Well everyone, this the final block day of All Japan’s Champion Carnival before we go to the final show next week. Both blocks are now down to two people potentially winning it and those two matches to determine that will take place right now.
Who will go on to the finals? Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
Star Rating System:
- 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
Yoshitatsu vs. Shotaro Ashino
Review: Our first match will take place with B Block as Yoshitatsu takes on Shotaro Ashino. Both of these men have one win and two losses under their belt, meaning somebody is gonna have to be 1-3. Will Shotaro end with an even record or does Yoshitatsu get it?
Yoshi’s back is still all taped up, meaning he’s not fully healed yet but insists on doing the match while dealing with this injury. He seems to be doing well when he holds his ground against him, even giving him a Headlock to take him down and stable enough to shoulder tackle him. Ashino would finally hit his back and then rip the bandage off of him to leave his back exposed and now can do some real damage to him. Ashino would slam his back into the apron and hits it again, Yoshi is in pain but he tries his best to fight him off before getting rolled back into the ring. Ashino’s placement in the Carnival has been weird but then again, he’s apparently not signed to a contract for the time being and is just wrestling there until he decides to sign or does join GLEAT when it’s up and running.
After putting Yoshi in a Boston Crab to hurt his back more, he would eventually get to the ropes to break the hold as Ashino hits him with a Gutwrench Suplex. Ashino attempts a Brainbuster but Yoshi holds his ground to not budge and would reverse it to hit the Suplex onto Ashino, getting some momentum back into the match. Yoshi hits him with a couple of kicks to make him go down and attempts an Irish Whip, Ashino reversing it to get him in the corner and charges at him with Yoshi moving to hit a Tornado DDT. Yoshi ran towards him but is caught into a Backbreaker, dealing more pain to the injured back and lost momentum again. The referee backs Ashino away from his opponent so he’s given a chance to stand up and when he does, he punches Ashino in which he responds with an Uppercut. The Master of Suplexes does what he does best and delivers three German Suplexes in a row in which Yoshi still kicked out at two. Ashino applies a high angle Boston Crab with his knee pressed against his back for more pressure, Yoshi not wanting to tap out from the pain. Ashino let’s go of the hold and applies it one more time for a second before switching it into the Ankle Lock and the referee calls for the bell immediately, giving Ashino the victory for his last Carnival match.
Review: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival A Block Match
Jiro ‘Ikemen’ Kuroshio vs. Kuma Arashi
Review: Time to move onto A Block as we have Jiro Kuroshio taking on Kuma Arashi. Kuma is the only one not able to win a match in this Carnival and if he loses here, he’d lose all of his matches. Jiro’s only win was against the champion but he hopes to end with a 2-2 record. Will Jiro get another victory or does Kuma get his first and only win?
Jiro was doing his entrance until Kuma decided not to wait and attacked him outside the ring, throwing him into the turnbuckle post before the match starts and the referee calls for the bell now. Jiro went to the other side of the ring while Kuma was looking for him, meeting a Baseball slide from the kawaii man. Jiro went to jump over the ropes but Kuma caught him and slammed him onto the floor, he is having none of this right now. Kuma gets him back into the ring and tosses him into the corner, meeting him with a Lariat before slamming him down to do a Diving Senton off the second rope as Jiro gets his foot on the rope before the three count. Jiro gets tossed over the ropes but is standing on the apron, taunting Kuma to come over as he’s met with a kick, leaving Jiro wo stand on his shoulders to flip him over, sending him outside of the ring, topping it off with a flip to the outside of the ring and catching him. Jiro fails to get him down with various quick pins and delivers a couple of Superkicks in the face to get him down before attempting the Moonsault Press, missing the target as Kuma rolled out of the way. Kuma catches him with a Lariat and would lift him up for a Facebuster as Jiro kicked out at two. Kuma attempts a Diving Senton off the top rope as Jiro moved out of the way, leading the two to slowly stand in each corner to charge at each other with Kuma hitting the Diving Body Press and gets the victory over Jiro. Fun little under five minute match.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival A Block Match
Jake Lee vs. Zeus
Review: It’s time for our final A Block match of the tournament as we have Jake Lee taking on the leader of Purple Haze, Zeus. Both of these men are undefeated and the winner of this match will go on to the finals, meaning somebody will suffer their first loss. Both of them have been winning their matches with submissions, meaning this match will most likely win the same way. Will Jake goes to the finals for the second year in a row or will Zeus be able to get there?
Zeus got the first upper hand when he would apply pressure to his arm and neck to weaken up Lee briefly before he turned his headlock into a pin as Jake kicked out. Jake would eventually get a little payback at Zeus, even applying the Kimura Lock early on into the match to damage Zeus’ arm, getting to the ropes but Jake is refusing to let go until the referee tells him to get off or he’s disqualified. This is a smart thing for both people to do, target the arms of each other since this match should come down to who can make who tap out after they both made the champ tap with submissions, making it look strong and needs to keep happening from now and to whoever wins here. Love Jake getting a bit aggressive with the arm work on Zeus since he is bigger than Jake and more of a powerhouse, so it’s smart having to take his arm out early, even having it wrapped around the rope and not letting go right away.
Stiff kicks from Jake to his arm again but Zeus quickly got up, having enough of his shit as he delivers a stiff chop to Jake’s chest. Flying Shoulder Tackle by Zeus and he’s now getting back into it. Zeus Lariats him into the corner and lifts him with one arm, tossing him over for a Suplex. Zeus attempts the Facelock but Jake’s hand is grabbing Zeus’ wrist to not get all of it but Zeus lets go due to his arm giving out. Zeus calls for the Chokeslam but Jake hits his arm with a knee before bringing him down to apply the Fujiwara Armbar but Zeus quickly gets to the ropes before he could fully lock it in but Jake grabbed his other arm to apply the Double Armlock but Zeus uses his foot to get to the ropes! Jake hits Zeus’ arm with a knee and then another in the chest before attempting to go after his arms again as Zeus held his ground this time to Scoop Slam him. Zeus hits a Lariat to the back of his head and tops it off with a Brainbuster as Jake kicked out at two! Zeus applies the Facelock again but Jake is fighting him off until Zeus wrings his neck to get it in fully and Jake has no choice but to tap, making Zeus go into the finals! I did not expect that to happen, quite a shocker but it seems like Jake’s time is not gonna come yet. Can’t be mad with this decision ever since he needs it just as much, great match.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Kento Miyahara vs. Shuji Ishikawa
Review: Now with Zeus getting the surprise victory to advance, it’s time to see who will fight Zeus in the finals as Kento Miyahara takes on Shuji Ishikawa. If Kento wins this match here, this will be the third year in a row where Kento goes to the finals and he could possibly win it back to back. If Shuji can win, he can fight Zeus to try and avenge his partner, Suwama. Who will go to fight Zeus in the finals on October 5th?
Shuji attacked Kento in the corner and would throw him, attempting a knee as he moved out of the way but Shuji would pick him up for the Fire Thunder already as Kento fought off him to hit him with a kick, in which Shuji replies with a Discus Lariat to send Kento to the outside! Shuji followed him out and attempts a Crucifix Bomb to the outside but Kento jumped off him to hit him with a headbutt. I don’t care, I still love Kento’s little stint with the referee when he sticks his tongue out at him and the camera while pulling his opponents head on the turnbuckle post while the ref tries to pull Kento’s hair to make him get off. Kento ran towards him but Shuji would catch him to drop him on the apron face first. I love watching these two work together in the ring, their styles fit so well together and this is where you see Shuji more in his A-game here to prove why he is on his level because well, he is.
Shuji lets go of the Cobra Clutch and looks like he’s calling for the Splash Mountain but Kento flips him over and hits a Blackout to the face, Kento getting back control of the match. Shuji Lariats Kento when he was on the apron and would follow him out there to lift him up, Kento fighting for as long as he could until Shuji finally picked him up to hit the Giant Driver on the apron! Kento slowly makes his way into the ring as Shuji picks him up, only to have Kento punch him in the face. The two of them going at it until Kento hits a headbutt before running the ropes, meeting a knee to the gut by Shuji before he ran the rope now to meet a Big Boot but dodged the Blackout, hitting a Lariat, and attempts to pick him up again but Kento catches him with a Brainbuster as the two are down! Kento hits Shuji with multiple forearms whereas Shuji just hits him with one stiff one to get him down. The same thing would happen to Kento two more times before hitting him with a Lariat into the corner to get him down as Shuji goes to the top ropes but Kento stops him to hit a Superplex. Kento hits a Blackout on the back of his head into the corner and hits him with one more but Shuji kicked out at two! Kento is calling for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Shuji fought out of it to hit a Dragon Suplex and tops it off with the TSUNAMI but Kento kicked out! Shuji lifts him up to hit the Giant Driver and it connects, looks like this could be over but Kento barely kicked out at two again!
Shuji is gonna give Kento a ride to Splash Mountain but Kento reversed it into a Hurricanran and hits him with a Blackout on the back of his head again. Shuji catches him with the Giant Driver and instead of pinning him, he would finally hit the Splash Mountain as Kento would kick out again! Kento hits another Blackout, getting a surge of energy again but Shuji catches him with the Lou Thez Press as Kento kicked out again. Kento would hit the giant with two more Blackouts before hitting the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, giving Kento the victory to go to the finals for the third year in a row! I did not expect either outcome to happen during this show but given the history between Zeus and Kento, this works out so well. Would’ve loved to see Zeus take Shuji and beat Suwama’s partner before the rematch but you know we’ll also get quality in this match. Now, who will win the finals when it happens!? I’m excited to see where they go.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: Not a bad match on the show and the two last block matches were great. Sad to have this over so quickly but we got one more show to do and it will take place on October 5th! The winner of this match will face the Triple Crown Champion, Suwama a week after that for the title. Exciting stuff coming up as it can go either way but I’m pulling for a Zeus victory.
Favorite Match: Kento Miyahara vs. Shuji Ishikawa
Least Favorite Match: Yoshitatsu vs. Shotaro Ashino
A Block Standings:
- Zeus: (4-0) (8 Points) (Winner)
- Jake Lee: (3-1) (6 Points)
- Suwama: (1-3) (2 Points)
- Jiro ‘Ikemen’ Kuroshio: (1-3) (2 Points)
- Kuma Arashi: (1-3) (2 Points)
B Block Standings:
- Kento Miyahara: (3-1) (6 Points) (Winner)
- Shuji Ishikawa: (2-2) (4 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: (2-2) (4 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: (2-2) (4 Points)
- Yoshitatsu: (1-3) (2 Points)