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News From Cook’s Corner 6.6.22: Everyone Is Injured

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! I’m Steve Cook, back at you because there’s a ton of stuff going on in the wrestling world. Also because I forgot there was a Premium Live Event this weekend and didn’t break down the gambling picks. These things happen when the WWE programming I’ve been watching lately has been Madison Square Garden shows from 1985. I’d be far more prepared to talk Hulk Hogan vs. Don Muraco than anything on WWE television in 2022.

We’ll try to do that a little bit later in the column, but first we’ll run through some AEW drama & a new addition to WWE’s front office that’s a bit old hat.

Weekend of MJF

Double or Nothing weekend ended up being all about Maxwell Jacob Friedman. MJF no-showed a meet & greet that was part of AEW’s fan festival, which led to all sorts of speculation. Fightful told us he bought a plane ticket to Newark, which led to even more speculation. AEW pulled their social media plugs of the MJF vs. Wardlow match at Double or Nothing, only to put it back up several hours before the show. AEW never announced anything regarding MJF’s status, and Tony Khan refused to comment at what could politely be described as a “media scrum” after Double or Nothing. Most of the things I would call that particular fiasco can’t be printed here, as this is a family-friendly column.

Needless to say, MJF indeed showed up for Double or Nothing and lost to Wardlow in a glorified squash match. He went out on a stretcher after taking ten powerbombs, which many thought would lead to MJF taking some time off and returning at a later date. That later date ended up being Wednesday night’s Dynamite episode. MJF returned there and acknowledged his pain (no neck brace or anything, but it’s 2022), then launched into a diatribe against AEW, Tony Khan, the fans, the “ex-WWE guys” & almost anybody else with a pulse. His microphone was finally cut once he called Khan the worst thing you could call a wrestling fan, and CM Punk wandered out there during the commercial while MJF ran away. Punk was not able to chase him for reasons we’ll get into later.

Here’s what I wrote about MJF three weeks ago when all this hullabaloo about him wanting a new contract without an extension was starting to catch fire:

MJF is always working.

That’s the thing old heads like me love about him. This kid is always working that gimmick. He’s always the biggest asshole on the planet, except on Long Island, where he’s still an asshole but accepted by his peers. I like that about him, but at the same time I realize that nothing he puts out there is legitimate. People wonder why wrestling news sources always get things wrong, and the reason is much simpler than they think: Wrestlers lie. Especially wrestlers as good at their job as MJF.

So I hate to be the bearer of bad news to my fellow IWC folks that think they have super insider knowledge, but the man is always working an angle. As long as they’re ok with being used by him, it’ll be ok.

As of press time, I see no reason to change my stance on this story. There’s nothing that’s happened that makes me believe that this whole situation is anything other than a work. And just so I’m clear: the fact that I’m 100% convinced it’s a work doesn’t mean I didn’t find MJF’s rant to be compelling television. Even if some of the material was eyeroll-inducing, I must admit it was in character. Most wrestlers shouldn’t go out there touting that they’re the second-biggest minute-by-minute draw in the company (Imagine Miro doing that instead of talking about how he’s going to find God & murder him), but that’s exactly the sort of thing MJF’s character would brag about.

I don’t doubt the idea that MJF wants more money. I don’t doubt the idea that he’s frustrated with Tony Khan or other members of AEW management, if we’re to believe that there are other members of AEW management. Heck, maybe the guy even bought a plane ticket to further the work. What I do doubt is the idea of MJF being stupid enough to walk out on AEW and kill his bargaining power for his upcoming free agency period.

One can question just who MJF is working here. The fans? The news reporters? Tony Khan? I wouldn’t be shocked if it was all of the above. Maybe Tony’s in on it, but is he all the way in on it? Something to ponder.

Yes, there was a report from Wade Keller that WWE would still be very interested in MJF regardless of how he leaves AEW. No doubt about that. But let’s be honest: MJF’s going to make more money from WWE if he’s got multiple bidders. Something tells me that Impact & MLW wouldn’t strike the same fear in Vince as that AEW checkbook would. If you’re going to make the most money you can, you’re going to keep all of your options open.

MJF will certainly be a big part of AEW’s summer programming in some form or fashion. Unfortunately, one of his top rivals won’t be.

Summer of Pu-whoops

The main event of AEW’s Double or Nothing event saw CM Punk win the AEW Championship from Adam Page. Immediately, talk of a third Summer of Punk began. Some disputed the usage of the term since the first two involved Punk winning a title and threatening to leave with it, while he showed no indication of leaving with this one.

As it turned out, he kinda did. Punk broke his foot on Wednesday night’s Dynamite episode, where he competed in a six-man tag team match and seemed a bit off throughout. Fans are speculating the injury happened when he dove into the crowd during his entrance. I mean, people have been waiting for CM Punk to turn heel on the fans again, right? He’d clearly be justified in this instance. Those darn fans broke his foot!

Feet are tricky, but a brief Google search tells me that it typically takes two months to recover from a broken foot. Should this hold true, Punk could very well be back in time for All Out on Labor Day Weekend. The date and site haven’t been announced yet, but one assumes that somewhere in the Chicagoland area will be the site. AEW has most of their other big events there.

I, for one, have no problem with AEW having an Interim World Champion. UFC’s been doing it for years now, and it solves the problem of having to vacate the championship every few weeks. The only problem is the way AEW presented the situation on Friday night’s Rampage episode. Punk said that he had wanted to vacate the championship, but Tony Khan said that he believed in him. Which would lead one to believe that Punk was still the champion, except that Chris Jericho kept saying that Punk had relinquished the championship. Excalibur then tried to explain things during the main event of the show, while announcing matches for the next episode of Dynamite and calling the match. People were more confused when Rampage ended than they were when Punk teased his promo on social media before the show.

I also think the idea of an interim championship would go over a lot better if AEW hadn’t debuted the concept with the TNT Championship when Cody Rhodes couldn’t wrestle for two weeks. That title scene has been a clusterjerk ever since.

Here’s the tweet explaining the AEW Interim World Championship Eliminator Series:

For those of you that have been complaining about AEW not doing as much pure sports build as some of their people promised back in 2019, the Jon Moxley ranking situation is about as “pure sports” as it gets. Moxley was ranked fourth earlier this week, but wound up at #1 after Friday’s Rampage episode. Those of you that watch college football see this happen every year with the CFP rankings. Somehow certain schools with name value always end up a spot or two higher at the end. Those of you that watch college basketball are familiar with the NCAA Tournament and some of the ridiculous seeding decisions there.

Yes, it’s dumb, but so are sports. PURE SPORTS BUILD!

Anyway, we wish CM Punk a speedy recovery and hope the fate of the TNT Championship doesn’t be-fall the AEW Championship as well. Fortunately, AEW has plenty of title belts to focus on if things go awry. Speaking of champions they could be focusing on if they wished…

Thunder Rosa Unhappy?

Thunder Rosa New

WhatCulture reported that AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa is unhappy with her current lot in AEW. A lack of TV time seems to be the main culprit, along with the company’s lack of attention to her auctioning off her Double or Nothing ring gear to benefit familes affected by the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which is close to Rosa’s home. PWInsider let us know that Rosa was pulled from Dynamite this week due to being sick, while Fightful said she was only booked for a backstage segment anyway.

As somebody that watches the show, it would be tough to blame Thunder Rosa for being frustrated or confused. Maybe she shouldn’t be surprised. Remember when Rosa defeated Dr. Britt Baker D.M.D. in that street fight last year, then Dr. Baker got all the TV time and attention afterward? Now for the second time, Thunder gets the win and gets ignored afterward. In AEW’s defense, there have reportedly been some health issues keeping Rosa from wrestling as often as one might like. It’s tough to argue that Thunder Rosa hasn’t been treated as a third wheel at best behind Baker & Jade Cargill.

The main thing to take away here: Reports that people were unhappy in AEW used to be a rarity. Remember how crazy people went when Brian Cage expressed discontent? Now these things seem to be popping up more often. This was always going to happen as time passed by for a litany of reasons. A larger roster gives people fewer opportunities. Addition of talent from other places takes time away from talent that established themselves in AEW. While this point doesn’t especially apply to Thunder’s situation, am I the only one that’s noticed that AEW television seems to feature almost as many folks from Wednesday Night War-era NXT as people that were regularly on Dynamite then? Who won the war?

People are bound to get frustrated. A locker room that once was able to keep Brodie Lee’s health situation a secret from everybody on the outside is now singing like canaries to wrestling news reporters. We’re not to the point where people are sending show formats to websites, but it’s getting there.

Other AEW Injury News?

Fightful reported on Sunday that Bryan Danielson was unable to make a meet & greet in New Bedford, Massachusetts this weekend. Fans were told that Danielson was injured and unable to fly to the event. There has been no word on what exactly the injury is yet, so I can’t delve into this topic further. Danielson was conspicuous by his absence on AEW television this week after Double or Nothing, where he took part in an Anarchy in the Arena match that was either tremendously entertaining or the worst thing one’s ever seen depending on who you ask. If Danielson hurt himself during the thing, I’m leaning towards the latter. Apparently Bryan will miss one to two weeks, so hopefully he’ll be good to go for whatever he’s doing at the Forbidden Door show.

TNT Champion Scorpio Sky strained a muscle in his leg during his match with Dante Martin on Friday’s Rampage episode. Adam Cole & Jeff Hardy both missed Wednesday’s Dynamite episode due to injury. If you’re an AEW wrestler, odds are pretty good you have some sort of injury right now. You might be injured and not even know it!

Cats Have Nine Lives. Jeff Jarrett > Cats

Jeff Jarrett has always had a lot of different things going on in his life. Perhaps no more so than recently, as the brother’s got a podcast, he’s running a minor league baseball team, and now he’s back with WWE as the Senior Vice President of Live Events.

Larry Csonka used to tell us that Jarrett was the smartest man in pro wrestling. I thought Kevin Nash was in the running, but the more time passes, the more Larry’s statement seems to be accurate. Jarrett comes off as an intelligent person on his podcast and has tons of experience promoting various events. WWE could definitely use some help promoting its live events. I didn’t know about the last two events they held in Cincinnati until the day of the show, which isn’t ideal for planning purposes.

Jarrett also knows how to make the right friends, as he’s become the latest to use the ol’ Conrad Thompson podcast push to get a job with a major company. Hey Conrad, if you need a washed-up IWC personality to break down a very specific subset of the 2000s scene, I’m your huckleberry.

Hell in a Cell Breakdown

Just because I forgot there was a WWE Premium Live Event doesn’t mean I won’t give a brief recap for you folks! There was one big story that broke just before this show that became a thing, and we’ll definitely get to that.

Bianca Belair retained the Raw Women’s Championship over Becky Lynch & Asuka

Tough for these three to have a bad match with each other. Belair continues to improve her game every time I see her, and she had two experienced hands to work with here. It was your standard high-end triple threat match with the usual spots, so if that isn’t your kind of thing this won’t be your kind of thing. Clever finish though, with Lynch hitting the Manhandle Slam on Asuka, Bianca tossing her out of the ring so she could pin Asuka. Sets up Belair vs. Lynch again…I could see that feud wrapping up at SummerSlam, which would make sense as they first met at 2021’s SummerSlam.

Bobby Lashley defeated Omos & MVP by making MVP submit

We saw Lashley make a belt motion after this match, and then he held up a replica WWE Championship that somone in the audience gave him. I guess time will tell on that one. Match was decent enough, Omos kinda looks like he could be something someday. He did Braun Strowman’s running choo-choo move on the outside to drive Lashley through the barricade, but it wasn’t quite the same without the train noises.

Kevin Owens beat Ezekiel

Owens still seems convinced that Ezekiel is Elias. I’m not sure how he arrived at this conclusion, but he beat whoever he wrestled. Pretty basic stuff here, nothing special but nothing awful either.

The Judgment Day defeated Finn Balor, Liv Morgan & AJ Styles

I didn’t see the betting odds for this show, but I would assume the trio of Edge, Damian Priest & Rhea Ripley were among the bigger favorites. Still early in the life of this heel faction, need them to keep winning. AJ got busted open towards the end of the match and didn’t play a role in the outcome. A younger me would comment positively on Rhea switching her ring attire from pants to trunks, the older me knows he probably shouldn’t go too far down that road. Bianca also wore trunks tonight, so maybe it’s just really humid in Chicago.

Madcap Moss beat Happy Corbin in a street fight

I must say that Madcap stood out a lot more when he was wearing suspenders. Now he’s just wearing generic black trunks and looks like a Create-A-Wrestler before you make any changes to it. Madcap won by doing the Pillmanize the guy’s neck with the ring steps gimmick, which probably would have been a nearfall in other street fights I’ve seen lately. That’s not a knock against this one, quite the opposite!

Theory defended the United States Championship against Mustafa Ali

There were probably some out there that thought that Ali would get the big moment in his hometown after his journey through the muck that’s been his past couple of years. Most of us knew better. Theory is somebody WWE actually sees something in. It’s tough to blame them, kid’s got a good look, solid skills in the ring and a reasonable amount of charisma so far. Feels like he’s still growing into his character, once he does that he should be golden. Ali? Well, when it comes to him and his lot in WWE, it’s like the man once said: It is what it is. I could have worked up some discontent over Ali’s treatment since his return if I didn’t see it coming. He’s a smart guy, I’m sure he saw it coming too. The house always wins.

Cody Rodes defeated Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell

So the big news story heading into this one involved Cody tearing his pec a couple of days before the show. That type of injury usually puts somebody out for an elongated period of time, but Cody was still going to go through with the match for the love of the business or some such thing. I’m not going to post a picture of Cody’s injury here, as I’d like for people to be able to read this column and keep their lunch in their stomach at the same time. There’s a thin line between toughness & stupidity, and this veered well past stupidity. They did a lot of stuff, I’m sure some people liked it, and I’m also sure Cody added more time to his layoff. But hey, he got to do a Pedigree and hit a guy with a sledgehammer, so he pretty much lived his dream here.

Rollins wearing polka dots for this one was appreciated. Unfortunately, since he lost to a guy with one pec, I can no longer use the word “Freakin'” as part of his name. Bucky “Freakin'” Dent and other athletes with that word (or a version of it) in their name earned it by winning something. Sorry, Seth, dem’s the rules.

My final verdict? Women’s opener was very good. Main event wasn’t my cup of tea but might be yours if you’re into weird stuff like it. Rest was a show and it was there.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be back soon enough with something or other. Until then, keep your stick on the ice.


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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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