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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (11/5/19)

Backstage with Shawn Michaels!

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WWE Backstage coverage

WWE Backstage properly premieres!

Shawn Michaels! John Cena! Rob Gronkowski! Just some of the names you’ll see as Fox Sports 1 truly christens this weekly WWE news show as it sets sail!

 

John Cena narrates the opening video!

“There is more to a WWE Superstar than what you see in the ring. It’s a long road to the top. 200+ days of traveling.” Changing cities more often than you change your socks. “But it’s passion that keeps us coming back for more.” The crowd roaring for you, and against you. Wins, titles, moments. This show will tell you “what is in the hearts of those men and women that entertain you in that ring night in and night out.” A show that shows us why the superstars chose this path, and why this path chose them. Who knows? You might be inspired. The time is now, so if you want some, come get some!

 

The panel is hyped for the premiere!

Renee Young, Booker T, Christian and Paige are all pumped that “the ultimate show for WWE fans” is really here! Booker thanks “Shakespeare” Cena for that opening video. Captain Charisma and the Glampire are also enjoying being back, and we get right to a top story already!

Superstars stranded in Saudi Arabia!

175 WWE superstars, production members and general employees were meant to fly back to the United States after Crown Jewel, only for “mechanical issues” to delay them by a full day. A small group of talent chartered their own flight but didn’t arrive until after SmackDown was already going. However, this would result in perhaps one of the greatest weeks in WWE television history! That’s right, we’re talking NXT taking over Friday Night! Shayna Baszler attacking Sasha Banks, Nikki Cross and SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley! Tommaso Ciampa beating The Miz! And just a general assault to “fire the first shot!” But not only that, Brock Lesnar quit SmackDown to go to Raw, only to become the hunted when Rey Mysterio attacked back! Triple H tried to recruit Seth Rollins while Becky Lynch warned Shayna about Survivor Series. #WeAreNXT!

Daniel Bryan lost while Rollins only won from disqualification, and Booker T says “preparation is the only luck you’ll have in life.” Adam Cole impressed Booker T at an indie show, and Cole told him that he was waiting on “the call.” And now, Adam Cole is the NXT Champion that defeated The GOAT, Daniel Bryan! Renee loved the spontaneity and surprises, and Christian agrees with Booker T. NXT hasn’t just moved up, they’re a legitimate third brand! All the superstars that showed up got eyes on themselves and on NXT on USA Network. Last minute, being thrown into the fire, that can be the best thing for you. Renee even got to be on commentary again! She earned that money! But it was so crazy, so much was in flux, everyone was “flying by the seat of our pants.”

And Paige loved that the NXT women stood out. Shayna bringing that MMA badass-ness taking it to Bad Bayley, Rhea Ripley leading the charge on Fire & Desire. Booker loves the killer instinct, even thought Shayna scares him. And now, Survivor Series is finally exciting again!

The Beast is back on Raw!

But it didn’t go as the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Champion thought. Because while he was hunting Rey Mysterio, Mysterio got him first! A pipe to the legs and the belt to the head, Mysterio floored Lesnar! And now they will fight for that world title at Survivor Series! Christian says “about damn time!” Booker and Christian are grown ass men, and as such, seeing their son getting beat up, they’d want revenge. Seeing their friend beat up like Lesnar went after Cain Velasquez, they’d want revenge. Lesnar may be the biggest beast in the business, but Mysterio has always been the biggest underdog, and now these two will match up for a great match. Paige is hoping for a stipulation, because Lesnar has just been throwing everyone around.

Booker says Mysterio has conquered plenty in his career, going against The Big Show and other big obstacles. Of course, Lesnar is a dangerous man, but this will show us just how much Mysterio has left in the tank. Booker wants to see Mysterio make magic and soar with the eagles once again. But while Mysterio VS Lesnar could get nasty, there’re some things down right dirty they have to discuss!

The Women’s Division is going hard!

Just when you thought Asuka and Kairi Sane would be glad to have their manager back, they metaphorically kicked her to the curb when the Empress of Tomorrow spat the mysterious green mist in her face! And just as Renee returns to commentary, she has the misfortune of being in the way of Sonya Deville when Tegan Nox tosses her over commentary! But Booker is proud of Renee for not running off after that. The mist was no fun, it definitely stings and doesn’t taste nice. Paige took a quick pic after cleaning off, able to laugh it off. But between Asuka and Kairi being Paige’s previous pick, and Fire & Desire being her previous pick, this all comes back on her. Paige realizes she needs to stop. Or just find the right partner, like Renee, and they can go up against everyone at Fox.

Booker detracts from the Fox Tag Division by saying he was working on a stuffed avocado recipe, with crab meat and a drizzle of diced tomato and bacon. Renee says he’s trying to snipe her WWE cooking show! But make sure you’re hungry for more, as there is a lot left to this premiere!

 

WWE Backstage has a special edition of the Firefly Fun House!

Yes, the NEW WWE Universal Champion comes to Fox Sports 1 fresh off his Falls Count Anywhere victory at Crown Jewel! Bray Wyatt waves hi to the panel and is “super duper excited and humbled” to be part of this premiere. For all the new Fireflies tuning in, he formally introduces himself, the Fun House, and warns them about all the nicknames he’s been given. From genius to madman, sex symbol and eccentric, it might scare you to see what’s going on in his noggin. Montage! Flames… See what he means?

But don’t worry! You’re all safe here. Just don’t make “him” upset… Seth Rollins did, and now look what happened! YOWIE WOWIE, Bray has the Universal Championship! And he already has The Fiend’s special side plates installed! Like that? Well now everyone will realize there’s a NEW Ruler of the Universe! But don’t worry, you can all join him. Just #LetHimIn. See you Friday~! Bye~! Have a good day~!

The panel reacts.

“Disturbing.” And why did he forget Paige and Christian? Well no one is safe from The Fiend, but we’ll only know what he’s planning once he’s done it.

 

The panel goes No Holds Barred!

The new Universal Champion is on SmackDown, so what is next for The Fiend?

Christian is still bummed he didn’t get a hello, but the thing is: Bray doesn’t even need the title to be on top, but now that he has it, there is going to be a long reign for this generational talent. The Fiend has already reached levels similar to The Rock and The Undertaker. He captivates the audience, has stepped up his in-ring ability, and even bringing the red light is special. He can’t be on the show every week, he’s not that kind of superstar, but when he does appear, it has to mean something.

Booker takes over to say that Bray is someone that has created something special. Hell in a Cell, the fans reacting to everything, they were awestruck. The artistry Bray brings is something different and special, too. Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, they’re what we’ve seen. Bray Wyatt has yet to show us everything, but there is a lot more to do. Christian agrees with that, and thinks that even Lars Sullivan would be something similar. If he returns and is built the right way, he’d be something, too. Paige adds that Fiend should just be champion for life.

Meanwhile, Seth Rollins has no title, has no direction, he might not even be cool anymore.

So what is next for The Architect? We saw HHH try to help Rollins figure out what’s next, as he has many times in his WWE career. NXT ran roughshod on SmackDown, and planned to do so on Raw. So is Rollins with HHH? Or against him? Rollins VS Cole turns into a brawl, how does everyone feel about this?

Paige has gotten flamed over this, but Rollins needs to stop caring, be more like his girl, Becky Lynch. It helped her become the face of the company, and Rollins was that when he did that, so it was just more entertaining. Rollins is getting there, but is it believable? Booker says that Rollins could go out there, put on a great match, but he hasn’t been has hot as he was when he was with The Shield. Renee of course likes The Shield. But this new dynamic with HHH and NXT, this might be what Rollins needs. He needs a buffer to cover up some flaws.

Christian doesn’t see it the same. Being in a legendary faction to start, and going back to that, that’s not good. Rollins can ride the wave to see where he goes, because silence is the real problem. Roll with the punches. Booker agrees, Rollins can’t stagnate. But Renee wonders: can Rollins get the cool factor back? Speaking of silence…

 

SmackDown will feel the Fury!

Tyson Fury will return to the blue brand when WWE goes to the UK! Will the Monster Among Men encounter the Gypsy King in his home territory?

 

The Heartbreak Kid is via satellite!

Renee and Booker sit down to talk with Shawn Michaels as he’s in the WWE Performance Center. Is he doing alright after a whirlwind week? Yeah, HBK has had a busy week but a fun one. So to SmackDown: Talent is stuck overseas and they get a call down in Orlando to “haul ass” up to Buffalo. What was that like? HBK says that he’s been in the company for 30 years. That morning, the chatter about the timing, 17 hours before showtime but 14 hours left until they all arrive, well, 99.9% of the time, the show must go on. HBK was going to text HHH, but surely HHH knew. HBK used that window of opportunity and then got a call to jump in a car and get going.

Long story short, they all jumped on a plane, 5 PM EST, hop on a plane and arrive in New York at about 7:55. They were getting texts, planning stuff and passing it along to the NXT talent, got in at about 8:05. HHH got HBK in their sneaking-in shot, and there you go. HBK is surely used to such situations, how did the NXT talent react? They were unsure, nervous, excited, “youth is a wonderful thing.” And they handled it like true professionals, delivering on every part! HBK is rather attached to them, and is very proud of them all. Then even doing Raw just last night and now they’re back to do NXT for Wednesday.

Booker wants to know from HBK how big this is for all those NXT superstars, and how much bigger can it get? Booker knows how it is to care about a job and work with the young stars on the same passion. That inspires HBK, and then these new environments like live television, it was a big change for the NXT team, they were all nervous about it, but so many of these young stars handled the situation like pros. HBK has no doubt it will just continue from here. Renee asks about being right at ringside for Cole VS Bryan, having trained Bryan in the past. It was amazing, for sure. Bryan has become one of the best in the business ever. HBK was so proud of both men, but seeing that great match on such a big stage, HBK told Cole himself that he was so proud. Renee thanks HBK for his time, and is sure NXT will only get hotter from here.

 

The Satin Sheet debuts!

Pro-wrestling Sheet’s Ryan Satin joins the WWE as a correspondent! And Renee asks him first about Alexa Bliss’ absence since that blockbuster trade a few weeks back. Ryan is aware of the speculation online, and confirms that Alexa will return soon from “a minor, undisclosed injury.”

Meanwhile, Randy Orton tweeted himself that the “3 most dangerous letters in sports entertainment,” the RKO, “just re-signed with the 3 most dominant letters in sports entertainment,” the WWE. He has signed for another five years or so, and has been trolling about it, and now he and HHH confirm that Orton will “remain a cornerstone of the WWE.” Renee thanks Ryan for the news, and now it’s on to the panel’s reactions!

The Viper is still in the WWE!

That’s a franchise tag right there for Booker. Christian says Orton isn’t being paid enough, he is that important to this company.

Paige gets called out by Twitter!

Was Paige being too harsh on Seth Rollins earlier? She can’t be the only one, though. But Paige says it all out of love. She’s known Rollins since day one of NXT, and she wants him to have the success he deserves.

 

It’s Gronkamania!

Rob’s favorite wrestler of all time? Val Venis, “hello, ladies!” His favorite match? Stone Cold VS anyone, or Degeneration X! “And if you’re not down with that…” Best finisher? The People’s Elbow and the Stone Cold Stunner! Someone always busted that out in the backyard.

Gronk did have his own WrestleMania moment. He and his friends all dreamed of being in the WWE, and Gronk got to POUNCE Jinder Mahal out of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal! Gronk takes credit for motivating the Modern Day Maharaja to become the WWE World Champion after that. #YouAreWelcome!

Booker dares Gronk to show up on WWE Backstage! He wants to baste Gronk like a turkey! He also wants Gronk to know Booker is retired so they can’t actually have a match. But the open invitation is standing, will Gronk accept?

The panel talks favorite crossovers.

What were some favorite other sport or even celebrity wrestlers? Paige goes with Stephen Amell did a great job. Green Arrow didn’t have wrestling experience but he trained hard and killed it. Renee is partial to Karl Malone in wrestling tights. Booker was impressed by Dennis Rodman back in the day. But Malone was great, too, for a basketball player being so jacked. Christian points out the obvious: Gronk said  “Ginger Mahal.” But Christian says Kurt Angle is the ultimate, as he moved from Olympic wrestling to professional wrestling. And of course, he became a greatest of all time.

Renee just got some news: Big E tweeted something.

“When is the Feet of the Week segment I proposed?” And he has a picture of when Renee went barefoot backstage to interview the New Day! Oh no~! Big E, don’t you dare! She was just trying to put them over as taller guys! But speaking of Twitter, the Social Media SmackDown is still to come!

 

It’s time for Social Media SmackDown!

The WWE loves their fans, but sometimes, fans can be jerks. Haters gonna hate, but time to talk trash back! This segment is sponsored by #YourMom!

RyanMiller73 wants to know, “Everyone is smiling and looks happy, but why does Christian look like a smug rich (censored)?” Christian says that perception is reality. His perception is this Twitter troglodyte is a simpleton. Rich? Smug? Maybe Christian just isn’t enjoying the company. Is this supposed to be an insult? Bring the smoke. #WeWantTheSmoke! Christian will do Christian, RyanMiller73 will do RyanMiller73, i.e. continue to bait for simple social media reactions. But the reality is, RyanMiller73 is just embarrassing himself and those who know him.

Booker’s turn! The Vegas Guy says “I hope ‘King Booker’ has Twitter up on that laptop…… If you do Booker… you suck. Go back to wrestling!” Booker ain’t even upset right now. He won’t talk about his two Hall of Fame rings, his 35 total championship reigns. No, he’ll talk about being from the hood, with a heart as big as Texas. Vegas Guy is about as big as a mustard seed! Welcome Backstage, “you roody poot!”

But wait, there’s a NICE tweet! And it’s from NattieByNature, sweet ol’ Natalya! “I love seeing Paige on Backstage!!! She’s perfect for this show!” And three black heart emojis! Paige is so touched. She loves Natty back, as does the panel. What a sweet note to end the show on. Renee doesn’t want to encourage mean tweets, but this is going to be a segment and the tweets won’t stop anyway. So maybe mommy can make some keyboard warriors some pizza rolls real quick. But until then, WWE Backstage will be back again next Tuesday!

 


 

My Thoughts:

While this premiere wasn’t the first episode ever aired, this was a pretty good “premiere.” Cena had a great opening video, the panel touched on the Saudi Arabia stuff but obviously they weren’t going to dive into any of that. I can’t be sure, but I think Backstage started to blur the line the right way. They didn’t really pull the curtain back on kayfabe as much as the first two episodes, so I think they figured it out after the trial run episodes. HBK had a good interview, he also managed to keep it on the line of kayfabe and reality, though I’m sure even in kayfabe, HBK would’ve complimented Daniel Bryan. Gronk had a good segment, too, and plugging previous celebrity/athlete crossovers, maybe Gronk has another go?

I think the big news coming out of this was Ryan Satin of Pro-Wrestling Sheet joining WWE Backstage, and therefore the company. He gets his own quick segment to kayfabe up some superstar news like Orton’s new contract and Alexa’s return. This is great for him, and Satin himself tweeted that PWS isn’t going anywhere, he’s #GotThatFoxMoney! But seriously, this is really great for him. Satin, “Wrestle & Flow” Josiah Williams, glimmers of hope that fans being a little more than just fans might get noticed. I hope he gets to do many more segments like this.


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More From Japan

NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!

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NEWS

Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger

Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.

Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.

Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.

 

Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.

As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.

Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.

STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)

Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.

Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.

Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles

It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.

At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them  which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.

The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.

HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge

It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.

Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road

Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.

– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW

The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.

– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2

Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.

– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced

Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.

– 16th October: A new match is announced

NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas

Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)

After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.

– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?

– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.

– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?

– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.

– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.

– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…

– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th 

Event recap

Post match promos

N-INNOVATION – September 21st 

Event recap

Post match promos

GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th

Event recap

Post match promos

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(October 2022 schedule)

– Friday, October 7th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)

– Saturday, October 8th

STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)

Note about broadcasts

Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES

Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)

Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)

LINKS

“I want to protect this belt for the rest of my life”, new GHC champion Kiyomiya holds morning press conference to establish a new NOAH landscape

Mutoh’s Retirement Road, tag match against Tanahashi in round three: “I want to grab the secret of secrets”, Tanahashi presents 38 roses

Great Muta teaming up with Sting for last match? “Agent” Mutoh’s opinion 

“I wonder if I can transmit more” YO-HEY aims to revitalize the junior ark with his first championship

AEW Shock! Great Muta appears in America! Rescues Sting and shake of hands

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s Weekly Pro Column

GHC Junior Match Signing: YO-HEY “Last Chance, I don’t think as my ex partner now”, HAYATA “I don’t feel anything”

“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams

 A “Comrade” and an “Older Brother”, Masakatsu Funaki talks about his thoughts on Mutoh’s retirement, “I want to kick him mercilessly”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube

Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp


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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.186 ~ 18TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Hisame sorts through some of the larger points as NOAH slowly comes into the Fall season!

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NEWS

Kenoh, Kiyomiya & The Shining Wizard

At the time of writing, the two pre matches between Kenoh and Kaito Kiyomiya are even, both has one win over the other. Kiyomiya defeated Kenoh at Korakuen Hall on the 15th using a variation of The Shining Wizard, with Kenoh (who swore he would never lose to that move again), using Keiji Mutoh’s version of The Shining Wizard to defeat Kiyomiya. Prior to doing it, Kenoh had even gone as far to pull Mutoh’s pose and he did it again while leaning over Kiyomiya. Kenoh stated backstage that he didn’t believe that after Mutoh had retired that Kiyomiya would continue using the move, so therefore he, Kenoh, would use it and cherish both the technique and Keiji Mutoh. If you thought Kiyomiya was made mad enough by Kenoh patting him on the head, wait until they clash again at Yokohama Radiant Hall on the 19th.

YO-HEY & HAYATA

In the past you got the impression that HAYATA didn’t really care about his opponents, they were just there to be beaten and for him to move on after beating, this time the feeling is very different. Compared to all of HAYATA’S other title defenses so far, this has been the most personal (anything involving YO-HEY is always more personal than anyone else), the most bitter and the most savage. Whilst HAYATA seems to want to keep YO-HEY in mint condition for the title match, as neither Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway or himself seem to want to concentrate on breaking down his knees or damaging his arm (unlike poor Seiki Yoshioka, who is getting the brunt of all three, Ridgeway even tearing off his bandages and attacking the bone), YO-HEY has taken to attacking HAYATA after matches. Both matches so far have been inconclusive and neither has the win over the other, but at Korakuen on the first night YO-HEY dropkicked HAYATA in the face, at the second he gave him the GAMEN-G. YO-HEY has described this as a “switch being turned on” in him, and says he has a strategy for the title match. HAYATA naturally has said nothing, which is odd considering how vocal he has been in the title challenges before.

Taka & Satoshi

Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura have made a functional dysfunctional tag team. Their first pre match against Hideki Suzuki and Timothy Thatcher contained a misfire when Sugiura caught Kojima by accident and they had a spat. The second time, Sugiura was made to tap out by Timothy Thatcher in a match that reminded me of the Galleria fight between the T-800 and T-1000 in Terminator 2. Kojima came to the ring, Suzuki got in it and then Kojima took everyone out and closed the show on the microphone. Sugi started complaining that not only had Kojima arrived too late to help, but his theme music had started playing. Kojima said it wasn’t deliberate, Sugi didn’t believe him. The handshake where Kojima offers his palm and Sugi his finger (not the finger) seems to have become their thing, and Kojima will face off against Timothy Thatcher in a singles match on the 19th in Yokohama. Thatcher has sworn revenge for what happened at Korakuen.

NOAH’s New Debut

NOAH’s 16th NOAH Born, Taishi Ozawa, made his debut at Korakuen Hall on the 15th September. Weighing in at 87kg and with a height of 181cm (which is marginally smaller than Yoshiki Inamura and Shuhei Taniguchi at 182cm), he has naturally gone into the heavyweight division. His first match lasted 6 minutes and 31 seconds, and got him praise from the fans and wrestlers alike. After the match, Yoshiki Inamura praised him and said he wants him to grow stronger and make his body bigger. Personally, I can see Ozawa becoming one of NOAH’s ultra-heavyweights, but this may mean he has to give up doing dropkicks, which you don’t see too much of amongst NOAH’s heavyweights. NOAH celebrated this debut by broadcasting messages from support from fans on the screen, the President of The Leave presented him with flowers and special commemorative face masks were given at the door.

NOAH & Dragon Gate Joint Event

NOAH held a press conference on the 9th September to discuss the NOAH and DragonGate joint event which will be held on the 11th November at Korakuen Hall. Sadly Daisuke Harada does not think his neck will be in good enough condition for him to take part, so he has nominated himself as “Event Ambassador”. Cards announced so far are Seiki Yoshioka vs YAMATO (who said that local idiot Kzy agreed to this nonsense, and that if he liked festivals so much he should do a solo strip show, but getting back to Yoshioka, he was going to pay) and Mochizuki Junior, Ryu Fuda & Madoka Kikuta vs Kai Fujimura, Yasutaka Yano & Yoshiki Inamura. This latter match sets two sets of rookies against each other, and NOAH and DragonGate’s resident hosses.

GLOBAL2Days

In addition to the NOAH & DragonGate joint event, the day before NOAH will hold the first day of the two days at Korakuen Hall they have called “GLOBAL2Days”. Night 1 will be a NOAH show only, with all the titles put on the line. No cards yet have been announced for this.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima?

NOSAWA Rongai declared that he wanted a singles match with “little bitch” Katsuhiko Nakajima, after Nakajima (tongue stuck out at the side of his mouth) gave him a round of soccer ball kicks. Hideki Suzuki said something along the lines of that while he thought NOSAWA was dead following this, NOSAWA probably was going to be dead after this. At the time of writing nothing has been announced yet, and Nakajima said it was “fun”.

Yuya Susumu

Due to cervical neck sprain, Yuya Susumu will miss about four events (which includes the past two Korakuen Hall events and probably the N-Innovation and one more event after that)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Kenoh apparently has a sense of humor similar to Mitsuharu Misawa’s i.e. blue. His column was once him yelling about his enemies, now he is making innuendos about how anatomy reacts to gravure models.

– Chris Ridgeway says that he has plans to not only get the GHC Junior Heavyweight, he also wants to bring the GHC National to the juniors.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima has likened the Nagoya Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road match as being like a reunion as it involves Mutoh’s classmate Masakatsu Funaki and their junior, Kazuyuki Fujita, and says he is going to destroy that atmosphere. He has also warned Mutoh to be careful in Nagoya, as he may not reach the Tokyo Dome.

– The children at NOAH’s most recent fan event (Tokyo Verdy) were fascinated by Kaito Kiyomiya and Masa Kitamiya’s muscles, despite the fact that they got pulled over by them at the tug of war. They let the children win the first time, but were pretty merciless the next time.

– Hideki Suzuki burst in wielding a pipe chair when Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura were talking backstage and threatened to throw it at someone. Sugi suggested he throw it at Kojima, Kojima, (had he been a New Yorker), basically said, “Hey, I’m talkin’ here!”

– Junta Miyawaki will challenge Tromba for the ASPW Openweight Championship on Saturday November 5th in Guadalajara.

– Jack Morris interrupted The Shutter Chance…I don’t think anyone in NOAH has ever done that before.

– Yoshiki Inamura’s reaction to Disco was to stand with his arms crossed and glare at Mohammed Yone. Yone did not forget this insult.

– NOAH have taken part in a team gaming event, which sees Kongoh (who sat apart from everyone else) join in. YO-HEY and Yoshiki Inamura seem to have formed a guild. STINGER, naturally, are not taking part.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH, KORAKUEN HALL)

Event recap

Post match interviews

– STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH, KORAKUEN HALL)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: YO-HEY, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher)
    Challengers: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

*This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(September 2022 schedule)

  • Monday, September 19th

SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Yokohama Radiant Hall, Yokohama

Time: 17:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

  • Tuesday, September 20th

Title match signing (GHC Heavyweight Tag, GHC Junior Heavyweight)

Live on NOAH’s Official YouTube at 17:00 JST

  • Wednesday, September 21st

N INNOVATION – Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

  • Sunday, September 25th

GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA/PRO WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER IN NAGOYA – OUTBREAK (Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road)

Start: 16:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

LINKS

Keiji Mutoh talks freely, “PPV at Retirement Match”, “Cut Ties” for O-Khan

Long awaited one on one fight with Katsuhiko Nakajima. Will Daiki Inaba’s obsession with Katsuhiko Nakajima be fulfilled?

“I don’t have the sense for a name! (laughs”) The secret story of the birth of the Shining Wizard variation & recruitment of technique name!

“Finish it all at once” GHC Junior Tag Team Champion Chris Ridgeway Interview, complete belt and league domination, ambition of GHC National Challenge

Kaito Kiyomiya receives reinforcement from the kick world, if he fails to take the GHC in the Kenoh match, “I can’t go to the top anymore”

“After the N-1!, the 15th & 16th Korakuen are two consecutive events, the next big match is 25th September Nagoya (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium). Focusing on developments for the four major GHC fights, a new battle begins

NOAH collaborates with Tokyo Verdy! Naomichi Marufuji, “I want to put up a ring at Ajinomoto Stadium and have a match”

“I’ll let you challenge my GHC Heavyweight” GHC Champion Kenoh nominates himself for Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Match, Next Year on 21st February At Tokyo Dome

Fan event recap: Tokyo Verdy

Junior Brand Event: YO-HEY and Kotoge introduce the highlights of the 21st September Shinjuku N-Innovation Competition

GHC Heavyweight signing ceremony: Kenoh “A beautiful story, I’m gonna break it down and I’m gonna draw it”, Kiyomiya prepares for “Last Chance”

“I want to become white ash” Keiji Mutoh’s retirement stage will be 21st February at The Tokyo Dome, “Pubic Persuasion” Chono will also go to his retirement match

Funky Kato is dazed about Keiji Mutoh’s retirement, the final opponent is “Not Okada”

“I’m using it, so it’s my technique!” with Mutoh finisher at full power, Kaito Kiyomiya defeats Kenoh towards the culmination of their five year story

Katsuhiko Nakajima and the 25th September Nagoya match with Keiji Mutoh, who will retire at The Dome next year

OLD INTERVIEWS

“Dandyism?”, it’s not like that”

Interesting interview with Mitsuharu Misawa from circa February 2002, in which he discusses Kodo Fuyuki’s retirement, friendship, NOAH, All Japan, his childhood and his juniors.

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube


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