ALL JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
SUMMER ACTION SERIES 2020 ~CHIBA EXTRA DREAM 24~
JULY 18, 2020
2AW SQUARE
CHIBA, JAPAN

Watch: AJPW.TV

JAKE LEE, KOJI IWAMOTO & TAJIRI DEF. YOSHITATSU, TAKAO OMORI & BLACK MENSO~RE (7:41)

This was a simple six-man tag that was built around TAJIRI getting worked over. Then Iwamoto got tagged in and went back-and-forth with Menso~re and then Iwamoto a Japanese Leg Roll Clutch on Menso~re for the win. That was about it. The work while it lasted was fine, but Lee and Yoshitatsu barely did anything except for at the beginning of the match. **1/4

EVOLUTION (HIKARU SATO & DAN TAMURA) DEF. YUMA AOYAGI & ATSUKI AOYAGI (9:32)

This was Tamura’s debut as a member of Evolution. His red mohawk is now blonde but he hasn’t changed up his red gear yet. Sato went to work on Yuma’s arm and then Tamura got tagged back in and continued to work over it. Nice to see Tamura and Sato set up some synergy, as they are going to be tagging a lot from now on. This match really picked up speed, and there were a bunch of near falls. Tamura and Atsuki both looked good here and did the bulk of the work on the back end of the match. Tamura made Atsuki tap to the Modified Texas Cloverleaf Hold. This was a lot of fun and I really liked how it set up Tamura and Sato working together as a team. ***1/2

PURPLE HAZE (ZEUS & IZANAGI) DEF. ENFANTS TERRIBLES (SHOTARO ASHINO & YUSUKE KODAMA) (7:24)

Purple Haze attacked before the bell of course. The Zeus versus Ashino stuff in this match was awesome, and this match had a fast pace from the start. While neither team had an upper hand for most of the match, Izanagi got the win with a Small Package after Kodama missed a top-rope Senton. This continues the storyline of Izanagi managing to finally win some matches, now two in a row, both wins with a Small Package. Another good undercard tag team match, though I am sure there will be those concerned with Enfants Terribles losing another match. ***1/4

ENFANTS TERRIBLES (KUMA ARASHI & HOKUTO OMORI) DEF. KENTO MIYAHARA & FRANCESCO AKIRA (12:29)

This was Omori’s debut as a member of Enfants Terribles. There was some fun stuff here early on with Akira using his speed to try to outwit Arashi, but eventually, the big man took over, and Akira became the whipping boy of the match. Omori also showed off his new edge and gave Miyahara a DDT on the entrance ramp. Omori also played off his partner, Arashi well given they have never teamed before. This came down to Omori vs. Akira. Both got some near falls on each other, with a couple making me believe that the match was over before it was. Omori got the win with a German Suplex on Akira after also debuting a new Falcon Arrow like move to set it up. Omori put his foot on top of Akira and goaded Miyahara after the match. A much needed win for Enfants Terribles and Omori came off as a great heel here. ***1/2

HAIR VS. HAIR
YUSUKE OKADA DEF. SEIGO TACHIBANA (8:56)

If Okada wins, he gets to face Yoshitatsu for the GAORA TV Championship. Okada also has near yellow, white and silver gear that looks pretty good. These guys went at it right away, with no feeling-out period. The match was a back-and-forth wrestled in a Jr. Heavyweight style which is not surprising. But I was somewhat delightfully surprised that they kept the comedy here to a minimum. Both of these guys have, at times been willing to bring that out. After a bunch of big moves from each man and some near falls, Okada managed to get the Sudden Death (Fisherman’s Buster) on Tachibana for the win. This was a great sprint that didn’t let up. After the match, Okada is about to shave Tachibana’s head but then cuts a promo then Tachibana’s partner Yoshitatsu starts to do it instead but then relents. Okada wasn’t much interested in the hair he wanted a title shot.  Weird post-match angle aside, this was a great match and I’m looking forward to Okada vs. Yoshitatsu. All Japan later posted Yoshitatsu shaving Tachibana’s hair on their YouTube channel.  ***3/4




WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
VIOLENT GIANTS (SUWAMA & SHUJI ISHIKAWA) DEF. YANKEE TWO KENJU (ISAMI KODAKA & YUKO MIYAMOTO) (19:36)

These two teams had a good match on an indy show back in January that the Violent Giants won. This exceeded it. The match started off slowly but logically as Yankee Two Kenju worked over Ishikawa’s leg, smartly trying to ground the much larger wrestler. Then the tables were turned and Violent Giants worked over Kodaka for a bit. Things began to pick up after Miyamoto escaped from a Last Ride attempt from SUWAMA and hit a powerful Lariat of his own on the much larger man. Yankee Two Kenju got to escape from a lot of big moves and got several near falls of their own. After escaping from and kicking out of a bunch of big moves from Ishikawa, Kodaka finally fell to Ishikawa’s Giant Slam. This match told a nice little story of power versus skill that I really got into towards the end. After the match, Ishikawa and SUWAMA both have a back-and-forth on the mic to hype their Triple Crown match against each other on July 25 in Korakuen Hall. ****

FINAL THOUGHTS

This was a solid show with a fun undercard that was an easy watch. While Enfants Terrible losing yet another match will probably raise a few eyebrows, I thought it was fine given the story they are telling with Izanagi finally getting wins. And in the match that Enfants Terribles did win, Hokuto Omori, their newest member, was put over strong. And Yusuke Okada looked great in his victory. While time will tell just how much of a push Enfants Terribles get (and I remain bullish on them in All Japan), there is no question that All Japan is focusing on some of their young talent and are moving them up the card.