Global Tag League
Rene Dupre made his NOAH in ring debut, teaming with El Hijo De Dr Wagner Junior to take on Kongoh (Kenoh and Masa Kitamiya). While Kenoh is a heavyweight wrestler, he is not one of the bigger ones, and so was at the mercy of the more thickset Dupre and El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jnr. Dupre in particular threw him around the ring, and time and time again, Masa Kitamiya had to come to his rescue. In the end Dupre picked up the win via piledriver on Masa Kitamiya. After their first win, The Sugiura Army international vowed that this new team of Canada and Mexico would be like a whirlwind in NOAH.
In Match 2 “Muscle Toughness” (Daisuke Sekimoto and Yoshiki Inamura) took on The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura & Hideki “Shrek” Sekine). This match was as it sounds both on paper and in reality, four large guys screaming and slamming into each other while they did it. Nothing overly technical occured in this match, it was full of punches, elbows, chops and kicks, the impact of which was amplified in the empty venue. The match ended with Takashi Sugiura landing the Olympic Slam on Masa Kitamiya. It had not been a good night for Kongoh.
Muscle Toughness returned the next day on April 10th to take on The Anti Wrestlers Alliance, and they were ready for them, and the way they like to ensure victory, when Daisuke Sekimoto slammed Masao Inoue and took the pin, with Yoshiki Inamura keeping Akitoshi Saito out so he could not get the save. Match took only 3 minutes and 19 seconds. Backstage Inamura commented that he might not have Sekimoto’s muscle, but he did have momentum, and that would see him through.
In a big match, and one that was more suitable to Kenoh, Kongoh took on Kenoh’s paranoid android enemy, Naomichi Marufuji (i.e. MochiMaru).
The moment the bell went Kongoh attacked, but Mochimaru had done their research and come up with a plan to keep him down and keep him dazed; work on his legs so he can’t kick, and work on his head so he is dazed. Mochizuki felled Kenoh with a headshot (which the referee had to check on), and Marufuji and Mochizuki tagged in and out working on his head and his legs successively. Marufuji also kept Kitamiya out of the ring.
Kenoh turned the tide when Marufuji went to do the Kawada Kicks on him, which is a move that for some particular reason enrages Kenoh, and he never sells it. He wasn’t going to do it then, and he wasn’t going to do it now, and he managed to get the upper hand.
Naomichi Marufuji fought against Masa Kitamiya, and later wondered just who this guy was? Kitamiya refused to go down, not being cowed by chops, or the audible crack when Marufuji hit him in the face with a hook kick, he breathed heavily and snorted.
The end came down to Kenoh and Mochizuki, their partners doing their best to keep each other out of and away from the ring. A Kick war broke out inside between them, as outside you could hear Marufuji and Kitamiya chopping each other.
Then Kenoh really caught Mochizuki with a kick around the head making a noise that sounded brutal an an empty arena, Mochizuki dropped to the floor, the referee ran to check, and the match ended in a TKO with Kenoh holding his fist up victorious, which was something he used to do after defending the GHC Heavyweight title in 2018.
Due to the ongoing pandemic venues in Japan have announced that they are closing for the duration, this has put a strain on several promotions who were hoping to hold empty arena shows. NOAH will be holding their 18th April (Global Tag League final) & 19th April show at Korakuen Hall. At the time of writing they have not announced any cancellations.
“Endless Love Vol.2”
Katsuhiko Nakajima and Go Shiozaki held the second in their videos to promote the new AXIZ Photobook “Silver” which will be released next week via the official NOAH shop, (please note they do not ship internationally, so you will need to arrange shipping via White Rabbit or another source).
Prior to the video going live on the official NOAH YouTube channel, Katsuhiko Nakajima held a live Instagram session of the photoshoot. I will write up Vol.2 in due course (Vol.1 can be found here), but for now, here is a recap of the Instalive event.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
- Naomichi Marufuji and Masaaki Mochizuki are aiming for Tokyo Sports “Best Tag Team” award
Tadasuke filmed another drunk Instagram live video in which he got very very wasted. Naomichi Marufuji tried to do a talk with him, but all he could get out of Tadasuke was singing. He then decided not to encourage him. Nakajima wondered what Daisuke Harada was going to do about all of this. YO-HEY commented that Tadasuke had nice pearly white teeth, and said he wished he had thought of doing an Instagram video. The video ended with Tadasuke (and Sho Totoro he used to put in front of the screen when he vanished), walking off, pausing it, and not coming back. He probably passed out drunk. Not to be put off, Tadasuke has promised another one. Probably on Monday.
- NOAH filmed their two new trainees doing 500 squats in just over ten minutes, one of the trainees kept going and went well over the 500 mark. A former NOAH trainee remembered how when he was doing them he was told by his seniors (Naomichi Marufuji, Takashi Sugiura & Mohammed Yone) to either do it quicker, or go home. However, he was told by Go Shiozaki and Kotaro Suzuki not to worry and to do it to his own pace.
- Katsuhiko Nakajima and Go Shiozaki started off “Endless Love Vol.2” by staring at the camera and not moving for about ten minutes; Shiozaki fidgeted as he doesn’t find sitting easy, but Nakajima didn’t move a muscle. However, it was Nakajima who ended it by a jump scare.
- Hitoshi Kumano’s send off has been postponed until NOAH are back to doing live events, they want him to have the proper send off.
- Naomichi Marufuji and Kinya Okada appeared in the music video for Teen’s Heaven “Little Hero In Your Heart”
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
- GHC Junior Champion: Yoshinari Ogawa
Challenger: Kotaro Suzuki
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: MochiMaru (Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: RATELS (HAYATA & YO-HEY)
- GHC National Champion: Takashi Sugiura
Challenger: Katsuhiko Nakajima
- IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Daisuke Harada
April 18th at Korakuen Hall (Global Tag League finale) will be an empty arena, but will be broadcast live on DDT Universe and Samurai.