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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    All Japan Pro wrestling

    Discussion of All Japan Pro Wrestling here.

    Where were we? I think we were just talking about Marufuji challenging for the Triple Crown title, right?

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    Yeah, after the most successful Champion's Carnival in a long time, All Japan seems to be on the upswing. I was really enjoy Deg's updates, so if he's still watching I'd love to hear from him what the latest is!

  3. #3
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    There hasn't been much happening since the end of the Champion Carnival. The next events on their schedule is the Super Power Series, with two events being streamed live from Okinawa on their service this weekend, so I'll have some more to talk about then. Saturday's show will have a Junior Heavyweight championship match between the current champ Atsushi Aoki and the challenger Atsushi Aoyama, and Sunday will have a TV championship match between long-standing champ Jun Akiyama and a former 4-time TV champ Mensore Oyaji. Nothing huge but should be interesting to see.

  4. #4
    The Brain
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    Looking forward to the Marufuji/Kento rematch for the belt. Still gotta catch up on the top stuff from the Carnival itself too. Too much to watch!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I think that match is set for the 24th?

  6. #6
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Yep, May 24th at Korakuen Hall. It should be a good one, definitely looking forward to it.

    I caught part of yesterday's event in Okinawa. It was an average show at best, nothing special. The show looked to be shot in some sort of studio and it looked pretty drab with less than 500 people there.

    The Junior Heavyweight title match was kinda lame, just 11 minutes with very little going on. I checked a few past Junior Heavyweight matches just to familiarize myself a little more, and their division is really bad. New Japan is ridiculously so far ahead in that division that it's entirely unfair to do any kind of comparison. I think one of the main issues is that they need a lot of new and younger talent to give them a boost. Their current champ, Atsushi Aoki, is 40 years old. The previous two champs were Tajiri (who's 47) and Ultimo Dragon (who's 51). That's definitely not sustainable. I don't think All Japan has historically had any type of decent Junior Heavyweight division, so if they're not willing to invest in it they should just cut that division because it looks pretty bad.

  7. #7
    The Brain
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    Yeah, I've not been too drawn to All Japan's juniors. Obviously I'd give that Tajiri reign a chance but by and large it's never had much talk about it, which fits with their image historically as well as it was never really a point of discussion when they were at their peak either, unlike New Japan who had Jushin Liger leading the division.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Yeah, most of what I used to see in the 1990s was NJPW actually, and a lot of that was Liger but also Sasuke, Ultimo Dragon, Kanemoto and Shinjiro Otani. The Jr Heavyweight stuff definitely spread quicker, especially when they were against people who by that point had wound up in the big American feds.


    It seems AJPW doesn't have a huge amount going for it outside of it's very top level, but at the same time... I find I'm pretty hyped up for anything at the ME end of the card at the moment. And that bodes well, because I tend to think if you can get people invested in the top of the card you can get away with all sorts underneath. Look how much of the undercards on stuff in the Austin vs McMahon era was just criminal.

  9. #9
    The Brain
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    For sure, they are still rebuilding and you do that by starting at the top. If things keep going well they should be able to attract a stronger class of midcard talent.

  10. #10
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    They do have a decent roster for the most part. I liked most of the guys that I saw in the Champion Carnival. The two concerns I would have is that they're still a bit reliant on outside talent / freelancers (Marufuji, Ishikawa, etc.) and they still have a lot of older guys still on the roster. The older guys can still go (Suwama, Akiyama, Tajiri, Omori, etc.) but I still think they need some young blood there. Some of the younger guys they do have like Dylan James and Naoya Nomura have a ways to go.

    One other thing that kinda bugs me about All Japan is the number of titles they have for such a thin roster and how they're used. Do they really need to have two different sets of tag team titles? The All Asia tag team titles seem pointless to me, especially with its current champions in Akiyama and Yuji Nagata who don't need that at all. And I already mentioned the lack of people in the Junior Heavyweight division, so I would scrap that if they don't have more talent for it. I get the TV title being there as a secondary belt to aim for but based on what I've seen it's rarely used to elevate people on their roster. The current champ, Akiyama, has held the belt for well over a year now. Before that it seems like mostly outside talent held it.

    Maybe I'm looking at it from a perspective of what other wrestling promotions do as opposed to what's traditionally been done in All Japan, though.

  11. #11
    The Brain
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    I don't think the All Asia tag belts are going anywhere, they go all the way back to 1955 before All Japan or New Japan even existed, so yeah, tradition will probably win out there. I could definitely see an argument to drop the juniors though, and I actually didn't even know they had a TV title now so that isn't doing any good now.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    As you mention the TV Title, Akiyama defends this weekend against Survival Tobita of Saitama Pro.

  13. #13
    The Brain
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    See, I've never heard of that person, and there is no chance I will check the match out. So I'm not sure it's doing them any favors right now.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    No I only mention it because it is being advertised. It's also another match between two guys in their late forties.

    On the subject I see no scheduled defence for the all Asia tag team belts over the next couple of months....

  15. #15
    The Brain
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    Yeah, looking at recent reigns it looks like the AA tag belts get defended about once a month but nothing since March for the latest run. Maybe the logistics of getting Nagata back have caused an issue?

  16. #16
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    The last TV title defense Akiyama last weekend did was a strange one where he had to beat his opponent in less than ten minutes or something like that, or he would lose the title. He won with about 3 seconds to spare. It wasn't a fun match.

    Being able to find space to book guys like Nagata is one of my concerns about relying too much on those with main priorities outside of the company. But it's a necessity given how sparse their main roster is anyway. I don't think they can afford to hold on to more people at this time. It's part of the rebuilding process.

  17. #17
    The Brain
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    Aw too bad, that time limit thing sounds like it could be a great gimmick if done well.

    I do agree, they've got to rely on outsiders to some extent right now.

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