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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (2/25/20)

The Bellas and Daniel Bryan go Backstage!

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WWE Backstage 2020

You can look, but you can’t touch!

WWE Backstage welcomes two 2020 Hall of Fame inductees, Nikki & Brie Bella! What will the Bella Twins have to say about the great news?

 

Renee Young introduces the panel!

Booker T is always here for your “champagne wishes, caviar dreams,” and some custom Jordans. “These ain’t no Vans!” What’s wrong with Vans? They shut the company down because no one buys them anymore. Renee defends Vans on behalf of her custom David Bowie Vans. Well that’s David Bowie. But moving on, we have Mark Henry again, and Captain Charisma is back! Christian the Backstage Buddha, that is. Make that his lower third.

But just days from WWE Super Showdown, things reached a boiling point as the Road to WrestleMania rolls on. And once again, Backstage has…

Just the Highlights!

From SmackDown: The Symphony of Destruction sequel was even more destructive than the first! The Bella Twins were announced for the 2020 Hall of Fame class! Naomi beats Carmella to be part of a historic match for WWE Super Showdown! And Goldberg didn’t play The Fiend’s games and gave him a SPEAR! But will things go as smoothly in Saudi Arabia?

From Raw: The Beast, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Was back on the air and Paul Heyman gave one last ultimatum to Ricochet and Drew McIntyre, that Lesnar would make “minced meat” out of both of them. A brawl broke loose as the Raw Women’s Championship Contender’s Elimination Chamber contract was signed! Seth Rollins was able to #BurnItDown and stomp it out on Montez Ford! And disciples come from all walks of life, and that includes referees! The Viper benefits from the Monday Night Messiah’s message having reached the “heart” of one young such official, and it pissed Kevin Owens off! Kevin made the referee pay, but when will Rollins have to face the consequences?

The panel discusses this week in WWE.

Raw masterfully mixed two big stories together, and Kevin got stuck in the middle. Is Christian glad to see a fellow Canadian stick up for Edge? He is, because this will help enhance both stories. Kevin’s motivations were logical and great, and it is also relatable. Randy Orton “on cruise control” is still better than 99% of the roster. But then a motivated Orton is even greater. Renee looks forward to Beth Phoenix showing up on Raw next week. Henry adds that the Canadian connection was great, too. Booker says that’s what you’re supposed to do. And he also likes Kevin and Orton in their roles.

All wrestlers get to a point where they go, “Why couldn’t I have figured this out 10 years ago?!” And there is where Orton is now. Orton cutting a promo is like having coffee in the morning with hazelnut creamer, “it’s tasting real good.” Orton is painting the best picture, is Shakespearean on the mic, everyone can learn from this. Christian notes Orton is in full control.

Renee wants to talk what’s up with the “Winnipeg Screw Job” and the crooked ref. Henry says it’s a bit disappointing, but it does work as a layer to the Rollins story. Kevin’s character figured out “there was a snake in the grass,” even before Rollins did. Booker notes that it really does keep the memory of the Montreal Screw Job alive, because it’s all Canadian! Christian says Canada is Screw Job Country.

Moving to SmackDown’s side of things, Naomi is once again a contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Bayley did her best to change that but WWE Super Showdown sets up Bayley VS Naomi. For one, it is great to see a women’s title match in Riyadh, and Henry says Naomi getting the spotlight is great. Naomi is doing everything she can to bring prominence back to the Women’s Division. Naomi’s match with Bayley showed that she belongs, and Henry is sure Naomi will be in the title scene to stay. Booker notes that it’s Black History Month, “all the brothers on the card should win the titles.” But Naomi is definitely worthy. Her time off did wonders for her. Booker knows she’ll be a great champion, she just needs time to get there, to up her game. He says she’ll win.

Christian says Naomi is one of his favorites, her time is coming again, but maybe not at Super Showdown. We’re so close to WrestleMania, let Bayley carry that title in, and then let the title change happen there. Booker wants buzz! The buzz faded from Bayley, so put it on Naomi! Henry says the fans are all behind Naomi, but Christian says that could build even higher towards Mania. Henry doesn’t understand why it always has to be about Mania. Make it right now! Christian argues slow burn but Henry says Naomi’s on fire now.

 

WWE Backstage spots a tweet from TSN Sports.

“Drake’s got something to say,” with the hush emoji. He’s Drake Two Belts with his WWE World Championship and throwback Hulkamania world championship belt replicas! Will the Toronto Raptors retain their own NBA championship this season?

 

WWE Backstage look back on the Bella Twins’ journey.

It was 2008 when both Bellas debuted, as they pulled off some classic Twin Magic when one Bella went under the ring, and two came back out! Nikki and Brie would each be WWE Diva’s Champion in their careers, with Nikki setting the record for longest reign at 301 days in her second reign. Nikki would also main event the WWE’s first-ever all women’s PPV, Evolution, in 2018 against Ronda Rousey. And of course, the Bellas led the charge in reality TV with Total Divas, and then their own spin-off in Total Bellas. Both shows got mainstream exposure onto WWE and women’s wrestling, and allowed the Bellas to blaze a trail into other ventures, such as fashion, wine and podcasts. And with WrestleMania season reaching the peak, the Bellas add one more achievement to the inspiring list: Hall of Fame inductions!

The Bellas are Backstage!

Nikki and Brie already sit with Renee and are both proud of their baby bumps. How did it feel to get the call about going into the HOF? So many things. The day they got the call, Brie thought Nikki did or said something to get them in trouble. Even Nikki had to think back just in case. But they called Vince McMahon back and were shocked to hear the news! And then they were overwhelmed with gratitude. Having worked hard for so long, and then for the man who gave them their opportunities to call personally and be so nice, it is still surreal. Even seeing that video package, it’s still hard to believe they did all that.

Renee asks that with everything they did inside the ring and outside the ring, what moments stand out? Brie says the Divas Search in 2006, where they were actually rejected at first, is crazy to think about. Footage plays for everyone to reminisce on, and the Bellas can’t believe they were so young and used to dress like that. Being denied there but working hard to get another chance was a major part of their lives.

Nikki says that using “Twin Magic” and then having Total Divas help show they’re still individuals, which then translated to the ring, “Fearless Nikki” and “Brie Mode” and their reigns and big matches, so many moments make the list. The Bella VS Bella feud was hard, Renee even felt that one. Nikki promised Brie at the time that a lot of the emotions might be aimed towards Brie, but it was about a lot of other things, too.

Renee notes how the Bellas were even part of Florida Championship Wrestling, FCW, and then ended up being a big part of the Women’s (R)Evolution in WWE. The locker room changed a lot. When the Bellas started and it was still the Diva’s Era, the women were always fighting for more time, but it was selfish fighting. Each woman wanted time for themselves. But as time went on, it was about the women all fighting for “the match,” to bring everyone up together. The women all realized that it was a fight as a group. NXT call-ups came in with the same vision, and it all made them a strong “force” to be reckoned with.

Renee brings it back to when Charlotte Flair and Paige were last on WWE Backstage. They had their own comments about how the Bellas were already great wrestlers during the Diva’s Era. But when they were against women that wanted to wrestle, that helped the Bellas elevate even more. Charlotte praised Nikki growing as a wrestler, and she got to have a great match with Ronda Rousey. It is women working together to help the entire Division. The Bellas appreciate all that. And for their perspective, “It makes you better. Mentally, physically, because you’re working with women that are so athletic.”

It’s like the Super Bowl, teams working to become THE champion, and you’re playing the other great team of the league. It’s the best versus the best, and that is what we all got. Nikki got to face some of the best women in wrestling today, and she raised her game to match and created magic. It is magical when you work together, and both parties make each other better. Renee notes the preparation for her match with Ronda. How hard was that for Nikki? Nikki knew it was Ronda Rousey, an icon in women’s fight sports. Fearless Nikki wasn’t enough, she had to be more aggressive. They only trained for 20 minutes but Nikki literally felt the difference in Ronda’s strength compared to others. Nikki went in feeling she had to be Goliath for Ronda’s David to conquer.

Brie adds that growing up in soccer, teamwork makes magic. The Bella Twins worked as a great duo, the give and take. And again relating to the locker room mentality changing to be about the matches, not the individual stars, it is as Paige said about the entire division coming together. Renee says the Bellas were such great locker room leaders, they all miss Nikki and Brie.

But with all the accomplishments, like Total Divas, Total Bellas, Bella Radici wine, little Birdie and the new babies on the way, they have created a Bella Empire! What’s next? They have their podcast and YouTube channels, and they have another wine line coming down the pipeline. Brie and Nikki having retired from the ring, they have all these entrepreneurial ventures now, and with a purpose. Renee commends them on busting their butts, and knows the Bellas will stick around to discuss even more.

 

WWE Backstage presents another edition of: Wrestling with Your Feelings, with Rachel Bonnetta!

The Street Profits are set for a Super Showdown, but they’re hesitant to go in. Once you knock on the door, you- Rachel can hear them through the door! Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins go inside and take a seat. There are no alcoholic beverages allowed, she’ll have to take it away. Ford makes a move and Rachel says he needs to not lash out like that. She allows his drink one time, if he leaves it with her administrator, Susanne. Susanne’s a nice lady, she makes great banana bread.

Rachel wants to discuss Ford calling himself, “King Tez.” Why is he so full of himself? Is this therapy or a roast? The WWE Roast of Montez Ford. How does Dawkins deal with this? Dawkins won’t let her burn Montez. Rachel wants them to have a session a week for the next year. The next year!? Yes, and they will work on “this” every week. Ford blames Dawkins’ emotions but Dawkins blames Ford’s energy. Do not bring that cup into her office again. Unless he’s willing to share. Rachel wants a sip? Well they’ve got all year now. Laters! Susanne! Where the banana bread at, fam?

The panel discusses.

When is Booker T stopping in for therapy? Not until Rachel changes that sweater, she’s been wearing that since the first one. Renee says Rachel is professional, it’ll be fine. But the Super Showdown is coming, so let’s talk how to…

Pay It Off!

The panel previously discussed the Street Profits needing to get down ‘n’ dirty. How should they walk away from Super Showdown? Booker says Rollins & Murphy have been performing at a very, very high level, while the Street Profits are still coming up. The Profits will be tag team champions one day, just not Thursday. They still need time to grow, be ready for that title scene pressure. Drew McIntyre will tell them all about that. Christian agrees that the Profits are entertaining on the mic, almost like Edge and Christian. The connection with the audience in that way is good, but there also needs to be the connection with the audience in the ring, and that takes time to figure out. Those singles matches were really good, but the Profits will have their time.

Henry says that Christian and Booker were legitimate tag team wrestlers in their time, and that is where the Profits are. They are the tag team, while Rollins and Murphy came together as individuals. That isn’t a tag team in Henry’s eyes. Christian notes that it’s because they’re the top faction on Raw right now, and only just won the titles. Rollins is the established star for sure, giving validation to this reign. The Profits haven’t had the time to be there yet. Christian as a tag team guy, he and Edge still didn’t win titles right away, it took some time. Booker concurs. Renee says the match will be great either way, but now moves the conversation to SmackDown’s “unstoppable force” and “immovable object.” Renee of course means Goldberg and The Fiend having an encounter to close the show!

Goldberg didn’t flinch when The Fiend appeared, and SPEARED him down instead! Henry starts off by saying that as great as it would be for Goldberg to be Universal Champion again, The Fiend still has too much steam and value right now. The Fiend will go forward, even with Goldberg going at him. Christian says again that he’s a fan of Bray Wyatt as a generational talent. Goldbeg is iconic, so The Fiend beating him will do so much more to enhance The Fiend. Booker says The Fiend won this title at the last Saudi Arabia show while Goldberg had a different kind of moment at that same show. But now, for both of them to collide in the return trip, “it’s going down.” There is a moment to be had, but in whose favor?

Renee brings things to Ricochet challenging for the WWE World Championship against Brock Lesnar, and last night he proved he can beat a big man. Ricochet took on Luke Gallows and hit a HUGE Shooting Star to do it! But how does this go then? Booker says Ricochet looks GOODT and a rocket will be strapped on him, someday. Super Showdown is going to be Ricochet going down in flames against Brock Lesnar. But how bad is Lesnar going to make it for him? Lesnar will put Ricochet through pain! Henry says Ricochet is going to Suplex City, and there’s nothing anyone can do it. Christian knows Lensar is one of the best, and has had some of his best matches with smaller guys. Ricochet ups his stock just by having this match, but nope, it’s not going Ricochet’s way.

 

The WWE wishes a Happy Birthday to Ric Flair!

The Rolex wearing, kiss-stealing, wheeling dealing, jet flying son-of-a-gun, “the greatest of them all” turns 71! And to celebrate, Flair went to watch Pelicans VS Lakers, and cut a very complimentary promo for LeBron James as “the greatest athlete in the world today!” WOO~!

The Bellas join Henry and Renee, as they all know the Nature Boy very well. Henry starts with his best PG Flair story. Henry’s first time meeting Flair was after a show, and they’re at the hotel and he sees Flair in full Ric Flair mode. Flair is stylin’, profilin’, buying drinks, #Naitchin’. And then Henry walks over and Flair climbs up on the bar to dance and throw off his jacket and asking some lady to get up and dance with him. She does, and Henry was just in awe. And that’s how Sexual Chocolate was born.

Brie has many great memories, but her favorite was just before she retired. Flair invited her and others out to dinner, and he could tell she was conflicted. Brie knew women’s wrestling was getting to a great place but she wanted to start a family with husband Daniel Bryan. Flair told her that the greatest match in life is being a parent. Brie understood, and those words stick with her to this day. Nikki’s memory will stay PG, too, and it was her and Charlotte for the Diva’s Championship. The fatherly advice Flair gave Nikki was so touching, because he cried proud tears for them both. Renee says her first interview with him in Virginia, “Virginia’s for lovers!” The fans went nuts! Just feeling that Ric Flair energy is next level. Another happy birthday to Ric Flair, and wishes for many more!

 

WWE congratulates Tyson Fury on his big win!

February 22nd, Fury VS Wilder, HHH was there backstage with Fury as Fury was pumping himself up for the fight. As posted by BT Sport WWE’s Twitter channel, Fury jokes that if he has to, he’ll Choke Slam Deontay Wilder down. The Gypsy King had his throne, The Bronze Bomber had his crown, but in the end, the WBC Heavyweight Champion would be the undefeated Fury! The Rock was there to congratulate Fury and the family in person.

Booker T sits with Christian. If Fury were to come back, how would they book him? Fury VS Baron Corbin for the one true king of fight sports. Booker notes Corbin is just as tall, just as strong, and was a Golden Gloves winner in boxing once, so that would be a great match-up. Christian likes that pick, but wants Fury VS Booker for choosing Wilder. But seriously, it should be Fury and Strowman together again, with Elias on the side, against a faction like Rollins, Murphy & AOP, and then when the King, the Monster and the Drifter win, they can sing a cover of American Pie. Booker admits choosing wrong, and congratulates Fury on becoming the new WBC Heavyweight Champion.

 

It’s the WWE Backstage Main Event!

Ron Simmons, The Rock, Booker T, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston. Just some of the names in a lineage of Black world champions in WWE. Black History Month is almost over, so Henry and Booker discuss their own journeys in this business. “Book, here we are.” Two men who made it to this level. They loved the journey, but there were others, like Ernie Ladd, who told Henry that he did great, and the company was doing great things with African American talent. Just don’t mess it up for everyone after him. Booker says Henry the Olympic caliber athlete had that going for him, but Booker was “just a kid from South Park.” Booker was sneaking to the other side of town, acting like a wrestler.

Booker remembers Ox Baker telling him, “Kid, can I talk to you?” He saw Booker’s talent, but told him there’d be a lot of obstacles. Booker didn’t need to be told those obstacles, and Baker told him to find ways over, under and around those obstacles. “But with your talent, I think you can do it.” Ox set Booker straight, as did Tiger Conway. “You gotta know how to be a champion in the ring, as well as out of the ring, all the time.” Henry also remembers meeting Conway. You are to make it known to the promoter that you’re going to be on time all the time, that you are reliable. Because when the promoter knows that, they’ll put you in the segments and moments that matter, the moments that make you better.

Henry says he was fortunate enough to be in the Nation of Domination. He had Ron Simmons and The Godfather, these veterans, who taught Henry, D’Lo Brown and The Rock things. Because of those teachings and blessings, those three rose up to be their own individual star stronger than before NOD. Booker notes having his brother, Stevie Ray, watching his back. Winning the world championship was never a thought in Booker’s mind, even as Stevie was telling Booker he was “prolific.” Booker wasn’t even sure what that word meant, but Stevie kept talking him up. Someone else told Booker that he’d be a future world champion, and Booker still didn’t think about it. Booker just wanted to be the best guy in the locker room, to be the best role model for young Black kids watching wrestling. And in the end, that led him to the world championship.

Henry knows that blessings and support systems are great. He’s done his best to be a support system in the WWE Performance Center and NXT. WWE Backstage puts up a great picture of all the young and developing African American talent, both in and out of the ring, at NXT currently. Keith Lee, The Street Profits, Bianca Belair, Mia Yim, even “Wrestle & Flow” Josiah Williams, have all come and gone through the developmental system. Such a system wasn’t even a thing during the days Booker T and Mark Henry were coming up. In fact, there was only a handful of Black wrestlers in WWE or WCW at the time, for maybe eight total. Now, the future looks bright, with Bianca leading the way.

Booker wants Henry to pat himself on the back for that. They surely inspired this generation to do it, and that is thanks to exposure. Exposure on screen, exposure backstage with the ability to go talk and share and mentor. If you’re willing to work hard, come in early and go home late, be reliable, Henry will vouch for you. Booker says that your word is your rep. If you can’t live up to that, you can’t be here. Booker’s Reality of Wrestling gives half a chance to so many, because once you get your foot in the door, it’s on you to carry it the rest of the way. That is all Booker wanted when he started, to show how good he could possibly be.

Henry says they could go on and on all night, the past grooming them for the future. But they thank Fox, WWE and WWE Backstage for this opportunity.

 

WWE Backstage has a Bella Flashback!

It was June 17, 2019 when Nikki and Brie showed off their soccer skills and their wrestling moves to Fox Soccer Tonight.

But now, in the present, Nikki and Brie team up with Henry and Christian, respectively, for a super showdown of their own. It is the diaper change challenge! Henry and Christian will work to change the baby doll’s diaper, clothe it, and chugging a bottle. AKA this is an audition for babysitting duties. Christian promises to make this “Brie-zee for sheezee.” Henry says that was lame, which is why Christian’s not in the Hall of Fame. But on your marks, get set, GO! Diaper stage is pretty neck and neck. Christian gets a lead into the dressing, but Henry catches up fast. Christian gets ahead with the shirt but Henry is still hot on his heels. Be gentler, it’s a baby!

Christian already makes it to chugging! Chug, chug, chug! And breathe. Henry just gets to the bottle stage, and takes off the bottle top!? Is that allowed?! Well Christian does it, too, so it’s even. Henry chugs fastest! The World’s Strongest Babysitter wins! Henry “feeds” the baby, and the moms-to-be each get a gift basket. WWE Backstage shirts and Ric Flair dolls, among other things. Congratulations to the Bella Twins on both the HOF induction and the babies on the way!

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really fun episode again this week. I think WWE Backstage has really found its stride, as well as the sweet spot of how much to talk about kayfabe and how much to do shoot. Clearly the Bellas were just as surprised to be chosen for the 2020 class as we fans were, but after Charlotte Flair and Paige made it known that the Bellas were as much a part of the squash that sparked #GiveDivasAChance and the WWE Women’s (R)Evolution, I would hope some fans are lightening up on them. And all the stories of Ric Flair and of the journeys Henry and Booker took were great segments, too. If anything, that is the real charm of Backstage: the real stories and memories we fans get to hear on television, from the real people that lived them.


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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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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.185 ~ 7TH SEPTEMBER 2022

N-1 Victory gives us a new challenger for the GHC Heavyweight title! A New Tag Team forms! Injuries and Junior division craziness! Hisame brings you all the NOAH nuggies!

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NEWS

Kaito Kiyomiya wins N-1 VICTORY

Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Hideki Suzuki to win his first N-1 VICTORY. Hideki Suzuki had terrified him, as he remembered how it was the last time they fought soon after Kiyomiya had returned from excursion. Kiyomiya had said in the press conference in response to Suzuki’s “he’s obsessed with Mutoh” that he wouldn’t use any of Mutoh’s moves in the match, but this was indeed how he won it. With his win, Kiyomiya could now challenge Kenoh for the GHC Heavyweight title.

Kenoh (looking half amused and a bit proud of Kiyomiya), came to the ring and silently raised the GHC Heavyweight. Backstage, he was not as quiet, saying that Kiyomiya was “a handsome wrestler with a cool face”, but he wasn’t happy with Kiyomiya’s somewhat dazed promo and branding him the “Useless N-1 Champion”.

HAYATA nominates his next challenger, YO-HEY

YO-HEY had been saying for the past few weeks that he was going to be aiming at HAYATA. The expected title challenge didn’t happen earlier as the last time YO-HEY and HAYATA were in the ring together, Perros Del Mal De Japon ruined any chances. HAYATA took matters into his own hands following the match in Osaka on the September 3rd. The way YO-HEY was nominated was done in a way that could only be done between the two of them, with HAYATA walking in on the NOAH Junior Regulars while they were in the comments booth, and nominating YO-HEY then and there.

STINGER victorious, new challengers emerge

STINGER ground Perros Del Mal De Japon practically into the ground in the title match in Osaka, Eita getting the brunt of the attack. Chris Ridgeway at one point taking off Eita’s kneepad and grinding his knuckles into the bone. It was no wonder that by the end of the match, Eita was walking with a noticeable limp. As Perros Del Mal slunk away to lick their wounds, STINGER were faced with their new challengers, Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka of The NOAH Junior Regulars. Kotoge got about half of a sentence out about challenging for the belts, taking them back, teaming with Yoshioka, when STINGER had had enough of him/them, and hit them both in the face with their belts and then walked off making dismissive motions. Despite this, their challenge has been accepted.

Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura

Understandably subdued at the moment and not himself, Takashi Sugiura came out of his shell a bit when he and Satoshi Kojima teamed together in Osaka on 3rd September. At first their partnership was stormy, a missed spot which involved an opponent ducking and a mistimed spot resulted in an argument and Sugiura deliberately breaking a pin, which meant that fans suspected a rivalry. However, backstage Satoshi Kojima had a different idea, how about the two of them team up? Sugi wasn’t too sure, but Kojima persuaded him saying that they were both the same age (Sugiura is four months older) and it was hard to find someone as contemporary as Sugiura now. Sugiura said he would give it a go, and much to fans surprise, the two have challenged for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles.

Masa Kitamiya

With the N-1 over and Masakatsu Funaki saying that he wanted to put the belt up against the three people he lost against, Masa Kitamiya, Kaito Kiyomiya & Satoshi Kojima, fans were the most interested in seeing Kitamiya challenge. Following a tag match in Osaka, Kitamiya and Funaki got into a rare melee brawl after the match, which involved Kitamiya slamming him and Katsuhiko Nakajima having to throw Kitamiya from the ring. Backstage, Kitamiya announced his challenge and the title match has been set a little later the others (I think due to Funaki’s schedule) for the 30th September.

Kenoh vs The Makai Alliance

The short lived Makai Alliance of NOSAWA Rongai, The-Great-O-Khan and The Great Muta (I say short as Muta turned on O-Khan and gave him the Green Mist at the end) took on the might of Kongoh. Tadasuke was the target for the three demons, while Kenoh battered O-Khan with his bamboo sword (O-Khan posted pictures of the welts later) and while attempting a fireball, got a lick of flame from Great Muta. Sadly, Kenoh did not set himself on fire in the match and do any flaming kicks. Manabu Soya was given the red mist. Following Muta’s betrayal, O-Khan has vowed revenge and while he was crawling backstage and then rolling around on the floor, Muta hinted that perhaps he might be turning up in New Japan, or perhaps America?

DragonGate

Following NOAH’s Osaka event, The NOAH Junior Regulars (YO-HEY, Atsushi Kotoge, Alejandro and Seiki Yoshioka) turned up at DragonGate’s event and saved Natural Vibes from Z-BRATS. Kzy couldn’t quite believe it and asked what they were doing there, to which a joint performance (or “festival”) was suggested. Seiki Yoshioka wanted to fight YAMATO, while Alejandro wanted to team with “the skillful, crazy and cool” DragonKid. Nothing more has been said about the date, the venue or the card, but expect announcements in the coming weeks.

NOAH’s new debut

NOAH have announced that a trainee will graduate from the dojo on the 15th September. Taishi Ozawa is twenty-five years old, has a background in gymnastics, and comes from Shizuoka. He will be the first debut since Yasutaka Yano in about two years. His first NOAH match will be against Yoshiki Inamura, following this he is expected to join the heavyweight division.

Go Shiozaki injured

Go Shiozaki was injured in the match in Osaka, and was helped backstage by the trainees and officials, an ice pack on his arm. NOAH have not announced the extent of the injury yet or for how long Shiozaki will be absent only that he is pending further investigations.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Seiki Yoshioka has done a weight challenge which involved other wrestlers sitting on him while he does push ups; Alejandro was the easiest because he’s the smallest and lightest, Daiki Inaba was doable, Go Shiozaki giggled and fell off and Yoshiki Inamura squashed him flat.

– Stallion Rogers and Anthony Greene left NOAH to return to the USA. Anthony Greene was very emotional, stating how much he was going to miss Japan and how he looked upon The Ark, as home.

– Kenoh says he doesn’t care about O-Khan, his goal is another New Japan wrestler. He doesn’t say who though.

– Daiki Inaba has a singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima coming up, this will be his chance to avenge himself for the W-1 championship belt.

– We mercifully never found out just where Kendo Kashin had vanished to after the match.

– Kaito Kiyomiya has taken up surfing in his new channel videos, while Kenoh informed us all that “The Beast” is not simply a name for Kazuyuki Fujita to scare his opponents with, which Kenoh found out when kicking him in the thigh.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– N-1 VICTORY 2022 GRAND FINAL & GREAT MUTA OSAKA FINAL (Edion Arena Osaka First Stadium, Saturday September 3rd)

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)

– Wednesday 15th September

NOAH will hold a press conference/match signing live on their official YouTube at 5pm JST. Keiji Mutoh will give further details about his retirement road plans, while the title matches are expected to be signed for.

LINKS

Muta & O-Khan make a shocking agreement, with the offering of “Makai Cake” at the historic alliance talks

Dragon Bane and Alpha Wolf both declare victory in Osaka for the Lucha Brothers showdown

Ahead of The Muta & O-Khan battle, holding a bamboo sword Kenoh does a furious interview, not giving up on GHC Heavyweight counter-attack

Suzuki “Best fight in the world”, “Win or die”, “No more chances” – Kiyomiya also has his back to the wall, press conference just before the N-1 championship match

GHC Champion Kenoh Makai Empire Alliance “Purification”, declares “Compulsory Elementary School Education For O-Khan”

Moving away from mentor Keiji Mutoh as champion! Kaito Kiyomiya submits “Graduation Thesis” by swearing to win the N-1 for the first time

ALL JAPAN YOSHINARI OGAWA ARTICLES FROM 1986

An Unknown Trainee 

Yoshinari Ogawa’s Volume 

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & Seiki Yoshioka’s TikTok


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