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20.4.18 0020
The W - Pro Wrestling - NJPW Strong Style Evolved - Long Beach
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emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 hours
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.59
Live from Long Beach ...

Yes, in spite of failure to get tickets (The W) at the onsale, I did indeed end up going.

So glad I did! This was the most fun, entertaining, well crafted, engaging show I have ever been to. (I started to type "wrestling show" there, but I'm good without the adjective.) I see it's up on NJPW World already, for those playing along at home.

Everything from the overall arc of the show, to the quality of every match was just so good. It was a long show (4.5 hours), & dense (no BS between matches). At no time was anything filler or boring -- all the way through it was paced & executed perfectly.

(I have to drive back to Phoenix today, so I'll have to type more later. Meanwhile ... who else watched this???)
Promote this thread!
lotjx
Scrapple








Since: 5.9.08

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 1 day
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.14
Okanada looked like a bitch. He got beat up by a 70 year old.



http://comicbookspotlight.wordpress.com/





Now previewing the Fall TV lineup.@realjoecarfley
DirtyMikeSeaver
Bockwurst








Since: 19.5.02
From: Toronto

Since last post: 8 days
Last activity: 8 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.26
Somehow, someway, Cody (Rhodes) is the best character in wrestling. Him at the end of that GL/YB match was douchebaggery at its finest.

And Suzuki might be old, but he's the scariest mofo in wrestling right now. I'm only 60% sure that he knows this is all a work.

(edited by DirtyMikeSeaver on 26.3.18 1112)


Kevin Kelly: "Mr. Austin, would you like to comment on Wade Keller's Take that endorsing the XFL hurts your anti-authority character?"

Steve Austin: "Oh shit, he actually said that? I thought the boys in the back were ribbing me!"

Kelly: "No, he really said that. Did they tell you the part about you sitting in the stands, looking all skeptical?"

Austin: "AHAHAHAHAHAHA. Yeah... oh man that was too much."
KJames199
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 4 hours
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.69
    Originally posted by lotjx
    Okanada looked like a bitch. He got beat up by a 70 year old.
this quality opinion needs to be preserved for the ages
texasranger9
Merguez








Since: 9.1.11

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.77
I watched til Okada Ishii vs ZSJ and Suzuki. Too late for me on the East coast. Ill watch the last two matches on axs on demand.

Only complaint is that the record by music was in house sourced only. Hard to hear it and couldn't tell who was coming out til they were shown.
dMp
Knackwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.75
Great show, the only complaint I had that after Okada/Ishii vs Suzuki/ZSJ I thought we'd get the main event.
BUt we got White vs Hangman. A good (crazy) match but I'd have done that one earlier. It felt like the crowd took a while to get into it.

Cody is a GREAT character. And poor Marty Skurll. The guy is conflicted and really does want Bullet Club to be fine.

The forearm exchanges between Ishii and Suzuki were insane.
ZSJ is such a good cocky "hehe let me wrap you up and gloat" heel.

LIJ are still the best at super fast crazy tagging.
Oh and I just said to my friends "Can't wait for Dragon Lee and Hiromu to beat the shit out of eachother...and JR say they're quicker than a hick-up" when they do go nuts and JR does say the hick-up line.

Speaking of that, I wonder if they used the belt in the Bucks-Lovers match just because they wanted JR to do his "whipped like a government mule" line.
Great GREAT main event. Crazy spectacle.

The crowd was good too all night. I hate the over the top adoration of the Bullet CLub and the chants but they kept it under control.

Oh and I love seeing that 70 year old beat up people. He's great at it.
SKLOKAZOID
Bierwurst








Since: 20.3.02
From: California

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 hour
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.08
I was right by the red corner entrance, so I made sure all the wrestlers said “Hi” to me before going out.

Takeaways:
- Main event was awesome. Way more intense than I thought it would be and great storytelling all around. That top rope suplex spot could have gone really, really wrong, though.

- Suzuki is the best act in wrestling today.

- Toru Yano needs more screen time.

- Jushin Liger should never retire. Bummed we didn’t get Rey/Liger.

- I really want to buy Jay White, but I just don’t yet. Hangman Page really impressed me, though.
Dr Unlikely
Liverwurst








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.61
New Japan is some beautiful perfect dream version of 1996-1998 WCW where they had all that talent and seeds of brilliant ideas, but then didn't completely screw it up at every turn, isn't it?

That is to say, none of this is intentional (and obviously doesn't match one-to-one because it isn't supposed to and this is just an excuse for me to talk about how great NJPW is) and falls apart at the tiniest scrutiny, but it really does feel like all the beauty and promise of that window where WCW was bringing in the best workers from around the world and coming up with a can't miss angle, but then not blowing it and instead treating everyone like useful assets with valuable roles to play and not just cannon fodder to get paved over.

Bullet Club, which started as a riff on/parody of the nWo, has turned into the nWo we never got because they were too afraid and shortsighted to pay the angle off. An organization full of jerkass heels that gets too big and has too many inner circles and starts to fracture under its own weight, letting everyone else start to put on the pressure to finish them off. Bullet Club Leader #4 Cody* as the World's Greatest Possible nWo Silver Jeff Jarrett is wonderful (Bullet Club Jeff Jarrett was nWo Dusty Rhodes). It looked bleak during Bullet Club's Fat Elvis period where Los Ignobernables caught and passed them, but they've really tied all of the problems together into a compelling story now, with various members reacting like they would as normal people (Bucks and GoD/Fale getting separately tired of it all, newcomer Scurll not ready for it to end for his purposes, Page taking advantage of the mess for himself, and Guy Cosplaying As Video Game Supervillain Kenny Omega getting usurped by Actual Comic Book Supervillain Cody).

And imagine a Dungeon of Doom where the aging, kinda stubby leader was an actual, legit badass who knew how to play terrifying, one where Sullivan took in Benoit as a malleable pawn/protege, and you have the Suzuki (my favorite guy in the company and probably all of wrestling) and Sabre-led Suzuki-Gun: a bunch of mean misfits and weirdos led by a supreme bastard who sees a chance to take advantage of all the insanity.

Chaos are your Horsemen, only if the young, classic Flair was around with a Best of all Eras Horsemen to stand against the nWo. Okada is Peak Ric Flair (Yano, who rules, is Actual nWo Era Batshit Insane Ric Flair, like maybe if Flair had transporter accident and split in two), Ishii is in the later Arn role of tough, mean bald guy who has to take care of shit for the whole stable, Goto is the "Horsemen enemy turned ally who needs their help now" guy, Jay White is the idealized Jarrett/Perfect "guy who will probably screw them over at the drop of the hat" guy, etc. (Nakamura was both Hollywood Blondes as one guy.)

As a collection of talented wrestlers with a (mostly) shared history in Mexico and a taste for masks, let's say Los Ingobernobles is the Latino World Order if they'd actually been pushed and taken seriously and built - instead of as just a half-assed nWo parody - around the amazing talent and megawatt charisma of their own Eddie Guerrero in the form of Naito. Is this a stretch? Yes, these are all stretches! But imagine an nWo opposed by a seriously pushed, truly valued Eddie, backed by Misterio/Parka/Psicosis-level talents who aren't treated like jokes.

(Shibata was Steve Regal given the Crow Sting/Fallen Luger need-for-redemption angle and a Goldberg Avenging Badass gimmick.)

Anyway, it's great. I love it. It's all of the aspects I love about wrestling (great matches, great booking, great characters, logical arcs, badasses and goofy-ass dudes fitting together alongside each other perfectly, funny, exciting, big, dumb, smart and operatic) all at once.

*On Cody: with all due respect to his in-ring performance, which I like, I think we're really seeing again what WWE wouldn't/couldn't see about him. Maybe not everything he does works, but the guy is relentlessly creative and willing to commit to what he does and simultaneously able to pull everyone in his orbit into that same level of commitment that takes what works about them and amplifies it. This is backstage JBL & Cole Show-era Cody, who was coming up with winners like Bad News Barrett and making everyone around him the best versions of themselves. WWE snuffed that out. NJPW is running with it.

I mean, I'm in no way saying it's all him, since Gedo has been doing nearly everything right for a while now (with some obvious injury/departure obstacles to work around), and Omega/Ibushi/Naito/the Bucks etc. etc. are all clever and talented and have their own input and ideas, but I'm talking less about the who of it and more about the fact that New Japan is encouraging talented people to run with what works and giving them room and support to grow instead of undercutting them. Even with a clearly company-picked, ultra-talented blue chip guy like Okada as their main point of business and the most The Guy Guy you could imagine, they find ways to use the talent and creativity around him to bolster him and make the booking around him better instead of seeing them as threats to their plans that need to be eliminated as soon as the audience is interested in them.

I wish WWE would do the same. They certainly had and still have the talent to do so in spades.
PowerPB13
Landjager








Since: 25.4.02
From: Belleville, IL USA

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 4 hours
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.25
I enjoy New Japan so much more than WWE nowadays that it's not even funny. I'm actually invested in the storylines and the wrestlers.

David Finlay's got to get a look from WWE down the line. Decent size plus the family connection. Ditto for Davey Boy Jr., who's like a totally different person compared to his previous run in the E.

God bless Toru Yano. And Chuckie T.

I got to call a Naito match at Glory Pro last month; super cool to meet him.

Hope to meet Liger some day. He was just up at AAW but I didn't get a chance to go.

Suzuki and Ishii have grown on me big time in the past year. I'm not as high on Okada as other people but dude's got a ton of talent and a good chunk of his career still ahead of him. Dick heel Zack Sabre Jr. is a ton of fun as well.

Don't "get" Jay White, especially the new character...he's always seemed kinda bland in terms of personality. Hangman Page got over in spite of Ring Of Honor's inconsistent booking of him and I think he's got a good future ahead of him.

I look at the Bucks in the sense that they live their gimmick: Overly showy, flashy, get-our-shit-in spot monkeys.

Omega is just outstanding. I feel like he'd be lost in the shuffle in a major American promotion, so I'm cool with him being gaijin ichiban.



-PB


RIP My Friend Mark, 1991-2016
dMp
Knackwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: The Hague, Netherlands (Europe)

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 9 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.75
    Originally posted by Dr Unlikely
    New Japan is some beautiful perfect dream version of 1996-1998 WCW where they had all that talent and seeds of brilliant ideas, but then didn't completely screw it up at every turn, isn't it?




You are not wrong. Although I personally see LIJ as the Horsemen. Super charismatic leader who has surrounded himself with bad ass work horses who can legit beat anyone yet legit get defeated because the story needs that.

To be honest, Chaos is the one faction I have trouble with in NJPW. They are not that coherent. BC has their story, LIJ has their teamwork, Suzuki-Gun has their heel chicanery and Chaos? Errr...it's a bunch of guys that sort of possibly tag at times. Oh and the champ is in their faction. But I have no clue if he leads them. Or does Gedo? Or most likely Yano...right?

Hell, the non- faction of Taguchi-Japan is more coherent and spends more time together than Chaos it seems.

Ok, back to the show. Hangman Page is insane. Some of the bumps he took. OMG. That suplex on the apron where he (luckily?) missed the apron could've killed him.

Liger showed that at 53 he can still go if you ask him to.
And I like the promo by Ospreay where he challenged Rey.


emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 9.59
1) Roppongi 3k & Rocky Romero d. Kazarian/Daniels & Scorpio Sky:
I love me some Daniels & Kazarian, & most of the rest of the crowd into it too. (SoCal much?) I don't think I've ever seen Scorpio Sky before - I liked him. Frankie was more embarrassed than anything else, when he slipped off the bottom rope. Good fun, loose opener to get things going.

2) Dave Finlay & Juice Robinson d. Hirooki Goto & Gedo:
Robinson is a big boy -- I liked him much better here live than the couple of TV matches I've seen. This was more "let's go beat on each other", & fit nicely next.

One thing that's really striking is the level of physicality -- so much higher level, top to bottom, than almost everything in WWE. And you can really feel the difference being there.

3) Lance Archer (playing the love child of HHH & Chuck Palumbo) & Davey Boy Smith Jr d. Toru Yano:
I wasn't actually that much into Davey Boy, but Archer was working the crowd, working the camera, & also doing some really good "big guy" work. The silliness of Yano (who really knows how to get himself over with the crowd) & playing with Lance, was all a really nice foreshadowing for Marty Scurll, upcoming. Good balance of goofy stuff, with "let's just beat these guys up."

4) Cody (w/ Brandi) & Marty Scurll d. Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga:
So much subtext going on here. Here we have a precident of BC vs BC, which goes very differently than the match later on. Keep ratcheting up the "Cody is a cowardly, whiny, divisive dick, bent on taking over BC". Marty is out in the middle, both trying to look after himself, do what he's there to do, & being a team player. The OG guys are basically over all this nonsense - they & Marty are all on board with "hey, we've got a match - let's get going." Which is a strong counterpoint to Kenny having the very different, emotional responses later.

Tama Tonga completely no-selling Cody's trying to get out of the match, & his total refusal to participate in the BS, was marvelous. (There was a BTE episode, where everybody else was trying to separate Kenny & Cody, & he was sitting in the back doing the same thing.) I love this. And Tanga Loa's line about "If there is a team that we're on, it's definitely NOT Team Cody." was so good. So many little details, like Marty asking Cody for a kiss on the cheek, for saving Cody; followed by Cody rolling his eyes in "what am I dealing with here??" Will Marty realise that Cody is just using him? While Cody is perfectly happy to capitaliize on somebody else doing the real work.

5) Los Ingobernables (including Naito) d. Tanahashi et al: A lot going on, with 8 guys in the ring -- entertaining!
(Gotta love Takahashi tossing in the little homage to Nakamura at the end.)

6) Rey Mysterio Jr apologizing for having to bail -- I knew he'd be there -- & then at ringside for the match.

Will Ospreay d. Jushin Thunder Liger: Lotta bowing, lot of respect all around. Very nice job by Ospreay, working with a legend, & doing it just right. And then having to carry on with a jammed up knee. The moment when Ospreay got Liger into the 619 position *right* in front of Rey -- that was very nice. There'll be a lot of brownie points down the road for Will for doing a great job filling in here. Loved the respect all around, along with getting the work done; good counterpoint to Marty's runin. So we get a whole lotta follow-on matches promised!

7) Zack Sabre Jr & Suzuki d. Okada & Ishii:
Just from walking out, was pretty evident that this would be Okada/ZSJ working some deft stuff, & Suzuki/Ishii banging on each other - that's all cool!. I was really impressed with ZSJ here -- love the submission stuff he does that you don't see all the time. Excellent all around.

8) Jay White d. Hangman Page:
These guys were in a tough spot in the lineup. I think part of their charter may have been to let the crowd come down a bit before the ME, without losing us. Tricky problem. They went for a lot of intent focus, serious stuff. Even though we were kinda quiet, it was more that we were watching seriously. It was very good, but very different from most of the rest of the matches that had "bounciness", some comedy, etc. Good Finlay runin, to set up a challenge.

9) Kenny & Kota d. Youung Bucks:
This really deserves a whole post unto itself. (I didn't have a watch on, but they got almost an hour all together, didn't they?) So many details going on throughout. At the very beginning, Matt & Nick were clearly in different head spaces. Matt calls out Kenny, then cheap-shots Kota. (That looks more like jealousy.) Nick & Kenny "trying to work it out", & Matt pulling Nick away. Kenny going through not really wanting to do this, but here we are. Kota getting frustrated with Kenny not "pulling the trigger" (so to speak) several times through the match. Kota getting so much good stuff too. So many near-falls. Tables, 2. (Good old american-style tables, that can be gone through!) Who'd'a thought we'd be chanting "Do it!" at Kenny, to finish off the Bucks? The spot where Kenny doesn't want to hit the One Winged Angel on Matt, & Matt forced that point. Nick "forgiving" Kenny, but Matt being reluctant to do so. I'm loving the evolution of the Bucks away from just being spot monkeys. Kenny is even more physically amazing than reads on TV. And I think the whole thing raises up the level that Kota can work at. This whole thing was just gorgeous all over!

Then throw in ... all of that with Kenny having a messed up right eye; Ibushi with a concussion; & Matt's back legitimately hurt. That's just one more layer of impressive.

Of course we had Cody run in, shouting in Matt's face; & the resultant shoving Nick to the ground, just like Kenny had accidentally shoved Matt previously. Although Cody didn't look the least bit sorry in realtime. Naturally the Kenny (& Kota) run-back in to run off Cody. Perfect story progression throughout.

====================
Miscellaneous other stuff:
--------------------------
-- So, Cow Palace in July, eh? Everybody going: remember, it's weirdly cold in San Francisco in July!
That's a "happy coincidence" (*ahem*) for the Golden Lovers. :-)

-- Anybody know what the deal is with politically correct language tonight? "Beat the poop out of"?? And some edits of previous segments, removing "fuck"s. Are we going to try to run a PG NJPW here in the US? Eh.

-- The audience demographic was interesting: Virtually no kids. (This ain't ballet, & it ain't PG-Era!) More men, but still a decent number of women.

-- A brief survey of the merch that almost everybody was wearing: I'm guessing 75% Bullet Club / Elite / Young Bucks / Kenny / Golden Lovers; about 15% NJPW logo / Los Ingobernales / other NJPW individuals; maybe 5% SoCal / CMLL / etc. Virtually no WWE shirts; of that small handful, most were throwbacks (eg one each of Macho Man, Piper, Austin, DX). I saw exactly 2 contemporary WWE shirts -- quite incongruous, actually.
Compare this to a survey of a WWE audience, which has recently had a whole lotta BC/NJPW shirts. Interesting

-- Simon & his mom were there (saw them outside in the line). But apparently his magic incantation for getting front row tickets didn't work here.
PowerPB13
Landjager








Since: 25.4.02
From: Belleville, IL USA

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 4 hours
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.25
Scorpio Sky had a brief stint in TNA as Mason Andrews and an even shorter stint in WWE as That Guy From The Hell No Therapy Skits (Harold, per wiki).



-PB


RIP My Friend Mark, 1991-2016
KJames199
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 4 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.72
    Originally posted by emma
    "Beat the poop out of"??
worth it for the chant of POOP POOP POOP POOP
BigDaddyLoco
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 1 day
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.97
    Originally posted by Dr Unlikely


    *On Cody: with all due respect to his in-ring performance, which I like, I think we're really seeing again what WWE wouldn't/couldn't see about him. Maybe not everything he does works, but the guy is relentlessly creative and willing to commit to what he does and simultaneously able to pull everyone in his orbit into that same level of commitment that takes what works about them and amplifies it. This is backstage JBL & Cole Show-era Cody, who was coming up with winners like Bad News Barrett and making everyone around him the best versions of themselves. WWE snuffed that out. NJPW is running with it.



The thing about Cody, and I’m back onboard with him again, is that he grinds away at me like no other wrestling personality has. I’ve flip flopped on this guy so many times. The traits that make him great also make him extremely unbearable at times. Cody is great at marketing Cody though, just like The Bucks are great at marketing The Bucks which is great for wrestling, wrestlers who don’t want to be tied down and creativity in general. I’ll be totally anti Cody by the next time this conversation comes up I’m sure, but whatever. Go Cody!
Tenken347
Knackwurst








Since: 27.2.03
From: Parts Unknown

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 15 hours
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.39
I'm a little late chiming in here, but I also thought that it was a good show. NJPW has been making a lot of smart decisions with their US expansion; I'm genuinely curious to see if they can sell out a venue the size of the Cow Palace this summer.

Overall, my favorite match was probably the 8-man tag, which isn't at all surprising as it featured Los Ingobernales (this is an LIJ household) AND Kushida (who's probably my favorite individual competitor in the company). But I was surprised at how much I liked the main event. That kind of story-focused match isn't really NJPW's bread and butter, and the four of them did a pretty damn good job getting it across. Normally, I'm pretty down on the Bucks - I think they're v. sloppy, and usually come off like they don't give a fuck in the ring - but they really brought their A game on this one, and everything was clean and looked good. In fact, Matt wound up being kind of the MVP here, really getting over his character throughout the match. And that One-winged Angel spot was absolutely dynamite.

Oh, and apropos of nothing, I second the idea that LIJ is the true 1996-1998 Horsemen. Naito is Flair, obviously, and Evil is Arn, but then you have Hiromu as Pillman, Sanada as Benoit, and Bushi as Malenko.
Big Bad
Scrapple








Since: 4.1.02
From: Dorchester, Ontario

Since last post: 13 hours
Last activity: 12 min.
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.85
    Originally posted by dMp
    To be honest, Chaos is the one faction I have trouble with in NJPW. They are not that coherent. BC has their story, LIJ has their teamwork, Suzuki-Gun has their heel chicanery and Chaos? Errr...it's a bunch of guys that sort of possibly tag at times. Oh and the champ is in their faction. But I have no clue if he leads them. Or does Gedo? Or most likely Yano...right?


You could say that the CHAOS faction is pretty chaotic.



George Michael weighed his options. Maeby had chastised him for not taking risks, and what would be a bigger risk than perpetuating a lie about software just to ignite the passions of a woman? Of course it would be a lie, and since Maeby wouldn't know it was a lie, he wouldn't appear to be taking a risk. Perhaps the bigger risk was to tell his father he was lying, that he came up with it because he wanted his father to leave so he could enjoy what remained of his senior year. After all, he wondered, wouldn't that be the course of action taken by an overtly sexual man, a man who owns a pair of matador pants? He had not responded now for 41 seconds according to his unfailing internal clock, and it was time to come clean.
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The Rock isn't bringing people to the box offices. He is getting a lot of roles, but how long will he be content not being the star in whatever he is doing. This whole movie career might just not pan out for him.
- ShotGunShep, The Rock speaks up (2005)
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