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News From Cook’s Corner 9.6.21: All Out, Bay Bay? Yes!

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! Hope you all are having an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend. Maybe you had all three days off, or maybe you’re getting one day like me. Either way, we take our good times when we can get them.

I’m not going to lie to you, there were a couple of days this week where I wasn’t sure what was going here. Sad events of the past week made it hard to care about the stuff that doesn’t matter as much. This happens a lot when I’m covering the news of the pro wrestling world, but the circumstances of the death we’ll be talking about this week hit a little harder than most of them do. I wasn’t really sure if it was worth banging something out this week, but then I realized that writing about it, along with a couple of the other things going on in the wrestling world, was necessary. For my mental health, if nothing else.

That being said, I still haven’t decided what other writing is necessary from me this year. As you know, I’ve been doing the fantasy football thing for quite some time now. Used to have a podcast, then had a column, then had a column I read for a podcast. The site I did that for is on hold, which in itself isn’t much of a problem. The bigger problem is the motivation level & my level of interest in football, fantasy or otherwise. Maybe I’ll find it by Thursday. I get randomly motivated at strange times. Stay tuned to thechairshot.com for the answer to that, all your favorite podcasts, reviews & more.

All Out Thoughts

I took the plunge for you, the good reader! The last time I tried to order an AEW show didn’t go to well, but I can figure out how to use FITE. $50 is a lot for one PPV, but I just had a feeling that something big was going to go down tonight, people were going to ask me about it, and I was going to need to talk about it. So I’m calling it a business expense, if that’s ok with everybody.

The Buy-In Match was won by the good guys, as expected. The big story, however, has to be the return of The Butcher. You gotta love a guy with a monocle, am I right?

Miro retained the TNT Championship against Eddie Kingston: I didn’t know how much I wanted Miro & Eddie Kingston to wrestle until it was announced. Talk about two guys that make you believe they’re in a fight. These two just beat the crap out of each other like one of them owed the other money. Bryce Remsberg picked a fine time to be an actual official, costing his buddy Eddie the match. AEW referees tend to make silly decisions, so this one was actually good even if the fans hated it. We can only hope Bryce somehow set up a rematch so those nuts can get redeemed.

Jon Moxley beat Satoshi Kojima: The new GCW champion represented his outlaw mudshow with his hoodie. Nice touch. I was wondering if Jim Ross had a deal with Skyline Chili, or was getting one. (Gold Star is more convenient for me, but Skyline does taste better, in case you were wondering. You probably weren’t.) Moxley & Kojima had the type of match you’d expect, hard hitting & Moxley getting the win after a good battle. Not quite as fun as Kingston vs. Miro, but business picked up when MINORU SUZUKI showed up to kick Mox’s ass afterward.

As it turns out, Suzuki will be facing off with Moxley on Wednesday in Cincinnati, which I find interesting. I love me some Minoru Suzuki, but I wonder how much name value he has in the Greater Cincinnati area. Maybe AEW wonders the same thing, and figures Mox will get plenty of cheers against a foreigner.

Dr. Britt Baker defended the AEW Women’s Championship against Kris Statlander: One main observation about this match was how much Orange Cassidy was into it. I’ve never seen that guy show that much emotion over anything! He should be proud of his alien though, she did a nice job for the Good Doctor.

The Lucha Brothers defeated the Young Bucks for the AEW Tag Team Championship: I tweeted that the Bucks & Brothers were going to do all of the things ever done, and maybe some other stuff too. I should have left out the “maybe”, because these boys went absolutely insane. I don’t have the words to do this thing justice. Definitely some moments that the old school part of me would complain about (The chop circle was ok, the superkick circle was stretching it.), but it was some pretty amazing stuff all around. Nice to see Penta & Fenix get the big win, there aren’t many more deserving tag teams out there.

Ruby Soho won the Casino Battle Royale: I don’t know if I’ll ever be huge on the Casino Battle Royale concept. Probably not, but the women tried and kept things going pretty well for the most part. Good to see Ruby back on television. I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial when I say that Ruby was never going to be somebody that Vince McMahon got. I can see the argument that having her win was bad based off where she was on WWE’s food chain, but one of the things people tell me repeatedly is that wrestling is about Moments. Ruby Soho debuting and earning a shot at AEW’s Women’s Championship is an All Out Moment.

Chris Jericho defeated MJF: Yep, Jericho’s still going to wrestle. I enjoyed Chicago totally buying into the Countdown clock being some callback for Jericho when it was obviously MJF working the people. MJF’s an interesting character, I get the feeling he’s capable of doing all the flips & stuff other wrestlers of his size bust out every match, but he doesn’t have to since he has more charisma in his ring finger than most people do in their body. Must be nice! The ending with Jericho sneaking his foot on the rope was a little cute, but the people got to sing along with Judas so it was what it was. MJF loses nothing here because he can get on a microphone Wednesday or Friday or whatever and make you want to see him lose again.

CM Punk returned & beat Darby Allin: These boys slowed things down and told a bit of a story. Punk was out there doing the basic wrestling moves and feeling his way back into things. Darby took a crazy whip into the ringpost that looked like it killed him, but since it’s Darby Allin there was no reason to worry. Darby had some spurts, but compared to most things on this show it moved nice & slow. Nothing wrong with that. Punk did all the little things, Darby hit his big moves, and the hometown guy got the big win. Losing doesn’t hurt Darby Allin at all, because nothing seems to hurt him for too long. Sting got to come out too and help Punk give Darby that post-match rub.

Paul Wight beat QT Marshall via chokeslam: I went to the bathroom. Got some water. What do you want from me? QT’s tights are sparkly. Wight’s song sounds like Big Show’s song. That’s all I got.

Kenny Omega retains the AEW Championship over Christian Cage: As expected, Christian put on a heck of a show. The poor guy split his side open on a spear through the table, that didn’t look fun. Some Elite shenanigans with Gallows & Anderson, but not enough to say they had anything to do with the finish. Then the Bucks came out to help with a little post-match beatdown, probably leading to something big…

Jurassic Express? Nah, they got beat up too.

ADAM COLE BAY BAY…oh, wait, he’s friends with the Elite! Aww, sucks for the poor babyfaces, but I guess that’s life. I think your reaction to this is based off of how much faith you had in WWE to actually do something with Adam Cole. If you thought they were going to make him the focal point of Raw or SmackDown & make him WWE or Universal Champion for 403 days, maybe you’re disappointed that he chose to go somewhere else & chill with his friends.

Me, I see the potential. Kenny keeps talking about how he can’t work at his level forever. Kenny also seems like the type of guy that won’t hang around the ring forever. When he leaves, who gets his spot? Most likely Adam Cole. So I must say it was a pretty exciting PP-

Oh, there’s more?

Yes! Bryan Danielson! With a beat! And Brock Lesnar’s hair! Now the bad guys get their clock cleaned. A lot happened there. Adam Cole Bay Bay is with the Elite. Bryan Danielson is leading the charge with Christian, Jungle Express & all the other AEW do-gooders. Sounds like a good time to me!

Not gonna lie, AEW hit a home run with this one. They gotta keep it rolling, but there’s some momentum going. There’s some needle moving. There’s all the things you’d like to see from AEW at this stage in the game. All I ask as a fan of professional wrestling is to be entertained more often than not. If there’s any kind of bias that I carry, it’s that I’m biased in favor of folks that entertain me, and biased against people that don’t.

Simple, right?

Anyway, worth the $50. Definitely moreso than $50 of the bourbon I’m cutting out of the ol’ diet. (Not that the bourbon isn’t quality, it just doesn’t last long enough with me around, which is part of the problem…)

NXT Changes Update

A report came out last week that Vince McMahon & Bruce Prichard would be producing NXT going forward. We all jumped to conclusions over what that would mean, given that Nick Khan already told us the brand was being overhauled, we’ve seen a new logo, and most of the recent cuts have been focused on the NXT crew.

The latest reports indicate that Vince & Bruce won’t be writing the shows, but pretty much back up what we assumed was the situation going forward. Big decisions regarding NXT will be made by the same people making the big decisions regarding Raw, SmackDown & everything else in WWE. I continue to not have a major problem with it, though I understand that many of you had quite the connection with NXT and feel your pain.

If nothing else, all these news reports about NXT changes are getting the brand more attention than it has in years. Maybe New NXT flops & NXT Classic comes back? Probably not, but it’s something to think about.

Daffney

Shannon Spruill, who was known as Daffney in WCW & TNA, died last week in an apparent suicide at the age of 46. She did an Instagram Live video that basically served as a suicide note, talking about how she had written a will & she wanted her brain sent to Boston. Boston is the location of the Concussion Legacy Foundation headed by Christopher Nowinski.

Daffney suffered a number of concussions during her wrestling career, particularly during her time with TNA Wrestling. She suffered a concussion & an arm injury during a match pitting Abyss against Mick Foley where Abyss chokeslammed Daffney off the apron through a barbed wire board. Why was Abyss chokeslamming Daffney off the apron through a barbed wire board? I don’t think there’s an answer to that question that I would find acceptable. Shortly after returning from that, Daffney suffered a concussion, a stinger & a bruised sternum during a match with the woman that went on to be known as Sage Beckett during her time in NXT from 2017-18. Back in 2010, she was quite green. Didn’t make her a bad person or anything, just provided an unsafe working environment for a co-worker.

Let’s go back to the good times. Daffney debuted in WCW in 2000 as the somewhat unbalanced girlfriend of David Flair. Daffney, David & their buddy Crowbar formed quite the trio and had a lot of fun together. Including when Daffney pinned Crowbar to become the Cruiserweight Champion!

I mean, Madusa & Oklahoma had already held the championship a few months back, so you couldn’t really get mad about the business getting exposed. Daffney’s reign as champion lasted two weeks before Chavo “Lieutenant Loco” Guerrero Jr. defeated her in a three-way match also involving Disco Inferno. I would make note of how that was the match of the year, but I actually gave that honor to Daffney’s Wedding Gown Match with Miss Hancock at Bash at the Beach 2000. It was a pretty stacked year, what can I say?

I don’t know too much about her time in the indies, but there were some interesting stops along the way with XPW, ROH & OVW. There was also a stint with NWA Wrestle Birmingham where she was managed in matches against men by Col. Robert Parker, who kept calling her his “Million Dollar Baby”. I’ve never seen any of that, but it sounds absolutely tremendous.

Daffney’s second major run in wrestling was with TNA, and had an odd start when she came in impersonating Sarah Palin. Once that was through, we saw more of the Daffney we remembered from back in the day.

As mentioned earlier, some of Daffney’s matches led to some bad results. She sued the company after they let her go, and the lawsuit ended up being settled out of court. After leaving TNA, Daffney made some appearances in indy wrestling & tried to help the next generation of female wrestlers however she could.

Mental health is a tricky thing that I’m not qualified to discuss. We all have different things going on making us what we are. What triggers you might not trigger me, while the problems I face might not be something you can relate with. Then there are outside factors affecting some that don’t affect others. I don’t have a history of concussions, but I can understand that repeated blows to the head aren’t a good thing for one’s brain. Any problems Shannon Spruill had with her mental health were likely excaberated by the concussions suffered during her wrestling career. She knew this, and it was one of the things that led to her decision.

I’m not the right person to be sending this message given my own psychological makeup. I have a very difficult time being “nice” or “friendly”. I’m prone to being a sarcastic asshole, it’s my nature. However, the fact remains that we as a species need to try to be more understanding of our fellow humans. This is a tough message to send out during a time where politicians sow the seeds of discord & judges do whatever they can to make life difficult for the largest number of people possible, with the support of people that mostly don’t care to understand fellow humans. During difficult times, folks need to try and pull together, or at least try and not get in somebody’s way.

It’s not going to prevent suicide from still making the news more than necessary, but every little bit helps, & niceness is far less likely to provoke tragedy than meanness. There’s not much else we can do to affect things either way.

Thanks so much for reading, if you’re here you’re one of the real ones. Until next time, keep your stick on the ice.


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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.191 ~ 18TH NOVEMBER 2022

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

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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.”

Kenoh

“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.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– 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 RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

– GLOBAL2DAYS WRESTLE UNIVERSE PRESENTS GLOBAL HONORED CROWN (Thursday November 10th, Korakuen Hall)

Event recapPost match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(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)

ARTICLES

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 

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

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

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

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

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


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(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.190 ~ 6TH NOVEMBER 2022

Mutoh’s retirement tour continues, Shinsuke Nakamura’s video challenge is official, and a former Junior returns under a new name! Hisame enlightens us all!

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Shinsuke Nakamura vs Great Muta announced

NOAH announced during the Ariake Arena event on October 30th, that The Great Muta would be appearing at their New Year’s Day event on January 1st at The Nippon Budokan, with his surprise opponent being Shinsuke Nakamura, who is currently overseas in WWE. As Nakamura said himself, he has had matches with Keiji Mutoh, but this will be his first and last time with Great Muta.

NOAH had shortlisted Shinsuke Nakamura as a possible opponent for either Keiji Mutoh or Great Muta somewhere along the line, and had to be very persistent in their request, which paid off in the end.

NOSAWA’S final battle

NOSAWA has been preparing for his retirement by wrapping up loose ends; namely by his own produce, “Tokyo Dream Final: The Last Festival”, that will take place at Korakuen Hall on the 20th December and finishing things with STINGER, namely Yoshinari Ogawa. This will not take place at the produce in December. NOSAWA says for the final battle, which will take place on the November 23rd show main event at the Yoyogi National Stadium he will bring Kotaro Suzuki and Ikuto Hidaka as seconds. The final battle will be a somewhat one sided match of NOSAWA Rongai, Eita and Super Crazy against Yoshinari Ogawa, Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. Unfortunately for Ogawa he is currently the only person left in STINGER with any substantial experience, as HAYATA and Yuya Susumu are injured (both NOSAWA and Yoshinari Ogawa have seemingly forgotten about Susumu, which probably won’t sit well with him when he returns), and Chris Ridgeway has now returned to England for the time being, but that said, Ogawa and Yano were very successful against Perros the last time they fought them.

Kiyomiya retains, Thatcher challenges

Kaito Kiyomiya made a desperate effort to win against Kazuyuki Fujita after a match which saw him try and wear Fujita down only for Fujita to bounce back, and which Kiyomiya had to win by taking Fujita by surprise. After the match, Timothy Thatcher came to the ring and challenged for the GHC Heavyweight title.

Due to the short time (and shows) between Ariake Arena on the 30th October and the title match on the 10th November, there has only been one pre-match, which was won by Timothy Thatcher over Kaito Kiyomiya via the dreaded Fujiwara Armbar on 3rd November. As Thatcher pointed out, and as Kiyomiya well knows, he is undefeated in NOAH.

AMAKUSA

A mysterious masked man made an appearance in NOAH at The Ariake Arena on the 30th October, to rescue Seiki Yoshioka and Atsushi Kotoge from an attack made by The Kongoh Juniors, following the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag match. The masked man unmasked himself, revealing himself to be Haoh who had both a new look and new move-set.

The man said his name was AMAKUSA, and he was going to go to the top of NOAH, which started by crushing Tadasuke. It has since been discovered (credit Metal NOAH), that the reason why Haoh seemingly vanished, was that he had joined Junta Miyawaki in Mexico, which also explains the new techniques he is using.

Funky Express challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Belts

With Masao Inoue not returning to NOAH for the time being and Shuhei Taniguchi leaving the unit, Funky Express has been Mohammed Yone and Akitoshi Saito. A few weeks ago, Saito revealed that NOAH alumnae, Tamon Honda, had gifted him the use of his finisher, “The Dead End”. Yone said with that, they could go to the top, and so after Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima had defeated Kongoh’s Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima, they came and challenged for the belts.

At the press conference on the 1st November, it became apparent that the real competition was between Takashi Sugiura and Akitoshi Saito, while Satoshi Kojima said his battle with Mohammed Yone would be over the name “Satoshi”, which happens to be Yone’s real first name. At the only pre match between them on the 3rd November, Saito and Sugiura kept fighting even after the bell had rung.

From Kongoh to Kongoh

Not to lose the chance of their team holding gold, the Kongoh Junior’s Hajime Ohara and Shuji Kondo challenged The NOAH Junior Regulars (Seiki Yoshioka and Atsushi Kotoge) for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Belts, after Tadasuke and HI69 had failed in their attempt. As this is the NOAH Junior Regulars, things got rough and this of course was broken up by AMAKUSA. During the press conference/match signing that followed, Shuji Kondo threw the champions a bone and what he called a “test” for his quaking pupil, Hajime Ohara. Kondo told them that if they wanted to defeat them, then they should attack Ohara’s legs as they were in very bad condition. The champions didn’t take them up on this, as they didn’t know whether Kondo was leading them on or not, but in any event they lost their one and only pre match (Kondo via King Kong Lariat), which led Kondo to say they should have listened to him. Title match will take place at the big all titles defended night at Korakuen Hall on the 10th November.

HAYATA injured, Ninja Mack new GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, Dante Leon challenges

Unfortunately the GHC Junior Heavyweight title match between HAYATA and Ninja Mack at the Ariake Arena on the 30th October did not go as planned, as HAYATA suffered an injury during the match which led to Ninja Mack being awarded the title as HAYATA could not continue. NOAH later announced that HAYATA’S injury was a dislocated fracture of the left elbow joint, which means the dislocation occurred the same time as the fracture. Chris Ridgeway said that his elbow was popped back in in “real time” by the paramedics and that HAYATA was “one tough motherfucker”.

Dante Leon had said earlier in the evening that he would be challenging the winner of HAYATA and Ninja Mack, and so it was to his old rival that he made the challenge. As Ninja Mack warned him at the press conference/match signing that followed he was “the favorite” and that if anyone was going to be bringing the belt back to their native Texas, it was going to be him. The only pre match they had was inconclusive as Xtreme Tiger pinned YO-HEY, but it didn’t stop them fighting after the match.

Masakatsu Funaki retained, a challenger of a different style steps forward

The fight with the fifteen year story, and refereed by the man who had refereed their match back then (Yuji Shimada), was over in three minutes and nineteen seconds, when Funaki used the Ninja Choke, which Kazushi Sakuraba had warned against. Funaki was challenged backstage by El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr. Funaki noted that Wagner Jnr had lots of advantages over him, from being much younger, to being much bigger (Funaki joked that he may have an accident should Wagner Jnr dive on him) and of course being a Luchadore, which Funaki had no experience in. Wagner Jnr said he has had tag success in NOAH, but now he is looking towards the singles gold. The match will take place on the night when all the GHC titles will be defended, the 10th November at Korakuen Hall.

Great Muta appearance & Keiji Mutoh passes his “test”. 

Keiji Mutoh noted that 2022 was over for him, but it wasn’t for Great Muta who will be returning to New Japan on the 20th November. The Great Muta made his appearance on the 26th October when he appeared in the ring to spit green mist at The Great O-Khan. Backstage, he announced that he would team with Toru Yano and Kazuchika Okada. As for Keiji Mutoh, Hiroshi Tanahashi announced after the tag match at Ariake Arena, that Mutoh had passed the test he had asked Tanahashi to put him through, and he was inviting him to come to a big match in New Japan for one last time. In his “Dragon Note” column in “Weekly Pro”, Tanahashi described his duty towards Mutoh as one of “Filial piety of a child towards a parent”.

Further New Japan and NOAH conflict

Following Keiji Mutoh’s retirement road match at Ariake Arena, Keiji Mutoh and Hiroshi Tanahashi sat on the ramp together and discussed how impressed they were by Yoshiki Inamura, who was fighting Togi Makabe. Makabe had dismissed Inamura prior to the match, but Inamura had vowed that he wasn’t going to leave without knowing who he was. After the match, Makabe vowed further interaction with Inamura, saying that either he came to New Japan or he would come to NOAH and beat him up, either way, NOAH needed to make something between them happen. In the match Mutoh fighting Tanahashi, Inamura and Makabe, left Naomichi Marufuji and Tomoaki Honma. Honma has vowed revenge on Naomichi Marufuji for the chopping he got, which busted him open, while Marufuji huffed at some footage of Honma that the move he was doing was one he did when he was a trainee.

Katsuhiko Nakajima and Naomichi Marufuji to go overseas

Katsuhiko Nakajima and Naomichi Marufuji will be appearing in San Francisco for King of Indies 2022. There will also be a dojo assessment with one person chosen to participate in NOAH.

NOAH vs Dragon Gate

Because HAYATA has been injured, the card for NOAH vs Dragon Gate on the 11th November, has been changed slightly. Yoshinari Ogawa has been removed from the card, with Dante Leon and Atsushi Kotoge taking his and HAYATA’S place teaming with Yosuke Santa Maria (who will probably be chasing Atsushi Kotoge around) against UT, Jason Lee and Strong Machine J. Stalker Ichikawa has also been added to the card, and he will face a mystery opponent. Fans are speculating this could be Junta Miyawaki, Daisuke Harada or even Yoshinari Ogawa. Whoever it is, Ichikawa will no doubt be annihilated in very short time.

Go Shiozaki

Go Shiozaki made an appearance at the Ariake Arena event and led the crowd (who could now cheer) in “I AM NOAH”…”WE ARE NOAH!”. He hasn’t given a date for his return, but he and NOAH are saying that it will be very soon.

 ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– At the fan event in Shizuoka, Naomichi Marufuji was teasing Daiki Inaba, who unlike himself and Masa Kitamiya, grinned and stood with his hands by his side rather than pose.

– When STINGER failed to come to the ring on time, NOSAWA and Super Crazy went on a hunt for them. This involved looking under the ring and even under the steel barriers.  NOSAWA then decided to count them out.

– El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr was the only roster member to dress up for Halloween, by wearing a pumpkin colored mask complete with stalk. Hideki Suzuki told the referee to check the stalk…

– Keiji Mutoh joked that he found Hiroshi Tanahashi’s look too flashy! He also let Honma hug him once, but then batted him away when he tried again. Honma kind of chased him around the ring with Mutoh telling him to go away!

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS

[MUTO RETIREMENT ROAD] ABEMA PRESENTS ARIAKE GAISEN-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ (SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30TH)

Event recap

Post match interviews

 SUNNY VOYAGE 2022, KIRAMESSE NUMAZU (THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 3RD)

Event recap

Post match interview

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
    Challenger: Timothy Thatcher, GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown, Thursday November 10th 2022, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
  • GHC Junior Champion: Ninja Mack
    Challenger: Dante Leon, GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown, Thursday November 10th 2022, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
    Challengers: Funky Express (Mohammed Yone & Akitoshi Saito), GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown, Thursday November 10th 2022, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
    Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Shuji Kondo & Hajime Ohara), GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown, Thursday November 10th 2022, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr, GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown, Thursday November 10th 2022, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(Full November schedule)

– GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown

Date: Thursday, November 10th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Start time: Doors open 17:30 JST, event starts 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)

– GLOBAL2days WRESTLE UNIVERSE presents Global Honored Crown

Date: Friday, November 11th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Start time: Doors open 17:30 JST, event starts 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)

– Sunday 13th November: Daisuke Harada (36)

ARTICLES

“Hey! Shall I train my body from today!?” Riki Choshu names himself in Keiji Mutoh’s Tokyo Dome Retirement Match?

My Name is G-MAN

GHC Junior Tag Match Signing Ceremony: Kondo challenges his partner, Ohara, by exposing his weaknesses? 

GHC Junior Match Signing Ceremony: Ninja emphasizes “I’m the favorite”, Leon emphasizes “Get the belt of my dreams”

GHC National Match Signing Ceremony: Funaki defines “Heterogenous Professional Wrestling”, Wagner Jnr to “Make Achievements” with his first single title

GHC Heavyweight Signing Ceremony: “Undefeated” Thatcher – “Kiyomiya is a pretty boy”, Champion Kiyomiya reveals “Top Awareness”

GHC Tag Match Signing Ceremony: Dangerous Detectives vs Funky…Kojima’s “Satoshi Competition” proposal creates chaos

“Tomorrow is the Ariake Arena Event. Ariake Triumphant Return” – note by Yoshiki Inamura

“Day of Fate” – Note by Kaito Kiyomiya

“HAHAHAHA!” Fujita’s beastly provocation with red viper drink, Kiyomiya is steadfast…

GHC National Match Signing: Funaki “I want to beat myself of 15 years ago”, Sakuraba “Tohoku Number One Deciding Match at the same time”

GHC Heavyweight Tag Signing Ceremony: Sugiura rejects Kojima’s declaration of “Defense until 62 years old”…Nakajima has a view to attack other promotions.

GHC Junior Tag Signing Ceremony: HI69 “Win with the new special move “La Pas”, Tadasuke “any means”

GHC Junior Match Signing: Ninja vehemently refutes HAYATA’S “Aerial Techniques Only”

Retirement Announcement, NOSAWA Rongai looking to switch to “M Leaguer”

Keiji Mutoh speaks about Hiroshi Tanahashi

Great Muta makes a surprise appearance and attacks O-Khan, forms a trio with Okada and Yano on the 20th November Ariake

Akitoshi’s Tsurezuregusa

WEEKLY PRO ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

Kenta Kobashi Post Match Interview (March 1st 2003, NOAH Navigate For Evolution)

Follow Me You Bastards! Kenoh’s Weekly Pro Column (27th September 2022)

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse


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