ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT NIGHT 1
SEPTEMBER 14, 2019
SANJŌ CITY SAKAE GYMNASIUM
7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
NAOYA NOMURA DEF. SAM ADONIS
Adonis is a perfectly acceptable wrestler. He was acceptable here. But the biggest issue of this match was that there wasn’t that much to it. I felt they did just the bare minimum before I would call this boring. It started out well and ended decently, but some of the stuff in the middle dragged. These two had a better match earlier this year in the Champion Carnival that Nomura also won. That match was a couple minutes shorter than the 15:41 that this match went. Shaving off a couple of minutes would have definitely helped. While I still thought this was a decent match, I think someone like a Kento Miyahara or Hiroshi Tanahashi could have gotten more out of someone like Adonis. Dave Meltzer recently wrote that Nomura has the potential to be a superstar. I think that is absolutely true, but what superstars can do is make more limited opponents look great. That is something that Nomura is not incapable of, but he’s not as good at that yet as the Miyaharas and Tanahashis are. If he can get that good at carrying opponents, than he will indeed be a superstar. Nomura won this match with his Death Valley Driver that he calls Maximum. Gentleman’s ***
7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
JAKE LEE DEF. SUWAMA
This was definitely a much better match than the other tournament match on this show. It followed a simple formula. SUWAMA worked over Lee for a while, Lee got a couple of hope spots, then they hit each other with a bunch of big strikes and power moves in the closing stretch, and Lee pinned SUWAMA with a Backdrop. This was a big victory for Lee, as it was the first time he has defeated SUWAMA in a singles match.
This turned into a very good match in the end, but let me explain why I didn’t think it was excellent. SUWAMA spent way too much time in control in the early and middle parts of the match. I didn’t think it was necessarily boring. I like watching SUWAMA working guys over, and he showed intensity in doing it. I just thought it was silly to have Lee take a beating most of the match until the finishing sequence where he got the better of SUWAMA with some strikes before hitting the Backdrop. This was a very Kaito Kiyomiya style match in that regard. Lee is also not a small guy. This should have been a back-and-forth match with them knocking the crap out of each other until one man could no longer stand. Also as with other Lee performances, the intensity was either not there or inconsistent. My review here may make me sound like I didn’t like this match. I very much did like it, but I think it could have been so much more, especially given the significance of Lee beating SUWAMA for the first time. ***3/4
An okay first night to the tournament. It definitely could have been better. I have a feeling that things won’t really start to feel exciting until we get to the Korakuen Hall show on the 16th that features four first round matches.
Also there wasn’t much on the undercard. However, if you are a long time hardcore fan of AJPW, you may get a kick out of seeing Masanobu Fuchi and Mitsuo Momota going at it still in 2019. They were both in the 6 man tag comedy match of the show.