"It was fierce, it was fun, it was a fight".
Noah returned from the annual April weekend in Sapporo to Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. The midweek crowd was not too good sadly, and the attendance cannot be described as sold out or full house, but during the dark days of late 2016 and early 2017, they did far far worse. The crowd, however, was vocal, excited, on their feet, and good for a midweek night. Some fans noted with regret that due to work commitments, they couldn't go.
Kinya Okada was at ringside doing the usual duties of a rookie.
Poor boy looked very sad that he couldn't be in the ring.
The other trainee was also seen, but people have been wondering where the other two that were said to enter the dojo are. Interestingly enough, he seems to still have a head of hair, which is unusual as trainees have to symbolically shave them.
Kenta Kobashi came out in the interval (he was also on commentary as the show is going to be broadcast on the 20th April) to a rapturous welcome, to announce that in June he would be holding his annual produce, "Fortune Dream6". Noah wrestlers would be taking part, in particular Go Shiozaki, Yoshiki Inamura and Masa Kitamiya.
Kaito Kiyomiya (in new t-shirt) was on autograph duty.
In the tribute to Mitsuharu Misawa, Noah's past and the soul of the promotion (despite the changes), the ring was lit up green before the event started.
THE TOUGH (Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura) vs Junta Miyawaki & Seiya Moroashi
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the side suplex on Seiya Morohashi (10 minutes and 23 seconds)
Mohammed Yone & Rocky Kawamura vs THE INFERNO (Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi)
Maybach Taniguchi about Rocky Kawamura
Rocky Kawamura is a kind of Rocky clone (as the name suggests), while Mohammed Yone took his name in tribute to Mohammed Ali.
And yes, he also shouted "ADRIAAAAN!"
WINNER: Maybach Taniguchi with the Maybach Press on Rocky Kawamura (11 minutes and 17 seconds)
Naomichi Marufuji, Minoru Tanaka & Hi69 vs Atsushi Kotoge & The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano)
Marufuji said he climbed into the corner (sarcastically) during Tadasuke's entrance, and raised his fist saying "Victory". Marufuji, as well as targeting the juniors, also trapped Kotoge in the corner by holding him down on the turnbuckle and putting his cloak over his head.
I'm sure this is a way of subduing Kotoge when he's manic.
Despite all of this (and the loss of his team), Kotoge was buoyant about returning to Korakuen Hall for the first time since his arm injury.
WINNER: Hi69 with the Stuka Splash on Hajime Ohara (13 minutes and 23 seconds)
After the match, NOSAWA introduced his friend, and new member of "The Sugiura Army" (and complete with a "Sugiura Army" t-shirt), which was none other than Big Japan's Hideki Suzuki.
Korakuen Hall went insane.
Now, despite the fact that Marufuji has little stomach for death match wrestling (although about two death matches or so have been booked featuring Noah wrestlers on Noah shows, such as in 2018 when Hi69 did one with Daisuke Harada, although it was tame by Big Japan standards, certainly they weren't using fish-hooks on each other or replacing the ring mat with bricks and glass), Noah and Big Japan are good friends, and Big Japan wrestlers occasionally appear in Noah shows, although it is rare that Noah wrestlers appear on Big Japan ones.
So, Suzuki got in the ring and asked for a tag match against Marufuji (Suzuki will team with NOSAWA), as he was at ringside (and all of the heavyweights are tied up in Global Tag League), Marufuji, after telling Suzuki that he should build his own gang, said "lets just have a match" and nominated Junta Miyawaki to be his partner. Miyawaki told NOSAWA that he was going to get the victory over him.
Now, that would be an impressive first win for Miyawaki.
Match has been set for the 4th May at the final night of Global Tag League.
GLOBAL TAG LEAGUE
AXIZ (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki) vs THE Return of The Dark Agents (Masao Inoue & Akitoshi Saito)
Nakajima had predicted an easy win over a team who where\are traditionally useless in Global Tag League when it comes to points and general win ratio, but he underestimated Masao Inoue, who shows rare flashes of being as sneaky as Yoshinari Ogawa when he wants to be. Nakajima (who had a huge grin plastered on his face) had the upper hand on Inoue throughout most of the match (even Saito got it when Nakajima was stomping on him when he was knocked onto the wooden benches when the fight went into the crowd) and looked like a velociraptor stalking its prey, but after almost twenty minutes, Inoue got the sneak pin and picked up two points for the team.
Despite the popularity of AXIZ, Korakuen was cheering on Masao Inoue for most of the match.
Although this year Saito has been nice to Inoue, this year he could not resist screwing him over just once. At the end of the match, Inoue went to lean on Saito in imitation of the winning pose of AXIZ, and Saito walked off.
Inoue fell in a heap on the floor.
Nakajima says that for getting the sneak win on him, Inoue has incurred a massive debt and he will come to collect.
WINNER: Masao Inoue with the sneak pin on Katsuhiko Nakajima (19 minutes and 54 seconds)
Stinger (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & YO-HEY) vs RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & HAYATA)
After an intense match in the struggle between RATELS and Stinger went through the roof, Yoshinari Ogawa once again offered his hand to Daisuke Harada.
Neither Tadasuke or YO-HEY were having any of this.
First, Tadasuke prevented Harada from shaking hands (and while HAYATA, who did not get involved, looked on) Harada shoved Tadasuke away with that looked like either a punch or an elbow to the face.
They went to try again, but this time YO-HEY got between them and pushed Ogawa back.
Harada only posted a picture, and made no comment.
I think we will soon find out.
Ogawa is up to something...and so is Harada.
WINNER: TADASUKE with a move reversal on YO-HEY (25 minutes and 15 seconds)
GLOBAL TAG LEAGUE 2019
KAIOH (Kenoh & Kaito Kiyomiya) vs "The Sugiura Army" (Takashi Sugiura & KAZMA SAKAMOTO)
"Sugiura stopped time"
("Stop Time" is a phenomenon in fiction (especially SF) where the flow of time around the world, except for the main character of the story, stops)
The ring was bathed in emerald green for KAIOH, and even before this, the audience was wound up like a spring ready to uncoil.
Prior to this match, Kenoh had commented that he and Kiyomiya were once aligned with Sugiura, and it was from Sugiura that Kiyomiya had learned strength and become the champion. He was looking forward to showing Sugiura just how far they had both come.
In Sugiura, KAIOH had come up against their first wall.
Sugiura got on the microphone and said to Kiyomiya (who was being helped out of the ring), that did he forget that he was interested in the GHC Heavyweight? Sugiura hadn't. Sugiura said he wasn't going to make a big deal of it now as he understood that everyone's focus (including his, although personally I think he's more concerned about winning the GHC Heavyweight rather than the tag belts) was on the league, the thought of the GHC would remain in his mind.
Picture credit: Maybach Taniguchi, Daisuke Harada, Noah GHC
With thanks to: Mask de Baum, Keyoshi, Abeshin, Metal Noah