The NJPW Thread


#62

What’s Jericho’s schedule like, is it possible he interferes in Naito’s match? I see Sanada pulling the upset.


#63

I only watched the singles match from Osaka but I went away very happy with what I got. Ospreay/Takahashi was easily match of the night for me but Okada/SANANDA was really good too.


#64

I highly recommend checking out the half hour “The Golden Comeback” vid which was just posted on NJPW World. Kenny and Ibushi tentatively practicing and talking about getting back in the ring together, with plenty of subtle character work regarding their history, what’s changed, what hasn’t, and how this all relates (or doesn’t) to Bullet Club.


#65

This mini-doc was fabulous. I really enjoyed how they kept character and threaded that thin line of real and not. As always, it’s when Wresting in its best and the story being told by Omega, the Bucks, Ibushi, Cody, and we’ll see who else has really be incredible scripting. Both by NJPW and Being The Elites show. I totally forgot this but saw it in another clip recently, after Omega loses the G1 final to naito, Ibushi meets him backstage. Watching this again, and the Bucks involvement in the clip, it’s really great how this has been a story carefully crafted since last summer. Who knows, year(s)?


#66

I attended the NJPW Melbourne show last night and if I had the cash or time off work I’d be going to Sydney & Perth as well.

So I posted my extended thoughts and match results over on the NJPW Aus thread for anyone interested in results. NJPW Aus - Night 2 Melbourne


#67

The Golden Lovers are the hottest thing in wrestling right now. Easily.


#68

Someone on Twitter wrote a few days ago a series of Tweets sharing the history of the Golden Lovers and how it came to be and I must say that this is the best piece of compelling storytelling I’ve ever read when it comes to a pro wrestling angle. So many layers through the whole thing. It can make anyone invested into their story.


#69

I posted the link to the tweet thread as well in the Golden Lovers discussion and also John did in a news update.
When you consider these two (who I think we presume are super close in real life, as friends or more) were not seen together in public for the entire separation of the Golden Lovers you begin to realize what Kenny refers to about viewing wrestling differently than others (and the same as each other). Ditto the Young Bucks - the way they’ve handled social media and appearances since the Cody/Kenny angle started makes you realize the attention to detail and care for their craft. Every little thing makes the matches come alive that much more. The mini-doc on World made the return matches this weekend so much extra because we saw them discussing moves, we saw them talking about team rust. The attention to craft is second to none. And that amazes me more and more the further this goes.


#70

I’m so sad. My timing with my Japan trip is miserable, I just miss a bunch of shows.

I was hoping I could catch a NJPW show when I was in Tokyo, but when I get there, they’re doing Strong Style Evolved.

And when they return to do Sakura Genesis, I’m gonna be in Hiroshima and leaving to South Korea.

I have the opportunity to go see DDT’s Judgement 2018, but I don’t think my girlfriend can handle five hours of wrestling


#71

I have mixed feeling about the current NJPW storylines. I had to really deep dive like I was some journalist to find out the back story of The Golden Lovers, luckily someone linked a Twitter thread that was far more useful but became rather political so I had to stop reading it.

They have chemistry, but it takes two of the most exciting singles competitors and puts them in a tag division that at least as far as NJPW has their fair share of solid talent. Evil and Sanata, KES, GoD to name a few then throw in the Bucks and the Golden Lovers and sure it seems fun but then it pulls all of the momentum out of Omega’s push for the IWGP World Heavyweight Title.

This also I feel hurts Bullet Club as The Elite and Kota are getting a lot of the push. I could argue the pros and cons either way but Bullet Club is a huge faction right now with mainstream worldwide appeal and it is been put on the bench for an internal conflict that while cool takes away from what makes Bullet Club as cool as it is.

I think Kenny Omega comes off as a bit of a dick here, he essentially turned his back on the faction he was leading and his friends for Kota, if my understanding of the Lovers is correct I can see why, but it makes Kenny a rather undesirable and rather selfish friend.

I feel most for Matt, Nick and Marty in all of this, they seem to be the guys caught in the middle while the Tongans simply are like “We couldn’t care less about this drama, we are still a group of badass dudes”

It is interesting and I want to see the conclusion but it is interesting that Kenny did something I perceive as rather heelish to his team and is getting away with it and seems pretty much unaffected by the pain he has caused for his friends.

Cody on the other hand, has to be the most pure heel in pro wrestling today and I love it. He is just a scumbag, working his own “friends” up, getting them angry and manipulating them for his own ends. The more I see of Cody the more I am into his brand heel. He is walking a fine line between cartoon villain and legit sociopath, and I couldn’t be more interested.


#72

Political how? A gay guy praising a couple of dudes who might be in a gay relationship made you stop reading?


#73

The comments if you veered out if the main thread got to be much. Stick to just the main thread and it’s not political.

Cody is the best heel in the business right now and if you look back at the last few months of BTE this has been simmering for a while.-'other reason I’m infatuatied with how they have worked all the platforms together (remember when he paid Flip to gag Kenny then has acted like he has hated Flip! - evil genius!)


#74

No, I am not that familiar with Twitter, I never had an account outside of work and I only used that for a week like three years ago. I kept going after the main story was told by the original poster and what I saw got to be political ideology. I guess I was hoping if I read further I would learn more from fans in the know and it just didn’t go that way.


#75

Incredible video detailing the history between Omega and Ibushi.

All this guy’s vids are great. His video on NJPW production is especially fantastic.


#76

In what way?

Don’t get me wrong, as leader of the Bullet Club Kenny did some dickish things but I see nothing he did after losing the US title as heelish, and if we go back to New Years Dash all he did there was protect Kota from an aftermatch beatdown from Cody - he specifically requested Rhodes leave Ibushi alone but never once got involved before Cody decided to take a chair to a prone and restrained Kota.

Omega has been slowburning a faceturn for months and by the time we got to Jay White’s victory over him at New Beginning it absolutely made sense that Kenny would want to show the man that defeated him respect (especially when he was beaten by his own arrogance as much as anything else in that match) so while Cody saw Omega “stealing” Hangman’s moment, what Kenny was actually doing was giving White his - White just beat one of the most renowned pro-wrestlers on the planet against all the odds, he deserved to celebrate and bask in his own glory, without having a jumped up Page get in his face. As Bullet Club’s leader, Kenny expected that Page would fall in line, rightfully so - but he didn’t and Cody took the opportunity to strike; an opportunity he’d been looking for over a number of months, dating all the way back to the Dominion show last year and perhaps even earlier than that.

Kenny was attacked by his own faction because they are heels and he dared to be a face and he’s sided with Kota, not because he values Kota over them (though the history between them certainly helps) but because he doesn’t know who he can trust in Bullet Club and specifically within the Being the Elite Cast from Bullet Club; Cody and Page have very clearly turned their backs on him and will take every opportunity to undermine and injure him, but Scurll and the Bucks both walked away or didn’t actively stop the attack on him, while Ibushi did. For now, Ibushi is the only person he knows he can trust to have his back.

The BCOG’s have remained neutral so far and I feel like Owen’s inclusion at Honor Rising may signal that he, the Tongan’s and the Tokyo Pimp are a little more inclined towards Kenny, however Tama’s had issues with Kenny’s leadership in the past and he’s been vocal about his own desire to lead the group - it depends on whether Kenny is looking to stay the Bullet Club’s top dog or if he’s just more interested in stopping Cody’s potential reign of terror which way that shakes out; Omega’s beaten Tama in the past, so Tama may see Cody as the easier pickings once the dust settles and side with him for the time being.

TL;DR - Kenny’s a babyface partnered with super-babyface Kota Ibushi, he’s not done anything dickish to anyone in the Bullet Club that wasn’t either deserved or by accident and he certainly didn’t turn his back on them; they turned their backs on him.


#77

While I agree with much of what you said, I respectfully disagree on the portion where he has not done anything dickish to BC members.

  1. His priority should have been to BC as the leader, when he put his personal interests ahead of the club I’d say it was dickish, it shows Kenny is flawed though and I appreciate that.

  2. Most of the members of The Elite were pretty torn with exception to Hangman about whom they support. Nick, Matt and Marty kept trying to be apolitical but the only one who ever seems to extend an olive branch was Cody (albeit in what looks to be a manipulative way)

  • Kenny did try to reconcile with the Bucks but it was pretty clear that Marty looked to him as leader and he didn’t do anything to help the guy.
  1. Kenny in his excitement proclaimed to the fans that the Lovers are the best tag team. Intentional or not this is a slight to Matt and Nick who had his back during the last year easily always in his corner and this is inconsiderate.

I am not saying a babyface has to be purely virtuous boy scout that does nothing wrong, I feel like he is more akin to a comic book character now. A good guy with flaws, but because of these mistakes I am not cemented as Team Kenny.


#78

He’s not been outright antagonizing to the BC (really just the BTE cast) but he’s also been portrayed as not realizing he’s doing things to offend his group.

Meanwhile Cody who has been shown to try to get in the graves of his guys has clearly been portrayed to do so in a manipulative way.

The beauty of the BTE portion of the story is you clearly see the contrast of the two. And at the same time, there’s been moments where Kenny is the one being insulted - the Cast Away print bit and the vlogs he’s sent not being included in the episodes. It’s really remarkable how all these things are presented in a campy way that’s produced a captivating story. Wrestling storylines at its best


#79

I think the important distinction here (as @MJfromNJ pointed out) is that Kenny is not intending to cause a rift between him and his Bullet Club cohorts, while Cody is very obviously - from our perspective, if not theirs - manipulating and pushing a wedge between Kenny and the group.

I’m really not sure when, since the Golden Lovers reunion, or even since the G1, that Kenny ever put his own interests ahead of the groups in any noticeable but I will say that points one and two on your list are connected and I feel like he’s totally justified in his distancing from the group that turned on him. He and Kota clearly spoke with the Bucks but he hasn’t approached Marty because, from his perspective, Marty was there during Cody’s attack and while Marty was clearly conflicted about the incident, the fact that he is conflicted speaks a lot to how much Kenny may or may not be able to trust a man nicknamed “The Villain”. Kenny is in self-preservation mode and I think that’s understandable when people you think you can trust try and take a chair to your face.


#80

Has anyone tried to enter John and WH Park’s NJ Cup contest? I clicked on link to enter brackets and it took me to Cup Wiki page. if any success with this, please let a brother know!


#81

I just typed out my picks and sent it to them. I’m not sure if there is actually a bracket page. Think its just meant to be a wiki, to show the matches.