Pro Wrestling NOAH has another show on YouTube this year! Let’s see how the show went!
Personally, I haven’t caught as much Pro Wrestling NOAH as I would like, but these are always a great opportunity for a snapshot of the product. With the N-1 winding down, it’s a good time to see how it’s all shaping up.
- Quiet Storm, Mohammed Yone & Sonico vs Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Junta Miyawaki: Sonico wins via Senton Atomico @8:55 – **
- Kinya Okada vs Yoshiki Inamura: Inamura wins via Boston Crab @3:50 – ** 1/2
- HAYATA, YO-HEY, Tadasuke & Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway & Atsushi Kotoge: Harada wins via Cross Legged Prawn Hold @9:20 – *** 1/4
- KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Sugiura, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr & Hajime Ohara vs Minoru Tanaka, Hi69, Hitoshi Kumano & Katsuhiko Nakajima: Hijo wins via Moonsault @11:40 – ***
- Shuhei Taniguchi & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone: Hammerstone wins via Pendulum Nightmare @16:00 – *** 1/2
- B Block: Kenoh vs Masaaki Mochizuki: Mochizuki wins via Triangle Kick @16:55 – ****
- A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masa Kitamiya: Shiozaki wins via Gowan Lariat @25:25 – **** 1/4
Quiet Storm, Mohammed Yone & Sonico vs Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue & Junta Miyawaki – Well this walked the line somewhere between serious match with mostly veterans and a few younger guys…to messy/funny. Inoue will always add a layer or comedy, be it on purpose or not…but this really was just there. A few sloppy transitions, Inoue going for the pin when he wasn’t legal, nor was the end of the sequence and general tom foolery made this odd.
If you appreciate the Inoue element, you’ll enjoy this. Otherwise, it’s just an opener that makes you wonder why the next match didn’t open the show.
Kinya Okada vs Yoshiki Inamura – This was a great Young Lion style match. Both men hit the ring hard, and went at one another with a lot of energy. Inamura is definitely being groomed as the next big boy, and he shows great fire and damn well dominates this match.
– Kazuyuki Fujita shows up as the mystery member of Sugiura-Gun. Inamura gets punked out a little bit, but it looks like we’re gonna get Yoshiki Inamura vs Kazuyuki Fujita fairly soon.
HAYATA, YO-HEY, Tadasuke & Daisuke Harada vs Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway & Atsushi Kotoge – With Kotoge joining Stinger after he moved back down to Junior Heavyweight, we have faction warfare. Kotoge has been looking to reignite the rivalry with Harada, all while the teams vie for superiority. As for the match, it was a fast paced junior style match. Lots of fun moves and transitions, but due to the dislike of the factions, it boiled down into a bar fight at different points. So it was fun and entertaining, but not a technical masterpiece.
KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Takashi Sugiura, El Hijo de Dr. Wagner Jr & Hajime Ohara vs Minoru Tanaka, Hi69, Hitoshi Kumano & Katsuhiko Nakajima – So this is just a combination of people who don’t like one another. Wagner Jr recently beat Nakajima in the N-1, so there are numerous undercurrents of dislike between the combatants. Since there really wasn’t a ton of story, it’s just a solid multi-man tag match. Also I’m guessing it’s a Sugiura-Gun thing to just scream as you charge an opponent in the corner. Not watching as much NOAH as I would like to, this is kind of a new thing to me. It’s amusing, but I could do without it. Wagner Jr getting the win over Hi69 helps to give him a little more momentum. Especially when he was seen as the weak link in B Block.
-Promotional video and small message from Rhino, talking about him making his NOAH debut on September 16th
Shuhei Taniguchi & Naomichi Marufuji vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone – For fans of New Japan, this was a more traditional undercard tag for a Round Robin tournament. Hammerstone and Marufuji still have yet to face off, so this was a good test of mettle. All four looked great in this match, Shuhei did however show reluctance to tag in Marufuji. So this man without a country thing is really interesting. Given Marufuji’s history and him being generally beloved by fans, him having no real allies is interesting and odd all at the same time. Kaito call the shots a few different times in the match, which is important in taking him seriously as such a young champion. This was just a really great tag match to set up the two N-1 matches as well as build heat for Alexander and Naomichi.
B Block: Masaaki Mochikzuki vs Kenoh – Well now, you get two guys known for kicking, it’s definitely not gonna be an arm wrestling contest. This was a mirror match a lot of the time. Both having submission near falls, trying to one up the other with kick combinations and just generally great fighting spirit. Mochizuki dazes Kenoh before finally hitting the Triangle Overhead Kick to pick up the 2 points and lead in the B Block.
A Block: Go Shiozaki vs Masa Kitamiya – This is a hard hitting, old school NOAH, King’s Road-esque match. Kitamiya and Shiozaki have a current common tie of Katsuhiko Nakajima (Nakajima turned on Kitamiya and joined with Shiozaki shortly after. Aggression out, AXIZ in). Kitamiya started off strong and really imposed his power onto Shiozaki. Shiozaki is known to take a hell of a beating, and this match did a lot to help to validate Kitamiya. This was the type of match where you assume big things are on the horizon for Kitamiya. I’m personally just happy Shiozaki won since he’s my N-1 pick, but damn good match.
With their wins, Shiozaki and Mochizuki lead their respective blocks. Takashi Sugiura is the only other one with a chance at A Block, and Kenoh still has a shot to steal B Block because he’s got two matches remaining. So we got to see a rather pivotal moment in the inaugural N-1 Victory tournament.
Kazuyuki Fujita showing up as the new member of Sugiura-Gun, and challenging the up and coming Inamura should be interesting. YO-HEY and HAYATA added a little more sibling level heat to what will be a great match, but mostly an angle of competition between brothers. Kotoge trying to establish himself against Harada is also a great story, especially for loyal NOAH fans.
This was just a solid show that made a ton of sense, even though the first few matches were kinda lackluster, the surprise appearance of Fujita and video promo from Rhino helped to make the show feel bigger than the matches let on early. Still a good show, just not without a few points to improve upon.