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NJPW The New Beginning 2021.


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Quick glance at the spoilers:

Spoiler

Hiromu Tanahashi vs. SHO is a must see and it's now the longest IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match at 35:38 and the IWGP Tag Team Championship match was way too long with overbooked Bullet Club shenanigans.

 

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I agree with all of the above. GoD-DT was a mess. I'm guessing there is another match coming after that.

Bushi-Wato was about what anyone would expect. It was nice to see aj rs singles match that isn't for the title. 

Uemura-Suzuki is such a fun little rivalry. 

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Besides the mess that was the tag title match, I really enjoyed the show. Surely a case can be made for Hiromu being top 5-10 wrestlers in the world at the moment.

 

Spoiler

Got a bad feeling he'll drop to ELP though. I was kind of hoping they'd maybe have him go for the Minoru Tanaka/Heat defence record. I'm guessing it'll be him vs ELP night 2 and the Jr Tag Titles on night 1 of Castle Attack.

 

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Kota Ibushi vs. SANADA spoilers:

Spoiler

The most interesting development came after the match with Tetsuya Naito issuing a challenge for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship only. Kota Ibushi acceptsFirst time that's happened since the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and IC were brought together at Wrestle Kingdom 14 when Naito became the first man to do so. Naito wins and the secondary belt becomes separate again? Ibushi retains making it unified as one as Ibushi has gone on record as saying? Doesn't it look bad that Naito has lowered his standards preferring to go for a belt he once dismissed/mistreated instead of the world title?

 

Edited by The Natural
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I see the challenge as more 

Spoiler

Naito trying to save the belt he grew to love and respect after hating it from being absorbed and it's legacy lost, than it be him settling for less.

 

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The six man tag today was excellent. The last few six man openweight title matches have been must see.

Spoiler

Loved the little cheer the crowd let out for Yoshi-Hashi pinning Tanga Loa. Yoshi Hashi winning some actual IWGP gold? I say yes. 

 

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I don't think it touched their 2018 G1 match, but to each their own.

No spoilers on the result here, but I'm torn. Ibushi/SANADA was good enough but a notch below what I expect (or used to expect) out of IWGP Heavyweight Championship matches. It put SANADA's ceiling as a worker into even sharper focus and amplified the fact that EVIL & SANADA's failure to ascend to Main Event Wrestling Gods has truly hurt NJPW's standing as the premier promotion for great matches. It sucks, the bar is ridiculously high, following Tanahashi/Nakamura/Okada/Styles/Naito/Kenny has to be the most daunting task in current wrestling. Ibushi and White can do it, EVIL and SANADA can't, that's the world we live in.

Hot take: NJPW screwed up big time by turning EVIL instead of SANADA. Heel SANADA gives him a chance at establishing more personality and makes more sense in an international stable, babyface EVIL doesn't fall into the trap of slow-paced BC shenanigans and gets to be a "dark hero" rather than be put in the predictable "I can't believe my friend named EVIL turned on me" situation.

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

Hot take: NJPW screwed up big time by turning EVIL instead of SANADA. Heel SANADA gives him a chance at establishing more personality and makes more sense in an international stable, babyface EVIL doesn't fall into the trap of slow-paced BC shenanigans and gets to be a "dark hero" rather than be put in the predictable "I can't believe my friend named EVIL turned on me" situation.

I agree. I think even Dick Togo's interference would work better with Sanada. Sanada using Bullet Club to beat Okada in the Finals of the NJ Cup would have made sense after their feud in 2019. I can even see Sanada choking out Hiromu with Skull End for massive heat. 

As it stands, I don't know where either go from here. EVIL seems lost, this Okada feud is filler. Sanada could challenge for the IC title if Naito wins it. Shingo seems more likely to go after the IWGP title.

Edited by Spontaneous
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2 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

...amplified the fact that EVIL & SANADA's failure to ascend to Main Event Wrestling Gods has truly hurt NJPW's standing as the premier promotion for great matches. It sucks, the bar is ridiculously high, following Tanahashi/Nakamura/Okada/Styles/Naito/Kenny has to be the most daunting task in current wrestling.

While I maybe don't 100% agree with the first part, the second part is dead on and everything is well worth considering. 

I don't know how I feel about the idea that NJPW's standing hinges on EVIL and SANADA alone. SANADA didn't come up through the NJPW dojo - historically speaking, it isn't a surprise that he isn't being given the ball to run with. Ibushi wasn't homegrown either, but he had to truly sign on before he was let in to the upper echelon.

Any real or perceived failure of EVIL and SANADA shouldn't detract from what wrestlers outside of those you mentioned have accomplished over the last few years. I don't know how controversial this may be, but Kenny Omega likes to refer to himself as a MOTY factory. In reality, that guy is actually Shingo Takagi, who has been on an absolutely ludicrous run ever since he joined the promotion. Maybe I'm just misreading it (I'm definitely not trying to be unfriendly or even start an argument), but I think NJPW still sets the standard for what "the best of the best" in pro wrestling really is even if a couple of their wrestlers aren't launching themselves to the moon.

The six wrestlers you've mentioned have set a nearly impossible standard to live up to. We are in total agreement and I have no argument there. Hiromu Takahashi is coming close to consistently doing something at that level of quality. Shingo too, but he probably doesn't reach the "big four." What freaks me out is that it's entirely possible that Tanahashi, Naito, Minoru Suzuki, and all of the third generation NJPW dads plus dudes like Honma who fill out the undercard will all be retired in the next five years. By that time, it's not inconceivable that Okada, Shingo, Ishii, Ibushi (if he is in fact mortal, as he's the youngest-looking 38 year old I've ever seen), and Hiromu could all be slowing down or also retired depending on injuries or wear & tear. Jay will likely still be around and in his prime, but the rest of the younger undercard and the Young Lions will pretty much need to develop literal superpowers to reach or exceed the NJPW main event level that has existed over the last decade. 

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On 2/10/2021 at 5:44 PM, Spontaneous said:

I agree with all of the above. GoD-DT was a mess. I'm guessing there is another match coming after that.

Bushi-Wato was about what anyone would expect. It was nice to see aj rs singles match that isn't for the title. 

Uemura-Suzuki is such a fun little rivalry. 

The tag match may have been the single worst booked match in New Japan in many years. We are talking Vince Russo level awful in terms of complete lack of internal logic.

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