Naomichi Marufuji decided to wind up Kenoh prior to the produce by saying that it's been a long time since Jinsei Shinzaki called him to say that he was going to entrust him with Kenoh. Kenoh naturally was not amused, basically saying that if Marufuji wasn't so fucking irritating, then it would be a sign he, Noah's Vice President, was growing up. Marufuji gave no further signs of this, saying he had color co-ordinated his clothes as part red and part black for the produce.
I am unsure of the exact turn out today, but despite initial fears that it looked empty, I think Noah managed a generally good one. I don't blame people for not wanting to go out and preferring the safety of watching the produce from home, as Tokyo today announced a record high of 949 new Coronavirus cases.
Junta Miyawaki vs Yasutaka Yano
Yasutaka Yano keeps looking more and more muscular every time he appears, today we could see the beginning of some serious looking abs. Good technical wrestling which drew applause from the crowd, Yoshinari Ogawa has certainly taught them well, and because of this and due to Yano's advanced skills, the match felt like it went longer than it did. However, he is a rookie still and as the ending showed, he still has little in the way of resilience to pain, although he did keep kicking out which drove Miyawaki into a rare fury (rare I guess because he's usually in matches against seniors, and he wouldn't dare show that).
WINNER: Junta Miyawaki with the Kimura Lock (7 minutes, 39 seconds)
Manabu Soya vs Tadasuke
Kenoh had put this match together as knew while Manabu Soya is a powerful heavyweight, Tadasuke is (and the commentators also mentioned this) the "power fighter" of the juniors. He is probably someone that NOSAWA Rongai would class as a "mid-heavyweight". I think Tadasuke loved this match, juniors cannot often match his strength, so this gave him a chance to test out his full capability. He was even able to lift and slam Soya, which drew a gasp from the crowd, who followed this up with an applause.
The first lock up (after Tadasuke had scoped out Soya by walking around the ring), saw Tadasuke forced to the ropes, but Soya had a hard time in getting him there. Tadasuke might not have been able to force Soya back, but he was certainly like a rock. The shoulder tackles proved this. However, it is Soya who is the heavyweight, and he began to wear him down with no sells of his chops (his own felled Tadasuke in one) and other heavyweight moves, Tadasuke took advantage of the momentum at point to propel Soya out of the ring. Crazy Tadasuke then appeared, and was taken out with a spear, but he would appear once more with one of his massive lariats, but the match would ultimately belong to Soya.
WINNER: Manabu Soya with the Ballistic (11 minutes, 31 seconds)
There were no hard feelings as they shared a handshake after the match, with Tadasuke leaving with still a slightly crazy look on his face.
Go Shiozaki & Naomichi Marufuji vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
Naomichi Marufuji had told Masao Inoue prior to the match, that he and Go Shiozaki had a Christmas present for him. They were going to give him a nice red chest. Inoue said that was something he neither wanted or needed. Marufuji naturally took no notice as he came bouncing into the ring, and started looking menacingly at Inoue.
Go Shiozaki, who is looking a lot more healthier since he has had time to rest at the end of the year, came out to fans waving green glow sticks. He is still taped though. Everyone in the match, except for Masao Inoue, has challenged him for the GHC Heavyweight that year, and that was probably why at first he was a little hesitant to shake hands with Marufuji, but Marufuji insisted and as ever, got his own way.
Masao Inoue's "Gift" was actually started by his fair weather tag partner, Akitoshi Saito, tagging him in by a chop. Marufuji made lunging movements at Inoue to scare him as he climbed through the ropes, and then he tagged in Shiozaki. Shiozaki limbered up (much to Inoue's horror) by blowing on his hands. Inoue was determined not to be chopped and kept ducking Shiozaki, but it did no good. Akitoshi Saito was very helpful, distracting the ref and at one point even gripping him so he couldn't turn around, while both Marufuji and Shiozaki took turns in pinning Inoue's arms back so the other could chop him. If you listened very carefully, you could probably hear Takashi Sugiura laughing. Inoue tried pleading with them, but it did no good. Inoue also got the machine gun chops, his countering them with lariats, meant he took about eighteen in total. Chopping Saito wasn't as easy as he kept blocking Marufuji, who in the end hook kicked him.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Moonsault on Masao Inoue (16 minutes, 28 seconds)
Saito held them up to the ref, and yelled as if to say "Look what he has done!". Inside the ring, Shiozaki hauled Inoue to his feet by his ears. Inoue thought he was going to chop him, but he only wanted to shake hands. Then Marufuji slid into the ring, Inoue looked like he was going to bolt, but he too only wanted a handshake. Outside the ring, Inoue's torments were hardly over, as Saito knocked Inoue down and...
Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya vs Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada
The much younger team of Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada gave as good as they got, and they got good. Kenoh had intended this to be a dojo vs dojo match as both Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya had trained in the Kensuke Office\Diamond Ring dojo and with Inamura and Okada being Noah born, and both dojo's being located in Saitama, but it was more like a master vs pupil match with Inamura and Okada being trained by Kitamiya (although the focus was on Inamura) and Okada being trained in kick techniques by Nakajima.
For the fans, this was a chance to see the reunited AGGRESSION, but they didn't really give any sign of this until the end when they were in the ring along together, and they did their elbow bump. Events transpired, however, to prevent anything further, but despite their somewhat indifferent entry with Kitamiya striding ahead and looking a bit uncomfortable, this was perhaps a sign.
Inamura and Kitamiya had a complete "Hoss Fight" to the delight of the fans, with Inamura shoving Nakajima down when his opponents tried to double team him, and expelling Kitamiya with a shoulder tackle. Despite this, Nakajima spent most of the match looking like a wolf who spies a lone bison to rip apart.
As mentioned above, Nakajima had been the one who taught Okada how to kick, and now he had the chance to assess him one to one and see how he was doing. They had a kick war, with Okada managing to stand up to him, but Nakajima is the master. Okada did manage to knock him down to a loud applause from the crowd.
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the Saito Suplex on Kinya Okada (16 minutes, 20 seconds)
Kitamiya threw Okada out of the ring, which left him alone with Nakajima.
Fans wondered if this was the moment, the moment when THE AGGRESSION would reunite?
NOSAWA Rongai appeared to change this into a completely different direction, and he wasn't alone, he had a tall slender man with him. Kazunari Marukami. Marukami and NOSAWA climbed up on the apron, as Nakajima smirked at Marukami. NOSAWA announced he had decided to announce the mystery member of The Sugiura Army to be introduced at their box office here. Nakajima goaded Marukami to get in the ring, he almost did, but was stopped by NOSAWA.
Haoh vs Nioh
Kenoh had warned them both at Noah's last proper event of the year in Nagoya, that he would be watching their match and they had both better stand out. The bitter slaps they exchanged backstage then, were just as bitter at the start of the match. Never a close tag team (not in the sense that YO-HEY & HAYATA were, or how AXIZ had been, or even the somewhat distant Momo No Seishun), this match erupted as the rivalry and frustration between them spilled out. Kenoh had intended them to fight each other for those reasons, but it is going to make things difficult for all, especially since this match seemingly resolved very little. Kenoh's meddling did the trick however, and the match was pretty brutal as they tried to destroy each other, with the referee finding he had to do multiple concussion tests on both of them, plus the check on Haoh when he had a coughing fit thanks to a rope kick to his throat by Nioh, and Nioh almost being knocked out when the back of his head slammed into the bottom of the steel barriers. There was also a vicious apron spot, which caused Haoh to genuinely scream.
As the match grew steadily more desperate they grew even more savage, what more could they do to win this? No one wanted to go full time. The Trans Rave did not work, the Firebird Splash did not work, there were visible finger marks from slaps coming up as welts on Nioh's neck. Nioh having the advantage in both weight and size was the one who picked up the win, leaving Haoh lying groggy and spread-out on the mat.
WINNER: Nioh with the Michioku Driver β (17 minutes, 57 seconds)
I thought Haoh might have been concussed, but he was just very groggy. Nioh pulled him to his feet, but Haoh slapped him. Nioh, shook his hand forcibally before slapping him back (either in a way of saying "We know this isn't over" or "let it go, it's over") before storming off.
Fan opinion has it that Nioh is now ready for a singles belt.
Kenoh & Jinsei Shinzaki vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Daiki Inaba
This has been Kenoh's first time teaming with his teacher, so naturally he was on his very best behaviour; no angry swearing (at least at the beginning) and squaring up to Kaito Kiyomiya. I think Kenoh just wanted to show Shinzaki how far he had come, and happily he had gotten to see him this time with a belt, something he has not been able to do so far with the GHC Heavyweight.
The match was started by the young Kaito Kiyomiya (for whom the fans bought the green glowsticks out for) and Jinsei Shinzaki. Shinzaki and Kiyomiya had a technical showdown, Kiyomiya was able to reverse the veterans moves, but as ever, the veteran found a way out. Kiyomiya loved the experience, even by taking the prayer rope walk. It has gone unmentioned, but this is also the first time that Jinsei Shinzaki and Daiki Inaba have met in the ring, as well as the first time between himself and Kiyomiya. Inaba used some inventive submissions on Kenoh, this was followed up by a giant dropkick from Kiyomiya.
Inaba and Kiyomiya had a different atmosphere than Kiyomiya and Inamura. With Kiyomiya and Inamura you had a sense of a more younger (and more hungry) team, plus there is a sense of togetherness as both are Noah born, with Inaba it somehow seems a team put together to learn from each other, not really to progress or chalk up wins. As for Shinzaki and Kenoh, Kenoh was seen to take the backseat somewhat letting his teacher control the match and give him directions, with Shinzaki wrestling a more older style, which is always welcome in Noah who pride themselves on their descent from Giant Baba. Shinzaki, however, was not trained by Baba, his training came from New Japan, and therefore through Antonio Inoki, the other Rikidozan student. Keiji Mutoh described the differences as, "always aggressive Inoki and always passive Baba".
WINNER: Kenoh with PFS on Daiki Inaba (21 minutes, 38 seconds)
Noah's final event of 2020 (although not a proper show) will be the Sugiura Army produce on the 29th December.
GIF'S taken from WrestleUniverse.