All Japan Pro Wrestling ~Champion Carnival 2021~ Day 1 – 3 Review


~Champion Carnival 2021~ Day 1, 09.04.2021

Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Shuji kicks of Champion Carnival with a big shoulder tackle to Koji. Not happy with how things started Koji gets back on his feet and immediately starts attacking Shuji’s left arm with a series of strikes and holds. Shuji tries to escape by rolling out of the ring, but Koji follows to continue attacking the arm, this time with help from the guard rail. Shuji, back in the ring now, fires back but still obviously still feeling the effect of the attack to his arm. Koji showing off his strength by lifting Shuji on his shoulders for a torture rack. After stopping a knee strike Koji hits a backdrop and lariat which only gets a two count. Both men back on their feet collide into each other with clothes lines before Shuji gets the surprise pin and the first two points of Champion Carnival.

Suwama vs Kohei Sato
Suwama and Sato have face each other recently one on one. In February Sato challenged unsuccessfully for the Triple Crown Championship. A headlock from Suwama gets Sato down to one knee. Sato is able to push Suwama into the ropes to escape then knock the champ down with a shoulder block. Slaps to the other man’s chest from both before Suwama locks in a sleeper hold. Sato grabs ahold of the ropes but Suwama is not so eager to let go of the hold as the referee must start a 5 count to get Suwama to break the hold. Inside and outside the ring Suwama continues the assault. Sato with kicks to the mid-section gets the champion down for a two count. A punch to the face drops Suwama for another two count. After forearms to the face, a headbutt and two German suplex’s Sato pin Suwama and avenges his Triple Crown loss.

Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The youngest and oldest competitors in the Champion Carnival face off next. Two missed drop kicks from Yuma and a lot of stiff kicks from Otani start this match off. Yuma not happy with this pulls Otani out of the ring and starts running him into the guard rail, knocking down the ring announcer while he is at it. Back in the ring Yuma gets a bit cocky and decides to copy Otani move set which did not turn out to be very smart idea in the end. Otani catches Yuma with a kick and drops him into the corner of the ring. Otani showing Yuma how his moves are really done to the delight of the crowd. A slap and forearm fight breaks out with neither man wanting to give up. Yuma manages to reverse another blow from Otani into his submission move End Game. Otani get to the ropes and hits a dragon suplex moments later. Experience wins in the end with Otani picking up his first points in the tournament.

Shotaro Ashino vs Jake Lee
The most anticipated match of day one turned out to be the shortest. Ashino goes for an ankle lock right off the bat but Jake rolls through to the ropes. After a bit of circling around the ring Ashino catches Jake and hits two suplex’s for a two count. A frustrated Ashino gets ahold of Jakes ankle once again and applies his ankle lock in the middle of the ring. Unable to reach the ropes Jake kicks Ashino with his free leg to break the hold. Jake throws the referee into a charging Ashino and the referee is down. An evil laugh, 2 knees to the head and the D4C later gives Jake the win in under 4 minutes. Jake might have won but Ashino did some damage as Jake limps to the back.

Kento Miyahara vs Zeus
The winner and runner up of CC 2020 main event the first CC show of 2021. Zeus hoping to pick up another single win against Kento while Kento hopes to avenge his loss from last year. Zeus taking the early advantage in this match with a massive shoulder block. Kento rolls out of the ring to regroup but does not get much time as Zeus is right behind him. Both men get a chance to inflict pain on the other but Kento gains the upper hand as he drops Zeus ribs first onto the guard rail. Kento drags Zeus around the outside of the ring while delivering headbutts every now and then. In the ring Zeus attempts to get himself back into this match but Kento is too fast on his feet to allow him to. After one-to-many kicks to the face Zeus stands up clearly enraged and chops Kento’s chest red. Zeus quickly goes for his face lock submission but unable to lock it in before Kento gets to the ropes. After a piledriver onto the ring apron and a knee strike from Kento, Zeus somehow manages to fight his way back into the match. Izanagi, HAYATO and Atsuki all at ringside encouraging their team mate to keep going. Zeus is too strong and breaks out of two shut down suplex attempts. A big lariat and jackhammer from Zeus gets the three count and another win for Zeus over Kento.

~Champion Carnival 2021~ Day 2, 10.04.2021

Shotaro Ashino vs Yuma Aoyagi
A fair fight to start day 2 as both men shake hands at the beginning. Ashino starts to work over Yuma’s leg as he is hoping that he can lock in his ankle lock and earn his first two points. Showing off his strength as he easily picks Yuma up for a gut wrench suplex then goes straight back to working the leg. Yuma reverses an Irish whip and connects with a drop kick for his first offence of this match. Yuma locks in End Game for a while and with the little energy Ashino has left he makes it to the ropes. Both men trade uppercuts, suplex and submission for a while before it become too much for Ashino as he is forced to tap out. A frustrated Ashino slams his fists down on the mat as Yuma smiles in victory.

Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi
A super hard hitting physical match. Koji instantly goes on the attack and able to pick up Sato on his shoulders for a torture rack. Once down the men trade chops until both chests are starting to turn shades of red. A punch to the face knocks Koji down. Referee Nikkan Lee starts a 10 count for Koji to get back to his feet but there is no need as Sato sits him up and delivers and elbow to the back of his head. A kick out at two and Koji starts to fight back hitting a huge brain buster and two lariats putting Sato down for the three count. Koji gets the win and now both members of Total Eclipse are on the board with points.

Zeus vs Shuji Ishikawa
A test of strength between the two men to start. Zeus rolls outside but Shuji soon follows and hits a suplex then runs Zeus into the guard rail to inflict more pain. Both men back inside the ring as Shuji continues the assault. Zeus tries his best to break free, but the TV champ is just too strong. Zeus, finally free after Shuji lets go, quickens the pace and hits back but not for long. A running knees strike is not enough to put Zeus away. Shuji hoist Zeus up on his shoulders but Zeus wriggles free and locks in his face lock submission. Shuji has no choice but to tap out. Zeus stays on the winning side and takes the early lead with four points.

Kento Miyahara vs Shinjiro Otani
After defeating Yuma yesterday, Otani has an opportunity to defeat the other half of the tag team champions while Kento is looking for his first two points. Otani starts straight away with kicks exchanged between them. Kento rolls out of the ring followed by Otani but regrets his decision as he is hit with a flurry of headbutts from Kento. Kento takes too long to attack and allows Otani to trip him up as he falls face first into the turnbuckle pad. More kicks in the corner to Kento before Otani hits a suplex from the second rope. Knee strikes and a brain buster allows Kento to gain some momentum. A fun back and forth exchange ends as Otani kicks Kento’s legs from out under him. Kento fights back and hits a blackout knee strike for the win.

Jake Lee vs Suwama
After destroying Ashino the day before Jake has his sights set on Suwama and the Triple Crown Championship around his waist. Jake holding Suwama in a head lock for a while trying to wear down the champion early. The crowd and Dan Tamura at ringside cheer on Suwama as he tries to reach the ropes. Before a rope break is called Jake lets go and starts stomping away. Outside the ring now and Jake delivers elbows to back of the head then trips Suwama into the guard rail. Jake takes some time to walk around the ring laughing and plays up to the crowd as Suwama is still down, having trouble to make it to his feet. Jake rolls Suwama back to the ring and for all his efforts only gets a two count. Jake is in firm control as Suwama tries several times to make a comeback but stopped easily by Jake. Suwama now able to go toe to toe now as they trade elbows with each other.
Knees to the chest and to the back of the head accompanied by and evil laugh and Suwama is down. A D4C attempt is stopped by many double hand chops before Suwama hits big power bomb and wins the match.

~Champion Carnival 2021~ Day 3, 11.04.2021

Jake Lee vs Koji Doi
Two Total Eclipse members face off to kick off day 3. Jake asks Koji to lay down for him so he can get an easy win. Koji does but only lets Jake get a two count as he reverses the pin for his own two count. A big boot is blocked by Koji and he hits a shoulder tackle and a big jumping elbow drop as he takes control over the leader of Total Eclipse. Koji able to get some kicks in before Jake fires back with a knee to the mid-section. Back and forth action inside and outside the ring continues as no man can gain a clear advantage for long. A series of kicks gives Jake an opening but is soon squashed by a big brain buster from Koji. Jake manages to overcome Koji’s offense by putting him down for the three count with a D4C. No hard feelings between the two as they both shake hands in the ring before leaving with the rest of the Total Eclipse members together.

Yuma Aoyagi vs Shuji Ishikawa
Straight into the action with this one as both men are looking to pick up their second win. It quickly spills to the outside as a drop kick from Yuma knocks Shuji off the apron. Shuji looking to make Yuma pay slams him back first into the ring apron and hits a double foot stomp before returning into the ring. Any momentum Yuma tried to make is quickly squashed by Shuji out powering the younger wrestler. Yuma picks up the pace and breaks away from Shuji and hit two flying cross bodies before locking in his submission. Shuji makes it to the ropes forcing Yuma to let go. A lot of counters before a lariat by Shuji downs both forcing the referee to start a 10 count to get both wrestles back to their feet. Another roll through counter allows Yuma a second chance at tapping Shuji out but once again he makes it to the ropes. A couple of pin attempts by Yuma only get a two count before Shuji reverses a pin attempt and use his strength to keep Yuma down to get the win.

Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino
Ashino desperate for points here as he is the only wrestler without any. Super-fast paced opening sequence sees Ashino trying to go for the ankle lock straight away. Ashino starts attacking the leg. Both competitors spill to the outside and Kento can batter Ashino around the ring. Back in the ring a knee strike and headbutt does not even faze Ashino as he fires back with a big uppercut. Both Kento and Ashino reverse move attempts before Kento, like he did to Zeus, hits a piledriver to Ashino on the ring apron. Kento takes advantage of the dazed Ashino connecting with a knee to the back of the head then starts to lock in his shut down suplex. Ashino breaks free and after both men have a stare down. A series of blackout knee strikes and ankle lock holds are exchanged with Ashino coming out on top as Kento is unable to reverse anymore and taps out. Ashino has his first two points.

Zeus vs Suwama
Zeus and Suwama faced off last year as Zeus’s prize for winning CC 2020 was a shot at Suwama’s Triple Crown Champion. Zeus fought hard but could not get the win. Zeus starting the match with some arms work and even able to bring the champion down to the ground. Suwama takes full advantage of the ring posts as he slams Zeus’s head and back into them. Back to the basics for Suwama as he locks in a Boston crab on Zeus who struggles to make it to the ropes but eventually does. After being slapped in the head and taunted by Suwama Zeus can take no more. Firing back with chops, a big shoulder tackle and an overhead throw Zeus goes right back to targeting the arm. Suwama breaks the hold and tries to go for a power bomb but the damage to the arm is too much and it gives out. Zeus connects with an air raid crash then after a two count kick out, he rains punches down on Suwama. Zeus lifts Suwama up for a chock slam, connects with a frog splash and locks in his submission. In a last-ditch effort Suwama backdrops Zeus but the damage is already done as Zeus out powers Suwama and wins. At the end of day 3 he is leading the pack as the only wrestler on 6 points

Champion Carnival Leaderboard:
Zeus (3-0) 6
Shuji Ishikawa (2-1) 4
Jake Lee (2-1) 4
Kohei Sato (1-1) 2
Shinjiro Otani (1-1) 2
Koji Doi (1-2) 2
Suwama (1-2) 2
Yuma Aoyagi (1-2) 2
Shotaro Ashino (1-2) 2
Kento Miyahara (1-2) 2

Champion Carnival Dates:
17.04 ShinKiba 1st Ring 12:30 JST (LIVE)
18.04 Chiba 2AW Square 14:00 JST (LIVE)
24.04 ShinKiba 1st Ring 12:30 JST (LIVE)
25.04 Korakuen Hall 11:30 JST (LIVE)
28.04 Hodogaya Public Hall (VOD)
29.04 Korakuen Hall 18:00 JST (LIVE)
03.05 Korakuen Hall 18:00 JST (LIVE)

All times are Japan Standard Times.
Video on demand shows (VOD) will be uploaded to AJPW.TV the next day.
Champion Carnival and all other AJPW shows can be watched at AJPW.TV for 900 Yen a month.