ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
EXCITE SERIES 2020
FEBRUARY 11, 2020
KORAKUEN HALL
TOKYO, JAPAN

Watch: AJPW.TV

EVOLUTION (HIKARU SATO & YUSUKE OKADA) & JR KRATOS VS. HOKUTO OMORI, RISING HAYATO & TSUGUTAKA SATO

Kratos makes his All Japan debut here. This will be a showcase for him and he’s got three young wrestlers that he can throw around to show off his size and strength. Not exactly sure who he will pin, but he’s definitely getting the pin here. Sato is a young guy with a good look (yet another Wrestle-1 trainee turned freelancer) that works the occasional All Japan show, who should really be booked by them more. Prediction: Hikaru Sato, Yusuke Okada & JR Kratos

PURPLE HAZE (ZEUS, UTAMARO & IZANAGI) VS. JIN (NAOYA NOMURA, AYATO YOSHIDA & FUMINORI ABE)

The two hot new stables in All Japan are facing off. I think Purple Haze picks up the win here because I think UTAMARO and Izanagi are probably destined for an All Asia Tag Team Championship challenge against the other members of JIN soon. Prediction: Purple Haze

MANABU NAKANISHI ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING FINAL
MANABU NAKANISHI, JUN AKIYAMA, OSAMU NISHIMURA & YUTAKA YOSHIE VS. YOSHITATSU, RYOUJI SAI, TAJIRI & DAN TAMURA

Nakanishi gets a nice send-off in All Japan here, getting to be in the ring one last time with some former New Japan wrestlers. Nakanishi and Akiyama have a long-standing connection to each other as both were amateur wrestlers at Senshu University in Tokyo at the same time. My only minor gripe with this match is that it would be cool if the other third-generation New Japan dads – Kojima, Nagata, and Tenzan were also in this. Anyway, the young boy Tamura is clearly the fall guy here, and I’m thinking Nakanishi might even pick up a last pinfall here (because he probably won’t in his actual retirement match). Prediction: Manabu Nakanishi, Jun Akiyama, Osamu Nishimura & Yutaka Yoshie

ALL ASIA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
JIN (JAKE LEE & KOJI IWAMOTO) © VS. TAKAO OMORI & BLACK MENSO~RE

Omori & Menso~re are an underrated team. They mostly do comedy on an average show, but when they do challenge for the All Asia Tag Team Championship like they did in January 2019, they work hard. So this could be the sleeper match of the evening. JIN is retaining here and I would bet are probably facing the Purple Haze team of UTAMARO and Izanagi next. Prediction: JIN

AJPW WORLD JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
SUSUMU YOKOSUKA © VS. FRANCESCO AKIRA

Folks, I’m going to say it: All Japan’s Jr. heavyweight division is #actuallygood. And it has been since November when the Jr. Heavyweight title tournament started. And that trend is going to continue here. Akira is already pretty good and continues to improve on every tour of All Japan he does. Yokosuka is, of course, a legend, and it was a stroke of genius putting the Jr. title on him to push the Jr. division in a new and exciting direction. This has the potential to be the best Jr. match in All Japan in quite some time. And this match hitting **** or even higher is not out of the realm of possibility. Akira will want to make a statement in what will be the biggest match of his career up to this point. A good showing here, and he could very well end up being champion by the end of this year, but this is his first challenge, so he’s not winning here, nor should he. Prediction: Susumu Yokosuka




AJPW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
VIOLENT GIANTS (SUWAMA & SHUJI ISHIKAWA) © VS. PURPLE HAZE (SHIGEHIRO IRIE & LUCAS STEEL)

All Japan wasted no time in pushing Steel. Though he looks a bit green at times (lots of kicks and stomps to make up for his lack of offense) he has tremendous potential. Irie has also been a welcome addition to All Japan. Though he’s not on every show, he does add some much-needed depth to the midcard when he’s around. I’m going to make a bold prediction and say that Purple Haze wins here. Violent Giants are the best tag team in the world in my opinion but things have gotten stale with them at the top and the tag team division (and the company as a whole) could use a big shake up. Prediction: Purple Haze

TRIPLE CROWN CHAMPIONSHIP
KENTO MIYAHARA © VS. YUMA AOYAGI

It was clear for some time that Miyahara would be breaking Toshiaki Kawada’s Triple Crown defense record during this reign. If victorious here, Miyahara will tie the defense record at ten. But the main problem with Miyahara’s current title reign is that he was running out of challengers. He faced Jake Lee twice in a row for example. But All Japan managed to add some juice to things by Aoyagi turning on Miyahara and getting his first Triple Crown challenge.

During the New Year Wars tour, Aoyagi played a great heel and he got his End Game submission over, even getting Miyahara to tap out to it in a tag team match on 1/26. Though the result isn’t in question here, they managed to tell a great story and I think they should keep Aoyagi as a heel going forward.

This should be an awesome match. Aoyagi is really damn good now, as he proved during the Real World Tag League last year. Aoyagi has also debuted a new spin kick finisher on 2/6 which knocked out UTAMARO in only five minutes, so expect some teases around that move.

I truly expect this to be on the level of most Miyahara defenses. And I would also expect that they will set up who Miyahara faces for his record-setting eleventh defense on All Japan’s March Korakuen Hall event on this show. Prediction: Kento Miyahara