All Japan Pro-Wrestling has departed from empty arena shows and is heading towards it’s normal schedule. They’ve already had their first show with fans Monday, July 13 from Shin-kiba 1st RING in Tokyo. Today, I will be previewing their upcoming show airing live 14:00 JST (10:00 pm PDT, 1:00 am EDT, 6:00 am BST) from 2AW Square in Chiba.
JIN (Jake Lee & Koji Iwamoto), & TAIJIRI
Takao Omori, Yoshitatsu, & Black Menso~re
We start off the show with, honestly, a match that I doubt will be very meaningful. Just take six guys who aren’t really doing much, and stick them in a 6-man tag. We could likely see Iwamoto picking up the win here, as he has a junior title shot against Dragon Gate’s Susumu Yokosuka on the 25th. I wish that Yokosuka was around for more of these shows outside of title defenses, and therefore I’m rooting for an Iwamoto victory when they meet.
Yuma Aoyagi & Atsuki Aoyagi
Evolution (Hikaru Sato & Dan Tamura)
One of the big news stories coming out of the July 13 show was Asunaro Cup winner Dan Tamura expressing interest in joining Evolution. I’m curious to see how Tamura will carry himself in this match, as he makes this transition from a faction-less young boy into a legitimate stablemate. I think Evolution is the perfect fit for a strong bruiser-type like Tamura, and we could see a bit of a meaner edge from him. On the other side, Asunaro Cup participant Atsuki Aoyagi teams with his brother Yuma. The two have teamed together on occasion since January of 2019, but they have never been a regularly established tag team. Does this trend continue? Probably, but it would be nice if they do become a normal tag team, as neither guy has much to do right now, and they would be a welcomed addition to the All Asia tag title division.
Purple Haze (Zeus & Izanagi)
Enfants Terribles (Shotaro Ashino & Yusuke Kodama)
Due to the events that transpired during the July 13 show, this match has become very interesting. On one side, you have Izanagi, who got a shocking upset victory over established ace, Kento Miyahara during a 6-man tag. On the other side, you have Enfants Terribles who lost in a 6-man tag match when KAI got a roll up victory over Kodama. Pay attention to the outcome of this match because it could tell us how All Japan views Enfants booking-wise going forward. If Izanagi gets another surprise roll up and Enfants takes another loss, I’ll be worried about their booking and questioning whether or not All Japan has lost faith in them. I mean, how can they go from booking them so strong during the empty arena shows, just to have them drop a fall to KAI once fans come back? In a perfect world, Enfants beat Purple Haze here and get back on track. But you never know, that Izanagi roll up could happen again.
Kento Miyahara & Akira Francisco
Enfants Terribles (Hokuto Omori & Kuma Arashi)
The man who lost in the Asunaro Cup finals, Hokuto Omori announced that he would be joining Enfants Terribles, becoming the first All Japan talent to officially join the group. Izanagi’s win over Kento actually makes this match quite interesting as well, since it makes Kento a little more vulnerable. I think Enfants should definitely get the victory here because we don’t want the perception that Hokuto has just joined a losing faction; that does nothing for him. If Hukoto does end up picking up the win here, but Ashino or Kodama don’t in the previous match, could it be that All Japan doesn’t want their talent losing to former W-1 guys in front of fans? I do hope Enfants losing was just a weird one time thing. If they constantly lose going forward, we won’t be able to take them seriously.
Match 5: Hair vs. Hair Match
In our semi-main event, we have a hair vs. hair match between Yusuke Okada and Seigo Tachibana. This match came to be after Okada had attempted to challenge Yoshitatsu for the GAORA TV title. This is a unique stipulation that All Japan does not do very often, and it should make for a fun match. My thinking is that Okada wins here and then challenges for the TV title on either the 23rd or 25th. An Okada win here may also give credence to my “they don’t want W-1 guys to win in front of fans” theory. It’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for Okada as he leaves Evolution. Where does Okada go after all of this? I’m thinking he maybe joins up with JIN and he could start building himself back up.
Main Event: AJPW World Tag Team Title Match
The 87th Champions, Violent Giants (Suwama & Shuji Ishikawa)
The Challengers, Yankee Two Kenju (Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto)
The main event of this show sees Violent Giants, Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa defend their AJPW World Tag Team titles against the All Asia Tag Champions, Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto. The likely intention of this match is to continue the build of Suwama vs. Shuji Ishikawa for the Triple Crown Title on July 25. There are three possible outcomes here. One, Violent Giants successfully retain their title with no issue. Two, Violent Giants successfully retain their title with some tension between the two tag partners. Or three, Violent Giants come to a blow in this match, and Yankee Two Kenju pick up the belts and become double tag team champions. Now, knowing All Japan it is likely that either scenario number one or two will happen. But I think this is okay, as it would be foolish to have either Suwama or Ishikawa look weak on the road to their title match.
How well will Dan Tamura fit in with Evolution? Will Enfants Terribles continue their losing streak? Who will lose their hair? And can Yankee Two Kenju pick up the World Tag Team belts? You can find out and catch this show live at 14:00 JST (10:00 am PDT, 1:00 am EDT, 6:00 am BST) or you can watch the show anytime on demand on AJPW TV. The cost of the service is 900 Yen a month (roughly around $8.30 – $9.00 a month).