Chris from Melbourne here. I was at the show, and though I had a great night, my main takeaway was how strange the international response was.
After the show, there was a lot of talk on Reddit’s SquaredCircle about how successful the tour was, apparently with even Dave Meltzer saying they were a huge financial success. As someone who was there, I don’t see how this could be true.
I think Festival Hall holds just under 2000 people without a wrestling ring, and at most the building was two-thirds full. Compare this to the NXT show a year before at Melbourne’s Margeret Court Arena, which holds about 7,000 people and was sold out.
For this show, my tickets were far more expensive than the NXT ones, at about $200 AUD for a mid-tier spot. From memory the ringside seats were around $500 each, plus more for the VIP meet and greet that came bundled with that area. That area was completely empty, and during the second match, my friends and I (along with the rest of our section) moved over to fill the ringside spots. I kept expected people to come and claim their seats, but no one ever came. I think the production crew were happier, because now they had fans to shoot during entrances.
People online talking about how the shows were a huge success have taught me to take their words with more grains of salt than I already was.
BEST PART: Watching back on NJPW World and seeing myself during both Kenny’s entrance and the end of show promo.
WORST PART: Having to sit through so many of the MCW wrestlers that I could see any week. For how expensive the tickets were, and how close Japan is, I expected to see many more of the NJPW stars. Naito and Ibushi were especially disappointing absences.