Puroresu WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

AJPW Dream Power Series Day 5 Review (3/27/16)

Niigata, Japan 
Aore Nagaoka 
424 Fans 

This was an unexpected upload but I will gladly take it. The last All Japan show I watched and reviewed featured Miyahara vs. Omori for the Triple Crown which was a fantastic match so I am fired up for some more All Japan Puroresu. This is headlined by The Big Guns (Bodyguard & Zeus) fighting the wild combo of Shuji Ishikawa and Hoshitango for the AJPW tag team titles. There’s a few neat little matches on the undercard that should be tons of fun. But with AJPW in 2016 it has been very hit and miss so I hope this show is a hit and blows my socks off.

Hikaru Sato vs. SUSHI***

This was awesome from what I saw but I wasn’t paying full attention honestly. Both guys nailed their spots and everything looked crisp. They traded some really awesome near falls at the rear end of the match. Just really solid stuff. Sato worked more of a wrestling match than a shoot match. The finish was sort of flat though, Sato won with just a normal back suplex.

Yuma Aoyagi vs. Ultimo Dragon**3/4

This was an above average match in my opinion. I have been enjoying these little trial series matches Aoyagi has been having against the more experienced wrestlers. I probably enjoyed his match with Irie a little more but this match was still fun. Ultimo actually dominated 80% of this and it worked really well and told a good story. Ultimo obviously got all of his stuff in early on, the usual head spring out of an arm bar and the Mil Mascaras head-scissors which always get a nice reaction. There was some good old fashion young boy stretching being dealt out. Ultimo tied him in a stomp puller and then another submission that was great but I have zero clue what to call it. Aoyagi made a dropkick filled comeback and attempted his springboard crossbody but Dragon hit him mid air with a perfectly timed dropkick. Aoyagi for the first time was pretty sluggish, looked like something was up. Ultimo won with the La-Magistral cradle.

Big THE Ryokan & Shigeno Shima vs. Ryuji Hijikata & Yohei Nakajima (AJPW)***1/4
This was a goddamn hoot if I have ever seen one! Never ever seen Shima (who looks like an older Kento Miyahara) or Big THE Ryokan but they were both good especially Shigeno Shima. Haven’t seen much of Hijikata at all this year but he was the best wrestler in this match by leaps and bounds. He has an aura about him it’s hard to explain but trust me you would not want to run into Ryuki Hijiikata at 10 at night in a backstreet of Tokyo. Shima and Nakajima worked a fast paced sequence that was nice and showed me that Shima could go with a caliber of performer like Nakajima. Very athletic match but whenever Hijikata came into the ring it turned into a fight. His kicks are some of the best shoot style kicks I have seen in a professional wrestling ring, they were so on point! Whether they were to the head or to the chest they all looked world class. Shima is also very strong. He got Nakajima up in a surfboard stretch. The independent team of Shima and Ryokan gelled great, I am sure they have tagged up before. The GAORA TV champ Nakajima won with a buzzsaw kick on Big THE Ryokan. Hope to see more of the losing team, they were great fun. But holy shit Hijikata was tremendous.
Atsushi Aoki & Naoya Nomura vs. Jun Akiyama & Super Tiger***1/4
What an odd match this is but I loved it and even contemplated giving it a star rating in the high threes. The story of this match was so so good, It would take the young boy Nomura NUMEROUS strikes/hits to knock down the veterans he was facing. For example it took him at least 16 shoulder tackles to knock down Akiyama, it was such a creative and smart spot. He would run the ropes at every side and come off shoulder tackling Akiyama but old mate Jun wouldn’t budge until he finally hit a giant shoulder tackle and bumped Akiyama. Hard-Hit Alumni Super Tiger and Atsushi Aoki used some nice ‘grapple-fuckery’. Jun unleashed on Nomura numerous times during this match but the scariest was when he just ghetto stomped Nomura in the face multiple times. I have said before Super Tiger isn’t my favorite wrestler but he was very impressive in this bout and showed me some things I haven’t seen from him before. His kicks and suplexes were spot on. I have said this many times before but Aoki has such a pretty missile dropkick. It’s never not impressive. Big dog Jun busted out a superplex on Nomura, he really his getting beat up in the squared circle. Super Tiger pinned Nomura with a PERFECT backdrop suplex hold. Super Tiger heads into the Champions Carnival looking very strong.
Jake Lee & Kento Miyahara vs. Takao Omori & Yutaka Yoshie***

Team old men vs. team younger men … love it! I didn’t love this much but I still enjoyed it for what it was and had a great time watching it. Loved seeing Yoshie’s pink ass wrestle around. Omori actually got a haircut so he is looking fly as ever. It’s amazing how good Omori has been for all these years. He was in AJPW when Hansen, Kobashi, Kawada and Misawa were on top and can still go at age 48. Wrestling is such a weird and cool thing, like some wrestlers have chemistry with other wrestlers that you just wouldn’t expect. The best example is Yutaka Yoshie and Jake Lee. Jesus Christ these guys were amazing with one another. The big man vs. smaller man (even though Lee isn’t small) story played out during this entire bout and I loved it. Lee could not get big man Yoshie off his feet for almost the entire duration of this match but in the end on the fourth attempt he got Yoshie over for a gut wrench suplex. Never really noticed this but Miyahara is heavily influenced by The Great Muta. Omori and Miyahara have worked one another multiple times this year so they have perfected wrestling together. I am all in on another singles match between those two in the near future. Lee kicked out of a running splash but Yoshie finished him off with a top rope splash. Not as pretty as 10 years ago but it did the job.

(AJPW World Tag Team Championship) The Big Guns (The Bodyguard & Zeus) (c) vs. Hoshitango & Shuji Ishikawa***3/4

My expectations were very high for this match and I was sure it wouldn’t stink. Wow, this match was much better than it had any right to be. Seriously believe it or not this was my favorite Big Guns match I have ever seen and goddamn HOSHITANGO was involved in the match. Seriously watch this as soon as possible, just four men beating each other up. I don’t think I have seen a Shuji Ishikawa match that I didn’t like, he was slotted into the veteran role in this match and he handled that with ease. Ishikawa is a top 30 wrestler in the world no doubt. I never knew Bodyguard was so tiny, Ishikawa dwarfs him but he had no problem taking Shuji off his feet. Lots of the ‘stronk’ or dick measuring spots where they just run at each other and see who stays standing. Ishikawa is still busting out new moves, he used an STO transitioned right into a anaconda vice. Zeus used a stalling brain buster on Hoshitango and it was glorious. Ishikawa used a tombstone piledriver on Bodyguard. Shuji’s offence looked very impressive on the bigger Zeus and came off like a monster when wrestling  Bodyguard. Zeus and Shuji were amazing with one another, Zeus got Shuji over in a bearhug suplex. Then gave Shuji fk’n Ishikawa a superplex. Fire Thunder Driver on Zeus which he sold greatly. Hoshitango was actually good in this match, EASILY the best Hoshitango match I have seen. He busted out a flying crossbody and a middle rope splash. Numerous bicep explosion lariats from the Big Guns as well as a double chokeslam on Hoshitango. Bodyguard bicep exploded Hoshitango to hell to retain the AJPW tag titles.

Wow. I came out of this show feeling fired the hell up. There was not one bad thing on this show, every match delivered in some form or fashion. The main event was the best match of the night and it felt like a big deal. This is just another spot show for AJPW but everyone worked immensely hard and had their working boots on and that’s all I ask for … effort! And that is exactly what All Japan showed me during this event. If you have time I would recommend you watch the entire show because it’s a very easy watch, but if you’re short on time just be sure to check the main event. Thank you!

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