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How far away is Hiromu from returning? That would be a huge boost to the junior division with Ospreay moving up and Kushida heading off.

Short of breaking up Roppongi 3K, or pushing Shingo as a singles competitor the number of viable challengers for Ishimori feels pretty limited. 

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I wasn't watching at the time, how did New Japan cope when AJ, Nakamura, Anderson, and Gallows all jumped ship?  It really feels like they've been left with a watered down roster now The Elite, KUSHIDA and Jericho are on their way out.

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Just now, Supremo said:

I wasn't watching at the time, how did New Japan cope when AJ, Nakamura, Anderson, and Gallows all jumped ship?  It really feels like they've been left with a watered down roster now The Elite, KUSHIDA and Jericho are on their way out.

As part of Nakamura's send-off, he cut a promo saying that he'd never have left if he didn't know he was leaving CHAOS and NJPW in good hands with Okada. It was good timing in that respect, in that Okada was still reasonably fresh as a top guy, and the way Styles left and Omega took over Bullet Club gave them a shot in the arm, so while Nakamura was a huge loss, it coincided with the beginning of a "new era".

The thing with all of that lot - which could arguably be said for The Elite and KUSHIDA as well - is that there was a sense that, while losing them was a major blow to the company, they were all guys who had basically already done everything. 

Part of the problem with the guys leaving now is that it doesn't feel like there's anyone waiting in the wings to step up and adequately replace them, nor were they sent out the door with any sense of giving anyone else forward momentum.

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Hiromu is months away from coming back yet. I'd be inclined to say anything before August is too soon.

The roster, as it looks as of New Years Dash, is very depleted. Not for a lack of talent as such, but certainly freshness and vibrancy. Given the chatter today about New Japan not wanting to lose Omega, and the talks of Jericho wanting to stay on board to work with Tanahashi and Okada, I think that by March/April, New Japan are going to try and work something out and keep the Lover, assuming a joint deal, and to keep Jericho on board.

New Japan did suffer a little in the short term when Styles, Nakamura and Gallows/Anderson left, but they had a far richer pool at the time to elevate guys. They still have a good nucleus, but the problem is that so many of the matches away from the elevated stars from that first exodus are still happening - Fale Vs. Okada part 90, Naito still facing the same guys people don't buy. Wouldn't be surprised is they dust Goto off of moth balls before summer is over. The only act that truly feels fresh is Ospreay, because White is lacking top guy charisma and feels like an inferior stand-in to the genuine main eventers we've been spoiled with for years. He may still get there, but he isn't yet.

Edited by Liam O'Rourke

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It's definitely a disappointing first step in rebuilding. Mostly groans as I was looking at the line-up for the next non-lucha tour. Sure some of these rematches have the potential to become good, but it also shows how vulnerable New Japan can be when being so nonchalant in negotiations when there is a stronger competition over talents. I sure hope this brings across a fresh change in search for the next big thing instead of forcing on us Switchblade (who is not ready) and the leftovers from the Bullet Club (which have run it's course considering who's left). Not to mention the other bland dark side wrestlers of the Suzuki-gun. They need something to sprinkle up their product. Make the product colorful again. It's going to be a exciting few months to see how they tackle this.

As far as talent raid. They've already gotten Ishimori from NOAH and Shingo from Dragon Gate taking over their junior division. Not impossible they'll try and scout heavyweight talent away from other promotions, but as far as I can see, most of the interesting guys are locked up in contracts getting strong pushes in their respective home promotions, so it won't be easy finding local talent that'll be relevant enough to cause shockwaves.

 

--PUNQ--

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Some “news” websites are “reporting” that Omega has been offered $3.5million a year by WWE

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Edited by WyattSheepMask

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5 hours ago, BomberPat said:

Part of the problem with the guys leaving now is that it doesn't feel like there's anyone waiting in the wings to step up and adequately replace them, nor were they sent out the door with any sense of giving anyone else forward momentum.

 

Exactly. Every guy on their way out took a clean pin but other than that there doesn't feel like anything is ready to take their place. Naito vs. Taichi? No thanks.

I have to wonder, once we get past the Madison Square Garden show, surely they're going to fuck off ROH and start partnering with AEW instead? For now, they've obviously got to do that big show over Mania weekend, but afterward? I'd much rather partner with the promotion that gives me all my talent back. Who can they get from ROH? Fucking Jay Lethal?!

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2 minutes ago, Supremo said:

I have to wonder, once we get past the Madison Square Garden show, surely they're going to fuck off ROH and start partnering with AEW instead? For now, they've obviously got to do that big show over Mania weekend, but afterward? I'd much rather partner with the promotion that gives me all my talent back. Who can they get from ROH? Fucking Jay Lethal?!

Its ROH that has the most to fear in all this. They've been a bit arrogant over the past few years, too dependant (imo) on their New Japan partnership. They could be royally screwed if New Japan (and most importantly AEW) leave them in the dust.

Edited by garynysmon

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6 hours ago, Supremo said:

Exactly. Every guy on their way out took a clean pin but other than that there doesn't feel like anything is ready to take their place. Naito vs. Taichi? No thanks.

I have to wonder, once we get past the Madison Square Garden show, surely they're going to fuck off ROH and start partnering with AEW instead? For now, they've obviously got to do that big show over Mania weekend, but afterward? I'd much rather partner with the promotion that gives me all my talent back. Who can they get from ROH? Fucking Jay Lethal?!

The most over ROH star in Japan of course - Cheeseburger!

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ROH have an existing infrastructure and crew in place for them to run shows in the US, do AEW?

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So not to fantasy book or anything... But... if the worst case scenario for NJPW happens and all of the Elite and Kushida leave,  we could be faced with more than one Tai Chi main event this year. Who do you think could be brought in to help what feels like a thin roster? Or do you think internal elevation is the best answer?

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Nxt and nxt uk has basically cock blocked the guys would would normally be the next step up in new japan. There’s not a lot of free agents around , so needs to be internal elevation of Ospreay, evil, sanada and ZSJ level guys 

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Just now, Louch said:

Nxt and nxt uk has basically cock blocked the guys would would normally be the next step up in new japan. There’s not a lot of free agents around , so needs to be internal elevation of Ospreay, evil, sanada and ZSJ level guys 

Yeah, I'd imagine that Ospreay is getting a huge push this year. Not sure about SANADA, he's got his eye on WWE apparently, and the interest is mutual.

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7 hours ago, Cheapheat said:

So not to fantasy book or anything... But... if the worst case scenario for NJPW happens and all of the Elite and Kushida leave,  we could be faced with more than one Tai Chi main event this year. Who do you think could be brought in to help what feels like a thin roster? Or do you think internal elevation is the best answer?

Sanada will get title shots this year. I actually assumed a while ago Sanada might either win the New Japan Cup or be the G1 losing finalist while they decide if they go further with him next year. Switchblade is obviously already getting one title shot, I think he will relieve Naito of the I title while the latter goes back in for the big belt. It won't surprise me if Evil gets a look in before Tana drops the title either. But there will be new main events with Naito as champion, vs MiSu and White perhaps, before they start the build for WK14 which I guess will be Naito v Okada.

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If they were to split Chaos up that’ll lead to some good matches and fresh feuds down the road involving the likes of Goto, Ishii, Ospreay and Okada but Japanese promotions obsession with factions isn’t going away for a long time. 

Juice has turned down a WWE return and has signed a new three year deal with New Japan over the last couple of days or so. 

Edited by TildeGuy~!

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