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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (2/4/20)

Drew McIntyre goes Backstage!



WWE Backstage 2020

I dream broken dreams~!

Drew McIntyre is headed for a WWE World Championship match at WrestleMania, but takes a detour to go Backstage!


Renee Young and the panel welcome us to the show!

Now that NCAA Basketball is done for the night, Renee, Booker T, Christian and Ember Moon are here and still pedaling Booker’s beard gloss. Maybe Ember can use some on her faux fur jacket. But the Road to WrestleMania is picking up speed for WWE’s Super Showdown! But first…

Just the Highlights!

For SmackDown, The Miz and John Morrison return to tag team action in a huge Fatal 4 Way and are now set to challenge The NEW~ DAY~ for the W, W, E, Smack, Down, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONSHIPS~! Will that Super Showdown showdown be awesome? One thing that was awesome was Braun Strowman finally getting his match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and winning! Naomi returned to remind Bayley that Bayley has yet to beat Naomi, and then Bayley got to #FeelTheGlow! And in perhaps the biggest moment of SmackDown in 2020, Roman Reigns & The Usos made King Baron Corbin eat his words, and some dog food!

For Raw, The Man and The Empress prepare to go around one more time for the Raw Women’s Championship! Who takes the tiebreaker? And while The Queen, Charlotte Flair, has her chose of WWE women’s titles, Rhea Ripley has thrown her name into the hat! Will Charlotte look to not be Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion but NXT? Randy Orton knows he owes an explanation for why he devastated Edge, but he couldn’t bring himself to say it. But biggest of all, The One and Only Ricochet is heading to Super Showdown to challenge the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Of course, The Beast made sure to let Ricochet know he was watching.

The panel discusses.

Ricochet VS Lesnar is coming, is this a great opportunity? Booker thinks that’s a trick question. Renee brings up comments from John Cena on Brock Lesnar. Via Sports Illustrated, the former WWE World Champion says, “I can say with the utmost sincerity that I believe Brock Lesnar is the best in-ring performer that I’ve seen. I know it’s an opinion, and if you want a cool quote, here it is: I think he’s the best in-ring performer of all time.” The internet exploded, but what is Christian’s opinion? Cena must be watching WWE Backstage a lot, that sounded like what Christian said. And Cena knows things about the WWE, and Christian says that in regards to wrestling in pro-wrestling, “It doesn’t have to be pretty to be effective.” Christian says Lesnar is top 5 for in-ring.

Ember agrees with Christian and Cena. Lesnar is the best, because while he is an attraction that sells, he really can hit hard and move in the ring. Lesnar knows who Lesnar is, and knows that love him or hate him, fans will come to see him. Renee wants someone to play Devil’s Advocate and give someone better. Ember figures it’d be Randy Orton. Orton just knows how to milk things, just like on Raw last night. Booker T agrees with that. Booker adds, “No bread, no water, just meat.” That is Lesnar in a nutshell. He is no nonsense, and just looking at him, you go, “Hey man, this guy.” Lesnar makes it real, he makes you feel something! In today’s wrestling, Lesnar is the most believable guy in the locker room.

Renee puts it in the perspective of the Royal Rumble. Lesnar did all that work, and he is so good at his part that you forget he’s that good at his part. Booker agrees, the Rumble was Shakespearean with Lesnar and McIntyre. It made a star out of not just McIntyre, but a lot of other men in that match. Christian adds on that while things can go off the rails, stepping in the ring with a guy like Lesnar, it elevates your status.

To the other Rumble, Charlotte continues to stall with her decision making. But perhaps she waited too long and could be facing her worst Nightmare. That is to say, Rhea Ripley wants after The Queen! The one woman, the one Women’s Champion, Charlotte hasn’t beaten dares her to pick the NXT title! Ember’s reaction is first that while she wasn’t behind Charlotte winning, she is totally behind this match up. Rhea has already made a big name for herself, so “Holy poop,” this match will be great. Charlotte was the first wave of the WWE Women’s (R)Evolution, Rhea is going to lead the next wave.

Renee agrees, and seeing those two standing face to face, there is definitely the rise of a new star. Booker says he smells the money this match is going to print. Ember says that the only downside is that this pulls the rug out from under NXT TakeOver: Portland. Rhea VS Bianca is only two weeks away and yet we’re looking ahead to WrestleMania. Christian says it adds layers. Bianca can say Rhea is looking ahead, is getting distracted, and could end up losing. But the note of who Charlotte has and hasn’t beat was a great element. Booker also likes “The Ripper” for Rhea’s alternate nickname.


WWE Backstage returns, and welcomes special guest, Drew McIntyre!

The 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble winner joins the panel, giving a little wave before stepping over the top rope. He gives high-fives and fist bumps all around before taking his seat. Drew is even a gentleman, picking up Ember’s dropped cue card for her. #ReformedPsychopath. But what a whirlwind couple of weeks for McIntyre. Booker likes the jacket, and as McIntyre points out Christian’s Bond villain style, Christian offers his assistance as evil manager. But Renee wants to know: Why is now McIntyre’s time? How is it that things aligned for him? He himself isn’t sure, things just fell into place. Was he holding back? Was he not having fun?

McIntyre might’ve been overthinking something, and then he just let loose and started having that fun. Fans are having fun alongside him so that was what helped propel him the rest of the way, and right at the Royal Rumble. Renee agrees, that always seems to be what works, but it’s easier said than done. McIntyre says that his time away from the WWE is what helped him find himself and had his fun. Returning via NXT helped translate that, but then it was hard with being on Raw and having to fit into stories like with The Shield. Roman Reigns got to face The Undertaker, having great moments, and it showed that McIntyre needed to let loose. This is 100% real Drew.

Ember brings up an important thing. Everyone wants to be in that spot, but how did it feel to point at the WrestleMania sign? So much was going through his mind but his face said it all. The past 19 years, the ups, downs and sacrifices, it was all let out that night. McIntyre finally gets a WWE World Championship match, and win or lose, he’s already feeling great. He just can’t help but point at Mania signs, too, it’s become instinct. Booker says he had his five, and McIntyre was always in there. McIntyre had to leave the WWE, come back and now he’s got a rocket on his back. How much pressure does he feel? Pressure may not be the word, but McIntyre appreciates being Booker’s five. This journey was so unique for McIntyre, he’s seen all sorts of things, and now he’s ready to be the guy. Renee says they can see it and feel it.

Christian says how McIntyre was overthinking things. You never want to think what’s next, you need to be in the moment. Things slow down, and you figure things out. What was it like being away from the WWE and having things slow down like that? McIntyre says it wasn’t too long that he felt relieved. He went all in, “balls to the wall,” and the more he relaxed, the better the fans liked him. McIntyre could feel it. His first few months on Raw, he was just “big and angry, hairy and Scottish,” which no one can actually relate to. Well, maybe there’s an equally big, angry, hairy Scotsman, but other than that guy. Christian likes McIntyre’s countdown. McIntyre admits that was a spur of the moment thing and it just worked. Especially the kip up, he hadn’t done one since he was a kid playing soccer.

Ember knows people say “It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey,” but could McIntyre speak more to that independent scene journey and his return? McIntyre says he needed to leave the WWE in order to apply what he learned and become the face of several companies he worked with around the world. ICW in Scotland was most notable, and the audiences kept growing all the way from 1500 to 7000! McIntyre credits his being a former WWE wrestler to some of it, but it still felt incredible to know he helped grow a company through his hard work. And that was a great training ground for him to return and prove he can be the face of the WWE.

Renee can tell the wheels are always turning in McIntyre’s head. Where does he get his inspiration from? He isn’t sure. McIntyre just loves wrestling and has kept this same drive throughout. But he lost it somewhere along the way and was disappointed. Being released reignited him and here we are, him going 110%. McIntyre wants to make his wife proudest of all, because she has always supported him, no matter where he went. Booker and Christian also know that journey, so what would it mean for McIntyre to finally be a world champion? Very important. McIntyre was told 10 years ago he’d be the future world champion, but clearly that didn’t work then. Vince is a sorcerer, it seems.

But to be serious, winning that title and at WrestleMania, that is the culmination of everything. All the hard work, hitting “the lowest of lows” and fighting his way back up. McIntyre once pictured himself facing a guy like Lesnar, and pictured the promotional material. That was motivation, and McIntyre made sure he would be believable as an opponent. And now, seeing the real promotional pictures, “it’s bloody insane.” He feels he could’ve dreamed bigger, like first Scottish President of America. But “dream” is not even enough, this would be amazing. Everyone commends and congratulates McIntyre for this journey. McIntyre will stick around, maybe point at a Mania sign. Speaking of Mania, we’ll relive a match McIntyre mentioned after the break!


WWE Backstage recounts The Undertaker’s WrestleMania journey.

The Phenom went on an undefeated streak of 21 WrestleMania matches, until he encountered Brock Lesnar. The Streak ended, and at the time, Lesnar became the one in 21-1. But even after rebounding against Bray Wyatt, Taker and Roman Reigns met in a battle for “The Yard” at WrestleMania 33. The Big Dog now speaks to what it was like to be the last to defeat The Dead Man on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

Roman says that when he was told he’d be the one to face Taker, “it was kind of a mixed bag of emotions.” Roman was both excited but nervous to share that stage with him. Taker’s entrance is always great on film, but there’s nothing like it live at WrestleMania. Everyone respects Taker, so it was a huge moment by default. And then the two made it a huge moment in reality, because Roman understood the magnitude of getting a moment only a few can have. Fans didn’t like it, but even with a great performance from Taker, Roman won the match. “I think the hardest part of it all was that WrestleMania fireworks shot” to close it out. Roman admits he couldn’t help but be sad. It felt like Taker was done, and it weighed heavier on him than expected.

And of course, there’s always the Monday Night Raw After Mania. Fans obviously hated Roman, but it was oddly the coolest moment in his career. Roman felt more powerful in that one segment barely saying a thing than he ever could speaking. You usually don’t want to be hated, but for that 15 minutes, Roman owned the WWE Universe. “This is MY Yard now” will go down the five strongest words Roman has ever said.

The panel discusses with Drew McIntyre.

The Scottish Stud knows what it is like to be in the ring with The Big Dog, but also to be in the ring with The Undertaker. What is it like staring down The Dead Man? McIntyre says there are no words. Taker is a legend, he is THE Phenom, and as the footage plays from WWE Extreme Rules 2019, that was one of McIntyre’s favorite moments. It is a top 5 for McIntyre, he learned so much in that match. Standing up behind Taker, that was the most gifable thing in McIntyre’s life.

Booker notes that as good friends with Taker in real-life, having come up around the same time, you’d think he was just another guy. But getting to the WWE by the time Taker had established himself, that program and the theatrics, seeing that walk, Booker was marking out like a fan. Plus, Taker gave Booker that rub, and it helped Booker know he had made it. Renee notes that the entrance is definitely something that you can get starstruck from. Christian agrees with all of that, his first match with American Badass Taker and that motorcycle entrance also had him in awe. Hearing the fans react is different because the fans recognize Taker as someone on a different level. Christian learned that getting in, staying in, and succeeding in the WWE are all very different things, thanks to that match.

WWE Backstage throws it to Ember Moon and a special guest!

The co-founder of Kinda Funny Games, Greg Miller is here! Ember knows Greg is a gamer, but what got him into the WWE? Well like anyone else born in the 1980’s, pro-wrestling was everywhere. Hogan, Macho Man, Million Dollar Man, Saturday morning wrestling and then Monday Night Raw, he had an entire childhood of wrestling! Moon  heard from a little birdie that Miller went to WWE events for five straight months. Miller confirms, he and wrestling fan friends went on a road trip and it just happened to time out with WWE events. The stretch of Survivor Series all the way to Mania, he got to be at every PPV! And Miller was the guy that Lesnar screamed at during Survivor Series that one time! Did he pee himself? A little…

Ember knows Lesnar schooled Miller then, but is Miller ready to go to class? Of course he is! Promo School is in session after the break!


Next week, WWE Backstage is Clobbering Time!

CM Punk returns to join the panel for next week, and we also get The Queen, Charlotte Flair! Will Charlotte have her answer in regards to Rhea Ripley’s challenge by then? And what will CM Punk have to say about that and everything else going on in the WWE?


Greg Miller gets ready for Promo School!

Renee says no pressure, but all the pressure. Miller knows, and he wants the judges to know they look lovely today. Renee explains that King Booker, Christian, Ember and McIntyre will be grading Miller’s performance. Any advice real quick? “Don’t screw up.” Anything more, McIntyre? Nope. Booker wants to hear a cool catchphrase or two. “Drink it up, because it’s Miller time!” Greg wants to write these down just in case. Christian branches off that, and says you need to believe what you say because then the fans will believe it. And Ember wants it to be relatable, especially to yourself.

Renee likes that strong advice, but points out Miller needs a target. Miller is picking a fight with Xavier Woods! Aren’t they gamer friends? They are, they work a lot together through YouTube, but Miller plans on taking his “buddy” down a notch! Expose the Woods! Woods is selling something that isn’t true, but everyone drinks it up. Miller prepares himself as Renee heads off stage.

“Xavier Woods. Or should I call you… Austin Creed?” Or perhaps his real real name, “The Worst Part of The New Day.” Miller introduces himself as THE Greg Miller of Kinda Funny Games, but Woods already knows that, right? The year was 2015 when Miller invited Woods to be on HIS E3 stage! And what did Woods do? Talked about games, about how cool Miller was and how they could be friends, and then did what he does best: stole from Miller! Woods took the subs, the industry contacts, “everything that mattered!” Miller thought he could trust Woods when Woods invited Miller to the WWE E-Sports Challenge, but then what happened? Woods steals all the credit when Miller was the host! Miller carried that show on his BACK like Kofi carries Woods every week!

But Woods still gets all the credit. And then what did he do? Woods took the Kinda Funny World Championship from Miller! Has anyone been covering this on this show?! NO! Miller went to visit his wife’s sick mother, and he is STRIPED of the KFG World Championship by “the crooked commissioner,” Xavier Woods! “And then, to add insult to injury,” Woods steals KFG’s idea out of nowhere! Now there’s an UpUpDownDown World Championship?! It shows up all the time on YouTube, but does Miller get a shot at it? The Game Awards’ #1 trending gamer! The South by Southwest Most Entertaining Online Personality! Greg Miller, “one of the coolest dudes in video games.” But no, no title shot.

And then Woods gets hurt! Owie owie big toe hurts. Woods does all his YouTube gaming stuff that aren’t kinda funny! Miller tells Woods what’s going to happen now: Miller will make his own history and his own plans. March 27th, 2020. The Allstate Arena in Miller’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois! Mrs. Miller’s Baby Boy is coming home, and if Woods is any kind of man, he’ll be there, bad foot or not. They will have a Nidhogg II single match, and if Miller wins, he becomes #1 Contender to the UUDD World title. If he loses, which won’t happen, Miller will tweet to his one MILLION followers (which is more than Woods but Woods will try to steal them soon enough), and for an entire month, that people should sub to UUDD. But if Woods no-shows, then it’s forfeit! That’s fair, isn’t it?

But for those thinking, “That’s extortion!” Miller learned a lesson a long time ago. “It’s better to be Greg than great.” Mic drop!

Renee loves how Miller served that one up! Miller got Renee to hate Woods now! How did no one know this?! Woods having three names is a sign. But now, to the grades! Booker knew it, it WAS Miller Time. Miller thanks the king for his compliment. Booker likes that it was real and relatable. B+, his highest grade yet. McIntyre enjoyed how intense it was, but it went long. It kept his attention, at least, and the challenge made was great. So B- to stay with Booker. Christian doesn’t say a word, but he’s given Miller a C+!? Harsh! But then Christian explains, he agrees with McIntyre. It could’ve been stronger but had a great finish. Miller was in control but he was taking his time getting there. But sometimes, a promo without an in-person target is hard because you have to do it all yourself. But the length risks losing people’s attention. Leave them wanting more.

Finally, Ember feels her part in this year long build behind the scenes given her time on UUDD, and feels how real and important this is to Miller. Ember does agree with the other points on length, and adds that there is an intensity level he needs to keep his eye on. But all that said, it was completely believable, so Ember gives a B+! A great balance, great feedback, and Miller had fun. Booker wants him to get that beard gloss. But with Promo School over for the night, WWE Backstage will shift gears to analyzing The Viper’s promo from last night. What grades do they give Randy Orton after the break?


WWE Backstage gets the Hot Tag!

Three topics, 30 seconds each, it’s go time! First up is the coming Valentine’s Day “date” between Otis Dozovic and Mandy Rose for SmackDown. Booker feels that 30 seconds might not be enough. First, he wants to shout out his wife, Sharmell, as Valentine’s Day is their anniversary. But to SmackDown’s own Valentines, Otis needs to treat Mandy right and assure her that they’ll be in each other’s corners no matter what. Take her ice fishing, it’ll be isolated and cozy, and take it from there. Time’s up and on to the next subject.

The Viper broke everyone’s hearts when he went after The Rated R Superstar’s repaired neck a week ago, but his follow-up last night was lacking. Fans booed and jeered, and in the end, Orton couldn’t say what he wanted to say. Christian’s thoughts? Thinking about the emotions involved, from Edge’s return at the Royal Rumble and his subsequent reunion with Randy Orton, and the joy that the fans felt, only for it to turn around 180 degrees the next night. Orton doing that damage got that reaction of horror, no words were needed last night. Sometimes, body language is enough. Just like Christian said in Promo Schoo- No, you’re time is up, Christian, stop.

Lastly, Liv Morgan got another win on Lana, but the celebration was ruined by the return of Ruby Riott! Riott turned on Liv and now friends are enemies. Ember is happy to have Ruby back and that Liv is going to be her first target. Ruby should’ve come back in the Rumble to return and showcase herself. And not for one second did Ember think this was not going to be a betrayal. Ruby could’ve gone to SmackDown to do things there to allow both women to reestablish themselves, but this feud will be amazing with the personal element. Time’s up, Ember gets her buzzer beater! Renee adds that Ruby is looking GOODT, and there’s a lot of depth to the Women’s Division now.


WWE Backstage brings out the Satin Sheet!

What news does Ryan Satin have for us this time? WWE confirms that they signed two big independent wrestlers! One is Timothy Thatcher, internationally accomplished wrestler and an original member of the original Imperium when he, Walter and Marcel Barthel were in the European wrestling scene. That news has reached said former friends, and the NXT UK Champion shared a photo of the original Imperium.

Second to sign with the WWE is Killer Kross, one of the hottest free agents today. The details are scarce but the deal was put together recently as many major promotions were working to recruit Kross. No word yet on which brand Kross debuts on, but he’ll certainly make an impact when he arrives.


Someone tweets WWE Backstage!

TeelTeen says “Here you go, Christian.” TeelTeen gave Captain Charisma his own hairless cat a la Dr. Evil! McIntyre’s powers are growing, but he was hoping they’d animate Christian with a swivel chair. The Backstage Buddha approves.


WWE Backstage plays the 10 Year Challenge!

They compare Drew McIntyre now in 2020, to when he was WWE Intercontinental Champion in 2010! He looks like a wee babby! McIntyre figures if he shaved his beard, he’d go right back to looking like that. But just so McIntyre isn’t the only one being teased, Booker has a surprise! It’s RENEE YOUNG 10 years ago on Sportsnet’s The Break! “So, NBA. You think you can just come back whenever you want?” Renee was happy making fun of them while it was gone but now it’s crawling back into her life like everything’s okay. Oh she can’t stay mad at the NBA! Renee remembers those days both fondly and yet with embarrassment.



My Thoughts:

A really great episode for WWE Backstage! So much great stuff from McIntyre and I loved Greg Miller’s promo for Promo School. I almost feel like we need to do coverage of that Nidhogg showdown just so we know how the story ends! And I do have to admit, I agree with things said about Lesnar. He has gotten so good at being the Heel you love to hate, you forget that’s the point, and that he is a legit athlete. He may get the titles and the part-time schedule, but in the end it is worth it if you can feel absolute adulation and joy when someone beats him. Or at least eliminates him from a Royal Rumble with a low blow and a Claymore kick. I loved hearing about McIntyre’s journey, and I really do hope McIntyre wins at Mania to make his literal decade of hard work pay off.

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More From Japan


New alliances, MMA challengers and the return of a beloved tag team!





AXIZ reunite

Go Shiozaki lost in his return match at MAJESTIC (4th May at Ryogoku Kokugikan) to Katsuhiko Nakajima’s Vertical Spike. While he was lying on the mat, with a worried Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura looking on, Katsuhiko Nakajima got on the mic and said, “What is this, Go Shiozaki? This awkward state? Is this “I AM NOAH?” Where did that strong Go Shiozaki go? Shall we do it again? Stand up!”, Everyone, including Shiozaki, thought that Nakajima wanted to fight him again and so Shiozaki used Nakajima to pull himself up. Nakajima had his usual devilish smile on, and grabbed Shiozaki by the hair as if he was going to strike him.

What he actually did was offer him his hand, which Shiozaki took, and to the wild screaming of the crowd, AXIZ reformed and the two would not let go of each other.

Kenoh was outraged and demanded to know what was going on. Manabu Soya later left the ring shaking his head. Backstage, Nakajima confirmed that yes, AXIZ were back and the reason why he had left was because (and this sounds familiar) Kenoh didn’t need him, Kongoh didn’t need him, and he didn’t need them. Kenoh growled that he would destroy anyone who got in his way and that included All Japan, All Japan’s Suwama, Dragon Gate (probably the whole roster) and Katsuhiko Nakajima. Kenoh remarked that usually Kongoh didn’t punish people who left (he probably doesn’t mean the chaotic juniors), but it seems that he himself will have another singles match with Nakajima on the 31st May at Shinjuku FACE. Kenoh has also branded AXIZ as a “thief and traitor duo” and has warned elderly AXIZ fans not to make any bank transfers. He has also claimed that while he was injured, Go Shiozaki is a “salary thief” for doing nothing for NOAH during that time, and not even updating his Twitter.

Related articles

Kongoh’s leader, Kenoh, denounces Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima’s AXIZ reunion as a “thief and traitor duo”

NOAH promise more women’s matches

Following the four woman tag at MAJESTIC, Ryo Mizunami hinted afterwards that NOAH will be holding more and she (and others) want to be a part of this. Nothing more has been said about the possibility of a women’s GHC Championship though.

N-1 VICTORY 2023 Announced

NOAH have announced that the N-1 VICTORY 2023 will make a return in August 2023, and as is tradition, will have the final night held in Osaka in early September. No names have been announced as of yet, but the league will head up for a couple of dates in Sapporo, Hokkaido (NOAH have not been to Hokkaido since before the pandemic when they would traditionally share a ring with Big Japan and then get drunk together over a lost weekend). No names have been announced as of yet.

Masakatsu Funaki challenges Josh Barnett 

Following his victory over Shinya Aoki at MAJESTIC, Masakatsu Funaki challenged Josh Barnett, who was sitting at ringside to a match. Barnett accepted, but NOAH are yet to state the date when the match will take place. Funaki also seems to be hinting that his career is now winding down, and he wants to tie up any loose ends; such as the Aoki match and the challenge to Barnett, who he has never faced before, but seems to have always wanted to. Mutoh told Funaki to keep going until he is sixty, but Funaki, who makes no pretense about the fact that he is approaching his mid fifties, seems to think that this is unlikely.

Eita alone, Daga joins “the new STINGER”. HAYATA not welcome either. 

During the STINGER vs I guess the last of Perros Del Mal De Japon, Eita and Daga, Eita caught Daga with the Imperial Uno, which meant that Yoshinari Ogawa could capitalize, and he went to pin Eita. However, Ogawa broke the pin and got to his feet slowly, dragging Eita up by his hair. He looked across the ring to Daga, and Daga turned on Eita. Eita, now utterly alone, was beaten up after the match, and no one at all came out to help him as there is now no one left. Backstage, Eita on all fours, said that from now on he would be trusting no one and didn’t believe in friends (NOSAWA posted “…..” to this) and demanded a singles match with both Ogawa and Daga. As for STINGER, Chris Ridgeway said that from now on he, Daga and Ogawa were the new STINGER. Daga gave no reason for his turning on his old friend, STINGER rarely give reasons anyway, and Ogawa said that HAYATA and Eita were no longer considered “friends”. Eita will get his singles matches on the 14th May at Korakuen Hall, and with Daga on the 21st in Kobe. Fans are wondering if Eita and HAYATA will team up, but HAYATA seems to be more preoccupied with the GHC Junior at the moment.

Ring intruder at Korakuen Hall

At NOAH’s Korakuen Hall event on the 29th April, a young woman intruded into the ring at the start of Kaito Kiyomiya, Sean Legacy & AMAKUSA vs Kongoh, and started imploring Kiyomiya to “show us a stronger NOAH” because he was “the savior of NOAH”. She was gently expelled from the ring by Referee Nishinaga, Kiyomiya and the young rookie, Taishi Ozawa. No further information has come from NOAH or any news outlets as to who this young woman was or what the consequence of her intrusion was, and it is rare in Japanese wrestling that a fan should intrude into the ring, but NOAH took the precaution to check bags at their fan event and MAJESTIC, and extra wrestlers were seen at ringside, which fans said felt like security. The very real threat was that she could have had a knife. New Japan’s Toru Yano has also spoken out about fan behavior. He didn’t mention fan invasion specifically, but more wrestlers being harassed by fans when at baggage claim at airports, at convenience stores etc. Kenoh kind of saved the situation by telling Kiyomiya that if he was stronger, then strange people wouldn’t do things like this!

Shinjiro Otani

At an event held on the 6th May to help with his hospital bills, Shinjiro Otani made an appearance. Takashi Sugiura bought him some flowers and Otani thanked him for not giving up wrestling due to the injury that Otani sustained during the title match. He also warned Sugiura, that he would see him in the ring again. Sugiura said he was waiting for that day.

Voodoo Murders vs Kongoh

SUWAMA broke into NOAH’s event at Korakuen Hall on the 29th April and gave Kenoh, a massive Last Ride powerbomb. Shrieking that he was going to take the All Japan World Heavyweight Tag back to where it belonged, i.e. All Japan, he was prepared to come and have a match in NOAH (with Kono his partner) to retrieve them. There then followed a comical scene involving the infamous lifts, where a quaking old man appeared and was told by Suwama to hold the doors. The match has been set for NOAH’s Kobe event on the 21st May. The event will not be broadcast live, but I would imagine this match will be through NOAH’s official Instagram. Suwama got further revenge on Kenoh at All Japan’s show on the 7th when Kongoh and Voodoo Murders had a pre match. Kenoh was given another powerbomb, shoved into a body bag and Voodoo Murders posed with their boots on him, before carrying him backstage on their shoulders. Half in and half out of the bag and dumped on the floor, Suwama told him that now he was in hell, those titles were theirs.


GHC Heavyweight

In a match that saw Naomichi Marufuji pull out old moves (Shiranui and Shiranui Pole Shift, plus a rope bounce that he hasn’t used for a while) and moves that he has worked on, Jake Lee retained the GHC Heavyweight at MAJESTIC. However, no challenger came forward, and fans were expecting to see Go Shiozaki come out. Jake thanked Marufuji and ran down what he had felt in his past title defenses; Kiyomiya was the future, Nakajima the strength and Marufuji the history. Jake wondered what was next and predicted that on the 14th May at Korakuen Hall, things would start to happen. Jake’s match then is himself teaming with Good Looking Guys (including YO-HEY and Tadasuke) against two NOAH Juniors (Seiki Yoshioka and Atsushi Kotoge) against Kaito Kiyomiya and Takashi Sugiura. Fans think that it will be Sugiura who challenges.

Related articles

“Half the guys don’t think about it”, the real intention of outside invader Jake Lee’s cut down of the Ark warriors

“I can’t win in a direct match anymore”…Naomichi Marufuji aims to surpass his teacher, Mitsuharu Misawa, in recapturing the GHC

“It’s like a dream” – Jake, “Full speed for the first time in a while”, Marufuji

“Naomichi Marufuji must do his best here and now”, Mutoh speaks! 4th May Ryogoku Kokugikan, the direction of Jake vs Marufuji

GHC Junior Heavyweight

HAYATA was forced into doing some light comedy, when at the title match signing/press conference, Ninja Mack told him that he didn’t want him to be injured in their title match, and handed him a gift of bandages and athletic tape. HAYATA tried to keep a straight face. However, Ninja Mack found nothing to laugh about when HAYATA beat him and went to hand him his presents back. Apparently, HAYATA kept the bandages, as he only tried to give back the athletic tape. Ninja Mack knocked them to the floor and walked off. The GHC Junior Heavyweight is the only one with a challenger out of all the championships at the time of writing, as HAYATA has nominated Dante Leon as opponent. Dante Leon took the belt from Ninja Mack, but HAYATA feels he has to defeat everyone who held it while he was injured. Dante says he is coming back to take his belt back. Pre matches will take place, with the title match on the 17th June in Nagoya.

Related articles

GHC Junior signing ceremony: Ninja provokes the champion with first aid supplies, HAYATA “excellent”

GHC National

El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr continues to cement himself as one of the greatest GHC National Champions, by defeating Hideki Suzuki at MAJESTIC to retain in an epic match. Suzuki was even booed as he knocked Wagner Jnr down with a punch early on after Wagner Jnr had yelled “Arriba Mexico!”. Suzuki didn’t look as if he was too bothered, and fought most of the match with a cool hard expression. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr isn’t on any cards for the rest of May 2023, so it looks as if the title will probably be challenged for some time in June.

Related articles

“Real” Suzuki emphasizes “Real Deal” to take over the GHC National, match signing ceremony

GHC Heavyweight Tag

Monster Taniguchi, which his seniors try so hard to awaken, sat dormant at the match signing as Saxon Huxley overturned the table, (which Takashi Sugiura, no stranger to trashing tables during press conferences, helped put back), but then turned his own over with a roar and made off with the tag belts. Sugi very politely helped the staff put the tables back. The team of Sugiura and Taniguchi gave very close to retaining, but they lost the belts when Saxon Huxley pinned Taniguchi with the Hanging Neck Bombs. The new champions celebrated by yelling loudly into the camera, and Huxley repeatedly head-butting his belt. Two new tags arose that night at MAJESTIC; AXIZ, and a new team of Masato Tanaka and Kazuyuki Fujita.

Related articles

Huxley and Taniguchi go berserk overturning tables, Sugiura apologizes

GHC Junior Tag

YO-HEY and Tadasuke (Good Looking Guys Unit) defended the GHC Junior Tag against Alpha Wolf and DragonBane at Korakuen Hall on the 29th April. The lucha brothers came very close to taking the titles, but YO-HEY saved the team by pinning DragonBane. No challengers have come forward, but it does seem likely that they will be challenged by the people that YO-HEY dumped to join GLG; Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka at Korakuen Hall on the 14th May, which is NOAH’s next event. However, Kotoge and Yoshioka may not be the most stable team, as Yoshioka did catch him with a kick accidentally.



(Saturday April 29th, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo) 

Event recap

Post match interviews


(Thursday 4th May, Ryogoku Kokugikan)

Event recap

Post match interviews

NOAH Fan Event Recap


– Atsushi Kotoge posted a picture of himself when he came to NOAH eleven years ago. He says he is “slightly embarrassed” about seeing himself back then.

– Mohammed Yone and Super Crazy almost left via the wrong gate at MAJESTIC. The trainee standing there tried to tell them, but they seemed insistent, eventually he had to almost stand in their way before they realized.

– Xtreme Tiger returned to the NOAH ring following his concussion

– Most people down the old man VIPER tonic, Masato Tanaka opened it, poured it down his throat and chugged it.

– Keiji Mutoh told Kazushi Sakuraba that he should fight a bear on PPV. Sakuraba said no, he would be killed, and suggested that Mutoh do it. Mutoh said he was an old man who was enjoying retirement by sitting at home and watching historical dramas on NHK.

– Ray Escorpion made his NOAH debut, which involved heel tactics and stalking Dralistico.

– Jake Lee regretted his choice of costume, i.e. his gloves and cape, at the NOAH Fan Event. He said he felt like he needed an icepack under his armpits.

– Eita hid under the ring to jump Yoshinari Ogawa at Korakuen Hall on April 29th. When he crawled out he stretched and yawned, meaning that he fell asleep under there!

– Alejandro was sitting at the commentary table when it got trashed by the Luchadores at MAJESTIC.


  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Jake Lee
    Challenger: TBA
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Dante Leon, GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in NAGOYA (Nagoya International Conference Center Event Hall – Saturday, June 17th)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: REAL (Saxon Huxley & Timothy Thatcher)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Good Looking Guys (YO-HEY & Tadasuke)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr
    Challenger: TBA


(May 2023 schedule)


Date: Sunday May 14th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Start times: Doors 17:30 JST, Bell 18:30 JST

Broadcast: ABEMA

Birthdays & anniversaries

May 8th 1961: Akira Taue birthday (62)

May 13th 2000: Jumbo Tsuruta memorial (23)


For the overseas fan a subscription to WrestleUniverse is recommended instead of a subscription to ABEMA. You can only watch ABEMA shows live (you cannot watch replays should you miss the show), but these always get uploaded to WrestleUniverse a few minutes after the broadcast finishes. I do not recommend that overseas fans subscribe to ABEMA due to the time consuming and expensive issues around finding a VPN that is compatible with their firewall, and ABEMA do not broadcast any other NOAH shows aside from the live broadcasts, they do not show much exclusive content and they do not show vintage or older events.


“No matter how many times you fall down, you get back up, that’s pro wrestling” – Kaito Kiyomiya vs Reiwa’s “Pu-Girl”

“I want to fight” Aoki’s first NOAH participation, Funaki “challenge”. Press conference for the first showdown in six years

“Isn’t that a stupid question?” Shiozaki, returning for the first time in eight months, emphasizes “perfection” like AMAKUSA

26 year old wrestler Kaito Kiyomiya talks about the importance of the dojo and generational view


Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary….he’s being obscene!

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

Picture credits:

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More From Japan


Lots of Championship news! Does Jake Lee have what it takes to captain the ark?





“I made you all wait”, Go Shiozaki announces his return

Go Shiozaki made a surprise appearance at NOAH’s Sendai event on the 16th April, and announced that he would return to the ring at “MAJESTIC” at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Thursday May 4th. In an interview done soon afterwards, Shiozaki said that of course his goal was to “get my belt back as soon as possible” and naturally, his target is the current champion, Jake Lee. He is very excited about NOAH now with the influx of foreign wrestlers, and of course, Jake Lee whom he knew from being in All Japan. Shiozaki’s return match will be against Kongoh’s Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Manabu Soya. Shiozaki says he will not only be fighting against his opponents, but also the younger generation of NOAH, who he says are “a threat”. NOAH’s generational wheel continues turning.

Related articles

The theme of return is “New Go Shiozaki”, “Fight with five people”, thrilled by the new NOAH scenery

“I have to get my belt back”, Go Shiozaki vows to return early to the title front

Junta Miyawaki returns from Mexico

Junta Miyawaki announced (bilingually as he also announced this in Mexican), that he would be returning from Ultimo Dragon’s training camp, and would make his first match back at Korakuen Hall at STAR NAVIGATION on the 29th April. His opponent will be HI69, who has been on a roll recently. Before he left, Junta Miyawaki said that he would “sip muddy water”, (which basically means to hit rock bottom and crawl you way back up), before he returned to NOAH. HI69 was unimpressed with this statement, saying that Junta had no idea what he was talking about, but he would soon make him realize it.

Women’s matches

NOAH continue to book women’s matches on their bigger shows. Sendai saw Maya Yukihi and Sumire Natsu fight in a singles match, and afterwards mention was made (even fleetingly) of a woman’s GHC championship. The next women’s match will be a four way at “MAJESTIC” on the 4th May between

Maya Yukihisa & SAKI vs Sumire Natsu & Ryo Mizunami.

Xtreme Tiger concussed & Luchadore’s trash the commentary table

Very sadly Xtreme Tiger sustained (probably) a concussion during the match in Sendai and was stretchered from the ring. Fortunately, he could still move as he was seen to be sitting up and sliding himself on to the stretcher. The remaining Luchadores (Doralistico, Dragon Bane, Alpha Wolf, Alejandro & Lanzelot) decided to continue the match, and as they are NOAH Juniors, didn’t bother to tell the ref. They just carried on and during this, Dragon Bane trashed the commentary table by moonsaulting through it. Then everyone else joined in, fighting in the wreckage. Akitoshi Saito (who had been sitting at the table) was seen looking on blankly. Later he made the comment that the table was not made of a material that was meant to be broken.

Yasutaka Yano and Kinya Okada taken off the Sendai card at the last moment

Yasutaka Yano and Kinya Okada were announced to have been taken off the Sendai card at the last moment, meaning that Anthony Green and Akitoshi Saito (who wrestled by taking his shirt off and in his normal clothes) had to fill in for them. NOAH have not announced the issue (illness, injury, etc) but fans think that they may have gone to Mexico for training, albeit why this should be so sudden is a mystery.

Title news 

GHC Heavyweight

Jake Lee retains, Naomichi Marufuji challenges

Jake Lee retained the GHC Heavyweight against Katsuhiko Nakajima, and was challenged that same night by Naomichi Marufuji. The nautical references continued, as Marufuji said that Jake’s steering was making him “seasick” and used a term that he says he came up with before he made his challenge, by saying that “Even if it is rotten, it is Marufuji” (the full saying is “Even if it is rotten, it is still a sea bream”, which basically is like saying “white cat, black cat, as long as it catches mice, then it is a good cat” i.e. quality is quality). Title match has been made for “MAJESTIC” on the 4th May.

The two pre matches have taken place at shows not broadcasted live, Hamamatsu (which was put on WrestleUniverse on the 25th April) and Kyoto KBS Hall (which will be streamed on WrestleUniverse on the 26th April from 18:00 JST). Neither the champion or the challenger scored the direct win over the other, but Jake was seen to hold the belt over Naomichi Marufuji as he, Jake, stood on the turnbuckle and held it even higher.

Related articles

The new champion gives NOAH a warning! Is it okay to stay as NOAH = Marufuji?

“After all, I’m the man who’s been with NOAH for a long time” – Naomichi Marufuji, on the 25th anniversary of his debut who named himself as the one to overthrow Jake, talks about his thoughts!

GHC Heavyweight Tag

Masa Kitamiya and Daiki Inaba lost the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship to Takashi Sugiura and Shuhei Taniguchi in Sendai. Shuhei Taniguchi, much to his seniors delight, got the win but there was no chance to celebrate for very long as a new fearsome tag team, who were part of a new unit (and therefore a new power in the heavyweights) appeared on the scene to challenge. Hideki Suzuki announced that himself, Timothy Thatcher and Saxon Huxley, were breaking away from The Sugiura Army, which he said was “over” (fans have long felt that the unit simply fizzled out) and the three of them were breaking away on their own.

Suzuki challenged for the GHC Heavyweight Tag belts on behalf of his partners, whom both came across as having chemistry akin to an old school American tag team (Saxon I know is from England, but you know the vibe I am talking about). Backstage, Hideki Suzuki said their new unit was called “Real”. In their first pre match in Hamamatsu, Suzuki refused to shake hands with Takashi Sugiura and Sugiura was defeated by Saxon Huxley. The next night in Kyoto, Sugiura defeated Huxley, which was Huxley’s first NOAH loss, with the Olympic Slam and labelled himself as “Beastmaster”. There was also some slight friction appearing between Takashi Sugiura and Shuhei Taniguchi, as Taniguchi did the same “I heard you lost today?” kind of comment back to Sugiura, and once again refused to shake hands with him when Sugiura offered and just walked off when Sugi asked, “Did you win?”.

GHC National

In an epic match, El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr defended the GHC National against Jack Morris, and the two of them shook hands afterwards and patched up their friendship. Backstage, Hideki Suzuki appeared in the comments booth when Wagner Jnr was in it, clapping sarcastically and saying that he was coming for his belt. Suzuki also made a very poetic comment about the challenge.

“Because Wagner Jnr is the sun of Mexico, I will take him deep into the ocean. We will sink together, and only I will rise”

Their two pre matches so far have been inconclusive as they head towards the title match at “MAJESTIC” on the 4th May at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

GHC Junior

AMAKUSA did not do well in the pre matches against HAYATA, and HAYATA ran him into the ground in the title match in Sendai, winning in thirteen minutes and four seconds. In order to forestall anyone who thought they were going to challenge, he was picking up where he left off, and his next challenger would be Ninja Mack. Ninja Mack had challenged HAYATA in late 2022 for the belt, but he had won it when HAYATA was injured, and the belt was awarded to him. To HAYATA, he needed to defeat Ninja Mack first before dealing with anyone else. The two pre matches have not gone well for HAYATA, although Ninja Mack hasn’t got the win over him directly, he has still gotten the win for his team at one point, even if one of the matches was won by someone else, which for him counts as a victory over HAYATA.

GHC Junior Tag

Fans knew that Yoshinari Ogawa and Eita were going to fall apart. YO-HEY knew this too, but knew enough about his opponents, to be wary. In the end, a misfire by Eita, who caught Ogawa in the face with a kick, letting Tadasuke get the win, made the team implode. Ogawa might have come to the ring ignoring Eita’s very existence, but by the end of the match the two were brawling and the fight went backstage. After kicking Ogawa in the crotch, Eita announced that the only person he trusted was Daga. Daga will return to NOAH at “MAJESTIC”, with the one person who hasn’t turned on Ogawa (although he was wary of his aligning with Eita), Chris Ridgeway, who is returning to NOAH at Korakuen Hall on Saturday 29th April.

The new GHC Junior Champions, Good Looking Guy’s YO-HEY and Tadasuke, were challenged backstage by Dragon Bane and Alpha Wolf, who told them they were going to be taking the belts back to Mexico. The brothers have run riot on the junior tag champions, defeating them in the pre matches, Alpha Wolf in a singles against Tadasuke. Title match will take place this Saturday at Korakuen Hall.


  • ABEMA presents GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in Sendai (Sunday April 16th)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Act City Hamamatsu (Saturday, April 22nd)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Kyoto KBS Hall (Sunday, April 23rd)

Event recap

Post match interviews


– Because they were both champions facing their challengers, YO-HEY offered HAYATA a handshake in Kyoto. HAYATA reacted in usual fashion (he refused) but the two were seen to work together…

– Kongoh appeared in a short Kenoh Channel video, where each of them ate one of Shuji Kondo’s financiers and talked about the merch table. Katsuhiko Nakajima very neatly put back a packet of Naomichi Marufuji’s curry, which Kenoh had thrown.

– Although he is no longer appearing in the ring, NOSAWA Rongai was seen watching at the Hamamatsu show. He’s not a member of the audience however, as he seems to be travelling with them – Kenoh said that he was glad Go Shiozaki had returned as he could not “wait to beat the shit” out of him.

– Atsushi Kotoge has revealed his beloved Shiba is called “Chikuwa”. When he left for NOAH’s weekend shows, he told him he was leaving him as watchdog to guard the family.

– Mercedes Monet said she wanted a match with “Marufugi”. “Marufugi” said he wanted one with her too.

– YO-HEY and Yoshiki Inamura will appear on “All-Star Chorus Battle” on May 14th for Fuji TV. The premise of the show is that they will team with five other people, sing the hit songs of the Reiwa era and compete as a chorus for a championship.

– A picture taken by NOAH’s official photographer in Kyoto was captured at precisely the moment that Seiki Yoshioka was diving off the top turnbuckle. The angle of his body made him look as if he was leaping out of the stained glass behind him. Ironically, he seemed to be leaping from the roof of the Ark. Also photographed against The Ark was Yoshiki Inamura, who put a Dove above his head.


  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Jake Lee
    Challenger: Naomichi Marufuji, ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Ninja Mack, ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Takashi Sugiura & Shuhei Taniguchi
    Challengers: REAL (Saxon Huxley & Timothy Thatcher), ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Good Looking Guys (YO-HEY & Tadasuke)
    Challengers: Dragon Bane & Alpha Wolf, STAR NAVIGATION 2023, Korakuen Hall, Saturday April 29th
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr
    Challenger: Hideki Suzuki, ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th



Date: Saturday April 29th

Venue: Korakuen Hall

Start time: 18:30 JST (doors open 17:30)

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)


29th April: Atsushi Kotoge debut anniversary (2005)

29th April: Tadasuke debut anniversary (2007)


For the overseas fan a subscription to WrestleUniverse is recommended instead of a subscription to ABEMA. You can only watch ABEMA shows live (you cannot watch replays should you miss the show), but these always get uploaded to WrestleUniverse a few minutes after the broadcast finishes. I do not recommend that overseas fans subscribe to ABEMA due to the time consuming and expensive issues around finding a VPN that is compatible with their firewall, and ABEMA do not broadcast any other NOAH shows aside from the live broadcasts, they do not show much exclusive content and they do not show vintage or older events.


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

Picture credits: Wrestling DX

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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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