The Beer & Coffee Rant for AJPW Summer Impact (8/30/14)

The Beer & Coffee Rant for AJPW’s “Summer Impact”
Live from Nagoya, Japan – 8/30/14
[ Click HERE to see the show in it’s entirety without spoilers ]

It’s AJPW’s big show to close out the summer with 4 title matches, including Joe Doering’s first world title defense as the big, nasty American as champion. Plus, it’s LIVE on TV!

SUSHI vs. Yohei Nakajima

Yes, it’s SUSHI. To the Impact
Wrestling fans he’s Kiyoshi. He was actually the All Japan TV Champ as recently
as a couple months ago. Program guide says he’s taking on the 20-year old Naoya
Nomura who wrestled for about a month in April and disappeared after a back
injury. Instead we’re getting a rematch between SUSHI and his former tag
partner Menso-re Oyaji, who unmasked last month and now
goes under his real name Yohei Nakajima. Clean break from Nakajima to start,
but SUSHI goes to the eyes. The action spills to the outside and a tope suicida
from Nakajima sets up a two count. They trade snap mares and stiff kicks to the
back. Nakajima with some more stiff kicks across the chest. Once again to the
outside, and SUSHI gets off a wicked looking somersault plancha. Back in,
Nakajima manages to sink in an octopus variation that even Gorilla Monsoon
would endorse, but gets hip tossed out. He connects with a kick to the running
SUSHI. Vertical suplex and a Cousin Fergal footstomp gets two. SUSHI goes for
the Tekkamaki rollup and
they trade two counts, before he hits the Katsuo no Ipponzuri (fisherman brainbuster)
for three @ 8:27 ** ½ Just a little back-and-forth opener, though Nakajima
certainly had a few chances to pull it out. Would’ve liked to see him get off
to a win streak since ditching the old gimmick (as partners, SUSHI represented
sushi and Oyaji represented Ramen noodles and beer, true story) but this was
fine as an introduction to the character if it remains to be his positioning on
the card.

Winner: SUSHI

Fuchi is in his SIXTIES now and still comes down to Kenny
Loggins’ “Danger Zone”. Spectacular. For North American fans, he also holds the
distinction of pinning Reid Flair in the kid’s last match before his tragic death. For those who never saw Reid in Japan, he was coming along nicely. Think
Charlotte. Aoyagi’s not far behind at 57 and is rocking a sweet purple gi
tonight. Kanemaru & Hijikata start out with some clean chain sequences, and
Aoyagi comes in with some pretty decent strikes for someone who can get a
senior discount. Speaking of, Fuchi tags in and we’re watching two guys go at
it that are combined 117 years old. Kind of mind blowing how aesthetically well
the 55 year old Sting has held up in comparison, but I digress. Fuchi gets his
ass kicked literally, and heads up the aisle to let his buns rest. 57 year old Aoyagi
is really laying those kicks in there. He’s only on TV once or twice a year so
I’m not really familiar with the guy, but f---, he’s awesome. He takes the belt
off his gi and hangs Kanemaru over the top rope, before tagging out to
Hijikata. Fuchi comes back in and body slams him to a nice pop; the crowd knows
what’s coming. And again with a slam. And a third. And then he slams Aoyagi.
And a second one. Delayed body slam to Hijikata (a 6th one, all
together) as the crowd claps along. Old man Fuchi and his wacky slam fetish.
Kanemaru comes in and it’s time to fly, as he hits a Steamboat Cross Body,
followed up by a jumping DDT from the second rope. Tag in to Fuchi and he hits
a Dropkick (!), plants Hijikata with a belly-to-back, and gets a couple inside
cradles for two. All 4 men brawling in the ring now, and Hijikata gets the cross
armbar for the sub @ 12:15 ** Way more fun than it looked like on paper.

WINNERS: Masashi Aoyagi &
Ryuji Hijikata

DDT World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Shigehiro Irie, Keisuke Ishii & Soma Takao (c) vs. KENSO, Mitsuya Nagai & Kengo Mashimo

KENSO is the former Kenzo Suzuki. He’s actually pretty great here in AJPW with
the beanie and the sunglasses and his crew Dark Kingdom. He’s also fresh off a
bloody match with Zeus on the last show (not Tiny Lister). Irie, Takao, and Keisuke
(no relation to Tomohiro Ishii) are the DDT 6-Man Tag Team Champions having
just defeated my favorite 6-man tag team going today, Shuten Doji. KENSO and Dark
Kingdom come out in a stretch Hummer with a Dark Kingdom logo on the side.
Class! If KENSO had only played this character back in ’04, instead of the
whole samurai deal. KENSO slaps Irie before the bell, and it’s on. All six men
brawling on the floor. We finally settle in with Keisuke & Nakai back in
the ring. Tag to KENSO and he works in a nicely applied belt-assisted choke. He
follows by taking apart the turnbuckle. Who does he think he is, Toru Yano?
Takao gets rammed into the exposed steel and eats a lariat. Nagai back in and hooks
the Cloverhold-o, but Takao makes the ropes. Mashimo whips him into the buckle
again and tags in KENSO, who proceeds to slap the s--- outta b….. Dark Kingdom
really putting a strong whooping on Takao, but he’s full of fire and makes a
comeback finally making the tag to Irie, who’s a house of fire. He works in his
wacky head-based offense, but KENSO gets a lariat and the Kingdom is in control
again, looking strong. Keisuke in for some help, to no avail. The action spills
to the outside, and KENSO wipes everybody out with a dive to the floor. Crowd
very much into the Kingdom, and as I type that Mashimo turns on KENSO with a
lariat and a brainbuster. Crowd confused now. Irie finishes with a Superfly
Splash @ 11:59 to keep the titles. ** ½ Nagai demands an answer but Mashimo
ignores him, so Nagai launches a chair at him as he walks away. KENSO’s facials
of shock and defeat are Hollywood worthy.

WINNERS, and still Champions: Shigehiro
Irie, Keisuke Ishii & Soma Takao

Meanwhile, we bring out a bunch
of elementary school kids for a synchronized karate exhibition. Kinda cool.

It’s “brother” YASSHI’s first TV
match since leaving ZERO1 for AJPW. Really bummed about ZERO1, looking like it
could be out of here even before TNA, which is a shame because the ZERO1 shows
are really easy to follow, with great matches and maybe even better vignettes
(Daemon Ueda!). The former Triple Crown Champ Suwama starts out with Zeus (not
Tiny Lister), who has actually surprised me so far this year with some pretty
decent matches and a lot of character. He’s a big musclehead looking Japanese
dude, sort of a mid 80’s Luger/Batista hybrid with a touch of that Goldberg
“I-just-sacked-a-bitch” snap when posing after a move. They run through a bunch
of power-based spots with Zeus coming out on top before tagging out to YASSHI.
Suwama takes a bunch of YASSHI’s chops, shakes them off, and breaks him off one
of his own, sending YASSHI to the mat. A couple of slams and Sato tags in. He
throws YASSHI to the outside, where Suwama whips him hard into the guard rail. YASSHI
gets hit with a huge double chop over the guard rail, as both are back in now
and Suwama chucks him to the other side of the ring with a clean belly-to-belly
throw. Whips him around, hits another, but Zeus breaks a pin attempt at two.
YASSHI goes low with a Greco Roman Dick Grab, hits a sweet ass neckbreaker and
tags out. Zeus, bringing the goods with plexes, but then inexplicably goes to a
bear hug (cuz he muscles!). Before this takes long and bothers me, he turns it
into an even better looking suplex than the ones before. Pin attempt with
CHARISMA, dammit! This f------ guy. Him and Suwama are trading blows back and
forth, and it’s pretty damn great. Suwama with a lariat out of nowhere. Sato in
and he goes for a Rouseybar but Zeus hits the ropes. Working strength-related
offense against this dude seems pretty dumb. Strikes occur in duel fashion as
Suwama and Sato hit a couple of nice combinations. Suwama with a big German.
How the f--- do you throw a guy that big that far? Sato hits a “PK” (called on
commentary) for two. Zeus blocks a kick and hits a killer chop. This guy would
have the rocket strapped to him in the states by the end of next year if he
wasn’t a walking wellness violation. If WCW was still around, he’d be the Champ
by Starrcade. Holy s---, YASSHI absolutely drills Suwama in the dome with a
loud chair shot (they’re men, stop complaining), and yanks him to the outside.
That s--- hit like a crispy snare on a Wu track. Sato goes for another armbar
like a frigging idiot and Zeus, the manliest manly man on a planet of only
manly men, power bombs this moron for trying. He hits a lariat so loud that I
think we just woke the neighbors up popping for it. The sweat FLEW, brother!
Zeus hits the Jack Hammer for the win @ 13:17. Yes, his finisher is the Jack
Hammer. Trust, I’m not the only one who sees the comparisons. *** ¼ Badass tag
match. Zeus is the f------ dude. Where the hell did this guy from all of a
sudden? (according to the answer is Osaka Pro.. Well, ok then..) YASSHI
cuts a killer promo after the match. Zeus goes over to Kenta Kobashi on
commentary and shakes his hand. And then bows. Like at least 11 or 12 times.

WINNERS: Zeus & “brother”

AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Atsushi Aoki (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki

BURNING collides! These two were an amazing tag team,
former AJPW All-Asia Tag Team Champions. Their program against Junior Stars
(Koji Kanemoto & Minoru Tanaka) last year was nuts. GREAT MATCHES! Kotaro
is already the TV Champ AND ½ of the All-Asia Tag Champions, a title win
featured here on the BoD just a week ago. A win here makes him Lance Storm (3/8
Ultimo). A lock up, and Aoki grants him a clean break. We get next, what
literally might be the single nicest sequence of the year, I s--- you not. A
flawless stalemate; should be a GIF. Some picture perfect mat wrestling leaves
Kotaro on the outside, but he stuffs a tope suicida with a right hand from the
floor. Back in, he hits a big vertical and follows with a neckbreaker for a
barely two. Aoki takes a trip to the floor, suckers Kotaro in, and drills him
on the way back. Sweet. On the floor now, Aoki superplexes Kotaro off of the
skinny metal guard rail. I can dig it. Damn good five minutes, so far. Aoki
goes to work with kneedrops on the back. Boston Crab, which Kotaro struggles
out of for a rope break. Aoki goes for his arm-based offense off the ropes, but
Kotaro was playing possum. Hits the Bit Blaster, and evades Aoki’s attempt to
counter with a dropkick. Kotaro hits the running knee in the corner and jumping
shin to the throat for two. One of my top 5 favorite spots in wrestling. 619
from Kotaro gets two. They fight for a suplex and Aoki regains control, hitting
a frog splash for two in the process. Back up to the top, as they now fight for
a top rope superplex. Kotaro switches in mid air for another two. Aoki to the
outside and gets drilled with tope suicida. Back in the ring, Aoki goes for the
left arm but Kotaro gets to the ropes. Lariats, kicks and spirit-related no-selling
abounds. Head butts from Aoki but Kotaro rocks with a forearm and pounds away
with strikes. Ref gets in between them like he’s gonna wave it off but opts for
a 10-count instead. Aoki up at 8, gets forearmed down but kicks out at two.
Kotaro goes for a Tiger Driver but Aoki powers him up to the top rope and his a
dropkick to the seated Kotaro. Aoki to the top, setting up the flying armbar.
He hits and yanks a fighting Kotaro from the ropes but Kotaro turns it into the
three rolling majistrals for a series of two counts. They’re breaking out the
good s---. Gory Special but Aoki kicks out at 2.9.  Back to the Tiger Driver but Aoki reverses
that into an armbar, pulling back on the digits. Kotaro struggles to power out,
to no avail, as he finally submits @ 21:31 *** ¾ Really good stuff, right here.
After the match, Aoki walks over to commentary and refuses a handshake from
Kenta Kobashi. What a dickbag!

WINNER, and still Champion: Atsushi Aoki


No introduction can suffice,
gonna be a killer match. Before the bell we get a great non-shaking of the
hands bit. Referee Kyohei Wada nails it. Akiyama powers Shiozaki into the
ropes, and we get a clean break. Second one now and Akiyama’s on the other end
for another clean break. Back and forth we go, as they try to determine the better
man. Akiyama hits a shoulder block and evades a dropkick, but misses an elbow
drop and we end in a stalemate. Omori & Miyahara in now, Miyahara backs
Omori up but the vet is not impressed, they exchange chops and the action hits
the outside. On the apron now, Miyahara can’t hit the Tiger Driver but gets KILLED
with a piledriver in return. Hardest part of the ring. Could be considered a
bit much, to some. Omori absolutely chucks Shiozaki into the guard rail, and
Akiyama hits Shiozaki with a DDT on the hard concrete entrance way. Japanese
commentary: “DDT !!!” I’m telling you, we don’t need whitey touching this
product. Omori and Miyahara exchange blasts on the outside. Akiyama with a big
suplex to Shiozaki on the concrete aisle. Back on the mat, the champs hit a
great looking double team for two, while Omori holds off Shiozaki. Akiyama with
a guillotine choke into a pin attempt, for two. Double shoulder block again
from the champs. Akiyama hits an exploder and Omori hits a piledriver, as the champs are in full control. Miyahara gets backed into the opposite corner and
responds with some serious fire. Serious fire. Omori boots him down and they
double team him down. Akiyama with a huge knee to the seated Miyahara and the
champs have effectively cut the ring in half. They fight over a brainbuster and
Miyahara finally gets off a suplex. Big tag, Shiozaki finally in. Omori attacks
him, but Shiozaki suplexes him and nails Akiyama with the same. Omori kills the
mo with a flying spin kick and sets up an Axe Guillotine Driver, but can’t hit
it. To the top, and Omori hits a big superplex, and finally connects with the
Axe Guillotine Driver. Pinfall attempt is broken up by Miyahara at the last
millisecond. Akiyama throws him to the outside while Shiozaki blocks an Axe
Bomber from Omori and hits one of his own. Orange Crush is broken up at two by
Akiyama. Omori & Shiozaki Axe Bomber each other to a knee, and then flat on
the mat in a great bit of synchronicity. Hot tag, and Miyahara is a house of
kasai. He gets off all of his Tanahashi/Muta/Steamboat looking offense. He
climbs to the top but gets hit with an Akiyama superplex, BUT HULKS THE F--- UP~!
Unfortunately, he immediately gets drilled with an exploder from Akiyama. All
hell breaking loose in there as the match hits a fever pitch. Too much going on
to call it, but all four down now. Gigantic knee from Miyahara and he almost
gets a three count via powerbomb. “German Suplex Hold-o” on Akiyama gets two.
Miyahara sinks in his Heart Break pedigree-variation, but Akiyama kicks out of
the hold. Extra large Axe Bomber from Omori connects hard, but Shiozaki breaks
up the 3 count. Double-arm DDT from Akiyama and he absolutely drills Miyahara
in the back of the head with fkn’ knee. But Miyahara comes back and they hit
each other with some of the most vicious strikes you’ll see all week. Akiyama
gets 2 off an exploder. Miyahara is getting hit with everything here. Finally,
he eats Exploder ’98 from Akiyama for the clean 1-2-3 @ 24:44 Strong **** Great
stuff here as Miyahara builds his catalog. All four came to play. Worth going
out of your way to see if you’re interested in hopping on the Miyahara
bandwagon before he becomes the Ace of the company. The champs go shake hands
with Kobashi on commentary after the match.

WINNERS, and still Champions: Jun Akiyama & Takeo Omori

So the story here is that Doering
(the former Drake Brewer in WWE/FCW) just won the title on 7/27/14, a booking move
I never knew if they would ever pull the trigger on. While there are other guys
on the roster that would make for a better first defense in terms of match
quality, Akebono was never defeated for the Triple Crown title during his reign
earlier this year. He was sidelined with pneumonia in the spring, and AJPW got
tired of him missing defenses and stripped him of the title. Doering ended up
defeating long-time tag partner Suwama for the title later in the year. Before
he can move on in his title reign, hopefully a lengthy one, he has to defeat
the former champ who was never beaten. Doering is rocking the Stan Hansen
mustache even better than Silas Young these days. The t-shirt is pretty def as
well. Big staredown and test of strength to start, with huge shoulderblocks and
Doering finally goes down. He eats an elbowdrop from the big man and rolls to
the outside. Doering suckers him in for an Avalanche against the ring post and
ducks out of the way. Back in the ring they battle for position some more.
Doering gets backed into the corner and comes back with forearms but gets
powered down and stepped on. They exchange strikes and Akebono finally goes
down this time. He gathers himself, overpowers Doering, hits the avalanche this
time in the ring and follows with another elbow drop for two. Doering fighting
back hits a lariat for one. Attempts a fireman’s carry but can’t handle the
weight and crashes to the mat. Hogan-esq Big Man vs. Bigger Man stuff. Akebono
slams him to the mat and a big splash gets two. A second one misses, and
Doering flies off the ropes only to get caught and drilled with a World’s
Strongest Slam for another two count. Akebono attempts a powerbomb but Doering
back body drops him out of it. Doering goes for a powerbomb now resulting in a
similar fashion. Doering hits an FU/AA for one. Doering nails a piledriver for
the win @ 11:11 **1/4 Doering looks the part and definitely has a certain
gaijin hoss charisma, but I’m sure it’ll be the main event match quality of these
defenses that defines the title reign. Tough to get a good match out of
Akebono, but he’s not embarrassing out there. He’s Mark Henry, basically.
Doering cracks beers with his crew and cuts a little promo backstage at the
presser. “No one’s stronger, no one’s faster, no one’s a killer like Joe
Doering”. And we’re off the air.
WINNER, and still Champion: Joe Doering

A good little show. The two matches
that looked strong on paper delivered. Check it out if you haven’t seen Zeus or
Kento Miyahara, as they should provide some good times for wrestling fans over
the next couple of years and perhaps beyond.