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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.12 ~ 30 NOVEMBER 2018

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Hisame brings us another all in-depth review of the previous week in Pro Wrestling NOAH. Updates on Naomichi Marufuji, Global League Finals and much more!






NEWS

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI INJURED


Naomichi Marufuji was withdrawn from the finals of Global League 2018 under doctor’s orders, where he was due to face Kaito Kiyomiya, thanks to left shoulder contusion and left thigh muscle rupture (hamstring). As a result of his injury, the GHC Heavyweight tag titles have had to be vacated, and NOAH will hold a tournament to decide the new champions on the 7th December.

It is not known as of yet when he will return to NOAH, but the likelihood is given his condition (which he was scolded for when the test results came back for carrying on wrestling when he knew there was something wrong), but it will probably not be until Spring 2019.

Marufuji was not at the final night of Global League, but he has hinted that he will be present at Korakuen Hall on the 7th December for the first night of “Winter Navigation 2018” and for NOAH’s final show in Yokohama. I am not sure in what capacity, whether he will be backstage or whether he will be on commentary.

Sadly, he will not be any of the dates in-between as he apologetically explained to a fan that it is hard for him to undergo treatment in rural areas due to the commute. He’s also had to make some lifestyle changes and go to bed early, because he has to be at the clinic early, and much to his chagrin, he also not allowed alcohol.

He has had to cancel his appearance as one day manager of Yoneya as a result of his injuries, but is determined to at least make the MUSCLE GRILL Christmas Party.

However, despite the acupuncture and high-tech treatment (which includes a hyperbaric chamber and NASA designed machines to reduce inflammation), he himself has said that he will manage the condition, thanks everyone for their support, apologizes for the inconvenience (and to Kaito Kiyomiya and Akitoshi Saito in particular), and asks that people give him time.

Takashi Sugiura says that the boat will float without him with all hands on deck, and everyone (fans, wrestlers, office staff) will work hard for Noah so when he comes back, it is electric.

KIMIYA OKADA
Kimiya Okada, now given the all clear from his injury which delayed his debut in August 2018, will make his debut in a fifteen minute match on the 7th December at Korakuen Hall, against fellow trainee, Yoshiki Inamura.

The match will probably come to a draw.

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS” ~ KENOH’S COLUMN 
Kenoh’s column was quite emotional this week, as he ended up talking about Takeshi Morishima (Livedoor News are reporting that the charges have been dropped, but no one else is reporting this, so the report is probably false).

Kenoh says that he was horrified to hear what happened, but he was glad that Morishima had at least admitted his guilt and was honest about it. He says that he wishes he could have done more, made Morishima stay in Gifu, but there was nothing he could do, and Morishima wouldn’t listen. Kenoh had tried to tell him that he couldn’t give it his all in the ring and in his social life, (i.e. burning the candle in both ends), and that Morishima’s insistence on other people helping him was a very bad thing when Morishima could easily have helped himself. The whole thing was a mess, and Kenoh concludes that Morishima in the big city was chaotic. He says that Morishima needs to get better in an “isolated clinic” (same as a secure unit for mental health) would be best, and he will always support him.

ZERO ONE VS NOAH
HAYATA fell to SUGI (not Takashi Sugiura) in the finals of ZERO-ONE’S World Junior Tournament, and as HAYATA doesn’t speak much (or rather, can’t really get a word in), so YO-HEY made the challenge for ZERO-ONE to come to Noah and face them there.

SUGI, Shoki Kitamura and Tatsuhito Takaiwa will face off against YO-HEY, HAYATA & Tadasuke on the 7th December.

IPW
IPW have announced that some of the NOAH juniors will be coming back in January 2019. Names to be announced.

TAG TITLE TOURNAMENT
Due to Naomichi Marufuji’s injury, the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles have been vacated.

NOAH will hold a tournament on the 7th December to decide the winner, competing teams are:

  • 50 Funky Powers
  • Maybach Taniguchi & Cody Hall
  • Kenoh & Masa Kitamiya
  • Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki

Kenoh and Kitamiya teamed a few years ago and held the GHC Heavyweight Tag championships for about a day, that was until Kenoh ditched him for Takashi Sugiura.

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
So, with Naomichi Marufuji injured, NOAH held a three way match between Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Kohei Sato to decide the number one contender to go to the finals and face Kaito Kiyomiya. All three were from A Block, and had the highest points with a history of win or lose over Marufuji.

The match was won by Katsuhiko Nakajima (who as ever, smirked, wound the other two up, sat back outside the ring to watch them kick each other and basically acted like your annoying kid brother).

The Chinese wrestler, MA Zhu-Jiang, made his NOAH debut, and many people want to see more of him. He himself says he wants to be GHC Heavyweight Champion.

Mitsuya Nagai announced that there will be a new member of “The Hooligans”, who will be announced on the 7th December at Korakuen Hall, leading to fan speculation of who this could be.

Theories range from: Masa Kitamiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Jay Bradley or MA.

Kitamiya, however, seems to be the strongest contender.

Earlier in the day, Hajime Ohara was made the honorary chief of police of Kawasaki, (and he pretty much wore his sash everywhere), and he said the line of the evening when after Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka had beaten Koji Kanemoto and Hiroshi Yamamoto for the belts, that he would arrest Seiya Morohashi for “obstruction of public activities” if he got in the way of The Backbreakers making a title challenge.

The Backbreakers will challenge for the titles on the 16th December at “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2”

Tadasuke faced off against Kotaro Suzuki for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship, and failed in his attempt (although massive fan support was for him and even Suzuki had kind words to say about him afterwards).

Daisuke Harada made the challenge afterwards, and Suzuki gave him a stipulation; he will give him the title match, but if Harada loses then RATELS disband, and he shaves his head in penance.

Harada accepted.

Match has been set for the 16th December in Yokohama.

Kaito Kiyomiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against each other in the finals in a highly intense match to a charged atmosphere. Kiyomiya showing how far he has come since the beginning of the year.

However, he is still a very polite boy, as when Sugiura got in the ring (he had been doing commentary), he asked him for a title match. Sugiura said he had no choice but to give him one. Kiyomiya then said he would be the new face of NOAH, and thanked everyone.

Kaito Kiyomiya has made history this year, he has been the youngest person to win Global Tag League and now the youngest person to win Global League, both of which are records and considering his age, is unlikely to be beaten unless a real prodigy comes along who is younger.

Full recap of Global League 2018 can be found here 

GHC BELT NEWS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Kotaro Suzuki
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Vacant
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

TOUR TIDBITS
“I did it! I took it from the champion! This is my entry to the final!! Aaah….what? I’m wrong? What a system! The end is 100 points, like a quiz show! Doesn’t it seem like it? Damn it!” ~ Atsushi Kotoge after beating Takashi Sugiura at Global League 2018.

Masao Inoue and Akitoshi Saito have to hide anything sweet they have from the locker room.

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
None this week as he’s managed to behave himself in Taiwan.

BROADCASTS
The final night of Global League, 25th November, will be broadcast at 6pm on Saturday 8th December
The event on the 12th December, will be broadcast on the 15th December
The event on the 16th December, will be broadcast on the 22nd December

HEIR TO THE ARK 
Farewell All Japan, Hello NOAH

English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography has reached almost the end of Chapter 2, where he takes part in the walkout from All Japan.






Would you like more Pro Wrestling NOAH content? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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AJPW Real World Tag League 2018 Results & Review Part 4

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If you’ve missed the previous installments, click here. But either way, enjoy Mathew’s assessments of AJPW’s Real World Tag League, the only Tag League worth your time.





Welcome to part 4 of the AJPW Real World Tag League 2018 as we’re now at the halfway point after the writing of this article since I’ve done eight shows so far and about to do three more as I’m writing this one up.

The last three shows have been great with a bunch of tag team action to keep the viewers interested to wanna finish this tournament up and I hope the next three will do just that.

We only have one team left that’s undefeated and it’s time to see how they’ll pay off as we…dive right in.

 

11/27/2018
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta vs. Odinson & Parrow

Review: Our first match for this show is TAJIRI and Gianni Valletta kicking things off as they take on Odinson and Parrow from The End. The End has had a bit of a rocky start after losing their previous two matches and only having one win under their belt. The End could have a chance here but you also shouldn’t sleep on TAJIRI and Gianni because they could steal a win when you least expect it as they did to Yoshiken and The Bomber. Which of these two will get the win?

It was expected to have a mediocre match after having a series of really good matches at the previous shows as this match was just sloppy and lackluster, even the crowd wasn’t really invested into it. Gianni and Parrow started the match off and just wasn’t interesting at all since they would just test their strength with the Clotheslines together or just shoulder tackling each other. Nothing really interesting happened in the match until near the end of the match with Odinson hitting Gianni with a Pounce when TAJIRI tried to throw Gianni into Parrow. The End would pick them up for a Powerbomb and slams them into each other and now it’s starting to get a little bit of fun now. Parrow picked up TAJIRI up to go for the Doomsday Device and TAJIRI spits the green mist into Odinson’s eyes to make him get out of the ring and kicked Parrow before he went for a Sunset Flip, but Parrow caught him for a pinfall and The End gets their second victory.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Dylan James & Joe Doering vs. Manabu Soya & Takao Omori

Review: Our next match is between The Bomber and Get Wild. Both of these teams are in second place as of the current standing and a win here would help the both of them into a solid position in the standings. But will it belong to Bomber or Get Wild?

This one was slightly better than the previous match since both teams seemed like they knew how to match off their styles together and rolling with that ball. It is though still a rather basic match with that same basic feeling with the majority of the match mostly doing strikes at an oddly slow paced. Dylan still has some of the loudest chops and I’m not sure if they’re that loud just because they’re in a smaller crowd than most arena’s but he also makes them look really impactful with that loud sound when he chops his opponents or even hits them with a Lariat. Get Wild did their job as well with this match as well to try and outmatch the big gaijin team with their strength as well. Joe would hit a Diving Body Press onto the both of them as Dylan had Manabu into a corner for a Lariat onto the turnbuckle, Joe hitting a shoulder tackle, and then Dylan picks Manabu up for a Sidewalk Slam while Joe drops an elbow for a cover and Manabu kicked out at two. Joe would call for the end as they hit their Double Piledriver and The Bomber now ties up for first place.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai

Review: Our main event for this show involves The Sweeper taking on the Violent Giants. Shuji and Suwama are the only team that remains to be undefeated in this tournament with only four wins. Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai only have one win under their belt and a win here would be huge to ruin the streak. Will Sweeper be able to get it or will Violent Giants still remain undefeated?

Ryouji and Shuji would start the match off for a little bit and things seem to be pretty even until they both tagged in their respective partners. Jake and Suwama also have a bit of a thing going on here with Jake trying to rise up in the ranks while Suwama being the former ace, wants Jake to prove his worth every time they’re in the ring together so he can see if he has what it takes since Jake still fails to defeat Kento. Despite me being overly excited for this match, I honestly thought while it was still solid, there have been a couple of moments in the match that felt like it would either drag or just a bit sloppy, I gotta admit that this day in the league has been rather lackluster but there’s always that one show.

Violent Giants are still kicking ass with their dominance as the both of them do a number on both Ryouji and Jake with their size and strength, but they would use their resiliency to counteract them as much as they could. Jake and Shuji are in the ring now as Shuji would deliver a knee strike onto him after Suwama gave Jake a Belly-to-Belly Suplex as Ryouji broke the count. Shuji would pick Jake up to go for the Fire Thunder Driver but Jake would power out of it so he could Deliver a German Suplex and a knee to the face to try and get the victory, but Suwama would break the pin. Shuji would go for another knee to the face for a two count before he went to go for the Powerbomb this time but Jake is still fighting it as he hits another knee to his chest to knock him down and a knee to the face for a one count. Jake doesn’t give Shuji a chance to breathe as he delivered a second knee strike for a two count before quickly getting up to hit one more to him as he gets the three count and Violent Giants winning streak is over!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

11/29/2018
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta vs. Manabu Soya & Takao Omori

Review: We’re now onto our next show and time to see what they’ll deliver to us today. TAJIRI and Gianni Valletta will once again start off this tournament for the night as they now take on Get Wild. Get Wild is around the middle since most of the teams have about six points at this point in time but if they get a win here, they’ll be tied for first place with both Violent Giants and The Bomber. Gianni and TAJIRI still only have four points and are most likely eliminated from the tournament, but they could still use this chance to play the spoiler. Will things Get Wild or will we have a spoiler?

TAJIRI and Gianni are mostly doing heel tactics in this match once again as they should but they were less comedic about it than usual, think it’s because they wanted to try and get some points on the board while ruining other peoples chances. I think they also started to become cannibals today since they would mostly bite their opponent’s heads, especially Gianni and I guess he forgot to each before the match and wanted to eat something wild…did you get that? Huh? Huh? Did you get it? I’ll let myself out. Anyway, the match was much better than their previous matches from the last show since this one seemed to have a better flow rather than being clustered since there was hardly any mess-ups in this one and just worked out better for them. Manabu started to hulk up a little bit after getting the hot tag and would hit Gianni with the Wild Bomber on the back of his head and before he could do it again, TAJIRI would drag him down to make him lose his momentum. Gianni would distract the referee by grabbing his chain and while the referee wasn’t looking, TAJIRI would go for a kendo stick to try and hit Manabu but he caught it and makes it so he hits his partner by accident. Takao would hit Gianni with a Lariat before Manabu hits his Wild Bomber this time and gets the pinfall to tie for first place.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Zeus & The Bodyguard vs. Odinson & Parrow

Review: Nine shows later, The Big Guns are back in action in this tournament as they have a good spot right now since they only have one loss since it’s the only match they did, so Zeus and The Bodyguard are in a pretty good position to try and stack up on some wins. They would first have to take on The End who also came back recently and even picked up a win over TAJIRI and Gianni. Will The Big Guns start to get some momentum this time around or will it be The End for them?

The End would take it to the Big Guns outside of the ring right away as the two teams would start fighting around the arena. Zeus and Odinson would even fight up to the bleachers where they would have a chop battle and when they made it back down to the floor, it looks like The End has the advantage as they started to attack them on their corners but looked pretty weak and slow when they did it. So far I think this is Odinson and Parrow’s better match so far out of the matches they’ve had but at the same time, it looks like they’re still getting used to their style of wrestling and it clearly shows here in their matches. It’s good to see Zeus and The Bodyguard back into the swing of things since despite how I feel about Bodyguard solo, they really are a great tag team and just have amazing chemistry. I really like Odinson’s European Uppercuts and how he presents himself like when he does it to the back of their head or when he does them in a double team move with Parrow. Zeus would get Parrow up for a Stalling Suplex before he tagged in Bodyguard as he goes in red hot with his Lariats and even hits Parrow with his Diving Elbow for a two count. The Big Guns were looking like they were going for their own type of Doomsday Device but Odinson broke it up before it could happen and The End now picks them up to hit their Double Powerbomb onto each other, but Parrow held Bodyguard up still so Odinson could hit the Lungblower combo as Parrow pinned Bodyguard to get the upset victory!

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Jun Akiyama

Review: Our main event for this show is The Sweeper going at it again as they now set to face off against Daisuke Sekimoto and Jun Akiyama. The Sweeper picked up the surprise victory over Violent Giants and are now looking to get the ball rolling as they take on two of the top vets right now. Jun and Daisuke also showed that they’re quite the pair in this tournament and now look like they could take the rest of it home. Will The Sweeper get another surprise victory or will the old school team..well, school them?

I think this is one of those matches that the story outshines the actual wrestling while still being great at both aspects. Sure, Daisuke and Ryouji would start the match off but the crowd would get red hot once Jun and Jake got into the ring. If you remember at the Oudou Tournament, both Jun and Jake had a match in the first round where Jun would injure his elbow in the process while Jake picked up the win as well, so you can see a bit of anger in Jun from this ordeal. Uncle Jun would get some stiff shot onto Jake while Jake doing some in return as it made Jun so enraged that he would remove his elbow pad from his injured shoulder and get into bitch gonna learn mode. The two would keep going back and forth a little bit longer and Jake had him onto the apron as he went for a kick which Jun moved out of the way for a stalemate and the crowd gave them a round of applause.

Poor Ryouji here would be the punching bag for the majority of the bout, especially to Daisuke when they were in the ring together from mat ability and just stiff strikes. I thought this match was very physical in terms of the impact and technical aspect of wrestling, but as I said before that the story between Jun and Jake is what sold it the most of me here and I really do hope we get another match with them soon because there’s definitely unfinished business here. Jun had Ryouji where he wanted him with a Ko-Oh for a two count but would pick him up for the Wrist-Clutch Exploder and Daisuke would attempt the German for the assist, but Jake would Big Boot Daisuke out and hit Jun with the German Suplex while Ryouji hits Jun with the PK for a two count. Ryouji would have Jun on the corner for the Sky Kick as it connects and he pinned Jun to get another upset victory! What a match and more to be told here down the road between Jake and Jun.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

11/30/2018
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Dylan James & Joe Doering vs. Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai

Review: After main eventing the last two shows, Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai would now start off the league on this show as they take on Dylan James and Joe Doering. The Bomber is currently tied for first place with eight points and if they do get the win here, they would surpass Violent Giants and Get Wild for the top spot with ten points. The Sweeper will also be tied with all three of these teams if they do somehow get another victory here as they won the last two matches in a row to get this comeback. Will The Bomber move to first place or will The Sweepers sweep them under the rug?

It appears that Joe Doering seems to have suffered some sort of injury as you can see his left shoulder all bandaged up. I don’t know the severity of the injury but I guess it’s not bad for right now since they’re still able to do the match with Dylan doing most of the work at least, so we’ll see what happens as the league continues on. After The Sweeper having two solid matches back to back, they would have a rather short and average bout with The Bomber. Joe wouldn’t be in the ring much at all due to the injury and wanting to play it safe and Ryouji wasn’t in the match much either as it felt like it was Dylan and Jake taking each other one, which makes sense since Dylan did leave The Sweeper to team up with Joe in the first place. After a couple of Lariats from Dylan, Jake would start to get some kicks in with him and Ryouji hitting him with a double knee and Jake hitting one in the face for a two count. Jake would put his kneepad down to go for the Ko-Oh but Joe would club him in the back of the head for a distraction for Dylan to hit another Lariat and a Chokeslam to get the pin and first place victory as of right now.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Odinson & Parrow vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Jun Akiyama

Review: Uncle Jun and Daisuke are back in action after suffering a loss at their previous match, the veterans look to take on The End for their next bout. As of right now, The End has gotten two wins back to back to get six points but they could keep the ball rolling by taking out Jun and Daisuke, and what a win that would be for them if they could pull it off. Will The End somehow get three wins in a row or will Uncle Jun and Daisuke get some points under their belt again?

The End did better this time around again as they had two vets to help guide them into this match a bit more. I’m usually more impressed with Odinson during these matches but I gotta say that Parrow did seem to step up a little bit and probably the best I’ve seen him work in this tournament so far, especially how he handled himself with Daisuke and matching him in the strength department of things. The End getting most of the control in the match over Daisuke to see part of their heel work a little and their aggression showed that it’s not a lost cause for them and if they did tour outside of the league, I think they could flourish a little bit in the Japanese scene. Daisuke finally gets the hot tag to Jun as Jun starts to go at it and applies the Guillotine while Daisuke applies the Torture Rack for the both of them to get a submission into the mix until they broke it up. Parrow hits a Pop-up Powerbomb onto Daisuke and as the two tried to pick them up for the Double Powerbomb, it looked like Odinson had a hard time picking Daisuke up and Jun did a botched Hurricanrana onto Parrow to make them collide into each other which looked horrible. Daisuke would be able to get the win for his team as he hits the Spear onto Parrow for the pinfall.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Zeus & The Bodyguard vs. Naoya Nomura & Yumi Ayoyagi

Review: We’re now down to our main event for the show as NEXTREAM is now back in action after being involved on almost all of the shows as they take on The Big Guns. Zeus and The Bodyguard are currently in last place with zero wins and two losses while NEXTREAM only have one win under their belt with five losses, so while they have no chance of winning they could at least prevent Big Guns from winning by giving them their third loss in a row. Will The Big Guns get their first victory or does NEXTREAM get an upset?

I knew there was something these last three days were missing and one of them was NEXTREAM and I say this because almost all of their matches had them performing at a high level against all of their opponents and there was always a different level of excitement in those types of matches, which we get here. Much like it was with Jake and Jun, can feel a bit of a story with Naoya and Zeus since a few months ago, Naoya would get a couple of surprise victories over Zeus while he was the Triple Crown Champion at that time and Zeus defeated him at the Oudou Tournament. I liked that Big Guns were able to shine more once again and now we can see them for the remainder of the shows to eventually bounce back into the title picture. I thought the match was nicely executed with both teams and definitely one of NEXTREAM’s best in this tournament.

Look at Bodyguard stepping up his game more and I wish he could do that without the need of a tag team or Zeus, but I think we all know that won’t happen since he needs him. Zeus is still a beast in the ring and already solidified himself as a main event ever since he won that Triple Crown Championship and his match with Kento when he lost the belt in October, he’s still loved by the fans and is still amazing, people should follow him more. Naoya is probably one of the highlights on this match too with his energy in the ring when he makes his comebacks and the crowd getting behind him and Yuma, I keep saying this kid is special and I will still stand by that statement until more people see him.

Naoya would be able to hit a few splashes onto Zeus to try and put him away since he’s a bigger guy but Zeus would kick out of it at two. Naoya would pick Zeus up for the Death Valley Driver while Zeus got off of him to try and go for a German and Naoya turned it around, but Bodyguard would hit Naoya with a Lariat and then hits Yuma with a Roundhouse kick to the head, leaving Noaya and Zeus alone. Naoya would hit the Spear finally and rolled with it to go for the pin but Zeus would still kick out of it. Zeus starts to get some offense in as he would hit Naoya with a few Lariats that look like he almost took his head off and would pin him for a two count before Zeus picked him up for the Jackhammer as The Big Guns get their first victory!

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: Only three good matches in this one out of nine really give it that type of lackluster set for this series. The Sweeper were the highlights of this set of matches for the most part as they delivered in their main events on the first two nights. I hope the next three shows can make a comeback to make up for this one. Not all of them can be winners and I’m still enjoying this tournament so far.

Favorite Match: Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai vs. Daisuke Sekimoto & Jun Akiyama

Least Favorite Match: TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta vs. Odinson & Parrow

Score: 6.5/10

Current Standings
The Bomber: (5-2) (10 Points)
Violent Giants: (4-1) (8 Points)
Get Wild: (4-2) (8 Points)
Yoshiken: (3-4) (6 Points)
KAI/Kengo: (3-2) (6 Points)
Jun/Daisuke: (3-2) (6 Points)
The End: (3-3) (6 Points)
Sweeper: (3-4) (6 Points)
Gianni/TAJIRI: (2-4) (4 Points)
NEXTREAM: (1-6) (2 Points)
The Big Guns: (1-2) (2 Points)






Who do you think is going to win AJPW’s Real World Tag League? Let us know on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!

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AJPW Real World Tag League 2018 Results & Review Part 3

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Another installment for the superior tag league ran by AJPW. Anyone still not convinced should read Mathew’s in depth coverage and see what a tag league with important participants looks like.





We’re back with more AJPW Tag League and the last five shows have been pretty stacked with great tag team action.

Right now, we only have two tag teams that are considered undefeated and only one of them claims the top spot in the standings, while The Bomber is close behind them with six points as well. As we do the next three shows here, we should be near the halfway mark of how we’re looking.

Who’s going to get more points? Let’s find out as we…dive right in.

11/23/2018
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai vs. TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta

Review: We got only two matches for this show and our first one for this day is Sweeper once again being in the mix as they take on TAJIRI and Gianni Valletta. Sweeper has failed to win their last two matches, leaving them with zero points while TAJIRI and Gianni are considered undefeated with only two wins under their belt and if they win here, they’ll be tied with the Violent Giants. Do TAJIRI and Gianni tie up or will they be swept?

Soon as Sweeper made their way to the ring, their opponents would first attack Jake’s knee and left him in the ring while they attacked Ryouji on the outside of the ring. TAJIRI and Gianni would show nice heel work in the match by attacked Jake’s injured knee during the whole match while making sure he didn’t get a chance to tag in his partner, causing TAJIRI and Gianni to get heat from the crowd since that’s what you want. I’ve really been enjoying the team-up between these two since they just have that chemistry in the ring to connect with each other and know how to be humorous while also playing as the bad guys. Jake did his part with selling the injury given to him and getting the crowd behind him while he would eventually get the chance to tag in Ryouji for the hot tag. Gianni would attempt to try and hit Ryouji with the chain while the referee wasn’t looking but Ryouji was able to throw it out of his hand and hits the Brainbuster. Jake Lee is back in the match along with TAJIRI and once TAJIRI kicked Jake down to his knees, he would attempt a Buzzsaw Kick which Jake ducks and accidentally pushed him into the referee, which caused TAJIRI to spit red mist into Jake’s eyes this time instead of green. Gianni would try to use this time to hit Jake with the chain but Ryouji would knock him down and hits the Shining Wizard onto TAJIRI into the corner so Jake could try to pin him, but Jake picked him up and hits him with a knee to the jaw of his own and now he pins him to give Sweeper their first victory in a solid bout.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi vs. KAI & Kengo Mashimo

Review: This Yoshiken didn’t have a match scheduled for the league today, this final league match for this show wouldn’t main event it to close it out, but still doesn’t stop them for giving the fans a show at least. KAI and Kengo Mashimo were able to pick up their first victory together at the previous show and now look to get their second one as they take on the All Asia Tag Team Champions, Naoya Nomura and Yumi Aoyagi. Nomura and Yumi were unable to secure their first victory in the tournament yet and have three losses already under their belt, so they would need to pick up a win here to try and stay alive in the tournament. Can NEXTREAM get their first win or will Team Senpai get another win?

It’s the little things that I enjoy with KAI and Kengo before the bell where they would see who would be the one going first and when KAI decided to go first for the match, he would poke Kengo’s injured shoulder at the same time which gives Kengo with death glare towards him. Yuma and KAI started the match off with standard chain wrestling until Nomura got tagged into the ring and the fans chanted for Kengo to get involved into the match as well, so Kengo agrees by slapping KAI’s chest to get himself tagged in and the two would wrestle as the fans wanted. Seeing Nomura and Kengo square off in the ring made me wanna see a one on one match between the two since an opponent like Kengo would do wonders for Nomura and for his career.

I thought the match was nicely done with great wrestling, nice story, and just intensity between the two of these teams as they brought their game for this match-up. During the second encounter of Kengo and Nomura, the two would go back and forth with the punches until Nomura caught his injured arm to apply the Fujiwara Armbar to try and make him tap out but was unable to do so. When Kengo failed to get the Crucifix Pin on Nomura, he would roll it around to apply the Mudo but Yuma broke the hold before Nomura could tap out. Kengo accidentally kicked KAI in the face which gave NEXTREAM the opening they needed to take Kengo out of the equation and double team on KAI as Nomura hits the Splash and Yuma hits the Elbow Drop to go for the cover and Kengo breaks the count. NEXTREAM would come close to getting the victory but KAI would pick Yumi up for the Michinoku Driver and gets the pinfall victory, giving NEXTREAM four losses in a row. Great match, definitely worth checking out.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

11/25/2018
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Jake Lee & Ryouji Sai vs. Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi

Review: Another show with only two matches in it as NEXTREAM are ready to go at it against for their fifth match as they take on Sweeper for this one. The Sweeper was able to secure their first victory at the previous show against TAJIRI and Gianni while NEXTREAM were unable to get their first victory in this tournament, so this is a critical point for them at this time or they would be considered eliminated from the tournament. Will they be able to get their first win or does Sweeper keep the ball rolling?

Bit of history for this once since Jake Lee left NEXTREAM when he made his return a few months ago, so both Nomura and Yumi seem to have a little bit of a resentment towards Jake for doing so and they get to take out that aggression in this match to hopefully give them the edge for the needed win. The match itself was standard but not a bad type of standard since it was just a straight tag team wrestling match and nothing more you could ask for in this type of bout. Naoya and Jake were the standouts for the match since you can see who are the more dominant ones in the tag teams while some can be equal, these two are just amazing while showing who the future really is. A lot of back and forth action to give both teams an equal amount of time together to add more depth to their match.

Nomura was on fire during the hot tag of the match and his encounter with Ryouji since it was almost non-stop with them. Nomura went for the Splash off the top rope but Ryouji puts his knees up before he could connect and when Ryouji tried to go for a German, Nomura turned it around for a Brainbuster. Nomura went to the top rope as Ryouji would stop him to do a Superplex and goes back up to attempt a Double Stomp but Nomura moved out of the way and hits him with a big forearm while Yuma comes in to hit a fisherman Suplex to help out his partner. Nomura would finally hit the Spear on Ryouji for a two count and now tries to do a Splash off the top for another kick out, but Nomura would have time to pick up Ryouji for a Death Valley Driver and NEXTREAM finally gets their first win!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
KAI & Kengo Mashimo vs. Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu

Review: Our main event for the show and final match for this days edition of the tag league is KAI and Kengo Mashimo having another match as they take on the team of Kento Miyahara and Yoshitatsu. Kento and Yoshi are at the halfway point of their set of matches in this tournament with only two wins under their belt and three losses, so they would need to have a win here to have a little bit of room to keep alive in the tournament. KAI and Kengo won their last two matches and are still in a good spot in the tournament, but would need to win this won to solidify it a little bit better. Which of these two will win it?

Kento and KAI started the match off and they would go back and forth with the kicks to the face as it was a stalemate while the crowd gave the two a round of applause before they tagged in their respective partners. Kengo and Yoshi were also going back and forth with random kicks in the match until they were on the outside where KAI would hit a Suicide Dive onto his opponents and he seeks his senpai’s approval but Kengo would not shake his hand still. I honestly thought this match was great between the two teams as it had a lot that I look for in a match with a nice and slow build-up, in the beginning, to make it interesting until it would pick up near the end with the type of ending where it was the right way to do it for that type of pop which I’ll get to later on.

KAI really stepped up his game in this match, especially when he was in the ring with Kento when they did share one together but he also did a good job with Yoshitatsu in the match to make him look solid as well as Kengo did when he was in the ring with Yoshi. Both Kengo and KAI would have a big of a miscommunication once again when Kengo would kick KAI by accident and Kento hits KAI with a Blackout while Yoshi tops it off with a Tornado DDT right after for a two count. Yoshiken would do their Codebreaker of Jericho and German Suplex Hold combo for Keng o to break the pinfall in time. KAI would almost hit Kengo but stopped himself in time as they both would quickly work together to both kick Kento down as the fans start to love it and it looked like Kengo was gonna finally shake his hand to notice KAI, but he stopped himself and told him to go to the ropes.

Kento would hit a Blackout, German Suplex, and another Blackout all in a row onto KAI for him to kick out again when he did it and Kento starts to get all fired up now. It looked like Kento was going to end it with his Shutdown German Suplex Hold as he had it in but Kengo would kick Kento down before he could pick KAI up to save him from being pinned. KAI gets all fired up as he hits the Lariat for a two count and would pick him up for the Michinoku Driver and he gets the win over the Triple Crown Champion! I knew Kento would get pinned at least once in this tournament to help set up a future championship match once the tournament was over, but it looks like KAI was the one to get the pin and potentially has a future Triple Crown Championship match sometime in December if he and Kengo fail to win the league.

Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter

 

11/26/2018
Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. TAJIRI & Gianni Valletta

Review: Violent Giants make their return to the league as they’re set to take on TAJIRI and Gianni Valletta. Violent Giants are still the only ones in the tournament that’s undefeated with only three wins and they would like to keep that ball running with another victory. TAJIRI and Gianni recently suffered their first loss against Jake Lee and Ryouji Sai and wish to make up for that loss as they take on the World Tag Team Champions. Will Violent Giants remain undefeated or will they lose their undefeated streak?

TAJIRI and Gianni would attempt a handshake with the Violent Giants before the bell would ring but Shuji and Suwama would not fall for it and shake each other’s hands instead while TAJIRI and Gianni do the same thing as the bell starts to ring. This match was a little more on the comedic side of things and that’s expected when TAJIRI and Gianni are involved since that’s their thing and nothing wrong with that at all as they do it well together, plus it makes the fans happy so that’s a win all on its own. The match itself wasn’t bad at all but also nothing special either since it was just a comedy match with regular wrestling, so not much to really to give it a high grade or anything but still worth watching if you’re into that.

TAJIRI would hit Shuji with a kendo stick when they were on the outside and even Gianni looked like he was biting his injured should like a crazy cannibal that he is…(I mean not that I would know or anything…) Suwama was finally able to get in the ring for a brief moment in here to give his partner a break from all of the abuse he took in the match until Gianni stopped his momentum and tagged TAJIRI in. Once TAJIRI was tagged in, Suwama hits him with a Shoulder Block on his injured arm and started pulling on it a few times before tagging in Shuji. The referee would accidentally be knocked out and TAJIRI hits Shuji with the kendo stick and held him in place for Gianni to hit him with the chain, but Shuji ducked and hits TAJIRI by accident. TAJIRI would hit himself with the kendo stick right after before collapsing in the ring as Shuji picked TAJIRI up for the Fire Thunder Driver and picks up the win, meaning Violent Giants are still undefeated! Can anybody in that league end this streak? Someone has to.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Manabu Soya & Takao Omori vs. Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi

Review: Get Wild is back for action and looking to get another win under their plate as they take on NEXTREAM. NEXTREAM were able to pick up their first win at the last show when they defeated The Sweeper to keep themselves in the race a little bit longer, but a loss here would technically consider them to be eliminated. Can NEXTREAM get a second win in a row or will things Get Wild?

NEXTREAM has had a series of very solid to great matches in this tournament so far but it would be expected to see them have a weak bout coming and it would, unfortunately, involve Get Wild for that to happen. The match isn’t bad since it’s still solid enough to watch, but definitely one of their weaker ones at the same time and it could’ve been a lot better if they wanted to. My main problem with it was that it would feel pretty dull a few times and even when it was just standard wrestling action, wasn’t really enough to get fully invested into it either except for the last few minutes of the match. Yumi I feel like was the highlight of this match at least since he did try to keep it interesting for when he could when he was involved with Manabu and Takao in the ring. NEXTREAM would try to do their top rope combo but Yumi missed the Elbow Drop and Manabu gives Naoya a Superplex to take him down. Get Wild hits a Double Forearm onto Yumi to get him knocked out as Takao would attempt a Lariat onto Aoyga, but he blocked it and would get hit a few times before Takao tried again as he connected to give NEXTREAM another lose as things would Get Wild with another win for them.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Real World Tag League 2018 Match
Joe Doering & Dylan James vs. Kento Miyahara & Yoshitatsu

Review: Kento Miyahara and Yoshitatsu are in the main event spot once again as they are set to take on The Bomber. Yoshiken has four losses now and only two wins still, so their position in the tournament isn’t looking too good but still not eliminated just yet as they have a chance to stay afloat, but they gotta beat the powerhouse gaijin team. Joe Doering and James Dylan are in a good position right now with three wins and one loss, so a win here would have them tied with Violent Giants again. Does the Bomber get it or will Yoshiken get a win?

Kento and Joe starting off the match felt like it was the right move to give Kento that early start in the match and Kento does bring out the best in Joe and Dylan whenever he fights the both of them and just makes Joe more intense in the ring with how Kento sells the moves. Yoshitatsu would make it in the ring now to try and kick the big man down but not The Bomber starts to overpower Yoshi in the match to get the heat. Dylan really does have some stiff chops and Lariats in his arsenal, and while they’re no WALTER, they’re pretty close with the impact on them that you can hear the loudness of either strike he pulls. Bomber did well with the heat part of the match with dominating Yoshitatsu to get the fans to rally behind him and hits the Enziguri to Joe to tag in his partner, Kento.

Kento started coming in hot in this match but gets derailed by Dylan and the two started to work on him in the outside of the ring for a little bit. Joe would eventually try to pick him up for the Revolution Bomb but Kento would flip him over for a Hurricanrana as the both of them try to hit Kento with a Lariat and they missed to connect with each other by accident, enough time for Kento to tag back in Yoshitatsu. Yoshi would get some kicks into Dylan but would get hit with some stiff chops to take him down as Joe calls for the Double Piledriver but Kento hits Joe with the Blackout to get him out of the ring as he calls for Yoshi to try and take out Dylan, but Dylan hits both of them with a Double Lariat and hits a few more into the corners back and forth. Dylan picked up Yoshi for the Chokeslam and Yoshi turned it into the Codebreaker of Jericho just in time and now applies the Koji Clutch to knock Dylan out and give Yoshiken their third victory! Very solid match and a nice way to end it without making Dylan look weak.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters

 

Overall: Not a single bad match in these last three shows, which is rare to see in my coverage and is a nice treat for me to witness when I write these up. All of the matches were either solid or great and made me very hyped up for the next set of shows to watch, can’t wait to see how part 4 will go and I hope you guys do also.

Favorite Match: Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi vs. KAI & Kengo Mashimo

Least Favorite Match: Manabu Soya & Takao Omori vs. Naoya Nomura & Yumi Aoyagi

Score: 8.5/10

Current Standings
Violent Giants: (4-0) (8 Points)
The Bomber: (3-2) (6 Points)
Get Wild: (3-1) (6 Points)
Yoshiken: (3-4) (6 Points)
KAI/Kengo: (3-2) (6 Points)
Gianni/TAJIRI: (2-2) (4 Points)
Jun/Daisuke: (2-1) (4 Points)
The End: (1-2) (2 Points)
Sweeper: (1-3) (2 Points)
NEXTREAM: (1-5) (2 Points)
The Big Guns: (0-1) (0 Points)






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