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)
With thanks to: Abeshin, Metal Noah, Duka, Kei, Hae, Rembrandt
Picture credit: Noah GHC
Noah's next event: "NOAH SANCTUARY" July 30th