Global Impact opens up with a special introductory video package with clips of the show as well as the TNA stars in Tokyo.
As the show starts RVD arrives in Japan and he talks about this being his first trip to Japan for TNA, and he is on his way to the gym. He talks about how a lot of the wrestlers in Japan not being able to go the gym because wrestlers have a lot of tattoos and they associate tattoos with Yakuza in Japan. RVD brags about the cleanliness of Japan and then talks about how excited he is to be back in Japan. He talks about how it’s hard for him to keep his weight up when overseas because a lot of the food has a lot less calories and when you’re traveling it’s hard to get in the gym. He discusses his favorite foods in Japan and then he jumps on the train. RVD talks about his first tour of Japan in 1993 and that there was a popular commercial in Japan with Jean Claude Van Damme and the fans thought he looked like him which is how the name started. He also talks about being a “young boy” (rookie) in Japan when he first started there back in 1993 and how he’s seen as a big star there now. He also mentions some of the other Americans he was on tour with that first time (Stan Hansen, Terry Gordy, Dr. Death, Johnny Ace, etc.). RVD is on his way to an All Japan show which is just ending to talk with some old friends that invited him to come visit. A man shows some old pictures of RVD when he was in Japan years ago and he makes jokes about the ring gear he wore then. He stands in Korakuean Hall and talks about it’s legacy in Japanese Wrestling and he talks about the legendary Giant Baba telling him to wear brighter tights which is what led him to start using the airbrushed tights. He says his very first match in Japan was at Korakuean Hall in February 1993 while the show in the Tokyo Dome will be his first match inside that dome.
Footage of the January 03. 2011 New Japan Press Conference is shown with clips of RVD speaking to the crowd and putting the Japanese fans over and putting over his opponent for the show, Toru Yano. Several of the wrestlers on the show get into a brawl and then we see a clip of Robert Roode talking trash to the other tag teams, letting them know that they are the greatest Tag Team in the world. He mentions that it wasn’t too long ago that Beer Money defeated the IWGP Tag Team Champs Bad Intentions in New Japan. Storm says they don’t care about New Japan or the Japanese fans, TNA send them to New Japan to take those titles back to TNA with them, and whether anyone likes it “Sorry ’bout yo’ damn luck.”
Jeff Hardy says he’s not there to prove TNA is better than New Japan, but to prove he is better than Tetsuya Naito (his opponent) in their match. Jeramy Borash approaches Hardy after the Press Conference and asks him to talk about the experience. Hardy says it’s been a long time since he’s been at a Press Conference in Japan but it was great and says he is going to be working with an injury that he suffered over the holidays. He suffered at Christmas Party when he and his friends were burning their Christmas Tree (a new tradition for them) and he jumped over it and his underwear melted to his ass. He even pulls down his pants and shows the disgusting injury. I’m not even going to crack any drug-related drugs here. Borash mentions that Hardy is the first TNA World Champion to defend his belt in Japan and Hardy puts over how big it is and puts over his opponent.
Later that night Robert Roode and some of the New Japan stars went out to eat some Japanese cuisine. I see Karl Anderson in the background and I think I see Giant Bernard. Roode doesn’t seem to be feeling the food too much. Roode says the biggest difference between America and Japan is the food.
Clips of the Wrestling Kingdom event is shown with the huge crowd and then Borash approaches Beer Money before their match for the IWGP Tag Team Titles. Roode says they love coming to Japan to compete and Storm says he loves the Sake in Japan.
The set for Wrestle Kingdom is very impressive and massive. It has two huge screens on each side of the ramp and one that’s set up behind the tunnel that’s split into several sections.
IWGP Tag Team Championships
Triple Threat Match
Muscle Orchestra (Strong Man & Manabu Nakanishi) vs. Beer Money Inc. vs. Bad Intentions (Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson & Giant Bernard) (c)
Strong Man is a huge muscle bound star who is currently one of the top stars in CMLL in Mexico. Nakanishi competed in WCW back in the 90’s. Bad Intentions is made up of a longtime INDY star in America, Karl Anderson, and his partner former WWE star Giant Bernard (known as Albert and Prince Albert in WWE minus the back hair). Sadly unlike the first two Global Impact shows, we have to struggle with the Japanese commentary rather than English commentary from Mike Tenay. I really don’t understand why they didn’t dub over English commentary this year. As Bad Intentions get into the ring they and Muscle Orchestra attack Beer Money and knock them out of the ring. The other two teams then begin brawling in the ring. Nakanishi hits a big shoulder block on Anderson and then Muscle Orchestra hit Bernarnd with a Double Shoulder Block followed by another one that finally takes him down. Beer Money comes back in and attacks MO. Storm hits Strong Man with a Code Breaker that sends him out of the ring and then Roode sidesteps a charging Nakanishi sending him flying over the top to the floor. Roode then lifts Storm up into the air into a Plancha onto MO on the floor! In the ring Roode sets up for a dive of his own but Anderson cuts him off and nails him with an uppercut. Anderson attempts to whip Roode into the ropes but Roode reverses it and goes for a clothesline, but Anderson ducks and then dives over the top with a gorgeous Somersault Plancha over the top onto everyone else! Bernard climbs back in and clotheslines Roode out of the ring. Bernard climbs up top and sets up for a dive but Strong Man cuts him off and Gorilla Presses the near 400 pound man! Anderson comes from out of nowhere with a Dropkick on Strong Man and then he starts chopping Nakanishi as he climbs back into the ring. Nakanishi answers with some nasty chops of his own and then he whips Anderson into the corner and clotheslines him. Nakanishi whips him into the opposite corner and clotheslines him again. Nakanishi Suplexes Anderson and then sets up for something but Storm catches him with a Leaping Enziguri from the apron out of nowhere! Roode then dives off top with a Diving Headbutt on Anderson! Storm covers Anderson, 1…2…NO he kicks out! Beer Money put the boots to Anderson and then Roode knocks Bernard off the apron. Storm chokes Anderson with his wrist tape and then Roode chokes him with his boot. Beer Money continue to knock anyone off the apron that tries to get involved. They whip Anderson into the ropes and connect with a Double Back Elbow. Storm then hits an Elbow Drop on Anderson and Roode follows up with a Knee Drop. 1…2…NO Anderson still kicks out! Beer Money pick Anderson up and connect with the Beer Money Double Suplex! As they do their taunt Giant Bernard comes back into the ring and takes them out with a nasty Double Clothesline! Bernard whips Roode into the ropes and connects with a Big Boot and then a Back Elbow on Storm. Bernard comes off the ropes and connects with a Splash on Storm for a nearfall. Bernard whips Storm into Roode in the corner and then he goes for a Double Corner Splash but Storm moves out of the way leaving Roode to get squashed. Bernard then clotheslines Storm as he turns around. Bernard goes for another Splash on Roode but he gets a boot up and then dives off the top with a Blockbuster! Storm covers, 1…2…NO Anderson breaks it up! Roode then connects with the Double-R Spinebuster on Anderson! Nakanishi climbs up top and the big man dives off with a Missile Dropkick on Roode! Strong Man comes in and MO attempt to whip Beer Money into the ropes, but Beer Money attempt to reverse it. MO block it and then they both clothesline Beer Money and set up for something as the fans get behind them. They connect with Double Running Clotheslines on Beer Money as Bad Intentions come back in and attack MO. Nakanishi picks Bernard up in a Mana Bauer (Torture Rack) as Strong Man picks Anderson up for one of his own! Nakanishi drops Bernard and then tosses him out of the ring while Strong Man lifts Anderson up into a Gorilla Press onto the top rope followed by a German Suplex from Nakanishi! Nakanishi follows up with another German Suplex on Anderson! 1…2…NO Roode breaks it up! Storm hits Strong Man with the Last Call and then Roode lifts Nakanishi up into the DWI from Beer Money! I believe that is the biggest guy they have performed that move on. 1…2…NO Bernard breaks it up now! Bernarnd hits a Big Boot on Storm and then Double Splashes Beer Money followed by a dropkick from Anderson on Storm. Bad Intentions pick Roode up for the Magic Killer but Storm takes out Bernard’s knee with a Chop Block! Roode then takes Anderson down and catapults him into a nasty Spike DDT from Storm! 1…2…NO Anderson still kicks out! Storm goes outside and grabs his beer bottle and takes a swig and spits it at Anderson but he ducks and the beer goes into Roode’s eyes! Bernard comes back in and tosses Storm out of the ring. Bernarnd knocks MO off the apron as Anderson hits the Gun Stun on Roode! 1…2…3!
Winners & STILL IWGP Tag Champs: Bad Intentions via pinfall (Gun Stun)
(Really good opener with all 3 teams looking good. Bad Intentions & Beer Money did most of the work with Nakanishi & Strong Man just doing some big power spots. These types of matches are where Strong Man shines, especially in Mexico, where he can just showcase his nasty strength. Beer Money looked great as did Bad Intentions. The only gripe I have with the match is the dumbass camera man keyed in on Bernard knocking Muscle Orchestra off the apron while Anderson hit his finish on Roode which we didn’t even see, the only reason I know he hit the Gun Stun is because I read the live show results. ***1/2)
RVD is shown walking around Tokyo and talking about his many tours of Japan and the fans. He puts over this being his first appearance in Tokyo Dome and comparing it to Madison Square Garden in the states. He talks the American influence on Japanese culture and how it is very diverse now compared to when he first came in 1993.
“Whole F’N Show” Rob Van Dam vs. Toru Yano
The commentators were talking during the Tag Title Matches introductions but you can clearly here Jeramy Borash’s English introductions for this match. Yano actually walks to the ring with a big bottle of I think wine and drinks it on the way to the ring, he’s also carrying a chair. RVD didn’t get near the reaction I figured he would with all his experience in Japan. Yano takes another swig of his drink before the match and offers it to RVD (maybe it’s Sake?) and RVD pushes it away and does his “Rob Van Dam” taunt (which gets a bigger reaction) only to get Sake spit in his face. RVD connects with a Spinning Heel Kick on Yano as he charges and then a Step-Over Heel Kick. RVD follows up with a Running Spinning Heel Kick in the corner followed by another Spinning Heel Kick that sends Yano out to the floor. RVD hits a sliding dropkick on Yano and then a Standing Moonsault off the apron onto Yano on the floor! RVD is selling the knee as he hit it hard on the floor. RVD nails Yano with a Forearm and then he attempts to whip him into the guardrail, but Yano reverses it sending RVD crashing into the guardrail. Yano then throws RVD into the ring post and follows up by Scoop Slamming him onto the floor. Yano grabs RVD but RVD kicks him and nails him with a forearm. RVD then suplexes Yano onto the guardrail draping him over it. RVD then hits the Spinning Heel Kick off the apron onto Yano who was still hanging on the guardrail! RVD pulls a chair out from under the ring and slides it into the ring followed by 2 more chairs. RVD tosses Yano back into the ring and then climbs in but Yano throws a chair at him! Yano hits a Spinning Sidewalk Slam on RVD onto 2 stacked chairs! 1…2…NO RVD kicks out! Yano goes out to the floor and pulls a ladder out from under the ring. RVD attempts to hit a sliding dropkick into the ladder but Yano picks the ladder up and then slams it into RVD. Yano then nails RVD with a chair and pulls a garbage can out from under the ring. Yano throws more weapons into the ring and then slams the garbage can into RVD’s face. He picks up a mob and chokes RVD with it. Yano climbs back into the ring and nails RVD with a road sign and then he picks up an umbrella (to a big pop) and whips RVD into the ropes. Yano winds up and swings and nails RVD with it. Yano puts the garbage can over RVD’s head and blasts him with a chair! Yano mocks RVD’s taunt and covers him for a nearfall. Yano picks RVD up and RVD fights back with right hands and forearms, but Yano cuts him off and slams him to the mat by his ponytail. Yano then whips RVD into the corner and charges but RVD gets his foot up. RVD springs to the top and hits a Diving Back Kick! RVD sells the ass whooping he took and then connects with punches and kicks on Yano. RVD whips Yano into the corner and then connects with an Atomic Drop. RVD picks up the chair and hits a Running Dropkick into the chair into Yano’s face! 1…2….NO Yano kicks out! RVD grabs Yano but Yano pokes him in the eye and tries to German Suplex him onto the ladder, but RVD blocks it and then kicks him in the head. Yano falls onto the ladder and then RVD places a chair on him and goes for Rolling Thunder, but Yano moves and RVD eats the ladder! Yano then throws the ladder at RVD’s head again! 1…2…NO RVD kicks out! Yano places the ladder on the top rope and then attempts to whip RVD into, but RVD reverses it. Yano stops himself before he hits the ladder and then he catapults RVD into it! Yano follows up with a big Oni Koroshi (Kneeling Powerbomb)! 1…2…NO RVD still kicks out! Yano picks up a chair and goes to throw it again but RVD nails him with the Van Daminator! RVD places the chair onto Yano and then climbs up top and hits the 5-Star Frog Splash! 1…2…3!
Winner: RVD via pinfall (5-Star Frog Splash)
(Pretty good hardcore match here that surprisingly Yano dominated the majority of. Both guys hit some nice spots but nothing really creative in it. This was similar to what RVD used to do back in ECW but a few more weapons tossed in. Yano was pretty decent in his role as well. Entertaining bout. ***)
Hardy is shown painting his face in the back and then talks about his opponent. They talk about this being the first time the TNA Title has been defend in Japan again. Hardy says this is his first trip to Japan since he was 18 when he did a tour for Battle Arts as Willow Of The Wisp. Hardy cuts a quick promo for the New Japan promos on Naito and then we cut to the arena for the Main Event.
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
“Charismatic Antichrist” Jeff Hardy (c) vs. “Stardust Genius” Tetsuya Naito
Naito is a member of No Limit with Yujiro and wrestled for TNA back in 2009 before leaving for CMLL in Mexico. Naito has become a pretty big star in Japan since he was in TNA. Hardy has a pretty awesome entrance for this show and wears a special mask to the ring which looks like the design on his title belt. Naito mocks Hardy as he comes into the ring. For some reason Borash introduces Naito as “Nie-etoe” rather than how you pronounce it, “Nie-toe.” The two lockup at the bell and Hardy quickly gets Naito in a Waistlock but Naito counters into a wristlock. Naito forces Hardy down onto the mat with the wristlock but Hardy gets to his feet and reverses it into a wristlock of his own. Naito rolls through it and into a Hammerlock and then a Side Headlock Takeover. Naito holds onto the headlock on the mat but Hardy lifts his legs up and locks in a Head Scissors on Naito. Both men get to their feet and stare each other down. I hear the commentators say TNA and WWE repeatedly as Naito takes Hardy down. Naito then runs the ropes and Hardy leapfrogs Naito and completely botches it as he stumbles when he lands and then rolls backwards where Naito grabs him and starts beating on him. Naito whips Hardy into the ropes again and nails him with a dropkick. Naito picks Hardy up and hits him with a Snapmare Takeover followed by a Somersault Senton Splash for a nearfall. Naito puts the boots to Hardy and then climbs up top. Hardy crotches Naito on the top rope and then he climbs up with Naito and Superplexes him off the top! Hardy mocks Naito and covers him for his own nearfall. Hardy then immediately locks Naito in a headlock, but Naito fights to his feet and breaks the hold with back elbows. Naito hits the ropes and hits a Sunset Flip on Hardy for a nearfall and then Hardy hits Naito with a clothesline as he gets to his feet. Hardy then hits a Double Leg Drop onto Naito’s legs folding him up into a pinning position for a nearfall. Hardy tosses Naito out to the floor and then he dives off the apron with a Diving Clothesline onto Naito on the floor. Hardy rolls Naito back into the ring and covers him for another nearfall. Hardy locks Naito in a submission move on the mat, where he has his knees in Naito’s back as he pulls Naito’s arms back. Naito is able to fight it and gets his feet on the bottom rope to break it. Hardy whips Naito into the ropes and charges at him but Naito floats up and over Hardy and then he blocks a clothesline and connects with a Swinging Neckbreaker on Hardy! Naito climbs up top and dives off with a Missile Dropkick! 1…2…NO Hardy kicks out! Naito grabs Hardy for a German Suplex but Hardy fights it off with back elbows. Hardy attempts to whip Naito into the corner but Naito reverses it and then charges. Hardy gets his boots up and Naito catches them and then swings them into the ropes to Hang Hardy up in them. Naito then connects with a Hanging Neckbreaker! Naito lifts Hardy up onto the top rope and hits a nice Frankensteiner! 1…2…NO Hardy kicks out! Naito picks Hardy back up and connects with a Scoop Slam and then climbs up top and attempts Stardust Press (Corkscrew Moonsault), but Hardy moves out of the way! Hardy goes for Twist of Hate, but Naito counters into a Backslide! 1…2…NO Hardy kicks out! Naito then immediately rolls Hardy up again! 1…2…NO Hardy still kicks out! Hardy gets back to his feet and whips Naito into the ropes only to eat a Flying Forearm from Naito! Both men are down now, looking exhausted. Both men get to their feet and Naito charges at Hardy but Hardy hits him with a Back Elbow and then springs to the top and hits the Whisper In The Wind! 1…2…NO Naito kicks out! Hardy hits the Twist of Hate as Naito gets to his feet and then he climbs to the top and connects with the Swanton Bomb! 1…2…3!
Winner & STILL TNA Champ: Hardy via pinfall (Swanton Bomb)
(Very solid match and better than I expected as I heard a lot of people say Hardy looked awful here, but other than the one botched spot he looked good and Naito looked great. The finish came when the match was just really starting to heat up though and a few more nearfalls would have added, but I liked the attempt at flash pins from Naito and his intensity. Hardy sold well for the youngster too. A rematch between them but in Tag Team format with No Limit vs. the Hardyz could be a nice draw for New Japan down the line. ***1/2)
A highlight package from the matches is shown following the Main Event and then they tease that Wrestle Kingdom VI will see TNA stars return to New Japan as well. Following the Global Impact airing you can see Beer Money’s first trip to New Japan when they faced Bad Intentions back in 2010 which is a nice little added bonus as it’s a great match as well. What’s really stupid here is that there is no commentary at all so it would have been beyond simple for TNA to dub English commentary over this match, even more so than the Wrestling Kingdom event. Following that match the Motor City Machine Guns match with Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi) is available for viewing as well.
Overall this was a fun little show with some quality wrestling with the TNA stars facing off against wrestlers you wouldn’t regularly see them face. The backstage and behind the scenes stuff was just about as enjoyable as the in the ring stuff as well. I love that aspect of the Global Impact shows. The picture/video quality is excellent and my only real gripe with it was the Japanese commentary. I just don’t understand that at all. The first two saw commentary from Mike Tenay and Don West, I don’t get why they couldn’t have done the same with Tenay and Taz or just Tenay and West again. It’s not like they didn’t have plenty of time with this being filmed way back in January. The overall quality was better than Global Impact 2 in my opinion but nowhere near as good as the first Global Impact. I still wish TNA would tape one of these specials in Mexico, but I hope at least they continue doing it at Wrestling Kingdom. The added Bonus Matches are a nice touch and at the $1.99 asking price on TNAOnDemand it’s definitely worth the purchase. It doesn’t look like this will get a DVD release but you never know and if it does maybe they will add the English Commentary.