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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (4/28/20)

HBK is Backstage!

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WWE Backstage 2020

The Heartbreak Kid goes Backstage!

After FS1 plays his best matches and moments, Shawn Michaels goes Backstage! What will the WWE legend have to say about everything going on?

Renee Young welcomes us Backstage!

She is so very happy that we are tuning in and that she and the panel is able to still do these episodes during these very trying times. Joining her again is Booker T, Christian and Mark Henry! The three Hall of Famers are GOODT as always. But Christian says he needs a haircut before he looks like 2001 Christian. No, bring it back! But with Money in the Bank less than two weeks away, there were many more superstars scrambling for their opportunity. In case you missed it, here’s…

Just the Highlights!

On SmackDown: The Forgotten Sons are ready to strike any team at any time. That’s why they started a brawl with the other tag teams! Bayley and Sasha Banks are not on the same page, again, and that cost The Boss a chance at MITB! Baron Corbin meanwhile punches his ticket, with some help. And the HHH XXV celebration began with more of a roast. Between HBK and Vince McMahon, it was “absolutely rotten!”

On Raw: The Modern Day Maharaja is BACK! Nia Jax left Asuka and Shayna Baszler down and out with help from a ladder, and Apollo Crews looks to be out of MITB! Crews’ knee could not hold up, now he might have missed his one shot at the world title. And speaking of, the world title match is official, and Drew McIntyre gave Buddy Murphy the shot meant for the Monday Night Messiah! Will that happen again at MITB?

The panel discusses.

“Man, we had to bleep that S-Bomb!” But McIntyre’s dream came true at WrestleMania when he slayed the Beast, but now he must face fellow beastslayer in Seth Rollins. How was that closing segment last night? Booker always liked contract signings back in the day. And it was brilliant for McIntyre to point out how it was going to go, because they always end up like that. What Booker likes about McIntyre is that he’s stepping into his own. Even having to go out there without a crowd, McIntyre brings the realism into the arena. McIntyre is almost a throwback to what Booker was seeing when he was coming up: a man in the middle of that squared circle. Renee wants to point out just how far McIntyre threw that table.

Mark Henry says it was great. Rollins is really believing everything he is saying. And of course, McIntyre came exactly how Henry wanted him to, phrasing it as Rollins believing his own BS. Henry definitely popped. Christian liked both sides of it. He liked McIntyre telling Lawler to move aside, and then kept his cool while getting right to business. Then from Rollins, he is playing off some real feelings here. He feels he is a leader, and feels like his performances weren’t getting the reactions. The fans weren’t doing their part, so this is the byproduct of that. Booker adds that Rollins was put in that position and either you deliver or drop the ball. Being the Monday Night Messiah is huge, but Rollins is definitely in that JBL spot, “Wrestling God!” JBL wasn’t even the best pure wrestler, but he was the best performer. Rollins is channeling that and it’s beautiful.

Renee asks Henry what he thinks of Murphy. Well one, he got his face kicked off. And two, he served his purpose of saving Rollins. Rollins is off his meds, and his work rate is something not seen since the Attitude Era, like The Rock, HBK, HHH and Austin. And Booker, too. Booker appreciates that. But back to Rollins’ character, being delusional makes him the kind of guy you want to see in this match.

Renee moves things over to SmackDown. Many new faces have been making splashes, and the already deep tag team division is getting even deeper. To Christian, he likes that the Forgotten Sons have the chips on their shoulders, and he likes what he’s seen so far. He likes the message of serving their country but aren’t appreciated for it. Training differently gives them an edge, and stating their mission of using those talents to serve themselves now is a unique take. And between the three brands, each show feels different, and Christian says the same as he did for Elias: moving over from NXT to SmackDown worked better for him, and now it works better for them. Booker isn’t so sure yet, but this is a sink or swim position. It’s something he does like, because when he was put in that situation, he likes the element of surprise. You gotta hit hard, fast and first, and that’s what he likes. Will they make it on SmackDown? Who knows. He needs to see more before giving a stamp of approval.

Henry spent time with the Forgotten Sons, and he went through the same training they went through in the Funk’n Dojo. After coming out of that, all three are well-seasoned who can do it all in the ring. Henry spent time in North Carolina for that Tribute to the Troops event. These guys are a cohesive unit for sure. Also Henry got to get some Jell-O from the mess hall. There’s always room for Jell-O. But meeting their fellow soldiers, they all said the same thing. These three work together, they’re brothers. Christian points out there’s three of them, like the New Day. We might never know who is competing in any giving match, so there could be layers to this. Renee says the SmackDown Tag Division is looking GOODT.

 

He’s not your boy toy!

But he is one of the best to ever do it! If he’s not on your Mount Rushmore of wrestlers, you’re doing it wrong. Shawn Michaels joins Renee and says all those old pictures in the montage are from a long time ago. He doesn’t look anything like that anymore. But his “quarantine beard” is still very distinguished. SmackDown had him and HHH celebrate the 25 year anniversary. And if you’re not down with that… Social distancing! Vince McMahon joined in on the roast, “Good night, padre.” But what was it like putting that together? Well they’re friends enough that they could do that. It started as a comedy segment, but at the end, it seemed like the only people who knew that were him and HHH. But HBK got that social distancing joke from his daughter. She denied him a hug after he came home from work. Well good for her to get writer’s credit.

Also, it was a hilarious twist for HHH not to be able to do his signature entrance with the water bottle. Well, clearly this is an interesting time in our lives. HBK has learned a lot of new stuff. Just when you think you’ve seen everything, you get shown you haven’t. It’s interesting if nothing else. But how was it to put that segment together to summarize 25 years, and then have Vince add on? Well again, HBK doesn’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but there was a lot more stuff in there that they couldn’t get to. Some things just weren’t going to work, but it was still fun. And more importantly, it’s always fun for HBK and HHH to work together. Believe it or not, there’s always a real-life aspect to their work together. If for no other reason, that was the fun part.

Renee does admit it’s a shame HBK never got his 25th anniversary celebration. What happened that he got robbed of that opportunity? HBK never gets happy birthday tweets or anything like that, but he’s okay with that. He likes being under the radar now. For one, the beard shouldn’t be on camera. Nah, we always want HBK on our screens, and being under the radar isn’t really fitting of truly one of the best. But now that he’s helping the next generation, what’s that like? A blast, really. That’s the reason he wants to be behind the scenes now. As HHH has expressed, it’s even more enjoyable watching the new generation have their moment. It has been so much more fulfilling than HBK thought, and loves every aspect. It’s never tough to go to work like this, and he is absolutely supportive of this new generation.

Then who is he keeping an eye on? That’s an always changing group in NXT. There was McIntyre, Aleister, Ricochet, The Revival and that class. Andrade, Gargano and Ciampa, of course. The list goes on and on. But now, we’ve got Killer Kross, or Karrion now. Dexter Lumis, Tim Thatcher, and many more are going to take NXT to the next level. Renee does bring up one superstar who gives HBK credit for his career. Drew McIntyre spoke to HBK helping him at the Performance Center. HBK was willing to help him, and McIntyre was MORE than willing to be helped. It was like a wrestling PhD with HBK. What a ride to see McIntyre rise to the top. HBK says that kind of moment is why he’s doing this now. McIntyre didn’t have to drive that four hour round trip, but he did, and was always open and willing to learn and improve.

McIntyre has so much natural talent and ability. He had to go to the bottom and work his way back up, but he was so appreciative and respectful. What’s great about McIntyre is he’s already impressive just from standing there. But he didn’t want to be one dimensional. He wanted to have depth and levels, and that is what HBK enjoyed being a part of. Adding that range because the audience is so much more sophisticated, beating people up just isn’t enough anymore. There need to be levels for longevity, and McIntyre was open to that. McIntyre physically didn’t have to be more than an action star, and HBK loves that.

Speaking of longevity, Edge’s return has already shown he hasn’t missed a step. HBK had his own return after a long hiatus, and his second run may have been his best. Has HBK been able to talk with Edge? Yes, and they’ve certainly talked about Edge’s return. HBK wanted to hear Edge’s reasoning and feelings, and it was surprising that it sounded so much like HBK’s. The doctors say you can’t, but then after some time, you understand that pro-wrestling is unlike anything else. It is up to the wrestlers to determine what can’t be done. Especially when there’s still the questions to be answered. That leaves you the window of opportunity. You should still lean on the side of the doctors, but Edge is smart enough to weigh is options. HBK is thrilled Edge can end things on his terms now. It gives everyone hope of comebacks like this.

Renee brings HBK on a trip down memory lane back to exactly 24 years ago. It was 4/28/1996, In Your House 7, when Kevin “Big Diesel” Nash POWERBOMBED HBK through a table!! But in the end, HBK came back to hit Sweet Chin Music and get the win! That was Nash’s last match before going to WCW. The biggest thing HBK remembers the powerbomb more than anything. They hadn’t done it much period at that time, and that is just one part of the craziness in that match. But it was a match that let them go outside the WWE box, and that made the match even better.

Now, Renee heard HBK has spoken to two superstars having the HBK-Nash relationship. Who are they? HBK was just using it as an example. It would be Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez. Obviously there are differences because Dakota and Raquel are ladies, but that’s the parallel they could follow. The brash cocky one and the heater dynamic could work going forward. This is why HBK needs to be in NXT! His wealth of knowledge! Hopefully next time, we talk to HBK live and in studio.

 

Backstage shares a Tweet from Kennesaw State.

They congratulated Bronson Rechsteiner, son of Rick Steiner of the Steiner Brothers, on being drafted to the NFL Baltimore Ravens! The WWE congratulates him as well, and hopefully he’ll be pulling off the same moves that dad Rick and Uncle Scott did back in the day.

 

The panel talks a 2020 WWE Backstage Draft!

Each panelist gets to choose five current WWE superstars to build a company around! We begin with Booker T! Booker already thought about this, so his first is Shayna Baszler! The Queen of Spades will make the Women’s Division as strong and as real as possible! Then second is Rhea Ripley! Charlotte Flair is a diamond, but the Ripper is a diamond in the rough that needs some polish. Then third, Drew McIntyre! Not just because he’s champion, but because he’s a guy that a company needs as a bonafide true heavyweight! Fourth, Roman Reigns! No better leader than the Big Dog for your locker room. He will bring everyone together and bring the noise to the PPV! And lastly, the Phenomenal AJ Styles! And there you have it, the perfect company is built, and you can take it to the bank! Amazing promo work. Has Booker ever done this before?

Christian is glad Booker didn’t draft himself. But his five are: first, Edge! Duh. Just look at his resume. No one has more championships than Edge! He elevates those around him. Then, much like Booker, Christian takes Rhea Ripley. She’s already this good, and she isn’t even in her prime. She has the potential to perhaps be the very best ever. Third is Aleister Black. He has ice in his veins and isn’t intimidated. Fourth is McIntyre, the heir apparent. And he still has another level! McIntyre and Edge could get up to that next level together. Fifth and final, Bray Wyatt. Christian will say it again, he’s a generational superstar. When you need that “trick play,” that something no one expects, put him out there. Great analogy!

And Henry has put some thought into this five. He thinks versatility for his roster. First on that list is Kevin Owens. KO can do it all, from good guy to bad guy to in between. He elevates like Edge does, and everyone comes out better. Then the “unflappable” Randy Orton. Orton is in his prime but still has room to grow. He can lead the roster, also has more championships than anyone else, and there’s the debate between him and Edge. Then just as everyone said, the “Grown ass man,” Drew McIntyre! McIntyre went away as a kid, came back a man, and slayed the Beast! Fourth is the number one female, Charlotte Flair! Woo if you got it. Henry loves her, and she is one everyone can battle just to see who is second. Last but not least, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! The Beast may have lost to McIntyre, but everyone needs that moment where you fall but have to get back up. Lesnar will come back angry, and he might not even come after the title. He is just coming for McIntyre.

Henry had more, but Rollins makes honorable mention, and the rest are all great women. Renee says that salvages the draft. Booker says that’s politicking. Lesnar is too much on the payroll. And Orton’s a loner, not a leader. But all interesting moves. No one went with Seth Rollins or Becky Lynch. While talking about a strong women’s division, they didn’t take the strongest and most popular woman in years. Henry did say his top 10 had women so she’s in there. Sure, sure. But Booker says this all came together like a small promotion down in Houston, TX called Reality of Wrestling. Shameless plug!

 

The Modern Day Maharaja has returned!

Natalya’s tweet in response was pretty simple: JINDER! (clapping emoji). Fans like Ghulam Ali tweeted out Jinder Mahal is Back (flex emoji times two) #DontHinderTheJinder. A former world champion and polarizing force, how does the panel feel? Henry is excited to see Jinder back looking like Adonis! Jinder’s only weakness was his legs, but not now! He got some squats in. Low and slow, baby. Booker says Jinder was one of his guys. He was always close to the Fave Five, but what Booker would’ve liked was a big build up. The King is back, so to speak. But Mahal could’ve been built up bigger for this.

Christian’s feelings are that we got that YouTube promo about Jinder being disrespected, and so that works out. Maybe it was meant to be this surprise. Christian likes Jinder, even as Champlain. He was happy for Jinder. But Jinder needed to find that second gear to stay up there. He is that talented. Just look at McIntyre build himself up. If Jinder can follow that blueprint, there’s no reason to think he can’t get back there. For now, US Championship or even MITB now that Crews is out. Booker agrees, the Maharaja just needs ten weeks of more Tozawa matches. Every week, someone that size needs to be fed to Mahal to build himself up so that fans can feel a certain way. There is no rush right now. Renee feels Mahal definitely will get those opportunities. Speaking of great opportunities…

Apollo went for gold, but busted.

The knee gives out and El Idolo takes advantage. A heartbreaking finish, but what does Booker think about this move? Don’t get emotional. Booker feels bad for this bait and switch on Crews, but when he first saw Crews, he checks off all the boxes. Going out there, jumping all over, it was bound to happen. Not if but when you get hurt. So Crews had a chance to make a huge impact, and going against Andrade, having a chance but missing it, that’s on him. But Crews will surely have another chance.

 

Backstage has Gronk’s Twitter video!

From the official Tampa Bay Buccaneers account, “Mr. 24/7” says that they will need a LOT of security to make sure he doesn’t lose the WWE 24/7 Championship during a game. Every tunnel, every entrance, just everywhere Gronk will go. He has the world coming for him, even his friends. But it is a special honor to be champion during the quarantine, because now no one can touch him. He is going to be champion for a long time, but he’s ready. What’s crazy is that the security people might come for him, so he has to watch out for them, too.

Renee says it isn’t just the WWE superstars who want after that belt. Dennis Rodman would love to be back in the ring. And against Gronk? Why not? He talks crap, but Rodman wants to do this. It isn’t about money, it’s about wrestling. What does the panel think of Gronk VS Rodzilla? Christian puts it this way: It’s like putting Christian in the Super Bowl, or Game 7 of the NBA Championship. Everyone wants to be in the big game, but not everyone deserves to be. Gronk VS Rodman will be a cluster! Neither guy will know what they’re doing. Henry says that Rodman needs to know how to say Gronk’s name. But it would be entertaining because of how it’ll be a giant cluster! That will be more exciting than a mat classic. Booker says they’re thinking too small. If Booker sees Rodman and Gronk, book this in the biggest strip club in the city, with a lot of liquor and partying. That’s the biggest party of the summer!

Rodman earned five different NBA Championships, back-to-back with the Pistons, then three-peat with the Bulls. But Henry has a story of his brush with Bulls greatness. Yes, he went to the hotel to see Charles Barkley and others, and then Michael Jordan walks up. They didn’t recognize each other, it got tense, but both guys apologized. Jordan’s birthday came up, he invited Henry, had a great time, and it wasn’t even a big deal after that. Speaking of apologies, apologies to this picture but what is THIS!? Henry nude with just a big 45 pound weight in the way! That’s called empowering. The true origins of Sexual Chocolate!

 

WWE Backstage flashbacks to the Sports Radio Roast of Booker T!

Three years ago, friends and colleagues of Booker’s playfully poked fun at his legacy. MVP said that Booker is “the five-time, five-time, five-time,” WCW World Champion. An amazing achievement to brag about! Like if MVP went around bragging about being the five-time, five-time, five-time Florida Department of Corrections Inmate of the Month. Booker’s Reality of Wrestling YouTube channel has the rest. But clearly, not everyone was invited to that special moment, but that’s what this show is for! Christian and Henry get to let loose! Henry says that we all should have a mute button for Booker. That way, we can wait until Booker actually has something important to say to hear him, or keep him from interrupting.

Christian won’t sit here and make fun of his friend. They’ve been up and down the road, so Christian won’t do that. He won’t agree with the mute. He doesn’t need to roast Booker, because every time Booker opens his mouth, he roasts himself. Renee’s only issue is that Booker thinks “The Sam,” a crab on a tomato, is a dish. Booker chants, “You Suck!” The Sam is good! But for now, that’s good enough for Backstage this week. Tune in next week after another FS1 marathon of The Best of WWE!


My Thoughts:

A really fun episode, and it was great having so many hall of famers on the episode. HBK being on was a lot of fun, it was great to hear him talk about the new generation and to hear the new generation talk about him. I like his idea that Dakota and Raquel follow a similar pattern to him and Nash. Dakota and Raquel still have a lot of possibilities as a duo, but seeing them split and I would think turn Dakota back to Face would be something great down the line. I honestly felt Team Kick (Dakota and Tegan Nox) was split too soon, not that what we’ve gotten since has been bad. Dakota and Tegan could follow an HHHBK route, where sometimes they’re enemies, sometimes their friends, but overall they’re two forces that help each other improve to iconic levels.

I like the draft picks the panel came up with, and naturally McIntyre was on all their top five because of how great he really is. I wish they’d been able to devote more time to talking about Apollo Crews. Surely they all have theories on what this change to the MITB match means, but I do think there will be something on the go-home Raw that appoints the replacement. That last spot for Raw definitely goes to a Heel now, but probably more one of Zelina Vega’s guys than the returning Mahal. Mahal can take his time, build up to something, and then strike in time for a summer PPV. As I said on Raw, I wouldn’t mind if there was reference to 3MB at some point for Mahal and McIntyre.


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More From Japan

(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.192 ~ 30TH NOVEMBER 2022

NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!

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NEWS

Masa Kitamiya challenges Masato Tanaka

Following the tag match against Masato Tanaka and Shoki Kitamura in ZERO-ONE on the 20th November, Masa Kitamiya challenged Masato Tanaka for the ZERO-ONE World Heavyweight. Kitamiya said he wanted the belt for two reasons – one was because Masato Tanaka had the belt, and secondly because he felt that his eleventh year in wrestling had been a sad one. The match will take place at Korakuen Hall on the 1st January, the same day that NOAH at the Nippon Budokan, so Kitamiya will be wrestling two matches that day with ZERO-ONE taking place before NOAH. Kitamiya is determined to enter The Nippon Budokan as champion.

Akitoshi Saito remembers Bison Smith

Akitoshi Saito made a touching tribute to his old partner on the anniversary of his passing, by winning the match with the Iron Claw slam. Backstage he remembered “the blue eyed samurai” by recalling their last conversation, and saying that he felt Bison was with him and had given his approval for Saito to team with Yone.

Perros Del Mal De Japon Farewell

Perros Del Mal De Japon made their final appearance as a unit in Yoyogi on November 23rd. They were accompanied to the ring by Kotaro Suzuki (who may not be appearing in NOAH following The Tokyo Gurentai produce due to his contract expiring) and Ikuto Hidaka. Neither of them got involved too much in the match.

Yoshinari Ogawa came to the ring with a Singapore cane slung over his shoulder, while his partners also brandished weapons, Kai Fujimura had a baseball bat and Yasutaka Yano carried a trash can. The match was as you would expect; the first time everyone got counted out, the second time ended in a count out when the young boys got Perros counted out (Ogawa had left in disgust by this time) and when he came back, the match lasted 11 minutes and 36 seconds, and ended when NOSAWA decided to assault the referee. Ogawa took everyone out with a trash can lid before leaving. He had also managed to hit Kotaro on the head earlier, but concentrated his attack on NOSAWA and Eita. When Ogawa had gone, Perros bade farewell to each other, but their war with Ogawa wasn’t over as both Eita and NOSAWA will have singles match with him. NOSAWA’S match will be on the 14th in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima, while Eita’s will be on the 23rd at the N-INNOVATION. Kotaro Suzuki was a little irritated that he didn’t get a singles match, which NOSAWA completely ignored, but he will have a singles match himself against Eita on the 20th.

MaruKen reunite to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Naomichi Marufuji pinned Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi and therefore won the right to challenge the tag champions. With Masakatsu Funaki and Masaaki Mochizuki hanging over the ropes offering their hands as partners, Marufuji announced to the uproar of the crowd and the disbelief of Takashi Sugiura (whose reaction was akin to “Who? Are you fucking kidding me?”) that he would be challenging with KENTA. Backstage, Marufuji was not too sure that KENTA would accept the offer, but he did and the match has been set for the Nippon Budokan on New Year’s Day.

To explain for the newer fans, during their NOAH Junior days, KENTA and Marufuji were in a much beloved junior tag team known as MaruKen, they hold the record for the longest title reign as a junior team and they also broke down the rules for juniors fighting heavyweights as Misawa allowed them to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. As a team they never had a falling out that led to their split, they just drifted apart as Marufuji noted in “Heir To The Ark” and went to do their own things and over time they became rivals. Now they reunite as heavyweights.

AMAKUSA challenges Dante Leon

AMAKUSA made a silent challenge to Dante Leon for the GHC Junior Heavyweight following their match in Yoyogi. The way the match went gave fans the impression that Alejandro might be the one to challenge, but in the end it was Amakusa who pointed silently at the belt. Title challenge will main event the N-Innovation on the 23rd December.

Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya

Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Kenoh in their second pre match, and taking the microphone he stood over him and said that Kenoh had just been overcome by the guy who he was saying “was just trying his best”, and what did that say about Kenoh? Kiyomiya told him it meant he “was all mouth”. Their next pre match is on the 14th December.

Darby Allin

It has been announced that the team of Great Muta, Sting and Darby Allin will team together at Great Muta’s final match on the 22nd January at the Yokohama Arena. Allin had been tagging with Sting when Muta materialized on the 23rd September to save Sting from Buddy Matthews. There has been no mention as to who will be their opponents, but it is thought that Matthews may be involved as he has a score to settle.

YO-HEY & Kzy challenge for the GHC Junior Tag Titles

Tag championships can be volatile belts and tend to suffer more backwards and forwards than singles belts do at times. This was the story when Atsushi Kotoge and Seiji Yoshioka managed to take the belts back from The Kongoh Juniors in Yoyogi. This was the Kongoh Junior’s first defense, and Hajime Ohara and Shuji Kondo, had only held the belts for thirteen days. Following their title win, the next threat came from their own unit, as YO-HEY challenged for the belts with DragonGate’s Kzy as his partner.

“I’m in a disappointing situation with no results to speak of at all. To overcome this situation, I want the belt. With the belt in hand, I can reach even higher heights. I want to do this, so please let me challenge for the tag belt next”.

Title match will take place on the 23rd December at the N-Innovation.

Yoshiki Inamura fails to capture his first singles belt, but succeeds in other ways

Yoshiki Inamura failed to win his first singles gold when El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior used his experience (the part which he and Inamura were not well matched in, and I doubt Wagner Jnr has ever had anyone throw him around after catching him following a dive) to retain the gold. Inamura had wanted to win this belt to usher in his own era of NOAH, which would be separate to Kiyomiya’s (yet I think would also rival his, as Inamura would kind of be more the leader of the younger generation, which Kiyomiya knows is rising up to threaten him), and he would stand next to him and not below him as champion. Inamura might have failed in his attempt to win his first singles belt, but as Tokyo Sports said, he most definitely gave birth to his era.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Shuhei Taniguchi had his best match in a long time when he and Hideki Suzuki fought to a referee stop in Yoyogi. Fans want to see a round two.

– For some reason the wrestling promotions (and not the MMA companies) were told to come to Antonio Inoki’s memorial on the 24th November at 11am instead of 1pm, someone said this could be a prank that Inoki had set up. Prank or not, in something practically unheard of NOAH (Kenoh, Yoshiki Inamura, Satoshi Kojima, Kaito Kiyomiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Takashi Sugiura), New Japan and All Japan, plus some staff members, went to have something eat and drink and all sat down and talked for two hours. Inoki’s final wake will be held on March 7th at Ryogoku Kokugikan, what form this will take has not been announced, but it will be a fan event. In Shinto, the deceased are mourned and funeral services are held for forty-nine days following death, the final day is a day of celebration and farewells, when the mourning period is over and the deceased can finally leave earth and cross to the afterlife. It has been said that Inoki will be sharing a beer with Giant Baba.

– Takashi Sugiura’s pants stayed on when he met up with Kenta Kobashi and had some drinks…which is more than can be said about when he visited Akira Taue’s restaurant, and got drunk with Go Shiozaki.

– Kazuyuki Fujita said in his Weekly Pro yearbook profile, that he liked drinking highballs on the Shinkansen.

– Yoshiki Inamura and Kaito Kiyomiya summon Alejandro 

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

NOAH THE BEST 2022 – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 23RD, NATIONAL YOYOGI STADIUM 2ND GYMNASIUM

Event Recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kenoh, ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Dante Leon
    Challenger: AMAKUSA, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: MaruKen (Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA), ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: YO-HEY & Kzy, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr 
    Challenger: TBA, NOAH the BEST 2022 (Wednesday November 23rd National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium)

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(December 2022 schedule)

Wednesday, December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (4 years)

ARTICLES

“Inside of me there is a “good” Keiji Mutoh and a “bad” Keiji Mutoh” – enthusiasm and conflict for Keiji Mutoh’s last run

“It was a sad eleventh year…” momentum to seize the belt in the Zero-One New Year’s Day title match

“We can make it a connection”, Kondo is “Marmalade brother?!” – Interview with Hajime Ohara just before the Junior Tag Defense match

GHC Junior Tag Match Signing: Ohara “Thigh Raise & Anya Words”. Yoshioka emphasizes that, “If I lose, hit rock bottom”

GHC National Match Signing: Japan-Mexico same generation clash: Wagner Jnr “Create A New History”, Inamura “Create A New NOAH”

“Take the belt and stand in the same position as Kiyomiya!” – Interview with Yoshiki Inamura before his challenge for the GHC National Championship 

Recapture for the first time in two weeks with “Baggio Spirit”, Interview with Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka ahead of the Yoyogi Junior Tag Match

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Coach points out! What is the current situation of young people as seen by Ogawa through the “Mauritius Cup?”

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH


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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.191 ~ 18TH NOVEMBER 2022

NOAH coverage still going strong! A few title changes and defenses keeps things interesting heading toward the end of the year!

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NEWS

Kongoh Juniors finally win gold, Atsushi Kotoge demands a rematch

Shuji Kondo and his perpetually terrified partner, Hajime Ohara, ended a long losing streak for the Kongoh Juniors and finally won a title for their unit, when Seiki Yoshioka tapped to Hajime Ohara’s Muy Bien. Ohara’s reward from Kondo was to be kicked in the head repeatedly. When Ohara did get to his feet, Atsushi Kotoge was asking for a rematch, something the champions later granted, although Ohara did initially shove the belt in Kotoge’s face and tell him to beat it. The titles will be defended on the 23rd November at the National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium. There will be no pre match.

Dante Leon wins his first Noah title, the GHC Junior

In a match which was half American style and half Noah style, Dante Leon beat Ninja Mack for the GHC Junior, and won his first title in Noah. Unfortunately, due to HAYATA’S injury Ninja Mack’s reign was not as it should have been, so I would imagine that at some point in the future he will be given a longer run. No challenger has come forward as of yet to challenge Dante Leon.

Funky fail, but respect earned

Funky Express lost their challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles when Takashi Sugiura choked Akitoshi Saito out and the referee stopped the match. It was a heartbreaking loss for the challengers who were visibly moved. They have may have lost in their attempt, but in the eyes of fans, they gained something far more important, respect. Long seen as a comedy unit who worked the openers, Disco Dancing, Funkiness, King Tany, discussions of a giant belt made for four (funded by Masao Inoue’s piggybank according to Aki), things have changed with the departure of members and Saito and Yone managed to turn themselves into credible challengers.

Funaki’s warning comes true, El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr becomes the GHC National Champion

When El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr, Masakatsu Funaki had foreboding about the challenge. Kazushi Sakuraba he could handle as Sakuraba was known to him, it was also the case with his previous challengers as while he may not have known Simon Gotch prior to the match, he was aware that Gotch was of a similar skillset. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior was not. Funaki spoke of other difficulties too aside from him being a luchadore in that he also outweighed him and was younger than him too. All these factors combined on the night with Wagner Jnr’s ability, for the title to change hands. Wagner Jnr was laying out the Mexican flag in the ring to add the belt to it, when his next challenger, Yoshiki Inamura appeared at ringside. Inamura got straight to the point, saying he was here to challenge. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr accepted, and the two will fight on the 23rd November at the National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium.

Yoshiki Inamura gave a small interview about his challenge, and he touched on the subject of Kaito Kiyomiya. Inamura stated that although Kiyomiya is younger than him, he is still his senior, which has been a factor in Inamura wanting a singles belt too. Inamura says this will be “standing next to Kiyomiya, not beneath him”.

Kaito Kiyomiya retains against Thatcher, Kenoh back again

In a match that was to atone for the title match against Kazuyuki Fujita, (which I don’t think Kiyomiya was very happy with), he faced a trial by fire when the GHC Heavyweight was defended against Timothy Thatcher. In his previous title reign, when he was being challenged by Naomichi Marufuji, Marufuji had told him that he was going to take him apart bit by bit, which was what Thatcher did. Kiyomiya had to get the win on momentum by dropping a few Transformed Shining Wizards, because everything he did Thatcher reversed into the dreaded armbar. Kenoh had been on commentary and as soon as he saw the result, removed his headset, and came down to the ring to challenge.

“Hey, Kiyomiya, you did your best in today’s title match too. Just! You “just” tried your best. Even elementary school students can “just” do their best. So, what are you left with today? What can you create? What can Noah create? On January 1st at the Nippon Budokan, The Great Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura has taken the subject from the champion, and what are you doing? Working hard? You can’t win with just that! Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura…who can win in terms of the subject…Brock Lesnar, Dwayne Johnson…The Rock. No, it’s The Rock and me, Kenoh! Well, I know that I’m no match for Rock, but I have that kind of will! I will save Noah from danger. It’s not Muta vs Nakamura. I will challenge you for your belt, and I’ll take away the topic!”

Kiyomiya responded,

“Maybe, I am just trying my best. But what will you create? I will create a new Noah! So you and I, let’s fight for real! I don’t want to lose anything on social media or by transmission, so please, fight all out against me.”

Kenoh

“January 1st, Nippon Budokan, you are not the one who will surpass Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura. I will exceed by myself, and the one who will take this belt is me, Kenoh!”

*Title match has been set for The Nippon Budokan on the 1st January 2023.

The first pre match took place at the Noah/Dragon Gate event the next day. The main event was not as wild as the rest of the show had been, but it did culminate in Kiyomiya being pinned by Kenoh, and a picture of that moment appearing on the front cover of “Weekly Pro”.

Noah vs Dragon Gate

Aside from the main event as mentioned above, the event saw;
– NOSAWA Rongai getting pinged by plastic
– Satoshi Kojima as the mystery opponent of Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa. Kojima said the match was for HAYATA, who he hopes gets well soon and returns to Noah.
– Kenoh describing partner Kouta Minoura as “cute”. Which is probably the first time Kenoh has ever described anyone ever as that.
– H.Y.O said he wants a singles match with Ninja Mack. Otherwise he was not impressed with Noah overall.
– Shun Skywalker finally snap when teaming with Tadasuke. In usual frenetic style, Tadasuke tried to get Shun to do his corner camera spot, and ended up dragging him over. Things steadily went downhill from there.
– YAMATO beat Seiki Yoshioka, but was full of praise for him.
– YO-HEY danced with Natural Vibes on entry, and although dancing cannot have been easy in that heavy coat, he loved it. Daisuke Harada says he is obsessed and cannot stop watching!

Noah Tryouts

Katsuhiko Nakajima and Naomichi Marufuji (alongside Xtreme Tiger) have appeared in both New York and San Francisco for Pro Wrestling Revolution and King of The Indies 2022. They stopped over in San Jose, California, to hold tryouts. Two lucky wrestlers were chosen, who will now come to Japan and train in the dojo and appear in Noah. Marufuji said they were very overcome, and he saw tears. I am afraid I do not have the names of the winners.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Kenoh will appear at the Yokohama Corsairs game on the 19th November to fire a t-shirt gun (bazooka).

– Kaito Kiyomiya has posted some, shall we say, steamy pictures on his Instagram. One involved him bare-chested and toweling his hair, the other one was being naked save for a necklace while sitting in a bath. Fortunately, he did not reveal all, but the picture was certainly close to being south of the border.
– Yoshiki Inamura celebrated his 30th birthday on the 18th November. Work never stopped during the day as he was giving interviews on his upcoming title challenge, but in the evening he was taken to the Ribera Steakhouse, and given a green jacket.
– Kaito Kiyomiya had an audition for Ninja Warrior.
– During the title match, Dante Leon stole ring announcer G-Man’s chair from under him. G-Man got his revenge by posting a picture of Leon sitting and watching TV, his back to the camera and completely unaware, as G-Man’s hand advanced on him threateningly.
– Satoshi Kojima said their team name was now “Takajima” because he had given “Satoshi” to Mohammed Yone. Sugi said it was kind of hard to pronounce.
– Kaito Kiyomiya has parted with the “Supernova” nickname and gotten new theme music, “REGENERATION” and is now “Galaxy View”.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– GLOBAL2DAYS WRESTLE UNIVERSE PRESENTS GLOBAL HONORED CROWN (Thursday November 10th, Korakuen Hall)

Event recapPost match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(Full November schedule)

NOAH the BEST 2022

Date: Wednesday, November 23rd
Venue: National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium
Start time: Doors open 13:30 JST, event starts 15:00 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (English commentary available)

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Saturday 19th November: HI69 debut anniversary (22)
Friday 25th November: AMAKUSA (37)

ARTICLES

Title match removal of Supernova, champion Kaito Kiyomiya declaration of change and resolution! 
Noah/DragonGate: Press conference for the youngsters match: Inamura declares “Overwhelming”, Mochizuki Jnr “Absolutely Win The Fight”
Noah/DragonGate: GM Saito “Help Me!” in a “1 vs 5” crisis. NOSAWA & Horiguchi already declare betrayal 
Noah/DragonGate: Tadasuke & Shun burst into the press conference, attacking AMAKUSA & Fujiwara
Noah/DragonGate: Kenoh cuts Yuki Yoshioka in half, calling him a “Pathetic champion, carried by the company”
THE TOUGH comment on their ZERO-1 Participation
Noah/DragonGate: Realization of Noah and DragonGate Champions at the joint show…Kenoh completely demolishes Kiyomiya with a strong pre-emptive strike towards the New Year’s Day Budokan
Noah/DragonGate: Satoshi Kojima backstage comments – “Get Well Soon HAYATA” 
Noah/DragonGate: GM Saito is in trouble, break up with friends & unreasonable rap request…victory for rare trio of KZY & YO-HEY
Noah/DragonGate: YAMATO comments on Seiki Yoshioka
G-MANS Note Vol 2: In charge of Pro Wrestling Noah’s English YouTube & English Announcement 

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Dragon Note – Tanahashi discusses Keiji Mutoh’s retirement

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s column (4th October 2022)

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse
Picture credit: Kaito Kiyomiya, Weekly Pro


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