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Kota Ibushi : "Wanna do shoot-style shit ?"

Great O-Khan : "Ok"

O-Khan definitely turned the corner with me during this G1. Of course it was against exceptional workers, but still, he was game as fuck and has shown he was able to have that kind of match. 

Meanwhile, Ibushi might be the greatest high-concept worker ever. That O-Khan match was WTF is happening awesome. I mean, it made me forget I just saw Ishii vs Takahashi, which was awesome, and ZSJ vs KENTA, which was excellent too. 

On 10/9/2021 at 1:08 PM, Dav'oh said:

I don't think Kota Ibushi is demonstrably the lesser of his contemporaries D-Bry and Kenny, and may even have a deeper toolkit. Not that anyone is expressing that sentiment, but he's absent from the conversation, it seems.

Depending on where the conversation takes place I guess. Ibushi is awesome. I usually don't think of him as highly as Omega (to keep it in contexts that are more comparable, although, please, please, PLEASE, make it comparable for Danielson sooner than later ! G1 2022 ? PLEASE !!!!!), but then he shows up with the kind of match he just did against O-Khan (or last year against Taichi) and my mind is blown.

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On 10/9/2021 at 2:19 PM, gordi said:

Not sure how the Yano match went, though.

Not nearly enough Pieter camera shots.

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18 minutes ago, El-P said:

Not nearly enough Pieter camera shots.

There never are :(

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Agree with the sentiment of GOK. He's really proven that beneath the shitty gimmick there lies a good wrestler. As for the whole Ibushi vs Bryan vs Kenny thing, I think that he is the most creative in his matches of the 3 and is equal in terms of work rate. I think the big thing is that he lacks the narrative that both Kenny and Bryan have had in their careers where they felt like the hottest thing in pro-wrestling (Kenny's rise to the top from 2016-2018 and current title run, Bryan's ROH title run and road to WMXXX). Had he won the title at WK 2020 things might be different.

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You'd think a Chase Owens or a YOSHI-HASHI or a Tanga Loa only exists in the G1 to give the other guys an easy night, but nah. It reminds me of Flair being criticised for needing 10-20 minutes to beat a Gilbert or an Eaton or a South. Owens should never be anything other than a squashed fool in a squashing fools equation. And fuck capitalising YOSHI-HASHI; it should be minimalised, as in yoshi-hashi

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Chase Owens is actually having a terrific G1. Also, the fact Okada made me actually legit buy a nearfall as a possible finish, and that despite the fact there was no way in hell Owens would have another galactic upset (but the *idea* that he could was probably helped by the fact he actually had one, as crazy as it seems, so that's some brillant booking trickery here), says everything about the genius of Okada putting together those ending stretches. It's easy to get caught in our little bubble of micro-analysis while forgetting the big picture, it's the G1 so everybody is supposed to step up (both storyline-wise and in reality), plus there are less matches because of the restrictions, but you still have to deliver to the fans enough content so they don't feel cheated. 

YOSHI-HASHI has also stepped up, but I admit I fast-forwarded a bit for his match against SANADA, since it's as close as Lance Storm vs Tim Horner in term of Charisma Deathmatch goes and the fact they are both make-koshi already.

Really, that Sendai night was all about Cobb vs Tanahashi and did it deliver just that great match it was supposed to. Plot thickens and gotta hand it to Gedo, who still can book a cool G1 even with the restricted roster (although really, some new blood would have been welcome). Of course you gotta deal with EVIL matches being an important part of the equation and that is annoying (Kevin Kelly sounding super annoyed actually helps because you can almost feel some empathy for the poor viewers in a meta yet discreet way).

Spoiler

I see EVIL beating Cobb while Okada goes undefeated, then SANADA having to beat EVIL on the last day to free the way for either Okada or Cobb to win the Block

 

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On 10/10/2021 at 10:22 AM, kas said:

Agree with the sentiment of GOK. He's really proven that beneath the shitty gimmick there lies a good wrestler.

I don't get how anyone could think "1970s Mongolian" would be a good gimmick in 2021, it really stands out in a negative way. It's like New Japan allowed WWE to come up with a gimmick for one of their guys and thats what we got.

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7 hours ago, El-P said:

everybody is supposed to step up

Agree fully with your reasoning, but it should hold that Okada is stepping up too, and if Okada - a real-life and kayfabe GOAT contender - was stepping up, we'd be writing, "Chase Owens was 31 and is survived by his wife and kids". I don't think anything is lost in making it a 12/14/16 man tourney, but it's a moot point.

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Trying to sketch out the A block finale, with ZSJ/Kenta/Ibushi/Shingo all at 12, and Ishii at 10.

Shingo has Yujiro, and it would be pretty wild for him to lose there. Which means he's getting to 14, and I don't expect him to make the finals. That would also knock out Ishii.

ZSJ has Tanga Loa. That feels like a potential trap match to set up Tekkers-GOD part 78, although I really hope not as ZSJ would be my preferred finalist from the block.

If Shingo wins and ZSJ loses, an Ibushi win puts him in - but it seems real aggressive to put Ibushi into four straight finals. I dunno. Kenta making the finals seems to require a Shingo loss, which seems like a big ask. Maybe that makes ZSJ the likeliest answer. I dunno.

I guess what I'm saying is I'm intrigued for next Monday.

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I've got headaches already. I find the rules to be overly complicated TBH, if you got the same points, just do fucking barrage matches like in sumo !

7 hours ago, Migs said:

ZSJ has Tanga Loa. That feels like a potential trap match to set up Tekkers-GOD part 78, although I really hope not as ZSJ would be my preferred finalist from the block.

The same. I'd love ZSJ to win the Block, but I think he's gonna get beat by Tanga Loa, which is quite a disappointing final match. As much as I enjoyed Tama's matches, I find Tanga's work to be mediocre and unengaging still.

Also, I may have given O-Khan a bit too much credit, as I thought the Takagi match was clearly overlong and got redundant at the end. The reliance on gimmicky spots and especially the fucking claw (maybe the worst pro-wrestling spot this side of the heart-punch) still makes him someone I *don't* want to watch often in big singles matches. That one was one too many, despite Takagi's greatness.

The next two days look rough as hell, tomorrow is the most mild B-Block day imaginable (and Cobb facing EVIL is gonna be frustrating), and last day of A-Block is a one match show, that is if KENTA shows up (and he should, against Ibushi), and only the final result really interests me.

Yeah, I do feel burned out as the lack of depths as finally caught up in the last few days (best combination of matches have pretty much all been done now). Quick, get to the Budokan already !

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Who can win, and how, per NJPW1972

Spoiler

B Block comes down to the main event on the 20th. A win or a tie means Cobb advances. Okada needs to win to take the block.

A block is more complicated, of course:

Ibushi vs KENTA seems to be on last. If Ibushi wins and ZSJ loses, Ibushi takes it.

KENTA must win and have Shingo Takagi lose, or for Zack Sabre Jr and Takagi to both win

Zack Sabre Jr. must win, and have Ibushi win

Shingo Takagi must win and have Sabre and Ibushi both lose
 

 

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22 hours ago, Boss Rock said:
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I was entertaining the idea of Tonga upsetting Okada, but still a bit surprised they did it. Glad EVIL was eliminated.

 

This made me think Okada's our winner and that's the briefcase match.

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Wish I could say this is surprising, but it's not.

New Japan has never, ever known what it was doing in the West and honestly should not expand any further into America because it will be a massive failure and money loser, simply because they don't understand the market and have shown no inclination to learn even after all these years. This is just one example of that. Another example - and I keep beating the drum on this - is that NJPW World is still not available on PS4/5, Roku, etc. - only Fire Stick and Android devices. Do they even have a working English website for NJPW World yet? All in all, this company continues to confound me with its blatant incompetence outside its own shores. 

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On the money post, C.S. . 

I've known people involved. New Japan has always offered a meagre local advertising budget. US/Japanese international business and cultural differences is a minefield, syncing office hours limits things but even accounting for that New Japan's decision making is just so fucking slow. 

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I am not very educated on this topic, but Japanese cultural and entertainment products have been successfully exported to the entire world: games, movies, consoles, etc. I am not denying that there are massive cultural differences, but even then, New Japan has been immensely incompetent in this regard. 

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Also, look how well Korean cultural products are doing internationally (different country obviously, but still within the East Asian cultural sphere). BTS is the biggest boy band in the world, Squid Game is the most watched show in Netflix history, and Parasite became the first foreign-language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

It should be noted that New Japan has a long history of failing to capitalize on overseas popularity. They were once so big in Italy that Tatsumi Fujinami came in third in a newspaper poll for most popular athlete in the country. But they were doing such strong business in Japan that they never considered expanding. However, an indie promoter ran a show in Italy with Inoki as the main draw and drew 15000.

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Without spoiling tonight's result, I'll say that regardless of who takes B block, we are damn near guaranteed a great final. 

And the B-block determiner should be pretty damned good as well. 

Spoiler

I'm pulling for Cobb, since that would give us a near-ideal speed v power match for the tournament final

 

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21 hours ago, MoS said:

I am not very educated on this topic, but Japanese cultural and entertainment products have been successfully exported to the entire world: games, movies, consoles, etc. I am not denying that there are massive cultural differences, but even then, New Japan has been immensely incompetent in this regard. 

In some respects, yes -- manga, anime, video games -- but they are hopelessly behind Korea when it comes to exporting entertainment products. Which is ironic because Japan has a huge impact on Korean pop culture. Admittedly, Korean TV and film is vastly superior to Japanese productions. K-pop has probably overtaken J-pop too, though K-pop stars still record songs in Japanese because of how important the market is. 

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