Alright. So I'm going to respond selectively to what you wrote. Which is not to say that I don't appreciate the way you responded--I just can't respond to everything (or even make a defense for in some cases).Big Red Machine wrote: ↑Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:16 pmI didn't even realize Okada hadn't been pinned in a year.
The stuff you mentioned is all very good, though I don't think I would call any of it particularly great, other than the Omega/Ishii subplot to Omega vs. Okada, and even that I had a bit of an issue with.
Gedo does certain basic but important things very well, including protecting his stars (though I'd argue that he is way overprotective of Tanahashi at this point), keeping his finger on the pulse of the fanbase, and utilizing his talent in roles on the card that fit them well. But there are other basic but important things that I think Gedo does extremely poorly.
My biggest gripe with Gedo's booking is that unless there is a title changing hands, things don't have consequences.
In last year's G1 Tama Tonga betrayed Bad Luck Fale, going back on their plan that would have almost certainly guaranteed Fale a spot in the G1 finals. The year before that AJ Styles did something similar to Fale, and even poked him in the eye and cheated top beat him. In both instances they were right back to being friends the next day. This year we saw Omega and Tama Tonga get into a screaming match about Omega's perceived selfishness at the expense of the group. Nothing has come of that, either.
Yano kicked Okada in the balls and tried to cheat him out of a match in this year's G1 (and I'm sure he's done the same other CHAOS members in the past). How has he not been kicked out of the group yet? All of the Jr. Heavyweights in Suzuki-Gun just randomly started to attack each other with weapons and kick each other in the nuts on the final day of this year's BOSJ B Block. And the next day they're all back together like nothing ever happened.
Fale destroys Darryl and nothing comes of it. How do you not build to a match between those two off of that? If the issue is that they're in different weight classes, then why not actually use the "Openweight" part of the NEVER Openweight Title and have that be your loophole to get the match made, with Hiromu getting revenge on Fale by taking the title from him?
Or you have a situation where a guy pins a champion and doesn't get a title match. Suzuki did jobs for EVIL, Omega, Yano, and Elgin in the G1, but only Elgin has gotten a title shot yet, and only Yano has had one announced. Meanwhile, one of New Japan's biggest shows of the year just went by with no one getting a title shot. Same story with Tanahashi and Ibushi. Why did that match not happen at KOPW instead of that pointless tag match? Okada went all three shows of the Destruction Tour without defending his belt. How the hell has no rematch for Omega been announced yet even though he pinned Okada in the G1 and his last title shot against Okada went to a time limit draw? If you're not going to book a follow-up match, don't have the champion do a job!
And speaking of guys who have pinned Okada, Ishii pinned Okada in last year's G1 and still hasn't gotten a title shot yet. the only explanation I have heard for this is that they're in the same stable and therefore won't fight each other, but that's idiotic. Why can't they? They're both babyfaces, so why can't they have a nice clean title match against each other?
That's a big part of the reason that I'm skeptical that this EVIL push will go anywhere. Naito is already the top dog in LIJ, so there just isn't a spot at the top of the card for EVIL. And Bullet Club has Omega, CHAOS has Okada, Taguchi Japan has Tanahashi, and Suzuki-Gun has Suzuki, so unless he's going to form his own stable, I honestly don't see anywhere for him to go up to.
With the exception of Okada and Tanahashi (which was a very long-term thing with relatively few components), every time Gedo has tried to tell a story, I have found it extremely wanting. The whole redemption of KUSHIDA earlier this year I thought was extremely rushed-through, and the thing he did with Tenzan, Liger, and Nagata, in their final G1s was terrible. By jobbing them out the way he did, he told us that not only were our heroes too old to still go anymore, but they did so poorly this year that they probably should have given up after last year. That's not a fun or entertaining story, and especially not after the things they did with Kojima giving Tenzan his spot so Tenzan could have one last shot in the G1.
I've also found the general booking of the G1 and BOSJ to be pretty bad. The right guys finished in the top two of the blocks and the right guys won the G1, but the booking of the blocks themselves have been lackluster at best. His general idea is always to try to keep pretty much everyone close so that we don't know who will win until the end, but that strategy is defeated by the fact that he always books it so that it almost always comes down to the two guys in the main event on the final day of block play pretty much gives it away once the cards are announced, and he books the last few days like an idiot by having pretty much everyone else get mathematically eliminated on the second to last day instead of the last day that rather than having all of the matches (or at least four out of five) on the final day of block play mean something, it's only the main event and maybe one other match where the outcome has any affect whatsoever.
I'm also not thrilled with this while thing going on where top singles titles are rarely defended (there is no reason for Okada to only defend his belt once in six months), and as noted above, the booking of all three tag divisions is pathetically sloppy.
I have little problem with the intra-stable missed connections during the annual tournaments. This mostly happens between mirrored heels and faces, so doing an early face/heel shift just makes sense to do for the sake of the match getting over, especially when of the guys is someone like Kanemaru or Tama Tonga. If the match doesn't go out of its way to dramatize the effects of what just transpired, then I know to regard what I'm watching as a story capsule that won't later be considered canon. I accept the occasional wackiness in unexpected places.
Champions getting pinned during the G1 more suggests a title shot than demands it. For the most part I have no gripes with that, but Ishii/Okada is a match that everyone wants--so why not go for it? I also think that match should have happened sometime between September and December last year.
Booking the round robin tournaments are a tall task. For ticket purposes, each show must have the headliners revealed, which makes the tournament more of a story of getting there than having revelations of what's next. At the very least, the final matches of the the block finals heavily point toward key actors before the finals. From what I've seen, this year's G1 was one of the more infrequent strategies where, by end, each block only had two eligible wrestlers for the final. I understand that story being used to build up to the big encounter for Okada/Omega 3, though Ibushi or Ishii or Sabre really should have been in the running on Block A final night. As for the aging wrestlers, I also would like to see more of a tease of their contention but I respect that Gedo sticks to stating that these wrestlers are retiring because they can't perform well in the G1 anymore.
EVIL will be okay. He's being set up for next year so that he can be in more championship matches and have them feel like a big deal. I don't think he's going to hold onto the one of the three main belts until at least 2018, and that's fine as long as LIJ is being prepared with a strong second-in-command.
Complimentary booking is best how I would describe NJPW. Cards have real main event attractions which sell the show, batten up any toothless undercard match, and almost guarantee, even at its lowest limit, an excellent match. A given wrestler's path toward the uppercard is a story that they like to take years telling. Contrasted to Gabe's tendency of authorship, the New Japan product operates in the anticipatory.BurningHammer wrote: ↑Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:03 pmThe last thing New Japan really needs is a new booker, they are having huge success under Jado and Gedo, stories are progressing new stars are now being made and accepted by fans generally. Gedo keeps things simple enough that every crowd from each country can buy into and understand, that right now is perfect for them. Especially with having such a match based style it compliments the booking, if the matches didn't deliver then there would be more of an issue.
TL;DR: whenever a product often results in wrestlers coming out stronger in their defeat, creative is likely Pretty Good. Also sorry sorry sorry for assisting the slow turn of this thread toward Gedo vs. Gabe.