Pro Wrestling NOAH’s N-1 Victory 2021 begins on Sunday the 12th of September and will run for Six shows with the finals taking place on Sunday the 3rd of October.
Unlike previous years, there will be Four Blocks consisting of Four wrestlers each. The four wrestlers in each block will compete in a round robin tournament format and the the four block winners will face off in a single elimination tournament format.
I am going to write three articles for this year’s N-1 Victory.
The first covered the eleven-year history from the first 9 Global Leagues that took place between 2010 and 2018, as well as the two N-1 Victories in 2019 and 2020.
The second and covered all 16 wrestlers competing in this year’s N-1 Victory and mini write ups on their careers.
This is the third and final article which will cover all the matches, when they take place, how to watch them and my (horrible) predictions.
So let’s get to it!
HOW TO WATCH
There are six shows. Three will be aired live on ABEMA from Korakuen Hall with an audience. The other three shows will be aired live on Wrestle Universe but will take place in a venue with no audience due to the on-going Covid-19 global pandemic.
ABEMA is a Japanese streaming service but you can download the app and then stream it from your phone. They used to have a chromecast link but that appears to no longer be there. Unfortunately, it’s also live only with no replays. But the shows are free if you get to watch them live. And after a week the shows are added to Wrestle Universe.
Wrestle Universe is a paid for subscription service. It’s paid per calendar month but the first month is FREE! So if you join September 1st you get all of September for free and only pay from October 1st. And the cost is cheap. My English debit card, including conversion fees, comes to under £8 a month.
And you get live shows from NOAH, DDT and TJPW. Plus VOD shows. Plus shows from ABEMA are put on Wrestle Universe on a week delay. I know Cyber Fight have not owned NOAH that long meaning a lot of their footage is from early 2020 onwards. But NOAH had a great year last year so it’s well worth watching for the first time or re-watching.
The first night begins on Sunday the 12th of September and airs on ABEMA, meaning it’s Korakuen Hall with an audience. It’s an early one too. Starting at 11:30am in Japan, that’s 3:30am UK, 10:30pm Saturday the 11th East Coast USA and 7:30pm West Coast USA. Remember with ABEMA it’s live only.
Nights two, three and four take place on Saturday the 18th, Sunday the 19th and Monday the 20th and are all on Wrestle Universe so no audience. Each show starts at 8pm in Japan which is 12pm UK, 7am East Coast USA and 4am West Coast USA.
The fifth night takes place on Sunday the 26th of September and is on ABEMA. Back to Korakuen Hall and an audience. It starts at 6pm in Japan so 10am UK, 5am East Coast USA and 2am West Coast USA. Live only and no replays until it’s added to Wrestle Universe a week later.
And the final night takes place on Sunday the 3rd of October and is another ABEMA show, so Korakuen Hall and a live crowd. It’s another early show with a 11:30am Japan time start. 3:30am England, 10:30pm Saturday night East Coast USA and 7:30pm West Coast USA. Once more, live only and with no replays until it’s added to Wrestle Universe a week later.
Not part of the N-1 Victory but worth mentioning is that the winner will get their GHC Heavyweight Title match against Naomichi Marufuji on Sunday the 10th of October at Grand Square 2021 in Osaka. That show is currently ABEMA only but may change closer to the time to include Wrestle Universe and/or a one off purchase on Fite TV. The show starts at 4pm Japan. 8am UK, 5am East Coast USA and 2am West Coast USA.
Sunday 12th September – ABEMA
- D Block: Masa Kitamiya vs Kazuyuki Fujita
- C Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Masato Tanaka
- B Block: Kenoh vs Kendo Kashin
- A Block: Takashi Sugiura vs Keiji Muto
Saturday 18th September – Wrestle Universe
- D Block: Masakatsu Funaki vs Akitoshi Saito
- C Block: Kazushi Sakuraba vs Kotaro Suzuki
- B Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Daiki Inaba
- A Block: Kaito Kiyomiya vs Manabu Soya
Sunday 19th September – Wrestle Universe
- D Block: Kazuyuki Fujita vs Akitoshi Saito
- C Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kotaro Suzuki
- B Block: Kenoh vs Daiki Inaba
- A Block: Keiji Muto vs Manabu Soya
Monday 20th September – Wrestle Universe
- D Block: Masa Kitamiya vs Masakatsu Funaki
- C Block: Masato Tanaka vs Kazushi Sakuraba
- B Block: Masaaki Mochizuki vs Kendo Kashin
- A Block: Kaito Kiyomiya vs Takashi Sugiura
Sunday 26th September – ABEMA
- D Block: Masa Kitamiya vs Akitoshi Saito
- D Block: Masakatsu Funaki vs Kazuyuki Fujita
- C Block: Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kazushi Sakuraba
- C Block: Masato Tanaka vs Kotaro Suzuki
- B Block: Kenoh vs Masaaki Mochizuki
- B Block: Daiki Inaba vs Kendo Kashin
- A Block: Takashi Sugiura vs Manabu Soya
- A Block: Kaito Kiyomiya vs Keiji Muto
Sunday 3rd October – ABEMA
- Block Winner vs Block Winner
- Block Winner vs Block Winner
Sunday 10th October – ABEMA
- GHC Heavyweight Title:
- N-1 Victory 2021 Winner vs Naomichi Marufuji
To me it’s either Kaito Kiyomiya or Keiji Muto. I’m leaning more towards Kiyomiya. I think Sugiura will either beat Muto or they’ll go to a 30 minute draw. Kiyomiya will beat Soya. Muto will beat Soya. Kiyomiya will beat Sugiura. Soya will get a shock victory over Sugiura to set up a future GHC National Title match. And Kiyomiya and Muto will go to a 30 minute draw. Meaning Kiyomiya with two wins and a draw will advance.
Kenoh. It has to be Kenoh. Him against Mochizuki will be the deciding match (unfortunately for Daiki Inaba). So Kenoh over Kashin. Mochizuki over Inaba. Kenoh over Inaba. Mochizuki over Kashin. Inaba over Kashin. Kenoh over Mochizuki. I could also see Inaba beating Kenoh but Kashin would then beat Mochizuki and Inaba if that happened. But I think it’s more likely for Kenoh to take the clean sweep.
Katsuhiko Nakajima will win his block for the second time. It will be close with him and Tanaka but I expect Nakajima will finally get a win over Tanaka. Will he get a clean sweep? I don’t know. I’m hoping he beats Tanaka and Sakuraba. I wouldn’t be opposed to a 30 minute draw between him and Suzuki to honour their history from a decade ago. I can see Suzuki losing to both Tanaka and Sakuraba. And Tanaka beating Sakuraba for the rest of the field.
This has got to be Kitamiya’s Block to win. Yeah it’s going to be difficult with Funaki and Fujita in there. I can’t see him getting a clean sweep. I think Fujita will beat him. But he’ll beat Funaki and Saito. I think Funaki will beat Fujita to avenge that RJPW loss. And Saito will get a shock win or count out draw against either Funaki or Fujita but lose both the other matches.
So I believe Kiyomiya, Kenoh, Nakajima and Kitamiya will advance. It hasn’t been announced which Block winners will face each other in the semi-finals yet.
If I had those four I would do Kenoh vs Nakajima and Kiyomiya vs Kitamiya. So both stable mates against each other for added drama. Also both matches happened in the Block stages last year. Nakajima beat Kenoh and Kitamiya beat Kiyomiya.
I would have those victories reversed. Kenoh over Nakajima. Kiyomiya over Kitamiya.
Yes, Kenoh vs Kiyomiya has happened before. A lot actually. At current count they have had 7 singles matches. Kenoh has won 5 to Kiyomiya’s 2. Three of those matches have been for the GHC Heavyweight Title and Kiyomiya’s two victories occured when he was defending the belt against Kenoh.
But they’ve never faced off during a Global League/N-1 Victory. And I would have their first meeting in this tournament happen during the finals.
With Kiyomiya’s poor record, I’d give him a pity win over Kenoh right? Wrong. He still has Keiji Muto to beat as they went to a 30 minute draw in my predictions.
Kenoh wins a Global League/N-1 Victory for the third time. He goes in to October 10th with fire in his eyes and dethrones Marufuji to win the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the second time.
And then… The Kongo implosion finally happens. We’ve all been waiting for it. It’s been a year since Nakajima joined and we all knew it wasn’t going to last. Inamura and Kitamiya have already left.
So Nakajima turns on Kenoh and he’s kicked out of Kongo. Soya has been teaming with Nakajima so I see him siding with him. Either Tadasuke, Haoh, Nioh and Aleja will move off with Nakajima or splinter into a junior only faction.
January 1st 2022. Nippon Budokan. GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kenoh as champion vs Katsuhiko Nakajima as challenger.
That’s my bold prediction.
But then I was sure Kiyomiya would beat Muto for the belt so what do I know?
I hope you enjoyed reading this.
And I thank you so much whether you read this one part or all three parts of my N-1 Victory preview pieces.
What are YOUR N-1 Victory predictions?