CROSSOVER TOUR 7/03/2006Keiji Mutoh, AKIRA & Ryuji Hijikata VS Minoru Suzuki, NOSAWA Rongai & Katsushi Takemura
The focus of the match was the on-going feud between Mutoh and Suzuki, so of course you don’t get the exciting confrontation you’d expect when two guys want at each other so badly. Instead they take it slow and do the basic mat work grappling for an advantage and leave the speedy stuff to the junior heavyweights in the match. Suzuki’s team did some heel stuff and it climax of the match was rather underwhelming, with Mutoh no-selling a Shining Wizard from NOSAWA after being put in Suzuki’s sleeper hold and hitting NOSAWA with a Shining Wizard of his own for the instant win.Match Rating: *
We get a quick recap video of Kojima’s epic Triple Crown reign and all of his defenses, and Kea’s rise to challenge for the title as well as the past history between both men who were once also tag team champions together.AJPW Triple Crown: Satoshi Kojima [C] VS Taiyo Kea
I was rather disappointed in this match cause the structure of it was all over the place. Nothing really seemed to stick and it was almost like they were just throwing random big moves at each other here and there.
First you had the usual feeling out process between the two, then Kea hits the Hurricane Spike and Kojima instantly recovers with a big backdrop suplex. That leads to some out of ring brawling before they get back in and Kojima totally no sells a superplex and tries for the lariat, but Kea ducks it and gives him a side Russian legsweep, shades of Giant Baba. Kea hits another for a near fall and follows with a big jumping overhead chop, but it’s not long before Kojima is back up and both men are exchanging strikes. Kea gets a near fall with a Blue Thunder-bomb after they exchange counters, but Kojima rebounds with a spinebuster-bomb off the ropes on Kea for a near fall.
They struggle to their feet and that leads to Kojima giving Kea a top rope frankensteiner. Kojima tries for the lariat, but Kea catches him off the ropes with a frankensteiner of his own for a near fall. Kea clamps on the cobra clutch and then spikes Kojima on his head THREE TIMES with consecutive cobra-clutch suplexes, but all that’s not enough to put the champion down! Kojima than has it in him to counter a lariat into a Koji-koji cutter, followed almost instantly by another. They struggle to their feet again and Kojima tosses the elbow pad and hits the lariat, but only gets a 2. Kea tries for the Kea Rush, but Kojima lariats his leg in mid air and applies an STF, making Kea struggle to reach the ropes to break the hold. Kojima hits a dragon screw leg whip and applies a figure four, again forcing Kea to struggle to get to the ropes to break the hold.
Kojima then hits a DDT, a brainbuster and a lariat in succession, but it doesn’t keep the challenger down. Kojima tries for another lariat, and Kea catches him with a Giant Baba Giant Neckbreaker Drop for a near fall. Kea hits the TKO and gets a near fall! Kea hits the Hawaiian Smasher and gets a near fall! Kea hits the Hawaii 5-0 and gets the win!
Yeah, I was rather surprised it ended just like that myself. All that in just about 19 minutes and it actually felt a bit underwhelming, even if it was good for Kea to finally win the gold.Match Rating: ***Overall:
Hated the six-man tag, and wasn’t really impressed with the title change.