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New Japan haven't got the world title scene right for a couple of years now have they really. Naito won it a year late, when he did he lost it straight to Evil (although he did get it back quite quickly it was a bit lame). I'd also say Ibushi won a year late and the only challenger he could beat was Desperado. 

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Looking forward to him crowd funding a plane ticket for his mum to visit.

Eh. It's a factor. I'll also talk about watching Ibushi and Kenta face people and my love of watching Minoru Suzuki slap people. I don't know how to handle Ospreay in NJPW. I'm actively trying to

Think of the Car we can buy his Mum now!

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13 hours ago, Hannibal Scorch said:

I’m hoping in his next promo he ends with “...And there’s two things you can do about it. Nothing and like it”.

Well, if ever there was a wrestler in need of a check-up from the neck up, it's Will.

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They seem to have absolutely no faith in anyone at the moment and they're losing fans in Japan pretty alarmingly by all accounts. Weren't they outsold at Budokan by both Stardom and NOAH? Don't know if I heard DDT did as well, but that's pretty alarming.

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Has anyone been following AJPW recently, and, if so, is it worth catching now? Thinking about subscribing to their service, as they were my "home" Japanese promotion, so to speak. I know their streaming app is severely hampered by the fact they can't have any of their stellar 90s stuff on there because Nippon TV owns the copyright, and it's only programmes from the last four or five years or so, but if it's good TV, I'll probably watch. 

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7 hours ago, Carbomb said:

Has anyone been following AJPW recently, and, if so, is it worth catching now? Thinking about subscribing to their service, as they were my "home" Japanese promotion, so to speak. I know their streaming app is severely hampered by the fact they can't have any of their stellar 90s stuff on there because Nippon TV owns the copyright, and it's only programmes from the last four or five years or so, but if it's good TV, I'll probably watch. 

Considering New Japan have spent the last 15 months pissing all their goodwill up a wall and NOAH's top two title holders have a combined age of somewhere between 108 and 109 years old, I'd say now's the time to give them a chance!

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1 hour ago, BrodyGraham said:

Considering New Japan have spent the last 15 months pissing all their goodwill up a wall and NOAH's top two title holders have a combined age of somewhere between 108 and 109 years old, I'd say now's the time to give them a chance!

Shiiiit I just saw Mutoh is GHC H.W champion. How is he in a main event scene given he was pretty fucked ten years ago. 

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21 minutes ago, Michael_3165 said:

Shiiiit I just saw Mutoh is GHC H.W champion. How is he in a main event scene given he was pretty fucked ten years ago. 

His knees were just about holding on in 2002. I've not seen the Shiozaki match, where he picked up the GHC belt but it's apparently a corker. I haven't seen any of Shiozaki's latest run but he must be on the best form of anyone ever 'cos Mutoh's defence against Kiyomiya was pretty dire.

Fujita having the International (?) belt is funnier. I watched his match with Kenoh and it's genuinely fucking audacious and I'm still not sure if that's a recommendation.

Getting back to New Japan it feels like they need a full refresh. Obviously another Tanahashi isn't gonna fall out of the sky but I honestly think they need to get rid of Gedo now and  figure out a new direction with a new home grown top guy. The main problem being, who?

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I've loved Mutoh as GHC Champion in the matches I've watched. The match with Shiozaki is fantastic, and in his couple of defences he's wrestled very sensibly - he's clearly a broken down old man, but he plays into it. The story seems to be that Shiozaki was broken down at the end of a lengthy title reign, and Mutoh was a crafty enough veteran to take advantage of that.

Since winning, they have definitely to some extent been leaning in to him being past his best, but smart enough to work around it and eke out a victory. He's also teaming with Masato Tanaka and Marufuji, which is a hell of an old man team.

I expect part of it has been that it's not long since audiences have been allowed back in to shows at Japan, and that there's value in having a big name like Mutoh at the top of the card for nostalgia/feel-good reasons while it's still all a little uncertain.

 

Back to NJPW, and they've kind of done the opposite - at a time when wrestling should probably be about escapism and happy endings, they've gone with a heel champion with a lot of real life baggage, and on at least one occasion nodded to that in kayfabe. Of all the major promotions, they seem to be doing the worst job of navigating the current situation that I've seen. 

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With those three at the top of the card, I might give AJPW a go. The last time I knew anything about Go was about 15 years ago when he was being touted as the next Kobashi, but the fact he stuck in young boy black trunks for so long made him fade into the background for me. Isn't Kaz Hayashi still rattling around with them too?

The chickens are coming home to roost big time in NJPW. Years of sacrificing everyone to build the monolith of Kazuchika Okada has meant that all their feuds are played out and their stars are off the boil. Naito should have won the big one two/three years ago, but instead they put it on him after years more injuries had piled up. EVIL made zero sense to anyone. Ibushi would've been an incredible moment at any time other than a pandemic, and they've somehow managed to reduce him to a transitional champ. SANADA was tagged for greatness, but that ship sailed at least last year. Jay White cut that incredible quitting promo, for nothing. Despy unmasked, for nothing.

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2 hours ago, CavemanLynn said:

With those three at the top of the card, I might give AJPW a go. The last time I knew anything about Go was about 15 years ago when he was being touted as the next Kobashi, but the fact he stuck in young boy black trunks for so long made him fade into the background for me. Isn't Kaz Hayashi still rattling around with them too?

The chickens are coming home to roost big time in NJPW. Years of sacrificing everyone to build the monolith of Kazuchika Okada has meant that all their feuds are played out and their stars are off the boil. Naito should have won the big one two/three years ago, but instead they put it on him after years more injuries had piled up. EVIL made zero sense to anyone. Ibushi would've been an incredible moment at any time other than a pandemic, and they've somehow managed to reduce him to a transitional champ. SANADA was tagged for greatness, but that ship sailed at least last year. Jay White cut that incredible quitting promo, for nothing. Despy unmasked, for nothing.

It's NOAH with Mutoh, Shiozaki et al on top. A lot of their new stuff shows up on YouTube if you want to sample it first. 

Kaz Hayashi is part of the office for GLEAT, the new promotion owned by Lidet, who had previously owned NOAH. 

 

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6 hours ago, CavemanLynn said:

With those three at the top of the card, I might give AJPW a go. The last time I knew anything about Go was about 15 years ago when he was being touted as the next Kobashi, but the fact he stuck in young boy black trunks for so long made him fade into the background for me. Isn't Kaz Hayashi still rattling around with them too?

The chickens are coming home to roost big time in NJPW. Years of sacrificing everyone to build the monolith of Kazuchika Okada has meant that all their feuds are played out and their stars are off the boil. Naito should have won the big one two/three years ago, but instead they put it on him after years more injuries had piled up. EVIL made zero sense to anyone. Ibushi would've been an incredible moment at any time other than a pandemic, and they've somehow managed to reduce him to a transitional champ. SANADA was tagged for greatness, but that ship sailed at least last year. Jay White cut that incredible quitting promo, for nothing. Despy unmasked, for nothing.

If you want to give NOAH a go, the streaming service is about £6 a month, and you get NOAH, DDT and TJPW shows included

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