NJPW Wrestling World 2000
Shinjiro Otani/Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs Kendo Kashin/Minoru Tanaka IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships
Fuck Kendo Cashew. I'm not super into Takaiwa, to be honest. Would rather this just be Otani/Tanaka. Otani seems to have his cunt levels set to 100%, especially with Tanaka, so that should be fun at least. Lots of kicks and submissions from Tanaka. Lots of boring shit from Kashin. The match completely falls apart at the end with Kendo and Takaiwa getting totally lost. Tak pins him with a Fire Thunder Driver. Titles retained. Mostly inoffensive, but completely skippable.
Satoshi Kojima vs Shiro Koshinaka
Still hot about last year's tag match, I suppose. Kojima starts the match during the intros, then hits a big dive. He's not taking any of Koshinaka's shit. Fuck yo hip, old man. None of it matters, though. Koshinaka wins with a powerbomb in another inoffensive, but completely skippable match. I'd say it was a good showing for Kojima, but Koshi kicked out of all of his shit and then beat him.
Wild Pegasus vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Now, this is interesting to me. At this point, Benoit knew he was leaving WCW in two weeks. He didn't know he was going to leave as WCW Champion, and he didn't know if or when WWE would sign him. So you have to believe that he saw this match as a way to cement his future in NJPW (not that I think he didn't have a spot if he wanted it). Outside of a week long tour in October 1999, he hadn't been in NJPW since 1997, where he was still competing as a junior. He's obviously not a junior anymore, and it's interesting to think how differently the next couple years of NJPW and WWE could have been had Benoit stayed in Japan. These chops are so fucking loud. Fuck. And there are a lot of them, from both men. These camera men seem really into Benoit's veins. A number of weird close ups of his arm veins. Tenzan straight up lands on his head doing a super rana. The fuck. Shit looked like it should have broken his neck. This was more interesting for the circumstances around it than as a match itself. Tenzan won with a diving headbutt/Mongolian chop.
Jushin Liger vs Koji Kanemoto IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
The heck? AGAIN? This is the fourth time in seven years they've faced off at at 1/4 shows. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL Liger completely squashes him and wins in under four minutes. You still ain't shit, Koji.
Manabu Nakanishi vs Kenzo Suzuki
THE Kenzo Suzuki of WWE fame in his debut match. Why he was debuting in the middle of a show at the 1/4 dome show is beyond me. I guess they must have had high hopes for him. I definitely feel like Nakanishi is way above this at this point in his career. Or he should be, at least. Kenzo starts out fast and furious, then gets his face fucking stomped on. Most of his offense is mounted slaps and spears. Most of Nakanishi's offense is beating the shit out of Kenzo. Nakanishi won with the torture rack and had no respect for Kenzo.
Yuji Nagata vs Kazuo Yamazaki
This is Yamazaki's retirement match, and it's against his protegee. During the UWFI/NJPW feud, UWF veteran Yamazaki would train the younger members of the NJ roster in shoot style. Nagata was his favorite student, and here we are. As you'd expect, this was basically a short UWF match that Nagata won. There was a nice retirement ceremony that Takada, Maeda, and Tamura appeared for.
Kazuyuki Fujia vs Kimo Leopoldo
Oh, Inoki. You crazy son of a gun. I don't know if Kimo came out carrying his cross, but I'd like to believe he did. Do not forgay Jesus. Fujita looks nervous as fuck. He immediately shoots a double and takes Kimo down. Then another take down. Kimo, bro, you're a real MMA fighter. You're embarrassing yourself and your Jesus. GIGANTIC slam. Kimo, you ain't shit, dawg. Fujita is just dominating this. Lol at Yuji Nagata at ringside trying to hide his laughter. Kaz continues to absolutely dominate Kimo, then tries to destroy his balls with a knee strike and is disqualified. Actual MMA fighter Kimo was carried out of the ring, bloody, holding his balls.
Don Frye vs Scott Norton
You won't find two more bad ass gaijin in Japan in the year 2000. Don Frye was not a great pro wrestler by any stretch, but he was an entertaining one. These guys start the match by throwing very awkward suplexes and going form there. I'ts almost like indie respek stand offs. Scott back body drops Frye out of the ring and onto the ramp. These guys are taking big bumps, especially when you consider one isn't a real wrestler, and the other is just outside his prime. There are chairs and ring posts and what I'm pretty sure is young boy Shibata. Chops! Punches! Lariats! Powerbombs! Botched finishes where Don Frye totally kicks out of a powerbomb at 2 but the match ends anyway. FUCK!
Randy Savage vs Rick Steiner
This is a weird match for a number of reasons. Macho hadn't had a match since the Road Wild match with Dennis Rodman in August. At this point in time, he was not a member of WCW, and was actually filling in for Goldberg, out after losing his match to the limo. BUT WHO WAS LIMO?!?!?! After this, he did a random house show match against Sid, then showed up in that big Thunder battle royal after the reboot, but both were pay per appearance dates. His next, and final match was that debacle in TNA that no one should count, so I think in a lot of ways you can consider this match his last "official" match. He looked like he had dropped a bit of bulk since he was on WCW TV, and he spends the first few minutes of this teasing a future match with Masa Saito. More camera shots of arm veins. I don't know how I feel about that shit. A whole lot of stalling in this. Man, this is hilarious. Rick is bumping around for Randy like he's Scott Norton. Including doing the spinning bump out of a shoulder block spot that he often did with Norton. I mean, Randy is pretty huge, but lol. I'm not really sure what to think about this match. Savage is working classic wild heel Macho Man. Rick is working 1996 face Steiner because of his history in Japan, but this was right in the middle of being a real piece of shit in WCW, and this was supposed to be against Goldberg, where he'd obviously work heel. Rick kicks out of the elbow drop, so Macho beats up the ref. Rick then DDTs Macho on a chair, and manages to fall off the top rope to the floor when going for the bulldog. They try it again, and this time it works. Macho goes to shit talk Masa Saito some more, while young boy Tanahashi tries to hold him back. What a mess. Maybe we can just pretend that Randy Savage retired in 1998.
Here would be Hashimoto/Iizuka vs Murakami/Ogawa, but NJPW and/or Ogawa managed to scrub this one from the internet, too. Hashimoto/Iizuka won.
Masahiro Chono vs Keiji Mutoh
If Mutoh loses, nWo Japan must disband. This came about when Chono went down hurt, then returned to find that Mutoh had taken over the nWo and turned it face, so Chono formed Team 2000 to be the true heel faction NJPW deserved, including being able to steal a few members of the nWo. Mutoh looks like he can barely walk coming into this. Both are past their primes, physically, but they're going for a throw back to 1991 type of technical match. And then Chono does a Samoan drop that sees Mutoh land neck first. Chono continues to work the neck for the rest of the match. Oh wow, Chono counters a dragon screw by stepping through and dropping into an arm bar. I've never seen that before. They drop all the technical stuff, which wasn't going anywhere, and fill their match with big bumps. Mutoh working the knee, Chono working the neck. Chono ends up making Mutoh tap to a death lock variant of the STF. The nWo Japan is no more! This started slow, but really picked up about half way in and got to be a pretty dope spectacle match.
Kensuke Sasaki vs Genichiro Tenryu IWGP Championship
Tenryu starts the match by hitting a lariat, and then Sasaki repeatedly chops him in the throat. Things slow down for a minute or two, and then Kensuke just flat out punches the fuck out of Tenryu. Repeatedly. Tenryu definitely has a "I'm too old for this shit" look to him the whole time. All those years of bieng a cunt are coming back to haunt him. Things break out into a sumo fight for a bit, and these two are just slapping, chopping, and punching the fuck out of each other. Spider German suplex! Super bomb! Lariats! Super ranas! Judo throws! Sasaki wins with two northern lights bombs in a row. New champion! A war.
Show picked up in the second half, but it was still a big drop off from 1999. Kensuke Sasaki continues to MVP streak.