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News From Cook’s Corner 8.23.21: Happy Returns

Big shows, big returns, big fun for wrestling! Cook’s News Corner covers all of the fun!



Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! The last couple of days have been all about the returns. Folks that wrestling fans have been waiting to see for a long time returned to their profession on Friday & Saturday night. As you’d expect, the results varied. Today, we break them down.

We’ll take a look at the TakeOver results with some thoughts on them. I only saw the last two SummerSlam matches, and after hearing the results don’t have much motivation to check out the rest of the card. I mean, Edge coming out to Gangrel’s music with the ring of fire but no Gangrel? Pretty weak, in my opinion. You gotta bring the fanged guy back if you’re going to take his gimmick. Last I heard he was based in Vegas, so I don’t know what happened there. Vampires gotta be immune to Covid, right?

Lord, I apologize for that joke. I also apologize for using a Larry the Cable Guy line. Guessing that act hasn’t aged well. Let’s talk about these wrestling returns, shall we?

Return of the Punker

I don’t think that CM Punk fans can ask for more than what they got Friday night. They got exactly what everybody hoped for. An extended entrance with Punk soaking in the adulation of a rabid United Center audience. A promo covering where Punk had been and where he’s going next. Some, but not too much, and plenty to follow. A challenge to Darby Allin, who looked pretty cool up there in the rafters with Sting. Some ice cream bars for the fans in attendance.

One of my criticisms of AEW is they often try to do too much in too little time. We saw that at the end of the first Rampage show with Jamie Hayter joining Britt Baker in a heel beatdown in a location it wouldn’t have gotten heat unless they set the American flag on fire or something. That wasn’t the case on Friday night. They didn’t have Punk run down at the end of the show to attack Allin while he was celebrating with his buddies. We will hear from Punk again on Wednesday. For now, that’s all we need.

The response was pretty much everything AEW could have hoped for. Positive fan reaction, sports media coverage, Google news searches making people looking for WWE see CM Punk & AEW instead of SummerSlam. They hit a home run on Friday night. Now they have to follow up.

Punk, for his part, looks motivated. He talked to the media about wanting to follow in the footsteps of guys like Terry Funk, Harley Race & Tracy Smothers that taught him the way. He’s willing to teach anybody willing to listen. AEW has a lot of kids working their YouTube shows, and a lot of kids on their TV shows too. Hopefully they’re willing to listen.

So you knew something big would happen on SummerSlam. Even before Friday night happened, people in WWE saw it coming. They knew they were going to need something to change the subject from CM Punk & AEW. They had two tricks up their sleeve, and used them both on Saturday night.

Becky Lynch’s return from maternity leave was something people were excited about. We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when. SummerSlam seemed like a good time for it. Biggest live audience of the year, biggest event of the summer, sounds like a good time for the Man to come back around. Sure enough, that’s what happened.

The one downside?

It came at the expense of any credibility Bianca Belair had built up over the past several months. Becky beat her in under 30 seconds to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship, which in itself isn’t a surprise because SD is where Becky’s husband works, and is also the show that matters these days.

I can already hear the explanations. It was a SummerSlam Moment! Wins & losses don’t matter! They’re building Bianca like they built Daniel Bryan! Let it play out & see where it goes! Yeah, well try telling that to Kofi Kingston fans. He got squashed back down the card by a real star in eight seconds and hasn’t been the same since. I’d like to think things will be different for Bianca, but has WWE given people reason to think it won’t be? Maybe if she gets a good acting role, or does something to distinguish herself outside the company.

As for why Sasha missed the show, all I’ve read from the various Internet soothsayers is that she wasn’t cleared to compete, and WWE knew she wouldn’t be able to at least a week before the show. A shame because she was to be involved in one of the most anticipated parts of the SummerSlam event, but something that couldn’t be helped. PWInsider reports that the match wasn’t an indication of Belair being taken down a notch, it was just “how WWE opted to react”. OK.

Nothing wrong with Becky (assuming she isn’t the writer), and her addition to SD is a good thing overall given the depth of their women’s division. Well, the depth of the women’s division that makes TV anyway. Remember when Toni Storm was coming in? What happened there? PWInsider reports that the plan is to turn Becky heel and have her go against Bianca…to which I say, good luck with that one. Nothing like having your new top heel squash your top face clean to start a feud…but it makes sense when you remember that WWE loves pushing people like they’re Barry Horowitz.

The difference between our two returns thus far? Punk’s return didn’t squash anybody that people care about yet. And if he does beat Darby Allin at All Out, it’ll take over thirty seconds. Hopefully. If it doesn’t, we’ll talk!

Then we had Brock Lesnar’s return. He came down after the main event to establish himself as Roman Reigns’ next challenger, almost certainly for the next Sweet Saudi Blood Money event. Which apparently that’s a thing again since the pandemic is over. Pretty cool, no issue with that except, well…

That hair. Yowie wowie, as the kids say.

Listen, I won’t lie to you and say I’ve had much use for Brock Lesnar since his match with Daniel Bryan. I do respect the hold he has over Vince McMahon, and the ability he has to make Vince give him millions of dollars for very limited work. That’s the American Dream right there. So whenever Brock comes back, I will applaud his business savvy.

Oh, and after SummerSlam went off the air, Brock beat up John Cena to pop the crowd. Cena has commented on how the company needs to build younger stars, and the fact he & others keep coming back to pop the business isn’t a great long-term statement for the company. So it’s nice that Cena did his part to help the next generation of WWE talent here. That young kid Brock needs the rub.

Not really related to the whole “returns” topic, but how long do you think Roman Reigns spends rehearsing his monologues during matches? More or less time than is spent planning out the matches? Its an interesting question.

NXT Changes Update

Nick Khan did an interview with Ariel Helwani where he confirmed a lot of what people were saying the new direction of NXT was going to be. There will be a whole new look & feel, with different logos & color schemes & things of that nature. We also know that new wrestlers are being brought in. WWE signed over a dozen people after their try outs in Las Vegas last week. They’re looking for wrestlers they can mold into their system, and wrestlers that can be top stars for their brands.

As I said before, not all of this is bad. The idea of looking places other than the indy wrestling circuit for WWE Superstars is a good one. And let’s be honest: there are now plenty of viable options for your favorite independent wrestler. It’s not WWE or Bust anymore, if you aren’t what Vince McMahon wants in a wrestler, you can still make some good money.

The main downside of all this is simple, and it makes one wonder about NXT’s future as a two hour program on the USA Network. The TV show won’t be as good. TakeOver won’t be what it used to be. If what Nick Khan & people that aren’t Triple H or the Internet want NXT to be comes to pass, there will be a steep downgrade in the in-ring product. As it is, NXT isn’t drawing in most of Raw & SmackDown’s audience. What happens if the more dedicated fans tune the show out?

I will say it was at least nice to see & hear Nick Khan. It’s good to know what these people look & sound like. That way maybe we can figure out what appeal they have with Vince that he keeps them around. (Still don’t know what it is with Kevin Dunn, though.)

Dave Meltzer updated us on why NXT is holding tapings this week. They’re upgrading the Performance Center, likely involving all those logo & production changes. So we’ll be getting live NXT episodes again in about a month or so, though as I said last week, I’m not sure it matters that much. In fact, if you’re going to have greener wrestlers on the show, you might want to tape the thing. Unless you want to give me material for the Botched! column, which I would appreciate.

NXT TakeOver Thoughts

I had been waiting for NXT TakeOver odds to come out to do a Gambling Picks column on it. Looked like an interesting card, and I figured with NXT’s final show before the event being on Tuesday, the odds might have been released earlier than they ended up being. By the time they finally dropped, I had moved on to a project for an upcoming 411 column, I was also super busy at work & the show didn’t feel worth carving out time to write about.

Not an original take since I saw it all over Twitter, but it’s like writing about WCW in early 2001. Some good stuff going on, but zero reason to get invested. Times are changing, and shows like the one put on Sunday night are going to be a thing of the past pretty soon. Not entirely, as it’s not like WWE is going to release every single person on the card. At least, I don’t think they will.

They’re still putting on TakeOver cards, and for some reason this one was on a Sunday night. Probably because they wanted me to write about it in this column, right? OK, probably not. Let’s break it down anyway.

Cameron Grimes beat LA Knight to win the Million Dollar Championship: So where does this championship rate on the NXT totem pole? Below the North American Championship? Above? It got a defense on TakeOver, the NA title didn’t. Right now the NA title feud involves people feuding over teeth like they’re Danhausen or something. It’s kinda weird. Here, we have a perfectly logical feud with people serving as butlers. Though if Grimes had lost here, I bet Ted DiBiase would have hired Virgil to help him out with Knight’s chores.

Raquel Gonzalez defeated Dakota Kai to retain the NXT Women’s Championship: This wasn’t bad, but the highlight for me was Kay Lee Ray appearing afterward. Haven’t seen much of her work, but the lady looks like she has potential. Gonzalez does as well, but this whole feud seemed rushed to me. Probably because they had to call people up to the main roster and do nothing with them.

Ilja Dragunov beat WALTER for the NXT United Kingdom Championship: I see everybody online hailing this as the match of the year and one of the best in WWE history. Maybe it’s just me being weird, but my main takeaway from this had nothing to do with match ratings or where it rates alongside other matches this year.

It’s a work, guys! Y’all don’t need to kill each other, even if the Internet will give you a ton of stars for it. The men brought a ton of effort, no doubt, but I can pretty much guarantee you it solidified WWE upper management’s opinions towards NXT & its future. They don’t want that kind of stuff on Raw or SmackDown.

Kyle O’Reilly defeated Adam Cole: The match wasn’t bad, the response suffered from following the previous match and the finish felt a bit flat. What we’ve been told is that this will be Cole’s final NXT match. Now, whether that means he’s going to the main roster or elsewhere…we don’t know yet. Stay tuned.

Samoa Joe won the NXT Championship from Karrion Kross: Some good news for those worried about NXT’s future, as at least Joe will be there working with all this new talent. It’s not like all of your favorite wrestlers will go away. Some will, but they’ll need people that can put on competent wrestling matches with people Vince actually sees something in. At one point that was Karrion Kross, we’ll see if Kross becomes that again now that he’s got that NXT title off of him. It won’t go down as one of your classic TakeOver main events, but it did what it needed to do.

So there’s your last TakeOver of the Super Indy Era. Good times, bad times, you know we had our share. Fun show, but tough to kinda shake the feeling that a goodbye gives you. That’s why I don’t say goodbye.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this column half as much as I enjoyed writing it, and at least a quarter as much as you’ve enjoyed the recent returns. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.

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More From Japan


NOAH ends November with some big announcements! Returns, new debuts and surprising challenges!





Masa Kitamiya challenges Masato Tanaka

Following the tag match against Masato Tanaka and Shoki Kitamura in ZERO-ONE on the 20th November, Masa Kitamiya challenged Masato Tanaka for the ZERO-ONE World Heavyweight. Kitamiya said he wanted the belt for two reasons – one was because Masato Tanaka had the belt, and secondly because he felt that his eleventh year in wrestling had been a sad one. The match will take place at Korakuen Hall on the 1st January, the same day that NOAH at the Nippon Budokan, so Kitamiya will be wrestling two matches that day with ZERO-ONE taking place before NOAH. Kitamiya is determined to enter The Nippon Budokan as champion.

Akitoshi Saito remembers Bison Smith

Akitoshi Saito made a touching tribute to his old partner on the anniversary of his passing, by winning the match with the Iron Claw slam. Backstage he remembered “the blue eyed samurai” by recalling their last conversation, and saying that he felt Bison was with him and had given his approval for Saito to team with Yone.

Perros Del Mal De Japon Farewell

Perros Del Mal De Japon made their final appearance as a unit in Yoyogi on November 23rd. They were accompanied to the ring by Kotaro Suzuki (who may not be appearing in NOAH following The Tokyo Gurentai produce due to his contract expiring) and Ikuto Hidaka. Neither of them got involved too much in the match.

Yoshinari Ogawa came to the ring with a Singapore cane slung over his shoulder, while his partners also brandished weapons, Kai Fujimura had a baseball bat and Yasutaka Yano carried a trash can. The match was as you would expect; the first time everyone got counted out, the second time ended in a count out when the young boys got Perros counted out (Ogawa had left in disgust by this time) and when he came back, the match lasted 11 minutes and 36 seconds, and ended when NOSAWA decided to assault the referee. Ogawa took everyone out with a trash can lid before leaving. He had also managed to hit Kotaro on the head earlier, but concentrated his attack on NOSAWA and Eita. When Ogawa had gone, Perros bade farewell to each other, but their war with Ogawa wasn’t over as both Eita and NOSAWA will have singles match with him. NOSAWA’S match will be on the 14th in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima, while Eita’s will be on the 23rd at the N-INNOVATION. Kotaro Suzuki was a little irritated that he didn’t get a singles match, which NOSAWA completely ignored, but he will have a singles match himself against Eita on the 20th.

MaruKen reunite to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Naomichi Marufuji pinned Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi and therefore won the right to challenge the tag champions. With Masakatsu Funaki and Masaaki Mochizuki hanging over the ropes offering their hands as partners, Marufuji announced to the uproar of the crowd and the disbelief of Takashi Sugiura (whose reaction was akin to “Who? Are you fucking kidding me?”) that he would be challenging with KENTA. Backstage, Marufuji was not too sure that KENTA would accept the offer, but he did and the match has been set for the Nippon Budokan on New Year’s Day.

To explain for the newer fans, during their NOAH Junior days, KENTA and Marufuji were in a much beloved junior tag team known as MaruKen, they hold the record for the longest title reign as a junior team and they also broke down the rules for juniors fighting heavyweights as Misawa allowed them to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. As a team they never had a falling out that led to their split, they just drifted apart as Marufuji noted in “Heir To The Ark” and went to do their own things and over time they became rivals. Now they reunite as heavyweights.

AMAKUSA challenges Dante Leon

AMAKUSA made a silent challenge to Dante Leon for the GHC Junior Heavyweight following their match in Yoyogi. The way the match went gave fans the impression that Alejandro might be the one to challenge, but in the end it was Amakusa who pointed silently at the belt. Title challenge will main event the N-Innovation on the 23rd December.

Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya

Kaito Kiyomiya overcame Kenoh in their second pre match, and taking the microphone he stood over him and said that Kenoh had just been overcome by the guy who he was saying “was just trying his best”, and what did that say about Kenoh? Kiyomiya told him it meant he “was all mouth”. Their next pre match is on the 14th December.

Darby Allin

It has been announced that the team of Great Muta, Sting and Darby Allin will team together at Great Muta’s final match on the 22nd January at the Yokohama Arena. Allin had been tagging with Sting when Muta materialized on the 23rd September to save Sting from Buddy Matthews. There has been no mention as to who will be their opponents, but it is thought that Matthews may be involved as he has a score to settle.

YO-HEY & Kzy challenge for the GHC Junior Tag Titles

Tag championships can be volatile belts and tend to suffer more backwards and forwards than singles belts do at times. This was the story when Atsushi Kotoge and Seiji Yoshioka managed to take the belts back from The Kongoh Juniors in Yoyogi. This was the Kongoh Junior’s first defense, and Hajime Ohara and Shuji Kondo, had only held the belts for thirteen days. Following their title win, the next threat came from their own unit, as YO-HEY challenged for the belts with DragonGate’s Kzy as his partner.

“I’m in a disappointing situation with no results to speak of at all. To overcome this situation, I want the belt. With the belt in hand, I can reach even higher heights. I want to do this, so please let me challenge for the tag belt next”.

Title match will take place on the 23rd December at the N-Innovation.

Yoshiki Inamura fails to capture his first singles belt, but succeeds in other ways

Yoshiki Inamura failed to win his first singles gold when El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior used his experience (the part which he and Inamura were not well matched in, and I doubt Wagner Jnr has ever had anyone throw him around after catching him following a dive) to retain the gold. Inamura had wanted to win this belt to usher in his own era of NOAH, which would be separate to Kiyomiya’s (yet I think would also rival his, as Inamura would kind of be more the leader of the younger generation, which Kiyomiya knows is rising up to threaten him), and he would stand next to him and not below him as champion. Inamura might have failed in his attempt to win his first singles belt, but as Tokyo Sports said, he most definitely gave birth to his era.


– Shuhei Taniguchi had his best match in a long time when he and Hideki Suzuki fought to a referee stop in Yoyogi. Fans want to see a round two.

– For some reason the wrestling promotions (and not the MMA companies) were told to come to Antonio Inoki’s memorial on the 24th November at 11am instead of 1pm, someone said this could be a prank that Inoki had set up. Prank or not, in something practically unheard of NOAH (Kenoh, Yoshiki Inamura, Satoshi Kojima, Kaito Kiyomiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Takashi Sugiura), New Japan and All Japan, plus some staff members, went to have something eat and drink and all sat down and talked for two hours. Inoki’s final wake will be held on March 7th at Ryogoku Kokugikan, what form this will take has not been announced, but it will be a fan event. In Shinto, the deceased are mourned and funeral services are held for forty-nine days following death, the final day is a day of celebration and farewells, when the mourning period is over and the deceased can finally leave earth and cross to the afterlife. It has been said that Inoki will be sharing a beer with Giant Baba.

– Takashi Sugiura’s pants stayed on when he met up with Kenta Kobashi and had some drinks…which is more than can be said about when he visited Akira Taue’s restaurant, and got drunk with Go Shiozaki.

– Kazuyuki Fujita said in his Weekly Pro yearbook profile, that he liked drinking highballs on the Shinkansen.

– Yoshiki Inamura and Kaito Kiyomiya summon Alejandro 



Event Recap

Post match interviews


  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Kenoh, ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Champion: Dante Leon
    Challenger: AMAKUSA, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: MaruKen (Naomichi Marufuji and KENTA), ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2023 (Saturday January 1st, Nippon Budokan)
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: YO-HEY & Kzy, N Innovation (Friday December 23rd, Shinjuku Face)
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr 
    Challenger: TBA, NOAH the BEST 2022 (Wednesday November 23rd National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium)



(December 2022 schedule)

Wednesday, December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (4 years)


“Inside of me there is a “good” Keiji Mutoh and a “bad” Keiji Mutoh” – enthusiasm and conflict for Keiji Mutoh’s last run

“It was a sad eleventh year…” momentum to seize the belt in the Zero-One New Year’s Day title match

“We can make it a connection”, Kondo is “Marmalade brother?!” – Interview with Hajime Ohara just before the Junior Tag Defense match

GHC Junior Tag Match Signing: Ohara “Thigh Raise & Anya Words”. Yoshioka emphasizes that, “If I lose, hit rock bottom”

GHC National Match Signing: Japan-Mexico same generation clash: Wagner Jnr “Create A New History”, Inamura “Create A New NOAH”

“Take the belt and stand in the same position as Kiyomiya!” – Interview with Yoshiki Inamura before his challenge for the GHC National Championship 

Recapture for the first time in two weeks with “Baggio Spirit”, Interview with Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka ahead of the Yoyogi Junior Tag Match


Coach points out! What is the current situation of young people as seen by Ogawa through the “Mauritius Cup?”


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

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More From Japan


NOAH coverage still going strong! A few title changes and defenses keeps things interesting heading toward the end of the year!





Kongoh Juniors finally win gold, Atsushi Kotoge demands a rematch

Shuji Kondo and his perpetually terrified partner, Hajime Ohara, ended a long losing streak for the Kongoh Juniors and finally won a title for their unit, when Seiki Yoshioka tapped to Hajime Ohara’s Muy Bien. Ohara’s reward from Kondo was to be kicked in the head repeatedly. When Ohara did get to his feet, Atsushi Kotoge was asking for a rematch, something the champions later granted, although Ohara did initially shove the belt in Kotoge’s face and tell him to beat it. The titles will be defended on the 23rd November at the National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium. There will be no pre match.

Dante Leon wins his first Noah title, the GHC Junior

In a match which was half American style and half Noah style, Dante Leon beat Ninja Mack for the GHC Junior, and won his first title in Noah. Unfortunately, due to HAYATA’S injury Ninja Mack’s reign was not as it should have been, so I would imagine that at some point in the future he will be given a longer run. No challenger has come forward as of yet to challenge Dante Leon.

Funky fail, but respect earned

Funky Express lost their challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles when Takashi Sugiura choked Akitoshi Saito out and the referee stopped the match. It was a heartbreaking loss for the challengers who were visibly moved. They have may have lost in their attempt, but in the eyes of fans, they gained something far more important, respect. Long seen as a comedy unit who worked the openers, Disco Dancing, Funkiness, King Tany, discussions of a giant belt made for four (funded by Masao Inoue’s piggybank according to Aki), things have changed with the departure of members and Saito and Yone managed to turn themselves into credible challengers.

Funaki’s warning comes true, El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr becomes the GHC National Champion

When El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr, Masakatsu Funaki had foreboding about the challenge. Kazushi Sakuraba he could handle as Sakuraba was known to him, it was also the case with his previous challengers as while he may not have known Simon Gotch prior to the match, he was aware that Gotch was of a similar skillset. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior was not. Funaki spoke of other difficulties too aside from him being a luchadore in that he also outweighed him and was younger than him too. All these factors combined on the night with Wagner Jnr’s ability, for the title to change hands. Wagner Jnr was laying out the Mexican flag in the ring to add the belt to it, when his next challenger, Yoshiki Inamura appeared at ringside. Inamura got straight to the point, saying he was here to challenge. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr accepted, and the two will fight on the 23rd November at the National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium.

Yoshiki Inamura gave a small interview about his challenge, and he touched on the subject of Kaito Kiyomiya. Inamura stated that although Kiyomiya is younger than him, he is still his senior, which has been a factor in Inamura wanting a singles belt too. Inamura says this will be “standing next to Kiyomiya, not beneath him”.

Kaito Kiyomiya retains against Thatcher, Kenoh back again

In a match that was to atone for the title match against Kazuyuki Fujita, (which I don’t think Kiyomiya was very happy with), he faced a trial by fire when the GHC Heavyweight was defended against Timothy Thatcher. In his previous title reign, when he was being challenged by Naomichi Marufuji, Marufuji had told him that he was going to take him apart bit by bit, which was what Thatcher did. Kiyomiya had to get the win on momentum by dropping a few Transformed Shining Wizards, because everything he did Thatcher reversed into the dreaded armbar. Kenoh had been on commentary and as soon as he saw the result, removed his headset, and came down to the ring to challenge.

“Hey, Kiyomiya, you did your best in today’s title match too. Just! You “just” tried your best. Even elementary school students can “just” do their best. So, what are you left with today? What can you create? What can Noah create? On January 1st at the Nippon Budokan, The Great Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura has taken the subject from the champion, and what are you doing? Working hard? You can’t win with just that! Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura…who can win in terms of the subject…Brock Lesnar, Dwayne Johnson…The Rock. No, it’s The Rock and me, Kenoh! Well, I know that I’m no match for Rock, but I have that kind of will! I will save Noah from danger. It’s not Muta vs Nakamura. I will challenge you for your belt, and I’ll take away the topic!”

Kiyomiya responded,

“Maybe, I am just trying my best. But what will you create? I will create a new Noah! So you and I, let’s fight for real! I don’t want to lose anything on social media or by transmission, so please, fight all out against me.”


“January 1st, Nippon Budokan, you are not the one who will surpass Muta vs Shinsuke Nakamura. I will exceed by myself, and the one who will take this belt is me, Kenoh!”

*Title match has been set for The Nippon Budokan on the 1st January 2023.

The first pre match took place at the Noah/Dragon Gate event the next day. The main event was not as wild as the rest of the show had been, but it did culminate in Kiyomiya being pinned by Kenoh, and a picture of that moment appearing on the front cover of “Weekly Pro”.

Noah vs Dragon Gate

Aside from the main event as mentioned above, the event saw;
– NOSAWA Rongai getting pinged by plastic
– Satoshi Kojima as the mystery opponent of Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa. Kojima said the match was for HAYATA, who he hopes gets well soon and returns to Noah.
– Kenoh describing partner Kouta Minoura as “cute”. Which is probably the first time Kenoh has ever described anyone ever as that.
– H.Y.O said he wants a singles match with Ninja Mack. Otherwise he was not impressed with Noah overall.
– Shun Skywalker finally snap when teaming with Tadasuke. In usual frenetic style, Tadasuke tried to get Shun to do his corner camera spot, and ended up dragging him over. Things steadily went downhill from there.
– YAMATO beat Seiki Yoshioka, but was full of praise for him.
– YO-HEY danced with Natural Vibes on entry, and although dancing cannot have been easy in that heavy coat, he loved it. Daisuke Harada says he is obsessed and cannot stop watching!

Noah Tryouts

Katsuhiko Nakajima and Naomichi Marufuji (alongside Xtreme Tiger) have appeared in both New York and San Francisco for Pro Wrestling Revolution and King of The Indies 2022. They stopped over in San Jose, California, to hold tryouts. Two lucky wrestlers were chosen, who will now come to Japan and train in the dojo and appear in Noah. Marufuji said they were very overcome, and he saw tears. I am afraid I do not have the names of the winners.


– Kenoh will appear at the Yokohama Corsairs game on the 19th November to fire a t-shirt gun (bazooka).

– Kaito Kiyomiya has posted some, shall we say, steamy pictures on his Instagram. One involved him bare-chested and toweling his hair, the other one was being naked save for a necklace while sitting in a bath. Fortunately, he did not reveal all, but the picture was certainly close to being south of the border.
– Yoshiki Inamura celebrated his 30th birthday on the 18th November. Work never stopped during the day as he was giving interviews on his upcoming title challenge, but in the evening he was taken to the Ribera Steakhouse, and given a green jacket.
– Kaito Kiyomiya had an audition for Ninja Warrior.
– During the title match, Dante Leon stole ring announcer G-Man’s chair from under him. G-Man got his revenge by posting a picture of Leon sitting and watching TV, his back to the camera and completely unaware, as G-Man’s hand advanced on him threateningly.
– Satoshi Kojima said their team name was now “Takajima” because he had given “Satoshi” to Mohammed Yone. Sugi said it was kind of hard to pronounce.
– Kaito Kiyomiya has parted with the “Supernova” nickname and gotten new theme music, “REGENERATION” and is now “Galaxy View”.



Event recapPost match interviews



(Full November schedule)

NOAH the BEST 2022

Date: Wednesday, November 23rd
Venue: National Yoyogi Stadium 2nd Gymnasium
Start time: Doors open 13:30 JST, event starts 15:00 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (English commentary available)

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Saturday 19th November: HI69 debut anniversary (22)
Friday 25th November: AMAKUSA (37)


Title match removal of Supernova, champion Kaito Kiyomiya declaration of change and resolution! 
Noah/DragonGate: Press conference for the youngsters match: Inamura declares “Overwhelming”, Mochizuki Jnr “Absolutely Win The Fight”
Noah/DragonGate: GM Saito “Help Me!” in a “1 vs 5” crisis. NOSAWA & Horiguchi already declare betrayal 
Noah/DragonGate: Tadasuke & Shun burst into the press conference, attacking AMAKUSA & Fujiwara
Noah/DragonGate: Kenoh cuts Yuki Yoshioka in half, calling him a “Pathetic champion, carried by the company”
THE TOUGH comment on their ZERO-1 Participation
Noah/DragonGate: Realization of Noah and DragonGate Champions at the joint show…Kenoh completely demolishes Kiyomiya with a strong pre-emptive strike towards the New Year’s Day Budokan
Noah/DragonGate: Satoshi Kojima backstage comments – “Get Well Soon HAYATA” 
Noah/DragonGate: GM Saito is in trouble, break up with friends & unreasonable rap request…victory for rare trio of KZY & YO-HEY
Noah/DragonGate: YAMATO comments on Seiki Yoshioka
G-MANS Note Vol 2: In charge of Pro Wrestling Noah’s English YouTube & English Announcement 


Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Dragon Note – Tanahashi discusses Keiji Mutoh’s retirement

“Follow Me You Bastards” – Kenoh’s column (4th October 2022)


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse
Picture credit: Kaito Kiyomiya, Weekly Pro

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