Zeus (c) vs Kento Miyahara
Triple Crown Championship
Yokohama Bunka Gymnasium, Yokohama, Japan
(reviewed 01/02/2018) I really enjoyed this and that probably surprises you as much as it does me. I’ve been rather bored with what Kento’s been doing since he first won the Triple Crown and as much as I like him Zeus ain’t the kind of guy to focus his efforts. Despite that, it felt like both guys were on their best behavior here. That especially goes for Zeus, as this match feels like the culmination of his career as this big, strong guy who finally comes across as dangerous and capable instead of simply muscular. He does so much here to stop Kento’s momentum by utilizing snappy combos or by using his environment to his advantage, feeling like he’s becoming smarter and craftier as the champion over time. Folks who prefer more emotive wrestling might not enjoy it but it stands out to me in a big way, coming from a guy who’s basically always been portrayed as a mindless lunk. I’m not nearly so in love with Kento’s performance but I feel like he’s more desperate and direct here than I’ve seen him previously, which is what I’d want up against Zeus’ approach. Some of his goofier outbursts and more general pacing issues—especially towards the end—hold this back a bit, but they’re familiar complaints I have with a lot of modern wrestling and they aren’t nearly so bad here as in other matches. As a matter of fact, this is easily my favorite Triple Crown match in years.