All Japan are back at the legendary Korakuen Hall for the start of the ‘Dynamite Series’, unfortunately attendance appears low in comparison to recent shows at the venue but it’s probably down to Dylan James not having a proper build before his challenge as he’s only been on the Super Power Series tour and Champions Carnival before being thrusted into the Triple Crown Heavyweight picture. That being said, I like the man as a talent and with a proper build, a 1,053 crowd today could easily rise in the future.
Keiichi Sato vs. Rionne Fujiwara
This one starts off with some technical wrestling, transitioning between wristlocks and so forth, feeling out their competitor, building slowly. The pace disintegrates as they trade kicks and forearms with Sato winning this exchange. He doesn’t stay in control for long as Rionne Fujiwara locks in an armbar with the assistance of the ropes as leverage, trying to pull Sato’s arm from the socket. He breaks his hold only to continue to target Sato’s arm with quicker offense. Rionne Fujiwara gets a near fall after a snapmare that’s followed up with a kick to the back. Sato fights back, Fujiwara is prone on the floor and Sato goes for a splash but only gets a two, followed up by a brainbuster and another nearfall, he then goes for what looks like a modified Michinoku Driver and gets the win.
Masanobu Fuchi & Osamu Nishimura vs. Takao Omori & Atsushi Maruyama
At the young age of 42, Atsushi Maruyama is the youngest in this tag team match. He starts against Masanobu Fuchi, who always looks to be having a good time in the ring lately. Maruyama uses a closed fist against Fuchi, as does Omori after he’s tagged in. Both get heckled for it. Fuchi tags in Nishimura. Omori and Nishimura lock up and quickly go to the mat but it breaks down and they trade uppercuts, they both go off the ropes and tease an abdominal stretch but it’s Nishimura who locks it in. Omori gets out and tags Maruyama back in as is Fuchi.
Fuchi uses closed fists on Maruyama but is applauded by the audience. Fuchi scoop slams Maruyama and just so Omori doesn’t feel left out, he gets one too. He does one more scoop slam to Maruyama and tags in his partner. Nishimura misses a diving knee from the top and Maruyama locks in a figure four. Fuchi deals with Omori and then rolls over Maruyama so the pressure affects him, in doing so, Maruyama submits.
Atsushi Aoki & Ishikiri vs. Yohei Nakajima & Ultimo Dragon
This is billed as a prelude match to Atsushi Aoki’s Junior Heavyweight title defence against Yohei Nakajima which is coming up on the Dynamite tour.
Nakajima goes straight for Aoki, but Aoki gets the better of it. They trade forearms and Nakajima tags out. So does Aoki as he is mainly focused on Nakajima. Ishikiri faces off against Ultimo Dragon. Ultimo is in control until Ishikiri gets an arm drag which is followed up by a dropkick which sends Ultimo to the floor. He’s not impressed and comes back in a bit meaner than before, as he delivers a spinning heel kick to Ishikiri, he tags in Nakajima and they double team him but only get a two count.
Its back to Aoki vs Nakajima, who trade strikes. Nakajima gets a nice dropkick and follows it up with a double foot stomp from the top but only gets a two. Aoki follows up with a back suplex and a piledriver, but still only a nearfall as Dragon breaks the pin. Dragon and Ishikiri are both tagged back in. Aoki breaks up a submission attempt from Ultimo, Ishikiri goes for a roll up but Ultimo Dragon kicks out. Aoki and Nakajima fight outside as Ultimo Dragon ties up Ishikiri and rolls him up for the 3 count.
Post-match, Aoki and Nakajima get into it a little bit.
Zeus & Black Tiger VII vs. TAJIRI & Yoshitatsu
This was a decent match which went back and forth between both teams with Zeus looking dominant. Yoshitatsu seems reinvigorated in All Japan, he looks to be enjoying himself. I feel like this match was mainly to build up Zeus, as most offense he took from TAJIRI and Yoshitatsu he countered with big moves or double clotheslines to the pair of them.
He and Black Tiger VII had one nice sequence towards the end as Zeus Chokeslammed Yoshitatsu and Black Tiger followed it up with a Shining Wizard, TAJIRI broke the pinfall attempt. As Zeus dealt with TAJIRI, Yoshitatsu got the win on Black Tiger after a Codebreaker.
The teams for Junior Tag Battle of Glory was announced, the tournament will run in August. I’ll report the teams in this week’s edition of Puroresu Weekly Recap which will either be Wednesday or Thursday.
World Tag Prelude: Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa, Hikaru Sato vs. Jake Lee, Ryoji Sai & Koji Iwamoto
This is billed as a prelude to the World Tag defence that’s lined up when the Violent Giants challenge Dylan James and Ryouji Sai for the belts, but it serves another purpose, to strengthen the newly founded stable fronted by Jake Lee.
Suwama and co were in control for much of the match, the chops he landed on poor Iwamoto at times looked insanely painful. Violent Giants really worked as a cohesive unit, beating down on Lee at one stage with a series of lariats.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the belts but they were on the losing side as the match boiled down to Lee and Sato, Lee got in his pinning Backdrop for the win.
All Asia Tag Championship Match: 104th Champions, Jun Akiyama & Yuji Nagata vs. Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi
Yuji Nagata hasn’t wrestled on a NJPW tour since the start of May, his most recent match was on the 15th of May at Lions Gate, and so it’s great as a Nagata fan to see him here with Akiyama at the Korakuen Hall.
The young team really took it to the veteran pairing of Akiyama & Nagata, but the more you take it to these two, the more you piss them off and neither of them play nice. Everything Nomura & Aoyagi did to them outside and inside the ring was repaid back to them twofold.
The final sequence sticks out, Nagata has a Nagata Lock applied as Nomura inches towards the ropes. Gets the rope break, Nagata lands a running knee and a brainbuster but only gets a 2 count. Nomura goes for a spear too many times and Nagata raises his knee, Nagata wins it after a Backdrop Hold.
2nd successful defence.
Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship Match: 60th Champion: Kento Miyahara vs. Dylan James
Given the empty seats in the Korakuen it could be said that the AJPW faithful don’t buy into Dylan James as a challenger for the prestigious belt and while majorly behind Kento Miyahara, he’s probably not quite seen as the top guy yet by all. Regardless, these two competitors whom I admire told a compelling story and put on a good show for the Korakuen audience.
Dylan James fills the big, bruising gaijin role perfectly and he played up to here, dominating much of the match and snuffing out much of Miyahara’s fight backs as quickly as they started, leaving the viewer wonder how could Miyahara pull off the victory and keep hold of his championship, he clawed for every bit of offence. He was thrown into guardrails, chokeslammed into the apron but he kept coming back only to me met with a thunderous chop.
The first Shutdown German Suplex attempt from Miyahara is quickly shot down by James, and you begin to wonder, if he can’t hit that, how can he win? James hits two massive lariats, only a nearfall, follows it up with another two, still only a nearfall.
James goes for a Chokeslam but Miyahara escapes and lands a German Suplex, only a two count. James goes for another two lariats but Miyahara still kicks out. James puts Miyahara down with a Powerbomb, as Miyahara kicks out, James is in disbelief.
Running knee to a standing James which rocks him, another to a kneeling James, nearfall. The crowd is behind Miyahara as he goes for his Shutdown German and gets it, it’s all over and it’s a successful defence for Miyahara.
Disappointing numbers given the recent quality of AJPW shows but hopefully that’ll improve as they build up their talent.
If you like what I do here on The Indy Corner, and if you feel inclined, feel free to donate via paypal on https://ko-fi.com/lukehickeypuroreviews