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The Natural

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 8 (now with Results!)

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The tag league is funny since like half the teams already have members booked in big matches for the Dome show. Kind of limits the possibilities of who will win and challenge for the belts come Jan. 4th.

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It's not official that the winners have the title shot at the Dome. 

 

No idea who wins the tournament tho, they can have MiSu and Shelton winning and the KES splitting from Suzuki-Gun, Makabe and Homna would be a good wildcard winner, I don't expect TenKoji to go all the way with the rumors about them being hurt badly, but they're contenders for sure.

 

 

On the other hand, Gallows gives another member to the Bullet Club. I don't believe for one second that Makabe vs Fale is going to be a singles match. Gallows, Anderson and Fale vs Makabe, Homna and Liger can be fun as hell.

 

Also, would much rather have Shibata vs Suzuki than vs Goto. 

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If they're gonna continue with the gimmick of the G-1 winner carrying around and defending the title shot, then somebody should eventually lose the shot. If they're that desperate, they could have Shibata beat him for it. Although with the fan voting to decide the main event, they're prolly safe with the IWGP title playing semi-main to Swagsuke-v-Tanahashi.

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I feel like not having the primary title defended in the main event is always the kiss of death with these things. if Nakamura/Tanahashi is the main event then the IC title may as well be renamed the IWGP title and vice-versa.

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1993 (Tenryu-v-Choshu over Muta-v-Chono), 1994 (Tenryu-v-Inoki over Hash-v-Chono), & 2007 (Muto/Chono-v-Tenkoji over Tanahashi -v- Kea) had main events that went on after the IWGP Title match. 

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Meh, they should be the Main Event, otherwise what's the point of Okada beating Tanahashi for the title and Naito beating Tanahashi in the G1 finals? When it happens the crowd will care and they are good enough workers to to have an awesome match.

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Inoki/Tenryu wa a big deal and HAD to go on last, since it was 2 of the biggest names in all of Japanese Wrestling AND it was part of the Inoki retirement countdown. You think Shovel chin is going to semi-main for anyone at that point?

 

James

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I completely forgot about that weird Chono/Mutoh vs TenKoji main event. between that and having Kea in the semi-main that has to be one of the weakest Dome lineups ever.anyway, point is: putting on the IC title match after the IWGP title match would have long term negative consequences where Okada and Naito are concerned. if Okada is the true ace of the company he should be able to headline the show against any credible opponent, let alone the guy who just won their biggest annual singles tournament.If they switch the main events then it's like Summerslam 1992 if Savage and Warrior headlined over Bret vs Davey Boy, only Bret/Davey was the World title match and Savage/Warrior was the IC title match (okay, that's a barely credible analogy. what I'm saying is: the new generation should go on last, especially if they're competing for the more distinguished title.). 

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When it happens the crowd will care and they are good enough workers to to have an awesome match.

 

You haven't been watching enough to see the fans' lack of fucks to give about Naito, have you?

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anyway, point is: putting on the IC title match after the IWGP title match would have long term negative consequences where Okada and Naito are concerned.

 

I wouldn't rule out negative consequences from putting on a damp main event in a widely seen, sparsely attended dome show with your faces on the poster. It'll take a lot more than a de-maining to rock Okada's standing, they've done all they can with Naito and really it's just a blessing that they've got another in-house singles match at the top of the card strong enough to sub in for the biggest match of the year.

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When it happens the crowd will care and they are good enough workers to to have an awesome match.

 

You haven't been watching enough to see the fans' lack of fucks to give about Naito, have you?

 

 

In the main event of the Wrestle Kingdom they will care. They did care in the G1, just weren't into those NEVER title matches~!1 were Tanaka was beating the crap out of Naito. Make him a heel and they will care or just have an awesome match and they will cheer for Naito if that's the story. 

 

Also, I think that it's a situation where Tanahashi vs Nakamura means more in the semi-main event slot in a "omg it's Tanahashi and Nakamura and that's not even the Main Event D:" way, while if you put Naito vs Okada there you're telling the crowd that yeah, that match really doesn't matter.

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Full card from this morning's press conference:

 

Double Main Event II - IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (ch) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi
Double Main Event I - IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (ch) vs. Tetsuya Naito
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Prince Devitt (ch) vs. Kota Ibushi
Hirooki Goto Return Match: Hirooki Goto vs. Katsuyori Shibata
Special Single Match: Togi Makabe vs. Bad Luck Fale
Special Tag Match: Toru Yano and X vs. Minoru Suzuki and Shelton Benjamin
Special Tag Match: Daniel Gracie and Rolles Gracie vs. Yuji Nagata and Kazushi Sakuraba
NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Rob Conway (ch) vs. Satoshi Kojima
IWGP Tag Team Championship: The Killer Elite Squad of Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer (ch) vs. Bullet Club of Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title - 4 Way Match: The Young Bucks of Nick and Matt Jackson (ch) vs. TAKA Michinoku and Taichi vs. Time Splitters of Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA vs. Forever Hooligans of Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov

 

* Fale and Makabe has special rules and from what I gathered on the website, you can win by knockout or submission only.

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So does that mean the fans didn't vote Okada Vs. Naito as the main event for Wrestle Kingdom?

 

Edit: Yep...

rD9X8EK.jpg

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Other notes per Yottsume on Twitter:
- Harley Race will be in the corner of Rob Conway with his title defense against Satoshi Kojima.
- Stan Hansen will also be at the show.
- Tanahashi vs. Nakamura will main event Tokyo dome. Won clearly by 20.422 votes to 11.886

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Poor Naito. I have a feeling that Goto-Shibata #87 would have gotten more votes.

 

I probably would have voted for that...

 

EDIT: The official name for Makabe/Fale is a "King of Destroyer Match", which means you can win via KO, TKO or submission.

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Poor Naito. I have a feeling that Goto-Shibata #87 would have gotten more votes.

 

Poor Okada as well. Hopefully with the reaction to Naito and not going on last, Okada retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

 

The booking of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and getting the main event spot is an example to others on how to protect a secondary championship.

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Not really understanding the logistics of the NJPW fan base, but 32,000 votes seems like a really small amount for a promotion that is said to be growing leaps and bounds, and said to be doing outstanding iPPV business. 

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there's no way they can still be thinking about putting Naito over in that match, is there? Nakamura should drop the belt to Tanahashi so they can start finally building to Okada vs Nakamura for the main strap. Tanahashi will have a flurry of great challengers already lined up to defend the IC against; Shibata, Makabe, Devitt, Ishii, Anderson, etc etc etc...

Naito winning would make him the biggest lame duck champ in a major promotion since Rikioh went over Kobashi. 

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Naito winning would make him the biggest lame duck champ in a major promotion since Rikioh went over Kobashi. 

 

I'm not sure, I think Miz was a bigger lame duck champion than Rikio was. Argument can be made for Daniel Bryan in his World Heavyweight Championship reign too.

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Marufuji and Rikio were both expected to be the top guy when they won the title.  Not just as placeholder guys.  Rikio ended the greatest title reign that we've seen this century, you know he was intended to be the man.  The fact that Taue beat him, and was only a transitional guy to Akiyama, who himself was only transitional to Marufuji shows that they weren't prepared for the Rikio run not to work.

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