EDION Arena Osaka, 2nd Stadium
Damn All Japan back at it again with the freelancing talent! That was a terrible pun I know. The big selling point to this show was another Fujinami and Akiyama match this time a six man tag. Further down the track I see a singles match between the two. Masakatsu Funaki is back in All Japan! He left in 2013 to join Muto’s Wrestle-1 but now that he has left Wrestle-1 I hope he competes often in the All Japan ring. Lots of Osaka Pro talent working the show as AJPW is in Osaka and Osaka is by far their best market. Akiyama is smart booking local talent to draw local fans. Love me some AJPW.
This was what you would expect and I loved it. You need variety on your pro wrestling card and Kamen always provides a good laugh. SUSHI is a very good wrestler but is usually thrown into these comedic matches near the bottom of the card which is bad because he is so great – but he also excels at the comedy. Funny spot where SUSHI botched two 619’s and Kamen made him do a third and it actually worked. The referee kicked out of a school boy from SUSHI which the crowd thought was very funny. The finish involved the referee, SUSHI Irish-whipped the ref to clothesline Kamen but Kamen moved and the ref rebounded and clotheslined SUSHI which allowed Kamen to roll him up for the three count. Enjoyable stuff.
Omori ate this dude alive. Well not necessarily but this was much more one sided than I first envisioned. TORU was solid in some spots and I really like his look but this was a Omori showcase match. After this bout it really left me wanting an Omori vs. Chris Jericho match. Omori was great as always, his spinning wheel kick looked great. TORU did a nice shining wizard but in the end Omori won with a perfect Axe Bomber.
There was two special guest ring announcers. A father and his son it was quite beautiful and made me smile. The dad was actually very good and the kid was adorable. He had another son with him but he didn’t get on the mic. This was an awesome match as expected. I love all four guys involved and each man played their integral part in making this very good. The smoothness and crispness was superb. Billyken Kid is one of the best independent talent on the planet and I wish some bigger named promotions used him. He would work great in Dragon Gate but he would probably get lost in the shuffle their. DDT might actually be the perfect spot for him. Takeda in All Japan warms my heart as he is quite possibly the best deathmatch worker in the world behind Jun Kasai. Maruyama for a 39-year-old is so athletic and moves like he is 20. Kid took out Takeda with a dive and Nakajima pinned Maruyama after the two traded near falls back and forth. Awesome stuff.
Zeus and Bodyguard are very familiar with their opponents as the big guns are both from Osaka and started their careers in Osaka. If there are some of you out there who still think Zeus stinks as a wrestler than I am sorry. You are missing out on one special talent! Bodyguard is good but not great. Still blows me away he is 47. He moves really awkward and makes spots look bad occasionally. Buffalo and Tsubasa put on one hell of a show! They knew that this is a big spot for them and they killed it. The first spot of the match was both of them hitting dives and then later on Tsubasa did a moonsault plancha. They got a lot of offense in on the AJPW tag champs. Zeus was double suplexed and then he rolled back and suplexed his opponents which was fucking rad. Buffalo and Tsubasa did a shining wizard/back drop suplex combo which was killer. Team Osaka Indy looked to have the match won numerous times but in the end Zeus pinned Tsubasa with a Jackhammer.
This was not about an all time great in ring classic; it was about the lads wrestling. The legend lads that is. Tons of fun If I say so myself. I preferred the Dradition match but this was still enjoyable seeing Kabuki do his nunchuck action and Fuchi doing his body slams. It’s a scary thought when 62-year-old Tatsumi Fujinami is the most jacked person in a six man tag. The dude is in great in ring and out of ring shape. I swear LEONA can’t be Fujinami’s kid, the apple fell so far from the tree. I hope he will improve sometime soon and the singles match with Akiyama at Fortune Dream should help. Akiyama didn’t do a ton except fucking murder LEONA, he no sold everything and killed him with knees, kicks and his piledriver on the floor. Kabuki threw a superkick. Aoyagi did a cross-body on Fujinami. Fujinami ran wild with dragon screws. Thank god LEONA didn’t do some because his dragon screws are the drizzling shits. In the end Fujinami made Aoyagi tap out to the Dragon Sleeper.
Okay so the first thing that stuck out to me was Nomura being a goddamn savage! Jesus Christ this man has grown a nut sack and a half since the last time I saw him. Nomura is just bringing the fight to Kento with huge forearms. Would love to see Nomura challenge for the Triple Crown. This was really really good man and had some great moments. My favorite spot of the entire match was when Lee and Funaki were trading kicks and then Funaki slapped the shit out of Lee and hit a rolling lappu kick. Lee and Funaki had some very fun interactions. Kento is one of the best aces in wrestling today but whenever he and Lee team up they always seem to loose which is oddly funny. Miyahara’s knee’s are the best in wrestling without a doubt, he calls them ‘blackout’ because damn right they will black you out. Nomura and Lee have blossomed so much in the past six months alone. Lawrence from Puro in the Rough was never a huge fan of Lee but he has said Lee has really impressed him in 2016. Nomura’s spears are so great, some really well done near falls. In the end Funaki pinned Lee with the Hybrid Blaster which is one of the coolest moves in wrestling.
Very fun All Japan show from the lads. I am reviewing this right before I watch and review the big 5/25 show that has Sekimoto vs. Miyahara for the Triple Crown so I am hyped as hell for that. All Japan is such a beautiful promotion and one day I hope I can wrestle in the All Japan ring. Thank you for reading.