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How to convert a friend into becoming a fan of NJPW in less than 20 minutes

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On Tuesday I posed the question “Your friend is curious about NJPW. You have 20 minutes to convert them. What match do you choose?” to an overwhelming response. More than forty responses came through, most of which fitting the criteria I laid out. The variety of matches that I received feedback on inspired me to make a list that will give you the best chance of converting your friend into becoming a fan of NJPW. The goal is to hook your friend as quickly as possible.

We know that the epics are some of the most emotionally satisfying matches but if your friend is going in cold, they won’t have that same response you did when you saw Kenny Omega finally beat Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Or when Katsuyori Shibata worked his way up to the main event of Sakura Genesis to an absolutely tragic conclusion. Instead, take inspiration from Shibata and hit your friend fast and hard, ground them and make it impossible for them to leave the same way they entered. Here are ten matches that will give you the best chance of full conversion into the wild world of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Katsuyori Shibata vs Tomoaki Honma – 11 Minutes
Katsuyori Shibata vs Tomohiro Ishii – 12 Minutes
Kota Ibushi vs Ricochet – 14 Minutes
Kota Ibushi vs Tomohiro Ishii – 16 Minutes
AJ Styles vs Minoru Suzuki – 16 Minutes
Will Ospreay vs Ricochet – 17 Minutes
Shingo Takagi vs Dragon Lee – 17 Minutes
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Tomohiro Ishii – 18 Minutes
Will Ospreay vs Hiromu Takahashi – 20 Minutes
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kota Ibushi – 20 Minutes

Along with providing show reviews from across Japan, Robert McCauley is also an editor for FightboothPW.

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