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.
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).
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.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
No challenger as of yet
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Chris Ridgeway (3rd December 2019, Korakuen Hall)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
No challenger as of yet
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
No challenger as of yet
- GHC National Champion: Takashi Sugiura
Challenger: Masa Kitamiya (4th January 2020, Korakuen Hall)
- IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Daisuke Harada*
No challenger as of yet, and it is not known if there will be one
*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)
NOAH’s 3rd December Korakuen Hall show will be broadcast on 8th December at 11pm JST on Samurai TV.
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