NEXTREAM (Jake Lee, Kento Miyahara & Naoya Nomura) vs. Jun Akiyama, Yutaka Yoshie & Zeus from AJPW 2017

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This main event was both very satisfying, interesting in the moment, and intriguing for the directions going forward that the match implied.

For starters, this match seemed to clearly indicate that Zeus is getting the March Triple Crown Championship match. Between his partner, The Bodyguard, getting the February shot and the fact that Zeus had not had a shot since Miyahara beat him for the vacant title, it already seemed like a matter of time. The fact that he and Miyahara paired off here in this match indicated that the match is certainly on the horizon. You put 2 and 2 together, etc. You would hope that Zeus gets a 2-month reign or something like that to spice things up and add some intrigue to the Champion Carnival. I guess we’ll see though.

The bigger story to some might be the use of Naoya Nomura in the match. This guy was all over the bloody place in this one. While he in no way looked like a force to be reckoned with or anything of that nature, it was clear that he was positioned to look tough as fuck. He suffered a lot of damage in the match, and he seemingly just kept fighting until finally Yoshie put him away with a terrifying top-rope splash. So much of the match revolved around him. It was just a good showcase for Nomura¬†in a lot of ways, and it’s exciting to see what happens next with him. (Having Akiyama be the one to conclude the match with him instead of Yoshie would have been better mind you.)

Finally, the match itself was just fun and well put together. The pace was great. There was a strong amount of action. The 22 minutes went by super fast. Yay, AJPW.  (***1/2)

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