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AJPW Champion Carnival A Block Results & Review: Part 5

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Hello and welcome to another chapter in the A Block of our Champion Carnival! We are almost done, with only the 29th show and the final four matches standing between us and the two block winners match on April 30th.

Let’s not waste any time with this as we watch everyone try to get the rest of their matches in before our final day, so let’s….dive right in.

 

4/21/2018

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Ryoji Sai vs. Shingo Takagi

Review: Shingo is back in action as he looks to bounce back with the two back to back losses he received and is now fighting Ryoji, who has won his last two matches and is on a roll after he suffered his first two losses, so let’s see who wins this to get more momentum. The match starts off right with both of these guys going at it and Shingo would find himself an advantage over Ryoji by ducking his to the turnbuckle post which caused him to hurt his leg, but Shingo would capitalize on it by working on his leg throughout the match. Shingo is still one of the highlights of this tournament for me as he’s been having quality matches so far along with Kento Miyahara, I really hope Shingo does stick around and I know I’ve said it before, but the guy is amazing. Ryoji has also done well selling the injury during the match and still gave him a moment to shine in the match as well, he even kicked out of both Last Falconry and Pumping Bomber from Shingo and there was a slight chance he could’ve won, but Shingo would get his third win by making him tap out to the Ura STF.

Recommended: Solid match, worth checking out between two great competitors.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
The Bodyguard vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Review: With Bodyguard finally getting a win under his belt when he defeated Yuji Hino at the previous show and let’s see who else he can knock down with him since while he’s mathematically eliminated, he can still ruin other peoples momentum to make sure they don’t win either. Let’s see if his leg can hold out a little bit longer or if Shuji keeps his promise and keeps winning his matches going forward. The crowd was behind Bodyguard, but you can see his injury taking a toll on him as he has a hard time moving around and I kinda feel bad for the guy, but gotta give him credit for at least wanting to continue the match. The match is not even five minutes as Shuji gets the quick win with the Fire Thunder after Bodyguard kicking out of the first one.

Recommended: Despite Bodyguard being injured, the match wasn’t terrible with what they had to work with and did it’s purpose, but not great either. So up to you if you wanna watch.

 

4/22/2018

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Ryoji Sai vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Review: With both of these guys having matches at the previous show, Shuji would need to win here to possibly secure a spot as one of the finalists and Ryoji would need a win here to stay alive while being tied with Shuji, so we gotta see who needs this win here. The match would start off a little bit slow at first, which is fine since it gave us a nice little build up as the match progresses and picks up as the match keeps going on and it starts to get better. Ryoji has been great during his matches here and is considered underrated performance wise compared to the others in the tournament and Shuji is always great, so them working together is fun. Ryoji would kick out of the Fire Thunder and that leaves Shuji wanted to put him away quick as he goes for a Powerbomb, but Ryoji flips him over and pins him to give himself another win in the match as he has a chance to stay in the race. This technically means that Shuji is mathematically eliminated here since he lost to both Hino and Kento that even if they tied in their match on the final day while Shuji wins his final match, still wouldn’t be enough due to them still being tied and the both of them still having a win over him. Shuji did well and he could still screw with Shingo in their last match if he defeats him to prevent him from winning.

Recommended: Another really solid match here and Ryoji Sai gets the underrated performance from this entire block.

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Joe Doering vs. Kento Miyahara

Review: A month ago, these two would fight for the Triple Crown Championship if you remembered my coverage of that show, the two would deliver a great match and Kento would defeat the Gaijin monster to reclaim his championship once more. Now the two must fight once more and if Kento wins this match, it would pretty much guarantee him a spot in the finals, however if Joe wins this match, then he will be on top of the race next to Kento and Yuji while also getting a future Triple Crown Championship rematch. This is probably Joe’s best match in the Carnival for me as most of his matches here have been a hit or miss, but this one definitely delivered since these two just work together. Kento still showing that he’s the best in All Japan with his performances and being able to work well with just about anybody here in the company since it’s hard to have a bad match with him nowadays. Kento’s Blackout knees are a sight to see as he hits a devastating one to Joe to the outside and we even see Joe getting aggressive to Kento into this match, now I wish we saw more of this side of Joe and he’d be fantastic. Joe would start to pull off some moves like a Piledrive to pick up the win, but Kento kicks out of it and would start to deliver some moves as well like his Blackout and a regular German Suplex, but now Joe kicks out of this one. In about twelve minutes, Joe would hit his variation of the RAINMAKER, then a Diving Body Press before putting him away with the Revolution Bomb after failing his first attempt due to a reversal as Joe is now tied with both Kento and Hino. This also means with Ryoji Sai is also mathematically eliminated from the tournament due to losing to Joe earlier in the tournament and if they somehow tied, Joe would advance since he defeated him. We now get our rematch for the Triple Crown Championship in the future and it should be a good one.

Recommended: Very good match despite their last encounter being the better one of the two and we definitely will see them fight one more time.

 

4/25/2018

 

Champion Carnival 2018 Block A Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Shingo Tagaki

Review: These are the only two that haven’t had their sixth match yet until now and this is their time to fight before the final day happens on the 29th, this match also determines if Shingo will either have a chance to make it or be mathematically eliminated. I said it before and I will say it again, Naoya is gonna have a bright future within the company in about two to three years time and he’s only 24 years old too, so he has plenty of time to learn and grow, even being here with all of these great wrestlers is helping him shape up for the future. The match was solid and Naoya would have a few close calls to get his second victory in the match, but Shingo would secure another win to be one step closer to winning A Block as he wins with the MADE IN JAPAN aka Last Falconry.

Recommended: It was a fun match and Shingo is always a treat to see.

 

Overall: Some of the matches went over well and can tell this was more of a winding down moment before we have our final show on the 29th. If you haven’t seen Andrew’s coverage for B Block, please do so as he’s had quite a stacked few days with B Block coming to an end and ended off with bang.

Favorite Match: Kento Miyahara vs. Joe Doering

Least Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa vs. The Bodyguard

Score: 7.5/10

Current Standings:
Kento Miyahara (4-2) (8 Points)
Yuji Hino (4-2) (8 Points)
Joe Doering (4-2) (8 Points)
Shingo Tagaki (4-2) (8 Points)
Ryoji Sai (3-3) (6 Points)
Shuji Isihkawa (3-3) (6 Points)
Naoya Nomura (1-5) (2 Points)
The Bodyguard (1-5) (2 Points)

Now we have one day left for A Block as the last four matches are set to take place to see who will go onto the finals and we only have four people mathematically eliminated here, meaning only one of these four can go on to the finals and here is how each of them could make it.

Kento Miyahara: Defeats Yuji Hino and both Joe Doering and Shingo Tagaki lose/draw their matches
Yuji Hino: Defeats Kento Miyahara
Joe Doering: Defeats Naoya Nomura and Kento defeats Hino
Shingo Tagaki: He defeats Shuji Ishikawa, Joe Doering loses/draws his match, or Kento/Hino ends in a draw or Kento wins.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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AJPW Dream Power Series 2019 Results & Review (3/19/2019)

Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?

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Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?

Welcome back to AJPW! We’re gonna talk about the last big show before this year’s Champions Carnival coming up in early April as we have a few title matches in this show that I couldn’t resist wanting to cover it.

We got some dealing with revenge along with one trying to make history. How’s this year’s Champions Carnival gonna shape up?

Let’s find out as we…dive right in.

Rating System:

  • 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
  • 1 Star: Vince Russo
  • 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
  • 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
  • 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
  • 5 Stars: Jim Cornette

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, & Hokuto Omori vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, & Yusuke Okada)

Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag team match with our young lions, Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, and Hokuto Omori taking on three members of Evolution, Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, and Yusuke Okada. Going up against three people from the junior division is a fair start to have them all fight each other in this tag bout and a better view of how the young guys are doing. Will Evolution school the young boys or will they somehow get one of the biggest wins in their starting careers?

As I’ve said, this match is mostly to showcase our future talent as they fight the vets of the game in the junior division. I do gotta admit that these three have definitely improved in the ring as they’re shaping up to be some of All Japan’s finest students. Evolution held off on their own and I’m glad they were their opponents for this match since they’re very easy to work with. Another thing I loved about the match is that they had a good amount of time instead of just being less than five minutes like how most matches will do. Yusuke and Hokuto are in the ring now and Yusuke would hit him with a Brainbuster for a two count and would quickly apply a Boston Crab onto him and Hokuto struggles to get to the ropes and once he does, Yusuke pulled him back in and would lock it in more as he would tap out to give Evolution the victory in a solid match.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori

Review: We got another six-man tag team match here as Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon will be taking on Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Ultimo Dragon wrestling in All Japan, so I’ll never complain to see him in the ring. This is another match with the vets and Manso-Re for being a punching bag as it’ll most likely be a comedy style match. Which one of them will win?

Menso-Re starting with Ultimo Dragon as he wanted him first, but TAJIRI would slap Menso before the bell would ring and we would kick it off right now. They would do a little bit before Jun and Takao get tagged in, but we all care about TAJIRI and Fuchi getting tagged in now as Fuchi would try to get his hands on him. TAJIRI would be the sneaky heel with leaving the ring to sit with the crowd so he could avoid contact in the match. TAJIRI would get back in the ring only to tag in Ultimo as the crowd would just boo TAJIRI. Fuchi would do his antics with the punch to the forehead as the crowd eats it up but everything would backfire on Fuchi as he would miss a Dropkick to make the crowd boo Ultimo which is a shocker. Ultimo would kick Fuchi and attempt an Asai DDT but Fuchi would turn it around to a Backslide as Ultimo would kick out. Both TAJIRI and Jun would both make Fuchi miss a Dropkick and taunt him right after to make the crowd boo them. Ultimo would get Fuchi in the La Magistral and he gets the win for his team in a rather entertaining match.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter

 

Tag Team Match
NEXTREAM (Yoshitatsu & Yumi Aoyagi) vs. Sweeper (Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai)

Review: Our next match here is a tag team match as NEXTREAM members, Yoshitatsu and Yuma Aoyagi will be taking on members of Sweeper, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai. Since Naoya is no longer Yumi’s partner, he’s gonna be paired off with Yoshitatsu this time around. Since all four of them are in the Champions Carnival, a win for either of them would give them some momentum leading to the tournament. Which one of these two teams will win and what will be the future payoff?

It seems like Yoshitatsu has a little gripe with Jake Lee in this match as he seems to be disgruntled when he was in the ring with him, especially when Jake would just best him during the first sequence with the chaining. Ryouji and Yuma are in the ring now and Ryouji with a series of kicks in the match and have him in a submission before Yoshi would break the hold and just stared at Jake again. Yuma is really growing out on his own as an individual and you can see that when he’s not partner with Naoya. Yuma would have Jake in a Headlock but Jake would attempt a Backdrop Driver as Yuma flipped it into a Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Once Jake kicked out, Yuma would try to turn the pin into a European Clutch as Jake kicked out at 2 as even the referee was shocked by this. Yuma would run into him as Jake kneed him in the face and hits him with a Backdrop Driver as he pinned Yuma for the victory.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, & Zeus vs. Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering,) & Francisco Akira

Review: We have another six-man tag team match taking place as Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, and Zeus team up to take on Dylan James, Joe Doering, and Francisco Akira. KAI recently failed at Dragon Gate to win the Open the Twin Gate Championships, so he could at least try to win for his team but I think Zeus has a lot on his plate when it comes to their opponent since Dylan James and Joe Doering are a strong team to beat and wants to try and look powerful leading into the Carnival. Which one of these two teams will win the match?

Zeus and Dylan would charge at each other right away to test their strengths with also some chops and a test of strength as the two appear to be evenly matched, which is no surprised. KAI gets tagged in and he calls Joe to get tagged in since he wants to fight him as Dylan honors that request and lets Joe have a turn on the fun. Joe would start to make him regret that decision as he had the upper hand on him at first but KAI would hit a few Dropkicks on him but Joe still wouldn’t go down as he tackled him and went for an Elbow Drop before KAI moved and quickly tagged in Atsushi. The juniors get a turn on the fun as Francisco showed more of his impressive ability. One problem I had with the match was that the last few minutes are incredibly sloppy with Atsushi missing most of his kicks to Joe in the corner, Francisco slipping on his Moonsault to the outside, which he thankfully caught himself and redid it again. The finish would be with Joe hitting Atsushi with the Powerbomb and it looked like he got knocked out as he took the pinfall despite his shoulder being kinda up, so it looked botched but the referee still has a job to do as Joe just left the ring and walked to the back possibly frustrated.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki

Review: Our first title match of the show is Koji Iwamoto defending his Junior Heavyweight Championship against Kotaro Suzuki. The two fought each other in the A Block of the Junior Battle of Glory Tournament where Kotaro defeated Koji in the match but would eventually fail to win as Koji would actually be the one to win it all. Koji decided to defend the title against Kotaro since it was only fair due to him winning the match and wants to avenge that loss. Will Koji be able to retain his title again or will Kotaro get the upper hand on him again?

Kotaro showed no mercy to the champion as fought him to the outside and Slingshots him into the turnbuckle post and DDT’s him face first into the mat as you hear the loud thud and damage has been done to Koji. Kotaro has beaten Koji before so he knows what he has to do to try and defeat him again as he worked on Koji’s neck a bit during the match and gets the heat from the crowd. I know Kotaro is a Freelancer and is mostly at NOAH right now due to being a champion there, I hope he does stick around a little bit longer since I feel like the division could really use him as he’s a very talented individual. Koji would try to outrun him after he dodged him to the outside and it appeared as if Kotaro would botch but he quickly caught himself and dived to the outside to land on Koji, getting the better of him again.

Koji would finally be able to get a comeback as he hits an STO onto the ring apron to knock Koji down and most of the time, he would try to hit the Koko no Geijutsu but Kotaro would hold his ground to make sure he wouldn’t hit it but Koji would be able to deliver a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex. Kotaro would land a few punches before Koji tried to hit the move again, but Kotaro would hold his ground again and kick his leg out to work on his neck before landing Gory Bomb Special and tops it off with the La Magistral for the pin and Koji would kick out various times whenever Koji would try to roll out of it and was so close to having a new champion. Koji would just use this time to hit a couple of STO’s in a row to weaken him down a bit. Koji would go for it again but he catches him for a Back Suplex to save himself a bit. Kotaro would now hit not one but two Excaliburs onto him to try and end it as Koji would somehow kick out of it again. It all came down to his as Koji would attempt the Koko no Geijutsu again as Kotaro would stop himself to pin him for a two count and they both would spin around as Koji would hit it this him but he picked him up to hit the Koko no Geijutsu properly this time and pins him to retain the title! After the match, various people from the junior division would come out and it looks like they all want a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Championship but Koji would have to pick one of them to be his opponent. It does look like, however, that Koji doesn’t have a clear opponent right now as he left the ring but I guess we’ll see soon.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

World Tag Team Title Match
Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) (c) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)

Review: Our next title match for this show is Strong BJ defending their titles against the team that they defeated them for, The Violence Giant. Strong BJ defeated them on January 13th to win the titles and after they retain their titles on the February 24 show, Violence Giant requested a rematch to bring the titles back home on their turf this time instead of the BJW show. If it’s anything like their previous match, it’s sure to be hard hitting and a not miss. Will Strong BJ remain on top or will Violence Giant bring the belts back home?

Shuji and Daisuke would be the ones to start off our match here with an incredible display of power as the two were unable to budge and they would tag in their respective partners. Suwama and Yuji were both also very hard-hitting as they would now fight outside of the ring as these two teams are making it personal. Strong BJ has been doing great work during this rivalry with the Violence Giant and they would even give Suwama a big beatdown but the former ace would even try his best to fight them off, even when he was on the corner and would kick Yuji to show his fighting spirit. Suwama would hit a Dropkick to save himself for a little bit and would tag in Shuji for the hot tag and Shuji does indeed come in hot with his Lariats, knees, anything he can throw along with the kitchen sink.

Yuji would brawl with Shuji to deliver some chops while Shuji would give him a couple of forearms and a headbutt to try and daze him but Yuji is pumped up and slams him down with a few Lariats. Once Yuji would hit another Lariat to Shuji, he would kick out at one that time around before getting hit with another one with a two count. What’s it gonna take to take Shuji down for good? Yuji would get to the top rope to hit the Splash and it looks like this could be it but Suwama would break the pinfall to save his partner. Strong BJ would have them up for the Torture Racks but they would get down for Suwama to hit a Back Suplex while Shuji hits a Dragon Suplex. Shuji is alone with Yuji again and would hit another Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee to get him out for another two count, he was so close! Shuji would pick Yuji up real quick for the Fire Thunder and goes for the pin as Daisuke breaks the pinfall this time around as Suwama would get Daisuke out of the ring. Shuji knew what he had to do to try and end it as he hits the Giants Slam and pins Yuji to win back the titles! Hell of a match and definitely topped their previous encounter at BJW. I would love to see Violence Giant get a fair and dominating run with this reign, can’t wait to see where this goes now.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

Triple Crown Championship
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naoya Nomura

Review: This is our third title match and the main event of the show as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against former NEXTREAM member, Naoya Nomura. On the February 24th show, Naoya Nomura would defeat Dylan James in a singles match and Kento Miyahara would have his second successful title defense against Suwama. After Kento would defeat Suwama, Naoya would come in to make the challenge to his stablemate and announce his departure from the NEXTREAM group in the process, leading him to also vacate the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yuma Aoyagi. Kento is now 30 years old and while it’s his third title defense in this run, this will be his first time defending it while no longer in his twenties. If Kento can defeat Naoya, he’ll be the champion leading into the Champions Carnival and won’t defend the title until the tournament is over. Will Kento be able to retain it once again or does Naoya pull the surprise victory?

Kento came in here with a plan since he knew what he was gonna do to Naoya once he challenged him to this match, he didn’t wanna go easy on him despite being former teammates but he wants to see how badly Naoya wants the spotlight on him. They were fairly matched during the lock-up part of the match and they would start to fight outside for a little bit as Naoya would get Kento down as he taunts him when he got back in the ring. Naoya would hit him with a big forearm before going onto the apron to jump and Kento catches him with a knee and has him right where he wants him now. This is where Kento would just attack him with a few Headbutts as Naoya would try to deliver one to him but Kento gives him multiple ones as a counterattack and this is why you don’t mess with the champion.

Naoya would eventually make a comeback after being kicked around by Kento as he quickly got up to charge at him with a shoulder tackle and you can hear that too. He would hit a few more along with another forearm to the face as he goes for the Brainbuster but Kento would struggle to make sure he didn’t hit it and has Naoya over the ropes but wait, Naoya grabbed his leg to pull him over as he attempted a Death Valley Driver onto the apron as Kento jumped off to hit a Blackout. The two would be on the turnbuckle and Naoya gets behind him to attempt a German Suplex as Kento struggles, but Naoya would slam Kento’s head on the post and gets off the turnbuckle to hit the German Suplex as both men are down. Naoya would go to the top rope to hit the first Splash as Kento kicked out but Naoya would quickly get up again to hit one more as Kento still kicked out.

Kento would eventually hit him with a Blackout at full force and hits him with a German Suplex for another two count. Kento looks like he’s going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Naoya would kick his knee out and hit him with a Spear and the two are down again. Kento would hit another Blackout on the back of his head and tries the German Suplex Hold once again as Naoya would still kick out at two as Kento is starting to get concerned with what he has to do now. Kento tried the Shutdown German Suplex Hold again as Naoya broke out of it and picked him up Fisherman style and dropped him on his head and picked him up for the Death Valley Driver as Kento fought him off but Naoya would hit him with a flurry of forearms to daze him and hits the Spear with the roll-up as Kento kicked out at two again! Naoya picked him back up but Kento would go back to delivering the Blackouts and it looks like Naoya is all out of fight as Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to get the pinfall victory and his third successful title defense. Great match and a very impressive showing to Naoya but Kento is just still better than him right now. Kento will now officially be the Triple Crown Champion leading into the Champions Carnival. Three defenses down, eight more to go.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

Overall: I thought it was a very solid show from top to bottom but the last three title matches were what sold it to me. I would highly recommend that you look out for those matches if you can find them online or subscribe to the streaming service and if you’re not already subscribed, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that!

Favorite Match: Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)

Least Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori

Score: 8/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.27 ~ 17TH MARCH 2019

Coming off their first live streaming event on YouTube – Hisame brings us all the things we need to know about NOAH!

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Coming off their first live streaming event on YouTube – Hisame brings us all the things we need to know about NOAH!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
On March 16th, NOAH kicked off “Spring Navigation 2019” by visiting Matsuyama, Ehime, Shikoku.

The atmosphere was said to be one of excitement, which had been carried over from “Great Voyage in Yokohama 2019” which happened on the 10th March.

Following his appearance in Yokohama with KAZMA, NOSAWA teamed with Takashi Sugiura in Matsuyama. Sugiura later posted on Twitter that he “trusted” NOSAWA, but this was probably a typo as he later said that he didn’t at all.

And so much for gratitude, Masao Inoue and Sugiura have returned to their minor (and comedic) feud, with Inoue bumbling around and using the usual tricks to try and win, until Sugiura obliterated him.

Naomichi Marufuji wound up Kenoh by saying that he was an “obedient Kenoh” these days (because he does what Kiyomiya says), adding on the suffix “kun” (which signifies in this case that a senior is addressing a junior) for good measure.

Kenoh said that it was their first match together since Marufuji had been injured, and he was looking forward to kicking him. Hard.

In the ring, the fight went to the outside (even to the merchandise table) and Kenoh no sold Marufuji’s “Kawada Kicks”.

Afterwards, Marufuji said that Kenoh must be very fond of him to want to fight him so much, and he wasn’t even in Global Tag League.

In a first for NOAH (since streaming services became all the rage so to speak), they announced that their final show at Hakata Stalene on the 17th March 2019, was going to be streamed live via their YouTube channel. It was worldwide, free of charge, and despite NOAH having to shut off the audio for any songs they didn’t have the rights to, it was a success. The image was flawless, the sound was perfect, the transmission was good (although I had to shut down my machine twice as I was watching it through my PS4, and it kept losing connection, but that is nothing to do with the service).

Hakata Stalene is going to be demolished; the building is now crumbling due to age and damage caused by seismic activity over the years, and it is going to be too expensive to repair due to its 1970s construction methods. Many promotions in Japan have held one final show here.

I have been asked many times if this means that NOAH are going to make this a regular thing. The answer is, I don’t know; but I get the feeling that this is them killing two birds with one stone, broadcasting a big event for them and seeing what response they get (about 2.1K people tuned in worldwide).

Hi69 has challenged Kotaro Suzuki to a title match for the GHC Junior  Heavyweight Tag Team titles. Suzuki initially agreed to the match, looked at Hi69 and said that he would “have to check the weight”.

Expect Kotaro Suzuki to demand a public weighing. 

Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against old tag team partner, Masa Kitamiya, and had a policy of eliminating him from his young teammates (Junta Miyawaki, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada), by throwing him into the crowd, hitting him with a chair and attacking him at the merchandise table.

Naomichi Marufuji and Yoshinari Ogawa had a rare singles match, which was very technical, and although Marufuji won, he said he was exhausted by it. Everything he tried, Ogawa was one step ahead and he said he couldn’t pull out any moves from any drawers, not even a fraction. Marufuji, however, wasn’t completely at Ogawa’s mercy; Ogawa came away with a chopped red chest. 

Takashi Sugiura and Go Shiozaki put on a “Golden Era” match of just two guys beating up on each other. Their match was so stiff, at one point Shiozaki was briefly knocked out, and the ref had to perform a concussion test on him. Shiozaki could walk from the ring fortunately, but managed to slip a bit on the small steps. He later posted on Twitter about how Hakata Stalene was special to him, and made no mention of any concussion or injury, so I guess he is fine.

Kenoh and Kaito Kiyomiya debuted their new tag team, their new pose, and their new tandem move. When Kenoh came out, he stepped to the side and Kiyomiya came through the curtains, they then shook hands and went to the ring.

Their new move consists of Kiyomiya slamming the opponent with Kenoh doing the diving footstomp afterwards.

The dates of the small tour can be found here
Event recap: Matsuyama, Ehime
Event recap: Hakata Stalene, Fukuoka
Autograph schedule 

NEWS
“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s new column compares the Japanese closure of the country for about 220 to NOAH’s policy of isolation, and how it can be a good thing in allowing homegrown talent to grow without having to rely on or being dictated to by any outside source.

CODY HALL LEAVES NOAH
Although NOAH are yet to confirm anything officially, it looks very much like Cody Hall has left NOAH and is now advertising his availability for events in the US and Europe, and has not appeared on any upcoming cards. He says that he would like to return to the promotion someday.

At “Great Voyage in Yokohama 2019”, Mitsuya Nagai (having basically been told by 50 Funky Powers that he couldn’t dance or pose with them, despite his funky green flashing glasses), said that he was looking for a tag partner that would shake things up for Global Tag League 2019.

Atsushi Kotoge came to the ring clutching a Paisley patterned cape. Nagai (taking a small break from yelling at a woman to shut up), looked as if to say, “please, not you…anyone but you”. Kotoge, however, wouldn’t be deterred from what he now sees as his mission to put justice into the heart of Nagai and wrapped the cape around him.

Backstage, Nagai said that he said that he never said that he would team with him, and that this cape looked like it was used by robbers (and threw in a few expletives). Kotoge told him that robbers were people the police came to arrest, not heroes such as themselves, whom First Graders looked up to and so could Nagai watch his language?

Nagai later posted on Twitter wondering about a team name, Kotoge of course bounced up and suggested “The Revolutionary Cloak Army”.

Nagai is yet to comment.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ In Matsuyama when the roster come out to sign autographs. Some junior high kids, who couldn’t afford merchandise, asked YO-HEY & Yoshinari Ogawa if they could sign autographs for them, all they had was some paper. Autograph rules are that the wrestlers are only meant to sign merchandise, but Ogawa overruled this (he is the most senior man in the company and no one is going to argue with him), and said, “lets do it”.
~ Daisuke Harada made a beeline for Kaito Kiyomiya during their match in Matsuyama, Ehime. Kiyomiya brushed it off in the interview afterwards, basically saying that he had better things to think about than being attacked by the NOAH juniors.
~ Being injured and unable to travel too much meant that like everyone else outside of Fukuoka, Atsushi Kotoge watched the event at Hakata Stalene at home.
~ Maybach Taniguchi is still in “monster mode” and attacked the referee after a match.

~ NOAH have filmed their two yearly adverts for long time sponsor, “The Leave”.
~ Although Kenoh and Kiyomiya are teaming, both have acknowledged they are not, and probably will not be friends. Kiyomiya says he will have to keep an eye on Kenoh, and Kenoh has said, he will be aiming for the belt (as will Takashi Sugiura who stated that no matter how NOAH may have changed, his wanting the belt hadn’t, in a separate interview)
~ Was Kenoh crying when Kiyomiya called him to the ring at “Great Voyage in Yokohama?”
~ The merchandise truck broke down en route to Hakata Stalene, and had to be rescued by the wrestlers bus, hence the autograph signings before the event had to be rearranged.
~ Takashi Sugiura came home to find his dog had moved into his space on the couch when he is away. Lets not talk about the pictures he took of his dog doing its business when he walked him.
~ The GHC Heavyweight champions, AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima) and the GHC Junior GHC Champion, Minoru Tanaka, had a kind of group hug, in which Shiozaki lent so hard on Nakajima he almost knocked him over.
~ Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto came to Hakata Stalene for NOAH’s farewell match there.

BROADCASTS
G+ will broadcast the 17th April show on April 20th
They will also show the 28th May Korakuen Hall show live

LINKS
Venue guide: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium
Roster birthday list
“Kenoh and I will stand at the top and change the setting” ~ Interview with Kaito Kiyomiya
Kaito Kiyomiya resolves to “lead with strong feelings”
Kaito Kiyomiya defends against genius Marufuji, declares a united front with Kenoh
“Echoes across the industry”: Minoru Tanaka’s first GHC Junior Championship
Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki’s first defense “Going Forward”
Kaito Kiyomiya breaks Marufuji in 3rd championship defense, decoration of the promotions new ship

Picture credits: Takashi Sugiura, Noah GHC, PKDX


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