New Japan Pro Wrestling
Tokyo Dome (Tokyo, Japan)
Win via submission or 10-count TKO Only
Positioned immediately after intermission and immediately preceding a heavily hyped return match and championship matches for the three major IWGP singles titles, we find this little contest. It features New Japan’s resident brawler, Makabe, versus a full-time second and part-time wrestler, Bad Luck Fale. The two have a minor issue and Fale has been put over strong going into the show, but going it feels like most post-intermission matches – an excuse to take your time getting back to your seat (or computer in this case).
The match is contested under what are essentially last-man standing rules. The rules stated that the match could also be won via submission, but the bulk of the action is spent with each wrestler going for the TKO.
This match might lack the hype of the matches that followed it but in ways it might have been the third best match on the second-half of the Tokyo Dome show. Makabe and Fale toss one another around. The crowd firmly gets behind Makabe during a part of the card where they wouldn’t be blamed for having checked out to conserve energy for what was to come. When Makabe barely makes it up before the 10-count after receiving a Border Toss from Fale – his big move that up to that point was sold like death by everyone who received it – the reaction was as good as anything on the show.
The phrase “the match served its” purpose is a borderline cliché in current wrestling analysis, but that does not mean there isn’t truth to it. This match served its purpose. It was short and for a brawl, it remained relatively simple. It slowly got the crowd back into the swing of things heading into the main portion of the show, while not doing anything to overshadow the main events. It also got a quiet Dome crowd invested in the outcome, which is as important as anything else. It wasn’t a great or memorable match, but as they say – it served its purpose.
Brawl | Watchable | Quality