There was a "big match" atmosphere at Korakuen Hall today as 1,083 people arrived for Noah as they embark on the final few dates of their already rollercoaster 2019. The hall might not have been sold out, but it was an excellent crowd for a Tuesday weeknight.
The electricity of the night was added to by the second match on the card, which turned it up to a whole new level. After the show a lot of fans said they were still on a high, and simply too happy to sleep that night
AXIZ celebrated the final match in their 15 year debut anniversary celebrations, in a much anticipated singles match in the main event (which Naomichi Marufuji said he was looking forward to, and later said was a great match). There was special merch available to fans at the venue (mugs, stickers, photographs). AXIZ were not the only one with something special, fans bought special streamers they had made for HAYATA, which had hand drawn portrait of him on the packet.
For the first time ever, the new GHC Junior tag champions (Kotaro Suzuki and Atsushi Kotoge), appeared at the fan club photo session. Kotaro Suzuki wearing a Yoshinari Ogawa t-shirt.
There were a lot of notable people at ringside today (Seiya Morohashi was there as usual), Kenta Kobashi came to witness his younger pupil (the older one, KENTA, will celebrate his own 20th next year which will be an emotional moment for Kobashi, if not his more staid pupil), have what everyone knew would be beyond a match of the year quality match against someone who had debuted in the same year (2005), and whom he had seen grow up in Noah. Kobashi was there in an unofficial capacity, as he did not get in the ring during the interval as he usually does at Korakuen or Yokohama events to talk or make announcements.
There was also a member of the Japanese Diet (Parliament) in the crowd apparently.
Event will be televised on Sunday 8th December 2019 on Samurai TV at 11pm JST.
Noah announced that they would be making an announcement on the monitor during the interval. In fact, they made quite a few:
Doug Williams would be returning to Noah for the New Year show on 4th January at Korakuen Hall to face Michael Elgin. Doug was one of the "Golden Era" gaijin, and therefore it is fitting that he returns to Noah during 2020 (it wouldn't surprise me if he came to the 20th anniversary show).
The competitors for Global Junior League 2020 were announced - HAYATA, Daisuke Harada, YO-HEY, Tadasuke, Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki, Atsushi Kotoge, Chris Ridgeway, Minoru Tanaka, Hi69, Hajime Ohara, NOSAWA Rongai, Hitoshi Kumano, Junta Miyawaki... and two to be announced (which fans hope are either Sonico, Dragon Bane and\or El Hijo de Canus Lupus).
Kongoh announced more of the card for their produce, which will feature The Anti Wrestlers Alliance vs Kenoh & Masa Kitamiya, and then Kongoh vs Kaito Kiyomiya, Takashi Sugiura & Go Shiozaki. The two unknown juniors from Global Junior League will also appear at the produce, which makes me wonder if they are from Michinoku Pro.
The Sugiura Army produce announced more of their card, including a RATELS four way match.
Hi69, Minoru Tanaka & Junta Miyawaki vs The Sugiura Army (Hajime Ohara, NOSAWA Rongai & Kinya Okada).
There was a lot of excitement, hope and expectation that Junta Miyawaki would get another win, (or else that win over Hajime Ohara that Noah seem to be teasing), but sadly it was not meant to be.
Kinya Okada was also said to have lost some of his reserve, and was a little more confident today.
WINNER: Hajime Ohara with the Muy Bien on Junta Miyawaki (12 minutes, 3 seconds)
Dragon Bane vs El Hijo de Canis Lupus
"Korakuen on fire"
Dragon Bane (who came to the ring with reptilian Dragon wings) and his older brother, El Hijo de Canus Lupus, put on a match in which the laws of space, time and gravity did not apply. The audience spent most of their time looking at the ceiling, and one fan commented that it wasn't possible that someone could balance that way on the steel ring guard, and then turn their body as they did.
The brothers put on an insanely amazing display, which blew the crowd away, and set the tone for the evening; you want to do better? Then you better do better than us! Their debut match in Noah more than met the expectations of the crowd, if anything, it went beyond it.
"Brilliant" and "beautiful" were words used to describe this match.
WINNER: Dragon Bane with the Twister Bane (12 minutes, 7 seconds)
I think we will be seeing more of the brothers in Noah aside from their tag match with Naomichi Marufuji and Daisuke Harada. This match made such an impression on Noah's official Twitter that they kept playing clips of it long after the match had ended, and they have never done that with anyone before.
RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & YO-HEY) vs STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge)
The bitterness flared up again between the two teams, especially as STINGER now humiliatingly have the tag belts, and looked to be adding to their collection later that evening. Daisuke Harada had touched on this briefly, and said that win or lose, what was the most important that evening was supporting HAYATA.
The ever exuberant YO-HEY had bright bluish green hair, that unfortunately clashed with Kotoge's red.
Despite his loss in Niigata, and then again today, Tadasuke (who wore new reflective shades to the ring) is still a crazy person (and another crazy person, YO-HEY, joined in with his crazy fist outside the ring)
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the roll up on Tadasuke (12 minutes, 44 seconds)
Kaito Kiyomiya, Naomichi Marufuji, Shuhei Taniguchi & Hitoshi Kumano vs 50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) & The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue).
Naomichi Marufuji announced on Twitter that he was going to be throwing signed t-shirts of himself vs Great Muta into the crowd.
It was noted that Kaito Kiyomiya got more streamers than Marufuji (and probably for the first time ever).
There is speculation that Hitoshi Kumano (partly because of some comments he himself has made, and the fact that he has been having a lot of heavyweight matches), may be going up to that league, however, he is participating in Global Junior League 2020, so it may not be any time too soon.
Akitoshi Saito and Masao Inoue were announced as the "Anti Wrestler Alliance" (even Kenoh has laughed at them). Naturally, with Inoue in the ring there was comedy, which Marufuji, Kiyomiya and Taniguchi all joined in with - Marufuji and Inoue pointing at each other while standing on the ring apron, Inoue trying to sneak pin Kiyomiya, and while it doesn't involve Inoue, the look on Taniguchi's face when Kiyomiya tagged in Marufuji and not himself.
WINNER: Naomichi Marufuji with the Shiranui on Masao Inoue (16 minutes, 27 seconds)
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
HAYATA vs Chris Ridgeway
Very technical and somewhat brutal match to watch, which both HAYATA, fans (and YO-HEY who was seen to wince, look worried,and who slid into the ring first at the end of the match), had to have high endurance to get through. Ridgeway wore a demonic grin throughout the match as he tied HAYATA into knots and sadistically tortured him, at one point he had his knee wrapped over the rope in a submission. A far better fit that YO-HEY ever was in STINGER, Chris Ridgeway has fitted into Noah like a glove.
WINNER: HAYATA with The Headache (20 minutes, 14 seconds)
After making his challenge, Yoshinari Ogawa viciously attacked HAYATA, with the rest of RATELS being attacked by STINGER.
Ogawa said afterwards that he left the division to the younger wrestlers and withdrawn a little, but when Suzuki came home, he was moved by him to be more active in the division again.
Chris Ridgeway has vowed that this loss changes nothing, he will fulfil his goal to be the first British GHC Junior Heavyweight champion and he does have a shot at this, as much to the fans delight, he will be returning in January for Global Junior League. Speaking of either the league (or if he wins a belt, a title challenge), fans are waiting for a singles between Ogawa and Suzuki
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazuyuki Fujita & Hideki Suzuki) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
Takashi Sugiura has recovered his equilibrium after being jumped by Masa Kitamiya in Niigata, and practically drove him into the ground today. After he got into the ring, and stuck the belt in his face, the fight between them went outside and into the crowd, with Kitamiya taking some nasty kicks to the head while being sprawled out over some chairs (Sugiura may also have thrown a chair at him).
Yoshiki Inamura had a score to settle with Kazuyuki Fujita, and squared up to him at the beginning of the match, with the referee getting between them. He did not back down from the chop battle later (although Fujita floored him), and they later got into a fight outside the ring.
Despite a kick exchange with Fujita, Kenoh's main focus of rage today, was on Hideki Suzuki. Suzuki, however when back in Big Japan, is used to dealing with upstart kids who want to try and kick him, and so Kenoh's provocation worked not as Kenoh might have thought.
WINNER: Takashi Sugiura via front neck chokehold on Masa Kitamiya (referee stop, 21 minutes and 35 seconds)
Sugiura called Kongoh "weak" and said that when the three of them were together, they were not going to lose. He also warned Kitamiya to practise. Kazuyuki Fujita refused to talk on the microphone
Although he was not the one who lost today, Inamura said that he regrets the match, but he is not angry, and he has sworn to be tougher.
15th Anniversary Debut match
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Go Shiozaki
"The AXIZ showdown as a world full of love, that was a wonderful performance".
Goosebumps went through the crowd as soon as the bell rang.
They got going quickly and pulled out everything that they had without holding back with brutal apron kicks (Nakajima), machine gun chops (Shiozaki), soccer kicks (Nakajima), they both went into the kick chop combo but on each other as there was no one in the middle. Nakajima did the Canadian Destroyer (the last time he did this was against Brian Cage in their GHC Heavyweight title match according to Metal Noah), with Go Shiozaki pulling out the rolling elbow and doing a top rope dive.
Shiozaki then produced the ace in his sleeve, knocking Nakajima down with a brutal Gowan lariat, he used a rarely seen moonsault for the win.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the moonsault (29 minutes, and 20 seconds)
WITH THANKS TO: Metal Noah, Abeshin, Jojo, Weekly Fight, Tack, t.ogawa, Zash1, Sekidon, HARIKEN, Fujiwara Armbar, Sachan, DazeyFunkjnr
PICTURE CREDIT: Noah GHC, PKDK
NOAH'S NEXT SHOW: Thursday, December 5th 2019