The dictionary describes chaos as “complete disorder and confusion”. This was my emotional state on Sunday.
Having loved all that New Japan has offered this year, I find myself in a post G1 burn out. I don’t want to seek wrestling nearly as much. I think my love of the game peaked at the Rev Pro Summer Sizzler. Nothing has excited me since then. Ishii V Omega was a great match and got somewhat of my interest, but I definitely didn’t want to watch the full show. Unfortunately, I did see Taichi. This is enough to drive anyone away from the game. He has Yoshi Tatsu level ability with a “gimmick” but I have no idea what that gimmick is. My passion died along with the prestigious (ha) Never Title.
What really got me excited again was the Okada v Tanahashi match. “It’s for the briefcase” I exclaimed to the wife. She laughed. “IT’S FOR THE RIGHTS TO THE TOKYO DOME MAIN EVENT FOR THE TITLE” I retorted but unfortunately, she continued laughing. But, she did have a point. These guys always seem to fight for something and it feels big. To an outsider, they may not think that the reward for this match (a briefcase) is a big deal. That is just looking at this in 2D. Add that 3rd dimension. What do we have? A bang out of form, “broken” Okada who is distracted by his stable collapsing in front of him. In order to focus, he departs from his manager, Gedo (you sonovabitch) and isolates himself from the group – not completely, but subtle with interesting nuances throughout the G1. Not just with Okada, but Jay White and RPG3K etc – it was really creating a conflicting dynamic that made this Chaos fan really uneasy.
Then you have the surprise pick of winning the G1, Tanahashi. For me, he is an all-round wrestling superstar and I am delighted he is getting another run at the very top. Whilst Okada is considered broken mentally; what is he without the IWGP title? Then you have the rumour that has occurred over the years that Tanahashi is broken physically. That bicep, knee, neck, shoulder always seems to be an issue come G1 season. This year, he has looked incredible and performed consistently but more importantly, you couldn’t ignore the fan reaction being the loudest every time he came to the ring. The Ace basically performed with a sensible pace and really flourished against Ibushi in one of my favourite matches. At this stage, I would love to see Ibushi v Tanahashi in the main event at the Tokyo Dome for the IWGP title. Sure, I love Omega but Ibushi is the closest face to Tanahashi in my mind. I might be wrong there, but it is definitely an opinion of mine that Kota is an excellent substitute for the current ace.
Tanahashi wins the match against Okada and the feud lives on with this victory. This is not over by a long shot. Then, Jay White comes out to challenge Tanahashi for the brief case and then cheap shots Tana. Booooo that Switch Blade chap. It made sense that he would challenge and claim that he will do what Okada couldn’t in the build-up. However, things got intense. Jay white beats up Okada, throws poor Rocky Romero into the deadly barricade and then Gedo (you sonovabitch) runs out to seemingly save the day. That SOB hits Okada with a chair and now, Chaos is in chaos. Jay White is the future with Gedo (you sonovabitch) as the manager – where does this leave Chaos?
With such a question consuming my soul and, seemingly Chaos now being a heel faction (Hi Damon/Super J-Cast) I needed to avert my gaze. Step in the decades option on New Japan World. I have really been embracing the late noughties especially Tokyo Dome shows.
The best match I have seen so far was Tanahashi v Shibata. This was incredible. Tanahashi had found his feet but hadn’t quite found the hair but Shibata was all hair. That look hadn’t changed apart from a more business at the back approach. A glorious mild mullet was on show. The match was very hard hitting and enjoyable. It reminded me how much I love Shibata. Then I got thinking, all I have done is watch recent New Japan, mostly because in joining New Japan World in 2014, looking for older stuff was really annoying. Now, with this English site and the awesome Kevin Kelly doing bits for World, things have improved greatly. I can now easily find something awesome. The search function isn’t great, it could do with some work. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “why not watch” based on my choices? This would make me invest in the history of New Japan rather than just remain in the present.
I hope to watch a few historical matches every week and I am open to suggestions. I watched Tana v Muto, WrestleKingdom 2 Tana v Nakamura and Suzuki v Nagata from 2007. My enjoyment for the historical is heightened by the lack of interest in the present – I don’t see this as an issue though. If anything, it shows the variety available on the service.