Match Point: Zeus vs. Kento Miyahara (Champion Carnival 2020 Finals)

Zeus Kento Miyahara AJPW Champion Carnival 2020

Match Point is an on-going series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. In this edition, we will take a look at the upcoming Champion Carnival 2020 finals pitting Zeus against Kento Miyahara.

The Champion Carnival is ending as of tomorrow, with the main event of the evening being Kento Miyahara facing off against Zeus. This rivalry has been one of staples of the future of All Japan Pro Wrestling‘s heavyweight divison. Furthermore, this rivalry has been almost all about Miyahara. In today’s Match Point, we take a look at the upcoming finals match between these two.

Starting when Kento Miyahara had his gigantic rise in 2016, Zeus was one of the early challengers for Miyahara. Zeus was a tag team competitor for many years. He also became a tag team staple in AJPW with The Bodyguard. Fast forward to 2018, which saw a major moment in their rivalry for the Triple Crown Championship. Zeus would cause a major upset, winning the Triple Crown Championship for the first time in his career.

While the reign would be short, it was one of the most underrated parts of 2018 AJPW. Even after their match, their rivalry persisted. They exchanged brutal knee strikes and lariats. They would have more title matches, especially after Miyahara regained the Triple Crown Championship from Zeus. As time went on, though, Zeus continued to go elsewhere. In late 2019, Zeus showcased even more ambition with a brand new group known as Purple Haze.

Purple Haze consisted of many members of the former All Japan’s Evolution faction. Zeus would lead the group. He would be in a tag feud for the past few months, becoming one of the most influential parts of AJPW’s pandemic era. A theme was created by this team by creating upsets. Their biggest upset occurred in August’s Summer Action Series when Zeus and Izanagi became All Asia Tag Champions. While they have yet to defend the championships, the career of Zeus going into this match would also lead to the very successful Champion Carnival he has had.

Zeus has been undefeated in this year’s Champion Carnival. He defeated the likes of Jake Lee, Kuma Arashi, and even the biggest upset overcoming current Triple Crown Champion Suwama in 5 minutes. With Zeus going into the finals, it might seem, for Kento, a path of redemption is needed.

Kento Miyahara defeated Zeus in October of 2018 to become Triple Crown Champion. This reign would last over 500 days. In the process, he lost almost every teammate he had while defending the championship against every competitor. Miyahara even beat Zeus twice, once in a title match and in tournament action. All of this good luck would cost him once he lost the Triple Crown Championship to Suwama, the former ace of AJPW. For many months in the pandemic side of All Japan, Miyahara hasn’t had the best of luck. In matches for the All Asia and AJPW Tag titles, Miyahara would continue to fail.

Going into this tournament. Miyahara was a favorite, but he struggled. Most notably, he lost to Yoshitatsu in the opening match. Miyahara dealt with the pain in his leg, in a brutal match against Shotaro Ashino, and eventually defeated Yuma Aoyagi and Shuji Ishikawa. Miyahara will go into the finals against Zeus to try and redeem his major loss to Suwama. The winner of this match will receive a potential title shot at the next major show.

Miyahara has a lot to lose while Zeus has everything to gain in this tournament. Miyahara has a history with this tournament, most notably winning the 2019 and reaching the finals of 2018 tournament. During these periods, Miyahara received a massive high in AJPW. In this upcoming match, said high may be gone. If Zeus wins, it would be considered a gigantic upset. If Miyahara wins, will be a major step to redemption, defeating a person he’s beaten before.

Will Miyahara finally regain his Triple Crown Championship? Will the bad luck continue for the current ace of All Japan? Can Zeus finally one-up his opponent for the first time since winning the Triple Crown Championship from him? Will Miyahara continue to prove that Zeus is just another obstacle in his path to his redemption? Even Zeus will look to gain his redemption by regaining a championship he hasn’t held in a long time. These questions will be answered in the finals of the Champion Carnival.

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