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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 2022: 1/4, 1/5 and 1/8


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I don't think I realized how savvy the booking is for the NJPW/NOAH card. A lot of the matches have a ton of context. Tanahashi & Mutoh, inheritors of the Dragon System, haven't faced off in 13 years when Tana won at the Tokyo Dome, Sugiura leading his own army against Suzuki after being a Suzuki-gun for a spell, the lucharesu guys being pared up, Zack taking on his old partner Ratboy & old NOAH rivals Marufuji and Kanemaru locking horns in the same match, hell, even Seiya Sanada and Manabu Soya have a story to tell.

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Enjoyed tonight a lot, I think it was a well done show that has opened opportunities for some really cool stuff down the line if both groups want to continue working together.

Yano/Fujita was a super fun young lions match, probably the highlight before the big matches. Technical difficulties cut most of the first match, rest of undercard were stock-standard multi-man tags. SHO/Kotoge was standard House of Torture SHO...take that for what it's worth.

LIJ/Kongo was my favourite match of the night, when the announcer made the 25 minute call I couldn't believe it had gone that fast. I really hope there's more LIJ/Kongo down the line, so much potential fun stuff there.

Main event was good too considering how banged up Tanahashi and Okada are after the Dome shows, and Mutoh's limitations. Kiyomiya got the strong-in-defeat rub. Worth checking out, I enjoyed it.  I don't feel the show was worth the AUD $50 I paid, but definitely a fun show maybe worth waiting for NJPW World to upload, atleast you'd get theme music!

 

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I got my timings wrong for today's show. What matches are the must sees? The main event is the one I'm most interested in even though Okada/Tanahashi are beaten up while Mutoh's knackered through age/injuries. Also LIJ's.

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Funny how the main title is smaller than the secondary title. The former is too smaller and the latter too big.

Never thought I'd see Kazuchika Okada and Keiji Muto go at it. First time, right?

 

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I think Kevin and Chris over the 3 nights did a really good job all things considered (being remote), I'm really glad they kept Chris around instead of forcing him back into just translating. That being said, he can ramble on and isn't perfect but I think he does a great job.

NOAH twitter on the other hand, not so kind on Mr Charlton's performance last night. Some of it is borderline toxic, makes me remember why I stopped following NOAH in the first place. 

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Caught some of the NOAH/NJPW show and thought what I saw was entirely skippable.

Togo is an all-time great but they have found a way to make him a bottom-tier cheating heel. Yeesh.

I've been hot and cold on Kiyomiya on the occasions I've watched him but he was the only one in the main event who wasn't mailing it in. Okada pinning him is the least interesting and worst decision, so of course that's what happened. God forbid either side might want to set up an Okada vs Kiyomiya title match and try to make some actual money.

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Finally watching the NJPW/NOAH jawn and this is the most essential night of the three, if not the best. ZSJ/Kanemaru vs. Ogawa/Marufuji in particular is the best Dream Match I Didn't Know I Wanted that I've seen in a long, long time, and I want to give the MVP of the match to Chris Charleton on commentary. Putting over the deeply underrated legacy of Kanemaru and Ogawa at all junctures, really getting the point across with the crazy histories that came together in this one, he mirrored my thoughts often and dropped some meaty stats.

The (living) person I wind up thinking the most about during this whole show is Jushin Liger. This is the first major NJPW/NOAH interaction since his retirement and I miss his completely fuckin' absolute disdain for all Unworthy NOAH Punk Asses. If he feels like it he could just wrestle as Yamada and murder a few NOAH junior midcarders. I know you lurk these boards, Liger. Think about it.

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