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Dragon Gate King of Gate Results & Review: A&B Blocks Part 2

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We are back with Dragon Gate as we continue talking about the King of Gate Tournament.

The last time I covered the first part of it, I only had three matches in the four shows that aired with two of them not airing at all, so it was disappointing to give people enough to read and for that I’m sorry for that. However, we have four shows that were aired on this one with about two not airing meaning I’ll have plenty of content to talk about this time around for my respective blocks.

So let’s get to it and…dive right in.

 

5/19/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Big R Shimizu vs. Jason Lee

Review: This is the first time I’ll be seeing Jason Lee in a singles match since I saw him in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic and now I wanna see how much actual progress he’s made since he’s been doing fantastic in his run with Dragon Gate so far, way better than I expected him to.

His first match in B Block is against Big R, who lost in his first match, so he wants to get a win here to have points on the scoreboard. I gotta admit that this match went way better than I expected it to be compared to the last B Block match I had, Jason Lee just worked nicely with Big R in this match as his quickness was able to match Big R’s strength to get some impressive chemistry in the bout. Big R went for his Shot-put Slam, but Jason Lee would reverse it to try and get the upset, but it wasn’t enough. Jason did also hit a pretty nice Cutter catching Big R when he attempted to do a Splash off the top rope. After ten minutes, Jason’s quickness wouldn’t work here as Big R hits the Shot-put Slam this time to get his first win in the tournament.

Recommended: Very solid match, definitely worth a view.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
Ben-K vs. Kzy

Review: Kzy is looking to avenge his loss to YAMATO as he looks to take on Ben-K who already had one win in his name after defeating Shun Skywalker. A victory here would definitely put him back in the race, while for Ben, it would give him the early lead. I love Natural Vibes entrance the more I see it and the unit is definitely growing on me with each match I see them in.

I believe this match is just as good as the Kzy and YAMATO match since both played their strengths beautifully here with one of our future stars and one known as the gatekeeper of Dragon Gate who is coming on his own with his faction. Not only Ben-K can be a powerhouse, but he shows a lot of his technical ability in his matches too to make him a bit unique while Kzy is more cunning with his speed and tricks to try and roll his opponent up if the opening is given to him. I’ve been noticing that they’ve been protecting the Ben-K Bomb lately as you don’t see him hit it every time he makes an attempt here and I think it might lead to a big payoff in the future for him when the occasion would happen.

The last few minutes is when it started to get intense since neither of these two men would give up and wanna try to get the win fast before the time would run out. Ben-K would do a deadly Shoulder Tackle to send him flying and even hits a Spear to try and put Kzy away, but he kicked out of it. Kzy would also pull out some tricks with the La Magistrals, sick DDT, and a Frogsplash to try and get the win, but now Ben-K kicks out of it all. Kzy would take the big guy down and first hit a Swanton Bomb off the top, and then go over to hit a Frog Splash as he goes for the cover, Ben-K kicks out and the bell rings which gives us a draw. This was probably the best way to do it so it would protect both of these men without really hurting them with a pinfall loss, but now Kzy is gonna have to win his next two matches or he won’t make it. Both get a point.

Recommended: Fantastic match, highly recommended.

 

– So the next two shows are not aired while the last three are aired. On the May 20th show which I only had B Block, Jason Lee picked up his first win by defeating BxB Hulk. On the next show which happened on May 23rd, for A Block Shun Skywalker would defeat Yasushi Kanda by Count-out and on B Block, BxB Hulk got his first win by defeated Genki Horiguchi while considered being mathematically eliminated since there’s four matches for each person and lost his first two.

 

5/25/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Genki Horiguchi vs. Jason Lee

Review: This one is their third match each where a win here would give one a better chance of winning their block while the other one could be mathematically eliminated, so let’s see who wants it more out of these two right here. One thing I see Jason Lee do in his matches that I absolutely love is when he’s going back and forth with someone, he would randomly sit down in a meditating position to throw his opponent off guard and when they try to pick him up from behind, he does the Arm Drag,

I just find it both comical and creative at the same time. Another spot they did was that Jason would treat Genki’s hair like an arm wringer, twisting it around til he would flip him over and thought it was pretty funny to see. Rest of the match was standard, but not in a bad way since they both hit some really good spots in the match like Jason hitting a Cutter off the top, but Genki still kicking out of it. Jason Lee would pick up his second win with a German Suplex Hold, giving him two more points as he now has one more match where if he wins. his chances of advancing are looking good for him and I kinda hope so.

Recommended: It was a nice match that should get at least one view.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda

Review: Up next is Ben-K taking Yasushi and despite his last match ending in a draw against Kzy, if he wins here then his chances of winning his block would increase quite a bit since the only one that has a chance of beating him would be YAMATO.

Kanda would start to attack Ben right away soon as the bell rings and it looks like he’s trying to go for another count out victory like how he did with YAMATO, but Ben would still get back in the ring in time to save himself. My problem with the match is how slowly paced it was compared to his other matches and usually I don’t mind it if it tells a good story, but this one sadly didn’t so much since it was just nothing interesting in it at all. I like how they built up the Ben-K Bomb again in the match with having Kanda just reverse it so that we don’t see it in here just yet. Kanda would try to rely on the countout again by making Ben-K go to the outside where he will attempt a Double Underhook Piledrive, but Ben would not give him that chance and then hits a vicious Spear on the outside, which gives him enough time to have Ben go back in the ring for a count out victory. Ben now has five points which makes him be in the lead with only one match left against YAMATO, so if YAMATO does lose that match against Shun then that would make Ben the winner by default unless Kzy can stack up two more wins and if Ben does lose to YAMATO if he does lose to Shun, but if YAMATO wins that match and beats Ben, then he’ll move on regardless.

Recommended: I thought it was skippable and just slow.

 

5/26/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
Shun Skywalker vs. Kzy

Review: So for this match, both of these men need to have a win here in order to stay alive since this is both their third match in the tournament while Kzy have one draw and one loss while Shun has just one win and one loss meaning Shun has a better chance to win if he gets the victory here, but either way there needs to be a winner here.

Shun would attempt to attack Kzy before the bell rings and it doesn’t last long til Kzy starts to get the upper hand on him. I’m starting to like Shun as a performer, but I feel like he needs a change in attire since I feel like what he wear doesn’t scream somebody that looks like he can be a future guy in the company despite having a solid ability. The match had plenty of fast pacing action between the two with some nice reversals and transitions into their moves and styles to add that nice factor into the match. Shun looked like he was going for a Reverserana off the top rope, but he turns it into a Sunset Flip Powerbomb to only get a two count on him. Kzy would start to get a bit serious as he looks to put him away with his Swanton Bomb and then going for the Frogsplash only for Shun to put his knees up to counter it, giving him a chance to go for the win as he rolled Kzy up three times while coming very close with the third attempt to only get a kickout. Kzy would work around it this time to hit a Canadian Destroyer which Shun kicks out of, but Kzy would get right back up to hit his Running Elbow Smash to get the win. Kzy would bow to Shun after the match to show his respect to him and then leaves the ring.

Recommended: I thought it was fun, but not as good as Kzy’s previous matches against YAMATO and Ben-K, but still worth a view.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Big R Shimizu vs. Genki Horiguchi

Review: Another one where this is their third match and the winner of this match can give them a solid position in the standings as Big R has a win and loss and Genki with one win and two losses, but with Big R having one more match while this is Genki’s last one meaning he’s mathematically eliminated regardless, but he could still spoil it for Big R if he wins.

I didn’t really see a whole lot to make this match stand out, but it was still an average match for what it was since their styles made it seem a little bit slow at times. Genki however is one I consider a bit underrated despite how the matches went since he can go in the ring and is enjoyable to watch when I see him, specially with Natural Vibes right now. Genki would attempt a Hurricanrana on Big R until he caught him to go for a Powerbomb, but then that also gets reversed into a DDT which looked nice, but not enough to put him away. Big R would then hit two Powerbombs to try and put him away only to have another kickout. Big R would then go for his Shot-put Slam only to be reversed for a Backslide which gives Genki a win, ending on a 2-2 record.

Recommended: Average match, but up to you if you wanna watch.

 

5/27/2018

King Of Gate 2018 Block A Match
YAMATO vs. Shun Skywalker

Review: YAMATO returns to action for his third match while this is Shun’s final match on the block and is considered eliminated whether he wins or lose at this point, but he still could ruin YAMATO’s chances here at least. If YAMATO does win then it would mean that only him and Ben-K can win the tournament despite Kzy still having one more match, so we gotta see how it plays out.

Shun would get the early lead over YAMATO as he would get him to the outside so he can jump off the top turnbuckle to dive onto him on the outside, and then he would have him in the ring to do a Springboard Splash, but only for a two count. YAMATO would then use his veteran experience to out wrestle Shun in the match with stiff Dropkicks and just other various strikes mostly. Later on in the match, YAMATO would go for a Frankensteiner only for it to be reversed by Shun to deliver one on his own and the back and forth between that looked solid. Shun would then take off his glove to smack the taste out of YAMATO’s mouth and you can hear that slap too, but YAMATO would apply the Crossface which he calls CBV to make Shun tap out and YAMATO is now alive to fight Ben-K to decide the winner of A Block.

Recommended: Short and solid match, give it one view at least.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Block B Match
Big R Shimizu vs. BxB Hulk

Review: We FINALLY have a match with BxB Hulk that we get to see live since his other matches weren’t aired at all. Despite the match happening, both of them are considered eliminated since both have only one win and two losses to make this their final match on the block while Jason Lee and Takashi Yoshida lead the block and have one more match together to see who will advance, so this is pretty much to see who will have three losses in their record.

The match started a bit slow again with some mat wrestling and a bit of chaining until they both went to the outside after Big R hits a mean Shoulder Tackle that caused Hulk to spin a little before he landed outside, Big R would also then hit his Splash from off the apron to the outside and that looked painful to see. You get some decent back and forth in this match, but again nothing memorable in the match since it felt pretty standard most of the time. Big R would get a huge pop near the end as he started to make his comeback and even hits his Shot-put Slam on Hulk, but Big R wouldn’t cover him in time and it lead to Hulk kicking out at two. Big R would attempt it two more times, but Hulk would reverse each one, and gave him a combination of various kicks despite some of them missing, but he hits his Superkick which he calls First Flash and would get the win.

Recommended: Average match, so up to you.

 

This is pretty much it for the block since I found out that on the last two days of block matches will NOT be aired as the next show that’ll be aired is when we have our Semi Final matches between the four block winners and it actually infuriates me and all for 1500 fucking yen a month. I don’t mind keeping the service after this since when they do the bigger shows, they actually do deliver, but when it comes to the tournament shows like this, I probably won’t cover something like this again due to half of them not airing on the network.

Anyway, on the May 29th show, YAMATO defeated Ben-K to be the winner of A Block and Takashi Yoshida defeated Jason Lee to win B Block. During the May 30th show, Kzy defeated Yasishi Kanda in a match that didn’t matter since YAMATO still has the lead with six points.

 

Overall:  A Block definitely delivered except for Kanda, but the rest of them did very well and gave us quality matches. B Block was underwhelming and to me the one that stood out the most was Jason Lee and this made me hope he wins the block, but I don’t think he will unfortunately. King of Gate as a whole has been underwhelming as well due to half the shows not airing and questionable outcomes in the four blocks with normally relying on count outs, especially in Andrew’s C and D Blocks. I will talk about the winners of all four blocks in the next coverage since the Semi Finals will be aired next. And again, I would like to thank Andrew for helping me out at least despite the network not going in our favor.

Favorite Match: Kzy vs. Ben-K

Least Favorite Match: Ben-K vs. Yashushi Kanda

Score: 7/10

 

A Block Standings:
YAMATO (3-1) (6 Points)
Ben-K (2-1-1) (5 Points)
Kzy (2-1-1) (5 Points)
Yasushi Kanda (1-2) (2 Points)
Shun Skywalker (1-3) (2 Points)

B Block Standings:
Takashi Yoshida (3-1) (6 Points)
Jason Lee (2-2) (4 Points)
Genki Horiguchi (2-2) (4 Points)
BxB Hulk (2-2) (4 Points)
Big R Shimizu (1-3) (2 Points)

See you all for the Semi Final.


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!

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NEWS

Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger

Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.

Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.

Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.

 

Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.

As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.

Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.

STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)

Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.

Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.

Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles

It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.

At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them  which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.

The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.

HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge

It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.

Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road

Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.

– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW

The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.

– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2

Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.

– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced

Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.

– 16th October: A new match is announced

NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)

After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.

– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?

– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.

– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?

– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.

– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.

– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…

– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th 

Event recap

Post match promos

N-INNOVATION – September 21st 

Event recap

Post match promos

GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th

Event recap

Post match promos

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(October 2022 schedule)

– Friday, October 7th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)

– Saturday, October 8th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)

Note about broadcasts

Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES

Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)

Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)

LINKS

“I want to protect this belt for the rest of my life”, new GHC champion Kiyomiya holds morning press conference to establish a new NOAH landscape

Mutoh’s Retirement Road, tag match against Tanahashi in round three: “I want to grab the secret of secrets”, Tanahashi presents 38 roses

Great Muta teaming up with Sting for last match? “Agent” Mutoh’s opinion 

“I wonder if I can transmit more” YO-HEY aims to revitalize the junior ark with his first championship

AEW Shock! Great Muta appears in America! Rescues Sting and shake of hands

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s Weekly Pro Column

GHC Junior Match Signing: YO-HEY “Last Chance, I don’t think as my ex partner now”, HAYATA “I don’t feel anything”

“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams

 A “Comrade” and an “Older Brother”, Masakatsu Funaki talks about his thoughts on Mutoh’s retirement, “I want to kick him mercilessly”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube

Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp


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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.186 ~ 18TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Hisame sorts through some of the larger points as NOAH slowly comes into the Fall season!

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NEWS

Kenoh, Kiyomiya & The Shining Wizard

At the time of writing, the two pre matches between Kenoh and Kaito Kiyomiya are even, both has one win over the other. Kiyomiya defeated Kenoh at Korakuen Hall on the 15th using a variation of The Shining Wizard, with Kenoh (who swore he would never lose to that move again), using Keiji Mutoh’s version of The Shining Wizard to defeat Kiyomiya. Prior to doing it, Kenoh had even gone as far to pull Mutoh’s pose and he did it again while leaning over Kiyomiya. Kenoh stated backstage that he didn’t believe that after Mutoh had retired that Kiyomiya would continue using the move, so therefore he, Kenoh, would use it and cherish both the technique and Keiji Mutoh. If you thought Kiyomiya was made mad enough by Kenoh patting him on the head, wait until they clash again at Yokohama Radiant Hall on the 19th.

YO-HEY & HAYATA

In the past you got the impression that HAYATA didn’t really care about his opponents, they were just there to be beaten and for him to move on after beating, this time the feeling is very different. Compared to all of HAYATA’S other title defenses so far, this has been the most personal (anything involving YO-HEY is always more personal than anyone else), the most bitter and the most savage. Whilst HAYATA seems to want to keep YO-HEY in mint condition for the title match, as neither Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway or himself seem to want to concentrate on breaking down his knees or damaging his arm (unlike poor Seiki Yoshioka, who is getting the brunt of all three, Ridgeway even tearing off his bandages and attacking the bone), YO-HEY has taken to attacking HAYATA after matches. Both matches so far have been inconclusive and neither has the win over the other, but at Korakuen on the first night YO-HEY dropkicked HAYATA in the face, at the second he gave him the GAMEN-G. YO-HEY has described this as a “switch being turned on” in him, and says he has a strategy for the title match. HAYATA naturally has said nothing, which is odd considering how vocal he has been in the title challenges before.

Taka & Satoshi

Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura have made a functional dysfunctional tag team. Their first pre match against Hideki Suzuki and Timothy Thatcher contained a misfire when Sugiura caught Kojima by accident and they had a spat. The second time, Sugiura was made to tap out by Timothy Thatcher in a match that reminded me of the Galleria fight between the T-800 and T-1000 in Terminator 2. Kojima came to the ring, Suzuki got in it and then Kojima took everyone out and closed the show on the microphone. Sugi started complaining that not only had Kojima arrived too late to help, but his theme music had started playing. Kojima said it wasn’t deliberate, Sugi didn’t believe him. The handshake where Kojima offers his palm and Sugi his finger (not the finger) seems to have become their thing, and Kojima will face off against Timothy Thatcher in a singles match on the 19th in Yokohama. Thatcher has sworn revenge for what happened at Korakuen.

NOAH’s New Debut

NOAH’s 16th NOAH Born, Taishi Ozawa, made his debut at Korakuen Hall on the 15th September. Weighing in at 87kg and with a height of 181cm (which is marginally smaller than Yoshiki Inamura and Shuhei Taniguchi at 182cm), he has naturally gone into the heavyweight division. His first match lasted 6 minutes and 31 seconds, and got him praise from the fans and wrestlers alike. After the match, Yoshiki Inamura praised him and said he wants him to grow stronger and make his body bigger. Personally, I can see Ozawa becoming one of NOAH’s ultra-heavyweights, but this may mean he has to give up doing dropkicks, which you don’t see too much of amongst NOAH’s heavyweights. NOAH celebrated this debut by broadcasting messages from support from fans on the screen, the President of The Leave presented him with flowers and special commemorative face masks were given at the door.

NOAH & Dragon Gate Joint Event

NOAH held a press conference on the 9th September to discuss the NOAH and DragonGate joint event which will be held on the 11th November at Korakuen Hall. Sadly Daisuke Harada does not think his neck will be in good enough condition for him to take part, so he has nominated himself as “Event Ambassador”. Cards announced so far are Seiki Yoshioka vs YAMATO (who said that local idiot Kzy agreed to this nonsense, and that if he liked festivals so much he should do a solo strip show, but getting back to Yoshioka, he was going to pay) and Mochizuki Junior, Ryu Fuda & Madoka Kikuta vs Kai Fujimura, Yasutaka Yano & Yoshiki Inamura. This latter match sets two sets of rookies against each other, and NOAH and DragonGate’s resident hosses.

GLOBAL2Days

In addition to the NOAH & DragonGate joint event, the day before NOAH will hold the first day of the two days at Korakuen Hall they have called “GLOBAL2Days”. Night 1 will be a NOAH show only, with all the titles put on the line. No cards yet have been announced for this.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima?

NOSAWA Rongai declared that he wanted a singles match with “little bitch” Katsuhiko Nakajima, after Nakajima (tongue stuck out at the side of his mouth) gave him a round of soccer ball kicks. Hideki Suzuki said something along the lines of that while he thought NOSAWA was dead following this, NOSAWA probably was going to be dead after this. At the time of writing nothing has been announced yet, and Nakajima said it was “fun”.

Yuya Susumu

Due to cervical neck sprain, Yuya Susumu will miss about four events (which includes the past two Korakuen Hall events and probably the N-Innovation and one more event after that)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Kenoh apparently has a sense of humor similar to Mitsuharu Misawa’s i.e. blue. His column was once him yelling about his enemies, now he is making innuendos about how anatomy reacts to gravure models.

– Chris Ridgeway says that he has plans to not only get the GHC Junior Heavyweight, he also wants to bring the GHC National to the juniors.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima has likened the Nagoya Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road match as being like a reunion as it involves Mutoh’s classmate Masakatsu Funaki and their junior, Kazuyuki Fujita, and says he is going to destroy that atmosphere. He has also warned Mutoh to be careful in Nagoya, as he may not reach the Tokyo Dome.

– The children at NOAH’s most recent fan event (Tokyo Verdy) were fascinated by Kaito Kiyomiya and Masa Kitamiya’s muscles, despite the fact that they got pulled over by them at the tug of war. They let the children win the first time, but were pretty merciless the next time.

– Hideki Suzuki burst in wielding a pipe chair when Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura were talking backstage and threatened to throw it at someone. Sugi suggested he throw it at Kojima, Kojima, (had he been a New Yorker), basically said, “Hey, I’m talkin’ here!”

– Junta Miyawaki will challenge Tromba for the ASPW Openweight Championship on Saturday November 5th in Guadalajara.

– Jack Morris interrupted The Shutter Chance…I don’t think anyone in NOAH has ever done that before.

– Yoshiki Inamura’s reaction to Disco was to stand with his arms crossed and glare at Mohammed Yone. Yone did not forget this insult.

– NOAH have taken part in a team gaming event, which sees Kongoh (who sat apart from everyone else) join in. YO-HEY and Yoshiki Inamura seem to have formed a guild. STINGER, naturally, are not taking part.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH, KORAKUEN HALL)

Event recap

Post match interviews

– STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH, KORAKUEN HALL)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: YO-HEY, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher)
    Challengers: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

*This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(September 2022 schedule)

  • Monday, September 19th

SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Yokohama Radiant Hall, Yokohama

Time: 17:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

  • Tuesday, September 20th

Title match signing (GHC Heavyweight Tag, GHC Junior Heavyweight)

Live on NOAH’s Official YouTube at 17:00 JST

  • Wednesday, September 21st

N INNOVATION – Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

  • Sunday, September 25th

GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA/PRO WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER IN NAGOYA – OUTBREAK (Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road)

Start: 16:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

LINKS

Keiji Mutoh talks freely, “PPV at Retirement Match”, “Cut Ties” for O-Khan

Long awaited one on one fight with Katsuhiko Nakajima. Will Daiki Inaba’s obsession with Katsuhiko Nakajima be fulfilled?

“I don’t have the sense for a name! (laughs”) The secret story of the birth of the Shining Wizard variation & recruitment of technique name!

“Finish it all at once” GHC Junior Tag Team Champion Chris Ridgeway Interview, complete belt and league domination, ambition of GHC National Challenge

Kaito Kiyomiya receives reinforcement from the kick world, if he fails to take the GHC in the Kenoh match, “I can’t go to the top anymore”

“After the N-1!, the 15th & 16th Korakuen are two consecutive events, the next big match is 25th September Nagoya (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium). Focusing on developments for the four major GHC fights, a new battle begins

NOAH collaborates with Tokyo Verdy! Naomichi Marufuji, “I want to put up a ring at Ajinomoto Stadium and have a match”

“I’ll let you challenge my GHC Heavyweight” GHC Champion Kenoh nominates himself for Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Match, Next Year on 21st February At Tokyo Dome

Fan event recap: Tokyo Verdy

Junior Brand Event: YO-HEY and Kotoge introduce the highlights of the 21st September Shinjuku N-Innovation Competition

GHC Heavyweight signing ceremony: Kenoh “A beautiful story, I’m gonna break it down and I’m gonna draw it”, Kiyomiya prepares for “Last Chance”

“I want to become white ash” Keiji Mutoh’s retirement stage will be 21st February at The Tokyo Dome, “Pubic Persuasion” Chono will also go to his retirement match

Funky Kato is dazed about Keiji Mutoh’s retirement, the final opponent is “Not Okada”

“I’m using it, so it’s my technique!” with Mutoh finisher at full power, Kaito Kiyomiya defeats Kenoh towards the culmination of their five year story

Katsuhiko Nakajima and the 25th September Nagoya match with Keiji Mutoh, who will retire at The Dome next year

OLD INTERVIEWS

“Dandyism?”, it’s not like that”

Interesting interview with Mitsuharu Misawa from circa February 2002, in which he discusses Kodo Fuyuki’s retirement, friendship, NOAH, All Japan, his childhood and his juniors.

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube


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