Official NJPW/ROH/CMLL Thread
Maybe NJPW will just try their own thing...but this would fuck over PWG. God forbid TNA creates a working agreement with them (again).
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I'm reading this week's Observer. Not much extra news. WWE apparently first inquired about purchasing ROH back in August and negotiations have been going on since, but there's no real word on how far it's gotten.

Also, if they buy it, there's no word on whether WWE will just shut down ROH entirely and keep the tape library or if they will continue to let it run as its own promotion and let the low-level NXT guys work shows there to gain experience and honor the rest of the ROH contracts.

So yeah....interesting times.

Maybe that is part of the reason the booking has been half assed. SuperCard of Honor looks decent though. I checked the schedule over at NJPW and according to that, Kenny Omega can't to ROH (LIVE) until later in April.
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Sakura Genesis show tonight. Doubt I'll be awake at 2am for it but stoked to watch it tomorrow

I've decided to wait until tomorrow as well. This main event will really impact the entire year. It's the first time they have faced off since 2014 I think (G1).
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I'm an hour or so into it. Sumo Hall is such a cool venue. It's perfect for a midsize show (13000 capacity according to Wikipedia).

The only match I've really enjoyed thus far was Omega/Fale vs. Yano/Makabe. The 8 man tag is about to start which looks like it might be good. Lots of talent in a single match.

Edit: Meant to say Ishii, not Makabe.
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You're basically exactly where I am right now too. Currently watching the 8-man tag. I've been making notes as I watch. So far all the matches have been decent but nothing must-see:

- I'd throw it all away for that girl with the bunny ears that comes to the ring with Takahashi

- Suzuki's theme music is great. Speaking of Suzuki, I also never want to be chopped by him. Jesus Christ...

- The other girl that came out with Taichi and Suzuki-gun....I swear man, NJPW is giving me an Asian fetish that I didn't have up until recently...

- Omega and Ishii in the same match. Now we're talking...Omega still wearing the shirt, so he's not taking this one serious yet. Yano is hilarious. The double hair pulling spot was great. Shit got real when Ishii finally came in. The story of Omega getting irritated at Fale is interesting.

Gotta say, I'm not a fan of the "tie the guy in a knot" spot that I'm starting to see more often lately. It's cute when Jack Gallagher does it as a comedy spot, but I've seen it twice in this 8-man match and it's so stupid. Fold a guy's legs over his arms and suddenly he can't get out. That's...not how arms and legs work. As a joke spot, it's amusing. As a real spot in an otherwise fairly serious match, it's the stupidest move in wrestling history.

Awesome finishing sequence to end that match though. Who'd have ever guessed goofy NXT hippie CJ Parker would end up making a hell of a name for himself in Japan?

I had no interest in the tag title match but it ended up being probably the best match so far. Just a big ass hoss fight.

ZSJ is just unreal with the submission wrestling. But NJPW is probably his ceiling. Vince will never sign somebody that skinny.

Takahashi/KUSHIDA was crazy while it lasted but that ending seemed really abrupt, to the point where I kinda wondered if they botched it. But I think they're just establishing Takahashi as some Brock Lesnar-esque beast. That was basically Goldberg/Lesnar.

Okada/ god. Incredible match and Okada is still basically averaging 5-star matches this year. With all due respect to AJ, I think Okada might be the best wrestler in the world right now.

Also, Shibata reportedly collapsed afterwards backstage and had to go to the hospital. He's gotta stop doing headbutts. That thud was sickening.



I just finished watching. The second half of that show was something else! The tag title match was good with two hard hitting teams. War Machine have been steadily improving and making waves so I'm glad to see them earn this accolade.

Koshida and Takahashi was a surprise. I love that it was explosive with a quick finish. NJPW needs to keep Takahashi fresh to keep his starpower on the rise and thus far they are doing an excellent job.

ZSJ should be the NEVER champion. He is wasted otherwise. I could see him going for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship at the Tokyo Dome next year but the style of the NEVER title seems better fitting for Zack.

Let's talk the main event. I really didn't care for the slow start to Shibata vs. Okada. I know that is Shibata's style but this thing needed to be explosive and THEN slow down. However, a bit before the half way point, the match turned into an amazing and painful performance by both men. An absolute classic. Had it not been for the slow start, I would rate this a five star match (4.75 IMO). Some of the psychology and nuance used in this match were things I have not seen since the days of Bret Hart. One of the reasons I'm also not going to give it a perfect score is due to the hard hitting brutality. Some still shots are great. Too many stiff shots and head/neck drops put you right up there with death match wrestling. I want to see them wrestle for 10 more years, not 5. Sometimes less is more and in this case it took me out of the match. Otherwise, damn near perfect.

For anyone (Almost everyone) not watching, I feel bad for you. You are missing out on what the next generation of wrestling should be and matches that blow away almost everything WWE and most Indy shows are producing. If you think I shit on everything because that's my nature, I invite you to watch events like these so you may better understand just how good things can be.
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[+] 1 user Likes Chris's post
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I agree, some of the stuff (mainly the headbutt spot) is so real and dangerous that it takes me out of the match and makes me legit worry for the people doing them. I really wish Shibata would stop headbutting.

There were a lot of interruptions at my house so In response to your earlier posts, Peezy:

-Bunny girl is amazing
-A lot of the NJPW music works better live. Listening to it in the car just isn't the same.
-The tie up is stupid and it went on too long.
-Juice Robinson getting the win was a surprise. However, it is clear that they are setting up a lot of East vs. West angles to drum up more interest for the G1 and G1 Preview events.
-Im not shocked Shibata collapsed. Fucker is crazy and that goes right back into my mini-rant from earlier.
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"Realistic" wrestling doesn't appeal to me, really. Because if I want realism, I watch realism, there's UFC, BMMA, WSOF, etc. Strong style is cool looking, but not realistic. I dunno, I hate being that guy, but wrestling isn't real, I love it, but its at its best when there are cartoon characters doing crazy shit and saying crazy shit.
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Well, there's also this:

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In ROH news, Lio Rush has left the company which is not a huge surprise. I expect him in Evolve or NXT within 6 months.
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From NJPW's official site.

Quote:Katsuyori Shibata was taken to hospital due to poor health following his main event match on April 9th at Ryogoku Sumo Hall. He was conscious and able to communicate while being admitted to hospital.

After a medical examination, he was diagnosed with subdural hematoma and surgery was conducted as part of his treatment. He is now recovering following a successful operation.

Updates will be posted as his condition progresses.

Subdural hematoma = blood on the brain

Yeah, time to retire the headbutt. Jesus...

He could be the GM of NJPW!
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Shibata is still hospitalized and now Meltzer is reporting that he may never be cleared to wrestle again.

Fuuuuuuck. What a stupid way to end a career. He may have literally headbutted himself into retirement.

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I was on the "It's a work" train up until this (and even prior to Meltzer discussing it). This news is disturbing if accurate. The headbutt clip is something I watched 3 times and I still don't think it sounds that bad nor does it look so devastating it would damn near kill him. How is Okada in such great condition!?
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Okada's not a little bitch

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[+] 1 user Likes Chris's post
"Taichi....fuck you, I dunno." LOL

Latest on Shibata, from the Observer:

Quote:In a cruel irony of fate, it now appears likely that the match designed to bring Katsuyori Shibata into a top tier position with New Japan Pro Wrestling may be the last match he’ll ever wrestle.

Shibata, 37, who remains hospitalized after his 4/9 IWGP title match with Kazuchika Okada at Tokyo Sumo Hall, is said by friends of his to be unlikely to ever be cleared to wrestle again after surgery due to a subdural hematoma from a sick skull-on-skull head-butt spot as a counter to being hit with the rainmaker.

The combination of the length of the match, dehydration and the trauma from the head-butt led to doctors advising New Japan that they would likely never be able to clear him to wrestle in good conscience.

New Japan has not announced this publicly, nor has anything been said publicly about Shibata’s situation after some brief statements in the days after the match.

Shibata collapsed backstage and was rushed to the hospital in a situation where nobody knew what was and wasn’t real, because Japan does have a history in keeping the lid on its most protected angles and making them seem legitimate.

But while there was a lot of questions last week, almost everyone at this point is going with the idea the injury and situation is exactly as it was described last week.

Dr. Shunji Asamoto, who performed the surgery, noted that he would need a strict examination before being cleared to wrestle and that he’s not optimistic at all.

One of the reasons why the company and its doctors are so cautious in this situation has to do with an incident 17 years earlier that also involved Shibata when he was breaking in.

Masakazu Fukuda captured the national high school wrestling championship in 1990 in Japan under coach Yamato Oshino at Ashikaga Kogyo High School. He was the third national champion that Oshino had coached, with the first two being Mitsuharu Misawa in 1980 and Toshiaki Kawada in 1981, who had gone on to become two of the greatest wrestlers in history. Fukuda went on to place second in the nation in freestyle wrestling in 1994 at 180 pounds, and was a 1996 Olympic hopeful. But he left amateur wrestling before the Olympic qualifying tournament to turn professional with the RINGS promotion. But he quit in camp and instead started working independent shows. He was brought into New Japan as an outsider for the 1998 Best of the Super Juniors tournament and impressed officials to where he was signed to a full-time contract in January 1999.

On October 17, 1999, in a match with Shinya Makabe (Togi Makabe) in Kobe, Fukuda suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which required brain surgery. He got extensive testing but was given a clean bill of health and returned to action in February of 2000.

On April 14, 2000, he wrestled Shibata in Kesenuma, Japan in the Young Lions Cup. Fukuda was scheduled to win the match and do well in the tournament, and be moved into the heavyweight division and be put into a shooters group with Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi and Yutaka Yoshie. Shibata delivered a routine elbow drop barely six minutes into the match and Fukuda was supposed to kick out. Instead, he began snoring in the ring and was rushed to the hospital where he underwent emergency brain surgery, and passed away five days later at the age of 27.

The only word we’ve received on Shibata is that he’s awake and alert, can carry on a conversation and has memories of the match with Okada. At first, he had some right side paralysis, but that has gotten better.

Shibata lost to Okada in an incredible match which boosted both men’s stock because they sold out Sumo Hall in advance with more paid attendance than any non-G-1 show the company has run in the building in more than a decade. It was done with Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito and Kenny Omega working undercard tag team matches, so it showed that Okada had become a legitimate top drawing champion on his own, and that the crowd saw Shibata as a strong challenger who they were behind in his quest to win the IWGP title as opposed to it being just another main event match. The match was given no special angle and established Shibata as one of the big five stars of the company.

Shibata, the son of 1970s New Japan wrestler Katsuhisa Shibata, went to Kuwama Kogyo High School where he was a national high school wrestling champion in 1997. He was best friends and teammates with Hirooki Goto and the two started together in the New Japan camp.

He was groomed for stardom in New Japan. The company, in a declining phase, chose Shibata, Shinsuke Nakamura and Hiroshi Tanahashi to build around. But Shibata quit the company in 2005 when one of the New Japan promoters left and started a new promotion where Shibata was to be the top star. During the period he was in New Japan, they were putting some of their wrestlers with strong legitimate backgrounds in shoots. Shibata did one professional kickboxing match, which he lost via second round stoppage from a body blow, and one MMA fight in Brazil, which he won in 52 seconds.

He left pro wrestling and spent five years doing MMA. Shibata, who fought as a middleweight, was a huge name in the MMA world but not a great fighter. Because of his fame, he had matches with some of the top middleweights who fought in Japan during that period, with losses to the likes of Ralek Gracie, Kazushi Sakuraba, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Hayato Sakurai and the much larger judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii. He was knocked out five times as an MMA fighter, and compiled a career record of 4-11-1.

He returned to New Japan with Sakuraba in 2012 and was a heat machine. He played the role of an outsider doing a shooter gimmick, no selling traditional wrestling spots and working matches to look legitimate with hard strikes and working a match to make it appear there was no cooperation.

Owner Takaaki Kidani, a big MMA fan, particularly of Sakuraba, brought them in at a time when most of the roster didn’t want them around, remembering how previous overuse of MMA fighters had greatly hurt the popularity of the promotion.

But Sakuraba & Shibata were a big success as outsiders. In time, Sakuraba’s injuries and age caught up with him, but Shibata only became a bigger star, having strong matches in particular with Tomohiro Ishii and his big feud with Goto. He and Goto later became a tag team and won the IWGP heavyweight tag team titles from Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows on January 4, 2015. That fulfilled a teenage dream that he and Goto had of winning the titles together at the Tokyo Dome.

He also held the Never championship three times. While he got wins over most of the top stars, he was always booked at the level just underneath the top guys. The Sumo Hall show was his first chance to carry a major show in a championship match on his own, and many thought he would win the title. Evidently, the idea is to keep the title on Okada and build up Omega as the big challenge, but Shibata was scheduled to be in the top mix going fo rward.

There are ways to safely do head-butts in pro wrestling, but the legitimate skull-on-skull type that Shibata did with Okada, and also did with Katsuhiko Nakajima last year in a feud that never got out of the blocks, should be banned by all pro wrestling companies.

This REALLY sucks. I'm a big Shibata fan, he's like Japanese Cesaro. But man that blows.

Its damn near Daniel Bryan levels of having the rug pulled out. There are many differences here but that doesn't mean he won't feel just as crushed. Maybe he can become a next generation trainer and still take parts in an occasional battle royal at WK.
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I'm watching Saturday's Road to Don Taco (Dentaku) show. The lineup isn't doing much for me. So far there was a fun moment when Tama Tonga came out and checked the ref for weapons.

I really, really want to go back to Japan. That was such a fun experience, the people were wonderful, and everything was an adventure. NJPW was just the icing on the cake.
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