A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: February 3rd, 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,300
Occasionally NOAH is known for having odd-ball cards that are all singles matches. This is one of those cards, as factions face off in 11 singles matches. Some will be good, some will be bad, but all wrestlers will be given a chance to shine which is really all any wrestler can hope for. Here is the full card:
- Daisuke Harada vs. Hitoshi Kumano
- Genba Hirayanagi vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
- Hajime Ohara vs. Yoshinari Ogawa
- Taiji Ishimori vs. Xtra Large
- Jonah Rock vs. Shinya Ishikawa
- Naomichi Marufuji vs. Ryuichi Kawakami
- Mikey Nicholls vs. Mohammed Yone
- Atsushi Kotoge vs. Takashi Sugiura
- Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenou
- Shane Haste vs. Takeshi Morishima
- KENTA vs. Maybach Taniguchi
Daisuke Harada vs. Hitoshi Kumano
Harada offers a handshake to start the match but Kumano slaps his hand away and hits a dropkick. Irish whip by Kumano and he hits another dropkick. Kumano stomps Harada in the corner, and Harada rolls out of the ring to re-group. Kumano goes out after him but Harada knees him in the stomach. Harada tries to throw Kumano into the guard rail but Kumano reverses it. Kumano then throws Harada into the guard rail again and chokes him with his knee. Kumano stands on Harada’s chest, he picks him up and slides Harada back into the ring. Kumano picks up Harada and hits a Fisherman Suplex Hold, but it gets a two count. Kumano goes up to the top turnbuckle but Harada moves out of the way of the missile dropkick attempt. Crab hold by Harada but Kumano gets a hand on the bottom rope. Stomps to the chest by Harada, he picks up Kumano and elbows him in the head. Kumano comes back with clubs to the chest but Harada elbows him to the mat. Hard elbow by Harada, he waits for Kumano to get up and elbows him again, Kumano fights back but Harada rocks him with another elbow. Harada picks up Kumano and elbows him into the corner, Irish whip by Harada but Kumano kicks him when he charges in and dropkicks Harada in the back. Kumano picks up Harada, he ducks a lariat and Kumano hits a double knee to the chest. STO by Kumano, cover, but Harada gets a shoulder up. Kumano goes for a Fisherman Suplex, but Harada gets out of it and hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Jumping elbow in the corner by Harada, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving doublestomp. Northern Lights Suplex by Harada, he picks up Kumano and puts him on his shoulders, but Kumano slides off. They trade strikes, Harada tries to put Kumano on his shoulders but Kumano rolls him up for a two count. German suplex attempt by Harada but Kumano sneaks in a Victory Roll for a two count. Small package by Kumano, but it also gets two. Irish whip by Kumano, reversed, and Harada hits an elbow. Harada goes for a roaring elbow but Kumano ducks it and hits a fireman’s carry hold for a two count. Irish whip by Kumano, reversed, and Harada hits the Henkei Knee Upper. Hard elbow to the chest by Harada, he picks up Kumano and hits the Death Valley Bomb. Cover, but Kumano gets a shoulder up. Harada picks up Kumano, Kumano fights back but Harada slaps him to the mat. Katayama German Suplex Hold by Harada, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Daisuke Harada
Match Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this match. Harada is in the right place to give Kumano some good offense since even though he has been wrestling for seven years, he is still relatively new to NOAH so he is still working his way up the card too. Kumano showing fire by attacking Harada right from the start was the right way to go as it established this wasn’t going to be your typical ‘young lion’ match. My only criticism is that Kumano’s strikes don’t look very hard at all, he does need to work on making more powerful looking strikes as NOAH is a very strike-based promotion and he won’t get very far with weak looking clubs to the chest. Overall a really solid opener though. Score: 6.5
Genba Hirayanagi vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
They circle each other to start, clubs by Hirayanagi and he applies a side headlock. Kitamiya Irish whips out of it and they collide with no result. Hirayanagi goes off the ropes again but he can’t knock down Kitamiya. Kitamiya successfully shoulderblocks Hirayanagi to the mat and he stomps Hirayanagi in the back. Kitamiya picks up Hirayanagi, Irish whip, but Hirayanagi bails out of the ring to re-group. Hirayanagi takes a few minutes to return, but he shoulderblocks Kitamiya from the apron and punches him in the head. Back in the ring, Irish whip by Hirayanagi to the corner, they do another Irish whip and Kitamiya hits a running elbow. Vertical suplex by Kitamiya, cover, but it barely gets two. Kitamiya picks up Hirayanagi but Hirayanagi fights back, Hirayanagi goes off the ropes but Kitamiya hits an elbow followed by a gutwrench suplex. Cover, but it gets two. Kitamiya picks up Hirayanagi, Hirayanagi goes off the ropes but Kitamiya hits a overhead suplex. Cover, but Hirayanagi kicks out. Kitamiya picks up Hirayanagi again, Hirayanagi goes for a sunset flip but Hirayanagi blocks it. Backdrop suplex by Hirayanagi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Hirayanagi hits a single leg suplex, cover, but Kitamiya kicks out at two. Kitamiya fires back with a dropkick and applies the Cobra Twist. He rolls up Hirayanagi but it only gets a two count. Kitamiya goes off the ropes but Hirayanagi avoids his attack. He goes for the Shoryu Genba but Kitamiya blocks it, Hirayanagi goes off the ropes and delivers a lariat. Cover, but Kitamiya gets a shoulder up. Hirayanagi starts to do another Shoryu Genba, but stops when Kitamiya goes to block it and instead hits a Tombstone Piledriver. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Genba Hirayanagi
Match Thoughts: Pretty rough. Miscommunications are more memorable in short matches and there was clearly at least one here, if not more. The ending was also incredibly sudden as Kitamiya had been winning most the match but fell to a tombstone piledriver, which as far as I know is not even one of Hirayanagi’s finishing moves. It just seemed like someone said “that’s enough” and they went straight to the end. Not a very good one. Score: 3.0
Hajime Ohara vs. Yoshinari Ogawa
Ohara goes for a single leg to start the match but Ogawa blocks it and applies a wristlock. Drop toehold by Ohara and he applies a bridging stretch hold. Ogawa gets back up, wristlock by Ogawa and he takes Ohara to the mat with a hammerlock. Knees to the arm by Ogawa, he picks up Ohara and tosses him back down to the mat. Wristlock by Ogawa but Ohara pushes Ogawa down and applies a modified Indian Deathlock. He releases the hold after a moment, stomp by Ohara, he picks up Ogawa but Ogawa applies a hammerlock. Ohara pushes him into the corner to force a break, Irish whip by Ogawa, reversed, but Ogawa blocks the hiptoss attempt with a Cobra Twist. Ohara reverses it into a Cobra Twist of his own but Ogawa hiptosses out of it and applies an arm submission. Ohara gets out of it and applies a rolling leglock, Ogawa reverses it but Ohara gets to the ropes. Irish whip by Ohara but Ogawa shoulderblocks him down. Ogawa goes off the ropes and hits a doublestomp onto Ohara’s back. Ogawa goes for a vertical suplex but Ohara reverses it into one of his own. Ohara picks up Ogawa, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Back up, Ohara applies a sleeper, cover by Ohara but it gets a two count. Ohara picks up Ogawa and twists him up in the ropes before choking him with a cord. Ohara goes off the ropes and dropkicks Ogawa, who falls back into the ring. Single leg crab hold by Ohara but Ogawa gets to the ropes. Ohara goes off the ropes but Ogawa ducks the double chop, Irish whip by Ogawa, reversed, kick by Ogawa and he hits the jawbreaker followed by an enzigieri. Irish whip by Ohara to the corner but Ogawa elbows him when he charges in and throws Ohara shoulder-first into the ring post. Fujiwara Armbar by Ogawa but Ohara rolls to the ropes to force the break. Ogawa picks up Ohara and hits a snap DDT. Cover, but Ohara gets a shoulder up. Ogawa picks up Ohara again and applies a waistlock, but Ohara elbows out of it. Ohara goes off the ropes but Ogawa hits an elbow, now Ogawa goes off the ropes but Ohara catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Swinging side slam to the knee by Ohara, he picks up Ogawa and hits a Falcon Arrow. Cover, but Ogawa kicks out at two. Muy Bien by Ohara, but Ogawa manages to get a hand on the bottom rope. The referee calls for the break but he won’t break the hold, then he grabs the referee and throws him out of the ring. Vertical suplex by Ohara, Kenou comes in the ring with a kendo stick and hits Ogawa with it. At some point in all this, Ohara is DQed. Your winner: Yoshinari Ogawa
Match Thoughts: I guess 47 year old Ogawa just couldn’t afford to take a loss here at this stage in his career. This match was more used to help continue a storyline, but it seems like this would be a good time to put over the young heel team with an actual victory. Anyway, the match itself was pretty slow and nothing really meaningful happened until the end of it. Ogawa is limited, and the match kept a pretty slow pace with neither wrestler really looking like he was on the brink of winning until the Muy Bien came into the picture. Not a good match or a good ending. Score: 3.0
Taiji Ishimori vs. Xtra Large
Ishimori and Xtra Large shake hands to start, tie-up, Ishimori pushes Xtra Large into the ropes, Xtra Large switches positions with him and he gives a clean break. Tie-up, wristlock by Ishimori, Xtra Large rolls through it and reverses it, but Ishimori returns the favor. Single leg takedown by Ishimori and he goes off the ropes, he ducks a lariat and hits a hurricanrana. Xtra Large falls outside the ring, Ishimori goes to do a dive but swings himself back into the ring. Xtra Large gets back into the ring, knee by Ishimori and he applies a wristlock. Ishimori snaps back Xtra Large’s arm and applies a stretch submission hold. Crucifix pin by Ishimori but it gets a two count. Ishimori gets Xtra Large to the mat again and applies an armlock, he then stomps Xtra Large in the arm. Irish whip by Ishimori but Xtra Large flips himself out to the apron, he slingshots back in the ring, Irish whip by Xtra Large but Ishimori hits a handstand rebound cutter. Cover, but Xtra Large kicks out. Ishimori applies the Dragon Sleeper but Xtra Large gets a hand on the ropes. Ishimori goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving double knee to the face. Cover, but it only gets two. Irish whip by Ishimori but Xtra Large reverses it and kicks Ishimori in the face. Xtra Large goes for a suplex but Ishimori lands on his feet, superkick by Xtra Large and he hits a pair of kicks in the corner. Running double knee by Xtra Large, cover, but it gets a two count. Xtra Large slams Ishimori in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a corkscrew senton. Cover, but Ishimori gets a shoulder up. Xtra Large charges Ishimori but Ishimori pushes him back, high kick by Xtra Large and Ishimori falls out of the ring. Xtra Large goes up to the top turnbuckle but Ishimori recovers and joins him. Avalanche Reverse Frankensteiner by Ishimori, cover, but Xtra Large kicks out at two. Superkick by Ishimori and he hits a falling double knee to the face. Cover, but it gets two. Ishimori goes out to the apron and hits the Swandive 450 Splash, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Taiji Ishimori
Match Thoughts: I was instantly disappointed because I thought that Ishimori was wrestling a really fat dude, but Xtra Large is just a normal looking wrestler from Chile. It wasn’t bad per se, for a while it looked like Xtra Large wasn’t going to get any meaningful offense at all but finally towards the end he did get in a few of his moves. There was never any doubt on who was winning this match so it was more about the journey, and it was just a bit slower than you’d expect from a short match with Ishimori. The ending picked things up though and at least it wasn’t a squash anyway. Score: 5.5
Jonah Rock vs. Shinya Ishikawa
Tie-up to start, Rock pushes Ishikawa into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Tie-up again, and they break cleanly. Side headlock by Ishikawa, Rock Irish whips out of it and they collide with Rock getting the better of it. Ishikawa goes off the ropes again and runs into Ishikawa a second time. Armdrag by Ishikawa and he hits a dropkick to Rock. Ishikawa kicks Rock down in the corner, snapmare, and Ishikawa applies a headscissors. Back up, elbow by Ishikawa but Rock elbows him back. They trade elbows, side headlock by Rock, Ishikawa Irish whips out of it but Rock shoulderblocks him down. Rock goes off the ropes and hits a bodyslam, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa rolls out of the ring but Rock goes out after him and slams Ishikawa into the apron. Rock then Irish whips Ishikawa into the guard rail before picking him up and headbutting him up the aisle. More headbutts by Rock and he slides Ishikawa back into the ring. Rock gets back in as well and he applies a reverse chinlock to Ishikawa. Ishikawa gets a foot on the ropes to force a break, and Rock stands on Ishikawa’s midsection using the ropes for leverage. Falling headbutt by Rock, cover, but it gets two. Rock picks up Ishikawa, elbows by Ishikawa, Irish whip, reversed, Ishikawa goes for a sunset flip but Rock sits on him for a two count.
Waistlock by Rock on the mat but Ishikawa gets a foot on the bottom rope. Rock picks up Ishikawa and elbows him in the stomach. Rock chokes Ishikawa, Irish whip to the corner but Ishikawa moves when Rock charges in. Rock kicks back Ishikawa but Ishikawa ducks the lariat attempt and delivers a dropkick. Ishikawa charges Rock in the corner and hits a running elbow, Irish whip and he hits a second one. Ishikawa goes off the ropes and hits a third elbow, Rock falls to the mat but the pin attempt only gets two. Back up Ishikawa applies the Cobra Twist. Rock gets out of it and hits a release German suplex. Rock charges Ishikawa in the corner and hits a running splash followed by a second one. Body press by Rock, cover, but it only gets a two count. Rock picks up Ishikawa, he goes off the ropes and delivers a running punch to the face. Cover, but Ishikawa barely kicks out. Rock picks up Ishikawa but Ishikawa sneaks in a sunset flip for a two count. School boy by Ishikawa but that gets a two count as well. Elbows by Ishikawa and he goes off the ropes, but Rock catches him with a lariat. Cover by Rock, but it gets a two count. Back up, Rock goes for a lariat but Ishikawa ducks it and delivers a Ground Cobra Twist for the three count! Your winner: Shinya Ishikawa
Match Thoughts: Another pretty pedestrian affair. These short matches with wrestlers that don’t have a lot of charisma isn’t doing this event any favors so far. It was technically an acceptable match but it took them awhile to get going and some of the ‘rest’ spots were incredibly silly (since when is a grounded waistlock a real move?). They also didn’t always appear to be on the same page which would explain some of the repeated rest holds. Not a great showing for Ishikawa. Score: 4.0
Naomichi Marufuji vs. Ryuichi Kawakami
Tie-up to start, Kawakami pushes Marufuji into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Tie-up again, this time Marufuji pushes Kawakami into the ropes and Kawakami pushes him back. Waistlock by Kawakami, reversed by Marufuji but Kawakami applies an armbar. Waistlock by Kawakami but Marufuji reverses it into an armbar. Wristlock by Marufuji but Kawakami reverses it. Marufuji flips out of the hold and applies a wristlock of his own but Kawakami gets into the ropes to force a break. They jockey for position, takedown by Kawakami and he applies an Indian Deathlock. Marufuji gets to the ropes, Kawakami picks up Marufuji and throws him into the corner. Elbows by Kawakami in the corner and he stomps down Marufuji. Marufuji gets back up to his feet but Kawakami stomps him back down. Scoop slam by Kawakami, cover, but it gets a two count. Reverse chinlock by Kawakami but Marufuji kicks his way out of it and he throws Kawakami out of the ring. Marufuji joins him and chops Kawakami against the guard rail before throwing him into the ring post. Marufuji throws Kawakami into the rail and chops him, elbows by Marufuji but Kawakami absorbs the blows and fires back. Marufuji takes Kawakami up the aisle as they continue trading elbows, but Marufuji hits a back kick to Kawakami’s midsection. Marufuji picks up Kawakami and throws him onto the railing near ringside and gets back into the ring. Kawakami slowly follows him, punches by Marufuji but Kawakami fires back with an elbow. They continue trading shots, knees by Marufuji into the corner and he chops Kawakami in the chest.
Marufuji takes Kawakami out onto the apron and hits a piledriver. Marufuji gets back into the ring while Kawakami is checked on at ringside, Kawakami slowly gets back into the ring but Marufuji kicks him in the midsection. Marufuji throws Kawakami in the corner and hits a series of chops, he gets a running start and delivers a jumping elbow strike. Marufuji goes for a suplex but Kawakami reverses it into a suplex of his own. Elbows by Kawakami, Irish whip and Kawakami delivers a hard elbow. Single leg crab hold by Kawakami but Marufuji is able to make it to the bottom rope. Kawakami grabs Marufuji around the waist but Marufuji gets out of it, both wrestlers go off the ropes and Marufuji hits a lariat. A second lariat finally sends Kawakami down to the mat. Marufuji waits for Kawakami to get up and hits a jumping elbow strike, snapmare by Marufuji and he connects with the running doublestomp to Kawakami’s head. Side kick by Marufuji, cover, but it gets two. Marufuji goes for the Shiranui but Kawakami pushes him off. Marufuji goes off the ropes but Kawakami catches him with an exploder. Running elbow smash by Kawakami, cover, but it gets a two count. Kawakami picks up Marufuji but Marufuji slides down his back and hits a trio of kicks. Another hard kick to the side of the head floors Kawakami, cover, but it gets a two count. Shiranui by Marufuji, cover, but Kawakami gets a shoulder up. Marufuji picks up Kawakami and they trade elbows. Kawakami gets the better of it as he knocks down Marufuji, cover, but it gets a two count. Kawakami picks up Marufuji but Marufuji slides down his back and hits a pair of kicks. Cover by Marufuji but it gets a two count. Marufuji applies the Perfect Facelock to Kawakami, and Kawakami has no choice but to submit. Your winner: Naomichi Marufuji
Match Thoughts: This was better than the last few matches. I don’t really like that big moves like a piledriver on the apron are so easily shrugged off, but unfortunately that is so commonplace that it doesn’t hurt the match but so much. Marufuji winning with a submission was interesting as he had really done nothing of note to set that up. Kawakami looked solid but seems a little over-reliant on elbow smashes. Overall the match was perfectly fine for the mid-card and at least they got a little bit more time. Score: 6.0
Mikey Nicholls vs. Mohammed Yone
They circle to start, tie-up, Nicholls pushes Yone into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Tie-up again, this time Yone gets Nicholls into the ropes and he gives a clean break as well. Tie-up, side headlock by Yone, Nicholls Irish whips out of it and they collide with neither man going down. Yone goes off the ropes and they do it again, now Nicholls goes off the ropes but Yone boots him in the face and shoulderblocks him to the mat. Back up, Irish whip by Nicholls, reversed, and Yone dropkicks Yone out of the ring. Yone goes out after Nicholls and takes him up into the crowd. Nicholls throws Yone into the barrier, he then removes a part of it and takes Yone up into the bleachers. Nicholls then goes to the other side of the aisle and runs at Yone, Yone kicks him back but Nicholls hits a lariat anyway. Nicholls picks up Yone and takes him to the other side of the building before throwing him into the wall. They go back towards ringside and Nicholls gets back into the ring with Yone quickly following him. Nicholls stomps Yone in the back, he picks up Yone and applies a reverse chinlock. Cover, but it gets a one count. Stomp to the chest by Nicholls, he picks up Yone but Yone pushes him back and the two trade elbows. Nicholls wins the battle, cover by Nicholls but Yone gets a shoulder up. Nicholls applies a single leg crab hold but Yone inches to the ropes and forces the break. Nicholls picks up Yone and throws him into the corner, Irish whip, but Nicholls kicks Yone when he charges in. Yone returns the favor and kicks Nicholls again, sending him to the mat. Yone picks up Nicholls and hits a scoop slam, he goes up to the second turnbuckle and hits the diving leg drop. Cover, but Nicholls kicks out at two. Yone picks up Nicholls but Nicholls pushes him off and they trade elbows again. Waistlock by Nicholls, reversed, Yone goes off the ropes but Nicholls catches him with an elbow. Nicholls goes off the ropes again, Yone ducks the first lariat but Nicholls connects with the second one. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nicholls picks up Yone and he hits the spinebuster. Nicholls sits up Yone and hits a lariat, cover, but Yone kicks out at one. Nicholls goes off the ropes but Yone runs at him and hits a lariat. Yone goes off the ropes and both men hit lariats on each other, but Nicholls hits Yone with another lariat. Death Valley Bomb by Nicholls, cover, but Yone gets a shoulder up. Nicholls picks up Yone and drops him with the Mikey Bomb, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Mikey Nicholls
Match Thoughts: Surprised that Nicholls actually won. A decent match, Yone never really did much in it and was never in a position to actually win the match since they spent a few minutes outside the ring and otherwise Nicholls dominated. But it was a decisive ending and they didn’t really waste much time with rest holds, which is a plus when the match isn’t going that long anyway. Score: 6.5
Atsushi Kotoge vs. Takashi Sugiura
Kotoge kicks Sugiura as soon as the match starts and hits an armbreaker to Sugiura. Sugiura fires back with a hard elbow, kick by Kotoge and he hits a second armbreaker. More hard elbows by Sugiura and Kotoge falls out of the ring. Kotoge gets back in the ring, tie-up, Sugiura pushes Kotoge against the ropes but Kotoge avoids the elbow. Tie-up, Kotoge gets Sugiura against the ropes and he kicks Sugiura in the stomach. Irish whip by Kotoge and he delivers a dropkick. Sugiura falls out of the ring, Kotoge goes to do a dive but slides out of the ring when Sugiura moves. Kick by Sugiura and he tries to Irish whip Kotoge into the rail but Kotoge reverses it and hits a superkick. Kotoge picks up Sugiura and slides him back into the ring and drops a knee onto Sugiura’s arm. Kotoge pushes Sugiura into the corner and twists his arm in the ropes before kicking it. Reverse chinlock by Kotoge and he applies a stretch hold. Elbows to the arm by Kotoge and he knees Sugiura in the back. Sugiura gets into the ropes to force a break, elbows by Sugiura but Kotoge elbows him back. They trade elbows, Kotoge hits a headbutt but Sugiura punches him hard until Kotoge falls to the mat and the referee pushes him back. Kotoge rolls out of the ring but is able to return after a moment. Stomps to the chest by Sugiura and he kicks Kotoge in the back. Back up they trade elbows, a battle that Sugiura wins without any issues. Stop trading elbows with Sugiura, Kotoge. Sugiura kicks Kotoge in the head, he picks him up, Irish whip, and Sugiura knees Kotoge in the stomach. Crossface by Sugiura, but Kotoge gets a foot on the ropes. Sugiura picks up Kotoge and elbows him into the corner; Kotoge absorbs the blows and gives Sugiura a headbutt. Kick by Kotoge and he goes for a suplex but Sugiura blocks it. Running kick by Sugiura in the corner but Kotoge fires back with a jumping kick.
Kotoge picks up Sugiura, Irish whip to the corner, reversed; Kotoge kicks back Sugiura and chokes Sugiura with his legs over the top rope. Sugiura elbows Kotoge as he gets on the apron, he goes off the ropes but Sugiura rolls in the ring and hits a cutter. Kotoge goes out to the apron but Sugiura hops up and kicks Kotoge as he is going for a springboard move, sending Kotoge crashing to the floor. Kotoge rolls back in the ring and gets up in the corner; Sugiura charges in and hits another big boot. Running knee to the chest by Sugiura, he gets a running start again but Kotoge moves and kicks Sugiura from the apron. Swandive body press by Kotoge, cover, but it gets a two count. Kotoge picks up Sugiura and elbows him in the head, he goes off the ropes but Sugiura knees Kotoge in the stomach. Sugiura picks up Kotoge and suplexes him onto the top rope. Sugiura picks up Kotoge, Irish whip, and Sugiura spears Kotoge in the upper chest. Cover, but it gets two. Sugiura picks up Kotoge again and hits a release overhead German suplex. Running knee to the chest by Sugiura, cover, but it gets a two count. Sugiura grabs Kotoge and hoes for the Olympic Slam, but Kotoge rolls him up for a two count. Kick to the head by Kotoge and he kicks Sugiura in the head a second time. Swinging kick by Kotoge, cover, but Sugiura gets a shoulder up. Kotoge drags Sugiura to his feet and goes for the Killswitch but Sugiura gets out of it. Kotoge and Sugiura trade elbows, headbutt by Kotoge but Sugiura elbows him back. Another headbutt by Kotoge as Sugiura continues to elbow him, Sugiura elbows Kotoge into the corner and continues elbowing him as he lands in a seated position. Cover by Sugiura, but it gets a two count. Sugiura picks up Kotoge and elbows him in the back of the head, another cover, but Kotoge barely gets a shoulder up. Olympic Slam by Sugiura, cover, and this time he picks up the three count. Your winner: Takashi Sugiura
Match Thoughts: This was Sugiura’s first match in about six weeks after suffering an injury. Maybe that is why he was so angry. This was a really good match from start to finish, Kotoge has a lot of fire but Sugiura was just too much for him. Lots of hard hits on both sides here and there was never a dull moment, it was action from start to finish. A great return for Sugiura, if this is the way he always wrestles I will be watching him closely going forward. Score: 8.0
Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Kenou
Kenou attacks Nakajima before the bell rings and throws him out of the ring. Kenou joins him outside and throws Nakajima into the guard rail. Kenou picks up Nakajima and brings him up the aisle, throwing him into the metal barricade. Kenou brings Nakajima back towards ringside and throws him into the guard rail again. Kenou drags Nakajima around before sliding him back into the ring. Kenou joins him and chokes Nakajima with Nakajima’s shirt. Kenou picks up Nakajima and hits an elbow, but Nakajima elbows him back and they trade shots. Eye rake by Kenou, he goes off the ropes but Nakajima catches him with a kick to the chest. Kenou falls out of the ring, Nakajima goes to the apron and kicks Kenou while Kenou is still down on the floor. Nakajima joins Kenou outside the ring and Irish whips him into the guard rail. Nakajima grabs Kenou and throws him into the ring post. Nakajima throws Kenou back in the ring, Irish whip from the corner but Kenou reverses it and throws Nakajima into the referee. Kick low by Kenou and he throws Nakajima out of the ring where he is attacked at ringside by Hajime Ohara. Nakajima eventually makes it back into the ring, cover by Kenou but it gets a two count. Reverse chinlock by Kenou and he chokes Nakajima with his wrist tape. Kenou pushes away the referee so he can stomp on Nakajima some more, he drags Nakajima closer to the ropes and hits a slingshot double stomp. Kenou covers Nakajima, but it gets a two count. Kenou chokes Nakajima with his boot, he picks up Nakajima but Nakajima pushes him back. Chop by Nakajima but Kenou kicks him hard in the chest. Cover by Kenou but it gets a two count. Kenou picks up Nakajima and hits an elbow, but Nakajima returns with more elbows. Kenou throws Nakajima into the corner, Irish whip, but Nakajima kicks Kenou when he charges in and he hits an STO into the turnbuckles.
Nakajima charges Kenou in the corner and hits a kick followed by a butterfly suplex. Nakajima goes up to the top turnbuckle and delivers the missile dropkick, cover, but it only gets a two count. Nakajima picks up Kenou and goes for a backdrop suplex but Kenou elbows him off. Kenou goes off the ropes but Nakajima dropkicks him in the knee and applies the figure four leglock. Kenou eventually gets to the ropes to break up the hold, Nakajima picks him up and applies a waistlock, but Kenou reverses it. Back kick by Kenou and he hits a jumping knee in the corner followed by a sliding kick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ankle hold by Kenou but Nakajima gets an arm on the bottom rope. Kenou waits for Nakajima to get up but Nakajima drop toeholds Kenou into the turnbuckle. Backdrop suplex by Nakajima but Kenou gets back up and elbows Nakajima. Nakajima and Kenou trade slaps, kick to the chest by Kenou but Nakajima returns the favor. They trade kicks to the chest, Nakajima goes off the ropes but Kenou kicks him in the chest, sending Nakajima to the mat. Kenou picks up Nakajima, slap combination and he hits a high kick. Vertical suplex by Kenou, cover, but Nakajima kicks out. Kenou picks up Nakajima and goes for the cross-armed powerbomb but Nakajima gets out of it with a backdrop suplex. Nakajima hits a pair of kicks but Kenou ducks the third. Knee to the stomach by Nakajima and he knees Kenou in the head. Cover, but it gets a two count. Brainbuster by Nakajima, cover, but it gets a two count. Nakajima picks up Kenou and applies waistlock, but Ohara comes in with a kendo stick and hits Nakajima with it. Kenou gets the kendo stick and hits Nakajima with it again as the referee calls for the bell. Your winner by DQ: Katsuhiko Nakajima
Match Thoughts: Not a bad match but more used to progress Kenou as part of the Morishima Army than anything else. Even though he ultimately got DQed, Kenou held his own even when he wasn’t cheating so it didn’t come across too much like Kenou had no chance of winning without his friends help. I’d rather see them in a straight fight which in a way is the point, but it was an exciting match nonetheless. Score: 6.5
Shane Haste vs. Takeshi Morishima
Haste charges Morishima to start the match and they immediately start trading elbows. Dropkick by Haste, Morishima falls out of the ring and Haste quickly hits a tope suicida down onto Morishima. Haste picks up Morishima and hits an uppercut before throwing him into the railing. Haste chases Morishima up the aisle and gives him another uppercut. Haste grabs Morishima and brings him closer to ringside and throws Morishima into the guard rail. Running kick by Haste and he pulls Morishima’s shoulder into the ring post before slamming his arm into it. Haste throws Morishima into the ring post before sliding him back into the ring. Cover by Haste but it gets a two count. Haste puts Morishima into a hammerlock and elbows him in the arm. Armbar by Haste, Morishima elbows out of it but Haste hits an armbreaker. Uppercut by Haste and another one but Morishima elbows him back. Irish whip by Morishima to the corner but Haste avoids the lariat and hits an uppercut. Rebound uppercut by Haste out of the corner and Haste delivers a dropkick. Morishima falls back into the corner, Haste charges in and he hits a jumping kick. Rolling senton by Haste, he picks up Morishima and hits a Falcon Arrow. Cover, but it gets a two count. Seated armbar by Haste into a crossface, but he releases the hold after a moment. Haste goes for a powerbomb but Morishima back bodydrops out of it. Haste gets up and they trade elbows, uppercut by Haste and he goes off the ropes but Morishima hits a hip attack. Morishima goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Morishima goes off the ropes and drills Haste with a lariat, cover, but Haste barely gets a shoulder up. Morishima goes off the ropes again but Haste ducks the lariat and hits a release German suplex. Jumping uppercut by Haste, he grabs Morishima and plants him with the powerbomb. Cover, but it gets a two count. Haste picks up Morishima but Morishima tosses Haste off and he runs into the referee. Reverse chinlock by Morishima, Ohara comes in the ring and dropkicks Haste. Running body press by Morishima, he goes off the ropes but Haste ducks the lariat and hits one of his own. The referee is pushed back into the ring as Haste goes off the ropes and hits a lariat. Cover, but Morishima kicks out at two. Haste picks up Morishima and puts Morishima on his shoulders, hitting the Bomb Valley Death! Cover, but the referee is pulled out of the ring before he can make the three count. Kenou gets in the ring and hits Haste with a kendo stick, Morishima picks up Haste and plants him with a brainbuster. Morishima picks up Haste and drops him with a backdrop suplex. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Takeshi Morishima
Match Thoughts: For someone that just won the GHC Heavyweight Championship, Morishima sure was dominated in this match. I am not sure why the referee didn’t call for the DQ when he was stopped from counting three, since the last match ended in a DQ obviously the referees are aware of the concept. Haste practically squashed Morishima, not in the Vader/Z-Man sense but in as much as you will see from a champion. This match did nothing for Morishima except show he needs his “army” to beat wrestlers, but it did elevate Haste a bit so it did have that going for it. It was a fast paced heavyweight match and the action itself was quite good, it was more the result that puzzled me a bit as it seemed to do more harm than good. Score: 6.0
KENTA vs. Maybach Taniguchi
This is a no DQ match. Taniguchi attacks KENTA before they even make it to the ring, and comes out of the back with him already throwing KENTA around. Taniguchi slams KENTA into the ring post, he picks him up and throws him into another ring post. Taniguchi slides KENTA into the ring, he picks him up, Irish whip by Taniguchi and Taniguchi hits a back elbow. Taniguchi picks up KENTA but KENTA hits a series of elbows until Taniguchi rakes KENTA in the eyes. Irish whip by Taniguchi but KENTA ducks the lariat. Running boot by KENTA and Taniguchi falls out of the ring. KENTA goes out after him and throws Taniguchi into the guard rail. KENTA throws Taniguchi into the railing again, he tries to do it a third time but Taniguchi reverses it and hits a lariat. Taniguchi takes KENTA up into the crowd and hits him in the chest with a steel chair. Taniguchi takes KENTA around the ring up into the stands as he continues to pound on him. They start heading back towards ringside and Taniguchi slides KENTA back into the ring. Taniguchi gets back in with a metal box and he hits KENTA in the head with it. Taniguchi gets a steel chain, wraps it around his fist and hits KENTA in the face with it. Taniguchi picks up KENTA and kicks him in the head. KENTA absorbs the blows and they start trading elbows. KENTA goes off the ropes but Taniguchi catches him with a big boot. Taniguchi throws KENTA into the corner and hits a lariat. Irish whip by Taniguchi but this time KENTA kicks him when he charges in. Another kick by KENTA and he snaps Taniguchi’s neck over the tope rope. Ohara pulls KENTA out of the ring and Taniguchi comes off the apron with an axe handle to KENTA. KENTA fights back with punches and kicks and throws Taniguchi into the wall. They battle through the hallway, and Taniguchi throws KENTA into some steps as they are now back in the concession area. KENTA slams Taniguchi into a table but Taniguchi regains the advantage. KENTA shoulders Taniguchi back and the two trade punches. Kick to the chest by KENTA and he slams Taniguchi into a table. They start going back towards the ring and battle up into the bleachers, where Taniguchi throws KENTA through a door. Taniguchi goes and gets KENTA but KENTA DDTs Taniguchi on the floor. KENTA climbs up onto the entrance way and jumps down onto Taniguchi with a doublestomp. KENTA grabs Taniguchi and takes him back towards the ring again, kicks by KENTA and finally they are back at ringside. KENTA throws Taniguchi into the ring post and slides him back into the ring. KENTA gets up on the apron and hits a swandive dropkick.
KENTA runs at Taniguchi but Taniguchi catches him with a lariat. Spinebuster by Taniguchi and he goes to get his metal rod. Taniguchi hits KENTA in the chest with it, he then goes under the ring and gets a table. Taniguchi sets up the table in the ring, he grabs KENTA and lays him down onto it and goes up to the top turnbuckle, but KENTA has recovered. KENTA punches Taniguchi while he is on the top turnbuckle and joins him. KENTA goes for a superplex but Taniguchi blocks it and the two trade blows. Taniguchi gets the better of it and he pushes KENTA off the top turnbuckle, but he doesn’t quite make it to the table and he lands back-first on the edge of it. Taniguchi lays the table flat on the mat and chokeslams KENTA onto it. He picks up KENTA again and hits a second chokeslam, cover, but it gets a two count. Taniguchi picks up KENTA and goes for a powerbomb, but KENTA blocks it. Drop toehold by KENTA and he applies an STF. KENTA goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits the diving lariat, cover, but Taniguchi kicks out. KENTA goes under the ring and gets a table, and he slides it into the ring. As he gets into the ring, Taniguchi hits him with a shoulderblock. KENTA hits a backdrop suplex to Taniguchi, he then goes out of the ring and gets a metal box. KENTA gets in the ring with the box, but he misses and Taniguchi delivers a kick. Taniguchi goes off the ropes but KENTA catches him with a powerslam. KENTA goes up to the apron and hits a swandive missile dropkick. Running kick by KENTA in the corner and he hits a dropkick. KENTA grabs the metal box, he puts it onto Taniguchi’s chest and hits another running dropkick. KENTA goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving doublestomp. Cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA grabs one of the tables, he sets it up near the corner and slams Taniguchi into the corner. Uppercut by KENTA, he puts Taniguchi onto the top turnbuckle and joins him. KENTA puts Taniguchi on his shoulders and throws Taniguchi off the top turnbuckle through the table. KENTA picks up Taniguchi and delivers a trio of kicks to his head, cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA puts Taniguchi onto his shoulders and nails the Go 2 Sleep, cover, but he picks up Taniguchi before he gets to three. Another side kick by KENTA, cover, but again he picks up Taniguchi. KENTA drags Taniguchi to his feet and nails another Go 2 Sleep, cover, and this time he picks up the three count. Your winner: KENTA
Match Thoughts: An interesting match but definitely different than the usual NOAH affair. The battling around the crowd into the back dragged a bit but to take advantage of the “No DQ” stipulation I understand why they did it. Besides the uncooperative tables though the last portion of the match went well and I liked KENTA showing his mean streak and just destroying Taniguchi at the end, leaving no doubt that he was the winner of the match. A good and different match to end the show. Score: 7.0
Best Match: Atsushi Kotoge vs. Takashi Sugiura. I thought this was a great match, and honestly I did not know that Kotoge had it in him. It had fast exchanges, no wasted time, brutal shots, and a decisive ending. A really good display by both men here.
MVP: KENTA. Winning the main event always helps, but it also was a very decisive way to win. KENTA showed that he was class above Taniguchi, which he is, and cemented himself as being the next in line for a title shot.
Overall: I appreciate them having lots of matches, singles matches at that, as it gives the wrestlers more of an opportunity to make an impression. Some of the matches were bad, but the second half of the card really got things going and some of the matches were really good or even great. Even with the stinkers I think this event is worth watching as it offers a variety of action and displays the best (and worst) of what NOAH currently has to offer.
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review completed on 2/17/14