#1 Contenders Match: Los Still-Pretty-Good-icos vs. Evers & Scaggs
Man, I hope you guys enjoyed this one. What did you think of Lance and Scorp's new "Lethal Weapon" type gimmick? Obviously, we are thinking about turning them face as well, eventually. They are totally over with the crowd after beating Hogan's and Bret's teams in the tournament. The problem is, we want them to work as heels in Osaka next month. So... we had a clean-fought, mostly technical match with some high flying, and a clean pin by Scorp on Dos Caras, followed by handshakes and then... BAM! Post-match beat-down. Crowd seemed to buy into that one, too.
And, by the way: You do *NOT* want to use the term "Pearl Harbor Job" when discussing post-match beat-downs in Japan.
Evers and Scaggs vs. the winner of Dragon Hearts vs. Chono and Sasaki in Osaka! Does that necessarily mean a Dragon Hearts victory? Probably, right?
#1 Contenders Match: TAKA, Hamada, and Yakushiji vs. Togo, Jado, and Gedo
In contrast, this was worked in a straight-up good guys vs, bad guys style. Hamada and Yakushiji are so good at getting sympathy, Togo, Jado, and Gedo are all natural dicks (no pun intended), and TAKA is such a great fired-up babyface... I love this combination. I love heel Togo vs. face TAKA. Next time, we'll give them even longer, we only kept this one short-ish because of the conventional wisdom about Dome crowds.
And now Lyin' Guys will face the winners of Space Mutineers vs. Skyin' High, in Osaka... Does that mean the good guys will definitely win? Can you see the curve ball coming?
#1 Contenders Match: Liger vs. Ohtani
Hopefully you guys enjoyed this one! It's one of the best matches we can put out there. Keep it to yourselves but we will probably see a epic re-match in Nagoya in February. Liger gets the win, barely, but Ohtani beats him down and rips his mask a little after the match to stay strong.
#1 Contenders Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Road Warrior Hawk
Frankly, I was worried about this one going on after Liger vs. Ohtani... but these guys played to the cheap seats, Hogan sold a massive beat-down from the Road Warrior, Hawk kicked out of the Big Leg Drop and the first Axe Bomber... and they had the crowd in the palms of their hands. I'm sure that Liger vs. Ohtani will come across as the much better match on tape... that's part of my problem with analyzing matches that way. The boys' job is to work the live crowd, first and foremost. That's what Hawk and Hogan did today.
And now Hogan will be fighting for the IWGP belt next month.
(off to work, write more later)