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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (1/30/21)

Backstage is back, alright~!



WWE Backstage 2020

It’s a Royal Rumble special edition of WWE Backstage!

Don’t worry, it’s not a dream! WWE Backstage returns for a Royal Rumble special! They’ll reveal to the world who will enter the Men’s Rumble match FIRST!!


Renee Paquette welcomes us back!

And she can’t do this alone! She has the two-time Hall of Famer, BOOKER T! “Can you did that, SUCKAAA?!” It’s GOODT to be back! And then, the Wayne to Renee’s Garth, it’s PAIGE! Runway strut! The show starts now, “spin it up!”

Everyone is looking good and feeling good for tonight’s special where there will be a match for the 30th spot in the Women’s Rumble match between Tamina and Natalya! Then they will reveal the first two spots for the Men’s Rumble! But first, let’s catch up. Renee is radiant as a “large and in charge” mother to be, but that means there’s no room in the Fox budget for Christian or CM Punk.

But the Royal Rumble match is an opportunity to catapult oneself to new heights. Here is where things stand as we’re just a day away! Video package shows highlights of superstars in the Men’s and Women’s Rumbles as narration explains what Renee already said: it is the one night where everything can change for the one male and one female superstar lucky enough, strong enough and tough enough to outlast 29 others! And those winners will punch their tickets to WrestleMania’s main events!

Just last year, The Rated R Superstar, EDGE, made an incredible return after nine years away, and he was among the final three! Then the Queen, Charlotte Flair, won big last year and could go back to back for the first time in Women’s Rumble history! Or will a former champion like Bayley or Alexa Bliss step back into the spotlight? Will it be feast or famine for the Head of the Table, Roman Reigns, as he goes against Kevin Owens in a Last Man Standing Match? And Drew McIntyre’s “Claymore Kick Heard ‘Round the World” is what started his road to Mania, and he took the WWE World Championship from Brock Lesnar! Now he’s against another living legend in GOLD~BERG~! Who is the one who will point at the WrestleMania sign when it’s all over?

The panel discusses Reigns VS Owens!

Five years, Kevin won his one Universal Championship, but this is more than just for the title. Roman has been doing his best work ever since showing his true colors. What are Booker’s thoughts? “One would think the ball is in Roman Reigns’ court, from the outside looking in.” But Booker looks at Kevin and sees the changes in and out of the ring. Kevin is preparing differently, and that is the only luck he’ll have against Roman. Kevin’s body has transformed and Kevin has everything to prove to himself, and no one else. He can go out there and do it! Even with the streak Roman’s on? Booker knows Roman’s on a hot one, but haven’t you heard, “Any given Sunday?” It could go this way, that way, and it could be Kevin’s win with that one big move. And it’s Mania season!

Paige adds that she’s been a big fan of Roman’s, and everyone is like, “Finally!” At one point it was boring, but Roman wasn’t really invested. Now Roman loves doing this, and it’s the best thing you can see on TV. Booker says it might not even be a character. “The apple don’t fall far from the tree.” Roman’s finally in the comfort zone, and Booker was saying this when Roman first showed up. Roman had big shoes to fill, but he’s filling them now. And Renee says look at the ace up his sleeve in Paul Heyman. Those two in synergy are unstoppable. Booker says it’s the “perfect legitimizer.” And Paige says Jey Uso could get involved, too. Booker says Jey’s the hitman! He has that look in his eyes! With Jey, all you got to write it down and slide it to him.

But there’s another title on the line, with the WWE World Championship!

The Scottish Warrior began his ascent when he won last year’s Men’s Rumble match, eliminating Brock Lesnar in the process. Now he’s against another legend in the iconic Bill Goldberg. Goldberg has been in the title scene two years in a row. Paige’s thoughts? Paige is a fan of Goldberg, but not for this. McIntyre has had a massive build, carrying Raw and WWE as THE Babyface. There are plenty of guys who have been here a long time, who want this opportunity, but they’re not getting it. Goldberg challenging is not needed, but McIntyre will still win it.

Booker’s thoughts on that won’t be sugarcoated. This is old lion and young lion. Goldberg will always question, “What do I still have left in the tank?” But McIntyre, winning the Rumble, going after the championship, having a year run like he has in the turbulence of 2020. If Booker is betting on anyone, it’s the young guy. Booker remembers Muhammed Ali saying he’d shake up the world in ’64, and people would talk no more. Renee points out Goldberg’s gotten into great shape, he always looks good coming out the curtain. Booker says it’s like an old ’69 Chevy. The outside is polished and nice, but you hit the gas and something might pop! Booker hopes it doesn’t go that way, but this is going to be the test of all tests. McIntyre said he would end Goldberg’s career!

So they’re in agreement about McIntyre? Yes, 100%. Paige says McIntyre actually deserves it. This is his time! Speaking of, McIntyre will join us a little later, but that and even more on this very special episode!


Big E parties with Fox’s Rob Stone!

They’re both good, and Big E knows Rob is a cohost of Big Noon Kickoff, but they need someone to replace Urban Meyer… #ThinkBig and choose E! Wait, he wants in? Yeah, he was in the Big 10, he has the Power of Positivity, and he can beat up Matt Leinart. Well a lot of people can. Big E gets closer to Rob, and Rob says see him in the fall!


WWE Backstage talks favorite Royal Rumble moments!

Xavier Woods is here to say that many great moments surely have to do with nostalgic favorites returning, surprise entrants, or even stories of someone being #1 and winning it all. Shawn Michaels did that in 1995. But Woods’ favorite was 2009, the 28th entrant came in, slid in, but was immediately eliminated! Santino Morella was a house of fire, only to be put out by Kane!

Ember Moon says her favorite was either her own first entry in 2018 while still NXT Women’s Champion, or the record for fastest elimination, also done by Santino Morella. Mark Henry thinks back to 2008, John Cena’s surprise return! Henry was there, saw Cena get in, and then he hit HHH just to go after Cena. Of course, Cena did Cena things and threw Henry out. Still a great moment to Henry.

Renee gives a shout out to Santino for his other great moment when “Santina” returned, only to get thrown out by Beth Phoenix. What is Booker’s favorite moment? Well, Booker never won one, yet. But it’s always about a certain feeling. When he left but came back in 2011, he wondered if the fans would still accept him. When he walked out, all he could remember was the pop the fans had! It was like Road Warrior ’86! Booker looks around and thought someone else was in, but in the end, it was his moment and the fans let him know they missed him. When the music hits, it gets Booker shaking. Paige got chills hearing the story.

Paige’s moments are 1) Edge’s just last year because of her own neck surgery story, and so Edge’s return was a crazy, inspiring comeback. And then 2) Three Faces of Foley. He went in as all his alter egos, and it was incredible! Paige loves Foley because Foley speaks his mind but no one gives him crap. Renee likes the moments she was in person for, and 2016 was AJ Styles making his WWE debut. But that is the fun part, is we don’t know who will enter, either a debut or a return. Booker says he’ll be there for Bad Bunny, but maybe if you direct him to the ring… But we might get some new favorite moments this weekend. We learn which moments are Stone Cold’s favorites coming up!



The one and only THREE-TIME Royal Rumble winner spoke with Ryan Satin in a trip down memory lane. What were his favorite memories? Well Stone Cold lets us know that while he won three, he didn’t really like the Rumble match itself, because there’s just so much going on and could go wrong.

Austin remembers San Diego, his first win, he was supposed to be in the final four, but then Rikishi gives him a clothesline, and between ropes being oily and loose, Austin slips and falls out way too early! He was getting that push, but then he goes and messes it up! He and HBK were supposed to be part of things, and Austin had no choice. He gave HBK a look and a wave before leaving and HBK just looked back with surprise. Austin didn’t care for Rumbles, but is glad he somehow won those three. The rest of this interview is available on the various social media accounts of WWE on Fox.


Bad Bunny and Booker T went viral!

42 MILLION VIEWS for the song and video about him, the former King of the Ring got to jam out with one of the fastest rising stars today. How did this even come together? The wrestling business is universal, of course, you never know who you’ll influence. Booker remembers growing up with karate movies, and if they didn’t make him a certain way, he wasn’t into it. That’s how he wrestled, and it would seem a young kid in Puerto Rico was watching Booker T and said he was cool. The King Booker run definitely did that for Bad Bunny, and Booker is humbled for “bonito” helping him stay relevant.

How was that video making process? Well to crossover into something else, still have some moves, Booker says he was a dancer back in the day but that’s another story for another time. But to be in the business, have a young guy saying Booker is the guy, that’s humbling. Talk about a rub. But will Bad Bunny play him to the ring? Oh c’mon now. Booker will just be in his fatigues, be part of the performance all jacked, #BigDaddyLatty!


Renee interviews Drew McIntyre!

The WWE World Champion sits down for the camera and they say hey. He has the title by his side, and is excited to talk to her after so long. Renee is happy to talk the Year of McIntyre. Royal Rumble 2020, McIntyre gets in, stares down Lesnar, Ricochet low blows Lesnar, but McIntyre tops it off with a Claymore that ejects Lesnar from the ring! How much does McIntyre feel that launched things for him? That was the moment where McIntyre got the world’s attention. He felt like Lady Gaga in A Star is Born, that scene where she’s just slightly off stage and there’s that moment on her face where it’s now or never, and that was that moment for McIntyre.

McIntyre has been hearing he’s the future for half his life, “Drew’s the future,” but he was worried he’d be the past and never the present. That moment in the Rumble was that moment when he was the now. An incredible moment, but then COVID and no fans while he’s at the top. How hard was that? Initially, upset, angry, a “woe is me” attitude, but once what McIntyre understood what was really going on with the world, he was disappointed in himself and realized the gravity of things. This was the most important thing in his career and in the WWE to carry forward. He pushed ahead, innovate and adapt, and he’d look at the camera to break the fourth wall or come up with some catchphrases.

They put on the best show they could, but no fans were coming, so the ThunderDome was born! That brought fans back virtually and is how things are going for now. There will be limited fans for Mania so McIntyre can finally walk out, raise the belt and finally say, “Whew, what a year!”

The panel discusses McIntyre’s year.

A now two-time champion, what does everyone think of his run from January 2020 to now? Paige has known McIntyre since she was 11 years old, so he’s grown, joined WWE, left, come back, and has done everything he can to carry things with no fans around. Knowing him that early on, could she see something special? Well it’s obvious there’s something special, he’s huge! He’s this monster of a man! Braun Strowman and McIntyre are on that level. But McIntyre was so humble, stayed that way even now, and that shows volumes to who he is as a person.

Where does McIntyre take things from here, then? Booker says McIntyre’s always been his guy, but seeing him go, rebuild and return, it says something. McIntyre’s confidence is through the roof, and that’s what being champion does to you. It makes or breaks, and Booker sees it as McIntyre is “a grown ass man.” McIntyre knows what the business is about. This is what Booker tells the young people about and McIntyre’s figured it out. It all has connected. The torch has finally been handed to him. And McIntyre didn’t give up like others might. McIntyre is the star of the show now! And we can’t wait to see what is next for him, especially against Goldberg.

But speaking of what’s next, we are getting the Backstage exclusive match, Tamina VS Natalya, for the coveted 30th spot in the Women’s Royal Rumble match!


Women’s Royal Rumble Match 30th Spot: Natalya VS Tamina!

Only three people have entered at 30 and won, and those are certified legends in The Undertaker, John Cena and Triple H! Could one of these second generation superstars take that spot and be the first woman to do it?

The bell rings and the two circle. These two only just became tag team partners, hopefully this doesn’t hurt that relationship. They tie up, Tamina powers Natty to ropes but lets off clean. They circle again, tie back up and Natty waistlocks. Tamina pries the hold open, butt bumps Natty away, but Natty headlocks. Tamina blocks the takeover, but Natty fights off the back suplex. Tamina powers out, runs Natty over, and stares Natty down as Natty gets to a corner. Natty gets up, wants Tamina to take it easy because they’re friends and tag partners, but Tamina kicks low and hard! Tamina wrenches, wristlocks, and reels Natty in to ram shoulders!

Tamina keeps on the wristlock, yanks on the arm, but Natty rolls, handsprings, only for Tamina to throw her down by her hair! “Who do you think you are, huh?!” Tamina brings Natty up but Natty throws hands! Tamina shoves, and SUPERKICKS Natty down! Tamina covers, TWO! Natty still lives and gets away to a corner but Tamina keeps her cool. Tamina storms over to stomp away, but the ref counts and she lets off. Tamina digs her boots in, the ref counts again, and Tamina goes corner to corner to HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO!! Natty survives again but Tamina grows annoyed. Tamina stalks Natty, grabs an arm and has a high keylock.

Tamina thrashes Natty around, Natty endures, and Natty fights up only for Tamina to knee low! Tamina suplexes, covers, TWO! Tamina drags Natty up but Natty cradle counters, TWO! Tamina CLOBBERS Natty with an elbow! Natty gets to ropes, and Tamina chokes her! The ref counts, Tamina lets off, and Tamina brings Natty up to fireman’s carry. Natty fights to a sunset flip, ONE, and Natty has the legs. Tamina boots Natty away, runs in at the corner, but Natty dodges to POST Tamina! Roll-up, Natty wins!

Winner: Natalya, by pinfall (Entrant #30 in the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble)

The Queen of Harts triumphs and is now poised to pounce in the Women’s Rumble!

The panel discusses this result! What an advantage! Paige loves Natty, one of the best ever. Maybe she wins and shocks us all. Booker congratulates Natty, but Tamina had her shot. That will be something she’ll be thinking for the next year. Will Natty capitalize on this opportunity? And we’re moments away from learning the first two entrants in the Men’s Rumble!


Backstage shares Booker’s Buffalo Bills prediction.

Josh Allen is setting franchise records and is an MVP candidate! Stefon Diggs, a gamechanger! Mahomes is in trouble! The Bills are going to celebrate! BOOKENDS THROUGH TABLES!! Chiefs are OVA, SUCKAAAA~!

But uh, sadly it didn’t go that way. What happened? Booker says it is what it is, but they had a hell of a run! Just didn’t get it done and those guys went through tables for nothing. Renee says Booker backing the Bills got him in trouble with another legend. Christian Okoye says that was the wrong team! Pick the right team: the Chiefs! Don’t be wrong! The Chiefs showed up! GRR~! Booker’s rebuttal? Well, Allen, the Bills, they knocked on the door, but are going to see Tom Brady go back to the mountaintop against the kid, Mahomes, all in the home of WrestleMania 37, Raymond James Stadium!


No more teasing, the time has come!

It was mentioned earlier several times, but we are going to learn who the #1 and #2 entries to the Men’s Royal Rumble match will be! And here it is… Countdown says 4, 3, 2, 1!! First, the Viper, Randy Orton!! He’s been dealing with a lot lately, but now he’ll have to get through 29 other superstars! And the first one he’ll be against is… 4, 3, 2, 1!! THE RATED R SUPERSTAR, EEEEDGE~! There’s a lot going into this already, will either of them make it to the end? Paige is already saying Edge wins. Booker says Edge is coming back from another injury, this will be a tough test. Orton is right there with him, Orton is at the top of his game, he could do it.

So again, who wins the Rumbles? Paige goes with Edge because of how inspirational! He’s been in this business a long time, he’ll find a way. Booker gives the rub to BIG E! Big E should represent with that new attitude and how he is the Intercontinental Championship. Renee goes with her Talking Smack cohost, Daniel Bryan! Fingers crossed! And for the women, Paige says Bianca Belair. The right story and she skyrockets. But Booker says Rhea Ripley, who has taken things by storm, is going to be big! Bianca, #TheRip, 28 other stars, it’s gonna be GOODT! All of this and more just a day away, get on the WWE Network before 7 PM Eastern! As for Backstage, we’ll see you when we see you!

My Thoughts:

What a great return for Backstage, and it was great to see Renee, Booker and Paige again, but there’s a little bit of confusion and disappointment when it comes to how this was a Rumble special. Why give away the first two entrants to the match? I touched on this a bit when SmackDown announced this special yesterday, a lot of this was to get eyes on Backstage to see if it’s worth keeping around. I mean, it seems like they’re only going to do it for Big 4 (or is it Big 5 now?) PPV’s, but still. I will say that Orton and Edge are interesting choices, but it does give WWE a way to continue their story from last year, which ended abruptly with “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” for Backlash 2020 and Edge’s arm injury. I’m sure Edge and Orton can last a long time but I can’t be sure either wins.

Natalya VS Tamina was a good match, though I kinda wished the Backstage panel was commentary. Renee’s done commentary, Booker’s done commentary, they were both pretty good, and Paige can be good enough for the one match. Natty winning does make sense, she has been the go-to veteran in the division and can be used to put over whoever is the iron-woman of the match like Bianca Belair or Charlotte Flair. Personally, I hoped Tamina was getting the win because she really hasn’t gotten to do much of anything. I don’t expect her to win any more than Natty, but if Tamina could’ve been the one putting over another, like Bianca, that’d mean a lot for both women.

All the other segments tonight were good, and I like the snippet of the Stone Cold interview. From what has been revealed and recorded on the internet, the Rumble match is mostly improvisational and so I totally get how a mistake like that could happen to even someone like Stone Cold. McIntyre’s interview was good, too, to get how he felt about everything since last January. I myself feel like my optimism that McIntyre was going to get that triumphant moment for SummerSlam 2020 jinxed things, but I am glad to hear McIntyre is hopeful of even just the limited Mania attendance where fans can cheer as he walks out with the title. It is well-deserved for McIntyre given his journey even before 2020.

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More From Japan


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





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.


– 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 Recap

Post match interviews


  • 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)



(December 2022 schedule)

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


“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


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


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

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More From Japan


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





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.”


“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.


– 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 recapPost match interviews



(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)


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 


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

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


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

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

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