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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.151 ~ 1ST DECEMBER 2021

With the hype of Budokan and the NJPW crossover show…someone will be coming back to NOAH before the 8th of January!

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With the hype of Budokan and the NJPW crossover show…someone will be coming back to NOAH before the 8th of January!

NEWS

KENTA comes home

NOAH announced that the Nippon Budokan announcement that they would be making on the 28th November in Yoyogi would be “the biggest in history”. Fans were all wondering what it would be, but I don’t think anyone foresaw this. NOAH ran a video which started with a familiar looking figure walking to where the old site of Differ Ariake used to be. He reminisced about how he had left seven years ago, and when he had no luck in America, he returned but he couldn’t go in…there was only one person who it could be. KENTA was coming home for the Nippon Budokan. Not as he was the last time when he came back for “FLIGHT”, but as himself. He would remain a freelancer of course and continue appearing in New Japan, but as now New Japan and NOAH have mended their bridges, it was going to be easier. People wept in the arena, and they wept at home. KENTA even trended on Twitter.

No opponent has been announced for KENTA as of yet, and fans are hoping that as Kenoh has always wanted to face him in a singles match and that title needs to be challenged for, he and Kenoh will face off at The Budokan. Don’t get too much of your hopes up though, Kaito Kiyomiya has hinted that he may challenge.

Nakajima retains, Go Shiozaki returns

Kenoh’s dream of entering the Nippon Budokan on his birthday as double champion (GHC National and GHC Heavyweight, and therefore being the first in history to have held the two belts at the same time), ended in the same way his first attempt did; a time out draw. After the grueling sixty minute match where they both beat the living hell out of each other, an exhausted Katsuhiko Nakajima got on the microphone and said, “Kenoh…” only for the lights to go off, the arena light up green and music that no one had heard since March start playing. With blonde hair and looking what Naomichi Marufuji described as (or can perhaps best be translated as) trim, Go Shiozaki came to the ring.

Kenoh (who would later complain that Shiozaki stole all the glory) left immediately, meaning that Nakajima was having to confront alone the person he hadn’t spoken about, changed the subject regarding or else completely ignored anything to do with. After screaming “I am NOAH! Has returned!” Shiozaki turned to Nakajima and said that the belt didn’t suit him, and he was challenging him for it. Nakajima dragged himself to his feet and holding the belt up to Shiozaki accepted his challenge, finishing with “I AM NOAH!”

Title match will take place on the 1st January at The Nippon Budokan, with Go Shiozaki making his return at NOAH’s next event on Sunday December 5th in Nagoya when their first pre match starts. Nakajima has vowed that he will destroy Shiozaki.

STINGER regain the GHC Junior Tag Belts, two challengers come forward

In a suitably chaotic tag title match, STINGER succeeded in taking back the championship from NOSAWA Rongai and Eita. Yoshinari Ogawa played them at their own game and got Eita counted out when he had him hung up on the ropes. Afterwards two teams appeared almost immediately (and at the same time) to make their bid to be challengers; Perros Del Mal De Japon’s Kotaro Suzuki and YO-HEY, and Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge). After some shoving, finger pointing and then STINGER leaving the ring for them to fight it out between them, Daisuke Harada suggested a number one contenders match. This will be held on the 25th December in Yokohama. Backstage, Ogawa said he didn’t think either team were worthy; Kotoge’s current situation of losing didn’t inspire confidence in him as a challenger, and he thought that Momo had other issues which didn’t make them a cohesive team. Kotaro Ogawa called a “lackey” as he was forever walking behind Eita and NOSAWA. Ogawa had nothing to say about YO-HEY, only that he would prefer Eita as his partner, and not Kotaro. Personally, I think Momo no Seishun are probably the team that Ogawa and HAYATA would prefer, as they don’t come with the emotions that YO-HEY and Kotaro do. Despite his feud with Ogawa, Kotaro did have a hard time watching while Ogawa had water dumped on him by Eita, and we all saw how YO-HEY came very close to doing an old tandem move with HAYATA…

Masato Tanaka challenges Takashi Sugiura for the ZERO1 World Heavyweight

With his defeat in a tag match over Takashi Sugiura in Yoyogi, Masato Tanaka challenged for the ZERO1 World Heavyweight title. Tanaka said that he wanted it to be at ZERO1’s first show of the year (1st January 2022), he understood that it would be the day when NOAH was at The Budokan but this is a special date for them, as much as Fire Festival later in the year is. The match will take place in ZERO1 at Korakuen Hall.

Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge announce the launch of a new NOAH Junior brand, “N Innovation”

At the press conference on the 26th November, a new NOAH Junior brand was launched. The ideal of the event will be to showcase the NOAH Juniors (and other juniors from outside promotions who wish to take part and some heavyweights if they want to join in) in different innovative ways. It will also serve to showcase the younger wrestlers who are having dojo matches. Harada says there is room for it to grow and change as it goes along, but he would like for it to happen three times a month with the first shows taking place in late December when he and Kotoge take on Perros Del Mal De Japon in a number one contenders match for the junior tag titles. Yoshinari Ogawa probably won’t take part as he objects to anything Harada does, and Tadasuke says it’s of no interest to anyone except the boring NOAH Junior regulars.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

Premium Prelude 2021 (Tuesday 23rd November, Niigata/Bandaijima Multipurpose Plaza Large Kama)

Event recap Post match interviews

LEC CLEANUP! Presents NOAH The Best 2021 (Sunday November 28th,  Yoyogi National Stadium Second Gymnasium)

Event recap Post match interviews

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– YO-HEY is becoming stronger and developing a nasty streak, not on sadistic HAYATA levels, but a more malicious one than he had before.

– The strongman gym that Yoshiki Inamura attends hinted that they want to see him compete in strong man contests as well as wrestling.

– Mohammed Yone hinted that Funky Express may be challenging for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles. Akitoshi Saito said it didn’t matter what team they used, but make a custom belt to go round his waist.

– Naomichi Marufuji fought fountains in a variety show on TBS. One fan parodied it by putting a figure of Marufuji on top of a shower, which Marufuji thought was very funny.

– Most people would flick a bug off of a banana they were eating. Yoshiki Inamura photographed it.

– HAYATA didn’t turn up to the GHC Junior match signing (or for that matter the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag title signing which NO ONE turned up for). Tadasuke said they should just have got a blonde haired mannequin.

– Yasutaka Yano pinned NOSAWA for the second time during a handicap match. After the match, Yoshinari Ogawa was held back by Perros Del Mal as NOSAWA cut chunks out of Yano’s hair. He was eventually chased off by HAYATA who was wielding a chair. Yano (with a new Sugiura type hairstyle) has challenged NOSAWA to a singles match. NOSAWA is yet to respond.

– The winning team of Daiki Inaba, Kaito Kiyomiya, Yoshiki Inamura and Masa Kitamiya were presented with a bale of rice from the heartland of Japan’s rice production, Niigata, after winning the main event there. Yoshiki Inamura hoisted it on to his shoulders and walked around the ring with it, and then walked with it effortlessly to the back.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Katsuhiko Nakajima
    Challenger: Go Shiozaki – ABEMA presents NOAH “THE NEW YEAR” 2022 (Nippon Budokan, Saturday January 1st)
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Tadasuke – THE WARROAD 2021 in NAGOYA, Aichi / Nagoya Congress Center Event Hall, Sunday, December 5th 2021
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The M’s alliance (Naomichi Marufuji and Keiji Mutoh)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: A number one contenders match between Perros Del Mal De Japon (YO-HEY and Kotaro Suzuki) and Momo No Seishun (Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada) will be held on December 25th at Yokohama Radiant Halls.
  • GHC National Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: TBA

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(Full December schedule)

THE WARROAD 2021 in NAGOYA

Sunday December 5th 2021 – Nagoya Congress Centre Event Hall, Aichi

Start time: 3pm JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverseABEMA

Tuesday December 7th: Kinya Okada debut anniversary (3 years)

NOAH’s event on the 5th December will have English commentary on WrestlesUniverse, but you must be a subscriber to view. If you sign up now you will get December free and not be charged until January 2022. You should be able to watch the event through ABEMA, but please note the commentary will be in Japanese only. You will also not be able to watch any replays. I would strongly advise anyone outside of Japan to not sign up to ABEMA due to the issues with a working VPN, a subscription to WrestleUniverse is the far better option.

LINKS

Kenoh’s advance notice of “The Best Kick Fight In The Universe”, Nakajima speaks of commitment to “New Years Day Budokan”

Tadasuke declares “Fight with instincts” to defeat HAYATA, “N Innovation” and advance notice of taking the leading role (GHC Junior Match signing ceremony)

“Didn’t you get kicked out?” Naomichi Marufuji, heading towards the rivalry with New Japan, provoked by Yuji Nagata on Twitter

“New Japan, Eat Shit” Naomichi Marufuji interview

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse and NOAH Official Twitter


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.156 ~ 12TH JANUARY 2022

Following the big clash with New Japan, NOAH had some shakes ups in their Junior Division! Hisame fills in all that blanks for anyone not caught up yet!

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Following the big clash with New Japan, NOAH had some shakes ups in their Junior Division! Hisame fills in all that blanks for anyone not caught up yet!

NEWS

Masa Kitamiya vs Katsuhiko Nakajima 

After a tag match on the 4th January, Masa Kitamiya challenged Katsuhiko Nakajima for the GHC Heavyweight. Kitamiya won the right to challenge after defeating Nakajima. He didn’t just defeat him, he destroyed him with the Saito Suplex. As Nakajima lay on the canvas semiconscious, Kitamiya loomed over him and spoke on the mic to challenge him for the belt. Title match has been set for Sunday the 16th at “BUMPER CROP 2022” in Sendai.

Neither Masa Kitamiya or Katsuhiko Nakajima have had much to say about the challenge. Nakajima has said more than Kitamiya however, calling this (sarcastic or not) a “nightmare” posting the picture of him laying on the mat and intimating later that he hadn’t forgotten having his hair shaved off by Kitamiya, and hinting at other times that this match bought up various emotions. Naomichi Marufuji has summed this up as being a match containing elements that only Nakajima and Kitamiya know about and can understand, which will make it more exciting for the rest of us.

Kongoh vs The M’s alliance 

Kenoh might not have left The Budokan as double champion, but an alternative offered itself. In NOAH belts are usually challenged for if you beat the champion, there is a loophole if you are on the winning team…or else make your challenge statement first before anyone else gets there. Manabu Soya went for the third option after Katsuhiko Nakajima had been defeated by Masa Kitamiya. During the match Soya had been wound up by Naomichi Marufuji, and spying those belts, he took the chance to bring them to Kongoh by taking them from Marufuji and Mutoh. Mutoh who had once called him a “big useless tree”. Soya challenged for the belts on behalf of himself and Kenoh. Title match will take place on the 16th January in Sendai.

Masakatsu Funaki challenges Kenoh

On the 5th January, NOAH held one of their mystery cards and a traditional sudden title match in which Daisuke Harada, the second NOAH Junior to challenge for the belt, challenged Kenoh for the GHC National. Harada was unsuccessful, although he came very close, and Kenoh defeated him to retain after 10 minutes and 56 seconds. Harada would soon get his belt, and Kenoh would soon get a new challenger.

Masakatsu Funaki.

Funaki made his way silently to the ring and pointed to the belt. He didn’t speak on the mic. He didn’t need to. He simply motioned his intention, and then returned to the back. Title match will take place on the 22nd January in Funaki’s hometown of Osaka at the Edion 2nd Arena.

NOAH vs New Japan

The first shots in the rivalry were fired when after the show at Korakuen Hall on the 5th January, the entire NOAH roster walked the short distance from Korakuen to the Tokyo Dome to invade New Japan. Treating the ring as if they were tourists (Keiji Mutoh was more interested in his camera and took selfies, as did Naomichi Marufuji, The NOAH Junior Regulars and Perros Del Mal), or else with open disdain, such as Kenoh who claimed that NOAH was there to help New Japan and was soon confronted by Takagi Shingo with Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI. At the end of the exchange and without any violence as Shingo wouldn’t get into the ring although Kenoh baited him, he and Kiyomiya shook hands. Kiyomiya later said that he had no idea that Kenoh was going to do this. They shook hands for solidarity in the fight against New Japan.

In the opening match Yasutaka Yano came to a draw with old friend and fellow Ehime boy, Kosei Fujita. Funky Express (without Masao Inoue) were defeated by The Third Generation, who Mohammed Yone had complained hadn’t been exactly complimentary about them. The dark matches over, Yoshiki Inamura and Tomohiro Ishii got into a massive brawl, and probably managed to knock out the ABEMA feed. Fans wanted to see more of this, and Ishii hinted that it wasn’t over between them. Daisuke Harada square up to Master Wato.

So far NOAH had not done well against New Japan. Atsushi Kotoge was pinned by SHO who hit him with a spanner, and it took HAYATA to score the first blow against the colossus by pinning Taiji Ishimori in a tag match. The focus was on HAYATA and Ishimori as it was Ishimori who had ended HAYATA’S first GHC Junior Heavyweight title reign and it was Ishimori’s reign that HAYATA wanted to overcome, but the focus ended on the spark flying interaction between Ishimori and Seiki Yoshioka.  NOAH’s luck took another dip when NOSAWA and YO-HEY took on NOSAWA’S old friends, El Desperado and Douki. NOSAWA’S heart was not torn enough to throw El Desperado’s tag belt outside the ring, but again, it was not this rivalry that became the focus. The first time in the ring together, it was YO-HEY and El Desperado who found an interesting competitor in each other. YO-HEY also found something else interesting about El Desperado, but I’ll let you Google “GinGin Boys” for that.

KENTA sadly did not appear in the event as he had become injured the day before in a ladder match against Hiroshi Tanahashi. His usual cheeky humor surfaced when he sent Tanahashi a picture of a little ladder and said that next time they should use that, and saying that the one good thing about being injured was that he didn’t have to wear “that dumb t-shirt”. That would be The Sugiura Army t-shirt with himself forcibly put on it. The replacement was Toru Yano, the bugbear of the opposing team, who were led by Minoru Suzuki. Yano said that Sakuraba had put a blindfold on him and deposited him at the entrance to the arena. It sounded like a kidnapping. After tearing into Suzuki, Sugiura pinned TAKA Michioku with the Olympic Slam. Backstage Toru Yano was excited about “next time”, to be told by Takashi Sugiura that there would be no “next time”.

Go Shiozaki kept up the NOAH winning streak with a victory over EVIL in a tag match. Fans would like to see Shiozaki challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship.

In a very poignant match, Yoshinari Ogawa and Naomichi Marufuji took on Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Zack Sabre Junior. For Ogawa, everyone in the match has been a pupil at one time or another, and Zack was his tag partner while in NOAH and they even held the GHC Junior Tag together. For Marufuji, it was nostalgic as Kanemaru was his senior and had walked out of All Japan with Mitsuharu Misawa alongside Marufuji all those years ago. Marufuji was targeted more in this match than Ogawa was (respect still remains for their teacher, who could probably have reversed their moves and done something even worse), but it was NOAH who picked up the win. Nothing more came of this match, Ogawa went back to feuding with Perros Del Mal, the NOAH Juniors or whoever else crosses his path, and Marufuji was more interested in drinking with Kanemaru than fighting him.

In the double main event, Kongoh took on Los Ingobernables de Japón. Kenoh, naturally was not impressed by their entrance. Katsuhiko Nakajima had said before the match that he wasn’t interested in Shingo. Shingo was old news, he had fought him and beaten him. His interest was in the person he had never beaten. Tetsuya Naito.

Naito and Nakajima had their interactions, but what fans took away from the match was a new feud, Kenoh vs Naito. Tadasuke was also given his time to shine, when he fought the heavyweights on their own level and Shingo in particular was taken aback by his heavyweight strength. But despite this, it was Tadasuke who took the fall. After the match Nakajima smirked at Shingo and held up his championship belt, the GHC Heavyweight. Shingo, who had lost his to Kazuchika Okada the night before, applauded him sarcastically and then waved him away.

In the main event Keiji Mutoh and Kaito Kiyomiya teamed together to take on Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Kiyomiya had stated over a year ago that he “wanted to experience The Rainmaker” and he did. Much to his extreme disappointment, and even with the new techniques that he bought out, he could not overcome the seniors. The Rainmaker experience bought him to tears when Okada pinned him using his namesake move. Mutoh gently took Kiyomiya from the ring and gave him some sage advice backstage as Kiyomiya curled up on the floor into a bow in shame. He had lost for NOAH. Mutoh reminded him that Kiyomiya’s fight had just started. There would be more and it wasn’t over yet. He also gave him some advice that Antonio Inoki had given him. The phrase doesn’t translate well, but it basically means that sometimes to get something done, you have to go off the rails. Another person who proved helpful to Kiyomiya was Okada, who offered Kiyomiya to come and train in the New Japan dojo and when he felt ready he could go back to NOAH.

On the whole it hadn’t been an overly successful evening for NOAH in terms of results in the ring, but the results outside of it where. Now that New Japan and NOAH have a better working relationship, they can both look to a future that involves each other in a positive way. Feuds were born at the event, even for Yasutaka Yano, a rookie. Kiyomiya said he wasn’t going to be going to New Japan’s dojo, but Mutoh’s advice seemed to have invigorated him and the experience of fighting elsewhere had proved to him that the world he wanted to cherish was the one he was in, NOAH. El Desperado should probably have the last words as he stated in an interview with East Sports that he didn’t think that a long feud that went on week after week would not be interesting, but, a fight with NOAH once every six months or even once a year would be.

You can order the event through ABEMA until the 21st January, after this time it will be placed on WrestleUniverse and New Japan World. If you are having troubles viewing it, please set your computer to Japan Standard Time.

N-Innovation & U-CUP 

After the excitement of New Japan vs NOAH, the NOAH Juniors returned to their eternal fighting when the first N-Innovation tournament took place over three days at Yokohama Radiant Hall. The event was designed for the four NOAH Junior units (Kongoh Juniors, STINGER, Perros Del Mal De Japon and The NOAH Junior Regulars) to fight against each other in different forms of matches, including a rumble which was won by Daisuke Harada. STINGER initially took the lead, but were caught up to and overtaken by the NOAH Junior Regulars. The team who inaugurated the event ended up being awarded with the U-CUP.

Night 3 was however the most explosive. The junior rumble had a stipulation that the first four from each unit eliminated would team together. Unfortunately for Yoshinari Ogawa this meant teaming with Eita, not that he cared it was against Tadasuke and Junta Miyawaki, it was his partner he had the issue with. That and Kotaro being the dogsbody that Ogawa had called him, by winding him up and holding open the ropes. Naturally Ogawa objected to tagging with Eita, but he did co-operate with him for a few seconds until Tadasuke caused them to fall out, and Ogawa ended up with water dumped all over him again.

Seiki Yoshioka and Yuya Susumu came to the rescue, and backstage the audience were treated to the sounds of the juniors fighting, which echoed in the hall as STINGER stormed Perros’ interview.

Daisuke Harada defeats “Absolute Champion” HAYATA for the GHC Junior Title

After a reign of 198 days and 8 defenses, HAYATA dropped the championship to Daisuke Harada on the final night of the N-Innovation at Yokohama Radiant Hall. Harada had won the junior rumble and with it the right to challenge the champion. Their one and only pre match had been nothing to write home about, the match standing on its own. Harada defeated HAYATA after 27 minutes and 2 seconds with his new move, “The Dokaaan”, which took HAYATA by surprise. After the match Harada paid tribute to HAYATA’S success by acknowledging the belt now came with more weight than ever before (i.e. he has a lot to live up to and surpass), and telling HAYATA that one day they would do this again. For Harada, it is also a case of now having a weapon with which to overturn the dominant heavyweights and put the juniors in the lead.

NOAH Junior Regular Army tag title challenge, but STINGER set a condition

Atsushi Kotoge set a precedent after winning the N-Innovation U-CUP (Unit Cup), by challenging HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa for the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag titles. Ogawa and HAYATA accepted the challenge (yes they are still teaming together and Ogawa admitted he he was disappointed to lose and had acted badly), and it is set for 22nd January in Osaka. However, after going to time out draw with STINGERS Yuya Susumu and Seiki Yoshioka on the third night of the N-Innovation, Susumu threw a spanner in the works and told STINGER that they were introducing a stipulation. If The NOAH Junior Regulars lost in the tag match on the 16th in Sendai, then they forfeited their title challenge to Susumu and Yoshioka. Backstage when STINGER were confronted by this, Susumu pointed out to Kotoge that he had no right to challenge as he (or they) hadn’t even beaten the champions, so they had every right to make this stipulation. Kotoge said he did, as he won the N-Innovation, it was his right. Susumu said that if he really wanted to make things exciting, then he would take on their challenge. Kotoge had no choice but to accept, although he said they were cheating. NOSAWA Rongai then got word of what had happened and said that if STINGER were making that stipulation and The NOAH Junior Regulars were challenging, then Perros would also challenge. Susumu said that a “STINGER showdown” as he termed it, would be interesting.

CyberfightFestival 2022 returns

CyberFight Festival 2022 will return at the Saitama Super Arena on the 12th June 2022. Nothing has been decided yet in terms of cards, but the heads of each promotions seem to be hinting at a possible mixed tag or interleague matches. Naomichi Marufuji joked that it would be Sanshiro Takagi vs Kenoh or Sanshiro Takagi vs Kongoh. So far Kenoh has made no comment, not like last time when he simply said “….”.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

New Sunrise 2022, January 4th, Korakuen Hall: Event recap Post match interviews

Reboot 2002, January 5th, Korakuen Hall: Event recap Post match interviews

N-Innovation/U-CUP Night 1, January 6th, Yokohama Radiant Hall: Event recap Post match interviews

N-Innovation/U-CUP Night 2, January 7th, Yokohama Radiant Hall: Event recap Post match interviews

New Japan vs NOAH, January 8th, Yokohama Arena: Event recap

N-Innovation/U-CUP Night 3, January 10th, Yokohama Radiant Hall: Event recap Post match interview

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Quiet shy HAYATA was left to close out the show on the 4th January. He simply said “Happy New Year”. Yoshinari Ogawa found it very funny.

– Yasutaka Yano got his first singles win, albeit over fellow rookie Kai Fujimura

– Eita said he doesn’t know and still doesn’t know which one is Haoh and which one is Nioh. NOSAWA said he thought they were both Kenoh. Takashi Sugiura helped out by saying that “Nioh was Hi69”.

– Go Shiozaki was not happy with Kaito Kiyomiya winning the match in NOAH on the 5th January, and then saying basically “NOAH is me”. Like any good NOAH Born, he has sulked. Even worse was Kiyomiya’s prominence at New Japan later that evening when he and Kenoh appeared to lead the promotion.

– Although they acknowledge the difficulties of teaming up together, Mohammed Yone and Masaaki Mochizuki (and yes, Ikuto Hidaka’s name was included, even if he didn’t say he would take part), have vowed that should the time come when they are free from their units for any reason, they would team together. The BattleArts boys would be back.

– Dragon Kid returned to NOAH as a surprise entrance on the mystery card show. He had last been in NOAH in 2007. He teamed with his teacher Ultimo Dragon. Ultimo was not very complimentary towards him. After the match Dragon Kid was told that Hajime Ohara was his student when in NOAH and that mask and name he was using, it was on loan and that loan had expired in 2021 and he didn’t even like teaming with him.

– Super Crazy returned to NOAH as a surprise entrant in the mystery card and a member of Perros De Mal Del Japon. Super Crazy is an original member of the Mexican Group, Perros Del Mal. NOSAWA said that Super Crazy would be a member with an exclusive year long contract.

– Takashi Sugiura has taken to trolling Eita. Eita just ignored him. Tadasuke sadly could not do the same when Eita stood in front of him as he did his pose.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Katsuhiko Nakajima
    Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, “BUMPER CROP 2022”, Sendai Sunplaza Hall, Sunday 16th January
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
    Challenger: No challenger as of yet
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The M’s alliance (Naomichi Marufuji and Keiji Mutoh)
    Challengers: Kongoh (Manabu Soya & Kenoh), “BUMPER CROP 2022”, Sendai Sunplaza Hall, Sunday 16th January
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: Either The NOAH Junior Regular Army (Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara) or STINGER (Seiki Yoshioka and Yuya Susumu), this will be decided at “BUMPER CROP 2022”, Sendai Sunplaza Hall, Sunday 16th January with the title match on Saturday January 22nd at the EDION Arena 2nd Stadium in Osaka.
  • GHC National Champion: Kenoh
    Challenger: Masakatsu Funaki, “HIGHER GROUND 2022”, EDION Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium, Saturday 22nd January

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(Full January schedule)

Thursday, January 13th: Tadasuke (36)

Sunday, January 16th: BUMPER CROP 2022 in SENDAI

Start time: 15:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse

LINKS

“I will overturn the order of Pro Wrestling on the 8th January in Yokohama” – Kenoh, Keiji Mutoh and NOAH wrestlers invade the Tokyo Dome

NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji, New Japan are “Delicious food for us now”. Overturn the number one in the pro wrestling world at the 8th January fight

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse

With thanks to Metal-NOAH & Flame286

Picture credit: Weekly Pro (many thanks to JenJ for sending me them)


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.155 ~ 2ND JANUARY 2022

If you missed the event coverage, Hisame is here for all of NOAH’s Shining New Year! Can they continue this momentum into the January 8th Wrestle Kingdom show?

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If you missed the event coverage, Hisame is here for all of NOAH’s Shining New Year! Can they continue this momentum into the January 8th Wrestle Kingdom show?

NEWS

Farewell AXIZ, Go Shiozaki fails in GHC Heavyweight challenge

Go Shiozaki made a deal with Katsuhiko Nakajima at the GHC Heavyweight title match signing a few days before the title match. If Shiozaki won the title then AXIZ would reunite, but if he lost (like Nakajima confidently said he would), then he must never again call himself, “I am NOAH”. For the match NOAH ran a beautifully shot video package that came straight out of the Edo era.

For the Nippon Budokan event, Go Shiozaki channeled Mitsuharu Misawa into his costume borrowing the shade and some elements of the design, and yes even almost recreating the footage backstage before the match of Mitsuharu Misawa vs Jun Akiyama for the GHC Heavyweight title in 2001. The sick bump of Kenta Kobashi vs Mitsuharu Misawa was also semi recreated in a match loaded with symbolism which linked NOAH’s past to NOAH’s future.

I don’t need to go into details about how hard fought the match was, but Katsuhiko Nakajima won after 30 minutes and 10 seconds with the Northern Lights Bomb. His “secret trick” he had talked about during the press conference. Shiozaki was taken away by the seconds, his soul gone and his hopes for AXIZ shattered. Nakajima was not bothered by any of this, and Kenoh led Kongoh out to the ring soon after who stood in military precision as the microphone was passed between Kenoh and Nakajima. Kenoh ranting against New Japan, and Nakajima saying that 2022 was “the start of the change of order in Japanese professional wrestling. This is the start of the Reiwa pro wrestling revolution”. Backstage he addressed Go Shiozaki, telling him to back to his “out of date” life, spoke about New Japan telling their fans he was going to destroy it (and them), and spoke of his opponents on the 8th. He had no interest in Takagi Shingo as he had been there and done that, beaten him twice before and so it held no value to him. Tetsuya Naito, who Nakajima has never beaten, is a different matter however.

No challenger for the GHC Heavyweight has come forward as yet.

HAYATA retains, but STINGER on the rocks? 

HAYATA retained the GHC Junior Heavyweight against his teacher Yoshinari Ogawa at the Nippon Budokan. HAYATA pinned Ogawa via a reversal of The Headache after 20 minutes and 54 seconds. Ogawa could not forgive the knowledge that HAYATA had beaten him and proved that he was not the final challenger, and neither could he bear the growing realization that he had created a monster and one that knew him so well. HAYATA attempted a handshake (rare for him) but Ogawa threw the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag belt at him, and shaking his head he left the ring. HAYATA stood for a few moments awkwardly, and left after gathering up all the belts. Kotaro Suzuki echoed fan feelings when he said he didn’t know how they were going to work together when the title match comes up on the fourth, and YO-HEY asked on social media if the “strained” tag team were okay. However, how can anyone be sure that this isn’t just an Ogawa mind game?

M’S alliance still Heavyweight tag champions, Keiji Mutoh wants “red belt” but no belts for Masato Tanaka

Naomichi Marufuji and Keiji Mutoh retained the GHC Heavyweight Tag titles against fellow M’s alliance unit members, Masaaki Mochizuki and Masato Tanaka. The match ended when Mochizuki was made to tap out after constant attacks on his knee and a Keiji Mutoh Figure Four. Mutoh said he had been trying particularly hard as he wanted to demonstrate his own judo background to Olympic athlete and Judoka, Aaron Wolf, who was on guest commentary. Masato Tanaka, who had fought Takashi Sugiura earlier in the day for the ZERO1 World Heavyweight, had sadly come away empty handed from Korakuen Hall. Takashi Sugiura has been challenged by Takuya Sugawara.

Keiji Mutoh has also stated that he would like to be GHC National Champion for his sixtieth birthday in December 2022.

KENTA comes home

KENTA made his long awaited return to NOAH after seven years (NOAH fans do not really count Hideo Itami at “Flight”). A comical moment occurred when he got in the ring as Takashi Sugiura made a fuss about him not wearing the Sugiura Army t-shirt that he had given to him. KENTA took off his FANG jersey to reveal he was wearing it in a “You happy now moment?”.

Then it was down to business and that business was fighting a wall called Masa Kitamiya, who KENTA had known as a junior, the unknown Daiki Inaba and the person of interest to him, Yoshiki Inamura. Takashi Sugiura had warned his young opponents to not spare KENTA and to try to destroy him and this is exactly what Yoshiki Inamura did more than anyone. Inamura attacked KENTA at every chance he got, inside the ring or out of it. Inamura became so intrusive that the referee, KENTA and even Takashi Sugiura scolded him. KENTA eventually won the match by defeating Yoshiki Inamura with the Go To Sleep and then praised him afterwards in much the same manner as Jun Akiyama. Recognizing Inamura’s own cockiness in his own young self (KENTA was never as polite as Inamura, probably because Jun Akiyama’s sarcasm rubbed off on him), saying that with Inamura “that big guy” in NOAH, then the promotion had a bright future. Asked if he would be back in NOAH, KENTA gave a vague answer saying maybe he would or then again maybe he wouldn’t, but perhaps it was good not to know.

Kenoh vs Kaito Kiyomiya, “The Red Champion” retains

Kaito Kiyomiya’s 2022 did not get off to the start he would have liked, when he failed in his attempt to take the GHC National from Kenoh. He can take solace though that while the match did not end in pin fall, it went to referee stop when Kenoh cracked Kiyomiya in the head with one of his devastating kicks. After this, Kenoh stood over Kiyomiya and shoved it in his face. Far from his usual verbal attack on Kiyomiya, Kenoh was somewhat restrained compared to previously and quite complimentary. He admitted that the match had been good, and that Kiyomiya had a “good soul”.

NOAH announce two more Budokan events of 2022 and 2023

NOAH announced that they will be running the Nippon Budokan again in July 2022 and returning for New Year in 2023. Kenoh is delighted with this news as it means two further chances at his dream of entering and leaving as champion, preferably GHC Heavyweight Champion. Next year NOAH aim to attract 10,000 people or more.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

“All Dogs Gather 3!” The Sugiura Army Produce – 27th December 2021, Korakuen Hall

Post match interviews 

ABEMA Presents “NOAH THE NEW YEAR 2022” – 1st January 2022, Nippon Budokan

Event recap Post match interviews

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Takashi Sugiura’s New Year calligraphy contained the usual phallic references.

– Masato Tanaka has found a new rival in Kazuyuki Fujita.

– KENTA said that Takashi Sugiura was an “old man” when it came to using social media, and asked him to stop bugging him. If he didn’t, he would get Hirooki Goto involved. Sugi behaved himself then.

– NOSAWA Rongai stated to Ultimo Dragon that he would “always” do a hair vs mask match after trying to rip off Ultimo’s mask

– Funky Express are again hinting  at challenging for a belt or belts, and are once again discussing having a belt that fits all four of them.

– NOAH held an end of year fan event in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve. Always inventive in times of crisis, the tin can telephone was a great success.

– Haoh’s New Year calligraphy stated “to have my own words”…

– Daisuke Harada’s dislike of the heavyweights came out when he spoke about the N-Innovation, saying basically that he didn’t like how everything was centered around them.

– Takashi Sugiura kept interrupting KENTA to show him Kaito Kiyomiya in his “young man’s Kimono” as Kiyomiya had come to the match in a red Hakama jacket.

– Naomichi Marufuji and Hajime Ohara have sworn revenge against Masao Inoue for losing them the last match of the year. They went off together plot their two on one match against him.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(Full January schedule)

Tuesday, January 4th: NEW SUNRISE 2022

Start time: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: ABEMA, WrestleUniverse

*English commentary available on WrestleUniverse

Wednesday, January 5th: REBOOT 2022

Start time: 3pm JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse

Wednesday, January 5th: Seiki Yoshioka (34)

Wednesday, January 5th: Katsuhiko Nakajima debut anniversary (18)

Thursday, January 6th: THE LEAVE presents N Innovation U-CUP

Start time: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse

Friday, January 7th: THE LEAVE presents N Innovation U-CUP

Start time: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse

Saturday, January 8th: New Japan vs NOAH

Start time: 5pm JST

Broadcast: ABEMA

– You will need to purchase the PPV from ABEMA TV as it will not be shown on either New Japan World or WrestleUniverse until a week after the original broadcast. The event will be broadcast from 5pm JST, and will cost you about $34. You can watch this from the 8th January to the 21st. I do advise that you read more about the viewing fee at the link above as ABEMA are advising that this is calculated to current exchange rates.

LINKS

Challenging New Japan from an “equal” standpoint, Director Narihiro Takeda talks about his approach

GIFs taken from WrestleUniverse.


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