NJPW (Discussion)

Talk Puro, Lucha, Europe and "I FOLLOWED WRESTLING IN AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC ISLANDS/CARIBBEAN/AFRICA"
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Frank Olson
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Sun May 26, 2019 2:57 pm

Lots of good but not great matches on today's show. Taguchi/Narita, Gresham/Kanemaru, Rocky/DOUKI, Scurll/Titan, BUSHI/Bandido, and Shingo/Tiger Mask, and YOH/Phantasmo were all solid but forgettable.

Ospreay/Eagles was the clear match of the night, with a good continuation of their ongoing cross-promotion story as well as some spectacular spots. That sliced bread on the apron was wild. I don't mind the interference at the end of the match either, since it seems like they are foreshadowing a babyface turn for Eagles, which is a much better spot than I feared he'd be stuck in as Bullet Club junior pin eater.

The SHO/Ishimori match was disappointing. That was one of the matches in the tournament that I was most looking forward to, but it wound up being a lot slower and less exciting than I expected. I do think Ishimori is legitimately hurt, because he really hasn't looked like himself since the opening night match with Dragon Lee.

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Ckkj14
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Ckkj14 » Mon May 27, 2019 10:15 am

JON MOXLEY BABY

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yaritaihoudai
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by yaritaihoudai » Mon May 27, 2019 2:55 pm

yaritaihoudai wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:27 pm
It was a fun match I guess, but why the fuck is Ospreay, with wins in less time over Ibushi, Fale, and Archer in the past five months, going 25+ with pin-eater Rocky Romero?
Boy was I wrong on this one. I thought it was just a throw away match that made no sense in the long term context, but they were really setting the stage. This match made Rocky's gutsy performance vs. Phantasmo so much more believable.I guess that's what I get for doubting New Japan booking.

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Frank Olson
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Thu May 30, 2019 2:05 am

SHO vs. luchadors always seems like a recipe for success, and I thought his match with Titan was pretty fun. They did both throw some weak-looking strikes at one or two points, but overall it was a solid opener to the tournament portion of today's show.

Ishimori vs. Tiger Mask was fine but it's sort of depressing watching Ishimori as it becomes more and more clear that he is genuinely physically struggling through these matches. I hope that they let him have some time off after the Shingo match so he can recover.

Shingo vs. Gresham was the unquestionable match of the night. Gresham diving onto Shingo, bouncing off, and then getting popped in the face was awesome. There were a couple of spots that they didn't quite hit clean, but overall this was one of the more interesting styles clashes of the tournament.

Dragon Lee vs. Kanemaru was a good match in a vacuum, with the Heel Master pulling out all of his tricks from earlier in the tournament but failing to put the champion away. I think it was hurt by being in the main event spot though. I guess you could argue that it was the biggest of tonight's matches in terms of star power, but with neither guy being alive in the tournament points-wise there was a definite lack of drama despite the good in-ring work.

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Frank Olson
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Fri May 31, 2019 3:31 am

YOH vs. Narita was solid but unremarkable. I felt like it ran a little long, but they worked together pretty well.

Bandido vs. Eagles was my favorite match of the night. Just a really fun match that gave you exactly the type of fast-paced action you want from a Best of the Super Juniors match, and there was also some drama since Eagles needed a win to stay alive in the tournament. I believe that the moment where Eagles got tripped up slightly on a springboard move was the only time he's come close to botching anything all tournament, which is pretty amazing when you consider how tricky a lot of his offense is. He's been the most impressive of the newcomers in this year's tournament.

Rocky vs. BUSHI was another good but not great match.

Ospreay vs. DOUKI was pretty good aside from one awkward moment when DOUKI was distracting Red Shoes followed by no cheating occurring. I do still think it's weird that Ospreay is taking so long to beat some of these lower tier guys. It's cool that Ospreay works so hard and is always trying to have great matches (and the length of his matches surely isn't really up to him anyway) but it's just a little weird that he's taking longer to beat some of these jobbers than he took to beat Kota Ibushi at the Tokyo Dome a few months ago.

Taguchi vs. Phantasmo has to have been the weakest main event of the tour. John on Wrestling Omakase pointed out that Phantasmo's control periods are very boring and this match definitely proved them right. This was really just a slog until Taguchi finally took control toward the end.The finishing stretch was good but it took a very long time to get there.

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Frank Olson
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Frank Olson » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:57 am

I do like when NJPW books these round robin tournaments to come down to just the top 2 or 3 guys in each block, but the downside of that is that it does make it a little tough to get invested in the non-main events when that happens. So the first several tournament matches on both Friday's show and today's show were mostly kind of a blur to me. I will say that I was surprised by how into El Phantasmo vs. DOUKI I was. On paper that's one of the worst matches of the tournament, but they went out and had a pretty entertaining spotfest.

Shingo vs. Ishimori was really good, though it's a shame to know that it could have been so much better if Ishimori weren't working injured. Still, it's impressive that his performances have been as good as they have under the circumstances. It's awesome that they had Shingo go undefeated. I really didn't think they would do that, especially with the expanded blocks this year, but it was definitely the right call.

Ospreay vs. Taguchi was pretty terrific. I do think it was a weird character choice on Ospreay's part to do the comedy hip swiveling stuff at this important point during the tournament, but other than that I've got no complaints. The reversals of Ospreay's big moves into the ankle lock (or vice versa) were all extremely well done.

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yaritaihoudai
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by yaritaihoudai » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:29 pm

What matches do you think they'll set up for Dominion on the Finals show tomorrow? Suzuki vs. Liger? RPG3K vs. Bullet Club Jr tag title challenge? Sabre is the on the show despite not working the rest of the tour. Him vs. Yano or Yoshi Hashi? Neither of those sound too exciting, but don't know why they would fly him out just for a undercard 10 man tag.

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Rich Kraetsch
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Rich Kraetsch » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:20 pm

I think Liger/Suzuki is a given. We had a DM scoop about some crazy stipulation for it so we'll see if they go through with it. It'll be BONKERS if they do.

You're probably right about junior title challenge as well. That seems like good filler for the show. That may be it then, I dont know how much they are trying to stack it.

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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by rollup » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:54 pm

did you guys go full five for Will vs Shingo ?

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yaritaihoudai
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by yaritaihoudai » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:55 pm

Ospreay/Shingo: easy easy five stars. Quite possibly the best match I've ever seen. I won't be able to get to sleep tonight.

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Pinkman
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Pinkman » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:16 pm

Only caught the final three matches but thought they were all great and I liked how all three brought different things to the table.

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Tigerkinney
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Tigerkinney » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:10 pm

Five Star Plus for Shingo vs Ospreay. Lived up to the astronomically high expectations. :D

Great show overall as well, the marquee matches all delivered.

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ThommyGunn
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by ThommyGunn » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:48 pm

I'm giving all 5 to Shingo/Will. Will can be as big for NJPW as Kenny Omega was. I hope we get to see him in the G1 this year. Shingo is awesome awesome awesome, but Will could be the biggest guy in the company if they wanted. My favorite spot was Will struggling to fight out of the Last of the Dragon and Shingo still planting him, it was at that exact spot I said, "Yup, this is 5 for me."

I think there are definitely some little things that Juice and Mox did that kind of got lost on the Japanese crowd, and with that said I think in front of an American crowd the match gets over waaaay more but to my eyes that's the best Mox match I've seen and I loved it. Maybe 4.25-4.5 type stuff.

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Ckkj14
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by Ckkj14 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:14 pm

Easy easy easy 5 stars for Ospreay v Shingo. My new MOTY too

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yaritaihoudai
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Re: Strong Style Spirit - New Japan catch all thread

Post by yaritaihoudai » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:27 am

Shingo selling for Ospreay from the get-go gave this match a special aura from the bell. He had run roughshod through the field, swatting guys like Gresham and Titan around like flies, but Will lays into him with a chop in the first minute and he winces and recoils. You know this match is different. This match is something special. Great timing from both guys. Huge back and forth sequences, but they always gave it time to breathe, let what you just saw sink in. There was one spot where it looked like Shingo was going to catch Will off the Oscutter into a Noshigami. Shingo couldn't catch him, but within a second they had moved seamlessly to set up the move without a hint of awkwardness. Two pros working at the top of their game.

One thing I like about Ospreay is how he keeps adding to his arsenal and it's something I wish a lot of other wrestlers would do. He still uses his old standards: Oscutter, SSP, standing Spanish fly, cheeky Nando's kick, etc. Then last BOSJ he added the Stormbreaker as a super finisher. This year he's elevated his Hidden Blade and just recently started using a Liger bomb as a transition spot. When put in position to work these 20+ minute main events, all of these options keep the matches feeling fresh and unpredicatable. They're all his moves, yes, but you never know which one he's going to bust out next. He hit so much offense in the Shingo match, but it never felt like he was just running through the catalogue, getting his shit in. There was something organic for every situation.

I was thinking about it during his match with Okada in the NJC, too. It was a rematch, they had faced each other at the Anniversary show the year before, but it felt different knowing that Ospreay had these new moves in his holster. It opened the door for new sequences and reversals, plus the storyline hook that if he hit a Hidden Blade/Stormbreaker he could beat anyone, even Okada.

Everyone in the upper midcard should be following his lead and building their movesets like this. When they face repeat opponents one or two years down the road it would help make the matches stand out as different.

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