review by Kevin Wilson
Date: February 8th, 2014
Location: Osaka, Japan
Announced Attendance: 791
And we are on to Day 2 of the Jr. Battle of Glory. Day 1 was a bit of a disappointment to me, so here is to hoping that Day 2 brings the goods. This event also has an All Japan World Tag Team Championship match in the main event with some quality wrestlers, so the potential is there for All Japan to bounce back from the show a few days ago. The second match was missing from where I got the event, not sure if it wasn’t taped or just wasn’t put up but it wasn’t a tournament match so I wasn’t worried about it. Here are the matches I will be reviewing:
- Jr. Battle of Glory - Block B: Takao Soma vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Atsushi Aoki vs. Keisuke Ishii
- KENSO and Mitsuya Nagai vs. Ryuji Hijikata and SUSHI
- Jr. Battle of Glory - Block B: Hikaru Sato vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
- Akebono, Yutaka Yoshie, and Shigehiro Irie vs. Go Shiozaki, Kento Miyahara, and Kaji Tomato
- Jr. Battle of Glory - Block A: Kotaro Suzuki vs. Ultimo Dragon
- All Japan World Tag Team Championship: Suwama and Joe Doering vs. Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori
Let’s get straight to it.
Takao Soma vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
This match is part of the Jr. Battle of Glory. Tie-up to start, Soma pushes Kanemaru into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Tie-up again, side headlock by Kanemaru, Soma Irish whips out of it but Kanemaru shoulderblocks him down. Kanemaru goes off the ropes but Soma catches him with a dropkick. Kanemaru returns to his feet, club to the back by Soma and he kicks Kanemaru into the corner. Irish whip, reversed, but Soma kicks Kanemaru when he charges in. Soma goes for a missile dropkick but Kanemaru side steps it and throws Soma out of the ring. Kanemaru goes out after him and throws Soma into the guard rail. He throws Soma into the guard rail again before removing part of the mat at ringside. Kanemaru picks up Soma and scoop slams him on the cement floor. Kanemaru gets back into the ring with Soma slowly following, kicks to the back by Kanemaru and he slams Soma in front of the corner. Kanemaru picks up Soma, Irish whip, and he hits a back bodydrop. Crab hold by Kanemaru but Soma gets a hand in the ropes. Cover by Kanemaru but Soma kicks out. Kanemaru picks up Soma, elbow by Soma but Kanemaru elbows him back. Irish whip by Kanemaru, reversed, and Soma hits an elbow smash. Kanemaru gets up in the corner, Soma charges him but Kanemaru moves. Kick to the stomach by Soma and he hits a double stomp to Kanemaru’s back followed by a DDT. Cover, but it gets a two count. Soma goes up to the top turnbuckle but Kanemaru punches him while he is up there and throws him off. Running kick by Kanemaru and he hits a lariat in the corner. Scoop slam by Kanemaru in front of the corner and he hits a split-legged moonsault. Cover, but Soma kicks out. Kanemaru picks up Soma and goes for a suplex but Soma lands on his feet and hits a hurricanrana for a two count. Kanemaru goes off the ropes but Soma kicks him twice in the head. Cover, but again it gets two. Soma goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but Kanemaru gets a shoulder up. Soma gets Kanemaru on his shoulders and hits the Schwein, cover, but it gets another two count. Soma picks up Kanemaru but Kanemaru gets away and the two trade elbows. Uppercut by Kanemaru but Soma hits an enzigieri, he goes for another hurricanrana but Kanemaru powerbombs him. Kanemaru goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits the Touch Out, cover, but Soma kicks out. Kanemaru picks up Soma and drops him with a brainbuster, cover, but it also gets two. Kanemaru goes for a second one but Soma sneaks in an inside cradle for a two count. Lariat by Kanemaru, he picks up Soma and hits the Touch Out. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Match Thoughts: A decent opener. I liked that Soma just ran through all of his moves at one point, sometimes that doesn’t work as it reeks of having no creativity, but against a ‘better’ foe that could finish him at any time it made sense he would just start throwing bombs instead of going for limb work. Kanemaru gave him a lot and it really was feasible that Kanemaru could lose, these things do happen in tournaments and that last inside cradle would have been a realistic ending as well. Too short to be amazing or anything, but a solid way to start the show. Score: 6.0
Atsushi Aoki vs. Keisuke Ishii
Ishii gets a single leg takedown to start the match and applies a kneelock. Aoki gets out of it and applies a crossface, but Ishii gets to the ropes to force a break. Stomp to the back by Aoki, he picks up Ishii and throws him into the corner. Irish whip by Aoki, he gets a running start and hits a lariat in the corner. Cover, but it gets a two count. Aoki picks up Ishii and goes for a suplex but Ishii lands on his feet and hits a missile dropkick. Ishii picks up Aoki, Irish whip, and Ishii hits an armdrag followed by a senton. Cover, but Aoki kicks out. Ishii picks up Aoki but Aoki hits an uppercut, headscissors takedown by Ishii and he keeps the hold applied on the mat. Aoki gets out of it and applies a crab hold, but Ishii makes it to the ropes. Back up Ishii hits a somersault kick to the back by Aoki followed by a German suplex hold, but it gets a two count. Ishii waits for Aoki to get up and goes for a heel kick but Aoki moves out of the way and hits a lariat. Aoki goes off the ropes but Ishii hits him in the stomach and hits an enzigieri. Ishii goes off the ropes but he is pulled out of the ring by Nagai. KENSO throws Ishii into the guard rail and then Nagai throws him into the ring post. Aoki looks on from inside the ring while the referee calls for the bell, declaring the match a No Contest.
Match Thoughts: Kind of a waste, the point was that Aoki was invited to join KENSO’s Dark KingDom (he declined), but the match really wasn’t bad up to that point. Ishii was getting some good offense in and while Aoki was doing better it was a far more even match-up than I was expecting. Maybe the two will get a chance to have a real match together at some point so we can see what they can do. Score: 5.0
KENSO and Mitsuya Nagai vs. Ryuji Hijikata and SUSHI
KENSO and Nagai naturally attack their opponents before the match starts and throw them out of the ring. They battle on the outside with KENSO slapping people and Nagai throwing them into guard rails, KENSO gets in the ring and sails out onto SUSHI with a pescado. Nagai rolls SUSHI into the ring and he applies a reverse chinlock. Elbow to the head by Nagai, cover, but it gets a two count. Nagai picks up SUSHI and throws him into the corner before tagging in KENSO. KENSO pushes SUSHI into the neutral corner and slaps him in the face. Another slap by KENSO, he puts SUSHI onto the top turnbuckle and tries to take off his mask. KENSO pulls SUSHI back down as SUSHI tries to get his mask back on, KENSO picks up SUSHI, Irish whip to the corner but SUSHI flips himself out to the apron. SUSHI goes for a swandive move but KENSO hits him before he can jump off. Nagai knocks SUSHI back into the ring, KENSO picks up him, Irish whip, and KENSO hits a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nagai is tagged in, he picks up SUSHI and applies an abdominal stretch. Hijikata comes in and breaks up the hold, Nagai tags in KENSO and KENSO cuts off SUSHI before he can tag Hijikata. Slap by KENSO to SUSHI, he stomps him and gives SUSHI another slap. They trade blows which KENSO gets the better of but SUSHI returns to his feet and they go at it again. KENSO grabs SUSHI and goes for a suplex but SUSHI blocks it. Slap by KENSO and he goes for another suplex, but SUSHI blocks it and hits a suplex of his own. SUSHI makes the hot tag to Hijikata, Hijikata kicks Nagai off the apron, throws KENSO into the corner and delivers a high kick. Single arm suplex by Hijikata and he kicks KENSO in the back. Cover, but it gets a two count. Hijikata picks up KENSO, snapmare, he goes off the ropes but Nagai knees him from the apron. Nagai then comes in the ring, he picks up Hijikata and hits an elbow strike in the corner. Big boot by KENSO, cover, but SUSHI breaks it up. KENSO goes up to the top turnbuckle but Hijikata recovers and joins KENSO up top. Superplex by Hijikata and SUSHI hits a diving headbutt onto KENSO. Cover by Hijikata, but Nagai breaks it up. SUSHI throws Nagai out of the ring, Hijikata picks up KENSO and hits the Fisherman Buster. Cover, but KENSO kicks out. Hijikata picks up KENSO again but KENSO fights back and they trade kicks. KENSO takes off his belt and chokes Hijikata with it before hitting a brainbuster. Cover, but Hijikata kicks out at two. Hagakure by KENSO, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: KENSO and Mitsuya Nagai
Match Thoughts: This was a Dark KingDom match through and through. Each tag match I have seen with them follows the same basic pattern, with the only difference occasionally being the ending. KENSO is an interesting character as his offense is predictable but he does his character so well that it is hard to hate on him too much. Nagai seems like an odd pairing with him though and the Jr. Heavyweight team just seemed really overmatched. Not what I would consider a bad match as it did its goal in giving KingDom a win, but certainly nothing overly interesting. Score: 5.5
Hikaru Sato vs. Masaaki Mochizuki
This match is part of the Jr. Battle of Glory. Sato slaps Mochizuki to start the match and Mochizuki slaps Sato back, sending him to the mat. Sato gets back up and slaps Mochizuki but again it is Mochizuki’s slap that is the more effective one. Another slap by Sato but Mochizuki returns fire, kick by Sato and a snapmare, and he kicks Mochizuki in the back. Sato then sits down so that Mochizuki can kick him in the back as well. Kicks to the leg by Mochizuki and Sato rolls out of the ring. Sato returns after a moment, kicks to the leg by Mochizuki but Sato catches one and applies a cross kneelock. Mochizuki gets out of the hold and stomps on Sato, he picks him up and hits a kneebreaker before kicking Sato in the leg. Stomp to the leg by Mochizuki, he picks up Sato and goes for an Irish whip, but Sato blocks it. Mochizuki finally gets the Irish whip, reversed, but Mochizuki kicks Sato as he charges in. Mochizuki goes off the ropes and hits a big boot, Sato then goes off the ropes and does a big boot as well. Both wrestlers go off the ropes and kick each other, they trade more kicks until a high kick by Sato sends Mochizuki to the mat. Kicks to the chest by Sato, Irish whip, and Sato connects with a running kick in the corner. Suplex by Sato, cover, but it gets a two count. Sato applies a cross armbreaker but Mochizuki is by the ropes and forces a break. Kick to the arm by Sato but Mochizuki fires back with kicks to the leg and they trade shots. Slap by Mochizuki but Sato ducks the second one and goes for the arm. Mochizuki kicks Sato back but Sato hits a backdrop suplex. Cover by Sato, but it gets two. Sato goes off the ropes and kicks Mochizuki in the chest. He kicks Mochizuki a second time, and a third, but Mochizuki ducks the fourth and hits a leg sweep. Kicks by Mochizuki, cover, but Sato get a shoulder up and applies the cross armbreaker. Mochizuki blocks Sato from fully locking it in and rolls through it, applying an ankle hold. Sato rolls through the ankle hold and goes back to the arm. Mochizuki rolls out of that and re-applies the ankle hold, but Sato gets back and up and elbows out of the hold. Kick combination by Mochizuki ending with the Shin Saikyou High Kick, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Masaaki Mochizuki
Match Thoughts: Didn’t really like this one. First of all I don’t mind strike battles but sitting down and letting your opponent kick you in the back is stupid. The strategy was also all over the place… Mochizuki targets the leg upper leg while, he stops, Sato stops selling it, Mochizuki out of nowhere starts applying ankle holds and then wins with a kick to the head. It was just really random. Sato definitely got some good offense in but it also lacked focus. Just an odd match and it just never seemed to click. Score: 3.5
Akebono, Yutaka Yoshie, and Shigehiro Irie vs. Go Shiozaki, Kento Miyahara, and Kaji Tomato
Akebono and Shiozaki start things off. They jockey for position to start, slap by Akebono but Shiozaki hits him back. Shiozaki applies a side headlock, Akebono Irish whips out of it and hits a shoulderblock, but Shiozaki responses with a leg sweep. Akebono tags in Yoshie and Shiozaki tags in Miyahara. Miyahara and Yoshie circle each other, tie-up, but Yoshie pushes Miyahara off. Side headlock by Miyahara, Yoshie Irish whips out of it and they collide with neither man going down. Miyahara goes off the ropes and hits a jumping elbow but Yoshie responds with a shoulderblock, sending Miyahara to the mat. Miyahara gets back up, tie-up, Yoshie pushes Miyahara into the corner and he tags in Irie. Tomato is tagged in as well, tie-up, side headlock by Irie, Tomato Irish whips out of it but Irie shoulderblocks him down. Irie goes off the ropes, knee by Tomato and an Irish whip, and Tomato hits a springboard dropkick. Tomato tags in Shiozaki, and Shiozaki elbows Irie in the back of the head. Irie elbows Shiozaki back, chops by Shiozaki and he throws Irie out of the ring. Miyahara greets him out there and he throws Irie into the guard rail before slamming him out on the floor. Akebono lumbers over while Miyahara grabs Irie and throws him to Shiozaki, who chops Irie in the chest. Shiozaki now grabs Irie and slams him into the apron and the ring post. Shiozaki gets back in the ring and Irie follows, and Shiozaki knees Irie in the back of the head. Shiozaki picks up Irie, Irish whip, and Shiozaki delivers a dropkick. Back up, chop to the face by Shiozaki, Irish whip, but Irie headbutts Shiozaki. This gives him time to tag in Yoshie, Yoshie picks up Shiozaki, Irish whip to the corner but Shiozaki falls to the mat. Running splash by Yoshie and he hits the running hip attack. Yoshie picks up Shiozaki, snapmare, and he hits a rolling senton. Cover, but it only gets two.
Yoshie picks up Shiozaki and goes for a scoop slam but Shiozaki gets out of it and hits a backdrop suplex. Lariat by Shiozaki but Yoshie comes back with one of his own and both wrestlers are down. Yoshie rolls to his corner and tags in Irie while Tomato is also tagged in, Irish whip by Tomato, reversed, and Tomato hits a jumping forearm strike. Tomato charges Irie in the corner but Irie catches him as he jumps in and hits a vertical suplex. Cover, but Tomato kicks out. Irie picks up Tomato and hits an elbow, Irish whip from the corner and he hits a running lariat. Irie goes off the ropes but Tomato catches him with an inside cradle for a two count. Enzigieri by Tomato and he tags in Miyahara. Irish whip by Miyahara from the corner but Irie shoulder blocks him as he charges in. Atomic drop by Miyahara followed by a Northern Lights Suplex, but it gets a two count. Miyahara picks up Irie but Irie elbows him off. The two trade elbows, Irish whip by Irie but Miyahara dropkicks him in the knee and then in the head. Tomato and Shiozaki run in the ring to knock Akebono and Yoshie off the apron, while in the ring Miyahara hits a jumping knee in the corner. Sit-down powerbomb by Miyahara to Irie, cover, but Yoshie comes in to break it up. Miyahara picks up Irie and goes for a German suplex but Irie grabs the ropes to block it. Miyahara kicks his arm off but Yoshie comes in the ring and hits a body splash to Miyahara. Irie tags in Akebono, Irish whip by Akebono to the corner and he smashes Miyahara. Elbow drop by Akebono, cover, but it gets two. Akebono goes off the ropes but Miyahara rolls out of the way of the body press and kicks Akebono twice in the head. He goes off the ropes but Akebono catches him with a lariat. Body Press by Akebono, cover, but Shiozaki breaks it up. Yoshie and Shiozaki trade strikes as Shiozaki hits Akebono s well, but Akebono knocks him back. Akebono picks up Miyahara and throws him in the corner with Shiozaki, and he splashes both of them. Akebono picks up Miyahara and hits the Yokozuna Impact, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Akebono, Yutaka Yoshie, and Shigehiro Irie
Match Thoughts: A perfectly acceptable six man tag match but nothing that will rock your world. The wrestlers played their roles well and I liked that Irie continues to get respect from some of the bigger stars as Shiozaki really sold the headbutt. This is literally the best use for Akebono, he wasn’t in the ring much but he always left an impact when he did. Tomato was an after-thought here and wasn’t needed at all. Definitely had a few fun parts within it so not a bad match overall even if it wasn’t really memorable. Score: 6.0
Kotaro Suzuki vs. Ultimo Dragon
This match is part of the Jr. Battle of Glory. They lock knuckles to start the match, Suzuki pushes Ultimo Dragon to his knees but Ultimo Dragon rolls through it and hits a spinning headscissors. Ultimo Dragon hits a second handstand headscissors but Suzuki gets a foot on the ropes. Both men return to their feet, tie-up, side headlock by Suzuki, Ultimo Dragon Irish whips out of it but Suzuki shoulderblocks him down. Back kick by Ultimo Dragon but Suzuki rolls through the snapmare, he goes for a back bodydrop but Ultimo Dragon lands on his feet and both wrestlers miss dropkicks. Knees by Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip, and Ultimo Dragon hits a back elbow. Cover, but it gets a two count. Elbow drop to the back by Ultimo Dragon and he twists up Suzuki to apply a submission hold. Ultimo Dragon slams Suzuki's knee into the mat, he grabs his leg and does it a second time. Ultimo Dragon applies an ankle hold but Suzuki gets to the ropes to force a break. Ultimo Dragon picks up Suzuki and applies a hammerlock, rolling Suzuki to the mat and applies a headscissors. Suzuki gets a foot on the ropes to get out of the hold and he rolls out of the ring, Ultimo Dragon goes out to the apron and tries to kick Suzuki back but Suzuki grabs his leg and pulls Ultimo Dragon to the floor. Suzuki grabs Ultimo Dragon and Irish whips him into the guard rail. Elbows to the chest by Suzuki and he slides Ultimo Dragon into the ring. Suzuki picks up Ultimo Dragon and he kicks Ultimo Dragon into the corner. Suzuki picks up Ultimo Dragon, snapmare, and Suzuki hits a senton. Cover, but it gets two.
Suzuki picks up Ultimo Dragon and elbows him against the ropes, Irish whip by Suzuki and he goes for a handspring elbow strike but Ultimo Dragon dropkicks him in the back. Irish whip by Ultimo Dragon but Suzuki kicks him, Suzuki goes for a vertical suplex but Ultimo Dragon blocks it. Vertical suplex by Suzuki and he hits a jumping knee in the corner. Diving knee drop by Suzuki from the corner, cover, but it gets a two count. Waistlock by Suzuki, Ultimo Dragon elbows out of it but Suzuki hits a Tiger Feint Kick. La Magistral by Suzuki but it gets a two count. Suzuki picks up Ultimo Dragon and goes for the Blue Destiny buy Ultimo Dragon hits an armdrag to get out of it. Suzuki goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ultimo Dragon dropkicks Suzuki. Kicks by Ultimo Dragon, Irish whip, and he hits a dropkick followed by a back bodydrop. Ultimo Dragon waits for Suzuki to get up and delivers a kick combination, he goes for the Asai DDT but Suzuki gets in a small package for a two count. Sunset flip by Suzuki but that gets a two count as well. Victory roll by Ultimo Dragon, but Suzuki kicks out. Hurricanrana by Ultimo Dragon, but it gets a two count. Ultimo Dragon goes off the ropes but Suzuki punches him back and hits a series of elbows. Cover, but it gets two. Suzuki goes off the ropes and elbows Ultimo Dragon but Ultimo Dragon dropkicks him in the knee and hits La Magistral for a two count. Roaring elbow by Suzuki, cover, but Ultimo Dragon kicks out at two. Suzuki picks up Ultimo Dragon and hits a Tiger Driver, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Kotaro Suzuki
Match Thoughts: A really good match that seemed to end somewhat suddenly. Even though the match had enough time on paper, it felt like it could have used another ten minutes as there didn't seem to be a lot of real damage done in the match. They went from the opening submissions to mid-level offense straight to quick pins. It was almost like 20% of the match was missing. But what they did was fine, Ultimo Dragon is a veteran and controlled the mat game and Suzuki timed his comebacks well. I am sure these guys have had or will have a longer match that maybe will feel more complete. Score: 6.5
(c) Suwama and Joe Doering vs. Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori
This match is for the All Japan World Tag Team Championship. Omori and Suwama start things off, Omori pushes Omori into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Waistlock by Suwama but Omori reverses it into an armbar, Suwama pushes Omori into the ropes and chops him in the chest. Omori chops him back and they trade blows back and forth, Suwama pushes Omori into the ropes and he tags in Doering. Doering punches Omori in the corner and applies a front facelock, but Omori pushes back to his corner and tags in Akiyama. Akiyama and Doering trade elbows, drop toehold by Akiyama and he applies a facelock but Doering gets to the ropes. Akiyama and Doering tie-up, Doering pushes Akiyama into the corner and knees him in the midsection. Doering tags in Suwama, Akiyama fights them off but they Irish whip Akiyama and hit a double shoulderblock. Suwama picks up Akiyama and kicks him in the stomach before hitting a belly to belly suplex. Suwama goes out to the floor and pulls Akiyama out with him, throwing Akiyama into the railing. Suwama charges Akiyama but Akiyama hits a drop toehold, sending Suwama into the guard rail. Omori and Doering come over and start fighting as well, and Akiyama throws Suwama into the guard rail before sliding him back into the ring. Akiyama then gets on the apron and hits a knee drop onto the back of Suwama’ s head. Akiyama picks up Suwama and knees him in the back of the head before throwing him back into the ring. Cover by Akiyama, but it gets a two count. Akiyama tags in Omori, and Omori chop Suwama in the chest. More strikes by Omori and he hits a piledriver. Cover, but Doering breaks it up. Omori picks up Suwama and punches him into the corner, Akiyama comes in the ring too, double Irish whip by Suwama avoids Omori’s kick and hits a shoulderblock to Akiyama.
Capture suplex by Suwama to Omori and he tags in Doering, Doering punches Omori in the corner, Irish whip, and he hits a lariat. Another lariat by Doering and he hits an elbow drop for a two count cover. Doering picks up Omori and hits a delayed suplex, cover, but again it gets two. Doering grabs Suwama and goes for a powerbomb but Omori reverses it with a back bodydrop. They both go off the ropes and lariat each other twice, but Omori then hits a backdrop suplex. Omori tags in Akiyama, Akiyama Irish whips Doering into the corner and hits a jumping knee. Running knee strike by Akiyama, cover, but it gets a two count. Akiyama goes for an exploder but Doering elbows him off. Irish whip by Akiyama, reversed, but Akiyama kicks Doering back and hits a knee off the second turnbuckle. Akiyama goes up to the top turnbuckle but Doering has recovered and joins him. Superplex by Doering and he tags in Suwama. Suwama kicks Akiyama in the corner, Irish whip, and he hits a lariat. Running shoulder powerslam by Suwama, cover, but it gets a two count. Suwama goes for the Last Ride but Akiyama blocks it, they trade elbows and chops, Irish whip by Suwama, reversed, Suwama goes for a shoulderblock but Akiyama hits a knee. Exploder by Akiyama but Suwama is up and hits a German suplex. Akiyama comes back with another exploder and a sliding knee strike. Akiyama tags in Omori, Omori goes off the ropes but Suwama kicks him in the face. Full nelson slam by Omori, cover, but it only gets a two count. Omori picks up Suwama and hits him into the corner, Irish whip, reversed, but Omori kicks Suwama back. Omori goes off the ropes but Suwama boots him in the face, Suwama goes off the ropes but Omori returns the favor. Omori chops Suwama, Irish whip, reversed, but Doering lariats Omori from the apron. Doering pulls Omori out of the ring with him and stomps him in the chest, until Akiyama comes around and stops him.
Doering throws Akiyama into the guard rail and then Suwama drops Akiyama with a DDT. Doering throws Omori back into the ring and goes in as well, double Irish whip to Omori and they hit a double dropkick. Cover by Suwama but it gets two. Suwama picks up Omori and hits a backdrop suplex, cover, but it also gets two as Akiyama breaks it up. Doering comes in and picks up Akiyama while Suwama picks up Omori, they go for stereo powerbombs but both are reversed as Omori hits the Axe Guillotine Driver and Akiyama applies a front facelock followed by a knee strike. Akiyama hits a jumping knee onto Suwama in the corner and Omori follows with a lariat. Omori puts Suwama onto the top turnbuckle and joins him, and Omori hits an avalanche backdrop suplex. Cover, but Doering breaks it up. Omori and Akiyama grab Doering, double Irish whip and they hit a double shoulderblock. Elbow by Omori onto Suwama in the corner and Akiyama hits a running knee strike. Axe Bomber by Omori, cover, but Suwama barely gets a shoulder up. Omori goes off the ropes but Suwama blocks the lariat, Irish whip by Omori but Suwama hits a lariat of his own. Doering comes in the ring, he puts Omori on his shoulders and hits the Death Valley Bomb. Omori gets up in the corner and Doering hits a running lariat. Doering helps up Suwama and Suwama hits a lariat in the corner as well. Doering picks up Omori and with Suwama they hit a double fallaway slam. Suwama drags Omori to the middle of the ring and hits an elbow drop. Cover, but Akiyama breaks it up. Suwama waits for Omori to get up and hits a lariat, but Omori absorbs the blow. Roaring lariat by Suwama, he goes off the ropes and hits one more. Backdrop suplex by Suwama, cover, but Omori kicks out. Suwama picks up Omori and drops him with the Last Ride, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners and still champions: Suwama and Jun Akiyama
Match Thoughts: A good heavyweight slugfest that kept the action coming (although to be fair they clipped out stuff somewhere since the match I saw didn’t match the overall match time). I like that the referee gives wrestlers some leeway in Japan, it is a title match after all… I don’t want to see tons of weapons used or something but the tag rules were definitely lax which I think is fine. Suwama and Doering work together really well but Akiyama always seemed to be around to help Omori, even if ultimately Omori did get pinned. Suwama did a good job at appearing to be out and done until Doering came in to clear the ring/help him up which really helped put over the damage that Omori was doing. Quality clubbin’, it stopped well short of being a classic but was an entertaining match overall. Score: 7.5
Best Match: Suwama and Joe Doering vs. Jun Akiyama and Takao Omori. The title match delivered about as well as it could and over-shadowed the Jr. Heavyweight matches. While the Jr. Heavyweights seem to be holding back, these four did not as they were hitting each other with everything that they had. They are all pretty familiar with each other at this point and it was a smooth and well-structured match from start to finish. A recommendation to check it out.
MVP: Suwama. Between his general selling and convincing offense, Suwama came out of the main event looking the best. Suwama is still the ace of All Japan, I just seem to be the only one that remembers. Hopefully All Japan will remember at some point as well.
Overall: While I continue to be a bit disappointed with the tournament matches, they were better than the last event and the main event helped elevate the card as well. The Jr. Heavyweights in the tournament just seem to be holding back and I don’t know why, this is their chance to shine and they simple aren’t taking it. But almost all the matches on this card were above average and the main event was quality, so this wouldn’t be the worse event to pick up.
Back to All Japan Event Reviews
review completed 4/7/14