NJPW Landscape - Post New Beginning - NJPW Wrestling League - NJPW Statistics - NJPW Power Rankings.
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
NJPW Wrestling League Standings
The league table is beginning to take a more meaningful shape. We now have two men battling it out to be the overall leader with another two men making the best of their opportunities to form the chasing pack. We also have a clutch of wrestlers who lag behind due to a difficult start to 2020.
As you can see Jon Moxley and Tetsuya Naito have taken advantage of their opportunity to pick up three wins in the early days of 2020. Both going 3 and 0 and setting the pace for their rivals.
Zack Sabre Junior and Hiromu Takahashi are the only other competitors with more than one victory and an unblemished record. Both winning their only two singles matches so far this year.
Kazuchika Okada and Jay White are both on the way back from Wrestle Kingdom losses each picking up two victories alongside those losses too ensure they are in the green so far in 2020.
Four men have lost twice already this year and find themselves at the bottom of the pile. People will be surprised to see 2019 wrestler of the year, Will Ospreay, 2019 G1 winner, Kota Ibushi, Japanese wrestling legend, Kenta and 2019 New Japan Cup finalist Sanada as the men sitting at the bottom of the table.
NJPW - Individual Statistics
An ambitious feature at Pro Wrestling Musings is compiling wrestler's stats from individual matches to create a statistics bank that highlights wrestler's use of differing types of offence. The above link takes you to the sortable table. The image is using total offence as an example.
Looking at the first picture, we can see Naito and Jay White are very close for most totall offence dished out in NJPW singles matches this year. Naito having hit only 7 more than White! Unsurprisingly, it is those who have a high combined wrestling time that lead here with Okada in third. Ryu Lee is notable by his inclusion in the top ten after only one match. The volume of strikes thrown at Takahashi a big factor in his inclusion!
When adjusting for an average score per match, it is Ryu Lee who leads the way after that aforementioned clash with Hiromu. Renowned strikers Suzuki and Takagi are the only others to average at least 100 strikes per match albeit after only one match! Kenta leads the way for those that have competed in 2 matches, trailed by Hiromu and Goto.
As some matches run for longer than others, the fairest way to see who leads the way for a particular category we need to adjust for match time. We do this by calculating a per hour score (think driving - miles per hour/kilometres per hour) thus highlighting the rate at which a wrestler utilises a form of attack.
Surprisingly, Yota Tsuji leads the way here with the fastest rate of offence in New Japan after his short match with Toa Henare. Short matches often have more offence packed into them, leading to Tsuji's lead in this category. He is trailed by proficient strikers, Suzuki and Takagi along with Ryu Lee.
Highest Rated Matches - Grappl Ratings
1. Ryu Lee vs Hiromu Takahashi - 4.47 (350)
2. Will Ospreay vs Zack Sabre Junior - 4.39 (329)
3. Jon Moxley vs Minoru Suzuki - 4.25 (325)
(Grappl Rating as of 12/02/2020)
NJPW Power Rankings - Post New Beginning
1. Tetsuya Naito - The leader of LIJ exorcised the demon os Wrestle Kingdom by defeating Kenta in what ended up being a hard fought and bloody match. Naito has established himself firmly at the top of the New Japan mountain by winning the Intercontinental Title from Jay White, defending it against Okada as he won the IWGP Title and then defending both championship belts against a dangerous Kenta in Osaka. Alongside all that he is the head of a stable that also holds an additional two singles titles and the 6-man titles.
2. Hiromu Takahashi - The returning 'Timebomb' retained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in an exquisite match against a very game, Ryu Lee. Takahashi now goes into the anniversary show to compete against Naito in what is usually a champion versus champion exhibition match. However Takahashi is making noise about challenging for the IWGP Championship belt. Junior champion, potential IWGP Heavyweight Title challenger and member of the currently dominant LIJ stable.
3. Kazuchika Okada - When Okada lost the title to Kenny Omega a couple years ago, he was a broken man. It took him months to get back to his brilliant best. It doesn't seem to be the case this time around. Bonafide legend Kazuchika Okada may have been dethroned by Tetsuya Naito as the IWGP HEavyweight Champion but he maintains his position as one of, if not the absolute, the top wrestlers in the company and the world.
4. Jon Moxley - The born again US wrestler, Jon Moxley is on a tear across the globe. He is in contention for the AEW Championship, possibly showing up in Ireland for OTT and is the current IWGP US Champion and has already defended it two times already in 2020. One of only two men to have accumulated three victories in singles matches in 2020, Moxley is a man to be taken extremely seriously.
5. Jay White - Was Jay White upset with the result of the main event contest in Osaka? He certainly made it seem like he was trying to help Kenta walk out victorious. However, how many people really believe he would be happy with a stablemate carrying double gold and overshadowing him? Regardless, after dropping the Intercontinental Championship to Tetsuya Naito he has responded with two singles victories in a row over Kota Ibushi and Sanada.
5. Shingo Takagi - Unbelievably, Tetsuya Naito is not the only double champion in New Japan. He is not even the only double champion in LIJ! Shingo Takagi defeated Hirooki Goto in Sapporo to pick up the NEVER Openweight Championship to add to his NEVER 6-man Championship. LIJ in the true powerhouse of NJPW at this moment.
6. Zack Sabre Jr - ZSJ is one of only four men to have an unblemished 2020 record having wrestled at least two matches. Add this to the fact he is the reigning RevPro British Heavyweight Champion and is in the hunt for the US Championship as well, the Englishman could be at the start of a very interesting 2020.
7. Kota Ibushi - Ibushi has not had a great start to 2020. He has dropped the only two singles matches he has had thus far and is languishing at the bottom of the wins and losses table. However, there are nuances to be considered and recent history to take into account. Ibushi won the G1 last year, took Okada to the very limit in an incredible and quite frankly scary Wrestle Kingdom performance and only lost to Jay White because of the interference of Gedo. Anyone who discounts this man should think again!
8. Will Ospreay - Another who has not had the start to 2020 they would have liked, also dropping two singles matches and finding themselves at the bottom of the wins and losses table. However, Ospreay has pushed himself into RevPro British Heavyweight Championship contention and has ZSJ rattled. His incredible in-ring performances in 2019 earned him Wrestler of the Year accolades, watch him closely!
9. Hiromu Tanahashi - Becoming a grizzled veteran and in the twilight of the competitive stage of him NJPW career. This being said, it is too soon to write him off. The New Japan Cup may be a stage set for a possible last hurrah for Tanahashi. Still a force in the main event scene and can still test the very best in the company.
10. Guerillas of Destiny - Forgotten who the tag champs are? Just assume it's GoD. Dethroned at Wrestle Kingdom 14 by Finlay and Juice Robinson, GoD have already reclaimed the tag gold winning the belts back in New Beginning USA. However this may be short lived as Ibushi and Tanahashi seem to be joining forced to take a run at the titles. Definitely not an experienced team but such a high level of in ring talent in one team will be a threat to even the most experienced of tag teams.