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35 minutes ago, goodhelmet said:

I actually thought the leg work made perfect sense. It didn't lead to the finish but it didn't have to. When Juice went through the 1st table and started to sell the leg,  I liked that Moxley picked up on it and switched his focus. 

Eh, I didn't think it lead to anything and Mox's work on it was good/strong enough to me for it to mean something. I didn't feel Juice lost much by getting his leg hunted. It's a nitpick by me for sure, it's not like the match relied heavily on it or not having a satisfying payoff ruined the match or anything. It's just that if it had, it would've probably felt like a legit MOTYC to me.

To be honest I'm just tired of leg work in general because it seems that in today's wrestling is impossible for any good attack on it to either be sold in a manner that makes me suspend disbelief or to have a payoff that feels earned.  I mean the last time I felt it was done well was in a Daichi Hashimoto or a Takuya Nomura match (can't remember) were even though dude ended up no selling a bit, he showed that using the leg hurt like a motherfucker, it was something at least lol.

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Man, it was great seeing him clearly enjoy what he was doing in what must have felt like the first time in forever. 

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Even worse than the leg work that didn't mean a thing (except when it did) was the interminable crowd brawling in the beginning. Juice's stage dive off the entrance was downright embarrassing. Not to mention all the Sabu cosplay and the sub-Angle/Benoit submission trading. If they had shown some restraint and trimmed the fat, they could have delivered a blowaway great 10 to 15-minute match. But they just couldn't help themselves from throwing everything they could think of against the wall to make it an "epic." I do agree that Moxley looked better than he has in ages, possibly ever. The way he worked the cut after splitting Juice's eyebrow open hardway was indeed reminiscent of Terry Funk, and the spike Dirty Deeds he won the match with looked vicious. I also got a kick out of him mockingly bowing to the referee and the audience.

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Really tremendous stretch of three matches.

Jay-Tanahashi was great, their best match yet. It's crazy how much Jay has improved since the embarrassment that was WK12. His offense looked really good as always and his work over Tanahashi's arm was great. Loved the leg-assisted Dragon Screw and the finish.

Mox-Juice was terrific and while I would agree it wasn't quite a MOTYC, it was still very much a must-see match. To say Moxley has been reinvigorated since leaving WWE would be the biggest understatement of the year. Quite a difference wrestling somewhere you actually want to be makes. And Juice was a great babyface as always.

The main event was MOTN and a pretty solid MOTYC. Could have been a tad shorter and they certainly did a LOT of stuff throughout, but it was nice to see the opening 10 minutes worked at a much more urgent pace than you usually see in NJPW main events.

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11 minutes ago, Boss Rock said:

Really tremendous stretch of three matches.

Jay-Tanahashi was great, their best match yet. It's crazy how much Jay has improved since the embarrassment that was WK12. His offense looked really good as always and his work over Tanahashi's arm was great. Loved the leg-assisted Dragon Screw and the finish.

Mox-Juice was terrific and while I would agree it wasn't quite a MOTYC, it was still very much a must-see match. To say Moxley has been reinvigorated since leaving WWE would be the biggest understatement of the year. Quite a difference wrestling somewhere you actually want to be makes. And Juice was a great babyface as always.

The main event was MOTN and a pretty solid MOTYC. Could have been a tad shorter and they certainly did a LOT of stuff throughout, but it was nice to see the opening 10 minutes worked at a much more urgent pace than you usually see in NJPW main events.

Not on the same level, but I enjoyed the Okada/Romero vs Scurll/King tag as well 

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Won't be very original. The opener was super fun. Then the show settled into the usual NJ undercard tag match groove (I have to say, I didn't miss the Tongans one bit).

Okada/Romero vs Scurll/King was super fun too, King should be brought back over and over again, if there's one guy from ROH NJ wants, that's him.

Jay vs Tanahashi was a great match. Smart, solid, always interesting.

Mox vs Juice was a war. I agree some of the stuff at the beginning wasn't the best (that early dive by Juice was a big miss), but it really built into an epic brawl. I too have noticed the very old-school gaijin'esque demeanor of Moxley, reminded me of Hansen.

Ospreay vs Takagi was the epic of all epic. Easy MOTYC, and at the very top of that list to boot. Just state-of-the-art modern pro-wrestling. Ospreay moving to Japan is very promising too, the guy has everything to be their biggest star eventually.

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20 hours ago, El-P said:

Okada/Romero vs Scurll/King was super fun too, King should be brought back over and over again, if there's one guy from ROH NJ wants, that's him.

 

I would be all about seeing Brody King in the G1. Cobb too, for that matter.

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I only watched the Juice/Moxley match and thought it was quite good.  Certainly better than any singles match Moxley had in WWE.

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1    Jon Moxley vs. Shota Umino   
2    Satoshi Kojima vs. Shingo Takagi    
3    Jyushin Thunder Liger and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.)   
4    Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson and Ryusuke Taguchi) vs. Bullet Club (Jay White, Chase Owens and Taiji Ishimori)    
5    Taichi (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii     for the NEVER Openweight Championship
6    Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil and Sanada)    for the IWGP Tag Team Championship
7    Dragon Lee (c) vs. Will Ospreay     for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
8    Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito     for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
9    Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Chris Jericho  for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship

 

Almost all of the commentary I have seen online has been people raving about this being a stacked card, but I don't know... I'm feeling slightly underwhelmed considering it is supposed to be NJPW's #2 show of the year. Maybe I'm not as big on Yoshi-Hashi, Taichi, and Jay White as I should be (at the moment, not much interested in watching any of that trio)... maybe it's just sour grapes because I couldn't get tickets (they sold out VERY quickly). It doesn't feel like an absolute must-see the way WK or DoN did. 

Still, going over to my friend's place to watch it as it happens on his TV. I always enjoy the shows more that way. About half the card has the potential to be killer, and only match #4 has nothing in particular for me to hang my hat on (and even with that one, who knows... maybe Tana and Tai-chan will do something fun). 

 

Expect me back here in a few hours, ranting and raving about how awesome it was.

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That Ibushi vs Naito match was close to unwatchable. I really don't want to see people taking every bump right on their head.

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Agreed, big Dragon Lee fan but wasn't feeling that. 

Bit of controversy over KENTA showing up on the same day as NOAH's Misawa tribute show 

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A year out and it seems that Okada-Omega IV was the natural climax of the 2010's New Japan style wherein it finally reached the maximum of its potential. It's my hope that a fresh evolution of the style comes into play, ideally along the lines of what Jay White's recently.

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All the matches that I watched either were dissapoting or flawed to the point it didn't reach their potential (Lee vs Ospreay). 

KENTA in New Japan (and the G1) is exciting. Obviously, it's not prime KENTA but KENTA is KENTA

 

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3 hours ago, FMKK said:

That Ibushi vs Naito match was close to unwatchable. I really don't want to see people taking every bump right on their head.

Couldn't agree more. Some straight-up foolish risk-taking going on there.

Overall, I think the card matched my fairly low expectations. I found the ending to the main event kind of baffling. Normally I am a big fan of bullshit in pro wrestling, but there was way to much of it up and down the card for what is ostensibly one of the biggest shows of the year, and a lot of it was the wrong kind of bullshit.

Dominion was a pretty damned good advertisement for the G-1, though! 

 

Spoiler

Adding KENTA, Shingo, and Mox to the tournament sounds good to me. 

My favourite match was actually Shingo vs Kojima. Nice and stiff, told a good story, no idiotically high-risk spots. 

And, as much as I sometimes hate to see these guys (literally) risking their necks... I totally popped for Dragon Lee's insane Suicide Dive into the precariously-seated Ospreay. Do I contradict myself? Fine, then I contradict myself.   :lol:

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I really liked the show overall. Thought all of the singles matches delivered to at least "good" territory and the tags were fine if just sort of there.

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I'm way more excited about Shingo in the G-1 than KENTA tbh. But it will be interesting to see if the steroid diet is gonna make KENTA more durable considering how brutal the G-1 is to wrestler's bodies.

 

I wasn't a fan of heavyweight KENTA in NOAH but we'll see if having a chip on his shoulder and a bunch of fresh matchups in New Japan crate some sort of spark in him, hopefully we get his best version possible.

 

You add Moxley to the mix and it's the most exciting G-1 in years.

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2 minutes ago, Jmare007 said:

I'm way more excited about Shingo in the G-1 than KENTA tbh.

Same. I'd love to go with the theory that KENTA just couldn't adapt to the WWE style but considering how he looked in the Marufuji match last year, I think he's pretty much done.

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1 hour ago, Boss Rock said:

Same. I'd love to go with the theory that KENTA just couldn't adapt to the WWE style but considering how he looked in the Marufuji match last year, I think he's pretty much done.

I hate that narrative because the fact is KENTA was already a shell of his former self well before he even signed to WWE. What he did after his 2012 return (from another ACL surgery), was a clear and steady step down from what he was doing before. To be honest, his knee injury at the end of his amazing 09' was the end of his peak as a in ring performer.

If the New Japan setting, this new (steroid?) "diet" to bulk up and maybe even a change in style gives him a resurgence it would fucking awesome. But we can't put any blame on his tenure in WWE, he was what he was there.

 

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1 hour ago, Boss Rock said:

Same. I'd love to go with the theory that KENTA just couldn't adapt to the WWE style but considering how he looked in the Marufuji match last year, I think he's pretty much done.

He had some cracking matches in NXT whenever he had the chance (injuries putting a stop to any regular quality) against guys like Black and Roode, to be fair. KENTA may also have suffered from lack of motivation given that he was never going anywhere on 205 Live. Maybe I'm just projecting my wishes rather than the reality. Nevertheless, KENTA could always switch it up. Rather than trying to be old KENTA, go in the grumpy ass kicker approach and just beat the hell out of people. That would be quite fun to watch.

And yeah, Shingo in the G1 has far more promise. But that doesn't mean they can't shine in their own ways. 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Jmare007 said:

I hate that narrative because the fact is KENTA was already a shell of his former self well before he even signed to WWE. What he did after his 2012 return (from another ACL surgery), was a clear and steady step down from what he was doing before. To be honest, his knee injury at the end of his amazing 09' was the end of his peak as a in ring performer.

That's fair and in all honesty I wasn't sure what he looked like right before he signed.

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Match by match thoughts;

1    Jon Moxley vs. Shota Umino: A perfectly cromulent squash. Highlights:  Mox declaring for G1 and helping the kid to the back.
2    Satoshi Kojima vs. Shingo Takagi: Not, perhaps, the best match of the night, but definitely my favouritE. Nice and stiff. Told a story. Didn't overstay its welcome. Highlights:  Them getting so caught up in whaling on one another outside that they almost got counted out. That Cozy Lariat near the end. Shingo declaring for the G1.
3    Jyushin Thunder Liger and Yoshi-Hashi vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.): Didn't exactly change my mind w/r/t Yoshi-Hashi. Highlight: Liger getting frustrated with his partner and trying to wake him up.  
4    Taguchi Japan (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson and Ryusuke Taguchi) vs. Bullet Club (Jay White, Chase Owens and Taiji Ishimori): Pointless. Lowlight: Tana's new DDT-esque move looked like crap.   
5    Taichi (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii for the NEVER Openweight Championship: About as 'meh' as it's possible for something involving the always-awesome Ishii to be. Highlight: Right guy won.
6    Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Evil and Sanada) for the IWGP Tag Team Championship: Man this was really just kind of 'There" wasn't it? Way too much of the wrong kind of bullshit. Highlight: Shibata bringing KENTA out afterward, to declare for the G1. 
7    Dragon Lee (c) vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Very exciting match. Well worth a watch. Highlight: Loved that Suicide Dive.  
8    Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Borderline unwatchable, for me. Lowlight: The horrific German off the apron.
9    Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Chris Jericho for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship: I am a fan of both guys. I've always enjoyed Jericho, and Okada has completely won me over. This was pretty rough though. By no means terrible, just sloppy and disappointing. Lowlight: I guess Jericho is Triple H now, in that he has to be protected from taking a proper loss to a finishing move - even if that means robbing the fans of a satisfying finish to what is ostensibly the second biggest show of the year. 

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