AJPW Champion Carnival Day 3 on April 19, 2017
Watch: The RealHero Archive
Hachinohe Seagull View Hotel Gymnasium – Hachinohe, Japan
Block A: KAI vs. Jake Lee**1/2
KAI jumps out to a 3-0 record after defeating Jake Lee in the opener. The finish was sick as KAI hit his Enziguri, followed by the superkick, followed by the Meteor impact combination on Lee. The funny thing to me and I know Trask will be losing his shit as he reads this is, that the story of the match was Jake Lee working over the leg of KAI all match long. Lee worked over the leg so much and KAI sold it so much that I knew for sure the finish was going to be KAI not being able to hit that combination of moves because of how damaged his leg was. Alas, this was not the case as, despite the leg work by Lee, KAI summoned up the magic and was able to get a brief burst of adrenaline to allow the use of the injured appendage in securing victory. Seriously to me, it’s not that big of a deal in the sense that I don’t live and die with selling in that way. I believe a guy should be able to use adrenaline to use an injured body part but even for me I thought this was kind of weird and I was wondering why they even bothered to make the match so focused around the leg unless it was to show KAI is a bad ass who even if crippled in a match will still win, and in fact will win with the leg that’s screwed up!!!
Block B: Daichi Hashimoto vs. Kengo Mashimo***1/4
I really thought this match was quite good. Mashimo shined on Day 2 in that 30-minute draw against Omori and here he put on another really solid performance in bringing out a lot of fire in Hashimoto. This match felt intense with stiff striking (a hallmark of both men) and great arm work by Mashimo. Mashimo is a really good opponent for Hashimoto. Mashimo may in some ways be the best technically sound worker in this tournament. He has the best footwork for sure, or at least on par with Miyahara, he looks great, he moves really quickly in the ring and he looks like a tough solid dude that you can’t f with inside the ropes. This match made more sense than the opener in that Mashimo won using the mudo (armbar) submission — wait for it — after actually working over the arm of Hashimoto!!! Trask will have a smile and a warm feeling in his soul as he reads this!!! And RealHero will still say Trask sucks eggs but that’s for another day!!!! Also really quick take here is that Hashimoto looked super motivated working with Kengo and his strikes looked on point and sharp as daggers including a sick wicked and nasty looking shining wizard to the back of Mashimo’s head which I really liked. Also, a cool looking leg sweep that took Kengo off his feet as he tried to deliver a high kick. Both moves looked so awesome.
NEXTREAM (Kento Miyahara, Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi) vs. Koji Iwamoto, Yusuke Okada & Zeus**3/4
This was a good match too! All action from bell to bell. You got four hungry guys and two superstars in this match. It was short and it did not overstay its welcome. I love seeing Iwamoto do that judo throw. It’s so intense and violent looking. Okada and Aoyagi both have great looking deep arm drags and Okada got in all kinds of dropkicks (his calling card) and a bunch of near falls on Nomura before Nomura made the comeback and gained the fall with the spear. The interactions between Zeus and Miyahara were minimal from what I remember of this match.
The Bodyguard beat Takao Omori, but we don’t have a review of it right now.
Block A: Ryouji Sai vs. Daisuke Sekimoto ***1/4
This is another good match. Not great, just good. I thought Sai looked much more motivated in this match than he did on Day 2 against KAI. Sekimoto was very good as always. There was some serious looking stuff in this match, such as some of Sai’s kicks looking so nasty and so stiff. Also, oh my god, what a lariat by Sekimoto!! He damn near takes off Sai’s head with that one. It’s kind of a disappointment that this match never built to something greater than it did because these two men definitely have a better match in them but it was still a good match for what it was. Sekimoto won with his delayed deadlift bridging suplex to even his record at 1-1 after two matches. Sai falls to 0-2.
Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, Joe Doering & Suwama) vs. Jun Akiyama, Shuji Ishikawa, Ultimo Dragon & Yohei Nakajima**3/4
Funny seeing Ishikawa tag with Ultimo Dragon to face Joe Doering. Ultimo gets right up in Doering’s face (well chest, more like) and tries to go toe to toe with the big ornery Texan. Needless to say, it does not go well for Senor Dragon. Some nice but very brief mat wrestling from Sato and Akiyama. These two had a singles match earlier this year I think that was really cool to watch. It may have been last year in all honesty. My memory is not always the best but I do remember it was a pretty cool match so I liked seeing these two guys tangle. Dragon and Aoki have some great looking sequences that are fun to watch. Ishikawa and Doering are the two giant monsters and they tease a few interactions between them that kind of make you yearn to see their singles match down the road. Ishikawa looks so good right now and is moving so quickly. Nakajima is very good too. He just looks like the wrestling version of Ronald McDonald which kind of hurts his credibility at times. I shall never tire of watching Sato kick the crap out of dudes like he does to Nakajima here. Nakajima and Sato are going all out here. What a sequence between them. Great power spot by Doering as he catches Nakajima in a cross body and in one motion hoists him up into a vertical brainbuster position for a near fall. That’s it for Nakajima though as seconds later Doering gives him a vicious revolution bomb for the pin fall victory. Good match.
AJPW CHAMPION CARNIVAL DAY 3 ON APRIL 19, 2017
DECENT - 6/10
AJPW Champion Carnival Day 3 was a fine show. Better than Day 2 but not a stand out show by any means. Nothing great or can’t miss on this card but nothing was horrible.