Unpacking the Budokan show and set up for the March events are all explained here! A little late, but Hisame is never lacking on quality information!
NOAH made their triumphant return to The Nippon Budokan on the 12th February, with an epic and emotional show. For NOAH, returning to The Budokan is not just a goal, the real goal is to prove that they can return to it time and time again, just like the old days.
Keiji Mutoh pushed the long suffering body of Go Shiozaki, battered but still somehow resilient, to the limit, and won the title with a surprise Frankensteiner after 29 minutes, and 32 seconds. Mutoh’s strategy was to wear Shiozaki down by concentrating on his knees, not his arms and shoulders, something that not many of his opponents beforehand had done. In becoming the 34th GHC Heavyweight Champion, Mutoh also becomes the third person to have held all the major championship belts from all three major promotions; New Japan, NOAH and All Japan. Mutoh would say at the press conference that because two other people had done it before him, it didn’t mean as much, he wanted to hold all the heavyweight tag titles from what was once known as “The Big Three”, and joked he would call his old friend Taiyo Kea (who he held the IWGP Tag Team and World Tag Team Championship with) to team up with him.
A champion is never without a challenger, and the GHC Heavyweight Champion is usually only without one for a matter of seconds, as Kaito Kiyomiya made his way down to the ring, and fixed Mutoh with a glare. No words were exchanged between them, and Mutoh limped off back up the ramp, where he did his famous pose. Kiyomiya watched from the ring, illuminated against the green lights which mingled with the smoke.
Backstage Kiyomiya confirmed he would be challenging for the title, and said that he was the only one who could take it from Mutoh. Kiyomiya would remain surly (in a stubborn NOAH born way, not a sulky Kenoh way) at the NOAH press conference on the 15th February. His mood was not made any better by Mutoh calling his title challenge “low risk”. The title match itself will take place at “Great Voyage in Fukuoka” on the 14th March.
It was also announced at the press conference, that Keiji Mutoh had signed with NOAH on a two year contract. This means that he will celebrate turning sixty in the promotion. Naomichi Marufuji said that he had been wanting Mutoh to join for a long time. Commenting on his new home, Mutoh said that it would be refreshing for him to concentrate on the ring, and not on management, and while he acknowledged both his age and his physical condition, he wanted NOAH to “bleed him dry”. Mutoh also discussed the possibility of defending the GHC Heavyweight abroad; IMPACT (he seemed a bit hazy about what it was and where it was), he said had sent him an e-mail asking him to make a defense in America (Scott D’Amore suggested Joe Doering if Mutoh beat “my student Kiyomiya”). Mutoh also favors Taiwan as a possible destination for a match. When asked about NOAH GHC Champion vs DDT Champion (Jun Akiyama), Mutoh said he would be concentrating on NOAH.
NOAH unveil new logo & return of “Great Voyage”.
Pro Wrestling NOAH unveiled their new logo on the 12th February. Fans were delighted to see that they had returned to the old green. The logo is intended to signify their return to The Budokan, and many voyages back to it.
Although no official announcement was made, NOAH have reinstated the “Great Voyage” big events after about two and a half years. The next will take place on the 7th March, which will be almost two years to the day from the last one, which was also held in Yokohama.
STINGER retained the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag championship against Ikuto Hidaka and Kotaro Suzuki. Significantly it was Yoshinari Ogawa who got the pin on Kotaro Suzuki. No one has so far challenged for the belts.
Seiki Yoshioka becomes the new GHC Junior Heavyweight champion
Seiki Yoshioka defeated Daisuke Harada for the GHC Junior Heavyweight championship in 10 minutes and 58 seconds. FULL THROTTLE were delighted with Yoshioka’s win, but their former “Leader”, Atsushi Kotoge was not so pleased, and challenged Yoshioka for the belt both in the ring and backstage. Match will take place on the 14th March at “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”.
For Seiki Yoshioka, this was more than just a win, getting the championship signifies him as a true NOAH Junior, and alongside Keiji Mutoh, who had touchingly told him that he was supporting him from backstage, he has the junior equivalent of the GHC Heavyweight. Go Shiozaki and Daisuke Harada, their predecessors, had complimented each other well, and so Mutoh and Yoshioka will be the same.
Jun Akiyama’s secret words
Jun Akiyama (who has signed a year long contract with DDT) made his Budokan appearance in a special “NOAH Generations Match”, which pit him and Naomichi Marufuji against NOAH’s next generation, Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura. Akiyama was tough on the two youngsters, often no selling them, although Inamura did manage to knock him down. Naomichi Marufuji looked on (as did Makoto Hashi, who had been Akiyama’s long suffering trainee, who was once given a very public dressing down for botching a move at The Budokan, and was appearing tonight quietly as his second), watching very intently what was going on in the ring, but he was the one who would take the fall when Kiyomiya pinned him with the Tiger Suplex in 18 minutes and 12 seconds.
After the match, Akiyama addressed a few words to an emotional Kaito Kiyomiya, who burst into tears and had to wipe his eyes, and an overawed Yoshiki Inamura. What Akiyama said will remain a mystery as he refused to elaborate, Inamura has never said, and Kiyomiya claims he couldn’t hear what Akiyama was saying. Judging by Kiyomiya’s reaction, Akiyama may well have said that Mitsuharu Misawa would have been proud of him.
Kenoh retains, not happy with new challenger
In a short match, which didn’t need to go on any longer that it did (10 minutes, 10 seconds), Kenoh overcame Masakatsu Funaki, who had choked him purple in their one and only pre-match. Kenoh relied on the element of surprise to get the win, which was probably the only way he could win. Kenoh might have been delighted by the match, happy that he had won and even more happy to be at The Budokan, but there was going to be a cloud come to rain on his parade, and that cloud’s name was Kendo Kashin, who came to challenge for the GHC National Championship. Their exchange went something like this…
KASHIN: Wait a minute, wait. I too want to fight the strongest too, but I also want to talk about my dream. Will my dream come true?
KENOH: Asshole, what is your dream?
KASHIN: My dream is to be a champion. I entered pro wrestling to win that belt, the National Championship.
KENOH: Is that really your dream?
KASHIN: Yes, that is my dream. Will my dream come true?
Kenoh apologized to the reporters that following a powerful challenger like Masakatsu Funaki, such a “puny” challenger had appeared, but Kashin wasn’t finished yet. On Twitter Kashin claimed that he had entered wrestling to get the GHC National. Takashi Sugiura pointed out “this guy is lying, there was no GHC National then” (the GHC National was created in 2019, and Kendo Kashin entered wrestling in 1993). Kashin responded with, yes he was lying. He had wanted the belt since he was born, and he had always dreamed of winning it in front of its creator, Riki Choshu. He will therefore take responsibility and resign.
Sugi just left it at that fortunately. Kenoh when asked at the press conference, stated that Kashin’s dream was stupid and not worth answering.
Title match has been set for 7th March at “Great Voyage in Yokohama”. Kashin has promised a clean match with no cheating either by him or by seconds.
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ Naomichi Marufuji is selling t-shirts and hoodies with an image on them of the moment his hand chopped Go Shiozaki’s chest, and Shiozaki’s skin bulging around it. If you like these “designs” or others on the page, you can order through CurioShift. Overseas shipping is available.
~ Masao Inoue has been given the all clear to return to the ring. His return to NOAH has not yet been announced, but tag partner\main tormentor\fair weather friend, Akitoshi Saito, has sworn not to stand in the comment booth until he returns.
~ Sugiura Army where their usual chaotic self backstage at The Budokan; members milling about, Kendo Kashin wandering about, Takashi Sugiura calling Kazunari Murakami something that amounts to a hooligan, and Kazushi Sakuraba holding up everything as he needed to make a bathroom break.
~ “Three Legends” were on commentary at The Nippon Budokan; Kenta Kobashi, Akira Taue (looking a lot healthier than he has done in years), and Genichiro Tenryu. Most of the time the veterans looked like they didn’t want to talk to each other.
~ Keiji Mutoh admitted he too had no idea what it was that Genichiro Tenryu was saying. Fans would agree.
~ Takashi Sugiura was not in a good mood over The Budokan matches, not happy with the matches of Akiyama, Funaki and Mutoh, who he was alternately disappointed with and jealous of.
~ Naomichi Marufuji did a kind of self checklist (which included his tan), and came to the conclusion that he should challenge for a belt. One problem, all the belts (save the GHC Junior Tag), have been challenged for.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
Challenger: Kaito Kiyomiya (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
- GHC Junior Champion: Seiki Yoshioka
Challenger: Atsushi Kotoge (14th March, “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021”)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
Challengers: The Aggression (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
- GHC National Champion: Kenoh
Challenger: Kendo Kashin (7th March 2021, “Great Voyage in Yokohama”)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Sunday, 21st February 2021: NOAH “STEP FORWARD 2021” (Starts 18:00 JST)
NOAH “STEP FORWARD 2021” will be broadcast on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on the Wednesday 24th February from 9am JST. You must be a subscriber to view this. The service is worldwide, and you have the choice to pay through Paypal if you wish.
GIFS taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube
Logo credit Pro Wrestling NOAH.
Mitchell’s WWE NXT Results & Report! (3/3/21)
Tag titles are on the line!
Will the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships belong to NXT?
The inaugural Women’s Dusty Cup Winners, Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez, challenge Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler for the titles! But will the NXT alumni show they still dominate the black ‘n’ yellow?
- Xia Li w/ Tian Sha VS Kayden Carter; wins.
- Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; win and
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez; win and
PLAY BY PLAY
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of WWE NXT will begin later tonight]
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (3/3/21)
Dynamite’s headed for Revolution!
AEW’s stars meet at the Crossroads!
Before the Revolution returns, AEW Dynamite ignites! And Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet meet Jade Cargill & SHAQUILLE O’NEAL in a stacked crossover Mixed Tag Match!
- Mixed Tag Match: Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet VS Jade Cargill & Shaquille O’Neal; win.
- Face of the Revolution Ladder Match Qualifier: Preston Vance w/ The Dark Order VS Max Caster w/ Anthony Bowens; wins and advances to the Revolution Ladder Match.
- Six Man Tag: Jurassic Express VS FTR & Tully Blanchard; win(s).
- PAC & Rey Fenix VS ???
- Matt Hardy & Marq Quen VS Hangman Page & John Silver; win.
- AEW Women’s World Title Eliminator Tournament Finals: Nyla Rose VS Ryo Mizunami; wins and will face Hikaru Shida for the title at AEW Revolution.
PLAY BY PLAY
Mixed Tag Match: Cody Rhodes & Red Velvet w/ Arn Anderson VS Jade Cargill & Shaquille O’Neal!
What a way to open the last Dynamite before Revolution! The American Nightmare’s battle with Shaq has been a long time coming, and it’s finally happening! Will Cody and Velvet stir it up against a duo of debuting giants?
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