Akitoshi Saito and Nioh both celebrated anniversaries today, although Saito's was held a day early. Nioh celebrates twenty years in wrestling today, and Saito celebrates thirty on the 20th December. As a member of an anti-establishment rebel unit, Nioh could hardly be handed flowers, and Kongoh aren't the gift giving type, but the seniors presented Akitoshi Saito with a cake before the event started.
FULL THROTTLE were on autograph duty, with Hajime Ohara overseeing things. It was not going to be the last time he was almost clucking over them as we will see.
The event was streamed live on WRESTLEUNIVERSE. It will still be available to view by clicking on the link as these events stay up in perpetuity. However, you will need to be a service subscriber to view.
Hajime Ohara vs Yasutaka Yano
Yasutaka Yano is leaving behind that skinny phase, and is putting on some muscle tone. He did as well against Ohara as can be expected, using a series of elbow drops which bought a gasp from the commentators as these are something you don't much see now. Being the technician that he is, Ohara locked Yano into various submissions, and both the crowd and Ohara applauded him when he didn't give up. There was a slight error from Yano when he went for a diving body press from the top turnbuckle, but this is to be expected of someone of his age and experience.
WINNER: Hajime Ohara with the Tres Fleur (6 minutes, 13 seconds)
Kongoh (Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya & Manabu Soya) vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue) & Masashi Aoyagi
Masao Inoue came limping out of the curtain in his pink martial arts uniform, followed by two people in martial arts uniforms, who had done martial arts. Namely Karate, which was what Katsuhiko Nakajima was looking forward to...and of course, beating up his seniors.
The old men got the upper hand, that was until Nakajima kicked Inoue in the face, and then went for the cocky pin on him, and Soya started committing old man abuse. Nakajima however wasn't finished with Inoue, kicking the ropes to crotch him when he got into the ring, and then daring him to hit him. Inoue also screamed "NO!" at first when getting the soccer ball kicks.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with a rear naked sleeper hold on Masao Inoue (9 minutes, 25 seconds)
It's rare to see Nakajima choke someone out and get the finish this way. Normally he knocks people out and waltzes off grinning about it.
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs MOMO NO SEISHUN (Atsushi Kotoge & Junta Miyawaki)
The match started off normally enough; hyper Atsushi Kotoge dropped his cap when walking out of the curtain, Yoshinari Ogawa was out for revenge against Junta Miyawaki for pinning him (according to Kotaro Suzuki rules), Miyawaki kept both Ogawa and HAYATA down with repeated dropkicks.
And then NOSAWA stormed the ring with his masked friend, and cost everyone the match by kicking Miyawaki.
WINNER: Junta Miyawaki because NOSAWA intruded in the ring (3 minutes, 37 seconds)
It's not Noah booking. Noah have tried these interference in matches story-lines before, and they never work. It didn't work with Suzuki Gun, it didn't work with the short lived and fortunately little remembered now "Hooligans", and it didn't work this evening. Sadly, this was not going to be the last time NOSAWA magically appeared.
Go Shiozaki & Kinya Okada vs Shuhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone
Go Shiozaki is going to have a quieter end to the year, starting with the match today which after the two title matches he has been through and the build ups to them, was mercifully a lot easier, although the lariat he did to get the win practically tore Mohammed Yone's head from his shoulders. He might still be taped, but he could do the Machine Gun chops when Taniguchi dared him, but although he is taped his shoulder was seen to be bothering him after the win.
Kinya Okada continues to rise, although he is still running to the ring like a rookie. He was able to dominate Yone somewhat, although naturally the veteran (who came to the ring disco dancing, which his partner, Shuhei Taniguchi did not), was able to eventually get the upper hand, but it is significant that Okada was not the one who was pinned.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Gowan lariat (10 minutes, 35 seconds)
Kotaro Suzuki vs Yuya Susumu
Kotaro Suzuki came out accompanied by NOSAWA and the Part Time Guy, got into the ring, threw down his mask, grabbed Susumu by the throat and without even taking his jacket off, the fight began.
Soon after this NOSAWA naturally had to get involved by beating up on Susumu outside the ring, which caused STINGER to come out to keep them both out of the match, and get revenge. Then STINGER decided to get involved in the match (Ogawa smelt the blood of Kotaro), and as fights went on around him, Kotaro complained to the ref and a melee brawl broke out. In the lull between the two teams fighting repeatedly, Kotaro got in the microphone as somehow the ref managed to keep everyone back, and one on one became a three man tag.
A three man tag in name, as no one was going to take any notice of the rules for too long.
Kotaro Suzuki, NOSAWA Rongai & Part Time Guy vs STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, HAYATA and Yuya Susumu)
In total both matches had lasted no longer than 6 minutes, 58 seconds.
I will say it again; this is not Noah booking, and it has never worked. Fans found it boring. Noah booking is very much done on the lines of Giant Baba's All Japan, and while there are some things that can't and generally aren't played with (i.e. title match intrusions) and others which can, booking matches like this do not work for Noah. Kotaro knew how to wind Ogawa up in a way that fans accepted, and it wasn't by doing this.
Naomichi Marufuji & FULL THROTTLE (Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Haoh and Nioh)
Someone (I think it was probably someone in The Sugiura Army), made the comment to the affect that Kenoh didn't stand out and was something like a uniform wrestler, which sent Kenoh into the match saying he was cross about it. It didn't matter that the Sugiura Army were not in the match, but the sight of Naomichi Marufuji was enough to irritate Kenoh, who started yelling loudly because he decided he was going to start the match against him. Marufuji, knowing how to wind Kenoh up, looked at him over his shoulder. He later offered him a handshake, which Kenoh ignored. There were good reversals between them, Marufuji because he can read Kenoh, Kenoh because Marufuji is one of his obsessions.
Haoh and Seiki Yoshioka worked well, with Yoshioka in particular working at top speed, so much so he was like a silver blur.
The big drama of the match wasn't really what happened in it, although it was a catalyst. Nioh's twentieth anniversary was meant to be a time of celebration, instead he found himself dealing with YO-HEY'S crazy lockups (YO-HEY also took the opportunity to taunt Kenoh by holding out his fist), and then almost being knocked out by Marufuji when he was pulled off the turnbuckle into a knee (Marufuji says he came up on the spot with this and has named it "Tiger King"), he managed to kick out of some of his combos, but in the end fell to the Pure Tiger King.
WINNER: Naomichi Marufuji with the Pure Tiger King on Nioh (15 minutes, 5 seconds)
Kenoh left swearing loudly, at Marufuji, who dared do his fist pose at him. Then Marufuji got pulled into lighter things, such as FULL THROTTLE who he briefly did the pose of. He also shared a Hi-Five with Hajime Ohara, who was looking on, in the manner of a "hang in there".
Things for Kongoh were not as lighthearted (they rarely are), as backstage Kenoh stirred up Haoh and Nioh into a fight, and then said he was looking forward to the Kongoh produce to see what would happen between them.
I get the feeling that Kenoh may have just written the demise of the unit by setting members against each other.
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Daisuke Harada vs Tadasuke
While Kenoh made his puppets dance, Tadasuke was making his way to the ring. Finding that no one was coming out to second him, he turned back and raised his middle finger before carrying on. Daisuke Harada came out to his singles music, with a face like a thunderstorm. Tadasuke should know that expression. It never means good. Later both Atsushi Kotoge and Haoh would appear at ringside.
Both actually waited for the bell, but then it was on.
Tadasuke has a heavyweight strength, and this can be dangerous. He uses it to use moves that junior wrestlers generally don't, especially when he gave Harada a massive powerbomb to the ring apron, the effects of which Harada felt for a while. Tadasuke's heavyweight strength gets both better and worse when he becomes crazy; better for the opponent because he gets too caught up in things and doesn't pay the attention he should because he's gone even more mad, and worse because his strength is amplified. Harada took the better for the opponent option, and with a slight twist of his body, was able to reverse things. The through the ropes dive was spectacular.
WINNER: Daisuke Harada with the Katayama German Hold (15 minutes, 8 seconds)
Tadasuke couldn't believe he had lost and complained to the referee, but no, Harada pinned him with three. The two of them had a stare off before Tadasuke left the ring, and Harada posed alone and then left. No one has challenged for the title at the time of writing.
GHC HEAVYWEIGHT TAG
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Kazushi Sakuraba) vs Yoshiki Inamura & Kaito Kiyomiya
"One more step, one more step.
Inamura, you really climbed the stairs tonight"
If this match belonged to anyone, it was Yoshiki Inamura. Fans came away full of praise, mentioning the stiff elbows he threw at Takashi Sugiura and how much they wanted to see him in next years N-1 VICTORY.
The Sugiura Army came out in their custom made tag belts, the GHC tag belts, their Chono glasses and their black and white company dog shirts. There was a lot to look at, and when he removed the glasses, Sugiura had a stern gaze for the young team of the shaved head simplistic Yoshiki Inamura and the more flashy Kaito Kiyomiya. The veterans had tricks up their sleeves that their opponents fell for, such as distracting the ref by making it look as if Kiyomiya was going to come into the ring, so they could double team Inamura. Kiyomiya had his moments, especially the mat wrestling with Sakuraba, and the elbow flurry with Sugiura.
As stated, the match was very much focused on Inamura, especially the last ten minutes or so when he fought one one with Takashi Sugiura, he had done so before in the match, but up until now no match against his idol had been more important. The crowd were behind Inamura, clapping away. Sugiura went for the choke, but Kiyomiya managed to get in to break it. Splash Mountain worked, but Sugi kicked out, Sugi turned the Musou into a front neck lock, but he himself broke the hold to pin Inamura. Inamura fought until there was no light left, but he got his second wind when Sugi's elbows seemed to fire him up and not knock him down, but despite his loss to the Olympic Slam, fans said that this is the start of Inamura's blooming.
WINNER: Takashi Suguiura with the Olympic Slam on Yoshiki Inamura (23 minutes, 59 seconds)
Noah's next show: DIAMOND 3 (The Kongoh Produce), 26th December, Korakuen Hall
Noah will be back properly on 4th January with "NEW SUNRISE 2021"
With thanks to: Kei, Metal Noah, Abeshin, Teddy106
Gifs taken from WrestleUniverse
Picture credit: PKDX