Thursday, August 3, 2017

AJPW Summer Action Series 2017 - Day 2 Review

AJPW Summer Action Series 2017 - Day 2 Review
Korakuen Hall in Tokyo

Well, it's been a while. Life is crazy. How about some AJPW full review?

AJPW Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match: Hikaru Sato (c) vs. Minoru Tanaka

I skipped the classic beginning card Japan tag matches, hopefully I didn't miss anything relevant. This was a good first match. They kept up the limb work, and it all looked really nice. The finish was red hot with beautiful submission trades, leading to a modified Armbar that was too much for Tanaka to handle.

Winner: Hikaru Sato in 13:18

Like I said, enjoyed this match and the finish was really great. Can't ask much more than that. ***

I'm not too up-to-date with AJPW feuds, but I popped when Tajiri came out and gave Sato the green mist. Great to see Tajiri doing good for himself.

AJPW World Tag Team Championships Match: The Big Guns (c) vs. NEXTREAM

Going into this match I was somewhat expecting a pretty good match since I know Jake Lee and Naoya Nomura are two incredible athletes. However as the match went on, I learned that I wasn't going to get my good match. Not sure if it was the Big Guns that were the cause (using my prior knowledge to similar looking wrestlers in WWE I would assume this is the case) or if the two teams simply didn't mix well.

Winners: NEXTREAM in 11:28

The titles did change hands here, which hopefully will lead to some great matches from the two young athletes. This match however, I was not a big fan of. **

If you're unfamiliar with AJPW, the only thing that really goes on between matches are interviews with the competitors of the last match. Most of these are in Japanese, so I tend to skip.

Joe Doering vs. Kento Miyahara

This match was definitely the main draw to this card for me. The two put on my current AJPW MOTY back in April, and even though I don't watch much AJPW, this match was still amazing. They both brawl inside and outside of the ring, and when Doering gets the upper-hand, he starts picking apart Miyahara's back. He continued to work the back in the ring, but then the pace slowed. Not a lot happened after that, then they had another exchange, then a couple German Suplexes, and Miyahara had Doering pinned just like that.

Winner: Kento Miyahara in 8:18

A much shorter match than I was expecting. I feel like with 5 more minutes like they had for the Championship Carnival, they could've put on another fantastic match. Nonetheless, this was some great action with a little dullness. If you're in the mood for some non NJPW puro, this is a good choice. ***½

Joe Doering's interview was in English so I decided to listen. He talks about having a disappointing 2017 so far. I hope this leads to a 3rd match between the two with a longer time.

AJPW Unified Triple Crown Championship Match: Shuji Ishikawa (c) vs. Suwama

For about a year now I've seen a couple AJPW posters here and there, and they all seem to have Suwama on them. Is it fair to assume he is AJPW's Okada? That could be both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. This match was honestly hard to watch. No emotional investment at all, and no notable in-ring action to distract you from the previous point. I say a match is bad when you end up wishing that the ref counts the 3 just so it is finished.

Winner: Shuji Ishikawa in 19:37

Good for the crowd for seeming at least a bit excited in the match, but man this sucked. So much stalling for no reason, and such little action and stalemates, for again no reason. Sad for a pretty good event to end with a sour finish. I'll be a bit nicer with this rating for the decent finishing stretch. *½

Overall: 5/10. A show that was headed to being average, but fell hard with the main event. If you are going to check out this show, I'd say check out the first 3 matches for a good feel of AJPW. Solid action in the opener and in Doering/Miyahara, both should satisfy your puro needs. Looking forward to a stronger showing in the next show I am able to catch.