VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

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Rich Kraetsch
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VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:35 pm

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This week on the Voices of Wrestling flagship podcast: our massive preview of Thursday's NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 show, our predictions for each match and everything you need to know about this massive event. Other topics include a brief 2017 Year in Review with a deep dive into in-ring quality and business stories as well as Joe's hypothetical attempt to watch pro wrestling for five straight days.

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Ferrante207
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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Ferrante207 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:29 pm

"top button guy" is also a Brooklyn/Silverlake hipster trend. You see this in hip-hop youth culture RN (migos, 21 savage, etc). I doubt this dude at your table was rocking this look to be current, you usually see the hipster variation on those patterned short sleeve button-ups that are en vogue rn. I'm picturing this wedding dude wearing a light blue standard oxford shirt, so def not going for this look.

As an econ nerd , I love you mentioned Japan's low inflation. This due to Japan's demographic trap (they do not have enough young people to support their aging population, similar to the US but much worse). Japan's central bankers take this into consideration and purposely keep inflation low. The side effect of this policy is that it makes generational draw comps a tad easier. Paul Krugman wrote some good shit on this topic.

Congrats Joe on the engagement. I find that once dudes get locked down they lean into their interests more (since the excitement of the chase is gone and you fall into routine), so I expect you to bring it even harder with the patreon content.

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Joe Lanza
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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Joe Lanza » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:08 pm

short sleeved button ups are one of the worst things a man can wear, so this is a trend that needs to die a quick death

and yes, he was just a standard dude wearing a standard oxford, he wasn't chasing a trend

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by BoxingRobes » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:28 pm

Joe Lanza wrote:short sleeved button ups are one of the worst things a man can wear, so this is a trend that needs to die a quick death

and yes, he was just a standard dude wearing a standard oxford, he wasn't chasing a trend
Like all trends in men's fashion...FIT is what determines how good it looks...short sleeve button ups/downs another example.

I prefer just wearing the long sleeve and rolling up the sleeves.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Danwaka » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:10 pm

Never liked short-sleeve button shirts. Fucking hated them when I was at school.

Listening now, congrats Joe.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Drew Wardlaw » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:30 pm

A couple other big stories from this year:

-4 separate companies (BJW, NJPW, DDT, AJPW) running Sumo Hall in a little over a month (July 17-August 27).

-DDT being bought out by CyberAgent.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Danwaka » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:38 pm

Goddamnit Rich, you just reminded me about Jado winning the RAMBO. Now I'm fucking annoyed again.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:55 pm

Danwaka wrote:Goddamnit Rich, you just reminded me about Jado winning the RAMBO. Now I'm fucking annoyed again.
He had the babe with him though and they had to put her over.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Danwaka » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:18 pm

Rich Kraetsch wrote:
Danwaka wrote:Goddamnit Rich, you just reminded me about Jado winning the RAMBO. Now I'm fucking annoyed again.
He had the babe with him though and they had to put her over.
PUT HER WITH KOJIMA AND ROCKET PUSH THEM TO NEW BEGINNING, GODDAMNIT. :evil:

:lol:

But seriously, they could have done that. Or with anyone else. Why did they use a semi-retired junior jobber instead of anyone else? We're talking co-promotions and stuff, right? The match had (for more notable names): Dorada, Kojima, Liger, Sakuraba, Taguchi, Tenzan, Tiger, YOSHI-HASHI and Yuji Nagata. Have her Left-Arm Lariat Kojima after he wins as a gag. Or carry YOSHI-HASHI's monkey staff. Or put on a Dorada, Liger or Tiger Mask to put a cap on the pre-show. Maybe she wears a blue sailor's captain hat and does a salute to Mr. Blue Justice.

I know, littlest and smallest thing in the world. But using the Rumble as a way to put up a title challenger for New Beginning makes so much sense for a show that is rarely gonna have a lot of non-title single cards. Hell, I'd book it the day before on the Big Pro Wrestling Festival event and trim down some more people off the main show on January 4th, treat it a bit like Aztec Warfare. If we can have ladder matches, why not have battle royals?

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Bloodbuzz Bunk » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:17 pm

Hirooki Goto is definitely the Dan Fouts/Dan Marino type of QB that has the dynamic offense and the HOF stats( in this case work rate) but can't quite get over the top. Marino is an especially perfect comparison because he went to Super Bowl early and lost(reminiscent of Goto's G1 win) but never got back because the field caught up to him and passed him. Kelly is the equivalent of someone winning a G1 every year for 4 years and losing at the Dome, if defies logic.

Also have to say that one man's whiny complainer is another man's rebel who speaks truth to power. I think you might underestimate the character work Naito has put in to rehab himself to this point. As long as Naito talks some sick trash about the brass, fans,and above all else his opponents than he should be fine. I do think y'all nailed it when bringing up how Naito rebelling against the western expansion and the western gaijin wrestlers is a perfect direction to shift his character to.

Really needed the overrun this week because imo NOAH has earned the extra attention with positioning of this Kenoh and Kiyomiya rivalry. It's turned me into a fan and follower of the promotion which is saying something for a guy who didn't even watch Japanese wrestling until a year ago.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Ferrante207 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:21 am

Clyde the Glide is the sports comp I was hoping mr over and back would get to.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Garuda » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:29 am

BoxingRobes wrote:
Joe Lanza wrote:short sleeved button ups are one of the worst things a man can wear, so this is a trend that needs to die a quick death

and yes, he was just a standard dude wearing a standard oxford, he wasn't chasing a trend
Like all trends in men's fashion...FIT is what determines how good it looks...short sleeve button ups/downs another example.

I prefer just wearing the long sleeve and rolling up the sleeves.

Full agree.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by suplexberry » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:36 am

Last overly long reply to flagship of 2017, let's go. First & foremost, congratulations Joe.

I think Naito's new spin on "the guy complaining about the office" is actually that he's the fan who became a wrestler, and now speaks out on behalf of the fans. Some of his more recent complaints are echoed, especially by Japanese fans (just based on randomly google translating Japanese Twitter replies so some of the articles he's said this stuff in). Now, I hope if he does spin it toward critiques of the US expansion, it doesn't veer too far into Japanese xenophobia/Japanese first kind of thinking - not because I think it's offensive, but because it won't help business. This shouldn't become Japan vs US, it should be global expansion, which means continued growth in Japan. But his critiques have been pretty understandable as of late. He thinks he knows best what is good for the company - he's not so much anti-NJPW as he is for a better NJPW, and he thinks he knows the cure to each of their ills. It's interesting.

As usual, the top feuds in NJPW aren't so much one guy being dead wrong and another one being dead right, but rather two guys with differing views who both have some good points and some more biased views and they both represent very different journeys, particularly at this junction in time. No wonder it's selling like hot cakes. With that said, Okada has been a total jerk and Naito needs to destino him through the ring. I'm into this.

IC match: Love the idea of the Jay White squash, but people would flip out, I think. People still love Tanahashi. I guess heat is heat, though. Go with it. Move over gramps or you're gonna get Bladeran over. NEVER: I'm with Rich that Joe wove an elaborate story with the Goto enthusiasm and now I need to see it. Goddammit. Low expectations would probably benefit this one. Jr: I think I have higher expectations than most. I think this'll have people going "good luck topping that", just like last year's Jr match. Ibushi vs Cody: I think the Special Singles Match gimmick almost guarantees Ibushi is winning and challenging for some title at NYD. But which one? IC again?

I'm probably more invested in the Jr tag match than most, so I hope it gets a handsome 15-17 mins (shave those mins off the NEVER gauntlet, Yano can roll up like three fools, who cares). I'm pulling hard for RPG3K to wipe the floor with the Bucks. But you guys are right: it would be very Gedo to put the titles back on the Bucks, have Sho & Yoh re-capture at New Beginning and then hold the titles until the Bucks re-challenge at Dominion, and that's where the new Jr Tag Aces get their status cemented. So I'm trying to not be salty if the Bucks do win, but I hope the shiny lads do their thing.

I lost it at Joe's prediction of Twitter reactions as the show goes on, because it's pretty spot on. I don't remember what I did last WK but I think it might be the year to just ignore everything. I usually pop in between matches to rave about something but this year the show begins at 8AM my time, I'm gonna prep my Monster Morning, and maybe just ignore the world until the five hours wrap up.

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Ckkj14 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:02 am

Joe you are an absolute madman! 5 days of watching wrestling! I think i'd never want to watch another match again if someone made me watch a full day!

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Re: VOW Flagship: Wrestle Kingdom 12 Preview, Year in Review & more!

Post by Frank Olson » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:26 pm

suplexberry wrote:
I'm probably more invested in the Jr tag match than most, so I hope it gets a handsome 15-17 mins (shave those mins off the NEVER gauntlet, Yano can roll up like three fools, who cares). I'm pulling hard for RPG3K to wipe the floor with the Bucks. But you guys are right: it would be very Gedo to put the titles back on the Bucks, have Sho & Yoh re-capture at New Beginning and then hold the titles until the Bucks re-challenge at Dominion, and that's where the new Jr Tag Aces get their status cemented. So I'm trying to not be salty if the Bucks do win, but I hope the shiny lads do their thing.
The Jr Tag Title match is actually one of my most anticipated matches of Wrestle Kingdom, just behind the top 3 matches for me (and maybe ahead of Omega vs. Jericho, since I don't know what to expect from that one match quality-wise). I think that the Jr Tag Title matches have quietly been a highlight of most of the major shows since late 2016 (the only crappy exception I can think of offhand is the Taichi/Kanemaru vs. World Class Tag Team match from Sakura Genesis). I think a lot of the complaints about the division are based on how it was booked from 2014-summer of 2016, but it's been a while now since we've seen a 3 or 4-way tag match, or since the division has been dominated by gaijin teams primarily associated with ROH. I also think that Gedo's plan is to present Roppongi 3K as the aces of the division, and I expect that that position will be cemented after they beat the Young Bucks at Wrestle Kingdom.

Keep in mind too that the Young Bucks were barely in Japan in 2017, and are likely to have a light New Japan schedule again in the coming year. Off the top of my head I only remember them doing Wrestle Kingdom/New Year Dash, Honor Rising, Dominion, the G1 Long Beach special, the G1 Finals, Power Struggle, and a few of the Korakuen shows right before some of those bigger shows. So my guess is that after New Years Dash 2018 we don't see them in New Japan again until Honor Rising, and then not for a proper New Japan show again until the California show. I suppose they could have the Bucks defeat RPG 3K at Wrestle Kingdom and then continue the feuds over those shows, but I think it would be more productive to keep the belts where they are and maybe use the Fantasica Mania tour to establish some CMLL guys as the next contenders.

I think we also need to keep in mind that the Bucks have tended to bring their A-game while working for New Japan. I'm as tired of their Being the Elite schtick as anybody, but in their recent matches in Japan they've left that stuff aside and delivered great matches with sound psychology mixed with exciting highspots (see the Roppongi Vice feud from last year, as well as the match vs. Funky Future from the G1 Final).

Anyway, all of this is my long-winded way of saying that I am really excited for the Jr Tag Title match at Wrestle Kingdom.

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