Noah's senior referee, Shu Nishinaga, celebrated thirty years in wrestling today. Twenty of those years have been spent with Noah, after he walked out of All Japan with Mitsuharu Misawa in 2000. Additionally, Mohammed Yone also celebrated twenty five years in wrestling and there were flowers in the lobby which had been sent to him. Naomichi Marufuji also presented him with flowers before his match.
Noah did not have an autograph booth, which is a staple of Korakuen Hall usually, but they compensated for this by selling autographed goods, namely that of STINGER, and Kotaro Suzuki (not a contracted member of Noah) was signing autographs at his own stall, while inside the hall itself Yoshinari Ogawa was holding a class in the ring. Unfortunately I don't know who he was teaching today. Noah had also opened up the north side of the hall. The crowd was very responsive, despite being not at full capacity and not being allowed to cheer. There was a good atmosphere today with the roster looking happy and the venue had a sense of light.
As the trainees disinfected the ring, a hot Korakuen was rocking out to Black Sabbath. Now I don't know what song was being played, but if it was "Paranoid", then it was going to be apt for what was to happen later.
Today's show was not streamed live on WRESTLE UNIVERSE, but fortunately these are not the old days when not so long ago, all we saw was a few precious crumbs from BATTLEMEN, as the event will be broadcast on 27th August on Samurai TV.
Mohammed Yone vs Kinya Okada
After the presentation of flowers by Naomichi Marufuji, it was down to business. Kinya Okada later said that Yone kicked him harder in a singles match than he ever did before, and he was determined to train harder and become tougher.
For all his somewhat kind personality and Disco gimmick, Mohammed Yone can be ruthless when he wants to be, and Okada ate a few elbows outside the ring when he was draped against the iron barriers.
WINNER: Mohammed Yone with the Kinniku Buster (11 minutes, 14 seconds)
YO-HEY vs Tadasuke
YO-HEY went on the attack quickly with a top rope somersault. He was accompanied to the ring by Daisuke Harada, who could only stand and stare as Tadasuke made full use of his heavyweight strength to slam YO-HEY into the apron when they were outside of the ring. Tadasuke smiled somewhat crazily, and stepped back to watch YO-HEY nonchalantly leaning on the side of the ring.
YO-HEY did manage to get some technique in against Tadasuke, but it wasn't enough. At the end of the match Tadasuke used the ref as shield, and when he wasn't looking because he had been thrown aside, Tadasuke aimed a punch to the back of YO-HEY'S head before hitting his finisher.
WINNER: Tadasuke with the 2PAC (10 minutes, 18 seconds)
There was no way that YO-HEY could compete with Tadasuke's strength (unsurprisingly fans are expecting him to go into the heavyweights), and as he lay on the mat with Tadasuke's foot on his face, Harada got into the ring to protest to the referee. There was no progression between the three, and we are no closer to knowinging anything more about why Tadasuke has done what he did. Tadasuke himself offered no further clues as he posted black and white photos of his beating up YO-HEY on social media, and saying that he was done with YO-HEY. Next was Harada.
M'S Alliance (Naomichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuko Miyamoto) vs Kongoh (Manabu Soya, Haoh and Nioh)
Always liking to experience new wrestlers, Naomichi Marufuji and Manabu Soya started the match in what Noah called "Technique vs Power", and Power knocked Technique down, then Technique picked on poor little Haoh.
This was a fast paced match with many different styles of power, technique, backgrounds, and then there were the two juniors.
WINNER: Yuko Miyamoto with a moonsault press* on Nio (12 minutes and 41 seconds)
Kaito Kiyomiya, Daiki Inaba & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
Shuhei Taniguchi strolled out wearing blue pants. Which was far more than he was wearing a few hours earlier. Let's just say that the balloon was left at the party.
Yoshiki Inamura was the star of the match, concentrating not only on Taniguchi (who he heaved up and on to his shoulder like he weighed nothing), his other target was his other rival, Kaito Kiyomiya.
WINNER: Kenoh with the PFS on Daiki Inaba (18 minutes, 49 seconds)
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka)
Naturally after throwing it in the trash, HAYATA did not appear with the IPW belt, and fortunately no one (not even Atsushi Kotoge, a crazy person with a taped shoulder because he keeps waving his arms around rapidly), had fished it out.
Yoshioka's moonsaults over the barrier and into either the crowd or Kuniko Yamada's broadcast table, have become infamous, and today he went over the barrier and kind of bounced off it. This earned him an applause from Kotoge.
Each of FULL THROTTLE had something to gain in this match, and so they knew they really needed to win; Yoshioka because this was a pre-match with Kotaro Suzuki before the GHC Junior Heavyweight title challenge, and Hajime Ohara and Atsushi Kotoge because they want to make a title challenge. Sadly, this was not meant to be.
WINNER: Kotaro Suzuki with the Tiger Driver on Seiki Yoshioka (17 minutes, 32 seconds)
As HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa ran off quickly before Kotoge could say anything, although FULL THROTTLE hadn't won the match and therefore couldn't challenge, (i.e. they just don't want to be bothered with them), Kotaro Suzuki bent down and shoved the belt right in Seiki Yoshioka's face. The only way Kotoge and Ohara are going to get their challenge, is to defeat one of STINGER, grab their hair and shout it in their face.
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Daisuke Harada vs The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba & Kaz Hayashi)
There were a lot of firsts in this match; the first time the two wrestlers with an MMA background would meet in the ring (Nakajima vs Sakuraba), the first time Daisuke Harada would fight Sakuraba, and the first time since 2012 in All Japan, that Harada and Kaz Hayashi would clash. No wonder the main event was described as "insanely interesting".
There was the usual Sugiura vs Shiozaki power struggle, and Sugiura getting kicked around by Nakajima, but the highlight of the match was said to the fight between Nakajima and Sakuraba, which came down to mat wrestling, and was described by fans as "amazing." (Noah said there was lots of grunting), and Sakuraba, who hates being chopped, later took the dreaded "ENDLESS LOVE", but he got his revenge as Sugiura stopped Nakajima from trying to get into the ring to help his teammate who has heavily taped shoulders and arms.
WINNER: Kazushi Sakuraba with an arm lock on Go Shiozaki (25 minutes, 21 seconds)
"What is this "I AM NOAH?" Asshole, I've been doing this for 20 years."
AXIZ looked on as after adding, "I am Chono", Sugiura threw down the microphone and struck a pose with Hayashi and Sakuraba.
With thanks to: Gong Ex, Fujiwara Armbar, Kei, Abeshin, Shishikazu, Hassy, Naoki Slam
Picture credit: YO-HEY, PKDX
GIF taken from Noah GHC Official Twitter
*Marufuji would later brand Miyamoto's moonsault as "World Level".