This was a co-promoted show with Total Nonstop Action and the disc i watched only had the final four matches on the card. This is generally regarded as New Japan's biggest show of the year.
1) Hiroyochi Goto v. The Great Muta- 3
Muta returns! I was hoping the opening spot wasn't indicative of his condition at this time because he took that famous New Japan spot of running down the entire length of the ramp and get hit with a clothesline which Muta subsequently sold as if he was falling down on his couch to watch some TV. He definitley looked old in this one, but he still hit all of his signature spots with snap and impact, ex. the elbow, moonsault and Wizard. I could also see some water dripping from behind Goto's ears so Muta had a lot to work with. Funny seeing him resort to Abby standards and just maul opponent with large bladed object.
2) Travis Tomko/ Giant Bernard v. Steiner Brothers- 3
This was supposed to be The Team of the 90's versus New Japan's new Dominant team but neither squad looked particularly good. The worst was Rick, who was tripping over himself throughout the match, including after doing the Steiner double team bulldog, he started running forward trying to catch his balance but instead hit the ref. Not a lot of heat in the match either. I thought Tomko still looked pretty green, missing a few cues and Bernard seemed to be leading the match, although he wasn't as stiff as I would have liked. Jeff Jarrett interefered in some Mr. Rogers garb and Scott Steiner had the best offense in the match.
3) Yuji Nagata v. Kurt Angle- 7
The story of this match was counters- both men countering the next move and then finding a counter for that. Great chain wrestling by both guys. Nagata's face was scrunchy like it was a flesh colored Slinky, which concerned me for his health. Neither guy was particularly explosive but they knew how to build a good story. Angle tried to get stiff with some slaps later on, but Nagata proved the expert. There were a few communication problems, but both guys did a good job covering for it. The final submission sequence that led to Angle's half crab ankelock finish was really sweet and that lock looked down right deadly. I think it's the most devastating version of his anklelock we've seen yet. Really enjoyed this one.
4) Shinsuke Nakamura v. Hiroshi Tanahashi- 6
Tanahashi looks like a Final Fantasy character with his bi-curious large hair. Nakamura, physically, was nothing much to look at and the match really wasn't all that exciting but as it went on, I thought it got better. Nakamura's leg was being worked over and he did some really good Steamboat body part selling on it. These guys really let the Strong Style seep into their match instead of over-using it right from the bell, like some matches in the recent Wrestle JAM tape I saw. Shinsuke's comeback was really on fire, like Eddie Murphy's dick in the 80's and his finishing move looks extremely painful, especially when he folds you up like a cheap roadmap from the 2nd buckle backwards. These guys sold big moves the right way, not standing right up after a top rope superplex and going into an extended "Nothing hurts me until you hit another shitty clothesline" spot like I saw Aries on aforementioned show. I think both of these guys will be pretty good in another year or two.