Welcome back to Dragon Gate as we are now in the final round of the King of Gate tournament where we have YAMATO taking on Masato Yoshino. The winner will face Masaaki Mochizuki the next day for the Open the Dream Gate Championship.
The tournament as a whole has been incredibly lackluster and I probably won’t cover their next one due to how poorly the network handled it, but I will however still be covering certain shows along with the big ones. Let’s get this started and just…dive right in.
Tag Team Match
K-ness & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga & YASSHI)
Review: It feels weird that the companies big champion is the opening contest in these last recent shows, but I guess it’s just how they work. K-ness would rip off Punch’s do-rag off of his head and once that happens, we get Punch abuse by K-ness just slapping the bald spot on his head any chance he would get and it happens quite a lot, even Mochizuki does it a couple of times too, but Punch abuse gets the crowd laughing. Also, Brother YASSHI, what are you doing grabbing their dicks in the match like they’re Joey Ryan? I mean I get that it’s a distraction, but couldn’t rake their eyes or something instead of grabbing and raking the dicks, man?
The match would feel a bit slow at times despite some of the humor they had in the match involving Punch, but also a few sloppy spots in there to hurt the match a little bit. Near the end of the match, Punch and Mochizuki would be in the ring with Punch going for a few strikes and Mochizuki slapping the bald spot on his head along with a few stiff kicks until he hits the Saikyo High Kick to knock Punch out and win the match for him and K-ness.
Recommended: Average match, so unless you like seeing Punch get abused, skip it.
Shun Skywalker vs. Susumu Yokosuka
Review: We got Shun in singles action as he would take on Susumu Yokosuka. Susumu would go up to the referee when he comes into the ring and leans over on him once he was standing on the ropes with the ref between his legs, but once he got down, he saw a kid in the ring holding the flowers as he took them since I guess he wanted to feel pretty and he took a picture with the fan.
The match, for the most part, was solid for what they did since they were crisp with their spots and just had a nice flow with their chemistry here. Shun is someone that keeps on improving in the ring and I feel like he could be a big player in the upcoming years, but I’m still not a fan of his in-ring attire and I guess it’s mostly just due to the colors of it that throw me off than anything else. I don’t know why it happened, but when Susumu would have Shun in a Powerbomb position, he would just smack his ass a few times like he owned it, Natural Vibes is being weird today…well weirder. The last couple of minutes I enjoyed a lot with Susumu attempting to for the Lariat a few times, but Shun would roll him up quickly for a roll up, but no prevail there, but he would go for it the second time and still no luck. Once Shun got up, he got hit with a stiff Lariat for a two count. Susumu would eventually hit the Jumbo No Kachi on Shun and gets the win.
Recommended: It was pretty solid, I would say it’s worth at least a view.
Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda
Review: We now have Ben-K taking on ANTIAS member, Yasushi Kanda in out next singles match and the last time these two fought in the ring during the King of Gate tournament, Ben-K would defeat him by countout and I guess he looks to try and get an actual win over him this time.
We had Kanda attacking Ben before the announcer would finish saying his name and took Ben to the outside so he could try to knock him down a little as the bell rang. Once they got back inside, Ben would get the upper hand on Kanda for a brief moment and use his power to try and knock him down, but it wouldn’t last long as Kanda would send Ben back to the outside again and I feel like they already overdid it since they did it a total of four times this match and wasn’t really spaced out either, so it did hurt the match a lot to me in my opinion. ANTIAS is becoming how Suzuki-Gun was in NOAH where they would do this stuff in almost every match and during times when it’s just not needed and becomes overkill for me. It looked like they’re still protecting the Ben-K Bomb when he wouldn’t hit it again, but would eventually Spear Kanda to try and pin him only for ANTIAS to run in and start assaulting Ben-K.
The beat down would only happen for a while til Over Generation came out to make the save as they have a big match set for July between the two units as the loser of that match would disband. The referee would rule the bout a no contest.
Recommended: I love Ben-K, but the match was pretty awful.
Tag Team Match
Don Fujii & Ryo Saito vs. Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi & Kzy)
Review: The last time these two teams fought was in a six-man tag with Saito getting the surprise win and it looks like they’ll be fighting again in a regular tag team bout this time around. I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t do the Natural Vibes dance and I know they did it for the opening bout, but I wanted to see it again.
If you’ve seen the previous match between the teams, then it’s pretty similar with the mixture of comedy and other spots throughout the match, but no Fujii hitting Saito with a water bottle again, he knew better or we get that face again. That’s what I love about Ryo Saito, he’s not only hilarious, but he tells a story with his comedy and wrestling, but he knows how to do it so well and that’s why the fans are so behind him when he’s in the ring. The chemistry between Kzy and Genki is probably my favorite of the two out of the whole Natural Vibes unit just by how they do their moves together and the flow of their teamwork. The match was a lot of fun since we got nice spots and humor in here, but Kzy would get payback this time as he does the Skyade Schoolboy on Saito to pick up the win. After the match, Saito would tell Kzy that he wants a match for the Open the Triangle Gate Championships in which Kzy accepted, but no official date for the match yet.
Recommended: Very entertaining match and a ton of fun, worth a view.
Six Man Tag Team Match
MaxiMuM (Big R Shimizu, Jason Lee & Naruki Doi) vs. Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & Yosuke ♡ Santa Maria)
Review: This is a mostly for hyping up the Open the Twin Gate Championship match as both Yosuke and Kagetora are scheduled to fight Big R and Ben-K for the titles the next day as well and I don’t know why Ben just wasn’t booked for this match instead of being in that match against Kanda since it did nothing for him, but oh well.
When are people gonna learn not to pick up Jason Lee from behind when he’s in his meditating position? Because he’s just gonna Arm Drag you every time you try to pick him up from behind, so stop trying it even though it’s still cool to see regardless. Soon as Yosuke got into the ring and Naruki was tagged in, Jason and Big R just backed away for a moment because they don’t wanna deal with him since they know what he’s about. People may not like the type of gimmick Yosuke is doing, but I personally love it and is a damn good worker on top of that, I’m glad he’s being used more. Very fun match with everyone playing their part and the highlight for moe out of the six here is Kagetora because he started exploding with his offense throughout the match, especially with Jason Lee. There was one cool spot with Big R going for a Powerbomb on Yosuke and it got reversed when he was high into the air Leg Dropping him on the way down, but only got a two count with that one. Big R went to go for his Shot Put on Yosuke, but it got reversed into the Neraiuchi which looked insane as he pinned Big R to get that much-needed momentum for tomorrow’s show.
Recommended: I enjoyed this one a lot, definitely watch.
Six Man Tag Team Match
ANTIAS (Eita, Shingo Takagi & Takashi Yoshida) vs. Over Generation (Dragon Kid, Gamma & Kaito Ishida)
Review: It looks like we’re gonna get a little preview here with a six-man tag between the two units to hype up what’s to come sometime in July, how as to who should disband? That’s really a tough call since both of them should split up, especially with CIMA leaving to help out his Chinese promotion OWE, but ANTIAS has been doing pretty bad lately and wouldn’t mind them disbanding as well, however, the only problem is that they’re really the only heel faction right now and if they did disband, then there’s really no heel team.
Enough with attacking them to go to the outside once the bell rings! Here and there I don’t mind it if it’s spread out or anything, but the fact they did like four in Ben/Kanda that it already made this one feel a bit forced this time and it’s at the point where it’s incredibly annoying. Despite that, the match actually does get good since ANTIAS did get some nice heat into the match with Over Generation getting some strong offense in as well. One funny little spot I liked was when Dragon and Kaito would pin Eita down on the mat while Gamma was on the top turnbuckle and spits water down on him as if he was a little fountain or something and after seeing how Eita did during the whole King of Gate, he deserved it. Something that annoyed me between Eita and Dragon Kid is that they actually did better during their encounter in this match than their actual King of Gate tournament match where it was one of the worst matches in the entire tournament, which is a shame too since they’re both great workers and I hope we can an actual match soon, but we might if it’s for the Open the Brave Gate Championship. When they were going for their last moments in the ring, Dragon would hit the Bible on Eita to get the win for Over Generation.
Recommended: Solid match, worth a watch.
King Of Gate 2018 Final Match
Masato Yoshino vs. YAMATO
Review: Here we are as this is the final round of the King of Gate tournament as it comes down to A Block winner, YAMATO and D Block winner, Masato Yoshino. Both men are no strangers to the Open the Dream Gate Championship also as YAMATO has won it four times while Masato has won it three times. YAMATO defeated Naruki Doi in a fantastic match to advance while Masato defeated Takashi Yoshida to make it here as well. Last year, T-Hawk would be the winner of King of Gate to fight YAMATO who was the champion at the time but failed to capture the title. With YAMATO in the finals, he wants to win the whole thing so he can get that rematch against Mochizuki to try and take back what he feels is rightfully his, but he needs to beat Masato first who hasn’t won that belt in three years. Who needs the win more? Who will win the King of Gate 2018 tournament and who will fight Masaaki Mochizuki tomorrow for the Open the Dream Gate Championship? We’re about to find out, right now.
The match would start off with some slow chain wrestling with Masato actually controlling the majority of it as he would work on YAMATO’s arms for a moment and being smart by just working on that body part mostly since it could cut down his arsenal quite a bit if he damages the arm enough. YAMATO would eventually find a way to get some time to breathe as he went for a Crucifix for a two count but would catch Masato into a Crossface the moment he kicked out, but there would be a rope break. The two would eventually have a chop battle going back and forth, but it looks like YAMATO had the upper hand when he applied a Guillotine choke on Masato to slow him down while wrenching the arms a little bit in the process. Masato would attempt to go for a Reverserana, but he goes to choke YAMATO with his legs while he was over the ropes and while the referee was calling for the five count, Masato would move him over to the other side of the rope to choke him out again before letting go. Masato would get control again as he applies the Black Widow for a moment and turns it into a Sunset Flip for YAMATO to kick out and hits a beautiful yet quick Sling Blade the minute YAMATO got up. Masato would run at YAMATO again only to be caught in a Tombstone position and hits a Fire Thunder Driver for a two count. Masato would apply his Sol Naciente to try and make YAMATO tap out and it almost worked since he fell down almost unconscious, but he got back up and hits the Ragnarok for a two count. Masato would get back up and hits the La Mistica and a Torbellino Crucifix to get the pin as Masato Yoshino has won the King of Gate!
My thoughts on the match was that there were times that it was slow, but around the middle and on is when it started to pick up to be a great match and if it had that flow from beginning to end, then this would’ve been the best match out of the whole tournament and a worthy final, but I would have to give it to YAMATO and Naruki Doi for being the best match of the tournament. Masato winning this one was a shocker for me since I felt like it should’ve been YAMATO to get that anticipated rematch between him and Mochizuki, but I can’t be mad with the result, so congrats to both of these men and we’ll see if Masato will be the one who will dethrone the champion.
Recommended: Definitely worth a watch.
Overall: The show was a rather entertaining one as we had some good matches with one horrible match, but it was a good show for the final and a great main event. Now we find out what happens the next day as we have two title matches to cover.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. YAMATO
Least Favorite Match: Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda
AJPW Dream Power Series 2019 Results & Review (3/19/2019)
Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?
Mathew shows us some power! AJPW puts together a card that could rival anything all year. Does it live up to the expectations?
Welcome back to AJPW! We’re gonna talk about the last big show before this year’s Champions Carnival coming up in early April as we have a few title matches in this show that I couldn’t resist wanting to cover it.
We got some dealing with revenge along with one trying to make history. How’s this year’s Champions Carnival gonna shape up?
Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, & Hokuto Omori vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, & Yusuke Okada)
Review: Our opening contest is a six-man tag team match with our young lions, Atsuki Aoyagi, Danji Tamura, and Hokuto Omori taking on three members of Evolution, Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato, and Yusuke Okada. Going up against three people from the junior division is a fair start to have them all fight each other in this tag bout and a better view of how the young guys are doing. Will Evolution school the young boys or will they somehow get one of the biggest wins in their starting careers?
As I’ve said, this match is mostly to showcase our future talent as they fight the vets of the game in the junior division. I do gotta admit that these three have definitely improved in the ring as they’re shaping up to be some of All Japan’s finest students. Evolution held off on their own and I’m glad they were their opponents for this match since they’re very easy to work with. Another thing I loved about the match is that they had a good amount of time instead of just being less than five minutes like how most matches will do. Yusuke and Hokuto are in the ring now and Yusuke would hit him with a Brainbuster for a two count and would quickly apply a Boston Crab onto him and Hokuto struggles to get to the ropes and once he does, Yusuke pulled him back in and would lock it in more as he would tap out to give Evolution the victory in a solid match.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori
Review: We got another six-man tag team match here as Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, and Ultimo Dragon will be taking on Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen Ultimo Dragon wrestling in All Japan, so I’ll never complain to see him in the ring. This is another match with the vets and Manso-Re for being a punching bag as it’ll most likely be a comedy style match. Which one of them will win?
Menso-Re starting with Ultimo Dragon as he wanted him first, but TAJIRI would slap Menso before the bell would ring and we would kick it off right now. They would do a little bit before Jun and Takao get tagged in, but we all care about TAJIRI and Fuchi getting tagged in now as Fuchi would try to get his hands on him. TAJIRI would be the sneaky heel with leaving the ring to sit with the crowd so he could avoid contact in the match. TAJIRI would get back in the ring only to tag in Ultimo as the crowd would just boo TAJIRI. Fuchi would do his antics with the punch to the forehead as the crowd eats it up but everything would backfire on Fuchi as he would miss a Dropkick to make the crowd boo Ultimo which is a shocker. Ultimo would kick Fuchi and attempt an Asai DDT but Fuchi would turn it around to a Backslide as Ultimo would kick out. Both TAJIRI and Jun would both make Fuchi miss a Dropkick and taunt him right after to make the crowd boo them. Ultimo would get Fuchi in the La Magistral and he gets the win for his team in a rather entertaining match.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Tag Team Match
NEXTREAM (Yoshitatsu & Yumi Aoyagi) vs. Sweeper (Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai)
Review: Our next match here is a tag team match as NEXTREAM members, Yoshitatsu and Yuma Aoyagi will be taking on members of Sweeper, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai. Since Naoya is no longer Yumi’s partner, he’s gonna be paired off with Yoshitatsu this time around. Since all four of them are in the Champions Carnival, a win for either of them would give them some momentum leading to the tournament. Which one of these two teams will win and what will be the future payoff?
It seems like Yoshitatsu has a little gripe with Jake Lee in this match as he seems to be disgruntled when he was in the ring with him, especially when Jake would just best him during the first sequence with the chaining. Ryouji and Yuma are in the ring now and Ryouji with a series of kicks in the match and have him in a submission before Yoshi would break the hold and just stared at Jake again. Yuma is really growing out on his own as an individual and you can see that when he’s not partner with Naoya. Yuma would have Jake in a Headlock but Jake would attempt a Backdrop Driver as Yuma flipped it into a Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Once Jake kicked out, Yuma would try to turn the pin into a European Clutch as Jake kicked out at 2 as even the referee was shocked by this. Yuma would run into him as Jake kneed him in the face and hits him with a Backdrop Driver as he pinned Yuma for the victory.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, & Zeus vs. Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering,) & Francisco Akira
Review: We have another six-man tag team match taking place as Atsushi Maruyama, KAI, and Zeus team up to take on Dylan James, Joe Doering, and Francisco Akira. KAI recently failed at Dragon Gate to win the Open the Twin Gate Championships, so he could at least try to win for his team but I think Zeus has a lot on his plate when it comes to their opponent since Dylan James and Joe Doering are a strong team to beat and wants to try and look powerful leading into the Carnival. Which one of these two teams will win the match?
Zeus and Dylan would charge at each other right away to test their strengths with also some chops and a test of strength as the two appear to be evenly matched, which is no surprised. KAI gets tagged in and he calls Joe to get tagged in since he wants to fight him as Dylan honors that request and lets Joe have a turn on the fun. Joe would start to make him regret that decision as he had the upper hand on him at first but KAI would hit a few Dropkicks on him but Joe still wouldn’t go down as he tackled him and went for an Elbow Drop before KAI moved and quickly tagged in Atsushi. The juniors get a turn on the fun as Francisco showed more of his impressive ability. One problem I had with the match was that the last few minutes are incredibly sloppy with Atsushi missing most of his kicks to Joe in the corner, Francisco slipping on his Moonsault to the outside, which he thankfully caught himself and redid it again. The finish would be with Joe hitting Atsushi with the Powerbomb and it looked like he got knocked out as he took the pinfall despite his shoulder being kinda up, so it looked botched but the referee still has a job to do as Joe just left the ring and walked to the back possibly frustrated.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki
Review: Our first title match of the show is Koji Iwamoto defending his Junior Heavyweight Championship against Kotaro Suzuki. The two fought each other in the A Block of the Junior Battle of Glory Tournament where Kotaro defeated Koji in the match but would eventually fail to win as Koji would actually be the one to win it all. Koji decided to defend the title against Kotaro since it was only fair due to him winning the match and wants to avenge that loss. Will Koji be able to retain his title again or will Kotaro get the upper hand on him again?
Kotaro showed no mercy to the champion as fought him to the outside and Slingshots him into the turnbuckle post and DDT’s him face first into the mat as you hear the loud thud and damage has been done to Koji. Kotaro has beaten Koji before so he knows what he has to do to try and defeat him again as he worked on Koji’s neck a bit during the match and gets the heat from the crowd. I know Kotaro is a Freelancer and is mostly at NOAH right now due to being a champion there, I hope he does stick around a little bit longer since I feel like the division could really use him as he’s a very talented individual. Koji would try to outrun him after he dodged him to the outside and it appeared as if Kotaro would botch but he quickly caught himself and dived to the outside to land on Koji, getting the better of him again.
Koji would finally be able to get a comeback as he hits an STO onto the ring apron to knock Koji down and most of the time, he would try to hit the Koko no Geijutsu but Kotaro would hold his ground to make sure he wouldn’t hit it but Koji would be able to deliver a German Suplex and a Dragon Suplex. Kotaro would land a few punches before Koji tried to hit the move again, but Kotaro would hold his ground again and kick his leg out to work on his neck before landing Gory Bomb Special and tops it off with the La Magistral for the pin and Koji would kick out various times whenever Koji would try to roll out of it and was so close to having a new champion. Koji would just use this time to hit a couple of STO’s in a row to weaken him down a bit. Koji would go for it again but he catches him for a Back Suplex to save himself a bit. Kotaro would now hit not one but two Excaliburs onto him to try and end it as Koji would somehow kick out of it again. It all came down to his as Koji would attempt the Koko no Geijutsu again as Kotaro would stop himself to pin him for a two count and they both would spin around as Koji would hit it this him but he picked him up to hit the Koko no Geijutsu properly this time and pins him to retain the title! After the match, various people from the junior division would come out and it looks like they all want a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Championship but Koji would have to pick one of them to be his opponent. It does look like, however, that Koji doesn’t have a clear opponent right now as he left the ring but I guess we’ll see soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
World Tag Team Title Match
Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) (c) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: Our next title match for this show is Strong BJ defending their titles against the team that they defeated them for, The Violence Giant. Strong BJ defeated them on January 13th to win the titles and after they retain their titles on the February 24 show, Violence Giant requested a rematch to bring the titles back home on their turf this time instead of the BJW show. If it’s anything like their previous match, it’s sure to be hard hitting and a not miss. Will Strong BJ remain on top or will Violence Giant bring the belts back home?
Shuji and Daisuke would be the ones to start off our match here with an incredible display of power as the two were unable to budge and they would tag in their respective partners. Suwama and Yuji were both also very hard-hitting as they would now fight outside of the ring as these two teams are making it personal. Strong BJ has been doing great work during this rivalry with the Violence Giant and they would even give Suwama a big beatdown but the former ace would even try his best to fight them off, even when he was on the corner and would kick Yuji to show his fighting spirit. Suwama would hit a Dropkick to save himself for a little bit and would tag in Shuji for the hot tag and Shuji does indeed come in hot with his Lariats, knees, anything he can throw along with the kitchen sink.
Yuji would brawl with Shuji to deliver some chops while Shuji would give him a couple of forearms and a headbutt to try and daze him but Yuji is pumped up and slams him down with a few Lariats. Once Yuji would hit another Lariat to Shuji, he would kick out at one that time around before getting hit with another one with a two count. What’s it gonna take to take Shuji down for good? Yuji would get to the top rope to hit the Splash and it looks like this could be it but Suwama would break the pinfall to save his partner. Strong BJ would have them up for the Torture Racks but they would get down for Suwama to hit a Back Suplex while Shuji hits a Dragon Suplex. Shuji is alone with Yuji again and would hit another Dragon Suplex and a Running Knee to get him out for another two count, he was so close! Shuji would pick Yuji up real quick for the Fire Thunder and goes for the pin as Daisuke breaks the pinfall this time around as Suwama would get Daisuke out of the ring. Shuji knew what he had to do to try and end it as he hits the Giants Slam and pins Yuji to win back the titles! Hell of a match and definitely topped their previous encounter at BJW. I would love to see Violence Giant get a fair and dominating run with this reign, can’t wait to see where this goes now.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
— 全日本プロレス/alljapan (@alljapan_pw) March 14, 2019
Triple Crown Championship
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. Naoya Nomura
Review: This is our third title match and the main event of the show as we have Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship against former NEXTREAM member, Naoya Nomura. On the February 24th show, Naoya Nomura would defeat Dylan James in a singles match and Kento Miyahara would have his second successful title defense against Suwama. After Kento would defeat Suwama, Naoya would come in to make the challenge to his stablemate and announce his departure from the NEXTREAM group in the process, leading him to also vacate the All Asia Tag Team Championship with Yuma Aoyagi. Kento is now 30 years old and while it’s his third title defense in this run, this will be his first time defending it while no longer in his twenties. If Kento can defeat Naoya, he’ll be the champion leading into the Champions Carnival and won’t defend the title until the tournament is over. Will Kento be able to retain it once again or does Naoya pull the surprise victory?
Kento came in here with a plan since he knew what he was gonna do to Naoya once he challenged him to this match, he didn’t wanna go easy on him despite being former teammates but he wants to see how badly Naoya wants the spotlight on him. They were fairly matched during the lock-up part of the match and they would start to fight outside for a little bit as Naoya would get Kento down as he taunts him when he got back in the ring. Naoya would hit him with a big forearm before going onto the apron to jump and Kento catches him with a knee and has him right where he wants him now. This is where Kento would just attack him with a few Headbutts as Naoya would try to deliver one to him but Kento gives him multiple ones as a counterattack and this is why you don’t mess with the champion.
Naoya would eventually make a comeback after being kicked around by Kento as he quickly got up to charge at him with a shoulder tackle and you can hear that too. He would hit a few more along with another forearm to the face as he goes for the Brainbuster but Kento would struggle to make sure he didn’t hit it and has Naoya over the ropes but wait, Naoya grabbed his leg to pull him over as he attempted a Death Valley Driver onto the apron as Kento jumped off to hit a Blackout. The two would be on the turnbuckle and Naoya gets behind him to attempt a German Suplex as Kento struggles, but Naoya would slam Kento’s head on the post and gets off the turnbuckle to hit the German Suplex as both men are down. Naoya would go to the top rope to hit the first Splash as Kento kicked out but Naoya would quickly get up again to hit one more as Kento still kicked out.
Kento would eventually hit him with a Blackout at full force and hits him with a German Suplex for another two count. Kento looks like he’s going for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold as Naoya would kick his knee out and hit him with a Spear and the two are down again. Kento would hit another Blackout on the back of his head and tries the German Suplex Hold once again as Naoya would still kick out at two as Kento is starting to get concerned with what he has to do now. Kento tried the Shutdown German Suplex Hold again as Naoya broke out of it and picked him up Fisherman style and dropped him on his head and picked him up for the Death Valley Driver as Kento fought him off but Naoya would hit him with a flurry of forearms to daze him and hits the Spear with the roll-up as Kento kicked out at two again! Naoya picked him back up but Kento would go back to delivering the Blackouts and it looks like Naoya is all out of fight as Kento finally hits the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to get the pinfall victory and his third successful title defense. Great match and a very impressive showing to Naoya but Kento is just still better than him right now. Kento will now officially be the Triple Crown Champion leading into the Champions Carnival. Three defenses down, eight more to go.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought it was a very solid show from top to bottom but the last three title matches were what sold it to me. I would highly recommend that you look out for those matches if you can find them online or subscribe to the streaming service and if you’re not already subscribed, what the hell is wrong with you? Get on that!
Favorite Match: Strong BJ (Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi) vs. Violence Giant (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Least Favorite Match: Jun Akiyama, TAJIRI, & Ultimo Dragon vs. Black Menso-Re, Masanobu Fuchi, & Takao Omori
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.27 ~ 17TH MARCH 2019
Coming off their first live streaming event on YouTube – Hisame brings us all the things we need to know about NOAH!
Coming off their first live streaming event on YouTube – Hisame brings us all the things we need to know about NOAH!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
On March 16th, NOAH kicked off “Spring Navigation 2019” by visiting Matsuyama, Ehime, Shikoku.
The atmosphere was said to be one of excitement, which had been carried over from “Great Voyage in Yokohama 2019” which happened on the 10th March.
Following his appearance in Yokohama with KAZMA, NOSAWA teamed with Takashi Sugiura in Matsuyama. Sugiura later posted on Twitter that he “trusted” NOSAWA, but this was probably a typo as he later said that he didn’t at all.
And so much for gratitude, Masao Inoue and Sugiura have returned to their minor (and comedic) feud, with Inoue bumbling around and using the usual tricks to try and win, until Sugiura obliterated him.
Naomichi Marufuji wound up Kenoh by saying that he was an “obedient Kenoh” these days (because he does what Kiyomiya says), adding on the suffix “kun” (which signifies in this case that a senior is addressing a junior) for good measure.
Kenoh said that it was their first match together since Marufuji had been injured, and he was looking forward to kicking him. Hard.
In the ring, the fight went to the outside (even to the merchandise table) and Kenoh no sold Marufuji’s “Kawada Kicks”.
Afterwards, Marufuji said that Kenoh must be very fond of him to want to fight him so much, and he wasn’t even in Global Tag League.
In a first for NOAH (since streaming services became all the rage so to speak), they announced that their final show at Hakata Stalene on the 17th March 2019, was going to be streamed live via their YouTube channel. It was worldwide, free of charge, and despite NOAH having to shut off the audio for any songs they didn’t have the rights to, it was a success. The image was flawless, the sound was perfect, the transmission was good (although I had to shut down my machine twice as I was watching it through my PS4, and it kept losing connection, but that is nothing to do with the service).
Hakata Stalene is going to be demolished; the building is now crumbling due to age and damage caused by seismic activity over the years, and it is going to be too expensive to repair due to its 1970s construction methods. Many promotions in Japan have held one final show here.
I have been asked many times if this means that NOAH are going to make this a regular thing. The answer is, I don’t know; but I get the feeling that this is them killing two birds with one stone, broadcasting a big event for them and seeing what response they get (about 2.1K people tuned in worldwide).
Hi69 has challenged Kotaro Suzuki to a title match for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles. Suzuki initially agreed to the match, looked at Hi69 and said that he would “have to check the weight”.
Expect Kotaro Suzuki to demand a public weighing.
Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against old tag team partner, Masa Kitamiya, and had a policy of eliminating him from his young teammates (Junta Miyawaki, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada), by throwing him into the crowd, hitting him with a chair and attacking him at the merchandise table.
Naomichi Marufuji and Yoshinari Ogawa had a rare singles match, which was very technical, and although Marufuji won, he said he was exhausted by it. Everything he tried, Ogawa was one step ahead and he said he couldn’t pull out any moves from any drawers, not even a fraction. Marufuji, however, wasn’t completely at Ogawa’s mercy; Ogawa came away with a chopped red chest.
Takashi Sugiura and Go Shiozaki put on a “Golden Era” match of just two guys beating up on each other. Their match was so stiff, at one point Shiozaki was briefly knocked out, and the ref had to perform a concussion test on him. Shiozaki could walk from the ring fortunately, but managed to slip a bit on the small steps. He later posted on Twitter about how Hakata Stalene was special to him, and made no mention of any concussion or injury, so I guess he is fine.
Kenoh and Kaito Kiyomiya debuted their new tag team, their new pose, and their new tandem move. When Kenoh came out, he stepped to the side and Kiyomiya came through the curtains, they then shook hands and went to the ring.
Their new move consists of Kiyomiya slamming the opponent with Kenoh doing the diving footstomp afterwards.
“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s new column compares the Japanese closure of the country for about 220 to NOAH’s policy of isolation, and how it can be a good thing in allowing homegrown talent to grow without having to rely on or being dictated to by any outside source.
CODY HALL LEAVES NOAH
Although NOAH are yet to confirm anything officially, it looks very much like Cody Hall has left NOAH and is now advertising his availability for events in the US and Europe, and has not appeared on any upcoming cards. He says that he would like to return to the promotion someday.
At “Great Voyage in Yokohama 2019”, Mitsuya Nagai (having basically been told by 50 Funky Powers that he couldn’t dance or pose with them, despite his funky green flashing glasses), said that he was looking for a tag partner that would shake things up for Global Tag League 2019.
Atsushi Kotoge came to the ring clutching a Paisley patterned cape. Nagai (taking a small break from yelling at a woman to shut up), looked as if to say, “please, not you…anyone but you”. Kotoge, however, wouldn’t be deterred from what he now sees as his mission to put justice into the heart of Nagai and wrapped the cape around him.
Backstage, Nagai said that he said that he never said that he would team with him, and that this cape looked like it was used by robbers (and threw in a few expletives). Kotoge told him that robbers were people the police came to arrest, not heroes such as themselves, whom First Graders looked up to and so could Nagai watch his language?
Nagai later posted on Twitter wondering about a team name, Kotoge of course bounced up and suggested “The Revolutionary Cloak Army”.
Nagai is yet to comment.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa
~ In Matsuyama when the roster come out to sign autographs. Some junior high kids, who couldn’t afford merchandise, asked YO-HEY & Yoshinari Ogawa if they could sign autographs for them, all they had was some paper. Autograph rules are that the wrestlers are only meant to sign merchandise, but Ogawa overruled this (he is the most senior man in the company and no one is going to argue with him), and said, “lets do it”.
~ Daisuke Harada made a beeline for Kaito Kiyomiya during their match in Matsuyama, Ehime. Kiyomiya brushed it off in the interview afterwards, basically saying that he had better things to think about than being attacked by the NOAH juniors.
~ Being injured and unable to travel too much meant that like everyone else outside of Fukuoka, Atsushi Kotoge watched the event at Hakata Stalene at home.
~ Maybach Taniguchi is still in “monster mode” and attacked the referee after a match.
~ NOAH have filmed their two yearly adverts for long time sponsor, “The Leave”.
~ Although Kenoh and Kiyomiya are teaming, both have acknowledged they are not, and probably will not be friends. Kiyomiya says he will have to keep an eye on Kenoh, and Kenoh has said, he will be aiming for the belt (as will Takashi Sugiura who stated that no matter how NOAH may have changed, his wanting the belt hadn’t, in a separate interview)
~ Was Kenoh crying when Kiyomiya called him to the ring at “Great Voyage in Yokohama?”
~ The merchandise truck broke down en route to Hakata Stalene, and had to be rescued by the wrestlers bus, hence the autograph signings before the event had to be rearranged.
~ Takashi Sugiura came home to find his dog had moved into his space on the couch when he is away. Lets not talk about the pictures he took of his dog doing its business when he walked him.
~ The GHC Heavyweight champions, AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima) and the GHC Junior GHC Champion, Minoru Tanaka, had a kind of group hug, in which Shiozaki lent so hard on Nakajima he almost knocked him over.
~ Kensuke Sasaki and Akira Hokuto came to Hakata Stalene for NOAH’s farewell match there.
G+ will broadcast the 17th April show on April 20th
They will also show the 28th May Korakuen Hall show live
Venue guide: Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium
Roster birthday list
“Kenoh and I will stand at the top and change the setting” ~ Interview with Kaito Kiyomiya
Kaito Kiyomiya resolves to “lead with strong feelings”
Kaito Kiyomiya defends against genius Marufuji, declares a united front with Kenoh
“Echoes across the industry”: Minoru Tanaka’s first GHC Junior Championship
Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki’s first defense “Going Forward”
Kaito Kiyomiya breaks Marufuji in 3rd championship defense, decoration of the promotions new ship
Picture credits: Takashi Sugiura, Noah GHC, PKDX
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