Kinya Okada vs Seiya Morohashi
To pass the time while Noah are not as active as they normally would be, Kinya Okada has holed himself up in the Noah dojo against the Coronavirus, and has worked out furiously. Even the commentators mentioned this today, and the fact that he had left Sugiura-Gun.
Okada had good offense, defense and reversals (plus he used the kicks that Nakajima has been training him in), but it didn't take Morohashi, the veteran long to change the tide.
WINNER: Seiya Morohashi via Crippler Cross Face (6 minutes, 50 seconds)
Mohammed Yone & Tadasuke vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
This match set the tone for what was to come when Mohammed Yone gifted the Noah trainees at ringside flashing glasses, Akitoshi Saito stole the red ones and made Masao Inoue wear them. Tadasuke (who I saw almost dance along with "Boogie Wonderland" at the end of the match), looked like he had strolled into a disco by mistake with his long bleached blonde hair, aviator glasses, and leather jacket.
Akitoshi Saito gave the correct and usual reaction to Yone's Disco Fever rope break, which is to look enraged and then attack him.
Usual comedy in the match with Saito joining in by kicking Inoue on the rope break, Inoue complaining that the count was too slow, Tadasuke going crazy to an empty arena, and even the commentary team were laughing at Masao Inoue's pink martial arts uniform.
For a match primarily consisting of heavyweights, Tadasuke more than held his own, what comes in handy for Tadasuke is that not only does he have something approaching the heavyweight size, he also has their strength, so it wasn't a typical juniors vs heavyweight match.
WINNER: Mohammed Yone with the Muscle Buster (or the "Pink Boogie" as the commentators called it) on Masao Inoue (12 minutes, 56 seconds)
RATELS (Daisuke Harada, HAYATA & YO-HEY) vs The Sugiura Army (NOSAWA Rongai, Hajime Ohara & X)
YO-HEY in usual fashion decided to wear the belt slung over one shoulder and wrapped around his chest (he also did "GETZ" to an empty arena), HAYATA carried his tag belt, and Daisuke Harada came to the ring with the IPW Junior looking grim.
Hajime Ohara and NOSAWA Rongai appeared, parted and stood aside, so that the new member of The Sugiura Army could make his entry.
The new member is Seiki Yoshioka, who is most recently from the now defunct Wrestle-1, and a member of CIMA'S Strong Hearts stable. He is also well known to both HAYATA & YO-HEY, and that showed today in this typically fast paced junior match as he was not only able to match them in terms of speed and technique, but at times he was also able to outwit them. Yoshioka had a big grin on his face, which will probably make him the Nakajima of the division, but its incredible as to how well he fitted in to Noah after just one match.
During the match we also were treated to that rare thing, Hajime Ohara vs Daisuke Harada, and true to form as soon as each was in the ring with the other their blood boiled and they went at it. Noah save the singles matches between them for rare occasions, tag matches are also preciously guarded.
Towards the end of the match NOSAWA got hold of the IPW belt, and knocked Harada down with it, he then looked at it thoughtfully. Was he going to challenge, or did he have something else in mind?
WINNER: Seiki Yoshioka with the Crash Driver on YO-HEY (12 minutes, 41 seconds)
Then Hajime Ohara spoke, he and Seiki Yoshioka were laying down a challenge for the GHC Junior Heavyweight titles. Ignoring Ohara, YO-HEY said on his TWITTER that he Yoshioka would get to know "the married couple love".
Naturally with the Coronavirus pandemic, dates or details for either challenge are yet to be announced.
MochiMaru (Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki) & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Hao and Nio)
Naomichi Marufuji jumped into the ring, and went straight to square up to little Hao, completely ignoring Kenoh, Hao was going to get not his chest, but his ribs chopped by him later. Kenoh, however, didn't need to worry as the focus was very soon going to be on him, with Masaaki Mochizuki demanding that they start the match, which they did in martial arts style. This baiting of Kenoh by Mochizuki was probably a veteran tactic, as it got Kenoh so riled that he at times forgot that he was in the ring with Marufuji, and as fixated as he was on Mochizuki, it meant that Marufuji could get the upper hand. The match ended with Kenoh probably wondering who he hated more.
Nio showed a new evolution today when he successfully ducked Marufuji's kicks, which is not something that people often do.
Hao, the smallest and lightest, got it the worst at the hands of the heavyweight veteran team, although at one point he did come very close to winning by getting the pin on Mochizuki. Monster Taniguchi entered the ring and destroyed everyone he came across, particularly Hao. But it wasn't all doom and gloom for him, Hao used his speed and size to his advantage.
Winner: Masaaki Mochizuki with the Dragon Suplex Hold on Hao (15 minutes, 19 seconds)
Kenoh ended the match furious, eyes bulging, and almost squaring up to Marufuji. The winning team posed, but Taniguchi refused to join in, especially if it involved Marufuji. Taniguchi gave a friendly sportsmanlike handshake to Mochi, but refused one to Marufuji, who after trying it again when they left the ring, had to settle for glaring at him for his his stubbornness.
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Hideki "Shrek" Sekine and Hideki Suzuki) vs Daisuke Harada & The Tough (Yoshiki Inamura & Masa Kitamiya)
Takashi Sugiura came to the ring with some an ion patch on a lanyard around his neck, the patch is believed to ward off illness. His opponents were more interested in that than the GHC National which he was holding up to them, and told him to remove it. Sugiura refused to take it off, Yoshiki Inamura made tearing motions, and the ref eventually made him.
This match was just eight bigs guys beating up on each other, and even Shrek sensed that he was in a ring with people who could throw him around, Sugiura and Sekimoto were like two Grizzlies fighting and then there was Shrek vs Inamura. They were screaming in each others faces as they tried to knock each other down, neither moved accompanied by the smack of the sound of bodies colliding and shouting from the outside. After the match Shrek gave the much younger Inamura kudos by praising him, saying that when this guy tackled you, he was dangerous. Perhaps the best description of this match belongs to Abeshin who described it as a "Muscle War".
Masa Kitamiya refused to stay down against Takashi Sugiura, but it was Inamura who the veteran team sensed was the weakest link, and isolated him by keeping the others away. Inamura took a double headbutt, being punched in turn by all three of his opponents, and he refused to give up on what seems to be his ambition of giving the Splash Mountain to Sugiura. Sadly today it was not meant to be,
WINNER: Takashi Sugiura with the Olympic slam on Yoshiki Inamura (20 minutes, 33 seconds)
Yoshinari Ogawa & Atsushi Kotoge vs Kotaro Suzuki & Kaito Kiyomiya
Yoshinari Ogawa was lying in wait for Kotaro Suzuki, and by lying in wait I mean he was waiting round corners that Kotaro didn't even know existed. Ogawa demonstrated again just how frighteningly intelligent he is as a wrestler by using everyone and everything around him to his advantage - the sneak attack at the beginning of the match which he never does, tagging himself in by patting Kotoge's head and then catching Kotaro mid move, distracting the ref to the fact that Kiyomiya was in the ring the same time as him, to beat up on Kotaro while the ref was engaged with Kiyomiya. He also provoked him when he on the apron, so he knew the ref would be distracted as Kiyomiya would get into the ring.
If he didn't have Kotaro, then Kiyomiya had to face his fury.
Kotoge and Kotaro know each other well, but for now it seems that Kotoge has chosen to remain with Ogawa.
WINNER: Yoshinari Ogawa with the Backdrop on Kotaro Suzuki (17 minutes, 54 minutes)
Global League 2020 Finals
The Sugiura Army International (El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr & Renee Dupre) vs AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
As the reigning GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions, and with an interest in who wins this match, MochiMaru took a seat at ringside to see who would be challenging them for the belts.
Rene Dupree and Go Shiozaki started the match, which after the first lock up had Shiozaki giving Dupree the look that Kobashi used to give opponents he found were very strong. It wasn't just Dupree who was strong, The Sugiura Army International were very strong in general, Nakajima was not even given much time to wind up El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr. Outside the ring when he hurt his back and refused to get into the ring, MochiMaru poined for him to get back in, Marufuji giving him an unimpressed look.
Nakajima did find time to be Nakajima, helping distract the ref so Shiozaki could chop El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr's knee, kicking El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr out of the way so he could get to his corner on the apron, mugging for the camera, big grins and the Shutter Chance for the viewers. Referee Nishinaga tried in vain to stop him doing this, but Nakajima took no notice, and was forcibly removed and told off.
Shiozaki, not given to showboating like Nakajima (and this has cost Nakajima before), had a stiff chop exchange with Rene Dupree who is fast becoming a nemesis, but he no sold El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnrs. The fight between himself and Dupree went out of the ring and to the ramp, where Shiozaki felled him with a DDT.
El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr really took it from AXIZ in the latter stages of the match, dazed momentarily by Nakajima's dangerous turnbuckle kick, he took the "Endless Love" and the Soccer Ball kicks. It was El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr who would have the last laugh when Shiozaki was taken out by a plancha by Dupree outside the ring, he got the win via moonsault over Nakajima.
Winner: El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr with the moonsault on Katsuhiko Nakajima (27 minutes)
MochiMaru then left their seats and got into the ring. Now, when Marufuji gets the Noah microphones something always seems to go wrong, and whatever he said first couldn't be heard.
El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr held up his hand, unfurled three fingers one at a time, and told Marufuji that he could either speak in "Spanish, Japanese or English", and put one hand behind his ear in anticipation.
Marufuji (although he knows more English than he likes to let on), spoke in Japanese and said that they won the league, but they would defend the belts. Mochizuki said that he could only speak Japanese, and that they would not lose twice in a row to the same opponents.
The champions remained in the ring, while the winners left with their trophies (Dupree said later that he wanted a Sapporo beer), and MochiMaru addressed the people at home. Marufuji spoke and said that although they had lost the league, they were still aiming for "Best Tag 2020" at the Tokyo Sports Awards in January 2021.
Thanks to: Abeshin, Miriam, Metal-Noah, Totoro-Hero