AJPW Champion Carnival 2019 Days 3, 4 & 5 Review

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Time for more Champion Carnival action and unfortunately these will be the last of the days that I will be reviewing in full aside the final, I go a little more in-depth towards the bottom, but let’s jump right into it.

Day 3 (7/4/19)

Block A Match – Gianni Valletta vs. Zeus

Pretty solid little opener. Gianni blind-sides Zeus as he enters the ring and assaults him to take control right away. Zeus soon comes back utilising his power but then Gianna knocks him into the ref and takes the opportunity to attack Zeus with his chain, he tries to then finish him off with a tiger driver but Zeus kicks out.
Gianna after some biting, then makes the mistake of trying for the chain again but instead walks into a biceps explosion, followed by a Jackhammer that gets Zeus his first win. A simple and effectively done match.
Winner: Zeus [2] (via jackhammer) **3/4

Block B Match – Daichi Hashimoto vs. Jake Lee

Good match. Starts with a brief bit of tech before Daichi starts going after Jake’s leg, Jake quickly puts a stop to it with a kick and then keeps Daichi at bay for a bit with some simple strikes until Daichi gets a dragon screw going back to the leg.
He would then attack Jake’s leg again a little later to stop put a stop to himt and ends up locking in an STF, but uses the other leg for it, which is a little confusing.
At the end Jake gets out of STF hits a running knee and tries to end things with a back drop, but the hurt leg stops Jake from powering Daichi up right away and allow hims to counter it with a knee to Jake’s head. Daichi then follows it up with a shining wizard to get the win. Liked how the leg work factored in to the finish but in a subtle manner.
Winner: Daichi [4] (via Shining wizard) ***1/4

Block A Match – Ryouji Sai vs. Shuji Ishikawa

We have our first 30 minute time limit draw of the tournament and you could definitely tell that’s what they were going for with how slow going the match felt and things being stretched out more than they needed to, like holds being locked in for lengthy amounts of time and some pointless filler like an outside bit where Sai whips Ishikawa into the chairs. The action wasn’t bad at all and I really liked the beginning, where early on Ishikawa has Sai stuck in a headlock for a while and though Sai gets out of it, he still really feels the effects of it on his head and neck, which you don’t see often these days.
Also liked Ishikawa’s control, targeting Sai’s head and neck, but once Sai comes back and finds an opening going after Ishikawa’s leg, that’s where things start to really drag in places.
And it doesn’t even get very frantic in the finishing stretch either with the last thing being Sai hitting a superplex with the bell ringing before he can make a cover.
Solid enough action, but stretched a little thin for its time.
Time Limit draw: Ishikawa [3] Sai [1] ***

Block B Main Event – Joe Doering vs. Yoshitatsu

Solid match, Doering controls quite a bit and there’s fair bit of outside stuff too. Also got some fun interactions between ref Wada and Tatsu, like Wada starting to count Tatsu out fast when he’s on the outside dawdling.
There’s some pretty good back and forth stuff towards the end too, though I feel they kind of stay in a certain gear throughout the match and don’t rev it up, then again they’re not in front of the liveliest of crowds, so that  doesn’t help much either. In the end Tatsu hits diving codebreaker followed by a normal Codebreaker from Jericho to get what may seem many like the surprise win.
Winner: Tatsu [2] (via codebreaker from Jericho) ***1/4

Day 4 (9/4/19)

Block A Match – Dylan James vs. Gianni Valletta

This was alright. First four minutes is them doing some basic fighting on the outside with Dylan managing to both chop and lariat the ring post, so he has to fight through the pain to hit his offence throughout the rest of the match. Gianni on the other hand keeps trying to use his chain but keeps getting thwarted including right at the end where he tries to jump off the second rope with it wrapped around his hand, but Dylan catches him with a chokeslam to get the win instead.
Winner: Dylan [4] (via chokeslam) **1/2

Block B Match – Jake Lee vs. Joel Redman

Good match. Had some pretty solid mat-work on the go in the first five minutes, then the rest of it is more standard type action with Joel somewhat going after Jake’s leg.
This time however Jake manages to fight through the pain and hit his running knee followed by the big backdrop to get the victory.
Winner: Jake [2] (via backdrop) ***1/4

Block B Match – Naoya Nomura vs. Sam Adonis

Another good match. Adonis maintains control throughout most of it and he does solid work with it as Nomura struggles to make a proper comeback.
They seemed to get a bit muddled in the finishing stretch with Adonis seemingly bumping from a running nothing, but they recover and by the end Nomura locks in his seated abominal stretch which makes Adonis submit right away.
Winner: Nomura [4] (via submission) ***1/4

Block A Match – Zeus vs. Kento Miyahara

Really good day 4 main event that is close to being great.
Had a nice little opening, then there’s some faffing about on the outside where Kento gains a tid bit of control and then from there it builds into some real nice back and forth with a couple of exciting little sequences and a few small nearfalls with Zeus hitting a jackhammer to finally get the win over the champ.
Not quite on the level of their title matches last year, but still very enjoyable.
Winner: Zeus [4] (via jackhammer) ***3/4

Day 5 (10/4/19)

Block B Match – Joel Redman vs. Sam Adonis

Solid first match on day five. Has some nice tech going on at the beginning, then Adonis gains a little control before it quickly shifts back into some decent back and forth. Redman utilises a rolling prawn hold to get the win. Been quite enjoying Redman so far, Adonis is a little average but making it work.
Winner: Redman [2] (via rolling prawn hold) ***

Block A Match – Yuma Aoyagi vs. Zeus

Good match. Zeus has the obvious strength advantage, so Yuma has a bit of a struggle, but he can be quite slippery, so he uses that to his advantage to get in some offence and at the end locks in a front necklock and really put some torque to make Zeus submit.
They got straight to the point with no time wasted make for a nicely flowing enjoyable match. Also I’m big fan of all wrestlers really wrenching in their holds this tournament.
Winner: Aoyagi [2] (via front neck lock) ***1/4

Block B Match – Joe Doering vs. Naoya Nomura

Really solid match-up. Nomura comes bursting at Joe in the beginning but he gets a bit overzealous and Joe quickly stops him and takes control for a fair bit of time, blocking a couple of Nomura’s comeback attempts and locking him in a boston crab a few times.
Nomura manages to get back in the fight though and we get some good back and forth which ends with Doering flattening Nomura with a running crossbody to get the win.
Winner: Doering [4] (via running crossbody) ***1/2

Block B Match – Suwama vs. Yoshitatsu

Another really solid match, Both guys try signature moves right at the start, but they both manage to block each other from achieving them.
Suwama then ends up dominating quite a bit after knocking Tatsu out with a sleeper on the apron. His control stuff kind of drags a bit, but it’s not bad, just pretty standard. Once Tatsu survives all that though they get into a nice little groove with some good back and forth on the go.
In the end Tatsu takes out Suwama with his Koji clutch submission to win the match. That’s a win over both Joe and Suwama for Tatsu, could get pretty far in his block if he keeps it up.
Winner: Yoshitatsu [4] (via koji clutch) ***1/2

Originally I was gonna include day 6 here too, but I’ve decided to stop here and will no longer be trying to review the whole tournament.
I’ve gotten a fair bit behind and I’m just not feeling up to the task and not in the right head space for it this year Plus I’m just generally a lot busier now, than I have been the last two years, so time has become an issue for me too and I’ve just got other things I want to get done.
Instead I will probably write up about my favourite matches of the the tournament once it is done and give some overall thoughts plus a review of the final.

But anyway those three days I’ve just done aren’t all that exciting but still have some solid stuff on the go, with Zeus/Kento being the best match of those days and day 5 being the most consistent.

Thanks for reading and apologies for not carrying on.

twitter.com/effexx92

You can buy me a coffee and request a review here: ko-fi.com/effexx

 

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