I think most people here don't care, but I was actually really suprised that he won this weekend. I thought that Kojima would be winning the Triple Crown well before Tenzan won the IWGP. I haven't been really keeping up with the Japanese feds lately, but is this completely an obvious decision for New Japan to go, or is anyone else suprised by this? I think it is a good thing, as Tenzan is kind of the "leader" of a new generation of younger wrestlers in New Japan who are going to be main eventing very soon. But as for Kojima, I really thought the Triple Crown would be his before Tenzan was anywhere near the IWGP title, as I figured he would be rewarded for jumping over to All Japan, and Tenzan's "reward" for staying was getting to hold the Tag Titles again, but this time with Chono. Any thoughts on this?
[all opinions reflected of reading sites and not watching tapes and not knowing a lot of this history, so I may be wrong but...]
Completely obvious in that they had to do it this time, or risk losing any chance of him being the Ace ever. They've been building to with Tenzan since pre-G1 (losing streak->training outside [Calagry] to get better/learn new move->winning G1 and pinning Takayama in the process). If Tenzan doesn't win after the four month build, he's like, RVD? Booker? You get the general idea - just winning the tag titles would cement as a guy who could only win the tag titles at this point.
Takayama had beat everyone at the top level in this run, including Tenzan earlier, so if Tenzan hadn't won, the angle was that he was going to just face the younger guys. He kinda had to lose it, and Tenzan had to win. So it was kinda obvious.
Not keeping clos tabs on it, but the general impression I get is that biz is down, they wanted to try to create a new drawing card, and Tenzan hadn't gotten a chance to be one yet. Seems like there may be a big shakeup soon, so who knows if he'll get the chance to prove it. The 01/04 show will be big for him.
I don't pay as close attention to AJ, but it just seems there that they don't trust anyone besides Muto/Kawada/Hashamito to draw. Kojima also has the disadvantage of not being on Jakked or Heat or Velocity at some point, apparently.
I follow Japan less then in years past. Mainly I read the Observer and get tapes of the big matches/big shows. I like that certain good tape sites are starting to release DVD's which will make me buy more instead of having boxes of tapes in a closet somewhere.
I was also kinda surprised because I thought they'd leave it on Takayama for awhile. Although he's still got the NWF Heavyweight Title. All the mess in New Japan over the past couple years has really left me not caring too much about the promotion or the title.
So how long before they put Tenzan in a shoot fight and he gets destroyed?
I don't think Kojima's going to get his hands on the Triple Crown anytime soon even though he should've won it from Muto in 2002, IMO. Kawada's lined up to finally do his feud with Hashimoto.
Originally posted by thecubsfanCompletely obvious in that they had to do it this time, or risk losing any chance of him being the Ace ever.
Agreed, and I thought they were willing to do that. I also thought Takayam would hold the title a bit longer, and maybe drop it on the 1/04 show, possibly to Tenzan there. Anybody know of any reason they didn't wait until then, other than just not wanting to?
And business in Japan has been down for some time now. I want to say a year or so. I don't really see Tenzan turning that around at all, though. I think that was the reason they had all the shoot fights, such as their "Ultimate Crush" show back in May. MMA was/is still popular, so New Japan was trying to get some of its fans that don't watch wrestling.
I don't think they'll put Tenzan in a shoot fight anytime soon, though. Since New Japan doesn't have the best record of in shoot fights (have any of their guys won once?), they seem to be a bit leary of it now. I think that Takayama's very amusing loss ot Sapp and last year's Inoki Bom Ba Ye kind of made them notice that Pro-wrestlers aren't the best shoot fighters, and whoever fought in PRIDE in the spring/early summer only reinforced this idea. (was it Nakanishi?) I think Takayama would have been a much more effective champion had he not lost so bad to Sapp just prior to winning the title.
>Agreed, and I thought they were willing to do that. I also >thought Takayam would hold the title a bit longer, and >maybe drop it on the 1/04 show, possibly to Tenzan there. >Anybody know of any reason they didn't wait until then, >other than just not wanting to?
At one point, I believe they were thinking Hogan vs Tenzan for that show. Melzter is now talking about Tenzan/Misawa or Tenzan/Kobashi (current GHC champ) as the main.
When they teased Tenzan/Takayama for the last Dome show, the advance was not well, so I guess they figure they need a stronger match to go to the Dome with.
Shoot fights in NJPW may be on the way out (outside of Barnett, and when NJ guys are involved and don't suck, the fans don't dig them) or happen even more (Inoki loves and may take control of the company.)
Nakaniski was the one who looked bad in Pride, and they've brought in the guy who beat him to build to a pro-wrestling rematch (although they've already jobbed him.)