Pro Wrestling NOAH brings us the Finals of the Global Junior League hot off the news of new ownership!
So Pro Wrestling NOAH is now owned by CyberAgent, which is the parent company of DDT. This means, that DDT’s streaming site, DDT Universe, had the show available for free!
Does this mean NOAH will stream under the DDT Universe banner? No clue yet. But I’m not gonna look a gift horse in the mouth, ya know.
The major draw to this show is the Semi-Finals and Finals of the Global Junior League. The Junior Champion is still in the running, so we could still have on of those champion picks opponents situations.
Also it shouldn’t be overlooked that this will be Quiet Storm’s last NOAH match, as a member of the roster. His contract expires, so from here on out, he is a Freelancer.
Time to get to the show!
- El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr vs Kinya Okada: Hijo wins via Wagner Driver @6:00 – **
- Stinger (Atsushi Kotoge, Kotaro Suzuki & Chris Ridgeway) vs RATEL’S (YO-HEY, HAYATA & Tadasuke): YO-HEY wins via Double Leg Cradle @10:30 – ** 3/4
- 50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) vs Dark Agents Return (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue): Funky Powers win via Funky Buster Bomb @11:35 – ***
- GJL Semi-Finals: Daisuke Harada vs Hajime Ohara: Harada wins via Katayama German Suplex Hold @15:45 – ****
- GJL Semi-Finals: Yoshinari Ogawa vs Dick Togo: Togo wins via Crossface @8:30 – *** 1/4
- KONGOH (Yoshiki Inamura, Masa Kitamiya, Nio, Hao & Kenoh) vs Junta Miyawaki, Minoru Tanaka, Kaito Kiyomiya, Hitoshi Kumano & Naomichi Marufuji: Kenoh wins via Double Footstomp @19:15 – *** 1/2
- Sugiura-gun (Hideki Suzuki, Kazuyuki Fujita & Takashi Suguira) vs AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Shuhei Taniguchi: Fujita wins via Sleeper Hold @18:55 – *** 3/4
- GJL Finals: Dick Togo vs Daisuke Harada: Harada wins via Katayama German Suplex Hold @19:45 – **** 3/4
El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr vs Kinya Okada – Decently competitive match for the young Okada. Wagner gets a solid win with decent enough crowd support. Okada had a few fire up spots, but never really stood a chance. It was interesting to see Hijo win with the Wagner Driver and not his usual moonsault. Solid opening match.
Stinger (Atsushi Kotoge, Kotaro Suzuki & Chris Ridgeway) vs RATEL’S (YO-HEY, HAYATA & Tadasuke) – YO-HEY seems to have a very vocal group of female fans at the show today as he starts the match off with Kotaro. A lot of good work and the continued Stinger versus RATEL’S storyline is great. YO-HEY hits Ganmen G, or he thinks he does, but Kotoge rolls through it and gets him set up for a Styles Clash, but HAYATA slides in, Superkicks Kotoge and YO-HEY turns it into a cradle pinfall victory.
Post match, YO-HEY is poking a little fun at Kotoge and Suzuki since they are Junior Tag Champions, basically claiming they should get a shot since YO-HEY got the pinfall. Suzuki seems to not feel it’s earned just yet, but the RATEL’S team heads to the back grinning.
50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) vs Dark Agents Return (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue) – In what is Quiet Storm’s last match before he becomes a Freelancer, he pairs up with Yone one last time. This was a solidly competitive match, with comedy elements thanks to Inoue, and nice signature spots. What it lacked in actual in-ring workrate it made up for in fun and if you knew of Quiet Storm’s NOAH farewell, it made it a little more special. Nothing fantastic, but a very appropriate match for the two teams.
GJL Semi-Finals: Daisuke Harada vs Hajime Ohara – The match starts off slowly with both men trying to get early mat advantages, but that’s more Ohara’s wheelhouse than Harada’s. After the referee gets clipped during a kick out, Ohara tries to focus on the back. Backbreakers, Modified Romero Special, Gory Backbreaker, Emerald Flowsion, wonderful focus on a body part.
Thinking he’s done enough, Ohara calls for the Muy Bien, but Harada is able to crawl to the ropes. Harada starts trying to swing the momentum after an Electric Chair Quesadora Roll and Hurricanrana buy him some time. After a heavy lariat, Ohara kicks out at one, a quick grapple counter turns into Harada hitting a Tombstone, Ohara trying to counter with a Rolling Head and Arm cradle, but Harada gets the advantage, hits the Knee Lift and Katayama German Suplex Hold. Damn good match.
GJL Semi-Finals: Yoshinari Ogawa vs Dick Togo – It is kinda interesting to hear the entrance songs, since many are usually muted during NOAH shows. Dick Togo coming out to Insane in the Membrane, is tremendous. The match itself was interesting since there was a lot of time spent utilizing mat wrestling. Definitely showed two technically proficient veterans who didn’t need to rely on the flash to make an engaging match. Lots of counter holds, submission maneuvering and trying to just out think the other person. Cerebral, but not slow. Showcased a much different style than then the previous League match.
KONGOH (Yoshiki Inamura, Masa Kitamiya, Nio, Hao & Kenoh) vs Junta Miyawaki, Minoru Tanaka, Kaito Kiyomiya, Hitoshi Kumano & Naomichi Marufuji – Marufuji spent an early portion of the match picking on Hao, perhaps this is continuing his vendetta against the Junior Division, or maybe Hao is just a geek. Kenoh takes a few open shots at Kaito, when Kaito wants to show a bit of arrogance with the Boston Crab in the enemy corner. Hao tries to knock Marufuji off the apron with a Running Dropkick, but Marufuji drops off the apron and Hao looks like a geek again. Thankfully for KONGOH, they are a very fluid faction. Once Kenoh got in and had proper time with Kaito, we saw him orchestrate numerous moments where his faction won in tandem spots and momentum swings. Kaito managed to tag out to Junta (the Young Boy on the team) and despite a valiant effort, Kenoh makes an example out of him, stopping the pinfall after a PK, just so he can Double Footstomp to send a message. Really good multiman match with plenty of subtext and little feuds to pull at.
— プロレスリング・ノア (@noah_ghc) January 30, 2020
Sugiura-gun (Hideki Suzuki, Kazuyuki Fujita & Takashi Suguira) vs AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Shuhei Taniguchi – This told a hell of a story. Shuhei and Sugiura were kind of along for the ride since they already had a match, just work really well together. But Fujita went after Shiozaki and Suzuki seems interested in Nakajima. Every opportunity that Fujita got to go against the new champion, he met with a smile and a slap. Great striking, great outside spots to add to insult and just a great set up match. Hell, the crowd even seemed to appreciate Fujita and his challenge.
Fujita will challenge Shiozaki for the GHC Heavyweight, Suzuki didn’t want to be left out, so he challenged Nakajima and Kaito Kiyomiya stormed the ring to challenge Takashi Sugiura for the GHC National title. Lots of big matches made, right before the Global Junior League Finals!
GJL Finals: Dick Togo vs Daisuke Harada – This was amazing. Harada came out of the gates with the John Woo Dropkick and the Katayama German Suplex, but Togo kicked out. Harada had the game plan to end it quickly, but Togo still had more in the tank. A little bit of brawling starts to go Togo’s way and he lays into Harada utilizing submissions to take the younger wrestlers legs out, as well as even going to the Crossface, but the Harada gets to the ropes. The fact that we had multiple uses of the finisher they used to get to the finals, and visible kick outs or breaks, was a great way to link the story of the tournament. They both went above and beyond pulling off multiple variations of signature moves to try and get the victory. Avalanche Pedigree from Togo nearly pulled it off, but Harada remained resilient. It took back to back Katayama German Suplex Holds, and a grand total of 4 (one Harada lost the bridge because he was selling the worked over knee). Just a beautiful match.
Overall Show: 8.75/10
The CyberAgent debut show, if we want to call it that, was amazing. No bad moments, great ring work, a few comedy spots early, a seemingly warm understanding of Quiet Storm’s status and Junior League matches were tremendous.
We saw most of the major belts have challengers sorted out, Marufuji may see another run in the junior division since he butts heads with Daisuke Harada and his treatment of Hao could be a sign. Kazuyuki Fujita challenging Go Shiozaki is interesting since Fujita has a reputation that doesn’t really lend well to him doing the honors. Hopefully Shiozaki’s reign isn’t cut short, but you never know.
Also let’s not forget that Hideki Suzuki challenged Katsuhiko Nakajima for a special singles match, that hopefully, Nakajima can win or at least draw. Nakajima needs a higher profile victory for a few reasons. Losses to Shiozaki and Elgin make him look a little outclassed, especially when he’s Wrestle-1 Champion (if he likes it or not); it would be a bad look to have a champion and main event contender just look second best against all the named talent.
Either way, great event, I really liked how the semi-final matches played into the finals since it was all so close and fresh to the viewer. Easily one of the better shows of the fledgling year.