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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Thursday, November 30, 2006

 

AJPW Battle Banquet #106

This show covers the 3 opening round matches of the CROSSOVER Tour Junior Heavyweight Single League on 6/29/2006. Starting off with the in ring introductions of the participants in the League, and the rules and scoring system to be used. YASSHI goes on a rant afterwards, but everyone ignores him and walks off.

Junior Heavyweight Singles League – Block B: Katsushi Takemura VS Virus
Wow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed by Virus. He doesn’t look like much at first glance, but the man can go, and definitely gave Takemura more trouble than he expected, as well as impressing and winning over the Korakuen crowd. He took a nasty bump when his leg clipped the guardrail while giving Takemura a modified flipping armdrag off the corner post outside the ring, but didn’t show any effects from it as he was still able to execute all his spots flawlessly.
I like Takemura, and I wish he’d stick around All Japan more. Despite being on the defensive for most of the bout, but did some impressive moves like a hands-free super top rope frankensteiner and a release windmill suplex. Virus made one mistake and it gave Takemura the chance to hit the M9 (F5, Verdict) for the win.
Match Rating: **

Junior Heavyweight Singles League – Block A: “Strong” YASSHI VS Ryuji Hijikata
YASSHI drops his pants and officially becomes “Strong” YASSHI! Other than his crotch grab, he actually did try some actual wrestling moves, like the majigatame (octopus-hold) and the cobra twist. He definitely frustrated Hijikata a bit, but Hijikata comes back with a SICK kick to the head to KNOCK HIM OUT for the win! That was seriously one of the best head kicks I’ve ever seen and it just came out of nowhere to shock everyone, including YASSHI himself who was out for a minute or two before getting his senses back and realizing he lost the match.
Match Rating: *1/2 (Hijikata’s KO kick alone gets 5-Stars!)

Junior Heavyweight Singles League – Block A: TAKA Michinoku VS Kaz Hayashi
The match was clipped down a bit since they went a marathon 28-minutes, with the first 18-minutes being both men targeting body parts and trying for submissions. Kaz relentlessly attacked TAKA’s bad leg and made multiple figure-four attempts, and TAKA attacked Kaz’s neck and made multiple Just Facelock attempts. The final 10-minutes or so of the match was where things got interesting as they both just let it all hang out and went toe-to-toe trading stiff strikes and trying for their pinfall finishers. I liked the closing spot where they traded multiple counters for their finishers leading to Kaz finally hitting the Final Cut for the win. Kaz definitely came out looking the better of the two, and at least TAKA remembered to sell the leg.
Match Rating: **1/2

Overall: An enjoyable edition of the battle banquet. I’d like to see more of Virus and Takemura in AJPW, and need I say more about YASSHI getting KO’d? The TAKA-Kaz match was solid and it was good that they didn’t throw it away as a quick match since both men are in the main event scene where junior heavyweights are concerned and they know each other well enough to survive as long as they did against each other.

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