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

Backstage is back, alright~!

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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!

 

It’s STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD! Steve Austin!

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) 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!

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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.

N-1 Victory 2022 change: Timothy Thatcher out, Kinya Okada in

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.

Hiroshi Hase to take part in Mutoh’s retirement road?

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 names his new move, “Enrin”

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

Kenoh WBC?

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 injured

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.

“Camel Kobayashi”

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)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Sunny Voyage 2022 (Act City Hamamatsu, Saturday July 30th)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • DEPARTURE 2002 (Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Friday 5th August)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(August 2022 schedule)

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

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)WrestleUniverse (Live, English commentary)

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)

LINKS

“Take it from me in the truest sense of the word”, Mutoh teaches Kiyomiya “The Mutoh Finishing Method” directly

Will Naomichi Marufuji never go bankrupt? When I asked the wrestlers about NOAH and the legendary heavy drinkers, there was surprising episodes….

Naomichi Marufuji, “I want to stand again as one of NOAH’s pillars” – press conference on the eve of his return for the first tine in two months

GHC Junior match signing ceremony: “I will create NOAH Junior’s brand”, Kondo declares comeback for the first time in none and a half years, HAYATA brands him as a “guy from the past”

Interview with El Hijo Del Santo towards NOAH War, Ultimo says about Kenoh, “I won’t let him lay a finger”

AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION

Takashi Sugiura

Jack Morris

Masato Tanaka

Hideki Suzuki

Anthony Greene

Masa Kitamiya

Masaaki Mochizuki

Kazuyuki Fujita

Satoshi Kojima

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

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


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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!

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NEWS

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)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (Friday July 22nd, Korakuen Hall)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(August 2022 schedule)

  • 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

Start: 16:00

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.

LINKS

A man named Kaito Kiyomiya

“Why did you start using “Kinniku Buster” in Pro Wrestling?” Mohammed Yone, “I wanted a special move to say “This is who I am”

Satoshi Kojima swears an early comeback for the N-1, will he exceed Mutoh in The Grand Slam & Three Promotions League Championship? 

Kenoh plans a N-1 Veteran “Spring Clean”, the number one target is Kazuyuki Fujita, the symbol of the old men

Neither Misawa or a copy of Mutoh! Kaito Kiyomiya talks about his N-1 Resolution

Fan Meeting 2022 – Saturday 23rd July

Fan Meeting 2022 – Sunday 24th July

Kaito Kiyomiya, who has inherited Keiji Mutoh’s special moves, will display a “New Kiyomiya at N-1”

From Cirque Du Soleil..the hidden “Real Face” of super unique wrestler Ninja Mack

AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION

El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior

Masakatsu Funaki

BOOK CORNER

“DONMAI, DONMAI” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

27th January 2006 added

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse


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