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Thread: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

  1. #41
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    NJPW Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    No worries about liking SANADA, MC. I really like that you watch so much stuff & loved your NOAH reviews. It's not just you that likes SANADA, but to me I just don't see anything in him as a star, and as a wrestler he seems forever stuck in 2nd gear even in his big opportunities. I don't hate him or anything though. If there's one caveat I would say I'd like to see him outside of LIJ gimmick & see what he does.

    I think the top 3 matches of this tournament don't have the buzz of the Dome matches because of the lack of stakes but in end of the year MOTY I think they all hold up favorably as poor matches and a single elimination tournament with 3 matches at ****1/2 & 2 more at **** is a pretty damn awesome outing imo. I would have had Tana win to save the record for himself as it's more dramatic than a tie imo but am happy Zack is getting the title shot. I loved the final & thought it was by far their best match together.

    Top 5 matches:

    Ibushi/YOSHI-HASHI
    Ibushi/ZSJ
    Tana/ZSJ
    Naito/ZSJ
    Tana/Juice
    Angels in Flight~



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  2. #42
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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by RainShaker View Post
    Looking forward to Sakura Genesis and Strong Style Evolved.
    I totally forgot until today that Strong Style Evolved is this weekend. Cannot believe they haven't announced more for that show yet.

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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I totally forgot until today that Strong Style Evolved is this weekend. Cannot believe they haven't announced more for that show yet.
    Probably because they know the Bullet Club chucklefucks will buy them all no questions asked Tickets, that is.


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  4. #44
    Sky Blue Hyper Technican

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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I totally forgot until today that Strong Style Evolved is this weekend. Cannot believe they haven't announced more for that show yet.
    With it sold out before ANY matches announced, they can put anyone on the card.


    Wasn't there rumors of New Japan planning a second US show later in July? They could be saving some big matches for that show, if true.
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    Milano Forever!

  5. #45
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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    I've been way behind on the NJ Cup but I'm playing catch up, and only watching tourney matches for now. So far I really liked ZSJ/Naito, YH/Kota, and Ishii/Elgin. In regards to Sanada, I like him but he's not my favorite from LiJ. I like them all but if I were to pick a favorite besides the obvious Naito or Hiromu I'd go Bushi, EVIL, and then Sanada.
    Rest in power, Flock U

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    Stop the hating of the E-Feds. If you don't like something, that's fine, just ignore it and let the people who do enjoy what they're here on WC to do. Mocking them to make you feel less of a geek for being on a geek on a wrestling forum is lame. If you want to not read their posts, I can fix that for you.

  6. #46
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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    With it sold out before ANY matches announced, they can put anyone on the card.
    But the show isn't about just selling tickets for a one night show. It's about making an impression, striking while the iron is hot and taking advantage of the interest in the company that America had for WK12. To put on a show that looks like a 'road to' show where all your heavy hitters are in tag team matches (Golden Lovers is a special one I'll grand you) doesn't feel like they're taking advantage and might discourage some fans from attending the next US tour if this is the thanks they get for their support.

  7. #47
    Tranquilo, Cabron
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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Agreed with JT on Finlay on commentary, the guy is the total package! I'm totally leading the Finlay train, so underrated.
    Until I heard him on commentary I just thought of him as another face in the crowd, not bad, not great, no real gimmick to him and nothing that stood out about his in-ring game... Now I feel like I can relate to him more. He really managed to walk the line of a talent on commentary, never putting himself over too hard and always making it about the guys in the ring and he genuinely educated me about stuff, like why Fale attacks the ring announcers and how Kota might be feeling about his tentative alliance with certain members of the Bullet Club thanks to his connection to Kenny. I like his match with Jay White but other than that, Finlay was an afterthought for me. Now, I'm going out of my way to check out his tags because I have more of an idea of who he is...

    Really, it's a testament to how much a little mic-time can do for a guy when he's just being genuine with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    Match rankings - Best to Worst

    Sanada vs Zack Sabre Jr ****½ - 18/03

    Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr ****½ - 15/03

    Kota Ibushi vs YOSHI-HASHI ****¼ - 11/03

    Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito **** - 11/03

    Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Juice Robinson - **** 16/03
    You totally put SANADA at the top to annoy people didn't you.

    I'm with you on SANADA though. Your love for Taichi will forever baffle me, but I dig me some SANADA action. I'm not as high on him as you are; I would say that his match was Sabre's least excellent of the tournament but it was still a very good match in my eyes. I think he has all the tools in his arsenal, he's just gotta find a way to put it all together right - he's got the look, he's got the in-ring work, he just needs to be able to convey emotion more and I think he'll have it nailed down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    If there's one caveat I would say I'd like to see him outside of LIJ gimmick & see what he does.
    I was going to say that I thought LIJ was protecting him because he can be as blase as he wants without it looking out of place but from another perspective, maybe he's not getting to the opportunity to show the emotion we all want from him because he's too caught up in the Ingobernables way of thinking? That's something to ponder...

    Maybe he leaves the group and YOSHI-HASHI can join them; he already looks bored all the time anyway and at least that way he could have a cool new outfit and hair-do.

    I went into this tournament thinking that New Japan were cooling off with Zack Sabre Jr. I hadn't seen him in anything particularly meaningful for a long-ass time and with him turning back up in PROGRESS again more often, it felt like maybe he was moving away from the company... I got my ass worked, brother. Zacky Boy smashed it out of the park. He went from being the guy I was expecting to go out second round, to being the guy that, going into the final I was seriously considering had a chance to win - even over my pick from the very beginning. That final match was, fittingly (for me, at least) the best match of the tournament and ZSJ had plenty of other great matches too; him vs. Ibushi would be my pick for second best match of the tournament. Really proud of Zack winning and really, REALLY looking forward to the Okada match.

    Also TAKA as Sabre's Gedo has been fucking great!

    This tournament also turned me on to checking out more from Chase Owens as well as David Finlay. Great job New Japan!

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    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    SANADA as a babyface early on in his career wasn't perfect but wasn't this boring. Him as a heel in BJW was a lot different than him in LIJ, which is what I base that on about wanting to see him in a different gimmick in perhaps he could tap into some of that and use his experience and hopefully have growth. But to me he's not very compelling. To me YOSHI-HASHI with his push would have done a lot better, especially considering he's done a lot better imo even without his push. I think LIJ may have hit their peak as well in general, even Naito has felt like a bit of a cold character since that loss at the Dome. I think a freshening up of the group could be in order. I would have Hiromu & Naito go solo, give SANADA a new attitude, EVIL a new name, & the group as a whole a new character or 2 to play off of.

    YH's issue in joining LIJ is his strength in wrestling is as an underdog babyface and I'm not sure a turn to LIJ would be the best use of him, even though he does in fact look very bored most of the time by all this.
    Angels in Flight~



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  9. #49

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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by JT Grizzle View Post
    Until I heard him on commentary I just thought of him as another face in the crowd, not bad, not great, no real gimmick to him and nothing that stood out about his in-ring game... Now I feel like I can relate to him more. He really managed to walk the line of a talent on commentary, never putting himself over too hard and always making it about the guys in the ring and he genuinely educated me about stuff, like why Fale attacks the ring announcers and how Kota might be feeling about his tentative alliance with certain members of the Bullet Club thanks to his connection to Kenny. I like his match with Jay White but other than that, Finlay was an afterthought for me. Now, I'm going out of my way to check out his tags because I have more of an idea of who he is...

    Really, it's a testament to how much a little mic-time can do for a guy when he's just being genuine with you.



    You totally put SANADA at the top to annoy people didn't you.

    I'm with you on SANADA though. Your love for Taichi will forever baffle me, but I dig me some SANADA action. I'm not as high on him as you are; I would say that his match was Sabre's least excellent of the tournament but it was still a very good match in my eyes. I think he has all the tools in his arsenal, he's just gotta find a way to put it all together right - he's got the look, he's got the in-ring work, he just needs to be able to convey emotion more and I think he'll have it nailed down.



    I was going to say that I thought LIJ was protecting him because he can be as blase as he wants without it looking out of place but from another perspective, maybe he's not getting to the opportunity to show the emotion we all want from him because he's too caught up in the Ingobernables way of thinking? That's something to ponder...

    Maybe he leaves the group and YOSHI-HASHI can join them; he already looks bored all the time anyway and at least that way he could have a cool new outfit and hair-do.


    I went into this tournament thinking that New Japan were cooling off with Zack Sabre Jr. I hadn't seen him in anything particularly meaningful for a long-ass time and with him turning back up in PROGRESS again more often, it felt like maybe he was moving away from the company... I got my ass worked, brother. Zacky Boy smashed it out of the park. He went from being the guy I was expecting to go out second round, to being the guy that, going into the final I was seriously considering had a chance to win - even over my pick from the very beginning. That final match was, fittingly (for me, at least) the best match of the tournament and ZSJ had plenty of other great matches too; him vs. Ibushi would be my pick for second best match of the tournament. Really proud of Zack winning and really, REALLY looking forward to the Okada match.

    Also TAKA as Sabre's Gedo has been fucking great!

    This tournament also turned me on to checking out more from Chase Owens as well as David Finlay. Great job New Japan!

    Dear lord this would kill LIJ so stone dead it'd be unbelievable. SANADA atleast has the looks to cover having absolutely zero charisma.

    Taichi's a fantastic heel who plays his character well IMO. He's supposed to be an unremarkable douchebag. But I can see why some people don't like him when it comes to the wider scope of the NJPW landscape and you compare him to the main dudes. But I can never tell if people are worked by him and his character or if they genuinely dislike him for some reason.

    I think NJPW did the right thing by using the Cup to build ZSJ up for a title shot. They've made Suzuki-gun appear more serious now too and evolved somewhat from their usual shit and that's something I like. To that, I don't think ZSJ vs Okada would have been appealing if they had done it without using the NJ Cup as a tool to build to it. I guess Tanahashi doesn't need to win the NJ Cup since Okada vs Tanahashi will sell itself anyway. Would have been a great story for Tana but they can keep that match for whenever if it's happening. It's not like Tana's a million miles away - just needs a big singles win really over someone like SANADA perhaps.

    This is the most I've ever been interested in Zack Sabre Jr and I would like to see him as NEVER champ eventually. He could really bring something fresh to that sort of title division. I don't think he has a chance in hell of winning the IWGP Hebby Q but I'll gladly eat shit if he does. I can see him rematching Naito or Ibushi for the IC belt down the line eventually. Can't see Suzuki dropping the IC belt to anyone else other than those two really.


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  10. #50
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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    I do genuinely love what they've done with Zack this tournament and elevating him up the card, but people are being really premature (on twitter) about how Gedo's made a new star on this tour. It's called a push, he's been pushed because he's the next Okada victim. Sanada looked really strong around February before he lost to Okada and Evil looked strong last October before his title match, are any of those main eventers/stars? or was it more that they just had a flirt with the main event because Okada's long reign needs fresh challengers and then took a step back down the card once they lost.

    If Zack wins the title, fair enough I'll take that back, but a 2 week push doesn't equal a new star/main eventer.

  11. #51
    Sky Blue Hyper Technican

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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by JT Grizzle View Post
    You totally put SANADA at the top to annoy people didn't you.

    I'm with you on SANADA though. Your love for Taichi will forever baffle me, but I dig me some SANADA action. I'm not as high on him as you are; I would say that his match was Sabre's least excellent of the tournament but it was still a very good match in my eyes. I think he has all the tools in his arsenal, he's just gotta find a way to put it all together right - he's got the look, he's got the in-ring work, he just needs to be able to convey emotion more and I think he'll have it nailed down.
    Maybe..... Nah, I really thought that it was match of the tournament. Remember saying straight after the match ended that this was match of the tournament, but not by a huge margin. And leave Taichi alone! He has had some really good matches this year, I was right all along. He definitely suits being a heavyweight and it helps being in there with Tanahashi and Naito.

    Regarding Sanada, I totally agree that he needs to improve his facial expressions.
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  12. #52
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    Re: New Japan Cup 2018 - Begins March 9th

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    SANADA as a babyface early on in his career wasn't perfect but wasn't this boring. Him as a heel in BJW was a lot different than him in LIJ, which is what I base that on about wanting to see him in a different gimmick in perhaps he could tap into some of that and use his experience and hopefully have growth. But to me he's not very compelling. To me YOSHI-HASHI with his push would have done a lot better, especially considering he's done a lot better imo even without his push. I think LIJ may have hit their peak as well in general, even Naito has felt like a bit of a cold character since that loss at the Dome. I think a freshening up of the group could be in order. I would have Hiromu & Naito go solo, give SANADA a new attitude, EVIL a new name, & the group as a whole a new character or 2 to play off of.

    YH's issue in joining LIJ is his strength in wrestling is as an underdog babyface and I'm not sure a turn to LIJ would be the best use of him, even though he does in fact look very bored most of the time by all this.
    That's good to know that SANADA hasn't always been just this stoic, too-coo-for-school guy. He may yet manage to find something that really pops. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    As for HASHI; I'm only half serious about him joining LIJ - I've only just started seeing him as not dull all of the time. Previously he was the guy with "Loose Explosion" on his pants, which amused me because it looked like it was a diarrhoea warning, but nothing about him appealed to me in any way. I'm not raving about him in any way, and he was always gonna have good matches with Naito and Ibushi but he's faced both before and I've left unimpressed; this year he's caught my eye and I think that he needs a change or else he's never gonna be anything more than an also-ran.

    Quote Originally Posted by RainShaker View Post
    Taichi's a fantastic heel who plays his character well IMO. He's supposed to be an unremarkable douchebag. But I can see why some people don't like him when it comes to the wider scope of the NJPW landscape and you compare him to the main dudes. But I can never tell if people are worked by him and his character or if they genuinely dislike him for some reason.
    When I started watching New Japan last year Taichi excited me, his entrance, his attire, his valet - it was all great... but then he'd get in the ring and do nothing for a while, he'd do nothing and then pull off his pants, then do more nothing. He wrestles entirely opposite to his presentation, which would be fine, but he's average at best in the ring from what I've seen and he does so little when he is in there that he might as well not show up at all. He has a fantastic gimmick but he's shown me nothing to make me care about him as a heel or a face. I don't hate him, I don't want to boo him, I just zone out when he's on screen because he's boring and I'd rather do anything else than watch him. I sat up and paid attention during the Naito match and was rewarded with a nothing match that was easily the worst singles match I've personally seen Naito have. I sat up and paid attention again when he faced Tanahashi and (because I couldn't see the future) I genuinely thought that Tanahashi's body had finally fallen to pieces because under no circumstances did I ever believe that Tana could have a match that bad; he went on to have an enjoyable match with Fale and two barn burners with Juice and ZSJ, while Taichi went back to doing nothing in tag matches. Taichi is New Japan's Elias, only I can understand Elias so his mic work draws me in. Taichi rarely get's to work a mic and even when he does I don't understand him so he can't win me over that way. So, for me, Taichi remains as nothing because that's all he ever does; nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I do genuinely love what they've done with Zack this tournament and elevating him up the card, but people are being really premature (on twitter) about how Gedo's made a new star on this tour. It's called a push, he's been pushed because he's the next Okada victim. Sanada looked really strong around February before he lost to Okada and Evil looked strong last October before his title match, are any of those main eventers/stars? or was it more that they just had a flirt with the main event because Okada's long reign needs fresh challengers and then took a step back down the card once they lost.

    If Zack wins the title, fair enough I'll take that back, but a 2 week push doesn't equal a new star/main eventer.
    To be fair, while neither won and neither is looking set for a run at the top any time soon, both SANADA and EVIL look like bigger stars than they did before. Hopefully that will happen for Zacky boy.

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    And leave Taichi alone! He has had some really good matches this year, I was right all along. He definitely suits being a heavyweight and it helps being in there with Tanahashi and Naito.
    I'm very glad that you find joy in something so harmless to the world as Taichi's matches. Somebody has too and it certainly isn't me. If anyone can find me a worse Tanahashi match than that opening round match with Taichi, I will genuinely be shocked.

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