All Japan Pro-Wrestling caps off it’s final day of the Summer Action Series tour, highlighted by two big title matches at the top of the card. Yusuke Okada faces off against his former Evolution partner Hikaru Sato. Hokuto Omori continues his rivalry with Kento Miyahara. Koji Iwamoto successfully captures the AJPW World Junior Title. Suwama successfully defends his Triple Crown title. And the dates for the Champion Carnival are announced!
Hikaru Sato & Dan Tamura defeat Yusuke Okada & Black Menso~re in 8:39 when Tamura submitted Menso~re with the Dunlock
Man, what a fun match to open up with, I really liked this. Okada and Menso~re actually make a pretty good team here. Okada’s aggression and Menso~re’s shenanigans compliment each other quite well. We got a little bit of comedy here, which is always great to see, I like a little bit of comedy in my undercard tags when it’s warranted. We also got some fantastic interactions from both Okada and Sato, and Okada and Tamura here. You had Okada and Sato pound away on each other, and some great action between Okada and Tamura as well. I really hope we get a singles match down the line between Okada and both of his opponents, it would be a good way for him to prove himself in storyline. Dan Tamura has pretty much taken the slot that Okada used to fill in, so there’s a really good established story there. Great stuff from all four of these men.
Jake Lee, Takao Omori & Masanobu Fuchi defeat Yuma Aoyagi, Atsuki Aoyagi & Osamu Nishimura in 8:46 when Fuchi defeated Atsuki via Necklock
Uh, yeah this match happened. I’m going to be honest with you, I really don’t remember a whole lot of this match. My prediction from the preview was correct though, Fuchi winning over Atsuki Aoyagi. A fine tag match full of people who aren’t doing anything right now. Nothing inoffensive, just nothing that really stuck out either to me.
Zeus & Izanagi defeated Yoshitatsu & Seigo Tachibana & TAJIRI & KAI in 6:47 when Izanagi pinned Tachibana with The Hermit’s Necklock
Another Izanagi win here. Though, we shouldn’t be too surprised as this is exactly what they’ve been building up to. I really like that All Japan did this. They could have just have easily give Izanagi some filler victories and then just done nothing with it. But they didn’t. They built it up to a match that has stakes. This also adds some drama to the eventual All Asia Tag Title match against Yankee Two Kenju because every single Izanagi roll-up is going to get you invested. My initial thoughts were that these Izanagi victories lead to a challenge for the World Junior Title but as we see later that spot would be occupied. It does make more sense for the build up to lead towards a tag title match as Izanagi has been getting these wins in tags. As for the match itself, it was perfectly fine. Just the right amount of time where it wasn’t too short but not long enough where people get sick of it.
Kento Miyahara, Kuroshio Jiro, Akira Francisco & Rising HAYATO defeat Shotaro Ashino, Kuma Arashi, Hokuto Omori & Yusuke Kodama in 14:58 when Kento pinned Hokuto with the Shutdown Suplex Hold
Kento Miyahara and Hokuto Omori. Need I say more? God, I cannot wait for these two to have a singles match. I absolutely love the fire and intensity these two bring. I love how at every chance Hokuto gets, he just fires away at Miyahara. He’ll get the upper hand over Rising HAYATO, go over to the opposing tag ropes, and just deck Kento. I love it so much. This was a really fun tag match, and yes even Jiro wasn’t that offensive. These guys have some good chemistry with each other. Again, I’m not too happy with Enfants losing yet again, but I’m almost wondering if this whole thing is to exclusively get Hokuto Omori over. I guess we’ll have to see.
Koji Iwamoto becomes the 53rd AJPW World Junior Champion by defeating Susumu Yokosuka in 15:56 via the Koko no Geijutsu
Wow! I was surprised by an Iwamoto victory here. I was surely thinking Yokosuka would win. I’m by no means upset with the result here though. This means they can have a pretty good rubber match against one another in the future as their records are now 1-1 against one another. Flashy fast pace action combined with technical wrestling: the Iwamoto special. Both guys looked great here (especially Iwamoto with his new ring gear) and the match definitely met my expectations here.
And then, post-match, Dan Tamura comes out to challenge for the belt, hell yeah! I’m really happy to see Tamura get a push, and the match should be great. I don’t think anything is confirmed yet, but I’m thinking this match ends up happening on the Atsuki Aoki memorial show on August 15. Either that or a tag match to build to the eventual title match. Either way, it should be a fantastic match and I’m excited for it.
Suwama makes his 2nd defense of the Triple Crown Championship by defeating Shuji Ishikawa in 27:33 via a Backdrop Hold
A big staple of the AJPW is the classic “King’s Road” style where matches start of slow and gradually build up to an explosive conclusion. So what we saw today was a textbook AJPW main event. Has Suwama been the most compelling champion of the company? No, not really. And was Suwama and Ishikawa a compelling main event of the tour for fans to come back to? On paper, probably not. Let’s be honest, there were probably at least a dozen of main events that would have been objectively better. But I still like this combination. I imagine this show was a lot of Tokyo All Japan fans’ first time back to Korakuen since Suwama won the title back in March. So maybe you don’t want to do the Ashino match here because it’s too unfamiliar to the fans who took a three month absence. You obviously don’t want to already re-run Kento in the main against Suwama. And you don’t want to put any of the newer stars up against Suwama because, simply put, they haven’t been built up for it yet. So, Ishikawa really is the perfect answer here.
Is this a great classic match that will be talked about for years to come? No, I don’t think so. Could we call this a 5 star match? Well, maybe some people would but in my opinion I found this match to be fairly decent at best. Spectators in Japan are not allowed to cheer yet amidst COVID-19 restrictions, and while I don’t think that hurts the majority of matches, I do think it hurts main events that are meant to have a higher intensity and heat to them. The other issue I just feel the match went on too long. They were just shy of a half an hour long match, and I feel that’s just too long especially given who was in the match. I think it would have been better for this match to be a little shorter.
Conclusion & Champion Carnival Dates
Overall, a pretty good final day for the Summer Action Series. If you’re on a time crunch, I would recommend watching the last three matches. But even then, it’s a very nice and easy watch.
During this show, the 2020 Champion Carnival schedule was announced. There are six dates announced for the Carnival:
-October 5 (final)
As expected, it is a limited schedule, but they had to work with what they had and I’m just glad we were able to see the Carnival this year. The participants will be announced at a later date via YouTube. Expect a full report on the Champion Carnival, the participants, as well as predictions. You can tune in to the entirety of the Champion Carnival, and future events live and on demand via AJPW TV, which has a monthly subscription fee of only 900 yen a month.