We have one more show before NOAH The Glory on Thursday April 29th in Nagoya. Before then, Pro Wrestling NOAH have one final stop, in Yokohoma Radiant Hall on Saturday the 24th.
This show is airing live on Wrestle Universe. Wrestle Universe is a monthly subscription service and, like other Japanese subscription services, it is based on calendar months. So no matter when you join in the first month, the second month will always begin on the 1st.
However the first calendar month is FREE. So, you can get this show and NOAH The Glory for free! Plus a back catalogue of over a year’s worth of Pro Wrestling NOAH shows and a lot of DDT & TJPW.
The show starts at 5:30pm in Japan. That’s 9:30am GMT, 4:30am EST & 1:30am PST.
Like the past Yokohama Radiant Hall live show, this will likely be hard camera only. With Keiji Mutoh and Kazuyuki Fujita both only reserved for NOAH’s “big” shows and Korakuen Halls, neither are on this card; meaning that the GHC Heavyweight and National Titles have both had their one and done preview matches before April 29th.
STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA) vs NOSAWA Rongai & Ikuto Hidaka for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles is the only April 29th match that will have two preview matches on this show before the title match takes place. So, with seven matches on the card, let’s get into it!
MAIN EVENT – Naomichi Marufuji & FULL THROTTLE (Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY) vs Kaito Kiyomiya & Momo No Seishun (Daisuke Harada & Atsushi Kotoge)
Marufuji & FULL THROTTLE have a loose alliance. The Pro Wrestling NOAH vice-president seems to enjoy reliving his junior heavyweight days with the energetic and chaotic FULL THROTTLE.
Kiyomiya and Momo No Seishun have a looser alliance, but have teamed whenever they faced a Kongo team.
FULL THROTTLE and Momo No Seishun do have their history against each other. YO-HEY betrayed Harada. Ohara and Yoshioka kicked Kotoge out of FULL THROTTLE and replaced him with YO-HEY. Harada successfully defended the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship against Ohara but lost it to Yoshioka. And then Yoshioka lost the belt to Kotoge.
So, like always when it comes to NOAH’s junior division, there is drama. Yoshioka watched intently as Kotoge retained against Nioh last week, but did not come forth with a challenge. YO-HEY has not challenged for the belt since July last year although he’s yet to get a victory over Kotoge in any capacity so far this year.
With FULL THROTTLE vs Momo No Seishun having potential implications for the junior heavyweight belt, you might think little is at stake for Kiyomiya and Marufuji. However Kiyomiya has vowed to rise up the ranks once again in NOAH after losing to Mutoh last month. Marufuji has expressed a desire at holding gold once again in NOAH and he hasn’t held the GHC Heavyweight Title in over Five years. There is no reason why Marufuji couldn’t challenge fellow M’s Alliance member Mutoh as shown with the GHC National Title being defended within Sugiura Army.
Their last singles match was on March 2019, when Kiyomiya successfully defended the GHC Heavyweight Championship against Marufuji. Their last high profile tag team encounter occured in February this year when Kiyomiya pinned Marufuji in the Budokan.
This is still a closely guarded big match for NOAH. They’ve had that one and only singles match since Kiyomiya returned from Canada and began his path towards ace. I could see a match between the two to establish Mutoh’s next challenger, providing he beats Masa Kitamiya of course, and most likely at the interpromotional Cyber Fight show on June 6th.
It’s up in the air whether this will be a stand alone match and a treat for the audience. Or whether there could be future title implications that will unfold as a result of this match. Either way, with the talent involved, it will be a good match.
STINGER (HAYATA & Yuya Susumu) vs Kotaro Suzuki & Ikuto Hidaka
The first of the two final preview matches for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team match. And we may be coming to the end of a feud that has raged for over six months so far.
Suzuki was a member of STINGER until he took an errant superkick from HAYATA personally, and the ensuing blow up saw Ogawa side with HAYATA before Suzuki was forcibly removed from STINGER. Chasing retribution, Suzuki introduced the masked Salvaje de Oriente to take on the two remaining STINGER members but Oriente turned out to be Yuya Susumu who had a deep history with HAYATA and Susumu turned on Suzuki during a tag title match.
Kotaro would find an unwanted ally in NOSAWA Rongai and his masked friend but Suzuki would eventually settle into this new alliance and the masked friend would be revealed as junior heavyweight underrated legend Ikuto Hidaka.
STINGER managed to retain over Suzuki and Hidaka but their war raged on, and now Hidaka will team with NOSAWA for a second attempt.
Do not expect a clean finish. So far, NOSAWA has low-blowed HAYATA for a very short singles victory. Hidaka & Suzuki vs Ogawa & Susumu in the next match ended in a DQ victory for the first team when both HAYATA and NOSAWA interfered. The next day Suzuki & NOSAWA lost to Ogawa & HAYATA when they targeted Ogawa’s knee and after they were happy with the damage done, they simply walked away from the match.
In Korakuen Hall last week, the two trios faced off, but NOSAWA’s team again attempted to leave the match. STINGER dragged them back into the ring however NOSAWA would kick both Ogawa and then Susumu low in full view of the referee to get his team disqualified.
Maybe without NOSAWA involved in this match, we may get a clean result. Or because NOSAWA vs Ogawa takes place right before this match, the two get involved here too.
Hopefully we get to see more of Suzuki and Susumu face off. Regardless as to what happened, Suzuki did bring Susumu into NOAH for a reason and that is because the two are very similar in style. And if they can’t make good partners then they can make great opponents.
It’s not like HAYATA and Hidaka are slouches in the ring either. With no BS, no low-blows, no interference, this match could be a tidy little banger that would be worthy of being a GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team match itself. But… NOSAWA.
Yoshinari Ogawa vs NOSAWA Rongai
On paper, NOSAWA does not stand a chance. Ogawa is older, a wrestling technician who is a master of his craft and was the third ever GHC Heavyweight Champion and the first “junior” to hold that belt. And that’s without mentioning how angry he must be at NOSAWA due to the latter’s actions over the past few matches on this tour before their tag title match.
But then that is exactly what NOSAWA does. He winds up and infuriates his opponent to the point they make a mistake and NOSAWA quickly capitalizes on it. Ogawa may be older and more experienced, but he can be hot-headed and have a temper of a younger man.
Ordinarily it is Ogawa that would wind up his opponent and be more methodical in his approach. However I can’t see Ogawa holding his cool for long with NOSAWA. And, judging by past history, I can’t imagine it being a long match either.
Do not expect a technical classic. Expect cheating. Expect low-blows. Prepare for a DQ. But hopefully that means the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team match will be clean… But then, NOSAWA.
The Aggression (Katsuhiko Nakajima & Masa Kitamiya) vs Funky Express (Muhammad Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi)
This match could have always been on the cards for this show however Korakuen Hall was supposed to see Funky Express face Nakajima and Manabu Soya. A positive Covid result for Kenoh (speedy recovery to him by the way) and that he was in close contact to Soya, Tadasuke and Haoh saw them removed from that show and the remaining April shows.
Funky Express instead lost to the team of Kiyomiya & Inamura which should dampen their chances of a tag title shot. However every dog can have it’s day and if they were to beat the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions here in a non-title match then they would deserve a title opportunity.
The card reshuffle at Korakuen saw The Aggression beat Mutoh & Marufuji when the referee stopped the match after Kitamiya headbutted Mutoh while trapped in the Prison Lock and the result saw both men bleeding. That move is scary, dangerous and yet terribly effective. It saw them beat Sugiura & Sakuraba for the tag belts and now gave Kitamiya a direct victory over the GHC Heavyweight Champion just Eleven days before his title shot.
It doesn’t seem right for Kitamiya to be losing any matches before the Mutoh match. And Funky Express are still a fledgling team who’s story is that they are yet to be cohesive enough to win every single match. However an extended run and victory in the Global Tag League (whenever that happens) could be the run/story that they need.
This match could still go either way. And with four heavy hitters in there, be it strikes or bombs, they are no doubt capable of having a great, dramatic match together. In the future. The hard camera only, clap-only fans of Yokohoma will take away from this match.
Takashi Sugiura vs Nioh
Both suffered losses in Korakuen Hall. Nioh had a MOTYC in his loss to Kotoge, which you should watch when it’s put up on Wrestle Universe. And Sugiura got knocked out and a big swollen lump on the side of his face from kicks by Kazuyuki Fujita before the two have their Kaiju clash on April 29th.
Sugiura and Ohara had a great 10+ minute battle the last time Pro Wrestling NOAH was in Yokohoma. Sugiura was originally a junior heavyweight so he is still game to have a tussle with the junior heavyweights and make them look good, competitive and on his level.
Nioh had an unexpectedly brutal match, where the two were willing to push each other to the absolute limit with strikes and big moves. He will need to bring that exact killer instinct in order to really rock Sugiura and look like he was capable of an upset victory over a man who could call himself Mr GHC.
Like the Ohara match, this is lower down the card on a hard camera only show and a match that’s still between a heavyweight and junior heavyweight so the odds are stacked firmly against Nioh. But that’s not to say that this can’t be a good match that is well worth your time.
Yoshiki Inamura & Junta Miyawaki vs Kinya Okada & Yasutaka Yano
The most recent generational battle in Pro Wrestling NOAH continues as Inamura and Okada face off after several months of teaming together.
Inamura debuted September 2018. Okada December 2018. However Inamura’s clear weight advantage meant that Okada was always his junior and always lost to him. That changed in October last year when, for the first time, Okada managed to wrestle Inamura to a 15 minute draw. Okada couldn’t beat the big man, but he could stand on equal footing.
Following that match, they began to team together; and while not yet successful, they do have potential. Inamura is ear-marked for success and to carry NOAH in the future. This much is known. However Okada has a world of potential yet to be realized. As soon as he bulks up and puts on a bit more weight to firmly be on the heavyweight side, his fire and kicks will see him rise up the ranks.
I feel like this feud could be fought over the GHC National and then eventually the GHC Heavyweight Championship. And the two could easily be GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions together one day. But for now we get to watch them as they rise up the ranks together. And maybe we’ll have a surprise as Okada is able to show that he can still be equal to Inamura, despite Inamura’s meteoric rise.
Not generational rivals, but two hopes for NOAH’s junior division are Miyawaki and Yano. Miyawaki debuted in 2017 and while he had to take time off last year due to injury, he has been consistently improving and growing since he returned. He had his first ever title opportunity when he and Daisuke Harada were unable to beat STINGER but he proved his worth in that match with his performance.
Yano only debuted in October 2020 and you wouldn’t think he’s only at six months worth of experience. If he continues the way he is going, then he could be a linchpin for the junior division in the future. With NOAH introducing three new rookies to the crowd last week at Korakuen Hall it’s only a matter of time before he is no longer the last one to debut.
The last time NOAH had so many rookies debut in a short time period was in the mid-2000’s, during their glory days. I can’t help but feel hopeful that those days could return. And with Inamura and Okada leading the heavyweights and Miyawaki and Okada leading the junior heavyweights, the future could be bright indeed.
Hajima Ohara vs Kai Fujimura
Thanks to the reshuffled Korakuen card, Fujimura faced Daisuke Harada in a singles match. That match was a great opportunity for the former Wrestle-1 graduate to show what he was made of.
Now he gets another singles opportunity against another former GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion in Ohara. Ohara has a mini-feud going on with Yano, as the youngster gets a first hand (and painful) lesson in Lucharesu from the Ultimo Dragon trained Ohara. Fujimura can get that same experience in this match.
Expect plenty of smooth mat wrestling and submission techniques as Ohara works his magic on Fujimura. This will be a great choice of an opening match and a great learning experience for Fujimura.
And that’s the card.
The big show is April 29th. But with only the GHC Heavyweight, National and Junior Heavyweight Tag Team title matches announced, there is a full card yet to be confirmed.
This show could help fill those gaps. And maybe hint towards future title matches and feuds. I would not be opposed to seeing Kotaro Suzuki vs Yuya Susumu for one. And the beginnings of a future singles match between Marufuji and Kiyomiya.
I hope you enjoy the show on Saturday. And remember, if you sign up to Wrestle Universe now, you can get this show and NOAH The Glory for free. And the latter has English commentary with Mark Pickering and Stewart Fulton.