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Wrestle-1 Tour 2018 Outbreak Part 1 Results & Review (6/13/2018)

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We are back at Wrestle-1 as the schedule last month was a bit hectic and had to skip the show due to too much going on.

I’ll just tell you what happened. Last show we did, Manabu Soya and AKIRA won the Tag Team Championships and were challenged by Kumaarashi and Shotaro Ashino in which they won the titles in May and lead to Kumaarashi to be the next challenger for today’s show. As you can see in the title that it says part one and I added that because this is technically day two of this tour since day 1 isn’t aired and the same with day three, so I wrote part one instead of day 2 for that reason. So we got a stacked card and plenty of surprises along with two titles matches, so let us…dive right in.

 

Singles Match
Ganseki Tanaka vs. Tsugutaka Sato

Review: I’m looking at the match card and I know it says the match is about eight minutes, but they do cut a bit of time from the earlier matches due to trying to make it about two hours for TV and sucks since I wanna see the full matches of the whole card and not just the upper half of it, takes away the feeling of watching a show and feels like I’m watching a recap for the first half. From what was available though it didn’t look too bad at all since it looked like it was the newer talent fighting each other with mostly stiff strikes and submissions, they both looked good while doing what they needed for a simple yet effective opener. Due to half the bout being cut, not much to talk about than what I just said and Tsugutaka won the match with an Elevated Boston Crab.

Recommended: It wasn’t bad, but the match being cut hurt my full opinion so skip it.

 

Tag Team Match
FUJITA & MAZADA vs. Ryuji Hijikata & Takanori Ito

Review: It started off with Ito and MAZADA going back and forth with punches and once Ito knocked MAZADA down, he kicked his foot up to hit him in the groin to take Ito down with him, clever. Ryuji was only in the ring once during this whole match and it was very brief since it was just FUJITA and MAZADA working on Ito throughout the whole match to get the heat and I actually do like them as a tag team and they flow nicely. MAZADA would try to go for the pin on Ito, but he kicks out at two and Ryuji would hit him with a Shining Wizard before he gets up and goes to the outside to prevent FUJITA from getting in the ring while MAZADA and Ito fight in the ring. Ito would get the upper hand on him with a few kicks to knock him down and would pick him up for the German Suplex Hold to get the win for him and Ryuji.

Recommended: Same problem as above, but this one was watchable at least.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Alejandro, Andy Wu & El Hijo del Pantera vs. Jun Tonsho, Kaz Hayashi & Kotaro Suzuki

Review: We got a six-man match-up with the three masked wrestlers taking on Kaz Hayashi as he leads the team with Jun Tonsho and Kotaro Suzuki.

Pantera and Hayashi start the match off and Pantera starts schooling him with his lucha style and a mix of arm drags, he would then hold his arm while walking on the ropes as Kotaro would try to shake the ropes to knock him down, but Pantera held on and bounced up to flip the both of them and that looks insane. Pantera would jump over Kaz to Dropkick Kotaro and it looked like he was gonna do a Suicide Dive and spins back into the ring before tagging Alejandro. Alejandro got kicked down right away by Kaz and kept going at it till he took an arm drag and he went to go for a tilt-a-whirl, but he slipped when he was going around for the second time and was able to still roll him up for a pin to try and cover it up for a two count and not Kotaro gets tagged in. Alejandro hits a Missle Dropkick and tags in Andy Wu who starts exploding with energy sweeping Kotaro after dodging a Roundhouse Kick, hitting a nice Frankensteiner off the top rope and would get a two count, but now Kaz and Pantera start getting involved in the match with all four of them going back and forth with Kaz and Kotaro first hitting a Handspring Elbow onto both of them, then Andy hits a Wheelbarrel into a Bulldog onto Kotaro, then Kaz hits a Jawbreaker, and then it ends with Pantera hitting a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker to make all four men go down while Alejandro and Jun are standing in their corners until they actually get tagged in.

Alejandro and Jun start to hit each other with punches, but Alejandro would get the upper hand with a Springboard Crossbody and then a Springboard Dropkick and gets a two count. Jun then gets some offense when he dove through the ropes to hit a DDT and goes to the top rope, but Alejandro goes up quick to do an arm drag and then hits a Reverse DDT to go for the pin as the other four men go back in to break it up which ends with Andy and Pantera both doing a Hurricanrana to the both of them and diving to the outside to leave them alone again. Alejandro looked like he was trying to go for that Tilt-a-Whirl DDT which I forget what he calls it, but they both dropped and Jun would hit him with a Dragon Suplex for a two count and for good measure hits a Thrust Kick for the win. After the match, Jun stated that he wants a shot at the UWA Six Man Tag Team Championships.

Recommended: Solid six-man action despite some slip-ups and made me a fan of Pantera.

 

Tag Team Match
Masayuki Kono & NOSAWA Rongai vs. Koji Doi & Shuji Kondo

Review: Another tag team bout with NOSAWA and Masayuki taking on Koji and Shuji, and of course it started with Shuji and Koji hitting a Shoulder Block onto NOSAWA to knock him down. Part of the match got cut on this one too since it was mostly NOSAWA and Kono knocking down Shuji and it would work for a while until Shuji had one up for a Bulldog while hitting a Lariat on the other so he could tag Koji in for the remainder of the match and would get stopped by Kono as he attempts a Double Chokeslam on Koji and Shoji, but they would jump out of it to push him off for a Double Clothesline and as Koji went for the pin, NOSAWA would hit a Shining Wizard. Eventually, Koji would hit a Facebuster on Kono and then applies the Nankinjogatame to make him tap out.

Recommended: The match was okay, so up to you.

 

– After the match, NOSAWA was still in the ring as he says that it’s time for there to be some excitement for Wrestle-1 and that is why he called a friend in. Out came CIMA along with several of his wrestlers from OWE (Oriental Wrestling Entertainment), as they made their presence known in the W-1 ring. Joined by T-HAWK, El Lindaman, Takehiro Yamamura, Gao Jingjia & Zackery Wentz (Dezmond Xavier was also announced to join later), the group known as STRONG HEARTS, has declared an all-out war against WRESTLE-1. CIMA stated that he will bring much-needed life to W-1. Which Vice-President Kondo took offense and Hayashi as well was not happy with the call-out against their promotion. CIMA and Shuji Kondo had an initial stare-off, but then T-HAWK got into Kondo’s face to assert himself against the veteran. Jun Tonsho, Hayashi’s current protege, even shoved CIMA to the mat. The OWE boys made a wall in front of Tonsho which lead to Hayashi pulling his boy back. The group will begin compete in W-1 on the June 22nd show at the Shinkiba 1stRING, as President Hayashi stated that the event card will be changed soon. All I can say about this whole ordeal is holy shit. I’m so glad OWE is getting a chance to shine and I feel like this little partnership could help open new doors for the both of them. OWE is a promotion in China which is lead by CIMA himself and is in charge of running it once he left Dragon Gate while still being apart of the company. This feud made me excited and I can’t wait to see what happens. (Credit to puroresuspirit.net for the details as what was said.)

 

Tag Team Match
Kenichiro Arai & Shotaro Ashino vs. Jiro Kuroshio & Masato Tanaka

Review: Since Kumaarashi is busy with his upcoming title match, his tag partner, Shotaro Ashino had to pick someone else from Enfants Terribles to team up with him and he picks Kenichiro to take on Jiro ‘Ikemen’ Kuroshio and Masato Tanaka which I didn’t see coming. I also love how Masato is also wearing Jiro’s jacket for when he wrestles as his partner, that’s just awesome to me.

Masato and Ashino look to be starting it off and we get some nice chain wrestling for a moment and Masato would get the advantage first while popping his jacket a little, but Ashino gets mad and hits a European Uppercut on him and Masato strikes back and hits a running forearm to the corner before tagging Jiro in as he starts to chop Ashino and while he can to the ropes, Kenichiro opened the ropes up for him to fall to the outside. Kenichiro would attack Jiro on the outside for a moment before putting him back into the ring so he could get tagged in and hits Jiro with the Kitchen Sink to knock him down before going over to the corner where Ashino is sitting on the top turnbuckle as Kenichiro goes up behind him to stand on his shoulders and fall down for a Double Stomp and gets a two count. Kenichiro would run towards Jiro, but Jiro jumps up to make him tackle the turnbuckle post and gives Jiro time to hit a Dropkick off the top and tag Masato in who gets the hot tag and even takes the jacket off, how could you!? Masato would have Kenichiro in a DDT position and Ashino runs in to try and break it, but gets caught in a Stunner while hitting the DDT at the same time, but his momentum would end when Kenichiro hits an Atomic Drop and a Spinning Neckbreaker to knock Masato down. Ashino gets tagged in now and hits a Running Uppercut to Masato and then Masato hits a DDT before he could tag in Jiro who then slaps Ashino with part of his jacket before having him go outside to hit an Asai Moonsault. It looked like Jiro went to go for a Springboard, but Ashino catches him for a German Suplex as they’re both down while Jiro tries to make the tag, but Masato was knocked down before he could reach him which lead to a two on one assault on Jiro with another Running Uppercut while Kenichiro hits an Alabama Slam. Ashino would hit two German Suplexes and he was going for a third until Jiro grabbed the ropes to try and fight it, but Ashino hits his head to make him let go and attempts a third, but Jiro filled out of it and its a Cradle Piledriver and goes to hit his Moonsault Press for the win, but Kenichiro grabbed the referee’s hand to stop the count. Ashino would finally apply his Ankle Lock to try and make Jiro tap and he tried so hard to break out of it, but was unable to for a while until he surprised him with the Ikemen Flash roll-up and gets the surprise victory over Ashino! After the match, Jiro told Ashino that he and Masato want a shot at the Tag Titles at the June 22nd show.

Recommended: Very solid match, worth the watch.

 

WRESTLE-1 Cruiserweight Title Match
Seiki Yoshioka (c) vs. Yusuke Kodama

Review: Seiki is set to defend his Cruiserweight Championship for the fifth time as his next challenger is Enfants Terribles member, Yusuke Kodama who looks to bring the belt over to his faction so they would have more gold while Seiki is proving that he’s still on top of the division.

It looked like they were trying to see who can outsmart who during the beginning of their sequence with Kodama ducking on of Seiki’s strike to slap him in the face and later on, Seiki would stop himself from jumping over Kodama so he could kick him when he was down, but then Kodama got the upper hand when they were outside and he tripped Seiki from the apron to knock him down as he now gets the heat in the match. Kodama would have Seiki in the corner to chop and punch him around and Seiki would try to turn it around to have him in the corner to go for a kick, but Kodama would duck it to have him back in and hits a Running Forearm along with a Brainbuster for a two count. Kodama went for a Reverse DDT and Seiki would flip out of it as he delivers some kicks to him until Kodama raked his eyes to do an Irish Whip which Seiki reverses and hits a Cruiser Kick to knock Kodama down and tops it off with a stiff Enziguri and an Axe Kick to get a two count. Seiki would have Kodama by the ropes and gets hit to give Kodama time to try and hit a Springboard DDT, but gets pushed off into the corner for Seiki to hit a Shining Wizard, Enziguri, and a Running Dropkick to knock him down, but now they’re on the top rope but Seiki has him down to hit the Tree of Woe for a two count. Seiki would attempt to go to the top rope, but Kenichiro went out to distract Seiki only to get knocked down, but it was enough time for Konada to recover and push him off the top rope to make him go outside where he attack him for a bit and try to get a count out victory and once Seiki got closer, Konada would run and do a flip to the outside onto Seiki to get him back in as he hits a Diving Forearm shades of AJ Styles to get another two count. Konada isn’t done yet as he picks Seiki up for a Powerbomb right away and still gets a two count as Konada now attempts to pick him up, but Seiki would fall back down which leads to Konada to mock him a bit to make him get up as he picks him up again to go for a Fisherman as Seiki fights out of it and hits two Roundhouse Kicks to make them both go down. Seiki would get up first and starts to grab his arms so he could stomp him down for a bit until he picked him up for a Devastation Kick and a Pump Handle Driver for a two count. Seiki looks to end it with the PK but Konada would fall down before he could get a chance to kick him and plays possum by rolling him up for a two count and as Seiki tried to kick him, Konada catches the leg to hit a German Suplex, but Seiki gets back up and kicks him down a few times to try and do it again, but Konada hits a Bloody Sunday for a two count. Konada would pick Seiki up for a Fisherman Buster for another two count, but Konada quickly goes to the top rope so he can hit his Mad Splash and we have a new Cruiserweight Champion!

Seiki Yoshioka has held the belt for 284 days with four successful title defenses under his belt and he definitely had a solid run with the title, but I can’t be mad with Konada winning the belt either since he definitely delivered in this match here to earn this win. After the match, Konada would start to mock and humiliate Seiki a little bit until El Hijo del Pantera came out to not only make the save, but to also assert himself as the next challenger for the championship, but we don’t have the official date for it as of now but I am excited about it.

Recommended: Great match, definitely worth the watch.

 

WRESTLE-1 Title Match
Manabu Soya (c) vs. Kumaarashi

Review: After losing the Tag Team Championships to Manabu and AKIRA, Kumaarashi would betray his partner to join up with Enfants Terribles to get a rematch for the titles with his new partner and former WRESTLE-1 Champion, Shotaro Ashino and they were able to get the titles together which made Kumaarashi the next challenger for the championship. Enfants Terribles now has all but one title now due to Konada just winning the Cruiserweight Championship and both Ashino and Kumarrashi still being champions, all that’s left for them to take now is Manabu’s title and could make Kumarrashi a double champion if he can somehow pull out the victory here, so let’s see if he can.

We get a bit of a slow start with the two locking up and pretty much a headlock until Manabu pushed Kuma off as they both shoulder tackle each other back and forth for a bit as Manabu was able to knock Kuma down and starts to kick him. Manabu went for an Irish Whip and gets reversed as Kenichiro would grab Manabu’s legs to pull him to the outside and hit him with a chair on his injured ribs while Kuma distracts the referee and before the referee turned around, Kenichiro was on the other side as Kuma would stand on the ring apron to hit a Senton on top of him while Manabu was laying on two chairs.I’m loving the selling with Manabu’s ribs since it’s not over the top and makes it feel like it’s a legit injury while trying his best to fight off Kuma and gets knocked down with a knee in the gut and would even do a Vicegrip on his injured ribs before hitting another Senton for a two count. Manabu would get a small comeback when he runs from the ropes to hit a Flying Clothesline and then a splash in the corner with a Bulldog and then a Neckbreaker right after to only get a two count, but he would pick him up for a quick DDT for another two count and when he tries to throw him into the corner, Kuma would reverse it to throw him in and run after him only to get kicked in the face so Manabu can attempt a Crossbody, but Kuma catches him for a Bearhug and gives him a Backbreaker before Manabu could fight out of it. After applying a Torture Rack onto Manabu, Kuma would attempt to go for a Piledriver a couple of times only for Manabu to flip him over to get some time to regain his stamina and the two would brawl back and forth until Manabu had him dazed with his double-handed chops and ran in for a Spear, but Kuma catches him in time and it looked like he was going for a Suplex, but Manabu reverses it into a Brainbuster and he’s down. Manabu would go for a Spear and a Death Valley Driver to get a two count and it looks like he’s calling for the Wild Bomber, but Kuma would hit his arm twice to prevent him from hitting it and would hit a Lariat of his own, but Manabu would headbutt his arm before the collision and now the two try to Lariat each other to knock the other down and it wasn’t working until Kuma actually hits his first but he calls down with him. Kuma goes to the top rope only for Manabu to get up to fight him off and he hits a Superplex before getting up to try and hit the Wild Bomber, but Kuma catches him to tackle him to the turnbuckle and knocks him down before he climbs up again to hit a Senton off the top rope, but he’s too weak to make the cover otherwise that would’ve been it, but he tries to pin him anyway and it’s already too late as he kicked out. The two would get up slowly and start clubbing each other in the chest until Manabu was too weak to hit him and Kuma picked him up to only get hit with a headbutt, and now Manabu tried to pick him up and gets caught in a Powerbomb instead as Kuma goes for the cover again and Manabu kicks out once more. Kuma went to the top rope to hit one more Senton but Manabu would roll out of the way and hits a Wild Bomber on the back of his head and then one more to go for the pin and Kuma kicks out, but Manabu would hit one more Wild Bomber and this time he gets the win and still champion!

After the match, no challenger came forward, but the W-1 GRAND PRIX will begin on July 1st with the winner earning the right to challenge on September 2nd. Last year we had Ashino taking on Jiro for the WRESTLE-1 Championship on that same show and it was my favorite match of that year, so I’m definitely excited to see who will fight Manabu this September.

Recommended: This was a great match with nice storytelling, definitely give it a watch.

 

Overall: Aside from the first match being average, this was honestly a great show and one of the better ones that I’ve covered on here for sure. With the invasion of CIMA and OWE, new Cruiserweight Champion, and just a solid main event, I’m very excited to see what the next show brings.

Favorite Match: Seiki Yoshioka vs. Yusuke Kodama

Least Favorite Match: Ganseki Tanaka vs. Tsugutaka Sato

Score: 8/10


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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 7 & 8

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We get another combined article because of the way Stardom likes to stagger matches in this tournament.

Day 7 actually didn’t have any Blue Star matches at all, so now the articles will be titled a little differently. I need that Rick and Morty clip about getting your shit together and direct it at Stardom booking. Oh wait, I can!

via GIPHY

 

So with that established, I guess we should look at the matches to come. Tam is eliminated but still has 3 matches to go. So she can go from a measly 2 to a respectable 8 if she can put a few wins together. Utami and Rachael however are still very much in the thick of things, and even face one another on Day 8.

Let’s find if anyone else gets eliminated, or if we continue to have the top half stay alive.

 

Day 7

Rachael Ellering vs Tam Nakano

Rachael’s promo is fake and over enthusiastic, whereas Tam’s was realistic and a little bubbleheaded. So it’s really hard for me to ever connect to Ellering’s promos, cause she’s not convincing and her matches thus far have been…umm…shall we say, sub par. So sadly Tam seems to be in the plucky underdog role this year and always getting close with not much of a pay off. So let’s she if she picks up a win to play spoiler, or continues to come up short.

I have no clue what it is about most of Rachael’s matches, but they are hard to watch. Rachael’s Pump Kick that she over uses never looks impactful, she doesn’t take or sell offense well, and it’s just a schlog. This match was no different.

Tam’s kicks are usually crisp, but they hit awkwardly and slowly. Tam even went for a bottom rope assisted Back Body Drop, but Rachael’s foot cause the middle rope and it just looked sloppy. Tam still sold her back, while Rachael focused it, so that was good.

We also see a decent barrage at the end of the match with some false finish rollups, Rachael’s Bossman Slam and then Ellering finally finishes this with the Fallaway Powerbomb.

Winner: Ellering via Fallaway Powerbomb

Rating: * 1/2

 

Kagetsu vs Kimber Lee

Kimber always has this oddly endearing way of cutting a promo. She talks fairly slowly (the way people do when you’re speaking a language people might not understand), which I find ridiculous, but she says all the correct babyface things. Kagetsu however has a skull mask on her head, pops up into frame and just starts talking casually about things. She just wants to end the match, eat some good food and head to Osaka. It’s casually dismissive of Kimber, but not cruel, perfect tweener kind of temperature.

Kagetsu takes the early advantage and does the cocky heel thing by throwing Kimber to the outside. Hazuki and Sumire get in a few cheap shots before rolling her back in. Kagetsu takes a drink of water and then we get her water spit/mist spot. Which I’m still not sure why that isn’t a disqualification, but I like it, so I’m not questioning it.

After the initial cockiness, Kimber takes advantage of Kagetsu taking her foot of the gas and puts together some offense. A few well placed kicks and suplexes lead to the Swanton Bomb attempt, but Kimber misses. After a little more struggle, Kagetsu eventually hits a Chokeslam and then enough of the Oedo Coaster to get the pinfall.

Not Kagetsu’s best work, but it was a fairly short match and Kimber isn’t positioned as a threat in this tournament.

Winner: Kagetsu via Oedo Coaster

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Day 8

Kimber Lee vs Tam Nakano

The opening promos are pretty low energy for both women. Kimber talks about being eliminated but fighting for herself and Tam tries her best to psych herself up. The lack of points is effecting both of these women. Who will get the ball moving to end on a high note?

Not a bad match, just fairly short. Given that all of the Grand Prix matches have a 15 minute time limit, even the longer ones are a little short. Both women utilize a fair amount of kicks and flexibility in their offense, so the mirror aspect was on full display.

Kimber does her split spot, Tam goes for a Buzzsaw Kick, but Kimber blocks it and tries to sweep the leg, but Tam does a split and they both start throwing forearms from the split position. Kimber hits a kick combination first, which drops Tam but only for two. In her opening promo Tam put some emphasis on not wanting to lose to kicks, since those are kinda her thing.

Maintaining advantage, Kimber goes to the top rope but Tam shows some fight. Eventually hitting the Avalanche Snapmare and going up for her Diving Idol Knee, for only a near fall. After a few more close calls, Kimber catches Tam coming off the ropes for a Brain Buster, pulls her to a corner and lands the Swanton Bomb for the pinfall.

Valiant efforts in all her matches, but Tam really can’t catch a break.

Winner: Kimber via Swanton Bomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Rachael Ellering vs Utami Hayayshishita

Well, ya know I’m usually overly disinterested in whatever Rachael’s been doing, but this match was a little different. She basically got to play the heel since she was being very tough on Utami and showing some personality while arguing with the referee. So when it comes down to Rachael’s involvement, it wasn’t the thing that brought the match down, for a change.

However, after the initial burst from Rachael and the playing up a few strikes on the outside, the match never kick it into another gear. It basically was treading water for the last half. Signature moves were hit, Utami landed her Sleeper Hold takeover into the Coquina Clutch, but Rachael got out of it. I’m guess the high point was supposed to be Rachael hitting a Superplex, but nothing felt important, desperate or impressive.

The match ends just as Utami cinches in an Inside Cradle, but the time expires. All of the draws in this tournament are a little off putting.

Winner: Time Limit Draw

Rating: ***

 

Red Stars Standings:

Kagetsu 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Rachael Ellering 4-1-1 (9 Points)
Jungle Kyona 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Utami Hayashishita 3-1-2 (8 Points)
Konami 3-3 (6 Points) – Eliminated
Kimber Lee 2-4 (4 Points) – Eliminated
Tam Nakano 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated
Natsuko Tora 1-5 (2 Points) – Eliminated

 

Thoughts:

You know Stardom, you know what happens when you make Tam look good but don’t give her wins? Nothing happens, it’s actually decent story telling and could set up for a big upset of Kagetsu on the Finals day. So as much as the fan in me hates watching Tam come up short (Naito fans around the world know that feel), her determination and the storyline wrinkles could pay off later.

As for the two days…meh? Nothing stood out and these really just felt like matches to set up for the final swerve. These kind of days happen in all tournaments, it just hit really hard in these four matches. I just really really hope Rachael doesn’t win Red Stars.


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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Day 8

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So tomorrow is the last day of the Five Star Grand Prix where we will have our final four matches and the final match on the same day but we got two matches left to cover before we go to the final day.

This show is for people that didn’t have their six matches before the final day and we’re using this to make sure they’re all caught up to speed and we can see who has a chance to make it and who doesn’t. I know it says day 8 in my headline but I had no matches on the seventh day, so I decided to just skip it and go where I have my actual matches. So who wins these two matches?

Let’s find out and…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: It’s pretty clear that Sumire is pretty much eliminated and even if she does win this match and her last one, the fact that Mayu would hold the tiebreaker over her if she lost today and won tomorrow, but would still be out if Momo won on the final day since she’d have nine points while Sumire would still have eight if she won both and wouldn’t matter, but she has been one of the highlights of this tournament due to her personality flourishing a lot more here and the fans loving her more and more. Sumire in her pre-match interview seems to be more focused on her bust size and even talked about the supplements she’s been taking for a couple weeks now and is disappointed that there’s been no change in her results just yet and hopes to provide progress updates. Kelly is her opponent tonight and if Kelly does win here, she’ll be in the top spot of the standings and would have a strong chance of winning. Can Kelly win again or will Sumire ruin it for her?

Once again, Sumire made the match fun when it was needed due to it not being the best bout in the tournament here but they did work with what they got, even if it was as pretty standard as they come. Kelly did an okay job in the match as well and probably my least favorite outing of her in the Grand Prix and she just wanted to dominate Sumire. Sumire was mostly doing her antics that you would see in her matches with the false handshakes, cradling them up when they least expect it, and just whipping them. It looked like Kelly was going to go for the win here and when she ran the ropes, Kagetsu kicked her in the back to stun her long enough for Sumire to grab the Oedo Tai sign so she could hit Kelly with it, but Kelly moved out of the way causing the sign to bounce off the ropes and hit Sumire instead in which it gets turned around for Kelly to hit the Fireman’s Carry Slam for the victory and she’s now in first place.

Rating: Tony Schiavone

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Review: A win here is very crucial for Mayu Iwatani if she wants to tie it up with Kelly, otherwise she would be eliminated from the tournament and her opponent, Hazuki would take the top spot with nine points and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. The last time the both of them fought one on one was around February during the ROH Women of Honor tournament and Mayu would come out the winner of that match and Mayu wants to beat her again to show she’s on a whole different level now. Who will take the top spot of the standings, Mayu or Hazuki?

Hazuki is in my top 5 wrestlers of Stardom right now and this match here with Mayu just solidified my statement for this claim. This whole tournament, she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers in her matches with her sequences being on point, her moves are crisp, and how to handle a match lately has been outstanding that she should be under peoples radar. Hazuki right away was being aggressive with Mayu before the bell even rang when she attacked her from behind and kept rolling her up which failed, but she kept on the attack by throwing her around into chairs on the outside and even destroyed Mayu’s arm during the whole match and not holding back on her, I love this side of Hazuki.

This match is one of my favorites in my block next to Hazuki/Momo still being my favorite one, but this one was still pretty damn close with their chemistry in the ring together gave us a special match and it’s not even their last one for their block. They told a great story in the ring, executed everything almost flawlessly, seeing a more aggressive side of Hazuki in her previous two matches, and Mayu selling it all to make it look more dangerous than it probably is, but they were just on point with everything together. Hazuki was pulling out all the stops with having her in the Crossface, working on her arm, stiff Dropkicks and a Codebreaker, but it still wasn’t enough to take Mayu out as she hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and gets the victory to tie first place with Kelly Klein. After the match, she told the crowd that she was now in first place and hopes the crowd will still support her as she looks to win it all at the final.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: Can’t really give it a fair assessment due to only having two matches with one being average and the other one being great, but the average of it was solid enough. I’m glad to see that all three of my picks are in the top 4 of potential winners and excited for the last day since it’s stacked.

Favorite Match: Hazuki vs. Mayu Iwatani

Score: 6/10

Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2 (8 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-2 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Hazuki: 3-2-1 (7 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 3-3 (6 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 2-4 (4 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-4 (2 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-4 (4 Points)

Now that we have our final standings before the final show tomorrow, we see that our top 4 people that could still win this are Mayu Iwatani, Kelly Klein, Momo Watanabe, and Hazuki. We’re gonna break down the final card for tomorrow and see who has a real chance and how can it be done.

  • Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe
  • Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire
  • Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy
  • Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Here is how these four can win.

Mayu Iwatani: Defeat Momo Watanabe and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Momo Watanabe: Defeat Mayu Iwatani and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein.

Kelly Klein: Defeat Nicole Savoy

Hazuki: Defeat Nicole Savoy, Momo Watanabe defeats Mayu Iwatani, and Nicole Savoy defeats Kelly Klein

If Momo and Hazuki do win their matches and Kelly loses, these two will be in a tie and it’ll be interesting to see who gets the final spot since they did tie it up in their outing, interesting direction if that’s the case.


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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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