Taken from the 6/28/09 “CROSSOVER ‘08” tour closer at the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium.Masanobu Fuchi, Nobukazu Hirai & Akira Raijin VS NOSAWA Rongai, MAZADA & TAKEMURA
- I haven’t watched any AJPW in a while, but DAMN has Raijin completely changed his image! He seems to have dropped a ton of weight and looks almost slimmer than the Gurentai members! He’s also a lot faster and doesn’t just rely on headbutts like when he was a rookie. I wouldn’t mind if he kept the Raijin Buster though, as the Lighting Flash (fireman’s carry into a back slam) looks really weak, even if it is the set up for his moonsault finisher.T28 & Seiya Sanada VS KAI & Antonio Thomas
Antonio Thomas is formerly one half of ex-WWE tag team, The Heartthrobs. They didn’t show a lot of him here, other then a German suplex with a superkick assist from KAI and a plancha to the outside before KAI finished off T28 with a diving body press.Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaz Hayashi & Manabu Soya VS TARU, Shuji Kondo, “brother” YASSHI & Rene Dupree
I REALLY like the way Dupree was pushed here! He played the part of a heel with a great physique, but at the same time the same ruthless aggression the Voodoo Murders were know for! He had a rather interesting exchange with Sasaki, which could have been built into a mini-feud to push him further towards possibly being a Triple Crown contender if they had played their cards right. Sure he still did the French Tickler, but he was a lot more serious about it and it didn’t seem like much of a comedy spot when he did it. Fun match overall, with Sasaki taking YASSHI’s head off with a sick lariat to take the win.AJPW Triple Crown: Suwama [C] VS Osamu Nishimura
Anytime you put Nishimura in a championship match, you know your guaranteed something different than usual. Suwama has a major vendetta to settle here as Nishimura has pinned him countless times in tag matches since he won the Triple Crown. They start off with a feeling out process and some mat work where Suwama surprises Nishimura being doing the headstand to escape from a head scissors! This sort of pisses off Nishimura who eventually does the move himself, but when the match gets taken out to the floor, Nishimura whacks Suwama in the leg with the title belt and a ringside chair! This leads to Nishimura working over Suwama with the figure-four, which Suwama is able to escape and himself starts to attack Nishimura’s leg with a knee-breaker followed by the ankle-lock! I loved the spot near the end where Suwama turned the ankle-lock into a release German when Nishimura was about to escape the hold. Suwama should go back to using the Alligator Lock version of the ankle-lock. The pace picks up here as Nishimura reminds us how deadly an octopus-hold, the figure-four headlock and a cobra-twist can be! The crowd is popping here, really believing there’s a chance Suwama would submit, or a referee stoppage could be called! The crowd continues to go wild as Nishimura scored multiple near falls with quick backslides and cradles. Suwama is able to weather the storm and rally back with a barrage of suplexes followed by the Last Ride to make a successful V1.
I’m not sure how much they cut out from the original match, but it seemed to flow rather nicely from start to finish. One of Suwama’s better matches thanks to Nishimura.Match Rating: ***1/2