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Thoughts on AJPW’s Champion Carnival Final Night

October 6, 2020 | Posted by Dick Ford
AJPW Champion Carnival

The early beginnings of the tournament were all about surprises. However, as the tournament moved to the middle and later stages, it was clear that it would come down to one of the top guys. The final of the Champion Carnival has two top guys going head-to-head.

Zeus and Kento Miyahara are no strangers to one another. In 2018, it was Miyahara who ended Zeus’ Triple Crown title reign after it was Zeus who had ended Miyahara’s Triple Crown title reign a couple months earlier. The two have faced each other five times in singles matches since 2017, with Zeus winning three of those matches. When these two face each other, it’s either in the Champion Carnival or the Triple Crown title is on the line. This is the first time that they’ll be facing one another with Champion Carnival victory on the line.

All the recaps I have written about Champion Carnival 2020 have only covered the tournament itself and this recap will be no different. I apologize for my late recap, real life got in the way of me watching this show earlier in the day on October 5.

Kento Miyahara (6 points) vs Zeus (8 points)

Kento is out first, Big Adventure is at ringside in street clothes so I’m pretty sure they won’t be getting involved in this match. Zeus is next and there are several women in the bleachers at Korakuen Hall that are ready for him to win this tournament. Purple Haze is also seconds at ringside. Although it’s several months late and a shortened field, I can’t help be excited that we are going to have a 2020 Champion Carnival winner. The camera shows SUWAMA at ringside and on commentary, he defends the Triple Crown title vs the winner.

The story of this match will be, can Zeus lock in his new submission move that has beaten everyone else in the tournament? Or can Miyahara hit the shutdown suplex and capture his second Champion Carnival victory. Zeus really wrenches a side headlock on Miyahara, softening him up for the new submission move. I’ve mentioned this before in my recaps that Zeus throws some of the hardest chops in pro-wrestling and he’s laying them in here on Miyahara. However, Miyahara is the Ace and it doesn’t take long for the tides to turn. The chest of Miyahara is a bright red and he’s pissed off, showing a much more aggressive side as he chokes Zeus over the metal bracing that attaches the top turnbuckle to the post. As the match moves on into the next phase, both men are working stiffer and stiffer.

Earlier in the match, I could’ve sworn that Miyahara yelled “FUCK” but I wasn’t certain. I just heard Miyahara scream “FUCK” for a second time, I’m convinced that’s what he said both times. He did so after being bear hugged over head tossed on the floor outside of the ring. This is the best Zeus has looked in the ring in sometime and I’m not talking about his look, that is always the best, I’m talking about his working boots are on tonight.

Miyahara is kicking it into “Kento Gear” with a flurry of his comeback moves. The recipe for Miyahara works. I know he’s beginning to get on people’s nerves with the formula, even those who have supported him in the past, but I’m still a fan. In my opinion, no one sells better than Miyahara in the business, therefore I’m into his comeback.

Now this match is into the next gear and these guys are putting on a show. Break neck speed, physicality, this is a runaway train to the finish. Miyahara hits a couple of knees and a suplex but only gets a two count. His shutdown suplex attempt is thwarted and Zeus is now back in control. A missile drop kick from the top rope gets a two count for Zeus but as he attempts a frog splash, Miyahara gets the knees up and both men are down. After another running knee and a variation of the shutdown suplex (Miyahara didn’t clench the arms), Zeus kicks out at two and Miyahara is looking to end this match.

The physicality level is so high as this match nears its conclusion. The chops, the forearm strikes, all have an extra zing on them as this match goes on. Zeus is being more aggressive, Miyahara is being more aggressive, and this has turned into a slugfest. I’m thoroughly enjoying this match that is becoming the best of the tournament. Zeus nails Miyahara with a lariat that Stan Hansen would be proud of. There it is! Zeus has locked in his new submission in the middle of the ring! He lets it go and goes for a cover but Miyahara kicks out at two. There’s more work to be done.

Miyahara hits a running knee and then another but that doesn’t keep Zeus down for three. They struggle for the shutdown suplex, finally Zeus is trapped, Miyahara hits it but somehow Zeus is able to get out before three. Kento’s Big Adventure is encouraging the Ace to keep on him, finish him, hurry hurry. Miyahara pulls Zeus’ lifeless body off the canvas, goes for another shutdown suplex, Zeus breaks out, Miyahara hits a knee, Zeus bounces back off the ropes and hits a lariat and both men are down, exhausted.

Miyahara kicks at at two after Zeus hit him with a lariat, but Zeus slaps on the jackhammer and there is no kick out at two. Wada counts the three and Zeus goes undefeated in Champion Carnival to win it all. He now goes against SUWAMA for the Triple Crown championship in October. If you read the preview article )here), Zeus was the favourite to win it all. The two gladiators shake hands and while Zeus will move on to a shot at the title, Miyahara goes back to the drawing board.

That Final was the best match of the tournament, as it should be, highly recommend you go out of your way to watch it.

Tell Dick Ford what you thought of the 2020 Champion Carnival on Twitter @ffsford or via email [email protected]

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AJPW Champion Carnival, Dick Ford