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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (4/2/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bayley VS Sonya Deville w/ Absolution; Bayley wins.
  • Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins; Rollins wins.
  • Goldust VS WOKEN Matt Hardy; Hardy wins.
  • Heath Slater w/ Rhyno VS Elias; Elias wins.
  • Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Dana Brooke & Asuka; Dana & Asuka win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Johnathan Coachman welcomes Atlanta to Raw!

Wrestlemania is this Sunday, and we’re near the end of the road. Coach sets up the face-off conference of the star mixed tag match, and introduces the Raw Commissioner, Stephanie McMahon, as well as the COO, Triple H!

Then, he introduces the Raw GM, Kurt Angle–who gets the classic “You Suck!” chant–and of course, the Baddest Woman on the Planet, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey!

Everyone is in the ring now, and sit on their respective sides of the table. The fans chant, “Ronda Rousey! *clap clap clapclapclap*” Coach thanks the four for joining this face-off, and moves things to the Social Media Q&A. HHH speaks up, because he has a Q for Angle. “It’s a shame, really”, everyone chanting for Ronda, because the fans want to like her, but it’ll all be gone after Sunday. And it’ll all be Angle’s fault. “Intensity, Integrity, Intelligence”, an Olympic Gold Medalist with a broken freaking neck, yet it seems that third I of Intelligence doesn’t hold true. This right here is a prime example: they have Ronda Rousey, one of if not THE biggest signing to WWE, yet Angle ruins it by setting her up for “an embarrassment” at Wrestlemania. HHH has to know, “Why?”

Angle replies, but Ronda speaks up now. She asks the Authority why they were so two-faced. Stephanie excuses Ronda, she doesn’t understand how things work. But they’ll polish her up after they rebuild her from the beating on Sunday. Stephanie moves things to the questions, but Ronda says this was the format: she asked a Q, where’s the A? Stephanie plays along, saying they signed Ronda because she’s a star. Fans want to see Ronda in the WWE, and she is “best for business.” However, things work like this: HHH asked a question, Angle works for Stephanie, Angle messed Ronda up already, so what is there to misunderstand? Angle and Ronda work for the Authority, “so who they Hell do you think you are?” Angle takes it from here: “She’s Ronda Friggin’ Rousey.” An Olympic Medalist, UFC Champion, and come Wrestlemania, the one who makes Stephanie tap out.

Coach fails to cool things off as HHH asks Angle why he’s so confident. Yeah, she’s “Ronda Friggin’ Rousey”, with entire divisions built around her. In the WWE, that means nothing. Ronda’s dream of coming here compares nothing to how the WWE is Stephanie’s life, HHH’s life, “from beginning to end.” In this ring, The authority knows the rules, but Ronda has no idea what’s coming. The “massive learning curve” and the rules made by the Authority makes this “a forgone conclusion.”

Coach again tries to steer things to questions. “How important it is for you to win at Wrestlemania? And if you do, how will it impact eh future of the WWE?” Stephanie says it won’t be if, but when. And when the Authority wins, it’ll show that any uprising will end up with the bosses taking action to shut it down, and everyone will learn to #RespectAuthority. “How does Angle feel about teaming with Ronda Rousey?” Whether in the ring, cage, octagon, Ronda is the baddest woman, and she’ll prove it when Stephanie taps out.

And finally, an open question: “Any final thoughts before you head to Wrestlemania?” Stephanie says that this is all on Ronda for choosing this. Ronda will lose, her first ever match at Wrestlemania, to Stephanie. And we all know how Ronda handles losses. “Nice jacket, by the way.” Ronda replies with, “Steph, are you right or left handed?” Stephanie is right-handed. Ronda wanted to make sure Stephanie can still sign checks, even after she rips an arm off. Fans like the sound of that. Coach wraps things up with the photo op. Nothing like boxing or UFC, this will be classy and professional. The photographers come in and everyone moves to the front of the tables. Coach wishes everyone luck as he moves aside.

HHH and Angle come face to face, and Stephanie glares at Ronda. The gentlemen shake hands, but the ladies… Stehpanie offers, but when Ronda refuses, Stephanie trash talks. They get face-to-face, but Angle keeps the peace, only for HHH to attack from behind! Ronda gets HHH, but Stephanie body slams Ronda through a table! Stephanie says that’s for before, and the rest will be at Wrestlemania. “You’re not so tough.” The Authority stands tall after being underhanded, but will they regret their actions when the gloves are off?

 

Bayley VS Sonya Deville w/ Absolution!

Whether or not the Huggable One has a friend in the Legit Boss anymore, she isn’t going to let the Gladiator Gal go through her without a fight. With the inaugural Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal just up ahead, who will gain some final momentum before arriving in New Orleans?

The bell rings and the two circle. Bayley is wary of Absolution nearby, but that leaves her open to a kick to the leg. Sonya taunts Bayley, then circles again for another kick. Sonya goes for Bayley’s leg again but Bayley hops over and boots her back. The two battle over a backslide, Sonya whips but Bayley goes up and over to get a headlock takeover. Sonya stands up and powers out, but things speed up and Bayley ducks the elbow to whip. Sonya reverses but Bayley crossbodies! Bayley keeps on Sonya with another headlock, and turns Sonya’s counter into a takedown. Sonya keeps her shoulders up and stands up again, using the ponytail to take Bayley to a corner. She drives in shoulders while Absolution cheers, but the fans jeer.

Bayley counters Sonya’s run with a flapjack to buckles! Bayley hops up but Sonya yanks her off, so Bayley elbows her away. She hops up again and flies, but the arm-drag is blocked into a body check.

Cover, TWO, but Bayley keeps on Sonya with an arm wrench. Paige says “This is OUR House!” but Bayley has Sonya in a standing armbar. Sonya endures the wrench, then hits back with haymakers. Sonya whips but Bayley reverses, big corner clothesline! Bayley tugs, Sonya holds ropes so Bayley has to let go, sucker punch from Sonya and a roundhouse take Bayley down! Sonya trash talks Bayley while we go to break.

Raw returns to Sonya grinding Bayley in a bodyscissors. Bayley fights out as the fans rally, and she starts ramming Sonya’s head into the mat! She breaks free, runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, but Sonya keeps on Bayley with knees to the chest. She runs, sliding knee into Bayley! Cover, TWO, and frustration grows for Absolutoin as a whole. Sonya stalks Bayley, toying with her. Bayley pushes back while fans rally again, but Sonya kicks away on Bayley’s stomach. Bayley dodges, but Sonya is upon her again, only for Bayley to counter! She punches and forearms away on Sonya, then rallies with lariats. Bayley puts Sonya in a corner for a mudhole stomping and a rain of hands. She goes to the outside, climbs up, and jumps for the crossbody!

Bayley keeps moving, running knee to Sonya’s head! Cover, TWO! Absolution bails Sonya out, but Bayley just exits the ring anyway. The referee keeps Paige and Mandy back, but Sonya knees Bayley back. Bayley counters the throw, and then hangs Sonya up with the hotshot! Cover, TWO, but Mandy is lurking. Bayley kicks her away but Sonya kicks her down, gutwrench cradle, TWO! Sonya kicks, Bayley ducks and rolls her up, Bayley wins!

Winner: Bayley, by pinfall

But Absolution pounces! Mandy hammers away, joined by Sonya. Here comes Sasha! The Boss tackles Mandy then fights off Sonya. Sasha throws Mandy out but Sonya is on her again. Bayley helps now, throwing Sonya out. The Raw Horsewomen stand tall, and the fans are loving it, but Sasha wants Bayley to raise her hand? Bayley won the match, not Sasha! Sasha gets in Bayley’s face so Bayley fights back! She rains rights but Sasha comes back, and so does Absolution! Mandy and Sonya club away, then a roundhouse for Bayley, Golden Driver for Sasha! The “friends” are down, will they be able to get up in time for the battle royal?

 

Raw takes a look at Asuka’s Streak.

October 7th, 2015: it began. For over two years, 908 days, the Empress of Tomorrow has racked up 265 wins, not one loss. She’s conquered 35 women, eight of them former champions, and all submitting to her Asuka Lock. Asuka knows nothing but winning in both NXT and WWE. The only reason she isn’t still NXT Women’s Champion is because she had to vacate the title when she came to Raw. She is a Sole Survivor and a Royal Rumble Winner in the same year, and she won the inaugural Women’s Rumble. Unlike any wrestler before her, she heads for Wrestlemania against SmackDown Women’s Champion, The Queen of Flair, Charlotte! Will the Streak live on through the Grandest Stage of Them All?

 

 

Finn Balor VS Seth Rollins!

The Extraordinary Man and the Architect are both going after The Miz’s Intercontinental Championship in a Triple Threat, but they first want to settle things between each other. Can the inaugural Universal Champion notch another win over the former world champion? Or will “Seth Freakin’ Rollins” get even this close to becoming a Grand Slam Champion?

However, The Miz is also here to keep an eye on his contenders from commentary! New baby Monroe will have to watch daddy watch Finn VS Rollins.

The bell rings, Rollins circles with Finn, and then they tie up. Rollins gets the waistlock but Finn the standing switch and they go around with hammerlocks. Rollins gets a headlock, then an arm-wrench but Finn tries to counter. Finn ends up on the mat, but kip-up and wrenches to an arm-drag takedown. Rollins headscissors, Finn pops out, Rollins headlocks, Finn headscissors, Rollins pops out, and the two stand up in a stand-off. Fans applaud while Finn grins, and the two circle again. They tie up but Finn goes low for the leg. He gets Rollins to a hammerlock, snapping back to wrench it. Rollins works his way out, Finn wrenches the wrist. Rollins rolls and handsprings but Finn powers out, only for Rollins to run him over. Finn gets to ropes but Rollins headlock takeover, grinding Finn to the mat.

Finn makes it a cover, TWO, but Rollins holds on. They stand up, Finn powers out and arm-drags Rollins back down to the armlock. They stand up again, Rollins whips but Finn reverses. Rollins rolls over and shoulders Finn down. Things speed up, Finn arm-drags, and they stand-off again. Rollins and Finn are still evenly matched while we go to break.

Raw returns to Rollins whipping but Finns reversing. Rollins sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick. Finn wrenches Rollins fights out. Finn hits back and Rollins gets mad. Rollins shoves, Finn shoves back. They both glance at the Wrestlemania sign, and a brawl breaks out! They go back and forth with wild rights, then Rollins knees. Rollins throws Finn out tot he floor, then follows him out to chop him against the barriers. He puts Finn into the apron while the ring count starts, continuing with throwing Finn into barriers. Fans are fired up as Rollins puts Finn back in the ring. Finn fights back, throwing Rollins out. Finn dropkicks Rollins down, then from the apron, he Penalty Kicks Rollins down!

A Finn Flex and then Finn brings Rollins back into the ring. Cover, ONE, and Miz enjoys this long showcase. Finn kicks Rollins in the back, covers, ONE. Rollins gets to a corner but Finn gives him a chop, then another chop. Finn stalks Rollins, whips him corner to corner, running- No, buckle shot! Rollins hops up, blockbuster! Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps his cool. He drives elbows right into Finn’s forehead, then puts him in a chinlock. Rollins squeezes and grinds Finn down, we go picture in picture to plug Shinsuke VS Styles. Finn gets up but Rollins wrangles him right back down. He endures the squeeze, then works his way up to his feet. Finn pries his way out but Rollins turns it into a neckbreaker! Finn gets to the apron but Rollins goes outside and takes aim. Rollins boots Finn back into the ring!

Cover, TWO! Rollins keeps frustration at bay, but Finn hits back. They go back and forth with chops, then Rollins suplexes but Finn slips out, only for Rollins to elbow him away. Finn in a corner, he boots Rollins back. Finn rallies with forearms, then whips but Rollins reverses, only for Finn to hit another. The fans fire up, Finn chops Rollins in the corner again. Corner to corner, Rollins boots Finn away. Rollins hops up but Finn yanks him off! Finn tries the 1916 but Rollins rolls him up, TWO! Finn goes again, elbow DDT! Cover, TWO! And Finn can’t believe it!

Finn gets up and to a corner, fans firing up for him. He takes aim at Rollins, runs out, but Rollins denies the slingblade to hit HIS slingblade! Finn gets out of the ring, Rollins builds speed, and DIVES! Direct hit! Both men are down on the outside, we go to break.

Raw returns as Finn fires up, and hits his slingblade! He runs again, but into a SUPERKICK!

Miz says this is the best match he’s seen all year while Rollins reaches for a cover, TWO! The fans declare, “This is Awesome!” Finn flounders to a corner while Rollins staggers to his feet. Rollins runs in for the forearm smash, then another but Finn dodges to swing kick him down! Finn climbs up, but Rollins sits him down! Rollins climbs up to join Finn, slowly preparing the superplex, but Finn resists. Finn fights back with clubbing forearms. Rollins goes down again, Finn adjusts, but Rollins returns, for the SUPERPLEX roll through but Small Package! TWO!! Rollins can’t believe how close that was, and drags Finn back up. Finn revives again but Revolution Knee! Cover, TWO!? Miz loves this!

Rollins gets to a corner, climbs up, takes aim, then jumps, but the frog splash hits knees! TWO!! Even The Miz is shocked. Finn gets to his feet while Rollins rolls and slumps out of the ring. Finn goes to that apron, Penalty- No, Rollins brings him up, deja vu, but Finn fights out to SLINGBLADE! Blasting dropkick! Finn avenges his Summerslam injury and puts Rollins back in the ring. He climbs up again, takes aim again, and jumps, but rollins rolls away. Mule kick, Curb- No, a shove and a roll, TWO, roll back, CURB STOMP!! Rollins wins!!

Winner: Rollins, by pinfall

The Architect finally gets one on the Extraordinary Man. Miz stands up on the commentary table so that everyone gets a good look at his Intercontinental Championship. Will Miz keep a hold of that title to become the longest reigning IC Champion ever? Will Rollins take it away to become a Grand Slam Champion? Or will Finn turn his momentum around and make that title #TooSweet?

 

Raw reviews the saga of Lesnar VS Reigns.

The Beast won the WWE Universal Championship a year ago at Wrestlemania off THE Goldberg. Ever since then, the “reigning, defending, undisputed” champion would remain such even after taking on Kane, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. Roman meanwhile had to take the long road back to Wrestlemania, winning the Elimination Chamber #1 Contender’s match. He vows he’s telling the truth about being able to beat Lesnar. He also told the truth on how Lesnar doesn’t care or respect anyone in the WWE, from employees to management to fans. At the same time, Roman said he doesn’t want Vince McMahon to disrespect him. Vince would suspend Roman for his comments, but Roman didn’t care, he kept coming to work.

However, this would also backfire. Roman fought off U.S. Marshals, only for Lesnar to take advantage of the handcuffs! Lesnar savagely beat the collared Roman, both with German Suplexes and with a chair. Battered and bruised, Roman would still man up to get in Lesnar’s face and even take another beating. Roman got his licks in, but Lesnar still got the better of him. With Wrestlemania on the horizon, can Roman return to get his revenge?

 

Paul Heyman talks “Brocktagon” with someone on his phone.

However, Kurt Angle walks over to talk with The Advocate. He tells Heyman as the GM, that the most important part of ‘Mania is keeping the main event intact. Heyman agrees, but asks how this is any different than any other night? He’ll say nice things about Roman and tell Lesnar to save it for Sunday. Angle wants to make sure Heyman doesn’t instigate anything between the two men where they might get hurt. Heyman just laughs. Angle is worried about Lesnar getting hurt? Yes, because they both want to hurt each other period! Just don’t do anything of the sort, Heyman. Heyman promises not to, but he’s still chuckling to himself. Will there be any last attacks before the ‘Mania match?

 

The Bar head to the ring.

The Swiss Cyborg & the Celtic Gladiator are set to face The Monster Among Men for the Raw Tag Team Championships, but it doesn’t matter to them who Braun Strowman gets as a partner. “Because as big as you are or as strong as you are, it’s still a tag team match.” Strowman will have to tag his partner in at some point, and they need to be on the same page, including plans B, C, D, etc, but it won’t matter because they’ll never be a real team or real tag team champions. But then Strowman appears!

The fans chant “Get These Hands!” for Strowman as he walks onto the stage. “If you’re trying to say that I don’t play well with others, than you’re right.” Strowman says that management made it clear he has to have a partner, and he got one! They were just talking, and his partner doesn’t appreciate what these “clowns” were saying. In that case, that partner should come out and tell The Bar to their faces! “Don’t worry, he will, under one stipulation: he wants a match with one of you!” A match against the mystery partner? The fans like the sound of that! And The Bar can’t pass this opportunity up. The mystery partner will get his match! “Good. I’ll go get him.” Strowman warns them, though, “he’s a lot like me, just a little different.”

Strowman disappears into the back while The Bar discusses what to do, and then Strowman returns. Wearing glasses and a shirt!

“My brother’s Braun, I’m Brains! And I’m about to come out there and knock yours out of your heads!” “Brain” Strowman heads to the ring, and Sheamus volunteers Cesaro. But reveal! It’s just Braun! And he fights them both! He throws Cesaro off and punches Sheamus, but Sheamus saves Cesaro to BROGUE Strowman! The Bar has numbers on their side as they hammer away, but Strowman just shoves them both away! He runs Sheamus over and throws Cesaro again! The Bar retreats to regroup but Strowman wants more! Does Braun really have a partner to team with? And if he does, will that team break The Bar on Sunday?

 

Goldust speaks.

The Bizarre One says it’s “skill against skill alone – Princess Bride”. Those were Andre the Giant’s words, and Goldust vows to win his Memorial Battle Royal to put his name on the gold statue. Then HBO will make a documentary about him, so that the world will never forget the name “Goldust”.

But WOKEN Hardy responds!

The Golden One seeks the same prize, to join the pantheon of giants! Hardy vows to be the one honoring the Humongous Wonder #8, and all others will be OBSOLETE! As for tonight, it shall be the Bizarre One who is scheduled for DELETION!

 

Goldust VS WOKEN Matt Hardy!

Raw returns to this match already in progress as Hardy puts Goldust back in the ring. He rocks Goldy with a haymaker, then whips, but Goldust drops down for the uppercut. Goldust breathes in and hisses at Hardy, but Hardy says that was, “WONDERFUL~!” He applauds, and the fans applaud with him. Hardy ducks a punch to give a punch then whips. Goldust boots back, then puts Hardy into a post. Goldust goes to the outside and mocks Hardy before rocking him with another uppercut. He stomps on Hardy in the ring, then drags him up but Hardy hits back with body shots. Hardy runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO, but Goldust keeps on Hardy.

Goldust hammers away on Hardy, then takes another deep breath, only for Hardy to throw haymakers. Hardy forearms then “DELETE!” buckle bumps Goldust over and over from top to bottom. Hardy backs off, then says “DELETE!” before running in for the corner clothesline. Goldust denies the bulldog, but runs into a Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Hardy continues the “DELETE!” but Goldust pushes off and powerslams! Cover, TWO! Goldust gets to a corner and climbs up, to take a deep breath and jump, but misses the elbow! Hardy gets up and kicks, Twist– Roll up! TWO! Goldust kicks, drops down but Hardy hits him first. Then, Twist of Fate! Cover, TWO!

Winner: WOKEN Hardy, by pinfall

The WOKEN Wisdom rolls on towards the Memorial Battle Royal, and Hardy tells the statue of the Wonder #8 that he will “PROCURE! PROCURE!” a spot on the plaque. Will Hardy make Andre the Giant proud during the Wrestlemania kickoff?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James speak.

They look cute in their selfie cam. The Goddess tried this once with Nia, but the phone broke. Not surprising, she has a face for radio. And Nia gets an exclusive interview? Maybe she’ll start blubbering. Emphasis on blubber. But when Alexa beats Nia, Nia will blubbering in her blubber. #EW! Will The Goddess suffer the wrath of the Irresistible Force in their Raw Women’s Championship match?

 

JOHN CENA is here!

Atlanta sings “John Cena Sucks~!” for him as he heads for the ring. The Face that Runs the Place didn’t get a response from The Undertaker on a Wrestlemania Match last week, even during a No Disqualification match with the Deadman’s Brother of Destruction, Kane. Cena hears the fans chant, “Undertaker!”, and admits he was wrong. In that they’re out of time and there’s still no answer. Cena was wrong to think there was no response, because silence means “no”. Fans might be upset, but not Cena. Cena did what Cena could to get Taker to do something, but ready or not and Wrestlemania is around the corner. He’ll go fired up like all the fans. Fans have asked about a match, but Cena is going as a fan, too.

Michael Cole even told Cena “that’s stupid, just enter the Battle Royal. Or be Braun’s partner,” or any number of things. Cole hasn’t done his research, Cena won’t do that because he lost the Rumble, the Chamber, and at Fastlane, so just entering another match takes a spot from a full-time spot from someone who earned it. Going against Taker was a last chance moment for them both! It’d be a match where no one’s spot is taken, just two “larger than life” superstars fighting it out. One year ago today, Cena’s life changed, shout-out to Nikki Bella. Everyone reads the news about Cena’s career. He’s fed off the energy of the fans, and maybe this year is the right time for a change.

Fans still chant, “Undertaker!” Hopefully Taker hears that. But Cena will say this now: he’s going as a fan, and he’s “damn proud of it.” Cena is proud to sit and watch the “most amazing Wrestlemania card of all time”, even without him. Daniel Bryan is back where he belongs, and Cena is proud of him for it. Cena is proud to watch the greatest in-ring performer get the moment he deserves, AJ Styles defends the WWE Championship. He’s even proud that Wrestlemania will be on Rusev Day! Elias will do stuff, but Cena does know what WWE stands for. Cena is proud of all the Women’s Division matches, because they continue to prove success is not based on gender. “So ladies and gentlemen,” Cena is damn proud to be a fan!

But he’ll take one second to apologize. Cena did everything from in-ring to social media, and he knows the fans did, too. From Dallas to Detroit to Cleveland and Atlanta– Wait, have they really even tried yet? They haven’t? Can Atlanta get loud enough? The fans sure try. “Sounds like Atlanta is about as serious as a Dallas warm-up.” They gotta give way more than that. Make some noise to summon the Undertaker! Atlanta gives it their all, but still not enough. “Hotlanta, you gotta listen to me!” If they want lightning, be the thunder! Shout so they hear you all the way to Death Valley! The fans try a third time, giving 110%, but still nothing. They chant “Undertaker!” once more to see if it’ll work. It echoes out over and over, but it doesn’t seem to be working. Fans turn to boos.

“Hear that, Undertaker?” Four weeks straight, the WWE Universe pours its heart out, yet you don’t do a thing. Cena isn’t upset with Wrestlemania, but he’s upset with Taker. Ignore Cena, fine. But ignore the fans? “You are a dead man walking.” Taker, it’s obvious he left his hat in the ring, but he left his balls at home. Harsh words again, but still no response. And fans turn to chanting for Cena. Cena leaves it at that, because he’s out of ideas. Why is it that Taker won’t respond? Will Taker ever show himself again?

 

Roman Reigns is in the locker room!

Kurt Angle meets with him and says that with no Cena VS Taker, he hopes Roman won’t ruing another ‘Mania match. Heyman agreed to keeping the peace, but Roman doesn’t believe it. Is Lesnar even here? Yes! Then Roman is not going anywhere. Roman has respect for Angle, so he’ll hear Heyman out. But everything for the last year and the last six years Lesnar has disrespected everyone else, Roman will be ready the moment Lesnar says anything stupid. Angle can take the peace treaty back to the pawn shop where he pawned those gold medals. Roman is riled up, will he be able to contain himself when he meets The Beast?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter is back, and as he plays his guitar, he asks Atlanta as he always asks the crowd, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” Atlanta seems very positive about that. Elias has the keys to life, and if you want to save your soul, know that in your heart and with every fiber of your being, WWE means “Walk With Elias”! He’s in Atlanta, but how is this “hellhole of a dump” the last stop before ‘Mania? If Elias was in charge, they’d be in a city that matters. But that’s fine, he’ll be leaving after tonight to put on the greatest performance of a lifetime. For now, silence cell phones, hold applause and shut mouths while he sings.

“I’m Just One Man!” Wait, that’s Slater.

Heath Slater w/ Rhyno VS Elias!

The One Man Band wants payback for when Elias not only defeated Rhyno but also ambushed him afterward. They tie up, but Eilas powers Slater to a corner. Elias gives body shots and shoulders, then chops Slater sharp. Elias whips and runs SLater over, but the faens rally with “Heath’s Got Kids!” Slater dodges in a corner, then jabs and haymakers on Elias. Slater whips but Elias reverses, only for Slater to knee him down. Heel kick, too! Slater brings Elias up, but Elias rocks him with a jumping knee! Elias keeps gonig, Drift Away! Cover, Elias wins!

Winner: Elias, by pinfall

Swift but stiff, the Drifter gets his hand raised for another win. What is this performance he speaks of for Wrestlemania? And will it really be as amazing as he makes it out to be?

 

Braun Strowman encounters Curt Hawkins backstage.

What a coincidence! Hawkins saw what happened out there, and was wondering if Strwowman would pick him. What’s his win-loss record? Umm… Not great, but that’s fine! Strowman can be his big break! Strowman throws Hawkins through a wall!

“There’s your big break.” In other words, he’s not picking Hawkins. But who will Strowman pick for a partner?

 

Exclusive interview with Nia Jax.

After finding out how two-faced The Goddess was, the Irresistible Force will get revenge in a Raw Women’s Championship match. She sits down with Renee Young, who sympathizes with how “hurt and devastated” she must be. Nia says that emotionally, she felt like she was back to growing up as a kid. But she’s learned that you just need to respect and honor yourself, and ignore what others say about you. You should respect your God-given abilities and seize opportunities. The other women respect and admire Nia and her accomplishments, but Nia has been so down on herself. She can’t believe she thought someone like Alexa was her friend. Alexa said many hurtful things, like how Nia is a “desperate, needy, gullible loser”.

Those comments hurt, but Nia reminded herself, “I don’t take that sh*t.” She’s different, but she loves herself. This is what God and her mama gave her, so she should never feel sorry about that. Alexa is like all the other haters who said she shouldn’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t make it in the WWE. Nia says this directly to Alexa now: “You’re nothing but an insecure little girl.” The little fly is gonna get squashed like a bug! Can Nia win not just for herself but for every person who has ever been mistreated based on their appearance?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James VS Dana Brooke & Asuka!

The Goddess and #KickieJames look to give the Raw Women’s Champion momentum going into her match, but what good will it do when the Statistician has the undefeated Empress on her side?

Dana starts against Alexa, assuring Asuka her Streak won’t be tanked in this tag match. Alexa doesn’t even take Dana seriously, but they tie up and Dana gets the wristlock. Dana keeps Alexa away from Mickie, as well as the ropes, so Alexa stomps her foot. Alexa gets the wristlock but Dana reverses it back. The fans chant “Biscuit Butt” at Alexa but she forearms her way out of the hold. Alexa whips but Dana reverses, handspring back elbow in the corner! Dana fireman carry, but Alexa slips out to reel her into a kidney punch. Tag to Mickie, and the mean girls mug Dana with a kick. Mickie wristlocks and hammerlocks Dana, but Dana slips around to roll up, TWO. Fans want Asuka, so Mickie taunts the fans as she hits Dana. Dana hits back, then pushes Mickie to a corner.

Dana rams in shoulders, then lets up long enough to whip her corner to corner. Another handspring but Mickie dodges and boots Dana down! Asuka coaches Dana up but has to stay back. Mickie stomps and kicks Dana more, toying with her even. She brings Dana up, fans keep cheering for Asuka, and Dana scoop slams Mickie down! Dana runs, but handsprings onto knees! Mickie poses and embraces the heat while we go to break.

Raw returns once more to Mickie holding Dana down in a chinlock. Asuka rallies the fans and Dana feeds off their energy to bump her way out of the hold. She runs but Mickie yanks her down by her hair! Mickie puts Dana back in the hold, Dana endures. Dana sits up, the fans rally but Mickie thrashes. Dana still stands up and fights out, then runs, but into the kitchen sink knee! Mickie drags Dana over, tags Alexa, and Mickie whips Alexa in for the slap! Alexa toys with Dana, kicking her while she’s down, then stomping skateboard style. Cover, TWO, but Alexa keeps on Dana with another chinlock. Dana continues to endure, Asuka still rallying for her. Dana fights up and out again, but Alexa knees back. Alexa wants a tag, but Dana suplexes her!

Both women are down, crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Mickie and Asuka! The Empress rallies with a flurry of strikes. Mickie runs, but into the pop-up knee! Asuka unleashes kick after kick, then runs to hip attack Alexa down! Mickie bails out but Asuka goes after her with an apron sliding kick!

Asuka curses her out in Japanese, then puts Mickie back in the ring. Mickie hits the Mick Kick! Cover, TWO! Another, ONE, and Mickie throws frustrated hands. Mickie calms down to climb up top, but Asuka gets under her to put on the Asuka Lock! Mickie is trapped, reaching for ropes, but she taps! Asuka & Dana win!

Winners: Dana & Asuka, Asuka by submission

But Alexa pounces! She and Mickie won’t let her get out of this unharmed. Dana returns but she’s only caught in a 2-on-1 DDT!

But then NIA appears! The Brutal Beauty runs to the ring, Alexa runs away but gets caught! Mickie saves Alexa again, but Nia just throws her off with one arm, to squash her in a corner. Then fireman’s carry, Samoan Drop! Nia put down Alexa’s newest bestie, will she crush Alexa once and for all at Wrestlemania?

 

Kurt Angle finds Heyman & Lesnar backstage.

Where are they going? To the ring, obviously. Heyman will be positive about Roman Reigns. The Beast and his Advocate continue on their way out, will this last Raw before ‘Mania finish with fury?

 

Paul Heyman & Brock Lesnar head to the ring!

Atlanta becomes Suplex City as they walk out, but other WWE superstars are used to form a barrier between the ring and the ramp. Heyman begins with introductions, but that extra security is a bit distracting.

Just because Angle got emasculated when he failed to help Ronda Rousey, this is clearly overcompensation. He thinks he has control over Roman Reigns? The only one with control is the “reigning, defending, undisputed” Universal Champion, BROCK LESNAR! “It’s true, it’s damn true.” And Heyman hereby promises to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” And the truth is, the last time Wrestlemania was in New Orleans, Heyman gave us a promise that Lesnar would break Undertaker’s Streak. Fans booed then, they boo now, but it wasn’t a promise, it was a spoiler alert. It happened, and Lesnar & Heyman laughed at the doubters.

And Wrestlemania, back in New Orleans, “the only two beings that hold a Wrestlemania victory over the Undertaker” collide for the title. Everyone acts like Roman is fated to dethrone Lesnar this year as if that’s the spoiler. To tell the truth, you should respect Roman’s talent, his family bloodline, his victories and his “badassery”, but the truth is, Wrestlemania Sunday, 4/8/18, in New Orleans, Lesnar will F5 Roman and pin him in the ring “1-2-3”. That’s not a promise or a prediction, that’s a spoiler. Heyman says an unfortunate truth that accidents happen. If Lesnar were to injure himself hurting someone else, then this will be the last time you see Lesnar on Raw. Heyman will save the good-byes for later, but he’ll dispel something “out of character” for Lesnar. Lesnar’s persona built since 2002, his dominance and lack of respect, is all true!

If anything, his persona is held back, because Lesnar feels no one anywhere is worth even holding his jockstrap. No one has the money or the power to hold Lesnar anywhere. Roman’s only choice is to accept defeat, because he has no other option! “So here’s how it goes.” Roman wants a victory party? No, he’ll go home to his wife and kids and fathers, uncles and cousins and admit he got beat, victimized and conquered by BROCK LESNAR. The truth is, Roman isn’t a Big Dog and this isn’t his Yard, he’s just another notch on the belt. That is to say, “you’re just Brock Lesnar’s b*tch.” But Roman Reigns appears!

Roman walks up to the wall of Raw superstars, but they won’t let him go. They’re full-timers, standing up for the part-time “bastard”? Just think about it guys. They do think about it, and even discuss it. From The Bar to Titus Worldwide to the Revival, they stand aside.

Roman walks right down the ramp, and Lesnar dares him to do something. Lesnar wants Roman to think about this real hard, but fans are actually on Roman’s side. Roman walks up the steel steps, and gets in the ring. Lesnar puts the belt down, and the two circle. The tension mounts, but Lesnar slips out of the ring, retrieving his belt in the process. Lesnar and Heyman saunter around the ring, Roman keeping his eyes on them. That gets Lesnar to get a chair, just like last week. Lesnar brings that chair in with him, but Roman doesn’t flinch.

The two circle again, Heyman saying Lesnar should “Victimize him!” but SUPERMAN PUNCH! And another! And another! Roman reloads while Lesnar flounders, a FOURTH Superman Punch! Lesnar slowly stirs, going for the chair again, SUPERMAN PUNCH Number Five!

Roman picks up the belt, and holds it up over The Beast. Fans duel while Roman stares up at the sign, but then Lesnar revives to F5 Roman!!

The Beast gets his belt back as he exits the ring. Lesnar survives five Superman Punches tonight while Roman manages to move after one F5. What will it take for one of these men to decisively defeat the other and be Universal Champion?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Tonight’s Raw is not how a Wrestlemania Go-Home Raw should go. The first hour was the peak and then it dropped off a cliff somewhere. The opening face-off for the Mixed Tag match was really good, Ronda came off much more comfortable talking trash with Steph. The Authority standing tall just seemed like 50-50 booking to try and keep everyone even until the match. We know Ronda wins, obviously. Bayley VS Sonya was good, and there was good character stuff with Bayley, Sasha and Absolution to center Bayley VS Sasha as the story of the Women’s Battle Royal. Finn VS Rollins 3 was Match of the Night, by a long shot. Miz watching and being an almost Face made it even more fun for the TV audience, this is definitely going to be a showstealer regardless of who wins.

The Tag Team Championship segment was ridiculous, both in a good and in a bad way. Braun’s brother “Brain”, great little pun but it’s just foolish for Strowman to play jokes when he doesn’t have to. Him throwing Hawkins through a wall was great, though. But then to follow this up with only part of Hardy VS Goldust, Alexa doubling down on being WWE’s Goddess of Mean Girls, and then Cena NOT getting Taker just killed the energy of the night. Cena did great as always, and then set up for American Badass Taker by saying “dead man walking,” as that was one of Taker’s other themes during that phase, but it was just a string of disappointments. Elias also winning a quick filler match didn’t do much for anyone, other than make it seem even more like he’s Strowman’s partner (to my personal dismay).

It felt like things picked up in the third, but that was too late. Nia’s interview and her victim angle can go either way. Yes, she seems emotionally weak by letting things get to her like they did, but at the same time, she’s becoming the Face that represents any and everyone who has ever been bullied just on looks. The Women’s Tag was a good segue, and of course Asuka wins to keep her Streak. Nia gets another triumphant moment running Alexa off, so I’d hope Nia goes over, a “You Deserve It!” chant would really fit her crowning moment. The closing was rather good, too, all things considered. Heyman has another great promo, Roman gets the locker room and some fans on his side, but Lesnar keeps up being the dominant Heel. This ending was far better than the infamous tug-o-war over the belt, so give it that.

My Score: 7.5/10


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They have also announced dates for January 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

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

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

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

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

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

TOUR TIDBITS

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

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

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

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

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NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima

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

 

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

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi pinning

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

Backstage interviews.

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

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Backstage interviews.

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

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

 


 

My Thoughts:

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

My Score: 8.7/10


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

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

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

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

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

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

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

Sugiura was not impressed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEWS

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

Global League participants and dates

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

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

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

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

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

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

TOUR TIDBITS

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

KING SHAMELESS’ CORNER

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

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

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


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