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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.172 ~ 15TH MAY 2022

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NEWS

CYBERFESTIVAL 2022 Press Conference: DDT hunting Naomichi Marufuji, Kenoh’s “flaming kick”

CyberAgent held a press conference on the 10th May to announce the full card for this years joint festival, which will take place on June 12th. Not all of the NOAH roster will be taking part, with pretty much all of Kongoh, bar Kenoh, conspicuous by their absence.

The NOAH card is as follows

NOAH vs DDT: Kinya Okada & Kai Fujimura vs Toui Kojima & Yuya Takashika

NOAH 10 man tag: Takashi Sugiura, Kazuyuki Fujita, Masa Kitamiya, Daiki Inaba & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Michael Elgin, El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Junior, Rene Dupree, Simon Gotch & X

Rob Van Dam, HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Kaito Kiyomiya, Daisuke Harada & YO-HEY

NOAH vs DDT: Tetsuya Endo, Jun Akiyama & Kazusada Higuchi vs Naomichi Marufuji, Atsushi Kotoge & Yoshiki Inamura

NOAH vs DDT, Special Battle: Kenoh vs Daisuke Sasaki

GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki vs Satoshi Kojima

The mystery wrestler X (most likely foreign talent) will be revealed when NOAH are at Korakuen Hall on June 7th.

Only a few wrestlers appeared and spoke. Kaito Kiyomiya (stepping away from his feud with Simon Gotch) spoke for his team but more for himself, when he said how excited he was to face Rob Van Dam, and he would make his name eponymous with this match. As for his opponents, this may be the first time that HAYATA has met Van Dam, but he and Yoshinari Ogawa know each other very well from Ogawa’s All Japan days where they had matches from 1994 – 1997. Ogawa even beat him to retain the AJPW Junior Heavyweight.

By far the most dramatic encounter of the evening was Kenoh and Daisuke Sasaki. Sasaki appeared in shades, nonchalantly drinking beer, while Kenoh came stamping dressed to fight and looking angrier than usual, carrying a bag. After yelling at Sasaki for drinking beer, categorically stating that he hated Sanshiro Takagi, and producing a pile of Weekly Pro magazines of which he demonstrated that no NOAH advertising was on the back of (plus slamming his fist down and making a huge crashing sound), Kenoh decided to attack Sasaki. A brawl on the stage led to a PFS from one of the tables, and then Kenoh set his leg on fire and kicked Sasaki in the head before leaving.

Jun Akiyama attempted to unify his team of Tetsuya Endo and Kazusada Higuchi against Naomichi Marufuji, who he said they all needed to work together to defeat. If they didn’t work together, the only person they would pin would be Atsushi Kotoge. A win is a win perhaps, but Naomichi Marufuji was to be preferred. Kazusada Higuchi was not really interested in doing things other than in his own way, which did not please Akiyama, but did Marufuji, who said their “victory was assured” if his opponents couldn’t work together, and that he had confidence in his team.  Later following some further provocation by Akiyama on Twitter, Marufuji commented that Kotoge was being attacked, but Inamura was being ignored. He didn’t know why, but what he did know was that he was looking forward to the match.

HAYATA in the middle, Xtreme Tiger, YO-HEY on the periphery 

HAYATA found himself in the middle of the STINGER squabble once again when Yuya Susumu (who didn’t look as if he was going to take “no” for an answer) confronted HAYATA backstage at the N Innovation on the 14th May, and basically asked him whose side he was going to be on? Susumu held out his hand, which HAYATA, after a moment of consideration, shook. As a result the card of the 19th (the last pre match before the title match on the 21st May) has been changed from HAYATA teaming with Chris Ridgeway and Yoshinari Ogawa, to him teaming with his old friends, Yuya Susumu and Seiki Yoshioka, both who seem confident that HAYATA is on their side. “Ogawa magic” as NOAH fans call Ogawa’s ability to get inside people’s heads, is a powerful thing, and under Ogawa’s influence HAYATA betrayed old friend YO-HEY (who seems to be having a lot of matches against HAYATA recently), so this highly nervous match for fans, might not be as solid as his old Hiroshima friends think.

Xtreme Tiger had his first pre match against HAYATA on the 14th May, and HAYATA found that he was going to have to come up with new strategies as Xtreme Tiger is unlike anyone he has had challenge him so far and was able to outwrestle him. Xtreme Tiger may not have pinned him (he pinned Kai Fujimura who seems to be filling in for the injured Yasutaka Yano), but he sent a message after the match that he was most definitely next.

STINGER vs STINGER

The question of HAYATA’S allegiance aside, the feud between the two sides took another turn in Yokohama as on the 14th Chris Ridgeway defeated Seiki Yoshika in a singles match, Yoshioka brushed off this defeat by tapping his head and saying that he needed to be more thorough. HAYATA stayed away as a (limping) Yoshioka came out to second Yuya Susumu in his tag match against Yoshinari Ogawa. Ogawa played all sorts of tricks to wind Yoshioka up, including goading him to get on to the apron, and then complaining to the ref when he did. The match was won by Kaito Kiyomiya defeating Simon Gotch. Afterwards, Chris Ridgeway got in the ring to try and pry Yuya Susumu off of Ogawa, he was kicked twice in the head by Seiki Yoshika.

After that, the two members of STINGER (former members perhaps as Tokyo Sports thinks they may have split) stood over the fallen champions and made belt motions. Backstage, Susumu said that they where STINGER, as in himself, Yoshioka and HAYATA. He also wondered why their opponents hadn’t “shown anything yet…”. Fans know from experience that the longer Yoshinari Ogawa is quiet, the worse his revenge will be.

Daisuke Harada deals with H.Y.O, Z-Brats not off the hook though

Daisuke Harada levelled things with H.Y.O by scoring the NOAH Junior Regulars one and only victory over Z-Brats at Yokohama Radiant Halls on the 14th. Throughout the match H.Y.O had been his usual irritating self by doing things such as rolling out of the ring and sitting on chairs in the audience, fanning himself on the electric fans, and even doing squats. H.Y.O is convinced that despite the result, he won the match, but Harada has hinted that it’s not quite over with Z-Brats yet. As well as Z-Brats, Harada remains focused on holding the next N Innovation at Ryogoku, but he knows there are further issues to overcome, such as attendance. Sadly, the N Innovation was not sold out, with an attendance of 134.

EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

N-Innovation (Saturday May 14th 2022, Yokohama Radiant Hall)

Event recap

Post match interviews

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Poor YO-HEY had to wrestle the N Innovation match with partial sight, as he lost a contact lens.

– Following on from the success of the NOAH Junior Regulars Twitter Space talk, Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura held their own impromptu session.

– Haoh has promised to be more “self assertive”. Speaking into the camera, Tadasuke wondered why on earth he didn’t do or say this in the NOAH Juniors.

– Kenoh tried some very hot noodles over on the “Kenoh Channel” 

– Junta Miyawaki had to tell Alejandro to duck down as he was blocking him when the NOAH Junior Regulars posed for a picture following Harada’s defeat of H.Y.O

– Kenoh says he will be appearing at the Hana Kimura memorial not for himself, but to help her mother make sure that what happened to Hana, never happens to anyone else.

– The referees in Yokohama spent a lot of time picking up after the wrestlers; YO-HEY’S jacket shed fluff, Kaito Kiyomiya’s sheds feathers and Atsushi Kotoge dropped his chain.

– The look on H.Y.O’s face when Daisuke Harada threw his jacket at him!

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
    Challenger: Satoshi Kojima, CyberFight Festival, Sunday June 12th
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Xtreme Tiger, “Dream on 2022 Final”, Ota Ward Gymnasium, 21st May 2022
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Les Mexicanas (Rene Dupree and El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr)
    Challengers: Masa Kitamiya & Michael Elgin, “Dream on 2022 Final”, Ota Ward Gymnasium, 21st May 2022
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa)
    Challengers: STINGER (Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu), “Dream on 2022 Final”, Ota Ward Gymnasium, 21st May 2022
  • GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
    Challenger: TBA

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(May schedule)

Dream on 2022

Thursday, May 19th

Venue: Yokohama Radiant Hall

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (18:00 JST)

Dream on 2022 (final night)

Saturday, May 21st

Venue: Ota Ward General Gymnasium (Keiji Mutoh returns)

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse & ABEMA (16:00 JST)

(English commentary is available)

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 

Monday 16th May: Hajime Ohara debut anniversary (18)

Tuesday 24th May: Daiki Inaba debut anniversary (9)

Tuesday 24th May: KENTA debut anniversary (22)

LINKS

Redefining the “ability to communicate”, Kenoh’s flaming kick at the press conference is a model for all NOAH wrestlers

“Surpassing the serious Yoshinari Ogawa”, interview with Seiki Yoshioka ahead of the “Stinger Showdown” GHC Junior Tag Battle

“It is inevitable that I will become the GHC Heavyweight Champion” – signing ceremony with champion Shiozaki ahead of the GHC title match at the Saitama Super Arena main event

“Moss does not grow on a rolling stone” – handsome man Yoshinari Ogawa, pro wrestler biography series (article from 2002)

GIF taken from NOAH official YouTube & WrestleUniverse


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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.178 ~ 28TH JUNE 2022

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

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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.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– 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.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

  • 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

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • 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

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(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)

LINKS

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

BOOK CORNER

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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NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.177 ~ 21st JUNE 2022

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…

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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.

KEIJI MUTOH FINAL COUNTDOWN SERIES

  • 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.

Note

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.

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– 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.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH INTERVIEWS

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

Event recap

Post match interviews

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

N-INNOVATION

Thursday, June 23rd (Shinjuku FACE, Tokyo)

Starts: 18:30 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse

SUNNY VOYAGE 2022

Friday, June 24th (Yokohama Radiant Hall)

Starts: 18:00 JST

Broadcast: WrestleUniverse

LINKS

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

BOOK CORNER

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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