I've had some solid themes for the past few months but June sort of ended up being a time that I am using to handle a bunch of single show projects. This is in an effort to actually work my way through my backlog of DVDs. Here we take a look at the AJPW show from 01/02/15. It's my lone DVD for AJ 2015.
Kotaro Suzuki & Ryuji Hijikata vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru - There's a couple matches before this but this is the real start of the show. Fast paced opening with Kanemaru & Kotaro. This is only a tease as most of the match focuses on old man Fuchi getting his bad back pummeled. As someone with a bad back, I can really feel those kicks and elbows. It's a real fun match though.
Atsushi Aoki & Hikaru Sato vs. Keisuke Ishii & Soma Takao - This is more of your junior tag match with a bunch of action. It's under 8 minutes though and ends sooner than I thought. Fun nonetheless. We're off to a good start!
SUSHI, Ultimo Dragon & Zeus vs. Akebono, Shigehiro Irie & Yutaka Yoshie: A fun match which wasn't a surprise. Zeus really took this seriously which helped especially at the end. We get the fat guy spots and if this was Irie vs Zeus this could have been pretty cool.
(Battle Royal) Akebono vs. Atsushi Aoki vs. Hikaru Sato vs. Kotaro Suzuki vs. Masanobu Fuchi vs. Naoya Nomura vs. Ryujii Hijikata vs. Shigehiro Irie vs. Soma Takao vs. SUSHI vs. Takeshi Minamino vs. Ultimo Dragon vs. Yohei Nakajima vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Yuma Aoyagi vs. Zeus - I skipped this. They're a bit of fun but seeing as everything has been fun, I want to get to the more serious stuff.
Joe Doering & Suwama vs. Go Shiozaki & Kento Miyahara: Here we go! A very good match that just scrapes at the surface at what they can do. That said everyone brings it here and was pretty surprised at how stiff it got at times.
Jun Akiyama & Takao Omori vs. KENSO & Mitsuya Nagai: Oh man what a finish! I was nervous that this wouldn't top the previous match but man this was a great tag match. Dark Kingdom's heeling is just right without being cheap or annoying. Omori & Akiyama really put the effort in and it shows. Akiyama may have knocked KENSO out for a sec with one of his knee strikes but shoot everyone was on point frankly. KENSO and Omori chopped each other red..It was well paced and had the right amount of everything. 16 minute match and you might think that's too brief, it was just right.
KENSO vs Wada
Now that's not going to be my main event as the next night features a rematch of my Best Match Watched of 2022...I had to go online for this one.
Go Shiozaki vs Joe Doering (01/03/15): First off, K-Hall is way more packed for night#2. And for good reason! This is an intense battle. Joe just does not mind beating the hell outta Shiozaki..and of course he doesn't mind giving it back. He can't keep up due to the size difference and must use his kicks and other maneuvers to wear the champ down. Doering is like a tank and just takes a heap of punishment and keeps moving forward. Boyh guys did an amazing job selling the exhaustion and pain. It was probably real! I don't think it's at the same level as their 2014 bout but this is a near classic battle without a doubt. Excellent stuff and it's online on the 'tube so if you're looking for a heavyweight title fight, I recommend you don't skip this one.
Very very good stuff for sure! I am a little bummed that this concludes my look into AJPW of the 2010's. Obviously there's more out there but it's be a trip going through stuff relatively blind. Many of the shows I bought had zero or maybe one recommendation and I just guided myself. You may laugh but based on the money spent and the wait for the DVDs, it was a commitment. Not like just popping on YouTube and watching shit risk free :-) When I bought most of these (which was *ahem* more a few years ago now) I wasn't watching as much online so my plan was to watch these a couple years later not 8 years later. Otherwise I bet I would have tried to get more...like the 2016 Champion Carnival is pretty sweet. I reviewed some of those in the Match Discussion Archives at the time. I'm rambling now. Summertime in my neighborhood sucks big time. And I'm just trying to talk about fun stuff rather than think how I can't wait for summer to be over. I can't be the only one, right?
Anyhow, go watch Joe & Go beat each other up! Watch Akiyama & Omori do battle with KENSO & Nagai! You'll have a blast!
Thanks for reading!