All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service
- Noam Dar w/ Enzo Amore VS Rich Swann; Swann wins.
- Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick; Kalisto wins, by disqualification.
- Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander VS Drew Gulak & Tony Nese; Gulak & Nese win.
PLAY BY PLAY
A Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s Series has begun!
Raw General Manager Kurt Angle is in charge of the Cruiserweight Division, so to address the concerns towards The ‘Zo Train protecting the Realest Champ in the Room, he gave equal opportunity to everyone. Last Monday’s Raw saw the first of two qualifying Fatal 4 Way matches, in which Rich Swann overcame ‘Zo Train members Noam Dar & Ariya Daivari, along with fellow Anti-Amore Cruiserweight, Akira Tozawa, to be the first man into the true #1 Contender’s match. Next Monday will see the second, what impact will tonight’s 205 Live have on who comes out to meet the Outlandish One?
Tonight marks the One Year Anniversary of 205 Live!
The Cruiserweight Division and their exclusive WWE Network series have been back for one year, may there be many more in the future!
Enzo Amore heads to the ring!
The Cruiserweight Champion is here to walk out the Scottish Supernova for his match. Wait his mic’s not working. A blessing in disguise until he and Dar enter the ring and it starts working again. Enzo reviews how last week, The ‘Zo Train “choo choo” went straight to the top. Enzo’s four were Cruiserweight Rushmore, and the Bonafide Stud puts the G in generosity. He promised a title opportunity for those who won last week, only for things to Mario Kart and ToaDar here slipped on a banana peel. But there’s still time in this race, Nese or Gulak could get things back on track. The ‘Zo Train will get a full head of steam, but Dar needs to watch out, this isn’t a game. Do a favor and don’t do Enzo a favor, just redeem yourself, which you will, or else! Dar, take Swann’s eyes, so that Swann can’t make eyes at Enzo’s boo. Swann, there’s only word to describe him! S A W F T!
Noam Dar w/ Enzo Amore VS Rich Swann!
Speaking of Mario Kart, the Outlandish One is ready to shift gears and take pole position going into that #1 Contender’s match, will Dar get run off the Rainbow Road? And speaking of that one year anniversary, it’s been about the same amount of time since Swann was the second ever New Era Cruiserweight Champion, and in an interview after winning his opportunity, Swann wonders if you can feel it? Can you taste it? #CanYouHandleIt? Swann is “oh so close” to being a two-time–that’s right, a two time–champion! The bell rings, Dar rolls out to get advice from Enzo the current two-time champion. Dar returns, he circles with Swann then gets arm control with a wristlock. He brings Swann to the mat but Swann shows off agility by doing many kip-ups before getting his own wristlock. Ropebreak gets Dar free, Enzo gives him more advice, Swann gives Dar a dropkick! Then from the apron, flying cannonball!
Dar goes down, Swann and the fans are fired up, Swann mocks Enzo with his own take on the Certified Shuffle. Back into the ring, Swann gets Dar’s arm but Dar pulls on hair to then kick a leg. Dar whips but is reversed, Swann kicks Dar’s leg until it falls out from under. Rolling Thunder Splash, TWO, Swann keeps his eyes on Dar as he picks on that bad leg. Swann climbs up, Enzo distracts, Dar gets up to sweep Swann’s legs out now. High-five from Enzo, Dar drags Swann for a cover, TWO. Dar gets his leg working before going back on Swann with a tackle, cover, TWO. Dar goes after the arm, wristlock to shoulder breaker, Swann shouts in pain as Dar then sits on a hammerlock and brings the other arm over. Swann endures this unique armlock combination while Enzo trash talks right in front of him.
Dar shifts, Swann fights out with body shots, then backs Dar down with haymakers. Swann is shoved away but comes back with a splash and back kick, but Dar dodges the front flip kick to then clobber Swann with a lariat to the back of the head, cover, TWO! Dar is getting frustrated, as is Enzo. “Who cares about your leg? Who’re you, Big Cass?” Swann fights back as Dar grabs a leg, Swann kicks Dar in that bad leg to spin him around and roll him up, TWO, Swann swings a kick that Dar ducks, so he comes back with the other leg! Dar down, Swann up and Enzo upset as Swann hits the Phoenix Splash! Swann wins! And the fact Enzo can’t even look at his ‘Zo Train protege says it all. Is The Realest Champ’s chances of staying champ dwindling before his very eyes?
Backstage interview with Kalisto.
How does the Lucha Dragon feel about having his first match since losing the title to Enzo Amore? He lost to Enzo at Survivor Series, so it’s torture to no longer be champion. But Kalisto gets up after getting knocked down, and he will fight his way back to that title, starting tonight against the Ungentlemanly Jack Gallagher!
Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick!
The Ungentle Men that are Gallagher and Kendrick have tried to drag others down into their “cruel Winter”, but can they make the Lucha Dragon feel any worse than he already does? The bell rings, Gallagher seems to take Kalisto easy as they circle. Kalisto is wary of Kendrick before getting Gallagher in a waistlock, Gallagher backs him down for a ropebreak which is clean but disrespectful. Kalisto is ready to lash out at him, they tie up and Gallagher brings Kalisto down with a hammerlock to wristlock. Gallagher bends and tortures that arm, Kalisto gets up and cartwheels to a counter, now Gallagher is down on the mat. Gallagher gets up, reverses, fireman carry takedown, armlock and a knee on Kalisto’s head. Kendrick watches stoically as Kalisto fights to his feet. Springboard armdrag and Kalisto starts rallying with kicks to Gallagher’s legs and haymakers to the head. Gallagher is in the ropes but just gets yo-yo’d up and down for haymakers from Kalisto again and again. Kalisto climbs up but is thrown down by Gallagher, Kendrick applauds. Gallagher rains down rights before calming himself to then stomp away on Kalisto. He drags and snapmares Kalisto into a half-straitjacket, which Gallagher than puts all his weight on to squeeze Kalisto. Fans rally, Kalisto gets up, spins out but then takes a knee right to the stomach from Gallagher. Knee drop to the ribs and chest, Gallagher is making sure Kalisto can’t breathe. Whip to the ropes leads to a stiff headbutt to the chest, cover, ONE. Gallagher isn’t done, back to a straitjacket clutch, knee in Kalisto’s spine. Kalisto powers up to his feet, but can’t get away, Gallagher deepens that straitjacket stretch!
Gallagher keeps his shoulders up so it isn’t a pin on himself, Kalisto endures the bend, but then pops over and out of the hold. Gallagher runs in, Kalisto dodges, Gallagher on his feet but is rolled up into the Listo Kick! Gallagher rocked, he staggers to Kalisto at the bottom rope but gets another kick and then another kick. Kalisto springboards for a seated senton, he wants Gallagher up, runs, Spike-rana! “Lucha! Lucha!” chants begin, Kalisto takes aim, Salida Del Sol!
Kendrick slips in and attacks! Kalisto still wins but not the way he wanted as The Man with a Plan beats Kalisto down with stomps and crossface punches! Kendrick whips Kalisto with his studded jacket, then puts that jacket on Kalisto to make a real straitjacket, leaving Kalisto open to Gallagher’s Extraordinary Headbutt!
Down goes the Lucha Dragon, the Ungentle Men take their leave, has the “cruel Winter” begun again?
Hideo Itami is coming to the Cruiserweight Division.
From Japan to NXT, Itami proved to be an intense and unforgiving striker, no matter who he was up against. And now that he’s coming to 205 Live, the superstars of 205 Live are already feeling the pain. But first thing’s first, ie the Carolina Kid winning the Fatal 4 Way to then take on his friend for a chance to take out Enzo. The Pakistani Prince would like to dispute that claim, Cedric’s getting ahead of himself because Raw LA is gonna see fans chanting “Ali! Ali!” Well, Monday is Monday, tonight is a tag team match. They’re gonna make The ‘Zo Train a train wreck in the main event!
Mustafa Ali & Cedric Alexander VS Drew Gulak & Tony Nese!
Tag teams tonight but it’ll be every man for himself next Monday as these four men compete in the second qualifying Fatal 4 Way, which half of that match-up will gain themselves momentum? But before that, the Campaigning Crusader of #Drewtopia wishes to speak. Gulak and Nese are, in Enzo’s words, “Team Power Point”! A nickname so clever it doesn’t need to be explained, but Gulak will anyway. The Premier Athlete is all power, and Gulak makes good points. Their skills go together perfectly, and as members of The ‘Zo Train, they’re like the Justice League. Tony is Aquaman, Gulak is Batman. Tony disagrees but Gulak continues by saying Enzo is their Superman. Tony agrees there. Tonight, they dedicate this match to Enzo, along with a special edition of hiiiiiiiiiiiiis… POWERPOINT, PRESENTATION! Which we won’t get, because their opponents finally arrive.
Enzo is again watching backstage, to keep an eye on his ‘Zo Train. Alexander and Gulak start us off, fans chant “Power Point!”, which upsets Gulak because of his No Chant rule. He doesn’t have his sign, so maybe they didn’t know. Gulak calms down and circles with Alexander, they tie up but Alexander gets wristlock control, Gulak tries but fails to counter. Alexander keeps Gulak on the mat, Gulak gets a good reverse and break then a headbutt to Alexander’s ribs. Stiff elbow to the back from Gulak to Alexander before Gulak tags to Nese, but Nese gets caught in an armdrag and armlock. Nese powers up but Alexander directs him to his corner, Ali tags in and gives a double ax handle to the arm. Tag back to Alexander, Alexander double stomps that arm. Nese is at the mercy of Ali & Alexander, Nese pulls on Ali’s hair and gets him to a corner. The ref calls for the break, Nese dirties it up with body shots and stiff forearms. Nese does what he wants, he’s the Premier Athlete. Back chop to Ali, corner to corner whip but Ali goes up and over and Nese hits buckles before taking another arm-drag. Ali wrenches, Gulak gets into trash talk with Alexander so that Ali can’t make the tag.
Nese fights out with a mule kick, then kicks Ali while he’s down. Alexander wants the tag now, Ali gets out of the back suplex to dropkick Nese down, Ali gives him that tag but argues about how Alexander was too busy arguing with Gulak. Speaking of, this argument makes them too busy to see Nese give Gulak the tag! Alexander is still ready, he ducks, handsprings, headscissors and dropkicks Gulak, cover, TWO. Alexander brings Gulak up but Gulak revives to give him a stiff chop. Nese gets a back elbow and Gulak’s kick is blocked to get one for himself, Alexander handsprings but Nese trips him up! Alexander face plants then ends up taking a knee to the back from Gulak. Tag to Nese, Nese runs Alexander over with a back elbow of his own. Nese stomps away on Alexander, then drags him up and in, leg drop, ONE. Alexander gets to a corner but gets stomped and put in the Tree of Woe, more knees to Alexander’s stomach. Nese slows down to get himself some Full Contact Cardio!
Nese kicks while getting in his crunches, “that’s why I have these right here.” Nese brings Alexander over, tags Gulak, Gulak gives Alexander a stiff stomp before a standing powerbomb, TWO. Gulak keeps on Alexander with a modified half-crab crossface.
Alexander endures the bend, but still gets up as fans rally. Gulak tries to keep him down but Alexander fights out, Gulak holds onto the waistband but gets a forearm right to the face! Alexander crawls to Ali while Gulak crawls, but Nese decides to go right at Ali! No one home for Alexander, Gulak pounces on him from behind. Ali fights off Nese but can’t make it to Alexander, Gulak clubs away on Alexander, a chop as well. Alexander responds with a chop, Gulak gives him a kick and puts him in a chinlock. Fans rally again, Alexander feeds off it, jawbreaker breaks the hold. Tag to Nese, Nese redirects Alexander but Alexander stays on the apron to slide under and shove Nese away, tag to Ali! Ali rallies, whips but is reversed, flapjack dropkick drops Nese, a dropkick for Gulak keeps him out of the ring. Corner to corner whip reversed, Ali slides to slip out and roundhouse Nese away. Ali gets the fans going before hitting the rolling facebuster! TWO, Ali is surprised but not off focus. No Alexander to tag, again, Nese takes advantage by shoving Ali to a corner for a big forearm. Ali boots back, slips out again to climb up top, but Nese trips him up. Alexander returns, tags Ali when Nese isn’t looking, so as Nese climbs up, Alexander joins in. Nese is brought onto Alexander’s shoulders, Ali adjusts, flying crossbody electric chair combo!
Cover, Gulak breaks it up! Gulak checks on Nese before going after Ali, Ali brings him out to the floor. Alexander tags Ali in before wrecking Gulak with a dropkick. Ali brings Nese up, Nese shoves Ali into Alexander! Roll-up on Ali, Team Power Point wins!
Enzo even comes out to celebrate with them!
The ‘Zo Train has the last laugh, but Ali and Alexander argue over who is to blame for their loss. Perhaps it doesn’t matter now, it’ll be every man for himself Monday. Will the ‘Zo Train leave everyone else at the station? Or can they be derailed and completely left out of the #1 Contender’s match?
A pretty solid episode for the first anniversary of 205 Live. The fact it wasn’t treated as that big of a deal is a bit indicative of how WWE has treated their Cruiserweight Division since its return, but that’s another issue entirely. As for the actual content, a solid return for Kalisto, him going into a program against THE Brian Kendrick and Jack Gallagher could be both a way for Kalisto to gain an edge in his character as well as give an opening to someone else, as I feel this needs to end in a tag team match the same way Kendrick-Gallagher VS Swann-Alexander did. Kalisto could make a great team with fellow luchadors, Gran Metalik or Lince Dorado, to revive the tag team form of Lucha Dragons back from before the New Era brand split. If only WWE was allowing crossover, these tag teams could challenge The Bar or The Shield. But again, that’s another issue entirely.
Nice to see a bit of breaking down between the allegiances on both sides of the championship issue. Swann gets a solid win over Dar to keep himself strong while also making Dar out to be the caboose of the ‘Zo Train, and perhaps the first to be kicked out. On the other side, The ‘Zo Train’s “Power Point” formation stays strong to tear Ali and Alexander apart, though the chance at the singles title was doing that already. Swann is a Face, so chances are the issues between Ali and Alexander will be what gives a Heel opening to win Monday’s Fatal 4 Way, and then chances are Swann will still win to face Enzo. If Nese wins, I can already sense he and Swann can have a great match in physicality as well as aerial moves, so long as they’re allowed to go all out. It’ll be two birds one stone if they do, this is an important match, so why wouldn’t they give it 100%? And fans will see what Cruiserweights are capable of and will have reason to care about the Division.
My Score: 8/10
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022
Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!
Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger
Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.
Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.
Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.
Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.
As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.
Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.
STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)
Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.
Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.
Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles
It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.
At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.
The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.
HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge
It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.
Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road
Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.
– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW
The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.
– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2
Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.
– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced
Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.
– 16th October: A new match is announced
NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.
Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas
Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.
NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)
After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.
– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?
– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.
– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?
– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.
– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.
– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…
– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS
SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th
N-INNOVATION – September 21st
GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)
(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
– Friday, October 7th
STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Time: 18:30 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)
– Saturday, October 8th
STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Time: 18:30 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)
Note about broadcasts
Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)
Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)
“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams
With thanks to: Metal NOAH
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube
Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp
Andrew’s IMPACT Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 9.29.2022
Bound for Glory is 8 days away, but Victory Road just happened. What kind of show do we get with some fallout and penultimate hype?
Victory Road just happened, but Bound for Glory is like 8 nights away? You know I forgot that it was such a quick turn around. That makes tonight weird, since there’s some fallout, but then there’s gonna be a lot of table setting for Bound for Glory.
This episode could be awful. The last week or so haven’t exactly set the world afire, so I’m curious if the highlight really is just gonna be the Monster’s Ball with Masha and Allie Katch.
*insert joke about possibly gagging and balls and Swinger’s Dungeon*
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
- Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid: Bullet Club win via Finesse & Fold – **
- IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve: Myers retains via Roster Cut – ** 1/2
- Delirious vs Black Taurus: Black Taurus wins via Destination Hellhole – ** 1/4
- PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath: Rich wins via Phoenix Splash – ** 1/4
- Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch: Masha wins via Russian Death Device – *** 1/2
Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid
I don’t think I could care less about this match if I tried. Trey and Laredo are worthless. Laredo has eaten so many terrible losses and Trey is just bad. If the BC Juniors don’t win…I will really question the booking.
My biggest takeaway early is the commentary tries to put over Trey “turning heads”. No he doesn’t, he is legitimately hard to watch and everything that Will Ospreay did wrong in his early career; is basically Trey, but with less personality. Oh did you expect play by play? They isolate Laredo, decent tandem attacks, when Trey comes in it’s bad offense typical Cruiser garbage with laughable facials and body language.
Just typical crap with Trey. Were there some cool high spots? Sure. Do I care? NOPE.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve
Steve starts with some of his quirky mat wrestling, Arm Wringers into Drop Toe Holds and face biting. It shocked Myers early, but he takes a small shortcut and starts trying to slow down the psycho from Decay. Steve bounces off the ropes and Myers does his sliding trip move before commercial.
Back from commercial, Snapmare from Steve and the neck twister into some corner offense of Hip Attacks and Sentons for 2. Myers dodges King Kill 33, lands a few pot shots, Implant DDT for 2. Into the corner, face bite, Upside Down, after the rope break Myers grabs the referee to block Steve. Eye Poke, Roster Cut, AND STILL…
Simple, but entertaining. Plus it continues Myers’ arrogant, full of himself for absolutely no reason persona. Oh and he offers up an Open Challenge for Bound for Glory. Maybe Bobby Fish? Someone new? Could be interesting.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
Delirious vs Black Taurus
Delirious is between gibberish and Stone Cold early on while they’re just trading shots. Delirious twists the Nose Ring…in the mask…and Taurus sells it momentarily before stomping the foot and decking him. This is just a weird match. I mean we all know Delirious is weird, but he’s not all comedy; and Taurus is supposed to be legit-ish.
Admittedly, with the exception of Victory Road, it has been years since I’ve watched a Delirious match. So the level of ridiculousness has hit Toru Yano levels, especially after the 10 count Leg Drops. Taurus powders, comes back in, Shoulder Tackle, Blackhole Backbreaker into a Samoan Drop. As soon as Taurus looks in charge, Delirious throws together a combo, eats a Headbutt and then Destination Hellhole.
Sheesh okay after 2 interview segments we get to Honor No More’s victory celebration segment. Just a lot of talking and inaction, so this just goes to feed that weird feeling I had coming into the show because of the timing. Eddie does the usual thing where hates on PCO and accuses him of being the weak link, which is a smart story angle since the fans tend to like PCO’s gimmick and this makes him more sympathetic to casual observers.
Oh good Taven is talking now. Wait did I just say that? DAMN YOU IMPACT! Made me like Matt Taven. Maria stirs the pot a little saying that Eddie is a better wrestler than Josh and Moose…by the implications.
Thank God, Josh Alexander finally breaks up the segment with…more talking. Okay never mind. Jesus since the end of the Delirious match it was like 15 minutes before Josh finally charged the ring and threw down a bit with Honor No More. Rich Swann and Heath make a bit of the babyface save for Josh, but the numbers are still on Honor No More’s side. Oh MCMG come down in a tracksuit and dress clothes! Someone wasn’t ready to be doing a run in.
PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath
Well isn’t that convenient that four of the men in the donnybrook were supposed to be in a match anyway.
Rich uses his quickness to try and stay ahead of PCO, but PCO cuts him off in the corner into the Corner Hung Codebreaker, then the leaned against the ropes Leg Drop thing. Vincent throws together a T-Bone Suplex into a Flatliner and keeps the vibes flowing on Rich Swann.
PCO clears out Heath, but PCO’s hand gets stuck in the ropes. Vincent eats a flip kick and the Phoenix Splash while PCO and Heath are brawling on the outside after the rope issue with PCO.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch
Haymakers and Headbutts start things off as they both hit the ropes and lay out one another with dual clotheslines. Trash can lid duel, Masha gets first contact, but Allie blocks and returns 3 shots. German Suplex from Masha into whipping her with a chain, some choking and then general pulling with the chain in Katch’s mouth or around her eyes. Katch claws at Masha’s eyes to try and get some space.
Headbutts and Biting from Masha as Allie tries to power out of a Bow and Arrow. More chain choking…I’m not sure if this is a wrestling match or BDSM prep at the moment. Ahh Masha needs more Cowbell but Allie cuts her off with a trash can lid. Allie tries a Piledriver through a door, but Masha turns it into an Air Raid Crash into the opposite corner.
Commercial break, and Allie is getting choked again. Spots get a little redundant, slams, chokes, and blood. OHHH – it’s a “Use the Door” chant. I thought it was – nah – I won’t say what I thought it was. Chairshot from Masha misses, but a Snap Suplex from Masha onto the chair gets some usefulness. Straight Right to the gut and an Axe Kick allows Masha to hit the Death Valley Driver onto the propped up chair. Masha goes back to biting after it was only 2. Allie cuts off Masha going to the top, Superplex onto the trash can lid, into a Death Valley Driver through the door – but Masha kicks out.
Allie tries a Piledriver on the apron a few times, but Masha blocks. Masha tries for the Release German to the floor but Allie holds on. Dazed strikes, bites and then a Russian Leg Sweep through the table lays both out for a short time. Masha grabs a black bag, it’s gotta be tacks for Monster’s Ball. Masha eats a few tacks for good show, picks up Allie but Allie fights. Piledriver into the tacks from Allie, only 2. Allie opens a trash can, and empties a bunch of cut up soda cans. Hits Masha with the can, Masha fires, Spinning Heel Kick and then Russian Death Device into the pile of tacks and cans.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
The main event was pretty good, maybe even a little better than I gave it credit for; I’m just sick of seeing some crazy hardcore match so often from Impact. It feels like its weekly, and that’s too damn much. Trey is terrible, and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on. He sells poorly, he doesn’t tell a story with his wrestling and he looks like an idiot pretending to be something he isn’t; and that’s talented.
Myers is fine with his classic delusional heel style, Delirious gave a bit of a rub to Taurus so I’m guessing he’s probably next up in the X Division. But a straight 15 minutes of interviews and talking is just too damn much especially when the surrounding wrestling isn’t very good or hearty enough to help people tolerate talking time.
I do however love Joe Hendry. So…yeah. There’s always some quirky gimmicks that just resonate well with me, and this is gorgeous.
All in all, decent enough; though next week could be a real banger of a Go Home.
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