27 days ago
7/13/09
Posts: 15378

 

Just thought I’d post this for anyone who might be interested. Good video explaining why NJPW is where it is now from being down in the 2000s and making Brock their champ. Kind of long but good job and old footage explaining where Shinske and Tanahashi and that generation came from to what they are now after worked shoots with mma guys and the Brock year.

27 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 54302
Let's not talk about the New Japan shooter era of the 00's. The less anyone remembers that period, the better.
27 days ago
7/13/09
Posts: 15379
RKing85 - Let's not talk about the New Japan shooter era of the 00's. The less anyone remembers that period, the better.

I had no clue about it. I knew Barnett was supposedly over there and Brock was Champ and Sakuraba was a pro wrestler originally... always thought teaching some mma guys to work would be a good thing, keep some real shooters in the biz lol. Apparently not. 

27 days ago
8/19/03
Posts: 27750
RKing85 - Let's not talk about the New Japan shooter era of the 00's. The less anyone remembers that period, the better.

Any chance you would like to elaborate? I am not really familiar with the history of the organization or with the Japanese wrestling industry in general.  I do recall a number of pro wrestlers from that time competing in MMA with unsurprising lack of success, which probably didn't help give companies like NJPW a good look. 

 

I'm curious to know how Brock plays into that story, as just by looking at him physically in that time period, How could a promoter not want to get their hands on him and put him over as the top guy.

 

Was Japanese wrestling just down in general at this time, or was it because of bad booking and cross-promoting with legitimate MMA events?

27 days ago
8/19/03
Posts: 27751

I legitimately don't know shit about the Japanese wrestling industry as a whole, and anytime I try to watch New Japan Pro Wrestling right now I end up wanting to vomit from how bad it is, but I do remember watching some cool matches from back in the day.  My  favorite favourite Japanese stuff i can remember is AJPW from the 80s with Brody, Vader, Hansen, etc.

 

It seems like NJPW is more like the WWE of Japanese pro wrestling,  at least in recent years, no?

Edited: 27 days ago
7/13/09
Posts: 15383

Yeah I knew AJPW and NJPW as like the WCW and WWF of Japan in the 80s and 90s. Next thing I know it’s all this NOAH and Dragon Gate and all this other stuff happened when I was watching early UFC and Pride and not paying attention. Video explains most of the stuff you’re asking. 

The guy only did two wrestling documentaries and everything else he does is video game stuff. But they both explained Japanese wrestling to me better than most anything I’ve been able to find on YouTube 

heres the other one he did. It explains NOAH.

 

27 days ago
1/1/01
Posts: 23201
WaltJ -
RKing85 - Let's not talk about the New Japan shooter era of the 00's. The less anyone remembers that period, the better.

Any chance you would like to elaborate? I am not really familiar with the history of the organization or with the Japanese wrestling industry in general.  I do recall a number of pro wrestlers from that time competing in MMA with unsurprising lack of success, which probably didn't help give companies like NJPW a good look. 

 

I'm curious to know how Brock plays into that story, as just by looking at him physically in that time period, How could a promoter not want to get their hands on him and put him over as the top guy.

 

Was Japanese wrestling just down in general at this time, or was it because of bad booking and cross-promoting with legitimate MMA events?

When MMA got red hot in the early 2000s, pro wrestling was in a massive downturn in Japan. Pride was huge, and NJPW and other wrestling companies were struggling.  Inoki always had an obsession with MMA, but around the early 2000s he really started pushing MMA guys at the expense of his own wrestlers. He also pushed his wrestlers to try MMA in an attemt to "legitimize" them, so you get guys like Nagata and Liger getting wrecked in MMA and losing their pushes in NJPW, while guys like Fujita and Yasuda have marginal success in MMA and get pushed to the moon in NJPW despite being crap wrestlers.  The Nakamura's and Tanahashi's end up underutilized while Don Frye, Josh Barnett, Bob Sapp, and others get top of the card billing.  Inoki selling the company and getting ousted was the best thing to happen to NJPW. It allowed the next generation guys like Tana and Nak to be themselves and thrive. 

 

The problem with Brock in NJPW was that he was only there for an easy payday and wouldn't lose. In fact, NJPW had to go back to an old belt after they stripped Brock of the IWGP title because Brock took it back to the US with him and NJPW couldn't get it back

26 days ago
8/19/03
Posts: 27752
grizz632 -
WaltJ -
RKing85 - Let's not talk about the New Japan shooter era of the 00's. The less anyone remembers that period, the better.

Any chance you would like to elaborate? I am not really familiar with the history of the organization or with the Japanese wrestling industry in general.  I do recall a number of pro wrestlers from that time competing in MMA with unsurprising lack of success, which probably didn't help give companies like NJPW a good look. 

 

I'm curious to know how Brock plays into that story, as just by looking at him physically in that time period, How could a promoter not want to get their hands on him and put him over as the top guy.

 

Was Japanese wrestling just down in general at this time, or was it because of bad booking and cross-promoting with legitimate MMA events?

When MMA got red hot in the early 2000s, pro wrestling was in a massive downturn in Japan. Pride was huge, and NJPW and other wrestling companies were struggling.  Inoki always had an obsession with MMA, but around the early 2000s he really started pushing MMA guys at the expense of his own wrestlers. He also pushed his wrestlers to try MMA in an attemt to "legitimize" them, so you get guys like Nagata and Liger getting wrecked in MMA and losing their pushes in NJPW, while guys like Fujita and Yasuda have marginal success in MMA and get pushed to the moon in NJPW despite being crap wrestlers.  The Nakamura's and Tanahashi's end up underutilized while Don Frye, Josh Barnett, Bob Sapp, and others get top of the card billing.  Inoki selling the company and getting ousted was the best thing to happen to NJPW. It allowed the next generation guys like Tana and Nak to be themselves and thrive. 

 

The problem with Brock in NJPW was that he was only there for an easy payday and wouldn't lose. In fact, NJPW had to go back to an old belt after they stripped Brock of the IWGP title because Brock took it back to the US with him and NJPW couldn't get it back

I just watched the Liger vs Suzuki match.   What an absolutely awful idea. You're gonna take a guy who is one of your biggest and best-known stars (even I knew who Liger was)  and put him in a real competition where he has no idea of what he is doing against a guy who has legit wrestling skills. At least when WWF did Brawl for All,  it was based primarily on stand up and the objective of knocking the other guy out was simple enough for all the participants to understand. They  also didn't do it with their top Stars.  It's not like Bart Gunn beat the fuck out of Stone Cold or the Undertaker.

 

This really was a horrible idea.   Why not at least take a superstar that has some sort of an athletic grappling background? And then finally, to completely make it a disaster, you bring over all the MMA guys To go over on your biggest wrestling Stars. So you've basically damaged their credibility twice.

26 days ago
8/19/03
Posts: 27753

I found a good thread on reddit that gives a good rundown, many of which has been pointed out on this thread.  Very reckless and shortsighted move to hotshot business in that manner. 

 

I just watched a "fight" I hadn't seen in years.....Yuji Nagata getting head kicked in like 15 seconds from Cro Cop.   Embarrassing. 

26 days ago
11/11/11
Posts: 23175
WaltJ -
grizz632 -
WaltJ -
RKing85 - Let's not talk about the New Japan shooter era of the 00's. The less anyone remembers that period, the better.

Any chance you would like to elaborate? I am not really familiar with the history of the organization or with the Japanese wrestling industry in general.  I do recall a number of pro wrestlers from that time competing in MMA with unsurprising lack of success, which probably didn't help give companies like NJPW a good look. 

 

I'm curious to know how Brock plays into that story, as just by looking at him physically in that time period, How could a promoter not want to get their hands on him and put him over as the top guy.

 

Was Japanese wrestling just down in general at this time, or was it because of bad booking and cross-promoting with legitimate MMA events?

When MMA got red hot in the early 2000s, pro wrestling was in a massive downturn in Japan. Pride was huge, and NJPW and other wrestling companies were struggling.  Inoki always had an obsession with MMA, but around the early 2000s he really started pushing MMA guys at the expense of his own wrestlers. He also pushed his wrestlers to try MMA in an attemt to "legitimize" them, so you get guys like Nagata and Liger getting wrecked in MMA and losing their pushes in NJPW, while guys like Fujita and Yasuda have marginal success in MMA and get pushed to the moon in NJPW despite being crap wrestlers.  The Nakamura's and Tanahashi's end up underutilized while Don Frye, Josh Barnett, Bob Sapp, and others get top of the card billing.  Inoki selling the company and getting ousted was the best thing to happen to NJPW. It allowed the next generation guys like Tana and Nak to be themselves and thrive. 

 

The problem with Brock in NJPW was that he was only there for an easy payday and wouldn't lose. In fact, NJPW had to go back to an old belt after they stripped Brock of the IWGP title because Brock took it back to the US with him and NJPW couldn't get it back

I just watched the Liger vs Suzuki match.   What an absolutely awful idea. You're gonna take a guy who is one of your biggest and best-known stars (even I knew who Liger was)  and put him in a real competition where he has no idea of what he is doing against a guy who has legit wrestling skills. At least when WWF did Brawl for All,  it was based primarily on stand up and the objective of knocking the other guy out was simple enough for all the participants to understand. They  also didn't do it with their top Stars.  It's not like Bart Gunn beat the fuck out of Stone Cold or the Undertaker.

 

This really was a horrible idea.   Why not at least take a superstar that has some sort of an athletic grappling background? And then finally, to completely make it a disaster, you bring over all the MMA guys To go over on your biggest wrestling Stars. So you've basically damaged their credibility twice.

Alot of the guys actually did have athletic backgrounds. Keep in mind thats more the norm over there in Japan unlike in the states. With that said the big issue was guys being thrown to the wolves without adequate prep time, or even interest in doing mma fights. From inoki's/njpw's perspective I think part of the issue was the philosophy and promotion behind njpw. They had branded themselves as "king of sports" for the longest and championed themselves as the toughest and strongest fighting style. Inoki went decades doing matches with legit fighters from other styles to demonstrate the 'greatness' of strong style. Not to mention prowrestler  kazushi sakuraba(who even had some njpw matches as a rookie) was now the ace for pride. With All these factors, plus business not being strong, Inoki likely felt compelled to put up or shut up in regards to proving the legitimacy of his guys. It's not like wwf where so much was just regarded as theater.

 

Nagata, nakamura, and others had legit backgrounds. Nagata was thrown to the wolvrs though instead of being given opportunity to grow and develop within mma like any one else would(assumijg he even gave a shit to do it to begin with.)

26 days ago
8/19/03
Posts: 27756

Yeah, its fucking crazy when your first fight is Cro Cop, then your second fight is fucking Fedor.

26 days ago
11/11/11
Posts: 23176
WaltJ -

Yeah, its fucking crazy when your first fight is Cro Cop, then your second fight is fucking Fedor.

Exactly.

 

Even liger was a wrestling champ and mafe it to finals of national level competition in high school. He lost to kawada....

I think he was a last minute replacement or somethibt for that mma fight. Thrown in there against a fucking king of pancrase

Edited: 24 days ago
2/24/07
Posts: 18906
TheBearStare -
WaltJ -

Yeah, its fucking crazy when your first fight is Cro Cop, then your second fight is fucking Fedor.

Exactly.

 

Even liger was a wrestling champ and mafe it to finals of national level competition in high school. He lost to kawada....

I think he was a last minute replacement or somethibt for that mma fight. Thrown in there against a fucking king of pancrase

The saddest thing about that loss to CroCop was that it completely derailed Nagata's push in NJ. The rumor was that he was supposed to go over Akiyama for the GHC title at the dome 5 days later, but Misawa (and Inoki) were having no part of him winning after getting humilated so quickly. 

 

I used to work for a couple of review sites at the time, and the morale was at an ALL TIME LOW with the internet community.