Kenta Kobashi and Jurina Matsui were the special guest commentators. Mohammed Yone was the special guest English commentator (the headphones caused his afro to be heart shaped). Jurina bought two support boards with her, a M's Alliance sign, and a Kenta Kobashi board. Kobashi turned a little pink! His generation did not know such things. Jurina was also wearing Sugiura Army\Chono glasses after the Chono slapping footage was aired.
To mark Noah's final anniversary event of 2020, and to thank Noah for continuing during a difficult year, Noah bought torches and glow sticks to the venue, green for Noah and various in the color of their favorite wrestler. For those who couldn't attend we lit up our timelines with pictures of green lights to symbolise that no matter where we were, who we were, or how long we have supported Noah, "WE are Noah"
The event was streamed live on ABEMA. You will be able to watch it free and worldwide for seven days after broadcast. After that it will be place on WrestleUniverse. A PPV version from FiteTv, with English commentary, can also be purchased.
“No matter where your interest lies, you will not be able to accomplish anything unless you bring your deepest devotion to it.”
― Matsuo Bashô
Noah had announced that they were going to be making a big announcement in Yoyogi on the 6th December. Fans guessed the reason, that Noah would be announcing their return to the Nippon Budokan, but still there was speculation as to what the announcement would be, some said it would be The Tokyo Dome. In breaking with tradition as they normally announce things in the middle of the show, and I think also because they were very excited, to loud applause, Noah announced that yes, they would be making their return to the Nippon Budokan on the 12th February 2021. To give some context for the newer fan as to Noah's history with The Nippon Budokan, and why it means so much for them to go back, I would direct you to my "Green Guide to The History of Noah", unfortunately it stops at 2018, but it will give you an overview of Noah in The
"Golden Era", and just how far they have had to climb since then to get back to this point. Noah last ran The Nippon Budokan in 2013 when Kenta Kobashi retired.
Kinya Okada vs Yasutaka Yano
Despite the differences in experience, Yasutaka Yano seems to be fast becoming Kinya Okada's rival, although it is very early in his career and he cannot possibly get a win just yet. Okada seemed to sense this too, and he had an evil look on his face during the match. Yano put up a fight, which at times got him a victory over Okada, albeit brief and at ringside, Jurina was very impressed by Yano's dropkicks.
WINNER:Kinya Okada (Blockbuster Hold, 7 minutes)
Backstage, Okada said that if Inamura could challenge for a title, then he could too.
Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada, Atsushi Kotoge & Junta Miyawaki) vs The Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke, Haoh and Nioh)
Kongoh were good enough not to attack straight away and to wait for the bell to sound, and Tadasuke went in for the attack immediately with a big boot and knocking Daisuke Harada down. Throughout the match Tadasuke wore a big crazy grin, which could probably have been seen from space. Kongoh were not above triple teaming Momo No Seishun, Tadasuke eye raking Harada (and Nioh with some strong language when he knocked down a hyper Atsushi Kotoge), and they bought out their a new tandem move. The move involves Tadasuke and Haoh lifting an opponent (in this case, Kotoge) by his legs and arms off of the mat, with Nioh doing a Lionsault on him.
This was a fast paced match which mainly focused on Harada vs Tadasuke for the upcoming title match in Nagoya next week, but there was a sweet moment away from the fighting former RATELS when Junta Miyawaki was seen to pause for a moment during a fight outsider the ring, as Haoh seemed to have hurt his shoulder.
Back in the ring, Tadasuke's devastating lariat to the back of the head was not going to work this time
as it was Harada who got the spectacular win, that Tadasuke could not believe.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Hold on Tadasuke (8 minutes, 51 seconds)
Backstage, Harada said that he didn't care that Tadasuke had said that he was "Number 18", as Tadasuke didn't seem to realise that "Number 18" was "the number of an Ace".
FULL THROTTLE (Hajime Ohara, YO-HEY & Seiki Yoshioka) vs Kongoh (Katsuhiko Nakajima, Manabu Soya & Masa Kitamiya)
YO-HEY knew that against such ultra heavyweights like Masa Kitamiya and Manabu Soya they had no chance of victory, although it might be easier against the smaller and slimmer, Katsuhiko Nakajima, but their chances of winning were still slight. The dour Kongoh (who when stood together probably took up more room than FULL THROTTLE), were not impressed by these three snowflake heavyweights.
YO-HEY decided not to go for the crazy lock up with Kitamiya and tried shoulder tackling him, but Kitamiya knocked him down, until YO-HEY went for a drop kick and managed to make him stagger, but then Kitamiya knocked him down again. It was thanks to YO-HEY'S natural buoyancy, that he was able to get through a difficult situation, although taunting Kongoh was not a good idea, especially when Soya started throwing them about and YO-HEY found himself having to restrain Kitamiya somehow.
Katsuhiko Nakajima got in the ring smiling like a wolf that has found a flock of sheep, and wisely YO-HEY (after ducking a move), tagged in one person who could go head to head with Nakajima, Seiki Yoshioka and a kick war broke out. For Nakajima it was all fun until Hajime Ohara started fighting back, and the smile snapped off.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike on Hajime Ohara (9 minutes, 13 seconds)
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs Kotaro Suzuki & Sarubahe de Oriente
No one had any "traffic problems" today evidently as STINGER and Sarubahe de Oriente all turned up for the match. NOSAWA Rongai also turned up, and he and his still unnamed masked friend sat at ringside.
Kotaro took some cheap shots at Yoshinari Ogawa initially, but this only led to him being double teamed, and when it did come down to them Ogawa told Kotaro to hit him, but then became enraged when Kotaro using the disrespect that he had seen Ogawa use many times on others, stepped over him, treading on his head and then back kicked him. For this supreme insult, Kotaro found himself tortured by a man who probably went on excursion to one of the many Hells at one point in his career.
Sarubahe stayed out of the match somewhat, he seemed to be nervous at times, but he did pull out some very good moves, especially the aerobatic pin tandem with Kotaro, but this was not the only tandem he was going to be in when, as fans had predicted on hearing that he too had "traffic" problems, he turned on his partner and joined STINGER.
WINNER: Yoshinari Ogawa pinned Kotaro Suzuki following the Oriente crash by Sarubahe de Oriente (17 minutes, 5 seconds)
During this chaos, NOSAWA got into the ring, and then offered a handshake to STINGER, Ogawa accepting first. They all celebrated together (HAYATA hiding behind his belt), but as ever in the Noah juniors the law means that any more of four at one time, will turn into a mass brawl, and this was happened as NOSAWA and friend turned on STINGER, with NOSAWA laughing at the fallen Ogawa, before they aligned with Kotaro who now realised that he had no choices left. It is now three on three.
The balance of power has once again shifted in the Noah juniors.
GHC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Kenoh vs Kazushi Sakuraba
Kenoh is generally a loud and angry person, but he seems to get worse and his paranoia seems to grow whenever he has a title belt, even going so far as to believe that Kazushi Sakuraba, who seems to be someone who enjoys life (which seems to be a trait in people Kenoh hates), turned off the microphone deliberately when he went to yell back at him at Korakuen following a Kenoh rant. So Kenoh, as furious as ever, came marching to the ring and started yelling at Sakuraba after doing his pose, until the referee separated them.
In retaliation for Kenoh's attack on him during the match signing in Tokyo, and to prove that the "bloodthirsty" Sakuraba was always present under his somewhat affable outward appearance, "The Gracie Killer" of the 1990s, immediately felled Kenoh with a strong MMA attack. If Kenoh had wanted to see this Sakuraba from the PRIDE era he had so loudly shrieked about, he had gotten him.
WINNER: Kenoh with a submission reversal (10 minutes, 3 seconds)
Kongoh were delighted with the win, but Kenoh was more thoughtful. Sakuraba left looking deflated (he had hoped to be a double champion), and warning Kenoh that this wasn't over. He would see him again. Backstage Kenoh addressed Noah finally getting The Budokan (he's been saying this since about 2018), saying that it was a dream come true, and he wanted to be in the main event.
The M's Alliance (Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh, Masakatsu Funaki & Yuko Miyamoto) vs Kaito Kiyomiya, Shuhei Taniguchi, Daiki Inaba & Yoshiki Inamura
This was initially seen as a match to bridge the gap between the tense National championship and the emotional GHC Heavyweight, and to give the fans time to use the facilities, but it would have been a mistake to see this match as just the plain between the mountains, as it was going to have a long awaited ending to it.
Despite having a red glow stick for Naomichi Marufuji, Marufuji ticked Jurina off about wearing the Masahiro Chono glasses. Jurina laughed. Keiji Mutoh clambered into the ring, and then went to take his t-shirt off, but his teammates hurried to tell him to keep it on, the M's Alliance wanted to pose together.
The match came down to Shuhei Taniguchi grappling with Masakatsu Funaki, and erupting against Naomichi Marufuji. Because Taniguchi is staid, he gets teased for it, and his seniors (mainly Marufuji and Sugiura) try and provoke him during matches into exploding, but in a very non Misawa provokes Kawada kind of way. With the presence of some ultra heavyweights, there was a lot of roaring the match, the loudest being Taniguchi and then Yoshiki Inamura.
Kaito Kiyomiya fought again with Keiji Mutoh, using submissions on the old man. Mutoh went to the ropes and tagged his partners in, Marufuji had this strange look of "Well, don't look at me about his behaviour". However, Marufuji was far more interested in Daiki Inaba than anyone else, using a vicious knee on him which the referee had to check he wasn't knocked out after. Mutoh also took down his former employee. Kiyomiya also got to fight Masakatsu Funaki like he had hoped, it was very similar to the fights that he has with Kenoh, except there was no complex emotional strings attached.
Yoshiki Inamura was the star of the match, and Kenta Kobashi said he reminded him of "Dr Death", Steve Williams when he hoisted one of his opponents on to his shoulders and ran him into the ring posts. Kiyomiya and Inamura also have come up with a team move which involves Kiyomiya throwing Inamura on momentum. Inamura bought the emotion and made the match important, as fans were on the edge of their seats waiting for him to get his first big win, each time there was a kick out, he was beaten down or someone broke the pin, the feeling intensified until in the end he got that moment.
WINNER: Yoshiki Inamura with the Musou on Yuko Miyamoto (21 minutes, 47 seconds)
At the end of the match, Marufuji and Inaba were still fighting outside the ring, with the seconds trying to seperate them and the bell ringing like it does when the juniors get into a melee brawl. I have to admit that it was odd seeing the heavyweights fight like this. Backstage, bolstered by his win, Inamura promised to train harder than ever before so he and Kiyomiya would win the tag belts.
GHC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Go Shiozaki vs Takashi Sugiura
Takashi Sugiura debuted new ringwear (yellow and white) and new music, which was generic and no way as individual or terrifying as his last music. He offered a handshake to Go Shiozaki, who took it to loud applause, and some whistles. Speaking of the applause the fans gave, they didn't stop at just clapping, they also stamped their feet so much that the whole building shook. It was apt that there was a Budokan atmosphere.
This was not just another Go Shiozaki vs Takashi Sugira stiff-fest, this was an amplified "Golden Era" championship match, which many people said rolled all of Noah's twenty years into one, combining both its past and its future. For Shiozaki, more than any other opponent even more than the fearsome and physically intimidating Fujita, this was like fighting someone made of steel.
If Shiozaki's opponents have all had one thing in common, then it is to work to take out his arms. If you do, it makes his hard for him to chop (Sugiura dusted them off at times, although his chest was bust open by them), lariat, and if you get him in a submission he can't get to the ropes because his arms cannot support him well. When this happened, the crowd got into a frenzy of clapping.
There were a few times when the match went outside of the ring (Shiozaki getting in at the count of 18 after a neck screw to the floor when Sugiura ripped up the mats or when Shiozaki did an over the top rope dive), and it looked as if the match was going to end in a count out and we see a title change, but this is not Noah booking. Giant Baba would rarely if never have allowed a title match to change hands via a count out, and as Noah bought these ideals from All Japan, Misawa would never have allowed it either, and this continues to this day.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Gowan Lariat (51 minutes and 44 seconds)
He may have lost the match, but Takashi Sugiura showed his spirit by briefly pulling the "I am Chono" pose for the camera as he was leaning on Junta Miyawaki to go backstage.
Then something happened which we had all heard hinted about for a long time; Keiji Mutoh came to challenge Go Shiozaki for the GHC Heavyweight title.
"Hey Shiozaki! I was just curious about your belt, that GHC or whatever it is. You know what I mean, don't you? The next challenger is me, Keiji Muto, and at the Nippon Budokan!"
Shiozaki accepted his challenge, and then when Mutoh had gone he addressed the crowd himself, thanking Takashi Sugiura for a meaningful fight on the anniversary of their first, and thanking everyone who came today.
As the lights came back on, fans left the arena to the strains and the ironic opening lines of Ozzy Osborne's "Mama"...
"Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain't the same
Mama, I'm coming home"
With thanks to: Metal Noah, Abeshin
GIFS taken from ABEMA TV
Noah's next event (and last proper event of 2020, as after that are two produce shows): 19th December 2020, THE GIFT 2020 in NAGOYA