We are back at Sendai Girls and the last show I did, we had a MOTY contender between Io Shirai and Meiko Satomura that ended in a draw and we also crowned a new champion when Hamada defeated Chihiro Hashimoto.
But I do have some bad news, Hamada had to vacate the championship when she got arrested for drug possession, meaning that her match with DASH had to be cancelled and we currently have no new Sendai Girls World Champion. However, they still have a show to do until they figure it out and this will be Io Shirai’s final appearance with the company before she has one more match to do at Stardom the day after, so I’m sure Meiko is gonna book a special show for such an occasion.
So let us…dive right in.
Manami vs. Mio Momono
Review: We got Manami taking on Mio Momono, who is from the promotion Marvelous That’s Women Pro Wrestling and yes that is a real promotion that is apart of the DDT Universe streaming service and that have a lot of promotions on their website for a low price too, I wanna get it but I have too many as it is, but definitely check it out since it’s more than DDT as you get BASARA, Marvelous, Tokyo Joshi Pro, and DNA for the same price as NJPW World. Anyway, Manami started off strong with some arm drags, takedowns, and some quick pins, but Mio countered it with a submission or two and would pin her down with Manami kicking out and Mio holding her down every time she kicked out to try and tire her out. The match is pretty basic with Mio having a bit more experience than Manami by two years and just working with Manami in the ring and Manami would get a few close calls with a roll-up, but Mio would turn it around and hits a Crossbody off the ropes to get the pinfall.
Recommended: Decent and short, so really up to you.
KAORU vs. Mai Mizuochi
Review: We got KAORU in action here as she takes on a newcomer to the wrestling scene, Mai Mizuochi and I wish her welcome and let’s see what she brings to the table here. I am disappointed by the lack of giant lollipops by KAORU here, I was expecting her to offer a giant lollipop to distract her like the last time I covered this show, I am sad now.
KAORU would beat Mai down and bring her to the outside right away to start beating her up until she brings her back into the ring and just kept beating her down to give Mai no offense in this match whatsoever. KAORU would taunt her Oedo Tai style and would go to the ropes where she’s handed a frame to drop on her, but Mai would roll out of the way in time. KAORU was about to put the frame away but Mai would finally get some offense in and Dropkicks her down while she was distracted and would top it off with three Running Crossbody’s in a row and only got a two count out of it. Mai would hit one more Crossbody but off the second rope to get another two count and would even hit a nice Suplex with a good bridge, but still another kick out with also another Crossbody and KAORU keeps kicking out. KAORU would have Mai up for a Suplex and holds her up in the air for about ten seconds and turns it into a Brainbuster for a two count and it looked like Mai was gonna get some momentum but gets kicked in the midsection a few times before getting hit with another Brainbuster and Mai kicks out of it. KAORU would stop playing around as she would hit the Excalibur for the victory over Mai. Mai so far has been rather impressive, she’s got a good look, good energy, and seems to have some potential. I’ll be keeping an eye on her.
Recommended: Solid match for what it was. Worth at least a viewing.
Aiger vs. Sakura Hirota
Review: Our next match is with our vets Aiger taking on Sakura Hirota. The two start to lock up and do their little shoulder tackle spot but Sakura would point to the rope where she was gonna run and Aiger just points the other way for her to go, which she says yes and does it just to get tackles down anyway.
Sakura would attempt an Old School only to get pushed between the ropes and would still find a way to clap to get the fans behind her which also makes Aiger pick her back up so she would stand on the ropes again and once she does, she starts talking to the crowd until she fell down again and Aiger tries to tackle her this time and slips causing her to slide outside. Sakura would attempt to do a Suicide Dive and would have half her body go through as the bottom half hit the middle ropes and fell down and I thought Aiger would attack her, but no since they just…run around the ring until they got back in to beat the count and even the referee tells them to not do it again and guess what? They do it anyway. They go back in again and Sakura would put something in the referee’s back pocket before going back out again and tries to distract Aiger with a child as she walked up to the child to touch his face…pause. The referee would go outside and found out that there was candy that was placed in his back pocket and gave it back to Sakura and Aiger would try to Clothesline the both of them as they ducked and then Aiger chased Sakura around again until they decided to chase the referee into the ring. I don’t mind comedy here and there when it’s not over the top, but is there even a match going on or is this intermission? Aiger went for a Clothesline and accidentally hits the referee to knock him out and would hit another one on Sakura to try and pin her, but there’s no ref. Aiger picked him up and looked annoyed but Sakura would hit the Thousand Years of Death on both of them (I can’t believe I just wrote this) and would try to hit Aiger and gets kicked by the referee instead and Aiger would try to go for the Powerbomb, but gets reversed into a Frankensteiner for a two count when Aiger spat white mist into her to roll her up and Sakura now kicked out. Aiger would have her up in a Razors Edge position and lands a Sitout Powerbomb for the win. I’m gonna be honest, I really didn’t like this match as not only it was sloppy, but also way too gimmicky for my taste. The Aiger gimmick is also way too gimmicky and I normally don’t mind stuff like this, but it just dragged and was way over the top.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Aja Kong, Nyla Rose & Rydeen Hagane vs. Ami Sato, Hiroyo Matsumoto & Manami Katsu
Recommended: We now get a six-man tag with some people from OZ Academy like Aja Kong and Hiroyo Matsumoto, Sendai Girls own Ami Sato, Manami Katsu and Rydeen from Pure-J, and Nyla Rose who is a Freelancer.
It looked like part of the match got cut out, but it starts on here with Aja being tagged in with Ami in the ring with her trying to knock her down with shoulder tackles and had no luck of doing so and would even get knocked down but would try to roll her up and failed due to Aja being too heavy for her and would try to sit on Ami, but she rolled out of the way and lead to Hiroyo and Katsu to all beat her down and held her arms out as Ami jumped on to of Aja to do the JAN taunt until they got pushed off. Nyla would get a quick tag in to show off her strength and hits a Stalling Suplex for a two count and would tag Rydeen in now as she hits a Scoop Slam for a two count, Ami would try her best to fight her off but it wasn’t enough and Rydeen went to run to the ropes and got stopped by Hiroyo to give Ami some time to tag Manami in. Manami and Rydeen would start wailing each other with some pretty stiff forearms and would last for a bit until Manami hits a Back Suplex on her to get the both of them down as they both tag in Nyla and Hiroyo into the match now as they two would try to Clothesline each other down with none of them falling, but Nyla would hit a Drop Toehold and then Dropkick her right after that. Nyla ran to the ropes but Ami would hold her down for Hiroyo to hit a Clothesline onto Nyla and picked her up for a Torture Rack before dropping her down and she would get beat down with Rydeen hitting a Splash off the second rope and Nyla hitting a rather sloppy Swanton Bomb for a two count when Manami broke the count. Aja gets tagged in now and would hit a Backdrop onto Hiroyo for a two count and would start striking her until Hiroyo would knock her down with a back elbow and once Hiroyo would try to go for the tag, Ami for some reason would push Manami off the apron so she could get tagged in…I guess she wanted to prove herself. Ami would keep tackling Aja onto the turnbuckle to try and daze Aja as she would try to pick her up for a Scoop Slam and no way she was gonna get far with that, Manami would try to help Ami out despite being pushed a couple minutes ago to try and go for a Double Suplex, but failed with Aja hitting a Brainbuster on both of them. Aja and Rydeen would try to squash Ami between them but she moved out of the way for them to collide and Ami rolled Aja up for another two count and she was gonna strike again until Aja would hit a Lariat for a two count and would then pick Ami up for the Brainbuster to win the match.
Recommended: This was a decent match and Ami impressed me the most out of the six despite Hiroyo being great. I would say give it a watch if you want to.
Sendai Girls Tag Team Title Match
Cassandra Miyagi & Heidi Katrina (c) vs. Alex Lee & Mika Iwata
Review: We got our only title match set up for the evening with Casandra Miyagi and Heidi Katrina with their second championship defense against Strong Style Rush, Alex Lee and Mika Iwata. The last time they fought for the tag team titles was on the April 22nd show and the champions were able to retain them, but now it looks like they’re gonna go at it one more time here and maybe they’ll get the chance to get the titles or will lightning strike twice and have the champions retain? Well, we’re gonna find out. While Alex and Mika were deciding who should go in first, the champs would attack them from behind and have them outside the ring for a little brawl before having them go back in to try and do more damage to them. They went for an Irish Whip and SSR would reverse it to hit a Dropkick on the both of them and it looked like Heidi was still standing as they kicked her down to size and ran after her to hit a double knee strike. It looks like Mika would be the legal person for the other team and Heidi knocks her down right away with a forearm before tagging in Cassandra and would for some reason bang her head around like she’s listening to a heavy metal song for some reason before grabbing Mika’s hair and kept pulling her back and forth until she decides to let go of her. Cassandra went to go for a kick and Mika catches her leg and would kick her back and grab her arm as she goes to the top rope for an arm drag to take her down and gives her a Dropkick before tagging in her partner, Alex and she gives Cassandra a German Suplex and looked like she was on her knees before they Superkick her and kicks out at two.
The champs would start to get the heat in the match with Cassandra and Heidi beating down Alex a few times before tagging each other back in and would stop once Alex kicked Cassandra down and she went to go for the tag, but Mika was knocked down and Cassandra would throw Alex to the outside and went to go for a Suicide Dive, but she faked it by pulling an Andrade with how she held onto the rope as Heidi attacked Alex from behind and the two would attack her outside the ring. They get back in the ring as Cassandra tagged in Heidi to beat her down some more and would apply a Boston Crab on her while Cassandra came in to knock Mika down before she could attempt to break the hold and would attack Alex’s head until the referee would tell Cassandra to get off and Alex would roll out of the Boston Crab to attempt another tag as Mika got pulled down before she had the chance which gave Heidi an opening to apply the Crossface for a bit before tagging Cassandra back in. Cassandra would go for a kick and Alex blocks it to kick her back and hits an Enziguri before she finally makes the hot tag for Mika to go in and she would have Cassandra to the corner as she hits a Shining Wizard and it looked like she was going for a Suplex, but Cassandra would reverse it and Mika would flip out of it to kick her and would hit a few Dropkicks for a two count and hits a Superkick before another two count, but Mika would turn it into an Armbar right away. Mika would fight the both of them off for a moment until Cassandra would attack her from behind and went to throw her, but Mika catches her with her Thrust Kick and she went down fast before Mika hits another one and tags in Alex to try and finish it as she hits a Double Underhook Facebuster for a two count. Cassandra would find a way to tag in Heidi and she would hit a Brainbuster and a Leg Drop for a two count, then Heidi would throw Alex towards the turnbuckle as she would jump back to hit a Crossbody and drags Heidi close so she can hit a Double Stomp off the top rope and when she pinned her, Cassandra would break the hold and Alex quickly tags back in Mika who kicks Heidi a few times on the corner and would throw her down for a pin and she kicks out. Mika would throw Heidi and Heidi would hit a Dropkick before Cassandra goes into the ring now so they could throw her towards the turnbuckle and they run at her with some strikes to put her down for good measure and Heidi now spins Mika around like how Cesaro does his spinning move until she decides to let go and would hit her with a Scoop Slam. Heidi would go to the top rope, but Alex would fight her off while Mika does the same to Cassandra on the other side and throws Cassandra down so Alex and hit a Superplex to Heidi while landing on top of Casandra. Now Mika would jump onto Alex’s shoulder so she could Powerbomb her on top of Heidi to pin her, but Cassandra would break it up before the three count and now Alex would fight Cassandra on the outside while Mika does a Crossbody onto Heidi for another two count. Mika was doing her best to win with rolling Heidi up and even attempting the La Magistral, but Heidi would still kick out and while Mika ran to the rope, Cassandra came in to hit a Dropkick and even pick her up for an Electric Chair Dorp before Heidi picked her back up to hit a Running Powerslam and this could be it, but Alex saves the match by breaking it up. Heidi looked like she was gonna end it with her Diving Leg Drop, but Mika rolled out of the way and hits another Thrust Kick and it looked like she was gonna finish it as she climbed the rope, but Cassandra down push her off to give Heidi time to drag her over and hits the Diving Leg Drop to retain the titles.
Recommended: I really enjoyed the match between the two, I think it’s definitely worth a watch.
Tag Team Match
Chihiro Hashimoto & Meiko Satomura vs. DASH Chisako & Io Shirai
Review: This will be Io Shirai’s final appearance outside of Stardom before she does her final show the next day and then departs for the WWE as her last match will be a tag match with her partnering up with DASH Chisako as they take on Meiko Satomura and former Sendai Girls World Champion, Chihiro Hashimoto. With no champion, DASH and Chihiro are actually set to fight for the vacant title at Jinsei Shinzaki’s 25th Anniversary show on June 24th which I will be covering soon actually, so definitely keep an eye on it. Will Io win her final match with the company or will her team fail? DASH and Chihiro would start the match off to give us a little preview before their upcoming title match as the two would start with some chain wrestling and it looked like Chihiro would get the upper hand for a moment and DASH would attempt an arm drag, but Chihiro was too strong and hits one on DASH instead before jumping over her and DASH catches her with a Dropkick as Chihiro was still standing and would hit two more on her before she kicked out at one and quickly tagged in Io. Io would deliver stiff forearms to Chihiro and would go for a Crossbody but was caught and slammed down before she picked Io back up for an Abdominal Stretch until DASH tried to break it up, but Meiko came in to kick her down and apply a submission of her own until they both broke it up. Meiko gets tagged in now as she and Io would chain wrestle as well but ends with Meiko knocking her down with a shoulder tackle and Io kips up right away and catches her with the Crossface and as Chihiro tries to break it up, DASH came in to stop her and also apply a submission showing a bit of payback from a few minutes ago until the referee told them to break it off and Io kept the hold till Meiko had her foot on the rope.
Meiko would take Io down by her arm and would land her knees on top of Io before she made the tag to Chihiro and would start to dominate the match with her strength, but Io would find a way to counter and attempts a Double Underhook and Chihiro would flip her over despite Io landing on her feet to taunt her and as Chihiro would run to the ropes, Io followed and dragged her down before jumping over to hit a Dropkick and tags in DASH. DASH would first attempt a Double Stomp off the top rope and misses before having her thrown into the turnbuckle for her jumping knees and Chihiro would kick out and tag in Meiko who would just destroy DASH with her kicks and other strikes, but DASH found a way to throw her into the turnbuckle and tag in Io who does her famous running knees to the turnbuckle and Chihiro breaks the hold before they both throw her into the ropes as Io cartwheels and backflips away from them to hit them with a Double Dropkick and then a Suicide Dive once they rolled outside the ring. Once Meiko got onto the ring apron, Io would run towards her to hit a 619 and then a Springboard Dropkick for a two count and Io would pick her up to attempt a German Suplex, but Meiko would hit her a couple of times before hitting an Overhead Kick and ran in to hit a vicious DDT and her Cartwheel landing on her knees on top of Io for a two count. Meiko would attempt her Death Valley Bomb but Io got off of her and would hit a forearm in which Meiko counteracts with a stiff kick to make Io go down and once Meiko picked her up, Io would hit a couple of uppercuts and went running the ropes but gets caught into a Superkick as they’re now both down. Both DASH and Chihiro would get tagged in now as the two would hit each other back and forth with forearms and Chihiro caught her and tackles her into the turnbuckle before throwing her to the other one from across the ring, but DASH would move out of the way and hits a Missle Dropkick and hits another Dropkick for a two count. Chihiro would have DASH down and attempted to flip her over, but she was able to hit the Gutwrench Suplex, a Spear, and topped it off with a Senton Bomb off the second rope for a two count. Chihiro would attempt a German Suplex and it looked like DASH was holding onto the ropes, but Chihiro would pull her away from the ropes before Io came in to make the save and then gets caught into the German until Io flipped her over and tops it off with a Double Stomp and then Meiko would attempt to kick Io and gets caught with a Dragon Screw as both Io and DASH Dropkick them to the outside to give Io time to hit her famous Moonsault on both of them to the outside.
Io would get Chihiro back into the ring to hit her Underhook Facebuster and DASH topped it off with a Double Stomp off the top rope and it looked like she was going to get the win here, but Meiko would break the count before DASH had a chance as both Meiko and Io are now rolled out the ring to fight it out. DASH went to the top rope again but Meiko came back in to hit DASH with a forearm and would go to the top rope now only for DASH to hit Meiko with a Dragonrana to take Meiko down. DASH and Chihiro would hit each other back and forth again and once DASH ran to the ropes, Chihiro would finally catch her for just a regular German Suplex to take them both down. The two got up again and started to fight each other again until Chihiro would hit her with a Lariat and followed with two Short Armed Lariats after that, and now Meiko would help Chihiro out to hit a Frogsplash on top of her while Chihiro followed to hit her Rolling Senton off the second rope, but Io was able to get into the ring in time to break the count. Meiko would throw Io out of the ring once again for Chihiro to hit another Lariat for a two count and would call for the end which she picked DASH up for a Powerbomb and Io hits Chihiro with a Springboard Dropkick to make Dash roll Chihiro up for a pin and kicks out at two. DASH would attempt to roll her up again and Chihiro powers out of it and picks her up to flip her over twice for a two count of her own and would finally hit her German Suplex hold on DASH for the victory. Chihiro now has the momentum leading to their Sendai Girls World Championship match coming up in a week, but will DASH find a way to defeat this monster of a woman? After the match, Meiko would call Io to the center of the ring as she talks about how amazing Io is in the ring, enjoyed their matches together, and she wishes her for the best in the next stage of her career. Io would thank everyone after the two shook hands for respect and she hopes people would continue to support her as she opens up a new chapter in her career. Io was given a bouquet of flowers and all four of them posed into the ring together before leaving it to close the show.
Recommended: This was a solid match and even though it could’ve been a little bit better, it was also a good way to end her time in Sendai Girls as she gave us some great battles there. Still, it’s worth a watch either way.
Overall: While not as good as the previous show I covered, it was still solid all around and gave us two great matches at the end of the show along with a farewell to one of the greats. The show is worth watching for that alone.
Favorite Match: Chihiro Hashimoto & Meiko Satomura vs. DASH Chisako & Io Shirai
Least Favorite Match: Aiger vs. Sakura Hirota
Till next time!
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.10 ~16TH NOVEMBER 2018
Another wonderfully in depth recap of this week in Pro Wrestling NOAH. How is the Global League going? Let’s see what else has been going on in NOAH.
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH were in Hiroshima on the 12th November; Hiroshima is a city of mixed emotion for NOAH, for some it is home, but for the promotion as a whole it has sad associations, as Mitsuharu Misawa died there in 2009.
Hitoshi Kumano, (a local bear), took charge of fundraising for the Heavy Rain Fund (Hiroshima was hit badly earlier in the year by floods, and the mascot got yelled at by Mitsuya Nagai). Nagai was wound up by Naomichi Marufuji as well, who held the ropes open for him, a tactic which served to wind Kenoh up too. It was also the event where Kotaro Suzuki got his win over HAYATA, and sat on the ropes holding the belt up to both Daisuke Harada and HAYATA. Kotaro Suzuki later said that HAYATA bought out his trump card in the previous match (“the Headache”), and so he bought out his too, and that he would be no match for him with his own number of various maneuvers which he would bring out in the title match. They had their final match before the championship match on the 17th in Osaka, and they will both go into the match with one victory each over the other in the build up for the challenge.
Fan support is very much on the side of HAYATA (who is not NOAH born unlike Suzuki who is seen as an outsider, despite being NOAH born) to bring the championship home.
Mitsuya Nagai clashed with Naomichi Marufuji, and was chopped to shreds. Marufuji said he looked like a “boiled octopus” afterwards. Katsuhiko Nakajima would dismiss Nagai as “small fish” on the 14th, but Nagai would break through the dark cloud on the 16th when he ended the winning streak of Kohei Sato.
Despite his fluke win and spazz out victory celebration against Takashi Sugiura, Kaito Kiyomiya suffered two defeats in a row; the first being against Atsushi Kotoge on the 14th and Cody Hall on the 16th. Kotoge, however, has been on a roll and defeated Go Shiozaki on the 16th.
In a rare moment on the 14th, Masa Kitamiya and Kenoh shook hands. Kitamiya said that he did it to acknowledge that he and Kenoh (who lost to him) had practically fought to the death for the win, and that he didn’t trust wrestlers who had no ambition. Speaking of Kenoh, during the huge tag on the 16th November, his victory over
Marufuji seemingly wasn’t enough, and he decided to get his face again.
Marufuji (now with both shoulders needing athletic support) just looked tired and like he’d had enough.
The show on the 16th November was a shift in the league; Kohei Sato, Kazusada Higuchi and Go Shiozaki had their perfect records beaten by Mitsuya Nagai, Mohammed Yone and Atsushi Kotoge, and Nakajima avenged his loss against Quiet Storm in Global League 2017.
As Global League is beginning to heat up, everyone is talking about not letting anymore victories slip through their fingers, but of course, not all matches can go to a draw, and someone has to lose. There can only be two finalists, and ultimately one winner.
Full recap of Global League 2018 so far, can be found here.
Noah will be back on Saturday 17th November at the Edion Arena in Osaka, (gong sounds at 18.30).
THE EVOLUTION OF KENOH
The upcoming “Wrestlers Directory” 2018 (basically a guide to who is who, what, and where in 2018) was previewed and Naomichi Marufuji and Kenoh were profiled with their changing looks over the years.
Kenoh made the following comments about his entry:
- His 2009 picture is ugly
- Like all trainees, he debuted with a shaved head. Says he didn’t used to cut it, and its awkward to look at it, says he didn’t think he had any money to cut it.
- It doesn’t really translate well, but Kenoh says he cut his hair in 2012 because it had been long for long enough. In another rough translation he says that he looks like a child of badboy parents, who has been forced to pose.
- Kenoh said about his expression that it doesn’t change, because in his every day life, he does not laugh a lot.
- In 2015, Kenoh says that “I admired him and went blonde, but I can no longer say I have the aspiration to be like him” (he is talking about Morishima, who very sadly, has let a lot of people down, including Kenoh).
YOSHIKI INAMURA ADDED TO THE NOAH ROSTER PAGE
At the moment there is not too much information on him apart from his birthday (November 18th 1992), his height and weight, blood type and birthplace (Otawara City in Tochigi Prefecture), date of debut and finisher. His finisher isn’t anything special at the moment, and doesn’t have a special name, being listed only as a “tackle”.
He doesn’t have a Twitter account yet.
CHRISTMAS AT MUSCLE GRILL
Naomichi Marufuji’s current restaurant MUSCLE GRILL in Tokyo will be having a Christmas party on the 22nd December. Naomichi Marufuji, Hi69, Tadasuke, Atsushi Kotoge and Junta Miyawaki will be attending, but obviously this depends on whether or not they manage to stay injury free.
Event is now full.
HAJIME OHARA IN CHINA
Hajime Ohara has missed some Noah dates as he is training the Eastern Hero Athletes in Shanghai, and also when they visit the Noah dojo in Saitama. Ohara is known to be a very strict trainer with a lot of emphasis on health and well-being, which goes further than working out as he is a big advocate for healthy eating and avoiding alcohol (although he does seem to have a weakness for cake); he has banned smoking during training sessions, forbidding his students to smoke while on breaks.
NOAH IN 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Navigation for The Future 2019”. The tour will run from January 6th to Friday, February 1st. They have also announced their (provisional) Korakuen Hall schedule for 2019.
TAKESHI MORISHIMA UPDATE
There has been no real news following Morishima’s arrest earlier in the month, but further sad details have come to light about his behavior prior to the arrest and his living circumstances.
Morishima it seems was (and is) homeless and without any form of income, and was begging for drinks, even using the tactic of asking to drink with the bar staff as it meant he would be given free drinks.
The management company who were sponsoring his return had originally put him up in an apartment, which they paid the rent for. The deal was that Morishima would concentrate on his return, however, Morishima didn’t do this, and preferred alcohol to training. The President of the company, seeing that Morishima wasn’t giving anything in return despite repeated requests for him to change his ways, eventually lost his patience and told Morishima to pack up and leave.
Morishima, seemingly unconcerned about this, told him flippantly that he was drinking in Shinjuku, and if he wanted the keys, he should come and get them.
GHC BELT NEWS
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
- GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69
The winner of Global League 2018 will earn the right to challenge Takashi Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight title, if he himself wins, Sugiura says that he will nominate Masato Tanaka as his challenger.
Kotaro Suzuki will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight title against HAYATA on the 17th November at Edion Arena, Osaka.
The GHC Heavyweight Tag titles have not had a challenger as of yet, and probably won’t until after Global League wraps up. Mitsuya Nagai has hinted that he may challenge, but Saito said that he will not be granted a title shot. Katsuhiko Nakajima was asked if he was going to challenge after the Global League match with Saito, and said cryptically, he was “in the mood for shopping” (i.e., shopping around to see what deal is best).
The GHC Junior Tag Championship will be challenged for by Koji Kanemoto and Hiroshi Yamato on the 25th November at Korakuen Hall. Seiya Morohashi has also challenged for them, his partner at this time is as yet unknown, but it is thought it will either be TAMURA or Kouki Iwasaki.
- Atsushi Kotoge drinks “Revolutionary Coffee”
- Naomichi Marufuji sat on a wet bench wearing thin grey pants…
- There was a cat at the hotel in Ehime, much to YO-HEY’s delight
- Kaito Kiyomiya appears to be being fitted for tailored suits (long gone are the days of the oversize one thank god)
- Daisuke Harada celebrated his 32nd birthday on the 13th November (President Uchida did not even know it was his birthday!), and Yoshiki Inamura will celebrate his 26th birthday on November 18th, Takashi Sugiura bought him an early birthday cake and a small party was held at a restaurant Inamura had been taken out to by his seniors.
- Shu Nishinaga said Ally (the ring announcer) “whined like a child” for udon noodles.
- Naomichi Marufuji says he was disturbed by mosquitoes, in November, which woke him up at 2.30am
- Kenoh apparently went jogging in the Imperial Palace Gardens in Kyoto (a fan who saw him, thought he was a blonde delinquent fleeing the law before it was discovered it was Kenoh)
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
After weeks of silence. Takashi Sugiura is back, posting a picture of Masao Inoue holding an ice cream cone with white foam in it and labeling it “mood” and photographing erotic looking food.
I’ll leave it to your (and his) dirty imagination as to what exactly he meant by oysters being “erotic”…
The final night of Global League, 25th November, will be broadcast at 6pm on Saturday 8th December
The event on the 12th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December
This is more than usual, and all seem to be going out on a weekly basis. This makes me wonder if the network are trying something out.
K-FORCE: music inspired by Katsuhiko Nakajima
ARTICLE: “Traces to Nowhere: the tragic story behind the Takeshi Morishima arrest”
News article on Takeshi Morishima’s drunken and chaotic life
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IPW are the official vendors of Noah merchandise, please click here for shop
English translation of “Heir to the Ark” (Naomichi Marufuji’s biography) ~ work in progress
Dragon Gate Gate of Destiny Results & Review (11/4/2018)
Welcome back to Dragon Gate! We return to cover one of their biggest shows of the year, Gate of Destiny.
The card contains some big title matches, along with PAC’s first singles match since his return to the company last month. Now the real question is can they deliver?
Well, we’re about to find out as we…dive right in.
Tag Team Match
K-ness & Mondai Ryu vs. Shachihoko BOY & Stalker Ichikawa
Review: We got our opening match with K-ness and Mondai Ryu tagging up for this one to take on Shachihoko BOY and Stalker Ichikawa. Our opening bouts usually there to please the crowd but could they also entertain them while giving us something good? Which of these two will win?
It was a match…it existed. It was about three minutes and it was pretty much Stalker screwing around in the ring with K-ness and Mondai slapped him around and pulled off his ears from his mask, the monsters. Shachihoko really didn’t do much in this match, nor Mondai for that matter since it was only K-ness really that did the majority of the work here for the match. K-ness would Sunset Flip Shachihoko for a two count and would have his legs on his body to roll him around the ring in that same position until he pinned him that way again and gets the three count. I just wasn’t a fan of this match and nothing really happened in it at all, it just happened just for the sake of a match existing.
Rating: Vince Russo and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga & YASSHI) & Hyo Watanabe vs. Don Fujii, Gamma & Ryo Saito
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with two members of Natural Vibes, Punch Tominaga and Brother YASSHI teaming up with Hyo Watanabe as they take on the team of Don Fujii, Gamma, and Ryo Saito. Good to see Don and Ryo still being a tag team here and they could possibly go for the Triangle Gate Championships again if they want to. Which of these teams will win?
Well, I can at least say that this was a better match than the previous one I saw but at the same time, this one was just average itself. Natural Vibes teaming up with Hyo was a weird combination in itself and it just seemed like they didn’t flow well together whereas Don, Gamma, and Ryo would pair off a bit better than the other team since they have teamed up before and know what they’re doing together. Again, the match was a basic tag match for what you see when a unit teams up with one random person and you get some nice sequences from some of the people in the match like with Gamma and Hyo going back and forth into the match and makes me hope we could get a one on one match with these two since it could be solid if done right. Don would hit Hyo with a Chokeslam to get him down as Gamma goes to the top rope to hit a Corkscrew Moonsault almost missing Hyo and pins him for the victory.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Eight Man Tag Team Match
Daga & R.E.D. (Eita, KAZMA SAKAMOTO & Yasushi Kanda) vs. Tribe Vanguard (Kagetora, U-T & Yosuke Santa Maria) & Kota Minoura
Review: We now have an eight-man tag match with R.E.D members, Eita, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, and Yasushi Kanda along with non-member, Daga as they take three members of Tribe Vanguard, Kagetora, U-T, and Yosuke Santa Maria along with non-member, Kota Minoura. R.E.D has been establishing dominance with Eita leading the charge and now looks to take out Tribe Vanguard in the process. Can R.E.D keep the momentum going or will Tribe Vanguard take it?
Least we were able to get a solid eight-man tag match in the mix almost at the end of our halfway point. R.E.D does what they do best when they start attacking their opponents before the bell would ring to get the opening advantage in the match to make themselves look strong. Tribe Vanguard worked well together in this match with Kagetora and Yosuke still being probably the more underrated people on the roster while U-T is slowly rising up in the ranks with his ability to show us what he can do. From what I can see with Kota, he’s still a bit green since he’s new but he also does have a ton of potential to do really well for himself. Daga is someone new to me and is actually his first time in Dragon Gate and is a freelancer from Mexico, but he was pretty impressive in his Dragon Gate debut and looked like he fitted in with R.E.D well also. Yusuke, U-T, and Kota would all hit Eita with a Missile Dropkick to get him down until Kanda and KAZMA would stop Kota from trying to pin their leader. Kota would try to do a flash pin to KAZMA for a kick out and KAZMA would hit a Pop-up Powerbomb onto Kota until Tribe Vanguard broke it up and R.E.D throws them all outside. Daga would hit a Gutbuster onto Kota and picks him up for Eita to hit the Superkick onto him and gets the win for R.E.D.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open The Triangle Gate Title Three Way Elimination Match
Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi, Kzy & Susumu Yokosuka) (c) vs. Masaaki Mochizuki, Shun Skywalker & Yuki Yoshioka vs. MaxiMuM (Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida & Naruki Doi)
Review: We have our first title match of the night with Natural Vibes defending their Open the Triangle Gate Championships in a Three-Way Elimination Match as they defend against MaxiMuM members, Jason Lee, Kaito Ishida, and Naruki Doi along with the team of Masaaki Mochizuki, Shun Skywalker, and Yuki Yoshioka. Natural Vibes has a good chance of being eliminated to losing the titles, but they could also have a chance to beat both teams and retain. Will Natural Vibes retain or will one of the two teams take the titles?
So for this elimination match, it looks like once a member loses the match that the whole team would be eliminated instead of just having to beat all three members to eliminate them and that might be better this way honestly, and it appears as though that all three men can be in the match instead of just two people starting and tagging in whoever. These are the types of matches that just make me wanna love Dragon Gate with their nonstop action, entertaining Lucha style mixed in, and just mixing it up with some wrestling to go with it. There was one spot where one person would wrap their legs around his neck for a chokehold and it would keep going until Jason Lee was the last one to make the bridge and Kzy would try to get into the mix until Mochizuki takes him down and it looked like he wanted to do it himself but he goes over to the front end to deliver the longest Boston Crab I’ve seen in quite some time and it wouldn’t last long since Jason Lee was right by the rope and grabs it right away. Yuki would start showing some spark in the match with his back and forth action with Kaito with trying to roll each other up or hit each other and it would come to an end when Kaito hits the Tiger Suplex on Yuki to eliminate Mochizuki Dojo making it now Natural Vibes and MaxiMuM.
Naruki and Kzy start going at it right away and Naruki doesn’t hold up against him as he hits him with a DDT and runs towards Kzy for him to catch him by surprise with the Skayde Schoolboy for the surprise pin and Naruki kicked out of it and hits his Bakatare Sliding Kick to knock Kzy out and Jason Lee quickly picks him up for a German Suplex Hold as Susumu broke the count! Kaito and Kzy are in the ring now and he hits Kzy with the Tiger Suplex and it looks like we have new champions, but Kzy kicked out of it! Kaito got Kzy back up to try and finish him but Kzy would hit him with some elbows before he hits his Running Elbow Smash to get the win and Kaito kicks out as well! Kzy quickly picked him up to hit the Impact and Natural Vibes retains the titles! This is Natural Vibes fifth successful title defense and they said that if they retain it one more time, they’ll hold the record for most title defenses with this belt and their next title match is on November 18th, so let’s see if they can break the record.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Flamita vs. PAC
Review: We now have a special singles match with PAC having his first singles match in Dragon Gate since his return as he takes on Flamita in what people have considered as one of their dream matches for the fans. PAC has been doing well in the tag matches that I’ve seen when he came back but now the real test is to see how he can do by himself now as he takes on this Luchador. Will PAC win his return match or will Flamita derail him?
For something that was titled a dream match, this was very underwhelming. You’re probably asking me how can this be bad since you have PAC and Flamita in the mix? Well, it’s quite simple really that it was just slow and dragged out quite a lot at the beginning of the match. I don’t mind matches going at a slow pace since I enjoy technical wrestling and could watch that anytime, but it was more of PAC just really dragging it out in the match and made nothing about it exciting except just hitting Flamita and maybe have R.E.D attack Flamita once when the referee wasn’t looking. I get PAC is the heel in the match and to get the heat behind him but he just didn’t really do anything at all and some fans will feel blue balled by this match. And before you actually do the whole he’s a heel thing as an excuse, he did a lot more as a heel in WWE than he has in Dragon Gate for his current run right now so I don’t wanna hear that.
Flamita, on the other hand, did try to make the match good as best he could but it, unfortunately, wasn’t enough either to make it exciting and he didn’t get a lot of offense in this match either. He does take the spot of the night though when PAC threw him up in the air for a pop-up and Flamita caught him with a DDT on the way down and PAC sold that beautifully, so I will give him credit for that one at least. The match would try to pick up in the last couple of minutes of it but it’s really hard to get invested into this match fully when nothing has been standing out from the beginning of the match. Flamita would have PAC up for a Musclebuster and he slams him down in a Codebreaker style which looked great and goes to the top rope to hit the Phoenix Splash but PAC rolled out of the way. PAC would quickly go up to the top rope now he hits the Black Arrow (still think it should be called R.E.D Arrow) and gets the win over Flamita. So how did PAC do in his first singles match back? It was honestly disappointing, to say the least, and hope he works on it in the next one he does.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
Open The Brave Gate Title Match
Dragon Kid (c) vs. Bandido
Review: It’s time for our second title match with Dragon Kid defending the Open the Brave Gate Championship against someone else that’s not Eita, but instead it’s Bandido. This was one match I really wanted to see in Dragon Gate and now it looks like we can finally have it and for a title no less. Will Dragon Kid retain or will Bandido take it?
So after finally getting our little dream match here, did it live up to the hype? While this one was already better than PAC/Flamita, I thought this match was a slight letdown as well. Not that it was a bad match or anything since it was still solid, but also felt like they could’ve done so much more at the same time and made it a bit underwhelming. The match would start off strong with the lucha style we expected from them, but also felt a little bit slow too and would lose a little momentum when Bandido messed up a Diving Moonsault to the outside and hits one of the ring crew by accident while Kid tried to catch him. After that, they would do some moves here and there to make it stand out but it’s a little too far in between that it felt a bit hard for it to be wowed unless it was near the end. Bandido though did do very well in the match I thought and was always impressive to see and really does fit in well with Dragon Gate if he ever does decide to wrestle there full-time and could potentially be a big star.
There was one move Bandido did that really made him stand out since it’s actually the first time I’ve seen it, but it was Dragon Kid bent over while holding onto the ropes (hot) and Bandido looks to do what appears to be a Forward Flip Springboard Suplex and it looks awesome but Kid still kicked out of it. After that, Bandido would do a Flipping Fallaway Slam off the top rope and Kid kicked out again before Kid would start to get momentum now and hits the Bible for a two count. Kid would now hit a Frankensteiner for another two count and would go to the top rope to hit the Dragonrana and gets the pin to retain the title. Eita would come out after the match and it looks like he wants to have one final match against Dragon Kid for the title. If it’ll give us one final match and let them move on after this, then let them have it.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Open The Twin Gate Title Match
Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk & YAMATO) (c) vs. R.E.D. (Big R Shimizu & Takashi Yoshida)
Review: We have our next title match with the Open the Twin Gate Championships being on the line as BxB Hulk, and YAMATO defend the belts against R.E.D members, Big R Shimizu, and Takashi Yoshida. R.E.D were able to beat Tribe Vanguard earlier in the show during the eight-man tag match and with PAC beating Flamita, R.E.D looks to be in pretty good shape to maybe have a clean sweep if they win. Will R.E.D keep at it or will Tribe Vanguard retain?
I’m sure a lot of people know by now that I’m not a big fan of Takashi Yoshida and Big R Shimizu but I will say that they do make a decent heavyweight tag team while it’s no BigBen, it’ll pass at least. They both play to their strengths in the match with their power to try and dominate their opponent and this will move Ben-K to a more solo run, then I’m fine with those two staying as a tag team. YAMATO and Hulk are still quite the team and slowly becoming my favorite set of current champions since CIMA & Dragon Kid, just the chemistry these two share in the ring just make it work out for them and I hope this reign lasts a little bit longer.
I actually really liked this match, I thought it was nicely done with both teams playing to what they know best with Takashi and Big R just overpower their opponents while YAMATO and Hulk just use their wrestling experience to match them. If I did have to take one thing away from the match would be the odd pacing here and there in the match to throw it off a little off, but it’s a minor one and still a really good match to see. Big R and Takashi would just manhandle Hulk with just their power as Big R hits the Splash off the top without doing that stupid timber looking version or it and Takashi hits a Diving Elbow Drop as YAMATO broke the count. Hulk would try to hit the First Flash onto Big R but he caught him in time for the Shot-put Slam and Takashi went for the Cyber Bomb and YAMATO broke the count. YAMATO fights off Takashi and gets him in a Sleeper but Takashi would get to the ropes to break the hold and spits green mist into his eyes as he now picks him up to hit the Fire Thunder Driver as we could have new champions and Hulk now breaks the pin. Takashi would slam YAMATO onto the ropes and as he ran to the other side, YAMATO would catch with a Frankensteiner and gets the surprise victory over R.E.D to retain the titles!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Open The Dream Gate Title Match
Masato Yoshino (c) vs. Ben-K
Review: We have our main event with the Open the Dream Gate Championship on the line now with Masato Yoshino defending the title against Ben-K. The last time Ben-K had a match for the title was around March 4th against Masaaki Mochizuki and he lost, but now he has a second chance to go for the title with his new home in R.E.D. Will Masato be able to retain the title once again or will we have a new champion crowned?
It’s about time that Ben-K goes back to wearing his shogun type gear instead of those generic trunks when he joined R.E.D, he now looks like the Ben-K I know and love, now he just needs to win that belt. I don’t get why we didn’t get these types of title defenses earlier in Masato’s run because this was probably the best defense in his reign next to his previous one against Naruki Doi in September. During the beginning of the match, it looked like Ben would have the opening with how he would be able to throw him around but Masato would use his quickness when he needed to in the match to make Ben hit a Clothesline against the turnbuckle post and give Masato the opening he needed to work on his arm to try and aim for a submission victory like his previous title defenses. I mean it when I say that Ben-K is on another level and I’ve been saying that for months as I think he really could be the ace of that company should they ever decide to actually pull the trigger on that decision because that man can work with a lot of people in different styles while also bringing his A-game during these matches.
I really enjoyed the story of the match with Masato working on Ben’s arm to try for submission victory while Ben would use his strength to try and weaken Masato down for when he needs to hit his power moves near the end to put him away. I also love how fairly even it was between the two while the face and heel getting a respectable amount of shine/heat during the match without affecting the other. I liked the Jumping Slingblade Masato did to Ben while he was on the second rope, it looked unique and did it pretty flawlessly. Masato would attempt to hit the Torbellino and Ben would catch him for the Bubba Bomb and gets a two count. Masato would hit the Torbellino this time around and would quickly turn it into the Sol Naciente to try and make him tap out but Ben would use his power to lift him up and spin him around to slam him into the mat and break the hold. Ben is really selling the arm now and would hit the Spear onto Masato for a two count and he would finally hit the Ben-K Bomb as we could have a new champion, but no as Masato kicked out. The two start to brawl with Masato falling down to the mat, but Masato would get a burst of energy to hit Ben with a Lariat and hits two Torbellino’s in a row before applying the Sol Naciente on him once again. Ben was struggling in the hold this time and tried to fight it off until Masato kicked his leg in to make him collapse as he tapped out to make Masato retain the title!
After the match, it would seem that PAC is the next one to challenge Masato sometime in December. And I have one question for this one, why? I still think Ben-K getting the belt is the better way to go since he’s a great worker and has worked for it and PAC gets one right away just seems off. I had a feeling PAC would get a title match sooner or later like maybe win the King of Gate in 2019, but this feels a bit too early for me and would’ve saved it for a better date. Their booking is weird and I don’t know how this one will go.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Overall: I thought the show was a little weak with the undercard and the two dream matches being let down, but the tag title matches and the main event were what saved the show to make it slightly passable. We now got Pac and Masato fighting off in his next title defense and it’ll be an interesting month, to say the least.
Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. Ben-K
Least Favorite Match: K-ness & Mondai Ryu vs. Shachihoko BOY & Stalker Ichikawa
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