TAPE 453

Quality: EX (Master Convert)

Length: 5.25 hrs (2 DVD)

INOKI BOM BA YE 2000 PPV - 12/31/00 (This is the PPV version of Inoki's 1st annual MMA/pro hybrid event. Everything on this show is a work, but Inoki brought in MMA/Pride guys to work with pro wrestlers and they end up doing a combo of shoot-style and pro-style stuff in almost every match. Kind of an odd concept, but one that ends up working well. I'd heard a lot of bad stuff about this show prior to watching it, but I ended up highly entertained. Lots of fun to watch. I've got a master convert so quality is EX.)
Yoshiaki Fujiwara vs Justin McCully (McCully seems oddly reticent at striking Fujiwara, hitting him with these girly slaps that wouldn't hurt a flea) Akira Shoji & Kaoru Uno vs Great Sasuke & Daijiro Matsui (***1/2 - lots of fun! They start out working shoot-style, then Sasuke tags in and one of his opponents does a pro-style move and the crowd gives a big "OHHHHHH" and it heats up from there. Really good match, with surprisingly adept pro-style work from the shooters) Bas Rutten & Alexander Otsuka vs Naoki Sano & Ricco Rodriguez Shinya Hashimoto vs Gary Goodridge Naoya Ogawa vs Tadao Yasuda Mark Coleman & Mark Kerr vs Yuji Nagata & Takashi Iizuka (It's too bad that Coleman didn't work UWFI, he'd have been awesome. I'm a big critic of his often boring MMA style in shoots, but here he shows some great throws and suplexes, as does Kerr, who also would've been good in UWFI. ***) Kazushi Sakuraba vs Kendo Kashin (By far, the most disappointing match on the card. They go well over 20 minutes, with a lot of it being unfocused nothingness. Crappy finish too.) Nobuhiko Takada & Keiji Mutoh vs Ken Shamrock & Don Frye (This is the match where Mutoh debuts his bald head look, to a big pop from the crowd. Good match, but the finish blows chunks. Shamrock & Frye look like they've got some heat between them here...)