ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
DYNAMITE SERIES 2019
JUNE 30, 2019
YUSUKE OKADA DEF. DAN TAMURA
In my eyes, Tamura has emerged as the best of the All Japan young boys. He’s developing a power Jr. Heavyweight style and uses a cool deadlift gutwrench suplex. Tamura kicked out of a bunch of moves, which demonstrates his progress. Okada won with the Fisherman’s Suplex. I think the All Japan Jr. division is going to greatly improve in the next year or two as their rookies develop. ***
TAKAO OMORI, MASANOBU FUCHI & BLACK MENSO~RE DEF. JUN AKIYAMA, OSAMU NISHIMURA & ATSUSHI MARUYAMA
The obligatory undercard comedy match in Korakuen Hall involving Fuchi and Akiyama. In an attempt to freshen these comedy matches up, there was actually some brawling outside with Fuchi and Maruyama. But this wasn’t anything special and actually had the effect of not getting some of the usual comedy spots in the match which dragged this down. Omori won after hitting the Axe Bomber on Maruyama. **
GIANNI VALLETTA & KOTARO SUZUKI DEF. YUMA AOYAGI & ATSUSHI AOYAGI
The younger Aoyagi got in some offense against the veteran Suzuki early on in the match. He gave got a cradle spot against Valletta that got a big pop. This was a simple match that was all action and only went 4:40. That is probably the best strategy when you have a match with Valletta in it. Valletta won with the Black Hole Slam on Atsushi Aoyagi. Surprisingly fun. ***
HIKARU SATO & TAKUYA WADA DEF. KOJI IWAMOTO & HOKUTO OMORI
Not familiar at all with Wada but Googling reveals that he is an MMA fighter in his early 40s, so I get why he’s dabbling in pro wrestling now. He wasn’t tagged in much but he looked decent when he was with some good looking kicks. Iwamoto and Sato did the heavy lifting in the match and they did a lot of shoot-style wrestling which was a nice change of pace on this card. Sato hit a backdrop and applied a Cross Armbreaker on Omori for the win. This gets bonus points for something stylistically different on an All Japan show. ***1/4
JAKE LEE, NAOYA NOMURA & RYOUJI SAI DEF. ZEUS, DYLAN JAMES & NOBE BRYANT
This match was really about building towards other stuff. Zeus will be facing Sai on the Fan Appreciation show on 7/10 at Korakuen Hall. The match came about from a vote from fans. So these guys had some words for each other before the match and their exchanges during the match got the most heat. Bryant seems to be getting over as there was Nobe chants after he hit a running crossbody clearing the ropes on to the outside on to Sai & Lee. Nomura got the win for his team with two top rope splashes followed up by the Maximum on James. I’m assuming that since surprisingly James took the fall here it’s building to something involving him and Nomura.
Really fun and good heat for an undercard six-man tag. After the match, Nomura finally shakes Lee’s hand suggesting that their old tag team is officially back together. It was later revealed by Nomura that while he’s going to be a tag team with Lee, he’s not joining SWEEPER. ***1/4
WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
VIOLENT GIANTS (SUWAMA & SHUJI ISHIKAWA) © DEF. THE END (PARROW & ODINSON)
On the latest episode of Wrestling Omakase, I said that I thought that the Violent Giants were the best tag team in wrestling at the halfway point of the year in part because of this match. The End have a good look, but their wrestling isn’t that great. I think Odinson is average, and Parrow is not that great.
However, the Violent Giants being the best tag team in the world managed to make this a great match. This was just a bunch of big guys hitting each other pretty much as soon as the match started. There were also great spots like each member of The End picking up a member of Violent Giants looking like they were going to hit stereo Powerbombs, but instead ran and crashed the Violent Giants into each other while upon their shoulders. Violent Giants also debuted a new double team move that saw Suwama place Odinson on the top turnbuckle as if to Superlex him but Ishikawa Powerbombs Suwama while Suwama delivers an overhead Belly-to-Belly Superplex to Odinson. Wild stuff. Ishikawa pinned Odinson soon after with the Giant Slam. A tremendous sprint that was smartly worked. Violent Giants bumped for The End quite a bit and the finishing stretch used Odinson to do battle with Ishikawa instead of the more limited Parrow. A hell of a carry job. ****
TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP
KENTO MIYAHARA © DEF. YOSHITATSU
I ended up watching this match twice before writing this review. It took me a second watching to realize that this was a great match, though it is quite possibly the weakest Miyahara Triple Crown defense in a long time. But you have to remember that given the incredibly high bar that Miyahara has set in his title matches, weakest does not mean bad by any stretch.
Many have mentioned that Miyahara is formulaic sometimes. I wouldn’t totally disagree, but I’d also point to his last defense against Ishikawa and his defense against KAI in January to see how the formula gets shaken up. However, in the case of a worker like Yoshitatsu, it’s good to stick to the formula. Yoshitatsu, in order to be in a great match, has to be carried, though I don’t think he’s an awful worker normally, just a slightly above average one.
There was some stuff like more time spent brawling outside and more restholds early on than usual which is obviously going to be a knock against the match. But as the match built, I think it told an effective story of Yoshitatsu wanting to hang in there with the champ. The crowd was very much into every no sell or counter from Yoshitatsu. His near falls on Miyahara got even bigger pops. He is very much over with the crowd, which needs to be understood because Yoshitatsu is often the butt of jokes from Western fans.
Miyahara won his V5 defense with the Deadlift German Suplex. I thought the closing moments were not quite as exciting as his previous matches, which is another knock. Despite all this, given the crowd heat and the story between these wrestlers I really got into the match on the second viewing. This may not be the match you show someone who wants to get into All Japan, but this was a match I think that the All Japan faithful will get into. This match went 26:15, and I think shaving five to six minutes off of this could have produced something really great. ****
At 1630 fans, this had the highest non-Champion Carnival All Japan attendance in Korakuen Hall this year which is a feather in Yoshitatsu’s cap and a signal as to how successful Yoshitatsu has been at rehabbing his persona. Though this was the first All Japan Korakuen Hall show of the year without a real must watch World Tag Title or Triple Crown match, this show is still a worth a watch.
Violent Giants were challenged by Lee and Nomura for a tag title match during their post-match comments backstage. The champions accepted and that match will happen on the first night of two back-to-back All Japan shows in Osaka on 7/27.
After the main event, Sai and Zeus hit the ring to confront Miyahara, and their match at the Fan Appreciation Show is being turned into a #1 Contender’s match. I think it’s probably fair to predict that Zeus will win that and go on to his home town of Osaka to challenge Miyahara on 7/28.