Korauken Hall (Tokyo, Japan)
AJPW All Asia Tag Team Championship
In a quick turnaround for Jun Akiyama, just two days after falling to Takao Omori in the Champion Carnival finals he and tag team partner Yoshinobu Kanemaru put their All Asia Tag Team titles on the line at a DDT Korakuen card.
As a duo, Ishii and Irie have appeared on some recent All Japan cards. Even so, this match on paper had all of the markings of a lower-profile promotion attempting to use an outside title defense to beef up their major card. Those matches usually follow a pattern. The local challengers get a bunch of close near falls and are made to look good, but ultimately fall short. The fact that the script was flipped – with Ishii and Irie actually capturing the All Asia belts – was the most noteworthy development in this match.
Ishii and Irie are still a bit green, but worked hard. Between this match and the final day of the Carnival there has been a lot of Akiyama to watch recently. He continued his solid but ultimately unmemorable string of performances here. Kanemaru ran all around the ring here getting in his offense and bumping late for the DDT pair.
The match picked up a bit in the last minute or saw as the Dream Team Futures started to roll out some near falls that were accentuated by late kick outs from the champs. It appeared that the crowd did not totally buy a title change but at the same time the near fall reactions got progressively better so they certainly succeeded to that end. When Kanemaru is rolled up and counted down for three, there is a nice loud and genuinely stunned reaction from the DDT fans. Nothing truly out of the ordinary but a good, excited reception for the surprise title win nonetheless.
This was a solidly executed underdog title win but one without any real future ramifications in all likelihood. It is sort of shocking that the All Japan would even keep a secondary set of tag titles around given their current state. Being the All Asia tag title holders does not mean much anymore, but maybe it will give Ishii and Irie a little rub and slightly higher profile.
Japan Tag | Common | Tag Title Switch