We are back with Stardom as the moment has finally arrived as this one is produced by Io and members of Queen’s Quest while the previous one was produced by Oedo Tai and Kagetsu which I won’t cover due to not much happening except for the unit dance battle and having other shows to cover this week.
Io is set to defend her Wonder of Stardom Championship against Kagetsu where we will see if Io will break another record in her books or will Kagetsu bring the title over to Oedo Tai. It should definitely be a battle and we’ll see how it turns out as we…dive right in.
Three Way Match
Hanan vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Leo Onozaki
Review: Our first match is a three way match with Kaori taking on two people from the Future of Stardom division to get the crowd into it. The match unfortunately didn’t leave anything memorable in here since there were times that it was just sloppy and forgettable. One spot I did like that soon as Leo hits Kaori with the Cutter, Hanan would pin Leo quickly for a two count. Leo would then try to roll Hanan up a couple of times and only had a two count as well. Leo would go for a Backslide as Kaori sat the both of them down in that position and rolled them both up to get the win.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Mary Apache, Natsumi & Ruaka vs. Martina, Nao Yamaguchi & Natsu Sumire
Review: We now have Mary Apache leading a team of her daughter, Natsumi and Ruaka as they look to take on Oedo Tai lead by Sumire with her partners Nao and…Martina..ugh. It looked like Mary forgot her gear since it looks like she’s wrestling in her sweat pants.
Mary and her team would all apply a submission onto each of Oedo Tai members until the referee told them to break it up so the match could start. There was a corner spot where Oedo Tai would all hit a move on Natsumi and would end when Martina grabbed her beer to drink to spit on her, but Natsumi ducks causing her to spit the beet on both Sumire and Nao. The match was better than I expected it to be, but wasn’t great either since everyone did fairly decent and had some good spots in the match. Mary stole Martina’s beer when she drank some to give her ‘energy’ which I still think it pretty stupid. Nao almost had the win on Mary when she reversed her Michinoku Driver, but Mary would make quick work of her and hits a stiff Lariat for the win.
Recommended: I mean yes and no, only if you like some of the people in here.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Jungle Kyona, Natsuko Tora & Shiki Shibusawa vs. Brandi Rhodes, Hana Kimura & Hazuki
Review: Oedo Tai are up again as the remaining members take on Team Jungle as they look to bounce back after the recent loss. Want to also point out that Brandi Rhodes has been injured before this tour and has been working this tour injured. I give her credit for sticking to her commitments, but I hope she didn’t injured herself more in the process and I wish her a speedy recovery.
Oedo Tai did the whole entrance and dance without Kagetsu and it’s just not the same while a bit decent. Hana would ignore Natsuko to pose off for the crowd a little bit before Natsuko attempts to mimic Hana which leads to her getting bitch smacked for it. Then Hana and Hazuki did a double team move together and I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing the two pair up if Hana and Kagetsu weren’t champions already, since I felt like they would work out well together while Kagetsu goes for the top titles solo. Brandi only got in the ring twice in this entire match and would use her only good arm to do a couple of strikes since her injury prevented her from doing more in the match as it makes her look sloppy, which isn’t her fault. They had some good double teaming/combos from each team and the match was solid for what it was. Hana and Hazuki would team up on Shiki which involved Hana giving Shiki a Suplex and then Hazuki hits her Atomic Bombs Away to get the win for Oedo Tai.
Recommended: I think it’s worth a viewing.
Ten Woman Tag Team Match
Candy Floss, Mayu Iwatani, Saki Kashima, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano vs. AZM, Bea Priestley, Chardonnay, Konami & Momo Watanabe
Review: We get STARS and Queen’s Quest going at it once again with QQ being lead by Mayu Iwatani and Queen’s Quest being lead by our current Cinderella winner, Momo Watanabe who has a title match against the winner or our main event tonight.
I love when Starlight and AZM start us off in these matches because they’re usually exciting to see with their fast pacing and the back and forth between these two females, but this one is a bit short lived with Tam getting tagged in. Tam definitely showed improvement after her Exploding Death Match over a month ago and I hope she keeps that momentum going to get better in the ring like how Saki Kashima has been lately ever since she returned. Starlight would hit a Moonsault on Chardonnay, AZM, and Momo with her laying on top of the other two which looked neat to see. I wouldn’t mind a match between Bea and Mayu after the small little interaction they had and I’ve been giving Bea some space since she did much better in her matches against Hazuki and Momo in the Cinderella Tournament since she does in fact have room for growth. Momo was in the ring with Candy Floss as she was delivering stiff kicks to her to try and go for her Half Nelson Suplex, but Candy would avoid it to get kicked in the head again as Momo hits her Cradle for the pin giving Queen’s Quest the victory while making Momo look good.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) May 17, 2018
Recommended: Very solid match, watch it.
Costume Battle Royal
AZM vs. Bea Priestley vs. Candy Floss vs. Chardonnay vs. Hana Kimura vs. Hanan vs. Hazuki vs. Jungle Kyona vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Konami vs. Leo Onozaki vs. Martina vs. Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe vs. Nao Yamaguchi vs. Natsuko Tora vs. Natsumi vs. Ruaka vs. Saki Kashima vs. Shiki Shibusawa vs. Starlight Kid vs. Tam Nakano
Review: We now have a cosplay battle royal where the participants of the match would dress up as another wrestler. We get quite a few good ones like Hanan dressing up as Saki Kashima, Momo as Io Shirai, Shiki as Mayu Iwatani, Candy as Natsu Sumire, Hazuki as Tam Nakano, Starlight Kid as AZM, Saki as Konami, Chardonnay as Martina (Who does it better than Martina), Konami as her old partner Hiromi Mimura and Mayu Iwatani as Kagetsu and she even comes out with the toy truck!
With the match going on like a regular battle royal, Mayu does her best Kagetsu impression to cut a promo outside of the ring telling them to have a three way battle and Mayu is great as Kagetsu as she matches her personality quite well. It’s just a regular old battle royal with a ton of fun with these women dressing up as the other superstars just matching their personalities while getting eliminated. AZM dressed as Starlight would eliminate Starlight dressed as AZM and then flip her over to get her pinned also so they left the ring which now leads Mayu and Momo being the last two in the ring which can’t be a coincidence since they’re both dressed up as Io and Kagetsu which takes place right after this match. Anyway, Momo would attempt to do Io’s Moonsault Press til she got pushed off to the apron and had Mayu flipped over so they were both on the apron with Momo hitting a very nice uppercut, making Mayu used this to grab the water to spit it in Momo’s face and Chokeslam her out of the ring for the win.
It's a Battle Royal! But in this Battle Royal, a wrestler wears another wrestler's costume and becomes that wrestler! It's the Queen's Quest produced show, and it's only on Stardom World!https://t.co/q8dHnF58vW pic.twitter.com/iWOUEpf7g2
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) May 18, 2018
Recommended: This was very entertaining, tons of great costumes and callbacks. Definitely worth a watch.
Wonder Of Stardom Title Match
Io Shirai (c) vs. Kagetsu
Review: We have finally arrived at the moment we’ve been waiting for after having this hyped up for nearly two months. The challenge would be made around when Oedo Tai was still feuding with Tam Nakano to where she chose Io as her partner for the Exploding Death Match where Io would decline for the first time. A couple of shows later, Io would give in after Kagetsu convincing her to be apart of the match and history for Stardom since it was the first one in the company, but Io only agreed if she would give her a fair fight at a later date which Kagetsu said yes if the Wonder of Stardom Championship was up for grabs as well and Io would accept the conditions. Io and Tam would win the match and would face Kagetsu as agreed, but they didn’t have an official date set until Kagetsu announced it after the Cinderella Tournament after Momo tried to challenge Io first. Io has already tied the record for most title defenses for this title and now for her to tie it, she would have to defeat Kagetsu here to break another record like she did with other titles. Can we do it or will Kagetsu find a way to take the belt off of her? Let’s stop wasting time and see for ourselves.
Kagetsu stated that this is the fourth time that they fought one on one and she still hasn’t beaten her in a match yet, so she looks to break that streak as she goes out there alone with her Oedo Tai members coming out with her. The match would go back and forth a little bit with Io still outsmarting her to get the early advantage until she went for a Suicide Dive only for her to get knocked down by Kagetsu before she could dive across, now the ball is in Kagetsu’s court and starts to work on Io along with her legs since they were bandaged up for a few weeks which smart of her to take advantage of it. Io went to go for her back flip when she dodges only for her to fall down soon as she lands, making Kagetsu attack her right leg some more and I’m loving this aggressive side of her here and I hope she keeps that type of attitude when she does singles matches. Io would find momentum to go for a Missile Dropkick only for Kagetsu to roll up and attempt a kick on Io, but gets caught with a Dragon Screw to make Kagetsu roll to the outside and somehow Io finds a way to hit an Asai Moonsault.
The two would then go back and forth trying to hit their signature moves as they kept reversing or flipping out of them and then Io hits a Frankensteiner to only get a two count and Kagetsu kicking her leg again once she gets up so she could hit a Chokeslam, but Io reverses it for another Frankensteiner for another two count. This is where Io starts hitting her signature moves and Kagetsu attempts to spray blue mist into Io’s eyes only for her to miss. Io went to go for her Moonsault Press and gets kicked down with Kagetsu hitting a Powerbomb for a two count. Io would attempt to go for the knees again, but Kagetsu pulled the referee in to have him take the hit which lead to Kagetsu delivering stiff kick after kick, even knocked her down to pull her back up so she could kick her again. Kagetsu then hits the Oedo Coaster and she had the win, but no referee to count it as another referee came in to count, but Io kicked out very weakly. Kagetsu would attempts another Oedo Coaster only for Io to put her knees up in the last second and she then goes all out on Kagetsu hitting the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, shades of Kento Miyahara. Io then hits her Moonsault Press on Kagetsu, but she’s not done as she decides to double tap to hit one more to get the win as she sets a new record.
— We Are Stardom (@we_are_stardom) May 19, 2018
This match was fantastic and probably Kagetsu’s best match in a while as it showed that she can be a star in Stardom if they need someone for the top spot in the company as Io gave us another fantastic match and probably her best one of 2018 so far next to her match with Meiko Satomura. Io is now set to defend her Wonder of Stardom Championship against Momo Watanabe at the May 23rd show.
Recommended: Definite give it a watch, fantastic match.
Overall: This was a entertaining show despite the bad opener as the last three matches alone made it worth the viewing, specially the main event between Io and Kagetsu.
Favorite Match: Io Shirai vs. Kagetsu
Least Favorite Match: Hanan vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Leo Onozaki
See you all next time for Momo vs. Io!
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.136 ~ 20TH JUNE 2021
Hisame let’s us know who Marufuji’s first challenger is in his 4th GHC Heavyweight reign; and the Great Muta has chosen his first victim!
Takashi Sugiura challenges Naomichi Marufuji for the GHC Heavyweight title
Takashi Sugiura won the right to challenge Naomichi Marufuji after making him tap out to the front neck lock at the Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial event at Korakuen Hall on the 13th June. Sugiura challenged by telling Marufuji (who had dragged himself to the corner) that
“For the first time in five years, congratulations on the GHC. But, you understand the circumstances, right? I want to challenge for the GHC belt that Naomichi Marufuji has”
Marufuji has accepted Sugiura’s challenge, and set it for the event in Sendai on the 11th July. It will not be title vs title as Marufuji has no interest in the GHC National for now and wants to concentrate on defending the GHC Heavyweight. Backstage, Sugiura said he didn’t apologize for “ruining Marufuji’s” first match as champion, but the simple fact was that he wanted two belts, and Marufuji had one. He also admitted that neither of them were any younger, and he did not know how much longer they would be able to do it.
As for Marufuji, he confirmed that he was concentrating on the GHC Heavyweight and was not interested in the GHC National, and that the match would not be title for title. Takashi Sugiura was the perfect challenger to make his first defense against. He also admitted that there was no middle ground with Sugiura, he was either with him and when he thought he was on his side, Sugiura would stand in his way. Marufuji also admitted, there was the up and coming new generation of NOAH to consider too.
Great Muta chooses his challenger
We discovered exactly who Great Muta had in mind for his challenger at the Mitsuharu Misawa memorial show. Kenoh (after destroying Masao Inoue in 4 minutes, 53 seconds) got the microphone and looked to start a typically long angry rant. Half way through about growling about it being a year since NOAH started empty arena matches, he stopped as he suddenly got the feeling that something or someone was watching him. Turning around slowly he saw Great Muta had materialized in the ring (and here NOAH worked the empty arena to their advantage by having a camera angle that made it look like he had appeared suddenly), Kenoh jumped and got a face full of green mist. After that Muta decided to spit red mist at the new camera drone, which sank slowly to the floor.
Backstage, Muta said he was going to make Kenoh bleed, while a grumpy looking Kenoh (no change here, except he was covered in green), growled he would take on Muta’s challenge. The match will take place at “MUTA THE WORLD” on the 27th June.
DragonGate’s Eita comes to NOAH
After hinting he had met a “Luchadore”, NOSAWA made good his promise and bought Eita into NOAH. All the cards at the Misawa Memorial show were surprise, so it was the perfect time to do it. Eita (looking a far better fit into what is unofficially known as “The NOSAWA Army” than YO-HEY), had his first clash with STINGER (HAYATA, Seiki Yoshioka and Yuya Susumu), which ended with Eita beating Susumu. Then Eita was welcomed into the NOAH Junior division in traditional manner; a mass brawl. Eita would later confirm that he would be entering the NOAH Junior rumble, and this was nothing to do with his division in DragonGate (R.E.D), where he would remain active and come to NOAH as a freelancer. Where this leaves YO-HEY, will remain to be seen.
NOAH THE HOME
With Coronavirus causing both empty arena and a lack of shows, NOAH have begun to broadcast what is known as “NOAH THE HOME”, which are dojo matches with mainly the younger roster. There is no theme music, lighting etc, only a static cam trained on the ring. You can find these on NOAH’s official YouTube, and they will continue for seven days from Friday the 18th.
At the end of each show, fans are asked to vote for a match MVP, which so far has been won by Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura, with the winners getting small prizes at the end of the series. Fans can contribute money while they watch the live feed, proceeds will go to maintaining the dojo, the dormitories and towards awards for the MVP winners.
To celebrate 70 years of Pro Wrestling in Japan, the Japanese Wrestling Hall of Fame (headed by LEONA, Tatsumi Fujinami’s son, and featuring Genichiro Tenryu), a two day super show has been planned for September 14th & 15th at Korakuen Hall. The event will take place to commemorate the anniversary of the “Father of Pro Wrestling”, Rikidozan’s debut. Further details such as card, broadcast have naturally not been announced, but what is known is that the event will feature pretty much every promotion in Japan from what was once known as “The Big Three” of NOAH, New Japan and All Japan to DragonGate, DDT, Big Japan, ZERO1 etc. Indie promotions and even small local groups will be invited to attend.
Naomichi Marufuji commented on behalf of NOAH,
“It has been 70 years since the pro wrestling of the master Rikidozan, the father of Japanese wrestling, took root in Japan. I have only been involved in pro wrestling for a small part of it’s long history, receiving direct guidance from Giant Baba, and for a little while Jumbo Tsuruta and Mitsuharu Misawa, who founded Pro Wrestling NOAH. I would like to pass on what I have inherited from many great seniors to the next generation and further enliven Japanese pro wrestling. That is why both myself and Pro Wrestling NOAH would like to co-operate with the “70th Anniversary of Japanese Pro Wrestling” event. Pro wrestling fans, pro wrestling NOAH fans, please look forward to it.”
NOAH Junior Rumble Participants
Ten NOAH Juniors will take part in the Junior Rumble to confirm the number one contender to Atsushi Kotoge’s GHC Junior Heavyweight title on the 26th June at “CAGE WAR”, they are; Daisuke Harada, Hajime Ohara, Junta Miyawaki, Seiki Yoshioka, Haoh, Nioh, Tadasuke, NOSWA Rongai, Ikuto Hidaka and Eita.
The challenger will meet the champion on the 27th.
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ An article in Yahoo Japan revealed that Mitsuharu Misawa was full of plans for his retirement. He was drawing up blueprints for a “NOAH Building”, which would have been multistory, an Izakaya (where he would drink with his old friends and tell of color stories), and even have a gym\bar.
~ Masa Kitamiya has said very little about the upcoming cage with loser loosing hair match, but Katsuhiko Nakajima has been theatrically maudlin about it, saying that he was delighted when Masa Kitamiya made his debut, and how hurt he has been about Kitamiya’s recent behavior.
~ Atsushi Kotoge said that “NOAH at HOME” has been good for the seniors as well as the youngsters, as he can see what bad habits he himself is falling into.
~ Takashi Sugiura is back to posting rude food with sexual connotations (this means he’s had to behave himself at some point)
~ Daisuke Harada omitted any mention of Naomichi Marufuji in the match at the Misawa Memorial, concentrating only on Takashi Sugiura and Atsushi Kotoge. When Marufuji said that Harada had put up such a fight he couldn’t get past him, Harada replied frostily “thank you for your hard work”. Marufuji responded with the expressionless emoji.
~ The new Sugiura Army member will be revealed at Korakuen Hall on the 30th June. NOAH will be returning to an audience then (hopefully).
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Naomichi Marufuji
Challenger: Takashi Sugiura (11th July 2021, Sendai Sunplaza Hall)
- GHC Junior Champion: Atsushi Kotoge
Challenger: TBA following the NOAH Junior Rumble on the 26th June
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The AGGRESSION (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Daisuke Harada & Hajime Ohara
- GHC National Champion: Takashi Sugiura
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Saturday 26th June: “CAGE WAR” (19:00 JST)
Sunday 27th June: “MUTA the WORLD” (19:00 JST)
*Both events will be broadcast on WrestleUniverse and ABEMA. Subscribers will be able to watch the WrestleUniverse broadcasts, but I am unsure as to whether ABEMA will be broadcasting the events free and worldwide, or due to the use of “Premium” in their names, they will be for subscribers only. If you are outside of Japan I do not recommend that you subscribe to ABEMA due to the difficulties in getting a VPN that works, please subscribe to WrestleUniverse which is a guaranteed VPN free worldwide service.
MUTA the WORLD
With thanks to: Metal-NOAH
Picture credits: Pro Wrestling NOAH, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima.
Andrew’s CyberFight Festival Results & Match Ratings: 6.6.2021
The coverage is a little late since this was a long show to tackle. We get four companies under the CyberFight banner squaring off. Ganbare Pro, NOAH, DDT and Tokyo Joshi Pro.
The coverage is a little late since this was a long show to tackle. We get four companies under the CyberFight banner squaring off. Ganbare Pro, NOAH, DDT and Tokyo Joshi Pro.
We saw the 3 co-main events in the Top 5 article, but there were still 12 other matches on the card. DDT versus NOAH happened quite a few times, not sure if it’s for supremacy or respect, but since NOAH is closing out the festival; we know which company is higher on the totem pole.
Let’s see how the rest of the matches shook out!
- Mirai Maiumi, Suzume, Arisu Endo, Haruna Neko & Moka Miyamoto vs Kaya Toribama, Mahiro Kiryu, Nao Kakuta, Raku & Pom Harajuku: Mirai wins via Lariat @12:29 – **
- Delayed Entrance Battle Royal: Mohammed Yone vs Masao Inoue vs Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Akitoshi Saito vs Shuhei Taniguchi vs Makoto Oishi vs Yuji Hino vs Antonio Honda vs Toru Owashi vs Kazuki Hirata vs Yuna Manase vs Yusuke Okada vs Shu Sakurai vs Yuya Koroku: Antonio Honda wins @22:31 – **
- Keisuke Ishii, Ken Ohka & Shota vs. Kouki Iwasaki, Shuichiro Katsumura & Yumehito Imanari: Kouki wins via Inverted Brainbuster @8:43 – ***
- Junta Miyawaki & Kinya Okada vs. Toi Kojima & Yuki Ino: Miyawaki wins via Cross Armbreaker @7:39 – ** ¼
- Hyper Misao & Shoko Nakajima vs. BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino) vs. Hakuchumu (Miu Watanabe & Rika Tatsumi): Shoko wins via Diving Senton @8:04 – **
- Danshoku Deino & Super Sasadango Machine vs. Sugiura-gun (Kazushi Sakuraba & Takashi Sugiura): Sugiura wins via Olympic Slam @9:25 – *
- Masa Kitamiya vs. Hideki Okatani: Kitamiya wins via Prison Lock @2:25 – *
- Maki Ito, Marika Kobashi & Yuki Kamifuku vs. Hikari Noa, Mizuki & Yuki Arai: Maki wins via Liontamer @13:02 – ***
- Momo No Seishun Tag (Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada) & Hajime Ohara vs. Stinger (HAYATA, Seiki Yoshioka & Yoshinari Ogawa): Harada wins via Katayama German Suplex @13:33 – *** ¾
- DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao & Tetsuya Endo) (w/Mad Paulie) vs. The 37KAMIINA (MAO & Shunma Katsumata) & Chris Brookes: Sasaki wins via Grounded Octopus Hold @14:36 – ** ½
- Kongo (Hao, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kenou, Manabu Soya, Nio & Tadasuke) vs. Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Sakaguchi), Akito, Naomi Yoshimura, Sanshiro Takagi & Yukio Naya: Takagi wins via Electric Chair Power Bomb @19:59 – ****
- Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura vs. The 37KAMIINA (Konosuke Takeshita & Yuki Ueno): Ueno wins via Best Moonsault Ever @17:51 – *** ½
- Princess of Princess Title: Miyu Yamashita (c) vs Yuka Sakazaki: Yamashita retains via Knee Strike @16:31 – **** ½
- KO-D Openweight Championship: Jun Akiyama (c) vs HARASHIMA: Akiyama retains via King Crab Lock @18:53 – ****
- GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji: Marufuji wins via KO-Zero @23:30 – ****
Mirai Maiumi, Suzume, Arisu Endo, Haruna Neko & Moka Miyamoto vs Kaya Toribama, Mahiro Kiryu, Nao Kakuta, Raku & Pom Harajuku
This was the usual Japanese set up of a multiman match. You have a few newer wrestlers, some comedy and veterans to tie things up and actually provide real wrestling. Raku and Neko provide some comedy, Raku has a move she calls the Goodnight Express where it’s a bit of rope running and she just sits on the downed opponent to take a nap. Neko, is well…a cat, Neko means cat in Japanese; so she wrestles like a cat. Pom also adds levels of amusement and silliness but at least tries to apply normalish moves while looking silly.
Suzume got to shine a little since she’s a little spark plug, but the real stars were Mirai, Nao and Kiryu. Nao and Mirai got to set a serious tone, so when Nao tags out to Kiryu, Mirai is very much on the back foot. After the teammates come in to clear the opponents, and Kiryu gets spun around by Suzume’s speed, Mirai wipes them out, hits another big Lariat and wins the match!
As opening bell entertainment, this serves well for Japanese fans and fans of these girls. It may not be the Western cup of tea, but comedy or young lion matches usually open shows.
Delayed Entrance Battle Royal: Mohammed Yone vs Masao Inoue vs Yoshiaki Yatsu vs Akitoshi Saito vs Shuhei Taniguchi vs Makoto Oishi vs Yuji Hino vs Antonio Honda vs Toru Owashi vs Kazuki Hirata vs Yuna Manase vs Yusuke Okada vs Shu Sakurai vs Yuya Koroku
It’s hard to really quantify this since they allowed so many personalities in this match. Numerous comedy wrestlers, dancing gimmicks, even people from Ganbare Pro and Yoshiaki Yatsu out of retirement.
Taniguchi and Hino had some nice staredowns and power duels, so we could see something being set for later. Saki lasted a while and looked to be a possible favorite to win since she was just picking her spots very well. Most of the Funky Express stuck around, but also ended up eliminating each other. Yone knocked out Taniguchi while tied up with Hino. Inoue eliminated Saito when they tried to double team Saki. Inoue also helped roll up Yone which allowed him to be in the final two with Honda.
Awkward comedy, Honda calls for a microphone to basically give a concession speech without actually saying he quits, motions to masturbation, and then the two have dueling Nipple Pinch attacks. They turn the nipple pinches onto the referee, then Honda hits Inoue in the yam bag, roll up, and Honda is god.
Keisuke Ishii, Ken Ohka & Shota vs. Kouki Iwasaki, Shuichiro Katsumura & Yumehito Imanari
So all of these guys are apparently from Ganbare Pro Wrestling, and they come off like a more hectic version of Dragon Gate. The action is fast, crazy and entertaining. Multiple quick tandem moves, interesting move variations like a Double Hammerlock Michinoku Driver.
This was a lot of fun, and entertaining even if I wasn’t familiar with the people.
Junta Miyawaki & Kinya Okada vs. Toi Kojima & Yuki Ino
DDT and NOAH throw their younger wrestlers at each other, and this was interesting. Ino is a powerhouse and beat the ever living hell out of everyone, so it wasn’t until Miyawaki and Okada got time with Kojima, that NOAH really started having some comeback potential.
Junta and Kojima ended up in the ring together with some solid simple wrestling, but Junta slaps on a Flying Cross Armbreaker and wins the match for NOAH!
Hyper Misao & Shoko Nakajima vs. BAKURETSU Sisters (Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino) vs. Hakuchumu (Miu Watanabe & Rika Tatsumi)
I feel like this needed some context from TJP. Hyper Misao dressing like a Super Hero of Love and Compassion or whatever, but using cold spray to tag in her partner seems like it doesn’t fit. The other had their moments with Miu showing off more power than expected and the Bakuretsu Sisters executing a Steinerizer fairly well.
Since Shoko is the most decorated of all the girls, it made sense for her to finish the match and grab the win, but this was an odd match. Not offensive, just different.
Danshoku Deino & Super Sasadango Machine vs. Sugiura-gun (Kazushi Sakuraba & Takashi Sugiura)
Clash of styles in an understatement. Between Baseball Bat Spins, Playboys, Deino putting on a mask of a woman and trying to seduce and kiss Sakuraba…this was most of the reason why people think DDT is awful.
Sugi and Saku actually brought a level of real wrestling, but this was generally stupid. Even Sugiura apologized for the match afterward. I hated everything about the DDT inclusion in this match.
Masa Kitamiya vs. Hideki Okatani
Okatani is only 20 and tried to cut his teeth against the new look Masa Kitamiya. Betraying Katsuhiko Nakajima and Kongoh a few days earlier, he’s looking to carve his own path. Okatani tries to get in some offense, but Kitamiya is too big and experienced. Saito Suplex into Prison Lock and Okatani submits in mostly a squash match.
Maki Ito, Marika Kobashi & Yuki Kamifuku vs. Hikari Noa, Mizuki & Yuki Arai
Yuki Arai is from idol group SK 48, so it seems like Maki is taking offense to someone else taking her path into wrestling. Marika, Maki and Kamiyu take turns stretching the young idol wrestler which is to make a point. This gets over Yuki’s resilience, the other two tag partners almost help her pull it off but the Ito Respect Army is too strong.
Kobashi’s chops, Kamiyu’s boot strikes and Ito’s headbutts help to keep these girls in the driver’s seat. Maki hits the Flying Big Head and then applies the Liontamer to make the young idol wrestler tap out.
Momo No Seishun Tag (Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada) & Hajime Ohara vs. Stinger (HAYATA, Seiki Yoshioka & Yoshinari Ogawa)
This was break neck speed and pretty amazing. Everyone got a chance to shine, Yoshioka showed his amazing speed and precision, Kotoge used his size to a degree and managed to fight out of getting teamed up on, Ohara pulled off a few Backbreaker variations and we just saw everyone get their stuff in at great speed.
It’s hard to really work out the move by move since it was just a marvel to watch. The fact that multiple tandem moves and assists just ended up with Harada getting the best of Yoshioka and landing the Katayama German Suplex Hold. This was impressive.
DAMNATION (Daisuke Sasaki, Soma Takao & Tetsuya Endo) (w/Mad Paulie) vs. The 37KAMIINA (MAO & Shunma Katsumata) & Chris Brookes
This was chaotic, and I suppose was supposed to be DDT’s answer after the NOAH 6 man. But where the NOAH Juniors put on a great fast paced showing of skill, this was more in that DDT stereotype that people like or detest. Confetti Poppers, Faction Signs and Plastic Crates were used during the match, in tandem with a lot of Damnation cheating.
Brookes and MAO tried to fight things off for the most part, but the numbers game became too much since Damnation had Mad Paulie on the outside interfering whenever he could. A few sloppy and missed spots didn’t really help this match meet the high bar the NOAH Juniors just set, so this felt like a mess that just lasted too damn long.
Perhaps it was seen more favorably from DDT fans, but for my money, this could’ve been skipped and I wouldn’t have cared.
Kongo (Hao, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kenou, Manabu Soya, Nio & Tadasuke) vs. Eruption (Kazusada Higuchi & Yukio Sakaguchi), Akito, Naomi Yoshimura, Sanshiro Takagi & Yukio Naya
Kongo embodied the serious evolved King’s Road style of wrestling that NOAH is famous for as Takagi’s team is the essence of DDT. Foam Fists, Hammers, Wings, a bear trap, a bicycle, DDT pulled out many gimmicks, including Yoshihiko the blow up doll! Kenoh hated every second of this usually disposing of the toy after the DDT members failed with it. But he plays along once to ram the bicycle into Takagi before Kongo tries to break the bike.
Hao is in at the end against Takagi. Kenoh makes a save for the smallest member of Kongo, but Sakaguchi grabs Yoshihiko and they restrain Kenoh in a Sleeper Hold. So Kenoh is fingertips away from breaking the pinfall, but Takagi hits the Electric Chair Power Bomb on Hao and DDT wins!
Princess of Princess Title: Miyu Yamashita (c) vs Yuka Sakazaki
Tokyo Joshi Pro’s main event, and this was impressive. Many know Yuka from her brief stint in AEW, and the bubbly Magical Girl is accurate. But whatever the lead in for this was, Yuka does NOT like Miyu. Miyu on the other hand is TJP’s Ace and a damn impressive wrestler in her own right.
While I almost expected some fun from Yuka, there was none to be had. They struck, and kicked and Yuka was looking for blood. The usually smiling Magical Girl didn’t even so much as smirk once. There were apron drop spots, heavy collisions, hell Yuka went for her springboard Stuka Splash, and she crashed into Miyu as soon as Miyu entered the ring, but Yuka wasn’t happy with it, so she gets up, shakes her head and holds up one finger, just to hit a cleaner one.
This was violent, vindictive, and vengeful…I may need to go back and read what the build was. Because Yuka was already good, but angry Yuka may be my new favorite incarnation. Yuka may have lost since Miyu’s strikes just hit home one too many times, but this felt more like a SEAdLINNNG match. I think this is my top rated women’s match of the year so far. Just gorgeous.
KO-D Openweight Championship: Jun Akiyama (c) vs HARASHIMA
DDT’s main event has a beloved protégé of the Pillars as the defending champion and someone who has been on the rise for years. HARASHIMA has been on of DDT’s brighter lights after Tetsuya Endo for good wrestling.
HARASHIMA took a lot of aggression to Akiyama early. Strikes and speed were on the younger man’s side, but Akiyama always managed to find an Exploder to slow the match down and slowly fight he way back into the match. After a great back and forth, Akiyama locks in the King Crab Lock, wrestles HARASHIMA down and the referee has to call for the bell.
GHC Heavyweight Championship: Keiji Mutoh (c) vs Naomichi Marufuji
This was easily Mutoh’s best match as GHC champion and it played on a lot. We saw quickness and familiarity since they’re friends, both seemed to really enjoy just trading shots. Mutoh definitely tried to work the submissions early, even locking in a Scorpion Deathlock (Riki Choshu special) and then he drops the feet to fake the Muta Lock, but he just leans back into more of an awkward Indian Deathlock.
Both men blocked signatures and finishers left and right, then Muta played around in the sequence that beat Shiozaki, just in a different order. Three Shining Wizards, a double clutch Emerald Flowsion, but Marufuji kicked out. Mutoh hits the backbreaker and climbs the ropes. The move he couldn’t pull off at Budokan, HE HITS THE MOONSAULT! I’m nearly positive that’s his first one since the knee surgery.
But Marufuji writhes and Mutoh can’t make the cover as he hurt himself, favoring his surgically repaired knees. Marufuji takes advantage and the kicks fly. Five Hole, Hook Kick, Round Kick, Hook Kick, True Tiger King, but Mutoh kicks out. KO-OH, but Mutoh refuses to go down. So Marufuji pulls out the KO-Zero, and we have a new champion!
The Genius of NOAH is back on top!
Overall Score: 9/10
Even though we got a squash match, that makes sense to help show Kitamiya’s growth since his title challenge against Mutoh and his breaking away from Kongo. Plus some of the DDT antics killed the matches for me, but the fact this was a super show where fans off all the companies could enjoy what they came to love from them all, it did well. Just because something isn’t for me, doesn’t mean it’s not working for the target audience.
Aside from a few complaints, TJP also came out looking really good. Their main event was awesome, the match with Ito-Gun put over all the girls they want to get across and even the opener was good for the lower card girls. DDT still shows a lot of their comedic dufus tendencies, but also proved their upper card can hang with the NOAH upper card. NOAH is still the serious big brother and exuded that aura very prominently. Hell, even Ganbare got a little time to shine, which I thought was great since I forgot they were even under the CyberFight umbrella.
This was a great super show, with pivotal matches, important moments and a historic title change. So, it’s really hard to complain. Plus we got Mutoh’s first Moonsault in 3 years.
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