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Mitchell’s Ring of Honor Report! (1/27/18)

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ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 332

All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Punishment Martinez VS Dobbs; Martinez wins.
  • Team Coast 2 Coast VS War Machine; C2C wins, and stays together.
  • SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; SoCal Uncensored wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Previously on ROH TV…

Christopher Daniels and SoCal Uncensored went to the Notorious Hitman, Shane Taylor, with an offer. Taylor accepted, and while the SCU went after The Young Bucks, Taylor knocked out The Villain to earn his money. However, The Hangman made the scene, but perhaps a moment too late. Are the Bullet Club’s “Hung Bucks” in danger of losing their titles?

 

Punishment Martinez VS Dobbs!

The monstrous Reincarnation of the Purple Mist staked his claim to the ROH World Heavyweight Championship a few weeks ago, and looks to build momentum towards a title shot. It isn’t a matter of if, but when he reaches his golden goal.

Dobbs wants to keep the Code of Honor, but Martinez boots him right down!

The bell rings, Martinez jumps corner to corner for the back elbow, spinning lariat and roaring right hand! Dobbs falls down, Martinez stalks him as he crawls away. Martinez then brings Dobbs up by his hair, and shouts “Castle!” before ramming a right forearm into Dobbs’ face. The monster is sending a message to the Peacock one more at a time. He brings Dobbs back up, but Dobbs hits back! The fans cheer, but Martinez looks rather underwhelmed. He swings on Dobbs but Dobbs ducks to dropkick him! The fans cheer as Dobbs runs, but he runs into a discus boot! Martinez takes his time with Dobbs, dragging him back up to then swing him out for yet another boot! Dobbs is out on his feet, but Martinez finishes him with the South of Heaven choke slam!

Martinez covers, Martinez wins! And he scares off the ref, to celebrate on his own. How long will the monster have to wait to get his hands back on Dalton Castle?

Not too long, as the ROH WHC appears!

The Peacock and His Boys head right to the ring, and the champion stares Martinez down. Castle gets up and into the ring with Martinez, each man keeping his gaze locked on the other.

Castle shrugs, Martinez smirks. Martinez swings, but Castle catches him and throws him overhead! Martinez rolls out of the ring while fans fire up, and Castle dares him to get back in. The monster returns to the apron with a single jump! The Peacock is ready, but the monster backs down with another smirk. The fans boo while he makes his way out. When will the Purple Mist decide to make good on his championship challenge?

 

Team Coast 2 Coast speaks.

“Tonight is the night!” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni risk it all for what could be one last match! C2C VS War Machine, “you know it! They know it!” It’s “Do or Die!” Can Ali & LSG keep it together to keep the team together?

 

Caprice Coleman joins commentary for this crucial tag team match.

The Most Versatile Man had Ali & LSG on his Pulpit last week, and he’s here because he just had to see this for himself. He warned them ahead of time who they were up against, and knows it’ll take a lot of heart from the younger team to win.

Team Coast 2 Coast VS War Machine!

Team C2C feels frustrated from all their losses in 2017, and have put it upon themselves that if they lose here, they’re done as a team. However, that challenge becomes all the more improbable, as they’re up against former ROH World Tag Team Champions in the intimidating Rowe & Hanson.

Team C2C takes no chances as Ali FLIES before the bell!

The match starts wild and the fans like it! Ali puts Hanson in the ring then regroups with LSG. They double whip Hanson but Hanson cartwheels through, they double dropkick him down! Rowe returns, but C2C double hip tosses him to then toss him back at Hanson!

The fans continue to cheer for the fiery C2C while Ali and LSG put Rowe and Hanson in the corners. C2C coordinates, then whips War Machine at each other, only for War Machine to turn it around into corner clotheslines! Hanson feeds Ali to Rowe’s shotgun knees while Hanson corner clotheslines LSG for himself! Hanson then bronco busters Ali, and Rowe picks Hanson up for a human weapon hip attack on LSG!

The fans fire up for War Machine now while the referee has them sort out a proper legal man. Rowe stays in while Hanson goes to the corner. Rowe brings Ali up and gives him a sharp chop in the corner. He brings Ali over and gives him knee strikes before tagging Hanson in. Rowe feeds Ali to Hanson’s knee, then Hanson returns the favor, and Ali goes down in a heap! War Machine gets the crowd going again, but LSG keeps fans cheering for Coast 2 Coast. Hanson sits Ali up, to give Ali a beard-wash. Tag to Rowe, and he comes in while Hanson scoop slams Ali down. Rowe then scoops Hanson for another human weapon, the scoop slam senton!

Rowe immediately hits LSG with a right hand, but LSG comes in with fire in his eyes. The referee keeps LSG back, so he can only watch and rally the fans as Rowe returns to Ali. Ali fights back with body shots, but Rowe rocks him with a knee strike. Rowe lifts but Ali slips out of the back suplex to then give Hanson a forearm smash, then dropkicks Rowe down! Both Ali and Rowe are down, the fans rally for them both. Ali crawls, but Rowe anchors his feet. Ali still stands up and still makes the tag! LSG flies in with a springboard lariat!

Hanson comes in but LSG is ready, he runs War Machine into each other, then handspring lariats Hanson down! He whips Rowe but Rowe reverses, LSG springboards for a big forearm smash! Hanson is in a corner, LSG hits him with another forearm smash. LSG climbs up to the top and takes aim at Rowe, and hits the 450 splash!

Cover, but Hanson breaks it right up. Hanson runs but LSG catches him and Coleman loses his mind as LSG manages a saido suplex!

The fans are fired up and cheer for the red-hot “LSG! LSG!” He turns his eyes on Rowe, runs in but gets the Ace Ten Mao knee! Ali returns, Rowe runs but misses the Superman Punch and Ali scoops him up, for the Swing-out Slam!

Rowe rolls away but Hanson returns, Ali side steps but in comes the handspring back elbow! Every man in this match is down, but the fans are fired up! The referee begins a ten count on them all while we go to break.

ROH returns, and Rowe catches LSG out of his springboard. LSG fights out of the hold but Hanson is there behind him. Hanson tosses LSG to Rowe, Rowe holds him up while Hanson hops up, flying clothesline German Suplex!

Cover, TWO, and War Machine can’t believe it. They go back to him, scoop slam backbreaker, then transition for a gut wrench backbreaker while Hanson climbs up. Rowe puts LSG in the powerbomb, Hanson leaps for the frog splash!

Cover, TWO!! War Machine is again surprised by LSG’s resilience, but there are still fans dueling on behalf of “Coast 2 Coast! Coast 2 Coast!” Even so, War Machine drags LSG up and prepare a double choke slam, but LSG breaks free! He slips under and tags in Ali! Ali rallies on War Machine, saido suplex on Rowe! Hanson comes in and boots Ali down, then with C2C in opposite corners, Hanson starts up the clothesline train! He starts with LSG but then Ali stops him with a boot! LSG adds a boot, then Ali the crescent kick! Hanson rolls out while Rowe returns, C2C catch him in the combination half-nelson facebuster and complete shot!

Cover, ONE!? Rowe is full of rage while C2C is completely shocked. They go after him, but he blocks their forearms with his forehead! Rowe then headbutts LSG down, and completely absorbs Ali’s forearm, and his kicks. Ali kicks more and more, then even forearms and chops again and again and again! He hammers Rowe down to his knee, then gets running, but Hanson returns and brings in Thor’s Hammer! Hanson immediately flies onto LSG!

Rowe covers Ali, TWO!? Coleman is as shocked as anyone! The fans are on C2C’s side right now, but War Machine calls for the finish! Hanson climbs up top while Rowe brings Ali to his feet, but LSG slips in to knock Hanson down! Rowe runs in but LSG slips to the outside, then roundhouses Rowe away. Ali returns to rock Rowe with a forearm, and Rowe ends up in a corner. Team C2C give him double back elbows, then get to their corners! LSG and Ali take aim, and hit THE Coast 2 Coast!

Double the cover, TWO!? C2C cannot believe how Rowe survived! Hanson makes his return but C2C goes right at him. Double whip corner to corner, then Ali whips LSG in, but Hanson sits right on him! Hanson then fires out to heel kick Ali down. Rowe drags Ali up while Hanson climbs up, Fallout!!

TWO!?!? The most powerful move War Machine has, and yet Ali survives!? The fans in the 2300 Arena declare “This is Awesome!” War Machine wait for Ali to get up, Rowe rocks him with another knee strike. Rowe lifts Ali again but LSG pushes Hanson off the top rope! Ali revives to roll Rowe up, C2C WINS!! Not even LSG can believe it!

As Coleman puts it, “The word ‘upset’ would be an understatement!” The fans cheer and chant for Coast 2 Coast after this superhuman effort! And though they lost, Rowe & Hanson stand before Ali & LSG, and offer to complete the Code of Honor. Ali & LSG accept the handshakes.

With this ringing endorsement from ROH Tag Team Division staples, can Team Coast 2 Coast finally rise up to the very top?

 

The Beer City Bruiser and his new tag team partner speak.

The Last Real Man, Silas Young, is such an “inspiration” as the ROH World Television Champion that the BCB felt he had to go get the ROH World Tag Team Championships. He and the Kingpin had quite the brawl roughly six months ago, and that was when Bruiser realized Milonas was “a diamond in the haystack, a needle in the rough”, and a certified Boston Bruiser. And Milonas himself couldn’t imagine “a better way to make a splash” in ROH than to team with the Beer City Bruiser. Now, the two literally biggest men in ROH are the newest and biggest tag team! Can the Big City Bruisers barrel through the ROH Tag Team Division towards those tag team titles?

 

Bully Ray Dudley heads to the ring.

And he’s bringing his wrestling boots. At Final Battle, alongside long-time friend, Tommy Dreamer, Bully Ray fought The Briscoes in a New York Street Fight that lived up to every bit of ECW’s extreme legacy. However, it was #DemBoyz who won out in the end, and now Bully is here to speak on the end of his career. “Final Battle was my final battle.” Philly disapproves, but Bully tells them that “they say before you die, your life flashes before you.” That night in New York, after losing, Bully sat there and felt his blood pouring out. Yet, he smiled, because his entire career flashed before his eyes. And it was a pretty damn good one. Philly agrees to that!

Bully knew taking off the boots was the right thing to do. He left his boots in the middle of the ring in his hometown of New York. New York City is where Bully was born, but as a wrestler–and Philly knows what he’s going to say, and they chant “E C Dub!”–Bully’s home is Philadelphia! It was October of 1995, in the very building they stand in now, that Bubba Ray Dudley was born. “This is the ring I should leave my boots in.” The 2300 Arena is the building he should leave his boots in. And there’s no doubt in Bully’s mind that Philly is the city he should leave his boots in. Philly agrees to all those sentiments.

Bully continues to thank the fans, “for everything. Thank you Lord, for thinking about me, I’m alive and doing fine. Do you know who I am? I’m Bully Ray, and it has been my honor.” With that, Bully leaves his boots, and the fans see him off with a standing ovation.

But not only that, Jay Lethal and other ROH stars also appears to give their thanks in person.

From the ROH WHC to the ROH World Tag Team Champions to the Women of Honor, they all appear and applaud while Philly chants “Thank you, Bubba!”

Lethal enters the ring to speak to Bubba on their behalf. “I’ve known you for a long time. And if this is the last time I’m gonna see you, I got to get something off my chest.” Lethal knows that when Bubba was showing up, no one knew what to think. There have been rumors about Bully Ray, both good, not so good, and really bad ones. They all had their guard up, but then Lethal saw something amazing: every show, Bubba went above and beyond to help anyone and everyone in ROH. At the end of every event, Bubba made himself available. Not to push his views, but to let them come to him and pick his brain about this business.

Every interview Bubba did put ROH over, and no one forced him to. Bubba came to ROH because he was inspired by it. He represents what ROH is all about, and the craziest part: they’ve only been here a fraction and yet Bubba still helped them. Bubba did things in and for the wrestling business that most will only dream of, and yet he helped them. Lethal has never used this term before, but when it comes to wrestling “legends”, Bubba is definitely a legend. Philly agrees with that, too! And though it pains everyone to see him go, “know this: more than anything else”, everyone in ROH from wrestler to staff will scream it loud, “THANK YOU!” Lethal then gives the living legend a big hug.

 

ROH begins the Women of Honor Championship tournament!

As announced at Final Battle in December, January 20th in 2018 marked the beginning of a tournament to crown the inaugural ROH WOH Champion! 16 of the best women wrestlers from around the world, including ROH and Stardom, compete for the honor to wear that brand new championship belt. Familiar names like Deonna Purrazzo, Kelly Klein, Karen Q, Mandy Leon, Sumie Sakai and even newer stars like Brandi Rhodes, Jessie Brooks will represent ROH while Stardom will be represented by HZK, Hana Kimura, Kagetsu and Mayu Iwatani. The tournament will air as part of ROH Television in just two weeks, with Episode 334!

 

Matt Taven joins commentary for the main event match.

The Kingdom is also with him at ringside, as this trio continues to believe in a conspiracy against them in regards to any and all ROH championships, which definitely include the ROH World Six Man Tag Championships they have yet to receive rematches for.

 

SoCal Uncensored VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

Scorpio Sky joins The Addiction to form this new trio, but this new trio is already on borrowed time according to ROH commissioner Joe Koff. They want at the ROH World Six Man Tag titles as badly as anyone, can they take out the Bullet Club’s American Nightmare, Problem Solver, and Villain to prove their worth?

Taven makes snarky remarks as Cody, Hangman and Scurll make their entrance and fans kiss the literal Ring of Honor.

ROH returns from break while the teams sort out who starts. The SCU choose Scorpio Sky while the Bullet Club goes with Marty Scurll. The bell rings and the two men circle, the fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Scurll and Scorpio tie up, Scorpio gets the waistlock but Scurll swings an elbow to back him off. Scorpio kicks but Scurll catches it, only for Scorpio to turn it into a bodyscissor roll up, TWO. Scorpio kicks low again, then whips Scurll but Scurll reverses. Scurll bends over for the body drop but Scorpio double stomps up and over him. Scorpio whips Scurll corner to corner but Scurll slips under to bring Scorpio’s hands down and stand on them. Scurll flaps his wings then stomps on the hands before giving Scorpio an enziguri! The fans applaud while Scurll brings Scorpio up, but Scorpio scrambles and tags in the Almighty Daniels. But before he and Scurll tie up, he says he wants “Spike.”

Scurll gets the fans into it, and Cody wants in, too, so Scurll tags Cody. Cody and Daniels are in the ring, a flashback to their time fighting over the ROH WHC. The fans are on Cody’s side as he and Daniels tie up. Cody gets the hammerlock but Daniels reverses it. Cody elbows out then runs, Daniels jumps over, but Cody kicks low and drops down for the uppercut. Daniels staggers, Cody wants the finish but Daniels snapmares out. Daniels double underhooks for his finish, but Cody reverses with headscissors. They speed up, Cody runs Daniels over and arrogantly pins, ONE. Cody and Daniels stare down, but then Cody kneels and flexes.

However, Frankie Kazarian gets right in and attacks Cody from behind! Hangman Page jumps in and he brawls with Kazarian, flashbacks to their violent feud that paralleled Cody’s and Daniels’. The referee tries to get them to stop, but Kaz doesn’t stop until he rakes Page’s eyes. Kaz runs but Page follows to forearm smash him against ropes. Page runs but now Kaz returns the favor. Kaz goes again, but Page rocks him with a roaring elbow to then clothesline the Heavy Metal Rebel right out! However, neither man stops there, they brawl on the outside, too! Things blow up as Scurll and Scorpio hop into the ring with Cody and Daniels and it’s a brawl times three! It spills out near the commentary area, and thankfully Vinnie Marseglia chooses not to chop someone with his ax. Taven says that if Scurll was a real villain, he’d be more like Vinnie. That aside, Cody and Scurll trade targets and Cody bumps Scorpio off the apron while Scurll scrapes and punches Daniels. Cody reenters the ring and the fans fire up, Cody builds speed and FLIES!

Everyone topples down and the fans fire up, but Taven feels he could’ve done so much better. His remarks aside, the fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Cody puts Daniels back in the ring. Daniels has the entire Bullet Club team after him, they put Daniels in a corner and coordinate the Bullet Train, “Choo Choo!” Cody goes first, he hits. Page goes second, he hits. Scurll is always last, and he continues to fail as Daniels boots him away. They go again with Cody succeeding, Page succeeding and Scurll… failing. Cody yes, Page yes, Scurll… No! Scurll staggers, Cody and Page help him stay standing. Daniels comes roaring out, Page and Cody help Scurll boot Daniels down!

The Bullet Club is fired up as we go to break.

ROH returns once more, and now the SCU is in control. They have Cody in their corner but Cody fights out! He runs but Kaz catches him, to push him back. Kaz runs in, but Cody goes up and over, powerslam! Both men are down, but Cody is busted open. The fans rally while they crawl, hot tags to Scorpio and Page! The Problem Solver rallies but Scorpio reverses the corner-to-corner whip. Page still roars out with a lariat. Daniels comes in but Page sends him right out to then run and DIVE!

He doesn’t stop there, he then throws Daniels into barriers at the corner, then all the way to the next corner! Page keeps going but Daniels reverses, only for Page to reverse back and whip Daniels in to even more barriers! Kaz runs in, but Page gets him with a SUPERKICK!

Hangman reenters the ring with Scorpio in a corner, but Scorpio boots him away. Scorpio hops up and jumps, but into Hangman’s boot! Hangman brings Scorpio up, powerbomb and stacked pin, TWO! Taven gives Page credit that he’s ROH Day One and a “star in the making”, but says that he won’t ever be that while he’s with the Bullet Club. The fans rally while Hangman returns to Scorpio, but Scorpio revives to throw forearms. Scorpio runs, but Hangman gets him in a fireman’s carry. Daniels returns, but Hangman kicks him. Hangman throws Scorpio down to dropsault!

Cover, TWO, but Hangman keeps the fans going. He whips Scorpio but Scorpio reverses and feeds Hangman to The Addiction, they hit Hangman with the pop-up powerbomb neckbreaker combo! Then Scorpio adds his jumping double stomps! Cover, TWO! Scorpio fires himself up, fans rally as he runs in at Hangman, but Hangman throws him into buckles with a belly2belly suplex! Daniels runs Hangman over with an STO, but Cody returns to hit Daniels with the Beautiful Disaster kick! Kaz boots Cody, but then Scurll hits him with a European Uppercut. Scorpio runs in but Scurll evades to EuroUpper and Electric Chair lift Scorpio. Cody springboards, the “Allied Powers” give Scorpio a missile dropkick Doomsday!

The Villain fires himself up as he stalks Scorpio, and the fans know what he’s after. He spins around, calls for it, but Daniels stops Scurll just before. Daniels whips but Scurll reverses, and he grabs the fingers! The fans hush themselves, but Daniels gives Scurll a couple right hands to send him out of the ring. Daniels then topples Scurll over with the Arabian Moonsault!

But then Cody jumps and FLIES outta nowhere!

The American Nightmare wipes out the Fallen Angel, but then the Heavy Metal Rebel slingshots out to huricanrana Cody down, and into Scorpio’s cutter! But then Hangman SUPER Asai Moonsaults onto Scorpio!

But he also hits his own leg on the barriers!

Hangman screams in pain and the referee checks on him. Despite whatever damage he may have done to himself, Hangman still gets Scorpio into the ring, and the fans applaud his courage. The SCU regroup behind him though, and Daniels saves Scorpio from the Buck Shot. He then boots Hangman, and Kaz gives Hangman a backstabber into Daniels’ haymaker. Scorpio returns for the bicycle knee strike! Scorpio covers, the SCU win! Between the damage done to The Young Bucks last time, and the damage done to the Hangman this time, will it be easier for the SCU to take those ROH World Six Man Tag Championships than anyone thought?

 

My Thoughts:

This was quite the surprising episode of ROH. For starters, it was the second episode in a row to start with a recap. I wonder if this is going to be a regular thing for ROH TV now. Then we move into Martinez squashing a jobber to then be confronted by Dalton Castle. The Peacock already has a huge list of eager challengers for his ROH WHC, but I sense Martinez is first up as he made his challenge the most physical. Martinez plays up his Heel status by choosing to do this on his time, ROH is obviously saving this match for a PPV. The “Do or Die” tag team match for C2C was amazing, and serves as both a fantastic “good-bye” match for War Machine and a “passing of the torch” match in respects to Ali & LSG. Those in the know already know that War Machine is headed to WWE by way of NXT, and them putting C2C over is major props to how they’ll do in ROH.

What an amazing good-bye segment for Bubba Ray in ROH and wrestling in general. Lethal was also a great person to take the role of speaking for the company, and he captured the moment in words perfectly, as well. Also great to hear that we’ll be able to see the WOH Championship tournament on TV soon enough, really excited to see who wins and becomes their first Women’s Champion. Then, a really big surprise as SCU wins against The Bullet Club. I really thought Hangman was going to stand tall to get even for what happened last time, but there’s no 50-50 booking here as the SCU essentially comes out ahead 2-0. A dirty attack last week but a clean win tonight, and with great story from Hangman risking that foot, I can’t wait to see the Six Man Tag title match that comes from this.

My Score: 8.5/10


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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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