ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
ALL JAPAN PRO-WRESTLING BROADCAST 2020 # 5 ~ TREASON VS. INVASION
MAY 30, 2020
2AW SQUARE
CHIBA, JAPAN

Watch: AJPW.TV

KENTO MIYAHARA & YOSHITATSU DEF. JUN AKIYAMA & DAN TAMURA (9:48)

A rare opening match appearance for Miyahara. Tamura got a surprising amount of offense on Miyamoto early on in this match to establish that the young boy is growing as a wrestler. From there it became formulaic with Tamura being worked over, building to a hot tag to Akiyama. As a bonus here, we got some Miyahara vs. Akiyama action which is always great. They teased a finish where Yoshitatsu had Tamura in a Crab Hold, but Tamura actually made it to the ropes and Tamura would also get a couple near falls on Yoshitatsu further establishing how he has progressed but Tamura would ultimately tap out to another Yoshitatsu Crab Hold. A solid opener that told a great story about Tamura. And after the match, Yoshitatsu and Miyahara danced for some reason. ***1/4

SHUJI ISHIKAWA & HIKARU SATO DEF. YUMA AOYAGI & BLACK MENSO~RE (6:48)

Pretty basic match here. Menso~re did all his poses and usual schtick and Ishikawa and Sato spent most of the match beating him up. Aoyagi was really a non-factor here except for the opening minutes where he and Ishikawa did some cool stuff. I’ll give this a passing grade because Menso~re getting beat up made me laugh at a couple points. After the match Yusuke Kodama came out to taunt Menso~re and then got chased into the back. **1/2

EVOLUTION (SUWAMA & YUSUKE OKADA) DEF. KOJI IWAMOTO & HOKUTO OMORI (4:27)

This was great while it lasted. Some great sequences between all of the juniors in this match and then SUWAMA got tagged in and made short work of Omori with a Lariat, though Omori did get a couple of hope spots against the Triple Crown Champion. This should have been given ten minutes instead of less than five. Omori looks better and better in every match he has these days. **3/4

YUSUKE KODAMA DEF. FRANCESCO AKIRA (11:06)

I was pumped when I saw this match announced and I was not let down. Akira unloaded on Kodama out of the gate but Kodama used his trickery to eventually gain control. Kodama then worked over Akira and this was the slowest part of the match. Things picked up again once Akira made his comeback and didn’t let up. Akira got a lot more of a rub in this match than Kodama’s other opponents have in All Japan thus far. After trading near falls, Kodama hit the Mad Splash for the win. All Japan is slowly but surely building up its Jr. Heavyweight division. After the match, Kodama cut a promo and Black Menso~re came out to confront him but they ended up forming an alliance and will be teaming together on the next show on June 7 against Hikaru Sato and Koji Iwamoto. Then Sato came out to confront Kodama and Sato tried to kick Kodama but Kodama avoided it and then ran off. All Japan’s Jr. Heavyweight division has been having a sneaky good year. And it’s not just Susumu Yokosuka carrying the division. Akira has been great as has Hikaru Sato and Yusuke Okada, and Kodama has made a huge impact only after five matches in the company. ***3/4

JAKE LEE DEF. TAKAO OMORI (10:16)

We got a couple of videos featuring Lee between the earlier matches on this show where he answered questions that fans submitted on Twitter. It’s pretty clear he is going to be getting a Triple Crown shot soon. This was a fun little match. While Omori is showing his age, particularly in how slow he moves at times, overall, he can still go at a pretty decent level. Omori worked over Lee’s left leg early on. I love a good leg match. And Lee sold it well until it was time for his comeback. But despite that negative, this built to a solid back-and-forth match in the closing stretch with each wrestler hitting their big moves. Lee got the win with a Backdrop. Despite the abandoned leg selling, this was a solid pro wrestling match from start to finish that was perfectly paced to build up to the finish. And to further strengthen the idea Lee is getting a Triple Crown shot soon, Lee is facing Shuji Ishikawa on June 7. ***1/2




ALL ASIA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
YANKEE TWO KENJU (ISAMI KODAKA & YUKO MIYAMOTO) © DEF. KAI & TAJIRI (18:45)

Can’t say that I was very excited for this match. KAI and TAJIRI are not a great team, and TAJIRI does not bring out the best in KAI. However, lately in these no fan shows, TAJIRI has been a lot better and does not do much bullshit. That trend continued here. Match started off slow with a lot of matwork between TAJIRI and Kodaka, though again, I prefer that to shenanigans. KAI and Miyamoto also did a bunch of matwork too. TAJIRI and KAI eventually worked over Kodaka’s left arm for a while. Things finally picked up after Kodaka hit a Tope Suicida on KAI on the outside. Moments later, Kodaka would hit a Jacknife Hold on TAJIRI for the sudden win. This was a perfectly decent match, though the action did not peak for very long. But given what I was expecting going into this match, I was kind of impressed, though this could have benefitted from shaving off five minutes and having a longer and more action-packed closing stretch. The champions succeeded in their V2 defense. A true Gentleman’s three. ***

ENFANTS TERRIBLES (SHOTARO ASHINO & KUMA ARASHI) DEF. PURPLE HAZE (ZEUS & IZANAGI) (14:44)

Unlike most of Purple Haze’s other opponents, Enfants Terribles knew to get out of the ring so as not to be attacked as Purple Haze entered the ring. That was a nice little touch. Arashi really hasn’t stood out much to me in All Japan, but I dug him and Zeus going at it here. Two big boys just hitting each other. Even better was the Zeus vs. Ashino stuff. Ashino has proven to have great chemistry with a lot of the All Japan roster. Zeus fighting out of Ashino’s Ankle Lock was awesome. Izanagi wrestled this match in a lot more of a serious manner than usual and was also pretty good in it. But as the match went on, Enfants Terribles just destroyed Izanagi with big moves and he tapped to Ashino’s Ankle Lock. This was great stuff and an example of how Purple Haze can be great if they tone down the heel shenanigans. After the match Ashino cuts a quick promo and he goes to the back (and the camera follows him) into an office to confront SUWAMA and challenge him but Yusuke Okada who was with SUWAMA also wanted a piece of the former Wrestle-1 ace. Ashino then walks back to the ring to finish cutting his promo. This was hilarious. ***1/2

FINAL THOUGHTS

Another solid 2AW Square show from All Japan. But what hit me on this show is just how much these empty arena All Japan shows are formatted a lot like an American pro wrestling TV episode. There are a lot more video packages than usual, lots of promos in the ring and multiple wrestlers confronting each other in the ring on a single show. While it works under these circumstances and I thought Ashino confronting SUWAMA in the office was cool, I could see this jumping the shark if this is how they keep formatting these shows once they can run shows again in front of fans. But for now this format is at least giving the company a direction in these difficult times.