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News From Cook’s Corner 2.22.21: Miz Happens

Cook delivers a smorgasbord of topics this week! Miz, Muta, Impact and more!

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! Last week was kind of weird for me. I had more time to write than usual, yet I got less done than usual. Life is strange like that sometimes. I’m hoping that since I have less time this week, I can get more done. Seems to make sense.

Speaking of getting things done, let’s hit the news! WWE had a show last night.

What happened in the Chamber?

I actually watched this one after getting home from work! You guys know that’s  a rarity at this point.

Daniel Bryan won the SmackDown Men’s Elimination Chamber

This match showcased one of the main ways my fandom has changed over the years. Back in the day, I would have been outraged that Daniel Bryan & Cesaro had to start the match, as it lessened the chances of one of them winning. Now, I’m like “Cool, they get to carry most of the match, so it’ll be good”. Also, the first people in these matches tend to do very well. Bryan outlasted everybody, but tweaked his left knee while delivering a flying right knee off the turnbuckle on the padding. It was a main story of the match, but didn’t help him much afterward.

Roman Reigns made short work of Daniel Bryan

Rough break for Reigns’ challenger to not even get some time between matches, but that’s how Roman does things. Edge speared him afterwards, pointed at the WrestleMania sign and set off some pyro. Guess that makes it official!

Bad Bunny slapping Miz around was entertaining enough.

Riddle beat Bobby Lashley & John Morrison for the US Championship

I seem to remember somebody calling Riddle winning here since he’d done little else but get beat up by Lashley for weeks at a time. I wonder who that was? Morrison won a 4-way on the Kickoff Show to get in this match, but he has no excuse because he had an hour more prep time than Daniel Bryan got for his second match.

Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defended the Women’s Tag Team Championship against Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair

We didn’t get Asuka defending the Raw Women’s Championship against anybody, but we did get this match, featuring Reginald wandering down to the ring with some champagne and distracting Sasha. One wouldn’t think that Banks would be so easily distracted, but here we are. Not a bad match, not great, kinda there.

MVP gave Miz some advice!

Drew McIntyre retained the WWE Championship in the Elimination Chamber

The announcers made a big deal of Randy Orton having history with everybody in this match, which makes me wonder if there’s somebody that’s been on the roster over the past several years that doesn’t have history with Randy Orton. Pretty solid match, quickly forgotten after…

The Miz cashed in his briefcase & won the WWE Championship

With some help from Bobby Lashley! Lashley beat the crap out of McIntyre, who had just been through an Elimination Chamber. Not much of a chance there. I know some of you might be looking to blame me for all this, but I don’t tell WWE which of my ideas to use. There are plenty of great ideas I have that don’t involve Miz as WWE Champion that they don’t use. Should I mention my idea of having Bad Bunny beat Miz for the title here or not? Nah, I think it’s more likely Lashley gets involved.

Here’s the thing: If Miz as WWE Champion heading into WrestleMania is an every ten year thing, he’ll only be fifty years old the next time around. So we definitely can’t rule it out!

Show was just kinda there, to be honest. Not worth going out of your way to see unless you’re an Elimination Chamber or WWE Championship title change completionist.

Old Guys Are Big In Japan Too

We here on the Interweb have been giving WWE a lot of guff lately for pushing older wrestlers on top, middle & bottom of their cards. 54 year old Bill Goldberg & 47 year old Edge as top championship contenders…little did we know that’d pale in comparison to what other wrestling companies could offer!

Name value is a very important thing in pro wrestling, not just here in the United States, but all over the world. Pro Wrestling NOAH is looking to expand globally. It’s been a rocky road for the promotion since the death of its founder Mitsuharu Misawa. It’s been sold to various companies, and is now under the umbrella of a company called CyberAgent, along with DDT Pro-Wrestling & Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. There’s big plans for the group to go global, run domes and become the biggest thing in Japan.

In order to do that, they need stars. And there isn’t a much bigger star in Japan, globally, than Keiji Muto. People still fondly remember the Great Muta from his WCW days, not to mention his time with pretty much every group in Japan. The man has an incredible staying power with his fan base.

NOAH is looking to use that to their advantage. Muto defeated Go Shiozaki for the GHC Championship last week, completing his goal of holding the major championship of each of Japan’s three biggest promotions. Apparently the match went near 30 minutes too, and Muto held up his end of things. Didn’t do much, but what he did worked.

See? No reason to dump on WWE for pushing the old guys. Its been proven as a good way to get attention, which NOAH needs. The show drew a pretty good house too, given the Covid limitations. There’s an audience out there for Old Man Muta.

Doesn’t seem like my cup of tea, but at this point I can’t knock them for trying. One could point out I’ve gone softer on the idea of pushing old folks as I’ve gotten older, but that’s more self-reflection than I care to do right now.

In case you were wondering, Lou Thesz holds the record for oldest heavyweight champion of a major wrestling promotion, as he was 62 when he held the UWA championship in Mexico. I expect this record to fall some time in the not so distant future. At least in 11 years or so, as Triple H is currently 51.

Kyle O’Reilly worked people into a shoot

Some interesting doings at the end of last week’s NXT got a lot of people on the Internet worried. Adam Cole is being Adam Cole again, a bit of a dickhead, and he’s reestablishing this personality trait by beating up his buddy, Kyle O’Reilly. Cole delivered a brainbuster to O’Reilly on the ring steps, which back in my day would have resulted in somebody riding out on a stretcher.

Come to think of it, that’s what happened here too. O’Reilly rode off on a stretcher afterwards. It probably wouldn’t have drawn much more attention than usual goings on at the end of an NXT show…except that some fans there really freaked out.

Apparently Kyle selling with a seizure a la D-Von Dudley back in the day made them worried. Which made online fans worried. I saw more people complaining about posted pictures of O’Reilly being carried out than I saw actual pictures. Which is funny…because the whole thing was storyline. NXT wrestlers playing into it were either in on it or being worked too.

Heck, Kyle probably would have appreciated more pictures & video of his selling being posted. The guy did a good job! I’m sure he appreciated the positive thoughts though, as it’s nice to know that the fans care.

I was impressed that the angle made that kind of impression on people. We’ll see if it leads to anything down the road.

Update on Sammy vs. Impact

We wrote a bit on the rumored issues surrounding Sammy Guevara’s aborted trip to Impact Wrestling last week. Since then, representatives of both sides have spoken to Internet journalists to give their take. Gotta love it when that happens! I might be a little more interested than you here since I’m a Sammy fan and dig a lot of what Impact does these days.

Dave Meltzer got the Impact side of things. Whoever the source was didn’t think much of the idea, pointing out that Sammy shouldn’t have liked the idea, which came from Chris Jericho & Don Callis. Sammy apparently suggested alternate ideas, including his winning the X Division Championship. Allegedly, this didn’t include Sammy dropping the title, as he’d return to AEW with the title and Impact would have a tournament to crown a new champion. Whatever the plan was apparently involved Sammy winning three matches.

Bryan Alvarez got the response to the Dave report from a source friendly to Sammy, who claims that Sammy never suggested winning the X title and not dropping it. Apparently, a large source of Sammy’s issue with the creative concerned the fact he was doing a bunch of tag team matches after leaving the Inner Circle to go out on his own. Going somewhere else to just do more tag team matches didn’t seem to make much sense.

The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle, and apparently things between AEW & Impact are fine for now. We shall see. It’s not like Impact has a whole lot of leverage, and their main hope here is that they can be the middlemen between AEW & New Japan. Gonna be interesting to keep an eye on for sure.

Buddy & Alliyah Dropped

Remember when everybody was complaining about the angle featuring Rey Mysterio’s daughter Alliyah having feelings for Murphy? Everybody got their wish, as the story has been dropped with no hint of an explanation. I mean, relationships end all the time and they don’t always need to be played out in public. Maybe Alliyah needed to go back to school. Nevertheless, this doesn’t strike me as a good sign for the career of one Buddrick W. Murphy.

Murphy was off of TV until he was part of the nameless mob walking out on a Seth Rollins speech. Poor guy, there was a time where Murphy would have been the subject of such a speech! Now he’s back to being the Best Kept Secret in WWE, which isn’t the worst role but doesn’t seem like it would pay much.

We can only hope that the next time WWE gets around to giving Murphy something to do on TV, it’ll be something that the Internet approves of. Its the only chance he has, obviously.

Big Week for Bo Dallas News

Y’all, I haven’t even thought about Bo Dallas since whenever he last appeared on television. Which, according to the Internet Wrestling Database, is September 2019. So it’s been awhile. Anyway, Bo’s name came up this week during an interview Sami Zayn did with Sportskeeda. Zayn mentioned how Dallas is one of the most talented people WWE has that isn’t even being used at all.

Some people might have felt tempted to feel sorry for Bo not even getting invited to catering during the pandemic…until they found out via the Wrestling Observer that he’s living on a farm with Liv Morgan. Hmm, let’s see. Go to TV and get beat up all the time, or sit at home, study some real estate and wait for Liv to get home?

Sounds like Bo’s made the best of the pandemic to me.

Bow Wow training with Rikishi

As we all know, the combination of music with pro wrestling has proven to be a success here in 2021. Many of you just saw WWE’s 24/7 Champion doing a musical performance on Saturday Night Live. While it feels like we’ve been talking about the decline of SNL since at least the 2000s, it’s still a pretty big deal.

Bow Wow is looking to follow in Bad Bunny’s footsteps. Well, he wouldn’t say that, but that’s pretty much what’s happening here. Mr. Wow is currently training with Rikishi’s school and making some noise about working for WWE. Which, honestly, would be a good career move for him. He “retired” from rapping some years back and was most recently seen on The Masked Singer. Pretty big show, I’m told.

Personally, I have zero desire to see more singers get involved with pro wrestling. But that’s me. There’s obviously an audience for it, and WWE will milk as much out of it as they can. So don’t be shocked if you see Bunny vs. Wow headlining WrestleMania in the future.

I kinda wanna see it happen because I’ll be able to get some jokes out of Bunny vs. Wow for whatever Greg’s calling his site at that point. Hopefully it’s still The Chairshot, I love the brand name!

That’s all we have time for this week! Thanks for reading, and keep your stick on the ice.


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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.186 ~ 18TH SEPTEMBER 2022

Hisame sorts through some of the larger points as NOAH slowly comes into the Fall season!

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Kenoh, Kiyomiya & The Shining Wizard

At the time of writing, the two pre matches between Kenoh and Kaito Kiyomiya are even, both has one win over the other. Kiyomiya defeated Kenoh at Korakuen Hall on the 15th using a variation of The Shining Wizard, with Kenoh (who swore he would never lose to that move again), using Keiji Mutoh’s version of The Shining Wizard to defeat Kiyomiya. Prior to doing it, Kenoh had even gone as far to pull Mutoh’s pose and he did it again while leaning over Kiyomiya. Kenoh stated backstage that he didn’t believe that after Mutoh had retired that Kiyomiya would continue using the move, so therefore he, Kenoh, would use it and cherish both the technique and Keiji Mutoh. If you thought Kiyomiya was made mad enough by Kenoh patting him on the head, wait until they clash again at Yokohama Radiant Hall on the 19th.

YO-HEY & HAYATA

In the past you got the impression that HAYATA didn’t really care about his opponents, they were just there to be beaten and for him to move on after beating, this time the feeling is very different. Compared to all of HAYATA’S other title defenses so far, this has been the most personal (anything involving YO-HEY is always more personal than anyone else), the most bitter and the most savage. Whilst HAYATA seems to want to keep YO-HEY in mint condition for the title match, as neither Yoshinari Ogawa, Chris Ridgeway or himself seem to want to concentrate on breaking down his knees or damaging his arm (unlike poor Seiki Yoshioka, who is getting the brunt of all three, Ridgeway even tearing off his bandages and attacking the bone), YO-HEY has taken to attacking HAYATA after matches. Both matches so far have been inconclusive and neither has the win over the other, but at Korakuen on the first night YO-HEY dropkicked HAYATA in the face, at the second he gave him the GAMEN-G. YO-HEY has described this as a “switch being turned on” in him, and says he has a strategy for the title match. HAYATA naturally has said nothing, which is odd considering how vocal he has been in the title challenges before.

Taka & Satoshi

Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura have made a functional dysfunctional tag team. Their first pre match against Hideki Suzuki and Timothy Thatcher contained a misfire when Sugiura caught Kojima by accident and they had a spat. The second time, Sugiura was made to tap out by Timothy Thatcher in a match that reminded me of the Galleria fight between the T-800 and T-1000 in Terminator 2. Kojima came to the ring, Suzuki got in it and then Kojima took everyone out and closed the show on the microphone. Sugi started complaining that not only had Kojima arrived too late to help, but his theme music had started playing. Kojima said it wasn’t deliberate, Sugi didn’t believe him. The handshake where Kojima offers his palm and Sugi his finger (not the finger) seems to have become their thing, and Kojima will face off against Timothy Thatcher in a singles match on the 19th in Yokohama. Thatcher has sworn revenge for what happened at Korakuen.

NOAH’s New Debut

NOAH’s 16th NOAH Born, Taishi Ozawa, made his debut at Korakuen Hall on the 15th September. Weighing in at 87kg and with a height of 181cm (which is marginally smaller than Yoshiki Inamura and Shuhei Taniguchi at 182cm), he has naturally gone into the heavyweight division. His first match lasted 6 minutes and 31 seconds, and got him praise from the fans and wrestlers alike. After the match, Yoshiki Inamura praised him and said he wants him to grow stronger and make his body bigger. Personally, I can see Ozawa becoming one of NOAH’s ultra-heavyweights, but this may mean he has to give up doing dropkicks, which you don’t see too much of amongst NOAH’s heavyweights. NOAH celebrated this debut by broadcasting messages from support from fans on the screen, the President of The Leave presented him with flowers and special commemorative face masks were given at the door.

NOAH & Dragon Gate Joint Event

NOAH held a press conference on the 9th September to discuss the NOAH and DragonGate joint event which will be held on the 11th November at Korakuen Hall. Sadly Daisuke Harada does not think his neck will be in good enough condition for him to take part, so he has nominated himself as “Event Ambassador”. Cards announced so far are Seiki Yoshioka vs YAMATO (who said that local idiot Kzy agreed to this nonsense, and that if he liked festivals so much he should do a solo strip show, but getting back to Yoshioka, he was going to pay) and Mochizuki Junior, Ryu Fuda & Madoka Kikuta vs Kai Fujimura, Yasutaka Yano & Yoshiki Inamura. This latter match sets two sets of rookies against each other, and NOAH and DragonGate’s resident hosses.

GLOBAL2Days

In addition to the NOAH & DragonGate joint event, the day before NOAH will hold the first day of the two days at Korakuen Hall they have called “GLOBAL2Days”. Night 1 will be a NOAH show only, with all the titles put on the line. No cards yet have been announced for this.

NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima?

NOSAWA Rongai declared that he wanted a singles match with “little bitch” Katsuhiko Nakajima, after Nakajima (tongue stuck out at the side of his mouth) gave him a round of soccer ball kicks. Hideki Suzuki said something along the lines of that while he thought NOSAWA was dead following this, NOSAWA probably was going to be dead after this. At the time of writing nothing has been announced yet, and Nakajima said it was “fun”.

Yuya Susumu

Due to cervical neck sprain, Yuya Susumu will miss about four events (which includes the past two Korakuen Hall events and probably the N-Innovation and one more event after that)

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Kenoh apparently has a sense of humor similar to Mitsuharu Misawa’s i.e. blue. His column was once him yelling about his enemies, now he is making innuendos about how anatomy reacts to gravure models.

– Chris Ridgeway says that he has plans to not only get the GHC Junior Heavyweight, he also wants to bring the GHC National to the juniors.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima has likened the Nagoya Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road match as being like a reunion as it involves Mutoh’s classmate Masakatsu Funaki and their junior, Kazuyuki Fujita, and says he is going to destroy that atmosphere. He has also warned Mutoh to be careful in Nagoya, as he may not reach the Tokyo Dome.

– The children at NOAH’s most recent fan event (Tokyo Verdy) were fascinated by Kaito Kiyomiya and Masa Kitamiya’s muscles, despite the fact that they got pulled over by them at the tug of war. They let the children win the first time, but were pretty merciless the next time.

– Hideki Suzuki burst in wielding a pipe chair when Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura were talking backstage and threatened to throw it at someone. Sugi suggested he throw it at Kojima, Kojima, (had he been a New Yorker), basically said, “Hey, I’m talkin’ here!”

– Junta Miyawaki will challenge Tromba for the ASPW Openweight Championship on Saturday November 5th in Guadalajara.

– Jack Morris interrupted The Shutter Chance…I don’t think anyone in NOAH has ever done that before.

– Yoshiki Inamura’s reaction to Disco was to stand with his arms crossed and glare at Mohammed Yone. Yone did not forget this insult.

– NOAH have taken part in a team gaming event, which sees Kongoh (who sat apart from everyone else) join in. YO-HEY and Yoshiki Inamura seem to have formed a guild. STINGER, naturally, are not taking part.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15TH, KORAKUEN HALL)

Event recap

Post match interviews

– STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 16TH, KORAKUEN HALL)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: YO-HEY, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher)
    Challengers: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

*This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(September 2022 schedule)

  • Monday, September 19th

SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Yokohama Radiant Hall, Yokohama

Time: 17:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

  • Tuesday, September 20th

Title match signing (GHC Heavyweight Tag, GHC Junior Heavyweight)

Live on NOAH’s Official YouTube at 17:00 JST

  • Wednesday, September 21st

N INNOVATION – Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo

Time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

  • Sunday, September 25th

GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA/PRO WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER IN NAGOYA – OUTBREAK (Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road)

Start: 16:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

LINKS

Keiji Mutoh talks freely, “PPV at Retirement Match”, “Cut Ties” for O-Khan

Long awaited one on one fight with Katsuhiko Nakajima. Will Daiki Inaba’s obsession with Katsuhiko Nakajima be fulfilled?

“I don’t have the sense for a name! (laughs”) The secret story of the birth of the Shining Wizard variation & recruitment of technique name!

“Finish it all at once” GHC Junior Tag Team Champion Chris Ridgeway Interview, complete belt and league domination, ambition of GHC National Challenge

Kaito Kiyomiya receives reinforcement from the kick world, if he fails to take the GHC in the Kenoh match, “I can’t go to the top anymore”

“After the N-1!, the 15th & 16th Korakuen are two consecutive events, the next big match is 25th September Nagoya (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium). Focusing on developments for the four major GHC fights, a new battle begins

NOAH collaborates with Tokyo Verdy! Naomichi Marufuji, “I want to put up a ring at Ajinomoto Stadium and have a match”

“I’ll let you challenge my GHC Heavyweight” GHC Champion Kenoh nominates himself for Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Match, Next Year on 21st February At Tokyo Dome

Fan event recap: Tokyo Verdy

Junior Brand Event: YO-HEY and Kotoge introduce the highlights of the 21st September Shinjuku N-Innovation Competition

GHC Heavyweight signing ceremony: Kenoh “A beautiful story, I’m gonna break it down and I’m gonna draw it”, Kiyomiya prepares for “Last Chance”

“I want to become white ash” Keiji Mutoh’s retirement stage will be 21st February at The Tokyo Dome, “Pubic Persuasion” Chono will also go to his retirement match

Funky Kato is dazed about Keiji Mutoh’s retirement, the final opponent is “Not Okada”

“I’m using it, so it’s my technique!” with Mutoh finisher at full power, Kaito Kiyomiya defeats Kenoh towards the culmination of their five year story

Katsuhiko Nakajima and the 25th September Nagoya match with Keiji Mutoh, who will retire at The Dome next year

OLD INTERVIEWS

“Dandyism?”, it’s not like that”

Interesting interview with Mitsuharu Misawa from circa February 2002, in which he discusses Kodo Fuyuki’s retirement, friendship, NOAH, All Japan, his childhood and his juniors.

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube


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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.185 ~ 7TH SEPTEMBER 2022

N-1 Victory gives us a new challenger for the GHC Heavyweight title! A New Tag Team forms! Injuries and Junior division craziness! Hisame brings you all the NOAH nuggies!

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Kaito Kiyomiya wins N-1 VICTORY

Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Hideki Suzuki to win his first N-1 VICTORY. Hideki Suzuki had terrified him, as he remembered how it was the last time they fought soon after Kiyomiya had returned from excursion. Kiyomiya had said in the press conference in response to Suzuki’s “he’s obsessed with Mutoh” that he wouldn’t use any of Mutoh’s moves in the match, but this was indeed how he won it. With his win, Kiyomiya could now challenge Kenoh for the GHC Heavyweight title.

Kenoh (looking half amused and a bit proud of Kiyomiya), came to the ring and silently raised the GHC Heavyweight. Backstage, he was not as quiet, saying that Kiyomiya was “a handsome wrestler with a cool face”, but he wasn’t happy with Kiyomiya’s somewhat dazed promo and branding him the “Useless N-1 Champion”.

HAYATA nominates his next challenger, YO-HEY

YO-HEY had been saying for the past few weeks that he was going to be aiming at HAYATA. The expected title challenge didn’t happen earlier as the last time YO-HEY and HAYATA were in the ring together, Perros Del Mal De Japon ruined any chances. HAYATA took matters into his own hands following the match in Osaka on the September 3rd. The way YO-HEY was nominated was done in a way that could only be done between the two of them, with HAYATA walking in on the NOAH Junior Regulars while they were in the comments booth, and nominating YO-HEY then and there.

STINGER victorious, new challengers emerge

STINGER ground Perros Del Mal De Japon practically into the ground in the title match in Osaka, Eita getting the brunt of the attack. Chris Ridgeway at one point taking off Eita’s kneepad and grinding his knuckles into the bone. It was no wonder that by the end of the match, Eita was walking with a noticeable limp. As Perros Del Mal slunk away to lick their wounds, STINGER were faced with their new challengers, Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka of The NOAH Junior Regulars. Kotoge got about half of a sentence out about challenging for the belts, taking them back, teaming with Yoshioka, when STINGER had had enough of him/them, and hit them both in the face with their belts and then walked off making dismissive motions. Despite this, their challenge has been accepted.

Satoshi Kojima and Takashi Sugiura

Understandably subdued at the moment and not himself, Takashi Sugiura came out of his shell a bit when he and Satoshi Kojima teamed together in Osaka on 3rd September. At first their partnership was stormy, a missed spot which involved an opponent ducking and a mistimed spot resulted in an argument and Sugiura deliberately breaking a pin, which meant that fans suspected a rivalry. However, backstage Satoshi Kojima had a different idea, how about the two of them team up? Sugi wasn’t too sure, but Kojima persuaded him saying that they were both the same age (Sugiura is four months older) and it was hard to find someone as contemporary as Sugiura now. Sugiura said he would give it a go, and much to fans surprise, the two have challenged for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles.

Masa Kitamiya

With the N-1 over and Masakatsu Funaki saying that he wanted to put the belt up against the three people he lost against, Masa Kitamiya, Kaito Kiyomiya & Satoshi Kojima, fans were the most interested in seeing Kitamiya challenge. Following a tag match in Osaka, Kitamiya and Funaki got into a rare melee brawl after the match, which involved Kitamiya slamming him and Katsuhiko Nakajima having to throw Kitamiya from the ring. Backstage, Kitamiya announced his challenge and the title match has been set a little later the others (I think due to Funaki’s schedule) for the 30th September.

Kenoh vs The Makai Alliance

The short lived Makai Alliance of NOSAWA Rongai, The-Great-O-Khan and The Great Muta (I say short as Muta turned on O-Khan and gave him the Green Mist at the end) took on the might of Kongoh. Tadasuke was the target for the three demons, while Kenoh battered O-Khan with his bamboo sword (O-Khan posted pictures of the welts later) and while attempting a fireball, got a lick of flame from Great Muta. Sadly, Kenoh did not set himself on fire in the match and do any flaming kicks. Manabu Soya was given the red mist. Following Muta’s betrayal, O-Khan has vowed revenge and while he was crawling backstage and then rolling around on the floor, Muta hinted that perhaps he might be turning up in New Japan, or perhaps America?

DragonGate

Following NOAH’s Osaka event, The NOAH Junior Regulars (YO-HEY, Atsushi Kotoge, Alejandro and Seiki Yoshioka) turned up at DragonGate’s event and saved Natural Vibes from Z-BRATS. Kzy couldn’t quite believe it and asked what they were doing there, to which a joint performance (or “festival”) was suggested. Seiki Yoshioka wanted to fight YAMATO, while Alejandro wanted to team with “the skillful, crazy and cool” DragonKid. Nothing more has been said about the date, the venue or the card, but expect announcements in the coming weeks.

NOAH’s new debut

NOAH have announced that a trainee will graduate from the dojo on the 15th September. Taishi Ozawa is twenty-five years old, has a background in gymnastics, and comes from Shizuoka. He will be the first debut since Yasutaka Yano in about two years. His first NOAH match will be against Yoshiki Inamura, following this he is expected to join the heavyweight division.

Go Shiozaki injured

Go Shiozaki was injured in the match in Osaka, and was helped backstage by the trainees and officials, an ice pack on his arm. NOAH have not announced the extent of the injury yet or for how long Shiozaki will be absent only that he is pending further investigations.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Seiki Yoshioka has done a weight challenge which involved other wrestlers sitting on him while he does push ups; Alejandro was the easiest because he’s the smallest and lightest, Daiki Inaba was doable, Go Shiozaki giggled and fell off and Yoshiki Inamura squashed him flat.

– Stallion Rogers and Anthony Greene left NOAH to return to the USA. Anthony Greene was very emotional, stating how much he was going to miss Japan and how he looked upon The Ark, as home.

– Kenoh says he doesn’t care about O-Khan, his goal is another New Japan wrestler. He doesn’t say who though.

– Daiki Inaba has a singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima coming up, this will be his chance to avenge himself for the W-1 championship belt.

– We mercifully never found out just where Kendo Kashin had vanished to after the match.

– Kaito Kiyomiya has taken up surfing in his new channel videos, while Kenoh informed us all that “The Beast” is not simply a name for Kazuyuki Fujita to scare his opponents with, which Kenoh found out when kicking him in the thigh.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– N-1 VICTORY 2022 GRAND FINAL & GREAT MUTA OSAKA FINAL (Edion Arena Osaka First Stadium, Saturday September 3rd)

Event recap

Post Match Interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: YO-HEY, [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher)
    Challengers: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka), [Muto Retirement Road] GRAND SHIP 2022 in NAGOYA PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER.2 ~OUT BREAK~ Sunday September 25th, Dolphin Arena (Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium)
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)

* This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram

 THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(September 2022 schedule)

– Wednesday 15th September

NOAH will hold a press conference/match signing live on their official YouTube at 5pm JST. Keiji Mutoh will give further details about his retirement road plans, while the title matches are expected to be signed for.

LINKS

Muta & O-Khan make a shocking agreement, with the offering of “Makai Cake” at the historic alliance talks

Dragon Bane and Alpha Wolf both declare victory in Osaka for the Lucha Brothers showdown

Ahead of The Muta & O-Khan battle, holding a bamboo sword Kenoh does a furious interview, not giving up on GHC Heavyweight counter-attack

Suzuki “Best fight in the world”, “Win or die”, “No more chances” – Kiyomiya also has his back to the wall, press conference just before the N-1 championship match

GHC Champion Kenoh Makai Empire Alliance “Purification”, declares “Compulsory Elementary School Education For O-Khan”

Moving away from mentor Keiji Mutoh as champion! Kaito Kiyomiya submits “Graduation Thesis” by swearing to win the N-1 for the first time

ALL JAPAN YOSHINARI OGAWA ARTICLES FROM 1986

An Unknown Trainee 

Yoshinari Ogawa’s Volume 

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & Seiki Yoshioka’s TikTok


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