All Japan "Excite Series 2015"
A review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  February 7th, 2015
Location:  Osaka BODYMAKER COLOSSEUM #2 in Osaka, Japan
Announced Attendance:  873

We are jumping back to All Japan to try to catch-up on them over the next few days.  This show has the start of the Jr. Battle of Glory Tournament as well as Shiozaki defending the Triple Crown against Zeus.  While the winner isn’t in doubt, it should still be fun.  Here is the full card:

- Masanobu Fuchi and Masashi Aoyagi vs. Takao Soma and Yuma Aoyagi
- Kento Miyahara and Yohei Nakajima vs. The Bodyguard and Shigehiro Irie
- Akebono and SUSHI vs. KENSO and Takeshi Minamino
- Jun Akiyama, Takao Omori, and Ultimo Dragon vs. Suwama, Hikaru Sato, and Naoya Nomura
- Jr. Battle of Glory - Block B: Kotaro Suzuki vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Jr. Battle of Glory - Block A: Atsushi Aoki vs. Keisuke Ishii
- Triple Crown Championship: Go Shiozaki vs. Zeus

I was hoping some of these would be clipped but sadly they are not.

Masanobu Fuchi and Masashi Aoyagi vs. Takao Soma and Yuma Aoyagi
Like this one, for example.  Fuchi and Yuma start off and they trade wristlocks.  Fuchi flips Yuma to the mat but he lets him back up.  Fuchi tags in Aoyagi, I didn’t know that Aoyagi was still wrestling.  Yuma clubs Aoyagi in the chest but Aoyagi fights back with kicks.  Tombstone piledriver by Aoyagi but it gets two.  Yuma catches a kick and elbows Aoyagi in the leg before hitting a dropkick.  Yuma tags in Soma and Soma stands on Aoyagi in the corner.  Dropkick by Soma and he chops Aoyagi in the corner.  Aoyagi kicks Soma back and hits a heel kick, giving him time to tag in Fuchi.  Fuchi picks up Soma and hits a scoop slam.  Delayed scoop slam by Fuchi, Yuma comes in but Fuchi scoop slams him too.  Fuchi slams Soma again a couple more times but Soma kicks Fuchi in the stomach and tags in Yuma.  Yuma dropkicks Fuchi and Fuchi tags in Aoyagi.  Aoyagi kicks Yuma in the leg and the chest, he picks him back up and kicks him in the stomach.  More kicks by Aoyagi but Soma breaks up the cover.  Dropkick by Yuma and he hits a second one.  Yuma goes off the ropes but Aoyagi kicks him in the stomach before hitting an enzigieri for the three count cover.  Maybe I am just feeling nostalgic but it was nice to see Aoyagi again, apparently he still actively competes, I just personally hadn’t seen him in a while.  The crowd enjoys Fuchi and the young guys looked fine.  Not exciting but nothing bad.  Score:  5.5

Kento Miyahara and Yohei Nakajima vs. The Bodyguard and Shigehiro Irie
Irie and Nakajima begin things, shoulderblock by Irie but Nakajima hits a hurricanrana.  Bodyguard and Miyahara tag in and they bounce off each other with no results.  Finally Bodyguard shoulderblocks Miyahara down but Miyahara pushes him back and tags in Nakajima.  Bodyguard chops Nakajima to the mat and chops him again.  Press slam by Bodyguard and he tags in Irie.  Nakajima and Irie trade elbows, Irie gets the better of it and he tags in Bodyguard.  Bodyguard kicks Nakajima and he hits a scoop slam followed by a neck crank.  Reverse chinlock by Bodyguard and he covers Nakajima for two.  Bodyguard tags in Irie and Irie hits a body slam.  Irie goes up top and hits a diving body press for two.  Irie charges Nakajima but Nakajima kicks him back and hits a missile dropkick.  Nakajima tags in Miyahara, and Miyahara trades elbows with Irie.  Dropkick by Miyahara and he hits a jumping elbow in the corner.  Northern Lights Suplex by Miyahara but Irie kicks out.  Vertical suplex by Irie and he tags in Bodyguard.  Lariat by Bodyguard to Miyahara in the corner and he hits a series of short range lariats.  Flapjack by Bodyguard and he hits an elbow drop.  Bodyguard picks up Miyahara but Miyahara boots him in the head.  Miyahara tags in Nakajima, Bodyguard punches Nakajima but Nakajima kicks him back.  Dropkick by Nakajima and he dropkicks Bodyguard in the corner.  Missile dropkick by Nakajima but Bodyguard catches him with a spear.  Irie comes in and body slams Nakajima, leg drop by Bodyguard but it gets a two count.  Bodyguard hits a lariat to Nakajima, but Nakajima kicks out of the pin.  Bodyguard picks up Nakajima and blasts him with a short-range lariat, and this time he gets the three count.  Another solid match, nothing earth scorching but still fun. Bodyguard is good in short bursts and the other three did their parts.  Perfectly acceptable match for this part of the card.  Score:  6.0

Akebono and SUSHI vs. KENSO and Takeshi Minamino
SUSHI and KENSO square off first and they shake hands before KENSO kicks Akebono off the apron.  KENSO goes after Akebono while Minamino runs in to attack SUSHI.  Everyone brawls outside the ring, but KENSO and SUSHI return after a moment and KENSO hits a lariat.  Brainbuster by KENSO, but SUSHI kicks out of the cover.  KENSO tags in Minamino and Minamino chokes SUSHI with a metal rod until Akebono breaks it up.  KENSO is tagged in and he attacks SUSHI in the corner.  Slaps by KENSO but SUSHI lariats KENSO in the corner.  SUSHI tries to knock over KENSO but KENSO slaps him.  SUSHI finally hits a lariat to knock KENSO over and he tags in Akebono.  KENSO tags in Minamino, and Minamino kicks Akebono low.  Chokeslam by Akebono and he hits an elbow drop.  Another elbow drop and Akebono tags in SUSHI.  Lazy ass Akebono, don’t tag in the weak guy.  SUSHI goes up top and he hits a diving headbutt to Minamino, but KENSO breaks it up.  Akebono lariats KENSO out of the ring, SUSHI grabs Minamino but Minamino kicks SUSHI low.  SUSHI grabs Minamino and hits the Tekkamaki, getting the three count.  Akebono was just coasting here, it wasn’t even a long match but he still let SUSHI do the bulk of the work.  Too short to mean anything but not too bad.  Score:  4.0

Jun Akiyama, Takao Omori, and Ultimo Dragon vs. Suwama, Hikaru Sato, and Naoya Nomura
Omori and Suwama begin things.  This would normally be the co-main big tag match, it just got bumped down because of the tournament.  They get into an elbow battle, which Suwama wins, but both miss elbow drops.  Ultimo Dragon and Sato come in next, wristlock by Sato but Ultimo Dragon rolls out of it.  Sato kicks Ultimo Dragon in the leg and he applies an ankle hold, but Ultimo Dragon hits a spinning headscissors.  Ultimo Dragon drives Sato into the corner and Sato tags in Nomura.  Ultimo Dragon kicks Nomura and he tags in Akiyama.  Nomura pushes Akiyama into the ropes and clubs him in the chest repeatedly but Akiyama knocks him to the mat.  Akiyama throws Nomura out of the ring, and Omori chops Nomura in the chest.  Akiyama slams Nomura out on the floor before returning to the ring, and Akiyama throws Nomura into the corner.  Akiyama tags in Omori, Omori chops Nomura against the ropes and hits a back bodydrop.  Omori tags in Ultimo Dragon, Ultimo Dragon elbows Nomura and covers him for two.  Ultimo Dragon twists up Nomura and then applies an ankle hold but Sato breaks it up.  Akiyama is tagged in and he slams Nomura to the mat.  Crab hold by Akiyama and he tags in Omori.  Omori backdrop suplexes Nomura as poor Nomura is just the whipping boy in this match.  Nomura finally hits a missile dropkick and he makes the super hot tag to Suwama. 

Akiyama comes in to help but Suwama lariats both of them.  Suwama lariats Omori in the corner and hits a belly to belly suplex.  Omori boots Suwama but Suwama applies a sleeper.  Suwama goes for a Last Ride but Omori hits a hurricanrana to reverse it.  Axe Guillotine Driver by Omori and he tags in Ultimo Dragon while Sato is also tagged in.  Dropkick by Ultimo Dragon to Sato and he hits a back bodydrop.  Kick combination by Ultimo Dragon but Sato slaps on a cross armbreaker.  Ultimo Dragon gets a foot on the ropes to get a break and Sato tags in Nomura.  Jumping elbow by Nomura and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex.  Ultimo Dragon avoids Nomura’s dropkick and tags in Akiyama.  Akiyama applies a neck lock but it is broken up.  Boots by Akiyama  but Nomura dropkicks him.  Nomura goes up top but Akiyama avoids the missile dropkick.  Akiyama applies a crab hold but Nomura gets to the ropes.  Brainbuster by Akiyama, but Nomura kicks out.  Crab hold by Akiyama and this time he taps out.  I mean a crab hold ending this late in the card is a super copout, I knew Nomura was getting pinned when I saw the line-up but at least let him lost to a knee.  And his teammates didn’t come help even though they were on the apron, I guess so Nomura could learn.  This wasn’t much of a match as 75% of it was Nomura getting beaten down, but it wasn’t bad.  Just a bit of a waste for wrestlers of this quality.  Score:  5.5

Kotaro Suzuki vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
This match is part of the Jr. Battle of Glory Tournament.  After the introductory back and forth, Suzuki starts working over Kanemaru’s leg and applies a figure four.  Kanemaru gets to the ropes but Suzuki twists on Kanemaru’s knee.  Kanemaru gets to the ropes again and they trade strikes, with Suzuki kicking Kanemaru in the leg until he falls to the mat.  Suzuki goes for a handspring elbow but Kanemaru catches him and hits a backdrop suplex.  Kanemaru goes up top and hits a diving crossbody for two.  Flapjack by Kanemaru but Suzuki hits a jumping knee in the corner.  Diving knee by Suzuki but it gets two.  Suzuki drop toeholds Kanemaru into the ropes and hits the tiger feint kick.  Suzuki and Kanemaru trade elbows, boot by Kanemaru and he hits a backdrop suplex.  Suzuki gets back up and returns the favor but Kanemaru hits a lariat.  Lariat by Kanemaru in the corner but Suzuki kicks him in the leg.  Suzuki goes up top but Kanemaru joins him, Kanemaru goes for a superplex but Suzuki lands on top of him for two.  Elbows by Suzuki and he hits a tombstone piledriver for another two.  Suzuki goes for the Tiger Driver but Kanemaru drops Suzuki on his head because he hates his face.  Kanemaru goes up to the second turnbuckle, but Suzuki catches him when he dives off.  Kanemaru blocks the Tiger Driver again and he hits a brainbuster.  Kanemaru goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the Deep Impact, but Suzuki kicks out.  Brainbuster by Suzuki, he picks up Kanemaru and delivers the Touch Out for the three count.  Kanemaru gets two points!  This match didn’t do a whole lot for me.  It was half leg work but Suzuki doesn’t really have a finisher that targets the leg so there wasn’t anywhere that he could go with it.  So the leg work was quickly forgotten and it turned into Kanemaru running through his finishers as his matches usually do.  It definitely had some good spots, but as whole it was disappointing.  Score:  4.0

Atsushi Aoki vs. Keisuke Ishii
This match is part of the Jr. Battle of Glory Tournament.  Aoki attacks Ishii before the match starts and beats him around the ring.  Back in the ring they trade elbows, Aoki gets the better of it and dumps Ishii out of the ring.  Aoki throws Ishii into the railing and Aoki throws Ishii into the ring post.  Back in the ring, Ishii catches Aoki with a rough DDT.  Aoki grabs Ishii’s arm and drives his knee into it.  Armbreaker by Aoki but Ishii boots him in the face.  Aoki kicks Ishii in the arm and then twists it but Ishii gets to the ropes.   Aoki knocks Ishii into the corner and yanks on his arm but Ishii hits a dropkick.  Ishii goes up top, Aoki joins him but Ishii pushes him off and hits a missile dropkick.  Ishii hits a double kneedrop and covers Aoki, but Aoki applies an armbar.  Ishii kicks out of it and hits an enzigieri.  German suplex hold by Ishii but Aoki avoids the heel kick.  Lariat by Aoki and he hits a scoop slam.  Aoki goes up top but Ishii avoids a diving doublestomp.  Backdrop suplex by Aoki and he hits a lariat.  Brainbuster by Aoki but Ishii blocks the Assault Point.  Tiger suplex hold by Ishii but it gets a two.  Backflip kick by Ishii and he hits a double armed DDT.  Cover, but Aoki barely kicks out.  They trade pin attempts but Aoki applies a cross armbreaker.  He reverts it into the Trap Over, and Ishii submits.  Aoki is trying really hard to be interesting, and I appreciate that he is trying.  Ishii was good also, and overall it was entertaining even though something was missing.  But it was well structured and didn’t go long so they were able to stay focused.  Score:  6.5

(c) Go Shiozaki vs. Zeus
This match is for the All Japan Triple Crown Championship.  Shiozaki and Zeus collide into each other to start and Shiozaki snaps off a backdrop suplex which Zeus replies to with a lariat.  Suplex by Shiozaki but Zeus picks him up and drops him onto the apron.  Zeus suplexes Shiozaki back into the ring and then press slams him over the top rope to the floor.  Zeus beats Shiozaki with the guardrail before they return to the ring, and they trade chops.  Lariat by Zeus and he applies a facelock.  Shoulderblock by Zeus but Shiozaki gets back up, body avalanche by Zeus and he hits a bearhug suplex.  Zeus hits a vertical suplex and he covers Shiozaki for two.  Jumping shoulderblock by Shiozaki but Zeus shrugs it off.  DDT by Shiozaki but Zeus pops up from that too.  Shiozaki tries the backdrop suplex but Zeus gets up in the corner.  Running chop by Shiozaki and he hits another one, but Zeus chops him back.  Fisherman Buster by Shiozaki and he dropkicks  Zeus out of the ring.  Shiozaki goes off the ropes but Zeus gets back in the ring and lariats Shiozaki out of it.  Zeus then goes to the ropes and hits a muscle man pescado.  Awkward but effective.  Back in the ring Zeus lariats Shiozaki, Shiozaki falls out to the apron but Zeus suplexes him back into the ring.  Zeus dropkicks Shiozaki into the corner and he hits a chokeslam.  Zeus is just killing Shiozaki here. 

Shiozaki chops Zeus and goes for a hurricanrana, but Zeus powerbombs him into the turnbuckles.  Big lariat by Zeus but Shiozaki hits a vertical suplex.  Both Shiozaki and Zeus try to lariat each other, and Shiozaki finally wins the battle.  Zeus chops Shiozaki but Shiozaki chops him back.  Shiozaki lariats Zeus out of the ring and then sails out onto him with a tope suicida.  Shiozaki slides Zeus back in, he puts Zeus on the top turnbuckle and hits an avalanche Frankensteiner for a one count.  Lariat by Shiozaki, he picks up Zeus but Zeus snaps off a Jackhammer.  Zeus picks up Shiozaki but Shiozaki hits a Go Flasher.  Zeus and Shiozaki lariat each other to the mat, they both get up and start trading chops.  Shiozaki falls to the mat, but he drops Zeus with a rolling chop.  Another rolling chop by Shiozaki and he hits the Short-Range Lariat.  Shiozaki picks up  Zeus and hits another Go Flasher, cover, but Zeus gets a shoulder up.  Shiozaki slams Zeus in front of the corner, he goes up top and nails the moonsault for the three count cover. Go Shiozaki is still your Triple Crown Champion!  Let me talk about Zeus first.  The fact I like Shiozaki is no secret, but Zeus really stepped up.  I mean he is a big dude but he had no cardio issues, there was no time killed, and he was flying outside the ring and popping up from big moves like it was nothing. So super impressed there.  The only issue with the structure here is that Zeus looked so strong it was hard to buy Shiozaki’s comeback at first.  I mean Zeus was indestructible the first 15 minutes of the match.  But it was great fun, not perfect, but entertaining.  Score:  8.0

Final Thoughts:

There was a ton of action packed in here, which I do take into account when recommending an event.  Seven matches with six going over ten minutes, all shown in full, and a well done long main event on top of that.  Shiozaki/Zeus should be enjoyable to most, even though at times you may shake your head at the prospect of Shiozaki somehow making a comeback.  The Jr. Battle of the Glory matches weren’t great but Aoki/Ishii was definitely solid.  Top to bottom a really good event from All Japan, recommended.

Grade:  B

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event reviewed on 3/5/15