Noah have been running Kultz Kawasaki since 2018, and it has become their big end of the summer show before the autumn N-1 Victory starts, as Noah start heading towards the end of their twenty-first year with a show announced today at the Yokohama Budokan on 22nd November.
I am unsure of today's attendance but the arena looked pretty much sold out, and added to the fact that Hajime Ohara is a local boy and did tireless promotion around the city, transportation is very good for getting to the venue with a bus stop outside, no too far a walk from the station, and a car park nearby.
Due to the Coronavirus the event has changed slightly from the last two years; Hajime Ohara has been unable to organise any of the pre-event entertainments that he had arranged beforehand (such as the traditional Japanese dancers, and the orchestra), and the layout of the seating had changed with the barriers keeping fans away from the wrestlers entrances and exits to the ring. Aside from that, Noah set up the merchandise stall as usual (local boy Hajime Ohara's muffler towel sold out quickly), and they also sold Seiki Yoshioka's merchandise for him although Yoshioka is a freelancer. Kotaro Suzuki (a Noah born and a freelancer) sold his own and as Japan is in the grip of very hot weather, enterprising Kotaro also sold hand fans. Naomichi Marufuji and Kaito Kiyomiya were on autographs, with Kiyomiya showing a genuinely wonderful touch by remembering the names of fans he had met before.
Today's event will be shown on G+ on September 4th. Kenta Kobashi is the special guest commentator.
Mohammed Yone vs Yuko Miyamoto
Mohammed Yone has fought both Yuko Miyamoto and his teacher, Mr. Gannosuke; Gannosuke in 1999 when he was in FMW, and Miyamoto mainly in Noah. They have fought five times in total, and this has been their only singles match to date.
It was a fun match to open the show with. There was some light comedy with Miyamoto pulling the Disco Fever pose when he squared up to Yone and biting his hand when he went for the chinlock (I bet Masao Inoue wishes he thought of that), but taking the former out, it was a somewhat technical match with Yone's kicks resounding and fans commenting on the impact of his kicks and elbows.
WINNER: Neither; time limit draw of 15 minutes
Daisuke Harada, YO-HEY & Kinya Okada vs Kongoh (Tadasuke, Haoh and Nioh)
Tadasuke said that when he joined Kongoh he wasn't going to change his name, but he did change his ringwear, and entered Kawasaki today dressed in red and with new theme music. Even the leather jacket was red, and I've had "Thriller" stuck in my head since seeing him.
The start of the match was surprisingly civil. Harada kept his temper under control enough to not attack Tadasuke on sight, and he let YO-HEY start against him. However, once they were in the ring he had a big score to settle, and took down Nioh as well with a elbow and knee combo with Haoh following his partner. Fans described Harada as being "on fire", and the combo he used as being incredible.
The three Kongoh juniors unveiled their own tandem move. I am afraid I don't have the full details but it involves a top turnbuckle hurracanrunna by Haoh and a moonsault from Tadasuke. I don't know what Haoh's contribution is, but I would imagine it's his Lionsault.
WINNER: Tadasuke with the Land Dumping Lariat on Kinya Okada (11 minutes, 33 seconds)
Tadasuke rolled away from Kinya Okada and he and Harada stared at each other, Tadasuke kneeling. Tadasuke sarcastically apologised, and then a fight broke out as Haoh and Nioh attacked. YO-HEY was powerbombed onto Harada, and Kongoh posed with their feet on them.
Kaito Kiyomiya, Daiki Inaba & Seiya Morohashi vs Hideki Suzuki, Kaz Hayashi & NOSAWA Rongai
Shuhei Taniguchi has been removed from today's event due to symptoms of fever. Fortunately tests showed that it was not Coronavirus, and so Seiya Morohashi has taken his place. Fans were not the only people looking forward to seeing Hideki Suzuki vs Shuhei Taniguchi, Suzuki was too. Nevermind, it couldn't be helped he said, so he would turn his focus back to Kiyomiya, who he started the match off against. The general opinion about Suzuki vs Kiyomiya was that Kiyomiya has grown, and fans want to see a singles match between them. Inaba was not as lucky as Kiyomiya though, Suzuki tended to no sell him.
WINNER: Hideki Suzuki with the Double Arm Suplex on Seiya Morohashi (11 minutes, 4 seconds)
There was some comedy at the end of the match as Suzuki in the ring looked down on NOSAWA Rongai and Kaz Hayashi, who didn't seem too pleased with his win. It looked as if he was negotiating the terms of his staying in the unit!
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara)
"Emotional hometown battle"
Tadasuke was not the only one to have a new theme, HAYATA also had one too, although I don't think anyone is going to succeed in ever getting him to change his ringwear.
Although there is a ban on cheering, I don't think the crowd could help themselves when Hajime Ohara appeared, especially since he was specifically announced to be from Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki. After that there was a thunder of applause for him throughout the match. FULL THROTTLE might not have won, but they certainly came very very close at several points.
This was an extremely fast paced, emotional and at times gruelling match to watch as hell hath no fury like an Ogawa made to submit, but it wasn't Hajime Ohara he took it out on, it was the wired Atsushi Kotoge whose legs were attacked repeatedly. STINGER were at their most sadistic, which in Ogawa's case is frightening. A master at using his environment to his advantage where everything has its use, Ogawa fooled the ref by pretending to tie one of his bootlaces by lifting his leg onto the ring apron, and then dragging Kotoge out of the ring when the chance presented itself. As a spectator commented, "Kotoge didn't know what was happening" by the end, and he held on for as long as he could after going for a moonsault which Ogawa reversed into a submission.
WINNER: Yoshinari Ogawa via submission hold on Atsushi Kotoge (25 minutes, 39 seconds)
GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship
Kotaro Suzuki vs Seiki Yoshioka
Like master like pupil, in the true style of Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki had injured Seiki Yoshioka's knee during a pre-match, and was now coming back to finish the job. This was not an easy match to describe unless you see it, so I don't really have too much information on it. However, Kotaro used his veteran experience to outmanoeuvre Yoshioka throughout the match, and although his leg had been attacked repeatedly, Yoshioka did manage to kick Kotaro. He also bought out the new technique he said he would,which he reversed the "Endless Waltz" with, but it only got him the two count.
Kotaro decided that enough was enough when the "Blue Destiny" was kicked out at two, and he deployed the Rolling Elbow and the Mass Driver for the pin.
WINNER: Kotaro Suzuki with the Mass Driver (17 minutes, 5 seconds)
The M's Alliance (Keiji Mutoh, Naomichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki and ???) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura & Manabu Soya)
Noah had asked fans to guess on the identity of the new member of The M's Alliance, and guesses ranged from Junta Miyawaki (still out with a shoulder injury and gone dark on social media) to Masato Tanaka (a favorite, but I think it's more likely he would have joined The Sugiura Army) and MAZADA (possible, as he is one of NOSAWA'S friends), but the mystery man turned out to be Masakatsu Funaki. Kongoh naturally looked unimpressed, and Funaki started the match against Kenoh. Naomichi Marufuji later commented that he wanted to see a singles match between them. To fans watching at the time, there was a strong feeling of tension. Funaki may have been the object of much of Kenoh's hatred today, but Marufuji got the usual slice having to take the Kongoh elbows and then the stamping which was led by Kenoh.
WINNER: Masakatsu Funaki with The Hybrid Blaster on Yoshiki Inamura (19 minutes, 13 seconds)
GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) vs The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Kazushi Sakuraba)
“You are too naïve if you do believe life is innocent laughter and fun” ~ The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
Following the Street Fight he had against Atsushi Onita earlier in the week, Takashi Sugiura came to the ring with his head bandaged as he had to have five stitches in his ear. AXIZ came to the ring in new golden and black latticed ringwear which went well with Shiozaki. Fans were sure that this would be a sign that AXIZ would win the titles, which led some to be annoyed at Noah for making it so blatant.
Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuhiko Nakajima started the match with their MMA fighting style, with Takashi Sugiura attacking Go Shiozaki's notoriously bad arms when they squared up. Shiozaki was able to fight back, but the after affects it had on him were painful. The flow of the match went backwards and forwards; the Golden Era fight between Shiozaki and Sugiura, Nakajima really sticking his boots into Sugiura for the Shutter Chance, Nakajima vs Sugiura's elbow vs kick fight, and both Sakura and Sugiura receiving "The Endless Love".
There were about two double submissions in the match, but the crux came at the end when Shiozaki went for the moonsault, Sugiura moved and turned into the Front Neck Choke which caused the referee to stop the match.
WINNER: Takashi Sugiura via referee stop on Go Shiozaki (33 minutes, 16 seconds)
As Nakajima saw to Shiozaki, and Sakuraba and Sugiura celebrated their win, Kongoh (led by Kenoh) came storming to the ring for the second time that evening, and Kenoh challenged them for the GHC Heavyweight tag belts on behalf of Masa Kitamiya and Manabu Soya.
Then Kenoh turned to AXIZ
Kenoh: Shiozaki, what is this pathetic appearance? Is this "I AM NOAH?"
Nakajima stood up, and looked for a second like he and Kenoh were going to fight.
Nakajima (taking the microphone): Hey, Kenoh, let me...
Nakajima then did a fist bump with Kenoh and left with Kongoh, as Kaito Kiyomiya came to Go Shiozaki's rescue (Shiozaki has rescued Kiyomiya twice from Kenoh). Backstage Kiyomiya said he was confused by what had happened, and had no words.
When everyone had left the ring, the new GHC Heavyweight tag champions imitated the Kongoh pose as Fortune's Wheel in Noah turned once again.
Noah's next show will be on Sunday, September 6th at Fujisan Messe.
GIFS taken from Noah GHC Twitter
PICTURE CREDITS: PKDX, Tadasuke
WITH THANKS TO: Metal Noah, Abeshin, Pu, Anemone Mournian (Animo), Ba-ninguk, Pukepoko
TACK, FUJIMAL ☺︎ Shun Go, Naoki, Fuji Error, Shishikazu, Kei, Fujiwara Armbar