NOAH "THE FIRST NAVIGATION" on 1/19/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 19th, 2014
Back again with Pro Wrestling NOAH. This was a smaller event for the promotion but still had a Jr. Heavyweight Championship match and some invading New Japan wrestlers as well. This was a set-up show for their two bigger events in early February and set the stage for some of the matches that would take place then. Here is the full card:
- Hitoshi Kumano vs. Yoshinari Ogawa
Looks like a little bit of everything, let’s get to it.
Hitoshi Kumano vs. Yoshinari Ogawa
Match Thoughts: This match was clipped up throughout but I don’t think that it really mattered. At least they let Kumano get out of the crab hold which is the standard move to put away rookies, so he has that going for him anyway. Otherwise not much to it, I suppose Ogawa was teaching Kumano some lesson by hitting four backdrop suplexes but I don’t really know what the lesson was. Score: 3.0
Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi vs. Ricky Marvin and Bobby Fish
Match Thoughts: When I saw that Marvin was wrestling in a t-shirt I knew that wasn’t a good sign. The way NOAH does their clippings is they just do a bunch of little clips throughout the entire match, like between someone getting up or tagging out, which makes the matches really odd to watch. It is really hard to get into the ebb and flow of a match when every 30 seconds there is a five second clip of some sort. The action seemed fine but pretty pedestrian, it was your standard low-card tag team match with nothing attempted to make it any more than that. Score: 3.5
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Xtra Large
Match Thoughts: The oddest thing to me in this match was the structure. The bulk of the match was Nakajima going for the backdrop suplex, he gets it on his third try… and Xtra Large just no sells it and hits two of his own moves? If a move is built to in a match, they really should make the move mean something. Like the previous match this one had a bunch of little clips in the action but not quite as many which is good. Really, the wrestling itself was fine, it just had that one major issue and lacked some passion in general which is understandable for a smaller show with an unknown Gaijin talent. Score: 5.0
Mohammed Yone, Marufuji, and Atsushi Kotoge vs. Shane Haste, Nicholls, and Jonah Rock
Lariat by Nicholls, he hits a second one and covers Marufuji, but Marufuji kicks out. Nicholls picks up Marufuji, he goes for a slam but Marufuji slides down his back and hits a kick combination. Cover by Marufuji, but it gets two. Marufuji picks up Nicholls and goes for the Shiranui, but he is pushed off. Nicholls goes off the ropes, they trade waistlocks, and Nicholls hits a spinebuster. Nicholls tags in Haste, Haste gets in the ring and hits a dropkick to Marufuji. Haste charges Marufuji in the corner, Marufuji kicks him back and hops up the top turnbuckle but Haste hits a hurricanrana. Running kick by Haste, cover, but Marufuji kicks out. Haste picks up Marufuji and goes for a suplex, Marufuji lands feet but Haste hits an overhead backdrop suplex for another two count cover. Haste picks up Marufuji and goes for the Death Valley Bomb but Marufuji gets out of it. Irish whip by Haste but Marufuji hits a dropkick and tags in Yone. Yone charges Haste in the corner and hits a lariat, Irish whip, but Haste kicks Yone as he charges in. Yone hits a lariat anyway, he goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits a leg drop. Cover, but Haste kicks out. Back up they trade elbows, Haste goes off the ropes but Yone kicks him in the head. Roundhouse Kick by Yone, cover, but Haste kicks out at two. Yone waits for Haste to get up and goes off the ropes but Haste catches him with a lariat. A second lariat by Haste and he makes the tag to Rock. Rock charges Yone in the corner and hits a splash followed by a second one, senton by Rock but it gets a two count. Rock picks up Yone and goes for a side slam but Yone elbows out of it. Rock goes off the ropes but Yone catches him with a lariat and tags in Kotoge. Kotoge grabs Rock in the corner, Irish whip, reversed, Kotoge kicks Rock back and hits a doublestomp to his back. Face crusher by Kotoge, cover, but it gets two. Kotoge picks up Rock but Rock elbows him off. Rock charges Kotoge but Kotoge kicks him back and applies a choke over the top turnbuckle. The referee gets him off, Kotoge gets on the apron, Rock goes off the ropes but Kotoge rolls in the ring and hits a cutter. Marufuji and Yone come in the ring, they kick Rock and then Kotoge hits a swandive body press. Cover, but Haste breaks it up. The ring is cleared except for Kotoge and Rock, Kotoge goes for the Killswitch but Rock blocks it. Headbutt by Kotoge and he goes for it again, but Rock hits a release German suplex. Haste and Nicholls come in the ring and hit strikes onto Kotoge, body press by Rock but Marufuji breaks up the pin attempt. Rock picks up Kotoge and puts him on his shoulders but Kotoge rolls him up for a two count. Kotoge goes off the ropes and hit a swinging kick to the head, cover, but it also gets two. Kotoge goes off the ropes again and goes for a hurricanrana, but Rock catches him and hits a folding powerbomb for a two count. Rock picks up Kotoge and nails the Rock Driver, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Shane Haste, Nicholls, and Jonah Rock
Match Thoughts: This was a perfectly acceptable six man tag match, nothing overly excited but nothing offensive either. There really weren’t any ‘weak links’ as while Yone can bore me at times in this setting he was fine, and the wrestlers tagged in and out enough the action stayed moving. During this tour they were really trying to get TMDK over so it made sense they picked up the win, and the match never went too deep in the overkill that some six man tag matches suffer from. A solid effort all the way around. Score: 6.5
KENTA vs. Maybach Taniguchi
Taniguchi walks to the back but KENTA goes out after him and they fight backstage. They battle back to ringside, and KENTA knees Taniguchi in the stomach. KENTA asks the referee to re-start the match and he obliges, so we are going to go again. KENTA picks up Taniguchi but Taniguchi elbows him and they trade blows. KENTA goes off the ropes but again Taniguchi throws the referee into KENTA. Taniguchi throws KENTA out of the ring and goes out after him, throwing KENTA into the railing. Taniguchi brings KENTA towards ringside but KENTA punches him back. Taniguchi hits KENTA in the stomach with a chair and slams him into a different one. Taniguchi picks up KENTA and takes him up into the crowd, knocking into the table with the poor cameraman on it. Taniguchi takes Morishima back towards the ring and clubs him in the back. Taniguchi goes for a vertical suplex but KENTA blocks it and goes for one of his own. Taniguchi blocks it as well, elbows by KENTA and finally he is able to hit the vertical suplex on the floor. KENTA picks up Taniguchi and clubs him in the back before ramming him back-first into the ring post. KENTA slides Taniguchi back into the ring, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Taniguchi catches him when he jumps off. Taniguchi goes for a chokeslam but KENTA blocks it and applies a STF. KENTA tries to help up the referee, knee to the back by KENTA to Taniguchi and he hits the Busaiku Knee Kick. Cover, but Taniguchi barely gets a shoulder up. KENTA puts Taniguchi up on his shoulders but Taniguchi gets down, Taniguchi tries to throw the referee into KENTA but KENTA stops his attack. The referee retreats to the corner but Taniguchi throws KENTA at the referee. Spinebuster by Taniguchi, he goes outside the ring and hits a table. Taniguchi gets in the ring with the table and sets it up near the corner. Taniguchi picks up KENTA and goes for a powerbomb, but KENTA punches out of it. Lariat attempt by Taniguchi but KENTA absorbs the blow, he grabs KENTA and chokeslams him through the table. Mounted punches by Taniguchi and at some point the referee has had enough and calls for the bell again. Your winner by DQ: KENTA
Match Thoughts: This match helped set up their “No DQ” singles match on February 3rd, which I already reviewed. It served its purpose well I thought, Taniguchi did a good job heeling it up and KENTA played the part well of the crowd favorite that just wanted to shut the bad guy up. Taniguchi isn’t a great wrestler so this gimmick fits him well, he has really bulked up over the years and is convincing in the role (for however long it lasts). More of a storyline-driven match than anything but I think they accomplished their mission. Score: 6.0
(c) Taiji Ishimori vs. Hajime Ohara
Ishimori goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ohara recovers and punches him from the mat. Ohara joins Ishimori, clubs to the back by Ohara but Ishimori punches him off. Ohara falls to the mat and Ishimori hits a diving double knee strike for a two count cover. Ishimori picks up Ohara and goes for a tombstone but Ohara blocks it. Irish whip by Ohara but Ishimori hits a handspring cutter. Ohara rolls out of the ring, Ishimori gets a running start in the ring and sails out onto him with a tope con giro. Ishimori rolls back into the ring and waits for Ohara, cover by Ishimori but it gets two. Ishimori picks up Ohara and hits a tombstone into a gutbuster. Cover again by Ishimori but Ohara kicks out at two. Ishimori picks up Ohara, scoop slam in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ohara rolls out of the way of the 450 Splash. Ohara goes for a tombstone piledriver, Ishimori reverses it and goes off the ropes, but Ohara gets him up in a backbreaker and drops to the mat. Cover by Ohara, but Ishimori gets a shoulder up. Ohara picks up Ishimori but Ishimori wiggles away from him, they jockey for position and Ohara hits another backbreaker. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ohara picks up Ishimori and hits a swinging side slam onto his knee. Muy Bien attempt by Ohara but Ishimori rolls him up for a two count. Kick by Ishimori but Ohara comes back with a dropkick and both wrestlers are down. They trade elbows while on their knees as they slowly get up but Ishimori drops Ohara with a Backstabber. Ishimori picks up Ohara and goes for the Revolución, Ohara gets out of it and goes for the Muy Bien, but Ishimori gets out of that as well. Ishimori dropkicks Ohara in the knee and kicks him in the arm, another kick by Ishimori but the cover only gets two. Scoop slam by Ishimori, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the 450 Splash. Cover, but Ohara kicks out. Ishimori picks up Ohara and goes for the Revolución but Ohara gets out of it and hits the Schwein. Cover, but it gets two. Ohara picks up Ishimori and finally gets the Muy Bien applied, but Ishimori manages to get to the bottom rope to force a break. Ohara goes off the ropes but Ishimori catches him with a lariat, they both go off the ropes but Ishimori hits a hard lariat for a two count cover. Ishimori picks up Ohara and finally hits the Revolución, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner and still champion: Taiji Ishimori
Match Thoughts: This was an very smartly done match, and better than I was expecting. I hadn’t seen an Ishimori singles match in quite some time and I was expecting more flash than substance, but Ohara kept things based with his attack on Ishimori’s back, and since his finisher also targets the back it was a logical direction for him to go in. Ishimori attacking the arm didn’t make as much sense but Ohara sold it for the entire match which gave it some legitimacy. There wasn’t a ton of high flying which was surprising (none from Ohara), and it was simple in that once Ishimori was finally able to connect on the Revolución the match was over. Simple generally is perfectly fine and it did help the match have a straight-forward story that anyone could follow. A few parts here and there dragged but overall it was a really good match. Score: 7.5
Takeshi Morishima and Kenou vs. Yuji Nagata and Jushin Thunder Liger
Kenou uses his wrist tape to choke Nagata but Nagata shrugs him off and hits an elbow. Kenou returns fire and they trade shots, Nagata goes off the ropes but Taniguchi grabs him from the apron. Kenou goes to kick Nagata but Nagata moves and Kenou kicks Taniguchi on accident. Kenou goes off the ropes but Nagata knees him in the stomach and tags in Liger. Liger hits Kenou with a Shotei, Kenou goes in the corner and kicks Liger when he charges in. Two more kicks by Kenou but Liger catches the third and elbows Kenou in the knee. Liger goes off the ropes, Kenou kicks Liger but Liger fires back with a Shotei. Powerbomb by Liger, cover, but it gets a two count. Liger picks up Kenou and goes for the brainbuster but Kenou blocks it. Spinning heel kick by Kenou, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a jumping double knee followed by a dropkick. Cover by Kenou but Liger kicks out. Ankle hold by Kenou but Nagata breaks it up. Kenou throws Nagata out of the ring, he picks up Liger but Liger hits a brainbuster. Liger makes the hot tag to Nagata as Kenou tags in Morishima, and Morishima knocks down Nagata with a lariat. Morishima goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers the missile dropkick. Running butt smash by Morishima in the corner and he goes for the backdrop suplex, but Nagata gets out of it and hits an enzigieri. Nagata goes off the ropes but Morishima catches him with a lariat. Kenou comes in the ring and kicks Nagata in the head and Morishima follows with a body press. Cover, but Nagata kicks out. Morishima hits another lariat onto Nagata, cover, but again it gets a two count. Morishima drops Nagata with the backdrop suplex, cover, but Liger breaks it up. Morishima throws Liger out of the ring and goes back to Nagata but Nagata hits the backdrop suplex. Morishima manages to tag in Kenou, and Kenou kicks Liger off the apron before Nagata can tag him. Snapmare by Kenou and he hits the PK, cover, but Nagata kicks out. Kicks to the chest by Kenou but Nagata absorbs the blows and hits an elbow. More elbows by Nagata and he goes for a kick but Kenou catches it and kicks Nagata low. Morishima comes in the ring, double Irish whip to Nagata to the corner but Nagata avoids Morishima and kicks Kenou. Exploder by Nagata to Morishima, Kenou gets in the ring with the kendo stick but Nagata avoids it and hits a knee in the corner. Brainbuster by Nagata to Kenou, cover, but Kenou kicks out. Nagata picks up Kenou and hits the backdrop suplex, cover, but Morishima runs in the ring. Nagata knees Morishima and with Liger they hit a vertical suplex on Morishima. Nagata picks up Kenou and hits the Backdrop Hold, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Jushin Thunder Liger and Yuji Nagata
Match Thoughts: A good heated match, although I wish that Liger had done more as Nagata can be a bit over the top sometimes. This was done partly to set up Nagata’s future title shot against Morishima and when they were in the ring they seemed to have pretty good chemistry, I am sure that will be a good match when I finally get to it. Some parts seemed to take a bit too long, battling around the ring’s uniqueness has worn off on me at this stage as I’d rather just see straight wrestling but Taniguchi getting involved made sense. Overall solid but not spectacular. Score: 6.0
Best Match: Taiji Ishimori vs. Hajime Ohara. I went in cautious, but this match delivered. It was not really flashy or over the top like you may expect a NOAH Jr. Heavyweight Championship match but the quality of the match was still really sound. I actually liked that it wasn’t the usual overkill, they worked a smart match from start to finish and didn’t waste a lot of time. A good effort by both wrestlers.
MVP: Maybach Taniguchi. Love him or hate him, Taniguchi is definitely living his gimmick. The KENTA match was great from a story-line perspective and Taniguchi constantly made his presence felt in the main event as well. I don’t know how long the gimmick will last but he was the most memorable wrestler coming out of this event.
Overall: For an event that was not a major show and was more difficult than you would think to track down, this was a solid show. It started slow and clipped matches will never be my friend (I understand it, but I’d prefer they just cut an entire bad match then clip up three different matches), but once we got to the meat and potatoes of the card it delivered. The Jr. Heavyweight Championship match was different than most in NOAH, and the Morishima Army definitely made their mark on the show. Certainly an above average effort.
review completed on 3/30/14