Baba-san had since passed. Those big ass boots are holding the Giant, who I'm sure is chopping Peter, the guardian of Heaven's gate.
Vader vs. Misawa - 8
Oh hell yeah, man. The Mastadon was clubbing the shit out of Misawa's ears and head in general, making the surly green man cower in the corner with his hands in front of his face. I think Vader thinks this is a boxing match. Wait, I think he thought that of every match he had in Japan. They battled to the outside where Misawa got to meet the guardrail in a less than cordial manner. I loved his sell when he clutched his chin and whipped his head back. Misawa showed how dedicated he was by taking a powerbomb outside of the ring and going splat on the mats. Vader locked on a STF, which was good psych because he busted Misawa's jaw on the rail, but the execution of said maneuver was shoddy. Misawa battled back because he has many fighting spirits and hit a German on Vader which looked divine. He proceeded to hit a sick boot to Vader's face, only to get a German of his own as a receipt, which of course he took on the top of his head. Misawa would wear down the beast, and Vader would sell every elbow with precision until Misawa reared back and knocked his big white ass out. Hell of match. Hell of a match.
Hayabusa/The Great Sasuke/Tiger Mask vs. Masahito Kakihara/Yoshinari Ogawa/Maunakea Mossman - 6
This is how you take your damn time. All eight guys knew what they wanted when they went out there: to show their respects for Baba and to put on a great match. I dug the work here. All of the participants got good time before we got the typical 'break loose' spot, all working over various opponents. I dug the variety of match ups we saw in the ring. The breakdown was great. Fans were going nuts. Same here. Dig that shit. With eight guys, spots were coming quickly, but the fans were ready for it because of the slow work in the beginning. This match simply made me happy and that's that. Really good stuff.
Rusher Kimura/Mitsuo Momota/Masao Inoue vs. Giant Kamala/Haruka Eigen/Jun Izumida - 3
This was a novelty match that wasn't that bad by any means. Geriatrics surrounded. The face team was connecting very well with the crowd, which really got them behind said team. Kamala looked to be in good company, as Eigen and Izumida both adorned the war paint. This was really just a good showing and attempt by guys I'm sure ribbed Baba grandly back in the day, and it served it's purpose: a good, clean little match in honor of a fallen friend.
Gran Naniwa/Makoto Hashi vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi/Naomichi Marufuji - 4
A team of Kikuchi and Marafuji -- Tiiiiiiiiits. Dude, you should've heard the headbutt from Kuch! He made the announcer hold the mic up and created a huge cracking thud between the skulls. Holy shit that was awesome. Heard 'Fuji is a hell of a 'lion tamer' on the dojo boys as he ribs them wickedly -- hate to think of some of the depraved shit that went down while he was in their shoes. Naniwa and Fuj were quite evenly matched in the ring as they showed their stuff on the big stage. Marafuji was getting raped (figuratively!) by Naniwa and Hashi in the ring, and I dug his selling of it as he just continued to lay on the mat and take a beating. He looked helpless. The match didn't pick up as much as I would've liked, but what we got was pretty good.
The Road Warriors/Johnny Ace vs. Kenta Kobashi/Jun Akiyama/Jinsei Shinzaki - 5
This was a power-house showcase. Ace bumped his ass off in the match and was showing everyone up in that department. I also suddenly realize that nobody comes close to executing an Ace Crusher better than the master himself. The Road Warriors brought that tag-teaming goodness with their great double teams and all out ferocity that they're known for. Shinzaki teaming up with Kobashi and Akiyama led to a really cool team that I wouldn't have liked to have met in a lit ally, much less a dark one. Ace was being a dick, mocking Shinzaki's bowing/praying gimmick and flicking him off. I dug it. Solid outing by six legends. How's that neck after those 'Bashi chops, Ace?
Toshiaki Kawada vs. Hiroshi Hase - 6
How's about I kick you right in you damn face? These two weren't afraid to do so. My God, so stiff. Kawada gave Hase a couple of ensuguiri's that connected right with the side of the head, making Hase stumble around like a drunk Tokyo business man trying to forget about the 401K he just lost. Kawada had his own stumbling sell after getting dropped on the back of his neck... TWICE! This match followed that great formula of start off hot, bring it down in the middle, finish hot. I can't recall the last time I saw Kawada look like he couldn't get the upper hand in a match. His selling was just that damn good. Kawada polished the match off by dropping Hase right on his dome. Good God, sickening.
Gary Albright/Takao Omori/Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Steve Williams/Stan Hansen/Akira Taue - 4
This match was your typical big-man tag match -- power displays, power moves, some striking. I honestly felt that it dragged a bit while the 2/3rd gaijin team was on offense, as they dominated during the middle of the match to the point where it was like, "Alright, we all know that Takayama, Omori, and Albright are not this weak." I can't put my finger on what it was exactly, but this match did not click with me; however, the power displays were quite a feat to witness.
Gedo/Yukihiro Kanemura/Koji Nakagawa vs. Johnny Smith/Tamon Honda/Masa Fuchi - 5
Gedo was rocking the Rocco Rock gear in the ring and he looked like he belonged on stage with ICP rather than in a wrestling ring. Fuchi is such a dick in the ring. Loved him walking on Gedo's face to make the tag -- haha. Watching this makes me realize just how much I miss Tamon Honda. Yeah, he was old, NOAH, but come on -- dude was great! He wrenched Nakagawa's neck like a stuck bolt. Smith had some interesting submissions, including a cravat from behind, transitioned into a Hennig neck breaker. Some good stuff once Fuchi came back in and hit Kanemaru with a couple of backdrops to the head. He's just such an asshole. Dude put Kanemaru on the top rope and STOOD ON HIS THROAT. Just wow. Overall, due to Fuchi, this match was pretty fun.
Satoru Asako/Takashi Morshima vs. Kintaro Shiga/Yoshinobu Kanemura - 3
Good GOD Morishima weighted probably 1/2 of what he weighs now. He was a tall skinny kid! This looked to be the pre-show attraction as Kanemaru looked nervous as hell when his name was announced. Kanemaru and Shiga look competent in the ring as they both are adept at using the ropes to their advantage; however, Asako and Morishima clearly have the power and mat advantage. Shiga whiffed on a back heel kick as well as Kanemaru on a double stomp to the back of the head. Glaring, to say the least. Straddling between a 3 and a 4, match was ok.