NOAH "The First Navigation" on 1/18/15
A Casual Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: January 18th, 2015 
Location:  Hakata Star Lane in Hakata, Fukuoka, Japan
Announced Attendance:  1,100 (Super No Vacancy)

NOAH is one of those promotions that has different television deals so their events tend to show up out of order. For now though we are still good, so we will enjoy being chronological while we still can. This event has the first title match of the tour, with the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship up for grabs. And of course lots of Suzukigun action. Here is the full card:

- Atsushi Kotoge and Taiji Ishimori vs. Junji Tanaka and Kitai Kubo
- Jonah Rock vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Maybach Taniguchi
- Takashi Sugiura and Akitoshi Saito vs. Takeshi Morishima and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
- TAKA Michinoku, Taichi, and El Desperado vs. Yoshinari Ogawa, Zack Sabre Jr., and Hitoshi Kumano
- Quiet Storm vs. Shelton Benjamin
- GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Kenou and Hajime Ohara vs. Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi
- Minoru Suzuki, Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Takashi Iizuka vs. Naomichi Marufuji, Yone, Shane Haste, and Mikey Nicholls

Let's get onto the matches.

Atsushi Kotoge and Taiji Ishimori vs. Junji Tanaka and Kitai Kubo
What a weird match. Is this the "if you sell tickets for the show we will let you wrestle on it" thing? Ishimori and Kubo start things off. They trade wristlocks and hammerlocks, dropkick by Ishimori but Kubo falls out of the ring. Kubo tags in Tanaka as Kotoge is also tagged in, and Tanaka hits an elbow. Tanaka and Kotoge go outside the ring and Kotoge hits a superkick. Back in the ring and Kotoge stomps on Tanaka. Kotoge tags in Ishimori and Ishimori hits a jumping double knee followed by a running double knee. Vertical suplex by Tanaka and he hits a lariat in the corner followed by a side slam. Kick by Ishimori but Tanaka hits a Samoan Drop for a two count. Handspring kick by Ishimori and he makes the hot tag to Kotoge. Kotoge kicks Tanaka and applies a choke over the top rope. Kotoge slides back in the ring and hits a cutter, cover, but it gets a two count. Kotoge picks up Tanaka and they trade elbows. Lariat by Tanaka and he tags in Kubo. Running knee by Kubo and he hits a diving kick to the face. Tanaka comes in and both wrestlers lariat Kotoge in the corner. Double vertical suplex to Kotoge but it gets two. Tanaka goes for a diving headbutt but Kotoge moves. Ishimori slams Kubo to the mat and Kotoge hits a swandive body press for a two count. Running kick by Kotoge and he gets the three count. I am not sure the last time I watched Junji Tanaka in a match. I feel icky. Not a bad opener, just incredibly random. Score: 4.5

Jonah Rock vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Maybach Taniguchi
Speaking of random. Taniguchi attacks everyone with his pole to start the match and powerslams Rock. All three fight outside the ring and Taniguchi throws Nakajima into the railing before taking him into the crowd. Nakajima finally throws Taniguchi back into the ring after a few minutes as Rock gets in as well. They hit a double shoulderblock on Taniguchi, body press by Rock and Nakajima hits a PK. Rock and Taniguchi grab Nakajima and hit a double vertical suplex. Nakajima kicks both Rock and Taniguchi, but Rock knocks Nakajima to the mat. Nakajima avoids Rock's charge and he boots Rock in the corner. Nakajima goes up top but Taniguchi throws the referee into the ropes. Taniguchi then gets his big pole and uses it to fling Nakajima back into the ring. Taniguchi grabs Nakajima and hits a chokeslam, cover, but Rock breaks it up. Rock hits a Samoan Drop on Taniguchi and kicks him in the face. Lariat by Rock and he hits a neckbreaker. Body avalanche by Rock but Nakajima hits a trio of superkicks. Lariat by Rock, cover, but it gets a two count. Rock hits a running forearm to Nakajima in the corner but Nakajima quickly rolls him up with a cradle and he gets the three count. I wish they hadn't wasted so much time around the ring to start off, but once they got into the ring they had some nice spots. Just a fun undercard match with little substance. Score: 5.5

Takashi Sugiura and Akitoshi Saito vs. Takeshi Morishima and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
Morishima and Kitamiya attack to start the match as Kitamiya and Sugiura stay in the ring. Elbows by Sugiura and he hits a vertical suplex. Dropkick by Kitamiya and he tags in Morishima. Morishima hits Sugiura in the corner and hits a running hip attack. Sugiura gets away and he hits a vertical suplex on Morishima. Sugiura tags in Saito and Saito hits a scissors kick. Lariat by Saito and he hits a vertical suplex. Another lariat by Saito but Morishima retorts with his own lariat. Morishima tags in Kitamiya and he trades elbows with Saito. Knee by Saito and he tags in Sugiura. Running big boot by Sugiura but Kitamiya hits a powerslam. Sugiura and Kitamiya trade elbows and Kitamiya hits a release German suplex. Sugiura applies a front necklock but Morishima breaks it up. Sugiura hits a running knee on Kitamiya, but the cover only gets two. Sugiura picks up Kitamiya but Kitamiya elbows him back. Knee to the stomach by Sugiura, he picks up Kitamiya and hits the Olympic Slam for the three count pinfall. Really short match, not enough time to get anything going but the action was solid. Score: 5.0

TAKA Michinoku, Taichi, and El Desperado vs. Yoshinari Ogawa, Zack Sabre Jr., and Hitoshi Kumano
They start by brawling outside the ring, a recurring theme on this card. Kumano and Michinoku elbow each other in the ring and Sabre is tagged in. Sabre works over Michinoku's arm and tags in Ogawa. Ogawa and Sabre trade tags until Desperado runs in and clears the ring. After more fighting outside, Michinoku resumes stomping Sabre in the ring. Taichi is tagged in and he attack Sabre with the bell hammer. Taichi is tagged in, uppercuts by Sabre but Taichi throws him to the mat. Taichi tags in Desperado, and everyone hits lariats in the corner. Taichi hits Sabre low and Desperado stays in as the legal man. Stomps by Desperado and he tags in Michinoku. Sabre goes off the ropes but Michinoku hits a big boot. Uppercut out of the corner by Sabre and he tags in Ogawa. Ogawa hits a neckbreaker on Michinoku and clears out Taichi and Desperado as well. Ogawa pokes Michinoku in the eyes and hits an enzigieri. Ogawa tags in Kumano and Kumano dropkicks Desperado. Elbow smash by Kumano as Sabre also comes in and they double team Desperado in the corner. Missile dropkick by Kumano, cover, but it is broken up. Desperado rakes Kumano in the eyes and hits a spinebuster. Desperado picks up Kumano but Kumano gets away and hits a schoolboy for a two. Michinoku knees Kumano in the corner and Taichi hits a jumping kick. Desperado grabs Kumano and nails the Guitarra de Angel for three. Just an average midcard match, there was nothing wrong with it but nothing exciting or memorable. But it was necessary for pushing Suzukigun as a force to be reckoned with so I had no issues with it. Score: 5.5

Quiet Storm vs. Shelton Benjamin
Benjamin attacks Storm before the match really starts (again) and dumps him out of the ring. Benjamin throws Storm into the railing and then into the post. Back in the ring Benjamin punches Storm and knocks him into the corner. Body avalanche by Benjamin and he goes for a slam, but Storm gets away and hits an elbow. Shoulderblock by Storm and he hits a lariat in the corner. Another lariat by Storm and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two. Storm and Benjamin trade strikes until Benjamin hits a superkick. Double underhook slam by Benjamin and he hits the Paydirt for a three count. I'm not really sure the point of this match, I guess it was to put over Benjamin but beating Storm doesn't really do much to accomplish that. It gave Suzukigun another win, which I guess is important, but this short match didn't really do anyone any favors. Score: 3.0

(c) Kenou and Hajime Ohara vs. Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi
This match is for the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They... brawl before the match officially starts (six for six so far), with Hirayanagi being beaten down in the ring. Hirayanagi lariats Kenou but he is tripped and pulled out of the ring. Hirayanagi is beaten at ringside before being slid back in. Kenou tags in Ohara and Ohara twists Hirayanagi in the ropes. Harada continues being attacked at ringside and Ohara tags in Kenou. Hirayanagi elbows Kenou and rakes him in the eyes. Vertical suplex by Kenou and he applies a single leg crab hold. Hirayanagi is double elbowed and Ohara covers him for two. Ohara elbows Hirayanagi and avoids Hirayanagi's missile dropkick attempt. Ohara applies a stretch hold but Hirayanagi gets to the ropes. Hirayanagi grabs Ohara low and gives him a little twist. Hirayanagi tags in Harada and he trade elbows with Ohara. Harada elbows Ohara out of the ring and hits a pescado to the floor. Irish whip by Harada and he hits a jumping elbow. Harada puts Ohara on the top turnbuckle and he hits a superplex. Harada elbows Ohara in the corner but Ohara rakes his eyes. Dropkick by Ohara and he hits a double underhook facebuster for two. Backbreaker by Ohara and he hit a backbreaker for another two count. Harada and Ohara trade elbows, but Ohara hits an Emerald Frosion for two. Muy Bien by Ohara but Hirayanagi breaks it up. German suplex by Harada but Ohara hammers him in the chest and tags in Kenou.

Kenou hits an overhead kick on Harada and slams Harada to the mat. Brainbuster onto his knee by Harada and he tags in Hirayanagi. Irish whip by Hirayanagi and he lariats Kenou in the corner. Suplex by Hirayanagi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Kenou avoids the Shoryu Genba and hits a double knee to Hirayanagi, knocking out the referee in the process. Kenou gets a kendo stick but hits Ohara by accident. Hirayanagi avoids the shot again as Harada returns to the ring, Harada gets the kendo stick, he gives it to Hirayanagi and Hirayanagi hits Kenou with it. Punch by Harada and he hits the Henkei Knee Upper. Tombstone piledriver by Hirayanagi but the referee is still out. Shoryu Genba by Hirayanagi, cover, but Kenou barely kicks out. Hirayanagi is double teamed in the corner, swinging side slam but Ohara and Kenou hits a diving doublestomp. Muy Bien by Ohara to Harada, and Kenou puts Hirayanagi in submission hold of his own, but Hirayanagi makes it to the ropes. Kenou picks up Hirayanagi, kicks by Kenou but Hirayanagi kicks him low. Snap German suplex by Kenou and he hits a dragon suplex hold for a two. Buzzsaw kick by Kenou but the pin attempt is broken up. Running double chop by Ohara and Kenou hits the Shubou for the three count. Kenou and Ohara are still champions. This was about as good as it could have been with the wrestlers involved. Not a high flying match as that is not their style but an entertaining more grounded encounter, with both teams working together very well. I liked the decisive ending and overall it was solid but didn't go much beyond that. Score: 6.5

Minoru Suzuki, Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Takashi Iizuka vs. Naomichi Marufuji, Yone, Shane Haste, and Nicholls
As you probably guessed, they brawled in and out of the ring to start the match. Suzuki stays in the ring with Marufuji and they trade chops. Suzuki gets the better of it and hits Marufuji into the corner before tagging in Iizuka. Marufuji gets away and tags in Yone, and Yone hits a legdrop. Neck twist by Yone but Iizuka hits an atomic drop. Lariat by Yone and he tags in Haste while Smith is also tagged in. Dropkick by Haste and Nicholls runs in the ring as well so they can double team Smith. Suzuki applies an armbar to Haste over the top rope while the brawl begins outside the ring again. Smith chokes Haste over the second rope while Archer helps out. Smith slams Haste to the mat and makes the tag to Archer. Suzuki applies a cross armbreaker to Haste while hanging outside the ring, Archer picks up Haste and hits a body slam. Archer tags in Iizuka and chokes Nicholls with some twine. Haste fights back but Iizuka rakes his eyes before tagging in Suzuki. Suzuki applies a chinlock to Haste and then a crossface but Marufuji breaks it up. Iizuka takes care of Marufuji, PK by Suzuki to Haste and it gets a two count. Archer is next in and he hits a full nelson slam. Archer picks up Haste and he throws Haste to the mat by his head. Haste kicks Archer back and hits a diving uppercut out of the corner. Haste finally gets the tag to Nicholls, and Nicholls lariats Archer. Archer hits a vertical suplex but Nicholls avoids the leg drop and hits a sliding lariat for two. Swinging side slam by Archer and he tags in Suzuki. Marufuji is tagged in as well and Marufuji hits a jumping doublestomp to Suzuki's head. Slap by Suzuki and he boots Marufuji in the corner. Suzuki hits a PK and then applies a cross armbreaker, but Marufuji gets a foot on the ropes. Marufuji and Suzuki trade chops, Suzuki boots Marufuji's arm but Marufuji hits a dropkick and tags in Yone. Suzuki applies a sleeper to Yone and both Haste and Nicholls run in the ring. Everyone hits Suzuki in the corner, which leads to Suzukigun charging the ring as well. Yone slams Suzuki in the ring and he hits a second turnbuckle legdrop. Suzuki slides away from Yone and applies a sleeper, he spins the loopy Yone around and drops him with a Gotch-style piledriver for the three count. Suzukigun wins again! Even though the beatdown segment was a bit long, at least they kept fresh wrestlers in so that it didn't drag. I liked the end stretch, enough chaos to show the faction war but not enough to detract from the match itself. Overall a fitting way to end the show and to help put over Suzukigun as a force to be reckoned with. Score: 7.0

Final Thoughts:

The invasion with Suzukigun has continued to go well. Here they were 3-0, and again ended the event with their arms raised high. Even though this event didn't have an epic standout type match it did continue the tour storyline well and Suzukigun has in general been entertaining. Some of the matches certainly fell a bit flat and the title match wasn't anything to get an excited about, but overall this event was no worse than average and isn't a bad one to watch.

Grade: C+
review completed on 2/8/15