Pro Wrestling NOAH ran it's second ever Tokyo Dome event yesterday, and eventhough the actual attendance was in the 40,000+ range, they still felt the need to mark it up a bit. The results were mostly predictable (I'm 8-2-0), but of course as usual, NOAH's work rate wins the crowd no matter how predictable things may seem.
I was really surprised and dissapointed with Mitsuharu Misawa
beating Toshiaki Kawada
in the main event at first, but then I found out Kawada refused to shake Misawa's hand and wanted a REMATCH down the line! It all makes sense now I guess as it means Kawada will beat Misawa on a smaller scale show like the Budokan and probably move on to beating Rikioh for the title before making that big main event at next year's Tokyo Dome show where he'll defend against Kobashi. It's wishfull thinking by many, but that would indeed be the best long term scenario. The match itself was a brutal affair as both men brought out the big guns to do battle, including the Tiger Driver '91 and the infamous GANSOBOMB!
Another note on the match it was reported many fans were in tears at the excellence of it even if it didn't live up to their past encounters. A great nostalgia trip indeed.
The semi-main event and true dream match of the night was realised as the two top icons of modern Puroresu locked horns for the very first time, with Kobashi scoring the win over Sasaki in a well heated bout that had a chop/strike
count of about 200! And of course there were a lot of big bumps
taken in this one as well. Both men's chests were definately sore by the end of it, but both men had the respect to shake each other's hand at the end of it, and Sasaki was even reduced to tears for the ovation and support he received from the fans in the match.
The way I thought it would be, Genichiro Tenryu
whooped Yoshinari Ogawa's
ass in their "dream match", but Tenryu helped Ogawa to the back, showing there are no hard feelings between the two. I can only imagine what it'll be like now if the two should decide to team up.
GHC Heavyweight Champion Takeshi Rikioh
made his successfull second defence of the title against New Japan's future ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi
using his pattented Muso
finisher. I'm not really sure how the match went, but it was said that alot of fans took a toilet break during it. Never a good sign. But Tanahashi drew alot of heat on himself by drapping himself in a NJPW flag. Anyone ever notice the incredible heel heat NJPW wrestlers get when they enter NOAH, yet the NJPW fans welcome NOAH wrestlers with open arms when they work their shows? Well, except Akiyama I guess.
Speaking of Jun Akiyama
, he and Makoto Hashi
came up short in their challenge for the GHC Tag Titles, but put on a really competative
match to the point that even Minoru Suzuki
praised their guts and determination after the match.
The match of the night reported by many was the GHC Jr. Title match where KENTA
won the big one off Yoshinobu Kanemaru, breaking his year long run as champion. The match was a high-flying
, heavy hitting
affair as both men pushed each other to the limits.Mushiking Terry
made a successfull debut as he defeated Black Mask
in what was said to be a great high-flying
Akitoshi Saito lead his Dark Agents group to victory over veteran Akira Taue's team in a big scramble of a match where Masao Inoue scored the pinfall on Jun Izumuda in an 8-man brawl when all hell broke loose
Go Shiozaki couldn't pull off that big Tokyo Dome win in his tag match with Honda against GHC Hardcore champion Mohammed Yone and Takeshi Morishima. Yone scored the pin on Shiozaki with trademark Muscle Buster
Katsuhiko Nakajima made his NOAH debut in the opening match of the show teaming with veterans Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Mitsuo Momota, facing the team of Takashi Sugiura, SUWA & Masaji Aoyagi. Nakajima took the brunt of the punishment
and was ultimately finished off by SUWA's FFF.NOAH "DESTINY", 7/18/05
Tokyo Dome - 62,000 Fans - Super No Vacancy
1. Takashi Sugiura, SUWA & Masashi Aoyagi beat Tsuyoshi Kikuchi, Mitsuo Momota & Katsuhiko Nakajima (9:32) when SUWA used the FFF on Kikuchi.
2. Mohammed Yone & Takeshi Morishima beat Tamon Honda & Go Shiosaki (8:26) when Yone used a Muscle Buster on Shiosaki.
3. Akitoshi Saito, Shiro Koshinaka, Masao Inoue & Kishin Kawabata beat Akira Taue, Takuma Sano, Jun Izumida & Haruka Eigen (11:56) when Inoue used a cradle on Izumida.
4. Mushiking Terry Debut Match:
Mushiking Terry beat Black Mask (7:59) via pinfall.
5. GHC Jr. Heavyweight Title:
KENTA beat Yoshinobu Kanemaru (c) (20:31) with the Busaiku Knee Kick to become the 10th champion.
6. GHC Tag Team Title:
Minoru Suzuki & Naomichi Marufuji (c) beat Jun Akiyama & Makoto Hashi (24:55) when Marufuji used an Avalanche-style Shiranui on Hashi. (1st defense)
7. GHC Heavyweight Title:
Takeshi Rikio (c) beat Hiroshi Tanahashi (17:11) with the Muso. (2nd defense)
8. Genichiro Tenryu beat Yoshinari Ogawa (10:27) with a lariat.
9. Kenta Kobashi beat Kensuke Sasaki (23:38) with a lariat.
10. Mitsuharu Misawa beat Toshiaki Kawada (27:04) with a running elbow smash.
A great looking show overall, which many praise as the show of the year so far, and I can't wait to see if for myself.