The Babas screwed this year's Carny up before it even started by not making the winner get the title shot against Mitsuharu Misawa on 5/1 at the Tokyo Dome. Rather than spend hours trying to predict how The Babas will misbook this tournament, I've decided to attempt to book it myself. Obviously, this will have no influence on how it is actually booked, and I don't expect to see a good deal of the things I've suggested here actually take place, which may be for the better. I don't claim to have all the answers, or even most of them, but I thought it might be an interesting read and trying to come up with all this was definitely very educational for myself.
The obvious is AJ is a cold promotion, heading on frozen solid. You aren't going to improve your business unless you can create new stars - they have no youngsters in the promotion that are capable right now - or bring in outsiders that people want to see against your current top stars. There are only a few potentially available outsiders that can draw big money right now, as stated before in many places 1000 times before, Vader and Nobuhiko Takada. Takada is barely even worth mentioning at this point, as he seems determined to make a lot of money embarrassing himself in a few shoots, but as long as he's active he's still one of the very few workers that could work the AJ main event style at the level we are accustomed to. Even though Vader is on the Dome show, his match is a waste because it's a tease of a match that a lot of fans want to pay to see, Vader vs. Kobashi. I don't expect Vader to amount to much in AJ because they won't use him right, even if he should become fully available to them. Thus, it's a moot point in most cases to argue about AJ business. Thier business is sliding, it has been for quite a while. This tournament won't change business because the only wrestlers involved are the same tired old faces. Even though four of the participants are among the top ten workers in the world, fans will still only pay to see them against each other so many times. The best you can do, at least the way I see it, is book results that lead somewhere. Note that I am just trying to book the results, not how each match would go, so points like a guy should win with a certain finisher because it plays or history or will create a new dangerous move for them aren't included.
The obvious is there are four directions this Carny can take, but only one of them that really makes any sense to me. The first option is to have Misawa vs. Kawada in the final. Anyone who would book this would have to be a lunatic. That would mean you would have Misawa vs. Kawada in major arenas on 3/29, 4/18, and 5/1. This match may be the greatest heavyweight matchup ever, but it also has been done so many times before. The fact that it's never been in an arena that held more than 16,300 makes it questionable enough from a drawing standpoint to have as the headliner of the all important 1st Dome show. You need people to be anticipating this match, and even if the Carnival Final somehow topped 6/3/94, that anticipation would still be considerably less simply because they ran the same match two weeks earlier in the same city.
The second option is to have Toshiaki Kawada win the tournament by defeating someone else in the final. Kawada won last year's tournament, and he also teamed with Akira Taue to win the last two Real World Tag Team leagues. This win would be a nice double double for Kawada, propelling him with force into the main event at the Dome. However, this route isn't an intelligent one because Kawada is going to win the title there. Once Kawada has the title, he's not going to be doing any singles jobs until either next year's Champion Carnival or he drops title. Figuring that we want him to have a long reign, why have him run through everyone in the Carnival when this is your last chance to have him put guys over? Kawada's jobs in this tournament need to be used to create challengers for him when he becomes the champ. Even though he's lost to Misawa every time but one, he's your #2 star who theoretically has as much chance of winning the TC whether he wins the Carny or not. He's already so overdue against Misawa that I don't think Kawada winning the Carny will make any difference in the attendance of your Dome show. Thus, it makes a lot more sense for him to wait two more weeks to start his big run.
The third option is to have neither Misawa nor Kawada win the Carny. This would create a top "new" challenger for early in Kawada's reign. The problem with this is it means you are running out two also rans in the main event of your Dome show. Selling out the Dome is far from a lock, especially with either lineup Baba has presented thusfar, so as much focus as possible has to be placed on that show. I'm not the one who decided to put the Dome show so close to the Carny. I think its placement was stupid because it's too close to your #2 tour of the year. It would have been better placed in the summer, because the Summer Action Series 1 (July) & 2 (August-September) are the slowest parts of the year. Kobashi vs. Akiyama or Taue would be a nice final, but you can sellout Budokan for these guys as challengers whether they win the Carny or not. Having Kobashi or Taue beat Misawa or Kawada is the same scenario because you still have two runner ups headlining your Dome show.
The forth option is to have Misawa win the Carnival. This makes sense because you have Misawa set up to do drop the TC in the most attended main event in the 25 year history of your company. You don't need to create a challenger for Misawa because in two weeks he'll become someone that's looking to challenge for the TC himself. You don't ever want Misawa doing two major singles jobs back to back. He's already run through every challenger in title defenses, so let him do it one more time. It was the fear of some that the Dome show main event would be used to crown Misawa the high exalted god of AJ for life. You could give him all the glory he needs by having him becoming the first wrestler
to win the Carny while he held the TC since Stan Hansen in 1992. It would be a great closure to a tremendous reign as champion, and then he goes out and hands 3 belts over to Dangerous K at the Dome in what will surely be another classic. Misawa is the best draw you have, and people still want to see him turn away challengers, so, in this case, strengthening him is more likely to sell more tickets for the Dome than strengthening his opponent. The higher the mountain that Kawada has to climb to finally take the TC from Misawa, the more impressive it will be when he does it. You pray this translates into the more fans wanting to pay to see Kawada's big matches.
The rest of the tournament is more an attempt at Choshu and Yamada style booking than Baba style booking. Choshu and Yamada style is simply a lot more effective because they know how to keep people strong, tell stories, and Choshu makes truckloads of money doing so. The Carny has always been booked for parity on top, so I shouldn't make it sound like only Choshu and Yamada book their tournaments this way. It's just that they do a better job of it these days because they actually think in advance. I've probably gone overboard with the parity, but there's seven title shots each year and if I just ran the same 5 challengers that are capable of having a very good to great match, it wouldn't be long until there was nothing left.
I really don't want to see Misawa drop the title because he's had such tremendous matches over the past year, but it has to be done. The whole reason it has to be done is that he's already turned back every challenger there is. If I had guys within the league that I would be able to add into the mix next year or the year after, I wouldn't worry about this so much. However, there is simply nobody coming up the ranks other than Maunakea Mossman, who is still a ways away. The only option the Babas have is to bring in outsiders, but until the Babas show us that they'll bring in an outsider that you could give a title shot to, and actually give them that title shot, all the possibilities are just hopes, wishes, dreams, and/or theories. Thus, I'm looking to show growth for the guys coming up the ladder, Akiyama and Ace (the fact I'm listing a 35-year-old as an “up and comer” exemplifies the sad state of the AJ dojo). I'm also looking to keep the other stars strong so they have credibility when they get their title shots and so their jobs later on to the guys coming up are going to have more meaning.
I've included the results of each Carny match up for the past three years in between the asterisks. This should not be taken as the results of all their singles matches over the last three years or every Carny meeting they ever had. It's simply there to show trends. Maybe I've been looking at too many rotisserie baseball numbers lately, but I feel going past three years, in most cases, isn't worth the time it would take me to do it because the pushes and career stages of the wrestlers, in most cases, are going to be different than they were in 1994. For Takao Omori, whose first Carny was 1995, Gary Albright, whose first Carny was 1996, and Giant Kimala, whose first Carny was 1997, these are their lifetime Carny records against each opponent. Jun Izumida's first Carny was in 1997, but he forfeited all his matches due to a broken leg, so I'm not going to list forfeit for every one of his matches. Steve Williams wasn't in the 1995 Carny because of his little problem at the Narita Airport on 3/20/95 which resulted in a one year suspension (and showed how much pull Baba has to get the suspension to be that short). This is Wolf Hawkfield's first Carny.
3/21 Tokyo-Korakuen Hall NTV taping
Ace (2) over Kobashi (0)
*They drew in 1995 and 1996, the latter of which came on the last day, preventing Kobashi from reaching the finals and preventing the first triangular Carny final*
Ace's first win over Kobashi, and a member of the big 4 for that matter, is long overdue. It should have come in 1995 instead of these two having two draws (one non-Carny) that year. Unless an agreement can be reached to use Vader fairly often, I'm looking to move Ace up to the top gaijin spot in 1999. He isn't the greatest, and he's been worse than he was a few years ago, but there's some possibility of improvement if the greats take the time to work with him and he's certainly better than what's left of Williams, Hansen, and Albright. He's going to outlast those guys as "serious" workers unless he has another major free fall in conditioning, and probably even if he does since the other three are all broken down and really washed up. Ace is far from the most over guy, but Gary and Doc are a lot less over than they used to be and Stan didn't get any special heat in any match I saw in 1997. What are your options other than Ace or an import? The top gaijin in AJ has to be on par with the top native. Usually a step or two below, but always a serious threat to take out the top star. It may be questionable that Ace can get over enough to fill this role, but it's a foregone conclusion that it can't happen if the #4 native in the company is the leader of his team, and he's never even beat him in singles. By the time Ace has surpassed the other gaijins, Choshu may have made native vs. gaijin title matches such a rare occurrence that Ace won't have to be as strong as the top gaijins of the past. Ace as a credible challenger, but among the lowest ranked of those in the rotation is a position that he can realistically fill for a few years. If I was making the matches, I would have put something decent on this undercard instead of three obviously bad matches to fill the TV time in case this match didn't meet my expectations.
Kawada (2) over Izumida (0)
Taue (2) over Kimala (0)
*Taue won last year*
Hansen (2) over Albright (0)
*Hansen won the last two years*
3/22 Tokyo-Korakuen Hall Fighting TV Samurai taping
Taue (4) over Misawa (0)
*They drew in 1995, but Misawa defeated Taue in the Carny final. Misawa won the last two years*
Taue is the member of the big four that needs the most credibility right now. He really hasn't done anything in singles since losing the Triple Crown to Kobashi on 7/24/96, as he biggest non-Carny singles win of 1997 came in October against Ace. He hasn't had a title shot since 7/25/97, which he lost to Misawa. This win allows him to revenge that, and I have Misawa going over in the final, so I don't want Misawa sweeping Taue, especially since he won both of their meetings in 1997.
Akiyama (2) over Hansen (2)
*Stan won in 1995 and 1996, but last year Jun held Stan to a draw*
This would be Jun's first singles win against Stan. He took it to the first step last year getting the draw, so taking it to the next level and getting the win shows his growth. I would prefer to have this air on NTV, but Fighting TV Samurai is an improvement over last year when Akiyama's accomplishments went virtually unnoticed by the fans who only follow television. They aired about 2:15 of his draw against Hansen, but injuring Misawa's neck and his win over Ace weren't taped.
Kawada (4) over Omori (0)
*Kawada won the last 3 years*
Kobashi (2) over Wolf (0)
3/25 Kanagawa-Odawara Arena
Misawa (2) over Albright (0)
*Misawa won the last two years*
Ace (4) over Hansen (2)
*Ace has lost the last three years*
This would be Ace's first singles win over Stan. In order for Ace to move up the gaijin ranks, he has to knock off the guys that are ahead of him, Williams and Hansen. Since they will be on opposing teams in the tag match in the Tokyo Dome, this would give both men an issue. Ace would be trying to prove this wasn't a fluke that he had really passed Stan, while Stan would be looking to revenge this loss and keep his spot. With two big losses in a row, it might seem like Stan had run out of gas, but that's not the direction I'm taking, even though he has and I'd like to.
Akiyama (4) over Kimala (0)
*Kimala won in 1997*
The above isn't a typo. Jun's lower level job last year was to this fat stiff. Lower level jobs are one of the most important points in booking, but you have to go somewhere with them. Kimala's win over Jun last year didn't, and thankfully couldn't, go anywhere.
Wolf (2) over Izumida (0)
Wolf is in his first Carny, which is kind of like a baby cutting teeth. You can't expect him to go anywhere this year, but he's got more some upside so I'm going to put him above the lower level guys based on that "potential".
3/26 Chiba-Chiba Kooen (park) Taiikukan (gymnasium) Fighting TV Samurai taping
Kawada (6) over Akiyama (4)
*Kawada won the last three years*
I'm not even considering giving this first up yet, especially since Jun won't be getting another Triple Crown shot until 1999. A much better way to set Jun up for that shot would be, after two years in a row of Misawa & Akiyama losing to Kawada & Taue, to have him pin Kawada in the '98 Real World Tag Team League finals. This could lead to a TC match on 3/99 at Budokan, which Kawada would, of course, win. This match should give the best indication of where Akiyama is really at because Jun was much more familiar with working with Misawa in key singles matches by the time they had their excellent TC match in January.
Williams (2) over Taue (4)
*They drew in 1996 and Taue won last year. Taue defeated Williams in the 1996 Carny final*
Doc has had a tough time with Taue in their recent meetings so this is some retribution, but I'm not really using a grand reason for him winning this one. I'm just using the gaijins to take the top natives point total down and this keeps Doc strong.
Hansen (4) over Izumida (0)
Albright (2) over Kimala (0)
*Albright won last year*
Good time to go to the bathroom or concession stand. Pray this turd is over by the time you get back to your seat.
3/27 Niigata-Nagaoka Shi (city) Kosei (public welfare) Kaikan (assembly hall) Fighting TV Samurai taping
Kawada (7) draw Kobashi (3)
*Kawada won in 1996 and the other two were draws. Kawada defeated Kobashi in the final portion of the triangular final last year to win the Carny*
Kobashi's first singles win over Kawada would be a lot more meaningful if it was for the Triple Crown. Since I'm giving Kawada the Triple Crown at the Dome show, I'd rather keep that option open. I'd have Kobashi really taking it to Kawada in the last couple minutes, but time would run out on him. I'd consider running Kawada/Kobashi on 10/99 at Budokan for the anniversary show, and very strongly consider Kobashi getting his first there. The first over Kawada should probably should come sooner, but I'm forced into stalling mode since there's nothing on the horizon within AJ. If I had Vader, then I would put him in the main event of the 5/99 Dome show against Kawada. I'd give him the title if it was doable based on the number of dates I could use him. In that scenario, I have Kobashi vs. Kawada for the TC on 1/99 in Osaka, the site of their great 60:00 draw in 1995, and have Kawada win that. Then I would recuperate Kobashi by having him win the Carny and set him up for a big title match with Vader on the 10/99 Anniversary show at Budokan. Without Vader and the other outsiders, the only options you have for your 5/99 Dome show are Misawa or Kobashi vs. Kawada for the TC. Depending on health and other factors, whichever one I thought should be the next champion would get the gig at the Dome and job, then come back and take the title from Kawada on 10/99 Anniversary show. The other one would job to Kawada in a TC match on 6/99 at Budokan. Misawa absolutely has to have at least one more run with the TC that is a long run. The guy who ends his long run should be either Kobashi or Jun, showing that they have finally overtaken him. Then they have to "feud" with him and eventually come out on top of that to show they are now The Franchise (I think their work will back up their talk a little better than other Franchises though).
Misawa (3) draw Akiyama (5)
*Misawa won the last three years*
I'm looking to show Jun's growth. He already jobbed to Misawa in title matches on 1/98 and 9/97, jobbed to Misawa in a non-title match in 5/97, and jobbed to Misawa in the Carny last year. Misawa is Jun's ultimate test, and it should be his last first. Jun's not close to getting over the hump yet, but a draw is a nice bone to throw his way. I feel that Jun, not Kobashi, is the guy who can take over as the star of the company, so I'm working to make him look as strong as possible, and get him as over as possible, without giving him the key firsts against the top natives. Jun was really over against Misawa in their January TC match, and that was with extremely little credibility coming into the match, so his popularity, but much more importantly his drawing power, should only continue to go up if he's used properly. I know running two draws on the same day is a questionable maneuver, especially in a 3,200 seat building, but I didn't make this schedule. Can I take creative license and take out Yokohama Bunka Gym for this show?
Williams (4) over Ace (4)
*Williams won the last two years*
Ace jobs to Williams, as always, crushing his hopes at quickly ascending to the top of the gaijin totem pole. This gives Ace something to gun for in early 1999, and keeps Doc strong because he reenters the title picture sooner than Ace. This would not be a long match since the two matches above it are broadways.
Omori (2) over Izumida (0)
Izumida should be released, so he's doing straight jobs. Omori hasn't shown any progress in years, so I'm not giving him any push, even though the Babas may because they feel they have to move another native up the ladder. Show some inititive and sign some guys like Masato Tanaka and Masahito Kakihara. The worst case scenario would be that they turned into guys who never reached the potential they showed elsewhere. The guys they have now like Masao Inoue, Jun Izumida, and Tamon Honda never even gave anyone a glimmer of hope.
3/28 Fukui-Fukui City Gymnasium
Kobashi (5) over Albright (2)
*Kobashi won the last two years*
Taue (6) over Wolf (2)
Hansen (6) over Omori (2)
Williams (6) over Kimala (0)
Wow, what a horrible lineup.
3/29 Nagoya-Nagoya Aiichi Gymnasium NTV taping
Kawada (9) over Misawa (3)
If I was booking last year's Carny, I wouldn't have given Kawada that cheap turd of a tainted first win over Misawa in the triangular final. Since I can't change the past, Kawada beating Misawa in a regular singles match isn't the gem it once was. It's gotten ridiculous that they draw each year. I'd rather cross it up and have Kawada win at roughly 29:50. Hopefully, this would help keep heat in the final minutes of key matches because it wouldn't be obvious that it was going the distance. I want to add a new dimension though. Everyone thinks that Kawada is winning at the Tokyo Dome, right? So, you have Kawada win here because no one ever gets two straight wins over Misawa. Kawada winning here not only makes him look strong, but it throws your Tokyo Dome result into question. When Kawada wins 2 in a row, you've made him into some form of a god as well, and you just hope that he can keep fans in the seats. By having Misawa lose here, I'm putting him in the role he's best in, the underdog who never gives up and eventually finds it in him to come back and win. Typically, he does this all in one match, but leaving him with 3 points after the 7th show allows him to do it in the standings as well as the individual matches.
Akiyama (7) over Taue (6)
*Taue won all three years*
It happened in January of 1997, so it can happen again. Jun gets his revenge from the job in the tag final. I'd rather have Jun gunning at Kobashi, who he can have a great match with, and/or Williams, because he's high up the ladder, than trying to revenge a loss against a guy he isn't going to have that special a match with and has already defeated once. Taue was hurt by this loss when it first occurred. However, Jun is more established now, and I'm actually going to recoup Taue with later key wins in this Carny.
Kobashi (7) over Omori (2)
*Kobashi won all 3*
Williams (8) over Hansen (6)
I don't even want to think about what a 30:00 draw between these two would look like right now. I've got Misawa vs. Kawada going long and delivering another classic, and I want Akiyama vs. Taue to be a legitimate win for Jun, not a flukish sub 5:00 ordeal, so there's no need for these guys to be out there too long. Williams is over Hansen in the pecking order, and I don't want any issues between these two that would lead to another bad singles match down the road. Just let Doc win it, and have it be mercifully short. I wouldn't air anything more than maybe the last minute anyway.
3/31 Osaka-Osaka Buen Arena
Kobashi (9) over Taue (6)
*The drew in 1996 and Taue won the other two*
I don't have Kobashi going to the finals this year, so I have to keep him looking as strong as possible.
Misawa (5) over Izumida (0)
If Misawa breaks a sweat then he was out there too long in this one.
Akiyama (9) over Omori (2)
*Jun won the last three years*
4/1 Okayama-Okayama Budokan (martial arts hall) NTV taping
Misawa (6) draw Kobashi (10)
*Misawa won in 1995 & 1996. Kobashi won in 1997. They had a 30:00 draw in the first portion of the triangular Carny final*
After all these years of Misawa and Kobashi having top notch matches, how could Baba book Kobashi's first win on a night that the cameras weren't rolling? A great piece of history wasted because it was only seen by a whopping 3,200, which at least was a sellout, in Nagaoka. After all these years of Misawa and Kobashi having top not matches, why would you possibly book a result that people have packed Budokan to see, and would continue to, on a small house show? Is there anybody who likes AJ that hasn't read that these surprise wins over Misawa on the small shows won't lead to a business upturn? Kobashi is playing even with the top natives, and this is making Misawa really look like he's not going to make it to the final. There's nothing else on this taping that we need to see, so may as well let these guys take up the whole show. If one of these two are going to challenge Kawada on the 5/99 Dome show, I'd have them do a match in early 1999 with the winner getting the gig. Of course, the better option is still to make the winner of next years Carny face Kawada on next years Dome show.
Kawada (11) over Ace (4)
*Kawada won the last three*
I wouldn't even consider Ace's first over Kawada for a millisecond. Both men have other issues, and Ace just got his title shot on 2/28, so he's not in the title picture for a long time.
Albright (4) over Omori (2)
*Albright won the last two years*
Kimala (2) over Izumida (0)
For reasons unknown to anyone outside the Baba household, Kimala actually finished with 6 points last year. These two are partners, but Kimala is the #1 on the team, so he gets the nod in the battle of the useless. Short, really short, really really short.
4/4 Kanazawaa-Kanazawa Prefecture Sangyu (industry) Tenjikan (exhibition hall)
Kawada (12) draw Williams (9)
*Williams won in 1996. They had a draw last year*
These two have been on about the same level push wise for a long time, both trailing Misawa. Williams doesn't need a win over Kawada to set up his, hopefully last, challenge for the TC. As long as they are still "equal," that means either man could win on a given day. However, if I had Vader then I would forget about the Albright title match, putting Stan in that slot. That way I could run Kawada vs. Williams in July at Budokan, which at this point is more intriguing and a better draw than Kawada vs. Stan. I have Doc's title shot penciled in for the first of two title defenses in October. I could be persuaded to alter that if the secondary show was in Fukuoka again because I would worry about running Doc out for a title match two years in a row in the same building when that building isn't named Budokan Hall. I'd especially worry after seeing how not over Doc was when he had his title match on 10/11/97 against Misawa. His old tactics just don't work anymore, but he doesn't seem to care. The only thing that he did that got any heat againnst Misawa was his many attempts to drop Misawa on his head, although that's partly the fault of the promotions better wrestlers. This isn't being taped, so if it falls flat like Misawa vs. Doc last March not that many people will know it.
Taue (8) over Albright (4)
*Taue won the last two years*
Ace (6) over Kimala (2)
*Ace won last year*
Wolf (4) over Omori (2)
Wolf looks to have a future in the company and he has actually shown improvement (or rather there's no where to go but up), so he gets the nod.
4/6 Fukuoka-Kokura Hoku (north) Gymnasium
Misawa (7) draw Ace (5)
*Misawa won in 1995. They drew in 1996. Ace had a chance to keep Misawa out of the finals last year if he could hold him to a 30:00 draw on the last night, but Misawa took him out with the Tiger driver at 26:27*
I can't see having Ace job here after the Babas booked his 2/28/97 title match so ridiculously long. They tried to get Ace over as a top guy who was going to throw everything he could think of at Misawa to win the title and who wasn't going to give up. I wouldn't have booked their title match more than 22 minutes since it was Ace's first challenge, and more importantly it was rather obviously going to be detrimental to the match quality. Now that the Babas screwed that up, and made Misawa have to pull out the sacred Tiger driver'91 to beat him, he may as well take Misawa the distance here. If you continue to push Ace hard like they did in the Misawa match, it has a chance of working. If you go back to Ace who can't beat anyone other than Albright then you just risked speeding up the process of Misawa breaking down for nothing.
Albright (6) over Akiyama (9)
*Albright won the last two years*
I don't know a good reason why Jun can't beat this guy. Either release Gary or keep him somewhat strong, and the Babas have stuck us with him for now, so I guess it's the latter. I think Gary still has some value if he puts over the shooters, and I'd like to bring Kakihara and Ikeda up, so keeping Gary with some credibility right now makes sense. Also, Wolf isn't ready to take over as Doc's #2, so, with the few teams AJ has, you can't have them looking too weak. I'm giving Misawa & Akiyama the tag titles, and the last time they had them they dropped them to Doc & Gary, so that's a good reason for those two to stay strong long enough to get a shot at the tag titles.
Kawada (14) over Kimala (2)
*Kawada won last year*
Hansen (8) over Wolf (4)
Williams (11) over Omori (2)
*Williams won the last two years*
4/7 Kumamoto-Suizen (waterfront) Tera (temple) Kumamoto City Gymnasium
Hansen (10) over Kawada (14)
*Kawada won in 1995. The drew in 1996. Hansen won in 1997*
Hansen fires up after his big lower level losses and takes out Kawada. This sets him up as one of Kawada's early challenges. Why would I possibly want to bring Hansen back into the TC mix after he hasn't had a title shot since September 1996? I didn't say I wanted to see the match, and certainly 9/96 was a fitting swansong to a great career, but Kawada certainly has issues with Hansen. Hansen brutalized him for years. Hansen is the guy who, on 3/4/95, ended Kawada's only TC reign. Their last singles meeting was on 3/23/97 during the Carny, and Hansen won. Hansen just pinned Kawada in a tag match on the Excite series. Again, there aren't any prospects coming up the pipe in AJ, so I'm playing stall-grapple. 1998 Hansen is awful, but he's a legend and a win over him will help solidify Kawada's reign. It's too hard to keep Stan strong when he can't work a singles match and his partner, Bobby Duncum Jr., is so bad and lowly ranked. Thus, you have to run him out there very soon after the Carnival if you are going to try this experiment at all. I would run their title match in July at Budokan. It needs a lot of support and I hope the fans can get into seeing one last title shot for Stan because he doesn't have heat like he once did.
Misawa (9) over Omori (2)
*Misawa won the last 3 years*
Kobashi (12) over Kimala (2)
*Kobashi won last year*
Williams (13) over Wolf (4)
4/8 Nagasaki-Sasebo ekimae (in front of the station) Swan Sports
Misawa (11) over Hansen (10)
*They drew in 1995. Hansen won in 1996. Misawa won in 1997*
Stan never got a title shot at Misawa this time, and I'm not figuring he will next time, so I see no reason that Misawa shouldn't knock him out like the rest.
Taue (10) over Omori (2)
*Taue won all three years*
Akiyama (11) over Izumida (0)
Ace (9) over Albright (6)
*They drew in 1996. Ace won in 1997*
Ace should have finished ahead of Gary last year.
Wolf (6) over Kimala (2)
4/11 Tokyo-Tokyo Korakuen Hall Fighting TV Samurai taping
Kobashi (14) over Akiyama (11)
*Kobashi won all three years*
I'm giving Akiyama more than enough this Carny, while still preserving his important firsts, wins over Misawa, Kawada, Kobashi, and Williams. Akiyama proved he can pin Kobashi in tag on 2/20 in Hiroshima. I don't think he needs to prove he can do it in singles this soon.
Taue (12) over Izumida (0)
Albright (8) over Williams (13)
*The drew in 1996, which was their first ever meeting. Albright won last year*
We don't need to be concerned with Doc leaving for the WWF this year, I just need someone to drag his total down.
Ace (11) over Wolf (6)
4/12 Miyagi-Miyagi Prefecture Sports Center Miyagi Television
Taue (14) over Kawada (14)
*Taue won in 1995. They drew in 1996. Kawada won in 1997*
Between Taue winning this match and going to the finals, this sets him up as a strong challenger for Kawada.
Misawa (13) over Williams (13)
*Williams won the last two years*
I don't see a future for Misawa vs. Williams matches right now. We didn't see a business turnaround when Williams got the surprise win over Misawa last year, nor any heat for their title match despite Williams having once again proven he can beat Misawa. You can make better use of Misawa's jobs than this.
Akiyama (13) over Ace (11)
*Ace won in 1996. Akiyama won in 1997*
This match is the determining factor in which of these two finish higher in the standings. Akiyama is far more important in the grand scheme of things, so he gets the nod.
Hansen (12) over Kimala (2)
*Hansen won in 1997*
4/13 Iwate-Ichinoseki Center Gymnasium
Taue (15) draw Hansen (13)
*Taue won in 1995 and 1996. Hansen won in 1997, which was Taue's last match and he wound up one point short of making the finals*
This might be really awful, but I need it to finish with the desired point totals. The three matches under this should all be short, so something has to take up some time. Luckily none of this is being taped.
Misawa (15) over Kimala (2)
*Misawa won in 1997*
Akiyama (15) over Wolf (6)
Ace (13) over Izumida (0)
4/14 Fukushima-Aizu Wakimatsu Gymnasium
Kobashi (16) over Williams (13)
*Kobashi won in 1996, which was his first singles win over Williams. Williams won in 1997*
Kobashi beating Williams in singles is still a big deal for him, though not nearly as big a deal as when they wasted that first on a small show in the 1996 Carny. Even though Kobashi's falling just shy of the finals, he defeated the top gaijin and the native that's one-notch ahead of him. In addition, he played even with the top two natives.
Kawada (16) over Wolf (6)
Omori (4) over Kimala (2)
*Omori won in 1997*
Albright (10) over Izumida (0)
4/15 Gunma-Ota Citizens' Gymnasium
Albright (12) over Kawada (16)
*Albright won in 1996. Kawada won in 1997*
Kawada comes into this match knowing he needs at least a draw to stay alive. Gary has three singles wins over Kawada. He just pinned him in February. If Kawada wins this match, then that pin in February only served the purpose of strengthening Gary for jobs in the Carny. Having him spoil Kawada's chances at going to the finals, where he possible could have repeated in the Carny like he just did in the tag league is ample reason for us to see Gary get one last title shot. As lousy as Gary may be, Kawada has a big issue to settle with him and is the one man who might be able to elevate Gary to a level acceptable for a Triple Crown match. Gary would be Kawada's first challenger because that way I don't have to keep him hot long and their issue is fresh in people's minds. Since June Budokan traditionally has a great main event, I'd roll Gary out in May Sapporo and let Misawa & Akiyama vs. Kawada & Taue headline the June Budokan with Misawa & Akiyama taking the titles when Akiyama pinned Taue. I don't want to give Misawa his retribution yet since he's not challenging Taue that soon, and this allows Akiyama to not be hurt when he puts over Taue on the September Budokan show to set up Taue's title shot in October. This still gives Misawa a roll where he can still headline pretty much all the #2 shows on the tour with a tag title defense while Kawada is the champ headlining the top show.
Taue (17) over Ace (13)
*Taue won all three years*
Ace needed a win over one of the top four, and after changing my mind several times, I chose Kobashi. I'm willing to give Taue to Ace as well, but doing it now wouldn't lead anywhere. The time for Ace's win over Taue was last October. Ace has issues with the gaijins now, so Taue can be held off a long time. Perhaps it could occur way down the road leading to an Ace title shot.
Misawa (17) over Wolf (6)
Williams (15) over Izumida (0)
4/16 Koyama Yuenchi American Village
Hansen (15) over Kobashi (16)
*They drew in 1995. Kobashi won in 1996 & 1997*
All Kobashi needs is a draw to make it another triangular affair. He's beaten Stan the last two years, but this time Stan holds him off, leaving us with the image that Stan isn't washed up because he's still able to beat Kawada and Kobashi and Taue can't pin him either.
Akiyama (16) draw Williams (16)
*Williams won in 1996 & 1997*
If Jun can get his first over Doc, he's making it to the finals. If Doc can beat Jun as usual, he's in there. A big match, but a lot bigger for Jun since Williams has already been to the finals twice. I'd have Doc pounding the hell out of Jun and dropping him on his head several times, but Jun finding it in him to kick out of everything Doc can throw at him. This wouldn't show that Doc has slipped, and it wouldn't show that Jun was at the highest level. It would show that Jun had a ton of heart and he was just beginning to come into his own. Both men are disappointed the other kept them out of the final, which sounds like a good reason for a (shorter) rematch.
Ace (15) over Omori (4)
*Ace won all three years*
Albright (14) over Wolf (6)
I wouldn't mind giving the Wolf his bone here, but I can't leave the lasting memory that Albright, the guy I'm rolling out as Kawada's first challenger, can't even beat Wolf. You could do that if you switched this match to 4/15 and instead had Albright's win over Kawada here, so the Kawada win would erase the Wolf loss.
My Final 1998 Champion Carnival Standings
Rank Worker wins losses draws points
1 Misawa 7 2 3 17
1 Taue 8 3 1 17
3 Kawada 7 3 2 16
3 Williams 7 3 2 16
3 Kobashi 7 3 2 16
3 Akiyama 7 3 2 16
7 Hansen 7 4 1 15
7 Ace 7 4 1 15
9 Albright 7 5 0 14
10 Wolf 3 9 0 6
11 Omori 2 10 0 4
12 Kimala 1 11 0 2
13 Izumida 0 12 0 0
Actual Final 1997 Champion Carnival Standings
rank worker wins losses draws points
1 Kawada 8 1 3 19
1 Kobashi 9 2 1 19
1 Misawa 9 2 1 19
4 Taue 9 3 0 18
4 Hansen 8 2 2 18
4 Williams 8 2 2 18
7 Albright 6 6 0 12
8 Ace 5 7 0 10
9 Akiyama 4 7 1 9
10 Kimala 3 9 0 6
11 Honda 2 10 0 4
11 Omori 2 10 0 4
13 Izumida 0 12 0 0
4/18 Tokyo-Tokyo Nippon Budokan Hall NTV taping
Champion Carnival Final: Misawa over Taue
Well, this final isn't original (how many things in AJ these days are?) because it's a repeat of 1995 with the same result. Taue needs to at least be in the mix in the final more than Kawada or Kobashi. The American's are too shot to consider putting here, and Jun got enough from me already. You might say this match up is a letdown for the final, but their 1995 final was one of the best Carnival finals, and I don't see any reason this couldn't be ****1/2.
If you've made it this far, you're probably either wondering where we go from here or if I've lost my mind. I'm just going to lay out the basics of what's left for these guys and the direction they are going in. Anything mentioned here, with a few exceptions, would basically take place at one of their two top arenas, Budokan Hall or Sapporo Nakajima Sports Center. A real booker tries to tell a story in every match that sees the light of day, see Keiichi Yamada, so you can't lay out credible complete plans for the future without discussing all the little things. I don't know if it's even worth me mentioning what I would do with outsiders because the Babas haven't committed to stealing them (which would allow you to push them a lot harder) or putting them into a position where they can draw. Just look at the Dome show, they wasted the outsiders that have or potentially could have some use to the company, Vader, The Gladiator, Hayabusa, Shinzaki, & Kakihara. Everyone one of those guys other than Vader has already been relegated to meaningless undercarder, so you lost your window of opportunity in bringing them in as a star. The other outsiders on the Dome show are not only being used in a meaningless role, but they are usless in the grand scheme of things to begin with. I don't have a problem with the role Jado & Gedo are in on the Dome show since I suspect they will be doing the job, but this match should be taking place at Korakuen Hall, and with the countless quality juniors on the indy scene, why bring in guys who are neither young nor good?. Using The Headhunters to put over Wolf & Smith later in the year would suit me, but it would certainly be a bad match. You have Takayama, who already outlived his usefulness to AJ by a year, but they still love his height. You have Hideki Hosaka, who is a sloppy and bad brawler along with Tetsuhiro Kuroda, who is probably even worse overall but at least has potential. The only outsider who is being use well is Daisuke Ikeda, who should have a pretty good match with Maunakea Mossman.
Misawa: Drops the title to Kawada at the Dome. Wins the tag titles. Use him in singles matches to draw on big shows that look weak, and have him win them all, as always, unless a job is needed to set up a challenger for Kawada. Try to limit him in singles though because this period should be used to let him heal his body. Drops tag titles to Kobashi & Ace. Win Real World Tag Team League. Win Tag titles from Kobashi & Ace. Kawada attempts to defend the title against Misawa for the first time, either in May or June of 1999. Issue with Kobashi since they drew, possibly a singles match for a shot at the Dome. Jun & Ace are still looking to get a victory over him, but I wouldn't run those with him obviously sending them back until 1999. I'd consider running a Misawa vs. Hase match because I want to see it. I'm only doing it though if Hase is properly built up so they can fill the arena with this Dream Match. Eventually Misawa obviously gets the title back and has another big run, as well as possibly as short run. Going so long with Kawada is partly an attempt to see how big of a draw Kawada can be, but also an attempt to not burn out everything there is for Misawa. I might have Misawa win the Carny again next year, but only if it was needed to reestablish Misawa as a force at the box office.
Taue: Drops tag titles. One problem with my plan is that Taue's title shot is coming a little late. He'll probably need a big singles win over the summer to make up for that, which would have to be either revenge over Kobashi or Akiyama. I think Jun can withstand it more since he would have a singles pin and a tag pin over him in the recent months. TC shot in October Budokan. Lose Real World Tag Team League Final. Revenge on Williams is a possibility, but not a priority. Regain tag titles before Kawada loses the TC. Kawada & Taue need a credible #3, especially since Kawada is in singles on all the Budokan shows.
Kawada: Wins TC at Dome. Drops tag titles. Defenses against Gary (5/98), Stan (7/98), Hase (9/98), Williams (10/98) and Taue (10/98). Loses Real World Tag Team League Final. Defenses against Ace (1/99), Akiyama (3/99), Kobashi, & Misawa in 1999. Regains Double Tag Titles before he drops the Triple Crown. Drops the title to either Kobashi, Misawa, or Vader. If I had Vader then I would be willing to forget about the questionable title defenses early in Kawada's reign and make this all look a little more appealing.
Williams: The first shot at Misawa & Akiyama's tag titles, a loss of course. I would mainly use him in 6 mans, using Smith to carry the load. I don't care if they go over every night on the small shows to keep Doc looking strong because I want to get key jobs to Akiyama and Ace out of him after he jobs to Kawada in his TC shot. After those three jobs I don't want to have to use him as a player anymore, but I need replacement. Wolf & Smith get their first win over Doc & Gary over the fall and Hayabusa & Shinzaki get theirs in the Real World Tag Team League. I have strong doubts that Wolf & Smith can ever be seen as credible Double Tag title challengers, so they can become Doc's #2 & #3 in 1999. The other option for Doc's #2 would be Maunakea Mossman. He is further ahead of Wolf right now, and has tons more potential, so he would probably be more ready for the role. Mossman is from Hawaii, so he is a foreigner, but he's someone that Japanese fans already like and hopefully will want to pay to see in TC matches some day. Thus, I'd rather not have to put him with the foreigners with the "bad attitudes" that are as close to heels as you get in AJ. I'd prefer to sign The Gladiator and use him with Williams because they the same kind of ass kicking attitude. Gladiator could start as Doc's #2 in January 1999, and as long as he was on the team I don't care if they wreck the unimportant people in short matches. He would certainly need bump boys and people to make him look good, but as long as he dominated a real short match, he could probably also look"impressive" against the lousy workers. I would have him work with the top guys in the six mans on the small shows to see what he can do with them, but on the shows that people would see he would be in singles or tag. Typically I want the guys to come in as stars, but Baba has already killed that, so what seems to be left is working Gladiator up slowly and seeing if he can indeed fit in. In singles, he could start off near the bottom and basically take out every guy in the promotion in five minute type matches until he got up to the five top natives and Williams and Ace. At that point, I would see how over he was and how well the stars could work with him in six men before I decided which of the top guys I wanted him to either challenge or take out. I think I'd prefer he just took Doc out because I really can't see him physically lasting much longer. Gladiator's psychology, selling, and matwork are certainly very questionable by AJ standards, but he can be a monster and he has the athleticism and dangerous spots that could work in AJ, especially considering this new head drop era. I think he could get over and draw against the top guys if he was established right. Bringing him in with guys who aren't good and don't matter like Hideki Hosaka and Tetsuhiro Kuroda is not going to get the job done though. He probably has more potential to be the top gaijin than Ace, especially since his offense looks a lot better, but the concern with Gladiator is that there will be an injury in his match. In any case, given the options, Vader, Gladiator, and Ace would be the three I'd like to have as my top gaijins from after the 1999 Carny on.
Kobashi: It's hard to say right now because it depends on Vader. Obviously, if possible, I want to run Vader/Kobashi in singles. Obviously, if possibly I want Vader winning that and moving on to win the titles. If I only had Vader on a few occasions, I would have Vader pin Kobashi in the tag match to set up Kobashi avenging it in singles. This revenge would come on a major show such as next year's Dome show or as a very second choice the October Anniversary show. If Vader was "available" then I'd have Vader pin Ace at the Dome. I'd give Vader wins over Jun and Kobashi to set him up for the 5/99 Dome show, where he would take the title and have a year-long run, culminating with Misawa regaining the title from him at the 5/2000 Dome show. I would have Kobashi sit out the entire summer, or longer if necessary, to heal up before he can't stand anymore. Kobashi definitely needs to be a major player in the tag division, trading the titles back and forth with Misawa & Akiyama. Hase, Jun, Taue, and possibly Hayabusa are all gunning for him in singles. I would give Hase a partner, preferably Kakihara or Tanaka, an immediately have them get a win over Kobashi and Ace in the May Sapporo show. Then I would give Hase the win over Kobashi at July Budokan to revenge his loss last year and set him up for the September TC shot. I think coming off the win at the Dome over Jun, Hase would have more steam and an actual issue with Kobashi, so it could be a very strong semifinal. Maybe I just like Hase too much, but he was always one of New Japan's most popular performers, and I think he could have been a draw if NJ pushed him harder. For instance, if they didn't have him put over everyone and their mother after making him a star in the 1993 G-1 Climax. Revenge over Hansen is out there for Kobashi, but it's not a priority. His first singles match against Hayabusa is out there, but it loses its intrigue the longer Hayabusa is used as a meaningless undercarder. Unless you give Hayabusa some wins in AJ over someone that means something, which I think you could at least do in tag, the drawing power of this match withers away. I would most likely have him win the 1999 Carny. One to two TC shots in 1999. I'm tempted to give Kobashi his first win over Kawada at the 10/99 Budokan Anniversary show. I just don't know if you can keep the belt of Misawa that much longer. I might have Kobashi's reign be another short one though, with Misawa ending it after Kobashi had a defense to two. If so, I could have Jun win the 2000 Carny, defeating Kobashi in the final. This would set up Kobashi& Jun as two rivals, who that are on close to an even level (Kobashi higher obviously), that are both gunning to take Misawa out and dominate the company.
Akiyama: There's a definite problem with the direction you can take with Jun. If you give away his firsts, then you have nothing left that will draw and nothing left for him to work for except the title and winning that isn't really a realistic goal this year or next. If you give him everybody but Misawa, Kawada, & Kobashi, you are elevating him in standing. However, you are putting him in a position to have to carry matches with lesser workers. Jun is a great worker, but so far he's mainly excelled in tag. He has yet to be carried that intelligently in singles, so it's certainly questionable whether he can suddenly carry guys like Williams or guys from other promotions such as Hayabusa. He could possibly fall flat or not get over as much as you would like due to being inability to cover or make up for his opponents weaknesses. I think you can try to do a mix of both. Build him up with wins against outsiders and the big first against Williams to give him momentum going into his big losses, such as the TC match with Kawada. It's important that any big win you give Jun come in a major arena. A win in Hiroshima means little, while a win at Budokan in front of 16,300 has a lot of impact. I'm giving Jun momentum coming out of the Carny, so I think you can have him put over Hase at the Dome without a big problem. Hase will carry that match, and he's certainly carried workers a hell of a lot worse than Jun to impressive matches in that building, so match quality is not a concern. Giving Jun the win over Hase makes no sense to me because you need Hase to become a player because he is a star and can still work at a really high level. Jun can get that win back in 1999 or 2000. Winning the tag titles in June will help bring Jun back up, especially since that match should be a classic. Jun needs peers, and the last 3 years have shown that Omori isn't the answer. Hayabusa, Masato Tanaka, & Kakihara should all be gunning for him if they are available. If I could sign these guys I would allow them to have an actual series because these guys could become good enough to get TC shots (Tanaka is probably at that level now). Jun has to carry all of them right now, but if you can get these guys working with Jun in tag so they become familiar with one another, the matches could be good at the least. I would try running his match with Hayabusa at Budokan in July since, even though it has by far the least potential match quality wise, that would be a somewhat intesting first on the undercard of the weak Kawada vs. Stan. Win over Williams sometime after Williams gets his title shot with Kawada. This must take place in Budokan Hall, so your options are either October or March 1997, but I prefer October because I want him challenging for the title in March. Wins Real World Tag Team league pinning Kawada. Title match with Kawada in February/March 1999 at Budokan. Akiyama comes in here as hot as he can possibly be with wins over Doc, tag titles, pin over Kawada in tag league, etc. This is the one match at Budokan that I want Akiyama to not look good in. I'm not talking in a workrate sense, but in a Jun comes in cocky and Kawada punks the hell out of him to "deflate his ego," and Jun takes it for about 25 minutes, doing his best to mount comebacks, to show his fighting spirit. Then he has to recover with a strong Carny showing, possibly going to the final, and the next time he challenges Kawada in a match he can have a stronger showing. Possibly his first win over Kobashi, if so it would be done as one of the things to set up the title match with Kawada. Definitely not his first win over Misawa, but he needs chances to try for it in 1999. Revenge over Gary is still out there, but I'd rather use Gary to bring the lower level shooters like Kakihara (this could help set up the singles with Jun) & Ikeda up in standing since they can actually work and I want to use Kakihara as Hase's #2 and Ikeda as their #3 even if he is small.
Hansen: Jobs to Kawada in his TC shot in July. This needs a really strong undercard to legitimately sellout. Maintains some push only if he's made Vader's "regular" partner, otherwise he's weeded out. Another loss to Ace later in the year. Kobashi gets his revenge. Withers in 1999 Carny. Comedy match or retirement after that. On next year's Dome show I would have either Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, or Hansen retire because they are going to need something to pack that building.
Ace: Yeah, I realize saying he was the best American was the biggest misjudgement of talent I've made in this decade. However, even if he's sloppy and not imposing, I still don't see many options other than trying to make him your top gaijin. He has to take people out, and do it on big shows. He's at least shown that he add some dangerous moves to his arsenal like the Ace Crusher off the apron. Now we need to force him to get in better shape. I don't have him in the title picture not just because he had the last shot, but because I want to make him a legitimate challenger before he is put in that position again. He can try to prove he's above Stan, eventually taking him out in a short match at the October Budokan Hall show. Defeats Doc in March 1999 at Budokan. If he's working out, his next big win would be against Taue to set up his next title shot. Tries his hand with Misawa, but is sent back once again. Mainly a lot of tag work, which is what he's much better at anyway, with him and Kobashi staying on the level of Misawa & Akiyama and Kawada & Taue and getting a run with the belts. By the end of the 1999 Carny he has either ascended to the top of the gaijin ladder or shown that he's incapable of doing so.
Albright: First shot at Kawada's TC, a 10-15 minute match is doable. First shot at Misawa & Akiyama's tag titles. After that, we finally weed this guy out. Jobs to Jun, Wolf, and Mossman in singles and tag, and to the outsiders like Kakihara & Ikeda in singles. In addition, jobs to Hayabusa & Shinzaki in tag, and Kakihara and Ikeda in tag if we can ink them. I would make Kakihara the first job of the bunch because they will start to lose impact pretty fast as I'm killing him off. Disappointing finish in Real World Tag Team League where he does every job for Doc. Williams gets a real partner and Gary is waived for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.
Wolf: Keep bringing him along slowly in singles, just the win over Gary. At least one defenses of the All Asian Tag Titles per tour. Let them send back teams of outsiders in these. Their main feud needs to be with Hayabusa & Shinzaki over the AA titles, losing them, but taking them back later. They can start with taking out Jado & Gedo, but can we find some better opposition after that? The Headhunters don't qualify, but it would have some meaning if they put over Wolf & Smith. Hisakatsu Oya would be a solid undercard guy that could be used against Wolf & Smith. Masahito Kakihara & Daisuke Ikeda could challenge when Hase wasn't around. Win over Doc & Gary in tag. Depending on how he progresses, hopefully Wolf can take over as Doc's #2 in early 1999. I'd like to get Smith some push becuase he's the best working American in AJ, but I don't think you can make him that credible. Certainly it's already been established that he could never be TC challenger credible. He should at least be pushed enough that he can be in the Carny and put people over because it would improve the match quality and cover some of the stiffs flaws.
Omori: Sink or swim time. Stick him in as a #3 with either Misawa & Akiyama or Kawada & Taue and see what happens. Force him to log a lot of ring time in that setting and take a beating. Either he improves or he falls so low he's not even on the level of a Carny jobber next year. If he shows anything, he can get a partner who's name isn't Tamon Honda and challenge for the AA titles.
Kimala: Either comedy match or release.
Izumida: See Kimala.
Actual Champion Carnival League Series Results So Far
3/21/97 Tokyo Korakuen Hall (2,100 sellout) Notable Match Results:
Champion Carnival League Bout: Taue (nodowa-otoshi 9:41) Giant Kimala
Champion Carnival League Bout: Kawada (jumping high kick 3:59) Izumida
Williams & Wolf & Smith (Wolf turbo drop 2 on Asako 20:15) Misawa & Akiyama & Asako
Champion Carnival League Bout: Hansen (western lariat 10:54) Albright
Champion Carnival League Bout: Kobashi drew Ace 30:00
3/22 Tokyo-Korakuen Hall (2,100 sellout) Fighting TV Samurai taping Full Results:
Shiga (swandiving bodypress 8:14) Takesi Morishima
Izumida & Mossman & Asako (Izumida diving headbutt Inoue 14:08) Ogawa & Kikuchi& Inoue
Kimala & Fuchi & Eigen (Kimala body press Momota 14:08) Baba & Kimura & Momota
Williams & Albright (Albright powerbomb Smith 14:47) Ace & Smith
Champion Carnival League Bout: Kobashi (3) (lariat 9:09) Wolf (0)
Champion Carnival League Bout: Kawada (4) (stretch plum 11:52) Omori (0)
Champion Carnival League Bout: Akiyama (2) (uranage 15:01) Hansen (2)
*Jun's first singles pin against Stan*
Champion Carnival League Bout: Taue (4) (jumping high kick 15:39) Misawa (0)
3/25 Kanagawa-Odawara Arena (2,500 sellout) Full Match Results:
Kanemaru (pin 6:34) Makato Hashi
*Hashi's debut match*
Champion Carnival League Bout: Wolf (2) (turbo drop 2 12:00) Izumida (0)
Baba & Kimura & Momota (Kimura lariat Eigen 15:24) Fuchi & Eigen & Kikuchi
Williams & Mossman (Williams Doctor bomb Inoue 13:46) Omori & Inoue
Champion Carnival League Bout: Akiyama (4) (exploder 10:43) Kimala (0)
Champion Carnival League Bout: Hansen (4) (lariat 10:18) Ace (1)
Champion Carnival League Bout: Misawa (2) (Elbowbutt) Albright (0)
Kawada & Taue & Ogawa (Ogawa backdrop hold Asako 21:42) Kobashi & Smith & Asako