Well, here comes a post -
chopchopchopchopchopchopchop "Yoooosh" *whip, running/jumping elbow* "ICHAUZO BAKAYARO!" *elbow drop*
Kojima is probably the most overrated wrestler today. People just assume he's this all time great but he has been in very few classic matches. Off the top of my head, when Tenryu carried him in All Japan, the 2006 G1 Finals vs Tenzan and, yeah. The way he carries himself adds a lot to his aura of greatness. You can really tell he was influenced by Mutoh. People bitch about the Tanahashi formula but the Kojima formula is in every single match and does not change. He can also be quite lazy.
Tenzan is perhaps the single most hit and miss wrestler in puroresu history. He has been in his fair share of great matches but ranges from shitty to average normally. He is capable of and has pulled out some masterful performances, usually randomly and out of thin air, every single year since the mid 90s. When he turns that shit on, man, his charm is similar to Kobashi, only Kobashi was so good that he couldn't ever really be an underdog.
I agree with Tanaka being formulaic and not all that.
I really like seeing this new Ishii bandwagon. I wasn't going to upload the Goto IC match but then gaijinpuro went away and it had to be done, I'm pleasantly surprised by the love it has received. He has always been good but nothing has changed about his level of worksmanship since the RIKI Pro days. He just got lost in the shuffle once he joined NJPW, especially after Choshu lost power/left, but his BFF status with Shinsuke has helped him out a lot of late. Him, Wataru, and Honma used to be the perennial jobbers but since Wataru's push flopped and Honma was fired, that bottom barrel level has been scrapped and it seems Ishii is getting some kind of mini reward push and I love it.
Goto is such a frustrating case. He seemed to lose "it" last year, when he switched his style from "Power Technician" to "generic power wrestler #234". It's like he stopped giving a shit and it has shown in almost all of his performances since. He has been a victim of booking, to be fair, as he really needed that win vs. Tanahashi last year. I believe he would have reached the next level with that win and reign, but now he's gone from being the Fourth Hero, set to overtake Makabe as number three, to somewhere in the bottom half of the top ten in kayfabe rankings. His IC reign sucked and it proved he can't carry a match. Goto is a great challenger/underdog, he can be terrific at gaining sympathy when he doesn't have to lead a match, but when he DOES have to call a match, well...
Yujiro will get there with time. He was great as a face and whenever he crosses that line he is very good. His problem was his blandness which his heel turn, and this brilliant playboy gimmick have really helped turn around. When he does eventually about face and is able to drop his plodding control style, I think he'll have his own bandwagon.
Someone once described Naito as "introverted". This is his only problem, to me. He's fucking terrific in almost all regards but it seems like he lacks that final layer of confidence.
NOBODY liked Nakamura in the three or four years before 2009. He had lost confidence since his debut and his in-ring style wasn't getting over. He did not connect with the audience and he was rather like present Goto, to be honest, which is a big reason why I won't ever doubt another wrestler's ability to evolve into something great. He finally gained that confidence toward the end of his title reign and then by late 2010-early 2011, oh boy, drunk-sell Shinsuke came along and it was the best he has ever been. THAT was "Swagsuke" (I gave him that name
. Blame Odd Future). He dropped all that in order to be utterly incredible in every single G1 match in 2011 and to be fair, his character had gotten a bit out of hand before then. It slowly came back with this new goofy, loose armed version we see today but it's not the same, and his dropping the flippidy jujigatame and punch spots, and getting too predictable has hurt his 2012. Booking him to lose so many big matches has helped send him from solidified number two to under Makabe and Okada in terms of kayfabe rankings. New fans should really check out his stuff between the 2010 and 2011 G1s. I want to say vs Nagata in the 2011 NJ Cup was a perfect example of his old-new self. His evolution has really been a treat.
The 2012 NJPW bandwagon is delightful to see but 2011 was better overall. This idea that NJPW has improved so staggeringly is a misconception. They've just gotten better coverage, really, but who cares? To be fair, they've added old strong style elements which has improved lower card matches a lot.
Makabe continually improves himself and his slow burn from shit to good worker and fan favourite ichiban is remarkable.
Tanahashi has gotten better this year. He has smartened up and dropped a bunch of bad habits.
Okada has been well protected by good match structure, gimmick, and opponents. He's a very good wrestler and calling his 2012 the best is even acceptable, but any day now he risks becoming overexposed. He admitted to never having seen a Fujinami or Inoki match before, and calling him the prototypical modern wrestler sums him up perfectly. He lacks mid-match psychology but as we, the IWC, only tend to care about finishes, he's the new king. My goodness, can the man sell though and that dropkick is beautiful, every time.