Expectations are a tricky thing in professional wrestling.
Good booking raises them enough to lift money from the pockets of punters. To attend shows, to get merchandise, to sign up for a subscription service, to invest.
To buy in financially, audiences have to be connected emotionally. It's why WWE unleashed their Network right around the time their most potent creative fires finally burned out. Or how those fires became fully extinguished, depending on your viewpoint. The investment became the routine rather than the response, endangering the need for sound storylines, logical narrative flow or electric in-ring action.
New Japan Pro Wrestling, despite themselves now bound to the similar 'World' subscription model, haven't let adjustments muddy the intense creative process. Head Booker Gedo has a plan. He always has a plan - the only thing routine about NJPW's direction is the regularity with which he reveals his latest incredible arc.
With a majestic card on paper and the aforementioned expectations, NJPW Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jõ Hall had with it the potential to be the all-time greatest wrestling pay-per-view ever. These were not understated by fans and followers beforehand, only adding pressure to the pile.
Expectations, lofty as they were, were exceeded...