Saturday's Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall show was the latest New Japan Pro Wrestling production to promise the world and somehow deliver an entire unchartered universe of planets, suns and stars instead.
An excellent card on paper materialised as as a magnificent one in practice - layer upon layer of gradually advancing excellence conspired to craft the greatest pay-per-view this author has ever seen. A supershow of worthy of superlatives even beyond the legendary WrestleMania X7, a pay-per-view usually ranked atop the god tier of events for most wrestling fans across the taste spectrum.
Dominion surpassed not just that, but every other attempt to be that from the collected worlds of professional wrestling, lucha libre, 'sports entertainment' or label slapped upon what is ostensibly still the same product. In 2001, the 'Show Of Shows' was the climax of a commercial boom for the industry, but 17 years on from that, the Osaka-jo Hall classic was instead just the celebration of a different kind of golden era.
Yes, the industry at large appears in rude financial health, but even more than that that there exists a hitherto unseen vitality between the performers and the audience as a result. Connections through t-shirts, tweets and chants that enhances narrative with unabashed adoration.
It's ironically the one area WWE struggle most with recreating. Their battered bruised system has severed relations between fans and some of the creatively mismanaged stars. It's not the only area where they could do with NJPW sliding over a crib sheet...
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.