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Takagi Shingo

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SHINGO being listed Japanese style here, lol.

 

I can see Alan has done some nominating in the last day or so, because there are a bunch of guys i'm excited about popping up.

 

Along with Shuji Kondo, the preeminent power junior in the world. I love SHINGO, and the ferocity he brings to Dragon Gate matches. He is a lock to crack my list.

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Shingo has a shot of cracking my top 20. Shingo has the leg up on say, Tozawa or YAMATO, because he's been great since he debuted in 2004. Very few people have crisper offense than he does. A lot of hardcore Dragon Gate fans in both North America and Japan don't care for Shingo because he's sort of had the same act for forever, sans a short period from 2008-2010. Outside of that time period, he's sort of been a babyface by default. The fans don't have a reason to boo him so they cheer him. When he was a heel and feuded with BxB Hulk he showed how great of a heel he could be. His offense really dictates he should be a heel, but as I said, the fans just don't have a reason to boo him.

 

Another thing Shingo has helping his case is that the third Shingo/Susumu Yokosuka match from DGUK (from the show titled Shingo/Yokosuka III) is my favorite match from the Dragon system. TJ Hawke does a great job of recapping the match. He has it at ****3/4, to me it's an easy *****. Regardless, it's an amazing match that really adds to Shingo's case. http://411mania.com/wrestling/views-from-the-hawkes-nest-dragon-gate-uk-shingo-vs-yokosuka-iii/

 

w/ CIMA, Naruki Doi vs. Masaaki Mochizuki: Susumu Yokosuka, & Kenichiro Arai: 2/23/05

w/ CIMA, Magnitude Kishiwada vs. TAKA Michinoku, Susumu Yokosuka, & Masaaki Mochizuki: 9/7/05

vs. Takeshi Morishima: ROH 4/28/07

w/ BxB Hulk vs. KENTA Tajii Ishimori: 3/20/08

w/ Dragon Kid vs. Masato Yoshino & Naruki Doi: 8/28/08

vs. BxB Hulk: 7/11/10

vs. Masaaki Mochizuki: 9/14/12 (most people on PWO will have a stroke watching this. Throwing it in here because I love it)

vs. BxB Hulk: 12/28/14

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I loved him when I was watching my first ROH stuff and he was one of the Dragon Gate guys I could stomach watching before I threw my hands up and accepted that is a style I don't like and shouldn't waste my time on. I recently watched the pimped Mochizuki match out of curiosity and he looked absolutely terrible, not connecting with offence and just spamming moves without ever convincing me one of them could actually lead to the finish.

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Wow, look at the crickets Shingo got last time. Will he be the biggest jump in 2026? Going back through his later Dragon Gate stuff is the only thing that might keep him out of the top half of my ballot. Or maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised by some? After scratching my head at NJPW bringing him in as a junior I really couldn't be happier with how they've used him since. His last few years have been his best and there's no reason to think he can't have a few more on that level.

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Yeah, he's absolutely a top half of the ballot guy with a pretty high ceiling.  By far the biggest standout in the Dragon Gate I've seen thus far, and I've got a lot more to watch.  He's been phenomenal in NJPW across G1's and BOSJs and is half of the two best matches I've seen so far this year.  He was also great in the Champion Carnival a few years back.

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You guys are going to have  to enlighten me. It seems his reputation mainly shot up due to getting into a promotion that people actually watch. What are his Top 5 matches? Keep in mind I loathed that Mochizuki match 5 years ago.

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I love Shingo from his 2018 Champion Carnival run onwards, but am also a bit in the dark on his best Dragon Gate/ROH stuff apart from the 2015 Mochizuki match. I've seen bits and pieces but feel like his jump to New Japan is when he reached a new level.

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He's on my deeper exploration list - beloved enough in some corners (I know Alan4L regards him as the GOAT) and good enough in matches I've seen over the last two years that I want to get a better grip on his whole career. I've never vibed with Dragon Gate, but he seems like one of those workers who can take his basic package on the road and thrive anywhere. I imagine his acclaimed matches will always feel like overkill to some voters, but I expect him to be one of the bigger risers in the final tally. 

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This case will really rely on how much people like to watch Dragon Gate. While he is much different from a Masato Yoshino or a Ryo Saito, Shingo still embodies a lot of what DG is about through his in-ring work. 

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He's been tremendous since coming to NJPW and been one of the standout wrestlers of the Pandemic, so he's definitely making my list.

I've seen little of his pre-2014 work which is going to be a stumbling block given old Dragon Gate footage isn't as readily available as other Japanese companies.

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Add me to the group of people that always liked Shingo but the "house style" of Dragon Gate kept me from checking him out for most of his work there, as I was burned out by DG like a year before Shingo got his first Dream Gate run. Liked him in ROH, the DGUSA matches with Bryan and Davey (one of the few times were I loved ridiculous excess) and was thrilled to watch him in Big Japan and All Japan.

I knew people would go crazy for him once he got to New Japan because he's too good not to impress. I was actually a little annoyed he debuted as a Junior because he had already worked heavyweights everywhere else, lol.

So, uh, yeah @Alan4L we in here for some Dragon Gate recommendations. I'd love to see underdog, monster and heel Shingo in that setting.

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I had given up on Dragon Gate by the Mochizuki match that keeps coming up, maybe I gave it a shot at some point and turned it off halfway through, that happened with that era for me a few times. So admittedly the mid 2010s are a gaping hole for me with Shingo, and I'll need to fill that in to figure out his placement. But for some recommendations that haven't been covered (some great stuff already mentioned in Case's 2015 post), I love... 1/15/2008 w/Hulk VS Speed Muscle, the main event VS Doi on I think the first DGUSA show, the 2010 hair match VS Hulk (I lied, Case mentioned this, but it's worth repeating), the PWG matches VS CIMA and VS Generico, then more recently the PWG tag w/Dragunov VS WALTER/Thatcher, the 2019 G1 match VS Goto (I liked this much better than a lot of highly praised stuff from that G1), the trilogy VS SHO, and the early 2020 NEVER match VS Ishii. Wait has the Cobb match not been mentioned? That's among my top matches this year.

Shingo's style is his style though, he's an elite level bomb thrower, both in execution but also in his match structure. If that's generally not for you then there's only a handful of matches that might sway you. There are times when it misses with me completely still, like the Ospreay BOSJ finals. 

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59 minutes ago, Jmare007 said:

Add me to the group of people that always liked Shingo but the "house style" of Dragon Gate kept me from checking him out for most of his work there, as I was burned out by DG like a year before Shingo got his first Dream Gate run. Liked him in ROH, the DGUSA matches with Bryan and Davey (one of the few times were I loved ridiculous excess) and was thrilled to watch him in Big Japan and All Japan.

I knew people would go crazy for him once he got to New Japan because he's too good not to impress. I was actually a little annoyed he debuted as a Junior because he had already worked heavyweights everywhere else, lol.

So, uh, yeah @Alan4L we in here for some Dragon Gate recommendations. I'd love to see underdog, monster and heel Shingo in that setting.

I'm glad to not have to be the first person to have to admit to enjoying that Richards match at the time. Literally the only Richards singles match I can remember liking other than his stuff VS Rave. Oh man, I need to start considering Rave...

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I watched a good chunk of Dragon Gate is 2016, didn't love the Mochizuki match discussed above, but thought the matches he had with Susumu, 2/14 and 3/6, were great, the 2/14 one especially. Also had a good match with Yamato in July of that year. 

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Awesome, I will keep those in mind. I also forgot the Tanhashi NEVER match which I liked just about as much as the Cobb defense, and a tag in DGUSA I was live for w/Dragon Kid VS Speed Muscle that totally stole the show. It's not on display as much these days but Shingo's tag work is a big plus for me.

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I think I heard Alan say they have a rec list on the GWE 2021 Slack channel. That should be easy enough to transfer over here.

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He finished in my Top 25 in 2016, right now he's my working #5, and there's a chance that by 2026, he'll be my #1. 

There's a million things I want to say about Shingo but I'll try to keep this post as concise as I can. It's a self-plug but I recommend people listen to the audio that me, Alan4L, and Mike Spears did a few months ago on The Torch. We broke down 20 or so Dragon System wrestlers that we think are worthy of discussing when it comes to GWE (I will get around to nominating some of the newer names, eventually). It's a two-parter because we went so in-depth on some guys, Shingo in particular. 

The thing about Shingo at this point is that he would make my ballot on his New Japan run alone. His output over the last two and a half years has just been stupid. There's the big stuff like the Ospreay matches (mainly the BOSJ Finals), the Dragon Lee match, and his output in the last two G1's, but there's a bunch of matches in smaller settings that he killed it in. The Shingo/BUSHI vs. Roppongi 3K matches might not look glamorous on paper, but basically all of them are 4-star junior tag matches. 

You take that output and add 15 years of being one of the best wrestlers in the world and suddenly you're looking at a guy who is one of the best to ever do it. I get that Dragongate isn't for everyone, which, fine, but as I said on a podcast recently, I really think people are doing themselves a disservice if they don't spend time with CIMA, Mochizuki, and Shingo for this project. 

Shingo is as good as anyone I've ever seen at working to his gimmick. He's a gym class bully. He's going to shove you into a locker and if you retaliate, he's going to make you sorry you did. Everything he does is done with a gross amount of intensity. In Dragongate, obviously, he came across as the ultimate alpha male. When he popped up in All Japan and Big Japan, he stood toe-to-toe with their heavyweights and still came across as a credible killer. Now that he's in New Japan, he's right there with the best and the meanest workers on the roster. He's been so good in New Japan that there's now an ongoing gimmick about wrestlers like Tanahashi dropping their character to talk about how blown away they are by Shingo. He's not a bump & feed guy. That's not who he is and it's not who he's supposed to be. He's an athletic freak who has insane strength, cardio, and technique. 

I think it really matters that Shingo has gotten over everywhere that he's worked. I just got through watching every Dragon Gate USA show ever and Shingo is the backbone of that promotion. When he's not there, his absence is felt. He came across like a God in Dragon Gate UK. He was great in All Japan, Big Japan, and always comes across like a star when he works produce shows. He's always crushed it in PWG and by the end of his ROH excursion, he felt like another strong addition to the roster. There's no longterm blemish in this guy's career. He was a very good rookie when he debuted in October 2004 and by the middle of 2005, was legitimately great. He hasn't turned back since. That's something about the Dragon System guys that I really hope people make note of this time around. I think people still think of DG as a youthful promotion (and while they do have the best fleet of young talent in wrestling), your original Ultimo trainees are 20 years into their career at this point. They have longevity on their side now. Assuming Takagi keeps going through 2026, he'll have 21 full years on his side and if the next five years look anything like the last 15, then we are in store for something special. 

This list is already out of date because of his New Japan Cup run, but a few months ago I was dissatisfied with Shingo's Matchguide on Cagematch so I put together a list of every Shingo match that I have given 4 or more stars to. You can look at it here

I'm not sure there's a singular Shingo match I can point to as his best performance. The 2015 Mochizuki match is brilliant but that's more of a Mochizuki match than a Shingo match. The same can be said for the CIMA match a month later. Outside of his New Japan work he's probably best known for his match against BxB Hulk in 2010, a hair vs. hair match at DG's biggest show of the year. 

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1xE411Q7jL?from=search&seid=15339773804642946060

There's a good chunk of Shingo out there on Dailymotion and BiliBili (plus what Ditch offers). The Hulk rematch from 2014, the two Susumu matches from 2016, and the YAMATO match from the summer of 2016 are all tremendous. 

I'm happy to help if people need more recommendations for any of the Dragon System guys. 

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1 hour ago, InYourCase said:

He finished in my Top 25 in 2016, right now he's my working #5, and there's a chance that by 2026, he'll be my #1. 

There's a million things I want to say about Shingo but I'll try to keep this post as concise as I can. It's a self-plug but I recommend people listen to the audio that me, Alan4L, and Mike Spears did a few months ago on The Torch. We broke down 20 or so Dragon System wrestlers that we think are worthy of discussing when it comes to GWE (I will get around to nominating some of the newer names, eventually). It's a two-parter because we went so in-depth on some guys, Shingo in particular. 

The thing about Shingo at this point is that he would make my ballot on his New Japan run alone. His output over the last two and a half years has just been stupid. There's the big stuff like the Ospreay matches (mainly the BOSJ Finals), the Dragon Lee match, and his output in the last two G1's, but there's a bunch of matches in smaller settings that he killed it in. The Shingo/BUSHI vs. Roppongi 3K matches might not look glamorous on paper, but basically all of them are 4-star junior tag matches. 

You take that output and add 15 years of being one of the best wrestlers in the world and suddenly you're looking at a guy who is one of the best to ever do it. I get that Dragongate isn't for everyone, which, fine, but as I said on a podcast recently, I really think people are doing themselves a disservice if they don't spend time with CIMA, Mochizuki, and Shingo for this project. 

Shingo is as good as anyone I've ever seen at working to his gimmick. He's a gym class bully. He's going to shove you into a locker and if you retaliate, he's going to make you sorry you did. Everything he does is done with a gross amount of intensity. In Dragongate, obviously, he came across as the ultimate alpha male. When he popped up in All Japan and Big Japan, he stood toe-to-toe with their heavyweights and still came across as a credible killer. Now that he's in New Japan, he's right there with the best and the meanest workers on the roster. He's been so good in New Japan that there's now an ongoing gimmick about wrestlers like Tanahashi dropping their character to talk about how blown away they are by Shingo. He's not a bump & feed guy. That's not who he is and it's not who he's supposed to be. He's an athletic freak who has insane strength, cardio, and technique. 

I think it really matters that Shingo has gotten over everywhere that he's worked. I just got through watching every Dragon Gate USA show ever and Shingo is the backbone of that promotion. When he's not there, his absence is felt. He came across like a God in Dragon Gate UK. He was great in All Japan, Big Japan, and always comes across like a star when he works produce shows. He's always crushed it in PWG and by the end of his ROH excursion, he felt like another strong addition to the roster. There's no longterm blemish in this guy's career. He was a very good rookie when he debuted in October 2004 and by the middle of 2005, was legitimately great. He hasn't turned back since. That's something about the Dragon System guys that I really hope people make note of this time around. I think people still think of DG as a youthful promotion (and while they do have the best fleet of young talent in wrestling), your original Ultimo trainees are 20 years into their career at this point. They have longevity on their side now. Assuming Takagi keeps going through 2026, he'll have 21 full years on his side and if the next five years look anything like the last 15, then we are in store for something special. 

This list is already out of date because of his New Japan Cup run, but a few months ago I was dissatisfied with Shingo's Matchguide on Cagematch so I put together a list of every Shingo match that I have given 4 or more stars to. You can look at it here

I'm not sure there's a singular Shingo match I can point to as his best performance. The 2015 Mochizuki match is brilliant but that's more of a Mochizuki match than a Shingo match. The same can be said for the CIMA match a month later. Outside of his New Japan work he's probably best known for his match against BxB Hulk in 2010, a hair vs. hair match at DG's biggest show of the year. 

https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1xE411Q7jL?from=search&seid=15339773804642946060

There's a good chunk of Shingo out there on Dailymotion and BiliBili (plus what Ditch offers). The Hulk rematch from 2014, the two Susumu matches from 2016, and the YAMATO match from the summer of 2016 are all tremendous. 

I'm happy to help if people need more recommendations for any of the Dragon System guys. 

Thanks!  Clearly enough here for people unfamiliar with his work pre-NJPW to give him a chance and hopefully put him in some context.

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 The wrestling equivalent of fast food, wouldn't make a top 10000 list. Might be the most baffling guy to be one of the consensus best in the world. He isn't just a bad worker, he is probably the most repetitive worker in all of Japan and one of the worst to do it in wrestling history.

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4 hours ago, Barbecue said:

 The wrestling equivalent of fast food, wouldn't make a top 10000 list. Might be the most baffling guy to be one of the consensus best in the world. He isn't just a bad worker, he is probably the most repetitive worker in all of Japan and one of the worst to do it in wrestling history.

This statement is inherently false. 

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