NOAH have two big shows coming up at Korakuen Hall. Departure day 2 will be headlined by a title match. Go Shiozaki will defend his GHC Heavyweight Championship against Naomichi Marufuji in what could one of the best matches of the year. There are some other good matches on the card so let’s take a look at them.
Departure day 2 will air live on G+. Bell time is 18:30 JST (2:30 PDT, 5:30 EDT, 10:30 BST).
Note: This preview was written before Departure day 1 took place.
Katsuhiko Nakajima, Mohammed Yone, Kinya Okada
Akitoshi Saito, Masao Inoue, Seiya Morohashi
A trio’s match to open the show.
On one side we have some veterans. We have Saito and Inoue. Who are the veteran team in NOAH. While not in their prime they are known to get some big victory’s. They have beat AXIZ in the last two Global Tag Leagues. Morohashi is a steady hand for NOAH. He fills in when people need a tag partner. More known for his backstage stuff. He is often seen helping at ringside at NOAH shows.
The opposite side we have three wrestlers in different stages of their career. Yone is the veteran of the team who hasn’t done much since his 50 Funky Power teammate left NOAH. Okada is the rookie with the bright future. He has been putting in some promising performances and his impressed people. Nakajima is in the prime of his career. He is the current GHC National Champion (this was written before Departure day 1) and one of the best wrestlers in the world.
This should be an alright match. I expect the team of Yone, Nakajima and Okada to pick up the win here.
Kaito Kiyomiya, Daiki Inaba, Shuhei Taniguchi
FULL THROTTLE (Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara, Seiki Yoshioka)
Kiyomiya and his two tag partners get to team as a trio for the first time. When it was announced that Inaba and Kiyomiya were announced as a team many wondered what that meant for Taniguchi his old tag team partner. It seems from this match and the NOAH alignment chart that these 3 will be a trio moving forward.
It will be interesting to see if they can coexist. What role will Taniguchi play with in the group? What till be the group name be? Will Inaba and Kiyomiya aim for the tag team titles? All will hopefully be revealed over the next couple of weeks/ months.
FULL THROTTLE on the other hand are no longer going for the teething pain of a group in its infancy. The leader has been decided (Kotoge is now the leader). Depending on what the result of their match against the former ratels was they could be coming into this match with momentum on their side.
There should be some good interactions in this match. We have the two former WRESTLE1 in Inaba and Yoshioka. Taniguchi and Ohara had some good interactions the last time they faced. Kotoge and Kiyomiya should be good too. It was almost a GHC Heavyweight title match last year but Kotoge lost the #1 contenders match.
In the end, I think the heavyweight will come out on top. FULL THROTTLE, however, will put in a very good performance.
Stinger (HAYATA, Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa)
Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY
Another trios match in the seemingly never-ending rivalry between Stinger and the former Ratels.
Stinger did come out on top when the former Ratels challenged for all the junior gold. Suzuki pinned YO-HEY to retain the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship While Ogawa and HAYATA retaining over Tadasuke and Harada with HAYATA pinning Harada setting up a match for Harada’s IPW Junior Heavyweight Championship. If he were to win Stinger would have all the junior championships in NOAH.
This will serve as a preview to that match.
We have seen this match a whole bunch of times and I can’t think of anything major to add to this match.
What I will say is that I hope after the August 10th show NOAH move past this rivalry. IMO I am not interested in this at all. The match will be good as the other ones have been. FULL THROTTLE for me is the most entertaining part of the juniors right now. Kongoh’s juniors are great. So I hope that those 5 guys get put into the title scene soon.NOAH’s junior division is arguably the best in the world yet we have had this rivalry for so long. So I hope that this is the last time we see this match for a while.
Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura, Kaz Hayashi, Kendo Kashin, Kazushi Sakuraba, NOSAWA Rongai, Hideki Suzuki)
Kongoh (Kenoh, Masa Kitamiya, Hao, Nio, Manabu Soya, Yoshiki Inamura)
A big 6 v 6 match for the semi-main event.
Kongoh takes on the Sugiura Army.
These two factions last clashed in a 5 vs 5 at NOAH Stay Together day 1 with the Sugiura Army winning that match.
Now a 6 v 6 both factions bring a man in. Kongoh brings in one of the strongest men in Kongoh and NOAH the rookie Yoshiki Inamura. The Sugiura Army bring back a familiar face. They bring back Hideki Suzuki one of the world’s most premier technical wrestlers. Some people believe he is the best technical wrestler in the world and it’s hard to disagree. This will be Suzuki’s first appearance in NOAH since April 2020.
Kongoh certainly has the advantage in terms of Strength and speed with their juniors being faster than the Sugiura army juniors. The Sugiura army has the advantage in technical ability and experience.
This should be a good match. Kashin will try to get in Sugiura’s good books as Sugiura isn’t too sure of him. Soya, Inamura and Kitamiya will showcase their strength against the smaller opponents here. The juniors will get a chance to showcase their speed and abilities here. Kenoh and Suzuki will renew their rivalry that was building before COVID. If Kenoh is the National Champion at this point, then maybe Suzuki could be his first defence.
Depending on the result of the national title match this match could go either way. If Kenoh is the new champion, I expect Kongoh to win. If not, I say the Sugiura army will win even though I think Kongoh need it more. Maybe Sugiura will have had enough of NOSAWA and his recruit and snap. Who knows but there could be a lot of cool elements to this match.
GHC Heavyweight Championship Match.
Go Shiozaki (C)
Here we go to the main event and it’s a massive one.
The first-ever time the GHC Heavyweight title has been on the line in a match and that is crazy.
This will be the 11th meeting between the two. The record stands at 8 wins to Marufuji, 2 wins to Shiozaki. Shiozaki is currently on a 2 match unbeaten streak against Marufuji.
Marufuji earned this match by pinning Shiozaki in a tag match. He took offence to Shiozaki proclaiming he is NOAH. Marufuji says to Shiozaki that he is the real NOAH. Marufuji has been in NOAH since the start. He has been a part of the highs and lows. He has been there through it all, unlike Shiozaki who left NOAH in 2013 to join All Japan. Marufuji’s body isn’t what it used to be with injuries taking its toll. Will the Genius of the Ark be able to mastermind a win here and become a 4x GHC Heavyweight Champion? This will be Marufuji’s first singles match for NOAH in 2020.
Shiozaki right now is probably the Ace of NOAH. After winning the GHC Heavyweight Championship in January he has been putting on great performances and is in the running for Wrestler of the Year. For the longest time, Shiozaki could not beat Marufuji. It was only last year that he beat him for the first time. With the record 8-2 will there be doubt in Shiozaki’s mind only time will tell. This will be Shiozaki’s 4th singles match this year. the previous 3 have all been GHC Heavyweight championship matches. His record stands at 3 wins, 0 losses.
This really could be a match of the year contender. These two will chop each other till their chests are beetroot. We may see call-backs and tribute spots to their mentors Misawa (Marufuji’s mentor) and Kobashi (Shiozaki’s mentor). This match should be excellent both men trying to prove they are NOAH. Only time will tell who is the real NOAH.
With a great looking main event and a solid undercard – maybe not as good as departure day 1 but still decent enough. This could be a great show. The main event is one of my most anticipated matches of the year. Honestly I wouldn’t miss this show. It could be a great starting point for newer fans as that main event can really be a hook into NOAH.
NOAH Departure day 2 airs live on G+ on the 5th of August