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Match Point: Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara, AJPW Champions Night 2 (10/16/21)

Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara AJPW Champions Night 2

All Japan Pro Wrestling is a promotion defined by its rivalries of the changing tides of pro wrestling. Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jumbo Tsuruta and Kento Miyahara vs Suwama are just a few of these rivalries. One of the more recent rivalries is Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara. At Champions Night 2, Jake Lee will defend the Triple Crown Championship against Kento Miyahara in a match multiple years in the making. In this Match Point, we will cover the history of the upcoming bout at Champions Night 2.

Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara, AJPW Champions Night 2

Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara – In the Beginning

Kento Miyahara has been the face of All Japan Pro Wrestling ever since he took the mantle from Suwama in the mid-2010s. Miyahara’s run was defined by his Triple Crown Championship reigns that lasted for years on two separate occasions. During his rise to the top, Miyahara started a faction known as NEXTREAM. This faction consisted of Miyahara, Naoya Nomura, Yuma Aoyagi and Jake Lee.

Jake Lee recently returned to wrestling after a brief retirement in the early 2010s and decided to join NEXTREAM. However, Lee would never break out in his own way and suffered an injury in the middle of 2017 that would keep him out until 2018.

In the time that passed, Miyahara defined the Triple Crown Championship scene. He held the championship two more times by the time Lee returned. Following this, Lee went his separate way with Miyahara, starting the Sweeper faction. Jake Lee’s stock within the company would go up when he won the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Koji Iwamoto, starting to rise in the ranks of All Japan. What followed was the 2019 Champion Carnival.

2019 Champion Carnival

Kento Miyahara was on a historic run with the Triple Crown Championship. This reign lasted over 515 days. Miyahara would watch his partners go against him; slowly, everybody turned against Miyahara. Jake Lee would be elevated going into the 2019 Champion Carnival, where both he and Miyahara entered the finals. Ultimately, it would be Kento Miyahara picking up the victory as the Triple Crown Champion. This would start the rivalry between the two that stands today.

2019 Royal Road Finals

Multiple months passed since the finals of the Champion Carnival. Jake Lee started to elevate his stock as a defining member of the All Asia Tag Team Championship scene, winning it once more in June of 2019. Kento Miyahara, on the other hand, faced off against the likes of Shuji Ishikawa, Zeus, his former student Naoya Nomura, and tag partner Yoshitatsu. Going into the 2019 Royal Road tournament, Miyahara and Lee went the distance, both entering the finals.

This would be a major moment in the career of both men, where Jake Lee finally one-upped Miyahara, defeating him in the finals of the tournament. Jake Lee won the 2019 Royal Road tournament, thus gaining an opportunity at the Triple Crown Championship at AJPW’s upcoming show. This was a match that could have proven to be a major upset against one of the first students that rebelled against Miyahara. Additionally, in tournaments, it was shown that Miyahara wasn’t invincible.

Jake Lee vs Kento Miyahara III

Kento Miyahara defended the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship against Jake Lee. This championship defense would be the start of the rise and fall of Lee. These two would put on a great match, but the result saw Miyahara retaining his championship. Though Lee suffered a major loss, he continued on the rest of the year as if nothing happened.

From there, Lee entered the 2019 Real World Tag League, making it to the finals; this made him a finalist in three of the tournaments in All Japan Pro Wrestling that year. The Real World Tag League led to another title match at the start of the year. Ultimately, Lee would defeat Miyahara in the tournament in question.

Make it or Break It

Jake Lee wanted to start the new year off right, first by getting rid of the baggage known as Sweeper and starting a new faction in JIN. In this faction, Lee was in what could be deemed a make it or break it mode. He was determined, yet could be described as in a decline going on in his career, not to mention very reckless. Nonetheless, he made the most of his moments, his ambition being to unseat Miyahara for championship gold.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for Lee, as Miyahara would once again defeat him to retain his championship. This marked one of the biggest blows in the career of Lee. This was one of his most humiliating defeats, but for Miyahara, it another title defense against a former student. By the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Jake Lee and Koji Iwamoto lost the All Asia tag team titles. Meanwhile, Miyahara’s run as Triple Crown Champion came to an end by Suwama.

The Year 2020

By mid-2020, Kento Miyahara and Jake Lee were essentially shells of their former selves. After losing the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, Miyahara lost interest in the championship scene for many months. The pandemic was in full force, thus the Royal Road and Champion Carnival tournaments were canceled. But eventually, in late 2020, the Champion Carnival would reappear.

In this tournament, Jake Lee lost. However, Kento Miyahara went onto the finals, eventually losing to Zeus. The rivalry between Lee and Miyahara was revived in the Real World Tag League, where JIN’s Lee and Iwamoto would face NEXTREAM’s Miyahara and Yuma Aoyagi. For the second year in a row, Lee lost in the tournament finals; another loss in a growing list for Lee. He had nothing to lose anymore as rock bottom was coming for him and his partner.

Total Eclipse and the Rise of Jake Lee

Jake Lee would turn on his partner, Koji Iwamoto, at the end of 2021’s Excite Series tour. Lee brought in members of the Enfant Terribles faction and started a brand new faction known as Total Eclipse. Unlike his previous factions in AJPW, Total Eclipse would be Lee’s most successful. It also featured his most determined and evil persona.

Lee stopped caring about the rules, finally becoming unhinged. Lee entered the Champion Carnival 2021 tournament with an egotistical attitude. That ego and his ability would bring him to the finals against Miyahara.

Unlike 2019’s Champion Carnival final, Lee went on to win this tournament, gaining an opportunity against Suwama at the first Champions Night. Due to Suwama contracting COVID-19, this match didn’t take place. Instead, a triple threat gauntlet match would crown a new champion.

This gauntlet also featured Yuma Aoyagi. By the end, the title was won by Jake Lee as he would defeat Kento Miyahara and eventually Yuma Aoyagi to win the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship, marking Lee’s first reign with the title. Lee’s redemption in All Japan started, but now, he needs to take out the baggage to make his redemption complete.

Lee would defeat Shotaro Ashino and eventually Suwama in another rematch. After his match against Suwama, Kento Miyahara gained his opportunity against the champion by defeating Zeus in a #1 contender’s match. Lee and Miyahara went from a dynamic of student vs. teacher in their rivalry’s beginnings to a story of Lee’s rise of redemption and ambition to become the “Ace” of All Japan Pro Wrestling.

Jake Lee vs. Kento Miyahara – In Closing

Jake Lee makes his third title defense against Miyahara here, but the main story element of this rivalry is the Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship and its importance to Miyahara. This is a championship that served as the centerpiece of their rivalry. It’s also been the focal point of each match Lee has lost in. For Lee, this is the biggest match of not only his championship reign but his career. This is the match where Lee could finally defeat Miyahara rid himself of the baggage that caused his downfall in the first place. It could also truly define his run as Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion.

For Miyahara, it’s about getting back a championship that has been in his grasp since the 2020 Champion Carnival and the aforementioned triple threat gauntlet. Miyahara also has to worry about his ace position in this match; losing it could mark a major turning point in his career. This is a rivalry featuring the changing tides of All Japan’s ace position, as well as a match that could define AJPW going into the new year.

Will Jake Lee finally defeat Kento Miyahara to retain his championship, or Kento Miyahara continue the trend of defeating Lee when it counts the most? We will find out the answer to this at Champions Night 2.

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to watch All Japan Pro Wrestling on AJPW.TV.


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