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Stardom Shining Stars Day 3 Results & Review (6/10/2018)

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We continue our Io Shirai Farewell Tour as she has two shows left to do before she departs to the WWE and this will be where she does her traditional Gauntlet Match which we’ll get to later on in the review.

Last show, we had an unexpected result with Kagetsu defeating Toni Storm for the World of Stardom Championship and I am thrilled for her winning it since she definitely earned it, just the unexpected match-up without any build is what threw me off and hey, it worked. We’re close to having a brand new chapter in Stardom and all we need to close it up for good is for Io to have her final match and she’ll make the most of her last days.

So let us…dive right in.

 

Three Way Match
Hanan vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Zoe Lucas

Review: Our opening bout is a three-way dance between Hanan, Kaori, and Zoe and it’s good to see Hanan still working again and hopefully we get some good results here. The three would lock hands as Kaori and Zoe would both have Hanan’s arms and hit her back before throwing her to the ropes and it looked like Hanan was going for a Dropkick and missed it which gives Kaori a chance to pin Hanan but she kicks out and now Hanan sweeps Zoe down to go for a pin and kicks out, but now Zoe tries the same thing with Kaori and she kicks out as all three stood up in a stalemate. Hanan would suggest a truce with Kaori as they attacked Zoe and as Hanan threw Kaori into Zoe, she would roll her up for a two count and now offer to team up with Zoe as they now attack Kaori and they both went for a kick as they accidentally hit each other and Zoe had Hanan in for a German and Kaori jumps behind Zoe as well to have their arms in a submission until she broke it up. Zoe would hit a Running Crossbody on Hanan and Kaori would break the pin with the Senton and would try to hit another one on both of them, but they rolled out of the way and Hanan would do a variation of a Suplex for Zoe to break it up and Hanan hits Zoe with an STO and picked her up to try and put her away, but Zoe broke out of it and kicked Kaori out before hitting Hanan with a Backdrop and quickly picked her up to hit her Split Leg Drop and looks a lit nicer this time as she gets the win.

Recommended: It was a short match, but not the worst nor great either. So, up to you.

 

Tag Team Match
Deonna Purrazzo & Toni Storm vs. Saki Kashima & Shiki Shibusawa

Review: This is Toni’s first match since losing the championship as she partners up with Deonna Purrazzo to take on STARS members, Saki Kashima and Shiki Shibusawa.

Appears as if Shiki and Toni are gonna open this one off as Shiki attempts to do a test of strength with Toni, but it doesn’t work with Shiki using both her hands to try one of Toni’s and just doesn’t budge as she starts to overpower Shiki and step on her hands. Toni and Deonna would just tag each other back and forth to pretty much work on Shiki to make sure they can try and take her out without even giving her a chance to tag in Saki. Toni looked like she was gonna go for a Powerbomb and Saki runs in to hit her with a Sunset Flip to have her let go of Shiki while she Dropkicks Toni once Saki moved out of the way after doing the flip. The match was decent and was most impressed with Saki and Deonna in this bout, especially when they were in the ring together where Saki reversed her German Suplex into a Bulldog and then went to do an Underhook Suplex, she had a good flow with it. Deonna and Toni were a decent team while Saki and Shiki were okay at least and Saki does a lot better with Mayu as a partner since they could do more together. Shiki would take the loss from Toni Storm once she hits the Strong Zero Piledriver.

Recommended: It was a decent match, up to you if you wanna give it a watch.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Jungle Kyona, Leo Onozaki & Natsuko Tora vs. Mayu Iwatani, Starlight Kid & Tam Nakano

Review: Up next, we have JAN taking on STARS with Leo being on their team instead of Kaori due to wrestling earlier as they take on Mayu, Starlight, and Tam, so least they both have one member from the future division on their team.

This is the first time both teams are fighting each other with Mayu involved ever since JAN decided to form their own group due to Mayu not picking them in the draft, so they wanna make sure that they beat STARS here to prove they can be taken seriously…sorta. Kyona and Mayu started the match with Kyona going for a handshake and then kicks Mayu to beat her down, but Mayu turned it around and hits a sloppy arm drag and then Kyona swept her up off her feet to pin her as Mayu kicks out and they both stand up. Starlight and Leo get tagged in now and in the pre-match interview, Leo said she learned a new technique she wanted to use in the match and I hope it’s a Double Cutter, but the two would chain wrestle with Starlight getting the upper hand as she tagged in Tam who hits her handstand and lands her knees on Leo and rather poorly might I add. STARS worked on Leo until she made the tag to Kyona and knocks Starlight down until Starlight would hit her Bow and Arrow submission before tagging in Mayu as the two go at it again. Mayu went to go for a German Suplex but Natsuko would attack Mayu and the two would double-team her until Mayu flipped it around to throw the two of them into the ropes with Tam catching them both for a Stunner to make their throats hit the ropes with Mayu and Starlight hitting a Standing Moonsault right after that. Kyona was going for a Powerbomb and Mayu reverses it into a Frankensteiner for a two count and hits a Thrust Kick to daze Kyona to attempt her Dragon Suplex, but Kyona breaks free from it to hit a German Suplex, making Mayu land on her head on that one, ouch. Kyona would tag Natsuko in and tried to get the momentum, but Mayu would roll her up for a two count and hit her with a Roundhouse Kick and tagged in Tam due to her neck being in pain. Natsuko would hit Tam and attempted to go for a Spear, but Tam kicks her head to knock her down before she could connect. Everyone starts going into the ring now and ended with Kyona hitting a Double Clothesline onto Tam and Mayu as she turned around for her and Natsuko to hit Tam, but they hit each other by accident as Starlight Dropkicks Kyona out the ring and Mayu runs after Natsuko to only be Speared this time. You know, I’m surprised Leo hasn’t hit a single Cutter in this ma…nevermind! After a valiant effort by Leo, Tam would hit her Spinning Kick on her to win the match for STARS.

Recommended: Couple of sloppy spots, but it was still solid for what it was. Worth one view.

Leo’s Cutter Count: 1

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Hazuki, Kagetsu & Natsu Sumire vs. AZM, Konami & Momo Watanabe

Review: Our first show with Kagetsu as the World of Stardom Champion and since Hana is gone¬†until September, looks like Hazuki is gonna replace her for the six-man tag bouts as they fight Queen’s Quest in our pre-main lead by Wonder of Stardom Champion, Momo Watanabe. Can Kagetsu gain more momentum going forward as the new champion or will Momo derail her and prove she’s the future? Looks like Oedo Tai extended their dance a little bit and I already love it, probably did it for Kagetsu’s title victory the day before.

Soon as Queen’s Quest got into the ring, Oedo Tai would attack them right away with four of them fighting around the outside while Sumire would kick around AZM after bringing her back into the ring until Konami would grab Sumire’s leg to stop her and all three members of Queen’s Quest would hit their Triple Dropkick for a two count. Momo would get tagged in to do some work on Sumire before tagging AZM back in as she kicked her from the turnbuckle and it looked like AZM was attempting another Dropkick to the corner, but she stops herself to slap Sumire in the face. They would punch each other back and forth and Sumire would yell out “you little brat” while AZM yells out back at her “you old bitch” in which Sumire replies “it feels good to be in my mid-twenties” while slapping AZM, but AZM ended by saying Sumire had a grandma face…damn girl.

Konami gets tagged in now and kicks Sumire in the back and before she could kick her face in, she saw Hazuki sliding the flogger in for Sumire to grab and Konami picks it up before she could and whips Sumire in the face before throwing it away, but Sumire would attack Konami once she threw it away and would roll her up for a two count and quickly tagged in Kagetsu. Kagetsu and Hazuki would kick Konami down and do a Running Senton on top of her before Kagetsu would pick Konami up as the two start kicking each other back and forth for a while and it looked like Kagetsu had it, but Konami would kick her chest once she ran the ropes and hits a PK for a two count, but Konami didn’t stop as she ran towards her but gets caught in a Samoan Drop and the two are down until they crawled to their corners as Hazuki and Momo are tagged in now. The two start going at it with Momo hitting a Dropkick to Hazuki on the corner to her first and then Hazuki would do it back in return and hit a Half Nelson Slam and a Running Senton, but now Momo would start to get some punches in until they went back and forth again till Momo caught her for a Crossface Chicken Wing. Momo attempted to turn the hold into a Tequila Sunrise and Hazuki fights it off with a Codebreaker and Momo kicks her head in to make them go down. I smell money for this feud, a former Queen’s Quest member taking on the new current leader and feels like it could be a jealousy issue here and if done right, can have an amazing delivery.

AZM gets tagged in now, but Oedo Tai would gang up on her into the corner while they all hit their moves on her and Sumire throws her into Hazuki to hit a Double Axe Handle for a two count. Hazuki had AZM in a Full Nelson and both Kagetsu and Sumire attempted to go for a kick but they accidentally hit Hazuki instead, giving Momo and Konami time to get them out of the ring and they kicked Hazuki down before AZM would hit a Lionsault for a two count. AZM went running to the top rope and AKgetsu sprays water into her eyes before Konami kicked her down and Hazuki would deliver some stiff kicks to both Momo and AZM for a two count, but she went to pick her up quick and AZM caught her with a Small Package for a two count as well. Hazuki had enough playing around as she hits a Michinoku Driver and goes to the second rope for the Atomic Bombs Away as she wins the match for Oedo Tai.

After the match, Kagetsu cuts a promo saying Queen’s Quest is basically useless without Io Shirai and she talked about how she defeated Toni Storm the night before as she will now be known as Prime Minister Kagetsu, and I for one welcome our new Prime Minister. Kagetsu has also appointed roles for both Sumire and Hazuki as Sumire will now be in charge of declining birthrate and Hazuki will be Chief Cabinet¬†Secretary and awards them both title opportunities with Sumire saying she’s going for the Goddesses of Stardom Championships and will increase birthrate, now Hazuki wants to fight Momo for the Wonder of Stardom Championship. Mayu and Saki came out and said they’ll defend their belts against Sumire and Hazuki at the next show, but Kagetsu pointed out that Mayu already has a match with Io Shirai as her partner meaning we have a Thunder Rock reunion!

Recommended: Very solid match, worth watching for sure.

 

Io Shirai Gauntlet Match
Io Shirai vs. AZM, Deonna Purrazzo, Hanan, Hazuki, Jungle Kyona, Kagetsu, Kaori Yoneyama, Konami, Leo Onozaki, Mayu Iwatani, Momo Watanabe, Natsuko Tora, Natsu Sumire, Saki Kashima, Shiki Shibusawa, Starlight Kid, Takumi Iroha, Tam Nakano, Toni Storm & Zoe Lucas

Review: Well, this is Io Shirai’s second to last match with Stardom before she’s gone from the company and in the traditional matter, she is set to fight the roster in a Gauntlet Match. Rules are the same as the last one with Io fighting one person at a time with a one-minute time limit and once the time runs out, the next person comes in right away and it keeps on going until the last one is in the match. Even if Io wins or loses in one of the matches, it keeps going until all of them participated. I’m gonna do it a bit different this time and write it down as a list with who came up, who won, and if it was good or not and will write something if anything big happens in that minute. So let’s see how many Io can defeat or if anyone can even defeat her in this gauntlet match.

Entry 1: Leo Onozaki. Leo didn’t do any cutters in the match, so I’m disappointed with that and Io makes quick work of her by making her tap out to the Cloverleaf.

Entry 2: Hanan. Hanan had a better effort into beating down Io, but she would hit her Underhook Facebuster for a second win.

Entry 3: Zoe Lucas. Zoe would propose to Io with pocky and she refuses to take it and throws it out of the ring and now Zoe is made, she misses a Split Leg Drop and Io wrenches her leg till the draw happened.

Entry 4: Deonna Purrazzo. Deonna would mostly out maneuver Io and had her in the Fujiwara Armbar for the duration of the time to make it a draw due to not making Io tap out.

Entry 5: Shiki Shibusawa. Io would hit a 619 and a Dropkick off the top rope before applying a Boston Crab for a draw.

Entry 6: Starlight Kid. Starlight actually came close to winning when she hits her Tornado DDT, Moonsault Press, and a Code Red before Io kicked out for a draw.

Entry 7: Natsuko Tora. Io didn’t waste any time smacking her around soon as Tora got in. Tora hits a Spear and Io kicks out as we have another draw.

Entry 8. Jungle Kyona. Mostly testing their strength and Jungle had her in the Cesaro Swing til time ran out and kept going for a few extra seconds till she lets go

Entry 9: Kaori Yoneyama. Kaori asks Io to Moonsault her one last time and lays down for her, but would push her off once she got to the top and hits a Moonsault of her own, but misses and gets caught in a Cloverleaf til time ran out.

Entry 10. Tam Nakano. Tam pretty much kicking the living shit out of her even when Io to hit with everything she’s got til a draw.

Entry 11. Saki Kashima. Saki would get emotional and hug her till she tricked her into an Uppercut and even kissed Io a few times to try and hold her off for a Killswitch, but didn’t work as we get a draw.

Entry 12: Konami. She would hug Io to pin her down for a pin and mostly does strikes and has her in a submission until time ran out.

Entry 13. AZM. Had Io in the Black Widow for most of it and went back and forth until AZM caught her in a submission soon as time ran out.

Entry 14. Natsu Sumire. Sumire would bat Io with her photo book and would show it to the referee as they looked at the pictures. Sumire would mock Io by attempting her Moonsault but stood on the top rope till time ran out.

Entry 15. Hazuki. Would hit a Springboard Dropkick before the bell rings, they Crossface each other back and forth, and Hazuki hits her Atomic Bombs Away as the bell rang.

Entry 16. Takumi Iroha. Well, this is a very pleasant surprise and they hold each other’s hand so they could forearm each other back and forth until they both delivered stiff kicks to their heads and as Takumi went for the pin, the bell rang.

Entry 17. Toni Storm. Toni attempted the Strong Zero early on and backfired as Io attempted to beat her down, but gets knocked out. Toni would headbutt her till the bell rang and hits a Strong Zero before taking off.

Entry 18. Kagetsu. Kagetsu hits Io with the belt and would attempt a Chokeslam but Io reversed it into a Frankensteiner for a two count. Kagetsu would hit the Oedo Coaster to finally get a pinfall over Io, go Prime Minister!

Entry 19. Mayu Iwatani. Two went back and forth and played paper, rock, scissor as they slapped each other. Gonna miss these two fighting each other and wish they had one more match. Mayu hits a Standing Moonsault as the bell rang.

Entry 20. Momo Watanabe. Momo would attempt her Cradle but Io reversed it into her Underhook Facebuster as the time ran out, but Momo would allow her to hit her Diving Moonsault Press one last time as she does so and even lets Io pin her despite the time running out. (2-1-17)

This whole gauntlet was a lot of fun with a nice surprise from Takumi, everyone gave it their all and was an emotion fun ride. After the match, Io would cut a promo saying that she has one final match left before she leaves and would say to her that pro wrestling is life. Io said that even with her gone, Stardom will still shine and create a brighter future as she saw that today when she fought everyone. Everyone would come into the ring as she leads them to say their phrase which is ‘Believe now, shine tomorrow, we are Stardom”. They pose in the ring as everyone group hugs her.

Recommended: Great gauntlet match and an emotional one as we have one more show to go.

Leo’s Cutter Count: 0 (What sorcery is this!?)

 

Overall: The show was a solid one for what it was and we had a very nice gauntlet match. It’s now dawning on me that we may never see Io Shirai in Stardom again and it’ll be hard to see, but they’ll still shine brightly with or without her and they proved that tonight.

Favorite Match: Io Shirai vs. Stardom

Least Favorite Match: Hanan vs. Kaori Yoneyama vs. Zoe Lucas

Score: 7/10


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.23 ~ 16TH FEBRUARY 2019

In an odd twist of fate, Marufuji is placed in a familiar, yet flipped position going into his GHC title challenge next month. Hisame let’s us know how the NOAH build is going!

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In an odd twist of fate, Marufuji is placed in a familiar, yet flipped position going into his GHC title challenge next month. Hisame let’s us know how the NOAH build is going!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
Navigation for The Progress

Kaito Kiyomiya and Naomichi Marufuji continued their feud over the GHC Heavyweight title. Kiyomiya managed to knock Marufuji out of the ring with a dropkick, but was left wondering as to whether Marufuji played it up deliberately. He also turned his back on him when Kiyomiya was in the ring and was announced.

Marufuji, now that he can’t do aerial attacks (and finally realizing that his body is older than he thought), has turned to more vicious tactics, and decided to work on Kiyomiya’s left arm. In Kiyomiya’s post match promo, he told him that he was going to take him apart bit by bit, and next it would be his legs.

Kiyomiya has vowed that he will find “the Genius’ weakness” before “my body breaks down”.¬†

It has been pointed out to Marufuji that he is in the same position that Mitsuharu Misawa was when he himself was GHC Heavyweight Champion; the senior is challenging the junior.

Mitsuharu Misawa challenges the then GHC Heavyweight Champion, Naomichi Marufuji, a young man in his twenties and of the next generation of heavyweight NOAH wrestlers

Atsushi Kotoge became injured at NOAH’s show in Fukushima on the 11th February, which has put a spanner in the works of the GHC Heavyweight Tag title match with Eddie Edwards, taking on 50 Funky Powers.

Kotoge had gone for the “Revolutionary Cloak Splash” from the top rope, but managed to damage his arm on landing. Fans noticed that he was in a lot of pain, and he was checked out in the ring. NOAH removed him from the subsequent show, and later announced that he had dislocated his elbow and suffered a further fracture to the arm.

Kotoge himself said that he had felt a shooting pain in his arm, and he couldn’t move it at all.

With Kotoge’s injury and subsequent card change, “The Mid Generation” (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima),took on the champions. They obliterated them with Nakajima choking out Quiet Storm with a sleeper, and then laughing about it afterwards.

Although NOAH have not yet announced what will become of the title challenge, and whether Eddie Edwards will team with someone else or postpone his appearance until Kotoge is better (this may not be until the late summer, and Kotoge will most likely miss Global League 2019), but it may be likely that “The Mid Generation” will receive a title shot.

Katsuhiko Nakajima later posted ….

Three of the Dark Agents (Takashi Sugiura, Masao Inoue and Akitoshi Saito) have reunited to take down The Hooligans, however, they have not been very successful in their efforts with The Hooligans defeating them twice so far. Takashi Sugiura has already started making jokes about Masao Inoue, lumping him together with having experience akin to the rookies in the group, Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura. Should Sugiura be unfortunate enough to join The Hooligans, his job will be as their lackey; KAZMA SAKAMOTO says he will have to carry Cody’s bags, lick his boots, clean their toilets, do Nagai’s laundry and wash Maybach Taniguchi’s back.

YO-HEY was said to be looking a lot happier at “the wife” (HAYATA) returning “home”, and while really the only thing that has happened on this tour between himself and HAYATA and the former friends in RATELS, is Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke appearing in the ring and demanding to know what HAYATA thought he was doing.

Their new teammate, Yoshinari Ogawa (backed by YO-HEY & HAYATA, as Kotaro Suzuki is currently absent), continued the fight with The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara and Hitoshi Kumano) over the current GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag titles. Ogawa (in a supreme Golden Era move) threw a table at Hitoshi Kumano, and the team of The Backbreakers and Yoshiki Inamura were wiped out completely, with Ogawa posing with the belts at the end.

Yoshiki Inamura continued his “Seven Match Series”, this time against Masa Kitamiya.

NOAH have so far done very well this tour with both of their two opening dates being sold out.

NEWS

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS” (Kenoh’s column in “Weekly Pro”)
Kenoh visited the new NOAH offices and spoke of a variety of different things ranging from how nice the NOAH staff look now (even Mr. Okada looks smart now, despite “those fucking glasses”), the new company and how they should ask him for advice, the validation of his own opinion on “Leaving Misawa”, and Marufuji vs Kiyomiya.
Continuing his concerned older brother theme when it comes to Kiyomiya, and his hope that Marufuji will beat Kiyomiya for the belt for two reasons; the first being Kenoh wants to challenge, and the second that he seems to intimate that the longer Kiyomiya has it, the worse damage it is doing him, and the more Kenoh of all people seems to worry.

Kenoh’s other idea is that he will second Marufuji on the night (so to be first in line to challenge him), but I doubt that Marufuji is going to allow him to do that.

FAREWELL HAKATA STALENE
NOAH will return to the venue for the last time ever on March 17th, as the building is going to be torn down. Although the full card hasn’t been announced, Naomichi Marufuji will take on Yoshinari Ogawa (this will be their first singles match in 14 years) and Go Shiozaki and Takashi Sugiura will put on a “Golden Era Match” (as they always do when they collide in big matches).

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima decided to wind up Kenoh by sticking his leg in his fist when Kenoh entered the ring and knelt to do his ring introduction.
~ Yoshinari Ogawa denied ever being part of Special 4.
~ NOAH returned to Shinyousei Twenty-One Hall, which has the infamous staircase named “The Demon Staircase of Hell” due to the fact that it is two flights, and means that due to there being no underground parking at the venue for the truck, the equipment has to be carried up and down it, across a courtyard and through the lobby.
~ Minoru Tanaka says his first wish has been granted (i.e. for a title match at Yokohama), but his second one is still outstanding, he won’t say what it is though.
~ Both Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke have hinted at possible moves to the heavyweight division. Tadasuke when he fought Kenoh and Masa Kitamiya and said something “sparked” in him, and Daisuke Harada pointing to the GHC Heavyweight and declaring it was his “final goal”.
~ Mohammed Yone got beaten up in front of a group of old ladies (one was his mother) by Katsuhiko Nakajima.
~ Hitoshi Yamato did his usual singing entry, and incorporated the lyrics that Naomichi Marufuji couldn’t have dried seaweed. Marufuji had a priceless look on his face.¬†
~ Cody Hall took a picture of Atsushi Kotoge who was sitting drinking coffee near a window; Kotoge came out as a big pink blob.

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
Takashi Sugiura has posted pictures of either what is coming out of his dog, or what his dog has left behind. On a pleasanter note, he was given gifts by fans after a small gathering at “Muscle Grill”, and said that as he was carrying a big plushie, he probably looked like a “Weird old man” getting on the train.

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s Korakuen Hall show of the 24th February will be broadcast on Samurai at 10pm (JST) on Samurai TV.

BOOK CORNER
The ongoing translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s “Heir To The Ark” can be found¬†here

LINKS
HAYATA (Costume Research)
“Come to Noah” ~ interview with Naomichi Marufuji
The Green Guide to Muscle Grill
Takashi Sugiura mini interview ahead of the match with The Hooligans
Battlemen Recap (Noah, Wednesday February 13th 2019)
Noah’s Arkive Podcast (ITunes)

NOAH FROM THE VAULT (articles translated by Purodino)
YO-HEY “My turning point”


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.22 ~ 9TH FEBRUARY 2019

Hisame brings us the NOAH news leading up to the Navigation to The Progress tour and assorted NOAH information.

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Hisame brings us the NOAH news leading up to the Navigation to The Progress tour and assorted NOAH information.

CURRENT TOUR RECAP

Since finishing up “Navigation For The Future 2019”, NOAH will not be active until the 11th February when the next tour, “Navigation for The Progress” starts in Fukushima.

Yoshiki Inamura will continue with his “Seven Match Series” facing Masa Kitamiya.

Naomichi Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya will be building up to the GHC Heavyweight title defense on the 10th March in Yokohama, as will Daisuke Harada and Minoru Tanaka over the GHC Junior Heavyweight. This tour will also see a rare match (twice) which will put Marufuji and Harada facing each other in the ring.

Atsushi Kotoge and Eddie Edwards will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight tag tiles on the 24th March at Korakuen Hall. Edwards (due his schedule in IMPACT) will not be appearing in any earlier dates, and at the time of writing as NOAH have not announced the cards for the last two dates of tour (2nd or the 3rd March), so it is unknown as to whether he will be appearing on them.

The Hooligans will face Takashi Sugiura, Masao Inoue, Akitoshi Saito, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada on the 24th February. The match will be an elimination and comes with stipulations; should The Hooligans win, Sugiura enters and is their lackey, should The Hooligans lose, they have to disband.

The Backbreakers will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag against Kotaro Suzuki (who gets a chance to team with his “older brother”, Naomichi Marufuji, on the 22nd February) and Yoshinari Ogawa on the 24th February.

This will be NOAH’s last tour using the iconic green mat outside of the Misawa memorial shows.

NEWS

DIFFER ARIAKE TORN DOWN
“Next to the venue is the former NOAH office and dojo. You go up the stairs where the commemorative photographs of the wrestlers were held at the inaugural meeting in 2000, you go through the office next to the Differ offices, and then to NOAH’s office. There was once a dojo on this floor where the training equipment and ring was installed.”
(Differ Ariake, “Holy Land of Noah”, looking back in records and memories)

Masa Kitamiya recently retweeted a post a fan had sent him, of¬†the empty lot¬†where the venue, and once the “Holy Land of NOAH” once stood.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Differ Ariake started life in July 1988 not as NOAH’s home or a sports venue, but as a venue for disco and other music related events, later foreign bands would play here, and it saw a boom during the “Bubble Era” of the 1980s and early 1990s before closing and reopening as a sports venue in 2000.

NOAH moved into the venue soon after Misawa led the exodus from All Japan, and set up their offices and dojo there (their home was not the main stadium, but rather the complex to the left of the picture, the famous staircase can be seen on the main building).

Three generations (arguably from Marufuji’s to Kiyomiya’s) would grow up here until 2016 when the venue changed hands, and NOAH moved out.

NOAH would return to the venue one final time in November 2017 for the last ever Differ Cup. After the event they walked sadly through a place that they once called home. Each corner, each room, each inch must have held some memory for all of them, whether good or bad.

It was here in 2000 that NOAH held their inauguration event, “Departure”, which sold out in twenty minutes and for those fans who couldn’t get tickets, monitors were set up in the parking lot. Round about 6pm that evening, Misawa came out to talk to the fans who were waiting in line.

It was here that NOAH had held SEM, and filmed all their Christmas (and otherwise) specials, and in June 2009 after the tragic death of Misawa, 25,000 came to pay their respects.

It is ironic that with NOAH’s new owners changing the promotion and doing away with the iconic green, changing the new logo and laying the memory of Misawa to rest, that the home of NOAH should also disappear, like a final break with the past.

Differ may have now physically gone, NOAH may be changing and heading out to new and unknown waters out of Misawa’s shadow, but the picture taken of a vanished era in NOAH standing on the steps of their new home, their faces young and full of hope for the future, no matter their individual fates and that of the promotion they all turned their faces towards, will always remain part of the landscape, no matter what fills the now vacant lot filled with so many memories, emotions and history.

HOLY WAR
Toshiaki Kawada held his 4th “Holy War” produce. This is the first time that he has not had a “Talk Battle” with a NOAH wrestler (the others being Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Akira Taue).

Results 

  • Hiroshi Yamato defeated Junta Miyawaki (7 minutes and 1 seconds)
  • Kazushi Miyamoto, Mitsuya Nagai & Shiro Koshinaka defeated Shunsuke Sayama, Tomoya Hirata & Yoshiki Inamura (13 minutes and 59 seconds)
  • Go Shiozaki & Shotaro Ashino defeated Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda (18 minutes and 19 seconds)

IPW
IPW have announced that Fight Network (SKY Channel 192) will start broadcasting an edited version of their shows. This a great way for NOAH fans to catch the roster members when they appear in the UK, especially (at the time of writing) Daisuke Harada, who is the current IPW Junior Heavyweight champion. You can watch the inaugural show (featuring Harada) here

COALITION
Yahoo Japan are hinting that there may be a coalition or an alliance between NOAH, All Japan and W-1. However, it looks as if NOAH’s new owners will be instituting a policy of isolation at the present time and not entering into any partnerships with other promotions, besides the ones they all ready have. Naomichi Marufuji, however, has spoken of the importance of co-operation.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS

~ Due to his injury, Naomichi Marufuji had to cancel his one day stint as the manager of “Yoneya” (Mohammed Yone’s restaurant), the rescheduled date took place recently.
~ Hitoshi Kumano celebrated six years in wrestling on February 9th. Ge debuted at Korakuen Hall in 2013 against Atsushi Kotoge
~ Naomichi Marufuji did some clearing out, and found old phonecards with Takashi Rikio during his sumo days on them
~ Takashi Sugiura was given a chocolate gorilla for Valentine’s Day
~ Because the NOAH dojo has no heating or air conditioning, Kiyomiya and Miyawaki trained in tracksuits (the picture Miyawaki took revealed the dojo to have a CD collection and remote controls for the player)
~ YO-HEY celebrated his 31st birthday on February 6th
~ Naomichi Marufuji commented that he doesn’t know what KENTA’S plans are, but he wants him to go somewhere where he can be himself again. Takashi Sugiura came out and basically asked him what his plans were.
~ NOAH will be holding an event called “Navigation TO A NEW ERA” on May 2nd. Further details to be announced.
~ President Fuwa has started a Twitter account 

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
He’s managed to behave himself this week, no pictures of Masao Inoue at the urinal or his dog defecating.

BROADCASTS
“Great Voyage in Yokohama” on the 10th March will be broadcast by G+ plus on the 16th March on G+ at 8.30pm (JST)

Jun Akiyama wrote a book called “Inheriting The Giant Stars” (thanks to GuyOnInternet for telling me about this); the book has been added to my shopping basket and will be purchased and then translated in due course.

If you do know of any NOAH\All Japan related books, by all means, do let me know. My ambition is to one day build up a digital library translated into English for Western fans.

LINKS

The “Green Guide to the History of Pro Wrestling Noah” has been updated¬†
Eddie Edwards Mini Interview 
Press conference: Naomichi Marufuji vs Tetsuya Endo 
The Last Showa Born Heel: Can Masa Kitamiya be the new era Masa Saito? 
Naomichi Marufuji to challenge Kiyomiya, defense plans after taking the championship 


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