New Japan Pro Wrestling
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
In pro wrestling as much as anywhere else, a company opens itself up to questioning anytime it chooses to do something outside the norm. Such was the case when New Japan announced that the main event of the Tokyo Dome show would be decided by a fan vote in which fans were allowed to vote for either the IWGP Heavyweight title match or the IWGP Intercontinental Heavyweight match. The decision to hold a vote was made for noble reasons. Tetsuya Naito was struggling to get over with the fans as the challenger for the Heavyweight championship so New Japan was allowing the fans to decide which match they’d rather see in the main event slot. They chose the Intercontinental Title match and immediately, there were people questioning the wisdom in such a decision.
As such, this match – and the IWGP Heavyweight title match – took on an added dimension. Since New Japan did something different in allowing the fans to decide the main event and putting the secondary championship match on last, it was open for double-guesses if the opportunity presented itself. As it turned out, the Naito & Okada match did outshine the Nakamura & Tanahashi match leading to questions of if the match placement was wise. That is sort of missing the point.
What New Japan did – allowing the fans to make what is viewed by many as an important decision – is a good thing. It is good to listen to the fans in situations like these. That the semi-main event outshined the main is of little consequence relative to New Japan empowering their fans – if only a little and if only for one night.
Puro Main Event| Watchable | Hype