rolling (non-millenials) grabbing the brass ring 2015

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Wrestle Kingdom in 3 days time with JR, Double J and Scott Steiner making Japanese wrestling watchable?

nXt is the best thing in the world, as is supposedly Lucha Underground but I've not seen it yet.

2014 was hard on those poor souls who were supposed to take over the next gen, with Cesaro, Ambrose, Wyatt etc. etc. all flunking out. At least Bryan is back.

Philly is gonna shit all over Reigns winning the Rumble. Also Brock's contract? Surely he should make it to Mania or it was all for nothing.

Anyway here's to a better year with less exploding tvs and authority figure storylines *fingers especially crossed hard on that last one*

a hoy hoy, Thursday, 1 January 2015 17:30 (four years ago) Permalink

well the authority is BACK BAYBAY so you might have some trouble

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Thursday, 1 January 2015 19:11 (four years ago) Permalink

i was missing steph so i'm ok w/ this

steph! steph! steph!

Mordy, Thursday, 1 January 2015 19:18 (four years ago) Permalink

I have low expectations in 2015 for enjoying anything besides NXT.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 1 January 2015 19:21 (four years ago) Permalink

more worried than not about NXT's magic getting fucked up tbh

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Friday, 2 January 2015 01:11 (four years ago) Permalink

wait, why are the authority back? do they have any respect for their viewers at all ? (lol)

a hoy hoy, Friday, 2 January 2015 08:24 (four years ago) Permalink

seth rollins was about to kill edge

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Friday, 2 January 2015 22:49 (four years ago) Permalink

pretty excited for Wrestle Kingdom with JR tomorrow

Windsor Davies, Saturday, 3 January 2015 12:49 (four years ago) Permalink

I'm curious whether JR can pull this off without either a) Vince-style botched calls of all the moves, b) resorting to his usual cliches in places where they don't belong (which is almost everywhere on the card, Okada vs Tanahashi won't be a "slobberknocker", Nakamura isn't a "hoss", business isn't about to pick up when Ishii walks to the ring).

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 4 January 2015 09:27 (four years ago) Permalink

no he's doing the cliches (and there's obv a very clear "explaining this japanese stuff to the americans" angle) but i think he and matt are both doing fine

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Sunday, 4 January 2015 09:31 (four years ago) Permalink

that show RULED

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Sunday, 4 January 2015 10:37 (four years ago) Permalink

i wound up not minding striker so much at all by the end, once he and JR had the good sense to lay off a little bit and let the matches do the talking (not hard to do when you're calling two straight MOTYCs, i realize). given what JR was trying to do i didn't mind the cliches at all; it's just nice to hear him call wrestling again

nakamura/ibushi > tanahashi/okada, although the tana/okada postmatch stuff was excellent. just a great great great show

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Sunday, 4 January 2015 10:57 (four years ago) Permalink

cant wait to watch the 2nd half. my buddy & i watched everything except the last 2 matches... tonight!!! stoked. really wanna see some RAINMAKERS in the context of a full match.

magi mane - the myrrhprint (Will M.), Monday, 5 January 2015 16:00 (four years ago) Permalink

check it out:
https://www.facebook.com/events/845376668819111/?ref=br_tf

Mordy, Tuesday, 6 January 2015 20:12 (four years ago) Permalink

need some serious recovery time after watching nakamura v ibushi and tanahashi v okada

Merdeyeux, Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:05 (four years ago) Permalink

why not wash it down with kane vs ryback

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:11 (four years ago) Permalink

The show was great, the commentary sucked. JR seemed half asleep for nearly the entire show. Striker obviously did his homework and had been watching matches, JR was going on instinct alone and never seemed to be into the flow of the matches.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 7 January 2015 12:05 (four years ago) Permalink

After re-watching parts of the PPV, on a sliding scale where they called a Japanese PPV for the first time and explained the product to American fans, it was a decent effort I guess. When Okada hit that dropkick in the main event it was about the only time when JR really sounded like himself calling a big match. For nearly all the big moves and cool sequences, their reactions were on a five second delay. That's on JR too -- he's supposed to be doing the PBP and I felt that Striker kept holding back and waiting for JR's calls that never came.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 7 January 2015 13:48 (four years ago) Permalink

I watched Wrestle Kingdom 9 and my first Lucha Underground. I've had a fun night in other words.

I'm sure I saw mention of Scott Steiner being at WK9 as part of the GFW connection. Maybe I missed it, I did do a lot of washing as well while it was on. Sad about no Steiner, always. Oh wait yeah, the last two matches were incredible. The suplex over the ropes thing in the Ibushi-Nakamura is like the best thing I've seen in wrestling since Brock's SS suplex party. I love suplexes. Kenny Omega's really good too, like someone cosplaying at being Pillman. In fact cosplay 90s wrestling is what Bullet Club is, right? It was a really good show and I thought JR sounded alright, although at times it seemed like he was out of it.

My first Lucha Underground happened to be to an hour long 20 wrestler royal rumble round robin thing to crown the first champion. It was nutso and had no real story, but I really recommend it. Lots of moves, movezzz and more jumpy moves. Oh and Ezeqial Jackson and Big Ryck just laying fuckers out, like he should have done in the fed. I guess I'm hooked, hopefully next week has actual story and psychology etc. Otoh fuck off Chavo Jr. hitting people in the head with a chair in 2015. Or just fuck off Chavo Jr. in 2015.

This month has Brock/Rollins/Cena, the Rumble with a returning Bryan and the lols of seeing Philly shit on Reigns winning and whatever they do in nXt (Sami v. Neville rematch?). Basically if I just stay away from Raw it looks like the best month in wrestling since ever.

a hoy hoy, Thursday, 8 January 2015 22:20 (four years ago) Permalink

i hilariously had the ending of the LU rumble spoiled a week ago just by looking at random wrestler wikis

definitely watch the LU backlog, pentagon jr/drago/fenix in i think ep 3? is still the highlight for me

linda cardellini (zachlyon), Friday, 9 January 2015 01:05 (four years ago) Permalink

The show was great, the commentary sucked. JR seemed half asleep for nearly the entire show. Striker obviously did his homework and had been watching matches, JR was going on instinct alone and never seemed to be into the flow of the matches.

THIS. I know we all have a soft spot for JR but his time is gone, he should be nowhere near a headset in 2015. I mean, his doddering old-man routine pretending that New Japan was some newfangled craze to him when he worked for WCW during their biggest cross promotions was infuriating.

I don't think Striker was brilliant either (with all the research he did, he could have learned how to pronounce some first names, geez) but at least he made an effort. Why not give a shot to someone new on commentary with him for any future events?

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Saturday, 10 January 2015 17:39 (four years ago) Permalink

Basically if I just stay away from Raw it looks like the best month in wrestling since ever.

We finally get the Network in this part of the world on the 19th so yeah, looking forward to seeing the Rumble live in HD.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Saturday, 10 January 2015 17:40 (four years ago) Permalink

i've been catching up on lucha underground lately and it's super fun - highly recommended, although i'm a big sucker for the style. more ten-man wipeout spotfests with danny trejo at ringside!

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Saturday, 10 January 2015 20:16 (four years ago) Permalink

also totally enjoy how shameless they are about setting up big ryck/mascarita sagrada spots whenever possible

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Saturday, 10 January 2015 23:14 (four years ago) Permalink

im pretty annoyed i have no tv or money atm because yeah i'd be so excited about the network. nxt! wcw in 1994! idk other stuff too!

a hoy hoy, Monday, 12 January 2015 21:18 (four years ago) Permalink

The Network is brilliant so far - signed up yesterday morning after I heard there was early access for us across the pond.

The live channel stream works great (they use the same infrastructure as MLB TV and that was near flawless for me the past 2 years) so I ended up watching some of that before delving into the archive, and I stayed up for NXT last night (it's on at 1am our time so won't be doing that often).

I also watched some WCW shows from '93/'94 - the standalone Battlebowl show, which I'd always wanted to see 'cause I loved the gimmick as a kid, and the first Spring Stampede, which has some amazing wrestling for the era. Those guys were really pulling out all the stops back then.

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Thursday, 15 January 2015 09:22 (four years ago) Permalink

everyone should watch lucha underground

qualx, Friday, 16 January 2015 21:43 (four years ago) Permalink

goddamn it i can't stop playing immortals :(

qualx, Sunday, 18 January 2015 07:31 (four years ago) Permalink

update: it sucks

qualx, Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:51 (four years ago) Permalink

The first episode of NJPW on AXS was great. Josh Barnett is a bit unpolished, but Mauro Ranallo is tremendous. He's totally immersed in the competitive aspect of the matches without any OTT "storytelling" or catchphrases. They're starting in 2013 and working forward by showing complete matches from all the major feuds. Wrestlers' promos are subtitled in English too, which is nice.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:36 (four years ago) Permalink

yup, it was awesome - can't wait for whenever tonight's much-acclaimed episodes hit dailymotion. ranallo is just a natural.

while in boston this weekend i spent a day watching wrestling with some friends who are pretty new to it but super into it (mostly watching nxt and wwe ppvs) the best stuff i could think of offhand (the two big wk9 matches, suzuki/styles, recent lucha underground, ricochet/kushida from last year's super juniors, even the flair/steamboat clash match for history's sake)

the two things that absolutely made the biggest impression were the new japan axs show and aztec warfare, and i don't think that was a coincidence

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Friday, 23 January 2015 20:39 (four years ago) Permalink

Episode 2 was more good stuff. Okada seems to be missing something when he's not in the ring with the absolute best workers in NJPW. I can't quite put my finger on it, but he doesn't bring others up to his level in the way you'd expect from the top guy in the company. Getting the English translations of his promos is helping me get more into his character though. At least in 2013, he played a great smarmy, arrogant heel, kind of like the Japanese Alberto Del Rio. I've never seen the April '13 Tanahashi vs Okada match though, so I'm looking forward to Ep. 3.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 25 January 2015 10:06 (four years ago) Permalink

episode 3 was really great - the commentary obviously takes it over the top, but i think that 2013 match was pretty clearly the best thing tanahashi and okada have ever done, which is saying something. the postmatch confrontation with suzuki was really good too, even though that match, iirc, eventually wound up being a big letdown

regarding your point about okada's character, he's just a great natural foil for tanahashi, but i also don't think he worked as well at this point against other heels outside of the g1 format - that said, he was so so hot in 2014 (or 18 months after the current new japan axs storyline, in other words). the goto, styles, suzuki, and nakamura g1 matches are all excellent. he even finally had a great match with ibushi!

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Sunday, 25 January 2015 20:34 (four years ago) Permalink

speaking of nakamura, this is making the rounds and is unbelievably great

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54xb9V80LGA

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Sunday, 25 January 2015 20:34 (four years ago) Permalink

every wwe event should happen in philly until the message sinks in

qualx, Monday, 26 January 2015 04:10 (four years ago) Permalink

That Nakamura clip ... wow.

How can the WWE be this stupid? I was completely sure that Reigns was winning going in, so I expected nothing different. They couldn't have been more transparent about fucking over every wrestler that could possibly get cheered ahead of Reigns. "Cheer for Bryan and get it out of your system early" is so manipulative and fans know when they're being told to essentially fuck off. Why not make Reigns and Bryan the final two and at least both guys would get cheered up to and hopefully including the ending and they could have been concentrating on putting on a decent Rumble match instead of that shitshow that we got.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 26 January 2015 09:29 (four years ago) Permalink

Why not make Reigns and Bryan the final two and at least both guys would get cheered up to and hopefully including the ending and they could have been concentrating on putting on a decent Rumble match instead of that shitshow that we got.

Yes, this would have worked far better from a booking standpoint. But Reigns still would've got booed at the end regardless. It's disappointing they way things were done; it makes Reigns look bad because he didn't really face much of a challenge in a Rumble full of jobbers (which itself says a lot about Creative's ignorance of the mid-card talent base).

wronger than 100 geir posts (MacDara), Monday, 26 January 2015 10:24 (four years ago) Permalink

figured he had to at least be in the final four. instead we get kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show. kane and big show.

holy shit

the only positives were bray getting some spotlight and DDP because i like DDP. managed to fuck up bubba ray by sticking him with Replacement Level Black Dude (Shhhhhh No One Will Notice)

qualx, Monday, 26 January 2015 10:29 (four years ago) Permalink

KANE AND BIG SHOW. one of the biggest events of the year, given the same ending as every single RAW over the past two months

horribly booked all the way through

nice triple threat tho

qualx, Monday, 26 January 2015 10:32 (four years ago) Permalink

Reigns might have gotten booed by eliminating Bryan at the end but at least it's a competitive match with a small amount of booing at the end rather than half an hour of constant booing and Reigns eliminating the combined forces of the team of the 2000's (as in literally the year 2000) to win a jobber Rumble.

In '07 the crowd was deflated when Taker won (the Rumble was in San Antonio and they wanted Michaels to win) and the match as a whole wasn't even that good. Everything from the final four until the end was great though, and smarky crowds appreciate that.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 26 January 2015 11:49 (four years ago) Permalink

It would have still been very loud, but you're totally right and it would probably be salvageable. Having the three most over guys after Bryan be punked out by the terrible, old, heatless Kane and Big Show in no way helped matters. If the reaction on Raw is negative, which it probably will be, they'll have to change the main event or turn Reigns heel.

The only person who could possibly be excited about a final 3 involving Kane and Big Show is Vince (I think it was Alvarez who said that Reigns going over two giants and an evil Russian before having his arm raised by The Rock is the most Vince thing imaginable).

olly, Monday, 26 January 2015 14:40 (four years ago) Permalink

http://i.imgur.com/T5ZdBgn.jpg

Mordy, Monday, 26 January 2015 14:51 (four years ago) Permalink

lol Rocky trying reaaal hard to call a favour in

Rusev vs Ryback from Smackdown on Friday is in genuine danger of being the company's high point of the year

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Monday, 26 January 2015 21:38 (four years ago) Permalink

so why'd they show the rumble again tnite? are they hoping the crowd will like reigns better during the rerun?

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 03:30 (four years ago) Permalink

storm killed RAW. Had to show something.

EZ Snappin, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 03:36 (four years ago) Permalink

wait so did they show the rumble just on regular ass tv? lol

shit's obviously artisanal (Will M.), Tuesday, 27 January 2015 16:53 (four years ago) Permalink

i love reading those old observer back issues they keep posting. here's a gem from 1997:

Latest weird gimmick at Incredibly Strange Wrestling is a wrestler known as the HIV Kid. His gimmick is that he does run-ins and clears the ring by obviously blading himself and chasing the heels off.

the portentous pepper (govern yourself accordingly), Tuesday, 27 January 2015 17:58 (four years ago) Permalink

http://fat.gfycat.com/FoolhardyHandmadeBorderterrier.gif

Mordy, Tuesday, 27 January 2015 21:30 (four years ago) Permalink

kane and big show.

lol this company really is shooting itself in the foot, at the time they need fans the most to give them money, just because vince has a hard on for a mid card guy

a hoy hoy, Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:50 (four years ago) Permalink

title match was DOPE CITY though

a hoy hoy, Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:50 (four years ago) Permalink

and sounding 45, more importantly

qualx, Thursday, 31 December 2015 06:34 (three years ago) Permalink

I finally decided to sign up for NJPW World so I can see WK 10 (and other NJPW shows) without having to track down iffy streams. Same goes for all the archived shows.

I find myself rooting for Tanahashi to beat Okada one more time, although it almost certainly won't happen.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 3 January 2016 22:11 (three years ago) Permalink

Oh when is the new WK?

Mordy, Sunday, 3 January 2016 22:17 (three years ago) Permalink

also considering getting njpw world again (after forgetting to cancel my free trial last time) but it's a bit of a confusing hassle without a fully translated mirror

qualx, Sunday, 3 January 2016 22:20 (three years ago) Permalink

made it to the 'debate' between lawler and paul e dangerously and am absolutely blown away that paul was 31 years old in 1997

he was 25 during the dangerous alliance!

did he come out of the womb looking like a 45 year old or what

― qualx, Thursday, December 31, 2015 6:33 AM (3 days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

It's crazy, he turned 50 a few months ago and it was hard to believe it had taken that long

There are some interesting promos on the recent-ish Heyman DVD from I guess AWA where he hasn't yet developed his cartoon pro-wrestling promo voice and sounds like a different person altogether; my recollection was that his voice had the exact same tone and style as Sting, which was really jarring

A related weird old-seeming-wrestler thing which I am fairly sure is true is that John Cena is now older than Arn Anderson was when he retired

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Sunday, 3 January 2016 22:30 (three years ago) Permalink

well arn anderson was a professional dad and cena dresses like a 12 year old

watching old wrestling brings up the old time vortex brain processing problem that i'm not sure other people have, where it's really difficult to properly process the ages of people who were younger than where you are now, decades ago. rocky maivia was 24(!) in 1997, but i have trouble watching him and seeing a person 3 years younger than me. and when i can actually see it i just start to feel bad.

qualx, Sunday, 3 January 2016 22:44 (three years ago) Permalink

Oh when is the new WK?

Right now!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 4 January 2016 09:44 (three years ago) Permalink

trying to watch this right now with Kevin Kelly and Matt Striker together on commentary, it's like some kind of special torture designed to punish anyone too pussy to just watch it in Japanese

Windsor Davies, Monday, 4 January 2016 16:27 (three years ago) Permalink

god almighty these opening four-team jr. tag matches are unbearable. i don't get how the Young Bucks have the following that they do if they're always like this. i suppose it's kind of admirable that they've been able to carve out a niche as this self-aware post-modern thing but everything they do takes you out of the match completely.

Windsor Davies, Monday, 4 January 2016 16:31 (three years ago) Permalink

I watched with English commentary, partly because Yoshie Tatsu was there to provide translations (in theory), but he didn't say much the whole night. Kevin Kelly was surprisingly good, and Striker was unbearable as usual. During Styles-Nakamura he kept asking Tatsu stuff like "how do you feel watching AJ Styles in the ring after what he did to you?" and it was clear that Tatsu really wasn't comfortable talking about it or at least didn't want to have it become a running thread in their commentary of the match. But Striker never could take a hint -- he always overdoes things.

No spoilers but I can't see any NJPW fan being disappointed with the show. It was definitely near or at the level of last year's WK.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Monday, 4 January 2016 17:31 (three years ago) Permalink

should we have a 2016 thread?

a hoy hoy, Monday, 4 January 2016 17:58 (three years ago) Permalink

As long as you make the thread look strong

nerd shit (Will M.), Monday, 4 January 2016 18:15 (three years ago) Permalink

rolling roman's reigns

qualx, Monday, 4 January 2016 20:04 (three years ago) Permalink

so was wk10 fun?

personally would go with 'rolling sheamus still a thing in 2016' or just 'rolling new day 2016'

a hoy hoy, Monday, 4 January 2016 20:35 (three years ago) Permalink

rolling don't you dare be sour 2016

Mordy, Monday, 4 January 2016 20:37 (three years ago) Permalink

rolling armbars with pentagon jr.

Windsor Davies, Monday, 4 January 2016 20:55 (three years ago) Permalink

wrestle kingdom was fun, yes, definitely worth checking out all of the big singles matches. Shibata/Ishii was dumb as shit but good fun all the same. Styles/Nak was my personal favourite, but the main event was suitably epic. I hope they're done with Okada / Tanahashi for good now.

Windsor Davies, Monday, 4 January 2016 20:57 (three years ago) Permalink

shinsuke nakamura may be on dis ting 2016

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 00:11 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm kinda too confused about which New Japan guys have actually been reported to have given notice though, Gallows/Anderson/Styles/Nakamura seems a bit too good to be true, or bad depending on your pov

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 00:13 (three years ago) Permalink

Court Bauer with the reported reporting in question

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 00:14 (three years ago) Permalink

court bauer has never said a true thing in his life

qualx, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 01:04 (three years ago) Permalink

meltzer seems to confirm though so yeeeeeesh welcome to wwe nakamura

qualx, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 01:18 (three years ago) Permalink

nakamura in wwe fills me with dread but who knows maybe he'll be boma-ye'ing john cena's nose into oblivion every week.

wrestle kingdom was indeed good fun. alongside the matches windsor mentions i also liked the jr heavyweight tag match (though sometimes almost too smoothly executed) and the jr heavyweight match. worried for the state of shibata's and ishii's organs and brains though.

lazy rascals, spending their substance, and more, in riotous living (Merdeyeux), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 04:35 (three years ago) Permalink

Jericho calls The New Day trap queens

qualx, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 05:05 (three years ago) Permalink

Nakamura in WWE!!

The timing makes sense for all four of these guys. Nakamura has been considering this for a while I think, and he's at the age where it's now or never if there's any hope of becoming a star in the US.

Daniel Bryan would probably sign a waiver absolving WWE of anything they ask for if they bring him back to wrestle Nak.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 07:17 (three years ago) Permalink

i'm pretty sure he'd already have done that if it were a possibility

it's hard to even imagine nakamura as a regular in full sail, it seems so small time. he and tana might be the only current wrestlers in the world with the aura to make me think that. i can even imagine okada down there but not those two. i CAN see jericho calling them whip nae naes

there's no reason for it to ever happen again but i wish WWE would go back to cross-promotion cooperation and actually do it right this time. introduce the big guys over there as actual competition for the big main roster guys over here, actually spend time with their characters and build cross-promotional feuds. in my dreams.

qualx, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 08:12 (three years ago) Permalink

Have the WWE ever really done it? Was always more of a nwa/wcw thing I thought.

Nakamura in WWE would be incredible. I think wrestling fans, adult ones anyway, would give him respect. Itami's start was done so well, and its a shame he got injured, because the two together* could come in like post-wm raw and run fucking cray cray and we'd all love it.

*sure its the wwe and all ppl who look alike/are the same race go together but also theyd be so dope, with like paul e as a voice piece too. Lol fantasy booking

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 08:45 (three years ago) Permalink

that's an interesting point about the cross-promotion cooperation as they've clearly had their greedy little eyes on NJPW for quite some time now. it's interesting to see this news remembering how WWE reportedly wanted to strike up a deal to show New Japan stuff on the Network and NJPW refused on the basis that they had no interest in becoming a developmental territory for WWE to just swoop in and snatch up anyone who started getting any kind of global traction. i understand the sentiment i suppose, but lol all the same.

these are really intriguing signings in so far as Styles and Nakamura are supposedly both broken, with Nakamura in particular only up to having a limited number of big outings each year. I hope they don't completely neuter his style (though of course it'll be toned down a lot).

Maybe this signals a big push into Japan to try and flog the Network to a different market and they're going to save all the big performances for shows over there? Nakamura, Styles, Balor, Itami, Asuka - they could run some pretty massive Japan shows as 'Beast In the East'-style Network specials with all of that talent.

Windsor Davies, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 08:47 (three years ago) Permalink

I'd be really surprised if Nakamura signs or has signed with WWE. It just doesn't make a lot of sense on paper--he's 35 years old, doesn't speak fluent English, isn't immediately physically impressive, is weird in a way that might not work for a mass U.S. audience, doesn't promise to attract a large or lucrative demographic (the way a major Mexican star might, c.f. their gamble with the original Sin Cara), would have to change the way he works to suit the WWE house style, might also have to change his ring name, and would be leaving the biggest promotion in his home country where he's a huge deal to work for a company that has never made a major star out of an Asian or non-Anglophone wrestler, ever.

Add in the infamously grueling WWE main roster schedule, and stuff about his injuries (which I wasn't even aware of), and it looks even more unlikely. I can't see why WWE would want him, nor why he would trust them to make good use of his talents.

And if the idea is to bring him in to NXT, then presumably they'd be offering him good money (at least as much as he makes in Japan, one would think) to come work for their unprofitable, internet-only developmental league, a move which isn't likely to increase viewership at all since the kinds of fans who follow Nakamura watch NXT already.

I know they signed KENTA/Hideo Itami, but I don't think he was ever a star of Nakamura's stature in Japan. I'm guessing it's easier to lure a main eventer away from NOAH than from NJPW.

I can only really understand it as an ego thing: WWE signs Nakamura because they like the idea of being able to poach the top stars of any promotion anywhere. So they promise him whatever combination of money, light schedule, and push it takes to make the deal--even though, from a dispassionate business perspective, there's not much reason to think he's worth it.

All of which is to say that it would be super interesting if he did sign, so I hope it's true.

JRN, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 10:58 (three years ago) Permalink

They have a bit of a problem generally where the guys who get most over with the core, vocal fanbase are well-travelled indie/international guys who are 30+ with 10+ years of topes and stiff kicks on the clock, whose bodies are going to immediately start to disintegrate on contact with the WWE's road schedule. It's basically in the fans' interest to learn to like reigns and Baron Corbin because they probably won't die in the ring or become depressingly deluded burnouts like Bryan (and Zayn and Balor soon enough)

Nakamura will probably be way more over than Itami in NXT from day one just shouting yow and kneeing people but yeah it's a bit hard to envisage a long term career path for him in wwe. Their apparent determination to make Itami seem like a big deal in the build up to Wrestlemania followed by him getting flicked out of the battle royal by big show was.... yeah

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 11:40 (three years ago) Permalink

Kenta kanna devitt and nakamura all sign to nxt within a year or so. Network in Japan gotta be seen as hella lucrative. Also the main roster is REALLY depleted atm, this seems like man city or real madrid buying a squad of stars cos a starting 11 cant cut it if you have a few injuries or poor form etc.

As shit as this year has been, its been the first year in like ten that Cena, Orton, Kane, Big Show, HHH or Punk havent been the main event. Hopefully one day soon this rebuilding will pay off.

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 11:48 (three years ago) Permalink

Btw i still know this is all gonna go to shit.

a hoy hoy, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 11:50 (three years ago) Permalink

At this point NXT is more of its own touring brand than a purely developmental division within WWE. They keep adding house shows to their schedule and they sell out quickly, so they need to add more established talents to keep that going. The Takeover specials are a big drawing card for the network (i.e. where they need to make their money in the long term). Most NJPW house shows are in halls with 500-1000 fans, the PPV's are in larger arenas with a few thousand people (sometimes more), so it's essentially the same as what NXT is doing. For Nakamura that's a lateral step at worst, with a chance of being called up to the main roster and becoming a much bigger star.

Yeah the WWE's record of making stars out of foreign wrestlers (or any visible minority) is horrible, but Nak is the kind of OTT, charismatic character that could work in front of American audiences.

FWIW, I think he speaks English reasonably well. He did some training in the US and is supposed to be close friends with Finn Balor and Karl Anderson. Cutting a promo in English is a different story obviously. He's way better than Hideo Itami. It might not even matter -- Asuka delivers one word promos and is as over as anyone in NXT. If Nakamura throws knee strikes and yells yeeeoh all the time he'll probably be fine. That's pretty much all he does in Japan right now!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 15:18 (three years ago) Permalink

Didn't realise what with all the hoo-haa about these signings that the Royal Rumble match is gonna be for the title this year. That is actually a pretty interesting sideways step that I hadn't anticipated, gives them a lot of room to manoeuvre in the build for Wrestlemania. Would be a hell of a way to give a debuting global sensation a rocket push right off the bat... lol

Windsor Davies, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 16:36 (three years ago) Permalink

should i watch raw? i just read the results and im interested for once

nerd shit (Will M.), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 16:37 (three years ago) Permalink

I'ma watch the first hour and ffwd the rest, which is about as much as I can ever stomach

Meltzer saying Nak and Styles not intended for NXT but main roster? Seems kind of counterintuitive, NXT seems a better fit for big-but-not-massive-in-America stars with too many niggling injuries to work 300 dates a year? They're getting good money by the sounds of it though, fair play

Re: Nakamura's English, big fan of this Twitter exchange with a hairy Northern Irish wrestler he had recently defeated:

https://twitter.com/ShinsukeN/status/650082164772614145

Dadjokke (Sgt. Biscuits), Tuesday, 5 January 2016 18:46 (three years ago) Permalink

Would be a hell of a way to give a debuting global sensation a rocket push right off the bat... lol

Reigns vs Gallows at Mania ... hoss fight ... bank on it.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 5 January 2016 23:24 (three years ago) Permalink

should i watch raw? i just read the results and im interested for once

― nerd shit (Will M.), Tuesday, January 5, 2016 11:37 AM (11 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Jericho calls The New Day trap queens

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 03:43 (three years ago) Permalink

DAAAAAAAAAAAAD

nerd shit (Will M.), Wednesday, 6 January 2016 03:56 (three years ago) Permalink

watching wk finally and wow am i glad to hear kevin kelly ????

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 03:57 (three years ago) Permalink

ts: yoshi tatsu vs matt striker trying to figure out how deal with yoshi tatsu

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 03:58 (three years ago) Permalink

i just watched the 4-way tag and then skipped to syles/nakamura and okada/tanahashi due to sleepy constraints

was not disappointed, wow

(literally almost fell asleep during okada tanahashi but not their fault)

nerd shit (Will M.), Wednesday, 6 January 2016 04:29 (three years ago) Permalink

i will watch all the other matches tmrw probs

nerd shit (Will M.), Wednesday, 6 January 2016 04:30 (three years ago) Permalink

I hadn't considered that they might be trying to push the WWE Network in Japan. But I disagree that the main roster is depleted. Just last night they put together a new stable of Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Adam Rose--four main roster wrestlers who had been doing nothing for months on end. Damien Sandow, Fandango, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Los Matadores (and El Torito), The Miz, Goldust, and R-Truth have little or nothing to do on the main shows. They have tons of wrestlers, they just don't make good use of them on TV, despite having vast quantities of time to fill.

Maybe they're depleted at the top of the card, with Orton, Bryan, and Rollins gone (the former two possibly permanently). But there are guys already on the main roster they could elevate to those roles, not to mention an NXT wrestler or two. They don't need the likes of Nakamura and AJ Styles at all.

The interesting is question is why they would want them. Nakamura and Styles are great wrestlers, but they're 35 and 38, unknown to most of the audience, and have nagging injury problems. Wanting network subscribers in Japan is an interesting conjecture, but could that alone make them worth the investment? I continue to suspect that part of this is just that WWE likes the idea of taking top stars from another promotion (even if that promotion is not really a competitor).

JRN, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 05:44 (three years ago) Permalink

you listed a bunch of warm bodies. depleted = http://images.artistdirect.com/Images/Sources/AMGCOVERS/music/cover200/drf400/f498/f49817ttqzw.jpg

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 06:12 (three years ago) Permalink

nak and styles SHOULD skip NXT.

debut nak in front of smarky crowds where he's already over and just let do his thing, get the rest of the world used to loving him (they could honestly just do this with most of NXT callups but they seem to love throwing new wrestlers into the deep end without a paddle)

of course still no idea how he'd play out in the WWE style of Jericho calls The New Day trap queens

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 06:16 (three years ago) Permalink

rolling Jericho calls The New Day trap queens 2016 please

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 06:17 (three years ago) Permalink

god idk what happened with that post but every other word is missing it's past my bedtime

qualx, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 06:19 (three years ago) Permalink

you listed a bunch of warm bodies

That's exactly what Styles and Nakamura will be to most of the audience when they debut. If they're going to be draws, they're going to have to be pushed and booked well. The exact same could be said of, and done with, wrestlers who are already on Raw or NXT.

Which is not to say I'd prefer that scenario--I'm very interested to see what they might do with the NJPW guys. I'm just saying that if they're worried about a lack of main-event wrestlers, springing for obscure broken-down thirtysomethings AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura is a weird response.

JRN, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 08:10 (three years ago) Permalink

rolling Jericho calls The New Day trap queens 2016

a hoy hoy, Wednesday, 6 January 2016 09:56 (three years ago) Permalink


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