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NJPW 49th Anniversary Show/New Japan Cup 2021/Sakura Genesis 2021.


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11 hours ago, matt925 said:

That’ll put asses in the seats [/extreme sarcasm]

I’d say this tops the dud explosion. Talk about a fart in church. 

Regardless of what you thought of the show closing angle this is off the charts hyperbole. The dud explosion killed an entire match and an entire show. This angle didn't come anywhere close to that.

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8 minutes ago, sabremike said:

Regardless of what you thought of the show closing angle this is off the charts hyperbole. The dud explosion killed an entire match and an entire show. This angle didn't come anywhere close to that.

“Tops the dud explosion” and “fart in church” is “off the charts hyperbole”? I disagree. I thought the death match was a great match with a huge wet fart ending. I thought this was a great match with a shockingly bad ending, that was worse. My opinion. 

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I was hoping they were ready to strap the rocket to Shingo and go all in on a push, but I also understand why they probably felt Ospreay needed the win.  Thought it was a very good match, with a few spots I wasn't thrilled with (no-selling the clothesline).  But that's par for the course for me with an Ospreay match.

Not a huge fan of the closing angle. but not up in arms about it either.  We've seen worse in this business.  I'd prefer Bea take a bump in an angle than wrestle an intergender match against Will or Shingo or whoever and those aren't that uncommon anymore.  I feel like it'd be hypocritical to get too worked up about the angle since I watched Britt Baker and Thunder Rosa beat the hell out of each other four days ago (and thought that was a great match). 

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The fact it was Will Ospreay of all people doing a girlfriend abuse angle is particularly gross and tone deaf (not that they probably care much what the Western fanbase thinks). But it's New Japan so they get a pass because multiple finisher reversals~!

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I'm not a huge fan of the closing angle...but was everyone this up in arms when Will and Bea had that match last year where she took a much worse beating than just taking an Oscutter? Yes the angle was in poor taste, but Bea is a trained wrestler. I wouldn't be surprised if she came out and helped Will win the title in a "shocking" swerve lol

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That arena was dead silent. What a stupid ending. I see the excuse of writing Bea off, but why that way? Why write anyone off? It's all nonsense. In 5 years we all will remember this as the time Will Ospreay issued a challenge for a IWGP title shot by beating up his girlfriend. 

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2 hours ago, D.Z said:
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I enjoyed the main event (which was wild) and the show. Shingo is really good at mostly everything. However Shingo seems to be in the same "group of people that never will be top champ of NJPW" Gedo likes to put certain wrestlers in.

Anyway Jay vs Tanahashi for the Never OW title, I am looking forward to that. 

 

It’s got nothing to do with it. There’s a pecking order and a system within Japanese pro-wrestling. It’s simply Ospreay’s time for this shot/series. It’s not a slight on Shingo or indicative of his future.

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It's really just confusing. Imagine you're the champion, and your next challenger says "I want that title so bad, I'll beat up my own girlfriend!" Are you more intimidated by him now? I don't see why Ibushi's reaction would be anything but "jesus, this guy's even dumber than I am".

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18 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

 

Please. Shoot Will Ospreay into the sun. I don't want to watch any of this. I don't even (relatively) care that Shingo publicly bragged about torturing a monkey. Just make Will gone, Jesus, please, give me back my thing, I don't deserve this, I'm not the guy that blackballed anyone.

I feel like the Shingo/Cora the monkey incident still comes up relatively frequently. Every time I've tried to look in to it further, I've read that Shingo's involvement seemed unclear beyond him catching the monkey after it had gotten loose, with most of the actual abuse coming at the hands of other wrestlers. If he truly was involved more deeply, it's extremely disappointing at the very least. As a wrestler, Shingo is one of the best out there. It helps me a little that there have been no further whiffs of any kind of impropriety from him in the 10+ years since (at least none that I've heard of)...but I've still never been able to put the issue sufficiently to rest in my mind one way or the other just due to how much conflicting information has been put out there over time.

As for Ospreay...I had seen it eventually come out that he wasn't involved in blackballing anyone, but there's still something about that issue that I just can't shake - there were other aspects to it that I don't recall were answered for. I don't enjoy watching him any longer. I would personally be fine with NJPW cutting him loose at this point.

Of course, the after match stuff...as mentioned above, it's crass and tone deaf. It almost felt like NJPW deemed Scurll expendable, Ospreay less so. "If a segment of the fan base is going to hate him for misogyny and ignorance anyway, might as well run with an abuse angle." Oof. Bad, bad decision. 

Bringing the show to a sudden halt afterwards was also wrong, I felt. For as much as I like and champion NJPW as the best wrestling out there, it absolutely isn't perfect. I don't get Gedo's seeming obsession with sending fans home on such bummer endings every few months.

Also...I get that in-character, Ibushi doesn't know Bea Priestly from anybody else. They aren't friends. Fine. But in a time where fans have already started turning on him due to the title unification, why just have him stand there and shrug after having witnessed his new title challenger attack his significant other, then just leave the ring? You're supposed to be the babyface champion who finally made it to the top - do you not even give a little bit of a damn about what just happened there!? It went from crass and bad to crass, bad, and nonsensical.

 

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2 hours ago, Teflon Turtle said:

As for Ospreay...I had seen it eventually come out that he wasn't involved in blackballing anyone, but there's still something about that issue that I just can't shake - there were other aspects to it that I don't recall were answered for.

There were no other aspects other than his shitty apology that was too much about himself opposed to just being sincerely remorseful.

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As someone who had an accusation made of them at work involving a colleague of the opposite sex comprehensively debunked later down the line but still gets soul-chilling moments when considering there may be people out there who only knew of the first part, it's scary how absent the developments from late last year are when this topic comes up. Teflon above deciding against trusting it is fair enough it's not like we can be 100% either way, but considering the level of Britwres sleaze we've seen I'm disappointed seeing Will widely described as a Scurl-tier offender based primarily on an individual tweeting something which they later walked back as an 'opinion' when information came out to the contrary.

It's clear at this point that Will's stupidity isn't something that can be masked by interviews so in my head canon that's his gimmick, that David Finlay tweet was kayfabe and him attacking his girlfriend to make a point that no one gets isn't surprising. He's not unhinged stupid, or too-trusting Sting stupid he just repeatedly makes life hard for himself by saying the wrong thing and making bad decisions. You've got to take your real-life qualities and exaggerate them.

 

I've always liked NJPW having IWGP titles with the suggestion of an independent governing body lending wider credibility rather than the 'this is the best guy we have under conract right now' vibe you get from championships named after the promotion itself. So a shame that this governing body is toothless and always goes along with whatever the holders want with promos about how challengers will mess with the titles in the event that they win.

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2 hours ago, Raziel said:

Ospreay and Bea redoing the "Tony hit me" angle has people clutching their pearls.  Good God.

Reduce the response to pearl-clutching if that's what you feel like doing, but what does a good version of this angle look like? Because, on a pure storytelling level, this was bad. Bea was never made to look sympathetic prior to this. Will gains nothing from essentially turning heel as an already-heel. UE come off as a less-cohesive unit. Kota looks like a douche for not caring. The crowd does nothing, maybe they groan? I understand that the leader of a new-ish faction is gonna go over a super-workrate outsider who's clearly slotted as the next Ishii/Goto/Hase/Koshinaka/Yoshiaki Fuckin' Fujiwara of dependable never-champions (now they call them NEVER Champions, but I digress...) and that they're going to book Will like he never did nothin' to nobody. Still. The angle was a stupid and trashy cherry on top of an already divisive sundae.

If you're still of the opinion that this is a virtue-signaling knee-jerk, look at it in the context of post-Elite NJPW. Let's say I like Will as much as Meltz did in 2019. You're got a guy who's supposed to be your next Kenny Omega, your snowflake-generating gateway to the hearts and hype of the Western dollar. Why are you reducing him to the same heel shtick that NJPW continues to prove they're horrible at? It's been tired since Devitt. AJ ignored it. Kenny rejected it. Jay White has done the best job of anybody with it but it's hard to say it hasn't held him back. In a NJPW that's clearly falling from some degree of grace due to staleness/diminishing returns in Gedo's booking patterns, you have NJPW's first new stable in six years already reduced to being a part of something very schlocky.

But it does go deeper than that for me. "Cancelling" as it's currently understood as a cultural concept predominantly comes from wanting old, shitty human behaviors to stop. Yes, it gets taken too far by a media that realizes this new sort of sensationalism generates clicks. Yes, it gets taken too far by dolts on the internet who either want to win the empathy game or stir the shit-pot. And a big part of me thinks we're only able to sustain the trend because there's infinite entertainment available at all times. So why should I put up with two people who went after somebody else's livelihood/passion/creative outlet for the scuzziest possible reason? And why shouldn't I bitch about it? I cannot empathize with what Will and Bea did. I want that behavior to stop across the board. And I don't like it being a part of a company I've supported the hell out of.

 

Edited by John E. Dynamite
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4 hours ago, Eivion said:

There were no other aspects other than his shitty apology that was too much about himself opposed to just being sincerely remorseful.

See, my problem is that I don't necessarily always have the time to separate the wheat from chaff.

I was under the impression that people were pissed at Ospreay for several reasons all tied to the same issue:

A) the "blackballing" which has since been debunked. Fair play, he didn't do it.

B) Ospreay initially coming out in support of his friend - the alleged perpetrator - and dismissing the victim.

C) this one I'm foggier on, but I swear I recall reading at some point that Will either worked with his friend or got him on a show after the allegations came to light, at least once.

First item has been debunked. The only thing I'm aware of explaining away the other two, if true, are Ospreay's crummy apology - If I'm wrong on items B and C, that's on me and I'm willing to be enlightened.

I don't hold Will to be on the same level as Scurll or Starr, for instance...but I still don't feel all that great watching him any longer, either.

Even if he isn't on Scurll's level, with all the stuff that has followed Will and Bea around these last few years (even if some of it has been debunked), running an angle like this with the two of them is unnecessary. As others alluded to: what positive results will it yield you? Nobody will care about the title match more as a result, and nobody is rushing to subscribe to NJPWWorld now that they know New Japan is putting out content like this (at least I'd hope not).

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It probably was a combo of all three, but its A & B people were mostly pissed about. With SpeakingOut though its very specifically A because the blackballing was falsely confirmed only for the people who claimed it to walk it back months later after they found out it was actually the assaulter's trainer who did it.

46 minutes ago, Teflon Turtle said:

Even if he isn't on Scurll's level, with all the stuff that has followed Will and Bea around these last few years

Oh I'm fine with people not wanting to watch Ospreay because of this stuff. The dude is a moron. I just dislike how some seem to put him on the same level as a guys like Scurll or Chase Owens. Honestly, it probably should bother me less since I don't care for Ospreay that much myself be it as a person or in the ring.

Edited by Eivion
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7 hours ago, Raziel said:

Ospreay and Bea redoing the "Tony hit me" angle has people clutching their pearls.  Good God.

There was a vacuum of sound after this happened. I was watching live and you could *feel* the energy get sapped out of there. It was a really shitty, not good in any way moment. Anyway I’m looking forward to Sakura genesis. 

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Copied from f4wonline.com:

NJPW Sakura Genesis, Sunday, April 4, 4 a.m. Eastern time on NJPW World --

  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Will Ospreay
  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) vs. SHO & YOH
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Satoshi Kojima vs. Jay White & Bad Luck Fale 
  • Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs. The Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & a mystery partner
  • Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI vs. EVIL, KENTA, Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori & Dick Togo
  • Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Jado
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1 hour ago, Eivion said:

Oh I'm fine with people not wanting to watch Ospreay because of this stuff. The dude is a moron. I just dislike how some seem to put him on the same level as a guys like Scurll or Chase Owens. 

Right on. We are likely closer to being in the same boat as I may have first thought.

There's a seeming lack of nuance everywhere. What I didn't have room to articulate before is that I felt Ospreay's situation to be more in the grey than some of the other wrestlers implicated in Speaking Out. My intention was to wait to see him wrestle again after that to see how I felt. When I did... didn't feel quite right, and still doesn't.

That said, things like this angle don't really help get me over to a particular side of the fence.

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I remember back in '10 or so when people had really had it with the overblown stunt-style match that Ibushi and Omega were bringing to new heights at the time. It's funny how since then Omega has managed to transcend a lot of the problems with that style, not by scaling back but by pushing the limits further, finding ways to work the body of the match in a way that the crazy bumps and contrived looking spots feel a little less crazy and contrived. It's helped that he had guys like Okada and Ishii to work with, who have a lot more patience and creativity than the dudes he was working with in DDT and AJPW at the time. He hasn't always been successful at it---his G1 final against Naito was an example of both guys going overboard and basically going from one ludicrous spot to the next---but for the most part he's made me recant a lot of the vitriol I spewed back then. 

Its surprising, then, that Ibushi has so *not* found a more satisfying way to work. He's scaled back some of the daredevil stuff that was already feeling really played out during his Jr title period, and has had some damn good matches with Nakamura and Tanahashi by focusing more on strikes. But since his big G1 win it seems he's fallen back on that go for broke, finisher- and bump-overkill style that we get such an abundance of in modern NJPW. He's tried something new with the whole Ken Shamrock "in the zone" schtick where he goes stone faced and starts brutalizing guys, but his acting and facials always come across so silly to me I actually find these spots pretty routinely annoying. By going with him on top I feel like we're getting the same stale Ibushi matches we have for years, so it's especially disappointing that Gedo has been lining up guys like SANADA, White and now Ospreay to challenge him rather than people like Shingo, Suzuki, Ishii or Evil who would force him more to work outside his comfort zone. This is all to say I'm not surprised, and frankly a little satisfied, to see the fans turning on him. And as the ongoing discussion about Ospreay and Bea's behavior on here has indicated, hopefully the Japanese fans are getting a little better informed about Ospreay's controversies in Europe and will hold New Japan better accountable for the way they're using the guy. 

Edited by Belgian_Waffle
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6 hours ago, matt925 said:

There was a vacuum of sound after this happened. I was watching live and you could *feel* the energy get sapped out of there. It was a really shitty, not good in any way moment. Anyway I’m looking forward to Sakura genesis. 

I mean are we sure that the complete lack of noise wasn't because of the post match angle or that the New Japan crowd don't think Ospreay as a main eventer is as great as Gedo and Meltzer thinks it is?  It feels like he is getting an Okada level push in fast forward mode

 

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9 hours ago, matt925 said:

There was a vacuum of sound after this happened. I was watching live and you could *feel* the energy get sapped out of there. It was a really shitty, not good in any way moment. Anyway I’m looking forward to Sakura genesis. 

Yes, because in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling,  this is the first time a main event angle, featuring gajins, has played to such utter silence you could hear a gnat fart.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Raziel said:

Yes, because in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling,  this is the first time a main event angle, featuring gajins, has played to such utter silence you could hear a gnat fart.

 

 

I was thinking the same thing, not to mention the fact that we're still in a time where they've instructed crowds to behave a certain way to minimize any sort of disease transmission. I think folks are reading way too much into the crowd's silence.

And look, if someone didn't like the angle, then fine. I wasn't a fan of it either because it looked like something I read during my e-fed days back in 98-00. However, I'm not going to use the lack of noise from the crowd as evidence of the thing flopping with the audience.

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As for the overall state of NJPW, it peaked with Omega and has been on a downturn since he left. For me, Naito losing to Okada took a lot of wind out of my sails. Naito would eventually defeat Okada, but it ultimately felt like a do-over and it didn't feel as cool as it should have felt. To compound matters, we had the pandemic and it felt like Naito immediately dropped the title to EVIL, and I think EVIL kinda sucks. Naito then gets the title back, all of the shit with Togo and EVIL is dumb, Osprey is a heel, Okada is hurt, Tanahashi is old, Hiromu was out forever and is now out again, the entire storyline with the US title felt dumb because Moxley still has the fucking title, the US title in general is stupid, Khan and Wato feel like they're two new acts being shoved down our throats, and it's no wonder that Ibushi's run with the title has been lackluster.

I would have rather seen White feud with Ibushi or slot Shingo in for a short run, but now Shingo is starting to feel like the new Ishii where he's an incredible worker that won't sniff the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

Anyway, it's not like I'm going to unsubscribe from NJPW World. NJPW isn't exactly bad, but it has been really flat for nearly 2 years now.

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