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  1. #41
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I dig Ryoji Sai quite a bit. He comes off as a heavy hitting guy. From what I've read he's studied martial arts so he incorporates that into his persona, from his gear to all the hard kicks he does. His matches during the Champion Carnival were good. He's currently a double champion in All Japan so that should say something. I wouldn't be able to recommend a match off the top of my head. The ones I can remember were solid matches against Yuji Hino and Naoya Nomura during the Champion Carnival this year, so if you can find those that would give you an idea of his style.

    Kento Miyahara has tons of charisma. In the shows I've seen him in person, that crowd gets electric for him.

  2. #42
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Worth saying I was really getting behind him in the match that he won the title.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  3. #43
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Last night Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa beat Ryoji Sai and Dylan James to become the 83rd All Japan World Tag Team Champions. This is the second time Suwama and Ishikawa have been the tag champs, having held it for a month earlier this year (and Suwama's third reign overall, having a 8-month run with Joe Doering in 2013). It was an okay match, but nothing to go out of your way to watch.

    I was surprised by the title switch because it's the 5th time the title has changed hands this year alone, and also because I thought since Sai and James formed the new Sweeper group they would at least give the guys in the stable a bit of a push. Hasn't seemed that way, though.

    Tonight's show will feature the anticipated singles match between Kento Miyahara and Jake Lee. It won't be for the Triple Crown championship, but I'm still looking forward to that one. The main event will be Atsushi Aoki against Yohei Nakajima for the Jr. Heavyweight title.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 07-01-2018 at 01:09 AM.

  4. #44
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    How did Miyahara and Lee go, in the end?

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  5. #45
    The Brain
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    I'd be curious for an update as well, if you're still keeping up with it all!

  6. #46
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Miyahara got the win in that match against Jake Lee. Nothing special happened here, just your standard Miyahara type of match. It was good for a watch but nothing to rave about.

    I still am watching but things have slowed down considerably with All Japan after the Champion Carnival so there hasn't been a whole lot to talk about. The main focus for All Japan right now is their big July 29th show in Osaka, their return to the main Edion Arena stage in 4 years. Here's the full card for that show:

    - Takao Omori, Atsushi Maruyama, Shoichi Uchida (Dove Pro), & TORU (Freelancer) vs. Yoshitatsu, Ultimo Dragon, Hiroaki Moriya (freelancer) & CarBell Ito
    - Joe Doering vs. Gianni Valletta
    - Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa, & Billyken Kid (freelancer) vs. Jake Lee, Dylan James, & Keiichi Sato
    - Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, Masaaki Mochizuki (Dragon Gate), & Shun Skywalker (Dragon Gate) vs. Koji Iwamoto, Tajiri, Yohei Nakajima, & Black Tiger VII
    - Jun Akiyama & Yuji Nagata vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi for the All-Asia Tag Team Championship
    - Ryoji Sai vs. The Bodyguard for the All-Asia Championship
    - Kento Miyahara vs. Zeus for the Triple Crown Championship

    The last time All Japan ran the main stage of Edion Arena they drew 1688 people, which is around 30% capacity of the arena (based on the capacity when New Japan sells the place out with their big shows). This looks like a decent card, but I'm not sure if it's enough to draw more than that. Hopefully I'm proven wrong. It would be awesome if they could crack 2000.

    They have a couple of interesting bouts there, though. The guy facing Joe Doering is a guy from Malta, of all places, so I'm curious to see that. They got the Dragon Gate guys who will be in the upcoming Jr. Battle of Glory tournament (although I still find it weird that Mochizuki is labeled as a Junior Heavyweight). The All-Asia Tag Team Championship bout should be fun with the old vets taking the young guys (fun fact: Akiyama and Nagata are each older than their opponent's ages combined - Nomura being 24 and Aoyagi being 22).

    Of course, you have the Osaka natives challenging for the top singles titles to help drawing people there. It wouldn't surprise me to see either title change. I'm not a big fan of Bodyguard winning a big singles title just to make the local crowd happy, but Ryoji Sai hasn't really done much with that belt and with him being in a group where he's not the main focus, it wouldn't be the worst thing. I'm still uncertain if Miyahara retains. Zeus seems to be in the process of being groomed to have that top spot for a bit now, and I don't think there will be any better time than in front of their biggest crowd in Osaka. I'd still like All Japan to keep Miyahara going strong and continue carrying the company as the main guy. We'll see what happens there.

  7. #47
    The Brain
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    Yeah, that card isn't blowing me away, though I like that they are still using a couple Dragon Gate guys. And my man Tajiri of course!

    I would be ok with a Zeus title win, but I could understand if they want to ride Kento until the wheels fall off. Or maybe Zeus wins it for awhile, and Kento wins it back, like they did with Ishikawa last year? I could get into that.

  8. #48
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I wouldn't mind that at all, especially if they want to continue building towards the Osaka fanbase down the road.

    In some news, this past weekend All Japan announced the participants and upcoming matches for this year's Odo Tournament (e.g. Royal Road Tournament). It's a relatively new tournament that started in 2013 (and won by Akebono, no less). It's different from the Champion Carnival tournament in that it's a 4-round, single-elimination tournament open to all weight classes. The Triple Crown champ can participate, and whoever wins (provided it's not the champ) will get a title shot. This year features 16 participants, including a couple of non-AJPW guys. Here are the first round matches:

    - Kento Miyahara vs. Yoshitatsu
    - Yuma Aoyagi vs. Ryoji Sai
    - Joe Doering vs. Dylan James
    - Suwama vs. Gianni Valletta
    - Yuji Hino (Wrestle-1 / Freelancer) vs. The Bodyguard
    - Jun Akiyama vs. Jake Lee
    - Zeus vs. Naoya Nomura
    - Shuji Ishikawa vs. Kengo Mashimo (K-DOJO)

    I'm psyched that Yuji Hino is there again. I really, really dug him in the Champion Carnival tournament. I've read a little about Kengo Mashimo - he's apparently the top guy at K-DOJO right now. After seeing a picture of him I remember seeing him at a show once but I can't remember his match at all so I have no other comments. You also have the Maltese wrestler I mentioned in my last post so it seems like he'll be sticking around for a bit. Everyone else is an All Japan staple. Most of the first round matches look interesting so I think this is going to be a fun tournament to follow.

    The tournament will be happening for just five shows spanning from September 15 to September 24. The September 24 show is going to be in Osaka, and it will have both the semi-final matches and the finals on the same night. I'm definitely going to hit up that show.

  9. #49
    The Brain
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    Hm, not a thrilling first round but it does sound like a bit of a secondary tournament after all. Could see some exciting matches in the later rounds, for sure.

  10. #50
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I think they have a decent first round given what they have available to work with. The matches I'm looking forward to the most are Akiyama vs. Lee and Ishikawa vs. Mashimo.

    Out of curiosity I checked how how tickets for next week's big Osaka show have been doing. Of course the ticket sites won't say exactly how many tickets are left, just if there are sections with plenty of tickets available, just a few available, or sold out. The first two tiers (premium seats, ring-side seats) as well as the special section in the second floor of the venue (which is front and center) have just a few tickets available. That's actually a bit better than I expected, to be honest. There's still nine days left as of this post, so maybe some of those sections will sell out by then.

    EDIT: Two days left, and no sections have sold out yet. The cheapest section is now marked as having just a few tickets left, so it looks like they're going to have a decent crowd depending on what "few tickets left" means.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 3 Weeks Ago at 02:15 AM.

  11. #51
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I finally caught the title matches of this past weekend's show in Osaka. From what I read All Japan managed to get 2458 people into Edion Arena, which is a bit less than full capacity (the big New Japan shows do about 5500 there) but still a success since they drew over 800 more people since the last show there in 2014.

    As for the matches, the ones I saw were good enough with plenty of time given to them. Bodyguard beat Ryoji Sai for the All Asia Championship in an okay match (about 20 minutes), but I'm not much of a fan of Bodyguard as a singles wrestler. His matches seem way too slow for my tastes.

    The young guys Naoya Nomura and Yuma Aoyagi captured the All Asia Tag Team Championships from Jun Akiyama and Yuji Nagata. This match went over 20 minutes and was pretty good. Everyone did their part really well, and the vets were really good. They definitely don't show their age, in my opinion. I like the title change since Nomura and Aoyagi are super-young and have a lot of upside. I'm guessing this is Nagata's last All Japan match for a while / forever, although that's just speculation as they didn't do anything to indicate that (Akiyama took the pin for the loss, too).

    In the main event, Zeus defeated Kento Miyahara to become the new Triple Crown Champion in front of his hometown fans. This was a solid match at around 30 minutes. It was back and forth for the most part, and it's one of Miyahara's matches where I saw him have the most offense. I'm a bit split over this. I wanted Miyahara to really solidify himself at the top guy, but instead he lost after just two title defenses. I am interested to see what they do with Zeus throughout the summer. He's good enough and has a great look so it's not all that bad to have him get a run with the top title.

    There were plenty of changes, so it'll be very interesting to see what comes out of it in the next months leading up to the Royal Road tournament.

  12. #52
    The Brain
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    I head Zeus/Kento was great!! Really interested to hopefully check it out in the future. I burn out too easily on wrestling from Japan, the pool is so deep over there. Really like your thoughts on this Deg... I do think Kento will get the title back, I feel like this is a temporary situation with Zeus just to keep fans guessing.

  13. #53
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Oh, really? Have let this slip a bit lately, will have to keep an eye out for the title match.

    I feel a bit like you though Deg, on reading it. I was feeling like there was something there with Miyahara and was looking forward to him laying down a marker. Be interesting to see how this shakes out in the longer term.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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