AJPW Champion Carnival Day 6 on April 23, 2017
Watch: The RealHero Archive
Aore Nagaoka – Nagaoka, Japan
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Atsushi Aoki, Dory Funk Jr. & Yusuke Okada vs. NEXTREAM (Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi) & Osamu Nishimura**1/4
This was fun, lots of good action. Silly finish as Nishimura had Okada in a figure four so Dory decided to break it up and then put Nishimura in his patented spinning toe hold. Okada had by this time gotten up off the mat and as he stood over Nishimura who was still in the toe hold, Nishimura cradled and pinned Okada for the victory. Dory acted confused like he won the match and sadly the referee had to break the news to Dory that this was not the case. Anyways after cracking the whip for a bit including lashing Okada with it which the crowd popped for, Dory gave a really nice inspirational speech that the crowd ate up and really enjoyed. Very cool how much love the fans in All Japan have for Dory as people young and old clamored to shake his hand or snap a pic of him as walked off to the dressing room.
Jun Akiyama, Shuji Ishikawa & Ultimo Dragon vs. Dalton Drellich, Koji Iwamoto & Yohei Nakajima**3/4
My lord, is this not the greatest Fire Pro six-man tag combo of all time? And heck Jun, Shuji, and Dragon are not that bad either. HAHA just kidding. Anyways this was quite good, they went 13 minutes. I think that trio of Uncle Jun, Big Dog Shuji, and The Dragon is my favorite trio of all time. I wish Akiyama was in the tournament proper. I understand he took himself out and is in the Baba spot on the card now but I just wish he decided to do one more carnival. Ultimo Dragon scored the pinfall again in a multi-man tag rolling up Nakajima for the win.
Block A: Joe Doering vs. Jake Lee***
Okay, so this was quite good. I thought Lee really stepped up his game against the “Texas Brute” here. I loved how as Doering would beat the hell out of Lee, Lee would fire up and laugh or scream in Doering’s face. Basically, Lee took the beating and asked Doering for more. Jake actually got a nice comeback and laid into Joe with one of his heavy knee strikes to the gut and a DDT. A really nice gut wrench suplex by lee on Doering as well. Doering regained control with a big shoulder block and the beating continued. The story here was the toughness and resiliency of Lee as there was no way he was going to overcome the power and brutality of Doering but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to quit or cower or shrink away from the physicality of this match. A vicious lariat almost sealed the deal but lee kicked out at 2.9999 which was awesome. Joe facing the corner put Lee in the Boston Crab and actually leaned his head into the middle turnbuckle which was so cool to watch. Despite a valiant effort Lee was trapped and had nowhere to go and submitted to the hold giving Big Joe the win.
Block B: Suwama vs. Takao Omori***1/2
Another great match for Suwama, Omori’s best match of the tournament so far. Suwama got his leg hung up over the turnbuckle after attempting a drive-by kick, Omori took advantage kicking Suwama in the hamstring and injuring his leg. Great work as Omori took it to the outside, and laid Suwama on a table and smashed a chair over the injured leg. Omori now just goes all out working over the leg and wearing down Suwama. Suwama is hobbling on the leg and in lots of trouble. And as he makes his comeback he hits Omori with a great vertical brainbuster, a lariat for a near fall, plus a backdrop driver for a near fall. Perhaps the injured leg prevented Suwama from getting 100% power into those moves and pinning Omori. This match gets crazy, pure Japanese style drama as the match goes back and forth with mad twists and turns — near falls and sick moves, etc, you name it. Highly recommend going out of your way to watch two great veterans put on a great dramatic fight. Suwama wins with the last ride powerbomb.
Block A: Ryoji Sai vs. Zeus***1/4
Zeus gets the advantage early by targeting Sai’s leg. (A lot of targeting of legs in this tournament so far.) Sai is selling the leg but that’s not stopping him from putting oomph on the hard trademark kicks. We need to talk about this. OH MY GOD! What an upset I just witnessed here. I did not see this coming but Sai basically drops Zeus on his head and gets the win 14 minutes into the match. This match was so cool that I put my pen down and stopped taking notes as I just wanted to soak in the action. Without a doubt the guys are working much harder on Day 6 than most other days.
Block A: Kento Miyahara vs. KAI***1/2
So here’s the deal. This match started slowly. Limb work is the name of the game in this Champion Carnival as KAI went to work on the knee of Miyahara. There’s a bad botch as KAI does a tope suicida to the outside and Miyahara kicks him in the face but the timing was way off and it looked pretty crappy. The pace is slow for most of the match but it pays off in the end. I was biting hard for the near falls, the last 8 minutes were great. Again just like the Suwama-Omori match, there were plenty of near falls and cross up spots that created intensity, drama, and everything that makes a match great. Miyahara gets the win with the straight jacket German suplex in about 27 minutes.
AJPW CHAMPION CARNIVAL DAY 6 ON APRIL 23, 2017
Good - 6.5/10
AJPW Champion Carnival Day 6 was a really good show, the best show since Day 1 in my opinion. I almost boosted it up to a 7/10, but this show just didn't make that mark. I recommend checking out the last three tournament matches on the show.