Here we are at Part #2 of my non-comprehensive and completely based around my cheapness look at AJPW 2012. I have this and the 03/04/12 showon a AJPW comp type DVD. I think there's two more shows after that. Let's see how things go!
Mutoh/Akebono/Ryota Hama vs Daisuke Sekimoto/Yuji Okabayashi/Yoshito Sasaki - This was a fine example of Korakuen hall 6 man magic. Mutoh and his team's limitations were hidden because no one was in there long enough to be offensive. Also the BJW team (who are some of my faves) have a simple hard hitting style that works well against the giants Akebono and Hama. Mutoh was relatively untouchable and did his trademark moves but - its fun to still see him out there! It was generally a predictable match with the fat guy spots, fighting spirit toughness and the aforementioned Muto spots but it was a ton of fun!
Masa Fuchi/Hikaru Sato -vs- Hiroshi Yamato/Yasufumi Nakanoue - This was about 7 minute and had some good stuff but was too short to rate.
Kenny Omega -vs- Kaz Hayashi. *All Japan Jr. Title - Overall, I think Kenny Omega is OK. Kinda like how I really like pancakes and french toast but waffles are OK if the other two aren't available. I wanted to say that first and foremost because I think his weird antics and attempts to get heat didn't help this match. The start of the match was a really exciting sequence followed by a spectacular moonsault off of some tables set atop the K-Hall stage. It was something special. After that his control section, which took up the middle of the match, were a series of tepid Muto spots where he was looking for cheap heat from the AJPW crowd. I don't think most people care because in 2012 who the hell was Kenny Omega to the AJPW crowd? It would be different if Muto was at ringside with Kaz. It really just looked bush-league. As the match kicked into high gear, Omega was performing at the level we would see in NJPW. In fact he out performed the veteran Hiyashi who threw some of the worst punches in the strike exchange. Omega was throwing stiff chops but Kaz wouldn't take the bait and dragged this potentially exciting moment down. The finish was pretty darn good but overall this title fight was disappointing. I guess my hopes were for a **** great match. There were glimmers of greatness but in the end this was just a good match with flaws.
Jun Akiyama -vs- Takao Omori *Triple Crown* - This is not a mid 1990s Triple Crown defense obviously. But they were able to take this back to the late 80's -'92 era of Triple Crown matches. It was not tremendously spectacular but it was fought with ferocity and guts. And a bit of wits too. What interested me in this period of AJ was Akiyama's return but also in his stylistic choice to go back to the old days of AJ by focusing on smart hard hitting physical matches without the head drops or flash. This was a fantastic example of that as the body of the match focussed on his attempt to weaken Omori's Ax Bomber lariat arm. Omori then trying to fight despite that weakness and then realizing he can't get the win without it. This was a great match between two vets of the golden 90's going out there and showing folks (and probably Kenny Omega) how its done. Solid **** match right here.
Overall, this was a pretty good night of wrestling. Nothing that's must-see but I'm sure the Akiyama vs Omori is something that an old fan of AJPW would enjoy. I would recommend that for sure. the BJW 6 man match is also very fun. Again, the Kaz vs Kenny bout had some high points but is more about it being two guys letting me down. But I wouldn't dissuade anyone from watching it ...I still think its got more positive points than negative.
Thanks for reading! Stay safe folks!