Noah returned from a long summer break (filled with drunken RATELS barbecues, Masao Inoue wilting in the heat and looking "sad and middle aged" according to Tokyo Sports, Atsushi Kotoge and Katsuhiko Nakajima heading to the countryside and Kaito Kiyomiya doing promotional work), held their interim show before the N-1 VICTORY begins, today to a sold out crowd.
A long queue formed of Noah's Ark Fanclub members to have their pictures taken with HAYATA, and another long queue formed for people to have their merchandise signed by Go Shiozaki. Shiozaki looked a lot more at ease meeting people than HAYATA, who was very nervous, and kept doing his nervous habit of brushing his hair out of his face.
Although not appearing on the card, Alex Hammerstone and Dr Wagner Jnr (who arrived in Noah yesterday) were seen to be watching the event from the back.
Hitoshi Kumano vs Sonico
Sonico made his first appearance in Noah today. I don't think the crowd really knew what to expect, and he was a lot bigger than they expected (and he didn't have his serpents tongue).
Hitoshi Kumano also appears to have blue hair...
WINNER: Hitoshi Kumano with the Argentine Backbreaker (9 minutes, 25 seconds)
Fifty Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) vs The Return of The Dark Agents (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
Masao Inoue's fight started before the bell even rang. In fact it started the moment he got into the ring.
He got into a fight with his t-shirt.
Then there was a test of strength with Quiet Storm....
WINNER: Quiet Storm with the Funky Buster Bomb on Masao Inoue (10 minutes, 8 seconds)
Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka vs The Sugiura Army (Hajime Ohara & Kinya Okada)
Hajime Ohara entered with the Sugiura Army "Yip-Yip Company Dog" towel. Throughout the match he was seen to be giving advice to the rookie Okada, and as for the entry of Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka, it has been noted that their theme music has changed a bit.
WINNER: Hi69 with the arm cross on Kinya Okada (10 minutes, 50 seconds)
After the match Tanaka and Hi69 made championship belt motions.
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki, Atsushi Kotoge & Chris Ridgeway) vs RATELS (HAYATA, Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & YO-HEY)
"It's just the beginning"
Atsushi Kotoge introduced new ringwear today, and in keeping with the more somber style of STINGER (Chris Ridgeway says that the name must be written all in caps), he was dressed in dark clothes with just a little hint of pink.
The match was said to be a very fast paced one, so much so that fans said pictures were near impossible to take. The action got going when the bell was still vibrating after being rung, both teams not wasting a moment to lay into each other...and crazy Tadasuke also made an appearance.
The moment the bell rang with its chimes still in the air, Kotoge attacked Harada.
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the Killswitch on Daisuke Harada (14 minutes, 21 seconds)
After the match, Atsushi Kotoge said in the interview that people were "tired of watching the camaraderie of RATELS".
Kaito Kiyomiya & Junta Miyawaki vs THE TOUGH\KONGOH (Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
"Noah's new scenery in green and orange"
Kaito Kiyomiya and Junta Miyawaki teamed up to take on fellow Noah born Yoshiki Inamura, who was with THE TOUGH partner, Masa Kitamiya.
Miyawaki used a lot of judo techniques, and at one point he and Kiyomiya used a double submission on Kitamiya.
WINNER: Masa Kitamiya with the Saito Suplex on Junta Miyawaki (14 minutes, 32 seconds)
After the match Masa Kitamiya spoke on the microphone to say that he would win the N-1.
Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura & Go Shiozaki vs Katsuhiko Nakajima, Shuhei Taniguchi & Kenoh
N-1 VICTORY A block vs B block
The atmosphere was said to be really special, and like the start of dramatic play with, "all the actors in place". Probably a somewhat foul mouthed play, as Kenoh apparently started swearing at Marufuji, and Marufuji just laughed at him. Kenoh did not appreciate the audience cheering for Marufuji either.
Happily enough, it also looked like the event was being filmed for Noah's YouTube channel...
Kenoh declared on Twitter that EVERYONE in this match was an enemy, and it seemed that AXIZ were the only civil participants as they shook hands before the match (and everyone came out to their own theme music, which did not set the mood of a team on either side). The handshake, however, didn't stop Shiozaki (who is taped again) from giving Nakajima the machine gun chops though (the record incidentally belongs to Kenta Kobashi, who once gave someone something like 200). The resulting red rash on Nakajima's chest stretched from his neck to his mid chest. Shiozaki later complained to the ref when Nakajima did his choke on the ropes when grinning to Marufuji.
Nakajima later posted about being chopped, "Painful! Painful! Painful!"
And it was apparently, very blonde.
Kenoh and Nakajima once teamed up for one night (and one night only) as a team, and they were named by fans "Kick Tag", and tonight they were back together again, kicking the forty-nine year old Takashi Sugiura between them.
WINNER: Shuhei Taniguchi with the Wyvern Catch on Takashi Sugiura (24 minutes 2 seconds)
Yes. You read that right.
Noah's resident porn loving Terminator, tapped out.
Taniguchi made a typically short promo on the microphone after the match, by simply saying that he would win the N-1 (and then thanking everyone for coming today).
Takashi Sugiura said later, "so you got an unexpected win...wait until the N-1 final".
NOAH'S NEXT EVENT: Sunday 18th August 2018, Opening night of N-1 VICTORY, Nagoya
ATTENDANCE: 294 people (full house)
WITH THANKS TO: Maki, Atsuka, Hae, MK Bomber, Naoki, iwasborn, Kei, Lily, Shikazu, PICTURE CREDIT: Katsuhiko Nakajima, PKDX, Noah GHC, Naomichi Marufuji