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AJPW Champion Carnival A Block Results & Review: Part 6

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Hello and welcome to the final day of A Block as we find out who goes onto the finals. At the last show, the winner of B Block was crown and congrats to Naomichi Marufuji for winning his match against Jun Akiyama and if you haven’t seen that match, check it out because it’s a great match and probably the best in the whole Carnival.

Now who will be the one to fight him in the finals? Well let’s not waste any time and….dive right in.

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
The Bodyguard vs. Ryoji Sai

Review: With both of these able mathematically eliminated from the finals, either one of them winning or losing will now affect the other three matches at all. However, they still do need to fight each other much like how NJPW does with the G1 Climax and must face everyone on your block. It appears as though Bodyguard’s leg has healed up a little bit since he’s not limping or having a hard time moving like he did with his match against Shuji, so that’s a good thing at least since his last match at the Carnival shouldn’t be slowed down due to an injury. Aside from his match against Shingo, I think this one is his best bout against Ryoji since he felt a little bit more like himself here and actually was able to do some more stuff.

Ryoji has been an underrated performer throughout the entire Carnival since his matches have been really solid and this one is no different right here. Bodyguard would get a strong offense near the end as he hits his Lariats to the corner and gives him another one for a pinfall, but Ryoji kicks out of that one to stay alive, but then tries to go for a powerbomb until Ryoji flipped him over for a pin shades of his match with Shuji, but now Bodyguard kicks out of it. After a stiff Shinning Wizard by the corner, Ryoji attempts to go for a Double Stomp off the top rope, but Bodyguard moves and his another Lariat, but only for another two count, then Bodyguard would actually get the win when he applies the Camel Clutch! With Bodyguard getting the win here, I wonder if it will also put him as a future contender for Sai’s All Asia Heavyweight Championship, only time will tell.

Recommended: Solid match actually, so yes.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Joe Doering

Review: This the first out of the three matches that can determine the entire outcome of the Champion Carnival as Joe is tied with Kento, Yuji, and Shingo as a win here could put him one step closer to being one of the finalists to fight Marufuji, but for him to almost secure a spot, he would need to defeat a guy who only has one win in his name, Naoya. But if Naoya can actually win this match, then Joe would be eliminated from the tournament completely, so he could ruin his chances if he can somehow pull off a victory over the former Triple Crown Champion.

Soon as that bell rings, Naoya knew what he had to do to get some momentum as he charges in at Joe to make sure he didn’t get an early advantage over him and would keep on going til Joe made Naoya hit the ropes, leading him to fall outside. Joe regained his composure and started to work on Naoya now til he got him back in the ring in which Naoya starts to get a bit of a comeback, hitting his first Spear to at least knock him down. You gotta admire Naoya’s fighting spirit throughout this match and wants to give it his all despite not making it to the finals, but he can at least try to take someone down with him here. Joe would knock him out with his famous Diving Body Press and that looked vicious, but Naoya kicked out of it somehow! Joe doesn’t waste any time as he picks him up for a Firemans Carry to slam him down, but holds his arm to pull him in for a Short Arm Lariat, but he still kicked out! Joe has had enough and goes for a Revolution Bomb, but gets countered with a Sunset Flip, but only for another two count! Naoya would roll him up one more time and he gets the surprise victory over Joe! Joe is now eliminated from the tournament and Naoya gets a huge victory in his final match in the Carnival! Looks like Andrew’s uneducated guess for A Block ends right here since he picked Joe to win, now I still have a chance.

Recommended: Short match, but it was still good for what it was. Naoya is definitely the future.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 A Block Match
Shingo Tagaki vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Review: Now that Joe Doering is eliminated from the tournament, it means that Shingo has a 50/50 chance of making it to the finals and all he has to do is defeat Shuji right here, and Kento would have to win his match for Shingo to become a finalist due to Shingo defeating Kento on day one of the tournament. If he loses however, then he will be eliminated from the tournament as well and it would only come down to the main event to see who would make it. I really want this dream match between Shingo and Marufuji to happen, so I’ll be rooting for him to get one step closer to making it a reality, but Shuji is no laughing matter either as he’s one of All Japan’s best and even won it last year too, so he can pull a victory here and derail him.

I’m gonna go on record by saying that this match just blew me away, definitely my favorite match out of my entire A Block. Shingo Tagaki has been the highlight of A Block due to giving us great and entertaining matches with all of his opponents here and I didn’t expect him to top his matches with both Yuji and Kento, but this one definitely did. I felt their energy, the power, the passion, I felt all of that here in this match with these two competitors. Shuji Ishikawa has also been great in this tournament despite some having a couple of hiccups, but his bigger matches definitely delivered in this tournament as well and I’m glad that these two fought on the final day since to me, it felt like it was more special. Both of these guys have hit some of their strongest moves like Shuji hitting his deadly knees along with his Fire Thunder, but Shingo even kicked out at one on that one! Shingo would hit his Pumping Bomber which looked great and even his MADE IN JAPAN, but Shuji would also kick out of that as well as these two will just not give up.

In almost twenty minutes, Shuji would pick up with win with his Giant Slam and eliminating Shingo in the process, meaning that I failed in my prediction also. I’m not even mad with this decision even though it was something I would like to see, but the two gave us a great match that it left me satisfied with it. After the match, the two would bow, shake hands, and hug each other in a show of respect to these two fantastic wrestlers and even said they wanted to fight each other again, so I think we’ll get that soon. Bravo to both of you guys.

Recommended: Definitely watch this one.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 A Block Match
Yuji Hino vs. Kento Miyahara

Review: Well, it all comes down to this now as both Joe and Shingo have lost their respective matches, it is now down to these two men right here. First we have Yuji Hino who has surprised most of us with his performance throughout the whole thing since a few others such as myself didn’t expect him to make it this far in. He even defeated Joe Doering and Shuji Ishikawa, two former Triple Crown Champions in the beginning of his matches along with Shingo to give him a heavy lead in the thing along with being considered a crowd favorite with his famous FUCKING BOMB. He unfortunately would have terrible luck near the end after being defeated by both Ryoji Sai and The Bodyguard to ruin his undefeated streak and his chances of securing a final spot early on, but still in good shape since he can still win this one and all he has to do is defeat Kento Miyahara.

Next, we have our current Triple Crown Champion, Kento Miyahara. Kento has made his Champion Carnival in 2014 and since then hasn’t made it to the finals, even during times when he wasn’t the Triple Crown Champion as he would come close the last couple of years, but would always end up short to not make it in the end. So for Kento, he needs to win this to solidify himself more as AJPW’s top guy even though he is considered their ace, a win here would do him wonders. Despite losing on the first night against Shingo Tagaki, he would bounce back by winning three of his matches and also having one bye due to The Bodyguard being injured and kinda wonder what would happen if the injury didn’t occur. Despite that though, he was on a roll and could’ve won the whole thing right here except that Joe Doering ruined his chances when he defeated Kento in the previous show to make himself tied with the others. But now that the only two people that have defeated are eliminated, he has a chance to win A Block finally and all he has to do is defeat Yuji Hino. Who will fight Naomichi Marufuji in the finals on April 30th? Let’s find out.

The match didn’t even start yet and Kento is getting Naito like chants with just his entrance alone, that’s how much the All Japan fans love Kento Miyahara and why he’s their new ace. The match started off evenly matched as none of them was letting up, but Yuji would get the upper hand on him and would control the majority of the match and I love the story with that since Yuji is just so confident in his in ring ability, it really does show in this match since his expression is pretty much “You’re the champ and I’m gonna make you my bitch when this is over.”, and he just has that mentality during the whole bout. Yuji attempted the FUCKING BOMB early, but Kento would start to make his comeback for a short while, but gets knocked back down again! Yuji isn’t someone you want to mess with here and just destroys Kento’s chest with both chops and Lariat’s that looked painful every time he hits him. Kento would eventually get more momentum as he hits some Blackout’s and a German Suplex Hold, but would kick out since he didn’t get the whole Shutdown. Yuji would try to put him away with another attempt at the FUCKING BOMB, but Kento counters it as he hits his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the win! Great match and fantastic story here between these two. After the match, Yuji would tell Kento that his move hurt as they were being friendly with each other. They both attempted a handshake, but Yuji would flip Kento off while Kento held up his finger saying he’s number one, but the two laugh and fist bump each other with them showing good sportsmanship.

Kento would be making his way to the back, he went back into the ring as he talked about being in the finals and that it’s his first time making it this far as he now is set to fight Naomichi Marufuji in the finals in another AJPW vs. NOAH type match and what better place to do it? Even the kids would be by the ring to chant Kento’s name as the chants go on throughout the rest of the show, this man is going to be one of the greatest of all time.

Recommended: Absolutely yes.

Overall: This was one of the best nights for A Block as all four of these matches delivered with what it needed to do. Both A and B Block have been great as we’re now set for the finals to take place the next day and I’m looking forward to it. Also they had over 1600 people attending this event, so it’s good that a bunch of people still go and got to witness a big night.

Favorite Match: Shingo Tagaki vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Least Favorite Match: Naoya Nomura vs. Joe Doering

Score: 8.5/10

Join us as me and Andrew will both cover the finals together along with the rest of the card. We’ll see you then.

Final Standings:

Kento Miyahara (5-2) (10 Points) (Winner)
Yuji Hino (4-3) (8 Points)
Joe Doering (4-3) (8 Points)
Shingo Tagaki (4-3) (8 Points)
Shuji Ishikawa (4-3) (8 Points)
Ryoji Sai (3-4) (6 Points)
Naoya Nomura (2-5) (4 Points)
The Bodyguard (2-5) (4 Points)


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Stardom’s 5 Star Grand Prix Preview

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You liked how I and Andrew covered the Champion Carnival, King of Gate, and the G1 Climax? Well, guess what? We’re teaming up once again and this time we’ll be covering Stardom’s tournament, the Five Star Grand Prix!

This year marks the seventh annual tournament and just like the other ones we cover, the winner will be getting the World Championship match against the current champion, Kagetsu. In 2012, Yuzuki Aikawa defeated Kyoko Kimura to win the first Grand Prix and other people have won it such as Nanae Takahashi, Io Shirai, Kairi Sane (Hojo), Yoko Bito, and Toni Storm who won it last year and won the title due to Mayu being injured during the match.

The rules are pretty much similar to the other tournaments, but we’ll still go down the list for those that don’t know.

  •  There is a fifteen-minute time limit
  •  A win equals two points
  •  A loss gives you no points
  •  A draw will give both competitors one point

Instead of just calling them A and B Block, they just call the blocks Red Star and Blue Star just to fit with the theme of the promotion with stars. Andrew will be covering the Red Star and I’ll be covering the Blue Star. Down below are the list of participants and we’ll be picking our top three winners from our respective blocks.

 

Red Star:

Kagetsu (World of Stardom Champion)
Jungle Kyona (Artist (Trios) of Stardom Champion)
Tam Nakano
Konami
Natsuko Tora (Artist (Trios) of Stardom Champion)
Utami Hayashishita
Rachel Ellering
Kimber Lee

Blue Star:

Mayu Iwatani (Goddess of Stardom Champion)
Momo Watanabe (Wonder of Stardom Champion)
Saki Kashima (Goddess of Stardom Champion)
Hazuki
Natsu Sumire
Kelly Klein
Nicole Savoy (SHIMMER Champion)
Jamie Hayter (Rev Pro Women’s Champion)

 

Blue Star Predictions:

3. Kelly Klein

– It’s no secret that the Stardom President, Rossy Ogawa is a big fan of bringing Gaijins in his promotion and likes to push them quite a lot and unfortunately, we lost quite a few good ones like Toni Storm and Deonna Purrazzo, and now it just felt like the company was given the scraps for the regular tours. However, we got quite the solid line up of talented female wrestlers from around the world and Kelly Klein is no stranger to the company as she won their Goddesses of Stardom Tag League with Bea Priestly last year, so this could be a good time to elevate her to that next step. It may be unlikely, but again, Rossy loves to push the Gaijins in Stardom and feels like Kelly could fit the bill unless they want one of the champions from the other companies like Nicole Savoy and Jamie Hayter to get the win, but feels like that might be predictable.

 

2. Hazuki

– This one seems very unlikely, but I feel like she could be a dark horse of the Blue Star Block if they really wanna go with the Oedo Tai vs. Oedo Tai route for her against Kagetsu. Hazuki has made some dramatic changes ever since she got drafted from Queen’s Quest to Oedo Tai and just changed her look, her style, and just her outlook while showing great character progression. She recently came off a big loss from Momo Watanabe for the Wonder of Stardom Championship, but she has a second chance at her due to them being on the same block and hopes to beat her there this time. If she does somehow win the tournament, I wonder how Kagetsu will take it, will she be accepting of it like how Naito is and fight to strengthen their bonds or will Hazuki betray the faction that took her in and treated her like one of their own.

 

1. Mayu Iwatani

– This one is more of favoritism than anything since it does feel like the more obvious choices to win the tournaments have actually lost them near the end. She recently fought Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship on August 12th and she once again failed to capture the red belt, so they could either do this as a redemption story for her to win it this time around or to help build someone else up to delay her chase for the title. Both seem very well likely scenario’s as she has been building herself up since her return almost a year ago to reclaim the belt she never fully lost and this might be the time to cash in on it.

 

Red Star Predictions (Andrew coming in with the Edit Powers):

3. Tam Nakano

– This one is purely personal preference. She’s only been professionally wrestling for 2 years, but her character work makes her cute and she’s been gradually getting better. She seems to be developing some chemistry with Starlight Kid and a few others, as well as picking up a few wins since he Exploding Barbed Wire Death Match. She even won the mini Dream Come True tournament that Stardom and RISE held. She’s a long shot definitely, but I’m curious to see how hard they push her.

 

2. Kagetsu

– It’s hard to think the champion will have a bad showing. Now I’m aware this tournament doesn’t have the same history as the G1 or Champion Carnival, but I’m still not sold on a champion winning the tournament. There’s always a chance, and Kagetsu has been being billed well since Io Shirai left, even avenging her Tag Title loss by successfully defending against Mayu Iwatani. Plus she’s the Prime Minister, so most champions can’t say that…maybe that will make her special.

 

1.  Konami

– Up, up, down, down, left, right – wait…what? Konami code makes all things easier, so she’s gotta be good right? Well I mean, she is a technical wrestler and part of Queen’s Quest. So being that she’s up and coming, as well as having a connection to Io, that could be what’s necessary to give her the rub. Another notable point for Konami is her being trained by Kana (WWE Asuka). So since Stardom needs to reestablish their main event, Konami could be a good catalyst.

As you know, my block record has been pretty bad since even though I got most of the actual winners right in these, they would come from Andrew’s Blocks, making me 0-3 on my blocks winning the whole thing, but I kinda feel lucky on this one…hopefully. Anyway, here are both me and Andrew’s predictions for block winners and final winner.

To be totally fair, Mathew is the King of Joshi around here, so if my block wins, that’s just plain dumb luck. – Andrew

 

Mathew’s pick: Mayu Iwatani vs. Konami Winner: Mayu Iwatani

Andrew’s pick: Kelly Klein vs Konami  Winner: Konami

 

If you wanna check out the tournament, it starts on August 18th and it ends September 24th and subscribe to Stardom at http://www.stardom-world.com/ and subscription is really cheap since it’s only 6.50 a month and even has English subtitles for their promos so it would be easier for you to follow.

Unfortunately, the bad news is that it’s not like the other streaming services where they would upload the whole show once it’s over and likes to do it in loops meaning the full show wouldn’t fully be loaded between a week or two after it happened. But we do promise that once we have enough content to write our articles in parts, we’ll have it to you ASAP. I hope you do check us out on this one and we feel like it’s a good idea to showcase the women for this tournament due to them deserving more exposure, especially around the time of the Mae Young Classic and WWE Evolution happening right around the corner from it.

Hope you all enjoy it as we do this next journey together!


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AJPW Summer Action Series Results & Review (7/29/2018)

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Now that the G1 Climax is over and done with, time to return to the promotions that I cover as we return to All Japan Pro Wrestling.

I believe the last time I covered them was when Kento Miyahara retained the title against Dylan James and Zeus would become the next challenger for the Triple Crown Championship, and luckily for you that this is the show we’ll be looking at today. I just realized that I still don’t have a rating system yet and after talking to Andrew, figured out which one I could do that doesn’t involve stars or those snowflakes. I am going to be ranking them by regular wrestling podcast people or whoever Conrad Thompson partnered with also, and each person will be a ‘star’, here is who will be who.

5 Stars: Jim Cornette
4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
1 Star: Vince Russo
0 Stars: Dave Meltzer

Anyway, why don’t we just…dive right in?

 

Eight Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, Shoichi Uchida, Takao Omori & TORU vs. Carbell Ito, Hiroaki Moriya, Ultimo Dragon & Yoshitatsu

Review: Our opening bout appears to be a regular old exhibition tag match with some people thrown together as we got Yoshitatsu and Ultimo Dragon in a team and we got Shoichi Uchida from DOVE making an appearance here tonight as well. I also loved how Carbell Ito was the only one that came out to music and it also appears that the wrestlers are giving out bags of snacks to the audience, that’s nice of them actually.

Nothing really special to write about it since it was as basic as you can get with this match and what they do with all eight of these men getting an equal amount of time with the ten minutes or so they did together. Think Atsushi had more time out of the rest and had some pretty decent offense in with Yoshitatsu and hit a pretty neat Full Nelson Slam onto him. Yoshitatsu picked up the win by hitting the Codebreaker of Jericho on Atsushi…I still can’t believe he still calls it that. God damnit, Yoshi…

Rating: Tony Schiavone

Eight Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, Masaaki Mochizuki & Shun Skywalker vs. Black Tiger, Koji Iwamoto, TAJIRI & Yohei Nakajima

Review: Up next, we got another eight-man tag match and this is involving people who are involved in the Junior Tag Battle of Glory tournament and we got some nice surprises here like Masaaki Mochizuki and Shun Skywalker from Dragon Gate being apart of this match to hype up the league due to them being apart of it. I’ve been very critical of the junior division in All Japan since it’s the weakest division in the company right now and I’m hoping it could shed some light on potential contenders for Atsushi Aoki since he has no challengers right now for his title.

Oh, snap, Shun rocking some new gear and not wearing that full body suit anymore, good because that was pretty ugly on him and like this new look much better. I don’t know what’s going on with Black Tiger abusing Yohei Nakajima like this since that’s his own partner, but I’m just gonna roll with it. Shun and Masaaki were the saving graces for this match just by how good they are and especially Shun from how far he’s come and felt like they would fit right in if Dragon Gate didn’t need them still. Still didn’t expect Massaki to be considered junior since he was Dragon Gate’s top champion a couple months ago and then again the majority of the Dragon Gate roster is pretty small like a junior heavyweight, so it makes sense. I wouldn’t mind some of Dragon Gate going over to help out the junior division since a lot of them fit that weight class and are incredibly athletic as well, can definitely shed some new life to that division.

Anyway, the match was slightly average except for Masaaki and Shun along with Tiger abusing his own partner. Koji would apply the Katagatame on Atsushi to make the champion tap out as Koji won it for his team. After the match, Koji Iwamoto claimed that he was going to win the Junior Tag League and once he does, he wants a match against him for the Junior Championship.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Singles Match
Gianni Valletta vs. Joe Doering

Review: We got our first singles match for the night as former Triple Crown Champion, Joe Doering is set to take on Gianni Valletta who has been starting his tour here early on in July when TAJIRI brought him over to go for the Tag Team Championships which they also lost. I can’t wait to see how he does against the former champ. Can Gianni get a big win over Doering or will Joe squash him like the rest of his opponents?

I really felt like Joe wasn’t full trying in this match and it just came off incredibly slow and stale which threw the match off quite a bit in my opinion. Gianni is someone that is pretty average as well, but he did show some promise since he has a pretty good look and had signs of growth he could do since he’s only been wrestling for a few years. I wouldn’t say it was a complete squash match, but still had an average amount of time together in the ring with seven minutes as Gianni would try to use his heel tactics to grab his chain to try and hit Joe with it, but he was caught with a Diving Body Press and a Revolution Bomb to get another easy win for Joe Doering.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Billy Ken Kid, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James, Jake Lee & Keiichi Sato

Review: We got our current World Tag Team Champions, The Violent Giants teaming up with Billy Ken Kid as they take on former Tag Champion, Dylan James and his partners, Keiichi Sato and future star, Jake Lee. Dylan looking to get a victory over the Violent Giants so he could get a rematch for those titles and maybe with a new partnership with one of his fellow teammates if they do somehow win tonight.

Dylan looks to be slowly finding his stride after his match with Kento Miyahara a couple of months ago and it’s a good thing to see this progression of his ability and if he keeps it up, he could be much better in the ring. This tag match was very solid with Violent Giants proving why they’re one of the best tag teams in Japan right now and the growth of Jake Lee, who I still considered the future of AJPW next to Kento Miyahara. Plenty of high impact between both of these teams with Shuji showing why he’s one of the best there, plus the interactions with him and Dylan weren’t too shabby either while Jake was mostly focused on Suwama and it feels like it could be a big seller if done right since you have Suwama who was the former ace of the company and a guy on the rise, so it would be a neat passing of the torch if they wanted to go that route.

Near the ending of the match, Shuji and Dylan were in the ring as Shuji hits Dylan with the Dragon Suplex and then a Running Knee while Suwama held Jake down with a Sleeper Hold to prevent him from interfering as Shuji hits the Fire Thunder to win the match. After the match, Yoshitatsu would come out to make a challenge to both Shuji and Suwama for the titles and said his partner would be Kento Miyahara again. For those that don’t know, Kento’s goal was to be Triple Crown Champion and Tag Team Champion at the same time to make it so he would be the first to hold five titles since the tag team is considered two per belt but he would always hold onto one or the other, not fulfilling his goal and wants to accomplish it soon.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

All Asia Heavyweight Title Match
Ryouji Sai (c) vs. The Bodyguard

Review: We get an All Asia Heavyweight Championship match with Ryouji Sai defending the title against The Bodyguard. The All Asia Heavyweight Championship has been inactive since 1995 and it came back in January of this year where Ryouji would defeat Bodyguard in the finals to win the title. In the Champion Carnival, Bodyguard scored a victory over him to set up this title match here due to them having a win over each other and would be time to settle it here. Can Bodyguard win the title or will Ryouji retain it once again?

What could I say about this match? Well, let’s start with the beginning and it started off really strong since it was mostly brute force with each other to try and beat each other down and it worked for Bodyguard when he kicked Ryouji to the outside and started mauling him down to the point where Ryouji looked like he was kinda knocked out for a bit there. This was where they started to tell more of their story with Ryouji being unable to get up most of the time, even when Bodyguard went for an Irish Whip and Sai just collapsed just from the beating he took.

After that the match starts falling apart, soon as Bodyguard would hit his first Spear the match would begin to get really slow and sloppy and it’s a shame too because I was actually really enjoying it. The Bodyguard would start to hit his power moves over to try and get the victory like his Elbow Drop off the top rope but Ryouji would start kicking out of it all. The Bodyguard went up to the top rope again only for Ryouji to get back up quick enough to hit a superplex for a two count. The Bodyguard would start to hit a second sloppy Spear for another two count and goes for his Bounce move and he completely messed that up big time to win the All Asia Heavyweight Championship.

I would’ve rated this a little bit higher if it wasn’t for the fact that the poorly paced and sloppy second half took away from the match. The Bodyguard is the new champion and got his revenge over Ryouji at the end of it all and I don’t know where this run is going to go but should be at least interesting. The Bodyguard is like Joe Doering, he can go when they show it and are highly motivated but it’s so far in between that there’s hardly any consistency with their quality of matches and it just hurts them.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half.

 

All Asia Tag Team Title Match
Jun Akiyama & Yuji Nagata (c) vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi

Review: We first had the All Asia Heavyweight Championship match and now we got the All Asia Tag Team Championships on the line with a rematch from the June 12th show where Jun Akiyama and Yuji Nagata defend the titles against Naoya Nomura and Yuma Aoyagi. The last time they both fought, they had a great tag team match and they would be able to retain the titles, but NEXTREAM said they would want a rematch for the belts soon and we’re getting that tonight. Can they get that big win over these two legends or will they make lightning strike twice on them and still come out on top?

There is a small little story here between Yuma and Jun where Yuma was never able to pin him directly and would always come up short when they’re in the same ring together, but he is looking to change that today during the match and from the looks of it, he’s going to need a lot of luck. Jun and Yuji are just too tough for our two rookies here as they just have the power, the experience, and just better than them overall, but Naoya and Yuma have that determination to never give up and make sure they will win this time, and that story is what sells for this match since you know how important it is to them to prove themselves against some of Japan’s best in this match. I loved the interactions between Uncle Jun and Yuma since I mentioned just a while ago about how Yuma never defeated him and you can see the intensity in their interactions together and it’s mostly them in the match together to sell the story between the two much better. I loved their first bout together better since it showed great action and storytelling, but this was more focused on the story of the match and that part was told better here than the first match, but I would give the first match the better overall. Jun would go back and forth with Yuma with the knees and Jun catches him with an Exploding Suplex for Naoya to break it up before getting tossed out by Yuji, so Jun tries to do it again and he hits another Exploding Suplex but for him to kick out of it this time! Yuma is all fired up now and hits a knee on Jun to daze him as he hits the Rock Star Buster on him to go for the pin and we have new champions!

Yuma was finally able to get the direct win over Jun Akiyama in this match and just seeing them fight together gave me a little bit of doubt, but it was the right time for them to drop the belts to the younger generation. Congrats to NEXTREAM on winning the belts, they worked really hard and are only going to get better from here.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Triple Crown Title Match
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Zeus

Review: It is now time for our main event with a highly anticipated match as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against Zeus. Sometime in March before the Champion Carnival happened, Zeus would get the direct win over Kento and said he had plans on winning the Carnival and to take the championship, but Zeus would fail to win the tournament and had to wait a little bit to build himself back up until he was ready. In June after Kento retained against Dylan James, Zeus came back out to say he was now ready to fight him for the title since he still did have that clean win over him and wanted to get mentally prepared for this match. Can Zeus win the belt in his hometown of Osaka or will Kento knock him down once again?

Normally the crowd would mostly back up Kento but with the combination of being in Zeus’ hometown and how over he’s been with the fans lately, they were more supportive of him over Kento. The two start off a little bit explosive with some back and forth action with Zeus showing his strength and athletic ability while Kento just showed his intelligence in the ring to try and outmaneuver Zeus whenever he can. Zeus would hit a Diving Shoulder Tackle and then kips up and takes him outside to do a little bit more damage to him, but Kento would throw him over the guardrail and attempts a kick until Zeus caught his leg and slams it on the edge of the guardrail to hurt his leg a little bit.

Zeus then had him by the entrance ramp to go for a Lariat but gets caught with a kick to the midsection and hits a DDT onto the ramp to do some damage to his head and that doesn’t stop there as he hits some Headbutts to knock him down nearly dazed, and tops it off with putting his head on the turnbuckle post to hold him there while he laughs in front of the camera until the referee pulled his hair to take him off. Zeus would start selling his head more and get dizzy for the majority of it while Kento finds an opening to try and take care of him and attempts a German Suplex onto the ring apron but Zeus fights him off to get some breathing room, but it doesn’t last long as Kento ran up to him to hit a Brainbuster to the outside. Kento would hit another Blackout and does for just a regular German Suplex Hold as Zeus kicks out of that one and starts to get a small little comeback with some stiff Lariats to turn him nearly inside out, then hits a Chokeslam before going for the Jackhammer and he hits it but Kento kicks out of it!

Match has been incredible and loving the back and forth action and the crowd being behind it as well makes it all the more exciting since you can’t tell who was gonna win the match and it could go either way. Kento would hit him with a few more Blackouts on his head to get him down as he goes for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, but Zeus would break out of it once again by kicking out his bad leg, but gets caught with more Blackouts on his head. Kento would get all fired up to hit him with one more Blackout once Zeus got to his knees and Zeus would still kick out at two! Kento would charge at him one more time but Zeus catches him with not one but two Lariats and Kento would kick out at two, but Zeus quickly picked him up to hit the Jackhammer and we have a new Triple Crown Champion!

Zeus has finally done it, he has won the belt that has alluded him for years and it happened in his hometown of Osaka, Japan. Zeus has been with the company since 2014 and has been making a name for himself there in his eleven-year career. Zeus would get emotional after the match and rightfully so as he thanked everyone is Osaka for their endless support and he hopes to be a good champion. Zeus would end the show by having a kid in the ring and would carry him over his head to show that he was the champion of the people. Congrats to Zeus for finally winning the big belt, he’s definitely earned it and I’m excited to see where his reign would go.

Rating: Jim Cornette

 

Overall: The undercard was rather weak, but the last two matches were the best part of the show despite an anti-climatic Asia Heavyweight title match also. We got an emotional main event with Zeus getting the big belt finally. We found out that Zeus’s first title defense would be against Shuji Ishikawa and I can’t wait to see how that one turns out.

Favorite Match: Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus

Least Favorite Match: Atsushi Maruyama, Shoichi Uchida, Takao Omori & TORU vs. Carbell Ito, Hiroaki Moriya, Ultimo Dragon & Yoshitatsu

Score: 7.5/10


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International Coverage

(NOAH) POST MATCH INTERVIEWS – 31ST JULY 2018, YOKOHAMA RADIANT HALL

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MINORU TANAKA & HI69

TANAKA: We are the 34th GHC Junior Tag Champions and that equals the strongest NOAH junior tag team, that said, the league has ended inconclusively. But everyone, the story will end in Korakuen in three days time. We saw it earlier. I don’t know exactly who will be the winner, but we will watch it on the monitor like fans. I am looking forward to it, defending the belt against them.

HI69: I think that is true, I thought that getting the win would be natural, so I am disapointed with the results, but the team who wins the league will aim for the belt, that is true of all of us…we will show the GHC Heavyweight fight to all the NOAH fans.

TANAKA: The story of the worthless champions is over now. It is a story that belongs to the past, and it doesn’t matter. Understand?

THE BACKBREAKERS (HITOSHI KUMANO AND HAJIME OHARA)

Q: You have taken a big step towards the finals?

KUMANO: We have aimed to win since the beginning. Ohara has tried hard in spite of the injury, and today we took it. The final will be taken by The Backbreakers. If anyone can win, it will be us.

OHARA: So far I’ve been disappointed, as I have lost a lot. I will not give up, and will take the big step towards winning the title at Korakuen. Kawasaki! Kawasaki will be the title match! I have big ambitions. This year it will be for the Backbreakers, so Mui Bien today too!

SUPER NEW GENERATION ARMY (KAITO KIYOMIYA, KENOH, MASA KITAMIYA, KATSUHIKO NAKAJIMA)

Q: A victory today, but still nothing to say?

Go Shiozaki silently touches the reporters chest and leaves.

KITAMIYA: Losing the belt does not change what you do. There is always someone in front of you, the belt is a target, people will keep biting at it…putting the belt on does not change.

NAKAJIMA: Although the belt might have been taken over there, we have just started, don’t forget…we are the ones who take the iniative.

KITAMIYA: If you are a champion, then be strong like a champion. Do you think you have unarmed us without the belt? It is not enough.

Q: Kenoh, Kiyomiya, what your thoughts on the generation struggle so far?

KENOH: I think its funny that those old men have three belts. Like Nakajima said, this has only just begun and I will take back the belt and end this generation struggle.

KIYOMIYA basically says that you have nothing to fear when a team rides on momentum.

YO-HEY & HAYATA

YO-HEY: Finally! Finally! We got our ticket to the finals! But! Frankly 10%, 20%….no, I’m glad about 747%. However, YO-HEY will be in tune for the final match at Korakuen Hall. We will knock the Backbreaking people down with twisting bodies. We will raise the atmosphere, and get a ticket for our second consecutive title! We are satisfied with such a team for the final! This team will go into the final and defeat the opponents! HAYATA & YO-HEY will win two consecutive times…our….I want to eat pumpkin.

HAYATA decides he is leaving. YO-HEY won’t let him

YO-HEY: I want to eat pumpkin…one word…bride…I was impressed by the two moonsaults…

HAYATA walking off as YO-HEY clings to him: Same!

YO-HEY: Same!

Link to original article from Noah.co.jp (in Japanese)


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