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More Japanese wrestling business woe - New Japan's first Sumo Hall show of the year completely bombs at the box office

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Dave Meltzer reported in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter that New Japan Pro Wrestling only drew 4,000 fans for its first show at the 11,000 seat Sumo Hall arena in Tokyo, which would make it possibly the least successful show in history for the promotion in that arena.  However, Meltzer's assertion that the show was strong on paper was a bit odd, given that there are major championship matches on every show and none of the outsiders used on the show were particularly major stars (Tajiri and Masato Tanaka are really just small independent level stars).  The main event in particular was poorly hyped (Manabu Nakanishi was buried on the undercard of their biggest show of the year on January 4th) and predictable.  Perhaps the most newsworthy thing on the show was the retirement ceremony for mid level junior heavyweight Milano Collection A.T. which featured appearances by Milano's friend Hayabusa and Milano's trainer Ultimo Dragon.  Toru Yano also cut Hiroshi Tanahashi's hair in the most important post match angle on the show.  Full results are available from

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