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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.19 ~ 19TH JANUARY 2019

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Hisame dropping the NOAH knowledge bombs every week! If you’re behind, just curious, or a frequent admirer of the Emerald ways, these Newsletters keep getting better and better.

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
On the 13th January, Yoshinari Ogawa and HAYATA shook hands, and then briefly patted each other on the back for a quick hug. So far nothing more has come of this, HAYATA hasn’t turned against RATELS, and Yoshinari Ogawa is absent with flu, but HAYATA does have a singles match with YO-HEY on the 20th, and so we shall see how matters progress from there.

Interestingly, YO-HEY has also spoke of “three people” being traitors.

Hajime Ohara picked up a slight, but scary injury following a kick to the face from Keisuke Ishii, he found that his sight was blurred for a few days, but rest corrected it.

Masa Kitamiya and Atsushi Kotoge (who thinks that “Masa needs a revolution”) will face off for the number one contendership for the GHC Heavyweight on the 20th January. Kaito Kiyomiya says he does not care who wins, he will face and defend against the winner.

Naomichi Marufuji will return to the ring on the 2nd February.

NEWS

IPW

RATELS came to the UK to compete in IPW’S inaugural junior heavyweight tournament. Keeping to the current situation NOAH, they pretty much stayed apart (with Tadasuke the only one visibly siding with Harada, YO-HEY appearing to go off on his own and HAYATA not appearing with anyone). However, YO-HEY was seen to be standing watching HAYATA’S match with Kid Lykos, and loving it.

The tournament was held between eight wrestlers: Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY, HAYATA, Chris Ridgeway, James Castle, Ben Basden and Kid Lykos.
In the first round, Daisuke Harada and Chris Ridgeway beat the hell out of each other, YO-HEY was an instant hit with the crowd (who were disappointed that he wouldn’t be coming back), James Castle faced Tadasuke and HAYATA had a match against Kid Lykos which involved heel tactics and an attack from Chris Brookes. As far as the Noah matches went in the second round, NOAH naturally did not want to ruin the eventual Harada vs YO-HEY or the YO-HEY vs HAYATA, so we were treated to HAYATA vs Daisuke Harada.

The finals came down to James Castle vs Daisuke Harada, in which Harada was victorious and became the first IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion, he was handed the belt by Doug Williams, and bought it to the ring today in NOAH.

Chris Ridgeway has vowed revenge on Harada, he says that not only will he come to Japan to make him tap out, he would also take the belt too.

A more detailed recap of the event can be found via my podcast episode at either Soundcloud or iTunes (please see links at the end of the newsletter). 

NOAH VS ALL JAPAN\TOKYO SPORTS AWARDS

Tokyo Sports are suggesting that as 2019 will mark Jun Akiyama’s five years of All Japan presidency, and of course NOAH will celebrate their 20 years in August, there may well be a collaboration between the two for the anniversary, NOAH of course coming from All Japan.

At the annual awards, Naomichi Marufuji picked up the award for “Outstanding Achievement”, and Kaito Kiyomiya the award for “Fighting Spirit”.
Kaito Kiyomiya (who was described by Suwama as being “dignified, well dressed, with good posture” and “very polite to the seniors”), gave a nervous looking speech:

“I have received the “Fighting Spirit Award”. Thank you very much. When I heard I was getting this award, I was very surprised. I am proud to have taken the belt last year, and this year, as champion, as NOAH’s face, I would like to run with everyone who supports me. Thank you very much”.

Naomichi Marufuji (older and more experienced, and with the benefit of having Misawa ease him into public situations such as these), was more relaxed in his:

“Thank you very much for the “Outstanding Performance Award” of 2018. 2018 was my 20th year, but this year is my 21st. I’d like to make an effort to make a further leap. As New Japan continue to monopolize the MVP Grand Prize, I want to show the best match, so not to lose receiving the assessment”

COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS
Kenoh’s column Kenoh spoke in his first column of 2019 about his loss to Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. He is confident that he can beat Kiyomiya for the title, but he feels there is an element of nepotism and that in his opinion, Kiyomiya is “protected by the company.”

Kenoh’s worse fears are that Marufuji will challenge for the title when he returns on the 2nd February, and that Kiyomiya will defeat him (Kenoh wants to be the one to do it), and he has sworn he will crush them both if so. Kenoh finished by saying that his goal for this year is to get his revenge on Kiyomiya, that is his “screenplay”.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS
~ YO-HEY has a new t-shirt
~ Yoshinari Ogawa has been pulled from the NOAH tour from the 19th to the 26th January as he is suffering from influenza.
~ Fifty Funky Powers disco ball was out, proud and rotating at NOAH’s show on January 13th. For their entry the lights dimmed and it threw green spots around the hall.
~ NOAH are selling in limited quantities, portrait pictures of Junta Miyawaki, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada
~ There appears to be a conflict brewing between Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima
~ Tadasuke was noted to be giving Kinya Okada advice during their three way match
~ Kenoh did not take kindly to being asked to join the revolution with Atsushi Kotoge, and kicked him hard after he had asked him. Kotoge also tried to ask HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa, HAYATA walked off (refusing to shake hands with him) and Ogawa said “seriously?”

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
None. He’s been too preoccupied with his new dog, and the weather has been too cold for him to be rude.

BROADCASTS
The final night of “Navigation For The Future 2019” will be broadcast on Saturday 9th February 2019 at 10pm JST on Samurai.

BOOK CORNER

I will keep doing well until my daughter is adult, and my life will be full of youth, no matter how old she will be”

“Living with Cancer” is a book written in March 2018 by Kenta Kobashi. It has five chapters and details his life from his diagnosis until now. For cancer sufferers and their families, he gives advice and support, while he also details his own battle against it. The last chapter is dedicated to his family, his infant daughter and the fans.
As one reviewer has put it, Misawa taught Kobashi the importance of leaving the ring alive.

The English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography “Heir To The Ark” (a work in progress), can be found here

LINKS
Recommendation for 2019: Junta Miyawaki 
Tokyo Sports 2018 Grand Prix Award Ceremony 
Naomichi Marufuji’s Outstanding Performance Award for the first time in twelve years “An effort to make a further leap” 
Kaito Kiyomiya’s first Fighting Spirit Award as “The new face of Noah” 
UK Expedition Result: Daisuke Harada becomes the first IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion 
POST MATCH PROMOS ~ “Navigation For The Future 2019” Night Four ~ Esupuma Isauma (Kawagoe-shi) (Sunday, January 13th 2019) 
Naomichi Marufuji, Pro Wrestling Grand Prize, Special Prize winner, “I want to see the view that Misawa could not” 
POST MATCH PROMOS ~ “Navigation For The Future 2019” Night Three ~ Act City Hamamatsu (12th January 2019) 

NOAH FROM THE VAULT
APRIL 29 IS KOTOGE’S REVOLUTIONARY ANNIVERSARY  (translated by Dino)

NOAH’S ARCHIVE PODCAST
iTunes 
Soundcloud 

Photos & gifs – credit to Tokyo Sports (group picture), Hisame (YO-HEY), Amazon.co.jp (“Living with Cancer”)


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.23 ~ 16TH FEBRUARY 2019

In an odd twist of fate, Marufuji is placed in a familiar, yet flipped position going into his GHC title challenge next month. Hisame let’s us know how the NOAH build is going!

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In an odd twist of fate, Marufuji is placed in a familiar, yet flipped position going into his GHC title challenge next month. Hisame let’s us know how the NOAH build is going!

CURRENT TOUR RECAP
Navigation for The Progress

Kaito Kiyomiya and Naomichi Marufuji continued their feud over the GHC Heavyweight title. Kiyomiya managed to knock Marufuji out of the ring with a dropkick, but was left wondering as to whether Marufuji played it up deliberately. He also turned his back on him when Kiyomiya was in the ring and was announced.

Marufuji, now that he can’t do aerial attacks (and finally realizing that his body is older than he thought), has turned to more vicious tactics, and decided to work on Kiyomiya’s left arm. In Kiyomiya’s post match promo, he told him that he was going to take him apart bit by bit, and next it would be his legs.

Kiyomiya has vowed that he will find “the Genius’ weakness” before “my body breaks down”. 

It has been pointed out to Marufuji that he is in the same position that Mitsuharu Misawa was when he himself was GHC Heavyweight Champion; the senior is challenging the junior.

Mitsuharu Misawa challenges the then GHC Heavyweight Champion, Naomichi Marufuji, a young man in his twenties and of the next generation of heavyweight NOAH wrestlers

Atsushi Kotoge became injured at NOAH’s show in Fukushima on the 11th February, which has put a spanner in the works of the GHC Heavyweight Tag title match with Eddie Edwards, taking on 50 Funky Powers.

Kotoge had gone for the “Revolutionary Cloak Splash” from the top rope, but managed to damage his arm on landing. Fans noticed that he was in a lot of pain, and he was checked out in the ring. NOAH removed him from the subsequent show, and later announced that he had dislocated his elbow and suffered a further fracture to the arm.

Kotoge himself said that he had felt a shooting pain in his arm, and he couldn’t move it at all.

With Kotoge’s injury and subsequent card change, “The Mid Generation” (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima),took on the champions. They obliterated them with Nakajima choking out Quiet Storm with a sleeper, and then laughing about it afterwards.

Although NOAH have not yet announced what will become of the title challenge, and whether Eddie Edwards will team with someone else or postpone his appearance until Kotoge is better (this may not be until the late summer, and Kotoge will most likely miss Global League 2019), but it may be likely that “The Mid Generation” will receive a title shot.

Katsuhiko Nakajima later posted ….

Three of the Dark Agents (Takashi Sugiura, Masao Inoue and Akitoshi Saito) have reunited to take down The Hooligans, however, they have not been very successful in their efforts with The Hooligans defeating them twice so far. Takashi Sugiura has already started making jokes about Masao Inoue, lumping him together with having experience akin to the rookies in the group, Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura. Should Sugiura be unfortunate enough to join The Hooligans, his job will be as their lackey; KAZMA SAKAMOTO says he will have to carry Cody’s bags, lick his boots, clean their toilets, do Nagai’s laundry and wash Maybach Taniguchi’s back.

YO-HEY was said to be looking a lot happier at “the wife” (HAYATA) returning “home”, and while really the only thing that has happened on this tour between himself and HAYATA and the former friends in RATELS, is Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke appearing in the ring and demanding to know what HAYATA thought he was doing.

Their new teammate, Yoshinari Ogawa (backed by YO-HEY & HAYATA, as Kotaro Suzuki is currently absent), continued the fight with The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara and Hitoshi Kumano) over the current GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag titles. Ogawa (in a supreme Golden Era move) threw a table at Hitoshi Kumano, and the team of The Backbreakers and Yoshiki Inamura were wiped out completely, with Ogawa posing with the belts at the end.

Yoshiki Inamura continued his “Seven Match Series”, this time against Masa Kitamiya.

NOAH have so far done very well this tour with both of their two opening dates being sold out.

NEWS

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS” (Kenoh’s column in “Weekly Pro”)
Kenoh visited the new NOAH offices and spoke of a variety of different things ranging from how nice the NOAH staff look now (even Mr. Okada looks smart now, despite “those fucking glasses”), the new company and how they should ask him for advice, the validation of his own opinion on “Leaving Misawa”, and Marufuji vs Kiyomiya.
Continuing his concerned older brother theme when it comes to Kiyomiya, and his hope that Marufuji will beat Kiyomiya for the belt for two reasons; the first being Kenoh wants to challenge, and the second that he seems to intimate that the longer Kiyomiya has it, the worse damage it is doing him, and the more Kenoh of all people seems to worry.

Kenoh’s other idea is that he will second Marufuji on the night (so to be first in line to challenge him), but I doubt that Marufuji is going to allow him to do that.

FAREWELL HAKATA STALENE
NOAH will return to the venue for the last time ever on March 17th, as the building is going to be torn down. Although the full card hasn’t been announced, Naomichi Marufuji will take on Yoshinari Ogawa (this will be their first singles match in 14 years) and Go Shiozaki and Takashi Sugiura will put on a “Golden Era Match” (as they always do when they collide in big matches).

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima decided to wind up Kenoh by sticking his leg in his fist when Kenoh entered the ring and knelt to do his ring introduction.
~ Yoshinari Ogawa denied ever being part of Special 4.
~ NOAH returned to Shinyousei Twenty-One Hall, which has the infamous staircase named “The Demon Staircase of Hell” due to the fact that it is two flights, and means that due to there being no underground parking at the venue for the truck, the equipment has to be carried up and down it, across a courtyard and through the lobby.
~ Minoru Tanaka says his first wish has been granted (i.e. for a title match at Yokohama), but his second one is still outstanding, he won’t say what it is though.
~ Both Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke have hinted at possible moves to the heavyweight division. Tadasuke when he fought Kenoh and Masa Kitamiya and said something “sparked” in him, and Daisuke Harada pointing to the GHC Heavyweight and declaring it was his “final goal”.
~ Mohammed Yone got beaten up in front of a group of old ladies (one was his mother) by Katsuhiko Nakajima.
~ Hitoshi Yamato did his usual singing entry, and incorporated the lyrics that Naomichi Marufuji couldn’t have dried seaweed. Marufuji had a priceless look on his face. 
~ Cody Hall took a picture of Atsushi Kotoge who was sitting drinking coffee near a window; Kotoge came out as a big pink blob.

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
Takashi Sugiura has posted pictures of either what is coming out of his dog, or what his dog has left behind. On a pleasanter note, he was given gifts by fans after a small gathering at “Muscle Grill”, and said that as he was carrying a big plushie, he probably looked like a “Weird old man” getting on the train.

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s Korakuen Hall show of the 24th February will be broadcast on Samurai at 10pm (JST) on Samurai TV.

BOOK CORNER
The ongoing translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s “Heir To The Ark” can be found here

LINKS
HAYATA (Costume Research)
“Come to Noah” ~ interview with Naomichi Marufuji
The Green Guide to Muscle Grill
Takashi Sugiura mini interview ahead of the match with The Hooligans
Battlemen Recap (Noah, Wednesday February 13th 2019)
Noah’s Arkive Podcast (ITunes)

NOAH FROM THE VAULT (articles translated by Purodino)
YO-HEY “My turning point”


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.22 ~ 9TH FEBRUARY 2019

Hisame brings us the NOAH news leading up to the Navigation to The Progress tour and assorted NOAH information.

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Hisame brings us the NOAH news leading up to the Navigation to The Progress tour and assorted NOAH information.

CURRENT TOUR RECAP

Since finishing up “Navigation For The Future 2019”, NOAH will not be active until the 11th February when the next tour, “Navigation for The Progress” starts in Fukushima.

Yoshiki Inamura will continue with his “Seven Match Series” facing Masa Kitamiya.

Naomichi Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya will be building up to the GHC Heavyweight title defense on the 10th March in Yokohama, as will Daisuke Harada and Minoru Tanaka over the GHC Junior Heavyweight. This tour will also see a rare match (twice) which will put Marufuji and Harada facing each other in the ring.

Atsushi Kotoge and Eddie Edwards will challenge for the GHC Heavyweight tag tiles on the 24th March at Korakuen Hall. Edwards (due his schedule in IMPACT) will not be appearing in any earlier dates, and at the time of writing as NOAH have not announced the cards for the last two dates of tour (2nd or the 3rd March), so it is unknown as to whether he will be appearing on them.

The Hooligans will face Takashi Sugiura, Masao Inoue, Akitoshi Saito, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada on the 24th February. The match will be an elimination and comes with stipulations; should The Hooligans win, Sugiura enters and is their lackey, should The Hooligans lose, they have to disband.

The Backbreakers will defend the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag against Kotaro Suzuki (who gets a chance to team with his “older brother”, Naomichi Marufuji, on the 22nd February) and Yoshinari Ogawa on the 24th February.

This will be NOAH’s last tour using the iconic green mat outside of the Misawa memorial shows.

NEWS

DIFFER ARIAKE TORN DOWN
“Next to the venue is the former NOAH office and dojo. You go up the stairs where the commemorative photographs of the wrestlers were held at the inaugural meeting in 2000, you go through the office next to the Differ offices, and then to NOAH’s office. There was once a dojo on this floor where the training equipment and ring was installed.”
(Differ Ariake, “Holy Land of Noah”, looking back in records and memories)

Masa Kitamiya recently retweeted a post a fan had sent him, of the empty lot where the venue, and once the “Holy Land of NOAH” once stood.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Differ Ariake started life in July 1988 not as NOAH’s home or a sports venue, but as a venue for disco and other music related events, later foreign bands would play here, and it saw a boom during the “Bubble Era” of the 1980s and early 1990s before closing and reopening as a sports venue in 2000.

NOAH moved into the venue soon after Misawa led the exodus from All Japan, and set up their offices and dojo there (their home was not the main stadium, but rather the complex to the left of the picture, the famous staircase can be seen on the main building).

Three generations (arguably from Marufuji’s to Kiyomiya’s) would grow up here until 2016 when the venue changed hands, and NOAH moved out.

NOAH would return to the venue one final time in November 2017 for the last ever Differ Cup. After the event they walked sadly through a place that they once called home. Each corner, each room, each inch must have held some memory for all of them, whether good or bad.

It was here in 2000 that NOAH held their inauguration event, “Departure”, which sold out in twenty minutes and for those fans who couldn’t get tickets, monitors were set up in the parking lot. Round about 6pm that evening, Misawa came out to talk to the fans who were waiting in line.

It was here that NOAH had held SEM, and filmed all their Christmas (and otherwise) specials, and in June 2009 after the tragic death of Misawa, 25,000 came to pay their respects.

It is ironic that with NOAH’s new owners changing the promotion and doing away with the iconic green, changing the new logo and laying the memory of Misawa to rest, that the home of NOAH should also disappear, like a final break with the past.

Differ may have now physically gone, NOAH may be changing and heading out to new and unknown waters out of Misawa’s shadow, but the picture taken of a vanished era in NOAH standing on the steps of their new home, their faces young and full of hope for the future, no matter their individual fates and that of the promotion they all turned their faces towards, will always remain part of the landscape, no matter what fills the now vacant lot filled with so many memories, emotions and history.

HOLY WAR
Toshiaki Kawada held his 4th “Holy War” produce. This is the first time that he has not had a “Talk Battle” with a NOAH wrestler (the others being Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Akira Taue).

Results 

  • Hiroshi Yamato defeated Junta Miyawaki (7 minutes and 1 seconds)
  • Kazushi Miyamoto, Mitsuya Nagai & Shiro Koshinaka defeated Shunsuke Sayama, Tomoya Hirata & Yoshiki Inamura (13 minutes and 59 seconds)
  • Go Shiozaki & Shotaro Ashino defeated Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda (18 minutes and 19 seconds)

IPW
IPW have announced that Fight Network (SKY Channel 192) will start broadcasting an edited version of their shows. This a great way for NOAH fans to catch the roster members when they appear in the UK, especially (at the time of writing) Daisuke Harada, who is the current IPW Junior Heavyweight champion. You can watch the inaugural show (featuring Harada) here

COALITION
Yahoo Japan are hinting that there may be a coalition or an alliance between NOAH, All Japan and W-1. However, it looks as if NOAH’s new owners will be instituting a policy of isolation at the present time and not entering into any partnerships with other promotions, besides the ones they all ready have. Naomichi Marufuji, however, has spoken of the importance of co-operation.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

TOUR TIDBITS

~ Due to his injury, Naomichi Marufuji had to cancel his one day stint as the manager of “Yoneya” (Mohammed Yone’s restaurant), the rescheduled date took place recently.
~ Hitoshi Kumano celebrated six years in wrestling on February 9th. Ge debuted at Korakuen Hall in 2013 against Atsushi Kotoge
~ Naomichi Marufuji did some clearing out, and found old phonecards with Takashi Rikio during his sumo days on them
~ Takashi Sugiura was given a chocolate gorilla for Valentine’s Day
~ Because the NOAH dojo has no heating or air conditioning, Kiyomiya and Miyawaki trained in tracksuits (the picture Miyawaki took revealed the dojo to have a CD collection and remote controls for the player)
~ YO-HEY celebrated his 31st birthday on February 6th
~ Naomichi Marufuji commented that he doesn’t know what KENTA’S plans are, but he wants him to go somewhere where he can be himself again. Takashi Sugiura came out and basically asked him what his plans were.
~ NOAH will be holding an event called “Navigation TO A NEW ERA” on May 2nd. Further details to be announced.
~ President Fuwa has started a Twitter account 

KING SHAMELESS CORNER
He’s managed to behave himself this week, no pictures of Masao Inoue at the urinal or his dog defecating.

BROADCASTS
“Great Voyage in Yokohama” on the 10th March will be broadcast by G+ plus on the 16th March on G+ at 8.30pm (JST)

Jun Akiyama wrote a book called “Inheriting The Giant Stars” (thanks to GuyOnInternet for telling me about this); the book has been added to my shopping basket and will be purchased and then translated in due course.

If you do know of any NOAH\All Japan related books, by all means, do let me know. My ambition is to one day build up a digital library translated into English for Western fans.

LINKS

The “Green Guide to the History of Pro Wrestling Noah” has been updated 
Eddie Edwards Mini Interview 
Press conference: Naomichi Marufuji vs Tetsuya Endo 
The Last Showa Born Heel: Can Masa Kitamiya be the new era Masa Saito? 
Naomichi Marufuji to challenge Kiyomiya, defense plans after taking the championship 


Let us know what you think on social media @theCHAIRSHOTcom and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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