This is it, we’re now at the final days of All Japan’s Champion Carnival.
On the April 25th show, Kento Miyahara won A Block by defeating Yuji Okabayashi as he’ll now go to the finals on April 29th. But now who will be the one to fight him in the finals? That’s what we’re going to find out now as we have four matches and six possible winners to see who will make it to the final.
We’ll also be covering the final match in our articles so you can get a perspective from the two of us. The time has come to see who will fall and who will rise as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Daichi Hashimoto vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our first match-up is between Daichi Hashimoto and Sam Adonis. Daichi is one of the people that are currently in first place and has a chance to advance to the finals with ten points but in order for that to happen, he has to defeat Sam. Sam has already been eliminated from the tournament but that doesn’t mean that he can’t make sure Daichi doesn’t win either. Will Daichi be able to be one step closer or does Sam take him down with him?
That moment when Sam slightly performed better than Daichi in this match, guess it’s a good thing too since it just points out his flaws as a competitor. The match itself wasn’t anything special and they both did try with what they worked within the match with their styles and just how they both are. Sam isn’t the greatest but he was still able to keep things entertaining in the tournament while Daichi needs more work done despite being in this business for eight years, he has the potential but definitely lacking something and it showed here. Daichi would hit a Shining Wizard into the corner and he attempts another Shining Wizard when he was down but Sam blocked it just in time before it could connect. Sam was able to trip him down and apply the Cattle Mutilation and Daichi doesn’t tap when his foot was on the rope. Daichi would hit a PK and a DDT for a two count before he went to attempt another Shining Wizard, but Sam caught his leg to pick him up to hit the Death Valley Driver. Daichi as out as Sam wastes no time to hit a Frog Splash off the top rope and gets the three count victory, eliminating Daichi. Their time is over and good luck to them.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Takashi Yoshida vs. Yoshitatsu
Review: Our next match is Takashi Yoshida taking on Yoshitatsu. Since Daichi is now eliminated, Yoshi now has a chance to advance to the finals if he can defeat Yoshida. Takashi is another one that is already eliminated from the tournament but he can also stop him dead in his tracks with a victory over here. Will Yoshitatsu get a chance to move on or will he suffer the same fate as Daichi?
I like how Yoshi just kinda mocks his opponents for a little bit and did so at the beginning until Yoshida had enough of his crap and did a dirty tactic by kicking the ropes with him in-between to knock him down a peg. I’m not a fan of Yoshida but I will say that I have enjoyed his time in All Japan away from Dragon Gate and R.E.D showing that he can be a decent powerhouse if used correctly. Yoshitatsu has been a pleasant surprise and I really hope he takes all this momentum with him outside of the carnival and maybe more opinions of him would change. Yoshida would deliver a couple of Lariats into the corner and would go up to hit a Diving Elbow Drop for a two count. Yoshida could attempt the Kong Lariat but Yoshi quickly catches him for a takedown and applies the Koji Clutch and locks it in tight as the referee checks on him but Yoshida is still alive. Yoshi looks to hit the Codebreaker of Jericho as Takashi catches him and throws him into the corner and hits the Kong Lariat to get the victory, eliminating Yoshitatsu.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Jake Lee vs. Joe Doering
Review: Our next match is Jake Lee taking on Joe Doering. With both Yoshitatsu and Daichi Hashimoto eliminated, both of these two have one less thing to worry about when it comes to making it to the finals. Both of them are already tied, meaning that only one of them will have a chance to advance while the other is going have to be left behind. Which of these two will be able to advance to the final round?
Joe really wasted no time as he would charge at him right out of the gate since he knows how close he is to win the tournament and doesn’t wanna lose right here. Joe would even hit an impressive Dropkick in the match and would just work on Jake’s back whenever he slammed him down. Hey Whatculture, if you think Joe is terrible, then you’re an idiot and failed to see what Joe has done as it clearly shows in your mediocre articles. Jake had some bit of him when he punched Joe in the face and would deliver a couple of kicks to his face from the corner before actually lifting him up for a Gutwrench Suplex. Jake delivered a few kicks to the chest and ran at him only for Joe to catch him with a Spinebuster and quickly applied the Boston Crab as Jake was able to grab the ropes in time. Jake would somehow deliver a knee to the chest and tops it off with a Jumping DDT but Joe kicked out. Jake would attempt the Ko-Oh but Joe would catch him for a Fireman’s Carry Slam and a Lariat as Jake kicked out again. Joe would go for the Diving Body Press but Jake ducked for Joe to hit the ropes and Jake would quickly hit the Backdrop to pin the giant as Jake is now in the lead! Joe, you did great in the tournament.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Naoya Nomura
Review: Our final match of B Block is Suwama taking on Naoya Nomura. Since Jake is currently in the lead with ten points, he has to worry about either one of them winning since they both defeated him earlier. The only way Jake can advance is if the two of them end in a time limit draw to make them only have one point so that they would lose by one. Both Suwama and Nomura aren’t going to let that happen since both of them want to win to fight Kento Miyahara again. Will Jake be able to get lucky or will one of these two win it all?
Mind-blowing, that is all I can say about this match, I mean wow. Suwama was able to tell a great story in his last two matches since his opponents were Jake Lee and now Naoya Nomura as he’s pretty much telling them if they really are the future of All Japan, prove it when you fight me since he wants to see it for himself. So in a way, it reflects all three of them since you have the former ace going up against two people who are the future and the winner to fight the new ace of the company. Nomura is officially one of my favorites in 2019 after seeing this match and his performances in the past four months as the kid has so much fire in him that he makes his matches much more exhilarating. Despite Suwama controlling most of the match and even caught him for a Belly-to-Belly Suplex to the outside, Nomura would still find a way to get back up even if it kills him.
Suwama hits Nomura with a German Suplex as Nomura got up right away to deliver one to him also and happened again until the two were down on the mat. Nomura would hit him with a Forearm to the ropes and would then apply the Nomura Lock onto him and it looked like Suwama would be able to tap out but Suwama answered the referee, leading Nomura to try and pin him for a two count to stay in the game. Nomura rushed towards Suwama for Suwama to deliver a Dropkick, a Lariat to the corner and hits another Lariat for another two count. Suwama hits another German Suplex as Nomura got back up again as Suwama attempts a Lariat but Nomura ducked to hit him with a Spear and rolled him up for another two count! Nomura is bursting with energy now as he wailed Suwama with a bunch of Forearms before picking him up to drop him on his head for a two count but he quickly got up to deliver a Death Valley Driver as Nomura got the pinfall and victory! It looks like Nomura is the winner of B Block since he’s tied with Jake and did defeat him on day one but wait, it looks like there’s going to be a match to decide the actual winner as it happens right now! Fantastic match and another mountain for them to climb.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and three quarters
Champion Carnival B Block Decision Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Jake Lee
Review: Our new final match for B Block is between Naoya Nomura and Jake Lee. Yeah, I’m just as shocked as you are right now since I still didn’t expect this to happen. They usually go with the winner of when they encounter when it came to someone being tied, but it looks like they don’t want to end it that. Both of these men are tied for first with ten points each and the winner of this match will go on to win the block and advance to the finals. Which one of them will fight Kento the next day?
Soon as that bell rang, the two charged at each other with forearms back and forth as the two are still hurt but pumped up from their previous matches before this one. Nomura would even hit a Spear quickly to roll him up but Jake was able to kick out. The amount of energy the two of them and the crowd had was amazing as Jake had more rest meaning he was able to get more of an upper hand on Nomura during the match. Nomura had more of the crowd behind him when he defeated Suwama, so he used that support to stay in the game due to the amount of momentum he had. For a match made last minute, the two of them were definitely able to deliver and that’s why they’re future stars of the company.
Jake had Nomura in a Sleeper Hold as Nomura looked to be knocked out but didn’t tap out as Jake would try to pin him a few times but kicked out. Nomura was able to lock in the Nomura Lock again as that was what he used to defeat him on the first day but Jake doesn’t tap out this time around and rolls him up for a pin but Nomura kicked out. Nomura would hit Jake with a Spear to get the both of them down and would attempt a Splash but Jake had his knees up to stop him and would deliver a few knees to the chest but Nomura kicked out. Jake would pull his kneepad down as he’s ready to finish it with the Ko-Oh but Nomura would just beat him down with multiple forearms until Jake was down on the mat and Nomura quickly hits two Splashes off the top rope but Jake would still kick out! Nomura had him up for the Death Valley Driver but Jake reversed it into the Backdrop and quickly hits the Ko-Oh to pin Nomura and Jake wins B Block! Jake was able to redeem his loss to Nomura earlier and is now set to fight the winner of A Block, Kento Miyahara!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Champion Carnival Final Match
Kento Miyahara vs. Jake Lee
Rating: It is now time to conclude the tournament as we have our final match set. We have our A Block winner and current Triple Crown Champion, Kento Miyahara taking on the winner of B Block, Jake Lee. Kento was able to make it to the finals last year but he lost to Naomichi Marufuji and he says he won’t make the same mistake twice. This is Jake’s first time in the finals as well as he wants to win to defeat someone he has been failing to overcome. Who will win the finals? Will Kento win as the champion or will Jake finally defeat him?
Their chemistry in each match they have has been some of the best and they raised the bar right here with this match as I feel like this was Jake’s best match in his career so far. Jake really went all out with Kento in the beginning and even did his knee to the chest on the outside of the ring to mess up his breathing a little bit and it did work for the most part until Kento delivered some headbutts to fight back. Kento is still showing why he’s still the best in his craft and still the best All Japan has to offer but guys like Jake Lee, Naoya Nomura, and Yuma Aoyagi aren’t too far off either as those are your next top 4 for the future of All Japan right here. Loving the story of Jake trying to overcome his biggest obstacle with wanting to defeat Kento Miyahara as he keeps on losing whenever they fight each other.
Kento hits Jake with a Blackout to the corner and Jake ran towards him to hit a Helluva Kick to the face and would also deliver a PK for a two count. Kento hits another Blackout and hits a German Suplex Hold as Jake would kick out of it before getting up to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, but Jake would break out of it and hits another knee to the chest as both go down. Both of them looking down at each other and Jake starts to deliver a few more knees to the chest and hits one more for good measure and Kento kicked out at two. Jake would quickly get him up to hit the Backdrop and this looks like it could be over but Kento barely kicked out of it and I really thought that was the end right there! Jake doesn’t know what to do anymore but he rolls his kneepad down as he looks to hit the Ko-Oh but Kento runs at him with a Blackout and a German Suplex Hold as Jake kicked out at two! Kento would hit another Blackout and Jake kicked out again but Kento quickly sets up for the German Suplex Hold as Jake was struggling this time to make sure his hands wouldn’t connect, but he failed as Kento would hit it and pins to win the Carnival!
That’s right, Kento Miyahara was able to win it all for the first time while still the Triple Crown Champion and I don’t recall when the last time the champion won the Carnival, but still a fantastic moment regardless. Jake Lee looked fantastic in the match and is definitely a star win or lose and the day that he finally beats Kento, it’ll be a moment we’ll never forget. Now that Kento won, it looks like his next title defense will be against one of the people that defeated him in the block matches, Shuji Ishikawa. That match is going to be amazing if you’ve seen their battles before. Great way to end the Carnival and can’t wait until next year.
Rating: Jim Cornette
Overall: Except for one match, the rest delivered on a big scale with great matches along with some performances. The final is a MOTY contender for sure just like the finals last year and I can’t wait to see what All Japan does going forward. Fantastic tournament and excited to see what’s to come.
Favorite Match: Kento Miyahara vs. Jake Lee
Least Favorite Match: Daichi Hashimoto vs. Sam Adonis