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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (11/19/19)




WWE Backstage coverage

Look in my eyes~ What do you see~?

He’s baaack~! Once Best in the World, CM PUNK, is part of WWE Backstage! Renee Young will sit down with her newest co-host to get some answers!


Renee Young runs down the schedule!

This is “one hell of a show!” Perhaps the most polarizing WCW Heavyweight Champion, David Arquette, goes to Promo School tonight! Survivor Series hype is at an all time high and the panel will tell us what should happen Sunday. And of course, CM Punk is the biggest part of the show! The zeros have been added to that check, it’s in his account, and now Punk will tell us everything about his return! Get ready to go Backstage!


Ember Moon joins the panel!

The War Goddess joins Renee, Booker T and Paige, because sadly, she has a torn Achilles… She is out for an unknown amount of time as far as the ring, but she’ll be here to talk wrestling in the mean time! But that means Ember can talk about the triple threat brand rivalry that’s heating up!

Just the highlights!

Shorty G and Mustafa Ali keep their Survivor Series spots while the takeover and invasion continues! The Undisputed Era hits hard on SmackDown, as does the NXT Women’s Division. Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt say “YES! YES!” to a Universal Championship match! SmackDown finally took a shot at Raw while Becky Lynch took a shot and knocked a security guard OUT. Triple H says “they” don’t care about Kevin Owens, but Kevin didn’t care to join up NXT. And in the end, all three brands brawled it out to end Raw, with HHH saying “the door’s wide open” this Wednesday!

But the biggest takeaways?

Booker says it was Kevin Owens getting himself on track. The Prizefighter is one to watch, no matter what he’s doing, and is top five in the WWE already. Ember says it was “NXT! NXT!” She still loves her original brand, and knows they’ve still got a lot left to do with two hours tomorrow night and WarGames even before Survivor Series. She wants to see if NXT can do three things in a row. Booker doesn’t like cage matches. Paige says Samoa Joe was big on commentary for Raw. That Backstage elbow rub! Joe shines no matter what he does, so hearing him on commentary is wonderful. Paige says Backstage should take full credit for that.

But what are NXT’s chances at Survivor Series?

Paige joins Ember in saying this is a big deal right now. Raw and SmackDown are the big leagues but NXT is going to show they’re on par, if not better. Ember says there were even higher stakes, but this is the first time out for a triple threat Survivor Series. All the winners of the 15-superstar matches should be given a scramble for the Royal Rumble’s 30th spot, or even just a title match. Booker brings up the brass ring. For one of those teams to have a chance would be great. But the point is, the panel is all in on it!


Backstage shares backstage footage of CM Punk’s arrival!

CM Punk didn’t think he was going to break the internet. He was going to break the world! And when his music hit, that’s exactly what he did! No one could keep their cool! YouTube’s WrestleTalk, Jayjay Bulldog, Wrestling Daze, and even Booker T on his Reality of Wrestling, “the internet pretty much blew up.” The rebellious Voice of the Voiceless certainly does have everyone’s attention now!

Renee Young introduces CM Punk!

It’s clobberin’ time~! But also interview time. CM Punk sits with Renee and first thing’s first, what brought CM Punk back? How long does he have? The show is an hour so he could use the rest of it. CM Punk feels what brought him back was that this job sprang up and was offered to him. He thought about it, didn’t refuse it outright, so he gave it a try. It just snowballed into this. So after six years, the time is right? “Wrestling and what I’m doing now are two completely different things.” Punk confirms he has not worked with or talked with or even engaged with anyone directly from WWE. He is with Fox and that is the reality of it. Now he gets to criticize the product, that’s what he’s always done, and that’s what made him popular. There is no filter, that’s how it’s always been, and now he can do this to find his way in the business again.

“There’s a lot of stuff that’s broken,” and what it all needs is someone without the burden of punishment so that he can tell it like it is. Voice of the Voiceless is a bit corny but it’s what it is. No one from WWE can suspend or fire him, jobbed out, be sent out yet told he’s not needed, none of that! “If it’s good, great. I’ll probably pat you on the back. If it’s bad, you’ll probably be mad at me.” Renee likes that, and knows that’s what fans want from him! We all have him back, and that’s what matters.

But to run through what happened last week, the timeline of getting to that debut, what was that like? CM Punk hated it when “the office” would “work the boys.” Those moments where someone showed up and no one else was told, such as when The Nexus got the jump on CM Punk and Luke Gallows. But then, as Backstage backstage footage shows us, CM Punk had to be very sneaky about walking into FS1 studios. Even he isn’t sure what he was doing skulking around like that. But then the moment came, he got nervous, but he knew that was the right thing to do. The butterflies in his stomach meant he’s not dead inside.

And again, more footage of Punk from that night, he admitted the nerves were compounded by the fans clambering for his return. Renee finally saw Punk looking nervous. But everyone gets nervous, even the masters. And Punk doesn’t want to sound arrogant but he felt he mastered a lot of what pro-wrestling is, was at the top of the game, but getting nervous now is a good sign. So far so good for just the first half of the show.

But how many people knew CM Punk would be here?

His inner circle is very small. He realized pretty quick that those work friends that were just because of work fell away quickly. Obviously AJ Lee, his wife, knew. And of course Renee was told. So maybe a dozen people at most. Renee admits she was super excited for that moment, too. Punk does note that Paige’s reaction was probably the best. Joe was playing it all cool, stifling the reaction pretty quick. But Renee and Paige were the best. And when the adrenaline went away, Punk still felt great. The relief of his entering, just not tripping over himself. He was tempted to Shock Master that, just because he could. But this feeling is because Punk can pick and choose what he does, and can avoid the jerks.

Did the phone blow up like crazy?

Not really. Good ol’ JR did, but that’s not that odd. He and Jim Ross still talk. The inner circle is small, so no he didn’t have a bunch of calls to field.

The elephant in the room: Is CM Punk wrestling again?

Survivor Series is in his town, Chicago. Plus, Royal Rumble is only around the corner. Fans love the element of surprise, but CM Punk knows that no matter what he says, someone is going to be upset. Punk has said before, he’s with Fox, hasn’t contacted WWE. It is not an active pursuit or interest, but he’s also 41 years old. Punk knows to never say never, but it is a bridge that will need to be built over a long time given certain hurdles. Renee can feel the internet moving already. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?” Don’t do that, Renee. But it’s her job! Punk just knows fans will chant his name at shows again. Yeah, like that stopped with him leaving, wah wah.

But after six years, watching the product now, what does Punk think?

It’s the same as when he left, in that wrestling could be so much more. But there is a reason everyone falls in love with pro-wrestling. Right now, stuff is still overproduced, micromanaged and the best characters, the ones fans genuinely love and support, are the ones that figure it out themselves and not the ones being told by the people in the back who’ve never really done a single thing, “never drew money, brother.” There is still a lot wrong but plenty of bright spots.

And what bright spots does he mean?

Punk likes Women’s Wrestling, just not this forced (R)Evolution. Let women wrestlers be women wrestlers and you’ll see exactly why they’re kickass talent that belong. Don’t label everything with a hashtag. And perhaps selfishly, Punk likes NXT, he sees a lot of himself in that brand, being an indie guy and WWE developmental. Those characters are the “less tainted,” the shiny new toys, and Punk can talk more about that the more he’s part of this show. There’s just a lot to talk about and not enough time in one night! Renee thanks Punk for this time, and assures him he’ll be more involved later. He’ll be cutting a promo as he teaches our special guest a lesson in Promo School!


It’s time for Promo School!

David Arquette is back a la DDP, “BANG!” What is going through the mind of the new indie darling? He’s pumped to be here! He’s a huge wrestling fan, especially a CM Punk fan! The world’s going crazy! The panel likes the energy. And Arquette is no stranger, but there are rules. The grade goes from F to A, obviously, but Arquette hopes they have low expectations. The panel gives advice: Punk knows Arquette is an accomplished actor and wrestler, Punk won’t “taint” him with too much this or that, “you do you.” Ember says keep that energy he came in with, and maybe use some references to his movies. Paige says that remember your target, and this week it’s Booker T!

Booker has his WCW World Championship, referencing those days. Arquette throws off the jacket! Booker gets what that was, they’ll talk later. Arquette starts, and is surprised Booker only has one belt. He should have five, right? But maybe that one should go to Arquette, since he was champion before him. He’s been in all the Screams, and will make Booker scream, too. Or perhaps, his wife? But Book, the whole Arquette family is in the business. His sister won an Oscar, and she didn’t have to carry David as much as Stevie Ray carried Book. What does the T stand for? “Totally should’ve given up after WCW!” Arquette does has to apologize for that one.

But with all this excitement, and CM Punk maybe possibly going back to wrestling, maybe fans will chant Arquette’s name whenever they see something they don’t like. Arquette may have had a terrible career, but it was better than Punk’s MMA career! Again, Arquette feels he has to apologize. That takes guts, Arquette is happy to have him back, and that interview on Vanity Fair was “inspiring.” We all love wrestling, and Booker T, while you’re not supposed to say this in a promo, “but I love you.” Well, not bad, it was rather pleasant.

The grades are in!

Renee says, D+! Ouch. But it was going to be a B, because Arquette went on too long. He didn’t see the light to say stop. Punk might hurt Arquette more. He’s vowing to be the hardest judge ever, F-! That weird apologizing did it. Just go with the insults, man. Good material but Arquette could’ve railroaded him. That was more battle rap than promo, but still commit. Arquette does admit, being a smaller guy, he was inspired by Punk, and Daniel Bryan, and Hornswoggle. Ember’s giving Arquette a C-. No movie references, a bit rambling, but good enough digs. Paige is being nice, surprisingly, a full C! She does love Arquette’s acting, but the promo was a bit random. But now, Booker T gets to give it all back!

Arquette is already stinging before Booker starts. Booker says Arquette rolling up here like it’s 1980, like he’s the Jackson 5. Arquette is now Tito! Tito never got the girl, like Arquette. Ready to Rumble? Scream? Eight Legged Freaks? All good, but 20 years later and he’s done nothing but straight to DVD! April 26, 2000, Arquette was in WCW, challenging for the title against DDP! How did that go? Arquette became the champ, walked backstage and walked into Booker T. How many times did Booker win the title? Not once. They stare down, Booker wants to whoop some ass, but he held back. Arquette holds up the title next night and says the others deserve the title. That was Arquette’s true character. Booker has to give it back, he loves Arquette, too. It was thanks to Arquette that Booker found the fire to become even a one-time world champ.

Renee thinks they got soft. What is happening to Promo School? But Booker continues to give props. The love fest ends as we have to go to break, but there’s still a lot left to do!


Deontay Wilder, in the WWE?

After seeing what rival, Tyson Fury, did, Wilder was on Inside PBC Boxing to say that he could see himself doing a flying elbow drop. Wilder has the character and charisma for that environment, he wouldn’t turn down an offer. But until then, will Wilder win against Ortiz in their world heavyweight championship rematch?


Time to Pay It Off!

It is time to hear CM Punk’s thoughts on everything WWE is setting up for this week on Survivor Series Weekend!

King Corbin’s dog jokes, yay or nay?

Punk thinks the less said, the better. It makes Punk reconsider doing this show. Oof. Did anyone really like what Baron Corbin was saying and doing towards Roman Reigns? Corbin is a newer guy to Punk, so this was not a good first impression. Paige’s opinion is that it’s thumbs down.

Who should shine the brightest at Survivor Series?

Booker heard Corbin calling Mustafa Ali a weak link for Team SmackDown, but Booker likes Ali. Ali has so much talent in and out of the ring and will surely shine in that elimination match. And for the Women’s Champions, Paige goes with Bad Bad Bayley. Paige is Team SmackDown, for one, but also, how much more powerful can Shayna Baszler and Becky Lynch get? They’re both so strong, Bayley going bad needs the rub. And in another David VS Goliath, Mysterio VS Lesnar is now NO HOLDS BARRED! Punks is sure fans will be happy here. “When pro-wrestling is great, it’s great.” This is going to be great. A motivated Lesnar is amazing, Mysterio is always great, and we could get a story that only the medium of pro-wrestling can give us. The Chicago crowd will elevate that, this is a diamond in the rough for the world title.

The Universal Championship is feeling blue!

Bray Wyatt changed the title’s color, and invited Daniel Bryan to “come play.” Bryan isn’t up for playing with puppets, but he’ll fight for the title. Are we getting that match? “YES! YES!” But how will it go? Booker says the best pure Heel is Baron Corbin, but Bray is doing great to be a great foil to Daniel Bryan. Those two can go all night long, Booker knows they’ll rise to the occasion. Punk isn’t so sure about the blue belt, though. Paige can’t believe he’s stirring the pot. Quick shout out from Living Colour to Punk, given their song is his song.


This Date in History!

Seven years ago was when CM Punk hit a full year of being WWE Champion on the way to his historic 434 day reign. That is still the sixth longest in the history of the WWE. That is just one reason why the wrestling world exploding having him back. Fans couldn’t believe it, and even WWE superstars had to tweet their excitement. Dream matches galore, because the world of wrestling NEEDS him!

Specifically among the superstars was of course, the newest self-professed Best in the World, Seth Rollins with a simple, “FIGHT ME CM PUNK.” And when CM Punk talked about getting caught up on what he missed, Rollins dared Punk to have that match and get caught right up in a hurry.

What does Punk feel Rollins needs?

Punk wants to keep his journalistic integrity. This isn’t about shooting angles or working the crowd. But Punk will say what Rollins needs to do is: stop tweeting; realize that sometimes, it’s better to be viewed as a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. But then looking at what “those Shield guys” have done in the 5 years without Punk, they’ve all done great things. Yeah, which one is Renee’s favorite? She goes with the safe answer of all three.

But specifically, the rises to the top of the WWE. Roman’s rise versus Rollins’, how does Punk see each of them? It is a tough job, “over-saturation” is a key phrase. Being in that spotlight, it is hard to stay fresh for the fans. Both are top guys, which wears on them and fans.

CM Punk and the Mrs. know what that is like to be on top while together. How does Punk feel that is for Rollins and Becky? That is super hard, but being on the road together does help. Any constructive criticism? Delete Twitter for a bit.


Time for Social Media SmackDown!

Well first some social media love, fans continue to be happy to have him back. But others just… aren’t. And wait a minute, Tom Arnold?! “I <3 CM Punk, too. He weights like a buck-fifty now. I could probably take him. Night blindness and all.” Where is this coming from? Tom Arnold who married Rosanne? What seventh level of hell did Punk end up in that Tom Arnold is mocking him? Rollins tweeting doesn’t compare to this! Punk didn’t want this! Arnold should’ve asked for this, either! If Punk wanted crap from him, he’d scrape Tom Arnold’s tongue! Tom Arnold has a tattoo of Rosanne on his chest that he then covered up with a tattoo of Stephen King! And that is from the man with ramen for a tattoo! Arnold loses the Stupidest Tattoo Contest, just like losing a promo contest!

Weighing in at 150, 200, it doesn’t matter, Tom Arnold would lose to Punk bowling. Take that LA Dodgers hat and get out before Punk throws him out! Go start your relevancy somewhere else, Seth! Er, Tom! DOUBLE BURN~! Booker likes to think throwing in Seth is about getting in the ring. No, just a Freudian Slip. And the swear jar begins. No, the contract says Punk can do what he wants and that includes light profanity! But that’s the end of that, get ready for more Punk Backstage!



My Thoughts:

A real fun episode right here! Punk getting to go after booking decisions, share his side of everything, talking smack back to Tom Arnold, and as is always true in pro-wrestling, never saying never. I appreciate everything Punk had to say about everything he talked about, and if nothing else, someone is going to come out and say it on FS1 that things like Corbin’s dog mascot and I would hope the Lana-Lashley-Rusev Love Triangle are just awful. Arquette was pretty solid, too, and the panel is right, if he just went all in on his insults, it would’ve been legit. If Backstage was floundering in the ratings, I would think this episode just salvaged it all.

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More From Japan


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





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.

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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.


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.

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“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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.



(Saturday April 29th, Korakuen Hall, Tokyo) 

Event recap

Post match interviews


(Thursday 4th May, Ryogoku Kokugikan)

Event recap

Post match interviews

NOAH Fan Event Recap


– 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.


  • 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


(May 2023 schedule)


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)


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.


“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


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

With thanks to: Metal NOAH

Picture credits: NOAH.co.jp

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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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More From Japan


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





“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.


  • 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


– 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.


  • 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



Date: Saturday April 29th

Venue: Korakuen Hall

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

Broadcast: ABEMA (Live)


29th April: Atsushi Kotoge debut anniversary (2005)

29th April: Tadasuke debut anniversary (2007)


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.


“Donmai, Donmai” – Mitsuharu Misawa’s diary

With thanks to: Metal-NOAH

Picture credits: NOAH.co.jpPro Wrestling DX

Powered by RedCircle

Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
Continue Reading



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