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The current Observer notes that the industry isn't nearly as mobbed-up as it was in the past since the biggest promotions are backed by publicly traded companies that can't afford to run the risk of yakuza involvement.

As for Ibushi, I think it might be at least partially be a situation similar to Eddie Guerrero in 2004 where his title reign was largely a flop due to factors beyond his control and he cracked under the pressure.

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Ishii vs Kingston was AWESOME. If that match happened 20 years ago and people had to pay 20 bucks to see it on a VHS tape, we would still hear about it to this day. But in an era when the average level of pro-wrestling is so much better than ever before, it's like "Great match, next.". Really, I try not to take things for granted, but it's kinda hard sometime, way too spoiled. Honestly that match maybe should have happened at Forbidden Door, because obviously the hype would have been much bigger, as NJPW US is kinda like NXT UK at this point, despite big time players being in the card (Okada was over as fuck, that Forbidden Door PPV needs to have an Okada single match). But yeah, great, great match.

And speaking of not taking things for granted, Lio Rush is back soon. Can't wait for his next great three months stint until he retires. (I know, I know, too easy)

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Yeah, I’m just kinda shocked. The severity of what he’s gone through all at once is something else. I do not blame him for speaking out, but now that there’s a suicide attempt from his mom involved, I don’t really blame him going scorched earth. Especially given how the company seems to have been treating him through all this. 
 

EDIT: There’s also some really strange culture dynamics here. Corporate loyalty has a lot of standing in Japan still to this day (although not as much as say, 30 years ago) and is why New Japan decided to do what they’ve done with Ibushi as opposed to showing any type of humanity given his injury situation during COVID. I really hope the shame of the situation didn’t drive Ibushi’s mother to attempt suicide, but if that is indeed the case, Ibushi speaking out would be a big deal. Not just on the kayfabe parts previously mentioned, but with someone directly confronting their previous corporate employer on a public level like this. 

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17 hours ago, NintendoLogic said:

It feels like New Japan has been falling apart since they sacked Harold Meij, like what happened to CMLL after Paco Alonso died.

I'm not really sure Meji was the answer either. His inflexibility on working with AEW was likely putting NJ in an even worse position. Ultimately, I think the way they've dealt with COVID stuff has crushed them; they have been so dependent on outsiders coming in to bolster the big shows, and without it, their strategy has seemingly just been volume and repetition. 

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The problem with relying on outsiders is that it invariably leads to political headaches, as we saw earlier this year with Keiji Mutoh and NOAH. New Japan's most successful interpromotional programs have been when they were in strong enough a position to essentially dictate the terms. These days, they don't have that kind of leverage over any promotion worth working with.

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NJPW has been slowly and subtly on decline since 2018. I still strongly believe Naito not winning at WK 12 was the beginning of the end: Gedo prefered to give the historic Okada reign to Omega, in all his "outsiderist" glory, instead of pulling the trigger on the biggest phenomenom they had in a long time. Priorizing both the american market and Okada as the ace to beat, have cursed the product.

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Omega leaving was a rather big hit. It's also one reason why Meij was cut, because he was seen as the guy was let Omega leave. When you add the fact he didn't understand what AEW could be and was all about maintaining his relationship with ROH (and CMLL !)... Yikes. A lil wee bit of lack of vision there...

I also remember people when AEW was formed going like "Omega meant nothing for NJPW, there's no proof he was a draw for them, they do just as good since he left." :lol:

But anyway. Just blame Dick Togo. He's the one behind the EVIL push.

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Isn't Meij credited with being the guy that kept New Japan afloat during 2020?

 

EDIT: It was the 2-night WK that apparently helped them survive

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This gotta be the most professional and transparent behavior I've seen from a wrestling company in I don't know how long

Takaaki Kidani, Takami Ohbari Press Conference regarding Kota Ibushi

https://www.njpw1972.com/121950

Now, I hope this is all true and Kota doesn't take to Twitter and say it's all BS. But if things were amended, it's very nice to hear.

 

Also, how fucking important is Ibushi, btw? A company bending itself backwards like this not to lose him is pretty damn unique. Would be shocked if that Kikuchi guy stayed in a position of power after this.

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Well the fact that both Ohbari & Kidani took time to personally meet with Ibushi to settle things shows that things clearly got out of hand without them even knowing anything (or at least, the full story). So yeah, this Kikuchi guy is probably toasted now, going forward.

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Yeah, I think while this was thoughtful and totally more than you’d expect for this situation, I don’t doubt things were left vague or even not included in some cases. 

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I mean, people who say awful vile shit should be held accountable for sure. There are consequences to everything you do or say. And a bullshit apology won't fly. Maybe this will get swept under the rug and the guy will go back crawling into his business after having been exposed as a lying, vile piece of shit. That happens, and not just in pro-wrestling offices. But yeah, he *should* be toasted for sure. At least some people know what he's made off now, despite having some sort of position of power. 

I'm speaking about that Kikuchi fellow of course, if that was not clear enough...

13 hours ago, Jmare007 said:

They still changed their story to address it though

 

Well, they are doing the most I remember seeing from a major company after such events, for sure. Interesting to see where it will leads them with Ibushi. If he ever come back, you can expect some very emotional moment for sure. Hopefully it ends well for him.

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17 hours ago, Boss Rock said:

Would someone be so kind as to provide a list of the must-see BOSJ matches, apart from Eagles-ELP? I already saw that one.

I thought Eagles/ElP and Hiromu/Despy were the two best matches in the tourney.  Almost everything else was good and not a whole lot else was great.  Basically little below 3 stars and nothing else touching 4.   I say almost everything else because I skipped everything involving Taguchi, SHO or Wato.  I've got no use for gimmicks or comedy and that was a quick way to filter things down quite a bit.  If you want to go further, cut YOH from the mix as well.  Definitely catch Lindaman and Eagles unless paired with any of the aforementioned names.

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Don’t know how many of you here are into Stardom but New Japan and Stardom just announced a joint show on November 20th. No matches or anything were announced but I think that sounds pretty interesting. Out of curiosity, has there ever been a joint show with a men’s and women’s company in Japan? My knowledge of Japanese wrestling is pretty limited.

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6 hours ago, Brynn said:

Out of curiosity, has there ever been a joint show with a men’s and women’s company in Japan? My knowledge of Japanese wrestling is pretty limited.

Not between the big companies, no. It happened with indies in the early 00's though, I remember a show with ARSION and Battlarts working together for instance (it was actually an intergender tournament). And of course FMW had a women division of its own, which was the exception to the rules.

But yeah, NJPW & Stardom doing a joint show is pretty big news. Quite interested in what this means for the future, if anything. They have tested the water at WK for the last two (I think) years. Could that mean some major Stardom matches on major NJPW shows in the future ? Would be a big shift in japanese pro-wrestling if that happened.

In other news, Tanahashi just invited CM Punk to take part in Wrestling Kingdom. Oh boy, what could it be if nothing goes wrong...

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Not quite a full-fledged joint show, but AJW sent wrestlers to work Hamada's UWF shows in the early 90s. And Big Egg Universe featured a Michinoku Pro trios match.

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