Noah have also instituted a kind of "No touch" policy, and while this means that there can be no slapping of hands, handshakes, belt touching, gift giving or streamers or Fan club pictures, it also meant that the autograph session with Go Shiozaki had to be conducted behind a barrier, with the fans lining up, handing the item to a member of staff, who would hand it to Shiozaki and then hand it back again.
Despite all of this, Noah were glad to be back, and the fans were glad to have them back. The show itself might have only attracted 206 people, but given the circumstances and the fact that Noah are holding it outside of Tokyo, is a good number. The hall itself was hung with banners, and the notorious low ceiling in Maebashi bought some comedy to the show when the taller members of the roster (Yoshiki Inamura, Kaito Kiyomiya) couldn't stand up straight on the top turnbuckle. For the fans watching at home, Noah had a special surprise as unannounced they streamed three matches live through Periscope, the links are included below, although I don't know for how long Noah will keep them up for.
Tokyo Gurentai (NOSAWA Rongai & MAZADA) Vs Kongoh (Haoh & Nioh)
It was 5'4 and 70kg Haoh who was the star of the opening match, who took down 5'6 87kg MAZADA today. Although on paper the weight and height difference doesn't sound much, in this case it does when you saw it. Haoh knows that if he cannot rely on size, then he can rely on speed and this is something he took out both Tokyo Gurentai with.
WINNER: Haoh with the Tornado Clutch on NOSAWA Rongai (10 minutes, 28 seconds)
Naomichi Marufuji was photographed sitting cross legged watching the match, with Masa Kitamiya watching nearby half hidden by a screen.
Tadasuke & Mohammed Yone vs The Anti Wrestlers Alliance (Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue)
Usual torment of Masao Inoue at the hands of Mohammed Yone. Crazy Tadasuke returned and flew off the top rope at Inoue. Tadasuke later posted that it was good to be back wrestling.
WINNER: Mohammed Yone with the Kiniku Meat Buster on Masao Inoue (12 minutes, 11 seconds)
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Kinya Okada
Watch this match here (Periscope)
Kinya Okada put up a good fight and lasted longer than expected against someone, who although much younger, is his senior and is a former GHC Heavyweight champion. Although the outcome was going to be obvious, this was in no way a squash match, although Kiyomiya did no sell some of his punches. Okada managed to dominate some parts of the match, and was seen to throw a couple of kicks at Kiyomiya. He also came very close to winning, but fell to Kiyomiya after two Tiger Suplexes after Kiyomiya decided it was too close, and he had had enough.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex (9 minutes, 49 seconds)
Kenoh in bright yellow t-shirt seen watching, as was Takashi Sugiura (not in the same place though). Kenoh has this habit of standing with his hands in his pockets, while SDF soldier Sugiura, has them behind his back.
The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Hajime Ohara) vs Naomichi Marufuji & Minoru Tanaka
Watch this here (Periscope)
Originally there was to be no pre-match between Takashi Sugiura and Minoru Tanaka, but since shows were cancelled and the title match had to be rearranged, we have been given some. It has to be said this is a very rare championship match and pre-match.
The match was very focused on Sugiura vs Tanaka (who has a heavily taped shoulder), with Ohara and Naomichi Marufuji (in new silver chrome and black ringwear) as bit players in the drama. Sugiura battered Tanaka, at one point knocking him halfway across the ring, which was usually followed by his hitching up his pants and looking irritated. Tanaka truly learned what an enraged Sugiura is, especially after he knocked him off the apron, the fight went outside the ring and Sugi was seen standing with his foot on Tanaka's neck. It should also be noted that this fight was between two men who are in their late 40s, but can move like athletes a decade younger than them, and Tanaka is doing somersaults.
Tanaka also seems to have found Sugiura's Achilles Heel as he came very close to making him tap with an arm submission, which Sugiura was saved from by Ohara. Sugiura, however, then relied on his knees as Tanaka went to work on his arm.
The juniors put up a spirited fight against the heavyweights, with Ohara getting mauled by Marufuji at points in the match, and it ended with a junior pin, not a junior pinning a heavyweight, or the challenger pinning the champion, but with Minoru Tanaka defeating Hajime Ohara.
WINNER: Minoru Tanaka with the Heat Clutch on Hajime Ohara (16 minutes, 48 seconds)
After the match Sugiura stood outside the ring with the belt, while Tanaka, who was inside of it, glared at each other. Sugiura pointed to the belt in the "you want this" motion that is worldwide, and Tanaka pointing to it and making belt wearing motions. Tanaka showed his frustration on the way out when he kicked the barrier. It's unusual for Tanaka to do this as he doesn't really throw tantrums.
Backstage Tanaka said he didn't care about the weight difference, and took a shot at those who did by saying "I don't write articles with the assumption that I will lose".
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Kotoge) vs RATELS (Daisuke Harada, HAYATA & YO-HEY)
HAYATA is still taped, and like sharks to blood, STINGER were immediately attracted to it and as they had said, they worked on it until the match went to a referee stop with YO-HEY & Daisuke Harada kept outside of the ring.
WINNER: Kotaro Suzuki following elbow to the body on HAYATA (referee stop, 18 minutes, 51 seconds)
Backstage YO-HEY said that he was going to make STINGER pay for what they did to his "important precious Wife".
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima) & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya & Yoshiki Inamura)
Watch the match here (Periscope)
Go Shiozaki came to the ring wearing his green, and the match started with Katsuhiko Nakajima kicking Masa Kitamiya around. He then decided he had had enough when Kitamiya tagged in Yoshiki Inamura (who has had a big couple of days, having won his first major singles match against Ryuichi Kawakami in Big Japan's Strong Climb tournament), and so he flash tagged in Taniguchi. To be honest, there isn't much of a size difference between Inamura and Taniguchi, and they had a knock down competition. Whilst he might have won a singles league match, Inamura is still the most junior man in the ring, and that means that he not only got the machine gun chops from Shiozaki, he was also the one who had to take the "Endless love" kick\chop combo. However, Inamura was not totally defenseless against them, he took them both out at one point, and he sent Shiozaki flying halfway across the ring with the GEKITOTZ (his charge and throw, which he has named after something in a manga he reads), and that is when Shiozaki started to realise something that would gain more momentum as the match went on, Yoshiki Inamura is becoming a threat to him.
Kenoh was his usual acidic self, yelling into the crowd for booing him, knocking Shiozaki about with those annoying small kicks to the head, and standing with his arms stretched out in his "come on" gesture.
Kongoh beat down on the GHC Heavyweight champion, but were halted in their tracks by Taniguchi, who threw them around the ring and on top of each other. Nakajima also took the chance to humiliate them further, by doing his Shutter Chance" on Kitamiya, and when the ref told him to quit it, Nakajima stuck in his boots for good measure. He even looked at the camera and made the "click click motion".
WINNER: Go Shiozaki with Gowan Lariat on Yoshiki Inamura (19 minutes, 18 seconds)
Shiozaki stood with his arms outstretched, and held up the belt before he spoke, thanking everyone for coming out today under less than ideal circumstances. Then Nakajima got the camera and started filming, Shiozaki managed to keep it together without giggling too much as he spoke.
The show was closed out with AXIZ doing the famous lean.
PICTURE CREDIT: Noah GHC
GIF CREDIT: Noah GHC
WITH THANKS TO: Kei, Maki-MK2,
NOAH'S NEXT SHOW: March 22nd, Fujisan Messe