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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.165 ~ 25TH MARCH 2022

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NEWS

It’s been an eventful week in NOAH.

“I AM NOAH!” Kazuyuki Fujita retains against Masato Tanaka, challenged by Go Shiozaki

Following an epic stare down at the title match signing, which ended with Masato Tanaka snapping Fujita’s glasses and walking off after just over 33 minutes, Kazuyuki Fujita defended the GHC Heavyweight in a brutal match on the 21st March in Fukoka. Go Shiozaki defeated the returning Katsuhiko Nakajima on the 23rd, and following an epic cry of “I AM NOAH”, he called Fujita to the ring to challenge him.

Fujita’s response was what fans are now saying is standard when being challenged for the title, with “I’m NOAH“. Fujita bowed and left the ring. The title match has been set for the final night at Sumo Hall, the 30th April. Kendo Kashin, however, believes a sinister force is at work behind the scenes that is influencing Fujita’s unusual behavior.

The Shampoo Incident

After an incident in which eternal enemies, Daisuke Harada and Yoshinari Ogawa clashed in Kumamoto and Ogawa made belt motions, both fans (and Eita) believed that Ogawa was going to challenge for the GHC Junior Heavyweight.

Ogawa came to the ring in Fukuoka carrying a box, which he emptied to reveal was full of water bottles. He waited impatiently on the ring apron, motioning for Eita to hurry up and get in, as Eita was stalling for time and posing for pictures. When he did eventually get in the ring, the match was thrown out after 9 minutes as Eita hit Ogawa with the belt. With Ogawa down and dazed, Eita turned his focus to HAYATA. After being beaten up by Eita and Super Crazy, they dumped HAYATA in a chair and proceeded to humiliate him, not only by pouring water on him but also by giving him an an impromptu shampoo session.

One fan commented that he wondered whether they were using Dove! Afterwards, they forced HAYATA to the cameras, before throwing him aside and walking off laughing. Backstage Eita again lamented he had no challenger.

He did not have to wait for long.

HAYATA is quiet for several reasons, naturally (and painfully) shy he uses this to his advantage by incorporating a character who does his talking in the ring. HAYATA’S revenge came when like a dark shadow rising out of the floor, he attacked Eita from behind getting the match he was having with YO-HEY thrown out. Fans were a little disappointed, as was YO-HEY who had seen the advantage winning would bring, but he has other things to think about now. The ref was thrown aside, and bloodied by the GHC Junior belt, Eita was thrown in the ring. HAYATA’S beat down continued until both Perros Del Mal had come in to rescue Eita, and STINGER also came in. Yuya Susumu taking HAYATA’S arm and pulling him away as if to say that enough was enough.

HAYATA then challenged for the belt in the usual manner saying simply “Next, me”. The title match has been set for the NOAH Junior night at Sumo Hall on the 29th April.

Eita got another taste of HAYATA’S silent vengeance in their first pre match on the 24th March at Korakuen Hall. No messing around on entering, and wearing a bandage over the wound, Eita entered scowling. The match escalated into a melee brawl when Yoshinari Ogawa threw a bottle of water at Kotaro Suzuki, and then HAYATA pinned Eita with the devastating Headache in only one minute and forty-four seconds. After posing briefly with the belt and draping it over Eita, STINGER returned to the shadows. Eita later commented on social media that it had not been a good week.

Kongoh and the “Red Belts”

Kongoh made a double title challenge at Korakuen Hall on the 24th March when The Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke and Hajime Ohara) challenged for the GHC Junior tag titles, and Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima challenged for the GHC Heavyweight tag titles. Ironically, both matches had ended in submissions with Atsushi Kotoge tapping out, and the referee stopping the match when Kenoh choked out Takashi Sugiura.

By the skin of their teeth, the team of YO-HEY and Atsushi Kotoge had defended the tag titles against Perros Del Mal de Japon (NOSAWA Rongai and Kotaro Suzuki) in Fukuoka, and where challenged by The Kongoh Juniors. Tadasuke demanded the title match for NOAH’s next show, which will be the 3rd April in Gunma. Apparently the belt also spoke to him too…

With Hideki Suzuki in the main event, it fell to Takashi Sugiura to accept the challenge of the Kongoh heavyweights. In traditional style, Kenoh gave vent to his feelings about “old men” in NOAH carrying all the belts and how he does not find that entertaining in any way shape or form. Kongoh where here to stop that, and they were going to take the belts from them. “They” being Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima.

Unlike the Kongoh Juniors, Kenoh could be patient and in any case, he wasn’t going to pass up a title match at Sumo Hall. For Katsuhiko Nakajima, this might not be the GHC belt he wanted, but it was a championship belt. Stating repeatedly before the match with Go Shiozaki that he had no interest in fighting him, Nakajima was forced to taste bitter fruit afterwards when he found himself walking Shiozaki’s path in losing a belt and returning from injury. Nakajima’s path is different from the one Shiozaki took back to the GHC, but it is certain that their paths will cross over NOAH’s highest belt sooner or later.

Z-Brats invade NOAH, challenge to the NOAH Junior Regulars

Somehow a match between The NOAH Junior Regulars and Perros Del Mal De Japon had started off peacefully. All was going well, Daisuke Harada was about to destroy his opponent, when three masked and hooded men stormed the ring and attacked him, Alejandro and Junta Miyawaki.

Standing over Harada, the leader with his boot on Harada’s face, they revealed themselves to be the DragonGate Z-Brat unit of Shun Skywalker, KENTo and H.Y.O. Further complicating the issue of their presence in NOAH is the fact that the current GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, Eita, was formerly a member of the R.E.D unit, which they had kicked him out of. Eita was not the reason why they were here, although KENTo said he couldn’t believe that he of all people was the champion, they where here because they had heard the NOAH Juniors where holding an event at Sumo Hall and they had come to prevent them from “polluting the ring” there. Backstage, taking off their masks and giggling, they elaborated. The N-Innovation (no one knew what that was) should be the Z-Innovation,  0 points for Eita being the junior champion, they knew who Harada and Alejando where…but who was Miyawaki? Oh right, he was the one with no presence and was therefore no one to be afraid of. This last point rankled with Miyawaki, as H.Y.O will appear in a singles match with him on the 8th April. The invaders where granted their match by an angry Daisuke Harada, who used the expletive statement “We will show you the awesomeness of the NOAH Juniors, mutherfuckers.”

Masakatsu Funaki vs Hideki Suzuki, LINE and Manabu Soya? 

Hideki Suzuki was defeated by Masakatsu Funaki in 8 minutes and 14 seconds, Funaki retaining the GHC National. GHC National matches, probably because all the title holders have had a background in MMA in some shape or form, has come to be characterized by swift short matches, mainly involving mat wrestling. What made this match different though was what happened after it as Funaki gave one of his characteristic speeches on the microphone, which for him means he can let off a little steam by a little humor. After the match today he handed the microphone to Kenoh, who handed the microphone to a bemused Tadasuke. Tadasuke asked for Funaki’s support in the upcoming junior title match, which Funaki readily gave and then Funaki said that Tadasuke had asked for his phone number…as curious as this sounds, Kenoh elaborated on this later and explained that Tadasuke hadn’t been asking for Funaki’s number, but had been asking him to join Kongoh’s LINE chat group. LINE is a Japanese social media platform, and as Funaki is unfamiliar with such things, he thought Tadasuke wanted his number. Kenoh says he will enroll Funaki on it when Kongoh win the two sets of tag belts.

Regarding Funaki’s next challenger, no one has come forward yet. Funaki had mentioned backstage that pretty much everyone in Kongoh was challenging for a belt. There where no junior belts for Nioh to challenge for, and either Funaki forgot that the GHC National was created as a belt that anyone could challenge for, or else he didn’t think he would want to, and so he focused on Manabu Soya asking him when and if he was going to chase a belt?

Soya was non committal and no challenge was made, Funaki said maybe a chance would come or maybe it wouldn’t. Soya is as Go Shiozaki summed up, someone who betrays no emotions, and so Funaki may be challenged when he least expects it.

Fukuda’s retirement

Referee Akihiko Fukuda will referee his last match on the 3rd April in Gunma. Part of the walkout from All Japan with Mitsuharu Misawa in 2000, he has been with NOAH throughout all the ups and downs of the past twenty-two years. He is retiring from refereeing, but not from NOAH. Fukuda will remain with the promotion as a backstage agent.

Old Friends & New Return to NOAH

NOAH made a massive announcement regarding the two nights at Sumo Hall in April. Now that travel is less restricted, the following will be returning; Rene Dupree, El Hijo De Dr Wagner Junior, Dragon Bane and Alpha Wolf. Also coming to NOAH for the first time would be Ninja Mack, confirmed to be participating in a Lucha three way at Sumo Hall with Dragon Bane and Alpha Wolf.

When talking about a foreign wrestler he wanted to bring over, Daisuke Harada said he couldn’t say much, but it would be someone who “made everybody happy”. Fans had guessed it would be Chris Ridgeway, and this was confirmed on the 23rd March. Ridgeway says he will be fighting as part of STINGER.

NOAH had some further announcements, although these were not made via video presentation. Don Fuji would be participating at Sumo Hall, teaming with Masaaki Mochizuki. Slex, who was last in NOAH in 2013 will be returning as will Extreme Tiger, who was in NOAH in 2010. NOSAWA (who said he was going to announce it as he is in a bad mood) announced that Texano Jnr will be the new member of Perros Del Mal De Japon. Texano Jnr was/is an original member of Perros Del Mal, alongside Super Crazy.

Note: Alpha Wolf, NOAH fans knew as “El Hijo de Canis Lupus”, and playfully shortened his name to “Cani”, which ironically meant “Crab” in Japanese.

Daisuke Harada’s training camp

When discussing Sumo Hall, Harada mentioned that he wanted to create a special training camp which would harness the “power of nature”. Japan with it’s mountains, seas, and varying terrain of the tropical warm south and the cold snowy north (snow remains in some parts until May), is ideal to do this in. Harada did not say whether this would be just NOAH Junior Regulars or not, but he did hint that foreign wrestlers where welcome to join in if they wanted.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

“JUST FINE 2022!”

Sunday March 20th, Kumamoto

Event recap

Post match interviews

Wednesday March 23rd, Korakuen Hall

Event recap

Post match interviews

Thursday March 24th, Korakuen Hall

Event recap

Post match interviews

“GREAT VOYAGE 2022 in FUKUOKA”

Event recap

Post match interviews

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Daiki Inaba has now joined NOAH as an official roster member.

– Following his singles match with Yasutaka Yano, Naomichi Marufuji said he has very high hopes for him as a NOAH Junior. Marufuji had to force him into a handshake.

– Yuya Susumu has announced that he is leaving FREEDOMS. Fans expect that he will sign full time with NOAH.

– Kendo Kashin seems to be making a point of scuffling with King Tany before matches, usually by dragging him out of the locker room and to ringside.

– Kazushi Sakuraba’s seconding stint did not go well. He was scolded for not holding open the ropes for Hideki Suzuki, and a comical picture was taken backstage of him being berated by Suzuki and Takashi Sugiura. It was comical though when Sugi handed his three belts to him, and Suzuki his one too.

– Akitoshi Saito said on commentary that he thought that deep down, there is still friendship somewhere between Shiozaki and Nakajima. Fans echo this by saying they feel Shiozaki is not only challenging Fujita for himself, but also to avenge Nakajima.

– Naomichi Marufuji wore a red Hayabusa mask to the ring at Kumamoto as he had promised. Fans said “The falcon has returned”. Marufuji said afterwards he felt his “older brother” (non biological, and non sibling student but more in the way of an elder who he was close to), was watching him from heaven.

– Due to earthquake damage to the venue, NOAH will be cancelling their Fukushima date in May.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kazuyuki Fujita
    Challenger: Go Shiozaki, “MAJESTIC 2022”, Sumo Hall, Saturday 30th April
  • GHC Junior Champion: Eita
    Challenger: HAYATA, “MAJESTIC 2022 – N-Innovation”, Sumo Hall, Friday 29th April
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Hideki Suzuki)
    Challengers: Kongoh (Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima), “MAJESTIC 2022”, Sumo Hall, Saturday 30th April
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & YO-HEY)
    Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hajime Ohara), REAL OVERTURE 2022, G Messe Gunma, Sunday April 3rd
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    No challenger as of yet

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(April schedule)

Sunday March 27th: Kenta Kobashi (55)

Tuesday March 29th: Kai Fujimura (27)

LINKS

Donmai! Donmai!” Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary, which gives a fascinating insight into NOAH’s “Golden Era”.

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse

Picture credit: NOAH.co.jp


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(NOAH) NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.182 ~ 8TH AUGUST 2022

After a rare live stop in the UK for HAYATA (which Hisame was present for), she informs us of all the NOAH happenings leading towards the N-1 Victory!

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HAYATA defends the GHC Junior against Shuji Kondo in Japan and Chris Ridgeway in England

In a brutal match which combined speed vs strength, and technical ability vs psychological warfare, HAYATA succeeded in defending the title against Shuji Kondo in the main event of DEPARTURE 2022 on the 5th August. It was by no means an easy fight, Kondo possessed the size and the strength that HAYATA did not, and so HAYATA had to find a way round him, which he did by too capitalizing on the element of surprise, which was the strategy that Shuji Kondo was also aiming for. In the end, he won by The Headache after 19 minutes and 3 seconds. Backstage, HAYATA said that since he was fighting Chris Ridgeway on the 7th July, why not make it a title match?

The second GHC Junior title match (and HAYATA’S 5th defense) took place at The Portland Centre in Nottingham only about (and maybe not even) forty-eight hours after defending against Kondo. WrestleCarnival (the promotion hosting the title match), followed NOAH’s traditions by playing the theme music for the title and showing the gallery of champions. For the newer fans, each belt, even the newer GHC National, have their own title music. Ridgeway vs HAYATA was STINGER vs STINGER with the atmosphere of the venue changing radically to a NOAH show. The match was a vicious technical fight, with very much Yoshinari Ogawa psychology (not just submissions, but amazing reversals i.e. Ridgeway catching HAYATA mid flight and turning the move into an ankle lock), which was very much Match Of The Year quality. HAYATA succeeded in defending the title with The Headache. Afterwards, they shook hands.

You will be able to view the match on WrestleUniverse in due course.

Yoshiki Inamura Fire Festival

Yoshiki Inamura’s summer peaked when finishing the highest in his block, he went on to the Fire Festival 2022 finals against Daisuke Sekimoto. Sekimoto has been both a tag partner and a rival of Inamura, and so this was Inamura’s chance to both show him how much he has grown and also overcome a senior. Sadly, Inamura was not successful in his attempt.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship: A tale of a stolen belt, duct tape and a sneak win

While HAYATA was defending his belt against Shuji Kondo and then heading off to face Chris Ridgeway, Yoshinari Ogawa had his own championship problems, as Eita is still parading around with the GHC Junior Tag belt. Eita is even going to far as to proclaim himself as the GHC Junior Tag Champion, have official pictures taken with the belt, and say all his singles matches in DragonGate were championship matches. No wonder at DEPARTURE 2022, Yoshinari Ogawa came out looking grim and holding a chair which he swung at Perros Del Mal De Japon. Kotaro Suzuki, who was at ringside seconding, was taped to the corner post by Yuya Susumu and Kai Fujimura, as Ogawa chased Eita around over the belt.

Kotaro was later freed from his duct tape prison, and used as a missile by NOSAWA Rongai, as he still had his arms taped down. The match was “won” by young Kai Fujimura, who Ogawa threw over NOSAWA, after he dodged thanks to Eita showboating with the belt, and who had hit NOSAWA in the face. Ogawa once again was not successful in getting his tag belt back, as after a tug-of-war over it, Eita ran off.

N-1 Victory 2022 change: Timothy Thatcher out, Kinya Okada in

Due to Visa issues, Timothy Thatcher was announced by Naomichi Marufuji, to have pulled out of the N-1 VICTORY 2022. Marufuji admitted that there were seniors to take his place, himself included if he so wished (he didn’t because of just coming back from a knee operation), but he wanted to see NOAH’s younger generation take that slot, and therefore a match was arranged between Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura at DEPARTURE on Friday 5th August. If anyone was going to have that slot, Kinya Okada vowed it would be him. He and Yoshiki Inamura were the same age and contemporaries, both from the same class and the same generation of NOAH, but whereas Inamura seemed to have all the advantages – Fire Festival, title matches, and even main evening, Okada (whose career had suffered from a couple of early injuries), was in the opening match and losing constantly. This was his chance to catch up and fought like never before, and overcame his friend/rival. Kinya Okada will therefore enter this years N-1 VICTORY 2022 in Timothy Thatcher’s place (B Block). His first match will be on August 11th against Masakatsu Funaki.

Hiroshi Hase to take part in Mutoh’s retirement road?

As Governor of Ishikawa Prefecture, Hiroshi Hase usually makes an appearance when NOAH are in town. Normally his participation involves opening the show, presenting a gift to the winner of the main event (etc), but on the 31st July he not only chopped Kendo Kashin, and chugged beer with Kazuyuki Fujita, and made Keiji Mutoh a tourism ambassador for the region (Naomichi Marufuji fulfils the same role for Saitama), he also said he would like to take part in Keiji Mutoh’s retirement road, although at first he didn’t think he would be able to as he didn’t think the people of the prefecture would approve. Hase, who has been retired since 2018, admitted he needed to get back in the ring and do some training. NOAH have announced nothing as of yet.

Kenoh names his new move, “Enrin”

Kenoh has named his double knee attack moonsault, “Enrin”, which basically means flaming circle. He says that flames are a good look for him. The name was chosen following a public poll on Kenoh’s twitter

Kenoh WBC?

Following an appearance by El Hijo Del Santo in NOAH and Kenoh as usual squaring up to him, (plus a very funny shoving spot behind Tadasuke as he talked to the camera), it appeared that El Hijo Del Santo issued a challenge to Kenoh, over his belt. Kenoh said that had never heard any belt by that name, except in boxing, but would be happy to take him on, anytime and anywhere.

Naomichi Marufuji returns, dates in America

Naomichi Marufuji made his return to NOAH at DEPARTURE 2022, teaming with Go Shiozaki and Takashi Sugiura against Daiki Inaba, Masato Tanaka and Satoshi Kojima. The match (despite it’s N-1 fight between Sugiura, Shiozaki, Tanaka and Kojima), was won by Go Shiozaki. On the 28th August, he will go to New York to face Eddie Kingston at House of Glory Wrestling. There will also be a further date in America in November for  King of The Indies 2022.

Tadasuke injured

Tadasuke has been injured with nasal bone fractures, and will therefore miss (probably) the next three NOAH shows, which includes Osaka and Hiroshima, places very special to him.

“Camel Kobayashi”

KENTA revealed in his autobiography, “Footsteps”, that his ring name was very almost “Camel Kobayashi”. This was because he was teased by his seniors as they thought he looked like a camel, and it was Naomichi Marufuji, who suggested the name! KENTA says that it was because of this nickname that Satoru Asako defeated him with the Camel Clutch, although this was not a move he usually did.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Mohammed Yone described Funky Express as “this little old man army”. Saito told him that most definitely did not describe him. They might be aging. He wasn’t.

– Eita apparently said he was the “GHC Junior” champion by mistake once

– Shuhei Taniguchi actually trusted a Kendo Kashin handshake. Think about that for a moment.

– Naomichi Marufuji said that after drinking with Mitsuharu Misawa, they were both so drunk they each paid the taxi driver, so he got two fares. Takashi Sugiura said that Kinya Okada and Daisuke Harada, both have a tendency to wander off when drunk.

– When Kenoh was looking for a name for his moonsault, Naomichi Marufuji suggested “New double knee attack moonsault”. Kenoh didn’t even bother to respond.

– When Kaito Kiyomiya was teaming with El Hijo Del Santo and Ultimo Dragon, he and Alejandro did a double over the top rope somersault. This is not a usual Kiyomiya move, and he said he was inspired by his seniors.

– A TikTok account craze has swept NOAH. Pretty much everyone except STINGER and Kongoh it appears have created an account.

– Tadasuke’s camera corner was interrupted by a scuffle in the background between Kenoh, Kaito Kiyomiya, El Hijo Del Santo, Ultimo Dragon and Alejandro.

– Kaito Kiyomiya has a new feature on his YouTube channel, “Kiyo’s Kitchen” (I get the impression that “Kiyo” is his nickname within NOAH).

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

  • Midsummer Clash 2022 (Ishikawa Industrial Exhibition Hall No.3, Sunday July 31st)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Sunny Voyage 2022 (Act City Hamamatsu, Saturday July 30th)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • DEPARTURE 2002 (Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Friday 5th August)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

 

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(August 2022 schedule)

NOAH will hold the press conference for the N-1 VICTORY 2022 at 4pm JST on Wednesday 10th August. This will be live and free to view as it will be streamed on YouTube.

  • N-1 VICTORY 2022

Thursday, August 11th

Start time: 16:00 JST

Venue: Yokohama Budokan

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)WrestleUniverse (Live, English commentary)

Saturday, August 13th

Start time: 17:30 JST

Venue: EDION Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

Notes about broadcasts

– WrestleUniverse will have English commentary for all nights.

Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.

HAYATA UK APPEARANCES

Saturday, August 13th: HAYATA – PROGRESS Wrestling (Sheffield)

Sunday, August 14th: HAYATA – PROGRESS Wrestling (Newcastle)

I am informed that PROGRESS have their own streaming service, but I am unsure as to whether the matches will be put on WrestleUniverse.

BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES 

Wednesday, August 10th: Yasutaka Yano (22)

Friday, August 12th: Junta Miyawaki debut anniversary (5)

LINKS

“Take it from me in the truest sense of the word”, Mutoh teaches Kiyomiya “The Mutoh Finishing Method” directly

Will Naomichi Marufuji never go bankrupt? When I asked the wrestlers about NOAH and the legendary heavy drinkers, there was surprising episodes….

Naomichi Marufuji, “I want to stand again as one of NOAH’s pillars” – press conference on the eve of his return for the first tine in two months

GHC Junior match signing ceremony: “I will create NOAH Junior’s brand”, Kondo declares comeback for the first time in none and a half years, HAYATA brands him as a “guy from the past”

Interview with El Hijo Del Santo towards NOAH War, Ultimo says about Kenoh, “I won’t let him lay a finger”

AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION

Takashi Sugiura

Jack Morris

Masato Tanaka

Hideki Suzuki

Anthony Greene

Masa Kitamiya

Masaaki Mochizuki

Kazuyuki Fujita

Satoshi Kojima

BOOK CORNER

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

Akira Taue complains of someone snoring, he thinks it was probably Yoshinari Ogawa, but Mitsuharu Misawa admits it may also have been him.

PICTURE CREDITS: House of Glory (Naomichi Marufuji & Eddie Kingston), myself (HAYATA)

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.181 ~ 29TH JULY 2022

With only a few weeks before the N-1 Victory tournament kicks off, NOAH is setting the stage and the Juniors are forever causing trouble!

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Seiki Yoshioka joins the NOAH Junior Regulars

Following a singles match with Daisuke Harada at “STAR NAVIGATION 2022” (July 21st, Korakuen Hall), Seiki Yoshioka took Harada up on his offer to join the NOAH Junior Regulars. Yoshioka explained his decision as he had tried to get the GHC Junior Heavyweight belt by himself and had failed, so now he was going to try getting it working in tandem with people he had never teamed with before.

When it came to meet his new teammates, not everyone was initially happy with Daisuke Harada’s decision. Alejandro had no issue with it, Atsushi Kotoge put the past behind them and shook hands, but YO-HEY was a little more cautious, and naturally the same went for Seiki Yoshioka.

To set the scene for newer fans, Yoshioka and YO-HEY were in a unit called FULL THROTTLE together, which fell apart when Yoshioka kicked YO-HEY in the head and turned on the unit saying that expressions such as “Perron” (YO-HEY) and “Mui Bien” (Hajime Ohara) weren’t going to get him to the top of the NOAH Juniors and after kicking Hajime Ohara down, he joined with his old friends in STINGER. Since then, he and YO-HEY have been enemies. YO-HEY later said that Harada had made a decision, and basically he would abide by it and see how it went. The ice was broken a little at the NOAH Junior Twitter Space, and again the next day at their second one (NOAH seemed intent on replaying the first interview), but being in the ring and tagging together is the real show your true intentions as far as the NOAH Juniors go, and this is precisely what is going to happen on the 29th July when YO-HEY, Seiki Yoshioka and Daisuke Harada team together against STINGER. Yuya Susumu is not impressed by Yoshioka’s decision, asking if this is the path he chose on leaving them?

STINGER vs Perros Del Mal; A Tale of Two Tag Belts

Since Eita stole Yoshinari Ogawa’s tag belt, Ogawa has been on a long and fruitless quest to get it back. He almost succeeded at Korakuen Hall on the 22nd July, when he snatched the belt and went backstage during the match (leading to an unintentional but typical slightly funny moment of Yuya Susumu having to be the responsible one and sort things out), but PERROS chased him and grabbed the belt back. In the ring, Yoshinari Ogawa was taped to the ropes and forced to watch young Kai Fujimura forced to submit. HAYATA saved Ogawa from being beaten down by running into the ring and making PERROS scatter. Backstage, another fight broke out when Ogawa threw a plastic water bottle at PERROS and attempted to get the belt back. Eita declared it was his, and ran off with NOSAWA, as he clutched the belt to him. In fury, Ogawa threw a steel barrier. Fortunately, the other tag belt is safely in Chris Ridgeway’s possession. Eita warned him not to come back too quickly, he’s having too much fun beating up Ogawa.

“Not Misawa or Mutoh”

Kaito Kiyomiya says that despite the “Three Sacred Treasures” (as the Japanese sports press have named Keiji Mutoh’s gifts of The Shining Wizard. The Figure Four and The Dragon Screw), Kiyomiya at the moment has no intention of using them. He is grateful to Mutoh, but during the N-1 he wants to win as himself and find a move that is uniquely his. Kiyomiya believes that this final task from Keiji Mutoh, is Mutoh’s final gift to him.

Shuji Kondo’s mind games

Shuji Kondo declared that he would defeat HAYATA by using mind games. However, after their last pre match at Korakuen Hall on the 22nd July where Kondo had basically side stepped HAYATA, no sold him and then was not where HAYATA had anticipated he would be, HAYATA played his own mind games by offering Kondo a handshake and then attacking him, dodging Kondo he slid out of the ring and growled on the mic, “To be continued, August 8th, Korakuen Hall”.

N-1 VICTORY battlelines drawn up

The heavyweights are gearing up for the N-1 VICTORY, which means they go slightly wild like their junior counterparts.

Katsuhiko Nakajima says this will be his summer, and has already sparked with Kaito Kiyomiya, defeating him and throwing him from the ring at the last Korakuen.

Kenoh says he is aiming for Kazuyuki Fujita to avenge his GHC National loss, and of course to rid NOAH of what he terms “the old men”. Kenoh has also renamed the N-1, the K-1 as he believes it will come down to Masakatsu Funaki (GHC National Champion), Katsuhiko Nakajima (the winner of the league the past two years) and himself (the GHC Heavyweight Champion). Kenoh says he will win.

Go Shiozaki is aiming for Satoshi Kojima

Satoshi Kojima is looking to create his own record and be the first person to win a Grand Slam in league matches in New Japan, NOAH and All Japan.

OPEN THE TRIANGLEGATE Update

Perros Del Mal De Japon retained the titles against HIGH END on July 21st, and have been challenged by M3K. This match will take place in Dragon Gate. However, NOSAWA Rongai has challenged YAMATO to a singles match which will take place in NOAH.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Mohammed Yone said in a recent interview that before matches, he pumps up his ‘fro by about 10cm

– Pec flexing seems to have become a competition in NOAH as Satoshi Kojima does it with Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima doing it in matches, and Kaito Kiyomiya demonstrating it to the crowd at one of the recent fan events.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima was asked if he where to have a girlfriend among the NOAH roster, who would it be? He said it would be himself.

– NOAH will go back to selling full seating for venues in September

– Fans are wondering when HAYATA is going to start talking like Kenoh!

– NOSAWA asked Masaaki Mochizuki (52), who was dressed in the baggy pants, t-shirts, shades and varsity jackets and floppy blonde hair reminiscent of 90s college boys, if he was a little old to be dressing that way? He added that Ryoto (Mochizuki’s son) didn’t really want to be dressing that way either.

– KENTA wrote in his biography a funny/embarrassing incident that took place in Hakodate when he and Kenta Kobashi were eating with some locals. Kobashi asked KENTA who was his favorite in a local band called “Judy and Mary”, did he like “Judy” or did he like “Mary”. While the locals suppressed their giggles as the band is a four piece and not a duo like Kobashi thought, KENTA (who himself was turning red at Kobashi trying to be hip) saved him further embarrassment and said “Judy”. It is probably better that Kobashi did not ask Jun Akiyama…

Another KENTA story was when he was injured during training for his debut due to an elbow to face by Makoto Hashi. Concerned, Mitsuharu Misawa came over and tilted KENTA’S head up to look. KENTA said he forgot the pain in his nose, as he was more worried about Misawa kissing him.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

  • STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (Thursday July 21st, Korakuen Hall)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • STAR NAVIGATION 2022 (Friday July 22nd, Korakuen Hall)

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(August 2022 schedule)

  • SUNNY VOYAGE 2022

Saturday, July 30th

Venue: Act City Hamamatsu, Shizuoka

Start: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (broadcast on Tuesday 2nd August from 18:00 JST)

  • MIDSUMMER CLASH 2022

Sunday, July 31st

Venue: Ishikawa Industrial Exhibition Hall No. 3, Ishikawa

Start: 16:00

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (broadcast on Wednesday 3rd August from 18:00 JST)

  • DEPARTURE 2022

Friday, August 5th

Start time: 18:30 JST

Venue: Korakuen Hall

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (Live)

DEPARTURE celebrates NOAH’s birthday, which means that this year, NOAH will turn twenty two. Each year NOAH reaches this point is a miracle given the turbulent history of the promotion. Mitsuharu Misawa gave NOAH’s first ever show this name as a way of sticking up two fingers to All Japan as he had walked out with three of The Four Pillars, half of the roster, and most of their young talent, referees, office staff and eventually NOAH would even take All Japan’s TV spot.

LINKS

A man named Kaito Kiyomiya

“Why did you start using “Kinniku Buster” in Pro Wrestling?” Mohammed Yone, “I wanted a special move to say “This is who I am”

Satoshi Kojima swears an early comeback for the N-1, will he exceed Mutoh in The Grand Slam & Three Promotions League Championship? 

Kenoh plans a N-1 Veteran “Spring Clean”, the number one target is Kazuyuki Fujita, the symbol of the old men

Neither Misawa or a copy of Mutoh! Kaito Kiyomiya talks about his N-1 Resolution

Fan Meeting 2022 – Saturday 23rd July

Fan Meeting 2022 – Sunday 24th July

Kaito Kiyomiya, who has inherited Keiji Mutoh’s special moves, will display a “New Kiyomiya at N-1”

From Cirque Du Soleil..the hidden “Real Face” of super unique wrestler Ninja Mack

AKITOSHI SAITO’S N-1 EVALUATION

El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior

Masakatsu Funaki

BOOK CORNER

“DONMAI, DONMAI” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

27th January 2006 added

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse


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