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#21 DR Ackermann

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 01:47 PM

I'm trying to get a handle on Ishii. On the one hand, I love his look--this tiny dude with no neck and the head of an NFL left tackle. And that look makes fighting spirit a good fit for him rather than the cliche it has become for a lot of Japanese stars. He sells extremely well at times. But good lord does he go overboard with the my-turn-your-turn strike exchanges, which are the bane of modern New Japan for me. Can't decide what I think, though I'm more pro than con.

 

Does Shibata/Nakamura on Power Struggle mean no Shibata/Nakamura in the Dome?

 

My feelings 100 percent. I always feel like I'm missing something when I watch his matches that get praised. I tend to like them a lot less than everyone else.



#22 stomperspc

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 02:41 PM

Does Shibata/Nakamura on Power Struggle mean no Shibata/Nakamura in the Dome?

 

I'd think so, but who knows.  I have a feeling Nakamura's opponent might be an outsider of some sorts.  I know January 4th is still a ways off, but aside from likely participation from Jeff Jarrett, there isn't a lot of obvious outside participation/special attractions lined up for the show yet.  January 4th Dome shows have almost always had a fair amount of special attraction stuff.  I know the Observer has discussed the possibility of Wanderlei Silva being involved in some way way so that might count but that's not a sure thing at this juncture either.  It wouldn't surprise me if Nakamura defends the IC title versus an outsider and/or foreigner.



#23 WingedEagle

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 03:54 PM

Not exactly current NJ, but a general Japan question.  How come English is so prevalent?  Certain wrestlers like Yosshi-Hashi, KENTA and others will have their names spelled out in English as opposed to Japanese.  Going back further, young boys would often wear gym jackets with their names written in English on the back.  Is English that common over there?  You never see the same here so I'm curious if this is found throughout the culture over there or something relating to wrestling.



#24 funkdoc

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 05:12 PM

using english letters in japanese is called romaji, and AFAIK it isn't used much outside of passports and pop culture.  i think it's so common in wrestling, video games, etc. because it's seen as exotic & cool sorta?



#25 ohtani's jacket

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 06:51 PM

Japan has many loan words from English, though the meaning often changes and becomes what's known as "Japanese English." For example, high tension means to be excited or full of energy.

Using romaji for names and what not is extremely common. It's simply a style choice. In the case of KENTA it's seen as cool.

#26 WingedEagle

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 06:59 PM

Thanks, definitely interesting. 



#27 NintendoLogic

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Posted 15 October 2014 - 07:26 PM

In the case of KENTA, there's also the fact that his real name (Kenta Kobayashi) bears a strong resemblance to that of Kenta Kobashi.



#28 pol

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 11:08 PM

Today's Korakuen show that broadcast on Samurai TV is up in the usual place. Bunch of junior tag tournament first round matches and Okada/Nakamura/Ishii vs. Tanahashi/Shibata/Goto. They pair off into their respective feuds for much of the match. I thought the Okada/Tanahashi and especially the Shibata/Nakamura sections were very good. The Ishii/Goto sections were boring as fuck, and despite being one of the people who considers Ishii perhaps the best in the world right now, I don't think Goto (who I find incredibly dull) is entirely to blame here, at least not in the way you might expect. It's not that he sucks so much that Ishii can't get anything good out of him, more that he brings out all of Ishii's worst tendencies. Goto pinned Ishii which I assume means he's the next NEVER challenger. On the one hand I'm not looking forward to 15 minutes of rope running, lariat battles and elbow exchanges. On the other hand giving Ishii a title defense win over Goto seems like a small elevation for him which is nice. Also Shibata/Nakamura seems like a potentially very high end MOTYC, although I didn't think their G1 match was at that level.



#29 W2BTD

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 02:06 AM

I thought the six man was great, and I LOVED the Ishii/Goto stuff. The difference of opinion is probably because I like Goto a lot, probably as a Top 20 guy worldwide right now (or close to it), and i'm into stuff like rope running, lariat battles, and elbow exchanges.

 

Anyway, I thought the match had a total All Japan glory days 6-man vibe, with the super hot crowd, and all six guys super over. The enormous pop when Tana & Okada tagged in, and the two simultaneous Tanahashi/Okada chants, really hammered home that they are going in the right direction for the dome. 

 

Tana & Okada took a backseat to the other two pairings down the stretch, which was the right thing to do as they needed to get the other two matches over. Personally I can not wait for Goto/Ishii, which will be right up my alley with two dudes beating the shit out of each other.

 

The junior tags were all really fun, with a couple of them flirting with four stars. Probably the best opening round of this tournament in a few years, as usually it has a dud or two. I really, really, REALLY hope reDRagon vs Tanaka & Komatsu makes tape. Also Fuego vs Tanaka. 

 

I blew off the multi-man throwaway tags, so I didn't see the whole show, but the stuff I did watch was all pretty damn good and an easy watch. Bucks vs Liger & Tiger Mask was a nice surprise.



#30 pol

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:29 AM

BUSHI/Dorada vs. the ROH guys was fun. Dug BUSHI's Super Delfin Halloween costume. Dorada's dive over the stairwell in the Korakuen stands seemed like a stupidly risky spot to try in an essentially nothing match. I'm annoyed that they jobbed KUSHIDA/Shelly (the current Jr. Tag champions!) to Romero/Koslov, whose shtick I find incredibly tired at this point.



#31 W2BTD

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 03:50 AM

BUSHI/Dorada vs. the ROH guys was fun. Dug BUSHI's Super Delfin Halloween costume. Dorada's dive over the stairwell in the Korakuen stands seemed like a stupidly risky spot to try in an essentially nothing match. I'm annoyed that they jobbed KUSHIDA/Shelly (the current Jr. Tag champions!) to Romero/Koslov, whose shtick I find incredibly tired at this point.

 

Kozov is getting chubby, as it looks like he can't work out properly with that shoulder injury. Hopefully that win doesn't foreshadow a tournament win & title challenge, because I think everybody is sick of that match.



#32 Childs

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 11:20 AM

I thought the six man was great, and I LOVED the Ishii/Goto stuff. The difference of opinion is probably because I like Goto a lot, probably as a Top 20 guy worldwide right now (or close to it), and i'm into stuff like rope running, lariat battles, and elbow exchanges.

 

Question, Joe: Do you actively enjoy the back-and-forth elbow battles in New Japan? Or is it more like you accept them as part of a style you like overall?

 

I ask because it seems those strike exchanges irritate a lot of the skeptics about modern New Japan (and yes, they irritate me, even though I'm enjoying the promotion overall). But I'm unclear if those who truly love New Japan also love that aspect of the style.



#33 Tim Cooke

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:40 PM

Watched the main event from the Korakuen Hall show after reading some thoughts about it here and on twitter.  

 

I enjoyed it for what it was but had also read that it was comparable to the 90's AJPW 6 man tags.  I obviously didn't go in with expectations of it coming close to the two best Korakuen Hall 6 man tags of the 90's (10/28/90 and 4/20/91) but Korakuen Hall crowds still deliver today so I was looking forward to seeing what they did.

 

The good:

 

* Good heat and as mentioned above, the Tanahashi/Okada tag in got a big pop

* Chaos did a nice job mixing in double and triple teams that didn't drift into that excessive US Indy/Dragon Gate triple teams where they run through so many, so quickly that it becomes mind numbing

* They went about the right length, didn't get excessive, and left me wanting to see more - which is the point of almost all non-Mexico trios matches 

 

The not-so-good (wouldn't say these things were bad, but they stood out to me):

 

* When to save and when to kick out.  There were a few times in the match where it was clear the crowd was ready to pop big for a kick out but there was a save by a team mate that lessened or negated whatever heat was coming from the crowd.  This shouldn't be a problem with wrestlers who have this much experience but it was something that jumped out at me right away

* The Goto/Ishii elbow exchanges.  These were much more reserved than what you would see in anything in NOAH post 2001, so that is a positive in itself, but great strike exchanges add to a match.  This didn't add anything.

 

I list the not so good because it goes hand in hand with the AJPW trios matches comparison.  The only comparison I could see is that they used 6 of their main stars in a trios match at the top of a Korakuen Hall show.  

 

Structurally, they got the pairings right but instead of milking the Tanahashi/Okada tag in the third segment or starting them off against each other (Misawa/Jumbo and Misawa/Kawada usually did the opening pair off or the third exchange - can't remember an instance of them going second but obviously don't remember every AJPW trios from memory), they decided to go second.  The pop Tanahashi and Okada got was good but it felt like a missed opportunity if they would have had Goto and Ishii go second.  A small gripe and not something that really means a lot in the overall scheme of things but something that definitely keeps it from even approaching the AJPW trios matches status.  

 

The top rung (10/28/90 and 4/20/91) and middle rung (5/26/90, 8/18/90, 10/15/91, and 1/24/92) Korakuen Hall AJPW trios matches leave this in the dust for overall heat, moves, execution, and story progression.  That's really not a knock against this match since the first two (and 10/15/91) would all rank as historically great for me personally but it also doesn't jive with the AJPW trios comparison.  I've watched and enjoyed a fair amount of New Japan this year.  Would have been interesting to see a more junior member in on the Tanahashi/Shibata team, specifically someone like Homna, who killed it with Ishii in the G-1.  That would have given the match that Fuchi/Ogawa/Kikuchi/Akiyama dynamic that really helped something like the 10/15/91 match, where Misawa was legit injured so he couldn't work much so his team was essentially Kawada and Kikuchi going up against the "A" squad from Jumbo's side.  That's fantasy booking and I'm not holding it against the match in the context of 2014, but as a comparison to the 90's matches, it's a valid point.  

 

I would probably go ***1/4, which in 2014 is something well worth watching for me.  I watched this with Paul, who has watched almost every New Japan show this year and he was even a little lower, going about ***.



#34 W2BTD

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 12:47 PM

 

I thought the six man was great, and I LOVED the Ishii/Goto stuff. The difference of opinion is probably because I like Goto a lot, probably as a Top 20 guy worldwide right now (or close to it), and i'm into stuff like rope running, lariat battles, and elbow exchanges.

 

Question, Joe: Do you actively enjoy the back-and-forth elbow battles in New Japan? Or is it more like you accept them as part of a style you like overall?

 

I ask because it seems those strike exchanges irritate a lot of the skeptics about modern New Japan (and yes, they irritate me, even though I'm enjoying the promotion overall). But I'm unclear if those who truly love New Japan also love that aspect of the style.

 

 

They don't bother me at all, and when done at the right time (right at the bell by sluggers like Ishii or Shibata, or when both guys are frustrated that they haven't been able to put the other away, etc) they add a ton excitement to a match for me. 

 

In short, yes, I enjoy the strike exchanges and will pop for them. They represent the FIGHT that I like to see in my puro.



#35 WingedEagle

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 01:34 PM

I like the strike exchanges when done infrequently.  Lately it feels like they're a part of every single Goto, Shibata and Ishii match which becomes more than overkill when these guys aren't in the same match.  I also don't like when they'll stand there and actually invite their opponent to strike them, as was the case in Ishii/Shibata's G1 match last year. 

 

Something like Naito/Ishii furiously throwing elbows or forearms and not simply accepting it?  I'm all for it as long as its not done up and down the card.



#36 NintendoLogic

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:15 PM

In a real fight, you don't just stand there and invite your opponent to pop you. That's not a fight, it's a macho pissing contest. Beyond that, I think wrestling is a lot better when guys act like stuff that doesn't hurt does than when they act like stuff that does hurt doesn't.



#37 W2BTD

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:29 PM

They aren't no selling in the sense that they are pretending it doesn't hurt, they are no selling in the sense that "I am tougher than you, you can't break me, and I will outlast you". In that sense, it is a macho pissing contest, and that's exactly why I like it. I like the idea of tough guys trying to out tough each other.

 

I don't really want to get into the "in a real fight" stuff, because it isn't a real fight, it's pro wrestling where you do things you can't do in real life to make it more exciting, but with that said the most exciting MMA fights are two stand up fighters with no intentions of taking it to the ground killing each other in a stand up war. That's the same theory behind the standing strike exchanges in puro matches. Fuck fighting smart, right now i'm out to prove i'm tougher than you, because i'm a man and men are stupid when pride & adrenaline is involved.

 

It's similar to fighting spirit. And you either get it and like it, or don't. I think a well timed "no sell" (again, not really no selling as much as fighting past it with the last bit of energy inside of you) fighting spirit spot is the most exciting spot in all of wrestling.  



#38 WingedEagle

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:53 PM

I'm absolutely with you on a well timed no sell.  I'm just not at all there with with openly and regularly inviting your opponent's strikes.  Its one thing to simultaneously throw bombs.  Its another to stand there with your hands down and ask for it.



#39 Jimmy Redman

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 07:56 PM

My actual problem with forearm exchanges is that it renders the forearm itself as a strike...kind of meaningless. When they get into an exchange, they rarely make the actual forearms look good, because they're rushing them and already thinking about the next one. So you get these really short forearms that barely rock these guys and in the end I just think...you're just two guys standing too close waving your elbows at each other. It hardly ever gives me the impression that they're hurting each other with them. So the idea that they're doing some macho, fighting spirit, 'I can take more pain than you' thing doesn't resonate with me, because I don't see the pain at all. They're just going through the motions.

 

It's either that or the long, drawn out, forearm-sell-recover-yell something-return thing, which I just find a bit silly.



#40 stomperspc

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Posted 28 October 2014 - 09:28 PM

My actual problem with forearm exchanges is that it renders the forearm itself as a strike...kind of meaningless. When they get into an exchange, they rarely make the actual forearms look good, because they're rushing them and already thinking about the next one. So you get these really short forearms that barely rock these guys and in the end I just think...you're just two guys standing too close waving your elbows at each other. It hardly ever gives me the impression that they're hurting each other with them. So the idea that they're doing some macho, fighting spirit, 'I can take more pain than you' thing doesn't resonate with me, because I don't see the pain at all. They're just going through the motions.

 

It's either that or the long, drawn out, forearm-sell-recover-yell something-return thing, which I just find a bit silly.

 

Agreed 100%.  Well said.

 

The majority of the time it looks like the strikes are ineffectual, rather than coming off as the wrestler(s) masking their pain.  It is usually a case of the strikes not looking good or like they hurt.  If the strikes looked good, I could buy the idea that the opponent is just biting his lip and trying not to show pain but they rarely do. 






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