AJPW Champion Carnival N13 (4.21.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N13 (4.21.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N13

 

April 21 2019

 

We’re in Sapporo, again, for Night 13 of the Champion Carnival. The end is in sight now. Two more shows before the Block finals and then CC 2019 finishes on April 29. Just over a week away.

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Zeus [8]

Shuji Ishikawa [7]

Dylan James [7]

Kento Miyahara [6]

Gianni Valletta [6]

Ryoji Sai [5]

Yuji Okabayashi [5]

Atsushi Aoki [4]

Yuma Aoyagi [4]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [8]

Takashi Yoshida [6]

Suwama [6]

Jake Lee [6]

Yoshitatsu [6]

Joel Redman [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [6]

Joe Doering [4]

Sam Adonis [4]

 

 

Joel Redman [6] vs. Yoshitatsu [6]

Whoever wins here goes into a share of the lead in Block B. Redman looks like he’s having a good time and in general this tournament has been fine work from him as an ambassador for BritWres. An apology for Josh Bodom’s behavior and redeeming the scene in Jun Akiyama’s eyes. It’s credit to Tatsu in this tournament that I’m actually excited to see how this match pans out.

AJPW13Redman

Tatsu decides to give Joel some tests and tries rolling himself into a ball. If either of these wrestlers was going to attempt the Lady in the Lake I would have had money on Joel but here we are! It turns out Tatsu likes a bit of the mat graps. The mat stuff gets over here too with Sapporo being very into Redman’s style. It bodes well for his chances of getting another tour and I’ve been impressed with how he’s conducted himself both in and out of the ring. I love how Redman uses his technique to counter the Koji Clutch into a pin so even Tatsu’s biggest weapons count against him. He catches Redman in it a second time though and positions himself better to get the tap out. This was a really good match. I’m passed being shocked that Tatsu is capable in singles and Redman gave an excellent account of himself here. Joel isn’t officially eliminated here, as he can still tie with Tatsu and Nomura (1-1 vs record), but he’s unlikely to do so.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Daichi Hashimoto [6] vs. Joe Doering [4]

Doering needs to start picking up some points!

AJPW13Doering

Daichi brings his usual ridiculous vocal selling here. Screaming in a lock up to try and convey the sheer scope of what he’s up against. This match is not as good as the last one. Doering is in pure chill mode so he’s all about the rest holds. So it’s up to Daichi to bring the fire, something he’s not been particularly good at during this tournament. He tries but Doering sleepwalks through the match in such shocking fashion that there’s no way Daichi can salvage it. Doering hits the big crossbody and its over. Man, this stank.

Final Rating: *1/2

 

 

Yuji Okabayashi [5] vs. Zeus [8]

Surprised this isn’t the main event. Zeus is the big dog in Block A and Okabayashi has been killing it all tournament long.

AJPW13Zeus

Okabayashi is coming off a huge 30 minute draw with Dylan James so perhaps he’s not in the best of shape. This isn’t aided at all by Zeus suplexing him on the floor around two minutes in.

AJPW13Yuji

While we perhaps don’t get a full tilt version of Okabayashi here we do have him applying holds like this neck crank, which make my own neck feel sore just looking at it. When that doesn’t work it’s time to go to war! How is Okabayashi exchanging chops the day after that Dylan James match? Absolute lunatic. Anyway, they chop the shit out of each other and Zeus starts to look fallible. He can’t hang with Okabayashi. Could this be the ‘bridesmaid’ point for Zeus? He always looks good but can’t deal with guys on the very top tier. They have some awesome counters in this. Normally just simple leverage and balance stuff but it works so effectively. I really appreciate Okabayashi turning up. He didn’t need to. Not after last night but here he is. They keep grinding each other down with chops and oh shit, is he doing another broadway? Golem Splash finishes and Okabayashi has another stonecold banger just 24 hours after the last one. This man is incredible. Huge performance here.

Final Rating: ****1/4

 

Jake Lee [6] vs. Suwama [6]

Whoever wins here goes into a tie for the lead in Block B. I’m the same age as Suwama. We have much the same body type too only he’s about 50lbs heavier. It makes me wonder how he drags himself out of bed to keep going in this tournament. I would almost certainly have not bothered turning up here. Suwama does turn up though and he savages Jake Lee with a headlock. He cranks at that thing like he wants to take Jake’s head home and display it above his fireplace. Sometimes just applying a hold with real meaning can be more important than attempting something complex. Suwama understands the nature of how a hold looks over what a hold is. So while everything he hooks here is relatively straightforward it all serves a purpose and Jake is game for selling it.

 

It’s the story of an old slow guy using his tools to take apart a younger, more excitable wrestler. It’s a dissection from Suwama. This is not a bad thing for Jake Lee as he gets to showcase himself without doing anything. He just gets beaten up and in doing so shows more courage and defiance than any move he could hit would demonstrate. He keeps coming back for more. The aim is to outlast Suwama. Make him punch himself out. It’s the old Rope-A-Dope! Only Ali actually dodged punches. Jake just eats them. You can feel the tide turn as the match progresses. Suwama, at 42 years young, getting tired and Jake Lee landing shots at will. Suwama collapses at one point and I’m as concerned as the ref that he’s basically dead.

AJPW13Suwama

Suwama then proceeds to throw everything into big bombs, desperate for the knock out. Suwama’s second wind gives me hope that I won’t feel like death for the rest of today (and indeed yesterday). He plants Jake with a backdrop hold and gets the pin. I feel exhausted. Go and have a lie down big Kohei!

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Summary:

A solid show. The Okabayashi-Zeus match was killer and the main event may deliver higher for you depending on how you like your wrestling. I was just worried Suwama was going to die and that hurt my love of the match a bit.

 

Analysis:

Zeus vs. Ishikawa is the last match for Zeus. He’s done all he could but he must win his last match. Ishikawa, if he wins his ‘game in hand’ can waltz into that match in charge of his own destiny if he beats Dylan James. James himself has Ishikawa and Aoki. So he’s also in a good spot. Okabayashi faces Aoki, Sai and Miyahara before we’re done. Kento finds himself in a disappointing spot. Even if he wins both his remaining matches all Zeus needs to do is win his last match and Kento is fucked.

 

Block B is closer to completion. Several wrestlers are down to one match left. Redman, Suwama and Yoshida all have only one left. If Redman can get to 8 points and no one advances from 8 he can still make the final with a 2-1 head to head with the other workers on 8 points right now. Only Adonis is eliminated but we’re into virtual sudden death at this point despite heavy grouping on the same points.

 

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Zeus [8]

Shuji Ishikawa [7]

Dylan James [7]

Yuji Okabayashi [7]

Kento Miyahara [6]

Gianni Valletta [6]

Ryoji Sai [5]

Atsushi Aoki [4]

Yuma Aoyagi [4]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [8]

Yoshitatsu [8]

Suwama [8]

Takashi Yoshida [6]

Jake Lee [6]

Joel Redman [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [6]

Joe Doering [6]

Sam Adonis [4]

Leave a reply