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NJPW Wrestle Dontaku 2021 *CONTAINS SAKURA GENESIS SPOILERS*


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Posted (edited)

Just read the spoilers for Wrestling Dontaku Night One:

Spoiler

Jay White beat Hiroshi Tanahashi for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Fucking bullshit. I wanted Tanahashi to have a long reign with the belt and build it up now the IWGP Intercontinental Championship is no more. I really like Jay White but the wrong guy went over. Fuck you, Gedo. Man, my interest in NJPW just keeps on depleting.

 

Edited by The Natural
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Spoiler

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IWGP United States Champion.

IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

IWGP Intercontinental Champion.

NEVER Openweight Champion.

Jay White is the first man to hold all four belts.

 

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Those spoilers are something. 

Spoiler

It doesn't do much for my waning interest in NJPW. I like Jay and it's cool he can say he's the first (and possibly only) guy to ever hold those four belts. The booking decision does nothing for me. Gedo has to start letting guys actually follow through on what they say and build up or NJPW needs to stop having guys make declarations of their grand intentions because it's just annoying at this point to have guys especially the most popular guys talk about their grand plans and then they never come to fruition. It's been too common and putting heat on the booking and not those who foil the plans IMO. 

 

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Spoiler

Jay White ended Tana's dream. The match was said to be good and the longest bout for the Never OW title. Jay called himself the "Real Belt Collector".

 

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1 hour ago, Sublime said:

Those spoilers are something. 

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It doesn't do much for my waning interest in NJPW. I like Jay and it's cool he can say he's the first (and possibly only) guy to ever hold those four belts. The booking decision does nothing for me. Gedo has to start letting guys actually follow through on what they say and build up or NJPW needs to stop having guys make declarations of their grand intentions because it's just annoying at this point to have guys especially the most popular guys talk about their grand plans and then they never come to fruition. It's been too common and putting heat on the booking and not those who foil the plans IMO. 

 

Feels like they’re trying to brute force the NEVER belt into being viewed as a top-tier belt, instead of letting it grow into something people feel is main event-worthy organically.  “Look! We’ve got main event guys trading the belt in epic, main event-length matches! TAKE THIS BELT SERIOUSLY.”

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3 minutes ago, EVA said:

Feels like they’re trying to brute force the NEVER belt into being viewed as a top-tier belt, instead of letting it grow into something people feel is main event-worthy organically.  “Look! We’ve got main event guys trading the belt in epic, main event-length matches! TAKE THIS BELT SERIOUSLY.”

As if Tanahashi getting the title hasn't telegraphed that couple of months ago? Same thing happened two years ago with Jr. title at Dontaku Night 1.

And wrestlers having goals and failing is what keeps this real. If all goals were achieved or if wrestlers didn't promise things that they couldn't deliver then there would be less gravity around them losing.

Now, I'm rather fascinated by something else - ladder match for iron fingers. To be more precise, Iizuka retired more than two years ago. He was not a wrestler with many title wins (mostly a tags guy), not part of many classic moments (I think he has one or two 5 star tag matches?) and generally not liked by audience. Yes, his retirement show was well received, but I think it was mostly due to all of us being in a "oh well, let the old fool play around for one last time" mood and not due to people suddenly "getting" Iizuka. So you know, by all accounts he should be forgotten by now. But no, semi-main of this show was basically dedicated to him and ended with Iizuka's theme being played. This Tekkers vs GoD feud is going to probably conclude after tag titles match on one of upcoming big shows, but at this point you kinda have to wonder if this feud was about tag titles or iron fingers.

From my understanding Taichi is basically starting his last character arc. He is 41 years old, he knows that he ain't gonna be pushed as the singles star and he probably wants to keep wrestling for another decade or so. So you know, he picks up iron fingers from hell after Iizuka retires. Gets some important wins with it and overall builds himself up as a guy that can go and beat people up when he gets mad/motivated. But he is getting obsessed with iron fingers more and more, some of multimans were  basically about him choking people and not doing any other moves. So my suspicion is that just like he slowly transition from cowardly cheater to a guy who can kick ass he is now slowly transitioning to Iizuka 2.0. And it sucks because I like Taichi who kicks ass.

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My problem with the NEVER belt is the same as it has always been - It's a stupid fucking name for a title. Yeah, I get the history behind it, but it sounds pretty dumb. Just call it the IWGP Openweight title or something, fuck, I don't know.

I think EVA is also spot on. The NEVER title was always the "well, this guy seems deserving and we have no plans to actually elevate him to the either of the top titles, so let's just give him the NEVER title." And now, yeah, they're just trying to brute force it. 

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Name should definitely get changed at some point. Thou I'm not sure if I agree with the stated purpose, NEVER title was key in elevating Ishii, Shibata, Taichi, Ospreay and Shingo. They obviously were not elevated to same positions, but I think that guys like Goto being stuck with it forever kinda cloud what it was about.

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My favorite period for the NEVER belt was when it was basically the “surly dudes beating the piss out of each other” belt.  I think that would be the period from when Ishii first won it through Goto beating Suzuki at WK.  After that, it sorta lost its identity.  I thought Shingo could bring back that energy, and he had some interesting defenses against juniors that actually played into the open weight aspect of it, but the COVID situation really kinda derailed it.

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I'd probably cut it at Suzuki beating Goto for it. Yeah, their WK rematch was awesome, but from what I remember Suzuki's NEVER title defences were rather bad full of interferences and fuckery.

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That is true.  They did those lumberjack matches, too.  Still, that WK match was against-all-odds great and the last match I can think of that really felt like it was of the NEVER style I was thinking of.

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2 hours ago, Archibald said:

And wrestlers having goals and failing is what keeps this real. If all goals were achieved or if wrestlers didn't promise things that they couldn't deliver then there would be less gravity around them losing.

I have no problems with wrestlers failing their goals. It’s just that lately goals are rarely achieved it makes it so there is no investment in the goals wrestlers set because it’s almost a forgone conclusion that they won’t happen. That’s how NJPW has mostly been for the past few years so when a guy says I’m going to do this it’s pretty much a signal that they won’t do it (unless it’s at WK). I’m fine with people failing as long as we get to see success too.

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Oof:

Six wrestlers were removed from this morning's NJPW Wrestling Dontaku card due to COVID-19 protocols.

Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, SHO, and YOH were all removed from tonight’s card. New Japan Pro Wrestling wrote on their website that several matches had to be changed, including the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title match between El Desperado and YOH, which was removed from the card altogether.

The website said that one wrestler that was scheduled to appear on the show this morning had a fever, and was currently going through examination, including PCR and antibody testing. They also said that one other wrestler who has been part of the events since May 1 in Beppu is also undergoing evaluation.

NJPW’s website said the show currently taking place would continue after consulting with their medical committee. The following changes to the card have been made:

  • Second match: Master Wato and Hiroyoshi Tenzan will face Taiji Ishimori and Yujiro Takahashi, replacing Kazuchika Okada and SHO vs. Minoru Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Fourth match: Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, and Hiroshi Tanahashi will face Jay White, EVIL, and Dick Togo, replacing the Wato/Taguchi/Tenzan/Yano/Tanahashi vs. Togo/Ishimori/Yujiro/EVIL/Jay White bout
  • Fifth match: El Desperado vs. YOH for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title has been removed from tonight's card.
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Spoiler

Ospreay retains and announces his next defense is vs Okada at the Tokyo Dome. I thought about canceling my subscription to NJPW World but figured I'd give them through the big May shows. I just don't care about any of this. I'm not sure what they can announce for the big Dome shows but I hope they turn it around. 

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Spontaneous said:
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Ospreay retains and announces his next defense is vs Okada at the Tokyo Dome. I thought about canceling my subscription to NJPW World but figured I'd give them through the big May shows. I just don't care about any of this. I'm not sure what they can announce for the big Dome shows but I hope they turn it around. 

 

 

Spoiler

My interest in NJPW is at an all time low. I really don't like Will Ospreay even before Speaking Out, less so now, the blah booking, matches going too long and what's happened to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship/IWGP Intercontinental Championship with the new IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Read the spoilers recap that Ospreay/Takagi went 44 minutes. Granted I haven't seen it not will I.

 

Edited by The Natural
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Oaf that's a long match, I enjoyed their BOSJ finals match but felt it was too long then. NJPW is really having a problem with these long matches. Long matches can be wonderful Okada has had plenty but not ever long match is great and not every wrestler is an Okada level talent (he's a top 1% worker of all time) who knows how to make those matches work. Just stop with these forced epics.

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Has anything been announced for the May 15 show? Since Ospreay isn't defending the heavyweight title and White just winning the openweight title, no big title matches are set up. With everyone off Dontaku due to COVID-19 precautions so close to it, I wonder if they can even use those wrestlers.

Guess it's Master Wato's time to shine. 

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NJPW matches are wayy too long these days but Ospreay and Shingo got a good shot of winning Match of the Year. Incredible stuff from two world class performers. 

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I watched White-Tanahashi. It was what you would expect from this match up at this point. It did not need to be that long though. The crowd seemed into it all the way through though so at least the live crowds are enjoying the current 'epic' main event style.

I don't buy White-Finlay as a big rematch. I'm expecting something like Jay White defending vs Ibushi at Dominion or Grand Slam Tokyo Dome as well but maybe I shouldn't overlook Finlay getting a reign? It'll be a good match I suppose so I can't complain much. 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Hagan said:

NJPW matches are wayy too long these days but Ospreay and Shingo got a good shot of winning Match of the Year. Incredible stuff from two world class performers. 

Sounds that way with Ibushi vs. Naito, Ibushi vs. White, Takagi vs. Cobb (all three from Wrestle Kingdom 15), Takagi/Tanahashi (The New Beginning), Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker (Dynamite, 17th March), WALTER vs. Ciampa (NXT TakeOver: Stand and Deliver Night 1), Banks vs. Belair (WrestleMania XXXVII, Night 1) and Reigns vs. Bryan (Smackdown last week). Of those, Rosa vs. Baker is still my MOTY, gave it *****. My NJPW MOTY is Takagi/Tanahashi, gave that *****. Unsure whether the Wrestle Kingdom ones were that or not.

Edited by The Natural
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Two New Japan Pro Wrestling wrestlers have tested positive for COVID-19.

NJPW released a statement on their website tonight confirming that two wrestlers have tested positive and are currently showing mild symptoms. The company did not name the two individuals. This follows yesterday's removal of six wrestlers (Kazuchika Okada, Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, SHO, and YOH) from the second night of Wrestling Dontaku after two of the indviduals developed fevers prior to the start of the card. 

Additionally, NJPW said in their statement that other wrestlers and staff who have been in contact with the two wrestlers are “currently being monitored in a controlled environment and are receiving relevant tests.”

Get well soon.

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On 5/4/2021 at 1:10 AM, Sublime said:

I have no problems with wrestlers failing their goals. It’s just that lately goals are rarely achieved it makes it so there is no investment in the goals wrestlers set because it’s almost a forgone conclusion that they won’t happen. That’s how NJPW has mostly been for the past few years so when a guy says I’m going to do this it’s pretty much a signal that they won’t do it (unless it’s at WK). I’m fine with people failing as long as we get to see success too.

Maybe its just that you don't like who is winning? I mean, Tanahashi failed his goal, but White did not. How else would their singles match end if not for one guy failing at his goal?

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