All Japan Pro Wrestling
Champion Carnival 2019 Night 12
April 20, 2019
Block matches only as per usual for this review, this will be my last review for a couple of days before I pick things back up with the final three nights in Korakuen.
Block B – Yoshitatsu (6) def. Sam Adonis (4)
Yoshitatsu rules. He has had a great tournament so far, and his match with Naoya Nomura back on night nine was must watch. Sam Adonis has been ok, which is honestly better than I was expecting, but unsurprisingly he sits last in Block B with four points. Tatsu picks up the win in a pretty quick, largely nothing match. **1/2
Yoshitatsu is tied for second in Block B… huh.
Block A – Dylan James (7) vs. Yuji Okabayashi (5) went to a 30-minute time limit draw
Okabayashi has had just three matches so far, he was off doing Big Japan things for part of the tour, but has a lot of interesting matches down the home stretch, including one against Kento Miyahara on the final night. He came into this match sixth in Block A, but also had wrestled 2-4 fewer matches than his competitors.
Dylan James has really impressed me throughout the Carnival so far, not that I wasn’t already a fan of his. His matches with Kento Miyahara and Zeus are two of my favorite of the tournament. Coming into this match he sits tied for third in Block A but with a match in hand compared to the top two.
The chops and lariats thrown in this match were insane, and the building they were in not only looked great but had great acoustics and you could hear the strikes echoing throughout the building.
This is at the very top level when it comes to chopping levels, up there with WALTER and early NOAH. Seriously.
I already liked Dylan James but this feels like a legit star-making performance… this is awesome. He is bleeding from his eye and trading strikes with one of the best in the world. Oh my lord.
At one point James locks in a rest hold, but Yuji is able to at least keep it entertaining. It can be excused with two guys as big as these two going as long as they are.
Holy shit these chops. This is insane. Both guys just collapse as we reach the 25-minute time call. There is a little bit too much stalling but this is still really great. Okabayashi locks in a crossface as the time limit starts to tick down and James holds on with every fiber of his being to escape to the time limit draw.
The story the told was that James was just an inch behind Okabayashi in talent but his grit got him through the match and he was able to escape with a point. After the match they shake hands and hug. This match fucks. Watch it now. Best of the Carnival, and one of the best of the year. ****1/2
Block B – Joel Redman (6) def. Suwama (6)
Joel Redman has been pretty good so far, and Suwama is still one of the best in the world, but there is no way these two are following that match, I don’t really think anyone could.
They are doing everything right but I am still thinking about those fucking chops. They have some nice exchanges and the finishing stretch is pretty fun, credit to the crowd, who is still very much into this after watching a 30-minute hoss match. Redman gets the win out of nowhere with the flash pin. ***1/2
Block B – Daichi Hashimoto (6) def. Naoya Nomura (6)
Kento Miyahara is by far having the best Carnival of anyone, but my #2 right now would probably be Nomura, he is definitely the best in B Block at least. I’ve been a Daichi defender for a while, but I’ll be honest, his Carnival run hasn’t lit the world on fire.
Daichi is still doing his stupid Will Ospreay on steroids screaming in this one, but Nomura leads him to pretty good little match before being upset. ***
Daichi Hashimoto is tied for second in Block B. Huh.
Block A – Gianni Valletta (6) def. Kento Miyahara (6)
I really don’t want to watch this match. Please don’t ruin the one thing pure in wrestling: Kento Miyahara’s 2019 Champion Carnival run. Every match has been varying levels of very good to great but I have a sneaking suspicion that streak ends here.
Shout out to the balls of All Japan management for putting Gianni Valletta in a 15-minute main event on one of the biggest non-Korakuen shows of the tour, but, whatever. Valletta chokes Kento with his stupid chain. I really enjoyed Valletta-Ishikawa on the last show as a match to break up the pacing of the show, but I’m not sure Valletta’s schtick works in a main event setting.
Kento resorts to biting, because who cares anyway. It is really starting to pick up and then Valletta gets the chain again. He gives it up to the ref but blindsides Kento with a chair behind the ref’s back. You know what… this is actually decent. Kento kicks out of another chair shot and Valletta hits a cutter for the win. Ummmm… ***1/4?
1. Zeus (4-2, eight points)
T2. Shuji Ishikawa, Dylan James (3-2-1, seven points)
4. Kento Miyahara (3-3, six points)
5. Gianni Valletta (3-4, six points) ELIMINATED
6. Yuji Okabayashi (2-1-1, five points)
7. Ryouji Sai (2-2-1, five points)
8. Atsushi Aoki (2-3, four points)
9. Yuma Aoyagi (2-5, four points) ELIMINATED
1. Naoya Nomura (4-3, eight points)
T2. Jake Lee, Yoshitatsu, Daichi Hashimoto (3-2, six points)
T5. Suwama, Joel Redman (3-3, six points)
7. Takashi Yoshida (3-4, six points) ELIMINATED
8. Joe Doering (2-3, four points)
9. Sam Adonis (2-4, four points) ELIMINATED