AJPW Champion Carnival N4 (4.9.19)

AJPW Champion Carnival N4 (4.9.19)

AJPW Champion Carnival N4

 

April 9 2019

 

We’re in Matsue, Shimane, Japan. This is another low key tour show with only 400 fans. The difference between this and N3 is that here we’ve Sam Adonis making his debut, aiming to impress and the main event is Kento vs. Zeus. The blocks are starting to take shape slightly. Okabayashi and Ishikawa are starting to rack up points in Block A while Nomura and Daichi are off to a good start in Block B.

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Shuji Ishikawa [3]

Kento Miyahara [2]

Dylan James [2]

Zeus [2]

Ryoji Sai [1]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Yuma Aoyagi [0]

Gianni Valletta [0]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [4]

Daichi Hashimoto [4]

Takashi Yoshida [2]

Suwama [2]

Yoshitatsu [2]

Jake Lee [0]

Joe Doering [0]

Joel Redman [0]

Sam Adonis

 

Gianni Valletta [0] vs. Dylan James [2]

AJPW4Dylan

Valletta’s gimmick seems to be a throwback where he tries to scare fans because he’s not a good wrestler. This is predictably awful. I feel bad for Dylan James being put in this spot but he doesn’t help himself by blundering into spots at quarter speed. Valletta has some spectacularly dumb ideas; like trying to chain James to the ring post. You have no means to secure you dumb fuck. They do a world’s worst ref bump spot. James looks at him beforehand and there’s still no contact and the ref stands around pretending to be hurt and misses a pin. Valletta jumps into a chokeslam and thank Christ it’s over. This was offensively bad and an insult to people who actually work to get to Japan.

Final Rating: -*

 

Joel Redman [0] vs. Jake Lee [0]

Someone is getting off the mark here. Lee is 0-2, Redman merely 0-1. Lee was a pre-tournament favourite but the graps gods have smiled on two straight defeats. Hopefully Big Joel can redeem British Wrestling and make it 0-3. Seeing as Redman’s first match, with Daichi, was quite bad and disjointed the crowd figure him for another Valletta standard European and actually cheer when he does competent things. Lee can’t get anywhere on the deck against Redman’s mat skills.

AJPW4Redman

Not only is Redman a wily mat grappler but also stronger than Lee and he finds himself a little flustered. I can only assume that Redman had jet lag against Daichi because he’s way better here and clearly out to lay down a marker. My only complaint here is the match drags on too long but it’s way better than anything on N3 so it’s a minor quibble. Jake picks up the win here with a backdrop driver but it’s Redman who really won. His technical expertise here will make him stand out in All Japan and he has a bright future.

Final Rating: ***

 

Sam Adonis [0] vs. Naoya Nomura [4]

AJPW4Adonis

Adonis has been running a stupid pro-Trump gimmick but it’s not been well received in Europe and is unlikely to work in Japan. He wisely focuses on the wrestling here. As with Redman the crowd are unfamiliar and applaud competence, probably thrilled to not have to watch another Gianni Valletta level of performance. It’s not as engaging as Redman because the style is very direct but Adonis is clear over the Valletta bar. Nomura is the one who busts his hump to get this going. It’s pretty clear Nomura has gone from a bit part player in AJPW to being one of the bigger pieces of its future. I have no strong feelings about Adonis here one way or the other and essentially he’s a warm body for Nomura to work with. Nomura traps Adonis in the same submission he won his last match with and moves up to six points! He’s already better off than during the whole tournament last year.

Final Rating: **3/4

 

Kento Miyahara [2] vs. Zeus [2]

AJPW4Kento

KentoMania is runnin’ wild brother! And he’s even fighting Zeus!

AJPW4Zeus

There’s an advert behind the ring for a steak house and it’s been making me hungry all damn show. Much like Zeus is hungry to fuck up Kento for taking his title and his top spot in the promotion. Miyahara has become increasingly cocky during this, his fourth run as Triple Crown champion, and behaves as if he’s bigger than the company. If anyone is entitled to behave that way it’s Kento Miyahara but he’s still such a dick about it that I find myself routing for Zeus.

AJPW4Miyahara

Like…what a prick. The match suits the characters too. Whereas in Kento’s return to the title he was battered by Zeus all match and pulled out an exciting underdog victory he spends this match in charge. Bullying Zeus and treating him like crap. This time around when Zeus starts to beat the shit out of Kento it’s because Miyahara absolutely deserves it for his own behaviour. I like Miyahara’s reasoning that now Kenny Omega is gone from Japan he can spam the hell out of the V-Trigger in his stead. Only Miyahara’s idea of spamming a move is doing it twice not fifteen times. Zeus comes back at him here though, taking the cocky bastard down with the Jackhammer. This was very much a lesser version of their match up but still good and worth checking out.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Summary:

A huge improvement over a terrible N3. Kento/Zeus delivered in the second best match in the tournament so far and Redman had a great outing on the undercard. Zeus’ win takes him level with Okabayashi and Dylan James on four points. Meanwhile Nomura heads up Block B with six points.

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Dylan James [4]

Zeus [4]

Shuji Ishikawa [3]

Kento Miyahara [2]

Ryoji Sai [1]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Yuma Aoyagi [0]

Gianni Valletta [0]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [4]

Takashi Yoshida [2]

Suwama [2]

Yoshitatsu [2]

Jake Lee [2]

Joe Doering [0]

Joel Redman [0]

Sam Adonis [0]

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