BRM Reviews NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1

Post by Big Red Machine » May 4th, '18, 09:45

NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1 (5/3/2018)- Fukuoka, Japan


YOTA TSUJI & SHOTA UMINO vs. BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi)- 2.5/10
If you’re going to have a bathroom break match, do it in the middle of the show.

JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER, TIGE RMASK IV, & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI vs. YUJI NAGATA, REN NARITA, & TOMOYUKI OKA- 4/10

CHAOS (Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Takashi Iizuka & K.E.S.)- DUD!
Suzuki-Gun jump the bell on their opponents. We get the same bad crowd brawling as always, the same stupid Iizuka biting spot, the same Iizuka harassing the referee for telling him not to bite people… and then Iizuka got rolled up for the pin. This was bad, but at least this time it had the courtesy to be short.

MICHAEL ELGIN, TOGI MAKABE, TOA HENARE, JUICE ROBINSON, & DAVID FINLAY JR. vs. CHAOS (Jay White, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, & Toru Yano)- 4.5/10
This was a short match without much going on. I have no memory of anything Juice, Finlay, Yano or YOSHI-HASHI did, and the only thing I remember Makabe and Ishii doing was trading forearms with each other in one spot. The one thing from this match that I will certainly never forget, though, was a spot between Jay White and Henare which I can only describe as Henare “spearing Jay White with a Rock Bottom.” This needs to be Henare’s finisher.

NEVER OPENWEIGHT SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & the Guerrillas of Destiny)(c) vs. Bullet Club (Marty Scurll & the Young Bucks)- 6/10
Another match in this supposed “Bullet Club Civil War” where absolutely nothing on consequence happens. Hell, from watching this match you wouldn’t think these guys had even met before. We also got yet another random title change for these completely useless titles, so at least that remains a constant.

LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, & Zack Sabre Jr.)- 6.25/10
Suzuki-Gun jump the bell on their opponents. Then we got basically the same stuff we’ve been getting every single damn night on this tour. Zack and Suzuki working on Naito with some double-submissions looked cool and dangerous. LIJ won. Suzuki and Naito brawled after the match, so they’re probably going to run that one back for Dominion. Personally, I’d like to see Zack vs. Naito again, and you can either give Naito his win back or really establish Zack as both a particular problem for Naito and as a top-level player in New Japan by having him win the IC Title.

HIROSHI TANAHASHI & KUSHIDA vs. CHAOS (Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada) (w/Gedo)- 8/10
The match wasn’t quite as good as their main event from a few days ago and the finish was probably the only worse possible finish, with Okada, who needs a win the least, pinning KUSHIDA, who now loses momentum going into his title shot tomorrow night. The work here was at the level you’d expect from these guys, but I just don’t understand how they have screwed the booking up this badly. Having the two Junior Heavyweights take the losses to the heavyweights here makes their title and their division feel secondary, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do right now with Best of the Super Juniors kicking off in just two weeks.

KOTA IBUSHI vs. CODY RHODES- 7.5/10
Cody squanders a chance to attack Kota from behind by just kind of lying there like he glitched and got stuck while trying to slide into the ring. This was a pretty average match for about the first fifteen minutes or so. Then we got a ref bump and Cody brought a table into the ring. Unfortunately for Cody, not only would he be the one to take the bump but the table he chose found a new and innovative way to no cooperate. Even I was feeling sorry for Cody. At that point the match became a collection of big moves that worked well together and definitely felt like they were ramping things up to a finish, which turned out to be a slightly awkward-looking Vertebreaker, so that seems to be a new finisher for Cody.

KENNY OMEGA vs. ADAM PAGE (w/Cody Rhodes)- 8.25/10
Both Page and Cody attacked Kenny before the match. Page shoves the referee down for not letting him use a chair hard enough that the ref took a full bump. There was no DQ for this when the ref woke up. Page worked over Omega’s head and took most of the match, which was necessary to make Page look like he was anywhere close to being on Kenny’s level. Omega kept trying for the One-Winged Angel and finally hit it for the pin (although a more firm cover probably would have made Page look a bit better).

A solid B show from New Japan. While it’s fair to say that the main event delivered, I don’t think it was enough to be really be a breakout performance for Page. That being said, Page was quite great for a man wrestling with an injured groin and I would definitely like to see him getting another shot like this in the future.


Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
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wXw 16 Carat Tournament 2016
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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Re: BRM Reviews NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1

Post by cero2k » May 4th, '18, 13:15

Big Red Machine wrote:
May 4th, '18, 09:45

A solid B show from New Japan. While it’s fair to say that the main event delivered, I don’t think it was enough to be really be a breakout performance for Page. That being said, Page was quite great for a man wrestling with an injured groin and I would definitely like to see him getting another shot like this in the future.
i was thinking about this. I think this was like White's return, where he shows that he can go, but now he needs that one match to establish himself, but i don't think he'll get that one shot at least in Japan. given this match, Page could really be that one violent guy in NJPW

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Re: BRM Reviews NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1

Post by Big Red Machine » May 4th, '18, 13:45

cero2k wrote:
May 4th, '18, 13:15
Big Red Machine wrote:
May 4th, '18, 09:45

A solid B show from New Japan. While it’s fair to say that the main event delivered, I don’t think it was enough to be really be a breakout performance for Page. That being said, Page was quite great for a man wrestling with an injured groin and I would definitely like to see him getting another shot like this in the future.
i was thinking about this. I think this was like White's return, where he shows that he can go, but now he needs that one match to establish himself, but i don't think he'll get that one shot at least in Japan. given this match, Page could really be that one violent guy in NJPW
I think he might get the chance again. There's no way they haven't been noticing what he's done when he has been given the chance between this show, Strong Style Evolved, and Sakura: Genesis. The problem is that the New Japan schedule doesn't really allow for such opportunities to be given, but I've actually been thinking of writing an article about this current tour because they seem to have been trying a lot of new things here that I thought really helped the product, so I think there is some hope that he'll get that chance. Then again, we've seen guys like YOSHI-HASHI and (to a lesser extent) Tama Tonga have great G1 performances and still not be given anything, so who knows.

I think you're spot on about the role Page can play. David Fann on yesterday's edition of Wade Keller's podcast said that he felt Page had been given this 70s-80s stereotypical American Gaijin cowboy type of roll because of his hair and the style he wrestles could easily be adjusted to fit that sort of role in terms of him being the wild brawler. Weapons are something New Japan clearly likes but they don't know what to do with them (as the lack of DQs for using them and the failures of their few recent attempts all-native gimmick matches have shown), but they could probably create a pretty nifty little 1994 ECW "all wild brawls with random weapon use" kind of division from guys who aren't actually doing too much right now (or at least likely won't be in the near future). I can see a division of Page, Makabe, Taichi, Fale, and Iizuka (if he's not a goofball), with Elgin, Ishii, and maybe even occasionally Goto or Suzuki slipping in from the top of the heavyweight scene, and EVIL and Archer occasionally from the tag division.
The problem is that they would need a title to fight for and they really don't have room for that... unless they did something really radical and split the heavyweights and junior heavyweights into totally different shows (aside from the big four shows). That would require bringing in more junior heavyweights, but they have some guys they clearly already like from North America (Flip and their usual CMLL crew), plus they could bring back someone like ACH, and I'm sure CMLL would be happy to supply more guys. It'd be an interesting experiment to try.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
wXw 16 Carat Tournament 2016
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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Re: BRM Reviews NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1

Post by cero2k » May 4th, '18, 16:33

Big Red Machine wrote:
May 4th, '18, 13:45


I think you're spot on about the role Page can play. David Fann on yesterday's edition of Wade Keller's podcast said that he felt Page had been given this 70s-80s stereotypical American Gaijin cowboy type of roll because of his hair and the style he wrestles could easily be adjusted to fit that sort of role in terms of him being the wild brawler. Weapons are something New Japan clearly likes but they don't know what to do with them (as the lack of DQs for using them and the failures of their few recent attempts all-native gimmick matches have shown), but they could probably create a pretty nifty little 1994 ECW "all wild brawls with random weapon use" kind of division from guys who aren't actually doing too much right now (or at least likely won't be in the near future). I can see a division of Page, Makabe, Taichi, Fale, and Iizuka (if he's not a goofball), with Elgin, Ishii, and maybe even occasionally Goto or Suzuki slipping in from the top of the heavyweight scene, and EVIL and Archer occasionally from the tag division.
The problem is that they would need a title to fight for and they really don't have room for that... unless they did something really radical and split the heavyweights and junior heavyweights into totally different shows (aside from the big four shows). That would require bringing in more junior heavyweights, but they have some guys they clearly already like from North America (Flip and their usual CMLL crew), plus they could bring back someone like ACH, and I'm sure CMLL would be happy to supply more guys. It'd be an interesting experiment to try.
I wouldn't want to create a new 'division', but rather I would suggest just using the NEVER title for that which seems to be the wildcard title to whatever style the wrestler holding it becomes, kinda how when Shibata and Ishii had it, it becomes the strong style title, so let Page take it and have all his matches be relaxed rules more than weapon matches. Goto is really not doing anything with it anyway.

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Re: BRM Reviews NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2018: Day 1

Post by Big Red Machine » May 6th, '18, 11:33

cero2k wrote:
May 4th, '18, 16:33
Big Red Machine wrote:
May 4th, '18, 13:45


I think you're spot on about the role Page can play. David Fann on yesterday's edition of Wade Keller's podcast said that he felt Page had been given this 70s-80s stereotypical American Gaijin cowboy type of roll because of his hair and the style he wrestles could easily be adjusted to fit that sort of role in terms of him being the wild brawler. Weapons are something New Japan clearly likes but they don't know what to do with them (as the lack of DQs for using them and the failures of their few recent attempts all-native gimmick matches have shown), but they could probably create a pretty nifty little 1994 ECW "all wild brawls with random weapon use" kind of division from guys who aren't actually doing too much right now (or at least likely won't be in the near future). I can see a division of Page, Makabe, Taichi, Fale, and Iizuka (if he's not a goofball), with Elgin, Ishii, and maybe even occasionally Goto or Suzuki slipping in from the top of the heavyweight scene, and EVIL and Archer occasionally from the tag division.
The problem is that they would need a title to fight for and they really don't have room for that... unless they did something really radical and split the heavyweights and junior heavyweights into totally different shows (aside from the big four shows). That would require bringing in more junior heavyweights, but they have some guys they clearly already like from North America (Flip and their usual CMLL crew), plus they could bring back someone like ACH, and I'm sure CMLL would be happy to supply more guys. It'd be an interesting experiment to try.
I wouldn't want to create a new 'division', but rather I would suggest just using the NEVER title for that which seems to be the wildcard title to whatever style the wrestler holding it becomes, kinda how when Shibata and Ishii had it, it becomes the strong style title, so let Page take it and have all his matches be relaxed rules more than weapon matches. Goto is really not doing anything with it anyway.
Using the NEVER Title would be ideal (I think the rules might even already allow for it, as I remember Masato Tanaka defending it in No DQs matches when he was champ) but I don't think New Japan is willing to lose it as a third belt for top-level guys. Then they'd be down to just two belts for Okada, Tanahashi, Naito, Omega, Suzuki, Ishii, Goto, ZSJ, Ibushi
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
WWE in 2005
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
wXw 16 Carat Tournament 2016
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
ECW Guilty As Charged 1999

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