Impact Wrestling Star Opens Up On Addiction & Change! Jimmy Jacobs Opens Up To Impact Wrestling Fans...
It has been said that Noah have a lot of gratitude towards Club Citta, and this statement is very true. During the empty arena days caused by Coronavirus, it was Club Citta who allowed Noah to run their shows, and it looks like from now on the old venue which saw a lot of indie wrestling during the 1990s is entering a new renaissance, called now Noah's "TV match Holy Land", it wouldn't surprise me if other promotions took advantage of it.
Noah made a small return to normality today, with a merchandise table available, but only for half an hour. Fans however could not browse, I believe they had to order what they wanted beforehand. Kaito Kiyomiya was also on autographs, and Noah erected a plastic screen next to him so that pictures could be taken with fans. As usual there were stringent checks of temperature and condition before anyone was allowed to take their seat. For those who did get in (and Noah reported an attendance of 69 people), the show was opened by teen idol J-POP band TEENS HEAVEN. Sadly there were no dancing wrestlers this time.
The event was broadcast live on WRESTLE UNIVERSE. As the stream is left for perpetuity, you will be able to access it if you are a subscriber. If not, it is 900 yen per calendar month, with the first month free. Please make sure you register on the first of the month or you will get charged twice.
Shuhei Taniguchi & Kinya Okada vs THE TOUGH (Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
THE TOUGH came stamping to the ring wearing facemasks (which Kitamiya put back on immediately afterwards), while Kinya Okada came out and looked warily at his opponents. Looking at Yoshiki Inamura, you could hear his gears revving up as he looked at him. There was an immediate tension between Masa Kitamiya and Shuhei Taniguchi, and with good reason, this was going to be a complete Hoss fight.
The Noah born rivals, Okada and Inamura, faced off first with Okada throwing elbows and working on Inamura's arm. He is becoming proficient in reading Inamura, and managed to anticipate and evade some of his attacks. That didn't stop Noah's tank knocking him down. Kinya Okada is often called a classical wrestler, specifically from the Showa Era, and he came up against Noah's other Showa Era wrestler today, Masa Kitamiya. The fight they put on was like an old school battle from NTV in the 1980s. Kitamiya also got a taste of Okada's kicks too.
Taniguchi, is Noah's veteran monster, normally so quiet outside the ring inside it he becomes a monster, roaring loudly as he performs power moves or takes out all his opponents. He did his own share of "classical" wrestling when he attempted to chokeslam Inamura with a very Akira Taue like chokeslam. Taniguchi also wanted to prove to both Okada (and probably Katsuhiko Nakajima) that he could kick too, he used own version of the soccer ball kicks when he took a run up and practically punted Inamura's head off. Needless to say with all four wrestlers beast fighters, it was a powerful opener.
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the Saito Suplex on Kinya Okada (11 minutes, 56 seconds)
To keep the fire burning between them, like two tigers watching each other from the long grass, Kitamita stood on one side of the ring after the match, leaning on the apron and watching Taniguchi walk off. Taniguchi stared at him until the last moment.
YO-HEY vs Seiki Yoshioka
Despite YO-HEY'S background in Dove, and Seiki Yoshioka's time on the indies, he was only ever in the promotion eight times, and he only ever teamed with (not against) YO-HEY once during his time there (he teamed with the GinGin Boys), and so today was the first time ever the two club wrestling veterans have faced off in a singles match.
YO-HEY seemed a little more like YO-HEY, still a little subdued, but his hair was half pink which is a good sign, and he did one of his crazy lock ups. Yoshioka just gave up and did what most people do, just forget about it and kick him.
The match was a fast paced junior match, which illustrated against an opponent such as Yoshioka, showcases YO-HEY'S amazing natural ability, especially with the YO-ROLL which often defies physics as to how he moves his body when he does it. Yoshioka did his (in)famous top rope moonsault, and so with no commentary table to almost trash this time (and Kuniko Yamada to scare), he and YO-HEY went flying into the stairs.
WINNER: Seiki Yoshioka with the Jump Cross Solidification (14 minutes, 2 seconds)
YO-HEY's losing streak continues
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) vs Kongoh (Haoh and Nioh)
This was always going to be an ugly match, between the two champion heavyweights and a junior tag team. I pitied the 5'4 Haoh who was almost chopped in half, got the "Shutter Chance" and then was bounced backwards and forwards with "Endless Love".
Kongoh made their usual entry, standing like statues until their names were called and then raising their heads in turn before turning to stand side by side with the thunderbolt throw. AXIZ, however, took their time getting to the ring, Katsuhiko Nakajima (who loves the camera), making his usual entry and Go Shiozaki delaying his to let Nakajima finish. Kongoh then decided to attack them a few minutes after they had gotten into the ring, with both teams still in their jackets. Nioh kept Shiozaki down until Shiozaki flying shoulder tackled him.
AXIZ were dominant, but this was no squash match. Haoh was small enough to slip under some of Nakajima's kicks, a double through the rope dive, and other offensive and defensive maneuvers. Katsuhiko Nakajima, like the Velociraptor he is, stalked Haoh through the match, with a big Cheshire Cat grin on his face he smirked as he wiped off Haoh's punches, and in the end told him to "Hit me" before knocking him down. He even made the soccer ball kicks even worse, by peering into Haoh's face and grabbing him by the scruff of the hair to hold his head up. Haoh, with fighting spirit, kicked out of the subsequent pin, but he did not kick out of the brutal kick Nakajima did on him next, and Nakajima sat staring into the camera as the three was counted.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Middle Kick on Haoh (15 minutes, 32 seconds)
After whatever remained of Haoh was rolled out of the ring, and AXIZ did their individual poses with the belts, they posed on the entryway with a couple of signs that had been made by fans. After this, Noah then announced the dates for N-1 Victory. The tour will start on the 18th September in Nagoya, mainly stay at Korakuen Hall (on the 23rd they will do two dates in one day, one event in the morning and the other in the evening), with the championship taking place in Osaka on the 11th October (Daisuke Harada's older brother, Akio, was delighted. Harada made no comment).
Naomichi Marufuji & FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara) vs Kaito Kiyomiya, Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke
After this match, Naomichi Marufuji praised the the junior wrestlers, saying he was taken aback by their heavyweight power, especially Tadasuke, and you can tell that Harada still hates Marufuji, although the two of them didn't act like children. As for Marufuji's junior teammates, Atsushi Kotoge started badgering him about who he thought was the leader, himself or Ohara? Marufuji made it quite clear (twice) that he wasn't interested, Ohara (a wise man) eventually removed Kotoge to the apron, and Marufuji answered Kotoge's question, but not in the way Kotoge would have liked, by indicating that he thought that the leader of FULL THROTTLE, is what everyone knows, it's Hajime Ohara.
Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya started the match (the match was actually dominated by the juniors who outranked the two heavyweights), with Marufuji pronging Kiyomiya on the forehead as if he was a small child, so Kiyomiya got him in a headlock. Elsewhere, we got the always preciously rare jewel of Daisuke Harada vs Hajime Ohara which was typically fast paced. We also got to see the two crazy people in Noah, Atsushi Kotoge and Tadasuke face off. Kotoge was not as hyper as he normally is today, but Crazy Tadasuke was not taking a day off, and during a march around the ring shaking his head and his fists, Kotoge attempted to stop him and it didn't work. Grabbing Tadasuke by the back of the head, he headbutted him.
Pointed his finger.
Crazy Tadasuke was later bought back to sanity, when Marufuji dogeared him and chopped him.
The match ended with Marufuji and Harada outside the ring exchanging chops, as Kiyomiya pinned Ohara.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex Hold on Hajime Ohara (18 minutes, 53 seconds)
After everyone had left the ring, Kaito Kiyomiya addressed the crowd and said he was happy to see them all today and acknowledged the debt that Noah owe Club Citta for allowing them to hold their empty arena shows there. Finishing up he spoke of the match on the 4th August at Korakuen at the first of Noah's twentieth birthday shows, which will pit himself, Go Shiozaki and Kotaro Suzuki against their seniors, Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura and Yoshinari Ogawa, and promised to "show new scenery".
Noah's next event will be on the 1st August 2020 at Club Citta or as it is known as when there is no audience, "Noah Special Arena", when Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka will fight over who is the leader of FULL THROTTLE, while Hajime Ohara joins in to prove what everyone knows. It goes without saying that this will solve nothing.
GIFS were taken from WRESTLE UNIVERSE.
Intro: Issues starting up due to gossip regarding friends, family and coworkers is nothing new; We hear about it all the time and we especially hated when the gossip is about you or someone you know, but other times our perspective on another person can be made thanks to the gossip we hear from others.
Such was the case for Lacey Von Erich, who during her short stint in TNA Wrestling once had a radio interview where she talked about a fellow coworker in a less than pleasant way.
Who Is Lacey Von Erich?
If you never watched TNA Wrestling in the late 2000's and early 2010's then it's a safe bet that you've never saw Lacey Von Erich before; While you may not of seen her wrestle before, you most certain have heard about her family.
Lacey is the daughter of Kerry Von Erich of the Legendary Von Erich Family, A Texas born family of wrestlers who were popular in the 70's and 80's.
Like her family, Lacey took up an interest in pro wrestling and as such she appeared in promotions like Wrestlicious before making the jump to TNA (now Impact Wrestling) at the beginning of the Hogan/Bischoff regime.
During the majority of her time in the company, Lacey became a member of one of the company's most iconic factions where she became one half of the TNA Knockouts Tag Team Champions before retiring from the sport of wrestling in 2011.
The faction in which Lacey became a part of was 'The Beautiful People' a group who needs no introduction as they are still till this day one of the most iconic and greatest female stables spawning multiple copycats from various promotions mostly notably LayCool in the WWE.
However, Lacey's inclusion within the Beautiful People was due to the fact that one of the groups main players and the other character in this story was released from the company.
So who was this main player you might asking? Well it just so happened to be none other than Angelina Love...
Angelina Love for those who don't know is a multiple time Knockouts Champion and one the most iconic female wrestlers during the 2000's thanks to her formation of "The Beautiful People" Alongside Velvet Sky and future members Kip James (Billy Gunn) and Madison Rayne.
Love was release from the company due to issues regarding her work visa, which had expired and it would take some time for it to be renewed. This resulted in her being released from TNA on September 3rd 2009, however she did mention via MySpace that she would be returning to the company as soon as she got her visa issues settled.
Retelling Her Time In TNA
During a 2017 interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin on his podcast, Lacey mentions how she got signed to TNA Wrestling as well as mentioning how she enjoyed her time with the company and doesn't regret it (a far cry from some other names who signed with TNA during the early stages of the Hogan/ Bischoff Era).
Lacey talks to Steve about working in TNA and how the locker room would talk smack about Angelina Love following her temporary leave from the company.
While she doesn't mention any names in the interview, it is known by many who worked there (including Angelina herself) that she wasn't well liked by those in the back.
So, with Love not being there to defend herself and the gossip about her running like rapid, TNA's newest knockout began to believe that the rumors she was hearing about Angelina were true and even mentions that she would never want to meet her.
In 2010, Lacey had a radio interview and was asked about her thoughts about being Angelina Love's replacement within the Beautiful People and what she thought about her predecessor.
According to reports Lacey responded with "[Angelina] wasn't a good fit for it in my opinion. I thought that was what everybody was going to be, 'Oh no. Angelina is gone,' but not one person said that. Nobody really missed her that much. I feel like I can fill the shoes that I'm supposed to. TNA told me that this role was made for me, and I feel the same way. I've never met Angelina before in my life. After what some people have said, I don't know if I want to."
Keep in mind, Lacey was still brand new to the company and she was saying this about not only someone she had never met but a seasoned veteran within the Knockouts Division.
When Lacey's comments were published by the daily news group, 'Miami Herald', TNA management weren't too pleased by her comments as she didn't have the right to say words like that about a wrestler who had more tenure and experience than her within the promotion.
In reality, Lacey was only saying what she heard from numerous people within the wrestler's locker room and she didn't know any better.
In a moment that probably had Lacey saying Holy S###, Angelina came back to TNA after sorting out her visa issues, not to mention that she heard about Lacey's comment about her and she was also looking to get her spot back within the Beautiful People.
Lacey, both out of guilt and by orders of TNA management attempted to confront and apologize to Angelina just a mere week after her comments were publicized.
Now considering the rumors about Angelina Love painting her out as not being the nicest person in the locker room plus, having a take no B.S. attitude, you can probably imagine how this all turned out for the young Von Erich...
Burying The Hatchet
To the surprise of Lacey and lot of you reading this Angelina actually forgave her for the comments she made, all be it Lacey had to a lot of groveling and apologizing before Angelina was able to put their issues to rest.
The two ladies would become friends following the whole debacle with Angelina continuing to work in TNA/Impact winning the Knockouts Championship for a Sixth and final time whilst reforming the Beautiful People a number of times until her departure in 2017.
Meanwhile, Lacey would quietly retire from TNA and the wrestling business in it's entirety in 2011 and has since been seen hanging around with another daughter of a famous wrestler, Brooke Hogan via TMZ clips on YouTube.
Moral of the story: It's important to try and get to know a person or people better, before talking crap about them to others or in radio interviews.
If you enjoyed my article please leave your thoughts below and for more pieces like this, be sure to follow Wrestling With Wrestling on Twitter @WrestlingwithW3
Intro: The Mae Young Classic for those who don't know was a 32 woman invitational tournament which saw some of the best unsigned female talent from across the globe as well as future WWE superstars like Lacey Evans, Dakota Kai, Bianca Belair, and Rhea Ripley take part in the summer of 2017 and 2018.
The tournament introduced mainstream wrestling fans to athletes who would later become stars in promotions like Ring Of Honor, NWA and All Elite Wrestling.
While some of the names that took part in the tournament like Mia Yim, Tessa Blanchard, Allysin Kay and Madison Rayne have become well known thanks to their time in Impact Wrestling the following 10 ladies I'll be mentioning on this list managed to not only take part in the Mae Young Classic, but were also at one point in time signed or appeared for Impact Wrestling.
10. Marti Belle
Like many of the women on this list, Marti Belle first started out in the independent wrestling scene before appearing in TNA/Impact and then later the WWE.
Marti Belle is best known to many fans for her time in TNA when she along with female wrestlers: Rebel, Mia Yim and Taryn Terrell formed the stable known as "The Dollhouse" which ran from 2016-17 and during that time she was involved in a feud The Beautiful People which lead to the Dollhouse competing in the first female Lethal Lockdown match in 2015.
Belle would then go solo following the break up of The Dollhouse and she began feuding with former partner Mia Yim also known as Jade at the time, she also wrestled against names like ODB, Awesome Kong, Brooke Tessmacher, Gail Kim, Allie and Madison Rayne until her contract ended in 2017.
Marti would take part in the 2017 edition of the Mae Young Classic but she was eliminated from the competition in the first round by Rachael Evers aka Rachael Ellering. However she did wrestle in an unaired six women tag team match which included future Mae Young Classic participants and even future Impact Wrestling star, Tessa Blanchard.
As of late, Marti Belle has been seen wrestling in Billy Corgan's version of the NWA promotion where she works with names like Melina, Allysin Kay and Thunder Rosa; Most recently, she as well as a number of other female pro wrestlers will be involved in a project known as "Faces & Heels" hosted by former WWE superstar, Eva Marie.
9. Lei'd Tapa
Lei'd Tapa is the daughter of legendary pro wrestler, "The Barbarian" and is skilled in various sports like Basketball, Track and Field, Volleyball and Jousting before eventually settling into a career in pro wrestling.
Tapa's first major T.V. appearance came in February of 2013 when she participated in "Gut Check" which was TNA's version of WWE's Tough Enough with the aim of getting signed onto the Impact Wrestling roster. Although she didn't win her match, she would end getting a development contract with the promotion and practiced her abilities in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Tapa would debut officially on Impact television on October 3rd 2013 and she immediately established herself as an imposing force in the Knockouts Division; Tapa would soon become the muscle for Gail Kim following Gail's victory in a triple threat match for the Knockouts Championship at that year's Bound For Glory event, However Tapa's time in the company would end soon afterwards as Gail Kim would turn babyface on Tapa and defeat her one week later in March of 2014.
Aside from a few appearances in 2015 as part of a pseudo Global Force Wrestling invasion angle, Tapa would fall off the radar for many fans until she resurfaced in 2017 when she lost a match to Ember Moon on NXT in July and later that same year she would be a part of the Mae Young Classic all be it as an alternative entrant in case of an emergency.
Since then Tapa has been seen in the world of mixed martial arts where her record stands at zero wins and two losses as of the writing of this article.
8. Santana Garrett
During her first stint with the WWE's black and yellow brand NXT, Santana Garrett was given a series of tryout matches which ended up with her losing most if not all of her matches to names like Dakota Kai, Charlotte Flair, Billie Kay, Emma, Asuka and even her appearance at the 2017 Mae Young Classic saw her eat a loss to Scottish born wrestler, Piper Niven also known as 'Viper' before returning back the independent wrestling scene.
Before this however, Garrett would eventually get signed by TNA in early 2014 under the ring name of 'Brittany' where she wrestled an handful of matches mostly on Xplosion before getting involved in two bizarre love angles: one with Samual Shaw and the other with Madison Rayne (spoiler alert neither of them worked out well).
Santana was then released from her TNA contract in December of 2014, but she would make sporadic appearances in TNA where she wrestled a series matches against Brooke Tessmacher and Brandi Rhodes at Knockouts Knockdown 2013 and 2017 respectively as well as losing a match to Rosemary on March the 2nd 2017.
Santana managed to make her way back to the WWE where she was given a contract in August of 2019, despite Ms. Garrett suffering a handful of loses on the NXT brand most notably the time she lost a 45 second loss to Bianca Belair she was able to finally pick up a victory on an episode of NXT in June 2020 over Aliyah.
7. Jazzy Gabert
Also known by her ring name "Alpha Female" (no relation to "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown of TNA Wrestling fame) this German born bodybuilder and pro wrestler took part in the 2017 edition of the Mae Young Classic as Jazzy Gabert where she lost in the first round to 'Abbey Laith' whose best known under her ring name of Kimber Lee.
In late 2017 she was promised a contract with the WWE until that offer was revoked due to the discovery that she had three herniated discs found in her neck and as a result she had to undergo surgery to fix the problem which was successful; Following the surgery she worked her way back up before getting signed and appearing at the NXT: Blackpool event in 2019, however she would be gone from the company a year later after being told the one thing any wrestler hates to hear and that's "the writers don't having anything for you".
Before all of this however, the Alpha Female was seen in Impact Wrestling in 2014 during the company's tour of the United Kingdom during which she served as the female muscle to former X Division and Tag Team champion, Chris Sabin during his feud with wrestler and ex-girlfriend Velvet Sky.
During this time she fought against names like Madison Rayne and ODB before the company offered her a contract with the promotion but she refused and instead decided to go and wrestle in Japan; It was later revealed that the crazy backstage and working conditions that the company had at the time was a possible motive for her refusal.
6. MJ Jenkins
Monique Jacqueline Jenkins aka MJ Jenkins wrestled in various Indy promotions before she got signed to Impact Wrestling in 2017 after making her debut at that year's Knockouts Knockdown Pay Per View where she lost her match to "The Demon Assassin" and former Impact Knockouts Champion, Rosemary.
Jenkins wouldn't really appear much on Impact's weekly episodes though she did have a handful of matches with names like Laurel Van Ness and Angelina Love all of which she lost before she was released from the company alongside a few other names in November of 2017.
On July 17th 2018, MJ Jenkins was signed to the WWE following a tryout match earlier in the year and as a result she participated in the 2018 edition of the Mae Young Classic, sadly she didn't go that far in the tournament as she was eliminated in the first round by a bleach blonde Rhea Ripley.
Unfortunately, Jenkins would be released from the WWE in April of 2020 as one of many wrestlers who would be axed from the company on a day infamously known as "Black Wednesday".
5. Deonna Purrazzo
Deonna Purrazzo has the distinction of being the only woman on this list to have wrestled in all three of the major wrestling promotions in the United States at the time (ROH, TNA/IMPACT and WWE).
Like a lot wrestlers, Purrazzo would compete in the independent wrestling scene before she appeared in Ring of Honor and wrestling in the promotion from 2015 until 2018.
She first appeared in TNA when she lost a match to Brooke Tessmacher in May of 2014 but she would make more appearances with the company wrestling against names like Tessmacher, Madison Rayne and Laurel Van Ness unfortunately despite the company still being the #2 promotion in the U.S. at the time, Purrazzo never signed with the company whether it was the ineptitude of management or Deonna's decision to not sign with Impact is unknown.
Finally, she would appear for the WWE in 2014 where she would be one of many wrestlers to be one of Adam Rose's rosebuds before competing and losing to names like Bayley, Emma, Nia Jax Alexa Bliss, Lacey Evans, Bianca Belair and Asuka.
In 2018 Deonna signed with the WWE and took part in Mae Young Classic where she wrestled names like Barbi Hayden, Priscilla Kelly and Xia Li before losing to future NXT star Io Shirai; Ms. Purrazzo would soon become a resident of the NXT roster before giving herself the nickname "The Virtuosa".
Deonna would wrestle a number of NXT stars until she was released from the WWE in April of 2020 due to the mass firing that is known as "Black Wednesday", thankfully it didn't take longer for her to rebound as she would appear on the June 9th 2020 episode of Impact Wrestling via video package with many believing that she was Impact's newest signee although it seems to be a pay per appearance type of deal (as of the writing of this article).
She would sooner afterwards thrust herself into the Knockouts title picture when she attacked then champion Jordynne Grace following a title defense; Grace would lose the belt to Purrazzo at this year's Slammiversary event, with many calling it one of the best matches of the night.
4. Rachael Ellering
Rachael Ellering is the daughter of Paul Ellering, who is best known for being a well renowned manager to teams like the Road Warriors from the 1980s until the late 90's as well as the Authors Of Pain in NXT from 2016-18.
She first appeared in NXT losing a number of matches to names like Alexa Bliss, Aliyah, Liv Morgan, Ember Moon and Sonya Deville before she took part in the 2017 Mae Young Classic; During this time she went under the name of Rachael Evers where she defeated Marti Belle in the first round, only to be eliminated after losing a match to Abbey Laith/Kimber Lee.
Realizing they had a future star and the daughter of legend on their hands, the WWE decided to put Rachael in the 2018 edition of the tournament however unlike her previous showing she was defeated in the opening round.
But before she took part in the 2018 tournament, Ms. Ellering made a few appearances in Impact Wrestling in 2017 during which she took part in the One Night Only Knockouts Knockdown 2017 PPV where lost a match to Laurel Van Ness.
The most memorable part of her time in Impact Wrestling saw Rachael taking on Allysin Kay aka Sienna on the March 2nd 2017 edition of Impact, which saw Sienna picking up the victory.
Almost a year following her appearances in Impact and the Mae Young Classic, Rachael Ellering signed with the WWE in January of 2019 where she wrestles under her real name, unfortunately she has had to undergo surgery due to injuries she suffered including a torn ACL during a NXT live event in the summer of 2019 as well as injuries she sustained when she was the victim of a hit-and-run car crash in May of that same year thanks to a drunk driver.
In April of this year, Rachel was fired from the WWE along with various others wrestlers. As of the writing of this article it;s unknown where she will appear next, but a tweet she made sooner after her firing may hint at her possibly going to Impact but will have to wait and see.
3. Serena Deeb
A seasoned veteran in the world of women's wrestling, Serena Deeb has been in the wrestling business since 2005 and she's wrestled in various different promotions including Shimmer and Ohio Valley Wrestling.
In 2008, Serena made her pay per view debut at TNA's Slammiversary event when she accepted an open challenge to face Awesome Kong for the Knockouts Championship and $250,000 but she was unsuccessful.
Her most memorable time in mainstream wrestling saw her as the female disciple for CM Punk's Straight Edge Society where Punk shaved her head bald in front of a live audience and she became one of Punk's messengers of destruction when it came to spreading the word of Punk's philosophy of living a drug and alcohol free life.
After that storyline ran it's course, Serena would return to Shimmer for a couple of years before returning to TNA in the mid 2010's where she competed in a few high profiled matches with Mickie James.
Serena would talk part in the 2017 edition of the Mae Young Classic but she wouldn't last too long; She refused to wrestle in the 2018 edition of the Tournament but she would sign with the WWE in January of 2018 where she became a coach for the company's performance center until she was released/furloughed from her position in the WWE in April of 2020 thanks to you guest it...the mass firing known as "Black Wednesday".
2. Sage Beckett
This Florida native took part in the 2017 Mae Young Classic where she was defeated in the first round by future NXT star, Bianca Belair; Not too long afterwards she was signed to the WWE on January 4th 2017 where she began training in the performance center before she became the bodyguard for the WWE's resident valet, Lana and wrestled in a small number of matches.
But, like many on this list Beckett's time in the company didn't last long as she was released from the WWE less than a year after signing with the promotion; Now you may not recognize the name Sage Beckett but if you were a fan of Impact during the early stages of the Hogan/Bischoff regime then you might remember her for a completely different reason.
In April of 2010, Beckett was first seen by mainstream fans in TNA as a very large and very inexperienced wrestler by the name of Rosie Lottalove; During a dark match, Rosie using her other ring name 'Betsy Ruth' had a dark match with TNA Knockout Daffney and it didn't go well for the scream queen of TNA Wrestling.
The final moments of the match saw Rosie actually applying all of her weight onto Daffney's upper body area before slamming her with a dangerous looking powerbomb which may of resulted in Rosie's victory, but it also resulted in Daffney being taken to the hospital where it was reported that she suffered a deeply bruised sternum, a neurological injury known as a stinger and one heck of a concussion.
Because the company was under the control of morons at the time, Rosie was signed to TNA and began her career wrestling against Roxxi in her first official match before transitioning into a feud with Madison Rayne and The Beautiful People over issues of body shaming...and considering this all happened under the Hogan/Bischoff regime with Vince Russo as the head booker you can imagine this angle had about as much subtlety as a pro wrestler telling you that everything will be fine before hitting you in the face with an actual steel chair.
Rosie never injured anyone else but that mostly has to do with the fact that she didn't stick around for that long as she was released from the company in August of 2010.
Thankfully this story does have a happy ending, following her release from the company Beckett would soon go into semi-retirement before losing 127 pounds and returning to the ring under the name Andrea; She reappear in TNA five years later on February 14th 2015 during the One Night Only Knockouts Knockdown Pay Per View where she had a much safer looking match with former TNA Knockouts Champion, Awesome Kong.
1. Kay Lee Ray
That's right, Kay Lee Ray the current and longest reigning NXT UK Women's champion (as of the writing of this article) did indeed wrestle in Impact Wrestling before joining the WWE. After making a splash in a number of companies in the European circuit, Kay Lee took part in the second season of TNA's British Boot Camp show which looked to find the next top European wrestler.
The competition would be won by future NXT UK star Mark Andrews aka 'Mandrews' and despite wrestling in a number of matches against names like Madison Rayne, Gail Kim, Nikki Storm (aka Nikki Cross in WWE) and Angelina Love the company failed to sign Kay Lee Ray to a contract, a move that must baffle the minds of a lot wrestling fans today.
Following this, Kay Lee would wrestle and lose a match to Nia Jax in 2015 before wrestling in the Mae Young Classic in 2017. Kay Lee would lose in the first round but she would appear alongside Jazzy Gabert at the NXT Blackpool event and not too long after this she would sign with the WWE in 2019.
Ray has predominately been featured both on NXT UK and it's American version where she's wrestled names like Toni Storm, Piper Niven, Candice LeRae, and Rhea Ripley; And as previously mentioned, Kay Lee Ray is still the NXT UK Women's Champion with her reign lasting almost an entire year.
If you enjoyed this article please leave your thoughts below and for more pieces like this, be sure to follow Wrestling With Wrestling on Twitter @WrestlingWithW3.
Impact Wrestling 7/28/20 Livestream | Impact July 28 2020 Highlights...
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"Burning Red Flowers"
Fans were excited to be back at Korakuen Hall to see some form of Noah (albeit a Kongoh produce), as someone had not been since February. In the lobby LIDET had sent a bouquet of flowers to Kongoh, which is pretty ironic considering the last produce had been based on their telling Kenoh to sell it out or leave Noah. In any case, peace has been settled between the two, with Kenoh acknowledging their kindness to Noah and how they saved them from almost certain collapse.
While Kenoh might have made peace with LIDET, Naomichi Marufuji (not at the event) and the new "M'S ALLIANCE" is a different matter, and the only member on the show today, Masaaki Mochizuki, found a group t-shirt waiting for him in the locker room.
Limited merchandise was being sold in the lobby, which included Kongoh tote bags (pre signed by the unit) and round badges, but after buying them fans had to climb the stairs up to the venue. Very hot, very humid, fans started saying they were "in hell". I think Yuri Twenty-One Hall, with the dreaded "Demon Staircase from Hell" has had its title stolen.
Today's event will be broadcast on Samurai TV on July 31st at 11pm JST.
Nioh vs Shiryu
Shiryu (showing a little more flesh than usual) is an incarnation of Kaz Hayashi's (he has two like this with different masks, the incarnation he has chosen to use for this match is a heel). Hayashi used the gimmick in Michinoku Pro before he left for Keiji Mutoh's All Japan. Nioh (as Hi69) was a Michinoku Pro regular. Nioh soon rumbled him however saying loudly, "You are Kaz Hayashi, aren't you?"
Match was a mixture of ground based and aerial, Shiryu worked on Nioh's legs and after knocking him down in a stinging chop battle, he locked in a submission. Nioh was suffering the effect of this when he went for a mid rope dive, this was still the case when he raised his knees after a moonsault by Shiryu.
WINNER: Shiryu with small package roll up following sneak low blow kick (15 minutes, 31 seconds)
Yoshiki Inamura vs Masaaki Mochizuki
There was a handshake between the two (after Yoshiki Inamura had spiked up his mohican though), which was offered by Masaaki Mochizuki. Fans applauded this. Display of sportsman ship over, it was time to get down to the match. Mochi might have been the veteran, but Inamura is ever growing (power, size, experience) and Mochi found this to be an obstacle early in the match when he found himself slammed to the outside. Despite this, the veteran made his comeback, managing to use his experience to start an attack on Inamura's arm during a brawl outside of the ring. Mochi was audibly sarcastic to Inamura, asking him what was wrong with the arm he had just attacked, and asking him why he couldn't attack with his Mohican?!
During the chop exchange (which Mochi no sold), Mochi exchanged these with a sharp kick. Inamura refused to go down no matter how hard the kicks he threw at him where (and this is the person who has to endure the hated "Endless Love" from AXIZ), and Mochi found it hard to get him on his knees, but eventually he had him down following repeated kicks to the head.
WINNER: Masaaki Mochizuki with Running Buzz Saw Kick (13 minutes, 14 seconds)
There was another handshake at the end, and a few words exchanged. I doubt this means that Inamura will be defecting or anything (for a start there is no "M" in his name), but probably rather more encouragement and thank you from Mochi.
Manabu Soya vs Shuhei Taniguchi
Intense stare off between the two after Manabu Soya had got in the ring, Noah have a new rivalry here.
The match was described as a "brute force attack", and it had all the elements; powerful lock up at the beginning, intense offense and defense, shoulder battle which neither could knock the other down in, a prise out of a headlock, a massive DDT to the outside of the ring which they threw each other around in and a devastating apron backdrop. Like teammate Masa Kitamiya, Soya is noted to be somewhat of a classical wrestler, and his bringing the sleeper hold back was further proof of this. Neither held anything back, Soya hitting a huge avalanche hold onto the ring apron. There could be no cheering from the fans, but Korakuen had the roof blown off with applause. Fans were bursting, this was a match for screaming.
If you like a hoss fight, then this match is for you. This isn't over. This is just warming up.
WINNER: Shuhei Taniguchi with repeated kicks to the head (26 minutes)
Masa Kitamiya vs Daiki Inaba
By this point in the evening, Kongoh had done badly losing three matches so far on a five match card (with one of those matches being Kongoh vs Kongoh), so it all came down to Masa Kitamiya. There was no Kaito Kiyomiya at ringside (if anything the people at ringside were the usual seconds, Kinya Okada etc)
The match was a clash of different styles, if not experience, but both despite their different styles (and body types) had power. Masa's attack had an affect on Inaba (who fans were saying had an incredible muscle structure), but Inaba had a very good way of countering him. Kiyamiya had some tricks of his own though, and Inaba was almost split in half when he went for a top rope dive to be met by a spear on the way down, and then what was left of him was pinned with a Side Suplex.
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the Side Suplex (14 minutes, 11 seconds)
Despite his loss, Inaba was said to have made a strong impression wrestling in front of Noah's audience for the first time. Fans would like to see a rematch for the N-1.
Kenoh vs Haoh
Kenoh got in the ring and like an angry red fireball, and glared at Haoh.
As soon as the bell rang, Haoh went for the advantage using a hurricanrana to roll Kenoh out of the ring, and then following this up with a dive. Back inside the ring they butted heads, Haoh threw a few more punches, and Kenoh kicked him to the floor when he attempted to bounce off the ropes at him. Kenoh was heard to yell in the quiet of Korakuen, "Is this the determination that you have?". Kenoh would continue to taunt Haoh like this. Outside the ring, Kenoh put him in a swinging cradle and rammed his head into the iron gate.
Kenoh pretty much dominated the match, with Haoh getting in some offense, especially the flying head scissors which bought Kenoh crashing down, which he then followed up by a desperate roll up pin. This unsuccessful he went for a Firebird Splash, but Kenoh has been a junior himself and a Noah one at that, he knows how they think and Haoh was met with a roll out of the way on the first dive, and knees on the second. Haoh put up a valiant fight, but as fans noticed, he had no chance.
WINNER: Kenoh with the Dragon Suplex Hold (a move which is rare for him) following a high kick (20 minutes)
The rest of Kongoh came out to the ring at the end of the match, and helped scrape Haoh off the mat. Kenoh spoke on the microphone and said, that despite everything that happened late last year (i.e. the Kongoh produce with the stipulation that if it wasn't sold out, Kenoh leaves Noah and Kongoh disband), they were grateful to LIDET and Noah's former owner, Hiroyuki Suzuki. That wasn't just Kenoh speaking, he spoke for all of them, and they bowed to Suzuki after Kenoh had thanked him for bringing Noah back from collapse and to this point in time. Suzuki, who was in the crowd, rose and bowed back. Kenoh continued saying how Kongoh had been born as a team from their hatred of Suzuki and LIDET, but he would make them a team known around the world. Kenoh then thanked everyone for coming in typical fashion i.e. "you fuckers", and asked that they come again. He also had one final request, there was a LIDET box office coming up, he wanted to be in it as this will be their very first event as they starting their own promotion (which I will imagine will probably work closely with Noah). Then, with Haoh looking battered (Nioh had to hold an ice pack to his neck), Kongoh posed on all four sides of the ring.
With thanks to: Abeshin, Metal Noah, Duka, Kei, Hae, Rembrandt
Picture credit: Noah GHC
Noah's next event: "NOAH SANCTUARY" July 30th
Impact Wrestling 7/21/20 Livestream | Impact July 21 2020 Highlights. Andre Corbeil Livestream...
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Slammiversary Fallout Impact Wrestling 21 Jul 2020
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Noah held a midday Sunday show at a Korakuen Hall today which attracted fans back who had not been to see them for a long time, in one case in twenty years. Someone was even spotted in an old Takashi Sugiura "RUFF TUFF" t-shirt.
Normally on a Sunday the atmosphere has that special buzz to it as fans throng the lobby, but today it was like a ghost town as due to the risk of infection people were discouraged from gathering as much as possible. Still, if the old atmosphere couldn't be outside the hall, it was certainly inside it. Fans have found ways to get around the "No cheering" rule, and not only by bringing signs to the venue - clapping is the new form of cheering, especially in place of counting along with the pinfalls, and it was an emotional afternoon at Korakuen Hall.
Today's show will be broadcast on G+ on the 26th July, the commentators taking their place on the balcony away from the crowd, which is a marked change to ABEMA yesterday. There was also no monitor, so no announcements were made.
Mohammed Yone vs Masao Inoue
Typical MASAOWORLD match, which started of civil enough with a handshake between Mohammed Yone and Masao Inoue. Then Yone began tormenting the poor old man with gout by bouncing him off the ropes repeatedly, Inoue became tired and put a stop to it as he couldn't stand, so Yone clapped him with the crowd before attacking him. Inoue however, wasn't going to go down without a fight (even if his wind up bird punch didn't work), and tried to take advantage of Referee Tsukakoshi who was supervising the match for the first time. It didn't work, he was having none of it.
WINNER: Mohammed Yone with the Kinniku Buster (9 minutes, 59 seconds)
Hitoshi Kumano's Farewell Match
Naomichi Marufuji & Kinya Okada vs Takashi Sugiura & Hitoshi Kumano
"I cannot say anything, but the voice in my heart is "Kumano"
Hitoshi Kumano is stepping away from the ring for now to have an eye operation Since he was a trainee he has suffered worsening vision in one of his eyes, and this has now gotten so bad that he is having double vision. He cannot say whether he will return afterwards, and so today was his farewell match.
Kumano came out wearing the two things that meant the most to him; blue trunks and with his hair dyed blue to represent Atsushi Aoki, and wearing a TMDK ("The Mighty Don't Kneel") t-shirt, who called him "Little Brother". He also teamed with someone who meant a lot to him, Takashi Sugiura. Originally the match was meant to be Kumano facing Sugiura, but this was changed due to Coronavirus cancelling the original match and the card could not be worked out like that again. Sugiura is Kumano's hero, and touchingly today Sugiura treated Kumano as if he was the senior, even holding the ropes open for him when they left the ring after the match, and cheering him on from the apron calling him "Kuma". If the fans couldn't cheer Kumano, then Sugi could.
Kumano and Marufuji started the match, Sugiura clapping along with the audience. This might have been Kumano's last match (for now), but Marufuji was not going to go easy on him, chopping him in and outside the ring, Kumano put him in the Argentine Backbreaker later. Kumano might be a junior, and therefore smaller than Marufuji, but like Tadasuke he has that heavyweight strength. Naturally when Sugiura and Marufuji faced off, they tore into each other. Kinya Okada was brave enough to take on Sugiura, and give him a dose of his classical style of wrestling.
WINNER: Naomichi Marufuji with the True Tiger King on Hitoshi Kumano (18 minutes, 22 seconds)
The hall was in tears after the match as it had been emotional, as everything forgotten Okada, Sugiura and Marufuji helped pull Kumano to his feet. Kumano made his farewells to his seniors and the rookie he had helped train, and then bowed to all four corners of the arena. Sugiura stayed with him, and then helped him to the back.
After the match Sugi said that Kumano fought as a trainee during Noah's darkest days when there really wasn't any light at the end of the tunnel, he has much Noah love. Maybe more than anyone else.
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship Match
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs Daisuke Harada & Tadasuke
"I want you to show me a scenery beyond hatred"
The long running feud between STINGER and what had been RATELS, started off in the way all their matches did, with the usual brawl when Harada went for HAYATA. His intensity was through the roof, with one fan commenting that their heart was going insane watching it, and with no way to cheer. As it was put "everyone is clapping enough to tear the roof off". Yoshinari Ogawa was throwing elbows, which is rare.
It was a bitterly fought match, Tadasuke insane as usual, but showing how deep his inner core is when he had HAYATA in a Boston Crab from which he refused to let go, despite eye rakes from Ogawa, which got more and more vicious, until Tadasuke was forced to break the hold before his eyes were gouged out.
WINNER: HAYATA with Headache on Daisuke Harada (23 minutes, 11 seconds)
Tadasuke was watching from the apron, half on it and half off of it, as HAYATA and Ogawa posed with their belts (HAYATA hiding behind his), with their feet on the fallen Harada. Then HAYATA did something unusual for him, he went to the corner (not that unusual), stood in it (that is usually where he hides), and asked for a microphone (unusual as HAYATA doesn't usually speak unless spoken to). As ever his words were very brief and to the point, "Next is IPW".
STINGER had won the battle, but they were yet to win the war.
It was now going to be up to YO-HEY.
GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship Match
Kotaro Suzuki vs YO-HEY
A fast paced match which was dominated by Kotaro Suzuki and a determined YO-HEY. From the start, Kotaro was throwing elbows which were audible in the hall, especially the crunch on impact and the moans that YO-HEY made when they hit him. Kotaro had his elbows, but YO-HEY had his chops, and Kotaro ended up with a chest as red as his ringwear.
Like Ogawa, Kotaro pulled out some of Misawa's moves using his second rope frog splash, and his rope dive. A hard fought, bitter and desperate match with so much history behind it, ended with Kotaro turning YO-HEY'S Canadian Destroyer into the Requiem.
RATELS had lost the war.
WINNER: Kotaro with Requiem (16 minutes, 48 seconds)
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima), Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuhei Taniguchi & FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura, Manabu Soya, Haoh and Nioh)
I think the start of this match was a little diluted due to the drama and emotion of the previous two matches. Had these been normal times (i.e. no Corona) then Noah probably would have had a longer card and an interval to allow everyone to recover, as it was the fans were still shellshocked in the opening stages.
Shuhei Taniguchi and Kaito Kiyomiya (from what I can tell), teamed together without incident, although they seemed to be keeping their distance from each other after Kiyomiya ditched Taniguchi for Inaba, although I'm not sure if there was a handshake at the end of the match. In any case Taniguchi seemed more interested in squaring up to Manabu Soya before the bell rang, and then facing off in the opening stages when it did.
Hajime Ohara was in one of his hyper moods (although he is too sensible to reach Kotoge levels), and was directing traffic in the ring today, especially when Kotoge was running the ropes to build up speed, and he was pointing in each direction that he should go. Kenoh, however, was not impressed with this and Kongoh stormed the ring soon after and beat down Kotoge. After that the match dissolved into chaos, so much so Kotoge went to tag someone in, and found no one was there. Everyone was too busy fighting on the outside.
Aside from the dynamics between Taniguchi and Soya (and even Taniguchi and Ohara), the big story of this match was Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima. Nakajima loves winding people up, his favorites being Masa Kitamiya and Kenoh, and he got to do both today, Kenoh especially. Kenoh, notoriously prickly, did not appreciate being used for Nakajima's photo opportunity the "Shutter Chance" (complete with standard huge Nakajima big grin), and so he took it out on Kaito Kiyomiya, who played a smaller part in the match today compared to previous weeks of being in the spotlight. Kenoh is bitter about not being part of Kiyomiya's "NEW HOPE" events, when he knows full well that he and Kiyomiya have a complex love\hate relationship. When he did get a chance to square things with Nakajima, they had a kick war, and managed to knock each other down.
Yoshiki Inamura came very close to pinning Go Shiozaki (Noah are certainly teasing a big win for him), but suffered "ENDLESS LOVE", which hasn't been seen for quite a few months now as AXIZ have not been teaming that much together, but they were certainly back in black today. Inamura got a loud applause from Korakuen, especially with the beautiful bridge that he threw when throwing him across the ring.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Gowan Lariat on Yoshiki Inamura (21 minutes, 5 seconds)
After the match, Nakajima dangled the GHC National at Kenoh and started goading him into challenging, saying that he could see how Kenoh was looking at the belt, didn't he want to put his name forward? Kenoh responded by asking him if he was only nominating him because no one else had come forward? Nakajima could keep the belt, he wasn't interested, anyway it was originally created by a company that Kenoh used to spit poison at (LIDET, who he now likes). But Kenoh is Kenoh, and he had a change of mind, what better way than to take a belt from someone he dislikes? Promising to do just that he set the challenge for the 4th August.
Go Shiozaki spoke on the microphone next and thanked everyone for coming and spoke of how happy he was to see everyone again. He then tried to get everyone to shout "WE ARE NOAH", but was stopped by Nakajima who reminded him that shouting and cheering was not allowed, and naturally this being Shiozaki, he started giggling.
Noah will return for the Kongoh produce on the 24th July.
With thanks to: PハヤシP, Kei, Abeshin, Metal Noah, Zukasan, Tobi, Fujiwara Armbar, Alanbou, Kazuaki, Maki, Asaga Yasutaka, Munehiro Hashimoto, TACK
Picture credits: Screenshots taken from stills from videos or pictures posted by Noah GHC Twitter
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Pro Wrestling Noah returned to Korakuen Hall after four months of empty arena matches, and even watching from home you could feel the excitement in the air from both the fans and the wrestlers to once again be coming together for a live show. While there were no title matches on the card, Noah gave the event a big match feel by filming the arrival of the four main eventers. It felt good, wherever you were, to have Noah back at Korakuen.
Naturally with the Coronavirus, Noah were taking no chances. All roster on the card had been tested, as had the the ring crew, the commentators and the ABEMA staff. Prior to the match the trainees washed down the ring, the mats outside, and even the iron barriers with disinfectant spray. After matches everything was scrubbed again by them, with the referee wiping down the ropes and spraying the ring. The fans themselves were checked as they came in with a facial temperature app being used, wearing face masks, and having to fill in information regarding their address and their mode of transport to get here. The commentators too were subject to social distancing, each sitting behind plastic screens.
The event was broadcast live on ABEMA. You can view the event for a week for free, after which it will be put on WRESTLEUNIVERSE.
Kinya Okada vs Yoshiki Inamura
The bell rang and it was on, no messing around, no tentative lock up, no trying to work each other out, just straight to fighting.
Kinya Okada went to initially work on Yoshiki Inamura's arm, but that didn't work as Inamura countered him, so Okada went to work on Inamura's legs. He also used some inventive submissions. Yoshinari Ogawa has taught him well.
There was only so much that Inamura was going to take, especially after Okada tried to lift him into a slam (Inamura seems to have expanded again, so it didn't work), and so deciding that he had had enough of being kicked, and after Okada kicked out of the Oklahoma Stampede, Inamura turned to something that he knew that Okada doesn't have a high tolerance for, a submission move.
WINNER: Yoshiki Inamura with The Boston Crab (10 minutes, 18 seconds)
Katsuhiko Nakajima, Shuhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka)
Atsushi Kotoge came bouncing to the ring in typical crazy person fashion, and Hajime Ohara found himself once again sorting out a squabble between Seiki Yoshioka and Kotoge over who was the leader. It wasn't going to be the last time this happened, as they got into another squabble backstage. None of this was going to dampen Kotoge's overly high spirits, as he decided that he was going to make the FULL THROTTLE motion to his opponents. They followed standard protocol when dealing with Kotoge being hyper. Ignore him.
One person who was going to take his time was Katsuhiko Nakajima, who came sauntering out in his Edo like faux wolfskin robe, with a big grin on his face, and the red belt over his shoulder. Nakajima loves posing for the crowd, and so much so there was a special extended edition of "Shutter Chance" on Seiki Yoshioka.
This was a rare match up as you don't often see this kind of match made. Hajime Ohara vs Shuhei Taniguchi in particular is really rare, but despite the size and and power difference, Ohara did well to subdue him.
The match belonged to Atsushi Kotoge and Katsuhiko Nakajima; both of whom were on form. Nakajima kicked Kotoge around, the usual creepy smile on his face, and no selling him. At one point after the punch battle, Kotoge even blew on his fist! Nakajima then knocked him down and went for the cocky pin.
Seiki Yoshioka moved as fast as Kotoge, but in a less manic way. His moment of event infamy came when he went to a do a moonsault from the top rope to the outside of the ring, and sailed over the barriers and crashed into the commentary tables. Kuniko Yamada who was on commentary, told him to go away! Aside from this, fans got their wish (as did Nakajima who had spoken about Yoshioka who has a background in Tae-Kwon-Do) to see Nakajima and Yoshioka face off, and they had their obligatory kick battle. Someone else who showed he could kick was Hajime Ohara. Ohara has a background in MMA, but kicks aren't something that he uses, but no matter, Nakajima who decided the fun was over, soon sorted him out with a well timed kick to the turnbuckle and the dreaded soccer ball kicks.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike on Hajime Ohara (15 minutes, 25 seconds)
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & YO-HEY
The former RATELS came out to the ring first; Tadasuke still looking crazy, YO-HEY subdued and Daisuke Harada looking focused. Yoshinari Ogawa led STINGER out. His shoulder was taped, and he looked to be in a little pain, which probably explains why his elimination happened so suddenly when he was eliminated by Tadasuke in only 2 minutes and 41 seconds.
Ogawa was furious and complained that the pin was only two. The referee said no. It was three, and to leave the ring. Naturally Tadasuke had a huge manic grin on. About five minutes later, YO-HEY eliminated Kotaro Suzuki with the FACIAL G.
HAYATA was left facing his three angry former friends, but Ogawa was not going to take being eliminated so lightly, and Ogawa came back out to lurk at (and cause trouble) at ringside. Last thing he wanted is HAYATA being left alone with what was RATELS, especially YO-HEY.
While Ogawa hovered outside the ring, Harada had his shark smells blood face on as the former RATELS working on punishing HAYATA rather than eliminating him. They should not have underestimated HAYATA however, as he has a tendency to do well in Battle Royales against the others, and he eliminated YO-HEY by throwing him over the top rope (12 minutes, 51 seconds) and then Tadasuke (14 minutes, 26 seconds with the Cross Fix). It was now Harada vs HAYATA, something Harada has wanted since HAYATA betrayed him a few months ago. His shark-smells-blood face on, Harada even went so far as to stare into the camera when he went for a pin.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Suplex (16 minutes, 6 seconds)
Ogawa (looking for all the world like Tadasuke probably did when his dad told him he was Santa) got into the ring afterwards and he and Harada got in each others faces, HAYATA was lying on the floor in the middle and Ogawa went to pull him up, making Harada pull HAYATA'S arm away from him. Ogawa turned to leave, but then turned back and in a flash threw his bottle of water at Harada. A melee fight broke out, with what looked like the former RATELS refusing to let Ogawa have HAYATA back. Ogawa even grabbed Harada's empty IPW belt and tried to attack him (which no one much cared about), or even really when it ended up upside down and outside the ring where it was thrown.
Eventually, they had to let HAYATA leave (who was being held down in a foot choke) and Harada spoke on the microphone to the retreating STINGER to say that tomorrow they would take all the belts.
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba, Kendo Kashin, Kaz Hayashi & NOSAWA Rongai) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Manabu Soya, Haoh and Nioh)
As expected, Kendo Kashin immediately started causing trouble almost from the moment he had walked out of the curtain, by speeding to the ring clutching a chair which he threw into the ring at Kongoh. He then went back for another one, but had to be restrained by NOSAWA NOSAWA and Kaz Hayashi (NOSAWA even shut the gate to stop him!). This was going to be recurring theme in the match, Kashin was also stopped later from grabbing another chair, at which point Takashi Sugiura told NOSAWA to watch him (despite the fact that NOSAWA is and was not above cheating, such as when he kicked Haoh as he bounced off the ropes). Kashin for his part tried to get Sugiura to trust him, he was a bit crawly in doing it by holding the ropes open for him, Sugiura remained unconvinced.
This was a chaotic match, not least because these two teams hate each other, but because of the discord that Kashin kept causing in The Sugiura Army
The Sugiura Army juniors entered separately from the two heavyweights, with Kazuyashi Sakuraba and Takashi Sugiura making their own separate entrances. Sugiura had put one skeleton kneepadded leg in the ring practically when Kongoh attacked, and a fight broke out. Kenoh attacking not Sugiura, Kashin or NOSAWA, but Sakuraba (who has probably now found a way on to his enemies list). There was an unintentionally funny moment during this, when Yoshiki Inamura (who had come out to second Kongoh), was seen wandering through the melee.
It didn't matter that fans had been asked not to cheer, Korakuen Hall was on fire to see the extended edition of Masa Kitamiya and Takashi Sugiura scream and slam into each other during a knock down rope bounce. Sugiura rolled outside the ring, only to be rolled back in (much to his surprise) by NOSAWA and Kashin, who told him not to take a rest but to fight on. After a few more rounds with Kitamiya, Sugi tagged in Sakuraba, who tagged in Manabu Soya. I think from Sakuraba's reaction he probably wanted Kenoh. He would get him later in the match when Kenoh hit the ring and knocked down everyone in The Sugiura Army, leaving only himself and Sakuraba. Kashin, who had staggered up on to the apron was not going to tag in. They had a kick war, with Sakuraba's MMA vs Kenoh's Nippon Kempo.
WINNER: Takashi Sugiura with the Olympic Slam on Nio (16 minutes, 56 seconds)
Naturally, Kenoh left screaming from the curtain at The Sugiura Army. They took no notice but lined up to do their own pose, which looks like of like a pistol. Sugiura couldn't stop laughing when it was being done.
Go Shiozaki & Kaito Kiyomiya vs The M Alliance (Naomichi Marufuji & Keiji Mutoh)
Naomichi Marufuji came to the ring first, and made one of the commentators, Jurina Matsui, a member of the M Alliance by giving her a t-shirt. Kuniko Yamada complained, which is kind of ironic as she had a Go Shiozaki sign, and neither of her names begin with an "M".
Kaito Kiyomiya came out looking a little more more subdued than usual and looking thoughtful, and stood and watched Keiji Mutoh as he made his entry. Go Shiozaki, as GHC Heavyweight champion, came out last.
Kaito Kiyomiya had said in an interview that in this match he was not interested in Marufuji or Shiozaki, if anything he wasn't even going to notice them, and knowing Kiyomiya as he does (i.e. he's a Noah born which means that he has a tremendous stubborn steak), Shiozaki gave his young tag partner his own way ad let him start off against Mutoh. Kiyomiya may not have had the ten second win he hoped for, and Mutoh remained mainly dominant, but it seemed that rather than rush into things, Kiyomiya had gone back to the drawing board and managed to get the upper hand, he had to fight like someone possessed to do it, but he did it, and Mutoh after asking for a time out, tagged in Marufuji and Kiyomiya tagged in Shiozaki, which was really the theme of this match, Shiozaki spending little time in the ring with Mutoh as he knew that Kiyomiya wanted him. When Kiyomiya was in the ring with Marufuji, it usually involved Kiyomiya knocking him off the apron, when in the ring, it became more and more of a frenzied attack as time ticked on. Mutoh fought as a veteran of thirty-six years against a young man of twenty-four years old.
Go Shiozaki vs Naomichi Marufuji, whether it be a tag or a singles, has always been significant in Noah. Both come from the "Golden Era" of Noah, both knew Mitsuharu Misawa, and both are the heirs of Noah. Shiozaki is junior to Marufuji, and he has spent much of his career trying to surpass him. Shiozaki has only ever beaten Marufuji once in a singles match, and this was after almost fourteen years of trying, each match between them is always a case of Shiozaki trying to surpass Marufuji, and Marufuji being the wall he can never quite get around.
Today was no different when a chop war broke out which Shiozaki no sold, Marufuji dog earing Shiozaki to the corner to chop him, Shiozaki didn't no sell this one, and Marufuji found himself getting the machine gun chops, and a massive lariat by Shiozaki on Marufuji.
Mutoh tightened the screws on Kiyomiya in figure four, using the rope for leverage (it didn't matter, neither were legally in the ring, so a submission would make no difference) while Marufuji battered Shiozaki with knees, using a new technique which aims for the temple he has called "True Tiger King". Marufuji said that most people aim for the knees, so he decided to change it a little. It did the trick.
WINNER: Naomichi Marufuji with True Tiger King on Go Shiozaki (20 minutes, 48 seconds)
While Shiozaki lay on the mat looking genuinely dazed, Marufuji came over looking sarcastic, and held the icepack on him. He then spoke on the microphone. He began by saying that he was happy to see everyone today, and thanking them for coming to Korakuen, before saying...
"Hey! Shiozaki! I just want to say one thing; You're a strong and reliable champion, and you've regained the trust you once lost. BUT, you got caught! You say "I AM NOAH?", well listen carefully, "I AM REALLY NOAH!"
How about this? The next challenger is me!"
Kiyomiya then popped up and started shrieking at Mutoh, and challenged him to a singles match at the Yokohama Bunka Gym on the 10th August 2020. Mutoh said he would do it, providing neither of them tested positive for Coronavirus.
With the GHC Heavyweight title match being set for "NOAH DEPARTURE DAY 2" at Korakuen Hall on the 5th August 2020, backstage Marufuji said, "I have been working hard for Noah for the last 20 years. It is only me."
Noah will return to Korakuen Hall on the 19th July, the event being broadcast live on G+ at 11.30am JST.
WITH THANKS TO: Metal Noah, Abeshin
GIF'S TAKEN FROM ABEMA
PICTURE CREDIT: Tadasuke