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Andrew’s G1 Climax 28 A Block Ratings & Review: Day 3

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So a few surprising results from the first day of the G1. Shattered Okada lost his first match,  Minoru Suzuki is down early and Bad Luck Fale cares about statements more than points.

It will be interesting to see how the second day shakes out. Break point is usually around 3 losses. So if anyone starts 0-2, that doesn’t give a lot of room for error.

Let’s find out who takes the early lead this year.

 

Michael Elgin vs Hangman Page

Starting off nicely with two men who already have a victory, so the winner here will take an early lead in the tournament. Since it’s Page’s first G1, they don’t have any previous matches to pull from beyond stuff in ROH. But let’s be honest, Page has really come into his own the last year or so. Thusly, their previous matches are a little moot.

This match really helped Page get over more with the Japanese crowd. Elgin’s power was on full display in this match, while Page tried to use his agility and even show heart by striking back and forth with him.

As the match went on, the crowd was more and more behind Hangman, which was nice to see them come around. Elgin ends up countering the Buckshot Lariat with a Lariat of his own, followed by a Tiger Suplex and Splash Mountain, but Hangman kicks out.

Alas, the kick out only delayed the inevitable where Elgin hits Buck Bomb, into Tiger Driver into Elgin Bomb to get the pinfall, and be the first competitor to 4 points.

As a match this was fine. A few higher risk spots looked a little clunky and they didn’t always seem to be on the same page, but it wasn’t a bad match at all.

Winner: Elgin via Elgin Bomb

Rating: *** 1/4

 

EVIL vs Yoshi-Hashi

This is an odd pairing. Both men lost their opening match, but aren’t perceived as equals. EVIL is up and coming, upper mid card, while Yoshi-Hashi is the bottom of the barrel. However, Yoshi-Hashi holds the victory in their only ever run in the 2016 G1. So can Yoshi-Hashi run it back, or will EVIL get his win back?

Well now, this was a somewhat unsurprising match, and even the crowd seemed to just be waiting for the end. Yoshi-Hashi showed some early aggression, but he came off as over anxious. So much so, he nearly killed EVIL when he put too much torque in a Powerbomb attempt, and also too damn close to the ropes, so they both spilled out to the outside.

Thankfully, no one seemed badly injured, but still, Hashi repeated the Powerbomb attempt when they went back in the ring, which proves it was a botch.

Yoshi went for Karma a couple times, but EVIL fights it off and lands a hard hitting lariat to set up nicely for Everything is Evil. Which ties up their G1 records at 1 a piece, but more importantly, it puts EVIL on the scoreboard.

Winner: EVIL via Everything is Evil

Rating: ** 3/4

 

Togi Makabe vs Minoru Suzuki

So there’s a lot of history behind both of these men. Most recently we had Suzuki beating Makabe at the Anniversary show this year. The bad blood runs deep with these guys, so let’s just see how it plays out.

Umm…okay, my first reaction is that this match is the wrestling equivalent of watching a hate fuck. Words don’t exactly do it justice, nor can I find a better reaction.

This match is a fight, nothing pretty, nothing flashy, just a masterfully savage brawl. Both men goad the other for more strikes, they have a chair duel, numerous strong style moments and just a plethora of sadistic desire.

Suzuki looks like he might win with the Sleeper Hold, but of course, he goes for the Gotch Piledriver and Makabe continuously blocks the move. Makabe hits a few lariats, his ten count head punches with signature Makabe laugh and Spider German Suplex.

Minoru stands up after the spider so Makabe hits him with a Flying Knee, and then his signature finish, King Kong Knee Drop. Makabe goes to 4 points while Suzuki sits at zero.

This match was leaps and bounds better than their Anniversary show, and will be hard to top for this day.

Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop

Rating: **** 1/4

Bad Luck Fale vs Kazuchika Okada

From Rainmaker to Rainman, Okada remains shattered with his red hair, balloons and awful remix theme. Not really sure how hard Fale is trying since he gave the 2 points to Hangman Page last A Block Day, just to send a message.

Well okay, so the Tongans are back in old school Bullet Club form. Tanga Loa came out with Fale, but Okada handled both of them relatively easily. Okada was able to slam Fale, slip out of the Bad Luck Fall twice and hit two Rainmakers.

But Tama Tonga slides in out of nowhere, to land a devastating Gun Stun while Fale had the referee distracted, and that was all that was necessary. Fale picks up the pieces, hits a Bad Luck Fall and gets himself 2 points.

Rainman Okada needs to figure this out, definitely, definitely, needs to figure this out.

Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall

Rating: ***

 

Jay White vs Hiroshi Tanahashi

Well Tanahashi put Jay in his place at Wrestle Kingdom 12, but this is a new Switchblade. White has a new confidence about him since beating Okada and Tanahashi has a chip on his shoulder since some people think he’s reaching the end. Will the Ace of a Century get his second win, or will Jay get his win back as well as join the 4 pointers at the top?

Jay continues to turn up the intensity in his matches. Going after Tanahashi’s banged up knee early and coming back to it to make a few points. However, Jay also lands a bevy of snap suplexes, which gives him the idea to focus on the neck also.

Watching White systematically carve up the ace was different, since this growth in his character has come fairly quickly. Tanahashi got in plenty of offense in this match though, so at least it wasn’t a one sided ordeal like his last one.

Jay introduces a steel chair directly in front of Red Shoes, and the referee lets him know that he’ll get disqualified. Jay swings any, but misses and then we get some shenanigans with the referee not paying attention.

Red Shoes cowers in the corner the same as he did during the G1 Special in San Francisco, and Jay hits Hiroshi with a low blow. As Jay goes for the chairshot, Tanahashi hits Jay with a straight right, below the belt.

The finish saw Tanahashi have a lot of momentum, but Jay managed to use Red Shoes as a shield to protect him from High Fly Flow and crotch Tanahashi on the top turnbuckle. We then see Jay throw the chair in the face of the ace, much like he did to Okada, land Blade Runner and pick up his second win.

Winner: White via Blade Runner

Rating: *** 3/4

 

A Block Standings:

Togi Makabe: 2-0 (4 Points)
Jay White: 2-0 (4 Points)
Michael Elgin: 2-0 (4 Points)
Hangman Page: 1-1 (2 Points)
Hiroshi Tanahashi: 1-1 (2 Points)
EVIL: 1-1 (2 Points)
Bad Luck Fale: 1-1 (2 Points)
Kazuchika Okada: 0-2 ( 0 Points)
Yoshi-Hashi: 0-2 (0 Points)
Minoru Suzuki: 0-2 (0 Points)

 

Thoughts:

Much like I said after Day 1, the match quality is still solid so far, but the stories are really pushing the A Block forward. Makabe and Suzuki continue their blood feud, Yoshi-Hashi can’t seem to catch a break, Rainman Okada is too shattered to really compete, Firing Squad bringing the old school Bullet Club antics and Jay White…is just on a different level.

That’s not to mean like Okada was as an in ring performer, it’s just Jay is doing anything necessary to win. Plus this persona of he will claim everything, including the air, is his while imploring people to “open their lungs, and breathe with him”, is just…well…different.

Even if this isn’t 4+ star classics on every match, the storylines are still quite compelling and the ring work isn’t awful. Damn good night.


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.35~ 19TH MAY 2019

Hisame brings us updates on all our NOAH favourites! RATEL’S, AXIZ and Kongoh! Also a nice update on YO-HEY’s unique state of mind.

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Hisame brings us updates on all our NOAH favourites! RATEL’S, AXIZ and Kongoh! Also a nice update on YO-HEY’s unique state of mind.

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
“Under blue skies” NOAH held an event on the 18th May, which was only two events, and was held for their new sponsors, and 500 people on the roof of the Sekichu store in Saitama.

Sekichu are a hardware store who seem to specialize in home cleaning products, they also seem to have some kind of association with both All Japan and DDT too, and Jun Akiyama was there on the day wrapped against the spring cold in a Sekichu jacket.

The day was “non canon” and featured only ten wrestlers (plus the injured Naomichi Marufuji who was on commentary and gave autographs), everything was lighthearted with Go Shiozaki wearing a Sekichu company logo box on his head, and Taniguchi apologizing for knocking down a company display (which he was thrown into by Shiozaki). At the end of the event the fans got the chance to pose with the wrestlers, and it seems that the mascots did the same, and AXIZ also leaned on Hitoshi Kumano and almost squished him.

On seeing Daisuke Harada posing with one, IPW’S Ben Basden said “@IPWUK do you really want this representing your company? Fly him over to England already, he clearly has nothing better to do.”

The next day, the 19th in Gunma, was when the real events of the show happened, especially on the junior front involving RATELS and their enemies Stinger.

YO-HEY had said that he would be making an announcement in Gunma, and he stepped into the ring to do it after the match (which Stinger had lost via a lariat from Tadasuke on Junta Miyawaki). YO-HEY told Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki that for Global Junior Tag League, he would indeed be teaming with HAYATA and going for the third consecutive win, but he would be doing this as a member of Stinger. Getting the win in any league, equals a challenge for the belt, but while normally this would mean either another team and another team alone getting it, in this situation it would mean the belt would be half Stingers, and half RATELS. Ogawa didn’t like this, and he and Kotaro attacked YO-HEY, stamping on his chest after Ogawa had knocked him down with an elbow.

HAYATA ran to the ring and threw himself over YO-HEY to protect him, and as he was pulled off of him, Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke ran in for the assist, the four of them did their tandem kick and threw Stinger out of the ring.

Afterwards, RATELS helped YO-HEY up.

Daisuke Harada asked the crowd what YO-HEY was? Was he RATELS? Or was he Stinger?

The crowd had no hesitation in unanimously saying that he was RATELS.

YO-HEY removed his Stinger t-shirt, and the four of them did their handshake, before Tadasuke carried a grinning YO-HEY from the ring on his back (I think YO-HEY’S lungs were probably a little overworked after the exertion), and Harada welcomed him home…although he did say that despite the fact that the four of them were going to start again from scratch, YO-HEY should not think that he was going to go easy on him.

YO-HEY later posted on Twitter that RATELS had forgiven him for his betrayal, and were kind.

“I’m home”.

So, now Stinger are a man down and both teams stand at four against two, it will be interesting to see if Naomichi Marufuji joins Stinger. After all, he is feuding with Daisuke Harada, Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki are old friends (and heels), and in NOAH the line between the interaction in matches and units between juniors and heavyweights is one that is often crossed. 

Elsewhere, Kongoh got another win when the four of them (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Atsushi Kotoge and Yoshiki Inamura) defeated the team of Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuehi Taniguchi, Minoru Tanaka and Akitoshi Saito, with Kitamiya evening the score against Taniguchi with the Saito Suplex. Naturally,

Kenoh started screaming afterwards about the usual things.

Katsuhiko Nakajima had another one of his classic beating up on Takashi Sugiura with a smug look on his face pictures taken. Nakajima, unfortunately, has failed to realize that this all spurs Sugiura to revenge, which is usually taken in a brutal way in title matches.

Global Junior Tag League starts on the 28th May 2019 at Korakuen Hall.

EVENT RECAPS
Post match promos – Esupowaru Isanuma, Saitama

18th May 2019 – Sekuchi Ageo Store Event
19th May 2019 – YAMADA Green Dome, Maebashi, Gunma

NEWS

“KONGOH SAUCE”
Two of the NOAH seniors, Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura in particular, are baiting Kenoh. As you know Sugiura called the name “Kongoh” tacky, with Kenoh calling him a “stupid old man”.

Marufuji, however, seems to have gone a step further to wind him up, after reading an article in “Puroresu Weekly” and photoshopping a bottle of brown sauce which he labelled as the flavor of Kenoh’s gut.

Kenoh said he was looking forward to kicking Marufuji (who thought he was a funny guy) on his return on the 28th, Marufuji said sarcastically for

Kenoh to be gentle.

BIRTHDAY PARTIES
Takashi Sugiura will celebrate his 50th birthday on May 31st, NOAH had announced plans to have a fan birthday party for him on the 25th, but not given any further details, and the announcement appears to have vanished from the site.

Kaito Kiyomiya will turn 23 on July 17th with Junta Miyawaki turning 22 on June 14th, NOAH will hold a fan party for them on the 13th July, details to be announced.

Naomichi Marufuji will turn 40 this year in September, so no doubt NOAH will also announce a fan party for him.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ YO-HEY signed autographs from both himself and his lung.
~ Daisuke Harada has sworn that he will have a main event for a title match
~ Naomichi Marufuji has been bed bound due to his injury, and spent a lot of time (in between Twitter posts and hospital visits) watching Dragonball Z. He said he watched about twenty episodes.
~ Akitoshi Saito was interviewed on his thoughts of Global Junior Tag League, a league which naturally he is not part of. Heavyweights have never been asked their picks and opinions for it before, so it could be a good way for the Juniors & the Heavyweights to go to war, especially as the juniors were not asked for their opinion over Global Tag League.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya said in an interview that when the twelve year old him heard that Mitsuharu Misawa had died, he cried throughout the day.
~ As part of his rehabilitation, YO-HEY says he has been taking walks in the park.

BROADCASTS
The first night of Global Junior League will be broadcast live on G+ on May 28th 2019 at 6.30pm JST.

The 9th June show (the Misawa Memorial from Korakuen Hall, Tokyo and the second to last night of Global Junior Tag League) will be broadcast by G+ on Thursday 13th at 8pm JST.

LINKS
Global Junior Tag League mini interview: Hitoshi Kumano 
Global Junior Tag League mini interview: Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka 
Global Junior Tag League mini interview: Hajime Ohara
Global Junior Tag League mini interview with Akitoshi Saito
Katsuhiko Nakajima interview on the late Silver King
Ten years after Misawa’s death in Hiroshima, champion Kaito Kiyomiya “looks at a new scenery”
Champ talk with Katsuhiko Nakajima 

PICTURE CREDITS: Daisuke Harada, Noah GHC, PKDK, Naomichi Marufuji 
Newsletter written by Hisame


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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PRO -WRESTLING NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.34~ 12TH MAY 2019

We’re in between events for NOAH! Hisame brings us updates, need to know information, and of course RATEL’S stuff!

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We’re in between events for NOAH! Hisame brings us updates, need to know information, and of course RATEL’S stuff!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
The new owners of NOAH seem to have done away with NOAH giving names to their interim tours, and these will now be known as “NOAH The SPIRIT”.

The interim tours between Global Tag League and Global Junior Tag League starting will run for three dates only – the 11th & 12th May and then the the final date on May 19th in Gunma.

NOAH are currently in the grip of an injury bug (three people out, please see below for updates\news), so the cards were changed accordingly with Keisuke Ishii and Kouki Iwasaki being drafted in.  

RATELS and Stinger (without YO-HEY) faced off again, with Tadasuke getting his second win over The Stinger team, this time over Kotaro Suzuki on the 12th by reversing The Endless Waltz into The Pac. Tadasuke, being Tadasuke, became manic saying that he “can’t control myself” and posting the crazy face icon.

In a more sedate tone, Yoshinari Ogawa tried the handshake again with Daisuke Harada on the 12th May event. I am afraid that I don’t know whether Harada took it or ignored it.

Due to his title challenge for the GHC Heavyweight title (9th June) and for the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles (13th June), Takashi Sugiura is now feuding with three people – AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima) and Kaito Kiyomiya. Sugiura and Shiozaki beat the hell out of each other on the 11th May, and there was an equally intense match against Katsuhiko Nakajima on the 12th. Neither the challenger or the champions, however, got the direct win over each other. 

Regarding the title challenges, Sugiura said he is blessed as a wrestler to have them, and even more so that these will take place at the Mitsuharu Misawa memorial shows at Korakuen Hall and Osaka.

Much to their dismay, Kongoh (the new unit of Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura and Atsushi Kotoge) lost their debut match on the 11th against Kaito Kiyomiya, Minoru Tanaka and Hi69. Kenoh and Kiyomiya made a beeline for each other, with Kenoh sticking his fist in Kiyomiya’s face (they didn’t roll around fighting in the streamers like two kids fighting in the playground this time).

Takashi Sugiura (intent on winding Kenoh up online, although aside from calling him a “thoughtlessly stupid old man”, Kenoh seems to be ignoring him now), said that their loss was due to having a comedy wrestler (Kotoge was pinned by Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Driver).
Kotoge, however, had other issues other than Kongoh.

His former tag team partner in “The Revolutionary Cloak Heroes”, Mitsuya Nagai, was furious that Kotoge had apparently ditched him for his new crew, and vowed revenge in their singles match which fans had named, “The Revolutionary Showdown”. Making small children cry, Nagai threw Kotoge into the crowd using both the “robber cloak” that Kotoge had given him and the chain that Kotoge had tried to remove from him. Kotoge was given the beat down of a lifetime.

Nagai says he “feels relieved” he doesn’t have to wear the cloak again. 

Kongoh debuted their tandem move on the 12th May, whereby Kitamiya (with the assist from Inamura) slam their opponent from the top turnbuckle, with Kenoh following up with the Diving Footstamp for the win.

After the match, Kenoh got on the microphone and started yelling about not being a “yes-man” to LIDET.

Normally, he would point to their banner, but he found that there wasn’t one in the arena today, and Kenoh being Kenoh (half paranoid, mostly angry), decided that they hadn’t put it up deliberately due to his angry ranting at it.

EVENT RECAPS
Saturday May 11th 2019, Ryumioka Kaikan, Ozaki City
Sunday May 12th 2019: Esupowaru Isanuma, Saitama

Post match promos: Ryumioka Kaikan, Ozaki City

NEWS

COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS (Kenoh’s column)Although the interview was done after KAIOH’S loss at Global Tag League, and Kenoh’s subsequent screaming fit at Kiyomiya leading to the dissolution of their team, Kenoh was actually quite restrained, and not spewing fire against the “22 year old 3 year career boy” as he termed him. Kenoh’s column veered between sounding like a concerned older brother, recounting happier times with him, and a dose of paranoia and anger towards LIDET.

YO-HEY UPDATE
YO-HEY was discharged from the hospital earlier in the week, and told that he must work on building up his strength, and not rush back to work. Various NOAH wrestlers (and others) had visited him in the hospital, with YO-HEY giving them hospital department names (Jiro Ikemen was from proctology and Atsushi Kotoge from mental health). The majority of wrestlers who visited played with the iron grabbing claw that YO-HEY had used to reach for things as he was bed bound with a tube in his lung, and most of the time YO-HEY found himself being pinched with it.

YO-HEY wants to make it clear that he is not returning to RATELS, he will be teaming with HAYATA as a member of Stinger, while HAYATA will remain with RATELS. He says he will address the situation on the May 19th in Gunma. He won’t be wrestling though. YO-HEY, however, did acknowledge that for Global Junior Tag league he wanted to reunite with HAYATA, if only for that event in the future.

Interestingly, there has been no mention of Stinger ever visiting him, while RATELS did (Tadasuke taunted him with cigarettes), but ultimately this may mean nothing.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI INJURED
NOAH announced at the start of “NOAH the SPIRIT 2019” that Naomichi Marufuji would miss the tour with a lower lumbar back hernia. So, while everyone went off with NOAH, Marufuji was left bored at home in Tokyo (no wrestling and no socializing). He was unable to sleep for the first two nights due to pain, but considered it his body adjusting to the condition when he was finally able to snatch a few hours. I think this injury is probably a left over from his manic year in 2018, although he has taken it easier this year, not appearing in any other promotions, and not participating in Global Tag League. Naturally, he got defensive when asked to take it easy and not rush back.

Although he is undergoing treatment, he has said that he will be back for the big match on the 28th May at Korakuen Hall where he will team with Jinsei Shinzaki and Daisuke Harada against Kenoh (who was Jinsei Shinzaki’s student), Masa Kitamiya and Atsushi Kotoge. The worrying thing is that even if he is not ready to come back, he will for this match, no matter the cost, and most likely the singles match with Go Shiozaki at the Misawa Memorial show on the 9th.

Given that Daisuke Harada and Marufuji can be childish when tagging together (like doing things to wind each other up like wanting to use the same turnbuckle to stand on during an entrance, not tagging each other in, and Harada not letting Marufuji join in with RATELS handshake, and then Marufuji refusing to let them leave by a certain exit), plus Kenoh’s hatred of Marufuji – Shinzaki may well find himself playing the adult. 

Marufuji has also hinted (normally at 1.30am JST) that he is looking for a tag partner…

CURRENT CHAMPIONS


One of NOAH’s new trainees on the tour bus

TOUR TIDBITS
~ Fans were greeted in Saitama by 50 Funky Powers disco ball spinning
~ Yoshinari Ogawa gave RATELS the finger
~ Apparently Kenoh & HAYATA sang an anime theme (translated into “Southern Country Boy”) for Tadasuke, who was planning to sing it on a show “Matsuko Deluxe”, but it was never aired.
~ Kinya Okada (whose nickname is apparently “Chunky”), is working towards his return, although no date has been given as of yet. Takashi Sugiura took a picture of him looking glum on the bus and said he was growing tired of looking at his “steep face”.
~ Two new trainees have been seen at ringside, naturally, we will not know the name of these boys until they debut (and of course, if they debut).
~ Kenoh said that when he used to second Jinsei Shinzaki, he would chant a sutra from Shikoku (his home island, and a sacred place for pilgrimages), that the monks would chant for protection on their travels.

BROADCASTS
The first night of Global Junior League will be broadcast live on G+ on May 28th 2019 at 6.30pm JST.

The 9th June show (the Misawa Memorial from Korakuen Hall, Tokyo and the second to last night of Global Junior Tag League) will be broadcast by G+ on Thursday 13th at 8pm JST.

LINKS
Reiwa’s Pro Wrestlers: Kaito Kiyomiya
Takashi Sugiura to challenge for the title on Misawa Memorial night in JuneTakashi Sugiura’s double GHC challenge at the two Misawa Memorial eventsDouble challenge for the GHC titles, Sugiura’s peak at 49 years old“NOAH The Spirit 2019” autograph scheduleAkitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue “Moving Centre” with a resurrection of The Dark Agents

PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC, PKDX, Tadasuke
Newsletter written by Hisame


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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