"It's Friday night. Korakuen,Beer and NOAH.Why can't this be heaven?"
I'm not going to lie.
Its been a roller-coaster week for Noah and Noah fans.
"This years Noah looks intense, I think it is impossible, but I wonder if he will come home..."
Out of the blue two things happened, and as is always the way it seems, both happened one day after the other. First of all President Uchida announced that he would be resigning as Estbee (Noah's parent company) had sold Noah to "LIDET Entertainment", and the next day KENTA announced he had asked WWE for his release.
LIDET have said they will be "giving up Misawa" and creating a new look for Noah (the beloved green ring will go, only to come out at Noah's Misawa memorial shows), and KENTA, naturally, has said nothing about his plans after his 90 day clause runs out, although it is rumored that he only got it by promising he would return to Japan.
Noah fans hope he will "come home" (which they have all been hoping for these past years) and those who want to appear like they know what they are talking about, are saying they want him to return to New Japan, from whence he came apparently.
Nicer in thought than that of a change from the beloved ikonic green mat, it has been announced that Noah will be releasing a theme music album. Noah have not released anything like this since "The Golden Era".
Speaking of changes, Atsushi Kotoge announced the night before on his Twitter that he had something special planned for the fans....
While all of this is rolling like waves around The Ark, Noah held the GHC Junior Tag signing today between The Backbreakers (Hitoshi Kumano and Hajime Ohara) and Keisuke Ishii and Kouki Iwasaki, the challengers.
Takashi Sugiura signed autographs at the merchandise booth, while Daisuke Harada (complete with IPW and GHC Junior Heavyweight belts) did the Noah fan club private photo session.
Today's show will be broadcast on 9th February at 10pm (JST) on Samurai
Kenoh, Yoshiki Inamura & Kinya Okada vs Cody Hall, Mitsuya Nagai & KAZMA SAKAMOTO
Not really too much to say about this match, except it didn't last long at all.
The highlight of it was when Masao Inoue, wandered out in plain clothes, and got roughed up by Cody Hall and Mitsuya Nagai.
I have no idea why Inoue was even at ringside (unless of course he was looking for a men's bathroom that Sugiura couldn't find him in and photograph him using the urinal)
WINNER: KAZMA SAKAMOTO with the Trace Kick on Kinya Okada (6 minutes and 10 seconds)
HAYATA, Seiya Morohashi & Junta Miyawaki vs YO-HEY, Yoshinari Ogawa & Kotaro Suzuki
Never mind about the actual match itself (although Miyawaki, who appears to have really beefed up was given loud applause today, and YO-HEY had his demonic grin on when he went to chop him), everyone wanted to see what was going to happen with YO-HEY & HAYATA.
At the end of the match (and I think this was how it happened), HAYATA went to leave and YO-HEY touched his shoulder and turned him back.
YO-HEY then offered him his hand.
HAYATA (who usually ever only shakes hands with YO-HEY, and won't let YO-HEY shake hands with anyone else) stared hesitantly for a moment, and then shook it, and with that "The Blonde Couple" (although YO-HEY'S hair seems to be a pillowy mound of pink today) were reunited. HAYATA also shook hands with Ogawa and Suzuki, and then left in their corner. YO-HEY posted a picture of them backstage and wrote, "I don't care about the others...welcome back wife".
Harada has said nothing about the issue. Yet.
Tadasuke, however posted, "Korakuen finished like this, what is this? Deplorable. The end."
WINNER: Kotaro Suzuki with the Blue Destiny on Junta Miyawaki (12 minutes and 36 seconds)
TADASUKE & Daisuke Harada vs Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka
Nothing really much to say about this one, except that Harada still wants Tanaka to verbally challenge him for the belt (Harada is a stickler for this, he wasn't too pleased when Hajime Ohara did it via the company, and then when he complained Ohara beat him up and then challenged, and he liked it even less)
WINNER: Hi69 with the Stuka Splash on Tadasuke (11 minutes and 16 seconds)
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TITLE MATCH
The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) vs Keisuke Ishii & Takaki Iwasaki
Hitoshi Kumano (who has taken to wearing the belt around his neck like a collar), got immense praise today during the match, and while I don't have any information on it, it was said to be the best junior match on the card.
People want to see Ishii and Iwasaki again, and Ohara told them that today is not the end.
There has been no challenge as of yet for the GHC Junior tags, but I would not be surprised if YO-HEY & HAYATA challenge for it.
WINNER: Hitoshi Kumano with the Argentine Backbreaker (14 minutes and 59 seconds)
Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura & Akitoshi Saito vs Go Shiozaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Atsushi Kotoge
Naomichi Marufuji returned from four months injury layoff looking brighter, happier, a lot less swollen in the face, and returned to the ring in a curtain of red and orange streamers and using his old jump over the ropes (he had to abandon this due to the state of his shoulder). He was also wearing his jacket from "Flight", which he wore when he faced KENTA the last time. I wouldn't read anything into that though, Jun Akiyama wore the robe to "Flight" that he last wore when Kenta Kobashi returned to the ring after having kidney cancer, so its the wrestling version of "best clothes".
Atsushi Kotoge also had a new outfit, he had finally done away with the pink and wore a golden chrome color, leading fans to call him the "Golden Revolutionary Hero". He was his usual manic self, and as ever, Go Shiozaki looked as if he was with an excitable child at the end of the match when the ref raised their arms in victory and he bounced up and down.
This, however, was not going to be Kotoge's only surprise of the night...
Elsewhere in the match, Go Shiozaki looked as if he had substantial bandaging under his elbow supports as they looked slightly bulging, and Nakajima celebrated Marufuji's return by a long slow evil grin, and then kicking him hard, and then laughing again.
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the improvised Revolutionary Kid Clutch on Akitoshi Saito (12 minutes and 11 seconds)
GHC HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TITLE MATCH
The Hooligans (Maybach Taniguchi & Yuji Hino) vs 50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm)
50 Funky Powers came out wearing matching bandannas, Quiet Storm in shades (they didn't flash like Yone's though).
They also bought an army out of the veterans: Takashi Sugiura, Masao Inoue, Naomichi Marufuji and Akitoshi Saito to keep the other Hooligans not in the match (i.e. Mitsuya Nagai, KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Cody Hall at bay), and so the veteran seconds battled them to keep them from interfering.
Due to a slight sound error, "Boogie Wonderland" started playing before the ref's hand came down on the final pinfall.
WINNER: Quiet Storm with the Funky Buster Bomb on Maybach Taniguchi (18 minutes and 42 seconds)
After the match, Takashi Sugiura got into the ring as the new champions looked on, and addressed The Hooligans.
Sugiura: Because you don't have a belt, you are now free. I don't have a belt either, so shall we do this? How many of there are you? Five? Okada, you are okay. Inamura. That's three. Saito too, please. Who else is there?
The crowd called out for Marufuji
Sugiura: No, lets not waste Marufuji. Well, Masao Inoue is enough. These five are okay! We will do it! If you lose to us, you must dissolve The Hooligans.
KAZMA: Hey asshole, these are our conditions. If you bastards lose to us, you are in The Hooligans. No, you will be our slave! You will lick my shoes. Clean Tanaguchi's back. Do Nagai's laundry.
Sugiura agreed to their request.
So then after The Hooligans and the Veteran army had left, Atsushi Kotoge materialized in the ring, and then cut a rambling promo. Despite being part of the group who had been fighting the Veterans for much of 2018 (although I don't think Kotoge ever fully really realized this was the case, it was just where his beloved Go Shiozaki had gone, so he followed), Kotoge thought the veterans were his friends.
After rambling on about his friends, (and them evidently not wanting to team with him), Kotoge pointed to the monitor and said, "I have found a revolution member from the outside".
The audience turned to look.
The screen flickered into life.
Eddie Edwards was returning to Noah, and he would team with Atsushi Kotoge in a team known as "The Die Hard Revolution".
No date has been set as yet for the title match, but Noah's next tour begins on the 11th February.
GHC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Masa Kitamiya
Very close fought match with very close falls, and Kitamiya working on Kiyomiya's knees (even at one point frog splashing them). Korakuen (after the waterfall of streamers for Kiyomiya) was mainly out of their seats and screaming for him. Both athletes gave it their all, and both bought everything out of the box.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex Hold (29 minutes and 34 seconds)
"This time Marufuji has the viewpoint of Misawa"
After the match, like pretty much everyone thought he would, Naomichi Marufuji came out to the ring to challenge for the GHC Heavyweight;
"You won the global league that I was supposed to win, and you won the belt that I was supposed to capture. But since, you do not feel strength or fear, I wanted to hear your answer. But your answer is only, "YES". Do it!"
Afterwards Kiyomiya (who unlike Kenoh who would have let loose a string of profanity, but is always very polite to pretty much everyone), went around the ringside and spoke a few words to each person while shaking hands with them.
Tonight's show may have not been sold out, and the new management of Noah may make for an uncertain future and the break away from the old familiar Noah, but many people left commenting that tonight was exciting, and that 2019 was going to be intense.
With thanks to: Metal Noah, SHINYA, Shu, Noa, Ayapanda, Atsushi Kotoge, Koichiro Takeda, Abeshin
Picture credit: Noah GHC, PKDK
Attendance: 1,071 people