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Cheap Shots: What NJPW Is Doing Is Making WWE Look Bad

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Chris Jericho Kenny Omega NJPW
Image Via NJPW
Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!

What is NJPW doing that is making WWE look bad? Wrestling, it is that simple. In a day and age where WWE is sports entertainment, New Japan is wrestling.  They are out in front leading the charge, putting on matches unlike anything I have ever seen. I have been a WWE lifelong fan, and have been a NJPW fan for a few years now, and I can tell you the difference in matches is like night and day. Do I still watch WWE? Yes. Is it painful? At times yes.

New Japan is by far putting on the best hard hitting product. No matter who is in the ring, I am not tempted to look at my phone while the match is going on, (here’s looking at you WWE.) New Japan wrestlers are doing stuff in the squared circle that is simply amazing. It isn’t the simple WWE formula of wrestling, which I can call what happens next a mile away. WWE has the  205 wrestlers doing the same stuff as the “Big Boys” on Raw and Smackdown, it isn’t anything different. If WWE is going to have a cruiserweights then by all means let them be cruiserweights. Let them flourish like they did when they were in WCW. Allow them to get the world talking about these matches.

Image Via NJPWThe King of Wrestling?

NJPW has had the world talking for the past couple of years about their matches, (Okada vs. Omega, Omega vs. Jericho). How are they able to do this? One of the reasons they are able to this is because of the Strong Style type of wrestling they produce. When two people clash you can feel it. Just go back and watch the Shibata vs. Okada match. You can feel every hit, drop, submission, and yes infamous head butt that is produced during that match. Now that NJPW is getting better exposer on this side of the world it is starting to connect more and more with western fans. Why? Because at the end of the day it feels real. It has a UFC feel to it; it makes me feel like I am watching an actual fight between two men, not the watered down WWE that we now have to suffer through. Should WWE change their style? Yes, but they don’t need to copy NJPW. WWE needs to allow the wrestlers to try new things, and flourish as individuals, not have everyone stuck in the WWE wrestling style.

Need More Evidence?Image Via NJPW

The other reason these matches are excelling and generating so much buzz is because not everyone and their brother gets to be champion. To get to be IWGP Heavyweight Champion you have to be superior in the ring. Since 1987 there has only been 27 people that have held that title. With 65 reigns among them. Where as with the WWE title it has been held by 49 different people with 138 reigns among them. Kazuchika Okada has held his Championship for over 600 days. So every time he wrestles there is a buzz of will he be unseated. The last WWE champ to hold the title over 200 days was CM Punk in 2011 at 435 days. In WWE title reigns change like the wind, where we make someone champion just to further our efforts in a foreign land. (Cough…Jinder Mahal…Cough). I am not saying we need a long time reigning champion in WWE. Just make the belt mean something, make me believe in the champion that wins. Don’t just put a belt on him as a PR stunt. There is also not one belt that says hey I am the man and I run this roost. We have a heavyweight champion on both shows, which belt is superior? The Universal or WWE title? One could argue it depends on who caries it at the time.

Time for a Change

If WWE could get back on track with the wrestling part of their name, they could possibly turn this train wreck around. Now this isn’t to say WWE doesn’t have good matches, because they do, but they are few and far between. NJPW is consistently putting on not just good matches, but amazing matches night in and night out. I dare you to sit down and watch a NJPW match, then turn around and watch a WWE match, and tell me if you don’t feel a difference in the energy and time that they are putting into the matches.

Perhaps WWE has set too long on top of the mountain as King. But, with New Japan now laying seeds down in the Western World, with having a Dojo, live events, and selling their merchandise in U.S. stores, they very well may give WWE a run for its money. Could this spark WWE to realize that they need to start getting back to their roots and focus mainly on putting good matches? I hope so, I really do hope so.

 

 


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MadMan: She’s Handing Out Blues Better Than A Namesake Will

Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.

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Madman decided to follow his blue dragon back towards the titans! Let’s see what black magic he weaves in this edition.

I may not be in regular rotation, but when they give me a chair, I swing for my fences. As a decades-long consumer of the art, I don’t have many left. The only Home Runs WWE has placed within my scope, can be found in Women’s Division on both Monday Night Raw & SmackDown Live.

The year I began watching wrestling, some very interesting circumstances took place surrounding cable television. WTBS; (Atlanta), WAS the home of The NWA’s Jim Crockett Promotions. At least until “Black Saturday,” which ultimately saw Vinnie Jr. Hijack the famous 6:05 time slot. This nearly cause riots among cable viewers opposed to McMahon’s product and presentation.

Though the million dollar ransom The Crocketts paid to get their flagship spot back on the dial gave the head of Titan Sports the backbone to finance WrestleMania, which helped to wreck most of the territories. Hell, it can be argued somewhat convincingly upon its 30th Anniversary, Vince himself ruined his biggest display’s pristine intentions for two consecutive years with Lesnar beating the streak instead of Bray Wyatt; and, Sting losing his ONLY Mania match because someone else had the right bride on their marriage license.

Despite the objections of both smarks and sheep in certain cases, we must respect the history of this pop culture institution. IF WrestleMania is Woodstock, it is only appropriate that Tito Santana opened the show with a victory!

In recent years, there has been only one person on The Main Roster who has matched the swag of Santana’s initial accomplishment without even trying, and she wrestled in the last Mania Match I cared about. Finally got tired of giving fans The Blues. She’s ready to deal some out in the form of steel chairs and God knows what else.

“Cut Her talent LOOSE!” We kept screaming. “A REAL run with Gold, PLEASE?” Like a kid aching just before Christmas. As with Solis, she was a true pro, until the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in the modern art form washed over us.

Fans and insiders alike FORGOT about Social Media! Don’t get me wrong, it’s still here. Can’t get away from it. Hell, I’m doing a roll-in on the internet right now! If you’ve been fans of us long enough, you’ll realize that last sentence was not a botch! Seriously, this thing felt like the territories back in the day. No one knew a damn thing! Even some of those paid to know were flipping a coin every five minutes. Thanks for the constant stress, you ancient prick!

Come on folks. If you know my current wrestling HEART at all, you KNEW the last Chair Shot on her return was coming from her Super Mark in Middle America! When older dudes at this circus describe what true fandom is like; they’ll often say: “That’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, that’s bulls***, BUT THAT’S REAL!”

For her boatloads of fans and the woman herself, Christmas is here! The Stamford’s latest Blues enthusiast is very real, And WWE’s Black Magic Woman IS BACK! Line ’em up. they’re all falling. Charlotte & Ronda too. To The Man and those in charge of her Twitter Account, thanks for keeping the possibility top of mind when things first got weird. We never gave up, but you will! MISSED YOU LADY BANKS!


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Mad Man’s Spinal Tap & 20 Questions

Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox. Does this article go to 11? Are the retread concepts, just hollow nowadays?

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Back to back weeks we see the Mad Man come to play in our sandbox! Does this article go to 11?

When you have decades of experience watching the art form, your eyes and thought processes change. It’s the reason my colleagues can break down pending news and angles we haven’t seen yet. Mr. Meltzer made a cottage industry out of it. A ton of people on The Internet are trying to follow suit. Then, there are fans like me. As much as I love twitter, Professional Wrestling fans were never meant to receive “spoilers” every day.

This is NOT a “Back in my day…” thing. My eyes have changed too. However, I am focused more on WWE’s calendar when watching Stamford’s offering. If I think about wrestling. it’s very simple. My suspension of disbelief is gone for very few performers. In fact, I would say it’s gone for most fans. If we know it’s a work, why are scripts and outcomes still based on the assumption that we don’t? If I have seen a gimmick before, I am VERY hard to impress. Make me believe you can beat somebody; and stand out doing so, or I will chew you up and spit you the Hell out.

For those who say I should keep my mouth shut because I can’t perform and never have, I DON’T CARE! Saint Dave gets a pass, and y’all still watch the current product like his lap dogs and clones, despite “knowing’ the outcome? I don’t watch for the outcome anymore. Based on character development and pushes, I can see that coming. Call me a hypocrite and I will play 20 Questions with you. Can you get me to the finish line without looking like an idiot or a laughable copy of someone else?

Su Yung is 5’6’’ish. Marks and sheep world wide are transfixed and petrified? Make up aside, why? She is impersonating three legends with no unique move set and doing it very badly. Without her zombies, can she beat anybody? Mr. Calloway used druids. He was 6’10’’ and did not need them to kick your ass. Mick Foley put himself and you through HELL before using The Mandible Claw. You had no choice but to take it. The Great Muta was arguably the best Rising Sun performer of all time. He had a move set most American fans had never seen before. The Mist was believable in his hands because audience and opponent were spinning trying to keep up with him. Where is Su Yung’s Mysticism? As much as fans love her, there are no OMG moments in her matches, and her gimmick is predicated on them.

She is far from the only example. Twitter went crazy about a month ago because a top name on the indies put something in her opponent’s mouth during a match. Outside of a prison fight, when would this EVER HAPPEN? Why is this necessary? If this is a work, why would any girl allow someone to do this? Tell me why either woman gets hired again without the parrot response? Same question applies to Joseph. Dude ain’t pickin’ up anybody like that in real life. I dare him to pick my wheelchair up with his finish. He would be in traction.

Tony Schiavone is our crazy wrestling fan uncle. Our memories of him when we were kids and teenagers all ROCK! He is without question one of the best to ever call the action. God Bless Conrad Flair for bringing him back to the art form. Among other fun stuff, he now does commentary for MLW. With tongue firmly planted in cheek; I must say, I have a slight problem with him. I understand that it is his job. He continues to put MJF over because?? I get the gimmick. It’s just OLD! He is ripping off The Miz. One look at him, and you can see that. “I have more money than you.” So did DiBiase. And if you did, you wouldn’t need the $50.00 a night you made before Tony started calling your matches because you’d be paying him. Just wait until Mike retires before you go to New York.

Finally, we arrive at the biggest tent. Vinnie’s circus was on The West Coast in The House of Hot Rod & Billy Jack Haynes. Sheep under 25 are now asking a three-worded question. The only help you’ll get from me is to say that he may have been the father of Modern Independent Wrestling. Sometimes, it wasn’t his choice, and he is still fighting demons today.

Back to this week. Didn’t Spinal Tap all stand in the Center Ring around a month ago and do a babyface promo? “It’s our fault. We’ll do better for you. This is YOUR product.” First, I believe Stephanie as a babyface as much as I believe Saint Richard as a babyface. Shut up and go home as a shoot. Second, as big a moron as Vince is, he’s NOT leaving the person carrying the big top out of WrestleMania! Outside of the obvious, Becky’s leg is a work. SHE WAS LIMPING ON THE WRONG ONE ON MONDAY! Seth Rollins is hurt as a shoot. He WASN’T at Monday Night Raw. If Becky wasn’t cleared, she wouldn’t be on either show. So WHY is everybody going apes*** over this?

Sometimes, I can’t tell which group is Spinal Tap?

Is it the group on stage or the sheep who believe what they’re watching? I truly wish this art form was treated more like real competition.


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