Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Results 121 to 144 of 144

Thread: All Japan Pro Wrestling Discussion

  1. #121
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    how did Ultimo Dragon look?
    He seemed to do pretty well, especially for a 51-year-old who's been wrestling for over 30 years. It's tough to say, based on Kikuchi's performance. I also haven't seen much of Ultimo Dragon at any point of his career, so I can't gauge how he's doing at this point in his career.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    Maybe the Zeus leg thing will be a way to keep him from winning in the end after fighting through a bunch of big matches? Could be an interesting long term story there.
    That's a good way to book it. It didn't seem like it in his match against Yoshitatsu the next day, though. Despite his leg/knee still being taped up, it didn't come into play at all. His next match is tomorrow against Dylan James, so we'll see if something comes out of it.

  2. #122
    Squared
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern England, UK
    Posts
    6,494
    Haven't taken the plunge on the service just yet so the only match I've been able to find thus far was Miyahara vs Shingo Takagi. Was enjoying it until the latter decided to pop up from a suplex like it was a run of the mill hip toss or something. Was a shame but in the moment it really took me out of it and unfortunately I never really got it back. Oh well. The result certainly keeps things quite interesting.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  3. #123
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    Pete, I'm sorry to say but fighting spirit no-sell spots are something you're absolutely guaranteed to encounter in Japanese wrestling. I'm not a big fan of it either but it's deeply embedded in the style.

  4. #124
    Squared
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern England, UK
    Posts
    6,494
    Oh yeah, I've seen enough of that lately to get that. I prefer a bit of acting to try and mitigate it or to just see it on moves that are a bit less high impact, and then I can just about swallow it. But done like this it's totally my biggest problem with the style, and it's not even really a marker of quality - I've seen hugely respected guys pull it, too.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  5. #125
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    I think if you are truly great, you can pull it off. It's part of what made the Pillars so good. Misawa in particular was amazing at absorbing damage and somehow selling it and gutting it out with more big moves at the same time. A lot of what you see now is, on some level, influenced by that, as I'm sure you know, but most aren't good enough to pull it off so well. Some don't even seem to try!

  6. #126
    Squared
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern England, UK
    Posts
    6,494
    Here's an attendance breakdown based around the last night of Champion Carnival. I've done biannual from 1998-2008, and then a bit more detail from 2010 onwards, including a similar night from Korakuen Hall where the final event has taken place in another arena as a control.

    1998: Nippon Budokan, 16,300
    2000: Nippon Budokan, 16,300
    2002: Nippon Budokan, 16,000
    2004: Yoyogi National Gymnasium, 5,800
    2006: Yoyogi National Gymnasium, 4,600
    2008: Korakuen Hall, 2,100


    2010: Tokyo Dome City Hall, ca. 2,800 (1600 for night 2 at Korakuen)
    2011: Korakuen Hall, ca. 2,100
    2012: Korakuen Hall, ca. 1,900
    2013: Korakuen Hall, ca. 2,150
    2014: Bodymaker Colosseum, Osaka, 2,187 (1096 for night seven at Korakuen)
    2015: Korakuen Hall, 1,401
    2016: EDION Arena, Osaka, 793 (1299 for night one at Korakuen)
    2017: Hakata Starlanes Arena, Fukuoka, 875 (1588 for night one at Korakuen)



    Now what that looks like to me is that they probably have been recovering for a little while now, maybe a couple of years, but that it's partially not reflected because they've taken big shows away from Tokyo. I think the first Osaka rating is probably higher because Jun Akiyama was in the final that year, and that they don't get a local boy bump when they go back in 2016. But with the first quarter generally being up for each of the last couple of years, that kinda tracks on to this, too. But even so, they're still basically a world away from where they were in the previous decade, never mind the 1990s.

    Still, all growth is good.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  7. #127
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    Yeah, and it seems to correspond with Akiyama taking control, which has been the general consensus from what I've seen. I'm actually more surprised that they were able to hang on to big crowds after the Misawa split, though Keiji Mutoh taking charge and bringing back guys like Tenryu did help stem the tide. I suspect some of those early numbers still might be worked though, it would hardly be the first time.

  8. #128
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I'm a bit behind but I finally caught up to Day 3 of the Champion Carnival. Here are my notes of the tournament matches:

    Dylan James beat Yutaka Yoshie with a chokeslam in a really slow-paced match. The chokeslam was actually the best-looking point of the match. Yoshie looked pretty lazy out there. His age is definitely showing.

    Joe Doering beat Bodyguard with his spinning powerbomb move. Both men had their moments, but they kinda looked pretty tired throughout the entire match. Not sure if they were drained or just didn't want to bring it to a tiny show in Niigata.

    Naomichi Marufuji beat Yoshitatsu in his first match of the tournament with a Sliced Bread #2 (I have no idea what that move is really called, I just know what Brian Kendrick called it). Marufuji was awesome, which is not surprising. Yoshitatsu showed a little bit of fire but he seems to have lost something. Just a bit sloppy / uncaring at times.

    Jun Akiyama beat KAI with a rollup after getting beat up and hit with what seemed like a lot of finishers (Michinoku Driver, Frog Splash, etc.). It was a good match, enjoyed it quite a bit but didn't dig the surprise ending with Akiyama getting yet another win.

    On a side note, I was watching the show in my iPad next to my wife, and she asked me if the match I was watching was from 20 or 30 years ago. When I said it was from just a few days ago, she mentioned it looked "low budget". Ouch. I mean, I can't disagree - it was a tiny house show in nowhere-Niigata (481 people in the crowd, the building looked like less than a third full) and it had no commentary and I think just three cameras. Still, that's a painful comment.

    As for the scoring after Day 3:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 2 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 2 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 2 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 2 points
    - Joe Doering: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 0 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 0 points

    B Block

    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Jun Akiyama: 4 points
    - Suwama: 2 points
    - Dylan James: 2 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 2 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 0 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 0 points
    - KAI: 0 points

    I'll try to catch up to Day 4 tomorrow and update things here.

  9. #129
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    Yeah, that comment hurts but it's not wrong. I think it's more than just the budget, the whole presentation seems kind of stuck in the past. Compare to New Japan, Dragon Gate, Stardom, DDT, it just looks... older somehow. That's not necessarily an issue for me but I can see how it could turn off new fans, maybe?

    The drawback to these round robins is it takes forever for the field to really take shape. Then again, sometimes that allows for a slow build that makes the final better. It's just so many matches to watch though.

  10. #130
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    Yeah, it's a long, drawn-out process to watch these unfold. There's 14 days of the round-robin tournament, with one additional day where the A and B Block winners face off. That's a lot of wrestling in a month. On the other hand it at least gives me a better look at all of these guys who I've mostly never seen in singles action. It's been fun so far.

    EDIT: Just finished watching Day 4 of the Champion Carnival matches.

    Yoshitatsu finally got a win over KAI with what was basically a rip of Jericho's Codebreaker. Decent match, not much else to say here.

    Suwama beat Yutaka Yoshie with a side suplex - impressive to do on a guy who's Yoshie's size. Not a bad match either. Suwama can still go. Yoshie did enough, and the traditional crowd still seems to dig him.

    Yuji Hino picked up a win over Joe Doering with something that looked like a Razor's Edge. Standard hoss fight with big hits between both guys. Short but good enough.

    Dylan James got a very quick win over Zeus after a lariat. The match was just a bit over 4 or 5 minutes long. Not sure why. It really made the match feel insignificant, so I didn't get much of a chance to enjoy anything.

    Just a bunch of short matches here. Here are the standings after Day 4:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 4 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 2 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 2 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 2 points
    - Joe Doering: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 0 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 0 points

    B Block

    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Jun Akiyama: 4 points
    - Suwama: 4 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 2 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 2 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 0 points
    - KAI: 0 points

    Still a lot of ties and no clear front-runner just yet. I'll check out Day 5 later tonight and write a quick update here.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 04-12-2018 at 10:46 PM.

  11. #131
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I was able to catch Day 5 tonight. Might as well double-post here.

    Jun Akiyama continued his win streak by beating Yutaka Yoshie with an exploder suplex. Both guys did okay, just a straightforward match with nothing out of the ordinary for both men at this stage in their careers.

    Naoya Nomura racked up his first points by defeating The Bodyguard with an interesting spear / roll-up combination for the pin. It was a good match, with Bodyguard getting most of the offense in and Nomura getting the hot comeback. Crazy to think that Nomura (24) is less than half Bodyguard's age (49).

    Naomichi Marufuji picked up a quick win on Dylan James after reversing James' attempt at a chokeslam into a pin. James spent most of the short bout (~5 minutes) beating on Marufuji, with Marufuji getting a few spurts of offense with his kicks and knees. Wish this bout went at least twice as long, though. I was really getting into it and then it just ended.

    That's it, just three short matches on Day 5. Here are the updated scores:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 4 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 2 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 2 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 2 points
    - Joe Doering: 2 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 0 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 6 points
    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Suwama: 4 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 2 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 0 points
    - KAI: 0 points

    Still too early to see any trends, although I am very surprised that Akiyama is leading the B Block without a single loss or tie yet. Day 6 happened tonight but wasn't broadcast live, so it should be on AJPW TV sometime tomorrow. I'll see when I can catch it.

  12. #132
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I just finished watching Day 6 of the Champion Carnival now. I'll just keep on adding to the thread here, so apologies for the now triple post.

    Shingo Takagi beat Bodyguard, hitting him with a lariat and falling on top of him for the pin. Both guys just beat the hell out of each other, as was to be expected. It was a good bout, lasting about ten minutes. I'm digging Takagi in this tournament, he brings a lot to the table.

    Yuji Hino got the win over Naoya Nomura with his finisher which I discovered is called the "Fucking Bomb". Seriously, that's the name of it. The match was similar to all of Nomura's matches so far - his opponent beats him for a bit, sometimes underestimating him, and he has a fiery comeback for a bit. Not bad, but a bit cookie-cutter, so to speak.

    Yutaka Yoshie picked up his first win by surprisingly handling Zeus his first loss of the tournament. This match went a lot longer than I expected, over 13 minutes. It was an entertaining back-and-forth match for the most part, although Yoshie really shows his age in a lot of the moves he does.

    Kento Miyahara got another win after beating Ryoji Sai with his straight jacket suplex. Sai had a good showing, attacking Miyahara's knee from the beginning after the match spilling out into the crowd. Miyahara did his regular routine of getting beat a lot, then coming back with plenty of knee strikes at the end. It was a solid match that had enough time (about 18 minutes).

    After a few short bouts the day before, there were a lot of good matches on this day, so hopefully the tournament matches continue to get better as time goes on. Here are the updated scores:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 6 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 4 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 4 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 2 points
    - Joe Doering: 2 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 0 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 6 points
    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Suwama: 4 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 2 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points
    - KAI: 0 points

    The field is still pretty even, so not a whole lot to spot. I'm sure it'll start shaking out in the next week or so.

  13. #133
    Squared
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern England, UK
    Posts
    6,494
    No worries on the triple, I'm a bit behind on it all myself but enjoying reading the recap.

    Feels like it's interestingly set up to go in any number of directions, especially in that A block.
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  14. #134
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I'm happy to be writing these up even though just a handful of people are reading them. It helps me get more familiar with everyone participating and I'm planning on doing a recap of sorts in the Columns Forum at the end of the tournament so these notes will serve me well.

    I just watched yesterday's show, which is Day 7 of the tournament. Here are my notes.

    Joe Doering beat Ryoji Sai with his spinning powerbomb. Decent back and forth match, with Sai trying to work Doering's leg to little effectiveness. Too short to mean much (just under 6 minutes). It's a bit frustrating at times because I'd love to see more of these guys to see what they can do but with just a few minutes you barely see anything.

    Yuji Hino continued his win streak by handing Shingo Takagi his first loss with the FUCKING BOMB (I'm going to start capitalizing it from here on out because it's an awesome name). This was a great match, my favorite so far in the tournament. It had a lot of time (over 16 minutes) and the crowd was really, really hot towards the end of the match due to a lot of false finishes. A lot of really hard hits and impressive power moves by both guys. I hadn't seen much of Hino before this but he's really impressing me. And I'm liking Takagi more and more every time I see him. My only gripe here was that there was too much "macho one-upmanship" during the match, with the whole trading forearms / chest slaps / shoulder tackle type of thing. Still, a really good showing by both men. I wish All Japan had more matches like this.

    Suwama picked up a win over Jun Akiyama after putting a sleeper hold and the ref stopping the match for some reason. It was tough to see the ending because of the camera angle (more on that later). This was a good match with enough time (13 minutes) with a lot of brawling by both legends. They spent some time around the building with Suwama being the aggressor, tossing Akiyama throughout the chairs and throwing the guardrail on him. Akiyama looked a bit slow, which is expected at this stage for him but Suwama is still kicking ass. He's doing awesome work in the tournament.

    The main event saw Kento Miyahara beat last year's winner Shuji Ishikawa. It was the now-typical Miyahara match, which mizfan mentioned to me before. Ishikawa just beat the crap out of Miyahara for most of the 17 minutes this match took, only for Miyahara to come back at the end with a barrage of knee strikes and his straight jacket suplex for the pin. It's not that it's bad - Miyahara can really sell his ass off and he's tremendous in his moveset. But his match template is far too frequent. Ishikawa continues to impress the hell out of me, he's really good and will be seeking more from him after I'm done with this tournament.

    Overall, this was a really solid show. Outside of the first match between Doering and Sai, all the matches got plenty of time which really helped a lot. The crowd was really hot too and it helped with the excitement level.

    Here are the updated standings:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 8 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 6 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 4 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 2 points
    - Joe Doering: 4 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 0 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 6 points
    - Suwama: 6 points
    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 2 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points
    - KAI: 0 points

    I think this is the halfway point of the tournament. Interestingly enough, the A Block seems to be getting a few clear front-runners. I didn't expect Yuji Hino to be on top considering the other participants in that group, but he's been doing really awesome. As for the B Block, there's still a bit of a traffic jam there, so it'll take a few more days to sort itself out.

    On a side note, the show was broadcast on a single camera show (the hard cam), which really made the broadcast quality suffer in my opinion. There were a few instances where stuff was happening on the opposite side that was difficult or impossible to see. As a TV viewer it really takes me out of the moment. I did notice they had a cameraman ringside but they never used that footage during the stream. Just a nitpick, but it reinforces the comment my wife made recently about the show looking outdated.

    Day 8 is happening later tonight but won't be broadcast live. I'll be out of town for a couple of days so I'll have to play catch up by the end of the week.

    EDIT: Just saw that Bodyguard is out for the next two nights with some sort of injury, so the cards will have to change. He was slated to face Miyahara tonight but that won't happen. Hopefully it's a minor thing and he'll be able to have the match later on in the tourney.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 04-16-2018 at 01:30 AM.

  15. #135
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    I'm dying at "FUCKING BOMB", absolutely agree it needs to be capitalized!

    This is awesome Deg, don't worry at all about multi-posting if needed because I love catching up with this stuff. I dig how into this you've gotten, do you think you'll continue following All Japan when all is said and done with the tourney? I can see how something like this could really get you invested in the product.

    Single cam shows can be a real drag... I prefer to have that as opposed to not having the show on tape at all, but it's probably the worst way to watch wrestling on tape.

    Shocked that Hino is leading, I can't imagine he'll win the block but you never know I guess? Our man Doering needs to pick up the pace!

    Halfway through, who would you say is the MVP of the tourney so far in terms of delivering in the ring? Looking forward to the rest of this man, it's so good to have you back!

  16. #136
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I'm still unsure whether I'll continue following them or not. I've been enjoying what I'm seeing for the most part and would love to get more invested in their longer-term feuds and stories. I need to check what are their bigger shows of the year and such, and see how the live event experience goes for me this Friday. It's tough since I already feel spread really thin with the amount of wrestling I can and want see nowadays. Between time and money spent on multiple streaming services, it's starting to feel a little overwhelming.

    As for an MVP so far, my picks would be between Yuji Hino and Shingo Takagi. They've both done really solid work in their roles. I've also enjoyed Marufuji a lot but he's only been in two matches so far. A lot of others have done really well too, like Ishikawa, Zeus, Doering and Miyahara. To be honest, most everyone has had good moments, even guys who I thought wouldn't do much like Yoshitatsu and Yutaka Yoshie.

    I actually got a chance to watch Day 8 of the tournament this morning. There were just three matches, since the match between Bodyguard and Miyahara got scrapped due to Bodyguard's injury. Seems like it'll be postponed to another date.

    KAI beat Yotaka Yoshie with what looked like a Michinoku Driver. It was a surprisingly good 10-minute match, going back and forth between both men. Yoshie looked as good as I've seen him in the tournament. KAI is always a solid hand the times I've seen him, so I'm glad he picked up his first win.

    Yoshitatsu got the win over Dylan James with the double-knees to the face (a la Jericho's Codebreaker). Finally, these guys were given some time (almost 15 minutes). Yoshitatsu looked really good in this match. I have faith that he'll continue picking up steam in the company. Dylan James is alright but I think he just needs to pick up a lot more experience not just in All Japan but other parts of the world. Considering he's just 26 he has some time to pick things up.

    Shuji Ishikawa beat Naoya Nomura with his sitout crucifix powerbomb finished (interesting called Splash Mountain). This was another match that was given a good amount of time, clocking in at around 15 minutes. I was expecting Nomura to do the same as before, getting a beating and then showing fire at the end, but he got a lot of good offense throughout the match. Ishikawa was brilliant as usual. I'm really enjoying the guy a lot. He also looks huge - I didn't realize he's billed at 6'5" and almost 300 pounds.

    Here are the updated standings:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 8 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 6 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 4 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 4 points
    - Joe Doering: 4 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 0 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 6 points
    - Suwama: 6 points
    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 4 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points
    - KAI: 2 points

    It was a solid show, with the tournament matches getting lots of time for their matches (most likely because they had to cover for the postponed match). Still a lot of ties and no clear front-runners on either block yet even at past the halfway point of the tournament. The traffic jam keeps on getting tighter and tighter, so it'll most likely come down to the last few days.

  17. #137
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    Surprised Hino got the nod from you as an MVP candidate, definitely not one of the guys we expected to do so well! Really glad Tatsu is doing well though, as I'm sure I've said I always liked the guy and felt bad for him during his New Japan run.

    Still really loving these recaps Deg, great stuff!

  18. #138
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I caught up to yesterday's show, Day 9 of the Champion Carnival. As usual, here are my notes.

    KAI got a quick win over Dylan James with a roll-up. After the match James continued briefly beating down KAI some more before heading back frustrated. The match was just a little over 6 minutes so there's not much to mention here. James still continues to get very little time in his matches, which is frustrating to me since I want to see what he can do with more time.

    Naomichi Marufuji is back and continued his win streak by pinning Yutaka Yoshie after a shiranui (which I learned today - I always called it the Sliced Bread #2). It was a power vs. agility type of match, and both men played their roles really well. It was given enough time for a match like this, almost 12 minutes. I was not a fan of Yoshie in the first couple of matches of the tournament but his last two matches have been good. Looking forward to seeing Marufuji do more with others.

    Ryoji Sai pulled off the upset by beating current A Block front runner Yuji Hino. Hino set Sai up for the FUCKING BOMB, and Sai reversed it for a rollup and the pin. Besides the ending, it was an average ten-minute match. Can't really say much else about it.

    Jun Akiyama continued his win streak by pinning Yoshitatsu while he was trying to apply a submission of sorts (no idea which one). The match just lasted 7 minutes so I barely got into it at all. Akiyama looked kinda gassed at the end, so hopefully he's not overdoing it at this stage in his career.

    Four matches, kind of on the short side for the most part. After coming off a few solid shows in a row, this one was kind of a disappointment. Here are the updated standings:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 8 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 6 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 4 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 4 points
    - Joe Doering: 4 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 2 points
    - Bodyguard: 0 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 8 points
    - Suwama: 6 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 6 points
    - Zeus: 4 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 4 points
    - KAI: 4 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points

    Still anyone's ballgame at this point for either block. Tomorrow will be Day 10, which I'll be seeing live in Osaka. There will be an update after the show, of course.

  19. #139
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    Shiranui!! I was racking my brain to think of that the other day, thank you for reminding me. Was driving me a bit nuts.

    Not loving the top ranking guys in either category at the moment, but I also kind of doubt they'll be on top at the end. Awesome you get to be there live Deg!! Can't wait to hear your thoughts, and maybe see some pictures too!

  20. #140
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I just got back from Day 10 of the Champion Carnival. Here are my notes of the tournament matches from memory. I don't have the times since the results haven't been posted yet, so I'll update this post when it's available.

    Ryoji Sai picked up another win by pinning Naoya Nomura. The match started a bit slow, with Nomura yet again playing the role of getting his ass handed to him. But the last five minutes or so of the match were great, with both men exchanging some heavy blows and some good false finishes. I don't know if it's because I was near the ring instead of hearing it from TV, but Sai's kicks sound incredibly loud and brutal. I enjoyed the work both guys put in.

    Joe Doering pinned Shingo Takagi with his spinning powerbomb. This was my favorite match of the night. There was a massive size difference between Doering and Takagi from where I was sitting. The beginning of the match had Doering impose his size, countering everything that Takagi tried to do. Takagi then more than held his own after that for a bit. Doering played his role as the huge powerhouse really, really well here and I dug it a lot. Both men were awesome. This match was over ten minutes, I think, so it had a good amount of time for a match like this.

    Bodyguard picked up what looked like a fluke victory over Yuji Hino with a rollup that looked like Hino kicked out of but still got the pin. Bodyguard looked to still be legit hurt. He came out limping and every time he took a bump I noticed he would never land on his bad leg. Hino played his bully-type role by going after the bad leg early, but after that the majority of the match consisted of both men chest-slapping each other. Understandable if Bodyguard was truly hurt and limited in what he could do, but it was probably the match with most chest slaps I've ever seen in my life, especially with the little time it was given. I suspected Bodyguard would go over seeing that he's the local boy.

    The main event had Zeus picking up the win over Naomichi Marufuji to hand him his first loss. Again, I expected Zeus to get the win since he's the local hero and he was placed in the main event, so he had to send the folks home happy with a little speech. The match was pretty good and had a lot of time (over 15 minutes). My gripe was that again it was a chest-slapping type of deal. Not as much as the previous match, but it was still way too much. Marufuji was great, and Zeus continues to impress me. Not a bad match, just probably expected something more.

    Plenty of time for most matches today, which was better than the last show. Here are the updated standings:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 8 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 6 points
    - Joe Doering: 6 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 4 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 4 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 4 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Bodyguard: 2 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 8 points
    - Suwama: 6 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 6 points
    - Zeus: 6 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 4 points
    - KAI: 4 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points

    The picture is still unclear, so I'm suspecting it'll go down to the final days next week.

    As for being there in person, it was a fun show to go to. The place was not sold out (I sat in the second row, and I had two empty seats on both my left and right sides). It was probably 75-80% full, I'd guess. There was a young boy match to kick things off, along with two tag matches featuring the other tourney participants not having singles matches tonight along with some others. The tag matches were a bit of a clusterfuck, but enjoyable. I enjoy these small shows because the wrestlers usually hang out in the merch tables. I got to see Jun Akiyama, Shuji Ishikawa, Takao Omori, Bodyguard and some others, which was cool. They were signing autographs if you bought some of their merch which I was tempted to, but everything here is pretty damn expensive so I passed. I briefly saw Kento Miyahara go by me as I was leaving, not sure if he was going to the merch stands too. Oh, and Yoshitatsu was selling merch too. Not surprising.

    Here are a couple of pics I took (images are linked to original sized images, in case anyone wants to see them larger):











    EDIT: Official attendance was 512 people. I think that place could easily hold over 800 if there were more seats, so not as good of a turnout as I thought it would be in Osaka.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 04-20-2018 at 08:28 PM.

  21. #141
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    Just saw Day 11 of the Champion Carnival, which was the second straight day in Osaka. I didn't go to this show. It seemed a lot livelier than the one I went to. There were also more people (865 in attendance, according to All Japan) which is interesting. Maybe Friday nights aren't days people want to see wrestling.

    Shingo Takagi beat Ryoji Sai by making him tap out to an STF. Most of the match saw Takagi hammering on Sai's leg, probably to avoid getting kicked hard like Nomura did the previous night. Sai got some offense in towards the end but it wasn't enough. Decent match by both men. Takagi continues to impress me - the guy is a lot more powerful and agile than I thought he was. Most of his work I'd seen in Dragon Gate consisted of being in multi-man tag matches so maybe that's why I never noticed. I'm liking Sai a bit too, he definitely has that Japanese strong style in him.

    Shuji Ishikawa got back to winning by hitting The Bodyguard with a reverse piledriver (which he calls Fire Thunder - I love this guy's finisher names). This was a short match that went under five minutes. Bodyguard definitely must be hurting to have two short, uneventful matches in a row. He was still limping around and not taking any bumps. Ishikawa did what he could but there wasn't a lot there. Hopefully Bodyguard gets some time to recover. Seeing that he's almost 50, he needs to get himself some healing time if he wants to keep doing this.

    Suwama beat Naomichi Marufuji with a Last Ride powerbomb. This was a great match, I think the longest so far in the tournament at 19 minutes. After the 10 minute mark, both men had a lot of back and forth and did some really great selling. A lot of All Japan's matches have that macho B.S. of having someone take a massive move only to stand up and hit their own move. This match had none of that - every big move and reversal had both guys laying, which I really appreciated a lot. Suwama is still spectacular. Marufuji is also great, but after seeing his last New Japan run in 2016 I get a sense he's not giving it his all here in All Japan. Or maybe he's just so good he can phone it in and have a solid match anyway. Not sure about that one yet. Anyway, this is one of my favorite matches of the tournament so it's worth a watch.

    The main event saw the local boy Zeus beat Jun Akiyama with a Jackhammer for the pin. It was a good match given enough time at just a few seconds under 19 minutes. It seemed to be a pretty even matchup throughout the bout with both guys hitting their big moves. The crowd was firmly behind Zeus, as expected. Nothing particularly jumped out to me in this match, but it was a solid showing by both guys.

    Here are the updated scores:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 8 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 6 points
    - Joe Doering: 6 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 6 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 6 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 4 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Bodyguard: 2 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 8 points
    - Suwama: 8 points
    - Zeus: 8 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 6 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 4 points
    - KAI: 4 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points

    Most people have 1-2 matches left in the tournament so it's still a bit open in both blocks. At this point I think Ryoji Sai, Naoya Nomura, Bodyguard are out of contention for the A Block, while Dylan James, Yoshitatsu, KAI and Yutaka Yoshie are out in the B Block. There's three nights left in the tournament before the finals between the block winners so it will definitely go down to the wire.

  22. #142
    Squared
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Northern England, UK
    Posts
    6,494
    Thanks for the pictures, Deg. They're great. You still like Doering for the come back win in the A block?
    "Eat my ass, Mooney"

  23. #143
    Remember me? Degenerate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
    849
    I was going to reply last night and I was going to say that I thought he would be out, but after I caught up to Day 12 of the tournament, I'm going to stick with my prediction. Here are yesterday's matches.

    Ryoji Sai played the part of spoiler by beating Shuji Ishikawa after rolling him up when Ishikawa was preparing to deliver the Splash Mountain (sitout powerbomb). The first half of the match had Sai chopping down the big Ishikawa by working the legs. The tides reversed in the second half where Ishikawa had the upper hand for most of the match, even hitting the aforementioned Fire Thunder which Sai kicked out of. It was a good match between both guys which had plenty of time, clocking in at over 17 minutes. I was a bit down on Ryoji Sai at the beginning of the tournament but his last few matches turned me around and I dig him. Ishikawa is really, really good - I'm definitely going to seek out more of his work.

    Naomichi Marufuji picked up a much-needed win over KAI after hitting the Shiranui. Most of the match saw KAI attack the legs of Marufuji, which is smart given that a lot of Marufuji's offense comes from his knee strikes and kicks. It worked pretty well in the context of this match. It was 15 minutes long but a lot faster-paced than most All Japan matches which was a nice thing to see. Both guys did a pretty great job in this match highlighting the things they're good at.

    Yoshitatsu made Suwama tap out with an octopus stretch. It was another match with plenty of time (around 15 minutes) and a lot of back and forth action. Not a bad match, but I didn't enjoy it, to be honest. There was way too much of the no-selling strong style that just takes you out of the match. For example, there was a sequence of one man getting a German suplex, only to immediately stand up and hit a German suplex of his own, about three times in a row. The one that peeved me the most was when Yoshitatsu no-sold a top-rope suplex. Under no circumstance should someone like Yoshitatsu simply stand up after getting suplexed off the top rope, ever.

    The main event saw a rematch between Joe Doering and Kento Miyahara, with Doering picking up the win after hitting his spinning powerbomb. Surprisingly, it was the shortest tournament match of the night at just over 12 minutes, but it was a really good match between both guys. Miyahara showed off his speed and unexpected strength, and Doering was as rough as always but also showing some agility as well. If you've seen one of their previous matches there's nothing particularly new here. These guys have solid chemistry together and I hope that I can see more out of them down the road.

    Before showing the updated standings, I realized I screwed up a few days ago. Last week Bodyguard missed his scheduled match against Miyahara. I thought that match would be postponed to a later date but it turns out that Miyahara was given a forfeit victory so he should have two more points to his name. It makes things a lot more interesting now. With that said, here are the standings before the final two days:

    A Block

    - Yuji Hino: 8 points
    - Kento Miyahara: 8 points
    - Joe Doering: 8 points
    - Shingo Takagi: 6 points
    - Shuji Ishikawa: 6 points
    - Ryoji Sai: 4 points
    - Naoya Nomura: 2 points
    - Bodyguard: 2 points

    B Block

    - Jun Akiyama: 8 points
    - Suwama: 8 points
    - Zeus: 8 points
    - Naomichi Marufuji: 8 points
    - Dylan James: 4 points
    - Yoshitatsu: 4 points
    - KAI: 4 points
    - Yutaka Yoshie: 2 points

    With the loss, Shuji Ishikawa was eliminated from the tournament since he doesn't hold any tie-breakers against the other leaders of the block, so we won't be having any repeat winners this year. Each block has four people still in contention. Someone else on another site did a write-up on who's left and how they can win so I'll just lift that information and use it here:

    A Block:

    - Yuji Hino only has to beat Kento Miyahara to win.
    - Kento Miyahara has to beat Yuji Hino and have both Joe Doering and Shingo Takagi lose at least once to win.
    - Joe Doering has to beat Naoya Nomura and have Yuji Hino lose to win.
    - Shingo Takagi still has two matches left (everyone else besides Nomura has just one). He has to beat Naoya Nomura and Shuji Ishikawa, and have both Joe Doering and Yuji Hino lose to win.

    B Block:

    - Zeus only has to beat KAI to win.
    - Suwama has to beat Dylan James and have Zeus lose to win.
    - Jun Akiyama has to beat Naomichi Marufuji and have both Zeus and Suwama lose to win.
    - Naomichi Marufuji has to beat Jun Akiyama and have both Zeus and Suwama lose to win.

    Yuji Hino and Zeus are firmly in the lead position, having just to deal with winning while everyone else has to win and hope others lose. I still hold on to my original prediction of Doering winning the A Block, since I can see him beating Nomura easily and having Hino losing to Miyahara. For the B Block, I had originally picked Zeus and he just had to beat KAI to win so I'll stick with it. It wouldn't surprise me if KAI played the spoiler and Suwama snuck in for the win, though. I look forward to the final two nights later this week, should be a good couple of shows.

  24. #144
    The Brain
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Posts
    5,067
    Phenomenal posts Deg!! I'm going to be very sad when this tournament is over, these posts have been a huge highlight of the board since you started doing them. Those pictures are seriously beautiful!

    Loving the appreciation for Shingo, I think he's a guy who grows on you the more you watch him. His run as Dream Gate champion over in DG was very nice, it's cool to see him play the bullying role over there but he can adapt his style to keep up with the bigger, harder hitting boys too. He's pretty versatile and a great talent overall.

    I hope somebody was buying Tatsu's merch this time, I feel like he's earned a few fans at this point!

    Surprised a little at how short these matches are, puro matches have a tendency to run long so for everything to be under 20 minutes is not something I expected. I suspect they may be saving their longer matches for the finals, which could easily run 30 minutes based on previous experience.

    I am with you insofar as the whole bushido/fighting spirit thing can be annoying when guys pop right back up to do their moves, even after eating a piece of devastating offense. It's a trope that goes back to the 90s boom, guys like Misawa and Kawada were exceptionally good at making those spots work and not over-using them, but they've become way too common these days, especially in Japan.

    I will say though, if you think these matches have a lot of chest slapping, you should try out Kobashi/Sasaki from 2005 sometime. It's the ultimate chest slapping match, and they do it so well I actually ended up loving the match!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •