Look at Yuma with his new upgraded look with his attire, it’s like he’s his own person now! Yuma has shown us that he actually can perform at a main event level; after being in Kento’s shadow for so long. The fact that he’s been his partner for so long, he knew what to do to counter most of his stuff. Initially being proven when he worked on his arm after Kento hits the turnbuckle post. If Kento can’t use his arm, he won’t have a strong grip for his finisher; and Yuma was able to capitalize on it at points during the match. So there was a story to be had, but it didn’t feel completely fleshed out. I wish Yuma had more development instead of feeling like he was tossed in; due to a generally small roster in AJPW.
Yuma would rip the mat off the floor and it looks like he had something in mind as the two were on the apron, but Kento would hit a Piledriver to halt that. Once Yuma got back in, Kento would hit the Blackout along with a German Suplex; but Yuma popped up and returned the favor. While Kento was attempting the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, Yuma fought him off and caught him in the End Game submission. He had it locked in tight, making us believe Kento could tap out; but he was able to grab the rope to break the hold. The two started fighting until Kento hits another Blackout and then Yuma hits him with a spinning kick before catching Kento with the Rockstar Buster; Kento kicked out at two! Yuma is speechless and doesn’t waste any more time when he attempts to hit the kick again but Kento would hit a Blackout along with an Underhook Facebuster. Kento would finally be able to get a hold of Yuma as he hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the victory and has tied the record!
That’s right, Kento was able to retain the title for the tenth time during this reign and is now tied with Toshiaki Kawada for successful title defenses. Now, what do you do after that? You try to break the record of course!
That is what Kento intends to do before the Champion Carnival takes place. After the match, while Kento was talking about how he is now tied with the record, Suwama would come out to make the challenge saying he will stop him from making history and the match will take place on March 23rd. While I wish it was a new opponent, it does seem fitting to fight the former ace for the history-making moment, plus they always work great together and should be another classic.
Congratulations on Kento for making it this far and now he just has to break the record.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter.
Overall: Honestly, not their best show when you look at the card and the quality from over half the match but it was still not the worst one either. Having shorter Junior and Tag Title matches didn’t really help anything. The main event was the highlight of the show as Kento never disappoints and Yuma was able to show he has what it takes to be a future top guy and hope he keeps that momentum in the future.
Favorite Match: Kento Miyahara vs. Yuma Aoyagi
Least Favorite Match: Ayato Yoshida, Fuminori Abe & Tatsuya Hanami vs. Purple Haze (Zeus, Izanagi, & UTAMARO)
For a special bonus, you can see the Triple Crown Championship Match from the Excite Series if you follow the link attached. Hopefully it may peak your interest to watch the Champion Carnival this year.