AJPW Champion Carnival Night 3
April 10 2018
We’re in Niigata, Japan at the Aore Nagaoka. This aired on AJPW.TV for those interested in checking out AJPW’s insane CC coverage this year.
I’m trying (emphasis on trying) to stick to tournament matches only otherwise I won’t get the level of coverage I want to get. So I sort of watched Koji Iwamoto vs. Kazuki Ebina with the sound off and I have no takes on it whatsoever. I then skipped the eight man tag, which makes me feel bad because Hino was in it and I Stan for Hino. I did watch him and Zeus chopping each other for a bit but time is money.
The attendance for this is pretty sad. It’s a big building and maybe they figured the line-up would be a bigger draw but there’s under 500 people in there and there’s room for around 2000.
Dylan James vs. Yutaka Yoshie
Neither guy has wrestled yet. Dylan is former Zero1 competitor James Raideen. Yoshie is a flying pink tank. No contest. This match starts at 26 minutes into the VOD if you’re looking to skip right into the action. Dylan is accustomed to the Japanese style, having wrestled here for years and he makes a point of trying to out-chop the Zeus/Hino contest from earlier. Tournament matches should have louder chops! They don’t get a lot done and the crowd barely give a shit. Yoshie is better utilised in Uncle Jun’s wacky trios matches and Dylan is unproven in AJPW so the crowd don’t want to know. The match creeps up to ten minutes and James wins with a chokeslam.
Final Rating: **1/2
The Bodyguard vs. Joe Doering
Bodygaaah starts out aggressive but quickly tires. Joe looks tired too, which is worrying considering it’s Day 3 and only Doering has had a tournament match to this point. Doering looks completely exposed. He looks like a man who had a big steak dinner and just wants a nap. He hits a ‘lariat’ out of the corner at one point and it looks at quarter speed at best. Bodygaah isn’t much better. His kick-outs scream “I have a hangover and I’m not afraid to use it”. The rana out of the powerbomb spot they attempt is criminal. I’m giffing that son of a bitch because you won’t believe me if I describe it.
Ahhh. Uh. Fuck it. pic.twitter.com/dKveN26KOg
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) April 16, 2018
WHAT ARE YOU FUCKING DOING? After that spot I just want the match to be over and Doering obliges with the Spiralbomb. This was fucking TERRIBLE. What the fuck were you guys thinking? I legitimately think you’re both drunk.
Final Rating: DUD
Yoshitatsu vs. Naomichi Marufuji
These two must be loving Joe Doering right about now. The bar is so low that all they have to do is make it through ten minutes without accidentally falling over each other and they’ll have a better match.
I’m not even concerned that Tatsu has Spiderman inspired gear and the potential hilarity of him trying to do anything associated with the Marvel hero. Marufuji is used to wrestling in empty buildings. Hey, he could have stayed in NOAH for this kind of crowd and not had to wrestle Yoshitatsu! In fairness to Tatsu, he’s been super energised of late and if Marufuji was entertaining any thoughts of dogging this Tatsu soon vanquishes said thoughts. Tatsu even does Boot Scrapes. He’s so fired up for this.
And he has the decency to put on a glamour rest hold for the photographers. What a fucking pro. Spider-Tatsu does attempt the odd move that’s beyond him. The tornado DDT in this match is dog ugly but by Doering standards it’s smooth as silk. The match is at its best when Marufuji is unloading on offence and Tatsu brings desperation kick outs. Until the Shiranui finishes. There was a worrying lack of crispness to everything here but at least they put together a coherent storyline and weren’t drunk.
Final Rating: **3/4
KAI vs. Jun Akiyama
So it’s up to KAI to save the show.
You’re boned All Japan.
Unless…Jun Akiyama specifically put himself in this tournament so he could beat up midcarders he doesn’t like.
Now I’m all fired up! So is KAI. He takes the whole ‘save the show’ thing seriously and they’re doing topes and smashing into the guardrail before locking up. KAI even hits a dragon screw off the apron. Steady on lads! It’s only Niigata. Nobody else gave a shit! The match is also deeply routed in psychological warfare like KAI trying to get Akiyama to quit from his own promotion and his own tournament. KAI’s attitude is to deface Akiyama’s property; pulling the apron off to cost Jun advertising Yen. Son of a bitch! You’d better believe Akiyama kicks his ass for that. There’s a barrage of offence from Akiyama and KAI takes a shellacking. Then he mounts a comeback and this is actually very good. Akiyama cuts the comeback off in mid back and gets the crucifix for the winning pin. I enjoyed this. KAI saved the show!
Final Rating: ***3/4
A quick gander at the Blocks. Nobody is leaping out of the pack in Block A. Doering’s win puts him level with an assortment of big guns. In Block B Akiyama goes level with Zeus on 4 pts. Both KAI and Tatsu are now 0-2 showing Akiyama to be a masterful booker.
YUJI HINO- M1, W1, D0, L0- PTS 2
SHINGO TAKAGI- M1, W1, D0, L0- PTS 2
KENTO MIYAHARA- M2, W1, D0, L1- PTS 2
SHUJI ISHIKAWA- M2, W1, D0, L1- PTS 2
JOE DOERING- M2, W1, D0, L1- PTS 2
THE BODYGUARD- M1, W0, D0, L1- PTS 0
RYOUJI SAI- M0, W0, D0, L0- PTS 0
NAOYA NOMURA- M1, W0, D0, L1- PTS 0
ZEUS- M2, W2, D0, L0- PTS 4
JUN AKIYAMA- M2, W1, D0, L0- PTS 4
SUWAMA- M2, W1, D0, L1- PTS 2
NAOMICHI MARUFUJI- M1, W1, D0, L0- PTS 2
DYLAN JAMES- M1, W1, D0, L1- PTS 2
YUTAKA YOSHIE- M1, W0, D0, L1- PTS 0
KAI- M2, W0, D0, L2- PTS 0
YOSHITATSU- M2, W0, D0, L2- PTS 0
This show is terrible. Just watch KAI-Akiyama for god’s sake and skip the rest.