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Video: Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2014 pro wrestling bouts illustrate Japanese pro wrestling at its finest

Special thanks to Primetime MMA1114 for the video.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) and pro wrestling were on display once again -- at the same show -- during the annual Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2014 hybrid event on Dec. 31, 2014 inside Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

Good luck trying that in the United States.

That's because we take our combat sports seriously, brah, and we don't like to mix our sports with our entertainment. It's why so many fans of both are often forced to choose a side, or suffer the online consequences from cyber snobs, though that's more of an MMA thing these days.


I was lucky enough to be sent to Japan right around this time last year and got a chance to sample both, and I can report the rumors are true. You can't always judge a match by its crowd, as the MMA and wrestling events I went to in Tokyo were eerily quiet.

But no less entertaining.

From my experience, the Japanese fans enjoyed their wrasslin' like a stage production. Just as I wouldn't be hootin' and hollerin' during Cirque du Soleil, neither did they, and instead responded with the appropriate oohs and ahhs (and chuckles) when the action called for it.

Above all, I appreciated their patience, something I wish we saw more of from WWE audiences.

The video above is from this week's IGF event and features two matches: the tag-team bonanza pitting Japanese superstars Josh Barnett and Naoya Ogawa vs. Kazuyuki Fujita and Minowaman, as well as Aztecaser vs. Bopp Sapp in singles action.

You can see the interaction is not better or worse than what most of us are used to, just different.

And just as fun.

If you like what you see above, I'm happy to report the first stateside episode of New Japan Pro Wrestling, featuring the aforementioned Josh Barnett and longtime combat sports broadcaster Mauro Ranallo, airs on Fri., Jan. 16, 2015 via AXS TV.

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