Tag Archives: NJPW

My New Japan Experience-Part 1 (The Positives)

I started watching New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) this year. I have seen some of the wrestlers when they worked ROH PPV and television, but this is the first year I have started watching it regularly. This post will be some personal positives and negatives

Positives

  1. Naito: Naito is the person who I want to be in my real life. I love his character. I wonder if turning him babyface would ruin him. He seems to be a strong merchandise draw just being a heel.
  2. Kenny Omega: Omega is probably the key to New Japan expansion. I do think NJPW needs an English-speaking wrestler to be at the forefront if the company wants to gain any traction in the United States. Obviously a better television deal is more important and it’s certainly possible that NJPW can get one without Omega (because he is certainly not a mainstream star even by wrestling standards), but Omega will certainly help live events and other ways for New Japan to make it’s mark in America.
  3. Depth: New Japan has a lot of wrestlers and even if many of them have had matches with each other before, there are still fresh match-ups and personally speaking even the old matches are new to me.
  4. Titles: I know many people think there are too many titles in New Japan. My philosophy is that if each title has its own identity, I will readily accept as many titles as the promotion wants to have. Another reason I like the titles is because New Japan is based in groups. To me (again personal opinion obviously), people should not align with each other long-term if in theory they are fighting for the same title. For instance Chaos would not be the same if there was no Never Openweight Title because you would have two major single titles for Goto, Ishii and Okada to fight over-the third title limits the conflict.
  5. The matches: I enjoy them…not much else to say. Okada and Omega was epic. Obviously an argument could be made that it’s overrated, especially if you look at it from the Meltzer scale of six stars-but I don’t want to get into that. I’ll just say that when the match was over, I could not think of a match I ever enjoyed more. One could make another argument that the big matches try too hard to be epic (self-conscious epic is what some call them), I understand that but I have really enjoyed the most touted NJPW matches including Shibita-Ishii, Okada-Omega, Elgin-Naito, Tanahashi-Dragon Lee and others.

A.J Styles=Jake McKinnon

I used to watch Another World (a soap opera on NBC) and my favorite character was Jake McKinnon. After Another World was cancelled, I was very pleased to find out that not only was Tom Eplin (the actor who played Jake) going to As the World Turns-but the character was moving to As the World Turns. I started watching ATWT to follow Jake’s character and I got hooked on the show even after Jake was killed off. I watched the show just about every day until it was cancelled in 2010.

Jake McKinnon is to As the World Turns what A.J Styles was/is to New Japan for me. I always used to skip the audio and the parts of the newsletter when Meltzer used to talk or write about New Japan…until A.J Styles got there. I enjoyed his work in TNA and ROH so I wanted to know how he was doing. There is one difference, I did not start watching New Japan when A.J got there, but I started following it. I became intrigued by what this Bullet Club thing was and while I did not watch it, I always made sure I knew what was going on. I actually did not start watching New Japan until A.J Styles left. The only A.J Styles match in New Japan I have seen was his match with Nakamura at WrestleKingdom. Now I watch New Japan regularly because A.J being there got me to become interested in the product and just reading and hearing about the Bullet Club and Naito and Okada and many other aspects of the promotion made me very interested so I had some background going in. Now I have NJPW World and I am very pleased with the membership (even though I wish it was easier to navigate) and am excited about the big events coming up.

I am a big fan of NJPW. I am not sure I enjoy it more than WWE, it’s close. Even though I never saw A.J’s work in NJPW (or 99 percent of it anyway), I am very glad that he ended up in the promotion. I look forward to seeing some of A.J Styles’ work there and more importantly NJPW going forward.