Get into Champion Carnival 2024

All Japan’s most popular tournament begins this month featuring all of AJPW’s biggest heavyweights and a few new faces.

Starting on the 18th of April, the tournament spans over 11 days of competition, with the finals being held on the 12 May in the Yokohama BUTANI. It’s the perfect time to get into AJPW.

The Blocks


Left to right: Ren Ayabe, Hokuto Omori, Davey Boy Smith Jr, Kento Miyahara, Shotaro Ashino, Yuma Aoyagi, Kurushio TOKYO Japan, Cyrus.

Ren Ayabe

On the 30th of March, after the battle royal Ayabe made a plea to Kento Miyahara: let him join All Japan. Kento surprisingly was thinking along the same lines. He sent Ryo Inoue to the back to retrieve something and a minute later Kento was helping the 200cm Ayabe into his All Japan tracksuit jacket and just like that Ayabe was an AJPW wrestler.

All Japan fans are familiar with Ayabe as he has been appearing in the company since 2022 but this will be his first time in the Champion Carnival where he is looking to impress.

Hokuto Omori

Omori had the run of his career late last year in the Real World Tag League. Teaming with then Triple Crown Champion Katsuhiko Nakajima, he slowly gained his respect and even ended up getting the winning pin for his team in what can be called his biggest win of his career. Omori enters his second Champion Carnival without Nakajima by his side or anyone but not for a lack of trying as he has been trying to recruit wrestlers to join the Hokuto Army. No one has joined so far.

Davey Boy Smith Jr

A familiar face to New Japan as a member of the now disbanded faction Suzuki-Gun, Davey Boy made his way to All Japan at the end of last year. His original debut for the company in the 2020 Carnival was cancelled due to covid but almost four years later he finally made it to an AJPW ring. Wrestling the last match of 2023 and the first two of 2024 in tag matches he teamed up with Kento Miyahara, former Suzuki-gun leader Minoru Suzuki and others. Even though his first tour was short, fans wanted more Davey Boy and they will get it as he competes in his first Champion Carnival.

Kento Miyahara 

The ace of the company is always a favourite going into any tournament he is in and this one is no different. Despite excelling in other tournaments, having won Real World Tag League four times and Royal Road tournament twice, he has only won the Champion Carnival once in 2019. He has been absent from the Carnival finals for two years now and with the new era pushing forward Kento must go into the tournament showing there is a reason why he is the ace.

Shotaro Ashino

Ashino had the highest of highs followed by the lowest of lows in last year’s Carnival. Defeating T-Hawk in last year’s finals, he was on top with a Triple Crown Championship challenge in his future against then champion Yuji Nagata. Unfortunately, the next day it was announced he would be sidelined with a fractured arm. Fully healed now, Ashino is back in the hunt for All Japan gold with the Triple Crown at the top of his list.

Yuma Aoyagi

Currently holding the record for the youngest Champion Carnival winner, Yuma had hopes of going three in a row after his first win in 2022. He might not have won the Carnival last year but he did have his first taste of Triple Crown gold and even became a five crown champion holding the World Tag Team Titles at the same time. Making major steps in his career last year has put Yuma in the favourite category for any tournament in the future.

Kurushio TOKYO Japan

The wrestler with the longest entrance found his way back to All Japan after being let go from WWE in 2023. Fans were more than happy to see him back to clap and dance along to his theme. He has made an impact in All Japan since returning last year, forming an extremely popular team with Seigo Tachibana and competing with him in Real World Tag League. He is set for a showdown with his new tag team partner Ashino in the Carnival with both ending up in the same block.  


Bursting onto the All Japan scene in July 2022, he had the Korakuen Hall crowd in the palm of his hands instantly. Fans were eager for more Cyrus and they got what they wanted. So far he competed in 2022’s Royal Road tournament and Real World Tag League with partner Shuji Ishikawa and then was back the next year for Champion Carnival and another run in the tag league, this time with Ryan Davidson as partner. 


Left to right: Lord Crewe, Hideki Suzuki, Rei Saito, Yuma Anzai, Suwama, Ryuki Honda, Jun Saito, Hartley Jackson.

Lord Crewe

The newcomer not only to AJPW but Japan is looking to make an impact. The freelancer from Cincinnati has been wrestling for almost 10 years starting in 2015 appearing in companies such as AEW, NWA and various promotions mostly in and around Ohio. Even though he might be unknown to the All Japan fans he is up for the challenge saying on twitter he is training even harder for his All Japan tour and that motivation is an understatement.

Hideki Suzuki

Suzuki’s time in All Japan can be described as strange. He spent the first couple of matches targeting Anzai before moving to form a bizarre tag team with Suwama for Real World Tag League. The two get along one day before fighting like children the next. They did make a successful team though, ending the tournament with ten points and even capturing the World Tag Team Titles. He won’t have Suwama by his side this time but will end up going one on one. Now it’s a wait to see which Suzuki shows up for the Carnival: the one that goes for the kill or the one who plays around. 

Rei Saito

It looked like Rei’s Carnival for 2024 was over when he dislocated his shoulder on the 9th of February. His brother Jun took his spot in Rei’s Triple Crown challenge and the brothers had to give up the World Tag Team Title and G-INFINITY Championship. It seemed like he would be out for a while. But on the 9th March he announced to the crowd he will be making a comeback at Ota Ward and wants in the Carnival. A couple of days later he was announced for B Block alongside his brother. 

Yuma Anzai

The super rookie just had the biggest win of his life on the 30th of March. He dethroned Katsuhiko Nakajima as Triple Crown Champion and at the same time took over Kento’s status as youngest Triple Crown Champion. He now faces his toughest challenge with a huge target painted on his back.

He is the second youngest competitor in this year’s Carnival and the one with the least experience. He has a huge tournament ahead of him as he must prove he deserves to have the Triple Crown around his waist.


When it comes to B Block, Suwama definitely has experience on his side. Not only did he win the Carnival in 2008, but this will be his 19th appearance. The next person with the most appearances in B Block is Honda with 3. Suwama may be heading into the Champion Carnival as the oldest competitor but he has always brought his best.

Suwama is always a good bet to go far in any tournament so you can never count him out.

Ryuki Honda

Honda’s stock has been on a gradual rise ever since he graduated from rookie phase but really exploded last year. Making the finals of the Royal Road tournament to form the tag team New Period with Yuma Anzai, Honda has positioned himself on the forefront of the new era. He has already beaten the big three in Suwama, Kento and Yuma Aoyagi. With youth, confidence and an amazing ring presence a singles belt and big tournament win is in Honda’s future very soon . 

Jun Saito

Just like his brother Rei, Jun had a breakout Carnival last year. Going it alone allowed the brothers to show their separate personalities. He came across as the cool and calm Saito. Running his hand over his hair has become a signature move while getting Jake Lee like cheers when he takes his hair out of its ponytail. Winning tag belts in both AJPW and GLEAT, staring in a YouTube series, his star, along with his brother, has rising to heights that seemed out of reach at one point.

Hartley Jackson

Hailing from Perth, Australia, Jackson has been part of the Japanese scene for years now. Primarily competing in Zero-1 with appearances in GLEAT, DDT and Ganbare Pro, he made his first appearance in All Japan late last year. With his looks, presence and size he is a great fit for All Japan and someone who could get some upset wins in the Carnival. Expect some hard hitting matches with the other wrestlers in B Block 


To watch All Japan Pro Wrestling and Champions Carnival, you can do so at AJPW.TV for 900 Yen a month.

A Block
Yuma Aoyagi vs Davey Boy Smith Jr
Kento Miyahara vs Ren Ayabe
Shotaro Ashino vs Hokuto Omori

B Block
Yuma Anzai vs Jun Saito
Suwama vs Rei Saito
Ryuki Honda vs Lord Crewe

A Block
Yuma Aoyagi vs Kuroshio TOKYO Japan
Kento Miyahara vs Hokuto Omori
Shotaro Ashino vs Ren Ayabe

B Block
Jun Saito vs Hideki Suzuki
Yuma Anzai vs Lord Crewe
Suwama vs Hartley Jackson

A Block
Kento Miyahara vs Yuma Aoyagi
Shotaro Ashino vs Davey Boy Smith Jr
Kuroshio TOKYO Japan vs Cyrus

B Block
Ryuki Honda vs Yuma Anzai
Rei Saito vs Hideki Suzuki
Jun Saito vs Hartley Jackson

A Block
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino
Hokuto Omori vs Kuroshio TOKYO Japan
Ren Ayabe vs Cyrus

B Block
Suwama vs Yuma Anzai
Ryuki Honda vs Hideki Suzuki
Jun Saito vs Lord Crewe

A Block
Kuroshio TOKYO Japan vs Davey Boy Smith Jr
Kento Miyahara vs Cyrus
Hokuto Omori vs Ren Ayabe

B Block
Jun Saito vs Ryuki Honda
Rei Saito vs Yuma Anzai
Hideki Suzuki vs Hartley Jackson

A Block
Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino
Yuma Aoyagi vs Cyrus
Hokuto Omori vs Davey Boy Smith Jr

B Block
Suwama vs Hideki Suzuki 
Yuma Anzai vs Hartley Jackson
Rei Saito vs Lord Crewe

A Block
Kento Miyahara vs Kuroshio TOKYO Japan
Hokuto Omori vs Cyrus
Ren Ayabe vs Davey Boy Smith Jr

B Block
Suwama vs Ryuki Honda 
Rei Saito vs Hartley Jackson
Hideki Suzuki vs Lord Crewe

A Block
Shotaro Ashino vs Kuroshio TOKYO Japan
Yuma Aoyagi vs Ren Ayabe
Davey Boy Smith Jr vs Cyrus

B Block
Jun Saito vs Rei Saito
Suwama vs Lord Crewe
Ryuki Honda vs Hartley Jackson

B Block
Suwama vs Jun Saito
Ryuki Honda vs Rei Saito
Yuma Anzai vs Hideki Suzuki
Hartley Jackson vs Lord Crewe

A Block
Kento Miyahara vs Davey Boy Smith Jr
Yuma Aoyagi vs Hokuto Omori
Shotaro Ashino vs Cyrus
Kuroshio TOKYO Japan vs Ren Ayabe

A Block winner vs B Block winner

To keep up with all things All Japan Pro Wrestling, you can also follow author Jessica at @RoyalRoad72.