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NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 15.


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Dave throwing out snowflakes like it's Stiiiiinnnngggg.

Five for Ibushi/Naito and Shingo/Cobb, five and a quarter for Ibushi/White and Okada/Billy Bird. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Dave throwing out snowflakes like it's Stiiiiinnnngggg.

Five for Ibushi/Naito and Shingo/Cobb, five and a quarter for Ibushi/White and Okada/Billy Bird. 

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Cheers, @Brian Fowler.

I'd give ***** to Shingo/Cobb and Ibushi/White though I still think their best match was in the final of G1 Climax 29. Need to watch Naito/Ibushi back to see if it was ***** or not.

Edited by The Natural
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I’m not good a nailing down a star rating or anything, but I really loved Osprey/Okada and Cobb/Shingo. I liked Ibushi/Naito a lot. I’m pretty lukewarm on Okada and I outright dislike Osprey, so they had to do a lot to win me over and they did. 
 

Going to try to get to Ibushi/White today!

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I think the best matches were Shingo vs Cobb, Okada vs Osprey, Ibushi vs White, and Hiromu vs Ishimori. Out of all of those, Shingo vs Cobb and Ibushi vs White were the absolute best and I probably give the edge to the big dudes slappin' meat, but after White's promo, I almost want to say it's Ibushi vs White. Plus, Ibushi vs White had more pure hatred in it, whereas Ibushi vs Naito was a really good match where thankfully neither guy killed himself in.

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I was thinking that being in five star matches on consecutive days has to be a first, but thanks to rating escalation over recent years this is by my count the fourth time and the second for Ibushi.

Speaking of escalation, how's this for a five star rating scoreboard:

AEW - 6

The 2000s - 7

Ospreay - 13

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4 minutes ago, Salads said:

I was thinking that being in five star matches on consecutive days has to be a first, but thanks to rating escalation over recent years this is by my count the fourth time and the second for Ibushi.

Speaking of escalation, how's this for a five star rating scoreboard:

AEW - 6

The 2000s - 7

Ospreay - 13

Yeah, he's way more liberal with the stars now. I wonder if part of it came from going to so much SoCal wrestling and not really giving as much of a shit.

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11 minutes ago, Salads said:

I was thinking that being in five star matches on consecutive days has to be a first, but thanks to rating escalation over recent years this is by my count the fourth time and the second for Ibushi.

Speaking of escalation, how's this for a five star rating scoreboard:

AEW - 6

The 2000s - 7

Ospreay - 13

Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega are closing in on Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa for ***** and + matches. Might have surpassed them. The Young Bucks won't be that far behind either.

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1 hour ago, Craig H said:

Yeah, he's way more liberal with the stars now. I wonder if part of it came from going to so much SoCal wrestling and not really giving as much of a shit.

I used to be irritated with how revered his ratings were until he broke through the five star barrier making it clear he agreed. I forgot all about him handing out a seven, which remains tremendous.

1 hour ago, The Natural said:

Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega are closing in on Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa for ***** and + matches. Might have surpassed them. The Young Bucks won't be that far behind either.

Surprisingly I only count 4 for the Bucks. There's a list on wikipedia with a handy league table of the top ***** earners at the bottom. Appropriately it goes up to 11.

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6 hours ago, Craig H said:

Yeah, he's way more liberal with the stars now. I wonder if part of it came from going to so much SoCal wrestling and not really giving as much of a shit.

Not really. We are living through a golden period of great workers and superior Athletes. The first Okada v Omega has basically become the template for today’s ‘great’ match. Storytelling, callbacks, length, that match will go down as one of the most important in history for multiple reasons. You can kinda take that as a measuring stick now working up to the 70 min forth match. It’s all subjective of course, apples and oranges.

Dave’s just as critical as always, the standard is just that much higher. I’m sure if he went back he would probably push several matches higher up the scale but history is just that. 

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He's actually been working on a ten-star scale this whole time. He has very high standards and his grading is really strict. He only considers a tiny handful of matches in the entire history of pro wrestling to have been even a little above average. 

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17 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Dave throwing out snowflakes like it's Stiiiiinnnngggg.

Five for Ibushi/Naito and Shingo/Cobb, five and a quarter for Ibushi/White and Okada/Billy Bird. 

I thought Ibushi vs. Naito was good but not what I would call a five star classic. I thought Ibushi/White was the superior match. To me five stars means as close to perfection as possible, if not right there at perfect. But whatever, everyone has their own view on things.

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I think that I remember when 1* was average and 2* was good in his ratings. Now it seems like average gets 3* and it goes up from there. 

Beer reviews are also on the zero to five scale. There are so many beer reviews where the description is of a bad beer yet the rating is like a 3.2.

The purpose of modern wrestling is to keep you from changing the channel when there is a commercial break. I grew up when the purpose of TV was to get you to buy a ticket to the real wrestling card at your local venue. I still have a hard time with TV drawing more fans than regular house shows. TV is full of promos, skits, and bullshit. Whatever happened to a card with an opening match through a main event? That's why I watch more wrestling from Mexico and Japan.

Gordi-san, If I ever see you again we must drink some sake together. I don't remember if I had to catch the Shinkansen or if I went to meet my Osaka friends after we were at Osaka Pro, but we didn't go drinking. I've lost contact with my Osaka friends, half of them were my senpai and might be dead by now.

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Overall, very good two nights of Wrestle Kingdom, and props to Hiromu and especially Ibushi for those two efforts on back-to-back nights. Really wish that Naito had a better title run, but after the Kenta program, it was mostly uncontrollable factors that hindered him (first and foremost the pandemic, and second being victim of an Evil program/turn that just failed to connect). Still, it feels like the right time for an Ibushi run, and this is a welcome, fresh run in main events. Believe that The Empire should not have gone 0 for 3 through the two nights, especially with Bullet Club feeling mega-stale and Suzuki-Gun becoming a bit more of a tweener stable. Their statement at Dash will connect more in Japan then it would have in a similar situation in America (and the only thing later that night that would have overwhelmed that attack on Tenzan is the Jay White story), but they need to heat up fast to establish another strong heel group. Not nearly as down as O-Khan as some people here, but concede that he fits better as a tag/trios guy (or heater in Ospreay singles matches) at this point, and needs some polish before another big singles match (both the Okada and Tana singles matches did little for me, and it's hard to have anything short of really good matches against those two guys, even modern day Tana). On the whole, the wrestling is still really good and just enough fresh stuff to keep me fairly involved in the product, but still feel like there needs to be a bigger shake-up then just finally putting Ibushi over in the biggest matches and a new group that just lost three big matches at the biggest event of the year. 

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  • 1 month later...

I wrote this very detailed review of Night 1 then I lost it all and im not gonna retype it but I really dug night one alot. Ibushi vs Naito was really good.

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  • 1 month later...

Lets try this again, slowly watching New Japan 2021

Night 2:

There's no Riki Choshu in a tuxedo holding a baby or a Japanese Don King to start off Night 2. We open with a Video Package with that catchy ass song then we get straight into the show

1.  King of Pro Wrestling Trophy Championship Match - Bushi vs Chase Owens vs Bad Luck Fale vs Yano (c?): I'm not too sure what the King of Pro Wrestling Trophy is really suppose to be. It's a tad confusing, who ever starts the year off with the Championship is Champ for the previous year, who ever ends the year as Champ was Champ for the year that had just been and everyone who holds the title during the year are all Provisional Champions or something like that. Yano came out with the Championship or Trophy or what the fuck but I'm considering him the defending Champion if you ask me he's been Champion since he pinned Okada in the four way back at the stadium show in August. Going off the line up here I get 2000 Hardcore Championship vibes from this in the sense that it's centered around an underdog lower card comedy character in Yano who constantly outwits the doofus lower card heels (I'm referring to Owens and Fale) and gets away with his Trophy in tact. So what I'm saying is Yano is Crash Holly and Bullet Club Black n White are The Mean Street Posse. and Bushi is here too. The match? Oh the match, It was cool. Owens and Fale use the numbers game to dominate most the match. Fale whipped Yano into the guardrail leading to Bushi getting double teamed for a good bit then Yano showed back up and Bushi was left in a heap on the outside as Yano got beat up by Brain Adams and Vincent. Bushi returns hits outside dives on the to Brain Adams and Vincent. Yano and Bushi mix it up for a second. Then some more shit happens. Yano ends up on the outside. Owens hits a bridging suplex on Bushi almost gets the three but Fale kicks his leg of from him breaking up the pin. Owens and Fale get in each others faces as ego's have prevented them from letting the other win, the ref wants one of them to pin Bushi they lift the ref off the ground for a double choke slam but Yano shows up and double low blows from behind then he pins Bushi to retain the King of Pro Wrestling Trophy. I like the finish as Yano steals another victory. I like Yano's gimmick of being an eccentric opportunist.  

2. IWGP JR Heavyweight Tag Team Championship - El Desperado and Kanemura (c) vs Taguchi and Master Wato w/Tenzan: Desperado and Kanemura won a tournament final on September 11th, to become the champions. Wato and Taguchi are a team now, Taguchi has taken a shine to Da Blue Guy and so has Tenzan. Kanemura carries with with a bottle of brown liquid that could very well be whiskey and could very well be used during the course of action. So right as the bell rang Wato does a running dropkick to Desperado just as he's about to connect they cut to a wide shot of the ring and then zoom back in. a very peculiar choice if you ask me. I really enjoy that Suzuki-gun are dastardly heels that are not afraid to break the rules to get what they want. The match breaks down early on, as Taguchi is running the ropes encouraging Despardo to join him while Desperado looks at him like "what the fuck" then Kanemura pulls Guchi outside the ring ties him up into the guardrail and goes to work on the knee. On the other side of the ring Des tosses Wato into Tenzon, who inadvertently spears his mentor. Kanemura does this move where he tosses Guchi up in the air and he lands knee first onto a chair while the ref ins't looking. after that a lot of time is spent working over The Funky Warriors knee. The babyface team held their own and we got a very competitive fast paced match. not really spotfesty as it was just full throttle which i think is the true essence of a junior match. The whiskey was not used during the match, so whats the point of the whiskey? Desperado hits a underhook spinning facebuster on Tacughi for the 3. Suzuki-gun retains. 

3. NEVER OpenWeight Championship - Shingo Takagi (c) vs Jeff Cobb: Cobb has joined Ospreay's group so he has gone from smiling  just happy to be here foreigner to a mean and nasty foreigner. Shingo took his time getting to the ring cuz Shingo doesn't move for anybody. This is exactly what you would expect from these two. 20 minutes of beating the hell out of each other. These a big guys just tossing each other around. It was fun. I will say that I am all for working over a body part but the New Japan mid card sure seems to prefer working the knee over. It's the body part Shingo focused on but also the body part of Taguchi's that his opponent's focused on the match before. New Japan most not have any agents. Maybe they should. Two highlights of the match that stand out to me are; Cobb hitting Shingo with a huge belly to back suplex on the floor after loosing him up with a couple whips into the guardrail and Cobb had Shingo up in the Outsiders edge on the apron, Shingo got to his feet  knocked Cobb off the apron to the outside then Shingo hit a cannon ball senton over the top rope crash landing onto Cobb on the outside. In probably my favorite spot cuz it's probably the most Japanese pro wrestling spot of the match for me possibly the night I don't know yet but Shingo came of the ropes hit Cobb with a lariat so powerful that Shingo himself went through the middle ropes and landed on the floor and almost didn't make the count of 20, Strong Style the lariat had so much momentum Shingo couldn't stop and was almost a victim of collateral damage. I dug that spot. I also liked that as the ref is making the count the camera cuts to a shot of the NEVER Championship. Shingo made the count  he rolled into the ring and Cobb hit him with a piledriver all  that effort to take the big man down and Shingo still eats a piledriver. Shingo hit a devastating lariat followed by a Flacon Arrow for the 3. Shingo retains.

4. Evil w/Dick Togo vs Sanada: Every other match on Night Two was for some sort of championship this match wasn't. It was about betrayal, redemption and restoring sanctity to the LIJ name. Sanada took the most exception to Evil betraying LIJ dare I say more so than Naito who was probably more concerned with losing his championships more than anything else. Sanada got his big win. So there's a payoff here. This had everything you would have wanted; a paradise lock, Evils baseball swing with the chair, a ref bump, a chair shot, Sanada getting choked with the cable and Dick Togo going through a table. A boy did he go through that table. Imagine that Batista stutter step bump when Mark Henry shoved him on SmackDown that one time. Evil set that table up early on in the match and they teased it once or twice, the played the long con with that table and I appreciate them for it. Togo basically elbow dropped that table he wanted to make sure it broke. I liked the match I don't have anything against the match but I am really having a hard time getting use to Sanada's Spaceman Cold Skull (I originally typed Cold Stone but I knew he wasn't sponsored by the Creamery) get up. I'm not digging the silver. I liekd the pirate blue and yellow get up, the bleach blonde look especially that Silver hair I don't know Okada has silver hair, gotta differentiate yourself there pal. Sanada hits his mid air cutter followed by a moonsault for the 3. Sanada wins.

5. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship - "Bone Solider" Taiji Ishimori (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi: I'll give them this, Taiji didn't target the knee he went after Hiromu's shoulder and neck two prior problem areas for Hiromu. Also yes the flipped around at the beginning but a good portion of this match was on the mat rolling around with Taiji working over the afore mentioned body parts with Hiromu countering with a fast paced offense. An enjoyable watch. Taiji wasn't just focused on the his mat work he also landed a slew of aggressive strikes, he wasn't giving up his championship without a fight and a fight he brought. The spinning head scissors converted into the cross face with the arm bent back was an awesome move. Had me like Whoa! (RIP Black Rob). Hiromu hit a firearms carry into an exposed ring post at i believe the 22 minute mark which I found pretty neat. This wasn't a highflying match I expected it was a change of pace and I think I enjoyed it more because of that. Hiromu hit his Time Bomb (?) finisher on Taiji for the 3. Hiromu Takahashi is your new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! Good on Hiromu for finally ascending back to the top of the Junior Division after the string of bad luck he endured over the last few years. However brief as, all was right again on this night. 

6. IWGP Intercontinental  & Heavyweight  Double Championship - Kota Ibushi (c) vs Jay White w/Gedo: I'm struggling to find what to write about this match. With 48 minutes they took their time telling the story and that isn't a bad thing. Jay White has really grown into an obnoxious cowardly heel, Ibushi has the fiery babyface down pat and they worked well together. Tremendous chemistry if you ask me. Ibushi hit this piledriver out of a sunset flip that I thought was a cool move. Jay White was ever the opportunist, running from Ibushi, distractiing the ref but then when the time was right he'd take over and start being the overly aggressive heel with those sling shot whips between the guardrail and the apron. I took alot for Ibushi to finally put White away. I hope my lack of words on the match doesn't insinuate my lack of enjoyment I just don't know what else to say other than what i said. Sometimes less is more. Ibushi hit White with a V TRIGGER FOR THE 3. Kota Ibushi retains the Double Championship. I may not like Spaceman Sanada but I think I can get use to Sharp Dressed Sanada, contradictory to the LIJ montra maybe he isn't too long for the stable. I'm looking forward to seeing Ibushi vs Sanada.

Edited by Web Conn
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On 2/24/2021 at 2:37 AM, Web Conn said:

I wrote this very detailed review of Night 1 then I lost it all and im not gonna retype it but I really dug night one alot. Ibushi vs Naito was really good.

Sorry to hear that. Been there and it sucks. Cheers for Night 2 review.

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