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Mitchell’s WWE NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia Report! (1/27/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering; Undisputed Era win and and retain the NXT Tag Team Champoins.
  • Kassius Ohno VS Velveteen Dream; Dream wins.
  • NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler; Ember wins and retains the NXT Women’s Championship.
  • Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black VS Adam Cole; Black wins.
  • NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Johnny Gargano; Almas wins and retains the NXT Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

The NXT Preshow panel is joined by Samoa Joe!

The former NXT Champion, though out with a foot injury, is here in Philadelphia to watch and analyze all the action of his Alma mater in the WWE. He looks forward to everything tonight, and updates us that he’s “feeling strong and healing quickly.” The main roster should consider this a silver lining, since Joe won’t be in the Royal Rumble.

 

Corey Graves & Renee Young present the NXT Year End Awards for 2017!

Both alumni of NXT are back to honor the highlights and superstars of last year, as decided by the fans via social media and WWE’s official website.

The first award of the night is the Rivalry of the Year. The winner is: Aleister Black VS Velveteen Dream! The Patrick Clark Experience wanted the Embodiment of the End to acknowledge his enigmatic brilliance, and to #SayMyName! Aleister would refuse to do so, as Dream came off as “a child throwing a tantrum”, but in the end, both men would come to respect the other. Aleister made Dream #FadetoBlack, but still said his name. To accept the Golden Ring Bell is Velveteen Dream himself! He takes the bell and thanks God. Why? Because Velveteen Dream is the closest thing to the Light that NXT will ever have. However, tonight is not about the Light and the Darkness. Tonight is about a Velveteen Dream “guaranteed” 30 second KO of Kassius Ohno. Doubters can doubt but you’ll all still #SayMyName.

The second award of the night is “a very, very big one”, it is the Male Competitor of the Year. The winner is: Aleister Black! The Dutch Destroyer is still undefeated in 1v1 competition, so how does it feel to get the Golden Bell? “I set out to do something different.” Something unique and unconventional. The Golden Ring Bell validates that mission, so he thanks the fans for their support. And while he’s here, Renee lets Aleister know he’s also the Breakout Superstar of the Year, so he can expect a second golden bell soon for himself. The Embodiment has already dominated in three categories, will he dominate in tonight’s Extreme Rules match?

 

The Year End Awards continue after a break.

The third award is for Female Competitor of the Year. The winner is: Asuka! The Empress of Tomorrow was the natural choice after being an undefeated NXT Women’s Champion for 523 days and against many different opponents. Asuka accepts the Golden Ring Bell and reminds everyone that “No one is ready for Asuka!” She’s definitely Corey’s pick.

The fourth award is for Match of the Year. The winner is: Tyler Bate VS Pete Dunne in TakeOver Chicago’s WWE UK Championship match! Tyler Bate appears to accept, and recounts his 2017. “I’m absolutely honored and I’m really grateful for everyone that voted.” Bate even gives props to his rival, Pete Dunne, who is himself a great wrestler. What’s next for Bate? Another match of the year candidate, for sure.

 

Meanwhile, Pete Dunne joins the panel.

The British Bruiserweight also had quite a great 2017, such as when he won the UK Championship. What does this mean to him? Dunne had two objectives last year: become WWE UKC, and establish the WWE UK Division. His TakeOver: Chicago match accomplished both. Why does Pete Dunne think he and Tyler Bate were standouts from the UK Tournament? Because he and Bate both wrestled with chips on their shoulders as two men who were often overlooked. Joe acknowledges that Dunne and Bate are like wrestling ambassadors. Dunne agrees, because the WWE UKC is the end all, be all to him in wrestling.

What does Dunne have planned next? He wishes to further raise the prestige of the UK Championship and Division. Who would he love to face from outside the UK Division? “Anyone and everyone”, from NXT Champion to Universal Champion. If he had one thing to say to Bate right now, what is it? Dunne would tell Bate that he’s had his turn, “who’s next?”

 

The Year End Awards resume on stage.

“This is it,” the final award of 2017. The final category is the biggest of all, it is for THE Overall Competitor of the Year! Aleister was Male Superstar of the Year, Asuka was Female Superstar of the Year, but the winner here is: ASUKA!

The Empress claims her second Golden Bell of the night! Can Asuka continue her incredible domination in the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match?

 

Zelina Vega appears on the Preshow panel.

She asks them “Do you guys see what’s wrong with the picture here?” They were talking about the NXT Year End Awards, but they forgot about “the only man that matters.” Andrade “Cien” Almas didn’t win a single category! But the fans decided who won those awards. Oh so it was losers voting for losers? Did anyone here count the votes? No? Then Zelina demands a recount! But, Almas only became champion at the end of 2017. Zelina takes a seat to properly represent her client. Almas went from zero to 100 in that little a time! He and Zelina “are this brand”! Then why didn’t fans choose him? “Because teh fans are losers.” More importantly, Almas will still have the championship after tonight. JOe says it’s easy to reach the top but harder to stay there. Gargano has momentum, and maybe if Almas stays “tranquilo” he can win. Zelina says Almas is the greatest star in NXT ever, even bigger than Joe! Joe doesn’t believe that, but will let Zelina have her opinion.

Sam Roberts brings up Almas needs to keep his championship and have more defenses to establish himself, but Zelina is confident that’s how it’ll happen tonight. Zelina ignores Gargano’s parallels to Almas, because Almas has won twice already and will win the third. But that’s a difficult thing to do, and Joe says it’ll be difficult for Almas. This is also a different Gargano he’s up against. Zelina still doesn’t care. She explains that “we are the NXT Champion”. Her guidance and his focus, they will win again. Joe uses his experience to make sure Zelina understands it is tougher than anyone can imagine to stay on top. Zelina says Almas will show rather than tell. Is Zelina being defensive? Zelina has no time left, but promises Almas will win and retain. She takes her leave, will her words carry through the night?

 

The Road to Wrestlemania starts tonight!

Philadelphia has always been the land of extreme. “But this isn’t about dwelling in the past. This is about creating the future.” The revolution is growing, and the revolution is N X T!

 

NXT Tag Team Championships: The Undisputed Era VS The Authors of Pain w/ Paul Ellering!

Akam & Rezar want those titles back and they want them NOW! Does the duo known as reDRagon stand a chance of surviving?

Perhaps Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish don’t, as Akam & Rezar are upon them the moment they hit the ring!

O’Reilly & Fish manage to escape the ring, but the AoP are rabidly waiting. The champions regroup and prepare themselves while Ellering calms his pair of behemoths. The bell rings, Fish starts with Rezar, Fish runs but gets run over! He bails out of the ring again to walk it off, but Akam keeps him from going too far. Fans chant “Shock the System!” while Fish slowly reenters. He stays by the ropes then tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly circles, and manages to stick ‘n’ move with kicks to Rezar. He goes for a leg, but Rezar uses power to push him off. They each dare the other to bring the fight, Kyle kicks Rezar’s legs. Rezar grabs those feet and rolls O’Reilly but misses the clubbing ax handle. The two men get up, Rezar tackles O’Reilly right down!

Fist after fist hammer O’Reilly but O’Reilly grabs the triangle hold! He rolls Rezar but can’t extend the arm so he hammers away with palm strikes. Rezar shoves him off, O’Reilly narrowly avoids the boot and escapes the ring. The champions regroup again while Philly applauds and the referee counts. O’Reilly walks up the steps and takes his time reentering. He backs up and tags Fish back in. Fish evades Rezar and kicks at the leg. Rezar catches one kick and brings Fish to the AoP corner to tag in Akam. Akam & Rezar drive knees into Fish, then a fireman’s carry takeover before a big stomp. Akam glares at O’Reilly before going back to Fish. Fish drives in a knee then tags in O’Reilly, O’Reilly comes in but gets thrown to the mat. Akam runs him over with a shoulder, reDRagon has to regroup again. The champions want to walk out on this match, but they get run over around the corner instead!

Akam & Rezar coordinate, and throw Fish right into steel steps. They go after Kyle with haymakers from all sides. Kyle tries to get away but flops right off the apron and back to the floor. AoP put Fish in the ring, Fish tries to run away again, but Akam grabs him in a wheelbarrow to slam him into the barriers!

Fish slumps to the floor while Akam grabs O’Reilly. Akam tags in Rezar, they mug Kyle in their territory. Another tag, and they give O’Reilly the side slam stomp. Akam’s knee bothers him, so the referee checks on him. He’s good to go, he whips Kyle, but Kyle dumps Akam to the apron. Akam fights back, Fish sweeps that bad leg! Rezar runs Kyle over, but then Fish tackles Rezar right out of the ring!

They topple to the floor hard, and O’Reilly goes over to Akam. Akam fights back but O’Reilly unloads various strikes before sweeping that bad leg. Fish returns, tags in, and they both go after Akam with sharp kicks. Fish tags O’Reilly back in, they keep Akam offbalance by going after those legs. Akam tries to fight back but Fish tags back in to hold that leg open. O’Reilly runs in, but Akam elbows him away. Fish tries but Akam puts him on the apron. O’Reilly returns but gets thrown down, Fish yanks that bad leg to also crotch-shot Akam on the ropes. Akam can’t defend himself from Fish’s kicks, or the body splash to the bad knee. Fish wrenches the knee, then drags Akam up and around. He gives body shots and tags in Kyle, Akam tries to fight back but Kyle chop blocks the leg. Kyle then pulls on that leg to turn Akam over, but Akam kicks him away. The fans duel while the two men crawl, Kyle gets the bad leg in a kneebar!

Akam endures while Kyle adds on an Achilles lock, and even clubs at Kyle’s back, but it doesn’t get Kyle to let go. Akam drags himself to ropes and gets the break, Kyle is forced to let go. Kyle tags in Fish, Fish stomps that bad knee. Fish tags Kyle back in, they both go after Akam with knee strikes, and even a table top trip back into the kneebar. Akam grabs the ropes again, but Fish tags back in, slingshot senton! Cover, TWO, reDRagon is frustrated. Fish drags Akam up for forearm strikes and kicks to that bad knee. He gives a cheap shot to Rezar, but that only pisses Rezar off. Akam gets a big body drop on Fish! Hot tags to Rezar and O’Reilly, Rezar rallies on reDRagon! He slams Fish with a trophy slam, then slams O’Reilly with a spinebuster! Rezar won’t slow down, and the Philly fans love it! Rezar scoops O’Reilly but Fish hops on with a sleeper. This doesn’t stop Rezar, he just slams them both!

Cover on O’Reilly, TWO! Ellering looks worried, but Rezar gets up and goes after O’Reilly again. He brings O’Reilly up for a powerbomb but O’Reilly counters with a guillotine. Rezar tosses him off all the same, but then takes knees to the stomach and shoulders! He staggers to the Unidsputed corner, Fish tags in. O’Reilly and Fish run a corner strike train! Fish goes for an overhead suplex but Rezar reists. O’Reilly kicks out Rezar’s leg and Fish gets the suplex!

Cover, TWO! Fish is shocked, but he doesn’t stop. He drags Rezar over then tags O’Reilly in. O’Reilly grabs Rezar in a sleeper but Rezar fights out to boot Fish down and clobber O’Reilly with a clothesline! AKam returns to the apron, even with his bad leg. The fans rally while Rezar tags in Akam. Akam walks over and drags O’Reilly up. Rezar gets running, but runs into Fish’s leaping knee strike! O’Reilly rolls Akam into the kneebar! Fish subdues Rezar with a sleeper hold!

Rezar gets up while Akam endures, Rezar throws Fish onto O’Reilly! The two holds break at the same time and all four men are down while the fans applaud. The fans rally and duel while the competitors stir. Rezar rolls out one side of the ring while Fish rolls out the other. O’Reilly and Akam stand up in the ring, and O’Reilly kicks away at the bad leg. Akam gets up each time, despite the pain. O’Reilly shifts to hitting Akam in the head but that only fires Akam up. He catches O’Reilly in a one-leg overhead suplex!

Akam rams knees into O’Reilly, then clobbers Fish off the apron! He lifts O’Reilly and gives him a buckle bomb before returning to those massive knees. Rezar returns to boot Fish right down, and now they hit their favorite, the Super Collider!

However, O’Reilly reverses and throws Akam at Rezar with a huricanrana! Then he rolls Akam up in a school boy, Undisputed Era win!! The champions retain by the skin of their teeth and once again #ShockTheSystem!

 

Kassius Ohno VS Velveteen Dream!

This match was made because the Knockout Artist said “I told you so” to the Patrick Clark Experience after he failed to defeat Johnny Wrestling on last Wednesday’s NXT. Dream promises to not only defeat Ohno, but do it in 30 seconds or less. Will Dream get to say “I told you so” back to his opponent tonight?

Dream is ready for Ohno to the point that he even has a special mouth guard to protect against Ohno’s devastating elbow strikes. Meanwhile, Ohno represents the Pittsburgh Pirates with the black and yellow.

The fans are already fired up before the bell rings. They count those 30 seconds to keep Dream to his word, but Dream struggles as Ohno gets him against the ropes. Dream turns it around to throw body shots in a corner, but the referee backs him down. Dream gets the haymaker, and he wants the ten count! The referee checks on him, the fans count for Dream, but Ohno gets up to knock that mouth piece out!
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The fans boo and jeer, they thought Dream was gonna do it. Dream picks up his mouth piece, but Ohno kicks him right in the face! Then boots him out of the ring! Ohno goes out to fetch Dream, bringing him up and into the ring. Dream hits Ohno with a sucker punch back elbow, then runs, only to run into Ohno’s boot! Ohno runs, into Dream’s spinebuster!

Both men are down but Dream springs up to pose for a second. The fans are loving this match already as they cheer for “Vel-ve-teen!” Dream stomps and punches Ohno, Ohno staggers to a corner and Dream keeps up the boxing. Dream whips OHno corner to corner while the fans keep up the chanting. He toys with Ohno, then drags him up for a big suplex. Cover, ONE, so Dream kicks Ohno in the back and clubs him in the head. Ohno is down, so Dream swivels his hips over him. Dream drops knees into ribs then kicks Ohno while he’s down. The referee reprimands Dream, but that doesn’t stop Dream from choking Ohno on the ropes. Dream stomps Ohno and demands he quit already. Ohno stands up and chops Dream back, so Dream rocks him with an uppercut. Dream snapmares Ohno down and into a modified abdominal stretch. The fans rally while Dream puts pressure on the ribs. The fans duel while Dream shifts to a camel clutch, but Ohno uses power to get up and carry Dream into a corner. Dream turns it around, then takes off his arm band before unloading on Ohno in the corner. The referee has him back down, but Dream shouts that tonight is “Dream Over!” He kicks Ohno in the face, but that only fuels the fire. Dream climbs up and hits a double ax handle, TWO. He keeps on Ohno with more ax handles and frustrated kicks to the ribs. Dream wants Ohno to quit, or #SayMyName. Ohno refuses to do either, he endures the clutch to power up again. Dream keeps him down and on the ropes, then lifts Ohno with a fireman’s carry. Ohno elbows his way out, but Dream boots him in the face. Dream tries a suplex but it is Ohno countering with a suplex toss! The fans applaud while both men are down again. A ten count begins, and the two men stir. The count climbs past 6 before Dream stands up. He clubs Ohno, Ohno rock shim with a forearm. Dream gives Ohno a European Uppercut, Ohno retaliates with an elbow. Ohno then chops Dream, boots him, and runs for a lariat. Ohno keeps moving with another boot, then the back senton! He isn’t done there, either. He takes aim, spins and boots Dream down!

Cover, TWO! Ohno grows frustrated, but he keeps his focus. He calls for his killer elbow, and fans rally as he stands up. Ohno brings Dream up, brings him around, but Dream counters with a backslide, TWO. Dream’s kick is blocked, Ohno spins around, but Dream gets him with the second SUPERKICK! Dream then drives Ohno down with the sidewinder DDT!

Cover, TWO! Now Dream is the one surprised. The two men stand up, Dream climbs up top. He jumps, into Ohno’s boot! Ohno keeps going with a stiff elbow, then runs for the high– Rolling Death Valley!

Dream rolls Ohno to a cover, TWO! The frustration grows in Dream, but he stands up and calls for the end. OHno gets him in the wristlock, ripcord, roaring elbow! TWO! Ohno doesn’t know how Dream survived, but Philly loves it all the same. They’re thunderous as Ohno brings Dream up. He spins him around, but Dream evades the elbow for another fireman’s carry, and another Rolling Death Valley!

Dream hurries to the top rope, and from the post he hits the Purple Rain Maker elbow!

Dream wins!! It wasn’t in 30 seconds, but it was still a win. Can Dream use this momentum to rise to the top?

 

NXT Women’s Championship: Ember Moon VS Shayna Baszler!

The Prophecy of Flame fought for so long and finally achieved her dream. However, the Queen of Spades quite literally bullied her way onto the scene. Will the underdog reign already come to an end?

The bell rings and the two tie up, Shayna gets the waistlock and slam. Ember gets up and gets the standing switch but Shayna puts her in a corner. She grinds a forearm in Ember’s face before honoring the break, then trips Ember anyway. Ember goes after Shayna, but Shayna uses the ref as a shield. Shayna then takes Ember down and grinds her palm into Ember. Ember shoves Shayna away, Shayna just grins at Ember. Ember ducks under Shayna’s kick then kip-ups. Shayna blocks a kick and goes for her signature Kirafuda but Ember throws her off and sweeps the legs! Shayna stands up with a frustrated grimace, but Ember dropkicks her down! She does it a second time! And a third time! Shayna gets out of the ring and walks off her frustration, but Ember runs and DIVES!

The champion knocks her challenger over and Philly fires up. Ember drags Shayna up and into the ring, then stalks the Queen of Spades from behind. Shayna gets to a corner, Ember handsprings but into Shayna’s takedown, where she repeatedly knees Ember in the face! Shayna lets her hair down and then gives Ember one last big kick before the cover, TWO! The fans cheer Ember on while she slowly gets up, but Shayna shoves her back down. Shayna stands on Ember’s hand before stomping on her arm!

Ember’s arm bent just like Dakota Kai’s did weeks ago on NXT! Shayna just laughs it off while Ember writhes. She goes after that arm with a seated keylock that shifts to a torturous wristlock. Shayna drops a knee on it, and Ember continues to writhe. Cover, ONE, but Shayna is still all smiles. She toys with Ember while she stomps on the injured arm. Ember endures the kicks and the wrenching while the fans continue to support her. Shayna bends and twists the arm again, then pulls it as hard as she can while she keeps Ember down. Ember rolls and escapes the hold but Shayna just kicks her down. Shayna uses the ropes now, and only the referee’s count gets her to let go. Shayna keeps toying with Ember, daring the champion to try something. Ember uses her good arm to slap Shayna, then she evades Shayna’s strike to slap her again. Ember keeps retaliating with kicks and that one good arm. The fans fire up while Ember springboards for the crossbody!

TWO! Ember and Shayna stand up, Ember runs in for a forearm smash on Shayna. The champion climbs up with one arm, wanting her finish. She takes aim, jumps and hits the Eclipse!!

That bad arm hurts Ember, she can’t make the cover. Shayna is out cold but Ember can’t do a thing about it from the pain! The referee checks on her, and asks for medics to come out. The fans boo, they don’t want it to end this way. Ember doesn’t want that either, but she can barely do anything with that arm. The fans call “Bullshit!” Ember stands up, she drags Shayna up, but SHayna catches her in a modified armbar!

Ember resists while she reaches with her legs, but Shayna has that bad arm locked. Ropebreak! Shayna lets go, then staggers to her feet. She drags Ember but Ember’s good arm holds the ropes. The grip lets go, Shayna puts the lock back on! Ember claws at Shayna, but she cant’ get free. Shayna keeps the lock, even as Ember flails and rolls! Ember runs out of steam, Shayna keeps wrenching the bad arm. Shayna goes to hook a leg but Ember keeps flailing. Ember endures another wrenching of the arm, rolls but cannot escape! Ember doesn’t need to escape, she just rolls and covers, SHE WINS!! No one can believe this, least of all Shayna! Ember’s savvy helped her survive, but what is teh state of that arm?

Forget the arm, Shayna goes after Ember’s throat with her Kirafuda Lock!

She brings Ember down on the ramp and chokes her out! The Queen of Spades is a sore loser to say the least. She lets go when more referees appear, only to put the back on! Shayna wants Ember to pay for escaping defeat, but what will the consequences of this attack be?

 

Extreme Rules Match: Aleister Black VS Adam Cole!

It is an understatement to say that this grudge has grown as intense as possible. The Embodiment of the End transforms into the Embodiment of Extreme, will he make the Undisputed Leader #FadetoBlack?

Anyone unfamiliar with Extreme Rules should know, that there is only one rule: win! The bell rings, the two men stare at each other from across the way. Cole trash talks while fans already declare “This is awesome!” The two run at each other and trade off forearms! Cole gets an advantage but then gets kicked right out of the ring. Aleister runs, but fakes Cole out to then sit down. Cole doesn’t hesitate to grab a chair! He paces while fans chant “E C Dub!” but Aleister calmly watches. Cole gets on the apron and says Aleister should be afraid. Instead, Aleister ducks the strike, kicks Cole low and takes the chair from him. Cole bails out of the ring again, so Aleister simply sits and waits for him to reenter.

Cole gets up and in, but Aleister throws the chair out to then throw Cole out. Aleister pursues and rocks Cole with a right hand! He keeps up on Cole, but Cole hits back and bumps Aleister off the apron. Cole brings chairs out from under the ring, kicks Aleister and bounces him off the barriers, then brings out a trash can. The can is tossed into the ring while Cole boots Aleister down again. Cole puts more chairs in the ring, but Aleister comes back with strikes. Cole knees low again to throw Aleister into a barrier! The fans love it while Cole looks for something. He fetches a kendo stick! However, Aleister grabs one for himself. The two men get in the ring, armed with the bamboo swords. Aleister then reconsiders, he wants Cole to come at him! Cole laughs, and says Aleister is stupid for this. However, Aleister dodges each of Cole’s swings to then swing away with forearms and kicks! Aleister runs and springboards but Cole SMACKS the Quebrada out of the air!

Aleister writhes while Cole catches his breath and the fans lose their minds with “Holy Shit!” Cole stands up, still armed with the kendo stick. He walks over and SMACKS Aleister across the back. “You don’t know how you’re dealing with!” Cole uses the stick to bend Aleister back. Aleister stands up but Cole brings him down with a backstabber!

Cover, TWO! Cole grows frustrated, but he keeps on Aleister with a rain of right hands and stomps. The fans wants Cole to “Get the Tables!” Cole rolls out of the ring and obliges! He drags out a table and Philly goes wild! Cole brings the table around while Aleister flounders in the ring. Cole sets the table up while fans cheer “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” The table is placed at an angle near a post while fans serenade themselves with “Oh~ We Want Some Tables~.” Cole lets them know they’re gonna get tables while he drags Aleister over. They go up to the top rope, but Aleister resists. Aleister fights back and crocks Cole with rights, to then throw him down onto the trash can!

Now Cole writhes while Aleister recovers. The Dutch Destroyer stands up and runs in for a running knee! TWO! Aleister does not lose focus, he just formulates a new plan. He goes outside and brings out a second table! The fans love what they see as Aleister sets his table up next to Cole’s. Aleister thinks about it, and it seems if two tables are better than one, then a ladder will only make it that much better! However, Cole dropkicks that ladder into Aleister, and Aleister hits the announce desk. Cole takes that ladder and sets it up in a corner. He then fetches Aleister and brings him back into the ring. Cole drags Aleister up and over to the ladder, but Aleister resists the suplex. He turns thigns around on Cole but COle resists. Aleister evades a punch but Cole gives him an enziguri! A dazed Aleister ends up in a corner, Cole stomps and punches away on him. COle climbs up to give corner punches, but he stops at about 6 to hit his “BAYBAY” pose. He continues but Aleister turns it around to an Electric Chair, to fling him at the ladder!

Both men are down but the fans are fired up as they lose their minds again. The referee checks on both men, but they’re somehow still okay to compete. The fans rally and Aleister starts to stir. He crawls over to Cole, Cole clutches his own hand. The medics must check on him, which upsets the fans a bit. Aleister manages a cover, TWO, but that doesn’t deter Aleister. He stands up again, and picks up one of those chairs. Aleister stands it up, then brings Cole over to place his head there. Aleister runs, but Cole revives to bring that chair up and ram it into Aleister’s stomach! Cole catches his breath before grabbing another chair and standing it up. He hobbles over to Aleister and brings him over now. Cole wants a repeat of NXT from weeks ago but his back gives out in the fireman’s carry. ALeister tries to grab Cole but Cole elbows him away. Cole goes for the Shining Wizard but Aleister ducks under to roll him up. Cole dodges a kick, but not the double stomps!

Aleister drags Cole over to that chair, sets his head down and gets to the apron. He climbs up top, but Cole gets up and throws the chair at Aleister. SUPERKICK knocks the chair into Aleister’s face, and then Aleister falls back to fall through the tables!!

Philadelphia loses their minds harder than ever with that crash landing! Cole recovers in the ring while the referee checks on Aleister. The fans chant for “NXT! NXT!” while Cole slowly makes his way out and over. He drags Aleister’s limp body up and around the wreckage before putting him in the ring. Cover, TWO!? Cole has no idea how Aleister survived, but fans know “This is awesome!” Cole brings a chair back over and sets it up again. He then brings a second chair over and sets it up with the first. Cole thinks for a moment, and decides to invert the chairs. He grins an evil grin before bringing Aleister up, but Aleister reverses and throws Cole onto the chair edge!!

Cole clutches his break as he writhes in pain and the fans hit an all time high. They even tell Cole “You deserve it!” Cole crawls his way around to the chairs and makes one into a crutch. Aleister knees that chair into Cole!

Cover, but then the rest of the Undisputed Era appear to disrupt it!

Kyle and Fish drag Aleister out, and hit an unfortunately legal Total Elimination!

Aleister goes down at the hands of the banged-up reDRagon, but there’s nothing the referee can do to stop them. Philly calls “Bullshit!” on this as reDRagon drag Aleister over and around the ring. They coordinate to take the announce desk apart, as well as position Aleister on spare production trunks. SAnitY appears to make the save!

They clobber the NXT Tag Team Champions mostly for what they owe the Undisputed Era from weeks ago. They throw reDRagon all around ringside, and Big Damo is in the ring with Cole. He wants Cole to watch as he DIVES onto everyone!

Damo takes out reDRagon AND SAnitY, and though Cole is frightened, the fans eat it up. HOwever, Aleister is still prone on the trunks, and Cole takes advantage! He goes over and brings Aleister up, but Aleister blocks. Aleister knocks Cole away, then takes aim, to double knee drop Cole through the announce desk!

The fans again chant for “NXT! NXT!” while Aleister drags himself over to Cole. He brings Cole up and into the ring, and fans chant “MAMA MIA!” Cole SUPERKICKS Aleister outta nowhere! Cole crawls back to a chair, and he vows to use it to end this. He brings that chair up but BLACK MASS outta nowhere!!

Aleister wins!! This match went to the extreme, but it is still Aleister’s win! Can anyone hope to stop the Embodiment of the End?

 

NXT Championship: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Johnny Gargano!

El Idolo does not believe Johnny Wrestling is a match for him, but Johnny FREAKING Wrestling refuses to be doubted ever again. Can Gargano dethrone El Campeon this soon into his reign?

The fans are already thunderous for Johnny Wrestling before the bell. The bell rings and the two men stare down while they slowly circle. The tension builds and then they tie up. Almas powers Gargano aruond and into a waistlock, but Gargano keeps up with Almas in technical back and forth. Gargano gets the facelock but ALmas gets loose, fans applaud. They circle again, the cheers continue, Almas gets the waistlock again. Gargano gets a wristlock and then the arm wrench, bringing Almas ot his knees. Almas stands up and tries to pry hsi way out, but instead slips around to another waistlock. Gargano feels his way through the hold to reapply the wristlock and into a hammerlock. Gargano gets the headlock takeover, Almas headscissors but Gargano pops out. Almas turns the tables but cannot pop out of Gargano’s headscissors. He still finds a way out and the two go seated switch for seated switch. Almas stands up and the fans applaud again. Mrs. Wrestling, Candice LaRae, watches from the front row as Gargano and Almas go again. Almas brings Gargano in for a headlock but Gargano powers out, only for Almas to rum him over with a shoulder. Things speed up, but Almas fakes Gargano out. Almas grabs Gargano and has the hammerlock but Gargano denies the DDT. Gargano goes for his submission but Almas slips out, he goes for the hammerlock again but Gargano reverses. Gargano still wants his submission hold but Almas continues to resist. The two separate once more, and the fans are loving it. Both men grin, Gargano because he knows he’s always close but Almas because he is still ahead. The two walk and circle again while the fans cheer “This is Wrestling”. The two go again but Almas kicks low, then drives Gargano to a corner. He whips corner to corner but Gargano goes up and over and side steps the hit a running headscissors and dropkick!

Gargano arm-drags Almas to an armlock, and fans applaud again. Zelina doesn’t like what she sees. Almas keeps from being caught in a cover, but Gargano puts more and more of his weight on Almas. Gargano keeps on an arm, but ALmas pulls on hair to put Gargano in a corner. Almas whips Gargano corner to corner again and fakes Gargano out, for a STIFF chop!

The chop gets Gargano across the face and chest, but Almas keeps on him with stomps. He drags Gargano up and around to a corner for another stiff chop. Almas whips Gargano back into the corner but Gargano boots back. Gargano hops up and throws ALmas with a flying huricanrana! He clotheslines Almas out then slingshots, but Almas evades. Gargano alley-oops Almas up but Almas lands on the apron. Almas asais but Gargano evades, Gargano hops onto the apron. Gargano jumps to evade Almas’ leg sweeps, then mule kicks Almas away. Gargano takes aim and jumps for the cannonball, but Almas side-steps!

Johnny Wrestling hits nothing but floor! Candice is concerned but Almas drags him up and into the ring. Cover, TWO, and Almas grows frustrated. Zelina keeps him focused as he stomps on Gargano. The fans continue to cheer for “Johnny Wrestling!” while Almas brings him up. Gargano revives to give southpaw forearms, but Almas shoves him away. Gargano turns that around to throw Almas at ropes, but Almas goes Spider-Man on the ropes. He then shifts and blocks Gargano’s forearms to then put Gargano in a dragon sleeper on the ropes!

The referee counts, Almas lets go at 4. He then sits Gargano up for a dropkick right to the head! Cover, TWO, and Almas grows further frustrated with Gargano. He puts Gargano in the chinlock. The fans rally, which upsets Zelina. Gargano endures the squeeze, but he starts to fade just a bit. The fans keep cheering while Zelina calls Gargano a loser. Almas shifts to put Gargano into a deeper chinlock stretch, but Gargano does not quit. The fans rally stronger now, and Gargano feeds off the energy. He wills himself up and fights back to free himself. Almas slips out of the scoop but Gargano denies the dragon sleeper. Gargano tries to suplex but his back won’t let him. He slips out of Almas’ suplex and rolls him for the schoolboy kick! Almas crawls to a corner, Gargano gets up and gives him a running chop. They go corner to corner, Almas reverses but Gargano puts him on the apron. Gargano kicks but Almas blocks and hangs him up in a Tree of Woe! Almas climbs up, takes aim, but Gargano leans back to avoid the draping stomps! Gargano gets out and throws Almas into the buckles!

Both men are down, but Zelina is the most concerned. The champion and challenger stir, and then they brawl with sharp elbows back and forth. Fans cheer for Gargano but boo Almas. Gargano gets an edge with short lariats. Almas shoves Gargano, he returns with a big forearm! Gargano rallies with forearms from both arms and then rocks Almas with an enziguri. Almas staggers to a corner, Gargano runs in for a forearm smash. Gargano hops up, takes aim, and hits a tornado downward spiral!

Cover, TWO! Zelina breathes easier, but she still wants her man to get back into this. Gargano brings Almas up. Almas revives, misses, but elbows his way out of Gargano’s move. Gargano kicks back and throws Almas to the ropes. Gargano knows he’ll Spider-Man so he slips under to the outside. Almas knocks Gargano back with a forearm then gets running, but into Gargano’s slingshot spear!

Cover, TWO! Zelina panics but Gargano keeps his cool. Gargano gets space before standing back up. He runs at Almas in a corner for a big kick, then runs for the tilt-o-whirl, but Almas makes it a facebuster! TWO, and Almas again grows frustrated. Zelina coaches her man, he rams a right forearm into Gargano’s head. Almas then climbs up to the top, moonsault but Gargano evades, Almas lands on his feet to immediately moonsault again! Cover, TWO! Zelina is furious and Almas is shocked. Almas drags Gargano up and gives him more stiff elbows. Gargano responds with his own elbows, then runs but into a big back elbow! Cover, TWO and three quarters! Almas runs, but into Gargano’s SUPERKICK!

Cover, TWO! Gargano and Almas get moving again, going lariat for lariat and slap for slap! The two fall down but the fans applaud this instant classic. The two men stir and get to opposite ends of the ring. The fans hope they “Fight forever!” while Almas gets to a corner. Gargano runs in but into a boot. Almas hops up, Gargano grabs a leg, so Almas enziguris him with the other leg! He brings Gargano up and onto the top rope. Almas climbs up to join him, hammerlock and facelock, but Gargano resists. Gargano slips out but Almas denies the powerbomb with punches. Gargan slips outs and SUPERKICKS Almas upside-down!

Almas is stuck up there, and Zelina panics all over again. Gargano climbs up again, and goes to sunset flip Almas but Almas springs out and lands on his feet! CIEN KNEES!

Almas goes corner to corner, but Gargano evades and Almas hits buckles! Gargano gets to the apron, slingshots in, but Almas catches him for a draping facebuster and clubbing forearm! Almas keeps going, inverted tornado DDT!

Cover, TWO! Zelina looks this close to ripping her hair out over this but Philly gives a standing ovation! Gargano and Almas drag themselves to the apron while the fans are thunderously cheering. Almas brings Gargano up, wants the DDT but Gargano hooks a leg on the ropes. Almas clubs Gargano and lifts with a fireman’s but Gargano slips out. Gargano rocks Almas with a forearm, Almas forearms back. They brawl like this, Gargano enziguri Almas but he stays on. Gargano sees his opening, slingshot DDT to the apron!!

Both men slump to the ground, the referee checks on Almas. They’re both okay to continue, so the referee starts a ring count. Gargano drags Almas up and over at about 4, and they both get in at 7. Cover, TWO! Zelina keeps coaching, but Gargano slips around and slowly applies his hold. Almas revives just in time to resist the final phase. The two struggle and stand up, jawbreaker from Almas. He then wrenches Gargano’s arm but gets a forearm for it. Almas swings but Gargano spins him, the back elbow comes in from the other end. Zelina shouts orders, Almas runs, but into Gargano’s lariat! Gargano keeps moving, scooping Almas for the long dart! Gargano isn’t done there, and the fans know it. He takes aim, Zelina swipes at him, Almas dropkicks in the distraction! Almas hurries to do anything, but Gargano counters with a small package! TWO!! super feint to mule kick, then killer mule kick! TWO!! The fans still applaud this insanity and want them to “Fight Forever!” while repeating that “This is awesome!” Gargano gets up and crawls over to a corner. Almas chases at a crawl while Gargano climbs up. Almas anchors a foot but Gargano punches him away, but Almas sweeps the legs. Gargano hangs on as Almas climbs up now and keeps up those elbows. Almas reaches the top, draping stomps to the apron!

Gargano topples down and his eyes glaze over. Almas drags him up to shove him back into the LED board! He won’t let up, he keeps bouncing him off the board. The referee backs him off but Almas wont’ stay back. Almas drags Gargano up and in, then watches him in the corner. CIEN KNEES again!!

TWO!? No one can believe Gargano survived, but this is how much winning the NXT Championship means to him! Gargano’s eyes still look dazed, but fans still hope they “Fight Forever!” Almas and Gargano fight as best they can on the ground. Almas slaps Gargano, and fans boo the disrespect. He does it again, but Gargano keeps moving. They stand up, Gargano revives to throw a left haymaker. Then another, and another. Gargano keeps going, slapping Almas back. Almas chops Gargano, Gargano SUPERKICKS, then POISONED RANA!!

The fans fire up all over again, as does Gargano! Almas is the one dazed, Gargano gets running, tilt-o-hwirl into GargaNO Escape!!

Almas crawls and reaches, but fans chant “TAP! TAP!” The champ rolls but Gargano keeps a hold of him! Zelina reaches out for Almas and keeps him from tapping. The referee goes over to her, and in that time, Almas scratches Gargano’s eyes and gets him to let go! Almas goes over to Gargano, wants the hammerlock but Gargano power shim to a corner. Gargano shoves Almas over and out of the ring, then runs to DIVE!

He puts Almas in the ring, but then Zelina finds an opening to get on the apron and hit Gargano with a flying headscissors! Gargano is sent into steel steps!

Zelina shouts for Almas to fetch Gargano and he does. They return into the ring, Almas brings Gargano up, and hits the Hammerlock DDT!!

Almas covers, TWO!?!? Gargano lives!? Philly chants “YES! YES!” for the unofficial heir to Daniel Bryan’s legacy! The fans will not give up on “Johnny Wrestling!” but Zelina has hit her limit. She gets on the apron and shouts at the referee. Gargano rolls away in the meantime. Zelina storms her away around the ring, headed right for him, but in comes Candice to defend HER man!

Mrs. Wrestling unloads on La Gerente, then throws her right into the barriers!

The assault continues but Zelina retreats through the crowd! Candice gives chase, and now Almas is alone against Gargano. The fans say “Thank you, Candice!” while Gargano gets himself onto the apron. Almas comes over but Gargano kicks him away, to hit another slingshot DDT!!

TWO!? Even so, Gargano puts his GargaNO Escape back on! He bends Almas back and Almas endures, his legs get a ropebreak. Gargano lets go and Almas gets to the apron. Gargano goes out to join him, Almas shoves him into the post! The referee checks on Gargano as he slumps down, but Almas gets to the opposite ends. CIEN KNEES NUMERO TRES, and into the ring post!!

Almas leaves Gargano down and out on the outside. The referee checks on Gargano again, but Almas comes back over. Gargano somehow pulls himself up but Almas brings him the rest of the way. The fans keep cheering for Gargano as Almas drags him over the top rope, for a SUPER DRAPING HAMMERLOCK DDT!!

Almas covers, Almas finally wins. As Mauro Ranello puts it, “You could not ask for more out of an NXT Championship match.” Whether by hook or by crook, El Idolo inches out a win against Johnny Wrestling to remain NXT Champion. Zelina even returns to celebrate with her man. Has Almas earned a place in the conversation of top superstar in NXT?

As for Gargano, his wife, Candice, returns to check on him.

Mrs. Wrestling consoles Mr. Wrestling, he did nothing wrong in this match. Philadelphia also cheers for him and his superhuman effort. The chant of “Thank you, Johnny!” mixes with the others while Candice helps Gargano up the ramp. He turns around to give Philly one last look.

But then Tommaso Ciampa attacks from behind!!

The Psycho Killer returns to make Gargano’s loss even worse! Gargano writhes on the ground, and his former friend simply stares at him. Philly calls Ciampa an “Asshole!” but he doesn’t care what they think. Ciampa simply wants to make good on his promise to bring Gargano down with him. When will he strike again?

 

My Thoughts:

NXT just raised the bar on everything else in WWE with this special alone. Everything was brilliant from start to finish, and with no complaints from me. The NXT Year End Awards were fun to see presented in the preshow, and they truly went to the most deserving nominees. The NXT Tag Team Championships opening was a great surprise and completely works within story given the attitudes of the Authors of Pain. Obviously reDRagon were the underdogs despite being champions, and they played it up well. That said, they managed to exploit the one weakness all humans have, and that is the joints. There was great storytelling with going after Akam’s leg, and though it technically didn’t lose AoP the match, the leg came into play enough to help reDRagon come away with a win and those NXT Tag Team titles. This defeat likely means AoP could show up on the main roster as soon as Monday to do whatever they want to the main roster’s tag team divisions. Likewise, Ohno losing in a stellar match with Velveteen Dream could mean he’ll finally make his way to the main roster and perhaps freshen up the mid-card. If I had to choose, I’d put Ohno on SmackDown to challenge Bobby Roode for the US Championship.

The NXT Women’s Championship match was also incredible, and it felt like Philly legitimately disliked Shayna Baszler. Shayna played up her Heel persona perfectly, and there was again great storytelling through Ember’s arm injury. Ember’s character may not have gone the way it should have but she still impresses with how she persevered and found a way to win. Of course, Shayna ups the ante with a Sore Loser Heel move, she is not through with the Women’s Championship scene just yet. Aleister-Cole was the first Extreme Rules match for NXT, and probably the best one of those in the history of WWE as a whole. There was innovation in the destruction as well as legitimacy in the storytelling, such as reDRagon coming out to legally interfere on Cole’s behalf only to be thwarted by SAnitY. SAnitY are still owed NXT Tag Team Championship rematches, but Wrestlemania Weekend is so far away that the rematch will likely happen long before then. Either team could come away champions, but both teams will definitely give an amazing match. And probably the most amazing match ever was properly saved for last as Almas and Gargano tear it up and tear it down for the NXT Championship. I still can’t believe they went as long and as hard as they did even after it’s all said and done. I was also glad to see Candice get involved to stop Zelina from interfering, as she’s super close to making her own NXT debut. Almas still wins in this microscopically close match-up, so that he isn’t a transitional champion. While it means Gargano is swept 0-3, that in itself feeds his ultimate underdog story, and allows him and the returning Ciampa to feud over personal pride and disdain rather than the gold. And in which case, Ciampa VS Gargano in the feud we’ve been waiting for is going to be full of instant classics itself.

My Score: 9/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.5 ~ 12TH OCTOBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP
As Noah head towards the end of the year, Autumn Navigation began on October 7th in Gunma. I am afraid I don’t have too much information about the first two shows.

Naomichi Marufuji’s feud (not so much Akitoshi Saito’s) with Mitsuya Nagai and “The Hooligans” began in earnest. Marufuji came out with a weary expression like he had to deal with something that was tiresome (and to him it is, as he says that The Hooligans are not worthy of the title shot, although he’s had to begrudgingly give them one), and this match was to prove just to be that as Nagai came out to “second”.

“Second” in this case being another word for “interfere”, which he did by pulling the referee out of the ring when Marufuji went for the pin on Taniguchi. While the ref and Nagai argued, Cody Hall used the distraction to creep into the ring and ambush Marufuji with “The Hooligan” bomb, meaning that Taniguchi got the win when the ref got back in the ring.

Afterwards The Hooligans stood over Marufuji, Cody Hall & Taniguchi holding the heavyweight tag belts, and Taniguchi with his foot on him.

Marufuji said afterwards that he was irritated before, but he’s angry now, and he’s had enough. This wasn’t enough, however, to stop The Hooligans from running over them again on the 11th October.

Noah have started the pre-matches for Global League; on the 11th October, Masa Kitamiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against each other after a long while. Nakajima, as ever, smirking when kicking someone, this time his tag partner.

NEWS

NOAH MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE IN EUROPE & USA
IPW have announced that they have become the official merchandise vendor for Noah for Europe, and I understand they also deliver to the USA. I am afraid for any other country, you would need to check directly with them. Shop can be accessed via the link above.

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s column this week is thought to be generally not too interesting (aside from maybe the end about appearing in a quiz show), but he does give some interesting insights into life in Noah and how wrestlers branching out into other programs beyond wrestling, can help a product.

Speaking of Kenoh, I read a very sweet story in an interview earlier this week.

When Kenoh was a tiny infant (about two or three), he used to stand at the window of the Nippon Kempo watching them practice until his mother removed him. Even when it snowed, he would stand at the window.

His mother later asked if he could see inside, and then enrolled him in the school.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI VS HIKARU SHIDA
For her tenth anniversary in wrestling, Hikaru Shida challenged Naomichi Marufuji to a rematch. They had last clashed on April 17th, and she had been knocked out within a few minutes (108 seconds to be precise). This time she managed to last eighteen minutes with him. He took knee attacks, and she took chops.

Marufuji won with the high knee, and said afterwards that “the match was fun, and with so much potential, I want you to be the top girl”.”.

WINTER NAVIGATION 2018 & EARLY DATES FOR JANUARY 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Winter Navigation 2018”, plus “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2” and “NOAHFul Gift in Differ”.

They have also announced dates for January 2019.

Last year NOAHFUL Gift was held in ShinKiba, this year it will be being held at Korakuen Hall. Although Noah have announced no plans for the format as of yet, it will most likely feature the flea market in which Noah sell their old ring wear to fans (in the old days they would also serve Dojo chanko) and the usual battle royal and comedy matches.

Genba Hirayanagi threatened to appear last year in some gnarly old pants when he heard there was a flea-market. Sugiura said no one would want them, and Marufuji told him that it was “called obstruction of business”.

Thankfully Genba’s questionable taste in clothes is not a recurring feature, but Akitoshi Saito in cosplay is. In past years we have seen a lounge singer (complete with frilled cuffs, cummerbund and a velvet suit), and a pigtailed joshi. 2017 saw him in a video which was played in installments throughout the evening flanked by Moose in a Burger King hat, Eddie Edwards in a Santa hat (both were trying not to laugh), and Saito in various stages of undress whilst wearing a wig and make-up.

During the Battle Royale last year, everyone dressed up; well, almost everyone, as Kenoh appeared in an old karate outfit, and HAYATA came as himself in DOVE Pro. Other highlights included Takashi Sugiura being labelled a “vulgar and tasteless Santa” by Tokyo Sports, Hi69 was a “Panda” (his costume was purple tights and Panda face-paint, and according to Hajime Ohara he had gone out and bought his costume the night before, leading Sugi to point, laugh and say “that’s not a Panda, that’s a monster), Hajime Ohara as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” complete with satchel full of bakery goods, a Jiji on his shoulder, black wig with a bow and a broom, Hitoshi Kumano as a bear, Daisuke Harada as HAYATA (which HAYATA did not appreciate and glared at him afterwards) and of course the inevitable Mr. Koto (Atsushi Kotoge).

Needless to say its a fun show, and if you are going to be in Tokyo over Christmas\New Year, I not only envy you, I also highly recommend you go and see it. All grudges, rivalries and title matches are put aside, and the roster relax and have fun.

OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
Naomichi Marufuji and Hi69 will miss Noah’s event on the 18th November as they will be participating in Ryuku Dragon Pro in Okinawa

Kenoh will be appearing for KAIENTAI DOJO on Sunday October 28th, he will team with Tank Nagai against Yuri Asakawa & Kengo Mashimo.

Junta Miyawaki will make his second appearance for YOUNGDOMS (FREEDOMS sub brand) on the 5th November, he will team with Shunsuke Sayama vs Toru Sugiura and SUSUMU

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The GHC Heavyweight Championship currently has no challenger as Global League will begin in late October to determine the number one contender.

Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge will clash over the GHC Junior Championship on October 30th at Korakuen Hall (match signing to be held the same day)

Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship against “The Hooligans” (Maybach Taniguchi and Cody Hall) on Sunday October 14th in Kobe.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Naomichi Marufuji was involved in a minor car accident this week when someone reversed into him, he is fine fortunately.
  • Noah released Halloween Revolutionary cloaks for kids which were sold on the 11th October, with the Revolutionary Hero on hand to sign them. Atsushi Kotoge has said that the manufacturing cost is too high to make them for adults.
  • Takashi Sugiura gave a defense match interview, in it he said he wants to be the first reigning champion in history to win Global League, and if that happens he will nominate his own opponent, which will be Masato Tanaka. They have fought against each other in the past, but they have never had a title match over a single belt.
  • Mitsuya Nagai called a lady in the crowd “you old bag” because she was mouthing off to him.
  • Mohammed Yone’s disco ball for his entry has become a thing
  • People would like to see Atsushi Kotoge and Kaito Kiyomiya tag together and challenge for the belts
  • HAYATA has a new online diary, “HAYATAbot”, I am afraid that to access it requires a paid subscription
  • Kenoh will finally get his wish for a singles match with Naomichi Marufuji on the 8th November at Korakuen Hall for Global League 2018.
  • Like Hi69 does, Atsushi Kotoge did a short question time with fans on Twitter, highlights included; Kotoge saying he doesn’t drink at home, and Go Shiozaki asking what the capes were made of to which, Kotoge said playfully, “asshole, I’ll go and look”. He never actually answered Shiozaki’s question.
  • Kenoh’s friend, Masahiro-san (whom Kenoh has blocked, and who Masahiro-san calls “that asshole who blocked me”), posted a few candid pictures of when he stayed at Kenoh’s home for the night on Twitter. Masahiro-san usually deletes them a few minutes after posting, but they were there long enough to ascertain Kenoh bought tourist fodder Union Jack boxer shorts when he visited London for Frontline Pro Wrestling.
  • Hajime Ohara is holding exercise classes in Kawasaki which are open to adults of every age and sex. The classes will be simple exercises in how to build, tone and maintain muscles and how to exercises with a water bottle.

KING SHAMLESS’S CORNER
None this week, he’s managed to behave himself.

EVENT RECAPS
7TH OCTOBER 2018, NEW SUNPIA TAKASAKI, GUNMA
11TH OCTOBER 2018, OYAMA CITY CULTURAL CENTER SMALL HALL, OYAMA, TOCHIGI

LINKS
English language translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, “Heir to The Ark”
Takashi Sugiura’s sixth defense interview
Akira Taue loved the “Talk Battle” with Toshiaki Kawada
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Destruction in Hiroshima 2018!

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NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima

AXS moves on in its NJPW coverage by bringing us Destruction in Hiroshima! Does the Best Bout Machine hold on to his title against the Stone Pitbull?

 

This coverage of Destruction in Hiroshima will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi & Jay White; Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma win.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene!

Kenny Omega continues his reign as the newest IWGP Heavyweight Champion after his epic 2 Out of 3 Falls match Kazuchika Okada. He has bested some of the best, such as The American Nightmare, Cody, at the G1 Special in San Francisco, and six straight victories in this year’s G1 Climax tournament. However, things were changed when The Stone Pitbull looked to play spoiler. Tomohiro Ishii was no longer in contention for the G1 Climax 28 Finals, but he was more concerned about evening the score from the IWGP United States Championship tournament. Ishii defeated Omega in a toughly contested match, and that would ultimately cost Omega his spot in the G1 Climax finals. That victory has earned Ishii his shot tonight in Hiroshima, but will he be able to repeat his upset performance? Or will the Best Bout Machine break the tie and retain the title?

 

Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi & Jay White!

There is much tension within the Chaos trio as the Switchblade has made it clear he wants to take control of the faction away from The Rainmaker. Can White and Okada get along, with the Head Hunter stuck in the middle, against The Ace, the Uncaged Gorilla and the “Innovator of Lighttube Death Matches”?

NJPW and AXS jump into this match as it is in progress. White tags in off Okada and chops away on Honma. He whips him corner to corner then chops Honma off his feet. White taunts Honma then brings him up, but Honma chops back. White elbows Honma’s neck and tries to suplex, but Honma blocks. Honma goes to suplex White but White reverses and chops him to a corner. White runs in but into a boot, and Honma runs out for a leaping shoulder tackle! Fans fire up for Honma as he crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Makabe, who runs White over with a shoulder then barrels into Okada. Yoshi-Hashi slips in to kick and run, but into a powerslam! Hashi exits while Makabe corner clotheslines White. Makabe climbs up to throw hands but White slips out underneath. White tags Okada in so he can get away.

Okada comes in but Makabe is on him with big forearms. Makabe whips Okada corner to corner then hits a corner clothesline. Makabe climbs up and gives corner punches, all the way to 10. He goes to Northern Lights but Okada fights it off. Okada runs but into a big lariat! Cover, TWO! Makabe brings Okada up but Okada resists, countering with a back drop. Okada runs in corner to corner for the clothesline, then hits a DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada drags Makabe up and wants the gut wrench but Makabe fights it. Makabe and Okada both club each other, but Okada gets the edge. Okada runs but ducks one clothesline to get the other! Both men are down, and fans rally up. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

The Ace hits Hashi and White, then focuses on Okada. Tanahahsi runs, but into the gut wrench! He turns it around to hit the swinging neckbreaker! He keeps moving as Okada stands, to bring him down with the slingblade! Cover, but Hashi breaks it. Makabe tosses Hashi out and Tanahashi gets moving again. Tanahashi climbs up but Okada dropkicks him! Okada drags Tanahashi off the top rope, still wanting the Tombstone. Tanahashi slips off to rock Okada with a palm strike! Tanahashi runs but into a dropkick! Fans rally up and Okada tags in Hashi. Hashi runs and hits the blockbuster! He hits Makabe and Honma then runs back at Tanahsahi for the chop in the corner. But White wants him to use a chair now? Hashi refuses, and Tanahashi hits White! Tanahashi gets Hashi in the dragon screw!

Honma hits Okada and then Makabe comes in. They and Tanahashi rally on Yoshi-Hashi with a corner dropkick, and feed to the double clothesline sandwich! Honma drops the headbutt! Tanahashi heads up top but White dumps him down! Makabe and White exit and get into a fight with White while Yoshi-Hashi gets up. Hashi runs but into a full nelson. He denies the dragon suplex, but Tanahashi wants the straitjacket. Okada runs in to save Hashi, and then Hashi runs. Tanahashi boots Yoshi-Hashi away, then elbows Okada. Yoshi-Hashi still comes back to grab Tanahashi, and Okada runs in. Tanahashi ducks, Okada’s boot goes into Yoshi-Hashi! Tanahshi small packages while Makabe trips Okada, Tanahashi’s team wins!

Winners: Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi pinning

Taguchi Japan makes it a victory against Chaos! And Chaos’s trio isn’t in a good move over it. Yoshi-Hashi won’t let Okada console him, and White gets in Okada’s face about the loss, too. With his faction so against him here, does Okada have a chance of keeping control? And what of his shot at Tanahashi’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship Wrestle Kingdom match contract?

Backstage interviews.

Jay White can’t understand why Chaos follows Okada. Okada ended up kicking Yoshi-Hashi square in the face and cost the team that match. The two of them were in there with that “old man” Tanahashi, but couldn’t do what White did by himself during the G1 Climax. White says it is Okada’s fault. Okada boots his friend Yoshi-Hashi in the face, for what? Is Okada angry that White beat him? Is Okada taking his anger out on Chaos? Okada shouldn’t bully someone who was on his side this whole time like that. The rest of Chaos should look at that and realize who they’re following. Clearly the Switchblade sees circumstances his own way, but will he be able to manipulate the rest of Chaos into seeing it the same way?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii!

The Cleaner won against the Stone Pitbull to become the inaugural IWGP United States Champion, but the Pitbull won to be the first loss on the Cleaner’s G1 Climax 28 record. Now they will have a tiebreaker with the title on the line! Who will win the third match in this hard-hitting trilogy?

The introductions are made, Red Shoes shows Ishii the belt, and we begin! Fans are immediately thunderous for both men and Omega makes sure Ishii hears it. Ishii steps closer to Omega, and Omega backs up until he ends up in his corner. Ishii takes a step back, and Omega comes out for a furious tie-up! They push each other back and forth, and end up breaking. The fans applaud as Omega and Ishii go again. Omega gets a headlock and grinds Ishii to the mat. Ishii gets back up and pries at the hold. Omega holds on, so Ishii powers out. Omega and Ishii collide but neither man backs down. Ishii dares Omega to go again, and Omega does, and they collide again. Again, neither man backs down, so Ishii dares Omega to try a third time. Omega looks to go, but he instead rakes Ishii’s eyes.

Omega rakes Ishii’s eyes again, then runs, to collide shoulders. Ishii staggers back but rebounds to run Omega over! Ishii runs and things speed up, but Ishii holds ropes to fake out Omega. Omega still boots Ishii, then runs. He dodges Ishii but Ishii dodges back. Omega boots Ishii’s lariat down, but Ishii blocks the V-Trigger. Ishii runs into a drop toehold, Omega runs but Ishii evades the dropkick! Fans fire up as we have a stand-off. Ishii and Omega grind foreheads, then start shoving. Omega throws a forearm, but Ishii comes back with one. Omega gives another forearm, but Ishii comes back with another. They go back and forth, forearm for forearm, until Omega kicks low. Omega wants the DDT but Ishii slips out to throw another forearm. Omega retaliates with a forearm, and we’re back to forearm for forearm!

Ishii hits, Omega hits, repeat, until Omega kicks Ishii again, and gets the DDT! Ishii crawls to ropes and Red Shoes checks on him. Omega brings Ishii up to kick him in the back, then sits him up for another kick. He brings Ishii all the way up and turns him, for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Omega drags Ishii around for a rear mount and chinlock. Ishii endures, even as Omega shifts to a half came clutch. Ishii seems to just egg Omega on, so Omega puts him down to stomp him out. Omega grimaces as he drops double ax handles on Ishii. Ishii sits up so Omega kicks and clubs him. Omega brings Ishii over to bump him off buckles, but Ishii just fires up! Omega throws more forearms, then bumps Ishii on buckles again. Ishii continues to come back, so Omega bumps him off another buckle.

Omega stands on Ishii’s back to choke him in the ropes. Red Shoes counts and Omega lets up at 4. Omega brings Ishii up to throw more forearms, then whips corner to corner. He runs in and hits a big back elbow. He keeps moving but runs into Ishii’s powerslam! Ishii has evened things with Omega while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Ishii and Omega stand. Ishii chops Omega at the ropes again and again, then throws forearms into the mix. Forearm, chop, repeat, then Ishii whips. Omega reverses and fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton is a bit rough because Ishii is no light man, but Omega still gets up to moonsault! Ishii rolls out of the way so the moonsault flops! Both Omega and Ishii stand up slowly, but Ishii gets running, only to run into Omega’s huricanrana! Ishii rolls out of the ring but Omega takes aim. The Terminator Drums begin and Omega rises. Omega builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Ishii! Omega brings Ishii up and into the ring, then slides in to build speed, Kotaro Krusher!

But Omega doesn’t go for a cover, he locks and loads, but Ishii gets right up in that finger gun. Ishii fires forearms off, then runs, but into a boot! He’s right back up and he clotheslines Omega out of the ring! Ishii pursues and drags Omega up, to whip him into railing. Ishii chops Omega around the ringside area, and even against a post. Omega chops back, and now they brawl. Ishii forearms, Omega chops, Ishii chops, Omega chops again. They continue to trade sharp, echoing chops, but then Omega decides to clear an announcer table. Ishii stops Omega and whips him at railing, but Omega stops himself. Omega mule kicks Ishii then goes to springboard off the rails, but Ishii catches him into an electric chair! Ishii then tries to fold Omega, perhaps steal One Winged Angel, but Omega fights out.

Omega clubs Ishii on the back, brings him over, but it’s Ishii who snap suplexes Omega to the floor! Both men are down, but Red Shoes is letting them fight. Ishii gets Omega up and into the ring, but Omega dropkicks him back out. Omega takes aim again, builds speed and hits a wrecking ball dropkick! Ishii is sent into railing, but Omega keeps on him. Omega dumps him over onto that cleared desk, then continues where he left off. He clubs away on Ishii, even throwing monitors on him, before going back in the ring. Omega aims from a corner, springboards himself, and hits a DOUBLE STOMP! Omega cracks the table with Ishii’s body while Ishii clutches his chest. Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.

Omega mocks Ishii while he makes his own way back to the ring. He’ll leave Ishii to the mercy of the 20 count as Red Shoes starts. Fans rally for Ishii, and he stirs at 8. Ishii drags himself over the railing at 10, but still crawls. The count passes 15, then 17, but Ishii’s in at 19! Omega says he’ll finish this, as he brings Ishii up. Aoi Shoudou brainbuster! Ishii rolls to ropes for safety, but Omega still says BANG! Ishii avoids the V-Trigger but Omega fights the waistlock. Omega swings but ends up in a saido suplex! Both men are down but fans are rallying up. Ishii sits up but Omega follows. Ishii chops Omega in a corner, and chops and chops! Omega chops back but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Ishii chops and Omega is again in the corner.

Ishii is chopping high on the chest, almost getting the throat! Red Shoes reprimands Ishii, so he stops that. Ishii whips Omega but Omega reverses. Ishii still barrels out to blast Omega to the corner with his shoulder! He brings Omega up, powerbomb lift, and the BIG powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO!! Omega survives but Ishii runs. Omega dodges the sliding lariat, then chops Ishii. Ishii felt that one, but he still comes back. Omega boots Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but runs into a boot. Omega’s up but Ishii hits him with a forearm. Ishii and Omega brawl as Ishii climbs. Omega kicks but Ishii forearms. Omega gets more kicks in, then brings Ishii up for a slap! He stomps Ishii down, but Ishii grits his teeth as he comes back up. Ishii headbutts outta nowhere!

Omega is dazed but Ishii climbs up to join him. Ishii wants it, and gets the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, but Ishii is not deterred. Ishii waits for Omega to stand, then runs, but omega ducks to get the German Suplex! Ishii’s right back up to give Omega a German Suplex! Omega stands up, but he’s a bit wobbly. Ishii clubs him in the back, then German Suplexes again! Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger outta nowhere! Both men are down, but fans are fired up again. Red Shoes checks on them as they stir. Omega sits up first, then stands. He brings Ishii up but intercepts him with a forearm. Omega throws more forearms, and Ishii kneels. Omega keeps going, but now Ishii grows stronger! Ishii takes a forearm, gives a forearm, but runs into a roaring elbow. Ishii swings but ends up in a Snap Dragon Suplex!

Omega stands, runs, V-Trigger! Ishii rebounds to his feet, and Omega lifts in the electric chair. Ishii fights out and gets the dragon sleeper, but Omega counters into a brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega stands up. He sits Ishii up, for a point blank V-Trigger! Then another! Omega grins as he keeps Ishii up, but then Ishii falls over before Omega can get the third. Omega drags Ishii up, holds him in place, and gives that next V-Trigger. Ishii crawls to a corner as Omega backs away. Omega runs in to V-Trigger Ishii in the back of the head! Omega drags Ishii up and onto the top rope, then climbs up to join him. He has Ishii in the full nelson, but Ishii resists. Omega clubs away on his back with palm strikes, but Ishii headbutts backwards! Omega staggers away and Ishii turns around, but into a chop. Now Omega double underhooks on the top rope, but Ishii still resists. Ishii sends Omega back down, but Omega jumps to V-Trigger!

Omega climbs back up, turns around, and brings Ishii up in a fireman’s carry. Ishii fights again, and stands, for a SUPER STEINER!! How rare for Ishii to fly like that! Omega crawls away but Ishii runs in corner to corner for a big clothesline. Ishii keeps going but runs into boots. Omega boots again but gets a headbutt for it! Ishii fires up and declares that belt is his! He sits Omega up, copies the finger gun, and runs in for a a V-Trigger?! Ishii keeps going to run him over with a lariat! Cover, TWO!! The Pitbull hasn’t put the champion away just yet! Ishii drags Omega up, suplex, but Omega slips out. Ishii headbutts, then runs, but into a leaping lariat! Omega drags Ishii up fast, into the Electric Chair, but Ishii slips out to suplex. Omega slips out, REVERSE-RANA!

Both men are down again but fans are loving it. They rally up for both men while Red Shoes checks on them. Ishii drags himself up on the ropes, but Omega crawls to the far side. They both stand and stagger over to each other. Omega throws a forearm, Ishii gives one back. Again these two go back and forth. Omega wobbles but still comes back. Ishii finally feels some of those hits, and Omega gives him a swift palm strike. Ishii fires off forearms from both sides, but Omega again palm strikes! Omega ducks the enziguri, and gets the Snap Dragon! To V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega refuses to stop, and he brings Ishii up again. Electric chair, the fold, but Ishii fights with elbows. So Omega pops him into the Croyt’s Wrath German Suplex!

Omega aims, runs, V-Trigger! But Ishii comes back with a lariat outta nowhere!! Fans are reaching a fever pitch as these two keep going. Ishii sits Omega up, runs, and hits the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Omega still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! Ishii still has more to give, though, and runs, but into another V-Trigger. Omega runs but into another lariat. Ishii runs and Omega follows, but Ishii just stops and gives him another lariat! Ishii drags Omega up, but Omega gut wrenches for a quick piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Hiroshima is thunderous again! Omega slowly stands, and he brings Ishii up again. He stands Ishii up against ropes, pulls down the knee pad, and runs, for a BIG V-Trigger! Omega tumbles out of the ring but gets back in, for another V-Trigger!! Cover, ONE?! The insanity!

Ishii is floundering, and Omega gives him another V-Trigger! Yet Ishii still enziguris Omega! Ishii blocks the next V-Trigger, but then Omega comes back with another. Omega double underhooks for the butterfly driver! Cover, TWO!? Ishii’s head really must be stone to endure all this. Omega takes a moment to catch his breath as the fans build to a rally. He runs again, and hits another V-Trigger! Then the electric chair, ONE WINGED ANGEL! Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Finally Omega finishes Ishii! Omega retains in his second defense, and settles the score with the Stone Pitbull. We’ll return with the celebration and more after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Omega stands back up to have his hand raised. Kota Ibushi joins him in the ring and puts the belt on Omega. Ishii flounders his way out, needing the help of the Young Lions to make his exit. Omega looks to him with a nod, showing that Ishii certainly has Omega’s respect. When and where will the Pitbull be back for another shot at the title?

As for Omega, he takes to the mic. In Japanese, Omega says that “Ishii-san, it feels like we still have unfinished business.” But what else? When Omega became champion, he thought it meant he was the strongest. That he’s the best, THE greatest in the world. But the truth is a bit different. The truth is, Kota Ibushi is the reason Omega is the best. Omega told Ibushi back at Osaka-Jo Hall, that “whenever or wherever, I’ll be ready.” Ibushi takes the mic now, and tells Kenny that they’ll make good on their promise.

Yes, they made a promise. That no matter where, no matter when, “The Golden Lovers will keep fighting with the same heart and emotion.” Being the Golden Lovers means more to them than just belts. But this is all for now, so thank you for being here. As always, but in Golden Trigger style, “Good Bye, MWAH, and Good Night, BANG!” What promise do the Golden Lovers mean? When and where will they make good on it?

Backstage interviews.

Omega makes this simple: “I am pro-wrestling.” He’s the face of pro-wrestling. He thought that meant he was the best by far, but he’s heard what Hiroshi Tanahashi had to say about his own ideology. Omega thought Tanahashi meant all of NJPW. Ishii is different than Tanahashi, Okada is different than Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito is different than Tanahashis. They’re all different, and special in their own way.

In fact, the only thing wrong in NJPW is Tanahashi’s “old guard attitude” and close-minded heart. Tanahashi got lucky in the A Block. Omega was so close to using that mic to dare Tanahashi to have their title match here instead of at Wrestle Kingdom. But until then, good bye and good night, BANG! Though the Ace and the Cleaner are still months away from their WK13 match, things are already growing personal! Will Tanahashi be able to hold onto his contract briefcase? Will Omega be able to hold onto the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? Or will one of them lose their prize before Wrestle Kingdom ever arrives?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great night here for NJPW. With AXS airing Fighting Spirit Unleashed before this, there was a lot of this that was clear, but it was still great to watch. Chaos continues to fracture, and Jay White makes stronger moves towards taking control away from Okada. Of course, from FSU, we know he’s also after the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract. Perhaps White’s greed will be his downfall, but things could easily go his way and we suddenly have The Switchblade leading Chaos while aiming at Omega’s title. And it is still Omega’s title after that amazing match with Ishii.  Their G1 Climax match was itself very physical, but match did great to build on that. FSU gave us a hint that the Golden Lovers’ promise was to battle 1v1 for the title, and we might still get that down the road, but the wait will be worth it.

My Score: 8.7/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.4 ~ 5TH OCTOBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

Noah have had excellent attendances recently, bad weather, transport difficulties and a weekday show, have not kept people away. Korakuen might not have been sold out for the final, but it was a damn good result for a Thursday night with the majority of people making a mad dash across Tokyo to get there after work.
Hopefully, the fans dedication to seeing Noah and their willingness to battle through Typhoon weather (the event on the 30th September was fast tracked because of it and fans were warned that the show might be cancelled half way through due to the weather), rush hour traffic on a weekday and face resultant travel difficulties, will make the network consider just what they are missing.

Naomichi Marufuji missed the last two nights of Global Junior League as he was appearing in WRESTLE-1 and then Kansai Pro, but he was back for the 4th October.

The GHC Heavyweight match signing took place on September 29th 2018 at Yokohama Radiant Halls. Nakajima appeared with the usual smirk, and refused to answer any questions and when prompted to speak, sat with an eerie grin on his face like he found the whole thing very funny. Takashi Sugiura (who arrived wearing the tired expression like that of a father that has been called too many times to the Principals office over the misbehavior of his son), told him and everyone else that the smile would be wiped off Nakajima’s face when he got repeated elbows in it on the 4th October. That evening the veterans were obliterated by the “young people” as Yokohama went wild, Nakajima’s comment on the match was, “Oh, that was fun”.

The clash on the 30th September, however, was very different. The battle damaged endoskeleton inside Takashi Sugiura rebooted itself, and Nakajima caught a beating (seriously, half the time Sugi looked like he was going to put him over his knee). In a very short match Sugiura caught Nakajima with the Olympic Slam, the ref counted three, and Sugiura continued battering on him until the ref pulled him off, and he stood with his foot on him as Nakajima had done to him, before Nakajima was carried off on the back of the Revolutionary Hero who was watching at ringside. Sugiura later said that Nakajima was like a fly who “fled when I tried to crush him”, and vowed to crush him at Korakuen Hall.

On the 4th October, evidently learning nothing from the 30th September, Katsuhiko Nakajima came strolling out to the ring, big smirk on his face, sinister new ring robe with faux wolfskin and sinister black pants, boots and kneepads. As soon as the bell rang, he lay down on the floor, resting his head on his hands and with his elbow bent, looking as if he were posing for a suncream or speedos advert.

Sugiura was not impressed.

It was a brutal match with kicks, elbows, slaps and slams (Sugiura did the turnbuckle brainbuster and held it for twenty seconds), and at one point Masa Kitamiya got involved which earned loud boos from the crowd, especially as Nakajima was using a wooden bar to choke Sugiura with. Eventually, Sugiura seized the chance for the ankle lock, and even bit into Nakajima’s boot.

It was too much for Nakajima, and he tapped out.

Afterwards most of the competitors for Global League got into the ring, (aside from the veterans that was, and those who were seconding Nakajima and the two who are coming in from outside promotions), and started yelling at each other and pointing fingers. Nagai got on the microphone first and said that the Hooligans were gunning for the GHC Heavyweight too, Kiyomiya told them that they would have to go past him first (Sugiura later said in an interview that he doesn’t consider Kiyomiya a challenge, as he couldn’t get past Kenoh to qualify for the number one contendership, so that’s one down for him), and Sugiura told them all to keep their pants on, the league starts on the 30th October, and so “all you youngsters, you had better start practicing”.

Naomichi Marufuji said he was going to finish this nonsense of The Hooligans on the 4th October, being too tired to deal with a “bald octopus and his worthless friends”, so he made this picture of them asking them to turn up to the event like this (Marufuji seems to share Sugiura’s obsession with bald people, and told Nagai to either grow hair down to his shoulders or get a wig if he wanted a title shot).

Nagai is not impressed by being called “a bald Octopus” and vowed to make Marufuji “regret the words you spewed”.

On the 4th October, Naomichi Marufuji & 50 Funky Powers clashed with The Hooligans, who were more interested in attacking Marufuji than they were Saito, and he took the brunt of things in the match. Afterwards, The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi holding up the belts) stood over them and unfurled their Hooligans flag.

Marufuji has to now give them a title shot, (although he says he is only doing it to crush them), and the two teams will meet in Kobe on the 14th October, before that Naomichi Marufuji and Maybach Taniguchi will have a rare singles match on the 7th October, with Akitoshi Saito facing Cody Hall.

Daisuke Harada faced off against his nemesis, Kotaro Suzuki on the 29th September in a very tense match, which ended with Kotaro Suzuki with the win. He stood over the fallen Daisuke Harada and said that he was going to “shine up that rusty belt” (I think he may also have called him a “Class A War Criminal”, which seems a little extreme).
YO-HEY (watched by Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa) faced Ikuto Hidaka for the semi-finals. YO-HEY seemed to have picked up a knock the knee during the match, (which Hidaka exploited), but he held on in there and refused to quit. The clock ticked away, near falls followed near falls, and then Hidaka locked in the Shinken Capture.
YO-HEY refused to quit.

The clock ran out and YO-HEY was awarded the win, which meant that he now had two jobs; to win Global Junior League and more importantly, to defend the honor of the Noah juniors against Kotaro Suzuki.

The showdown came on the 4th October, between the man who was not Noah born, but yet had the majority of the crowd behind him seeing him as representing Noah, and the man who is Noah born, but yet walked out of Noah, and therefore isn’t considered to be Noah anymore. The match was harsh with a lot of near falls which kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, but Kotaro Suzuki prevailed, and won Global Junior League 2018.

RATELS were at ringside and attended to YO-HEY, when he was rolled out of the ring, YO-HEY could be seen putting his palms together to bow and apologizing to Daisuke Harada.

After the match Kotaro Suzuki challenged Daisuke Harada. He later said he didn’t want the belt, but he had a plan for it, and he was bringing excitement to a division whose guys were bored and stuck in a rut.

All poor YO-HEY could say was “I’m sorry…I’m sorry”.

Junta Miyawaki is still without his first win, but the day is coming nearer, Noah are teasing a lot of near falls though.

Both Kouki Iwasaki (who faced Kenoh on the 4th October, and wants to do again) and Hiroshi Yamato (WRESTLE-1) say that they would like to further participate in Noah. Iwasaki says he wants to face Kenoh again and “knock him down”.

The wins of Takashi Sugiura and Kotaro Suzuki are the best outcomes for Noah.

The Junior division needs a proper heel, and while you could say they have Yoshinari Ogawa, Ogawa due to his age, status backstage in the company as the oldest active veteran (who is always referred to as “Mr. Ogawa” and treated with the highest respect), cannot enter a feud where his opponent runs him down, although he can go to toe to with the youngsters in the ring. Ogawa’s main role is as a teacher, and the rookies who come from the dojo, always pass through him; and Kotaro Suzuki therefore fulfills the role as someone who is a “things were better in my day” heel, allied in some way with Ogawa (whose mouthpiece and whipping boy he can be), and who doesn’t need to be treated with the same respect as Ogawa is. The fans accept Ogawa as “ratboy”, it is inconceivable that he would enter a feud with the normal back and forth banter.

As for Takashi Sugiura, most of the Super New Generation Army (barring Kaito Kiyomiya, who isn’t ready) have challenged him, as has Naomichi Marufuji. Global League resets this and now everyone battles for it, along with the new blood of The Hooligans and the two outside competitors. Takashi Sugiura has said that if he wins the league then he will chose his own challenger, and it will probably be someone from outside Noah.

Global League this year can be best summed up as “Global League 2018: Sugi’s Gonna Kill Ya”, but before that its on to Autumn Navigation.

NEWS

Koji Kanemoto will appear for Noah on the 14th October 2018, he will team with Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 vs RATELS (YO-HEY, HAYATA and Tadasuke)

Global League participants and dates

BLOCK A
Naomichi Marufuji
Akitoshi Saito
Quiet Storm
Katsuhiko Nakajima
Kenoh
Masa Kitamiya
Mitsuya Nagai
Kohei Sato

BLOCK B
Takashi Sugiura
Mohammed Yone
Go Shiozaki
Atsushi Kotoge
Kaito Kiyomiya
Maybach Taniguchi
Cody Hall
Kazusada Higuchi

As excited as people are about Global League 2018, there is some disappointment as fans did hope to see Jay Bradley or Masato Tanaka.

Tuesday, October 30th – Korakuen Hall (18.30) ~ FIRST NIGHT
Thursday, November 8th – Korakuen Hall (18.30)
Sunday, November 11th – Matsuyama City Community Centre (17.00)
Wednesday, November 14th – Takamatsu Symbol Tower Exhibition Hall, (18.30)
Friday, November 16th – World Pavilion, Osaka (19.00)
Saturday, November 17th – Edion Arena, Osaka (18.30)
Sunday, November 18th – Kyoto, KBS Hall (3pm)
Wednesday, November 21st – Aizuwakamatsu City Cultural Centre, Fukushima (18.30)
Thursday, November 22nd – Miyagi, Sendai (18.30)
Friday, November 23rd – Yokohama Radiant Halls, Kanegawa (17.30)
Sunday, November 25th – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo (18.00) ~ FINALS

Holy War Vol.3 
Akira Taue was Toshiaki Kawada’s next guest for his “Talk Battle” at Holy War Vol.3 (Kawada says that Vol.4 will either be this year or next year, with the two youngest on Noah’s roster hoping that they will be on it again).

I think Kawada had hoped that Akira Taue would talk about his struggle of being Noah’s president, but I don’t think that Taue wanted to re-live the trauma by going through it again. For the record, Taue has only ever told tidbits about it, he’s never done a sit down interview about it. The role turned him into an old frail man overnight.

The “Talk Battle” was very funny and very moving; they talked about Mitsuharu Misawa and how Taue was the one who invited Kawada to Noah (not Misawa), Taue’s sumo days (which the fans wanted to hear more about), Taue called Kawada “a bullying mother in law” when he was being difficult and Kawada asked Taue to please stop smoking and cut down his drinking – Taue said he wasn’t doing either, and no doubt 99% of the roster stubbed their cigarettes out when they heard Kawada say that. They told some funny stories, like the time when All Japan took the dojo to the seaside for summer training and Taue (known for his aversion to training) turned up without running shoes and with sandals because to his mind, “sandals are for the beach”.

At the end of the event they played a medley of Jumbo Tsuruta’s, Mitsuharu Misawa’s and Kobashi’s theme music (they found the first two very emotional).

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

Either the winner of Global League 2018 (or a challenger that Takashi Sugiura appoints should he win the league) will be determined on the 25th November

Daisuke Harada will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight belt against Kotaro Suzuki on the 30th October

Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles against Cody Hall & Maybach Taniguchi in Kobe on the 14th October

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet, although the boys from Zero One (Ikuto Hidaka and Takuya Sugawara) have hinted that they may challenge.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Takashi Sugiura seemed in a very good mood after the title match, joking about why someone would want to beat up an old man.
  • Tadasuke made Yoshiki Inamura to do his entry with him. Inamura wasn’t quite confident enough to do the headbanging and air guitar part though (HAYATA is on record saying it is embarrassing)
  • Atsushi Kotoge had dinner with “father and son” (Go Shiozaki and Kaito Kiyomiya)
  • Mitsuya Nagai came through the heavy door at Yokohama Radiant Halls to make his entry, and it slammed shut on Maybach Taniguchi behind him.
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima kicked Mohammed Yone’s afro, and laughed.
  • KAZMA SAKAMOTO called Marufuji’s picture of Nagai, Hall and Maybach “A Masterpeice”.
  • Daisuke Harada addressed the crowd on the 30th September and thanked them for coming out in spite of the inclement weather, HAYATA, who was in the ring with him, said “Same”. Considering Harada’s address to the crowd in this manner, and his promotional work on radio shows and for tours, it would not surprise me if one day he took over Go Shiozaki’s role as Head of the Noah Wrestlers Association.
  • Naomichi Marufuji says that he is fighting Kenoh on many fronts (Kenoh said in his last column about Marufuji’s perceived political maneuvering, Marufuji said all he had done was fight to defend Noah)
  • Minoru Tanaka says that as a child he was “good at playing building blocks”
  • YO-HEY actually gave a coherent promo on October 1st, except when the wheels fell off at the end and he started talking about snowball fights
  • Naomichi Marufuji has been appointed “Tourist Ambassador to Konosu City, Saitama” on a two year term
  • Minoru Tanaka underwent emergency surgery due to a septic thumb
  • Kikutaro got scruffed by referee Shu Nishanaga (KENTA had him thrown out of SEM once); speaking of Kikutaro he proclaimed himself “The Ace of SEM” (SEM was disbanded in 2015), and I don’t want to know why he was squeezing Atsushi Kotoge’s balls.
  • SPECIAL 4 (Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Yoshinari Ogawa and Seiya Morohashi) now come out to “Ultra Soul”
  • Hajime Ohara has proposed a “Team Kawasaki” with Ikuto Hideki (and possibly Hiroshi Yamato)
  • Mitsuya Nagai says that when Marufuji becomes bald he will put him in “The Bald Octopus Club”
  • Noah are calling some of the Global League tag matches “Voyage for Global League”.

KING SHAMELESS’ CORNER

Takashi Sugiura abstained from drinking alcohol for a week before the title match in case of head injury and\or concussion, but after the match and subsequent examination at the hospital he was given the all clear, and he went out to dinner afterwards and drunk alcohol. Having had a day of having to behave himself pretty much, he told Tokyo Sports (who call him “King Shameless”), that he had a wet dream when he woke up the next morning. I don’t want to know any more.

EVENT RECAPS
September 29th, Yokohama Radiant Halls: 
September 30th, Ikos Ageo, Saitama
October 4th, Korakuen Hall 
Holy War. Vol 3 

LINKS
Naomichi Marufuji appointed Tourism Ambassador to Konosu City, Saitama 
SEM
Doug Williams has now retired 
“Heir to the Ark”: Naomichi Marufuji’s biography 


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