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Shotaro Ashino Finally Gets The AJPW Triple Crown Title Opportunity He Earned

5 months ago Photo c/o All Japan Pro-Wrestling, Manuel Ish

Photo c/o All Japan Pro-Wrestling, Manuel Ish

Shotaro Ashino Finally Gets The AJPW Triple Crown Title Opportunity He Earned

By: Lewis Carlan

Back on May 7, 2023, Shotaro Ashino defeated T-Hawk to emerge as the winner of the All Japan Pro-Wrestling Champion Carnival 2023. This marked the first time that Shotaro Ashino had won the prestigious AJPW tournament. He joined a long list of legendary wrestlers that have claimed victory in past Champion Carnivals including Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, Stan Hansen, Mitsuharu Misawa and Keiji Mutoh. The tournament victory earned Shotaro Ashino a shot at then AJPW Triple Crown champion Yuji Nagata. May 7, 2023 should have been a time for celebration for Shotaro Ashino, but it turned into a nightmare for him.

Three days after his Champion Carnival 2023 victory, Ashino held a press conference to reveal he had fractured his left ulnar during his match with T-Hawk and would have to pull out of the Triple Crown Championship bout with Yuji Nagata which had been scheduled for May 29, 2023 at Korakuen Hall. Ashino indicated that he had wanted to proceed with the Triple Crown Title match versus Nagata, but was warned against it by AJPW doctors. Ashino expressed his complete disappointment on social media and apologized to the fans.

Shotaro Ashino missed over seven months of in-ring competition while he was recovering. He finally made his return to the ring on December 31, 2023 at AJPW MANIAx 2023 as he teamed with T-Hawk against the tandem of Kuroshio Tokyo Japan & Seigo Tachibana. Despite being on the losing team of his return match, it was good to see Ashino happily back in the ring doing what he does best.

Shotaro Ashino hadn’t forgotten about his earned Triple Crown Title opportunity, which is the main reward for winning the AJPW Champion Carnival 2023 tournament. This became apparent on January 3rd following Triple Crown champion Katsuhiko Nakajima’s successful title defense against NXT star Charlie Dempsey. Following Nakajima’s victory, Ashino made his way to the ring and announced his intention to challenge Nakajima for the Triple Crown Title. Nakajima and Ashino went at it verbally for a few minutes before Nakajima left the ring.

On January 5, AJPW made it official and announced that Shotaro Ashino will be challenging Katsuhiko Nakajima for the AJPW Triple Crown Championship on January 27 at New Year Giants Series 2024 at Esforta Arena Hachioji. Ashino may have waited over seven months due to his injury, but he is finally getting what he earned: a shot at the AJPW Triple Crown Championship. You can bet he will make the most of this well-deserved opportunity.

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