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Ace of New Japan
RealNigga je napisao/la:Source of the post
Sjećam se da sam prije par godina čitao dijelove Tanahashijeve knjige ''McDonaldization of Wrestling'' koje je neko preveo na redditu i čini se kao zanimljiv lik, tako da bi i ovo trebalo biti dobro. Navodno ima i intervju s Naitom i Takahashijem, valjda će i to prevesti.
Kod: Označi sve
McDonalization of Pro-wrestling
During my U-30 IWGP Champion reign (2003-2005), I used to criticize wrestling styles that involve excessive use of moves as “McDonalization of Wrestling”. Here, I'm talking about wrestling that you can readily enjoy like fast-food. Type of wrestling where you throw in moves after moves, and make spots that will make the crowd on their feet as much as possible, so that the fans can enjoy them conveniently and efficiently.
As a result, wrestlers and matches start to lack in their color or individuality. In the end, there will be more wrestlers with same moves resulting in same kind of matches.
When you think of fast-food, it has its benefit for being simple, but in the long run, it has its downside as well.
As opposed to the “McDonalization of wrestling”, I tried to make every move matter… and constructed matches in style that has “introduction, development, turn and conclusion”. That may be one of the reasons why I looked out of place during that period in NJPW.
And at that time, I didn’t have what it takes to convey my intention to the crowd. Yet I had the ideal of “What a match should look like” from long ago, so I never had a doubt in what I was doing.
I wanted to give attention to the “space” in between my moves. If I throw in moves after moves, the crowd will be deprived of their opportunity to enjoy those “space” between the moves. The kind of “space” that the famous Ric Flair created in his matches. And when they are lost, you fail to give audience the aftertaste of each move. The beauty of pro-wrestling will be lost forever.
Pro-wrestling is about dealing with mannerism. As the chairman of BUSHIROAD (owner of NJPW) Takaaki Kidani always say, “Entertainment is done for when people are bored with the product”. And I agree with that. The more progress “McDonalization of wrestling” make, the faster fans will lose interest in the product. The fans will lose their expectation for the coming product in the future.
As for mannerism, there is a case when a certain move is sublimated from an ordinary “cliché” to a level of “art”. For example, I consider moves like Inoki’s Enzugiri and sequence where Ric Flair is thrown off the top rope, to be art.
It’s a test of endurance with the fans until it is established as their favorite routine. You have to keep on doing it to a point where the fans beg “I want to see Flair thrown off the top rope!”
When you perform a new move, people will be confused or not react at all at first. But you can’t just give up there. You must be patient until it is established. I underwent an emotional conflict, but I kept on going with the style I believed in.
Kod: Označi sve
Hiroshi Tanahashi Talks About His Idols (Dyanmite Kid, HBK, Kurt Angle)
What surprised me first when I entered NJPW (in 1999) was that almost none of the wrestlers consumed protein shakes. My seniors started taking them after seeing the effects of protein while I got bigger and bigger.
I weighed 90kg (198 lbs) when I came in and debuted six months later weighing 102kg (225 lbs). People asked me if I was taking drugs as they’ve watched me get remarkably bigger. Even to this day, when I wrestle in Mexico, people ask me “You’re anabolic (on steroids), right?” and I deny that saying that “I’m natural”. And honestly, those questions have been bothering me.
People with basic knowledge can easily tell that my body is natural. Your trapezius muscle is the most affected part of your body when taking testosterone. So if you see someone gain trapezius muscle in short period time, it is very likely that he or she has used steroid, but that’s not the case for me.
… To be honest, I have thought about wanting to use steroid. It is indeed a tempting forbidden drug for people who have worked on developing their body. … The temptation also comes from my love for Dynamite Kid.
… I’ve always loved Dynamite Kid, and when his autobiography Pure Dynamite was published, I got my hands on it right away. 80% of the book was about pranks and the rest was about steroids. He even wrote that he has used horse steroids.
Still, I adore his “Never look back” way of living. “All I care about is making today’s crowd happy!” might be an ideal for all pro-wrestlers.
His “Never look back” attitude is a rightful one, since our job as a pro-wrestler is to make people see that dream in us. People won’t buy into wrestlers who want to have long and healthy life.
After my debut match, I commented, “I want to be called the Japanese Dynamite Kid!” However, I have become a big fan of Heart Break Kid a.k.a Shawn Michaels along the way.
Pro-wrestlers are always demanded of their preparedness. That’s what the fans are looking for in a wrestler. My favorite wrestler Shawn Michaels performed so many suicide dives and took big bumps until later in his career. His quantity of preparedness to “Carry out a great match” is just incomparable to that of any other wrestler. … And when the show is over, the fans could only remember “How great Shawn Michaels was that day".
One of my favorite moments in my career was when I wrestled Kurt Angle in 2009. Kurt Angle challenged me for the IWGP Heavyweight title and although the media wrote “College Pro-wrestling (*which is sometimes frowned upon in Japanese wrestling as a wrestler’s background) VS Olympic Gold Medalist”, I was really excited for a match with my idol.
And when I wrestled him, I was surprised. He is the professional among professional. I have changed drastically after I wrestled him. He has taught me “How professional should be”. Although 15 minutes is short for an IWGP Heavyweight title match, I was deeply moved by just being able to come in contact with him in the ring.
While a lot of former amateur wrestlers with achievements tend to be obstinate, Angle can really wrestle despite winning the gold medal in Olympics. Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle are just exceptional for me. There are many heroic tales about him, like how he outwrestled Brock Lesnar as if he was wrestling a child. While he sometimes plays supporting character in a match, I find his “I can outwrestle you anytime!” attitude to be cool.
Wrestlers with successful achievements in amateur sports tend to have their pride stand in the way. They don’t want to be treated the same as rest of the locker room. But Kurt Angle exaggeratedly reacts when he gets his ass kicked. And he does that with his gold medal around his neck. How cool is that?
It’s taken for granted that gold medalists are stronger than anyone. But that doesn’t make a wrestler attractive. And Kurt Angle pulls it off by doing the stupidest thing in the roster. He’s a gold medalist and can play a fool at the same time. These contradictions expand the expectations of the fans.
Bigheaded wrestlers should take example by him. Going beyond spectators’ imagination is what counts as a wrestler.
Let me say in passing that I was utterly delighted when Kurt Angle told in an interview “Tanahashi is the Japanese equivalent of Shawn Micheals”.
In fact, it was earlier for fans overseas to have high opinion of my work than in Japan. I have been chosen the Best Wrestler in the world 2011~2013 (three consecutive years) by a wrestling magazine called Wrestling Observer. As for 2011, WWE star CM Punk and John Cena came second and third in the ranking. I have also been chosen chosen the best wrestler of 2012 & 2013 by a British wrestling magazine called Power Slam.
And my matches with Okada on 4/7/2013 and with Minoru Suzuki on 10/8/2012 have both been chosen the MOTY respectively by Wrestling Observer.
The match with Minoru Suzuki is a memorable one. It was not only a fight with Suzuki, but with the wrestlers of the past. Former NJPW wrestler Nobuhiko Takada criticized my work as “Power Ranger stunt”, so I had to prove my style. And I was really glad that this very much had been chosen the best match of the year of the world by the core fans.
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