But why attack him, he was asked? Suzuki said that when you made a title challenge you had to be serious; and Ogawa, who was serious, would not understand it otherwise.
Ogawa understood all too well what was going on. Refusing to talk about Harada; he wanted to close the RATELS chapter and concentrate on Kotaro. STINGER were finished.
No date as been set yet for the title challenge.
Go Shiozaki vs Kazuyuki Fujita
The Sugiura Army (minus KAZMA SAKAMOTO) turned out in force to support Kazuyuki Fujita, but maybe they and Katsuhiko Nakajima (seconding Shiozaki); should have set up seats in the audience. Fujita had made the prior comment that having no audience was a great opportunity to do something that you couldn’t do normally.
This match was going to do that, and in a way that is very un-NOAH; but would somehow end by being very NOAH.
Everything appeared normal at the start, the bell rang, and Shiozaki and Fujita stood in the ring and faced each other. This went on for half an hour; and the only action during this time was Fujita moving slowly around the ring and Shiozaki never breaking eye contact. The silence was deafening.
Go Shiozaki (typical stubborn NOAH born); wasn’t the one who cracked first, that was Fujita who bought Shiozaki down to the canvas and then mat wrestled him. After this, the match went through the arena, out of the doors and into the exhibition hall (empty of fans); and to the elevators which Fujita started frantically pressing the buttons on (never realising that one of the doors had opened). The fight went back through the arena; and then up into the rafters, were Fujita tried to throw Shiozaki off of the balcony.
Shiozaki made his way back to the ring with his Kobashi face on, and the match then started to be more NOAH as it approached it’s final moments with Shiozaki taking down the toughest opponent he had ever had; with the Gowan Lariat after 57 minutes, 47 seconds.
Shiozaki closed out the show with a short speech thanking everyone for tuning in and saying in English “I am NOAH”.
GLOBAL TAG LEAGUE
Sadly due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, NOAH have announced they have had to cancel the Global Tag League dates. However, in a recent interview NOAH’s executive officer, Akihiro Takeda said that in the current climate holding shows without a live audience was increasingly more of an option; and hinted that he was looking for a smaller space than Korakuen for upcoming events. One thing was for certain, an empty Korakuen was a one off.
Global Tag League has not been the last thing to be cancelled; Katsuhiko Nakajima has had to cancel his birthday fan event, and Kaito Kiyomiya a TV appearance. Fingers crossed that NOAH will get to hold their big event in mid April live.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
- Yoshiki Inamura defeated the fellow generation wrestler, Akira Hyogo, via splash mountain in the last round of Big Japan’s Strong Climb, and finished with four points and a grand total of two wins and two losses.
- Atsushi Kotoge has taken to filming video messages…while jogging.
- Kenoh’s column “Come At Me You Bastards”, will now be a weekly thing.
- NOAH fans have started to put wrestlers into “Animal Crossing” (Kenoh has gone fishing).
- The buzz surrounding Go Shiozaki vs Kazuyuki Fujita made its way into Irish newspaper, the Irish Examiner, when a picture appeared in “The diary of a sports fan in time of Corona”
- The next AXIZ photobook, “Silver“, will be released on the 18th April.
- Renee Dupre made his NOAH debut filing out with The Sugiura Army for Kazuyuki Fujita vs Go Shiozaki.
- Referee Shu Nishinaga will be the next guest on Satoko’s Room on 7th April.
- Hideki “Shrek” Sekine, the newest member of The Sugiura Army, is a dog lover too, and has two.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
- GHC Junior Champion: Yoshinari Ogawa
Challenger: Kotaro Suzuki
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: MochiMaru (Naomichi Marufuji & Masaaki Mochizuki)
R.E.D (Takashi Yoshida and Diamante) (8th April)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: RATELS (HAYATA & YO-HEY)
- GHC National Champion: Takashi Sugiura
Challenger: Katsuhiko Nakajima
- IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion: Daisuke Harada
G+ will broadcast NOAH’s April 18th event on 25th April
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
- Wednesday 1st April: Go Shiozaki will be the special guest on Battlemen
- Thursday 2nd April: Naomichi Marufuji in DDT’S “Road to Peter Pan 2020”
- Saturday 4th April: Masao Inoue’s debut anniversary (1991)
Global Tag League was due to start in Osaka on the 4th and 5th April; at the time of writing there has been no update.
Post match promos ~ NOAH The Spirit 2020 (Fujisan Messe, 22nd March 2020)
Marufuji turns a minus into a plus with the resolution of wrestling
Sugiura & Sekine: National Tag League
Harada “RATELS” generation change of junior championship
Go Shiozaki “Energize Japan with my chop”
Fujita to Shiozaki, “I will make it short and sweet”
“Unprecedented Tension. This is a fight to protect NOAH”..Go Shiozaki defeats Kazuyuki Fujita in empty arena in 30 minute visual battle
Wrestlers felt prepared but puzzled at Korakuen Hall Empty Arena
“This is the first and last” NOAH’s empty arena match trends sixth place at sacred place at Korakuen
“We have no choice but to create a new business visually. I have no choice but to think of this as a chance…” Pro Wrestling NOAH searches for a new business model due to successive cancellations
With thanks to: Mike McGrath-Bryan
Gif credit: Samurai TV