Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 1.28

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Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 1.28

Post by cero2k » Jan 30th, '18, 10:42

NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28
January 28, 2018
Sapporo, Japan


Seven Match Trial, Third Match
Katsuya Kitamura vs Juice Robinson - 5.5/10
Similar to the other Trial matches with Kitamura having a good showing, but ultimately being too green for his opponents. I didn't like this match this as much since I don't think Robinson should at any point out-strength Kitamura, but as the match progressed it told me a better story. To me the Trial matches should be a learning run for Kitamura, each match should teach him something like strength (Elgin), heart (Robinson), killer instinct (White), so I did kinda like how Juice at first wouldn't give in to KItamura's offense, but later on, Kitamura would also kick out until he couldn't respond to the 3rd count after the Pulp Friction.

Suzuki-Gun (Taichi w/Miho Abe, El Desperado, Taka Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs Jyushin 'Thunder' Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Shota Umino - 4.5/10
Taichi did get to sing tonight, he had to come alone and well before the other guys came out. To begin the match, Taguchi tried to sexually harass Miho Abe and all SZKG valiantly came in defense of the damsel in distress, so from the get go the match got chaotic and they all brawled around the ring. Once inside the ring, Liger was worked on but made a good comeback, Tiger had a great run with Desperado before SZKG started working on his mask and kept at it for most of the rest of the match until Shota Umino took the hot tag and along with all babyfaces, they got the match back in control, but at the end, Taichi was too much for Umino and pinned him after a superkick. Not a better match than the one yesterday, but I did like Tiger Mask's run.

Post-match - Taichi stole Tiger Masks' mask and gave it to Miho that looked quite cute. Taguchi tried to save Mask, but they all stomped on him, including Miho that stabbed him on his balls with her high heels. I'm sure it wasn't on purpose, but that's how it turned out.

Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Hikuleo) vs CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) - 5.5/10
Hikuleo is the now former Leo Tonga, I'm ok with a new name for him since we already have enough 'Tonga' in the roster. This was a nothing match, Bullet Club had heat on Yano for a while and it all built to Ishii getting Hikuleo into the brainbuster, which unfortunately wasn't the finish, which went back to Yano who rolled up Hikuleo. I do enjoy seeing Yujiro get some offense now and then, so it wasn't all bad.

Bullet Club (Guerrillas of Destiny, Bad Luck Fale, & Chase Owens) vs Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, & Tomoyuki Oka - 5.5/10
This was mostly the same thing as the previous Suzuki-Gun match except there was no awesome Tiger Mask run and this time they got heat on Nakanishi. There was a cool tease between Nakanishi and Fale, but since neither can healthily lift each other, it worked up to a back-toss and that was it. Finish saw Owens pin Oka with a Package Piledriver.

Michael Elgin & Henare vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) w/Suzuki-Gun - 6/10
Oh man, don't tell me Elgin is Suzuki's first challenger, i'll die of boredom. Usual Suzuki-Gun match with the brawl opening. SZKG got heat on Henare for a while, Elgin came in for the save and went at it with both Suzuki and Iizuka, at the end Henare came in to get submitted by Suzuki with the same knee bar that he applied on Tanahashi last night, but Henare doesn't have the fighting spirit of our ace, so he tapped in less than a second.

Post-match - Suzuki-Gun all gang up on Henare, but Makabe makes the save, so it seems like it will be Makabe that challenges Suzuki first. I definitely rather watch Makabe vs Suzuki than Elgin vs Suzuki right now.

Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page, & Marty Scurll) vs Kota Ibushi, KUSHIDA, & David Finlay -6.5/10
Once again, the match was really focused on getting Hangman Page over, he was the one doing the SSPs to the outside and getting heat on Finlay, and to even further this push, Page pinned KUSHDIA and not Finlay; meanwhile, Cody and Scurll just played being eccentric villains, Cody particularly taunting Ibushi left and right. Ibushi got the hot tag and went against all BC and for a while it seemed like he had their number, but at one point he had to get KUSHIDA in. Good match, good sequences with everyone involved.

Los Ingobernables de Japon vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay, & Gedo) - 8/10
YOSHI is still pissed from last night, so he went straight for Naito and beat the living shit out of him, but he's still a geek, because it didn't take long for Naito to get back on top. Since this match is building four different feuds, we constantly see these pairings fight off aroudn the ring while another takes place inside the ring, EXCEPT for Okada and SANADA that would work with the lower junior of the teams.

We had a GREAT Ospreay vs Hiromu run, an ok EVIL vs Goto one, and a good SANADA vs Okada one with the champ being a complete dick to SANADA. Finish saw Gedo get in the match with SANADA, he got a slight amount of offense, but ended up tapping out to SANADA's

Post-match - YOSHI-HASHI once again attacks Naito and Naito once again ignores him, actually the whole LIJ ignored him, CHAOS had to drag him off. But most importantly, SANADA TALKED!!! HE HAS AN AWESOME PROMO VOICE! GIVE THIS MAN THE TITLE!


IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
Roppongi 3K w/Rocky Romero vs The Young Bucks (C) - 9/10
Bucks are mentioning '7-Time Champions" too much, so i'm guessing they're losing tonight. They're also keeping the whole Young Boy thing going against RPG3K. Story of the match was that early on, the Bucks tried to powerbomb Romero in the ramp, but RPG saved him, after a little brawl in the ramp, Matt Jackson did a tope con giro from the ramp onto everyone that was under the stage, he landed the move seemingly perfect, but he suddenly starts grabbing his back as if he compressed a muscle while landing. Back in the ring he seems ok, but suddenly buckles under the weight of YOH while trying to power bomb him, he makes the tag and we have the ref and doctors checking him. Up to this point, it looks perfect because they're moving the camera away from Matt buckling or being checked on. He's still trying to work like normal, but you can tell he's hurting, until YOH sends him out the ring and he lands on his side on the apron, and now he's not pretending to be OK.

At that point, the whole Bucks game plan break down, Matt can barely move and Nick is having trouble fighting off both RPGs until they straight up take him out. RPG work on Matt for a long while, coming close to finishing him, but Nick makes it back in the match and single-handedly takes out both SHO and YOH, so that when Matt is back the match feels more balanced, but the Bucks can't take out RPG either. Finish comes when Matt locks in the Sharpshooter on YOH, but Matt can't keep the position that lock requires and stumbles to the floor releasing the YOH. He goes for another, and YOH rolls him up for the pin. GREAT story, and they say The Bucks don't know psychology.

The idea that these teams have mostly been able to win their matches only when the other team gets injured mid-match is an interesting thing that makes me hope that they'll now stay away from each other until both teams are perfectly healed, and it actually does warrant the quick title changes we've had. I think this is the perfect time to introduce a new contending team, even Suzuki-Gun at this point.

IWGP United States Championship Match
"The Cleaner" Kenny Omega (C) w/Nick Jackson vs "Switchblade" Jay White - 9.5/10
A similar situation as last night is going on that Kenny, even though we got 'Main Event Kenny' tonight, he's still not fully taking Jay White seriously, and soon after, this becomes a costly mistake for Omega. Jay White worked on Omega's back from early in the match. Kenny also started working White's upper back/neck after he started making a slow comeback.

This match has three different parts in it, the initial that I mentioned with White's dominance, then the second when Omega makes the full comeback into dominance, and if you saw the match, you know exactly which knee and powerbomb made the turn, and finally, when Omega thinks he has White done, and White starts to laugh off the pain and makes his own comeback, i'd say we start the third, with several exchange of finishers, including a second Switchblade that Kenny wasn't able to kick out. The Elite has lost all their titles tonight.

This was by far a better breakout performance for Jay White, this is the match he really needed at Wrestle Kingdom. I'm not so sure Page [read below] will be a good follow up since I can't imagine it will be a barn burner, but it will at least be a good first defense for White. Time-wise, that match may make it to the US shows in march.

Okada was on commentary during this match and he has a face that he doesn't know what's going on.

Post-match - Hangman Page comes out, he snatches the title from White's hands in an obvious challenge. White can barely stand, but Omega comes in and gets between them, takes the title from Page and hands it off to White. Page and White kinda get in each other's dace and out comes Cody. Cody is bragging that this is Page's moment and Kenny needs to step aside. Scurll is now out here too. Cody and Kenny are getting in each other's face like Dominion last year. In all the chaos, Kenny accidentally shoves the injured Matt Jackson. Kenny seems incredibly sorry, the Bucks broken hearted walk away. Scurll and Page walk out saying Cody and Omega should deal with this. Everything seems to be ok like we've seen for months now. They shake it off and as Kenny is leaving the ring, Cody drops him with HUGE CROSS RHODES!!

Scurll and Page come back. Scurll is defending Omega, Cody is brainwashing Page. Cody grabs Kevin Kelly's chair and as he is about to kill Kenny, OUT RUNS IBUSHI!! IBUSHI!! Crowd goes wild! Everyone bails leaving Ibushi and Omega, Ibushi helps Omega up, everyone pleas for Kenny to take Ibushi's hand. At first Omega denies the hand shake from Ibushi, they turn each other's back, but they quickly turn back and embrace! LOVE WINS! GOLDEN LOVERS!! I'm crying of happiness!!

AWESOME ANGLE! This was built since Ibushi vs AJ Styles and Omega vs Okada II. Awesome payoff. No one from Bullet Club Japan was out for this angle, so I don't know what it will mean for them, but we know Tama Tonga has never liked The Elite nor NJPW US.

Okada still has no idea what he just saw.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
A really dull show that will be forever remembered for how memorable that ending angle was. The final three matches are worth watching, and the ending angle is a MUST SEE for the year.


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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 12:35

cero2k wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 10:42



AWESOME ANGLE! This was built since Ibushi vs AJ Styles and Omega vs Okada II. Awesome payoff. No one from Bullet Club Japan was out for this angle, so I don't know what it will mean for them, but we know Tama Tonga has never liked The Elite nor NJPW US.
I heavily disagree with the characterization of this as something that "was built since AJ Styles vs. Ibushi and Omega vs. Okada II." All we got in AJ vs. Ibushi was a furtive glance between them that was so slight that some people didn't even notice, and if I remember correctly, 99% of those that did see it figured that the idea was that this glance distracted Kota and thus allowed AJ to win and was intended to set up Omega vs. Ibushi, not them teaming together.
More importantly, though, it has been almost three whole years since AJ vs. Ibushi and New Year Dash 2018 was literally the first time these guys interacted in any relevant way since then. Similarly, with Omega and Cody, we got some stuff during their respective title matches with Okada, but then we got nothing but them getting along perfectly for months until all of a sudden Omega decides to save Ibushi. This was not a case of "seeds being planted" and finally coming to fruition because when you plant a seed the pot doesn't just sit there empty for weeks while you leave it alone until your egg timer goes off and suddenly a fully-grown flower has sprung out of the dirt. When you plant a seed you have to come back every day and water it, and over time, with proper care, the flower will sprout and grow to its full size. This is planting a seed, then neglecting it so it dies, and then, when you finally remember you meant to have a flower by now you just run out and buy one from the store and then go around telling everyone that you grew it all by yourself while still leaving the price sticker from the store on it.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by cero2k » Jan 30th, '18, 13:42

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:35


I heavily disagree with the characterization of this as something that "was built since AJ Styles vs. Ibushi and Omega vs. Okada II." All we got in AJ vs. Ibushi was a furtive glance between them that was so slight that some people didn't even notice, and if I remember correctly, 99% of those that did see it figured that the idea was that this glance distracted Kota and thus allowed AJ to win and was intended to set up Omega vs. Ibushi, not them teaming together.
More importantly, though, it has been almost three whole years since AJ vs. Ibushi and New Year Dash 2018 was literally the first time these guys interacted in any relevant way since then. Similarly, with Omega and Cody, we got some stuff during their respective title matches with Okada, but then we got nothing but them getting along perfectly for months until all of a sudden Omega decides to save Ibushi. This was not a case of "seeds being planted" and finally coming to fruition because when you plant a seed the pot doesn't just sit there empty for weeks while you leave it alone until your egg timer goes off and suddenly a fully-grown flower has sprung out of the dirt. When you plant a seed you have to come back every day and water it, and over time, with proper care, the flower will sprout and grow to its full size. This is planting a seed, then neglecting it so it dies, and then, when you finally remember you meant to have a flower by now you just run out and buy one from the store and then go around telling everyone that you grew it all by yourself while still leaving the price sticker from the store on it.
I'm not a believer that you need to water it every show/week because then things drowned in overexposure, and a lot of things we've seen were not just planted seeds, but slight escalations to me. i appreciate when wrestling is not straight up literal and direct, and if I see something that happened two years ago, I can make the connection because fans can actually remember things that happened beyond two weeks.

I'm also not sure, but from what I understand, these things were touched on several occasions in being the elite. Plus i rarely pay attention to the post-show promos. I've recently realized that NJPW uploads subtitled promos on youtube, so i'm barely getting into that
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 30th, '18, 22:39

cero2k wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 13:42
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jan 30th, '18, 12:35


I heavily disagree with the characterization of this as something that "was built since AJ Styles vs. Ibushi and Omega vs. Okada II." All we got in AJ vs. Ibushi was a furtive glance between them that was so slight that some people didn't even notice, and if I remember correctly, 99% of those that did see it figured that the idea was that this glance distracted Kota and thus allowed AJ to win and was intended to set up Omega vs. Ibushi, not them teaming together.
More importantly, though, it has been almost three whole years since AJ vs. Ibushi and New Year Dash 2018 was literally the first time these guys interacted in any relevant way since then. Similarly, with Omega and Cody, we got some stuff during their respective title matches with Okada, but then we got nothing but them getting along perfectly for months until all of a sudden Omega decides to save Ibushi. This was not a case of "seeds being planted" and finally coming to fruition because when you plant a seed the pot doesn't just sit there empty for weeks while you leave it alone until your egg timer goes off and suddenly a fully-grown flower has sprung out of the dirt. When you plant a seed you have to come back every day and water it, and over time, with proper care, the flower will sprout and grow to its full size. This is planting a seed, then neglecting it so it dies, and then, when you finally remember you meant to have a flower by now you just run out and buy one from the store and then go around telling everyone that you grew it all by yourself while still leaving the price sticker from the store on it.
I'm not a believer that you need to water it every show/week because then things drowned in overexposure, and a lot of things we've seen were not just planted seeds, but slight escalations to me. i appreciate when wrestling is not straight up literal and direct, and if I see something that happened two years ago, I can make the connection because fans can actually remember things that happened beyond two weeks.

I'm also not sure, but from what I understand, these things were touched on several occasions in being the elite. Plus i rarely pay attention to the post-show promos. I've recently realized that NJPW uploads subtitled promos on youtube, so i'm barely getting into that
Not necessarily every single week, but it can't completely disappear until it's time for something to happen. Where were the escalations in this story? At what point between the end of Cody vs. Okada at the beginning of July and the moment that Omega came out to save Ibushi at New Year Dash did this escalate? It never even treaded water. It just simply disappeared.
That's bad storytelling on its own, and it's even more of a problem in a promotion where we have, in fact, just seen things that seem important completely disappear and never matter again. And a good chunk of those things have been internal Bullet Club squabbles. So why, during the intervening six months, should I have thought that this Cody vs. Omega thing was any different than AJ vs. Fale or Fale vs. Tama Tonga, or all of that sh*t in Suzuki-Gun during BOSJ?

As for stuff happening on Being The Elite... it shouldn't. Is Being The Elite even a kayfabe show? It seems extremely out of pace with the way New Japan does everything else, both in terms of the way it is shot and the goofy comedy. If you thought people were irritated that WWE kidnapping Adam Page was apparently an official ROH storyline, how do you think such a thing will fly in New Japan? I'm also certain that Gedo is in no way involved in Being The Elite (and the same goes for Delirious). If these guys are getting lucky by having Bullet Club try to tell stories that they're dropping the ball on, they don't deserve credit.
But most importantly, even if you don't consider any of the above to be a problem, Being The Elite cannot be canon because they never told us it was. You can't just have some other f*cking show randomly become canon and not tell anyone! I'm not a regular Being The Elite viewer. I'm going to assume that the same is true of most of the New Japan fanbase, particularly because the show is in a language they don't speak. And even among the English-speaking NJPW fanbase, I'm going to assume that many of them (if not most) are not regular BTE viewers, either (I'm not, and I' hardcore enough that I write reviews of NJPW shows on the internet). So how the f*ck were we even supposed to know that these segments happened?
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by cero2k » Jan 31st, '18, 11:32

Cody and Omega have had several disagreements, they've done it in the ring and in backstage promos, and Ibushi has tried reaching out to Omega also in some backstage promos after the shows. it doesn't happen often, but there have been things here and there. I personally don't see nothing wrong with having an angle in a show and skipping shows for a while where everything is seemingly ok, while we still know that one thing happened back at that show. Ever since the Dominion/US shows we know that Cody and Omega have something there, we can all pretend that the Bullet Club is ok for the longest time, but we KNOW that this situation happened. Isn't that how normal life is, it's not just all a sequence of events like a show schedule, things happen, and we think it's all good and then on day on person's glass gets full. During that time we saw Cody and Omega rise in different ways, Omega has been a face for a while, Cody has been more of a heel, we all kinda knew this was coming within kayfabe and without having to touch upon it. Same with the Bullet Club Japan, we rarely see them hang out with the Elite part of BC now and we know, because it happened long ago, that Tama Tonga ain't that happy. I remember, you remember, the Japanese crowd remembers. Making a story matter when the last match was months ago takes more craft than just doing a rematch back to back shows.

I know you don't think so and probably hate the execution, but I'm sure Ishii will one day go for Okada's title and he'll have years of, maybe resentment.

To me Being the Elite is like the old CHIKARA blogs, they were not entirely necessary to follow a story, but they surely rewarded you when you paid attention. No one ever told you that you needed to read the blogs, just like no one tells you to watch BTE. I don't think wrestling should ever have to tell you what to pay attention for, the whole LIJ comes from CMLL, has NJPW ever told you to watch CMLL? not really. Hell, not even WWE tells you to watch NXT, and ALL of that is certainly canon for their own promotions. I think BTE is actually better in the sense that none of those guys are exactly breaking kayfabe from their characters in either ROH or NJPW. It's not like a Mixed Match tournament where Braun and Alexa are buddy buddy throwing a bunch of innuendos that they're hooking up, or a total divas with a heel Cena and a babyface Natalya.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by Big Red Machine » Jan 31st, '18, 20:00

cero2k wrote:
Jan 31st, '18, 11:32
Cody and Omega have had several disagreements, they've done it in the ring and in backstage promos, and Ibushi has tried reaching out to Omega also in some backstage promos after the shows. it doesn't happen often, but there have been things here and there. I personally don't see nothing wrong with having an angle in a show and skipping shows for a while where everything is seemingly ok, while we still know that one thing happened back at that show. Ever since the Dominion/US shows we know that Cody and Omega have something there, we can all pretend that the Bullet Club is ok for the longest time, but we KNOW that this situation happened. Isn't that how normal life is, it's not just all a sequence of events like a show schedule, things happen, and we think it's all good and then on day on person's glass gets full. During that time we saw Cody and Omega rise in different ways, Omega has been a face for a while, Cody has been more of a heel, we all kinda knew this was coming within kayfabe and without having to touch upon it. Same with the Bullet Club Japan, we rarely see them hang out with the Elite part of BC now and we know, because it happened long ago, that Tama Tonga ain't that happy. I remember, you remember, the Japanese crowd remembers. Making a story matter when the last match was months ago takes more craft than just doing a rematch back to back shows.

I know you don't think so and probably hate the execution, but I'm sure Ishii will one day go for Okada's title and he'll have years of, maybe resentment.
I'm not saying you have to do something on every single show, but I think six months is WAY too long to not even mention anything. I don't recall a single time they had a disagreement, and I don't remember anyone else mentioning one, either. And that includes Meltzer or the announcers.
We all "knew" this was coming because we're wrestling fans and we've seen it before. Just like we knew Owens would eventually turn on Zayn the minute he showed up in NXT and we knew Scurll would turn on Zack at some point in RevPro in 2016.
Yes, "normal life" sometimes works this way, but if this was "normal life" the referees wouldn't respond to guys blatantly cheating by just shrugging their shoulders, Yano's presence wouldn't even be tolerated, Suzuki and Fale would actually get in trouble for assaulting innocent ring attendants, and the fact that Ishii hasn't been given a title shot against Okada a year and a half after pinning him would be considered heavily suspicious. This ins't real life; it's is pro wrestling.

You say they've both risen in different ways but I don't think that's true. Cody hasn't changed at all since he turned heel. He's just been Cody the cartoon character. Sure he got the ROH World Title but he never once came across like a world champion with it. He (and Dalton, too) came across like midcarders getting to play with the big belt, like whenever they give BUSHI a quick run with the Jr. Heavyweight Title or when they gave EVIL that short run with the NEVER belt.
Omega has been a babyface, yes, but he's been going that way since the Dome. That whole story with him wanting to go through Ishii (who beat him in the New Japan Cup) before getting another shot at Okada at Dominion is `100% babyface stuff. He's pretty much been a babyface since then... except when he randomly decides to cheat or help Bullet Club cheat (which has usually- but not always- been in ROH, but that is still New Japan canon).

Yes, it takes skill to make the story matter when the last encounter was months ago takes skill, but that's not what this is. Okada vs. Omega at Dominion was an example of that. It might have been their first match against each other in five months, but throughout those five months, the story of Kenny Omega wanting to prove himself worthy of becoming the IWGP Heavyweight Champion was always important. That was the impetus for him deciding to stay with New Japan, then he was disappointed when he failed at his chance to earn another shot via the New Japan Cup when Ishii eliminated him so he resolve to prove that he could beat Ishii first to prove himself worthy of taking on Okada again, then did that at Dontaku and got his rematch with Okada at Dominion.

What Gedo did here is have to story just not matter. This wasn't months of build because there was no build. It was no different than the usual lazy formula of "guy attacks/challenges champion after a title defense, then they have a title match on the next tour." Just swap out "guy attacks/challenges the champion after a title defense" with "Kenny and Cody have an argument because Kenny doens't want Cody to hurt Ibushi" and "they have a title match" with "Cody turns on Kenny" and that's exactly what happened. After the match on Tour 1 Kenny and Cody had an argument because Kenny didn't want Cody to hurt Ibushi and then on the next tour Cody turned on Kenny. Yes, there was other stuff that happened in the segment like establishing Page as the challenger for the US Title and Ibushi returning the favor to save Kenny, but the former was merely a reason for them to get into an argument (and the stuff with the Bucks was to establish why they weren't there to save Kenny from Cody), and Ibushi saving Kenny is once again the same formula playing out: A thing happens once on Tour 1 and then the big payoff happens on Tour 2.

Making the match matter after months of build would be doing some small, relevant thing- whether it’s just one line a larger promo or Cody showing jealously or someone else in the group getting angry at Kenny like Tama Tonga did etc. every tour from July up until the turn.

Even just going from November to the turn they could have done something like this:
After Jericho attacks Omega at Power Struggle and that match gets booked, Cody cuts a promo saying that he heard that the office was thinking of booking Omega vs. Ibushi for the Tokyo Dome so he volunteers to “pick up the slack that Kenny dropped” and defeat Kota on behalf of Bullet Club.

WORLD TAG LEAGUE FINAL DAY:
Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Cody Rhodes) vs. Kota Ibushi & Michael Elgin-
This doesn’t specifically have to be Elgin. It could be Makabe or someone else who has some main eventer cred but you don’t really care if they get beat because you’re not doing anything with them right now. When Omega and Ibushi are in there together they are babyface vs. babyface but when Cody is in with Ibushi he does his usual cheating. Bullet Club wins when Cody pins Elgin clean. Cody grabs a chair and tries to attack Ibushi after the match but Ibushi manages to escape.

WRESTLE KINGDOM:
Ibushi def. Cody clean
Omega def. Jericho clean

NEW YEAR DASH:
Do the same matches they did, but when Omega comes out to stop Cody from hitting Ibushi with the chair have the argument be a bit more protracted. Kenny will argue that they should try to recruit Kota, not attack him. Cody would say “we don’t need him,” to which Kenny would respond “well he beat you last night so if we don’t need him then we sure as hell don’t need you.” The argument would end with Kenny putting his foot down by saying “I’m the leader and I say we need to recruit him!” Kenny would then cut a promo trying to get Kota to join Bullet Club
During the post-show press conferences Ibushi would say something along the lines of “I don’t want to join Bullet Club because joining Bullet Club makes you a bad person/cheater/whatever like Kenny has become. The next day Kenny would cut a promo saying that he’s angry at the way Kota responded so now he wants to fight Kota.

FANTASTICAMANIA TOUR:
Kenny Omega vs. Kota Ibushi-
Cody tries to interfere on Kenny’s behalf but Kenny doesn’t want him to and sends him to the back. Kota eventually wins clean. During the post-show press conference we get Cody insisting to Omega that he can’t beat Kota on his own and thus he needs Cody’s help, but Omega again refuses it, saying that he’s the best wrestler in the world and doesn’t need anyone’s help.


NEW BEGINNING IN SAPPORO TOUR:
IWGP US TITLE MATCH: Kenny Omega(c) vs. Kota Ibushi-
Kota def. Omega clean to win the title. Then, after this match you can do the same thing they did except with Kota also in Jay White’s place so that it feels like Kota wants no part of Kenny when he leaves the ring amid Bullet Club squabbling, so that when he comes back to make the save at the end it’s even more surprising.


That takes the same amount of time and makes a progressing story out of it without ever having Kenny and Cody wrestle (which I think is actually going to be the main event for either Strong Style Evolved or Supercard of Honor, although the match everyone has been begging for for SCOH over the past few days has been Young Bucks vs. Omega & Ibushi).

My point with this whole thing is that Gedo is not a good booker in the Paul Heyman/Gabe Sapolsky/Pat Patterson so much as he is a good booker in the Dana White sense where he is good at picking pairs of guys to put together who will make a match that feels either interesting or exciting going in. He’s fine with his big ideas but he’s not good at getting from point A to point B. He’s like Eddie Graham without a Jack Briscoe/Kevin Sullivan/Dusty Rhodes/Dory Funk Jr. to book his week-to-week TV for him.






cero2k wrote:
Jan 31st, '18, 11:32

To me Being the Elite is like the old CHIKARA blogs, they were not entirely necessary to follow a story, but they surely rewarded you when you paid attention. No one ever told you that you needed to read the blogs, just like no one tells you to watch BTE. I don't think wrestling should ever have to tell you what to pay attention for, the whole LIJ comes from CMLL, has NJPW ever told you to watch CMLL? not really. Hell, not even WWE tells you to watch NXT, and ALL of that is certainly canon for their own promotions. I think BTE is actually better in the sense that none of those guys are exactly breaking kayfabe from their characters in either ROH or NJPW. It's not like a Mixed Match tournament where Braun and Alexa are buddy buddy throwing a bunch of innuendos that they're hooking up, or a total divas with a heel Cena and a babyface Natalya.
You’re right about WWE’s way of doing things being totally wrong, but as for those other examples the key point is that you were at least always told what had happened. In CHIKARA, if Quack needed you to know something on a blog to understand someone’s motivations he would make sure the announcers would mention that “Wrestler X said this in a blog recently.” Same thing with Gabe and Pearce when there was an important promo on a VideoWire (and they would even tell you flat out and the beginning of the show “you really should go watch the accompanying VideoWire in the bonus features menu first”). LIJ is similar in that I’m sure the announcers kind of told you that these “Ingobernables” people were Naito’s running-buddies in Mexico and now he’s forming a Japanese branch of the group.
I don’t think people should need to be told what is canon, but that is because I think most people assume that anything from an official company source is canon and that anything else is not. The problem with this case is that Being The Elite is not an official New Japan (or ROH) outlet, and thus making it canon all of a sudden without telling people is problematic.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by cero2k » Feb 1st, '18, 10:56

I think we'll just disagree on this one, to me 6 months/1 year is really not that long to have something sleep on before they address it, I have a good enough memory, and I think most of the fanbase, at least in Japan, which are the people that go and react and understand the promos, have too. To me 'defeat someone, new challenger comes out" is not lazy booking, it's what I like as long as the new challenger has good arguments to be next, I wish all wrestling was like this, and I totally understand that this is Japanese style and it may not be fully understood in the US where everything has to be drama. Ishii vs Okada is my favorite example, I don't need them to tell me that there are no in-stable challenges to understand that there are no in-stable challenges, these things are obvious to me.

You're saying that Gedo is not like Heyman or Patterson, well hell no, those are two of the greatest bookers of all time. It's perfectly ok to be behind them and since they haven't booked since forever, it may still hold true that today, Gedo is one of the best ones out there, be it because competition sucks or because Gedo knows what he is doing, but week in week out I see what WWE, ROH, Impact, AAA, etc does, and I'll take Gedo over any of them any day. Not all promotions require day to day booking IMO.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 1st, '18, 12:33

cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 10:56
I think we'll just disagree on this one, to me 6 months/1 year is really not that long to have something sleep on before they address it, I have a good enough memory, and I think most of the fanbase, at least in Japan, which are the people that go and react and understand the promos, have too. To me 'defeat someone, new challenger comes out" is not lazy booking, it's what I like as long as the new challenger has good arguments to be next, I wish all wrestling was like this, and I totally understand that this is Japanese style and it may not be fully understood in the US where everything has to be drama. Ishii vs Okada is my favorite example, I don't need them to tell me that there are no in-stable challenges to understand that there are no in-stable challenges, these things are obvious to me.

You're saying that Gedo is not like Heyman or Patterson, well hell no, those are two of the greatest bookers of all time. It's perfectly ok to be behind them and since they haven't booked since forever, it may still hold true that today, Gedo is one of the best ones out there, be it because competition sucks or because Gedo knows what he is doing, but week in week out I see what WWE, ROH, Impact, AAA, etc does, and I'll take Gedo over any of them any day. Not all promotions require day to day booking IMO.
I'm not saying it doesn't make sense or even that it's bad, but I think that calling it "great" or "well-built" or something like that is ridiculous because it really wasn't "built" much at all. Comparing basically anyone to the current WWE, TNA, ROH, or AAA products isn't a very high bar. You seem to be conflating this "over-dramatized" style with the stuff we see from the weekly TV promotions that have no idea how to tell a story in a way that makes sense without beating you over the head with it. If you watch, like EVOLVE or AAW or the old ROH or CHIKARA stuff you'll find it's a lot more like PROGRESS where stuff moves from chapter to chapter and you can tell a simple, basic story like "I want to be the champion" or "guy X is on a losing streak and is trying to snap it" that doesn't get in the way of the wrestling and makes you feel informed about the wrestlers' mindsets without making things feel one-dimensional.

I also just don't understand how people can talk about how much they love this minimalist thing from New Japan but not be going gaga over EVOLVE or RevPro or NOAH, which have done the same thing but with more internal consistency and logic.



Gedo has benefited greatly from having outstanding talent around him. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve credit for having a phenomenal eye for talent, but I think that, in 90% of cases, it's not really Gedo that gets guys over with the way he books them so much as they themselves with their matches. Obviously in cases like Okada Gedo deserves a lot of credit, but who else has Gedo really gotten over?

Fale? Yeah, I guess. Gedo has gotten him as far as his in-ring ability will allow.

Naito? Not really. When Gedo tried to push Naito it was a disaster. Naito got Naito over, and even then there is no possible way to give Gedo credit because Naito was booked as a heel but the crowd decided they liked his antics and so they respond to him as a babyface even when he acts like a major heel. He's the opposite of Anti-Matter Universe version of Roman Reigns.

KUSHIDA? Gedo has certainly helped by making him the unequivocal ace of the division with his booking, but that wouldn't have worked without KUSHIDA's skill and charisma (hence why it failed miserably when he tried it with Taguchi first)

EVIL? Maybe. The win over Okada could have done a lot for him, but it remains to be seen how well that will be followed up on. Will it be the beginning of his rise in the ranks, or will it just be one of the obligatory upsets in the G1 that wind up having almost no meaning outside of the tournament (like just about every single Tanahashi G1 loss)?

Ospreay? Not really. He plays the role of the obligatory CHAOS Jr. Heavyweight singles wrestler. He just happens to be really awesome.

Scurll? Same as Ospreay but for Bullet Club.

Juice? Maybe.

Page? Until this tour he was Bullet Club's American job boy.

YOSHI-HASHI? Nope, even depsite him putting on great matches.

Ishii? Nope. Gedo hasn't done sh*t with this guy despite everyone going gaga over his matches.

Omega? Yes. Gedo 's booking helped make him a star, although his popularity is also due to his own ability's both in the ring and in terms of having a good feel for the pulse who what is hip and what isn't.

Young Bucks? Same as Omega except without the quite as much of a benefit from the booking. Without Bullet Club they would have been like the reDRagon, where they just felt like watered down versions of their American selves,.

Cody? This is all Bullet Club

Elgin? Mostly his own work, although Gedo plugging him into Tanahashi's spot in the Omega feud in 2016 when Tananashi got hurt definitely helped.

Honma? Nope. He's basically the Japanese Tye Dillinger. People just decided to go nuts for the guys because they liked one thing he did so they people made him a star.

Tama Tonga? Nope. Gedo hasn't given him sh*t. Even his upset G1 wins over Tanahashi haven't meant a damn thing.

Roppongi 3k? Debatable. Gedo put the belts on them right away... but that's what he does with every single Jr. Heavyweight tea. The reason they've gotten over more than Roppongi Vice or reDRagon or Forever Hooligan or Taich/Kanemaru or Sydal/Ricochet is that they have had better matches.

Everyone else is either at the same spot they've been since Gedo took over or are less over. If you want to argue that he has set up a system that allows guys to get over on their own merits I won't argue with you, but 1) that still doesn't mean that helped get them over, and 2) even when guys get over on their own merits, he has created a system where it is nearly impossible for them to get pushed based on those merits (EVIL, Ishii, etc.). He's a booker who is fine when you give him an outstanding roster, but if you, say, moved him to All Japan, no one wold be raving out his booking. If you took a truly great booker and stuck them in a random mid-level indy, they would at least be able to make the booking a strength of the promotion and something that the people who watch it would rave about.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by cero2k » Feb 1st, '18, 13:55

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 12:33

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense or even that it's bad, but I think that calling it "great" or "well-built" or something like that is ridiculous because it really wasn't "built" much at all. Comparing basically anyone to the current WWE, TNA, ROH, or AAA products isn't a very high bar. You seem to be conflating this "over-dramatized" style with the stuff we see from the weekly TV promotions that have no idea how to tell a story in a way that makes sense without beating you over the head with it. If you watch, like EVOLVE or AAW or the old ROH or CHIKARA stuff you'll find it's a lot more like PROGRESS where stuff moves from chapter to chapter and you can tell a simple, basic story like "I want to be the champion" or "guy X is on a losing streak and is trying to snap it" that doesn't get in the way of the wrestling and makes you feel informed about the wrestlers' mindsets without making things feel one-dimensional.
If i can get from point A to B and understand how we got there and why and be excited about it, isn't that 'well-built'? Is everything well built? no, of course not, but we shouldn't go to the other extreme and call it lazy shit. I'm comparing it to WWE/TNA/current ROH/etc because they all have a similar format, they all technically have 'road to' shows building towards that bigger show, and yeah, it's a really low bar, and maybe that's why i think Gedo is doing things right. Promotions like EVOLVE, PROGRESS, or any chapter based promotion needs to treat every chapter as a big enough deal and make it mean something, so you need to build story in all of them so they don't feel like filler. SHIMMER does a lot of filler shows since they tape 4 shows together, and a lot of them are completely miss-able unless you really want to see a certain pair-up.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 12:33
I also just don't understand how people can talk about how much they love this minimalist thing from New Japan but not be going gaga over EVOLVE or RevPro or NOAH, which have done the same thing but with more internal consistency and logic.
that's like asking why is everyone crazy for Cena when Flip Gordon is better at the soldier gimmick. No one watches those promotions, and EVOLVE is most definitely not minimalist booking, that's as complex as indie wrestling comes, it's just not dumb soap opera drama. Plus minimalism is not always good, Stardom is way more minimalist and it gets to a point it feels random.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 12:33
Gedo has benefited greatly from having outstanding talent around him. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve credit for having a phenomenal eye for talent, but I think that, in 90% of cases, it's not really Gedo that gets guys over with the way he books them so much as they themselves with their matches. Obviously in cases like Okada Gedo deserves a lot of credit, but who else has Gedo really gotten over?

Everyone else is either at the same spot they've been since Gedo took over or are less over. If you want to argue that he has set up a system that allows guys to get over on their own merits I won't argue with you, but 1) that still doesn't mean that helped get them over, and 2) even when guys get over on their own merits, he has created a system where it is nearly impossible for them to get pushed based on those merits (EVIL, Ishii, etc.). He's a booker who is fine when you give him an outstanding roster, but if you, say, moved him to All Japan, no one wold be raving out his booking. If you took a truly great booker and stuck them in a random mid-level indy, they would at least be able to make the booking a strength of the promotion and something that the people who watch it would rave about.
Going by that, isn't Impact the best promotion by taking some of the most misused guys like Derrick Bateman or jobber Christian and getting them over?

getting someone over is the work of both the wrestler and the booker, the way i see it, the wrestler gets over with ability and charisma, and the booker makes sure to protect them and puts them in situations were that ability and charisma can shine. I don't think Gedo has really taken anyone and put him in a position to fail, maybe old timers, but they're old timers. Even if by their own work, Gedo has made it possible for Naito/Shibata/Okada/Suzuki/Hiromu/Omega/Giant Bernard/etc to get over. Some required more time, but they've all been good.

Now let's compare it to AAA having Pentagon or Fantasma, ROH having Keith Lee or Ospreay, WWE having Mascara Dorada, Zack Ryder, Rusev, or KENTA among others and ALL of them were terribly booked for the longest time if not ever. If getting people over is part of a booker's job, Gedo has created a better place to do it than every other mainstream promotion. Gedo even got boring ass Elgin over.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 1st, '18, 18:43

cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 13:55
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 12:33

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense or even that it's bad, but I think that calling it "great" or "well-built" or something like that is ridiculous because it really wasn't "built" much at all. Comparing basically anyone to the current WWE, TNA, ROH, or AAA products isn't a very high bar. You seem to be conflating this "over-dramatized" style with the stuff we see from the weekly TV promotions that have no idea how to tell a story in a way that makes sense without beating you over the head with it. If you watch, like EVOLVE or AAW or the old ROH or CHIKARA stuff you'll find it's a lot more like PROGRESS where stuff moves from chapter to chapter and you can tell a simple, basic story like "I want to be the champion" or "guy X is on a losing streak and is trying to snap it" that doesn't get in the way of the wrestling and makes you feel informed about the wrestlers' mindsets without making things feel one-dimensional.
If i can get from point A to B and understand how we got there and why and be excited about it, isn't that 'well-built'? Is everything well built? no, of course not, but we shouldn't go to the other extreme and call it lazy shit. I'm comparing it to WWE/TNA/current ROH/etc because they all have a similar format, they all technically have 'road to' shows building towards that bigger show, and yeah, it's a really low bar, and maybe that's why i think Gedo is doing things right. Promotions like EVOLVE, PROGRESS, or any chapter based promotion needs to treat every chapter as a big enough deal and make it mean something, so you need to build story in all of them so they don't feel like filler. SHIMMER does a lot of filler shows since they tape 4 shows together, and a lot of them are completely miss-able unless you really want to see a certain pair-up.
Getting from A to B in a way that makes sense is being "built," not well-built. People are excited for Omega and Ibsuhi being together again and they want to know whose side Marty and the Bucks will be on, but I have yet to find anyone who really wants to see Cody wrestle Omega. The extent that people are excited about this seems to be "because it's a Bullet Club thing YAY BULLET CLUB 2 SWEET SUCK IT, and that is all due to the work Bullet Club (and especially The Bucks and Omega) have done to make Bullet Club into something bigger than it was. It's a lot like how Dave described Global Wars 2017: Chicago where the crowd was more interested in seeing Bullet Club (and other wrestlers like Dalton Castle) do their shtick than in the actual wrestling matches. The Elite and Bullet Club are the ones that have made people excited for this by getting themselves and their various Being The Elite antics over, not Gedo with the way he booked the storyline.

As for the "lazy" description, with the exception of ROH (and Delirious' booking is the most similar to Gedo's), I think they're just bad at their jobs rather than being "lazy." If booking is an archery competition and you've got guys like Gabe and Smallman and CMJ or whoever that are the really good shooters who hit the inner two rings, like 90% of the time because they try really hard. The "lazy" guys like Gedo and Delirious are the ones who have decided that they'll just be happy s long as the arrow hits somewhere on the target because that means that they don't have to walk all the way around back to pick their arrows up. (And Quackenbush is standing off to the side arguing that he should be allowed to throw his javelin at the target instead of doing archery if he wants to.)
The WWE and TNA teams are like guys who decided that instead of learning how to shoot well themselves, they're going to invent an arrow-shooting machine that will always shoot perfectly, and they show up with their big, hulking contraption, and it hits the bullseye maybe, like 2% of the time, and the rest of the time it ranges from totally missing the target, to being a moderately good shot to the machine malfunctioning and the arrow not firing at all to the machine blowing up in their faces. They have a much higher rate of failure than Delirious and Gedo, but even when they fail miserably you know they at least put their work into it.
The way you describe SHIMMER is exactly how I see New Japan, except that New Japan is lucky enough to have a lot more combinations for appealing match-ups, and that stuff only gets worse now that Gedo has reduced the number of defenses for each title and then spread them across more shows. If you didn't want to see Tanahashi vs. Suzuki for some reason, there wasn't anything for you on the first night of this tour.
cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 13:55
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 12:33
I also just don't understand how people can talk about how much they love this minimalist thing from New Japan but not be going gaga over EVOLVE or RevPro or NOAH, which have done the same thing but with more internal consistency and logic.
that's like asking why is everyone crazy for Cena when Flip Gordon is better at the soldier gimmick. No one watches those promotions, and EVOLVE is most definitely not minimalist booking, that's as complex as indie wrestling comes, it's just not dumb soap opera drama. Plus minimalism is not always good, Stardom is way more minimalist and it gets to a point it feels random.
People don't cheer Cena just because of the solider gimmick, and they don't cheer Gordon for the solider gimmick, either. Those are two very different animals.
EVOLVE and RevPro are about as minimalist as you can get while still having storylines. Everything (especially in EVOLVE) is very much "wins and losses matter, and you need to win to get a title shot," with added bits of "guy X wants to prove himself by winning" and "guy Y and guy Z don't like each other." EVOLVE avoids things feeling random by having announcers who are able to give you reasons for why things aren't random (provided to them directly by Gabe).
cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 13:55
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 12:33
Gedo has benefited greatly from having outstanding talent around him. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve credit for having a phenomenal eye for talent, but I think that, in 90% of cases, it's not really Gedo that gets guys over with the way he books them so much as they themselves with their matches. Obviously in cases like Okada Gedo deserves a lot of credit, but who else has Gedo really gotten over?

Everyone else is either at the same spot they've been since Gedo took over or are less over. If you want to argue that he has set up a system that allows guys to get over on their own merits I won't argue with you, but 1) that still doesn't mean that helped get them over, and 2) even when guys get over on their own merits, he has created a system where it is nearly impossible for them to get pushed based on those merits (EVIL, Ishii, etc.). He's a booker who is fine when you give him an outstanding roster, but if you, say, moved him to All Japan, no one wold be raving out his booking. If you took a truly great booker and stuck them in a random mid-level indy, they would at least be able to make the booking a strength of the promotion and something that the people who watch it would rave about.
Going by that, isn't Impact the best promotion by taking some of the most misused guys like Derrick Bateman or jobber Christian and getting them over?

getting someone over is the work of both the wrestler and the booker, the way i see it, the wrestler gets over with ability and charisma, and the booker makes sure to protect them and puts them in situations were that ability and charisma can shine. I don't think Gedo has really taken anyone and put him in a position to fail, maybe old timers, but they're old timers. Even if by their own work, Gedo has made it possible for Naito/Shibata/Okada/Suzuki/Hiromu/Omega/Giant Bernard/etc to get over. Some required more time, but they've all been good.

Now let's compare it to AAA having Pentagon or Fantasma, ROH having Keith Lee or Ospreay, WWE having Mascara Dorada, Zack Ryder, Rusev, or KENTA among others and ALL of them were terribly booked for the longest time if not ever. If getting people over is part of a booker's job, Gedo has created a better place to do it than every other mainstream promotion. Gedo even got boring ass Elgin over.
Yes TNA turned Derrick Bateman into ECW. Christian was actually getting a bigger singles push than he had ever gotten before in WWE a few months before he jumped to TNA, and he was a guy everyone always knew could be a star. But if you're going to give TNA credit for those guys you also have to take points away for all of the guys they f*cked up with terribly over the years, which is a horribly long list. Gedo has done better than all of the other mainstream promotions (maybe not LU), but that's due to their own failings rather than Gedo being particularly great.
Yes, Gedo hasn't put many people in a position to fail and he did create a space that allowed guys to get over on their workrate. I just think that's nowhere near as impressive as also booking angles to help get others over a la Heyman. He lets guys sink or swim on their own merits, but doesn't do much to help someone find that something that gets them over. If you gave him a meh roster, his product would be meh. If you give a good booker a meh roster, the product will be better than meh.

I'll also argue about your characterizations of Ospreay and Lee in ROH. Ospreay wasn't actually around with any regularity, and while it was still possible to do stuff with him, it's not like they really could have done anything major. With Lee, I wouldn't say that he was misused at all. PBK vs. War MAchine was an awesome feud, and that's really all Lee did in ROH. PBK were barely even regulars. Lee certainly dind't have his full potential unlocked in ROH, but I think PBK did the best that PBK could have.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by cero2k » Feb 1st, '18, 20:16

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 18:43

Getting from A to B in a way that makes sense is being "built," not well-built. People are excited for Omega and Ibsuhi being together again and they want to know whose side Marty and the Bucks will be on, but I have yet to find anyone who really wants to see Cody wrestle Omega. The extent that people are excited about this seems to be "because it's a Bullet Club thing YAY BULLET CLUB 2 SWEET SUCK IT, and that is all due to the work Bullet Club (and especially The Bucks and Omega) have done to make Bullet Club into something bigger than it was. It's a lot like how Dave described Global Wars 2017: Chicago where the crowd was more interested in seeing Bullet Club (and other wrestlers like Dalton Castle) do their shtick than in the actual wrestling matches. The Elite and Bullet Club are the ones that have made people excited for this by getting themselves and their various Being The Elite antics over, not Gedo with the way he booked the storyline.

As for the "lazy" description, with the exception of ROH (and Delirious' booking is the most similar to Gedo's), I think they're just bad at their jobs rather than being "lazy." If booking is an archery competition and you've got guys like Gabe and Smallman and CMJ or whoever that are the really good shooters who hit the inner two rings, like 90% of the time because they try really hard. The "lazy" guys like Gedo and Delirious are the ones who have decided that they'll just be happy s long as the arrow hits somewhere on the target because that means that they don't have to walk all the way around back to pick their arrows up. (And Quackenbush is standing off to the side arguing that he should be allowed to throw his javelin at the target instead of doing archery if he wants to.)
The WWE and TNA teams are like guys who decided that instead of learning how to shoot well themselves, they're going to invent an arrow-shooting machine that will always shoot perfectly, and they show up with their big, hulking contraption, and it hits the bullseye maybe, like 2% of the time, and the rest of the time it ranges from totally missing the target, to being a moderately good shot to the machine malfunctioning and the arrow not firing at all to the machine blowing up in their faces. They have a much higher rate of failure than Delirious and Gedo, but even when they fail miserably you know they at least put their work into it.
The way you describe SHIMMER is exactly how I see New Japan, except that New Japan is lucky enough to have a lot more combinations for appealing match-ups, and that stuff only gets worse now that Gedo has reduced the number of defenses for each title and then spread them across more shows. If you didn't want to see Tanahashi vs. Suzuki for some reason, there wasn't anything for you on the first night of this tour.
NJPW has waay less combinations than SHIMMER, but for 4+ years, they've always found a way to make you care about one more Okada vs Tanahashi match at WK. If all, Gedo has had less combinations compared to every other company except AAA. Look at any of the tag divisions, the Never, it's all the same combination of people and I still find KUSHIDA vs Hiromu interesting, hell even Scurll vs Ospreay, that i've seen all over the world was interesting.

I agree that Delirious does let Bullet Club run the show, but i really don't think that is the case with NJPW at all. the Bucks have their style, but in NJPW the Bucks do psychology, they rarely do 'suck it', not even in their smaller matches they act like their ROH/PWG personas. So yeah, people in the US may just go to check them out do their shtick, just like in WWE they go to see people do entrances and finishers, so maybe it's a US fan thing and not a booker/wrestler thing. US fans like dream matches, otherwise why isn't EVOLVE more famous ?

Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 18:43
People don't cheer Cena just because of the solider gimmick, and they don't cheer Gordon for the solider gimmick, either. Those are two very different animals.
EVOLVE and RevPro are about as minimalist as you can get while still having storylines. Everything (especially in EVOLVE) is very much "wins and losses matter, and you need to win to get a title shot," with added bits of "guy X wants to prove himself by winning" and "guy Y and guy Z don't like each other." EVOLVE avoids things feeling random by having announcers who are able to give you reasons for why things aren't random (provided to them directly by Gabe).
fair enough, but you get the metaphor. NJPW and EVOLVE are in way different places to ask why people don't care about one.
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 18:43
Yes TNA turned Derrick Bateman into ECW. Christian was actually getting a bigger singles push than he had ever gotten before in WWE a few months before he jumped to TNA, and he was a guy everyone always knew could be a star. But if you're going to give TNA credit for those guys you also have to take points away for all of the guys they f*cked up with terribly over the years, which is a horribly long list. Gedo has done better than all of the other mainstream promotions (maybe not LU), but that's due to their own failings rather than Gedo being particularly great.
Yes, Gedo hasn't put many people in a position to fail and he did create a space that allowed guys to get over on their workrate. I just think that's nowhere near as impressive as also booking angles to help get others over a la Heyman. He lets guys sink or swim on their own merits, but doesn't do much to help someone find that something that gets them over. If you gave him a meh roster, his product would be meh. If you give a good booker a meh roster, the product will be better than meh.

I'll also argue about your characterizations of Ospreay and Lee in ROH. Ospreay wasn't actually around with any regularity, and while it was still possible to do stuff with him, it's not like they really could have done anything major. With Lee, I wouldn't say that he was misused at all. PBK vs. War MAchine was an awesome feud, and that's really all Lee did in ROH. PBK were barely even regulars. Lee certainly dind't have his full potential unlocked in ROH, but I think PBK did the best that PBK could have.
Which is why i initially had Impact along with the bad bookers, but anyway. NJPW SHOULD be a sink or swim place, WWE should too, they're supposed to be the top echelon of wrestling, Gedo (and wwe's work) should be to do what they do right now as far as making sure the wrestlers have their characters, their direction, and the pointers to make those characters work, but if you come out and completely suck, then that's it. It's not Gedo's work to figure out how to make Japanese crowds like Jay Lethal, because at the end, everyone is replaceable, that's why they have a particular training method for their guys. If people don't care about YOSHI-HASHI is because he sucks, if people for some reason love Yano, it's because whatever Yano needs to do, he does it the correct way.
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Big Red Machine
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW New Beginnings in Sapporo 2.28

Post by Big Red Machine » Feb 2nd, '18, 02:03

cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 20:16
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 18:43

Getting from A to B in a way that makes sense is being "built," not well-built. People are excited for Omega and Ibsuhi being together again and they want to know whose side Marty and the Bucks will be on, but I have yet to find anyone who really wants to see Cody wrestle Omega. The extent that people are excited about this seems to be "because it's a Bullet Club thing YAY BULLET CLUB 2 SWEET SUCK IT, and that is all due to the work Bullet Club (and especially The Bucks and Omega) have done to make Bullet Club into something bigger than it was. It's a lot like how Dave described Global Wars 2017: Chicago where the crowd was more interested in seeing Bullet Club (and other wrestlers like Dalton Castle) do their shtick than in the actual wrestling matches. The Elite and Bullet Club are the ones that have made people excited for this by getting themselves and their various Being The Elite antics over, not Gedo with the way he booked the storyline.

As for the "lazy" description, with the exception of ROH (and Delirious' booking is the most similar to Gedo's), I think they're just bad at their jobs rather than being "lazy." If booking is an archery competition and you've got guys like Gabe and Smallman and CMJ or whoever that are the really good shooters who hit the inner two rings, like 90% of the time because they try really hard. The "lazy" guys like Gedo and Delirious are the ones who have decided that they'll just be happy s long as the arrow hits somewhere on the target because that means that they don't have to walk all the way around back to pick their arrows up. (And Quackenbush is standing off to the side arguing that he should be allowed to throw his javelin at the target instead of doing archery if he wants to.)
The WWE and TNA teams are like guys who decided that instead of learning how to shoot well themselves, they're going to invent an arrow-shooting machine that will always shoot perfectly, and they show up with their big, hulking contraption, and it hits the bullseye maybe, like 2% of the time, and the rest of the time it ranges from totally missing the target, to being a moderately good shot to the machine malfunctioning and the arrow not firing at all to the machine blowing up in their faces. They have a much higher rate of failure than Delirious and Gedo, but even when they fail miserably you know they at least put their work into it.
The way you describe SHIMMER is exactly how I see New Japan, except that New Japan is lucky enough to have a lot more combinations for appealing match-ups, and that stuff only gets worse now that Gedo has reduced the number of defenses for each title and then spread them across more shows. If you didn't want to see Tanahashi vs. Suzuki for some reason, there wasn't anything for you on the first night of this tour.
NJPW has waay less combinations than SHIMMER, but for 4+ years, they've always found a way to make you care about one more Okada vs Tanahashi match at WK. If all, Gedo has had less combinations compared to every other company except AAA. Look at any of the tag divisions, the Never, it's all the same combination of people and I still find KUSHIDA vs Hiromu interesting, hell even Scurll vs Ospreay, that i've seen all over the world was interesting.
Perhaps a better way to phrase it would have been that NJPW has more combinations that feel like they still have some cache than other promotions do. NJPW has certain combinations that have been done a bunch of times but still feel special and exciting because the matches have never failed to deliver, and because their "feuds" rarely include that many singles matches even in a given year (because they're not really "feuds" so much as they are "rivalries" in most cases. There are some that have definitely run their course for me (Suzuki vs. Goto is a prime example; I never need to see those two face off again), but on the whole, until Tanahashi and Okada put on a stinker, people will always get rightfully excited every time another one is announced. Gedo has done one or two things to help with this (such a limiting the number of title defenses, especially between the Dominion and the Tokyo Dome, which is half a freakin' year), but those decisions have created their own set of issues for the promotion. I'd much rather see things done to build up the likes of Makabe, Goto, Ishii, ZSJ, Kojima, Nagata, etc. for a shot at one of the top two belts even though it's 99.999999% certain they're going to lose, just so that it doesn't seem like the champion is doing absolutely freakin' nothing for months at a time.

cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 20:16
I agree that Delirious does let Bullet Club run the show, but i really don't think that is the case with NJPW at all. the Bucks have their style, but in NJPW the Bucks do psychology, they rarely do 'suck it', not even in their smaller matches they act like their ROH/PWG personas. So yeah, people in the US may just go to check them out do their shtick, just like in WWE they go to see people do entrances and finishers, so maybe it's a US fan thing and not a booker/wrestler thing. US fans like dream matches, otherwise why isn't EVOLVE more famous ?
Exposure. How is Riddle vs. WALTER not a dream match? Or Riddle vs. Cobb? Ricochet vs. Sydal? Or WALTER vs. Keith Lee? Or ZSJ vs. Gulak, Roddy vs. Galloway, Galloway vs. Hero, or Finlay vs. Callihan? EVOLVE was the first promotion outside of RevPro to give us Ospreay vs. Ricochet, too. And even a dream promo battle between Jimmy Jacobs and Jon Moxley. EVOLVE's problem has always been exposure.
cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 20:16
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 18:43
People don't cheer Cena just because of the solider gimmick, and they don't cheer Gordon for the solider gimmick, either. Those are two very different animals.
EVOLVE and RevPro are about as minimalist as you can get while still having storylines. Everything (especially in EVOLVE) is very much "wins and losses matter, and you need to win to get a title shot," with added bits of "guy X wants to prove himself by winning" and "guy Y and guy Z don't like each other." EVOLVE avoids things feeling random by having announcers who are able to give you reasons for why things aren't random (provided to them directly by Gabe).
fair enough, but you get the metaphor. NJPW and EVOLVE are in way different places to ask why people don't care about one.
Except that I don't think that applies as much here because they're both (all three if you include RevPro) products that a North American wrestling fan has to go out of his/her way to seek out. They're not like WWE or TNA or ROH where you can discover them by accident while flipping through the channels. You pretty much have to be an internet fan to find out about them. I'd figure that someone who was motivated to go out of his/her way to find one product and enjoys it would then be willing to go out of his/her way to search for similar products.
cero2k wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 20:16
Big Red Machine wrote:
Feb 1st, '18, 18:43
Yes TNA turned Derrick Bateman into ECW. Christian was actually getting a bigger singles push than he had ever gotten before in WWE a few months before he jumped to TNA, and he was a guy everyone always knew could be a star. But if you're going to give TNA credit for those guys you also have to take points away for all of the guys they f*cked up with terribly over the years, which is a horribly long list. Gedo has done better than all of the other mainstream promotions (maybe not LU), but that's due to their own failings rather than Gedo being particularly great.
Yes, Gedo hasn't put many people in a position to fail and he did create a space that allowed guys to get over on their workrate. I just think that's nowhere near as impressive as also booking angles to help get others over a la Heyman. He lets guys sink or swim on their own merits, but doesn't do much to help someone find that something that gets them over. If you gave him a meh roster, his product would be meh. If you give a good booker a meh roster, the product will be better than meh.

I'll also argue about your characterizations of Ospreay and Lee in ROH. Ospreay wasn't actually around with any regularity, and while it was still possible to do stuff with him, it's not like they really could have done anything major. With Lee, I wouldn't say that he was misused at all. PBK vs. War MAchine was an awesome feud, and that's really all Lee did in ROH. PBK were barely even regulars. Lee certainly dind't have his full potential unlocked in ROH, but I think PBK did the best that PBK could have.
Which is why i initially had Impact along with the bad bookers, but anyway. NJPW SHOULD be a sink or swim place, WWE should too, they're supposed to be the top echelon of wrestling, Gedo (and wwe's work) should be to do what they do right now as far as making sure the wrestlers have their characters, their direction, and the pointers to make those characters work, but if you come out and completely suck, then that's it. It's not Gedo's work to figure out how to make Japanese crowds like Jay Lethal, because at the end, everyone is replaceable, that's why they have a particular training method for their guys. If people don't care about YOSHI-HASHI is because he sucks, if people for some reason love Yano, it's because whatever Yano needs to do, he does it the correct way.
It's not necessarily Gedo's job to make sure Japanese crowds like Jay Lethal, but if there is a talented worker who comes up through New Japans' system that just seems to be missing something then I don't think Gedo would be able to help him by finding a storyline or gimmick that allows him to minimize that weakness.
Take a guy like 911. He's a terrible wrestler, but Paul Heyman found a way to use him in which he contributed positively to the show. Gedo is content to just let guys sit around the bottom of the card and do nothing forever other than occasionally take a pinfall in a pointless eight-man tag match. Guys should sink or swim on their own merits, yes, but just because a guy isn't a good enough swimmer to go into the deep end doesn't mean that you can't find something for him to do well in the shallower water. A good booker will work to create a position in which such a talent can excel, not jump them just because they'll never bee in the upper echelon of workers.
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