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Andrew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Red Stars Ratings & Review: Day 2

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Well, it’s Day 2 of the 5 Star Grand Prix, and it should be interesting how things shake out. Konami pulled off that big upset on Kagetsu, which apparently also injured her neck, so she’s been wearing a brace.

Will Kagetsu need to forfeit the tournament? Does the rookie sensation Utami continue to make headlines? Will Tam finally be more dangerous than adorable?

Okay the last question is more for myself. Tam is adorable, I just would like to see her take it to the next level.

Well let’s find out.

 

Kimber Lee vs Jungle Kyona

Jungle comes off a loss, but talks about shaking off yesterday in a tournament like this. Kimber keeps it simple and sweet, not really a ton to take from the pre-match promos.

Kyona literally kicks things off after a handshake with a Shotgun Kick into the corner when Kimber’s back is turned. A few strikes, lariats and even a sliding lariat take her to the first near fall of the match. Just when Jungle had all the moment, she’s stopped in her tracks by a succession of Kimber’s High Kicks.

We see Kimber hit the split spot again, into the Splitting Jawbreaker, followed by the Prawn Hold for a 2 count. A small flurry from both women, give Jungle a shot to go to the top rope, but Kimber cuts her off and pulls her off rather unceremoniously.

Kimber then lands about a half dozen kicks, a Scoop Slam and tries to pick up a submission win with the Boston Crab, but Kyona gets to the ropes.They have a stand off moment with Kyona hitting a haymaker and Kimber with a nice Enzuigiri giving her an opening to go to the top.

At this point Kyona gets up, hits an Avalanche Power Slam, followed by a Sliding Lariat for only two. After a little bit from both, Jungle manages to lock her arms around Kimber and land the Hammer Throw Powerbomb, for the victory.

Winner: Kyona via Hammer Throw Powerbomb

Rating: ***

 

Utami Hayashishita vs Natsuko Tora

Utami is pretty humble putting over Natsuko with high praise on her power and ability. Natsuko deems Utami the “Super Rookie”, but says that she will snuff out the rookie’s momentum. I guess we get to see if Utami can do Shinsuke Nakamura proud, with this Super Rookie moniker.

They start off immediately with a test of strength, which it doesn’t look easy, but Utami manages to force back Natsuko. Natsuko turns it around and they start going back and forth with strikes. Again it seems like the senior wrestler gets a small edge here.

The next few exchanges really put over the fact that Natsuko is a little stronger than Utami, but Utami always gets a small flurry to not be too far behind. After a near fall, Natsuko gets up and they start the Shoulder Tackle spot, which ends with  Tora taking a small shortcut and projecting herself forward to knock down the rookie.

After a Sleeper Hold doesn’t finish the match, Utami goes for her Argentine Backbreaker, but Tora slips out. But Utami remains in control as she his a Judo Throw and then two STOs. Finally we see Natsuko show a little more fight after back to back Spears, followed by a Rolling Fireman’s Carry Slam into a Frog Splash for 2.

Tora goes for a Scoop Slam, but Utami slips out and sinks in the Sleeper Hold. She kicks Natsuko’s hand away from the ropes, does a Sleeper Hold Takedown and transitions to the Coquina Clutch. Tora passes out and never taps.

Winner: Utami via Coquina Clutch

Rating: ** 3/4

 

Tam Nakano vs Konami

Pre-match, Konami keeps it simple like last time saying her Triangle Lancer has 100% win rate, where Tam seems solemn. Tam is more disappointed that she lost her first match, but tries to smile through it and remind everyone that Konami was the only one she beat last year. Does Tam just have Konami’s number? Will the Traingle Lancer have 200% win rate? No wait…that’s not how math works…whatever, let’s get on with the match.

Well now, an immediate strike exchange shows each pulling of Spinning Back Kicks, High Kicks and a few punches, but Konami eventually catches Tam coming off the ropes and starts focusing her legs. With the early advantage, Konami goes for two very cocky covers, before Tam hits a Super Kick sending Konami’s teeth into the front row.

Tam puts together some offense, Corner Dropkick, Cutter and a Cartwheel Double Knee for a near fall. Konami catches Tam and rolls through into an Ankle Lock, before Tam manages to get some space. Tam misses a top rope move and seems to jam her knee. Konami catches the next kick attempt into a Dragon Screw Leg Whip and then a Knee Bar.

A few strike combinations and a Fisherman’s Suplex Hold gives Konami a 2 count. Konami goes for the Triangle Lancer, but as she’s transitioning, Tam turns it into a cradle pin, and picks up her first win of this year’s tournament!

See what happens when you take Tam lightly? She kick your ass.

Winner: Tam via Cradle Reversal

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Kagetsu vs Rachael Ellering

Not sure how much of a work or shoot Kagetsu’s neck injury is, but she came out to her music and not the Oedo Tai music. So no dancing, just Kagetsu looking like Stardom Shredder. Hopefully Rachael’s lack of jet lag makes this a better outing than her last.

Arm Ringers, Hammerlocks, Take Overs and then a Crucifix pin attempt for Rachael is how the opening starts. The match stays very grounded until Rachael locks in a head lock to prey on the injured neck of Kagetsu, Kagetsu turns it into a Backdrop Suplex Hold to force a little more movement and space. A big shoulder tackle sends Kagetsu crashing to the outside, where all the seconds check on Kagetsu and apply cold spray to her neck. Kagetsu tries to sneak in a fast kick to give the illusion she was milking it, so it’s still hard to tell if her neck is really injured or not.

Rachael sinks in a Cravat pretty deep before hitting a Sliding Shotgun Kick for 2. Ellering then starts toying with Kagetsu, which is a little odd since Kagetsu is the well known heel here. Rachael kicks the injured neck and even stands on her neck, going for a lazy cover for 2.

Kagetsu catches Rachael coming off the ropes into a sloppy Samoan Drop, and follows her outside with a Suicide Dive. Rolling her back in, a Missile Dropkick and back to back Hip Attacks in the corner give Kagetsu a pin attempt, but Ellering kicks out at 1.

After a few strikes, a Discus Forearm and Popup Spinebuster give Rachael another 2 count. A quick strike blitz and Michinoku Driver give Kagetsu a near fall. She goes up for her 450 Splash, but Ellering cuts her off and hits an Avalanche Falcon Arrow, but favors her back so she can’t make the cover.

Pump Kick, Forearm Smash and a Twisting Leg Drop, again only keep Kagetsu down for 2. Rachael goes for the Fallaway Powerbomb, Kagetsu slips away, sneaks in two Rollup attempts before Ellering manages a Dragon Sleeper. Kagetsu gets to the ropes to break the submission, when Rachael tries to grab her to follow up, Kagetsu knocks down the referee and spits water in Ellering’s face. Michinoku Driver into 450 Splash give the Prime Minister a win.

Winner: Kagetsu via 450

Rating: *** 3/4

 

Red Stars Standings:

Utami Hayashishita 2-0 (4 Points)
Tam Nakano 1-1 (2 Points)
Konami 1-1 (2 Points)
Kimber Lee 1-1 (2 Points)
Rachael Ellering 1-1 (2 Points)
Jungle Kyona 1-1 (2 Points)
Kagetsu 1-1 (2 Points)
Natsuko Tora 0-2 (0 Points)

 

Thoughts:

Well Kagetsu closed the show, and it was actually kind of amusing. The announcer cut off her promo to talk about buying the prediction guides, cause I’m assuming if you predict the winners you get something. So, Kagetsu changed her tone and parroted the sentiment like a sales woman causing the crowd to laugh. They then have a little Oedo Tai meeting, Kagetsu throws a Cup of Noodles at Natsuko Tora and says she’ll beat her in the time it takes to cook one (3 minutes).

Good show, more consistency in quality and the playfulness at the end fit perfectly into the Oedo Tai wheelhouse.


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.124 ~ 28TH FEBRUARY 2021

Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!

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Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!

NEWS

“CyberFight Festival 2021”

On the 26th February CyberFight held a surprise press conference, which was broadcast on both the NOAH and the DDT YouTube channels. The purpose oft the conference was to announce that on the 6th June 2021, they would be holding an event they hope will become an annual one each year, at the Saitama Super Arena, which is one of the largest in Japan. The event will feature all the promotions that CyberFight manage (NOAH, DDT, Tokyo Joshi Pro & Ganbare ☆ Pro Wrestling), and will have the major titles defended, plus inter-promotional matches. CyberFight president, Sanshiro Takagi, said that it would be up to individual promotions as to whether they wanted to bring in anyone from outside from another promotion.

The one person who wasn’t excited, or even remotely happy by this news, was naturally and unsurprisingly, Kenoh. Rather than start angrily growling on social media, Kenoh’s reaction to the news when announced on NOAH’s official Twitter was, “….”. Naomichi Marufuji tried to explain to Kenoh that all this was was a festival of wrestling, not a merger or anything else. Kenoh made no response, and has only resurfaced on social media to say grumpily he was at a RISE SHOW.

Katsuhiko Nakajima, however, has taken a different approach by saying, “What is this?”. It should be noted that this was said in the manner of a shark finding wounded prey.

 

Simulacrum Mask

Kendo Kashin was up to his usual tricks, by first of all attacking Kenoh after his match in Sendai on the 21st, by storming the ring dressed as a pirate wearing a Jason hockey mask over a Lion mask, and claiming he was Takashi Sugiura, and then intruding into the ring in Gunma after Kenoh’s match, dressed all in white and with a Lucha style mask. He was beaten down by Kongoh (not Katsuhiko Nakajima, who had walked off and didn’t look back), before Masa Kitamiya threw him out of the ring. Backstage, the mysterious masked man, claimed he was Kazushi Sakuraba and had been sent to do this by Takashi Sugiura. No one was fooled, least of all Kenoh, and Takashi Sugiura said he was weary.

Although Kenoh entered looking around him at Korakuen Hall, he need not have worried, the only strange masked man in the match was Kendo Kashin, who nonetheless tried to blindside him. Kashin was up to usual tricks in the match, kicking Kenoh in the groin, and winding him so badly that they ended up fighting in the lift. Kenoh kept the doors open just long enough for the assembled journalists to take pictures.

 Junta Miyawaki’s return, challenges for GHC Junior Tag Titles

Following the six man tag (STINGER vs Momo No Seishun and Kinya Okada) on the 24th February at Korakuen Hall, and after the usual fight between the assembled Juniors, it took Junta Miyawaki to get in the ring and separate his warring seniors, after which when another fight broke out, he took out all of STINGER by repeated dropkicks. There was a quick consultation in the ring between all three of Momo No Seishun, which ended with Daisuke Harada challenging STINGER for the tag belts on behalf of himself and Junta Miyawaki. Title match has been set for 21st March at Korakuen Hall, but Miyawaki will make his return to the ring on Saturday March 6th at the FULL THROTTLE produce.

Backstage, naturally STINGER made no comment, Miyawaki had plenty to say, and in a loud voice, yelling he would be the “center of the NOAH juniors” and that “I WANT TO GET A BELT”

 Kaito Kiyomiya vs Keiji Mutoh, the first pre match

The first pre-match between Kaito Kiyomiya and Keiji Mutoh ended in frustration for them both, with Mutoh getting the win over Daiki Inaba. Mutoh after the match compared Kiyomiya again to a “low risk” Mahjong move, and said he wanted him to grow faster. Kaito Kiyomiya has made no comment, but he has been seen undertaking MMA training with Kazushi Sakuraba.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Sendai PIT (February 21st)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ NOSAWA Rongai and Tadasuke had a stand off over sunglasses, after which NOSAWA started stalking Tadasuke to ringside, as he thought that with blonde hair and shades, Tadasuke has been stealing his look.

~ Naomichi Marufuji has finally bought the Ghost Busters themed Reebok that he wanted.

~ Following Kazushi Sakuraba’s ankle kick and submission, the “Calf Slicer”, Takashi Sugiura said he asked Sakuraba to explain it, which he did, in detail, when they were both in the shower. Sakuraba asked why he asked then, Sugiura said he was the one who chose to tell him.

~ 5’4 Haoh was almost sent flying over the ropes by the GEKITOZ from Yoshiki Inamura

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight was very funny.

~ YO-HEY has compared the NOAH Juniors to the “Warring States Period

~ “Kongoh” are enjoyable company, except for Kenoh.” NOSAWA Rongai

~ Atsushi Kotoge was thrown a major shade by Go Shiozaki, who in Gunma shook hands with Daisuke Harada as he said he thought he was the champion, then when Harada pointed out it was Kotoge who was challenging for the singles, Shiozaki looked as if to say, “Really? Him?” and then joking refused to shake hands with him.

~ Mohammed Yone says he has made a new a costume for Shuhei Taniguchi, which will make him “Dazzle”.

~ In usual style, Takashi Sugiura wished Masato Tanaka happy birthday, and then asked when The Bullet Yankees are getting back together.

~ NOAH’s official photographer has been taking pictures of the roster set against a spring woodland background or else in a springtime Tokyo. It looks like some new pictures may be coming out.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Seiki Yoshioka
    Challenger: Atsushi Kotoge (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
    Challengers: The Aggression (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
    Challengers: Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada & Junta Miyawaki) (21st March, “NOAH THE INFINITY 2021”)
  •  GHC National Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kendo Kashin (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

Tuesday, 2nd March: Kenoh debut anniversary (2nd March)

Friday, 3rd March: Naomichi Marufuji, as tourist ambassador of Saitama, will be making another appearance on the “Love Saitama” YouTube channel.

Saturday, 6th March: Masao Inoue (51)

Saturday, 6th March: FULL THROTTLE Produce (Starts 17:30 JST)

Sunday, 7th March: “Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” (16:00 JST)

BROADCASTS

*Please note, unless stated it is a free stream, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

Both events will be broadcast via WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

  • NOAH have not yet announced whether the FULL THROTTLE  it will be live or whether it will be broadcast at a later date, only that it will be VOD.
  • Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” will be broadcast live, and with English commentary. If you are not a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE, you can purchase the event through FITE TV for $19.00. This will also have English commentary, but you cannot purchase this if you live in Japan.

LINKS

Affiliated promotions to have all-star matches on the 6.6. at the Saitama Super Arena

Kazushi Sakuraba continues to evolve, victory following submission from calf kick

GIFS taken from ABEMA and WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

 


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.123 ~ 21ST FEBRUARY 2021

Following up the historic Mutoh victory, another champion in NOAH has a storied challenger making their life miserable. Hisame breaks down what else is going on during this Mutoh title reign!

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Following up the historic Mutoh victory, another champion in NOAH has a storied challenger making their life miserable. Hisame breaks down what else is going on during this Mutoh title reign!

NEWS

Kenoh attacked by “Sugiura”

Fans in Sendai on the 21st February were looking forward to seeing “Kenohara” (the former team of Kenoh and Hajime Ohara from their NOAH Junior days), fight in a ultra rare singles match. The match only lasted seven minutes however, and just after Kenoh had got the pin, a masked man (dressed almost like a pirate, and wearing a black Jason hockey mask on top of a lion mask) rushed into the ring and attacked him with a crutch. Later, the masked man was to give his name as “Sugiura” and said he had been sent to do this “on behalf of Kashin”.

No one was fooled as to who this masked intruder was. He didn’t have either the height or the cyborg like physique of Takashi Sugiura, and Sugiura himself later said that he was an “old man” who wasn’t fooling around; that was Kashin. Kenoh said later (after a strange spell of not flying into a verbal meltdown), that whoever it was would pay, but after experience of fighting with Sugiura many times, he knew it wasn’t him. Suspicions were further aroused, when it was revealed that Kashin had worn exactly the same outfit (minus the Lion mask) in 2017.

Kashin had promised Kenoh that the title match would be a “clean fight” with no ring intrusions (he’s a NOAH junior, he has to promise these things) and no “seconds interfering”, but he never promised anything in the build leading up to the title match. With no one to restrain him, like they normally would in matches, expect to see Kashin on the loose. I just hope he knows what Kenoh is going to do to him in the title match.

Junta Miyawaki returns to training

Junta Miyawaki returned to training this week, after being hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. He has returned to the dojo to train, but his return to the ring has not yet been announced.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

“STEP FORWARD 2021” (21st February, Sendai PIT, Sendai)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ Following a conversation about calf kicks (which Sakuraba turned into “scarf kicks” and joked his neck was cold), Katsuhiko Nakajima said he preferred kicking people in the face.

~ Daisuke Nakamura (who so far has only appeared once for The Sugiura Army), won his match at the MMA event “DEEP100” and announced himself as “Daisuke Nakamura of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Sugiura Army!”, while wearing one of the Sugiura Army t-shirts. Tadasuke had said at the produce, he wanted to have a singles match with him.

~ Tadasuke and NOSAWA, had a stand off which ended with them both removing their sunglasses very slowly and at the same time. After the match (it was a tag between Tadasuke and Masa Kitamiya, and Takashi Sugiura and NOSAWA Rongai), NOSAWA left with his thoughtful face on. Which usually means trouble.

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight title to Keiji Mutoh was the funniest thing ever, and made fun of him for it. After the match he indicated that he had no interest in it, and turned his attention back to the GHC Heavyweight tag challenge, hinting that the champions had something to hide by not doing a pre-match with THE AGGRESSION (he never mentioned Kongoh), together.

~ Even Takashi Sugiura admits that The Sugiura Army is chaos, and therefore he makes no effort to try and control it.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

 Tuesday 23rd February: Mohammed Yone (45)

Tuesday 23rd February: “STEP FORWARD 2021”: YAMADA Green Dome Maebashi Sub-event area, Gunma (17:30 JST)

Wednesday 24th February: “STEP FORWARD 2021”: Korakuen Hall (18:00 JST)

Friday 25th February: Kenta Kobashi celebrates 33 years in Pro Wrestling

 BROADCASTS

Please note, unless stated, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

  • NOAH’s show at Sendai PIT on the 21st February, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on Wednesday 24th.
  • NOAH’s show on the 23rd February in Gunma, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVRSE on Friday 26th.
  • NOAH’s show at Korakuen Hall on the 24th February will be broadcast on ABEMA. However, it does not currently say whether this will be a free worldwide broadcast or not. Should it not be, I do not recommend that you try and watch it via a VPN, unless you know it works with ABEMA and you already subscribe to the service. VPN can be notoriously hit and miss with the service, with some working for some people, and not for some others.

LINKS

Daily Battle Award ~ Go Shiozaki’s first MVP & Best Match of The Year

Keiji Mutoh’s GHC Win commemoration, exploring the story of Mitsuharu Misawa

Jun Akiyama candidly talks leaving NOAH eight years ago. Naomichi Marufuji, “This was an aspect of life, rather than pro wrestling”

“It’s not good to expect too much”…”There is an opportunity to enjoy him if you can find it…” Jun Akiyama & Naomichi Marufuji’s discussion about Shuhei Taniguchi

“The tag of freestyle and Greco is the strongest”, the unconfirmed relationship of the 50 year old tag champions, Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba

Picture credit: NOAH GHC Twitter 


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