Pro Wrestling NOAH heads to Korakuen Hall tomorrow (Sunday 8th November), in their last big event before the Yokohama Budokan show on the 22nd. The GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship will be on the line, as well as a few preludes to the title matches happening on the 22nd.
This show is airing live and for free on ABEMA TV, starting at 11:30am in Tokyo, which is 02:30am for UK, 09:30pm Saturday night (7th) for East Coast America and 06:30pm for West Coast America. Some good Saturday night viewing for our American friends!
If you can’t watch it live, don’t worry, as ABEMA keep it free to watch for 7 days. After that it moves over to Wrestle Universe which is a paid for subscription service and well worth it for what you get.
Now, onto the show!
Go Shiozaki & Kaito Kiyomiya vs Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kenoh
Two teams made up of champions and challengers. The GHC Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki, defends his belt against Katsuhiko Nakajima on the 22nd; with GHC National Champion Kenoh also defending his belt on the 22nd against Kaito Kiyomiya.
Shiozaki & Kiyomiya have history as a tag team. They won the 2018 Global Tag League and were GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, winning the belts on their first attempt but losing them on their first defense.
Go beat Kaito on the 4th of January 2020 to begin his fourth reign with the GHC Heavyweight Title. Kaito beat Go on the 4th of October to win A Block of the N-1 Victory, but would come up short in the finals against B Block winner, Nakajima. Despite this they have still teamed together if the situation called for it.
I was surprised to discover that Nakajima and Kenoh have teamed together as a tag team but very rarely and never televised. This will be their first time teaming together in such a high profile match.
Kenoh beat Najajima for the GHC National Championship on the 4th of August. After AXIZ (Shiozaki & Nakajima), were unable to reclaim the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team titles, Nakajima attacked Shiozaki but more shockingly joined Kenoh’s faction, Kongoh.
On paper there must be an internal power struggle going on in Kongoh. Kenoh is the founder and leader, but Nakajima has never came across as a follower. Nakajima beat Kenoh in a rematch after he’d became a member of Kongoh on the first night of the N-1 Victory. But while you’d think there must be something going on underneath the surface, so far Nakajima has been a good addition to Kongoh; although he wears a darker red than the others and does not join in on the pose.
This match will set the tone for the individual title matches taking place three weeks after, as neither team will want to go into their defense/challenge with a loss.
GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kotaro Suzuki (c) vs Daisuke Harada
These two have had no direct involvement since Harada made his challenge to Suzuki’s belt. Harada had won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team titles with Atsushi Kotoge from the STINGER team of Yoshinari Ogawa and HAYATA. Suzuki retained his title later in the night against Hao so Harada came out to challenge.
Since then, STINGER has lost a six-man tag team match against the Kongoh juniors, with the finish happening after HAYATA accidentally super kicked Suzuki, which led to Tadasuke rolling him up for the three count. After the match, Suzuki had a heated exchange with HAYATA, getting in his face while Ogawa tried to play peacemaker and drag Suzuki away.
Suzuki, in a rage, elbowed Ogawa in the stomach. HAYATA then attacked Suzuki and Ogawa joined in. The two finished with a double team powerbomb and left the ring, Suzuki now dumped by his former partners.
Kotaro is missing the NOAH show inbetween that event and this meaning this match is his first time back in a NOAH ring now that he is alone.
This is Suzuki’s fourth reign with the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship, with well over 500 combined days as Champion and 14 successful title defenses. His second reign lasted 292 days, remaining his longest to date.
Daisuke Harada is no stranger to the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship. He is a former Three time holder of the belt with 751 combined days as Champion and also 14 successful title defenses with 394 days in his second reign the longest.
When Suzuki left NOAH at the end of 2012, Harada would join the promotion the following year. So while they had tag matches before then they didn’t meet in singles until Suzuki returned to NOAH in 2018. Suzuki beat Harada in the Global Junior League on his way to winning the entire league and then went on to beat Harada for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship a month later.
In their third singles match, Harada finally managed to beat Suzuki and reclaim the belt. Those are their only three singles matches to date with Suzuki leading with two victories.
Harada is riding a wave of momentum after reuniting Momo No Seishun and becoming GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion again. He has never been a double Champion before like Kotoge and Suzuki, so would like that achievement.
For Suzuki, where does he go now if he’s no longer part of STINGER? He was one of their founding members (along with Ogawa). But who is he if no longer GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion?
Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba, NOSAWA Rongai & Kendo Kashin) vs Naomichi Marufuji & FULL THROTTLE (YO-HEY, Hajima Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka)
Sugiura & Sakuraba made their first successful defense of the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team titles over Manabu Soya and Masa Kitamiya of Kongoh. Immediately afterwards, Marufuji came to the ring to put forth a challenge from him and the absent Masakatsu Funaki of M’s Alliance.
And M’s Alliance, made up of Marufuji and freelancers with M in their name like the aforementioned Masakatsu Funaki, Keiji Mutoh, Masaaki Mochizuki & Yuki Miyamoto, are all absent from this show too as Marufuji has to enlist the help of FULL THROTTLE.
FULL THROTTLE doesn’t have much stake in this match, beside the fact that every stable in Pro Wrestling NOAH featuring junior talent are all feuding with each other. So Rongai and Kashin are already their enemies.
Marufuji and Sugiura have a long history together, as opponents, partners and then opponents again. They were GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions together in 2007/08 and 2012/13. But they’ve been opponents for over the past half a dozen years.
Interestingly, Sakuraba has lost every tag match he’s had against Marufuji and a member or members of M’s Alliance. But in this match, it’s Marufuji with FULL THROTTLE. You would expect Sugiura Army to have the advantage as their team has two heavyweights, but FULL THROTTLE have proven themselves to be a strong unit since YO-HEY replaced Kotoge. So this match could go either way.
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs Atsushi Kotoge & Junta Miyawaki
STINGER is now down to two, with only Ogawa & HAYATA remaining after turning on Kotaro Suzuki. The former GHC Junior Heavyweight Champions have a rematch against the team that beat them on November 22nd.
With Harada busy challenging Kotaro Suzuki later in the night, Kotoge teams up with Junta to face the challenging team. Kotoge was a member of STINGER originally and left them to form FULL THROTTLE before he was kicked out.
Miyawaki returned from injury and became a partner and ally to Momo No Seishun against all their adversaries. It’s a partnership that is yet to benefit Junta, as he hasn’t won a single match since he’s been back. And with Ogawa & HAYATA set to challenge next, that losing streak looks set to continue.
Kongoh (Manabu Soya & Masa Kitamiya) vs Daiki Inaba & Yoshiki Inamura
Two former Wrestle-1 Champions finally collide in NOAH as Soya faces Inaba.
Inamura, who unexpectedly left Kongoh with no betrayal or attacking (which is surprising in itself) faces two of his former stable mates for the first time.
Despite them both being in Wrestle-1 together for the better part of six years and both being former 2-time Wrestle-1 Champions, Soya and Inaba have never had a singles match against each other. They actually teamed together in 2018 so seeing them against each other is a rarity. I would like to see Pro Wrestling NOAH do more with both of them in the future.
Yoshiki Inamura looks to be a good prospect for NOAH and the future. He debuted in 2018 and began his Seven Match Trial series in his first six months, as well as being one of the original members of Kongoh in his first year.
His first entry into the N-1 Victory went the way you would expect – completely winless. He felt he had learned all he could as a member of Kongoh as a result, and decided to leave; which Kenoh may have respected if Inamura didn’t decide to go under Kiyomiya’s wing to learn from him.
If the Kongoh heavyweights are on orders from their leader to dish out damage, then Inamura better learn, and learn fast.
Shuhei Taniguchi, Muhammad Yone & Seiya Morohashi vs Kongoh (Tadasuke, Hao & Nio)
This match bears no meaning on November 22nd, as so far only Taniguchi has a match, facing the legendary Keiji Mutoh. And on paper you’d think his team would have this victory in the bag as, it’s a trio with two heavyweights against three juniors.
But so far, the Kongoh juniors have been an effective unit and have even beaten heavyweights in a regular tag match. This could be a match with no implications which ends up being a lot of fun.
Kinya Okada vs Yasutaka Yone
A rematch from October 28th where Yone made his wrestling debut. As is customary in Japan, Yone lost his debut. And he will most likely lose for quite some time.
But Yone showed promise. He will be a new addition to NOAH’s junior heavyweight ranks. The rookie cites Kotaro Suzuki as his inspiration to become a wrestler and specifically join the NOAH roster, choosing to wear blue instead of the usual black ring attire to pay tribute to him.
Okada got his first ever singles victory over Yone in their match late last month. He debuted only a few months after Yoshiki Inamura, but Inamura was firmly established as his superior. Recently, Okada was able to take Inamura to a draw and now has a person he should be guaranteed to win against.
So we get to see the progression of the pair of them unfold over the next few months and years.
Pro Wrestling NOAH has had a very strong 2020 with some great in ring action and stories moving along logically and satisfactorily.
After which it will move over to Wrestle Universe, which costs under £8 per month and is FREE for the first calendar month you join.
The service holds the majority of NOAH’s 2020 and an extensive amount of DDT and it’s back catalogue, including live access to their biggest show of the year, Ultimate Party, which took place on November 3rd.
You can sign up to Wrestle Universe here.