As today was Akitoshi Saito's 30th anniversary, there were flowers placed in the lobby for him, bouquets had arrived from Jun Akiyama, Kenta Kobashi and Samurai TV. As it is a very special day for him (plus he is a local boy), Noah put him on merchandise where he signed an autograph for a little boy, and touchingly wrote a message telling him to work hard at school.
Noah have restocked today, and the lottery returned. As well as the lottery returning as did the harassment of Masao Inoue, who was filmed eating by Kinya Okada.
Junta Miyawaki vs Kinya Okada
Kinya Okada came running to the ring, while Junta Miyawaki walked to it looking like he was trying to reign himself in from doing the same.
There were cheers after first lock up and standoff, and Miyawaki followed it up with a beautiful dropkick (this seems to be a Noah dojo speciality). Miyawaki, the senior and the more experienced (although currently still the youngest on the roster, and who I think gets treated as such), dominated the match and no sold Okada at times. Okada, despite all this however, seems to be turning into a suplex machine.
The opener was okay, but it has to be said it was clumsy in parts. Neither Okada or Miyawaki really have many singles matches, or are in the ring without their seniors so at times they did for a split second at least, seem a little lost.
WINNER: Junta Miyawaki with an arm cross (6 minutes, 23 seconds)
Mohammed Yone & Tadasuke vs Hitoshi Kumano and Seiya Morohashi
Although Tadasuke strolled out from the curtains to "Boogie Wonderland", looking as if he was going to see Judas Priest but had somehow wound up seeing Earth, Wind & Fire, he kind of joined in with Yone's "Disco Fever" pose by pointing at the floor, instead of the ceiling during Yone's pose.
On his way to the ring, Yone came across a small boy who was waiting for him dressed in an afro wig and flashing glasses, and he stopped to have his picture taken with him.
The crowd were more vocal for this match.
Hitoshi Kumano tried to lift Yone, but didn't manage to, and then Yone tagged Crazy Tadasuke in.
Crazy Tadasuke who was headbanging along with the crowd, went even more crazy, and Kumano took him down. However, Tadasuke was reaching new heights of nuttiness and started headbanging along with the crowd when he was on all fours, and bouncing up and down..and even outside the ring towards the end of the match he had his crazy face on, when keeping Kumano from getting into the ring to help Morohashi.
WINNER: Mohammed Yone via Kinmeat Buster on Seiya Morohasi (7 minutes, 46 seconds)
Dragon Bain vs El Hijo de Canis Lupus
Submission moves were mixed with the high flying from the brothers today, as it was commented they are slowly adapting to Noah style and using a mixture of both lucha and strong style.
Dragon Bain reminded people of Ultimo Dragon today (it was the color), while Cani kept up the proud Noah tradition of fighting with your brother, when he punched him hard before top rope somersault.
WINNER: Dragon Bain with the High angle avalanche Frankensteiner (12 minutes, 55 seconds)
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Yoshiki Inamura
Yoshiki Inamura (complete with towering mohican), has suffered the "Endless Love" from AXIZ over the past few events (which he has called the "rain") was out for revenge today. Nakajima, however was unconcerned about the match and came out sauntering nonchalantly in his usual sinister fashion.
The crowd were fired up.
The match was pretty much dominated by Nakajima (brutal running apron kick, face kick a few seconds after the bell had rung, and at his most smug using those short irritating face kicks). A swift kick a few moments later was met by Inamura throwing himself at him with all his weight. Later on in the match, Nakajima found himself hoisted up on to Inamura's shoulders, and Inamura walked around the ring like it didn't bother him for a few seconds, before slamming Nakajima down. Nakajima also found that while Inamura may be in a gray rookie area, he knows how to use his size and weight to his advantage, and he looked as if he was going to go through the ceiling when Inamura charged at him, and launched him into the corner. Inamura fought with several slams, and the arm straps came down, which indicates that he means business (but it looked almost as if his singlet was going to come popping off for a few moments). Then Nakajima got angry and his face drained of color, and he too used slaps, and poor Inamura got the soccer ball kicks on a bare chest.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike (8 minutes, 43 seconds)
After the match Nakajima strolled off like he entered, nonchalantly and like nothing had happened.
Naomichi Marufuji, Masaaki Mochizuki & Minoru Tanaka vs The Sugiura Army (Kazushi Sakuraba, Hajime Ohara & NOSAWA)
Minoru Tanaka looked tired. Very tired, and I am not surprised at all. He has wrestled seven matches over five days, and after an afternoon show at Ice Ribbon today took the bullet train from Tokyo to Nagoya to get to Noah. As we shall see later, his schedule is about to get more hectic.
Naomichi Marufuji made his own entry after his partners had almost reached the ring, once inside of it (he did his rope leap), he squared up to Sakuraba, who gently pushed him back into his own corner.
The Sugiura Army voted Sakuraba to start against Marufuji, Marufuji's team (watching him going on about his knee), let him have his own way, which is wise. Sakuraba aimed at Marufuji's knee, and when it came time for the tag NOSAWA and Ohara refused at first to be tagged in against Marufuji, telling Sakuraba you wanted him, you take care of him.
There was a little comedy in the match today, with NOSAWA not interested in facing Mochizuki, and laying on the floor. When he eventually got up, Mochi kicked him, Marufuji's comedy with NOSAWA (dodging him on the ropes when he tried to punch him), and the line of sleeperholds.
WINNER: Masaaki Mochizuki with the Twister on Hajime Ohara (15 minutes, 7 seconds)
Marufuji and Sakuraba had been exchanging chops outside the ring, Sakuraba lifting up his shirt to show the audience the marks, and they continued chopping each other after the bell until NOSAWA broke it up.
After the interval, Marufuji was on commentary for the rest of the event, but not before Mochi had told him that as he got the win today, he expects Marufuji to get the win at the tag challenge with the Shiranui.
Akitoshi Saito's 30th Anniversary Match
Akitoshi Saito, Shiro Koshinaka, Masashi Aoyagi & Masao Inoue vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Haoh and Nioh)
Kongoh (minus Yoshiki Inamura) came out first, and did their usual pose.
Masao Inoue came out waving the "Anti Wrestlers Alliance" flag (after all, he paid for it), before Akitoshi Saito made his appearance. Saito was given flowers by fans, and he scattered the tarot card "DEATH" (complete with black and white line drawn grim reaper with flag) as he walked to the ring.
The Great Kabuki made his entry last of all, he looked very frail and like holding the flag was too much, he seemed very shaky, but he managed to use the nunchucks just as well as he ever did. After that he stayed outside of the ring, and naturally no one got rough with him, but old wrestlers never truly retire as he threw a punch at Nioh, and then helped his team get the win.
At the start of the match Haoh made the mistake of taking on veteran Koshinaka. Things got better when Koshinaka tagged Inoue in, and Haoh tagged in Kitamiya. Inoue couldn't knock down Kitamiya, even after stamping on his feet and eye raking him. There wasn't too much MASAOWORLD in the match, but he did get hit with a flying ass attack when Haoh dodged, and Koshinaka looked completely unconcerned afterwards.
Kongoh's focus was very much on Saito, which was fortunate as Saito wanted Kenoh (both have a martial arts background), they got into a kick war, which later went into the crowd, with Kenoh kicking Saito across the floor and halfway across the venue.
Kenoh is loving being a heel, and yelled at the crowd for booing him.
WINNER: Akitoshi Saito pinned Nioh with the Death Brand (13 minutes, 20 seconds)
After the match, Kabuki got in the ring to celebrate. And then there was a presentation of flowers to Saito by family (who bear a strong resemblance to him), friends and local businessmen. After the presentation of gifts, Saito made a heartfelt speech to the crowd;
"Thank you for today! I want to speak from the heart! Thank you Noah and Takeda, and thank you everyone who has come to the venue today! I can't settle down yet, there will be great matches coming up. Please enjoy them!"
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge) vs RATELS (Daisuke Harada, HAYATA & YO-HEY)
RATELS came out to different music, which was darker and slower. I'm not sure if either HAYATA or YO-HEY have changed their music, or else this is just a theme for all of them when they are together.
HAYATA is still taped up, and had limited input in the match, he also doesn't look too well. YO-HEY was overexcitable with Orange and Peppermint hair (he had asked fans what colors they suggested), and Harada had his unsmiling determined face on. Once in the ring, Ogawa and Harada got in each others faces with Harada having Ogawa waggle his finger at him in a lecture!
Then the bell rang, and there was the usual crazy YO-HEY lock up, which Kotoge stopped before they looked like two cats biffing each other. After a few YO-HEY antics, Harada was then tagged in, he strolled over to Ogawa (completely ignoring Kotoge), Ogawa motioned for Kotoge to tag him in, and there was a heavy collision between them which knocked them both to the floor and to the apron for a few minutes. Harada rolled out of the ring, and Kotoge was seen checking on Ogawa.
Despite his condition, it was inevitable that HAYATA would be tagged in eventually. Naturally Kotaro targeted his ribs and STINGER joined in. Mercifully, it was short, but Harada was seen getting off the apron to check on HAYATA when YO-HEY was tagged in. Fortunately, Tadasuke who was sitting at ringside, didn't have to take him to the back (and HAYATA was later out front with RATELS at the end of the event, hiding behind YO-HEY)
YO-HEY had his demonic grin spread on his face when he took out both Kotaro and Kotoge.
In the closing stages of the match, Harada took out STINGER, HAYATA then did the Headache on Kotaro (which seemed to take a lot out of him), and YO-HEY and himself held down their opponents so that Harada could get the win.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Suplex on Yoshinari Ogawa (12 minutes, 24 seconds)
After the match Harada got on the microphone, accepted Ogawa's terms, and draped the GHC Junior Heavyweight belt over him.
Then It spoke.
YO-HEY challenged for belts in Yokohama in usual babbling fashion, which was completed by HAYATA's whispered "Same"
RATELS then returned backstage with YO-HEY hovering near HAYATA as they walked.
Go Shiozaki & Shuhei Taniguchi vs The Sugiura Army (Kazuyuki Fujita & Hideki Suzuki)
There was the square up between the swollen and bruised Go Shiozaki and Kazuyuki Fujita at the start of the match, then it got physical when the bell rang with Shiozaki returning Fujita's massive slaps with gunshot sounding chops. Shiozaki is refusing to be cowed by Fujita despite the injuries that his strikes are doing to him. Eventually Hideki Suzuki and Shuhei Taniguchi were tagged in. Making use of their similar size and backgrounds, they mat wrestled.
Taniguchi also has damaged ribs, and so Fujita, when it was his turn, took advantage of this
Fujita got chopped after beating the hell out of Shiozaki, he followed this up with heavy slaps to the face, Shiozaki (with a Kobashi like look on his face), took him down with a lariat, although he was dazed (it was concerning because I did genuinely think he had fainted), and had a neck covered in bruises.
Taniguchi quit after a painful Suzuki stretch pulled his damaged ribs.
WINNER: Hideki Suzuki with the Grand Swastika on Shuhei Taniguchi (16 minutes, 52 seconds)
Shiozaki got in the ring and lariated both Suzuki and Fujita out of frustration at not beating Fujita in the final pre-match, and then stood with the belt over the two, before getting on the mic and saying in English as part of his promo "I am Noah", as well as the fact that he will protect the belt.
GHC National Championship (60 minute time limit)
Takashi Sugiura vs Kaito Kiyomiya
Kaito Kiyomiya, so eager to get to the ring, practically fell out of the curtains when he made his entry. Given flowers on the way, he even played up to the camera, which is new for him and then he was in such a rush to start the match and get his jacket off, he almost fell over himself to do it (and almost out of the ring).
Takashi Sugiura, (the same age as Kiyomiya's mother, and with a son the same age as Kiyomiya), just stood and stared not moving. This is a bad sign. It means he is going to mess you up.
Kiyomiya, however, despite his excitement is very much a professional in the ring, and he offered a handshake, Sugi took it without hesitation knowing that Kiyomiya is a rare breed of wrestler who is not going to try and attack him on taking it (Tadasuke take note).
This was a fight between the man who has seen it all, and the man who wants to change it all and neither wanted to give up, it was a real heart in mouth match when you are convinced this is it after a big move, but they kicked out at the last moment.
The match was very much to Sugiura's pace with the crowd clapping strongly for Kiyomiya, they kept this up as Kiyomiya crawled to the ropes as Sugi was using a Boston Crab.
In the build up to the closing stages, Kiyomiya reversed the dreaded neck choke hold into the stretch plum, and dragged Sugi into the middle of the ring, and that is when Sugi decided that he had had enough. With the crowd screaming he got out of the hold by fighting to the ropes, and when the time came he locked in the dreaded front neck lock, which Kiyomiya reversed into a slam. Sugi was not down, and the Olympic slam bought him both the title and the victory.
Sugiura later commented that Kiyomiya might not have taken an upwards step, but he had certainly grown up.
WINNER: Takashi Sugiura with the Olympic Slam (29 minutes, 47 seconds)
After the match, Sugiura (holding celebratory flowers), spoke to the crowd thanking them for coming today, Nagoya is his birthplace, and this year is both his and Noah's 20th year in wrestling, and he would see them again.
Tanaka said that as the belt was openweight, then he wanted to challenge Sugiura for it.
Sugiura (surprised) said he had only defended against heavyweights so far, but Tanaka was welcome if he wanted to challenge. It would be something different for him.
They shook hands.
Marufuji, on commentary, said he wasn't surprised, they did call Tanaka the "belt collector" after all. I get the feeling that had he not been on commentary, he probably would have challenged...
ALL the titles (except for the GHC Heavyweight tag) will now be on the line at PRO WRESTLING NOAH 20th ANNIVERSARY NOAH the CHRONICLE vol.2 at the Yokohama Bunka Gym on 8th March.
WITH THANKS TO: Abeshin, Yoshiko, Noah Boy's Father
PICTURE CREDIT: Noah GHC, SamuraiTV
NOAH'S NEXT EVENT: 8th March, Yokohama Bunka Gym