View Poll Results: Which era?

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  • 1980s - Inoki, Fujinami, Choshu, etc

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  • 1990s - Hashimoto, Mutoh, Liger, etc

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  • 2000s - Nakamura, Takayama, Sasaki, etc

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  • 2010s - Okada, Omega, Naito, etc.

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Thread: Which NJPW roster do you prefer?

  1. #1
    WAKE UP

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    Which NJPW roster do you prefer?

    On the topic of NJPW roster - let's compare to previous decades gone and see how it stacks up.

    NJPW Roster mid-1980s

    Notable wrestlers

    Heavies:
    - Tatsumi Fujinami
    - Antonio Inoki
    - Akira Maeda
    - Yoshiaki Fujiwara
    - Riki Choshu
    - Yoshiaki Yatsu
    - Osamu Kido
    - Kengo Kimura
    Juniors:
    - Kuniaki Kobayashi
    - Dynamite Kid

    NJPW Roster mid-1990s

    Notable wrestlers

    Heavies:
    - Shinya Hashimoto
    - Keiji Mutoh / The Great Muta
    - Hiroyoshi Tenzan
    - Scott Norton
    - Hiroshi Hase
    - Masahiro Chono
    - Shiro Koshinaka
    Juniors:
    - El Samurai
    - Jushin Liger
    - Shinjiro Ohtani
    - Koji Kanemoto

    NJPW Roster mid-2000s

    Notable wrestlers

    Heavies:
    - Hiroshi Tanahashi
    - Shinsuke Nakamura
    - Hirooki Goto
    - Yuji Nagata
    - Togi Makabe
    - Kensuke Sasaki
    - Minoru Suzuki
    - Katsuyori Shibata
    - Yoshihiro Takayama
    - Giant Bernard (Albert)
    - Hiroyoshi Tenzan
    - Monobu Nakanishi
    Juniors:
    - Koji Kanemoto
    - Wataru Inoue
    - Jado & Gedo
    - Minoru
    - Tiger Mask IV

    NJPW Roster mid-2010s to present

    Notable wrestlers

    Heavies:
    - Kazuchika Okada
    - Hiroshi Tanahashi
    - Tomohiro Ishii
    - Hirooki Goto
    - Tetsuya Naito
    - Kenny Omega
    - Zack Sabe Jr
    - Kota Ibushi
    - Minori Suzuki
    - Togi Makabe
    - Katsuyori Shibata
    - Yuji Nagata
    - SANADA
    - Jay White
    - EVIL
    - Juice Robinson
    Juniors:
    - Hiromu Takahashi
    - KUSHIDA
    - Will Osprey


    Which time period's roster do you prefer? Why? When was the heavyweight division at it's strongest? And the Juniors?
    Last edited by King Steventon; 08-07-2018 at 06:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Which NJPW roster do you prefer?

    Well considering I started watching in the 2010's period, I do have a certain bias with the current day roster. More of a connection to the roster. Seeing people like Juice Robinson, White, Takahashi grow into the performers they are and people like Naito and Okada turn into stars is something I will always looks fondly at. So right now, I'd have to say the 2010's as a whole. But I do love 00's. I love a lot of the time period and whilst it wasn't the best time for New Japan, they have a loads of great matches that I watch daily. It's very underappreciated I feel, mostly due to lack of footage and reputation it gets as New Japan's dark period. I do like all the periods mentioned really but for the reasons I said, I'd have to say the 2010's is my preference.

    As for the best Junior Division, on paper it's no doubt the 90's. Kanemoto, Liger, El Samurai, the occasional appearances of outsiders like Great Sasuke, Ultimo Dragon, Pegasus etc. It was a good time period for the division as shown by how well received it still is today. That Kanemoto vs Wagner Jr match is epic. One of my favourite matches.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Which NJPW roster do you prefer?

    I can't really answer this as my historical viewings of NJPW really aren't that deep.

    I will say I think I preferred the juniors in the 90s whenever I've checked them out. Something like a Liger/Sano series of matches to me is better than anything heralded by Will Ospreay in New Japan...and I like Will, but I don't get the sense that these matches he has are anything transcendent that will stand out in 20 years time. A lot of stuff is just go go go and because everyone's working like that, it's so hard for anything to stand out and be memorable. I literally cannot recall one Junior title match in New Japan from Low Ki's agent 47 match at WK7 in 2013 to Ospreay's first title match in mid 2016.

    90s heavyweights seems like a mixed bag to me, I really like Hashimoto and I can see how he could of influenced a guy like Joe, but then Chono I can't fucking stand, especially later on in the decade.

    NJPW modern roster is a bit of a self created monster, the formula that was such a hit in getting new fans to fall for the company a few years ago is something I am so bored of now. Okada matches do nothing for me now, it's like I'm immune to thinking they can be good and my brain has been trained not to raise an eyebrow until the first rainmaker attempt which is the moment the match starts mattering. Omega and Naito can be wildly inconsistent from MOTYCs to awful try hard epics that fail, and Tanahashi was looking alright but then this G1 from him has been a big disappointment. Ishii is still the mother fucking man but he's the bridesmaid, and I think this roster badly misses Shibata just to give them someone totally different in character and style to Okada, Naito and Omega. Everyone is too goofy to take seriously at the top of the card.

  4. #4
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    Re: Which NJPW roster do you prefer?

    I'll post more detailed thoughts later but yeah the 90s were the clear peak for the junior division, even if you are someone who thinks it's an overrated scene (which I am not).

    I'd agree on Chono, and also Mutoh by the same token, but Chono definitely isn't really praised that heavily as a great worker. Mind, he did have a few standout matches in his prime. Hashimoto is almost certainly the best NJPW worker ever, though Liger is close.

    I think you hit the nail on the head with your description of the current scene Ed. Styles matches fights and so much of the current roster works the same style. I would take 2000s - generally considered to be not a great period despite there being lots of quality - over it because of that reason.

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