For the fans who came to Korakuen, they found that it was full of Showa era style monster movie type posters advertising Takashi Sugiura vs Kazushi Sakuraba in Nagoya. This gave the feel of being in a cinema lobby during the late 1960s, this Showa era feeling was added to by Noah's use of retro music by playing 80s rock in the main hall. Speaking of the main hall, Yoshinari Ogawa may have just been finishing up a class (and as tonight will reveal, he has now three extra students), as Kaito Kiyomiya was seen leaving the ringside area.
The event was streamed live on ABEMA, but it turned out that "Free" broadcast this evening meant you could view it in Japan only, and not worldwide as had been the case in past streams. However, it will be put on WrestleUniverse eventually, but you will need to be a subscriber to view this.
FULL THROTTLE (Hajime Ohara, Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY) vs Junta Miyawaki, Kinya Okada & Yasutaka Yano
Young Yasutaka Yano insisted on starting, and ploughed his two teammates (and seniors) back into the corner. Kinya Okada took one look at Hajime Ohara, who was herding his own team back, and patted Yano on the arm. Fans noted that Ohara seemed grumpy today with a particularly tough attack, especially when trading blows with Miyawaki, who was felled with a huge slap.
Because this is a Noah Junior match, you had the standard Noah junior melee brawl, which at one point left the referee standing helpless in the ring and raising his arms, as all was chaos around him. In the midst of all of this, Seiki Yoshioka did a Tornado kick on Yano.
WINNER: Seiki Yoshioka with the Tornado Kick on Yasutaka Yano (10 minutes, 36 seconds)
Keisuke Ota, 26 years old. He entered Noah in January 2020, so hopefully he will be debuting soon. However, it is Ogawa who decides these things.
Yosuke Sasaki, 18 years old. He was one of the ones who came to the trainee audition last November. He has recently entered Noah (April 2021).
Haruto Ogawa, 18 years old. Like Sasaki, he came to Noah via the trainee audition last November, and entered Noah at the same time as Yosuke Sasaki.
The three boys bowed to all four corners of Korakuen, before leaving the ring.
Daisuke Harada vs Kai Fujimura
Kai Fujimura came flying to the ring, barely avoiding the ABEMA cameraman. He also decided to attack Daisuke Harada the moment Harada put one boot onto the outside mat, and then went for the swift pin when Harada rolled into the ring, still in his Noah jacket. Harada, older and more experienced, soon turned the tables, but Fujimura wasn't going to be subdued so easily.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Diving Elbow (6 minutes, 11 seconds)
Fans praised Fujimura's efforts, and backstage he confirmed further participation in Noah's ring and almost seemed to hint that he would be joining the promotion full time, which is something that many people are hoping for.
Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura vs Funky Express (Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi)
After what has been called a "Polite Invasion" of DDT by Kaito Kiyomiya and Yoshiki Inamura (who both came to DDT quietly, took their seats and sat quietly, applauded the win, got up on the apron when asked and then left politely), you could understand Kiyomiya checking the audience to see who was here, but no one from DDT came out. In any case, Kiyomiya remained in his usual morose fashion, which is kind of making him a little like Kenoh. He was also wrestling very angrily.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Stretch Plum Facelock on Shuhei Taniguchi (12 minutes, 9 seconds)
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, HAYATA & Yuya Susumu) vs Kotaro Suzuki, Ikuto Hidaka & NOSAWA Rongai
"The atmosphere of war has already begun from the entrance"
After the usual melee brawl at the start of the match, and some intense interactions between the two teams, which made fans really want to see a singles between Kotaro and Yuya Susumu (especially as Susumu used a modified Blue Thunder Driver), NOSAWA took a cue from from Kotaro's book of "How to wind up Yoshinari Ogawa", and he Kotaro and Hidaka left the match and decided to return backstage. Furious, Ogawa took this up with the referee, but there was nothing he could do. So STINGER went after them, and threw them back in the ring.
WINNER: Yuya Susuma after a deliberate DQ low blow kick by NOSAWA Rongai (13 minutes, 16 seconds)
GHC NATIONAL PRE-MATCH
Kazuyuki Fujita & Kendo Kashin vs Takashi Sugiura & Kazushi Sakuraba
As you would imagine, with the shared MMA background between all four in this match, there would be a lot of MMA style wrestling. That happened between Kendo Kashin and Kazushi Sakuraba mainly, not that Takashi Sugiura and Kazuyuki Fujita noticed, as while Kashin and Sugiura grappling in the ring, Sugiura and Fujita were glaring at each other from the ring apron
Korakuen was shaking during and after their exchange.
WINNER: Kazuyuki Fujita with the soccer ball kicks (9 minutes, 15 seconds)
Hideki Suzuki was seen to remark on Twitter that this was complex. Fujita had nothing to say backstage, only "Nagoya is next." Takashi Sugiura was as fine as he could be, fortunately he was not concussed, but he did have a black eye and swelling on the side of his face starting as seen in this picture by Sakuraba.
GHC Junior Heavyweight Title
Atsushi Kotoge vs Nioh
With the ice cold presence of Daisuke Harada and the less chilly one of Junta Miyawaki accompanying Atsushi Kotoge to the ring, it was sad to see that no one was with Nioh, especially as he had one of the best matches of his career tonight.
Atsushi Kotoge wrestled the match calm, calculated and focused. Nioh was just the same, anticipating Kotoge's moves. Nioh has a tendency sometimes to not think too much about what he needs to do and is sometimes content to go along with what someone else says (Taiji Ishimori was a prime example of this when they tagged), and so fans said tonight it was great to see just what Nioh could do, and what Nioh did was to work on wearing Kotoge down, including at one point using a Javelin Throw move and ramming Kotoge's head into the apron. This was an utterly brutal title match, and was said to be by far the best match on the card of the evening.
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the Killswitch (23 minutes, 1 second)
Daisuke Harada strapped the belt back around Kotoge's waist, as Seiki Yoshioka was seen watching from the balcony. FULL THROTTLE had spoken backstage to say that they were planning their next steps, but neither he or anyone else came out to challenge. Backstage, Kotoge said he was hungry for challengers and would take all comers. Nioh said he lost this round, and he would be trying to challenge again soon.
GHC HEAVYWEIGHT PRE-MATCH
The M's alliance (Keiji Mutoh vs Naomichi Marufuji) vs THE AGGRESSION (Masa Kitamiya & Katsuhiko Nakajima)
Because of the nature of the match (two on two), and the fact that one of the teams are the heavyweight tag champions, fans felt this was more like a GHC Tag match than a pre match. Naomichi Marufuji lamented that he was the only person without a belt, and Nakajima took the opportunity to slightly taunt him over this by posting on Twitter at 2am that it was a long time since he had fought Keiji Mutoh, and he had nothing to say to Marufuji. Although fans wanted to see more of Nakajima vs Mutoh (they were begging for it), Nakajima pretty much left it to Kitamiya and concentrated on winding up Marufuji.
It's getting harder and harder to destroy Kitamiya these days, Marufuji's combo kicks didn't even phase him, although Mutoh's Figure Four was a different matter though, but if Mutoh has this, then Kitamiya has his Prison Lock. Marufuji saved Mutoh the first time, but the second time he wasn't so lucky as Nakajima was keeping him outside the ring, and with a huge headbutt that bust them both open.
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the Prison Lock (18 minutes, 51 seconds)
Still bleeding from his head wound, Kitamiya addressed Mutoh on the microphone;
"How are your knees, champion? I will beat them up. Your obsession with the GHC belt is different fron mine, asshole. On the 29th April in Nagoya, it will be ME, MASA KITAMIYA, who will wear it!"
With thanks to: Metal Noah, Abeshin, Kazuaki, TACK
GIFS taken from Noah GHC\ABEMA
Picture credit: PKDX, Kazushi Sakuraba
Noah's next show: 24th April, Yokohama Radiant Halls