The two events had completely different atmospheres; the afternoon one (which attracted more people than Noah had expected and someone had travelled all the way from Kagoshima) had what was described as a "unique" atmosphere, the evening had more of a sense of excitement.
The event was broadcast over three channels with FITE TV (Had time differences not been such an issue between Japan and the USA, then FITE probably would have broadcast the evening and not the morning, but sadly this was not the case), WRESTLE UNIVERSE also broadcast the afternoon, with ABEMA streaming the evening. WRESTLE UNIVERSE you will need to be a subscriber to watch, and ABEMA will have the show available only for six days before it gets put up on WRESTLE UNIVERSE. I am afraid I don't know about the availability of the broadcast on FITE TV.
The Afternoon Show
Daisuke Harada, YO-HEY & Kinya Okada vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka)
Atsushi Kotoge came bouncing out with his new toy, making Seiki Yoshioka gave him a puzzled look. This is normal. It's the way most people look at Kotoge, who was particularly hyper today with an endless lariat attack on YO-HEY. Despite the rivalry between Harada and Kotoge, it was Harada and Yoshioka who seemed to have the most issues today.
YO-HEY (who had a black tongue today) decided to make fun of Kotoge's "Brum Brum", this wasn't appreciated by Kotoge, although Yoshioka probably thought it was funny though. Kotoge later had to warn YO-HEY of the consequences of making fun of him.
Kinya Okada put up a brave fight against FULL THROTTLE, being tied into knots by Ohara and then holding on long enough when locked into the Mui Bien to be rescued by Harada and YO-HEY, who had been outside the ring fighting with Kotoge and Yoshioka.
The match ended in a time out draw, with YO-HEY going for a series of typically crazy pins on Hajime Ohara. He was convinced he had the three, but was overruled by the referee and both teams left frustrated.
WINNER: Neither. Time out draw (20 minutes)
Kenoh vs Yoshiki Inamura
There was no handshake beforehand between the two members of Kongoh. It doesn't appear to be the Kongoh way. You could sense that any unit camaraderie had been set aside for the league, as both were focused on winning for their own purposes; Inamura to take the all important next step in his career, and Kenoh who is driven by his complex relationship with Kaito Kiyomiya, and his desire to win the league and make history.
Throughout the whole match, Inamura refused to be cowed by Kenoh, who challenged him each time he staggered to his feet, even when used those irritating small kicks and the "hit me" pose. Inamura was not helpless however, as Kenoh went to use a submission to take Inamura down, but found himself shaken off by being squashed against the ringpost, and then later he was launched into the air by the GEKITOTZ, but the match and the points belonged ultimately to Kenoh when the match went to referee stop thanks to Kenoh's palm strikes.
WINNER: Kenoh via referee stop (10 minutes, 26 seconds)
True to the Spartan Kongoh way, Kenoh walked off leaving Inamura beached in the ring.
Masa Kitamiya vs Kazushi Sakuraba
Kazushi Sakuraba went straight into mat wrestling to keep Masa Kitamiya down, it didn't take long for him to practically wrench Kitamiya's knee from its socket, so much so, Kitamiya appeared with a limp that afternoon.
WINNER: Kazushi Sakuraba with the Knee Cross Lock (2 minutes, 29 seconds)
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Shuhei Taniguchi
So far Katsuhiko Nakajima has taken the league seriously, and not done any of the terrible things that he has threatened to do which would ruin it for everyone else, but that hasn't stopped him from winding his opponents up, which today began with Shuhei Taniguchi as he backed out of the first lock up and then went straight in with the kicks. Later, Nakajima kicked Taniguchi around outside the ring and then as the count went on, sat and waited for him to get back in. Taniguchi didn't, and after lying on his back and waiting, Nakajima got up and threw him back in. Then there was the usual irritance from Nakajima, grinding his boot into Taniguchi's face.
The bigger Nakajima's grin, the more cocky he gets, until it ends up costing him in some way, which it did because Taniguchi got the upper hand. However, Nakajima eventually decided he had had enough, but Taniguchi was playing him at his own game, and roaring in anger as he went to kick Nakajima in the head, but Nakajima kept moving. However, it wasn't enough to give Nakajima the win.
WINNER: Shuhei Taniguchi with the Face Kick (14 minutes, 42 seconds)
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Manabu Soya
Kaito Kiyomiya came out to the ring looking thoughtful, he knew what was at stake here, and seemingly taking inspiration from Naomichi Marufuji, he used a similar hand and wrist submission, which cleverly keeps Soya away from the ropes and makes it more difficult afterwards for him to do any kind of power moves, although this did not stop Soya peeling his arms away during a headlock, only for Kiyomiya to take him back down to the mat for the win.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex (21 minutes, 55 seconds)
Kiyomiya spoke on the microphone and said that he didn't have much left, but he managed to get out of the funk he had been in and beat Soya. He then spoke in English and thanked FITE for the broadcast, and all the Noah fans who were watching all over the world.
The evening show
Fans returned to Korakuen, to find Yoshinari Ogawa in the ring holding a class where he was teaching one of the trainees, and using HAYATA to demonstrate moves while he explained things, often sitting on his knees next to them.
Shuhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone vs THE TOUGH (Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
Shuhei Taniguchi came out looking somewhat bruised from the match with Katsuhiko Nakajima from earlier in the day, while Yoshiki Inamura focused on him. Having lost to Takashi Sugiura, Naomichi Marufuji and Kenoh, Inamura has two matches left to prove himself in the league, and since Taniguchi is one of those opponents (the other is Katsuhiko Nakajima), this was kind of their pre-match. Kitamiya told Inamura to save himself, he would start against Yone.
Noah's monsters (both the same height at 182cms which gets overlooked) did eventually clash however, with Inamura winning the shoulder tackle fight which got him a huge applause from the crowd, but once again Inamura's first big win would have to wait.
WINNER: Shuhei Taniguchi with the Face Kick on Yoshiki Inamura (8 minutes, 8 seconds)
Naomichi Marufuji vs Kenoh
Naomichi Marufuji came out smirking at Kenoh. Kenoh, who has very little sense of humor when it comes to Marufuji and what Kenoh imagines to be his endless backstage plots against him. Marufuji decided to wind Kenoh up, and knowing that he would attack on the rope break dodged his kick and rolled out of the ring, and then refused to get back in it as Kenoh was lurking outside. When he did get back in, Kenoh naturally couldn't wait to attack, and Marufuji couldn't wait to put him in one of his nasty submission holds. However, even after a hook kick which semi knocked him out, and with Marufuji shoving the ref out of the way who was checking on him, Kenoh was not going to give in to his mortal enemy for the sake of his "strong beliefs".
WINNER: Kenoh with the rear naked choke sleeper hold (referee stop, 15 minutes, 5 seconds)
Naomichi Marufuji couldn't believe that he had lost to Kenoh in a second singles match, and complained to the referee who told him that the decision stood. He had a rare tantrum where he kicked the ropes as he left the ring, and threw the ice pack down as he walked off.
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Kazushi Sakuraba
This was a new style of match for Kaito Kiyomiya, who has only met Kazushi Sakuraba in a ring outside of Noah, and that was when Sakuraba gave him some training in MMA ahead of Kiyomiya's title match when he was GHC Heavyweight Champion, against Naomichi Marufuji. Sakuraba may have left bruises where he kicked, but it was Kiyomiya's youthful frenetic and at times impulsive wrestling that worked, which was probably combined with the prior training he had been given, and Sakuraba tapped.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Figure Four (9 minutes, 47 seconds)
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs Daisuke Harada, YO-HEY & Kinya Okada
STINGER came out to the match with their own particular quirky way of wearing the junior championship belts; Yoshinari Ogawa is the only person who wears it like you are meant to, Kotaro Suzuki drapes his around his neck and shoulder under his ring robes, and HAYATA drags his on the ground.
Yoshinari Ogawa's classroom continued in the ring with Kinya Okada, who discovered that with Ogawa, you never truly escape his web, he likes you to think you have, only to pull you back in, and naturally being the most junior in the match he got it the worst from his opponents. HAYATA, however, took the most pleasure when fighting Harada as he had his sadistic smile on. This would become ironic later on as we will see. The junior pride here was at steak as no one wanted to be overshadowed by anything the heavyweights were doing, and the juniors managed to eclipse them, but not by anything that happened in the match, more what was going to happen after it.
WINNER: YO-HEY with the sneak pin on Yoshinari Ogawa (15 minutes, 47 seconds)
Daisuke Harada, who was lying on the ring apron, turned to the camera and held up three fingers to signify the win over the hated STINGER. He got up and joined his team in having their arms raised, when YO-HEY kicked him in the face. For a split second before YO-HEY left the ring, he seemed to look at STINGER as if he was waiting for them to do something, but nothing happened and he left. STINGER then turned and attacked Harada, and this turned into a brawl as Kongoh (Tadasuke, Haoh and Nioh) came out to fight STINGER, and then The Sugiura Army (NOSAWA Rongai and Kaz Hayashi) joined in, with FULL THROTTLE'S Hajime Ohara and Seiki Yoshioka at ringside, with Atsushi Kotoge getting in the ring to help Harada.
Once things had cooled, there was a tense face off with Kotoge and Harada staring at each other. The former friends, turned bitter enemies again turned friends, with Harada offering his hand, which Kotoge shook. Yoshioka and Ohara did not take kindly to this and demanded to know what was going on. YO-HEY got back into the mix, and more fights broke out which ended with YO-HEY aligning with Yoshioka and Ohara as the new FULL THROTTLE (YO-HEY said this wasn't quite his plan, but he would take it), and the newly reformed Momo no Seishun ("The Peaches of Youth" which was their tag team that Kotoge had broken to go to the heavyweights, leading Harada to form RATELS), challenged STINGER (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles. Ogawa has seemingly made no argument of this and granted them their match which will take place in Osaka on the 11th October.
With this junior tornado just passed through Korakuen, fans found it hard to concentrate on the next match.
Takashi Sugiura vs Katsuhiko Nakajima
Takashi Sugiura knows all to well from bitter experience, just what Katsuhiko Nakajima can be like, and so he tried to stop him from messing him around too much, but ultimately couldn't prevent it. Nakajima threw him round outside the ring, the grin on his face growing bigger as he planned worse to come, and again Nakajima's cockiness cost him as Sugi locked in the ankle lock. Nakajima managed to get to the ropes and this served as a wake up call, and the smile snapped off. It was time to end this.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike (17 minutes, 42 seconds)
Go Shiozaki vs Masaaki Mochizuki
Masaaki Mochizuki offered Katsuhiko Nakajima a handshake before the match. He's probably one of the few in Noah that you can trust to do this. Despite this show of sportsmanship, Shiozaki's arms suffered even more damage when Mochi targeted them, even at one point luring Shiozaki into a chop war, Shiozaki went for it, but Mochi knocked him aside, and met the machine gun chops with a punch. After being knocked outside the ring, Shiozaki decided he had had enough and went very Kobashi with Kobashi mannerisms, but Mochizuki's plan which didn't work against Sakuraba, certainly worked against the increasingly battered Shiozaki.
WINNER: Masaaki Mochizuki with the Dragon Suplex Hold (16 minutes, 21 seconds)
Shiozaki couldn't believe what had happened, and complained to the referee (they must dread leagues as they have such a rough time), and when he had gone Mochi spoke on the microphone. Acknowledging that it was not a member of Noah, or even the champion, closing out the show, he had just beaten the GHC Heavyweight champion and he would go on like this, wrestling in his own style until the end of the league, and to support him while he was here in Noah from another promotion. In a kind of cheeky by the way, he added that DragonGate would be holding a show on the 7th October.
WITH THANKS TO: Abeshin, Fujiwara Armbar, Metal Noah
PICTURE CREDIT: PKDX
GIF TAKEN FROM WRESTLE UNIVERSE
NOAH'S NEXT SHOW: Saturday 26th, Niigata
After today's event, Kaito Kiyomiya leads Block A with 5 points (Go Shiozaki and Kazushi Sakuraba are second with 4), Kenoh leads Block B with 6 points, with Takashi Sugiura in second with 5.