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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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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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More From Japan

(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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