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BJW’s Strong Climb tournament blocks:

Block A

Akira Hyodo
Ryuichi Kawakami
Daichi Hashimoto
Yoshiki Inamura
T-Hawk
 

Block B

Kazuki Hashimoto
Daisuke Sekimoto
Taishi Takizawa
Kohei Sato
X (announced on 2/11)
 

Block C

Hideyoshi Kamitani
Ryota Hama
Yuji Okabayashi
Yuji Hino
Quiet Storm
 

Block D

Yuya Aoki
Yasufumi Nakanoue
Takuya Nomura
Kazumi Kikuta
Jake Lee

Edited by Control
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I just recently learned that one of the undercard foreigners in the original UWF was fucking Fit Finlay.  So, there exists a real possiblity that matches between Finlay and Fujiwara and Finlay and Yamazaki took place and nobody, outside of those who attended the live shows, will ever see them. 😭

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43 minutes ago, The Natural said:

Uploaded by NJPW:

A historic match and the most underrated Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada match.

That's Okada's big upset title win, right?

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3 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

That's Okada's big upset title win, right?

That's the one. February 2012. A great year for NJPW.

Edited by The Natural
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32 minutes ago, Control said:

God’s Army in AJPW is now called PURPLE HAZE

 

Wow, I'd say that Utamaro is now in a very fortunate position.  There's lots of wrestling knowledge to be learned from the other three.  A strange but interesting crew.  

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3 hours ago, D.Z said:

And in news Kento Miyahara and Kaito Kiyomiya accepted Okada's all star batttle game.

What does that mean?

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Remember those All together shows and old NJPW AJPW joint shows? Like those again.

20200204-01720992-tospoweb-000-view.jpg

Edited by D.Z
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On 2/4/2020 at 8:05 AM, Evil Otto said:

Wow, I'd say that Utamaro is now in a very fortunate position.  There's lots of wrestling knowledge to be learned from the other three.  A strange but interesting crew.  

UTAMARO's run in All Japan is kinda interesting. He basically started showing up in May - June of 2019 for a couple of matches where he was ring meat, filling out multi-man tags. He barely did anything in them (nature of those matches), but he had vocal support in the audience. Then, they brought him back to challenge for Yoshitatsu's GAORA TV title, which is basically just defended against outsiders (e.g. other defences were against TORU, Noriyuki Yoshida, and Seigo Tachibana). And the match was pretty good, but more to the point, he remained pretty over with the fans, which is probably why they had him in mind when Dylan James was injured before the WSTL. Akiyama took over James' slot, and UTAMARO got slotted into Akiyama's role in the undercard. Now, with Purple Haze~!, he's basically on every card.

Apparently, UTAMARO has been making noise about another GAORA challenge. I'd like to see him with the belt, actually.

Anyway, the first match or two of tomorrow's show will be on YouTube.

 

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Thought it was kinda cool that Nakanishi is also having a retirement match in AJPW, but I can't seem to recall any history between him and All Japan. Even his dopey tag team with Omori was mostly relegated to NJPW and ZI iirc. We're him and Yoshie in a RWTL at some point or something?

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5 hours ago, Belgian_Waffle said:

Thought it was kinda cool that Nakanishi is also having a retirement match in AJPW, but I can't seem to recall any history between him and All Japan. Even his dopey tag team with Omori was mostly relegated to NJPW and ZI iirc. We're him and Yoshie in a RWTL at some point or something?

Didn't him and Nagata have an All-Asia tag title run a couple years ago?

Edit: nevermind, that was Akiyama and Nagata. I guess I'm just used to him teaming with Nagata.

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23 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

Didn't him and Nagata have an All-Asia tag title run a couple years ago?

Edit: nevermind, that was Akiyama and Nagata. I guess I'm just used to him teaming with Nagata.

No, but he challenged for that title in 2018. He’s only had a handful of matches in AJ throughout his career—maybe it has more to do with saying goodbye to others of his generation who aren’t in NJ?

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Some thoughts on today's JIN Produce AJPW show:

AJPW "GROWIN' UP VOL. 23", 06.02.2020 (AJPW.tv)

Shin-Kiba 1st RING

1.       Hokuto Omori & Rising HAYATO vs. Dan Tamura & Tatsuya Hanami

  • This is a Young Boy~! Battle. If you’re unfamiliar: Omori and Tamura are the AJPW lads. Tamura’s a bit of a bad boy, with his faux-hawk and general fired-upness. Omori looks like a character in a high school-based anime. I mean, I don’t watch anime, but I’ve been very online for like 20 years so I’ve seen a lot of second-hand anime images so this scans for me. Very stylish hair, v. dreamy, etc. Rising HAYATO is some guy from another company who has joined the dojo for three months for some reason. To my eyes he kinda looks like Kazuchika Okada. Tatsuya Hanami is a 2AW guy who is fired up, like Tamura, but also very short.
  • Love that the AJPW lads are total soft boys.
  • Hanami keeps really getting into it with the other side, so maybe they’re building on some more cross-promotional stuff with 2AW. Couldn’t hurt. Last year there was a AJPW vs BJW young lion feud that last like two or three shows and it was fun.
  • Yeah, and they have a fine match. They’ve been moving up the cards lately, but until there’s a new batch of young’uns, they’re gonna continue to jerk the curtain.

 

2.       Kento Miyahara vs. Konaka = Pehlwan

  • Triple Crown champ Kento Miyahara in the second match is an odd choice, but I’m here for it.
  • Konaka = Pehlwan (Pale One?) looks like one of the mutants from OMEGA MAN but is actually a Yogi! He comes out first (odd for a Miyahara match) and does a headstand on the turnbuckle. Then he crosses his legs. Then he holds it for four minutes.
  • Kento’s music starts and he doesn’t come out four about 90 seconds. People start to clap. Konaka starts to clap with his feet (still in a headstand). Kento doesn’t appear. It’s unclear if this is to build tension, or if he’s just seeing how long Konaka can do a headstand.
  • OMG Kento is in Konaka’s yogi makeup. The fans are taken aback! Kento sticks his tongue out a lot like an iguana or a yogi I guess?
  • After some shenanigans, Konaka tries to get Kento to sit cross-legged with his feet on his lap. He does this by demonstrating the position, and then hopping around (this is called yogic flying—there was an entire Canadian political party that was dedicated to saving the world through yogic flying, I shit you not). He also walks on his knees in this position. It’s … impressive.
  • Meanwhile, Kento cannot even cross his legs the regular way.
  • Konaka tries to demonstrate one more time, and Kento just blasts him with a blackout knee and gets the pin.
  • That was…fine?

3.       4 Way Match: Izanagi vs. Black Menso~re vs. Yusuke Okada vs. Francesco Akira

  • Black Meno~re is, like, the second most over guy in AJ
  • Akira is wrestling for the title next week, so this should be a showcase for him
  • It is
  • 4 ways are terrible

4.       Yuma Aoyagi vs. UTAMARO

  • Unlike the TC champ, the next challenger has an actual match against UTAMARO
  • Yuma has something in his nostrils, yes, he actually pauses the match to blow his nose at one point, tissues and everything. This is not a gimmick but a real booger-related problem.
  • Utamaro gets to do his kip-up, his very nice moonsault, and his perfectly competent backdrop
  • He goes for his very convoluted, rainmaker-style-but-starting-from-a-Fame-Asser lariat twice, and the second time Yuma ducks and hits him in the face with a spin-kick, KOing him.
  • Meh.
  • Sets up the kick as a killer for the TC match, though.

5.       Koji Iwamoto & TAJIRI vs. Isami Kodaka & Fuminori Abe

  • Cool, so, the stage is set for the top three matches to feature all of JIN. This one puts JIN teammates Iwamoto & Abe on separate teams, as team AJ (kinda) faces off against team BASARA
  • Koji Iwamoto is maybe my favourite AJ junior, and his team with Jake Lee is a lot of fun. TAJIRI was someone I loved in ECW (which I only ever saw on TNA or Spike or whatever) and a bit during his early WWE run, but who is now pretty crappy and usually detracts from the matches he’s in. I’m not familiar with Kodaka—he’s very pale and his back is criss-crossed with a latticework of scars. Kind of gross actually. He’s a few years away from turning into Jun Kasai nightmare material. Abe is one of the most entertaining wrestlers around, really.
  • Tajiri and Kodaka start it with some uninspiring matwork. Yikes.
  • Things pick up when Abe targets Iwamoto’s arm and tries to keep him away from Tajiri.
  • Tajiri eventually mists Abe and Iwamoto hits three rapid-fire suplexes on Kodaka for the win.
  • Fun and unremarkable.

6.       Grappling Match - Special Referee Hikaru Sato: Naoya Nomura vs. Hideki "Shrek" Sekine

  • This is a grappling match, but wrestling is grappling so I dunno what the rules are. No strikes I guess.
  • A lot of Twitter folks seem to unironically enjoy Shrek but boy-howdy, ever time I’ve seen him he’s been the drizzling shits.
  • Anyway, Nomura and Shrek roll around on the map and trade kneebars until Nomura taps. Match felt like four minutes maybe.

7.       Jake Lee & Ayato Yoshida vs. Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa

  • This was fucking great
  • Here we have the classic matchup: kicky guys vs clubby guys
  • Ayato Yoshida is basically the same size as Suwama, minus a few trips to the buffet. Yet he moves like a junior. So glad AJ is booking him and I hope he’s in the CC and beyond.
  • Match is really quick moving for a Violent Giants match. It really, really focused on Jake and Suwama, and Suwama looked fantastic in this.
  • VG defend the titles against PURPLE HAZE~! next week, so of course they’re going to win. Was a bit surprised that Jake took the fall, though, but at least he got to eat three very vicious-looking backdrops before the three count.
  • Afterwards, Suwama wins a vacuum cleaner!

 

 

Final thoughts:

  • Just try to see the main event, if you're interested.
Edited by Control
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17 hours ago, Control said:

No, but he challenged for that title in 2018. He’s only had a handful of matches in AJ throughout his career—maybe it has more to do with saying goodbye to others of his generation who aren’t in NJ?

Good point, so many NJ guys from that peer group became journeymen at some point or another. Also fwiw I remember Nakanishi and Akiyama having a really fun sprint in the Mighty (if somewhat forgotten/underappreciated) G1 2003. 

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