Can you dig Talking Smack, SUCKAAAA?!
SmackDown was on FS1 for this week, and so will Talking Smack! FS1 will have Carmella, Bayley, the Street Profits, Kevin Owens and special guest cohost, BOOKER T!
Kayla Braxton welcomes us back to the show!
This is a very special LIVE edition of Talking Smack after the final SmackDown before the final WWE PPV of 2020! Her special guest cohost is the two-time, two-time Hall of Fame inductee, BOOKER T! He is ready to give us caviar dreams and champagne wishes! But the usual cohost, Paul Heyman, walks up a bit earlier than expected. Kayla brings up how things ended on SmackDown, with Kevin Owens emerging from being buried. Booker says Kevin is reminding him of Rocky Balboa, getting beat on and beat on but never stopping! Heyman should let it go with this situation.
Kayla gives a quick run down of who the guests are, from Carmella one more time before her rematch with Sasha Banks, plus Bayley, The Street Profits and if possible, Kevin Owens. Heyman is almost ready, and Booker knows Heyman is never short on words. Booker and Heyman shake hands and Heyman sits on the other side of Kayla this time. Booker says it’s fine that he’s a little late, and Kayla is sure he has a “rant” prepared. Is that what he’s been reduced to? Well it’s what he does. No he doesn’t, and he doesn’t have one prepared. But if he were to rant, he’d… Surprisingly, Heyman is having a hard time putting this into words!
“We have an athlete, a fighter, a very capable man with lethal hands and lethal feet, to use his body as a weapon.” That man stands after beating after beating, after beating, from the Universal Champion! Not just any man but THE man in the WWE! Kevin still says he will be champion or die trying! Heyman says Kevin is not a masochist but a MARTYR! All because Kevin won’t give into fear. “I fear Kevin Owens. Because I fear what Kevin Owen sis going to bring out in Roman Reigns.” Heyman makes that clear. As scared as Heyman is of Kevin, he is more afraid of Roman! Not because of the short fuse and the Samoan blood, but because Roman is a very dangerous man! Roman is just as willing to make Kevin pay a price and go through whatever suffering necessary.
Heyman quotes Franklin Delano Roosevelt in saying “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Heyman disagrees with that. “We have Roman Reigns to fear.” Kevin better bet his ass that if he makes it home from TLC, he will have learned to FEAR Roman Reigns. Kayla isn’t sure if that was a rant, but that was a powerful monologue. But from one championship match to another, our first guest is the UNTOUCHABLE challenger to the SmackDown Women’s title!
Carmella joins Talking Smack!
Booker says Mella is looking good. Mella says of course she is. Did you see what she did to Sasha? She smashed her with another bottle of champagne. Kayla apologizes and will get her a replacement bottle. Not quite as pricy but- Then keep your money. But Mella is looking good and feeling confident. Just look at her! But not for too long. But Sasha ruined her toast! Sasha tried to be sneaky but Mella was a step ahead of her. She had way more bubbly to spare, and it was all for her!
Kayla asks Booker and Heyman if they have advice for Carmella. She has been champion once before, so any tips on how to be champion again? Booker says Mella just needs to be ready. One thing she and Sasha have in common, aside from hair, nails and make-up all perfectly flawless, which Heyman agrees with, it’s that Sasha has a high IQ. Mella might not match that, actually. He invites Mella to say if he’s wrong. Mella counters by asking, “How many times has Sasha successfully defended a title against Charlotte Flair? How many times has she beat Asuka?” Not as much as Mella! But Sasha has a lot of history, part of big moments in the WWE, while Mella hasn’t.
Oh really? Who was the first Ms. Money in the Bank? And technically the second, too! Mella is so upset that Booker would say such things! Mella cashed in successfully on Charlotte Flair, then successfully defended the title against Flair! Then she defended her title twice against Asuka! And is a two-time WWE 24/7 Champion, a winner of the Women’s WrestleMania Battle Royal, and a Mixed Match Challenge winner! Who is the history maker here? Booker says that was a great retort. Kayla says Sasha says Mella isn’t in the same league, but Mella counters with, “How many times has she smashed a bottle of champagne over me?” Sasha doesn’t carry champagne…
That’s because Mella outsmarted Sasha, that’s what! Mella vows to win the title on Sunday and be a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion! Then she’ll call Booker up and tell him she made history again! Kayla wishes Mella luck and apologizes for the disrespect, they did not mean it. Mella says she doesn’t need luck, and doesn’t want them staring at her butt as she walks away. But will Mella be walking away with the title after TLC?
Talking Smack returns from break!
Before the Street Profits join the show, we go to Jay Glazer’s interview with the Most Electrifying Man in ALL of Sports Entertainment!
Jay Glazer talks with The Rock!
It was on One Glass with Jay Glazer that Dwayne Johnson told him, “When I first started in the WWE, I was this good guy, ‘Babyface,’ fresh out of University of Miami, I was told ‘You gotta go out there and you gotta smile!'” But he knew that the fans knew he wasn’t genuine with the smile and character. They’d shout something like, “YOU F***IN’ SUCK!” and he’d just have to smile, give a thumbs up and say, “Thank you! I know I do!” But when it came time to become a bad guy, a “Heel,” he asked Vince for just two minutes on the mic on Raw. There was a group at the time, Nation of Domination, led by Ron “Farooq” Simmons, perhaps the greatest Florida State football player ever.
Vince gave Rock his two minutes with NOD, and Rock was on live TV, which is saying a lot for back then because Raw was only TWO hours. Glazer is surprised because that is very bold to go to the boss as a rookie and ask for the ball. Exactly. Rock told Vince that if he sucked, that’s on him, he’ll never talk again. “The Rock” was born as he told the fans, “I heard chants of ‘Rocky Sucks.’ Well Rocky Maivia is a lot of things, but ‘sucks’ isn’t one of ’em!” The Rock now says it wasn’t a White thing, it wasn’t a Black thing, it’s just a respect thing, and he earned it by talking smack. It was that moment when the crowd said, “That’s real. What he just said, that’s real.” And the rest was history. There was no going back from being authentic.
NOW The Street Profits join Talking Smack!
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are “permanent residents” of the show and Kayla likes that. Profits talk smack, so being here is second nature. They got to talk some smack after retaining the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, and that is also something they do so Kayla isn’t sure why anyone was surprised. Ford says they are the only tag team not to be pinned for the Raw Tag Team or the SmackDown Tag Team titles. Ford is still sore, though. Those ribs got beat up. Heyman confronts Kayla on why anyone would be surprised, but that’s what she said, we weren’t.
Booker knows he’s a special guest himself, but he wants Heyman’s honest thoughts on the Profits. Heyman says they are the most important, transformative tag team in the WWE. No one on Raw beat them, and no one has beaten them on The A Show, SmackDown! Raw is inferior because it does not have Roman as the top champion, and it does not have the Profits as the tag team champions. Undefeated on Raw, undefeated so far on SmackDown! Beat teams decisively, like a first round knockout in UFC! Heyman is a huge fan of the Profits. Did he have some of the “happiness” tonight? Heyman tells Booker about that stuff. It’ll definitely make you a Profits fan.
Wait, Sami is barging in? He has two Sami Awards! And he gets a mic to say this is NOT for the Profits, sorry. Sami doesn’t want to ruin anyone’s night like how his night was ruined. But- Wait why is Kayla laughing? Well, the awards are just Sami’s action figure- NO, they were hand sculpted in Brazil! Don’t you laugh at them! But as the first and only two-time Sami Award Winner, Sami Zayn should be celebrating and making our nights better. But he wants to know one thing, everyone please shut up! Sami is a champion, too! He just wants to know how he was ROBBED of the third Sami Award for Superstar of the Year?
Dawkins brings up how Sami had his own awards show and he got awards. No, no, Sami simply hosted the Sami Awards, as represented by “the will of the people.” Well, then how did he lose the third? It was stolen from him because Big E was somehow on standby! Can Booker help Sami figure this out? Booker was going to be the Lifetime Achievement Sami Award winner. Booker says he has no idea how it happened. Sami wants Booker to look him in the eyes and say that! To review, Sami won Comeback 2020 and Match of the Year 2020. The Profits are laughing, despite Ford’s bad ribs.
Booker asks what is going on here. Kayla says this is the best Sami has ever looked. If only he had three. Dawkins knows if they had the Street Profit Awards, the Street Profits would’ve swept. Sami is usually above this, but he’ll point out how awful Dawkins looks right now. Sami is dapper, Ford is in a suit, but Dawkins is garbage! This should be the best night of Sami’s life! Booker stays out of this, aside from the fashion sense. Heyman knows people in the production truck but cops to them not liking him. Kayla says Big E must have his ways.
Sami says Big E is obviously watching. One Sami, two Sami. Sami is coming for Big E, and heads are going to roll! Dawkins congratulates Big E on that Superstar of the Year Sami, though. Wait, Sami left his mic behind! This is why the production team doesn’t like Heyman! But as a reminder, the Slammys are coming, so get your votes in!
Talking Smack shares Charlotte Wilder’s interview with Sasha Banks.
2020 may have been rough in many ways, but it was still The Year of the Boss! Sasha herself recounts how she was WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion, Raw Women’s Champion, and now SmackDown Women’s Champion. She won every title in one year, and is the only woman to pin Drew McIntyre, because he ended up involved with her match against Asuka. At only 28, Sasha has accomplished so much!
Charlotte Wilder goes into detail about the actual timeline of Sasha’s 2020. It was Friday Night SmackDown on June 5th that she defeated Bliss-Cross for the Women’s Tag Team titles. What was the difference between the first time and the second time being tag champion? “I felt like the second time was even more delicious.” Sasha got to get it off Alexa and Nikki! It felt amazing showing the world that Sasha was going to take over the company!
Then, on July 27th on Monday Night Raw, Sasha defeats Asuka for the Raw Women’s Championship and became #TwoBeltsBanks. What was her favorite part of her record-breaking fifth title reign? It was everything from on screen to backstage that she beat Asuka! All Sasha wanted to do was have fun over the Summer, and all of that with Asuka, Bayley and being Two Belts Banks was the most fun. Then fast forward to October 25th, Hell in a Cell, her grudge match with Bayley to become the third-ever Women’s Grand Slam Champion. What’s next? If there are more records to break, that’s what she’s after. Sasha wants to be CEO of the WWE! Will Stephanie McMahon have something to say about that?
Talking Smack returns to Kayla, Heyman and Booker!
Kayla braces Heyman for talking about how SmackDown ended. Any thoughts given Kevin is ready for a fight? There were moments Kayla was watching where she worried Kevin wouldn’t be able to make TLC this Sunday. Booker says the way it began was fired up. Jey hits Kevin from behind, and Booker asks Heyman man to man. Let’s just be real about Roman. He’s privileged, right? To come from a really good background and upbringing, the kid who had the college football experience, the guy who was in the lead.
But then he looks at Kevin, someone like Booker who came from nothing, from a place where the lights would be turned off, there would be rats and roaches and whatever else, never wanting to go back to that. Kevin has scratched and clawed to get here, and has nothing to lose. “That could be the most dangerous opponent for a guy like Roman Reigns, being in this position come Sunday.” Just saying.
Heyman agrees, Kevin is very dangerous, perhaps the most dangerous challenger, and someone who comes from nothing. But no, Kevin is not the poster boy for WWE, nor is he the stereotypical WWE superstar, which makes that unorthodox style “so damn dangerous.” How far will that push a Division I athlete, with the Samoan upbringing and warrior culture, like Roman? Roman has had four WrestleMania main events, it would’ve been five if Roman chose to, but he didn’t like how WWE was treating him so he set an example for who is THE MAN in the WWE. And then his first night back, he became THE champion in WWE. And that man will be pushed past his limits by Kevin. God help Kevin against Roman this Sunday.
Kayla says that while we’re about to go to break again, she wants to ask out of respect, Kevin will still be joining the show. Does Heyman want to stick around for that? Is Heyman some cliché 1980’s manager? Gotta scurry away~! No, Heyman wants to have a talk with Kevin. There’s nothing Kevin could do to Heyman that’d match what Roman will do to Heyman if Heyman ran away. Plus, if things get out of hand, Booker is here and Booker will save him.
Talking Smack returns with Bayley!
Bayley is excited as she mockingly sings Bianca Belair’s theme. But she says that’s not mocking! “Imitation is like, the biggest form of flattery!” Bayley is a fan of Bianca’s. Kayla isn’t fooled, but congrats on the win. Bianca put up a fight, though. Bayley said Bianca is overrated, but surely she thinks differently now, right? Bayley asks when did she ever say something like that? An interview? A tweet? Was Kayla snooping on her texts? Kayla can’t place it but she’s pretty sure Bayley’s said something like that before. Bayley said just today that Bianca has all the potential in the world. She will be a star someday, but not tonight! Not against the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion in history!
Kayla asks Booker his opinion. There’s no way Bianca is done with Bayley, right? She is the EST for a reason. Booker says he was never a big fan of Bayley, but he always knew that while Bayley wasn’t great at anything, she was good at everything. Ooh, that’s a good one! But that is a compliment, and Booker has seen this transformation. All she does is win, win, win no matter what! Bayley likes that, too! Booker says getting a win over Bianca, it shows Bayley is on her p’s and q’s, and is still a step above Bianca. It was GOODT!
Kayla asks what Heyman is doing sitting like that, leaning on the desk. “Admiring a great talent.” And someone who should still be SmackDown Women’s Champion! DING DONG, HELLO! That is what Bayley was hoping to hear! Bayley is Heyman’s favorite, and she should be a cohost for Talking Smack. Kayla wants to stick with the subject at hand, but Bayley would love replacing Kayla. Kayla says this position is filled. But Bayley is a “Role Model,” but what does that mean?
Bayley wants us to look at all of SmackDown this past year. The were only two people who have held the SmackDown Women’s Championship in 2020. Yes, Sasha has it now but for like a little time. Bianca wants after Bayley for a reason. She is the annoyingest for a reason! It is because she knows if she wants to be at the top and ever have her eyes on the prize, she’s got to go through a top dog, a general, a veteran, a captain, a history maker! Bayley was there to see Bianca’s tryout, and Bianca was the one admiring Bayley! She’s seeing a lot of Bianca in Heyman right now. Just in the eyes. Maybe some day, but not today! Bayley won! Kayla thanks Bayley for her time and congratulates her. Bayley will go celebrate now.
Talking Smack returns again!
And the only guest left is Kevin Owens. He makes it to the table, walks over to Heyman, and asks Kayla if he could borrow her seat for this. She obliges and sits on the other side of Booker. Kevin looks at Heyman and offers a handshake. Heyman hesitates but he figures he’ll just get hit if he doesn’t. But if he does shake hands, Kevin could reel him in, put him through this table, and it’s a glass table. Kevin promises he wouldn’t put Heyman through a table. But if he doesn’t want to see the table up closer, just shake his hand. Heyman shakes Kevin’s hand, and Kevin asks Heyman to do something for him that will be very hard for him to do: just listen. Then after, Heyman can say whatever. But for now, listen. Heyman agrees to do that.
“Paul, I know you always say nothing but the truth. But earlier on this Talking Smack, you lied.” Because Heyman doesn’t fear what Kevin brings out in Roman on Sunday. Kevin knows Heyman is scared, but he’s scared because he’s followed Kevin’s career for a very long time. Well before WWE. Heyman is scared because he’s seen Kevin endure things that nobody should, when the stakes were nothing compared to what they are at TLC. What Heyman fears is the fact that what Kevin said at the end of SmackDown is true. “You know I’ll stop at nothing to take the Universal title back. You know that except for my wife, my kids and my parents, there is nothing I am not willing to sacrifice to get that title back.”
Kevin tells Paul that he has a message for him. Heyman likes to be the innocent messenger, and Kevin will humor him. Kevin has a message Heyman needs to give Roman. Make sure Roman understands that he is in trouble. “Because after tonight, as important as winning the Universal title back is to me, beating… beating Roman Reigns is even more important.” Does Heyman understand? He does. And Kevin says he lied, because he won’t let Heyman reply.
Normally, he’d let Heyman have his rebuttal, but Kevin has neither the interest nor the patience to hear him speak. And if Heyman tries to speak, Kevin will knock the teeth out of his mouth and down his throat. So just don’t, okay? “Just shut up, process what I’ve told you just now, find Roman, and give him my message. Please.” Heyman nods and Kevin holds his hand out again. Heyman flinches, but then shakes Kevin’s hand. Then Kevin thinks. “Remember what I said? Not a word. But do me a favor. After I beat Roman on Sunday and I take the Universal title, you’ve got my number. Call me. Then we can talk.” Is Kevin giving the Special Counsel a way out after he breaks the Head of the Table?
Talking Smack returns once more, to make TLC predictions!
For the SmackDown Women’s Championship, Sasha Banks and Carmella face off one more time! Then another TLC match for the WWE World Championship, Drew McIntyre defends against AJ Styles! And for the first time anywhere, it will be The Fiend VS Randy Orton, in a FIREFLY INFERNO MATCH! But of course, Kayla asks what that even is. Booker has no idea, why is she asking him? But Bray Wyatt, the Fiend, anything he does, Booker wants to be far away from. Kayla says Randy Orton, one of the most decorated superstars ever, but he might have wanted to leave this one alone. Booker says if anyone is capable of handling that match, it’s Orton.
Any thoughts from Heyman? He’s still contemplating Kevin’s ultimatum. So moving on, the world title TLC match! This has been McIntyre’s year but Styles doesn’t care. If anyone as capable as Styles, “that’s my guy!” but Booker knows McIntyre has made 2020 his year. Booker says McIntyre will retain. Heyman doesn’t want to talk about this match, either. That’s fine. We heard from Carmella earlier, Booker gives her an A+ on her hair and make-up, but for the title, it’s all Sasha. And now Heyman is getting annoyed that Kayla wants to ask him.
But then about the one he both does and doesn’t want to talk about, the Universal Championship TLC match, Roman VS Kevin. Heyman is giving up and taking off his earpiece. Booker says this is big stuff. Lay it on us, Paul! “Thanks for your help.” Heyman’s done, this week’s special Talking Smack is done, watch TLC this Sunday!
This was a very good Talking Smack, and not just because it was an hour long live on television. I expected more out of The Rock having a part to play in this, but it was just a replay of his interview with Glazer reviewing the origins of The Rock. Everyone was hoping this would be him teasing a program with Roman or just a return to the ring at all, but I do like his line about being authentic and there’s no going back. That is probably a lesson to be learned in entertainment, even past wrestling. We got really good segments out of all the guests tonight, and Booker was a great addition for the night. It worked out since Heyman was preoccupied in his own way because of what happened on SmackDown tonight.
Mella had a good enough segment, and I like that Booker said she’s the one having to catch up to Sasha, for her to then refute with her own accolades. I hope for TLC, the assistant isn’t as active and we get a match worthy of two accomplished women. The Profits had a good segment, but I’m surprised Sami crashed it. They had good banter, and Sami of course furthers the idea that he and Big E will have a title match soon enough. And Kevin had a great segment, that I honestly wished finished the show completely, with a great tease that he’d gladly be a Heyman Guy if it meant Heyman ditching Roman.
With Sami and Kevin both on the same brand again, I really hope one day they reunite and go for the tag titles. It’d be great story as Sami and Kevin have been frenemies forever, but Kevin is the one who has been on good terms with the Profits, and it’d be about loyalty to his oldest friend. And also about Kevin finally becoming a Grand Slam Champion.
(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.182 ~ 8TH AUGUST 2022
After a rare live stop in the UK for HAYATA (which Hisame was present for), she informs us of all the NOAH happenings leading towards the N-1 Victory!
HAYATA defends the GHC Junior against Shuji Kondo in Japan and Chris Ridgeway in England
In a brutal match which combined speed vs strength, and technical ability vs psychological warfare, HAYATA succeeded in defending the title against Shuji Kondo in the main event of DEPARTURE 2022 on the 5th August. It was by no means an easy fight, Kondo possessed the size and the strength that HAYATA did not, and so HAYATA had to find a way round him, which he did by too capitalizing on the element of surprise, which was the strategy that Shuji Kondo was also aiming for. In the end, he won by The Headache after 19 minutes and 3 seconds. Backstage, HAYATA said that since he was fighting Chris Ridgeway on the 7th July, why not make it a title match?
The second GHC Junior title match (and HAYATA’S 5th defense) took place at The Portland Centre in Nottingham only about (and maybe not even) forty-eight hours after defending against Kondo. WrestleCarnival (the promotion hosting the title match), followed NOAH’s traditions by playing the theme music for the title and showing the gallery of champions. For the newer fans, each belt, even the newer GHC National, have their own title music. Ridgeway vs HAYATA was STINGER vs STINGER with the atmosphere of the venue changing radically to a NOAH show. The match was a vicious technical fight, with very much Yoshinari Ogawa psychology (not just submissions, but amazing reversals i.e. Ridgeway catching HAYATA mid flight and turning the move into an ankle lock), which was very much Match Of The Year quality. HAYATA succeeded in defending the title with The Headache. Afterwards, they shook hands.
You will be able to view the match on WrestleUniverse in due course.
Yoshiki Inamura Fire Festival
Yoshiki Inamura’s summer peaked when finishing the highest in his block, he went on to the Fire Festival 2022 finals against Daisuke Sekimoto. Sekimoto has been both a tag partner and a rival of Inamura, and so this was Inamura’s chance to both show him how much he has grown and also overcome a senior. Sadly, Inamura was not successful in his attempt.
The GHC Junior Tag Championship: A tale of a stolen belt, duct tape and a sneak win
While HAYATA was defending his belt against Shuji Kondo and then heading off to face Chris Ridgeway, Yoshinari Ogawa had his own championship problems, as Eita is still parading around with the GHC Junior Tag belt. Eita is even going to far as to proclaim himself as the GHC Junior Tag Champion, have official pictures taken with the belt, and say all his singles matches in DragonGate were championship matches. No wonder at DEPARTURE 2022, Yoshinari Ogawa came out looking grim and holding a chair which he swung at Perros Del Mal De Japon. Kotaro Suzuki, who was at ringside seconding, was taped to the corner post by Yuya Susumu and Kai Fujimura, as Ogawa chased Eita around over the belt.
Kotaro was later freed from his duct tape prison, and used as a missile by NOSAWA Rongai, as he still had his arms taped down. The match was “won” by young Kai Fujimura, who Ogawa threw over NOSAWA, after he dodged thanks to Eita showboating with the belt, and who had hit NOSAWA in the face. Ogawa once again was not successful in getting his tag belt back, as after a tug-of-war over it, Eita ran off.
Due to Visa issues, Timothy Thatcher was announced by Naomichi Marufuji, to have pulled out of the N-1 VICTORY 2022. Marufuji admitted that there were seniors to take his place, himself included if he so wished (he didn’t because of just coming back from a knee operation), but he wanted to see NOAH’s younger generation take that slot, and therefore a match was arranged between Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura at DEPARTURE on Friday 5th August. If anyone was going to have that slot, Kinya Okada vowed it would be him. He and Yoshiki Inamura were the same age and contemporaries, both from the same class and the same generation of NOAH, but whereas Inamura seemed to have all the advantages – Fire Festival, title matches, and even main evening, Okada (whose career had suffered from a couple of early injuries), was in the opening match and losing constantly. This was his chance to catch up and fought like never before, and overcame his friend/rival. Kinya Okada will therefore enter this years N-1 VICTORY 2022 in Timothy Thatcher’s place (B Block). His first match will be on August 11th against Masakatsu Funaki.
As Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture, Hiroshi Hase usually makes an appearance when NOAH are in town. Normally his participation involves opening the show, presenting a gift to the winner of the main event (etc), but on the 31st July he not only chopped Kendo Kashin, and chugged beer with Kazuyuki Fujita, and made Keiji Mutoh a tourism ambassador for the region (Naomichi Marufuji fulfils the same role for Saitama), he also said he would like to take part in Keiji Mutoh’s retirement road, although at first he didn’t think he would be able to as he didn’t think the people of the prefecture would approve. Hase, who has been retired since 2018, admitted he needed to get back in the ring and do some training. NOAH have announced nothing as of yet.
Kenoh has named his double knee attack moonsault, “Enrin”, which basically means flaming circle. He says that flames are a good look for him. The name was chosen following a public poll on Kenoh’s twitter
Following an appearance by El Hijo Del Santo in NOAH and Kenoh as usual squaring up to him, (plus a very funny shoving spot behind Tadasuke as he talked to the camera), it appeared that El Hijo Del Santo issued a challenge to Kenoh, over his belt. Kenoh said that had never heard any belt by that name, except in boxing, but would be happy to take him on, anytime and anywhere.
Naomichi Marufuji returns, dates in America
Naomichi Marufuji made his return to NOAH at DEPARTURE 2022, teaming with Go Shiozaki and Takashi Sugiura against Daiki Inaba, Masato Tanaka and Satoshi Kojima. The match (despite it’s N-1 fight between Sugiura, Shiozaki, Tanaka and Kojima), was won by Go Shiozaki. On the 28th August, he will go to New York to face Eddie Kingston at House of Glory Wrestling. There will also be a further date in America in November for King of The Indies 2022.
Tadasuke has been injured with nasal bone fractures, and will therefore miss (probably) the next three NOAH shows, which includes Osaka and Hiroshima, places very special to him.
KENTA revealed in his autobiography, “Footsteps”, that his ring name was very almost “Camel Kobayashi”. This was because he was teased by his seniors as they thought he looked like a camel, and it was Naomichi Marufuji, who suggested the name! KENTA says that it was because of this nickname that Satoru Asako defeated him with the Camel Clutch, although this was not a move he usually did.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Mohammed Yone described Funky Express as “this little old man army”. Saito told him that most definitely did not describe him. They might be aging. He wasn’t.
– Eita apparently said he was the “GHC Junior” champion by mistake once
– Shuhei Taniguchi actually trusted a Kendo Kashin handshake. Think about that for a moment.
– Naomichi Marufuji said that after drinking with Mitsuharu Misawa, they were both so drunk they each paid the taxi driver, so he got two fares. Takashi Sugiura said that Kinya Okada and Daisuke Harada, both have a tendency to wander off when drunk.
– When Kenoh was looking for a name for his moonsault, Naomichi Marufuji suggested “New double knee attack moonsault”. Kenoh didn’t even bother to respond.
– When Kaito Kiyomiya was teaming with El Hijo Del Santo and Ultimo Dragon, he and Alejandro did a double over the top rope somersault. This is not a usual Kiyomiya move, and he said he was inspired by his seniors.
– A TikTok account craze has swept NOAH. Pretty much everyone except STINGER and Kongoh it appears have created an account.
– Tadasuke’s camera corner was interrupted by a scuffle in the background between Kenoh, Kaito Kiyomiya, El Hijo Del Santo, Ultimo Dragon and Alejandro.
– Kaito Kiyomiya has a new feature on his YouTube channel, “Kiyo’s Kitchen” (I get the impression that “Kiyo” is his nickname within NOAH).
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS
- Midsummer Clash 2022 (Ishikawa Industrial Exhibition Hall No.3, Sunday July 31st)
- Sunny Voyage 2022 (Act City Hamamatsu, Saturday July 30th)
- DEPARTURE 2002 (Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Friday 5th August)
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kenoh
Challenger: Winner of the N-1 VICTORY 2022
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
Challengers: Perros Del Mal De Japon (Eita & Kotaro Suzuki), Postponed, replacement date to be advised. Chris Ridgeway says he will be back in Japan soon.
- GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
NOAH will hold the press conference for the N-1 VICTORY 2022 at 4pm JST on Wednesday 10th August. This will be live and free to view as it will be streamed on YouTube.
- N-1 VICTORY 2022
Thursday, August 11th
Start time: 16:00 JST
Venue: Yokohama Budokan
Saturday, August 13th
Start time: 17:30 JST
Venue: EDION Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)
Notes about broadcasts
– WrestleUniverse will have English commentary for all nights.
Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.
HAYATA UK APPEARANCES
Saturday, August 13th: HAYATA – PROGRESS Wrestling (Sheffield)
Sunday, August 14th: HAYATA – PROGRESS Wrestling (Newcastle)
I am informed that PROGRESS have their own streaming service, but I am unsure as to whether the matches will be put on WrestleUniverse.
BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES
Wednesday, August 10th: Yasutaka Yano (22)
Friday, August 12th: Junta Miyawaki debut anniversary (5)
AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION
Akira Taue complains of someone snoring, he thinks it was probably Yoshinari Ogawa, but Mitsuharu Misawa admits it may also have been him.
PICTURE CREDITS: House of Glory (Naomichi Marufuji & Eddie Kingston), myself (HAYATA)
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.181 ~ 29TH JULY 2022
With only a few weeks before the N-1 Victory tournament kicks off, NOAH is setting the stage and the Juniors are forever causing trouble!
Seiki Yoshioka joins the NOAH Junior Regulars
Following a singles match with Daisuke Harada at “STAR NAVIGATION 2022” (July 21st, Korakuen Hall), Seiki Yoshioka took Harada up on his offer to join the NOAH Junior Regulars. Yoshioka explained his decision as he had tried to get the GHC Junior Heavyweight belt by himself and had failed, so now he was going to try getting it working in tandem with people he had never teamed with before.
When it came to meet his new teammates, not everyone was initially happy with Daisuke Harada’s decision. Alejandro had no issue with it, Atsushi Kotoge put the past behind them and shook hands, but YO-HEY was a little more cautious, and naturally the same went for Seiki Yoshioka.
To set the scene for newer fans, Yoshioka and YO-HEY were in a unit called FULL THROTTLE together, which fell apart when Yoshioka kicked YO-HEY in the head and turned on the unit saying that expressions such as “Perron” (YO-HEY) and “Mui Bien” (Hajime Ohara) weren’t going to get him to the top of the NOAH Juniors and after kicking Hajime Ohara down, he joined with his old friends in STINGER. Since then, he and YO-HEY have been enemies. YO-HEY later said that Harada had made a decision, and basically he would abide by it and see how it went. The ice was broken a little at the NOAH Junior Twitter Space, and again the next day at their second one (NOAH seemed intent on replaying the first interview), but being in the ring and tagging together is the real show your true intentions as far as the NOAH Juniors go, and this is precisely what is going to happen on the 29th July when YO-HEY, Seiki Yoshioka and Daisuke Harada team together against STINGER. Yuya Susumu is not impressed by Yoshioka’s decision, asking if this is the path he chose on leaving them?
STINGER vs Perros Del Mal; A Tale of Two Tag Belts
Since Eita stole Yoshinari Ogawa’s tag belt, Ogawa has been on a long and fruitless quest to get it back. He almost succeeded at Korakuen Hall on the 22nd July, when he snatched the belt and went backstage during the match (leading to an unintentional but typical slightly funny moment of Yuya Susumu having to be the responsible one and sort things out), but PERROS chased him and grabbed the belt back. In the ring, Yoshinari Ogawa was taped to the ropes and forced to watch young Kai Fujimura forced to submit. HAYATA saved Ogawa from being beaten down by running into the ring and making PERROS scatter. Backstage, another fight broke out when Ogawa threw a plastic water bottle at PERROS and attempted to get the belt back. Eita declared it was his, and ran off with NOSAWA, as he clutched the belt to him. In fury, Ogawa threw a steel barrier. Fortunately, the other tag belt is safely in Chris Ridgeway’s possession. Eita warned him not to come back too quickly, he’s having too much fun beating up Ogawa.
“Not Misawa or Mutoh”
Kaito Kiyomiya says that despite the “Three Sacred Treasures” (as the Japanese sports press have named Keiji Mutoh’s gifts of The Shining Wizard. The Figure Four and The Dragon Screw), Kiyomiya at the moment has no intention of using them. He is grateful to Mutoh, but during the N-1 he wants to win as himself and find a move that is uniquely his. Kiyomiya believes that this final task from Keiji Mutoh, is Mutoh’s final gift to him.
Shuji Kondo’s mind games
Shuji Kondo declared that he would defeat HAYATA by using mind games. However, after their last pre match at Korakuen Hall on the 22nd July where Kondo had basically side stepped HAYATA, no sold him and then was not where HAYATA had anticipated he would be, HAYATA played his own mind games by offering Kondo a handshake and then attacking him, dodging Kondo he slid out of the ring and growled on the mic, “To be continued, August 8th, Korakuen Hall”.
N-1 VICTORY battlelines drawn up
The heavyweights are gearing up for the N-1 VICTORY, which means they go slightly wild like their junior counterparts.
Katsuhiko Nakajima says this will be his summer, and has already sparked with Kaito Kiyomiya, defeating him and throwing him from the ring at the last Korakuen.
Kenoh says he is aiming for Kazuyuki Fujita to avenge his GHC National loss, and of course to rid NOAH of what he terms “the old men”. Kenoh has also renamed the N-1, the K-1 as he believes it will come down to Masakatsu Funaki (GHC National Champion), Katsuhiko Nakajima (the winner of the league the past two years) and himself (the GHC Heavyweight Champion). Kenoh says he will win.
Go Shiozaki is aiming for Satoshi Kojima
Satoshi Kojima is looking to create his own record and be the first person to win a Grand Slam in league matches in New Japan, NOAH and All Japan.
OPEN THE TRIANGLEGATE Update
Perros Del Mal De Japon retained the titles against HIGH END on July 21st, and have been challenged by M3K. This match will take place in Dragon Gate. However, NOSAWA Rongai has challenged YAMATO to a singles match which will take place in NOAH.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Mohammed Yone said in a recent interview that before matches, he pumps up his ‘fro by about 10cm
– Pec flexing seems to have become a competition in NOAH as Satoshi Kojima does it with Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima doing it in matches, and Kaito Kiyomiya demonstrating it to the crowd at one of the recent fan events.
– Katsuhiko Nakajima was asked if he where to have a girlfriend among the NOAH roster, who would it be? He said it would be himself.
– NOAH will go back to selling full seating for venues in September
– Fans are wondering when HAYATA is going to start talking like Kenoh!
– NOSAWA asked Masaaki Mochizuki (52), who was dressed in the baggy pants, t-shirts, shades and varsity jackets and floppy blonde hair reminiscent of 90s college boys, if he was a little old to be dressing that way? He added that Ryoto (Mochizuki’s son) didn’t really want to be dressing that way either.
– KENTA wrote in his biography a funny/embarrassing incident that took place in Hakodate when he and Kenta Kobashi were eating with some locals. Kobashi asked KENTA who was his favorite in a local band called “Judy and Mary”, did he like “Judy” or did he like “Mary”. While the locals suppressed their giggles as the band is a four piece and not a duo like Kobashi thought, KENTA (who himself was turning red at Kobashi trying to be hip) saved him further embarrassment and said “Judy”. It is probably better that Kobashi did not ask Jun Akiyama…
Another KENTA story was when he was injured during training for his debut due to an elbow to face by Makoto Hashi. Concerned, Mitsuharu Misawa came over and tilted KENTA’S head up to look. KENTA said he forgot the pain in his nose, as he was more worried about Misawa kissing him.
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS
- STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (Thursday July 21st, Korakuen Hall)
- STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (Friday July 22nd, Korakuen Hall)
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kenoh
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Shuji Kondo, “DEPARTURE 2022”, 5th August, Korakuen Hall
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
Challengers: Perros Del Mal De Japon (Eita & Kotaro Suzuki), Postponed, replacement date to be advised
- GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
- SUNNY VOYAGE 2022
Saturday, July 30th
Venue: Act City Hamamatsu, Shizuoka
Start: 18:00 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (broadcast on Tuesday 2nd August from 18:00 JST)
- MIDSUMMER CLASH 2022
Sunday, July 31st
Venue: Ishikawa Industrial Exhibition Hall No. 3, Ishikawa
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (broadcast on Wednesday 3rd August from 18:00 JST)
- DEPARTURE 2022
Friday, August 5th
Start time: 18:30 JST
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)
DEPARTURE celebrates NOAH’s birthday, which means that this year, NOAH will turn twenty two. Each year NOAH reaches this point is a miracle given the turbulent history of the promotion. Mitsuharu Misawa gave NOAH’s first ever show this name as a way of sticking up two fingers to All Japan as he had walked out with three of The Four Pillars, half of the roster, and most of their young talent, referees, office staff and eventually NOAH would even take All Japan’s TV spot.
AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION
“DONMAI, DONMAI” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary
With thanks to: Metal NOAH
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse
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