cero2k wrote: ↑
Oct 4th, '18, 09:16
Big Red Machine wrote: ↑
Oct 4th, '18, 00:25
The "Road to..." shows don't do anything for anyone in terms of pushing them up or down the card. EVIL or Rocky Romero or Taichi or Juice or Page or whoever being in one of those is not being in a real main event or being treated like a main event guy. New Japan doesn't do those tag matches to elevate people; they do them so the real stars don't have to do the job. They did a relatively good job on this year's Dontaku tour of using main event opportunities to give guys like Page, White, Finlay, Kanemaru/Desperado time to shine, but on the Destruction Tour they reverted back to what they had previously been doing.
NJPW's rules about stables and insistence on sorting everyone into one is 100% holding back guys like Ishii, ZSJ, EVIL, and Sanada from being the big singles stars they could otherwise be.
Road shows and tag matches aren't to move people up or down, they're to build the show that is being Roaded to, but once that tour is done, they don't follow up with rematch after rematch after rematch, they change contenders, they main event with different titles. People get the wins that matter to make sense of new challengers.
I'll argue that the "Road to..." shows "build" to anything at all because they don't set or reinforce or move storylines along; they're just in-ring teasers.
Yes, New Japan does not run the exact same matches back month after month, but they often achieve this by either not having belts on the line when it makes sense to and instead running some big tag match that doesn't move the story of the feud along at all, or by just not booking anything for the feud at all even though they should (the lack of any sort of contact at all between the two Bullet Club factions on the Destruction tour is a fine example of this). I'd even argue that New Japan is close to the extreme and equally wrong opposite end of the spectrum from WWE where they don't run stuff back quickly enough and with zero explanation (why did it take Omega a full year to have a rematch booked after going to a time-limit draw with the champ and then beating him clean in the G1, especially when Okada didn't even defend the belt on the Destruction tour?).
Yes, New Japan uses different belts to main event, but the way they do that is by not having other belts on the line and reducing the number of big matches on each show. To me, the NEVER Openweight Title main eventing a show is good for that belt, but it's not like that belt is main eventing over the IWGP Heavyweight Title. Look at Fighting Spirit Unleashed
. The tag belts played second fiddle to another standard tag team match. In a similar situation at United We Stand
, Gabe specifically chose to put a much less heated tag title match than Bucks vs. Guerrillas (Briscoes vs. Sydal & Claudio) a the main event over the theme-setting big match for the show (Dragon & Nigel vs. Marufuji & ROH World Champion Takeshi Morishima) specifically because he wanted the tag belts to be seen as a real main event attraction and thus felt it was necessary to put them on top.
It's also much easier to switch up which belt gets to be in the main event when you've got three big singles belts and two or three big shows per tour and each of your big singles belts is being defended at most
once per tour. It doesn't mean as much as it did back in the day when there was only one big show and sometimes the IC belt would main event over the IWGP Heavyweight Title.
cero2k wrote: ↑
Oct 4th, '18, 09:16
And those guys aren't being held down, they're all fan favorites with top matches all the time, all of them have challenged for the title this year, all of them won either championships or Cups this year, and if you have them be independent wrestlers, then they're going to go down the same way with WWE were you're good, but not good enough to be in the main event all the time. Stables is exactly a way to manage a big roster
They don't have "top matches all the time." Not even close. Zack and Ishii have spent most of the year in meaningless tag matches. EVIL got a quick run with the almost completely irrelevant tag belts and that was it, and whatever the top potential of each of these wrestlers is, they will never be allowed to achieve it under New Japan's structure without first breaking free from their current stable because Okada, Naito, Omega, and Suzuki have the top spots all locked up forever (and that's not including top spots for guys like Ibush and Tanahashi).
cero2k wrote: ↑
Oct 3rd, '18, 22:13
Have we been watching the same Suzuki-Gun vs. LIJ feud? Because that's pretty much exactly what this has been.
yeah, but it's not the main event of the show, there's no hugging of titles, not switching of titles from one to the other, and since it's stable vs stable, sometimes we get Naito vs Suzuki, but sometimes we get Sabre vs EVIL.
But we always get those in the same 10-12 minute six-man tag. And Sabre vs. EVIL actually has never happened before in anything but a big multi-man tag setting. We got a small amount of K.E.S. vs. Sanada & EVIL, and WAY too much of Naito vs. Suzuki and Kanemaru/Desperado vs. BUSHI/Hiromu, but the feud feels like it is going on forever for absolutely no reason.