Well I was wrong on a lot of things. Watched with about a 12 hour delay, and due to time we had to skip the Battle Royal opener.
Bucks vs Ropongi 3k - A very solid, almost classic style match. None of the Bucks' posing and relatively very little 'spotfest' style wrestling. Funny exchange when a guy from each team kicked the other team's member that was down on the mat instead of attacking one another. Also a lot of callbacks at the end to the Vice vs Bucks match last year (with Romero/Beretta) In the end the young Bucks won, they are now 7 time champs. Didn't expect this.
Never Openweight six men titles - Should've seen it coming. Yano's team Always wins (I predicted Taguchi's team would get it but nope) A good match though probably the least important of the night.
Cody - Ibushi. Good solid match. Ibushi looked strong and Cody looked more focused than I've seen him so far. The blonde hair works for him btw, he looks so fucking arrogant Good use of Brandi Rhodes including a spot where Ibushi is worried about her only to get kicked by Cody and it turns out she played possum. In the end it is Ibushi who gets the (deserved) win.
KES vs Evil/Sanada I don;t like KES (mostly due to their entrance)but this was a great match. KES destroyed Evil from the start but he hung in there. Finally Sanada was able to get in, and they destroyed him too. Then eventually the LIJ guys fought back and took over. Definitely an "underdog comeback victory" type of scenario which worked well. LIJ wins the titles.
Goto vs Suzuki. Yess finally a solid Suzuki match. Í love his love for the Gotch piledriver (and Cyrus' pointing it out and how he goes for it too soon) to the point where he could've gotten a win if he let the ref check Goto's arm a 3rd time. But instead he goes for the Gotch. Then Goto fights back and eventually picks up the win
Scurrl vs Kushida vs Takahashi vs Ospreay My favorite match of the night. Lots of action, lots of finger bending and lots of awesomeness. It's amazing to hear how over Hiromu is btw. Yet in the end it is Ospreay who breaks his losing streak against Scurrl by pinning him and winning the Jr.Heavyweight title back.
Jay white vs Tanahashi A good match but probably my least favorite of the night. If White was supposed to make an impact, he had to win here. He didn't and Tanahashi remains a champ with a bum leg and how's his arm?
Jericho vs Omega Great match, the best WWE brawl I've seen in a while. What I mean is, they made everything look good, took some risks but mostly focused on the story. Which was good. Nice to see a different version of Omega. Lots of punishment back & forth, but as expected Omega wins.
Okada vs Naito Wow.I did NOT see this one coming at all. I mean, a lof of my predictions were wrong but this was a sure to be Naito's night right? The guy worked his ass off trying to bring Okada down. I feel the champ was on the defense for most of the match. Yet in the end he survived Destino, and it took a super-spinning tombstone and ofcourse a rainmaker (iirc the 3rd one) to finish Naito off.
I think WK11 was a better show overall. The final 4 matches there were all amazing and got me hooked on NJPW. This year they were all just good/very good. I feel they made a mistake by not giving Naito the win. But thanks to the superior in-ring product, it's much easier to let things slide in NJPW than WWE these days
I've only watched the Rumble, the opening jr. tag title match and the double main event so far, I'll probably get to the rest this weekend.
Originally posted by dMp Bucks vs Ropongi 3k - A very solid, almost classic style match. None of the Bucks' posing and relatively very little 'spotfest' style wrestling.
This is how it came off to me, except that the Bucks forgot to learn how to wrestle before trying to prove that they could do so. I've enjoyed the Bucks in the past, but I actively hated them in this match, to the point where I can't imagine myself ever bothering to watch them again.
Jericho vs Omega defied my expectations. While it had a great story, I figured the match itself wouldn't live up to it. While I wouldn't describe it as a classic outside of the trappings of the story, it was entertaining enough. I was thoroughly confused by Jericho's Greg "The Hammer" Valentine cosplay, though. Usually, someone wears the clothes of the person they're impersonating but don't especially look like them physically. Jericho managed to nail Valentine's physique and hair but wore his normal clothes.
Count me in as being surprised by the outcome of the main event. Okada is in the longest reign of the title's history, you'd think they'd want to end it on a huge note. Not sure where they could go from here, though I'm not knowledgeable enough about NJPW to even fathom a guess. I enjoyed the match though, and wasn't pissed off at the ending, only slightly disappointed, so I'll chalk that up as a win for me, at least.
Omega and Jericho was a lot of fun and better than I expected it to be. They must have loved planning the match with Don Callis as hometown boys. Jericho was loving it and his attack on Naito the next day should lead to more fun. Not sure when that match will be though.
Okada retaining surprised me. Maybe I am one of those that doesn't like to see the champion continuously retaining titles for this long. I'm not saying that title changes should happen all the time, but in sport the best teams lose from time to time regardless of the sport. I know that is why there are non title matches so the champion can lose, but is also why I loved Matt Serra winning the UFC title against GSP in the first round back at UFC 69. He had no chance at all despite winning the TV series, but he still won as the champion had a bad night. It didn't last long and he got his title back, but it showed that anyone can win regardless of the odds. There might not be many football, sorry soccer for most of you US fans. but my little non league team won a FA Cup match live on TV against a team 4 leagues higher than them which created interest all over the country. Wouldn't have happened if we played them next week, but as a one off it did and just for a moment we were right up there.
It creates moments and talking points. Without wanting to now jump to WWE, what if Braun or Joe had beaten Brock? Would have people talking and interested rather than saying of course Brock won as he is defending in 8 months against Roman. I think it would have, just like a 'jobber' beating someone would create a buzz and interest. Lightening Kid v Razor? Nobody is unbeatable, genuine sport or not.
I'm sorry for talking crap for too long. This card was superb and well worth watching if you are a NJPW fan or not. Just sit back and enjoy it - you will not be disappointed and will learn a lot about some superb talents.
If anything I'd say Okada is more like NJPW's Orton, not Cena. NJPW seems stubborn about taking the belt off him like the WWE with Cena but that's really the only similarity. But I'd say he's like Orton because he has a great physique and natural ability but he's actually so naturally gifted that sometimes he's having a great match and it seems like he's going through the motions. He can definitely wrestle, but I think his opponents (Tanahashi, Omega, Naito, etc) bring more excitement to the match.
I think they should have pulled the trigger on Naito but it didn't surprise me that Okada won either. NJPW is obviously bullish on Okada. Same for Tanahashi.
Originally posted by kellogsOmega and Jericho was a lot of fun and better than I expected it to be. They must have loved planning the match with Don Callis as hometown boys. Jericho was loving it and his attack on Naito the next day should lead to more fun. Not sure when that match will be though.
There were a lot of really good matches on this show.
I thought the Suzuki/Goto match was awesome!
In the dome, there was a huge wave of shock when Okada scored the win over Naito. I think time will tell if it was the right decision. Fantastic match, though.
I've got a few photos and bits to share with you all about my wrestling experiences in Tokyo but I'll need to sort through them when I'm a bit less zombified. My flight got in at 2am and I had to get up to work four hours later. Time for bed!
While I really wanted Naito to win and think it would have been a great moment if he did, at least New Japan makes sense when you don't get the result you want.
Tanahashi had quite a win streak at Wrestle Kingdom until Okada beat him at WK10. Now, I wouldn't expect anyone to beat Okada at Wrestle Kingdom until he winds down or runs out of steam. Also, so far, the briefcase holder has never won the title at WK.
So, in that sense, the pattern is in place. I would expect that, if Naito wins next year at WK, it will be as the defending champion. Or, maybe he'll be dropping it to Okada.
Jericho/Omega was the best match of the show. Not sure if it got the full five stars from me, but it played out exactly as the ideal match between the two.
Not as good as last year's show, but still better than pretty much anything we'll see for the rest of the year. Peaks early.
I think Okada retaining is the correct call at the moment. You're trying to expand - do you want to come into new places with a guy like Okada, who screams "I'm the man" and makes complete intuitive sense as a champ? Or do you want to come in with Naito, who's great, but also weird, and someone who makes sense as champ only if you've really been following new Japan. It's like if during the start of the Rock & Wrestling boom WWE had decided to lead with Rowdy Roddy Piper as their champ instead of Hogan.