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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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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.40 ~ 23RD JUNE 2019

NOAH is in a tiny transition between tournaments this week. Hisame brings us the updates in preparation for the Global Junior Tag League!

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NOAH is in a tiny transition between tournaments this week. Hisame brings us the updates in preparation for the Global Junior Tag League!

In between “Global Junior Tag League” ending on the 13th June, and “Global Junior Tag League” starting on the 27th June, NOAH held a small interim tour of only three days. In the past these tours would have names like “Navigation with Spirits”, “Navigation to The Future” (or my personal favorite “Navigation on Stormy Seas”), but sadly LIDET have done away with these, and now all the interim tours are simply “NOAH The Spirit”.

It should be mentioned that all the tours have had excellent attendances with full houses each night, and this has given a tremendous morale boost to NOAH.

Yoshiki Inamura and his “rival” Kinya Okada faced off on the first night in Aizu, with the more experienced Inamura picking up the win. The rest of the tour was Inamura teaming with Kongoh, and Okada having matches with seniors like Daisuke Harada & Masao Inoue.

Junta Miyawaki faced his seniors (and lost to them) starting with Hi69 in Aizu on the 19th, Naomichi Marufuji on the 22nd and Atsushi Kotoge on the 23rd. Kotoge’s unanimated lack of expression and unusual calm demeanor is starting to scare people…

Miyawaki showed his first element of defiance, by refusing to shake hands with Marufuji. It’s rare for Miyawaki to act in this way towards his seniors (I can’t imagine this happening to Misawa had he asked Marufuji for one at that age and at that point in his career, then again 2001 was a very different world).

Hitoshi Kumano had his first singles match ever with Takashi Sugiura on the 22nd June in Nagano, and said that he was so happy about facing his hero, he couldn’t sleep. Nothing was going to mute this excitement, even the fact that he lost to him.

RATELS entered into their usual squabble about Global Junior League (this happens every year, with Tadasuke threatening to poison everyone last year, but this year he yelled out to whoever was listening, that he would win), with Daisuke Harada saying he was going to win in the backstage interview. 

Naturally, this did go down well with the others, with Tadasuke walking off over it, and then coming back to point and yell at Harada that it was HIS victory that would happen.

On the 22nd June, YO-HEY lost to Yoshinari Ogawa, and Tadasuke became irate and started yelling. Harada got into the ring to try and calm the situation, but this only made Tadasuke angrier and he left (still shouting), although he later apologized and said he was disappointed.

RATELS seemed to have patched up their differences by the 23rd, but again no one wanted to trust each other, and in their post match interview, when they went to do their handshake they all jumped back into a defensive pose with their fists raised. Even HAYATA (who is in Block B), and was smirking at the others arguing with each other, joined in.

Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuhei Taniguchi (and various other partners) faced Kongoh each night. The record stands with Kiyomiya having two victories over the group in three nights, the third was when Kenoh pinned Hi69 following the foostomp.

On the final night of tour, Kaito Kiyomiya spoke on the microphone, and hinted that he and Taniguchi may team up together to take the tag belts. One of his dreams was to hold both championships.

AXIZ and The Sugiura Army also had their last three pre-matches (although Sugiura took time out to take on Hitoshi Kumano), with a elbow brawl breaking out between Shiozaki and Sugiura on the last night. Katsuhiko Nakajima seemed to have quickly shed his politeness in asking for a title match, and was photographed in the usual grinning poses over a fallen opponent.

 

 

EVENT RECAPS
Aizu (19th June 2019)
Post match interviews

Nagano (22nd June 2019)
Post match interviews

Takaoka (23rd June 2019)

NEWS

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”: Kenoh’s column (June 2019)

Kenoh’s tri-weekly column was back to talk about the Misawa Memorial show, his rants against others, his shock at Atsushi Aoki’s death, and KENTA’S return to Japanese wrestling (albeit New Japan), or as he put it “that man has returned”.

Kenoh (who says he respects KENTA, despite his rant) says that he will make NOAH a place that KENTA will want to come home to, as well as making him regret that he ever chose New Japan over “his home”. Naturally, Kenoh wouldn’t be able to keep his ire at Marufuji supporting KENTA out of it, and said that Marufuji’s message of support to him was Marufuji saying “anything to be popular”.

Both Marufuji and KENTA responded to Kenoh in different ways.

In usual talkative style, Marufuji posted a picture of Kenoh’s article with graphics over it, with a message that didn’t really translate too well but basically saying there was nothing wrong with being supportive, and hinting at a secret (and for good measure he called him “Kenoh-kun”, which he knows will wind him up)

KENTA, in usual quiet style, made no comment, and simply posted a picture of the column to his Instagram story.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ Go Shiozaki got stuck in his jacket
~ YO-HEY wouldn’t let HAYATA leave during the post match interview in Aizu
~ Hitoshi Kumano said he is aiming to have a body that does not lose to the heavyweights, but would cause havoc amongst the juniors
~ Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (again)
~ Yoshinari Ogawa held a training session for the roster at Takaoka, Toyama before the event started. He taught Kaito Kiyomiya and the new trainee.
~ IPW have mentioned that Daisuke Harada will be defending the IPW Junior Heavyweight title, but have said that NOAH will make the announcement.
~ Naomichi Marufuji’s search for a tag partner continues.
~ In Aizu, AXIS wore t-shirts with “AIZU” on them.
~ Hitoshi Kumano can be considered the unofficial third member of AXIZ.

BROADCASTS
Riki Choshu’s Power Hall (featuring Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura) will be broadcast live on the 26th June on Samurai at 6.30pm

The opening night of Global Junior League (Thursday 27th June 2019, Korakuen Hall) broadcast at Friday 5th July on Samurai.

LINKS
“The long days of summer are just around the corner: the stories behind the famous photograph of June 2000”
Global Junior League: Mini interview with YO-HEY
Global Junior League: Mini interview with Minoru Tanaka
The Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Ten Year Event, and “The Future of Noah”, presented by 22 year old Kaito Kiyomiya
“It’s been ten years since Mitsuharu Misawa died” ~ Keiji Mutoh’s memories

PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC, KENTA, PKDX
GIF CREDIT: Noah GHC
Newsletter by Hisame


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Mathew’s Top 10 Joshi Wrestlers (Excluding Stardom)

Did your favorite non-Stardom wrestler make the cut? Check out Mathew’s Top 10 and find out! 

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Did your favorite non-Stardom wrestler make the cut? Check out Mathew’s Top 10 and find out!

I’ve wanted to do this one for a while and I’m gonna use this time to get to it.

You normally see me cover Stardom along with a few shows in the Joshi scene from time to time, but this countdown list is going to focus on the wrestlers that aren’t apart of the Stardom roster. Let’s be honest, if I did add Stardom on this list then that would be almost half and that’s not fair since there are so many talented Japanese women from various promotions and they deserve recognition.

I’m also going by active members instead of all-time to keep up with the current scene, so let’s get right to it as I talk about my Top 10 Joshi wrestlers.

10. ASUKA (Freelancer)

– No, not that Asuka, this is a different ASUKA. ASUKA was able to make history in the short amount of time she’s been around professional wrestling in her three-year career and it’s still going. Asuka was originally from Pro Wrestling WAVE until the end of 2018. She was the first transgender wrestler to main event their biggest show and also the first transgender wrestler to win their biggest title, the Regina Di WAVE Championship. She’s only twenty-years-old and has so much to offer as she represents her community while having the agility of a young Jushin Liger. I only knew her around 2017 but that was when she was also coming out of her shell in the wrestling world and what a big impact she has left so far. She definitely is someone worth keeping an eye on.

9. Takumi Iroha (Marvelous)

– Twenty-six years old and only six years in the wrestling business, Takumi really is something else. She comes from the Marvelous promotion and is considered their top star in the promotion and for good reasons too since she’s just dynamite. Amazing how she started in Stardom and years later, she would make a better name for herself wrestling in various promotions and winning different titles as well. She recently won SEAdLINNNG’s top title, the Beyond the Sea Championship when she defeated the first champion and owner of the promotion, Nanae Takashi. A very talented woman with some fantastic strikes to top it off as she’s someone you would wanna book for your promotion for a couple of shows.

8. Tsukasa Fujimoto (Ice Ribbon)

– The ace of Ice Ribbon and the only one to hold their top title, the ICExInfinity Championship for a total of six times and has had some incredible reigns as the champion. Thirty-five years old and wrestling for only ten years as she was trained by some of the best people like Nanae Takahashi, Manami Toyota, and Emi Sakura. Hardly sloppy in the ring, can work with most styles, these are great qualities to look for in a wrestler in general and Tsukasa is no exception to that.

7. Hikaru Shida (OZ Academy/AEW)

– While she is now considered AEW, she still left an impact in the Japanese scene and is also considered OZ Academy for the time being, so she counts to being on here. This ten-year veteran made sure the world knew who she was when she just performed globally, not bad from someone who started in Ice Ribbon back in 2008. She won major titles from Ice Ribbon, WAVE, OZ Academy, RCW, and Sendai Girls. She was also the one that got knocked out by Naomichi Marufuji on one of her produced shows in 2017 in under two minutes but she wanted a rematch a year later and while she lost, she took her punishment like a champion and still give the fans a great show on her 10th anniversary. Now that she has joined AEW, the fans overseas are sure to get something special with her around as she could be the top star of that division.

6. Hiroyo Matsumoto (Freelancer)

– Otherwise known as the Lady Destroyer and she might be the best Freelancer in the Joshi scene. She’s wrestled in almost every promotion for Joshi wrestling, became more noticed when she recently joined WWE’s Mae Young Classic in 2018 where she lasted until the second round. Hiroyo is strong, fast, technically sound in the ring, and has had many great matches in all of the promotions she’s worked for and you knew you were going to get your money worth since she was that talented. She may not look like much but believe me when I say that she’s an absolute monster and can just wreck you if she wanted to. Surprised nobody has snatched her up for an exclusive contract because she would be the top star in an instant, but I think she enjoys going to various promotions and performing on a high level that she definitely does make do with what she has, so nothing wrong with that.

5. Miyu Yamashita (Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling)

– The star of TJP and for good reasons. She only has about five years of experience with only a background in karate, but she was able to hold the TOKYO Princess of Princess Championship two times for a grand total of 746 days and during those times that she was a champion, she’s had great title defenses on top of it to make her a worthy champion of that company. She was also the SHINE Champion when she went to a title or title match during WrestleMania weekend. She’s like the Shotaro Ashino of TJP. just great in the ring and while not many follow the promotion, people would mostly keep an eye on her from how talented she is. I really hope she gets future opportunities to fight other people from various promotions soon because she would have a lot of dream matches built up that you’d be crazy not to do any of them. Great talent and somebody please get her some special bookings on the double, she’s worth your time!

4. Chihiro Hashimoto (Sendai Girls)

– Meiko Satomura’s prized pupil in Sendai Girls and that woman is Chihiro Hashimoto. If you look at her at first glance, you would think she would be a powerhouse but she’s also very technical in the ring. Chihiro has been wrestling for three years also and Meiko went full speed for Chihiro to make her the top star of her promotion and even be known as one of the best of the next generation of Joshi wrestlers. A four-time Sendai Girls World Champion with a combination of 777 days and each title defense would always leave you satisfied and wanting more of her at the end of things. With very little years under her belt, there’s plenty of room for her to grow in the upcoming years of her career and she might be another one that’ll be considered an all-time great when she does decide to hang it up. Powerful and wrestling-sound, Chihiro has the tools and can back it up at the same time and she’s just getting started.

3. Sareee (World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana)

– I’m gonna level with you on this one, I’m fairly new to her despite being in the wrestling business for eight years, meaning she wrestled since she was fifteen-years-old, but I was able to become a fan of her the moment I saw her. She’s currently wrestling for World Woman Pro-Wrestling Diana and was known as an underdog of sorta. For about a year now, she was able to have big moments in her career when she defeated Aja Kong to become the promotion’s World Champion for the second time, defeating Meiko Satomura clean during a Sendai Girls show in an amazing match, and was able to defeat Chihiro in a title for title match to win the Sendai Girls World Championship, making her a double crown champion with two of the biggest belts in the Joshi scene. A lot of the veterans like Meiko and Nanae are high on Sareee and have faith in her being another won to be the future of professional wrestling as a whole. She has a lot more to prove and plenty of time to do it as this is now her time to shine from here on out.

2. Arisa Nakajima (SEAdLINNNG)

– Aside from Nanae Takashi, I believe Arisa Nakajima is one of the best that SEAdLINNNG has to offer. Arisa is both intense and physical in the ring and while not many have seen a lot of her matches, she always left a big impression on people that have watched her matches and gave them something memorable. While most will be known for their stiff kicks in the ring, she’s more known for her elbows and they’re just as deadly as any stiff kick that you see in most matches these days. Made her career in JWP and is now looking to stand out in her new home and hopefully a future Beyond the Sea Champion when the time is right. Killer instinct and a veteran in the business with thirteen years of experience, she’s someone that will amaze you in that ring.

Before I get to my final one, here’s a small list of honorable mentions down below.
– Nanae Takahashi (SEAdLINNNG)
– Emi Sakura (Gatoh Move)
– Mika Iwata (Sendai Girls)
– DASH Chisako (Sendai Girls)
– Aja Kong (OZ Academy)
– Yuka Sakazaki (Tokyo Joshi Pro-Wrestling)
– Riho (Gatoh Move)
– Yuu (Freelancer)
– Mayumi Ozaki (OZ Academy)
– Saori Anou (Actwres girl’Z)
– Miyako Matsumoto (Ice Ribbon)

1. Meiko Satomura (Sendai Girls)

– I think it’s obvious that she would be at the top of the list for everything she has done throughout her career and still performs at such a high level. The creator of Sendai Girls, Meiko Satomura would go down in the history books as one of the greatest females and wrestlers in general of all time with her incredible wrestling ability and her contributions to the business as a whole. She was also the first female to win DDT’s top title, the KO-D Openweight Championship but that reign didn’t last long, unfortunately. She’s held big titles in her own promotion, Stardom, AAAW, and in Fight Club Pro. Meiko has been wrestling for almost twenty-five years and she still wrestles as if she’s half her age while also being lethal at the same time. She made a big impact in Japan, the United States, and just globally as a whole that she’s earned every accomplishment that she has received. My favorite Joshi wrestler and one of my all-time favorites. If you haven’t seen her before, then something is wrong with you.

Thank you all for taking the time out of your day for reading my list. I’m sure there’s quite a few that I’m missing on here but there are just so many talented women in the Japanese wrestling scene that it’s so hard to put them all in as they all deserve praise. If you have time in your day for more, definitely look up all of these women since they’re worth your time.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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