New fans, old fans, fans who hadn't been to see Noah for a while, all came together today (albeit under circumstances which sadly dictate no cheering, only what Noah fans call "Deep Bass Stomping" and clapping), to help sell out Noah's event in Yokohama. Veteran visitors to Yokohama were surprised to find that due to the worsening situation of Corona, Noah have taken the additional step today of putting up a barrier, so fans are seated even further back from the ring. A barrier is rare for Yokohama.
No Kaito Kiyomiya today who is recovering post operatively after having a metal plate removed from his chin.
The event today was not streamed live, but it can be viewed on WrestleUniverse from the 19th January. This will not be a free stream (although the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag held today was via Periscope), so you will need to be a subscriber to view.
FULL THROTTLE (Hajime Ohara, YO-HEY & Seiki Yoshioka) vs Junta Miyawaki, Yasutaka Yano & Kai Fujimura
There were four youngsters in this match; the three young boys who made a speedy entry to the ring (with Junta Miyawaki leaping over the ropes), and the much younger referee, who found himself in the unenviable position of dealing with Noah's chaotic junior division (he seems to be spared the grumpy heavyweights though).
Yokohama got going in an energetic way from the first event with the young boys flying off the top turnbuckles, and later Fujimura and Yano using a double team move on Hajime Ohara, which was like a double Boston Crab with both of them holding a leg each. This was broken up by Yoshioka, but it wasn't to be the first or last time the much younger team threatened their seniors.
WINNER: YO-HEY with the Facial G (11 minutes, 29 seconds)
YO-HEY with usual dance from the ring on leaving apparently, but not before he had held up three fingers to the young boy team as they passed FULL THROTTLE. Looks like a mini feud of seniors & juniors developing, and realistically, Junta Miyawaki is the only one who can win.
The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue) vs Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada
I don't know if Masao Inoue's poor gouty toes were stamped on (probably not as both Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada are too polite), but Okada and Inamura were certainly not too afraid to gang up on him and give him a double clothesline and then a backdrop. More seriously, Yoshiki Inamura and Akitoshi Saito had a series of big shoulder tackles, and there was a long hang time on Saito's holding brainbuster on Okada, it was so long that Inoue had to keep Inamura out of the ring.
Despite the rough handling he took from the much younger wrestlers, Inoue was not completely helpless, using his usual pins like sneak pins etc, but ultimately he was driven back by Yoshiki Inamura using Rikio's sumo attack and then almost put through the ring mat by the Musou.
WINNER: Yoshiki Inamura with the Musou on Masao Inoue (10 minutes, 26 seconds)
Backstage, Inamura declared that the Musou would be hunting Jun Akiyama at The Nippon Budokan.
Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Kongoh (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya)
"The Aggression" or "Kongoh", call them what you will, were on form in this match; Masa Kitamiya challenging Mohammed Yone to a shoulder tackle, Yone pulling the "Disco Fever" and knocking him down, and then an unappreciative Kitamiya getting up and charging at Yone, bouncing off him once before he knocked him down.
Katsuhiko Nakajima was typically irritating, especially when Shuhei Taniguchi kicked him on rope break, and when Taniguchi went to throw him at the ropes on the opposite side of the ring, Nakajima held on to them instead of bouncing off. This later triggered "Monster Taniguchi", who slammed them both, and then later stood up after being soccer ball kicked by Nakajima and roared. However, fans were disappointed with the Yone-Taniguchi team, it wasn't really anything to do with Yone, more Taniguchi. Taniguchi attempted some kind of dancing, although it looked more like a jig than disco from what I could make out, but I think fans preferred it when he was a monster who attacked, and didn't waste time hopping around.
After their traditional fist to elbow bump in the ring, backstage, Kitamiya fumed against Takashi Sugiura, and Katsuhiko Nakajima made comments about how natural it felt to team together again...fans are waiting to see if this is going to lead to a Budokan tag title challenge.
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazunari Murakami & NOSAWA Rongai) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Manabu Soya & Tadasuke)
Naturally, the champion and his challenger (i.e. Kenoh and Kazunari Murakami) started the match off, which began with Murakami taking Kenoh down to the mat, and then taunting him on several occasions afterwards, like when he was ordered to release the hold on the ropes. Murakami continued to get into trouble during the match, by repeatedly being told off for punching with a closed fist. He took no notice, and did it repeatedly.
There was a shoulder tackle challenge between Manabu Soya and Takashi Sugiura, with Soya bouncing Sugiura around the ring. Remembering NOSAWA'S comments on it once, Sugiura turned to NOSAWA and sarcastically asked him if he had any advice that he wanted to give? Later, they had a test of strength, which made one fan comment that they looked as if they were two gorillas.
The match ended with Murakami hammering on Tadasuke, who was lying flat on his back, before dragging him up after shoving the ref away, Kenoh tried to separate them but got knocked out with a closed fist punch.
WINNER: Referee stop as Kazunari Murakami choked out Tadasuke (16 minutes, 8 seconds)
After a face off between the two teams, Manabu Soya carried an unconscious Tadasuke from the ring, in the style that suggested he was going to Avalanche Slam in somewhere along the way. Fans want two things to come out of this match - for Kenoh to go to the Budokan as the GHC National Champion (the title match takes place at the next Noah show on the 23rd), and for Takashi Sugiura and Kazunari Murakami to team up.
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs The Kongoh Juniors (Haoh & Nioh)
Noah streamed the match "guerrilla broadcast" by streaming it live and unannounced on Periscope. I don't know how long these stay up for (so if you are reading this some time after the event it may not be there still), but in any case the whole event will be put up on WrestleUniverse on the 19th January.
Kongoh were hungry for the belts and for the win and this permeated the whole of the match, their desire for the championships. It bought out the best in Nioh (who admittedly I haven't seen at this level for a few years), and it also bought out the best in HAYATA, who fans were saying was "independent" of Yoshinari Ogawa now. It seemed that perhaps Ogawa knew this too, but only after the match. During the match Ogawa was furious that someone had dared challenge him for the belts (it always makes him angry), and used tricks like using Yasutaka Yano as a human shield to prevent Nioh from diving outside the ring at him, grabbing Haoh by the hair when he bounced off the ropes, and sneak attacking Nioh in the few second interval when he complained to the ref about the pin. Nioh, however, can be just as devious as Ogawa (which is new), when he pretended to be dazed and crawling around before knocking HAYATA down.
Haoh's arm was worked on by STINGER; HAYATA stamping on it, Ogawa introducing it to the steel ringpost a few times, and then the part where he looked as if he was going to rip it clean from its socket.