ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT NIGHT 3
SEPTEMBER 16, 2019
KORAKUEN HALL
TOKYO, JAPAN

Watch: AJPW.TV

7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
KAI DEF. YUMA AOYAGI

Simple story here. Aoyagi played the young wrestler looking to get the advantage over the veteran KAI. Aoyagi even attacked before the bell, but KAI soon got the better of him. Though I love matches like this here were my issues. There was some slow and pointless brawling on the outside after some initial high spots to kick off the match. Then once we got back in the ring, KAI decided to just slap on a Figure Four without even bothering to work over Aoyagi’s legs just to kill some time. Things picked up when Aoyagi went back on offense and even got a couple of near falls with German Suplexes. KAI got the win out of nowhere with a Gannosuke Clutch in just under ten minutes. Aoyagi looked great here, and while KAI brought some heat at points in this match, it would have helped if he knew how to string moves together in any sort of order that makes sense. ***

7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
TAISHI TAKIZAWA DEF. GIANNI VALLETTA

Despite a negative reputation that Valletta carries, I generally think he is a passable wrestler. That was the case here. Started off with some brawling outside early then moved back into the ring. Valletta was in control for most of the first half of the match. That meant we got rest holds from Valletta. Takizawa eventually took control and hit a flurry of offense before winning with a Domineering. Uneven at times but a passable match. **3/4


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7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
JIRO “IKEMEN” KUROSHIO DEF. YOSHITATSU

Korakuen Hall loves the Ikemen. Kuroshio attacked Yoshitatsu before the bell on the outside. Kuroshio got some near falls in the first couple of minutes of this match thanks to his sneak attack. Then there was some brawling on the outside that went too long. Kuroshio even got his head slammed into both the legendary East and West signs of Korakuen Hall by Yoshitatsu. Yoshitatsu also brought the pointless rest holds once he had finally gained the advantage and they were back in the ring. I was not really feeling this match, but the last few minutes saw a great heated back-and-forth with some stiff strikes that the crowd ate up. So I began to turn the corner on this match. Yoshitatsu then began to look dominant and Kuroshio couldn’t manage much beyond some roll-ups that failed to clinch the win. But after Yoshitatsu hit a Complete Shot and went for the Koji Clutch, Kuroshio cradled him for the win in exactly 12 minutes. These guys made you believe that they were in the middle of some heated blood feud and the crowd really helped. By the time this match was over I was willing to look over some of the elements of it that would usually annoy me. I would love to see a rematch of this. ***1/2

7TH ŌDŌ TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND
KENTO MIYAHARA DEF. JOE DOERING

This was interesting in that it was like a Miyahara title defense compressed into 11:34. Doering, who has been banged up a lot this year, looked better than he has in a long time. He was moving fairly quickly for a big guy and was even able to do some chain wrestling. He was in control the majority of the match and it didn’t drag at all. Miyahara was his usual great self. Awesome selling, and timed his comebacks perfectly. This was the second-longest tournament match of the show but it seemingly flew by a lot faster than the others. The only weak part of the match was the finishing stretch. While this was a compressed Miyahara match, there was very little to this one. Doering misses a Running Crossbody, ends up in the ropes, then Miyahara hits the Shutdown German Suplex for the win. Still, a really fun match that if it had even a little bit of a longer finishing sequence could have been even better. ***3/4

FINAL THOUGHTS

A solid though not spectacular tournament show. The Quarter-Finals are now set with Miyahara vs. Kuroshio, Zeus vs. Naoya Nomura, Jake Lee vs. KAI and Takizawa vs. Shuji Ishikawa. There is the potential for some great wrestling from those match ups.

Doering losing to Miyahara is interesting. Doering hasn’t challenged for the Triple Crown during Miyahara’s current reign. That could have been a relatively fresh match saved for a big show. It is probably a sign that Doering is getting cycled down the card. Injuries have been affecting him lately, but if he can continue to look as good as he did here, then he probably does deserve another title shot in the not too distant future.