The show started before the fans even arrived at the venue, and both inside, outside and in terms of atmosphere, it was like stepping back into Noah's "Golden Era".
As well as the billboards with the main event on it, Noah also erected "Gatcha machines" (these are like those random toy machines you get for a few pennies in arcades), which spat out little figurines of the roster. Noah also filmed a confident looking Naomichi Marufuji (in his red and black jacket, with red and black hair to match) and a nervous looking Kaito Kiyomiya, arriving at the venue.
The usual banners were on display, but it had been noted that the old logo had been removed from the tour bus. Although the show was not sold out with some empty seats seen, there were said to be more people than usual at the venue today.
Noah introduced their new colors of black and white, the ring is a simple white canvas with the logo in the middle (a soft white light shines down from above) with a black apron. The iron fences were white tipped, and the runway was also white, as was the outside mats. In another change, an announcement was also made in English for the visiting fans.
Only two minutes in, the produce was said to be amazing as the screen (positioned over the entryway and flanked by green pillars, five in total) lit up and played a video of Misawa to "Spartan-X".
The roster, (including Atsushi Kotoge in a cape and looking somehow more insane than usual, and Kenoh who was scowling), came out to stand on the sides, while the GHC champion, Kaito Kiyomiya and Naomichi Marufuji, came to stand in the ring. A bright white light shone on them. There were no speeches made, it was all purely symbolic.
It wasn't announced at the show, but very sadly Wally Yamaguchi (who worked for Noah for a period of time), passed away today. Expect Noah to do a memorial at the next show.
Kenoh, Hajime Ohara, Hitoshi Kumano & Kinya Okada vs Hi69, YO-HEY, Seiya Morohashi & Junta Miyawaki.
A dense match, with a fist bump between Kenoh and Ohara (just like the old days when they were both junior heavyweights and teamed in a tag known as "Kenohara").
Kenoh was the first winner in the new ring, but this meant very little to him evidently, as rather than stay with the others to celebrate, he left immediately after the pin and stamped to the back.
WINNER: Kenoh with diving footstamp on Junta Miyawaki (5 minutes and 45 seconds)
7 match series
Yoshiki Inamura vs Maybach Taniguchi
Taniguchi came to the ring in the usual leather jacket and holding the Sasumata.
Inamura worked hard, but ultimately, he could not overcome.
WINNER: Maybach Taniguchi with the Zwei Bomb (4 minutes and 5 seconds)
Akitoshi Saito, Shiro Koshinaka & Masao Inoue vs 50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) & Mitsuya Nagai.
Mitsuya Nagai came out wearing flashing disco Yone type glasses.
This would not be the only time in the evening when Nagai found himself doing something insane (or with someone insane, but more on that later). However, Nagai's euphoria did not last, as he became angry about losing and yelled at 50 Funky Powers "Why didn't you come and help me?"
WINNER: Shiro Koshinaka with the diving hip attack on Mitsuya Nagai (7 minutes and 18 seconds)
Takashi Sugiura vs KAZMA SAKAMOTO
Takashi Sugiura came out to a smoke machine, which made him look even more like an endoskeleton emerging from the SKYNET produce line.
KAZMA had said that he would be bringing friends, and so he turned up with NOSAWA Rongai.
NOSAWA, however, didn't get involved in the match and took a chair and watched.
It was a solid match, and at the end KAZMA and Sugiura shook hands.
Winner: Takashi Sugiura via chokehold and ref stoppage (8 minutes and 1 second)
Noah had announced on Friday the 8th that they would be making an "important announcement" at the event. This had let loose a flurry of speculation ranging from KENTA announcing his return, to KENTA physically returning, to someone retiring, to a freelancer signing. It was actually none of those things.
There were actually three announcements made.
The first one was Mitsuya Nagai coming down to the ring (minus the funky glasses, but he was soon to replace them with something else), and said that he wanted a partner who would, shake things up to speak for Global Tag League. He also told a woman in the crowd to, "shut up you old bag".
Then, the battle damaged Revolutionary Hero, Atsushi Kotoge appeared (carrying a Paisley patterned shawl) .
Kotoge announced that he would be returning to the ring in April, he would team with Nagai.
Nagai looked at first like he couldn't quite believe it, and put up his hands as if to say "No...not you..no".
Then Kotoge babbled something about doing it for the justice of Noah.
Nagai capitulated, and Kotoge put the paisley shawl on him.
One fan said, "Surely, this isn't the "important news"
Noah then made a more serious announcement, that they will run the following shows:
16th September - Osaka Prefecture First Gymnasium (aka Osaka First Arena)
2nd November - Sumo Hall
This is an incredibly huge step for Noah.
Finally, Kenta Kobashi came out and made a speech to the crowd, asking everyone to support Noah, and along with both the new and the old fans, we can build a new Noah.
He will also be doing special guest commentary for G+ when they broadcast the 17th April show on April 20th and show on the 28th May Korakuen Hall, which will go out live.
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TITLE CHALLENGE
Yoshinari Ogawa & Kotaro Suzuki vs Tadasuke & HAYATA.
YO-HEY came out to second Ogawa & Suzuki. Tadasuke and HAYATA did not wait for the bell to sound before they attacked, and HAYATA'S leg was attacked straight away by Suzuki.
For a man of his age (52) Ogawa kept pace with the much younger guys in the match. Age has not dimmed Ogawa's capacity for an inner scanner, which somehow knows where to attack on a person. He took one of HAYATA'S shoes off, and applied a submission.
It is well known that HAYATA has a low pain threshold and doesn't do well with submission moves (although he has done hardcore wrestling), and he tapped.
WINNER: Yoshinari Ogawa with the foot lock on HAYATA (11 minutes and 36 seconds)
GHC JUNIOR HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH
Daisuke Harada vs Minoru Tanaka.
"This match should be amazing"
Minoru Tanaka debuted new ring wear, and a new move (I am not sure quite what this was), in an incredibly amazing match. The crowd were on their feet screaming, and their stamping echoing throughout the arena
With this win, Minoru Tanaka has now held the junior belts in All Japan, New Japan and Noah.
WINNER: Minoru Tanaka with the fireball splash (21 minutes and 36 seconds)
GHC Heavyweight tag title match
AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima) VS Eddie Edwards and Masa Kitamiya.
"This is hell"
At the start of the match, Nakajima menaced Kitamiya by getting in his face.
Kenta Kobashi was on commentary.
There was a huge Shiozaki vs Edwards chopfest, where Shiozaki managed to rip through Edward's t-shirt, and then Nakajima got in the ring and kicked Edwards as he bounced back from Nakajima kicking him.
Later in the match, Masa Saito put Nakajima in the prison lock.
Eddie Edwards also did a Frankensteiner to Go Shiozaki...of the ramp.
WINNER: Katsuhiko Nakajima with the Vertical Spike on Masa Kitamiya (21 minutes)
After the match, Go Shiozaki went to shake hands with Kenta Kobashi, who was at ringside doing commentary.
GHC Heavyweight title.
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Naomichi Marufuji
Noah's Future vs Noah's Symbol
Kaito Kiyomiya debuted a new (and first) robe, it was an odd mixture of Mitsuharu Misawa, Tiger Mask Misawa, a yeti, a chicken and a Final Fantasy character.
Despite his saying that he would, Kenoh did not come out to second either Marufuji or Kiyomiya.
Fans were actually quite scared of this Marufuji, as he looked cold and was sadistic to Kiyomiya, but Kiyomiya hung on in there. Now that he's getting older (and I think has finally realized he has to change his style), Marufuji is using new submission techniques.
The match was off from the moment the bell rang.
WINNER: Kaito Kiyomiya with the Tiger Suplex Hold (32 minutes and 28 seconds)
After the match, Kiyomiya called out Kenoh.
Kenoh (who should have been coming out to "March of The Empire") came stamping out and got in the ring.
Kiyomiya told him that the new Noah needs him.
Kenoh, less than gracious, said he doesn't appreciate being called out by an "asshole boy", but he understood what he meant.
However, Kiyomiya wasn't offering him a title match, he asked him to team with him at Global Tag League, win the titles, and together they would create a new Noah (this will pit them against AXIZ)
Kenoh accepted and told the crowd, "WE are going to take you assholes where you want to go, Sumo Hall is good, but where do you really want to go?"
The crowd replied, "The Budokan".
Kenoh left the ring as Kiyomiya thanked the fans for coming, and green ribbons fell from the ceiling with the words "Mitsuharu Misawa-san, you will forever be in our hearts as we set out on a new voyage" on them.
After the ribbons had fallen and the fans left, the arena faded to black with a green spotlight shining on the ring.
Misawa might have left us in 2009, but his presence was felt not only in Noah, but it seemed in other parts of Puro as well, with #Tiger-Driver 91 hashtag trending, thanks to both Kaito Kiyomiya, Noah's new show, and Kota Ibushi using it.
With thanks to: Metal Noah, Abeshin, iwasborn, Maybachmetapoko, Maki, Shishido, T.Ogawa, Yuichi, Tack, Kei, Shinya, Hamahamarin, Asakusadragon, Pikume, Fujiwara Armbar