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Mitchell’s Lucha Underground Report! (8/1/18)

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Lucha Underground Season 4, “The Ranks of the Reptiles”

The fight over the Lucha Underground Championship takes a new twist as Pentagon Dark and the Machine Called Cage must find themselves tag team partners!

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Daga w/ Kobra Moon VS PJ Black; Daga wins.
  • Lucha Underground Trios Championships: The Mack, Son of Havoc & Killshot VS The Rabbit Tribe; Mack, Havoc & Killshot win and retain the Trios Championships.
  • Pentagon Dark & ??? VS Cage & ???; rescheduled as…
  • 2v1 Handicap: Cage & King Cuerno VS Pentagon Dark; Cage & Cuerno win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Antonio Cueto issued a statement.

Pentagon Dark and The Machine Called Cage have been fighting tooth and nail so hard, that El Padre del Jefe wants them to take it easy. Instead of another 1v1 match, they are to find themselves one partner each for a 2v2 tag match for tonight’s main event! Who will join the Bone Collector and #Swolverine in their war over the Lucha Underground Championship?

 

Daga w/ Kobra Moon VS PJ Black!

The Reptile Tribe and the Worldwide Underground are still at war in the Temple over which stable shall rule Lucha Underground. Kobra’s King is ready to fight, but Johnny Mundo sends out his Darewolf knight instead. Will PJ make the Reptile King look more like a pawn tonight?

The two circle and tie up. PJ gets a wristlock but Daga rolls and handsprings through. Daga gets a headlock, but PJ powers out. Daga runs PJ over with that shoulder, then covers. TWO, but Daga keeps on PJ with a wristlock. Daga goes after the arm with a wrench and even a headbutt. He whips PJ but PJ reverses. Daga comes back with a tilt-o-whirl into a guillotine. PJ powers out for a suplex! PJ flexes then covers, TWO. He keeps Daga down by going after the legs. PJ works to turn Daga over, and gets a pendulum surfboard! He adds insult to injury as he bumps Daga’s head into the buckles. Kobra protests but PJ lets Daga go, so that he can stomp on him.

PJ drags Daga up and around for a back suplex. He rolls back to bring Daga up again for another suplex. Another roll through and he puts on a modified Rings of Saturn. Fans rally up and Daga feeds off the energy. PJ makes it a backslide, TWO! PJ gives a stiff forearm, then takes off a glove for a sharp chop. Daga chops back, so PJ gives a foerarm. Daga brawls with PJ and kicks a leg, but PJ pokes him in the eyes! The referee reprimands PJ but PJ just drags Daga out for a whip. Daga rolls off his back, but PJ does the same. PJ rocks Daga with a roaring elbow! PJ springboards from the top rope for a Wolfsault, but Daga avoids it with a roll. Daga kips up then runs for a shotgun kick!

Both men stand as Believers rally up. PJ hits first with forearms, then body shots in a corner. He chops sharp and overhand, then backs up to run back in. Daga goes up and rolls PJ back, to then somersault for a DDT! Daga rolls PJ into the guillotine! Kobra grins while PJ fades. PJ gets his legs back for a ropebreak. Daga lets go but rallies the fans up. Daga runs at PJ, but into the mule kick. PJ springboards into a dragon sleeper! Inverted suplex, but then roll back into the dragon sleeper hold! Daga endures while Believers duel. Daga slips back so PJ goes to a normal sleeper.

They stand up, and Daga puts PJ into buckles. Daga elbows, chops and repeat. He sweeps the legs, then runs in corner to corner for the hesitation dropkick! Cover, TWO, but into a crossface! PJ slips out and rocks Daga with a haymaker. Daga staggers while PJ stalks him. PJ throws more forearms, but Daga throws them back. They brawl again, and PJ heel kicks Daga down! PJ climbs up top, gets the fans fired up, but Daga trips him up! Daga climbs up to join PJ, hits PJ more, then SUPER STEINERS! But PJ holds on to sunset flip it! TWO and Daga sits, TWO! Daga rolls PJ, gets the legs to roll him, then puts on a crucifix clutch! PJ taps, Daga wins!

Winner: Daga, by submission

Daga heeps PJ down, and the Queen of Snakes slithers in. She screams, and ehre comes Drago and Vibora! The entire tribe is here, surrounding the downed Darewolf. They all stomp away the vulnerable WWU soldier, then feed him to the Luchasaurus in Tombstone position. But to the rescue, it’s Mundo and Taya! The WWU’s Guru of Greatness springboards in to dropkick Vibora down! The Valkyrie goes after Drago and Kobra while Mundo goes after Daga. Daga is thrown out, then so are Daga and Drago. Ricky “Mundo” Mantel appears fashionably late, but he stumbles into Vibora. Ricky chops, but it does nothing! Vibora headbutts Ricky down, then grabs Mundo. PJ returns with TWO kendo sticks! PJ smacks away on Vibora, then hands a stick to Mundo. They both SMACK and SMACK Vibora, then double clothesline him out!

The Reptiles regroup while the WWU hold the ring! But Kobra speaks, saying “It is simple, Johnny Mundo. The Reptile Tribe is in your future.” Mundo either accepts it, or perishes. Mundo counters by telling “Medusa” that before she turns the crowd to stone with her face, he has a better idea. If Kobra wants him so bad, just try and take him. The Reptile Tribe challenges Mundo and his “minions” to an 8 Person Tag. And when the Reptiles win, Mundo pledges allegiance to Kobra, and bows before her for the rest of his days.

And what if WWU wins? Well if they win, the Queen will grant him any wish he desires. Not that the Reptiles will lose. Challenge accepted. It’ll be a win-win, because when WWU wins, the wish will be the Reptiles going to Slam Town! Kobra has the last word, saying Mundo better enjoy his freedom while he can, because he will soon belong to her.

 

The Mack prepares backstage.

But Catrina surprises him! She needs to start wearing a bell or something. The Lady in Red brings good news for him, though. Mil Muertes beating him down last week wasn’t enough? Mack crossed Mil Muertes, and Muertes doesn’t forgive nor does he forget. He’ll come for Mack soon enough. Mack admits Muertes scares the hell out of him, but the Man of 1000 Deaths better back off or Mack will “drop his ass and not give it a second thought.” Catrina sees “death swirls around” The Mack, so just breathe it in. “Your cousin certainly did.” What is she… OH SNAP! Is that Big Rick’s skull in there?! The eye patch and big cigar certainly give it away. Will Mack suffer the same fate? Or are these mind games of the Femme Fatale Reborn?

 

El Dragon Azteca Jr. is in the ring!

The Heir of the Eagle Tribe says last week was the most difficult fight of his career. But he came through it the proudest moment of his career, because he is the new Gift of the Gods Champion! This title gives him a guaranteed match against the Lucha Underground Champion, and Azteca plans to win that match, too! Azteca would be dishonoring his ancestors and the mask he wears if he doesn’t. His Eagle Tribe was the most legendary of the seven tribes, and he’s ready to mix both the tribe’s legacy and the legacy of El Dragon Azteca.

Azteca vows that while Ultima Lucha 4 is a long way’s off, he will defend his title against any and all challengers who think they can take it from him! He won’t back down from any fight. And the only time he plans to give the belt up is when he cashes it in for his shot at THE LU Championship, at Ultima Lucha Quatro!! This is for everyone who has supported him, gracias. The young eagle vows to fly high all the way until the biggest event of the season! Can he do it? Or will he be like Icarus, and fly too close to the sun, only to crash and burn?

 

Lucha Underground Trios Championships: The Mack, Son of Havoc & Killshot VS The Rabbit Tribe!

Only so many teams have held the Temple’s tag titles, but more often than not, the championship teams have been plagued by dysfunction. That is still true with this team, as the Man from the Open Road replaces Killshot’s Brother in Arms, Dante Fox. Meanwhile, the Mad Hatter, Paul London, and his jumpy amigos have found a new ferocity after meeting the White Rabbit. Can the current champions put their differences aside to keep from losing the gold?

Killshot doesn’t help things by insisting Havoc move aside. Paul London starts for his team to face the Lucha Weapon of Mass Destruction at the bell. London kicks low and clubs away. He drags Killshot over but Killshot resists. Saltador reaches out to tag in, then so does Mala Suerte, and they both jump in. The Mack and Havoc reinforce Killshot, and the six men stand face to face. Saltador blows a kiss, and a brawl breaks out! They pair off as Mala throws Havoc out. Killshot chucks Saltador while London and Mack scrap. He and Mala circle now as fans build to a rally.

Mala lunges in but Killshot evades to put on a waistlock. Mala reverses to a wristlock, but Killshot reverses it back. Mr. Bad Luck runs and acrobatically arm-drags Killshot. Killshot manages to roll through, then ducks under the clothesline to swing capoeria kicks. Mala avoids one bu gets caught into a headscissor throw. He rolls out of the ring, and Killshot keeps his eyes on the squirrelly rabbit. Mala slides back in, but Havoc tags himself in! Killshot grimaces but has no choice but to exit. Havoc circles with Mala now as fans rally up. Havoc kicks low then whips Mala, but Mala rolls for a cover! TWO, and Havoc speeds up to sunset flip. Mala rolls through and dropkicks Havoc down. Cover, TWO, but Mala keeps on Havoc. London tags back in, and climbs up for rabbit stomps.

London drags Havoc up for headbutts, then kicks away in a corner. He gives Havoc a hadouken, then runs in only to miss the corner splash. Havoc swing kicks London, then whips him across the ring. London reverses but Havoc reverses back to then sweep the legs and drop the elbow. Cover, TWO, and London flounders to a corner. Havoc runs into boots, but counters with a backbreaker. Saltador tags in, but Havoc drop toeholds. Havoc brings him over and tags in Mack! Mack and Havoc whip but Saltador holds ropes. Mack runs into boots, and Havoc is thrown out of the ring. Saltador and Mack speed up, but Mack hits a leaping shoulder! Mack fireman’s carries Saltador, Samoan Drop and kip up to moonsault! Cover, TWO!

Saltador rolls out of the ring and regroups with the Rabbit Tribe. Mack builds speed but is tripped up by London and Mala. They drag Mack out and shove him into the apron. Mala goes back in and builds speed. Killshot intercepts and shoves Mala into London! Killshot then runs to the apron, but is tripped up by London. He goes down, but Havoc climbs up top. Saltador shoves Havoc down, and he bowls everyone over! Saltador takes aim now, and springboard swantons onto everyone! The Believers are loving it! Saltador puts London, and goes to put Mala in. London tells him to instead put one of the champions in. Saltador puts Mack in and London climbs up. Mala tags but is tripped up by Killshot. London is kept from flying by Killshot.

Killshot climbs up to join him, as does Mack. The OG members of this trio prepare a superplex, but Mala & Saltador join them from behind. Havoc somehow slides in under London, and it’s an INSANE Tower of Doom!! A Double Superplex Powerbomb for London, but Killshot & The Mack suffer Super Russian Leg Sweeps! The Believers are thunderous and losing their minds! Havoc gets up and double dumdum stomps Saltador and London! Standing Moonsault! London writhes but Mala throws Havoc out. Killshot comes in but gets a roaring elbow. Mack gets a forearm, too, but then Killshot retaliates with a knee trigger! Killshot is fired up but London grabs him from behind. Killshot fights out and sweeps London’s legs to the SUPERKICK him down. Mala runs back in but Killshot side-steps to 619 the gut! Things keep speeding up, Killshot rolls through the sunset flip to double stomp!

Killshot hurries to the apron, where he double stomps London off the apron! The One Man Army is roaring as he climbs back up. Saltador goes after him, but gets a swing kick off the top! Killshot sets him up in the Tree of Woe, for more double stomps! The Believers are fired up as he aims at Mala. Step in, but stunner! Mala is fired up, but he gets a MACK Stunner! Havoc DIVES on Saltador and London! Mack climbs up, but Killshot tags in! Frog Splash hits, but Killshot covers. Mack is shocked but his team still wins!

Winners: The Mack, Killshot & Son of Havoc, Killshot pinning; still Lucha Underground Trios Champions

Dysfunction was put aside, but apparently ego was not. Killshot made sure he was responsible for the cover, as well as most of the action. He even makes sure to be the one that collects the belts from the ref. Killshot gives Mack his belt with little friendship behind it, and he just tosses one to Havoc. He wants to make it clear he’s the ace of the team, but will that ego only serve to break this team apart in the end?

 

Pentagon Dark & ??? VS Cage & ???

The Believers have waited all night to see who the Lucha Underground Champion and the strongest contender have recruited for tonight’s match. First out is the Swolverine, who says that when Antonio told him to pick a partner, Cage knew he’d need a cold-blooded killer. Cage chose none other than the King of Hunters, King Cuerno! This is a rather dangerous duo, but who will they face? Pentagon appears, and reminds both Cuerno and Cage they’re in his Temple. Pentagon doesn’t need anyone, he’ll go it alone! The Temple will witness him break both men in half. That’s because Pentagon has #CeroMiedo! Pentagon may have no fear, but does he have too much pride to think he can win all by himself?

2v1 Handicap: Cage & King Cuerno VS Pentagon Dark!

Lucha Underground returns from break as both opponents stand before the Lucha Underground Champion. The bell rings and they both rush him. Pentagon ducks under to then come back with chops on both of them. He kicks Cuerno off his feet then kicks Cage. Cage stays standing and Cuerno gets back up, they both kick Pentagon in the stomach. Cage runs into a SUPERKICK, then Cuerno is put on the apron. Pentagon baits Cage, Cage swings but clotheslines Cuerno as Pentagon evades. Pentagon Slingblades Cage, then Slingblades again. Cage rolls out and regroups with Cuerno while Pentagon builds speed. Pentagon FLIES and takes them both out!

Believers fire up for the champion as he drags Cuerno up. Pentagon throws Cuerno into railing, then goes back to Cage. He kicks Cage’s leg again, then stalks him around the corner. Pentagon clears fans out, then goes bowling for chairs! Believers are thunderous for Pentagon and he feeds off the energy, CERO MIEDO! But Cuerno returns to barrel Pentagon down on the steps. Cuerno drags Pentagon to the ring and feeds him to Cage. Cage deadlift SUPERPLEXES Pentagon up and in! Cage keeps going, climbing up top again. Cuerno is on the other side, and hits a frog splash! He moves aside for Cage to add a Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO, to Cage’s & Cuerno’s surprise. Believers still rally for Pentagon, even as Cage tags to Cuerno.

Cuerno stalks Pentagon to a corner, then drags him to the center. Fans rally up while Cuerno runs and hits a splash. Cover, TWO, but Cuerno does not let up. He drags Pentagon up to whip him, then dropkick him down! Cage likes what he sees as the Hunter whips Pentagon again. Pentagon kicks back and fans rally up again. Pentagon takes off the glove but Cage lurks. Cage trips Pentagon on the run and Cuerno kicks Pentagon’s face. Fans boo and jeer, but Cuerno and Cage grin. Cage tags back in, and Cuerno puts Pentagon in their corner. Cuerno tricks the referee, and gets a cheap knee to the groin on Pentagon. Fans boo but Cuerno gets away with that. Cuerno whips Pentagon corner to corner, but Pentagon goes up and over for the backstabber!

But he forgets Cage is legal, until Cage swings on him. Pentagon kicks the leg out to then mule kick Cage’s face. Cuerno gets up but gets a SUPERKICK! Pentagon aims at Cage as he runs the ropes, for the flying Destroyer! Cover, TWO! Cage survives, but Pentagon knows it took more than that last time. Fans rally up as Pentagon throws forearms. Cero Miedo, but Pentagon runs into a flapjack and knee trigger! Cuerno drags Pentagon up, scoops him, for Thrill of the Kill! Cage wants to finish this, though, and dismisses Cuerno. Seems Cuerno was only needed to make Pentagon more manageable for the Machine. Cage suplexes Pentagon up, for the Weapon X driver! Cover, Cage & Cuerno win!

Winners: King Cuerno & Cage, Cage pinning

Pentagon’s ego may have cost him the win tonight, but Cage’s ego is the one that swells here. But Cage is not done yet, as he brings in steel chairs. He stalks the vulnerable Lucha Underground Champion. Terminator drums echo out as he places Pentagon on one chair, to then take the other. Cage mocks Cero Miedo, before giving Pentagon a Con-CHAIR-To!! The Machine gives an encore Con-Chair-To, too! The Breaker of Bones is the one left for dead tonight. Will Cage crush Pentagon once and for all when the title is again on the line?

 

Somewhere in the desert…

The Worldwide Underground goes Indiana Jones as they hurry down a mine shaft. This has to be the Reptile Tribe’s secret lair, given that stench. Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes? Mundo & Taya dive down into the throne room, ready to cut the head off this serpent before next week. Drago is there, but chained up. Vibora is there, too, and he SUPERKICKS Taya!

Mundo tries to fend him off, but Luchasaurus is more like Luchazilla at this point. Vibora headbutts Mundo, then grabs him by the throat. He squeezes Mundo like a constrictor, but Taya comes to. She takes up the bat, and swings away on Vibora! Vibora goes down, and Taya gives Mundo the Serpent Sword. She doesn’t want to lose Mundo to anyone, let alone Kobra Moon. They kiss, then behead Vibora! “That was hot.” They take their trophy, and Mundo’s Indiana Jones hat. What will be the fate of the Reptile Tribe now that they’re down their most powerful weapon?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A pretty solid episode of Lucha Underground, but with a disheartening ending. Daga has a good match with PJ Black, and despite both teams being Heels, neither side tried to cheat. I like the idea of this leading to a match where if WWU loses, they lose their leader. However, not only was that Indiana Mundo skit cheesy by even Lucha Underground standards, it clearly (and literally) cuts what would’ve been a Quatros (4v4) match down to a Trios. Vibora was probably if not THE most over part of the Reptile Tribe and now he’s just gone. The only way this could turn around next week is if Vibora is revealed to be a hydra and can regenerate his head. And with Taya & Mundo so confident they won’t lose, I bet that means they will.

I really like Azteca’s declaration that he’ll wait until Ultima Lucha 4 to use his Gift of the Gods cash-in ability. It’s a daring move that gives him a great story for this season, such as a string of open challenges for the title similar to Matanza’s string of Sacrifices to the God. Actually, thinking about it, I would love if “Antonio” eventually pits Matanza and Azteca against each other. The Monster either sacrifices Azteca while gaining a way back to the Lucha Underground title, or Azteca finally conquers the demigod that almost killed him last season. Azteca would gain major momentum if that were the case, and could use that to roll right into a match with the top champion at UL4.

The Trios title match was great, lots of story on the championship side. With Mack having to worry about Muertes, I wonder if this results in some strange match where Killshot sides with Muertes & Catrina to challenge The Mack, Havoc and a third of their choosing that will turn out to be Ivelisse. Then in the main event “tag” match, for a moment I was hoping Pentagon would bring out his real-life Lucha Brother, but then I remembered Fenix is still kayfabe dead. Therefore, it was actually fine that he went it alone against both Cage and Cuerno. And it was also therefore fine that he lost. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cuerno wanted in on the title match, as a show of gratitude for his help. And whether Cage will oblige, I’d hope Antonio would make it happen.

My Score: 8/10

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The Chairshot Match Of The Year Final Match Pool

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How did the last week of voting pan out for Second Chance and November? Only one way to find out. Take a look at our 12 MOTY matches and let’s see where Andrew’s 5 votes are going.






Last week was our final vote to round out the 12 matches in the Match of the Year pool.  Since we love Top 5s here, the idea will be for everyone to whittle the 12, down to their 5 favorite, and then we get our final 5 to vote on.

Let’s see what matches we have in our MOTY Pool:

  • January – NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas(c)
  • February – New Beginning in Osaka IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs SANADA
  • March – NJPW Strong Style Evolved: Golden Lovers vs Young Bucks
  • April – NXT Takeover NOLA NXT Championship: Andrade Almas(c) vs Aleister Black
  • May – WWE Backlash Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins(c) vs The Miz
  • June – NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs Kenny Omega
  • July – G1 Climax 28: Hirooki Goto vs Tomohiro Ishii
  • August – G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
  • September – All In NWA Championship Match: Cody vs Nick Aldis(c)
  • October – Evolution SmackDown Women’s Title Last Woman Standing Match: Becky Lynch(c) vs Charlotte
  • November – NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship Match: Velveteen Dream vs Tommaso Ciampa (c)
  • December/Second Chance – Impact Wrestling Redemption World Championship Triple Threat: Fenix vs Austin Aries (c) vs Pentagon Jr

Now as you can see, the overall list has some decent balance. Five from New Japan and WWE, along with 2 outlier matches. So it’s not heavily tipped one way or the other.

For the rest of this article I’ll just list out my 5 picks from this list, and then we can get to everyone’s votes.

 

5. NXT Takeover WarGames II NXT Championship: Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs Velveteen Dream

This makes my Top 5 from our MOTY pool because this was just a good combination of all things wrestling. Solid wrestling, homages, callbacks, high suspense moments, big crowd reactions…just everything. Sure it might not have been a work rate master piece, but there’s more to wrestling than work rate.

 

4. NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship 2 out of 3 Falls: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kenny Omega

This was almost a given since it already won Tokyo Sports Best Bout, which marks the fifth year in a row Okada was involved in the Best Bout, and the first time since Kenta Kobashi and Mitsuharu Misawa that the same pairing won back to back. Though it wasn’t the best of their four matches in my opinion, you can’t overlook the storyline ramifications.

We saw this match finish off the ascent of Kenny Omega, as well as, send Kazuchika Okada into some goofy balloon loving spiral. Love or hate the Elite, this story had a lot of attention and was told pretty damn well.

 

3. All In NWA Championship: Cody vs Nick Aldis (c)

In a similar vein to the Okada/Omega match, this had a lot of story significance. Cody challenging for all of the World Championships he could was one, him trying to be the first second generation wrestler to capture the NWA Championship was another and of course, the emotions tied with Dusty was the one most of us cared about.

As I said when I reviewed All In, this match was a love letter to his father. Yes it was a very old school southern style match. Obvious blade jobs, a goofy possible knock out for the DDP pop, Brandi putting herself in the way of a move to protect her husband, this was all love. It was a match I think most old school fans would enjoy, and unless you really need flips or work rate, this match evoked some emotion out of most watchers.

This is wrestling.

 

2. NXT Takeover Philly NXT Championship: Johnny Gargano vs Andrade Almas (c)

An early contender that still holds up nicely. This was the first match since Sami Zayn vs Shinsuke Nakamura to really just blow me away. They both turned it up, the double knees into the post looked brutal and the whole thing was a great culmination of Andrade’s character.

It was after this match, most of us were sold that he figured it out and would be huge. Now we just have to hope Vince sees it too.

 

1. G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

It’s not often we get a match where one of the competitors considers the other one God. Ibushi and Tanahashi have immense respect for each other, and they also have an undeniable chemistry. Ibushi gets a lot labels as a “flippy shit” wrestler, but he sells wonderfully and knows how to tell a story in the ring.

On top of Ibushi’s athletic prowess and overall wrestling ability, we couple that with Tanahashi’s masterful pacing and his own artistic way of building a match…this was just poetry in motion. It definitely helps this is my personal number 1 match all year, so of course I was ecstatic that it made The Chairshot MOTY pool. Beautiful match.

 

Thoughts:

If you didn’t partake much in the match votes leading up to this pool, now’s you’re chance to make your voice heard. Vote for your Top 5, and then we can have the final vote starting next week, for our second Chairshot MOTY. Our first ever vote went to, NJPW Dominion IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega vs Kazuchika Okada (c).

Will New Japan end up winning this year also?






What are your Top 5 out of these 12? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.14 ~ 14TH DECEMBER 2018

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The endless well of NOAH knowledge, Hisame, bring us updates and news leading up to NOAH’s final show of the year, Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2.

 

NEWS

TOKYO SPORTS PURORESU AWARDS 2018
Tokyo Sports announced their nominations for their annual end of year awards. NOAH have not been included since 2016 when Katsuhiko Nakajima won “The Fighting Spirit Award” and Naomichi Marufuji won “Best Bout”.

Although Takashi Sugiura was a runner up nominee in “Outstanding Performance”, this went to Naomichi Marufuji (who has won “Best Bout” in 2006, 2008 and 2016, “Outstanding Performance” in 2006, “Best Tag Team” (with KENTA) in 2003, and “Newcomer Award” in 1999). 

Kaito Kiyomiya has won his first award for “Fighting Spirit”.

Kaito Kiyomiya, being Kiyomiya, at first couldn’t believe it. He thought he had either been nominated for “Best Newcomer”, despite having debuted three years ago, or that someone was joking.

YO-HEY IN IPW
IPW have announced that YO-HEY is the second NOAH wrestler to compete in their Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament on Tuesday 15th January 2019 in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom.
Tickets can be bought here

YO-HEY said when RATELS were due to come over in 2018 that he was excited as this would be his first time in England, and he wanted to meet Mr. Bean.

Yes. I guess a man described as a “childish buffoon who brings various unusual schemes and contrivances to everyday tasks” would get on very well with YO-HEY.

Expect another two NOAH names to (hopefully) be announced.

POWER HALL 2018
NOAH wrestlers have been announced for “Power Hall Year End Special” on December 28th.

Masa Kitamiya and Kaito Kiyomiya will be in “Timeless Masterpeice” (main event) teaming with Riki Chosu & Tatsumi Fujinami (Kitamiya) and NOSAWA and Kasai (Kiyomiya)

Katsuhiko Nakajima will be in a four man tag and renew his rivalry with Takuya Nomura in “Ultimate Collision”

Heisei Ishingun will reunite (Akitoshi Saito and AKIRA)

HAKATA STALENE CLOSED FOR REPAIRS
Hakata Stalene has been closed for renovation until March 2019. There is some concern that when it reopens it will not be used for puro, which will be not only disaster for the local residents, but promotions who come to the area too.

YO-HEY & HAYATA OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
YO-HEY & HAYATA will be appearing in Kushinbo Kamen’s New Year Produce on the 28th December, and they recorded this video message.
Question: how can someone covering their face by a hood, STILL look SO PHOTOGENIC?

 

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH wrapped up a short (compared to the frenetic pace of last year) “Winter Navigation 2018”. Sadly due to the snowy weather rolling into the provinces (and I think as one fan said, not having a streaming service which severely impacts as people don’t sometimes know what is going on), attendances have not been good with only one night in five being sold out.

Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima announced that they have split from “The Super New Generation Army” and stand as a team called “The Mid Generation” as they both debuted in 2004; so despite being part of the “Golden Era”, they stand now in the era between the vets and the younger heavyweights. This makes more sense for both of them, Shiozaki in particular who was in a grey area being too old for the younger heavyweights and too young for the veterans.

I think this was probably always NOAH’s intention to have them break away from the others at some point, especially now Kiyomiya is not so dependent on Shiozaki and needs less input. The GHC Heavyweight tag championships that Shiozaki has held recently have been for him to get other people (Kotoge & Kiyomiya) over in the heavyweight division, so this is one is for him to enjoy with a partner who certainly needs no favors.

Although the two are far too green to be involved in any storylines (as much as NOAH has them) or heated feuds, Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura are slowly building into a feud, with Inamura refusing to shake hands with Okada the second time he lost to him and leaving the ring. Looking at the size of them, these two are going to be ultra heavyweights one day. 

Due to injury, Chinese athlete, Chang Yufeng, has been pulled from the NOAH cards and is working ringside duties. This means that Lin Dong-Xuan has had his first singles matches and faced Tadasuke on the 9th in the resulting card shake-up.

None of the champions or their challengers have managed to directly get the win over each other in any of the pre-matches.

Yuji Hino made a definite impact (a Kotoge shaped impact) when Shiozaki and Nakajima clashed with himself and Taniguchi in their one and only pre-match by giving him “The Fucking Bomb”. Hino (whom Nakajima has called The Hooligans “pet pig”) has not been in NOAH due to his schedule since the 9th December. Nakajima says he will “silence his noisy oinking” at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”

Hino then went on to insult most of The Hooligans (aside from KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Mitsuya Nagai). He’s probably not going to take well to being called names either.

Kotaro Suzuki said something to the effect that Daisuke Harada walked in and took the seat he had left empty. Harada said this untrue as he came here from Osaka Pro, and that no one wants his damn seat anyway, they all have their own. Harada said he cannot afford to lose in Yokohama, after all, much more is on the line than just the belt.
Suzuki’s last comment before the title match is that people should cheer for Harada (who he called “truly my puppet”) because he was going to crush him and take everything from him.

Hajime Ohara hinted that there is a mini generational war going on among the juniors with Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 having the tag belts, and Kotaro Suzuki having the GHC Junior. There was tension between The Backbreakers and the GHC Junior Tag Champions at the match signing with Kumano and Tanaka squaring up. 

Minoru Tanaka likened the title match in Yokohama to be like a barbecue with butter falling into the fire, and told Hajime Ohara on the last night that he was the “burnt scum” of it when Ohara sarcastically told him to enjoy the taste of his barbecue.

Takashi Sugiura and Kaito Kiyomiya continued to stalemate, with Sugiura telling Kiyomiya that he had better bring his energy to Yokohama. In a post match promo on the 12th he said that he was going to “win a way that he cannot stand up” either by knockout, pin or referee stop.

GHC BELT NEWS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

All titles will be challenged for on the 16th December at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”

Kaito Kiyomiya will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight
Daisuke Harada will challenge for the GHC Junior
Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag
The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) will challenge for the GHC Junior Tag

TOUR TIDBITS
~ President Uchida told Katsuhiko Nakajima that “I don’t kick people, and laugh” when discussing teams for Masao Inoue’s bowling tournament
~ Atsushi Kotoge got his cape back that Yoshinari Ogawa threw into the audience at Korakuen Hall
~ YO-HEY had planned to go buffo to use the dojo tanning machine, but unsurprisingly, December is too cold and the dojo doesn’t have much in the way of either heating or air-con, and he apologized for the inconvenience of his not getting naked. Please let that be the end of his story.
~ Atsushi Kotoge started waving The Hooligans flag around (they had left it behind), his cloak also broke and Kumano took a secret picture of him fixing it.
~ Naomichi Marufuji has been able to start very light training. Makoto Hashi (old dojo friend from the AJPW days) has been helping him with physiotherapy (he trained as one when he retired from NOAH), and they talked of old times during the rehabilitation sessions.
~ Everyone in NOAH has a nickname, Kinya Okada’s is apparently “Oka-chan”
~ Atsushi Kotoge was scolded for timekeeping by Go Shiozaki and then Takashi Sugiura for taking too long rushing around the hall
~ This was apparently Tadasuke’s first time in a NOAH  ring against Takashi Sugiura (he showed “amazing power” when he lariated Sugiura according to a fan)
~ Kinya Okada gave a post match interview for his debut, he says he admires everyone, but he has no hero. He wants to be his own wrestler.
~ Hitoshi Kumano has picked up a nasty looking black eye during the last three days of “Winter Navigation 2018”.
~ The top of Kinya Okada’s head and hair vanished on the entry screen into the blue background due to a glitch, making him look like one of the “Coneheads”.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya celebrated his third anniversary in wrestling on the 9th December
~ Masao Inoue told Quiet Storm not to chop him as “it hurts as its cold”.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya really likes tomatoes (says he will be the only person eating them at a buffet, his fridge is full of them, ate them at an interview instead of an apple).
~ Hi69 celebrated his 37th birthday on the 12th December.
~ Katsuhiko Nakajima has had a new t-shirt released…

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
He’s been good this week. Expect that to change after he’s had to behave himself at Yokohama.

BROADCASTS
The event on the 7th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December

BOOK CORNER

English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography “Heir to The Ark
(Chapters 1 and 2 are complete, 3 is currently ongoing)

Review of “Anything is possible ~ The Eddie Edwards Story

LINKS
“I have been with Noah for eighteen years, I have worn the belt and carried Noah” ~ mini interview with Takashi Sugiura. 
“I will change the scene with the win on the 16th December” ~ interview with Kaito Kiyomiya 
“I will not be beaten” ~ Kaito Kiyomiya pledges generation change by taking the GHC 
“Come At Me You Bastards” ~ Kenoh’s column (December 2018) 

Image credit ~ NOAH GHC

 

With Yokohama being the last big event; how will the landscape shake up? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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