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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 – 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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ROH Global Wars 2016 Reaction

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Ring Of Honor doesn’t hide that New Japan Pro Wrestling has their fingerprints all over their television shows and as you see here, their Pay-Per-View events.

Their 14th Anniversary Show featured notable NJPW talent like Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi as a selling point and that’s all fine and good.

It’s just the fact that it might be misleading to build this PPV as “Global Wars” when there were no true stakes. Besides featuring more NJPW guys on an ROH show, there was nothing extraordinary about this.

In fact, the best things to come from this show were just ROH storylines and talent on their own. You’ll see our thoughts on everything and that oh-so-illustrious ending below, but don’t get your hopes high.

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ROH 14th Anniversary Show Reaction

Photo courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Photo courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Despite the adage, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas, since Ring Of Honor held its 14th Anniversary Show live on Pay-Per-View and stars from New Japan Pro-Wrestling were also here for the party at Sam’s Town.

An underwhelming undercard was made up for by a better second half, fronted by the triple-threat for the ROH World Championship between Champion Jay Lethal, Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole and an insane six-man tag.

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