Amidst all the G1 action going on there was an All Japan show that happened on my birthday but aired on TV just over a week ago. So of course I decided to try and check it out when I had the chance. Lets see how it goes!
Match 1 – Daichi Kazato, Fuminori Abe, Koji Iwamoto & Yuma Aoyagi vs. Kaji Tomato, Masanobu Fuchi, Yohei Nakajima & Yusuke Okada
Fun little contest to get things going, just good ol’ Fuchi mixing it up with some younger junior’s. Just a nice little warm-up nothing special.
Winners: Kazato/Abe/Iwamoto/Aoyagi (via rolling prawn hold) **3/4
Match 2 – Axe Bombers (Kazuhiro Tamura, Takao Omori & Yuko Miyamoto) vs. Exploder’s (Atsushi Maruyama, Isami Kodaka & Jun Akiyama)
This was pretty good. I loved that it actually was Axe bomber’s against exploders, with Exploder’s team trying for the Exploder suplex throughout but constantly getting blocked whilst the Axe Bomber’s hitting various Axe bombers, until Omori gets the win with one.
Winners: Axe Bombers (via Axe Bomber of course) ***
-Post-match Kodaka gets unwittingly recruited to the Axe bombers.
Match 3 – Atsushi Aoki, Osamu Nishimura & Ryouji Sai vs. KAI, Massimo & TAJIRI
Another decent little tag match. Everyone got a fair amount of time to come in and do some stuff with each member being paired off to a different opponent. It was all fairly simple wrestling exchanges but it was enjoyable.
Winner: TAJIRI (via pinfall) **3/4
Match 4 – AJPW Junior heavyweight Title match – Minoru Tanaka vs. Hikaru Sato (c)
Really solid match-up. Hikaru kept his focus on Sato’s arm throughout, whilst Tanaka somewhat focuses on Sato’s leg but is all around with his offense. So it was quite heavy on the submissions as you’d expect from someone like Sato. They have a nice little finishing exchange but in the end Sato gets Tanaka with his Ude-Hishigi-Gyaku-Juji-Gatame to retain his title. good stuff, they kept it quite simple and it was enjoyable.
Winner: Sato (via Ude-Hishigi-Gyaku-Juji-Gatame) ***1/2
-Post-match Tajiri comes out during Sato’s celebration mists him in the face and poses with the Jr. Title before exiting.
Match 5 – AJPW World Tag Team Title Match – The Big Guns (c) vs. NEXTREAM
Very good tag match here. Big Guns seem to get control early on and take out Jakes leg which he sells throught the match. Its not long though before NEXTREAM come out and they start busting out the big moves and double teams. In the end Nomura hits a brutal looking death valley driver to win the tag titles off the Big Guns who had only held them just over a month. Unfortunately NEXTREAM had to vacate the titles on the first due to Lee injuring his knee. Tag title scenes definitely had a bit of a bumpy road the last couple of months. Solid stuff overall though.
Winner: NEXTREAM (via death valley driver) ***1/2
Match 6 – Joe Doering vs. Kento Miyahara
Really good sub 10 minute match. Doering gets a tiny bit of control early on, but it’s mostly a back and forth affair with lots of good action done at a consistent pace. Kento kept trying for his Shutdown German suplex but Doering kept powering out of it, eventually though after hitting a normal bridging German suplex, Kento managed to hit the Shutdown German and get the win. Kind they wish they had more time to flesh the match out more but they still did really well with what they had.
Winner: Miyahara (via Shutdown German Suplex Hold) ***3/4
Main Event – Triple Crown Title Match – Shuji Ishikawa (c) vs. Suwama
Great Main event to end the show. Suwama gets bit of control early on, but once that’s out the way it’s a straight up back and forth contest that gets quite physical. Shuji even busts out a Schwein and impressively manages to hit a splash mountain bomb on Suwama. Lots of action to enjoy and the crowd were really into it too. I’d say the match was a little better than their also great Champion Carnival match, but only by a margin. I think they just got more time to really go at it and whole match escalated really nicely. In the end Shuji retains with Giant Slam, so it’s gonna be him against Kento in a re-match at All Japan’s big Sumo Hall show this month, so certainly looking forward to that.
Winner: Shuji Ishikawa (via Giant Slam) ****1/4
Another really solid All Japan show with an awesome main event. Certainly looking forward to the big Sumo Hall show coming up, the Shuji/Kento re-match is sure to be something great. All Japan keeps delivering the goods.