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Dragon Gate King of Gate 2018 Final Results & Review (6/9/2018)

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Welcome back to Dragon Gate as we are now in the final round of the King of Gate tournament where we have YAMATO taking on Masato Yoshino. The winner will face Masaaki Mochizuki the next day for the Open the Dream Gate Championship.

The tournament as a whole has been incredibly lackluster and I probably won’t cover their next one due to how poorly the network handled it, but I will however still be covering certain shows along with the big ones. Let’s get this started and just…dive right in.

 

Tag Team Match
K-ness & Masaaki Mochizuki vs. Natural Vibes (Punch Tominaga & YASSHI)

Review: It feels weird that the companies big champion is the opening contest in these last recent shows, but I guess it’s just how they work. K-ness would rip off Punch’s do-rag off of his head and once that happens, we get Punch abuse by K-ness just slapping the bald spot on his head any chance he would get and it happens quite a lot, even Mochizuki does it a couple of times too, but Punch abuse gets the crowd laughing. Also, Brother YASSHI, what are you doing grabbing their dicks in the match like they’re Joey Ryan? I mean I get that it’s a distraction, but couldn’t rake their eyes or something instead of grabbing and raking the dicks, man?

The match would feel a bit slow at times despite some of the humor they had in the match involving Punch, but also a few sloppy spots in there to hurt the match a little bit. Near the end of the match, Punch and Mochizuki would be in the ring with Punch going for a few strikes and Mochizuki slapping the bald spot on his head along with a few stiff kicks until he hits the Saikyo High Kick to knock Punch out and win the match for him and K-ness.

Recommended: Average match, so unless you like seeing Punch get abused, skip it.

 

Singles Match
Shun Skywalker vs. Susumu Yokosuka

Review: We got Shun in singles action as he would take on Susumu Yokosuka. Susumu would go up to the referee when he comes into the ring and leans over on him once he was standing on the ropes with the ref between his legs, but once he got down, he saw a kid in the ring holding the flowers as he took them since I guess he wanted to feel pretty and he took a picture with the fan.

The match, for the most part, was solid for what they did since they were crisp with their spots and just had a nice flow with their chemistry here. Shun is someone that keeps on improving in the ring and I feel like he could be a big player in the upcoming years, but I’m still not a fan of his in-ring attire and I guess it’s mostly just due to the colors of it that throw me off than anything else. I don’t know why it happened, but when Susumu would have Shun in a Powerbomb position, he would just smack his ass a few times like he owned it, Natural Vibes is being weird today…well weirder. The last couple of minutes I enjoyed a lot with Susumu attempting to for the Lariat a few times, but Shun would roll him up quickly for a roll up, but no prevail there, but he would go for it the second time and still no luck. Once Shun got up, he got hit with a stiff Lariat for a two count. Susumu would eventually hit the Jumbo No Kachi on Shun and gets the win.

Recommended: It was pretty solid, I would say it’s worth at least a view.

 

Singles Match
Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda

Review: We now have Ben-K taking on ANTIAS member, Yasushi Kanda in out next singles match and the last time these two fought in the ring during the King of Gate tournament, Ben-K would defeat him by countout and I guess he looks to try and get an actual win over him this time.

We had Kanda attacking Ben before the announcer would finish saying his name and took Ben to the outside so he could try to knock him down a little as the bell rang. Once they got back inside, Ben would get the upper hand on Kanda for a brief moment and use his power to try and knock him down, but it wouldn’t last long as Kanda would send Ben back to the outside again and I feel like they already overdid it since they did it a total of four times this match and wasn’t really spaced out either, so it did hurt the match a lot to me in my opinion. ANTIAS is becoming how Suzuki-Gun was in NOAH where they would do this stuff in almost every match and during times when it’s just not needed and becomes overkill for me. It looked like they’re still protecting the Ben-K Bomb when he wouldn’t hit it again, but would eventually Spear Kanda to try and pin him only for ANTIAS to run in and start assaulting Ben-K.

The beat down would only happen for a while til Over Generation came out to make the save as they have a big match set for July between the two units as the loser of that match would disband. The referee would rule the bout a no contest.

Recommended: I love Ben-K, but the match was pretty awful.

 

Tag Team Match
Don Fujii & Ryo Saito vs. Natural Vibes (Genki Horiguchi & Kzy)

Review: The last time these two teams fought was in a six-man tag with Saito getting the surprise win and it looks like they’ll be fighting again in a regular tag team bout this time around. I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t do the Natural Vibes dance and I know they did it for the opening bout, but I wanted to see it again.

If you’ve seen the previous match between the teams, then it’s pretty similar with the mixture of comedy and other spots throughout the match, but no Fujii hitting Saito with a water bottle again, he knew better or we get that face again. That’s what I love about Ryo Saito, he’s not only hilarious, but he tells a story with his comedy and wrestling, but he knows how to do it so well and that’s why the fans are so behind him when he’s in the ring. The chemistry between Kzy and Genki is probably my favorite of the two out of the whole Natural Vibes unit just by how they do their moves together and the flow of their teamwork. The match was a lot of fun since we got nice spots and humor in here, but Kzy would get payback this time as he does the Skyade Schoolboy on Saito to pick up the win. After the match, Saito would tell Kzy that he wants a match for the Open the Triangle Gate Championships in which Kzy accepted, but no official date for the match yet.

Recommended: Very entertaining match and a ton of fun, worth a view.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
MaxiMuM (Big R Shimizu, Jason Lee & Naruki Doi) vs. Tribe Vanguard (BxB Hulk, Kagetora & Yosuke ♡ Santa Maria)

Review: This is a mostly for hyping up the Open the Twin Gate Championship match as both Yosuke and Kagetora are scheduled to fight Big R and Ben-K for the titles the next day as well and I don’t know why Ben just wasn’t booked for this match instead of being in that match against Kanda since it did nothing for him, but oh well.

When are people gonna learn not to pick up Jason Lee from behind when he’s in his meditating position? Because he’s just gonna Arm Drag you every time you try to pick him up from behind, so stop trying it even though it’s still cool to see regardless. Soon as Yosuke got into the ring and Naruki was tagged in, Jason and Big R just backed away for a moment because they don’t wanna deal with him since they know what he’s about. People may not like the type of gimmick Yosuke is doing, but I personally love it and is a damn good worker on top of that, I’m glad he’s being used more. Very fun match with everyone playing their part and the highlight for moe out of the six here is Kagetora because he started exploding with his offense throughout the match, especially with Jason Lee. There was one cool spot with Big R going for a Powerbomb on Yosuke and it got reversed when he was high into the air Leg Dropping him on the way down, but only got a two count with that one. Big R went to go for his Shot Put on Yosuke, but it got reversed into the Neraiuchi which looked insane as he pinned Big R to get that much-needed momentum for tomorrow’s show.

Recommended: I enjoyed this one a lot, definitely watch.

 

Six Man Tag Team Match
ANTIAS (Eita, Shingo Takagi & Takashi Yoshida) vs. Over Generation (Dragon Kid, Gamma & Kaito Ishida)

Review: It looks like we’re gonna get a little preview here with a six-man tag between the two units to hype up what’s to come sometime in July, how as to who should disband? That’s really a tough call since both of them should split up, especially with CIMA leaving to help out his Chinese promotion OWE, but ANTIAS has been doing pretty bad lately and wouldn’t mind them disbanding as well, however, the only problem is that they’re really the only heel faction right now and if they did disband, then there’s really no heel team.

Enough with attacking them to go to the outside once the bell rings! Here and there I don’t mind it if it’s spread out or anything, but the fact they did like four in Ben/Kanda that it already made this one feel a bit forced this time and it’s at the point where it’s incredibly annoying. Despite that, the match actually does get good since ANTIAS did get some nice heat into the match with Over Generation getting some strong offense in as well. One funny little spot I liked was when Dragon and Kaito would pin Eita down on the mat while Gamma was on the top turnbuckle and spits water down on him as if he was a little fountain or something and after seeing how Eita did during the whole King of Gate, he deserved it. Something that annoyed me between Eita and Dragon Kid is that they actually did better during their encounter in this match than their actual King of Gate tournament match where it was one of the worst matches in the entire tournament, which is a shame too since they’re both great workers and I hope we can an actual match soon, but we might if it’s for the Open the Brave Gate Championship. When they were going for their last moments in the ring, Dragon would hit the Bible on Eita to get the win for Over Generation.

Recommended: Solid match, worth a watch.

 

King Of Gate 2018 Final Match
Masato Yoshino vs. YAMATO

Review: Here we are as this is the final round of the King of Gate tournament as it comes down to A Block winner, YAMATO and D Block winner, Masato Yoshino. Both men are no strangers to the Open the Dream Gate Championship also as YAMATO has won it four times while Masato has won it three times. YAMATO defeated Naruki Doi in a fantastic match to advance while Masato defeated Takashi Yoshida to make it here as well. Last year, T-Hawk would be the winner of King of Gate to fight YAMATO who was the champion at the time but failed to capture the title. With YAMATO in the finals, he wants to win the whole thing so he can get that rematch against Mochizuki to try and take back what he feels is rightfully his, but he needs to beat Masato first who hasn’t won that belt in three years. Who needs the win more? Who will win the King of Gate 2018 tournament and who will fight Masaaki Mochizuki tomorrow for the Open the Dream Gate Championship? We’re about to find out, right now.

The match would start off with some slow chain wrestling with Masato actually controlling the majority of it as he would work on YAMATO’s arms for a moment and being smart by just working on that body part mostly since it could cut down his arsenal quite a bit if he damages the arm enough. YAMATO would eventually find a way to get some time to breathe as he went for a Crucifix for a two count but would catch Masato into a Crossface the moment he kicked out, but there would be a rope break. The two would eventually have a chop battle going back and forth, but it looks like YAMATO had the upper hand when he applied a Guillotine choke on Masato to slow him down while wrenching the arms a little bit in the process. Masato would attempt to go for a Reverserana, but he goes to choke YAMATO with his legs while he was over the ropes and while the referee was calling for the five count, Masato would move him over to the other side of the rope to choke him out again before letting go. Masato would get control again as he applies the Black Widow for a moment and turns it into a Sunset Flip for YAMATO to kick out and hits a beautiful yet quick Sling Blade the minute YAMATO got up. Masato would run at YAMATO again only to be caught in a Tombstone position and hits a Fire Thunder Driver for a two count. Masato would apply his Sol Naciente to try and make YAMATO tap out and it almost worked since he fell down almost unconscious, but he got back up and hits the Ragnarok for a two count. Masato would get back up and hits the La Mistica and a Torbellino Crucifix to get the pin as Masato Yoshino has won the King of Gate!

My thoughts on the match was that there were times that it was slow, but around the middle and on is when it started to pick up to be a great match and if it had that flow from beginning to end, then this would’ve been the best match out of the whole tournament and a worthy final, but I would have to give it to YAMATO and Naruki Doi for being the best match of the tournament. Masato winning this one was a shocker for me since I felt like it should’ve been YAMATO to get that anticipated rematch between him and Mochizuki, but I can’t be mad with the result, so congrats to both of these men and we’ll see if Masato will be the one who will dethrone the champion.

Recommended: Definitely worth a watch.

 

Overall: The show was a rather entertaining one as we had some good matches with one horrible match, but it was a good show for the final and a great main event. Now we find out what happens the next day as we have two title matches to cover.

Favorite Match: Masato Yoshino vs. YAMATO

Least Favorite Match: Ben-K vs. Yasushi Kanda

Score: 7.5/10


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More From Japan

(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.200 ~ 7TH MAY 2023

New alliances, MMA challengers and the return of a beloved tag team!

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NEWS

AXIZ reunite

Go Shiozaki lost in his return match at MAJESTIC (4th May at Ryogoku Kokugikan) to Katsuhiko Nakajima’s Vertical Spike. While he was lying on the mat, with a worried Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura looking on, Katsuhiko Nakajima got on the mic and said, “What is this, Go Shiozaki? This awkward state? Is this “I AM NOAH?” Where did that strong Go Shiozaki go? Shall we do it again? Stand up!”, Everyone, including Shiozaki, thought that Nakajima wanted to fight him again and so Shiozaki used Nakajima to pull himself up. Nakajima had his usual devilish smile on, and grabbed Shiozaki by the hair as if he was going to strike him.

What he actually did was offer him his hand, which Shiozaki took, and to the wild screaming of the crowd, AXIZ reformed and the two would not let go of each other.

Kenoh was outraged and demanded to know what was going on. Manabu Soya later left the ring shaking his head. Backstage, Nakajima confirmed that yes, AXIZ were back and the reason why he had left was because (and this sounds familiar) Kenoh didn’t need him, Kongoh didn’t need him, and he didn’t need them. Kenoh growled that he would destroy anyone who got in his way and that included All Japan, All Japan’s Suwama, Dragon Gate (probably the whole roster) and Katsuhiko Nakajima. Kenoh remarked that usually Kongoh didn’t punish people who left (he probably doesn’t mean the chaotic juniors), but it seems that he himself will have another singles match with Nakajima on the 31st May at Shinjuku FACE. Kenoh has also branded AXIZ as a “thief and traitor duo” and has warned elderly AXIZ fans not to make any bank transfers. He has also claimed that while he was injured, Go Shiozaki is a “salary thief” for doing nothing for NOAH during that time, and not even updating his Twitter.

Related articles

Kongoh’s leader, Kenoh, denounces Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima’s AXIZ reunion as a “thief and traitor duo”

NOAH promise more women’s matches

Following the four woman tag at MAJESTIC, Ryo Mizunami hinted afterwards that NOAH will be holding more and she (and others) want to be a part of this. Nothing more has been said about the possibility of a women’s GHC Championship though.

N-1 VICTORY 2023 Announced

NOAH have announced that the N-1 VICTORY 2023 will make a return in August 2023, and as is tradition, will have the final night held in Osaka in early September. No names have been announced as of yet, but the league will head up for a couple of dates in Sapporo, Hokkaido (NOAH have not been to Hokkaido since before the pandemic when they would traditionally share a ring with Big Japan and then get drunk together over a lost weekend). No names have been announced as of yet.

Masakatsu Funaki challenges Josh Barnett 

Following his victory over Shinya Aoki at MAJESTIC, Masakatsu Funaki challenged Josh Barnett, who was sitting at ringside to a match. Barnett accepted, but NOAH are yet to state the date when the match will take place. Funaki also seems to be hinting that his career is now winding down, and he wants to tie up any loose ends; such as the Aoki match and the challenge to Barnett, who he has never faced before, but seems to have always wanted to. Mutoh told Funaki to keep going until he is sixty, but Funaki, who makes no pretense about the fact that he is approaching his mid fifties, seems to think that this is unlikely.

Eita alone, Daga joins “the new STINGER”. HAYATA not welcome either. 

During the STINGER vs I guess the last of Perros Del Mal De Japon, Eita and Daga, Eita caught Daga with the Imperial Uno, which meant that Yoshinari Ogawa could capitalize, and he went to pin Eita. However, Ogawa broke the pin and got to his feet slowly, dragging Eita up by his hair. He looked across the ring to Daga, and Daga turned on Eita. Eita, now utterly alone, was beaten up after the match, and no one at all came out to help him as there is now no one left. Backstage, Eita on all fours, said that from now on he would be trusting no one and didn’t believe in friends (NOSAWA posted “…..” to this) and demanded a singles match with both Ogawa and Daga. As for STINGER, Chris Ridgeway said that from now on he, Daga and Ogawa were the new STINGER. Daga gave no reason for his turning on his old friend, STINGER rarely give reasons anyway, and Ogawa said that HAYATA and Eita were no longer considered “friends”. Eita will get his singles matches on the 14th May at Korakuen Hall, and with Daga on the 21st in Kobe. Fans are wondering if Eita and HAYATA will team up, but HAYATA seems to be more preoccupied with the GHC Junior at the moment.

Ring intruder at Korakuen Hall

At NOAH’s Korakuen Hall event on the 29th April, a young woman intruded into the ring at the start of Kaito Kiyomiya, Sean Legacy & AMAKUSA vs Kongoh, and started imploring Kiyomiya to “show us a stronger NOAH” because he was “the savior of NOAH”. She was gently expelled from the ring by Referee Nishinaga, Kiyomiya and the young rookie, Taishi Ozawa. No further information has come from NOAH or any news outlets as to who this young woman was or what the consequence of her intrusion was, and it is rare in Japanese wrestling that a fan should intrude into the ring, but NOAH took the precaution to check bags at their fan event and MAJESTIC, and extra wrestlers were seen at ringside, which fans said felt like security. The very real threat was that she could have had a knife. New Japan’s Toru Yano has also spoken out about fan behavior. He didn’t mention fan invasion specifically, but more wrestlers being harassed by fans when at baggage claim at airports, at convenience stores etc. Kenoh kind of saved the situation by telling Kiyomiya that if he was stronger, then strange people wouldn’t do things like this!

Shinjiro Otani

At an event held on the 6th May to help with his hospital bills, Shinjiro Otani made an appearance. Takashi Sugiura bought him some flowers and Otani thanked him for not giving up wrestling due to the injury that Otani sustained during the title match. He also warned Sugiura, that he would see him in the ring again. Sugiura said he was waiting for that day.

Voodoo Murders vs Kongoh

SUWAMA broke into NOAH’s event at Korakuen Hall on the 29th April and gave Kenoh, a massive Last Ride powerbomb. Shrieking that he was going to take the All Japan World Heavyweight Tag back to where it belonged, i.e. All Japan, he was prepared to come and have a match in NOAH (with Kono his partner) to retrieve them. There then followed a comical scene involving the infamous lifts, where a quaking old man appeared and was told by Suwama to hold the doors. The match has been set for NOAH’s Kobe event on the 21st May. The event will not be broadcast live, but I would imagine this match will be through NOAH’s official Instagram. Suwama got further revenge on Kenoh at All Japan’s show on the 7th when Kongoh and Voodoo Murders had a pre match. Kenoh was given another powerbomb, shoved into a body bag and Voodoo Murders posed with their boots on him, before carrying him backstage on their shoulders. Half in and half out of the bag and dumped on the floor, Suwama told him that now he was in hell, those titles were theirs.

TITLE NEWS

GHC Heavyweight

In a match that saw Naomichi Marufuji pull out old moves (Shiranui and Shiranui Pole Shift, plus a rope bounce that he hasn’t used for a while) and moves that he has worked on, Jake Lee retained the GHC Heavyweight at MAJESTIC. However, no challenger came forward, and fans were expecting to see Go Shiozaki come out. Jake thanked Marufuji and ran down what he had felt in his past title defenses; Kiyomiya was the future, Nakajima the strength and Marufuji the history. Jake wondered what was next and predicted that on the 14th May at Korakuen Hall, things would start to happen. Jake’s match then is himself teaming with Good Looking Guys (including YO-HEY and Tadasuke) against two NOAH Juniors (Seiki Yoshioka and Atsushi Kotoge) against Kaito Kiyomiya and Takashi Sugiura. Fans think that it will be Sugiura who challenges.

Related articles

“Half the guys don’t think about it”, the real intention of outside invader Jake Lee’s cut down of the Ark warriors

“I can’t win in a direct match anymore”…Naomichi Marufuji aims to surpass his teacher, Mitsuharu Misawa, in recapturing the GHC

“It’s like a dream” – Jake, “Full speed for the first time in a while”, Marufuji

“Naomichi Marufuji must do his best here and now”, Mutoh speaks! 4th May Ryogoku Kokugikan, the direction of Jake vs Marufuji

GHC Junior Heavyweight

HAYATA was forced into doing some light comedy, when at the title match signing/press conference, Ninja Mack told him that he didn’t want him to be injured in their title match, and handed him a gift of bandages and athletic tape. HAYATA tried to keep a straight face. However, Ninja Mack found nothing to laugh about when HAYATA beat him and went to hand him his presents back. Apparently, HAYATA kept the bandages, as he only tried to give back the athletic tape. Ninja Mack knocked them to the floor and walked off. The GHC Junior Heavyweight is the only one with a challenger out of all the championships at the time of writing, as HAYATA has nominated Dante Leon as opponent. Dante Leon took the belt from Ninja Mack, but HAYATA feels he has to defeat everyone who held it while he was injured. Dante says he is coming back to take his belt back. Pre matches will take place, with the title match on the 17th June in Nagoya.

Related articles

GHC Junior signing ceremony: Ninja provokes the champion with first aid supplies, HAYATA “excellent”

GHC National

El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr continues to cement himself as one of the greatest GHC National Champions, by defeating Hideki Suzuki at MAJESTIC to retain in an epic match. Suzuki was even booed as he knocked Wagner Jnr down with a punch early on after Wagner Jnr had yelled “Arriba Mexico!”. Suzuki didn’t look as if he was too bothered, and fought most of the match with a cool hard expression. El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr isn’t on any cards for the rest of May 2023, so it looks as if the title will probably be challenged for some time in June.

Related articles

“Real” Suzuki emphasizes “Real Deal” to take over the GHC National, match signing ceremony

GHC Heavyweight Tag

Monster Taniguchi, which his seniors try so hard to awaken, sat dormant at the match signing as Saxon Huxley overturned the table, (which Takashi Sugiura, no stranger to trashing tables during press conferences, helped put back), but then turned his own over with a roar and made off with the tag belts. Sugi very politely helped the staff put the tables back. The team of Sugiura and Taniguchi gave very close to retaining, but they lost the belts when Saxon Huxley pinned Taniguchi with the Hanging Neck Bombs. The new champions celebrated by yelling loudly into the camera, and Huxley repeatedly head-butting his belt. Two new tags arose that night at MAJESTIC; AXIZ, and a new team of Masato Tanaka and Kazuyuki Fujita.

Related articles

Huxley and Taniguchi go berserk overturning tables, Sugiura apologizes

GHC Junior Tag

YO-HEY and Tadasuke (Good Looking Guys Unit) defended the GHC Junior Tag against Alpha Wolf and DragonBane at Korakuen Hall on the 29th April. The lucha brothers came very close to taking the titles, but YO-HEY saved the team by pinning DragonBane. No challengers have come forward, but it does seem likely that they will be challenged by the people that YO-HEY dumped to join GLG; Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka at Korakuen Hall on the 14th May, which is NOAH’s next event. However, Kotoge and Yoshioka may not be the most stable team, as Yoshioka did catch him with a kick accidentally.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

  • STAR NAVIGATION 2023 

(Saturday April 29th, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo) 

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • ABEMA PRESENTS MAJESTIC 2023

(Thursday 4th May, Ryogoku Kokugikan)

Event recap

Post match interviews

NOAH Fan Event Recap

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Atsushi Kotoge posted a picture of himself when he came to NOAH eleven years ago. He says he is “slightly embarrassed” about seeing himself back then.

– Mohammed Yone and Super Crazy almost left via the wrong gate at MAJESTIC. The trainee standing there tried to tell them, but they seemed insistent, eventually he had to almost stand in their way before they realized.

– Xtreme Tiger returned to the NOAH ring following his concussion

– Most people down the old man VIPER tonic, Masato Tanaka opened it, poured it down his throat and chugged it.

– Keiji Mutoh told Kazushi Sakuraba that he should fight a bear on PPV. Sakuraba said no, he would be killed, and suggested that Mutoh do it. Mutoh said he was an old man who was enjoying retirement by sitting at home and watching historical dramas on NHK.

– Ray Escorpion made his NOAH debut, which involved heel tactics and stalking Dralistico.

– Jake Lee regretted his choice of costume, i.e. his gloves and cape, at the NOAH Fan Event. He said he felt like he needed an icepack under his armpits.

– Eita hid under the ring to jump Yoshinari Ogawa at Korakuen Hall on April 29th. When he crawled out he stretched and yawned, meaning that he fell asleep under there!

– Alejandro was sitting at the commentary table when it got trashed by the Luchadores at MAJESTIC.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Jake Lee
    Challenger: TBA
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Dante Leon, GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in NAGOYA (Nagoya International Conference Center Event Hall – Saturday, June 17th)
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: REAL (Saxon Huxley & Timothy Thatcher)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Good Looking Guys (YO-HEY & Tadasuke)
    Challengers: TBA
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr
    Challenger: TBA

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

(May 2023 schedule)

– STAR NAVIGATION 2023

Date: Sunday May 14th

Venue: Korakuen Hall, Tokyo

Start times: Doors 17:30 JST, Bell 18:30 JST

Broadcast: ABEMA

Birthdays & anniversaries

May 8th 1961: Akira Taue birthday (62)

May 13th 2000: Jumbo Tsuruta memorial (23)

*NOTE ABOUT ABEMA BROADCASTS

For the overseas fan a subscription to WrestleUniverse is recommended instead of a subscription to ABEMA. You can only watch ABEMA shows live (you cannot watch replays should you miss the show), but these always get uploaded to WrestleUniverse a few minutes after the broadcast finishes. I do not recommend that overseas fans subscribe to ABEMA due to the time consuming and expensive issues around finding a VPN that is compatible with their firewall, and ABEMA do not broadcast any other NOAH shows aside from the live broadcasts, they do not show much exclusive content and they do not show vintage or older events.

LINKS

“No matter how many times you fall down, you get back up, that’s pro wrestling” – Kaito Kiyomiya vs Reiwa’s “Pu-Girl”

“I want to fight” Aoki’s first NOAH participation, Funaki “challenge”. Press conference for the first showdown in six years

“Isn’t that a stupid question?” Shiozaki, returning for the first time in eight months, emphasizes “perfection” like AMAKUSA

26 year old wrestler Kaito Kiyomiya talks about the importance of the dojo and generational view

NOAH FROM THE VAULT

Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary….he’s being obscene!

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

Picture credits: NOAH.co.jp


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More From Japan

(NOAH) NOAH NEWSLETTER VOL.199 ~ 25TH APRIL 2023

Lots of Championship news! Does Jake Lee have what it takes to captain the ark?

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NEWS

“I made you all wait”, Go Shiozaki announces his return

Go Shiozaki made a surprise appearance at NOAH’s Sendai event on the 16th April, and announced that he would return to the ring at “MAJESTIC” at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Thursday May 4th. In an interview done soon afterwards, Shiozaki said that of course his goal was to “get my belt back as soon as possible” and naturally, his target is the current champion, Jake Lee. He is very excited about NOAH now with the influx of foreign wrestlers, and of course, Jake Lee whom he knew from being in All Japan. Shiozaki’s return match will be against Kongoh’s Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Manabu Soya. Shiozaki says he will not only be fighting against his opponents, but also the younger generation of NOAH, who he says are “a threat”. NOAH’s generational wheel continues turning.

Related articles

The theme of return is “New Go Shiozaki”, “Fight with five people”, thrilled by the new NOAH scenery

“I have to get my belt back”, Go Shiozaki vows to return early to the title front

Junta Miyawaki returns from Mexico

Junta Miyawaki announced (bilingually as he also announced this in Mexican), that he would be returning from Ultimo Dragon’s training camp, and would make his first match back at Korakuen Hall at STAR NAVIGATION on the 29th April. His opponent will be HI69, who has been on a roll recently. Before he left, Junta Miyawaki said that he would “sip muddy water”, (which basically means to hit rock bottom and crawl you way back up), before he returned to NOAH. HI69 was unimpressed with this statement, saying that Junta had no idea what he was talking about, but he would soon make him realize it.

Women’s matches

NOAH continue to book women’s matches on their bigger shows. Sendai saw Maya Yukihi and Sumire Natsu fight in a singles match, and afterwards mention was made (even fleetingly) of a woman’s GHC championship. The next women’s match will be a four way at “MAJESTIC” on the 4th May between

Maya Yukihisa & SAKI vs Sumire Natsu & Ryo Mizunami.

Xtreme Tiger concussed & Luchadore’s trash the commentary table

Very sadly Xtreme Tiger sustained (probably) a concussion during the match in Sendai and was stretchered from the ring. Fortunately, he could still move as he was seen to be sitting up and sliding himself on to the stretcher. The remaining Luchadores (Doralistico, Dragon Bane, Alpha Wolf, Alejandro & Lanzelot) decided to continue the match, and as they are NOAH Juniors, didn’t bother to tell the ref. They just carried on and during this, Dragon Bane trashed the commentary table by moonsaulting through it. Then everyone else joined in, fighting in the wreckage. Akitoshi Saito (who had been sitting at the table) was seen looking on blankly. Later he made the comment that the table was not made of a material that was meant to be broken.

Yasutaka Yano and Kinya Okada taken off the Sendai card at the last moment

Yasutaka Yano and Kinya Okada were announced to have been taken off the Sendai card at the last moment, meaning that Anthony Green and Akitoshi Saito (who wrestled by taking his shirt off and in his normal clothes) had to fill in for them. NOAH have not announced the issue (illness, injury, etc) but fans think that they may have gone to Mexico for training, albeit why this should be so sudden is a mystery.

Title news 

GHC Heavyweight

Jake Lee retains, Naomichi Marufuji challenges

Jake Lee retained the GHC Heavyweight against Katsuhiko Nakajima, and was challenged that same night by Naomichi Marufuji. The nautical references continued, as Marufuji said that Jake’s steering was making him “seasick” and used a term that he says he came up with before he made his challenge, by saying that “Even if it is rotten, it is Marufuji” (the full saying is “Even if it is rotten, it is still a sea bream”, which basically is like saying “white cat, black cat, as long as it catches mice, then it is a good cat” i.e. quality is quality). Title match has been made for “MAJESTIC” on the 4th May.

The two pre matches have taken place at shows not broadcasted live, Hamamatsu (which was put on WrestleUniverse on the 25th April) and Kyoto KBS Hall (which will be streamed on WrestleUniverse on the 26th April from 18:00 JST). Neither the champion or the challenger scored the direct win over the other, but Jake was seen to hold the belt over Naomichi Marufuji as he, Jake, stood on the turnbuckle and held it even higher.

Related articles

The new champion gives NOAH a warning! Is it okay to stay as NOAH = Marufuji?

“After all, I’m the man who’s been with NOAH for a long time” – Naomichi Marufuji, on the 25th anniversary of his debut who named himself as the one to overthrow Jake, talks about his thoughts!

GHC Heavyweight Tag

Masa Kitamiya and Daiki Inaba lost the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship to Takashi Sugiura and Shuhei Taniguchi in Sendai. Shuhei Taniguchi, much to his seniors delight, got the win but there was no chance to celebrate for very long as a new fearsome tag team, who were part of a new unit (and therefore a new power in the heavyweights) appeared on the scene to challenge. Hideki Suzuki announced that himself, Timothy Thatcher and Saxon Huxley, were breaking away from The Sugiura Army, which he said was “over” (fans have long felt that the unit simply fizzled out) and the three of them were breaking away on their own.

Suzuki challenged for the GHC Heavyweight Tag belts on behalf of his partners, whom both came across as having chemistry akin to an old school American tag team (Saxon I know is from England, but you know the vibe I am talking about). Backstage, Hideki Suzuki said their new unit was called “Real”. In their first pre match in Hamamatsu, Suzuki refused to shake hands with Takashi Sugiura and Sugiura was defeated by Saxon Huxley. The next night in Kyoto, Sugiura defeated Huxley, which was Huxley’s first NOAH loss, with the Olympic Slam and labelled himself as “Beastmaster”. There was also some slight friction appearing between Takashi Sugiura and Shuhei Taniguchi, as Taniguchi did the same “I heard you lost today?” kind of comment back to Sugiura, and once again refused to shake hands with him when Sugiura offered and just walked off when Sugi asked, “Did you win?”.

GHC National

In an epic match, El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr defended the GHC National against Jack Morris, and the two of them shook hands afterwards and patched up their friendship. Backstage, Hideki Suzuki appeared in the comments booth when Wagner Jnr was in it, clapping sarcastically and saying that he was coming for his belt. Suzuki also made a very poetic comment about the challenge.

“Because Wagner Jnr is the sun of Mexico, I will take him deep into the ocean. We will sink together, and only I will rise”

Their two pre matches so far have been inconclusive as they head towards the title match at “MAJESTIC” on the 4th May at Ryogoku Kokugikan.

GHC Junior

AMAKUSA did not do well in the pre matches against HAYATA, and HAYATA ran him into the ground in the title match in Sendai, winning in thirteen minutes and four seconds. In order to forestall anyone who thought they were going to challenge, he was picking up where he left off, and his next challenger would be Ninja Mack. Ninja Mack had challenged HAYATA in late 2022 for the belt, but he had won it when HAYATA was injured, and the belt was awarded to him. To HAYATA, he needed to defeat Ninja Mack first before dealing with anyone else. The two pre matches have not gone well for HAYATA, although Ninja Mack hasn’t got the win over him directly, he has still gotten the win for his team at one point, even if one of the matches was won by someone else, which for him counts as a victory over HAYATA.

GHC Junior Tag

Fans knew that Yoshinari Ogawa and Eita were going to fall apart. YO-HEY knew this too, but knew enough about his opponents, to be wary. In the end, a misfire by Eita, who caught Ogawa in the face with a kick, letting Tadasuke get the win, made the team implode. Ogawa might have come to the ring ignoring Eita’s very existence, but by the end of the match the two were brawling and the fight went backstage. After kicking Ogawa in the crotch, Eita announced that the only person he trusted was Daga. Daga will return to NOAH at “MAJESTIC”, with the one person who hasn’t turned on Ogawa (although he was wary of his aligning with Eita), Chris Ridgeway, who is returning to NOAH at Korakuen Hall on Saturday 29th April.

The new GHC Junior Champions, Good Looking Guy’s YO-HEY and Tadasuke, were challenged backstage by Dragon Bane and Alpha Wolf, who told them they were going to be taking the belts back to Mexico. The brothers have run riot on the junior tag champions, defeating them in the pre matches, Alpha Wolf in a singles against Tadasuke. Title match will take place this Saturday at Korakuen Hall.

EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS

  • ABEMA presents GREEN JOURNEY 2023 in Sendai (Sunday April 16th)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Act City Hamamatsu (Saturday, April 22nd)

Event recap

Post match interviews

  • Kyoto KBS Hall (Sunday, April 23rd)

Event recap

Post match interviews

ELSEWHERE IN NOAH

– Because they were both champions facing their challengers, YO-HEY offered HAYATA a handshake in Kyoto. HAYATA reacted in usual fashion (he refused) but the two were seen to work together…

– Kongoh appeared in a short Kenoh Channel video, where each of them ate one of Shuji Kondo’s financiers and talked about the merch table. Katsuhiko Nakajima very neatly put back a packet of Naomichi Marufuji’s curry, which Kenoh had thrown.

– Although he is no longer appearing in the ring, NOSAWA Rongai was seen watching at the Hamamatsu show. He’s not a member of the audience however, as he seems to be travelling with them – Kenoh said that he was glad Go Shiozaki had returned as he could not “wait to beat the shit” out of him.

– Atsushi Kotoge has revealed his beloved Shiba is called “Chikuwa”. When he left for NOAH’s weekend shows, he told him he was leaving him as watchdog to guard the family.

– Mercedes Monet said she wanted a match with “Marufugi”. “Marufugi” said he wanted one with her too.

– YO-HEY and Yoshiki Inamura will appear on “All-Star Chorus Battle” on May 14th for Fuji TV. The premise of the show is that they will team with five other people, sing the hit songs of the Reiwa era and compete as a chorus for a championship.

– A picture taken by NOAH’s official photographer in Kyoto was captured at precisely the moment that Seiki Yoshioka was diving off the top turnbuckle. The angle of his body made him look as if he was leaping out of the stained glass behind him. Ironically, he seemed to be leaping from the roof of the Ark. Also photographed against The Ark was Yoshiki Inamura, who put a Dove above his head.

CURRENT CHAMPIONS

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Jake Lee
    Challenger: Naomichi Marufuji, ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th
  • GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
    Challenger: Ninja Mack, ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Takashi Sugiura & Shuhei Taniguchi
    Challengers: REAL (Saxon Huxley & Timothy Thatcher), ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Good Looking Guys (YO-HEY & Tadasuke)
    Challengers: Dragon Bane & Alpha Wolf, STAR NAVIGATION 2023, Korakuen Hall, Saturday April 29th
  • GHC National Champion: El Hijo Del Dr Wagner Jnr
    Challenger: Hideki Suzuki, ABEMA presents MAJESTIC 2023, Ryogoku Kokugikan, Thursday May 4th

THIS WEEK IN NOAH

  • STAR NAVIGATION 2023

Date: Saturday April 29th

Venue: Korakuen Hall

Start time: 18:30 JST (doors open 17:30)

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)

BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES 

29th April: Atsushi Kotoge debut anniversary (2005)

29th April: Tadasuke debut anniversary (2007)

*NOTE ABOUT ABEMA BROADCASTS

For the overseas fan a subscription to WrestleUniverse is recommended instead of a subscription to ABEMA. You can only watch ABEMA shows live (you cannot watch replays should you miss the show), but these always get uploaded to WrestleUniverse a few minutes after the broadcast finishes. I do not recommend that overseas fans subscribe to ABEMA due to the time consuming and expensive issues around finding a VPN that is compatible with their firewall, and ABEMA do not broadcast any other NOAH shows aside from the live broadcasts, they do not show much exclusive content and they do not show vintage or older events.

NOAH FROM THE VAULT

“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

Picture credits: NOAH.co.jpPro Wrestling DX


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