Tuesday, October 5, 2010

AJPW B-Banquet #273

Aug., 8, 2010 Hakata Star Lane
1,800 Fans

#1: Jr. Heavyweight League - Semi Final: KAI vs. Hiroshi Yamato - 5
#2: Jr. Heavyweight League - Semi Final: Jimmy Yang vs. Minoru - 4
#3: Jr. Heavyweight League - Final: KAI vs. Jimmy Yang - 6

KAI's the guy I honestly expected the least from in this tournament but has continually impressed (although I still haven't watched him versus TAKA Michinoku yet), he did some great vocal selling throughout this. KAI borrowed Low Ki's "Ghetto Stomp" and it looked ill. Yamato (who's in phenomenal shape these days) sold an armdrag from the top like BrĂ¼no strutting around Victoria's Secret picking out lingerie. Hiroshi got bloodied after eating a really sick springboard enzurguri kick, followed shortly after by a frog splash giving KAI the victory. A nice semi-final match, an agreeable dose of fighting spirit (your commonplace strike exchanges, etc.) and athleticism.

The physiques of guys like Yamoto and Minoru make Yang look doughy in comparison, I guess post-WWE he's gave into those late-night Taco Ball urges. Yang got whipped over the guardrail onto a table but took the most dainty bump, it was remedied soon after as Minoru picked him up and dropped him knees-first onto the table. Minoru is viciously going after the legs out on the floor, using chairs, etc. but Yang is too busy pulling up his vinyl pants. Jimmy's leg selling comes and goes, some nice grimaces between spots, but doesn't acknowledge it while on offense. Yang took an insane bump, while standing on the top rope preparing to do a moonsault he got shoved off, bouncing off the top buckle, then the apron, before finally crashing on the ground in a real nasty fall. The crowd got into some nearfalls. Yang won with the "Yang Time"; I remember watching him in-front of 40 people at HWA shows and me yelling "Yang Time!" at him every match, but in this case, I think the wrong man won.

The finals (spoilers ahead -- although this happened two months ago so chances are if you didn't want the tournament spoiled you'd have already seen it) were pretty good, bordering on average, felt appropriate enough for the size/prestige of this tournament but would have felt like a disappointment in NJPW's tourney. KAI hit an excellent tope suicida. There was a lot of leg work, stemming off of Yang's last match, but KAI didn't act it as psychotically as Minoru had. Jimmy looked gassed, especially with no Shannon Moore to tag to. KAI had some great exhaustion/surprise facials after Yang kicked out of his patented frog splash. There was a callback to Yang's last match as he again got caught on the top rope, this time however, he was able to fight KAI off and then pulled off the "Yang Time" to win the match and tournament. A satisfying finish that was believable but hampered by the match's lack of depth and aura.

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