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Thread: Kazuchika Okada

  1. #1
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    Kazuchika Okada

    Okada is a pretty controversial figure when it comes to how good he is. He is one of those guys that is very overrated or very underrated depending on who you talk to. I personally consider him a great wrestler who when it comes to big matches is easily one of the most consistent wrestlers when it comes to New Japan's in-house style. Has had great matches with almost everyone he has faced whether it was his big rival Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito, Katsuyori Shibata, Tomohiro Ishii and even Bad Luck Fale.

    --Matches that I would recommend (Italics for most recommended)--

    2015
    Hiroshi Tanahashi - 04/01
    Bad Luck Fale - 05/04
    AJ Styles - 05/07
    Hirooki Goto - 01/08
    Yuji Nagata - 12/08
    Shinsuke Nakamura - 15/08
    AJ Styles - 12/10
    w/ Kazushi Sakuraba vs Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuyori Shibata - 07/11

    2016 (Not a great year for Okada)
    Hiroshi Tanahashi - 04/01
    Togi Makabe - 03/08
    Tomohiro Ishii - 06/08
    Hiroshi Tanahashi -12/08
    Naomichi Marufuji - 10/10
    w/ YOSHI-HASHI vs Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii - 25/11

    2017
    Kenny Omega - 04/01
    Tiger Mask W (Kota Ibushi or is it? ) - 06/03
    Katsuyori Shibata - 09/04
    Bad Luck Fale - 03/05
    SANADA - 25/07
    Satoshi Kojima - 27/07
    EVIL - 05/08
    Minoru Suzuki - 08/08
    Kenny Omega - 12/08

    2018
    Tetsuya Naito - 04/01
    SANADA - 10/02
    Zack Sabre Jr. - 01/04
    Hiroshi Tanahashi - 04/05
    Kenny Omega - 09/06
    Zack Sabre Jr. - 01/07
    Togi Makabe - 22/07
    YOSHI-HASHI - 27/07
    Minoru Suzuki - 02/08
    Hiroshi Tanahashi - 10/08
    Hiroshi Tanahashi - 23/09

    I would have him in my top 5 but realistically, I think he is at least a top 20.
    Last edited by MC 16; 12-29-2018 at 08:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    Usually when a thread pops up I'd ask for matches to watch to sell me on a wrestler.

    For Okada I would like examples of him being not so good because every time I see him in very impressed and love watching him.

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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Usually when a thread pops up I'd ask for matches to watch to sell me on a wrestler.

    For Okada I would like examples of him being not so good because every time I see him in very impressed and love watching him.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
    I find the common complaint for Okada isn't that he's a bad worker (although people can be iffy on his selling from time to time albeit I think there's like... one match I thought his selling was noticeably bad) but that he's a wrestler who wrestles the same style constantly and does the same spots. His matches tend to have the same story for some people. At least, that's what I think most of the criticism against him is about. Pretty much that people think his matches are 85% nothing 15% amazing finishing stretch.

    More thoughts later for me but probably a top 10 at the very least in my opinion.


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  4. #4
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    another mediocre NJ ace. All workrate and nearfalls!!!, very similar to Seth Rollins.

    Like Tanahashi he is at his best when serving as a blank canvas for his opponent to have a good performance against.

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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    Relax. I'm not going to be one someone who leaves him off completely, he is someone who a couple of nights a year who has a great match, in fact last year I had 3 of his matches in my top 10 and none of them were the Omega matches, so there's obviously something that I really like about him on the right night. If you can do that in multiple years of this thing, then you have to be in contention to make the list; my list isn't on hypotheticals of 'well if Cesaro wrestled more singles matches he'd be a top contender', I'm judging it on what actually happened and Okada has had very special matches during this period. I think 2018 has been a really lean year for him as far as impressive singles matches goes, but I think he's been involved in some great tags this year against LIJ w/ Goto and when he teamed with Ospreay.

    My criticism would be that opportunity wise, he should be #1, not just in his company but the entire list. He's his company's ace, he held a world title probably for longer than anyone else has in any promotion, he's done more New Japan main events than anyone else, he's provided the stage to have more 'Meltzer-like MOTYC' than anyone else, but when I compare him to his contemporaries, he comes up short. I would say Tanahashi, Ibushi and Ishii for certain will be higher than Okada on my list, Naito is there or there abouts and retirement would be the only reason Shibata goes below Okada for me. There are so many of his big matches that fall flat to me and where he is very clearly the under-performer in the match (for example the Sabre Jr defence this year), plus I've reached the stage where the New Japan main event formula irritates me too much to fully enjoy anymore and he's the dirt worst at it. I flat out hated the 2018 Naito match. Okada to me is at his best when he mixes it up with stuff like a shorter match where he plays the full on dickhead, entitled heel against Kojima in the G1 or the getting his ass handed to him by Shibata at Sakura Genesis.

    Wouldn't of thought he has a chance of making my top 10, but after that anything goes and he's a cert to make my list.

  6. #6
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    I go back and forth between love and hate with Okada during this period. Seems like a top twenty to me but the complacency and inconsistency hurts him for me.
    -------
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    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
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  7. #7
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    just watched Okada vs Zack from last year (the title defence) and thought it was very good, however it confirmed what I already knew - Okada basically fills the same role as Tanahashi did as ace, in that he is best when serving as a base for his opponent. He has the physical tools, but he's the reactive one and it's almost always his opponent who is the one who delivers a stand-out performance. To that extent, his matches are usually as good as his opponent is.

    Upon reflection, there's probably been enough Okada matches I have enjoyed that he should make my Top 50, albeit at the low end, but that sort of goes back to Ed's point about the shear number of high profile matches he's had. The volume is massive but what proportion of it is GREAT? How often is Okada the more impressive guy in a match?

  8. #8
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    have been watching a fair bit of Okada recently thinking about where I place him, knowing full well I'll likely be the low man on him. Thanks to MC16 for the list of matches, very helpful. Brief thoughts on what I watched:

    vs Kojima, 2017 G1 - Very good. I am a big fan of the "current ace heels against popular but past-it legend" trope in puro so this ticked my boxes. Thought Okada's heeling was pretty entertaining and he gave Kojima enough offence to look credible before shutting him down.

    vs EVIL, 2017 G1 - This went longer than it should, like near half-hour, and the first half was mostly pretty dull. EVIL from what I have seen has good looking simple offence like lariats, sentons, suplexes, etc but relies too much on cruddy low-end shit like ref antics, leg slap kicks and general time-killing. Second half got pretty good and I thought Okada did a good job putting EVIL over strong at the end.

    vs Suzuki, 2017 G1 - had mixed feelings on this one. Enjoyed Minoru targetting Okada's injured neck and the stiffness level he brings, didn't enjoy the tedious Suzuki-gun crap and the half hour draw was really obviously telegraphed.

    vs SANADA, 2018 - horrendously boring. granted I lay the blame with SANADA seeing as this was the biggest match of his career and it was a complete dud. he just doesn't 'get' it and worries too much about doing flash and athletic stuff than anything else. his Dragon Sleeper is also worse than Cena's STF. this was laid out with Sanada in control for 90% of the match, which was not only boring as hell, but made it painfully obvious Okada was retaining. Okada did nothing of note and looked pretty average without a half-decent dancing partner.

    vs Tanahashi, G1 2018 - I enjoyed this mostly and thought Tanahashi was actually good, but again, the result felt really telegraphed, and I thought Okada's performance was pretty below average. Doing dropkicks and big boots after he's had his leg picked apart all match got old quick.

    vs Tanahashi, 9/18 - Boring match filled with more pointless time-filling legwork. This time Okada was doing it but, being the third match these guys had last year and God knows how many they've had together, this felt a lot more stale and been-there-done-that than the G1 match. Considering the stake's and over-arching story going on here, thought it was also lacked the fire or emotion you'd expect.

    w/ Goto vs EVIL & Sanada, 2018 - Final section was pretty good with a fun Goto-EVIL heavyweight showdown and Sanada hitting the Rainmaker on Okada, but everything before that was pretty tedious and boring. Granted I blame the heels for simply not getting heel tag team wrestling and how to build heat and their reliance on cruddy offense and time-killing, but still. Okada was kind of a non-entity in this one.


    my enjoyment of the guy is very situational. Okada vs a game and capable opponent? Likely to hold up his end of the match. Okada vs a mediocre opponent? Not good enough to carry them. Given the number of guys who I am enjoying more constitantly and think are simply more talented/better workers, I can't see him making my Top 30.

  9. #9
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    Situational enjoyment is a great way to put Okada, and it's usually always on his opponent to make his matches interesting. That's why I loved the Kojima match so much, because it was Okada doing something different than his usual formula, injecting some personality into the match and going with the flow of what the crowd wanted that night.

    I did love the Suzuki draw, surprisingly. That was a top 10 match for me in 2017.

    The 2018 Tanahashi trilogy did nothing for me.

    You're spot on about SANADA and the timing is ironic because the guy is getting blasted this last week for how bad he's been in the G1. I haven't watched the 40 minute title match he had with Okada this year because I know I'd hate it as time moves by at a snails pace. Probably will never watch that match.

    I really would doubt I'll have Okada in my top 25. We're in July, and I can't say with any certainty that he's had a great match this year. The closest I'd come to is the Jay White Dome match that I was pleasantly surprised with. I think Ren Narita had a more compelling match with Ospreay than Okada did. EVIL had a more compelling match with KENTA than Okada did. KUSHIDA had a more compelling match with Tanahashi than Okada did. I'm not saying he's bad, I recognise he's a good wrestler, but he's not doing anything to make me care about his matches or think they're out of the ordinary. I'm overexposed to his matches now so doing 3 rainmaker counters after a nothing 20 minutes doesn't cut it anymore. I think he's a victim of overhype and Meltzer bait and fanboys going into matches knowing they're going to love the match and give it a high rating regardless of what the match was like or any flaws with it. Biggest example of that was the fucking awful red hair and balloons storyline that was praised in 2018 as Okada showing a lot of depth as a performer, but he wrestled exactly the same, it's like no-one watched what was happening in the matches they just followed a narrative of 'what great character development that you don't see in WWE yadda yadda yadda'. Like I said in my first post, Okada is given the most opportunities to be #1 in this competition than anyone else because of being an ace in the company that is known for the 'best wrestling in the world'. When the playing field is even, and opportunities are the same like in a G1 for example, he doesn't stand out as much. Has Okada ever been the best wrestler in his block?

  10. #10
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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    yeah, he's talked about as if he's a super-worker and he just isn't. Granted Tanahashi had the exact same treatment as ace and I think there is an element of puro fetish-dom about it (I say this as someone who has been watching Japanese wrestling for like 10+ years now).

    He has enough about him I'll probably find a place for him, but just isn't that level to make something out of nothing like the guys who'll be at the top end.

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    Re: Kazuchika Okada

    He has been decent in singles this year but not great. Easily the weakest year he has had in ages, maybe since he returned in 2012. He has excelled better in the tags building to the big shows matches rather than the big themselves w/ the White matches being the exception. Of course, he still has the Ishii match that was tremendous but still.

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