AJPW Champion Carnival: Miyahara vs. Zeus, Otani vs. Aoyagi

All Japan Pro Wrestling opened its annual Champion Carnival tournament on Friday, which included the Triple Crown holder being pinned.

Photo Credit: AJPW

All Japan Pro Wrestling opened its annual Champion Carnival tournament on Friday, which included the Triple Crown holder being pinned.

This year’s format features one block with ten men competing in round-robin matches over the next month.

All ten participants were involved in Friday’s show at the smaller Edion Arena in Osaka, Japan, and included several notable results.

Here is the full list of tournament results from Friday’s show in Osaka:
*Shuji Ishikawa over Koji Doi in 9:10
*Kohei Sato over Suwama in 10:50
*Shinjiro Otani over Yuma Aoyagi in 9:52
*Jake Lee over Shotaro Ashino in 3:45
*Zeus over Kento Miyahara in 18:16

In the main event, Zeus pinned last year’s Carnival winner Kento Miyahara with the jackhammer. Zeus beat Miyahara down for the first half of the match until the former Triple Crown holder hit Zeus with a piledriver on the edge of the apron.

Miyahara hit several Blackout knees, but the Shutdown German was blocked. Zeus absorbed another Blackout knee before responding with a wicked lariat to set up the match-ending jackhammer.

In the shortest tournament match of the show, Jake Lee pinned Shotaro Ashino after escaping an ankle lock. With the referee knocked down, Lee proceeded to drill Ashino with a running to the back of the head and followed with one to the face. Lee hit the D4C (brainbuster) and won the match in 3 minutes and 45 seconds to earn his two points.

The featured outside in this year’s Carnival is 48-year old Shinjiro Otani and he did not disappoint with an excellent match against Yuma Aoyagi. After mocking Otani with his trademarked face wash spot, Otani caught the running boot and hit Aoyagi with his version to a big reaction.

They exchanged big chops and slaps, Otani escaped a guillotine and fired back with a Tiger Suplex and big lariat. Ashino kicked out at one but fell to the Kesagiri Chop and Otani got the win. This was a very entertaining match and Otani worked at a high pace throughout the match at 48 years old.

In the major upset, Triple Crown holder Suwama was pinned by Kohei Sato. After a spinning forearm was delivered, Suwama collapsed and teased being knocked out as Sato lifted him for a Michinoku Driver. Sato hit a sick headbutt where you heard the heads clonk – I hate these.

Sato used a release German and then a bridging version with Suwama finally staying down for the three-count.

In the first tournament match on the card, Shuji Ishikawa pinned Koji Doi after catching him with the Thesz Press off the ropes. There was good submission work from Doi as he used a Fujiwara armbar and transitioned to a Rings of Saturn before the intensity picked up for the closing minutes.

The Carnival continues with shows on Saturday in Nagoya and Sunday in Niigata. Below are the tournament matches for Saturday’s show:
*Suwama vs. Jake Lee
*Shuji Ishikawa vs. Zeus
*Kento Miyahara vs. Shinjiro Otani
*Shotaro Ashino vs. Yuma Aoyagi
*Koji Doi vs. Kohei Sato

About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.