So the Champion Carnival just had to start during the busiest weekend in professional wrestling. I can’t completely complain since it is on it’s own time schedule, so it doesn’t interfere, just adds to the excitement of the week. Full disclosure, this will be the first Carnival I follow live since it is the first year they have a streaming service and I don’t live in Japan.
In case you’re reading this and you didn’t see the previous article with The Chairshot picks, this article is specifically B Block. If you want A Block, look up Mathew Sarpraicone article. Much easier to cut this tournament in half, cause sleep is a nice thing. Now let’s see what the first few B Block matches gave us.
Jun Akiyama vs Dylan James (April 7th)
Both of these men are halves of two different tag team championships. Jun the crafty vet and Dylan the returning gaijin.
Now this is a type of match All Japan likes to do on occasion, and by that I mean a sub 5 minute match, that is still pretty damn entertaining. We saw both men get in a good bit of their offense, so it seemed to be a balanced affair. James looked like he was going to pick up the win, with a Chokeslam, but Akiyama counters that into a cradle that barely gets the 3 count.
Winner: Akiyama wins via countering a Chokeslam into a cradle.
Rating: ** 3/4
Zeus vs Suwama (April 7th)
Zeus comes in with his entire left thigh wrapped in tape after Miyahara did some damage in a previous tag match. Suwama doesn’t look nearly as banged up, so the former Ace trying to regain his prominence should be interesting.
This match really showcased Zeus’ selling ability. As Suwama stepped on the wrapped thigh, or worked him over in the corner, Zeus looked like he was in such pain. Aside from feeling bad for him, you get to watch him slowly fight back and builds nice sympathy in the match.
Zeus is an up and coming wrestler who seems to be about a half step away from being a real force. Suwama hits a Last Ride powerbomb, and Zeus kicks out. Powering through his injuries and working from underneath all match, you see Zeus pick up the win, with his Jackhammer.
Winner: Zeus wins via pinfall after Jackhammer
Rating: *** 1/4
Zeus vs Yoshitatsu (April 8th)
Hey Hey! We get to hear Zeus’ theme song this time (rights issues make themes inconsistent). His theme is pretty fantastic, and Yoshitatsu makes his Carnival debut.
Zeus still has the obvious target on his thigh, and this was really a solid match that helps showcase Yoshitatsu. This venue is basically a high school gym, and there’s no commentary on the feed, which makes viewing a little odd. It’s nice to not get distracted, but hearing all of the little odd things some wrestlers do, is off putting (Zeus has this gruff chuckle he does while he’s on top during the match).
Like I already said, solid showing from both men, Yoshi has been slowly establishing himself as less of a joke. Even though Yoshitatsu has a speed advantage, Zeus rarely seems like he loses control of this match. So it’s not a complete surprise when Zeus wins.
Winner: Zeus win via pinfall after Jackhammer
Rating: *** 1/4
Suwama vs KAI (April 8th)
Suwama coming off a loss, puts him in a spot where he can’t afford to drop matches against the opponents he’s expected to beat. KAI however gets his first match of the Carnival, he’s a freelancer who hasn’t had much heavyweight luck in All Japan.
We get a decent match match here. KAI shows that he’s not to far behind the former Ace in ability, but since Suwama lost his first match, this felt a little obvious. Nothing was completely terrible, but given the preceding matches, as well as Miyahara’s match for A block headlining the show…we didn’t get a classic. Suwama wins with his Last Ride powerbomb to finally get on the board.
Winner: Suwama via Pinfall
Rating: ** 1/2
Current B-Block Standings:
Zeus: 2-0 (4 Points)
Jun Akiyama: 1-0 (2 Points)
Suwama: 1-1 (2 Points)
Naomichi Marufuji: 0-0 (0 Points)
Yutaka Yoshie: 0-0 (0 Points)
Dylan James: 0-1 (0 Points)
Yoshitatsu: 0-1 (0 Points)
KAI: 0-1 (0 Points)
Now my pick to win B Block is Naomichi Marufuji, who’s been involved in Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Global Tag League. Officially, his team finished 1 point outside of making the finals, so he’ll finally get a day here or there to breathe. The late start will either give him an advantage, or he’ll be exhausted from the Global Tag League.
Should be interesting to see how the standings start to shake out once everyone gets moving.
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/3/22)
Is World Tag League tranquilo?
Can Naito & Sanada win back-to-back main events?
We just saw Los Ingobernables de Japon conquer Aussie Open, but can they trump The Joker & The Ace in NJPW World Tag League’s sixth round?
- Bad Luck Fale VS Ryohei Oiwa; Fale wins.
- Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls VS Kosei Fujita & Oskar Leube; Shane & Mikey win.
- Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Bullet Club; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Master Wato, KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS Aussie Open; Aussie Open wins.
- World Tag League 2022: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare; Goto & Hashi win.
- World Tag League 2022: Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Evil & Yujiro win.
- World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA; Naito & Sanada win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current World Tag League standings!
Aussie Open: 5-1, 10 points
The Mighty: 5-1, 10 points
Naito & Sanada: 4-2, 8 points
Khan & Henare: 4-2, 8 points
Suzuki & Archer: 3-2, 6 points
Yano & Tanahashi: 3-2, 6 points
Goto & Hashi: 3-2, 6 points
Evil & Yujiro: 0-5, 0 points [ELIMINATED]
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-5, 0 points [ELIMINATED]
Chase & Fale: [FORFEIT]
World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS Aussie Open!
The Mechanical Bulls are in the exact opposite spot as Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher, but that won’t stop them! Can Coughlin & Kidd ruin the All United Empire Finals? Or will Dunk-Zilla & The Aussie Arrow turn things around from their first loss this league?
The Orchestrator, Gideon Grey, is here, and he says it is Coughlin’s birthday. Gideon was going to get Coughlin a birthday present, and then he heard how horribly Coughlin’s first WTL run is going. Kidd gets impatient and Gideon says this is what he’s getting at. This is his present to them: an opportunity to win their first two points against his team, “representing the United Empire…!” Gideon gives the introductions and Aussie Open makes their entrance. And Aussie Open is so fired up, they don’t sort out, they just go after Coughlin & Kidd! Davis is after Kidd, Kyle has Coughlin, and Davis knees Kidd low to send him out of the ring!
The bell rings, Aussie Open double whip Coughlin, but he ducks their double clothesline to shove Kyle into Davis. Coughlin goes to ropes, Davis runs in but Coughlin dumps him out. Kyle runs in but Coughlin TOSSES him out onto Davis! Kidd is up top and fans cheer for the ARIHARA MOONSAULT! Direct hit and fans cheer as Kidd fires up! Kidd puts Kyle back in for Coughlin, and Coughlin deadlift gut wrench suplexes! And then deadlift back suplexes! Cover, TWO! Tag to Kidd and he runs to BLAST Davis! Coughlin runs in to clothesline Kidd at the corner, then feeds him to Kidd’s EXPLODER!
The Mechanical Bulls flex and the fans fire up again. Coughlin hauls Kyle up, he and Kidd double suplex but Davis saves Kyle! Aussie Open dodge the Mechanical Bulls, Kyle SUPERKICKS Coughlin while Davis BOOTS Kidd! Fans fire up as Davis goes to the corner to tag in. Davis storms up on Kidd, he brings Kidd up but Kidd CHOPS back. Kidd eggs Davis on but Davis CHOPS Kidd! Kidd CHOPS, CHOPS and eggs Davis on. Davis CHOPS Kidd and fans fire up for that one. Kidd CHOPS, CHOPS and CHOPS, then roars at Davis, but Davis knees low then throws Kidd out. Kyle BLASTS Coughlin off the apron!
Aussie Open coordinate, Kyle picks up Coughlin and Davis picks up Kidd, and they run around the way to SANDWICH the Mechanical Bulls! And then, DOUBLE APRON BACK SUPLEXES! And then, DOUBLE SCOOP SLAMS to the floor! Fans fire up as Kyle gets in the ring. The ring count starts, Coughlin and Kidd writhe as the count passes 5 of 20. Kidd sits up at 10, drags himself up with the railing, and fans rally up. The count is 15, Kidd flounders and staggers about, but Coughlin helps him up at 18 to get in at 19! Davis tags Kyle, Aussie Open double whip and double ELBOW Kidd, PENALTY KICK to SENTON! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Kyle looms over Kidd. Kyle sits Kidd up to ELBOW him in the head! Kyle clamps on a chinlock and grinds Kidd down. Kidd endures as Coughlin and the fans rally up. Kyle shifts to a BULLY CHOKE! Kidd endures, fights up, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer and Kyle cranks more, until the ref counts 4. Kyle “apologizes” then tags in Davis. Davis drags Kidd up but Kidd CHOPS! Davis scoops Kidd to SLAM him! Kidd grits his teeth as he gets back up to CHOP and CHOP! Davis scoop SLAMS again, but Kidd is right up! Kidd CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Davis whips Kidd right out, BOOTS Coughlin, and Kyle goes after Kidd!
Kyle scoops Kidd but Kidd slips off to scoop Kyle! Kidd SLAMS Kyle on the floor! Fans fire up as Kidd gets back in, dodges Davis, but Davis blocks the kick. Kidd gets free to ROCK Davis with a haymaker! Davis drops to a knee and fans fire up! Kidd roars and tags in Coughlin! The Android fires off forearms, but Davis blocks the chop. Coughlin avoids the clothesline to kick low to UPPERCUT then CHOP! Fans fire up with Coughlin and he whips Davis to a corner. Davis reverses, runs in and SPLASHES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up with Coughlin and he drags Davis up, short arm LARIAT! Cover, Kyle breaks it!
Coughlin kicks Kyle then throws him out. Fans rally and Coughlin drags Davis up. Coughlin scoops Davis but Davis fights with elbows. Coughlin still powers out but Davis slips off to ENZIGURI! Kyle tags in while Coughlin staggers to an open corner. Kyle runs in to BOOT Coughlin, then he suplexes. Coughlin slips out to scoop Kyle, INVERTED SLAM! Fans fire up and Coughlin tags Kidd. Kidd fires up, Coughlin whips him in at Kyle for a clothesline! And then another whip for a CHOP! Kidd SUPERKICKS Kyle, feeds him to Coughlin’s scoop, and Coughlin pops Kyle around for a POWERBOMB! Kidd covers, TWO!
Fans rally again as Kidd tags Coughlin. Kidd whips Coughlin in now but Coughlin blocks Kyle’s boot. Kyle SUPERKICKS instead and Coughlin goes down! Kidd runs in but Kyle puts him on the apron to SUPERKICK! Davis is there to catch Kidd, Kyle goes out, POP-UP ROUNDHOUSE! Aussie Open goes after Coughlin, scoop for the LAWN DART CUTTER! Cover, TWO!! Coughlin survives and fans fire up again! Kyle is frustrated but he tags Davis back in. Aussie Open haul Coughlin up, double wrench, but he blocks the double pump handles! The Android shows his full power as he RAMS Aussie Open into each other!
Coughlin then reels them both in, for a DOUBLE BACK SUPLEX! Fans are thunderous as all three men are down! Kidd returns and calls to Coughlin! Fans rally as Coughlin crawls that way, hot tag to Kidd! Kidd CHOPS Davis, but Davis just frowns. Kidd eggs Davis on, and Davis CHOPS Kidd! Davis eggs Kidd so Kidd CHOPS Davis! Davis CHOPS Kidd, but Kidd CHOPS Davis! Fans rally up as the CHOPS keep going, back and forth, faster and faster! Davis CHOPS and CHOPS, and CHOPS! But Kidd CHOPS Davis down!! Fans are thunderous as Coughlin slides back in. The Mechanical Bulls pinball Davis with forearm after forearm!
Davis SLAPS Kidd, SLAPS Coughlin, so they DOUBLE HEADBUTT him! Coughlin & Kidd go to opposite corners, they’re looking to copy Aussie Open! They both run in but Davis drops out of the way! Kidd & Coughlin stop short of hitting each other, but then Kyle gets in. Kyle SUPERKICKS Coughlin, dodges Kidd and Davis BOOTS Kidd! Aussie Open throw off the elbow pads but Kidd roars. But he stands up into the DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! Double pump handles, for COREALIS!! Cover, Aussie Open wins!
Winners: Aussie Open, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Coughlin & Kidd earn 0)
Well, that’ll be a birthday present Coughlin wishes he could return. Aussie Open bounce back from their first loss, are they still future winners of the World Tag League?
World Tag League 2022: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare!
Bishamon is just outside the top of this block, but they vow to #GetBackUp! However, the Dominator & Ultimate Weapon are determined to keep that All United Empire Finals dream alive! Will it be Lights Out for Khan & Henare? Or will they be able to conquer the Chaos?
Naturally, Gideon Grey is still here from last match to give his other team their introductions. The teams sort out and fans rally for Khan already. Khan starts against the Fierce Warrior and fans fire up already. Khan and Goto circle, feel out the grapple, each trying for a leg. Goto facelocks but Khan slips free and fans applaud. The two go again, clinch, and end up on ropes. The ref calls the break, Goto lets off with a pat of the shoulders. Fans applaud and Khan comes back. They tie up collar ‘n’ elbow, and Khan powers Goto back to ropes. The ref calls the break again, and Khan lets off with pats on the shoulder. Then an IRON CLAW on the ear!
Khan laughs while the ref reprimands, and Khan CLUBS the ear! Hashi protests but Khan UPPERCUTS him down! Khan CLUBS Goto, runs, but Hashi slides in so Bishamon can run Khan over! HIP TOSS SENTON! Henare runs in but he gets double kicks, and the drums! Goto & Hashi drag Khan up and fans fire up for the drums! Goto stomps Khan around, then drags him back up. Khan shots around and has the PONYTAIL SLEEPER! The ref reprimands, Khan lets go at 4, then CHOKES Goto with his hands! The ref reprimands again, Khan lets off, but he misses Henare sending Hashi into railing! Khan CHOKES Goto more!
The ref reprimands again and Khan lets off. Henare leaves Hashi alone, and fans rally up both ways. Khan stands Goto up for Mongolian Chops! Goto staggers, Khan has him against ropes, and he Mongolian Chops again! Khan brings Goto out to Mongolian Chop him down! Kneeling cover, TWO! Khan tags Henare, the Empire mugs Goto, and Henare stalks Goto to ropes. Henare bends Goto back against the ropes while Khan distracts the ref. Henare bangs the war drums! Fans rally, Henare lets off and Goto flops back. Henare snapmares and KICKS, then SENTONS! Cover, TWO! Henare clamps onto Goto’s arm to keep him down.
Henare digs his elbow into Goto’s forehead, then JAMS Goto with the elbow. Tag to Khan and he drags Goto around. Goto CHOPS Khan! And CHOPS! But Khan knees low, then whips Goto into the corner. Khan CLUBS Goto on the back, then sits up on his throne! Henare BLASTS Hashi for good measure, and then Khan pulls Goto’s arms back. Henare KNEES Goto in the back! The ref reprimands and counts, Khan hops off at 4. Cover, TWO! Khan tells everyone to shut up but they rally for Goto anyway. Khan says Goto’s gonna kiss his foot! Goto resists as Khan pushes him down, and Goto fights up to his feet!
Goto CHOPS and CHPS and CHOPS, but Khan knees low and CLUBS Goto. Khan runs, Goto follows and LARIATS! Fans fire up as both men are down! Goto crawls, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter rallies on The Empire! Fans fire up as Hashi runs in to CHOP Khan in a corner! Hashi whips and CHOPS again, then mule kicks! Khan fights the neckbreaker, but Hashi dodges the haymaker to hit the HEADHUNTER! Fans fire up as Khan staggers about. Hashi runs in to CHOP again! Hashi suplexes to hang Khan out to dry. Hashi runs side to side to dropkick Khan down! Hashi keeps moving, basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Hashi keeps cool and fans rally up. Hashi drags Khan up, fisherman’s a leg, but Khan fights with body shots. Khan pulls on Hashi’s ears! Khan whips Hashi into Henare’s haymaker, then Khan hits the PANCAKE PLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Hashi escapes but Henare tags in. Henare stomps the mat and waits on Hashi to stand. Henare runs in, RAMP- NO, Hashi fights off the Rampage with forearms! Hashi throws more forearms, but Henare DECKS Hashi with just one! Henare whips Hashi, but Hashi dropkicks the legs out! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hashi crawls over, hot tag to Goto!
Goto fires off on Henare with forearms! Goto whips corner to corner, runs in, MURAMASA! And then the BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Goto drags Henare back up. Goto fireman’s carries but Henare fights that off with forearms. Goto ROCKS Henare, but Henare snarls. Henare ROCKS Goto, but Goto ROCKS Henare! The forearms go back and forth, faster and faster, and fans rally up. Henare eggs Goto on so Goto fires off a flurry! Then an ELBOW JAB! Goto runs, but into Khan’s cheap shot! ELBOW JAB, and then the Empire coordinates, BOOT ROUNDHOUSE SANDWICH!
Hashi runs in, but into an IRON CLAW SLEEPER! Henare drags Goto up, into the ULTIMA NELSON! Bishamon fights against these submissions, so Henare spins to BODY SHOT Goto! And then the fisherman to the torture rack! Khan has Hashi in the Iron Claw, but Bishamon escapes both Streets of Rage and Eliminator! They shove Khan and Henare into each other, then Hashi SUPERKICKS Khan! Fans fire up as Hashi calls to Goto. Forearm and feed to the fireman’s carry, but Henare slips off. Goto powers Henare back into a corner, then moves aside as Hashi runs in to clothesline! Hashi feeds to the kick and hook-up!
Hashi runs, GOTO GOTO HUNTER! Cover, TWO! Henare survives the Russian Leg Sweep Blockbuster, but Hashi says it’s lights out! Goto drags Henare up to the dragon sleeper, Hashi has the legs, but Khan PONYTAIL SLEEPERS Hashi! Goto lets Henare go but Khan shoves Hashi into him! Then HITSUJIGOROSHI for Hashi! Henare gets the legs for the FUBUKI! And then MARINE!! Fans rally up as Henare & Khan drag Goto up. Khan Mongolian Chops Goto, then whips him corner to corner. Khan whips Henare in but Goto avoids the knee! Goto fires off forearms on Khan, then whips, only for Khan to reverse! RAMPAGE!! Cover, TWO?!?
Fans fire up again as Goto survives! Khan knocks Hashi down, and then the Monster Rage boils over! Henare drags Goto back up as fans rally. Fireman’s carry, and Khan runs, but Hashi LARIATS Khan down! SUPERKICK for Henare! Fireman’s carry, FIERCE FLASH into SHOUTO!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!
Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Khan & Henare earn 0)
The Dominator & Ultimate Weapon fall! Are the dreams of an All United Empire Finals finally shattered? Will Goto & Hashi head for back-to-back World Tag League wins?
World Tag League 2022: Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi!
The Meanest Tag Team in the World Tag League is still alive in the block, but if #EverybodyDies, can the King of Darkness and Tokyo Pimp spoil things for them? Or will the House of Torture learn not Everything is Evil?
Dick Togo accompanies the House of Torture out this time, but surely Sho is lurking. As always, Archer CLOBBERS a Young Lion in his entrance, and this time it’s Oskar Leube. And Archer again storms over to commentary to intimidate Milano Collection AT. Suzuki then makes his entrance, and fans get to shout along with, “KAZE NI NARE!” But as soon as introductions are done, Yujiro and Evil attack! Yujiro goes after Suzuki while Evil is after Archer! But Archer turns that around to send Evil out! The bell rings just before Suzuki throws Yujiro out, and then the brawling continues outside!
Fans rally as Suzuki knees Yujiro, then headlocks. Yujiro throws body shots then shoves Suzuki into railing! Evil throws his shirt at Archer to distract him, then he hits down low! Evil brings Archer around to ram into railing, then brings him into No Man’s Land. But Archer turns that around by raking Evil’s eyes! Fans cheer as The House of Torture is getting a taste of their own medicine! Speaking of, Suzuki is storming up to Yujiro with a chair! But Yujiro uses his pimp cane to fight back! CANE SHOT to the gut, then CANE SHOT to the head! But Archer goes after Yujiro now and snatches the cane away.
The ref tries to restore order but Archer JAMS Yujiro with his own cane. Suzuki gets in the ring but Yujiro is after him. Evil gets a chair, but so does Archer! Evil complains but the ref reprimands them both. Yujiro clamps a chinlock onto Suzuki, but Suzuki gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts that, Yujiro lets off, and then Yujiro slaps Suzuki around. Suzuki shoves Yujiro but Yujiro kicks low. Suzuki fires forearms but Yujiro knee slow. Evil holds Suzuki in the corner and Yujiro BOOTS Suzuki down! Evil tags in but fans rally up for Suzuki. Evil digs his boots in but the ref counts. Evil lets off at 4 and fans continue to rally.
Evil taunts Suzuki as he sits up. Evil CHOPS Suzuki, but Suzuki says that’s nothing! Suzuki eggs Evil on so Evil CHOPS again. Still not enough for Minoru, so Evil winds up, to claw Suzuki’s eyes! Fans boo but Yujiro tags in. Yujiro kicks Suzuki, SLAPS him, but Suzuki fights back with kicks! Yujiro claws Suzuki’s eyes more, then brings him around to snapmare. Yujiro runs to basement boot! Cover, ONE!! Fans fire up as Suzuki snarls and eggs Yujiro on. Yujiro brings Suzuki over with a headlock, Evil tags in. Evil throws his shirt at Archer again, but Suzuki CHOKES Yujiro! Evil claws Suzuki’s eyes!
The ref is busy with an angry Archer, Evil gets away with all this. Cover, TWO! Evil argues the count but then Suzuki sits up with a scowl. Evil talks trash while Archer throws his shirt back. Evil gives toying kicks but Suzuki slowly stands up. Evil keeps taunting Suzuki, but Suzuki throws a body shot! Evil rakes the eyes again, but Suzuki avoids the lariat to BOOT Evil down! Fans fire up and Suzuki tags in Archer! The Murderhawk Monster storms up to Evil, knees him low, then whips him hard into a corner! Yujiro runs in and clubs Archer, but Archer doesn’t budge! Archer knees Yujiro low, then whips him hard into a corner!
Fans fire up, but then Dick slides in! Archer turns around and Dick stops in his tracks. Dick bows and offers a handshake. Fans say not to trust that but Archer still accepts. To then whip Dick into Yujiro! And back elbow them both! Archer whips Dick into Evil, then back elbows them both! Archer whips Dick back at Yujiro, for another back elbow! And then back at Evil for another back elbow! Fans fire up with Archer while Dick flops down. Archer brings Evil around, runs and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Evil survives but Archer tags Suzuki. Evil begs for mercy and he apologizes, but Suzuki-Gun doesn’t trust that. Evil goes to double low blow, but gets blocked!
Archer & Suzuki kick and stomp Evil, then whip him to the corner. Suzuki runs in, Evil BOOTS him! Evil avoids Archer and Archer hits buckles. Evil hurries to reach out to Yujiro, but Archer runs in! Evil dumps Archer out! Hot tag to Yujiro! Yujiro brings Suzuki up, blocks his kick, rakes the eyes and throws Suzuki down for a SLIDING BOOT! Yujiro stands Suzuki up to throw knees and forearms. Yujiro puts Suzuki on ropes to BOOT him! Yujiro runs, but Suzuki knees low! Suzuki has the GUILLOTINE! But Yujiro BITES the hand! Suzuki kicks low, shoots around, but Yujiro grabs the ref to stop the sleeper!
Suzuki KICKS Yujiro’s arm! Suzuki argues with the ref but then Yujiro shoves Suzuki into the ref! The ref goes down, Evil slides in and BLASTS Archer! Dick slides in to stomp away on Suzuki! Fans boo as Evil and Dick stomp Suzuki, but Archer attacks them and Yujiro! Archer throws Dick and Evil out, then he goes out to CLUB Evil down. Suzuki and Yujiro stand, Yujiro throws forearm after forearm, but Suzuki just laughs those off! Yujiro kicks low, runs, but Suzuki follows, shoots around, and has the SLEEPER! Fans fire up as Suzuki spins Yujiro around, Gotch PILEDRIVER!! Cover, SHO drags the ref out!!
The Murder Machine stomps Suzuki as fans boo hard as ever! Archer gets in to grab both of them, but Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER on Archer! Archer still choke grips Sho! But Evil LOW BLOWS Archer! Evil then clotheslines Archer out of the ring! Suzuki fights back but gets the SPOILER CHOKER, and the WRENCH SHOT! And then EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Evil drags Yujiro onto the cover and Dick fetches the ref. Fans boo the cover, but the House of Torture wins!
Winners: Evil & Yujiro Takahashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Suzuki & Archer earn 0)
The Murderhawk Monster rises and is furious, and same for Suzuki! They chase off the House of Torture, beat up on Young Lions and even the railing. Suzuki snatches the chairs from the timekeeper’s area to throw at Evil and Sho as they run away! The House of Torture ruined their run, but will Suzuki & Archer look to ruin Evil’s life?
World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Tetsuya Naito & SANADA!
The Joker & The Ace have found a way to stay alive in the block, but the Uncontrollable Charisma & Cold Skull are coming off a huge win just yesterday. Will Naito & Sanada keep this tournament tranquilo? Or will love, energy and comedy win out?
Naito mocks the bad boy squat as he makes his entrance. Maybe Naito was a “Yankee” in his school days, too? Yano grows impatient as Naito takes his time entering the ring. But Yano still says Tanahashi’s muscles are “SUGOI~!” Naito takes his time with his entrance attire while fans rally up, and Yano is again impatient. Naito taunts Yano with the tearaway pants, then throws them away. The teams sort out and Tanahashi starts for his team. LIJ slowly fist bumps, and Yano is annoyed again. The fist bump finally happens, and Yano gets further impatient waiting on LIJ to choose a starter. LIJ is taking their time on purpose at this point.
Finally, Naito steps up, and fans applaud. The bell rings and fans rally both ways. Tanahashi and Naito circle, Naito approaches but then backs away. They finally do tie up, and Tanahashi headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes but Naito pries the hold open. Tanahashi clamps it on tighter and fans rally up. Naito powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight! Fans applaud and Naito fights back up. Naito pries at the hold, but ends up pulling hair! Red Shoes reprimands, but then Tanahashi pulls hair! Red Shoes counts, both men let go at 4, but then Naito pulls hair again! Tanahasih breaks free, but swings into a shove.
Naito arm-drags Tanahashi, kicks him and whips him out of the ring. Naito builds speed, but he fakes Tanahashi out to tranquilo! Fans fire up and Tanahashi storms in, only for Naito to roll out. Naito takes his time returning, and he circles with Tanahashi again. They feel out a knuckle lock, but then Naito tags in Sanada. Fans applaud as Yano calls to Tanahashi. Tanahashi tags Yano and fans fire up with him. Yano and Sanada circle, and then Yano squats! Is Sanada Yankee enough to squat with him? Sanada just stares at Yano stone faced. Yano eggs Sanada on and fans rally up, but Sanada isn’t sure.
Yano gets the fans to chant for it, so Sanada steps up to squat! But then Yano shoves him over! Yano ties Sanada up?! But he can’t figure out Paradise! Sanada kicks him away and Yano ends up in a corner. Yano says, “Lucky!” and he starts untying a buckle pad! Sanada runs over to CLUB Yano, then he whips Yano corner to corner. Yano reverses, then finishes untying the pad. Yano says here goes, but Sanada kicks Yano! But the pad takes the hit! Yano throws the pad to Sanada, but Sanada just throws it down! Yano is astonished and yells… at the pad? Sanada rolls Yano for a ROLLING CRADLE!
They go around and around and around, and around and around, then cover, but Tanahashi tips it! Yano has the cover, TWO! Tanahashi BLASTS Naito, Yano staggers around, but so does Sanada. Tanahashi kicks Sanada to ropes, then Yano staggers over. Yano & Tanahashi double whip, double shoulder Sanada down, and then they both squat. Fans fire up, Yano talks some trash, and then he and Tanahashi drag Sanada up. They double whip him to a corner, then Yano whips Tanahashi in. Sanada dodges Tanahashi to dropkick Yano down! Sanada then trips Tanahashi up, and ties him up in Paradise!
Fans fire up as Sanada gets Yano, too! Sanada ties Yano up in Paradise! Fans fire up for Double Paradise! Yano and Tanahashi both call to each other but neither can do anything! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans do get louder, and Sanada runs to dropkick Tanahashi out of Paradise! And then Naito distracts Red Shoes so Sanada can get the buckle pad. Fans rally up as Sanada SMACKS Yano out of Paradise! Sanada goes out after Yano and stomps him down while Naito SMACKS Tanahashi with the buckle pad! Naito then sends Tanahashi into railing while Sanada drags Yano up. Sanada POSTS Yano, then stalks him around the way.
Sanada drags Yano back up, puts him back in the ring, and covers, TWO! Yano is still in this and fans rally up. Sanada tags Naito, Naito drags Yano up, and LIJ double whips Yano to ropes. They double ELBOW, then split the wishbone before DOUBLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Naito squats so he can slap Yano around. Naito drags Yano up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he grinds Yano down. Fans rally, Yano endures, but Sanada tags in. Sanada ELBOWS Yano down, then stalks him. Sanada brings Yano up, CLUBS him down, then paces around. Tanahashi coaches Yano but Sanada stays on him.
Yano pulls Sanada’s hair! Sanada breaks free, knees low and whips, but Yano reverses to throw Sanada down! Fans rally and Yano crawls over, hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace runs and forearms Sanada down! Tanahashi BLASTS Naito for good measure, then runs in at Sanada. Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW! Naito runs in, but Tanahashi blocks the kick! Tanahashi waves bye before he DRAGON SCREWS Naito! Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he storms over to Sanada. Tanahashi scoops and SLAMS Sanada into a drop zone, then he goes up the corner. SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO!
Tanahashi stays focused and fans rally again. Sanada slowly rises, Tanahashi runs, but Sanada dropkicks Tanahashi’s legs, then DROPKICKS Tanahashi out! Sanada hurries over to the ropes, to PLANCHA, but Tanahashi slides in! Sanada lands safe on the apron, he ROCKS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi gets a leg! DRAPING DRAGON SCREW, a dropkick to the legs, then another DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi drags Sanada around by the legs, and ties him up in the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Naito BOOTS Tanahashi, CLUBS him, but Tanahashi hits back. Tanahashi sends Naito out, and fans fire up again.
Tanahashi waits on Sanada to stand and he runs the ropes, but Sanada ducks the slingblade! Sanada blocks the kick, to DRAGON SCREW back! Fans fire up and both men crawl. Sanada heads for his corner, hot tag to Naito! Naito storms up on Tanahashi to kick his legs. Naito whips corner to corner, runs in and JUMP KICKS! Leg sweep, COMBINACION feint, and a squat! Tanahashi lets his guard down, and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans fire up and Naito brings Tanahashi around into a FIGURE FOUR! But Yano stomps Naito down! Tanahashi is free and Yano coaches him up. Naito drags Tanahashi up instead.
Naito has a leg but Tanahashi fights with elbows. Naito ROCKS Tanahashi, whips him to ropes, but Tanahashi reverses to SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both men are down! Tanahashi and Naito crawl, hot tag to Yano! Yano brings Naito up, ducks Naito’s haymaker and clinches to Belly2Belly! Fans fire up more and Yano whips Naito at the bare corner. Naito reverses but Yano stops himself. Yano dodges and Naito hits bare buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Naito survives but Yano fires back up. Yano runs in at the corner but Naito dodges, and Sanada runs in to elbow Yano! Sanada feeds Yano to Naito’s ELBOW, then Sanada back suplexes!
ROLLING JACKKNIFE BRIDGE, TWO!! Yano escapes! Fans fire up and Naito drags Yano back up. Naito throws ELBOW after ELBOW into Yano, but Yano gets around! Tanahashi gets in, Yano feeds Naito to the DRAGON PALM! Yano runs to CHOP BLOCK! Roll-up, Sanada breaks it in time!! Fans fire up again and Tanahashi drags Sanada up to throw him out. Yano hauls Naito up, but Naito fights free. Sanada drags Tanahashi out and sends him into railing. Naito feeds Yano to Sanada’s low dropkick! Tanahashi returns and gets around Sanada, but Sanada turns Twist ‘n’ Shout into MAGIC SCREW!
Fans fire up as Sanada DROPKICKS Yano, and Naito atomic drops! ENZIGURI to ROLLING ELBOWS! Then assisted TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up as Naito drags Yano back up. Naito wrenches, tilt-o-whirls, DESTINO!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Tetsuya Naito & Sanada, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Yano & Tanahashi earn 0)
The Joker & The Ace bust! Their run at the top is out of the question, but can they shift into spoiler mode after this?
As for LIJ, the rest of the faction joins Naito & Sanada, including Shingo Takagi who’s been on commentary. Naito gets the mic to say, “Buenas noches, KAKOGAWA~!” Naito notes this is the first Kakogawa event for NJPW in four YEARS, so there’s surely some fans seeing them live for the first time ever. He asks if everyone enjoyed seeing the World Tag League tonight, and the fans cheer because they certainly did. Naito notes that he and Sanada have now moved up to 5-2 for 10 points. “We will win out and take the trophies? Or not? Keep watching World Tag League, enjoy the drama, and… Actually… I got nothing.”
Fans have a good laugh, but Naito does continue with, “Keep watching World Tag League to the end. By the way, now today, some of you can only clap but the rest can cheer, right?” Those fans cheer to confirm! “So let’s end this right for the first time ever in Kakogawa.” Fans cheer, liking the sound of that. “For those of you in the clapping sections, please yell out in your hearts. For those who can cheer, please yell out with me! Everyone, are you ready?” Fans cheer to say yes, they are! “There’s only one way to close out the first NJPW show in Kakogawa in four years. Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Titan! Y Naito! Nosotros! LOS! INGOBERRRNABLEEEEES~! DE! JA! PON!”
Fans are fired up to even have this much cheering back. Will they all be able to cheer the next time NJPW is in Kakogawa? Will they be cheering on LIJ as the World Tag League winners and IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions?
Here are the NEW World Tag League standings!
Aussie Open: 6-1, 12 points
The Mighty: 5-1, 10 points
Naito & Sanada: 5-2, 10 points
Goto & Hashi: 4-2, 8 points
Khan & Henare: 4-3, 8 points
Suzuki & Archer: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Yano & Tanahashi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Evil & Yujiro: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-6, 0 points [ELIMINATED]
Chase & Fale: [FORFEIT]
Another great round for World Tag League, and a couple more teams are mathematically eliminated. House of Torture get their first win ruining the run for Suzuki & Archer, and I kinda want a feud of Suzuki-Gun VS House of Torture now so Suzuki can beat the crap outta Evil and Dick. Coughlin & Kidd are a great looking team despite that 0-6 record, but sometimes great looking teams don’t get the round robin run you’d expect. Aussie Open are certainly shoe-ins for the finals, and they’re up against Khan & Henare next to give us that All United Empire match since I don’t see the All United Empire Finals happening.
Bishamon looked great in their win over Khan & Henare, keeping their hopes of going back-to-back alive. But there has to be something that spoils that, because I’m still seeing LIJ making it. As I figured yesterday, Yano & Tanahashi VS Naito & Sanada was hilarious but also really competitive, and back-to-back main event wins is great for LIJ. And it’d be fitting that Aussie Open gets a second chance at LIJ for giving them that loss.
My Score: 8.7/10
(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.192 ~ 30TH NOVEMBER 2022
NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!
Masa Kitamiya challenges Masato Tanaka
Following the tag match against Masato Tanaka and Shoki Kitamura in ZERO-ONE on the 20th November, Masa Kitamiya challenged Masato Tanaka for the ZERO-ONE World Heavyweight. Kitamiya said he wanted the belt for two reasons – one was because Masato Tanaka had the belt, and secondly because he felt that his eleventh year in wrestling had been a sad one. The match will take place at Korakuen Hall on the 1st January, the same day that NOAH at the Nippon Budokan, so Kitamiya will be wrestling two matches that day with ZERO-ONE taking place before NOAH. Kitamiya is determined to enter The Nippon Budokan as champion.
Akitoshi Saito remembers Bison Smith
Akitoshi Saito made a touching tribute to his old partner on the anniversary of his passing, by winning the match with the Iron Claw slam. Backstage he remembered “the blue eyed samurai” by recalling their last conversation, and saying that he felt Bison was with him and had given his approval for Saito to team with Yone.
Perros Del Mal De Japon Farewell
Perros Del Mal De Japon made their final appearance as a unit in Yoyogi on November 23rd. They were accompanied to the ring by Kotaro Suzuki (who may not be appearing in NOAH following The Tokyo Gurentai produce due to his contract expiring) and Ikuto Hidaka. Neither of them got involved too much in the match.
Yoshinari Ogawa came to the ring with a Singapore cane slung over his shoulder, while his partners also brandished weapons, Kai Fujimura had a baseball bat and Yasutaka Yano carried a trash can. The match was as you would expect; the first time everyone got counted out, the second time ended in a count out when the young boys got Perros counted out (Ogawa had left in disgust by this time) and when he came back, the match lasted 11 minutes and 36 seconds, and ended when NOSAWA decided to assault the referee. Ogawa took everyone out with a trash can lid before leaving. He had also managed to hit Kotaro on the head earlier, but concentrated his attack on NOSAWA and Eita. When Ogawa had gone, Perros bade farewell to each other, but their war with Ogawa wasn’t over as both Eita and NOSAWA will have singles match with him. NOSAWA’S match will be on the 14th in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima, while Eita’s will be on the 23rd at the N-INNOVATION. Kotaro Suzuki was a little irritated that he didn’t get a singles match, which NOSAWA completely ignored, but he will have a singles match himself against Eita on the 20th.
MaruKen reunite to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles
Naomichi Marufuji pinned Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi and therefore won the right to challenge the tag champions. With Masakatsu Funaki and Masaaki Mochizuki hanging over the ropes offering their hands as partners, Marufuji announced to the uproar of the crowd and the disbelief of Takashi Sugiura (whose reaction was akin to “Who? Are you fucking kidding me?”) that he would be challenging with KENTA. Backstage, Marufuji was not too sure that KENTA would accept the offer, but he did and the match has been set for the Nippon Budokan on New Year’s Day.
To explain for the newer fans, during their NOAH Junior days, KENTA and Marufuji were in a much beloved junior tag team known as MaruKen, they hold the record for the longest title reign as a junior team and they also broke down the rules for juniors fighting heavyweights as Misawa allowed them to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. As a team they never had a falling out that led to their split, they just drifted apart as Marufuji noted in “Heir To The Ark” and went to do their own things and over time they became rivals. Now they reunite as heavyweights.
AMAKUSA challenges Dante Leon
AMAKUSA made a silent challenge to Dante Leon for the GHC Junior Heavyweight following their match in Yoyogi. The way the match went gave fans the impression that Alejandro might be the one to challenge, but in the end it was Amakusa who pointed silently at the belt. Title challenge will main event the N-Innovation on the 23rd December.
Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya
Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Kenoh in their second pre match, and taking the microphone he stood over him and said that Kenoh had just been overcome by the guy who he was saying “was just trying his best”, and what did that say about Kenoh? Kiyomiya told him it meant he “was all mouth”. Their next pre match is on the 14th December.
It has been announced that the team of Great Muta, Sting and Darby Allin will team together at Great Muta’s final match on the 22nd January at the Yokohama Arena. Allin had been tagging with Sting when Muta materialized on the 23rd September to save Sting from Buddy Matthews. There has been no mention as to who will be their opponents, but it is thought that Matthews may be involved as he has a score to settle.
YO-HEY & Kzy challenge for the GHC Junior Tag Titles
Tag championships can be volatile belts and tend to suffer more backwards and forwards than singles belts do at times. This was the story when Atsushi Kotoge and Seiji Yoshioka managed to take the belts back from The Kongoh Juniors in Yoyogi. This was the Kongoh Junior’s first defense, and Hajime Ohara and Shuji Kondo, had only held the belts for thirteen days. Following their title win, the next threat came from their own unit, as YO-HEY challenged for the belts with DragonGate’s Kzy as his partner.
“I’m in a disappointing situation with no results to speak of at all. To overcome this situation, I want the belt. With the belt in hand, I can reach even higher heights. I want to do this, so please let me challenge for the tag belt next”.
Title match will take place on the 23rd December at the N-Innovation.
Yoshiki Inamura fails to capture his first singles belt, but succeeds in other ways
Yoshiki Inamura failed to win his first singles gold when El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior used his experience (the part which he and Inamura were not well matched in, and I doubt Wagner Jnr has ever had anyone throw him around after catching him following a dive) to retain the gold. Inamura had wanted to win this belt to usher in his own era of NOAH, which would be separate to Kiyomiya’s (yet I think would also rival his, as Inamura would kind of be more the leader of the younger generation, which Kiyomiya knows is rising up to threaten him), and he would stand next to him and not below him as champion. Inamura might have failed in his attempt to win his first singles belt, but as Tokyo Sports said, he most definitely gave birth to his era.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Shuhei Taniguchi had his best match in a long time when he and Hideki Suzuki fought to a referee stop in Yoyogi. Fans want to see a round two.
– For some reason the wrestling promotions (and not the MMA companies) were told to come to Antonio Inoki’s memorial on the 24th November at 11am instead of 1pm, someone said this could be a prank that Inoki had set up. Prank or not, in something practically unheard of NOAH (Kenoh, Yoshiki Inamura, Satoshi Kojima, Kaito Kiyomiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Takashi Sugiura), New Japan and All Japan, plus some staff members, went to have something eat and drink and all sat down and talked for two hours. Inoki’s final wake will be held on March 7th at Ryogoku Kokugikan, what form this will take has not been announced, but it will be a fan event. In Shinto, the deceased are mourned and funeral services are held for forty-nine days following death, the final day is a day of celebration and farewells, when the mourning period is over and the deceased can finally leave earth and cross to the afterlife. It has been said that Inoki will be sharing a beer with Giant Baba.
– Takashi Sugiura’s pants stayed on when he met up with Kenta Kobashi and had some drinks…which is more than can be said about when he visited Akira Taue’s restaurant, and got drunk with Go Shiozaki.
– Kazuyuki Fujita said in his Weekly Pro yearbook profile, that he liked drinking highballs on the Shinkansen.
– Yoshiki Inamura and Kaito Kiyomiya summon Alejandro
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS
NOAH THE BEST 2022 – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23RD, NATIONAL YOYOGI STADIUM 2ND GYMNASIUM
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
Challenger: Kenoh, ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Junior Champion: Dante Leon
Challenger: AMAKUSA, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
Challengers: MaruKen (Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA), ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
Challengers: YO-HEY & Kzy, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
- GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr
Challenger: TBA, NOAH the BEST 2022 (Wednesday November 23rd National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Wednesday, December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (4 years)
WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS
GIF credit: WrestleUniverse
With thanks to: Metal-NOAH
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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.192 ~ 30TH NOVEMBER 2022
NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!
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