• Tag Archives: All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: Shinsuke Nakamura’s 2015 in review!

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro.

    Hello, wrestling fans! Last year, after New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 9, Wrestling on Earth published a helpful guide to Shinsuke Nakamura for all those newly afflicted by whatever black magic it is that he casts over an audience: What to Do Now That You’re Ready To Accept Shinsuke Nakamura As Your Pro Wrestling Lord and Savior.

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    As of this week, NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 10 has come and gone, another crop of fans has fallen hopelessly in pro wrestling love with the King of Strong Style, and several “news” outlets (and, okay, Tokyo Sports) are reporting that Shinsuke Nakamura has resigned from NJPW and will be making his way to World Wrestling Entertainment.

    I can’t confirm or deny any of the latter since I’m just a fan on the Internet who writes things sometimes and not someone who goes poking around in the business of other people to get scoopz. You want a subscription to the Scoop Zone for that kind of action.

    In any case, it seems like a good time to recap Shinsuke Nakamura’s 2015 and prime everybody for what will apparently be an interesting year for all of us.

    What were Shinsuke Nakamura’s best matches in 2015?

    What a great question! Last year I listed my personal favorites for 2014. In 2015, he had some widely-acclaimed incredible matches that are worth going out of your way to see as soon as possible:

    And many others that people liked a lot:

    You can find his matches on NJPWWorld, New Japan Pro Wrestling’s online streaming service (where you can watch shows both live and archived). Here’s how to sign up:

    1. Go to NJPWWorld’s English signup page at https://njpwworld.com/auth?lang=en
    2. Sign up & select a payment method (I use a credit card & my bank has no problem with the international transaction; others have been able to use pre-paid Visas and the like).
    3. Watch wrestling!

    If you want even more Shinsuke or you’re finding NJPWWorld difficult to navigate in spite of Google Translate, check out SenorLARIATO’s list of recommended matches with direct links, I can’t praise it highly enough. Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: WRESTLE KINGDOM 10 RUNDOWN

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro.

    Hello shipmates & crew! I’ve been away for a while but I HAVE RETURNED for this most beautiful time of year: Wrestle Kingdom. This year is #10 by number, but New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Tokyo Dome show itself has been running annually since 1992. That’s before some of you were EVEN BORN, so you know it’s a big deal.

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    How to watch Wrestle Kingdom 10

    If you’re new and wondering how to tune in to Wrestle Kingdom 10, let me tell you! It takes place on January 4, 2016 at 4PM in Japan (so 2AM EST). For about $9 USD, you can get WK10 and a whole month of NJPW’s streaming service, NJPWWorld, right on your computer machine (AND it works with Chromecast now!). Here’s how:

    1. Wait until January 1 (billing starts at the first of the month).
    2. Go to NJPWWorld’s English signup page at https://njpwworld.com/auth?lang=en
    3. Sign up & select a payment method (I use a credit card & my bank has no problem with the international transaction; others have been able to use pre-paid Visas and the like).
    4. Watch wrestling!

    I keep a calendar of events that air live on NJPWWorld, so you can reference this to find out what’s going on during WK weekend and what time the events start in your timezone. As of now, I keep this up to date through the year, and it’s pretty handy in general.

    You can also reference the official NJPWWorld Schedule to find out what’s going on and when.

    WK10 will air in both Japanese and English. It should be easy to select whichever stream you want at the time it airs. The English commentary team this year is Matt Striker & Kevin Kelly, with an appearance by YOSHITATSU to do some translating. Good luck, guys! I’ll be tuning into the Japanese stream. I don’t understand it all but I love hearing them yell about things, it’s fantastic. You can feel free to do the same if you’re adventurous, or stick with Matt, Kevin, & YOSHITATSU if you want some more info about the combatants & the action in English during the broadcast.

    Another event of note is the BIG WRESTLING FESTIVAL 2016. This takes place around noon Japan time on the Sunday before WK10. Last year it was a lot of fun and included Gedo & Okada squaring off in Taiko no Tatsujin, a press conference, etc. If you can’t catch it live, the replay should be up for viewing on demand on NJPWWorld soon after. Cross your fingers for more footage of our IWGP Heavyweight Champion playing video games, please.

    If all goes well, NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 10 should be a beautiful evening of pro wrestling that everyone can enjoy. Let’s get to the card rundown, including my incredibly biased opinions!

    Pre-show:
    NJPW Battle Royal

    The info:

    Participants will enter every sixty seconds. Participants are eliminated by going over the top rope. Last year was the first NJPW Battle Royal, and it looks like it’s becoming tradition! WK9’s saw a number of surprise entrants and was a lot of wild fun. Yuji Nagata was victorious last year and received an IWGP Intercontinental Championship match somehow, but as far as I know, nothing is actually guaranteed to this year’s winner. We’ll see.

    The participants:

    It could be literally anyone. Last year, The Great Kabuki showed up. With nunchaku. Expect to see Tiger Mask V, Jushin Liger, Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata, and more!

    Kaomoji excitement rating: o((*^▽^*))o

    IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Four Way Match:
    RPG Vice vs. Young Bucks vs. ReDRagon (c) vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet

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    The info:

    Look, what the hell. We had a whole tournament in recent months between these teams to decide which *two* teams would face off at WK10 for the belts, only to have everyone come out after the finals and make it a four-way match again. Oh well! More wrestling is more wrestling. This should be a lot of fun, and you can guarantee the Tokyo Dome crowd will be into it. A great choice for an opener.

    The participants:

    RPG Vice: Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta! Part of NJPW’s stable CHAOS.

    The Young Bucks: Matt & Nick Jackson! The Bullet Club! Homeowners, fathers! Suck it!

    ReDRagon: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly, good wrestlers, gonna kick the hell out of some dudes.

    Matt Sydal & Ricochet: Matt Sydal & Ricochet! They don’t even have an official team name yet! High flying madmen, you’ve probably heard of them.

    Kaomoji excitement rating: (ˆ ڡ ˆ) Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: G1 Climax 25 – Day 7 Recap

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s talking about the G1 25.

    I’m sorry for the extreme lateness of this. I had a lot of things to do all day and couldn’t sit at a computer for an extended period of time. LIFE, MAN. To make up for it, have some gifs.

    Day 7 was pretty good and had an AMAZING MATCH. Read on to find out! It’s up on NJPWWorld.

    I’m not going to recap every match on every show, but I will pull out bits of shows to say some words about as necessary so you can be caught up on my opinions!

    G1 Climax 25 Day 7: Non-tournament matches

    Mascara Dorada & Tiger Mask vs. Jay White & David Finlay

    This was a great opener. The Young Lions are so good, and it’s fun to watch them work a pretty substantial tag team match. I’d watch it again.

    Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: G1 Climax 25 – Day 6 Recap

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s talking about the G1 25.

    Day 6 was a solid show all around. It’s up on NJPWWorld already! My overview for this show is basically: everything is solid, but nothing is amazing. Watch what you think you’d be interested in and you probably won’t be disappointed.

    Unfortunately, Shinsuke Nakamura’s injury prevented him from wrestling on this show, as well, so that’s a big huge disappointment for everyone, probably not least of all Michael Elgin, who was his scheduled opponent for today.

    I’m not going to recap every match on every show, but I will pull out bits of shows to say some words about as necessary so you can be caught up on my opinions!

    G1 Climax 25 Day 6: Non-tournament matches

    Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger & Captain New Japan vs. David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi & Jay White

    Typical fun opener. The Young Lions are great. They even made Taguchi tolerable for me.

    YOSHI HASHI & Toru Yano vs. Cody Hall & Doc Gallows

    This is notable because Toru Yano is wrestling with a busted noggin and black eye that’s swollen shut. Poor darling baby Yano. I can barely stand to look. That aside, the match is pretty good and YOSHI HASHI IS ON A WINNING STREAK. HOT FIRE.

    Mascara Dorada, Kota Ibushi, & Togi Makabe vs. Yohei Komatsu, Katsuyori Shibata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan

    Tomorrow morning, Tenzan faces Makabe, and Ibushi faces Shibata. Ibushi and Shibata show some animosity here. That’s pretty typical during these tag match setups for the one-on-one matches. I hope they maintain their fury through the match tomorrow.

    Mascara Dorada and Yohei Komatsu work against each other significantly during this match, and I’d love to see a prominent singles match between them. Great stuff!

    Michael Elgin, Hiroshi Tanahashi, & Tetsuya Naito vs. Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, & AJ Styles

    Tanahashi tagging with Naito after Naito destroyed him yesterday is funny. Naito continues to be impressive. Michael Elgin is in this match because Shinsuke Nakamura had to forfeit their G1 match. That match will not take place and Elgin is awarded the two points.

    G1 Climax 25 Day 6 – Block B: Results & Review

    I’ll give some quick tips here about whether or not you should take time to watch these if you haven’t, based on my own knowledge and taste in professional wrestling.

    Yuji Nagata vs. Yujiro Takahashi

    I keep watching Yujiro’s matches with interest because I’m convinced one of them will be good, if only because one of my favorite wrestlers will smash him to death. This one came the closest. The end was pretty exciting.

    Should you watch this? It’s good enough to see, but not if you have something else you’d rather be doing.

    Winner: TAKAHASHI!?

    Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: G1 Climax 25 – Day 5 Recap

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s talking about the G1 25.

    Okay so I skipped Day 4. I didn’t think Day 4 was any good. BUT HOLY CRAP, DAY FIVE. DAY FIVE, PEOPLE. It’ll be up on NJPWWorld shortly.

    I’m not going to recap every match on every show, but I will pull out bits of shows to say some words about as necessary so you can be caught up on my opinions!

    G1 Climax 25 Day 5: Non-tournament matches

    Satoshi Kojima & Michael Elgin vs. Gedo & Kazuchika Okada

    It hurts to even type this, but news broke this morning that Shinsuke Nakamura’s elbow is injured and he missed the show today. Hopefully he’ll be back in time for Tuesday. He’s not out of the tournament yet. Rest well, Shinsuke, and please recover soon!

    Even without Shinsuke in this match, the match was pretty good. A competitive tag match, worth seeing if you enjoy the continued evolution of Michael Elgin in NJPW. He’s seeming more comfortable than ever.

    G1 Climax 25 Day 5 – Block A: Results & Review

    I’ll give some quick tips here about whether or not you should take time to watch these if you haven’t, based on my own knowledge and taste in professional wrestling.

    Doc Gallows vs. Bad Luck Fale

    No.

    Should you watch this? No.

    Winner: FALE

    Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Toru Yano

    Unremarkable but not bad, until the end, when a top-rope headbutt from Tenzan busted both men open. They poured blood everywhere and the match finished soon after.

    Should you watch this? Only if you want to see that hardway-double-busted mess at the end. Which you probably do, I mean, you’re a wrestling fan.

    Winner: YANO

    Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: G1 Climax 25 – Day 3 Recap

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s talking about the G1 25.

    HEY EVERYBODY WHAT A FUCKING SHOW, RIGHT? YES. Day 3 marks a return to mutli-cam, but no commentary. It’s the best show of the tournament so far. Watch Day 3 on NJPWWorld.

    I’m not going to recap every match on every show, but I will pull out bits of shows to say some words about as necessary so you can be caught up on my opinions!

    G1 Climax 25 Day 3: Non-tournament matches

    Yohei Komatsu, Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima vs. Jay White, David Finlay, Mascara Dorada, Michael Elgin

    Actually very cool — Elgin continues to impress me on this tour, throwing Satoshi Kojima around like a ragdoll. NICE. I’m looking forward to their 1-on-1 match in the morning. And the Young Lions — uppercut chop uppercut uppercut ouch lariat ooh another lariat sorry man. It was great though. I might even watch it again.

    Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata vs. Gedo, Kazuchika Okada, Shinsuke Nakamura

    Really good — you should actually watch this if you’re interested in any of these guys. Some funny bits with Gedo, and Nakamura & Nagata get in the ring and wrestle SUBSTANTIALLY in advance of their face off in the G1 B Block tomorrow morning. I got a little lost in it and forgot it was a tag match. Great stuff from everyone, including Taguchi, who got kicked a lot.

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    G1 Climax 25 Day 3 – Block A: Results & Review

    I’ll give some quick tips here about whether or not you should take time to watch these if you haven’t, based on my own knowledge and taste in professional wrestling.

    Kota Ibushi vs. Doc Gallows

    On paper I was all ready to skip this, except I’d never skip an Ibushi match. Stop whatever you’re doing and watch it. It’s short, but it’s great: Doc Gallows with clubbering offense and SCARY STRIKES, Kota Ibushi getting killed, Kota Ibushi jumping off things like a madman, everything pretty tight and effective (except the end but HEY what are you gonna do).

    Should you watch this? YEP. I MEAN, I’M AS SURPRISED AS YOU ARE BUT YEP.

    Winner: IBUSHI Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: G1 Climax 25 – Day 2 Recap

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s talking about the G1 25.

    Hello everyone this is your captain speaking: Welcome to the recap for the G1 25 Climax DAY 2 show. This was a fixed camera show with no commentary and is available on NJPWWorld.

    I’m not going to recap every match on every show, but I will pull out bits of shows to say some words about as necessary so you can be caught up on my opinions!

    G1 Climax 25 Day 2: Non-tournament matches

    Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger vs. Jay White & Yohei Komatsu

    Jay White’s missile dropkick, holy crap you guys.

    Mascara Dorada, Tetsuya Naito, & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Katsuyori Shibata, & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

    The Naito/Shibata interaction in this match got me really excited for their match tomorrow where Shibata will be his normal bored self unless he’s inflicting pain, and Naito will be his newfound bored heel self who is trying desperately not to give a fuck.

    G1 Climax 25 Day 2 – Block B: Results & Review

    I’ll give some quick tips here about whether or not you should take time to watch these if you haven’t, based on my own knowledge and taste in professional wrestling.

    Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomohiro Ishii

    This was pretty good, but I don’t think it lived up to all the furor of their post-match interaction from Day 1 that set this match up. The other day, it was like Kojima said something bad about Ishii’s mama and Ishii was going to murder him. During the match, they’re their usual intense selves and they do the chops and the suplexes and it’s good, but I wish there had been more attempted murder involved.

    Should you watch this? If you like chops & suplexes & tough guys.

    Winner: ISHII Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: G1 Climax 25 – Day 1 Recap

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s talking about the G1 25.

    Hello lovelies. I hope you woke up at stupid o’clock for the opening match of the G1 Climax 25 tournament. If not, don’t worry, it’s up for on demand viewing at NJPWWorld. They’re wonderful to us.

    I’m not going to recap every show, but I will pull out bits of shows to say some words about as necessary so you can be caught up on my opinions!

    G1 Climax 25 Day 1: Non-tournament matches

    Yohei Komatsu, Tiger Mask, Jushin Liger, Yuji Nagata vs. Jay White, David Finlay, Mascara Dorada, Tomoaki Honma

    Typical 8-or-10-man opening tag with legends & Young Lions. This match isn’t specifically a good one, but I’m just putting it here to make sure you know that this little pride of Young Lions (the boys who wrestle in black trunks and, when not wrestling, help out at ringside – those guys are like in “developmental” for NJPW and training at the dojo) is the cutest, most adorable pride of Young Lions ever and also very promising in-ring. Just look at them!

    Yohei Komatsu, Jay White, David Finlay and Sho Tanaka (absent for this because he’s currently competing in the NOAH Junior league) are all currently great and only going to get better, and you should fall in love with them now so you can terrorize all your friends when they’re stars and say you told them so.

     

    YOSHI-HASHI & Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Tama Tonga & Karl Anderson

    Not really a great match but Shinsuke Nakamura was in it and at the end he mocked Karl Anderson’s machine gun taunt which was the spot of the night, honestly. Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: The G1 is Coming: Fashion Show

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro. In this series, she’s preparing for the G1 25.

    Today was the day of the G1 Climax press conference, where all the guys turned up trying to look their best, as well as pose. Shelly covered New Japan’s finest fashion plates on Twitter, which we’ve collected below.

    @TomBlargh is also going to weigh in because, having listened to every single episode of Josh Mathews’ Male Fashion Aficionado podcast, he is now EXTREMELY educated about fashion as it relates to wrestling. Let’s go!

    Tanahashi

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    Deathlock: Tanahashi looks dapper in pinstripes, blue, & cream, but I don’t think diagonal stripes are legal.

    Tom: The Ace of the Century. The Japanese Shawn Michaels. The state of that tie. I also think he should have done something different with his (admittedly beautiful) hair, given the formal attire. Maybe a hair clip, I don’t know.

    Togi Makabe

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    Deathlock: NEVER champ Togi Makabe wears his standard formal attire: suit, open shirt, chain. Very nice.

    Tom: Your dad’s been kicked out by your mum again but he doesn’t give a FUCK.

    AJ Styles

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    Deathlock: AJ Styles wore jeans and a ballcap for the G124, so a suit, even without a tie, is a vast improvement.

    Tom: How many hand gestures can one man do within the span of a few seconds? You just found out, baby, courtesy of Allan Jones Styles. Continue reading

    All Aboard the S.S. Strong Style: The G1 is Coming, Part 1

    Shelly Deathlock cares too much about Japanese wrestling and, as Captain of the S.S. Strong Style, she’s here to welcome you on board and fill you in on what’s going on in the world of puro.

    The G1 (Grade One) Climax is a heavyweight tournament held yearly by New Japan Pro Wrestling. The G1 Climax 25 this year has 20 entrants, and takes place over 19 days in July and August – the longest tournament in G1 history. You are not ready. I am not ready. However, we have until July 20th to get ready. Let’s go!

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    What is the G1?

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    The G1 is a round robin tournament with two blocks of participants. Each participant in Block A will wrestle every other participant in Block A. Each participant in Block B will wrestle every other participant in Block B. Participants score two points for each victory.

    At the end of the tournament, the wrestlers with the most points in each block advance to the final on August 16th where they face each other.

    The prize is a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship (currently held by AJ Styles) at Wrestle Kingdom 10 on January 4, 2016.

    Why should I watch?

    In the G1 tournament last year, Minoru Suzuki wrestled AJ Styles in a match that won the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Match of the Year as well as the Deathlock Match of the Year. I’ll let you decide which of those things is more prestigious, but it’s cool that they aligned.

    Everyone expected that the match could be good, but I don’t think anybody expected it to be the masterpiece it was. The Korakuen crowd was insane, and everything was perfect.

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    That’s the kind of thing that can happen when you throw twenty men into a tournament and have them wrestle singles matches against each other for nineteen days — fresh match ups, unexpected classics. The G1 is a great time, and the pinnacle of pro wrestling as a sport.

    Continue reading