It was 34 degrees in Tokyo when fans came to the hot arena, and there was something evocative about the fans clapping wildly and then settling into silence, with only the hum of the ambient sound in the air. There is no screen in spartan ShinKina, so there were no special announcements made, with the ring announcer reading out the cards only.
Due to Coronavirus, Noah naturally want to limit the amount of contact between fans and wrestlers, so no autograph session took place, but in lieu of that they sold autographed goods and Yuko Miyamoto's products.
"The Afternoon Event"
FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara) vs KONGOH (Haoh and Nioh)
The staid humorless Kongoh made a big contrast to the somewhat hyper Atsushi Kotoge (who the handlebar revving up "brum brum" on Hajime Ohara's back). Nioh attempted to distract Kotoge from "revving up" the crowd by slapping him on the back, but Kotoge made a mild protest to the referee and continued. More vocal than Kongoh, Kotoge continued being the one to make the most noise during the match at silent hot ShinKiba, and even did a one man version of Kongoh's elbow drops at rapid speed, and naturally he threw a headbutt at Nioh.
Haoh was the star of this match, performing great wrestling against Hajime Ohara, who he worked very well with.
The two teams wore each other, neither could get the win, and when it seemed that something was going to change the time ran out as Ohara was being held back by Nioh as Kotoge and Haoh fought inside the ring. However, this match was just a skirmish, both teams had bigger fish to catch later in the day.
WINNER: Neither, time out draw
Shuhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
Masao Inoue has had a rough day, and it started with being tormented by Mohammed Yone who kept making lunging motions towards him, so much so after only a few seconds Inoue wanted to tag Akitoshi Saito in. Inoue, however, couldn't stay out of the ring for too long and sneaking in he knocked Taniguchi off the apron. Saito thought that by this time he had softened Yone up for Inoue, he was mistaken as as soon as he tagged Inoue in, Yone kicked him in the face and then tagged in Taniguchi who had clambered back up.
Sometimes I wonder if there is anyone in Noah who doesn't cause Inoue some kind of harm, even his own senior, Toshiaki Kawada threatened him with divine punishment for signing his autograph over his face, and his tag partner, Akitoshi Saito, is no different. Telling Taniguchi to scoop slam Inoue onto him after a succession of the move that Inoue had been doing to both of them, he then moved, yelled "STUPID" and then left the ring. Inoue is not totally without resource however, and as Taniguchi is a fellow gout sufferer, he stamped on his toes.
WINNER: Mohammed Yone with the Kinniku Buster on Masao Inoue (11 minutes, 28 seconds)
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Kinya Okada vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
The crows came out to their sinister music, and a few moments were spent afterwards trying to help the ref flatten part of the ring down as one of the boards may have warped and were causing a bump in the canvas. In the end the ref dispatched one of the trainees under the ring to fix the problem.
Yoshiki Inamura was looking very toned today. Kenta Kobashi once said that the way to work out your ideal weight in wrestling is to keep adjusting it until you find something you can work with, which I think Inamura has done. The crowd were behind him in the hope he was going to get his first big win. He took the soccer ball kicks from a smirking Nakajima, and there was an intense punch war with him. There was a tremendous applause each time Inamura kicked out. Nakajima was nearly also launched through the roof of the venue when Inamura charged him and threw him with the "GEKITOTZ".
Naturally, as the rookie, Kinya Okada got it the worse from his opponents; the Kongoh elbow drops (the proper ones, not the crazy person version seen earlier), although Kenoh was a little more kind to him, but only because he forgot about Okada temporarily and took a break from kicking him to walk over and swear at AXIZ.
The match was mainly carried out by Kongoh, Nakajima and Okada, Shiozaki did not much get involved, although he gave Kenoh a short version of the Machine Gun chops and he and Kenoh got into a chop\kick war. Masa Kitamiya was dominant against the champion, even going for a bearhug at one point.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with a kick to the head on Yoshiki Inamura (14 minutes, 20 seconds)
After a kick to the head and a pin which was naturally cocky, Nakajima nonchalantly went to sit in the corner, as Kenoh helped roll Inamura out of the ring by nudging him with his foot. On the ramp, AXIZ did the famous lean.
Daisuke Harada vs Tadasuke
"Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods."
Tadasuke had cheerfully stated earlier that he was done with YO-HEY, it was now time for Harada. Unlike YO-HEY, Harada has that heavyweight strength and so when he came out to the ring, he paused on the ramp, looked at Tadasuke, got in the ring and they immediately attacked each other, not even waiting for the bell. A sad looking YO-HEY came out to second Harada.
Like most time he has fought an angry Harada, Tadasuke at one point begged for mercy, but it never serves anyone to trust Tadasuke, as he was just luring in him. At ringside he caught Harada who did a dive, and slammed him against the ring apron. Not caring about the count, Tadasuke strolled around ringside, before rolling Harada back under the ropes and getting in the ring himself.
Knowing each other well after years of working together and fighting each other in both Noah and on the indies, Harada reversed Tadasuke's massive lariat, but after using the rolling elbow, he did not capitalize on the pin when he should have, falling into that trap that the opponent is weaker than he looks and as stated above and many times before, we know you should never trust Tadasuke. Harada went up to the turnbuckle, and Haoh suddenly appeared and clung on to him as Nioh got into the ring and the ref was shoved down. The match was abandoned in Daisuke Harada's favor, and a melee fight broke out with Harada and YO-HEY attacked by Kongoh. Kongoh, who Tadasuke had now joined.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada thanks to Nioh and Haoh invading the ring (15 minutes, 59 seconds)
Daisuke Harada had made the comment that all Tadasuke had ever been in RATELS was the 4th person. Tadasuke told Harada today that he was aware that Harada had always looked down on him, but not now. Not anymore.
The M'S Alliance (Naomichi Marufuji & Yuko Miyamoto) vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Daiki Inaba
If you are a new wrestler in the Noah ring, then Naomichi Marufuji (who described himself once as a "bundle of curiosity"), will probably be interested in fighting you. Usually he does this by jumping into the ring and squaring up to you. Daiki Inaba was no different, and he and Marufuji started off and Inaba did very well. Ironically, Inaba had been trained by Emile Dupree (Rene Dupree's father), and Keiji Mutoh (the M'S Alliance senior), and like Marufuji has an All Japan background.
It was a good technical match to round off the show, which highlighted how well Inaba has fitted into Noah and into the Noah style.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex Hold on Yuko Miyamoto (17 minutes, 13 seconds)
It was young twenty-four year old Kaito Kiyomiya who broke the M'S Alliance streak, and smiling smugly he held up three fingers to the veterans, and he even got on the apron to have an argument them. You would never have seen Kiyomiya do this with anyone other than Kenoh a few months ago.
Kiyomiya (who had forgotten to take his mouthguard out) spoke on the microphone, and basically told the other units in the heavyweights - Kongoh, The M's Alliance and The Sugiura Army, that they were the new kids in town, and he was looking forward to his first participation in the N-1 Victory.
"The Evening Event"
With the "S" Seats sold out, it was estimated that there were about the same number of attendees as there had been in the afternoon.
Kinya Okada vs Manabu Soya
This was a technical beast fight (not a Hoss fight, Okada is not at that level yet), with a Showa era overtone as Manabu Soya chose to do a long headlock on Okada. Okada, much to his credit, refused to give up, and when he did it was because Soya applied a vicious looking submission to him that looked like it was going to twist his neck and crush his chest. The crowd were behind the Noah born "Okakin", who seems to have developed a new move to his repertoire, which is a kind of kick and chop combo and looks really good. Okada always said he wanted to develop his own style, and he is well on the way to doing it.
WINNER: Manabu Soya with a neck lock (10 minutes, 41 seconds)
The M'S Alliance (Naomichi Marufuji & Yuko Miyamoto) vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
Inoue came limping out. The poor old man with gout has had to wrestle twice in one day, and this second match was going to be even worse than the first.
The match started with what was kind of like W*NG vs FMW, Akitoshi Saito being in W*NG, and Yuko Miyamoto being trained by Mr. Gannosuke of FMW. You also got a sense of this from the style of wrestling.
So, Inoue's dear friend, Akitoshi Saito, tagged Inoue in. Inoue refused to get into the ring as Marufuji kept lunging motions at him. When Inoue did get into the ring, Saito was very helpful by hooking Inoue's arm under the rope so Marufuji could chop him. Not that at that point that Marufuji could chop him, Inoue was being so loud that in the end, Marufuji just gave up and made the rope break clean. The crowd were giggling, and even Miyamoto was joining in. Inoue could not escape Marufuji forever, and he got a chop that sounded like a whip cracking, and later when he snuck up on him and hit him with a hook kick, it sounded like a gunshot in the quiet of ShinKiba. It was hard for the crowd to remain totally silent however, especially when Inoue managed to duck Marufuji's sequence of kicks and they made a gasping noise, which was followed by a loud applause.
WINNER: Yuko Miyamoto with Jack-knife on Masao Inoue (10 minutes, 54 seconds)
Afterwards, Saito held the rope open for Inoue who was sprawled on the mat, but he rolled under it, and Saito stepped on his face to get off the apron.
Masao Inoue has had a very rough day.
Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuhei Taniguchi, Mohammed Yone, Daisuke Harada & YO-HEY vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura, Haoh and Nioh
YO-HEY & Daisuke Harada came out the first on their team. They both took a long glare at Tadasuke, with Harada whispering to YO-HEY "look at this!"and motioning towards Tadasuke. The ref had to tell Harada to back off from him. Kaito Kiyomiya (team leader) had come bouncing to the ring shedding white feathers everywhere, and he didn't want an already volatile situation to explode. When the bell rang however, it was YO-HEY who was the first to go after Tadasuke, but the ref called him back into the ring, trying to keep the situation under control. It was a valiant but futile effort, Harada was distracted by Tadasuke at ringside, which gave Haoh the upper hand, which put himself and Nioh higher on the Harada\YO-HEY hit list.
Tadasuke caused the melee that the referee had been dreading by pulling Harada's legs, and then taking part in the elbow drop chain, before making a quick exit from the ring. Tadasuke seems to have given Kongoh that much needed irritating heel edge that they needed; being angry and raging against authority is one thing, but none of them seemed to have known until Tadasuke joined, how to be smarmy, and how to be crafty. This was accelerated as the hatred simmered between Kenoh and Harada, who was being pinned down through the ropes by Kenoh, so that Tadasuke could taunt him.
WINNER: Kenoh with the PFS on Mohammed Yone (18 minutes, 51 seconds)
After the match, Kenoh started yelling at Harada and YO-HEY. Harada lost his temper, stormed the ring and a fight broke out as he attacked Tadasuke. Tadasuke tried to throw Harada out, as Inamura attacked YO-HEY with shoulder charges, but Harada got back in. When he did eventually throw him out, Tadasuke made hand dusting motions. Harada (and I assume this is Harada as he is known do to this, YO-HEY is not) threw a tantrum, and threw his athletic tape into the ring where it landed at Masa Kitamiya's feet.
Kenoh, loving every moment of this victory over Harada, introduced Tadasuke as the new member of KONGOH, and said that he had joined because he wanted his own freedom to do what he wanted, and in Kongoh he would make the Noah ring shine like a diamond and never "in fourth place". Backstage, Harada said sarcastically that he was happy that Tadasuke had found "new friends", but the fact would always remain; he would always be "fourth place". The war between Harada, YO-HEY and Kongoh (Haoh, Nioh and Tadasuke) will continue in Kawasaki on the 30th. Fans are predicting another twist to the story.
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka)
With Kotaro and Yoshioka beginning to know each other somewhat well, the match was divided into Kotoge and Ohara concentrating on HAYATA and Ogawa, leaving Yoshioka mainly to Kotaro. Then Hell froze over, as probably the only person who could make it happen, made it happen. Hajime Ohara practically bent Ogawa's spine, neck and knee into a position that only a jointed doll could achieve, and made him tap out.
WINNER: Hajime Ohara with the Mui Bien on Yoshinari Ogawa (17 minutes, 53 seconds)
Kotaro Suzuki once gave sound advice when it comes to challenging Yoshinari Ogawa; be serious and make a statement so he understands you are serious. Kotaro didn't mean simply say it, he said you have to do it, and that is what FULL THROTTLE did today and Kotoge made a verbal challenge. Not in any position to deny them now, Ogawa has accepted the challenge and it has been arranged for the 30th August in Kawasaki.
As for the GHC Junior Championship, Yoshioka was limping badly and had to be helped from the ring, at the time of writing Noah have not announced anything, but fans were concerned.
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) vs The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Kaz Hayashi)
The Sugiura Army had one target in mind today, which was to sink their canines into Go Shiozaki's arm and tear it like a dog gnawing on a bone, and that is exactly what they did. Shiozaki was slowed down by it and when he went for the machine gun chops, Sugiura reversed this into his corner attack with heavy blows to the face, and kicks to his arm. AXIZ were going to do anything to even the score with The Sugiura Army in the pre-matches, Nakajima even cheating when he kicked Sugiura's foot away from the rope during a Shiozaki submission hold. He was told off by the ref who caught him when he did it a second time.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Gowan Lariat on Takashi Sugiura (22 minutes, 18 seconds)
Katsuhiko Nakajima sat and watched in a sinister way, crouching as he watching Sugi being rolled out of the ring, never taking his eyes off of him like a cat watching a mouse. Shiozaki spoke on the microphone about the title challenge saying that on the 30th they would take the belts, and thanking everyone for coming out in the heat of Tokyo that day and saying that in Kawasaki, he hoped to see more smiles. He ended with "WE ARE NOAH", and AXIZ doing the famous lean.
Noah's next show: Sunday August 30th, Kultz Kawasaki
With thanks to: ABESHIN