Last Monday, Naomichi Marufuji won All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Champion Carnival. The win got Marufuji the opportunity to challenge for Kento Miyahara‘s Triple Crown Championship – AJPW‘s most prestigious title – on May 24. This comes at a time when Marufuji also has a title opportunity for Pro Wrestling NOAH’s top prize, the GHC Heavyweight championship on May 29 in Korakuen Hall in Tokyo.
This is a prime time for the three-time GHC Heavyweight Champion, as he is challenging for the top prize of the two promotions were his mentor and trainer, Mitsuharu Misawa, was the main guy and champion.
The main event of the Champion Carnival feature AJPW’s top figure, Kento Miyahara, and NOAH’s main guy, Naomichi Marufuji. In his Champion Carnival match, Marufuji paid tribute to Misawa, when he applied the Emerald Flowsion on Miyahara for the win. The match was one of the best matches that All Japan has had in 2018. Marufuji told the media that he came to AJPW with two goals: beating Jun Akiyama and winning the Champion Carnival.
Marufuji will first face Miyahara on May 24 in Korakuen Hall for All Japan’s Triple Crown Championship. Later that same week, he will face Takashi Sugiura for NOAH’s GHC Heavyweight Championship, a title that Marufuji is no stranger to. Marufuji could join wrestlers like Minoru Suzuki, Kenta Kobashi, Go Shiozaki, Jun Akiyama, his mentor Mitsuharu Misawa, among others, as wrestlers that have won the Triple Crown and GHC Heavyweight title in their careers.
Dave Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer about the possibility of Marufuji entering his Triple Crown match as the GHC Heavyweight champion, “There are issues based on tradition in Japan where the world champion of a group isn’t supposed to lose to someone from another group. With titles meaning far less and both All Japan and NOAH titles not really considered as world titles the way titles were in the past, it’s less of an issue but such a thing is still hard to do past a two-match series where they split, or one 60-minute match.”
The pillar of Pro Wrestling Noah has in his hand a rare opportunity, as he could enter in his All Japan match as NOAH’s top champion, plus, he could exit that night as a Double Champion with NOAH and AJPW’s top prizes.