The NJPW Thread


Ospreay’s reversal of the Rainmaker into a jumping lyger bomb may be the greatest thing I’ve seen in a long long time. As is typical for the anniversary show, absolutely incredible main event. It also makes you wonder how many potential incredible matches never happen due to “weight class”.

Also, when did Taichi become Toshiaki Kawada? I always assumed he was a bad wrestler. It turns out he’s a good wrestler who just almost never works a good match despite his talent, not sure which is more offensive.


I did not see anything remotely “good” or a display of “talent” from Taichi in that match. He sucked, just as I always thought, just as I expected he would in this match. Naito worked his ass off to make it look like a half decent match.


I understand and sympathize with your hatred of the Taichi (I hate him myself) but lets be honest here. There was a good 5 minute stretch of offense in the middle of that match where he actually looked like a competent wrestler, including a Dangerous Backdrop which would have made Kawada proud.


Yeah, Taichi was much less offensive in this match. Still not someone I want to watch though.


I want him to be good, Taichi reminds me of an character I’d see in a manga or anime that I could see myself liking. Brooding, a bit mysterious a Phantom of the Opera vibe with great Japanese flair. His gimmick has the foundation to be quite heelish on its own. His spots need work, he is kind of boring to watch and needs to be able to carry a match on his own to get any following behind him.

Use the mic stand instead of the damn ring bell mallet - choose pants of trunks the tear away idea doesn’t really do anything.

I really think they need to elevate someone on Suzuki-Gun to a second, because all of them feel like henchmen to me right now.


Man what a match. The self contained story is something I haven’t seen in a long, long time. Match of the year contender.


I cried at one point it was so beautiful. And it wasn’t perfect by any means. Many missed spots but the story telling and passion these guys clearly poured into it was something beyond the normal great wrestling match. It had emotion. It had moments. It had heart. Wow


Anyone else think Suzuki had to keep his face covered to avoid smiling on camera when the crowd erupted for Kaze Ni Nare? He clearly was feeling it as he was motioning with his hands right before the chorus

Also in watching this back a few times (it’s awesome!) I realized he enters with both belts and he and ZSJ hold tag belts in Rev Pro…I do not recall this being mentioned on the English commentary which baffles me. I may be completely wrong(somebody correct me if I am) but one of the appeals of guys in NJPW is they travel the world and wrestling for the top international promotions and to not highlight that is a fail in getting these guys over to the home viewer.

KAZE NI NARE! is one of the many reasons considering San Fran in July.


I wonder if any of the Japanese talent expected to get the reception they did. Suzuki seemed to be covering himself up a bit more than usual, and even played to the crowd prior to the eruption at his song’s hook, he wanted to get the biggest pop he could.

He seemed to be having fun during that match too and it showed, his back and forth with Ichii and him laughing at him in this sinister way was evidence to me that he was just as over with the crowd at Long Beach as they were with him.

Yano as well, there is a point where they cut to him half way up the ramp as the fans encourage him to go back to the ring and fight and he seems genuinely surprised.

Even Naito walking down the entrance I don’t think expected the thunderous applause that he got. Maybe it was just me, but there were times that I thought “This crowd could stand toe to toe with WWE crowds that are 5x its size.”


Card for Sakura Genesis is out.

Interesting card. The top 3 matches on the card all look to be very good. The three way tag title match could be a sleeper as well.


I noted on twitter that it looks like Will’s leg/foot caught on the top rope when he kicked off from the second rope. I’m guessing just that small mistake resulted in that horrible botch. Just shows how little margin for error there is with some of these moves. Its interesting because that resulting botch is what I was worried was gonna happen to Hangman Page in that botch during the match in long beach. It was inches away from being a similar injury.

As far as the title picture goes. I still think they have Okada beat Tanahashi at Dontaku to set up a match between Kenny and Okada at Dominion and this is where Okada finally loses the belt. I feel like putting it on Naito is to easy. And putting it on Kenny does right by him and sets up a Wrestle Kingdom match up between your two biggest draws, Naito and Omega. Leading to (hopefully) a Naito win.


I dont know…doing Naito & Omega at Wrestle Kingdom for the title, kind of seems like its out of left field. We’ve got 2 stories going on, that should both culminate at Wrestle Kingdom, those being Naito finally beating Okada there and finishing Omega/Ibushi. I cant see anything other than building to Omega & Ibushi at WK.


I agree on both fronts. Though I think it’d be awesome at WK if Naito s champion and Okada is challenger maybe even g1 winner so roles are reversed


I just don’t see them doing Okada vs Naito two years in a row. Naito sure, he’s the most over guy in the company. But I feel like someone has to take the belt from Okada for that WK title match. And I can’t think of anyone else except Omega.

The only way I think you can do that (Naito vs Okada at WK) is if its Naito already champ and Okada winning the G1 to challenge. But the timeline doesn’t seem to line up for that to happen.


I just started watching NJPW after WK12. I picked up an NJPW World subscription and don’t regret it for a moment.

One thing I have found puzzling lately is the ref psychology in some of the matches. I really liked the Golden Lovers vs. Cody & Page match from Sakura Genesis but at some points I couldn’t help but think, “Is Red Shoes an ECW ref?” He’d admonish the use of a closed fist but double-teams could go on for minutes at a time and he’d just stand there. NJPW seems to be so good at attention to detail that it strikes me as odd that, if they wanted a match full of bedlam and mayhem, they didn’t announce the match as tornado rules and/or no DQ. I realize I’m nit-picking but, personally, it’s little logic gaps like this that take me out of matches.


Closed fist is verboten in japan (thats why you may notice the fans boo when the closed fist is used). Not just in NJPW but in alot of Japanese promotions. Its a cultural thing. They also are far less likely to do wierdly booked finishes like DQ and countouts. They almost never happen. Occasionally one will pop up. But most of these things you are picking up on are the general cultural differences. Its more glaring in New Japan than in say NOAH or All Japan because in New Japan they have a little more story and character moments where NOAH and AJPW are more pure wrestling with less focus on character development and story. So as a result there isn’t often rampant heel tactics like you see out of Suzuki Gun. I think thats the biggest area where I see the ref issue as being wierd, with a really heelish stable like Suzuki Gun to have that laid back approach to the DQ’s sorta undermines the general serious tone of the brand. At the same time I freakin love MInoru Suzuki…so I don’t really have an answer.


Anybody watching todays show? The main event should be great.


For those that missed it and are in Florida, New Japan is running a house show in conjunction with CEO (the fighting game convention). Alot of great talent from new japan is gonna be wrestling there (plus for some reason Jeff Cobb). No card announced yet but the tickets are cheap. Not sure how big the arena is. Tickets are on sale now.

Edited to add: The arena is huge. 8400 plus seats. So with the fact that NJPW has not really publicized this event at all, a sell out is very unlikely. Its only a 2 hour show, so there probably won’t be a 5 star classic on this card, but for those of us on the east coast its a chance to see guys like Naito and Kota that otherwise probably won’t happen anytime soon.


Is there any BoSJ hype on this board? I can see some crazy matchups I’m looking forward to


Right from the off, Ospreay and Ishimori will be tremendous.