More Tokyo Dome feedback
Friday, 04 January 2013 16:26
Best Match - Nakamura vs Sakuraba
Worst Match - 8 man opener (but it was hardly offensive)
I won't repeat what others have hammered home. Just a fantastic show, maybe the best ever. I've got five matches rated four-stars or higher (Nagata/Suzuki, junior three way, Nakamura/Saku, TenKoji/Muto&Otani, Tanahashi/Okada). Only the opener below three stars.
New Japan is in a special time & place right now, in the middle of a landmark era much like the Three Muskateer era almost two decades ago, early 90's All Japan, Monday Night Wars, etc. What an amazing run of shows, and hopefully Okada is around for the duration of however long this lasts.
Best Match: Tanahashi Vs Okada
Worst Match: Inoue, Tonga & Captain New Japan Vs Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado
Everything from Nagata Vs Suzuki onwards was fantastic from either a performance standpoint or as a spectacle. While I was hoping to see Okada win the championship after a lot of effort went into building up the main event, the actual result didn't leave me as disappointed as I had thought. Tanahashi is excellent at what he does.
Nakamura Vs Sakuraba was a great example of how pro wrestling and MMA can be mixed together under the right circumstances. Makabe Vs Shibata was a satisfying end to the feud between the two with the right amount of brutality involved from both men. TenKoji Vs Muto & Otani was entertaining enough to be a good contest and featured a nice moment with Otani using Shinya Hashimoto's overhand chop on his opponents. The 3 Way Match was thrilling with three of the best Juniors going full blast at each other. Nagata Vs Suzuki was captivating from the moment Suzuki's entrance theme was performed live by Ayumi Nakamura followed by some top performances by both Nagata and Suzuki.
Everything else ranged from ok to good but it is those last five matches that are all worth watching. I could make the joke about how this is the best show of 2013 so far, but I may be saying that for real come the end of December. It is top to bottom one of the best shows I have ever seen and continues the high quality run of shows for New Japan.
Just finished watching the NJPW iPPV and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish, yet another superb show from the company. In fact it may not be an exaggeration to say it was the greatest wrestling show I've ever seen.
No matches were below average. Seeing The Great Muta still performing is great, the triple-threat was spectacular and Nagata v Suzuki was a perfect match between two veterans I'll never cease to find entertaining.
Extra thoughts on the top three matches on the card -
I had high expectations for Makabe v Shibata and it surpassed them. A super-stiff match with two tough guys just beating the hell out of each other. The finished surprised me too as I was sure Shibata would win. Maybe this plays into a story where he has now has more respect for pro wrestling going forward and the feud can continue with a new dynamic.
Nakamura v Sakuraba was a tremendous back and forth worked-shoot style bout. I thought for a moment Nakamura was legit KO'd when he took that knee! From that point on I was buying that every submission attempt from each guy could be the finish, a testament to how talented these men are.
Tanahashi v Okada was everything I expected it to be, an awesome match from (in my opinion) easily the two best wrestlers in the world right now and a fitting end to an epic show.
It sounds foolish to called this the best card of the year only four days into 2013 but will it take some effort to top that!