AJPW Champion Carnival N6 (4.11.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N6 (4.11.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N6

 

We’re in Fukuoka, Japan. This is another small tour show so hopes are not especially high but we do have a big Miyahara main event so perhaps we could get one strong contest out of tonight’s line up.

 

April 11 2019

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Dylan James [4]

Zeus [4]

Shuji Ishikawa [3]

Kento Miyahara [2]

Yuma Aoyagi [2]

Ryoji Sai [1]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Gianni Valletta [0]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [4]

Yoshitatsu [4]

Takashi Yoshida [2]

Suwama [2]

Joel Redman [2]

Jake Lee [2]

Joe Doering [2]

Sam Adonis [0]

 

Gianni Valletta [0] vs. Yuma Aoyagi [2]

I’m starting to actively dread these Valletta matches.

AJPW6Aoyagi

He’s perfectly fine when he’s just wrestling but all the bullshit with the chain doesn’t work. Most of this match involves brawling in the crowd, Gianni scaring the locals and throwing young boys around. It’s not a bad act but it feels forced and unfocused. There’s none of Minoru Suzuki’s malice here. He’s just going through the motions. When they get into actual wrestling matters don’t improve. His stagger back into the corner is borderline embarrassing. Aoyagi catches Valletta in a front chancery and he passes out. Win two for Aoyagi. Valletta remains blanked.

Final Rating: ½*

 

Jake Lee [2] vs. Yoshitatsu [4]

It would be fair to say this is not my idea of a good time.

AJPW6Tatsu

The opening wrestling exchanges feel perfunctory rather than having any drive or purpose behind them. Any time they try to slide into anything pre-planned it looks clunky as hell. At least Tatsu’s ideas make more sense here as he battles someone his own size. So his strike exchanges and even shoulderblock stuff works, where it didn’t against Suwama. He has to realise size should play into the style of a match. Lee is still on a learning curve and a lot of his holds look weak. With the criticism out of the way I actually found myself being drawn into this and they do some good parity stuff going down the stretch. Jake survives the Koji Clutch and hits a backdrop driver to get the win. He’s fighting from out of an early hole but is already back in touching distance.

Final Rating: **1/4

 

Sam Adonis [0] vs. Suwama [2]

Adonis is one of three wrestlers to yet register a win.

AJPW6Suwama

I don’t like his chances here but Suwama has had a rotten Carnival so far. He does not look particularly pleased to be in this match and the tour blues are strong. As with the last match business picks up as the match progresses and Suwama gets all fired up at the prospect of a strike duel. Or should I say him hitting a lot of strikes while Adonis begs off in the corner. Sam has come into CC with a specific character in mind and I appreciate that all of the gaijin have approached CC differently. Adonis tries some antics like bringing a chair in and hitting a low blow. That doesn’t work but it weakens Suwama and Adonis finishes with whatever the heck his finisher is called. He’s off the mark. Suwama is getting royally screwed in this tournament. This match was pretty good. Adonis clearly has another gear he can go into.

Final Rating: **3/4

 

Kento Miyahara [2] vs. Dylan James [4]

AJPW6Kento

While Suwama had two points going into his match and looked down, Miyahara comes in here looking like he’s got eighteen points already and also is going to beat Dylan James comfortably in about 45 seconds. Ace look! That’s why beating Miyahara will always mean more than anyone else in this promotion. He’s made himself into the true star of All Japan. Which is where NOAH can never get it right because they’re so focused on finding the next big thing that they can’t let anyone breathe on top and become it.

AJPW6Miyahara

Miyahara sets himself up as the heel here so Dylan chopping him to bits gets a good reaction as opposed to heat. They do an excellent job of establishing Dylan as a dominant force here. One that could conceivably win not only this match but also the CC itself. And that’s on Kento. On how he decides to sell and treat Dylan as a huge threat. This is perfectly demonstrated when he absolutely bodies Miyahara with a lariat in the corner at the ten minute mark. The treatment is such that the fans actually buy into Dylan going for a powerbomb into the crowd.

 

The whole purpose of the match is to get James over. He’s had a decent run in All Japan so far but he’s lacking a big money performance and this is it. In singles that is. His win in Real World Tag League was a clear ‘big one’ for him. The Miyahara/Zeus match was hyped as being a big singles match but it was nothing new. This is Dylan James proving he can hang as a main event in All Japan. Especially in terms of setting up an epic. Around 13 minutes in it feels like the match is over and they run a whole bunch of near falls for three minutes until the finish. Miyahara takes it but the real winner if James for living up to the main event billing and taking the champ to the limit. I’d love to see this again.

Final Rating: ****

AJPW6asshole

 

Summary:

A relatively low key undercard here but a Miyahara masterclass in the main event gives us one of the big high-end matches of the tournament so far. The tournament is incredibly tight so far and no clear winner has emerged but in terms of performance; Miyahara has had three of the four best matches and that should surprise absolutely no one.

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Dylan James [4]

Zeus [4]

Yuma Aoyagi [4]

Kento Miyahara [4]

Shuji Ishikawa [3]

Ryoji Sai [1]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Gianni Valletta [0]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [4]

Yoshitatsu [4]

Jake Lee [4]

Takashi Yoshida [2]

Suwama [2]

Joel Redman [2]

Joe Doering [2]

Sam Adonis [2]

 

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