What a show Grand Square in Osaka was! Katsuhiko Nakajima beat Naomichi Marufuji to become the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, the second time he’s held that belt. Los Perros del Mal de Japon’s Eita & NOSAWA Rongai dethroned Atsushi Kotoge & Hajima Ohara to become the new GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, while HAYATA retained his GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship over Daisuke Harada. Masaaki Mochizuki also stepped up to challenge Takashi Sugiura for the GHC National Championship.
On Friday October 15th, Pro Wrestling NOAH presents Night 1 of Go On To The Demolition Stage (I have no idea who names these shows!)
NOAH are putting on two Demolition Stage shows: the first will be in Fukuoka (Nakajima’s home town) on October 30th. The second is in Yokohama on November 13th.
So there are 3 Go On To The Demolition Stage shows (and a Sanctuary show) before Fukuoka and 2 Go On To The Demolition Stage shows before Yokohama.
The best part is that every single one of those shows, all eight of them, will be airing live through Wrestle Universe. And, because if you sign up now, you will get October, November and December all for FREE and only pay from January 1st 2022.
Now, back to Friday October 15th. The show starts at 6pm in Japan. That’s 10am UK time, 5am East Coast USA and 2am West Coast USA. The show takes place at Yokohama Radiant Hall, which used to be hard camera only, but at the last show there they did have a ringside camera too.
It’s a five match card, with three of those matches a hangover from Grand Square. None of the matches are really going to affect the Demolition Stage big shows but that doesn’t mean that this show won’t have any value in watching.
We’ve got a long awaited singles match between one of NOAH’s longest standing roster members and head trainer in the NOAH dojo, Yoshinari Ogawa, taking on his very first ever pupil and the inaugural NOAH dojo graduate, Kotaro Suzuki. This match has been building since October 2020 and it may not even end here.
And in the main event, we have an eight-man tag team elimination match between Los Perros del Mal de Japon and Momo No Seishun and friends. Eita & NOSAWA Rongai beat Atsushi Kotoge & Hajima Ohara to win the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles in just over 4 minutes. So, either Los Perros del Mal de Japon will be pushing their dominance even further, or Momo No Seishun and friends will be gaining a small measure of revenge?
As I mentioned, this show is only five matches, so let’s get right into it!
MAIN EVENT – Eight Man Tag Team Elimination Match – Los Perros del Mal de Japon (Eita, NOSAWA Rongai, Ikuto Hidaka & YO-HEY) vs Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada & Atsushi Kotoge), Hajima Ohara & Junta Miyawaki
Momo No Seishun and friends all suffered defeats at Grand Square. Miyawaki lost in a tag match earlier in the card, Kotoge & Ohara lost the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team belts to Eita & NOSAWA Rongai in just over 4 minutes; and Harada failed to beat HAYATA for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship.
On the flip side, Los Perros del Mal de Japon had a great night. Hidaka may have been absent, but YO-HEY with Suzuki beat Yoshinari Ogawa & Yuya Susumu. And then we had the aforementioned title victory for Eita & NOSAWA Rongai.
This match is definitely going to last over 4 minutes. The last time NOAH put on an eight-man tag team elimination match, it was between Heavyweights before the N-1 Victory and lasted almost 55 minutes!
I doubt it will last that long however. NOAH produced a four team Eight Man Tag Team Elimination tournament in July, in which this same Momo No Seishun and friends team reached the finals (a slightly different Los Perros del Mal de Japon lost in the first round) but lost to the Kongo juniors after almost 30 minutes.
So, you have the direct confrontation between Eita/NOSAWA and Kotoge/Ohara. But YO-HEY has history with Harada and Ohara. YO-HEY was a member of RATEL’S with Harada but after HAYATA left, the bonds were severed and YO-HEY would eventually turn on Harada.
Ironically, YO-HEY would then slot into FULL THROTTLE with Ohara but in May this year, after Yoshioka turned on his team mates, YO-HEY chose to walk away from Ohara and joined Los Perros del Mal de Japon.
With the short GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title match, I was disappointed we didn’t get much in the way of technical wrestling between Eita and Ohara. And speaking of technical wrestling, Hidaka against Harada and Ohara should be fantastic.
And NOSAWA Rongai is the next challenger for HAYATA’s GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship on Saturday October 30th. Not the Title match I expected to see next but after he won the Tag belts, HAYATA nominated him for his next defense. This is NOSAWA’s chance to show that he is a credible threat to the belt.
Since Los Perros del Mal de Japon was formed in June, they’ve clashed with Momo No Seishun and friends a total of six times in tags and trios. So far Los Perros have been dominant as they have won five of them. They really do have their number, and Eita has yet to be pinned or submitted in a NOAH ring.
After the month of September belonged to the heavyweights and the N-1 Victory, it’s nice to see the juniors getting another spotlight show and this will be a worthy main event.
Yoshinari Ogawa vs Kotaro Suzuki
It was just under a year ago that these two entered into a blood feud. But their history goes back much further than that. Kotaro Suzuki would not be here if not for Ogawa. Suzuki was the very first ever NOAH dojo graduate in December 2001 and Ogawa was one of the head trainers even back then.
He and Mitsuharu Misawa are credited as Suzuki’s trainers, according to cagematch.net. And Suzuki found a place for himself in WAVE with Misawa, Ogawa, Daisuke Ikeda, Takuma Sano & Naomichi Marufuji.
Now remember back at the end of 2001 into 2002, Ogawa was a heavyweight. He was number two in the stable, he’d held the All Japan World Junior Heavyweight Championship at the same time as the AJPW All Asia and World Tag Team Titles and had already been GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, all with Misawa.
The very first time Ogawa ever teamed up with Suzuki was on the 4th of April 2002. Just three days before he scored the upset of a lifetime and rolled Akiyama up within 4 and a half minutes to become the new GHC Heavyweight Champion. It’s been a while since Ogawa was in the heavyweight scene. He and Misawa lost the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Title’s in January 2005 and he has not challenged for that belt since. He’s not challenged for the GHC Heavyweight Title since November 2003.
They didn’t have their first singles match against each other until August 2005. That match was untelevised, and Ogawa won in under 20 minutes. That was their one and only singles match before Suzuki left NOAH at the end of 2012. Before he left, Ogawa and Suzuki were mainly team mates, before and after Misawa’s passing.
After Suzuki returned to NOAH in late 2018, Ogawa welcomed him back and they slot straight into teaming together again. They won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title’s in February 2019, won the Global Junior Tag League in June while defending champions and STINGER was formed in August.
They lost the belts in November, but Ogawa was able to claim the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship in January 2020, the one GHC belt he had never held in his career. Ogawa would hold that belt for a few months but his team mate, his former student, Suzuki, issued a challenge for that belt.
And he didn’t just ask for it. He demanded it by attacking Ogawa. Suzuki said after the attack that he couldn’t just simply ask for the match. In order to be taking seriously by his mentor he had to make a statement by attacking him.
It worked because Suzuki got his wish, we got the second ever singles match between the two, the first for almost 15 years, and Kotaro Suzuki won the GHC Junior Heavyweight Title for the fourth time after beating Ogawa after over 25 minutes in April 2020. That match was aired live on Wrestle Universe so you can watch it now.
With the Title belt resolved, they were able to reconcile and STINGER was unaffected. But due to Chris Ridgeway being unable to travel to Japan from England on account of the pandemic (and we hope he’s back in Japan soon!), STINGER was a man down. They were just Ogawa, Suzuki and Atsushi Kotoge.
So a plan was put in place, which saw HAYATA betray RATEL’S during a GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title match against Ogawa & Suzuki. HAYATA attacked his partner YO-HEY and joined STINGER, which caused a no contest and the belts to be vacated. HAYATA would join, however how it happened didn’t sit right with Kotoge and he would leave STINGER.
The very next day Ogawa and new partner HAYATA would win the vacant tag belts and begin an almost dominant reign. STINGER would exist as a trio that held all the junior gold in NOAH for several months but things turned when Ogawa & HAYATA lost the tag belts in October to Kotoge & Harada.
During an inconsequential trios match against Kongoh, an errant superkick from HAYATA to Suzuki enabled Tadasuke to pin him. Tempers flared and Suzuki accosted HAYATA post match, Ogawa tried to intervene but was struck by Suzuki. From there, HAYATA and Ogawa both attacked Suzuki and kicked him out of STINGER.
That was October 28th. Ogawa and Suzuki have been feuding consistently for the past year. And there have been twists and turns as Suzuki brought in what turned out to be Yuya Susumu, who betrayed him to join STINGER. And that saw Suzuki join NOSAWA Rongai’s group that would eventually become Los Perros del Mal de Japon.
January 4th saw a mystery show where matches would only be announced as the wrestlers made their entrance. Ogawa vs Suzuki happened for a third time in the semi-main event.
It was a short match and it was more of a brawl than a wrestling match with Ogawa being backed up by HAYATA & Susumu and Suzuki having NOSAWA and a masked mystery wrestler in his corner. All the seconds got involved and Ogawa won via DQ after just over 7 minutes when NOSAWA and the masked man stormed the ring.
The masked man was left alone post match and was unmasked by STINGER to reveal his identity as Ikuto Hidaka. Suzuki & Hidaka challenged Ogawa & HAYATA for the tag belts at Nippon Budokan but came up short.
Whenever Ogawa and Suzuki share the ring they are naturally drawn to face each other. And we’ve had that for the past several months.
There are no title’s on the line here. This is just a personal vendetta between two men who have almost 20 years of history against each other. Probably more, in fact, as Suzuki would have definitely joined the NOAH dojo more than two months before his debut.
STINGER (HAYATA, Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu) vs Kongo (Tadasuke, Haoh & Aleja)
HAYATA and Tadasuke have history. Yoshioka and Aleja have history of their own. And this is a rematch from a match that has happened TWICE before on August 5th and 6th this year.
The Kongo team got the win on August 5th. The rematch on August 6th wasn’t originally intended but was a result of YO-HEY testing positive for Covid-19 after the show on the 5th so the card for the 6th was reshuffled and a rematch was made. STINGER made the best of this opportunity to get their revenge and this time they beat Kongo.
So the exact teams are tied at one victory apiece. HAYATA and Tadasuke spent year’s teaming together as part of RATEL’S. Aleja graduated from the Wrestle-1 dojo under his real name of Kohei Fujimura and by that time Yoshioka had been well established on the Wrestle-1 roster.
The next challenger for HAYATA’s GHC Junior Heavyweight Title has already been confirmed as NOSAWA Rongai on October 30th but that doesn’t mean that any of Tadasuke, Haoh & Aleja won’t want to directly beat him in order to get a future title shot.
And Yoshioka & Susumu aren’t that far removed from holding the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title’s, where they actually beat Tadasuke & Aleja. So the Kongo juniors will want retribution for that.
For STINGER this will just be about showing their strength as a unit, for HAYATA as Champion and for them as a trio. All three have known each other for some time and they all have a shared history in Wrestle Gate.
The two August matches only went just over 13 minutes each so this may follow a similar pattern. Or, because it’s a smaller show with the focus on the junior heavyweights, they could easily go 20.
Kaito Kiyomiya vs Nioh
Kiyomiya and Daiki Inaba are the only heavyweights on this show. Both are in singles matches against juniors, but the experience gap is reversed in each match.
Kaito debuted in December 2015, while Nioh debuted in November 2000. So quite the considerable difference. Kiyomiya is a NOAH born through and through, but Nioh has seen and done a little bit of everything. Puerto Rico very early in his career. Michinoku Pro. All Japan. KAIENTAI-DOJO. Big Japan. And that’s all within six years, the extent of Kiyomiya’s experience so far.
Whether you knew him as HIROKI or Hi69, he’d made a name for himself on the independents before he finally joined NOAH in late 2016. And bare in mind Kiyomiya had only debuted just the year before.
Kiyomiya lost to Hi69 twice in December 2016 and January 2017. That January match happened in the very same venue this will take place in – Yokohama Radiant Hall.
Kaito would go on international excursion so by the time he returned in early 2018 he was no longer the young boy that Hi69 had faced, and he was officially a heavyweight. So the two facing each other was rare and never in a singles match.
By the time Hi69 joined Kongo and renamed himself as Nioh in late 2019, Kiyomiya was the GHC Heavyweight Champion and he’d held that belt for over a year. So the two were now worlds apart as Kiyomiya had become the Supernova and Nioh was a former GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion who couldn’t win the singles belt.
So this is a very rare singles match between the two. Yeah, Kiyomiya is going to win, but he’s had very good matches against Ogawa, Ohara, Hidaka, Tadasuke and Harada over the past year where the juniors were able to look competitive against the former GHC Heavyweight Champion.
Daiki Inaba vs Yasutaka Yano
In the previous match, it was the junior heavyweight that outranked the heavyweight in experience. In this match, Daiki Inaba has over 7 years on Yano, who is still under a year into his career but fast approaching his one year anniversary.
Outside of NOAH The Home, the no crowd shows from NOAH’s dojo that air live on YouTube, Yano has rarely faced heavyweights in singles matches. It does seem like Yano will forever remain a junior heavyweight on account of his size and stature, but he has the potential to carve his own path in the NOAH juniors and be the face of that division for years to come.
Daiki Inaba has already been a face of an entire promotion. He made his (Japanese) debut on Wrestle-1’s first ever show, worked his way from the very bottom to the top, from opening matches to main events, and he is a former two time Wrestle-1 Champion.
He arrived in NOAH with a little bit of noise behind him, as he challenged Kiyomiya on his first night. But he is yet to achieve the success he had in Wrestle-1 in a NOAH ring.
Just last week he was in the opening match with former Wrestle-1 alumni Kai Fujimura against Kinya Okada and his opponent this evening, Yasutaka Yano. Inaba was the veteran for everyone else in the match combined when it came to in-ring experience, but no one looked out of place in that match.
That is one thing I’ve noticed about Inaba over this past year and a bit since his debut. When it’s his time to shine, he’ll take it with both hands and stand out. But when the focus is not on him, he’s almost in the background and just a supporting character. Which is great for others, but means Inaba can be an after thought.
Truthfully I wish this was Inaba vs Kinya Okada. But I don’t begrudge Yano getting this showcase match.
And that’s the card.
This show will likely be outshined by the Sunday October 17th show that has direct fallout from Grand Square, including an incredible looking main event of Nakajima & Mochizuki vs Tanaka & Sugiura.
But it could absolutely be worth watching after the fact instead of waking up early/staying up late for America. A 10am start time in England is great news for me on the other hand.
Thank you so much for reading this and I hope you enjoy the show!
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