I’ve had this one in my tape library for about 14 years but have never bothered to sit down and watch it all the way through, mainly because I really went off New Japan during this era and was instead mostly watching NOAH. I was looking for something to review so I thought we’d set the way back machine to 2003, when the New Japan product was pretty awful. It’s amazing to watch shows like this and see how far the company has come since these darker days.
This show took place during a period in New Japan where Antonio Inoki was obsessed with shoot fighting and was filling New Japan shows full of judo, K1 and PRIDE guys. His booking was getting increasingly erratic and it wasn’t leading to success at the box office. This show actually has three legitimate shoot fights on it, as well as an appearance by Hulk Hogan and a big 5 on 5 elimination match.