With a new captain at the helm, Hisame helps us learn if NOAH can course correct towards friendlier waters. Also, I can stop the metaphors and just let you know that Hisame is a great wealth of knowledge on the most recent happenings in NOAH!
Before I get to Global Junior League 2020, I need to put this news article first…
SEA CHANGE: NOAH HAVE A NEW PARENT COMPANY, AND A NEW PRESIDENT
In a shock announcement on the 28th January, CyberAgent announced that LIDET had sold them their shares in Pro Wrestling NOAH, and henceforth they would become a subsidiary to them, alongside DDT. LIDET had purchased NOAH from Estbee only last year.
The reasons for the change where several, once again NOAH was being drowned by money issues, and while negotiating for a streaming service, CyberAgent has persuaded them that it would be far more feasible for them to let them buy NOAH. Personally, I think the other issues where that LIDET are a company that deal with advertising, and the promotion of wrestling events, they do not have generally the day to day issues of running a promotion, no matter how limitless their funds.
DDT’S President, Sanshiro Takagi, will now become the joint president of both NOAH and DDT, but, the two companies will remain separate, and he is not considering a merger of them. For NOAH he will work on the management side of things. Naomichi Marufuji has once again become Vice president, and NOAH’s former president, Akihiro Takeda, will remain with NOAH as executive officer. Marufuji and Takeda will oversee what goes on in the ring, the NOAH site will remain as it is, and (because I have had many questions), NOSAWA Rongai will remain as booker. LIDET will remain with NOAH as sponsors, and because of this we will not see the green ring return unless it is for the Mitsuharu Misawa memorial shows. Speaking of Misawa, if the very fact that his will has prevailed in Marufuji once again becoming Vice President of NOAH was not eerie enough, Takagi said that he has a debt to Misawa, as when DDT were in their early and difficult days, Misawa gave them a chance by both putting them on NOAH shows, and by appearing on a DDT event with Kotaro Suzuki. More than anything, Misawa could see the wisdom in rather destroying a company, the best thing to do would be to help it. He also knew that kindness can go a long way, and he also understood the difficulties in creating a new promotion, especially in the era he did it as dominated as it was by New Japan and All Japan especially.
Misawa was also a stakeholder in DDT. CyberAgent also announced that they will be proving a semi streaming service for NOAH. Until a VOD is arranged, some NOAH shows will be streamed through Abema. Now, Abema is a Japanese streaming channel, and unfortunately for fans outside of Japan, it cannot be accessed unless you have a VPN. Other shows will be streamed through “DDT Universe”. I am not sure if they will stream all NOAH shows though.Naturally, the one person who isn’t pleased by this news, is the man who is rarely pleased with anything, preferring like a Roman emperor, to see enemies lurking in the shadows behind every pillar; Kenoh.
Kenoh has already stated that he will protect NOAH from DDT, and has said that NOAH does not need “joke wrestling“. Regarding Kiyoshi Tamura (Kenoh has the bit between his teeth and is refusing to let go), President Takagi has told him quite firmly that if he has time then he will deal with it, if not, stop going on about it, a promotion does not need something that is not there.As this now puts NOAH in direct conflict with New Japan, as CyberAgent are the rivals of Bushiroad, KENTA is now set in opposition with NOAH.
However, fans do hope that as this is NOAH’s 20th year, and he was a big part of NOAH, that he will “come home” just once.
President Takagi announced that NOAH would be streamed through “DDT Universe”. The broadcast was\is free, and was also streamed via NOAH on Periscope. As due to the overwhelming demand, the site came up with an error message. The event on DDT universe can be watched for free here, but I would urge fans to subscribe to the service, especially since DDT will not continue streaming them for free indefinitely.
Fans were a little worried about what they would find, and so there was an atmosphere of uncertainty when they came to Korakuen.
Tadasuke, YO-HEY & HAYATA teamed against STINGER (Chris Ridgeway, Atsushi Kotoge & Kotaro Suzuki), with HAYATA assisting with YO-HEY getting the win, via a kick to the face of Atsushi Kotoge. After the match, YO-HEY made belt challenging motions, and in the backstage interview, he danced around doing Kotoge’s revolutionary fist pose, until Kotoge showed up and yelled at him to stop. Nothing official has been said about a title challenge, but Kotaro did leave the interview muttering how he wished he hadn’t said that he will put the belt on the line against any team.
50 Funky Powers had their match together, and Quiet Storm’s last match in NOAH, against The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue). Quiet Storm getting the win via Funky Buster Bomb on Masao Inoue. Then it was goodbye, and an endlessly long hug from Yone.
Hajime Ohara and Daisuke Harada tore the roof of Korakuen Hall by putting on another of their epic much anticipated matches in the semi finals of Global Junior League. They pulled out everything to try and outwit the other, with Hajime Ohara using at one point Misawa’s Emerald Flowsion, and Daisuke Harada, a Tombstone piledriver. This incredibly amazing match, (even by their standards), was won by Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Suplex in 15 minutes, 45 seconds. Although disappointed, Hajime Ohara wrote on his blog about how much he loved fighting Harada, and wanted to do it again and again and again. Fans want to see it again, and again, and again too. With this win, Daisuke Harada would now go into the finals to face either Dick Togo or Yoshinari Ogawa.
Yoshinari Ogawa and Dick Togo faced off in an incredible semi finals match, which showcased their skills in mat wrestling, technical wrestling and submission holds. Ogawa came out of the match not really wanting to admit that he had been out wrestled, but sensing that like him, Togo was a teacher. Togo, however, came out of the match with the win, he had done the unthinkable and made Ogawa tap. The finals would now be Daisuke Harada vs Dick Togo.
After their match, the five of Kongoh bowed to LIDET’S sign, with Kenoh thanking them (after of course he had ranted against President Takagi). Even Kenoh had to acknowledge that LIDET had been good to NOAH- the increased streaming service, Sumo Hall, the produce shows. However, Kenoh still wants the Budokan. President Takagi said separately that he will think about it, and about the Tokyo Dome too.
Go Shiozaki and Kazuyuki Fujita faced off in a vicious match in a six man tag, with Fujita leaving welts (which the next day turned into speckled bruises) on Go Shiozaki’s neck from stiff strikes. After the match, Shiozaki got on the microphone and did what fans have been waiting for, nominated Fujita as the challenger to the GHC Heavyweight. The match will take place on the 8th March at the Yokohama Bunka Gym.
…then Hideki Suzuki challenged Katsuhiko Nakajima to a singles match, much to Nakajima’s shock. Match has been set for 16th February at Korakuen Hall.
When AXIZ had left the ring, Takashi Sugiura was called back into it by Kaito Kiyomiya, who challenged him for the GHC National, in order to create his “new view” of NOAH. Sugiura told the 23 year old Kiyomiya that in his twenty years of NOAH, he had seen it all – the good things, the bad things, and the things that Kiyomiya better hope that he never ever has to see. Ever. He would give him his title shot, and he named the 25th February in Nagoya (his hometown) as the place. Backstage, he went into grumpy old man mode, saying that he knew he didn’t have youth on his side (Sugiura will be 50 this year), but the old man was tough, and he would never give up. The history of NOAH is turbulent and is filled with highs and lows, and nothing is going to absorb it or change it so easily. Neither was Sugiura, going to be a part of being absorbed into anything.
Daisuke Harada (who had known Dick Togo, but not often had matches with him from his Osaka Pro days) faced off in the finals with Dick Togo in an explosive match. Togo working to grind Harada down by working on his knee, not as technical as the other two matches of the night they had both had, it was memorable nonetheless, and at times it threatened to spill out into a brawl, with Togo in frustration going to use a chair on Harada, but being stopped by the referee. Daisuke Harada won the match, and his second Global Junior League, via Katayama German Suplex in 19 minutes, and 43 seconds. With this win Harada now wins the right to challenge Yoshinari Ogawa for the GHC Junior Heavyweight. NOAH are yet to announce a date.
Naomichi Marufuji has had ongoing right knee problems, which he can no now longer ignore. He says he was able to “fix it”,but now the issue means that there is pain on sitting, standing and walking etc, so he will undergo an arthroscopic surgery which will mean he will be absent from the ring from the 7th to 22nd February. He has decided that he will return to the ring on the 24th.
Senior referee, Shu Nishinaga, was injured when he got caught up in a botch between Daisuke Harada and Hajime Ohara, and struck in the face. Nishinaga was able to continue the match, although he seemed dazed, and wasn’t aware for a few seconds at the end, he had to count down Ohara’s shoulders. Taken to hospital after the match he underwent an eye operation as the tear duct had become damaged. Fortunately, he has made a good recovery, and hopes to return soon.
Yoshiki Inamura in Big Japan’s “Strong Climb”
NOAH’s tank, Yoshiki Inamura, has been announced to be taking part in Big Japan;s version of NOAH’s Global League in March. He will enter Block A alongside Big Japan’s tank, Akira Hyodo, Daichi Hashimoto, T-Hawk and Ryuichi Kawakami. Kawakami and Inamura will also meet for the first time in NOAH on the 16th February, when THE TOUGH take on himself and Daisuke Sekimoto.
Inamura says he will be entering the Big Japan tournament as “Yoshiki Inamura from NOAH’s Kongoh”.
Other dates announced
NOAH wrestlers (names to be confirmed) will appear for DDT’S “Peter Pan” in June, in August NOAH will again run Kultz Kawasaki, and in November for the second year running (and this looks to be an annual thing), they will return to Sumo Hall on the 22nd November.
The Great Muta will also be returning to NOAH on the 8th March in Yokohama, with Kazushi Sakuraba returning on the 24th February.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ Daisuke Harada returned the “Harada Butchers” jacket to his older brother. By Post. No personal hand over or anything, and the parcel contained just the jacket. No note or anything.
~ Takashi Sugiura’s Twitter has been hacked! It happened on the night of the strange clothes (Kitamiya as as a sailor, and Sugiura as what looked either as Tarzan’s Jane, or else a stripper), when the account sent out a couple of strange messages. Fans thought that Sugiura might have been drunk tweeting, but no, it was a hacker. Sugiura has been quiet on social media ever since, BUT, he did manage to get one shot in at Masao Inoue, by writing about “a mans romance, and the behavior of Masao Inoue” in his online diary. This basically means a man who fails to impress women, and Masao Inoue.
~ Chris Ridgeway has returned to the UK. It has not been announced when he will be returning to NOAH.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
Challenger: Kazuyashi Fujita (8th March)
- GHC Junior Champion: Yoshinari Ogawa
Challenger: Daisuke Harada has won the right to challenge, but NOAH have not announced a date yet.
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: MM (Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki)
No challengers as of yet
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge)
No official challengers as of yet (YO-HEY and HAYATA have made a kind of challenge though)
- GHC National Champion: Takashi Sugiura
Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya (25th February)
- IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Daisuke Harada
Samurai TV will air the 24th February NOAH show live (event starts at 5pm JST)
G+ will air NOAH’s show from Yokohama live at 3.45pm JST on March 8th.
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Monday 3rd February: Naomichi Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya will attend the annual bean throwing ritual at Ikegami Honmonji temple in Tokyo. Setsubun marks the beginning of Spring, and traditionally, roasted beans are thrown to drive away the demons of misfortune.
Tuesday 4th February: Akitoshi Saito radio appearance “Tauma” at 11am
Wednesday 5th February: Go Shiozaki makes a live appearance on Megarage in Kawasaki. Event will be streamed live.
Thursday 6th February: YO-HEY turns 32
Friday 7th February: NOAH begin their “HIGHER GROUND” tour iat Yokohama Radiant Hall
Saturday 8th February: NOAH at Aore Nagaoka, Niigata (this event may be streamed live, but through Abema), gong sounds at 18:00
Sunday 9th February: NOAH in Fukushima (gong sounds 17:00)
Sunday 9th February: Hitoshi Kumano debut anniversary (six years)
Marufuji appears carrying Hirata who made surprise attack before the gong
Following DDT, Noah join CyberAgent! Great influence on balance of power in industry!
Global League 2020: Record of winners
Noah’s new president, Sanshiro Takagi, “Returning the Favour” to Misawa, the former president of Noah, who once saved DDT
Pro Wrestling Noah becomes a subsidiary of CyberAgent
Event recap – Lake Hamana Boat Race, Hamamatsu, 1st February 2020
CyberAgent affiliation with “Single Win” core of opposition to New Japan Pro
Katsuhiko Nakajima’s exercises for children and parents
PICTURE CREDITS: Noah GHC
GIF CREDIT: Noah GHC