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Andrew’s NOAH N-1 Victory Ratings & Analysis: Day 9

Oh look! Another N-1 Victory show on Pro Wrestling NOAH’s YouTube!

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Oh look! Another N-1 Victory show on Pro Wrestling NOAH’s YouTube!

So last time we got this, we were treated to a great match from each block and an undercard that contained a few surprises.

We have only one N-1 Victory match today, but it’s with two of the biggest names in Pro Wrestling NOAH.

Let’s see how the show goes!

Ratings:

  • Chris Ridgeway vs Sonico: Ridgeway via Ankle Lock @6:35 – ** 3/4
  • El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr & KAZMA SAKAMOTO vs Masao Inoue & Akitoshi Saito: Hijo wins via Moonsault Press @7:05 – **
  • RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY & HAYATA) vs Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Junta Miyawaki & Seiya Morahashi: Tadasuke wins via OutKast @14:15 – *** 1/2 
  • NOSAWA Rongai, Hajime Ohara & Kinya Okada vs STINGER ( Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Kotoge): Kotoge wins via Splash @8:10 – ***
  • 50 Funky Powers (Quiet Storm & Mohammed Yone) & Rocky Kawamura vs AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Hitoshi Kumano: Nakajima wins via Vertical Spike @10:50 – *** 1/4
  • Shuhei Tanaguchi, Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone vs KONGOH (Masa Kitamiya, Kenoh & Yoshiki Inamura): Hammerstone wins via Pendulum Nightmare @16:40 – *** 1/2
  • A Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Takashi Sugiura: Sugiura wins via Front Neck Lock @21:40 – ****

Analysis:

Chris Ridgeway vs Sonico – Ridgeway starts off with the heelish handshake, even crossing his fingers behind his back. Sonico gets worked over a little, powders for space, but Ridgeway is relentless. Ridgeway started working the ankle early when he slapped on an immediate Ankle Lock. Now, we see him go back to the ankle by removing Sonico’s shoe and peppering in the offense on a now, more exposed, ankle.

Sonico managed to mount a small comeback and goes to the top rope, but Ridgeway trips him up and locks on an Achilles Lock while Sonico is draped over the top turnbuckle. Managing to kick him off, Sonico hits a desperation Senton Atomico on Ridgeway’s back, but Ridgeway kicks out. A few more strikes to the ankle to get an advantageous position, and now Ridgeway slaps the Ankle Lock on the shoeless and very worked over ankle, causing Sonico to tap rather quickly. Solid enough starter, even though the crowd seems very subdued.

El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr & KAZMA SAKAMOTO vs Masao Inoue & Akitoshi Saito – So, much like I said in the previous Day 7 coverage, Masao Inoue is…well…an acquired taste. Instead of Toru Yano style comedy, his comedy is more akin to a dawdling old man looking for his pants in a dark hallway filled with stairs.

So yes, that makes it a little bit of a rough sell, but he’s still a veteran that fans enjoy. This match was what you would expect, KAZMA taunting the veterans a bit, Hijo got in a little bit of comedy with Inoue, but this was mostly just Saito trying to really wrestle and Inoue trying to remember where he left that thing that one time. Hijo getting the pinfall is good just to establish him as a competent wrestler.

RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY & HAYATA) vs Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Junta Miyawaki & Seiya Morahashi – This was just a fun junior style match. Both teams got plenty of time to pose, pull off tandem moves and swing the momentum. Tanaka’s team put Harada in a Double Armbar, which saw Morahashi kneel on his back and flex a little for the crowd.

After that point, RATELS was never the one to look dumb. YO-HEY looked more like his old self, pulling off crisp Dropkicks, flip kicks and of course let his personality shine in a few spots. Now, surprisingly, RATELS was caught out of position and Tadasuke ate the brunt of a lot of offense. Morahashi hit a Sliding Lariat, as well as Kneeling Wristclutch Lariat, but RATELS jumped in to break. Harada, YO-HEY and HAYATA hit a tandem corner move, clear out the rest of Morahashi’s team, and give Tadasuke the opening to use his Torture Rack Bomb he calls OutKast, and picks up the pinfall victory. A little surprising to see Morahashi eat the pin when Miyawaki is still a young boy, and we all know, the young boys usually eat the falls. Maybe this leads to an angle between Morahashi and Tadasuke. Really fun match.

NOSAWA Rongai, Hajime Ohara & Kinya Okada vs STINGER ( Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Kotoge) – We see more of Atsushi Kotoge’s growth in Stinger and his return to the Junior division. Suzuki and Ogawa pull off some good tandem moves, a Elbow Drop/Leg Drop combo and just look like the Junior Tag Champions that they are. Kotoge however, is still finding his footing.

This is noticeable when Kinya Okada (a Young Boy) gets a hot tag, and gets in good offense on Kotoge. Kotoge doesn’t look incompetent but he’s just trying to find his place in the grand scheme of things. Suzuki and Ogawa make the save for Kotoge, clear out the Sugiura-Gun opposition, and Kotoge picks up the win with a Revolutionary Splash…that I’m not sure what he calls anymore.

-Afterwards, the Sugiura-Gun members lay out Ogawa, and make a challenge. Tadasuke and Harada run out to basically put a pin in the challenge, so we might get a Triple Threat Junior Tag Title match at some point. The rest of RATELS comes out and clears the ring. 

50 Funky Powers (Quiet Storm & Mohammed Yone) & Rocky Kawamura vs AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Hitoshi Kumano – Well now this is a little different. Shiozaki and Nakajima are both in the N-1, so this is an undercard tag that many are familiar with, but the dynamic is odd. Rocky Kawamura is a boxing gimmick, and yes, he dresses like Rocky from the movies. Well…okay let’s just watch.

So Shiozaki and Yone start off, to a somewhat split chant. No one really gets a big advantage, but we start seeing the pairing off. Primarily the 50 Funky Powers members stick to the AXIZ members, which leaves Kumano to deal with the boxer. Rocky gets in a bit of offense, and aside from just looking odd, it’s never bad. The little bear tags in Nakajima and we watch him play with his food in a sarcastically evil way.

Rocky tries to close the distance and work on Nakajima, but in the concept of Karate versus Boxing, Karate tends to have the advantage. Nakajima kicks away pun attempts and measures Rocky with every playful swat. After a combination of kicks, Nakajima lights up Rocky like the dummy from 3 Ninjas. A Vertical Spike later and well…if he dies, he dies. Good match, but not a lot to extrapolate.

Shuhei Tanaguchi, Kaito Kiyomiya & Alexander Hammerstone vs KONGOH (Masa Kitamiya, Kenoh & Yoshiki Inamura) – Sadly for Taniguchi and Inamura, they were mostly just along for the ride in this match. Hammerstone and Kitamiya face off on the next day, which is important for Hammerstone if he still wants to win the block. Plus, Kenoh and Kaito have a great rivalry that brings different things out of both men.

Hammerstone looked like a beast at different point. Having a great back and forth power struggle with Kitamiya, on top of, shrugging off two of Kenoh’s Yakuza Kicks when he tried to clear the apron, and Hammerstone charged at him, but Kenoh low bridged to give the KONGOH team a bit of momentum. Kaito continued to show growth as a wrestler and a champion by dictating a few things to his teammates, and his posture was completely different.

Kaito had a bit of an edge about him when he was trying to teach Inamura a lesson, as well as, the brawling on the outside with Kenoh. Everything about this match really put over the N-1 Victory combatants. Inamura took a hot tag from Kitamiya to try and get a big win over Hammerstone, and it was believable. Inamura hit a few big moves including a Diving Shoulder Tackle, but Hammerstone was just too much. I loved when Hammerstone hit a top turnbuckle Superplex, rolled through and looked like he was going to fire up, but just fell backwards into a near fall. That put over Inamura and Kitamiya’s offense, even though shortly after Hammerstone hits the Pendulum Nightmare on Inamura and grabs the win for his team.

Dom Vitalli should be proud, Hammerstone has definitely been impressive and clicks well with the NOAH main eventers.

A Block: Naomichi Marufuji vs Takashi Sugiura – Arguably the two biggest names in NOAH are squaring off in the newly named N-1 Victory tournament. Sugiura is still very much alive in the tournament, especially with his last match being against Go Shiozaki. Marufuji however, can’t buy a win with a Groupon discount. So let’s see if this long lasting rivalry breaks Marufuji’s losing streak, or continues to keep Sugiura towards the top.

It doesn’t take long for this match to go to the outside. Suigura hits an Apron Hung Neckbreaker and at a different point Marufuji hits the signature Apron Piledriver. But the story here really was the familiarity of the two participants. Sugiura dodged Marufuji’s Springboard Curb Stomp and was never able to pull off the Shiranui. While hitting a multitude of KO-OH style knees, Suigura catches him and turns it into an Olympic Slam.

Marufuji showed his understanding by working out of Sugiura’s first attempt at the Front Neck Lock. During Sugiura’s 4th title reign, Marufuji fell very matter-of-factly to that submission move, so trying to avoid it makes plenty of sense. Marufuji attempts the Perfect Key Lock but Sugiura gets out of it right before Marufuji finishes his roll into the Key Lock.

This really was a great back and forth, but a generally disappointing tournament for Marufuji made it hard to believe in his hope spots. So things didn’t quite get as hot and feel as high priority, just because of the dynamic of where both men are in the tournament. Damn good match, and Sugiura continues to catch Marufuji with the Front Neck Lock and NOAH’s Genius taps out.

 

Overall Score: 7/10

This show was different than the last YouTube one, since there was only 1 N-1 Victory match and these matches told more of a story. Even if the top end of quality was better on Day 7, the understanding and story development were miles above at this event. We’ve got two challengers for the Junior Tag Titles, Hammerstone and Kitamiya heat up their future match nicely, Kenoh and Kaito continue a great rivalry and the historic catalogue of Marufuji versus Sugiura gets another chapter.

The card built nicely to the biggest match, and there really wasn’t anything to be mad at. Except of course Masao Inoue, but that’s just one of those quirky characters that every company has. Damn good show from NOAH.


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