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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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  • 4 months later...

The slow crawl continues

OsThe New Beginning in Nagoya 1/30/21:

They are hailing from the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium, the home of the B.League's (Japanese men's basketball league) Nagoya Diamond Dolphins also known as Dolphins Arena. What a great name for an arena. 

1. Chaos (Okada and Yano) vs Bullet Club (Evil and Yujiro Takahashi w/Dick Togo: Will Yano tag in? That is the question. Yano is The Boogie Woogie Man of New Japan, with these "no bumps given no bumps taken brother" approach isn't he? Yano bumped I repeat Yano bumped. I counted two flat back bumps from Yano. Dick Togo bumped more in the ring and he wasn't even in the match. Yano did take a whip into an exposed turnbuckle and took a can shot to the head so there's that. Gedo is a fan of 80's Memphis so a manager taking more bumps than someone actually in the match isn't too farfetched. The match was mostly a handicap match with Okada agaisnt two Bullet Club members who seem to like to make his life a living hell every time he gets a chance. I think Yujiro does it just to watch the world burn but you can see it in Evils eyes he's out to prove a point that he's better than Okada. Yano and Dick Togo fight over Yujiro's Pimp Cane the ref sees Togo with the cane, hilarity ensues Yujiro goes for a German, Yano mules kicks him in the balls ref doesn't see Yano with the roll up for the 3. Yano and Okada win.

2. LIJ (Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi, Naito and Sanada) vs Honma, Master Wato, Sho and Kota Ibushi: Mostly everyone has a program going into the Hiroshima show; Kota vs Sanada, Hiromu vs Sho and Wato vs Bushi. They all pair off together in this match leaving through process of eliminate Naito to pair up with Honma. The poor bastard. I've gonna chewed out on the board before for bad mouthing Honma before. I haven't seen his death match stuff or Honmamania so to me he's just a balding man rocking a bleach blonde hair in yellow trunks doing head butts and only head butts. Honma was in the match for a lot of the first half of it so yippee! he has other moves than the head butt he also throws forearms and hits DDT's. he was gang jumped by LIJ so it wasn't a complete waste. I dig the New Japan style of building towards solo matches by putting the opposing wrestlers across the ring from each other in multi man matches. I'm looking forward to seeing Kota vs Sanada especially after seeing them mix it up in this match. SO is this the angle for Naito this year? Creative having nothing for him? Sho hit an under hook piledriver on Bushi for the 3. Honma, Master Wato, Sho and Kota Ibushi win.

3. Winner and only the winner gets to use the Mongolian Chop going forward - Great O-Khan vs Tenzan: Khan hit Tenzan known for his Mongolian Chop with said move at the end of the tag match they were both in at New Year Dash resulting and Tenzan leaving the arena on a stretcher and now here we are. Exactly what it should have been, two gnarly dudes beating the dog snot out of each other for 13 minutes. Fucking awesome. Tenzan is in his 40s with bad knees and he did a spinning round house kick. Dudes a wild man. They hit so many Mongolian Chops on each other. I guess if you might not have a chance to do it again do it to your hearts content. The have big plans for O-Khan and they should he's great as the imposing monster. O-Khan hits an Iron Claw Chokeslam for the 3. The Great O-Khan wins.

4. No DQ Match: Will Ospreay vs Kojima - The Unite Empire vs Tencozy feud continues. Ospreay comes out with plunder, Kojima does not. I've been dancing around the Ospreay situation. He's from all accounts and purposes most likely a trash human being but a t the same time he was being pushed super hard in New Japan for the first part of the year and having stellar matches. This match was really good. As much as I liked this match I couldn't happen but think this guy and his girl friend blackballed a women who Ospreays buddy assaulted and now he's getting a super push with all the information coming to light. it's tough to shake but I did like this match. They built to the plunder. It was a fun match they beat the shit out of each other. Kojima with that guitar shot holy shit call him the Otoko. Ospreay hit this running power bomb on Kojima through a table sat up on the turnbuckle proving Japanese tables do break. Fun match despite Ospreay being trash. Ospreay throws a chair at Kojima's face, Kojima catches it forearm to chair smashes Kojimas face, Forearm tot he back of the head, Ospreay hits his underhook pop up cutter over the shoulder he calls the Stormbreaker for the 3. Will Ospreay wins. 

5. NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo (c) vs Takahashi - You know what i dig about New Japan Main Events? That they take their time, i dig the chain wrestling feeling out process. They actually grapple, take their time wrestle each other to the mat trade holds get to know each other warm up. Close to 15 minutes in and we hit the floor, the action speeds up. Tanahashi dives off the top rope. Shingo whips Tana into the guardrail. Then they slow it back down, not in a lazy sense but they just get back in the ring and start beating each up. Shingo taunts Tana to kick him in the neck, so Tana kicks him in the neck. Shingo then starts working over Tana's leg after a chop block, tons of Dragon Screws, he even pulled the leg back and strums the air guitar. Nice heel tactic Shingo good on ya man. Tana starts hitting Dragon Screws on Shinjo. Turn about is fair play. Tana hits a High Five Flow to Shingos back turn shim around goes for another Shingo moves Tana hits the mat Shingo takes over. Shingo hit this Cartwheel Suplex into the turnbuckle. Shinjo also hit a falcon arrow where Tana lands directly on his head, I thought he was dead. Nice story telling with every time Shingo hits an offensive move it irritates his knee but he powers through cuz they will to win is greater than the pain. Tana takes over again. Shingo hits a run off the ropes lariat that almost decapitates Tanahashi but Tana kicks out. The resilience this man has. We hit the portion of the match where they start hitting each other hard straight in the face. I'm all for it. Shingo sets Tana up for a firemans suplex, Tana counters into a neckbreaker cutter. Gotta hand it to these guys they Main Evented a B Show for a Midcard Title and went out there and burnt the entire house down. Tanahashi hits a flying cross body a Dragon Suplex and a High Five Flow for the 3. Tanahashi is your new NEVER Openweight Champion!

 

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