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Wrestle-1 Tour 2018 Outbreak Part 2 Results & Review (6/22/2018)

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Welcome back to Wrestle-1 and last time we covered them, a lot has happened with CIMA and OWE invading Wrestle-1 to shake the company up, as they will be fighting each other in a series of matches during the show and Manabu would also retain his championship in the process.

Our main event tonight is for the W-1 Tag Team Championships since Jiro and Masato would defeat Ashino at the previous show as they look to have the match tonight. Will W-1 be able to drive OWE away on their first night or will they show that they’re here to stay? Let us…dive right in.

 

Singles Match
Takanori Ito vs. Takumi Baba

Review: We open up the show with a regular exhibition match between Takanori Ito as he takes on Takumi Baba. This one was really nothing to write home about because this was more of an average squash type match with one guy controlling the majority of the match in a short amount of time and eventually Takumi would get some offense in the match for about a brief moment and ended after he would hit a Dropkick off the top rope and Ito would turn it around with a few kicks to the chest and would call for the German Suplex Hold for the win after about five minutes. Ito reminds me a bit of Kevin Owens and I think I said that before since he pretty much has the same attire as him, same body type and is quick, but doesn’t have the full intensity like Kevin does, but he does have potential to be a top guy in W-1.

Recommended: Skippable.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Ganseki Tanaka, Koji Doi & Tsugutaka Sato vs. Masayuki Kono, MAZADA & NOSAWA Rongai

Review: Time for a six-man tag match involving someone that is responsible for the invasion of CIMA and OWE, NOSAWA and he got exactly what he wanted so let’s see if he’s right later on tonight, but now he has to focus on his match against Ganseki, Koji, and Tsugutaka. With another old vs new style tag team match, it’s what you expect with Koji getting the early shine in the match and would lose it once Ganseki came in to take in the heat of everything from NOSAWA, MAZADA, and Kono as all three of them would just give him a beating without giving him any chance to tag in anyone else, which is how it should be when it comes to tag team matches. Eventually, Koji would get back in the ring for the hot tag and would clean house with his powerhouse style and would tag in Sato to try and put it away, but NOSAWA would hit a Shining Wizard on Sato, followed by a Lariat from MAZADA and Kono would hit a Chokeslam to try and win it, but Koji would break the pin just in time. NOSAWA and MAZADA would fight the illegal guys on the outside of the ring as Kono would hit a Chokebomb for a two count and then would hit his Running Knee as the young guys would lose once again.

Recommended: It was an average match, so this one is up to you

 

Tag Team Match
Alejandro & El Hijo del Pantera vs. Kenichiro Arai & Yusuke Kodama

Review: On our last show, Kodama would defeat Seiki to become the new Cruiserweight Champion and was then challenged by Pantera to be the next contender for the belt as we have no match date for it just yet, we got a tag match with Pantera partnering up with Alejandro while Kodama would team up with Kenichiro Arai. We get our preview early as Pantera and Kodama would start the match off with Pantera being all quick in the ring and even ran the middle ropes for a bit before the two locked up and Pantera is just too quick for him with his cat-like reflexes, no pun intended. Kodama would throw Pantera to the ropes and he just flips outside on his own as he landed on the entrance ramp before going in to do a Springboard Dropkick to make him go outside of the ring as Kenichiro would run in only to be tripped down as Alejandro would hit him with a Crossbody to make him go outside now and it looks like they’re both about to do a Suicide Dive, but they psyche them out as they are still in the ring taunting them.

Alejandro gets tagged in now and looks to do a Splash to the corner as Kodama would move out of the way and kick Pantera down before going back to the ring to tag in Kenichiro as he now begins to work on Alejandro’s arm and that seems to be the key focus for Kenichiro and Kodama when they kept tagging each other back and forth while still working on his arm to injure it more until Kenichiro came back in the ring to do more damage as Alejandro would hit a Hurricanrana to get him down as he makes the hot tag to Pantera. Pantera would hit the both of them with a Tilt-a-Whirl Backbreaker and would go to the ropes to do a Springboard Frontflip onto Kenichiro and before he could do anything, Kenichiro would tag in Kodoma when he wasn’t looking and hits Pantera with an elbow while Kodoma hits a Diving Crossbody for a two count. The two start punching each other back and forth until Kodoma would rake his eyes and went to throw him into the ropes, Pantera would hit a Springboard Headbutt and top it off with a Dropkick before he made his way to tag in Alejandro who hits a Dropkick off the ropes and Pantera would hit a Drop Toehold to make Kodoma land between the ropes so they would hit a Double 619 and a Double Dropkick as Alejandro goes for the pin, Kenichiro would break the count. Alejandro and Pantera would hit the ropes again but Kenichiro would pull Pantera out of the ring, giving Kodama an opening to attack Alejandro with a Fisherman Buster and then he hits his Mad Splash to get the victory.

Recommended: Solid match, worth watching.

 

Singles Match
CIMA vs. Jun Tonsho

Review: It is now time for Strong Hearts vs. Wrestle-1 to begin as we have our first match with the leader, CIMA to take on Jun Tonsho, who has been pretty impressive during the last couple of times that I’ve seen him wrestle and should be an interesting bout. Soon as CIMA got into the ring, Jun would start to Dropkick him right away and start going after him so CIMA doesn’t get a chance to fight back and it’s a smart move on his part to try and take him down quickly and does with a few more Dropkicks and once he attempted to go for the Dragon Suplex, CIMA would fight it off and hits a Dropkick of his own. CIMA would first hit a Fisherman Buster for a two count and he quickly picks him up for a DDT and then goes to the ropes to hit his Meteora for the quick victory as he defeats Jun in less than two minutes. Strong Hearts has one point on the scoreboard while W-1 has zero.

Recommended: For a match being two minutes, it was pretty entertaining. Worth a viewing I say, especially if you’re interested in this feud.

 

Tag Team Match
Kaz Hayashi & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz

Review: After pretty much CIMA getting the quick work done on Jun, our next match is a tag team match as we have Kaz Hayashi leading this one with former Cruiserweight Champion, Seiki Yoshioka as they take on two of Strong Hearts members, Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz and I’m excited for Zachary as he’s been one of the breakout stars for me in 2018 and I can’t wait to see him shine more tonight. Zachary and Seiki start the match off with first some basic chain wrestling as Zach would turn it around into an Armbar to try and make him tap, but Seiki would have his foot on the rope to break the hold. Seiki would start ducking Zach’s strikes and attempts to go for a Baseball Slide as Zach jumped over him and ran to the ropes to do a Springboard Corkscrew to knock the former champion down and once Saiki got back up, Zach would tag in his partner Dezmond. as Seiki backed up to tag in Kaz.

Dezmond would outsmart Kaz with his strikes and jabs whenever Kaz would try to throw or hit him as Dezmond kept on turning it around and threw him into the corner only to be thrown over, which Zach would tag himself in the second Dezmond hits the apron and would kick Kaz in the back of the head and jump over the ropes to kick his chest in and soon as Dezmond rolled off him, Zach would jump over Dezmond to hit the Bronco Buster and impressive teamwork right here. Seiki would attack Zach for a bit and Kaz would Dropkick his leg to knock him down as he now begins to work the leg a bit until he went for a Handspring Enziguri only for Zach to duck and hit the same move but with a Dropkick as he connected and hurts his knee in the process before tagging in Dezmond.

Dezmond would Dropkick Kaz on the back of his head to make him roll out of the ring and went to go for a dive, but gets punched in the face instead as Zach would jump over the ropes to land on top of Kaz. Seiki would try to attack Dezmond and gets thrown to the ropes and he does an Asai Moonsault to the outside only for Dezmond to do a cartwheel into a Moonsault to the outside as well as the place goes crazy. Dezmond get Kaz back in the ring and goes for a 450 Splash to only land on his feet since Kaz moved and would hit Kaz with a jab to the midsection as both him and Zach would hit a combination of strikes where Zach ends it with a Double Stomp while Dezmond goes for the cover and Kaz kicks out. Seiki and Zach get tagged in and Seiki would look like to put it away as he hits the Headscirssor Slam and tops it off with a Roundhouse Kick to go for the cover but Dezmond breaks the count and gets Kaz out of the ring. Seiki went to go for the victory as Zach had him in a short-arm hold as Dezmond hits Seiki would a Superkick and Zach turns him around for a knee strike as Zach went to go for his Standing Moonsault by Seiki’s feet, Dezmond would push him mid-air to make him land on Seiki for the win. Strong Hearts now has the lead 2-0.

Recommended: Great match and I’ll even post the video of the match on here so you can see it for yourselves.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
Andy Wu, Manabu Soya & Shuji Kondo vs. El Lindaman, Gao Jingjia & T-Hawk

Review: This will be the last match in the Strong Hearts vs W-1 matches for the evening as it is not a six-man tag match with our Wrestle-1 Champion, Manabu Soya leading the team with Andy Wu and Shuji Kondo as they take on T-Hawk who leads the team with El Lindaman and Chinese star, Gao Jinjia. Can Strong Hearts get a clean sweep or will Wrestle-1 finally get a victory here?

This is my first time seeing Gao in action here and I gotta admit that while he’s a little bit green and needs more work, he’s very athletic and can definitely move in the ring here, I hope to see more growth from him in these matches. Lindaman is someone I wasn’t fully sold on in Dragon Gate and I still cannot get into the guy here since he’s just mediocre at best in my opinion. T-Hawk is someone I felt like he wasn’t ready for the big spotlight when he won the King of Gate last year and once he teamed up with Eita, he started to slowly get better in the ring and with his character work, and now seeing him here made me think that it would be a good place to start if he does get involved with major storylines with W-1 depending on how long the feud will go on for, but I do believe that Manabu will eventually fight at least CIMA or T-Hawk for the championship depending on the direction they go with it. The match was solid with mostly Kondo and Wu doing the work in the matches while Strong Hearts relied heavily on the heel tactics and greater numbers against one person. When Manabu was in the ring, he really played his strengths into the match to show that the company was his house and he’s not going to let another promotion come in here and try to take it from him or the others in Wrestle-1. One move I did love was that Gao jumped onto Lindaman’s back and hits a 450 Splash off his back and onto Andy Wu, I don’t think I really see that happening and thought it looked awesome. T-Hawk and Andy are in the ring now and it looked like Wu would get the one win Wrestle-1 needed over Strong Hearts, but Hawk would hit his Black Tiger Bomb and get the three count.

That’s right, Strong Hearts was able to get a clean sweep over Wrestle-1 by winning all three of their matches tonight. The two teams would continue to brawl in the ring after the match while T-Hawk was getting confrontational with Manabu hinting that they would eventually fight each other again soon. W-1 would eventually leave the ring during the brawl and T-Hawk declared that they will all return for the Korakuen Hall show on July 18th. Though he stated that this time around that STRONG HEARTS will announce their matches/teams with W-1 being given the chance to follow.

Recommended: Solid six-man tag match, worth a viewing.

 

WRESTLE-1 Tag Team Title Match
Kumaarashi & Shotaro Ashino (c) vs. Jiro “Ikeman” Kuroshio & Masato Tanaka

Review: At the last show, Jiro would get the surprise victory over Ashino with the Ikeman Flash and Jiro stated that he and Masato would challenge for the belts at the next show with his partner this time since Kuma was busy that night taking on Manabu for the Wrestle-1 Championship and then lost. Both Ashino and Kuma would need to win this match here to redeem their losses or will Jiro pull the upset once again with Masato and have a second belt in his collection since he’s still the Wrestle-1 Result Champion?

Yes, Masato is still rocking Jiro’s jacket and wearing it while he wrestles in this match, I just love how he can be a heel in a few places while being the babyface in other companies like this one. I love whenever Jiro and Ashino work together in the ring since they have such great chemistry together with Ashino’s ability mixed up with Jiro’s charisma gives us unique matches together. I liked how Ashino would tackle Jiro down and would just kip-up right away and do it a couple of times even when Ashino would rake his eyes and throw him down to the ground and Jiro would just find a way to mess with Ashino, it’s the small types of interactions mixed with their chemistry that I just enjoy. Kudos to Kuma for showing off his power and throwing Jiro around like a rag doll and he sold that once he hits the turnbuckle post on the outside, even when Kuma tried to throw him into the ring, Jiro would bounce off the ropes to fall back down to the outside and it made Kuma look great here. Masato getting the hot tag and in the match and starts exploding in the ring and he continues to show that he can still be at the top of his game for a man his age, it must be that ancient Japanese secret that I don’t know about and need to figure out. Ashino would lock the Ankle Lock on Jiro and would make sure he wouldn’t let go of the hold so he could make him tap out this time instead of giving him any type of advantage to escape and pull another upset like he did at the previous show and while Jiro was able to escape, Kuma would be ready to do a Diving Senton onto him off the second rope to add more damage to his body and Masato would hit Ashino  with a Brainbuster off the top rope as Jiro hits his Moonsault Press to go for the win, but Kuma broke the count. Ashino isn’t done yet with Jiro as he worked him more with some stiff European Uppercuts and a T-Bone Suplex to go for a two count and would reapply the Ankle Lock once more to see if he could get him to tap out once more and he still fails to do so, and Masato would catch Ashino off guard with a running knee to the face and Jiro would hit not one, but two Moonsault Presses to double tap him and pins him for the win as we have new Tag Team Champions!

Seeing the title change hands rather quickly did throw me off guard, but at the same time, I think it made sense since Ashino is too good for the tag titles and needs to focus on getting his Wrestle-1 Championship back, maybe Kuma can find a different partner from his faction to go for the belts. But congrats to Jiro for now holding two championships in the promotion and if he can win the Grand Prix, he’ll have a chance to win three belts if he can also defeat Manabu, but again he has to win the Grand Prix first.

Recommended: Very fun match and all four of these men delivered for a great main event. Give it a watch.

 

Overall: I was amazed that Wrestle-1 was able to pull off two great shows back to back and they added new elements to their storylines and rivalries to make me wanna watch more of them frequently if they were able to upload shows in time instead of almost a month in between. Next up is the Wrestle-1 Grand Prix which takes place on the July 1st show and will have the semi-final and finals taking place on July 18th (my birthday), and the winner of that match will fight for the Wrestle-1 Championship on their big show in September 2nd. The entrants to this match are Jiro “Ikemen” Kuroshio, Masayuki Kono, Kaz Hayashi, Shotaro Ashino, Shuji Kondo, Koji Doi, Takanori Ito, and Kumaarashi. I’m gonna go with Jiro making lightning strike twice and win it back to back, but don’t be surprised if Ashino wins the match to set up the rematch between him and Manabu.

Favorite Match: Kaz Hayashi & Seiki Yoshioka vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz

Least Favorite Match: Takanori Ito vs. Takumi Baba

Score: 8/10

See you all next time!


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.117 ~ 10TH JANUARY 2021

Hisame recaps a storied Junior rivalry that helped kick of the NOAH New Year! As well as a pre-match with Mutoh and an original member returning for at least one match in NOAH!

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Hisame recaps a storied Junior rivalry that helped kick of the NOAH New Year! As well as a pre-match with Mutoh and an original member returning for at least one match in NOAH!

NEWS

HAOH & NIOH CHALLENGE STINGER FOR THE GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG BELTS

HAYATA and Susumu took on the Kongoh Juniors, Haoh and Nioh, on January 4th at NOAH’s first show of 2021. The typically fast paced junior match ended with Nioh getting the pin on HAYATA by using HAYATA’S own momentum against him. After that, in true STINGER like fashion, Nioh made the title challenge by yelling loudly. Because Yoshinari Ogawa was not in the match and Susumu not the champion, it fell to an unwilling HAYATA to accept the challenge, which he did (after Susumu had kind of blocked his way to prevent him from leaving), by saying “Next…100 wrestlers” and then walking off quickly. The title match has been set for the 16th January 2021 at Yokohama Radiant Halls.

The only pre-match between the two teams, took place on the 10th January 2021. Yoshinari Ogawa (the champion who doesn’t like being challenged), threw his belt down when he got in the ring in front of Haoh and Nioh as if he wanted to say, “The only way you will ever get these belts, is if I give them to you”. Worse was to come than an Ogawa temper tantrum however, when the match ended again with Nioh getting the win over HAYATA.

KAZUNARI MURAKAMI CHALLENGES KENOH FOR THE GHC NATIONAL TITLE

Despite being introduced with the potential for a feud with Katsuhiko Nakajima and\or Masa Kitamiya, it was with Kenoh that the true sparks flew with for Kazunari Murakami. After a vicious strike war, which ended with Kenoh eliminating him at The Sugiura Army produce, Murakami choked out Kenoh at NOAH’s New Year show on the 4th January. Backstage he saw that both Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba (who along with the referee had tried to pry him off of Kenoh) both were holding a championship, and after hearing that Kenoh was a champion who he had just choked out, Murakami decided to challenge. Kenoh said he had no choice but to accept (he claimed he was unconscious when the challenge was made), and the match has been set for 23rd January with a pre-match on the 16th.

 

NOSAWA’S “PART TIME GUY” UNMASKED

Thanks to Yoshinari Ogawa ripping off the mask as HAYATA and Susumu held his arms on the 4th January at Korakuen Hall, NOSAWA Rongai’s silent, masked and heavily concealed, “Part Time Guy” companion, turned out to be Ikuto Hidaka.

Hidaka has lots of links to NOAH, both personal and professional (i.e. he’s an old friend of Hajime Ohara, and like Mohammed Yone is a former BattlArts guy), has appeared in NOAH sporadically since 2003, even once winning the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag titles in 2006 at the Nippon Budokan when he teamed with Minoru Fujita, when they defeated the then junior heavyweight Takashi Sugiura and the long departed from NOAH, Yoshinobu Kanemaru. His relationship with NOSAWA Rongai he has known (ironically) from DDT in 1998, but mainly in ZERO-1. Hidaka teamed properly with NOSAWA and Kotaro Suzuki (who he knew better in ZERO-1 than in NOAH), and has declared that he will “make war on the NOAH Juniors”.

MASATO TANAKA JOINS THE M’S ALLIANCE

Masato Tanaka was revealed to be the new member of the M’S Alliance on the 4th January, much to Takashi Sugiura’s chagrin. When Sugi asked Tanaka why he joined them and not with his old Bullet-Yankee’s tag partner, Tanaka said that Naomichi Marufuji asked him first. He had been waiting for Sugiura to call him, but he never did. Like everyone else, Naomichi Marufuji said that he wants to see them fight.

“I WILL WAIT FOR YOU IN ANY RING”, JUN AKIYAMA IS COMING TO THE BUDOKAN

When they met in a tag match before Jun Akiyama left NOAH in 2012, Akiyama promised Naomichi Marufuji that no matter what the future held, one day he would meet him again for a tag match, and until that time he promised Marufuji that “I will wait for you in any ring”.

Naomichi Marufuji made a request to Jun Akiyama on the 4th January to team with him on the 12th February. They had fought at Champions Carnival 2018 (when the long bitterness between NOAH and All Japan was finally laid to rest), and Jun Akiyama had later appeared at Naomichi Marufuji’s 20th anniversary, “Flight”, with their last match being in 2019 in a six man tag, when Akiyama’s team defeated Marufuji’s. As Marufuji pointed out, they had fought, but they hadn’t tagged. Akiyama’s initial response was to joke that he wasn’t going to do it unless the opponent was Masao Inoue, but he did eventually give his consent that he would appear, and the match was announced on the 10th to be Jun Akiyama & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura, in what NOAH have called a “Generations Match”.

DAISUKE HARADA RETAINS AGAINST HAJIME OHARA, CHALLENGED BY SEIKI YOSHIOKA

 After an amazing match on the 10th January in which he defended the GHC Junior Heavyweight against Hajime Ohara, (who Harada called “my rival” but paid tribute to by saying that Ohara was the opponent in the NOAH Juniors, who out of everyone “drains your strength”), Harada was challenged by Seiki Yoshioka who was inspired by what he saw. The match has been set for the Nippon Budokan.

Yoshioka has challenged Harada for a title before (GHC Junior Tag) and he has challenged for the GHC Junior Heavyweight before (Kotaro Suzuki), and this will be their first singles match ever. Harada and Ohara doesn’t need too much of a build up, fans know what they are going to get and as NOAH save it for special occasions, it is highly anticipated. Yoshioka vs Harada will be a new thing for both of them, and for the fans.

“I EXPECTED MORE”, GO SHIOZAKI DEFEATS KEIJI MUTOH IN THE FIRST PRE-MATCH

Go Shiozaki defeated Keiji Mutoh in a mystery card\pre-match on the 4th January at Korakuen Hall, by using (much to Mutoh’s shock), his own move against him, The Moonsault. Shiozaki commented that he expected more of Mutoh, but to be honest I think that Mutoh being a wily veteran is playing the old man card here as which started with his leaning on the shoulder of Referee Shu Nishinaga to get into the ring. I get the impression that with that, and how Mutoh was acting during the match, the pretense that he is just an old man is to lure Go Shiozaki in to a sense of false security and confidence. During the match, Mutoh differed from Shiozaki’s other title challengers in that he wasn’t interested in attacking his arms, he went for his legs (he also did the same to Kaito Kiyomiya), but it’s not Kiyomiya who he is challenging, and after the win, Shiozaki said somewhat sternly on Twitter that, “I expected more”.

FULL THROTTLE PRODUCE

No further details have been announced as of yet, but FULL THROTTLE will be holding their very first produce at Yokohama Radiant Halls on March 6th.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

EVENT RECAP: New Sunrise 2021 (Korakuen Hall, January 4th)

POST MATCH INTERVIEWS: New Sunrise 2021 (Korakuen Hall, January 4th)

EVENT RECAP: Higher Ground 2021 (Korakuen Hall, January 10th)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ Daiki Inaba made the mistake of accepting a handshake from Tadasuke. Why do people trust him?

~ The Harada brothers were arguing again. Older brother, Akio, asked for an Osaka NOAH poster to be told by Harada that they weren’t out yet, and maybe he should stick a picture of himself as a kid up? Harada posted one, and his older brother retaliated by posting one of Harada.

~ Both Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura were hoping for a singles match with Masao Inoue at NOAH’s mystery card on the 4th January. It turned out to be Kazuyuki Fujita, who destroyed Inoue in 6 seconds.

~ NOSAWA Rongai refused to high-five Kotaro Suzuki, as he said he didn’t and doesn’t trust him.

~ The majority of people answered with a definite “No” when asked if they were going to Takashi Sugiura’s PPV after show party.

~ Kenoh was strangely unsympathetic when Naomichi Marufuji complained to him about Manabu Soya after bouncing off him during a match.

~ In typical fashion, Hajime Ohara said that he was sad that he had lost the pre-match, but was happy that young Kai Fujimura had worked hard during the match. This was a direct contrast to Daisuke Harada, who only talked about himself.

~ FULL THROTTLE appeared on part 1 of “Pro Wrestling Susume” on Samurai TV. We discovered that YO-HEY is good at things that involve anything whirling and high colored (Hajime Ohara isn’t) and that Seiki Yoshioka can beat Ohara at shuttlecock, and Ohara us good at things blindfolded.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

Wednesday 3rd January: Tadasuke (35)

Wednesday 3rd January: Part 2 of FULL THROTTLE on Susume (Samurai TV)

Saturday 16th January: NOAH “Higher Ground 2021” (17:30 JST)

BROADCASTS

“Higher Ground 2021” on the 16th January, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on January 19th at 17:30 JST. You must be a subscriber to view this.

LINKS

Event recap: Naomichi Marufuji at SwanDive

Tour dates: February & March 2021

 

Picture credit: m_shsankus & Noah GHC
GIFS taken from WRESTLEUNIVERSE & ABEMA

 


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.116 ~ 3RD JANUARY 2021

Welcome to the first NOAH newsletter of 2021. It’s been a quiet few days as the NOAH office has been shut for the New Year break, but Hisame brings you all the information necessary to kick the year off educated!

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Welcome to the first NOAH newsletter of 2021. It’s been a quiet few days as the NOAH office has been shut for the New Year break. NOAH held their last show of 2020 on the 29th December (Takashi Sugiura’s 20th Anniversary), and will recommence at Korakuen Hall on the 4th January 2021.

NEWS

“All Dogs Gather 2” ~ Takashi Sugiura’s 20th anniversary

Mitsuharu Misawa had created produce shows to be a training tool for the younger generation of NOAH to produce their own shows, make booking decisions etc, all with the backing of the promotion behind them. Produce shows (like RATELS early ones) were where you would book dream matches, bring your friends in and generally do things that didn’t really relate to what was going on in NOAH at that time. You would never have once seen title challenges or many things that we saw this evening. With Kaito Kiyomiya’s “NEW HOPE” fast evolving the new SEM and Club Citta the new Differ to hold it in, produce shows have too evolved.

Not having much to do since Quiet Storm left in early 2020, Mohammed Yone asked Shuhei Taniguchi, (who has not been doing much since his singles match with Keiji Mutoh and his drifting away from the younger generation group of Kaito Kiyomiya, Yoshiki Inamura and Daiki Inaba), if he wanted to team up after their tag match. Taniguchi agreed by roaring loudly into the microphone.

Fans got the best Christmas\New Year’s gift ever, when Hajime Ohara challenged Daisuke Harada for the GHC Junior Championship. NOAH like to keep their singles matches (and indeed their tag matches) to a minimum as they know how highly fans prize seeing them fight, and they only ever usually give them a singles for special occasions. Harada accepted Ohara’s challenge, and it has been set for 10th January at Korakuen Hall. It would have been a very good Budokan match.

Go Shiozaki and Kazuyuki Fujita had their first match (albeit a tag) following their title match, in ten months. The staredown this time lasted only about five minutes until Hideki Suzuki and Yoshiki Inamura broke it up. That was all they were able to break up however, as they had a staredown after the match in the form of “this ain’t over”, which ended with Shiozaki grimacing and Fujita walking off. Nothing has been arranged yet, but fans have said they want to see a singles match between them again, and this time with an audience. Somehow, I don’t think that a thirty minute staredown once again is going to be a problem.

Katsuhiko Nakajima loved facing off against Kazunari Murakami, his smile was probably visible from space. But it wasn’t Nakajima (or Kitamiya who held up Kongoh pride until the end as he was the last man standing), who gave the impression of a further interaction with Murakami, it was Kenoh. The two had a light speed hard-as-hell kick war, and it was Kenoh who eliminated him. Murakami left with a laugh.

The main event elimination match between Kongoh & The Sugiura Army, came down to Takashi Sugiura and Masa Kitamiya. Sugiura won the match with the Olympic Slam, but he gave props to the bloodied Kitamiya who had headbutted him, and led the applause when he was helped from the ring. Sugi then asked all The Sugiura Army members to come to the ring. Kendo Kashin did not accompany them, having stalked off earlier when eliminated (he turned up later, he had been out to buy beer), and Hideki Suzuki flipped the bird behind Kazuyuki Fujita’s back. Fujita remained totally unaware. After giving the audience a heart attack by joking he was going to retire, Takashi Sugiura thanked everyone for coming, and saying how grateful he was to be able to have been in NOAH for twenty years, which is an understatement as there were times when it looked like NOAH would not survive twenty years, and had it not been for Sanshiro Takagi, Misawa’s kindness to him and investment in DDT all those years ago, NOAH would not have survived Coronavirus. Event done, backstage interview done where Sugi said he wanted a singles belt for him and to monopolize the belts as a unit, the aftershow party could begin.

All of NOAH’s past events have either been broadcast on the network, or else on a subscription streaming service such as WrestleUniverse or ABEMA, this was the first time they had ever done anything “Pay Per View”. The backstage party was hosted by the irrepressible Kuniko Yamada, and although he is no longer a member, Kinya Okada joined in. Okada did little more though than hide in a corner, and tear into a hunk of meat (Kuniko ate hers in a more refined manner). Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba were the main stars, breaking open the traditional Sake barrel (this is done on anniversaries), and performing their stand up comedy sketch in the style of 1950s comedians with big bow ties, and a microphone between them.

January 2021

Due to the escalating Coronavirus situation in Japan, the Tokyo city government has announced that all bars, restaurants and cafes will be shut at 8pm. Sports events seem to be (for now) untouched by this and it will be business as usual.

The same as last year, NOAH will holding their first show of the year at Korakuen Hall, once again the card will be announced by entrance themes, and they will also be in competition with New Japan who will be running the Tokyo Dome. Unlike last year they will not be running a second night on January 5th, and only five shows in total over the course of the month.

Last year, Masao Inoue won a match, Daisuke Harada beat Hajime Ohara in a four man tag, Hideki Suzuki and Kenoh left fans wanting more, Doug Williams teamed with Chris Ridgeway, Go Shiozaki defeated Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight, and HAYATA shook hands with Yoshinari Ogawa after the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag match…

So who knows just WHAT is going to happen this year, and given how explosive NOAH was when it wrapped up 2020, this show has the potential to be red hot.


J-CROWNED VOL.2

The second volume of Matt Charlton’s excellent study of Puroresu, has been released on both kindle or paperback form. Beautiful illustrations which compliment the moving text, there is no better place to either start, refresh or learn something you never knew before about your favorite champions and their title reigns.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.co.jp

Amazon.com

Amazon Canada

Amazon Germany

 

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

Event recap: “All Dogs Gather 2” (29th December 2020, Korakuen Hall)

Post match promos: “All Dogs Gather 2” (29th December 2020, Korakuen Hall)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ Kaz Hayashi announced after the Sugiura Army produce that he was leaving NOAH and therefore withdrawing from The Sugiura Army as he wants to concentrate on GLEAT.

~ Naomichi Marufuji and Daiki Inaba went at each other outside the ring at “All Dogs Gather”.Inaba said in the last backstage interview of 2020, that he wasn’t going to run away.

In a recent interview Kazunari Murakami referred to Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya as the “two young boys”, which was how he had known them at Kensuke Office\Diamond Ring.

~ NOAH wrestlers released their New Year calligraphy with their resolutions. YO-HEY talked about nipples, and Naomichi Marufuji talked about Ramen.

~ As it is the year of The Ox, Yoshiki Inamura was made up as one for a magazine shoot. He kind of looks more like a Demon than an Ox though, but would give the Minotaur described as “his body was fully human, although his legs and arms were bulging with almost superhuman muscles”, a run for his money.

~ Sadly due to the Coronavirus, there was no traditional NOAH appearance at JeanJean (aka “The Purple Dinosaur”) this year. In past years, Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Kenoh (looking awkward as he was given a cake that resembled breasts), have appeared.

 

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

Monday, 4th January 2021: “NEW SUNRISE 2021” (6pm JST, Korakuen Hall)

Tuesday, 5th January 2021: Katsuhiko Nakajima celebrates 17 years in wrestling (debut 2004)

Tuesday, 5th January 2021: Seiki Yoshioka (33)

Wednesday, 6th January 2021: “FULL THROTTLE” appear on Pro Wrestling Susume (part 1)

Thursday, 7th January 2021: Naomichi Marufuji will be the special one day manager at SWANDIVE Bar & Restaurant

Sunday 10th January 2021: “HIGHER GROUND 2021” (11:30am JST, Korakuen Hall)

BROADCASTS

“NEW SUNRISE 2021” from Korakuen Hall on the 4th January, will be broadcast live on ABEMA from 6pm JST. The stream will be free and worldwide. If you cannot watch it live, you will be able to view it for seven days afterwards. After that time you will need to subscribe to WRESTLEUNIVERSE in order to be able to watch it.

LINKS

NOAH will hold 4th January Korakuen again this year! The card will be announced on the day! What is the surprise?

GIF’S taken from ABEMA

Picture credit: Yoshiki Inamura

 


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