Feedback to New Japan Tokyo Dome show - WrestleMania atmosphere, better matches

Thumbs WAY Up!
Best Match: Tanahashi/Okada (with honourable mentions to Nakamura/Sakuraba and the Jr. 3 Way)
Worst Match: Nakanishi/Strong Man/MVP/Akebono vs. Iizuka/Yano/Yujiro/Sapp
Long time subscriber to the website and yet this is the first time I've ever felt the need to send in feedback on a show (that's how good it was). To say that I was blown away by this show would be an understatement. At this point, the show's been over for 4+ hours, I haven't gone to sleep yet and I have another 8 hours of work to contend with and yet through my exhaustion, I'm still beaming with excitement with how great the show was.
I thought the card built perfectly with each successive match building upon the last and offering a new style/element to the show. Nothing really underperformed in my estimation with the possible exception of the Tenkoji tag which I thought was a tad flat (and I had zero expectation for the opening 8 man tag). I watched the show with 3 other guys and we were all losing our minds at various points during the show show, especially during the 3 way Jr. match and the Nakamura/Sakuraba match which COMPLETELY exceeded our expectations.
The Main Event was of course the best match and fell maybe just a tad shy of their June match but was certainly up there with all of their matches. Found myself a tad disappointed that Okada didn't win but he's still young and still has a young career with New Japan (hopefully) ahead of him so his day will come (again).
I don't know if New Japan will be able to top this show within the next year and the same goes for the rest of the wrestling world; Let's hope.
Daniel Fedak

Hey Dave, 

Thumbs way up!
Best match: Tanahashi vs. Okada
Worst match: Tanaka vs. Benjamin
I don't usually send feedback but I am making an exception for this as it was one of the best shows top to bottom I have ever seen. Everything was excellently paced and had it's place on the card, building perfectly throughout the night to the main event. The top 2 matches were phenomenal with Tanahashi/Okada just edging it for match of the night, although that is no mark against both Nakamura/Sakuraba and Nagata/Suzuki which were both great, great matches and on any other card would have easily stolen the show. Special mention needs to be made for the Suzuki/Nagata match for having some of the best selling and facials I have ever seen. The Dome crowd sounded hotter than I have heard in years and it showed in the main event as they reacted huge towards the end and added greatly to the match. If anyone is unsure about buying the replay I can not recommend this show highly enough and it is going to take a near perfect event to beat this for show of the year.
Will Oldfield

I have been a subscriber since the 80s and never once have I given feedback to a show until right now. Absolutely fantastic show, one of the best PPVS I have ever ordered, right up there and probably better than the Tanahashi vs Suzuki show a few months ago. Worst match was probably the opener (or the dark matches, which actually aired, even though they weren’t bad at all). I am not good at doing the star rating deal, but to me it just then seemed like a parade of four star matches in a row –Suzuki vs Nagata, the 3 way Jrs Match, an absolutely incredible spectacle with Nakamura vs Sakuraba with one of the more brutal knees to the face you will ever see, and a classic World Title Match. Now THAT’S a World Title Match, not the crap TNA and WWE try and pull off on people. If you’re a fan of pro wrestling and don’t enjoy this show, then you should probably give up watching altogether. Tell Alvarez to do his job for once and watch this show.

WORST MATCH – the opener

BEST MATCH – Impossible to pick between the Jrs 3 way, Nakamura vs Sakuraba , and Tanahashi vs Okada, with Nagata vs Suzuki right in the miz as well


Eric Cholminski

Thumbs up
Best Match: Okada/Tanahashi
Worst Match: New Japan/Inoue/Tama vs. Jado/Yoshi Hashi/Ishii (by default)
This was my first time not only ordering a iPPV, but also my first time ordering a New Japan event and I must say, this is probably one of the best top to bottom cards I've ever seen. Aside from the dark matches and the opener, every match from then on was *** or over, ending with a fantastic main event that is absolutely a must watch match. I'm not sure if I would give it five stars, but it's at least ****3/4. The other matches that were **** or higher included the triple threat match for the junior heavyweight championship which was an amazing bout full of high spots- Kota Ibushi is probably one of the best aerial wrestlers there is right now and even with wearing a suit Low Ki is excellent, as well as Prince Devitt. Yuji Nagata and Minoru Suzuki put on a hell of a brawl and turned out to be an awesome match. Both men have amazing facials and know what they need to do to make a match great and that worked out for them tremendously. Sakuraba and Nakamura far exceeded my expectations by having one really great match that reminded me a lot of the shoot style stuff that UFWi was known for. Putting this kind of MMA-esque offense in a match is something I've never seen before, but it's really fun to watch. I'm surprised both members of Laughter 7 lost, but the finish to the Sakuraba match was something where it's probably going to lead to a rematch somewhere down the line. One of the best spots on the show was Sakuraba delivering a knee to the head of Nakamura I legit thought he was completely knocked unconscious  it's for sure a GIF-worthy moment. The main event definitely felt like it- excellent entrances and awesome storytelling throughout the match. Tanahashi was awesome and I'd be shocked if he wasn't a lock for the best wrestler award of 2012. What I am shocked about was the fact that Tanahashi retained, as I thought it would make sense for Okada to win the belt in this match, but maybe there is more to those WWE rumors than people want to think. Regardless, all the matches I've mentioned were four stars and above, and with the rest of the card in the three star range (excluding the Bob Sapp match which was fine for what it was) this was probably the best card I've seen live and I highly recommend it to puro fans and non puro fans alike.

-Bryan Rose

feedback for the show:

Massive Thumbs Up.
Best match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
Worst match: 8 man opener.
One of the best New Japan shows of recent years, and probably their best Tokyo Dome show since the 90s. It stood out with it's variety. Typically at a big New Japan show the last 3 or 4 matches will be very good, but they'll all follow the same big match formula. This means the matches will all usually be enjoyable when watched in isolation, but you can burn out when watching them as a show from start to finish. Not so here.
Everything from Nagata vs. Suzuki delivered in different ways. Nagata vs. Suzuki was a traditional strong-style match, the Jr 3 way was a blur of mad spots, Muto & Ohtani vs. Tenkoji brought nostalgia, Makabe vs. Shibata was a wild brawl, Nakamura vs. Sakuraba was a 2013 update of those wrestler vs fighter matches NJPW used to excel at (and in doing so totally over-delivered), and Tanahashi vs. Okada was the epitome of a modern style New Japan main event.
They also took a leaf out of WWE's book and included plenty of memorable touches you don't see on their regular big shows; Ayumi Nakamura singing Minoru Suzuki's theme live, Low Ki wrestling in a suit, etc. It all helped give the show that 'Wrestlemania' feel.
Only concern is what the main event says about Okada's status with the company.
Will Byard, London.

    Hi Dave,
    New Japan Tokyo Dome Wrestle Kingdom:    
    - Thumbs up
    - Best match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kazuchika Okada
    - Worst match: Manabu Nakanishi & MVP & Strongman & Akebono vs Bob Sapp & Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka & Yujiro Takahashi
    I just finished watching New Japan Wrestle Kingdom live on iPPV.  This was the third New Japan iPPV I ordered in a row.  Once again New Japan more than delivered.  Tanahashi vs Okada was excellent.  Kazuchika Okada has such a baby face that he looks like a teenager.
    I did not like the two Japanese musical acts on the show as I am not into Japanese pop music.
    Even at $35 for an iPPV could any hardcore wrestling fan resist ordering it?  If you did - you were wrong.    
    James Stanios

Thumbs Up

Best Match : Okada/Tanahashi

Worst Match: Nothing really

What an amazing show! Well worth the $35, everything delivered. Sakaruba/Nakamura well over-delivered. The main event was incredible, such an amazing atmosphere. If you are on the fence order it as soon as possible!

Frankie Smoes

Thumbs way up

Best Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kazushi Sakuraba
Worst Match: Shelton Benjamin vs Masato Tanaka

This was the best wrestling show I have ever seen. The match quality outside the NEVER title match was off the charts with the opener being fun and Shinsuke and Sakuraba blowing me away filling two matches that seemed like bad spots on the card. The three way Jr match, the Nagata/Suzuki match, and the main event were all spectacular. Even the concert stuff which is usually death on wrestling shows was not bad at all. The presentation of the show was great. The size of the crowd was great as a fan I think NJPW deserved to draw the size of crowd they did. The show felt big. It felt like Wrestlemania. Can't say enough good things.

John Mulligan

Hi Dave & Bryan,

Best Match: Low Ki v Fergal Devitt v Kota Ibushi

Worst Match:  Opening 6 man (Cpt New Japan, Inoue, Tama Tonga v Jado, Yoshi Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii)

Massive thumbs up for this show. Thumbs up isn’t even strong enough praise for it, this was probably one of the best overall PPV cards I’ve ever watched, and would imagine it will be very hard to top in 2013 for any company. There were three incredible matches (the three way, main event and Nagata/Suzuki), and the Nakamura/Sakuraba was also very very good with a great finish and worked in a completely different style that made it feel special. The Tanahashi/Okada match was probably the weakest of their three, but still a MOTY candidate. There wasn’t a bad match on the card, even the opener was a good match for what it was.

It almost feels wrong to have only paid $35 for this card when WWE is charging $55 for their monthly shows. Including the dark matches I was watching for nearly 4.5 hours and never felt like the show was dragging or I was getting bored. I would recommend anyone who missed it to order the replay immediately, I cannot praise it or New Japan enough for consistently delivering.


Best match: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada
Worst match: Eight man opener
I missed the two dark matches that were shown on the UStream feed, as I was told the show started at 8am UK time, and I switched on just to see the end of match handshakes for the last "dark" match. Were told they were standard matches, so not exactly must see.
An excellent show, setting the mark early in the year for the 2013 show of the year. The opener, even with Akebono and Bob Sapp in it, despite being the worst match on this show, was more fun than it had any right to be, and kicked the show off nicely. Tanaka and Benjamin had a good match, and the Tag Title match was up there with their good World Tag League final match.
Nagata/Suzuki was an excellent match, with vicious strikes and kicks, suplexes and submission holds, and fantastic working from the two of them. They almost stole the show without even trying. The junior three way was one of the better multi man junior matches I've seen in a while, with great high spots and none of the usual things that drag three ways down. Low Ki even had more fun than usual with his Agent 47 gimmick from the Hitman video games. Guess there was a sponsorship deal there or something. Devitt and Ibushi were astounding as well.
The Mutoh & Otani/TenKoji tag was pretty good to start the second half, followed by a really good Makabe/Shibata brawl that could have done with a bit more time. Nakamura/Sakuraba had a really good example of how to mesh MMA and pro wrestling together, although it was a bit noticeable how much Sakuraba was being carried in the match, but he performed well in his role.
The main event, although not as good or as over as their match from June, was still the match of the night and another epic encounter between Tanahashi and Okada. It did seem to be a bit of a runthrough of previous matches, and it was a shame Okada didn't hit the Rainmaker at any point in the match, but their psychology and experience of working a big time match fit the bill perfectly. The finish the way it was may well quell the Okada to WWE rumours, and New Japan should do all their can to persuade him to stay, as he is still their ace of the future. Interesting to see who they choose to challenge Tanahashi next, as it seems as though he's run through everyone at this point, and Okada as champion would have offered more fresh possibilities. But maybe New Japan's hands are tied.
Still, one of the best Tokyo Dome shows New Japan has produced in many years, and they've set a high bar for 2013 for others to try and better.
Martin Bentley

NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 7

Thumbs Way Up

Best Match: Nakamura - Sakuraba
Worst Match: The Opener

Hey Dave,

Wow, what a fantastic top to bottom effort from New Japan. Having first dabbled with the company in October with their first Ippv, I have been following the company fairly closely since and was greatly looking forward to the show tonight. I not only was not disappointed, but infact had my expectations greatly exceeded. Not only did the matches that were expected to be great (Tanahashi - Okada, Devit - Ibushi - Low Ki) deliver, but matches that I expected to be good (Nakamura - Sakuraba, Suzuki - Nagata) blew me away more then I could have foreseen. Sakuraba, despite his well documented injuries, put in a fantastic performance that I think he should be commended for to the fullest degree (Nakamura duly should be celebrated for the punishment he took)

Tonight's show embodied what I love about pro wrestling. It was a show that was perfectly paced and void of anything I would call a ''bad'' match. It was a show that had something for every type of wrestling fan. I feel I got more then enough enjoyment out of the 35 dollars I paid for it.

Cory Gibson

Who had the best show?


Who won the night?