For the Noah's Ark fanclub members, Go Shiozaki was posing for pictures, while more unusually, HAYATA was on merchandise. What wasn't unusual was that half the time he looked painfully awkward, but people said that although shy, he was very gentle (and more than one person used the word "beautiful"). HAYATA had also chosen to line his eyes with liner, and put in contact lenses, the whole effect (added to his blonde hair and t-shirt with golden lettering), made him look like he was glowing. The new t-shirt that he was modelling sold out quickly in some sizes too.
The crowd today were lively and the venue was sold out. Fans who came today were looking forward to tomorrow, and even those who didn't come today are excited about Noah's Yokohama show on the 11th.
The sixteen junior wrestlers who are competing in the league, came out for the presentation to the crowd\press and stood in rows (in the past Noah had given then sashes). Well, sixteen were meant to come out but only fourteen showed up as Yoshinari Ogawa said that he wasn't going to appear in the league and refused to appear, and because Ogawa is not in it, NOSAWA Rongai said he wouldn't be either, and so didn't come out. I doubt Ogawa cares too much that NOSAWA is refusing to be in it, but it does leave A block as only HAYATA vs Junta Miyawaki, and speaking of Miyawaki (who returned from injury today), he managed to stand in the wrong place and was removed.
Naturally, no one can resist winding up their opponents, and it wasn't the volatile Block D (named "The Group of Death" which consists of Daisuke Harada, Chris Ridgeway, Minoru Tanaka and Niō) who caused a ruckus with each other, although they stood in an uneasy row, the disruption came from Block B when Tadasuke and Kotaro Suzuki got into a fight, and Atsushi Kotoge had to seperate them.
50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) vs Junta Miyawaki & Minoru Tanaka
Not really too much to say about this one, but fans are hoping that since there is still time that Quiet Storm may change his mind and stay with Noah. Sadly, I think this is unlikely.
WINNER: Quiet Storm with the 50cm lariat on Junta Miyawaki (4 minutes, 29 seconds)
Global Junior League 2020 (Block C)
Hajime Ohara vs Hitoshi Kumano
Where once he was "Noah's Growing Bear", Hitoshi Kumano came out today wearing blue (it is a tribute to Atsushi Aoki who was one of his trainers), and was named "The Blue Bear". Noticeably toned up and looking slimmer (the "blubber" that Kotaro Suzuki teased him about is going), and Kumano was said to be "fast and strong" in the match today.
Despite its brutality, and Kumano putting to use the lessons he learned from Ohara to good used (one fan joked that it made their back hurt), the match itself was said to have a feel good feeling, as both Kumano and Ohara were said to be a breath of fresh air in the ring as the Noah juniors are so dominated by RATELS and STINGER currently.
WINNER: Hitoshi Kumano with a variant on the Assault Point (13 minutes, 39 seconds)
Global Junior League 2020 (Block B)
Hao vs Dick Togo
In a random "guerilla" tactic, Noah randomly live streamed this match through Twitch on their Twitter account. However, as all filmed content of the event belongs to the network, they could only get away with one, but they promised another one tomorrow after polling fans, and receiving good reviews from fans.
This was said to be the match of the evening with master brutally prevailing over pupil.
WINNER: Dick Togo with the Diving Senton (9 minutes, 21 seconds)
Naomichi Marufuji, Shiro Koshinaka & The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue) vs The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jr, NOSAWA Rongai & Kinya Okada)
Although it feels like a long time since Naomichi Marufuji and Takashi Sugiura faced off, it was only in November 2019 when they had their last match, so it has only been a couple of months really, but it has felt like much longer and as ever, the two tore into each other with a long hang time on Takashi Sugiura's top rope avalanche backdrop. Fans have it that Marufuji might be the next challenger for the GHC National, but if so, it did not happen today.
As well as the fight with Takashi Sugiura, Marufuji imitated Shiro Koshinaka, and did a hip attack of his own (hopefully he did not tell Akitoshi Saito to watch as he made his opponents "eat ass" as Koshinaka put it, and Saito fell about laughing).
Kinya Okada said he was hit by a chair as El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jnr was getting the win on Masao Inoue. I have no idea who by, but as its unlikely behavior from Koshinaka, and Marufuji was probably fighting Sugiura, it was Saito who did it.
Takashi Sugiura had started the day talking about gout, and in particular Masao Inoue having gout, he then told Go Shiozaki that he was lucky he did not have gout, and then he revealed (via a picture of a swollen toe), that he himself had gout.
I told you, 2020 is the year of the revenge of Masao Inoue...
WINNER: El Hijo de Dr Wagner Jnr with the moonsault press on Masao Inoue (11 minutes, 54 seconds)
Kaito Kiyomiya & STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge) vs RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, HAYATA & YO-HEY)
The match started in a very RATELS way, in which it went off the rails.
Tadasuke's music started, but no RATELS appeared.
The music carried on, but they still didn't appear, and when they eventually did after a long delay, everyone wondered where they had been (one fan wondered if they had been in the cue for the toilets, but I'm of the opinion that either they were smoking outside, or the perennially late YO-HEY was holding things up. However, Naomichi Marufuji once revealed that wrestlers don't often do their boots up until the last moment, so it is possible that they were pulling them on and tying them up at the last minute).
In a very rare match up, Kaito Kiyomiya teamed with STINGER to take on RATELS. Although he no longer has the belt, he still did the same pose when his name was called, and there were a lot of calls for him throughout the match. Still a face of Noah, he was on hand to sign autographs after the event, especially since Noah had bought out a new picture portrait of his. In the match itself, Kiyomiya got ganged up on by RATELS, but he was also seen talking to Yoshinari Ogawa while standing on the apron. Naturally, no one knows what they where talking about, but it is probably thought that this was a frontline experience for Kiyomiya, to team with Ogawa and learn further from him.
Naturally, Tadasuke and Kotaro Suzuki hadn't resolved their issues from earlier, and Kotaro started provoking him. They were still in each others faces at the end of the match.
While diving from the top turnbuckle, Kotaro Suzuki suffered a slight wardrobe malfunction, and he was snapped midair with his pants coming down and the moon showing...
WINNER: Yoshinari Ogawa with the Cross Fixture on HAYATA (19 minutes, 29 seconds)
After the match, Yoshinari Ogawa was asked why it was he didn't come out in the league presentation. Ogawa said that as Kaito Kiyomiya didn't come out in the N-1 Victory when he was a champion, why should he, Ogawa, come out in Global Junior League if he didn't want to?
Kiyomiya immediately started looking worried.
Global Junior League 2020 (Block D)
Chris Ridgeway vs Nio
Chris Ridgeway knew that he was going to have to ground Nio, and so he worked on his knees and ankles. Nio, however, wasn't going to have his wings clipped too badly and he managed to pull out of the bag an over the top rope moonsault, and the Cancun Tornado. Sadly, despite all of this, fans commented that Nio hadn't changed, he was still Hi69. Ridgeway, however, was praised for his amazing skill.
WINNER: Chris Ridgeway with the Package German Suplex Hold (14 minutes, 43 seconds)
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
"Inamura was good today. He is a treasure".
AXIZ appeared in their sinister crow coats, to their sinister music, and as they entered the ring, the crowd found at their feet were black feathers, and the referee got Nakajima's sarcasm when he told him to get back in the ring, Nakajima replied that he would...and then didn't.
Inamura later posted a picture of his battered tank like chest, and said he didn't like the AXIZ love, although he very much felt it. The fans recognised his efforts today, and out of everyone in this match it was Inamura who came away with the most praise.
Kenoh did not stop with Shiozaki, and Shuhei Taniguchi got kicked too. Shiozaki, however, was Kenoh's main target, but fans were left disappointed as neither Kenoh (or Katsuhiko Nakajima for that matter), challenged Shiozaki for the GHC Heavyweight. Fans are also disappointed about the Kongoh losing streak.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Shiozaki lariat on Yoshiki Inamura (21 minutes and 13 seconds)
After the match, Go Shiozaki made a short speech to the crowd, thanking them for coming today, and saying that in 2020 he would "dye Noah my color".
Backstage Shiozaki spoke of something different, acknowledging that the juniors were putting on high quality matches, and he was not prepared to be eclipsed by them.
ATTENDANCE: 255 (sold out).
WITH THANKS TO: Abeshin, Gong Ex, Biroshi, Tanukichi, Ken-Ken, Masun, Heat//Phil,
PICTURE CREDIT: Noah GHC, Yoshiki Inamura