AJPW Excite Series 2021
February 23, 2021
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Zeus & Izanagi vs. Francesco Akira & Alejandro - 4.5/10
Weak match, I thought Alejandro's work was somewhat sloppy, just out of place and mistimed in this match. Akira vs Zeus was somewhat good, but nothing special. Izanagi submitted Alejandro with a guillotine for the win.
Takao Omori, Black Menso-Re, & Ryuji Hijakata vs. Osamu Nishimura, Yoshitatsu, & Baliyan Akki - 4.5/10
This was boring and uneventful other than give Yoshitatsu a win over Black Menso-Re, in order to build him to challenge for the Triple Crown title.
Post-match - Yoshitatsu brought Seigo Tachibana, who I had just recently wonder where he was. I guess he's back with Yoshitatsu.
All Asia Tag Team Championship Number One Contender’s Three-Way Match
Hikaru Sato & Dan Tamura vs. Enfants Terribles (Hokuto Omori & Yusuke Kodama) vs NEXTREME (Atsuki Aoyagi & Rising HAYATO) - 6/10
Ok match, good wrestling, and the right team won, but at the end, it felt like no one was able to really show much of their work. Everyone was present in the match doing things, and that meant that there wasn't a single guy that just shone above everyone else or anything. NEXTREME did get to do some dives.
Shuji Ishikawa & Ryuki Honda vs. Jun Kasai & Tomoya Hirata - 6.5/10
I really wasn't a fan of this match when Kasai was in, things just got boring with him. The good of this match came from Honda and Hirata, because even if Ishikawa looked good when he was in, he didn't really do much in the match. And to make things worse, since they're building the deathmatch between Ishikawa and Kasai, the latter decided to just start doing deathmatch spots and so he stabbed Ishikawa with skewers, provoking him, and so Ishikawa started to beat up so much ass that the referee threw out the match.
Champion Carnival Announcement - The participants to this year's are: Suwama, Zeus, Miyahara, Ishikawa, Ashino, Yuma Aoyagi, Koji Doi, Kohei Sato, Jake Lee, and Shinjiro Otani! No Naoya Nomura tease worries me, he's been out way too long now.
Enfants Terribles (Kuma Arashi, Shotaro Ashino, & Koji Doi) vs. Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto, & Tajiri - 7/10
Good match, the only one that really lacked here was Tajiri, but he was barely meaningful to the match, it really came down to Lee and Ashino for the main component of the match. It wasn't until the end that things got interesting. Ashino has an ankle lock on Lee, Doi and Arashi jump in to stop Tajiri and Iwamoto from interfering, but suddenly, it's Arashi himself that throws Tajiri into Ashino, not only breaking the submission, but allowing Lee to pin him with the running knee as Arashi and Doi look on.
Post-match - Doi and Arashi are not happy with Ashino. Kodama and Omori came out and attacked Ashino, with Arashi and Doi joining in on the attack. Ashino dragged himself to Jake Lee for help, only to get attacked by Lee too. Iwamoto tried to stop Lee from getting involved, but Lee attacked Iwamoto, and between him and ET, they beat up Ashino and Iwamoto and left them for dead.
This was fantastic. They had been leaving little hints here and there of an Ashino that was shaking Suwama's hand after their tag match, or not joining the rest of the group during their heelish activities, and through all of that, we saw a group of Enfants Terribles that gave Ashino a dirty look. I think most people expected the babyface turn from Ashino, sooner or later, but doing it at the same time as a heel turn from Lee just worked perfectly, because whiel it's not confirmed, it does seem like Lee could be joining ET now, which is good development for Lee, who had felt stale for a long while now.
AJPW World Tag Championship Match
NEXTREAM (Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi) (c) vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Abdullah Kobayashi - 8/10
Ok match, but it obviously got hurt by Kobayashi mobility at this point, but what he lacks in mobility, he makes up in charisma, and his his style is so different from most wrestlers in AJPW, that if brings out good things out of Miyahara. Most of it revolved around the little feud that Miyahara and Kobayashi had been running.
Post-match - Kobayashi cut a promo challenging Miyahara to a singles match, but against Sekimoto?
Triple Crown Championship Match
Suwama (c) vs. Kohei Sato - 9/10
Match was as basic as it gets, two big dudes out there beating the shit out of each other. Sato worked over Suwama's leg, and later transitioned into the head as the match approached the end. Suwama's game focused on Sato's head from the start. There was a point in the middle of the match that Sato just looked like he was going through the motions with the smallest amount of selling possible. The ending sequence did get good, with a couple of near falls and Suwama finally winning with some lariats and a back body drop.
Post-match - Suwama cut his winner's promo, him and Sato showed respect for each other. Yoshitatsu of all people came out to challenge Suwama. Fuck.
Good show, this will be remembered for the Enfants Terribles angle and nothing more really. Beyond that, the wrestling was good, just somewhat predictable to the point that some of the matches come off as 'road to' matches.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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