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Pro Wrestling NOAH has a new champion! Hisame discusses the fallout and future with the new power dynamic!



Pro Wrestling NOAH has a new champion! Hisame discusses the fallout and future with the new power dynamic!


(You can watch the NOAH show from the 21st March on WrestleUniverse, but you must be a subscriber. Subscription details are given later in the newsletter)

Kazuyuki Fujita wins his first NOAH title, challenged by Takashi Sugiura

Kenoh had a feeling that he had bitten off more than he could chew after the first pre-match with Kazuyuki Fujita, and even when he was going to the ring for the match, he knew that even if he could chew it, he could never swallow it. Aside from the parody of the infamous Go Shiozaki vs Kazuyuki Fujita from Korakuen Hall in spring 2020, and Fujita’s humor in seeing how long he could get Kongoh to hold their pose, the match was all business, and Kenoh was obliterated in 19 minutes and 14 seconds following a facekick. He pinned Kenoh with the cocky pin.

After the match, Fujita tried to rope Kendo Kashin and NOSAWA Rongai into posing with their boots on Kenoh, but Kongoh shoved him aside and snatched Kenoh away. Fujita was soon to have more pressing concerns that humiliating the former champion, as someone was already digging a new hole for a new challenge, and that person was none other the self proclaimed “Company Dog”, Takashi Sugiura. Sugiura congratulated Fujita on winning his first NOAH belt, but here was going to challenge for it. They shook hands, and you could practically see the sparks leaping out from it. The title match will take place on the 29th April in Takashi Sugiura’s hometown of Nagoya, additionally they will have a pre-match on the 18th at Korakuen Hall. This is the first time that anyone in The Sugiura Army has challenged anyone else for a belt, so it will be interesting to see what, if any, cracks appear.

What this loss of Kenoh’s means to Kongoh is that Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya are the only title holders currently, and as Kitamiya tends to give way to older brother, Nakajima, this means that Nakajima has now a certain amount of sway…

Nioh challenges for the GHC Junior Heavyweight title 

Tadasuke had hinted that he was interested in challenging Atsushi Kotoge, but in any event, Nioh got there first when after the match on the 21st he challenged for the title. The challenge was not made verbally in the ring, as Nioh pointed to the belt and left, but stated his intentions in an interview backstage. Kotoge says he will take on all comers. Title match has been set for 18th April at Korakuen Hall. If Nioh can defeat Kotoge, he will bring home the first junior belt to Kongoh.

Junta Miyawaki’s break out match, and new challengers for STINGER

Although Junta Miyawaki was unsuccessful in his GHC Junior Tag Title challenge, fans are calling the match he had at “NOAH THE INFINITY 2021” at Korakuen Hall on the 21st March, his breakout match. Despite being held to little account by STINGER, and treated with anger for daring to challenge, he kept them on their feet by unveiling not just aggressive submission moves, but also with his use of ring psychology, which probably did his seniors proud (Yoshinari Ogawa in a non kayfabe way included), especially when he feigned being knocked out to lure HAYATA in to a submission hold. Despite the loss of the match (he tapped out to HAYATA, who basically used Miyawaki’s own arm to choke him), Daisuke Harada said this was not the end. I get the feeling that Miyawaki will be back somewhere in the future to face STINGER again.

But before Miyawaki can return, there is the matter of the next challengers for STINGER to deal with, as Kotaro Suzuki’s friends, NOSAWA Rongai and Ikuto Hidaka came forward to challenge. The challenge was made in the typical NOAH Junior\NOSAWA Rongai way with fights breaking out, HAYATA having to speak (the poor man had to do it twice, although he rarely deviated from the usual formula of “You next” or “Next NOSAWA and Ikuto”), and NOSAWA and Hidaka stealing the belts, posing with them and then returning them to the champions. The title match has been set for the 29th April in Nagoya, but before that NOSAWA has to run the gauntlet by having singles matches with both Yoshinari Ogawa and HAYATA, which seems to have become a STINGER standard of  pre-matches.

Funky Express

The 21st March saw both an end to Kenoh’s title reign, and the end of a unit; namely The Anti Wrestlers Alliance, who have been together since the spring of 2020. With their loss today at Korakuen Hall to Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi, a “promise is a promise” as Mohammed Yone reminded Akitoshi Saito, they must now lay their Hakama aside, and become “Funky”. Akitoshi Saito made a very sad post about it as he laid aside his old costume, in which he thanked Masao Inoue for everything. Inoue I think is going to be a little more happy with it than Saito, who I am not sure is going to continue being “funky” for too long. I am also thinking of Masao Inoue’s teacher, Toshiaki Kawada, who once wondered what Inoue was doing in Hakama when as he stated, “he has never done martial arts”, and what his reaction will be.

The new “funky” four man team will make their first appearance on the 3rd April at Yokohama Radiant Halls.

Kaito Kiyomiya concussed, Kotaro Suzuki also misses time

Kaito Kiyomiya was announced to have a concussion following the title match with Keiji Mutoh (I think the flying headbutt had something to do with it), and therefore missed in ring action on the 21st March at Korakuen Hall. Kiyomiya, however, did make an appearance to announce in a very subdued fashion that he would be returning to the ring on the 3rd April in Yokohama, and his participation in ZERO-1’S charity festival would also go ahead. He also mentioned in his brief speech that he would be working his way back up to the top of NOAH, and then without a trace of his former exuberance, left the ring.

Kotaro Suzuki was also absent from Korakuen Hall as he has been suffering an attack of gallstones. Kotaro does suffer gastric troubles as drinking gave him a bout of pancreatitis a few years ago, and he had to quit for a while. However, he will be back in NOAH on the 3rd April.

Yasutaka Yano’s first interview

NOAH’s newest debut and youngest roster member, Yasutaka Yano, gave his first interview to Tokyo Sports this past week. Yano has always wanted to be a wrestler, with two of the big coincidences in his life being that his father was a big NOAH fan, and he himself was born on the very same day that NOAH ran their first show, so you could say he is “NOAH Born” from birth. In his interview he discusses how he got into wrestling through home entertainment (computer games and home video), his entering NOAH and the culture clash between his quiet home of Ehime, Shikoku and the big city culture of Tokyo (maybe it’s best that NOAH is not based in Osaka), and his homesickness. He lost weight and found training tough, but it was his dream and he stuck at it. There was no happier day of his life than the one when Yoshinari Ogawa told him they had decided on a date for his debut.


Post match interviews: “Great Voyage in Fukuoka 2021” (Sunday March 14th, Fukuoka International Center)

Event  recap: “NOAH THE INFINITY”, (21st March 2021, Korakuen Hall)


~ Yuya Susumu did something very rare when he made Hajime Ohara tap. Susumu later commented that he had found a “new rival”.

~ Takashi Sugiura accused Kendo Kashin of trying to smother him with the plastic perspex which was meant for Naomichi Marufuji, deliberate. On Twitter, Sugi parodied Kenoh’s (typical) reaction when it happened to him, by claiming that the company were only showing this to be malicious, he had been with NOAH for twenty years and would quit if this behavior went on.

~ YO-HEY and old Dove friend, Naoki Tanizaki, had a brief conversation on Twitter about YO-HEY dying his hair blue, which turned into Tanizaki asking YO-HEY if he was going to “Gin-Gin”. Now, this expression in Japan means to get excited…if you have ever seen The Gin-Gin boys, you will know what that means.


  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Keiji Mutoh
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya (“NOAH THE GLORY 2021”, 29th April 2021)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Atsushi Kotoge
    Challenger: Nioh (“NEO BREEZE 2021”, 18th April 2021)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The AGGRESSION
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
    Challengers: NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka  (“NOAH THE GLORY 2021”, 29th April 2021)
  • GHC National Champion: Kazuyuki Fujita
    Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita (21st March, “NOAH THE INFINITY 2021”)


Friday 26th March: Keiji Mutoh & Jun Akiyama appear on the “Versus” series at 11pm JST on Samurai TV. This will be a talk between the GHC Heavyweight and the DDT KO-D Openweight Champion.

Saturday 27th March: Kenta Kobashi (54)

Saturday 27th March: NOAH wrestlers will take part in ZERO-1 at their “Pro Wrestling All Star Great Charity Festival” (Kaito Kiyomiya & Junta Miyawaki vs Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada)

Sunday 28th March: Katsuhiko Nakajima holds his birthday event online “Birthday Summit 2021” at 3pm JST. You will need to buy a ticket to participate, if you are outside Japan, I suggest you purchase the bronze as there may be an issue with shipping the auction goods and\or autographs to you.

Sunday 28th March: Keiji Mutoh vs Masahiro Chono talk battle.


Please note, unless stated it is a free stream, you must be a subscriber to WRESTLEUNIVERSE to view events. Subscription is free for first month, then 900 yen per calendar month. You can sign up from anywhere in the world, but please do this at the first of the month to avoid being charged twice. All ABEMA shows are eventually put on WRESTLEUNIVERSE, with the exception of the PPVs.

NOAH’s next event on April 3rd at Yokohama Radiant Halls, “NEO BREEZE 2021”, will be broadcast live on WrestleUniverse at 17:30 JST.


National Champion Kenoh is inspired by Tenshin Nasukawa’s “Group Love”, overthrow of Fujita to “show the origin of the fight”.

“Betraying Customers Positively”, Keiji Mutoh on the 14th March is the first step in “Independence from Mitsuharu Misawa”, for Kaito Kiyomiya

Series of defeats by Keiji Mutoh…the future after the recapture of the championship as pictured by NOAH’s Kaito Kiyomiya

Notice of Go Shiozaki’s absence 

GIF’S taken from WrestleUniverse 

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH 


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Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.11.2021

Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!



Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!

Hard to say I wasn’t a little annoyed the VOD took so long to post, but better late than never; especially when the next event isn’t until the 17th.

Anyway though! Zeus looks to topple the current Triple Crown champion and continue his undefeated Carnival streak and Ashino has to do something to get off the bubble; but Kento is a big ask. We could be looking at a quick favorite to win as well as the walking dead.

Let’s hope nothing too drastic happens! Check it out!

Match Ratings:

  • Jake Lee vs Koji Doi: Jake wins via D4C @8:10 – **
  • Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi: Ishikawa wins via Single Leg Cradle @11:13 – ***
  • Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino: Ashino wins via Grapevine Ankle Lock @12:11 – *** ½
  • Zeus vs Suwama: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @19:52 – *** ¾



Jake Lee vs Koji Doi

Total Eclipse inner faction fighting! Since Jake is the leader, he starts off in typical heel leader fashion telling Koji to lie down and eat the pin. Koji lies down; Jake drapes himself in a cocky cover, so Koji goes for the crucifix at the 2 count. Jake snaps up and he looks shocked that Koji went against an order, but then we get to a match.

Koji does a solid job keeping Jake off balance with power attacks, Shoulder Tackles and an interesting Football Tackle with the lift and slam. Jake eats a decent amount of offense, including a few short arm Lariats, before he starts stabilizing with Knee Lifts and Yakuza Kicks.

Lucky for Jake, even though Koji countered the D4C once, after Giant Killing, Koji wasn’t countering anything. Jake hits D4C and gets his second win of the tournament! Not a flashy match honestly felt a little silly at points with how quiet and echoed the arena made the match feel. Hopefully the setting doesn’t continue to plague the atmosphere of the matches.

Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi

Now this was decent, though the hollow quiet atmosphere of venue is really detracting from the matches. Yuma was trying to find openings, but Shuji continued to run him over and abuse him with power early. And it was during these slower spots, the deafening silence of the venue made for weird watching.

Even though Shuji hit a Scoop Slam into the corner of the arpon, multiple Tsunamis and a flashing Scoop Fire/Thunder Driver, Yuma stayed resilient. Yuma nearly made the bigger man tap in End Game, but Shuji was able to find the ropes. Yuma hits an O’Connor Roll into the Japanese Leg Clutch, Shuji manages to get out of that, goes for a Tsunami, Yuma slides and tries to scoop Shuji for a Roll-Up, but at two Shuji manages to reverse the Roll-Up, grab a single leg and keep Yuma down for a three count!

Even though I have yet to be convinced by Yuma, the fact he got a finish that still made him look strong while putting up a good fight against a decorated opponent like Ishikawa; that says a lot about his potential rise on the card.

Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino

Ashino is in the unenviable position of last place after two days. With a 0-2 record, he really REALLY needs this…and he of course has Kento as his roadblock. They’ve traded wins in the past, and come off as rivals who don’t really like one another.

The match starts quick with Ashino shooting the half, grabbing a leg and searching for the Ankle Lock early. Kento fights out, but Kento is surprised and Ashino stays on him. Ashino pulls Kento to the ring post and wraps Kento’s left leg against the post a few times. Kento fires and Snake Eyes lands Ashino into the corner of the apron.  This gives Kento plenty of time to walk off the early ankle damage and play into his cocky arrogance, all while messing with the referee and his opponent.

Whenever Ashino managed to get back in the ring, he was greeted by Blackouts to the front and back of his head. It wasn’t really until Kento went for the Shutdown Suplex, that Ashino hit a second wind. Both men trade German Suplexes, Ashino continues with a Deadlift Overhead suplex and he starts building momentum back.

He teases a German from the apron to the floor, but Kento blocks, fights off and Piledrives Ashino instead. Kento fires off Blackouts as Ashino once again barely beats the count out, but after landing his ninth Blackout of the fight, Ashino grabs the left leg, rolls through and goes for the Ankle Lock. Kento tries to fight off, but Ashino refuses to let go, readjusting, rolling through, pulling Kento back into the center away from the ropes; eventually dropping down into the Grapevine. Kento has no other option but to submit!

Ashino finally gets on the board, and Kento joins him in the 1-2 portion of the standings! I wonder how much the ankle will play into the rest of Kento’s carnival.

Zeus vs Suwama

Last year during Zeus’ carnival winning run, he had a match with Suwama which resulted in Suwama sustaining an arm injury. Thanks to this knowledge, and the sting of a failed challenge when Suwama recovered, Zeus came out attacking the arm and trying to replicate some of his success from last year.

The beauty in Zeus’ arm attacks, is not only were the Key Lock and Arm Bars effective to play on the old injury, they also inhibited Suwama from executing the Last Ride Powerbomb. Zeus’ attack really did great, as well as giving him the power advantage against someone who can usually match him in that department. Zeus lifted out of Boston Crabs, met Suwama head on with Biceps Explosions and even broke out the Frog Splash a few times.

In a nice reference, Suwama was able to fight out of the Arm Trap Facelock this time, but Zeus had too much of an advantage. Zeus peppered in Chokeslams, Lariats, another Frog Splash and eventually ended the match with an impactful Jackhammer. This was a solid struggle throughout, injured only by the awkward venue setting.

Who will be the first person to hang a Carnival loss on Zeus since 2019?

Overall Score: 6.75/10

While there wasn’t really a lot to complain about in terms of action, I really hated the venue. With the Japanese crowd rules of not being able to scream and having to just clap or stomp, it was very noticeably irritating in this event.  Slower moments felt empty and stupid, almost back to the empty Quarantine times, which definitely impact smaller events and smaller companies.

Aside from that, we got a lot of really great finishes. Ashino finally getting on the scoreboard AND over Kento is great. Zeus continuing his streak from last year, Jake well…doing Jake things and Shuji looking strong as a current title holder should. Otani and Sato were missed a little today, but let’s check out the standings!


  1. Zeus: 3-0 – (6 Points)
  2. Shuji Ishikawa: 2-1 – (4 Points)
  3. Jake Lee: 2-1 – (4 Points)
  4. Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
  5. Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
  6. Shotaro Ashino: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  7. Kento Miyahara: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  8. Suwama: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  9. Koji Doi: 1-2 – (2 Points)
  10. Yuma Aoyagi: 1-2 – (2 Points)

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Lucha Libre

Lucha Central Weekly: NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver…DELIVERS! Plus Too Many AEW Factions, WWE WrestleMania Week, and more!

The world of Lucha Libre comes alive on the Lucha Central Weekly podcast, discussing Takeover, AEW Factions, and more!



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The world of Lucha Libre comes alive on the Lucha Central Weekly podcast, discussing Takeover, AEW Factions, and more!

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Join Miranda Morales, Brendan Barr, and Dusty Murphy as they bring you another edition of Lucha Central Weekly–one just as action packed as lucha libre itself!

This week the trio discusses the abundance of factions on AEW, the week-long celebration that is WWE WrestleMania, and a look at NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver!

About Lucha Central Weekly

Your one-podcast stop for all of the week’s top stories from around the world of lucha libre and lucha libre around the world. Join hosts Miranda Morales, Brendan Barr, and Dusty Murphy along with special guests as they cover Lucha Libre AAA, CMLL, top Mexico indies as well as lucha related matches in WWE, Impact Wrestling, All Elite Wrestling, Ring of Honor and beyond. Whether you are trying to dive deeper into the world of masked mayhem or you’ve been following for decades, you are going to find things here you won’t find on any other airwaves!

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