A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: February 8th, 2014
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance: 1,700 (No Vacancy)
It has been awhile since I jumped back to NOAH but with January finally done (for now) I am the 'farthest' behind with NOAH of all the major promotions. This was a big card for NOAH, as Morishima defended the GHC Heavyweight Championship against Yuji Nagata. The rest of the card was faction based, with TMDK taking on all comers. Here is the full card:
- Genba Hirayanagi and Daisuke Harada vs. Taiji Ishimori and Hitoshi Kumano
- Kenou and Hajime Ohara vs. Yoshinari Ogawa and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
- Jonah Rock vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
- Mikey Nicholls vs. Xtra Large
- Maybach Taniguchi vs. Shane Haste
- Mohammed Yone and Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Shinya Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami
- KENTA and Takashi Sugiura vs. Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge
- GHC Heavyweight Championship: Takeshi Morishima vs. Yuji Nagata
No six man tags, hooray! Let’s get started.
Genba Hirayanagi and Daisuke Harada vs. Taiji Ishimori and Hitoshi Kumano
Harada and Ishimori start things off. Tie-up, waistlock by Harada but Ishimori reverses it into a wristlock. Harada reverses it back, Irish whip by Ishimori, reversed, and Ishimori hits a headscissors. Harada falls out of the ring but he gets back in, Ishimori goes for a superkick but Harada avoids it. Hirayanagi is tagged in, so Ishimori tags in Kumano. Kick by Kumano and he applies a side headlock, but Hirayanagi reverses it. Shoulderblock by Hirayanagi and he stomps on Kumano in the back of the head. Irish whip by Hirayanagi, reversed, and Kumano delivers a dropkick. Kumano picks up Hirayanagi and throws him into the corner but Hirayanagi hits a lariat. Hirayanagi tags in Harada, and Harada stomps Kumano. Elbow by Harada but Kumano returns fire, and Harada hits a hard slap. Harada tags in Hirayanagi, and Hirayanagi stomps on Kumano. Hirayanagi picks up Kumano and he clubs Kumano in the back. Irish whip by Hirayanagi and he hits a back elbow. Cover, but it gets a two count. Reverse chinlock by Hirayanagi but Kumano gets a foot on the ropes. Hirayanagi tags in Harada and Harada stomps on Kumano in the back. Harada picks up Kumano, Kumano clubs Harada in the chest but Harada elbows him back. Hard elbow by Harada, Harada picks up Kumano and he hits a scoop slam. Harada goes up to the second turnbuckle and he hits a diving doublestomp. Cover, but it gets a two count. Harada picks up Kumano and he tags in Hirayanagi. Hirayanagi kicks Kumano in the ribs and knees him in the chest. Hirayanagi and Kumano trade blows, Hirayanagi throws Kumano in the corner and Kumano kicks Hirayanagi back. Kumano goes for a dropkick but Hirayanagi side steps it. Hirayanagi picks up Kumano and goes for a vertical suplex, but Kumano blocks it. Kumano hits a vertical suplex, but Harada runs over and knocks Ishimori off the apron.
They pick up Kumano, double Irish whip but Kumano throws Harada into Hirayanagi and then dropkicks Harada. Kumano makes the hot tag to Ishimori and Ishimori hits a missile dropkick onto Hirayanagi. Ishimori kicks Harada out of the ring and then hits a jumping double knee strike on Hirayanagi. Reverse doublestomp out of the corner by Ishimori, cover, but it gets a two. Ishimori goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits the Meteora. Cover, but it gets a two. Ishimori applies a modified Camel Clutch, Harada runs in but Kumano dropkicks him out of the ring. In the ring, Hirayanagi makes it to the ropes, Ishimori picks him up and goes for a piledriver but Hirayanagi grabs Ishimori low and then hits a suplex. Hirayanagi tags in Harada, Harada kicks Ishimori, Irish whip and Harada hits an overhead suplex. Jumping elbow in the corner by Harada and he puts Ishimori up on the top turnbuckle. Harada joins him and he hits a superplex. Facebuster by Harada, cover, but it gets a two count. Harada picks up Ishimori but Ishimori elbows him and they trade shots. Superkick by Ishimori, he goes off the ropes but Harada hits a roaring elbow. Harada puts Ishimori on his shoulders and hits a death valley driver. Cover, but it gets a two count. Harada goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving elbow drop. Cover, but Kumano barely breaks it up in time. Harada picks up Ishimori, Irish whip, Ishimori goes for a handstand elbow strike but Harada ducks it and gets Ishimori onto his shoulders. Ishimori lands on his feet when Harada goes for the Turn Over Knee, kick by Ishimori and a cover, but it gets a two count. Ishimori picks up Harada and he goes for a suplex, but Harada gets out of it. Harada delivers the Henkei Knee Upper, but Ishimori quickly hits an Aussie Suplex Hold for the three count. Your winners: Taiji Ishimori and Hitoshi Kumano
Match Thoughts: This was a really good match and the type of match that I think more wrestling events should start off with. It was not only fast paced to get the crowd excited but it had some really good spots in it. The handstand elbow into the attempted Turn Over Knee for example was really well done, the saves were all timed perfectly, and it was just an exciting match. The time felt right as it didn’t go too long, and all four wrestlers got a chance to shine. I didn’t love Ishimori essentially no-selling the Henkei Knee Upper but besides that this was a really fun match. Score: 7.5
Kenou and Hajime Ohara vs. Yoshinari Ogawa and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
Kenou and Ohara brawl with their opponents before the match starts, and they spill outside of the ring. Kenou and Ohara double team Ogawa on the floor, and Kenou uses the kendo stick onto Ogawa. Ohara finally slides Ogawa into the ring where Kenou was waiting. Kenou and Ogawa trade chops, kicks by Kenou but Ogawa catches one and hits a dragon screw leg whip. Ogawa goes off the ropes but Kenou kicks him in the chest. Kenou picks up Ogawa and he throws Ogawa into Ohara’s knee. Snapmare by Kenou to Ogawa and he applies a reverse chinlock. Elbows by Ogawa, he goes off the ropes but Ohara applies a sleeper. Cover by Ohara but it gets a two count. Ohara throws Ogawa out of the ring, and Kenou hits Ogawa with the kendo stick. Kenou slides Ogawa back into the ring, cover by Ohara but it gets a two count. Ohara throws Ogawa into the corner and he tags in Kenou. Snapmare by Kenou and he applies a reverse chinlock to Ohara. Kenou chokes Ogawa with his wrist tape before picking him up, snapmare by Kenou and he hits a slingshot doublestomp. Cover by Kenou but it gets a two count. Kenou tags in Ohara, he then takes Ogawa out of the ring and twists him around the ring post. Kenou slides Ogawa back in, Ohara picks up Ogawa and he hits a snap vertical suplex. Cover, but it gets a two count. Irish whip by Ohara but Ogawa blocks the hiptoss. Hiptoss by Ogawa, he goes off the ropes and Ohara hits a backbreaker. Ohara picks up Ogawa and he hits a swinging side slam onto his knee. Ohara goes for a submission but Ogawa gets out of it and hits an enzigieri. Ogawa throws Ohara into the corner, reversed, back elbow by Ogawa and he makes the hot tag to Kitamiya. Kitamiya elbows Kenou off the apron, he Irish whips Ohara into the corner and hits a running elbow strike. Snap suplex by Kitamiya to Ohara, he picks him up but Ohara clubs Kitamiya in the back. Back elbow by Kitamiya and he hits a suplex for a two count. Kitamiya goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but Ohara kicks out. Kitamiya goes off the ropes, slaps by Ohara and he kicks Kitamiya in the chest. Dropkick by Ohara, and Ohara makes the hot tag to Kenou. Kenou kicks Ogawa off the apron, and Kenou hits a double jumping knee onto Kitamiya. Sliding kick by Kenou, cover, but it gets a two. Kenou applies an ankle hold to Kitamiya, Ogawa comes in the ring but Kenou catches his kick and kicks Ogawa in the leg. Kenou picks up Kitamiya and rakes him in the eyes. Irish whip by Kenou to the corner but Kitamiya hits a spear, Kitamiya picks up Kenou but Kenou gets away and kicks Kitamiya in the chest. Another kick by Kenou and he delivers a kick to the side of Kitamiya’s head. Cover, but Ogawa breaks it up. Kenou and Ogawa trade elbow strikes, Kenou goes off the ropes but Ohara hits a hiptoss. The referee gets knocked down from the hiptoss as well, and Ohara hits Ogawa from the floor with the kendo stick. Kitamiya goes off the ropes but Kenou hits him with a big boot, high kick by Kenou to Kitamiya and he applies a modified Camel Clutch. Ogawa is still outside the ring and Kitamiya is forced to submit. Your winners: Kenou and Hajime Ohara
Match Thoughts: This was a good match, I enjoy a good heel vs. face tag match from time to time as it helps keep things interesting. Fair ‘see who is stronger’ match-ups are fun too but seeing teams that cheat to beat the poor fan favorite still has a certain amount of extra charm. Kenou and Ohara are also good wrestlers which helps so they don’t have to lean on the ‘heel’ crutch too much, and Kitamiya continues to improve. Nothing special but a solid mid-card tag match. Score: 6.0
Jonah Rock vs. Yoshihiro Takayama
Rock attacks Takayama before he can get into the ring, he then punches Takayama down in the corner. Shoulderblocks by Rock but Takayama hits a big boot. Rock rolls out of the ring, Takayama goes out after him and he chokes Rock with his shirt. Takayama throws Rock into the guard rail and then rams him into the ring post. Takayama slides Rock back into the ring and hits him from the floor. Takayama rolls back in and kicks Rock into the corner, Irish whip by Takayama but Rock moves when Takayama charges in. Body avalanche by Rock, he pulls Takayama’s leg outside of the ring and rams it into the ring post. Rock slams Takayama’s leg into the post again and a third time. Rock stomps on Takayama’s leg back into the ring and he applies a single leg crab hold. Takayama quickly gets to the ropes, Rock turns Takayama over and applies a kneelock. Takayama rakes Rock in the eyes to get out of the hold, and Rock kicks Takayama in the leg. Cover, but it gets a two count. Rock jumps down onto Takayama’s knee and then does it a second time. Takayama goes for a leg drop but Rock moves out of the way, Rock goes off the ropes and he hits a lariat. Takayama doesn’t go down so he hits a second lariat. Rock goes off the ropes and he elbows Takayama in the head. Cover, but it gets a two count. Rock picks up Takayama but Takayama hits a sunset flip for a two count. Knee to the chest by Takayama, cover, but it gets a two count. Takayama picks up Rock and he hits a backdrop suplex. Cover, but Rock barely gets a shoulder up. Running Kneelift by Takayama, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Yoshihiro Takayama
Match Thoughts: I am not really sure why this match existed. Takayama was not on any of the matches for the rest of the tour, so it didn’t really set up anything. It was short, which is to be expected but it just meant that not a lot happened. On top of that we all knew there was a 0% chance that Rock was winning so it wasn’t suspenseful. Just an unusual match to have and it lacked a redeemable quality. Score: 3.5
Mikey Nicholls vs. Xtra Large
Tie-up, wristlock by Nicholls but Xtra Large reverses it. Side headlock by Xtra Large, Nicholls pushes him into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Tie-up, Nicholls gets Xtra Large into the ropes again and he hits a chop. Kick by Nicholls, snapmare, and he applies a reverse chinlock. Xtra Large struggles back up and hits a series of elbow, Irish whip by Nicholls, Xtra Large flips himself out to the apron and then back in the ring before hitting an armdrag. Dropkick by Xtra Large, Nicholls rolls out of the ring as Xtra Large goes up to the top turnbuckle, but Nicholls jumps up on the apron and knocks Xtra Large back to the mat. Nicholls gets on the apron but Xtra Large knocks Nicholls out to the floor, he then gets on the apron and hits a shoot star press down to the floor. Xtra Large slides Nicholls back in the ring, cover, but it gets a two count. Xtra Large goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a tornillo, cover, but it gets another two. Nicholls roils out of the ring to re-group, Xtra Large slides out of the ring and throws Nicholls back in. Nicholls rolls himself out to the apron and he kicks Xtra Large when he comes towards him. Nicholls picks up Xtra Large and elbows him in the head. Elbows by Nicholls but Xtra Large elbows him back, slaps by Nicholls and he hits a lariat in the corner. Chops by Nicholls in the corner and he applies a reverse chinlock, snapmare by Nicholls and he puts on the reverse chinlock again. Nicholls knees Xtra Large, Irish whip to the corner but Xtra Large kicks Nicholls back. Strike combination by Xtra Large, Irish whip to the corner and Xtra Large hits a jumping kick. Running double knee strike by Xtra Large, cover, and it gets a two count. Xtra Large puts Nicholls up on his shoulders but Nicholls elbows him off. Chops by Xtra Large, Irish whip, Xtra Large kicks Nicholls back and he hits a quick lariat. Spinebuster by Nicholls and he hits a sliding lariat. Cover, and it gets a two count. Nicholls picks up Xtra Large and goes for a suplex but Xtra Large lands on his feet. Nicholls drops Xtra Large out on the apron, Xtra Large goes for a swandive move but Nicholls catches him with a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nicholls gets Xtra Large up on his shoulders and he hits a death valley driver, cover, but Xtra Large gets a shoulder up. Mikey Bomb by Nicholls, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Mikey Nicholls
Match Thoughts: I hate to always point this out but the name is misleading, Xtra Large is smaller than I am. This was a pretty good match, its best trait really being that for the entire match they kept it moving so it never got a chance to drag or get boring. I was impressed that everything was pretty crisp, sometimes odd pairings don’t come out well but they had pretty good chemistry together. I am not sure where the SSP came from but I love the move so I am not complaining. Nothing memorable but nothing really wrong with it either. Score: 6.0
Maybach Taniguchi vs. Shane Haste
Marufuji punches Haste in the corner as the match starts and they trade elbows. Haste throws Taniguchi into the corner and hits an elbow, but Taniguchi switches positions with him and chokes Haste in the corner. In the middle of the ring they trade elbows, Taniguchi pushes Haste in to the ropes but Haste throws Taniguchi out of the ring. Taniguchi gets on the apron but Haste dropkicks him to the floor. Haste goes to do a tope suicida but Taniguchi hits him in the head with a chair as he dives out. Taniguchi picks up Haste and throws him into the guard rail. Taniguchi then takes Haste up into the crowd and hits him with a chair. Taniguchi picks up Haste and throws him into the crowd again. Taniguchi picks up Haste and brings him back towards the ring, and he throws Haste into the guard rail again before returning to the ring. Kenou slides Haste back into the ring, Taniguchi picks him up, Irish whip, and Taniguchi hits a back bodydrop. Cover, but it gets a two count. Stomps by Taniguchi to the back and he clubs on Haste. Haste fights back with elbows and an uppercut, Haste goes off the ropes but Taniguchi hits a shoulderblock. Taniguchi picks up Haste and hits a scoop slam before applying a camel clutch. Haste makes it to the ropes to force a break, elbows by Haste but Taniguchi rakes him in the eyes. Irish whip by Taniguchi from the corner and Taniguchi hits a lariat. Irish whip by Taniguchi but Haste uppercuts him as he charges in and then hits a dropkick. Taniguchi falls out of the ring and Haste sails out onto him (and an angry woman in the front row) with an elbow suicida. Haste slides Taniguchi back into the ring and hits a jumping kick in the corner. Cannonball by Haste, he picks up Taniguchi and goes for a suplex but Taniguchi lands on his feet. Powerslam by Taniguchi, he picks up Haste and goes for a chokeslam but Haste pushes him off. Haste charges Taniguchi but Taniguchi puts the referee in front of him and Haste hits the referee by accident. Taniguchi gets his big metal stick and hits Haste with it, he then pins Haste in the corner with it but Haste throws some nunchucks at him. Lariat by Haste and he applies a choke with the nunchucks. Kenou and Ohara run in to stomp on Haste, but Haste fights them off and hits a lariat onto Ohara. Haste goes off the ropes and hits a lariat to Taniguchi, he picks him back up and a sit-down powerbomb, cover, but Taniguchi gets a shoulder up. Haste picks up Taniguchi again and nails the Bomb Valley Death, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: Shane Haste
Match Thoughts: I’m one of the few people apparently that likes Taniguchi’s gimmick, NOAH was so boring for so long with no real ‘characters’ that I am enjoying they finally made one. The lady in the front row getting mad that Haste landed on her was hilarious and made the match worth watching just for that, I mean if you are in the front row at a wrestling show these things happen. The match got a little plodding a few times and the stands brawling went on a bit too long, but overall it was a good match. Haste is really being put over strong as he essentially got over on the entire Morishima Army (except Morishima himself) and picked up the convincing win. An enjoyable match. Score: 6.5
Mohammed Yone and Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Shinya Ishikawa and Ryuichi Kawakami
Nakajima and Kawakami start things off. Tie-up, Kawakami pushes Nakajima into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Waistlock by Nakajima, reversed by Kawakami but Nakajima reverses it back. Wristlock by Kawakami but Nakajima rolls out of it and reverses the hold. Kawakami reverses it back but Nakajima applies a hammerlock. Kawakami reverses it, side headlock by Nakajima, Kawakami muscles out of it and applies a side headlock of his own, Nakajima Irish whips out of it and kicks Kawakami. Kawakami fires back with a shoulderblock, and Ishikawa runs in to knock Yone off the apron. Double Irish whip to Nakajima and they hit a double shoulderblock. Kawakami stomps Nakajima and elbows him but Nakajima elbows Kawakami back and they trade shots. Kawakami goes off the ropes but Nakajima knees him in the stomach. Kawakami rolls out to the apron and Nakajima boots him down to the floor. Yone slides Kawakami back into the ring, and Nakajima hits a scoop slam. Nakajima tags in Yone, and Yone hits a scoop slam. Leg drop by Yone and he knocks Ishikawa off the apron. Yone kicks Kawakami in the back, cover, but it gets a two count. Yone tags in Nakajima, Irish whip by Nakajima to Kawakami and he hits a back elbow. Nakajima knocks Ishikawa off the apron, Nakajima picks up Kawakami and kicks him in the back again. Big boot by Nakajima to Ishikawa, Nakajima then applies a reverse chinlock to Kawakami. Headscissors by Nakajima but Kawakami gets into the ropes. Nakajima tags in Yone, snapmare by Yone and he applies a headscissors to Kawakami. Kawakami gets into the ropes again, and Yone tags in Nakajima. Nakajima picks up Kawakami, elbow by Kawakami but Nakajima elbows him back. Kawakami goes off the ropes but Nakajima applies a sleeper. Kawakami gets into the ropes again, Nakajima throws Kawakami into the corner, reversed, and Nakajima boots Kawakami in the head. Flapjack by Kawakami, and he makes the tag to Ishikawa.
Ishikawa Irish whips Nakajima and he hits a hard elbow. Ishikawa picks up Nakajima, Irish whip to the corner and Ishikawa hits an elbow. Another elbow by Ishikawa, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa picks up Nakajima, Nakajima goes off the ropes but Ishikawa apples a cobra twist. Nakajima gets into the ropes to force a break, stomps by Ishikawa, he picks up Nakajima and applies a waistlock but Nakajima gets out of it and reverses the hold. They trade waistlocks, elbow by Ishikawa and he goes off the ropes but Nakajima kicks Ishikawa in the chest. Nakajima tags in Yone, Yone kicks Ishikawa when he charges in but Ishikawa kicks him back. Elbow by Ishikawa but Yone delivers a jumping kick. Kicks to the chest by Yone but Ishikawa gets back up and they trade elbows. Yone goes off the ropes but Ishikawa catches him with a dropkick. Ishikawa tags in Kawakami, elbows by Kawakami, Irish whip, reversed, and Kawakami hits an elbow. Irish whip by Kawakami to the corner and he hits an elbow. Double Irish whip to the corner to Yone, Ishikawa hits an elbow and Kawakami hits an elbow as well. Double vertical suplex to Yone, cover by Kawakami but it gets a two count. Waistlock by Kawakami but Yone elbows out of it, German suplex by Kawakami but Nakajima runs in. Yone lariats everybody , and then both he and Nakajima kick Kawakami. Cover, but Ishikawa breaks it up. Nakajima dumps Ishikawa out of the ring and goes out after him, while in the ring Yone goes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. Kawakami doesn’t go down, Yone goes off the ropes again but Kawakami hits an exploder. Kawakami goes for a slam but Yone elbows him off and they trade elbows. Kawakami goes off the ropes, lariat by Yone and he delivers a high kick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Yone puts Kawakami up on the top turnbuckle and he hits a Muscle Buster. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Mohammed Yone and Katsuhiko Nakajima
Match Thoughts: Yone was the person I least wanted to pick on the win so of course he did, I just think in general he is a waste of space at this point in his career. Anyway aside from that this was not a bad match, but not a great one either. The big moves didn’t mean much as it wasn’t long before they were just trading elbow again, and the submission holds on Kawakami came across as just filling time since they meant nothing in the grand scheme of the match itself. The action was fundamentally sound but lacking anything interesting. Score: 5.0
KENTA and Takashi Sugiura vs. Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge
Marufuji and KENTA start things off. They jockey for position to start, wristlock by KENTA but Marufuji reverses it. KENTA reverses it back but Marufuji flips out of the hold. Kick to the leg by KENTA but Marufuji ducks the PK and returns to this feet. KENTA pushes Marufuji into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Marufuji pushes KENTA into the ropes this time and Marufuji also gives a clean break. KENTA pushes Marufuji back into the corner and Marufuji tags in Kotoge. KENTA tags in Sugiura as well, Kotoge and Sugiura circle each other, side headlock by Sugiura, Kotoge can’t Irish whip out of it and Sugiura keeps the hold locked on. Kotoge finally gets out of it but Sugiura shoulderblocks him down. Waistlock by Sugiura, snapmare by Kotoge and he goes off the ropes but Sugiura ducks the kick. Kicks by Kotoge in the corner, Irish whip, and Kotoge hits a jumping elbow. Kotoge hits an armbreaker but Sugiura elbows Kotoge away. Kick by Kotoge and he hits another armbreaker. Elbows by Sugiura but Kotoge hits him back and they trade elbows and headbutts. Kotoge gets the better of it with his headbutt, he picks up Sugiura and tags in Marufuji. Marufuji drops to the floor and hits a running dropkick while Sugiura’s head is on the second rope. Cover, but it gets a two count. Marufuji applies a reverse chinlock to Sugiura and rakes his eyes with his boot. Neck twist by Marufuji, cover, but it gets a two count. Marufuji picks up Sugiura, he chops Sugiura into the corner and he tags in Kotoge. Kotoge and Marufuji both put pressure on Sugiura’s arm in the corner and Marufuji hits an armbreaker over the ropes. Snapmare by Kotoge and he drops a knee onto Sugiura’s arm. Kotoge applies a stretch hold to Sugiura, they trade elbows and Kotoge hits a big boot followed by a dropkick. Sugiura falls out of the ring, Kotoge goes to do a dive but Sugiura catches him and hits a gutwrench suplex onto the floor. Sugiura drives Kotoge into the guard rail and pounds him in the back. KENTA comes over and kicks Kotoge in the back, KENTA picks up Kotoge and drives her back-first into the apron. KENTA picks up Kotoge and slides him into the ring, cover by Sugiura but it gets a two count. Kick to the back by Sugiura and he tags in KENTA. KENTA applies a crab hold to Kotoge but Kotoge gets to the ropes. KENTA tags in Sugiura, and Sugiura puts Kotoge in a crab hold as well. Marufuji comes in and elbows Sugiura, but Sugiura knocks Marufuji out of the ring with a big boot. Sugiura picks up Kotoge, headbutt by Kotoge, Sugiura goes for a suplex but Kotoge lands on his feet. Dropkick by Kotoge and he makes the hot tag to Marufuji. Marufuji elbows both Sugiura and KENTA, he goes off the ropes and Marufuji hits a lariat. Marufuji picks up Sugiura and applies a cobra clutch into a Backstabber, cover, but he gets a two count. Irish whip by Marufuji, reversed, Marufuji kicks Sugiura back and he rolls up Sugiura, but Sugiura gets out of it.
Spear by Sugiura to Marufuji and he hits a big boot in the corner. Jumping lariat by Marufuji, Irish whip, reversed, high kick by Marufuji and he hits a second one. Cover, but it gets a two count. Marufuji picks up Sugiura and goes for the Shiranui but Sugiura blocks it and hits a release German suplex. Superkick by Marufuji but Sugiura hits a series of elbows and both wrestlers fall to the mat. Sugiura tags in KENTA and KENTA hits a swandive missile dropkick. Kick by KENTA in the corner and he hits a running dropkick. Kotoge runs in but KENTA knocks him down with a lariat. KENTA picks up Marufuji and goes for the Go 2 Sleep but Marufuji gets out of it, Marufuji goes off the ropes but KENTA hits a powerslam for a two count. Marufuji picks up KENTA, Irish whip by KENTA but Marufuji dropkicks KENTA. Marufuji tags in Kotoge, Kotoge charges KENTA but KENTA moves out of the way. KENTA dropkicks Marufuji off the apron while Sugiura comes in the ring, Irish whip to Kotoge to the corner but Kotoge avoids both of their charges. Face crusher by Kotoge to KENTA and he dropkicks Sugiura. KENTA goes up to the second turnbuckle, he grabs KENTA and applies a choke over the top rope. Kotoge goes out to the apron, he rolls in and hits a cutter. Cover, but it gets a two count. Kotoge picks up KENTA and goes for the Killswitch, but KENTA blocks it. Drop toehold by KENTA and he applies a STF, but Kotoge makes it to the ropes. KENTA picks up Kotoge, he puts Kotoge on his shoulders but Kotoge slides off and hits an enzigieri. Kotoge goes to the apron, Marufuji kicks KENTA as Kotoge goes for a swandive body press, but KENTA gets his knees up. Sugiura grabs Kotoge from the floor and then gets in the ring, and Sugiura plants Kotoge with a spear. KENTA goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving doublestomp. Cover, but Marufuji breaks it up. Sugiura throws Marufuji out of the ring again, KENTA picks up Kotoge but Kotoge hits a backslide for a two count. Roll-up by Kotoge, but he gets another two. Superkick by Kotoge and he hits a second and a third. Leg Kick by Kotoge, cover, but KENTA barely gets his shoulder up. Kotoge picks up KENTA and goes for the Killswitch, but KENTA blocks it. Kotoge drop toeholds KENTA into the second rope and kicks him, he goes off the far ropes but KENTA moves and hits a lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count when Marufuji breaks it up. Kick combination by KENTA and he hits the Busaiku Knee Kick. Cover, but Kotoge gets a shoulder up. KENTA picks up Kotoge, elbows by Kotoge and a headbutt, more headbutts by Kotoge but KENTA gets Kotoge on his shoulders and hits the Go 2 Sleep. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: KENTA and Takashi Sugiura
Match Thoughts: I loved the match until the end, but even with that it was really pretty great. Kotoge got an equal chance to shine against Sugiura and KENTA, even winning a strike battle against Sugiura, so I am glad I am not the only one that sees a lot of potential in him. KENTA and Marufuji of course have great chemistry together as they have wrestled with and against each other for over a decade now. I really didn’t like the end where Kotoge shrugs off the Knee Kick, gives KENTA a few hard headbutts which KENTA then promptly shrugs off and wins with the GTS, I don’t mind some ‘fighting spirit’ but it just wasn’t very well done and made the moves seem a lot less significant. Still, it was a great fast paced and hard hitting match that I’d definitely recommend for a view. Score: 8.0
(c) Takeshi Morishima vs. Yuji Nagata
This match is for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Tie-up to start, Nagata pushes Morishima into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Tie-up, Morishima gets Nagata to the ropes but Nagata ducks Morishima’s lariat and hits a series of elbows. Morishima returns fire, Nagata goes off the ropes but Morishima hits a shoulderblock. Nagata rolls out of the ring but quickly gets back in, Morishima ends up on the apron and Nagata boots him off down to the floor. Morishima returns after a moment and they jockey for position, takedown by Nagata and he applies a knee lock. Kicks to the leg by Nagata and he applies a single leg crab hold. Leglock by Nagata and he pulls back on Morishima’s leg. Morishima gets to the ropes to force a break, back up they lock knuckles, Nagata pushes Morishima into the ropes but Morishima chop him. They trade elbows, kicks to the arm by Nagata and he knocks Morishima off his feet. Morishima rolls out of the ring and Nagata goes out after him, knees by Nagata and he throws Morishima into the railing. Morishima fires back with a lariat, and Taniguchi stomps on Nagata. Nagata fights back, Kenou comes over to help and Nagata is double teamed while Morishima gets back into the ring. The referee goes out to restore order, Nagata gets back in the ring and Morishima stomps Nagata down in the corner. Butt smash by Morishima and he hits a second one. Morishima delivers a third running butt smash, Morishima picks up Nagata and he throws him into another corner. Morishima puts Nagata over the second rope and he chokes Morishima with his leg, body press by Morishima but it gets a two count. Morishima applies a reverse chinlock, he picks up Nagata as Taniguchi comes in the ring, they throw Nagata into the corner but Nagata boots Taniguchi and Morishima. Kick to the chest by Nagata and he kicks him again. Nagata picks up Morishima and knees him in the chest. Nagata knocks Morishima into the corner and hits a few more elbows. Irish whip by Nagata and he hits a big boot in the corner followed by an exploder.
Nagata picks up Morishima and hits an armbreaker. Another armbreaker by Nagata and he applies a seated armbar, Kenou and Taniguchi get on the apron but Nagata knocks them off. Nagata goes back to Morishima and clubs him in the back, Morishima chops Nagata and they trade strikes. Nagata goes off the ropes and hits a big boot, sending Morishima into the referee. Shoulderblock by Morishima, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Nagata has recovered and joins him. Headbutts by Nagata but Kenou runs in the ring and hits Nagata with the kendo stick. Ohara comes in the ring too, Nagata is thrown in the apron and both Kenou and Ohara hit running strikes. Lariat by Morishima and he goes for a backdrop suplex, but Nagata elbows out of it. Elbows by Nagata, he goes off the ropes but Taniguchi hits him with a chair from the floor. Heel kick by Nagata and both wrestlers are on the mat. Exploder by Nagata but Morishima fires back with a lariat, waistlock by Nagata but Morishima elbows out of it. Jumping kick by Nagata, he goes off the ropes but Morishima hits a lariat. Another lariat by Morishima, cover, but it gets a two count. Morishima picks up Nagata and drops him with the backdrop driver, cover, but Nagata barely gets a shoulder up. Lariat to the back of the head by Morishima, he goes off the ropes but Nagata kicks him in the arm and hits a release German suplex. Release backdrop suplex by Nagata and he hits a knee in the corner. Morishima chops Nagata off but Nagata applies the seated armbar. Morishima gets a foot on the bottom rope, Nagata picks him up and he hits another jumping kick. Wrist-clutch exploder by Nagata, cover, but it gets a two count when the referee is pulled out of the ring. Kenou gets in the ring and kicks Nagata, then Ohara hits a sliding kick. Chokeslam by Taniguchi, Ohara gets a table and slides it into the ring. They set up the table, they put Nagata up on the top turnbuckle but Haste and Nicholls run down and clear the ring of the Morishima Army. The table is laid back down, and Nagata hits a brainbuster onto the table. Nagata picks up Morishima and he hits a backdrop suplex. Cover, but Morishima gets a shoulder up. Nagata picks up Morishima, Morishima clubs him off but Nagata hits a high kick. Nagata picks up Morishima and nails the Backdrop Hold for the three count. Your winner and new champion: Yuji Nagata
Match Thoughts: The action itself was fine, it was more the story I had an issue with. Morishima is of course a heel and cheated during the entire match with his cronies (apparently this was an unannounced No DQ match), but Nagata was an invading wrestler with no prior ties to NOAH. The crowd kinda cheered for Nagata since he was the face, but on the other hand normally the invading wrestler from New Japan is not cheered. They spent a few months putting over the Morishima Army, and the wrestler they have to overcome the odds and beat him for the belt is a wrestler from another promotion? Just very confusing, it pretty much killed the Morishima Army and they didn’t put over any of their own wrestlers in the process. Aside from some selling issues the match itself was perfectly acceptable although nothing special, but the layout was just too odd for me to fully comprehend. Score: 5.5
Best Match: KENTA and Takashi Sugiura vs. Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge. Aside from them getting a little carried away at the end, I thought that this was a great match. Kotoge is really coming into his own, he isn't a flawless wrestler by any stretch but everything he did in this match was on point and he was given a lot by KENTA and Sugiura. Marufuji has been wrestling KENTA and Sugiura for so long they have great chemistry, and the match never slowed down for twenty minutes. Really entertaining co-main event.
MVP: Atsushi Kotoge. Even though he got pinned, Kotoge stood out the most on this event. He went toe to toe with both Sugiura and KENTA, and at times came out ahead of both of the veteran NOAH stars. He hit all his moves very crisply and sold moves well also, if this was a main event this could have been a star-making match. He still needs to pick up a big NOAH win, but he definitely appears to be going in the right direction.
Overall: Except for the main event not delivering on a logic level, this was a good event. I am really enjoying the different factions in NOAH, even though the Morishima Army didn't come out looking great at least TMDK did, and it made the matches a lot more interesting. There was only one not particularly good match on the card and most were above average. The main event from an in-ring standpoint was fine, I just didn't like the story it was trying to tell, I think a NOAH wrestler would have been better in the Nagata role. Overall, a light recommendation.
review completed on 10/16/14