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A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

Hiroshi Tanahashi

The Ace of New Japan. His nickname references him being a 1 in a century talent (1 - 100). He is the best wrestler in the world, IMO, and it's probably not even a contest. Has no shortcomings at all in wrestling. I remember Meltzer saying that he is the only wrestler that he can remember ever getting every Hall of Fame vote amongst his peers. Probably has the most Meltzer ***** star matches in recent memory too, for whatever that's worth.

He's main evented Wrestle Kingdom (their big event akin to WrestleMania) ten times in a row. Reduces the fangirls in the audience to tears, and you'll see this after he wins a match at a big event. He plays the air guitar, which sounds ridiculous as hell, but the crowd always goes nuts for it. They then try to get his sweat on their towels.

Luxurious hair (lmao at the person who called it "luscious"), bright colors, etc. He ran counter-culture to the MMA style that NJPW was trying to push in the mid 00's. More on this later.

Tanahashi is credited with pulling NJPW out of the financial abyss, and turning it into a hot product.

He has had bad back problems, but still performs at an extremely high level. 39 years old, though, so we're approaching time for a new ace....

Recommended match:
Tanahashi vs. Suzuki at King of Pro Wrestling 2012

(***** Meltzer rating; voted MOTY in the Observer Awards; Most well done match ever, IMO)

Bonus match:

Tanahashi vs. AJ Styles at G1 Tournament 2015

(****3/4 Meltzer rating; Fun & really exciting, especially if you familiarize yourself with the wrestlers' moves, and thus understand how significant certain things are in matches)

Kazuchika Okada

28 years old; an early prodigy; the future of the company.

NJPW sent him off to TNA when he was a Young Lion (a NJPW'er in training) as a learning experience. Turns out they didn't do shit with him, but Okada said that it ended up being ultimately a good thing, because he got to watch a lot of American television. He said he realized that you needed to be a character to make a ton of money, so that's when he created the "Rainmaker" personality.

It's kind of a mix of a rapper's persona, with a tiny bit of Batman, but with a huge amount of refined elegance. It's a unique combo, and it's all Okada. One of the things you'll notice is that he has tremendous body language, and he says he learned that from watching Sting.

Tanahashi has commented on how he's jealous over Okada's recognition and usage of the camera. Tana said that some vets never learn how to use the camera to their advantage, but Okada knew how to do that very early on.

Tremendously smooth wrestler, and he'll remind you of Orton in that way. He was initially trained in Mexico at 16, so he has the ability to fly around, which is kind of unusual for a tall guy. Has amassed a ton of top tier matches in a short amount of time, and will end up going down as one of the most legendary wrestlers, because he was so good so early.

His whole aura is one of detached cool, and unbothered arrogance. Most recent example was him no-selling getting beaten down in a press conference. "Ow. Back to the presser..."

Can be quite the dick, and plays to the crowd wonderfully when trying to get under their skin. Despite that, he's become a fan favorite, and everyone knows he's the future of the company.

Helped Tanahashi turn around business, and it is his rise that has really helped turn NJPW into a super hot product (business-wise, especially).

If Okada were American, Vince would be pushing him for the next 10 years straight. He's everything Vince would want.

Oh, btw, as for the TNA story, Okada was asked if he has anything to say to TNA. His response, said in perfect English, was "Hell no!"

Recommended Match:
Okada vs. Nakamura at G1 Tournament 2015 (****3/4 Meltzer rating; Thrilling and I loved Okada's intensity)

Bonus Match:
Okada vs. Nagata at G1 Tournament 2015 (****1/4 Meltzer rating; Okada was a great dick here)

A few more bonuses matches:
Okada vs. Tenryu at Retirement Match 2015 (Okada showing how great he is working with someone old as hell)
Okada vs. Ospeary at Global Wars UK 2015 (Charisma for days, and lol at encouraging the "O-ka-da" New Day style chants)

Katsuyori Shibata

All you need to know about Shibata is that you need to know nothing. The best way I've ever heard him described was "somebody forgot to tell Shibata that wrestling isn't real."

Will beat the shit out of you for looking at him the wrong way, and then leave the ring like none of this means anything to him. Straight ass-kicker, and my personal favorite wrestler.

You'll find that he's very over in Japan, and extremely over with the American audience online, but politics have prevented a big push.

He's got a Brock like personality, but even morseso in the sense that I think that he's more legitimately standoffish, but he does love wrestling (the art of it) more than Brock does.

Was initially pushed as one of the big 3 with Tanahashi & Nakamura, but left NJPW just a couple of years into his career at the age of 25 for MMA. The other wrestlers resented this hard, and have cock-blocked his push since he returned in 2012.

Despite that, he stands out, the crowd's into him, so maybe it's inevitable that NJPW pushes him hard now that WWE just raided half their top talent. This is something to watch for in 2016.

His nickname is simply "The Wrestler", which gives you an idea of what he's all about. He's worn the same simple black trunks (or shorts) and black boots his entire career. No glitzy ass entrances for him. He's just coming here to kick your ass, and that's it, buddy.

Somehow, that simplicity has had the effect of making him stand out.

If you're not into hard hitting, ultra-violent, "fuck you, I'm not selling for you until you literally beat it out of me" type matches....well, you will be after watching Shibata. Or else you're just no fun.

But seriously, Shibata has made a fan out of people who don't usually like that style of wrestling, because his performances tend to be so electric.

Lastly, he's actually a really great technical wrestler, and was a national champion in high school, so he can mix it up with the mat work and technique.

Recommended match:
Shibata vs. Ishii at Wrestle Kingdom 10 (****1/2 Meltzer rating; F that, it's damn near a five star match!)

Bonus Matches:
Shibata vs. Ishii at New Beginning 2016 (****1/2 Meltzer rating; The sequel to match above.)
Shibata vs. Sakuraba at Dominion 2015 (**** Meltzer rating; F him again. This was pure art. I remember him saying that a lot of people were telling him it was one of the top 2 matches of that extremely stacked show. Damn right it was, Meltzer.)
Shibata vs. Murakami in Big Mouth Loud 2005 (Pretty cool to see him go against a version of himself.)
Shibata vs. Nakajima in Big Mouth Loud 2006
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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

Kota Ibushi

One of the most versatile wrestlers in the business. Incredible high flying skills, and also can get grimy as hell in the ring. Has an MMA background, and you will see people joke about him secretly being a serial killer, because he seems to love killing dudes despite the pretty boy looks. He will smash you on your neck with a smirk.

Creative as can be, as you'll witness in the match of him wrestling a doll in DDT (his real home promotion. He has a dual contract with NJPW, but DDT is his heart). The concept of the match sounds silly, but when you watch it, you realize how talented he is.

He's pretty much consensus considered one of the best and most exciting wrestlers in the world, and as someone said to people just starting out watching New Japan, "he will be one of your favorites." He is usually one of the main ones that new viewers are drawn to.

Recommended match:
Ibushi vs. Nakamura at G1 Tournament 2013 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)

Bonus match:
Ibushi vs. Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 2015 (***** Meltzer rating; Voted MOTY in the Observer Awards)

A few more bonus matches:
Ibushi vs. Ricochet at Dominion 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)
Ibushi vs. Tanahashi at G1 Tournament 2015 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)
Ibushi vs. Shibata at G1 Tournament 2015 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)
Ibushi vs. Prince Devitt vs. Low Ki at Wrestle Kingdom 2013 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)
Ibushi vs. Ishii at Back to Yokohama Arena 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)
Ibushi vs. Naito at New Japan Cup 2015 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)
Ibushi vs. Naito at G1 Tournament 2015
Ibushi vs. HARASHIMA in DDT 2009

Tetsuya Naito

An irritant of the highest order. Best character in the business right now, and I'm shocked that WWE hasn't tried to jack the idea of his character. Basically, the best way I've heard him described is an "apathetic asshole." Incredibly talented wrestler, but his goal is to annoy you & his opponents by not giving a shit. He will smile while you punch him, take longer than the Undertaker to get to the ring, pretend to get into the ring and then won't, refuse to tag in, etc.

My favorite was when his teammate was about to get pinned, so Naito walks into the ring like he's about to break it up, but decides that it's just not worth the effort to lift his leg and get there before 3. LOL. He is so great.

He's also a dastardly heel who will attack everyone from the young ring boys (called the "Young Lions") to the commentators to the cameramen. All while lazily walking away.

He will then occasionally have bursts of fighting in an ultra-aggressive fashion and showing just how brutal he can be, before inevitably deciding to lie down. Still, though, he can put you away in a heartbeat & is also one of the more versatile wrestlers in the biz.

He used to be someone whom the company wanted to push as a top face of the company, but the fans weren't really buying into it. They chose Okada & Nakamura over him, so eventually Naito decided to reinvent himself.

He was working in CMLL in Mexico while with New Japan, and formed a group with Rush, La Sombra (who is now signed to NXT), & Mascara called "Los Ingobernables" ("The ungovernable"). This is where he developed this new character, which he then brought to New Japan.

He started doing promos in Spanish only in New Japan, and started exclusively posting pictures of his "Los Ingobernables" hat on Twitter and nothing else. He progressively became lazier and lazier, taking foreeever to take his clothes off ("take the mask off, ASSHOLE!" Doc Gallows yelled at him, lol), get to the ring, or do anything, really. Exasperating his tag team partners greatly along the way.

He then formed the "Los Ingobernables" group in Japan, featuring Evil (who just returned from his Ring of Honor excursion), and Bushi, who is a masked high-flyer. Of course the group constantly cheats whenever Naito feels up to it, lol.

He's changed his look a bit, adding suits and a mask (though sometimes he doesn't even bother to do that...usually for tag team matches he can't be bothered).

He also does this eye taunt which he also did back when he was a face. In case you're wondering, it started because some Mexican fans were making fun of the Japanese wrestlers' "slanted" eyes. So Naito would open his eye wide to taunt them back.

He is one to watch in 2016, as he is one of wrestling's fastest rising stars last year in terms of overness. With the WWE raid, and with Naito's character hitting on all cylinders in terms of creativity, Naito is one whom New Japan should definitely be pushing in the next year.

Recommended match:
Naito vs. Tanahashi at G1 Tournament 2015 (**** Meltzer rating; Fabulous performance by both, and this is where you start to see the Naito character soar. Tanahashi is the old vet who will indulge Naito's antics for a bit. "Ok, I know what you're doing, kid, and I know you want to get hit for it" basically.)

Bonus match:
Naito vs. Ishii at New Beginning 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating; Naito proving he can dig deep and go toe to toe with a heavy hitter. Ferocious.)

A few more bonus matches:
Naito vs Okada at NJPW 40th Anniversary 2012 (****3/4 Meltzer rating. This is what he heard about it before getting to watch it: )
Spoiler for Meltzer:
The reports we got were that this match was better than last month’s Jun Akiyama vs. Takao Omori Triple Crown match in the same building, and that was a **** match and the best thing I’ve seen this year. Both from Japan and those who have already seen the match, it’s been almost a unanimous reaction it was the best match in pro wrestling so far this year. Naito is one of the best main event in-ring workers in the world right now (probably just under Tanahashi).

Naito vs. Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 8 (****1/4 Meltzer rating)
Naito vs. Tanahashi at Destruction 2011 (****1/2 Meltzer rating; Young buck showing that he can take it right to the face of the company.)
Naito vs. Tanahashi at G1 Tournament 2013 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)
Naito & Tanahashi vs. Okada & Nakamura at Road to Tokyo Dome 2013 (****3/4 Meltzer rating; Naito is the standout in this match, IMO)
Naito vs. Kushida vs. Kirby at Global Wars UK 2015 (this is the best of his lazy dick character on display. You can tell that one of the British commentators wasn't really familiar with his character, and was genuinely amused by his antics. Especially when he expected Naito to flip to the outside. All-around great performance here, and the crowd was giving him good heat.)
Naito vs. Shibata at G1 Tournament 2015 (Meltzer: "Said to be excellent; MOTN"; Shibata's not in the mood for Naito's bullshit.)
Naito vs. Ishii at New Japan Cup 2016 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)
Naito vs. Okada at Invasion Attack 2016 (****1/4 Meltzer rating)
Naito vs. Ishii at Dontaku 2016 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)


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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

On the topic of the Naito/Shibata feud, the build up was magnificent. Their segments in tag matches were better than their actual singles matches.

Naito seems to do his best character work in random tag matches, which sucks, because people watch those less. But I guess it's because he has far more freedom, due to less time constraints.

Naito & Shibata's burgeoning feud:
G1 Tournament Finals 2015 [8/16/2015]
Road to Destruction [9/4/2015]
Road to Destruction [9/11/2015]
Destruction in Okayama 2015 [9/23/2015]

The Ibushi/Makabe brawls were pretty great too.

Naito was such a great antagonist toward Shibata in these. A complete dickhead, and Shibata's pulsating anger (to quote Tanahashi's description of how Shibata wrestles) was in full-form here. Loved Shibata abusing Naito all around the ring area, while Naito remains unfazed. Shibata keeps breaking free to beat the breaks off of him, 'cause that little twerp is that irritating.

Loved Naito's constant taunts, plus Goto & Ibushi's "ooh, you got what you deserved, son" looks yet unbothered too, like these two going at it is just par for the course.

That build-up was so well done. Just wish the pay-off was as good, but watching all of that was fun as hell & totally fitting of their characters.


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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

Great work.

Agreed that Tanahashi is the BITW, and imo he has been for 4 years straight or more. And Tanahashi vs Suzuki from KOPW 12 is probably my favorite singles match of the last 10 years.

I've been an Okada mark from the moment I got into New Japan. He exudes so much star quality and knows how to get all the little things right. And over time, I've become a huge Shibata and Ibushi mark as well. Hoping for big things for Shibata and Ibushi this year.
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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

Tomoaki Honma

The ultimate underdog, and one of the most authentic and organic babyfaces in the business.

He replaced Ibushi who got injured with a concussion and could not compete in the 2014 G1 Tournament. Something strange happened, though. Instead of being a throwaway replacement, he performed like gangbusters, and got more over with the audience than almost anyone that year.

You can feel the crowd willing him to victory every time he steps into the ring. It's palpable. He's also tough as nails, and does this really cool flying, running, headbutt move, which probably takes years off of his career every time he does it. His matches tend to be hard-hitting, and he gives all of his body to wrestling.

Recommended match:
Honma vs. Shibata at G1 Tournament 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)

Bonus matches:
Honma vs. Goto at G1 Tournament 2015
Honma vs. Ishii at New Beginning 2015 (***** Meltzer rating)
Honma vs. Shibata at Kizuna Road 2016 (****1/4 Meltzer rating; ff to 2:25:00)

Toru Yano

He's a complete troll. His finishing move is a low blow, so that should tell you everything you need to to know. His entire moveset is basically cheating and irritation methods. The crowd loves him, though, as you can see by the faces in the picture.

He's also a cheap salesman who will hawk his DVDs before matches.

He's a comedy act who looks like Rodney Dangerfield, but he's dangerous in the sense that it is not at all uncommon for him to get wins over the top guys in the company. In America it'd be like "I can't believe they let this low level guy beat so and so", but with Yano it's just like "that's just Yano." The audience goes for his nearfalls all of the time for this reason, and you never really know when and if it's going to work out.

Recommended match:
Yano vs. AJ Styles at G1 Tournament 2015

Bonus matches:
Yano vs. Tanahashi at Dominion 2015
Yano vs. Tanahashi at G1 Tournament 2015
Yano vs. Okada at New Japan Cup 2013
Yano vs. Suzuki at G1 Tournament 2013
Yano vs. Suzuki at Destruction 2013
Yano vs. Ibushi at G1 Tournament 2015
Yano vs. Naito at New Japan Cup 2016

Shinsuke Nakamura

The most charismatic wrestler in the world, and that's pretty much not up for a debate. You know how when The Rock was around, it was just obvious that he was? That's how it is with Nakamura. Daniel Bryan called Nakamura "the most fun wrestler in the world."

His co-workers have talked about how he even has a presence and swagger backstage (hence the nickname "Swagsuke"). Just dynamic as hell, and he will crack you up with his facial expressions. Despite sometimes acting like a goofball, he is a killer wrestler, and has the nickname "King of Strong Style." His knees look like they will take your fucking head off, and he is just an incredible, varied, wrestler. Super slick with the way that he can toss and turn and maneuver his body around (especially for a tall guy), and he's just always moving like water.

He used to be pretty normal, and had the nickname "Super Rookie", because they pushed him hella fast. He's another one who has an MMA background & also a high school/collegiate wrestling background, so he was always a really good, solid, wrestler. However, the way I've heard it described was "he went on an excursion to Mexico, and came back weird."

All of a sudden he was all swagged out, full of personality, and just silly as hell. To paraphrase how someone described him "It's just him being who he really is. He's an art school weirdo who's into fun & music, but really can kick your ass and is into wrestling & MMA."

He is over as HELL with every segment and demographic in Japan, and tends to be most American fans' favorite Japanese wrestler as well. As someone said to new New Japan viewers "you will love Nakamura, because everyone loves Nakamura."

Here's his theme song (which will absolutely get stuck in your head), along with violin and piano covers of it, which kind of shows you how influential he is, because you don't really see that for anyone else. Those covers are great.

This is his entrance video.

Also, here's him dancing with a bunch of little kids. It's so Nakamura, but you have to know his style to appreciate the fact that they're basically just acting like a bunch of little Nakamuras. Down to his taunts and movements and everything.

Oh, and every occasion is a good one for a Nakamura gif:

Recommended match:
Nakamura vs. Okada at G1 Tournament 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)

Bonus match:
Nakamura vs. Tanahashi at New Beginning 2014 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)

A few more bonus matches:
Nakamura vs. Bad Luck Fale at New Japan Cup 2014 (**** Meltzer rating)
Nakamura vs. AJ Styles at Wrestle Kingdom 10 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)
Nakamura vs. Marufuji at King of Pro Wrestling 2013 (****1/4 Meltzer rating)
Nakamura vs. Shibata at G1 Tournament 2004
Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn at NXT Takeover 2016 (****1/2 Meltzer rating; ff to 43:20)
Nakamura & Milano vs. Go Shiozaki & Sugiura at NOAH 2nd Navigation 2009 (****1/4 Meltzer rating)

Yujiro Takahashi

Has a tremendous theme song & plays his character well. Too bad his wrestling sucks. It's weird too, because he looks like someone who should be able to wrestle. But for whatever reason, his matches tend to be boring as hell.

He used to be part of the stable CHAOS, which seems to include half the roster, but then turned on them to join the Bullet Club. To this day he is the only Japanese member of the Bullet Club. He's pretty believable as his character, as I legitimately think that he's a sleazeball who hangs out in strip clubs long past closing, filling the strippers' heads with big dreams and big promises. It would be so weird to me if I find out he's a dedicated family man or something, lol.

He shows up with different girls at big events, but his main go to girl is Mao. Here's her Instagram if you're wondering.

She played a pivotal role in my favorite match of his to date (in fairness, I've never watched anything of his from before he became this character). See below.

Recommended match:
Takahashi vs. Anderson at G1 Tournament 2015 (Just a really fun, entertaining, Bullet Club vs. Bullet Club match. Male egos and all, and the other Bullet Club members trying to calm things down was really funny.)


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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

This is pretty awesome. There's so many other great guys too. I love Hirooki Gota and Honma. And Ishi is a badass

I don't really like Okada. I'm not into smug, prick characters, but I cannot deny how incredibly talented and skilled he is. And he's got god given looks to boot

Sad that we can't talk about AJ or Nakamura anymore.
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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

Hirooki Goto

Tough as hell, hard-hitting, very physical style wrestler. Has a no-nonsense approach and his look is that of a Samurai Warrior (Nakamura said something about "slicing his head off" when feuding with him, lol). Very classical look, and he comes out to some cool-ass, cinematic, sounding theme music. NJPW is pretty good at that, eh?

He is legitimately best friends with Shibata, as they went to high school together and have been close friends ever since (Goto even stayed at Shibata's house while recovering from injury). Goto is, like, one of two people you will ever see Shibata hang out with in social media pics, lol. Anyway, this relationship has been highlighted in New Japan, as they will often get together to abuse some folk who dare to mess with the GAWDs, via being a tag team named Meiyu Tag. They've also had a rivalry with each other, which played out in a series of great matches.

Goto is someone whom the company has been pushing to the top level. My impression is that he's someone whom everyone likes, but is not very many peoples' ultimate favorite. I think that's what hurts him. That lack of extreme passion.

Having said that, he's respected, he puts on great matches, and he's a solid person that the company can always rely on. Most importantly, he seems to have found that passionate reaction via pissing the crowd the fuck off during Nakamura's farewell match. The crowd was giving him the business, lol.

If he can continue down that path of delivering his trademark intensity along with that newfound "give no shits if I ruin your party" vibe, he might have hit on something quite good here. He's currently embarking on a program with Okada, so it will be interesting to see if the crowd continues giving him that major heel reaction. If so, that might be the best thing that's happened to Goto in quite some time. Naito criticized him for having no character, so this may be exactly what he needs.

Plus, he delivers the most Godly headbutts ever.

Recommended match:
Goto vs. Tanahashi at Destruction 2007 (Goto's coming of age. He's determined to grab the throne from the king of NJPW, and gives a superb performance with the crowd totally behind him.)

Bonus match:
Goto vs. Nakamura at Dominion 2015 (****1/2 Meltzer rating)

A few more bonus matches:
Goto vs. Shibata at Dominion 2013 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)
Goto vs. Shibata at Wrestle Kingdom 8 (**** Meltzer rating)
Goto vs. Okada at New Beginning 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating)
Goto vs. Shibata at G1 Tournament 2014 (**** Meltzer rating)
Goto vs. Shibata at New Japan Cup 2015 (**** Meltzer rating)
Goto vs. Elgin at G1 Tournament 2015 (**** Meltzer rating)
Goto & Shibata vs. Guns & Gallows at New Beginning 2015 (***3/4 Meltzer rating)
Goto vs. Sugiura at Dominion 2009
Goto, Shibata, & Makabe vs. Young Lions at Road to Power Struggle 2015 (Goto's in a foul mood & wants to f up some Young Lions...Shibata tags in just to one up him on the abuse...the Lions decide to FIGHT BACK. Good shit.)
Goto & Naito vs. Nakamura & Tanaka at Dominion 2012 (**** Meltzer rating)
Goto & Ishii vs. Evil & Bushi at Invasion Attack 2016 (***1/2 Meltzer rating; Goto was amazing!)

Minoru Suzuki

One of the best all-around performers in the business, and definitely one of the best heels you will ever see. Dude is just a bastard and loves every second of it. He lights up a room, and like Nakamura, his facial expressions are just aces (ff to 24:35). I can watch both despite not understanding a word of what either one of them are saying, but still be totally fascinated anyway.

He will laugh in your face like a psychopath, he will throw Young Lions off the rope just because, he will slap you around like you're his personal bitch, and most importantly, he will out-wrestle your ass even though he's approaching 50.

His character is so great that it's almost easy to forget that he's one of the best wrestlers on the planet. But then you watch one of his epic matches, and all you can do is sit in admiration.

His performances are so all encompassing that young wrestlers should really be studying film of him. That is, if they're not too busy getting their asses kicked by him, of course.

He is also a legitimate tough-ass, as he is one of the founding fathers of MMA.

He has recently taken his talents to NOAH (which in the 2000s was the rival promotion to New Japan in terms of popularity). NJPW now partially owns NOAH, so they have a mutual relationship. Suzuki has decided that he wants to run thangs in NOAH, so that's exactly what he's done.

He and his group, Suzuki-Gun, have taken over NOAH and caused near riots in the crowds. He's taken their belts and their pride, and is like "fuck you, NOAH, what'cha gonna do about it? "
They don't want it with Suzuk.

This is how he used to look, by the way:

Recommended match:
Suzuki vs. AJ Styles at G1 Tournament 2014 (****3/4 Meltzer rating; Voted MOTY in the Observer Awards)

Bonus match:
Suzuki vs. Ibushi at G1 Tournament 2014 (**** Meltzer rating)

A few more bonus matches:
Suzuki vs. Sugiura at Noah Great Voyage 2015
Suzuki vs. Marufuji at Noah Destiny 2015
Suzuki vs. Nakajima at Noah Second Navigation 2016
Suzuki & Satomura vs. Marufuji & Kana at Kana Pro 2014 (Suzuki beating the hell out of a woman (Kana who is now Asuka in NXT), to the point where people were wondering if he was shooting. No worries, he's a big supporter of womens wrestling. He's just doing his part for the cause.)

Prince Devitt

"Pince Devittttt-Uh", as the ring announcer says it. Started off as a junior heavyweight, and was probably the fans' favorite foreigner. Then he decided to act like a big asshole and get his group of trashy foreigner friends to join in on the debauchery.

In the midst of all of this, Devitt maintained a cool, somewhat unstable character, that was a bit detached from some of the more unsavory elements of his compadres (more on this later). He's an ass, but he's still an elegant, albeit, dark one.

The Bullet Club began running roughshod on everyone, and the numbers game made it really hard for New Japaners to cope. He and his crew would humiliate their opponents by showing them what helpless bitches they were by mock murking them in a number of different scenarios.

Devitt-uh came up with the Bullet Club name and concept, and sadly he's moved on to NXT. The Bullet Club lives on, though....

Recommended match:
Prince Devitt vs. Okada at Kizuna Road 2013 (****1/4 Meltzer rating)

A few bonus matches:
Prince Devitt vs. Tanahashi at Destruction 2013 (Lumberjack Match) (****1/4 Meltzer rating; Just a complete carnival. Awesomeness.)
Prince Devitt vs. Marufuji at Road to New Beginning 2010 (1/30/10)


Last edited by LilOlMe; 05-20-2016 at 07:05 AM.
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post #8 of 296 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 10:29 PM
Peter, Peter, you're a ....!
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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

I can't believe you did a profile on fucking YUJIRO before Goto or Ishii.

Awesome work though.

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post #9 of 296 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 11:16 PM
Asking JAMES ELLSWORTH for Wrestling Advice
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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

My favorite part, and highly accurate.

The best way I've ever heard him described was "somebody forgot to tell Shibata that wrestling isn't real."
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post #10 of 296 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
Making James Ellsworth GET MY BAGS
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Re: A Beginner's Guide to New Japan Wrestlers (NJPW)

My friend said that Naito should come in on a turtle.

Wow, NJPW went on a rampage of taking down theme songs during the time I posted this. So weird. Replaced all the links, though, so I think all of them are working now.

Thanks for the kind comments, guys. Will continue this soon, as well as maybe post some more links to popular series of matches between wrestlers.

@ItsaNewDay , the last five minutes of that Yano/Suzuki match were great and so well done. Love smartly worked matches based on scouting type stuff.

Forgot that that Okada/Yano match was pretty great too. Added them.

Originally Posted by Corey View Post
I can't believe you did a profile on fucking YUJIRO before Goto or Ishii.

Awesome work though.
That's because I knew it wouldn't take long to gather links for him. Omg, you changed your name.

ETA: I CONTINUED THIS PROJECT ON PAGES 3, 4, 7, 9, 11-12, 15-16, 18, & 26-27. IT IS ONGOING.
MiRixG and Scott Hall's Ghost like this.


Last edited by LilOlMe; 08-15-2016 at 11:26 AM.
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