Pro Wrestling NOAH star Naomichi Marufuji defeated All Japan Pro Wrestling Triple Crown Champion Kento Miyahara to win the 2018 Champion Carnival tournament in Japan on Monday.
This is the first tournament win for Marufuji, who pinned Miyahara following his Emerald Flowsion finishing move. The win will likely put Marufuji in line for a future championship match against Miyahara.
The Champion Carnival tournament began on April 7th running for over three weeks before the finals on April 30th. The tournament follows the same structure as New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s G1 Climax Tournament with 16 wrestlers divided into two blocks. The round robin style tournament continues until each wrestler has wrestled every competitor in their respective block. Points are awarded to the winners and the wrestler from each block who finishes with the most point advances to the finals.
The tournament dates back to 1973 when it was won by Giant Baba. Since then the list of winners has grown to include the biggest names in Japanese pro wrestling, including Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, Stan Hansen, Toshiaki Kawada, Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Keiji Mutoh, and Minoru Suzuki.
Marufuji accumulated 10 points to outlast Zeus, Suwama, Yoshitatsu, Jun Akiyama, Kai, Dylan James, and Yutaka Yoshie, while Miyahara advanced past Yuji Hino, Shuji Ishikawa, Joe Doering, Shingo Takagi, Ryoji Sai, Naoya Nomura, and The Bodyguard.
The 20-year veteran has made numerous appearances in All Japan Pro Wrestling while mostly wrestling for Pro Wrestling NOAH. Marufuji also competed in the 2016 G1 Climax and challenged IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada for the championship at King of Pro-Wrestling in October 2016.
What did you think of the AJPW Champion Carnival? Where do you think Marufuji should go next? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!
- All japan pro wrestling
- Naomichi Marufuji
- Kento Miyahara
- champion carnival
- G1 Climax tournament
- new japan pro wrestling
- giant baba
- Kazuchika Okada
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