AJPW Champion Carnival N17/Block B Finals (4.28.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N17/Block B Finals (4.28.19) review

AJPW Champion Carnival N17


April 28 2019


We’re at the Block B final here in Korakuen Hall. Block A concluded a few days ago with Kento Miyahara springing out of the pack to claim a place in the final. His opponent will be decided today. There are several potential winners. Six men are tied on 8 points. However, there are only four likely winners.


Suwama. In a win/win. He’s beaten everyone so far that matters. Wins over Lee and Doering. If he adds a win over Nomura, he wins the Block.


Nomura. He needs to beat Suwama and hope that Lee, who he beat, defeats Doering, who he lost to.


Lee. He’s in trouble. He needs to defeat Doering and hope that Suwama vs. Nomura goes to a draw. If either Suwama or Nomura win, he’s eliminated.


Doering. He needs to beat Lee and hope that Suwama loses. A much more likely scenario than Lee’s!


(CORRECTION: Ignore all this. Whoever finishes level faces off in a match tonight to decide the Block winner. We’re so used to H2H deciding blocks that we kinda forgot All Japan doesn’t do that)



Naoya Nomura [8]

Joe Doering [8]

Jake Lee [8]

Suwama [8]

Yoshitatsu [8]

Daichi Hashimoto [8]

Takashi Yoshida [6]

Joel Redman [6]

Sam Adonis [4]


I’m actually watching the undercard here but no review will be attached. The opener is a bunch of young guys plus Akiyama and Omori as team captains. I didn’t really pay attention to it, sorry.


Gianni Valletta, Joel Redman & Tajiri vs. Shuji Ishikawa, Atsushi Aoki & Yusuke Okada


Redman and Aoki are friendly outside the ring. Redman was looking forward to getting the chance to work Aoki so they start and it’s a really nice little match. Redman tries to explain to the two lunatics he’s tagging with that they should have a “clean fight”. At one point dragging Tajiri out of the ring to stop his shenanigans. Unfortunately, despite the comedic gifts of Tajiri and Redman’s kind soul, Valletta still brings the match down. Aoki has to break his arm and tap him out.

Final Rating: **1/4


Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi vs. Zeus & Dylan James



Zeus is all smiling and happy because he thinks he’s got Miyahara’s number and he’s only slightly annoyed he didn’t win Block A because he beat Kento and he’s going to beat his ass again here. The way he runs Kento up into the stands and into the wall is great. Miyahara and Zeus have hit a new level of chemistry, which means they’re going to have a title match this year, which might be better than last years. Which was fucking incredible. Unfortunately this is quite short with Kento having a big match tomorrow. Zeus plants Aoyagi with the Jackhammer and that’ll do it.

Final Rating: ***


Sam Adonis [4] vs. Daichi Hashimoto [8]

I didn’t mention Daichi in my pre-show write-up because he’s losing here. Adonis is the only guy on 4 points and if Daichi wins it messes up all manner of calculations. As with several other opponents he’s had Daichi struggles with chemistry. The match occasionally hits a higher gear but mostly grinds along at Adonis’ pace. Daichi at least looks motivated and sells the idea that he might even win.


The ref gets confused on the finish and forgets to count three after Adonis hits a Frogsplash. Thanks for coming lads, you’re not important.

Final Rating: **


Takashi Yoshida [6] vs. Yoshitatsu [8]

“World famous”.


Well, sure, it’s Spider-Man. Everyone knows him. He’s an Avenger. When I was looking at matches pre-tournament this is one I was not looking forward to. Yoshida is bad in singles and Tatsu is mostly bad in singles. If they were in a trios match on opposite sides that would be ideal. Why did Akiyama think Yoshida was a good fit anyway? Or did Dragon Gate absolutely stitch All Japan up by offloading this lump for a month? Yoshida dominates in a very dull match. Tatsu freaks me out by getting near falls. I didn’t calculate his chances! Yoshida beats him with a lariat anyway and we’re done here.

Final Rating: **


Joe Doering [8] vs. Jake Lee [8]

Lee looks sulky. Perhaps aware he has it all to do. Not only must he beat Doering but also hope for a main event draw.


Doering gets a lot of love here against sulky youth Lee and the dropkick spot is magic. Lee does have a lot of size, although not the bulk of Doering. So it’s not a total shock that he can stand up to the big American. Doering has had a surprisingly quiet tournament. From a slow start in points getting to a general malaise on the smaller shows. His role here is quite simple; batter Lee to give the youngster a hill to climb. His big crossbody misses and Jake hits a backdrop driver for the pin. Oh wow, that was underwhelming. Apparently Doering has been carrying a pretty bad shoulder injury so that takes into account his poor form this tour.

Final Rating: **1/2


BIG NEWS: All Japan are not doing head to head records. So whoever wins here faces Jake Lee with the winner of that match heading to the final against Miyahara.


Naoya Nomura [8] vs. Suwama [8]



Nomura has always looked good wrestling bigger, tougher, more experienced opponents. He’s great at bringing that underdog fire. The thing is; now he’s genuinely in contention so he’s not such an underdog.


Suwama puts a beating on Nomura here, doing a far superior job to Doering in the semi-main event. The result is Nomura getting all fired up and showing that spirit that got him here. Even with Suwama throwing him across the ring.


Nomura gets to wear old man Suwama down and his comeback is epic too. This is getting good! Both guys show tremendous spirit in fighting back and getting to their feet after a beating. It’s a proper battle. Nomura fucks up by stumbling into a clothesline and not even seeing it coming but apart from that it’s great. Both guys start to look tired and I buy into near falls. The fighting spirit is great too. I totally buy into the near falls. Especially as they’re dropping the big bombs repeatedly. Nomura wins! Nomura wins! If All Japan did the tiebreakers he’d be in the final.

Final Rating: ****1/2


Block B Decision Match

Jake Lee vs. Naoya Nomura


Nomura is tired and had a much harder match. I am so excited to see a live decision match. I had no idea it was coming before tonight. I assumed they’d go the tiebreaker route. Lee has an obvious advantage and grinds away at an already exhausted Nomura. If you’re not routing for Nomura at this point you have no heart.


Lee continues to be an opportunist snake throughout and yet gets outclassed by a Nomura who’s simply better. He wants it more.


But this comes down to two up and comers. Both who want that spot against Miyahara, who’s become the pinnacle of All Japan. A tired Nomura ends up eating a knee and that’s it. Lee goes to the final. This was never going to be great after that epic Nomura/Suwama match. A reminder that when it was one on one under fair conditions Nomura beat Lee.

Final Rating: ***1/2



A total shitshow until Nomura came out here and this was most definitely the Nomura Show. I don’t care who’s hand was raised at the end. Nomura is your man. Miyahara vs. Lee tomorrow for the tournament. Can’t wait for Miyahara to put this dipshit in his place and win his first Champion Carnival.




Jake Lee [10]

Naoya Nomura [10]

Joe Doering [8]

Suwama [8]

Yoshitatsu [8]

Daichi Hashimoto [8]

Takashi Yoshida [8]

Joel Redman [6]

Sam Adonis [6]




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