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  • Birthday 01/07/1997

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  1. GOTNW

    Mitsuharu Misawa

    I don't want to waste time on canonical candidates, but the idea Misawa didn't have "great matches" as an older worker is just silly. Just in his last title run you have matches vs Marufuji, KENTA, Taue, Sano and Morishima that have had that rep. Honestly I'm not convinced Kobashi has a bigger resume of quality singles matches in NOAH. If you're looking for weak spots, I think the idea he didn't "click" (i.e. find the solutions to work a match under the right dynamic) with everyone as he got older is much more fair. But I would punish him more for having a lackluster match with Rikioh than I would any of the matches mentioned, because that's when he absolutely should've performed. Nothing's gonna happen if you have a mid match with 2002 Chono, unless he's facing Hashimoto I'm not getting my hopes up. And honestly any good work he produced in 2008-2009 should probably count x2 considering Morishima nearly killed him in 2007.
  2. GOTNW

    Minoru Suzuki

    I'm torn on Suzuki. On one hand just being a Pancrase founder that had good work in UWF2 and PWFG should be alone for him to make my list. In his later career it's clear he has developed a unique mind for crafting matches that can result in true epicness: when watching something like the two matches he had vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima in 2016 or the infamous Tanahashi match you get a feel for what he is capable of. On the other hand, he spent such a big part of his late career playing a clown I almost want to disqualify him so my list doesn't have "uwu murder grandpa" on it. The environment he worked in surely doesn't help: I remember one time watching some match he had vs. Okada that wasn't even that revered, where it looked clear to me that if he was facing just someone competent in pro wrestling basics, literally just take an old school New Japan name: Osamu Kido, Kengo Kimura, whomever; the match would've been a classic. Instead Suzuki would do great work for a couple of minutes and Okada would do something dumb and I'd just wonder I even bothered watching the match in the first place.
  3. GOTNW

    Tatsumi Fujinami

    It truly is. An absolutely epic match, and a great performance by Fujinami too! It's also the only spectacular performance I ever saw from 90s Fujinami that I would put on the same level he performed at before the injury. The 94 Hashimoto match is great, but the amount of matches Hashimoto had that are around that quality or even better makes it hard to really put is as a feather in injured Fujinami's cap. If you look at Fujinami's post-prime stuff, it's not like he suddenly forgot how to work, but I think it's clear he's not performing on the level he once was. "He had some good matches here and there" is a nice thing for me to say about Mutoh or Chono. It's hardly a compliment to Fujinami when I compare it to his previous work. Now that I think about it, Fujinami is probably a worker whom I like more the earlier he was in his career. His junior run was absolutely phenomenal: if he had a longer run like that, he'd probably have finished as my #1 in the last poll.
  4. GOTNW

    Jumbo Tsuruta

    I'm ambivalent. I've been watching some 70s All Japan lately and it seems pretty clear to me he wasn't as good as I remembered him to be from watching the big time singles matches from around that time. But even so he'll sometime show some nice fire so I'm not terribly down on that stuff even if I don't hold super rookie Jumbo in the same esteem as I used to. Early 80s Jumbo I could do without. For all the talk about how much it took Tenryu to put things together, Tenryu feels like Tenryu earlier to me than Jumbo does. From about 1988 to until his body could follow him, he's as good as anyone in the world, and just an elite, elite pro wrestler. So he'll rank somewhere for me but his placement is not a priority.
  5. GOTNW

    2026 Nomination Thread

    Kim Duk Kintaro Oki's fellow Korean tag team partner is someone whom I'd never heard get hyped, but almost instantly impressed me. From what I've seen he works as a very capable worker laying his stuff in nicely, with him and Oki basically inventing W.A.R. wrestling by working these hateful chaotic brawls. If you want a summary of what he's about, there's a 4 minute clip of him wrestling Wahoo McDaniel where he absolutely goes toe to toe with him. vs Rusher Kimura-IWE 25.11.1978. w/Kintaro Oki vs Rusher Kimura & Great Kusatsu-AJPW 14.12.1977. w/Kintaro Oki vs Giant Baba & Jumbo Tsuruta & Giant Baba-AJPW 28.10.1976. Kendo Kashin „Kashin is just a troll“. „He sucks“. „He was booed at an ROH show in 2004 once“. This is what I learned growing up reading through the archives of the prowres interwebs. Actually watching the footage, you see he has a cool mask and a catchy theme song. Ok, a good start. Then I watched him tap out Masayuki Naruse in half a minute with a Flying Armbar. I like Flying Armbars. I kept watching his stuff, I kept enjoying it, and by the time I saw him carry clueless Yuma Aoyagi to a really fun match I could safely conclude conventional e-wisdom was wrong and Kendo Kashin does in fact rule. He really is a troll though, but it's part of the charm. vs Shinjiro Ohtani-NJPW 8.12.1997. vs Kazuo Yamazaki 3.5.1997. vs Kenoh-NOAH 7.3.2021. Tadao Yasuda The alleged „worst IWGP champion in history“, Yasuda is another wrestler I was supposed to dislike but then I actually watched his matches and it turned out he was quite good. Coward shooter is one of the more unique gimmicks you're gonna find in wrestling, but even before then he knew how to use his strong points like clinching and sumo offence to create meaningful focal points around which to build matches. vs Naoya Ogawa-Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 31.12.2000. vs Yuji Nagata-NJPW 16.2.2002. vs Shinsuke Nakamura-NJPW 14.8.2003.
  6. GOTNW

    Riki Choshu

    Greatest of all time.
  7. GOTNW

    Giant Baba

    I'll make a proper case for Kintaro Oki eventually, but everyone should watch the Oki-Baba singles match. If at this point in my fandom I didn't consider a match worked around Oki not being tall enough to Headbutt Baba a classic, I'd just write myself off as a heartless bastard. It really is the quintessential "less is more" match. To focus more on Baba, he's really someone that's grown a lot on me. Some of that is just me changing my perspective on things with age and appreciating what he did more, some of it is seeing certain matches where it just clicked with me, but he's really become a favourite now. An interesting thought that popped up to me recently was: watching more of his JWA stuff (him and Inoki are basically my favourite tag team now) where he'd do more, I think you can somewhat see how he allowed the All Japan style to eventually shift in the direction it did.
  8. GOTNW

    2026 Nomination Thread

    Mile Zrno The greatest Croatian wrestler ever! A real standout on the European scene of his time, Zrno was a proficient technician who perfectly blended athleticism with matwork prowess, using both to create flashy, yet logical and sensible transitions from regular holds. Along with that, he also had snug striking offence and could easily ramp up the intensity of a match. vs Ashura Hara-IWE 6.5.1979. vs Charly Verhulst-CWA 12.7.1980. vs Franz Schumann-CCC 8.2.1998.
  9. GOTNW

    Stan Hansen

    I think Hansen's work primarily lies in how much stock you put into his tag work. As a tag worker, he really is in contention for the greatest to have ever done it, and just brings an unparalleled chaotic energy. As a singles worker.....eh. So-so. He's hardly the most consistent one and there's plenty of matches where a guy will just work over his arm a bit and they'll do some stuff and then Hansen will go over and I could have done without ever watching it.
  10. GOTNW

    Takashi Sugiura

    Sugiura as a later bloomer is only true in as much as he had his debut when he was nearly 31. From what I recall he's a solid-good worker pretty much from the get-go, and started developing himself as a main event talent from 2007, culminating in a great 2009 (which coincided with his championship push). If you think the work he's put on in the last 5-6 years is as good as what he was doing from about 2007-2013, you have a much different perspective than me (and this is without going into his junior run at all, which had plenty of praised matches). I will say I have really enjoyed some recent tags he has had with Sakuraba, but to me it feels as that's more of a case of a tag setting being way better at keeping the current NOAH style from falling apart than anything Sugiura has done himself. In a singles setting, he's pretty much been doing what he was 10 years ago, just with less fire and creativity. But what he was doing 10 years ago was great.
  11. GOTNW

    2026 Nomination Thread

    Kintaro Oki I'm reserving judgement on what caliber of a worker he was in a comparative and historical sense, but I can say he is an absolute lock for my list. If you like workers in the Choshu tradition (like Kensuke Sasaki, Ishii or the BJW strong guys), Tenryu and the W.A.R. style, Fit Finlay, or even older workers Johnny Valentine and Wahoo McDaniel, I think you absolutely owe it to yourself to check out his work and give him a shot. His tight style and brawling attract immediate attention, but he is a skilled matworker too. Plus, how can you dislike a wrestler who worked a gimmick based on how hard his head was? vs Nick Kosak-JWA 6.12.1967 vs Tom Andrews-JWA 5.4.1969. vs Inoki-NJPW 10.10.1974.
  12. GOTNW

    Kazuyuki Fujita

    If I were making a list based purely on whose presence makes me want to check a match out, he'd probably be my #1. I don't know if that's where he'll finish, but I can't envision my top 10 without him. He just bring an aura of violence with him that appeals to me so much, that even if comparatively someone like say Ikeda might have a stiffer match, the aura of Fujita makes his stuff stick out more. Being a legitimately skilled fighter who nearly KO'd Fedor probably doesn't hurt his perception in that regard. Obviously the bulk of Fujita's case is going to come down to what you think of his main event run. If you can't stomach Inokiism-era New Japan and subscribe to the theory it's all rubbish, it won't matter much how good you think his earlier work as more of an amateur wrestler is or whether he had good matches in IGF. I will say though, while it hasn't been the convincing factor for me (nor do I think it will be for others) in forming this opinion, his recent NOAH run has confirmed everything good I thought about him and really cemented my opinion on him. Even in a post-modern environment (and a pandemic one to add to that), he has continued to produce engaging, unique and special work. Some match recommendations: vs Kensuke Sasaki-NJPW 8.10.2001. vs Masahito Kakihara-NJPW 8.10.2002. vs Hiroshi Tanahashi-NJPW 5.6.2004. vs Katsuyori Shibata-NJPW 19.7.2004. w/Daisuke Sekimoto vs Suwama & Yuji Okabayashi-Tenryu Project 15.11.2015. vs Yoshiki Inamura-NOAH 16.9.2019. vs Shuhei Taniguchi-NOAH 2.11.2019. There's more I could add but if these don't pique your interest, additional recs probably won't change your mind either.
  13. GOTNW

    2026 Ideas

    I'm hardly his best friend but reading through this thread Parv is one of the rare people who have brought up some interesting points and observations about the project as a whole. Pretty much 90% of discussion is just naming workers and going "I'm gonna have wrestler x at ranking y", and some of it in a pretty provoking manner where a fan of wrestler x could easily start a shitstorm that would derail the thread. His tone seems polite enough, and honestly, was one of the better behaved ones in *this* thread. Cultivate your own garden folks.
  14. GOTNW

    2026 Ideas

    The most important idea I can think of is to have everyone who was in the discussion in 2016 automatically nominated again, preferably with a link to their 2016 thread. Hopefully there's someone smart enough around here to figure out how to automate that process (at least just the thread creation) so it doesn't amount to hours of manual work. I think this is important because the point of the process is to be inclusive, and the nomination process serves as the bare minimum test of if someone was actually a wrestler with a couple of matches on tape. To that point, I think the nomination system last time was fine, but this time I think just providing proof someone has several matches on tape should be enough for them to be nominated. I don't think forcing someone to write reviews does anything (except potentially burn someone's enthusiasm for the project), and if someone truly cares about spreading positive propaganda about a worker they're not gonna be able to do so efficiently without making a good case for them anyway.
  15. For so long NOAH just seemed to turn into a shadow of the shadow of its former self. For an actually thought provoking match which you could (and should) absolutely argue pushes pro wrestling as a medium to happen there is surprising in a good way, and interestingly enough, they didn't need technological props to get post-modern. A long staredown was enough. It's really a testament to who and what Fujita is as a worker, because he absolutely carried this match. From his mannerisms, his shit talking, the straight up wacky stuff he did to the brutality (the pimp hand is still strong) you expect from him in a world title match. Fujita is such a personality that it doesn't seem *that* silly to watch him try and push Go Shiozaki off the balcony or for him to call an elevator while beating Go up. I barely watch fake fighting these days and seeing rope pushing and shoulder blocks probably does more to remind me of the absurdity of what I'm watching. It speaks to the strength of Fujita's character that he managed to do that because I can't imagine, say, watching Minoru Suzuki brawl around the stands and doing the aforementioned without turning the video off and rewatching the finish of the Semmy Schilt fight instead. Go was ok. He wasn't tasked with much. Just had to get his ass kicked and portray a stereotypical choplariat wrestler. I wish he was skilled enough in groundfighting so that Fujita didn't have to put himself into closed guard because Go had no idea what to do. Outside of that, he didn't get in the way of Fujita's performance much, and I vastly prefer the route they took in incorporating matwork where Fujita would just get on top and put on Wrestling/Judo Pins than say if they had compromised it so Go could get some stuff in. I'm not putting a numerical value on it. It was definitely unique, memorable, and, quite frankly-great.