Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

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Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 22nd, '18, 15:28

NJPW G1 Climax 28, Day 6
July 21, 2018
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan

YOSHI-HASHI & SHO vs Michael Elgin & Ren Narita - 5/10
Not much to this match, Elgin felt really overpowered during the whole match that it seem dumb that he would tag in Narita to get pinned.

EVIL & BUSHI vs Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa - 4.5/10
Not that awesome of a match, a lot of brawling around the hall into the rafters and smashing each other to walls. BUSHI lost to Loa's Apeshit move.

Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado vs Jay White & YOH - 7/10
This was an incredibly awesome dynamic of a match. Jay White came off as a complete entitled little prick, to the point that he made Suzuki and Desperado look like babyfaces trying to get their hands on him. First thing we saw on the match was White get in Suzuki's face and say I have 6 points, to which Suzuki simply responded with a slap on the face.

So most of the match, White and Suzuki were kept apart, and most of the match saw Desperado fight off White, or YOH (or Komatsu as White refers him as) fight off Suzuki. After a lot of White running away from Suzuki, we got to the climax, when Suzuki had YOH set up for the Gotch Piledriver, calling for White to come and stop him, but White simply looked on as Suzuki killed YOH and pinned him. Awesome visual.

Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay vs Hangman Page & Chase Owens - 6.5/10
I'm starting to see some weird sportsmanship between Bullet Club Elite and Taguchi Japan guys that kinda bothers me, I don't care that they're both babyfaces, but they're still different stables. You don't see Hiromu and KUSHIDA give each other imaginary guitars.

Match was all back and forward, Tana and Page did some cutesy comedy at first, but later on, we did get a more serious Tana trying to win and hitting his big spots. Finish saw Page and Finlay fighting, while Owens took out Tana with the Jewel Heist, Page hit the Rite of Passage on Finlay for the win.

Kazuchika Okada & Gedo vs Togi Makabe & Toa Henare - 4.5/10
Another no match, nothing really going on here other than seeing that Makabe can overpower himself out of a Rainmaker and kick Okada's ass for a bit, but since we got joke Okada here, it doesn't really matter anyway. Match saw a lot of Henare and Gedo, so I spaced out and only came back to life when Makabe dropped the King Kong Knee on Gedo for the win.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Toru Yano (0) vs Kota Ibushi (4) - 8/10
I loved this match, it was fun as hell. This felt like DDT Ibushi. The overall story I got here is that Yano has been losing matches for playing properly, but he's starting to learn how to mesh both styles and in this case, it worked for him.

Toru Yano has one of the quickest (if not the quickest) upset in G1 Climax over Ibushi with the 2015 50 second win, so this match started with some quick near falls with Yano rolling up Ibushi. We got both Ibushi and Yano untying the corner pads, all legal, ending with Yano whipping Ibushi to the exposed turnbuckles on several occasions. On another Yano-ism, he tied down Ibushi's hands together, but for a while, hand-tied Ibushi was kicking Yano's ass, he hit a standing moonsault for god's sake!

Finish saw Yano throw hand-tied Ibushi to the ref, who took a small bump, giving Yano the chance to low blow and roll Ibushi for the win.

G1 Climax Block B Match
SANADA (2) vs Zack Sabre Jr (2) - 9/10
Another fun match, this time the story is that SANADA had Sabre's number in Sabre's own game, so Sabre got frustrated and it ended up costing him the match.

Early on, SANADA kept reversing everything Sabre had into a Full Nelson, which is when Sabre started getting frustrated. At this point it was established that SANADA could keep his own against Sabre's technique. In Sabre's frustration, he went for the striking game, but that is one that SANADA is just plain better at, so he once again kicked Sabre's ass. Sabre started going for the Zack Driver, but SANADA reversed it into a Skull End, but after some other reversals and near falls, it was SANADA hitting the O'Connor Roll on Sabre, bridging it, and pinning Sabre for the win.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Tetsuya Naito (2) vs Juice Robinson (2) - 8.5/10
Naito continued his work from yesterday, he had two plans going in to this match, one was to destroy Juice's hand, and the second to push him to the limit with hopes that Juice would DQ himself by using the casket. Most of the match saw Naito work over Juice's hand,

G1 Climax Block B Match
Kenny Omega (4) vs Tama Tonga (2) - Dud!
This was underwhelming in the amount of heat I expected, I just wanted these two to go all out, but the match ended up being good for what it was. This has the same issue as the Fale vs Tanahashi match from last night where the BC OGs pushed the ref soo much that at the end, Red Shoes found himself making a moral stand against Tama Tonga as he was about to drop Omega with a Styles Clash onto a chair, but Red Shoes kicked the chair away and pushed back at Tama Tonga. The match was being good tho, tons of fast paced action, tons of counters. Kenny with this DQ takes the lead of the table with 6 points.

I'm giving this a dud because I want to see a full out fight between Omega and Tama Tonga, one that goes all the way and quite honestly, this felt like a dud firework.

At one point, Kevin Kelly said that apparently AJ Styles said he was siding with the BC Originals, which explains why Tama Tonga could start using the Styles Clash as well as Anderson's Gun Stun.

Post-match - BC OGs tried to Pillmanize Kenny's head, but Ibushi, Page, and Owens all made the save. Ibushi vs Tama Tonga should be heated.

G1 Climax Block B Match
Hirooki Goto (2) vs Tomohiro Ishii (2) - 10/10!
Fucking HELL of a fight. This was Strong Style to the finest. These guys started the match with a milloin shoulder blocks and strikes, and as the match went on, they escalated to lariats and power moves, and at the end, both men are chasing their finishers. Goto got a GREAT Shouten Kai and Ushigoroshi for near falls, but he couldn't seal the deal with the GTR, and at the end, it was Ishii that managed to land the Brainbuster for the win.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
Once again, Block B brings the goods. I initially wondered why Goto vs Ishii was the main event in a show with Naito vs Juice and Omega vs Tama Tonga, but god damn, now I'm glad they went that way. Awesome show.

A BLOCK STANDINGS
Jay White - 6
Hiroshi Tanahashi - 4
Hangman Page - 2
Togi Makabe - 4
Michael Elgin - 4
Kazuchika Okada - 2
Minoru Suzuki - 2
EVIL - 4
YOSHI-HASHI - 0
Bad Luck Fale - 2

B BLOCK STANDINGS
Kenny Omega 6
Kota Ibushi 4
Hirooki Goto 2
Tama Tonga 2
Tomohiro Ishii 4
Tetsuya Naito 4
Zack Sabre Jr. 2
SANADA 4
Juice Robinson 0
Toru Yano 2



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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 22nd, '18, 15:52

cero2k wrote:
Jul 22nd, '18, 15:28


At one point, Kevin Kelly said that apparently AJ Styles said he was siding with the BC Originals, which explains why Tama Tonga could start using the Styles Clash as well as Anderson's Gun Stun.
This would be a lot more convincing if AJ hadn't been all friendly and celebrating with them in ROH a few weeks later, and then went on to continue to be best buds with Gallows & Anderson in WWE.
It also doens't explain anything, as Omega has used the Styles Clash several times as well (vs. Tanahashi right after he turned on AJ, and then vs. Goto in the G1 finals both stick out in my mind). Plus, Tama Tonga has been using the Gun Stun for years now. Basically since the moment Anderson left.

Post-match - BC OGs tried to Pillmanize Kenny's head, but Ibushi, Page, and Owens all made the save. Ibushi vs Tama Tonga should be heated.
Yeah... but it will probably just end in another DQ.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 22nd, '18, 17:51

This would be a lot more convincing if AJ hadn't been all friendly and celebrating with them in ROH a few weeks later, and then went on to continue to be best buds with Gallows & Anderson in WWE.
It also doens't explain anything, as Omega has used the Styles Clash several times as well (vs. Tanahashi right after he turned on AJ, and then vs. Goto in the G1 finals both stick out in my mind). Plus, Tama Tonga has been using the Gun Stun for years now. Basically since the moment Anderson left.


i don't even know what interview KK is saying, that's why i don't like listening to the english commentary, sometimes they come up with stuff that I don't even know if I should believe, but that aside, this tama tonga story has been kinda building since Styles left and kenny took the BC, so I can see Tama Tonga using the finishers of the former leaders. Kevin Kelly well said it, Tama Tonga's sentiment first showed one year ago in the G1, but he's never been a Omega fan.


Yeah... but it will probably just end in another DQ.
and it should, at least when it comes to kenny, ibushi, tama tonga, and fale, they shouldn't be trading clean finishes just yet.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 22nd, '18, 18:18

cero2k wrote:
Jul 22nd, '18, 17:51
This would be a lot more convincing if AJ hadn't been all friendly and celebrating with them in ROH a few weeks later, and then went on to continue to be best buds with Gallows & Anderson in WWE.
It also doens't explain anything, as Omega has used the Styles Clash several times as well (vs. Tanahashi right after he turned on AJ, and then vs. Goto in the G1 finals both stick out in my mind). Plus, Tama Tonga has been using the Gun Stun for years now. Basically since the moment Anderson left.


i don't even know what interview KK is saying, that's why i don't like listening to the english commentary, sometimes they come up with stuff that I don't even know if I should believe, but that aside, this tama tonga story has been kinda building since Styles left and kenny took the BC, so I can see Tama Tonga using the finishers of the former leaders. Kevin Kelly well said it, Tama Tonga's sentiment first showed one year ago in the G1, but he's never been a Omega fan.
Here is the AJ video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... nBtlc_eCM0


As for the idea that this Tama Tonga story has been building since Styles left, that is just plain not true. Omega took over in January 2016. Tama Tonga first said anything in July 2017. That's a year and a half where he was perfectly happy to let Kenny be the leader. Then he said one thing to Kenny one time about not being a good leader, then didn't say anything for an entire year before the Firing Squad thing happened How can you say he has "never been an Omega fan" when he has acted like nothing but a loyal solider for the majority of Omega's tenure?
One could just as easily look at everything that happened from Tama Tonga giving Omega his lecture last year until the Cow Palace show and conclude that Tama Tonga was satisfied that Omega had taken his advice about being a leader to heart... which would actually make more sense because if Tama Tonga was so concerned about Bullet Club's leader being a proper leader and he didn't think Kenny was doing a good job despite his advice/warning, you'd think he'd have said something or done something else about it.


Yeah... but it will probably just end in another DQ.
and it should, at least when it comes to kenny, ibushi, tama tonga, and fale, they shouldn't be trading clean finishes just yet.


You can do a dirty finish that isn't a DQ. If it is a DQ, I'd like to see some sort of change-up, though. Either have Firing Squad run in right away and try to completely maim Ibushi, or have Tama Tonga get Ibushi so mad that Ibushi gets DQed.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 22nd, '18, 21:41


As for the idea that this Tama Tonga story has been building since Styles left, that is just plain not true. Omega took over in January 2016. Tama Tonga first said anything in July 2017. That's a year and a half where he was perfectly happy to let Kenny be the leader. Then he said one thing to Kenny one time about not being a good leader, then didn't say anything for an entire year before the Firing Squad thing happened How can you say he has "never been an Omega fan" when he has acted like nothing but a loyal solider for the majority of Omega's tenure?

because people have the capability to hide their feelings. I don't need Tama Tonga to cut a promo on day one saying he hates Omega. If a year later, Tama Tonga says he hates all this Elite thing, and then a year later he turns on Omega, I don't find it hard to believe that he disliked Omega from the start.


One could just as easily look at everything that happened from Tama Tonga giving Omega his lecture last year until the Cow Palace show and conclude that Tama Tonga was satisfied that Omega had taken his advice about being a leader to heart... which would actually make more sense because if Tama Tonga was so concerned about Bullet Club's leader being a proper leader and he didn't think Kenny was doing a good job despite his advice/warning, you'd think he'd have said something or done something else about it.

So we're both just writing the story we want. Mine makes me enjoy the show a lot, yours seems to work the other way around.


You can do a dirty finish that isn't a DQ. If it is a DQ, I'd like to see some sort of change-up, though. Either have Firing Squad run in right away and try to completely maim Ibushi, or have Tama Tonga get Ibushi so mad that Ibushi gets DQed.

sure, different ways, same way, it's all good as long as they don't throw off the clean finishes in a random G1 match.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 22nd, '18, 22:58

cero2k wrote:
Jul 22nd, '18, 21:41

As for the idea that this Tama Tonga story has been building since Styles left, that is just plain not true. Omega took over in January 2016. Tama Tonga first said anything in July 2017. That's a year and a half where he was perfectly happy to let Kenny be the leader. Then he said one thing to Kenny one time about not being a good leader, then didn't say anything for an entire year before the Firing Squad thing happened How can you say he has "never been an Omega fan" when he has acted like nothing but a loyal solider for the majority of Omega's tenure?

because people have the capability to hide their feelings. I don't need Tama Tonga to cut a promo on day one saying he hates Omega. If a year later, Tama Tonga says he hates all this Elite thing, and then a year later he turns on Omega, I don't find it hard to believe that he disliked Omega from the start.
And he cared so much about Bullet Club and disliked Kenny so much that when someone else challenged Kenny for leadership of the stable that he... sat on his ass and did nothing? And now that everything in Bullet Club seemed to finally be fine, he goes out and tears it up again?


One could just as easily look at everything that happened from Tama Tonga giving Omega his lecture last year until the Cow Palace show and conclude that Tama Tonga was satisfied that Omega had taken his advice about being a leader to heart... which would actually make more sense because if Tama Tonga was so concerned about Bullet Club's leader being a proper leader and he didn't think Kenny was doing a good job despite his advice/warning, you'd think he'd have said something or done something else about it.

So we're both just writing the story we want. Mine makes me enjoy the show a lot, yours seems to work the other way around.
The viewers should have to be filling in all of the gaps by themselves. And the fact that you and I can watch the same thing and come up with completely opposite interpretations of what is going on means that the story is being told poorly. If this sh*t happened in WWE or TNA, people would sh*t all over it. It shouldn't get a free pass (or even worse, praise) just because it happens in a New Japan ring and/or Bullet Club is involved.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 23rd, '18, 09:55

And he cared so much about Bullet Club and disliked Kenny so much that when someone else challenged Kenny for leadership of the stable that he... sat on his ass and did nothing? And now that everything in Bullet Club seemed to finally be fine, he goes out and tears it up again?
that actually makes a lot of sense. To start off, I don't think Tama Tonga ever had that many problems with Cody, he even gave Cody one last chance to destroy Kenny when the Tongans turned, but Cody hesitated, so he has to go. But aside from that, if you're trying to destroy a faction, but you see the faction is self imploding, why not just sit down and enjoy, and once everything is settled, you killed whoever won. In this case, it seemed more like Cody and Kenny would make peace and so the Tongans have to haste the plans and destroy everyone. There's that BTE episode when Kenny and Cody fight in the locker rooms and Tama Tonga just gleefuly sits and sees the whole BC fight each other. Dude was just waiting for the right time, but Kenny winning the title and defeating Cody did seem like Kenny was going to gain more power.

In all that year, Tama Tonga did tons of stuff in the shadows, he really united the tongans more, brought in Ishimori as an unnecessary addition to the jr division, they brought in their younger brother, their father, they had their alternative show. Tama Tonga was definitely waiting. Most of the things we saw the Tongans do in the last year, most of that wasn't surrounding Cody or Kenny, and vice versa. The magic of NJPW booking is that we don't constant promos about the same thing over and over again, but when something happens, we can always look back and say, oh shit, that thing that time means something to this new thing now.


The viewers should have to be filling in all of the gaps by themselves. And the fact that you and I can watch the same thing and come up with completely opposite interpretations of what is going on means that the story is being told poorly. If this sh*t happened in WWE or TNA, people would sh*t all over it. It shouldn't get a free pass (or even worse, praise) just because it happens in a New Japan ring and/or Bullet Club is involved.

I think you tried to say 'Shouldn't", but i don't see anything wrong with asking for your fans to think a little, let's push the fans into thinking and not just taking in content like zombies. The best are those that push the fans into thinking more and wanting more and talking about it with their own ideas. It's not poor storytelling to leave things open for interpretation, especially in a show where there are different alignments and fans can like or dislike anyone.

it may not happen every where, because some storytellers are too anal about 'out way or the highway' when it comes to what they want to show, but if anything, WWE gets more passes than everyone else, NJPW, ROH, and especial Impact are always under the magnifying glass, but WWE is 'just fun', WWE is always 'give it time', 'it's a long burn', not to mention nxt that it's 'developmental' when it sucks and it's 'third brand' when it's awesome. WWE apologists are the most annoying thing in the industry right now.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 23rd, '18, 11:57

cero2k wrote:
Jul 23rd, '18, 09:55
And he cared so much about Bullet Club and disliked Kenny so much that when someone else challenged Kenny for leadership of the stable that he... sat on his ass and did nothing? And now that everything in Bullet Club seemed to finally be fine, he goes out and tears it up again?
that actually makes a lot of sense. To start off, I don't think Tama Tonga ever had that many problems with Cody, he even gave Cody one last chance to destroy Kenny when the Tongans turned, but Cody hesitated, so he has to go. But aside from that, if you're trying to destroy a faction, but you see the faction is self imploding, why not just sit down and enjoy, and once everything is settled, you killed whoever won. In this case, it seemed more like Cody and Kenny would make peace and so the Tongans have to haste the plans and destroy everyone. There's that BTE episode when Kenny and Cody fight in the locker rooms and Tama Tonga just gleefuly sits and sees the whole BC fight each other. Dude was just waiting for the right time, but Kenny winning the title and defeating Cody did seem like Kenny was going to gain more power.
Are they trying to destroy Bullet Club? I was pretty sure the whole idea was that they think they're saving it. Why else would they keep the name? Tama Tonga's originally speech to Kenny also doesn't make much sense in any other context.
And the Tongans certainly did have problems with Cody. Go back and watch the segment from Strong Style Evolved. They're clearly unhappy with his egotism and Tanga Loa even flat out tells Cody "if there is a team we're on, it's definitely not Team Cody."

In all that year, Tama Tonga did tons of stuff in the shadows, he really united the tongans more, brought in Ishimori as an unnecessary addition to the jr division, they brought in their younger brother, their father, they had their alternative show. Tama Tonga was definitely waiting. Most of the things we saw the Tongans do in the last year, most of that wasn't surrounding Cody or Kenny, and vice versa. The magic of NJPW booking is that we don't constant promos about the same thing over and over again, but when something happens, we can always look back and say, oh shit, that thing that time means something to this new thing now.
The Bone Solider thing only makes sense if he is on the Firing Squad's side in all of this. And considering that you'd have thought that at least Yujiro would have been a member of the Firing Squad but wasn't, we have no reason to believe that Bone Soldier will be. Haku had been palling around with Bullet Club well before any of his power struggle stuff started, so you can't say that Tama Tonga bringing him in was some sort of power move. I also disagree with your assertion that Ishimori was an "unnecessary" addition, as the same weekend he debuted, Marty Scurll was going around talking about how he was going to be a heavyweight now (hence all of the dumb sh*t with him trying to bodyslam Fale). But even if that wasn't the case, why would his addition be "unnecessary?" Bullet Club has (and has had) multiple top-level heavyweights (Fale coexisted with both Omega and AJ at that level, and they brought in Cody despite already having Omega). Why can't they have a second singles junior heavyweight to increase their chances of winning BOSJ?

The problem with your praise of NJPW booking as "when something happens, we can always look back and say oh sh*t, that thing that time means something to this new thing now" is that it ignores all of the times where that didn't happen. Like AJ and Fale in the G1. Or Gedo booking THE SAME EXACT THING the next year in the G1 with Fale and Tama Tonga. Or the Suzuki-Gun stuff in last year's BOSJ. Or the Young Bucks making it clear they were trying to screw Cody out of his match against Omega at SCOH and yet afterwards they're all friends again, with the Bucks even being on "Team Cody" in the Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club match at Dontaku. Or Chase and Yujiro attacking the Bucks from behind for no reason at Sakura: Genesis. And nothing ever coming of it.
I'm not calling for people to be cutting promos on every show on the same exact thing for months and months and months. All I'm asking for is a coherent story in which clear and direct lines can be drawn from each action to the next, with the consequences of each action informing the next actions of the involved characters in a way that makes sense as a coherent whole. This story has utterly failed at that. If the story is not supposed to be a mystery, I should not be left asking the question "why"


The viewers should have to be filling in all of the gaps by themselves. And the fact that you and I can watch the same thing and come up with completely opposite interpretations of what is going on means that the story is being told poorly. If this sh*t happened in WWE or TNA, people would sh*t all over it. It shouldn't get a free pass (or even worse, praise) just because it happens in a New Japan ring and/or Bullet Club is involved.

I think you tried to say 'Shouldn't", but i don't see anything wrong with asking for your fans to think a little, let's push the fans into thinking and not just taking in content like zombies. The best are those that push the fans into thinking more and wanting more and talking about it with their own ideas. It's not poor storytelling to leave things open for interpretation, especially in a show where there are different alignments and fans can like or dislike anyone.
I did mean to say "shouldn't. There is nothing wrong with making fans think and ask questions and share theories, but when all is revealed, the actual story should be clear, with a coherent, linking narrative that makes sense at all points. You can't just have nothing happen for months and then have something happen and leave it up to the fans to fill it in on their own and come up with reasons why the dots they need to connect are so far away from each other and skip over other dots in the pattern. The way you do it is by dropping hints along the way, either in some grander narrative fashion or via the words and actions of the involved characters. CHIKARA is a promotion that encourages fans to come up with theories along the way (and then reveals if they were right or not). This was some people saying "this doesn't make sense and here is why" and other people saying "no. It totally does make sense!" and then bending over backwards to come up with (to me, extremely unconvincing) arguments for why it does.
I also disagree with the idea that "fans can like or dislike anyone." No one was supposed to side with Cody. At all. Not in ROH, and not in NJPW. Cody and Page were clearly the heels here, with the idea being that Marty and the Bucks were caught in the middle, but all ultimately sided with Kenny (the Bucks at SCOH, and Marty due to his later issues with Cody over the ROH World Title). I also don't think anyone was supposed to side with LIJ. Remember that Naito's title win over Okada was essentially the same angle as AJ's, with someone joining the heel group and screwing Okada out of the title. Gedo just realized that the fans are... let's say "out of his control" on these issues at this point and thus he did the smart thing (unlike, say, Vince) and just stopped booking (most of LIJ, with BUSHI and EVIL as notable exceptions) as heels.
I agree that it's not necessarily bad to leave things open to interpretation, but that interpretation is an interpretation of who is the babyface and who is the heel based on how each fan sees the events. There is an argument that can be made (and was made) that Savage was mostly correct and Hogan was a total spotlight-stealing jerk. But the equivalent concept here is not an interpretation of Tama Tonga's actions leading up to the San Francisco but rather whether or not you agree with his interpretation of Bullet Club having gone off the rails due to the egotism of Omega and Cody (I'd throw the Bucks in as well).


it may not happen every where, because some storytellers are too anal about 'out way or the highway' when it comes to what they want to show, but if anything, WWE gets more passes than everyone else, NJPW, ROH, and especial Impact are always under the magnifying glass, but WWE is 'just fun', WWE is always 'give it time', 'it's a long burn', not to mention nxt that it's 'developmental' when it sucks and it's 'third brand' when it's awesome. WWE apologists are the most annoying thing in the industry right now.
I disagree with most of this. Yes, there are more WWE apologists, but that's because WWE's fanbase is bigger. But they are no more intense than the TNAMecca crowd and other similar groups. And as ROH has grown, we've seen an explosion of people who would be classified as "ROHbots" (even though, ironically, most of them haven't even been watching since the the beginning of the Sinclair era). But among people who we wouldn't normally think of as "marks"/"fanboys"- the "wrestling media," and the smarkier parts of the IWC- people who we usually think of as watching wrestling with a more critical eye- among those people, ROH and especially NJPW get basically no scrutiny at all, especially as compared to WWE and TNA.
WWE and TNA apologists usually come from the... less "smart" (interpret that term however you want) corners of the internet, whereas apologists for ROH and especially NJPW tend to come from the "smarter" corners. WWE and TNA apologists are your kind of "identity-obsessed" far left/far right who immediately leap into action in defense of their team without ever even having a doubt that their own criticisms might be hyporcrital or the other side might have a point in this instance, whereas the ROH and NJPW apologists are more like your partisan media company types; people who should know better and perhaps have in the past but are shutting that part of their brain off because they like ROH/NJPW/Bullet Club so much (though I have started to notice more of an "identity" thing going on with some ROH apologists, too, but not the media types).
As for the NXT dichotomy, NXT has rarely been bad when you've got the "Triple H's private super-indy" guys in there, and most of the bad matches have in fact come from people who are there to learn, so I don't think that's a fair criticism. It's not like people say "well it's just developmental" when if Adam Cole and Ricochet have a bad match together or something like that.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 23rd, '18, 14:58

Are they trying to destroy Bullet Club? I was pretty sure the whole idea was that they think they're saving it. Why else would they keep the name? Tama Tonga's originally speech to Kenny also doesn't make much sense in any other context.
And the Tongans certainly did have problems with Cody. Go back and watch the segment from Strong Style Evolved. They're clearly unhappy with his egotism and Tanga Loa even flat out tells Cody "if there is a team we're on, it's definitely not Team Cody."

Not destroy Bullet Club per say, but what it became, which was kinda the point of the promo from a year ago, it was now all about elites and that shit. You kill the faction and reset it to what it should.


The Bone Solider thing only makes sense if he is on the Firing Squad's side in all of this. And considering that you'd have thought that at least Yujiro would have been a member of the Firing Squad but wasn't, we have no reason to believe that Bone Soldier will be. Haku had been palling around with Bullet Club well before any of his power struggle stuff started, so you can't say that Tama Tonga bringing him in was some sort of power move. I also disagree with your assertion that Ishimori was an "unnecessary" addition, as the same weekend he debuted, Marty Scurll was going around talking about how he was going to be a heavyweight now (hence all of the dumb sh*t with him trying to bodyslam Fale). But even if that wasn't the case, why would his addition be "unnecessary?" Bullet Club has (and has had) multiple top-level heavyweights (Fale coexisted with both Omega and AJ at that level, and they brought in Cody despite already having Omega). Why can't they have a second singles junior heavyweight to increase their chances of winning BOSJ?
all stables have more than one jr, but unnecessary as in there was nothing building to 'we need a new guy' in the Bullet Club, it kinda came out of nowhere, it wasn't even like White who came back by himself and two teams tried to recruit him. And while you're right, there is no reason to believe he'll side the the Tongans, we also have no reason to believe he won't. To me it just makes perfect sense, we've never really seen Ishimori tag or interact with anyone from the Elite side. And if you ask me, I totally expect either Yujiro or Owens to turn and join the Tongans going forward, if not both. Turning on stables is pretty much Yujiro's secondary gimmick.

The problem with your praise of NJPW booking as "when something happens, we can always look back and say oh sh*t, that thing that time means something to this new thing now" is that it ignores all of the times where that didn't happen. Like AJ and Fale in the G1. Or Gedo booking THE SAME EXACT THING the next year in the G1 with Fale and Tama Tonga. Or the Suzuki-Gun stuff in last year's BOSJ. Or the Young Bucks making it clear they were trying to screw Cody out of his match against Omega at SCOH and yet afterwards they're all friends again, with the Bucks even being on "Team Cody" in the Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club match at Dontaku. Or Chase and Yujiro attacking the Bucks from behind for no reason at Sakura: Genesis. And nothing ever coming of it.
I'm not calling for people to be cutting promos on every show on the same exact thing for months and months and months. All I'm asking for is a coherent story in which clear and direct lines can be drawn from each action to the next, with the consequences of each action informing the next actions of the involved characters in a way that makes sense as a coherent whole. This story has utterly failed at that. If the story is not supposed to be a mystery, I should not be left asking the question "why"

a lot of those things have answers, Bucks joined Cody in that match because (1) they were jumping from cody to kenny all the time, it was when cody was playing games with them and getting in their head, or (2) the match was booked like that. Yujiro and Chase didn't 'attack' the bucks from behind, they jumped them on a match, something that it's perfectly ok within a match, it's about winning, they still shook hands, and it was when the Bucks had their whole 'we can't two sweet' that was pissing off the Japanese BC. Those things don't need follow up. Not everything has to be referenced in the future, some stuff just doesn't work out and you don't come back to it, that is perfectly ok.


I did mean to say "shouldn't. There is nothing wrong with making fans think and ask questions and share theories, but when all is revealed, the actual story should be clear, with a coherent, linking narrative that makes sense at all points. You can't just have nothing happen for months and then have something happen and leave it up to the fans to fill it in on their own and come up with reasons why the dots they need to connect are so far away from each other and skip over other dots in the pattern. The way you do it is by dropping hints along the way, either in some grander narrative fashion or via the words and actions of the involved characters. CHIKARA is a promotion that encourages fans to come up with theories along the way (and then reveals if they were right or not). This was some people saying "this doesn't make sense and here is why" and other people saying "no. It totally does make sense!" and then bending over backwards to come up with (to me, extremely unconvincing) arguments for why it does.
it's still kinda of the same thing, to you months is too much, to me it's ok. Hints are good, but i don't need them constantly. To you people may be bending backwards to make sense, but to me a lot of times i don't see why things need to be so literal and given to me on a platter. At the end, we're really just getting to the same story, Tama Tonga doesn't like what the BC became and thus turned on the ones that changed it, isn't that where we're both at? it's really just details that we differ on


I also disagree with the idea that "fans can like or dislike anyone." No one was supposed to side with Cody. At all. Not in ROH, and not in NJPW. Cody and Page were clearly the heels here, with the idea being that Marty and the Bucks were caught in the middle, but all ultimately sided with Kenny (the Bucks at SCOH, and Marty due to his later issues with Cody over the ROH World Title). I also don't think anyone was supposed to side with LIJ. Remember that Naito's title win over Okada was essentially the same angle as AJ's, with someone joining the heel group and screwing Okada out of the title. Gedo just realized that the fans are... let's say "out of his control" on these issues at this point and thus he did the smart thing (unlike, say, Vince) and just stopped booking (most of LIJ, with BUSHI and EVIL as notable exceptions) as heels.
I agree that it's not necessarily bad to leave things open to interpretation, but that interpretation is an interpretation of who is the babyface and who is the heel based on how each fan sees the events. There is an argument that can be made (and was made) that Savage was mostly correct and Hogan was a total spotlight-stealing jerk. But the equivalent concept here is not an interpretation of Tama Tonga's actions leading up to the San Francisco but rather whether or not you agree with his interpretation of Bullet Club having gone off the rails due to the egotism of Omega and Cody (I'd throw the Bucks in as well).

i will never be able to agree that fans are 'supposed' to side with someone. if i never liked Kenny, why wouldn't I side with Cody or Tama Tonga? Why can't fans side with villains? I don't like goody too shoes heroes, i don't care for them.


I disagree with most of this. Yes, there are more WWE apologists, but that's because WWE's fanbase is bigger. But they are no more intense than the TNAMecca crowd and other similar groups. And as ROH has grown, we've seen an explosion of people who would be classified as "ROHbots" (even though, ironically, most of them haven't even been watching since the the beginning of the Sinclair era). But among people who we wouldn't normally think of as "marks"/"fanboys"- the "wrestling media," and the smarkier parts of the IWC- people who we usually think of as watching wrestling with a more critical eye- among those people, ROH and especially NJPW get basically no scrutiny at all, especially as compared to WWE and TNA.
WWE and TNA apologists usually come from the... less "smart" (interpret that term however you want) corners of the internet, whereas apologists for ROH and especially NJPW tend to come from the "smarter" corners. WWE and TNA apologists are your kind of "identity-obsessed" far left/far right who immediately leap into action in defense of their team without ever even having a doubt that their own criticisms might be hyporcrital or the other side might have a point in this instance, whereas the ROH and NJPW apologists are more like your partisan media company types; people who should know better and perhaps have in the past but are shutting that part of their brain off because they like ROH/NJPW/Bullet Club so much (though I have started to notice more of an "identity" thing going on with some ROH apologists, too, but not the media types).
As for the NXT dichotomy, NXT has rarely been bad when you've got the "Triple H's private super-indy" guys in there, and most of the bad matches have in fact come from people who are there to learn, so I don't think that's a fair criticism. It's not like people say "well it's just developmental" when if Adam Cole and Ricochet have a bad match together or something like that.

It honestly depends on where you hang out. I only hang out in either Reddit or F4WOnline board and overall, there is a large resistance to liking anything non-wwe and giving it credit. I've never really been exposed to that TNAMecca or ROHbots, not even when I visit the promotion only topics or sites. Of course they exist, I think every thing in this world will have apologists, but if we're comparing them, NJPW has to have some of the chillest apologists. Even Meltzer, with all the Tokyo Dome jokes, has said many times that when judging New Japan, he holds them to a higher standard.

You're right about the 'smart' type of thing, and I still think a lot of those are still the same as NJPW and ROH and BC have gotten more popular with the mainstream fans. Having said that, i've also seen A LOT of fans that were 'smark' enough that they got 'smarker' so that now they now see how WWE is actually really good and NJPW is overrated.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 23rd, '18, 19:05

cero2k wrote:
Jul 23rd, '18, 14:58
Are they trying to destroy Bullet Club? I was pretty sure the whole idea was that they think they're saving it. Why else would they keep the name? Tama Tonga's originally speech to Kenny also doesn't make much sense in any other context.
And the Tongans certainly did have problems with Cody. Go back and watch the segment from Strong Style Evolved. They're clearly unhappy with his egotism and Tanga Loa even flat out tells Cody "if there is a team we're on, it's definitely not Team Cody."

Not destroy Bullet Club per say, but what it became, which was kinda the point of the promo from a year ago, it was now all about elites and that shit. You kill the faction and reset it to what it should.
If I remember correctly, Tama Tonga specially yelled at Kenny for promoting The Elite over the rest of the group. Doesn't giving themselves a sub-name ("the Tongans" was never an official thing, and, more importantly, was never merchandised until late in the game, if at all) go against that? And if that was the case, then how does letting Cody in help? Isn't he just as responsible for this sort of thing? You'd also think they wouldn't have a problem with Yujiro or Chase, and they never participated in the factionization that ROH Bullet Club did.

The Bone Solider thing only makes sense if he is on the Firing Squad's side in all of this. And considering that you'd have thought that at least Yujiro would have been a member of the Firing Squad but wasn't, we have no reason to believe that Bone Soldier will be. Haku had been palling around with Bullet Club well before any of his power struggle stuff started, so you can't say that Tama Tonga bringing him in was some sort of power move. I also disagree with your assertion that Ishimori was an "unnecessary" addition, as the same weekend he debuted, Marty Scurll was going around talking about how he was going to be a heavyweight now (hence all of the dumb sh*t with him trying to bodyslam Fale). But even if that wasn't the case, why would his addition be "unnecessary?" Bullet Club has (and has had) multiple top-level heavyweights (Fale coexisted with both Omega and AJ at that level, and they brought in Cody despite already having Omega). Why can't they have a second singles junior heavyweight to increase their chances of winning BOSJ?
all stables have more than one jr, but unnecessary as in there was nothing building to 'we need a new guy' in the Bullet Club, it kinda came out of nowhere, it wasn't even like White who came back by himself and two teams tried to recruit him. And while you're right, there is no reason to believe he'll side the the Tongans, we also have no reason to believe he won't. To me it just makes perfect sense, we've never really seen Ishimori tag or interact with anyone from the Elite side. And if you ask me, I totally expect either Yujiro or Owens to turn and join the Tongans going forward, if not both. Turning on stables is pretty much Yujiro's secondary gimmick.
There is almost never any sort of "we need a guy" storyline. It has usually been "we're bringing in a new member" and that's the end of it. White was made special by being the exception.
Yujiro and Owens joining wouldn't make sense anymore because the Firing Squad already rejected them in San Francisco.


The problem with your praise of NJPW booking as "when something happens, we can always look back and say oh sh*t, that thing that time means something to this new thing now" is that it ignores all of the times where that didn't happen. Like AJ and Fale in the G1. Or Gedo booking THE SAME EXACT THING the next year in the G1 with Fale and Tama Tonga. Or the Suzuki-Gun stuff in last year's BOSJ. Or the Young Bucks making it clear they were trying to screw Cody out of his match against Omega at SCOH and yet afterwards they're all friends again, with the Bucks even being on "Team Cody" in the Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club match at Dontaku. Or Chase and Yujiro attacking the Bucks from behind for no reason at Sakura: Genesis. And nothing ever coming of it.
I'm not calling for people to be cutting promos on every show on the same exact thing for months and months and months. All I'm asking for is a coherent story in which clear and direct lines can be drawn from each action to the next, with the consequences of each action informing the next actions of the involved characters in a way that makes sense as a coherent whole. This story has utterly failed at that. If the story is not supposed to be a mystery, I should not be left asking the question "why"

a lot of those things have answers, Bucks joined Cody in that match because (1) they were jumping from cody to kenny all the time, it was when cody was playing games with them and getting in their head, or (2) the match was booked like that. Yujiro and Chase didn't 'attack' the bucks from behind, they jumped them on a match, something that it's perfectly ok within a match, it's about winning, they still shook hands, and it was when the Bucks had their whole 'we can't two sweet' that was pissing off the Japanese BC. Those things don't need follow up. Not everything has to be referenced in the future, some stuff just doesn't work out and you don't come back to it, that is perfectly ok.

That match was AFTER SCOH, which was one the Bucks made clear that their intentions were to help Kenny and attack Cody. It just happened to backfire, which explains Kenny being unhappy with them, but not them and Cody suddenly being fine again.
And what sort of an explanation is "the match was booked like that" in a company that almost never books intra-stable matches? Unless you're trying to tell me that New Japan management was purposely f*cking with Bullet Club, which would be extremely out of character. Also, there should have been something from the Bucks or Cody addressing the situation, but there wasn't, just like there should have been something between Cody and Marty addressing the fact that Marty was teaming with Cody like nothing was wrong in NJPW even though they were at each other's throats in ROH.

Chase and Yujiro attacked the Bucks from behind before the bell rang. That's heel sh*t right there. Suzuki-Gun does it in every match. And why would Japanese Bullet Club be upset at the Bucks because the Bucks can't Too Sweet anymore? It's not the Bucks' fault. It's not like they lost a match where that was the stipulation or something. Everyone knows why they can't Too Sweet anymore. it's even part of the storyline on Being The Elite. Are Yujiro, Chase, and the Tongans illiterate, and no one from American Bullet Club made any effort to explain it to them, either?

The Bucks shaking their hands after that match was ridiculous when you realize that they spent WEEKS angry at Kenny for shoving Matt down from behind when it was clear from the tape that he clearly didn't know who was grabbing him, but when these guys jumped the bell to attack Matt's injured back they were fine with it. And if it's all about winning then why was Nick Jackson being such a whiny little bitch in the Bucks vs. Golden Lovers match when Kenny wasn't even doing anything illegal to work Matt's back over in a match that the Bucks themselves challenged the Golden Lovers to?

And stuff like that 100% needs follow-up. You can't just try something and then pretend it didn't happen if you don't like the way it works out. How is that any different than Kane trying to murder Bryan the last time they were together and now coming back and being his friend all of a sudden? Or how Kane is just able to magically switch brands? Or any of the other million times that Creative change their minds just hit the reset button on something?




I did mean to say "shouldn't. There is nothing wrong with making fans think and ask questions and share theories, but when all is revealed, the actual story should be clear, with a coherent, linking narrative that makes sense at all points. You can't just have nothing happen for months and then have something happen and leave it up to the fans to fill it in on their own and come up with reasons why the dots they need to connect are so far away from each other and skip over other dots in the pattern. The way you do it is by dropping hints along the way, either in some grander narrative fashion or via the words and actions of the involved characters. CHIKARA is a promotion that encourages fans to come up with theories along the way (and then reveals if they were right or not). This was some people saying "this doesn't make sense and here is why" and other people saying "no. It totally does make sense!" and then bending over backwards to come up with (to me, extremely unconvincing) arguments for why it does.
it's still kinda of the same thing, to you months is too much, to me it's ok. Hints are good, but i don't need them constantly. To you people may be bending backwards to make sense, but to me a lot of times i don't see why things need to be so literal and given to me on a platter. At the end, we're really just getting to the same story, Tama Tonga doesn't like what the BC became and thus turned on the ones that changed it, isn't that where we're both at? it's really just details that we differ on
But it's one hell of an extreme difference, and as this whole debate shows, you thought it was great and I thought it was horrendous. The details are important because they inform how we evaluate new developments in throughout the rest of the story


I also disagree with the idea that "fans can like or dislike anyone." No one was supposed to side with Cody. At all. Not in ROH, and not in NJPW. Cody and Page were clearly the heels here, with the idea being that Marty and the Bucks were caught in the middle, but all ultimately sided with Kenny (the Bucks at SCOH, and Marty due to his later issues with Cody over the ROH World Title). I also don't think anyone was supposed to side with LIJ. Remember that Naito's title win over Okada was essentially the same angle as AJ's, with someone joining the heel group and screwing Okada out of the title. Gedo just realized that the fans are... let's say "out of his control" on these issues at this point and thus he did the smart thing (unlike, say, Vince) and just stopped booking (most of LIJ, with BUSHI and EVIL as notable exceptions) as heels.
I agree that it's not necessarily bad to leave things open to interpretation, but that interpretation is an interpretation of who is the babyface and who is the heel based on how each fan sees the events. There is an argument that can be made (and was made) that Savage was mostly correct and Hogan was a total spotlight-stealing jerk. But the equivalent concept here is not an interpretation of Tama Tonga's actions leading up to the San Francisco but rather whether or not you agree with his interpretation of Bullet Club having gone off the rails due to the egotism of Omega and Cody (I'd throw the Bucks in as well).

i will never be able to agree that fans are 'supposed' to side with someone. if i never liked Kenny, why wouldn't I side with Cody or Tama Tonga? Why can't fans side with villains? I don't like goody too shoes heroes, i don't care for them.
Just because heel fans and independent fans exist doesn't mean that the promotion doesn't still book with babyface/heel dynamics in mind. Independent fans and heel fans are going to cheer whoever they want to anyway, but the stories are designed with the idea of getting as many fans as possible to cheer for the babyface and dislike the heel. Basically, if people like you are going to root for whoever they want to root for based on their own criteria no matter what the company does, then there is no opportunity cost in booking for people like me who like having babyface/heel dynamics, but there is an opportunity cost to just throwing sh*t together and assuming the fans will just cheer for whoever they want because you run the risk of babyface/heel dynamics fans just not caring about the angle.



And people shouldn't cheer for heels because they're bad people! The reaction to people cheering for heels should be the same reaction the other characters had when Barney said he thought Johnny Lawrence was the hero in The Karate Kid.



I disagree with most of this. Yes, there are more WWE apologists, but that's because WWE's fanbase is bigger. But they are no more intense than the TNAMecca crowd and other similar groups. And as ROH has grown, we've seen an explosion of people who would be classified as "ROHbots" (even though, ironically, most of them haven't even been watching since the the beginning of the Sinclair era). But among people who we wouldn't normally think of as "marks"/"fanboys"- the "wrestling media," and the smarkier parts of the IWC- people who we usually think of as watching wrestling with a more critical eye- among those people, ROH and especially NJPW get basically no scrutiny at all, especially as compared to WWE and TNA.
WWE and TNA apologists usually come from the... less "smart" (interpret that term however you want) corners of the internet, whereas apologists for ROH and especially NJPW tend to come from the "smarter" corners. WWE and TNA apologists are your kind of "identity-obsessed" far left/far right who immediately leap into action in defense of their team without ever even having a doubt that their own criticisms might be hyporcrital or the other side might have a point in this instance, whereas the ROH and NJPW apologists are more like your partisan media company types; people who should know better and perhaps have in the past but are shutting that part of their brain off because they like ROH/NJPW/Bullet Club so much (though I have started to notice more of an "identity" thing going on with some ROH apologists, too, but not the media types).
As for the NXT dichotomy, NXT has rarely been bad when you've got the "Triple H's private super-indy" guys in there, and most of the bad matches have in fact come from people who are there to learn, so I don't think that's a fair criticism. It's not like people say "well it's just developmental" when if Adam Cole and Ricochet have a bad match together or something like that.

It honestly depends on where you hang out. I only hang out in either Reddit or F4WOnline board and overall, there is a large resistance to liking anything non-wwe and giving it credit. I've never really been exposed to that TNAMecca or ROHbots, not even when I visit the promotion only topics or sites. Of course they exist, I think every thing in this world will have apologists, but if we're comparing them, NJPW has to have some of the chillest apologists. Even Meltzer, with all the Tokyo Dome jokes, has said many times that when judging New Japan, he holds them to a higher standard.
That "higher standard" thing makes it even worse, though. Is Dave really saying that in the past six years, NJPW has just been that much better than everyone else that even in their higher standards they have had 27 ***** (or higher) matches while everyone else (which is really just PWG and NXT), has only had six, even with their lesser standards? Does Dave really think that all of these NJPW matches were so good that he gave them ***** even with their higher standards but matches that basically everyone else in the world has given ***** like the HBK/Taker Mania matches, Dragon vs. Nigel from Unified and Driven, Shawn vs. Angle from Mania, Dragon vs. KENTA from Glory By Honor V: Night 2, that Bucks/MCMG/Addiction Ladder War, Ki vs. KENTA, the HHH/HBK/Benoit Mania match, etc. were still only able to reach ****3/4 even with lesser standards? That even with these higher standard, NJPW, within the first seven and a half months of both 2017 and 2018 was able to put on as many ***** or higher matches than every single promotion in the world combined did from 2001 until the Tanahashi/Suzuki match?


You're right about the 'smart' type of thing, and I still think a lot of those are still the same as NJPW and ROH and BC have gotten more popular with the mainstream fans. Having said that, i've also seen A LOT of fans that were 'smark' enough that they got 'smarker' so that now they now see how WWE is actually really good and NJPW is overrated.
WWE/TNA apologists are annoying because they're annoying. ROH/NJPW/Bullet Club apologists are annoying because they seem like people who should realize that they're not being objective.
As for New Japan being overrated... I think it often is, outside of G1 and BOSJ time. The BIG shows are very big and able to deliver, but they have started stretching their schedule so that 80% of the matches on the majority of shows feel completely pointless, and I think that's a valid thing to criticize. It's the same problem people have with the current construction of ROH cards and their way of doing things (which has become increasingly influenced by New Japan).
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 24th, '18, 10:53

If I remember correctly, Tama Tonga specially yelled at Kenny for promoting The Elite over the rest of the group. Doesn't giving themselves a sub-name ("the Tongans" was never an official thing, and, more importantly, was never merchandised until late in the game, if at all) go against that? And if that was the case, then how does letting Cody in help? Isn't he just as responsible for this sort of thing? You'd also think they wouldn't have a problem with Yujiro or Chase, and they never participated in the factionization that ROH Bullet Club did.
the Tongans are heels, they're not supposed to make sense and they're supposed to be full of shit in their arguments against the babyfaces, they're supposed to be hypocrites. You let Cody help because he's an asset that you can manipulate to take out Omega

There is almost never any sort of "we need a guy" storyline. It has usually been "we're bringing in a new member" and that's the end of it. White was made special by being the exception.
Yujiro and Owens joining wouldn't make sense anymore because the Firing Squad already rejected them in San Francisco.

Undercover members infiltrating the BC, that happens all the time. Yujiro rarely comes out to even the odds during OGs attacks


That match was AFTER SCOH, which was one the Bucks made clear that their intentions were to help Kenny and attack Cody. It just happened to backfire, which explains Kenny being unhappy with them, but not them and Cody suddenly being fine again.
And what sort of an explanation is "the match was booked like that" in a company that almost never books intra-stable matches? Unless you're trying to tell me that New Japan management was purposely f*cking with Bullet Club, which would be extremely out of character. Also, there should have been something from the Bucks or Cody addressing the situation, but there wasn't, just like there should have been something between Cody and Marty addressing the fact that Marty was teaming with Cody like nothing was wrong in NJPW even though they were at each other's throats in ROH

Chase and Yujiro attacked the Bucks from behind before the bell rang. That's heel sh*t right there. Suzuki-Gun does it in every match. And why would Japanese Bullet Club be upset at the Bucks because the Bucks can't Too Sweet anymore? It's not the Bucks' fault. It's not like they lost a match where that was the stipulation or something. Everyone knows why they can't Too Sweet anymore. it's even part of the storyline on Being The Elite. Are Yujiro, Chase, and the Tongans illiterate, and no one from American Bullet Club made any effort to explain it to them, either?

The Bucks shaking their hands after that match was ridiculous when you realize that they spent WEEKS angry at Kenny for shoving Matt down from behind when it was clear from the tape that he clearly didn't know who was grabbing him, but when these guys jumped the bell to attack Matt's injured back they were fine with it. And if it's all about winning then why was Nick Jackson being such a whiny little bitch in the Bucks vs. Golden Lovers match when Kenny wasn't even doing anything illegal to work Matt's back over in a match that the Bucks themselves challenged the Golden Lovers to?

And stuff like that 100% needs follow-up. You can't just try something and then pretend it didn't happen if you don't like the way it works out. How is that any different than Kane trying to murder Bryan the last time they were together and now coming back and being his friend all of a sudden? Or how Kane is just able to magically switch brands? Or any of the other million times that Creative change their minds just hit the reset button on something?

getting the jump on someone is not a heel thing, TANAHASHI of all men has done it too, it's getting the advantage. This is why I don't think all babyfaces need to be boy scout goody2shoes. They're professional competitors trying to get advantage. If a goalee finds themselves away from the goal, do you think the soccer player is not gonna score? Go watch that match again, the bell had rung already, they're not even jumping the shark like SZKG.

The whole TwoSweet thing is part of the whole rift between Elite and Japan BC, because the twosweet had been there before the bucks and kenny were there and now they The Bucks, got the thing banned for them and their Elite stuff was fucking up things that BC had fine in Japan. It may not the Bucks fault, but it was still them that got the Cease and Desist. BC doesn't shake hands, they Two Sweet, and these Elite guys are going to the US and fucking things up. It's a perfect reason.

Legal moves can be dick moves too if you're hurting someone's injured part, they're actually worse than illegal moves.

So one question, have you watch all of BTE?

Just because heel fans and independent fans exist doesn't mean that the promotion doesn't still book with babyface/heel dynamics in mind. Independent fans and heel fans are going to cheer whoever they want to anyway, but the stories are designed with the idea of getting as many fans as possible to cheer for the babyface and dislike the heel. Basically, if people like you are going to root for whoever they want to root for based on their own criteria no matter what the company does, then there is no opportunity cost in booking for people like me who like having babyface/heel dynamics, but there is an opportunity cost to just throwing sh*t together and assuming the fans will just cheer for whoever they want because you run the risk of babyface/heel dynamics fans just not caring about the angle.

And people shouldn't cheer for heels because they're bad people! The reaction to people cheering for heels should be the same reaction the other characters had when Barney said he thought Johnny Lawrence was the hero in The Karate Kid.

it's not throwing shit to the wall, it's creating characters that go beyond moral alignments. Humans are not all good or bad, there are many traits that heels have that a lot of people could identify with and there are heroes you may want to look up to. You shit on Gedo, but to work characters like Naito, Hiromu, Okada, Omega, who depending on where you stand, they're babyfaces or heels, yet ALWAYS over, that is good booking work. Gedo books for both you and me, you have your Taguchi Japans and your Suzuki Guns, I have my CHAOS and LIJs.



That "higher standard" thing makes it even worse, though. Is Dave really saying that in the past six years, NJPW has just been that much better than everyone else that even in their higher standards they have had 27 ***** (or higher) matches while everyone else (which is really just PWG and NXT), has only had six, even with their lesser standards? Does Dave really think that all of these NJPW matches were so good that he gave them ***** even with their higher standards but matches that basically everyone else in the world has given ***** like the HBK/Taker Mania matches, Dragon vs. Nigel from Unified and Driven, Shawn vs. Angle from Mania, Dragon vs. KENTA from Glory By Honor V: Night 2, that Bucks/MCMG/Addiction Ladder War, Ki vs. KENTA, the HHH/HBK/Benoit Mania match, etc. were still only able to reach ****3/4 even with lesser standards? That even with these higher standard, NJPW, within the first seven and a half months of both 2017 and 2018 was able to put on as many ***** or higher matches than every single promotion in the world combined did from 2001 until the Tanahashi/Suzuki match?
I have zero doubt to think that NJPW is far better than everyone that I watch, like it's not a joke, no one in the US, UK, or Mexico comes even close to the quality of NJPW, everyone now and then there will be a good match here and there, and chances are that as good as it is, there will be a NJPW match that will be better. Even a DQ finish is far better than most of WWE matches. If you ask me, Yano vs Ibushi was better than Taker vs HBK or the Bucks/MCMG/Addiction ladder war, i couldn't give a fuck about those matches compared to a NJPW, hell, even a PWG or old PROGRESS match. It's all personal opinions at the end of the day i guess


WWE/TNA apologists are annoying because they're annoying. ROH/NJPW/Bullet Club apologists are annoying because they seem like people who should realize that they're not being objective.
As for New Japan being overrated... I think it often is, outside of G1 and BOSJ time. The BIG shows are very big and able to deliver, but they have started stretching their schedule so that 80% of the matches on the majority of shows feel completely pointless, and I think that's a valid thing to criticize. It's the same problem people have with the current construction of ROH cards and their way of doing things (which has become increasingly influenced by New Japan).

idk what to say, I watch a New Japan card and I never feel that i'm watching pointless stuff, even if it's to rank up wins or push a move, there's always something that I take out.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 24th, '18, 14:13

cero2k wrote:
Jul 24th, '18, 10:53
If I remember correctly, Tama Tonga specially yelled at Kenny for promoting The Elite over the rest of the group. Doesn't giving themselves a sub-name ("the Tongans" was never an official thing, and, more importantly, was never merchandised until late in the game, if at all) go against that? And if that was the case, then how does letting Cody in help? Isn't he just as responsible for this sort of thing? You'd also think they wouldn't have a problem with Yujiro or Chase, and they never participated in the factionization that ROH Bullet Club did.
the Tongans are heels, they're not supposed to make sense and they're supposed to be full of shit in their arguments against the babyfaces, they're supposed to be hypocrites. You let Cody help because he's an asset that you can manipulate to take out Omega
Any time you're falling back on "they're heels. They're not supposed to make sense," it's hack writing. If they wanted to manipulate Cody into taking out Omega, why didn't they join Cody's side? They would have probably taken Yujiro with them, and that would have made it Cody, Page, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Fale, Hikuleo, and Yujiro all against just Kenny and Kota, with Marty, the Bucks and Chase wavering in the middle (and even Marty appeared closer to joining Cody's side before their ROH angle started in late April).


There is almost never any sort of "we need a guy" storyline. It has usually been "we're bringing in a new member" and that's the end of it. White was made special by being the exception.
Yujiro and Owens joining wouldn't make sense anymore because the Firing Squad already rejected them in San Francisco.

Undercover members infiltrating the BC, that happens all the time. Yujiro rarely comes out to even the odds during OGs attacks
I thought about that when he didn't come out to take Kenny on day 6, but the reason for this is that he actually isn't on half of the shows. He has only been on the shows where Ibushi needs an undercard tag team partner, where as Owens pulls double-duty, being the official undercard tag team partner for both Page and Omega... which is kind of odd because Chase makes more sense as the guy to be teaming with Ibushi.


That match was AFTER SCOH, which was one the Bucks made clear that their intentions were to help Kenny and attack Cody. It just happened to backfire, which explains Kenny being unhappy with them, but not them and Cody suddenly being fine again.
And what sort of an explanation is "the match was booked like that" in a company that almost never books intra-stable matches? Unless you're trying to tell me that New Japan management was purposely f*cking with Bullet Club, which would be extremely out of character. Also, there should have been something from the Bucks or Cody addressing the situation, but there wasn't, just like there should have been something between Cody and Marty addressing the fact that Marty was teaming with Cody like nothing was wrong in NJPW even though they were at each other's throats in ROH

Chase and Yujiro attacked the Bucks from behind before the bell rang. That's heel sh*t right there. Suzuki-Gun does it in every match. And why would Japanese Bullet Club be upset at the Bucks because the Bucks can't Too Sweet anymore? It's not the Bucks' fault. It's not like they lost a match where that was the stipulation or something. Everyone knows why they can't Too Sweet anymore. it's even part of the storyline on Being The Elite. Are Yujiro, Chase, and the Tongans illiterate, and no one from American Bullet Club made any effort to explain it to them, either?

The Bucks shaking their hands after that match was ridiculous when you realize that they spent WEEKS angry at Kenny for shoving Matt down from behind when it was clear from the tape that he clearly didn't know who was grabbing him, but when these guys jumped the bell to attack Matt's injured back they were fine with it. And if it's all about winning then why was Nick Jackson being such a whiny little bitch in the Bucks vs. Golden Lovers match when Kenny wasn't even doing anything illegal to work Matt's back over in a match that the Bucks themselves challenged the Golden Lovers to?

And stuff like that 100% needs follow-up. You can't just try something and then pretend it didn't happen if you don't like the way it works out. How is that any different than Kane trying to murder Bryan the last time they were together and now coming back and being his friend all of a sudden? Or how Kane is just able to magically switch brands? Or any of the other million times that Creative change their minds just hit the reset button on something?

getting the jump on someone is not a heel thing, TANAHASHI of all men has done it too, it's getting the advantage. This is why I don't think all babyfaces need to be boy scout goody2shoes. They're professional competitors trying to get advantage. If a goalee finds themselves away from the goal, do you think the soccer player is not gonna score? Go watch that match again, the bell had rung already, they're not even jumping the shark like SZKG.
Getting the jump on someone isn't, but doing it from behind is. And especially to your friends when you know one of them has a bum back. And if you say it's just a competition thing then that doesn't explain why Nick was so pissed at Kenny.
The whole TwoSweet thing is part of the whole rift between Elite and Japan BC, because the twosweet had been there before the bucks and kenny were there and now they The Bucks, got the thing banned for them and their Elite stuff was fucking up things that BC had fine in Japan. It may not the Bucks fault, but it was still them that got the Cease and Desist. BC doesn't shake hands, they Two Sweet, and these Elite guys are going to the US and fucking things up. It's a perfect reason.

Except that they clearly could do it in Japan because they did. And if this was the storyline then something should have been said about it. It's always better to show tension than to hide it, because how else will people know there is any sort of tension? And if you don't explain to people that this is the storyline, then this spot comes off no different than the million times we'd seen the same spot in a Bullet Club match in North America or the UK over the previous six months, in which it was always done as a heel spot just to taunt and annoy the Bucks.

Legal moves can be dick moves too if you're hurting someone's injured part, they're actually worse than illegal moves.
Oh come on! It's okay to jump someone from behind but it's a dick move to work an injured body part during a match. Is Daniel Bryan the biggest asshole in wrestling because he always works over someone's head and then applies the Yes Lock?

So one question, have you watch all of BTE?
Most, plus Dave's recaps. I also assert that unless Adam Page being kidnapped by WWE and that Joey Ryan is dead in the worlds of ROH and NJPW, anywhere else that uses BTE for storylines, then the show cannot be kayfabe and nothing on it can be considered part of the story. Which is why we don't mix goofy sketch comedy with our serious wrestling storylines.

Just because heel fans and independent fans exist doesn't mean that the promotion doesn't still book with babyface/heel dynamics in mind. Independent fans and heel fans are going to cheer whoever they want to anyway, but the stories are designed with the idea of getting as many fans as possible to cheer for the babyface and dislike the heel. Basically, if people like you are going to root for whoever they want to root for based on their own criteria no matter what the company does, then there is no opportunity cost in booking for people like me who like having babyface/heel dynamics, but there is an opportunity cost to just throwing sh*t together and assuming the fans will just cheer for whoever they want because you run the risk of babyface/heel dynamics fans just not caring about the angle.

And people shouldn't cheer for heels because they're bad people! The reaction to people cheering for heels should be the same reaction the other characters had when Barney said he thought Johnny Lawrence was the hero in The Karate Kid.

it's not throwing shit to the wall, it's creating characters that go beyond moral alignments. Humans are not all good or bad, there are many traits that heels have that a lot of people could identify with and there are heroes you may want to look up to. You shit on Gedo, but to work characters like Naito, Hiromu, Okada, Omega, who depending on where you stand, they're babyfaces or heels, yet ALWAYS over, that is good booking work. Gedo books for both you and me, you have your Taguchi Japans and your Suzuki Guns, I have my CHAOS and LIJs.

Aside from Yano, how have CHAOS not been pure babyfaces for years? And I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Naito, Sanada, and Hiromu don't really chear much (if at all) anymore.
Also, to tell the truth, I suspect that very little of any of the actual characters have too much to do with Gedo. My guess would be that a lot of it is the guys doing their own thing and Gedo just letting them.

Yes. Humans are nuanced creatures who are neither all good or all bad. That's why I so admire and appreciate bookers like Gabe or CMJ or Quackenbush or the LU crew who actually use that to tell their stories rather than just let the characters do whatever they want and just throw them together. Let's not pretend that the rise of tranquillo Naito is Jimmy Loves Lacey.


That "higher standard" thing makes it even worse, though. Is Dave really saying that in the past six years, NJPW has just been that much better than everyone else that even in their higher standards they have had 27 ***** (or higher) matches while everyone else (which is really just PWG and NXT), has only had six, even with their lesser standards? Does Dave really think that all of these NJPW matches were so good that he gave them ***** even with their higher standards but matches that basically everyone else in the world has given ***** like the HBK/Taker Mania matches, Dragon vs. Nigel from Unified and Driven, Shawn vs. Angle from Mania, Dragon vs. KENTA from Glory By Honor V: Night 2, that Bucks/MCMG/Addiction Ladder War, Ki vs. KENTA, the HHH/HBK/Benoit Mania match, etc. were still only able to reach ****3/4 even with lesser standards? That even with these higher standard, NJPW, within the first seven and a half months of both 2017 and 2018 was able to put on as many ***** or higher matches than every single promotion in the world combined did from 2001 until the Tanahashi/Suzuki match?
I have zero doubt to think that NJPW is far better than everyone that I watch, like it's not a joke, no one in the US, UK, or Mexico comes even close to the quality of NJPW, everyone now and then there will be a good match here and there, and chances are that as good as it is, there will be a NJPW match that will be better. Even a DQ finish is far better than most of WWE matches. If you ask me, Yano vs Ibushi was better than Taker vs HBK or the Bucks/MCMG/Addiction ladder war, i couldn't give a fuck about those matches compared to a NJPW, hell, even a PWG or old PROGRESS match. It's all personal opinions at the end of the day i guess
I'm not disagreeing that it's personal opinion, or that NJPW's top matches have consistently been of a very high quality, but to really say that Yano vs. Ibushi was better than HBK vs. Taker? It's one thing to care about the characters more, but saying that the match was better feels like a ridiculous stretch to me.
It feels like Dave's default has changed. It feels like it used to be that he would try to find any reason he could to give a match ****3/4 instead of *****, but now it has changed to any match that happens in PWG or especially NJPW, Dave's default is to find any excuse he can to bump a match up to ***** instead of giving it ****3/4.
And it's frustrating because I think this sort of thing has a tangible effect on wrestling history. Yes, New Japan got awesome all on their own and they deserve the attention, but if Dave doesn't start going gaga over them in 2012/2013 then it doesn't build up anywhere NEAR the interest in the English-speaking world, which has greatly affected not only NJPW's ability to expand to the US, and has, in turn, managed to hide (or at least allow Dave to turn a blind eye to, because the Torch crew and others have pointed them out) the Creative and match-quality issues that ROH has been going through over the past few years.
If ROH had gotten this level of attention and support from Dave in the mid-2000s, think of how much different things would be? How many more people are trying to buy the DVDs or PPVs if Dave is giving all of these Daniels matches and Nigel matches ***** instead of ****1/2 or ****3/4, and he's making more of an effort to watch everything ROH puts out (which is a lot less than NJPW does now, plus there was less MMA back then). Bryan Danielson wrestled 199 matches for ROH. DO you know how many of them Dave has seen? 19. Less than one tenth. Think about the world where Dave has seen the Roderick match at Vendetta, the Hero match- and the rest of the CZW feud! There is no way in hell Dave doesn't give at least the 100th Show main event and probably also COD, if not Dragon vs. Hero the full *****, seeing as how he loves crowd heat so much- and in which all of those ****3/4 in 2006 are *****. The world in which Danielson and McGuinness wind up as the new Flair and Steamboat. A world in which Ladder War and Dragon/Nigel from Driven and Nigel/Tyler from Take No Prisoners get ***** and Dave going nuts over them, driving up PPV sales and DVD sales. For one thing Gabe doesn't get fired if the financial state of the company is better, which means they also don't wind up breaking ties with Sal/FIP which puts ROH at the forefront of streaming services and actually doing it right and not having the disaster period.
Or even later. Dave has never even seen most of the early "everything actually works well!" GoFightLive PPVs. He missed most of the Steen/Generico feud! Imagine what it does for the HDnet show or DVD sales if Dave is salivating over Davey ad Tyler like he does with Ishii and Naito. Or what it does to the early Sinclair-Era shows if he is going gaga over Davey vs. Eddie from Best in the World 2011. Or even something like All Japan in the past year. You don't think it would be a MAJOR boost for All Japan's international business if Dave had been giving ***** to Miyahara's matches?
Yes, I know it's all a hypothetical, and the ROH stuff in particular is no different than the "how much better off would the wrestling industry be if Dixie Carter had been friends with Gabe or Cary instead of Jeff Jarrett?" question, but I think it shows that luck has an underestimated effect on the success of a company sometimes. Sometimes it's who you happen to know, but other times it's "does Meltzer decide to get a hard-on for you?"

Dave's hard-on for New Japan is making an actual difference in the industry, and the opportunity cost of it is frustrating. Imagine if if instead of watching what he knows are just going to be bullsh*t, nothing-happening "Road to..." shows and spends that time watching All Japan or NOAH or EVOLVE or WCPW or PROGRESS or wXw or SHINE or CWF Mid-Atlantic or MLW or some show where something more relevant to the industry will happen.


WWE/TNA apologists are annoying because they're annoying. ROH/NJPW/Bullet Club apologists are annoying because they seem like people who should realize that they're not being objective.
As for New Japan being overrated... I think it often is, outside of G1 and BOSJ time. The BIG shows are very big and able to deliver, but they have started stretching their schedule so that 80% of the matches on the majority of shows feel completely pointless, and I think that's a valid thing to criticize. It's the same problem people have with the current construction of ROH cards and their way of doing things (which has become increasingly influenced by New Japan).

idk what to say, I watch a New Japan card and I never feel that i'm watching pointless stuff, even if it's to rank up wins or push a move, there's always something that I take out.

They've actually done a MUCH better job of this in the past few months (Dominion felt like a turning point of sorts; compare the undercard of Dominion this year to last year's), but oftentimes before that half of the undercard felt like it served no purpose other than to get Nakanishi, Nagata, Liger, Tiger Mask, Tenzan, Kojima, Iizuka, TAKA, Taichi ,Taguchi, Chase Owens, Yujiro, sometimes Makabe or Elgin when they weren't doing anything, etc. on the card. The racking up wins thing also doesn't really feel like it matters in NJPW because most of the title matches are set up by the post-title defense confrontation, and most of the pins are in these six/eight/ten-man tags and come over guys like YOSHI-HASHI or Taichi or Yujiro who you know don't actually mean anything, who feel like they are in the matches to take the falls so the big stars don't have to. It's why I think trimming some of the fat on the roster (or, even better, sending guys out to friendly promotions for a weekend, especially to somewhere like ROH or CMLL if you're booking is taking the Scurll/Ospreay/Zack/the Bucks away from them for that weekend) would be a huge benefit. The fewer guys there are in the match, the more important the match feels and the easier it is to remember the result.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 25th, '18, 09:41

Any time you're falling back on "they're heels. They're not supposed to make sense," it's hack writing. If they wanted to manipulate Cody into taking out Omega, why didn't they join Cody's side? They would have probably taken Yujiro with them, and that would have made it Cody, Page, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Fale, Hikuleo, and Yujiro all against just Kenny and Kota, with Marty, the Bucks and Chase wavering in the middle (and even Marty appeared closer to joining Cody's side before their ROH angle started in late April).
it may be hack writing, but it's just normal that if you have a group breaking out of another group and want to destroy the old group you still need to put a name to it, it's not about hypocrisy or logic, it's just what needs to happen.
It's not the same joining Cody than allowing Cody to join them, it's all about who calls the shots. Tongans don't need Cody, they just gave him a chance to join, or at least take out Omega. Storywise, Cody was doing as much damage to the BC name as Kenny, Cody was definitely getting sacrificed sooner or later whether he took that shot at Kenny or not


I thought about that when he didn't come out to take Kenny on day 6, but the reason for this is that he actually isn't on half of the shows. He has only been on the shows where Ibushi needs an undercard tag team partner, where as Owens pulls double-duty, being the official undercard tag team partner for both Page and Omega... which is kind of odd because Chase makes more sense as the guy to be teaming with Ibushi.

Yujiro has actually been there on all other shows that FS has attacked a member of the BC (day 1 and 5), yet he never comes out to even the odds.


Getting the jump on someone isn't, but doing it from behind is. And especially to your friends when you know one of them has a bum back. And if you say it's just a competition thing then that doesn't explain why Nick was so pissed at Kenny.
Just think of any other sport, if the opponent gives you their back, it doesn't make it bad that you go for the advantage. There were a lot of things going on with Kenny and the Bucks for Nick to be mad at Kenny

Except that they clearly could do it in Japan because they did. And if this was the storyline then something should have been said about it. It's always better to show tension than to hide it, because how else will people know there is any sort of tension? And if you don't explain to people that this is the storyline, then this spot comes off no different than the million times we'd seen the same spot in a Bullet Club match in North America or the UK over the previous six months, in which it was always done as a heel spot just to taunt and annoy the Bucks.
But they did show it, they constantly had guys from BC doing the Two Sweet and then the Bucks saying 'we can't' and they giving them looks, that's why when the Bucks finally did it, it was a big deal. You don't need to cut a promo about it, just seeing it happen is self explanatory, and it's not really necessary for the overall story, but it sure adds more flavor to it.

Oh come on! It's okay to jump someone from behind but it's a dick move to work an injured body part during a match. Is Daniel Bryan the biggest asshole in wrestling because he always works over someone's head and then applies the Yes Lock?
if tonight Dragon fights Kane who has a bad ankle, and Dragon goes straight for the ankle, yeah, dick move, he's your friend and you're willingly going to further his/her injury. That's why Nick and Matt were mad at Kenny, because Matt's injury was well known and Kenny could have easily targeted another area, was it an exaggeration by Nick? sure, understandable. You have two fan favorites colliding, that was a story that allowed you to have arguments to cheer on whoever you wanted.

Most, plus Dave's recaps. I also assert that unless Adam Page being kidnapped by WWE and that Joey Ryan is dead in the worlds of ROH and NJPW, anywhere else that uses BTE for storylines, then the show cannot be kayfabe and nothing on it can be considered part of the story. Which is why we don't mix goofy sketch comedy with our serious wrestling storylines.
Why can't we have both? why can't we push how stories are told and mix it up? Isn't drama + Goofy shit make out all of Disney's blockbusters? Marvel is all goofy comedy + Drama/action.

Aside from Yano, how have CHAOS not been pure babyfaces for years? And I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Naito, Sanada, and Hiromu don't really chear much (if at all) anymore.
Also, to tell the truth, I suspect that very little of any of the actual characters have too much to do with Gedo. My guess would be that a lot of it is the guys doing their own thing and Gedo just letting them.

Yes. Humans are nuanced creatures who are neither all good or all bad. That's why I so admire and appreciate bookers like Gabe or CMJ or Quackenbush or the LU crew who actually use that to tell their stories rather than just let the characters do whatever they want and just throw them together. Let's not pretend that the rise of tranquillo Naito is Jimmy Loves Lacey.

Gedo cheats constantly, Okada is a cocky dick, Rocky cheats sometimes, Goto used a chair just a week ago vs Omega. EVIL uses chairs, Naito is still a total ass, BUSHI has the Mist and chokes people with his tshirt, LIJ still does a lot of heel things. I agree that it's more with the characters and Gedo lets them, and that is how it should be if you want characters to properly develop, it's working for them at least.


I'm not disagreeing that it's personal opinion, or that NJPW's top matches have consistently been of a very high quality, but to really say that Yano vs. Ibushi was better than HBK vs. Taker? It's one thing to care about the characters more, but saying that the match was better feels like a ridiculous stretch to me.
It feels like Dave's default has changed. It feels like it used to be that he would try to find any reason he could to give a match ****3/4 instead of *****, but now it has changed to any match that happens in PWG or especially NJPW, Dave's default is to find any excuse he can to bump a match up to ***** instead of giving it ****3/4.
And it's frustrating because I think this sort of thing has a tangible effect on wrestling history. Yes, New Japan got awesome all on their own and they deserve the attention, but if Dave doesn't start going gaga over them in 2012/2013 then it doesn't build up anywhere NEAR the interest in the English-speaking world, which has greatly affected not only NJPW's ability to expand to the US, and has, in turn, managed to hide (or at least allow Dave to turn a blind eye to, because the Torch crew and others have pointed them out) the Creative and match-quality issues that ROH has been going through over the past few years.
If ROH had gotten this level of attention and support from Dave in the mid-2000s, think of how much different things would be? How many more people are trying to buy the DVDs or PPVs if Dave is giving all of these Daniels matches and Nigel matches ***** instead of ****1/2 or ****3/4, and he's making more of an effort to watch everything ROH puts out (which is a lot less than NJPW does now, plus there was less MMA back then). Bryan Danielson wrestled 199 matches for ROH. DO you know how many of them Dave has seen? 19. Less than one tenth. Think about the world where Dave has seen the Roderick match at Vendetta, the Hero match- and the rest of the CZW feud! There is no way in hell Dave doesn't give at least the 100th Show main event and probably also COD, if not Dragon vs. Hero the full *****, seeing as how he loves crowd heat so much- and in which all of those ****3/4 in 2006 are *****. The world in which Danielson and McGuinness wind up as the new Flair and Steamboat. A world in which Ladder War and Dragon/Nigel from Driven and Nigel/Tyler from Take No Prisoners get ***** and Dave going nuts over them, driving up PPV sales and DVD sales. For one thing Gabe doesn't get fired if the financial state of the company is better, which means they also don't wind up breaking ties with Sal/FIP which puts ROH at the forefront of streaming services and actually doing it right and not having the disaster period.
Or even later. Dave has never even seen most of the early "everything actually works well!" GoFightLive PPVs. He missed most of the Steen/Generico feud! Imagine what it does for the HDnet show or DVD sales if Dave is salivating over Davey ad Tyler like he does with Ishii and Naito. Or what it does to the early Sinclair-Era shows if he is going gaga over Davey vs. Eddie from Best in the World 2011. Or even something like All Japan in the past year. You don't think it would be a MAJOR boost for All Japan's international business if Dave had been giving ***** to Miyahara's matches?
Yes, I know it's all a hypothetical, and the ROH stuff in particular is no different than the "how much better off would the wrestling industry be if Dixie Carter had been friends with Gabe or Cary instead of Jeff Jarrett?" question, but I think it shows that luck has an underestimated effect on the success of a company sometimes. Sometimes it's who you happen to know, but other times it's "does Meltzer decide to get a hard-on for you?"

Dave's hard-on for New Japan is making an actual difference in the industry, and the opportunity cost of it is frustrating. Imagine if if instead of watching what he knows are just going to be bullsh*t, nothing-happening "Road to..." shows and spends that time watching All Japan or NOAH or EVOLVE or WCPW or PROGRESS or wXw or SHINE or CWF Mid-Atlantic or MLW or some show where something more relevant to the industry will happen.

Ibushi vs Yano is far better if you care more for their style and character than HBK vs Taker. You found a 205Live match to better than Omega vs Okada IV, which is arguably, equally as ridiculous to many people
I don't disagree that Meltzer's rank system is weird right now because he went all the way to seven and so now I don't know if Goto vs Omega was a 5 star rated under seven, or rated like the first Goto vs Omega that was considerably better, yet rated lower (i think, don't remember). I don't blame him tho, I try to rate matches thinking of all my historical data between the two wrestlers, but sometimes your own emotional stated makes or breaks a match. He may be the cause that promotions like PWG and NJPW and CMLL have gotten so much attention in recent years, but like we said, we can't deny that the quality is there, we watch them and we both agree that they're awesome. We were giving PWG 10s before Meltzer started going to the shows, i don't know about you, but my first 10 to NJPW was Suzuki vs Tanahashi loong time ago and it was before I subscribed to the Newsletter. I think it's help their exposure (and some fan's resistance), but it's not like he saying that AAA is awesome.
I do also agree with the ROH thing, but there's just so much we can watch. What you're saying about ROH right now, someone will be saying about PROGRESS, wXw, EVOLVE, AJPW in 10 yrs. Just imagine how big Ilja or Banks or Miyahara would be now if he had been reviewing those shows 2 yrs ago constantly. And it's the same with us, we rarely pay attention to AJPW or women's wrestling, or lucha, we should be salivating at Oedo Tai coming to ROH, but we barely even care. it's hard. Reason #36 why I hate WWE and their stupidly large amount of weekly content.

I loved what Alvarez said reviewing Slammiversary: It sucks that Impact is great right now but I can't talk about it because all the focus is on WWE.



They've actually done a MUCH better job of this in the past few months (Dominion felt like a turning point of sorts; compare the undercard of Dominion this year to last year's), but oftentimes before that half of the undercard felt like it served no purpose other than to get Nakanishi, Nagata, Liger, Tiger Mask, Tenzan, Kojima, Iizuka, TAKA, Taichi ,Taguchi, Chase Owens, Yujiro, sometimes Makabe or Elgin when they weren't doing anything, etc. on the card. The racking up wins thing also doesn't really feel like it matters in NJPW because most of the title matches are set up by the post-title defense confrontation, and most of the pins are in these six/eight/ten-man tags and come over guys like YOSHI-HASHI or Taichi or Yujiro who you know don't actually mean anything, who feel like they are in the matches to take the falls so the big stars don't have to. It's why I think trimming some of the fat on the roster (or, even better, sending guys out to friendly promotions for a weekend, especially to somewhere like ROH or CMLL if you're booking is taking the Scurll/Ospreay/Zack/the Bucks away from them for that weekend) would be a huge benefit. The fewer guys there are in the match, the more important the match feels and the easier it is to remember the result.

yeah, not disagreeing there, some matches are definitely to get people on the card and because the local fans love it. I think it's stuff that we sometimes look past, a lot of japanese crowds are there to look at their legends too, they mark for Liger or Tiger or Tenzan, who never really do anything, but serve the nostalgia purpose. Same with the Young Lions that don't serve a storyline purpose, but it's part of building wrestlers for the future (tho Uemura vs Tsuji is the feud of the year), but just considering that those matches are always openers, they're always quick, it helps getting started. Right now with the G1, every single match every single day is different and it matters, you don't need to watch them, but if you do, it rewards you soo much.

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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 25th, '18, 11:32

cero2k wrote:
Jul 25th, '18, 09:41
Any time you're falling back on "they're heels. They're not supposed to make sense," it's hack writing. If they wanted to manipulate Cody into taking out Omega, why didn't they join Cody's side? They would have probably taken Yujiro with them, and that would have made it Cody, Page, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Fale, Hikuleo, and Yujiro all against just Kenny and Kota, with Marty, the Bucks and Chase wavering in the middle (and even Marty appeared closer to joining Cody's side before their ROH angle started in late April).
it may be hack writing, but it's just normal that if you have a group breaking out of another group and want to destroy the old group you still need to put a name to it, it's not about hypocrisy or logic, it's just what needs to happen.
It's not the same joining Cody than allowing Cody to join them, it's all about who calls the shots. Tongans don't need Cody, they just gave him a chance to join, or at least take out Omega. Storywise, Cody was doing as much damage to the BC name as Kenny, Cody was definitely getting sacrificed sooner or later whether he took that shot at Kenny or not
The difference would be that if they decided that Cody was too much of a problem, they would then hafe a clear numbers advantage on Cody, who would probably only have Page for back-up. Also, the Tongans' problem with Kenny (as expressed by Tama Tonga) was that he was promoting his own subgroup within the group rather than the group itself. Cody may be power-hungry, but at least he wanted to be the leader of Bullet Club without pushing any sort of clique within the group.

I thought about that when he didn't come out to take Kenny on day 6, but the reason for this is that he actually isn't on half of the shows. He has only been on the shows where Ibushi needs an undercard tag team partner, where as Owens pulls double-duty, being the official undercard tag team partner for both Page and Omega... which is kind of odd because Chase makes more sense as the guy to be teaming with Ibushi.

Yujiro has actually been there on all other shows that FS has attacked a member of the BC (day 1 and 5), yet he never comes out to even the odds.
He wasn't there on day six. Or if he was, he didn't wrestle. But if Yujiro doesn't wind up joining the Tongans, then this becomes yet another issue with the plot which will likely never be resolved. Or even acknowledged.

Getting the jump on someone isn't, but doing it from behind is. And especially to your friends when you know one of them has a bum back. And if you say it's just a competition thing then that doesn't explain why Nick was so pissed at Kenny.
Just think of any other sport, if the opponent gives you their back, it doesn't make it bad that you go for the advantage. There were a lot of things going on with Kenny and the Bucks for Nick to be mad at Kenny
If you you jump the other guy while he's headed back to his corner in an MMA fight, that's bad. The bell may have rung, but it shouldn't have because all four guys were still in the ring. It's not like the Bucks turned their backs on Chase and Yujiro as a sign of disrespect or anything like that. It's a bad thing to do to a friend.

Except that they clearly could do it in Japan because they did. And if this was the storyline then something should have been said about it. It's always better to show tension than to hide it, because how else will people know there is any sort of tension? And if you don't explain to people that this is the storyline, then this spot comes off no different than the million times we'd seen the same spot in a Bullet Club match in North America or the UK over the previous six months, in which it was always done as a heel spot just to taunt and annoy the Bucks.
But they did show it, they constantly had guys from BC doing the Two Sweet and then the Bucks saying 'we can't' and they giving them looks, that's why when the Bucks finally did it, it was a big deal. You don't need to cut a promo about it, just seeing it happen is self explanatory, and it's not really necessary for the overall story, but it sure adds more flavor to it.
Obviously it's not self explanatory, but even if it was, being disappointing that they are legally forbidden from doing your club handshake with you because the legal owners decided to enforce a copyright on their IP is not a reason to assault your friends from behind, and doubly so when you know one of them has a bad back
Also, if this is the case then no one let the announcers in on it, because every time it came up their spin was "mean old WWE won't let us do Attitude Era stuff" rather than hinting that this was causing any sort of rift within Bullet Club or the that NJPW-based guys were upset that the ROH-based guys had ruined this for them..


Oh come on! It's okay to jump someone from behind but it's a dick move to work an injured body part during a match. Is Daniel Bryan the biggest asshole in wrestling because he always works over someone's head and then applies the Yes Lock?
if tonight Dragon fights Kane who has a bad ankle, and Dragon goes straight for the ankle, yeah, dick move, he's your friend and you're willingly going to further his/her injury. That's why Nick and Matt were mad at Kenny, because Matt's injury was well known and Kenny could have easily targeted another area, was it an exaggeration by Nick? sure, understandable. You have two fan favorites colliding, that was a story that allowed you to have arguments to cheer on whoever you wanted.
You are arguing above that it's perfectly okay to take any advantage you can, even on a friend, but here you are arguing that it's not cool to work over a friend's injured body part. Those two statements are contradictory.
If Dragon and Kane wrestled tonight, one would think that both Kane and the doctors have judged him to be okay to compete, and thus Bryan going for his ankle is fair game. It'd be a different story if Kane said something like "please stay away from my ankle" and Bryan agreed to do so but then didn't, but that's not the case here at all. The Bucks made a challenge to the Golden Lovers knowing even at the time of the challenge that Matt's back was injured, and then they got overboard pissy when Kenny worked said injured back in perfectly legal ways. There was more of a sense of betrayal with Bryan and Nigel at the 6th Anniversary Show when, in order to get Nigel to agree to wrestle the match instead of vacating the title, Dragon offered him a deal where he would stay away from Nigel's head and Nigel would stay away from Dragon's injured eye and Nigel accepted, then broke the deal to win the match.
You want a story that lets you "ave arguments to cheer on whoever you wanted?" How about "which of these teams is the best in the world?" which is what the premise of the Bucks' challenge was in the first place?
Instead we got this drama that seemed cool in the moment, but didn't actually make sense within the overall whole of the story. It's not much more than a slightly more sophisticated version of a Russo swerve.


Most, plus Dave's recaps. I also assert that unless Adam Page being kidnapped by WWE and that Joey Ryan is dead in the worlds of ROH and NJPW, anywhere else that uses BTE for storylines, then the show cannot be kayfabe and nothing on it can be considered part of the story. Which is why we don't mix goofy sketch comedy with our serious wrestling storylines.
Why can't we have both? why can't we push how stories are told and mix it up? Isn't drama + Goofy shit make out all of Disney's blockbusters? Marvel is all goofy comedy + Drama/action.
Because the goofy sh*t in those movies is internally consistent throughout it's universe. If BTE is supposed to be kayfabe for ROH and NJPW and All In then Joey Ryan can't wrestle any of those places anymore BECAUSE HE'S DEAD.
And I wish Marvel would cut down on the goofy comedy, too. Whoever decided that Ultron and Thor needed to be making wisecracks all the time should be beaten with stick.


Aside from Yano, how have CHAOS not been pure babyfaces for years? And I'm not sure if you've noticed, but Naito, Sanada, and Hiromu don't really chear much (if at all) anymore.
Also, to tell the truth, I suspect that very little of any of the actual characters have too much to do with Gedo. My guess would be that a lot of it is the guys doing their own thing and Gedo just letting them.

Yes. Humans are nuanced creatures who are neither all good or all bad. That's why I so admire and appreciate bookers like Gabe or CMJ or Quackenbush or the LU crew who actually use that to tell their stories rather than just let the characters do whatever they want and just throw them together. Let's not pretend that the rise of tranquillo Naito is Jimmy Loves Lacey.

Gedo cheats constantly, Okada is a cocky dick, Rocky cheats sometimes, Goto used a chair just a week ago vs Omega. EVIL uses chairs, Naito is still a total ass, BUSHI has the Mist and chokes people with his tshirt, LIJ still does a lot of heel things. I agree that it's more with the characters and Gedo lets them, and that is how it should be if you want characters to properly develop, it's working for them at least.
Fair point on Gedo, although that is what I consider "low order cheating" (hair-pulling, eye poking) and it doesn't annoy me quite as much when a babyface does it, and certainly not when a heel does it first, as is the case usually with Gedo. But ideally, I'd prefer he didn't do it at all. Goto shouldn't have used a chair against Omega, but it's notable that that is the only time I ever remember him cheating. I don't think Rocky really cheats anymore. I think that was more of a Forever Hooligans thing. If he does, he's toned it down a lot. Naito disrespects company property and is certainly a bit of an ass, but not to the fans. If anything, Naito is a tweener wjho has a heelish attitude but wrestles like babyface. His posing is no different than Generico's during Generico's dive feint. And you'll noticed that I specifically did not mention EVIL and BUSHI because they do cheat. They are heels. The other three... not so much.
I agree that letting the wrestlers experiment is good for figuring out what works, but once you have that down, there is no reason why a booker (and Gedo and Delirious are the most guilty of this) should just let the wrestlers go out there and do whatever they want all the time rather than trying to direct those characters in a way that makes a story that makes sense. PWG is the sort of place where you can let the wrestlers run wild because it's usually not a storyline-based promotion. New Japan and ROH are not.



I'm not disagreeing that it's personal opinion, or that NJPW's top matches have consistently been of a very high quality, but to really say that Yano vs. Ibushi was better than HBK vs. Taker? It's one thing to care about the characters more, but saying that the match was better feels like a ridiculous stretch to me.
It feels like Dave's default has changed. It feels like it used to be that he would try to find any reason he could to give a match ****3/4 instead of *****, but now it has changed to any match that happens in PWG or especially NJPW, Dave's default is to find any excuse he can to bump a match up to ***** instead of giving it ****3/4.
And it's frustrating because I think this sort of thing has a tangible effect on wrestling history. Yes, New Japan got awesome all on their own and they deserve the attention, but if Dave doesn't start going gaga over them in 2012/2013 then it doesn't build up anywhere NEAR the interest in the English-speaking world, which has greatly affected not only NJPW's ability to expand to the US, and has, in turn, managed to hide (or at least allow Dave to turn a blind eye to, because the Torch crew and others have pointed them out) the Creative and match-quality issues that ROH has been going through over the past few years.
If ROH had gotten this level of attention and support from Dave in the mid-2000s, think of how much different things would be? How many more people are trying to buy the DVDs or PPVs if Dave is giving all of these Daniels matches and Nigel matches ***** instead of ****1/2 or ****3/4, and he's making more of an effort to watch everything ROH puts out (which is a lot less than NJPW does now, plus there was less MMA back then). Bryan Danielson wrestled 199 matches for ROH. DO you know how many of them Dave has seen? 19. Less than one tenth. Think about the world where Dave has seen the Roderick match at Vendetta, the Hero match- and the rest of the CZW feud! There is no way in hell Dave doesn't give at least the 100th Show main event and probably also COD, if not Dragon vs. Hero the full *****, seeing as how he loves crowd heat so much- and in which all of those ****3/4 in 2006 are *****. The world in which Danielson and McGuinness wind up as the new Flair and Steamboat. A world in which Ladder War and Dragon/Nigel from Driven and Nigel/Tyler from Take No Prisoners get ***** and Dave going nuts over them, driving up PPV sales and DVD sales. For one thing Gabe doesn't get fired if the financial state of the company is better, which means they also don't wind up breaking ties with Sal/FIP which puts ROH at the forefront of streaming services and actually doing it right and not having the disaster period.
Or even later. Dave has never even seen most of the early "everything actually works well!" GoFightLive PPVs. He missed most of the Steen/Generico feud! Imagine what it does for the HDnet show or DVD sales if Dave is salivating over Davey ad Tyler like he does with Ishii and Naito. Or what it does to the early Sinclair-Era shows if he is going gaga over Davey vs. Eddie from Best in the World 2011. Or even something like All Japan in the past year. You don't think it would be a MAJOR boost for All Japan's international business if Dave had been giving ***** to Miyahara's matches?
Yes, I know it's all a hypothetical, and the ROH stuff in particular is no different than the "how much better off would the wrestling industry be if Dixie Carter had been friends with Gabe or Cary instead of Jeff Jarrett?" question, but I think it shows that luck has an underestimated effect on the success of a company sometimes. Sometimes it's who you happen to know, but other times it's "does Meltzer decide to get a hard-on for you?"

Dave's hard-on for New Japan is making an actual difference in the industry, and the opportunity cost of it is frustrating. Imagine if if instead of watching what he knows are just going to be bullsh*t, nothing-happening "Road to..." shows and spends that time watching All Japan or NOAH or EVOLVE or WCPW or PROGRESS or wXw or SHINE or CWF Mid-Atlantic or MLW or some show where something more relevant to the industry will happen.

Ibushi vs Yano is far better if you care more for their style and character than HBK vs Taker. You found a 205Live match to better than Omega vs Okada IV, which is arguably, equally as ridiculous to many people
Yes, but I gave a clear an exact reason of the one thing that Okada and Omega did that required me to mark it down due to how my rating scale works. There is a reason that I keep 9.75/10 reserved for matches that would be 10/10 but for some small flaws that mean that they can't technically fit my definition of perfect. (And, for the record, I thought Ospreay vs. Scrull was straight up better than Omega vs. Okada anyway).
What, exactly, is Ibushi's style and character that made it better than HBK/Taker? Those, to me, are nebulous words, which is a major problem I have with Dave, Sempervive, Adam Summers, and a lot of the other people who gush over New Japan. They just say "oh, it was so fantastic! Oh it was so great!" When Bryan and Vinny review New Japan (or anything else, for that matter) they tell me exactly what they liked and didn't like. Their review of Naito vs. Ishii did more to make me understand why they felt that match was ***** than anything Dave will write about Omega vs. Goto.

I don't disagree that Meltzer's rank system is weird right now because he went all the way to seven and so now I don't know if Goto vs Omega was a 5 star rated under seven, or rated like the first Goto vs Omega that was considerably better, yet rated lower (i think, don't remember). I don't blame him tho, I try to rate matches thinking of all my historical data between the two wrestlers, but sometimes your own emotional stated makes or breaks a match.
I agree that your emotional state matters, but at no point during this Omega vs. Goto match did I think it even entered into the same realm as the other, which pretty much everyone seems to have given ****3/4. (Though I will say that that is one of the few matches that I could add some sort of hindsight bonus to for historical importance to make it the full *****, I would do it. The only other one that comes to mind that I would do that for is the main event of the first ROH show.)
He may be the cause that promotions like PWG and NJPW and CMLL have gotten so much attention in recent years, but like we said, we can't deny that the quality is there, we watch them and we both agree that they're awesome. We were giving PWG 10s before Meltzer started going to the shows, i don't know about you, but my first 10 to NJPW was Suzuki vs Tanahashi loong time ago and it was before I subscribed to the Newsletter. I think it's help their exposure (and some fan's resistance), but it's not like he saying that AAA is awesome.
I agree about PWG. Suzuki vs. Tanahashi was my intro to NJPW as well, and it was almost two years before I started subscribing to the Observer, but I know that the reason I went out of my way to watch this random Japanese match with two guys I had never seen before was because I heard "Dave Meltzer gave this match *****," and it was one of only three time Dave had done so in the past six and a half years. And I think you can trace a definite grown in New Japan's fanbase in the English-speaking world (and certainly the English-speaking world outside of Australia and New Zealand) to that one match, and I think that is directly attributable to a ***** from Dave, because that was something that (at the time) felt rare and special enough to make people go out of their way to see it. That's what happened with Joe vs. Punk II, and a lot of people (including people in the ROH office at the time, and I think even Gabe himself) said that DVD sales of Joe vs. Punk II were key in keeping the company afloat, especially in the wake of the RF scandal (and that match was in a similar place to Tanahashi vs. Suzuki because it was the first non-Japanese ***** in since the first HIAC, and that's a period that included a ton of matches (mostly in WWE, but also Atlantis vs. Villano III and some early TNA stuff) that everyone said "surely Dave will give this one *****" and he only went ****3/4.

I do also agree with the ROH thing, but there's just so much we can watch. What you're saying about ROH right now, someone will be saying about PROGRESS, wXw, EVOLVE, AJPW in 10 yrs. Just imagine how big Ilja or Banks or Miyahara would be now if he had been reviewing those shows 2 yrs ago constantly. And it's the same with us, we rarely pay attention to AJPW or women's wrestling, or lucha, we should be salivating at Oedo Tai coming to ROH, but we barely even care. it's hard. Reason #36 why I hate WWE and their stupidly large amount of weekly content.
Right... but I think we have both gotten smarter recently and stopped paying attention to NJPW "Road to..." shows to make room for stuff like PROGRESS and wXw. A good chunk of the reason I chose to watch the NOVA Pro Commonwealth Cup was to specifically to watch a more ground-level indy and see guys like Curt Stallion before they get big. And I have made an effort to fill in some of the earlier wXw stuff with English commentary. It's coming along slowly, but I've enjoyed the 2017-2018 product enough to decide to make room in my schedule for 2016 as well. It's part of the reason that I might not stick with the ROH TV show for too long (I think I'm going to pick it up again for the summer).
Too much content is a problem and WWE is a major guilty party, but I don't think people would be so angry at WWE if Raw and SD were better. It's more of a quality problem than a quantity one with them. But I think it's more just the advent of streaming services. It used to be that you'd wait to find a random, hyped-up puro match on the internet. Now you've got pretty much every show from NJPW, AJPW, NOAH, Dragon Gate, STARDOM, Big Japan, DDT, etc. available, so people are trying to watch the whole show, or at least not waiting for the general consensus to build up that "this was an MOTYC" before watching a Japanese or British match that looks really awesome on paper. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just an effect of the real world. I think that's why it's more disappointing now as well when a promotion like ROH or RevPro runs a show that feels totally skippable from both a storyline and in-ring POV, whereas people probably wouldn't have reacted that harshly to something like that in 2014.
The other difference, though, is that this wasn't true during the Gabe and Pearce eras of ROH and there was less MMA, too,. so the fact that Dave has only given ratings to a grand total of about FIVE Homicide matches in ROH (and one of them was post-Sinclair) seems a little frustrating when they were clearly THE hot indy of the moment. If he's pro wrestling's leading journalist, shouldn't he be watching an indy that is getting a lot of buzz (like Defy was last year, for example)?


I loved what Alvarez said reviewing Slammiversary: It sucks that Impact is great right now but I can't talk about it because all the focus is on WWE.



They've actually done a MUCH better job of this in the past few months (Dominion felt like a turning point of sorts; compare the undercard of Dominion this year to last year's), but oftentimes before that half of the undercard felt like it served no purpose other than to get Nakanishi, Nagata, Liger, Tiger Mask, Tenzan, Kojima, Iizuka, TAKA, Taichi ,Taguchi, Chase Owens, Yujiro, sometimes Makabe or Elgin when they weren't doing anything, etc. on the card. The racking up wins thing also doesn't really feel like it matters in NJPW because most of the title matches are set up by the post-title defense confrontation, and most of the pins are in these six/eight/ten-man tags and come over guys like YOSHI-HASHI or Taichi or Yujiro who you know don't actually mean anything, who feel like they are in the matches to take the falls so the big stars don't have to. It's why I think trimming some of the fat on the roster (or, even better, sending guys out to friendly promotions for a weekend, especially to somewhere like ROH or CMLL if you're booking is taking the Scurll/Ospreay/Zack/the Bucks away from them for that weekend) would be a huge benefit. The fewer guys there are in the match, the more important the match feels and the easier it is to remember the result.

yeah, not disagreeing there, some matches are definitely to get people on the card and because the local fans love it. I think it's stuff that we sometimes look past, a lot of japanese crowds are there to look at their legends too, they mark for Liger or Tiger or Tenzan, who never really do anything, but serve the nostalgia purpose. Same with the Young Lions that don't serve a storyline purpose, but it's part of building wrestlers for the future (tho Uemura vs Tsuji is the feud of the year), but just considering that those matches are always openers, they're always quick, it helps getting started. Right now with the G1, every single match every single day is different and it matters, you don't need to watch them, but if you do, it rewards you soo much.
Dude... IMark out for Liger and Tenzan and Tiger Mask and Nagata. But there is a better use for them than something forgettable. When was the last time we had an undercard feud in the juniors division? Use Liger and Tiger Mask for that. I agree that the Young Lions are important, but I think they'd be better served working in eight-minute matches where it's them and one veteran vs. another team of young lion and veteran, not stuff in a match that goes eight-minutes and needs to feature six other dudes getting their sh*t in. or else the crowd will be disappointed.
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by cero2k » Jul 25th, '18, 12:47

The difference would be that if they decided that Cody was too much of a problem, they would then hafe a clear numbers advantage on Cody, who would probably only have Page for back-up. Also, the Tongans' problem with Kenny (as expressed by Tama Tonga) was that he was promoting his own subgroup within the group rather than the group itself. Cody may be power-hungry, but at least he wanted to be the leader of Bullet Club without pushing any sort of clique within the group.
There was a small period during the "bullet club is fine" months that Cody also started talking about re-branding the BC, he was coming out with a new logo and shit.

He wasn't there on day six. Or if he was, he didn't wrestle. But if Yujiro doesn't wind up joining the Tongans, then this becomes yet another issue with the plot which will likely never be resolved. Or even acknowledged.
Yeah, i only counted day 1 and 5, but even if he didn't jump and they don't acknowledge it, it's not an unresolved thing, it's an evening things out, not everyone needs to come out if you already have 3 guys coming out to fight another 3 guys. That'd be paying way too much attention to detail.

If you you jump the other guy while he's headed back to his corner in an MMA fight, that's bad. The bell may have rung, but it shouldn't have because all four guys were still in the ring. It's not like the Bucks turned their backs on Chase and Yujiro as a sign of disrespect or anything like that. It's a bad thing to do to a friend.
outside of the ringbells, it's bad, but in that match, the bell had already sounded, it was 100% perfectly legal. It may be a dick move, but it's not a heel turn or a reason to break up the team and start a feud.


Obviously it's not self explanatory, but even if it was, being disappointing that they are legally forbidden from doing your club handshake with you because the legal owners decided to enforce a copyright on their IP is not a reason to assault your friends from behind, and doubly so when you know one of them has a bad back
Also, if this is the case then no one let the announcers in on it, because every time it came up their spin was "mean old WWE won't let us do Attitude Era stuff" rather than hinting that this was causing any sort of rift within Bullet Club or the that NJPW-based guys were upset that the ROH-based guys had ruined this for them..

this is a good example on how it doesn't need to be literal, Chase and Yujiro didn't jump them because they were mad, there's definitely a rift that goes beyond the 'twosweet' , it's not just one thing, the whole BC is in shambles and no one knows where anyone stands. Yujiro and Owens are considerably worse wrestlers than the freaking Bucks, if Yujiro and Owens had any chance or winning they had to take it, and they did, by attacking them from behind. Sportsmanship is not a trait of the Bullet Club, this ain't Taguchi Japan. All of that seems straight forward to be just by following the story, and it's not like I was religiously watching every single interview or anything, it's the overall story. You don't need the commentators to walk you through it because I watch NJPW in Japanese (it forces me to pay attention to the matches).


You are arguing above that it's perfectly okay to take any advantage you can, even on a friend, but here you are arguing that it's not cool to work over a friend's injured body part. Those two statements are contradictory.
If Dragon and Kane wrestled tonight, one would think that both Kane and the doctors have judged him to be okay to compete, and thus Bryan going for his ankle is fair game. It'd be a different story if Kane said something like "please stay away from my ankle" and Bryan agreed to do so but then didn't, but that's not the case here at all. The Bucks made a challenge to the Golden Lovers knowing even at the time of the challenge that Matt's back was injured, and then they got overboard pissy when Kenny worked said injured back in perfectly legal ways. There was more of a sense of betrayal with Bryan and Nigel at the 6th Anniversary Show when, in order to get Nigel to agree to wrestle the match instead of vacating the title, Dragon offered him a deal where he would stay away from Nigel's head and Nigel would stay away from Dragon's injured eye and Nigel accepted, then broke the deal to win the match.
You want a story that lets you "ave arguments to cheer on whoever you wanted?" How about "which of these teams is the best in the world?" which is what the premise of the Bucks' challenge was in the first place?
Instead we got this drama that seemed cool in the moment, but didn't actually make sense within the overall whole of the story. It's not much more than a slightly more sophisticated version of a Russo swerve.

I'm saying that it's a dick move, but it's 100% ok to do it, it's not a heel trait, it's not a turn, it's not a reason to start a feud from. It's a thing that if the wrestler gets mad, it's perfectly understandable, it's a thing that if the wrestler shrugs it off and they both laugh about it afterwards, it's also perfectly understandable. All wrestlers have different personalities. Your argument just makes the Bucks seemed extra sensible, that's it, which is ok, but you don't have to build up to it, explain it, nor follow it up, they're just sensible that time because they're having issues with everything.

if you're building a 'who is the best tag team in the world', then to me it makes perfect sense to intro this back issue right now, so that you can later build a match saying, Matt was injured, but now we're cured, let's do it again, sell out another building.


Because the goofy sh*t in those movies is internally consistent throughout it's universe. If BTE is supposed to be kayfabe for ROH and NJPW and All In then Joey Ryan can't wrestle any of those places anymore BECAUSE HE'S DEAD.
And I wish Marvel would cut down on the goofy comedy, too. Whoever decided that Ultron and Thor needed to be making wisecracks all the time should be beaten with stick.

has Joey been in any of those promotions since he 'died'? I mean, we can't stop Fenix from being in Slammiversary if he's currently dead in LU.


Fair point on Gedo, although that is what I consider "low order cheating" (hair-pulling, eye poking) and it doesn't annoy me quite as much when a babyface does it, and certainly not when a heel does it first, as is the case usually with Gedo. But ideally, I'd prefer he didn't do it at all. Goto shouldn't have used a chair against Omega, but it's notable that that is the only time I ever remember him cheating. I don't think Rocky really cheats anymore. I think that was more of a Forever Hooligans thing. If he does, he's toned it down a lot. Naito disrespects company property and is certainly a bit of an ass, but not to the fans. If anything, Naito is a tweener wjho has a heelish attitude but wrestles like babyface. His posing is no different than Generico's during Generico's dive feint. And you'll noticed that I specifically did not mention EVIL and BUSHI because they do cheat. They are heels. The other three... not so much.
I agree that letting the wrestlers experiment is good for figuring out what works, but once you have that down, there is no reason why a booker (and Gedo and Delirious are the most guilty of this) should just let the wrestlers go out there and do whatever they want all the time rather than trying to direct those characters in a way that makes a story that makes sense. PWG is the sort of place where you can let the wrestlers run wild because it's usually not a storyline-based promotion. New Japan and ROH are not.

There has to be a proper balance, if current Okada was Okada's idea and he was still the champ, then yeah, Gedo should go out there and stop that, but Tanahashi suddenly acting 'heeler' against a Juice Robinson, or Ishii doing the TA-DAA with Goto, or Desperado showing fighting spirit, are all good alterations given the match going down. I think not allowing that is what pushes wrestlers to becoming stale, match ups becoming stale, and as we see in american promotions, it leads to fans just wanting to see entrances and finishers.



Yes, I know it's all a hypothetical, and the ROH stuff in particular is no different than the "how much better off would the wrestling industry be if Dixie Carter had been friends with Gabe or Cary instead of Jeff Jarrett?" question, but I think it shows that luck has an underestimated effect on the success of a company sometimes. Sometimes it's who you happen to know, but other times it's "does Meltzer decide to get a hard-on for you?"

that will always be the case. it's who you know, your exposure, how flashy you are. that's the whole entertainment business. Tons of great movies and great shows that get overlooked because they're not FOX or Disney or Netflix. Daga and Davey Richrads had a great match long time ago that no one saw because it was in a Mexican indie, that match could had made Daga a star back then, but no one saw it. It's like JBL says, nothing matters until you're in the WWE, and so it is. That's why I enjoy looking at indie promotions, so that last year I can say to friends, go check out this guy WALTER, he's gonna be big. If it's Metlz' power to push someone, then it's our job to push someone into Metlz. Start asking him about Yehi every day and sooner or later he'll start watching him.



Yes, but I gave a clear an exact reason of the one thing that Okada and Omega did that required me to mark it down due to how my rating scale works. There is a reason that I keep 9.75/10 reserved for matches that would be 10/10 but for some small flaws that mean that they can't technically fit my definition of perfect. (And, for the record, I thought Ospreay vs. Scrull was straight up better than Omega vs. Okada anyway).
What, exactly, is Ibushi's style and character that made it better than HBK/Taker? Those, to me, are nebulous words, which is a major problem I have with Dave, Sempervive, Adam Summers, and a lot of the other people who gush over New Japan. They just say "oh, it was so fantastic! Oh it was so great!" When Bryan and Vinny review New Japan (or anything else, for that matter) they tell me exactly what they liked and didn't like. Their review of Naito vs. Ishii did more to make me understand why they felt that match was ***** than anything Dave will write about Omega vs. Goto.

Simply put, to me, Taker vs HBK is a "lot's of kickout" match between two old wrestlers that i don't like, great performers, but neither at the atheltic level of Ibushi, it had a predictable finish. I'm not saying it's bad, but it's not a 5star; on the other hand, Ibushi vs Yano was a fun different match, it used stuff from their previous bout to make moves here, it played into the Yano storyline, and Ibushi had a great performance doing moonsaults with no hands for example. If I had to rewatch one match, i'd got for Ibushi vs Yano. Just like violence, i don't think that comedy or cheating stops a match from being a great wrestling match, likewise, drama doesn't make a match better (see Meltz review of the Slammiversary opener)


I agree about PWG. Suzuki vs. Tanahashi was my intro to NJPW as well, and it was almost two years before I started subscribing to the Observer, but I know that the reason I went out of my way to watch this random Japanese match with two guys I had never seen before was because I heard "Dave Meltzer gave this match *****," and it was one of only three time Dave had done so in the past six and a half years. And I think you can trace a definite grown in New Japan's fanbase in the English-speaking world (and certainly the English-speaking world outside of Australia and New Zealand) to that one match, and I think that is directly attributable to a ***** from Dave, because that was something that (at the time) felt rare and special enough to make people go out of their way to see it. That's what happened with Joe vs. Punk II, and a lot of people (including people in the ROH office at the time, and I think even Gabe himself) said that DVD sales of Joe vs. Punk II were key in keeping the company afloat, especially in the wake of the RF scandal (and that match was in a similar place to Tanahashi vs. Suzuki because it was the first non-Japanese ***** in since the first HIAC, and that's a period that included a ton of matches (mostly in WWE, but also Atlantis vs. Villano III and some early TNA stuff) that everyone said "surely Dave will give this one *****" and he only went ****3/4.
I honestly don't remember why i decided to watch that show, may had been Low Ki and Kozlov who i was super over with around that time, but I don't remember know about Meltzer that much back then



Right... but I think we have both gotten smarter recently and stopped paying attention to NJPW "Road to..." shows to make room for stuff like PROGRESS and wXw. A good chunk of the reason I chose to watch the NOVA Pro Commonwealth Cup was to specifically to watch a more ground-level indy and see guys like Curt Stallion before they get big. And I have made an effort to fill in some of the earlier wXw stuff with English commentary. It's coming along slowly, but I've enjoyed the 2017-2018 product enough to decide to make room in my schedule for 2016 as well. It's part of the reason that I might not stick with the ROH TV show for too long (I think I'm going to pick it up again for the summer).
Too much content is a problem and WWE is a major guilty party, but I don't think people would be so angry at WWE if Raw and SD were better. It's more of a quality problem than a quantity one with them. But I think it's more just the advent of streaming services. It used to be that you'd wait to find a random, hyped-up puro match on the internet. Now you've got pretty much every show from NJPW, AJPW, NOAH, Dragon Gate, STARDOM, Big Japan, DDT, etc. available, so people are trying to watch the whole show, or at least not waiting for the general consensus to build up that "this was an MOTYC" before watching a Japanese or British match that looks really awesome on paper. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just an effect of the real world. I think that's why it's more disappointing now as well when a promotion like ROH or RevPro runs a show that feels totally skippable from both a storyline and in-ring POV, whereas people probably wouldn't have reacted that harshly to something like that in 2014.
The other difference, though, is that this wasn't true during the Gabe and Pearce eras of ROH and there was less MMA, too,. so the fact that Dave has only given ratings to a grand total of about FIVE Homicide matches in ROH (and one of them was post-Sinclair) seems a little frustrating when they were clearly THE hot indy of the moment. If he's pro wrestling's leading journalist, shouldn't he be watching an indy that is getting a lot of buzz (like Defy was last year, for example)?

We are getting better, we managed to kinda discover wXw and PROGRESS last year, this year i'm close to cancelling PROGRESS and getting AJPW, and try to push more stuff. Still hard to achieve sometimes, right now with the G1 i don't even know how I was still awake on sunday after reviewing two G1 shows.
Dave most definitely should, I don't excuse F4W for not covering extensively any televised promotion, one way or another, NJPW, LU, Impact and now MLW should be covered someway instead of so many fucking NWA/Retro shows. I get it, everyone has the wwe network and they want fans to follow, but it becomes a vicious cycle, no one talks about ROH tv because they don't bring up ROH tv and so no one talks about ROH tv.

Dude... IMark out for Liger and Tenzan and Tiger Mask and Nagata. But there is a better use for them than something forgettable. When was the last time we had an undercard feud in the juniors division? Use Liger and Tiger Mask for that. I agree that the Young Lions are important, but I think they'd be better served working in eight-minute matches where it's them and one veteran vs. another team of young lion and veteran, not stuff in a match that goes eight-minutes and needs to feature six other dudes getting their sh*t in. or else the crowd will be disappointed.
if NJPW had a weekly tv show, i'd agree with you, but given the size of the roster, the unnecessarily amount of titles, and the schedule, i think it's ok to feature a meaningless match low in the card, get some babyfaces pops, let the fans enjoy their guys, and that's it. The Russo booking style to give everyone something, pushes shows to feel overpacked, and in this case, if you can't follow it up soon, then we would have a whole other argument going about follow ups right now.

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Big Red Machine
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Re: Cero Reviews NJPW G1 Climax 28 - 7.21

Post by Big Red Machine » Jul 25th, '18, 14:23

cero2k wrote:
Jul 25th, '18, 12:47
The difference would be that if they decided that Cody was too much of a problem, they would then hafe a clear numbers advantage on Cody, who would probably only have Page for back-up. Also, the Tongans' problem with Kenny (as expressed by Tama Tonga) was that he was promoting his own subgroup within the group rather than the group itself. Cody may be power-hungry, but at least he wanted to be the leader of Bullet Club without pushing any sort of clique within the group.
There was a small period during the "bullet club is fine" months that Cody also started talking about re-branding the BC, he was coming out with a new logo and shit.
I don't think a new logo is in the same league as "this is my sub-clique and I'm going to wear our special t-shirt instead of the group's t-shirt, but either way, if that's the case then the announcers should mention that.

He wasn't there on day six. Or if he was, he didn't wrestle. But if Yujiro doesn't wind up joining the Tongans, then this becomes yet another issue with the plot which will likely never be resolved. Or even acknowledged.
Yeah, i only counted day 1 and 5, but even if he didn't jump and they don't acknowledge it, it's not an unresolved thing, it's an evening things out, not everyone needs to come out if you already have 3 guys coming out to fight another 3 guys. That'd be paying way too much attention to detail.
If you're saving your stablemate from a dirty, underhanded attack by your enemies then why not. I understand it if you're going to have the heels win the fight (and even then you need to give me some sort of excuse for why the guy isn't there... or just have the heels use weapons and low blows), but if the babyfaces are going to run off the heels then why not have the whole crew come out? I wouldn't have minded it as much if it was during a match like what happened with LIJ and the Firing Squad on night 7, but after a match ended by DQ in a gang-attack on your leader? Everyone should be out there making the save.

If you you jump the other guy while he's headed back to his corner in an MMA fight, that's bad. The bell may have rung, but it shouldn't have because all four guys were still in the ring. It's not like the Bucks turned their backs on Chase and Yujiro as a sign of disrespect or anything like that. It's a bad thing to do to a friend.
outside of the ringbells, it's bad, but in that match, the bell had already sounded, it was 100% perfectly legal. It may be a dick move, but it's not a heel turn or a reason to break up the team and start a feud.
So we can chalk it up to horrible New Japan refereeing for ringing the bell even even though all four guys were in the ring. But that doesn't explain why Nick got less bent out of shape about this more dickish attack on Matt's back than he did to Omega's perfectly legal moves during their match. That sort of thing is my problem with this storyline. Most of it makes sense in the moment, but when you put the whole storyline together it looks ridiculous and turns most of the people involved (but especially the Bucks and Marty) into drama queens.


Obviously it's not self explanatory, but even if it was, being disappointing that they are legally forbidden from doing your club handshake with you because the legal owners decided to enforce a copyright on their IP is not a reason to assault your friends from behind, and doubly so when you know one of them has a bad back
Also, if this is the case then no one let the announcers in on it, because every time it came up their spin was "mean old WWE won't let us do Attitude Era stuff" rather than hinting that this was causing any sort of rift within Bullet Club or the that NJPW-based guys were upset that the ROH-based guys had ruined this for them..

this is a good example on how it doesn't need to be literal, Chase and Yujiro didn't jump them because they were mad, there's definitely a rift that goes beyond the 'twosweet' , it's not just one thing, the whole BC is in shambles and no one knows where anyone stands. Yujiro and Owens are considerably worse wrestlers than the freaking Bucks, if Yujiro and Owens had any chance or winning they had to take it, and they did, by attacking them from behind. Sportsmanship is not a trait of the Bullet Club, this ain't Taguchi Japan. All of that seems straight forward to be just by following the story, and it's not like I was religiously watching every single interview or anything, it's the overall story. You don't need the commentators to walk you through it because I watch NJPW in Japanese (it forces me to pay attention to the matches).
You don't always need the announcers to walk you through it, but part if their job is to do so for those who need it, whether because they just didn't get the subtleties or because they're new to the product. If something is part of the story and the announcers fail to point it out, they have failed at their jobs. Likewise, if they do tell us something (especially a babyface announcer) we should believe it to be the truth (or at least what the babyface announcer believes to be the truth, and when it is revealed to be false he/she should point this out) and thus use it to color the way we see the feud.


You are arguing above that it's perfectly okay to take any advantage you can, even on a friend, but here you are arguing that it's not cool to work over a friend's injured body part. Those two statements are contradictory.
If Dragon and Kane wrestled tonight, one would think that both Kane and the doctors have judged him to be okay to compete, and thus Bryan going for his ankle is fair game. It'd be a different story if Kane said something like "please stay away from my ankle" and Bryan agreed to do so but then didn't, but that's not the case here at all. The Bucks made a challenge to the Golden Lovers knowing even at the time of the challenge that Matt's back was injured, and then they got overboard pissy when Kenny worked said injured back in perfectly legal ways. There was more of a sense of betrayal with Bryan and Nigel at the 6th Anniversary Show when, in order to get Nigel to agree to wrestle the match instead of vacating the title, Dragon offered him a deal where he would stay away from Nigel's head and Nigel would stay away from Dragon's injured eye and Nigel accepted, then broke the deal to win the match.
You want a story that lets you "ave arguments to cheer on whoever you wanted?" How about "which of these teams is the best in the world?" which is what the premise of the Bucks' challenge was in the first place?
Instead we got this drama that seemed cool in the moment, but didn't actually make sense within the overall whole of the story. It's not much more than a slightly more sophisticated version of a Russo swerve.

I'm saying that it's a dick move, but it's 100% ok to do it, it's not a heel trait, it's not a turn, it's not a reason to start a feud from. It's a thing that if the wrestler gets mad, it's perfectly understandable, it's a thing that if the wrestler shrugs it off and they both laugh about it afterwards, it's also perfectly understandable. All wrestlers have different personalities. Your argument just makes the Bucks seemed extra sensible, that's it, which is ok, but you don't have to build up to it, explain it, nor follow it up, they're just sensible that time because they're having issues with everything.
I will completely dispute that it's a dick move, and especially in a situation where the Bucks were the ones who made the challenge when Matt already had an injured back. You say the Bucks came to their senses, but I totally disagree. After all, only Nick shook Kenny's hand after the match; Matt refused to do so. Why did they switch? If Matt thought that Kenny was going to do permanent damage to him like Nick seemed to did then why didn't Matt just quit? Seems like a much more sensible play to me then yelling at Kenny to hit you with his super-finisher. The only reason it happened the way it did was because that was the scenario that would create the maximum shock value drama right there in that moment: the guy who you didn't expect would shake Kenny's hand based on the match did, but then the guy who you did expect to shake Kenny's hand doesn't.

if you're building a 'who is the best tag team in the world', then to me it makes perfect sense to intro this back issue right now, so that you can later build a match saying, Matt was injured, but now we're cured, let's do it again, sell out another building.
Absolutely. I have no issue with that part of it. My issue is with Nick's reaction to Kenny's work on Matt's back and the stuff that went on after the match in the context of the greater whole of the Bullet Club civil war.


Because the goofy sh*t in those movies is internally consistent throughout it's universe. If BTE is supposed to be kayfabe for ROH and NJPW and All In then Joey Ryan can't wrestle any of those places anymore BECAUSE HE'S DEAD.
And I wish Marvel would cut down on the goofy comedy, too. Whoever decided that Ultron and Thor needed to be making wisecracks all the time should be beaten with stick.

has Joey been in any of those promotions since he 'died'? I mean, we can't stop Fenix from being in Slammiversary if he's currently dead in LU.
LU opens up its own bag of questions about whether or not the joint show with TNA is canon and where it fits in, but I will point out that Fenix is the man of a thousand lives or whatever, isn't he? Isn't it possible he could come back to life?

As for Joey, he has appeared in Bar Wrestling, which also featured on BTE. But even if Joey never shows up in ROH or NJPW again and doesn't work All In, shouldn't Adam Page have been arrested and be held as a murder suspect rather than being a free man (and certainly he would never have been allowed to leave the country). If ROH unbooked Jay Lethal from a theoretically huge match due to a sexual harassment allegation then surely they wouldn't be booking an accused murderer.



Fair point on Gedo, although that is what I consider "low order cheating" (hair-pulling, eye poking) and it doesn't annoy me quite as much when a babyface does it, and certainly not when a heel does it first, as is the case usually with Gedo. But ideally, I'd prefer he didn't do it at all. Goto shouldn't have used a chair against Omega, but it's notable that that is the only time I ever remember him cheating. I don't think Rocky really cheats anymore. I think that was more of a Forever Hooligans thing. If he does, he's toned it down a lot. Naito disrespects company property and is certainly a bit of an ass, but not to the fans. If anything, Naito is a tweener wjho has a heelish attitude but wrestles like babyface. His posing is no different than Generico's during Generico's dive feint. And you'll noticed that I specifically did not mention EVIL and BUSHI because they do cheat. They are heels. The other three... not so much.
I agree that letting the wrestlers experiment is good for figuring out what works, but once you have that down, there is no reason why a booker (and Gedo and Delirious are the most guilty of this) should just let the wrestlers go out there and do whatever they want all the time rather than trying to direct those characters in a way that makes a story that makes sense. PWG is the sort of place where you can let the wrestlers run wild because it's usually not a storyline-based promotion. New Japan and ROH are not.

There has to be a proper balance, if current Okada was Okada's idea and he was still the champ, then yeah, Gedo should go out there and stop that, but Tanahashi suddenly acting 'heeler' against a Juice Robinson, or Ishii doing the TA-DAA with Goto, or Desperado showing fighting spirit, are all good alterations given the match going down. I think not allowing that is what pushes wrestlers to becoming stale, match ups becoming stale, and as we see in american promotions, it leads to fans just wanting to see entrances and finishers.
Showing fighting spirit is a thing everyone should do. Tanahashi acting heelish always pisses me off because nothing ever comes of it. Ishii is a guy who I wouldn't have do the TA-DAA pose pretty much ever because he's the stonepitbull.
You stop things from getting stale by telling different stories in your match. There are only so many Ishii/Makabe/EVIL/Goto/Kojima/Shibata "we hit each other very hard" matches you can see. Work a different limb every once in a while. Build the match around a different move. Maybe this once Okada doesn't actually manage to hit the Rainmaker but he wins with a roll-up instead. Just because the One-Winged Angel is his death move doesn't mean that Omega can't win with the Croyt's Wrath every once in a while. Maybe don't do things so that every time you go for a pin after hitting the High Fly Flow you win but every time you inexplicably decide to go for it a second time the guy gets his knees up. The biggest weakness in New Japan's in-ring style (well... aside from the refereeing) is that it often feels very repetitive from match to match. That's why Zack and Jericho (and, to a lesser extent, Sanada) have been such wonderful additions to the roster: they make everyone do things differently.
Another thing that can help this is having the booker give you an actual storyline that requires something different of your match. Gedo doesn't do that. It's just "have your match, this guy over, protect super-finisher X."

As for the "fans only care about entrances and finishers" thing, I don't think that has as much to do with stale matches so much as it does with the way American and Canadian crowds have been trained. WWE- and specifically the way they want their announcing done- is the most to blame for this, but I blame TNA for copying it instead of being an alternative, and the Kevin Kelly/Steve Corino ROH tandem for goofing off more than calling the matches (and Ian Riccaboni for being a bad announcer in general) and Delirious for having absolutely no quality control of his announcers. Fans were trained to only reacted to that stuff, plus big spots. Then guys also started to do shtick to get laughs because at least that was some sort of reaction, and that's where we are now in most of the US and Canada, and large chunks of the UK as well: people only want to see entrances, finishers, shtick and spots. The places where the fans are into everything that happens during the match are EVOLVE and CHIKARA, because they have made an effort to ensure that everything that happens during the match matters, whether as a component of the story or because they've made an effort to train their fans that any submission on an injured-enough body part can end the match, no matter who does it.
And I don't think it's an accident that EVOLVE and CHIKARA are the two promotions who try their best to make sure that everything makes sense and that the rules are followed. They're showing the fans that the rules are the rules and they will be followed no matter what because this is supposed to be a kayfabe sport. By not bending the rules just for the sake of letting something cool happen, it teaches the fans that they are here for the matches and stories, not to see what the next cool spot is going to be.



Yes, I know it's all a hypothetical, and the ROH stuff in particular is no different than the "how much better off would the wrestling industry be if Dixie Carter had been friends with Gabe or Cary instead of Jeff Jarrett?" question, but I think it shows that luck has an underestimated effect on the success of a company sometimes. Sometimes it's who you happen to know, but other times it's "does Meltzer decide to get a hard-on for you?"

that will always be the case. it's who you know, your exposure, how flashy you are. that's the whole entertainment business. Tons of great movies and great shows that get overlooked because they're not FOX or Disney or Netflix. Daga and Davey Richrads had a great match long time ago that no one saw because it was in a Mexican indie, that match could had made Daga a star back then, but no one saw it. It's like JBL says, nothing matters until you're in the WWE, and so it is. That's why I enjoy looking at indie promotions, so that last year I can say to friends, go check out this guy WALTER, he's gonna be big. If it's Metlz' power to push someone, then it's our job to push someone into Metlz. Start asking him about Yehi every day and sooner or later he'll start watching him.
Fair point


Yes, but I gave a clear an exact reason of the one thing that Okada and Omega did that required me to mark it down due to how my rating scale works. There is a reason that I keep 9.75/10 reserved for matches that would be 10/10 but for some small flaws that mean that they can't technically fit my definition of perfect. (And, for the record, I thought Ospreay vs. Scrull was straight up better than Omega vs. Okada anyway).
What, exactly, is Ibushi's style and character that made it better than HBK/Taker? Those, to me, are nebulous words, which is a major problem I have with Dave, Sempervive, Adam Summers, and a lot of the other people who gush over New Japan. They just say "oh, it was so fantastic! Oh it was so great!" When Bryan and Vinny review New Japan (or anything else, for that matter) they tell me exactly what they liked and didn't like. Their review of Naito vs. Ishii did more to make me understand why they felt that match was ***** than anything Dave will write about Omega vs. Goto.

Simply put, to me, Taker vs HBK is a "lot's of kickout" match between two old wrestlers that i don't like, great performers, but neither at the atheltic level of Ibushi, it had a predictable finish. I'm not saying it's bad, but it's not a 5star; on the other hand, Ibushi vs Yano was a fun different match, it used stuff from their previous bout to make moves here, it played into the Yano storyline, and Ibushi had a great performance doing moonsaults with no hands for example. If I had to rewatch one match, i'd got for Ibushi vs Yano. Just like violence, i don't think that comedy or cheating stops a match from being a great wrestling match, likewise, drama doesn't make a match better (see Meltz review of the Slammiversary opener)
I can understand the view that Taker and HBK had lots of kickouts, but I don't think I've ever really heard too many people say that the outcomes were too predictable before. I thought there was a fair chance of The Streak ending either year.



Right... but I think we have both gotten smarter recently and stopped paying attention to NJPW "Road to..." shows to make room for stuff like PROGRESS and wXw. A good chunk of the reason I chose to watch the NOVA Pro Commonwealth Cup was to specifically to watch a more ground-level indy and see guys like Curt Stallion before they get big. And I have made an effort to fill in some of the earlier wXw stuff with English commentary. It's coming along slowly, but I've enjoyed the 2017-2018 product enough to decide to make room in my schedule for 2016 as well. It's part of the reason that I might not stick with the ROH TV show for too long (I think I'm going to pick it up again for the summer).
Too much content is a problem and WWE is a major guilty party, but I don't think people would be so angry at WWE if Raw and SD were better. It's more of a quality problem than a quantity one with them. But I think it's more just the advent of streaming services. It used to be that you'd wait to find a random, hyped-up puro match on the internet. Now you've got pretty much every show from NJPW, AJPW, NOAH, Dragon Gate, STARDOM, Big Japan, DDT, etc. available, so people are trying to watch the whole show, or at least not waiting for the general consensus to build up that "this was an MOTYC" before watching a Japanese or British match that looks really awesome on paper. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing. It's just an effect of the real world. I think that's why it's more disappointing now as well when a promotion like ROH or RevPro runs a show that feels totally skippable from both a storyline and in-ring POV, whereas people probably wouldn't have reacted that harshly to something like that in 2014.
The other difference, though, is that this wasn't true during the Gabe and Pearce eras of ROH and there was less MMA, too,. so the fact that Dave has only given ratings to a grand total of about FIVE Homicide matches in ROH (and one of them was post-Sinclair) seems a little frustrating when they were clearly THE hot indy of the moment. If he's pro wrestling's leading journalist, shouldn't he be watching an indy that is getting a lot of buzz (like Defy was last year, for example)?

We are getting better, we managed to kinda discover wXw and PROGRESS last year, this year i'm close to cancelling PROGRESS and getting AJPW, and try to push more stuff. Still hard to achieve sometimes, right now with the G1 i don't even know how I was still awake on sunday after reviewing two G1 shows.
Oh my G-d I know! I have a love-hate relationship with the G1. I usually love it while I'm watching it but the rest of the time I hate it and feel like it's taking over my life because I don't want to fall behind. They NEED to make it shorter.
I've actually been cycling my subscriptions every months, so each month I have some combination of WNN, PROGRESS, wXw, RevPro/CHIKARA/whoever else but I'm never paying for all of them at once. The only ones I have every month are WWE, ROH (only because buying it for a year gives you the PPVs for free), and New Japan, just because cancelling it from overseas makes signing up again such a pain in the ass due to credit card stuff.



Dave most definitely should, I don't excuse F4W for not covering extensively any televised promotion, one way or another, NJPW, LU, Impact and now MLW should be covered someway instead of so many fucking NWA/Retro shows. I get it, everyone has the wwe network and they want fans to follow, but it becomes a vicious cycle, no one talks about ROH tv because they don't bring up ROH tv and so no one talks about ROH tv.
I think they stopped covering ROH because they don't get the show in their area anymore, but I agree on most of the rest of it. I like the Retro Raw and Nitro shows, but I'm meh on the NWA. Filthy Tom is gong to start doing LU which opens up a spot for something for Vinny Thursdays, which I assume will be G1 for the next month or so and then hopefully they'll pick up MLW. I don't want Vinny to do TNA just because I know he's in the same place as me, and the moment it gets bad he'll have a total meltdown and wonder why made the mistake of giving them another chance YET AGAIN.
Dude... IMark out for Liger and Tenzan and Tiger Mask and Nagata. But there is a better use for them than something forgettable. When was the last time we had an undercard feud in the juniors division? Use Liger and Tiger Mask for that. I agree that the Young Lions are important, but I think they'd be better served working in eight-minute matches where it's them and one veteran vs. another team of young lion and veteran, not stuff in a match that goes eight-minutes and needs to feature six other dudes getting their sh*t in. or else the crowd will be disappointed.
if NJPW had a weekly tv show, i'd agree with you, but given the size of the roster, the unnecessarily amount of titles, and the schedule, i think it's ok to feature a meaningless match low in the card, get some babyfaces pops, let the fans enjoy their guys, and that's it. The Russo booking style to give everyone something, pushes shows to feel overpacked, and in this case, if you can't follow it up soon, then we would have a whole other argument going about follow ups right now.
Which is exactly the problem ROH is having, except that with Russo the storylines would actually move forward. They wouldn't make any sense, but at least it wasn't stale. Not that stale is worse than dumb because it isn't, but it creates a different kind of frustration to watch it. In ROH now, most of the undercard stuff never goes anywhere at all and the feud is stuck in the same place for nine months and then they have a blow-off that no one cares about.
With NJPW it's more that there is too much unnecessary stuff. Or just make the legends match a dark match or something. NJPW has all the time they want, but their audience doesn't, and if you stick the old-timers "just for pops" match third on the show instead of making it a dark match then I feel like I have to watch it to review the show fully.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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