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N-1 Victory Tournament kicks off! Who starts off strong to earn a number 1 contender spot? Hisame fills in the blanks!



N-1 Victory Tournament kicks off! Who starts off strong to earn a number 1 contender spot? Hisame fills in the blanks!


NOAH held their small interim show “NOAH THE SPIRIT” on the 16th August 2019.

Sonico made his NOAH debut facing Hitoshi Kumano, but tapped out to the Argentine Backbreaker. In his post match promo, Kumano (who still had his blue hair left over from the Atsushi Aoki memorial show), said that he was going to aim for the singles belt.

RATELS vs STINGER entered a new chapter by having a very fast paced match. So fast in fact that fans complained that they couldn’t get a good picture of anyone, as they were all moving at the speed of light, even Yoshinari Ogawa is who is in his fifties, but can still kick the ass of any junior (or heavyweight) on the roster. Naturally, Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge didn’t wait for the bell to sound before attacking each other.

The main event was the N-1 Block A (Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura & Go Shiozaki) vs N-1 Block B (Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kenoh and Shuhei Taniguchi). Nakajima and Shiozaki shook hands beforehand, but this didn’t stop Nakajima from being chopped.

Kenoh decided that if he didn’t want to fight with anyone other than his mortal enemies (and obsession number 1 and number 3), Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura, and made Shiozaki tag Sugi in. Kenoh also got highly annoyed later on, when he “caught” Nakajima kicking Sugi, yelled at him, shoved him, and the two of them kicked him in tandem.

Shuhei Taniguchi was the star of this match however, when he knocked down everyone (teammates or not), refused to give Kenoh his own way by tagging him in when Kenoh wanted to beat up Marufuji (so Kenoh tagged himself in using a mannerism that reminded me of my angry cat when I tried to move her off some t-shirts I wanted to put away), and then made Takashi Sugiura tap out.

The N-1 kicked off on the 18th August 2019 in Nagoya. There was a small hitch in the show due to a sound issue, but this was sorted quickly.

The traditional ceremony was held with the participants coming to the ring and lining up in their respective blocks. As far as I know everyone managed to get along during it.

RATELS and STINGER clashed again with Atsushi Kotoge showing some of his old spirit when he suddenly seemed to perk up when running to the ring. He is also noted to have lost some of his heavyweight body and be rapidly returning to a junior.

Backstage, Kotoge said that STINGER wanted all the belts. Later that evening when Minoru Tanaka & Hi69 failed to take the GHC Junior Tag championship from Yoshinari Ogawa and Kotaro Suzuki, Ogawa said that in the absence of any challengers, it would be fun to defend the belts against Chris Ridgeway and Atsushi Kotoge.

Both El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr and Alex Hammerstone made their debut in NOAH.

We will talk about Hammerstone in due course.

Wagner Jr made his debut alongside The Sugiura Army (although not a member), and Hajime Ohara was overheard to be speaking to him in Spanish. Ohara has always been called “NOAH’s Treasure”, but today this raised him to a whole new level.

The fifth match was a huge ten man which was a curious mixture of N-1 heavyweights with an axe to grind (Naomichi Marufuji and Shuhei Taniguchi), juniors who normally wouldn’t be in such matches (Hitoshi Kumano and YO-HEY & HAYATA), and miscellaneous heavyweights (50 Funky Powers and The Return of The Dark Agents), and of course Kaito Kiyomiya, who acted like a demonic puppet master.
Kiyomiya didn’t cause trouble until the end of the match, when he looked very smug as he held up the belt to Marufuji (probably the rudest he has ever been to him so far) and Shuhei Taniguchi. After a chaotic match in which several mass brawls broke out (and the referee had trouble keeping control), Kiyomiya cut a backstage promo, in which he looked somewhat evil, and said that he loved the fact that he was everyone enemy, he loved the fact that they were fighting, and (sounding like a demon who has infested a home of a loving family) he said, he feeds off of it and it gives him stimulus.

Kiyomiya’s transition from a slightly nervous overly polite boy is beginning to shift to a nastier manipulative heavyweight.

The last time Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masaaki Mochizuki had a singles match was in 2009. Katsuhiko Nakajima was in his early twenties, and Mochizuki was in his late thirties. They clashed in the ring today in 2019, the very first match ever in a very brand new league…and kicked the blue thunder out of each other. The match was won by Nakajima after a double knockout, as he was the one to get to his feet first.

After the match, Nakajima joked that their next singles match would be in 2029. Mochizuki said he would be 59!.

Alex Hammerstone made his NOAH debut facing Go Shiozaki in the N-1 main event in a highly anticipated match. I am afraid that when this match took place, I have no details on it as both my Twitter timeline and the NOAH GHC hashtag went quiet, but it must have been pretty brutal, as Hammerstone appeared to have a bright red sunburn on his neck and chest which came from being chopped. Hard.

Hammerstone won the match via the Pendulum Nightmare.

Event will be broadcast on the 25th August on Samurai TV at 10pm JST.




NOAH held a press conference on the 17th August for the ten wrestlers who are taking part in the N-1 VICTORY. They were seated according to blocks, and so there was no repeat of last year, when Kenoh was treated like a small boy being told off by his seniors, when Marufuji asked “Kenoh-kun” why he chose the seat between himself and “Sugi-san” in the manner that you might speak to a small child in.

Seat near his enemies or not (and Marufuji did call him “bastard”), Kenoh’s usual obsessions boiled to the surface (along with how flushed he looked in a suit and tie in 30+ degrees of heat), and he said that he wanted Marufuji or Sugiura in the finals, and then proceeded to rant against Kaito Kiyomiya, “the champion who ran away”.

Naomichi Marufuji told the Japanese wrestlers very pointedly that he was tired of wrestling them, and was only interested in the two foreign ones.

Takashi Sugiura has a score to settle with Shuhei Taniguchi for making him submit, and has vowed to make Taniguchi regret it.

Go Shiozaki wants to face Katsuhiko Nakajima in the finals.

Masa Kitamiya sees this as his chance to wake up from his “smoldering” state, and engrave his name on the N-1. He is not interested in anyone in particular, only the champion at the end of the line.

Alex Hammerstone has vowed to crush all in his path.

Katsuhiko Nakajima did not return Go Shiozaki’s compliment, but said it was going to be a hot summer that was about to get hotter, and it would be him that would win.

Masaaki Mochizuki said he was honored to be in the league after such a short time in NOAH (three matches), and he did want Marufuji in the finals originally, but now was no longer interested after Marufuji said he wasn’t interested in him (he’s Japanese).

Shuhei Taniguchi named no names, but sent out a threat in that he would destroy everyone to reach the championship at Sumo Hall.

El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr said he was honored to be here, and would bring the N-1 glory back to Mexico. He wanted to face Marufuji in the finals (he also mentioned KENTA earlier in the afternoon, no one reacted, there was a pause, and it was almost as if tumbleweed blew across the stage).

It’s not that NOAH are angry at KENTA (after all, Marufuji said he was to do his best in New Japan and not get buried, so he does have their blessing, meeting up with some of the roster for drinks etc), but its more the negative fan reaction to what is happening currently that made it so awkward.


It was announced earlier this week that Jun Akiyama would team with Keiji Mutoh and Kaito Kiyomiya on the 16th September in Osaka. Kiyomiya had said that this third team member was someone who “knew the weight of the belt.”

Kenoh naturally wasn’t happy, seeing this as further evidence of LIDET’S favoritism of Kiyomiya that they would let him team with the chairman of a rival promotion (Akiyama has actually stepped down from that position), when they have said that within Japan, they will be having an isolation policy. The three opponents are yet to be announced, but it hoped that Kenoh will be one of them.


The N-1 continues on the 20th, 21st, 23rd, 24th and 25th of August.

Sunday, August 18th: Nagoya Congress Center, Aichi ~ Sunday 25th August, Samurai TV
Monday, September 9th: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo  ~ Sunday 15th September, Samurai TV
Monday, September 16th: Osaka Edion Arena 1st Stadium ~ Monday 23rd September, G+

All ten wrestlers participating in the N-1
Chanko recipe from the Noah dojo
16th August – 9th September, merchandise and Noah’s Ark Fanclub schedule
“My senior told me, win by breaking through the shell” ~ Interview with Shuhei Taniguchi
N-1 Victory: Introduction of participants
“I thought about wrestling 24 hours a day” ~ Kaito Kiyomiya and Takeshi Rikio talk
“Home Town Victory” ~ Go Shiozaki and Pro Wrestling Noah’s league match on the 23rd

Picture credit: Noah GHC, PKDX
GIF credit: Noah GHC

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Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!




Leading into March we learn of two fun produce shows and the lead in for Keiji Mutoh’s first GHC Heavyweight title defense! Read along with Hisame’s Emerald education!


“CyberFight Festival 2021”

On the 26th February CyberFight held a surprise press conference, which was broadcast on both the NOAH and the DDT YouTube channels. The purpose oft the conference was to announce that on the 6th June 2021, they would be holding an event they hope will become an annual one each year, at the Saitama Super Arena, which is one of the largest in Japan. The event will feature all the promotions that CyberFight manage (NOAH, DDT, Tokyo Joshi Pro & Ganbare ☆ Pro Wrestling), and will have the major titles defended, plus inter-promotional matches. CyberFight president, Sanshiro Takagi, said that it would be up to individual promotions as to whether they wanted to bring in anyone from outside from another promotion.

The one person who wasn’t excited, or even remotely happy by this news, was naturally and unsurprisingly, Kenoh. Rather than start angrily growling on social media, Kenoh’s reaction to the news when announced on NOAH’s official Twitter was, “….”. Naomichi Marufuji tried to explain to Kenoh that all this was was a festival of wrestling, not a merger or anything else. Kenoh made no response, and has only resurfaced on social media to say grumpily he was at a RISE SHOW.

Katsuhiko Nakajima, however, has taken a different approach by saying, “What is this?”. It should be noted that this was said in the manner of a shark finding wounded prey.


Simulacrum Mask

Kendo Kashin was up to his usual tricks, by first of all attacking Kenoh after his match in Sendai on the 21st, by storming the ring dressed as a pirate wearing a Jason hockey mask over a Lion mask, and claiming he was Takashi Sugiura, and then intruding into the ring in Gunma after Kenoh’s match, dressed all in white and with a Lucha style mask. He was beaten down by Kongoh (not Katsuhiko Nakajima, who had walked off and didn’t look back), before Masa Kitamiya threw him out of the ring. Backstage, the mysterious masked man, claimed he was Kazushi Sakuraba and had been sent to do this by Takashi Sugiura. No one was fooled, least of all Kenoh, and Takashi Sugiura said he was weary.

Although Kenoh entered looking around him at Korakuen Hall, he need not have worried, the only strange masked man in the match was Kendo Kashin, who nonetheless tried to blindside him. Kashin was up to usual tricks in the match, kicking Kenoh in the groin, and winding him so badly that they ended up fighting in the lift. Kenoh kept the doors open just long enough for the assembled journalists to take pictures.

 Junta Miyawaki’s return, challenges for GHC Junior Tag Titles

Following the six man tag (STINGER vs Momo No Seishun and Kinya Okada) on the 24th February at Korakuen Hall, and after the usual fight between the assembled Juniors, it took Junta Miyawaki to get in the ring and separate his warring seniors, after which when another fight broke out, he took out all of STINGER by repeated dropkicks. There was a quick consultation in the ring between all three of Momo No Seishun, which ended with Daisuke Harada challenging STINGER for the tag belts on behalf of himself and Junta Miyawaki. Title match has been set for 21st March at Korakuen Hall, but Miyawaki will make his return to the ring on Saturday March 6th at the FULL THROTTLE produce.

Backstage, naturally STINGER made no comment, Miyawaki had plenty to say, and in a loud voice, yelling he would be the “center of the NOAH juniors” and that “I WANT TO GET A BELT”

 Kaito Kiyomiya vs Keiji Mutoh, the first pre match

The first pre-match between Kaito Kiyomiya and Keiji Mutoh ended in frustration for them both, with Mutoh getting the win over Daiki Inaba. Mutoh after the match compared Kiyomiya again to a “low risk” Mahjong move, and said he wanted him to grow faster. Kaito Kiyomiya has made no comment, but he has been seen undertaking MMA training with Kazushi Sakuraba.


Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Sendai PIT (February 21st)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Maebashi Sub Event Arena, Gunma (February 23rd)

Event recap: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)

Post Match Interviews: “STEP FORWARD 2021” ~ Korakuen Hall (February 24th)


~ NOSAWA Rongai and Tadasuke had a stand off over sunglasses, after which NOSAWA started stalking Tadasuke to ringside, as he thought that with blonde hair and shades, Tadasuke has been stealing his look.

~ Naomichi Marufuji has finally bought the Ghost Busters themed Reebok that he wanted.

~ Following Kazushi Sakuraba’s ankle kick and submission, the “Calf Slicer”, Takashi Sugiura said he asked Sakuraba to explain it, which he did, in detail, when they were both in the shower. Sakuraba asked why he asked then, Sugiura said he was the one who chose to tell him.

~ 5’4 Haoh was almost sent flying over the ropes by the GEKITOZ from Yoshiki Inamura

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight was very funny.

~ YO-HEY has compared the NOAH Juniors to the “Warring States Period

~ “Kongoh” are enjoyable company, except for Kenoh.” NOSAWA Rongai

~ Atsushi Kotoge was thrown a major shade by Go Shiozaki, who in Gunma shook hands with Daisuke Harada as he said he thought he was the champion, then when Harada pointed out it was Kotoge who was challenging for the singles, Shiozaki looked as if to say, “Really? Him?” and then joking refused to shake hands with him.

~ Mohammed Yone says he has made a new a costume for Shuhei Taniguchi, which will make him “Dazzle”.

~ In usual style, Takashi Sugiura wished Masato Tanaka happy birthday, and then asked when The Bullet Yankees are getting back together.

~ NOAH’s official photographer has been taking pictures of the roster set against a spring woodland background or else in a springtime Tokyo. It looks like some new pictures may be coming out.


  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Seiki Yoshioka
    Challenger: Atsushi Kotoge (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
    Challengers: The Aggression (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
    Challengers: Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada & Junta Miyawaki) (21st March, “NOAH THE INFINITY 2021”)
  •  GHC National Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kendo Kashin (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)


Tuesday, 2nd March: Kenoh debut anniversary (2nd March)

Friday, 3rd March: Naomichi Marufuji, as tourist ambassador of Saitama, will be making another appearance on the “Love Saitama” YouTube channel.

Saturday, 6th March: Masao Inoue (51)

Saturday, 6th March: FULL THROTTLE Produce (Starts 17:30 JST)

Sunday, 7th March: “Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” (16:00 JST)


*Please note, unless stated it is a free stream, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

Both events will be broadcast via WRESTLEUNIVERSE.

  • NOAH have not yet announced whether the FULL THROTTLE  it will be live or whether it will be broadcast at a later date, only that it will be VOD.
  • Great Voyage 2021 in Yokohama” will be broadcast live, and with English commentary. If you are not a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE, you can purchase the event through FITE TV for $19.00. This will also have English commentary, but you cannot purchase this if you live in Japan.


Affiliated promotions to have all-star matches on the 6.6. at the Saitama Super Arena

Kazushi Sakuraba continues to evolve, victory following submission from calf kick



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Following up the historic Mutoh victory, another champion in NOAH has a storied challenger making their life miserable. Hisame breaks down what else is going on during this Mutoh title reign!




Following up the historic Mutoh victory, another champion in NOAH has a storied challenger making their life miserable. Hisame breaks down what else is going on during this Mutoh title reign!


Kenoh attacked by “Sugiura”

Fans in Sendai on the 21st February were looking forward to seeing “Kenohara” (the former team of Kenoh and Hajime Ohara from their NOAH Junior days), fight in a ultra rare singles match. The match only lasted seven minutes however, and just after Kenoh had got the pin, a masked man (dressed almost like a pirate, and wearing a black Jason hockey mask on top of a lion mask) rushed into the ring and attacked him with a crutch. Later, the masked man was to give his name as “Sugiura” and said he had been sent to do this “on behalf of Kashin”.

No one was fooled as to who this masked intruder was. He didn’t have either the height or the cyborg like physique of Takashi Sugiura, and Sugiura himself later said that he was an “old man” who wasn’t fooling around; that was Kashin. Kenoh said later (after a strange spell of not flying into a verbal meltdown), that whoever it was would pay, but after experience of fighting with Sugiura many times, he knew it wasn’t him. Suspicions were further aroused, when it was revealed that Kashin had worn exactly the same outfit (minus the Lion mask) in 2017.

Kashin had promised Kenoh that the title match would be a “clean fight” with no ring intrusions (he’s a NOAH junior, he has to promise these things) and no “seconds interfering”, but he never promised anything in the build leading up to the title match. With no one to restrain him, like they normally would in matches, expect to see Kashin on the loose. I just hope he knows what Kenoh is going to do to him in the title match.

Junta Miyawaki returns to training

Junta Miyawaki returned to training this week, after being hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. He has returned to the dojo to train, but his return to the ring has not yet been announced.


“STEP FORWARD 2021” (21st February, Sendai PIT, Sendai)


~ Following a conversation about calf kicks (which Sakuraba turned into “scarf kicks” and joked his neck was cold), Katsuhiko Nakajima said he preferred kicking people in the face.

~ Daisuke Nakamura (who so far has only appeared once for The Sugiura Army), won his match at the MMA event “DEEP100” and announced himself as “Daisuke Nakamura of Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Sugiura Army!”, while wearing one of the Sugiura Army t-shirts. Tadasuke had said at the produce, he wanted to have a singles match with him.

~ Tadasuke and NOSAWA, had a stand off which ended with them both removing their sunglasses very slowly and at the same time. After the match (it was a tag between Tadasuke and Masa Kitamiya, and Takashi Sugiura and NOSAWA Rongai), NOSAWA left with his thoughtful face on. Which usually means trouble.

~ Katsuhiko Nakajima thought that Go Shiozaki losing the GHC Heavyweight title to Keiji Mutoh was the funniest thing ever, and made fun of him for it. After the match he indicated that he had no interest in it, and turned his attention back to the GHC Heavyweight tag challenge, hinting that the champions had something to hide by not doing a pre-match with THE AGGRESSION (he never mentioned Kongoh), together.

~ Even Takashi Sugiura admits that The Sugiura Army is chaos, and therefore he makes no effort to try and control it.



 Tuesday 23rd February: Mohammed Yone (45)

Tuesday 23rd February: “STEP FORWARD 2021”: YAMADA Green Dome Maebashi Sub-event area, Gunma (17:30 JST)

Wednesday 24th February: “STEP FORWARD 2021”: Korakuen Hall (18:00 JST)

Friday 25th February: Kenta Kobashi celebrates 33 years in Pro Wrestling


Please note, unless stated, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world.

  • NOAH’s show at Sendai PIT on the 21st February, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on Wednesday 24th.
  • NOAH’s show on the 23rd February in Gunma, will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVRSE on Friday 26th.
  • NOAH’s show at Korakuen Hall on the 24th February will be broadcast on ABEMA. However, it does not currently say whether this will be a free worldwide broadcast or not. Should it not be, I do not recommend that you try and watch it via a VPN, unless you know it works with ABEMA and you already subscribe to the service. VPN can be notoriously hit and miss with the service, with some working for some people, and not for some others.


Daily Battle Award ~ Go Shiozaki’s first MVP & Best Match of The Year

Keiji Mutoh’s GHC Win commemoration, exploring the story of Mitsuharu Misawa

Jun Akiyama candidly talks leaving NOAH eight years ago. Naomichi Marufuji, “This was an aspect of life, rather than pro wrestling”

“It’s not good to expect too much”…”There is an opportunity to enjoy him if you can find it…” Jun Akiyama & Naomichi Marufuji’s discussion about Shuhei Taniguchi

“The tag of freestyle and Greco is the strongest”, the unconfirmed relationship of the 50 year old tag champions, Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba

Picture credit: NOAH GHC Twitter 

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