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Puroresu Show Reviews

Reviews of puroresu shows in my collection

Friday, December 01, 2006

 

AJPW Battle Banquet #108

Covering the finals of the CROSSOVER Tour Junior Heavyweight Singles League on 7/03/2006. It kicks off with a quick look at the rise and fall of “Strong” YASSHI, where he lost all his League matches, but is taking it to the next level by challenging Kensuke Sasaki tonight!

Kensuke Sasaki VS “Strong” YASSHI
YASSHI comes out to Sasaki’s old Power Warrior theme, and is even wearing the shoulder pads and face paint! He can’t match power with Sasaki, so he calls out for the Voodoo Murders to help him, but instead Akira Hokuto comes out in full make-up! The only bit of offense YASSHI is able to get in the match is a crotch-claw, but he gets distracted by Hokuto, and that leads to Sasaki & Hokuto giving him the Doomsday Device, with Hokuto diving off the top with her wooden sword to put away YASSHI on Kensuke’s shoulders and give him the win!
I was expecting YASSHI to take some heavier punishment than what he received, as he got off relatively light other than one stiff lariat from Sasaki, but he also sold the Doomsday Device by getting carried out on a stretcher! Fun match for a short burst of entertainment.
Match Rating: *1/2

A quick look at the two finalist of the Singles League, with Kaz Hayashi making a clean sweep of Block A and Katsuhiko Nakajima taking block B with 2 wins and a draw. The finals is billed as the junior heavyweight ace of All Japan VS future star of puroresu.

Junior Heavyweight Singles League Finals: Kaz Hayashi (Block A) VS Katsuhiko Nakajima (Block B)
Nakajima had a bad knee, and Kaz constantly attacked it to take away his striking ability, since Nakajima really can’t do much without his kicks. The wonderkid is still able to fight off the pain and unload some sick kicks at Kaz. The crowd was heavily behind Nakajima and Kaz heeled him for it. The pace picked up when Nakajima was able to make a come back, which lead to a sprint of near falls and big moves from both before Kaz was finally able to put the youngster away with the Final Cut after a hard fought contest.
The match ended up being a whole lot better than I thought it would be, and it’s good that Kaz won cause he arguably is the best junior heavyweight in All Japan.
Match Rating: ***

The following matches were clipped heavily, so I won’t rate them but just give a few thoughts.

Masanobu Fuchi & Nobutaka Araya VS Naoshi Sano & Toshiyuki Moriya
So the only way Araya is going to have a serious match these days is to put him in against a bunch of near-unknown indie workers? Fuchi at least looked good delivering his killer backdrops the way I wish Momota in NOAH would. Araya scored the win with a brainbuster, and it’s good to see him doing something other than comedy matches with Kikutaro.

Virus & MAZADA VS Kikutaro & Hayabusa-cito
Hayabusa himself came out to introduce Hayabusa-cito, and it was great to hear Hayabusa’s old theme again. The mini-Hayabusa was basically a carbon copy of the original, save for his size, and he did most of Hayabusa’s old high-flying spots like the Firebird Spalsh. Unfortunately he was teamed with Kikutaro, who despite looking serious for a bit, dropped the fall to Virus with a modified ankle-lock.

TAKA Michinoku & RO’Z VS Nobukazu Hirai & Akira Raijin
They only showed big RO’Z squashing Raijin, withstanding Raijin’s headbutt and slamming him down hard before finishing him with an impressive springboard moonsault!

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