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“Turning crisis into an opportunity” – card change and new champion crowned, as Kazuyuki Fujita contracts COVID and has to return the belt

NOAH announced on the 27th April that due to Kazuyuki Fujita testing positive for Coronavirus, the belt was to be vacated. At the press conference held, Director Takeda and Go Shiozaki met with the press to announce that Shiozaki would still fight in the main event for the vacated title, but his opponent had not been decided on yet. Kaito Kiyomiya wasn’t going to wait for their decision if he could help it, and he appeared before them to put his name forward. Takeda (knowing that he was dealing with a stubborn NOAH Born) told him that he couldn’t decide on the spot, this issue needed a consultation with the company, and therefore there was nothing to be done, Kiyomiya would have to wait. Kiyomiya was insistent that he did not want to, and ended up being escorted out. Takeda said he would give his decision soon. Kiyomiya spent the next two days sulking and even contemplating a poll on Twitter that would force the company to do what he wanted. He need not have worried, as NOAH came to the right decision, and he was put in the title match to fight Go Shiozaki for the vacant title. Kiyomiya had been scheduled to be in the semi main with the mystery “X”, but this was changed to Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada.

Despite his giving it his all and fighting for his generation (Shiozaki, although in a grey area when it comes to eras and generations, is a senior as far as Kiyomiya is concerned), Kiyomiya was unsuccessful again in capturing the belt and Go Shiozaki ushered in his fifth title reign, and second time on winning the belt after it had been vacated. Shiozaki now holds the record for the most title reigns in NOAH. I will discuss his next challenger in due course.

X = Satoshi Kojima

After a lot of speculation, the mystery of the “biggest mystery partner of all time”, was finally revealed. New Japan’s Satoshi Kojima came out wearing a NOAH t-shirt, to team with Naomichi Marufuji against Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura. Kojima praised Okada and Inamura, saying that he could not believe that they were not even five years into their careers, and expressed some embarrassment at being called “the biggest mystery partner of all time”. Kojima explained that his participation in NOAH was not just a one off, he was going to do something that would be an “unforgettable event” in his pro wrestling life. That something was to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight title, which was won by Go Shiozaki that evening. Kojima’s challenge was very simple, and almost HAYATA like, in that he simply said he was the next challenger.

Shiozaki made no response, but the belt up. Backstage, he remembered fighting Kojima and the force of his lariats. Tokyo Sports are already calling this, “Strong Arm vs Hard Arm” with the title match being set for CyberFight Festival on the 12th June. Kojima will do some NOAH dates beforehand, including a pre match with Go Shiozaki and a singles match with both Kinya Okada and Yoshiki Inamura.

STINGER take all the junior belts

With Yoshinari Ogawa and Chris Ridgeway taking the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag belts in an utterly brutal match on the 29th April, which left YO-HEY and Atsushi Kotoge nowhere to run and hide, and which ended with a worn down Kotoge tapping to Ridgeway, and HAYATA defeating Eita for the GHC Junior on the same night, STINGER now hold all the junior belts and ended Ryogoku Kokugikan just as Yuya Susumu had predicted, “At the centre of NOAH”.

Yoshinari Ogawa was enthusiastic with teaming with Chris Ridgeway, saying that he was a partner he felt far more on the same wavelength he did than with HAYATA, and he was so enthusiastic after winning the belts he said he wanted to defend them both in England and in Japan. He also echoed HAYATA (who had spoken more than just two or three words) backstage when he said that they would take on any challenger from anywhere. HAYATA had lapsed back into not speaking, and made no comment when asked a question. No one has challenged at the time of writing for the GHC Junior.

All hell broke loose on the 30th when freed from the pressures of their own night at Ryogoku and title matches, STINGER went to all out war with Perros Del Mal De Japon. Texano Junior had bought his Bullrope with him and this was used to beat Seiki Yoshioka, Yuya Susumu and choke Yoshinari Ogawa. STINGER had their revenge by doing back on Eita.

The match itself only lasted about nine minutes, and ended in a no contest as HAYATA kicked Eita in the crotch. Fights, melee brawls, the two teams yelling at each other continued afterwards. The referee just gave up and left, it was that chaotic. It ended with NOSAWA Rongai challenging for the GHC Junior Tag belts on behalf of Super Crazy and Texano Jnr. NOAH are yet to announce a date.

As for Yuya Susumu and Seiki Yoshioka, Yoshioka unfortunately lost his match against Extreme Tiger, while Yuya Susumu drew with Kotaro Suzuki in what was meant to settle their grudge. It did not, and Kotaro left angry and kicking the iron barrier. Which he almost got caught on. Backstage he wondered if he was the one who needed further training.

Masakatsu Funaki retains, wants “Power Fighter” for his next challenge

Masakatsu Funaki praised Simon Gotch for their title match on the 30th April, not only for the fight he put up, but also for pulling out moves against he that took him off guard and reawakening his passion for fighting foreign wrestlers. For his next challenger he wants a “Power Fighter” and preferably a foreign one as he has been inspired by opponents who have both different styles and different power in their bodies.

 Nioh loses both hair and name

An emotional Haoh cut Nioh’s hair after Nioh lost their match at Ryogoku on the 29th April. The match took sixteen minutes, and by the end of it, Nioh was once again HI69. Nioh sat in the chair bought into the ring, his arms folded and eyes shut. Traditionally, this is done when a Sumo retires as his topknot is symbolically cut off and his name retired before he takes a new one to start a new life.

Fittingly, this had overtones of a warrior defeated in battle, and Nioh looked as if he was waiting for Haoh to slice his head off. Haoh hesitated before cutting off Nioh’s ponytail and then showing it to the crowd, but there was nothing to be done, they both had to go through with this. HI69 however could not endure the head shaving, it was too humiliating, and he left. HI69 has made no comment, although Tadasuke has called him “Kongoh’s HI69”, but Haoh says he will never forget Nioh, even though he is now fully “Haoh of The NOAH Juniors”, and will carry his name with him wherever he goes.

 Z-Brats win, H.Y.O challenges Harada to a singles

After a week where the NOAH Junior Regulars got their own back on Z-Brats by invading their match at Korakuen Hall on the on the 25th April (Alejandro said innocently that they only went to talk but Z-Brats caused a fight), the 29th April turned out to be a pretty frustrating evening for The NOAH Junior Regulars as not only did they lose the tag belts, and have STINGER (of all people) close out the show, they also lost a closely fought match with the invaders after Alejandro was hit by a chair, and Shun Skywalker took his time in delivering his finisher and got the pin. Fans were clamoring to see Daisuke Harada vs Shun Skywalker considering the friction the two had in the match, but H.Y.O has said he will do it as he has defeated Junta Miyawaki and Alejandro so far. If Daisuke Harada can defeat him, then it ends here. Match has been set for 14th May.

 Les Mexicana’s come for their vacated belts

El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr announced that their team name would represent their dual nationalities of Mexican and Canadian, when after Hideki Suzuki and Takashi Sugiura defended the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles against Kongoh (Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima), he and Rene Dupree came and challenged them. Dupree and Wagner had lost the belts during the Coronavirus epidemic, and as Dupree pointed out, they were never actually beaten for them. It was only right therefore that they came for them back. Hideki Suzuki accepted the challenge, which has been set for the 4th May at Korakuen Hall.

Perros Del Mal in DragonGate, challenge made for the Triangle Gate Tag

On April 25th, another NOAH/DragonGate interaction took place, when three masked men appeared after GOLD CLASS (Kaito Ishida, Naruki Doi, Kota Minoura and Minourita) where complaining that no one had come forward to challenge them for the titles. The three masked men, after a fight had broken out, one of them had given The Blue Destiny to Minourita after softening him up with elbows, revealed themselves to be Perros Del Mal De Japon’s Kotaro Suzuki, NOSWA Rongai and Eita. Eita, who had just invaded his own promotion. Eita made the challenge, which was accepted by Ishida with the warning that he was a marked man. So far GOLD CLASS have made no retaliation.

Title match will take place in on May 5th in Aichi.

Kenoh invades DDT

It has become a yearly tradition that Kenoh will barge into DDT (the company he refuses to even acknowledge in his weekly columns) and complain about CyberFight Festival, which he likens to a school wrestling event. Usually demanding a singles match with Sanshiro Takagi. Takagi was not around when Kenoh barged in on DAMNATION and began his usual rant, asking the fans if they were applauding because “a real wrestler has arrived?”. Daisuke Sasaki told Kenoh that wouldn’t he prefer to face him? “The highest wrestler, instead of a third rate opponent?” Kenoh growled he would beat him and then left the venue. Sanshiro Takagi later commented on Kenoh’s behavior. He was not going to dwell on it or even comment on it, NOAH had sorted the match out and that was all there was to say.

 Keiji Mutoh returns

Keiji Mutoh announced he would return to NOAH at the Ota show on the 21st May. Mutoh was absent from NOAH during late winter due to a left hip lip injury.


NOAH Junior Night – ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2022 (Ryogoku Kokugikan, 29th April 2022)

Event recap

Post match interviews

WrestleUniverse presents MAJESTIC 2022 (Ryogoku Kokugikan, 30th April 2022)

Event recap

Post match interviews


– Kenoh was seen to smile embarrassed in the ring as he and Katsuhiko Nakajima messed up their entry, He later got back into character and yelled at Takashi Sugiura.

– Kai Fujimura was given SLEX’s glasses to wear. Alejandro and Yasutaka Yano where embarrassed. Later Alejandro went to wear the glasses, but was sadly prevented from doing so. Fans want to see a Tadasuke vs SLEX sunglasses match as a result.

– In their separate interviews leading up to NOAH Junior night, the NOAH Junior Regulars talked about their hobbies and each other. Junta Miyawaki likes making curry and playing computer games, Daisuke Harada has no hobbies that he can think of other than enjoying washing his clothes (and yes, he even divides socks, shirts and trousers) and cleaning his home, and everyone agreed that YO-HEY is a chatterbox, who is only silent when he is playing Dragon Quest.

– Yoshinari Ogawa (and Chris Ridgeway) ruined a touching NOAH Junior Regulars moment when YO-HEY was crying after not being able to help Atsushi Kotoge in the title match, when they burst in and Ogawa told them to “get out of the way” and then stuck the belt in Daisuke Harada’s face. Harada retained the same expression until the next day when they had a match against the Lucha Tag (Alpha Wolf, Dragon Bane, Ninja Mac and Extreme Tiger) which lightened the mood. YO-HEY developed a friendly rivalry with Ninja Mack. Daisuke Harada has vowed to smash STINGER’S grip on the titles.

– The Luchadores managed to almost trash the Japanese commentary desk (twice) when Alpha Wolf did a top rope somersault, slid off his opponents and onto to the desk, narrowly avoiding taking the commentator out. No wonder with this, the vicious GHC Junior tag title match and Eita bleeding everywhere while being battered by a demonic looking HAYATA, poor Rina Matsuki was terrified.

– Masa Kitamiya and Michael Elgin have formed a tag team.

– Two masked men calling themselves “Playful Old Man Machine No.1” and “Playful Old Man Machine No.2” dressed as Kazushi Sakuraba and with identical movements when entering the ring, defeated Don Fuji and Masaaki Mochizuki, then one of them hugged Don Fuji afterwards for the longest time (Don Fuji said he shut his eyes in rapture and the world span). Kendo Kashin says he owes the idea of the t-shirts to Kenoh! Kenoh is no doubt of the opinion that The Sugiura Army owe him royalty money, he was convinced that was the case when they used the dog motif which Kenoh claimed came from him when he called Takashi Sugiura a “Company Dog”, complained loss of earnings and threatened legal action. Kashin also said that NOAH may be seeing more of the duo.

– Rob Van Dam will appear for NOAH at CyberFight Festival 2022.



(May schedule)

Wednesday, May 4th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Broadcast: ABEMA (18:30 JST)

Thursday, May 5th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (18:30 JST)

Note about broadcasts

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.

Birthdays & Anniversaries 

Sunday 8th May: Akira Taue (61)


 NOAH Junior Week Interviews

Interview with GHC Junior Tag Champions: Atsushi Kotoge & YO-HEY

Interview with Haoh

Interview with Alejandro

Interview with Junta Miyawaki

Interview with Daisuke Harada

Other articles from NOAH Junior Week

“19 Year Card” Ohara. Tadasuke heads to Ryogoku on the 29th April with a view to capturing a belt with Shuji Kondo. Interview with Tadasuke and Hajime Ohara.

“NOAH fans are annoying”, “Irritated with Liger” and “Shoddy Goods” – interview with NOSAWA Rongai ahead of junior Ryogoku

GHC Junior Tag Team Signing Ceremony: Ogawa has full confidence in Ridgeway, YO-HEY “I’m NOAH Junior”

Other articles

Simon Gotch provokes with “Destruction of a Funaki figure” – GHC National signing ceremony

Foreign wrestlers participating in the two nights at Ryogoku have a large press conference; Dupre, Wagner Jnr, Texano Jnr, Extreme Tiger and others comment

The SuperNova of Pro Wrestling, the future of The Ark as created by Kaito Kiyomiya

GIF credit: WrestleUniverse, NOAH Official YouTube & Samurai TV

Pictures: Kenoh vs Daisuke Sasaki credit Pro Wrestling NOAH, Playful Old Man Machine No1 & 2 credit Tokyo Sports, screenshots were taken by me.

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

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More From Japan


New challengers, reunited friendships and the usual Junior division shenanigans! Hisame brings all the NOAH updates!





Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher challenge for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Titles

Masa Kitamiya had been saying for a long time that he and Michael Elgin, where looking for strong challengers, but lamented that none had come forward yet. The challengers they had been looking for came forward following Timothy Thatcher making Masa Kitamiya tap in Yokohama on the 24th June, and Hideki Suzuki challenged for the belts on their behalf. The title match will take place on the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.

Go Shiozaki and Shuhei Taniguchi, reunited?

Following their singles match in Yokohama this past week, a fire seems to have been lit between Shuhei Taniguchi and Go Shiozaki. The match was never originally meant to happen, but the card was changed at the last moment. During the match, Taniguchi (the monster is yet to awaken fully), fought Shiozaki in a way that convinced Shiozaki that Taniguchi had finally returned. No doubt Taniguchi’s seniors were pleased too as Taniguchi was even throwing lariats. After the match, Shiozaki hinted about tagging with Taniguchi again and they will do this on NOAH’s next event on July 2nd.

Kenoh, Kojima, the time out draw and 1000 squats

Kenoh and Satoshi Kojima came to a time out draw in Yokohama, and then Kojima’s sense of humor and Kenoh’s hidden one (he’s kind of like Toshiaki Kawada in this) came to the fore when Kojima tried to close out the show. Kenoh snatched the mic and told him this wasn’t New Japan and those who didn’t win, don’t close out the show. The mention of New Japan, made Kojima tell Kenoh to run off home and do 1000 squats. After a few minutes of snatching the mic between them and bickering “You go home!”, “No, you go home!” , Kenoh stalked backstage and did squats very loudly. Yokohama is a small venue and so anything loud (such as the NOAH Juniors fighting) can be heard by the audience, and Kenoh knew this and so everyone could hear him doing squats and counting loudly. Kojima went backstage and confronted Kenoh. Kojima acknowledged that he couldn’t beat Kenoh in a verbal argument, and they got into a physical fight.

Then it went slightly off the rails again, when Kenoh pulled out the platform truck that held the folding chairs, to which Kojima told him that if he broke any equipment, then he would have to pay for it. Kenoh said he didn’t care, Kojima said he knew he did…Kenoh was a “cheap bastard”. Kenoh stamped off, telling Kojima to go back to New Japan.

Sickness bug hits NOAH

A sickness bug hit NOAH over the N-Innovation and Yokohama Radiant Hall events when Daisuke Harada (for whom it is very unusual to be ill) and Alejandro came down with fevers, and Rene Dupree came down with gastroenteritis. The result of this was that Daisuke Harada was replaced by Xtreme Tiger (see below for more), Shuhei Taniguchi moved from the opener to the singles with Go Shiozaki and Atsushi Kotoge and Satoshi Kojima filled in. Kojima happily took part in working the N-INNOVATION and the opening match at that, he even appeared without the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kojima had a fight with Shuji Kondo, which was a continuation of a long dormant rivalry, while Atsushi Kotoge (who took part in the heavyweight Yokohama Night) and Kinya Okada managed to bruise the neck of Akitoshi Saito so much that he even put it on his official Twitter.

Seiki Yoshioka, Yuya Susumu & HAYATA

The Hiroshima Boys have fallen apart in a spectacular fashion.

Yuya Susumu attempted a reconciliation at the N-Innovation, but both before the match and after it, Seiki Yoshioka (who won the match) refused to shake hands. First time he attacked, the second time he just left the ring. Susumu (who I get the impression knows what both Yoshioka and HAYATA are like and how to handle them best) said that he would wait for Yoshioka to return, as he knew that he would eventually. This wasn’t Yoshioka’s last appearance of the evening, as when HAYATA defeated Hajime Ohara, in a match that HAYATA found Ohara had studied for, Yoshioka came to challenge for the GHC Junior. HAYATA, believing that he and Yoshioka were still friends, said he would be happy to put the belt on the line against him and went for a handshake. Yoshioka treated him the same way he had treated Susumu, with a swift kick.

Backstage, Yoshioka elaborated on his decision to leave STINGER. He had done this in order to challenge HAYATA. It was unavoidable, if he wanted to go to the top of the NOAH Juniors, then that road led through HAYATA. Title match has been set for the 16th July at the Nippon Budokan.

Open The TriangleGate update & GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Challenge

As ever in the NOAH Juniors, things can get a little complicated.

To explain from the beginning. With Daisuke Harada falling ill with a fever and being unable to compete, DragonGate GM Ryo Saito advised that the Open The TriangleGate would be vacated and Perros Del Mal De Japon (NOSAWA Rongai, Eita and Kotaro Suzuki) would face the NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge, YO-HEY and Xtreme Tiger) for them. Perros won and once again became the champions. That same night, Yoshinari Ogawa crashed their backstage promo, and slapped Kotaro in the face. Ogawa was beaten down by all three and thrown in the ring, where Eita challenged Ogawa and Chris Ridgeway for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag titles (Nippon Budokan, 16th July). Chris Ridgeway says that they will defend their titles and take their Open The Triangle Gate titles.

Despite Perros show of unity, and Eita challenging for the GHC Junior Tag titles with Kotaro Suzuki as his partner, there are cracks appearing in Perros. In particular between NOSAWA and Kotaro, as once again NOSAWA interrupted him backstage and treated him as if he did not know how to act like a heel (Kotaro has been winding up the NOAH Juniors since his debut, which he went straight back to when he returned to NOAH) and mocked him for sounding like a babyface. Kotaro did not turn up in Dragon Gate the next day (Ryu Saito asked where he was), but he did for the title defense against Natural Vibes. Following this, NOSAWA nominated YAMATO to be the next challenger. YAMATO will come to NOAH to challenge for the belts on the 21st July alongside DragonKid and Kagetora.

Haoh leaves NOAH…and vanishes 

Haoh lost the very first “Loser Leaves NOAH” match against Tadasuke and left NOAH. He has deleted his main Twitter account, but not that of his masked character, and has seemingly vanished. As far as I know he has not been booked anywhere else. Tadasuke is elated at Haoh’s departure saying he had no choice in kicking him out, but then again he didn’t care; Haoh stole his friends name and his hair, and had left Kongoh on his own accord. Tadasuke quipped that now Haoh wouldn’t have to see his face.

Fan Meeting 2022: Let’s enjoy the N-1 100 times

To promote the N-1, NOAH will be holding events in Nagoya, Sendai, Osaka and Hiroshima over the 23rd and 24th July. Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kaito Kiyomiya and Go Shiozaki will be taking part each partner alternating between talk shows and lotteries on one date and autographs and photo sessions on the other.


– El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior defeated Manabu Soya, and then declared war on the rest of Kongoh who he said he would take out one by one.

– Naomichi Marufuji joked on Twitter that since he cannot drink currently, he will offer the prize money for the drinking challenge to the host who could out drink everyone and that he was looking for a powerful wrestler to host his YouTube show.

– Kai Fujimura made the mistake of trying to attack Yoshinari Ogawa the moment the bell rang. I need not elaborate on the outcome.

– YO-HEY says he is growing a beard.

– Takashi Sugiura will be back in ZERO1 on the 18th July when The Bullet Yankees reunite, to take on Koji Kanemoto & Tatsuhito Takaiwa.

– Katsuhiko Nakajima has posted a video of himself having his hair curled with the comment that he would be returning to something that “has been a year since then”.

– Seiki Yoshioka has returned to his pre STINGER ring clothes.

– Naomichi Marufuji is aiming to return to the ring in August.

– Yoshiki Inamura had a rough N-Innovation evening. First of all he had to very gently remove a chair from an angry Kaito Kiyomiya who was going to use it on Shuji Kondo, had to move fans for a move that Eita didn’t do in order to confuse YO-HEY, and was then used as a weapon by NOSAWA Rongai.


  • N-Innovation – Thursday 23rd June 2022, Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Sunny Voyage 2022 – Friday 24th June, Yokohama Radiant Hall

Event recap

Post match interviews


  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Satoshi Kojima
    Challenger: Kenoh, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Masa Kitamiya & Michael Elgin
    Challengers: Hideki Suzuki & Timothy Thatcher, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: Eita & Kotaro Suzuki, “ABEMA presents DESTINATION 2022”, Nippon Budokan, 16th July
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: TBA


(July 2022 schedule)

  • Saturday, July 2nd

Venue: Fukushima Big Palette, Fukushima

Time: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)

  • Sunday, July 3rd

Venue: Yamagata Big Wing, Yamagata

Time: 17:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (VOD)


Kaito Kiyomiya “Pro Wrestling Love” inheritance, Keiji Mutoh’s fight “Shaping the love I received”

The day before The Loser Leaves NOAH match, Tadasuke “I can’t quit, because I haven’t been a singles champion”. Haoh “Still dreaming”

“Rebellious Mui-Bien” Ohara can afford leeway, to HAYATA “Overturn everything” – GHC Junior Championship signing ceremony


Donmai-Donmai (Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary)

– Mitsuharu Misawa said that Kotaro Suzuki and Go Shiozaki were a pair of nerds, and no matter how many times they asked him, the answer was “nope”, he would never be going on their “tour” of Akihabara.

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

GIF taken from WrestleUniverse. 

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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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Satoshi Kojima pre-matches with Kenoh kick off! Keiji Mutoh announces his retirement tour! NOAH has a lot of interesting moving pieces at the moment…





Keiji Mutoh’s retirement

Keiji Mutoh gave further information on his retirement at the press conference NOAH held on the 17th June in Tokyo. The dates will be as follows, however please note with the amount of people asking for a match with Mutoh (Hiroshi Tanahashi is one of them), Mutoh admits that there may be more dates than the ones announced. Whether or not Mutoh will be able to carry them all out, depends on his physical condition and the opinion of his doctor.


  • July 16th 2022, Nippon Budokan
  • September 25th 2022, Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium
  • October 30th 2022, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
  • January 22nd 2023, Yokohama Arena (Great Muta Final “Bye-Bye”)

*Date and venue of final match is to be announced

While Kenoh has sworn revenge on The Great Muta before the gates of The Underworld close for the last time (and I wonder if we will see Naomichi Marufuji’s demonic incarnation, Magical Immortality, one last time here as Marufuji has said he hopes to be involved in a match in some way), Kaito Kiyomiya is a more pressing concern.

Kiyomiya will have his final singles match, and final chance to best Mutoh on July 16th at The Nippon Budokan. Mutoh wants Kiyomiya to wrap everything up here, and not go throughout his career being “haunted by the ghost of Keiji Mutoh”. Mutoh also does not want Kiyomiya to hold back, and used the Samurai term “assistant” and said that there was no way he was going to let Kiyomiya be his.

Regarding his final match and therefore his retirement event, Mutoh hasn’t arranged anything although he said that getting everyone together would be difficult as all his friends and students are spread out over not just various promotions, but also the world. There is also no “same generation” for him, He also seemed more in favor of having a smaller venue for the event (Club Citta was mentioned), although NOAH’s director Narihiro Takeda said they were looking at a “Dome class” venue.


The term “assistant” refers to the one who takes the head off the Samurai who is committing Seppuku in order to end his sufferings. There is no equivalent in English and “Executioner” is far too a clumsy word, “Mercy Killing” could be used, but it lacks the true significance, anyhow Kiyomiya did not understand what he meant. Fans said it was very generational.

Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu fall out – even further than before

Following their falling out at Korakuen Hall on the 8th June, Seiki Yoshioka entered the match in Kobe on the 19th June dressed in his former ring-wear. Yuya Susumu offered a handshake both before the match and after the match, to which Yoshioka refused. Violently.

After the match (which was won by Susumu making Kai Fujimura tap), Susumu said that Yoshioka needed him, as in he needed Susumu next to him, and if he didn’t understand that now he certainly would at the N-Innovation singles match on the 23rd June.

HAYATA looks to next challenger, Hajime Ohara’s “mock exam”

HAYATA got a quick win over Hajime Ohara in Kobe on the 19th by reversing the Mui Bien and pinning him in under five minutes. HAYATA brushed off Ohara’s challenge saying that he was looking to the next challenger, and interestingly he mentioned Ninja Mack (amongst “foreign wrestlers” and “champion class from other promotions”), Ohara (ever the student) said this was simply a “mock exam” which gave him time to reflect and this next challenger that HAYATA was speaking about, would be coming looking for him (Ohara) as he would be the one wearing the belt.

NOAH Junior press conference

The NOAH Juniors will hold their own press conference on the 22nd June on NOAH’s official YouTube the day before the N-Innovation at Shinjuku FACE. Broadcast begins at 19:00 JST. Expect the kindling to be lit before the bonfire as the event itself will feature the Open The TriangleGate championship match (Eita has already claimed credit for the event being almost sold out), The Loser Leaves NOAH match between Haoh and Tadasuke, HAYATA vs Hajime Ohara for the GHC Junior Heavyweight, and of course the ongoing STINGER saga of Seiki Yoshioka vs Yuya Susumu.

Masakatsu Funaki retains the GHC National, “Power Fighter” wanted for next opponent

Masakatsu Funaki retained the GHC National against Masato Tanaka in their first “normal” singles match (the last was a hardcore blast) via referee stop when he choked him out. No challenger came forward, and still has not at the time of writing, but Funaki said he wants someone like a “power fighter”, preferably foreign given the amount of foreign talent coming to NOAH recently, as he wants to see how well this transfers to wrestling.

Katsuhiko’s comeback and the mystery of Kenoh’s Rainmaker

Since the incident with Tetsuya Endo at CyberFight and Jun Akiyama’s scolding afterwards, Katsuhiko Nakajima went dark on social media. He gave no rebuttal to Akiyama’s words, he gave no interviews, and made no mention of it entirely. At Kobe on the 19th, he sent a clear message to not just Akiyama but to everyone, by striking Daiki Inaba in the same way and even posing with his foot on his chest. Afterwards he posted a picture of Kongoh together with the caption, “After all, wrestling is good”.

Kenoh’s first pre match with Satoshi Kojima in the same match, contained an element of mystery when Kenoh did Kazuchika Okada’s Rainmaker pose. When asked about it afterwards, Kenoh said evasively that he would let people imagine for themselves what it meant. Fans wonder whether this means a clash between Kenoh and Okada, or else Kenoh is simply sending a message to Kojima. The first pre match was won by Go Shiozaki who lariated Hi69, not by the champion or his challenger. Backstage, Kenoh vowed to send Kojima back to New Japan.

Yoshiki Inamura to participate in ZERO1’s Fire Festival 2022

After having to leave the 2021 event due to a hip injury, Yoshiki Inamura returns to take part in the 2022 tournament. He will compete in Block B against;

  • Masato Tanaka
  • Takafumi
  • Hide Kubota
  • Nagao Satsuki
  • Fuminori Abe

Inamura’s first match will be against longtime rival, Masato Tanaka, on the 1st July. Tanaka has praised Inamura and said that each time he faces him he is harder and harder to beat. I can see Inamura’s participation being a yearly event.


– Super Crazy will partner with NOSAWA Rongai against Masato Tanaka and Rob Van Dam in the hardcore match at The Nippon Budokan on the 16th July. Aside from NOSAWA, this makes it an ECW reunion.

– Winning the DragonGate Open The TriangleGate titles has meant more to YO-HEY than anyone else, especially being announced as the champion in Kobe, which is DragonGate territory.

– Simon Gotch paid tribute to Kazushi Sakuraba by revealing he was wearing his orange during their singles match. He has also been training at Sakuraba’s Natural9 gym.

– YO-HEY and Atsushi Kotoge appeared on the radio show that Kuniko Yamada and Naomichi Marufuji do. Between YO-HEY and Kuniko, no one could get a word in. As the studio has a glass front and looks out on to a public area, YO-HEY posed for the fans afterwards.

– Naomichi Marufuji has come through his knee operation well, and has been out and about, including getting lost when trying to find somewhere two minutes from the station and wandering half an hour away. NOAH have not given a time for his return to the ring as of yet. Masakatsu Funaki hinted that he may have been his next challenger.

– Although Junta Miyawaki has not posted anything about his time in Mexico so far, he has been pictured looking radiantly happy and also appearing for WLS.


BACK IN THE KOBE! – LIVE 2022 – (June 19th, Hyogo/Kobe Sambo Hall)

Event recap

Post match interviews




Thursday, June 23rd (Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo)

Starts: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse


Friday, June 24th (Yokohama Radiant Hall)

Starts: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse


Five Star for the win! RVD promises to return to Japan in July

Satoshi Kojima’s CyberFight backstage promo

Kenoh glares “Kojima’s expiration date” expired, Kojima all smiles “Adding color to Mutoh” – signing ceremony for The Budokan GHC match

How Kenoh took NOAH back to The Budokan


Donmai-Donmai (Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary)

– 2005 is now complete.

GIF taken from NOAH Official YouTube and Shibuya Cross FM.

Picture credit: Pro Wrestling DX, Yuya Susumu

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