Here we are at the end of the road for 2014 AJPW. We're wrapping up with the 11/29 show which I found online.
Masanobu Fuchi vs. Naoya Nomura -skipped
Takeshi Minamino vs. Yohei Nakajima - Fun indie heel vs babyface match. Just simple stuff but so enjoyable.
Keisuke Ishii & SUSHI vs. Enoshima Man & Ultimo Dragon - I started watching this and it was pretty bland. It was just a generic junior tag match with not much spark. I fast forwarded to the last couple minutes and it never seemed to have much more urgency. Its probably OK but I don't feel bad skipping it.
Kotaro Suzuki (c) vs. Ryuji Hijikata - Unfortunately not available :-/
Akebono & Yutaka Yoshie vs. Dark Kingdom (KENSO & Mitsuya Nagai) (RWTL Match) - Um this was OK. It wasn't very long.
Burning Wild (Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori) vs. Xceed (Go Shiozaki & Kento Miyahara) (RWTL Match) - My main event and watched after the match below. And so glad that I did! This is a classic RWTL match between to great teams. It had a traditional structure and a good work-a-body-part basis for the meat of the match. This wasn't an epic empty the tanks classic but one that was clever, exciting and increasingly dramatic. Something right at the ****1/2 mark. This show needed something of this caliber.
Special Tag Team Match - Suwama 10th Anniversary Debut
Evolution (Atsushi Aoki & Suwama) vs. Evolution (Hikaru Sato & Joe Doering) - Starts out a little directionless and not fitting for a intra-stable exhibition match (more technical wrestling less brawling). So I had a hard time getting interested. But things really picked up when Aoki made the hot tag to Suwama and it was bombs away for the rest of the match. This could have been great if they put a story to it. In all fairness the story this told was the Evolution stable coming apart at the seams but, that's not the case based on the post match Anniversary celebration. It was a good match but under expectations. I sort of thought that might be the case and watched the Burning Wild vs Xceed match last as my true main event just in case.
Overall, this was an OK show. A one match show in terms of recommended stuff. Maybe you'd like the Evolution tag more than I did. It's certainly worth checking out but the Burning Wild vs Xceed tag match is what you want. I wasn't keen just ending it there and found a bonus match from Kobashi's Fortune Dream show (12/10/2014):
Joe Doering and Shingo Takagi vs. Yuji Hino and Kento Miyahara - 2 AJPW guys and Wada as the referee? Close enough for an AJPW match for me! Do yourself a favor and watch this match! The hardest hitting, smash mouth, He-man match for 2014. Add another awesome match to the 2014 list. This was a classic bout especially if you like Sekimoto/Okabayashi strong style tags (something AJPW was missing in 2014). Loved every minute of this. Not a thinking man's fight but for raw power this was fantastic. A great end to this 2014 project. This is on the 'tube currently.
2014 AJPW was pretty good overall. I didn't feel immersed in the storylines or promotion as much as 2013 just because I didn't have as much footage available. I didn't help that one of my DVDs was defective. All that said some of the very best bouts of 2014 are on the 'tube or the "day-to-day movement" video site. These include but aren't limited to:
Jun Akiyama vs. Takao Omori (Vacant Triple Crown Title - 06/15/14)
Joe Doering (c) vs. Go Shiozaki (10/29/14 -Triple Crown Title)
Burning Wild vs Xceed (11/29)
Doering/Shingo vs Hino/Miyahara (12/04 Fortune Dream)
Doering was kicking ass and is an awesome champ. He really was bringing a special energy and fight that is old school (and lacking from recent wrestling). The comparisons to Stan Hansen are arguable for either side but I appreciate his work as champ. He is the Gaijin monster of old and I like it!
P.S.I was able to find some more matches from 2013 (and 2012) that have been posted recently. I found them while looking for 2014 stuff so a nice treat! I'll do a post on those next as an addendum to my 2012-13 projects. After that I might pivot to something else. I had my eye on 2001-2003 Noah matches that have been overlooked. But it's my busy season at work so that may not happen before New Years.
Thanks for reading!