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Scout Report by Wrestlingscout

Wrestling And Revival – All Japan vs. WAR Continues

All Japan has always been the benchmark of Japanese Strong Style because of its reliance on in-ring performance over out-of-ring angles. When the now infamous split occurred, people questioned if All Japan could survive. They've dabbed in foreign elements, be it superstars or angles, which has been both beneficial and detrimental. Though a company needs a hot angle to prosper, no matter how basic it may be, All Japan is stepping into an alien region as the WAR invasion has become the company's main story.

This one seems to be recycling the All Japan vs. New Japan from last spring and summer, even using the five-on-five series. That show was done on New Japan TV, which was an excellent show. Kawada-Kojima and Kikahara-Tanaka were the standout matches and we'll see if AJPW's 10/27 Budokan shows can match that at least.

We know Nobutaka Araya and Shigeo Okumura will be involved in matches with Yoji Anjoh and Fuyuki. I think we'll see Anjo go over no matter whom he fights, I think it should be Okumura. Fuyuki and Araya are bigger guys (and past their physical peaks) and there has to be an upset of sorts. It'd seem weird for Fuyuki, who was a top star (in the dying) FMW and just jumped, to job a big match this early. Either he or Anjoh needs to and I don't expect Tenryu's right hand man to.

Masa Fuchi-Kouki Kitahara should be a decent match, better then the aforementioned ones. This should be predictably stiff and Kitahara will go over. I heard a comparison to Kawada-Fuchi, which are grossly high hopes as Kitahara isn't half as talented as "Dangerous K."

Taiyo Kea-Arashi is another okay match on paper, but has a definite winner – Kea. I love Kea and am glad to see he's so high on the card, but it's unfortunate he is not in there with a great young worker like himself. This should continue with his push, but I'd really prefer him in a better match on a Budokan card.

Toshiaki Kawada-Genichiro Tenryu. This is definitely a match to raise debate, the series should be 4 to 4 by this point and its anyone's guess who'll go over. Tenryu is the booker, a legend, and the leader of the invasion. Kawada is the top star, All Japan hero, and natural opponent of the invasion. I think Kawada's stock needs to be raised for when he inevitably recaptures the Triple Crown, but you can't kill the invasion angle. Tenryu can stand the loss, but can the WAR kingpin take it? I think it depends on their view of their own future – direct (Tenryu) vs. long-term (Kawada). I'd like to see Kawada go over just because I'm for the continuing storyline that is his career.

This is not like US invasions, it can be best compared to the New Japan-UWFI feud. While the UWFI undercard was squashed or stolen, Nobuhiko Takada was given the IWGP title. WAR actually has more talent depth, but All Japan has bigger stars. All Japan cannot afford to bury anyone because they need to elevate as much talent as possible. They need to, to become viable again, make this angle work. The Budokan's the biggest show on this tour and will unquestionably get attention, but it has to deliver. Muto-Chono is also on this show, which should be sufficient, but I don't expect anything memorable. Kawada and Tenryu can offer a Herculean effort and make this angle explode or do something average and neither help nor hurt it.

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