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Sendai Girls BIG SHOW in Niigata Results & Review (6/16/2018)

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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.

 

Singles Match
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.

 

Singles Match
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.

 

Singles Match
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.

Recommended: No.

 

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

Score: 7.5/10

 

Till next time!


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.2 ~ 21ST SEPTEMBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

NOAH finished up their mammoth five day in a row event (14th September to the 18th September), fortunately no-one was injured, but both Hajime Ohara (neck) and Hi69 (knee) seem to be carrying injuries.

After losing the GHC Heavyweight Tag Title challenge against Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito, Kaito Kiyomiya intimated that he would be interested in challenging for them again, but with another partner (i.e. Go Shiozaki). Shiozaki was seen watching Kaito Kiyomiya in the tag match against 50 Funky Powers in Hakata Stalene. Later in the tour he mentioned on Twitter about “shutting them up” and their GHC Heavyweight Tag Challenge

.Speaking of Go Shiozaki there was a very sweet moment that took place in Hakata, involving both himself and Atsushi Kotoge. When they made their entrance in their match against The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi), a little boy could be seen dressed in a homemade “Revolutionary Cloak”. When Kotoge appeared the little boy and the little girl next to him (most probably his sister), did the revolutionary fist pumps (to the delight of Kotoge who joined in), and when he had gone, Shiozaki noticed, did it for half a second, and then went bright red (Shiozaki gets very shy when he has to do physical comedy, he also has a tendency to start giggling as well when others do it).
During the match, the brawl went into the crowd, and a little girl was upset by it and started crying. Go Shiozaki, gave her a hug to comfort her, and once back in the ring got The Hooligans in the corner, pointed to her and said “this is for you”, and proceeded to chop them.

Despite his claim to “bring the revolution to Hakata, and defeat the villains!”, Atsushi Kotoge took the Zwei Bomb from Taniguchi.

Naomichi Marufuji is still not accepting the challenge of The Hooligans, and gave a somewhat bad tempered promo in Ehime saying they were “a fool, a baldie” and “even though I am an asshole with a lack of sleep, I am going to crush you all. Come and line up with your heads bowed. I am not going to accept your challenge! I’m not in the mood!” Marufuji is still being obsessively hated by Kenoh, and he certainly has taken it from him on this tour, but the person the five days really belongs to, is Katsuhiko Nakajima, who utterly obliterated Takashi Sugiura and did the cocky pin on him. I don’t think anyone has ever at any time or anywhere ever done this…

Nakajima, being Nakajima, wasn’t finished there as he draped the belt over him, and then threw Sugiura out of the ring. When Sugiura had recovered and scraped himself off of the floor, Nakajima had gotten the microphone, and standing on the turnbuckle he told him that he would continue to plague him like he did today, he would plague him again tomorrow and the day after that and forever afterwards.

At the end of the five day tour, having been thoroughly battered by Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura said tiredly he couldn’t keep up and says that he has had no choice but to get better, and rethink his strategy. I can only imagine that Sugiura is playing the spider and the fly…

“Black or white, this is a league.” (Hi69) 

The NOAH Juniors, despite being divided over Junior Global League, are all gunning for Kotaro Suzuki (Hitoshi Kumano says that he is going to “crush the beat so no sound comes out”). Kotaro Suzuki has dismissed even the freelancers amongst the NOAH Juniors as being “weak”.

The biggest build so far is Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, which will take place in Yokohama (Suzuki has already lost to the other “elder” of the Juniors, Hajime Ohara). Daisuke Harada in Kochi, delivered the message to Suzuki that he would beat him down, and then he would “tell you this”…Harada spoke silently to the camera and walked off. Kotaro Suzuki later said that he had no idea what he was saying, but would find out before they faced each other.

Suzuki has made unflattering comments about various NOAH juniors, Hitsohi Kumano is “heavy” and “bulging with fat”, and Tadasuke, due to “too much hair treatment” is “greasy”.

Kotaro Suzuki, known for being just as “slippery” as Tadasuke (maybe even more) has promised something special for his “vision of Korakuen” (he also posted a picture of himself and Yoshinari Ogawa out drinking and said they were “discussing strategy”), well, whatever he has planned, it is probably a lot better than what Tadasuke has promised, he says that he may have to “poison the rice of the winning candidates” if he doesn’t win.

Suzuki and Harada clashed in a tag match on the 18th September on the last day of tour with Harada getting in his face with the belt, and Suzuki playing the innocent after attacking him while standing on the ring apron.

There has been no rift between The Backbreakers, with Hitoshi Kumano defeating Hajime Ohara. Kumano said he had to win, even though Ohara’s neck was very bad.
Part of his reasons for wanting to beat Ohara was due to the comments made by Daisuke Harada when he was aiming for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship a few months ago, Harada had basically said that Kumano was “below Ohara” or that he was his “subordinate”.

Between RATELS, Daisuke Harada is too busy to comment on Tadasuke beating him, and YO-HEY and HAYATA still appear to be friends (better description might be master and pet).

Junta Miyawaki is still to get his first win, but the boy has earned a lot of accolades with people praising him and saying he was “insanely good” in his matches. NOAH are really teasing his first win with many near pinfalls.  He has also been likened to a young Kenta Kobashi, which means that now in NOAH we have almost the Four Pillars for a new generation with Misawa (Kiyomiya) and Kawada (Kenoh) – now we just need a Taue.

NOAH have had very good attendances out in the provinces for this tour, not all venues have been sold out, but attendances have been very high. The promotion has a policy whereby they travel outside of the metropolitan areas (i.e. Tokyo, Osaka) and the big city areas and bring the show to the “provinces” (i.e. the countryside or the more rural areas on the edge of the suburbs). While this doesn’t always result in a full house (something a lot of people don’t seem to understand and they think its a reflection on NOAH ), what it does do is bring a company who unlike New Japan, All Japan, Big Japan etc doesn’t have a streaming service and\or a TV show, to people who wouldn’t see them otherwise. They have also attracted a lot of new fans too.

Global Junior League Scores (as of 18th September 2018)
YO-HEY: 7
Ikuto Hidaka: 6
Daisuke Harada: 6
Kotaro Suzuki: 6
Hitoshi Kumano: 4
Tadasuke: 4
Hi69: 4
Minoru Tanaka: 4
HAYATA: 3
Hajime Ohara: 2
Seiya Morohashi: 2
Junta Miyawaki: 0

NOAH are back on the 29th September at Radiant Hall, Yokohama, bell sounds at 17.30

NEWS

QUIET STORM CELEBRATES 20 YEARS
Quiet Storm has celebrated his own twenty years in wrestling on the 16th September, he debuted in 1998 (about a month after Naomichi Marufuji did) at roughly the age of seventeen, and while in America had spells with Ring of Honor, PWF and NYWC. Quiet Storm made his debut in his hometown of New York (he’s a Brooklyn boy I think). He came to Japan and trained with KAIENTAI DOJO, but had to return home due to a family situation. Aside from NOAH, his other affiliation is with Osaka Pro. He has been with NOAH since 2014.

His tag team partner, Mohammed Yone, presented him with flowers in the ring.

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

OTHER NEWS

Atsushi Kotoge will be holding his own fan event, further details to be announced (this is not a produce)

Comedy wrestler Kikutaro (who returned to Japan to have ear surgery), announced that before he leaves for America, he wants to appear in NOAH(he was once a regular in SEM, where he memorably teamed with KENTA, who had him thrown out of the building afterwards, Kikutaro made his way back in though), and a match has been arranged against Atsushi Kotoge for the 4th October at Korakuen Hall. Kotoge has asked Kikutaro whether he wants to join the “Revolutionary Army”. What should be a very funny match, will be broadcast on Samurai on the 11th October (FYI: Fuji TV no longer exists, it is now “ForJoyTV“)

Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will be having what will be their last match ever in IPW on Sunday the 23rd September. Their history was made not in NOAH or even in Japan, but in Europe. You can read about their history in an article I have written, “Farewell Europe

Hajime Ohara, (who quite rightly is called “NOAH’s treasure”), has taken part in more municipal activities in Kawasawki by lecturing the Staff Hygiene Committee about exercise that can be done at the office and at home.

Thanks to Metal-Noah who very kindly sent me a copy of “Heir to The Ark”, Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, English translation has started, and can be found here. This is a work in progress, and I hope to update it daily. The book is ranked #3 on the Japanese book charts. TOUR TIDBITS

  • Tadasuke used a chair on Seiya Morohashi (which is unusual for him).
  • Whilst in Shikoku, a big crab turned up on Hi69’s cigarette packet (its probably HAYATA shape-shifting)
  • The ceiling was so low in Hakata Stalene that people’s feet and heads grazed it.
  • Naomichi Marufuji watched “the youngsters” going off together after NOAH arrived in Kochi, and said “the old man is going to bed”
  • Tadasuke announced to Kotaro Suzuki “Hey, Fool! I am today’s NOAH Junior!” (and Kotaro Suzuki beat him down in ten minutes with the Tiger Driver)
  • Naomichi Marufuji wrapped Yoshiki Inamura in Atsushi Kotoge’s cloak, and forced him to do the “Revolution Pose”, right in front of Kotoge.
  • YO-HEY’S rambling promos include him having all his teeth knocked out (he hasn’t), and likening himself to a 16th century Japanese warlord, a champion stallion racehorse which was put out to stud (don’t ask) and then forgetting what he was talking about. He is still convinced that he will be facing Yoshiki Inamura in the finals of Global Junior League, despite the fact that Inamura isn’t in Global Junior League.
  • Yoshinari Ogawa took Atsushi Kotoge’s cape and used it to wipe his boots, much to Kotoge’s horror.
  • Ehime Pro did an opening exhibition at Noah’s show at TEXPORT Imbari
  • Yoshiki Inamura getting good reviews.
  • Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kotoge, but Kotoge drew his hand back, wiped his head and walked off (Shiozaki, notorious for giggling, couldn’t keep a straight face)
  • NOAH have had a crack down on people filming at the event, Atsushi Kotoge said “Heroes obey the rules”.
  • Masao Inoue is holding another bowling event, wrestlers participating will be Atsushi Kotoge, Kaito Kiyomiya and Tadasuke
  • On September 17th, Atsushi Kotoge, Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya went to a sports bar and spent until the early hours watching classic Four Pillars era All Japan (the match Kotoge photographed on the TV was Mitsuharu Misawa vs Kenta Kobashi on the 21st October 1997. When this match took place, Kotoge and Kenoh would have been 12, Kitamiya 14 and Nakajima 9).
  • Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi now have a finisher called “The Hooligans Bomb”.

  • On the long drive back from Tottori to Tokyo, (about nine to eleven hours), Takashi Sugiura photographed Masao Inoue at the urinal (twice), and then predictably, things got even worse when Marufuji filmed Inoue eating an ice cream on the bus, and then pausing to look briefly at a passing woman. Between Marufuji and Sugiura, this turned into Inoue thinking about “licking” women…

Lets just end this newsletter here until next week.


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(NOAH) FAREWELL EUROPE ~ THE HISTORY OF NAOMICHI MARUFUJI AND DOUG WILLIAMS

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Doug Williams was part of NOAH’S “Golden Era”. He was with the promotion for about six years, from roughly 2003 to 2009, when he left to work for TNA. In 2008, towards the end of his tenure, when NOAH ran shows in the UK, Williams helped the promotion arrange travel, buses, visas and hotel rooms.

Although he is remembered for teaming mainly with fellow Brit, Nigel McGuiness, his title reign was actually with 2 Cold Scorpio when they took the GHC Heavyweight Tag belts from Mitsuharu Misawa and Yoshinari Ogawa in January 2005 in Tokyo. Memory, (and indeed tag team history), tells us that it should have been Nigel McGuiness and Doug Williams losing them to KENTA and Marufuji, but it never happened that way (they never actually faced them as a tag team), they lost the belts five months later to Naomichi Marufuji and Minoru Suzuki in Morecombe, UK for FWA’S “Noah Limits Show”.

This was the only title Williams would ever hold in NOAH, and the only time he and Marufuji would ever meet for a title.  Ironically, most of their battles for belts, cups and the majority of their singles matches (and their final match together), would and will take place outside of Japan, and even more ironically, they will meet in the UK again, and Marufuji will go into the match as GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, the very belt they fought over thirteen years ago.

But before all of that we need to look at their history together.

Doug Williams first match with Naomichi Marufuji was in 2003 when he teamed with Yoshihiro Takayama to take on Marufuji and Takeshi Morishima. Over the course of six years, from May 2003 until February 2009, they would have twenty-five matches together in various forms.

They were mainly in NOAH and mainly in tags.

Outside of NOAH is where their competitive history was truly made, and hence the reason why in 2018, Doug Williams and Naomichi Marufuji will clash for one last time in Europe. Time is rolling on for both of them, Marufuji has stated that he will probably retire in 2020 when he turns forty, and Williams, is six years older (although I cannot state with any certainty whether or not he has announced any plans to retire). For Marufuji in many ways, 2018 has been a year of reconciliations and some farewells.

In June 2005 they clashed at “Rings of Europe” in Bad Vöslau, Austria, where Williams defeated Marufuji and Murat Bosporus for “Thermencup 2005” in a three way dance.

In June 2005 (as mentioned above) they clashed for GHC Heavyweight Tag titles in Morecombe.

Their first singles match took place outside of NOAH, for Real Quality Wrestling in Colchester, UK (an event I attended as I was living in the town at the time) in June 2007, with Marufuji getting the win.

Their one and only singles match in NOAH took place four months later in October 2007, and went to a time limit draw.

Their next singles match after that took place in Germany for wXw for the 16 Carat Gold Tournament 2008 event, Marufuji was again victorious, beating Williams in the first round.

Out of the three singles matches that they have had, Williams has never actually beaten Marufuji, and it remains to be seen what will happen at IPW in September 2018 when for one last time, Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams will meet in Europe, the place where their history was made.


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AJPW 6th Oudou Tournament Round 1 Results & Review

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While I’m waiting for the next set of Stardom shows to full upload, I decided to go back to All Japan to see what they’re up to and it turns out they’re having their 6th annual Oudou Tournament, which means Royal Road. The winner of the tournament will get a Triple Crown Championship match, unless Zeus wins and he just gets to pick his own opponent.

This tournament looks incredibly stacked and I got no complaints about these entrants. So, who do I think is going to win the whole thing? Well, as much as I love Kento, I got a pretty good feeling about Yuji Hino winning the whole thing, plus seeing him taking on Zeus would be amazing and I’d be crazy to not wanna see that happen.

So who out of these sixteen wrestlers will make it to the second round? Let us find out and…dive right in.

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Ryouji Sai vs. Yuma Aoyagi

Review: So our first match is Ryouji Sai taking on one half of the All Asia Tag Team Champions, Yuma Aoyagi. Ryouji recently lost his Asia Heavyweight Championship and would like to still get some gold around his waist, but he would have to take on the young Yuma to even try to advance to the next round. Which of these two will advance?

Now that I got to see Yuma do more solo, I was able to get a fair assumption of him and I gotta say that he really does have potential just like Jake Lee and Naoya Nomura do, and no doubt has a future in AJPW if he should keep doing what he’s doing here. The match while had a couple of sloppy spots and a slip-up here and there, it was still a solid bout for what it was and was more technical than anything. Yuma would even give Ryouji a DDT to the outside of the ring right in the beginning of the match to give himself that early opening. Ryouji though is someone you shouldn’t take lightly either as he did control most of the match and had Yuma in a submission and every time Yuma tried to grab the ropes, the referee would playfully kick his hand off for the first few times to give a little bit of a comedy spot here and it was kinda funny. Yuma had a hard fought battle but Ryouji would hit a Running Shining Wizard onto Yuma to get the pinfall victory and advance to the next round.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Kento Miyahara vs. Yoshitatsu

Review: Our next match is pretty much a rematch from last year as former Triple Crown Champion, Kento Miyahara takes on his partner, Yoshitatsu. Last year when they fought, Kento would defeat Yoshi in the first round but he failed to win the whole thing when he lost in the semi-final. Yoshitatsu has improved quite a bit over the last year and this could be the chance he needs to probably win over his partner. Can Yoshitatsu pull off an upset victory or will Kento defeat him in the first round again?

I loved the little change Kento did with his attire by having half of his pants be black while the other half still has the red, it looks pretty badass if you ask me. Yoshitatsu is someone that I have been quite negative with for the past couple of years with how bad his performance has been ever since he returned to Japan in general before and after his neck injury. But, I will give credit where credit is due by saying that he definitely belongs in All Japan as they helped him slowly becoming a better wrestler unlike his run in NJPW which was a total bust in my opinion as we can now see him hopefully try to flourish while still needing some polishing. The match was fun with the two of them working well together with Kento being one of the few that could bring out the best in Yoshi much like Suwama would also. The referee would still give Kento a hard time during the match with pulling his hair when he refuses to let go of Yoshi’s head when he was pulling on it during the turnbuckle and even did a slow count when Kento would hit Yoshi with the Blackout and he told the referee to speed it up with the count due to him going slow and said six twice just to mess with him.

They did have an amazing sequence once they got back in the ring with Kento hitting a Blackout in the corner and hits a Brainbuster, but Yoshi got back up quickly to hit a German Suplex which leads to Kento coming back up to hit another Blackout and ends with Yoshi hitting a Spinning Wheel Kick to make them both go down. Yoshi would attempt to go for the Koji Clutch until he got caught in a German Suplex Hold for a two count. Yoshi would eventually lock in the Koji Clutch to try and make him tap out but Kento would break out of the hold before he could tap. Kento would hit two more Blackouts on Yoshi and was able to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold to secure the victory and to advance.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Gianni Valletta vs. Suwama

Review: Suwama was the winner of last year’s tournament and he looks to win it back to back as his opponent for the first round is Gianni Valletta. Last time I covered Gianni, he fought Joe Doering and while he did pretty impressive, he still lost at the end of the match and now looks to try to get a big win here over the former ace of All Japan. Can Gianni secure a victory or will Suwama be one step closer to becoming a back to back winner?

Gianni wasted no time when he attacked Suwama from behind with the chain and started to continue the assault around the crowd while getting control of most of the match. Gianni really isn’t a bad heel and this is a much better performance than when I saw him fighting Joe Doering, my only big complaint is that little scream he does over and over again, and I get that it’s probably apart of his gimmick but the fact it’s used very constantly can be seen as a bit annoying. Suwama showed he can still deliver for a man of his age and give him the right opponent, you can see him really go and prove why he was the ace and still one of their best. So far most of these matches had a little bit of comedy mixed into the fray whether it’s the one with Yuma/Ryouji, Kento/Yoshi, and now this one when Gianni would steal the referee’s glasses just so he would be unable to see but Suwama would give them back to him a couple of times. Suwama accidentally knocked the referee out when Gianni took his glasses again, Gianni would try to use his chain to hit Suwama, but it backfired and he falls victim to the Backdrop Driver from Suwama for the win to advance.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Dylan James vs. Joe Doering

Review: It looks like it’ll be a gaijin vs gaijin match with our former Triple Crown Champion, Joe Doering takes on former Tag Team Champion, Dylan James. Both of these guys are normally on and off in my reviews when they can sometimes do well in a match and can also be the worst one on the card and I really hope it’s not the case here. Which one of them gonna move forward?

Wait…the match wasn’t terrible at all…huh. No really, the match really played well with their strengths and it was really slow, but it worked for them since they’re both big guys that aren’t the most mobile and focus more on power than anything, which is exactly how they needed to be here. Both men had powerful strikes towards one another and testing out their strength during their whole match with them being just fairly even with each other and made it quite interesting to see it unfold. Dylan did step it up a little bit more in this match and been impressed after his match with Kento and I know he can be good and needs to flourish more which I hope he does if he can keep giving us performances like this. Joe is someone who just did his job and did his best in the match too and will give him credit for giving us a solid match also. Nothing too memorable in this match, just solid match of power and Joe would come out on top with his Diving Body Press when Dylan was sitting down.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
The Bodyguard vs. Yuji Hino

Review: Good to see my boy, Yuji Hino back in an All Japan ring and I missed seeing him there ever since I saw him doing amazing at the Champions Carnival and even gave Bodyguard a decent match. Speaking of The Bodyguard, that’s how Yuji will be facing in his first-round match. Bodyguard is still the All Asia Heavyweight Champion and I don’t believe he has defended it yet, but guess he would wanna go for a double crown if he wins and fights his partner, Zeus. Will Bodyguard advance or will Hino hit the FUCKING BOMB?

Short, sweet, and to the point, that’s kinda how a Bodyguard match should almost always go or it’ll drag on for him and you start to see his flaws. It wasn’t a bad match but it wasn’t a great match either since it was just Hino playing it cool with his opponent, which is fine and then Bodyguard didn’t do too great in the match either and it looked like there was a small both when Hino went for the finisher and it looked like he almost dropped him, but thankfully Bodyguard was able to catch himself and get off the hold to kick him. After a couple of kicks from Bodyguard, Hino would turn it around with a Lariat and he hits the FUCKING BOMB to defeat Bodyguard and advance to the second round. So if Yuji Hino does somehow not advance in the tournament, would he still get a title match against Bodyguard? I wouldn’t mind a consolation prize, but I still got Hino winning the whole thing hopefully.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Kengo Mashimo vs. Shuji Ishikawa

Review: Our next bout has Shuji Ishikawa taking on a surprise guest, Kengo Mashimo. Kengo Mashimo is from K-DOJO and is known to be one of the best strikers in Japan right now with seventeen years of in-ring experience. All Japan likes to bring in free agents or people from other promotions for these tournaments and this one is sure to be a treat. Which one of these hard-hitting wrestlers is going to make it to the next round?

What a match, let me tell you. This was exploding with energy right from the start and neither of these two fully stopped until the end as they both really delivered with everything that they do best. I don’t get to see too much of Kengo, so him being here in this tournament is really a delight from my viewing pleasure and I am very happy with his performance here with how fast he was with his strikes and his technical ability really is something here that should be viewed by people if you haven’t seen this guy wrestle before. Shuji is also amazing in this match and does what he does best, which is kicking ass in any of his matches and showing no mercy to his opponents. Shuji went all out on Kengo in his arsenal with his running knee strikes, a stomp off the top and even hits the Fire Thunder which Kengo kicked out at one, but Shuji would deliver another running knee soon as he got up but still kick out of it all. Shuji went to go pick up Kengo for a Powerbomb but Kengo turned it around into a Sleeper Hold and it looks like the violent giant is about to take a nap once he fell down and it looked like Shuji was fighting it for a while, but he would eventually pass out as Kengo gets the surprise victory over Shuji to advance to the next round!

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Jake Lee vs. Jun Akiyama

Review: Uncle Jun is ready for some action as he is next to fight in the tournament and his opponent is All Japan’s rising star, Jake Lee. Jake has been showing a lot of progress ever since his return from injury a couple of months ago and even had a really solid match against Kento Miyahara on top of it, so this tournament would be a good opportunity to defeat the president and one of the greatest ever. Will Jake Lee pull it off or will Uncle Jun ground the young man?

God damn, Jun, calm down a little. Most of this match was Jun pretty much abusing the daylights out of him with nothing but knee strikes and he does them in the ring, out the ring, over and over again to just beat the living crap out of this kid. When he does a few knees to him to the outside of the ring, he would pull back a little bit to check up on his left elbow which seems to be something wrong there but he would run back after him to keep assaulting him with these knees and it just doesn’t stop. The match is more story based with the well-rounded vet teaching Jake in the ring as if he’s trying to groom him up into bigger and better things but wants to not go easy on him otherwise he wouldn’t really learn. Jake eventually did get some offense into this match but he would mostly just be taking the abuse Uncle Jun would give him to help sell the story of the match better and it works out really well. Jun hits the Exploder Suplex a couple of times and Jake would kick out of it and he pulled his kneepad down to try and hit a knee strike with his bare knee to end it but Jake kneed him in the gut and copies him with the same move, hitting him in the face twice and Jake Lee pulls off the victory!

We would later find out that Jun Akiyama would actually injure his elbow during the match. I don’t know when it actually occurred or how long he will be out, but it could be a while before we see him in the ring again. Get well soon, Uncle Jun!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

Royal Road 2018 First Round Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Zeus

Review: We’re now down to our final match of the first round as our Triple Crown Champion, Zeus takes on the other half of the all Asia Tag Team Champions, Naoya Nomura. A couple of weeks ago, Naoya would pull off an upset by pinning Zeus in a tag team match and it looks like the two would fight in a singles match this time. If Nomura could beat him for the second time in a row, I think that’ll definitely give him a future title opportunity but Zeus ain’t gonna go down without a fight. Can Nomura be able to get a second victory over him or will Zeus overpower him?

I think this was Naoya’s best match in 2018. Nomura was definitely the underdog in this story since he pulled that surprise win over Zeus and has some of the fans backing him during the match while Zeus would hold a bit of a grudge and added more power in his strikes, especially when he had Nomura against the turnbuckle and Zeus would start elbowing him about as much as Jun did to Jake with his knees in the previous match, even the referee would try to pull Zeus off but he looked furious there. Both of these men delivered in the match to make Nomura look like a star while Zeus being the fighting champion and giving it his all in the match whether the title was on the line or not.

Nomura did pull off quite a few stops like hitting the Death Valley Driver onto Zeus to get the crowd on their feet but Zeus kicked out at two. Zeus would hit some of his big moves too like his Chokeslam and even giving Nomura some of his stiffest chops and Lariats in this match to try and knock him out but Nomura would still keep on kicking out. Nomura definitely showed his fighting spirit in the match proving that he is indeed a future star in the company with his never give up type attitude no matter who he faces, but Zeus would knock him down with a Lariat to flip him inside out and hits the Jackhammer for the win. Valiant effort by Nomura but Zeus was just better than him, but great match from beginning to end.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half

 

Overall: I thought the first round was very successful here as almost all of the matches were very enjoyable and plenty of surprises with both outcomes and performances that is making me excited to see how the next round will do.

Favorite Match: Naoya Nomura vs. Zeus

Least Favorite Match: The Bodyguard vs. Yuji Hino

Score: 8/10


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