Noah may have been running the show head to head with New Japan, but they started later, and as a result by the time the main event and Jyushin Lyger's retirement match were over, Noah were still running, so it meant that once people had seen these matches they could come to Korakuen (and still did), but by the time Noah had their own main event, WrestleKingdom was over, and if people left (some did), they could only go home.
People arrived early (they were queuing for about an hour), but already the line for tickets was stretching out of the door (one fan joked they had to endure the lure of the scent coming from the stall crepe, at Differ Ariake a long time ago, it was the famous curry). The queue also stretched down the street, and if you have ever been to Korakuen Hall, you will know what I mean when I say that the line was stretching past TGI FRIDAYS. Fans came today just not from Japan, but all over the world.
Inside the venue, ring was white canvas with a yellow border (and to go with the ring color, THE LEAVE handed out wet wipes in a gold wrapping). Noah held a goods lottery, and the New Year goodie bag was back. There was also a special AXIZ pack, and the tracksuits were on sale.
Riki Choshu did a signing, as did Kenta Kobashi (RATELS minus HAYATA, signed autographs at the interval, and when Daisuke Harada noticed that they were being filmed, he finished signing the t-shirt, and started to sign Tadasuke).
"I only have one expectation; too much fun."
50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
Short but entertaining match to start the evening. Masao Inoue got the pin over Mohammed Yone by pretending to be dead, then when Yone came in for the pin, he pounced...
WINNER: Masao Inoue with the roll up on Mohammed Yone (7 minutes, 59 seconds)
RATELS (Tadasuke & YO-HEY) vs Hitoshi Kumano & Seiya Morohashi
RATELS made their entrance in typically funny manner.
Tadasuke appearing in new glasses, already crazy, and when people held out their hands to be slapped, he made some waving motion over it. YO-HEY was a little less manic (despite the fact he did some kind of typically odd motion in the ring).
Tadasuke was more insane than usual...
Good second match, but ultimately, nothing really to say about it.
WINNER: Tadasuke with the Outcast on Seiya Morohashi (7 minutes, 53 seconds)
Shuhei Taniguchi & Daisuke Harada vs The Sugiura Army (El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jnr & Hajime Ohara)
Shuhei Taniguchi and Daisuke Harada teaming up is a rare card, and they seemed to work well together. However, the highlight of this match was Harada vs Ohara, which is always a treat. Ohara is called "Noah's Treasure", and part of this treasure is when he and Harada face off as their matches are psychological. Noah don't often do it outside of title matches or special occasions, and today was one of those times.
The audience were behind El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jnr, and he and Taniguchi (both similar size and builds), when they fought with Wagner's airborne attack complimenting Taniguchi's ground one.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with Katayama German Suplex on Hajime Ohara (10 minutes, 42 seconds)
Kongoh (Kenoh & Yoshiki Inamura) vs The Sugiura Army (Hideki Suzuki & Kinya Okada)
"Noah's future, Inamura and Okada"
Kenoh commented on New Year saying it was the traditional time for him to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight - in December 2017 won it from Eddie Edwards and was challenged in New Year 2018 by Kaito Kiyomiya, in 2019 he challenged Kiyomiya in January for it. He didn't this year, but he says he is not going to be discouraged or dissuaded from chasing the championship.
Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada got in each others faces before the match, and they started it off, with Okada getting shoved to the floor. Then Inamura tagged to in Kenoh, Kenoh told (commanded, yelled at) Okada to go and tag in Suzuki...Okada refused. So Kenoh made him regret his decision until he did as he was told, and tension rose within the hall as the two of them made use of their sports backgrounds, Kenoh's Nippon Kempo and Suzuki's Catch Wrestling/
Brutal and amazing match, which left fans wanting to see more of Suzuki vs Kenoh, and preferably in a singles.
WINNER: Kenoh with high kick to Kinya Okada (9 minutes, 48 seconds)
Suzuki attacked Kenoh after the match (he choked him out), the fight went to the back.
Naomichi Marufuji & Minoru Tanaka vs Doug Williams & Chris Ridgeway
Chris Ridgeway said he was going to wind up his opponents, and I think he got more of a chance to do that to Tanaka, than he did with Marufuji (but it didn't stop him from getting chopped). He and Tanaka look to be building up to a Global Junior League feud (they are in the same block). Naturally, they had a somewhat technical match....and Minoru Tanaka hit a shooting star press.
Doug Williams and Naomichi Marufuji bought a slice of old Noah to a promotion that is now primarily made up of those who did not know the era of the stadiums, only the turbulent era of shadows, when they faced off. They knew each other very well.
WINNER: Doug Williams with The Chaos Theory Suplex on Minoru Tanaka (13 minutes, 22 seconds)
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Michael Elgin
"Korakuen Hall is shaking"
Katsuhiko Nakajima and Michael Elgin last had a match in 2016 when Elgin beat Nakajima in their G1 climax block, and so this match was meant to be payback for Nakajima. Described as an insanely stiff match, which fans could not believe was not a main event, Elgin got the win.
WINNER: Michael Elgin with th Elgin Bomb (11 minutes, 55 seconds)
GHC JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP TAG TITLE MATCH
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge) vs Kongoh (Hao & Nio)
Kenoh was seen peeping out from behind the thick curtains, to watch a match which has sadly been described as the weakest on the card this evening. I am afraid I don't have too many details on it, but it has been described as nothing really special for a title match, and more like a typical junior tag match.
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the Killswitch (10 minutes, 36 seconds)
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
HAYATA vs Yoshinari Ogawa
RATELS and STINGER both came out in force to second their teammates, but stayed out of the match. There was no throwing in of the towel, and HAYATA endured everything that Ogawa gave to him - the relentless attack on his leg, his foot, and also his neck. It was a hard to watch match, with Ogawa at his most sadistic. Fans were split down the middle, some calling for Ogawa and others for HAYATA.
HAYATA did manage to fight back, and despite the attack on his feet and legs, Ogawa took two moonsaults, and a HAYATA dive over the rope (YO-HEY on the outside helping to support the barrier, you could also see him asking HAYATA if he was okay afterwards after attempting to defect some of the damage HAYATA was about to do to himself when he struck the iron barrier.)
WINNER: Yoshinari Ogawa with the reversal of The Headache into a pin (20 minutes, 47 seconds)
Yoshinari Ogawa later announced that as the champion he is withdrawing from Global Junior League. This now opens up two spaces in the league, the one to be announced tomorrow by NOSAWA, and the other to be announced as soon as possible.
GHC NATIONAL TITLE MATCH (60 minute time limit)
Takashi Sugiura vs Masa Kitamiya
Total. Hoss. Fight.
Brutal fight which involved suplexes off the apron, practically knocking each other out, vicious elbows, and rugby charges. There was a slight moment of comedy when Masa Kitamiya used Sugiura's Olympic Slam, and Sugira later countering with the Saito Suplex.
WINNER: Takashi Sugiura via Olympic Slam from top corner turnbuckle (20 minutes, 32 seconds)
GHC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Go Shiozaki
"This is the most exciting place in Japan at the moment"
Go Shiozaki ditched the sinister black feathers, and came to the ring in special ringwear. Fans were stunned by it, because he was dressed very similarly to Kaito Kiyomiya in swirled pattern green and white, a robe which was pretty much the same (the sleeves were white, and there was no hood), which fans said represented Shiozaki's role as the heir to the ark (fyi, backstage, Shiozaki is looked at as the heir to Sugiura and Marufuji who are preparing him to take over looking after Noah when they are gone).
Kenta Kobashi looked on as they squared up and got in each others faces.
Kiyomiya showed his hidden sadistic side today, and he a snarl on his face when he slammed Shiozaki's arm into the rail (unusually for him, Shiozaki was only wearing one elbow support), and later when he worked on it. However, Shiozaki was the one challenger, who maybe knew Kiyomiya better than anyone (even Kenoh), who knew how to get round him, he knew his strengths and he knew his weaknesses. Kiyomiya sensed this and showed some moments of desperation in the match, such as punching Shiozaki during the first rope break. Shiozaki just no sold it, but there was no denying that the sound of the chops he gave Kiyomiya, shot throughout the venue at speed.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the moonsault (27 minutes, 42 seconds)
After 384 days, the title reign of the youngest GHC Heavyweight champion in history, who had defended the belt against six challengers, was over. Go Shiozaki addressed the crowd saying
ATTENDANCE: 1, 539 (ultra full)
WITH THANKS TO: Totoro Hero, Metal Noah, Abeshin, Fujiwara Armbar, Makusu, R-Okada, shin08, SHINYA
PICTURE CREDIT: Noah GHC
GIF CREDIT: Noah GHC
NOAH'S NEXT EVENT 5TH JANUARY 2020, KORAKUEN HALL