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


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The IWGP title was maybe one of the best ever. I get that the title was horribly banged up, scratched, etc., but just make something similar to that. This belt looks like shit. It almost looks like a custom belt just for Ibushi and I can't shake the feeling that it's the neck tattoo belt.

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Ibushi is the last man to wear the 4th gen IWGP HW and the last guy to wear the IWGP IC. He doesn't really want to wrap the new World belt around his waist unless he wins against Ospreay.

Most of the current changes happening right now for NJPW's booking, in ring, etc are about restoring old elements to the promotion, with Gedo and the current rosters spin of course. Their 50th Anniversary is next year.

Anyway moving on: Tanahashi wants to raise the Never title to IWGP status, so expect collapsing bigger names into that division later on if possible.

The new United Empire member will debut on the upcoming Sakura Genesis show.

 

 

Edited by D.Z
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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, El Gran Gordi said:

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I'm with you, friend.

 

I wish I could like it but I really don't. My biggest issue by far is the shape of the main plate. I don't like the gap between that and the side plates, the very long strap as well.

Honestly prefer all four versions of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. V4, V3, V1, V2 and the new one from best to worst. V4 of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was not only the best belt worldwide, it was one of the best belts ever made. I'd only put Big Gold and the WWF Winged Eagle Championship above it.

I'd take the GHC Heavyweight Championship, AJPW Triple Crown Championship, NXT Championship, NXT United Kingdom Championship and AEW World Championship over the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship.

Edited by The Natural
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Ya know, they did well for a long time without a secondary heavyweight singles title. If Tanahashi is serious about elevating the NEVER title and the belt gains tons of prestige over the next year, I could be pretty Invested in Ibushi vs Tanahashi with Ibushi proving his dominance by absorbing yet another title into the new goofy looking belt. 

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Considering Tanahashi and Nakamura "elevating the prestige" of a secondary belt is what ended up taking us to the Unification and all the whining from non-native fans, we could probably do *without* elevating another belt.

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Now that you mention it, I'm really starting to wonder if other wrestlers will make hay with this "custom belt" idea in promos. Given what guys like Jay White already said (in character) about what Ibushi was doing, I could see it happening.

It makes me wonder if we're even seeing the final product, or if this is another part of the story. (The fact that I'm in denial about this belt being the final version of what NJPW intends for its world title probably tells you all you need to know about what I think of it, deep down.)

9 hours ago, The Natural said:

V4 of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship was not only the best belt worldwide, it was one of the best belts ever made. I'd only put Big Gold and the WWF Winged Eagle Championship above it.

I had just about the exact same thought yesterday. The V4 belt is at the very least in the same tier of those two, and for me, may have topped them. For the last however many years, when I thought "wrestling's true world champion," the image of that particular version of the IWGP belt is what materialized in my mind. 

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I've read several Japanese people comments on twitter and blogs, and there seems more into the new belt or at least ready to get into the new era of exciting matches for the title. Older fans who still watch and lasped Japanese fans like the strong callback to the 2nd gen design.

I would rather have the US title and the NEVER OW to be unifed someday into something new for NJPW USA to use.

 

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Western fans constantly begging the Eastern promotion to cater to them while constantly batching that the Eastern Promotion books too Western is a totally Westetn thing to do. 

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I wouldn't mind dropping the IWGP US belt. It seems pointless. More so on Moxley, he can't even defend it in the US! It has no prestige. Ooh, the same title Cody Rhodes held and is never defended in the country it represents. 

I generally think most promotions have far too many titles though.

 

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11 hours ago, Spontaneous said:

I wouldn't mind dropping the IWGP US belt. It seems pointless. More so on Moxley, he can't even defend it in the US! It has no prestige. Ooh, the same title Cody Rhodes held and is never defended in the country it represents. 

I generally think most promotions have far too many titles though.

 

The US title is pointless for the reasons you mentioned. Maybe it's supposed to factor into NJPW Strong or something, but how many people actually watch NJPW Strong or would give a crap that the title were defended there outside of Moxley vs KENTA? 

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10 minutes ago, Craig H said:

The US title is pointless for the reasons you mentioned. Maybe it's supposed to factor into NJPW Strong or something, but how many people actually watch NJPW Strong or would give a crap that the title were defended there outside of Moxley vs KENTA? 

Maybe if they start running NJPW Strong with crowds it would work. As it stands it has no identity. It is not like Suzuki vs Moxley needed the title to facilitate it. I always felt they made it up to give Omega something to do until he won the IWGP Heavyweight title. It seems like a placeholder title. Guys who they don't know what to do with hold it. It gets defended rarely. You would think it was maybe a gaijin championship but they've had non-gaijin challenge for it. I want to believe there is a plan with keeping it on Moxley but NJPW's booking lately doesn't give me any confidence there was any thought put into it other than Moxley couldn't lose if AEW would let NJPW have the match.

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I actually like the concept of the US Title and I assume they're going to start running small shows with the Strong crew with some ROH supplements. Without the ability to run shows or TV tapings with crowds it makes sense to keep the title on Moxley for now. They're running a USA cup again with the winner getting a shot at the US Champ so I assume Moxley defending on US soil wasn't a one time deal. If you keep Mox as the "Big Boss" of Strong who makes sporadic appearances that's fine. Then when you can get crowds back you can run a legit studio show and have a champ that's more frequently on the show.

Edit: I just read the Strong thread and my whole opinion is dumb now. 😞

Edited by Ramo2653
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NJPW better get their shit together. Two stadium shows and then Dominion. I have very little trust in them right now. I didn't care about merging the two titles but it is stupid to merge them and make a completely new one in the NJPW Strong Openweight championship. If you were keeping the same amount then why not the split the two belts up, that was what the fan base wanted.

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4 hours ago, Spontaneous said:

NJPW better get their shit together. Two stadium shows and then Dominion. I have very little trust in them right now. I didn't care about merging the two titles but it is stupid to merge them and make a completely new one in the NJPW Strong Openweight championship. If you were keeping the same amount then why not the split the two belts up, that was what the fan base wanted.

I don't see the connection. Strong Openweight's purpose is clearly very different to IC's.

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41 minutes ago, Archibald said:

I don't see the connection. Strong Openweight's purpose is clearly very different to IC's.

I don't see the point of getting rid of the IC title and creating this new one. It just made a part of the fan base mad. I don't know what purpose the IWGP US title serves. The NEVER Openweight appears poised to take the IC title's spot on cards. Where does that leave the US title? It seemed suited for NJPW Strong. But now they made a new title just for Strong.

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On 3/31/2021 at 1:15 PM, Teflon Turtle said:

Now that you mention it, I'm really starting to wonder if other wrestlers will make hay with this "custom belt" idea in promos. Given what guys like Jay White already said (in character) about what Ibushi was doing, I could see it happening.

It makes me wonder if we're even seeing the final product, or if this is another part of the story. (The fact that I'm in denial about this belt being the final version of what NJPW intends for its world title probably tells you all you need to know about what I think of it, deep down.)

I had just about the exact same thought yesterday. The V4 belt is at the very least in the same tier of those two, and for me, may have topped them. For the last however many years, when I thought "wrestling's true world champion," the image of that particular version of the IWGP belt is what materialized in my mind. 

 

The Ibushi belt to me is a sign that NJPW is in decline  and that the 2nd golden era of NJPW is over. It's kinda the symbolic nail in the coffin for me.

 

The Strong openweight makes sense- that's like an NXT title to me, it's a developmental championship.  As long as you don't have it going over to Japan too often, it's fine.   The US belt is stuck on Mox for a long time- at least until COVID is over.

 

Edited by alstein
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Posted (edited)

While I'm underwhelmed with NJPW lately, I'd rather have Kota Ibushi as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion over Will Ospreay in the lesser of two evils. I'd prefer Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi or Tetsuya Naito as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion however. I also can't picture the aforementioned title looking good on them either.

The IWGP United States Championship purpose is to act as the top title in NJPW STRONG like the NXT United Kingdom Championship is in NXT UK. That's why Jon Moxley surprisingly retained against KENTA. No way will that be beaten for the longest IWGP US Heavyweight Championship reign ever. This NJPW STRONG OPENWEIGHT Championship has to be a secondary title as the NEVER Openweight Championship is to the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in NJPW. So many words in capitals!

Edited by The Natural
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2 hours ago, The Natural said:

While I'm underwhelmed with NJPW lately, I'd rather have Kota Ibushi as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion over Will Ospreay in the lesser of two evils. I'd prefer Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi or Tetsuya Naito as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion however. I also can't picture the aforementioned title looking good on them either.

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Kota Ibushi vs. Will Ospreay spoiler:

Spoiler

FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKKKKKK THISSSSSSSSSS SSSSSSSHHHHIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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