End of year fun to be had in NOAH! NOAHful Gift isn’t overly serious, but it does set a decent tone for Navigation for the Future. Hisame let’s us know everything we need to know-ah. Get it? No? Shuddup and read.
NOAH held their final event of the year, “NOAHFul GIFT”, at Korakuen Hall on the 24th December 2018. The usual flea market was held where the wrestlers sold their old clothing and ring gear (one fan bought something of Nakajima’s and said there was a faint smell of sweat on it).
Fortunately, Genba Hirayanagi did not repeat his threat to turn up in some old pants (or turn up at all).
NOAH held a lottery to determine random drawing of the first three matches prior to the Costumed Battle Royale (I’ll get to that. Its highly disturbing).
The matches were:
1. Yoshiki Inamura vs Hi69
2. Kaito Kiyomiya vs Kenoh vs Kinya Okada
3. Tadasuke, Atsushi Kotoge & Go Shiozaki vs Junta Miyawaki, YO-HEY & Katsuhiko Nakajima.
Inamura put on a good show, but naturally, fell to Hi69 – but it was Kinya Okada in the “random” drawing of the second match (which no one seriously believes was “random”), who stole the show. Okada, with only about seven matches or so since he debuted, completely stole the show. He proved himself to be a natural, at times he had the small blip to show his lack of experience, but you couldn’t fault his ring presence. Sarcastic (he’s going to be NOAH’s very own homegrown Yuji Hino), by pretending that he didn’t see the GHC Heavyweight Champion telling him off for double crossing him, smirking (not sinister like Nakajima though, more in a troublemaker, butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, kind of way) and when he said to Kiyomiya about Kenoh, “let’s get that blonde bastard”, using language common to his generation.
He is going to be one the nastier heavyweights, and in years to come, and a big part of NOAH.
Naturally, Kenoh and Kiyomiya faced off, Kiyomiya showing an attitude that he hasn’t had for the past twelve months since he came back by standing up to Kenoh.
Kaito Kiyomiya won with the Boston Crab on Kinya Okada after 13 minutes and 27 seconds
The next match had more of a focus on Atsushi Kotoge and Go Shiozaki…and it read like a plot to a anime.
Go Shiozaki was having trouble chopping his opponents, and was offered the cape by Atsushi Kotoge. Shiozaki, put the cape on, and his powers were restored. Kotoge was out of what is left of his mind, when Shiozaki did the “Revolutionary Fist”.
After the match (in which Nakajima and YO-HEY sat in the audience to cheer on Miyawaki), a delighted Kotoge asked Shiozaki whether from now on, he would like to wear his magic power granting cape?
Shiozaki looked like you do when granny asks were that nice Christmas jumper is with Santa on it she bought for you last year?
It should be noted (that with the possible exception of Hi69, who is an eighteen year veteran), that all of the matches featured the younger stars of NOAH.
Then there came the Battle Royale.
EVERYONE (except one person) dressed up for this, even Ally (ring announcer) dressed up to announce it.
Special mention goes to:
~ Santa Masa Kitamiya subduing his too cute reindeer (Hitoshi Kumano and Junta Miyawaki) after they beat him down with soap in a sock
~ Maybach Taniguchi dressing as his Sasumata, and being used as a battering ram
~ Tokyo Sports describing Masao Inoue’s mask as one used for “convenience store robberies”
~ Mohammed Yone bringing a camera to the ring, and taking pictures of EVERYTHING…and I mean EVERYTHING. Yes. Even what you are about to read about.
~ Atsushi Kotoge was an out of control hyperactive “Kotode Mercury” (Freddie Mercury), complete with cane, and what looked like a bath lily stuck to his chest to simulate chest hair.
~ Akitoshi Saito came out as Atsushi Kotoge, and did a dance involving a crotch chop, which I never want to see again.
~ Hajime Ohara recycled his Kiki costume from 2017.
~ HAYATA refused to dress up (no surprises there)
~ Kenoh came as the masked “Menso-re Oyaji”, complete with his beloved can of Orion beer (its from his summer holiday retreat of Okinawa), and did things that Kenoh would not normally do (come on, we all know Mr. “I don’t smile normally in my everyday life”, was smiling under the mask)
~ Kaito Kiyomiya came as a songstress clad in a Kimono and with the traditional white painted face. He made his entrance in the traditional way a dancer does, with the fan over the face and the knees slightly bent.
~ Katsuhiko Nakajima came as a samurai, and then found that Samurai didn’t high kick people as their clothing didn’t allow it.
Takashi Sugiura came as a gorilla.
Yes. A gorilla.
Sugi often refers to himself as one (although KENTA once called him a “Hippo”), and he came out clutching a bunch of bananas.
Then the gorilla got in the ring, and attempted to, shall we say, mount Hi69 (a panda) before being chased away, at which point he then tried to…well…get into Kiki’s drawers.
I guess we should be grateful, had a watershed not existed along with broadcasting laws, he probably would have come as The Baboon…
Moving on – the Battle Royale (in which the Geisha and the Samurai danced together, in what looked like a lopsided Edo period drama of a 5’11 Geisha dancing with a 5’9 man), the event was won by Kotode Mercury.
The traditional picture was taken at the end, even Naomichi Marufuji got in the ring for it (he had been enjoying the action from ringside), the only people missing were YO-HEY and Yoshinari Ogawa. YO-HEY, with his new heel persona felt he couldn’t join in, and Yoshinari Ogawa had come to the ring and been chased off by Daisuke Harada.
After the event, Go Shiozaki (in his role as chairman of the NOAH, wrestlers association) thanked everyone for coming, and thanked them for helping to raise the roof so to speak. Next year the wrestlers and the staff, will continue to devote themselves to Pro Wrestling Noah.
NOAH will hold their next event on January 6th 2019 at Korakuen Hall
POWER HALL & KUSHINO PRODUCE
Riki Chosu held another “POWER HALL” on the 28th December at Korakuen Hall, the same day Kuishinbo Kamen held his produce in Osaka.
YO-HEY & HAYATA (despite YO-HEY turning on RATELS), had to tag together in a three man match. They got into an argument during it, which led to them both being taken down at one point, and a rather sad looking YO-HEY refusing to help HAYATA up, or even tag him in.
If they were going to work together, it was going to be difficult.
The final “POWER HALL” of 2018 featured NOAH wrestlers, Kaito Kiyomiya, Masa Kitamiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Takashi Sugiura and Akitoshi Saito (plus regular NOAH freelancer, Minoru Tanaka).
Nakajima was his usual evil grinning sadistic self, who took pleasure in beating up on Big Japan’s Takuya Nomura (who seems to always be busted open whenever he faces NOAH).
Takashi Sugiura wore his tired old man face when confronted with some members of the opposite team.
Kaito Kiyomiya hugged his belt, and looked distressed when someone playfully tugged at it.
Kiyomiya’s team lost, and he said afterwards that this wouldn’t do, it (i.e. 2018) “could not end like this” and he wanted to fight another round.
“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh wrote his final column of 2018, and reflected on the past year, calling it the “best and the worst”. He speaks mainly about Kiyomiya and his concerns that the company is pushing him into something he is not ready for.
NAVIGATION FOR THE FUTURE 2019
NOAH are back on the 6th January 2018, with a live broadcast show at Korakuen Hall (to find out your timezone, put into Google “11.30 JST”).
On the 6th January, Kaito Kiyomiya will face Kenoh in his first defense of the GHC Heavyweight title, The Hooligans (Yuji Hino and Maybach Taniguchi) will defend the GHC Heavyweight tag titles against Katsuhiko Nakajima and Go Shiozaki (this is the rematch after the chaotic title match in Yokohama). Junta Miyawaki and Seiya Morohashi will have their trial match to see whether or not Hajime Ohara will let them challenge for the GHC Junior Heavyweight titles (but they have been challenged by Keisuke Ishii & Kouki Iwasaki).
Yoshiki Inamura will also go up against his hero, Takashi Sugiura, in a singles match opener. He will also have a series of singles matches against various seniors.
Elsewhere, Daisuke Harada will defend the GHC Junior Championship against YO-HEY on the 26th in Osaka, but prior to that on the 20th, HAYATA will face YO-HEY, Harada will take on Ogawa, and Tadasuke will fight Kotaro Suzuki.
For this tour, the following outside talent have been announced to be participating in one way or another: Mitsuya Nagai, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Yuji Hino, Masao Inoue, Minoru Tanaka, Kotaro Suzuki, Seiya Morohashi, Kokuki Iwasaki, Seichi Ikemoto, Kanjyuro Matsuyama and Keisuke Ishii.
GHC BELT NEWS
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi (“The Hooligans”)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Hitoshi Kumano & Hajime Ohara (“The Backbreakers”)
~ President Uchida apparently had a little too much to drink at the Noah Christmas party
~ No one could work out how Tadasuke was sitting at (what looked like) the airport, and even less how he could sleep like that
~ Daisuke Harada wore a pointy Santa Hat for his stint as one day manager at Yoneya, Masa Kitamiya will be there in January 2019
~ Kenoh will be back on “Satoko’s Room” in January 2019 (he was last on it in 2019)
~ Yoshiki Inamura took Takashi Sugiura’s advice, and smiled a little more when out on promotion
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
Samurai TV will broadcast the first night of “Navigation For The Future 2019” LIVE on the 6th January at 11.30am JST
The translation into English of “Heir to The Ark” (Naomichi Marufuji’s biography), has reached Chapter 4 “Fight to the Death; Battles with KENTA, GHC Grand Slam, returning to the juniors”.
Chapters 1, 2 and 3 are now complete.
While I am still waiting for “PHOTO THE LIVE” to arrive, two other books on Mitsuharu Misawa\NOAH did “Sailing: The Mitsuharu Misawa autobiography” and “Mitsuharu Misawa: understanding the cause of NOAH”.
The first book seems to deal with his life primarily from childhood to the founding of Noah (it was published in about 2001/2002).
As this is the last newsletter of 2018, I want to take a moment to thank everyone for supporting me, following me this year and reading this.
In particular I want to thank Metal Noah, not only for kindly sending me his autographed copy of “Heir to The Ark”, but also for being one of the main reasons I can do a recap of NOAH shows (a big thanks also goes to Abeshin, Nacky, Hamaharin, Shishido, Hai, Karin, Fujiwara Armbar, Pinkie Pie, Kei and Maybach Metapoko, and many many others, whom I may have forgotten to mention).
Thank you also to Wilfred Watches and Greg (GoodnightLove) for having me on their podcasts, and to Andrew Balaz (Chairshot) and Andre Corbeil (Wrestling with Wrestling) for asking me to write for them.
A thank you to Purodino for kindly sending me some Noah merchandise on her trip to Japan, and for translating some articles for the site.
A thank you to Jen J for never failing to send me the articles from Puroresu Weekly
A thank you to Brother Mort & Ro Bert for uploading the NOAH shows\Battlemen.
A thank you to John LaRocca for the shout outs on his podcast.
A thank you to my boyfriend for editing my podcast (which I hope to be restarting soon after a hiatus caused by family and work issues)
And a thank you to all those who contributed to my Patreon (the dream of being able to do this full time, from home and paid, comes closer and closer with each donation\subscription)
…and to anyone else I may have neglected to mention, you know who you are x x x
Finally, a big thanks goes to Pro Wrestling NOAH themselves, for being here in 2018 and for not blocking me from any of their accounts.
SUN ON THE SEA: A RECAP OF PRO-WRESTLING NOAH’S 2018
Go Shiozaki vs Konosuke Takeshita ~ transcript of press conference
Kaito Kiyomiya, “a new scene” in the ring with Kenoh
Kenoh to the new champion, Kiyomiya, “I will make it easy”
Freddie Mercury wins the costume Royal Rumble?
Noahful Gift – post match promos
Shiranui Curry (online shop)
HAYATA “My Turning Point” (translated by Purodino)
GIF credit: Battlemen News
PIC credit: Noah.co.jp