Happy Wednesday Everyone!
Today we’re going to be looking at some matches from All Japan’s big show at the Tokyo Dome in May of 1998. I’ve had a peruse on YouTube and managed to find five of them, so that’s what we’ll be watching today. I’m not sure if the full card ever made it to TV or not. I could have probably found more but these five matches are enough to fill close to two hours and that’s more than enough for the Wednesday review slot.
All Japan had stayed away from running the Dome due to Giant Baba having a previous bad experience back in 1990 when he’d promoted a show also featuring stars from New Japan and the WWF. All Japan was probably past its peak by the time 1998 rolled around from the insane hot streak it had experienced since switching to clean finishes in big matches at the end of the 80’s, but they still had a big moment of Toshiaki Kawada finally getting his big singles Title win over Mitsuharu Misawa, along with Vader coming in from the WWF to work the semi-main.
Being that it was All Japan, they eschewed a lot of the bells and whistle that companies like New Japan put on whenever they ran a big show in a venue like this, and instead just presented a match focused All Japan show in front of a near 60,000 crowd.
The playlist for these matches can be viewed by clicking HERE
In a quick aside, according to the Wrestling Observer from this time period Paul Heyman was trying to arrange some ECW involvement to help All Japan fill out the card. He was basically happy for ECW guys to be booked and used in any way All Japan pleased in exchange for getting an ECW Title match between Shane Douglas and Hiroshi Hase where Hase would put Douglas over. Heyman’s thought process was that Hase would be fine with doing a job because he was basically semi-retired at this stage and he’d also be able to carry Douglas to a great match, thus allowing Paul to show the match on ECW television in order to make ECW look important. Sadly that deal never went through though and there’s no ECW involvement on this show as a result.