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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (7/31/18)

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205 Live = Cruiserweight Division

The Cruiserweight Champion, Cedric Alexander, prepares for his Summerslam showdown with Drew Gulak by taking on Gulak’s ally, THE Brian Kendrick!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kalisto VS Tony Nese; Kalisto wins.
  • Lio Rush VS Ricky Martinez; Lio wins.
  • Cedric Alexander VS THE Brian Kendrick; Alexander wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

205 Live reviews last week’s Fatal 4 Way main event!

GM Drake Maverick chose contenders based on both their recent and overall performances in the Cruiserweight Division. He settled on the narcissistic TJP, the intense Hideo Itami, the never-say-die Mustafa Ali and the gritty Drew Gulak, and the four of them went above and beyond in order to earn a shot at the championship. Ali would come so close to earning another shot at the #AgeOfAlexander, but fell short after Itami dropkick’d him into steel steps. However, it wouldn’t be Itami who capitalized on the situation, but Drew Gulak! He tossed Itami aside to wrap the GuLOCK onto a limp Ali. Gulak earns a Cruiserweight Championship match, and via social media, Maverick let everyone know it would happen at Summerslam! Will Gulak make Alexander tap out for a #Better205Live?

 

Kalisto VS Tony Nese!

The Lucha Dragon has been waiting for this rematch with the Premier Athlete for a couple weeks, and he finally gets it in Tampa! Neither Buddy Murphy nor Lucha House Party’s Lince Dorado or Gran Metalik are allowed ringside in order to prevent another brawl from breaking out. Will this match finish the way these two want it?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up but Nese throws Kalisto down. Kalisto gets to the ropes and Nese dares him to bring it. Kalisto and Nese circle again, then tie up. Nese just throws Kalisto down again, then flexes at him. They tie up again and Nese powers Kalisto to a corner. Nese grinds his forearm in Kalisto’s face, then backs off at 4. Kalisto kicks back then punches back. Nese pushes Kalisto but Kalisto comes right back. Kalisto goes up and over, but gets run over by that back elbow! Kalisto rolls all the way out while Murphy watches backstage. Nese brings Kalisto up to whip him into the apron, and Murphy likes it. Kalisto crawls but Nese kicks him while he’s down. Nese puts Kalisto back in the ring then toys with the former champion.

Nese whips Kalisto corner to corner hard, then embraces the heat. Kalisto crawls and grabs Nese’s leg, but Nese mocks the lucha dance. Nese brings Kalisto up and chops him back down! He puts Kalisto in a corner, whips him corner to corner again, and Kalisto hits buckles hard. Kalisto fights back with an elbow then a boot, then hops up to leap! Nese catches Kalisto for a backbreaker, then the Tree of Woe. Nese stomps away, but stops at the ref’s count. He grabs Kalisto in the rear bearhug to squeeze the ribs. Kalisto endures as Nese puts on more pressure. Fans build to a rally, and Kalisto feeds off the energy. Kalisto gets up and elbows himself free. He jawbreakers Nese, but runs into a back kick. Nese adds a knee, roundhouse and leg sweep, cover, TWO! Nese rains down lefts, then goes back to the bearhug.

Kalisto endures again, but Nese tells him “You’re nothing!” Nese adds his weight onto Kalisto but Kalisto makes his way up. Fans rally again, but Nese throws Kalisto down by his mask. Nese flexes but fans jeer. Kalisto kicks Nese back, then again. Nese staggers while Kalisto stands. Kalisto boots Nese agani, then climbs up to springboard crossbody! Cover, TWO! Both men are up, Kalisto rolls Nese for the Listo Kick! Kalisto runs, but Nese blocks the spike-rana into a fireman’s carry and gutbuster! Cover, TWO! Nese grows frustrated as he drags Kalisto back up. Nese suplexes, but Kalisto slips out to roll him up. TWO, but Kalisto gets moving, only for Nese to sweep the legs.

Nese springboards for the triangle moonsault, but Kalisto rolls away. Nese’s leg buckles on the landing, and Kalisto runs in for the Spike-Rana! Cover, TWO! Both men are down as they recover from this fast paced action. They crawl for separation and then stand up. Kalisto starts up the “Lucha! Lucha!” and Tampa joins him. Nese counters with a roll up that he then turns into a deadlift buckle bomb! Cover, TWO! Nese is shocked at how close that was, and he argues with the ref about it. He kicks Kalisto, then drags him up, but SALIDA DEL SOL! Kalisto covers, Kalisto wins!

Winner: Kalisto, by pinfall

Lucha House Party’s Dragon earns a win fair and square, and all by himself! However, with the match over, the ringside ban is gone! Buddy Murphy appears menacingly on the ramp, and refuses to let Kalisto pass through. Kalisto tries to pick and roll but he gets caught and pushed down! Kalisto runs at Murphy, but Murphy trophy lifts him! But Lince Dorado runs out to make the save with a kick! Dorado and Kalisto regroup and Murphy rushes in, but into double SUPERKICKS! Down goes Murphy! Speed beats strength here, but what will happen if Murphy gets his hands on a luchador in the next few weeks?

 

Earlier today, Drake Maverick presided over the Cruiserweight Championship contract signing.

The 205 Live GM sat with Cedric Alexander and Drew Gulak to make their Summerslam match official. Maverick is very proud both men will represent the brand in Brooklyn, and moves right along to having the contender signing. Gulak takes a moment first to talk to Alexander about his championship win at Wrestlemania earlier this year. Alexander stops the talk right there and just signs the contract first. There’s no time for PowerPoint presentations or speeches tonight. Just sign, it’s that easy. But Gulak simply wanted to congratulate Alexander. Alexander has been on a dominant run as champion, and Gulak points out that Alexander has been undefeated in 2018. That is impressive, despite the asterisk. Alexander had a “long, grueling, inspirational journey” to that Wrestlemania Cruiserweight Championship match. “But what have you done since then?”

Alexander points out he has defended the title all over the world and has beaten everyone who challenged him. Gulak isn’t taking away from Alexander, Alexander has done great when the title is on the line. But where is Alexander when the title isn’t on the line? Relaxing, while the workhorses like Gulak have been building 205 Live up to new heights. What’s Gulak’s point? Alexander lets his competitors wear themselves out so that he can swoop in, win and take the credit. He should learn from THE Brian Kendrick tonight, because Kendrick was a true fighting champion with a true legacy. Alexander’s legacy is going to be that he was “the Brock Lesnar of 205 Live”!

Gulak signs, but before he goes, Alexander says Gulak better watch 205 Live and the main event. All Gulak’s words have done is ensure Kendrick is “in for a world of hurt”. Did Gulak’s mouth just write a check Kendrick’s body can’t cash?

 

Lio Rush VS Ricky Martinez!

The Man of the Hour is back, but “apparently there are a lot of people out there that are irritated at the fact that I didn’t give Akira Tozawa his rematch.” But let’s all be honest, Lio is a hot commodity. Everyone wants a piece of Lio. Don’t get it wrong, Lio was very tempted to give Tozawa a rematch. But it wouldn’t be fair to Lio’s opponent tonight, who is way more qualified to face him. Lio knows Ricky is “the real deal”. Lio’s heard a lot of good things, very impressive things. And Lio bets even Ricky can put up a better fight than Tozawa. Lio puts the mic down and we begin.

Lio rushes Ricky but Ricky ducks! Ricky throws a hand but Lio puts him in a corner. Ricky puts up boots but Lio deflects them, only for Ricky to come back with an ax kick. Lio staggers and Rick back kicks Lio low. Ricky runs, but Lio ducks, handsprings and kicks away! Ricky rolls out of the ring, Lio builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit! Lio puts Ricky back in the ring, then slaps Ricky to school boy rolling roundhouse! Time’s up as Lio climbs up, for the Final Hour splash! Cover, Lio wins!

Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall

The Man of the Hour wins in no time at all, but clearly has no time for the Stamina Monster. However, Tozawa forces Lio to make time as he heads to the ring. Tozawa makes his way to the ring and Lio grins. Tozawa puts his mouth piece in, but Lio slips out of the ring. Lio clearly won’t do things on Tozawa’s schedule, but will Drake Maverick have something to say about that?

 

Cedric Alexander VS THE Brian Kendrick!

The Man with a Plan agrees with the Philly Stretcher that the WWE Universe deserves a more worthy champion than the Soul of 205 Live. Kendrick himself was a former champion, so can he show the current champion what the Ungentlemanly Alliance means firsthand?

The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are behind Alexander, which annoys Kendrick. Alexander corners Kendrick, but Kendrick uses the ropes for safety. Alexander lets Kendrick out and the two tie up. Kendrick gets an arm and a wristlock. Alexander spins through and gets a takedown to go after an ankle. Kendrick spins up and pries his way out, but Alexander gets a headlock. Alexander gets the takedown but Kendrick gets the headscissors. Alexander pops out and backs Kendrick down to a corner. Kendrick gets away, and the two circle again. Alexander lunges in but Kendrick keeps his distance. Kendrick ends up in a corner again as they grapple. Alexander rolls back to get double wristlocks.

Kendrick drops to his knees, but stands up to trap Alexander’s arms. He gets a headlock, but Alexander powers out. Kendrick runs Alexander over, then things speed up. Alexander arm-drags Kendrick into an armlock! He wrenches Kendrick’s arm but Kendrick gets to ropes. Alexander backs off at 4, but Kendrick shoves him. Alexander shoves Kendrick down, then dares him to get back up. The ref has Alexander give Kendrick room. Alexander dares Kendrick to do something but Kendrick takes his time approaching.

Kendrick kicks low then gets a headlock, but Alexander powers out to give swift chops! Alexander chops Kendrick extra sharp in the corner. Fans want one more, so Alexander is happy to oblige with an even sharper chop. Kendrick kneels, but Alexander bumps him off buckles. Fans want another chop, so Alexander gives another chop! Kendrick staggers but then throws in a knee. Kendrick runs but Alexander rolls, handsprings, headscissors and dropkicks Kendrick down! Then he handsprings up to show off. Alexander covers, TWO and Kendrick even holds a rope. But wait, now Gulak comes out to be in Kendrick’s corner.

Alexander watches him, but that allows Kendrick to get away to the outside. Alexander runs but Kendrick ducks down. Kendrick rolls under the ring? Alexander pursues, but gets pulled into the apron bar! Kendrick throws Alexander into steps! Alexander is down but Kendrick just smirks as Gulak walks over to commentary. Kendrick puts Alexander in and covers, TWO. Kendrick stomps Alexander, then goes after an arm with a swift kick. He stands Alexander up to choke him against ropes while Gulak officially joins commentary. Kendrick backs off at 4 while Gulak denies his timing was anything more than coincidence. Kendrick clobbers away on Alexander, then butterfly suplexes. Cover, TWO, but Kendrick keeps on Alexander with a grounded armlock.

Alexander endures as Kendrick makes it half straitjacket, then throws Kendrick off. Kendrick calf kicks Alexander down! Cover, TWO! Alexander crawls away while Kendrick keeps his cool. Kendrick walks over but into back elbows. He elbows Alexander back and now it’s a brawl. Alexander gets the edge with one big forearm, then brings Kendrick up. Kendrick yanks Alexander into buckles! Kendrick runs in, but into a boot. He staggers away, then runs back, but into another boot. Alexander springboards up, but Kendrick trips him up! Alexander crashes and burns while Kendrick staggers around more. Kendrick drags Alexander up, but Sliced Bread is denied with a shove. Kendrick hits apron on the way out, and Alexander focuses. Fans rally up for Alexander as he takes aim. Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit, but also double-edged.

Alexander fights through the pain to put Kendrick back in. He aims from a corner, springboards again, but Kendrick gets under the jump. Alexander still rallies with forearms and a back kick. He runs in corner to corner for the shoulder tackle and swing kick! Kendrick staggers out, Alexander springboards again for the flying clothesline! Cover, TWO, but Gulak is still pleased by Alexander’s struggle. Alexander keeps his cool while Kendrick gets to a corner. Alexander glares at Gulak while bringing Kendrick up. Kendrick holds ropes but Alexander pries him free. Kendrick elbows Alexander away, but his boot is blocked. Alexander throws an elbow but is countered into a backslide! TWO, and now Alexander hits the stiff elbow. Alexander runs, handsprings, Neuralyzer enziguri! But Kendrick slumps to the apron.

Alexander drags him back up, but Kendrick grabs Alexander’s hair to pull him all the way out. Gulak mocks Alexander as he gets back up. Kendrick’s shoulder misses, but not Alexander’s kick. Alexander goes for the step-in springboard, but he’s countered into a takedown for the Captain’s Hook! Kendrick wrenches back on Alexander with the Bully Choke hold. Alexander crawls, and just narrowly gets a ropebreak. Kendrick lets go to Gulak’s frustration, saying Alexander is “too stupid to give up.” Alexander slowly stands, and Kendrick runs at him, but Alexander scoops Kendrick for a sudden Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO! Gulak is relieved while Alexander is a bit surprised. Alexander and Kendrick are down, and a 10 count begins.

Alexander stands first, and aims at Kendrick across the way. He runs corner to corner, for a BIG uppercut! He keeps going for another uppercut, then runs into a boot! Kendrick runs, but into another scoop. Kendrick counters with a victory roll, TWO, SUPERKICK! Spit goes flying, but Alexander still denies Sliced Bread to hit a LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pifnall

Gulak is seething as Alexander remains undefeated in 2018, and spotless as Cruiserweight Champion. Gulak storms his way up the steel steps to be eye-to-eye with Alexander. But it’s just a distraction so that Jack Gallagher can attack out of nowhere! Gulak mockingly asks what happened. Gulak wants Gallagher to help get Alexander up for more, but Maverick and referees rush the ring! They are not going to let their Summerslam match be jeopardized. Gulak is told to back off or lose his chance at the champ. Gulak and his fellow Ungentle Men take their leave, promising this will be settled soon enough. Is there anything Alexander can do about the numbers advantage Gulak has? Or will he fall victim to this cruel winter at the biggest party of the summer?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid night for 205 Live that kept things on track for their summer plans. We finally get Kalisto VS Nese like we were supposed to last week, but this still did pretty good to propel this new Cruiserweight Tag Team feud. Kalisto wins to make up for the DQ finish from before, but it made sense for Murphy to show up when the ban was uplifted. Great double superkick from Kalisto & Dorado, too. If Gran Metalik doesn’t return in time, it’ll have to be Kalisto & Dorado VS Nese & Murphy for the tag team blow-off. Lio wins quick again, but I like that Tozawa came out for a fight while Lio played opportunistic Heel. They’ll clearly get a rematch, likely for 205 Live’s go-home to Summerslam, but I have a feeling Lio wins then, too.

That was a really great contract signing segment that felt much more NXT than WWE. It was about the talking and not about the post-signing physicality. I like that Alexander was no-nonsense while Gulak probably has line of the month when he calls Alexander the Lesnar of the Cruiserweights. This is such a great reversal of roles where the Heel accuses the Face of being lazy and arrogant for not being in the ring week in and week out. Obviously it’s misguided as Alexander has done far more both before and after winning his title than Lesnar has. But at least WWE has integrated the perception of part-timer Lesnar as an insult. Alexander VS Kendrick was great, I’m happy it ended clean, and the post-match stuff was well-done, too. I just hope the title will be part of the main show this time.

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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