As noted in prior columns, this show was a joint effort by the WWF, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and All Japan Pro Wrestling. The WWF was looking to expand its global presence while New Japan and All Japan felt threatened by Akira Maeda’s shoot-like Universal Wrestling Federation, which drew a 50,000 person crowd to the Tokyo Dome for a big show in November 1989. To counter them, New Japan and All Japan worked together on a supershow at the Tokyo Dome on February 10. Then, they built on that effort by partnering with the WWF for another big card in Tokyo on April 13 that was named The Wrestling Summit. According tothehistoryofwwe.com, the show drew a crowd of 53,742.
Well Hello There!
I’ve been meaning to sit down and watch this one for a while. Back in 1996, New Japan decided they would combine a bunch of Junior Heavyweight Title’s into one big Super Title called the “J-Crown”.
That would come later in the year in a big tournament, but in the meantime they held this show to essentially set the stage by having the main players in the eventual J-Crown tournament compete on a big show in an effort to get all the belts established and get the fans suitably jazzed at the prospect of seeing them unified.
This is an eight match show with seven of the bouts being singles matches for the various Titles, with one additional tag team match featuring Lance Storm. I’ve been trying to get my grubby mitts on this show for years, so I’m glad I get to finally watch it.
All sorts of craziness happening in New Japan these days as Will Ospreay has vacated the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Though the real reason seems unknown (NJPW said it was due to a neck injury, but rumors on the interwebs indicate the gaijins are unhappy with the way the company has handled the COVID situation), we have a main event of Okada vs. Shingo to crown a new champion.
Away we go.
It’s time to close out this New Japan review, as we watch the final three matches from the Nexess VI show at the Tokyo Dome from May 2005.
This week we’ve got Hiroshi Tanahashi, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jushin Liger, Masahiro Chono and Mistuharu Misawa all involved in some matches, so hopefully we get a good mixture of match quality and star power.
The event has been pretty so-so thus far, and hasn’t really felt “Dome Worthy”, so I’m hoping we at least get a strong closing stretch at the very least.
More from New Japan’s Tokyo Dome Show from May 2005!
Last week, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe took on Osamu Nishimura and Yutaka Yoshie in a bland opener, Minoru Suzuki massacred poor Alexander Otsuka in a fun Shoot-Style collision and we closed off with Hirooki Goto getting a heart-warming big win in a very good Junior Heavyweight tag team bout.
This week we cover matches 4 to 6, featuring the likes of Tiger Mask IV, Yuji Nagata and Keiji Muto in action, so if you like those guys then stay tuned!
I’ve recently picked up some New Japan shows from their “dark period” in the 00’s, and this Tokyo Dome event was one of them, so I’ll be chopping it up and reviewing it over the next few weeks in my regular Wednesday slot here on the Blog of DOOM. I’ll probably separate it into three parts as the show has nine matches, but I’ll be flexible with that and amend it if and when I need to.
New Japan Pro Wrestling was pretty much on its arse from about 2002 to 2006 until Hiroshi Tanahashi won the top belt and rescued them from disintegration. The issues were myriad, with Antonio Inoki’s scattershot stop-start booking being the biggest, along with a fascination of signing up guys from MMA and pushing them over all the regular roster members, whether they could actually work or not.
Even though this was a pretty miserable period for the company I’ve always been kind of fascinated by it, and because 2003ish was when I first really became aware of New Japan this era holds the slimmest slice of nostalgia for me as well. At the very least we should get a few good matches here if the line-up is anything to go by, so let’s watch the first three matches!
Will Ospreay defends the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship against Shingo Takagi in tonight’s main event. And just because we needed a reminder that the world still sucks, El Desperado vs. Yoh is off the card tonight due to COVID protocols.
Away we go.
The Never Openweight Championship match between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay White main events this show, plus a ladder match between Taichi and Tama Tonga
Away we go.
Recently I was asked if I would do a mix of some of the bigger NJPW matches this week leading up to the Dontaku shows in early May. The matches looked pretty fun so I figured why not. Also, I have no life, so…Anyway, the matches we have are:
-Aaron Henare vs SANADA (4/26)
-Tetsuya Naito vs Great-O-Khan (4/26)
-Toru Yano vs. EVIL (4/28)
-Rappongi 3K vs Suzuki-gun (4/28)
Thanks everyone for the great feedback on the Sakura Genesis review. With a little time until the Dontaku 2021 shows in early May, I figured let’s give the New Japan Cup 2021 USA version a shot. Plus I know we all enjoy a good tournament around here. Winner of this tournament gets the sweet looking trophy and becomes the first ever Strong Openweight Champion.
Away we go.
This is my first review for the blog, so thank you to Scott for the opportunity. Extremely quick background on myself. I’ve watched wrestling for 32 years, and NJPW specifically since 2014. I live in New York, and I’m unattractive.
Away we go.
Wrestle Kingdom XV Night Two
Date: January 5, 2021
Location: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan
Commentators: Rocky Romero, Chris Charlton, Kevin Kelly
It’s the second half of the biggest New Japan show of the year and as usual, the card is stacked. The main event will see new IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Champion Kota Ibushi defend against Jay White, along with pretty much everything else that wasn’t featured on Night One. They have a lot to live up to so let’s get to it.
Wrestle Kingdom XV Night One
Date: January 4, 2021
Location: Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, Rocky Romero
It’s time for the biggest non-American show of the year and like last year it’s going to take place over the course of two nights. The main event is for the still unified IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Titles, which have been together for a year now for some reason. This show almost always delivers and hopefully it does so again. Let’s get to it.
I had a dig around in my tape collection recently and found this DVD that a friend burnt off for me probably 15 years ago now. I actually haven’t ever properly sat down to watch this, so I decided to do so now seeing as New Japan was really hot around this period and I thought there would be some good matches to enjoy.
I’ve decided to class this as a “mini review” because I am not going to go into lots of detail and instead just give a brief overview of the tape. I will include match ratings if I feel they are relevant, but aside from that this is going to be a more relaxed review that you can hopefully blow through relatively easily whilst enjoying a nice biscuit and a brew.
This tape contains two volumes of match selections from New Japan’s post G1 tour in the autumn of 97. It means we get to see some less fancy venues where they’ve taped stuff with a roaming cam only, which is a nice change of pace. Reminds me a bit of the fan cam tapes I’d get of ECW events, except the video quality is much better.
If reading about Japanese Wrestling is your thing then I highly suggest checking out Rick’s archives, as he is the Blog’s main reviewer of modern Japanese stuff and he’s darn good at his job!
Well, we’ve had one heck of a tournament with lots of great matches and now it’s time to tie things off with a nice bow, with A Block Winner Kota Ibushi taking on B Block Winner SANADA.
Let’s find out who will be taking home the bacon!
You can read Rick’s review of the Final Night of B Block by clicking right HERE
Rick should also be doing a review of this particular show as well, so keep a look out for that!
Here we are, it’s time for the Final Night of A Block, with Jay White, Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi all having a chance to win it (Although there may be an outside way for Will Ospreay to still manage it somehow, which will probably happen now just to make me look dumb. I could take this bit out of course, but I’ll leave it in, just for the craic)
My pick is Kota Ibushi, but I’ve enjoyed Okada’s run so much that I’ve decided I’d like him to win the Block. So expect a Jay White victory then!
Rick’s been doing a sterling job with the B Block and you can read his review of Night Eight by clicking right HERE
Cheers to all who said kind words last time out. Had a chat with my mum today and her temperature is pretty much back to normal and she felt well enough to go in the garden for a bit, so here’s hoping she’s past the worst of it.
I’m still in isolation, but I’ve thankfully had no COVID-19 symptoms thus far, so hopefully I should be able to get out and about as soon as my 14 days are up.
Anyway, we’re into the final two nights of A Block now, with a number of workers tied on 10 points. You’d think something would have to give in this round, so let’s see what happens!
If you’d like to read Rick’s review of B Block Night Seven then you can do so by clicking right HERE
More G1 action, and you can read Rick’s review of Night Six of B Block by clicking right HERE
It’s been an interesting week for me. As mentioned in the last A Block review, it was my birthday mid-week so I decided to spend it with my support bubble (If you live on your own in the UK then you’re allowed to visit one other household under the pandemic restrictions), of which my mum is a member.
However, my mum has since come down with COVID-19, which means I’m in isolation for 14 days. Thankfully I can do my entire day job from home and I’ve not shown any symptoms myself as of this writing, which hopefully stays the case. I’m missing my daily walk though, as it was how I got my exercise and cleared my head.
I’m worried about my mum though as she has asthma, which puts her in a high risk category, and I’ve been checking in on her regularly via phone. She’s still keeping to her bed but her temperature is going down at least. I’ve not been tested myself as the guidelines just say to isolate unless you get symptoms, and I’ve got a food delivery booked in for tomorrow, so I’m ready to hunker down. I’ve already had four days in isolation as I decided to play it safe the minute I was told she had symptoms, so just 10 left now and I’ll be released back into polite society.
So with that out of the way, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling so I can take my mind off it all.
Let’s get to another night of A Block action. We’re in the second half of the fixtures now, as A Block is really taking shape.
You can read Rick’s review of Night Five of B Block by clicking right HERE
If you’ve got the time, I’ve also written an article on Roman Reigns’ recent heel turn called “The Rejuvenation of Roman Reigns” over on the website Gaming Respawn. If you fancy a read you can do so by clicking right HERE
Make sure to check out Rick’s review of Night Four of B Block by clicking right HERE
It’s another day of G1, and I’ve been loving it thus far. By the time this gets uploaded I will be another year older. With Everton top of the table too. What a time to be alive!
I should point out that they’ve uploaded the Keiji Mutoh Vs Yuji Nagata G1 Final from 2001 up as a free video on NJPW World. If you’ve never seen it then I strongly suggest you do so, as it features some sublime technical wrestling and does an excellent job highlighting why Mutoh ended up winning wrestler of the year for 2001.
Anyway, enough chatter, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!