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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.59 ~ 1ST DECEMBER 2019

As the year starts to wind down; Hisame keeps us up to date with where Pro Wrestling NOAH is headed!

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As the year starts to wind down; Hisame keeps us up to date with where Pro Wrestling NOAH is headed!

Please note that during NOAH’s upcoming schedule 3rd December to December 12th, translations of magazine articles or interviews will not take place. I am hoping to catch up on anything that I have had to delay from the 13th to the 22nd, and then again over the holiday period. 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH
We were in for a treat, both the RATELS produce and the event in Niigata, were streamed live through YouTube.

EXCITE PURORESU.DCM KAMA HOME CENTRE (23rd November)
Not a full blown NOAH event, but a small promotional free show done in association with Tatsumi Fujinami and some sponsors. Nothing really of any note relating to NOAH happened in the match, but they all seemed to have a fun time – Naomichi Marufuji took pictures (Sugiura was caught in one looking like he wanted to ask what he was doing), Nakajima was at his sarcastic best, Shiozaki got hold of a high pressure cleaner, and Kiyomiya hugged a little dog.

RATELS SHOWTIME (24th November)
Fortunately, STINGER turned up for the produce show, which in the long run RATELS would regret as they dominated the evening with the singles matches ending in Yoshinari Ogawa torturing YO-HEY to the point that HAYATA came out and threw in the towel for him (YO-HEY wasn’t happy), Daisuke Harada beating Kotaro Suzuki, Chris Ridgeway defeating Tadasuke and Atsushi Kotoge and HAYATA wrestling to a draw. The evening produced two matches that made my Match of The Year 2019 list.

Naturally after this (and two other matches which were on the card which I will discuss below) a ragged looking RATELS came limping out to face STINGER in an elimination match. This being STINGER vs RATELS, no-one wanted to wait for the bell, with both teams attacking each other even before the sound of the bell had faded from the air. Ogawa sensing blood, went after YO-HEY’S knee, which others in STINGER joined in with. Unfortunately for Ogawa, YO-HEY eliminated him by the roll up, which was something Ogawa could not believe, and angrily confronted the referee.

This left three of STINGER facing four of RATELS.

Fortune’s wheel turned with YO-HEY being eliminated by Kotaro Suzuki, and then himself being eliminated by Tadasuke. HAYATA and Ridgeway eliminated each other, with HAYATA knocking him off the apron after they had been fighting on it, with Ridgeway eliminating him by pulling him into an ankle lock. They got into the first of two fights outside the ring (Ridgeway appears to possess the ability to be the only one to drive usually calm HAYATA into a rage), and Harada had to break up both fights. After this they stayed away from each other.

Finally, it was Harada & Tadasuke vs Kotoge.

Kotoge got rid of Tadasuke by using Harada against him, and with Tadasuke gone the two got into another match of the year quality match (the only downside was Kotoge’s use of headbutts, Harada didn’t bleed, but Kotoge did). They both pulled out everything they could with the crowd being on their feet screaming vocally, but the evening belonged to STINGER when Atsushi Kotoge got the pin with the Killswitch.

YO-HEY came limping out to see to Harada (who was lying dazed on his back) with his knee heavily iced and taped, as Kotoge spoke sadly on the microphone to say that there could never be any kind of happy ending between himself and Harada, before he left the ring.

Afterwards, Harada was hauled to his feet, and RATELS put on a show of solidarity.

In the two other non RATELS vs STINGER matches, Junta Miyawaki got a lot of praise for exhibiting further growth when he teamed with Hi69 against The Sugiura Army (Kinya Okada & Hajime Ohara), although he fell to Ohara’s Muy Bien. Shuhei Taniguchi, Mohammed Yone and Masao Inoue faced off in a three way match which ended with Yone and Taniguchi ending not caring who won (despite the fact that they had squared up to each other in the beginning), as long as it wasn’t Masao Inoue.

NIIGATA CITY GYMNASIUM (26th NOVEMBER 2019)
It was a blessing that this was streamed, otherwise this event and the fact that the juniors managed to eclipse their hated rivals, the heavyweights, would have gone unrealised.

Sadly, despite his best efforts, Junta Miyawaki fell to Hajime Ohara’s Muy Bien again in the opening tag match. As well as a budding rivalry with Kinya Okada starting, NOAH also seem to be teasing the day when Miyawaki gets the win over perhaps, Ohara?

Akitoshi Saito was another person who benefited from today being streamed, as stepping away from the usual comedy tag match he does with Masao Inoue, he had a hard hitting singles match with Masa Kitamiya. Hailed as a “hoss fight”, it lived up to its name. Nothing technical, just two guys beating the hell out of each other. There is a reason why Marufuji used to say that “my partner is Saito-san”, and this is it.

It was also good for Kitamiya to take a momentary break from the tag team division, and do some singles work. Match can be summed up as brute force with Masa Kitamiya getting the win after ten minutes and sixteen seconds with the Saito Suplex.

50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone and Quiet Storm) were presented with flowers, and a photograph with local officials, for their tag match against Kongoh.

Kongoh were not invited to the party and stood by complaining after the ref pushed them back, and then proceeded to crush 50 Funky Powers in what could be described as a semi squash revenge we didn’t get given flowers or asked to pose with pretty ladies match, Quiet Storm challenged Inamura and was thrown halfway across the ring for it, and Kenoh stalked around with his quick Hawk like head movements.

It took eight minutes, twenty-five seconds for Kongoh to beat them up over some flowers.

With Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke facing Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge for the GHC Junior Tag titles, YO-HEY & HAYATA faced off against Yoshinari Ogawa & Chris Ridgeway (YO-HEY & HAYATA came out wearing the same outfits, with YO-HEY tucking one of the pant legs into his boot to make it shorter like HAYATA’S). The usual fight broke out before the bell with Ogawa working on YO-HEY’S knee again with Ridgeway working on HAYATA’S ankle. It was a very brutal match to watch with STINGER at their most sadistic keeping RATELS grounded.

Chris Ridgeway got the win over HAYATA after fourteen minutes and one second with the German Suplex Hold. Afterwards he taunted HAYATA by taking the belt and standing over him with his foot on HAYATA’S ankle, YO-HEY attempted to shove him off, which just led to Ogawa attacking his knee again.

Unsurprisingly YO-HEY & HAYATA did not appear to second Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke in their title match for the GHC Junior Tag Titles against STINGER.

The GHC Junior Tag titles were defended next, and this was a real heart-in-your-mouth watch through your fingers match, which managed to completely eclipse anything the heavyweights did on the card that evening. The two teams bought everything to the table, the match ebbed and flowed with force swinging between the two teams as it reached its crescendo towards the end as no one was going to give up, but in the end it was Tadasuke with a mixture of both showboating to the crowd and exhaustion who lost RATELS the tag titles after twenty minutes one second, when he made a grave error earlier in the match when he should have pinned Kotoge, but carried away he was playing up to the crowd, and so allowed Kotoge to recover. Had it not been for that one moment, RATELS could have kept the belts, but instead Kotoge got the win with the Killswitch.

It was a match which was not only a brilliant display of what the NOAH Juniors can do, but also one with a very human story of failings, which made for great storytelling, which added to the high quality (the aesthetics as NOAH like to call it), made my 2019 Match of The Year list.

Daisuke Harada, humiliated, made no comment at first, only to say a few days later that he was mortified to lose the belt after just twenty-four days. However, he did rally and said that Korakuen Hall on the 3rd December would be about supporting HAYATA.

Takashi Sugiura made his historic first defence of the GHC National (which now has its own theme like the other belts do) against Shuhei Taniguchi, in which the audio picked up quite clearly the punches and elbows the two threw at each other. At one point the ref tried to come between them and got thrown aside. Sugiura got the win after twenty-three minutes and fifty-nine seconds with the Olympic Slam, and then got hit with the Saito Suplex by Masa Kitamiya who came out to challenge for the title.

Sugiura in the post match promo said, “Why did you have to come and pour water on it?” (i.e. why did it have to rain on his celebration), and while he is usually inclined to see anything the younger heavyweights do as the impetuosity of youth, he didn’t dismiss Kitamiya’s attack as that, and warned him that he was not ready.

Kitamiya has said that he wanted to challenge as Sugiura was the champion, and he was the barrier he needed to overcome to pull himself out of the dip he is in. Sugiura basically responded with, “bring it asshole, if you think you are hard enough. If you want it, try and take it.” Sugiura, however, was a little kinder to Taniguchi (despite the social media trolling and the provocation in the ring into his doing something more), by saying that although the flowers did not bloom in the match, there was no way that the petals were scattered or faded.

Taniguchi himself has vowed to make an even bigger bloom in the future.

AXIZ are gearing up to their 15th anniversary singles match, and had the first in their series of celebrations which will culminate in a highly anticipated singles match at Korakuen Hall on December 3rd, by teaming with Hitoshi Kumano (making them “Kumaxiz”) against Kaito Kiyomiya, Naomichi Marufuji and Masao Inoue.

Yes. Masao Inoue. Who got bullied by AXIZ.

You would have thought that Inoue would have gotten the worst in this match from AXIZ, but it was Kiyomiya who took the dreaded kick\chop sandwich, and Kumano was knocked groggy by Marufuji’s “Tiger King” knee attack. Marufuji also treated Kumano like a small boy by patting him on the head when on the ropes, which Kumano was not appreciative of.

Go Shiozaki won the match with the short range lariat on Masao Inoue (complete with audible thunk) after twenty-three minutes and 1 second.

Afterwards (presented with a sack of rice and two PS4), while a spaced out Kumano looked on, AXIZ did the famous lean and Go Shiozaki spoke about their upcoming singles match. He proposed that he and Nakajima put on a match which can be roughly translated as “set the world on fire”, and they shook on it.

NOAH’s next event will be on December 3rd at Korakuen Hall, which will be the final part of the last tour of NOAH’s 2019, and will have a very harsh schedule.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

~ YO-HEY & HAYATA escaped to the countryside to do some small local promotions in YO-HEY’S hometown of Yabu in Hyogo prefecture. YO-HEY said he went to rest his knee, but this translated into smoking, drinking beer, playing basketball, walking through the woods (the trees much to YO-HEY’S disappointment were not interested in leaflets or tickets), and playing Super Mario World (1990) until 3am when they beat the game with a score of 96. HAYATA is known to love Mario games (YO-HEY said that he creates levels on Mario Maker which no one can beat). Normally, the champion would go on his own to do promotion and have interviews with local papers etc, but this is HAYATA, and he doesn’t like speaking to people….
~ Naomichi Marufuji did his own promotion in Sendai. He said he was looking forward to eating the local food.
~ Kaito Kiyomiya says that he was given a blow to the face by Kenoh at Sumo Hall which gave him a kind of out of body experience, when for a few seconds he found himself running across a plain to the river of the dead. He was crossing the bridge when he decided to turn back. He wonders what would have happened had he kept going.
~ Kenoh’s feud with Kiyoshi Tamura is ongoing, he is enraged though by Tamura’s “No comment” to his challenge. He also says that he will be creating the “Kenoh Awards 2019”.
~ El Hijo de Canis Lupus and his (biological) brother Dragon Bane arrived in Japan on the 1st December. They will have a highly anticipated singles match at Korakuen Hall on the 3rd December, and then a tag match where Dragon Bane will team with Naomichi Marufuji and El Hijo de Canus Lupus with Daisuke Harada on the 12th.
AXIZ talked about their 15th anniversary in a YouTube video and took fan questions (it’s in Japanese).

PRODUCE NEWS
NOAH have not announced any plans to stream the other two produce shows yet, but it is hoped that as they streamed RATELS, they will at least stream The Sugiura Army’s (it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t stream Kongoh’s due to the whole leaving them out of things storyline).

“All Dogs gather! Bark at Korakuen” ~ The Sugiura Army
There is going to be a “Battle of The Tough Guys! The Bout to Knock Each Other Out” when the heavyweights of The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Kazuyashi Sakuraba take on Kazushi Fujita and Hideki Suzuki) clash in a fight to determine who is the most powerful.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

*This chronology will only be maintained for NOAH wrestlers.

THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Monday 3rd December: Korakuen Hall (18:30 bell)
Thursday 5th December: Sendai PIT (18:30)
Friday 6th December: Yamagata International Exchange Plaza (18:30)
Saturday 7th December: Hachinohoe Seagull View Hotel Gymnasium (17:00)
Sunday 8th December: Mutsu Grand Hotel (2pm)

BROADCASTS
NOAH’s 3rd December Korakuen Hall show will be broadcast on 8th December at 11pm JST on Samurai TV.

LINKS
Noah theme song CD 2nd release commemorative event
“Beef tongue, Seri nabe anticipation” Naomichi Marufuji promotions Noah’s Tohoku Event on 5th December
The name of the tag full of love is AXIZ
“I cannot lose to the intense harassment of LIDET entertainment!” 14th December Kongoh produce advance tickets sold out, Kenoh avoids Kongoh dissolution and departure from Noah
Crossing the Sanzu River on 2nd November at Sumo Hall? Kaito Kiyomiya talks about a “near death experience”
Kiyoshi Tamura “please fight with me in earnest”, Kenoh “collaborating questions & answers” and the memory of Nakamura
“The two sons who have inherited the souls of Kensuke Sasaki and Kenta Kobashi”
First card decision! GHC National Battle of Sugiura vs Kitamiya
Birthdays, debuts and anniversaries
“Come At Me You Bastards!” ~ Kenoh’s column (October 2019)

GIF CREDITS: Noah GHC
PICTURE CREDIT: Noah GHC, YO-HEY


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Mathew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Review: Day 5 (4/18/2021)

Another day at the AJPW Carnival! With Zeus’ undefeated streak broken, do we see new leaders at the top of the single block?

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Welcome back to another exciting day of All Japan’s Champion Carnival. We had some solid wrestling for the previous day and we will now be at the halfway point of the tournament after this show is over. We’re gonna find out who will step up in the rankings and who will also fall behind.

Who will advance? Does anyone get eliminated? All this and more as we…dive right in.


Star Rating System:

  • 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
  • 1 Star: Vince Russo
  • 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
  • 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
  • 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
  • 5 Stars: Jim Cornette

Champion Carnival 2021 Match
Kento Miyahara vs. Koji Doi

Review: Time for our first match as Kento Miyahara is set to take on Koji Doi. Kento has had a bad start for this year as he’s only won one match and lost two but if he can get a win here, he’ll be in the middle on the scoreboard. Koji, however, has three losses and one more loss here could make him unable to win depending on how the next day goes. Can Koji get a second win or does Kento get a victory?

Soon as the bell rang, Koji started charging at Kento into the corner and it leads to the both of them delivering stiff shots to each other back and forth. Koji eventually turned it into a Torture Rack and had it applied until Kento wiggled out to land on his feet but Koji stopped his momentum to get the heat in a nicely done opening sequence. The two are outside of the ring now as the two tried to hit a Brainbuster onto one another into the crowd or on the entrance ramp but Koji decided to DDT him onto the ramp to apply damage to his head more. Good control from Koji to keep working on the head and needed it while Kento sells the pain well to get the crowd behind him in this match.

Koji applies the Rings of Saturn onto Kento as he pulls on his head while applying the lock but Kento would finally struggle enough to get his foot on the rope, breaking the hold. I said it before and I will say it again, Kento delivers better knees than Kenny Omega, he makes them look legit and despite still slapping, he knows the right time to do it without it looking phony, unlike Olivia. Kento hits the Blackout into the corner on the back of his head and then another one but Koji kicked out at two. Kento goes for the Shutdown German Suplex Hold but Koji broke free, elbowing him in the face before picking him up to hit the Swinging Side Slam as Kento kicked out at two. Koji attempts the Lariat but Kento ducks to hit a Blackout and used this chance to hit the Shutdown German Suplex Hold, getting the win while Koji is in last place!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter


Champion Carnival 2021 Match:
Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shinjiro Otani

Review: Time for the next match as Shinjiro Otani takes on the GAORA TV Champion, Shuji Ishikawa. Both of them are around the middle in rankings but Shuji has more points than him by one victory. If Otani can win here though, he’ll be in the middle with him and among others. Can Otani score a win here or will Shuji move up to the top spot?

The two would lock up as neither of them was getting the advantage until they were on the ropes to break it, then they would tackle each other while they’re both still standing their ground until they go blow for blow with Shuji kneeing him in the gut to get him down. Shuji is beating down Otani any chance he gets with his stomps or just hitting him, and it works since Shuji is a bigger guy than Otani and a little more well-rounded but you can see Otani getting pumped up despite being knocked down. Otani would make his comeback, having Shuji into the corner as he ran the ropes to deliver a boot to the face.

The two are hitting each other back and forth, delivering stiff shots one after another but Otani would get behind him to apply the sleeper as Shuji pushed him into the corner. Otani would sit on the top turnbuckle and slap Shuji across the face and applied the sleeper once again but the referee tells him to break the hold. Otani would deliver a Missle Dropkick but Shuji gets up to charge at him, only to be met with a Backdrop as Shuji got up again to hit the Lariat as they both go down. Shuji got up first as he hits the Tsunami and the Giant Driver but Otani was able to kick out at two. Otani fought off the Powerbomb and hits a Lariat on him but soon as Shuji kicked out, Otani applied the Cobra Clutch and gets the submission victory!

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter


Champion Carnival 2021 Match
Kohei Sato vs. Zeus

Review: Time for our next match as Zeus takes on Kohei Sato. Zeus suffered his first loss at the previous show but is still at the top of the board. If Sato can win though, he’ll be up on top since he’ll have a better average than Zeus since he only lost one match himself but only has two victories. Will Zeus be able to bounce back or does Sato take control of the scoreboard?

Is Sato a little taller than Zeus? Yes, but is Zeus beefier than Sato? Fuck yeah. Sato had Zeus sat down on the mat as he delivered stiff kicks to the back but Zeus got up quickly, pulling his head in for a headlock and it just looked powerful. Zeus keeps the headlock locked in for a good while and makes sure Sato is in as much pain as possible during all of this and it’s good seeing Zeus look this dominating in his matches since he has the god of an almighty God, put that shit into use! Sato finally stopped Zeus with a knee to the gut and would deliver stiff kicks to the chest to get him down. This is just a stiff fest with the strikes and I am all for it in this match.

Zeus gets Sato down with the Chokeslam as Sato kicked out at two. Zeus is calling for the end already as he sets him up for the Jackhammer but Sato reversed it to hit the Falcon Arrow as they both go down. The two slowly get up as Sato delivers stiff forearms while Zeus counteracts with chops and it goes for a bit until Zeus hits a Lariat. Sato kicked out and Zeus turned it into the Facelock, trying to get him to tap out but Sato gets his foot on the rope! Zeus goes for the Jackhammer again but Sato powers out of it to deliver forearms to Zeus while Zeus attempts Lariats as Sato stands his ground to hit one more forearm. Sato went for a pin but Zeus kicked out and hits Zeus with another stiff forearm as Zeus kicked out again. Sato picks him up to hit the German Suplex Hold and gets the victory over Zeus! Sato is now on top of the board with three wins and only one loss.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half


Champion Carnival 2021 Match:
Jake Lee vs. Yuma Aoyagi

Review: It’s time to close up the show with our main event as Jake Lee takes on Yuma Aoyagi. Jake has a chance to be in the top spot if he can win this match and keep up his dominating run aside from the one loss. Yuma was able to score an upset victory over Zeus to stay in the game and if he can win here, he’ll be able to tie for the top spot with Zeus, Sato, and Lee. Will we have a four-way tie or does Jake move up the ladder?

They both have their arms up as if they were taunting each other or something but they would eventually lock up, Jake gets him into the ropes until the referee tells Jake to get off him. Yuma would get Jake to the ropes this time and as he broke it up, he taunts Jake by doing the taunt he used for when he was a babyface, the disrespect. This angered Jake and would kick him in the gut and gets him in a headlock to apply damage to his neck. The two started some chain wrestling until Jake lifted Yuma to make him hit the rope between his legs, causing Yuma to flop outside of the ring for Jake to work him outside. When you look at these two men, these guys are going to be your future of the company next to Kento Miyahara in the long run. Jake is a star waiting to happen and while Yuma had a slow start, he is slowly figuring himself out in the past year and if he can keep this up, he will have a bright future in the company with guys like Kento, Jake, Suwama, Zeus, Nomura, and hopefully Shotaro. While Jake isn’t being a full-on heel in this match, he still shows that side of him in the match from how aggressive he is and just taunting the referee whenever he’s told to let go of Yuma and going back into what he was doing.

Jake tosses Yuma into the corner as Yuma used this chance to bounce off and hit a Crossbody but he’s not down as he climbs to the top rope, hitting another Crossbody as Jake kicked out at two. Jake was able to get Yuma on his stomach, having a knee on his back while pulling on his head, stretching him out until Yuma grabbed the rope but the referee wanted to be a dick for a moment, kicking the bottom rope to make him let go and Yuma grabbed it again to make them break the hold this time. The two kept on fighting back and forth with Yuma getting up right away as Jake attempts the Giant Killing but Yuma caught his leg to push it down, hitting a spinning back kick, and Jake would hit a jumping kick to the chest as the two go down! Yuma hits two German Suplexes and goes to apply the End Game but Jake had his hand on the rope soon as Yuma was able to lock it in.

Yuma went for the Rock Star Buster but Jake fought out of it, attempting the Giant Killing again as Yuma caught his leg to turn him around, rolling him up with the European Clutch as Jake kicked out at two again. Jake tries to pick Yuma up but doesn’t budge, laying there motionless as it annoys Jake while the referee tells him to stand back so he can count. Yuma finally has some light in him as Jake goes over to him just to knee him in the face, knocking him down again. Jake tried pulling Yuma up again but doesn’t budge again, angering Jake more as he makes him sit up to knock him down with another knee. He keeps hitting Yuma with his knees while yelling at him until the referee pushed him away again. Jake had Yuma up on his knees before running the ropes and before he could get closer to him, Yuma collapsed once more. Jake is calling for the end as he picked him up for the D4C but Yuma knees his head and reverses it into a roll, turning it into the End Game! Beautiful counter as he has it locked in fully, giving Jake no choice but to tap out! Another big win for Yuma.

Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters


Overall: Much better night than the previous one, that’s for sure. Nothing over the top, solid action all around, and just nice wrestling with nothing going 30+ minutes all the time. We’re at the halfway point and now the competition is going to get harder from here. Let’s see where this takes us.

Favorite Match: Jake Lee vs. Yuma Aoyagi

Least Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa vs. Shinjiro Otani

Score: 7/10


Champion Carnival Standings:

  1. Kohei Sato: (3-1) (6 Points)
  2. Zeus: (3-2) (6 Points)
  3. Jake Lee: (3-2) (6 Points)
  4. Yuma Aoyagi: (3-2) (6 Points)
  5. Shuji Ishikawa: (2-2) (4 Points)
  6. Suwama: (2-2) (4 Points)
  7. Kento Miyahara: (2-2) (4 Points)
  8. Shinjiro Otani: (2-2) (4 Points)
  9. Koji Doi: (1-4) (2 Points)
  10. Shotaro Ashino: (1-3) (2 Points)


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.128 ~ 18TH APRIL 2021

Hisame brings us updates moving towards Mutoh’s nostalgic second defense of the GHC Heavyweight title, and a recap of the Junior championship bout! If you’re not paying attention to NOAH, you should be!

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Hisame brings us updates moving towards Mutoh’s nostalgic second defense of the GHC Heavyweight title, and a recap of the Junior championship bout! If you’re not paying attention to NOAH, you should be!

NEWS

Kenoh tests positive for COVID, Tadasuke, Manabu Soya & Haoh to also miss time

NOAH announced on the 17th April that Kenoh had developed a fever, and would undergo PCR testing, and as a precaution Tadasuke, Manabu Soya and Haoh would also miss time due to being in close proximity to Kenoh. The results of Kenoh’s PCR test came back on the 18th April and were announced to be positive for Coronavirus, but he will undergo a further examination with the results being available on the 20th. NOAH have announced that all four will miss the 24th and the 29th events.

While Kenoh is absent, Katsuhiko Nakajima has said to him to “leave it me”.

Kazuyuki Fujita destroys Takashi Sugiura

Kazuyuki Fujita and Takashi Sugiura faced off for their long awaited pre-match ahead of their long awaited GHC National Championship match, which will take place on the 29th April in Nagoya, which is Takashi Sugiura’s home town.

Although Takashi Sugiura said that he wasn’t going to do any kind of stare down with Kazuyuki Fujita, he actually did two. The first was when their respective partners, Kazushi Sakuraba and Kendo Kashin were fighting in the ring, and the second was when they were fighting outside of it and Kashin did the perspex sheet spot on Sakuraba. After that the fight was on, with Fujita felling Sugiura with stiff punches, and then a lariat when Sugiura sprang to his feet with a roar. Fujita emerged the victor after nine minutes and fifteen seconds, when he pinned Sugiura after three soccer ball kicks to the head. After the match, Fujita had no comment to make other than “Nagoya is next”, and Kazushi Sakuraba took a picture with Sugiura revealing that Sugiura had the beginning of a black eye and a swelling on the side of his head.

 

Atsushi Kotoge’s first successful defense 

Atsushi Kotoge made his first defense of the GHC Junior Heavyweight against Nioh on the 18th April at Korakuen Hall. Both Kotoge and Nioh put on a brutal match, which involved a spot where Nioh used a javelin throw move on Kotoge to drive his head into the ring apron. Both wrestled the match cool, calm and calculated; which is not so far from Kotoge’s persona in Momo No Seishun, but for Nioh it did show what he is capable of and fans commented it was nice to see him put his mind to something. After the match, Kotoge said he would take on all comers and was hungry for a challenger, while Nioh said he would be challenging again in the future.

 Masa Kitamiya makes Keiji Mutoh tap

Masa Kitamiya and Keiji Mutoh faced off in their one and only pre-match at Korakuen Hall on the 18th April. The card was changed due to the absence of Kongoh members, so Katsuhiko Nakajima teamed with Kitamiya against Mutoh and Naomichi Marufuji. Nakajima, although he was looking forward to facing Mutoh after a long while (and fans wanted to see him face Mutoh), pretty much kept Naomichi Marufuji occupied and after the first time when he broke the Prison Lock, kept him outside the ring for the second one. Kitamiya had the hold locked in, and headbutted Mutoh, busting them both open. Mutoh had no choice but to tap. After the match, Kitamiya spoke on the microphone and said he was aiming for Mutoh’s knees.

 

Three new trainees

In a break from tradition, as NOAH usually announce trainee debuts, not trainees joining the dojo. NOAH had the three new boys (and one who has been in the dojo for over a year) stand in the ring on the 18th April and introduce themselves.

  • Keisuke Ota, 26 years old. He entered NOAH in January 2020, so hopefully he will be debuting soon. However, it is Yoshinari Ogawa who decides these things.
  • Yosuke Sasaki, 18 years old. He was one of the ones who came to the trainee audition last November. He has recently entered NOAH (April 2021).
  • Haruto Ogawa, 18 years old. Like Sasaki, he came to NOAH via the trainee audition last November, and entered NOAH at the same time as Yosuke Sasaki.

With the influx of new trainees to the dojo, plus the debut of Yasutaka Yano a few months ago, and the potential debut of Keisuke Ota, Yoshinari Ogawa is going to be very busy.

 EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

Event recap: “NEO BREEZE 2021” ~ 18th April, Korakuen Hall

Post match promos: “NEO BREEZE 2021” ~ 3rd April, Yokohama Radiant Halls

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura made a very polite visit to DDT on the 15th April to scout out their opponents ahead of the CyberFight Festival. They came in, took their seats, sat quietly, applauded the winner, came to the apron when invited and then left.

~Yoshiki Inamura’s tires which he uses for training, have become dojo celebrities. Tadasuke has been determined to lift them, and posted a video of himself succeeding. YO-HEY said he made an attempt, and even NOAH’s official photographer has had a go.

~ Still no one has come for the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles. Katsuhiko Nakajima has even been talking about nominating someone.

~ NOAH have created a Showa Era monster movie theme for Takashi Sugiura vs Kazushi Sakuraba. Fans are reminded of Kong vs Godzilla, with DDT\NOAH President, Sanshiro Takagi, saying it reminds him more of Sanda vs Gaira.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya (“NOAH THE GLORY 2021”, 29th April 2021)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Atsushi Kotoge
    Challenger: TBA
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The AGGRESSION
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
    Challengers: NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka  (“NOAH THE GLORY 2021”, 29th April 2021)
  •  GHC National Champion: Kazuyuki Fujita
    Challenger: Takashi Sugiura (“NOAH THE GLORY 2021”, 29th April 2021)

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

Saturday 24th April: NOAH THE GLORY, 2021

BROADCASTS

Please note, unless stated it is a free stream, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world. All ABEMA shows are eventually put on WRESTLEUNIVERSE, with the exception of the PPVs.

“NOAH THE GLORY 2021”  will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on the 24th April at 17.30 pm JST. This will not be a free stream.

LINKS

NOAH Roster Guide 2021

“It’s effective, it was piercing. Amazing” Takashi Sugiura is taken aback at the German Suplex reminiscent of Rick Steiner, thrown by Yoshiki Inamura

Participation at ZERO-1 “ALL STAR Great Charity Festival” ~ Yasukuni Shrine Sumo Wrestling Place, Tokyo, Japan (March 27th, 2021)

Guide to CyberFight Festival 2021

GIFS taken from NOAH Official Twitter\ABEMA

Picture credit: Kazushi Sakuraba


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