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Champion Carnival 2019

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Atsushi Aoki is replacing him.

Edited by D.Z
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Well damn twice then

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BJW vs Dragongate.

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Ok but who will put on the worst matches of the tournament? Gonna be hard to beat Valletta but this is the field that could offer some challenges.

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Zeus wins most stylish, again. Miyahara and Aoyagi both on-point. Nomura looks like he borrowed his dad’s suit.

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Yuma will debut a new submission finisher endgame.

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Suwama/Doering and Shuji/Okabayashi both duffed the same move badly. MORE THOUGHT later.

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Stolen from Purolove.

AJPW "CHAMPION CARNIVAL 2019", 09.04.2019 
Kunibiki Messe Multipurpose Hall 
407 Fans - No Vacancy 

1. Yuma Aoyagi & Yoshitatsu besiegen Koji Iwamoto & Hokuto Omori (7:36) nach einem Backdrop von Aoyagi gegen Omori. 
2. Jun Akiyama, Yusuke Okada, Hikaru Sato & ALL Mighty Inoue besiegen Takao Omori, Black Menso~re & Lowther (11:33) nach einem Crab Hold von Okada gegen Tamura. 
3. Suwama, Shuji Ishikawa & Atsushi Aoki besiegen Joe Doering, Atsushi Maruyama & Futoshi Kyoboku (6:53) nach einem Samson Clutch von Aoki gegen Maruyama. 
4. Champion Carnival - Block A: Dylan James [4] besiegt Gianni Valletta [0] (10:30) mit einem Chokeslam. 
5. Champion Carnival - Block B: Jake Lee [2] besiegt Joel Redman [0] (12:47) mit einem Backdrop. 
6. Champion Carnival - Block B: Naoya Nomura [6] besiegt Sam Adonis [0] (13:11) mit dem Nomura Lock. 
7. Champion Carnival - Block A: Zeus [4] besiegt Kento Miyahara [2] (17:04) mit einem Jackhammer.

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Thoughts from the first 3 days of the Carnival.

Day 1 (4/4)

  • I was expecting Cyber Kong to be bad, but for some reason I thought Hashimoto was supposed to be OK. He is not.
  • Lee vs Nomura quieted a lot of my concerns, because it was excellent. I thought both guys might need steady veterans to keep them looking, but I've been proven wrong.
  • Lee is consistently better--Nomura fucks up more--but Nomura is undisputedly more over with the fans now.
  • Lee's gimmick seems to have coalesced into smug martial arts dude. It kinda works. Like he's all bowing and honor but he thinks he's the shit and you suck, etc.
  • Aoki was awesome versus Miyahara. It's always good to see Kento work as the dominant wrestler, but Aoki kept using wily veteran tactics to keep it competitive. Aoki is a good wrestler, but he's incredibly stale in the junior division--maybe this will freshen up his act.
  • Also: place was fucking all in for Aoki, chanting his name and drowning out Kento supporters. He looked genuinely touched.
  • Joe vs Suwama was good but kind of abrupt.
  • OK, so, the problem with Shuji Ishikawa is that all of his moves look like absolute death. Yes, that's  a problem. Because when he works an opponent over for five minutes, it's like that opponent has been eating absolutely killer finishers the whole time. And then the comeback is never as devastating.
  • Good show--whole thing is worthwhile.

Day 2 (4/6)

  • I have never seen Joel Redman before. Admittedly, British wrestling isn't my thing. For example, Real Hero was tweeting some British wrestling gifs, and Doug Williams retweeted and was like "this is pure British wrestling blokes! Nothing like it on Earth!" but he's wrong, because it's exactly like the Hokey Pokey.
  • What I'm saying is, there's definitely some Hokey in Redman's pokey.
  • Nonetheless, he's superior to Hashimoto, as he seems to understand the basics of putting a wrestling match together.
  • Holy shit Hashimoto is bad. Guys why didn't you tell me how bad he was. He is worse than Cyber Kong and seems lost in the ring. He makes Yoshitatsu look like a fucking wrestle genius.
  • And his finisher is a shining wizard? Fuck me. That really doesn't work in a fed where Miyahara, Ishikawa, Akiyama, and Jake Lee spam people with fucking devastating knee strikes.
  • Anyway, "biggest guy in tournament vs littlest guy in tournament" is an easy tale to get behind, and Ishikawa vs Aoki was a good little match. Aoki perhaps not taken seriously enough--he's a multi-time champ, give him some cred. He's gonna have to get a win or two, right?
  • If you're looking for a short, fun intro to Yuma Aoyagi, his match against Okabayashi might work. He tries to bring the young boy fire, and mostly succeeds--except for when he tries a neck lock and is foiled by Okabayashi's complete lack of a neck.
  • Okabayashi gets some heat for trying to take out young Yuma with a young-boy-killing Boston Crab.
  • Okabayashi is a potato golem of some kind.
  • Sai vs James was Perfectly Fine Wrestling.
  • Some quick finishes on this show. These guys don't really go all out on these house shows. Maybe it's supposed to add to the Carnival's unpredictability or something.
  • Nomura vs Cyber Kong was the main event (?) so they had to go long, which was a shame, because that meant that at least five minutes of it was Kong posturizing. But at least he knows to do that.
  • Make this a tight 10 and its fine, maybe even great, cuz the fans are somewhat behind Kong's shenanigans and they're all in on Nomura. But they stretch it out too much. Blah.

Day 3

  • Pretty wretched day.
  • Holy shit Hashimoto is awful. Among some bad wrestlers he is the worst. I think Valetta is better. Valetta!
  • You know what Hashimoto is? A crappy Ryuji Sai. And Ryuji Sai is already pretty crappy.
  • Zeus's first showing of the tournament is against the aforementioned "Rikidozan of Malta." So not much to work with.
  • I actually feel kind of sorry for Valetta. AJ is like "we have two kinds of foreigners: Hansens or Brodys. You're a Brody, medium-sized Malta Man."
  • Friends, he is not a Brody.
  • Anyway, he's gone from just intolerably awful to tolerably awful, but if he disappeared from the cards that would be OK I think.
  • Maybe Kento will make him look good. I mean if he can't, then who?
  • I just watched this and have forgotten most of it, so that's how the show went.
  • OH, you know what I do remember: at about 15 minutes into Sai vs Ishikawa I was like "there's a lot of stalling there's no way that they're going 30 minutes is there" and fuck yeah they went 30 minutes. Jesus Christ that was awful. I'm trying not to spoil things but you should know in advance that this goes 30 minutes and it has no right going 30 minutes.
  • Sai keeps trying super plexes and he never sets them up right and they're agonizingly slow. Just get off the top rope asshole. What are you doing?
  • But he's still better than like half of block B.
  • Speaking of Block B, Yoshitatsu might be the fifth best guy in block b. Might be. Haven't seem Sam Adonis yet.
  • Joe vs Yoshitatsu is Perfectly Fine Wrestling.

General thoughts:

  • Nothing really impresses outside of the first day
  • Aoki might have a great tournament?
  • Nomura is a star
  • If Lee doesn't win this, he's gonna just have to pass the ball to Nomura, who is clearly surpassing him.
  • I get that Block B is set up so Nomura and Lee can rack up a bunch of wins, will those wins matter against these jabronis?
  • Lots of quick finishes that might have a kayfabe reason but are probably just to keep guys fresh
  • Except for the 30 minute draw, the fuck was that about?

 

Complete and Objective Ranking of Matches:

Ishikawa vs Okabayashi (4/4)

Lee vs Nomura (4/4)

Miyahara vs Aoki (4/4)

Suwama vs Doering (4/4)

Okabayashi vs Aoyagi (4/6)

Ishikawa vs Aoki (4/6)

Nomura vs Cyber Kong (4/6)

Sai vs James (4/6)

Yoshitatsu vs Doering (4/7)

Hashimoto vs Lee (4/7)

Valetta vs Zeus (4/7)

Hashimoto vs Redman (4/6)

Hashimoto vs Cyber Kong (4/4)

Sai vs Ishikawa (4/7)

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I just watched Shuji v Yuji and I want to go and lariat a bus, that is extremely my stuff

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I've seen Redman (not that one) a couple of times over here, he's quite good, fine as a second string big foreigner. His match vs Okada in Rev Pro was lacklustre but I think Okada was having a quiet one.

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I watched the April 9 Carnival matches. Some thoughts:

  • This was the second best show so far, with all the CC matches being at least Perfectly Fine Wrestling, and the main event being fucking terrific.
  • Valetta vs James was Perfectly Fine Wrestling, for example. For a moment it looked like it might end up being even Good wrestling but alas, Valetta is not quite there. And that's too bad. I was ready to declare his performance  real miracle, but my enthusiasm wore off. Still, they played to his strength, he didn't look bad, and they kept it streamlined and to-the-point.
  • I was hoping that Lee/Redman would be a nice surprise, since their styles kind of line up: Lee is a martial arts dude, and British wrestling is like if mime was a martial art. And they matched up OK, but not in any special way.
  • The story was OK, too, since Lee is very no-nonsense, and Redman is like "what if I put you in a wristlock while doing a headstand?" And the story was that Lee kept getting sick of his shit and trying to take his head off with a kick, then regaining his composure and trying to out-wrestle him.
  • And then just saying "screw it" and trying to murder him.
  • If it isn't clear already: Redman distinctly does not wrestle a style I like, but he's clearly talented and really changes up the dynamic of AJ house style, so I'd be cool with him sticking around. Harken back to a time when not all AJ foreigners were hosses.
  • Sam Adonis was ... OK? They fucked up the finish and I think it was his fault. Also, funny that this guy got banned from RevPro (right?) for using a homophobic slur when his current outfit makes him look like the lost third of Lenny and Lodi.
  • Jesus, remember Lenny and Lodi? How was anyone supposed to get over in WCW? Remember Mike Awesome "the Fat Chick Thriller"?
  • ANYWAY, Zeus and Kento are the two best wrestlers in All Japan. Zeus works harder than anyone else who can make a claim to his spot. A lot harder.
  • And this match was great! In fact, it might be better than Ishikawa vs Okabayashi--I had a hard time figuring out where to put it, honestly.
  • What was great about it was how fucking streamlined it was. Their last TC match was I think over 30 minutes. This was a nice lean 17. And they fought at a junior heavyweight pace.
  • I mean Zeus is a fucking moose and he's more athletic than 90% of the juniors.
  • And fucking no one is as over as Kento. My word.

Complete and Objective Ranking of Matches:

Ishikawa vs Okabayashi (4/4)

Zeus vs Miyahara (4/9)

Lee vs Nomura (4/4)

Miyahara vs Aoki (4/4)

Suwama vs Doering (4/4)

Nomura vs Cyber Kong (4/6)

Okabayashi vs Aoyagi (4/6)

Ishikawa vs Aoki (4/6)

Valetta vs James (4/9)

Yoshitatsu vs Doering (4/7)

Lee vs Redman (4/9)

Nomura vs Adonis (4/9)

Sai vs James (4/6)

Hashimoto vs Lee (4/7)

Valetta vs Zeus (4/7)

Hashimoto vs Redman (4/6)

Hashimoto vs Cyber Kong (4/4)

Sai vs Ishikawa (4/7)

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Now that Mania week is over, I really need to start catching up on the carnival.

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Back home from Wrestlemania weekend and recovering on the couch this weekend. Any must-see matches from the CC so far?

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There's a reason Okabayashi has stuff named Golem this or that related to his moves and stuff. Also, your disdain for British wrestling makes me hope they just bring in a whole bunch of them.

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I watched days 5, 6, and 7 of the Champion's Carnival.

Day 5 (April 10)

  • Kind of a middling show
  • I like how the big bois try to finish Aoyagi with crab holds. Such utter disdain~!
  • Aoyagi has this kinda peppy indie-style intro song. He comes in all smiles and throws out a T-shirt. Very nice.
  • He's no Redman, whose fresh-faced-if-balding visage really charms the crowd. Boys, shakes hands, fist-bumps toddlers, etc. He's a smooth operator.
  • There are interviews after the Carnival matches! Doering puts over Nomura big. Which was not what I expected. I thought he'd be all "I crush you puny wimps, where's my beer?"
  • Doering-Nomura is quite good.
  • Suwama and Yoshitatsu have been feuding for a while. Some of it is Evolution vs Nextream generally, and Violent Giants vs YoshiKen specifically. Some of it is that Yoshitatsu played spoiler for Suwama in last year's CC, and ever since he's been trying to choke Yoshitatsu out.
  • Fans like Yoshitatsu in a "we like you but stay away from the TC" kind of way. He's like your favourite uncle--you want him to be at the family gathering but you don't actually want him around all the time.
  • I dunno about that simile.
  • Anyway, generally the strength of a Yoshitatsu is directly related to how many moves he duffs. And man, this dude consistently duffs moves. He's been pretty good thus far, though.

Day 6 (April 11)

  • Honestly, I'm not remembering much about this day. But I'll have you know that Redman's charm is wearing me down at this point. I'm like "maybe headstands on the turnbuckle are fine offensive maneuvers, who am I to judge?"
  • There was nearly 30 minutes on the clock when MIyahara vs James started and shit was I panicked about a draw.
  • There was no draw.
  • Still, not enamored of the match.
  • Skippable show I reckon.

Day 7 (April 13)

  • This is a good show--one to seek out.
  • Friends, I am all turned around on Redman now. British wrestling is nothing more than a choreographed clown show? Sure, I didn't say that, but I thought it. Lads, I'm ashamed. British wrestling is smiles and sunshine; it is the laughter that makes life worth living.
  • Some of it is pretty goofy, though.
  • Joel Redman eats up Naoyo Nomura for lunch. Jesus, they're pushing this kid, and the fans love him, but Redman just British wrestles all over him. He's just drenched in British wrestling afterward.
  • I'm coming to appreciate the different brands of heeling we're getting in this tournament. We're getting the wild man, ultra-violent heeling of Valette; the evil, cheating heeling of Cyber Kong; and the wily, cowardly cheating of Adonis. It's a real bouquet of badness.
  • Admittedly none of them are great examples of their particular genre, but I digress, etc.
  • Anyway, Ishikawa tries to big boi Aoyagi even worse than Zeus did. And succeeds.
  • Ish is quite fond of just running over Aoyagi's innards. It looks ouchy.
  • This is all capped off by an ULTIMATE BIG BOI match between Zeus and James which is among my favourites of the tournament.
  • There is an obvious big boi-ness that makes the match immediately compelling, but more to the point this is a fight for the unofficial "Loudest Chops in AJ" title.
  • Friends, Dylan has the loudest chops in AJ. It saddens me to admit it.
  • Otherwise, I am a Zeus shill.
  • Like, someone told Zeus to up his game last year and he's like "OK I do topes now"
  • There's a moment when both dudes grab each others necks and they threaten a simultaneous double-choke slam and I think it's going to happen even though it is probably physically impossible.
  • Watch this show.

 

Complete and Object Match Rankings:

Ishikawa vs Okabayashi (4/4)

Zeus vs James (4/13)

Zeus vs Miyahara (4/9)

Lee vs Nomura (4/4)

Miyahara vs Aoki (4/4)

Suwama vs Doering (4/4)

Nomura vs Redman (4/13)

Nomura vs Doering (4/10)

Ishikawa vs Aoyagi (4/13)

Zeus vs Aoyagi (4/10)

Nomura vs Cyber Kong (4/6)

Suwama vs Yoshitatus (4/10)

Okabayashi vs Aoyagi (4/6)

Ishikawa vs Aoki (4/6)

Miyahara vs James (4/11)

Valetta vs James (4/9)

Yoshitatsu vs Doering (4/7)

Lee vs Yoshitatsu (4/11)

Lee vs Redman (4/9)

Adonis vs Redman (4/10)

Nomura vs Adonis (4/9)

Suwama vs Adonis (4/11)

Sai vs James (4/6)

Hashimoto vs Lee (4/7)

Suwama vs Cyber Kong (4/13)

Aoyagi vs Valetta (4/11)

Sai vs Valetta (4/13)

Valetta vs Zeus (4/7)

Hashimoto vs Redman (4/6)

Hashimoto vs Cyber Kong (4/4)

Sai vs Ishikawa (4/7)

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As someone who has seen about 40/50 Britindy shows - ranging from seaside happy-clappy kidfests to local indie mayhem to large professional feeders to small pretenders to their throne of realism - I agree that British wrestling is essentially clowning comic book violence with poses and faces and is now divorced from the basic idea of applying real techniques in a work.

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It depends who is doing the wrestling and in front of whom. You're not seeing the same match in All Star as you in Progress. Probably.

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Day 8 has two excellent matches at the top of the card.

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