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January 10, 2000 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: NJPW Tokyo Dome reviewed, 1999 in revenue for promotions, more


The mixed promotional angle, the very thing that New Japan has specialized in for nearly three decades, looks back in the forefront as representatives from WCW (J.J. Dillon and Paul Orndorff) and RINGS (Akira Maeda) along with Nobuhiko Takada all met with New Japan management in conjunction with the company's biggest show of the year 1/4 at the Tokyo Dome.

The five hour show, billed as "Tokyo Dome 2000," which drew a sellout 63,500 fans, good for the No. 15 spot on the all-time list (no gate was announced but we're told people who usually get comp tickets weren't given them so it wasn't seriously papered), was said to have been a big success and already set up several angles for Dome shows planned for both April and October. As in past years, the 1/4 date was able to sellout based on annual tradition, as there was no match with huge ticket selling impact on the show with a main event where Kensuke Sasaki was crowned IWGP heavyweight champion pinning Genichiro Tenryu.

Maeda, Takada and Atsushi Onita were all advertised to be part of the show, the former two because of the retirement of Kazuo Yamazaki, which both had long histories working with dating back to the early 80s. Onita never appeared at the show before the crowd, but did an angle outside the building where he challenged Riki Choshu (who also never appeared before the crowd during the show) to an empty arena match after the show was over and the crowd left. Finally after ten minutes, a New Japan official came out and said that it wasn't going to happen, but it is still a match they are building for one of the Dome shows later in the year.

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