what the Intercontinental title match at Wrestle Kingdom is going to be. I will assume that Tanahashi is still the IC champion.
I thought about Tanahashi versus Minoru Suzuki. There are a few problems with that match. Number one, it is unlikely to be the classic match people expect from Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom. Also if that is the Intercontinental title match, then Suzuki would be coming off losing the Never Openweight Championship…meaning he would not be coming in as strong as one would like going into the second biggest match on the biggest card of the year. I like the match. It’s fresh and I am a fan of Suzuki, but there are issues to work out.
Michael Elgin? It would certainly be a fun match. I am unsure of Elgin’s contract status and it would not be ideal to have such a big match with an obvious conclusion. As an aside, I only believe in obvious conclusions to matches when the setup is a popular face is going to beat a hated heel (and even then unpredictability is not necessarily bad). Elgin versus Tanahashi would be a match that is most likely built on near falls and it certainly does not look like it would be a morality play so I would want Elgin signed long-term so I could buy into those near falls.
Juice Robinson? I would be interested in that. It would be fun. I could see Tanahashi playing subtle heel to get Robinson over.
Kenny Omega? I don’t see it with Omega being U.S champion right now.
Ibushi? I think this happens in November and my guess is its just Tanahashi getting his win back from the G-1
Evil? It would be a rematch of the New Japan Cup in April….I like the idea.
Sanada? See above except it’s not a rematch of the New Japan Cup. That would be fun. It is time for NJPW to get more people into that top mix at a show like WrestleKingdom. The problem is second biggest match and I’m not sure that they can get Sanada there before January.
This is one of those post that is completely about me…which I hate doing, but I just wanted to put this somewhere besides my head so I could figure out my relationship with spoilers in wrestling. I don’t watch shows like Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, so I don’t have to worry about not watching the show as it airs and it getting spoiled. Obviously Raw and Smackdown are live and before my housing situation changed, I was able to watch the shows live as they happened. Now that I often do not know where I am going to be when the shows air, there are times where I have to watch them after they air. I do not watch the New Japan major shows live as they happen. Obviously GFW, ROH and NXT are taped…so what is my relationship with spoilers?
Raw/Smackdown: Now that I cannot always watch the shows live, my idea is to stay away from everything until I get a chance to watch the shows. In other words, they are live shows that I treat like they are live.
NXT: I read the spoilers from Jacob Cohen’s Twitter page (he does a great job by the way). Then just before I watch, I will skim through posts from the deathvalley.com message board about the NXT show from that week just to have an idea of what I am in for.
GFW: I used to go completely spoiler free for TNA, but last year I just decided to read spoilers. Now that I know I am going to be way behind, I will certainly read spoilers just so I have an idea of what is going on. Like I said, I am still watching Slammivesary so I am way behind on watching…but I still want to know what is going on.
ROH: I usually read the spoilers of their tapings once and do not read them again before I watch. I did that before and after my housing situation changed.
NJPW: I try to stay away from everything until I get a chance to watch the shows. NJPW is my number two promotion so I treat it like Raw and Smackdown. One of the biggest reasons for this is that a great deal of the fun of NJPW is the near-falls in big matches…so I do not want to know the end result because it would ruin those near-falls.
I have had some personal problems (I am basically homeless). I have another blog where I discuss that. I love wrestling, it is my favorite thing in the world…but not having a place to stay of my own and not having a television has made me prioritize how I spend my time. One thing I should mention is that it is not being on the streets that has made me change my priorities. Luckily I have only spent three nights without a place to stay since being evicted in April. It is just finding a place to stay (that is affordable) is exhausting and I am still a freelance writing tutor so there is much less time to watch wrestling like I used to because I often do not know where I will be until nighttime. So how does this affect what I watch and when? Let’s go through it. It should be noted that I am a completest so the goal is to watch everything.
Raw and Smackdown: I still watch these on time. The latest I have been is a few weeks ago, I didn’t finish watching Smackdown until Wednesday afternoon. That is probably not a big deal to most of you, but before the eviction I always watched Raw and Smackdown live as it happened. The thing with Raw and Smackdown is wrestling is a big deal (as I said above it’s my favorite thing in the world), WWE is the biggest organization and to know what is going on…I have to watch those shows in a timely fashion.
NXT: I’m two episodes behind. It would be more, but I decided to watch the 5-6 episodes I was behind before Takeover so that I would be up to date.
ROH: I am up to the July 26th episode. I will watch everything I missed before Death before Dishonor next Friday.
GFW: I just finished the first match of Anniversary…so I am way behind.
New Japan: I’m trying to watch this past weekends event. I was right on time with the G1. I did not watch any of the shows live, but I had watched each day of the event by the next night.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.