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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (7/18/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4, “Break the Machine”

The Machine called Cage wants to be Lucha Underground Champion, and is willing to break Pentagon Dark to do it. Will he succeed? Or end up broken instead?

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of frentique.tumblr.com

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ancient Aztec Medallion Match: Paul London w/ The Rabbit Tribe VS Desmond X; Desmond wins the seventh and final Aztec Medallion.
  • Odd One Out Over the Top Rope Battle Royal: The Mack wins, and chooses ??? to be left out of the Gift of the Gods Championship match.
  • Johnny Mundo w/ Taya VS Vibora w/ Kobra Moon; Vibora wins.
  • Lucha Underground Championship: Pentagon Dark VS Cage; Pentagon wins and retains the Lucha Underground Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Ancient Aztec Medallion Match: Paul London w/ The Rabbit Tribe VS Desmond X

The Mad Hatter has a new edge after sacrificing Mascarita Sagrada, but he faces a new face in the Temple for the seventh and final spot in the Gift of the Gods Championship match. Can Desmond make an impact in his debut?

The bell rings, but Desmond is distracted by Saltador and Mala Suerte jumping in and running around. London hits Desmond in the opening, then stomps and hammers away. London chokes Desmond at the ropes, then tucks him in. Mala and Saltador hold Desmond in place for the basement dropkick! Desmond tumbles out of the ring, but the others hold him up. London runs in again, but Desmond sends the harebrained henchmen into the dropkick! Desmond goes up to the apron to mule kick London down, then Arabian Press moonsault! London gets out of the way, so Desmond only hits Saltador and Mala. London is back in the ring, and slingshots to wreck Desmond with another dropkick. He drags Desmond up and into the ring to slingshot to the Oklahoma Roll. TWO, and Desmond crawls to a corner.

London goes over and rains down lefts and rights with frantic fury. Desmond crawls away but London is on him again. Desmond shoves then ducks London to hit a back elbow. London walks into a strike fest and leaping complete shot! Fans rally behind Desmond as he aims at London, but the henchmen grab his feet! London runs in, but Desmond gets free and lets London hit buckles. Desmond runs in but into boots. London climbs up, but Desmond springs up to super headscissor London down! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer Desmond while London rolls away. Desmond gets up and runs corner to corner, but misses the uppercut. London runs but hits buckles again, and Desmond hits a swing kick. Desmond goes for a tornado DDT but London powers out of it. Desmond handspring Pele kicks London down! Cover, TWO, but Desmond keeps going.

Desmond climbs up top and takes aim, but London rolls away. Desmond rolls through his 450, but then turns around into London’s double knees! London goes full rabies as he foams at the mouth. He stalks Desmond then brings him up, but the tiger suplex is countered to a wheelbarrow pin! Desmond wins!

Winner: Desmond X; wins the final Aztec Medallion

From debut to a Gift of the Gods contender, Desmond has the X factor needed to survive in the Temple. Will he also use that same potential to be the next GotG Champion?

 

Antonio Cueto presents the Gift of the Gods Championship.

He congratulates Desmond X on becoming the final entrant for next week’s massive GotG match. Antonio has been a promoter for over 40 years, and can’t ever remember such a star-studded match. “Next week is gonna be epico!” But that means the seven fighters must now place their medallions in the belt to officially claim a spot in Lucha Underground history. Introducing first: Dragon Azteca Jr! The Eagle Tribe’s representative heads down the stairs, and places the Snake Tribe medallion. Second is King Cuerno, the King of Hunters! He presents the medallion of his Deer Tribe. Third is Ivelisse, the Baddest Bitch in the Temple. She enters her first ever GotG match as she presents the Moth Tribe medallion. Fourth is Desmond X, who only just won the Rabbit medallion.

Fifth is Son of Havoc, who won alongside The Mack just last week. Havoc places the Jaguar Tribe’s medallion, followed by The Mack presenting the Eagle Tribe medallion. And last but not least, Mil Muertes! He appears with Catrina to present the Death Tribe’s medallion. All seven medallions are in the belt, and all seven competitors stand in the ring. Antonio wishes to have some fun. “To some, seven is a lucky number. But I have always found it to be unlucky.” That means that next week, ONLY SIX will get to compete. Because tonight, the odd man–or woman–out will be decided in a surprise Over the Top Rope Battle Royal! The winner gets to choose who doesn’t join the rest of them next week!! “What’re you waiting for?! FIGHT!!”

Odd One Out Over the Top Rope Battle Royal!

The bell rings, Catrina gets out of the way, and all seven luchadors go at it! Cuerno goes after Ivelisse while Muertes takes care of both The Mack and Desmond X. Azteca and Havoc stay clear while Cuerno tries to toss Ivelisse. She fights back while Azteca runs into Muertes’ barreling shoulder. Muertes throws and ELIMINATES Cuerno! Muertes then targets Ivelisse as she climbs up top. He grabs her by the throat, then throws her out onto Cuerno! Ivelisse is ELIMINATED! Muertes then grabs Desmond and ELIMINATES him with a single toss! Azteca staggers up but runs into Muertes, who powerbomb lifts him. Azteca counters with a headscissors while Mack and Havoc work together, they all ELIMINATE Muertes! Of course, Aztec is also ELIMINATED for touching the floor, leaving just The Mack and Havoc!

Havoc and Mack, two thirds of the Lucha Underground Trios Champions, must now face each other. This will decide who is completely gone from the Gift of the Gods Championship match. The fans are divided, but Havoc assures Mack that it’s no big deal. Havoc then DIVES onto everyone else!! And he ELIMINATES himself! The Mack wins!

Winner: The Mack

That was surprising to everyone, including The Mack! He respects Havoc’s self-sacrifice, but now who will he say is not in the GotG match? Mack thinks for a moment. He ain’t afraid of no man, but “Mil Muertes scares the shit out of me.” In other words, sorry, but Muertes is out! Mack takes his leave and Catrina and Muertes are pissed, but Muertes does something about it! He attacks everyone else!! He blasts through Cuerno, Havoc and Azteca, throws Ivelisse down, then Choke Slams Desmond! But none of it matters, he’s still out. Who of the remaining six will take the Gift of the Gods Championship, and then use it to challenge THE Lucha Underground Champion?

 

Johnny Mundo w/ Taya VS Vibora w/ Kobra Moon!

A war of factions has broken out in Lucha Underground between the Worldwide Underground and the Reptile Tribe. Can the Guru of Greatness lead his team to vengeful victory with a win over #Luchasaurus? Or will Mundo end up the one going to #SlamTown?

The bell rings, and Mundo gets a waistlock and kick. He kicks but Vibora blocks and uppercuts back. They circle, and Mundo sticks and moves with the giant snake man. That superman rabbit punch staggers Vibora, but Vibora comes back with a forearm of his own. Vibora runs, but Taya grabs his feet. Mundo runs, but Kobra returns the favor. The luchadoras take notice of each other, and they get in the ring now! Taya SPEARS Kobra! “Wera Loca” throws the Queen of Snakes out, and Vibora grows concerned for his monarch. The referee gets distracted keeping the luchadoras apart, so he doesn’t see Mundo’s low blow mule kick out of the pop-up! Mundo adds the Flying Chuck! Then the shining wizard to standing shooting star! Cover, ONE and Vibora sits up. Vibora drags Mundo up, fireman’s carry, modified Widomaker!

But Vibora isn’t done yet. He brings Mundo back up, whips him to a corner, then runs in for the big back elbow. He keeps going, boot wash! Vibora has the Believers on his side as he gives Mundo a Vibora Trigger! Mundo is rocked, but Vibora drags him back up for a straitjacket to torture rack, BURNING HAMMER! Cover, TWO!! Mundo somehow survives, but Vibora grabs him around the throat now. Choke Slam but Mundo slips out to hit a BIG Poison-Rana! Vibora’s up, front Spike-Rana! Fans rally up as Mundo climbs. But Vibora sits up again! Mundo isn’t sure what to do, so he CARTWHEEL DIVES onto Kobra! Fans lose their minds while Taya trash talks Kobra. But Vibora is only angered by this offense to his queen. The WWU flip him off and he gives chase, but the Darewolf, PJ Black, is lurking with a chair.

Mundo leads Vibora around the ring while Taya keeps the ref distracted. They turn the corner and SMACK! PJ gets a direct shot on Vibora. Mundo drags the dead weight up and into the ring, then climbs up. Fin Del Mundo! Cover, TWO!??! How?! Believers are behind Vibora but Mundo is furious. He SUPERKICKS the referee! PJ brings in chairs and Taya joins in. They all toy with the Luchasaurus, then put a chair around the neck. Mundo grabs the other chair, but here comes Drago! The firespitter of the Reptile Tribe flies in to missile dropkick Mundo down! He baits Taya and PJ away, so Daga can come in to swing on them! The Reptile King and Knight chase off the WWU minions and that leaves us with Vibora and Mundo 1v1.

Mundo grabs a chair while the fans duel. Vibora stands, ducks and handsprings, to SUPERKICK the chair, then SUPERKICK Mundo! He whips Mundo, for the powerbomb! Then, CHOKE SLAM! Standing moonsault! A new referee comes in to count, TWO!! “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Vibora drags Mundo up, puts him in a corner, then takes aim from across the way. But Ricky Mundo appears to save his hero! But then Vibora goes to the corner for the ASAI!

Believers are thunderous as he wipes both Mundos out. Vibora puts Johnny Mundo in the ring, then climbs up again. Mundo springs to life and ducks under to then roundhouse Vibora. SUPERKICK, too, then hook kick! Mundo runs but into a headbutt! Vibora grabs at Mundo but Mundo slips and slides around for another swing kick. Mundo springboards, but into a SUPER CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, Vibora wins!

Winner: Vibora, by pinfall

The Luchasaurus defeats a former Lucha Underground Champion, and Kobra Moon helps him celebrate. But wait, the WWU return to SMACK them down with chairs! But that just brings Daga and Drago back! They take those chairs and use them on PJ and Taya. Ricky gets a SUPERKICK from Drago, then a hesitation dropkick from Daga. PJ SUPERKICKS Daga back, but then the brawl continues. Ricky gives the WWU numbers advantage but that’s still not enough to stop the fight. This war is far from over, which side will be left standing after the dust settles?

 

XO Lishus works out backstage.

He’s a maniac, maniac~… In his mind. But Jack Evans is spying on him, still upset over the #PutUporShutUp defeat he suffered weeks ago. No one gets the better of him, no one! But then Ricky and Rosa the doll show up. What’s Jack doing? Spying on his enemy to learn everything about them. What’s Ricky doing? Recovering after getting his ass beat by the Reptiles. Jack should’ve been out there to help. Look, Ricky, Jack already said he doesn’t do snakes. Johnny was okay with it, so you and that “dirty ass doll” better mind your own business. Jack storms out, but Rosa says she doesn’t like Jack. Neither does Ricky. Maybe they should do to Jack what they did to Angelico. No, Ricky can’t. Johnny would be mad. But who’s in charge of Ricky’s life? Johnny? Or Ricky? Or perhaps, it’s Rosa…?

 

Lucha Underground Championship: Pentagon Dark VS Cage!

After The Machine attacked the Bone Collector and put him through a table, the champion got payback while giving Cage what he wants. Will Cage finally grab hold of the top Aztec gold? Or will Pentagon and his #CeroMiedo add the arm of a Machine to the collection?

Fans are already thunderous as they duel between the two luchadors. More Believers are on Pentagon’s side than Cage’s, but that doesn’t deter the challenger. Cage hits before the bell as he blasts Pentagon off the apron! The bell rings so now Cage’s assault is official. He throws big forearms then throws Pentagon into railing. Pentagon kicks back, but Cage forearms again. Cage throws Pentagon into more railing, then kicks him across the face. The Terminator drums start up and Cage throws Pentagon over the stair guard rails! Then he bounces Pentagon off the announce desk. Cage scoop slams Pentagon to the floor, then brings him up. Pentagon hits back with haymakers and kicks, then grabs a camera cable to choke Cage with it! The referee reprimands Pentagon, and Pentagon lets up on Cage to shout at the ref. Cage takes advantage and back suplexes Pentagon on the apron!

Pentagon slumps to the floor, but Cage drags him up again. Cage goes bowling for chairs with Pentagon! He throws Pentagon into railings again, then ties his mask to them! Cage fires off boots and forearms to hammer Pentagon into the steel. Fans chant “We Want Tables” and Cage goes looking. When he can’t find any, he takes Matt Striker’s chair! Cage brings the chair over to Pentagon and swings on him! Thankfully, Pentagon unties his mask and narrowly escapes! Pentagon SUPERKICKS Cage, then Slingblades Cage down! The Believers fire up with the champion, and “CERO MIEDO!” echoes out. Pentagon puts Cage in the ring for flying double stomps! Cover, ONE, and Pentagon is shocked. But Pentagon keeps his cool, he waits for Cage to stand to kick that leg. Pentagon then grabs Cage for the driver but Cage slips out to hit a jumping knee.

Cage grabs Pentagon now, pumphandle driver! But he isn’t done, as he drags Pentagon up again. Cage powerbomb lifts, buckle bomb! Pentagon rolls out but can’t get away. Cage deadlift SUPERPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Pentagon survives because Cage didn’t grab the legs. Believers duel as Cage slashes the throat. Cage drags Pentagon up in the fireman’s carry but Pentagon slips out for a backstabber! Cage goes to discus but Pentagon counters with a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Pentagon’s own ego allows Cage to survive. Pentagon climbs up but Cage grabs him onto his shoulders. Cage walks around with the electric chair, to throw Pentagon down with a facebuster. Cover, TWO!

Cage keeps his cool, but Pentagon escapes the powerbomb with an enziguri! SUPERKICK added, and then a flying DESTROYER! But Cage gets back up, so he gets another Destroyer! Pentagon grabs Cage, Package Piledriver!! Cover, Pentagon wins!

Winner: Pentagon Dark; still Lucha Underground Champion

Neither man nor machine is enough to stop the darkness that fuels Pentagon. However, Cage gets a second win and swings on Pentagon! Pentagon ducks the discus, to smash Cage with the belt. He hears the Believers chant “Break his arm!” Pentagon makes sure to tell Cage that the title is his, before putting on the Dark Armbar! But wait, Cage powers out! Cage lifts Pentagon, to F5 him onto the belt! Fans boo and jeer, but Cage picks up the belt for his own. Cage tells Pentagon, “I already told you. You can’t break my arm, because I’m not a man… I’m a MACHINE!” Even so, Pentagon retained. Will Cage find a way to challenge Pentagon again? Or is it back of the line for this unbreakable behemoth?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Great stuff tonight for Lucha Underground, with plenty of surprises, too. I like the character change for Paul London after what he did last week, but it seems it was for naught with the debuting Impact Wrestling star, Desmond Xavier, winning over him. Desmond joins the Gift of the Gods match, and that battle royal was fast but very important. I was surprised to see just how strongly Face Son of Havoc is as he bites the bullet for The Mack. And then Mack makes a perfectly logical choice to keep Muertes out of this match. Muertes is incredibly strong, which he shows off by eliminating the majority of the field, so why wouldn’t another wrestler want to avoid him? Plus, Muertes still has his part to play in Catrina’s story, so he isn’t without something to do.

Mundo VS Vibora was great, and really gives us a look at what Vibora can do in the ring. However, with Taya, PJ, Ricky, Daga and Drago running in and out, it makes it clear that WWU has the numbers advantage though the Reptiles clearly have strength. The Reptiles still might have to recruit members to keep even with the WWU, because an Elimination Tag match could easily go the WWU’s way. Though, Jack uses his own reasons for not being involved, and it seems XO is going to be a personal rival of his. Ricky being revealed as the reason Angelico is gone this season is perfectly creepy for his new gimmick, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was also used as to why other stars aren’t returning, such as Dante Fox.

The Lucha Underground Championship match went as expected, but I like that Cage keeps himself strong with that attack. Antonio Cueto might give Cage another chance separate from Gift of the Gods, and there’s still the issue of the Gauntlet of the Gods, too. There’s a lot that can happen for Pentagon and the Lucha Underground title, and unpredictability is always what’s best for pro-wrestling.

My Score: 8.5/10

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The Chairshot Match Of The Year Final Match Pool

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How did the last week of voting pan out for Second Chance and November? Only one way to find out. Take a look at our 12 MOTY matches and let’s see where Andrew’s 5 votes are going.






Last week was our final vote to round out the 12 matches in the Match of the Year pool.  Since we love Top 5s here, the idea will be for everyone to whittle the 12, down to their 5 favorite, and then we get our final 5 to vote on.

Let’s see what matches we have in our MOTY Pool:

  • January – NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas(c)
  • February – New Beginning in Osaka IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs SANADA
  • March – NJPW Strong Style Evolved: Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks
  • April – NXT Takeover NOLA NXT Championship: Andrade Almas(c) vs Aleister Black
  • May – WWE Backlash Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs The Miz
  • June – NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs Kenny Omega
  • July – G1 Climax 28: Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
  • August – G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
  • September – All In NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis(c)
  • October – Evolution SmackDown Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch(c) vs Charlotte
  • November – NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa (c)
  • December/Second Chance – Impact Wrestling Redemption World Championship Triple Threat: Fenix vs Austin Aries (c) vs Pentagon Jr

Now as you can see, the overall list has some decent balance. Five from New Japan and WWE, along with 2 outlier matches. So it’s not heavily tipped one way or the other.

For the rest of this article I’ll just list out my 5 picks from this list, and then we can get to everyone’s votes.

 

5. NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream

This makes my Top 5 from our MOTY pool because this was just a good combination of all things wrestling. Solid wrestling, homages, callbacks, high suspense moments, big crowd reactions…just everything. Sure it might not have been a work rate master piece, but there’s more to wrestling than work rate.

 

4. NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega

This was almost a given since it already won Tokyo Sports Best Bout, which marks the fifth year in a row Okada was involved in the Best Bout, and the first time since Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa that the same pairing won back to back. Though it wasn’t the best of their four matches in my opinion, you can’t overlook the storyline ramifications.

We saw this match finish off the ascent of Kenny Omega, as well as, send Kazuchika Okada into some goofy balloon loving spiral. Love or hate the Elite, this story had a lot of attention and was told pretty damn well.

 

3. All In NWA Championship: Cody vs Nick Aldis (c)

In a similar vein to the Okada/Omega match, this had a lot of story significance. Cody challenging for all of the World Championships he could was one, him trying to be the first second generation wrestler to capture the NWA Championship was another and of course, the emotions tied with Dusty was the one most of us cared about.

As I said when I reviewed All In, this match was a love letter to his father. Yes it was a very old school southern style match. Obvious blade jobs, a goofy possible knock out for the DDP pop, Brandi putting herself in the way of a move to protect her husband, this was all love. It was a match I think most old school fans would enjoy, and unless you really need flips or work rate, this match evoked some emotion out of most watchers.

This is wrestling.

 

2. NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas (c)

An early contender that still holds up nicely. This was the first match since Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura to really just blow me away. They both turned it up, the double knees into the post looked brutal and the whole thing was a great culmination of Andrade’s character.

It was after this match, most of us were sold that he figured it out and would be huge. Now we just have to hope Vince sees it too.

 

1. G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

It’s not often we get a match where one of the competitors considers the other one God. Ibushi and Tanahashi have immense respect for each other, and they also have an undeniable chemistry. Ibushi gets a lot labels as a “flippy shit” wrestler, but he sells wonderfully and knows how to tell a story in the ring.

On top of Ibushi’s athletic prowess and overall wrestling ability, we couple that with Tanahashi’s masterful pacing and his own artistic way of building a match…this was just poetry in motion. It definitely helps this is my personal number 1 match all year, so of course I was ecstatic that it made The Chairshot MOTY pool. Beautiful match.

 

Thoughts:

If you didn’t partake much in the match votes leading up to this pool, now’s you’re chance to make your voice heard. Vote for your Top 5, and then we can have the final vote starting next week, for our second Chairshot MOTY. Our first ever vote went to, NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada (c).

Will New Japan end up winning this year also?






What are your Top 5 out of these 12? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.14 ~ 14TH DECEMBER 2018

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The endless well of NOAH knowledge, Hisame, bring us updates and news leading up to NOAH’s final show of the year, Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2.

 

NEWS

TOKYO SPORTS PURORESU AWARDS 2018
Tokyo Sports announced their nominations for their annual end of year awards. NOAH have not been included since 2016 when Katsuhiko Nakajima won “The Fighting Spirit Award” and Naomichi Marufuji won “Best Bout”.

Although Takashi Sugiura was a runner up nominee in “Outstanding Performance”, this went to Naomichi Marufuji (who has won “Best Bout” in 2006, 2008 and 2016, “Outstanding Performance” in 2006, “Best Tag Team” (with KENTA) in 2003, and “Newcomer Award” in 1999). 

Kaito Kiyomiya has won his first award for “Fighting Spirit”.

Kaito Kiyomiya, being Kiyomiya, at first couldn’t believe it. He thought he had either been nominated for “Best Newcomer”, despite having debuted three years ago, or that someone was joking.

YO-HEY IN IPW
IPW have announced that YO-HEY is the second NOAH wrestler to compete in their Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament on Tuesday 15th January 2019 in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
Tickets can be bought here

YO-HEY said when RATELS were due to come over in 2018 that he was excited as this would be his first time in England, and he wanted to meet Mr. Bean.

Yes. I guess a man described as a “childish buffoon who brings various unusual schemes and contrivances to everyday tasks” would get on very well with YO-HEY.

Expect another two NOAH names to (hopefully) be announced.

POWER HALL 2018
NOAH wrestlers have been announced for “Power Hall Year End Special” on December 28th.

Masa Kitamiya and Kaito Kiyomiya will be in “Timeless Masterpeice” (main event) teaming with Riki Chosu & Tatsumi Fujinami (Kitamiya) and NOSAWA and Kasai (Kiyomiya)

Katsuhiko Nakajima will be in a four man tag and renew his rivalry with Takuya Nomura in “Ultimate Collision”

Heisei Ishingun will reunite (Akitoshi Saito and AKIRA)

HAKATA STALENE CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
Hakata Stalene has been closed for renovation until March 2019. There is some concern that when it reopens it will not be used for puro, which will be not only disaster for the local residents, but promotions who come to the area too.

YO-HEY & HAYATA OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
YO-HEY & HAYATA will be appearing in Kushinbo Kamen’s New Year Produce on the 28th December, and they recorded this video message.
Question: how can someone covering their face by a hood, STILL look SO PHOTOGENIC?

 

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH wrapped up a short (compared to the frenetic pace of last year) “Winter Navigation 2018”. Sadly due to the snowy weather rolling into the provinces (and I think as one fan said, not having a streaming service which severely impacts as people don’t sometimes know what is going on), attendances have not been good with only one night in five being sold out.

Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima announced that they have split from “The Super New Generation Army” and stand as a team called “The Mid Generation” as they both debuted in 2004; so despite being part of the “Golden Era”, they stand now in the era between the vets and the younger heavyweights. This makes more sense for both of them, Shiozaki in particular who was in a grey area being too old for the younger heavyweights and too young for the veterans.

I think this was probably always NOAH’s intention to have them break away from the others at some point, especially now Kiyomiya is not so dependent on Shiozaki and needs less input. The GHC Heavyweight tag championships that Shiozaki has held recently have been for him to get other people (Kotoge & Kiyomiya) over in the heavyweight division, so this is one is for him to enjoy with a partner who certainly needs no favors.

Although the two are far too green to be involved in any storylines (as much as NOAH has them) or heated feuds, Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura are slowly building into a feud, with Inamura refusing to shake hands with Okada the second time he lost to him and leaving the ring. Looking at the size of them, these two are going to be ultra heavyweights one day. 

Due to injury, Chinese athlete, Chang Yufeng, has been pulled from the NOAH cards and is working ringside duties. This means that Lin Dong-Xuan has had his first singles matches and faced Tadasuke on the 9th in the resulting card shake-up.

None of the champions or their challengers have managed to directly get the win over each other in any of the pre-matches.

Yuji Hino made a definite impact (a Kotoge shaped impact) when Shiozaki and Nakajima clashed with himself and Taniguchi in their one and only pre-match by giving him “The Fucking Bomb”. Hino (whom Nakajima has called The Hooligans “pet pig”) has not been in NOAH due to his schedule since the 9th December. Nakajima says he will “silence his noisy oinking” at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”

Hino then went on to insult most of The Hooligans (aside from KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Mitsuya Nagai). He’s probably not going to take well to being called names either.

Kotaro Suzuki said something to the effect that Daisuke Harada walked in and took the seat he had left empty. Harada said this untrue as he came here from Osaka Pro, and that no one wants his damn seat anyway, they all have their own. Harada said he cannot afford to lose in Yokohama, after all, much more is on the line than just the belt.
Suzuki’s last comment before the title match is that people should cheer for Harada (who he called “truly my puppet”) because he was going to crush him and take everything from him.

Hajime Ohara hinted that there is a mini generational war going on among the juniors with Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 having the tag belts, and Kotaro Suzuki having the GHC Junior. There was tension between The Backbreakers and the GHC Junior Tag Champions at the match signing with Kumano and Tanaka squaring up. 

Minoru Tanaka likened the title match in Yokohama to be like a barbecue with butter falling into the fire, and told Hajime Ohara on the last night that he was the “burnt scum” of it when Ohara sarcastically told him to enjoy the taste of his barbecue.

Takashi Sugiura and Kaito Kiyomiya continued to stalemate, with Sugiura telling Kiyomiya that he had better bring his energy to Yokohama. In a post match promo on the 12th he said that he was going to “win a way that he cannot stand up” either by knockout, pin or referee stop.

GHC BELT NEWS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

All titles will be challenged for on the 16th December at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”

Kaito Kiyomiya will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight
Daisuke Harada will challenge for the GHC Junior
Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag
The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) will challenge for the GHC Junior Tag

TOUR TIDBITS
~ President Uchida told Katsuhiko Nakajima that “I don’t kick people, and laugh” when discussing teams for Masao Inoue’s bowling tournament
~ Atsushi Kotoge got his cape back that Yoshinari Ogawa threw into the audience at Korakuen Hall
~ YO-HEY had planned to go buffo to use the dojo tanning machine, but unsurprisingly, December is too cold and the dojo doesn’t have much in the way of either heating or air-con, and he apologized for the inconvenience of his not getting naked. Please let that be the end of his story.
~ Atsushi Kotoge started waving The Hooligans flag around (they had left it behind), his cloak also broke and Kumano took a secret picture of him fixing it.
~ Naomichi Marufuji has been able to start very light training. Makoto Hashi (old dojo friend from the AJPW days) has been helping him with physiotherapy (he trained as one when he retired from NOAH), and they talked of old times during the rehabilitation sessions.
~ Everyone in NOAH has a nickname, Kinya Okada’s is apparently “Oka-chan”
~ Atsushi Kotoge was scolded for timekeeping by Go Shiozaki and then Takashi Sugiura for taking too long rushing around the hall
~ This was apparently Tadasuke’s first time in a NOAH  ring against Takashi Sugiura (he showed “amazing power” when he lariated Sugiura according to a fan)
~ Kinya Okada gave a post match interview for his debut, he says he admires everyone, but he has no hero. He wants to be his own wrestler.
~ Hitoshi Kumano has picked up a nasty looking black eye during the last three days of “Winter Navigation 2018”.
~ The top of Kinya Okada’s head and hair vanished on the entry screen into the blue background due to a glitch, making him look like one of the “Coneheads”.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya celebrated his third anniversary in wrestling on the 9th December
~ Masao Inoue told Quiet Storm not to chop him as “it hurts as its cold”.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya really likes tomatoes (says he will be the only person eating them at a buffet, his fridge is full of them, ate them at an interview instead of an apple).
~ Hi69 celebrated his 37th birthday on the 12th December.
~ Katsuhiko Nakajima has had a new t-shirt released…

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
He’s been good this week. Expect that to change after he’s had to behave himself at Yokohama.

BROADCASTS
The event on the 7th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December

BOOK CORNER

English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography “Heir to The Ark
(Chapters 1 and 2 are complete, 3 is currently ongoing)

Review of “Anything is possible ~ The Eddie Edwards Story

LINKS
“I have been with Noah for eighteen years, I have worn the belt and carried Noah” ~ mini interview with Takashi Sugiura. 
“I will change the scene with the win on the 16th December” ~ interview with Kaito Kiyomiya 
“I will not be beaten” ~ Kaito Kiyomiya pledges generation change by taking the GHC 
“Come At Me You Bastards” ~ Kenoh’s column (December 2018) 

Image credit ~ NOAH GHC

 

With Yokohama being the last big event; how will the landscape shake up? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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