Section 1- Important Results
All Japan: I’ll be ignoring the three (Arashi, Kondo, Suwama) with no prayer of advancing to the semi’s. On Day 1 Jamal beat Palumbo, Mutoh beat Buchanan, and Sasaki beat Kojima with thirty seconds to spare before the time limit expired. This marked Sasaki’s 10th straight win over Kojima in singles bouts, and Kojima’s first lost fall since winning the Triple Crown. On Day 2 Buchanan beat Jamal, Albert beat Sasaki, and Kawada versus Mutoh went to a 30 minute draw. Yes, you read that right, the Meshugganator beat Kensuke Sasaki, after Sasaki beat Kojima.
Sasaki’s luck worsened even more on Day 3 when he was upset by Arashi. Also on said day Kawada beat Palumbo and Kojima versus Kea went to a 30 minute draw. Albert leads A block with 4 points, with Kojima and Kea tied for second at 3 apiece. Kawada currently leads B block with 5 points, followed by Buchanan’s 4 and Mutoh’s 3.
Dragon Gate: Fuji won a Dream Gate (the ‘big one’) title shot by beating Arai on Friday. The title shot will happen on 5/11. Also at the show was a Triangle Gate title defense by Ryo Saito/Dragon Kid/Horiguchi.
New Japan: Kanemoto and Wataru Inoue had yet another half hour plus long junior tag title match, this time in a defense against Kakihara and El Samurai. New Japan has had more 30+ minute title matches in the last six months than in the entire period between 1989 and last November, and just one less than the history of all IWGP titles going back to 1985.
Zero-One: Their biggest show in some time on Sunday saw three notable events. First, Sasaki downed Sato. Then, the Emblem team of Ohtani and Masato Tanaka reunited. Lastly, Omori retained the AWA title over Yokoi. The evening was capped off by an appearance from Naoya Ogawa, which speaks to very little having actually changed since Hashimoto’s departure. It appears Yokoi got concussed by an Omori dropkick in the match and will need time off.
Section 2- Other news
All Japan: Nakajima has been named as the next challenger for the junior title, next Wednesday. Akira Hokuto will be the special guest referee, which could sadly distract from a perfectly good wrestling match. We’ll see.
Dragon Gate: It appears quite likely that Milano Collection AT has left the company.
New Japan: Three matches have been added to the 5/14 Tokyo Dome card. First and foremost a ‘proper’ Nagata vs Kosaka will take place, in that the first one was supposed to go longer. All the juniors gold will be on the line as well. Tiger Mask 4 defends against Black Tiger 4, who under the mask is US indy wrestler Rocky Romero. Kanemoto and Wataru Inoue put the junior tag titles up yet again, this time against Minoru Tanaka and the freshly heel-turned Hirooki Goto. This marks Goto’s third shot at the title, despite not even having two years of experience yet. A lot of faith is being placed in the talented young Goto.
In other NJ news, Shinya Hashimoto announced that he plans on returning to wrestling this summer, and his primary home will be New Japan. This is exactly the sort of good news they need now, especially if he’s a hundred percent for the first time in ages. Nagata is starting a new heel group whose current makeup is unknown. Chono announced the addition of Kendo KaShin to his stable.
NOAH: The 4/24 Budokan card has been finalized. The top three undercard matches are KENTA vs SUWA (stemming from their feud in recent months), Misawa & Kotaro Suzuki vs Minoru Suzuki & Marufuji, and Akiyama & Tenryu vs Kobashi & Go Shiozaki. Interesting booking to have guys like Kotaro and Go in high-profile matches with such a weak main event. Also, from Sunday’s Zero-One show, the final Differ Cup team appears to be Nakajima teaming with Takehiro Murahama.
Next Week: Champions Carnival wraps up, and New Japan’s openweight tournament kicks off.