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Tadasuke vs Kinya Okada
Just like Maiko, trainee wrestlers in Japan go through a period called "Minari" when they watch their elders. What this means in their case is that they are at ringside not just as seconds to bring in ice packs and scrape their seniors off the floor, but to observe what happens in the ring, and learn from it, and today this certainly paid off for Kinya Okada. Okada knew enough from watching Tadasuke to know that under no circumstances should you shake hands with him, so he refused, and Tadasuke flicked water at him.
Okada had good momentum, and refused to give up until the last moment when he could no longer fight back, but he was facing a veteran who used veteran tricks (going to punch, watching Okada duck, then doing another move), and one who has the strength of a heavyweight, although he did catch crazy Tadasuke (and his peroxide hair which needs to be redone) in mid craziness. However, Tadasuke is the veteran and Tadasuke got the win.
WINNER: Tadasuke with the Swanton Bomb (6 minutes, 46 seconds)
Shuhei Taniguchi, Mohammed Yone & Daisuke Harada vs Masa Kitamiya, Yoshiki Inamura & Nio
The match pitched us straight into Daisuke Harada vs Nio, which then came Daisuke Harada vs Yoshiki Inamura. Harada was no match for Inamura's size and weight, and it looked as if you could probably pile four Harada's into Noah's tank. Nio and Harada, despite being on opposing teams, really took it from the heavyweights, especially when Taniguchi got in the ring and started mowing everyone down.
Winner: Mohammed Yone with the Kinnmeat Buster on Nio (13 minutes, 16 seconds)
The Suguiura Army (Kazushi Sakuraba, Rene Dupree & NOSAWA Rongai) vs Kongoh (Kenoh, Manabu Soya & Hao)
The Sugiura Army came out in dog t-shirts (NOSAWA wore the t-shirt with his own doggo on it), Rene Dupre came out with the tag belt.
There was an immediate attack as soon as the bell went, with The Sugiura Army attacking Kongoh, but it was Hao who NOSAWA attacked, not Kenoh. However, Kenoh got his revenge when Kongoh stamped him down.
Kenoh and Sakuraba (I get the feeling that they love this) faced off in a kind of part 2, using their martial arts backgrounds. However, it is not Sakuraba vs Kenoh that the fans want to see, they want to see Sakuraba vs Ogawa. During the match, Sakuraba got to do the top rope dive that he didn't get to do during the elimination match.
Manabu Soya (who I keep thinking is Takeshi Rikio) and Rene Dupree got into a heavyweight hoss fight, trading chops when they couldn't knock each other down, and in between all this was the usual heavyweight hoss fight screaming match. During this, NOSAWA tried to help Dupree, and got taken out swiftly.
Hao, being the smallest, got it the worst from the opposition; launched across the ring by Dupree, then tied up in a knot by Sakuraba, who had earlier crunched him in the ribs with MMA style knee shots. There was a momentary respite thanks to Kenoh, but Sakuraba returned to torture him and he tapped.
Winner: Kazushi Sakuraba with the Omoplatter on Hao (11 minutes, 33 seconds)
Kenoh had a complete tantrum against the Sugiura Army afterwards, they all marched towards him threateningly, and he stormed off and let them celebrate.
Afterwards, NOSAWA announced that the Sugiura Army were having a personnel change and were dismissing Hideki Suzuki, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Dick Togo and Kazushi Sakuraba. No one can get hold of Fujita to tell him his cheque is in the mail.
Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki vs The Sugiura Army Juniors (Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka)
This match has been said to have been created in order for Naomichi Marufuji to assess Yoshioka, and he started the match by squaring up to him. Yoshioka was raring to go, but much to his disappointment it would have to wait, with Mochizuki starting the match. Marufuji I think probably wanted to watch and assess first, but Mochizuki and Yoshioka did work well together, and Mochizuki is kind of like a heavyweight Yoshioka.
When it did come to Yoshioka and Marufuji, there was a lot of speed from Yoshioka, especially when he ducked his kicks and struck back with his own, but it was Marufuji who won with the Perfect Key Lock.
WINNER: Naomichi Marufuji with the Perfect Key Lock on Seiki Yoshioka (13 minutes, 21 seconds)
Afterwards, Marufuji grabbed Yoshioka's hair and grinned. This ain't over.
On social media Marufuji said that his kicks were sharp and the match was fun, BUT, Noah was Sony not SHARP, which means that there is room for improvements and for him to learn the Noah style.
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Atsushi Kotoge
Rare singles match between Kaito Kiyomiya and one of the people who trained him. Kiyomiya no sold the now cruiserweight Kotoge, with a slap war breaking out which Kiyomiya won, as Kotoge no longer has that heavyweight strength. However, despite all of Kiyomiya's former glories, the fact remains that Kotoge is still the veteran and so he was able to hold his own to some extent (although I'm not sure with the manic mannerisms seemingly come back, and the reddish pink purple hair, who he thought he was talking to during his turnbuckle choke as there was no one in the arena). There was some concern for Kotoge during the match as he seemed to be limping, but he was okay.
Kaito Kiyomiya won with rare submission move, this is new for him as he doesn't use the stretch plum lock often anyway, and today's move was called the "Indian Death Lock Feather". Kiyomiya did say that with a lot of time on his hands, he did have a lot of time to think.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Indian Death Lock Feather (14 minutes, 1 seconds)
GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship Match
RATELS (HAYATA & YO-HEY) vs STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & Kotaro Suzuki)
Maybe we should have known that something was going to happen in this match, especially if we cast our minds back to January when Yoshinari Ogawa took the GHC Junior from HAYATA, and they shook hands. Added to that today, Ogawa had his thoughtful face on...
All started as normal, HAYATA against Suzuki, YO-HEY against Ogawa (with no crazy lock up from YO-HEY, although I don't think YO-HEY would dare), and the usual torture by STINGER using the ring post. Fast tags between the two of them, which you don't see YO-HEY & HAYATA do, and because the two teams know each other so well, STINGER were able to wriggle out so to speak.
Then HAYATA turned on YO-HEY, kicking him to break up the pin.
YO-HEY turned around like he couldn't believe it.
The sad thing was that when he betrayed RATELS for STINGER, he had hesitated before kicking HAYATA in the face. HAYATA had had no such qualms. During this moment of fans looking on stunned, Harada and Tadasuke storming the ring, and YO-HEY mentally dividing up mutual property, Ogawa decided to kick the ref, so the match went no contest.
RESULT: No contest
With YO-HEY in shock, Harada fighting STINGER, it was Tadasuke who was the most angry as he attacked HAYATA. HAYATA afterwards unusually spoke on the microphone, but only to return the tag belt which he left in the ring ("Belt...give up"). As HAYATA left with STINGER, Tadasuke took the microphone up and shrieked that he and YO-HEY would challenge Ogawa and HAYATA for the belts and asking HAYATA why he had done this and to "explain everything".
The title match has been set for the 10th May 2020. Tadasuke had a huge tantrum as they left the ring, slamming each of the iron guardrails.
Backstage when their heads were calmer, YO-HEY said he would never forgive HAYATA and that they were now divorced (he called him "Wife" one last time and himself "Husband"), Daisuke Harada has sworn vengeance, and dissolved RATELS by taking his shirt off and laying it on the floor. Tadasuke says RATELS are four people, not three.
GHC National Championship Match
Takashi Sugiura vs Katsuhiko Nakajima
Katsuhiko Nakajima came out with the usual smirk, and started winding Sugiura up right from the start. Nakajima got his comeuppance after "The Shutter Chance" when Sugiura took out Nakajima's biggest and main weapons, his legs, attacking his knee and wrapping them round the steel barrier and working on his knee throughout the match, Nakajima sold this well, limping and often smacking it to try and get the feeling back into it.
Stiff match as was expected, and although Nakajima's cockiness caught up with him at times, it did not cost him the match as it has done in the past. This is something Nakajima seems to have realised now, but in any case he and Sugiura know each other very well due to past title matches and Sugiura watching Nakajima grow up partially in Noah.
As part of his taking Nakajima down, Sugiura locked in the dreaded ankle lock twice, with Nakajima managing to make it to the ropes the first time. The second time, Sugi dragged him back so Nakajima had to resort to punches until he let him go, despite Sugiura tightening the hold. Nakajima even grabbed hold of the ref at one point.
The end came in sequence; Nakajima with a massive kick on Sugiura when he went for the Olympic slam, and I mean massive, Sugiura crumpled to the mat. When he revived he was groggy, so Nakajima followed this up with further stiff kicks and the terrible soccer ball kicks which echoed around the arena.
Not enough for the pin, Sugi kicked out and went for the neck choke when Nakajima went for the Vertical Spike. Nakajima locked it in, but Sugi still kicked out.
Second ankle lock, followed by a slap war. Nakajima got the upper hand, and with a big Cheshire Cat grin hit the Vertical Spike with a long hang time.
Winner: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike (28 minutes, 58 seconds)
With thanks to: Metal Noah, Abeshin
Picture credit: PKDX, Hao