ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
CHAMPION CARNIVAL 2019 NIGHT 4
APRIL 9, 2019
KUNIBIKI MESSE MULTIPURPOSE HALL
BLOCK A: DYLAN JAMES (4) DEF. GIANNI VALLETTA (0)
Well, this went better than I think many expected. It starts with bost wrestlers not even getting into the ring before the start brawling at ringside. Valletta tricks James into a Lariat which misses and James rams his right arm into the ring post. James then tries for another strike with his right arm and again Valletta avoids it leading to hitting the ring post again.
James manages to keep selling the arm throughout most of the match, including selling it after using it to chop and lariat.
This basic story helped the match immensely. Valletta did a bunch of silly schtick with his chain, but James’ selling really made it tolerable.
James wins after Valletta unsuccessfully tries to hit a double arm Axe Hammer of the second rope with a chain wrapped around his arms. James manages to avoid the Axe Hammer and grab him right away for a chokeslam for the three count. **1/2
BLOCK B: JAKE LEE (2) DEF. JOEL REDMAN (0)
Redman is a sound technical wrestler, and has managed to win over the crowd a little bit it seems.
This match is a good back and forth to start. Redman works over Lee’s left leg and then takes control for quite a bit of this match. In the closing minutes, Lee kicks out of a nice looking top rope knee drop from Redman. Then Redman goes back to the leg with a half crab that Lee gets the rope break for. Then Lee makes starts to make his valiant comeback.
The biggest problem here is that Lee doesn’t turn on the intensity until the last couple minutes of this match while Redman displayed some throughout the whole match.
Lee gets the wins with a knee to the chest followed up by the Backdrop. If Lee had shown the intensity and effort that Redman did, this could have been pretty damn good. ***
NAOYA NOMURA (6) DEF. SAM ADONIS (0)
A pleasant surprise. I predicted that Adonis might try to work hard in this tournament in order to try to get a regular spot or at least demonstrate to the wrestling world that he’s more than just a gimmick. And Nomura continues to show he’s got momentum. This match had more heat than any other match on this show up to this point.
His wrestling in this match wasn’t bad. He starts with wrist holds and headlocks and even manages a chain wrestling sequence with Nomura. Adonis spent a lot of this match in control but it didn’t really drag. Nomura knew what points to hit some comeback moves so the match doesn’t drag from Adonis working him over for too long.
Adonis also tries to show off his arsenal. He hits a good looking top rope superplex in this match and even applies a Cattle Mutilation to Nomura at one point. And his heel work was not over the top. Apart from a couple of gyration taunts at Nomura, his character is of an aggressive wrestler, not a cheater or a brawler who takes cheap shots.
Nomura wins with the Nomura Lock again after Adonis manages to escape from a death valley driver attempt. The crowd here didn’t seem to recognize Nomura’s new submission finisher so there was no heat when the hold was applied.
Only downside of the match was the finish wasn’t particularly hot so I can’t go any higher with the snowflakes. ***1/4
BLOCK A: ZEUS (4) DEF. KENTO MIYAHARA (2)
Miyahara and Zeus have great chemistry together. They had a really good pair of Triple Crown Championship matches last year, with quite a few people calling the October one a Match of the Year candidate.
This match did not reach the level of their Triple Crown matches, but this was still very good and the second best match of this tournament so far, after Ishikawa vs. Okabayashi.
This match starts hot with a bunch of stiff strikes from each competitor. It quickly spills out to the floor, and unlike some recent Miyahara singles matches that hit the floor, the Triple Crown Champion’s opponent that initially dominates outside of the ring.
Miyahara realizes he’s gonna have to turn up his dickishness factor to stand a chance against an aggressive Zeus. He regains the initiative on the outside and does his headlock around the ring post spot and generally continues to get Kyohei Wada to yell at him to wrestle cleanly.
Back in the ring and this match turns it up even more. More stiff strikes, lots of reversals and big power moves.
We know we’re heading into the closing stretch of this match because the near falls start coming. Miyahara gets some nearfalls with a Blackout Knee and a deadlift german suplex. He tries to get Zeus up for the Shutdown German Suplex, but Zeus breaks free, hits a dropkick, a lariat, goes fall then the Jackhammer that Miyahara escapes from. Miyahara lands a cradle for another near fall then Zeus finally puts Miyahara away with a lariat followed up by a Jackhammer in a really hot finish after about 17 minutes. ****1/4
So much better after the bad taste that Night 3 left in my mouth. Might as well just watch all the matches on this, but if you’re really low on time, then just the main event will suffice.