With hundreds upon hundreds of puroresu events available, where do you start? Before I recommend a few events, here are some general suggestions that helped me when I first started out:
Pick events with wrestlers you already know. I can't stress this enough. When you are scanning puroresu events to buy and you come across some where you don't know a single wrestler on the card, if you are just starting to watch puroresu then it will make it much harder to get into the action if you don't know any wrestlers. Since when you first get into it you might only know a handful of puroresu wrestlers (probably Muta, Liger, Ultimo Dragon, and maybe Kobashi), what I did was I picked events with American wrestlers. If you already have a favorite American wrestler, chances are they had matches in Japan as well. If you find an event with two of three American wrestlers in it that you already like, then at least you know those matches will be familiar to you and from there you can learn who some of the Japanese wrestlers are. And don't worry about finding events with American wrestlers you like, as most American wrestlers have gone to Japan at some point. The list includes Steve Austin, Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Brian Danielson, Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sid Vicious, Umaga (as Jamal), Undertaker, Vader, Yokozuna, CM Punk, Trevor Murdoch, Mike Awesome (as The Gladiator), Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Sting, Ron Simmons, Lex Luger, Kronik, Mad Man Pondo, Super Dragon, Ted DiBiase, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Barry Windham, Bam Bam Bigelow, Booker T, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, Necro Butcher, Road Warriors... you get the idea.
Pick events that are already well known. The reason I say this is that it will be much easier to find answers to questions if you are watching an event that many others have seen rather then a smaller event. For example, if you ask a question about the Super J Cup 1994 or NOAH Departure 7/10/04, you won't have any problems finding the answer as they are two of the most-watched puroresu events ever. But if you ask a question about New Japan 11/2/97 then there will be a smaller number of people that will be able to help which might delay your question being answered. This is only to start, of course, once you get into it then the sky is the limit as you probably won't have as many questions.
Pick events that are a complete card, not one-match wonders. Buying an event just for one match isn't a bad thing to do as I do it all the time, but when you are first getting into puroresu you will learn the wrestlers much faster if you are watching events that are entertaining from top to bottom. Unless you are interested in only learning the main eventers, buying an event only to fast forward to Misawa/Kawada or Mutoh/Tenryu won't help you broaden your horizons or really get to know the promotion. I'd also recommend getting cards with a good mixture of Jr. Heavyweight and Heavyweight action as if the event has a good variety to it then it will help hold your attention.
Now that I got that out of the way, here are five events that I'd recommend for a first time viewer, as well as why I'd recommend them:
Super J Cup 1994
vs. Dean Malenko
Why you should watch it: First of all, the event is fantastic. Just awesome matches from start to finish, with the final being considered by some as one of the best Jr. Heavyweight matches of the decade. Also, it has a lot of wrestlers that American fans will recognize, including Benoit, TAKA Michinoku, Eddie Guerrero, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Dean Malenko.
NOAH Departure 7/10/04
Momota vs. Haruka Eigen
Why you should watch it: This event fits all of my criteria for first-time viewing. First, it has a handful of wrestlers that American fans will know including Scorpio, Jushin Thunder Liger, Keiji Mutoh (Great Muta), and Kenta Kobashi. Second, it has a nice variety with multiple Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight matches. Finally, it is one of the most famous events in Pro Wrestling NOAH history so finding answers to any questions that come up won't be hard. Oh, and its also one of the most entertaining events of the decade and has a main event that is one of the top five matches in NOAH history.
All Japan vs. New Japan New Century Battle
Williams and George Hines vs. Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Why you should watch it: This is more of a compilation then one event, but it has some great matches. New Japan and All Japan had a nice little feud from 2000 to 2001, and this highlights some of the best matches. You can't go wrong with just about any event from this time period, but All Japan vs. New Japan New Century Battle has most of the best matches including Mutoh/Tenryu which was one of the best matches of the year. It also does have a handful of American wrestlers, including Steve Williams, Rotunda, and Johnny Smith.
New Japan Wrestling Dontaku 5/3/95
Nagata vs. Manabu Nakanishi
Why you should watch it: This event won't make anyone's list of best events of the year, but it is very solid and has a nice variety of matches. This event has Benoit, Scorpio, The Steiners, Norton and Hawk, Terry Funk, Ric Flair, and Mutoh so it has a lot of recognizable faces. The matches are very solid and the main event is entertaining.
Big Japan Pro Wrestling 6/20/99
Fujita vs. Tomoaki Honma
Why you should watch it: For fans of death matches, this is the one to get. This was during Big Japan's heyday and almost every match on this card delivers to some degree. The main event is considered by many as one of the best death matches ever. The only knock on this event as being a starter is that it doesn't have a lot of wrestlers that you will recognize if you haven't watched any puroresu before besides Abdullah the Butcher.