Over the next week or so, I’m going to be posting a series of articles EXCLUSIVELY here at FGB documenting the state of Japanese Pro Wrestling at the moment. Each article will highlight one or maybe a couple of feds. We kick things of with …
One could quite easily make a case that this is the most well rounded wrestling promotion in the world right now. New Japan offer up a bit of everything. You have a junior heavyweight division headed by Ireland’s Fergal Devitt which has been producing one classic MOTYC after another. Matches like Devitt vs. Kanemoto, Devitt vs. Marufuji and Fujita vs. Kanemoto all deserve to finish high in any match of the year list. There is a tag division which after a few years of neglect and tarnishing (cough…Team 3D… cough) is really making a comeback with IWGP Tag Champs, Bad Intentions (Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson) leading the way. With the G1 Tag League upcoming, this division is about to get even hotter. Then there’s the heavyweight singles guys, and among them are some of the best in the world – guys who are right now in their prime like Tanahashi, Nakamura, Makabe and Goto, and dependable veterans like Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi and Satoshi Kojima. Shinsuke Nakamura in particular is on fire right now and has a case for being the best heavyweight in the world.
All of this is backed up by sensible booking with a willingness to create interesting storylines that allow the wrestlers to display their characters. There are numerous clear heels which you don’t have in alot of Japanese companies.
The future looks incredibly bright too. Tetsuya Naito looks a lock to be the ace of the promotion for years to come. He has it all – a unique charisma, incredible natural talent, and a great look. His partner Yujiro Takahashi may end up more suited for being the ace of the junior division due to his height but he too has great skills and personality. With the talented Kazuchika Okada due back from his US excursion soon and the new crop of young lions that debuted this year there is even more reason to be optimistic.