YO-HEY & Tadasuke join GLG
During Kongoh vs The NOAH Junior Regulars at Great Voyage in Yokohama 2023 on the 19th March, Tadasuke inadvertently knocked down Shuji Kondo, which allowed Atsushi Kotoge to get the win over him (Tadasuke). The NOAH Juniors left the ring, which left Kondo and the others, Hajime Ohara and Hi69 advancing menacingly on Tadasuke. Kondo it is well known does not like him, Hi69 has a simmering jealousy, and Ohara will do whatever Kondo does. YO-HEY ran in to save Tadasuke, and just when it looked as if Tadasuke would be welcomed by the NOAH Junior Regulars, YO-HEY was seen whispering something to him, and the two took out Kotoge, Seiki Yoshioka and Alejandro. Backstage, while Kotoge et al wondered what had happened, YO-HEY said “No Comment”. Fans were hopeful of a RATELS reunion (Daisuke Harada had been signing autographs), but YO-HEY and Tadasuke came out in the main event as members of GLG (Jake Lee’s “Good Looking Guys” unit).
Saxon Huxley debuts in NOAH
The 203cm Saxon Huxley (which makes him taller than even Jake Lee at 192cm), made his NOAH debut at “Great Voyage in Yokohama”. Very reminiscent of Bruiser Brody, his first match was fittingly a match teaming with Hideki Suzuki and against Yoshiki Inamura and Mohammed Yone. Huxley won the match and backstage said that he didn’t come to Japan to look at the Cherry blossoms, he came here to fight!
The problem with Shuhei Taniguchi, Takashi Sugiura takes a hand
Shuhei Taniguchi emerged from his slumber and the monster reawakened against Takashi Sugiura in a match in Yokohama (“Great Voyage”) where Taniguchi had one of the best matches of his in a long time. He won via repeated soccer ball kicks to the head, which made a nasty thudding sound. Backstage, Takashi Sugiura urged him to seize this chance, Taniguchi asked him for another match, but Sugi told him he had to seize the opportunity by himself. Later (and with Sugiura looking on, hands behind his back and standing in the background in teacher mode), Taniguchi challenged Daiki Inaba and Masa Kitamiya for the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles they had just retained against Kongoh. Masa Kitamiya grimly told Taniguchi that he would accept their challenge, but he would “teach him” when to “leave NOAH forever” and that there was no future for him. Title match will take place on April 16th in Sendai.
Jack Morris challenges for the GHC National
The Yokohama Budokan has always been good to Jack Morris, he made his NOAH debut there (which he won) and on the 19th, he defeated El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr and therefore won the opportunity to challenge for the GHC National. Morris picked up the belt and silently held it over El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr, who was lying spread out on the mat. Title match has been set for April 16th in Sendai.
SUWAMA, Kenoh, Soya & All Japan
Following Kenoh’s labelling All Japan as a “pigsty” (I am trying to imagine how that would have gone down in the Baba era) and walking out of the press conference saying that the whole venue chosen for it was like an old fashioned mayoral meeting in Tokyo with the close press of bodies, Kenoh and Manabu Soya succeeded in winning the All Japan World Heavyweight titles on the 21st March. I have never seen Kenoh so happy on winning a title, the GHC has history, but not as long a history as All Japan, the promotion it flowed from and I think despite his disparaging, Kenoh was overcome to be holding the belts that the legends of All Japan once did. Suwama got in the ring after their victory to challenge for the titles on behalf of Voodoo Murders, Kenoh basically told him to beat it. He wanted nothing to do with him, he was insulted by his not turning up to Great Voyage in Yokohama, where Kenoh had prepared a special seat for him at ringside, and their next challenge (and probably any subsequent challenges) would take place in NOAH as he told everyone pointedly in the ring and then backstage, along with more jumping and cheering with Soya. No challengers have come forward yet, but Kenoh looks to be adding to his collection of belts as on the 1st April when he and Shuji Kondo will challenge DragonGate’s Natural Vibez (Big Boss Shimizu and Kzy) for the Open the Twin Gate Championship. Media outlets are wondering whether Kenoh will once again attempt to unify the GHC and All Japan belts.
Kenoh “All Japan, Aoyago disappointing”. Aoyagi demands a double title match and orders Kongoh to win the GHC, World Tag Press Conference
Seriously? Managing Director Kohei Suwama sends a thank you letter to Kenoh, “If it’s full, I’ll give you a monetary reward”
Kenoh & Soya win the World Tag, notice of defense in NOAH, re-notification of “break” to Suwama
Kenoh’s “pigsty” ruthlessly inflames Suwama, lambasts Triple Crown Champion Yuji Nagata!
No love lost, Masa Kitamiya & Kento Miyahara
Furious that Masa Kitamiya was ignoring his demands for a three man tag in All Japan and irritated even more over Kitamiya’s not greeting him as his senior, Kento Miyahara appeared in NOAH to confront his unrepentant junior following Kitamiya & Inaba’s successful tag defense against Kongoh. Miyahara, who danced his way to the ring, told an unimpressed “Mitsuhiro Kitamiya” that he was getting way ahead of himself (he said it was by one hundred years) calling himself “Masa” and that he had come to finally get an answer out of him about the match. Kitamiya told him that there was no benefit, but since Miyahara had come all the way down here just to shame his junior for not responding, then fine, he would fight him. There was no love lost in Ota Ward, at least not on Masa Kitamiya’s part, and while Miyahara might have had a change of heart after the match, Kitamiya didn’t. The match itself was won by Yoshiki Inamura (against whom Ryo Inoue in particular has sworn revenge and says he will win the All Japan tag league to do it) and was followed by Miyahara speaking on the microphone to Kitamiya. He told him that with the “Masa” name Kitamiya had no choice but to go to the top of NOAH and having seen for himself how he was now, he was no longer “Mitsuhiro Kitamiya”, which was hard for him to say, and he could stop worrying about him. Kitamiya (who hates both of his older brothers/sibling students) told him that he wanted nothing more to do with him, he hated him then and he hated him now. Miyahara, however, seemed to think that they would meet in the ring again although Kitamiya made it very clear that it was unlikely.
Kitamiya gets irritated with “Irresponsible comments”, “Not thinking about unnecessary things”. Kenoh once again declares “GHC World Tag Team”. GHC tag signing ceremony.
“Pathetic”, Miyahara asks Kitamiya to quickly determine the three wrestlers who will be on the NOAH side
NOAH’s Kitamiya wins the match, an announcement of “Never getting involved”, Miyahara cheers “Get to the top!”
STINGER war, outcast Eita
To the surprise of no one, Yoshinari Ogawa (and Eita) did not attend the match signing. Chris Ridgeway and HAYATA did, and while Ridgeway did most of the talking, HAYATA was vocal enough to state that losing the pre matches could be an Ogawa trick. He also likened him to an “Amanojaku” (天邪鬼, lit “Heavenly evil spirit”) which is a demon in Japanese folklore, which urges people to wicked deeds by preying on their darkest desires. HAYATA’S description is apt, because the demon is tricky and never does what anyone expects as their nature is contrary. There was no way to try and outmaneuver such a demon with tricks, so HAYATA said there was no strategy other than to destroy him. In the title match, Ogawa stole the win and then appealed for peace between himself, HAYATA and Ridgeway. HAYATA shook hands, Ridgeway was a little apprehensive and when it came time to leave the ring, hung back without shaking hands, despite the fact that both Ogawa and HAYATA where urging him to come walk with them.
What about Eita?
Eita and Ogawa got into a shoving match when Ogawa shook hands with HAYATA, which ended with Ogawa slapping Eita, who thought that like his squabbles with NOSAWA, it would blow over in a matter of seconds. What he forgets is that Ogawa forgives when he wants.
It was hard not to feel sorry for Eita as he did look so alone when he left the ring, gathering up his belt sadly and slinking backstage with hunched shoulders and holding the side of his face. Like Eita said, STINGER are a notoriously silent group, two don’t have social media, the third doesn’t use his much, and it is only Eita who talks online. Eita’s last post was sad, he said he still believed in Ogawa…after all, they were the GHC Junior tag champions. So far, no one has come to challenge for the belts.
Yoshinari Ogawa declares dissolution of STINGER!? (Interview, Part 2)
“Stop waking up Ogawa”, HAYATA declares a parting? GHC Junior tag signing ceremony
Lanzelot challenges AMAKUSA
Lanzelot challenged AMAKUSA for the GHC Junior title following his (Lanzelot’s) win over him at the Yokohama Budokan. Title match will take place in Aomori on March 26th. This will be broadcast at a later date.
Joshi matches announced on a NOAH show
NOAH continue to test the water in putting on Joshi matches, this time outside of a special show (i.e. Great Muta and Keiji Mutoh’s retirement) by putting on a women’s match for the first time ever on an official NOAH show. Nothing as of yet has been announced regarding a women’s division or a GHC Women’s Championship, but it would not surprise me if an announcement was made on the 16th April following Maya Yukihi vs Sumire Natsu.
Jake Lee wins the GHC Heavyweight title
Jake Lee defeated Kaito Kiyomiya following a brutal match where Kiyomiya was worn down but did not have the energy to keep wearing down Jake, which he almost succeeded in doing, at Great Voyage in Yokohama and became the 42nd GHC Heavyweight Champion. He was immediately challenged by Katsuhiko Nakajima, who told him that he would show him what the real NOAH is, and he used the phrase “I’m NOAH”, which made fans wonder if there was a double meaning here as Nakajima started using this in response to Go Shiozaki’s, “I am NOAH”. Jake Lee, after looking stunned, commented that Nakajima was one of the wrestlers he had always wanted to fight. Title match has been set for the 16th April in Sendai.
GHC Champion Kaito Kiyomiya dismisses the recommendation to retire, and will “turn everything upside down” in the match against Jake
“I think I will dominate” Jake Lee reveals his ambition in his first GHC challenge to Kaito Kiyomiya in an exclusive interview
Jake “Get the symbol of freedom”, Kiyomiya smiles and says, “Spring in full bloom”. GHC Heavyweight signing ceremony.
“Kiyomiya, take a rest!” The strongest black ship appears in the new era of NOAH! Getting to the bottom of Jake Lee’s heart.
“There are still some diamonds in the rough that I am curious about”, the new GHC champion Jake Lee expresses his beliefs to increase his power
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH INTERVIEWS
Post match interviews
Sunny Voyage 2023 (Tuesday March 14th)
Great Voyage in Yokohama 2023 (Sunday March 19th)
Great Voyage in Yokohama 2023 (Sunday, March 19th)
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Naomichi Marufuji picked a few hairs off of Anthony Green’s chest before chopping him
– Very sadly with the defection of YO-HEY and the retirement of Daisuke Harada, the NOAH Junior Space recorded its last session this past week.
– Naomichi Marufuji posted two short InstaLive videos of himself and a drunk Tadasuke. Who had a white towel over his head for some reason in the first, and then had the grin and the eyes half closed and half open in the second.
– A sports news outlet based in Nigeria, reported that Chris Ridgeway had passed away on March 30th 2021! I mean STINGER might be reclusive, and one fan drawn cartoon depicted HAYATA living inside of Yoshiki Inamura’s tires as it was a dark place to hide, but come on! I doubt the 1,308 fans at the Yokohama Budokan were all having a mass hallucination.
– Eita has now become a freelancer. DragonGate said that with his activities in NOAH and Eita also wanting to expand, that this was the best and easiest option all round.
– Manabu Soya announced himself as the mystery wrestler who would enter Champions Carnival Block B
– Kenta Kobashi will be running Fortune Dream (8) again at Korakuen Hall on the 14th June.
– The Great Muta will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, alongside Keiji Mutoh. Akitoshi Saito wondered whether Muta had a passport.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Jake Lee
Challenger: Katsuhiko Nakajima, ABEMA presents GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in SENDAI (Xebio Arena Sendai, Sunday April 16th)
- GHC Junior Champion: AMAKUSA
Challenger: Lanzelot, SUNNY VOYAGE 2023 (Aomori Mutsu Maeda Arena, Sunday March 26th)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Masa Kitamiya and Daiki Inaba
Challengers: Shuhei Taniguchi & Takashi Sugiura, ABEMA presents GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in SENDAI (Xebio Arena Sendai, Sunday April 16th)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Yoshinari Ogawa & Eita
Challengers: None at the time of writing
- GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr
Challenger: Jack Morris, ABEMA presents GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in SENDAI (Xebio Arena Sendai, Sunday April 16th)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
– Friday March 24th
SUNNY VOYAGE 2023
Akita Selion Plaza
Starts: 18:30 JST
– Saturday March 25th
SUNNY VOYAGE 2023
Iwate Morioka Gymnasium
– Sunday March 26th
SUNNY VOYAGE 2023
Aomori Mutsu Maeda Arena
– Monday March 27th
SUNNY VOYAGE 2023
Aomori Hachinohe Yutori 1st floor multi-purpose large hall
Starts: 18:30 JST
- March 27th: Kenta Kobashi (56)
- March 29th: Kai Fujimura (28)
NOAH FROM THE VAULT
“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary
With thanks to: Flame286 & Metal NOAH
Picture credits: Weekly Pro (Kitamiya & Miyahara)