater the TV deal, the greater the expectations. I think if you have a guy like Jay White who is young, good looking, somewhat charismatic, and can keep up with the other guys (his *** or better WON rated matches on Cagematch list is pretty good), then he should be one of your centerpieces. You don't have to necessarily have to cut out the Japanese guys to do that. 

Edited by Elsalvajeloco
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3 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

Jay White might be a dojo boy through-and-through but I'm not buying the fan's complete acceptance of him. And I can't speak a lick about East Asian xenophobia other than what I've been told about it, but there's grounds for concern outside of that.

Jay came out last night and cut a promo in English, and like usual, he got no reaction. He doesn't use simplified English that the crowd can pick up on. He doesn't sprinkle in the odd Japanese noun, I'm not asking him to be Kenny and grasp the syntax. He could even do more gesturing, anything to communicate WHAT HE IS SAYING to a crowd that DOESN'T UNDERSTAND IT.

You think they don't resent that? Don't forget that he's a chicanery-based heel in the world's premiere workrate promotion, that he's leading a very long-in-tooth faction, that he is *obviously* heavily favored by management. Those are commonly resented qualities in pro-wrestling. To anyone who's ever argued for Jay against an Ospreay-loving Meltzerist, imagine the person you were arguing were a Japanese NJPW diehard who regularly attends shows. I think some of this can, and will, be alleviated by an eventual face turn. But I could see a future where Jay White, who I love to pieces, would be better served working for a Western company. Hell, that could be now.

 

I agree with the last part of this.  I think Jay would be better off in WWE or AEW.  He'd be money in both places.  If I was Tony Khan, I'd offer Jay Okada money to jump.

That said, the fans know Jay is a heel, they know like Kenny that he is doing English only to rile them up  (he's shown he can speak Japanese some at least).  Also Jay can work, and he's shown it.

 

 

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6 hours ago, El Gran Gordi said:

It reminds me of WWE putting the strap on Khali before going to India. 

Just overthinking it and outsmarting themselves.

If I recall correctly the Great Khali actually was/is popular in India so this comparison doesn't quite work. A better one might be Jinder Mahal.

6 hours ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

It's not like Jay White just came from off WWE TV though. He's about as homegrown a New Japan talent as say a Sanada, Ibushi, or Okada are...they just happen to be Japanese. 

Sanada and Ibushi aren't homegrown at all. Okada & White actually went through the dojo process like Benoit.

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