Will write about yesterday's NOAH show at Korauken Hall later (possibly much later!)
Ah yeah, I never did that. And now I find out this was Shelton Benjamin’s final NOAH show. No wonder the poor bastardo ate the pin.
Some stuff you don’t see on the telecasts: a shot of the hall not pointing at the bleachers to the right, millions of posters for upcoming shows, the freakin’ smoking room during intermission.
Disco Stu Mohammed Yone with a leg hold in the opening match:
Jado is a funny dude:
Don’t get into a chopping contest in Japan. This is Takashi Sugiura of the heel faction Suzuki Army. This shot is during an 8 man tag with teammates Shelton, Lance Archer (Hoyt) and Davey Boy Smith Jr. They interfered in the first match, had their tag match, and came back to play a huge role in the main event later. It worked so well, the crowd ate it all up and booed the crap out of them. Lance Archer is incredibly over as a water-splashing crowd-intimidating (but funny) heel.
Shelton’s reaction to losing, after a white-hot last couple minutes against Katsuhiko Nakajima:
Suzuki Army (Minori Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka) would challenge for the GHC Tag Championship in the main event, which was 20 minutes of massively overbooked but massively enjoyable chaos. Suzuki Army had half their competition tied to the ring rail for much of the match (you can just see a hand here). The fan to the left had quietly tried to untie him, and the “what the hell do you think you’re doing?!?” looks when the heels caught him at it were gold.
After half the locker room rushed to ringside to counteract the heels, Suzuki himself ended up tied to the railing and could only watch the finish:
Takashi turned 50 shortly after this but still looks pretty damn good, and has a bit of a George “The Animal” Steele kind of gimmick — get out of the way of the crazy man!
Japanese crowds may be quite polite but you book a good heel faction to “ruin” the show and the crowd will go as nuts as any other around the world. The night just built and built and built really well. But you have to do it right: down here MCW did it perfectly with the TMDK invasion over the past six months, but were godawful with The Estate before that, getting pure X-Pac “go away” heat.