Not only did Kurt Angle win an Olympic gold medal with a broken freaking neck, he was also the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Japan for 233 days while working for TNA. Oh, it’s true. It’s damn true. Thanks to the NJPW crossover of FinJuice this week on Impact Wrestling, we get to relive the moment of Angle defending that title in the Tokyo Dome as Impact counted down the top 5 crossover matches with NJPW.
5. Motor City Machine Guns vs LAX vs No Limit (Tetsuya Naito & Yujiro Takahashi) - TNA Lockdown (Apr 19, 2009)
4. Team USA vs Team Japan (Black Tiger, Minoru Tanaka, & Hirooki Goto) - TNA Lockdown (Apr. 23, 2006)
3. Samoa Joe vs Jushin Thunder Liger - TNA Bound for Glory (Oct. 23, 2005)
2. AJ Styles vs Hiroshi Tanahashi - TNA Final Resolution (Jan. 15, 2006)
1. Kurt Angle vs Yuji Nagata - NJPW Westle Kingdom II (Jan 4, 2008)
Impact smartly focused on cool moves from the Japanese talent. That’s the reason why viewers would tune in to the video, so it’s nice to see them deliver the goods. It’s neat to observe so many innovative maneuvers that are now common today. My favorite was a move that has yet to be overused. It is Tanahashi with the big swing variation into a standing elbow drop. Professional wrestling needs more big swings and airplane spins these days. It was also cool to see Angle perform in the Tokyo Dome. His reversal out of a crossface submission into the Olympic Slam was fantastic.
Impact offers even more NJPW action with a bonus match of IWGP Heavyweight Champ Shinsuke Nakamura wrestling Elix Skipper.
How to you rate the list of Impact’s top 5 crossover matches with NJPW? Which Japanese wrestlers blew your mind the first time you saw them in Impact?