Kimberly guilfoyle don jr
2007.08.06 07:16 spez Politics
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2023.05.28 17:23 darkerenergy Trip Report: 18 days + Golden Week (25/04 - 13/05)
Tokyo - Yokohama - Nagoya - Kyoto - Osaka - Tokyo
Hi all, going to go through our trip covering golden week and time around it (: It was myself (F21) and my partner (M24) and the reasoning behind the timing was mainly due to bank holidays in the UK being unfortunately placed perfectly in line with golden week this year! Despite this, I feel we actually got pretty lucky with it all. I'll put an emoji to note which days were for golden week but for the tl;dr we weren't affected that much.
Other important contexts, both interested in Japan for a few different reasons. Anime isn't a small one but I'm also a huge fan of the Yakuza games, he's into the JDM car scene, and we just enjoy travelling in general. We didn't do many things like Universal, Disneysea etc. but hopefully there's some things in here that people will enjoy hearing about! I'll go through some tips/recommendations for the casual readers first before going into the trip in depth - please let me know if there's anything else you want to know about!
Tips + Recommendations Yamato Takkyubin Luggage Forwarding
If like us you are going to be staying in quite a few different places, this service is so so so good I cannot overstate it. We had two big suitcases and one smaller one, we sent just the big ones for two of the trips and then for the final trip from Osaka to Tokyo we sent all 3 and just used our backpacks to bring essentials for the night.Pretty much all hotels will allow you to use the service, some may request you pay them with cash for the actual service but for all but one of ours we could use card. We sent Yokohama -> Kyoto, then Kyoto -> Osaka, then finally Osaka -> Tokyo. There are options for same day delivery I believe however we did both the next day and for a few days later. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer if I can! Trip Planning
I've been fortunate to be able to travel a lot so wasn't nervous about the actual travel, however Japan is such a far away country that I didn't want to go and get there then not know what to do and waste my time. In the past holidays with family were more about relaxing on a beach, or with my partner our city breaks are short as they are other European countries and so easier to return to if we wanted. I wanted to take a different approach to this trip so I made a big Google Sheet and Google Map with all the places I wanted to visit/see. It was never meant to be a strict itinerary as some people I showed seemed to assume 😅 But it really helped me to visually see where things I wanted to go to were, and then make a rough plan in case I did get stuck at some point.Anyway it was a really good idea in hindsight and I'm very glad we did it for this trip as our first time going! Here's a picture of the map looks like, we didn't necessarily do everything but we did most things - https://i.imgur.com/2xLyy7Y.png
. I used mymaps.google.com
, to be honest there's definitely betteeasier to use tools out there but I got this to work for me so I stuck with it. Walking
People aren't kidding about the amount of walking, although I think our top amount was still under 30k so don't worry too much. That said, if you don't walk a lot anyway then your feet are going to hurt. My partner was fine, I was awful. I thought my shoes would be fine and apparently they weren't so if you can pack walking boots please do. The other thing is I think the way you walk affects it too, my partner and I both had multiple pairs of shoes with us but where his converse boots were fine, the soles of my feet were awful in the same types of shoes 😭 Driving
I am not a driver but my partner is. He has a full manual UK driving license and insurance, and so for Japan all he needed was to get the International Driver's Permit a little before we went. We rented a car for three different occasions, two times from the same place then the final was for a JDM rental. All was fine, the JDM place was confused for a moment as my partner has a Polish passport + UK license but we translated Poland for him and after that there were no issues! You'll need to check what you need depending on where you're from, it's easier for us due to the same driving side although when we rented for Daikoku and the Nagoya drive they did give us an automatic so just be aware of that if you want to request/drive manual. The rental places we used were Orix rent-a-car for the Daikoku and Yokohama -> Nagoya trip and we had a Mazda 2. For the JDM rental we used Omoshiro.
Tokyo 25/04 - Airport, Shinjuku hotel, Shinjuku
We followed a similar first day that I'm sure many of these reports will begin with - arrived at the airport, we had filled out the VJW forms and had both QR codes ready to go. Immigration had about an hour wait so longer than normal but we were also near the back of our plane and there was at least another full plane in front of us. Actually going through immigration was a complete breeze. Once through and picked up our luggage, we got a Welcome Suica, then headed to Shinjuku. We reached our hotel about 4 hours early for check-in, wasn't sure what to do for that time but they were happy to take our bags until we could go to the room (something that is consistent with all the hotels we went to thankfully). Jetlag was pretty bad, I was flagging by afternoon but we pushed through it and took the few hours to just walk around and see the sights. We spent some time in Hakone-yama before heading back to the hotel and getting cleaned up/accidentally falling asleep too early. 26/04 - Akihabara, Golden Gai
Of course woke too early by not being as proactive as we should've with warding off jetlag but used that to leave early for Akihabara. After getting some breakfast we saw the Yodobashi Camera and went in there for about an hour just looking at all the floors 😅 It was raining a ton but it surprised us with how warm it still was and quickly realised why people prefer umbrella with no raincoat!! Spent pretty much the whole day in Akihabara, went round a ton of shops and also went into our first of many many arcades we'd go to. We went back to the hotel to return the items we'd bought then walked to Golden Gai as our hotel was about a 15-20 minute walk ^^ Had some delicious ramen, unfortunately didn't drink as my partner was finishing antibiotics for the first few days but it was still great to be there. Slept a lot later which was good. 27/04 - Kabukicho, Shinjuku National Garden
This was more a day for me to fufill my Yakuza game sightseeing. Being so close to Kabukicho I was so excited to visit a city and be able to make my way round without a map loool. It was just the end of the blue festival so the iconic arch was still blue although I did get to see it red at the end of the trip so I wasn't too bothered about that. We went around Kabukicho, the square, again spent tons of time in the arcades and discovered how much we enjoyed the MaiMaiDX machines. Ended up getting one of the passports that save your progress and give you an extra play so if you like arcades then I recommend them!! After this and some lunch, we were going to do a walk to the national garden then realised I went the wrong way so we took the train. As a side note here, the Suica and train system is so useful. Very similar to using a card for the underground except it's actually clean. Walked around the national garden, it was very sunny and warm. Didn't know it had it before going but there's a starbucks in the middle of the garden and we managed to join the queue about 10 minutes before they stopped taking new orders. Had a nice time watching the sun set in that garden before heading back to the hotel. 28/04 - Teamlabs Planets
Wasn't something I was going to initially go to however I checked out tickets the day previously and saw some for this day and decided we could do it as we had a ton of free time. I had chosen 2:30pm for an entrance time however it was such a nice day so we left early and spent time just walking around the docks. It was so so sunny, the area didn't have loads going on however it was still very pretty. We spent time in the parks and walking alongside the water. Teamlabs was pretty cool, I did enjoy the water based sections although dodging both influencer and family photos might detract from your experience. This was also where I realised I'd already become the stereotype tourist and was sunburnt :') I guess I had to learn my lesson physically and I did thankfully stop any further burning after this with diligent sun cream appliance afterwards pretty much every day. After this we went back to Shinjuku and after food we packed up ready to go to Yokohama.
Yokohama 29/04 - Bashamichi, Daikoku, Cosmo Clock ✨Showa Day
Left our hotel at 11 and hadn't yet discovered the wonders of luggage forwarding so we brought all our bags with us on the train to Yokohama! Not too bad though, we got to our hotel a little early but they took our bags as we went and had lunch before the room was ready. Went around Bashamichi (another game location lol) before taking the train to central Yokohama. We had pre-booked the rental cars all before we left to ensure availability but there weren't any problems. This was also my partner's birthday which is something the rental staff realised whilst we were sorting out all the documents 😆. For Daikoku, we didn't need to pass through any ETC gates from Yokohama but it was the first time on the Japanese roads. It was a little nerve-wracking at first as there's very slightly different rules to UK roads but in general driving is fine. We reached Daikoku PA around 20 past 6pm, and it was about 2 hours until police moved everyone along. My partner was in dreamland with the cars that we saw, if you're into the JDM scene at all or just a petrolhead then you'll love it but it is a bit of luck with what you'll see. After we left Daikoku, we went back to our hotel. We'd checked in with them previously that we could keep the car with them as the hotel we had chosen had parking available for an additional cost. We left the car at the hotel then went out for drinks and to see the cosmo clock. Didn't ride it but it was very cool seeing it all lit up over Yokohama. We bar hopped a bit, then went back. 30/04 - Recovery...
Not much to say about this day, my partner was fairly hungover so we returned the car to the rental place and then spent the day just chilling at our ryokan hotel and around Yokohama. No drinks this time round as we had a very long trip the next day!!
Nagoya (Road Trip from Yokohama) 01/05 - Expressways, Onshi-Hakone Park, Expressways, Shinshiro, Expressways, Nagoya
I'll condense this one a bit otherwise I'll type forever but this was a really fun time. The driving totaled almost 6 hours by the end so it's not for the faint hearted haha. The point was that we'd stop a few times along the way though which is what we did end up doing. We sent our luggage with the forwarding service (to the hotel after Nagoya as we were just staying the one night), then had an early start as we went to the car rental for 8. We chose the same place we rented from for Daikoku and had the same sales rep sorting out any documents so it was a bit quicker although this time we did get a quick explaination on the toll gates. Anyone going on the expressways will need to know how to use them, we were a bit confused the first time but once you've done it a couple times it'll be smooth sailing (and it's such a good system for people with the automatic cards too). We left Yokohama and set our location for Nagoya. We went for about 2 hours before stopping in Odawara for a quick snack and pee break. Pretty overcast day but despite this we still decided to do a stop in a park on the way and went to Onshi-Hakone Park. It was very cool/bit scary going up the winding mountain passes but wow the views are incredible. We spent again probably a couple hours at the park, had some lunch, no view of Fuji but we could see a lot of the other mountains around which are breathtaking in their own rights (: It's right on Lake Ashi so we did get to see the pirate cruise going round. After this break we did another couple hours or so driving before stopping slightly outside of Shinshiro. Something I will say about the expressways is that it is insane how fast people go 😂 We're not about to try anything so it was sticking to the 120 on the signs for us but people just whizz by. Anyway, we stopped at a familymart in this village for a quick break and I know I've said it already but the views are so beautiful. It's green in the UK but it's something else, I kept wondering if it's just viewing through rose tinted glasses/greener on the other side but I don't think that's true at least about those countryside views. It was also one of the reasons we wanted to do the road trip instead of train at least this time round, we could stop in these places and take it in. After our stop there, it was back onto the expressway until we reached Nagoya. It was roughly 6pm when we reached Nagoya, we had intially booked the car for the whole day with return the next morning but they allow early return with Orix so we did that instead before finding our hotel and having some dinner. Not too much time in Nagoya but it was the first time seeing the bullet train which was cool. Nagoya itself has some nice sights, we were thinking about going to Liberty Walk the next day but instead we just decided we'd head to Kyoto once we left the hotel.
Kyoto 02/05 - Shinkansen, Kyoto, Nishiki Market
It was a really lovely day and we were taking the shinkansen for the first time. The shinkansen from Nagoya is only 34 minutes but we did end up buying reserved seats as the station was pretty packed. This is probably the main thing we noticed with Golden week, everything else was busy but not insanely so. Nagoya station was a lot busier but otherwise fine. We didn't have JR passes as when I used the online calculator it didn't come out to be worth it for our particular travel so it was full fare for us. The shinkansen itself was good, we would be using it again for Osaka back to Tokyo but due to Nagoya being closer to Kyoto I didn't reeeally think I'd need to book early. It's probably a good idea still lol but it worked out fine for us to book same day despite how busy Nagoya was. Once in Kyoto we took our time walking down to our next hotel. This was another ryokan style so that was nice, we also passed a garden which we noted to go to the next day (Shosei-en Garden). Our luggage had arrived and was waiting for us at the hotel already so we got refreshed then went out for the evening. We went up to Nishiki market then walked back towards our hotel again. Had a sushi train small dinner as we hadn't had any sushi yet and I've also only had a train once before. It might not be the best Kyoto had to offer but wow was it still better than anything I'd had in the UK!! We then spent hours once again in an arcade, if you like games the MaiMaiDX machines really are addictive :') 03/05 - Shosei-en Garden, Higashi Hongan-ji, Tō-ji Temple, Nijō Castle✨Constitution Memorial Day
We woke up early, had breakfast at the ryokan, then went straight for the garden. It was a beautiful day once again so plenty of suncream applied. The Shosei-en Garden isn't the biggest but it's so beautiful, they have this pond that looks so still but my partner spotted a turtle and then you start to see more and more. They have some historical buildings around the place, we spent about an hour there before going to the next place. We walked down the road to the next place, this was Higashi Honhan-ji temple. Both locations weren't really that busy to be honest. Seeing this temple was nice but personally I did prefer the gardens. We next went Tō-ji temple. This is one of those locations that are on the 'must-do in Kyoto' but I did like it a lot. The 5 story pagoda was a cool sight. It wasn't so busy although we were going around lunch time so hungry crowds were likely taking a small break (: We spent an unreasonable amount of time just looking at the koi fish in the moat not even in the temple area 🎏 Finally we went to Nijō Castle. This was quite busy although we were one of the latter groups going around as it was nearing the end of the day. Another of the listed must do's but again I would say it's a cool place to see. If you do go, the tour around the main house is interesting and if you decide to climb the walls there's some nice sights of the area around. We finished up this day heading back to the market area and had dinner including a matcha beer. I'm not really a massive matcha person but I was up for trying all the different things, the beer sort of just tasted of normal beer but it looked exactly like a matcha-green coloured guinness. 04/05 - Arishiyama ✨Greenery Day
This wasn't really a packed day as we were heading to an airbnb for a couple of nights. We used the luggage forwarding from the ryokan where they were concerned that we wouldn't get our luggage as soon as we wanted due to Golden week. I then let them know we were looking to get it sent for the 6th and they completely relaxed and said that would be perfectly fine 👌 For context if you've not been to Kyoto, the train system is alright but pales compared to Tokyo. Getting to our airbnb wouldn't be too long, about an hour, but as we didn't really have anything planned and only had our small suitcase with us we decided to walk to the next airbnb instead and waste time along the way. This way when we arrived it wouldn't be before check in time and it would keep us out and about. The walk was about 3 hours total although we lengthed it by stopping a few times. There were some celebrations happening due to Greenery day and Children's day being the next day. We stopped to listen to some music, stopped to have a starbucks, then finally we reached out airbnb in Arishiyama. The place was really nice, and it was fun to have a whole place for a few nights instead of a hotel. If you're wanting to, looking at airbnb's is a completely valid option when staying in Japan - you just might get warned before you arrive not to talk or laugh too loudly or the neighbours might complain/call the police 😅 05/05 - Fushimi Inari Shrine ✨Children's Day
Initially were going to do both the bamboo/monkey forest and Fushimi Inari but ended up leaving a little later than planned so just committed to only Fushimi Inari. I was expecting fairly large crowds considering the day and the station was..... not great. That said, the station was very small and so although it was crowded we were also out of there fairly quick. This review of Fushimi Inari is going to follow almost everyone's - it was busy at the bottom and as you go up you'll get a lot less people. Even it being Children's day didn't stop us getting moments of just myself and my partner being alone so don't be deterred if the bottom is busy! Beautiful views, we did the full routes going to the top. It was a bit tricky at times but it's not a race, and you'll feel good doing the full thing. We reached the top, were able to partake in the prayers there, then had a great time going back down. There was a little area near the end with a bunch of cats; we turned a corner and saw one and a bunch of people crowding round to take a photo. Maybe only a few steps later you realise there's about 4 more just chilling around the place. It was a cool experience and definitely worth doing at least once if you're there.
Osaka 06/05 - Local train, Dotenbori, Den-Den Town
We took a train from our airbnb to Osaka and went via the local train rather than the shinkansen. It was fine, we reached Dotenbori and our hotel was not far from the station. We got there a bit early again but our room was already available and our luggage had arrived too (: After getting refreshed we went out for the afternoon to Den-Den Town. This is Osaka's version of Akihabara, and we spent a lot of time with my partner looking in all the card shops. It was pretty rainy but not really a problem between the Lawson's umbrella and ducking into lots of shops ;) We spent time in an arcade for a while before heading out to Dotenbori market area and the bridges for the evening/night. Yet again another location in the Yakuza games so I had fun pointing out different places like the Mega Don Quijote or the crab restaurant. We had some food and ended up in a drinking place that used a QR code and website for ordering to the table which was dangerously easy to use haha. Had some really tasty sushi there too, I'll try and find the name if anyone is wondering! Took tons of photos there, the rain at night gave the city that classic look reflecting the neon lights everywhere. 07/05 - Kobe day trip
We went to Kobe for the day, lots of rain but the main market area is all under cover so that was handy. My partner was looking for a new phone which he found, we also went to one of those places where they grill the food in front of you for dinner. It was great going in a scruffy elevator up to the restaurant and stepping out onto a really beautifully designed restaurant, and it wasn't very busy so we were able to go without reserving beforehand. Kobe itself is cool although we didn't explore too much outside the market areas due to just how hard it was raining, I think it was the heaviest on this day unfortunately. 08/05 - Nara day trip, Todai-ji
We went to Nara and although the advice is to go early, we went for more mid-day time. It wasn't crowded at all so that was fortunate. We ended up walking past that famous mochi stall that you see on all the tiktoks of Nara. I wasn't expecting to see the making of the mochi and wasn't going to wait for it either however they started about 2 minutes after we found the stall so we did stay and watch and it was cool to see in person (: We tried the mochi, it's pretty good although for me it was a bit too dry from the powder. Was still tasty!!! Walked through towards the deer park and saw the pagodas around. When we reached the deer park of course we had to get some crackers and feed them. Oh my god they're so pushy!! It was actually so funny to interact with them, one tried to nibble me and we got headbutted a bit when we had the crackers but once you've given them all out then they'll leave you 😆. We sat on a bench for a bit and watched some other poor souls go through the same thing. Saw quite a lot of young fawns too which is cute. We kept walking up to Todai-ji, stopped for an ice cream, then went to the temple to see the huge Buddha statue. It was a good experience to see this temple, but at least for me it wasn't my favourite part of the trip. I know for many others though it's really great to see so don't knock it off your list if you're interested in it! I'm glad I went once but probably won't return. Spent some more time just chilling around Nara and looking at the temples and shrines around the place. We went back to Osaka for around 4pm. Spent the evening in Osaka again, no rain this time! Oh this was about the time I was developing a sore throat, a little bit nerve wracking but fully vaccinated + boosters and have had covid previously so was fairly certain it wasn't that. Even so, my partner was coughing a bit which is the start of the cold we both had for the rest of the trip 😔 09/05 - Osaka Aquarium, Dotenbori
I didn't put the aquarium on my plan initially but we had another spare day in Osaka and I do like visiting aquariums + my partner likes penguins a lot and they had a lot there. It was a cool experience, a lot of families as to be expected but it wasn't packed so lots of opportunities to see the animals and fish :) The two whales were very cool, they're so massive. We also got to see their rockhopper penguin conservation area, you could see them sitting on their eggs. I recommend the aquarium to any families planning to be in Osaka, it's pretty easy to get to and the station gives clear directions on where to go to get to the aquarium and the nearby lego park. After the aquarium we went back to Dotenbori and looked around the various book-offs as my partner was looking for screen protectors. If you're interested in any Japanese media I can recommend them too, I found some games in there that were a lot cheaper than you find in the West in much better condition. Our coughs worsened by evening which wasn't great, we weren't doing much more in super crowded areas but it's obviously not good anyway. We were wearing masks everywhere beforehand but it made it more important. We did end up getting some Bron, if you're in Japan and have a cough then I do recommend it but just be aware that it contains codeine. We got some from a place that specifically had a pharmacy section, you bring the box to the cashier and they'll give you the actual bottle from behind the counter. Really really great stuff, much better than anything you can get without a prescription in the UK which was annoying as my cough was subsequently worse for about 5 days once I got back!! It's pretty much gone now though (lasted longer likely due to asthma but it was gone for my partner after a couple days of being back). Overall I really enjoyed Osaka, all the cities we went to were cool but for me Osaka was my favourite :)
Tokyo 10/05 - Shinkansen, Airbnb
We left Osaka for Tokyo and took the Shinkansen back. We did splash out a bit and took the green car with seats on the Fuji side. I fell asleep for most of the trip but woke in time to see Fuji for the roughly 6-7 minutes it was viewable for. It was my only time to see Fuji due to the weather being almost clear that day aside from a single cloud going right across the mountain. It didn't block the peak though so I don't feel too robbed 😆. If/when we visit Japan again I would like to see it again closer but it was still a great sight. Once we reached Shinagawa station, we switched to the local train to head to our airbnb in Shinjuku once again (although closer to Shibuya this time whereas we were more North before). We were staying in a pretty close knit residential area but did a bit of a hello to the neighbours which was nice. We had done the luggage forwarding again but had set it to come the next day so we would be the people available for receiving it. Spent the time around the airbnb and also tried having an uber eats delivered (which worked great lol). 11/05 - Shibuya, Shinjuku
We spent most of this day around Shibuya as we wanted a few souvenirs for family and also hadn't visited Shibuya properly. Went to the crossing, then spent time mainly shopping and going around one of the Donkis. Pretty rainy again but not a problem for a shopping day. 12/05 - RX-7 Day Trip (Lake Hinuma, Ibaraki Flower Park), Kabukicho
We used Omoshiro Rent-a-car for the RX-7 (for those interested, here's the car - https://i.imgur.com/HRX4DYy.png
) and they were great. We had it pre-booked again before we arrived in Japan as it's a pretty sought after car to rent. Bit banged up but nothing major, and we had it booked for I think 8 hours? We did return it a little early as we didn't really have anything else to do and didn't want to be late with a return as the shop closed at the time we'd be returning it. A funny part of the terms you agree to is no Initial D style driving. For the trip itself, we didn't have anything major planned so I made a makeshift plan to just go a bit out of Tokyo and visit somewhere different. I found this lake on maps that'd be not too far, didn't realise until we were there that it's less a lake for sights and more for fishing 😅. No worries though, as the main reason was to get some driving in and enjoy having the car (which was achieved!). Got some snacks from a 7/11 then went off. We had a lot of time left so we drove to Ibaraki flower park, yet another quick find from scrolling around Google Maps. It was a very beautiful park, they have a rose market there as well as selling some fresh produce. It's a small charge to go in the park but it's worth it for the hour or more you might spend there and will go towards the park maintenance. Also being the middle of Spring of course it's going to be beautiful with all the new blooms (: We spent time there admiring the countryside and being sad about going back home the next day. We went back to the rental place afterwards, also during this drive was the time where we were finding it so funny how we were sticking to the speed limits in this beautiful car and being overtaken by massive trucks going so much faster. We did have a moment that was like from a movie though, we entered the expressway after the tolls and as we were pulling in an older Honda NSX was being driven next to us. The guy driving looked over and gave us a nod with a straight face before pulling ahead a little so we could be behind him. We ruined that movie mood by both being so excited by how cool the moment was but hey it's one of those things that won't be forgotten at least!! He zoomed off a few minutes later but we weren't risking anything to keep pace ahaha. We returned the car then went back to Shinjuku for our final evening in Japan. We went back to Kabukicho and I was able to see the arch in red :') Took photos of the karaoke place that's in the games, would've gone in but my throat was killing!! So we just stuck to being outside. We went back to the area around our airbnb, had our last dinner there then went and packed up ready to go home. 13/05 - Home :')
Our flight was leaving a little before 9am so we were leaving the airbnb for 5ish. Early start but as we'd gotten packed up it wasn't too bad of a walk to the station. Grabbed our train, it was fairly early on one of the lines that goes direct to the station so we were able to get on with ease. The train was rammed by the time we reached the station. No problems getting through the airport, got to our gate and then flew home.
I had such a good time in Japan, I loved being there and hope to return within the next few years if life permits!! We definitely missed some of those 'must-do's' such as Osaka Castle, any of the theme parks, Arishiyama Monkey Park, actually doing Karaoke, and some of the food options due to my own anxieties walking into places lol. That said, I don't regret the things we did end up doing and it just means I'll have to fit some of those into my next trip 😉. Although my partner would like to visit more Northern areas like Hokkaido or Sendai so we'll see!
We didn't have probably as much packed into each day as could've been but for me this was perfect and a great time for my first time. If you managed to read all this then thank you very much, and please let me know if you have any questions about the trip!! I'll be happy to answer. Thanks for reading!
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2023.05.28 17:21 VernonKazama My Mario Kart Wish List 📃
~ 1. Introduction ~
Here is a detailed description of my wishlist for a Mario Kart 9 or 10/X (if Tour is considered the 9th installment) I don't expect everyone to like all my ideas. This is just a wishlist. I obviously would be happy with any Mario Kart Nintendo decides to put out but in a perfect world, this is what I would want for it to be the best Mario Kart imo. I hope you enjoy.
*= Thoughts, Personal opinions, New ideas for modes, mechanics, driver outfits, vehicles, items, options, etc
- with numbered annotation⁰= Explanations on certain features
🔒= Locked. Must be unlocked by in game requirements or DLC
~ 2. Mechanics ~
~ Single Player / Multiplayer 》1P》2P》3P》4P》
Grand Prix》Class Optimization》Driver(s) Select》Vehicle Parts》Circuits》Cup Select》 Class Optimization options: Engine: 50cc》100cc》150cc》Mirror》All
¹》All Mirror¹》 Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》
² Drift: Automatic》Manual》³ Items: Normal》No Items》 Camera: Normal》First Person》
*¹ - All and All Mirror options are only available in Grand Prix. After a Circuit has been selected, It'll play each Cup in order of that specific Circuit.
*² - All race and battle modes will feature either a Solo Dash or the new Double Dash option similar to Mario Kart Double Dash for extra replayability and character combinations.
*³ - Even if not many people liked Automatic drifting, it was there for a reason for you to choose. Some liked it. Some didn't. It should be the player's choice.
*⁴ - Camera can also be changed freely during the race from the pause menu.
Time Trials》Driver(s) Select》Circuits》Cup Select》Course Select》 Race Solo》Race Against Ghost》View Ghost》Online Ghost》Upload Ghost Data》
• VS Race》Driver(s) Select》Vehicle Parts》Customized Race》Circuits》Cup Select》Course Select》 Customized Race options: Engine Class: 50cc》100cc》150cc》Mirror》 Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》 Drift: Automatic》Manual》 Teams: No Teams》Team Game》 Items: Normal》Frantic》No Items》No Items and Coins》Custom》 COM: Easy》Normal》Hard》Pro
¹》 COM Vehicles (Solo)²: All Vehicles》Karts Only》Bikes Only》 COM Vehicles (Doubles)
²: All Vehicles》ATVs Only》Buggys Only》 Courses: Choose》In Order》Random》 Race Count: 4》5³》8》12》16》32》64》All》 Laps: 1》2》3》4》5》
*¹ - Added a Pro difficulty to make the CPU feel more of a challenge.
*² - Wanted to split the vehicle selections between Solo Dash and Double Dash drivers. Solo Dash drivers will now only select between Karts and Bikes and Double Dash drivers will only select between ATVs and new Buggy vehicles. *Buggys are essential similar to the designs of the Karts used in Mario Kart Double Dash. ATVs are now bigger in size to help fit the idea of 2 drivers on one vehicle.
*³ - The original Super Mario Kart had 5 courses per Cup so I brought that option back for custom races.
*⁴ - Wanted to make the option available for players. These courses will be excluded from Laps option and be set to default when selected: ⁿ⁶⁴ Wario Stadium, ⁿ⁶⁴ Rainbow Road, ᵍᶜⁿ Baby Park, ᵍᶜⁿ Wario Colosseum, ³ᵈˢ Wuhu Loop, ³ᵈˢ Maka Wuhu, ³ᵈˢ Rainbow Road, ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mount Wario, and ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Big Blue.
Battle》Driver(s) Select》Vehicle Parts》Customized Battle》Course Select》 Customized Battle options: Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》 Drift: Automatic》Manual》 Teams: No Teams》Team Game》 Items: Normal》Frantic》Skilled》Custom》 Round Time: 1 Minute》2 Minutes》3 Minutes》4 Minutes》5 Minutes》 COM: Easy》Normal》Hard》Pro》 COM Vehicles (Solo Dash): All Vehicles》Karts Only》Bikes Only》 COM Vehicles (Double Dash): All Vehicles》ATVs Only》Buggys Only》 Courses: Choose》In Order》Random》 Round Count: 3 Rounds》5 Rounds》7 Rounds》
*¹ - I shortened the rounds. Anything past 7 rounds is too much imo but that's just me. Also being a little bias cuz I'm not a fan of battle mode.
~ Online Play 》1P》2P》
Worldwide: Grand Prix*》VS Race》Battle》
Regional: Grand Prix*》VS Race》Battle》
Tournaments》Menu. Menu options: Create a Tournament: Icon》Name》Rules》Time Settings》Other》 *Rules options: Mode: 50cc》100cc》150cc》Mirror》Balloon》Classic Balloon
¹》 Renegade Roundup》Bob-omb Blast》Shine Runners¹》Coin Runners》 Shine Thief》Thunder Cloud Tag
¹》Random Battle》 Driver: Solo Dash》Double Dash》 Drift: Automatic》Manual》 Teams: No Teams》Team Game》 Items: Normal》No Items》No Items or Coins》Frantic》Skilled*²》Custom》 Round Time (Battle only): 1 Minute》2 Minutes》3 Minutes》4 Minutes》5 Minutes》 COM: No COM》Easy》Normal》Hard》Pro》 Vehicles (Solo Dash): All Vehicles》Karts Only》Bikes Only》 Vehicles (Double Dash): All Vehicles》ATVs Only》Buggys Only》 Camera: Normal》First Person》 Smart Steering: Smart Steering OK》No Smart Steering》 *Time Settings options: Frequency: Weekly》Daily》Fixed Period》 Start Day: Sunday》Monday》Tuesday》Wednesday》Thursday》Friday》Saturday》 Start Date: Dependent》 Start Time: Dependent》 End Day: Sunday》Monday》Tuesday》Wednesday》Thursday》Friday》Saturday》 End Date: Dependent》 End Time: Dependent》 Round Count: 4 Rounds》8 Rounds》16 Rounds》 Group Shuffling: Don't Shuffle》Every 4th Match》 *Other options: Player Rating: Any Rating》0-2999》3000-9999》10000-99999》 Public/Private: Open to Everyone》Code Required》
*¹ - Scroll down to Battle section for more info.
*² - Skilled Items for Battle mode only.
Search by Code Search by Type Active Tournaments
- A Report button will finally be added to report cheaters/hackers/etc.
- I'm thinking Solo Dash races will feature the usual 12 players (1st - 12th place) while Double Dash races features upto 16 players but 8 groups total (1st - 8th place).
- Worldwide and Regional Grand Prix will be 2-12 racers (or 4-16 in doubles mode) in a 4-race Cup from any randomly displayed Cups. Cups are then selected based on player voting.
- Create Room will now feature customized options such as Mode, Teams, Items, CPUs, and Vehicles similar to the Create a Tournament option.
- For online, I'd also like for a better ranking system to prevent casual players from racing against competitive players and vice versa.
My Replays. View saved replays from previous races or battles on and offline. * You can now save more than just 6 replays.
Online Replays*¹ View shared replays from others online
*¹ - Should've already been added in the first place.
²* - View recent online races or battles replays. Earn coins by voting who'll be 1st. * Literally stole this idea from Smash.
~ Other Details
- The race start intro and race finishes to retro courses will have a remake version of their original transitions along with a rearranged verison of their original theme from that respective retro course. Example for better understanding. * Mario Kart GP courses will have the current game's race start and finish transitions.
- I somehow also want to incorporate a way that once the Retro Grand Prix is unlocked, the title screen will have remake versions of the original title screens from previous Mario Kart games similar to Mario Party Superstars. Example
- It would show different title screens at each start up similarly to how Mario Kart 8/Deluxe's title screens Example
- Sometimes the CPU seems to make decisions that only seem to target the player regardless of placement. I want a smarter CPU for harder difficulties that won't just use an item just to use. If a CPU is holding a shell, they should use it logically or defend themselves with it logically.
- I personally am fine with every other mechanic used in Mario Kart 8/Deluxe such as driving techniques used, amiibo settings, Stats, etc. Keep the same driving techniques even during Double Dash mode. I personally was not a fan of Mario Kart Double Dash's drift mechanic and would not want that function brought back.
~ 3. Characters and Vehicles ~
68 Total Drivers (including DLC) 32 Total Alternate Drivers. 100 Total Individual Characters.
- Driver select screen, press R button to rotate between alternate drivers. Some drivers will have upto 9 different outfits to choose from.
- I wanted the original 8 to be the starting roster.
Mario》Metal Mario 🔒》Tanooki Mario 🔒》Fire Mario 🔒》Ice Mario 🔒》Dr. Mario 🔒》 - Mario (Classic) 🔒 - Mario (Builder) 🔒 - Mario (SNES) 🔒 - Mario (Sunshine) 🔒 - Mario (Tuxedo) 🔒 - Mario (N64)*🔒 - Metal Mario (Gold) 🔒
Luigi》Penguin Luigi 🔒》Fire Luigi 🔒》Gooigi*🔒》 - Luigi (Classic) 🔒 - Luigi (Golf) 🔒 - Luigi (Builder) 🔒
Peach》Pink Gold Peach 🔒》Cat Peach 🔒》Fire Peach*🔒》 - Peach (Wedding) 🔒
Yoshi - Light-blue Yoshi - Black Yoshi - Red Yoshi - Yellow Yoshi - White Yoshi - Purple Yoshi - Pink Yoshi - Orange Yoshi
Bowser》Dry Bowser 🔒》Meowser 🔒》 - Dry Bowser (Gold) 🔒
Donkey Kong Jr. - Donkey Kong Jr. (SNES) 🔒
Koopa Troopa》Koopa (Freerunning) 🔒》 - Red Koopa (Freerunning) - Blue Koopa (Freerunning) - Purple Koopa (Freerunning) - Gold Koopa (Freerunning) 🔒
Toad》Cat Toad 🔒》Captain Toad 🔒》 - Toad (Pit Crew) 🔒 - Toad (Builder) 🔒 - Toad (Astronaut) 🔒 - Toad (Blue)* - Toad (Yellow)* - Toad (Green)*
Donkey Kong 🔒
Wario 🔒 - Wario (Biker)*
Birdo 🔒 - Birdo (Light Blue) - Birdo (Black) - Birdo (Red) - Birdo (Yellow) - Birdo (White) - Birdo (Purple) - Birdo (Green) - Birdo (Orange)
Baby Mario 🔒
Baby Luigi 🔒
Toadette 🔒》Peachette 🔒》 - Toadette (Explorer) 🔒 - Toadette (Builder) 🔒 - Toadette (Astronaut) 🔒
Paratroopa 🔒 - Green Paratroopa*
Diddy Kong 🔒
Bowser Jr. 🔒
Petey Piranha 🔒
King Boo 🔒 - King Boo (Luigi's Mansion)
Ms. Pac-Man 🔒
Dry Bones 🔒 - Dry Bones (Gold) 🔒
R.O.B. 🔒 - R.O.B. (Famicom)*
Shy Guy 🔒 - Light-blue Shy Guy - Black Shy Guy - Green Shy Guy - Yellow Shy Guy - White Shy Guy - Blue Shy Guy - Pink Shy Guy - Orange Shy Guy
Baby Peach 🔒
Baby Daisy 🔒
Funky Kong 🔒
Honey Queen 🔒
Baby Rosalina 🔒
Link 🔒 - Link (Champion's Tunic)
Villager 🔒 - Villager (Female)
Isabelle 🔒 - Isabelle (Winter)*
Inkling Girl 🔒 - Inkling Girl (lime green) - Inkling Girl (magenta)
Inkling Boy 🔒 - Inkling Boy (purple) - Inkling Boy (teal)
Hammer Bro 🔒》Boomerang Bro 🔒》Ice Bro 🔒》Fire Bro 🔒》
Monty Mole 🔒
Dixie Kong 🔒
King Bob-omb 🔒
Chargin' Chuck 🔒
Noki ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 - Noki (Green) - Noki (Pink) - Noki (Yellow)
Pianta ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 - Pianta (Pink) - Pianta (Yellow) - Pianta (Purple)
Professor E. Gadd ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Toadsworth ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Luma ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 - Luma (Blue) - Luma (Pink) - Luma (Green) - Luma (Cyan) - Luma (Red) - Luma (Purple) - Luma (Black) - Luma (Orange)
Sonic the Hedgehog ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Miles "Tails" Prower ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
King K. Rool ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒》Kaptain K. Rool*》
Krunch ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒 * Would be an excellent choice for a surprise DLC character to those familiar w/Diddy Kong Racing
Zelda ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒》Sheik*》
Kirby ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
King Dedede ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Captain Falcon ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
Samus ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒》Zero Suit*》
Geno ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ 🔒
- - there's plenty of room for more characters but I figured 100 was the perfect amount of characters, especially with the double dash feature with everyone potentially having a partner with no odd person out.
Available parts. The parts available are listed here in the order shown in the vehicle customization screen, with the following notation: ¹ = Changes color, depending on the character. ² = Changes color for the Koopalings. ³ = Changes color for Daisy, Baby Daisy, Rosalina, and Baby Rosalina. (DLC) = Part is only available as downloadable content.
- Personally, I would want a system that prevents everyone from choosing the best racer with the best vehicle parts. For example If Luigi is the best racer and his best vehicle is the standard kart with mushroom tires, and gold glider, obviously everyone will choose Toad and those exact parts to win races. I want everyone to choose their favorite racer and parts that make them comfortable to race in, and not just look at a list of the best racers and parts and just copy and paste that. I don't know how to fix this honestly but I'm sure someone could help with ideas to this to make everyone equal in a way on the track with their own individuality similar to what Mario Kart 7 did with their characters.
~ Karts (Solo Dash)
Standard Kart¹ 4-Wheel Cradle 8-Bit Pipe Frame¹ Apple Kart B Dasher Badwagon Barrel Train Biddybuggy (Buggybud)¹ Birthday Girl (Royal Ribbon)²/³ Blue Falcon Blue Seven Booster Seat (Baby Booster) Bruiser (Growlster) Brute Bull's-Eye Banzai Bulldog-W ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ Bumble V Cact-R Cact-X Cat Cruiser Cheep Charger Cheep Snorkel Circuit Special¹ Clanky Kart Classic Dragster (Nostalgia 1) Cloud 9 Crawly Kart Cucumber Dasher II Daytripper (Royal Racer) Dozer Dasher Dragonfly Dry Bomber Egg 1 Flame Flyer Gold Mantis Gold Pipe Frame Gold Standard (Gold Kart) Green Apple Kart Honeycoupe (Dragonetti) Hurricane Jet Cruiser Jetsetter (Aero Glider) Jumbo Jetter Kiddie Kart¹ Koopa Clown² Landship ² Light Dancer Light Tripper Mach 8 Mini Beast (Concerto) Mushmellow Offroader P-Wing Paintster Parade Kart Penguin Slider Pink Mushmellow Pipe Frame¹ Piranha Prowler Poltergust 4000 Power Flower Prancer Prop Kart Quickshaw ROB-BLS Rambi Rider Royale Shooting Star Sky Pop ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ Sneeker (Bounder)¹ Snow Skimmer Soda Jet Sports Coupe (Sports Coupé) Sprinter (B Dasher Mk. 2) Star Broom Steel Driver Streamliner Streetle Super 1 Super Blooper (Turbo Blooper) Surf Sailer Swift Talon Tanooki Kart Tea Coupe Tiny Titan (Rally Romper) Tiny Tug Tri-Speeder Wario Car Warship Wild Wing Wildlife Yellow Taxi Zucchini (Gherkin) Speed Star ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Whirlwind Sport ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Egg Mobile ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ * Was inspired by this image I found. Source
Reminds me of the Egg Mobile with Monster tires White Cat ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Dark Schnieder ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Car¹ ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ * Source
* the number in the center will be replaced by driver's logo Dragoon Kart ⁽ᵈˡᶜ * Source
~ Bikes (Solo Dash)
Standard Bike¹ Bit Bike (Nanobike) City Tripper¹ Flame Rider Hurricane Jet Bubble (Bubble Bike) Master Cycle Zero Mr. Scooty (Mr Scooty) Phantom Quacker ROB-LGS Shooting Star (Twinkle Star) Sugarscoot (Bon Bon)¹ The Duke Varmint Wario Bike Zip Zip (Rapide) Zipper Wheelie Bike ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Bullet Bike¹ Comet Dolphin Dasher Flame Runner (Bowser Bike)¹ Jet Bike Mach Bike¹ Magikruiser¹ Master Cycle Sneakster (Nitrocycle) Sport Bike¹ Yoshi Bike¹ Zinger Sting ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ * just an idea I had for a new bike based off of a beta imagine for Donkey Kong racing. Source
* the number in the center will be replaced by driver's logo. Bike version of the Prop Kart
~ ATVs (Double Dash)
Standard ATV (Standard Quad)¹ Bone Rattler Inkstriker Spear (Torpedo)¹ Splat Buggy Teddy Buggy Tyrant Wild Wiggler Hovercraft¹ ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
~ Buggys (Double Dash)
Standard Buggy ¹ Banisher Bolt Buggy Bullet Blaster Coach³ * Heart Coach/Bloom Coach from Mario Kart Double Dash DK Jumbo Fire Buggy¹ * Red Fire from Mario Kart Double Dash Goo-Goo Buggy¹ Koopa Dasher Koopa King Para-Wing Pipe Buggy¹ Piranha Pipes Turbo Birdo Turbo Yoshi Waluigi Racer
Standard (Normal) 8-Bit Standard Ancient Tires (Ancient Tyres) Azure Roller Bicycle Tires Blue Monster Blue Standard (Normal Blue) Button Capsule Crimson Slim Cushion Cyber Slick Drum Gold 8-Bit Standard Gold Tires (Gold Wheels) Heart Rings Hot Monster (Funky Monster) Iron Leaf Tires (Leaf Tyres) Metal Monster Mushroom Mushroom Off-Road Red Monster Retro Off-Road Roller Slick Slim Snorkel Tires Sponge Triforce Tires (Triforce Tyres) Wood (Wooden) Yoshi Tires
Super Glider¹ 8-Bit Jumping Mario Beast Glider (Ghastly Glider) Bowser Kite Butterfly Sunset Cloud Glider Crimson Crane Droplet Glider Eggshell Glider Eggshell Glider Fare Flier Flower Glider Gold Glider Great Sail Hylian Kite MKTV Parafoil Oilpaper Umbrella Paper Glider Parachute Paraglider (Breath of the Wild) Paraglider (Parafoil) Peach Parasol³ Plane Glider Ribbon Swooper (Swoop) Waddle Wing Waluigi Wing Wario Wing Magic Carpet ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Wizpig Glider ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Example
at 00:31 Tails Flier ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Knuckles Glider ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
Gunship ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source
~ 4. Items ~
× – Does not appear in Battle Mode.
~ Items found on the track
Item Box - Gives the player a random item. Items given are based on the player's distance from first place. * I would like for them to look either similar to how they looked in Mario Kart 64 or Mario Kart DS' design.
Coin - Gives the player a small boost and increase top speed when more are collected, up to a maximum of ten.
Rupee - The equivalent of a coin, used for Hyrule Circuit and Zelda related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Bell - The equivalent of a coin, used for Animal Crossing. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Cash - The equivalent of a coin, used for Splatoon related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track.
Balloon ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of an Item Box, used for Diddy Kong Racing related course. Source
Item Box (Capsule) ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of an Item Box, used for Sonic related course. Source
Star Block ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of an Item Box, used for Kirby related course. Source
Banana ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of a coin, used for Donkey Kong Country / Diddy Kong Racing related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track. Source
Ring ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of a coin, used for Sonic related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track. Source
Food ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - The equivalent of a coin, used for Kirby related courses. They replace coins in the item roulette and in the track. Source
~ New Items
Coin Block ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ - * floats above player for a short time (10 seconds). Hop to collect upto 10 coins. Can only be obtained if player has 0 coins. Replacing the Coin Box item from Mario Kart Tour. Example
~ Returning Items
Banana Peel - When a kart hits a Banana Peel, it spins out. You can carry one behind your kart to protect yourself from a single attack. Can be thrown backward and forward.
Green Shell - Travels in a straight line and knocks over a kart it hits.
Red Shell - Red Shell Homes in on the closest kart in front of the player and knocks it over.
Feather - Causes the player to spin and leap in the air, providing a small speed boost upon landing, akin to a regular trick (characters will also perform a trick animation during the jump).
Mushroom - Provides the player's kart with a small speed boost.
Super Star - Provides the player invincibility from all terrain and items, and also giving a speed boost.
Boo - Unleashes Boo, who turns the player invisible for a brief time, making them impervious to enemy attacks, and steals an opponent's item. Cannot steal Special Items.
Coinˣ - Grants the player two extra coins and a micro boost.
Lightningˣ - Causes all opponents to drop their items, shrink, and drive slowly for a short time.
Fake Item - Looks just like an item box, but when you run into it, it knocks you over.
Bob-omb - Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking over any kart in its blast radius.
Blooper - Sprays ink on all racers ahead and reduces their visibility. The racers hit also lose some of their traction while sprayed.
Bullet Billˣ - Transforms the player into a Bullet Bill, rocketing through the track with auto-pilot, and providing invincibility from all terrain and items.
Spiny Shellˣ - Targets the racer in first place, knocking over all other karts in its path.
Super Horn - Emits a radial shockwave hitting racers, as well as destroying all obstacles, including the Spiny Shell.
~ Special Items
Fireball (Red) - Three fireballs will revolve around your kart. They split up after they're thrown and go sliding ahead. These powerful pyrotechnics can take out multiple opponents at once. Drivers: Mario, Fire Mario
Fireball (Green) - Three fireballs will revolve around your kart. They split up after they're thrown and go sliding ahead. These powerful pyrotechnics can take out multiple opponents at once. Drivers: Luigi, Fire Luigi
Fire Flower - Allows the player to throw fireballs for a short time that cause other karts to spin out on impact. Drivers: Metal Mario, Fire Peach, Fire Bro
Ice Flower - Three balls of ice will revolve around your kart. Throw them all at once and they'll freeze any kart they hit, causing them to slide. Drivers: Ice Bro, Ice Mario, Penguin Luigi
Heart - This protective Heart revolves around your kart for a set amount of time, shielding you from attacks. Any item that hits the player becomes theirs to use. A cute and handy item. Drivers: Peach, Daisy, Villager, Wendy, Mametchi
Yoshi's Egg - This egg rolls down the road and home in on opponents. When they hit and break, they'll drop three more items. Drivers: Yoshi
Birdo's Egg - Homes in on the kart in front of you and crashes once it hits. Three more items will fly out when it breaks. Drivers: Birdo
Chain Chomp - This fearsome beast chases karts with reckless abandon, pulling the player behind it at breakneck speeds. Drivers: Baby Mario, Baby Luigi
Triple Mushrooms - Orbits the player's kart, providing them with three separate speed boosts. Drivers: Toad, Toadette
Golden Mushroom - Provides the player's kart with continuous speed boosts for a short time. Drivers: Captain Toad
Mega Mushroom - The driver grows bigger, which allows them to squash other racers by running over them, making them lose their items and slow down for a moment. Drivers: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Wiggler
Poison Mushroom - A stationary item. Looks like a regular mushroom but If one is run into, the victim shrinks, as if hit by a Lightning. Shrunken racers who run into it revert to normal size. Drivers: Kamek * ngl, i didn't really know who to give this item to
Mushroom Cannon - A cannon designed to resemble a Mushroom. Continually shoots out Mushrooms in front of your kart for a set time. Drivers: Monty Mole, Peachette, Toadsworth
Triple Green Shells - Three green shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks. Drivers: Koopa Troopa, Dry Bones, Lakitu, Koopa (Freerunning)
Triple Red Shells - Three red shells that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks. Drivers: Paratroopa, Dry Bones, Lakitu, Koopa (Freerunning)
Bowser's Shell - An awe-inspiring giant shell! As it careens down the road, slamming and ramming into karts, it's the very image of Bowser himself. Drivers: Bowser, Bowser Jr., Dry Bowser
Triple Bananas - Three bananas that orbit the player's kart, protecting them from incoming attacks. Drivers: Donkey Kong Jr., Dixie Kong
Giant Banana - Not only does this big banana spin out karts that hit it, but after being struck it breaks into three regular-sized Bananas. Drivers: Donkey Kong
Banana Barrels - Arm your kart with two fully-loaded barrels of Bananas! Continually shoots out Bananas in front of or behind your kart for a set time. Drivers: Diddy Kong, Funky Kong
Thunder Cloud - A thundercloud hovers over the recipient and strikes it with lightning after 10 seconds. The user shrinks to a very small size for 10 seconds, driving more slowly. Before this happens, the user has higher speed and acceleration while not losing speed when driving off-road, and may pass the cloud to an opponent by bumping into them. Drivers: Blinky, Pinky, Inky, Clyde * If there was absolutely no choice but to have the next Meta character, it'd be the Ghosts. Having one of the worst possible specials in the game should balance them out.
POW Block - The POW Block appears above the karts as a 2D image, warning players of its arrival, and causes any racer on the ground ahead of the user to spin out and drop their items. * Since wheelies are no longer a thing, it always spins out other racers unless they're in anti-gravity mode or during an in air trick Drivers: Mii, Don-chan
Super Leaf- Gives the player's kart a tail that can be used to deflect items, knock over opponents and collect coins. The tail will disappear after a moment or if the player is hurt. Drivers: Tanooki Mario
Lucky Seven - Surrounds the player with seven items that rotates around its kart. The player receives a Mushroom, Banana, Green Shell, Red Shell, Blooper, Bob-omb, and a Star. Drivers: King Boo, Pauline, Poochy, Nabbit, Chargin' Chuck, Pianta, Noki
Boomerang Flower - Can be thrown up to three times, hitting racers forward/backward and when it returns to its user after the first and second use. Driver: Boomerang Bro, Larry
Piranha Plant - Automatically chomps on obstacles and other racers, giving a short speed boost for each bite. Drivers: Petey Piranha
Double Bob-ombs - Two Bob-ombs will revolve around your kart. Throw them both at once. Drivers: Wario, Waluigi, Roy
Bob-omb Cannon - Continually shoots out Bob-ombs in front of your kart for a set time. Drivers: Shy Guy
Giga Bob-omb - After being thrown, it will explode after hitting a kart or bouncing 3 times. It has a larger blast radius than a standard Bob-omb. Drivers: King Bob-omb
Bubble - Briefly envelops your kart and protects you from damage for a set time. While in the bubble, you will get a speed boost and float in the air. Drivers: Baby Peach, Baby Daisy, Baby Rosalina, Lemmy
Dash Ring - Tosses out three rings in front of you along the track. Pass through them for a speed boost! Drivers: Rosalina, Luma, Ludwig, Honey Queen
Hammer - Throws multiple Hammers in an arc aimed at karts in front of yours. Drivers: Hammer Bro
Super Bell - A bell rings above the driver, knocking away nearby karts and items. The bell rings three consecutive times. Drivers: Cat Peach, Cat Toad
Capsule - Three colorful capsules surround your kart. They'll bounce at opponents when thrown. Drivers: Dr. Mario
Splat Bomb ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ - * Explodes after a short time when thrown or dropped, knocking and spraying ink on any kart in its blast radius and reduces their visibility. The racers hit also lose some of their traction while sprayed. Drivers: Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy
Magical Boomerang ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾ - * Works like a Boomerang Flower that tracks closes kart infront of player like a Red Shell Drivers: Link
Magnet ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * a powerful magnet that pulls opponents towards the player Source
Nayru's Love ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * will surround the racer's kart with a protective shield. Any items that hit this shield will be reflected back at the racer who used them. If a driver using Nayru's Love is attacked with an item such as a Lightning, the racer who used the Lightning item will take damage. Drivers: Zelda
Copy Ability ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * steals Special item from any racer. If no racer has a special item on them, it'll randomly generate a random racer's Special Item. Drivers: Kirby
Dedede's Hammer ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * driver using Dedede's Hammer, will swing it around for about 5 seconds. Any karts hit will be squashed, causing them to lose their item and speed momentarily. Drivers: King Dedede
Invincibility Shield ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * become invulnerable to all damage for a short time. Drivers: Sonic, Tails
Bombs ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * Think Double Bob-ombs, the original Triple Bananas and the Feather item. If used as a protective item, upon the explosion, the player will leap in the air, providing a small speed boost upon landing. Drivers: Samus
Geno Flash ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ - * works like a Lightning but doesn't strink opponents. Drivers: Geno
- - R.O.B. and Professor E. Gadd have the ability to obtain any special item, excluding Fireball (Green), Birdo's Egg, Lucky Seven, Nayru's Love ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾, Copy Ability ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾, and Geno Flash ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾
~ 5. Courses ~
161 Total Courses
Nitro Grand Prix Mushroom Cup》 Flower Cup》 Star Cup》 Special Cup 🔒
Retro Grand Prix 🔒 Mushroom 🍄 Courses : Shell Cup》Golden Dash Cup》Red Coin Cup》Blue Coin Cup》Banana Cup》Lucky Cat Cup》1-Up Cup》Gold Cup》
Flower 🌷 Courses: Leaf Cup》Turnip Cup》Freezie Cup》Metal Cup》 Lightning Cup》Rock Cup》POW Cup》Heart Cup》
Star ⭐️ Courses: Sun Cup》Moon Cup》Red Shell Cup》Thunder Cloud Cup》Wing Cup》Boomerang Cup》Coin Block Cup》Warp Cup》
Special 👑 Courses: Vanish Cup》Cherry Cup》Mega Cup》Tanooki Cup》? Block Cup》Spiny Cup》Shine Cup》Grand Cup》
World Grand Prix🔒 Lightning⚡️Courses: Egg Cup》Triforce Cup》Crossing Cup》Bell Cup》Propeller Cup》Fruit Cup》Feather Cup》Acorn Cup》Super Cup》World Cup》
Extra Grand Prix 🔒* Excellent idea to introduce courses from the Mario Kart GP series as well as new courses for DLC content
~ New Courses
Nitro Grand Prix: Mushroom Cup 🍄 1. New Mario Circuit 2. TBD 3. TBD 4. TBD
Nitro Grand Prix: Flower Cup 🌷 1. beach- or water-themed course 2. TBD 3. TBD 4. TBD
Nitro Grand Prix: Star Cup ⭐️ 1. ice- or snow-themed course 2. TBD 3. TBD 4. TBD
Nitro Grand Prix: Special Cup 👑 1. TBD 2. TBD 3. New Bowser's Castle 4. New Rainbow Road
~ Retro Courses
Mushroom 🍄 Courses Retro Grand Prix: Shell Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mario Kart Stadium 2. ᵈˢ Yoshi Falls 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Baby Park 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Bowser Castle 1
Retro Grand Prix: Golden Dash Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Luigi Circuit 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Shy Guy Beach 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Sweet Sweet Canyon 4. ᵍᶜⁿ Dry Dry Desert
Retro Grand Prix: Red Coin Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ Toad Circuit 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Moo Moo Farm 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Riverside Park 4. ʷⁱⁱ Toad's Factory
Retro Grand Prix: Blue Coin Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ Luigi Raceway 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Donut Plains 1 3. ᵈˢ Cheep Cheep Beach 4. ³ᵈˢ Shy Guy Bazaar
Retro Grand Prix: Banana Cup 1. ᵈˢ Figure-8 Circuit 2. ʷⁱⁱ Moo Moo Meadows 3. ³ᵈˢ Cheep Cheep Lagoon 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Kalimari Desert
Retro Grand Prix: Lucky Cat Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 1 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Peach Beach 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Koopa Troopa Beach 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Thwomp Ruins
Retro Grand Prix: 1-Up Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Luigi Circuit 2. ³ᵈˢ Daisy Hills 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Ghost Valley 1 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 1
Retro Grand Prix: Gold Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Peach Circuit 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Water Park 3. ʷⁱⁱ Mushroom Gorge 4. ᵈˢ Luigi's Mansion
Flower 🌷 Courses Retro Grand Prix: Leaf Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Mushroom Bridge 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Boo Lake 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Twisted Mansion 4. ³ᵈˢ Rock Rock Mountain
Retro Grand Prix: Turnip Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Mario Circuit 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Toad Harbor 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Choco Mountain 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Bowser Castle 2
Retro Grand Prix: Freezie Cup 1. ᵈˢ Desert Hills 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Mario Circuit 3. ʷⁱⁱ DK Summit 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 2
Retro Grand Prix: Metal Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Mario Circuit 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Frappe Snowland 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Daisy Cruiser 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Shy Guy Falls
Retro Grand Prix: Lightning Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mario Circuit 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Ghost Valley 2 3. ᵈˢ Waluigi Pinball 4. ʷⁱⁱ Wario's Gold Mine
Retro Grand Prix: Rock Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Choco Island 1 2. ᵈˢ Delfino Square 3. ³ᵈˢ Music Park 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Mario Raceway
Retro Grand Prix: POW Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ Wuhu Loop 2. ʷⁱⁱ Coconut Mall 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Cheese Land 4. ᵈˢ Shroom Ridge
Retro Grand Prix: Heart Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ Toad's Turnpike 2. ³ᵈˢ Mario Circuit 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Donut Plains 2 4. ᵍᶜⁿ Waluigi Stadium
Star ⭐️ Courses Retro Grand Prix: Sun Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Snow Land 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Choco Island 2 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Yoshi Circuit 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Bowser's Castle
Retro Grand Prix: Moon Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ Wario Stadium 2. ʷⁱⁱ Koopa Cape 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Yoshi Desert 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mount Wario
Retro Grand Prix: Red Shell Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Daisy Circuit 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Ribbon Road 3. ᵈˢ Mario Circuit 4. ᵍᶜⁿ DK Mountain
Retro Grand Prix: Thunder Cloud Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Sunshine Airport 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Sherbet Land 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Vanilla Lake 1 4. ³ᵈˢ Maka Wuhu
Retro Grand Prix: Wing Cup 1. ᵈˢ DK Pass 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Dolphin Shoals 3. ³ᵈˢ Neo Bowser City 4. ʷⁱⁱ Grumble Volcano
Retro Grand Prix: Boomerang Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Sherbet Land 2. ³ᵈˢ Wario Shipyard 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Royal Raceway 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Bowser Castle 3
Retro Grand Prix: Coin Block Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Koopa Beach 1 2. ᵈˢ Tick-Tock Clock 3. ʷⁱⁱ Maple Treeway 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 3
Retro Grand Prix: Warp Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ Piranha Plant Slide 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Mushroom City 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Electrodrome 4. ᵈˢ Airship Fortress
Special 👑 Courses Retro Grand Prix: Vanish Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Donut Plains 3 2. ʷⁱⁱ Moonview Highway 3. ᵍᵇᵃ Bowser Castle 4 4. ᵍᶜⁿ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Cherry Cup 1. ³ᵈˢ DK Jungle 2. ᵍᵇᵃ Broken Pier 3. ˢⁿᵉˢ Ghost Valley 3 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Mega Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ Dry Dry Ruins 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Bone-Dry Dunes 3. ⁿ⁶⁴ Banshee Boardwalk 4. ˢⁿᵉˢ Vanilla Lake 2
Retro Grand Prix: Tanooki Cup 1. ᵍᶜⁿ Wario Colosseum 2. ³ᵈˢ Rosalina's Ice World 3. ʷⁱⁱ Bowser's Castle 4. ⁿ⁶⁴ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: ? Block Cup 1. ᵈˢ Wario Stadium 2. ˢⁿᵉˢ Koopa Beach 2 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Bowser's Castle 4. ᵍᵇᵃ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Spiny Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Lakeside Park 2. ᵍᶜⁿ Dino Dino Jungle 3. ᵈˢ Bowser Castle 4. ʷⁱⁱ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Shine Cup 1. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Cloudtop Cruise 2. ⁿ⁶⁴ Yoshi Valley 3. ³ᵈˢ Bowser's Castle 4. ᵈˢ Rainbow Road
Retro Grand Prix: Grand Cup 1. ⁿ⁶⁴ D.K.'s Jungle Parkway 2. ᵈˢ Peach Gardens 3. ᵍᶜⁿ Bowser's Castle 4. ³ᵈˢ Rainbow Road
Lightning⚡️Courses 🔒 World Grand Prix: Egg Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Rainbow Road 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Berlin Byways 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Wild Woods 4. ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Yoshi's Island
World Grand Prix: Triforce Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 4 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Los Angeles Laps 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Piranha Plant Cove 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Hyrule Circuit
World Grand Prix: Crossing Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Luigi Circuit 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Sydney Sprint 3. TBA 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Animal Crossing
World Grand Prix: Bell Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Sky Garden 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Singapore Speedway 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Super Bell Subway 4. TBA
World Grand Prix: Propeller Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 3 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Vancouver Velocity 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Ice Ice Outpost 4. ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Sky-High Sundae
World Grand Prix: Fruit Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Sunset Wilds 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ New York Minute 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Bangkok Rush 4. TBA
World Grand Prix: Feather Cup 1. ˢⁿᵉˢ Mario Circuit 2 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ London Loop 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Ninja Hideaway 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Mute City
World Grand Prix: Acorn Cup 1. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Paris Promenade 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Merry Mountain 3. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Dragon Driftway 4. TBA
World Grand Prix: Super Cup 1. ᵍᵇᵃ Cheep-Cheep Island 2. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Amsterdam Drift 3. TBA 4. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Big Blue
World Grand Prix: World Cup 1. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Tokyo Blur 2. ʷⁱⁱ ᵘ Excitebike Arena 3. ᵗᵒᵘʳ Athens Dash 4. TBA
~ Extra/DLC Courses
Extra Grand Prix: Mario Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Mario Highway 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Mario Beach
Extra Grand Prix: Extra Mario Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Splash Circuit 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Tropical Coast
Extra Grand Prix: DK Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ DK Jungle 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Bananan Ruins
Extra Grand Prix: Extra DK Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bananan Labyrinth 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ DK Jungle
Extra Grand Prix: Wario Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Diamond City 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Snow Panic
Extra Grand Prix: Waluigi Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ² Stadium Arena 2. ᵃᵍᵖ² Waluigi Stadium
Extra Grand Prix: Pac-Man Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Pac Mountain 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Pac Labyrinth
Extra Grand Prix: Extra Pac-Man Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ PAC-MAN Stadium 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ NAMCO Circuit
Extra Grand Prix: Bowser Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Bowser's Castle 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Castle Wall
Extra Grand Prix: Extra Bowser Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bowser's Factory 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bowser's Castle
Extra Grand Prix: Rainbow Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖ Rainbow Coaster 2. ᵃᵍᵖ Rainbow Downhill
Extra Grand Prix: Yoshi Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖ² Yoshi Park 1 2. ᵃᵍᵖ² Yoshi Park 2
Extra Grand Prix: Toad Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Peach Castle 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Kingdom Way
Extra Grand Prix: Don-chan Cup 🔒 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Bon Dance Street 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Omatsuri Circuit
Extra Grand Prix: Bowser Jr. Cup 1. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Aerial Road 2. ᵃᵍᵖᵈˣ Sky Arena
Extra Grand Prix: Inklings Cup 1. Splatoon themed course * Splat Circuit 2. Splatoon themed course
Extra Grand Prix: Sonic ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Sonic themed course * Twinkle Circuit Source
at 1:00 2. Sonic themed course * Green Hill Zone related course
Extra Grand Prix: King K. Rool ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. King K. Rool/Donkey Kong Country related themed course 2. Diddy Kong Racing related themed course * Jungle Falls or Darkmoon Caverns Source 1 Source 2
Extra Grand Prix: Zelda ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Zelda themed course * Lost Woods 2. Zelda themed course
Extra Grand Prix: Kirby ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Kirby themed course * Fantasy Meadows (from Kirby Air Ride) Source
2. Kirby themed course * Meta Knight's Halberd or The Great Cave Offensive
Extra Grand Prix: Samus ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ 🔒 1. Metroid themed course 2. Metroid themed course
~ 6. Battle ~
In all games, the engine class of Battle Mode is fixed to 50cc. An exception is the Renegade Roundup mode where it is increased to 100cc.
~ Battle Modes
Balloon Battle》Team Balloon Battle》 Classic Balloon Battle》Team Classic Balloon Battle
- Mini Bomb Karts return. Shine Thief》Team Shine Thief》 Bob-omb Blast》Team Bob-omb Blast Shine Runners Coin Runners (Coin Battle)》Team Coin Runners》 Renegade Roundup
Thunder Cloud Tag ⁽ⁿᵉʷ⁾* - Similar to Shine Thief but reverse. Think of it as Tag. A random player has a Thunder Cloud and must tag others to lose it from above their head. If the player holds the Thunder Cloud when the timer reaches zero, this process repeats until one player remains.
ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 1 ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 2 ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 3 ˢⁿᵉˢ Battle Course 4 ⁿ⁶⁴ Big Donut ⁿ⁶⁴ Block Fort ⁿ⁶⁴ Double Deck ⁿ⁶⁴ Skyscraper ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 1 ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 2 ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 3 ᵍᵇᵃ Battle Course 4 ᵍᶜⁿ Cookie Land ᵍᶜⁿ Block City ᵍᶜⁿ Luigi's Mansion ᵍᶜⁿ Nintendo GameCube ᵍᶜⁿ Pipe Plaza ᵍᶜⁿ Tilt-a-Kart ᵈˢ Nintendo DS ᵈˢ Twilight House ᵈˢ Palm Shore ᵈˢ Tart Top ᵈˢ Block Fort ᵈˢ Pipe Plaza ʷⁱⁱ Block Plaza ʷⁱⁱ Delfino Pier ʷⁱⁱ Funky Stadium ʷⁱⁱ Chain Chomp Wheel ʷⁱⁱ Thwomp Desert ³ᵈˢ Honeybee Hive (Honeybee House) ³ᵈˢ Sherbet Rink ³ᵈˢ Wuhu Town ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Battle Stadium ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Sweet Sweet Kingdom ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Dragon Palace ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Lunar Colony ˢʷᶦᵗᶜʰ Urchin Underpass ᵗᵒᵘʳ New York Minute B ᵗᵒᵘʳ Paris Promenade B Icicle Pyramid or Smokey Castle ⁽ᵈˡᶜ⁾ Source 1 Source 2
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2023.05.28 16:38 SeaArachnid8726 Questions about Rhinoplasty in Turkey
Hello Reddit, I am considering a rhinoplasty in Turkey with Dr. Sezgin Öztürk. Has anyone had an experience with him? I like his work because I don’t want to have the trendy Cindy Kimberly type of nose and I like that his results were not the same nose over and over again.
I am going to contact his practice soon but before doing so I wanted to ask a few questions:
-How was your experience with rhinoplasty in turkey? Do you have any recommendations for natural results and to avoid the sloped and very pointy nose? -How much did you surgery cost and with which doctor? -I live in turkey but I am not turkish, so I don’t need a pick up from the airport and the hotel but I do need an interpreter. Does anyone know if the foreign price bump still applies in this case?
I would appreciate any reply ☺️☺️
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2023.05.28 16:10 tiniestspoon Book Club Discussion: That Time I Got Drunk And Saved A Demon by Kimberly Lemming
Hey everyone! Welcome to the discussion for That Time I Got Drunk And Saved A Demon by Kimberly Lemming
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About the book:
All I wanted to do was live my life in peace. Maybe get a cat, expand my spice farm. Really anything that doesn’t involve going on a quest where an orc might rip my face off. But they say the Goddess has favorites. If so, I’m clearly not one of them.
After saving the demon Fallon in a wine-drunk stupor, all he wanted to do was kill an evil witch enslaving his people.
I mean, I get it. Don't get me wrong. But he's dragging me along for the ride, and I'm kind of peeved about it. On the bright side, he keeps burning off his shirt.
We're trying a new format this month! The discussion will be a live chat for everyone to drop in and talk about the book. To start off, what did you think of the book?
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2023.05.28 15:50 LoneWolfInCyberia Telugu Cinema Retro Series 2010
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It was a great year for the Nandamuri family, with Balayya Babu making a comeback, NTR Jr having 2 back to back super hits in a new look. It was the year when a dubbing movie Robo emerged as the year's biggest hit. Prabhas got the Darling tag, making a comeback in a new avatar. It was the year of big budget disasters, of which some like Khaleja, Orange went on to become cult favorites. It was the year of political turmoil in Andhra Pradesh following the death of YSR and the Telangana agitation gained momentum.
NTR Jr came back strongly with two super hits Adhurs and Brindavanam, in a completely new look, having slimmed down considerably. He also moved away from his usual mass action flicks, displaying his comic timing to perfection in Adhurs as Chari, along with a pakka mass role . And Brindavanam was a more feel good family drama. The scenes between NTR Jr and Brahmanandam in Adhurs continue to be popular to date.
Venky had a mixed year with Namo Venkatesa, a typical Srinu Vaitla comedy having a decent run, and his performance as a ventriloquist was much appreciated. Nagavalli however proved to be a disaster, the remake of Kannada movie Aptarakshaka, itself a sequel to Chandramukhi, badly misfiried, and Venky's hamming in the evil king's role did not help.
Shambo Shiva Shambo remake of the Tamil movie Naadodigal, was not as much a success as expected, the rather downbeat narrative in the second half turned off audiences. However the movie became a favorite on TV, DVD shows later on, and is considered one of the best in Ravi Teja's career. His other movie Don Seenu, a typical masala entertainer did well commercially.
Nag had a disaster with Kedi, as the movie sent against a backdrop of gambling, failed to attract the audiences. He however came back in the end of the year with Ragada in a typical mass action role, and his Seema slang worked well with the audiences.
Rana Daggubati made his debut with Shekhar Kammula directed Leader, the story of a youngster entering into politics. Inspite of a rather underwhelming second half and a routine climax, the movie was quite a good look at the political system, and has turned out to be a critical favorite, as well as having a decent run at the box office.
Ye Maaya Chesave, the Telugu remake of Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, was a big hit with the youngsters. Audiences loved the romantic chemistry between Nag Chaitanya and Samantha, making her debut. Incidentally in the Tamil original, Sam had played the heroine's friend. The soundtrack by A.R.Rehman was superb, and the movie set a trend for a whole series of romantic movies in Telugu.
Allu Arjun's Varudu was a massive disaster, and it also marked Gunashekhar's downfall from which he is yet to come back. https://preview.redd.it/qh57sjryok2b1.png?width=378&format=png&auto=webp&s=2f0fe32416f8a3e79f8bb5e8b4b666b9135b5b22
Vedam remains one of my favorite movies of the 2010s, and to me Krish's best movie after Gamyam. The anthology of 5 different stories coming together in the end, was brilliantly narrated and written, backed up with some superb performances. Anushka Shetty showed her performance in Arundhati was no fluke, establishing herself further as an actress, while Allu Arjun gave one of his best performances ever along with Manchu Manoj, and the old man Nagayya, Saranya, Manoj Bajpayee. Though the movie had an average run, it remains a brilliant movie to date.
1940 lo Oka Gramam, a love story between a young Brahmin housewife forcibly wedded to a much older man, and a young guy from a lower community was critically acclaimed, and quite a thought provoking movie.
Prasthanam another of my favorites was released in the same year, though the movie had an average run, to me it remains one of the best movies of the decade. A brilliant hard hitting look at politics, treading into a grey zone, where most Telugu movies fear to tread, marked by superb performances from Sai Kumar, Sharwanand and Sundeep Kishan. The movie's ending remains with you for a long time.
Prabhas made a smashing comeback with Darling, a feel good romantic comedy cum family drama. It was a make over of sorts from his earlier mass action flicks to a more classy romantic dramas, which he would carry on in movies like Mr.Perfect. The movie also gave him that Darling tag, and made Kajal Agarwal a favorite with many Telugu guys.
After a series of flops and forgettable movies, Balayya made a comeback with Simha, which would mark the beginning of his succesful combo with Boyapati Srinivas. The blockbuster success of the movie would also set the template for most Balayya movies- Dual role, one of them being a Pedda Manishi revered by people as Devudu, slow mo shots with a background song praising him as a hero, and a "younger" role giving him an excuse to romp around with a much younger heroine, half his age, Sneha Ullal here.
Andari Bandhuvaya a nice feel good drama, had a decent run. Sharwanand after a series of doing supporting roles, finally came into his own with two great performances in Prasthanam and this movie.
Ram had a decent success with Rama Rama Krishna Krishna, a typical family drama entertainer, mixed with gangster genre.
Golimaar also was a success, with Puri Jagannath's tale about encounter cops and underworld criminals, turning out to be a well made crime thriller. Those were the days when Puri and Gopichand both came out with decent, watchable movies.
Nani's sports drama Bhimili Kabaddi Jattu, remake of Tamil movie Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, though not much of a success, was critically acclaimed, and to me remains among one of his real good movies.
Rajmouli just showed why he is one of the best directors, taking the old Buster Keaton classic Our Hospitality, setting it against a Seema backdrop, and putting Sunil as the hero. He just turned the entire Seema genre on it's head, showing the hero as an average guy, who battles to survive using his brain more than brawn. The movie went on to become a huge success, as Rajmouli proved he did not need stars, just a good storyline.
Pawan Kalyan's Komaram Puli however turned out to be a disaster in all ways, not even A.R.Rehman's soundtrack could save this. https://preview.redd.it/ywilsny5tk2b1.png?width=220&format=png&auto=webp&s=348b63da92053f00df28566fc5c802a8b9b77fa0
Khaleja though a failure on release, has over the years become a cult favorite of sorts on TV, DVD runs, and remains among Mahesh Babu's best movies.
RGV's Rakta Charitra a fictional look at the life of Paritala Ravi, was a success. One of the most violent movies ever, had one of the most powerful antagonist in Abhimanyu Singh's Bukka Reddy, as well as a great performance by Vivek Oberoi in lead role. The sequel that came out the same year however, was not that good.
Orange, was another disaster, released with very high expectations. Though many claim this to be some sort of cult classic, personally I found this nothing great. The storyline that made no sense and Genelia's overaction was just annoying, the only good thing was Harris Jayaraj's score.
Personally for me 2010 was a year of real great cinema- Ee Maya Chesave, Prasthanam, Vedam, Leader, Khaleja, Raktha Charitra, which have stood the test of time. Musically too a great year with memorable albums like Orange, Ee Maya Chesave, Khaleja. In my previous posts in this retro series, I had taken a look at 1983
, 1984, 1985
, 1999 2000
2023.05.28 13:58 temptationaus UFC Fight Night: Kara-France vs Albazi (Provide Picks Full Card Breakdown) [+92 Units in 18 months]
2023 Results (So Far): +18.78 Units
2022 Results: +73.185 Units
All Time: +92 Units
Full transparency, I run a MMA betting service called Provide Picks. We have been operating for roughly a year and a half completely tracked and verifiable with a return of over 96 units in that short time. You can find our full tracking sheet history here
and you can also see a bunch of customer testimonials and betting slips throughout that time here
Me myself, I have watched MMA religiously for more than 10 years and trained for over 4.5 years, I love this sport so I figured why not help bring some insight and analysis to others! Now this isn’t a sales pitch, I know how Reddit works and I really enjoy the opinions shared on this sub-reddit so I genuinely want to help contribute and if you enjoy the output, please feel free to join the team! We are proven to be profitable long-term so if you have some spare change to invest at any level, you love the sport and are interested in improving your knowledge - come over and check us out at providepicks.com
. As we have a fair base of paying members, it wouldn’t be fair to them to share every single one of our bets however I want to provide as much value for this betting community as people, hopefully to help you guys see a different angle in terms of MMA betting and long-term profitability and more importantly - sending these bookies broke.
Anyways enough waffle - let’s get into this week’s shenanigans. This is a surprisingly fun fight night card, I love these events that are lower on name value but just full of decent talent and exciting matchups. This is definitely one of them and generally when you have slightly lesser talent stacked fight nights, you have a night full of violence and finishes - let’s see if that continues in this one. Onto the breakdowns! Maxim Grishin (32-9-2) vs. Philipe Lins (16-5):
Grishin is a tall, orthodox fighter who is just a real good mixed martial artist. He is a big frame for the LHW division, is strong and still has fairly slow, plodding style of movement and footwork. Is good in the clinch, very good at holding position by winning underhooks and using his big head to frame against the neck of his opponent and keep them in position for taxing knees to the body and just wearing on them with his big frame. I like his ability to keep the fight in his range, using slight forward pressure and a decent feint game to his advantage. Can be a little heavy set on the lead leg so should look out for the speedy outside leg kick of Lins in this one - Grishin is also pretty handy at catching the body kick and punishing. Personally, never been massively high on Lins in his career, admittedly he has looked better since dropping to his proper weight class post juice cycle but it is against weak competition. He is OK everywhere but not great anywhere, I do like his hand-speed with his boxing combos especially when pressuring forward. I think he mixes in takedowns well in his game at times but he can also be held against the cage. I probably slightly edge Lins in terms of cardio but I also do think this is a massive watch the scales fight due to Grishin’s size and propensity for bad weight cuts. This is a tough fight to call given both guys are fairly unimpressive. I favour the speed of Lins with the hand-speed and kicks definitely but he doesn’t set them up intelligently. I think Grishin can hold Lins against the cage, wear on him with his size and win minutes. I capped this fight 50/50 and I think we see a close fight, will take Maxim Grishin by UD
but with very low confidence. BET:
No bet. Luan Lacerda (12-2) vs. Da'Mon Blackshear (12-5-1):
I like what I saw on debut from Lacerda - he has a very Muay Thai style of fighting, very flat-footed with a high guard, move forward pressuring with the lead leg ready to pop up and check kicks quickly. He has sharp, fast hands and particularly his hooks to the body are very technically sound. Against Stamann he was able to mix some grappling in when it suited but it is clear he is more of an Aldo style fighter that prefers to stuff takedowns and keep it on the feet. Coming up against Blackshear here who I have been very impressed with even though he is off 2 losses. Da’mon is a super well rounded guy, I like his creative offence on the feet and I also like his offensive grappling ability on the ground too. Defensively, he leave a little more to be desired and can be a little comfortable with fighting off his back which I don’t particularly like. We haven’t seen too much grappling from Lacerda so will be interested to see how he fares in this one but I think the technicality of Lacerda on the feet, the ability to mix his targets to the head, body and legs and just land the more damaging strikes will edge him this one. Taking Luan Lacerda by UD. BET:
No bet. Jinh Yu Frey (11-8) vs. Elise Reed (6-3):
I would be doing a disservice to everyone who reads this if I honestly told you with any level of confidence that you should put your hard earned money anywhere near this fight. Don’t, simple as that. Daniel Santos (10-2) vs. Johnny Munoz Jr. (12-2):
This is a super fun matchup between two very efficient grapplers which should make for a exciting scrap here. Let’s start with Daniel Santos, if you knew nothing of this guy and watched him fight and had half a clue on MMA, you would know immediately that he is a Chute Boxe fighter. He has relentless forward pressure, irresponsible boxing defence and is a very kill or be killed style fighter. I like his stalking style, but he has little head movement besides the pull counter really, likes to pressure you until that back foot is up against the cage and then explode in with spinning attacks or elbows from weird angles. He keeps his hands high but then head on centre line and thus far has shown some crazy durability but this can only get you so far. Looks to have solid grappling, not accepting bottom position and constantly looking to invert and throw up submissions. Against Arce he looked good however Arce was able to be elusive with his footwork, stick and move and use angles well to counter in and out of range. I think against anyone who can effectively stay on the outside and use smart, straight shots effectively, he will struggle. I just don’t think that guy is Munoz JR on the feet - he is clunky, doesn’t throw in combinations and looks to parry alot of shots defensively which I really don’t like against a guy who throws wild, unorthodox strikes in Santos. He is a solid wrestler with some good offensive TD numbers but he has to be careful not to shoot unintelligently and throw himself into a submission which will make him hesitant and have to strike. I think Munoz’s wins have been against low level guys who aren’t in the promotion anymore and I think this is a bad stylistic fight for him. I think Santos will land the more damaging shots and I fancy he gets him out of here in under 2 rounds. Taking Daniel Santos via TKO RD 1. BET:
Like the look of the Santos moneyline, fancy Santos Inside the Distance too but will wait to see what price this opens at. If we get anything in the realm of +125 to -120, I would look at a 1.5 unit play. Under 2.5 rounds is an option also depending on price, I think it will probably be around the -200 to -250 play so anything south of that will be a play too. Andrei Arlovski (34-21) vs. Don'Tale Mayes (9-5):
Huge experience edge to the old-dawg here in Arlovski. Mayes has been everything but impressive thus far in his UFC career and I don’t know how you could be intrigued to play either side in this one. Mayes can hit hard and is reasonably athletic for the HW division but skill for skill outside the boxing, he doesn’t offer a lot. I couldn’t be confident on ever betting him to be quite honest. You know what you’re going to get with Arlovski and that is volume, if his chin can handle what is coming back at him. He is a special for split decisions so if you’re a degen and want action, look to that but for me, no interest here. Will take the side of Andrei Arlovksi via UD
using his volume and experience but you couldn’t be more lower confidence. John Castañeda (19-6) vs. Muin Gafurov (18-4) :
Gafurov taking this on short-notice with Castaneda set to take on Mendonca before that was cancelled and replaced with possibly the furthest opposite style of fighter. The Gafurov gameplan is simple, contest on the feet, use blitz attacks such as looping overhands when moving forward followed by a double leg against the cage and rely on his Sambo capabilities to hold top position and out-work his opponent. Castañeda is a guy that doesnt get a huge amount of spotlight but I like his game alot. He has nice footwork, good striking out of southpaw and orthodox, has good wrestling entries and is able to grapple competitively, just a solid all around mixed martial artist. In this one, I really favour the movement and footwork of Castañeda and I think the speed is going to give Gafurov issues. Castañeda is sitting at a 60% TD Defence rate which is concerning against a guy who will consistently shoot like Gafurov, but I think Castañeda will be hard to find, using the angles in and out of the pocket and throwing quick shots up the middle to dissuade and make Gafurov think. I like John Sexi Mexi Castañeda to win this one by UD. BET:
No lines opened yet but have capped Castañeda as a 60% winning chance. Elizeu Zaleski (23-7) vs. Abubakar Nurmagomedov (17-3-1):
Zaleski is an interesting fighter to me. Good sprawl, solid TD Def against the cage, good balance and strength to win underhooks. Quite a flat-footed striker, not a massive amount of footwork but I like his rear leg power kick, he hits the body well and switches levels nicely. Relatively low volume and works single shots mainly without a massive amount of feinting. The frequency that he fights worries me but it has been the story of his career. Abubakr is the typical Dagestani fighter, limited stand up basically a quick overhand right and other single shots, tied in with a grinding, gruelling wrestling pace. He seems on the lower end of the Nurmagomedov scale in terms of skill, often leaving himself open to submission when in top control whether it’s knee-bars or even the common triangle. He is able to hold a good pace over 15 mins which is good given how top heavy and smothering he can be at times. He fights out of both stances, looks more comfortable out of OD but if he fights SP, I think he will lose this fight. Zaleski is too sharp on the feet especially with the body kicks and straight shots which will only be accentuated in the opposite stances. I also think the knees for Zaleski are going to be huge here, he throws them with bad intentions in the centre and against the cage which tied in with his teeps and front kicks are a dangerous sight for Abubakr. Abubakr is a good chance at smothering the fire power of Zaleski and just wearing on him but I think he is dangerous enough off his back to survive and challenge at times and I expect the damage will start to add up on the Zaleski side and I think we see a finish. Taking Elizeu Zaleski via TKO RD 2.
BET: Zaleksi ITD will be a play if over +200. Moneyline odds are probably bang on. Guram Kutateladze (12-3) vs. Jamie Mullarkey (16-5):
Guram has a K1 kickboxing background and it shows, very high level on the feet with good head movement and sharp, unpredictable strikes set up with a smart feint game. He has really good distance management, uses great fundamentals and is super quick with his hand-speed and he finishes combos with kicks which I love, its that kickboxing mentality. He fights out of All Stars which shows in his TD Defence especially against the fence, he is clearly strong but has very good wrestling and counter wrestling technique. He has had a super high level of competition and performed very well in wins and losses, we just don’t see him active enough due to injuries and bad luck. Mullarkey is an absolute junkyard dog, pushing the pace and moving forward with intense pressure making you fight every second of that 15 minutes. He like to engage in the pocket, for better or worse, and in recent times we have seen his wrestling really shine through some of these tough scraps. He has a nice jab which I expect to be pumping prior to every combo and entry for Mullarkey. I just think at this point in his career this is quite a tough fight for Mullarkey. Guram is a super high-level striker with a good base for stuffing takedowns and keeping the fight in kickboxing range. I expect Mullarkey to want to close distance and engage, I just don’t think defensively he is strong enough to absorb and adapt to the speed and combinations of Guram and I think we see that chin tested for Mullarkey. I think this is a bit of a step down in competition for Guram although if Mullarkey can get some early takedowns it will be interesting to see the gastank of Guram tested. The activity is always a question mark but at this point I think Guram should win this handily, will be taking Guram Kutateladze via TKO RD 2. BET:
Wouldn’t touch Guram at -350 but he should win. Karine Silva (15-4) vs. Ketlen Souza (13-3):
Silva should win here but at that price, even blind Freddie could see that this is a pass on the moneylines. Silva actually has a high finishing ability in terms of WMMA, so if we can get a good price on a fight doesnt go the distance line, that could be an option here.
BET: Wait for round lines to drop. Tim Elliott (18-12-1) vs. Victor Altamirano (12-2):
Altamirano is a SP fighter, fairly unusual style of striking with sort of a Tony Ferguson style mixed in with some well timed takedown attempts. He has very little power in his strikes but OK volume. Defensively, he leaves a lot to be desired with a modified sort of philly shell style where his lead hand is low and near the hip, he does get hit and often but he has shown very good durability. His takedowns worry me at times because he is very content to dip his head to an advancing opponent and run a double or single leg, he is very open to knees and front kicks up the middle. Tim Elliott lives up to his nickname of “Awkward” extremely well. He has bizarre head movement, footwork and feints that all tie in to his sort of herky jerky style of fighting. He is able to tie his wrestling game in very well, I’d say technically he is far more technically sound than Victor. He does put himself into submission opportunities with some of his entries but im not too worried about that in this fight. This has the potential to be one of the worst fights we have seen TBH and only because of how weird and unorthodox these guys are, the awkwardness really has the potential to make this fight a strange one. I am pretty confident that Tim has the grappling/wrestling edge and also the more diverse and comfortable striker, the recent occurrence with Tim and Gina Mazany in the media does give me pause that he might be coming into this too emotional but I think it may fire him up to really perform. I think Tim is under his value here and can win in a multitude of ways, going to take Tim Elliott via UD. BET: Tim Elliott Moneyline -175 (2 Units to win 1.14 Units) Jim Miller (35-17) vs. Jared Gordon (19-6):
I will keep this one short and simple, Gordon is a really bad stylistic matchup for Miller and would win probably 7/10 times currently BUT he is returning way too soon after getting KO’d by that headbutt from Bobby Green. Gordon has good wrestling and generally good durability with a knack for pushing these grinding paces and outworking and outlasting his opponent. Pair that up with good submission defence and thats a horror fight for A10 Miller. But you can never count Jim out, he hits hard for a vet, he is unorthodox and he has the potential to catch you. For me, Gordon should roll here but I love to play Jim Miller round one given that is his money round - have cashed plenty on this through his career! Short breakdown and not a thorough one, I think Jared Gordon should win this fight but I think it is too soon. I will take Jared Gordon via UD
**,** but take it with a pinch of salt. BET: Jim Miller wins round 1 (price not available yet, .75 units) Alex Caceres (20-13) vs. Daniel Pineda (28-14):
Haven’t had time to break this one down yet but will update if any bets come off it! Kai Kara-France (24-10) vs. Amir Albazi (16-1):
KKF is a kickboxing fighter who we have seen develop nicely through his career in the UFC. He has worked tirelessly on his takedown defence and it shows in his huge improvement in ability to not only stuff shots but his ability to use the cage and his excellent balance to keep his feet underneath him. I think KKF’s hands are still fairly rudimentary and not necessarily in a bad way, he uses the jab decently well and relies on the 1,2 sometimes too much. For his weight, he has good power and one area I really like are his leg kicks, he has solid rear leg power kicks that he lands very efficiently off the back of his straight shots. Albazi is more of a grappler in nature with a majority of his victories by submission but I have liked what I have seen from him on the feet also. He has a sharp, snappy jab which he works off the back of and allows to dictate the fight. He has a pretty limited kicking game and in terms of kick defence, I expect KKF to really try and exploit the lack of checking and the heavy set stature of Albazi. In the grappling realm, I don’t think it’s close. Albazi has some elite scrambles on the mat and if you’re content to sit in his guard, he has some really damaging ground and pound in which he will equally target your head and body and punish you and wear on you. Albazi is far superior in terms of grappling but the question is will he be able to get it down to the mat? I think his timing going under the big right hand will be an option and I think he will be able to use his strength advantage when in close to muscle certain movements. This is a big step up in competition and his first venture into main event rounds which is a worry. This is going to be a fun fight and I am really looking forward to it but I think as long as everything looks good after weigh-ins, I will be on the Albazi side. He is improving with every fight and I think we see him get this fight to the ground and wear on KKF, eventually finding a submission, probably a RNC. Taking Amir Albazi via SUB RD 3. BET:
Will wait to see what round lines are set at. Will be looking at the Albazi Inside the Distance line also. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And that wraps up the breakdowns for this week! We send our followers the full betting cards on Saturday morning here in Australia, post weigh-ins. Nothing worse than betting on a fighter pre weigh-in, just to see him look like complete shit on the scales. We will post some of our betting card here incase anyone is interested!
Good luck, always gamble responsibly and remember to hang around long-term because there will be ups and downs but trust the process and we will build some bankroll. Would love to know if you agree or disagree anywhere and let us know who you are riding with below. Enjoy the fights! - Dylan.
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2023.05.28 12:39 casapulapula The US Proxy War on Russia: A Few Key Resources and Backgrounders from an ANTIWAR Perspective
The appropriate antiwar position is to understand how this conflict came about. It did not just pop into existence from the void in February 2022, like the neocon media would have you believe. It's important at least to have a grasp on the last 3 decades of history. It's 30 years of encirclement, aggression, deception, and non-stop provocation. Economist Jeffrey D Sachs Ukraine is the latest neocon disaster. The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the American neoconservative movement.
Excerpt: "The Biden Administration is packed with the same neocons who championed the US wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria (2011), Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The neocon track record is one of unmitigated disaster, yet Biden has staffed his team with neocons. As a result, Biden is steering Ukraine, the US, and the European Union towards yet another geopolitical debacle. If Europe has any insight, it will separate itself from these
From ANTIWAR DOT COM
Why Russia Went to War in 2022
Excerpt: "Russia was faced with renewed vows of Ukraine’s eventual membership in NATO, the flooding of Ukraine with lethal weapons, Western training of Ukraine’s armed forces and exercises designed to improve interoperability with NATO. Russia’s ambassador to the US, Anatoly Antonov, said that "The situation is extremely dangerous. . . . We have come to the point when we have no room to retreat."
The History Behind the Russia-Ukraine War
Excerpt: "Kennan wrote in the New York Times in 1997:
"[E]xpanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-Cold-War era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking."
Kennan complained to the Times’ Thomas L. Friedman in 1998,
"I think [NATO expansion] is the beginning of a new Cold War. I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way.
"Don’t people understand? Our differences in the Cold War were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.
"Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are — but this is just wrong."
His prediction; our present.
Ben Abelow: How the West Brought War to Ukraine: Understanding How U.S. and NATO Policies Led to Crisis, War, and the Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe book, audio book
"Very well-done.... Reviews material that should be much better known." — Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Laureate Professor of Linguistics, University of Arizona
"A brilliant, remarkably concise explanation of the danger that U.S and NATO military involvement in Ukraine has created. Needs to be read and pondered by every citizen capable of thinking rationally and responsibly about American and European security." — Jack F. Matlock, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union, 1987-1991, author of Superpower Illusions
"For anyone interested in understanding the true causes of the disaster in Ukraine, How the West Brought War to Ukraine is required reading. Abelow makes a clear and compelling case that the United States and its NATO allies—not Vladimir Putin—are the principal culprits." — John J. Mearsheimer, author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago
Article that summarizes the book How the West Brought War to Ukraine
Interview with Ben Abelow
The Official Story of the Ukraine War Grossly Misleads L.A. Progressive
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2023.05.28 12:35 teamcrazymatt Defending the Draft 2023: New England Patriots
No one can ever predict a Bill Belichick draft.
When people start assuming he’ll act based on his stereotypes (first-round trade down, OL early, no early WRs, all Alabama players or small school guys or guys from Rutgers), he’ll do the opposite. When the consensus is that he’ll shift away from those stereotypes, he’ll lean right into them.
So in observing mock drafts, both full and team-centric, there was a lot of accord that he would follow those stereotypes. (Adam Korsak, both a punter and from Rutgers, was EVERYWHERE.)
But then the end of April came.
Before then, New England had suffered a 2022 season full of embarrassment, from Matt Patricia and Joe Judge’s ineptitude at running the offense to a team that seemed to find new ways to lose in humiliating fashion (a certain ill-fated lateral sequence peak among them). The Patriots went from their dynastic reign as a team which would trounce their opponents in laughers to the team that everyone pointed and laughed at. Mac Jones’ Patricia- and Judge-sparked regression along with impressive cameo appearances by ‘22 rookie Bailey Zappe split the fanbase into Mac and Zappe camps, with sports media fueling the flame by spreading or outright fabricating rumors
of Belichick shopping Mac, rumors which lasted through the first day of the draft. It was an ugly season and an uglier start to the offseason.
The franchise clearly needed to make changes in 2023, and changes started near the top. Patricia and Judge lost their roles, the former joining the Eagles coaching staff and the latter moving to lead special teams, a necessary move as this Belichick-led squad had plummeted to the lowest-ranked third unit. (More on that later.) Patricia had filled the dual roles of de facto
offensive coordinator and facto
offensive line coach, and filled both roles with the acumen of me designing plays in Backyard Football 2002
, except I could actually design plays that resulted in touchdowns. Judge had manned the quarterbacks room, and given that Daniel Jones finally broke out for the Giants once Judge had been booted from mentoring him, you can guess how that went for Mac and the Pats. In his new role in charge of special teams, he has already cost the team two OTAs and Bill Belichick $50,000 for an offseason meetings violation, and has elevated his 2022 title of Co-Most Hated Man in Foxboro to Single Most Hated Man in Foxboro.
Anyway, New England needed to fill their old roles, and brought in: Bill O’Brien, Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks Coach
A long-time friend of Belichick’s, O’Brien returns for his second stint as Pats OC, having dictated the offense in Rob Gronkowski’s record-setting 2011 season. Additionally, O’Brien comes by way of running the offense and the QB room at the University of Alabama, which spawned Mac Jones. Mac regressed in 2022 after an impressive 2021, but recall that 2022 was under the abysmal leadership of Patricia (calling his plays) and Judge (his direct coach), a situation in which no one could develop. By bringing in his old OC and QB coach, Mac has been put in the best possible position to develop in ‘23, a position which will much more clearly give fans a vision of his future as an NFL quarterback. (And the playcalling will be legitimate! It’s been but a year and we have already forgotten what creativity, route concepts, and misdirection have looked like!) Adrian Klemm, Offensive Line Coach
Belichick’s first draft pick after taking the helm in New England in 2000, Klemm has joined the team after coaching at Oregon last year. He comes with a strong reputation at that coaching position, having headed a Ducks O-line that allowed just five sacks in 2022. Last season, the Patriots saw a regression from their veterans on the line, most notably in Trent Brown’s newfound flag-happiness, and first-round rookie guard Cole Strange put forth a mixed performance. Bringing in an actual offensive line coach gives the team the best chance to fix any issues that showed in ‘22 and to develop their young linemen.
Of course, coaching was not the only issue last season, as New England was criticized for their lack of talent on the roster. Of New England’s high-cash free agent class of 2021, only edge rusher Matthew Judon shined in both his seasons in Foxboro: neither tight end Jonnu Smith nor wideout Nelson Agholor ever got off the ground, tight end Hunter Henry regressed after a solid ‘21, and wideout Kendrick Bourne found himself suddenly in Patricia’s doghouse and off the field. Moves needed to be made as the calendar turned to free agency. Notable Departures S Devin McCourty (retired)
The most prominent departure from the ‘22 squad, McCourty is one of many who can be termed a quintessential Patriot. A first-round cornerback out of Rutgers in 2010, D-Mac made the switch to safety in 2012 and locked down the position for the next decade. When he was on the verge of leaving the team in free agency in 2015, even reaching out to Belichick to say goodbye, Belichick signed him to a top-valued safety contract and kept him in red, white, and blue. His leadership and personality made him a joy to watch on the field and off, his personality showing itself especially well recently through interactions with his twin brother Jason, who played alongside him for the Patriots from 2018 to ‘20. Statistically, D-Mac ends his career with 35 interceptions, one shy of the franchise record, and 4 touchdowns (two picks, a kickoff return, and a blocked field goal return). We miss him already. P Jake Bailey (released; signed with Miami)
What a drop. After an All-Pro season in 2020, Bailey signed a four-year extension in 2022 only to become the worst statistical punter in the league. After he was injured, the Patriots brought in Michael Palardy, who managed to be even worse (personally, I blame the team’s curse that comes with the jersey number 17). Neither punter remains with the team, Bailey joining an AFC East rival in the Dolphins and Palardy currently unsigned. TE Jonnu Smith (traded to Atlanta)
There is a strong case to be made that Smith is the worst free agency signing Belichick has made as Pats GM. In the two years since inking a 4-year, $50 million deal, Smith totaled just 55 catches for 539 yards and one touchdown, and a ‘22 restructure of his contract meant that Smith appeared to be a monetary albatross the Patriots would not be able to shake loose. What led to Atlanta agreeing to take on his whole contract, sending New England a seventh-round pick to get the player, I have no idea, but I think every Pats fan would agree that Smith didn’t work out in the least and a change was best for all sides. WR Jakobi Meyers (signed with Las Vegas)
Meyers’ departure was somewhat shocking, as the 2019 UDFA had worked his way up to the top of the Patriots’ wide receiver depth chart. More of a big slot guy than an outside #1, Meyers had a minor role in his rookie season and started 2020 at the bottom of the depth chart, but injuries to the players above him got him onto the field, and a 12-catch, 169-yard performance against the Jets that November meant he wasn’t leaving it anytime soon. While not possessing top-tier speed or explosiveness, Meyers was the team’s best route runner and separator, and his departure left another void that needed to be filled. QB Brian Hoyer (released, signed with Las Vegas)
Hoyer was third on the depth chart, Zappe having shown enough to take the #2 spot. While a fine veteran mentor, the Patriots chose to go a different direction with that third QB role. WR Nelson Agholor (signed with Baltimore)
Agholor was given a two-year contract in 2021 with the anticipation of his being the #1 receiver, something which did not happen due to his unreliable hands and separation abilities. For those two years and $22 million, Agholor produced 68 catches, 835 yards, and five touchdowns. Not worth it. RB Damien Harris (signed with Buffalo)
By far the most productive member of the Patriots’ atrocious 2019 draft class, Harris was good in New England but had been passed on the depth chart by sophomore Rhamondre Stevenson midway through 2022. Couple that with Belichick’s predilection to let running backs walk instead of giving them second contracts, sprinkle in a dash of two ‘22 draft picks (Pierre Strong Jr. and Kevin Harris) who will get more opportunities in 2023, top it off with the return of Ty Montgomery II from injured reserve, and it’s no surprise that Harris is no longer a Patriot. T Isaiah Wynn (signed with Miami)
Another former first-round pick, Wynn was all right as a left tackle though was criticized for frequent injury problems; with his fifth-year option picked up for ‘22, he was inexplicably switched to right tackle, where he was very bad. He never really earned the role of franchise tackle, so it was expected that the Patriots would let him walk.
But on the upside, the team now has: Additions WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (via Kansas City)
After Meyers signed with the Raiders, the Patriots worked quickly to bring in his replacement in the slot. Smith-Schuster revived his career in Kansas City and is now in position to be a primary target for Mac for the next three seasons, possessing more explosiveness and speed than his predecessor. The biggest concern with JuJu is his durability, but I believe the Patriots have made preparations in the draft (spoiler) in case that becomes a significant problem. The fanbase is excited for Smith-Schuster on the field in Foxboro, and deservedly so. RB James Robinson (via New York (the green side))
A one-time breakout UDFA in Jacksonville, Robinson’s role diminished with the rise of Travis Etienne Jr.; after being traded to the Jets, Robinson never got settled into a role. In New England, Robinson is likely first in line for the #2 RB spot behind Stevenson, an important role given that Stevenson’s overwork saw his productivity decline as last season came to an end. Robinson also possesses the pass-catching versatility that Belichick loves, a role Harris was never used in but Stevenson is, further suggesting he can have a significant spot on the field for the Pats. TE Mike Gesicki (via Miami)
As Smith never worked out as the co-#1 TE, here comes Gesicki. A pure pass catcher at the position, Gesicki has the size and hands to be a reliable target in the red zone, and should pair nicely with Henry for a potential TE-heavy formation as the team approaches the goal line. T Riley Reiff (via Chicago) T Calvin Anderson (via Denver)
While neither comes with the contract expectation of being a long-term solution at either tackle spot, the hope is that Reiff (expected to start at RT) will be an upgrade over Wynn, while Anderson serves as a reliable swing tackle who can start if needed. LB Chris Board Jr. (via Detroit)
Remember that awful special teams unit? Board is one of the NFL’s top special teamers, a player Belichick singled out when New England faced the Lions last year. It’s unsurprising he brought in such a veteran to help solidify the unit after… just all of last year. QB Trace McSorley (via Arizona)
By bringing in McSorley in Hoyer’s stead, the team is showing a bit of a shift in philosophy with how it is using its backup QB spots. Both Mac and Zappe are pocket passers; McSorley does most of his work outside the pocket and can run with regularity, a trend more common among top-level quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen. At minimum, he’s worth a camp spot, and that’s fine. P Corliss Waitman (via Denver)
Following the implosion of Bailey and Palardy at punter, the Patriots were on the verge of entering the draft with none on the roster. Waitman is a veteran addition there, but pretty much everyone expected New England to add a punter either as a draft pick or UDFA. (Another spoiler – my bad.)
After this free agency, many saw the Patriots as still having holes at the top of their depth chart at wideout, tackle, and cornerback. Tight end was also considered a need as New England, despite adding Gesicki to pair with Henry, does not have a tight end signed beyond 2023, entering the draft with only Matt Sokol and Scotty Washington behind their name duo.
Then they went on the clock, entering the draft with:
1-14 2-46 3-76 4-107 4-117 4-135 6-184 6-187 6-192 6-210 7-245
Here’s how it all went down. Draft Picks TRADE: 1-14 to PIT for 1-17 and 4-120
Although this trade was criticized for receiving too little back from Pittsburgh, it was not a major loss in capital according to the Rich Hill value chart
(325 points to PIT, 320 to NE), and it came with enough high-level talent on the board that the Patriots were sure to get one of their targets. The way the board fell, fans most wanted Christian Gonzalez, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Zay Flowers, or Broderick Jones; when the Steelers took Jones, it became clear that the Patriots were not interested in him (reports came out that the Patriots had not been interested in Jones at all due to coachability concerns), but they were sure to land an exciting player after moving down only three spots rather than the seven-plus many mockers had predicted. Additionally, the Steelers landing Jones appeared to knock the Jets’ war room for a loop (though later video has shown that the Jets were expecting the trade), and the only thing New England fans love more than a victory is an opportunity to screw over the Jets. 1-17: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Oregon
The Patriots’ selection of Gonzalez received universal acclaim, and it’s easy to see why. Despite having strong CB depth, the Patriots lacked a true #1 corner; Gonzalez has the ability, length, and athleticism to be that from Day One. The first-round pick via Colorado and Oregon was widely projected as a top-10 selection, so for New England to land him at 17 is a tremendous coup. From his interviews and his play style, Gonzalez seems like a quiet guy off the field who wants to shut the opponent down when on the turf. He’ll be fun to watch. 2-46: Keion White, ED, Georgia Tech
White is another player falling under the new Patriots draft umbrella under Belichick and Matt Groh: as athletic as can be. While he is raw, White has the athleticism to play three downs along the defensive line and the versatility to move inside when the situation calls for it. The Patriots thought so highly of him that he was a player they were considering drafting in the first round, even considering a move back into the last picks of the round to snag him, but landed him at 46 anyway. How much he will play as a rookie is uncertain as New England has a very good edge duo in Matthew Judon and Josh Uche, but even if White has to take a year to get acclimated to the NFL, that’s not unheard of in Foxboro and has produced success for highly-touted picks: neither Nate Solder (first round) nor Trey Flowers (fourth round) took on long-term starting roles as rookies (though Solder filled in at right tackle plenty), but were established starters in their second years. Similarly, Uche (second round) started off as an occasionally-used part of a pass rushing rotation before hitting double-digit sacks last year, his third season in the league. And if White earns significant playing time in 2023, all the better. 3-76: Marte Mapu, LB, Sacramento State
Here’s that small-school selection that detractors tend to point at regarding Belichick, but Mapu has elite potential. I got tipped off to Mapu late in the pre-draft cycle, and watching film of him I was reminded a lot of Kyle Dugger, another small-school Day 2 player who has turned into an excellent Patriot. Mapu is going to play linebacker, likely his best position, and fill the role of coverage ‘backer that New England has lacked for several seasons. He’s also athletic and scheme-versatile, having spent time at safety and linebacker while at Sacramento State, so he will be able to move around the defensive formation if the situation calls for it. Add to that his tackling, his closing speed, and his containment, and you’ve got yourself a potential stud. 4-107: Jake Andrews, C, Troy
The Patriots need their future long-term center with David Andrews now 31 and having an injury history, and Jake Andrews (unrelated) is set up perfectly to be that guy. Andrews the Younger is built in the same mold as Andrews the Elder: both exited college as smaller in stature than other centers but able to get a push on defensive linemen from below, meaning Jake can easily learn specific bits of technique from David. While not expected to play the role immediately, [anagram: Ned Was a Jerk] is now in position to spend time behind [anagram: Swan Diver Dad], preparing himself to take over at center in the near future. TRADE: 4-120 and 6-184 to NYJ for 4-112 4-112: Chad Ryland, K, Maryland
This is not the first time Belichick has selected a kicker in the fourth round, selecting Stephen Gostkowski with pick 118 in 2006; with the Patriots in desperate need for a strong player at the position, moving up to make sure they could land him makes sense (especially with Jake Moody being selected by the 49ers at 3-99). And Ryland is what Nick Folk is not: a big-legged kicker with kickoff ability. Folk has been appreciated in New England for his accuracy, but his distance and accuracy notably declined in 2022, and when forced to kick off, his lack of touchback distance led to trouble, the Patriots surrendering a league-high three kick return touchdowns (including two in the season finale). It’s clear an upgrade at kicker was a requirement this offseason; with Moody gone, giving up a sixth to move up eight spots is absolutely fine. In doing so, New England has hopefully landed their kicker for the next decade. 4-117: Sidy Sow, G, Eastern Michigan
At this point, it may be considered confusing for the Patriots to have drafted a left guard in Sow when last year’s first-round pick Cole Strange is entrenched there and Mike Onwenu mans right guard at an elite level, but Groh’s post-draft comments indicated the team would give Sow opportunities at left tackle as well. And not only does Sow have experience at left tackle, he has the size at 6’5” and 326 pounds. New England’s projected starting tackles are veterans Trent Brown and Riley Reiff, both of whom are over 30 and are in contract years; if Sow returns to the position, the former mauling EMU Eagle (heh, two birds) offensive lineman could ease the need at tackle for next offseason. TRADE: 4-135 to LV for 5-144 and 6-214 5-144: Atonio Mafi, G, UCLA
Another interior lineman? Yes. Mafi is a guard whom the Patriots worked with at the Shrine Bowl, and has the versatility to move between left and right guard. As the aforementioned Onwenu is in a contract year, Mafi has a clear path to a potential starting job in 2024, and the most important thing right now for the development of Mac Jones is keeping him upright. By selecting three offensive linemen – using a quarter of their 12 selections on the offensive trench – Belichick and Groh have signaled their intent to do just that. From all accounts, Mafi, who met with New England in a pre-draft visit, is thrilled to join the team
; now it’s about proving it on the field. 6-187: Kayshon Boutte, WR, LSU
Boutte is the epitome of a boom-or-bust prospect, his elite 2020 and ‘21 being overshadowed by a disappointing 2022 that dropped him from clear first-rounder to a middle-of-Day-3 selection. As a freshman and sophomore, Boutte looked to follow in the footsteps of highly-drafted LSU wideouts such as Odell Beckham Jr., Justin Jefferson, and JaMarr Chase, showing a complete package of agility, speed, and route running. Unfortunately, an injury plus conflicts with his new coach Brian Kelly led to underperformance, and a poor combine performance cemented his draft stock as having drastically fallen. But if he can get back to his earlier form, where his talent and athleticism led to a combined 83 receptions, 1244 yards, and 14 touchdowns in his first two college seasons, Boutte could become the steal of the draft. 6-192: Bryce Baringer, P, Michigan State
While New England had signed Corliss Waitman so as to have a
punter on the roster heading into the draft, none assumed he was the long-term answer; when the Patriots made Baringer the first punter taken in the 2023 draft, it became clear who was. A walk-on turned cut turned best punter in college football, Baringer has a booming leg that showed itself in an average punt length of 49.0 yards in ‘22; he also holds the Michigan State record for career punting average at 46.0 yards. As a bonus, he worked with Ryland at the Senior Bowl, so the two have already begun to develop chemistry in the holding game. As another bonus, he wore No. 99 in college, and that is awesome. 6-210: Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty
When one imagines a typical Patriots slot receiver – small, shifty, and explosive with the ball in his hands – one might well be imagining Douglas. The five-foot-eight Liberty product can absolutely fly, moving all around the formation and catching balls at all levels of the field. New Englanders got a preview of what Douglas’ game might look like when rookie cornerback Marcus Jones began to take snaps on offense last year; Jones was often put in motion before the snap, worked out of the backfield, and assigned touches where his elusiveness was the spark to gain yards. Douglas has said he models his game after Jones, a claim that demonstrates itself when one views his collegiate tape. I had a third-round grade on Douglas, so the Patriots landing him at 210 is a thrill. (Even though the Giants took one of my draft crushes in Tre Hawkins III the pick before, for which I’m still irked.) 6-214: Ameer Speed, CB, Michigan State
The unknown about Speed is whether he will develop on defense; that is not his skill at the moment. There are three things known: his size (6’3”, 210 lbs.), his speed (4.34s 40), and his special teams prowess. With longtime special teams captain Matthew Slater likely entering his last year, the Patriots need to develop a new crop of special teams standouts, long a hallmark of Belichick’s Patriots from the time of Larry Izzo. Last year’s UDFA Brenden Schooler looks like one of those players already; Speed will certainly be given every chance possible to be another. 7-245: Isaiah Bolden, CB, Jackson State
More tall athletic cornerbacks! The only HBCU selection in the 2023 draft, Bolden is an incredible athlete who likely earned his way to a draft selection by lighting up his Pro Day. Though just a role player on defense, Bolden has developmental traits that any defensive coach would love, and has also been a top collegiate kick returner, leading all of college football in 2021 with a 36.9-yard average on kickoff returns. I don’t see the two late-round cornerback selections as “throw players on the field and see who sticks” à la the ill-fated dual tight end picks of Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene in 2020’s third round, but selecting players who might have longer chances to succeed, but if they do succeed can truly shine.
Though Bolden was the last of the Patriots’ 2023 draft picks, that did not conclude their rookie class as the period of UDFA signings immediately began. The Patriots have had an undrafted rookie make the Week 1 roster every year since 2004; with just a four-man class this season, chances are slim. They’re not impossible – their only
2021 UDFA, kicker Quinn Nordin, made it – but they’re definitely slimmer. Here are the four who can continue that streak. Undrafted Rookies Malik Cunningham, QB, Louisville
The most expensive ($200,000) and well-known of the quartet, Cunningham’s slight build and arm as a quarterback led to piles of speculation of his switching positions. However, he has started off his Patriots tenure as a quarterback in rookie minicamp, so he remains a quarterback until further notice. Throughout college, Cunningham’s most intriguing asset has been his supreme athleticism at the position, something which showed up in testing, and it remains to be seen how the Patriots will use that athleticism to help the team. (It may be a good while until outside sources get a look, as minicamp and OTAs have thus far been closed off to the media.) Johnny Lumpkin, TE, Louisiana-Lafayette
After foregoing using a selection on a tight end in a deep draft class (another Belichick trend), New England instead brought in Lumpkin, who projects as a blocking tight end in the NFL. This offsets the biggest negative, his age (he’ll be 26 to start the season), as the Patriots lack a true blocker at the position. Whether Lumpkin can take advantage of this path to a roster spot remains to be seen, but his road to making the team as an undrafted rookie seems easiest at the moment. Jourdan Heilig, LB, Appalachian State
Like Board and Speed, Heilig joins the Patriots as a special teams standout, playing minimal defense as a Mountaineer (three snaps in 2022) but standing out in college on the third unit (210 snaps in 2022). He’ll have a chance to follow in the path of Schooler as a UDFA who makes his mark as a core special teamer. Justus Tavai, DL, San Diego State
The middle of the Tavai brothers (older brother Jahlani is a Patriots linebacker, younger brother Jonah signed with Seattle as a UDFA), Justus played alongside Jonah on the Aztec defensive line in 2022. While Jonah put up eye-popping numbers with double-digit sacks, Justus was a steady contributor as well, putting up 3.5 sacks and intercepting a pass. Tavai is the ninth man on the Patriots’ defensive line right now, so he has a difficult path if he wants to make the team.
He’s not an undrafted rookie, but the Patriots have also brought in veteran free agent Anthony Firsker, TE
to compete with Lumpkin, Sokol, and Washington for the third tight end spot, the roster spot opened with their losing reserve Raekwon McMillan, LB
to a partially torn Achilles tendon. Projected Offseason Depth Chart
(italics = rookie
, (in parentheses = exclusively or primarily a special teamer)) (Note: the Patriots assign temporary jersey numbers in the offseason starting with 50 based mainly on draft position.) QB
10 Mac Jones 4 Bailey Zappe 19 Trace McSorley 64 Malik Cunningham RB
38 Rhamondre Stevenson 3 James Robinson 14 Ty Montgomery II 35 Pierre Strong Jr. 36 Kevin Harris 42 J.J. Taylor WR
1 DeVante Parker 7 JuJu Smith-Schuster 84 Kendrick Bourne 11 Tyquan Thornton 58 Kayshon Boutte 60 Demario Douglas
82 Tre Nixon (44 Raleigh Webb) (18 Matthew Slater) TE
85 Hunter Henry 88 Mike Gesicki 86 Anthony Firsker 87 Matt Sokol 17 Scotty Washington 65 Johnny Lumpkin T
77 Trent Brown 74 Riley Reiff 76 Calvin Anderson 75 Conor McDermott 64 Andrew Stueber G
71 Mike Onwenu 69 Cole Strange 54 Sidy Sow 55 Atonio Mafi
63 Chasen Hines 62 Bill Murray C
60 David Andrews 53 Jake Andrews
65 James Ferentz 66 Kody Russey DL
90 Christian Barmore 92 Davon Godchaux 91 Deatrich Wise Jr. 93 Lawrence Guy Sr. 95 Daniel Ekuale 98 Carl Davis Jr. 96 Sam Roberts 70 Jeremiah Pharms Jr. 67 Justus Tavai ED
9 Matthew Judon 55 Josh Uche 51 Keion White
58 Anfernee Jennings (97 DaMarcus Mitchell) 51 Ronnie Perkins LB
8 Ja’Whaun Bentley 48 Jahlani Tavai 52 Marte Mapu
30 Mack Wilson Sr. (45 Chris Board Jr.) 43 Calvin Munson 59 Terez Hall 47 Olakunle Fatukasi (66 Jourdan Heilig) CB 50 Christian Gonzalez
31 Jonathan Jones 13 Jack Jones 25 Marcus Jones 27 Myles Bryant (61 Ameer Speed) 63 Isaiah Bolden
37 Tae Hayes 26 Shaun Wade 34 Quandre Mosely 39 Rodney Randle Jr. S
23 Kyle Dugger 5 Jabrill Peppers 2 Jalen Mills 21 Adrian Phillips 24 Joshuah Bledsoe (41 Brenden Schooler) (22 Cody Davis) 29 Brad Hawkins K 62 Chad Ryland
6 Nick Folk P 59 Bryce Baringer
15 Corliss Waitman LS
49 Joe Cardona 46 Tucker Addington Conclusion
Is this a perfect Patriots team? No. There are still long-term holes at offensive tackle and tight end, and there is a question mark as to who can be that pass catcher whom defensive coordinators have to plan for, a player the team has lacked for several seasons.
But is this an exciting Patriots roster, a team who has a chance to exceed their middling projections and expectations, a team worth watching and cheering for? Absolutely. Belichick and company have stabilized the coaching staff; added explosive, athletic players at nearly every position; brought in a new crew of players to take over special teams; and begun their draft with three players who could not only start in the NFL but have the potential to star. I fully believe that this is not an 8-9 caliber team, even in an AFC East with three other teams that have added big name after big name.
As Bill Belichick might say, we’re on to 2023.
We’re on to victory.
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2023.05.28 09:48 TheMidnight5031 Thoughts And Musings From A Recent Passer
Hello fine people of the Bar Exam subreddit! I wanted to pop in very briefly to extend my congratulations upon your graduation from law school. You've accomplished truly a Herculean feat and for which you should be proud of yourselves! Now, you find yourself in the hard part of things. Bar prep is a grueling process, but one you will get through! As a brief aside about myself, I took the Ohio bar in July of 2021 (The remote COVID Bar) and did not pass. I then took the February 2022 Ohio bar (the first UBE administration in Ohio), and I passed. Below with some of my advice, musings, and a few suggestions as you tackle this hard time.
First, do not attempt to bite off more than you can chew. If you were not one of those people that studied for 10 to 12 hours at a clip, do not attempt to do that now. The old saying is absolutely true: quality over quantity. It is better to have two or three absolutely rock solid hours a day, then to have 8 hours where you mostly screw around on your phone or are otherwise distracted and only get through really 2-3 hours worth of work. While you may be seeing this as a massive Usain Bolt-esque sprint, it's more of a thousand yard dash. You need to keep constant speed and momentum in order to cross the finish line. Find out where you top out for the day, and when you're done, pull the plug! If you find that you are not making headway with lectures, stop for the day! Instead, take that time and read the Conviser (BARBRI folks know what I'm taking about, and for those that don't, it's an abreviated form of the outlines for a given subject), do some flash cards, some multiple choice, anything. Don't keep smacking your fist into the wall, instead, let the process work for you! :)
Second, you will suck when you start! That's totally acceptable. Most of these topics you haven't seen in at least 3 years, even if you took a bar prep course at your law school of choice. Even then, you only got the cursory 30,000 ft overview. They're really taking you into the nitty gritty here, so you have to keep that in mind.
Third, it is normal to poorly on multiple choices fine, as well as essays, even when you are nearing the end! You are exhausted and mentally taxed. However, no matter what you do, always review your answers! What I got in the habit of doing was working on a set of multiple choice questions, grading myself, and taking a break. I would take maybe 20 minutes to collect my thoughts, calm down if I had done bad or well, and come with fresh eyes to evaluate the situation. Essays are a little bit different in my opinion, however. Do not immediately grade any essays that you see, or look at the model answer as soon as you finish, because it's all too easy to say "Oh, I got that!" In my most humble of opinion, I would always string together two to three essays and evaluate them in one shot. Now, you won't be there right away, but even one essay at a time, it's smart to make sure that you're taking a step back and evaluating always with fresh eyes.
Fourth, you're not going for 100%! It's easy to fall into that trap too, as we are constantly looking to be perfect as lawyers. As Chuck Rhodes Jr. said on Bllions "We [lawyers] are steeped in a culture of perfection." You're looking, as your Themis or Barbri course told you, for somewhere around a D+ plus to a C-. Keep that in mind, because there will be days that it knocks you down when you keep getting low scores. Every day, you get a little bit better, and that's how this exam works. Even if you get a 65% on a given multiple choice set, that could be passing in your jurisdiction (obviously if extrapolated out to the entirety of an MBE administration).
Fifth, if you haven't nailed down your lodging accommodations for your exam, should you require them, I recommend you lock that down absolutely as soon as possible. When I took the Ohio bar, there's a Holiday Inn that's attached to the center where you take the exam. I purposely didn't stay there, because I felt being around a bunch of nervous bar examinees would possibly subconsciously mess with my head. I stayed a little bit outside of the area, and to me, it made all the difference! Consider things like that before booking the convenient option.
Sixth, if you can have a support person, such as a mom, a dad, or another family member, I recommend you take them. They'll be there to keep you calm and help you should you have any last minute crises. Also, be sure to not vary your diet very much in the day or two leading up to the bar. Ideally, my preferred diet was protein shakes, peanut butter bread, bananas, and other easy to digest foods. I know this sounds kind of gross, but there's always one person every single cycle that decides to go get some kind of exotic meal the night before the second day, and has a really bad time!
Seventh, take care of your mental health. If you're using BARBRI, I know for a fact the tool allows you to book days off and adjusts your workload accordingly. I believe Themis may have similar qualities as well. Be sure to take time for yourself throughout the process. There is a lot of information that's going to come your way and it all needs time to settle in. Book several days off now, so that you not only have something to look forward to, but that you know that when you take a day off, you really earned it!
Finally, always keep in mind that this entire process is total nonsense! If you're smart enough to pass law school, you're smart enough to pass this exam! It doesn't matter where you're from, who you are, or anything at all about you! Get in there, and show the gatekeepers that you're more than worthy!
My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you embark on this journey! Take care and I hope to greet you all as Esquire soon! :)
P.S: the following is a playlist of music that I use to help keep me calm while I did bar exam essays and multiple choice sets. I hope it's able to help you as much as it helped me!
Blue Calx, Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works II: https://youtu.be/Z0jqvRT-KDE
Stone in Focus, Aphex Twin, Selected Ambient Works II: https://youtu.be/8ET1vST_xKc
dlp 1.1, William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops: https://youtu.be/DXU3_PgX8qQ
dlp 3, William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops: https://youtu.be/zj0KO2YldCo
dlp 6, William Basinski, The Disintegration Loops: https://youtu.be/oDg8rdPzhSU
Vivian and Ondine, William Basinski: https://youtu.be/VbyJtyf4cm0
El Camino Real, William Basinski: https://youtu.be/iThhLjlzOxk
Weightless, Marconi Union: https://youtu.be/UfcAVejslrU
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2023.05.28 09:07 No-Tumbleweed-5377 PPV Path: The Elite vs BCC Anarchy In The Arena
The Elite Kenny Omega
- DON 19 Lost vs Chris Jericho in AEW World Championship #1 Contenders Match
- All Out 19 Lost vs Pac
- Full Gear 19 Lost vs Jon Moxley in an Unsanctioned Lights Out Match
- Revolution 20 Defeated The Young Bucks to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships with Hangman Adam Page
- DON 20 Defeated The Inner Circle in a Stadium Stampede Match with Matt Hardy, Hangman Adam Page & The Young Bucks
- All Out 20 Lost vs FTR to lose AEW World Tag Team Championships with Hangman Adam Page
- Full Gear 20 Defeated Hangman Adam Page to become #1 Contender for AEW World Championship
- Revolution 21 Defeated Jon Moxley in Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch to retain the AEW World Championship
- DON 21 Defeated Pac & Orange Cassidy to retain the AEW World Championship
- All Out 21 Defeated Christian Cage to retain the AEW World Championship
- Full Gear 21 Lost vs Hangman Adam Page to lose the AEW World Championship
- All Out 22 Defeated Hangman Adam Page, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds in a Trios Match to win the AEW World Trios Championships with The Young Bucks
- Full Gear 22 Lost vs Death Triangle in a Trios Match for the AEW World Trios Championship with The Young Bucks
- Revolution 23 Lost vs The House of Black in a Trios Match to lose the AEW World Trios Championships with The Young Bucks
Record: 7-7 Hangman Adam Page
- DON 19 Won Battle Royale to become #1 Contender for AEW World Championship
- All Out 19 Lost vs Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship
- Full Gear 19 Defeated Pac
- Revolution 20 Defeated The Young Bucks to retain the AEW World Tag Team Championships with Kenny Omega
- DON 20 Defeated The Inner Circle in a Stadium Stampede Match with Matt Hardy, Kenny Omega, & The Young Bucks
- All Out 20 Lost vs FTR to lose AEW World Tag Team Championships with Kenny Omega
- Full Gear 20 Lost vs Kenny Omega for AEW World Championship #1 Contender
- Revolution 21 Defeated Matt Hardy
- DON 21 Defeated Brian Cage
- Full Gear 21 Defeated Kenny Omega to win the AEW World Championship
- Revolution 22 Defeated Adam Cole to retain the AEW World Championship
- DON 22 Lost vs CM Punk for the AEW World Championship
- Forbidden Door 22 Lost vs Jay White, Kuzchika Okada, & Adam Cole in a Four Way for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
- All Out 22 Lost vs Kenny Omega & The Young Backs in a Trios Match for the AEW World Trios Championships with John Silver & Alex Reynolds
- Revolution 23 Defeated Jon Moxley in a Texas Deathmatch
Record: 9-6 The Young Bucks
- DON 19 Defeated The Lucha Bros to retain the AAA World Tag Team Championships
- All Out 19 Lost vs The Lucha Brothers in a Ladder Match for the AAA World Tag Team Championships
- Full Gear 19 Lost vs Santana & Ortiz
- Revolution 20 Lost vs Kenny Omega & Adam Page for the AEW World Tag Team Championships
- DON 20 Defeated The Inner Circle in a Stadium Stampede Match with Matt Hardy, Kenny Omega, & Hangman Adam Page
- All Out 20 Defeated Jurassic Express
- Full Gear 20 Defeated FTR to win the AEW World Tag Team Championships
- Revolution 21 Defeated MJF & Chris Jericho to retain AEW World Tag Team Championships
- DON 21 Defeated Jon Moxley & Eddie Kingston to retain AEW World Tag Team Championships
- All Out 21 Lost vs The Lucha Brothers in a Steel Cage Match to lose the AEW World Tag Team Championships
- Full Gear 21 Lost vs Jurassic Express & Christian Cage in a Falls Count Anywhere Match with Adam Cole
- Revolution 22 Lost vs Jurassic Express & reDRagon for AEW World Tag Team Championships
- DON 22 Lost vs The Hardys
- Forbidden Door 22 Lost vs Sting, Darby Allin, & Shingo Takagi in a Trios Match with El Phantasmo
- All Out 22 Defeated Hangman Adam Page, John Silver, & Alex Reynolds in a Trios Match to win the AEW World Trios Championships with Kenny Omega
- Full Gear 22 Lost vs Death Triangle in a Trios Match for the AEW World Trios Championships with Kenny Omega
- Revolution 23 Lost vs The House of Black in a Trios Match to lose the AEW World Trios Championships with Kenny Omega
Record: 7-10 Blackpool Combat Club Jon Moxley
- DON 19 Debuted by attacking Kenny Omega after the main event
- Full Gear 19 Defeated Kenny Omega in Unsanctioned Lights Out Match
- Revolution 20 Defeated Chris Jericho to become AEW World Champion
- DON 20 Defeated Brodie Lee to retain the AEW World Championship
- All Out 20 Defeated MJF to retain the AEW World Championship
- Full Gear 20 Defeated Eddie Kingston in an I Quit Match to retain the AEW World Championship
- Revolution 21 Lost vs Kenny Omega in Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch for AEW World Championship
- DON 21 Lost vs The Young Bucks in AEW World Tag Team Championship Match with Eddie Kingston
- All Out 21 Defeated Satoshi Kojima
- Revolution 22 Defeated Bryan Danielson
- DON 22 Lost vs Jericho Appreciation Society in Anarchy in the Arena Match with Bryan Danielson, Eddie Kingston, Santana, & Ortiz
- Forbidden Door 22 Defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win Interim AEW World Championship
- All Out 22 Lost vs CM Punk for the AEW World Championship
- Full Gear 22 Lost vs MJF to lose the AEW World Championship
- Revolution 23 Lost vs Hangman Adam Page in a Texas Deathmatch
Record: 9-6 Bryan Danielson
- All Out 21 Debut confronting Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks
- Full Gear 21 Defeated Miro to become #1 Contender for AEW World Championship
- Revolution 22 Lost vs Jon Moxley
- DON 22 Lost vs Jericho Appreciation Society in Anarchy in the Arena Match with Jon Moxley, Eddie Kingston, Santana, & Ortiz
- All Out 22 Lost vs Chris Jericho
- Full Gear 22 Lost vs Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, & Claudio Castagnoli for the ROH World Championship
- Revolution 23 Lost vs MJF in an Iron Man Match for the AEW World Championship
Record: 1-5 Claudio Castagnoli
- Forbidden Door 22 Defeated Zack Sabre Jr. in debut
- All Out 22 Lost vs MJF, Wheeler Yuta, Penta, Rey Fenix, Rush, Andrade El Idolo, & Dante Martin in a Casino Ladder Match for #1 Contender to AEW World Championship
- Full Gear 22 Lost vs Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, & Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Championship
Record: 1-2 Wheeler Yuta
- Forbidden Door 22 Lost vs Minoru Suzuki, Chris Jericho & Sammy Guevara in a Trios Match with Shota Umino & Eddie Kingston
- All Out 22 Lost vs MJF, Claudio Castagnoli, Penta, Rey Fenix, Rush, Andrade El Idolo, & Dante Martin in a Casino Ladder Match for #1 Contender to AEW World Championship
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2023.05.28 06:23 Vegetable_Wishbone26 Updated Itinerary - 14-23 August with 6 yo son
Hello. i posted an Itinerary check here and this is my new itinerary, based on some advice from there and would appreciate some feedback :)
When planning my itinerary, I have to take into account the humidity and heat as I will be going August. I will also going with my 6 yo son. He is pretty good at handling walking and lots of shopping, but still don't want to overdo it for him. Also have to consider big crowds with him, lots of toilet stops, need for a snack every 30 mins lol. My budget is $4500 AUD MAX. So I'm hoping my itinerary isn't too ambitious considering my budget. Day 1: Arrival
Day 2: Akihabara
- Arrive HND airport and check into airport hotel
Day 3: Shibuya + Harajuku
- Pick up child suica card airport and checkout. Head to Akihabara hotel
- Explore Akihabara + shopping. Some shops to checkout:
- Karaoke (maybe at Big Echo? any recommedations on karaoke places with english songs?) and dinner
Day 4: Ikekuburo
- Shibuya Crossing
- Hachiko Statue Memorial
- Shibuya Sky
- Sailor Moon Store, Angelic Pretty, Laforet Complex, Loft101
- Yoyogi Park & Meiji Jingu
- If up for it, dinner in Shinjuku (Omoide Yokocho?)
Day 5: Odaiba
- Picnic at Ueno Park early morning. Exhange 7 day JR Pass at Ueno Station
- Sunshine Plaza & Sunshine Aquarium
- Otome Road, Mandrake, Don Quijote
- 9am Sensoji + Nakamise-Dori
- Asakusa Pier. Catch 12pm HIMIKO Tokyo Cruise to Odaiba Seaside Park
- DiverCity, get lunch
- If enough time: Gundam Base, Hello Kitty Store and further shopping , Miraikan Musuem
- TeamLabs in late afternoon
Struggled a lot with my Odaiba itinerary, as my son really wants to catch water bus, and that has only travels very limited times a day so can't get to Odaiba until mid day-afternoon. Day 6: Free Day
Originally had this day as Mount Takao hike but think the humidity will be too much so don't have anything planned yet for this day. Up for suggestions. If not, I'll use it as a rest day, maybe head to tokyo dome and go roller blading or head to ginzo Day 7: Kyoto
Day 8: Kyoto
- Check out Akihabara hotel and head to Kyoto early morning. Approx arrive 12pm.
- Drop luggage off at ryokan
- Maruyama Park & Yasaka Shrine
- Walk through Gion
Day 9: Kyoto + Tokyo
- Okamato Kimono Rental at Kiyomizu-dera (Yukata)
- Nishiki Market and Pontocho Park
- Return yukata
- Head to dinner, perhaps in Ponotocho alley?
- Kyoto Station and place luggage bag in coin locker
- Catch train to Saga Torokko Station and catch Sagano Romantic Train
- %100 Arabica Coffee
- Monkey Park
- Back to Kyoto station to pick up luggage. Depending on timing, head to Tokyo for additional shopping before heading to HND airport late to check into airport hotel
Day 10: Departure previos post here
- Fushimi Inari Shrine, hike
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2023.05.28 06:00 InfernoAA God Made the World in Six Days, I’ll Perfect New Japan's on the Seventh Part Four: Ring o' Roses
In Part Three, Shingo Takagi confronted both his duties as World Heavyweight Champion and member of Los Ingobernables de Japon, proceeding to right the wrongs of his first reign by winning the January 4 main event against Tetsuya Naito to squash their beef and become co-leaders. With PAC shockingly joining the group after having gone on a crusade against them, they seemed stronger than ever, all except for Shingo's neck. Feeling the weight of CHAOS crushing it, it took both Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi
to bring him to his knees, the Ace of the Universe back to his rightful spot after 5 years, restoring CHAOS’s purist regime. Ending off on keeping the riches from blood rival Katsuyori Shibata yet again, he now awaits the arrival of the 2024 New Japan Cup Winner...
New Japan Cup Finals (March 28, 2024)
“ZACK SABRE JR. HAS PAC IN HYPERNORMALISATION! PAC SUBMITS! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, FOR THE THIRD TIME IN HISTORY OUR NEW JAPAN CUP WINNER IS ZSJ!” After two failed attempts to translate his cup success into gold, the Bone Master has another chance to fulfil his career’s greatest goal. And out walks the man he beat in the 2018 Finals for his first win, the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Hiroshi Tanahashi! One of Zack’s biggest rivals since coming to Japan, and one that’s had his number more time than he’s had theirs, he must beat the godly Ace of the Universe if he wishes to claim his first piece of IWGP-commissioned singles gold!
The stage set for Sakura Genesis, Sabre makes sure to rub in everyone’s faces the premonition he laid down at New Year’s Dash. He said to LIJ he’d be back for the title, and after beating one of their men, he’s made good on his claims. And now, he’s going to make ‘God’ bow to him, whether he wants to or not. When asked for his opinion on the challenger, Tanahashi says he’s amused by how earnestly the Windy Man’s tried to become a New Japan guy, moving his entire life to Japan in pursuit of the top prize. Whilst that dedication may be admirable, it’ll be for nought, Zack just another visitor to his grand kingdom, CHAOS remaining Sabre’s white whale at the end of every NJC journey.
Sakura Genesis (April 7, 2024)
Also on the show: United Empire (Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare) (c) vs Just6Guys (SANADA, Taichi, Ryohei Oiwa) - NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship YOH (c) vs El Desperado - IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship TMDK (c) vs Bishamon - IWGP Tag Team Championship
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs Zack Sabre Jr. XI - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
They say third time’s the charm, but that remains to be seen in Sabre’s case. Sabre-Gun with mixed successes throughout the night, El Desperado coming up short whilst TMDK kept their gold, it’s up to their leader to set an example for his group. Popping his collar, he steels his gaze on the championship as Tanahashi makes his entrance, Zack blocking out the surrounding world. Despite channelling the controversial words of the polarising Okada for the past year, Hiroshi still has Ryogoku in the palm of his hands, remaining the people’s favourite no matter the shade of grey he envelops himself in. Back to his pomp and circumstance, he gives ZSJ the full show of what a true star looks like, ready to bring Sabre back down to reality.
It's a methodical opening from the two talented grapplers, Tanahashi standing toe-to-toe with the best technical wrestler in the world with merely his sheer aura. Sabre shoots for an early Article 50, but Tana sidesteps him into the ropes, before condescendingly patting him on the cheek! Zack retaliates with a forearm, knocking Tana to the mat, a deluge of stomps raining down on his face as the Hiroshi tries to cover up!
Escaping to the ropes, Sabre charges at him with a EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Tana evades, connecting a DRAGON-STYLE HARITE, slapping respect into the challenger! Incensed, Sabre leaves a mark with a stinging slap of his own, before nailing a chain of Uppercuts! Tana fights back for a TWIST AND SHOUT, though Sabre counters with a FLATLINER! A High-Angle German is stuffed, Zack decked with an ALL OUT and a MIDDLE-ROPE SENTON BOMB! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT!
Tana guns for the leg like he did Shibata, but a Feint Roundhouse into a Legsweep from ZSJ floors him! AND A NECK TWIST!!! With Hiroshi distracted by his neck, Sabre immediately switches for the legs, applying SUNDAY RAIL ENGINEERING WORKS REPLACEMENT BUS SERVICE!!! Tana’s quick to make the ropes, though has to physically pull himself to the apron when Sabre doesn’t release! No breather for him, Zack hooks his leg in the ropes and connects a DRAGON SCREW!
Tana receiving a taste of his own medicine, Sabre slides out and scores one directly on the apron, bashing Hiroshi’s leg into the hardest part of the ring! He attempts to Irish Whip Tanahashi into the ring post, but the Once in a Century Talent nails a SLING BLADE ON THE APRON! DRAGON SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR!!! Playing the starpower card, Tana poses with a grin as the cameras catch a shot of Sabre beneath him. He doesn’t notice Zack’s little twitches though, committing to a HIGH FLY FLOW TO THE OUTSIDE!!! A POSSUM SABRE PUSHES HIM MID-AIR ONTO THE BARRICADE!!!
As Tokyo gasps, it’s academic from Sabre as he threads Tana’s leg through a steel chair, PILMANISING IT!!! Evidence long discarded by the time the referee walks over, he wraps Hiroshi’s leg around the steel post, using it to apply a SASORI-GATAME!!! Tana lets out shouts of agony, Zack milking the suffering as Hiroshi begs the referee to get the challenger to stop. Eventually letting go, he forces Tanahashi to walk himself back into the spider’s web, a SPRINGBOARD ENZUIGIRI awaiting! BRIDGING NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT!
Swivelling into a KNEEBAR now, he rolls around with Tana’s leg in his grasp, countering Hiroshi’s each attempts at escape, before going for the SELECTED TECHNICAL WORKS VOL. 2 combination, but Tana stacks his shoulders up! ONE! TWO! THR-NO LUCK! Forced to release to kick out, he scrambles to his feet to batter Hiroshi with a elbows, a DISCUS ELBOW SMASH staggering him, but a Pele Kick is caught, Tana nailing his own DRAGON SCREW!!!
A TWIST AND SHOUT follows, before Tana wraps on the DRAGON SWING! Wrenching on the neck, he makes a good few rotations before suddenly dropping to a knee, his leg unable to hold up for too long. Going for a DRAGON SUPLEX, it’s blocked by a barrage of back elbows, though Hiroshi nails the DARUMA-SHIKI GERMAN INSTEAD!!! ONE! TWO! THR-SABRE KICKS OUT! Nursing his neck, Sabre gets no reprieve as a HASE URANAGE spikes him, and a HIGH FLY ATTACK… IS CAUGHT IN AN ANKLE LOCK!!!
Tana rolls through but Sabre rolls with him, though he can’t get the grapevine, Tana booting him off with the other leg! TWIST AND SHOUT! Sabre subdued, a SLING BLADE takes him down, a HIGH FLY FLOW FOLLOWING SUIT!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Tana rushes for a TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, putting the hurt on Zack’s legs now! The Submission Master searches for escapes yet Hiroshi commits his everything to this move, not letting him free for the life of him! That is, until his own leg gives way! Grounded, he can’t stop a PENALTY KICK!!! AND A ZACK DRIVER!!! ONE! TWO! THR-TANA STAYS ALIVE!!!
Ragdolling Hiroshi with a pair of Double Underhook Suplexes, Zack puts Tana in a prone position to stomp the insides of the knees, before applying a CALF SLICER!!! Yet again, the Ace of the Universe is in trouble, his condition deteriorating with each submission. Knowing he needs to change that and fast… HE GRABS ZACK’S SKULL AND RAMS IT INTO THE MAT REPEATEDLY TO BREAK!!! Gears turning in his mind from Sabre’s tribute, HE GETS HIM UP FOR A STYLES CLASH!!! ONE! TWO! THR-SABRE SURVIVES!!!
Connecting a SLING BLADE, he dumps Zack with a DRAGON SUPLEX! ZACK RESPONDS WITH ONE OF HIS OWN! Open palm strikes from Tana light up Zack, only for him to wring out the arm for a PELE KICK!!! Sabre teases a Legsweep, but Hiroshi hops over this time and nails a GROUNDED HIGH FLY FLOW!!! Air driven out of ZSJ’s lungs, Tana hoists him up… AND NAILS A TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!! SHADES OF OKADA!!! The CHAOS Leader beating him like this both past Sakura Geneses, it’s going to happen again!
Scaling the ropes, Tana crashes down with a HIGH FLY FLOWWWWWWWWWW!!! But he’s not done! Wanting to make an example out of Sabre, he takes his time posing atop the world like the star he is… BUT IT ALLOWS ZACK TO RECOVER, GRABBING HIS LEG!!! Hammering the knee before Tana has a chance to respond, he yanks him off… RUNNING LIGER BOMB!!! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT!!! STRAIGHT INTO CLARKY CAT BAD BALLOON REMIX!!! Folding Tana’s leg over his shoulder, he utterly destroys the geriatric knees over the champion, who wails in agony, doing anything he can to break free… BUT HE’S TOO FAR FROM THE ROPES!!! TANAHASHI TAPS OUT!!! THIRD TIME’S THE CHARM – ZSJ’S THE NEW KING OF NEW JAPAN!!!
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (30:23)
Cutting Tanahashi’s reign brutally short, Sabre-Gun has claimed its spot on the throne! Raising up both his trophy and championship, he’s lifted onto TMDK’s shoulders, the three men flaunting their gold to the world as the remainder of the stable joins them! Tana shell-shocked, he hangs his head in shame and despair as he limps off, Ryogoku the first of many dark days for NJPW…
As the new monarch, Sabre’s first order of business is simple – kill off his counterpart. And by that he means the man who successfully defended the title against him last year, Will Ospreay. Though he may hold the title, jealousy courses through ZSJ’s veins knowing the Commonwealth Kingpin’s considered the company’s top gaijin despite Zack’s superior record over him. Wanting to change that, he calls out Ospreay, who’s fresh off dropping the NEVER 6-Man Titles to Just6Guys, having had quite the identity crisis since having the WK main event taken from him. Eager at the chance at a do-over, he accepts without hesitation.
Wrestling Hinokuni (April 27, 2024)
Sabre-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & TMDK) vs United Empire (Will Ospreay & Aussie Open)
Whilst Sabre and Ospreay have kept their distance since their Royal Quest match, the same can’t be said about the greater stables. World Tag League Winners TMDK taking Aussie Open’s IWGP Tag Team Championship at Wrestle Kingdom and United Empire successfully defending the NEVER Titles against Sabre-Gun at the Anniversary Show, this conclusion was only inevitable. Aussie Open also wanting a chance to get their titles back, they team with Ospreay here against the champion unit, the Commonwealth Nations going to war for supremacy.
Unlike Royal Quest, Sabre’s notably a lot surer of himself against Will here, no longer compensating by matching his striking game, rather trying to make Ospreay play his game instead. However, even with Zack being in his best possible form, SG falters against UE once more, the Coriolis to Mikey Nicholls setting the stage for Wrestling Dontaku! Zack grits his teeth as much like Tanahashi, Ospreay looks down on him.
United Empire def. Sabre-Gun (17:34)
Wrestling Dontaku (May 4, 2024)
Also on the show: Ren Narita (c) vs Shota Umino - NEVER Openweight Championship Taichi (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi - NJPW World Television Championship YOH (c) vs Robbie Eagles - IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship KENTA (c) vs PAC - IWGP United States Championship TMDK (c) vs Aussie Open - IWGP Tag Team Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs Will Ospreay XVII - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
A rivalry extending back an entire decade to the UK Indies, the spot for best British wrestler in the world has long been contested between these two. Back at it again, it’s time they settle the score once more. Ospreay strides out comfortably, having been in this position plenty of times by now as a potentially soon-to-be 3x World Champion, this his domain. As for Sabre, it’s his first time defending a title of this magnitude, pressure clearly weighing on his shoulders, but taking a deep breath, he prepares himself for victory just like TMDK earlier in the night.
As the bell rings… Ospreay explodes for a DROPKICK right away – shades of NJC 2021! Zack fishes the leg out the air and applies an ANKLE LOCK, LOOKING TO TAP HIM OUT WITHIN THE FIRST FEW SECONDS OF THE MATCH! Alarmed, Ospreay thrashes with kicks from his free leg to force Sabre off, rolling to the outside to recollect himself! Sabre doesn’t let him though, nailing a Baseball Slide Dropkick, before tossing him back in and wrangling the leg again!
A roll shakes him off, a HOOK KICK following, AND AN OSCUTTER! Sabre stops it though, countering with a SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX! Will rotates through to his feet and soars for a STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS, but again Zack dodges! BOW & ARROW ATTEMPT! Will flips into a cover, Zack kicking out instantly! Ospreay handsprings off the ropes, teasing his signature Enzuigiri, Sabre grasping the leg mid-air, but another follows, wrapping around his neck to twist through into a CROSS ARMBREAKER FROM WILL!
Sabre gets the monkey grip, preventing full extension, BUT WILL BITES THE FINGERS TO FORCE HIM OFF, now getting the full stretch, yelling at the referee to ask Zack if he submits! Sabre refuses however, rolling onto his stomach to turn the hold over and stand up, getting his legs around Will’s neck to score a NECK TWIST, getting him to release!
Zack knowing it to be a sore spot, he gets rallying with European Uppercuts to rock it like a bobblehead, before leaping into a GUILLOTINE CHOKE! Zack tightens his grip around Will’s neck, but a BUCKLE EXPLODER SUPLEX loosens it again as Sabre’s left dangling in a Tree of Woe! Ospreay sits cross-legged in front of him and SMASHES HIS NOSE WITH FOREARMS, busting a defenceless Zack open! Fish-hooking the nose, Will shakes his head about and lets crimson droplets paint the surroundings like a psychopathic Bob Ross, before letting go, cackling.
He heads to the top rope, but Zack meets him there, pulling himself up using his core strength and crotching Will on the neighbouring rope! The two face-to-face again, Zack sitting on the turnbuckle and Will on the rope, they trade forearms, blood continuing to leak down Sabre’s face, but he doesn’t care, INSTEAD GRABBING WILL’S LEG TO SUSPEND HIM UPSIDE-DOWN WITH A HANGING SUNDAY RAIL ENGINEERING WORKS REPLACEMENT BUS SERVICE!!!
Will’s in sheer agony as Sabre contorts his limb, but he’s saved by the referee’s count, Sabre forced to let go, Ospreay slumping to the apron. Zack turns to face the apron as he collects his wits and catches his breath, whilst Will nurses his leg, being checked on by the referee to make sure he’s good to continue, hopping to his base. Sabre settles down on the apron behind Will, grabbing him from behind, TESTING AN APRON TIGER SUPLEX!
Ospreay smashes the nose with a rear headbutt to ward him off! AND HE SPRINGS OFF ONE LEG TO DROP SABRE WITH AN APRON OSCUTTER, BOTH MEN SPILLING TO THE FLOOR!!! The referee starts their count as both lay still, no sign of movement as the 10 count nears. Reaching 12 now, they finally begin to stir, getting on all fours… 13… 14… 15… OSPREAY’S LEG GIVES OUT! 16… 17… 18… BOTH MEN MAKE ONE LAST PUSH, SABRE SHOVING HIMSELF INSIDE THE RING BY 19, WHILST OSPREAY PULLS HIMSELF UP ONTO THE APRON AND SPRINGS OFF ONE LEG ON THE ROPES FOR A PIP PIP CHEERIO!!! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT!!!
Coming down hard on the leg though, Ospreay writhes in pain, but with Zack down, he pulls himself up with every last bit of energy he has up for STORM BREAKER… ZACK WITH AN OCTOPUS HOLD!!! Will immediately rams him into the turnbuckle until he lets up, Sabre instead sliding down his back like a bird hitting a window, OSPREAY COLLECTING HIM TO NAIL A HITODENASHI DRIVER!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOO!!!
Will shouts in frustration, having jammed the leg on the landing. Feeling victory nigh though, he preps the HIDDEN BLADE!!! SABRE SPINS AROUND AND COUNTERS WITH A ZACK DRIVER!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NO DICE!!! PENTALTY KICK! ANOTHER COVER!!! ONE! TWO! THR-STILL NO LUCK!!! NOW A NUMERO DOS A LA DESPERADO!!! Ospreay screams as Sabre tears the leg in half, Will dancing around in search of reprieve, until a FRANKENSTEINER stands ZSJ on his dome! BRAINBUSTER FOLLOWS!
Sabre rocked, Ospreay cracks the CHELSEA GRIN against his neck, before connecting the HIDDEN BLADE!!! ONE! TWO! THR-ZACK’S STILL IN IT!!! Will’s leg is falling apart as he stumbles back into the corner to try for seconds, losing balance and collapsing before he can reach his target! EUROPEAN CLUTCH FROM ZACK!!! ONE! TWO! THR-OSPREAY SURVIVES!!! BUT A PENALTY KICK TO THE SKULL! AND STRAIGHT INTO ORIENTEERING WITH NAPALM DEATH!!! OSPREAY THRASHES LIKE A MADMAN, FEELING HIS LIGAMENTS ON THE VERGE OF TEARING… AND HE TAPS!!!
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Will Ospreay to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (34:18)
One more for the bad guys. Commonwealth Kingpin at his mercy, Ospreay a mess as he scrambles off, Zack’s the new Top Gaijin in town. Raising his title high from the turnbuckles, he juices every last drop out his victory, this moment perfect to him… or not
. OH MY GOD IT’S MINORU SUZUKI!!! Any bit of colour that remains on ZSJ’s pale face drains off as the King’s music rings through Fukuoka, but there’s no sign of the man- WAIT, SABRE’S SPUN AROUND! KICK TO THE GUT – GOTCH-STYLE PILEDRIVER!!! HE’S HERE!!! Placing a boot on Zack’s chest, Suzuki holds the World Title high over his former stablemate’s body!
The ending of Dontaku has Japan buzzing as they question the true motive of Suzuki’s attack, and after an extended silence, the King sets the record straight. 1 ½ years ago, Suzuki-Gun was dissolved, and ever since, Sabre’s been writing checks with his mouth that he can’t cash. He walks around with the World Title like he’s
the reason he even received recognition in NJPW in the first place. Suzuki gave him a home beside him, and as rapidly as he elevated Sabre, he can take it all away from him just as fast. He’s getting old and is still missing the final piece to the Japanese Triple Crown, so he plans to take that from Zack.
Sabre doesn’t take too kindly to these words, letting his actions speak for himself as he ASSAULTS SUZUKI on a Road To Dontaku show! Bringing Sabre-Gun with him, they brutalise the legend, before Zack plants his group’s flag on Suzuki’s chest! Mocking him for having no allies the next night, declaring Suzuki’s era of relevance to be long gone… this plays
. SUZUKI’S HERE, AND HE’S NOT ALONE! IT’S JUST6GUYS!!! Racing to the ring, the two factions erupt in a massive brawl, bodies flying left and right! Sabre tries for a quick getaway but he’s stopped by Minoru, who gives him a devilish snarl before clobbering him with forearms until Sabre-Gun’s sent packing through the crowd, Zack yelling expletives at Suzuki as he retreats!
Back to Yokohama Arena (May 16, 2024)
Sabre-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & TMDK) vs Minoru Suzuki & Just3Guys (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, DOUKI)
With Sabre-Gun and Just6Guys feuding ever since their respective formations, switching between silent competitive warfare of racking up belts to fighting each other, notably the Sabre/Taichi saga, it all fully comes to a head in Suzuki’s home of Yokohama! With full freedom to destroy each other however they please, the two factions don’t hold back one bit, with Suzuki especially targeting ZSJ. He’s unable to give him grief the way he wishes to though, Zack tactfully hiding behind his partners until he can blindside Minoru, before scramming again. Ultimately, it’s Minoru putting Desperado away with the GOTCH PILEDRIVER, before signalling to Sabre that time’s running out for him, Suzuki to get his hands on him too soon enough!
Minoru Suzuki & J6G def. Sabre-Gun (15:03)
As much as Sabre tries to deny it, that day only speeds closer with each accusation of cowardice against the prideful champion’s name, the world questioning whether he’s afraid of Suzuki. Adamant to silence his doubters, he finally accepts Suzuki’s title challenge, setting the stage for Dominion, though promising he won’t have a career to go back to when Sabre’s done with him!
Dominion 6.2 (June 2, 2024)
Also on the show: YOH (c) vs SHO - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Just2Guys (c) vs Sabre-Gun (Blake Christian & Clark Connors) - IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship TMDK (c) vs The Lucha Brothers - IWGP Tag Team Championship PAC (c) vs Katsuyori Shibata - IWGP United States Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs Minoru Suzuki - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
With Sabre-Gun beating Just6Guys earlier in the night, this war’s already at its boiling point by the time the main event arrives, Suzuki opting to enter second as Zack steps out- CRACK! STEEL CHAIR TO SABRE’S SPINE!!! Suzuki isn’t wasting even a second here, tearing the jacket off Sabre’s back before bending the steel over his spine! The Windy Man desperately tries to crawl away to the ring, but Suzuki steps on his ankle to stop him! Turning him around to meet his maker, MINORU GOES FOR A GOTCH PILEDRIVER ON THE CHAIR!!! LOW BLOW FROM SABRE TO COUNTER!!!
Suzuki drops to his knees as Osaka boos the smarmy champion, ZSJ now battering the King’s back, before finally sliding him in to get the match started! PENALTY KICK RIGHT AWAY!!! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT!!! Sabre wrenches in a CLARKY CAT, working the arm as Suzuki writhes under him, but it’s not long before Minoru stands up out of it, hurling ZSJ to the mat! Booting him in the jaw, Suzuki backs him into the corner and tears into him with open palm strikes! He winds up a CORNER DROPKICK, but Sabre evades, blasting him with a rapid barrage of European Uppercuts against the turnbuckle!
Zack taking the run-up now, Suzuki bucks him over the ropes to the apron, SABRE BLASTING A THUMB IN HIS EYE! Minoru blinded, Zack leaps up for a SPRINGBOARD ENZUIGIRI- SUZUKI BLOCKS WITH A WILD SLAP TO THE CHEEK!!! Sabre stiffed, Suzuki applies a HANGING JUJI-GATAME FROM THE ROPES!!! Zack screams in agony as Minoru damn near rips his arm out the socket, the referee’s count the only thing keeping him from going!
Releasing, Sabre crumples to the floor, getting as far as he possibly can from Suzuki, though he’s not fast enough, Suzuki nailing a GOAL KICK to his skull from the apron! Grabbing Sabre, he HURLS him into the guardrail with it shoulder-first, the velocity sending Zack through! As he goes to collect his prey though, SABRE TOSSES A CHAIR AT HIS SKULL!!! Threading Suzuki’s arm through it, SABRE STOMPS THE ELBOW!!! AND AN ARTICLE 50!!!
Sabre abuses the legend, but he forgets about the other arm, Suzuki slapping his head in with it until Zack releases! Shaking off the arm, a BACK BODY DROP sends Sabre crashing back to ringside, Minoru following after him as ZSJ slinks inside the ring. Zack beats him to his feet though, stomping a hole through the mat with Suzuki’s skull, dribbling it! He cracks a ROLLING ELBOW off the skull, but Minoru walks through it, glaring at Sabre! Throwing an elbow of his own, it gets caught, Zack scoring the PELE KICK to the arm!
AND A KIMURA LOCK!!! Sabre brutally rips at the arm, bringing Suzuki to his knees from the pain even, but Minoru pins his shoulders to the mat! ONE! TWO! THR-SABRE RELEASES TO KICK OUT! As Zack rolls to his feet, a SHOTGUN DROPKICK awaits him! Suzuki clobbers him with slaps to the face, Sabre seeing stars as one knocks him clean off his feet! Turning to the turnbuckle… SUZUKI RIPS IT OFF!!! Steel exposed, he teases a SNAP SUPLEX INTO THE CORNER!!! SABRE COUNTERS WITH A BRAINBUSTER ON THE MAT!!! GUILLOTINE CHOKE!!!
Draining the life out of Suzuki, Sabre presses on the carotid artery, Minoru is deep trouble! BUT NOW THE KING BITES ON ZSJ’S FINGERS!!! Zack yelps and releases, allowing Suzuki to secure his wrists and STOMP HIS HEAD IN!!! Sabre catches a boot and applies SUNDAY RAIL ENGINEERING WORKS REPLACEMENT BUS SERVICE!!! ZSJ tortures Suzuki’s leg, though in doing so leaves his arm exposed, Minoru yanking off his grip and countering into HIS OWN HEEL HOOK!!!
Sabre desperately tries the same counter, but Suzuki’s grip is too tight to break, forcing Zack to roll to the ropes! SUZUKI ISN’T LETTING GO! Crawling on his hands, Sabre pulls himself to the floor and WHIPLASHES MINORU’S NECK OFF THE BOTTOM ROPE!!! Staggering about ringside on one foot, he grabs his title and rolls back in! Suzuki struggling up, Sabre tries to deck him with the belt… but the referee grabs it from behind! A tug-of-war ends in SUZUKI KNOCKING THE BELT INTO THE REF WITH AN ENZUIGIRI!
Both men hitting the deck, Minoru rocks ZSJ with a Dropkick! GOTCH PILEDRIVER ONTO THE TITLE!!! But there’s no one to count! Pissed, Suzuki limps out and abuses a couple young lions, before picking one out the crowd to toss in the ring, ripping the referee’s shirt off and telling the lion to put it on! SUZUKI COVERS! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Even more livid, HE DECKS THIS LION TOO! Turning back to Zack, he notices the champion feebly reaching for the belt! Kicking it out the ring, Suzuki goes for another GOTCH PILEDRIVER!!! BACK BODY DROP COUNTER!!!
Still hurting, Sabre struggles to get a rally of strikes going, Suzuki meeting him blow for blow! BUT SABRE WHIPS THE SHOULDER INTO THE MAT! Minoru stunned, sadistic thoughts run through Sabre’s mind… TIGER SUPLEX INTO THE EXPOSED STEEL!!! AND A RUNNING LIGER BOMB – ONE OF SUZUKI’S RIVALS MOVES!!! THE REFEREE’S BACK TO CONSCIOUSNESS! NOT LIKE THIS! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Sabre’s exasperated, thinking he had it! Running out of options, he teases a ZACK DRIVER, but Suzuki slips behind and applies the SLEEPER HOLD!!! Sabre’s quickly fading, frantically trying to tear the bad arm off, but Minoru doesn’t budge, shoving ZSJ to the mat for the PENALTY KICK!!! ONE! TWO! THR-ZACK KICKS OUT!!! Suzuki grabs Sabre by the chin, demanding him to strike Minoru if he thinks he’s so tough, ZSJ doing his best, but Suzuki eats it and returns a HARD SLAP! SLEEPER SUPLEX!!!
Tossing Sabre to the apron, Minoru steps onto the middle rope and cinches in an ELEVATED SLEEPER!!! Zack dangles in the air, unable to find his footing to escape, Suzuki lifting him higher and higher! Blood rushing to his legs, he needs to act fast, attacking the elbow again until the hold is finally slightly loosened! Leaning forwards, he pulls Suzuki his direction, allowing him to lower his feet onto the apron… YANKING SUZUKI INTO AN APRON ZACK DRIVER!!!
Sabre coughs up a lung as he kicks Minoru’s corpse back in, before lining up a PENALTY KICK!!! ONE! TWO! THR-SUZUKI’S ALIVE!!! Zack’s stunned as he comes face-to-face with Suzuki’s sneer, Minoru still having enough in him to throw slaps! Sabre returning Uppercuts, they go blow-for-blow until Zack collapses first, though he’s playing possum, HEADBUTTING THE SHOULDER as the King tries to grab him! He goes for YOU CAN’T PLAY CONKERS IN ENGLAND, though he’s immediately tossed down, SUZUKI NAILING A PENALTY KICK!!!
Winding up, Minoru goes for one more… ZACK SLAPS HIS HEAD OFF HIS SHOULDERS!!! Putting the head between his legs, HE NAILS A GOTCH PILEDRIVER!!! Suzuki collapses in position for a PENALTY KICK!!! AND NOW SABRE CINCHES IT IN – HURRAH! ANOTHER YEAR, SURELY THIS ONE WILL BE BETTER THAN THE LAST; THE INEXORABLE MARCH OF PROGRESS WILL LEAD US ALL TO HAPPINESS!!! Suzuki grits his teeth, trying to fight through it, Sabre keeping his eyes on his hands to see the tap… NOWHERE TO GO, MINORU FLIPS HIM OFF WITH BOTH HANDS AND VERBALLY SUBMITS!!!
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Minoru Suzuki to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (32:50)
Surviving one of the toughest matches of his career, Zack’s kingdom still lives, though barely. As he’s handed his title though, he chucks it aside, this about far more than the gold to him! SABRE STOMPS OUT SUZUKI!!! Signalling to the back, out rush Sabre-Gun, coming to Sabre’s aid to conduct a mugging on the legend! SUDDEN DEATH FROM ELP! PINCHE LOCO FROM DESPERADO! THUNDER VALLEY FROM TMDK! TANDEM JEEP FLIP/DROPKICK FROM BLAKE, CONNORS AND FUJITA! And now, it's Zack’s turn. Dragging him to the concrete… HE’S GOING FOR THE GOTCH PILEDRIVER!!! HE WANTS TO RETIRE SUZUKI FOR GOOD!!!
BUT HERE COMES J6G!!! AND LANCE ARCHER TOO!!! Sabre tosses Suzuki aside to deal with the oncoming traffic, Taichi and co. putting up an honourable fight, but they’re still down a man, Sabre-Gun managing to retain their upper-hand, until…
OH MY GOD, IT’S SUZUKI’S OLD TAG PARTNER NAOMICHI MARUFUJI!!! Sabre can’t even get a curse out before a KO-OH SMACKS HIM IN THE FACE!!! Marufuji beats on Zack to turn the tide, going for the POLE SHIFT, but Sabre manages to escape in the nick of time, Sabre-Gun once again sent on the retreat, the show closing on Marufuji helping Suzuki up!
NJPW/AJPW/NOAH All Together Again (June 7, 2024)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Naomichi Marufuji
After the events of Dominion, it’s only natural these two fight, long, long overdue a one-on-one since their NOAH days together! Fighting in Suzuki’s honour, Marufuji steps to the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and it’s like 2016 all over again the way he utterly humbles Sabre to start like he’s facing Okada! A match of two halves, it goes from Naomichi giving ZSJ the biggest whooping of his life to Sabre brutally breaking down the legend, reminding him he’s 8 years too old to still be winning these sorts of matches. Though Maru gives Zack grief one more than one occasion, he meets his demise at the hands of a CREMATION LILY, Sabre spitting on Naomichi as he leaves, declaring himself untouchable!
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Naomichi Marufuji (25:37)
With his war on J6G and friends officially behind him, Sabre sets his sights on a show he has quite some history with. Losing to Claudio Castagnoli at the first Forbidden Door, before beating Katsuyori Shibata at the second to take both the NJPW TV and ROH Pure Titles to ALL IN to submit Danielson, there’s naturally only one direction for him to head…
Dynamite (June 12, 2024)
Racking another AEW International Championship defence under his belt, Wheeler YUTA is on top of the world, and as he’s approached by Tony Schiavone for a post-match comment… WHACK! IWGP WORLD TITLE TO THE BACK OF HIS HEAD!!! SABRE-GUN’S HERE!!! Mugging Blackpool Combat Club’s young gun like they did Suzuki, a SABRE DRIVER leaves him broken on the mat as Zack yells down the camera that he wants Moxley’s head at Forbidden Door, scurrying away before BCC can make the save!
Collision (June 15, 2024)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Wheeler YUTA
Off the back of Sabre’s assault on YUTA, a match is made between the two technically-gifted champions in a massive Collision main event! Though ZSJ’s far out his paygrade, an arrogant Wheeler does his best to knock off the Technical Wizard, impressing with a display of submissions he’s picked up from Danielson, before employing some of Claudio’s marquee athleticism and Mox’s grittiness. Never a fair match to begin with though, a TESCO MEAL DEAL cruelly silences YUTA!
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Wheeler YUTA (10:12)
Grabbing a mic, Zack runs down Moxley, reminding him how they were supposed to fight 4 years ago until the pandemic ruined that, Jon ducking him ever since. Now though, he’s the last member of BCC he needs to get through before he can shut up those babies too, so all he needs to know is if Jon is still afraid of him or not. And as Sabre awaits his response… HE RECEIVES IT IN THE FORM OF A PARADIGM SHIFT!!! Mox holds Zack’s title over his body, gaining some retribution for YUTA!
AEWxNJPW Forbidden Door (June 23, 2024)
Also on the show: The Lucha Brothers (c) vs La Faccion Ingobernable (RUSH & Dralistico) - IWGP Tag Team Championship PAC (c) vs Swerve Strickland - IWGP United States Championship Tetsuya Naito vs Andrade El Idolo
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs Jon Moxley - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
The final showdown of a lengthy saga, Sabre makes his third defence against New Japan’s Ace, and it’s quite literally a bloody clinic, Mox showing zero fear in the face of the Top Gaijin, who looks to plant his flag over another territory. From a Paradigm Shift to the floor to a Zack Driver through a table, both men are busted open by the surroundings, the blood loss only helping Sabre’s case when he locks in the HYPERNORMALISATION, causing Mox to pass out! Alas, ZSJ stands atop BCC, but perhaps a more personal challenge yet awaits him…
Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Jon Moxley to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (23:20)
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2023.05.28 05:55 InfernoAA God Made the World in Six Days, I’ll Perfect New Japan's on the Seventh Part Three: The Ungovernable Seven
In Part Two, Will Ospreay received his crowning moment at a broken Kazuchika Okada's expense, relieving him of his duties as IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and opening his doors to further bloodshed between CHAOS and Takeover. Proceeding to run through New Japan's elite, he took down Kenny Omega, Katsuyori Shibata, and Zack Sabre Jr. in one fell swoop, only for his dream of main eventing Wrestle Kingdom as champion to be crushed by one Shingo Takagi
. Now, though the Dragon may be the titleholder, all is far from well in his den. Between Los Ingobernables de Japon in-fighting with G1 Climax 33 Winner Tetsuya Naito and PAC stealing his belt, he has much to address moving forwards.
Dynamite (November 1, 2023)
After shockingly robbing Shingo Takagi of his title, PAC interrupts mid-show, belt slung over his shoulder, scowl on his face. He rants about how ever since joining AEW, he’s been disrespected and overlooked, not even being booked for half a year after losing the AEW World Trios Championship, instead having to source work in NJPW with the G1 to finally pop back on the radar. Well now, he’s no longer sitting around in wait for others to give him opportunities. He’s taking them by force. Seeing as he beat Tetsuya Naito in the G1 yet Tetsuya’s been confirmed for WK’s main event without even defending his case against him, he’s decided he’s going to enter the match through his own means. He wants Shingo for the title! For his
title. And until he gets his match, he’s not returning the strap.
Collision (November 4, 2023)
PAC vs CIMA
With PAC and Shingo’s obvious connection to Dragongate, The Bastard wrestles an exhibition match against one of the standout names who made his name there, CIMA! Tied to the early days of AEW’s legacy, the veteran reminds the world of his immense talent here, wrestling a very DG-style high-speed match, PAC matching him every step of the way. Though he gives him a solid fight, a Brutaliser cuts things mercifully short, PAC keeping it in until after the bell!
PAC def. CIMA (10:05)
PAC briefly pausing to snatch up the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship and raise it over his head, before going back to stomping out CIMA… HE’S INTERRUPTED BY SHINGO’S MUSIC!!! Takagi bolting out, the Black Arrow cuts his losses and flees, leaving the belt behind as Shingo checks on CIMA, hissing with anger. Reclaiming his belt, he tells PAC he’s on!
Full Gear (November 12, 2023)
Shingo Takagi (c) vs PAC - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
PAC’s first match outside WWE pitting him against Shingo in tag team action in Takagi’s final matches with Dragongate before signing with NJPW, they finally cross paths again in singles action for the first time since 2011, the Dragon having won all 3 past encounters. Two of the most intense wrestlers around, there’s no shortage of aggression between the two, Takagi raring for revenge on PAC for stealing his moment, and PAC simply wanting to ruin everyone’s lives for the betterment of his own.
Tearing into each other for the better part of half an hour, PAC is absolutely feral here, not letting this rare opportunity go to waste one bit, giving the champion all sorts of hell. Shingo, seeing some Ospreay in the Bastard, gives him the same respect he does his toughest rival, though the comparison only sets PAC off further, teasing introducing the title belt itself into the match, only to spike Shingo with a Tornado DDT off the distraction! Nailing the BLACK ARROW on the Dragon, he hooks the leg! ONE! TWO! THREE!!!
Or is it? PAC thinks he’s won the title, elated, only to turn around to the referee pointing on Shingo’s leg on the ropes! It’s Neville/Rollins all over again! If PAC was thought to have lost it so far, the depths he reaches at this point are undefinable, nailing every last trick in the book he knows before wrenching in THE BRUTALISER! Wanting to submit Shingo like he did CIMA, he puts him on the brink of passing out, but unlike the Flower of Evil, Takagi’s simply too strong for PAC, managing to shake him off, before eventually nailing the LAST OF THE DRAGON!!! ONE! TWO! THREE!!!
Shingo Takagi (c) def. PAC to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (25:13)
Though PAC lost at Full Gear, by the manner which he eyes Shingo and his title when leaving the ring, it’s clear matters are not yet over between them. However, for now, Takagi has the remaining month until January 4 to focus on. With Naito winning at Power Struggle in a tag match pitting him and Hiromu against Ospreay and Akira, El Ingobernable has all the momentum he needs behind him, though what lies between now and Tokyo Dome surprises him.
With Dragongate’s 20th Year Anniversary celebrations coming up, one of the most heated rivalries in the company’s history is revisited when Shingo’s called out by BxB Hulk! Their last interaction seeing them team up in the penultimate match of DG’s final big show of 2022 to great success in a surprise return by Takagi, Hulk now wants a shot at beating Shingo exactly one year later, seeing the title on his shoulder as a means of proving himself better than Takagi’s best version ever.
Naturally accepting an opportunity to knock Hulk’s head off once more, the blockbuster main event is set for The Final Gate, but before then, Hulk invites him and Naito to a preview tag match, knowing he can milk the uncomfortable setting and watch Shingo suffer by it. Though not pleased at the thought, Takagi does inform Tetsuya, who agrees to help him, better together than at each other’s throats.
Dragongate The Gate of Origin (December 10, 2023)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs GOLD CLASS (BxB Hulk & Ben-K)
Three of DG’s greats and one NJPW pillar all in the same ring, it’s as blockbuster a match as can be, the four megastars putting on a thrilling showcase of their talents, the beloved Shingo especially getting the spotlight to Naito’s subtle annoyance, no longer the most popular man in the building. Nonetheless, with a crucial match less than one month away, LIJ are at their best even with their issues, the Destino/Pumping Bomber combo to Ben-K getting the win, though Naito making a point to be the one making the cover as Shingo is left to lock eyes with Hulk.
Los Ingobernables de Japon def. GOLD CLASS (21:35)
Dragongate The Final Gate (December 17, 2023)
Shingo Takagi vs BxB Hulk XIV
A history built on friendship, betrayal, and subsequent hatred, the arrogant detestable Shingo and the adored underdog Hulk have long grown since their last match 5 years ago, Takagi currently his company’s frontman and BxB still hanging on in his 40’s for DG. With Shingo having never beaten Hulk with a World Title over his shoulder, BxB having done so twice to him, The Dragon channels every last fiery breath of his into silencing his career rival for good, knocking Hulk around the arena and into the ring post like the old days, even playing it heelish at points, ever the superstar Hulk always wished to be. And after a thoroughly personal trip down memory lane, 20 years of DG tip in favour of the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, who puts Hulk down for good! In a show of respect after the match, Takagi bows to Hulk, entrusting the people to him as he turns his attention back to his new home.
Shingo Takagi def. BxB Hulk (26:11)
Road To Tokyo Dome - Night Two (December 23, 2023)
Also on the tour: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii) (c) vs United Empire (Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare) - NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Yota Tsuji & Titan) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)
One final stop on the road to Wrestle Kingdom, and it’s arguably the most important one yet. With Shingo and Naito’s divide over leadership growing only stronger by the minute, what started as being mediated by LIJ has now turned into them being forced to pick sides against their wills. Takagi’s grown tired of existing in Naito’s shadow despite holding the title, believing he’s more cut out to lead them, receiving support from his fellow newer class of LIJ blood, Yota Tsuji, as well as another recent recruit in Titan. However, Naito’s still the familia’s franchise to the group’s OGs, Hiromu and BUSHI letting loyalty speak for itself by siding with their leader in his bid to end his 3-year chase for the title currently around Takagi’s waist. Battlelines drawn, the blockbuster showdown closes out the Road To Tokyo Dome tour!
Brute force colliding with agility, the familial bond between LIJ only continues to be blurred as Shingo and Naito bark out orders to their respective teammates, directing traffic in this psychological warfare grown physical. It’s a slow build of the tempo until the crescendo of Shingo and Naito finally touching for the first time since the G1 Finals is reached, Tetsuya leaning heavily on his mind games whilst Takagi simply throws mean bombs, adamant to finally prove he’s better than his leader. Not overexposing their strategies too much, the match ultimately sees Naito nail Titan with the Destino to win, once more having the last laugh over Shingo!
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Yota Tsuji & Titan) (17:20)
In a final press conference heading into Wrestle Kingdom 18, Takagi and Naito share their thoughts on the upcoming match. Shingo declares that NJPW is no longer about Tetsuya, who squandered countless valuable opportunities between Takagi losing and regaining the title, those matches proving his days are over. He may not be the archetype Okada is, he may not be the fan favourite Naito is, he may not be the international star Ospreay is, but damn it, he doesn’t care for any of that. He's walking into New Japan’s biggest show of the year as champion, and he’s walking out of it as champion, simple as.
As for Naito, he muses that this could very well be his last moment in the Sun, the result of the match dictating the direction his career goes. Either he wins and reclaims his spot atop NJPW, getting to have the run the pandemic robbed him of. Or he loses on the grandest stage and leaves with nothing… but that’s not happening. He’s beaten Shingo both times they’ve fought and he doesn’t plan on dropping the third. But that’s not just because the title’s on the line. It’s the topic Shingo’s smartly chosen to avoid speaking on. He’d be a fool to think his spot isn’t under threat. EVIL betrayed him. SANADA did too. There’s nothing stopping Shingo from doing it either… so it’s up to him to chop down the Hydra before the issue persists. He loves LIJ and he loves Shingo, but this moment is about him and everything he’s sacrificed, so he asks Takagi to not take it to heart when Naito takes what’s long overdue his.
Wrestle Kingdom 18 (January 4, 2024)
Also on the show: NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb (c) vs Ren Narita NJPW World Television Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs Taichi IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: KUSHIDA (c) vs Mike Bailey PAC vs Hiromu Takahashi IWGP Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (c) vs TMDK IWGP United States Championship: Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Will Ospreay Kazuchika Okada vs Kaito Kiyomiya III
Shingo Takagi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito III - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
As blockbuster as it gets on the Tokyo Dome stage, two LIJ members close out the night for the very first time in Naito’s home city! Two men that go back to their days together in high school, none of that matters now, the title all they care about. Dressed to the nines, Naito emerges from a helicopter like a true Ingobernable, sporting a black suit to represent his Dark Ace persona, an entire army of LIJ supporters backing him from the stage.
Before their first match, Naito declared he wanted to face a Shingo that could feasibly take LIJ from him and now more than ever he’s going to get it, but perhaps should be careful what he wishes for. Winning their past two matches, all he needs to do is replicate the feat one more time. Speak of the champ, Takagi emerges from the mouth of a Dragon’s lair, fireballs rising along the stage, Shingo in an all red regal fit, ready to spill blood. Losing to Okada two years ago when he was in this position, it’s about redemption for him and proving to his leader the future of LIJ is now, old man.
Once Naito slowly strips down out of his suit and Shingo sheds his skin, handing over the strap, the January 4 main event gets underway! It’s typical Naito behaviour from the jump, stalling for the opening minute as both men absorb the feel of the cheering crowd, split down the middle between the ways LIJ could go. Shingo’s stoic whilst Tetsuya smirks, sending some words Takagi’s way, before raising the LIJ fist! But Shingo rocks him with a jab!
A quick feeling out process sees Shingo gain the momentary upper hand off a rough Shoulder Tackle, only to turn into a Flying Forearm Smash from Naito! Tetsuya goes wild on Takagi with blows, the Dragon simply absorbing them, shaking them off and letting out a roar after another Shoulder Tackle! But Naito skids off the mat this time and recovers into his Tranquilo Pose instead, drawing the ire of Takagi!
Shingo smacks him with a boot to the cheek, backing Naito into the corner where he goes ham with piston strikes to the body, a CORNER BOMBER whiplashing Naito’s head against the turnbuckle! Swiping out the legs, he mocks Naito’s “Abre Los Ojos” taunt, going for Tetsuya’s COMBINACION CABRON! Naito has it scouted however, stopping the closing Mule Kick by snapping Takagi against the top rope with a SWINGING NECKBREAKER! TORNADO DDT crunches him on his dome, Shingo kicking out at 2!
Firing up, Takagi demands for more, Naito shrugging as he teases another Flying Forearm Smash, only to slip behind into the POLVO DE ESTRELLA COVER! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT! Shingo doesn’t even have time to chew Naito out for doing the complete opposite as asked, instantly being rolled into a SICK DRAGON SUPLEX ON THE DRAGON! Takagi clutches his neck as Naito grins at him, now following up with a COMBINACION CABRON of his own, telling Shingo not to steal if he can’t take the fire himself!
Takagi dazed, Naito scales up top for a MISSILE DROPKICK- TAKAGI TURNS HIM INSIDE-OUT MIDAIR WITH A PUMPING BOMBER!!! NOSHIGAMI! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT! Battering him with a Pumping Combo, chops and punches blister and bruise Tetsuya’s body, before a HIGH-ANGLE GERMAN DROPS HIM ON HIS NECK!!! Shingo looks satisfied with himself as he sits in his cross-legged pose… BUT NAITO RISES UP BEHIND HIM!
Rolling Wheel Kick to the back of the head snaps Takagi out of dream state as Tetsuya rallies with a series of forearms, before testing his luck with a PUMPING BOMBER OF HIS OWN! SHINGO SHRUGS IT OFF, PISSED! Realising he messed up, Naito tries to escape the Dragon’s wrath, but Shingo grabs him by the trunks to pull him back into a MADE IN JAPAN attempt! Tetsuya frantically fights free with back elbows to the neck, ONLY TO BE SPUN AROUND INTO A DRAGON SOUL LARIAT, NAITO ROCKED TO HIS CORE!
Naito collapsing outside, a TOPE CON HILO wipes him out! Shingo ragdolls his stablemate about ringside, hurling him from post-to-pillar, though a GUARDRAIL POWERBOMB is countered into a NECKBREAKER ON THE STEEL! ESPERANZA ON THE FLOOR BY NAITO! Shingo nursing the neck, Naito tosses him in and recovers for a moment, before heading up top, CONNECTING THE MISSILE DROPKICK! AND A GLORIA!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOO!!!
Shingo in the drop zone, Naito teases the RUNNING DESTINO, but Takagi catches him, TRYING FOR A FIRE THUNDER DRIVER!!! Tetsuya scrabbles like a cat falling out a tree, whacking Shingo in the nose with his boot to free himself! A stiff forearm connects with the damaged neck, but as Naito goes for a German, Takagi beats it and folds him with a SAITO SUPLEX! LEGEND FALCONRY CONNECTS!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NAITO SURVIVES!!!
Tetsuya in a dream state, Shingo clubs him with clotheslines, a YUKON LARIAT cleaning him off his feet! Grabbing him by the scruff, Takagi pulls him up… HOOKING AN STO, WANTING EVERYTHING IS EVIL!!! His cheeky smirk is wiped off by an EYE RAKE though, Naito furiously exploding with punches and a mouthful of SPIT in Shingo’s face, showing what he thinks of LIJ’s first traitor!
Knocking Shingo down with his own lariat, he sets up a SWING DESTINO, but Takagi grabs his leg! Naito tries to fight him off, though Shingo’s too powerful, yanking him into a draped position in the ropes! Heading to the adjacent corner, he climbs as Naito pulls himself up in hopes of freeing himself… COAST-TO-COAST BOMBER NAILS NAITO!!! MADE IN JAPAN!!! ONE! TWO! THR-ANOTHER CLOSE CALL!!!
Shingo roars, setting up the LAST OF THE DRAGON- NAITO COUNTERS INTO A SURPRISE DESTINO!!! Takagi crashing on the bad neck, he’s jelly-legged as Tetsuya bumrushes him with forearms, though as he kneels to counter another DESTINO, Naito dumps him with a GERMAN INSTEAD! AND A RUNNING DESTINOOOOOOOOO!!! ONE! TWO! THR-SHINGO GETS THE SHOULDER UP!!! Naito cracks Takagi with headbutts, but it only angers the bull, who launches one back despite the neck!
Tetsuya winces and smirks through the pain, knowing this hurts Shingo more than him, the Dragon remaining prideful with each counter headbutt, UNTIL A POISONED FRANKENSTEINER SPIKES HIM! SKULL END!!! Naito’s embracing the trauma! Keeping it in deep for a few moments as Takagi struggles, Tetsuya promptly lets go and looks at the turnbuckles… RAISING HIS FIST TO THE SKY, HE WANTS A STARDUST PRESS!!! Shades of his matches with Okada in the Dome, Naito goes for the Hail Mary… IT MISSES!!! TAKAGI GETS HIM UP FOR A LAST OF THE DRAGON!!! HE FINALLY HITS IT AFTER FAILING BOTH PAST MATCHES!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Takagi’s taken aback, certain it was the piece of the equation he’d been missing. Angered, he knocks his own brutal forearms into Naito’s non-existent neck, an AXE BOMBER KNOCKING HIM DOWN! Naito gasping for air, a SICKENING DRAGON SOUL LARIAT follows! Now staggered himself, he throws wild, yet feeble shots, missing Shingo each time as he pops up his foe. Looking him dead in the eyes, Shingo hits off the ropes once, twice, thrice… PUMPING BOMBERRRRRRRRRRRRR!!! Scooping him up for another LAST OF THE DRAGON… NAITO COUNTERS WITH A VALENTIA!!!
Both men down, Tokyo goes nuts as they slowly pull themselves up using each other, butting heads! Trading blows again, a Dragon Soul rocks Naito, BUT HE THROWS ONE BACK! AND A FOREARM! A HEADBUTT! Naito runs the ropes, but so does Shingo, once, twice, thrice, TORNADO DD- PUMPING BOMBER!!! Grabbing the wrist from behind, TAKAGI WANTS THE RIPCORD BOMBER!!! BUT NAITO WITH A DESTINOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOO!!!
Now Naito’s in shock, mere inches from the win! Seeing his hometown on their feet for him, new life rushes through him, nodding to himself as he sets up again the DESTINO! Shingo throws his body weight forwards though, both men collapsing to the apron! Trading punches, it’s the HEADBUTT which subdues Takagi, his neck in sheer agony! AND NOW NAITO WANTS THE APRON DESTINO INSTEAD… SHINGO SHOVES HIM OFF! APRON CANADIAN DESTROYER!!! REVENGE FOR THE 2019 G1!!!
Naito’s eyes are glazed over, all the years of abuse to his own neck catching up to him! Takagi hoists him up, seating him on the turnbuckle, before raising his own fist skywards! Meeting Tetsuya up there, who gives one last fight with forearms to the neck, a DRAGON SOUL silences him! Grabbing the wrist, Shingo picks him up on top of the world… STAY DREAM!!! ONE! TWO! THREE!!!
Shingo Takagi (c) def. Tetsuya Naito to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (40:40)
It’s over. Once more, Naito’s championship dreams have been shattered into stardust as Takagi finally scores the win that’s eluded him throughout his NJPW run! Tokyo’s a stunned silence as they watch Shingo be handed his title, holding his hand high as Tetsuya lays still on the mat. Is Naito truly finished? LIJ pour out, Hiromu and BUSHI rushing to check on the Stardust Genius, while Yota and Titan check on Takagi as he suddenly stumbles back into the corner, clutching his neck.
As Naito’s helped to his feet, there’s a standstill between the two halves of LIJ as they stare each other down, intensity stemming from Shingo and Naito. Takagi pushes Yota and Titan aside, stepping forward whilst nursing his neck, Naito doing the same, butting heads with the Dragon again! …But then a smirk appears on Naito’s face, raising high the LIJ fist! And Shingo smirks back, raising his own to meet it! AND THEY EMBRACE!
What was thought to be the war that could fracture LIJ in half forever has only brought its two strongest members closest together! Grabbing a mic, Naito congratulates Shingo for finally beating him. He knew this day would eventually come, and he couldn’t be prouder of his friend. Though this loss stings him, the journey is never over him, and rest assured, he’ll be coming back for the throne, rested and healthy again, Naito winking at Takagi as he says so, who reciprocates with an inviting grin.
But right now is not about him. In fact, he may not even be long for the wrestling world with the condition his neck and knees are in. That’s why he’d like to make an announcement. From henceforth, he’s no longer the sole leader of LIJ. He wants Shingo to lead beside him! Takagi’s stunned by the offer, but Naito insists, explaining that though EVIL and SANADA were corrupted by greed for power, it was never about that to him. LIJ is his family, and he only wants what’s best for them. If that means Takagi calling the shots when he’s unable to, he’ll do that. Shingo gives him a bow of acceptance!
LIJ all smiles, united stronger than ever, Naito beckons them all to the centre of the ring, before gesturing to Takagi to cement his leadership by doing the roll-call! Takagi nodding, he accepts the mic from him and raises his fist to the sky as everyone follows… but right as he’s about to speak, the crowd bursts into gasps which catches Shingo’s attention, as OUT WALKS PAC!!!
Having hunted down and beaten LIJ members since his loss to Shingo, he snarls as he stalks his way to the ring, LIJ falling into defensive position! Stepping inside, he looks them left to right, scowling at their clenched fists, before raising his mic. He says that ever since he set foot in NJPW at the G1 Climax, he’s been a man possessed with his goal to take what he’s been deprived of. He stomped out Naito, he stole Shingo’s belt, he just beat Hiromu earlier in the night… yet none of that has left him satisfied the way he thought it would. It had him thinking the question – why?
And then he realised. LIJ isn’t the enemy. They’re misfits, just like him. Oppressed, just like him. He banded together Death Triangle in the face of The Elite, but now, he seeks a far greater position. With contract negotiations having come up, his 5-year AEW deal finally expiring, he’s opted for one that’ll allow him to work both AEW and NJPW, covering his bases so he doesn’t go unbooked anymore. And with these recent matches causing him to gain respect for the Ingobernables and their unrestrained manner of operations, he knows from experience that if you wish to rise to the top in Japan… it’s good to have allies. Tossing his mic aside, PAC RAISES HIS FIST TO THE SKY!
LIJ’s taken aback by the gesture from the Bastard that’s almost tried to tear them apart in the past months as much as they have themselves… BUT SHINGO RECIPROCATES TO HIS DRAGONGATE BROTHER! AND NOW HIROMU! YOTA! TITAN! BUSHI! AND NAITO!!! Raising his mic back up, Shingo declares “TITAN! BUSHI! TSUJI! HIROMU! NAITO! PAC! Y SHINGO! NOSOTROS… LOS INNNNGOBERRRNAAAABLESSSSSSS DE JA-PON!!!”. Tickertape explodes from the turnbuckles as Tokyo erupts into cheers, LIJ closing the show a united family again!
New Year Dash!! (January 5, 2024)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito, PAC, Yota Tsuji, Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI) vs Sabre-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., El Phantasmo, TMDK, El Desperado, Kosei Fujita)
As usual, the night after Wrestle Kingdom is rife with excitement and new beginnings, and at the centre of it all lies the age-old rivalry between LIJ and Zack Sabre Jr.! Fresh off losing his Television Championship to Taichi after a year-long reign, he immediately sets his sights on the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, a victory here sure to propel him to the top. And with LIJ finally back to being a cohesive, functioning family again, their redefined chemistry is put up to the test here.
Batting off the initial concerns of another blow-up, the rebels have never been more in sync than now under Naito and Shingo’s shared guidance, the added element of PAC only further helping than hindering. Still, Sabre-Gun is menacing, a driven Sabre sicking his troops on the opposition like the masterful general he is, yet to his annoyance, the crowd remain enamoured by the Bastard, who taps out Fujita to the Brutaliser as he stares down the Technical Wizard, sending a statement!
Los Ingobernables de Japon def. Sabre-Gun (18:07)
Whilst ZSJ throws a fit, promising LIJ they haven’t seen the last of him as he leaves with Sabre-Gun, LIJ raise their fists to the sky with Shingo returning the favour from last night by letting Naito do the roll-call this time, grins all around. That is… until the coin drops. HERE COMES OKADA! Turning to Naito, Shingo gives him the nod that he’s got this sorted, Tetsuya tipping his cap back and taking LIJ away with him to give the two space as the rivals lock eyes.
Mic in hand, Okada runs down Shingo, calling his reign an insult to NJPW, despising the Dragon’s prideful embracement of his Dragongate past when he should be representing their company. With Okada’s trilogy against Kaito finished in his favour, playtime’s over and the Rainmaker’s come back knocking for his crown, having beaten Shingo in the G1. Shingo, remembering how his last reign ended… accepts! Butting heads with Okada, he warns him he’s even more dangerous now, so he shouldn’t expect to walk away with his gold this time.
Wrestle Kingdom 18 in Yokohama Arena (January 21, 2024)
Shingo Takagi (c) vs Kazuchika Okada VI - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
In the past year, Okada’s descent into madness has seen embark on an emerald voyage to kill off any outsider or youngster eyeballing his spot, even brutally exiling members from CHAOS to reshape it into men who fit his regime. Seeing Takagi as low-life scum, he’s adamant to ‘fix’ NJPW again so that his efforts from last year don’t go to waste, knowing the continued deviance LIJ’s control will cause from his ‘purer’ path. Shingo, on the other hand, has been collecting milestones, from finally beating Ospreay for the title, to finally knocking off Naito to affirm his spot at LIJ’s top and win a January 4 main event to redeem his loss two years prior against the man who now stands in his way again, the only natural next bucket list item hence being beating Okada back on the WK stage.
A gruelling war over New Japan’s vision spans over the next half hour (akin to the classic they’d actually have at New Beginning 2023), Okada mercilessly dumping Shingo over and over again on the neck Naito had loosened up, whilst Takagi holds his own more than he ever has in the past, blistering the Ace with lariats that leave welts all over! The first RAINMAKER hits like a gunshot though, damn near taking Shingo out, yet he keeps fighting through the damaged neck! MADE IN JAPAN has Okada rethinking his decisions to challenge, and a STAY DREAM tease almost gets him!
A vicious TOMBSTONE drills him on the floor though, sending spasms down from his neck to his limbs, another RAINMAKER pushing him to his last legs! As Okada preps one final one… TAKAGI NAILS HIS OWN RIPCORD BOMBER!!! The FIRE THUNDER DRIVER now has Kazu reeling himself, and a LAST OF THE DRAGON scores a mighty near-fall! OKADA RESPONDS WITH ONE OF HIS OWN, GETTING SHINGO BACK FOR THE RIPCORD!!! Inching closer and closer to the vaunted third Rainmaker, Okada has Shingo’s neck in dire straits with the Money Clip, but as he finally swings… TAKAGI CATCHES IT! ANOTHER LAST OF THE DRAGON!!! ONE! TWO! THREE!!!
Shingo Takagi (c) def. Kazuchika Okada to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (32:07)
Despite the odds stacked against him, Shingo’s managed to tie his score against Okada, 3-3, avenging his WK heartbreak from 2022, whilst Kazu’s grip on New Japan continues to falter, the ungovernables wrecking his ideal world. Refusing to let them slip however, LIJ and CHAOS continue to feud into the New Beginning tour, where a massive tag is set up pitting Shingo & Naito against Okada & Tanahashi!
The New Beginning in Sapporo - Night Two (January 28, 2024)
Also on the tour: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: CHAOS (SHO & Taiji Ishimori) (c) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs KENTA - IWGP United States Championship
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs CHAOS (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada)
With Hiromu & BUSHI dethroning SHO & Taiji last night, matters are even more tense now in the power struggle between the stables. Endless shared history between these four men, it clearly shows with the animosity they greet each other with, Takagi and Okada continuing their war from Yokohama as Naito continues to drift further every day from the man he used to resemble in Tanahashi.
Tetsuya manages to get some well-earned revenge against the man who withheld the World Title from him throughout 2022, Okada, a Destino/Bomber showing Naito and Takagi to be fully in tune again, but when a Twist and Shout to Shingo’s neck takes him out, it’s down to Naito and Tanahashi again! Tetsuya trying to recover some momentum to speed up his rise back to challenging Shingo, he gives Hiroshi his all, though the Dragon Screws prove too much for his bad knees, a TEXAS CLOVERLEAF submitting him!
CHAOS def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (21:15)
With Tanahashi’s win over the LIJ leader duo, he calls out Shingo in a post-show interview, saying it’s been 3 years since he’s had a chance to challenge for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, his last match notably enough coming against Shingo himself. He’s not getting any younger as it seems and he wants nothing more than one last run at the top… so for the sake of sparing the company he broke his back for the past two decades from LIJ’s undesirable direction, he wishes to bring gold back to CHAOS! Record level 1-1 between the two, Takagi fearlessly accepts, setting up a blockbuster showdown for Osaka!
The New Beginning in Osaka (February 10, 2024)
Also on the show: KUSHIDA (c) vs YOH - IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship TMDK (c) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (PAC & Yota Tsuji) - IWGP Tag Team Championship Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) (c) vs CHAOS (SHO & Taiji Ishimori) vs SixorNine (Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi) - IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship
Shingo Takagi (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi III - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
3 years ago on the New Beginning tour, Shingo and Tanahashi met for the first time, the Ace of the Universe taking the NEVER Openweight Championship from him, before Takagi returned the favour 6 months later, keeping the World Title from Hiroshi. Now, in a war of ideologies, they settle the score! Even at 47, Tana’s flamboyant as ever in his entrance, turning back the clocks with a full rockstar entrance as women swoon over the Japanese God. Shingo’s comparatively humble in his entrance, glaring taped-up neck keeping his head bowed, yet nostrils flaring, ready for battle.
It's a classic Tanahashi start, slapping on the headlock to grind down his foe, only now it means that much more with the condition of Shingo’s neck. As Hiroshi reaches for Takagi’s tape, Shingo butts into his chest with his shoulder to shove him off and fires up a Pumping Combo! Chop, punch, chop, punch, chop, punc- DRAGON-STYLE HARITE FROM TANA KNOCKS THE TASTE OUT OF SHINGO’S MOUTH! Takagi doubled over, Hiroshi hammers elbows into his exposed neck, a Low Dropkick cutting him down and a Neckbreaker flooring him for 2!
Heading to the middle rope, a SOMERSAULT SENTON BOMB is evaded, Tana crashing on his back! Now Shingo blasts him with the ground and pound! A Knee Drop sits Hiroshi up, before a SLIDING D knocks him back down for 2! Whipping Tana into the corner, a CORNER BOMBER heads his way like a missile, but a Big Boot and a HIGH FLY ATTACK cuts him off, before Tana strums the air guitar!
He grabs the waist, but a Snap DDT stops him, an ORIGINAL FALCONRY from Shingo slamming him down! Beating Tana’s chest like a drum, he guillotines him in the ropes with a PUMPING BREAKER! A Gallon Throw attempt follows, but Tana spins around into a FALL IN LOVE PIN! ONE! TWO! THR-KICK OUT! And before Shingo can do anything, Hiroshi nails the head with a Low Dropkick! HASE-STYLE URANAGE SPIKES HIM ON HIS NECK!!!
Hurt, Takagi collapses to the outside, prompting Tana to spear the Dragon into the guardrail with a DRAGON ROCKET! Climbing the ropes, Hiroshi measures for a HIGH FLY FLOW- CAUGHT ON SHINGO’S SHOULDERS!!! DEATH VALLEY BOMB ON THE FLOOR!!! The back that once carried NJPW now sears in agony as Takagi rolls him in, a SOL DE JAPON CONNECTING! Smacking a Dragon Soul Lariat off him, a HIGH-ANGLE BELLY-TO-BACK SUPLEX DROPS TANA! ONE! TWO! THR-NO DICE!
Loading the Ace of the Universe onto his shoulders, he nails a BUCKLE BOMB… BUT TANA EXPLODES BACK WITH A SLING BLADE!!! Both downed for a moment, Tana beats a Yukon Lariat with a SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX! Shingo seeing stars, Tana grabs him for another, but Takagi desperately fights him off, ONLY FOR A DARUMA-SHIKI GERMAN SUPLEX TO FLOOR HIM!!! ONE! TWO! THR-SHINGO STAYS IN!
Tana tries to get a hold of the neck, but Takagi turtles and kicks him away, prompting Tana to secure the leg instead, connecting a DRAGON SCREW! Shingo hobbling to his feet, a TWIST AND SHOUT awaits him! Hiroshi rolls through for seconds, but now Takagi grabs his leg and RETURNS A DRAGON SCREW!!! Tana’s famously bad knees give way, Shingo now with free reign to stomp the chest, before hoisting him into a MICHINOKU DRIVER II! Heading up, he winds up the DIVING BOMBER, but taking too long, Tana cuts him off!
Beating on Shingo’s exposed neck, he drapes him from the top rope… AND SNAPS HIM INTO A VICIOUS DRAGON SCREW NECK WHIP!!! Takagi’s head damn near popping off, Tana quickly grabs a DRAGON SLEEPER and starts swinging him around Giant Swing style! Slamming him into the mat after 10 rotations, Tana glides up top… NAILING THE HIGH FLY FLOW!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Securing the wrists, Tana goes for a RYUGOYE like last time… TAKAGI CATCHES IT! MADE IN JAPAN!!! Hiroshi smartly rolls away to the ropes before Takagi can cover though, leaving both men to nurse their wounds. Meeting in the middle, they bounce elbows off each other’s skulls, TANA CRACKING SHINGO WITH A HEADBUTT!!! TAKAGI RETURNS ONE, DROPPING HIROSHI!!! Battering the back, he tries for a LAST OF THE DRAGON- SLING BLADE FROM TANA!!!
As the Pumping Hawk rises, Tana cracks a swift TWIST AND SHOUT, before nailing ANOTHER SLING BLADE!!! Back turned to Takagi, Tanahashi’s confident he’s got him… BUT HE TURNS INTO A PUMPING BOMBER!!! Hiroshi rocked, Shingo hits the ropes a few times, before firing off a PUMPING BOMBER THAT TURNS HIM INSIDE OUT!!! Now grabbing the wrist, he teases the Ripcord variant, but Tana counters with the SLING BLADE!!!
Returning up top, Tana crashes into Shingo with a STANDING HIGH FLY FLOW!!! Going back up for seconds, he looks over his kingdom… but Takagi grabs his leg! Tana tries kicking him off, but Shingo pulls himself up, trading blows with Hiroshi! He eats a Headbutt to the neck but firms it, wrecking Tana’s back with punches… BEFORE NAILING AN AVALANCHE EXPLODER ’98!!! LAST OF THE DRAGON!!! ONE! TWO! THR-NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Gritting his teeth, Shingo winds the arm, going for a PUMPING BOMBER, but Tana just collapses under! Takagi stomps over to him, only to fall into a SMALL PACKAGE! ONE! TWO! THR-TAKAGI KICKS OUT! SLING BLADE!!! Tana attempts a BRAINBUSTER, but the back gives out, letting Takagi fall into the ropes and rebound with a PUMPING BOMBER!!! Securing the Double Hammerlock, he nails a TAKAGI DRIVER ’98!!! ONE! TWO! THR-TANAHASHI WITH A FOOT ON THE ROPES!!!
Shingo’s at a loss, but in this game of natural progression, he looks to replicate his WK success, smacking Dragon Souls off Tana, before another PUMPING BOMBER flooring him! Dragging him up the ropes with him, he wants the STAY DREAM… but it left his neck exposed, Tana raining down 12-6 elbows on it! Shingo forced to let go, he instead trades forearms with Hiroshi, but a HEADBUTT knocks him down this time into a prone position! Tana in perfect position, HE NAILS THE HIGH FLY FLOW TO THE BACK!!! Rolling Shingo over, Tana heads back up… HIGH FLY FLOW!!! ONE! TWO! THREE!!!
Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Shingo Takagi (c) to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship (35:36)
For the 9th time in his career, Tanahashi’s the World Champion! Shingo’s neck finally crumbling at his hands, the CHAOS regime is back on top! A remarkable reign from the Dragon, but he’s forced back into his cave. As Tana celebrates though, he doesn’t have to wait at all for competition to line up, KATSUYORI SHIBATA’S THEME HITTING! The fellow Three Musketeer losing his US Title earlier on the tour, he’s had a bone to pick with CHAOS for the past year since their exile of the likes of Goto, who have since been in his corner as part of the Takeover faction. The two long-time rivals staring each down, Tana raises his title with a grin, as Shibata returns a murderous look!
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2023.05.28 05:10 KirkHammettJigsaw Booking the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship From Wrestle Kingdom 17 Part IV Can We Give Hunter Maguire The World Title?
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Will Ospreay has gone through many of his past foes. He’s gone through Zack Sabre Jr., he’s gone through Hiroshi Tanahashi, he’s gone through Hiromu Takahashi, he’s gone through Bryan Danielson, he’s gone through Kenny Omega. But now, he has to go through one of the hardest things that any wrestler can ever go through: The G1 Climax. It’s the 34th G1 Climax right now, and there’s nineteen other wrestlers that are gunning for The Commonwealth Kingpin, looking to steal away his crown. So, let’s take a look at this absolute murderer’s row of folks, shall we?
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: He’s The Ace, man. No matter how many miles are on him, no matter how many losses he takes, Hiroshi Tanahashi is still one of the biggest threats on the entire roster. That pure babyface power can knock any man down and can captivate any crowd, and given the fact that Tana may not have too many G1 Climaxes left, he’ll want to make this one count.
- Tetsuya Naito: A little older, a little slower, but still one of the best. Tetsuya Naito on a bad day is still better than most people on their best day, but this is New Japan Pro Wrestling, and if you want to be the champion, you can’t get by on anything less than your best. The leader of Los Ingonerables de Japon is still very capable. Is he still World Championship calibre?
- SANADA: SANADA has flirted with the upper echelon of NJPW for quite a while now, but if he wants to break through, his best bet is to do it sooner rather than later. The Cold Skull needs a hot streak, and he’s looking to find it in G1 Climax 34.
- Zack Sabre Jr.: The Front Man is a front runner in the G1 Climax, but despite being a dangerous match for every single person in the company, he still hasn’t won a G1 or been the World Champion. As a faction leader, ZSJ wants to be able to portray himself as the cream of the crop, and show that The Mighty truly Don’t Kneel. This is his chance to prove it.
- Taichi: He’s the most deceptively dangerous man in all of professional wrestling. Taichi manages to get a few big wins every year, in every single G1 Climax that he participates in. The issue is that he’s never been able to get enough of them in a single tournament. He’s the best singer in the entire block by a country mile, but can the former Dangerous Tekker prove to put together a record as golden as his voice?
- Yota Tsuji: Still a relative newcomer, Yota Tsuji has had over a year to grow accustomed to the Heavyweight scene in NJPW. While it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses for Yota, he’s become a legitimate threat, and he’s a trap match for anybody in the block. Nobody should be taking him lightly. Can he do the unthinkable and win it all? Anything can happen.
- EVIL: The third man to have wrestled under the LIJ banner in the A Block, EVIL is a former World Champion, but his run in the House of Torture hasn’t exactly lived up to that standard. He’s got the skill, but can he put everything together and return to his old form?
- Hirooki Goto: After getting snubbed and not included in last year’s G1 Climax, Hirooki Goto, a former winner of the tournament, is back in the ranks. He wasn’t too happy about being left out last year, and he’s looking to prove exactly why he should have been there. He’s one of the best to never win the big one, but who knows? Maybe Hirooki Goto’s big one is this year.
- Tomohiro Ishii: He’s everybody’s favourite 141 STONE PITBULL BITE HARD STRONG 141, but Tomohiro Ishii didn’t exactly light up last year’s G1 Climax. If he underperforms again, the guaranteed banger alert may not even be a factor in next year’s G1. This is the Dog’s potential last shot at staying afloat in the callous waters of New Japan.
- KENOH: A Block’s surprise entrant is coming straight from Pro Wrestling NOAH! The leader of KONGO has made his way over to NJPW for this tournament, looking to poach the company’s greatest prize away. Plus, KONGO’s history with Los Ingonerables de Japon is not a very friendly one, and with three current and former LIJ members in this block, KENOH is looking to spoil some tournaments.
- Will Ospreay: He’s the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion for a reason, and that reason is that he’s simply the best (RIP Tina Turner). The Commonwealth Kingpin has been running shit in NJPW, having classic match after classic match, but that kind of pace takes a toll on a man. Can the Billy G.O.A.T. continue this insane run and perhaps even win the G1 as the champion?
- Kazuchika Okada: The NJPW main event scene is an ever-shifting landscape. Factions born, they die, Young Lions come up and replace the veterans that came before them. There are one-hit wonders, has-beens, never-weres, and mainstays, but it seems like throughout the years, there has been one constant, and that’s Kazuchika Okada. The Rainmaker never goes away, and even without gold around his waist, some still see him as the man to beat in this G1.
- Shingo Takagi: The Last Dragon has had a couple of shots at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in the past couple of years, but he has been unable to make them count. Still one of the most dangerous men in wrestling, and a former World Champ to boot, he’s one of the biggest threats in the entire tournament. He just has to break through that barrier and become the best wrestler in the company, instead of just ONE of the best.
- Great-O-Khan: The second United Empire representative in this block, GOK had himself a starmaking run in the New Japan Cup this year, but he fell just short of winning the whole thing, losing in the finals to Hiroshi Tanahashi. He definitely looked like the type to win a tournament, though, and maybe this is the one.
- Ren Narita: STRONG STYLE has been humming along this year, maybe just a touch quieter than they had hoped, but Ren Narita is the current NJPW Television Champion, and this right here is a chance for him to extend his list of accolades even further. His young career would get a huge boost from this, and he definitely has the talent to pull it off.
- Shota Umino: Shooter has spent a lot of the past couple of months in AEW, working closely with Jon Moxley and the Blackpool Combat Club, and he’s coming into this one seeming a little bit meaner than usual. A win for him would be a testament to the BCC’s ability to form prospects into stars.
- David Finlay: If there’s anybody that seems close to breaking through, it’s David Finlay. He’s the leader of the most marketable stable in wrestling, he’s put together some solid runs in various tournaments, and he’s even the current KOPW Champ. He just hasn’t put all the pieces together, but this tournament could be his moment.
- Tama Tonga: The Good Guy.
- El Phantasmo: Phantasmo still holds a grudge against Bullet Club after they forcibly removed him, and he is currently aligned with Bullet Club Gold. Even though he’s a Junior Heavyweight, a brawl with Bullet Club Black and White on AEW programming motivated him to enter the G1 Climax, if only to take a win off of David Finlay.
- Claudio Castagnoli: If Shota Umino wasn’t enough, the Blackpool Combat Club has sent their strongest member, their baldest member, their smartest member, Claudio Castagnoli! The King of Swing is a physical specimen, basically tailor-made for a taxing tournament such as the G1 Climax.
G1 CLIMAX 34
We kick off G1 Climax 34 with a fun contest between Hirooki Goto and Taichi. Goto manages to claim victory in his return to the G1, but SANADA isn’t as lucky, because he falls to KENOH, the NOAH invader. Yota Tsuji opens up his tournament campaign with a bang, beating EVIL, and Tanahashi does the same with a win over Ishii in an absolute banger. In the main event, Zack Sabre Jr. submits Tetsuya Naito, leaving him in a heap while he cuts a cocky promo to close the show.
KENOH allows his momentum from Night One to carry over here, defeating EVIL, while Taichi bounces back and picks up his first win against SANADA. ZSJ forces Hirooki Goto to tap out, and Tana gets another two points, pinning Yota Tsuji in a hard-fought match. Ishii gets held to zero points once again, suffering a loss at the hands of Naito.
Night Five sees Goto put a stop to KENOH’s undefeated run so far, taking him out and getting his fourth point. EVIL beats Ishii once again, and Ishii shows visible frustration after the match. SANADA gets past Tsuji, and Taichi manages to reverse all of his former partner’s submissions, pinning ZSJ and handing him his first loss! In the main event, Tetsuya Naito beats Tanahashi with two Destinos. Naito, ZSJ, Taichi, Goto, KENOH and Tanahashi all have four points. SANADA, EVIL, and Yota have two. Ishii has none.
Ishii finally gets a win, beating Yota Tsuji, and SANADA beats Zack Sabre Jr. EVIL manages to get past Taichi, and KENOH gives himself absolutely zero chance of endearing himself to the New Japan crowd, knocking Tanahashi out to beat him! In the main event, Naito just barely manages to beat Goto in an instant classic.
ZSJ submits EVIL in the opening contest, and in the second match, SANADA improves to six points with a win over Goto. Yota Tsuji bounces back from his disappointing recent run and gets a HUGE win over Tetsuya Naito, holding The Ungovernable One to six points! Ishii gets his second win, and it’s a big win, because it’s over KENOH the outsider, and in the main event, Taichi gets past Tanahashi to put himself at six points as well!
Up first is a battle between two former LIJ members, tag partners at that, EVIL and SANADA. It’s close, but EVIL takes the W here. Zack Sabre Jr. gets past Tomohiro Ishii, and Tanahashi does the same against Hirooki Goto. Yota Tsuji picks up his second big win in a row, putting Taichi down. Finally, in the main event, Tetsuya Naito picks up a win over KENOH, which leaves him tied for first with ZSJ.
Tonight, Tomohiro Ishii gets an upset victory over SANADA, and Tanahashi gets a not-so-upset victory over EVIL. Sabre gets to ten points, forcing KENOH to tap out, and Yota Tsuji gets to eight with a win over Goto. Finally, in the main event, Naito keeps up with ZSJ by beating Taichi to hit ten points as well.
KENOH beats Yota Tsuji, taking out his frustrations after a tournament that didn’t go as planned for the leader of KONGO. Taichi defeats Ishii in a banger of a match, and Goto gets a win over EVIL. Naito hits twelve points with a win over SANADA, and ZSJ hits twelve in the main event with a huge win over Hiroshi Tanahashi. Heading into the last night of A Block, it’s a two horse race, with ZSJ and Naito each having twelve points. If they finish with the same amount of points, Sabre will win the block, because he holds the tiebreaker victory over Naito.
Ishii and Goto have a crowd-pleasing old man match, with Goto going over, and SANADA beats Tanahashi, a big win to salvage his failure of a tourney. KENOH comes in pissed, and decides to go back to NOAH with a scalp, as he knocks Taichi out with a Roundhouse in a match with plenty of kicks. EVIL would love nothing more than to dash Tetsuya Naito’s hopes of winning the block, but that doesn’t happen, as Naito gets past him. Only one match left. Zack Sabre Jr. has to get past Yota Tsuji if he wants to advance to the finals. Throughout the match, he punishes Yota, twisting him into a pretzel, but Tsuji refuses to tap out! The clock starts ticking, and The Front Man is nervous! A minute left, and Yota is close to tapping out in an Octopus Hold! He’s starting to fade…BUT THE BELL SOUNDS TO SIGNIFY A DRAW! TETSUYA NAITO HAS WON HIS BLOCK BY A SINGLE POINT! He rushes down to the ring to celebrate his A Block victory, and he takes the time to go up to Yota. He hands Tsuji an LIJ shirt! Yota ponders for a moment…AND PUTS IT ON! LIJ HAS EXPANDED ITS RANKS!
We’re kicking things off with a super strong opener between Claudio Castagnoli and El Phantasmo. Phantasmo does well, but seems out of his depth against a bigger guy, and Claudio picks up two points. After that, David Finlay beats Tama Tonga, proclaiming BC Supremacy. Will Ospreay and Great-O-Khan face off in a UE vs. UE match, and the World Champ gets the W. Okada starts off hot with a victory over Shota, and Shingo beats Narita in a banger in the main event.
Shota Umino kicks off B Block’s second night of action with a win over Tama Tonga, while El Phantasmo gets a huge victory for BC Gold by defeating Bullet Club’s leader, David Finlay. Ren Narita gets a big win over Castagnoli, and Okada beats O-Khan. In a huge main event, Shingo Takagi beats the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Will Ospreay, with just two minutes remaining!
Great-O-Khan gets his first win in the G1 in the opener, beating the TV Champion Ren Narita, while Shingo stays undefeated against David Finlay. Okada runs through Tama Tonga, a man on a mission to regain the prize he believes to be his. Ospreay defeats Phantasmo, and in a BCC vs. BCC contest, Claudio gets past Umino, but congratulates him on a match well-fought.
Ren Narita picks up his second win of the tournament against David Finlay, and Tama Tonga gets his first against GOK. Shota nets one against El Phantasmo, and in a certified banger, Shingo maintains his spotless record, getting past The Swiss Superman. In our main event, we have a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom, as Okada and Ospreay face off! In one of the greatest G1 matches ever, Ospreay manages to pick up the win, capping off a great night.
David Finlay picks up a much-needed victory at the expense of Shooter Shota, while Will Ospreay gets through Ren Narita in a hard-fought contest. Okada beats El Phantasmo, Shingo beats Tama Tonga, and Great-O-Khan chokes out Claudio Castagnoli to close out the night.
After main eventing last time, GOK wins the opener against ELP. Claudo defeats David Finlay, and in a battle of the young guns, Narita squeaks out a win over Umino. Will Ospreay makes quick work of Tama Tonga, and in a HUGE main event, Shingo Takagi finally takes a loss, and it’s to none other than The Rainmaker! We have a three-way tie for first, between Ospreay, Okada and Takagi, each man sporting a 1-1 record against the other two.
El Phantasmo picks up a win over the TV Champion, Ren Narita, and Tama Tonga manages to secure a win over Castagnoli. Our core three of Okada, Takagi and Ospreay go undefeated today, with wins over Finlay, GOK and Shota, respectively. Two nights left, will things open up?
Ren Narita redeems himself for his loss last round, beating Tama Tonga tonight. Shota Umino, with Moxley’s tutelage, gets past Great-O-Khan. Will Ospreay improves to fourteen points, beating David Finlay, and Shingo does the same against El Phantasmo. In our final match of the night, Kazuchika Okada has a tough test in Claudio Castagnoli, but picks up the win! We head into our last night with a distinct possibility of a three-way tie, and a Fatal Four Way final.
Great-O-Khan defeats David Finlay to open the show, and El Phantasmo beats Tama Tonga in a battle of ex-BC guys. Let’s get to the tourney-deciding matches, though. Will Ospreay has a tough test in Claudio Castagnoli, and actually loses to him! If Okada wins his match against Ren Narita, then Ospreay is out, and Okada wins because he has the tiebreaker over Shingo. However, REN NARITA PULLS OFF THE UPSET OF A LIFETIME! He redeems himself for his loss to Okada last year, and it all comes down to Shingo Takagi and Shota Umino. Shingo is on pace to win the match and the block, but Claudio distracts the referee, Moxley hits Takagi with a Death Rider to help his protege out, and Umino gets the victory! WE HAVE A THREE-WAY TIE IN B BLOCK! ALL THREE ADVANCE TO THE FINALS AGAINST TETSUYA NAITO!
NJPW G1 Climax 34: Finals - August 8th, 2024 G1 Climax Finals: Kazuchika Okada vs. Shingo Takagi vs. Tetsuya Naito vs. Will Ospreay
We’ve got the first Fatal Four Way G1 final, and it’s between four former (one of them also current) IWGP World Heavyweight Champions. The match is a banger, which is to be expected with wrestlers of this calibre. None of them are used to multi-man matches, and Okada basically takes himself out of the match with a missed Tope Con Hilo that sends him crashing to the floor. Shingo and Ospreay go at it for a bit, and Ospreay goes for an Oscutter, but he’s caught with a PUMPING BOMBER TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! HE PICKS THE CHAMPION UP! MADE IN JAPAN! HE HITS IT! But before he can go for the cover, Takagi’s stablemate, Tetsuya Naito, sneaks up behind him and plants him with the DESTINOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! COVER! ONE…TWO…THREE! TETSUYA NAITO BLINDSIDED HIS OWN GUY, AND HE IS GOING TO THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLE KINGDOM 19!
Road To Royal Quest - Overview
In the lead-up to Royal Quest, the unique circumstances surrounding the G1 Climax set up two big main events for each night of the UK show. On the first night, Kazuchika Okada successfully managed to get himself a shot at the briefcase held by Tetsuya Naito, because in the Fatal Four Way, he was not pinned. Meanwhile, since Shingo Takagi beat Will Ospreay during the G1, he has earned himself a shot at Ospreay’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship in the main event.
In an interview with Weekly Pro Wrestling, Naito is asked who he’d like to face in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. After some hesitation, he explains that he’d like to face Ospreay, because he doesn’t want to have to take on his friend, and he likes the idea of being the one to end a year-long championship reign.
Royal Quest: Night One - September 14th, 2024 Kazuchika Okada vs. Tetsuya Naito (c) - G1 Climax Briefcase
In our Night One main event, Kazuchika Okada tries to win the right to challenge Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom, wanting to redeem himself for last year’s loss. Meanwhile, Naito does his very best to hang on to the briefcase that he earned, knowing that he has more career behind him than in front. He wants to maintain his chance at a final World Championship run. In this classic, both men reverse each other’s finishers for almost thirty minutes, but at the end, Naito manages to turn a Rainmaker attempt into a Destino, and he pulls the victory out of the fire! Tetsuya Naito def. Kazuchika Okada in 29:26 to retain the G1 Climax Briefcase
After the match, Shingo Takagi comes out to celebrate with his stablemate! He raises his arm…AND THEN LEVELS HIM WITH A LARIAT! The crowd reacts with shock, The Last Dragon just turned on a man that he’s known since childhood! He backs into the corner, lines up, and hits A BRUTAL PUMPING BOMBER! Picks him back up! MADE IN JAPAN, AND HE IMMEDIATELY GRABS NAITO’S BRIEFCASE AND STARTS SWINGING IT AT HIS SKULL! HE’S CAVING NAITO’S SKULL IN, THE BRIEFCASE IS STAINED WITH BLOOD, AND OFFICIALS FLOOD THE RING TO STOP THE ONSLAUGHT! Shingo Takagi will step into tomorrow night’s main event with a brand new attitude, and Tetsuya Naito’s blood on his hands.
Royal Quest: Night Two - September 15th, 2024 Shingo Takagi vs. Will Ospreay (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Shingo gets booed for the first time in forever, especially since he’s facing the hometown hero. Ospreay does his very best to put Takagi done, but it’s almost like The Last Dragon just doesn’t feel pain tonight! He eats an Oscutter and just pops right the fuck back up! He ducks a Hidden Blade and turns The Commonwealth Kingpin inside out with a Pumping Bomber! Ospreay manages to regain some control after a Stormbreaker on the outside, but Shingo connects with a huge Headbutt back inside, drags Ospreay to the top rope, and HITS A TOP ROPE MADE IN JAPAN! HOOKS THE LEG! ONE…TWO…THREE! The boos rain down, and Shingo Takagi will face Tetsuya Naito in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 19! Shingo Takagi def. Will Ospreay in 33:13 to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 19 Press Tour - Overview
In the build to the biggest show of the year, Shingo Takagi explains why he did what he did. First of all, he’s had more recent success than Tetsuya Naito has, so it didn’t make sense in the first place to follow Naito as his leader. In the G1 Finals, he snuck up behind Shingo. He could have pinned Ospreay, but CHOSE to disrespect him by pinning him. He brought Yota Tsuji into the fold without even consulting with the rest of LIJ. In his interview with Weekly Pro Wrestling, Naito said that he wanted to face Ospreay, because he didn’t want to fight his friend. Takagi tells him not to worry about it, because he won’t be facing a friend after all.
Naito is pissed. He says that he respects Takagi’s choice to be Ungovernable, but at the same time, he’s a hypocrite, because he’s angry at Naito’s choices! He’s mad that Naito was Ungovernable in his own right, and believes that only his own decisions are the right ones! Yota Tsuji got brought into the fold because she showed heart and honour, and if bringing in a man like that drives out a man like Shingo, then so be it! On the final press conference, the two of them push and shove, throwing chairs at each other while officials hold them apart!
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 19 - January 4th, 2025 Tetsuya Naito vs. Shingo Takagi (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
It’s the main event of the most important event of the year, and we have an absolute grudge match. Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito have known each other since before they were professional wrestlers, but Naito has never known a Shingo like this. Shingo walks in as a violent IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, and Tetsuya Naito just wants to lift that championship high above his head in the Tokyo Dome one more time. There’s no lock-up in this one, instead it’s off to the races with forearms!
The match is a violent affair, with Takagi using his size more than ever before! He reverses a Destino, plants Naito with a Michinoku Driver and hits a Backwards Elbow Drop, before thrusting his elbow in the challenger’s face a couple more times for good measure! He hits a multitude of Pumping Bombers, while Naito desperately targets the leg, trying to keep Takagi from being able to pick him up. Naito hits a Missile Dropkick, he locks in the Pluma Blanca, he hits an Esperanza, and it just doesn’t get the job done! He lifts Shingo up and uses all his strength to land a Dragon Suplex, before rolling through and hitting A DESTINOOOO! HOOKS THE LEG! ONE…TWO…TH-NO! Shingo Takagi just can’t be killed!
Tetsuya Naito looks desperate, and he has to reach deep into his bag of tricks. Slowly, deliberately, he climbs to the top rope! Looks back, takes a deep breath, AND GOES FOR THE STARDUST PRESS! LIKE SO MANY TIMES BEFORE, HE CRASHES AND BURNS AS HIS OPPONENT ROLLS AWAY! TAKAGI SCOOPS HIM UP! FIRE THUNDER! PLANTS HIM! COVER! ONE…TWO…THR-NO! Naito still has a little bit of fight left in him! But Shingo signals to the crowd that this one is done, mockingly doing the Los Ingonerables de Japon pose to a chorus of boos, before picking Naito up, lifting him FOR THE MADE IN JAPAN…AND LANDING IT! COVER! ONE…TWO…THREE! NJPW IS FIRMLY IN A NEW ERA, AND IT’S THE ERA OF THE LAST DRAGON! Shingo Takagi def. Tetsuya Naito in 35:36 to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
2023.05.28 05:10 KirkHammettJigsaw Booking the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship From Wrestle Kingdom 17 Part II Can We Give Paddy Murphy The World Title?
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After regaining his IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, Kazuchika Okada has the unfortunate responsibility of carrying the championship into the single most grueling tournament in all of professional wrestling: the G1 Climax. New Japan has decided to revert to the old format: twenty competitors, two blocks, nine matches per wrestler, and no semi-finals. Thirty minutes per block match, and the finals have no time limit. The highest scoring competitor from each block advances to the finals, and the winner of the finals goes on to compete for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom. Now, if you’re wondering why I’m not doing the most recent G1 Climax formatting, there are two reasons. The first is that NJPW has announced the schedule, and it seems to line up more with a traditional G1 format. The second reason is that I REALLY DON’T WANNA FUCKING WRITE A FOUR BLOCK G1. With all that out of the way, let’s talk about who’s in the blocks!
- Kazuchika Okada: Of course, the very first entry in G1 Climax 33 is the man that all other nineteen men are gunning for: the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, The Rainmaker himself, Kazuchika Okada. He just won his gold back, and he’s looking to hold on to it. If he manages to win the G1, he’ll be able to pick his own opponent for Wrestle Kingdom, and that’s a very appealing prospect for The Rainmaker.
- Shingo Takagi: The Last Dragon is a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion in his own right, but it has been a quieter year for him than he’s used to. He failed to capture the title in his one challenge so far this year, but the G1 is a golden, shining opportunity, and we all know that dragons love their gold. He’s always dangerous.
- Bryan Danielson: Surprise! After capturing the IWGP United States Championship at Forbidden Door 2, pinning Will Ospreay, The American Dragon has decided to come to Japan and compete in a tournament that he has always wanted to participate in. Can he take things a step further and win the whole damn thing?
- KENTA: The Bullet Club member may not be what he once was, but he’s still KENTA, and he can always go on a run when he needs to. Right now? He needs to. If he can win the G1, he just needs to be perfect on one night, and that’s January 4th. He’s more than capable of pulling that off.
- David Finlay: He’s the self-proclaimed leader of Bullet Club, and in the absence of Jay White, Irish EVIL has to flourish if he wants to make sure that the Pew Pew Crew continues to be seen as the most dangerous faction in all of NJPW. They’d look pretty intimidating with a World Champ at the helm, wouldn’t they?
- Ren Narita: The Son of Strong Style looked good when he challenged for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship earlier this year, but he won’t be satisfied until he puts that championship around his waist and fulfills the expectations that his trainers have put on his shoulders. Can he shock the world?
- Jeff Cobb. Big. Mean. Hawaiian. United Empire’s resident hoss is forever one of the most dangerous men in the company, but he hasn’t been able to break through and prove himself to be World Championship material just yet. He’s not getting any younger, either. Will his time ever come?
- Tama Tonga: He’s The Good Guy. Tama Tonga has flirted with the main event scene plenty in the past, but now, he doesn’t have the Bullet Club machine backing him anymore. Can Tama Tonga prove that he doesn’t need the black-and-white baddies to win the G1 Climax for the very first time?
- EVIL: Irish EVIL is already here, so we decided to get regular EVIL too. Another former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, EVIL hasn’t come close to reaching those heights ever again. The G1 Climax can change a man’s fortune extremely quickly, so who knows? Maybe Everything will be EVIL once again.
- Toru Yano: He’s gotta be here somewhere, doesn’t he? Toru Yano will never win a G1 Climax, that’s just a reality. However, despite his antics, he is a legitimately dangerous spoiler. Every now and then, his plans work out, and he can derail somebody’s hopes of winning in an instant.
- Tetsuya Naito: First up in the B Block is perhaps the most beloved man in the entirety of NJPW, Tetsuya Naito. Naito is starting to get some ring miles on him, he’s starting to break down just a touch, but he is still one of the best competitors that New Japan has to offer. Everybody wants to see him succeed. Can he once again climb to the top of the mountain?
- Hiroshi Tanahashi: If anybody in NJPW is more beloved than Tetsuya Naito, it’s this guy. New Japan’s perpetual Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, is past his prime for sure. But an aged Hiroshi Tanahashi is still one of the best in the world, and he’s still VERY much a threat. He’s taking the G1 Climax just one match at a time, and Tana is more than capable of winning any one match.
- Will Ospreay: The Aerial Assassin. The Commonwealth Kingpin. Ospreay is coming off of a heartbreaking failure to regain his US Title at Forbidden Door, but he’s still potentially the most entertaining wrestler alive right now, and he’s a strong contender for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Getting that title back from his old CHAOS stablemate is a huge priority for the BIlly G.O.A.T., and he can’t squander this chance.
- Tomohiro ishii: The Stone Pitbull is a guaranteed banger alert, but he’s got more years behind him than in front of him. Time is running out, and Ishii has to bite his very hardest if he wants to move past being a good match generator and turn into a G1 Climax winner. 141 141 141 141 141
- Yota Tsuji: Fresh from excursion, it’s everybody’s favourite Kirk alt! Yota Tsuji just graduated from Young Lion status, and it’s sink or swim for him, because he’s getting dropped straight into the shark tank! If he pulls this off, it'll be one of the greatest rookie campaigns ever. Can he, though?
- Zack Sabre Jr.: FRONT MAN. TECHNICAL WIZARD. Lanky fucking God can turn anybody on the NJPW roster into a pretzel, but he hasn’t yet turned himself into a World Champion. The leader of TMDK is looking to finally win a G1 Climax, and this may very well be his year.
- Shota Umino: Shooter is also a pretty recent graduate, and he has the Blackpool Combat Club stamp of approval. However, he’s still pretty unseasoned, and he hasn’t yet been claimed by a faction. He’s young, he’s on his own. It’s him against the world, but smart money might not be on the world.
- Minoru Suzuki: The King is fresh off of his very first run with the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, and he’s not planning on waiting as long for his second reign as he did for his first. He looked very, very dangerous when he had the belt, to a shocking degree. Maybe he can keep it up.
- Taichi: He was a Dangerous Tekker. He has golden pipes. He kicks real hard. Taichi is one of the most underrated talents in the entire company. Boasting World Champion level skill along with Eurovision winner calibre singing ability, nobody wants to step into the ring with Taichi. This is his fucking year, man. It’s happening.
- Orange Cassidy: AEW wasn’t content with sending just one surprise this year, so they sent two! The King of Sloth Style nearly took the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship off of Minoru Suzuki, and that earned him a spot among the twenty wrestlers warring for the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. “Freshly Squeezed” is pretty calm about it all, though.
G1 CLIMAX 33
Block A is a stacked block, and Night One’s main event could potentially end up being the match of the tournament, because Kazuchika Okada is taking on none other than Bryan Danielson! The two of them put on a show, and end up going the distance! This means that they’re both middle of the road with a point each, and Shingo, Finlay, Tama and Cobb each nab two points.
After beating KENTA on Night One, Tama Tonga goes for revenge on another Bullet Club member in David Finlay. However, Finlay manages to take advantage of his aggression and cheat to win, taking the top spot with four points. Okada and Bryan each improve to three points, defeating EVIL and Narita, respectively. KENTA defeats Cobb to get on the board. EVIL, Narita and Yano all have zero. Shingo gets a win, and he’s tied with Finlay for first.
Ren Narita gets his first two points, toppling Yano, while Okada and Bryan both hit five, and Shingo and Finlay both hit six. Yano and EVIL are still scoreless, and Jeff Cobb is very frustrated with the fact that he has gone 1-2 so far, as have KENTA and Tama Tonga.
EVIL manages to get on the board with a win over Tama Tonga, due to BC interference. Yano gets on the board too, beating Jeff Cobb, and Mr. Athletic tears up the ringside area in response! Bryan gets through Shingo, and Okada gets through Finlay, so the men that drew on Night One are both tied for the lead now. Ren Narita defeats KENTA, a sign of the changing of the guard in puro.
Bryan defeats EVIL to take the top spot in the block with nine points, and Shingo is close behind, beating Finlay to keep the BC leader at six and improving to eight himself. Jeff Cobb finally breaks his string of bad luck, beating Okada, keeping the champion at seven! Tama also beats Narita, and KENTA runs through Yano.
Yano tricks Tonga and defeats him, making it to four points. Cobb builds on his momentum from last week, taking a huge win over Takagi, and Bryan expands his lead by beating David Finlay! Okada defeats KENTA, and EVIL gets passed Narita. Bryan sits alone at eleven points, Okada isn’t far behind with nine, and Shingo is in third with eight. Cobb and Finlay have six each, and the rest of the field sits at four.
EVIL defeats Yano, and Cobb, after a shaky start, hits eight points with a win over David Finlay, who’s on a skid after a great start. Shingo breaks double digits, beating Tama Tonga, and Okada gets past Narita to do the same, hitting eleven. However, KENTA, who has history with Danielson, manages to upset The American Dragon! We’ve got a tie for first place between Okada and Bryan, with Shingo right on their tails!
It’s the penultimate night of A Block action, and with the race being super tight, a win is super important. Jeff Cobb defeats EVIL, hitting ten points. A great run for the Hawaiian, but Bryan Danielson hits thirteen with a win over Tama Tonga, so Cobb is mathematically eliminated. Okada also hits thirteen with a victory over Toru Yano, and Shingo Takagi gets through Ren Narita to remain in the fight! Also, David Finlay hits eight points after beating KENTA. Okada and Bryan are tied for first, thirteen points each, and Shingo has a cool twelve.
It’s the final night of A Block. KENTA beats EVIL, Cobb beats Tama Tonga, and Ren Narita beats David Finlay, all nice consolation victories. Bryan Danielson faces Toru Yano, and seems poised to run through him…BUT YANO MANAGES TO CLAIM ANOTHER SOUL IN THE BLACKPOOL COMBAT CLUB, BECAUSE HE OVERWHELMS DANIELSON WITH HIS SHENANIGANS AND BEATS HIM! BRYAN IS OUT! It all comes down to Okada vs. Shingo, Okada hoping to get one step closer to choosing his own Wrestle Kingdom opponent. The match hits 29 minutes, a draw would mean a Rainmaker win…BUT SHINGO MANAGES TO HIT HIM WITH A MADE IN JAPAN! COVER! ONE…TWO…THREE! SHINGO TAKAGI HAS MADE THE G1 FINALS!
We kick things off in style, with Orange Cassidy showing off his skills to the Japanese crowd, defeating Yota Tsuji. Will Ospreay kicks off his campaign by beating Shota Umino, and Zack Sabre Jr. does the same, beating one of his former rivals in Tomohiro Ishii. Taichi gets past recent IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Minoru Suzuki, and in the main event, Tetsuya Naito just barely manages to get a win over The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Tanahashi gets on the board with a victory over Shooter Shota, while ZSJ beats OC in an absolute banger. Ospreay also picks up a win, over Ishii, and Yota Tsuji pulls up a huge upset, beating Minoru Suzuki! In the main event, Naito can’t get past Taichi, and the man with the golden voice is tied for first, with ZSJ and Ospreay.
Shota Umino knocks Taichi back down to Earth, while Will Ospreay defeats Minoru Suzuki, keeping him at zero points. Orange Cassidy beats Tomohiro Ishii, and Hiroshi Tanahashi is able to get past Yota Tsuji. In the main event, ZSJ and Naito have a close match, but in the end, The Front Man forces Naito to pass out. ZSJ and Ospreay are alone at the top now.
Umino manages to beat Orange Cassidy, and Taichi hits six points with a win over Yota. Ishii beats Suzuki to get on the board, and Suzuki STILL has no points, the only one that doesn’t have any! Tanahashi beats Sabre with a High Fly Flow, and Naito hands Ospreay his first loss, so we have a four way tie for first!
Ishii beats Tanahashi, and that could be a costly loss for The Ace. Shota Umino hands Minoru Suzuki YET ANOTHER LOSS, and ZSJ makes quick work of Yota Tsuji. Tetsuya Naito gains ground in this tightly-contested block by getting past Cassidy in one of the most fun matches of the tournament, and Will Ospreay beats Taichi to keep his lead. Ospreay and ZSJ sit alone at eight points, while Shota Umino, Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Taichi are all in second place with six. Tomohiro Ishii has four, Yota Tsuji has two, and Minoru Suzuki is STILL at zero, somehow. Perhaps the World Title reign took a lot out of him.
Naito gets a big win over Shota to stay in the thick of things, while Tanahashi keeps Suzuki scoreless and improves to eight points. Yota gets past Ishii, doubling his total, while Orange Cassidy makes Taichi’s chances at winning this block very slim, beating him in a fun match. In the main event, Will Ospreay knocks Zack Sabre Jr. out with a Hidden Blade to take sole ownership of the top spot!
Zack Sabre Jr. bounces back with a big win over Shooter, and Tetsuya Naito stays alive, defeating the already very worn-down Minoru Suzuki, still winless. Will Ospreay gets past Yota Tsuji, maintaining the top spot, and Taichi has an absolute banger with Ishii, with Taichi coming out on top. Finally, Orange Cassidy upsets The Ace, beating Tanahashi with three consecutive Orange Punches!
In a battle of the young guns with rhyming first names, Yota beats Shota. Both have six points. Orange Cassidy gets past Minoru Suzuki, getting his win back after their match during Suzuki’s title reign, which seems so far back now. ZSJ beats his old tag partner, Taichi, but Tetsuya Naito falls to Tomohiro Ishii! In the main event, between Tanahashi and Ospreay, Ospreay nearly gets the job done, but Tana pulls it out of the fire and beats him with a High Fly Flow! The standings going into the final night of B Block action are as follows: Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr. are both at twelve. Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Orange Cassidy are all at ten. Taichi sits at eight, and Shota Umino, Tomohiro Ishii and Yota Tsuji have six each. Way behind is Minoru Suzuki, still sitting a big ol’ goose egg. Zero.
We head into a final night with endless possibilities, and with so many potential winners, almost every match matters. Up first, a match that doesn’t matter! Shota Umino defeats Tomohiro Ishii, ending his G1 Climax run with a solid eight points. Taichi gets by Hiroshi Tanahashi, eliminating Tana. Both end with ten. Tetsuya Naito faces Yota Tsuji, and after defeating him, improves to twelve points. He’s currently locked in a three-way tie with Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay, each man having a win and a loss against the other two. Zack Sabre Jr. faces his old stablemate, Minoru Suzuki…AND SUZUKI BEATS HIM! AFTER A WINLESS EIGHT MATCHES, MINORU SUZUKI PREVAILS ON HIS FINAL NIGHT, AND NOW, IT’S ALL UP TO WILL OSPREAY! If Ospreay wins, he wins the block, but if he loses, he enters a very complicated tie with Orange, Naito and Sabre. In a rematch from the first Forbidden Door, Ospreay and OC outperform their first match…BUT THE RESULT IS THE SAME! THE COMMONWEALTH KINGPIN HAS WON THE B BLOCK! It’s going to be Will Ospreay vs. Shingo Takagi in the G1 Climax Finals!
NJPW G1 Climax 33: Finals - August 13th, 2023 Shingo Takagi vs. Will Ospreay - G1 Climax Finals
This is it. The winner of this match goes on to the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 18. This isn’t the first time that the three men involved with the Wrestle Kingdom main event have been Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi, but this time, there’s no two night event. Only one man can get that main event slot. Will it be The Commonwealth Kingpin? Will it be The Last Dragon? Two former champions, two insane G1 runs, two very worthy competitors. Let’s get this started.
This match is absolutely insane, because like, look at the two guys that are in it. Shingo uses his size advantage to batter Will from pillar to post, and Will has to tap into the agility that we see a little bit less of these days. He knocks Shingo out of the ring with a Hidden Blade, but when he goes for a Suicide Dive, he just bounces right off of Takagi! He picks Ospreay up and hits him with a brutal Uranage. This is a very, very good match, but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and this one does when Takagi has Ospreay badly hurt. He waits for the former Aerial Assassin to get to his feet, before charging forward with a Pumping Bomber! But Ospreay reverses with a standing Spanish Fly! Rolls through! Hooks the arms! LIFTS SHINGO UP! STORMBREAKER! HE MAKES THE COVER! ONE…TWO…THREE! WILL OSPREAY IS GOING TO WRESTLE KINGDOM!
NJPW Burning Spirit: Night Four - September 6th, 2023 Jeff Cobb vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Jeff Cobb managed to defeat Kazuchika Okada in the G1, so he has earned this shot at the greatest prize in the sport. Cobb recreates his game plan from the match, using his size to bully the champion, but Okada targets the leg a lot more than he did in the G1 Climax, slowing the Hawaiian right down. There’s a close call for The Rainmaker at one point, with him having to elbow his way out of an attempt at the Tour of the Islands, but the leg work pays off, especially when Cobb almost goes out when locked in the Red Ink. Cobb can barely stand when Kazu knocks him out with The Rainmaker…before clocking him with a Hidden Blade, a message to Cobb’s stablemate, Will Ospreay. Kazuchika Okada def. Jeff Cobb in 19:13 to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW Royal Quest: Night One - October 7th, 2023 Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
It’s the main event of Night One of Royal Quest, and G1 finalist Shingo Takagi did manage to beat Okada in the G1, so he’s got a chance to rectify his loss in the Finals. Shingo puts Okada through hell during this match, fighting like a man possessed, but Okada is just too good right now. He manages to roll through a Made In Japan, and counters an attempt at a Pumping Bomber with perhaps his most perfectly-timed Dropkick ever. Despite The Last Dragon’s best efforts, the result was a foregone conclusion from the moment the bell rang. Tonight, Kazuchika Okada was unbeatable, and he put Shingo down with a Rainmaker. Tonight was Kazuchika Okada’s no-hitter, his flu game, his Ernie Nevers forty-bomb. Can he recreate this perfect form on January 4th? Kazuchika Okada def. Shingo Takagi in 24:51 to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW Royal Quest: Night Two - October 8th, 2023 Tetsuya Naito vs. Will Ospreay (c) - G1 Climax Briefcase
The Ungovernable One had himself a very, very good G1 Climax run, coming just two points short of winning his block. However, he did get a win over the eventual block winner, and tournament winner for that matter, so tonight, the leader of United Empire has to put his January 4th contract on the line against the most popular man in the company. However, Ospreay is the most popular man in the building tonight, as he’s in his home country of England (gross)! The Commonwealth Kingpin is able to feed off of the energy in the building tonight, and the crowd reaches a fever pitch when Ospreay throws his elbow pad into the crowd, hits Naito with a front-facing Hidden Blade, and picks him up for the Stormbreaker! Ospreay plants the leader of LIJ and pins him! He can celebrate with his rotten-toothed, ugly, little-brained countrymen tonight! (PJ, Misery and OWD are three of the good ones don’t worry about it) Will Ospreay def. Tetsuya Naito in 29:00 to retain the G1 Climax Briefcase
NJPW Battle Autumn: Night Ten - October 29th, 2023 Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Will Ospreay (c) - G1 Climax Briefcase
There was one man other than Tetsuya Naito that managed to get a win over Will Ospreay during the G1 Climax, and that man was The Ace himself, none other than Hiroshi Tanahashi. Perhaps the most loved man in the company, Tanahashi also had a solid tournament, and he looks to turn back the clock tonight and secure himself a spot in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom. Unfortunately for The Ace, Will Ospreay is already in Wrestle Kingdom form, and he doesn’t fall to the High Fly Flow like he did on Night Sixteen. Instead, he gets his knees up and quickly hits a brutal Hidden Blade to pick up the win! It’s official! The main event of Wrestle Kingdom 18 is set in stone, and the competitors have two months to prepare themselves. Will Ospreay def. Hiroshi Tanahashi in 20:19 to retain the G1 Climax Briefcase
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 - Press Conference Run
Leading up to the biggest show of the year, The Ojiisan of Them All, NJPW of course does a run of promotional press conferences. Throughout those press conferences, Kazuchika Okada does admit that Will Ospreay will be a formidable opponent, but sort of brushes him off as well. He talks about how this Wrestle Kingdom isn’t a forum for Will Ospreay to complete his arc, it’s just happening to serve as a reminder that Kazuchika Okada is the best to ever do it. It’s going to be yet another coronation for him. Will Ospreay had his Wrestle Kingdom main event against him, and he failed to defeat The Rainmaker. He failed to defeat Kenny Omega. He failed to defeat Bryan Danielson. Some things never change, and this is one of them. The result is set in stone. It’s as sure as the wind, the tides…and the rain.
Will Ospreay, of course, has a very different point of view. He says that all of his losses hurt, but they always shape him into a better wrestler, and now he’s the best he has ever been. Kazuchika Okada is not the main character here, he’s not the story. All eyes are on Will Ospreay, and what he’s going to do. The eyes of the world are watching Wrestle Kingdom not to see Kazuchika Okada, but to see the climax of the tale of Will Ospreay. “Every good story has an antagonist. I’m David, and you’re Goliath. On January 4th, it’s my job to size you up, take aim, and put my best shot clean through your fuckin’ head. I may be The Commonwealth Kingpin, but I’ve still got a little bit of Assassin in me. I don’t miss, baby.”
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 - January 4th, 2024 Will Ospreay vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
After a tremendous show, we have finally reached the main event of the evening. Will Ospreay, The Commonwealth Kingpin, walking in as the challenger against his former stablemate, his white whale, the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Kazuchika Okada. The bell rings, and there’s a moment of calm. The two competitors stare at each other before locking up. Okada grabs a Headlock immediately, but Ospreay backs him into the ropes. He backs away immediately, a clean break. They lock up again, and this time, Okada backs Will into the ropes, and does his patented mocking pats on the chest. Ospreay isn’t having it, though, and he slaps the champion! Okada laughs, nodding his head, and he returns to the middle of the ring.
They each put one hand out, and Okada immediately ducks under the challenger’s arm, grabbing a Wristlock. He wrenches on the arm a little bit, and Will plays it safe, doing a forward roll to alleviate the pressure. Ospreay goes behind and grabs a Hammerlock, forcing Kazuchika to cartwheel out of it. The champion throws Ospreay with an Arm Drag, and Will rushes at him! Okada tries to trip him, but Ospreay jumps over and runs the ropes. Okada GOES FOR A DROPKICK! Ospreay stops dead in his tracks, the champ crashes into the mat! Ospreay tries to capitalize WITH A RUNNING SHOOTING STAR PRESS! OKADA ROLLS AWAY! Both men grab their mid-sections after failed attacks and restart once again.
It looks like they’re going to lock up one more time, but the challenger fakes the collar-and-elbow and instead goes behind Okada, hitting a textbook Neckbreaker! He rolls through, clutching The Rainmaker’s neck in a sort of Guillotine position, only to throw him through the middle ropes to the outside! Ospreay runs the ropes! DIVES OUT! TOPE CON HILO! OKADA GOES DOWN, AND OSPREAY IMMEDIATELY PICKS HIM UP, LOOKING TO LAUNCH HIM INTO THE BARRICADE! Okada, still loopy, reverses, and heaves Will over the barricade! Backs up! RUSHES FORWARD! DIVING DROPKICK OVER THE BARRICADE! Okada soaks in the cheers as a result of that tremendous sequence, and returns to the ring. Ospreay staggers back to the ring as well, BUT GETS BLINDSIDED BY A TOPE CON HILO FROM OKADA! IT’S RARE THAT HE BUSTS THAT OUT!
It’s been all Okada for the past couple of minutes, and he follows Will out, just to throw him back inside. Kazu smells blood in the water, and he decides to lock in RED INK! IT’S TIGHT, AND THE PAIN WAKES OSPREAY UP! HE’S GRABBING HANDFULS OF THE CANVAS, AND MANAGES TO DRAG HIMSELF ALMOST ALL THE WAY TO THE ROPES, BUT OKADA RELEASES THE HOLD AND DRAGS HIM BACK TO THE CENTRE! THIS TIME, HE APPLIES THE MONEY CLIP! EVERYBODY HATES THIS MOVE, AND WILL OSPREAY MUST BE HATING IT MORE THAN ANYBODY RIGHT NOW! However, The Commonwealth Kingpin begins fighting to his feet! Kicks to the shins! Breaks free! To the body! To the head! KAWADA KICKS, OKADA IS ROCKED! A ROLLING THUNDER KICK KNOCKS HIM DOWN! COVER! ONE…TWO…AND A KICKOUT!
Ospreay picks his opponent up, before going for a Spin Kick! Okada ducks it and rolls away to create distance, before going for a Lariat! Ospreay ducks that and does a roll of his own! He charges at Okada, running up his shoulders like a ramp and flipping off, before going for an Enzuigiri! It’s ducked, and Okada goes for an Ankle Lock! Ospreay rolls, sending Okada rolling too, and Ospreay goes for a takedown, but he eats a knee! Okada looks for a Discus Elbow! Ducked, and Ospreay hits a BIG Superkick! SPRINGBOARD! OSCUTTER! OKADA CATCHES HIM, AND HE’S LOOKING FOR A RAINMAKER! RIPCORD! ANOTHER SUPERKICK TO ESCAPE! GOES FOR THE OSCUTTER AGAIN! THIS TIME IT WORKS! COVER! ONE…TWO…TH-KICKOUT!
Ospreay doesn’t really know what to do at this point, so he falls back on his roots. The former Aerial Assassin climbs to the top rope! JUMPS OFF! 630 SPLASH! NO, OKADA MOVES AT THE LAST SECOND, SO OSPREAY ROLLS THROUGH, NARROWLY AVOIDING CATASTROPHE! Okada lunges at him AND SENDS HIM FLYING WITH A SHOTGUN DROPKICK! Picks him up! GERMAN SUPLEX! OSPREAY FLIPS THROUGH! DUCKS A LARIAT! SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT! BUT THE RAINMAKER CATCHES HIM AND PLANTS HIM WITH A SPINNING TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! COVER! ONE…TWO…NO! OKADA ISN’T FINISHED, HE PICKS OSPREAY UP AGAIN! RAINMAKER! RIPCORD! CONNECTS! THAT’S IT! COVER! ONE…TWO…THRE-NOOOOOOOOO!!! WILL OSPREAY JUST KICKED OUT OF THE RAINMAKER!
Kazuchika Okada is shocked, not to mention angry, and he starts to stomp on his adversary! Kicks right at the downed Ospreay’s skull! Okada lifts him to his feet, and Will can barely stand. The champion just begins slapping him! But that does nothing but wake Ospreay up! He starts slapping back! This is a battle of slaps, and Ospreay THROWS A SPINNING BACKFIST! It lands flush! Okada is wobbling! OSPREAY RUNS TO THE TOP ROPE! TOP ROPE OSCUTTER! HE EATS A DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD! OKADA PICKS HIM UP, AND HE GOES FOR A DISCUS RAINMAKER! BUT OSPREAY, ON PURE INSTINCT, REVERSES WITH A SPANISH FLY! LIFTS HIM TO HIS KNEES AND RUNS THE ROPES! HIDDEN BLADE, THAT SOUNDED LIKE A GUNSHOT! PICKS HIM UP! HOOKS THE ARMS! LIFTS HIM ABOVE HIS SHOULDERS! STORMBREAKER! HE MANAGED TO HIT IT! COVER! ONE…TWO…THREE!!! WILL OSPREAY HAS DONE IT! IN THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLE KINGDOM 18, HE HAS ONCE AGAIN BECOME THE IWGP WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! HE TRULY IS THE KINGPIN! Will Ospreay def. Kazuchika Okada in 31:27 to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
2023.05.28 05:10 KirkHammettJigsaw Booking the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship From Wrestle Kingdom 17 Part I Can We Give Joshua Epps The World Title?
| || |Divas Title. submitted by KirkHammettJigsaw to FantasyBookingElite [link] [comments]
The IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t have the same lineage as the belt that came before it. It doesn’t matter that it killed the Intercontinental Championship and buried it deep into the ground to rot. It doesn’t matter that it looks like if the Divas Championship got railed by the Big Gold and spit out a little premature bastard failed abortion six excruciating months later. It’s still one of the most prestigious championships in professional wrestling. Just look at the lineage. Kota Ibushi. Will Ospreay. Shingo Takagi. Kazuchika Okada. Jay White. Kazuchika Okada again. Ignore what happened after that please, that doesn’t need to happen and it won’t happen here.
It’s one of the most sought-after belts, and yet the current champion is SANADA. All of that talent vying to hold that gold, and the main event scene is SANADA and Yota “Good But Not There Yet” Tsuji. Nobody wants to see that, and it certainly doesn’t help the perception of the championship. That’s what I’m here for. A championship with a lineage like that deserves much, much better, and so that’s what I’m going to try and give it. We start back at the beginning of the year, at Wrestle Kingdom 17, with The Rainmaker and The Switchblade going to war in our main event.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 - January 4th, 2023 Kazuchika Okada vs. Jay White (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
We just came off of one of the best matches in pro wrestling history, Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay, and White and Okada must do battle on a canvas now stained with blood, a testament to what kind of stuff these competitors must do to attain glory. It’s a great match, very counter-heavy, as both men are some of the best reversal artists that the sport has ever seen. Jay White wrestles like his usual sneaky self, but there’s just a foreboding sense that his time in NJPW is up. His glass jaw takes one too many dropkicks and he starts to fade. King Switch attempts to reverse a Rainmaker with a Blade Runner, but Okada muscles out of the counter, hits a Discus Rainmaker, and then follows it up with the real thing to seal the deal and take the title! Kazuchika Okada def. Jay White in 33:03 to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW New Year Dash!! - January 5th, 2023 Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega vs. United Empire (Will Ospreay and Aaron Henare)
Before this match, Ospreay is in the ring, bandage on his head, ready to take it easy in a pedestrian tag as he casually talks to Henare. Okada steps into the ring, and then his surprise tag partner’s music hits. The moment that Devil’s Sky begins blasting through the arena speakers, the look on The Commonwealth Kingpin’s face changes immediately! Okada and Omega, members of perhaps the greatest feud in wrestling history, are teaming together tonight! Ospreay wants his revenge for the loss last night, and he gets in Kenny’s face. The Cleaner responds by putting his recently won IWGP United States Championship right in his face.
The match is fun, as Okada and Ospreay, like always, have some very fun sequences. They look pretty evenly-matched, and Henare also looks pretty damn good against two of the best wrestlers of all time. Outmatched, sure, but good. Better than expected, even if he isn’t the other three men in the match. Ospreay constantly tries to go after Kenny, but the Best Bout Machine always tags out like a dickhead. He’s not letting Will get his revenge that easy. At one point, Ospreay lets his anger get the best of him and he knocks Omega off the apron, before hitting a beautiful dive, and continuing to beat on him outside!
The downside of Ospreay’s reckless attack, however, is that it leaves Henare all alone in the ring with the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Aaron shows some heart, but heart don’t mean shit when you’re up against Kazuchika Okada. Okada eventually gets the better of him, and has him in position for a Rainmaker. However, Kazu shakes his head, basically saying that The Artist Formerly Known As Toa Henare isn’t even worth a Rainmaker! He transitions into The Money Clip, locking it tight right in the middle of the ring, and Henare eventually has no choice but to quit! Okada and Omega pose cockily in the ring with their respective titles, seemingly carrying a little bit of extra swagger into the new year. Kazuchika Okada and Kenny Omega def. United Empire in 14:36
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17 In Yokohama Arena - January 21st, 2023 Kazuchika Okada and Togi Makabe vs. Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Imamura
This match is pretty pedestrian at first. Of course, like in real life, shit gets crazy fast. Makabe tags out after a fun sequence with Kaito, and Kaito brings in Imamura. Imamura isn’t exactly a top level guy, and Okada gets the better of him. He starts challenging Imamura to wake up, slapping him in the face and locking him in a Chinlock, and Kiyomiya sees this as disrespect, which brings him into the ring. He kicks Okada hard in the head, which leads Okada to brawling with him on the outside! The fight devolves, and the two men kick the shit out of each other while Makabe and Imamura try to play peacekeeper. The match is called off as Okada and Kiyomiya get pulled away from each other. No Contest after 6:35
NJPW Road to The New Beginning: Night Five - January 30th, 2023
On the post-show press conference, after CHAOS, Taguchi and Tanahashi take a loss to Los Ingonerables de Japon, Kazuchika Okada speaks to the media. He gets asked about his small change in attitude as of late. The dismissiveness towards Aaron Henare, the way he threw around Yoshiki Imamura. It almost seems like he’s been giving the next generation the cold shoulder. Given this, how does he respond to young stars racking up wins on this tour, such as Ren Narita? Okada sort of shrugs it all off. He says that it feels weird that all of the names he usurped to get to the top are beginning to die off, and now HE’S the veteran. He’s been waiting for the next Okada, and nobody has come along yet. Why are we talking about Ren Narita getting a win on the undercard, when Shingo Takagi just pinned YOH to win the match tonight? He thinks that Takagi looked dangerous tonight, and Okada wants to face him at The New Beginning in Osaka.
NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka 2023 - February 11th, 2023 Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Shingo Takagi had a good string of Road To shows leading up to the event, being responsible for every LIJ win, and it earned him this match tonight, a rematch of Wrestle Kingdom 16’s main event. This one is an incredible battle, Shingo doing his absolute best to come back from the KOPW level and get back to being at the very precipice of the company. Unfortunately for The Last Dragon, though, Kazuchika Okada is in rare form, and after suffering through a fair share of huge Lariats, Okada hits a Spinning Tombstone and follows it up with a devastating Rainmaker to close out this absolute belter of a main event. Kazuchika Okada def. Shingo Takagi in 32:07
After the match, Ren Narita comes out and confronts Okada! He says that he racked up just as many wins as Shingo leading up to tonight’s show, and yet the champion completely snubbed him and didn’t even entertain the possibility of defending against him. Why? Is it because he’s young? Okada says that it’s because he’s simply not ready, but if Narita wants to learn exactly how unready he really is, then he can face Okada at Battle In The Valley. The match is set, and the young Ren Narita will have the biggest match of his career as he tries to shock the world and take the belt off of The Rainmaker in San Jose!
NJPW Battle In The Valley - February 18th, 2023 Ren Narita vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
A week after his last defense, Kazuchika Okada is back at it again, putting his IWGP World Heavyweight Title up for grabs against one of NJPW’s most promising prospects, Ren Narita. Narita has looked good as of late, but it’s a whole different ballgame when you’re standing across the ring from the greatest wrestler of a generation, the face of the company. If Narita wants to win tonight, he has to be better than he ever has been.
The young member of Strong Style tries to strike from distance early on and also grapples with The Rainmaker in an MMA-like way. Given Okada’s struggle to defeat Shibata back in the day, we know that this is a bit of a weakness for him. Okada’s getting more and more frustrated as Shibata Jr. continues to pepper him with strikes, and at one point, Narita throws a Palm Strike that lands a bit more like a snap. It’s like you can see Okada’s ego getting wounded, and he snaps. He immediately decks Narita with a Forearm and begins stomping on him.
From there, Okada takes most of the offense, though Ren does show flashes of fire that the Champion has to fight to weather. Kazuchika Okada is NJPW’s ace for a reason, though, and he begins to grind Narita down. Mockingly, he cracks The Son of Strong Style with a Penalty Kick, laughing. He looks right at Minoru Suzuki, Narita’s factionmate in Strong Style, at ringside, and drives Narita into the mat head-first with Suzuki’s finish, the Gotch-Style Piledriver. Finally, he mercifully decides to end things with a Rainmaker. After landing it, instead of going for the pin, he just rests contemplatively, hands on his knees. Then, he impulsively and quickly bursts to his feet, pulls Narita back up, and puts him down with a second Rainmaker! He makes the cover, not even bothering to hook the leg. One…Two…Three! Kazuchika Okada def. Ren Narita in 28:11 to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
After the match, El Desperado slides into the ring and puts a cold pack on Narita’s neck. Suzuki isn’t concerned with all that. Instead, The King walks up to Okada, hands behind his back, and stares him down. We can’t hear what he’s saying to the champion, but it must be some sort of remark about respect. The lack of respect that Okada showed Narita by hitting him with two Rainmakers. The lack of respect that he showed Shibata and Suzuki himself by ripping their moves. The lack of respect he showed the new generation by implying that they’re below him, and the lack of respect he showed the old generation by not mentioning them whatsoever. Okada doesn’t say a word, he simply raises his championship high in the air and dips out of the ring.
NOAH Keiji Muto Grand Final Pro-Wrestling Last Love Hold Out - February 21st, 2023 Kazuchika Okada vs. Kaito Kiyomiya
Tonight, Kazuchika Okada is in enemy territory. Keiji Muto’s career is ending tonight, and, as NOAH’s Ace, Kaito Kiyomiya is looking to capitalize on this incredible spotlight by taking out The Rainmaker and cementing himself as the premier champion in all of Japan. The two men have a much more back-and-forth affair than in real life, and with the crowd firmly against Okada, he almost seems to be drowning towards the middle of the match. Kiyomiya gets the nearest fall of the match with a beautiful Lifting DDT from the top rope, and when Okada kicks out, the GHC Heavyweight Champion knees him HARD right to the jaw.
The knee strike bloodies Okada up a little bit, mashing his lips against his teeth. He checks his mouth for blood, and when he notices some, it seems to wake him up a little bit. From there, Kaito, who expended a lot of his energy trying to put the match away earlier, seems like he’s having trouble dealing with a revitalized IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Okada puts him down with a beautiful Dropkick and smiles, waiting for Kiyomiya to get to his knees. Once he does, Okada rushes forward AND TAKES HIS HEAD OFF WITH A SHINING WIZARD! THAT’S KEIJI MUTO’S FINISH! The crowd seems shocked at this move theft, and Okada picks Kaito up, before planting him with The Rainmaker for the One…Two…Three! Kazuchika Okada def. Kaito Kiyomiya in 34:46
NJPW New Japan Cup - Overview
I don’t even really want to touch SANADA’s side of the bracket, but with the crazy fucking push that New Japan is giving him, I don’t despise the idea of him making the finals, so we’ll keep that as is. Let’s talk about the other side, though. The one that David Finlay made it through in real life, though? Nah, let’s not have any of that. Instead, after taking out Yujiro Takahashi in the opening round, Minoru Suzuki also eliminates Finlay in the second. After dealing with two current Bullet Club members, Suzuki faces off with a former one in Tama Tonga. They have a back-and-forth match, but Suzuki reverses a Gun Stun and latches on a Sleeper Hold to secure victory.
The semi-finals end up being a huge test for The King, though. He has to deal with perhaps the greatest member of Suzuki-Gun, his former stablemate, the Front Man of TMDK himself, Zack Sabre Jr. Despite the fact that their alliance is dead, and their character alignments don’t match up anymore, the two still shake hands before the match begins. It’s a very difficult match for both men, because they know each other so well. However, once ZSJ’s submissions get reversed, he has to fall back on his striking, and Suzuki has him beat there. Sabre goes for a PK, gets tripped up, and Minoru drops some ground and pound on him, before lining up and connecting with a PK of his own! He picks the Technical Wizard up and plants him with a Gotch Piledriver for the win! Somehow, Minoru Suzuki has made it to the finals of the New Japan Cup!
In the finals, two men that have scores to settle with Kazuchika Okada have to battle it out. SANADA has tried to defeat The Rainmaker countless times, and has only succeeded once, back in 2019’s G1 Climax 29. Suzuki, on the other hand, also has history with Okada, but his beef with the champion is much more recent, dating back to Battle In The Valley, where the veteran felt that Okada had disrespected STRONG STYLE. Suzuki and SANADA are both weathered from a long, grueling tournament, and it feels like any big move could finish the match. The finish comes when SANADA goes to the top rope and tries for a Moonsault, only for The King to get his knees up and capitalize by driving his opponent into the mat head-first with a Gotch-Style Piledriver! Cover! One…Two…THREE! Against all odds, Minoru Suzuki will face Kazuchika Okada at Sakura Genesis!
NJPW Sakura Genesis - April 8th, 2023 Minoru Suzuki vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada has been acting a little bit differently, and that means that he has rubbed a few people in the puro world the wrong way. One of those people is Minoru Suzuki, the oldest member of STRONG STYLE, who, after years of villainy, has dedicated himself to helping the next generation of puroresu. Okada embarrassed Ren Narita, Suzuki’s protege, and now The King is here to make The Rainmaker pay. Can he embarrass the champion in return, and collect a prize that has eluded him forever in the process, or will Kazuchika Okada do what he does best and win? The entrances have happened, the announcements have been made, the bell has been rung. None of the talking matters anymore.
They meet in the middle of the ring and engage in the traditional collar-and-elbow tie-up. However, neither man is able to force the other to the ropes! They’re locked in a stalemate right in the centre of the squared circle, both competitors refusing to take a single step back! To move backwards is to concede, even just a little bit, and in a battle of iron wills like this, nobody is willing to concede! Okada tries to knock Suzuki off balance by poking at his knee with his boot, but Suzuki stands his ground and releases his left hand grip to hit the champion in the ribs a couple of times, just looking to chop the tree down slowly and methodically. They both realize that they won’t be able to push the other man to the ropes, so instead of dragging this out, they release the tie-up.
They both re-centre themselves, and after circling The King, Okada goes for a single leg takedown. He almost gets it, but Suzuki remains standing. Minoru takes a couple of swings, but The Rainmaker trips him up and wrenches on the ankle! Suzuki rolls onto his stomach and gets to his feet, and Kazuchika decides to keep him low by moving into a Headlock! Headlock Takeover now, and Suzuki automatically grabs a Headscissors, which doesn’t faze Okada, who breaks and gets to his feet. Suzuki gets up too, and Okada goes for another takedown, but he eats a knee to the head! He’s stunned and pops back to his feet, and Suzuki throws a barrage of slaps! SPINNING CHOP! CHOP TO THE FACE! BIG BOOT! He makes the cover! One…and a kickout, but Okada’s still rocked despite the early kickout!
Okada gets on all fours and starts crawling away, but The King won’t let him get away that easy, and he hits an Elbow Drop to the back of the head! Suzuki transitions right into a nice Bulldog Choke, reminiscent of the other man that Okada is feuding with, Jon Moxley! Okada doesn’t want to stay in this hold for too long, though, so he starts powering to his feet! Lifts Suzuki straight into the air! BACK SUPLEX! Okada gets up, and he wants to put this match away right this instant! Picks Suzuki up! Go-behind! HE’S LOOKING FOR THE RAINMAKER ALREADY! RIPCORD! BUT SUZUKI IS STILL VERY CONSCIOUS, AND HE HITS A BASEMENT DROPKICK ON THE REBOUND TO KNOCK OKADA TO THE MAT!
Suzuki knows that Okada’s overzealousness is a sign that the challenger is getting to him, so he decides to toy with The Rainmaker a bit more. He grabs Okada’s wrist and positions it so that his wrist is folding his fingers into the mat, and he proceeds to grind his boot onto the wrist to attack the fingers! Okada is shrieking in pain, and he fights to a standing position! Suzuki maintains control of his digits though, bending and twisting! Okada can’t withstand the pain anymore, HE GOES FOR A CLOSED FIST PUNCH! SUZUKI DUCKS IT, KEEPS CONTROL OF THE FINGERS, GOES BEHIND, AND PERFORMS A RIPCORD! ONCE OKADA IS EXTENDED, HE SNAPS THE CHAMPION’S FINGERS! SUZUKI LAUGHS AT OKADA’S PAIN, AND THEN KNOCKS HIM DOWN WITH A HEADBUTT! COVER! ONE…TWO…AND A KICKOUT!
Suzuki smells blood in the water, and he takes full mount! The King starts dropping Elbows, and he’s absolutely relentless with these! Okada is covering his head, he can’t cope with these strikes, but Minoru Suzuki doesn’t give a fuck! He stands up AND STARTS STOMPING ON HIS SKULL! OVER AND OVER! PRIDE NEVER DIES, BUT KAZUCHIKA OKADA JUST MIGHT! Blood is leaking down The Rainmaker’s nose, and it seems like that’s exactly where the challenger is aiming! Knee Drop right on the face! Okada has been knocked loopy, and Suzuki drags him to a sitting position. He tells him that he’s responsible for all of this, slaps him in the face, AND RUNS THE ROPES! PENALTY KICK! NO, OKADA KIPS UP AT THE LAST SECOND AND HITS HIS SIGNATURE DROPKICK! RIGHT ON THE BUTTON! COVER! ONE…TWO…AND SUZUKI GETS THE SHOULDER UP!
Okada looks absolutely shocked that he didn’t close things out there, and he gets to his knees and checks for blood. To his horror, his palm is stained red, and he’s ANGRY. He starts laying in stomps of his own, STRAIGHT TO THE SKULL OF MINORU SUZUKI! HE’S SWEARING AS HE STOMPS! DRAGS SUZUKI TO HIS KNEES! GOES TO THE TOP! MISSILE DROPKICK TO THE BACK OF SUZUKI’S HEAD! Okada is still pissed right off, and he drags Suzuki to his feet. Goes behind, poses, RIPCORD, AND HE GOES FOR A DISCUS RAINMAKER! SUZUKI COUNTERS WITH AN INCREDIBLY HARD SLAP, AND OKADA IS STAGGERED! SUZUKI SEES HIS OPENING! KICK TO THE GUT! GOTCH-STYLE PILEDRIVER, IT’S GOOD! HOOKS THE LEG! ONE…TWO…THREE!!! HE ACTUALLY DID IT! AFTER YEARS OF GRINDING, MINORU SUZUKI CAN FINALLY CALL HIMSELF NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING’S WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! Minoru Suzuki def. Kazuchika Okada in 29:23 to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
AEW Dynamite - April 12th, 2023
Orange Cassidy is interviewed by Renee Paquette after a successful defense of his AEW International Championship. She talks about how he’s been so busy lately, and it seems like he’s faced everybody that there is to offer. She asks him what he wants to do next. He thinks for a moment. “I don’t know, really. I’m in CHAOS and that Suzuki guy took the IWGP World Championship from my friend. I think I’ll go for that. Unless, uh, he doesn’t wanna face me. Then I’ll just go home, I guess.” The very on-brand callout by “Freshly Squeezed” is accepted before the night is out, and the match is made for NJPW Collision in Philadelphia!
NJPW Capital Collision - April 15th, 2023 Tom Lawlor vs. Orange Cassidy (c) - AEW International Championship
The night before challenging for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, Orange Cassidy does a very Orange Cassidy thing and defends his AEW International Championship against the leader of Team Filthy himself, Tom Lawlor. Minoru Suzuki is on Japanese Commentary for the match, and Cassidy proceeds to have an absolute banger with the former UFC fighter. He eventually manages to put him away with a Beach Break from the middle rope, and Suzuki then comes down to the ring. OC and Suzuki shake hands, but Mr. Citrus can’t take his eyes off of the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Orange Cassidy def. Tom Lawlor in 16:09 to retain the AEW International Championship
NJPW Collision in Philadelphia - April 16th, 2023 Orange Cassidy vs. Minoru Suzuki (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
This match was supposed to happen on a GCW show before the pandemic, back when Suzuki was a cold-blooded machine and Orange Cassidy was comic relief. Now, both men are champions, and both men are cheered by the fans. They have a very fun match. Early on, Cassidy hits Suzuki with his mock kicks, and The King answers back with some of his own! Orange is younger and faster, and as the match goes on, the more it feels like he MIGHT just get the job done somehow! However, Suzuki starts going after Orange’s ribs, and with how often the International Champion has been competing, they’re already not at a hundred percent. The challenger makes a last-ditch effort and goes for an Orange Punch, but Suzuki lands a Spinebuster, a short PK followed by a Running PK, and then a Gotch-Style Piledriver to close out a banger of a contest. Minoru Suzuki def. Orange Cassidy in 21:30 to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW Hirooki Goto 20th Anniversary Event - April 22nd, 2023 STRONG STYLE (Minoru Suzuki and El Desperado) vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto and Kazuchika Okada)
Hirooki Goto is, of course, main eventing his own Anniversary Show, but before the match Suzuki asks for a microphone. He talks about the battles he’s had with Goto in the past, including their Hair vs. Hair match back in the day. As a show of respect, he wants to offer Goto a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestling Dontaku, should CHAOS get the win tonight. The two teams have a crowd-pleasing contest, with Suzuki and Okada barely interacting. At the end, though, Goto catches Despy with a GTR. While he pins El Desperado, Okada prevents Suzuki from getting into the ring, levelling him with a Rainmaker that might have connected just a LITTLE bit after the bell. Nevertheless, Hirooki Goto has secured himself a shot at the biggest title in the sport! It’s been a happy Anniversary for him! CHAOS def. STRONG STYLE in 12:37
NJPW Wrestling Dontaku - May 3rd, 2023 Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Two NJPW legends do battle in tonight’s main event. Until recently, they were perhaps the greatest NJPW competitors to never win World Title gold for the promotion. Suzuki checked it off the list, and perhaps Goto will do the same tonight. They have an absolute banger of a match, including a chop battle that leaves both of them with bloody chests. Goto has a very impactful moveset, and he tries desperately to fire off moves that could probably shatter Suzuki’s neck at this point, but the champion has him scouted throughout, peppering him with strikes.
Eventually, with Suzuki countering all of his shit, Goto breaks an older move out of his arsenal! He lifts Suzuki up and plants him with the Jigoku Kuruma! Cover! One…Two…AND A KICKOUT! Suzuki is still conscious, somehow, and Goto’s frustration is palpable! With YOSHI-HASHI, his Bishamon tag partner, at ringside cheering him on, Goto picks Suzuki back up and goes to the well again, trying for another Jigoku Kuruma! Suzuki knees his way out of it, landing in perfect position for a Gotch-Style Piledriver! HITS IT! COVER! ONE…TWO…THR-NO! GOTO KICKED OUT, BUT HE’S RUNNING ON FUMES! Suzuki lifts him to a sitting position and runs the ropes multiple times, HITTING A COLOSSAL PENALTY KICK! TAKES HIS BACK! SLEEPER HOLD, AND HE’S ALREADY OUT! RED SHOES HAS TO CALL IT, SUZUKI RETAINS! Minoru Suzuki def. Hirooki Goto in 25:01 to retain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
At the post-show press conference, Kazuchika Okada talks about how Suzuki has only faced CHAOS guys since winning the championship. Why not go for the leader! Okada has had his number countless times in the past, and even beat him on Goto’s Anniversary Show, putting him out cold with a Rainmaker. If Suzuki wants to prove himself as a champion, then Okada is the man to face at Dominion. Suzuki responds later on, saying that he already beat Okada, so he HAS proved himself as a champion. However, the reason he wanted to face Okada in the first place was to teach him to respect STRONG STYLE, and obviously that hasn’t happened yet, so he’s happy to run it back. Dominion. June 4th. Osaka-Jo Hall. Suzuki will once again stop the rain.
NJPW STRONG Resurgence - May 21st, 2023 Kazuchika Okada vs. Wheeler Yuta
Wheeler Yuta, with Jon Moxley at ringside, is looking to get a statement victory against one of wrestling’s top stars and prove that he truly is the best. He puts up a hell of a fight, even out-grappling The Rainmaker! He very nearly manages to get the pinfall victory with The Seatbelt, but Okada barely manages to touch one of the ropes with his boot. Wheeler’s offense ends up dying out after he gets knocked loopy by a Dropkick, and then he takes three consecutive Rainmakers just because Okada wants to prove a point! Of course, Yuta isn’t kicking out of that. Kazuchika Okada def. Wheeler Yuta in 20:52
Following the victory, Okada poses like a conqueror, foot on the unconscious Yuta’s chest, and this seems to hurt Moxley’s ego. He hops into the ring and kicks Okada’s foot away, talking shit. Okada slaps him, and Moxley immediately takes him down! They're throwing bombs on the ground, and a bunch of officials, security guards and producers rush into the ring to separate the two former World Champions!
NJPW Dominion 6.4 in Osaka-Jo Hall - June 4th, 2023 Kazuchika Okada vs. Minoru Suzuki (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
The last time these two faced off, Minoru Suzuki pulled off the upset of the year and managed to unseat the ace of New Japan, claiming his very first IWGP World Heavyweight Championship when everybody thought that he was in his New Japan Dad phase. Kazuchika Okada’s ego didn’t appreciate the hit that it took against The King, so after two defenses, Suzuki is giving The Rainmaker another go at things. The opening of the match is void of any respect at all, both men slapping each other in lieu of allowing clean breaks.
Okada is perhaps more aggressive than ever before, but in a way, that plays into the skill set of the Pancrase-hardened champion. He even hits a PK early on in the match, but Kazuchika kicks out of it. After a war that leaves both men with some battle scars, we enter the closing stretch. Suzuki seems to be suffering from the length of the match, while Okada’s cardio is intact. Minoru reverses a Rainmaker by booting Okada in the gut and going for a Gotch-Style Piledriver! Okada kicks his way out of it and throws a wild strike that Suzuki ducks. He goes behind and locks in a standing Sleeper! Okada drops down and backs through Suzuki’s legs, maintaining wrist control, before flipping the champion into Piledriver position! Spinning Tombstone! Picks him up! Ripcord! RAINMAKER! HE CONNECTS! GOES FOR THE PIN! ONE…TWO…THREE! KAZUCHIKA OKADA IS BACK AT THE TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN! Kazuchika Okada def. Minoru Suzuki in 33:38 to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
NJPW New Japan Road: Night Two - June 11th, 2023 CHAOS (YOH and Lio Rush) vs. Blackpool Combat Club (Jon Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli)
The BCC is in Japan, and they’re here to send a message to CHAOS. In our second-to-last match of the night, YOH and Lio Rush put up a hell of a fight, with Lio nearly getting the win with a beautiful Frog Splash on Claudio, but the BCC puts them through the wringer. At the end, Moxley plants YOH with a Death Rider, and he’s more than done, but The Sick Guy decides to roll through and bring YOH to his feet, before spinning him around and hitting him with a Rainmaker! He makes the cover and picks up the win, sending a HUGE message to the newly-crowned IWGP World Heavyweight Champion by doing so! Blackpool Combat Club def. CHAOS in 8:43
AEW Dynamite - June 14th, 2023
On Dynamite, Wheeler Yuta and Bryan Danielson pick up a victory over the Best Friends, and afterwards, Jon Moxley gets in the ring and grabs a microphone. He talks about how he is a man that never forgets, and he hasn’t forgotten how Kazuchika Okada tried to embarrass the BCC at Resurgence. He has now made it his mission to rip the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship away from The Rainmaker, and show him exactly why the Blackpool Combat Club is NOT the group to fuck with. He gives the microphone back and prepares to leave the ring…until the coin drops.
The crowd loses their shit, Kazuchika Okada is here! Not only that, he’s not on the ramp…he’s behind the Death Rider! Okada spins Mox around and hits him with a Dropkick! Wheeler and Danielson converge on The Rainmaker, and Claudio Castagnoli runs down the ramp, but the Swiss Superman is intercepted by an Orange Punch from CHAOS member Orange Cassidy! Wheeler Yuta is attacked by Trent and his former trainer Chuck Taylor, and Bryan Danielson gets dragged out of the ring by one of his opponents at Forbidden Door, IWGP United States Champion Kenny Omega (they’re in a Triple Threat with Will Ospreay)! Okada picks Moxley back up and puts him out cold with a Rainmaker! Toronto is going to be treated to one hell of a show when Forbidden Door 2 rolls into town, and Moxley vs. Okada is one of the most can’t-miss matches on the entire card!
AEW Collision - June 24th, 2023 Kazuchika Okada vs. AR Fox
It’s the second edition of Collision, and the night before Forbidden Door 2. Kazuchika Okada has his first ever match on AEW television, against the talented AR Fox. Fox knows that pulling this off would make him one of the biggest stars in wrestling, and he empties the tank early, but after weathering the storm, Okada is able to take advantage of an exhausted AR and hit him with The Rainmaker. However, just to pay Moxley back for his finisher theft on New Japan Road, Okada picks Fox up and plants him with a Paradigm Shift before making the match-winning cover! Kazuchika Okada def. AR Fox in 11:54
Jon Moxley doesn’t appreciate the disrespect, and he immediately storms out! Okada meets him on the ramp, and it’s hands on the spot! The two men exchange haymakers, leveling each other, not willing to wait for tomorrow night! The crowd here in The Six is loud for this brawl, and officials flood out of the backstage area to stop this! The two men get separated, but they’re giving each other Stone Cold Salutes as they get ushered to the back, obviously from separate sides!
AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door - June 25th, 2023 Jon Moxley vs. Kazuchika Okada (c) - IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
We’ve got a certified banger in the cards here, folks, because in one of the most intense feuds of the night, Jon Moxley challenges for Kazuchika Okada’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, looking to expand the Blackpool Combat Club’s trophy case even further. It’s Okada’s first defense, and there’s no love lost here, as we don’t see any clean breaks. Instead, each man slaps the other hard across the face, and the early goings of this one quickly devolve into a bit of a brawl. Moxley does his damndest to bring things to the outside, where he has a distinct advantage, and he eventually does, wrecking Okada out there.
However, Okada is a tremendous counter-wrestler, and he manages to reverse a Paradigm Shift attempt into a beautiful Arm Drag, followed by a Dropkick, a German Suplex, a Tombstone Piledriver, and a Discus Rainmaker! That barrage somehow isn’t even to keep Jon Moxley down, but it does turn the tide significantly, and Okada is eventually able to hit a regular version of The Rainmaker to secure the victory, coming out of the match worse for wear, but still the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion. Kazuchika Okada def. Jon Moxley in 28:59
2023.05.28 04:51 Junior_Button5882 11 Terrifying-But-True Horror Stories Reported in the News - From fatal exorcisms to unexplained deaths and devil worship—these are some real-life nightmares.
A terrifying movie
gets your blood pumping in the moment of consumption, sure—we covered our eyes in Squid Game
with the rest of the world. But for the most part, you rest easy afterward knowing that what you've witnessed is fiction, deliberately spun up to creep you out. When the real world gets eerier than anything Stephen King
could dream up, that's
when you have every right to get a little scared of the dark.
Once in a while, a story of a dreadful disappearance, demonic possession, or devil worship will land in the local paper instead of a pulpy old paperback. We've rounded up the most unnerving real-life tales below. In honor of spooky season, here are eleven we can't stop thinking about.
The Axe Murder House
The Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa is a well-known tourist attraction for ghost hunters and horror lovers alike. The site of a gruesome unsolved 1912 murder, in which six children and two adults had their skulls completely crushed by the axe of an unknown perpetrator, was purchased in 1994, restored to its 1912 condition, and converted into a tourist destination. It costs $428 a night to stay
at the old haunted home, where visitors always report strange paranormal experiences, such as visions of a man with an axe roaming the halls or the faint screams of children.
But in November of 2014, the haunting took a darker turn. Robert Steven Laursen Jr., 37, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin was on a regular recreational paranormal visit with friends when true horror struck. Per VICE
His companions found him stabbed in the chest—an apparently self-inflicted wound—called 9-1-1, and Laursen was brought to a nearby hospital before being helicoptered to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said
Laursen suffered the self-inflicted injury at about 12:45 a.m., which is around the same time the 1912 axe murders in the house began.
Laursen recovered from his injuries, but has never spoken publicly about what occurred that day. For Martha Linn, the owner of the home, the incident was very upsetting. "It's publicity, but it's not exactly the kind of publicity you desire to have. I don't want people thinking that when they come to the Villisca Axe Murder House something's going to happen that's going to make them do something like that.” The house remains open for tourist visits and overnight stays today.
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The Haunted Doll
When you think of haunted dolls, it’s likely the creepy old Victorian-looking porcelain kind that springs to mind. None of which you probably have laying around. Still, don’t get too comfortable around any kids toys too soon, though: a Disney’s Frozen
Elsa doll that was gifted for Christmas 2013 in the Houston area made headlines earlier this year when it seemingly became haunted.
Per KPRC2 Houston News:
The doll recited phrases from the movie Frozen and sang “Let It Go” when a button on its necklace was pressed.
“For two years it did that in English,” mother Emily Madonia said. “In 2015, it started doing it alternating between Spanish and English. There wasn’t a button that changed these, it was just random."
The family has owned the doll for more than six years and never changed its batteries. The mother says the doll would randomly begin to speak and sing even with its switch turned off.
The family decided to throw the creepy doll out in December of 2019. Weeks later, they found it inside a bench in their living room. “The kids insisted they didn’t put it there, and I believed them because they wouldn’t have dug through the garbage outside,” Madonia told KPRC2 Houston News.
At that point, Elsa ceased to sing the English rendition of “Let It Go” altogether, speaking only Spanish when pressed. The family then double-bagged the bizarre doll and placed it at the bottom of their garbage which was taken out on garbage day. They went on a trip shortly after, but when they returned, Elsa too had come back, and was waiting in the backyard of their home.
This time, the family mailed Elsa to a family friend in Minnesota, who taped the haunted doll to the front bumper of his truck. It doesn’t seem to have made its way back to Houston yet, as per Madonia’s latest February Facebook update
on the creepy doll.
A Deadly Exorcism
In August 2016 in North London, 26-year-old Kennedy Ife began acting strange and aggressive following a pain in his throat. He reportedly bit his father, threatened to cut off his own penis, and complained of a python or snake inside of him before his family restrained him to a bed with cable ties and excessive force.
As the BBC reported
“The family then set about attempting to ‘cure’ Kennedy through restraint and prayer over the next three days, the court was told.”
His brother, Colin Ife, told
“It’s clear that thing was in him, what we believed was a demon because it was not natural. It was clearly trying to kill him,” he said.
“We had to restrain him for himself. It was clear if we didn’t restrain him, he could have tried to harm people in our family.”
Kennedy Ife had been bound to his bed for three days without medical attention when his brother called emergency services, explaining that Kennedy Ife was complaining of dehydration. He appeared to have developed breathing issues, and was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m.
As The Independent reported
While police were at the house Colin Ife allegedly carried out an “attempted resurrection” by chanting and praying for Mr. Ife.
All seven of Kennedy Ife’s family members were accused of manslaughter, false imprisonment, and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult. A post-mortem examination revealed over 60 wounds including a possible bite on Kennedy Ife’s body, and his father, Kenneth Ife, along with four of his brothers, sustained injuries as well.
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The BBC reported
Kenneth Ife told jurors he ordered his sons to take shifts and use "overwhelming force" but denied that an "association with cults, occults and secret societies" played any part in the death.
After a four day jury deliberation
, all seven family members were cleared of charges on March 14, 2019.
📷Witches prepare themselves for a journey by broomstick to the Black Mountain, circa 1650. From a 17th century Dutch copperplate by Adrianus Hubertus.Hulton Archive
Dead Animals in the Walls
When the Bretzuis family decided to insulate their home in Auburn, Pennsylvania in 2015, they discovered that it had already been—with scores of dead animal carcasses.
As Fox reported
The dead animals were wrapped in newspapers from the 1930s and 40s and were among half-used spices, and other items.
After removing the items they sent hundreds of artifacts and carcasses to an expert in Kutztown.
The expert attributed the rotting animals in their walls to Pow-wow or Dutch magic, a ritual originating in the culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch to treat ailments and gain physical and spiritual protection. The Pennsylvania Dutch were a group of German-speaking settlers to Pennsylvania in the 1600 and 1700’s, and are often of Lutheran, Mennonite, or Amish faiths.
The Washington Post notes
on the magic:
Many of the spells deal with the care of livestock, finding water, or the treatment of minor ailments, reflecting the conditions and concerns of early American settlers.
But powwow also has within it a tradition of darker spells, and even of such things as conjuring demons.
One notable ritual in their tradition is this hex
to create loyalty in a dog:
To attach a dog to a person, provided nothing else was used before to effect it: Try to draw some of your blood, and let the dog eat it along with his food, and he will stay with you.
The mold found on the rotting carcasses in the Bretzuis home has caused illness among the family members, and they say that the odor hasn’t gone away.
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Florida Devil Worshipping
Friends noticed that Danielle Harkins, a 35-year-old schoolteacher near St. Petersburg, Florida, started acting strangely in June of 2012, developing an interest in demonic rituals.
Soon after, she was arrested for abuse of seven of her former students, as the Tampa Bay Times reported
Danielle Harkins told the kids they needed to rid their bodies of demons as the group gathered before dusk Saturday around a small fire near the St. Petersburg Pier. They should cut their skin to let the evil spirits out, police said she told the children. Then, they needed to burn the wounds to ensure that those spirits would not return.
When Harkins held a lighter to one teen's hand, wind blew the flame out, police said. That prompted her to douse his hand in perfume before setting it on fire. The boy suffered second-degree burns, police said.
Another teen was cut on the neck with a broken bottle, police said. Harkins used a flame to heat a small key, which she then used to cauterize the wound.
The police were notified because a friend of one of the students who participated in the ritual raised alarms. However none of the students themselves told their parents about the event or would comment following the arrest of Harkins for aggravated battery and child abuse.
Investigators said they've spoken to Harkins, but she didn't spell out what type of religion would require such drastic measures.
"She hasn't informed us exactly what she was trying to accomplish with this," Puetz [of the St. Petersburg Police Department] said.
The Death of Elisa Lam
Elisa Lam was last seen on January 31, 2013 in the lobby of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She was vacationing through the West Coast, documenting the trip on her blog, and checking in with her parents every day. On January 31 those calls stopped. Lam had vanished. Soon the police were involved and her parents arrived to help with the search.
They had nothing. That February, LAPD released elevator surveillance footage of Lam before her disappearance. The footage shows Lam behaving strangely in the elevator, appearing to talk with invisible people, peering around the corner of the door, crouching in the corner, and opening and closing the door. But what exactly is going on in this video raises more questions than answers. Theories range from psychotic episodes, to demonic possession, to unknown assailants just out of the camera's view:
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Around that time, hotel guests started reported weird things happening with the Cecil Hotel water supply. As CNN reports
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"The shower was awful," said Sabina Baugh, who spent eight days there during the investigation. "When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal."The tap water "tasted horrible," Baugh said. "It had a very funny, sweety, disgusting taste. It's a very strange taste. I can barely describe it."But for a week, they never complained. "We never thought anything of it," she said. "We thought it was just the way it was here."
On the morning of February 19, a hotel employee climbed to the roof and used a ladder to investigate the hotel's water storage tanks. That's where authorities found the decomposing, naked body of Lam, whose personal items were found nearby. After an autopsy, her death was labeled accidental. NBC Los Angeles reported at the time
about the strange circumstances in the hotel's past:
The tank has a metal latch that can be opened, but authorities said access to the roof is secured with an alarm and lock.The single-room-occupancy hotel has an unusual history. "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez, who was found guilty of 14 slayings in the 1980s, lived on the 14th floor for several months in 1985. And international serial killer Jack Unterweger is suspected of murdering three prostitutes during the time he lived there in 1991. He killed himself in jail in 1994.In 1962, a female occupant jumped out of one the hotel's windows, killing herself and a pedestrian on whom she landed.
In February 2021, a Netflix doc
called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
explored Elisa's tragic case and the history of the "cursed" Cecil Hotel
An Exorcism in Indianapolis
Last year, the Indianapolis Star published a lengthy report
on a family terrorized by three children allegedly possessed by demons. The account of Latoya Ammons and her family tells disturbing stories of children climbing up the walls, getting thrown across rooms, and children threatening doctors in deep unnatural voices. It would seem like something straight out of a movie–a work of fantasy, except all of these accounts were more or less corroborated with "nearly 800 pages of official records obtained by the Indianapolis Star and recounted in more than a dozen interviews with police, DCS personnel, psychologists, family members and a Catholic priest."
One of the more chilling sections of the report includes a segment about the possessed 9-year-old:
According to Washington's original DCS report—an account corroborated by Walker, the nurse—the 9-year-old had a "weird grin" and walked backward up a wall to the ceiling. He then flipped over Campbell, landing on his feet. He never let go of his grandmother's hand.
Another segment of the piece reads:
The 12-year-old would later tell mental health professionals that she sometimes felt as if she were being choked and held down so she couldn't speak or move. She said she heard a voice say she'd never see her family again and wouldn't live another 20 minutes.
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In September of 2014, a Utah teen returned to his home to find his parents and three siblings dead. "In a notebook, a 'to-do list' had been scribbled on the pages ... The list looked as if the parents were readying to go on vacation—items such as 'feed the pets' and 'find someone to watch after the house' were written," The Salt Lake Tribune reported
. It appeared to be murder-suicide, but there was no suicide note, no prior indication that they would do this, no explanation. Police could not figure out why two parents would kill themselves and three of their four children.
For a year, no one knew exactly what happened to the family, or what would drive the parents to do something so unthinkable. In January, police released more chilling details in the case. According to accounts from family members and an investigation by police, the parents were driven by a belief that the apocalypse was coming and an obsession with a convicted killer. As the Washington Post reported
Friends and family told police that the parents were worried about the "evil in the world" and wanted to escape a "pending apocalypse." But most assumed they just wanted to move somewhere "off the grid." Investigators also found letters written by Kristi Strack to one of the state's most infamous convicted killers, Dan Lafferty, who was convicted in the 1984 fatal stabbing of his sister-in-law and her 1-year-old daughter. According to trial testimony, he killed the victims at the order of his brother, Ron Lafferty, who claimed to have had a revelation from God. The story became a book called "Under the Banner of Heaven."Police said Kristi Strack became friends with Dan Lafferty, and she and her husband even visited him in prison.
The Phone Stalker
In 2007, ABC news documented
a series of cell phone calls to families with terrifyingly specific death threats. The unidentified callers knew exactly what families were doing and what they were wearing.
The families say the calls come in at all hours of the night, threatening to kill their children, their pets and grandparents. Voice mails arrive, playing recordings of their private conversations, including one with a local police detective.The caller knows, the families said, what they're wearing and what they're doing. And after months of investigating, police seem powerless to stop them.
This went on with the Kuykenall family for months, who reported a caller with a scratchy voice threatening to slit their throats.
When the Fircrest, Wash., police tried to find the culprit, the calls were traced back to the Kuykendalls' own phones -- even when they were turned off.It got worse. The Kuykendalls and two other Fircrest families told ABC News that they believe the callers are using their cell phones to spy on them. They say the hackers know their every move: where they are, what they're doing and what they're wearing. The callers have recorded private conversations, the families and police said, including a meeting with a local detective.
After moving into their $1.3 million dream home, a New Jersey family started receiving creepy death threats from someone who identified themselves as "The Watcher." As CBS News reported
earlier this year:
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Since moving in, the owners said they have received numerous letters from the mysterious person. "The Watcher" claimed the home "has been the subject of my family for decades," and "I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming," Castro reported.The new owners have several children, and other letters asked, "Have they found out what's in the walls yet?" and "I am pleased to know your names now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me."
The family was forced to flee from their home and later filed a lawsuit against the previous owners.
Issei the Cannibal
In 1974, 24-year-old Wako University student Issei Sagawa allegedly followed a German woman to her home in Tokyo, Japan, broke into her apartment while she was sleeping, and attempted to cut a piece of flesh off her body to consume. When she awoke, she reportedly fought him and he was later captured by the police. According to a 2012 Vice
documentary that covered Issei's bizarre story, he was mistakenly charged with attempted rape and his wealthy father paid the victim a settlement outside of court to have the charges dropped.
Seven years later, in 1981, he allegedly committed a murder in France—shooting and eating a fellow University student, Renée Hartevelt. Issei creepily documented the entire experience with photographs and he was captured by authorities once again while attempting to dump the rest of her body in the Bois de Boulogne lake. He was deported back to Japan and committed to a mental institution. For reason unknown, his psychologists in Japan declared that he was sane. Furthermore, a legal technicality involving the French government refusing to turn over the documents from his case meant that his murder charges were dropped completely. He checked himself out of the mental hospital and has reportedly been walking the streets as a free man ever since. Issei has even become a controversial celebrity, writing over 20 books. According to Japan Today
, he most recently fantasized about an unnamed TV actress, saying: "I'll catch a glimpse of her thigh and think, 'That sure looks tasty.' But I don't feel like I actually want to eat it. As I accomplished the act of cannibalism once, there's no meaning to maintaining the desire for it anymore. In my book, I wrote that it [human flesh] was tasty, but that was not really true; I'd much rather eat Matsuzaka (Kobe) beef. But because I'd desired to consume human flesh for so long, I'd managed to convince myself that it would necessarily be delicious."
Issei Sagawa was also referenced in the Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood," with the lyrics reading: "And when he ate her he took her bones/To the Bois de Boulogne." He is currently
73 years old and continues to live in Kawaski City, Japan. To this day, no one knows why France did not allow Japan to give him a trial.
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2023.05.28 04:11 ArchDukeNemesis Every NWA, WCW & WWE world heavyweight championship run from 1904-2023 combined, if every champion held the belt once.
To celebrate the "Return" of the "Big Gold Belt" on Raw, I thought I'd make a history combining all title runs from the first world heavyweight championship, through it's time in the NWA, its two off shoots in WCW and its appropriation by WWE. All lineages combined, all vacancies ignored, all reigns recognized and all champions holding the belt once.
|Name ||Date ||Location ||Days |
|George Hackenschmidt ||May 4, 1905 ||New York, New York ||1,065 |
|Frank Gotch ||April 3, 1908 ||Chicago, Illinois ||1,824 |
|Americus ||March 13, 1914 ||Kansas City, Missouri ||55 |
|Stanislaus Zbyszko ||May 7, 1914 ||Kansas City, Missouri ||176 |
|Charlie Cutler) ||January 8, 1915 ||N/A ||178 |
|Joe Stecher ||July 5, 1915 ||Omaha, Nebraska ||644 |
|Johan Olin ||December 11, 1916 ||Springfield, Massachusetts ||142 |
|Earl Caddock ||April 9, 1917 ||Omaha, Nebraska ||1,026 |
|Ed Lewis) ||May 2, 1917 ||Chicago, Illinois ||34 |
|Wladek Zbyszko ||June 5, 1917 ||San Francisco, California ||5844 |
|Wayne Munn ||January 8, 1925 ||Wichita, Kansas ||1360 |
|Gus Sonnenberg ||January 4, 1929 ||Boston, Massachusetts ||705 |
|Ed Don George ||December 10, 1930 ||Los Angeles, CA ||1693 |
|Danno O'Mahoney ||July 30, 1935 ||Boston, Massachusetts ||216 |
|Dick Shikat ||March 2, 1936 ||New York, New York ||54 |
|Ali Baba) ||April 25, 1936 ||Detroit, Michigan ||48 |
|Dave Levin) ||June 12, 1936 ||Newark, New Jersey ||109 |
|Dean Detton ||September 29, 1936 ||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ||273 |
|Bronko Nagurski ||June 29, 1937 ||Minneapolis, Minnesota ||507 |
|Jim Londos ||November 18, 1938 ||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ||2628 |
|Orville Brown ||July 14, 1948 ||Des Moines, IA ||501 |
|Lou Thesz ||November 27, 1949 ||Los Angeles, California ||2300 |
|Leo Nomellini ||March 22, 1955 ||San Francisco, CA ||359 |
|Whipper Billy Watson ||March 15, 1956 ||Toronto, ON ||609 |
|Édouard Carpentier ||June 14, 1957 ||Chicago, IL ||153 |
|Dick Hutton ||November 14, 1957 ||Toronto, ON ||421 |
|Pat O'Connor) ||January 9, 1959 ||St. Louis, MO ||903 |
|Buddy Rogers) ||June 30, 1961 ||Chicago, IL ||145 |
|Killer Kowalski ||November 22, 1961 ||Montreal, Quebec ||254 |
|Bruno Sammartino ||August 2, 1962 ||Toronto, ON ||16 |
|Bobo Brazil ||August 18, 1962 ||Newark, NJ ||1239 |
|Gene Kiniski ||January 7, 1966 ||St. Louis, MO ||1131 |
|Dory Funk Jr. ||February 11, 1969 ||Tampa, FL ||1563 |
|Harley Race ||May 24, 1973 ||Kansas City, KS ||57 |
|Jack Brisco ||July 20, 1973 ||Houston, TX ||500 |
|Giant Baba ||December 2, 1974 ||Kagoshima, Japan ||373 |
|Terry Funk ||December 10, 1975 ||Miami Beach, FL ||1350 |
|Dusty Rhodes) ||August 21, 1979 ||Tampa, FL ||616 |
|Tommy Rich ||April 27, 1981 ||Augusta, GA ||143 |
|Ric Flair ||September 17, 1981 ||Kansas City, KS ||355 |
|Jack Veneno ||September 7, 1982 ||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic ||122 |
|Carlos Colón ||January 6, 1983 ||San Juan, Puerto Rico ||487 |
|Kerry Von Erich ||May 6, 1984 ||Irving, TX ||1238 |
|Ron Garvin ||September 25, 1987 ||Detroit, MI ||515 |
|Ricky Steamboat ||February 20, 1989 ||Chicago, IL ||502 |
|Sting) ||July 7, 1990 ||Baltimore, MD ||257 |
|Tatsumi Fujinami ||March 21, 1991 ||Tokyo, Japan ||116 |
|Lex Luger ||July 14, 1991 ||Baltimore, Maryland ||363 |
|Big Van Vader ||July 12, 1992 ||Albany, Georgia ||21 |
|Ron Simmons ||August 2, 1992 ||Baltimore, Maryland ||10 |
|Masahiro Chono ||August 12, 1992 ||Tokyo, Japan ||145 |
|The Great Muta ||January 4, 1993 ||Tokyo, Japan ||48 |
|Barry Windham ||February 21, 1993 ||Asheville, NC ||210 |
|Rick Rude ||September 19, 1993 ||Houston, Texas ||178 |
|Hiroshi Hase ||March 16, 1994 ||Tokyo, Japan ||123 |
|Hulk Hogan ||July 17, 1994 ||Orlando, Florida ||42 |
|Shane Douglas ||August 27, 1994 ||Philadelphia, PA ||85 |
|Chris Candido ||November 19, 1994 ||Cherry Hill, NJ ||97 |
|Dan Severn ||February 24, 1995 ||Erlanger, KY ||247 |
|The Giant ||October 29, 1995 ||Detroit, Michigan ||29 |
|Randy Savage ||November 26, 1995 ||Norfolk, Virginia ||974 |
|Goldberg ||July 6, 1998 ||Atlanta, Georgia ||174 |
|Kevin Nash ||December 27, 1998 ||Washington, D.C. ||78 |
|Naoya Ogawa ||March 14, 1999 ||Yokohama, Japan ||29 |
|Diamond Dallas Page ||April 11, 1999 ||Tacoma, Washington ||167 |
|Gary Steele ||September 25, 1999 ||Charlotte, NC ||57 |
|Bret Hart ||November 21, 1999 ||Toronto, Ontario ||56 |
|Chris Benoit ||January 16, 2000 ||Cincinnati, Ohio ||8 |
|Sid Vicious ||January 25, 2000 ||Las Vegas, Nevada ||83 |
|Jeff Jarrett ||April 16, 2000 ||Chicago, Illinois ||9 |
|David Arquette ||April 25, 2000 ||Syracuse, New York ||75 |
|Booker T) ||July 9, 2000 ||Daytona Beach, Florida ||71 |
|Mike Rapada ||September 19, 2000 ||Tampa, FL ||6 |
|Vince Russo ||September 25, 2000 ||Uniondale, New York ||50 |
|Sabu) ||November 14, 2000 ||Tampa, FL ||12 |
|Scott Steiner ||November 26, 2000 ||Milwaukee, Wisconsin ||149 |
|Steve Corino ||April 24, 2001 ||Tampa, FL ||91 |
|Kurt Angle ||July 24, 2001 ||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ||6 |
|The Rock ||August 19, 2001 ||San Jose, California ||26 |
|Chris Jericho ||October 21, 2001 ||St. Louis, Missouri ||55 |
|Shinya Hashimoto ||December 15, 2001 ||McKeesport, PA ||186 |
|Ken Shamrock ||June 19, 2002 ||Huntsville, AL ||49 |
|Ron Killings ||August 7, 2002 ||Nashville, TN ||26 |
|Triple H ||September 2, 2002 ||Milwaukee, WI ||76 |
|Shawn Michaels ||November 17, 2002 ||New York, NY ||236 |
|A.J. Styles ||June 11, 2003 ||Nashville, TN ||401 |
|Randy Orton ||August 15, 2004 ||Toronto, ON, Canada ||231 |
|Ray González ||April 3, 2005 ||San Juan, Puerto Rico ||>1 |
|Batista ||April 3, 2005 ||Los Angeles, CA ||77 |
|Raven) ||June 19, 2005 ||Orlando, FL ||126 |
|Rhino ||October 23, 2005 ||Orlando, FL ||112 |
|Christian Cage ||February 12, 2006 ||Orlando, FL ||49 |
|Rey Mysterio ||April 2, 2006 ||Rosemont, IL ||231 |
|Abyss) ||November 19, 2006 ||Orlando, FL ||133 |
|The Undertaker ||April 1, 2007 ||Detroit, MI ||37 |
|Edge) ||May 8, 2007 ||Pittsburgh, PA ||70 |
|The Great Khali ||July 17, 2007 ||Laredo, TX ||46 |
|Adam Pearce ||September 1, 2007 ||Bayamón, Puerto Rico ||303 |
|CM Punk ||June 30, 2008 ||Oklahoma City, OK ||33 |
|Brent Albright ||August 2, 2008 ||New York City, NY) ||84 |
|Blue Demon Jr. ||October 25, 2008 ||Mexico City, Mexico ||29 |
|John Cena ||November 23, 2008 ||Boston, MA ||196 |
|Jeff Hardy ||June 7, 2009 ||New Orleans, LA ||296 |
|Jack Swagger ||March 30, 2010 ||Las Vegas, NV ||110 |
|Kane) ||July 18, 2010 ||Kansas City, MO ||212 |
|Dolph Ziggler ||February 15, 2011 ||San Diego, CA ||19 |
|Colt Cabana ||March 6, 2011 ||West Hollywood, CA ||48 |
|The Sheik ||April 23, 2011 ||Jacksonville, FL ||148 |
|Mark Henry ||September 18, 2011 ||Buffalo, NY ||91 |
|Daniel Bryan ||December 18, 2011 ||Baltimore, MD ||105 |
|Sheamus ||April 1, 2012 ||Miami, FL ||215 |
|Kahagas ||November 2, 2012 ||Clayton, NJ ||67 |
|Alberto Del Rio ||January 8, 2013 ||Miami, FL ||67 |
|Rob Conway ||March 16, 2013 ||San Antonio, TX ||294 |
|Satoshi Kojima ||January 4, 2014 ||Tokyo, Japan ||407 |
|Hiroyoshi Tenzan ||February 14, 2015 ||Sendai, Japan ||196 |
|Jax Dane ||August 29, 2015 ||San Antonio, TX ||419 |
|Tim Storm ||October 21, 2016 ||Sherman, TX ||414 |
|Nick Aldis ||December 9, 2017 ||Sewell, NJ ||266 |
|Cody ||September 1, 2018 ||Hoffman Estates, IL ||1093 |
|Trevor Murdoch ||August 29, 2021 ||St. Louis, MO ||167 |
|Matt Cardona ||February 12, 2022 ||Oak Grove, KY ||273 |
|Tyrus) ||November 12, 2022 ||Chalmette, LA ||196 |
|Seth "Freakin" Rollins ||May 27, 2023 ||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia ||1+ |
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2023.05.28 03:04 No-Database-3872 FS: Lot of 30 PSA slabs. Mostly Mint 9s with sprinking of 10 and 8s. Asking $400 shipped w/tracking. Lots of current and future HOFs (Bonds, Griffey, Thomas, Miggy, Rickey, etc.). Asking price doesn't cover grading costs but I need to clear some space. Can be for PC or for flipping.
2023.05.27 23:28 SpezMechman Is The Sopranos a good example of the Baby Boomer generation shitting on Gen Xers?
Christopher and Aid were two of the younger people that hung out with an older group, mostly Baby Boomers. Paulie is so old I don’t know what generation he was from.
But time and time again on the show, whether it’s Paulie sniffin’ Aid’s hot, hot panties, Tone supposedly making a move towards her, or whatever happened there, Paulie always sticking Chrissy with the bill, or even Tone killing Chrissy in the end, a huge theme of the show is of the Baby Boomer generation fucking up things for the younger people on the show.
It’s not just Aid and Chrissy. Artie beats the shit out of Benny Fazio criminal mastermind and foils his credit card scam, Uncle Jr having Brendan killed, Ralphie and Tracey, whatever happened there, or Tone and Charm being mediocre parents at best, there are ton of examples.
Can anyone else think of any examples?
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2023.05.27 22:45 SadioManesFist (Almost) France Squad 🇫🇷 Waiting for Koundé Price to Drop
| || |
With the exception of star passes, mostly free to pay (I don’t spend money on packs, only gems earned through events and got a lot of pack luck, Gullit 2x, Vini Jr TOTS, De Bruyne TOTS, buying low selling high on lots of cards) submitted by SadioManesFist to FUTMobile [link] [comments]
2023.05.27 21:54 AC_the_Panther_007 Out of My Casts for Die Hard (1988), Which one of those is your favorite? (Version 3)
Robert Redford as John McClane
Max von Sydow as Hans Gruber
Julie Newmar as Holly Gennero-McClane
Peter Lupus as Karl
James Earl Jones as Sgt. Al Powell
Dick Van Dyke as Richard "Dick" Thornburg
Glynn Turman as Argyle
Robert Stack as Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Fred Willard as Harry Ellis
Louis Gossett Jr. as Theo
Keye Luke as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi Director:
Harrison Ford as John McClane
Terence Stamp as Hans Gruber
Jane Fonda as Holly Gennero-McClane
Richard Kiel as Karl
Paul Winfield as Sgt. Al Powell
Dustin Hoffman as Richard "Dick" Thornburg
T.K. Carter as Argyle
Christopher Plummer as Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Timothy Dalton as Harry Ellis
Ernie Hudson as Theo
Jack Soo as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi Director:
Mel Gibson as John McClane
Jeremy Irons as Hans Gruber
Barbara Hershey as Holly Gennero-McClane
Stellan Skarsgård as Karl
Frankie Faison as Sgt. Al Powell
Ed O'Neill as Richard "Dick" Thornburg
Kadeem Hardison as Argyle
Brian Dennehy as Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Judge Reinhold as Harry Ellis
Dennis Haysbert as Theo
Mako as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi Director:
Keanu Reeves as John McClane
Gary Oldman as Hans Gruber
Demi Moore as Holly Gennero-McClane
Kevin Nash as Karl
Forest Whitaker as Sgt. Al Powell
Christopher McDonald as Richard "Dick" Thornburg
Marlon Wayans as Argyle
David Strathairn as Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Ben Stiller as Harry Ellis
Don Cheadle as Theo
Sab Shimono as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi Director:
Ryan Reynolds as John McClane
Gerard Butler as Hans Gruber
Rachel Weisz as Holly Gennero-McClane
Kevin Durand as Karl
Anthony Anderson as Sgt. Al Powell
Steve Carrell as Richard "Dick" Thornburg
Nick Cannon as Argyle
Bryan Cranston as Dwayne T. Robinson
Steve Zahn as Harry Ellis
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Theo
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi Director:
Chris Evans as John McClane
Benedict Cumberbatch as Hans Gruber
Hayley Atwell as Holly Gennero-McClane
Lee Pace as Karl
Brian Tyree Henry as Sgt. Al Powell
Charlie Day as Richard "Dick" Thornburg
John Boyega as Argyle
Robert Downey Jr. as Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
Bill Hader as Harry Ellis
Daniel Kaluuya as Theo
Mark Dacascos as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi Director:
F. Gary Gray View Poll
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