Slightly new format, same great NOAH content from the Emerald Princess herself, Hisame!
As it has been a long week in NOAH, I have decided to not include the “News” section of this weeks newsletter, as the news it all tied up with what has happened on the five days of tour.
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
The first night of Global Junior Tag League 2019 was held on a Tuesday night at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. NOAH did not manage to sell out the event, but I think they were expecting it as it was weeknight. The second night of the tour 30th May, took place in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima is a place of memories for NOAH due to both the time of year, and what happened in the city in 2009 when Misawa died. It was hard on all of them, especially Go Shiozaki, Akitoshi Saito and referee Shu Nishanaga. When NOAH left the venue that evening, Nishinaga put his hands together in prayer. NOAH have only once returned to Hiroshima to hold a memorial event for Misawa at the arena where he died and on the day itself. It was so painful for them that they have not done it again, and do not intend to do so to mark the ten years of his passing.
As per tradition, the participating teams of Global Junior Tag League 2019 came to the ring for the annual celebration (Tadasuke managed to stand in the wrong place, with Daisuke Harada accidentally treading on Senior Referee Shu Nishinaga as he went to get in the ring, as he was trying to get Tadasuke to move).
All the teams came out (plus the debuting Chris Ridgeway, who was teaming with Hitoshi Kumano), except for the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag team champions, Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinari Ogawa) who refused.
There were many cheers for the returning YO-HEY.
Kotaro Suzuki (who Yoshinari Ogawa says “speaks for us”), says that they want to win Global Junior Tag League as they don’t want to have a title match or defend the belts, such is their contempt for the other juniors.
Chris Ridgeway won his debut match at Korakuen Hall. The crowd were a little unsure of him at first, but soon warmed up when they saw he could both torture Ohara as well as Ohara could, and kick hard too.
The team of himself and Kumano have been doing very well for what is known as an “unknown” team. Ridgeway said that he wanted a rematch against Harada, and that he would bring the IPW Junior Heavyweight back to England.
The big news of the night at Korakuen was Junta Miyawaki getting his first win, with people getting on their feet to applaud him. During the match, Morohashi pretty much let Miyawaki do it by himself, and the tension was notched up by several near falls and kick outs. After his win (via a jack-knife pin), Miyawaki went insane, throwing himself around the ring, rolling on the floor with Morohashi and asking the referee if he really did get the three count. Being a big fan of The Clash, Tokyo Sports reported that he screamed that he wanted to tell Joe Strummer in heaven about it.
Miyawaki, however, has not managed to get another win yet.
YO-HEY & HAYATA started Global Tag League 2019, facing YO-HEY’S former friends in Stinger. Stinger, enraged by YO-HEY’S betrayal, kept him isolated from HAYATA in the beginning stages of the match, attacking his lung. However, neither team prevailed as it ultimately went to a count out, although YO-HEY managed to scramble in the ring just after the count had ended. The match itself was insane, with YO-HEY putting any doubts to rest that he wasn’t ready to return by his somersault off the top turnbuckle, outside the ring, onto Kotaro Suzuki who was standing behind the crowd rail.
YO-HEY seems to be getting on okay, although HAYATA is being protective over him, especially after the match with The Sugiura Army (Hajime Ohara who yelled “lung” when he attacked him) in Hiroshima, when he was seen holding his hand over YO-HEY’S lung at the end of the match, and then getting up to push NOSAWA away when he went to drive his foot in.
Hajime Ohara says that he wants further revenge on HAYATA & YO-HEY for beating himself and Hitoshi Kumano last year in the Global Junior Tag League finals. He doesn’t want revenge on them as a team, he wants revenge on them individually.
YO-HEY & HAYATA sadly have not been as dominant as they had hoped to be towards getting their third win in a row for the league, and throughout the tour only managed to get the win over Junta Miyawaki & Seiya Morohashi (having been counted out against Stinger, beaten by Nosawa & Ohara, and beaten by Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke. The only other win they got was not in Global Junior Tag League.)
Jinsei Shinzaki made his NOAH debut on the 28th May, teaming with Naomichi Marufuji (who had returned from injury) and Daisuke Harada.
Shinzaki quickly found himself the most adult person in the match as Harada and Marufuji acted like children, with Harada refusing to move from where Marufuji wanted to get in the ring at, and then Kenoh squaring up to Marufuji the moment he got in the ring, and Marufuji pointing at Kenoh, hiding behind Shinzaki (who just stood there), and each of them practically chasing each other round him. Despite the difficulties between himself and Harada, they worked together to get the victory. They seemed to have patched up their differences a bit, but are still capable of being immature with Harada saying that he is still Marufuji’s enemy, and that he doesn’t like him, and Marufuji pixellating his picture out of himself, Harada and Shinzaki.
Marufuji continued winding up people, particularly Kenoh, Go Shiozaki and Maybach Taniguchi. Kenoh because Kenoh is filled with obsessive hatred for him, Shiozaki because they are having a singles match at the Misawa memorial night at Korakuen Hall (Shiozaki has also never beaten him in a singles match), and Taniguchi as they will face off at the other night in Osaka, and caused a brawl in Hiroshima outside the ring between the three of them after he shoved Taniguchi.
Naturally, NOAH’s resident bumbling old vet, Masao Inoue (who was already being harassed by Sugiura during the tour), came in for his share of teasing too – especially after their singles match in Osaka, when Marufuji went to hold the ropes open for him and then kicked him. Despite his teasing of Inoue, Marufuji later said that ever since he was a trainee in the All Japan dojo, he had always had a liking for Inoue. Inoue was also menaced by AXIZ in Hamamatsu on the 2nd June, especially by Katsuhiko Nakajima, who looked as if he was going to hunt him down.
Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke have vowed to end HAYATA & YO-HEY’S dream of three consecutive wins, with Tadasuke becoming manic after victories, and at one point singing a theme from a Pokemon trainers game (and probably one which RATELS have played many times over together) as he walked off. Daisuke Harada warned that “Crazy Tadasuke” would come out more than ever, but “Crazy Tadasuke” proved a little too much for him at one point, and he left leaving Tadasuke to warble on.
Their team has been doing better than their teammates in RATELS, who have not been doing well so far.
Despite the rivalries that Global Junior Tag League (always) causes between them, the four of them were on form in their traditional home of Osaka, in what fans called “RATELS day” where YO-HEY & HAYATA signed autographs, and Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke did the NOAH’s Ark fan club photo session. However, in the match, Tadasuke and Harada were pulled off the turnbuckles during their entry by HAYATA & YO-HEY, and like last year in GJTL, Harada and Tadasuke, were victorious.
Takashi Sugiura has two pre-matches (without KAZMA SAKAMOTO most of the time as he is a freelancer and not on this tour much), against both AXIZ and Kaito Kiyomiya.
Katsuhiko Nakajima was his usual smirking self, ducking Sugiura’s punches, that was until Sugiura battered him with elbows. Kiyomiya, however, was as respectful as usual, and his only act of contrition was to get in the ring and hold the belt up to Sugiura. He was, however, a little more disrespectful with Kenoh and was held back by Taniguchi in Hiroshima.
Sugiura was not intimidated by either of them.
Kaito Kiyomiya spent the tour alternating between matches with Kenoh (Kiyomiya held the belt up to him, but had little to say in the post match promos, except about defending the belt) and Takashi Sugiura.
Kenoh’s main focus was his hatred of LIDET, Naomichi Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya. Marufuji called Kongoh “Kenoh and his three dogs” and on the way home from the final night of tour, said that they were “the bearded dog, the dog with the cloak and the one with no eyebrows”.
Hideki Suzuki finally got his wish to appear in NOAH again and with The Sugiura Army (28th May, Korakuen Hall). His original target had been Kaito Kiyomiya, but after facing off against Go Shiozaki, he realized that he had another opponent – and one of a similar size and body, and one who could chop. Suzuki was able to stand up to Shiozaki’s lariat, and manhandle him,
Suzuki told Shiozaki that he was “NOAH’s strength”, a comment that did not go down well with Naomichi Marufuji.
Yoshiki Inamura debuted a new red ring costume (with “Kongoh”) written on the back, a Sugiura style haircut and most bizarrely, shaved eyebrows – of which no one knows anything about, and he has never said anything about as to why they are shaved. Inamura had two singles matches against Takashi Sugiura, which Sugiura won (naturally), but he wouldn’t give up.
The kick he received to the head caused some concern, especially as the card in Hamamatsu was changed at the last moment, but he turned up in the main event teaming with Kongoh against Stinger, Quiet Storm & Naomichi Marufuji. Fans are wondering why this change occurred, but it may well be related to the kick to the head with medical opinion having it that he could cope with a tag as he would have a chance to rest, but not a fully blown singles.
By the end of a grueling five days, (four events in a row and long bus journeys in between), everyone got back on the bus and seemingly fell asleep. Fans had mentioned that they all looked tired by Hamamatsu.
That is except Naomichi Marufuji, who was awake, bored, and tweeting to wind people up.
When the bus returned to Tokyo, Kaito Kiyomiya posted at 2.45am that he and Chris Ridgeway were training in the dojo. Mohammed Yone (like Daisuke Harada) went home to take a long hot bath, Yone said he was looking forward to seeing his bunny, Mimi.
Takashi Sugiura, however, returned home, did his laundry and one of his dogs became entranced with the smell of his pants…
Global Junior Tag League (28th May) Post match promos
Global Junior Tag League (30th May) Post match promos
Global Junior Tag League (31st May) Post match promos
Global Junior Tag League (1st June) Post match promos
Global Junior Tag League (2nd June)
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ Fans were determined to give YO-HEY his welcome back streamers, and turned out to determinedly do this in Hamamatsu (as one fan put it, “we will fulfill the mission this time”)
~ Fans are now calling the team of Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka, “Ultra Soul” (after the entrance music used)
~ Noah has a referee from America on the Global Junior Tag League tour with them, and who is also training with them. He is called Ben.
~ Maybach Taniguchi posted a picture of himself jogging, which Takashi Sugiura immediately seized upon and zoomed in on the picture of his face. He later asked why Taniguchi was wearing a hat during treatment, Taniguchi said it was to keep his hair out of the way…but Taniguchi does not have long hair.
~ Kongoh are now all wearing red. Masa Kitamiya has based his on Masa Saito’s red attire (however, he sometimes wore black during the consecutive dates). It has been said that is nice to see a unit with a color in NOAH.
~ Naomichi Marufuji still looking for a new partner, even going to far as to post a picture of his car and saying that was his partner.
~ Maybach Taniguchi has debuted a new move (a camel clutch variation), he says he does not have a name for it yet though.
~ Takashi Sugiura turned 49 on May 31st, he says he will live for NOAH. Fans bought special streamers to the show for him. He also celebrated by photographing Masao Inoue at the urinal.
The 9th June show (the Misawa Memorial from Korakuen Hall, Tokyo and the second to last night of Global Junior Tag League) will be broadcast by G+ on Thursday 13th at 8pm JST.
Global Junior Tag League Mini Interview: Tadasuke & Daisuke Harada
Junta Miywaki rejoices in first point
Kiyomiya’s presence in the pre-match fights
Naomichi Marufuji returns from lumbar disc herniation, 18th August declares victory in new opening league
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC, Puroresu Weekly.
Newsletter written by Hisame