The second Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial show is now in the books! Titles changed hands, and Global Jr League participants were announced! Read up with all of the Pro Wrestling NOAH happenings!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH held the ten year anniversary event of Mitsuharu Misawa’s death in Osaka. The venue was more than just a popular choice in a metropolitan area, it was the last arena that Mitsuharu Misawa had visited on 11th June 2009 before the accident in Hiroshima on the 13th.
The usual ceremony was carried out beforehand; his spirit was welcomed to the ring as the GHC Heavyweight champion, Spartan X played and the fans threw green and white streamers which had his name on it. The roster stood around the ring, ironically, Takashi Sugiura was standing next to Kaito Kiyomiya in a fusion of the old and new NOAH.
The event was sold out, standing room only quickly filled, and one fan said that when coming back from the bathroom, they couldn’t get back to their seat.
Kinya Okada (who has been missing due to an injury that NOAH have never specified) returned to his hometown to face Yoshiki Inamura. Inamura had warned Okada that while he may have the power of the local fans on his side, he should not expect to win.
Okada didn’t win, but Inamura was left saying that he felt his power. Now the feud between the two of them can begin.
Akitoshi Saito was understandably the most emotional during the event. I don’t think he slept well the night before, especially since he was up to see the dawn (and awake before it), but he had also caught a rainbow which he took as a good omen. After his match, he broke down hysterically as he faced Misawa’s portrait.
Chris Ridgeway and Hitoshi Kumano finished their partnership, with Ridgeway thanking Kumano for teaming with him and teaching him along the way, but he was a singles wrestler and that is where he is heading now, especially since Global Junior League is coming up. During the match, he and Kenoh had a kick war, but Kenoh’s focus was on Kaito Kiyomiya who he squared up with at the beginning.
As far as Kiyomiya goes, no challenger for the championship has come forward yet. As for Ridgeway, he was going to have another role to play in the evening.
Stinger defeated HAYATA & YO-HEY and bought their dream of a third consecutive victory to a halt. After the match (in which the audience were whipped up into a fever by the close falls and the drama, plus YO-HEY using the rarely seen Bamboo Dragonfly), Yoshinari Ogawa made a short speech to the fans. He asked everyone to “never forget that there was a wrestler called Mitsuharu Misawa”.
After the match (which was one by Kotaro Suzuki using Misawa’s Tiger Driver 91, which Ogawa said sarcastically he had stolen, much to Kotaro’s indignation), Stinger introduced their new member.
Their new member in all ways is a far better fit than YO-HEY (who no one really knew why he would want to betray RATELS, and it was never really said) both in terms of style, temperament and skill set. Their new member, is Chris Ridgeway. Fans were a little shocked at first, but they knew it is a good thing, especially as there is a lot to learn from Stinger, especially Yoshinari Ogawa.
YO-HEY later posted that he was disappointed to lose, and he found the league tiring. After having a lung injury, and coming back so soon, this is not surprising.
According to an article from Tokyo Sports, Kotaro Suzuki is still seeking a single match with Naomichi Marufuji.
Naomichi Marufuji was defeated by Shuhei Taniguchi, who made him tap to his modified camel clutch in seventeen minutes and 52 seconds. Marufuji had expected to defeat Taniguchi, but after losing via submission (which is rare, and not even Ogawa could do this), he reflected that he needed to find himself after losing to both Go Shiozaki (on the 9th June) and now Taniguchi.
AXIZ (Katsuhiko Nakajima and Go Shiozaki) clashed with The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and KAZMA SAKAMOTO) in the main event. It was a brutal match, but ultimately The Sugiura Army prevailed when Sugiura won via TKO by using the front neck lock choke on Nakajima.
After the match, AXIZ limped into the interview area (Shiozaki supporting Nakajima), with Nakajima asking for a rematch.
Sugiura granted it, but he warned that he wasn’t going to choke Nakajima this time, he was going to make him submit, or he was going to pin him.
AXIZ will get their rematch for the tag belts on the 27th June
Post match promos ~ Global Junior Tag League 2019, Korakuen Hall
Final night of Global Junior Tag League\Mitsuharu Misawa memorial
Post match interviews ~ Global Junior Tag League 2019, Osaka
GLOBAL JUNIOR LEAGUE RETURNS
Hot off Global Junior Tag League, the juniors get about three dates of being friends (or not) with each other, before Global Junior League starts on the 27th June at Korakuen Hall. The league will run for ten dates, and finish on July 27th at Culttz Kawasaki. There will be a small “NOAH The Spirit” interim date in between.
The participants for this year have been announced as such:
BLOCK A: Minoru Tanaka, Daisuke Harada, YO-HEY, Yoshinari Ogawa, Tadasuke, Junta Miyawaki
BLOCK B: Kotaro Suzuki, Hajime Ohara, Hitoshi Kumano, HI69, Chris Ridgeway, HAYATA
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and KAZMA SAKAMOTO)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
THE TESTAMENT OF MISAWA
On the 10th anniversary of Mitsuharu Misawa’s passing, Line News carried out in depth interviews with Akitoshi Saito, Naomichi Marufuji, Kotaro Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru about what happened on the night of the 13th June in Hiroshima, and as a result what happened was probably the most revealing and comprehensive account.
In an interview with Tokyo Sports shortly before his death, Misawa spoke candidly to them. He knew that he was not going to reach his next birthday, he knew that his body was falling apart (he had bone spurs in the neck, and visual problems in one of his eyes), but he couldn’t retire. Not just yet. He had one final task to complete (namely putting Go Shiozaki over). and then it would be done.
It seemed that Misawa had known this even before the interview with Tokyo Sports, around about 2007 or so, he had written a letter to the opponent who would face him in the ring for the last time, and handed it to a trusted source to deliver the letter when his premonition came true. The letter was given to Akitoshi Saito, who has kept it with him on tour for the past ten years, and had read it each day. The letter is not one of recriminations, but one of apology. Misawa wrote in it that he forgave his opponent, and he wanted him to carry on wrestling.
The article weaves the stories of Marufuji, Saito, Kotaro and Kanemaru together. It starts from the accident, with Kanemaru noticing that Misawa wasn’t moving, Kotaro taking charge, Marufuji’s mad dash to Hiroshima when he heard the news (despite a knee injury), and understandably Saito’s shock. The article explores individual memories of Misawa, the fallout of his death, and then where they are ten years later.
The article is a long one, and often an emotional one, but I urge you to read it. It is not just a story of wrestling and wrestlers, it is a story of loss, strength in adversity, and the triumph of human spirit.
~ 50 Funky Powers have neon blue and purple streamers
~ Naomichi Marufuji said that he wants to get “public broadcast” back (he means either a streaming service or a weekly show like NOAH once had)
~ Kenoh told “the assholes of Osaka” to go home and get a dictionary if they didn’t know what “Kongoh” meant (FYI, it means “diamond”)
~ Junta Miyawaki turned 22 on the 14th June.
On the way back from Osaka, Masao Inoue fell victim to Takashi Sugiura’s camera, and was photographed at the urinal (there is disturbingly a whole gallery of these, and this one had Kotaro Suzuki in the background). However, Sugiura didn’t stop there, and Inoue was filmed getting onto the bus (which seemed pretty empty as I guess most people had either gone home via the Shinkansen or stayed in Osaka) with an ice cream cone.
Marufuji joined in the fun by photographing Inoue, to which Sugiura told him to quit stealing his subject. Marufuji replied (and please bear in mind they were on the same bus and in close proximity to each other) that since Inoue was so interesting, maybe Sugiura would like to switch seats?
Sugiura said that he assumed Marufuji was being funny, as Inoue had never been interesting.
The 13th June Mitsuharu Misawa memorial show from Osaka, will be shown on the 22nd at 10pm on Samurai TV. This will be the final night of Global Junior Tag League 2019.
Riki Choshu’s Power Hall (featuring Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura) will be broadcast live on the 26th June on Samurai at 6.30pm
The opening night of Global Junior League (Thursday 27th June 2019, Korakuen Hall) broadcast at Friday 5th July on Samurai.
Ogawa & Kotaro gain their first victory in Junior Tag League
Sugiura chokes Nakajima to take the GHC Tag Championship
Shiozaki’s answer to that ten years, to have a match that Misawa would approve of
“Iron-Man” Kobashi sends encouragement to favorite pupil, “KENTA! Use your instincts, and go wild!”
Naomichi Marufuji about KENTA’S New Japan entry, “Don’t you ever be buried”
10 Years after Misawa’s death, Noah’s full house, and a limited resurrection of the green mat
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC, LINE News, PKDK
GIFS taken from Battlemen on Samurai TV
Newsletter by Hisame