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!