TD Stinger· Registered
My guess as of right now is KENTA, though ELP can be used in that spot as well.I know they won't, but ELP winning it and establishing himself as the new BC leader works for me. Plus Okada vs. ELP would be fun as fuck.
Part me was kind of disappointed that the field was smaller this year but when they made it bigger in the last couple of years, they really just filled it with Juniors or Young Lions. They didn't make a point to get to bring in fresh names from other companies. So with in that mind, probably better to go for a smaller field.This generally looks a lot less boring than these have the last couple of years in terms of the early rounds of the bracket. Chase Owens with the first-round bye is kind of funny though. Presumably, it'll be him and ELP and some Bullet Club shenanigans shall ensue.
Pulling for Narita, Umino, and Phantasmo to be three of the final four...
This year's tour looks pretty interesting. There is no old guy except for Ultimo Guerrero and Okamura and they are mostly involved in tag team matches.Other than the Fantastica Mania tour, which most here don't usually care about, NJPW is done until 3/5 when the New Japan Cup starts.
I feel like Tanahashi loses often enough nowadays that it seems plausible that he eats the pin hereYeah I never watch Fantasticamania and I'm mostly a NJPW diehard.
Please don't put the belts on Okada and Tanahashi. Although it would be kind of cool I hate seeing someone with 2 belts and Okada needs to focus on the world heavyweight strap. I don't really see them losing on paper though. The only way they could make it work without making Okada lose is to put Goto over Tanahashi. Yoshi-Hashi ain't pinning one of the big top guys. Should be a good match though. Hiromu vs Lio Rush should be good too.
Goto does have a 20th anniversary show for himself coming up in April I think. So maybe he gets a decent run in the Cup, though I just can't see him winning. And while I think Shota has potential, I don't think he's anywhere near ready to be champion, even for the "shock win/drop it right after" kind of run. Just feels like it would do more to damage to the IWGP Title than anything else.Goto winning isn’t a bad shout especially if Okada & Tana defeat Bishamon for tag belts at Anniversary show.
Naito, Shingo, Tanahashi, ZSJ and even Ospreay don’t need to win as we’ve already had them vs Okada.
Kenta just won Strong Openweight title weekend so him winning to only lose to Okada wouldn’t really benefit either.
Shota is an excellent wildcard and the title match can then go either way. Does NJPW go full shock and have Shota win before dropping back at either Dominion or in Oct, as new NJPW WHC reigns don’t normally go long like Okada’s and Jays first reigns.
I mean if we're blunt, Okada basically made Kaito his bitch by the end of the match, lol. I liked the match and they made Kaito look good attacking Okada's arm near the end. But that ending, oof. Doesn't really do much for NOAH considering they can't milk the Mutoh retirement run anymore and their champion got big leagued that badly.Dunno the best place to put this, but Okada vs. Kiyomiya from the Muto retirement show... watch it.
Everyone goes in expecting the 35 minute Japanese epic, and they work it NJPW TV Title pace (16:32 match time) with Okada big leaguing NOAH's young ace. Even though this match (and the show in general with NJPW more or less clean sweeping) isn't great for NOAH, it was an incredible watch. Okada truly is the perfect guy to lead a company even if comes with that lolOkadawins feeling. New Japan really struck gold with him a decade back.
New Japan came out on top but NOAH got a 30,096 attendance at the Dome out of it. The company seems revitalized because even if they've been big leagued by New Japan, they've been able to show off their cast of younger stars to a larger audience, and among them are some fantastic talents.
I think KENTA winning would be the right choice and it will give us a fresh new opponent for Okada. Even though the title match result is predictable, the match itself should be great.KENTA and Goto are worth mentioning for NJ Cup so good shout on that fellas. I'm going to stick with either Cobb, Shota, or Narita winning though with honorable mentions to EVIL and KENTA.
I absolutely agree, by comparison I've just checked CMLL's site only to find out that they charge $99 for some random episode of Viernes Espectacular...decided to get the Battle in the Valley PPV instead and that was good and well worth the $20
Crap, I almost totally forgot about the David Finlay thing. I can't completely dismiss him now even though a year ago him winning or going far would be unthinkable.This year does feel wide in particular but more in the sense of "there's so many guys you can't see winning" more than "there's so many guys who could win.
Like I can't see anyone on the right side of the bracket winning unless we're just going full boar with the David Finlay push. And on the left, Ospreay feels like he'll win the G1 over the NJ Cup, I don't see Naito facing Okada again right now, It feels like forever sine Sanada won something big, Taichi never wins a big match, and I don't see them elevating ELP that far right now.
So, KENTA just seems like the guy to me. Now watch him lose in the 1st round, lol. If I had a dark horse, I'll guess Jeff Cobb.