AJPW Champion Carnival N9 (4.15.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N9 (4.15.19) review

April 15 2019

 

We’re in Kanazawa, Japan. This is another of the smaller shows after a double shot in Osaka. Given the standard of the smaller shows you won’t be surprised to learn I am not terribly fired up here.

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Shuji Ishikawa [7]

Zeus [6]

Ryoji Sai [5]

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Dylan James [4]

Yuma Aoyagi [4]

Kento Miyahara [4]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Gianni Valletta [0]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [4]

Yoshitatsu [4]

Jake Lee [4]

Joel Redman [4]

Suwama [4]

Sam Adonis [4]

Takashi Yoshida [4]

Joe Doering [2]

 

Yuma Aoyagi [4] vs. Dylan James [4]

Aoyagi is aware he’s going to be overpowered and jumps ahead of the bell. Dylan shuts that down and bosses the match with his power. When I mentioned how much I enjoyed his work in Zero1 a few years ago people were genuinely still on the “Dylan James (well, James Raideen but you get the idea) is bad” state of mind and guys, you’re wrong and he’s proving you more and more wrong with each passing tour. This is always going to be short and James murders Aoyagi with a huge chokeslam for the pin.

AJPW9James

Murder by beefcake.

Final Rating: **

 

*KENTO TAG*

AJPW9Kento

 

Takashi Yoshida [4] vs. Sam Adonis [4]

No offence but can I skip this? The only possible way it’s any good is if they both try and out-cheat each other. I want at least fifteen low blows. Instead they run Indie stand off parity spots from 2001. Adonis gets a few chuckles for ignoring the referee, who’s chastising him in Japanese with an “I don’t speak Japanese”. There’s a ripple of laughs in the crowd from those who speak English. Adonis unfortunately has a terrible finish in mind where he accidentally bashes himself with a chair and Yoshida wins with a lariat.

Final Rating; ½*

 

Atsushi Aoki [0] vs. Zeus [6]

Aoki is still pointless although he’s wrestled less matches. We get a completely different Zeus here. He’s all respectful and not pissed off. So naturally Aoki has to bring out the beast by stamping on his foot. Why did you do that? He might tear your head off with a side headlock now! It seems like a poor psychological decision from Aoki who might have stood a shot at fluking a roll up or something similar.

AJPW9Zeus

Now this is happening. Aoki tries hard here but it’s not the same level of effort that he expended against Miyahara and the smaller setting definitely has him tempering our expectations. That said it is a spirited performance. He frequently attempts to outwit Zeus and kicks out of a lot of abuse. Jackhammer finishes though and Zeus ploughs to the top of Block A again.

Final Rating: ***1/4

 

Yoshitatsu [4] vs. Naoya Nomura [6]

Tatsu has been built up sufficiently during this AJPW run that Nomura is set up as the underdog here, although I’m not buying that for an instant. Nomura is someone they have long term legitimate plans for and Tatsu is merely here because of his name value. That said it’s also the kind of loss anyone can take as Tatsu is an established guy. Tatsu gets his jollies lifting Shinjiro Otani spots (badly) and trying to wear Nomura down. As the match progresses Tatsu looks pretty fired up. Like he’s taking this main event business seriously and the chemistry he has with Nomura is suddenly there. They work smoothly and deliver. Plus Tatsu, who’s clearly been watching Sai, has gotten serious about landing some heavy shots. More of those kicks Yoshitatsu! I would put him over on Twitter but he blocked me. It’s so good that I start hoping for kick outs because I don’t want it to end. Nomura has been killing it on this tour but this is no carry job. This is Tatsu actually delivering in singles in the way that he has in tags for All Japan. It’s great. Nomura wins too so that’s an added bonus. If this was the level Yoshitatsu operated at on a week by week basis he would not be mocked…by anyone.

AJPW9Nomura

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Summary:

Bit of a non-event until Yoshitatsu came out here. What am I saying? I’m aware Tatsu has been ‘not shit’ for a while now but seeing him actually do it in a big time singles match is borderline shocking. He’s not leaning on Miyahara here. He’s not leaning on three guys he’s in a tag with. He’s the heart and soul of this match and it’s actually good. So is Nomura. It’s a double win. Two guys going out there and stealing a show that was there to be stolen.

 

Standings:

 

BLOCK A

Zeus [8]

Shuji Ishikawa [7]

Dylan James [6]

Ryoji Sai [5]

Yuji Okabayashi [4]

Yuma Aoyagi [4]

Kento Miyahara [4]

Atsushi Aoki [0]

Gianni Valletta [0]

 

BLOCK B

Naoya Nomura [8]

Takashi Yoshida [6]

Daichi Hashimoto [4]

Yoshitatsu [4]

Jake Lee [4]

Joel Redman [4]

Suwama [4]

Sam Adonis [4]

Joe Doering [2]

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