Saturday, April 20, 2019

All Japan Pro Wrestling 4/4/2019 - Champion Carnival 2019 Day 1

All Japan Pro Wrestling 4/4/2019 - Champion Carnival 2019 Day 1

Just want to throw this out there - I know everyone wants gifs. I want them too, but if I wait to gif stuff, I may never get around to it. Gifs and picks take a while to do, but if I have the review in already, I can always add onto it.

Daichi Hashimoto vs. Takashi Yoshida
Daichi is skinny fat and Yoshida is the former Cyber Kong. He is not looking good these days. Daichi has good kicks just like his dad and Yoshida loves to poke the throat. His whole offense is built around it. Daichi had a nice running knee into the corner and some decent kicks, but it wasn't enough. Yoshida knocked down the female ref then misted Daichi for a nearfall 2 count. He then hit a big running lariat for the pin. Yoshida really is a strange one and this match was just so so. He didn't do enough to really get the heat on Daichi and since Daichi was losing, he wasn't really allowed the big comeback.

Jake Lee vs Naoya Nomura

Naoya has great music and is a good looking dude. I never saw Jake Lee before but I had always assumed he was an American indy shitter. Kobashi is at the booth and he looks thinner than ever. Both of these guys are over 6 foot, and trust me, you notice it. They traded strikes early. Lee hit a big boot to the face on the outside. They fooled around out there for a bit which added nothing. This was really all over the place with no real story that I could see  Nomura was having trouble making the count after a boot on the floor and for some reason, Lee brought him back in. Why? Lee took a nasty german on his head then popped back up and hit a gamengiri. Nomura hit an awesome flurry of forearms then Lee popped him back one good to slow him down. Nomura hit another one before hitting a high angle Northern Lights Bomb.Lee hit a running knee for a big nearfall. Nomura then slapped on a double underhook submission and then a ground abdominal stretch with extra pressure on the neck to win this. The first half really wasn't that good, but the second half really picked up towards the end and gave us an exciting finish with the crowd being super into it.

Atsushi Aoki vs Kento Miyahara

The crowd LOVES Aoki while Kento is unimpressed. Kento has a really good look and kind of looks like a different version of Tanahashi or Naito. They did a strike exchange early with Aoki hitting a high dropkick. Kento flexes for the cameras and hit a crossface around the post while sticking his tongue out. The ref Wada pulled at his hair to stop him. Aoki locked Kento out of the ring area with the guardrails to try and count him out then threw a chair at him. Kento hit a delayed high angle NLB which I've never seen before. Aoki hit a tope onto Kento on the outside, then climbed a guardrail while he put him on the chair. He then suplexed him onto the floor which is again something I haven't seen before. Kento hit some real cocky looking offense to loud AOKI chants. They rushed through a bunch of moves including a jumping piledriver on Kento. Crowd is still losing their stuff over Aoki, who survives three shotgun knees. Kento hits a delayed high german for 2. Kento then hit a straightjacket delayed german for the win. The crowd loved this and I guess that all that really matters here. They were into Aoki all the way and I have no idea why they didn't just let Aoki get the win. They rushed through stuff here but it was definitely entertaining. The story was all about Aoki trying various ways to pull this out and being the fighting underdog. Good stuff.

Joe Doering vs Suwama
Suwama is in the all blue attire here and I don't know about that. This is a much slower one here with Joe just being a hoss of a guy right now. Joe chokes Suwama on the outside and yells to the ref while he counts, "I got 10 mf'er". I don't like Joe's clubbing forearms at all as he doesn't really lay it in. Suwama hit a big belly to belly. They trade lariats and Suwama flurrys with double chops before hitting a german on Joe, who pops back up. Joe gets this crazy look in his eyes. Suwama sends Joe flying into the ropes with a running dropkick followed by a big backdrop. Suwama then choked Joe out with the sleeper in a surprise finish. This was much slower paced than the other matches on the show when for the time it got, it probably should have been faster. This was still okay though but they did need to pick up the pace on various moves.

Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuji Okabayashi

Ishikawa has gotten in shape and looks like a beast. Yuji wins the battle of the shoulder blocks. Ishikawa suplexed Yuji from the outside onto the apron and he took a hard spill down. Shuji then double stomped him from the apron. Shuji then stood on him for further punishment. They get back in and Shuji slaps him on the back of the head which gets him mad. Yuji clubs him before taking a knee and being stopped. Yuji takes more double stomps and some NASTY forearms. You could just hear the thuds. Yuji counters with a beefy spear and I'm loving all of this. Yuji then DEADLIFTS him from the suplex position while he was on the ground and eats another nasty knee to the liver. Shuji goes for a running knee on a downed Yuji and Yuji grabs his knee and torture racks him. Yuji OVERHEAD throws him!! And then they trade strikes. Yuji hits some of the hardest chops ever before a major wind up lariat. Shuji hits a top rope suplex and the ring just shakes, but unfortunately Yuji pops right back up. He gets folded in half with a huge german and then pops up again like a madman, which I didn't like. They rush at each other with lariats and both go down. Crowd's loving it. They slow it down with Shuji curbstomping Yuji into the bottom turnbuckle and then hitting a reverse cobra clutch on him. Yuji gets dumped on his head with a dragon and then eats a giant running knee. Shuji hit a sitout tombstone for 2. They trade strikes again with Yuji winning it. Yuji then gets spike tombstoned on the apron, but doesn't sell it much. They botch a single leg powerbomb which is understable due to Shuji's size. Yuji takes him down with a lariat and then wins with a splash off the top. The match was longer than it needed to be, Yuji didn't sell enough and they did a little too much. The first half of the this was seriously on track for MOTY status, but despite still being good, the second half just wasn't good enough. Still a great match, with these two having a great hoss matchup. It doesn't get too much better than this.

Overall thoughts: AJPW is back baby. Hoss Carnival 2019 is right up my alley and this was such a breath of fresh air from the lightweight crap. Fantastic night of action and I loved this show. More AJPW to come after this!

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