Takayuki Iizuka VS Makai Club #5
Enson Inoue, Hiro Saito, Tatsutoshi Gotoh & Michiyoshi Ohara VS Tadao Yasuda, Kazunari Murakami, Ryushi Yanagisawa & Makai #1 (Clipped)
Jushin Liger & Koji Kanemoto VS AKIRA & Heat - IWGP Jr. Tag Team Titles (clipped)
Yoshihiro Takayama & Shinya Makabe VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Masahiro Chono - IWGP Tag Team Titles (clipped)
Yuji Nagata VS Manabu Nakanishi - IWGP Heavyweight Title (60:00 DRAW, complete)
Takayuki Iizuka VS Mitsuya Nagai (clipped)
Enson Inoue & Michiyoshi Ohara VS Tadao Yasuda & Kazunari Murakami (complete)
Koji Kanemoto VS AKIRA - IWGP Jr. Title (complete)
Scott Norton VS Takayama - NWF Title (joined in progress)
Since most of the matches on this tape are heavilly clipped down, I thought I'd just give my thoughts on the two main events that were shown in full since they were really the main focus of the tape and two of the best matches of 2003.
Yuji Nagata VS Manabu Nakanishi - IWGP Heavyweight Title Match
- This match really had an incredible pace to it. I found myself constantly checking the time and was suprised at the way it just seemed to go by. Nakanishi seemed to dominate most of the first thirty minutes. He hit a cool looking spear off the apron to Nagata on the floor. The two traded overhead belly-to-belly suplexes. Nakanishi even used Nagata's Exploder and Nagata Lock II against him! Most of the next half was Nagata working Nakanishi's legs with the figure-four and the Nagata Lock. But the big gorilla refused to give up, even kicking out of the Wrist Clutch Exploder! Nakanishi fough off the pain in his knees and manage to lift up Nagata in his Argentine Backbreaker, and then turned it into his high-angle German suplex for a two count! It wasn't untill the last five minutes that they really picked up the pace a bit and the crowd came alive. The last minute saw Nakanishi try all kinds of quick rollups but to no avail.
There you have it. Some would look at this as sixty minutes of pure wrestling, some would think the pace was a bit slow. I noticed how Nakanishi was in charge for most of the match and the crowd was really gunning for him to win. On that note, the crowd also seemed rather quiet for most of the bout. ****1/2
Koji Kanemoto VS AKIRA - IWGP Jr Heavyweight Title Match
- Talk about a change of pace! AKIRA brought his A-game and was the true star in this bout! AKIRA was fighting like he really REALLY wanted the IWGP Jr title, going so far as to bite Kanemoto's knee till it bled to escape his ankle lock! This is one of those matches where you really wish you didn't already know who won since it happened so long ago. But even then this match was just off the charts and a joy to watch! ****