AJPW‘s (All Japan Pro Wrestling) GAORA TV Championship has become one of the major aspects of the promotion’s revival. The recent champion, Jun Kasai, has been one of the clearest examples of a shift in the title’s formula. Kasai defeated Yoshitatsu to become the GAORA TV Champion. Afterward, Kasai expressed that he wanted to bring the deathmatch scene to AJPW. He did this while competing against Yoshitatsu and later Black Menso-re. Kasai’s next defense would see him battle against a deathmatch veteran in his own right: Shuji Ishikawa.
After Jun Kasai defeated Black Menso-re, Shuji Ishikawa would challenge for the GAORA TV Championship in a deathmatch. Jun Kasai and Shuji Ishikawa are both of deathmatch fame, with Kasai famous for his work in FREEDOMS and Shuji Ishikawa in BJW (Big Japan Pro Wrestling). Ishikawa left the deathmatch scene for a short period, especially when he came to AJPW in the mid-2010s.
— 全日本プロレス/alljapan (@alljapan_pw) March 19, 2021
This GAORA TV Championship match was advertised as “GIANT vs. CRAZY MONKEY.” It was the main event of the one-match show, too. The match that they would have could be described as a bloody war. Shuji Ishikawa, sported a new look in this match and dominated from the opening bell. He demolished Jun Kasai with many different weapons. No matter how hard Kasai fought, it wasn’t enough. Ishikawa hit an Olympic Slam onto glass shards to pick up the victory and the GAORA TV Championship.
This marks the first GAORA TV Championship reign for Shuji Ishikawa and his first singles championship for AJPW since 2017, when he won the Triple Crown Championship. There’s currently no official challenger set for Ishikawa’s first defense. However, since Champion Carnival is next month, Ishikawa is going into this tournament as champion. New challengers could come out of this tournament for both the Triple Crown and GAORA TV Titles.
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