I'd really like to say a lot about the main event and hope to do so in the next couple days, but a few quick takes:
- There was almost nothing bad other than the finish to the opener, which seemed to serve no purpose beyond crapping on a couple of rising young stars.
- Literally, nothing bad. I expected Goto/Elgin/Taichi to come up short both because it was a triangle match in New Japan and because of Taichi (miracles only happen once and he had his against Naito earlier this year), but they pulled it off and it was a lot of fun.
- I'm admittedly a New Japan diehard but often find their undercards run too long. That was not the case here as nothing overstayed its welcome and the entire show moved very quickly.
- The legends 6-man tag was a lot of fun. Its mind boggling seeing Hiroshi Tanahashi in a relatively meaningless role on a big show, but I have no doubt he'll deliver in and be a big part of the G1. He will be a big part of the G1, right? Right? Rey looked great here, to no surprise. Hopefully he has a fun spot on the Cow Palace show.
- Ospreay/Hiromu was good and probably the 3rd best match on the show, but Hiromo/Ishimori blew it away and a few other BOSJ outings were on par with this. Perhaps I need to check it out again as a lot of folks seemed to rate it much higher, but this was basically a very good ***3/4 match in my book.
- I liked Omega/Jericho at the Dome but thought it went way too long and didn't see any of the MOTYC talk it received in some circles. Naito/Jericho blew it away from the start, with much better and more vicious brawling and a tighter match. Call me crazy, but Jericho's gut and general appearance here added a lot to his character and vibe. It felt much grittier and more violent. I'm all for potbellied Jericho coming for a younger generation. This dramatically exceeded expectations.
- Okada/Omega IV was an easy 5 stars and 1 of my 2 favorite matches this year, along with Gargano/Almas. No idea how to rank it against their outings from last year or historically, but it was incredible and didn't feel anything like 65-70 minutes. The finishes to each fall were terrific. That third fall in particular was out of this world with a pair of the best selling and expressive performances I've ever seen. I was popping up off the couch for near falls and screaming for the finish. Bravo.