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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


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





AXIZ reunite

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

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

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

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

NOAH promise more women’s matches

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

N-1 VICTORY 2023 Announced

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

Masakatsu Funaki challenges Josh Barnett 

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

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

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

Ring intruder at Korakuen Hall

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

Shinjiro Otani

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

Voodoo Murders vs Kongoh

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


GHC Heavyweight

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

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

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

GHC Junior Heavyweight

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

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

GHC National

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

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

GHC Heavyweight Tag

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

Related articles

Huxley and Taniguchi go berserk overturning tables, Sugiura apologizes

GHC Junior Tag

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



(Saturday April 29th, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo) 

Event recap

Post match interviews


(Thursday 4th May, Ryogoku Kokugikan)

Event recap

Post match interviews

NOAH Fan Event Recap


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

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

– Xtreme Tiger returned to the NOAH ring following his concussion

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


(May 2023 schedule)


Date: Sunday May 14th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

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

Broadcast: ABEMA

Birthdays & anniversaries

May 8th 1961: Akira Taue birthday (62)

May 13th 2000: Jumbo Tsuruta memorial (23)


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


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

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

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

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


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

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

Picture credits:

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More From Japan


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





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

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

Related articles

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

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

Junta Miyawaki returns from Mexico

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

Women’s matches

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

Maya Yukihisa & SAKI vs Sumire Natsu & Ryo Mizunami.

Xtreme Tiger concussed & Luchadore’s trash the commentary table

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

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

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

Title news 

GHC Heavyweight

Jake Lee retains, Naomichi Marufuji challenges

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

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

Related articles

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

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

GHC Heavyweight Tag

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

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

GHC National

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

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

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

GHC Junior

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

GHC Junior Tag

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

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


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

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Act City Hamamatsu (Saturday, April 22nd)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Kyoto KBS Hall (Sunday, April 23rd)

Event recap

Post match interviews


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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



Date: Saturday April 29th

Venue: Korakuen Hall

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

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)


29th April: Atsushi Kotoge debut anniversary (2005)

29th April: Tadasuke debut anniversary (2007)


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


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

Picture credits: Wrestling DX

Powered by RedCircle

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



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