Winner: Daichi via Rising DDT
2. NOAH The Chronicle Vol. 2: GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Yoshinari Ogawa (c) vs Daisuke Harada
Well this seems like it was the culmination of the Stinger versus RATEL’S feud. Harada wanted one more shot at Ogawa, after winning the Global Junior League. Ogawa however, has been basically co-leader of Stinger with Kotaro Suzuki; and always the consummate veteran.
The contrast of styles was gorgeous in this match. Harada used his athleticism early to try and roll, twist and flip out of mat wrestling attempts. However, when Ogawa caught him, he made it hurt.
Ogawa spends a lot of time focusing on the left arm of Harada. This plays into the match since Harada likes to use a Bridging German Suplex as a finish, and Ogawa knows many submissions. So the match really became a test of how long Harada could create space, before Ogawa twisted him up.
We see Cross Armbreakers, Key Locks, Anaconda Vice, Fujiwara Armbar, Armbar variations…Ogawa just put on a clinic of how to break someone’s arm. Harada did however start taking control back one he hit two of his signature delayed Knee Lifts; and then tried for his Katayama German Suplex Hold. But the arm that Ogawa was working over, couldn’t quit hold together.
Getting a little desperate Harada goes back to the suplex, Ogawa breaks it, runs the ropes, Harada telegraphs the backdrop, so Ogawa sunset flips. Fighting off the flip, Harada Mushroom Stomps Ogawa’s chest, but slips and falls backwards, perfectly for Ogawa to score the pinfall with an opportune Crucifix Cradle.
The finish was great because it was realistic. One of my favorite finishes in a while.
Also, after the match we got a turn! Kotaro Suzuki attacked Ogawa and made his intentions crystal clear. So what’s the future for Stinger?
Winner: Ogawa via Crucifix Cradle
1. AJPW Dream Power Series: Triple Crown Championship: Kento Miyahara (c) vs Suwama
Kento took things in his usual irreverent and chiding way, as he’d take an Irish Whip just to slip back into the ring and pose. The sarcastic charisma of the champion is on full display; while Suwama just peppers in shots when there’s an opening. We see the understanding eventually wash over Kento’s face, but it might be a little late. After a Piledriver on the apron, Kento thinks Suwama is done, but the veteran doesn’t go down like that. Getting that look in his eye, Kento fires off with a few Blackouts and a German Suplex Hold, but only a two count.
Suwama hits a few big Double Chops and has the Manriki Sleeper in for a bit, before Kento can reach to the ropes. The playfully arrogant light is gone from the champion and he starts trying desperately to find an answer. Suwama breaks out of the Shutdown Suplex twice, so Kento tries for Blackouts from almost every conceivable angle, but still nothing. The Giant’s Slam from Suwama didn’t get the job done a little earlier, so now he hits the Giant’s Slam with a Bridge, for the pinfall! NEW CHAMPION! Suwama begins his 7th reign as Triple Crown Champion!
Winner: Suwama via Bridging Giant’s Slam
It’s a lot of fun to see two matches involving the same person. T-Hawk is going to be a major player in wrestling; it’ll just be interesting if he stays away from New Japan or eventually goes there.
As much as I loved the All Japan match, my vote for the matches of the week will go to; NOAH The Chronicle Vol. 2: GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Yoshinari Ogawa (c) vs Daisuke Harada. The way that Yoshinari Ogawa wrestles is beautiful logical, old school and technical gorgeous. Ogawa has done nothing but blow me away this year.