My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Friday, July 29, 2005

Barnett Out, Kawada In!

New Japan announced that Toshiaki Kawada will be replacing Josh Barnett in this year's G-1 CLIMAX tournament, stating that Barnett's shoulder injury hasn't quite healed up enough to compete.
I was excited at first to hear Kawada would be in, but then I realized it just screams desperation on New Japan's part. They most probably saw the numbers NOAH did for their Tokyo Dome show with Kawada, and now to get big attendance numbers for their G-1, they throw in Kawada to have possibly every dream match they can have with him in one tour, much like Akiyama in 2003.
This of course begs the question, how far will Kawada go in the G-1 and who will beat him for points if not in the finals? I can DEFINATELY say one person he's NOT going to beat is Masahiro Chono. That match will go to a time limit draw, where as Kawada will leave everyone laying in his wake, save for maybe Nishimura who will score the flash pin on him like he did to Akiyama in 2003.
I'm of course hoping Kawada makes the finals to put over one of the new bloods. But GOD I hope he doesn't have to put over Kazuyuki Fujita in the semis or EVER. Fujita is the most undeserving of a win over Dangerous K. If Hiroyoshi Tenzan finally pays back Kawada by beating him in the finals, than ok, but it would mean sh*t at this point for Tenzan anyway.
Outsiders have NEVER won the G-1, but at this point, the appropriate choice would be none other than Kawada himself. It would make sense to me to have Kawada beat Fujita in the semis or the finals, and then lose to Fujita in an IWGP title defence. It sucks for Kawada to have to lose to Fujita ANYTIME, but that's the best scenario I guess for New Japan to cash in on Kawada's value.



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