Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
Post Reply
User avatar
cero2k
Site Admin
Posts: 20109
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 11:32

Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by cero2k » Apr 5th, '21, 15:12

NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021
April 4, 2021
Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan

Hiromu Takahashi Opening - Hiromu came out, running and no sling. He was there to do commentary, but talked about the LIJ vs UE match and the main event. He did mention that while he's pat the surgery, he still has some time to rehab.

Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. BULLET CLUB (Jado, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) - 6/10
Match was fun, Jado seems to have been working out a lot, he's moving better now that he's wearing shorts and no sleeves. His skull long sleeve run was terrible, but now at least he can do some spots. Even with all this praise, he's still the worst in the match.

Match was a lot of Tama Tonga vs Taichi and Loa vs Sabre, with DOUKI and Jado sprinkled here and there. Finishing sequence saw everyone fight to get their hands on the Iron Fingers, but no one could keep it for long, with Loa being the last one to have them before Sabre pinned him with the European Clutch. Given that DOUKI and Jado were there, and it was Loa getting pinned, the Tekkers vs GoD rematch seems imminent.

Post-match - Referee took away the Iron Fingers from both teams and gave it to Chairman Sugabayashi, who decided to take it with him. Backstage, Tama Tonga cut a promo requesting a match with Taichi for the Iron Fingers. In their promo, Taichi said the Fingers mean a lot to Suzuki-Gun since they were inherited from Iizuka. Sabre instead, wanted a shot at the tag titles.

CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. BULLET CLUB (Dick Togo, EVIL, KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi) - 6.5/10
Ok match, it's one of those with so many people, that it's hard to build up much in the match. This one is preparing for the NEVER Openweight 6-man match with Ishii, Goto, and YH defending against KENTA, Ishimori, and Yujiro. It's building KENTA vs Yano for the KOPW trophy. Okada is not really building any feud here, but gotta get him in the show. Yano pinned Togo after putting him in a hood and that just made me think that Yano vs EVIL is going to be a blindfold match.

KENTA stole YH's stick for love reasons, which he sold me on in his backstage promo.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs. The United Empire (Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) - 7/10
So the big reveal was indeed Henare, who is now going as Aaron Henare. He looks like a cheap knockoff Chono wearing Seth Rollins' gear. This is probably going to do a lot better for him than being in the home team, but I do feel that NJPW needs to add some strong members to the home team. Anyway, back to Henare, it's hard for me to take him seriously, I just do see potential in him, just a good hand in the ring.

Match saw Naito be the babyface in peril, a good Shingo vs Cobb face off, and at the end, SANADA took on all three UE members, ending with Cobb hitting a Tour of the Islands and Henare's new Death Valley Bomb for the win. Henare got a pin over a big name, but he had to get that Cobb assist nonetheless. Good stuff, it was a total LIJ beatdown.

Post-match - O-Khan dragged in Naito into the ring and while Cobb and Henare held him, O-Khan attacked his leg with a chair. Naito vs GOK probably coming in one of the Grand Slam shows.

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Satoshi Kojima vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale & Jay White) (w/Gedo) - 7/10
This was good. Tanahashi and White are building to their NEVER title match, and so this match heavily relied on them, they got a lot of time together, and did bigger spots than your usual Road to show. Tanahashi actually worked on White's leg here. At the end, Fale came in, and between Kojima and Tana, they brought him down for Tana to finish off with a High Fly Flow.

Post-match - Tana locked in White in a Texas Cloverleaf and made White tap out. Tanahashi told White he accepted his challenge, because White tapped out, and so, he'd be calling his move, the JTO.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match
Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (c) vs. Roppongi 3K - 8.5/10
R3K came out to a new, totally out of character music, it's not bad, just not good for a wrestling theme, and for them especially. YOH is also now dressing as a fashionable version of 2021 Chris Sabin, with the long black shorts and tall kick pads.

The match revolved around YOH and his leg being worked on, it almost felt like we had two babyface in peril heat segments in the match, one early on when YOH got cut off. SHO got worked on a little bit too before YOH returned to the match, and once again Desperado took his leg out.

Post-match - YOH had a speech thanking the crowd for supporting him to return, he and SHO have won the Jr. tag titles, and now he wants a shot at Desperado for the singles title. Backstage, Desperado asked for a rematch for the tag titles.

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Match
Kota Ibushi (c) vs. Will Ospreay - 9.5/10
This was a fantastic match. The match went a little over the 30 minute announcement, but it only felt about half of it, time flies when you're having fun.

They told a really interesting story, after seeing the overall thing, you can notice that Ospreay was portrayed in a far more dominant fashion. Just to name a few, Ospreay had his spot where Ibushi went for the top rope rana and Ospreay lands on his feet; Ibushi (be it accidental or not) relied on going after Ospreay's broken nose to cut him off; Ospreay cut off Ibushi quite quickly after Ibushi started his terminator striking spot; and finally, Ospreay blocked, reversed, AND kicked out of Kamigoye, while Ibushi fell to the first Stormbreaker.

Ibushi did have a couple of strong spots, he took out Ospreay outside the ring, he hit the deadlift German on the ropes, he had a great rolling suplex thing that looked devastating, but at the end, Ospreay was just stronger that night. Ibushi and Ospreay are now 2-2 in win losses, but for the second time, Ospreay has defeated Ibushi when Ibushi tried to defend a title against Ospreay, so there is a trend starting.

I thought that there was the potential of Ospreay winning here, especially after the whole idea of Ibushi not wanting to wear the title until he had his first defense, it's the type of story that Gedo tends to write in order to build to Ibushi regaining the title one day, especially if he ends up winning it from someone else and his first defense of the second reign is against Ospreay. Nonetheless, it was still surprising that he won it.

Post-match - Before Ospreay cut his big winner's promo about no one believing in the British kid, we saw Cobb deliver a Tour of the Islands on the already fallen Ibushi, so this could potentially be another match for the Grand Slam shows. Ospreay was visibly shaken by the win, he had trouble hiding the tears.

Ospreay called out Okada because he wanted to get his win back from the Tokyo Dome match, but before Okada could accept, Shingo came out and made the argument that he defeated Okada at the New Japan Cup and he, even if he lost, was at the finals of the Cup with Ospreay. Okada didn't say anything, but Ospreay accepted Shingo's challenge for Dontaku, before he gets his hands on Okada.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
A really noteworthy show, we had title changes, returns, gimmick debuts, and some build up to the next tour or two. Arguably a one match show when talking workrate, but I thought the whole show delivered quite good and it went by somewhat fast. Definitely one of those shows that will go down in history for the newsworthy title change, one of those that a couple of years ago, you'd wake up and find out that the IWGP title had changed unexpectedly.
Image

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 25581
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 7th, '21, 11:02

Rich Fann and Alan Counihan both had an intensely negative reaction to most of this show (Radican a little less so) in their PWTorch Round Table (mostly having to do with the booking). It very much reminded me of the point I hit with ROH after Global Wars 2016.

It was a pretty interesting listen, including Alan revealing that they had talked to him about becoming an announcer in 2019 and he turned them down. One of the things he said was that there is a "separation of church and state" in terms of the booking end of things and the logistics, so Gedo is filling out a schedule that's already booked for him and doesn't have much (if any) control over how many shows are booked and where and when.

There was a lot of interesting booking talk. Some of it is stuff I've been saying, but other stuff is stuff that hadn't even occurred to me before, like "Gedo doesn't know what to do with Okada when he's no the champion." They were also REALLY negative on the title change here, and very unhappy with Ibushi's whole run- both the booking and Ibuhi's promos and performance. They zeroed in on an interesting quote from Omega recently when he was asked about Kota's title run and he said "you can be the wrestler you want to be, the wrestler the company wants you to be, or the wrestler the fans want you to be" and implied that the issue is that Kota is doing the second one, possibly from directives from Gedo and/or bad advice from Tanahashi (i.e. Tanahashi's style doesn't work as well for Kota as it does for Tanahashi, but Tanahashi doesn't realize that because it has always worked for him).

Really worth listening to if you're a Torch subscriber (which you all should be, because the actual analysis is far better and more wide-ranging in scope than stuff you get from Dave, Bryan, and Friends).
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

User avatar
cero2k
Site Admin
Posts: 20109
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 11:32

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by cero2k » Apr 7th, '21, 12:54

Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 7th, '21, 11:02 They were also REALLY negative on the title change here, and very unhappy with Ibushi's whole run- both the booking and Ibuhi's promos and performance.
what was the argument against the title change? I thought it was spot on with Gedo's booking style.

Also, it's not Okada that he doesn't know what to do, but everyone. Gedo's booking revolves around titles because there are rarely stories about personal quarrels, it just happens to be that Okada established himself as someone who only cares about the top title, and so if he ain't chasing and he's not champion, he really has nothing to do and trying to redo the balloonmaker story so quickly would had been bad. It was mentioned some times in his promos from last year, when he talked about learning to not be the champion all the time.
Image

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 25581
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 8th, '21, 11:28

cero2k wrote: Apr 7th, '21, 12:54
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 7th, '21, 11:02 They were also REALLY negative on the title change here, and very unhappy with Ibushi's whole run- both the booking and Ibuhi's promos and performance.
what was the argument against the title change? I thought it was spot on with Gedo's booking style.
They really didn't like the "succeed, just to fail early on so you can succeed again" aspect. They also didn't like him saying he wanted to win both titles and then not wanting to defend both of them. They also didn't like him losing the briefcase but getting to challenge at the Dome anyway. That doesn't bother me as much because it wasn't clean, but at the same time, Gedo never follows up on other dirty finishes, so why should this one be any different?


Personally, on the "win the belt and lose it quickly so you can build to winning it back later" thing, I don't think this formula has really worked that well. It worked a bit for Okada, but he also got to have a longer run with it at first. With Naito, they were able to get away with it because they had this other top belt for him to be involved with, and they don't have that anymore. With Jay White, I think losing the belt to Okada so quickly hurt him, and it could likely do the same for Ibushi, especially because they already spent so long building up to his win. Compare that to Okada, who didn't have the long build the first time, or the Naito, who had had a long build, but underwent a MAJOR character change in between as well.

They also really don't like the current Ospreay character, and found his promo to be ridiculous. (Alan also said that he thinks that there is a sort of distance from the kind of character that Ospreay is trying to portray that makes it less grating for non-European fans.)


cero2k wrote: Apr 7th, '21, 12:54 Also, it's not Okada that he doesn't know what to do, but everyone. Gedo's booking revolves around titles because there are rarely stories about personal quarrels, it just happens to be that Okada established himself as someone who only cares about the top title, and so if he ain't chasing and he's not champion, he really has nothing to do and trying to redo the balloonmaker story so quickly would had been bad. It was mentioned some times in his promos from last year, when he talked about learning to not be the champion all the time.
And I would argue that that is a flaw in his game, as you then either need to have so many titles that they don't mean anything, or you have guys not doing anything. Personal issue feuds are how you keep people (and especially big names) hot when they're not in the title scene.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

User avatar
cero2k
Site Admin
Posts: 20109
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 11:32

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by cero2k » Apr 8th, '21, 14:55

Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 11:28

They really didn't like the "succeed, just to fail early on so you can succeed again" aspect. They also didn't like him saying he wanted to win both titles and then not wanting to defend both of them. They also didn't like him losing the briefcase but getting to challenge at the Dome anyway. That doesn't bother me as much because it wasn't clean, but at the same time, Gedo never follows up on other dirty finishes, so why should this one be any different?


Personally, on the "win the belt and lose it quickly so you can build to winning it back later" thing, I don't think this formula has really worked that well. It worked a bit for Okada, but he also got to have a longer run with it at first. With Naito, they were able to get away with it because they had this other top belt for him to be involved with, and they don't have that anymore. With Jay White, I think losing the belt to Okada so quickly hurt him, and it could likely do the same for Ibushi, especially because they already spent so long building up to his win. Compare that to Okada, who didn't have the long build the first time, or the Naito, who had had a long build, but underwent a MAJOR character change in between as well.

They also really don't like the current Ospreay character, and found his promo to be ridiculous. (Alan also said that he thinks that there is a sort of distance from the kind of character that Ospreay is trying to portray that makes it less grating for non-European fans.)
idk where they're getting the idea that Ibushi didn't want to defend both titles, that was not the reason for unification at all. Okada was not given the 'losing it to win it later' treatment with the title, but the WK win, they're different stories, and I'd disagree on White, he has only grown since, he's right now the biggest heel in the promotion. It's not an overused story, at least not to the point that it should infuriate any normal human.

Also, we need to consider that Ibushi has an injured ankle, that could had come into play when it comes to taking the title away.

People not liking Ospreay doesn't surprise me at all, something that I can trust it's not just real life biases. I don't see why him being less unpleasant to non-europeans is an issue. First time hearing someone complain because they don't hate someone as much as they want to hate them.
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 11:28 And I would argue that that is a flaw in his game, as you then either need to have so many titles that they don't mean anything, or you have guys not doing anything. Personal issue feuds are how you keep people (and especially big names) hot when they're not in the title scene.
it is a flaw, it comes when you have such a large roster with so many guys that are top wrestlers. It's not only a Gedo thing though, it's more of a Japanese thing, most companies suffer from the same thing, you're either wrestling for the title, the right to fight for the title, or just in a random midcard match. Another reason why Japan has tournaments all the time. It's actually quite similar to how Mexico relies on teasing luchas de apuestas.
We're just way too accustomed to American style that people try to find whatever excuse to wrestle and not just wrestle because we're wrestlers.
Image

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 25581
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 8th, '21, 16:58

cero2k wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 14:55
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 11:28

They really didn't like the "succeed, just to fail early on so you can succeed again" aspect. They also didn't like him saying he wanted to win both titles and then not wanting to defend both of them. They also didn't like him losing the briefcase but getting to challenge at the Dome anyway. That doesn't bother me as much because it wasn't clean, but at the same time, Gedo never follows up on other dirty finishes, so why should this one be any different?


Personally, on the "win the belt and lose it quickly so you can build to winning it back later" thing, I don't think this formula has really worked that well. It worked a bit for Okada, but he also got to have a longer run with it at first. With Naito, they were able to get away with it because they had this other top belt for him to be involved with, and they don't have that anymore. With Jay White, I think losing the belt to Okada so quickly hurt him, and it could likely do the same for Ibushi, especially because they already spent so long building up to his win. Compare that to Okada, who didn't have the long build the first time, or the Naito, who had had a long build, but underwent a MAJOR character change in between as well.

They also really don't like the current Ospreay character, and found his promo to be ridiculous. (Alan also said that he thinks that there is a sort of distance from the kind of character that Ospreay is trying to portray that makes it less grating for non-European fans.)
idk where they're getting the idea that Ibushi didn't want to defend both titles, that was not the reason for unification at all. Okada was not given the 'losing it to win it later' treatment with the title, but the WK win, they're different stories, and I'd disagree on White, he has only grown since, he's right now the biggest heel in the promotion. It's not an overused story, at least not to the point that it should infuriate any normal human.
With Okada, I think that idea is more being applied in hindsight because it fits the pattern (though I agree with you that I don't think it was the intention at the time), but when the pattern fits for pretty much everyone Gedo has booked to win the title for the first time aside from Omega (I don't think it was the intention with AJ, either, but he fits the pattern of very few defenses before losing to someone else), and when it's the ONLY story Gedo books with the belt for first-time winners, even doing it between five and seven times (depending on whether you want to count Okada, AJ, and/or EVIL) in nine years can still feel overdone.

cero2k wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 14:55 People not liking Ospreay doesn't surprise me at all, something that I can trust it's not just real life biases. I don't see why him being less unpleasant to non-europeans is an issue. First time hearing someone complain because they don't hate someone as much as they want to hate them.
He's actually saying it the other way. He's saying that he doesn't think non-European fans realize just how grating Ospreay's character is to European fans.
cero2k wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 14:55
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 11:28 And I would argue that that is a flaw in his game, as you then either need to have so many titles that they don't mean anything, or you have guys not doing anything. Personal issue feuds are how you keep people (and especially big names) hot when they're not in the title scene.
it is a flaw, it comes when you have such a large roster with so many guys that are top wrestlers. It's not only a Gedo thing though, it's more of a Japanese thing, most companies suffer from the same thing, you're either wrestling for the title, the right to fight for the title, or just in a random midcard match. Another reason why Japan has tournaments all the time. It's actually quite similar to how Mexico relies on teasing luchas de apuestas.
We're just way too accustomed to American style that people try to find whatever excuse to wrestle and not just wrestle because we're wrestlers.
Most other Japanese companies don't have as many damn belts as New Japan has, so their titles don't feel watered down.
I also think that Gedo has dropped the ball on the "just wrestle because we're wrestlers" thing in a few ways:
1. Not making certain matches more explicitly #1 contendership matches. Doing so gives those undercardmatches more meaning. I'd rather see two guys (or teams) rack up wins on Tour 1 and then have a #1 contendership match against for Tour 2 than see guys involved in a bunch of stupid undercard tags for a tour, then one of them who maybe got in the pin in the undercard eight-man tag on the big show of the tour come out and get in the champions' face after the title match.

2. Too many factions
I understand that the tour system of booking is a big thing in Japan and won't change, but I think that combining it with so many factions and with almost everyone in the promotion being in a faction makes things a lot harder to follow. Who wins and who loses gets lost very easily when you're booking a bunch of repetitive undercard tags, going back and forth on which side wins and often relying on these tags to build up multiple matches for the tour's big show. If you book some guys in singles matches over the course of a tour, it's a lot easier to keep track of who is picking up wins.

3. They've completely bastardized the concept of a post-match angle. You've got the same heels hitting the same babyfaces with sh*t after every undercard tag on every night of every tour, or the same guys getting in each other's faces to build their match up, but it doesn't feel like it means anything because there is no real progression or escalation. It's just repeating the same thing or it's opposite every single night. The result is that it feels like Gedo is trying to book a personal issue but has no idea how to do so.

4. The roster is too big. I'm pretty sure New Japan's current roster is a lot bigger than most other Japanese promotions have been pretty much throughout all of Japanese wrestling history. This, in combination with the tour system and the usual M.O. of protecting as many guys as possible results in a situation where the roster feels stratified, but in an odd way, where there are guys who don't usually lose but you also know they're not going anywhere (Kojima, Goto, Fale, Tama Tonga, Makabe, Taichi), so they're really just making the idea of feeling protected not mean as much, ans when you combine that with #2 when it's hard to follow who is picking up wins, it makes it even harder for anyone to stand out as being special if they're not either getting a huge push or putting on ****1/2 matches all the time (which often go hand-in-hand, because it's hard to have ****1/2 matches all the time if you're stuck in undercard tags).


They were also really annoyed by Tenzan using the Mongolian Chops even though he lost the right to use them in a stip, there being a lot of goofy stipulation matches booked, and a few other things.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

User avatar
cero2k
Site Admin
Posts: 20109
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 11:32

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by cero2k » Apr 9th, '21, 23:35

Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 16:58 He's actually saying it the other way. He's saying that he doesn't think non-European fans realize just how grating Ospreay's character is to European fans.
Well, in that case, I'd also say, who cares? I'm sorry to European fans, but they're not exactly the priority to a Japanese company with a focus on breaking into the US. If it all comes down to being because of the Speaking Out thing, then that's a completely different thing
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 16:58 Most other Japanese companies don't have as many damn belts as New Japan has, so their titles don't feel watered down.
I also think that Gedo has dropped the ball on the "just wrestle because we're wrestlers" thing in a few ways:
1. Not making certain matches more explicitly #1 contendership matches. Doing so gives those undercardmatches more meaning. I'd rather see two guys (or teams) rack up wins on Tour 1 and then have a #1 contendership match against for Tour 2 than see guys involved in a bunch of stupid undercard tags for a tour, then one of them who maybe got in the pin in the undercard eight-man tag on the big show of the tour come out and get in the champions' face after the title match.

2. Too many factions
I understand that the tour system of booking is a big thing in Japan and won't change, but I think that combining it with so many factions and with almost everyone in the promotion being in a faction makes things a lot harder to follow. Who wins and who loses gets lost very easily when you're booking a bunch of repetitive undercard tags, going back and forth on which side wins and often relying on these tags to build up multiple matches for the tour's big show. If you book some guys in singles matches over the course of a tour, it's a lot easier to keep track of who is picking up wins.

3. They've completely bastardized the concept of a post-match angle. You've got the same heels hitting the same babyfaces with sh*t after every undercard tag on every night of every tour, or the same guys getting in each other's faces to build their match up, but it doesn't feel like it means anything because there is no real progression or escalation. It's just repeating the same thing or it's opposite every single night. The result is that it feels like Gedo is trying to book a personal issue but has no idea how to do so.

4. The roster is too big. I'm pretty sure New Japan's current roster is a lot bigger than most other Japanese promotions have been pretty much throughout all of Japanese wrestling history. This, in combination with the tour system and the usual M.O. of protecting as many guys as possible results in a situation where the roster feels stratified, but in an odd way, where there are guys who don't usually lose but you also know they're not going anywhere (Kojima, Goto, Fale, Tama Tonga, Makabe, Taichi), so they're really just making the idea of feeling protected not mean as much, ans when you combine that with #2 when it's hard to follow who is picking up wins, it makes it even harder for anyone to stand out as being special if they're not either getting a huge push or putting on ****1/2 matches all the time (which often go hand-in-hand, because it's hard to have ****1/2 matches all the time if you're stuck in undercard tags).


They were also really annoyed by Tenzan using the Mongolian Chops even though he lost the right to use them in a stip, there being a lot of goofy stipulation matches booked, and a few other things.
1. Again, #1 contenders matches are for the most part a US thing, Japan and Mexico rarely have them. They have tournaments and challenges, and by doing so, seeing undercard matches matter, to pay attention to who wins and loses. Both what you suggest and what they do are ok, they just tell different stories.

2. I personally don't like that, I don't see what the problem is when it comes to following on who is getting wins and over who, and with a roster like NJPW, I do prefer that 1v1 matches are "special singles matches" and not just thrown out on a random road to show. Japanese promotions don't follow a show/week calendar, if you start doing singles matches all over the place, they lose the relevancy. Even before I stopped watching WWE, a lot of matches felt less important in PPVs, because I can just watch them on RAW.
I also don't think that 'too many stables' is ever an issue, not here, not AEW, not STARDOM, not anywhere.

3. Calling them 'angles' is a bit out there, a lot of them are just natural faceoffs after a match. Not everything on every show needs to be escalation, a lot of it is just about keeping the fire going. Progression happens at lot in the backstage promos.

4. I disagree with some of this. I do agree that the roster is way to big, I don't like it anymore when they bring in people like Mikey Nicolls for instance, and in a way, the pandemic has helped. But again, I don't think that it's hard to understand who are the guys on top, who are next in line, or who is doing what, IF you follow the promotion, not just jump in and out for the big shows. Just because Makabe doesn't get pinned in tag matches, we can all see that he's not being built to chase a title, by seeing who he pins, if he is even the one getting the pin, his backstage promo, how many matches he's being part off, etc.

Everyone is annoyed by Tenzan, that's nothing new, his argument that he's using a 'new' and different chop is dumb, but honestly, who gives a fuck about Tenzan, he's a New Japan dad. 'Goofy' stipulations are only for the KOPW trophy and it's all Yano, anyone getting offended by Yano's comedy needs to go out for a walk. It's the usual complains for the workrate fans.
Image

User avatar
Big Red Machine
Posts: 25581
Joined: Dec 16th, '10, 15:12

Re: Cero Reviews NJPW Sakura Genesis 2021

Post by Big Red Machine » Apr 10th, '21, 20:43

cero2k wrote: Apr 9th, '21, 23:35
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 16:58 He's actually saying it the other way. He's saying that he doesn't think non-European fans realize just how grating Ospreay's character is to European fans.
Well, in that case, I'd also say, who cares? I'm sorry to European fans, but they're not exactly the priority to a Japanese company with a focus on breaking into the US. If it all comes down to being because of the Speaking Out thing, then that's a completely different thing
To be clear, he wasn't blaming Ospreay or NJPW for this. He was just explaining why he (and, apparently, other Europeans) find the character more grating than fans in other parts of the world seem to.
Big Red Machine wrote: Apr 8th, '21, 16:58 Most other Japanese companies don't have as many damn belts as New Japan has, so their titles don't feel watered down.
I also think that Gedo has dropped the ball on the "just wrestle because we're wrestlers" thing in a few ways:
1. Not making certain matches more explicitly #1 contendership matches. Doing so gives those undercardmatches more meaning. I'd rather see two guys (or teams) rack up wins on Tour 1 and then have a #1 contendership match against for Tour 2 than see guys involved in a bunch of stupid undercard tags for a tour, then one of them who maybe got in the pin in the undercard eight-man tag on the big show of the tour come out and get in the champions' face after the title match.

2. Too many factions
I understand that the tour system of booking is a big thing in Japan and won't change, but I think that combining it with so many factions and with almost everyone in the promotion being in a faction makes things a lot harder to follow. Who wins and who loses gets lost very easily when you're booking a bunch of repetitive undercard tags, going back and forth on which side wins and often relying on these tags to build up multiple matches for the tour's big show. If you book some guys in singles matches over the course of a tour, it's a lot easier to keep track of who is picking up wins.

3. They've completely bastardized the concept of a post-match angle. You've got the same heels hitting the same babyfaces with sh*t after every undercard tag on every night of every tour, or the same guys getting in each other's faces to build their match up, but it doesn't feel like it means anything because there is no real progression or escalation. It's just repeating the same thing or it's opposite every single night. The result is that it feels like Gedo is trying to book a personal issue but has no idea how to do so.

4. The roster is too big. I'm pretty sure New Japan's current roster is a lot bigger than most other Japanese promotions have been pretty much throughout all of Japanese wrestling history. This, in combination with the tour system and the usual M.O. of protecting as many guys as possible results in a situation where the roster feels stratified, but in an odd way, where there are guys who don't usually lose but you also know they're not going anywhere (Kojima, Goto, Fale, Tama Tonga, Makabe, Taichi), so they're really just making the idea of feeling protected not mean as much, ans when you combine that with #2 when it's hard to follow who is picking up wins, it makes it even harder for anyone to stand out as being special if they're not either getting a huge push or putting on ****1/2 matches all the time (which often go hand-in-hand, because it's hard to have ****1/2 matches all the time if you're stuck in undercard tags).


They were also really annoyed by Tenzan using the Mongolian Chops even though he lost the right to use them in a stip, there being a lot of goofy stipulation matches booked, and a few other things.
1. Again, #1 contenders matches are for the most part a US thing, Japan and Mexico rarely have them. They have tournaments and challenges, and by doing so, seeing undercard matches matter, to pay attention to who wins and loses. Both what you suggest and what they do are ok, they just tell different stories.
And what I'm saying is that it's best to mix it up. And with the way New Japan has shifted their booking away from one big show at the end of the tour in favor of spreading out the big matches over multiple shows, I think occasionally doing a #1 contednership match between two guys you've been building up can make the final show of the tour feel a little bigger the two or three times a year where you do it.


2. I personally don't like that, I don't see what the problem is when it comes to following on who is getting wins and over who,
You can really remember who got the pin and who took the fall for every Road to... show of a tour?
and with a roster like NJPW, I do prefer that 1v1 matches are "special singles matches" and not just thrown out on a random road to show. Japanese promotions don't follow a show/week calendar, if you start doing singles matches all over the place, they lose the relevancy. Even before I stopped watching WWE, a lot of matches felt less important in PPVs, because I can just watch them on RAW.
I also don't think that 'too many stables' is ever an issue, not here, not AEW, not STARDOM, not anywhere.

3. Calling them 'angles' is a bit out there, a lot of them are just natural faceoffs after a match. Not everything on every show needs to be escalation, a lot of it is just about keeping the fire going. Progression happens at lot in the backstage promos.

You're misdiagnosing the issue. With WWE it wasn't that they had too many singles matches; it was that they were doing too many matches where the people who are going to wrestle on the PPV are facing each other on TV before the PPV, so the PPV match didn't feel special by the time it came around. And I feel like the way the Road to... shows are booked creates a similar issue. BY the time the big matches come around, I've already seen the wrestlers in question face off a bunch of times in the preceding week and do their spots together.

Those things after the matches absolutely are angles. An angle is merely the thing you do to get people to see the big match, even if it's as simple as a post-match stare-down. Yes, not everything has to progress on every show, but stagnation is bad, too, and any sort of angle to "keep the fire burning" needs to not feel stagnant. New Japan utterly fails at this because they do the same things all the time. It's always either a big stare-down or a post-match attack, and to do a post-match attack every night that doesn't make the babyfaces any angrier the next night just waters the concept down, and doing a stare-down to build up the big match on every singles show for a week feels like a put-on.

You say that NJPW doesn't work on a show/week calendar, but they still do operate on a PPV cycle, and the "Road to..." shows serve the same function as a weekly TV show. The problem is that in Japan, TV was always used to show replays of matches from recent big shows, so the "Road to..." (or whatever else the companies were in question were calling them- in All Japan and NOAH they were just "TOUR NAME NIGHT X") shows were house shows. And that's exactly how Gedo books most of what happens on them: Suzuki-Gun post-match attack around the whole loop. Okada and Naito have a stare-down the whole way around the loop. Except now these "house shows" are 1) getting broadcast on New Japan World and 2) getting big matches as headliners, so the idea that one just shouldn't watch them (which is already weird to a North American fan or European fan) doesn't even work anymore.

I'm not saying that they should give away the big singles matches on "Road to..." shows. I'm saying that you should book some singles matches to give the person you're pushing for a title shot some actual singles wins- even if they're against lower-level people- before he gets a singles title shot.







4. I disagree with some of this. I do agree that the roster is way to big, I don't like it anymore when they bring in people like Mikey Nicolls for instance, and in a way, the pandemic has helped. But again, I don't think that it's hard to understand who are the guys on top, who are next in line, or who is doing what, IF you follow the promotion, not just jump in and out for the big shows. Just because Makabe doesn't get pinned in tag matches, we can all see that he's not being built to chase a title, by seeing who he pins, if he is even the one getting the pin, his backstage promo, how many matches he's being part off, etc.
The TOP guys, yes, but that's not because of them being protected. It's because they're pretty much the only people who ever get singles matches outside of the G1. And I disagree about the "seeing who he pins" part. 99% of the time, the guy taking the fall is the stable's designated jobber. If Makabe is getting pushed and beating LIJ every night of a tour, he's not pinning Sanada seven times. He's pinning Sanada once and the other six he's pinning BUSHI.


Everyone is annoyed by Tenzan, that's nothing new, his argument that he's using a 'new' and different chop is dumb, but honestly, who gives a fuck about Tenzan, he's a New Japan dad. 'Goofy' stipulations are only for the KOPW trophy and it's all Yano, anyone getting offended by Yano's comedy needs to go out for a walk. It's the usual complains for the workrate fans.
The point is if people are only going to be annoyed by the Tenzan thing, why did Gedo do it in the first place. How could he possibly think that not having someone (and especially a babyface) live up to a stipulation was not going to be a TERRIBLE idea?
It wasn't the Yano stuff that bothered them so much as the chops stip and Iron Fingers on a Pole/Ladder whatever.


[/quote]
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests