There was a sense of a big event which was shared between the fans watching at home (event was streamed live on WRESTLE-UNIVERSE via static cam) and those who attended the event, and for those who were lucky enough to go to the arena, Naomichi Marufuji and Go Shiozaki were signing autographs, with Yoshinari Ogawa holding class in the ring with HAYATA and Kaito Kiyomiya.
Noah's special guest today was Hiroshi Hase (former wrestler now a politician, who looks a million miles from both the picture Noah used on the poster, and his shoulder length hair and moustache from his days in the ring), who gave a speech before the event began. He evidently could not stay for long as he was not seen again, and Mutoh kind of alluded to the fact that he couldn't stick around for the whole thing when he spoke on the microphone at the end of the match. Hase was not the only notable person in attendance as Kuniko Yamada was also at ringside.
Daisuke Harada & YO-HEY vs FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge & Hajime Ohara)
FULL THROTTLE made "Brum Brum" motions to a little girl sitting at ringside as they came to the ring, and YO-HEY made good his promise to dye his hair at 3.30am as he couldn't sleep and was up playing computer games. Speaking of hair, one fan described Kotoge's hair (despite it being freshly pink) as being cut like "a little child in a school entrance ceremony"
WINNER: Time out draw (20 minutes)
The fight went on even after the bell and ended with YO-HEY throwing Kotoge off of the turnbuckle, and then falling off it himself to the floor. Both teams left in frustration that neither could get the win over the other, and so their positions in the Noah Juniors were still stagnant. Backstage, YO-HEY & Daisuke Harada announced that they would be introducing a new member of their team on the 26th in Niigata (fans are speculating that this could be the returning Junta Miyawaki, Hitoshi Kumano which I think is unlikely, or a member of Dove).
Mohammed Yone & Alexander Otsuka vs Seiya Morohashi & Kinya Okada
Alexander Otsuka (who took his time on entry) was Mohammed Yone's debut opponent 25 years ago. Ironically, he was also the one that Kenoh debuted against too in Michinoku Pro. In a touching sign of respect, he even held the ropes open so that Yone could get into the ring.
Semi squash match but really for the more experienced Seiya Morohashi and ironically not the less experienced Kinya Okada, who managed to hold his own against the two veterans than Morohashi did, although Okada is still too junior in Noah to react in too much rage to Yone's Disco Rope break or try and get into the ring to break the hold when Yone held him back as Otsuka tortured Morohashi, Morohashi was completely dwarfed by Yone and thrown around by Otsuka
WINNER: Alexander Otsuka with the Alex Buster on Seiya Morohashi (10 minutes, 49 seconds)
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Seiki Yoshioka
Katsuhiko Nakajima came out to the ring using a new entry song, which he not only inspired, but was in the video for. Yoshioka had come out before him and instantly noticed Kuniko Yamada; Yamada made a joke of the incident when Yoshioka had come crashing through the announce table, by when he did moonsault and land near (not on) her during the match, by telling him to go away and get back in the ring.
Seiki Yoshioka's sports background is in Taekwondo, and as Katsuhiko Nakajima's is in Karate, fans were looking forward to the inevitable kickfight between them. It was definitely not as brutal as the one between Nakajima and Kenoh, and while Nakajima as the heavyweight was naturally stronger, Yoshioka attacked in a flurry and managed to knock him across the ring. He also won the kickfight as Nakajima was kicked out of the ring. Yoshioka kicking out of the Soccer Ball kicks was too much for Nakajima, and his cocky smile snapped off and his eyes started to glow as they grew cold, and he pinned him with the Vertical Spike while staring into the photographers lens as the flash lit up his face.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike (10 minutes, 50 seconds)
Shu Nishinaga was presented with flowers by fellow referee, Nakayama, for his 30th anniversary in wrestling. He was originally working part time in All Japan, when Giant Baba noticed his merit and asked him if he wanted to be a referee, after that he became full time and trained under Joe Higuchi and Kyohei Wada. He left All Japan in 2000 when Mitsuharu Misawa formed Noah, and has stayed ever since.
Go Shiozaki, Kaito Kiyomiya & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
Kongoh filed out first looking militaristic, and Kenoh lurked in the corner for his enemies to come out. Kaito Kiyomiya came out with white feathers floating everywhere from his coat, Go Shiozaki looking still sad (his arms looked better though on the surface with only one elbow support, but he is still heavily taped around the shoulders which became a target for Kongoh), and Shuhei Taniguchi, being Shuhei Taniguchi. Taniguchi is probably the only person who is low on Kenoh's list (although he is probably on it).
Noah built up Kiyomiya vs Kenoh (which as we will see was brief), with Kiyomiya and Kitamiya starting off the match. Kitamiya has suddenly bloomed over the last few months into the powerhouse he was always meant to be, with Shiozaki not quite believing how Kitamiya stood up to him, especially the machine gun chops which he refused to take and the repeated brainbusters which he stood up from. If anything, tonight's MVP was Kitamiya.
Yoshiki Inamura came very very close to pinning Go Shiozaki, and the venue were behind him, but Shiozaki kicked out what can't even be described as the last split second, Inamura came that close to having a very very big win.
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with the Gowan Lariat on Yoshiki Inamura (19 minutes, 44 seconds)
Go Shiozaki spoke on the microphone, and thanked everyone for coming and thanked Nishinaga for his 30 years service to wrestling.
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs Kongoh (Haoh, Nioh & Tadasuke)
While Kongoh with Red Tadasuke might have kept it clean, STINGER did not and while their music was still playing and even before the bell had sounded, Yoshinari Ogawa decided to attack Tadasuke. Tadasuke remained the subject of his focus throughout the match, although it's hard to know exactly what Tadasuke has done recently to Ogawa, but then again it could just be a combination of them both being the leaders of their group and their past history.
Haoh was out to prove himself today, and Kotaro wanted him to do this too. Easier than Ogawa when it comes to title matches, all Kotaro asks is that you prove yourself and you challenge, and he was determined to keep Haoh in the ring, STINGER naturally came in from time to time, but Kongoh had to be kept out. The crowd were very much behind Haoh, who got the win with a combination of speed, luck and sheer desperation.
WINNER: Haoh pinned Kotaro Suzuki (16 minutes, 24 seconds)
Haoh rolled about the ring in almost the same frenzied manner that Kaito Kiyomiya did when he won the GHC Heavyweight, STINGER, however found nothing to celebrate and contested it to the referee. Tadasuke got in the ring clapping, practically in HAYATA'S face. Kotaro cannot say no now (although he probably will) as Haoh addressed him afterwards as he was leaving, basically saying he couldn't deny that he was the next belt challenger.
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba & NOSAWA Rongai) vs The M'S Alliance (Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh & Yuko Miyamoto)
As Kazushi Sakuraba made his entrance (he and Keiji Mutoh made separate entrances to their teammates), Naomichi Marufuji decided to annoy Takashi Sugiura and NOSAWA Rongai, by pointing at NOSAWA and complaining to Sugiura, and even making lunging motions at him. He was making such a nuisance of himself hanging around in the opposite corner, that in the end Sugiura told him to go away.
Kazushi Sakuraba and Keiji Mutoh started the match with Sakuraba mat wrestling him. Unfortunately this kind of looked a little clumsy on Mutoh's part; it might have worked a few years ago, but it just looked awkward. A better point of the match was their exchange later on, when Sakuraba decided to use submission moves with Sugiura and NOSAWA daring Naomichi Marufuji and Yuko Miyamoto to get in the ring.
NOSAWA tried chopping Marufuji, it didn't work. They had a chop war which Marufuji no sold, and ended up knocking NOSAWA down. NOSAWA however had another target in mind, mainly Keiji Mutoh which he did the Shining Wizard on in usual twitchy fashion (and teasing Mutoh about his bad knees in the process), but Mutoh had his revenge and NOSAWA found himself on the receiving end as Marufuji sat imitating him, while sitting on the apron to keep Sugiura out of the ring. The next time Marufuji and Sugiura will meet, will be the N-1 Victory.
WINNER: Keiji Mutoh with the Shining Wizard on NOSAWA Rongai (17 minutes, 54 seconds)
After posing with a sponsors sign (Nihonkai Club which sounds nice as they advertised they serve steak and beer), Keiji Mutoh spoke on the microphone. Hase evidently couldn't stay to address the crowd, so it fell to Mutoh to say that he was happy to be here, and he wanted to do his best to energize those watching pro wrestling.
WITH THANKS TO: Kei, Metal Noah, Asuka, Kosen, Abeshin
GIF'S taken from WRESTLE-UNIVERSE
Noah's next show: Friday 18th September (N-1 Victory opening night)