Match Point: Yuma Aoyagi vs. Suwama (1/3/21)

Suwama Yuma Aoyagi

In March of 2020, Suwama would end the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship reign of Kento Miyahara. A reign that lasted over 500 days, Miyahara defeated all types of challengers along the way. One of these challengers was Yuma Aoyagi, who hinted at a betrayal in February of 2020 against Miyahara at Korakuen Hall. While he would fail that match, Aoyagi would gain major determination going into the pandemic period of AJPW.

Yuma Aoyagi would get involved with a feud against Shotaro Ashino notably, where both men are tied at the moment. Aoyagi went into the 2020 Champion Carnival with not much focus; not many expected him to do well. However, in this tournament, unlike previous years, he had a strong performance. He defeated Shotaro Ashino and Yoshitatsu, though he failed to make it to the finals. This changed in the Real World Tag League, however.

Aoyagi and Miyahara would enter the Real World Tag League with major hype. In one of the highlight matches, they defeated the Violent Giants on Night Six. With one more win in this tournament, Aoyagi and Miyahara would enter the finals of the Real World Tag League and defeat Jake Lee and Koji Iwamoto. Aoyagi would challenge Suwama for the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship after this. Suwama is currently in his 7th reign as Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion.

In terms of history, there isn’t much between Aoyagi and Swama. That said, the rise of Aoyagi was unexpected. Many didn’t expect this heading into the New Year, especially from a typical Miyahara/Suwama rematch; this was predicted since Miyahara pinned Suwama in that Real World Tag League match.

Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi

Yuma Aoyagi has only wrestled for a few years. He will face a veteran in Suwama, who is showing signs of the stress of being double titleholder. One of those belts, Suwama just lost. Aoyagi and Miyahara defeated Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa to become the World Tag Team Champions in a recent title match. Aoyagi enforced a referee stoppage by submitting Suwama in the match.

With the Violent Giants now disbanded, Suwama is left alone as Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion. He will face Aoyagi, someone who is a hungry, young free-spirited athlete who readies to establish himself as a top star of All Japan Pro Wrestling. This could be similar to the rise of Kento Miyahara in All Japan.

In his reign, Suwama has defended his championship three times; this upcoming match will be his fourth title defense. Suwama’s history with the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship has been shrouded with short reigns and an even shorter challenger list, minus the second and current reign. Many of his reigns never made it to a second or third defense. Perhaps Yuma Aoyagi could become the Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion and start 2021 with a major bang. On the flipside, Suwama could beat Aoyagi and establish himself with another successful title defense.

Further establishment could come against Miyahara in the Excite Series or Dream Power Series Tour. Even if Aoyagi loses, he has already disbanded one of the top tag teams of All Japan and won the World Tag Team Championship with Miyahara. Aoyagi has continued to prove that he’s one of the best. Can he cause one of the biggest upsets in AJPW history by defeating Suwama? All will be known at the conclusion of the New Year’s War Tour tomorrow.

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