Back at it on pay-per-view and back in the United States after a broadly successful trip across the Pacific Ocean earlier this year, New Japan Pro Wrestling's presentation of 2018's G1 Special still carried the heft of a brave expedition for the company - even if the performers themselves won't be under similar conditions until the legendary Climax tournament itself kicks off on 14 July.
There were quiet catcalls at the company's expense upon booking California's Cow Palace, a venue bigger than their previous Long Beach locale, and the knocks proved not without merit. Despite Kenny Omega's show-closing bluster, the card failed to sell out the venue, though an impressive 6,000+ in attendance still bore witness to a show worthy of a stadium they'll inevitably one day find a way to fill.
It was unable to reach the peaks of June's already-iconic Dominion, but then can any wrestling show for the remainder of the decade even stand a chance of coming close? The Golden Elite's world-changing formation at the climax of that was built on stars - both human and Meltzer-manufactured - that virtually guaranteed something earth-shattering just for the price of admission.
This is a tough expectation to set going forward, but it's already proved hugely enjoyable watching NJPW's best and brightest try.
Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.