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Andrew’s ALL IN Ratings & Review

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So this has been the hot topic of the wrestling world for the last few months. Everyone knows what ALL IN is, and if you don’t, where the hell have you been?

Like seriously, were you banned from the internet? Do you live in Alaska? I really have to know.

Regardless, we’ve got the Zero Hour on WGN America, followed by the main show on a plethora of streaming services. So I guess we should get to it.

 

Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky vs The Briscoe Brothers

This is the worst town Scorpio and Kaz have ever been in. There, I referenced the gimmick, now on to the match.

Coming out looking like Rocky Balboa and Austin Creed, SCU were easily the babyfaces in this one. The Briscoes started off early trying to cut Kaz off from Scorpio, but Scorpio got in fairly quickly. However, Briscoes kept control over Scorpio for a few minutes before the Kaz hot tag really ramped up the tempo of the match.

Inside Out Frankensteiner from Kaz, Tope con Hilo from Sky and that was just the start. SCU then hit a double Cutters and transition into dual Dragon Sleepers before the Briscoes eventually break the holds. At some point Mark hits a Block Buster from the apron to the floor and The Briscoes look about ready to take the win. Jay Driller/Froggy Elbow combination gets broken up by Scorpio just in time.

Before SCU can mount any offense, they dump Scorpio out and go for the Doomsday Device on Frankie. Somehow, Frankie catches Mark into a Snap Power Slam off Jay’s shoulders and Scorpio slides in and connects a big Bicycle Knee to prevent any pin break up. So SCU beat the reigning ROH Tag Team Champions.

A few awkward spots, but an overall solid and fun curtain jerker.

Winner: Kaz via Avalanche Snap Power Slam

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Over the Budget Battle Royal

Intergender Battle Royal for a shot at the ROH Heavyweight Championship. Not a lot else to extrapolate from. At the very least, this should be fun.

Bully Ray immediately goes after Chico to put him through a table. Chico tries to fight through cause he never jobs, but Bully’s power gets it done. Billy Gunn and Tommy Dreamer do dive fake outs and just do Double Axe Handles from the apron. Everyone catches Moose, but he only goes to the apron, before a dropkick from Marco Stunt  eliminates him.

Brandon Cutler gets eliminated by Ethan Page, Marco Stunt gets eliminated by Bully Ray. Rocky saves the Best Friends since they’re all CHAOS buddies, then the Best Friends hug gets a big pop…before Punishment Martinez ruins the fun. Forever Lariats from Rocky Romero before Brian Cage cuts him off with a Discus Clothesline and wipes out Rocky.

Cheeseburger tries and Cage says no, then Punishment and Cage square off. Cage counters the Chokeslam, pushes him into Hurricane Helms, and Hurricane goes on a Chokeslam spree of his own. Ethan Page and Hurricane both fight on the apron after being tossed over the top, so Page eliminates Helms before Colt Cabana hits a hip attack sending Page off. Dreamer with the Dusty Rhodes Bionic Elbow on Punishment before Bully Ray eliminates him.

Apparently Marco wasn’t eliminated and tries to go after Bully before Billy Gunn helps him out. Jimmy Jacobs does a 5 Knuckle Shuffle on Austin Gunn, but Billy makes a save again and eliminates the Zombie Princess. Austin Gunn then eliminates Punishment, before Bully takes out Austin. Billy hits a FameAsser for vengeance and then stares down Brian Cage.

Cage Gorilla Presses Billy Gunn out, Marco Stunt hits a Satellite Codebreaker before Bully Ray tells him to get out. Jordynne Grace and Cage square off, and Grace eliminates Cage. Bully tries to take out Grace, puts her on the top turnbuckle, Cabana helps her out and they WASSUP Bully Ray. Bully then reverses the whip and eliminates Jordynne, so it’s Cabana versus Bully.

Bully eliminates Cabana, thinks he won, but Chico slides in, hits a Superkick and reveals himself to be Flip Gordon. Flip wins the Battle Royal to face Jay Lethal.

It was entertaining, a lot of nice nostalgia moments, most people got their stuff in, but as we know, Battle Royals lack too many elements of a real wrestling match, so I only give out 3 if it was good and 2 or 1 if it was awful. This one was mostly good.

Winner: Chico El Flip Gordon 

Rating: ***

 

MJF vs Matt Cross

Oh great, I forgot Dollar Store EC3 was on this card. The most cookie cutter uninteresting character in wrestling…hooraay. Go Matt Cross.

Cross pulls off a gorgeous Sasuke Special early in the match, but MJF does have the advantage through most of this match. A rope assisted Piledriver and typical old school style heel tactics, so nothing flashy or special. Honestly, the match was very basic/typical from both men.

MJF gets frustrated, goes for a middle rope Moonsault, misses and tweaks his knee. Cross hits the Rebound Cutter, following up quickly with the Shooting Star Press, for the pinfall victory.

Winner: Matt Cross via Shooting Star Press

Rating: ** 3/4

 

Christopher Daniels vs Stephen Amell

‘The New Ref’n Show’ Jerry Lynn is refereeing this match. Curious if Amell stays undefeated through this, or Daniels puts an end to the streak.

The story coming into this helped drive the offense. Christopher Daniels even does a little reference back to his old Curry Man gimmick. And when push comes to shove, this match was better than I expected but still not surprising. Amell hits a Falcon Arrow and Coast to Coast but totally wipes out when he tries to put Daniels through the table.

Jerry Lynn goes out of his way to decide not to do a Double Countout, and grab both men and throw them back in the ring. This frustrates Daniels, so Jerry and Daniels square off a little as Amell tries to go for the School Boy to win fast, but Daniels kicks out. Angel’s Wings into a Best Moonsault Ever, gives Daniels the deserved win.

The match was sloppy, Amell was nearly emotionless and it made much of the match hard to swallow. Given the fact that Amell is an actor and not a fully trained wrestler, it’s not surprising the match was painful at times. He did what he could, Daniels tried to save moments, and it was good enough for the fans in attendance.

Winner: Christopher Daniels via Best Moonsault Ever

Rating: * 3/4

 

Chelsea Green vs Britt Baker vs Tessa Blanchard vs Madison Rayne

Britt Baker comes out to Adam Cole’s old ROH music. Tessa comes out with Tully and Magnum T.A. there to embrace her.

Ugh…I’m kinda sad honestly. This match was really good up until Britt Baker did a trifecta of Sling Blades, poorly. Then we get a sloppy top turnbuckle Bulldog thing from Madison Rayne, most of what Chelsea Green did looked bad…I just…come on. Numerous false finishes with sloppy moments, a lack of selling and just an illogical pile of bodies but somehow people can’t make a pin break up.

The most egregious no sell moment is Madison hits Tessa with a Cutter or something, and Tessa has to pop up, effectively no selling to eat a Missile Dropkick. Who thought that was a good idea? Like damn. Plus I swear if everyone hugs or shakes hands after every match with 27,000 false finishes and 800 moves, I’m gonna have a stroke.

This match had a lot of potential too, and just fell apart. Really disappointed. But Tessa won, so that’s nice.

Winner: Tessa via Hammerlock DDT

Rating: **

 

NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship Match: Cody Rhodes vs Nick Aldis (c)

Both men had their own teams accompany them to the ring, and we all know the story with Cody’s lineage and Nick Aldis reviving a dead brand. Let’s see how the match plays out, Dealer versus Nightmare.

Well this is what wrestling was and why we all watch. It’s not for flips and false finishes, it’s for a story being told like this. The best way I can describe this match is, it was a love letter from Cody to Dusty. If you don’t enjoy the old 70s/80s style of wrestling, you’ll feel that I’m way off base. But given the 70th anniversary of the NWA, the involvement of a Rhodes and how much we know Dusty meant to Cody, this was a deeply layered match.

We had the old school blade job moment, where we got to pop for Diamond Dallas Page hitting a Diamond Cutter on Shawn Daivari. We even saw a sweet moment between Brandi begging Cody that he didn’t have to continue and then throwing herself on top of him to absorb the Elbow Drop.

Let’s not undersell how good Aldis looked in this match also, especially when he accidentally hit Brandi, to prove he’s not a bad guy. Then he kicks out of the Crossroads, and the match hits that point where you’re not sure who will win. Aldis goes for a Sunset Flip, but Cody sits down and sinks in the Double Leg Cradle, and gets the pinfall victory to become the first ever second generation NWA Heavyweight Champion!

Can’t be upset with the match or the story. Could it have been crisper or could there have been a quicker pace, sure, but a faster pace would’ve hurt the story of the match. Just a tremendous story driven match, watch it, it’s hard to really convey the poignancy of this match.

Winner: Cody via Double Leg Cradle

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Chicago Street Fight: Hangman Page vs Joey Janela

Well…this match was every stereotypical indie match ever. Spots for the sake of spots, including a Donkey Kong barrel roll spot. Numerous tables, a terrible running down the ramp lariat and just…why.

The highlights of this match were basically everything Penelope Ford did because not only is she easy on the eyes, she seems pretty solid in the ring too. The nods to Being the Elite were amusing for people that follow them. Page’s cowboy boots that speak to him and the telephone he used to murder Joey Ryan all play a part into the finishing spot.

Finish being a Rite of Passage from the ladder through the table after hitting Janela with the phone a few times. I’m anticipating the ending getting sent to Jim Cornette because then people dressed as giant penises show up and Joey Ryan shows up alive. So ya…Dick Flip and an army of fallacies, I’m gonna look forward to Cornette’s reaction.

Winner: Hangman via Rite of Passage through Table

Rating: * 1/2

 

ROH World Championship Match: Jay Lethal (c) vs Flip Gordon

So Flip came out with Brandi and Lethal came out as Black Machismo with Lanny Poffo. So as we all know, if someone slaps Lethal’s left shoulder it switches him between personalities. So it should be interesting how that plays into the match.

It starts off a little goofy with Lethal thinking Brandi is Miss Elizabeth, so he keeps trying to keep her on one spot. Brandi eventually gets annoyed and slaps Jay’s shoulder, forcing him back to the Jay Lethal persona.

The match is actually okay but kinda uneventful for a while. Flip does his Kip Up dodges, Lethal gets one Lethal Injection countered and kicks out of Flip’s Falcon Arrow. It’s not until Lanny calls for the Macho Man Elbow and hits Jay’s shoulder to turn him back to Machismo. Three big Elbow drops only get a 2 count, as Flip does his best Hulk Hogan impression, hulking up, pointing, Big Boot and Leg Drop, only for 2.

Flip then pulls off most of his signature moves, Star Spangled Stunner, 450 Splash, quite flurry, but Lethal still kicks out. Jay then catches him and hits the Lethal Injection for the pinfall victory.

It definitely got a little too gimmicky at points, but it wasn’t a bad match at all.

Winner: Lethal via Lethal Injection

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Penta El Zero M vs Kenny Omega

This was the first “work rate” match of the night. It came off a little clunky early with Pentagon slowing down a bit before an exchange and just an overall odd pace.

Pentagon played some mind games more often than actually going for confident finishes. Pentagon Driver, Fear Factor, they were both hit, but the cocky covers may have cost him. Biggest spots being the Springboard Cross Body from Omega to the outside and Pentagon hitting a Fear Factor on the apron.

Oddly though, Penta countered the One Winged Angel a few times, even breaking Kenny’s arm. But Omega alters how he delivers the One Winged Angel to use his other arm to pick up the victory. It’s a good match, but overall a little underwhelming.

Thankfully though, the lights go out, when they come back on, Kenny forgets to sell the broken arm and gets attacked by Pentagon. Or…is it? Codebreaker?! It’s Jericho! Face paint and stealing luchadors outfits, Chris has come full circle.

Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Kazuchika Okada vs Marty Scurll

This was just a story of no one giving Scurll a shot since he’s a Junior Heavyweight and Okada is…well…Okada. So will Okada send Marty to 205 Live, or will Scurll step it up?

Well now we get the best worked match of the night, and yes I’ll say that before the last match since 6 Man Matches usually always have a ceiling. Scurll had something to prove and he really did continue to bring it to Okada.

The Rainmaker was cocky early, under estimating Scurll, but he had a ton of close calls and good moves. The whole crowd popped for a Kawada style Powerbomb from Scurll which gave the first real false finish. We get a ref bump to set up a spot I haven’t seen in a while, with Marty getting the umbrella and then opening it up to stop Okada mid Rainmaker. Usage of the foreign object follows, but only a 2 count.

Scurll goes for the Chicken Wing a couple times, and looks to be close to getting Okada to tap out, before Okada does the Okada thing and fights through. An amusing reference to the 2-0-5 joke from BTE gives Marty a small glimmer of hope, but the adrenaline rush wears off, Rolling Rainmaker into proper Rainmaker and Okada wins.

Marty did prove he can hang with a heavyweight, and even though people tend to get on Scurll’s case about being a bad worker – this was a great match.

Winner: Okada via Rainmaker

Rating: **** 1/2

 

Fenix, Bandido & Rey Mysterio vs The Young Bucks & Kota Ibushi

My first take away is that Fenix brought his newly acquired AAA Mega Championship to the ring. Go figure, a champion, not in a championship match, bringing the belt to the ring! *glares at Kenny Omega*

Aside from that, this was a weird match, and I don’t just mean Mysterio dressed as Wolverine. After each person got in the ring once, we hear a very audible “Time to go home”, which puts this frantic sense of urgency on the match. After a few big dives from the luchador team, Mysterio can be seen going to each of them to prolly tell them to cut stuff and speed to the finish.

The moves were fun, and nothing seemed terribly off…but one moment really annoyed me. We see Fenix hit a Rolling DDT, Bandido land a high impact move, Fenix then kicks Matt Jackson, Mysterio hits the 619, Fenix and Bandido both do dives to take out the rest of the Golden Elite, which leaves Mysterio and Matt alone. Mysterio lands a Frog Splash from the top, most likely an homage to Eddie Guerrero since everyone was picking from the past, and Matt kicks out at 2. HOW DO YOU KICK OUT OF 2 THERE IN A TIME CRUNCH?! Yes I can see it’s cause the Bucks were supposed to win, but why go through all that, all of those signature moves/finishers, just to discredit them and kick out.

This then leads to what I can only expect to be a miscommunication. Golden Elite hit a modified More Bang for Your Buck and look to get the win over Bandido, but Fenix breaks up the pin. Quickly the Bucks hit a Meltzer Driver, and this time, Fenix realizes it’s the finish.

I say there was probably a miscommunication cause as soon as the match ends, music hits and Ian Riccoboni doesn’t even get through the entire sign off before the stream cuts. So it was fun, just extremely evident it was rushed, not counting the 3 or 4 times we can hear “go home”.

Winner: Bucks via Meltzer Driver

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Thoughts:

Well talk about a mixed bag right? We had some kinda awful things, a few good things and two great moments with Jericho and Cody. I’m fully aware All In was a huge success, and a milestone for wrestling, but it’s not without glaring flaws.

Let’s not excuse this as a first show for Cody and the Bucks, when ROH’s finger prints were all over it, Callis is an executive with Impact and Billy Corgan has done TV before. The rushed second half of the show (literally, as soon as a match ended, the next one had music starting), on top of a few hiccups and sound issues, should’ve been ironed out. The announce team was not very good honestly. Callis’ bran of brash sarcasm didn’t really work with Riccoboni and Excalibur, especially when Excalibur doesn’t know what a Block Buster is and was just stepping all over the commentary in the most painful way. Anyone that complains about Michael Cole, couldn’t have enjoyed this without just being heavily anti-WWE. Those are just a couple of the things that came to mind immediately.

All of that being said, the show was still entertaining on a whole. Not perfect, not Elite and not even better than SummerSlam, but not bad. If I were to rate it, I’d probably say 6.5/10. The thing I found most commendable was that the Bucks trimmed their own match instead of the boys. Not sure if that’s why they were the main event, but the fact that what could’ve been a 25 minute match was probably more like 15, is good on them.

This show did give us a moment that most of us will never forget, and transcend wrestling and sports in general. Hard to understate how great it is to see Cody hold the same belt his father did.

 


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.5 ~ 12TH OCTOBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP
As Noah head towards the end of the year, Autumn Navigation began on October 7th in Gunma. I am afraid I don’t have too much information about the first two shows.

Naomichi Marufuji’s feud (not so much Akitoshi Saito’s) with Mitsuya Nagai and “The Hooligans” began in earnest. Marufuji came out with a weary expression like he had to deal with something that was tiresome (and to him it is, as he says that The Hooligans are not worthy of the title shot, although he’s had to begrudgingly give them one), and this match was to prove just to be that as Nagai came out to “second”.

“Second” in this case being another word for “interfere”, which he did by pulling the referee out of the ring when Marufuji went for the pin on Taniguchi. While the ref and Nagai argued, Cody Hall used the distraction to creep into the ring and ambush Marufuji with “The Hooligan” bomb, meaning that Taniguchi got the win when the ref got back in the ring.

Afterwards The Hooligans stood over Marufuji, Cody Hall & Taniguchi holding the heavyweight tag belts, and Taniguchi with his foot on him.

Marufuji said afterwards that he was irritated before, but he’s angry now, and he’s had enough. This wasn’t enough, however, to stop The Hooligans from running over them again on the 11th October.

Noah have started the pre-matches for Global League; on the 11th October, Masa Kitamiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against each other after a long while. Nakajima, as ever, smirking when kicking someone, this time his tag partner.

NEWS

NOAH MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE IN EUROPE & USA
IPW have announced that they have become the official merchandise vendor for Noah for Europe, and I understand they also deliver to the USA. I am afraid for any other country, you would need to check directly with them. Shop can be accessed via the link above.

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s column this week is thought to be generally not too interesting (aside from maybe the end about appearing in a quiz show), but he does give some interesting insights into life in Noah and how wrestlers branching out into other programs beyond wrestling, can help a product.

Speaking of Kenoh, I read a very sweet story in an interview earlier this week.

When Kenoh was a tiny infant (about two or three), he used to stand at the window of the Nippon Kempo watching them practice until his mother removed him. Even when it snowed, he would stand at the window.

His mother later asked if he could see inside, and then enrolled him in the school.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI VS HIKARU SHIDA
For her tenth anniversary in wrestling, Hikaru Shida challenged Naomichi Marufuji to a rematch. They had last clashed on April 17th, and she had been knocked out within a few minutes (108 seconds to be precise). This time she managed to last eighteen minutes with him. He took knee attacks, and she took chops.

Marufuji won with the high knee, and said afterwards that “the match was fun, and with so much potential, I want you to be the top girl”.”.

WINTER NAVIGATION 2018 & EARLY DATES FOR JANUARY 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Winter Navigation 2018”, plus “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2” and “NOAHFul Gift in Differ”.

They have also announced dates for January 2019.

Last year NOAHFUL Gift was held in ShinKiba, this year it will be being held at Korakuen Hall. Although Noah have announced no plans for the format as of yet, it will most likely feature the flea market in which Noah sell their old ring wear to fans (in the old days they would also serve Dojo chanko) and the usual battle royal and comedy matches.

Genba Hirayanagi threatened to appear last year in some gnarly old pants when he heard there was a flea-market. Sugiura said no one would want them, and Marufuji told him that it was “called obstruction of business”.

Thankfully Genba’s questionable taste in clothes is not a recurring feature, but Akitoshi Saito in cosplay is. In past years we have seen a lounge singer (complete with frilled cuffs, cummerbund and a velvet suit), and a pigtailed joshi. 2017 saw him in a video which was played in installments throughout the evening flanked by Moose in a Burger King hat, Eddie Edwards in a Santa hat (both were trying not to laugh), and Saito in various stages of undress whilst wearing a wig and make-up.

During the Battle Royale last year, everyone dressed up; well, almost everyone, as Kenoh appeared in an old karate outfit, and HAYATA came as himself in DOVE Pro. Other highlights included Takashi Sugiura being labelled a “vulgar and tasteless Santa” by Tokyo Sports, Hi69 was a “Panda” (his costume was purple tights and Panda face-paint, and according to Hajime Ohara he had gone out and bought his costume the night before, leading Sugi to point, laugh and say “that’s not a Panda, that’s a monster), Hajime Ohara as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” complete with satchel full of bakery goods, a Jiji on his shoulder, black wig with a bow and a broom, Hitoshi Kumano as a bear, Daisuke Harada as HAYATA (which HAYATA did not appreciate and glared at him afterwards) and of course the inevitable Mr. Koto (Atsushi Kotoge).

Needless to say its a fun show, and if you are going to be in Tokyo over Christmas\New Year, I not only envy you, I also highly recommend you go and see it. All grudges, rivalries and title matches are put aside, and the roster relax and have fun.

OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
Naomichi Marufuji and Hi69 will miss Noah’s event on the 18th November as they will be participating in Ryuku Dragon Pro in Okinawa

Kenoh will be appearing for KAIENTAI DOJO on Sunday October 28th, he will team with Tank Nagai against Yuri Asakawa & Kengo Mashimo.

Junta Miyawaki will make his second appearance for YOUNGDOMS (FREEDOMS sub brand) on the 5th November, he will team with Shunsuke Sayama vs Toru Sugiura and SUSUMU

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The GHC Heavyweight Championship currently has no challenger as Global League will begin in late October to determine the number one contender.

Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge will clash over the GHC Junior Championship on October 30th at Korakuen Hall (match signing to be held the same day)

Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship against “The Hooligans” (Maybach Taniguchi and Cody Hall) on Sunday October 14th in Kobe.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Naomichi Marufuji was involved in a minor car accident this week when someone reversed into him, he is fine fortunately.
  • Noah released Halloween Revolutionary cloaks for kids which were sold on the 11th October, with the Revolutionary Hero on hand to sign them. Atsushi Kotoge has said that the manufacturing cost is too high to make them for adults.
  • Takashi Sugiura gave a defense match interview, in it he said he wants to be the first reigning champion in history to win Global League, and if that happens he will nominate his own opponent, which will be Masato Tanaka. They have fought against each other in the past, but they have never had a title match over a single belt.
  • Mitsuya Nagai called a lady in the crowd “you old bag” because she was mouthing off to him.
  • Mohammed Yone’s disco ball for his entry has become a thing
  • People would like to see Atsushi Kotoge and Kaito Kiyomiya tag together and challenge for the belts
  • HAYATA has a new online diary, “HAYATAbot”, I am afraid that to access it requires a paid subscription
  • Kenoh will finally get his wish for a singles match with Naomichi Marufuji on the 8th November at Korakuen Hall for Global League 2018.
  • Like Hi69 does, Atsushi Kotoge did a short question time with fans on Twitter, highlights included; Kotoge saying he doesn’t drink at home, and Go Shiozaki asking what the capes were made of to which, Kotoge said playfully, “asshole, I’ll go and look”. He never actually answered Shiozaki’s question.
  • Kenoh’s friend, Masahiro-san (whom Kenoh has blocked, and who Masahiro-san calls “that asshole who blocked me”), posted a few candid pictures of when he stayed at Kenoh’s home for the night on Twitter. Masahiro-san usually deletes them a few minutes after posting, but they were there long enough to ascertain Kenoh bought tourist fodder Union Jack boxer shorts when he visited London for Frontline Pro Wrestling.
  • Hajime Ohara is holding exercise classes in Kawasaki which are open to adults of every age and sex. The classes will be simple exercises in how to build, tone and maintain muscles and how to exercises with a water bottle.

KING SHAMLESS’S CORNER
None this week, he’s managed to behave himself.

EVENT RECAPS
7TH OCTOBER 2018, NEW SUNPIA TAKASAKI, GUNMA
11TH OCTOBER 2018, OYAMA CITY CULTURAL CENTER SMALL HALL, OYAMA, TOCHIGI

LINKS
English language translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, “Heir to The Ark”
Takashi Sugiura’s sixth defense interview
Akira Taue loved the “Talk Battle” with Toshiaki Kawada
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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Destruction in Hiroshima 2018!

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NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima

AXS moves on in its NJPW coverage by bringing us Destruction in Hiroshima! Does the Best Bout Machine hold on to his title against the Stone Pitbull?

 

This coverage of Destruction in Hiroshima will be as broadcast by AXS TV.

Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi & Jay White; Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma win.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene!

Kenny Omega continues his reign as the newest IWGP Heavyweight Champion after his epic 2 Out of 3 Falls match Kazuchika Okada. He has bested some of the best, such as The American Nightmare, Cody, at the G1 Special in San Francisco, and six straight victories in this year’s G1 Climax tournament. However, things were changed when The Stone Pitbull looked to play spoiler. Tomohiro Ishii was no longer in contention for the G1 Climax 28 Finals, but he was more concerned about evening the score from the IWGP United States Championship tournament. Ishii defeated Omega in a toughly contested match, and that would ultimately cost Omega his spot in the G1 Climax finals. That victory has earned Ishii his shot tonight in Hiroshima, but will he be able to repeat his upset performance? Or will the Best Bout Machine break the tie and retain the title?

 

Six Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma VS Kazuchika Okada, Yoshi-Hashi & Jay White!

There is much tension within the Chaos trio as the Switchblade has made it clear he wants to take control of the faction away from The Rainmaker. Can White and Okada get along, with the Head Hunter stuck in the middle, against The Ace, the Uncaged Gorilla and the “Innovator of Lighttube Death Matches”?

NJPW and AXS jump into this match as it is in progress. White tags in off Okada and chops away on Honma. He whips him corner to corner then chops Honma off his feet. White taunts Honma then brings him up, but Honma chops back. White elbows Honma’s neck and tries to suplex, but Honma blocks. Honma goes to suplex White but White reverses and chops him to a corner. White runs in but into a boot, and Honma runs out for a leaping shoulder tackle! Fans fire up for Honma as he crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Makabe, who runs White over with a shoulder then barrels into Okada. Yoshi-Hashi slips in to kick and run, but into a powerslam! Hashi exits while Makabe corner clotheslines White. Makabe climbs up to throw hands but White slips out underneath. White tags Okada in so he can get away.

Okada comes in but Makabe is on him with big forearms. Makabe whips Okada corner to corner then hits a corner clothesline. Makabe climbs up and gives corner punches, all the way to 10. He goes to Northern Lights but Okada fights it off. Okada runs but into a big lariat! Cover, TWO! Makabe brings Okada up but Okada resists, countering with a back drop. Okada runs in corner to corner for the clothesline, then hits a DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada drags Makabe up and wants the gut wrench but Makabe fights it. Makabe and Okada both club each other, but Okada gets the edge. Okada runs but ducks one clothesline to get the other! Both men are down, and fans rally up. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

The Ace hits Hashi and White, then focuses on Okada. Tanahahsi runs, but into the gut wrench! He turns it around to hit the swinging neckbreaker! He keeps moving as Okada stands, to bring him down with the slingblade! Cover, but Hashi breaks it. Makabe tosses Hashi out and Tanahashi gets moving again. Tanahashi climbs up but Okada dropkicks him! Okada drags Tanahashi off the top rope, still wanting the Tombstone. Tanahashi slips off to rock Okada with a palm strike! Tanahashi runs but into a dropkick! Fans rally up and Okada tags in Hashi. Hashi runs and hits the blockbuster! He hits Makabe and Honma then runs back at Tanahsahi for the chop in the corner. But White wants him to use a chair now? Hashi refuses, and Tanahashi hits White! Tanahashi gets Hashi in the dragon screw!

Honma hits Okada and then Makabe comes in. They and Tanahashi rally on Yoshi-Hashi with a corner dropkick, and feed to the double clothesline sandwich! Honma drops the headbutt! Tanahashi heads up top but White dumps him down! Makabe and White exit and get into a fight with White while Yoshi-Hashi gets up. Hashi runs but into a full nelson. He denies the dragon suplex, but Tanahashi wants the straitjacket. Okada runs in to save Hashi, and then Hashi runs. Tanahashi boots Yoshi-Hashi away, then elbows Okada. Yoshi-Hashi still comes back to grab Tanahashi, and Okada runs in. Tanahashi ducks, Okada’s boot goes into Yoshi-Hashi! Tanahshi small packages while Makabe trips Okada, Tanahashi’s team wins!

Winners: Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi pinning

Taguchi Japan makes it a victory against Chaos! And Chaos’s trio isn’t in a good move over it. Yoshi-Hashi won’t let Okada console him, and White gets in Okada’s face about the loss, too. With his faction so against him here, does Okada have a chance of keeping control? And what of his shot at Tanahashi’s IWGP Heavyweight Championship Wrestle Kingdom match contract?

Backstage interviews.

Jay White can’t understand why Chaos follows Okada. Okada ended up kicking Yoshi-Hashi square in the face and cost the team that match. The two of them were in there with that “old man” Tanahashi, but couldn’t do what White did by himself during the G1 Climax. White says it is Okada’s fault. Okada boots his friend Yoshi-Hashi in the face, for what? Is Okada angry that White beat him? Is Okada taking his anger out on Chaos? Okada shouldn’t bully someone who was on his side this whole time like that. The rest of Chaos should look at that and realize who they’re following. Clearly the Switchblade sees circumstances his own way, but will he be able to manipulate the rest of Chaos into seeing it the same way?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Tomohiro Ishii!

The Cleaner won against the Stone Pitbull to become the inaugural IWGP United States Champion, but the Pitbull won to be the first loss on the Cleaner’s G1 Climax 28 record. Now they will have a tiebreaker with the title on the line! Who will win the third match in this hard-hitting trilogy?

The introductions are made, Red Shoes shows Ishii the belt, and we begin! Fans are immediately thunderous for both men and Omega makes sure Ishii hears it. Ishii steps closer to Omega, and Omega backs up until he ends up in his corner. Ishii takes a step back, and Omega comes out for a furious tie-up! They push each other back and forth, and end up breaking. The fans applaud as Omega and Ishii go again. Omega gets a headlock and grinds Ishii to the mat. Ishii gets back up and pries at the hold. Omega holds on, so Ishii powers out. Omega and Ishii collide but neither man backs down. Ishii dares Omega to go again, and Omega does, and they collide again. Again, neither man backs down, so Ishii dares Omega to try a third time. Omega looks to go, but he instead rakes Ishii’s eyes.

Omega rakes Ishii’s eyes again, then runs, to collide shoulders. Ishii staggers back but rebounds to run Omega over! Ishii runs and things speed up, but Ishii holds ropes to fake out Omega. Omega still boots Ishii, then runs. He dodges Ishii but Ishii dodges back. Omega boots Ishii’s lariat down, but Ishii blocks the V-Trigger. Ishii runs into a drop toehold, Omega runs but Ishii evades the dropkick! Fans fire up as we have a stand-off. Ishii and Omega grind foreheads, then start shoving. Omega throws a forearm, but Ishii comes back with one. Omega gives another forearm, but Ishii comes back with another. They go back and forth, forearm for forearm, until Omega kicks low. Omega wants the DDT but Ishii slips out to throw another forearm. Omega retaliates with a forearm, and we’re back to forearm for forearm!

Ishii hits, Omega hits, repeat, until Omega kicks Ishii again, and gets the DDT! Ishii crawls to ropes and Red Shoes checks on him. Omega brings Ishii up to kick him in the back, then sits him up for another kick. He brings Ishii all the way up and turns him, for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Omega drags Ishii around for a rear mount and chinlock. Ishii endures, even as Omega shifts to a half came clutch. Ishii seems to just egg Omega on, so Omega puts him down to stomp him out. Omega grimaces as he drops double ax handles on Ishii. Ishii sits up so Omega kicks and clubs him. Omega brings Ishii over to bump him off buckles, but Ishii just fires up! Omega throws more forearms, then bumps Ishii on buckles again. Ishii continues to come back, so Omega bumps him off another buckle.

Omega stands on Ishii’s back to choke him in the ropes. Red Shoes counts and Omega lets up at 4. Omega brings Ishii up to throw more forearms, then whips corner to corner. He runs in and hits a big back elbow. He keeps moving but runs into Ishii’s powerslam! Ishii has evened things with Omega while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Ishii and Omega stand. Ishii chops Omega at the ropes again and again, then throws forearms into the mix. Forearm, chop, repeat, then Ishii whips. Omega reverses and fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton is a bit rough because Ishii is no light man, but Omega still gets up to moonsault! Ishii rolls out of the way so the moonsault flops! Both Omega and Ishii stand up slowly, but Ishii gets running, only to run into Omega’s huricanrana! Ishii rolls out of the ring but Omega takes aim. The Terminator Drums begin and Omega rises. Omega builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Ishii! Omega brings Ishii up and into the ring, then slides in to build speed, Kotaro Krusher!

But Omega doesn’t go for a cover, he locks and loads, but Ishii gets right up in that finger gun. Ishii fires forearms off, then runs, but into a boot! He’s right back up and he clotheslines Omega out of the ring! Ishii pursues and drags Omega up, to whip him into railing. Ishii chops Omega around the ringside area, and even against a post. Omega chops back, and now they brawl. Ishii forearms, Omega chops, Ishii chops, Omega chops again. They continue to trade sharp, echoing chops, but then Omega decides to clear an announcer table. Ishii stops Omega and whips him at railing, but Omega stops himself. Omega mule kicks Ishii then goes to springboard off the rails, but Ishii catches him into an electric chair! Ishii then tries to fold Omega, perhaps steal One Winged Angel, but Omega fights out.

Omega clubs Ishii on the back, brings him over, but it’s Ishii who snap suplexes Omega to the floor! Both men are down, but Red Shoes is letting them fight. Ishii gets Omega up and into the ring, but Omega dropkicks him back out. Omega takes aim again, builds speed and hits a wrecking ball dropkick! Ishii is sent into railing, but Omega keeps on him. Omega dumps him over onto that cleared desk, then continues where he left off. He clubs away on Ishii, even throwing monitors on him, before going back in the ring. Omega aims from a corner, springboards himself, and hits a DOUBLE STOMP! Omega cracks the table with Ishii’s body while Ishii clutches his chest. Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.

Omega mocks Ishii while he makes his own way back to the ring. He’ll leave Ishii to the mercy of the 20 count as Red Shoes starts. Fans rally for Ishii, and he stirs at 8. Ishii drags himself over the railing at 10, but still crawls. The count passes 15, then 17, but Ishii’s in at 19! Omega says he’ll finish this, as he brings Ishii up. Aoi Shoudou brainbuster! Ishii rolls to ropes for safety, but Omega still says BANG! Ishii avoids the V-Trigger but Omega fights the waistlock. Omega swings but ends up in a saido suplex! Both men are down but fans are rallying up. Ishii sits up but Omega follows. Ishii chops Omega in a corner, and chops and chops! Omega chops back but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Ishii chops and Omega is again in the corner.

Ishii is chopping high on the chest, almost getting the throat! Red Shoes reprimands Ishii, so he stops that. Ishii whips Omega but Omega reverses. Ishii still barrels out to blast Omega to the corner with his shoulder! He brings Omega up, powerbomb lift, and the BIG powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO!! Omega survives but Ishii runs. Omega dodges the sliding lariat, then chops Ishii. Ishii felt that one, but he still comes back. Omega boots Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but runs into a boot. Omega’s up but Ishii hits him with a forearm. Ishii and Omega brawl as Ishii climbs. Omega kicks but Ishii forearms. Omega gets more kicks in, then brings Ishii up for a slap! He stomps Ishii down, but Ishii grits his teeth as he comes back up. Ishii headbutts outta nowhere!

Omega is dazed but Ishii climbs up to join him. Ishii wants it, and gets the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Omega survives, but Ishii is not deterred. Ishii waits for Omega to stand, then runs, but omega ducks to get the German Suplex! Ishii’s right back up to give Omega a German Suplex! Omega stands up, but he’s a bit wobbly. Ishii clubs him in the back, then German Suplexes again! Omega lands on his feet! V-Trigger outta nowhere! Both men are down, but fans are fired up again. Red Shoes checks on them as they stir. Omega sits up first, then stands. He brings Ishii up but intercepts him with a forearm. Omega throws more forearms, and Ishii kneels. Omega keeps going, but now Ishii grows stronger! Ishii takes a forearm, gives a forearm, but runs into a roaring elbow. Ishii swings but ends up in a Snap Dragon Suplex!

Omega stands, runs, V-Trigger! Ishii rebounds to his feet, and Omega lifts in the electric chair. Ishii fights out and gets the dragon sleeper, but Omega counters into a brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega stands up. He sits Ishii up, for a point blank V-Trigger! Then another! Omega grins as he keeps Ishii up, but then Ishii falls over before Omega can get the third. Omega drags Ishii up, holds him in place, and gives that next V-Trigger. Ishii crawls to a corner as Omega backs away. Omega runs in to V-Trigger Ishii in the back of the head! Omega drags Ishii up and onto the top rope, then climbs up to join him. He has Ishii in the full nelson, but Ishii resists. Omega clubs away on his back with palm strikes, but Ishii headbutts backwards! Omega staggers away and Ishii turns around, but into a chop. Now Omega double underhooks on the top rope, but Ishii still resists. Ishii sends Omega back down, but Omega jumps to V-Trigger!

Omega climbs back up, turns around, and brings Ishii up in a fireman’s carry. Ishii fights again, and stands, for a SUPER STEINER!! How rare for Ishii to fly like that! Omega crawls away but Ishii runs in corner to corner for a big clothesline. Ishii keeps going but runs into boots. Omega boots again but gets a headbutt for it! Ishii fires up and declares that belt is his! He sits Omega up, copies the finger gun, and runs in for a a V-Trigger?! Ishii keeps going to run him over with a lariat! Cover, TWO!! The Pitbull hasn’t put the champion away just yet! Ishii drags Omega up, suplex, but Omega slips out. Ishii headbutts, then runs, but into a leaping lariat! Omega drags Ishii up fast, into the Electric Chair, but Ishii slips out to suplex. Omega slips out, REVERSE-RANA!

Both men are down again but fans are loving it. They rally up for both men while Red Shoes checks on them. Ishii drags himself up on the ropes, but Omega crawls to the far side. They both stand and stagger over to each other. Omega throws a forearm, Ishii gives one back. Again these two go back and forth. Omega wobbles but still comes back. Ishii finally feels some of those hits, and Omega gives him a swift palm strike. Ishii fires off forearms from both sides, but Omega again palm strikes! Omega ducks the enziguri, and gets the Snap Dragon! To V-Trigger! Cover, TWO!! Omega refuses to stop, and he brings Ishii up again. Electric chair, the fold, but Ishii fights with elbows. So Omega pops him into the Croyt’s Wrath German Suplex!

Omega aims, runs, V-Trigger! But Ishii comes back with a lariat outta nowhere!! Fans are reaching a fever pitch as these two keep going. Ishii sits Omega up, runs, and hits the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Omega still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! Ishii still has more to give, though, and runs, but into another V-Trigger. Omega runs but into another lariat. Ishii runs and Omega follows, but Ishii just stops and gives him another lariat! Ishii drags Omega up, but Omega gut wrenches for a quick piledriver! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Hiroshima is thunderous again! Omega slowly stands, and he brings Ishii up again. He stands Ishii up against ropes, pulls down the knee pad, and runs, for a BIG V-Trigger! Omega tumbles out of the ring but gets back in, for another V-Trigger!! Cover, ONE?! The insanity!

Ishii is floundering, and Omega gives him another V-Trigger! Yet Ishii still enziguris Omega! Ishii blocks the next V-Trigger, but then Omega comes back with another. Omega double underhooks for the butterfly driver! Cover, TWO!? Ishii’s head really must be stone to endure all this. Omega takes a moment to catch his breath as the fans build to a rally. He runs again, and hits another V-Trigger! Then the electric chair, ONE WINGED ANGEL! Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

Finally Omega finishes Ishii! Omega retains in his second defense, and settles the score with the Stone Pitbull. We’ll return with the celebration and more after the break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Omega stands back up to have his hand raised. Kota Ibushi joins him in the ring and puts the belt on Omega. Ishii flounders his way out, needing the help of the Young Lions to make his exit. Omega looks to him with a nod, showing that Ishii certainly has Omega’s respect. When and where will the Pitbull be back for another shot at the title?

As for Omega, he takes to the mic. In Japanese, Omega says that “Ishii-san, it feels like we still have unfinished business.” But what else? When Omega became champion, he thought it meant he was the strongest. That he’s the best, THE greatest in the world. But the truth is a bit different. The truth is, Kota Ibushi is the reason Omega is the best. Omega told Ibushi back at Osaka-Jo Hall, that “whenever or wherever, I’ll be ready.” Ibushi takes the mic now, and tells Kenny that they’ll make good on their promise.

Yes, they made a promise. That no matter where, no matter when, “The Golden Lovers will keep fighting with the same heart and emotion.” Being the Golden Lovers means more to them than just belts. But this is all for now, so thank you for being here. As always, but in Golden Trigger style, “Good Bye, MWAH, and Good Night, BANG!” What promise do the Golden Lovers mean? When and where will they make good on it?

Backstage interviews.

Omega makes this simple: “I am pro-wrestling.” He’s the face of pro-wrestling. He thought that meant he was the best by far, but he’s heard what Hiroshi Tanahashi had to say about his own ideology. Omega thought Tanahashi meant all of NJPW. Ishii is different than Tanahashi, Okada is different than Tanahashi, Tetsuya Naito is different than Tanahashis. They’re all different, and special in their own way.

In fact, the only thing wrong in NJPW is Tanahashi’s “old guard attitude” and close-minded heart. Tanahashi got lucky in the A Block. Omega was so close to using that mic to dare Tanahashi to have their title match here instead of at Wrestle Kingdom. But until then, good bye and good night, BANG! Though the Ace and the Cleaner are still months away from their WK13 match, things are already growing personal! Will Tanahashi be able to hold onto his contract briefcase? Will Omega be able to hold onto the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? Or will one of them lose their prize before Wrestle Kingdom ever arrives?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great night here for NJPW. With AXS airing Fighting Spirit Unleashed before this, there was a lot of this that was clear, but it was still great to watch. Chaos continues to fracture, and Jay White makes stronger moves towards taking control away from Okada. Of course, from FSU, we know he’s also after the IWGP Heavyweight Championship match contract. Perhaps White’s greed will be his downfall, but things could easily go his way and we suddenly have The Switchblade leading Chaos while aiming at Omega’s title. And it is still Omega’s title after that amazing match with Ishii.  Their G1 Climax match was itself very physical, but match did great to build on that. FSU gave us a hint that the Golden Lovers’ promise was to battle 1v1 for the title, and we might still get that down the road, but the wait will be worth it.

My Score: 8.7/10


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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.4 ~ 5TH OCTOBER 2018

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP

Noah have had excellent attendances recently, bad weather, transport difficulties and a weekday show, have not kept people away. Korakuen might not have been sold out for the final, but it was a damn good result for a Thursday night with the majority of people making a mad dash across Tokyo to get there after work.
Hopefully, the fans dedication to seeing Noah and their willingness to battle through Typhoon weather (the event on the 30th September was fast tracked because of it and fans were warned that the show might be cancelled half way through due to the weather), rush hour traffic on a weekday and face resultant travel difficulties, will make the network consider just what they are missing.

Naomichi Marufuji missed the last two nights of Global Junior League as he was appearing in WRESTLE-1 and then Kansai Pro, but he was back for the 4th October.

The GHC Heavyweight match signing took place on September 29th 2018 at Yokohama Radiant Halls. Nakajima appeared with the usual smirk, and refused to answer any questions and when prompted to speak, sat with an eerie grin on his face like he found the whole thing very funny. Takashi Sugiura (who arrived wearing the tired expression like that of a father that has been called too many times to the Principals office over the misbehavior of his son), told him and everyone else that the smile would be wiped off Nakajima’s face when he got repeated elbows in it on the 4th October. That evening the veterans were obliterated by the “young people” as Yokohama went wild, Nakajima’s comment on the match was, “Oh, that was fun”.

The clash on the 30th September, however, was very different. The battle damaged endoskeleton inside Takashi Sugiura rebooted itself, and Nakajima caught a beating (seriously, half the time Sugi looked like he was going to put him over his knee). In a very short match Sugiura caught Nakajima with the Olympic Slam, the ref counted three, and Sugiura continued battering on him until the ref pulled him off, and he stood with his foot on him as Nakajima had done to him, before Nakajima was carried off on the back of the Revolutionary Hero who was watching at ringside. Sugiura later said that Nakajima was like a fly who “fled when I tried to crush him”, and vowed to crush him at Korakuen Hall.

On the 4th October, evidently learning nothing from the 30th September, Katsuhiko Nakajima came strolling out to the ring, big smirk on his face, sinister new ring robe with faux wolfskin and sinister black pants, boots and kneepads. As soon as the bell rang, he lay down on the floor, resting his head on his hands and with his elbow bent, looking as if he were posing for a suncream or speedos advert.

Sugiura was not impressed.

It was a brutal match with kicks, elbows, slaps and slams (Sugiura did the turnbuckle brainbuster and held it for twenty seconds), and at one point Masa Kitamiya got involved which earned loud boos from the crowd, especially as Nakajima was using a wooden bar to choke Sugiura with. Eventually, Sugiura seized the chance for the ankle lock, and even bit into Nakajima’s boot.

It was too much for Nakajima, and he tapped out.

Afterwards most of the competitors for Global League got into the ring, (aside from the veterans that was, and those who were seconding Nakajima and the two who are coming in from outside promotions), and started yelling at each other and pointing fingers. Nagai got on the microphone first and said that the Hooligans were gunning for the GHC Heavyweight too, Kiyomiya told them that they would have to go past him first (Sugiura later said in an interview that he doesn’t consider Kiyomiya a challenge, as he couldn’t get past Kenoh to qualify for the number one contendership, so that’s one down for him), and Sugiura told them all to keep their pants on, the league starts on the 30th October, and so “all you youngsters, you had better start practicing”.

Naomichi Marufuji said he was going to finish this nonsense of The Hooligans on the 4th October, being too tired to deal with a “bald octopus and his worthless friends”, so he made this picture of them asking them to turn up to the event like this (Marufuji seems to share Sugiura’s obsession with bald people, and told Nagai to either grow hair down to his shoulders or get a wig if he wanted a title shot).

Nagai is not impressed by being called “a bald Octopus” and vowed to make Marufuji “regret the words you spewed”.

On the 4th October, Naomichi Marufuji & 50 Funky Powers clashed with The Hooligans, who were more interested in attacking Marufuji than they were Saito, and he took the brunt of things in the match. Afterwards, The Hooligans (Cody Hall and Maybach Taniguchi holding up the belts) stood over them and unfurled their Hooligans flag.

Marufuji has to now give them a title shot, (although he says he is only doing it to crush them), and the two teams will meet in Kobe on the 14th October, before that Naomichi Marufuji and Maybach Taniguchi will have a rare singles match on the 7th October, with Akitoshi Saito facing Cody Hall.

Daisuke Harada faced off against his nemesis, Kotaro Suzuki on the 29th September in a very tense match, which ended with Kotaro Suzuki with the win. He stood over the fallen Daisuke Harada and said that he was going to “shine up that rusty belt” (I think he may also have called him a “Class A War Criminal”, which seems a little extreme).
YO-HEY (watched by Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa) faced Ikuto Hidaka for the semi-finals. YO-HEY seemed to have picked up a knock the knee during the match, (which Hidaka exploited), but he held on in there and refused to quit. The clock ticked away, near falls followed near falls, and then Hidaka locked in the Shinken Capture.
YO-HEY refused to quit.

The clock ran out and YO-HEY was awarded the win, which meant that he now had two jobs; to win Global Junior League and more importantly, to defend the honor of the Noah juniors against Kotaro Suzuki.

The showdown came on the 4th October, between the man who was not Noah born, but yet had the majority of the crowd behind him seeing him as representing Noah, and the man who is Noah born, but yet walked out of Noah, and therefore isn’t considered to be Noah anymore. The match was harsh with a lot of near falls which kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, but Kotaro Suzuki prevailed, and won Global Junior League 2018.

RATELS were at ringside and attended to YO-HEY, when he was rolled out of the ring, YO-HEY could be seen putting his palms together to bow and apologizing to Daisuke Harada.

After the match Kotaro Suzuki challenged Daisuke Harada. He later said he didn’t want the belt, but he had a plan for it, and he was bringing excitement to a division whose guys were bored and stuck in a rut.

All poor YO-HEY could say was “I’m sorry…I’m sorry”.

Junta Miyawaki is still without his first win, but the day is coming nearer, Noah are teasing a lot of near falls though.

Both Kouki Iwasaki (who faced Kenoh on the 4th October, and wants to do again) and Hiroshi Yamato (WRESTLE-1) say that they would like to further participate in Noah. Iwasaki says he wants to face Kenoh again and “knock him down”.

The wins of Takashi Sugiura and Kotaro Suzuki are the best outcomes for Noah.

The Junior division needs a proper heel, and while you could say they have Yoshinari Ogawa, Ogawa due to his age, status backstage in the company as the oldest active veteran (who is always referred to as “Mr. Ogawa” and treated with the highest respect), cannot enter a feud where his opponent runs him down, although he can go to toe to with the youngsters in the ring. Ogawa’s main role is as a teacher, and the rookies who come from the dojo, always pass through him; and Kotaro Suzuki therefore fulfills the role as someone who is a “things were better in my day” heel, allied in some way with Ogawa (whose mouthpiece and whipping boy he can be), and who doesn’t need to be treated with the same respect as Ogawa is. The fans accept Ogawa as “ratboy”, it is inconceivable that he would enter a feud with the normal back and forth banter.

As for Takashi Sugiura, most of the Super New Generation Army (barring Kaito Kiyomiya, who isn’t ready) have challenged him, as has Naomichi Marufuji. Global League resets this and now everyone battles for it, along with the new blood of The Hooligans and the two outside competitors. Takashi Sugiura has said that if he wins the league then he will chose his own challenger, and it will probably be someone from outside Noah.

Global League this year can be best summed up as “Global League 2018: Sugi’s Gonna Kill Ya”, but before that its on to Autumn Navigation.

NEWS

Koji Kanemoto will appear for Noah on the 14th October 2018, he will team with Minoru Tanaka and Hi69 vs RATELS (YO-HEY, HAYATA and Tadasuke)

Global League participants and dates

BLOCK A
Naomichi Marufuji
Akitoshi Saito
Quiet Storm
Katsuhiko Nakajima
Kenoh
Masa Kitamiya
Mitsuya Nagai
Kohei Sato

BLOCK B
Takashi Sugiura
Mohammed Yone
Go Shiozaki
Atsushi Kotoge
Kaito Kiyomiya
Maybach Taniguchi
Cody Hall
Kazusada Higuchi

As excited as people are about Global League 2018, there is some disappointment as fans did hope to see Jay Bradley or Masato Tanaka.

Tuesday, October 30th – Korakuen Hall (18.30) ~ FIRST NIGHT
Thursday, November 8th – Korakuen Hall (18.30)
Sunday, November 11th – Matsuyama City Community Centre (17.00)
Wednesday, November 14th – Takamatsu Symbol Tower Exhibition Hall, (18.30)
Friday, November 16th – World Pavilion, Osaka (19.00)
Saturday, November 17th – Edion Arena, Osaka (18.30)
Sunday, November 18th – Kyoto, KBS Hall (3pm)
Wednesday, November 21st – Aizuwakamatsu City Cultural Centre, Fukushima (18.30)
Thursday, November 22nd – Miyagi, Sendai (18.30)
Friday, November 23rd – Yokohama Radiant Halls, Kanegawa (17.30)
Sunday, November 25th – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo (18.00) ~ FINALS

Holy War Vol.3 
Akira Taue was Toshiaki Kawada’s next guest for his “Talk Battle” at Holy War Vol.3 (Kawada says that Vol.4 will either be this year or next year, with the two youngest on Noah’s roster hoping that they will be on it again).

I think Kawada had hoped that Akira Taue would talk about his struggle of being Noah’s president, but I don’t think that Taue wanted to re-live the trauma by going through it again. For the record, Taue has only ever told tidbits about it, he’s never done a sit down interview about it. The role turned him into an old frail man overnight.

The “Talk Battle” was very funny and very moving; they talked about Mitsuharu Misawa and how Taue was the one who invited Kawada to Noah (not Misawa), Taue’s sumo days (which the fans wanted to hear more about), Taue called Kawada “a bullying mother in law” when he was being difficult and Kawada asked Taue to please stop smoking and cut down his drinking – Taue said he wasn’t doing either, and no doubt 99% of the roster stubbed their cigarettes out when they heard Kawada say that. They told some funny stories, like the time when All Japan took the dojo to the seaside for summer training and Taue (known for his aversion to training) turned up without running shoes and with sandals because to his mind, “sandals are for the beach”.

At the end of the event they played a medley of Jumbo Tsuruta’s, Mitsuharu Misawa’s and Kobashi’s theme music (they found the first two very emotional).

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

Either the winner of Global League 2018 (or a challenger that Takashi Sugiura appoints should he win the league) will be determined on the 25th November

Daisuke Harada will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight belt against Kotaro Suzuki on the 30th October

Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles against Cody Hall & Maybach Taniguchi in Kobe on the 14th October

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet, although the boys from Zero One (Ikuto Hidaka and Takuya Sugawara) have hinted that they may challenge.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Takashi Sugiura seemed in a very good mood after the title match, joking about why someone would want to beat up an old man.
  • Tadasuke made Yoshiki Inamura to do his entry with him. Inamura wasn’t quite confident enough to do the headbanging and air guitar part though (HAYATA is on record saying it is embarrassing)
  • Atsushi Kotoge had dinner with “father and son” (Go Shiozaki and Kaito Kiyomiya)
  • Mitsuya Nagai came through the heavy door at Yokohama Radiant Halls to make his entry, and it slammed shut on Maybach Taniguchi behind him.
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima kicked Mohammed Yone’s afro, and laughed.
  • KAZMA SAKAMOTO called Marufuji’s picture of Nagai, Hall and Maybach “A Masterpeice”.
  • Daisuke Harada addressed the crowd on the 30th September and thanked them for coming out in spite of the inclement weather, HAYATA, who was in the ring with him, said “Same”. Considering Harada’s address to the crowd in this manner, and his promotional work on radio shows and for tours, it would not surprise me if one day he took over Go Shiozaki’s role as Head of the Noah Wrestlers Association.
  • Naomichi Marufuji says that he is fighting Kenoh on many fronts (Kenoh said in his last column about Marufuji’s perceived political maneuvering, Marufuji said all he had done was fight to defend Noah)
  • Minoru Tanaka says that as a child he was “good at playing building blocks”
  • YO-HEY actually gave a coherent promo on October 1st, except when the wheels fell off at the end and he started talking about snowball fights
  • Naomichi Marufuji has been appointed “Tourist Ambassador to Konosu City, Saitama” on a two year term
  • Minoru Tanaka underwent emergency surgery due to a septic thumb
  • Kikutaro got scruffed by referee Shu Nishanaga (KENTA had him thrown out of SEM once); speaking of Kikutaro he proclaimed himself “The Ace of SEM” (SEM was disbanded in 2015), and I don’t want to know why he was squeezing Atsushi Kotoge’s balls.
  • SPECIAL 4 (Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Yoshinari Ogawa and Seiya Morohashi) now come out to “Ultra Soul”
  • Hajime Ohara has proposed a “Team Kawasaki” with Ikuto Hideki (and possibly Hiroshi Yamato)
  • Mitsuya Nagai says that when Marufuji becomes bald he will put him in “The Bald Octopus Club”
  • Noah are calling some of the Global League tag matches “Voyage for Global League”.

KING SHAMELESS’ CORNER

Takashi Sugiura abstained from drinking alcohol for a week before the title match in case of head injury and\or concussion, but after the match and subsequent examination at the hospital he was given the all clear, and he went out to dinner afterwards and drunk alcohol. Having had a day of having to behave himself pretty much, he told Tokyo Sports (who call him “King Shameless”), that he had a wet dream when he woke up the next morning. I don’t want to know any more.

EVENT RECAPS
September 29th, Yokohama Radiant Halls: 
September 30th, Ikos Ageo, Saitama
October 4th, Korakuen Hall 
Holy War. Vol 3 

LINKS
Naomichi Marufuji appointed Tourism Ambassador to Konosu City, Saitama 
SEM
Doug Williams has now retired 
“Heir to the Ark”: Naomichi Marufuji’s biography 


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