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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/26/17: Honor Rising Night One

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez 

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/26/17)

Honor Rising Night One 

– The opening video was flashy as always, which actually showcased the spread of American culture in Japan, particularly the “This is awesome!” chant. This was Honor Rising, a two-night event that chronicled Ring Of Honor talent officially hitting the NJPW airwaves. We’d see the likes of Punisher Martinez, Delirious, Jay Lethal and “The Last Real Man” Silas Young in action. Also hyped was “The Cleaner” Kenny Omega, as he was back from his hiatus.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/11/17: Manifest Destino

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/11/17) 

Manifest Destino 

– The Taka Michinoku-Henare match started things off with a proverbial bang. Michinoku had a variated version of his old WWE entrance music. As commentary sifted through the card, we could tell it could be no less than great. This one was your typical “Young Lion Battles Established Veteran” story, but Henare had all to gain and none to lose. Early mat-based grappling dictated the action as Taka was also under the weather. It was definitely physical, but maybe that’s why it was a bit short. Taka maneuvered a transition to get the pinfall. An anticlimactic finish, but it was what it was with these two. We like the story of Henare showing some frustration after the bell. Gives him some depth.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/7/17: Gunning For Osaka

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/7/17) 

The Breakdown 

– As if you didn’t already know, 2017 was off to a blazing start in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, as IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada outlasted Kenny Omega in that “Six-Star Classic” at Wrestle Kingdom 11 and successfully defended against Minoru Suzuki at the New Beginning In Sapporo. With all the ingredients set and one more show until The New Beginning In Osaka on Feb. 11, we had to hunker down and get through some filler and entertainment mostly by way of fancy tag team matches. The opening video was flashy (and Japanese!) but was right to the point about recent events.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/5/17: The Paintaker

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts on television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 2/5/17)

The Paintaker

– It’s 2017 and New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s all the rage these days, so we figured why not put them in the same review family? Granted, we can only cover the English commentary shows, but by the looks of 2017, there’s quite a few shows already. Where we last left off, we saw the sudden onset of the Suzuki-gun faction, with a fierce return not seen since the days of Nexus. A moment of silence please for that ill-fated group. For an exclamation point, they laid out IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, as the group’s leader, Minoru Suzuki, laid claim that every Title would soon be theirs. How nice. Now, no matter what they say in it, it’ll still be incredibly difficult to understand the video packages per se, but damn, their production skills are sleek AF and a little extra on the side. So flashy and easy to follow. Everything looks damn near epic. Plus, that voiceover guy? Forget about it. We’re hooked. Also liked the onscreen broadcast presentation graphics of all the matches for this show laid out, as it felt quite sports-like. To the first contest – Kushida/Hirai Kawato against El Desperado/Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Obviously, Kushida will stand out off the bat here, but this was a story all about Suzuki-gun’s return momentum and the Chaos representatives with a goal to shut that down immediately. Also oddly enough, Don Callis fits right in with Kevin Kelly on commentary, though he’s got a big chair in Steve Corino’s absence to fill. A lot of attention was paid to Kushida getting in Kanemaru’s face, conveying that it was purely about Championship gold. The heels began aggressively, with Kawato selling like a Champion, undergoing such punishment. They pulled out this cool spot where Kushida German suplexed one opponent while he held the other in a bridge. They certainly established Kawato’s fighting spirit well here. ED’s single-leg half crab was thwarted when he got to the ropes. Close near-falls towards the end on both sides. All you could ask for here. In the end, ED pinned Kawato with a move similar to a spinning blue thunder bomb. Good for an opener and to continue Suzuki-gun’s momentum. Post-match, they attacked the winners outside. Well, damn. 

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 4/27/16: Elite: Dangerous

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

 

 

(Aired 4/27/16)

Elite: Dangerous 

– There were some aspects to the tag opener pitting Tetsuya Naito/ROH World Champion Jay Lethal against Kazuchika Okada/Yoshi Hashi. On top of the initial hesitant dynamic between Naito/Lethal for both having massive egos, it was always a pleasure to see both the ROH and IWGP World Heavyweight Champions square off in the ring. This match was actually at its highest points when it was purely Okada-Lethal. Commentary was okay here, but more could’ve been done to explain the factions involved and what significance they had on the bout for those of us who don’t nosedive into New Japan Pro Wrestling. Taking place in February from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, it always offers a unique environment, where the crowd’s more appreciative of the art of wrestling and whatnot. We liked that they didn’t pretend this was a few months back and made it feel “exclusive,” to help hype ROH’s “Global Wars” Pay-Per-View airing this Sunday, May 8. Anyways, as the match progressed, good action on both ends with an excitable pace that ended when Naito clonked Okada over the head with Truth Martini’s book to help Lethal score the pin. Post-match was telling in that Naito/Lethal embraced, signifying an alliance between The House Of Truth and the Los Ingobernables factions headed into the PPV.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 7/1/15: The Battles Go On

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

 

(Aired 7/1/15)

The Battles Go On 

– This was yet another show dedicated to the New Japan Pro-Wrestling and Ring Of Honor matches, whereas we thought this would have the Best In the World fallout, but that was instead hyped for next week. It’s giving people a chance to seek out BITW for themselves, but they’re losing a lot of momentum gained right after that show. It will be nearly three weeks before we see any kind of development and that’s asking a lot of your fanbase to stick around to see. On the plus side, anytime we see ROH vs. NJPW, we’re destined for good action and considering the main event, it was hard to argue with. Not to the extent of last week’s spectacular show, but pretty close.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 6/24/15: Hard Hits And Superkicks

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.

 

 

 

(Aired 6/24/15)

Hard Hits And Superkicks 

– Now, here’s what sucks with ROH’s TV and Pay-Per-View schedule: they had a big company moment when Television Champion Jay Lethal defeated ROH World Heavyweight Champion Jay Briscoe at the end of Best In The World. ROH had plenty of momentum coming from that show into this one. It had to suck if you were a casual fan who watched the PPV hoping to see some form of fallout/aftermath and were promptly left empty-handed on that front. That said – ROH cleverly filled the hour with mostly top-notch quality wrestling that was entertaining regardless of what happened at Best In The World. Still though, it would’ve been nice to see some sort of highlight reel or teaser video for what happened from the show. Or promos. Something. Anything. That’s what happens when you see a show air in June taped in May after a buzz-worthy PPV. Things opened up with the Roderick Strong-Shinsuke Nakamura match thankfully. Nice to see Nigel McGuinness join the commentary booth with Kevin Kelly and King Corino, as he had a lot of veteran expertise to hand down as far as ring positioning and differences between American and Japanese styles of pro wrestling. At least they glossed over Best In The World with a few mentions, but it just seems odd that there wasn’t more than that with all of the hype they gave the show. This match saw both guys feel each other out, so the start was a bit slow, but once things settled in, we got very good, hard-hitting action. Props for that finishing sequence that saw Nakamura go over – a questionable booking decision based on the pacing of the PPV where we saw Strong become the new Number One Contender, which obviously didn’t get a mention since it was outdated. Still, Strong looked great in defeat and lost nothing. If you’re able to check out the match, do so.

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