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King of Sports: New Japan Pro-Wrestling Discussion Thread

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FOX Sports reported today that WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has officially signed with AXS TV to replace Mauro Ranallo as the lead announcer for AXS's New Japan Pro Wrestling TV series, featuring older material from NJPW.

Ranallo left the series after signing with WWE to become the new lead announcer for Smackdown.

 

"I'm a big fan of the New Japan product as they have been one if the most highly regarded brands within the genre for decades," Ross told FOX Sports. "New Japan has a unique opportunity with AXS TV to grow their brand in North America. The more fans sample the athleticism, physicality, no-nonsense presentation of NJPW the more they're going to like it. For me, the New Japan Pro Wrestling business philosophy reminds me of my earlier years in wrestling. I've had numerous other offers, some serious and others just flirting to return to TV Wrestling broadcasting but none have had the appeal that AXS TV offered me. We think my style will fit the NJPW in-ring presentation well. We'll know that conclusively in early March. Plus, AXS TV and I discussed other potential projects outside NJPW."

 

Ross will pair with Josh Barnett for the series.

 

To read the complete FOX News story, click here: http://www.foxsports.com/buzzer/story/wwe-jim-ross-is-back-legendary-voice-to-call-new-japan-pro-wrestling-matches-on-axs-tv-011916

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About the best we could hope for. The biggest living legend in the game. And yet, I'll still miss Ranallo, especially because he's in the nothing show that is Smackdown, besides the awful, awful, truly awful Jerry Lawler.

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Jim Ross signing on to be the lead announcer for NJPW on AXS TV means that he will just be doing English-language commentary for NJPW events currently on NJPWWorld.com. He will not be doing announcing for live NJPW events.

 

It looks like Kevin Kelly will continue to be the lead announcer for the English-language commentary for live events streamed on NJPWWorld.com. The next live event to be streamed on the platform will be 2016’s Wrestling Dontaku event that looks to be called by Kevin Kelly and Matt Striker.

 

Jim Ross’ deal is with AXS TV directly and not with NJPW. As of now the plan is just to have Ross do commentary alongside Josh Barnett over the NJPW tapes that AXS TV has acquired the rights to. As of this writing that is the extent of Ross’ relationship with both NJPW and AXS TV.

 

http://www.wrestlezone.com/news/664551-update-the-latest-on-jim-ross-commentary-deal-with-njpw-axs-tv#/slide/1


 

 

WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross has issued his first comments on his new AXS TV deal in which he will be providing commentary for NJPW. He posted the following on his JR’s Bar-B-Q website.

 

"My thanks to all of you that have given us your good wishes on our new gig with AXS TV and New Japan Pro Wrestling that starts on Friday night March 4. I will be filling the chair of the talented Mauro Ranallo who left AXS to take the WWE Smackdown play by play job and I will be working wth Josh Barnett, former UFC Heavyweight Champion and pro wrestler, who’s evolving into a helluva broadcaster. I am excited to get started and I’ve already begun my prep for our first voice over session which is in the second week of February in Los Angeles.

 

I’m looking forward to teaming with Josh Barnett on these broadcasts and our goal is to be the best broadcast team in pro wrestling. End of story. We’re coming to kick ass and have fun and to continue to help build the NJPW brand on AXS.NJPW is a proud company that has long been one of the premier wrestling promotions in the world and I am honored to being the play by play voice of this company in North America.

 

I never felt like I left the broadcasting side of the wrestling business the right way and this will give me a chance to correct that self perceived negative exit. Every Friday night will be my own personal ‘Wrestlemania’ as I hope to hit the ground running on this new opportunity on AXSTV. Business has picked up…and I am grateful!"

 

http://www.wrestlingnewssource.com/news/41374/Jim-Ross-Comments-On-AXS-NJPW-Announcement/

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About the best we could hope for. The biggest living legend in the game. And yet, I'll still miss Ranallo, especially because he's in the nothing show that is Smackdown, besides the awful, awful, truly awful Jerry Lawler.

 

I feel the same way. Ross's voice is iconic but Ranallo is the best announcer out there. Is there anybody really good that is flying under the radar?

 

There was a thread recently where we were making predictions for WWE in 2016. One of mine was that everyone was going to love Smackdown. That sums up why I can be very pessimistic when it comes to WWE these days. On the rare occasion I'm hopeful and really believe they're going to do something right, I end up being wrong. Rather than get my hopes up I have to try to enjoy it for what it is. I never thought any show with Ranallo could be boring or unwatchable, but they found a way.

Edited by Crowley

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Well, I don't know. Really good? Don't think so. I can only remember the usual suspects (Kelly, Striker, The TNA folks), but yeah, they're nowhere near Ross and Ranallo's level.

 

About Smackdown, I remember Ranallo saying he was excited because Smackdown on USA would be like a hybrid of Raw and NXT or something like that. And, uh, if anyone can correct me I would be glad, but the show has not changed a damn thing. It does not matter. At all. I could skip Smackdown every time, and it would not affect me viewing Raw. Of course, they will do the odd title change here and there, but mostly the show doesn't matter. And that's just disheartening, seems like the days of Smackdown being a good show are long in the past.

 

Anyway, back to NJPW: Ross will certainly bring most of his usual emotion/intensity, but I would be hard pressed to believe he'll match Ranallo's preparation. Not that he's any bad, Ranallo's just outstanding. Ross was not as caught up in NJPW's recent affairs as he could have been when he called Wrestle Kingdom. Also, to be honest, you can't expect JR at this point in his career to prepare like his life depended on it. I hope that comes from an outstanding production team, because if that all came from Ranallo, then the show will suffer a bit. But NJPW should be ecstatic to have Ross just based on name value alone. I don't think they particularly care though, since they just sell the World Pro Wrestling show.

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Well, I don't know. Really good? Don't think so. I can only remember the usual suspects (Kelly, Striker, The TNA folks), but yeah, they're nowhere near Ross and Ranallo's level.

 

About Smackdown, I remember Ranallo saying he was excited because Smackdown on USA would be like a hybrid of Raw and NXT or something like that. And, uh, if anyone can correct me I would be glad, but the show has not changed a damn thing. It does not matter. At all. I could skip Smackdown every time, and it would not affect me viewing Raw. Of course, they will do the odd title change here and there, but mostly the show doesn't matter. And that's just disheartening, seems like the days of Smackdown being a good show are long in the past.

 

Anyway, back to NJPW: Ross will certainly bring most of his usual emotion/intensity, but I would be hard pressed to believe he'll match Ranallo's preparation. Not that he's any bad, Ranallo's just outstanding. Ross was not as caught up in NJPW's recent affairs as he could have been when he called Wrestle Kingdom. Also, to be honest, you can't expect JR at this point in his career to prepare like his life depended on it. I hope that comes from an outstanding production team, because if that all came from Ranallo, then the show will suffer a bit. But NJPW should be ecstatic to have Ross just based on name value alone. I don't think they particularly care though, since they just sell the World Pro Wrestling show.

 

LOL It takes time its not gonna change right away after two shows.

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Anyway, back to NJPW: Ross will certainly bring most of his usual emotion/intensity, but I would be hard pressed to believe he'll match Ranallo's preparation. Not that he's any bad, Ranallo's just outstanding. Ross was not as caught up in NJPW's recent affairs as he could have been when he called Wrestle Kingdom. Also, to be honest, you can't expect JR at this point in his career to prepare like his life depended on it. I hope that comes from an outstanding production team, because if that all came from Ranallo, then the show will suffer a bit. But NJPW should be ecstatic to have Ross just based on name value alone. I don't think they particularly care though, since they just sell the World Pro Wrestling show.

 

I'm sure Ranallo did his research but I bet he also had a good team behind him that helped bring him up to speed on all of different characters and storylines. A lot of people seemed really disappointed in Ross's Wrestle Kingdom commentary. Considering it was the first time they ever attempted doing english commentary like that, I thought they did a pretty good job. I expect Ross to sound much better on these taped episodes though. And if he ever does do a live pay-per-view again, he won't have the issues that he had the first time because he'll be familiar with all of the wrestlers, moves, and stories.

 

I'm not a big fan of the commentary Kevin Kelly has been doing for ROH in recent years, but I thought he and Striker did a good job in NJPW, particularly with the part where Bullet Club turned on AJ at New Year's Dash.

Edited by Crowley

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Well, I don't know. Really good? Don't think so. I can only remember the usual suspects (Kelly, Striker, The TNA folks), but yeah, they're nowhere near Ross and Ranallo's level.

 

About Smackdown, I remember Ranallo saying he was excited because Smackdown on USA would be like a hybrid of Raw and NXT or something like that. And, uh, if anyone can correct me I would be glad, but the show has not changed a damn thing. It does not matter. At all. I could skip Smackdown every time, and it would not affect me viewing Raw. Of course, they will do the odd title change here and there, but mostly the show doesn't matter. And that's just disheartening, seems like the days of Smackdown being a good show are long in the past.

 

Anyway, back to NJPW: Ross will certainly bring most of his usual emotion/intensity, but I would be hard pressed to believe he'll match Ranallo's preparation. Not that he's any bad, Ranallo's just outstanding. Ross was not as caught up in NJPW's recent affairs as he could have been when he called Wrestle Kingdom. Also, to be honest, you can't expect JR at this point in his career to prepare like his life depended on it. I hope that comes from an outstanding production team, because if that all came from Ranallo, then the show will suffer a bit. But NJPW should be ecstatic to have Ross just based on name value alone. I don't think they particularly care though, since they just sell the World Pro Wrestling show.

 

LOL It takes time its not gonna change right away after two shows.

 

 

 

It takes time for a major overhaul, but if they're saying it's gonna be a new identity, you better see some changes on the first shows, and not just being the same show plus a new announcer and a new network. You CAN rebrand yourself with immediate effect, if you plan it right and don't do it on the fly as they seemingly did.

 

 

Anyway, back to NJPW: Ross will certainly bring most of his usual emotion/intensity, but I would be hard pressed to believe he'll match Ranallo's preparation. Not that he's any bad, Ranallo's just outstanding. Ross was not as caught up in NJPW's recent affairs as he could have been when he called Wrestle Kingdom. Also, to be honest, you can't expect JR at this point in his career to prepare like his life depended on it. I hope that comes from an outstanding production team, because if that all came from Ranallo, then the show will suffer a bit. But NJPW should be ecstatic to have Ross just based on name value alone. I don't think they particularly care though, since they just sell the World Pro Wrestling show.

 

I'm sure Ranallo did his research but I bet he also had a good team behind him that helped bring him up to speed on all of different characters and storylines. A lot of people seemed really disappointed in Ross's Wrestle Kingdom commentary. Considering it was the first time they ever attempted doing english commentary like that, I thought they did a pretty good job. I expect Ross to sound much better on these taped episodes though. And if he ever does do a live pay-per-view again, he won't have the issues that he had the first time because he'll be familiar with all of the wrestlers, moves, and stories.

 

I'm not a big fan of the commentary Kevin Kelly has been doing for ROH in recent years, but I thought he and Striker did a good job in NJPW, particularly with the part where Bullet Club turned on AJ at New Year's Dash.

 

 

Kevin Kelly did a solid job on WK and New Year's Dash. I have a love/hate relationship with Striker. I love his passion, but hate his smartass-isms. I'm sure Ranallo had a production team, but I'm not sure if it was a good one that provided him everything he needed, or a bad one that he had to outperform with his own knowledge. I hope is the former, but given that the show's not even produced by AXS, I don't really know.

 

Ross did a good job on Wrestle Kingdom, especially in the main events. It's just that ideally I would like announcers to have all the necessary information to not look lost as he did a couple of times. By the way, can NJPW please never do the Yoshitatsu commentating thing again... It was just painful to hear. The guy was probably put in a tough spot and it showed, but also, he lived so long in the USA and can barely speak functional English? C'mon.

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Credit: Puro Spirit

 

"Shinsuke Nakamura held a press to formally address his decision to leave New Japan.

 

To get the main point out of the way first. Nakamura did not specifically address as to where he is indeed going. (Even though the rumors highly suggest WWE and he will not know that answer as definite until he passes the physical as well).

Nakamura stated that he has been troubled with the lack of determination in New Japan for the last two years now. He feels that he has been in a rut of sorts and has exhausted every avenue and height that he could possibly reach within the promotion. This is completely his decision as he wants to continue growing as a professional wrestler and to find new sense of feeling as he competes in a ring. It should also be noted that he has the utmost respect for all that New Japan has done for him, but at the same time he needs to do what he feels is the best decision for himself as well.

 

To end the press conference, Nakamura officially relinquished the IWGP Intercontinental belt to the Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi. Respect was shown between the two as Sugabayashi stated that he accepts and wishes Nakamura the best of luck in whatever he does in the future.

 

Nakamura still has two events left in which is scheduled to compete on 1/29 and 1/30. The show on the 30th seeing the main event as his final send-off match."

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In his blog Hiroshi Tanahashi, wrote that he suffered a dislocated shoulder at yesterday's New Japan/CMLL Fantastica Mania Tour finale show and will be going to see a doctor today. There is no further info as of yet.

http://www.pwinsider.com/article/99269/hiroshi-tanahashi-injured.html?p=1

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Yeah. The era of Omega is upon us.

Edited by classiq.

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Shinsuke Nakamura says goodbye to NJPW in the morning (Jan 30) as The Road to The New Beginning goes through Korakuen Hall. The show is live on NJPWWorld.com at 18.30JST (4.30AM EST/9.30AM UK).

Nakamura teams with CHAOS teammates Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii to take on Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata, which should be a hugely emotional match. Hiroshi Tanahashi worked this morning's Road to show, so his injury presumably isn't too bad, or he will work through it for now.

 

*David Finlay vs. Hirai Kawato

 

*Jay White vs YOSHI-HASHI

 

*Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask IV

 

*Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba vs Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale

 

*KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi & Captain New Japan vs. Tetsuya Naito & EVIL & BUSHI

 

*Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Michael Elgin & Juice Robinson vs. Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows & Cody Hall

 

*Shinsuke Nakamura Send-Off: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

http://www.pwinsider.com/article/99369/shinsuke-namamuras-new-japan-farewell-tomorrow-.html?p=1

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Will Ospreay, the U.K.'s most talked about young wrestler debuted tonight with TNA, but ended up losing in 5:00 in what was either a dark match or a match taped for Xplosion against Mark "Mandrews" Andrews.

 

Apparently, the plan was to push Ospreay but TNA found out that he had signed with New Japan Pro Wrestling and decided not to put him on the main show.

 

It is not certain when Ospreay will debut with New Japan other than he had been scheduled to be in this year's Best of the Super Juniors tournament in May and June.

 

Jimmy Havoc and Big Damo, the other U.K. stars scheduled to debut on this tour, as of right now are expected to be on the Impact shows taped tomorrow at Wembley in London.

 

Source: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

 

Awesome news.

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Shinsuke Nakamura said goodbye to NJPW this morning in Korakuen Hall. After his final match teaming with Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii to defeat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Katsuyori Shibata Hirooki Goto, there were some incredibly emotional scenes as CHAOS said farewell to their leader. It's available now on NJPW World and is absolutely something you have to see.

 

Also on the show, Hiroshi Tanahashi announced that he will be facing Kenny Omega for the vacant IWGP Intercontinental championship at The New Beginning.

 

NJPW announced the ROH participants for the Honor Rising shows in Korakuen Hall on Feb 19 & 20. Jay Lethal, Roderick Strong, The Briscoes, Moose, Adam Cole, ReDRagon, Michael Elgin, Dalton Castle & Delirious will all be involved.

http://www.pwinsider.com/article/99392/what-roh-stars-are-heading-to-japan-next-month-nakamura-farewell-more-njpw-notes.html?p=1

 

Dalton Castle in Japan. :lol: Can't wait to see that reaction.

 

Full results from January 30's Road to New Beginning event: http://www.pwinsider.com/article/99391/shinsuke-nakamura-says-goodbye-130-njpw-road-to-new-beginning-report-.html?p=1

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