1. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi and Tsutomu Hirayanagi vs. Mitsuo Momota and Atsushi Aoki - 3
2. Yoshinobu Kanemaru and SUWA vs. Ricky Marvin and Taiji Ishimori – 5
3. Tamon Honda and Shuhei Taniguchi vs. Scorpio and Murat Bosporus – 3
4. Masao Inoue, Kishin Kawabata, and Ippei Ota vs. Doug Williams, Nigel McGuinness and Ares – 3
5. Akira Taue and Kentaro Shiga vs. Akitoshi Saito and Go Shiozaki – 4
6. Takeshi Morishima and Mohammed Yone vs. Jun Akiyama and Makoto Hashi – 6
7. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa, and Kotaro Suzuki vs. Yoshihiro Takayama, Takuma Sano, and Takashi Sugiura – 4
8. Naomichi Marufuji vs. KENTA – 8
The opener pitted old, crusty vets against young, hungry dojo boys. Momota ate some pretty sick elbow strikes from Kikuchi, and Tsuyoshi returned the favor eating some of Mitsuo’s mean slaps. The finishing sequence got kind of flubbed. The tag bout was great junior heavyweight fare, with Marvin working faster than a hiccup, and all kinds of Americanized moves like the 619, Shining Wizard, and Swanton for all you McMahon indulgers. The next tag bout was less impressive. I’m a big Scorpio fan, but can’t hand over, as this was pretty much “teh suck” as those witty Internet girl bloggers are prone to say. I’m not sold on stout Russian Murat, either; his offensive looked pretty weak, especially his submission stuff. Taniguchi threw some tasty suplexes, though.
The following six-man tag bout was mostly comedy, and boy, is this Ares asshole just plain awful. Never saw him before, but any chap wearing a sleeveless shirt and a tie with a dollar symbol on it is helpless. There were some good European uppercuts thrown, but this was largely forgettable. The next tag bout wasn’t much better, but more memorable overall, especially for the visceral image of oldie Akira Taue selling a nut shot, hopping around the ring, doing physical comedy like Jim Varney in Ernest Goes to Jail.
The next tag bout featured a ton of talent, and was mostly real good. There was a pin sequence that got messed up, but otherwise, this was pretty solid. Morishima and Yone tried to do a Doomsday Device on Akiyama, but while on Takeshi’s shoulders, Jun caught Yone in mid-air and hit him with an Exploder that made me cream jeans. The six-man bout wasn’t too good, as Misawa looked real tired and unmotivated, Takyama’s horse face made me ill, etc. It was still kind of nice seeing Suzuki and Sugiura hanging with the bigger guys. The main event was nothing short of outstanding, as the future of NOAH put on an excellent match. I think that, several years from now, these two could be able to deliver a match I’d rank a 10, as all the right ingredients were here, just not the proper structuring, psychology, and emotion. There were tons of big spots, though; more than I care to recall, and honestly, you really owe it to yourself to see them firsthand. KENTA just murdered Marufuji with brutal kicks throughout it, too.