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  1. Lets keep on truckin' with AJPW in the summer of 2013. Akiyama & Shiozaki vs Omori & Suwama (2/3 falls 07/28/13) - One week after a under the radar great show, we get this big match main event. The 4 biggest stars in Akiyama's AJ going head to head. Omori & Akiyama friends and rivals but Suwama & Shiozaki is ace vs ace and a build up to their long awaited Championship confrontation. I think I have their Champion Carnival match as the best singles match of AJPW so far. They are an excellent pairing much like Suwama and Sekimoto were. The 2 out of 3 falls match is something I have been missing in my wrestling lately (In fact Suwama & Shiozaki have a 2/3 falls match in July but can't find that online and I don't have the DVD...can't get 'em all ). But anyhow, this was one of the matches that got me into watching post-2000's wrestling and here's my write-up from the start of this very blog in 2018: "Here we have one of the few reminents from Muto AJPW, ace SUWAMA and a cast off from Misawa's AJPW exodus in Omori up against NOAH's ace and Kobashi/Misawa pupil Shiozaki and Jun Akiyama. Let's all remember that Akiyama is former tag partners, champs and friends with Omori. Akiyama got to ride the NOAH wave in the 2000's while Omori was surfing relatively low tide in Zero-1 and washed up back in AJPW like driftwood. This was a battle for a lot. Omori had remade himself in partnership with Manabu Soya however. He was not someone to be kicked around anymore. This was Omori's home, AJPW had been through alot in that time and SUWAMA had been there and is still there. This isn't just his home, it's his kingdom. He had outlasted them all. Akiyama wants back in? Akiyama had been gone for 13 years. Ok that's fine but he has to earn it. Shiozaki on the other hand has no place in AJ. He's an outsider through and through. This was a battle. A beautifully long match that harkened back to the classics of AJPW '92-'96. The grappling, striking, layout and pacing were conservative. Therfore, the contest was more organic in its story progression and the escalation of aggression. The 2/3 falls usage was brilliant and perhaps is what made it so damn good. It provided the wrestlers the framework to bring the level of excitement up and down, to be able to rest the fans energy only to build it back double fold. Classic Match! " One thing that I omitted is that Kawada was in attendance and Akiyama used the Stretch Plum on Omori at one point - hell yes! Everything else I can fully agree upon now as well. This is a classic heavyweight tag team match and is as important to the heart and soul of All Japan as their heavyweight singles matches. Now on to the my next DVD, 08/17/21. Masanobu Fuchi vs. Masao Inoue - skipped this KENSO vs. Kazushi Miyamoto - Really good yet simple match. Way better than a #2 match usually is. Just an easy watch. I like Miyamoto in this spot...he's a good addition to the undercard. ----- Argenis & Drago vs. Atsushi Aoki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru - Fun match, didn't agree with the outcome but that's as a fanboy Liked Drago's execution more than Argenis. Joe Doering vs. Kotaro Suzuki - Under 10 minute David-and-Goliath match. It was something special that I don't see very often anymore. And I don't think we see it shown very well when we do since big guys starting doing dives and shooting star moves. Doering is improving in the last 2 matches. I got to think Muto-AJPW wasn't using him well and his heart wasn't in it. Very good match! ----- Akebono vs. SUSHI - I'm not watching this. Its a waste of SUSHI. Still good for him being 2nd from the top match. Go Shiozaki & Jun Akiyama vs. Suwama & Takao Omori - Classic match, these two teams have great chemistry. Here they go on to have another must see encounter. This is only one fall but just as exciting as their previous bout. Everyone did well but this but Shiozaki's match. He really showed so much as a performer but also as an athlete. I can't wait for the title fight between he and Suwama! I didn't write as much as the tag match above but this was just as awesome. ----- This DVD/show was another very easy watch capped off with a thrilling main event.The next installment should be a Diamond Ring show that features AJPW and essentially introduces Kento Miyahara to the equation & builds the Shiozaki/Suwama tension. Thanks for reading!
  2. Now we move on to AJPW in 2013. This should be one of my longer projects of the year as I have a bevy of matches available online to bolster my DVD collection. I'll say I'm really digging 2013 from what I have seen so far. Here is my first show & dvd. Per usual, I skip stuff that I'm not interested in. If you're feeling these matches then by all means, watch them & let me know 3 Way Match: KENSO vs MAZADA & Andy Wu - A squash for KENSO which was pretty enjoyable. Masanobu Fuchi & Reid Flair vs Tomoaki Honma & Kazushi Miyamoto - I'm sure there is merit to this but I didn't want to wait for it to happen. Suwama, Joe Doering & Shuji Kondo vs Akebono, Ryota Hama & SUSHI - Great use for Akebono. Fun match. Masakatsu Funaki & Masayuki Kono vs Seiya Sanada & Yasufumi Nakanoue When Sanada was in this was a really good match. Gratefully this was the final third of the bout. He vs Kono was pretty awesome. I'd say that this was ***1/2 tops but I really dug that final third. Wish we got this Sanada in ROH! AJPW World Tag Team Title Skirmish - All Japan vs. Burning: Jun Akiyama, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Kotaro Suzuki vs Takao Omori, Manabu Soya & Kaz Hayashi - Absolutely the best bout of the night! The announcer can't finish the intros before Omori attacks Akiyama. The pace was vigorous and didn't let up. Suzuki and Kaz were the whipping boys but showed maximum heart enduring the punishment. Everyone except Kanemaru was in there for a good display. What he did do was special stuff especially with the Caveman Soya. Eventually Kaz & Kotaro were back in one on one and put on a fireworks display. This is the match I bought the DVD for and it definitely delivered! This invasion feud (somewhat real) injects AJ with some pep and excitement that it needs. Near classic encounter and the melee after the bell only makes it sweeter. Since I'm doing stars this post, ****1/4 seems right without overrating...cause this was exciting stuff! ---- All Asia Tag Team Title: Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka vs Hiroshi Yamato & Hikaru Sato - Starts out just OK but picks up to be a very good tag team battle. There's some very exciting moments and the last few minutes are the best. This is the main event but I knew that this wasn't going to be the best. I'd say this was *** 3/4 though. Kanemoto and Minoru Tanaka are always worth watching in my book. Pretty good show with the 6 man being something to watch. I'm partial to tag & multi man matches though. The 6 mans of the late 80's and early 90's are some of my favorites. Anyhow, I believe this is the final match I have of Manabu Soya in AJ. Not sure if the exodus started yet but I had a blast watching him. He's one of my faves. Clearly the Burning stable from NOAH has invaded and this will change the landscape of AJ as well as provide a bunch of fresh match ups. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more AJPW 2013!
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