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NJPW G1 Climax 31.


The Natural
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So I assume this makes Night 1 as Ospreay vs Takagi and Okada vs. Ibushi (assuming he's healthy by then), with the winners facing each other on the 5th?

 

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2 hours ago, Archibald said:

How exactly you'd know that by following only results?

 

I did check out a few matches but sorry let me re-phrase it, all matches would be more appealing if they were 5 minutes shorter. NJPW is painfully hamstrung to the idea that length = quality and matches only become exciting after 15 or 20 minutes. No reason why a match between 2 low-ranked schlubs who aren't contenders, fan favourites or particularly good workers should be going more than 10 minutes. Just my two cents though I'm not their core audience.

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1 hour ago, Hagan said:

 

The depleted roster and not being able to bring over guys is definitely an issue but it makes me wonder if a lot of that has hidden these warts in bookings over the years. Like, would the EVIL stuff be more palatable if it was followed by hot Moxley matches or Ospreay doing stuff and the crowd going bananas?

I haven't watched too much of the G1 so far this year, but yeah...I think everything else being normal would've mitigated all of this a bit. Each person will have a different perspective, but to me a big part of the lure of prime NJPW was that there was something for everyone, and they could cover quite a few pro wrestling bases across the span of a single show or tour.

Don't like EVIL? Have no fear, Toru Yano will raise everyone's spirits in the next match. Not a Yano fan either (or you've misplaced your sense of humor)? OK, because Hiromu Takahashi and Dragon Lee are about to blow the doors off the venue in the match after that. NJPW had problems for a while with roster stratification (how long El Desperado had to wait to move up might be a good example), and factions feeling stale, but it felt minor when compared against the bell-to-bell action and pace of their shows.

Now, they really feel between a rock and a hard place. I have a hard time placing all the blame on the promotion or booker(s). With COVID restrictions in Japan, they're limited in who they can bring in (or who feels it worth the time and money to come in thanks to those restrictions and quarantining), how many tickets they can sell, how many matches they can put on, and when they have to clear out of the venue by. Since their shows traditionally have been built like old or small fight cards - just match after match with no promos, skits, a ton of video packages, whatever - it seems like the only solution they could offer was artificially inflating match times versus radically changing everything they do. I'm sure they also had to weigh how to give the fans that showed up their money's worth. Five 10-minute matches before you go home probably isn't going to do that (especially in the G1, but this has been a problem for the last year and a half), but they've still struggled.

I unfortunately have to agree with those whose interest in NJPW has waned, though I wish it wasn't so. Even depleted, they still have one of the best pro-wrestling rosters of all time, their wrestlers still generate interest when they turn up in places like AEW, and absolutely none of what has gone wrong feels like the fault of the wrestlers themselves.

Edited by Teflon Turtle
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Lets see Ibushi's Shoulder, Naito's knees x2 (G1 and beginning of year), Ospreays neck, Hiromu's pec, Okada's back (but he didn't miss time really), was Yoh's injury this year I don't remember, plue the COVID cases and Ibushi getting pneumonia. 

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Yeah, anybody saying NJPW is "snakebitten" forgets that they built their house on a sign that says "CAUTION: SNAKES". I don't want to equate this to NOAH because 1) that's morbid 2) NOAH didn't have heavyweight prospects like Khan/Shooter/Tsuji/Fredericks, but this isn't bad luck so much as it's the inherent flaws of NJPW's peak years coming home to roost.

Kota took so long to put himself in a contractual place to get a big push, and now that he's there we expect more of the same instead of a forty year-old with a million miles on him. What did we say about his matches with Naito? What did we say about every great Hiromu, Ospreay and Shibata match? And where are we now? Those five or six Glory Years G1 didn't do anybody's bodies any favors and only exacerbated the issue of Gedo's run-it-back booking. The fact that Shibata is the consolation prize in all this is nonsense - I will not believe he's back until I see it, and it still might be a disastrously stupid idea to attempt it. 

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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8 hours ago, Raziel said:

Yeah, I can't imagine upping the match times to fill out the cards instead of just running shorter shows didn't help.

All their shows are shorter.

But yes, years of high end matches were bound to take their toil, unfortunate that it happened for multiple guys in the same year.

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They announced today with Okada's post-G1 press conference future shows are going to have more matches, so maybe more tags and shorter matches times outside of mains.

 

Also Okada is asking for the old belt  instead of a contract.  If you want fans to root for Okada, that's one way to do it.  The v4 belt is the biggest babyface in NJPW right now, even more than Tana.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

'Okada: So there are those political lines there. And that’s when the words struck me, of whether you’re in the ‘IWGP Party’ or the ‘G1 Party’.

–So to make things clear, you want it to be less of a case of the G1 winner being a challenger, and more that the G1 winner is the G1 Champion, and that Wrestle Kingdom is a Champion versus Champion match.'

G1 Party 4 Life

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  • 4 weeks later...

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