The event was broadcast via ABEMA, and will be free to view from the next seven days of writing. It will eventually be uploaded to WRESTLEUNIVERSE. 101,000 people tuned in worldwide.
Kinya Okada vs Tadasuke
As Kinya Okada practiced his kicks in the ring, Tadasuke (who passed out on Instagram drunk yesterday) turned up in dark aviator glasses in an already dark arena. When Tadasuke removed his glasses slowly with two hands, he winced at the light. This probably means he is still hungover.
The bell rang somewhere in the dark, and Tadasuke offered his hand to Okada.
Okada for some unknown unfathomable reason decided to take it, so naturally Tadasuke grinned and withdrew it at the last moment.
When Okada debuted in 2018, he said in his first interview that he wanted to find his own style, and he wasn't going to be influenced by anyone else. It has taken a few false starts due to his injury to find it, but the Showa era wrestling he displayed today would be something that Misawa would have certainly approved of. Okada bought all the old moves out, body stretches, repeated elbow drops, rib shots while holding Tadasuke in a hold, all of which he combined to good effect with the kicks that Katsuhiko Nakajima has been training him in. Despite being faced with a veteran (albeit an insane one), Okada fought against Tadasuke like someone with way more experience than he actually has, and is showing an awareness of a growing ring psychology, such as when Crazy Tadasuke (who had a wild smile on his face) went to shake the ropes, Okada took advantage of this to fool him and go for the sneak pin. Despite all this though, Tadasuke is the veteran, and Okada had his head almost taken off his shoulders.
WINNER: (Crazy) Tadasuke with the Land Dump Lariat (9 minutes, 43 seconds)
"There is no wall that cannot be broken!"
Yoshiki Inamura vs Rene Dupree
Rene Dupree came sauntering out, nodding along with his theme music (he likes to listen to rock and drink beer), and showed off the belt to Inamura. Inamura, however, was not going to give an inch if he could help it to the GHC Heavyweight Tag Champion, and gave as good as he got, at times surprising Dupree. The first lock up went unresolved as both objects were unmovable, then the bouncing of the rope knock downs began, and they faced off for a few second in between. Despite his ever growing size, Inamura can move swiftly, and he managed to get Dupree to his knees. Inamura used his weight to an advantage as he used it to stop a Powerbomb and with his weight came a powerful momentum, such as when he threw Dupree after catching him when he did a dive from the top turnbuckle. Dupree also took advantage of this momentum and caught Inamura to eventually slam him, however, it wasn't a slam that won the match (although Dupree did also employ chops, jabs and a jab to the face which got him told off by the referee), but a Diving Elbow Drop.
WINNER: Rene Dupree with the Diving Elbow Drop (9 minutes, 37 seconds)
Daisuke Harada vs Haoh
Daisuke Harada came out to the ring looking focused, and then struck a pose when his name was called, which involved raising a fist to the sky. I don't know whether this is a new thing, or whether he did it to mock Haoh\Kongoh.
The first ever singles match between Harada and Haoh had three levels; technical, brawl and then what I could call semi aerial, as Harada is not known for a high flying style (although he has been known to pull a rare moonsault). Haoh displayed how technical he too could be during the opening stages, and how he could reverse whatever it was that Harada pulled out.
The technical phase passed, Haoh started to become frustrated and went for easy wins such as sneak pins. Harada (his eyes glowing) no sold him and knocked him to the mat, making the "Come On!" motion as Haoh staggered to his feet. Haoh it seemed was using his frustration as a way to wind Harada up so he would end up letting his own guard down, and so managed to turn the flow of the match to himself, that was until Harada got the upper hand again and his "Shark Smells Blood" face came on.
The final stage of the match was of course the semi aerial, which saw a fight on the turnbuckle, and Harada going for a Fireman's Carry Slam, which Haoh foiled. Back on the mat (and after a succession of flash pins and reversals by both), Harada used a rolling elbow at one point, and soon after got the win with the Katayama.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Suplex (17 minutes)
Kaito Kiyomiya & Daiki Inaba vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
FULL THROTTLE managed to get along today, no squabbling over who was going to be the leader, as they faced off against a heavyweight team of former champions, Kaito Kiyomiya and Daiki Inaba, both of whom have something to prove as Noah's new bright young tag team. There is always a feeling of lingering bitterness from the Noah juniors towards the heavyweights, so FULL THROTTLE had the pride of their division to uphold.
Seiki Yoshioka and former W-1 colleague, Daiki Inaba, started the match. Their history includes being both opponents and holding the W-1 tag championships together. In another twist Daiki Inaba was not only trained by Keiji Mutoh (who Kiyomiya is trying to overcome), but also by Emile Dupree, who is Rene's father.
Fast paced match, with Atsushi Kotoge as manic as ever. Yoshioka used Kiyomiya to perform a move on Inaba, which almost involved knocking Kiyomiya off the apron. Kiyomiya later got his (kind of revenge) by punching Kotoge off of it. Later Kotoge went for a headbutt, which led to Kiyomiya feigning he was groggy, only to dropkick Kotoge when he came flying off the ropes at him. Inaba held Yoshioka in the corner, as Kiyomiya got the win on Kotoge after two suplexes.
Inaba and Kiyomiya don't make a bad team, they worked well together in their first outing, but what was commented on by fans after watching this match was that they need to start to bring about a connection between the two, which was not felt today. However, as stated it is only early days.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex (15 minutes, 16 seconds)
After the match Kiyomiya spoke on the microphone enthusiastically; he didn't make a challenge for the tag titles (which is expected at some point) or make any statements about who he wanted to challenge next (not like the Kazuchika Okada references), but he thanked everyone for watching ABEMA and who had supported Noah during this time, and said how excited he was (and in this he was probably speaking for everyone on the roster, except perhaps HAYATA) and how much he was looking forward to seeing fans at Korakuen on the 18th July, and show a further evolution.
The event on the 18th will be broadcast live on ABEMA, I don't know if it will be free or not, but as one fan said about the ABEMA broadcasts, "I don't want to believe that it is", in case of disappointment.
GIFS taken from ABEMA TV