Fights that aired on the PPV (times of fights from sherdog.com)
- Ikuhisa Minowa submitted Stefan Leko with a heel hook at 27 seconds of round 1
- Choi Mu Bae submitted Giant Silva with a choke at 5:47 of round 1
- Ryan Gracie submitted Yoji Anjo with an armbar at 8:33 of round 1
- Ryo Chonan submitted Anderson Silva with a heel hook at 3:08 of round 3.
- Rulon Gardner beat Hidehiko Yoshida by unanimous decision after 3 rounds
- Mirko Crocop submitted Kevin Randleman with a guillotine choke (the ref stopped it when he saw Kevin was pretty much out rather than waiting for Kevin to tap) at 41 seconds of 1st round
- Dan Henderson beat Yuki Kondo by split decision after 3 rounds
- Takanori Gomi KO'd Jens Pulver with a punch at 6:21 of 1st round
- Mark Hunt beat Wanderlei Silva by split decision after 3 rounds
- Fedor Emelianenko beat Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by unanimous decision after 3 rounds to win the 2004 Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament and become the undisputed Pride heavyweight champion.
Match that didn't air on PPV: Makoto Takimoto beat Henry "Sentoryu" Miller by decision after 3 rounds
Comments: The finish of Chonan vs. Silva was a thing of beauty. Chonan flew in, caught Silva's leg and spun right into a nasty heel hook in about 2 seconds. It was shades of Volk Han from the old RINGS fights, which made my heart sing....Gardner vs. Yoshida was so much different than what I expected. It was mainly standing and Gardner landed some good shots. He didn't put any combos together as the announcers kept pointing out, but he caught Yoshida more than I imagined. When it was on the ground Yoshida never got much going and never had much opportunity since he was on his back mostly. Gardner acquitted himself well....Nice to see Randleman back to his old ways. Honestly, it makes me wonder what the hell do you train all that time for if you're just gonna get submitted in less than a minute by a guy who has never tapped out anyone in his life. I think getting tapped by Fedor so fast after that crazy slam has wiped out anything good Randleman might have had going from the first win against Crocop....Gomi vs. Pulver was great action, a really fun fight....Hunt vs. Silva, what can I say? It shouldn't have been a shock at all when Hunt hurt Silva with those killer shots, but at first I was in shock at seeing Silva in such a position. Hunt did more damage to Silva than Silva did to Hunt, and Hunt got himself out of some bad positions quite nicely. I'd have given it to Silva, but that's mostly due to sentiment on my part I guess....Fedor vs. Nog was another case where I shouldn't have been as surprised as I was at some points. Fedor looked just super-freaking-human, like nothing on earth could hurt him at all, nothing could even touch him. He was a step ahead of Nog the whole way and it wasn't really close in my opinion. I was rooting for Nog but Fedor was all over it tonight and erased any serious debate in my mind over who the best figher is.
German Tourist: Will you stop talking about the war! Basil Fawlty: You started it. German Tourist: We did not start it! Basil Fawlty: Yes you did, you invaded Poland.
There were some very good matches on this show, but the Silva/Hunt match was electric. Silva took some huge shots in this one, but wouldn't yield. I was suprised Bas and Randy Couture both felt so strongly that Wanderlei had won. He had many excellent take downs on Hunt but that seemed to be the extent of his offense. He just didn't seem to hurt Hunt at all, while Mark rained big shots during the first two rounds. Hunt was crazy with the "Atomic Butt Drop". I also loved the Hidehiko Yoshida vs. Rulon Gardner match. Gardner showed tremendous stamina and good striking power. I watched this event with my dad, and this was his favorite match (it was the main reason he watched). The Takanori Gomi vs. Jens Pulver was a slug fest with six minutes of non-stop punches. Very enjoyable. The flying heel hook finish in the Chonan vs Silva was sick. Ryan Gracie is insane, but entertainingly so. I thought it was cool that the ref assigned to a Gracie match just happened to be one of Sakuraba's best friends so there was some unexpected heat from the start. The main event was fairly disappointing (match up wise) as Nog couldn't do a damn thing with Fedor. I'd like to think it was the weight difference (with Nog so light), but with the match being exclusively stand up he presented no threat to Fedor.
My only complaint about the show had to do with the production of the US show. Pride has always astounded me with their incredible production values (intros, music, ring entrances, video holograms at Satiama, etc), but this show had none. I know the card was packed and how difficult it must have been to cut a 5 hour 45 minute live show into into a 3 hour PPV, but they gave you no feel for the event. Without their normal opening you didn't get to see the huge crowd or feel the energy of 50,000 plus. I also think the opening parade of competitors is a great concept that was sorely missed. They could have bagged the Silva/Mu Base and Minowa/Leko matches and used that ten minutes to open the show properly. I also felt Mauro Ranallo had his worst effort with Bas on commentary. I like Mauro, but felt they were really out of sync.
(edited by NickBockwinkelFan on 8.1.05 1528) "Well, you can't involve friendship with business. It has to be one or the other. It's either business or friendship, or hit the bricks!" --Life Lessons from "The Tao of Bobby the Brain Heenan" Uncensored 2000 preview
"As long as the check don't bounce, I guess he's okay with it!" --Former All Pro Giants LB Harry Carson on Bill Parcells joining the hated rival Dallas Cowboys
I'm watching Merchant talk like an 80-year-old right now, attempting to hype the main event of Cotto vs. Judah. He may have meant something at one time... but he's a relic now. If you don't agree, then go watch the Cotto vs.