NJPW Gimmick Matches

Newish to the product but I was wondering why NJPW rarely use gimmick matches? I know that they have had the odd ladder match, No DQ, Gauntlet match here and there.

Let’s face it, The Suzuki VS Goto match from Wrestle Kingdom 12 was easily set up to be in a Cage considering all the outside interference during previous matches.

Also the JR Heavyweight and JR Heavyweight Tag Team Championships being defended in a Ladder Match would be awesome and could headline a smaller show.

Wouldn’t an overabundance of gimmick matches turn them into WWE lite? They sell themselves on their in ring product. …best thing they ever done was not follow trends and stayed true to their product.

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Less is more, my man.

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Honestly their in-ring is so good and so hard hitting and the contrast in styles between tags and Jrs and Main Events is so that I don’t feel bored with the same straight one-fall (ONE FALL) matches. I ccant imagine watching the same structured WWE matches without varietyz

Based off what I seen at Wrestle kingdom…there’s no rules, you push refs around and use chairs all willy-nilly

Disclosure: Wrestle Kingdom was maybe my second or third full NJPW show ever. So I absolutely do not know what I’m talking about specifically.

So, the whole thing about cage matches kinda reminds me of like, territory-style booking with gimmick matches. You’d have a match, someone would interfere. You’d ban them from ringside and sometimes that feud would just end up blowing off right there. But sometimes it wouldn’t, and you’d move onto some other sort of light-touch enforcement. You’d have an escalation of force, slowly, and only occasionally would a feud be so unstoppable that you needed a physical barrier to stop people from getting in. Then, inevitably, that wouldn’t stop people from getting in and there’d be some OTHER thing like a hell in a cell or a lumberjack or SOMETHING who knows. Escalation wasn’t the norm like it somewhat is in WWE.

Also, it seems to me like NJPW treats itself like a real sport, or at least much closer to it than anything else. And like, Rizin doesn’t just decide that two fighters need a cage arbitrarily, UFC doesn’t put people in a traditional ring for a gimmick match, it’s just not needed. If you need to stop interference, you do it as a person with administrative control over your contracted employees and not through a physical structure people could just climb anyway.

Again, I don’t actually know what I’m talking about. Just a little observation really.

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If its a no DQ match…

Oh my bad, I wasn’t aware Suzuki/Goto and that Archer/Smith vs Evil/other guy were also no DQ…I didn’t hear the announce team explain that.

While NJPW has the occasional gimmick match, they pride themselves on their in-ring ability, and only use gimmick matches during major feuds. .

Also to be honest I think the last think we need is another promotion full of wacky gimmick matches, or gimmick matches only because it’s that time on the year again.

I don’t miss Gimmick matches at all, BUT I do get annoyed when there is a stipulation like the one from the Suzuki vs. Goto match, where Suzuki-gun was banned from ringside and they do it anyway. I guess it’s more of a pride thing/handshake deal than a rule, but since Suzuki is a dick, he doesn’t care.

When NJPW does Gimmick matches they mostly deliver and they have a special vibe. The ladder match between Omega and Elgin two years ago was pretty awesome and so was the Omega vs. Jericho No DQ stipulation. On the other hand the lumberjack death match between Suzuki and Goto was… meh…

yea I think with suzuki gun, old bullet club (they are much more babyfaced now) and KES they just don’t care. Thats sort of the way heels are usually presented in New Japan. Also its often said that the refs in New Japan hate stopping matches because it robs the fans. And thinking about it I can’t recall the last DQ match I saw in New Japan. Was there one during the G1? I think there was a deeply stupid DQ angle ie one match…but its pretty rare. And I think thats all part of the idea of New Japan having a more realistic feel. WWE loves those anger inducing DQ angles because it builds cheap heat. New Japan usually does it the old fashioned way with ring work or with simple stuff like beating up young lions.

Right, refs don’t want to rob the fans and they don’t want to be the focus point of the match. I don’t have a problem with DQs in general, since touching a ref would disqualify you in any real sport, but in WWE it’s so overdone, it’s become an easy tool to get heat. The problem is that the heat isn’t on the wrestler, but on WWE which is just stupid.

I’m not gonna pretend I know something about the fans and their mentality, but you don’t here them chanting (in Japanese of course) “Fuck you, Minoru, fuck you” or “Let’s go Naito - Naito sucks” (unless it’s Taichi), so what would be the point of getting heat on them anyway? The fans are there to see the best wrestling in the world and aren’t there to shit on the villains (or THE villain).

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One would think roughing up a ref and young boys is designed for heat.

If the ref is this useless…why even have one? Have an electronic voice count it if they’re not there for any authority.

The bare bones of wrestling psychology is based around getting heat on the heel. Sure, the fans cheer who they like but there is still a heel/face dynamic going on in most matches. Just because there’s no dueling chants doesn’t mean there is no heat.

The ref is very lenient. NJPW is presented as a sport, and in a real sport you will rarely see a whole match/game thrown out due to a ref deciding to disqualify someone. The ref has limits though; you bend or break the rules too much and he will DQ you, but he isn’t going to end a match just because Wrestler A pushed him around a little or held the ropes a little too long. It actually makes legit DQ’s abnormal, so when they do happen there is a heavy sense of chaos, confusion and anger, which adds more fuel to the fire.

Again lads, less is more.

Of course there has to be a face/heel dynamic, these are the building blocks of wrestling. Japanese fans were always far calmer than other fans, especially during MMA fights were you could here a pin drop, they are more observers than fans that chant all the time. So this maybe a reason, why the heat doesn’t come across that well, since it doesn’t seem like the fans dislike anyone from Suzuki-gun besides Taichi (and who likes Taichi anyway?) and even Archer spilling water into the crowd caused more laughter than anger.

I do notice that beating up the young lions does generate heat with the fans. But beyond that chairs and other stuff is not regarded as a big deal. Spitting (as Naito tends to do) is a no no, and attacking a prone or defenseless opponent, or not having a clean break will get instant boos (even for the faces). I have noticed in my time of watching puroresu that in general the heel/face dynamic is more fluid. There are heels and faces but the crowd will DEFINITELY boo you if they don’t like how you are behaving in the ring, face or not. A great example is the BOSJ final with kushida and ospreay. Kushida did the double wristlock curb stomp and the crowd was furious.

Its really interesting how different the fans are there and I think it speaks to a general cultural difference. Respect is obviously huge but also being “loud” in Japan is generally frowned upon (as in like on the street or in the subway) so when the fans are going nuts for a match it speaks to how hot they are for it.

Pretty sure you touch a ref in any sport…you’re gone from the game and fined and suspended.

Not buying this leniency crap…

The ref isn’t going to end a game because he got roughed up. You literally do not have a point.

Yeah I’m sure any ref in a boxing, kick boxing match or even an MMA fight haven’t stopped a fight due to DQ over being hit…oh wait.

I’m sure the fans were very pleased with those DQ decisions.