All Japan’s Summer Action Series tour comes to a conclusion on July 25, capping things off with a Triple Crown Title match between Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa. This will be the first show AJPW has run in Korakuen Hall since March 23, the show in which Suwama recaptured the Triple Crown against Kento Miyahara. The other notable match of this show is the World Junior Title match where Dragon Gate’s Susumu Yokosuka defends the title against challenger Koji Iwamoto, who won the right to challenge by defeating Yusuke Kodama on June 30.
Yusuke Okada & Black Menso~re
Evolution (Hikaru Sato & Dan Tamura)
We open up the show with a pretty intriguing match here. Okada has his first match against Evolution, the stable he left at the start of this tour. It’s interesting because when Okada expressed his frustration, Hikaru Sato was the only one that extended a hand to him and tried to help Okada up after Evolution lost to JIN. Okada slapped Sato’s hand away in frustration. So I’m immensely curious, what will the interactions between Okada and Sato be like? What about Okada and Tamura? Dan Tamura has pretty much taken Okada’s spot in all aspects: a young boy who joined the faction and has a lot of potential.
Jake Lee, Takao Omori & Masanobu Fuchi
Yuma Aoyagi, Atsuki Aoyagi & Osamu Nishimura
Wow Jake Lee and Yuma Aoyagi went from having title matches against Kento Miyahara to just being on these undercards doing absolutely nothing. The Champion Carnival can’t come quick enough for these two because then we can actually see these guys do something! A pretty nothing 6-man tag here if we’re being honest. Fuchi and Nishimura have their first All Japan matches since January 19 and March 23, respectively. Thinking we probably see Fuchi get the pin over Atsuki Aoyagi.
Match 3: All Asia Tag Team Title Contendership
Purple Haze (Zeus & Izanagi)
Yoshitatsu & Seigo Tachibana
KAI & TAJIRI
Ah, so is this what they were building all of those Izanagi surprise wins towards? A 3-way tag team match isn’t very common in All Japan so that’s pretty exciting to see. I have a feeling this will be a pretty fun match, with whoever winning challenging Yankee Two Kenju, likely in the next tour in August. Well since Izanagi has gotten all of these pins, it would only make sense for Purple Haze to win, right? Well, it’s a good idea in theory, but it is All Japan booking we’re talking about so you never know. It’s important to note KAI also got a shock roll-up victory on the July 13 show, so maybe KAI and TAJIRI win here. Regardless of who wins, they just end up being cannon fodder for Yankee Two Kenju to beat and get another successful title defense.
Kento Miyahara, Kuroshio “Handsome” Jiro, Akira Francisco & Rising HAYATO
Enfants Terribles (Shotaro Ashino, Kuma Arashi, Hokuto Omori & Yusuke Kodama)
Take Jiro out of this match and you got yourself a pretty damn good match (sorry, I can’t stand Jiro). This is more or less a rematch from the VOD-only show from the 23rd, but with Francisco and Kodama added to the mix. In that show, it was Kento picking up the pin over Hokuto, and Hokuto attacked Miyahara after the match. I’m really excited that they’re already building up to something big for these two. Perhaps we see these two meet in a block final in this year’s Champion Carnival? As to who wins, I’m thinking one of the Enfants gets the win over Rising HAYATO.
Match 5: AJPW World Junior Title
The 52nd Champion, Susumu Yokosuka
The Challenger, Koji Iwamoto
Susumu Yokosuka has been a fantastic Junior champion and has been a breath of fresh air into a division that can often be hand waved. He’s had very good title defenses against All Japan’s juniors and has even defended the belt in his home promotion of Dragon Gate. I love it. I love a champion who defends his belt in multiple promotions. I’m hoping that Yokosuka’s run opens the doors for other Dragon Gate guys to go into All Japan and fight for the belt (preferably after this pandemic is over; you don’t want too much cross over right now) because the junior division of All Japan has been in desperate need of a revival. I’m sure this will be a fantastic match, with Yokosuka perhaps getting another successful defense under his belt. Or, maybe Iwamoto gets his win back from earlier this year, as it was Yokosuka who beat him in the World Junior Title tournament semi-final match in January that allowed for Yokosuka to claim the belt in the first place.
– This will be Yokosuka and Iwamoto’s second match against each other. As mentioned above, Yokosuka has the 1-0 advantage over Iwamoto.
– Susumu Yokosuka makes his 6th defense of his AJPW World Junior Title
Match 6: Triple Crown Title
The 63rd Champion, Suwama
The Challenger, Shuji Ishikawa
After the Triple Crown Champion, Suwama successfully defeated Shotaro Ashino on June 30, Evolution teammate, Shuji Ishikawa challenged for the belt. The fans who are paying to get into Korakuen Hall on Saturday, are stepping into a world of familiarity. They are going to see two men who define All Japan Pro-Wrestling battle over one of the most prestigious belts in the wrestling world. COVID-19 ravaged the wrestling landscape. At the beginning of this pandemic, All Japan’s future, along with other smaller promotions, was uncertain, with the prospect of running no-fan shows being financially crippling in the long run. But All Japan did not back down with their backs against the wall. They pushed through and ran these empty arena shows. They got people within the puroresu bubble talking about how great their empty arena productions were. They reinvigorated interest in the promotion with the use of Enfants Terribles. They endured and got to where we will find ourselves on July 25: a main event for the Triple Crown Title. This isn’t just two fixtures of the company fighting for the title, this is a reminder to the entire wrestling world that All Japan survived and continues to live on.
I’m genuinely excited for this match. Two goliaths beating the hell out of each other for the Triple Crown. It’s a true staple of All Japan. I’m certain Suwama will get the win and go into the Champion Carnival as Triple Crown champion in September. This is likely going to be the final Triple Crown Title match before the Carnival, as I can’t see them running another title program with there only being three shows next tour (unless they plan on adding more shows but I doubt it).
I think the only big issue with the match is I truly believe, much like others, that this should have been the match where the defense against Shotaro Ashino happened. So why didn’t they wait just a few more weeks to do the match here? I feel we may never know but nevertheless what happened had already happened and there’s no changing it. We’ll see what the plans for Ashino as well as Enfants as a whole are going forward. But for now, it’s Suwama and Ishikawa for the belts, and I think they’ll do their damndest to make the match one that people will talk about.
– Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa surprisingly have had very few singles matches against one another. Only three to be exact. Even more surprising, their last singles match took place on September 23, 2017. Their matches have been a Champion Carnival match (April 16, 2017), a Triple Crown Title match (July 17, 2017), and a Royal Road tournament match on that aforementioned September date. Suwama has the edge over Ishikawa, with a singles record of 2-1, with his one loss being in that Triple Crown match 3 years ago.
– Suwama makes his 2nd defense of his Triple Crown Title.
This will be the final day of the Summer Action Series tour, and you’ll be able to watch it live on AJPW TV on July 25, 18:30 JST (2:30 am PDT, 5:30 am EDT, 10:30 BST). The last two title matches will be for sure must see, and the undercard has some intrigue to it, like more Kento and Hokuto action, another potential Izanagi win, and how Yusuke Okada interacts with his former Evolution stablemate Hikaru Sato. Subscribe to AJPW TV to watch both live and on-demand content for only 900 yen a month.