"The Noah I wanted to see has come back"
(Fan comment on Twitter)
Due to the sad death of Vader the day before, Noah paid their tribute to him as one half of their first ever GHC Heavyweight Tag champions (with 2ColdScorpio in 2001), with a ten bell salute. The roster (only about three are left in Noah who could remember him) stood around the ring while Marufuji held a picture of Vader as the bell sounded. He commented that Vader had set the standard for Gaijin wrestlers.
The Chinese wrestlers from "Eastern Heroes" were also in Osaka today.
Hajime Ohara vs Junta Miyawaki
More of a training session than a match, and with no cloaks in sight this time, it took Hajime Ohara eight minutes to get Junta Miyawaki to tap out to the Muy Bien.
WINNER: Hajime Ohara (Muy Bien, 9 mins & 23 seconds)
Fatal Three Way: Maybach Taniguchi vs Masao Inoue vs Cody Hall
Naturally, it didn't take the team of Maybachi Taniguchi & Cody Hall to defeat poor old bumbling Masao Inoue; afterwards they shared a fist bump, but it appeared tentative, and I wouldn't be surprised at some dissent between them in the future.
WINNER: Maybach Taniguchi (and Cody) with the Maybach Bomb Zwei (9 mins & 23 seconds)
RATELS vs Hi69, Minoru Tanaka, Yoshinari Ogawa & Hitoshi Kumano
YO-HEY vowed that RATELS, all whom have ties with Osaka in some form, will bring strength to the city.
There was some concern that HAYATA had picked up an injury during the match, when following a moonsault he seemed to have injured his knee. However, HAYATA has a tendency to twist his knee on landing, so not too much should be read into it, or the fact that he was tortured in Aizuwakamatsu (and has a low pain tolerance threshold when it comes to submission moves) by Minoru Tanaka and Yoshinari Ogawa. Tadasuke had his turn to be tortured today, leaving Hi69 to make the comment later, "HAYATA's knee, Tadasuke's arm, and the next is YO-HEY. Global Junior Tag League has begun".
Hi69 has changed his ring attire a little. Still clinging a bit to the old days in XX with Taijii Ishimori (who he was somewhat dependent on), he has kept the mask and the trunks, but has finally parted with the t-shirt.
At the end of the match, there was a RATELS vs Hi69 et al stand off.
WINNER: Hitoshi Kumano with the Argentine Backbreaker on YO-HEY (20 minutes and 48 seconds)
50 Funky Powers vs Atsushi Kotoge and Kaito Kiyomiya
Atsushi Kotoge once again tried to get Kaito Kiyomiya to take the Revolutionary Cloak.
Kiyomiya once again refused (very politely)
Kotoge tried again, by bowing in front of him and holding the cloak up.
Kiyomiya still refused, and looked embarrassed.
During the match Mohammed Yone hit the disco fever pose, now normally this enrages people in Noah (even Quiet Storm whose expression was the funniest during a one on one match), so Kotoge pulled the "Revolutionary Fist" pose.
Disco vs Revolution.
This happened about twice.
WINNER: Atsushi Kotoge with the Kid Clutch on Quiet Storm (15 minutes and 9 seconds)
Akitoshi Saito vs Masa Kitamiya
At Noah's last show in Aizuwakamatsu on the 19th, Masa Kitamiya challened Akitoshi Saito to a singles match.
Akitoshi Saito has come into his own and shown the same intensity he did when he was part of the Hesei Ishingun stable in the 1990s with Shiro Koshinaka. This was a fight with an intensity that Saito had not shown for a long time, shouting that he was showing the terrifying side of Akitoshi Saito and that he was not afraid to show it.
After the brutal match, Akitoshi Saito challenged for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship (although he didn't say who he his partner would be, but to hazard a guess it will probably be Marufuji), he spoke of his struggles and how he never gave up, not even when battling his own trauma over what happened to Misawa, he worked the opening matches and now is ready to rise again.
WINNER: Akitoshi Saito with the Deathbrand (15 minutes, 20 seconds)
Takashi Sugiura, Naomichi Marufuji & Masato Tanaka vs Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Go Shoiozaki
Kenoh's team came to the ring to Kenoh's music (which says a lot about his status), although it is thought that he is merely tolerating the others in the "Super New Generation Army". Intense crowd reaction for what was said to be an insane match. He said today was going to be "particularly sweet" as he was facing Sugiura, Marufuji and Tanaka, and he started off things by slapping Sugiura.
After the match, Kenoh got on the microphone and basically asked Tanaka where he had been, and it had been a long time since he was in a Noah ring.
WINNER: Masato Tanaka with the Sliding D on Go Shiozaki (20 minutes and two seconds)
There was said to be a good atmosphere at todays show, and despite the venue being only half full with 425 people, it was thought that there had been more people than last time. Akitoshi Saito thanked the people of Osaka for coming out today in such circumstances (there had been an earthquake earlier in the week with aftershocks occurring for about four days afterwards).