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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 3/7/17: 45th Anniversary Pt. II

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 3/7/17) 

45th Anniversary Pt. II

– The Eight-Man Tag between Hiroyoshi Tenzan/Satoshi Kojima/Jyushin Thunder Liger/Tomoyuki Oka and Manabu Nakanishi/Ryusuke Taguchi/David Finlay/Hirai Kawato was another mix of up-and-comers with the Young Lions, seemingly an opening tradition. We expected fast, stiff action in only the way trusty New Japan can deliver it. Kawato was apparently roughed up earlier in the day at the press conference by Minoru Suzuki. He threw a dropkick at Liger before the ring introductions could even happen. Damn, the kid’s not even 20 years old yet. The Young Lions unleashed chops at each other, because they always do? Interesting note that Kawato also had to put the ring together earlier, even after he was beaten up. Taguchi “hotly” tagged in with about nine hip attacks to spare. Nakanishi/Oka had another showdown, which followed up their match the previous night. Nakanishi made Oka tap out to the Torture Rack to get the win. We also liked how Commentator Kevin Kelly covered other aspects of Young Lion life, like receiving a limited offensive moveset and black trunks/boots. Post-match, Kawato continued to intimidate Liger. Guess that’s a new heel and feud on the rise. Yay.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 3/6/17: 45th Anniversary Show

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 3/6/17) 

45th Anniversary Show 

– The pre-event Manabu Nakanishi-Tomoyuki Oka match was typical of your “Young Lions Takes On The Veteran” matchups of the past. Oka had potential and looked to make his day at Nakanishi’s expense. They both wore black trunks, for whatever significance that would serve. With their short hair and similar builds, it almost made them look like clones. Some open-handed slaps and forearm strikes by Oka were answered by Nakanishi’s chops which sounded quite ow. Once Commentator Don Callis noted that they targeted the throat area, we couldn’t help but look and notice that they did. Then Callis said this: “They used to call me the nipple buster.” No words. Oka did a belly-to-belly suplex, which drew some gasps from those in attendance. Nakanishi made Oka tap out to the Torture Rack. Not surprised there. It also probably didn’t help that Callis wrote Oka out from the start, albeit it’s a realistic point of view.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 2/27/17: Honor Rising Night Two

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 2/27/17) 

Honor Rising Night Two 

– The KUSHIDA/David Finlay-Silas Young/Jado match began similarly to the previous night as Young did his “Why am I so disrespected?” schtick, though he at least acknowledged the language barrier. Did anybody still understand him? Doubt it. We got it though, Young. You’re cool peoples. Rocky Romero was back on commentary with Kevin Kelly for the night. They brought up the idea of this “Last Real Man” list from the heels, which was funny. A cheap shot from Young to start. Young taunted KUSHIDA and paid for it with a plancha. Jado took a boot to the face and powered through to not fall to the mat. Young broke out that nice sit-down springboard moonsault from the headstand position on the ring post. It should be noted that Finlay and Young had some great chemistry here. A singles match between them would kill. Eventually, Young hit Misery on Finlay to score the pin. Some more good stuff from Young, as we also liked that Kelly speculated that perhaps Young fits in that CHAOS mindset down the road. Solid opener to set the pace.

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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 2/1/17: Battle Of The Jays

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 2/1/17)

Battle Of The Jays 

– With Wrestle Kingdom 11 on the back burner (though it aired on Jan. 4 and they’re just giving us the Ring Of Honor followup now), we had a new ROH World Champion and his name was Adam Cole… bay bay. The opening video looked back at Cole’s match with Kyle O’Reilly at WK11 and had him cut a promo over match footage about how “he” effectively concluded the story. Finally, some updated stuff. We were spinning our wheels there.

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Notes In Observance – NJPW English 1/5/17: New Year’s Dash 2017

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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 1/5/17)

New Year’s Dash 2017 

– The Six-Man Tag between Kyle O’Reilly/Ricochet/David Finlay and Jushin “Thunder” Liger/Tiger Mask/Henare set New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s version of “Raw After Mania” off to a hot start. The commentary team of Kevin Kelly/Steve Corino superbly painted storyline pictures to mix with the action. Here, they relied upon the fact that O’Reilly/Ricochet/Finlay were all losers at Wrestle Kingdom 11 (which included six Title changes, mind you) and looked to bounce back. Given the caliber of talent involved, it was expected that the action would be quick. Ricochet and Liger had a cool exchange, even if Ricochet slipped up in the corner. Commentary hyped up Henare and put him over as a young lion that had the privilege to train with two legends like Liger/TM. In many ways, that’d build someone’s career and it was smart of them to point that out. Liger’s tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on O’Reilly looked downright cruel. Another fun spot was where Henare had the Boston Crab locked in on Finlay and didn’t let go, even when subjected to Ricochet’s fierce kicks. The highlight of everything was the triple submission spot, as it wasn’t long before Finlay secured the pin for his team. All in all, it set out what it meant to – let O’Reilly/Ricochet/Finlay get back on track and Henare’s in-ring abilities were a focus. The post-match sportsmanship was nice, even with the added detail that cameras followed Finlay as he went to embrace his mom up in the crowd. Awwww. 

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Wrestle Kingdom 11 Reaction

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Jan. 4, professional wrestling and the Tokyo Dome have been a longtime polyamorous relationship, to the point where it has become tradition.

After last year’s Wrestle Kingdom 10 when Shinsuke Nakamura and WWE World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles stole the show, New Japan Pro Wrestling began to make a global buzz.

With the likes of Bullet Club, Chaos and Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) all in a power struggle, many Titles were up for grabs.

WK has become a haven for big moments and unlikely chances for Champions to retain their belts.

Wrestle Kingdom 11 would be right up there with the greats for a main event that actually dragged “Six Stars” out of one Dave Meltzer.

How did the show fare by our standards? Find out below.

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