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He had some kind of timer going on, but that didn't result in him appearing. Wonder if they're saving him for the Jingu Stadium show.

It definitely looks like Naito is getting the belt or belts back at Jingu Stadium and it seems very likely Okada wins the G1 to set up a rematch if they do indeed put on a Dome show.

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2 hours ago, sek69 said:

Jay White tweeted a pic from an airplane not too long ago so I assume he went back to Japan and will be returning as soon as the quarantine time is over. Hopefully he spent the down time at home since New Zealand did a pretty good job managing things.

Wait, there is a New Zealand pro-wrestler in New Japan?

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8 minutes ago, ohtani's jacket said:

Wait, there is a New Zealand pro-wrestler in New Japan?

Wow. You're way too deep into old French stuff... :lol:

He's only been basically the N°1 gaijin heel the last two years and has been awesome at it too. Great worker.

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7 minutes ago, MoS said:

Hiromu is definitely a future main eventer. 

Absolutely, but it scares me sometimes how much he wants to prove he's the same person after the neck injury. I'm not saying he needs to become completely mat based but the whole "taking spots on the neck just to show he can" needs to go.

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Definitely. I am hoping that when he bulks up for his inevitable move to hw, he stops taking ridiculous bumps. His neck seems to have miraculously healed and I would rather he not tempt fate. 

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2 hours ago, ohtani's jacket said:

I watched him cut a promo. The accent is too much for me.

Jay White made an interesting observation about accents: He pointed out that Americans talk with really open mouths. And sure enough, if I try to talk while opening my mouth as little as possible, it sounds kind of like a New Zealand accent. 

This also explains why, as an American, singers tend not to sound foreign when they're singing. When I was a kid, it blew my mind when I found out the Beatles were English.

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Why do people call non-Japanese wrestlers working in Japan gaijin? Why not just call them foreigners? I mean, I never see anybody refer to non-Mexicans wrestling in Mexico as gringos.

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Well I call them gringos and I'm not Mexican (most of south american call people from the U.S gringos) but that's whatever.

 

I call them gaijin because it's way easier to write and at this point it's become a wrestling term  *shrugs*

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I got a kick out of Missy Hyatt on the Meltz podcast saying she wasn't impressed with EVIL as the IWGP champ and that SANADA would have been better in the role and that Shingo is a better worker. Missy strikes me as someone would be so much a PWO poster, the kind of which is actually into the new stuff. No matter her opinions on other things (*cough*), I kinda think it's cool Missy Hyatt is a pro-wrestling fan lifer when she's been out of the business for what almost 24 years now (counting her last TV stint as ECW in 1996 with Sandman)

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Well, "gaijin" hasn't been acceptable for use in Japanese media for decades. If you listen to Japanese broadcasts, they always say "gaikokujin" (the more formal/polite term). And keep in mind that Japan is a country where the national broadcasting service produced this video to explain Black Lives Matter to children.

If a term is too racially insensitive for Japanese TV, it probably shouldn't be used.

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From what Dave has mentioned, it's just what foreigners have always been called and wrestling is wrestling no matter where in the world it's based and just keeps using the term.

Also it seems that Americans wrestling in Japan especially kind of took ownership of it and kind of made it "their word". Not that it makes it okay, but Japan has a very......terse relationship with any race that isn't Japanese. 

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2 hours ago, MoS said:

This new tournament/title idea seems really contrived and unnecessary. 

Seems dumb. Honestly, think that after WK this year, the company's taken a real turn for the worse. People will defend it because good matches are still happening on these cards but I really think New Japan is far past its peak and we've entered a time where I feel comfortable saying it's pretty bad now.

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5 minutes ago, SmartMark15 said:

Seems dumb. Honestly, think that after WK this year, the company's taken a real turn for the worse. People will defend it because good matches are still happening on these cards but I really think New Japan is far past its peak and we've entered a time where I feel comfortable saying it's pretty bad now.

The fact that the EVIL title run was apparently going to happen regardless of the pandemic reinforces this imo. 

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I agree with both points. Yet another title is exactly what NJ doesn't need now. There has been way too many title already. When every match on a big card is a title match, no title match seems important. Plus, booking another tournament right after the NJ Cup reeks of lazy booking (it was one of Russo's go-to).

I was thinking the same thing, the idea that the EVIL heel turn and title run was programmed since last year makes Naito's big win look pretty dumb in retrospect. So all that for giving EVIL the nod ? Maybe Naito will regain at the big stadium show (hopefully), but that EVIL stuff sticks like a sore thumb. Gedo's formula of "Inserting X into Bullet Club" is way past tired at this point. It worked really well for KENTA (and had to since the guy is physically shot), but EVIL's turn is past the point of redondant. As far as the matches being really good, well I've not watched the Hiromu one, but Okada & Naito weren't very good in term of Okada & Naito big main event matches. The whole run-ins and ref bump stuff is almost Double J Special stuff at this point. There are too many great workers in the company to not have really good match no matter what, but in the big picture, I agree NJPW doesn't look very good right now. I wonder if the G1 Climax last year, which was the greatest ever, will not end up being looked at the peak of this period of NJ. 

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People living outside of Japan often have this hang up about the word gaijin. If you are suffering from racism in Japan there are worse things happening to you than being called a gaijin. It's just a word. Some people use it loosely, other people in a bigoted way. Just like English speaking people do with the word "foreigner." Why even call the wrestlers foreigners? Why not call them Americans or New Zealanders? Labeling them foreign is hardly distinguishing them from being gaijin. 

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I usually give Gedo the benefit of the doubt, but this KOPW title sounds like a miss. New Japan already has too many titles as it is, and the "challenger picks the stipulation" gimmick gives it the stench of a comedy jobber belt like the Hardcore title or the 24/7 title.

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This whole KOPW "title" that isn't really a title/belt sounds like a whacky idea Inoki would come up with so he could main event shows defending that shit :lol:

 

I'll never understand why Gedo is so adamant in New Japan not working big feuds with other Japanese promotions anymore. We all know NJPW would come out on top anyway, it's the easiest way to have new and refreshing matchups all over the card, you can get young people over -shit, that's how Okada showed he was a prodigy in 09'- and you can give main eventers something important to do besides chasing a title (he could've done it with Naito 2-3 years ago, he could do it right now with Okada).

Specially now when there's so many companies in dire need of a boost, there's no question a lot of them would be glad to work and lose big feuds and matches against New Japan at this point. And Okada wouldn't need a fuckery King of Pro Wrestling "title" when he could just beat top guys from other companies and continue to establish that NJ is the "King of Sports".

 

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The kopw title runs into the same problem the hiac ppv has. Gimmick matches for the sake of gimmick matches just aren't special. I don't think it's going to work at all. At the same time, people are willing to defend this because there's a trust in Gedo to deliver, not just because of the quality of matches on display.

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Have they addressed what they are going to do with the NEVER 6-man titles? With the 6-man and IC titles basically being in limbo, they should really be focusing on sorting out that shit before introducing new gold. 

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1 hour ago, MoS said:

Have they addressed what they are going to do with the NEVER 6-man titles? With the 6-man and IC titles basically being in limbo, they should really be focusing on sorting out that shit before introducing new gold. 

Not yet, no.

I think people are getting a little too down on New Japan, especially when they're short a number of main eventers (Ospreay, Mox, White, KENTA to an extent). I do think they've past their artistic peak for this era, though (that's going to be Kenny-Okada). If Okada is Flair, early 90s WCW should be instructive here - it's hard to build new stars when the other top guys is not only still around, but the new guys are forced to work the old guy's style and can't do it (although Sting and Luger certainly > EVIL as workers in their prime).

This KOPW belt seems like just a thing to do to spice things up without burning any big matchups they have on the table. Definitely feels like they are trying to keep things in neutral when they can't do big crowds, but with COVID coming back a bit in Japan, it may be a while before they can do full shows again and there's going to have to be a point where they can't just spin their wheels.

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WCW didn't have a guy like Shota ready to get take over as the next Ace though. I hope Gedo doesn't wait till 2024 to pull the trigger on him after he returns.

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11 minutes ago, Jmare007 said:

WCW didn't have a guy like Shota Hiromu ready to get take over as the next Ace though. I hope Gedo doesn't wait till 2024 to pull the trigger on him after he returns.

There...

As good as he is as a young lion, Shota ain't nearly ready yet to get to that level. And let's hope he doesn't come back dressed as poorly as Master Wato...

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