AJPW Champion Carnival N2 (4.6.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N2 (4.6.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N2

 

April 6 2019

 

Yes I am fucking doing this right off the back of Mania week. I watched night one when it happened and it was a great show. Okabayashi vs. Ishikawa was a shoe-in for ****1/2 or higher until they went too long and got tired. So with this in mind I’m jumping into the Carnival feet first.

 

Here are the standings:

BLOCK A

Kento Miyahara [2]

Yuji Okabayashi [2]

Shuji Ishikawa [0]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Dylan James

Ryoji Sai

Yuma Aoyagi

Gianni Valletta

Zeus

 

BLOCK B

Takashi Yoshida [2]

Naoya Nomura [2]

Suwama [2]

Daichi Hashimoto [0]

Jake Lee [0]

Joe Doering [0]

Joel Redman

Sam Adonis

Yoshitatsu

 

I’ve only included points on the guys who’ve already wrestled. There are five more matches on this card. Including a few debuts. Joel Redman has his first bout in Champion Carnival! Even after tonight when some guys have wrestled twice there are still some awaiting debuts. There’s no Adonis here, no Tatsu, no Zeus, no Valletta. It’s a confusing business.

 

Joel Redman vs. Daichi Hashimoto [0]

AJPW2Redman

My initial reaction here is thanking fuck that I didn’t try and slide this into my Mania week somewhere because it is painfully slow. It’s quite untidy too and suffers from communications issues and Daichi’s extremely over the top vocalisation when he’s selling. He’s so loud. Like, settle down Iron Mike Sharpe. Sadly the chemistry never materializes and Daichi wins with a Shining Wizard to a muted response from Chiba. Is that all? I guess so. *small ripple of applause*. *someone whispers “BritWres is shit” *.

Final Rating: *1/2

 

Dylan James vs. Ryouji Sai

The crowd give so little of a fuck about both of these guys. The only noise you can hear is heavy breathing from in the ring. They’d better pray they don’t need to call a spot. They start really hot and then slow right down thus destroying any hopes I had of this being good. The match focuses on Sai’s bad wheel and James’ size. James wins with a couple of lariats. There was nothing doing here.

AJPW2Dylan

Final Rating: **

 

Yuma Aoyagi vs. Yuji Okabayashi [2]

Oh, Yuma gonna die. He’s fully aware of this and hits a dropkick with streamers raining into the ring. Smart boy. Okabayashi proceeds to take the poor bastard apart, teaching him the business via Boston crabs and kicks to the face.

AJPW2PIssari

The match is actually quite wonderful. Okabayashi killing Aoyagi with power moves while Yuma occasionally flukes a roll up or something and gets a near fall. I love it. Okabayashi slaps Aoyagi in the camel clutch and that’s him done. On toast. Cracking sprint. Perfect use of both guys. Okabayashi goes 2-0.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

Atsushi Aoki [0] vs. Shuji Ishikawa [0]

Both guys got blanked in Korakuen Hall so they’re looking for their first win. More importantly Aoki looked motivated! It’s been so long, old friend, where have you been? According to Cagematch the last time he had a good singles match was three years ago. I’m inclined to think it’s longer than that.

AJPW2AOki

Ever so slight size difference here. Aoki is 5’7” 187lbs. Shuji is 6’5” 286lbs. So, just a hundred pounds heavier and nearly a foot taller. That’s your story in a nutshell. They could easily just turn it into a squash but that would hardly be fair after Aoki turned up against Miyahara. Reward that game! Aoki somehow kicks out of the Fire Thunder Driver but Shuji ends up with the running knee moments later. This was fine for what it was but they were never going to set the world on fire. Good news though; Big Shuji is off the mark.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

I skip the Kento tag, which might as well be the main event.

 

Naoya Nomura [2] vs. Takashi Yoshida [2]

AJPW2CyberKong

Main eventing a show with the former Cyber Kong is a fairly ballsy move. Although from a table perspective it does make sense as both guys are unbeaten after one match. Nomura gave tournament contender Jake Lee a pasting so he’s suddenly in contention while Yoshida beat Daichi in something that was technically a match. Yoshida spent most of that match breaking the rules. “Shut your fucking mouths” yells Yoshida perhaps confusing the locals. It would be fair to say this isn’t the best of main event bouts. Yoshida attempting to engineer heat in lieu of having an actual good match. I’m already disappointed in his work in this tournament and this does nothing to assuage my concerns. He occasionally bursts into life, at which points he’s great again, and then it’s back to the bullshit. Yoshida shows enough here to make me believe he’ll put in a decent shift somewhere before the tournament is over but this isn’t it. Nomura wins with Maximum, his Death Valley Bomb, and if you trimmed the first half of this match off it would be pretty good.

Final Rating: ***1/4

 

Let’s take a look at the Blocks, shall we? Okabayashi and Nomura the only wrestlers with 2-0 records. Still no match for Zeus, Valletta, Adonis and Tatsu. Only one of those upsets me. Interesting to note that Nomura scored 4 points in the entire CC last year. He’s already matched that. Shows how far he’s come in the past 12 months.

 

BLOCK A

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Kento Miyahara [2]

Dylan James [2]

Shuji Ishikawa [2]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Ryoji Sai [0]

Yuma Aoyagi [0]

Gianni Valletta

Zeus

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [4]

Takashi Yoshida [2]

Suwama [2]

Daichi Hashimoto [2]

Jake Lee [0]

Joe Doering [0]

Joel Redman [0]

Sam Adonis

Yoshitatsu

 

Summary:

Night two of Champion Carnival was never going to set the world on fire but it was good to see Nomura and Aoyagi put in decent shifts. Okabayashi could be one to watch all tournament with his energy levels. Not skippable bouts from him! In general if you’re watching Champion Carnival this year there’s probably no need to watch this at all and it is only available on AJPW.tv anyway.

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