The Sort of Thing I'd Like to See New Japan Do

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Big Red Machine
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The Sort of Thing I'd Like to See New Japan Do

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 22nd, '18, 13:23

Not knowing where this whole Bullet Club thing is going has kind of hampered my ability to book things later on in the year (and specifically after All In) but I want to at least put something out here for now, and I'll finish this up after WrestleMania weekend, as the combination of Strong Style Evolved, Sakura: Genesis, and Supercard of Honor XII should give me a better idea who what directions one can go in. But for now, here is the first half (or maybe even first third) of the sort of risks I'd like to see New Japan taking (because they are in a position where such risks aren't even that risky, and the payoff is large enough to justify it, IMO)


I promised a “bold” idea for New Japan in my review of the 46th Anniversary Show, so here goes:

I would have had Naito lose to Taichi. Not cleanly, of course, but lose none the less. Maybe even something vaguely clean like a Suzuki-Gun distraction leading to him getting rolled up. Again… Tetsuya Naito would lose to Taichi.
This would not only give Taich a big boost as he moves up to the heavyweight division and make him feel like more of a threat to win the New Japan Cup (not much of one but still more viable than he is after losing cleanly to Naito), but would also (in combination with the finish of the junior tag title match earlier in the night) set up a feud between Suzuki-Gun and LIJ, which would go as follows:
In the opening round of the New Japan Cup, Suzuki-Gun would attempt to repeat their distraction trick in the Naito vs. Zack Sabre Jr. match. LIJ would be hip to it this time and they would run out to attack the Suzuki-Gun members who were trying to distract Naito. They would all brawl away from ringside, leaving just Zack and Naito… and Zack would still beat Naito.
Next we would get a ten-man tag the New Japan Cup Finals where LIJ would lose to the Suzuki-Gun team of K.E.S. Kanemaru, El Desperado, & Zack. This would be a nice bit of mirroring of LIJ’s own victory over CHAOS at the New Year Dash and would set up K.E.S. for a shot at LIJ’s heavyweight tag titles. For those wondering why Suzuki and Taichi aren’t in this match, that’s because I would actually put Taichi over Tanahashi in the first round by doing something dastardly to Tanahashi’s injured arm. He would lose to Elgin in the second round, and on the day of the finals we’d wind up with something like Tananashi & Juice def. Suzuki & Taichi with Tanahashi rolling Suzuki up to set up a rematch for Sakura: Genesis, and Suzuki doing something dastardly to Tanahahi’s arm after the match to keep Tanahashi out of the ring at Strong Style Evolved. Naito would lose at Strong Style Evolved to New Japan Cup winner Michael Elgin, setting up the following for Sakura: Genesis 2018:

NJPW Sakura: Genesis: 2018

LIJ (Hiromu & BUSHI) vs. KUSHIDA & Taguchi vs. LIGER MASK (vs. maybe the Young Bucks if you don’t need them anywhere else)-
LIJ win.

TETSUYA NAITO vs. TAICHI-
Naito wins clean

IWGP JUNIOR HEAYVWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Suzuki-Gun(c) vs. Roppongi 3K-
Suzuki-Gun win
IWGP HEAYVWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: LIJ(c) vs. K.E.S.-
K.E.S. win

IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Minoru Suzuki(c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi-
Suzuki wins

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs. Michael Elgin-
Okada wins

This also leaves all of Bullet Club free to do whatever you need them to for their angle, and leaves you with plenty of guys to find good challengers for Ospreay and Goto.

The key points for the next tour (probably a multi-big show tour) would be:
- Tanahashi & Elgin get a win over EVIL & Sanada, as well as a pin over K.E.S. in a larger match. (This tour’s title defense can be at the other show, against some ROH guys or something. Or maybe Ishii & Yano if they keep up their winning)
- Naito gets his win back over Zack,
- Desperado & Kanemaru retain their belts over some outsiders early in the tour
- On the last show of the tour (which should be Wrestling Dontaku itself) we get a big elimination tag match between Suzuki-Gun and LIJ where LIJ dominate with a clean sweep.
- Depending on what else- if anything- is going on with Bullet Club this month, this might not be a bad time to get an Okada vs. Ibushi title defense out of the way, with Okada winning clean. Ideally, this would then lead to Omega coming out and challenging him afterwards. The timing of this would be ideal because the rest of May is the War of the Worlds Tour in the US and then the ROH featuring New Japan tour in the UK so you could build up your interest for that around the world loop. You could also use those shows to finish up whatever Bullet Club stuff needs to be finished off- or at least continued heavily- so that it won’t feel like something major is missing if Cody (and others) aren’t at Dominion to get in the way of the Omega-Okada blow-off.

On the War of the Worlds Tour you promote a “classic, New Japan-Style Rumble,” that will have “intercontinental implications” because the winner of this show in the US will get a shot at Minoru Suzuki’s IWGP Intercontinental Title at the end of the month during the United Tour in the UK. It would come down to Goto vs. Ishii at the end, with Ishii pinning Goto clean. Ishii will go on to lose to Suzuki in the UK. Suzuki-Gun will try to beat Ishii down afterwards but Yano and Goto will come out to make the save, and Goto will then invite Ishii to challenge him for his NEVER Openweight Title at Dominion.

Thus, for Dominion we would have:


IWGP JUNIOR HEAYVWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Suzuki-Gun(c) vs. LIJ-
LIJ win clean

NEVER OPENWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Hirooki Goto(c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii-
Goto wins the hard-hitting battle of CHAOS brethren.

IWGP HEAYVWEIGHT TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: K.E.S.(c) vs. LIJ vs. Elgin & Tanahashi-
LIJ win, pinning the champs to keep Elgin & Tanahashi alive as challengers.

IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH: Minoru Suzuki(c) vs. Tetsuya Naito-
Suzuki wins clean, meaning that Naito was the only member of LIJ who failed to get the job done and regain their lost titles.

IWGP HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs. Kenny Omega-
Okada wins clean

Next up is the G1, with some very interesting blocks:
Block A: Okada, Goto, Ishii, Ibushi, Cody, Naito, Sanada, Sabre, Kojima, Juice
Block B: Omega, Fale, Tanahashi, Elgin, EVIL, Suzuki, Makabe, Jay White, Yano, YOSHI-HASHI

For the most part, Block B doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that Omega wins the block, just edging out EVIL on the last day, both Elgin and Tanahashi get wins over EVIL, EVIL gets a win over US Champion Jay White, and that Suzuki, our IC Champion, does jobs for EVIL, YOSHI-HASHI, Jay White, and Fale.
But A Block… that one is interesting:
DAY 1:
Sanada def. Juice
Zack def. Kojima
Naito def. Cody
Ibushi def. Goto
Ishii def. Okada

Sanada, Zack, Ishii, Ibushi, Naito- 2
Okada, Juice, Cody, Goto, Ibushi- 0

DAY 2:
Kojima def. Juice
Sanada def. Cody
Zack def. Naito
Ishii def. Goto
Okada def. Ibushi

Sanada, Zack, Ishii- 4
Naito, Kojima, Ibushi, Okada- 2
Juice, Cody, Goto- 0

DAY 3:
Goto def. Juice
Zack vs. Sanada draw
Cody def. Kojima
Ibushi def. Ishii
Okada def. Naito

Zack, Sanada- 5
Ishii, Okada, Ibushi - 4
Naito, Goto, Cody, Kojima- 2
Juice - 0


DAY 4:
Zack def. Juice
Goto def. Cody
Kojima def. Ibushi
Okada vs. Sanada draw
Ishii def. Naito

Zack- 7
Sanada, Ishii- 6
Okada- 5
Kojima, Goto, Ibushi - 4
Naito, Cody- 2
Juice - 0

DAY 5:
Cody def. Juice
Okada def. Kojima
Zack vs. Goto draw
Sanada def. Ishii
Ibushi def. Naito

Sanada, Zack- 8
Okada- 7
Ibushi, Ishii- 6
Goto- 5
Kojima, Cody - 4
Naito - 2
Juice - 0

DAY 6:
Ishii def. Juice
Zack def. Cody
Sanada vs. Ibushi draw
Kojima def. Naito
Okada def. Goto

Zack- 10
Okada, Sanada- 9
Ishii- 8
Kojima, Ibushi- 6
Goto- 5
Cody - 4
Naito - 2
Juice – 0

DAY 7:
Juice def. Ibushi
Goto def. Kojima
Okada def. Cody
Ishii def. Zack
Sanada def. Naito

Okada, Sanada- 11
Zack, Ishii- 10
Goto- 7
Kojima, Ibushi- 6
Cody - 4
Naito, Juice – 2

DAY 8:
Okada def. Juice
Sanada def. Kojima
Ishii def. Cody
Goto def. Naito
Ibushi def. Zack

Okada, Sanada- 13
Ishii- 12
Zack- 10
Goto- 9
Ibushi- 8
Kojima- 6
Cody - 4
Naito, Juice - 2

So, going into the final day of Block Competition:
- OKADA WINS IF: he wins AND Sanada doesn’t win,
OR he draws AND Sanada loses AND Ishii doesn’t win
- SANADA WINS IF: he wins AND Okada doesn’t win,
OR he draws AND Okada loses
OR he draws AND Okada draws AND Ishii wins,
OR he loses AND Okada loses AND Ishii draws
- ISHII WINS IF: he wins AND Okada doesn’t win AND Sanada loses
Sanada is also on the verge of making history by becoming just the second wrestler to go undefeated in the modern formulation of the G1.

DAY 9:
Cody def. Ibushi (via cheating)
Juice def. Naito (totally 100% clean!)
Ishii def. Kojima
Zack def. Okada
Goto def. Sanada

FINAL STANDINGS:
Ishii- 14
Okada, Sanada- 13
Zack- 12
Goto- 11
Ibushi- 8
Cody, Kojima- 6
Juice - 4
Naito- 2

G1 FINAL DAY:
SUZUKI-GUN (Zack Sabre Jr., Takashi Iizuka, K.E.S., & TAKA Michinoku) vs. BULLET CLUB (Cody Rhodes, Bad Luck Fale, Marty Scurll, & the Guerrillas of Destiny)-
Suzuki-Gun win clean when Zack makes Fale tap.

HIROSHI TANAHASHI, MICHAEL ELGIN, & KUSHIDA vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Gedo, & Chuck Taylor)-
Okada is counted out after Elgin powerbombs him over the top rope and through a table.

CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, & Will Ospreay) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, El Desperado, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)-
Suzuki-Gun win when Taichi gets a dirty pin on Goto.

CHAOS (Roppongi Vice, Trent Beretta, Jay White, & Toru Yano) vs. LIJ-
CHAOS win after Yano pins Naito via the usual shenanigans. LIJ go on a rampage after the match, including some sort of big injury angle to both Sho and Yoh.

G1 FINALS: Tomohiro Ishii def. Kenny Omega to win the G1


In other notes, last year’s winner, Tetsuya Naito, went from first to worst, putting up a measly two points, which is by far the worst showing he’s ever had in a G1. His stablemate, Sanada, not only beat Naito himself, but did not suffer a single defeat against any of the men who defeated Naito aside from NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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