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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (12/24/19)

Backstage on Christmas Eve!

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WWE Backstage coverage

Celebrate the holidays with Renee Young and friends!

It’s Backstage Before Christmas, and all through the show, it’s the Year End Awards, HO HO HO! What will be honored as WWE’s best in 2019?

 

Renee Young runs down the schedule!

Special guests abound, such as Maria Menounos, as Backstage talks the best of 2019! Director, actor and WWE super fan Paul Walter Hauser is about to learn some things in Promo School! And we look back on some of the best WWE Christmas moments of all time! Santa Claus is even here live, “Can you dig that, sucka?!”

 

The panel assembles!

Paige is home for the holidays, but Peeps rejoice as Christian and Ember Moon are here! And without wasting much time, Booker T has Maria Menounos! Maria is a super fan and had a big win at WrestleMania 28, and she’s so excited to be back.

One of the biggest things to happen this year was, of course, SmackDown moving back to Fridays, but on Fox! It was truly the beginning of a new era in the WWE, and that Friday debut was huge for all of the WWE. But first…

Just the Highlights!

Ronda Rousey also joined the WWE, and had a truly epic rivalry with both The Man and The Queen! Their brawl backstage with police cars and subsequent WrestleMania main event will go down in history. Speaking of WrestleMania, Kofi Kingston had his crowning achievement when he finally became WWE World Heavyweight Champion! Brock Lesnar and Bayley both became Money in the Bank winners to cash in and take the titles, Sasha Banks returned blue and badder than ever, Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury felt the fury, Kurt Angle retired at WrestleMania, and perhaps biggest of all… “I’m in remission, y’all.” Roman Reigns defeated leukemia and was back!

The WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships came into reality, being first won by Sasha Banks and Bayley at Elimination Chamber, then taken from them by the IIconics at WrestleMania! Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss would get them next, and now Asuka and Kairi Sane hold them as very dominant Kabuki Warriors. More history was made in the Women’s Division as Lacey Evans and Natalya broke down barriers by being Saudi Arabia’s first-ever women’s match! Lesnar brutalized Mysterio and his son, Kevin Owens crushed Shane McMahon while Becky SLAPPED Stephanie, Lana left Rusev for Bobby Lashley, Bayley went bad, and for a time, the NEW Daniel Bryan held a new take on the world title.

Bayley got the title back, Ricochet had the US Championship, the Good Brothers are the Best Tag Team in the World but The Viking Raiders rule over Raw’s Tag Team Division, and NXT truly took over! The 24/7 Championship has quite literally been non-stop, all over the world, in places and scenarios you would never have pictured. Seth Rollins beat The Beast twice, but could only survive so long against The Fiend! YOWIE WOWIE!

The panel discusses 2019.

What stands out to them the most from this past year? Ember says it would be two things: for herself, being able to hit an Eclipse stunner off a ladder after begging for that chance; and overall, Becky Lynch jumping into the Women’s Royal Rumble to such incredible ovation. That was when it all clicked for The Man. Renee even notes that Nia Jax entering the Men’s Rumble was incredible. Christian says his two would be one, Roman Reigns overcoming leukemia, “that’s some real-life stuff,” and then Survivor Series and NXT coming out on top. NXT made their presence known to everyone, and proved there is no more “calling up.”

The first round of awards begin now!

First up, Moment of the Year! Your nominees are:

  • Becky 2 Belts, the Women’s Triple Threat #WinnerTakesAll Mania main event!
  • KofiMania, Kofi’s own huge title win at WrestleMania 35!
  • Women making history at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia!
  • Braun Strowman tackling Bobby Lashley THROUGH the LED wall!

And the winner is… KofiMania! Kofi holds his Backstage Year End Award Trophy, which is a golden statuette of Cleatus, and says he is so glad the fans demanded this movement. As superstars, they all want to put on a match that the fans will never forget. KofiMania was unforgettable beyond a shadow of a doubt. Kofi thanks his family for their support, and says it isn’t possible without his wife being a super mom in handling the kids while he’s away. He concludes by thanking everyone for this honor, the inaugural Backstage Moment of the Year!

Greatly deserved to say the least, because everyone welcomed and celebrated the entire build. Christian says what made KofiMania so special was that it was organic. It wasn’t force fed or even planned. Christian has always been a supporter of letting fans determine what happens, and that is what this was. Kofi delivered, he earned it, and it was great to see this happen for a guy who worked so hard and is legitimately a great person. Ember says, having seen it all live, it was just amazing to be part of. It was a sign that things are changing in the WWE for the better. Ember is also so happy for Kofi. They throw it to Booker, and he says he saw a lot of his own journey in Kofi’s. Back in the day, Booker and Triple H, it was so close to being that threshold. Kofi actually broke the barrier down, and even Booker teared up.

Maria says it was a lot like #GiveDivasAChance because the people were in support of it. KofiMania worked because Kofi is humble, hardworking and kind. He does the most appearances with charities on a weekly basis, so this couldn’t have happened to a better guy. Booker gives big ups to Kofi! But there is still a lot left, so make sure you’ve got your cookies and milk as these awards slide down the chimney and under the trees.

 

The WWE Women’s Tag Division celebrates a one year anniversary!

It was exactly a year ago that Raw helped bring the Women’s Tag Titles to life, and we’ve already had stand-out memories. Plus, TLC 2019 had these titles main event, marking the end of the decade as well. Therefore, this award is for the Women’s Tag Team of the Year! The nominees are obviously:

  • The IIconics!
  • Sasha Banks & Bayley, formerly the Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection!
  • Bliss-Cross, Alexa & Nikki!
  • The Kabuki Warriors, Asuka & Kairi!

The winners are… The Kabuki Warriors! After all, they are the current champions and they beat Becky and Charlotte in a TLC Match to retain! Asuka and Kairi hold up their Cleatuses and say “KANPAI!” (Cheers in Japanese) Asuka and Kairi talk in Japanese that of course they’re the winners of this category! Will they continue to be the best and most dominant women’s tag team in the WWE in the New Year?

Ember knows some Japanese, but still has no clue what a lot of that ways. Something about “senpai,” but it was obvious Asuka and Kairi were happy to have won these awards. The Kabuki Warriors have been dominant since Hell in a Cell in October. Ember feels this tag title reign has only elevated Asuka and Kairi. Both are former NXT Women’s Champions, Asuka has had the SmackDown Women’s Championship, but she and Kairi are on the same page almost every single moment. Christian agrees, the undefeated streak Asuka had was amazing. She lost to Charlotte, got a little lost in the shuffle, but Kairi came in and they were the perfect combination. Paige does deserve some credit, too.

Booker and Maria cue up the next category, the Men’s Tag Team of the Year!

The nominees are:

  • The Revival, Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder!
  • The New Day, Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods!
  • The Viking Raiders, Erik & Ivar!
  • The OC’s Good Brothers, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows!

The winners are… The NEW~ DAY~! Seven-time tag team champions, and while Xavier is out with that Achilles injury, Kofi is back to accept their Cleatuses with Big E. Is it edible? Technically everything is if you’re brave enough. Probably shouldn’t eat these, though. The New Day is so thankful for this award, and “hard work does pay off, BABYY~!” Big E keeps trying to take a bite out Cleatus is too hard.

Maria loved the Ladder Match between the New Day’s Kofi and Big E with The Revival, but does their 7th reign have legs to carry it through 2020? Booker says this all started with a rough idea that started to go south, so the trio regrouped and figured out the right way to do this, the way they wanted to do this, and here we are with seven reigns in all. This makes the New Day the greatest tag team in history!

A quick announcement!

For New Year’s Eve, Backstage looks back on the TOP FIVE MATCHES of 2019! Will one of your favorites make the list?

 

Who is the 2019 Breakthrough Superstar(s) of 2019?

The WWE roster is as deep as it’s ever been, thanks to all the new talent NXT grabbed up! That is what makes this award the toughest one to pick! But Backstage has narrowed it down, and here are the nominees.

  • The One and Only, Ricochet!
  • The Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford!
  • The Viking Raiders, Erik & Ivar!
  • The wild child, Nikki Cross!

And the winner is… Or rather, the winners are, The Street Profits! Dawkins and Ford have their Cleatuses, and shout outs to Book! Not to mention Mr. Philip Brooks from Chicago. But thank you for this honor and this acknowledgement. They promise there is more to come! WWE Backstage is one of their favorite shows, and they know it’s just begun, just like their WWE careers. Backstage and the Profits #WantTheSmoke!

Christian sees Ford pulling off the turtle neck and blazer combo to perfection and takes notes. Tip the red Solo cups to the Profits. What will 2020 hold? Christian is a little disappointed he didn’t get a shout out, but he does love that E&C inspired the Profits. The Profits are so entertaining in their presentation and promo skills, but much like the New Day, it’s about reminding everyone that they can go in the ring. The Profits need more matches in 2020! They can be tag champs real quick. Ember agrees, the former NXT Tag Team Champions need to do even more in the ring. The fans are already with them, so the Profits need to prove why that is. Ember saw the growth of the Profits from Full Sail to Raw, they’re a great combination, and that is why they’re the Breakthrough Superstars. Plus, Solo cup endorsement maybe?

 

Maria Menounos sits down with Paul Walter Hauser!

The man who plays titular character Richard Jewell in the Clint Eastwood docu-drama is here with his very own WWE United States Championship belt moments away from going to Promo School. Maria congratulates him on the movie, and both have been so giddy being top fans. PWH plays a very serious roll in the Richard Jewell story, but is usually known for improv and comedy. Promo School should be easy enough, then. What is his best WWE superstar impersonation? PWH feels nervous saying he’s good at Paul Bearer, but maybe that’s just his physique. “Oh~ Kane~! The Undertaker~!” Spot on! But his favorite is Vince McMahon in Beyond the Mat, “He’s gonna puke! He’s gonna puke!” Love it!

Maria asks what hooked him on the WWE. It was WWE and WCW when he was a kid. It opened up this world of possibilities. Being an actor is hard, but pro-wrestling helps you dream big. He wasn’t just entertained, there was an emotional component to it. Did he ever want to be a wrestler? Of course! He still secretly dreams he could get in shape like Chris Pratt and have his Mania moment. But he’s having a Backstage Moment so that’s pretty great. We’ll put PWH to the test, and Booker is there already. No Harlem Hangover please.

 

Backstage relives Maria’s Dusty Rhodes impression.

“You don’t know what hard times are, daddy! Hard times are when the textile workers around the country are outta work. They got 4 to 5 kids, they can’t pay their wages, can’t buy their food. Hard times are when the auto workers are outta work, and they tell ’em, ‘Go home.’ Hard times are when a man has worked a job for 30 years, 30 years, and they give him a watch, kick him in the butt and say, ‘Hey, a computer took your place, daddy.’ That’s hard times. That’s hard times.” The panel loves it! The best promo ever and done in such a great way. Maria says she was asked to do the Hall of Fame event that year and was watching old videos on YouTube. She was asked if she could recreate that, and she gave it a go. Dusty himself asked her about her Dusty, and he was flattered. Maria passed the test, but does Paul Walter Hauser?!

Time to go to Promo School!

He even superkicks onto the stage! But as usual, the panel will grade him from A to F. Christian knows PWH helped them write on the Edge & Christian Show, so his advice is to just be himself. Nothing is worse than when someone doesn’t believe what they say. Ember’s advice is not to hold back. Give us fire and energy! PWH promises to Heel turn. Maria has energy of her own as she wants PWH to go hard. But here comes his opponent, BOOKER T! Sing along with the song! PWH quickly compliments Booker on having one of the greatest entrances of all time, but realizes he should do that. “This is not Ring of Honor.”

Booker gives advice: look the man in his eyes. PWH steps up to throw shade, and some bars! “You’re not a jobber, but you’re dumb as one, cumbersome. Letting the faucet run. Your mouth is running, you’re not Titan Jack Tunney. I know you think it’s funny that you think you’re currency, but you’re not money. I thank you for the gate, but you’re not Rock and you’re not Austin. You’re not even Big Boss Man, you’re like Pete Moss, man. Egotistic, nepotistic, drafted from Shane, man, you’re lame, man. You best find a foreign object, distract the ref, no regrets, I hope gorilla’s got on their com-techs. Hold up, hold up. I do hope they’ve got on their com-techs, because they gotta listen to this, bro.

“You are a superstar, Book. You’ve moved beyond the factions. But it’s kinda hard to move beyond Total Not-stop Action. This is just distractin’, here’s the plain dealings: spare no expense, recompense enough feelings. I came here to grill you like Foreman, unload on you like you’re a long shore man. Wave good-bye to chaff while I’m laughing with the wheat on the floor, man. Let’s just stay in the present, though it’s tough to leave the past behind. Hulk Hogan, we’re coming for you- Nevermind.”

WOO! The grades are coming in, and Renee is giving a C, because it’s like Cena! Well Cena’s pretty good so… But yes, PWH was excellent. All those great jabs. PWH hopes he didn’t go too hard, but Booker says that was great. Christian gives PWH an elaborate A-. He did great! Disagree with Renee, so what if it was Cena style? This was like a slam poetry session. PWH did great to build up and cut down Booker and that zinger. “What’s not to like?” Ember says B+. It was a lot of great references that even fans will get. The only thing is, slow it down, it is so good but it needs to soak in. Maria loved that PWH was himself, so she gives him an A! Can you did that, sucka?! But speaking of, Booker’s turn!

Booker admits he didn’t know PWH by much, so he googled real quick. All his work is great, he has stroke, so Booker asked what Christian knows. Well PWH was on the Show that Reeked of Awesomeness, but he sucked so he got fired. And so Booker asked Renee what she knows. Richard Jewell movie, PWH is great, is perfect, because he’s never seen a burger he didn’t wanna blow up. But what did Maria know? She gets to sit with him, so what did she think? “It looked like the last time he saw a gym up close and personal, he was going about 55 miles per hour.” If PWH wants to step Backstage, Booker has something for him. The movie is Richard Jewell, playing right now. PWH better get paid, because that’s the only way he gets laid. And he’s out! PWH realizes now that while WWE TV is PG, Backstage is its own thing.

Booker tells everyone that wants to step to Promo School, that’s the Shucky Ducky Quack Quack for ya! “You just got roasted!” But in seriousness, go see Richard Jewell, and Booker really is one of the greatest.

 

Wrestling with Your Feelings, with Rachel Bonnetta.

Before going bad to the bone, the still Huggable Bayley visited Fox’s “psychiatrist” to work out some things. Bayley was told no more hugging in Rachel’s office.

To get to the point, why does Bayley want to hug everyone? Because she likes to. Does that make sense? Not really. No one enjoys hugging that much. And Rachel flips it around, that this is all an act. What is she writing? Nothing. But she is writing. No she’s not. But let’s try some Rorschach image response. First one: Butterfly. Second one: happy clowns. No, this is usually the most disturbing one. But just look at it, it’s like he’s in this stance. If she’s preparing for a hug, Rachel is not having it. Sit, Bayley. Okay. Well let’s call this a wrap. Rap? “Yo, my name is Bayley! Is your name Haley? No, it’s not! Yo, dat’s hot!” Okay, your turn, Rachel. No. This is it. Session over. Oh c’mon. Rachel never wants to see Bayley again. Aww…. Oops, Bayley “slipped” and she snatches the stuffed animal! Bye! No, that’s for Alexa!

 

Who is the Female Superstar of 2019?

With the Women’s Division really heating up, a lot of big names hit this category! The nominees are:

  • The Man, Becky Lynch!
  • The Queen, Charlotte Flair!
  • The once Huggable, now bad to the bone Bayley!
  • Rowdy Ronda Rousey!

And the winner is… Well duh, BECKY! The Man has a Cleatus and thanks the fans and Backstage, and mostly herself, for making herself “the best gaddamn superstar in the whole WWE.” Maybe even the whole world. Not just female superstar, but THE superstar! Nice little trophy of a muscular man for THE Man.

Becky probably had the best year possible, but Ember hesitates to say if it can continue into 2020. Only because she has an unpopular opinion. Becky has been on top from SummerSlam 2018 to Mania to beyond, but if she runs out of good opponents, she will get stale. Ember doesn’t want that to happen given all the hard work Becky put in, so it’s more about building up everyone else around her. Christian says Becky can keep going because she’s that talented. When you gain that level of confidence, you can’t go wrong. Becky is fearless and had great interviews, and she puts Asuka over as the best right now. That was a good way to keep it fresh, so here we go for another great story.

 

And finally, Male Superstar of the Year!

Maria and Booker take care of this one. Again, so many names to choose from, but the field was narrowed down, and the nominees are:

  • The Fiend, Bray Wyatt!
  • The Architect, Seth Rollins!
  • The Beast, Brock Lesnar!
  • KofiMania, Kofi Kingston!

And the winner of this final award is… BRAY WYATT! The WWE Universal Champion says that on behalf of The Fiend and his puppets… Oh wait, BRAY won this? Really? He’s so emotional! Well he wants to thank God, his family, Huskis, Abby, Mercy and all his Fireflies! The best moment of his life! “They love me! They really love me!”

Whether Firefly Fun House or freaky Fiend, Bray Wyatt really has outdone himself this year with character work. Booker has compared him to Mick Foley and all those personas. They just transform. Booker knew from day one that Bray was a different kind of character. It wasn’t what he brought to the ring but what he brought to the table. He’s on the level of the Undertaker already in terms of longevity and being able to be around for years to come. Maria also agrees on the Foley nod, that is a great parallel. Congratulations to all the winners tonight, and Booker is looking forward to the Fox Near Year’s Eve celebration with both Maria and Steve Harvey.

 

Backstage looks at Holiday Hijinks!

Trees, presents, jingle bells and more! Here comes Santa himself! No milk and cookies, but Santa’s happy to be here. He found time in his busy Christmas Eve schedule to stop by, and has a sack of goodies. They’ve all been good this year, right? Maybe not Captain Charisma. But here’s a gift for Ember! A friend says she could use this: Keys to Acting by William Shatner! Christian does have something after all. For all his struggles with a turtle neck, let’s go in the other direction: a V Neck! Not ironed? No time. Santa has something for Renee, getting that money! Golden wallet! And last but not least, Booker T. He sells that beard gloss, so here’s something that works. Santa’s brand of beard oil! Smells good. So with that, a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

 


 

My Thoughts:

A real fun episode here, and those year end awards went to the right people from my estimation. Kofi Kingston really did have the best moment, and of course the New Day was the best tag team of this year, because of the great combination Kofi, Big E and Xavier Woods still make even after already being at it for a few years. Street Profits had a great breakthrough year, namely through NXT, and their popularity carried over perfectly. But as the panel said, we need more matches from them! As entertaining as they can be backstage and on the mic, where are their in-ring opportunities? Hopefully 2020 changes that, especially on the Road to WrestleMania.

There were really only the four Women’s Tag Champions so obviously they were the four nominees, and it made a lot of sense to say the best is Asuka and Kairi. Whether used properly or not, Asuka was also consistently great, and then you add Kairi on and they’re an excellent team. Becky was the number one woman in WWE and perhaps number one overall, and Bray has been the biggest hit he’s ever been after the Firefly Fun House and Fiend made their respective debuts. Ember is right in that the problem becomes, who is left to face? Without Becky going back to NXT, there isn’t much on Raw or SmackDown. Asuka being her next opponent works well for many reasons, but there needs to be something more after as we head for Mania 36.

Having Maria on as a Fox network connection was fine, she’s very good and very professional. Her recreation of Dusty’s biggest promo was also really good. PWH does great in Promo School, I would’ve given him an A like Christian and Maria just on creativity, but I do see what Ember means about taking the time to let the things sink in so nothing gets lost. And Santa doing gag gifts was good. If only it was glasses Santa from Raw to give WWE 24/7 Championship connections.


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More From Japan

(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.192 ~ 30TH NOVEMBER 2022

NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!

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NEWS

Masa Kitamiya challenges Masato Tanaka

Following the tag match against Masato Tanaka and Shoki Kitamura in ZERO-ONE on the 20th November, Masa Kitamiya challenged Masato Tanaka for the ZERO-ONE World Heavyweight. Kitamiya said he wanted the belt for two reasons – one was because Masato Tanaka had the belt, and secondly because he felt that his eleventh year in wrestling had been a sad one. The match will take place at Korakuen Hall on the 1st January, the same day that NOAH at the Nippon Budokan, so Kitamiya will be wrestling two matches that day with ZERO-ONE taking place before NOAH. Kitamiya is determined to enter The Nippon Budokan as champion.

Akitoshi Saito remembers Bison Smith

Akitoshi Saito made a touching tribute to his old partner on the anniversary of his passing, by winning the match with the Iron Claw slam. Backstage he remembered “the blue eyed samurai” by recalling their last conversation, and saying that he felt Bison was with him and had given his approval for Saito to team with Yone.

Perros Del Mal De Japon Farewell

Perros Del Mal De Japon made their final appearance as a unit in Yoyogi on November 23rd. They were accompanied to the ring by Kotaro Suzuki (who may not be appearing in NOAH following The Tokyo Gurentai produce due to his contract expiring) and Ikuto Hidaka. Neither of them got involved too much in the match.

Yoshinari Ogawa came to the ring with a Singapore cane slung over his shoulder, while his partners also brandished weapons, Kai Fujimura had a baseball bat and Yasutaka Yano carried a trash can. The match was as you would expect; the first time everyone got counted out, the second time ended in a count out when the young boys got Perros counted out (Ogawa had left in disgust by this time) and when he came back, the match lasted 11 minutes and 36 seconds, and ended when NOSAWA decided to assault the referee. Ogawa took everyone out with a trash can lid before leaving. He had also managed to hit Kotaro on the head earlier, but concentrated his attack on NOSAWA and Eita. When Ogawa had gone, Perros bade farewell to each other, but their war with Ogawa wasn’t over as both Eita and NOSAWA will have singles match with him. NOSAWA’S match will be on the 14th in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima, while Eita’s will be on the 23rd at the N-INNOVATION. Kotaro Suzuki was a little irritated that he didn’t get a singles match, which NOSAWA completely ignored, but he will have a singles match himself against Eita on the 20th.

MaruKen reunite to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Naomichi Marufuji pinned Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi and therefore won the right to challenge the tag champions. With Masakatsu Funaki and Masaaki Mochizuki hanging over the ropes offering their hands as partners, Marufuji announced to the uproar of the crowd and the disbelief of Takashi Sugiura (whose reaction was akin to “Who? Are you fucking kidding me?”) that he would be challenging with KENTA. Backstage, Marufuji was not too sure that KENTA would accept the offer, but he did and the match has been set for the Nippon Budokan on New Year’s Day.

To explain for the newer fans, during their NOAH Junior days, KENTA and Marufuji were in a much beloved junior tag team known as MaruKen, they hold the record for the longest title reign as a junior team and they also broke down the rules for juniors fighting heavyweights as Misawa allowed them to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. As a team they never had a falling out that led to their split, they just drifted apart as Marufuji noted in “Heir To The Ark” and went to do their own things and over time they became rivals. Now they reunite as heavyweights.

AMAKUSA challenges Dante Leon

AMAKUSA made a silent challenge to Dante Leon for the GHC Junior Heavyweight following their match in Yoyogi. The way the match went gave fans the impression that Alejandro might be the one to challenge, but in the end it was Amakusa who pointed silently at the belt. Title challenge will main event the N-Innovation on the 23rd December.

Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya

Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Kenoh in their second pre match, and taking the microphone he stood over him and said that Kenoh had just been overcome by the guy who he was saying “was just trying his best”, and what did that say about Kenoh? Kiyomiya told him it meant he “was all mouth”. Their next pre match is on the 14th December.

Darby Allin

It has been announced that the team of Great Muta, Sting and Darby Allin will team together at Great Muta’s final match on the 22nd January at the Yokohama Arena. Allin had been tagging with Sting when Muta materialized on the 23rd September to save Sting from Buddy Matthews. There has been no mention as to who will be their opponents, but it is thought that Matthews may be involved as he has a score to settle.

YO-HEY & Kzy challenge for the GHC Junior Tag Titles

Tag championships can be volatile belts and tend to suffer more backwards and forwards than singles belts do at times. This was the story when Atsushi Kotoge and Seiji Yoshioka managed to take the belts back from The Kongoh Juniors in Yoyogi. This was the Kongoh Junior’s first defense, and Hajime Ohara and Shuji Kondo, had only held the belts for thirteen days. Following their title win, the next threat came from their own unit, as YO-HEY challenged for the belts with DragonGate’s Kzy as his partner.

“I’m in a disappointing situation with no results to speak of at all. To overcome this situation, I want the belt. With the belt in hand, I can reach even higher heights. I want to do this, so please let me challenge for the tag belt next”.

Title match will take place on the 23rd December at the N-Innovation.

Yoshiki Inamura fails to capture his first singles belt, but succeeds in other ways

Yoshiki Inamura failed to win his first singles gold when El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior used his experience (the part which he and Inamura were not well matched in, and I doubt Wagner Jnr has ever had anyone throw him around after catching him following a dive) to retain the gold. Inamura had wanted to win this belt to usher in his own era of NOAH, which would be separate to Kiyomiya’s (yet I think would also rival his, as Inamura would kind of be more the leader of the younger generation, which Kiyomiya knows is rising up to threaten him), and he would stand next to him and not below him as champion. Inamura might have failed in his attempt to win his first singles belt, but as Tokyo Sports said, he most definitely gave birth to his era.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Shuhei Taniguchi had his best match in a long time when he and Hideki Suzuki fought to a referee stop in Yoyogi. Fans want to see a round two.

– For some reason the wrestling promotions (and not the MMA companies) were told to come to Antonio Inoki’s memorial on the 24th November at 11am instead of 1pm, someone said this could be a prank that Inoki had set up. Prank or not, in something practically unheard of NOAH (Kenoh, Yoshiki Inamura, Satoshi Kojima, Kaito Kiyomiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Takashi Sugiura), New Japan and All Japan, plus some staff members, went to have something eat and drink and all sat down and talked for two hours. Inoki’s final wake will be held on March 7th at Ryogoku Kokugikan, what form this will take has not been announced, but it will be a fan event. In Shinto, the deceased are mourned and funeral services are held for forty-nine days following death, the final day is a day of celebration and farewells, when the mourning period is over and the deceased can finally leave earth and cross to the afterlife. It has been said that Inoki will be sharing a beer with Giant Baba.

– Takashi Sugiura’s pants stayed on when he met up with Kenta Kobashi and had some drinks…which is more than can be said about when he visited Akira Taue’s restaurant, and got drunk with Go Shiozaki.

– Kazuyuki Fujita said in his Weekly Pro yearbook profile, that he liked drinking highballs on the Shinkansen.

– Yoshiki Inamura and Kaito Kiyomiya summon Alejandro 

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

NOAH THE BEST 2022 – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23RD, NATIONAL YOYOGI STADIUM 2ND GYMNASIUM

Event Recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kenoh, ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Dante Leon
    Challenger: AMAKUSA, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: MaruKen (Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA), ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: YO-HEY & Kzy, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr 
    Challenger: TBA, NOAH the BEST 2022 (Wednesday November 23rd National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium)

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(December 2022 schedule)

Wednesday, December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (4 years)

ARTICLES

“Inside of me there is a “good” Keiji Mutoh and a “bad” Keiji Mutoh” – enthusiasm and conflict for Keiji Mutoh’s last run

“It was a sad eleventh year…” momentum to seize the belt in the Zero-One New Year’s Day title match

“We can make it a connection”, Kondo is “Marmalade brother?!” – Interview with Hajime Ohara just before the Junior Tag Defense match

GHC Junior Tag Match Signing: Ohara “Thigh Raise & Anya Words”. Yoshioka emphasizes that, “If I lose, hit rock bottom”

GHC National Match Signing: Japan-Mexico same generation clash: Wagner Jnr “Create A New History”, Inamura “Create A New NOAH”

“Take the belt and stand in the same position as Kiyomiya!” – Interview with Yoshiki Inamura before his challenge for the GHC National Championship 

Recapture for the first time in two weeks with “Baggio Spirit”, Interview with Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka ahead of the Yoyogi Junior Tag Match

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Coach points out! What is the current situation of young people as seen by Ogawa through the “Mauritius Cup?”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH


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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.191 ~ 18TH NOVEMBER 2022

NOAH coverage still going strong! A few title changes and defenses keeps things interesting heading toward the end of the year!

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NEWS

Kongoh Juniors finally win gold, Atsushi Kotoge demands a rematch

Shuji Kondo and his perpetually terrified partner, Hajime Ohara, ended a long losing streak for the Kongoh Juniors and finally won a title for their unit, when Seiki Yoshioka tapped to Hajime Ohara’s Muy Bien. Ohara’s reward from Kondo was to be kicked in the head repeatedly. When Ohara did get to his feet, Atsushi Kotoge was asking for a rematch, something the champions later granted, although Ohara did initially shove the belt in Kotoge’s face and tell him to beat it. The titles will be defended on the 23rd November at the National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium. There will be no pre match.

Dante Leon wins his first Noah title, the GHC Junior

In a match which was half American style and half Noah style, Dante Leon beat Ninja Mack for the GHC Junior, and won his first title in Noah. Unfortunately, due to HAYATA’S injury Ninja Mack’s reign was not as it should have been, so I would imagine that at some point in the future he will be given a longer run. No challenger has come forward as of yet to challenge Dante Leon.

Funky fail, but respect earned

Funky Express lost their challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles when Takashi Sugiura choked Akitoshi Saito out and the referee stopped the match. It was a heartbreaking loss for the challengers who were visibly moved. They have may have lost in their attempt, but in the eyes of fans, they gained something far more important, respect. Long seen as a comedy unit who worked the openers, Disco Dancing, Funkiness, King Tany, discussions of a giant belt made for four (funded by Masao Inoue’s piggybank according to Aki), things have changed with the departure of members and Saito and Yone managed to turn themselves into credible challengers.

Funaki’s warning comes true, El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr becomes the GHC National Champion

When El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr, Masakatsu Funaki had foreboding about the challenge. Kazushi Sakuraba he could handle as Sakuraba was known to him, it was also the case with his previous challengers as while he may not have known Simon Gotch prior to the match, he was aware that Gotch was of a similar skillset. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior was not. Funaki spoke of other difficulties too aside from him being a luchadore in that he also outweighed him and was younger than him too. All these factors combined on the night with Wagner Jnr’s ability, for the title to change hands. Wagner Jnr was laying out the Mexican flag in the ring to add the belt to it, when his next challenger, Yoshiki Inamura appeared at ringside. Inamura got straight to the point, saying he was here to challenge. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr accepted, and the two will fight on the 23rd November at the National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium.

Yoshiki Inamura gave a small interview about his challenge, and he touched on the subject of Kaito Kiyomiya. Inamura stated that although Kiyomiya is younger than him, he is still his senior, which has been a factor in Inamura wanting a singles belt too. Inamura says this will be “standing next to Kiyomiya, not beneath him”.

Kaito Kiyomiya retains against Thatcher, Kenoh back again

In a match that was to atone for the title match against Kazuyuki Fujita, (which I don’t think Kiyomiya was very happy with), he faced a trial by fire when the GHC Heavyweight was defended against Timothy Thatcher. In his previous title reign, when he was being challenged by Naomichi Marufuji, Marufuji had told him that he was going to take him apart bit by bit, which was what Thatcher did. Kiyomiya had to get the win on momentum by dropping a few Transformed Shining Wizards, because everything he did Thatcher reversed into the dreaded armbar. Kenoh had been on commentary and as soon as he saw the result, removed his headset, and came down to the ring to challenge.

“Hey, Kiyomiya, you did your best in today’s title match too. Just! You “just” tried your best. Even elementary school students can “just” do their best. So, what are you left with today? What can you create? What can Noah create? On January 1st at the Nippon Budokan, The Great Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura has taken the subject from the champion, and what are you doing? Working hard? You can’t win with just that! Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura…who can win in terms of the subject…Brock Lesnar, Dwayne Johnson…The Rock. No, it’s The Rock and me, Kenoh! Well, I know that I’m no match for Rock, but I have that kind of will! I will save Noah from danger. It’s not Muta vs Nakamura. I will challenge you for your belt, and I’ll take away the topic!”

Kiyomiya responded,

“Maybe, I am just trying my best. But what will you create? I will create a new Noah! So you and I, let’s fight for real! I don’t want to lose anything on social media or by transmission, so please, fight all out against me.”

Kenoh

“January 1st, Nippon Budokan, you are not the one who will surpass Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura. I will exceed by myself, and the one who will take this belt is me, Kenoh!”

*Title match has been set for The Nippon Budokan on the 1st January 2023.

The first pre match took place at the Noah/Dragon Gate event the next day. The main event was not as wild as the rest of the show had been, but it did culminate in Kiyomiya being pinned by Kenoh, and a picture of that moment appearing on the front cover of “Weekly Pro”.

Noah vs Dragon Gate

Aside from the main event as mentioned above, the event saw;
– NOSAWA Rongai getting pinged by plastic
– Satoshi Kojima as the mystery opponent of Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa. Kojima said the match was for HAYATA, who he hopes gets well soon and returns to Noah.
– Kenoh describing partner Kouta Minoura as “cute”. Which is probably the first time Kenoh has ever described anyone ever as that.
– H.Y.O said he wants a singles match with Ninja Mack. Otherwise he was not impressed with Noah overall.
– Shun Skywalker finally snap when teaming with Tadasuke. In usual frenetic style, Tadasuke tried to get Shun to do his corner camera spot, and ended up dragging him over. Things steadily went downhill from there.
– YAMATO beat Seiki Yoshioka, but was full of praise for him.
– YO-HEY danced with Natural Vibes on entry, and although dancing cannot have been easy in that heavy coat, he loved it. Daisuke Harada says he is obsessed and cannot stop watching!

Noah Tryouts

Katsuhiko Nakajima and Naomichi Marufuji (alongside Xtreme Tiger) have appeared in both New York and San Francisco for Pro Wrestling Revolution and King of The Indies 2022. They stopped over in San Jose, California, to hold tryouts. Two lucky wrestlers were chosen, who will now come to Japan and train in the dojo and appear in Noah. Marufuji said they were very overcome, and he saw tears. I am afraid I do not have the names of the winners.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Kenoh will appear at the Yokohama Corsairs game on the 19th November to fire a t-shirt gun (bazooka).

– Kaito Kiyomiya has posted some, shall we say, steamy pictures on his Instagram. One involved him bare-chested and toweling his hair, the other one was being naked save for a necklace while sitting in a bath. Fortunately, he did not reveal all, but the picture was certainly close to being south of the border.
– Yoshiki Inamura celebrated his 30th birthday on the 18th November. Work never stopped during the day as he was giving interviews on his upcoming title challenge, but in the evening he was taken to the Ribera Steakhouse, and given a green jacket.
– Kaito Kiyomiya had an audition for Ninja Warrior.
– During the title match, Dante Leon stole ring announcer G-Man’s chair from under him. G-Man got his revenge by posting a picture of Leon sitting and watching TV, his back to the camera and completely unaware, as G-Man’s hand advanced on him threateningly.
– Satoshi Kojima said their team name was now “Takajima” because he had given “Satoshi” to Mohammed Yone. Sugi said it was kind of hard to pronounce.
– Kaito Kiyomiya has parted with the “Supernova” nickname and gotten new theme music, “REGENERATION” and is now “Galaxy View”.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– GLOBAL2DAYS WRESTLE UNIVERSE PRESENTS GLOBAL HONORED CROWN (Thursday November 10th, Korakuen Hall)

Event recapPost match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(Full November schedule)

NOAH the BEST 2022

Date: Wednesday, November 23rd
Venue: National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium
Start time: Doors open 13:30 JST, event starts 15:00 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (English commentary available)

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Saturday 19th November: HI69 debut anniversary (22)
Friday 25th November: AMAKUSA (37)

ARTICLES

Title match removal of Supernova, champion Kaito Kiyomiya declaration of change and resolution! 
Noah/DragonGate: Press conference for the youngsters match: Inamura declares “Overwhelming”, Mochizuki Jnr “Absolutely Win The Fight”
Noah/DragonGate: GM Saito “Help Me!” in a “1 vs 5” crisis. NOSAWA & Horiguchi already declare betrayal 
Noah/DragonGate: Tadasuke & Shun burst into the press conference, attacking AMAKUSA & Fujiwara
Noah/DragonGate: Kenoh cuts Yuki Yoshioka in half, calling him a “Pathetic champion, carried by the company”
THE TOUGH comment on their ZERO-1 Participation
Noah/DragonGate: Realization of Noah and DragonGate Champions at the joint show…Kenoh completely demolishes Kiyomiya with a strong pre-emptive strike towards the New Year’s Day Budokan
Noah/DragonGate: Satoshi Kojima backstage comments – “Get Well Soon HAYATA” 
Noah/DragonGate: GM Saito is in trouble, break up with friends & unreasonable rap request…victory for rare trio of KZY & YO-HEY
Noah/DragonGate: YAMATO comments on Seiki Yoshioka
G-MANS Note Vol 2: In charge of Pro Wrestling Noah’s English YouTube & English Announcement 

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Dragon Note – Tanahashi discusses Keiji Mutoh’s retirement

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s column (4th October 2022)

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse
Picture credit: Kaito Kiyomiya, Weekly Pro


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