It was a bitterly cold day today in Osaka, but the Edion Arena was probably the furnace of the city this evening. Osaka is usually all about RATELS, and if not RATELS, its kind of a venue where a lot of the junior events seem to take place, today was no exception.
Noah held two autograph signings, with Katsuhiko Nakajima manning the autograph booth and Fifty Funky Powers having a special signing, for those who bought their new t-shirts.
There was said to be a "homely" atmosphere in the venue today.
The Hooligans (Mitsuya Nagai & Cody Hall) vs Masao Inoue & Kinya Okada
"I saw Okada for the first time, he's a rookie, but he's pretty good"
Said to be many cheers today for Okada and the fight he put up against his opponents.
Masao Inoue, however, is still talking about the desecration of his page on the calendar by Cody Hall.
WINNER: Mitsuya Nagai with the Cross Heel Hold on Kinya Okada (6 minutes and 15 seconds)
*Seven Match Series*
Kenoh vs Yoshiki Inamura
This is Inamura's 3rd match out of the seven.
These "match series" are kind of assessments done by the seniors to the rookies, it not only assesses them, but it gives the rookies an opportunity to face people they normally may not and learn from them. Noah of course are looking to the future of the company with their younger talent, and back in his own day, KENTA had his own series.
Inamura managed to floor Kenoh with a shoulder tackle, Kenoh (naturally enraged) bounced back, Inamura hit a brainbuster, and later a missile kick and basically, gave as good as he got. Not surprisingly, many people impressed with him. However, he was facing Kenoh, so he could not hope for victory.
WINNER: Kenoh with a kick (5 minutes and 58 seconds)
The Backbreakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) & Seichi Ikemoto vs Hi69, Minoru Tanaka & Junta Miyawaki
Hitoshi Kumano came out again with the rice paddle (I think he may have a sponsorship).
Junta Miyawaki bought the fight today to his trainer Kumano and his mentor, Ohara, the assessment match may be over, but his intensity towards showing them that he deserves a chance, is not.
The match ended in a triple submission hold.
WINNER: Hitoshi Kumano with the Argentine Backbreaker on Junta Miyawaki (8 minutes, 57 seconds)
Atsushi Kotoge vs Kanjyuro Matsuyama
"A singles match for the first time, I hope everyone pays attention. I don't care what it is like."
~ Kanjyuro Matsuyama
This match couldn't really be described over social media as it was one that you need to see to understand it (sadly, we probably won't get to see more than a few minutes of it), but naturally it was a very funny match, and Matsuyama even debuted his own cloak (it was patterned), and Atsushi Kotoge got covered in Matsuyama's streamer net (he also got loads of streamers too at the start of the match from the fans).
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the Revolutionary Splash (8 minutes and 45 seconds)
Takashi Sugiura & Akitoshi Saito vs Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shiozaki
Not really too much to say about this match (I think the audience were a little tired from the match before), except it was a fast paced match, Nakajima grinning as usual before kicking his opponents, and he did a huge missile kick on Saito. The awesome physical condition of both Nakajima and Sugiura commented on, someone also said they thought that Nakajima looks thinner.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the lariat on Akitoshi Saito (9 minutes and 38 seconds)
Maybach Taniguchi vs Mohammed Yone
WINNER: Mohammed Yone due to DQ for outside interference (1 minute and 54 seconds)
Yuji Hino vs Quiet Storm
Quiet Storm showed a different kind of match today, using moves that he doesn't often like a missile kick on Hino. The were on fire for this spectacular hard fought match.
Afterwards Yuji Hino got on the mic and basically said to Quiet Storm that was a nice warm up, but when does the match start?
WINNER: Yuji Hino with the FUCKING BOMB (12 minutes and 3 seconds)
Kaito Kiyomiya, HAYATA & Tadasuke vs Masa Kitamiya, Kotaro Suzuki & Koji Kanemoto
The moment the bell rung, a fight broke out between Kitamiya and Saito.
During the match, HAYATA started showing leg pain, and he appeared to have been given a stiff leg at one point. He and Tadasuke worked well, but at the end of the match due to his apparent injury, HAYATA had to be seen to by Tadasuke and then helped off by the seconds. He didn't appear straight away with Daisuke Harada and Tadasuke, which caused some concern, especially given what the next match was all about, and HAYATA'S actions towards it.
Kitamiya and Kiyomiya squared up and got into a fight after the match, it ended with Saito suplexing him and then pulling his pose with his foot on his chest afterwards. The title match will take place on the 1st February at Korakuen Hall, so far neither have managed to get the victory directly over each other.
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the Side Suplex on Tadasuke (14 minutes and 44 seconds)
*GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP*
YO-HEY vs Daisuke Harada
"Something is going to happen"
YO-HEY came out in a new costume of black & white, which incidentally are Yoshinari Ogawa's colors, and it "rained" paper tape for him.
Much to everyone's relief, HAYATA came out and watched from the "neutral" corner of the ring (i.e. behind one of the iron ring-posts). He sat in a kneeling position with one knee bent on the floor and the other bent in front of him, so his injury might have been nothing more than a dead leg.
This was a hard fought match; YO-HEY with the Super Facial G early on, but Harada kicked out at two, Harada rolled out of the way of the Bamboo Dragonfly, they bought everything out.
It sounds like match of the year quality, and Harada does not have bad matches.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Suplex (19 minutes and 20 seconds)
After the match (with HAYATA staring at him before climbing up onto the apron making everyone think he was going to ambush Harada), Harada spoke on the microphone to YO-HEY.
Harada: YO-HEY, You were the strongest for the first time, and I was able to grow with you. Thank you. What kind of feeling do you have for your betrayal? The first and foremost request is from me. RATELS are four people, come back.
YO-HEY: Boss, I am not coming home.
HARADA: Well, then if that is your answer, from now on when we meet in the ring, I will crush you without mercy.
After YO-HEY had left with Kotaro Suzuki, and with HAYATA still motionless, Minoru Tanaka came to the ring and challenged for the belt. Tanaka didn't say anything, all he did was look.
Harada knew what he meant and vowed to defend against him.
Attendance: 810 (Full House)
With thanks to: Dai, Mai, Abeshin, Yutchi, RealNGreen, Noah's Star, Shinya
Picture credits: Noah GHC, PKDX