Puroresu Love & Resources V3

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I think Wato should just fully lean in to the comedy aspects of the gimmick. Taguchi and Yano aren't going to be around forever (sadly) and he could utilize his doofiness.

Cards that don't warrant a thread.

NJPW 49th Anniversary Show
March 4th, 2021
Live from Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan


Unification Match for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles (Winner becomes the first IWGP World Champion)
Kota Ibushi (c) Vs El Desperado

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Tetsuya Naito Vs The Great O-Khan

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Jeff Cobb Vs Satoshi Kojima

Six Man Tag
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and SHO) Vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, SANADA, and BUSHI)

Ten Man Tag
Bullet Club (Jay White, Taiji Ishiimori, Chase Owens, KENTA, and EVIL) Vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rysuke Taguchi, Toa Henare, Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Eight Man Tag
Suzuki Gun (Minoru Suzuki, DOUKI, and Dangerous Tekkers) Vs Tomoaki Honma, Hirooki Goto, Master Wato, and Gabriel Kidd


Why is Goto slumming it with the Young Lions and old gimpy gorilla Honma in the opener?

I'm really really excited for the main event although the unification aspect makes it even more of a foregone conclusion than I already thought it was. I assumed they just named Ibushi the first unified champion. For some reason, I felt like Despy had a incredibly tiny sliver of a chance for the shock upset challenging for the title but not in a unification match!
 
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Hoff

EVERYTHING
This is basically just Balloon Okada again where he's wasting time until he finds himself and remembers he's the Rainmaker. They cool him off so they can build guys up for him to beat.
Except that the guys who are underneath him are not at the same level (subjectively, but I stand by it) as the guys the first time they did this. Tanahashi isn't poised as a world title contender, Kenny is gone, and the excitement around Naito is maybe cooled a bit now that his big moment has come and gone. I also don't think a second go at balloon Okada is the best way to move him off the title picture for a spell as he comes off as a goof. There was a reason behind it the first time, and there's also a finite amount of times you can paint your top guy in a less-than-top-guy light before it takes a toll. I get that they're invested in Okada but I'd argue they're walking a line of maybe fucking that investment up. Ask yourself: are you super interested in what Kazuchika Okada is doing right now?

NJPW didn't really blow their chance to crossover. The main guys they were depending on were offered money they couldn't possibly match to form their own company. Before that things were going very well.
Fair, it's not all their fault, but they also didn't do anything as far as upgrading their website or streaming service to make it more accessible to the American market. We all have no issue with it because we're the lifelong, hardcore set, but part of making inroads is making things easier for people who are just hearing about the product and want to dip a toe in. Have a dedicated English website. Put together a proper streaming app/channel, put it on Roku, App Store, Google Play, etc. These things do take time and money, but they shouldn't be hard.

I would also argue that cycling Okada down into his current role/character, and failing to re-position the Bullet Club with a strong leader, are also fumbles when it comes to US expansion, as Okada and the BC were/are very popular (or at least well-known) to the more casual fan. They're names they've heard, they've all seen the BC t-shirts. In fairness, despite my own reservations on Jay White, he probably was the best guy to slot in as the leader once Kenny left, but it's a precipitous drop in name value.

This is also gonna sound really ticky-tacky, but they also need to stop fucking around with Okada's look. The trunks vs. the shorts, the move to adding a lot of white in his gear, the white boots - and this, in fairness, is wholly an opinion thing. But Okada went from looking like a cool guy to kind of looking doofy, and for better or for worse your look is important in this business, even in the era of workrate.

As an overall thought, I agree Okada is not going anywhere as their top guy, but having Ibushi as his equal atop the card as opposed to just another guy being built up for Okada to beat would be a smart move for them. Two top stars is better than one, and Ibushi's popularity and talent are such that he doesn't really belong in that "supporting cast" list anymore and having two guys to build around lets them circle back to each other and lets one step back to freshen up without the company as a whole feeling like it's missing something.

Ultimately, all the analysis in the world is kind of out the window when I look at the product, and I ask myself if I'm enjoying it as much as i did a few years ago, or if I feel it's as exciting as it was, and at least for me the answer is definitely no. Still a lot of great things! They're still head and shoulders above what WWE puts out on Mondays and Fridays. But I think there's a lot of folks who have been watching for maybe that 3 to 5 year mark for whom the bloom is in danger of falling off the rose and I'm not sure how successful the efforts in keeping things fresh have been going.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Even the announcers are having a hard time selling their enthusiasm for Okada's current storylines. End results are good if not great. His match with Ospreay at WK was great and he probably got the best match out of EVIL in a while but the day to day stuff is such a slog.

That's another huge problem. NJPW is all about creating moments but you need to generate some excitement on a day to day level. I know you can't WrestleKingdom at Korakuen Hall on a Tuesday but give us some more meaty midcard matches if you're going to do a gazillion televised Road To...shows.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
But why stick Okada in a feud with Yujiro (God Bless him) in the first place? Even with a limited roster, there are so many more better options!
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
I think Wato should just fully lean in to the comedy aspects of the comeback. Taguchi and Yano aren't going to be around forever (sadly) and he could utilize his doofiness.
Total agreement here, especially on the latter statement. Main issue though is other two guys did built up a fair bit of legitimacy in their careers (Hip swiveling Funky Weapon winning two Jr titles and a BOSJ; Yano being a straight-shooting asshole heel with legit MMA b/g) before morphing into the more playfully antagonistic guys we know today, so question would be how to get Wato to that point first

As for Okada, maybe hindsight 20/20 but thinking back my opinion is they 1) ended Sad Okada too soon and in turn 2) put the belt back on Okada too soon. I understand the business reasoning behind the latter (drawing for the MSG show), but in retrospect the only good thing to come from his 2019 reign was Naito finally getting the big win at WK14. In turn I think they took the belt of White way too soon and he should have gotten a couple defenses under his belt (fucking EVIL even got one cursory defense), maybe lose it at Dominion a couple months later? There's also a minor issue with the bad look of back-to-back no defense champions, which hadn't happened since the early days of the title (I did agree with the Tanahashi transition I should say, just not the White loss).

So yeah now we have the problem where they exhausted one story to keep him out of the title scene and had to come up another in the form of this self-nerfing exercise, and a review of the last several months of fan response indicates how well that's gone over. Unfortunately that's the problem when you build up one wrestler as the absolute unquestionable top guy in the company: how to long-term remove them from the title scene to focus on the someone else at the top. If the ace is still around and capable in some capacity then you just have a good chunk of the fanbase asking "Where's Poochie Okada?" w/r/t title shots and main events (this is a general problem in wrestling, not just for NJ)

All Japan has been getting around this by having Kento deciding to focus on the AJ tag scene instead, reuniting with Yuma Aoyagi and winning/defending the tag belts this year. Not to say they should carbon copy that for Okada, though looking at Okada's career accomplishments, he's only ever held the main title and nothing else.... has he ever even challenged for the tag titles?! Don't feel like running through the list of IWGP tag matches from the last decade
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Not to say they should carbon copy that for Okada, though looking at Okada's career accomplishments, he's only ever held the main title and nothing else.... has he ever even challenged for the tag titles?! Don't feel like running through the list of IWGP tag matches from the last decade
Going to do my first fantasy booking post in eons but I friggin love this idea. Have YOSHI-HASHI get fed up with Bullet Club's bullying and get the biggest dog in CHAOS to help even the odds and win tag team gold. Then you could even get multiple credible & interesting non main event storylines with Okada by maybe having Goto be like "WTH!? I'M YOSHI-HASHI'S PARTNER!?" and have him turn against Okada/CHAOS. Or maybe if you didn't want to go that route, you could have Goto & Ishii Vs Okada and YOSHI-HASH in face Vs Face feud.
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
Spoiler free question: any matches from this morning's Anniversary show worth watching aside from the main? That's all I was really interested in so maybe save myself some time as I'm catching up on the last few days
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Watching show right now and will let you know.

I like that when Juice finally got rid of the hippie dreadlocks and switched to Blues Brothers look, I thought he was finally passed cultural appropriation (and I guess now paying tribute to great cultural appropriaters of the past?)

Now he has an even worse cultural appropriation!
 

Big Beard Booty Daddy

Canadian Destroyer213
Watching show right now and will let you know.

I like that when Juice finally got rid of the hippie dreadlocks and switched to Blues Brothers look, I thought he was finally passed cultural appropriation (and I guess now paying tribute to great cultural appropriaters of the past?)

Now he has an even worse cultural appropriation!

He's got the Jew fro going now, I'll allow it.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Is Juice a member of the tribe? If so, I’ll allow it. My hair gets curly and puffy when it grows out so I might be accidentally racist by my birthday.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Spoiler free question: any matches from this morning's Anniversary show worth watching aside from the main? That's all I was really interested in so maybe save myself some time as I'm catching up on the last few days
Not a MOTY candidate or anything but Kojima Vs Jeff Cobb is an expectedly fun hoss fight. Idk why (maybe fact they were in Budokan) but undercard seemed like it had more energy than most undercard stuff post WK but nothing else is must see.

Love that we got a bit of a Taichi Vs Ibushi teaser.
 

tekcop

TSM's Finest
Staff member
According to Wikipedia his real name is Joseph Robinson, which is a very Jewish name.
"Robinson is a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Robert'. The root name means 'bright with fame'. ... In Ireland the name is popular in Ulster having been introduced there from England and Scotland during the seventeenth century."

???

Misunderstood sarcasm on my side?
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
NOAH has a show tomorrow on Fite TV. No, old man Mutoh is not defending the GHC Heavyweight Title. That's on Fite TV next weekend. This is the one with the GHC National Title match between Kenoh and Kendo Kashin that @cobainwasmurdered is anticipating.

NOAH: Great Voyage in Yokohama
March 7th, 2021
Live from Yokohama Budokan in Yokohama, Japan


Six Man Tag Team Match
M's Alliance (Keiji Muto & Naomichi Marufuji & Masato Tanaka) vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Go Shiozaki & Yoshiki Inamura.

GHC National Championship
Kenoh (c) Vs Kendo Kashin

Six Man Tag Team Match
Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA & Yuya Susumu vs Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada & Junta Miyawaki

Kazuyuki Fujita vs Manabu Soya

Six Man Tag Team Match
Kotaro Suzuki & Ikuto Hidaka & NOSAWA Rongai vs Haoh & Nioh & Tadasuke

Muhammad Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue

Six Man Tag Team Match
Seiki Yoshioka & Hajime Ohara & YO-HEY vs Kinya Okada & Kai Fujimura & Yasutaka Yano
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Big gaijin Kamala here.

Are there any WrestleUniverse subscribers here? Would you recommend it or no? Is there a good amount of content with English commentary? I know they have the NOAH PPVs and it might be worth it for that alone. Looking to fill a Network sized void in my viewing habits next month and deciding between this and Impact Plus. Is it worth abandoning me and @Brocklock 's plans for a Bound For Glory 2007 watchalong?
 

Laz

0101100101
"Robinson is a baptismal name meaning 'the son of Robert'. The root name means 'bright with fame'. ... In Ireland the name is popular in Ulster having been introduced there from England and Scotland during the seventeenth century."

???

Misunderstood sarcasm on my side?
...here I am understanding that the "-son/-sen" suffixes for surnames are Scandinavian in nature...
 

Slayer

I have no lies or truth in what I say
Are there any WrestleUniverse subscribers here? Would you recommend it or no? Is there a good amount of content with English commentary? I know they have the NOAH PPVs and it might be worth it for that alone. Looking to fill a Network sized void in my viewing habits next month and deciding between this and Impact Plus. Is it worth abandoning me and @Brocklock 's plans for a Bound For Glory 2007 watchalong?
In order

- Yes! Probably the only one here, at that...
- That depends. Bear in mind WU was originally, and still primarily, a DDT site with NOAH only coming on board last year, and ATM their latter content is only from that period aside from a couple events at the very beginning of NOAH's existence in 2000 (have not seen whether they intend to dole out classic content or not). If you're looking for archive binging though that would mainly depend on your desire to dig into DDT's history
- No, both feds only started with English commentary last year, and only for the biggest shows at that, not as frequent as NJ or DG

In short, based off what I think I know about you, your tastes and what you're looking for, you may be happier on your Impact dinner date with Broclock
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Yeah I read on Reddit that Fite.TV has most (and I read somewhere maybe more complete versions?) of the NOAH PPVs anyway. And I'm not sure I'm going to watch enough 2021 NOAH (or DDT) to justify the $8 a month. Maybe I won't stand up @Brocklock after all.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
Not gonna lie, I was actually going to start a TNA PPV rewatch to take a break from the WWE and got the Global Wrestling Network. I started going through The Bound For Glory shows and I got to 2007, then they switched to Impact Plus which led to everything being down for a bit and and I cancelled my subscription. Maybe I will take a second shot.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
I'll probably do a complete 2006 rewatch (and maybe 2005 too) since it seems like that was year TNA peaked but I'll shut up and move rest of my Impact Plus hemming and hawing to the TNA Bullshit thread. Now back to NJPW and occasionally old man gimpy Mutoh talk.
 
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