Match Point is an on-going series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. In this edition of Match Point, we take a look at the upcoming Triple Crown Title match for AJPW which features the defending champion Suwama face off against the challenger and longtime tag team partner, Shuji Ishikawa.
In March of 2020, the world was shocked as the year-long+ reign of Kento Miyahara would come to an end by the former Ace, Suwama. In the past few months, All Japan Pro Wrestling (AJPW) has been seen in a brand new period, with debuting talent such as Shotaro Ashino, who was Suwama’s first challenger for the championship. But regardless of how the main event scene is in All Japan, there is always a consistent factor in the tag team scene of All Japan and that is the tag team of the Violent Giants. A tag team that has dominated All Japan’s tag division for the past three years, with the Outsider, Shuji Ishikawa tagged with the Ace of All Japan, Suwama, who are the reigning and 4x AJPW World Tag Team Champions.
This tag-team would dominate the Real Tag League of All Japan, winning it two separate times and win the AJPW World Tag Championship four times while becoming one of the most talked-about Tag Teams in Pro Wrestling In Japan. A hoss tag team that employs strength and determination to destroy every person around them. At the very end of 2019, Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa would win the Real Tag League for the second time.
In the proceeding shows to start off the year, this tag team would win the AJPW World Tag Championship for its fourth time and are still the tag team champions to this very day, passing 200 days. But after dominating the tag scene, Shuji Ishikawa wants to defeat Suwama to become The Triple Crown Champion for the first time since 2017.
Shuji Ishikawa has been primarily an outsider of All Japan, coming from originally Big Japan Pro Wrestling and DDT. Since 2016, Shuji Ishikawa has gone into tournaments for the company and even won Champions Carnival in 2017. After winning that tournament, he would go on become Triple Crown Champion, defeating Kento Miyahara. He would go on to have a 98-day reign with the belt.
He would even defend against his tag partner, Suwama, but after that, he lost the championship in August of 2017 to Kento Miyahara. Shuji Ishikawa would go through a losing streak for that said championship and tournaments to follow and even when he’s teaming with Suwama, Shuji is the one getting pinned when those Tag titles change.
It makes it feel like Shuji Ishikawa is the weak link of that tag team, watching his partner Suwama succeed in his seventh reign as Triple Crown Champion. It’s what makes it feel more important with this upcoming title match. This is not only the first Korakuen Hall Show with crowds for AJPW since the pandemic began, but the first time Shuji has challenged for this belt since May of last year.
It seems like a redemption story for Shuji Ishikawa, but it’s also the second title defense for Suwama in this reign. Will the reign of Suwama end by Shuji Ishikawa becoming Triple Crown Champion or will Suwama continue to overshadow his tag team partner and retain his championship? We will figure out tomorrow with the ending of the Summer Action Series.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to watch this match and more All Japan content on AJPW TV.