NOAH SEMex In Shinjuku
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date: May 21st, 2015
Location: Shinjuku FACE in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  360

For some reason I enjoy watching small events, I have no idea why.  I know I skipped the big NOAH event from a few weeks ago with Marufuji vs. Suzuki (I may go back to it) but this show called to me.  Possibly because Kana has a match but more likely because SEM always has such an odd combination of wrestlers that I just have to see it.  Here is the full card: 

-  Battle Royal with Captain NOAH, Jack Gamble, Jon Webb, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Mohammed Yone, Shiro Tomoyose, Yoshinari Ogawa, and Zack Sabre Jr.
-  Kana vs. Sawako Shimono
-  Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi vs. Taiji Ishimori and Atsushi Kotoge
-  Maybach Taniguchi, Kenou, and Hajime Ohara vs. Takashi Sugiura, Akitoshi Saito, and Quiet Storm
-  Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi vs. Super Crazy and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
-  Naomichi Marufuji and Hitoshi Kumano vs. Yuko Miyamoto and Isami Kodaka

Onto the matches!

Eight Man Battle Royal
The match starts with all eight in the ring, no time delay.  This is Tomoyose’s pre-debut so everyone takes turns attacking him to start the match.  Welcome to the big leagues!  Nakajima has gotten so bulky I didn’t even recognize him at first.  Nakajima hits a brainbuster on Tomoyose and pins him, Tomoyose is eliminated from the match.  General chaos breaks out so we’ll fast forward a bit as Webb, Gamble, and Ogawa are eliminated.  This leaves Yone, Nakajima, Sabre Jr., and Captain NOAH.  Captain NOAH is kicked by Sabre but Captain NOAH covers Nakajima and everyone helps cover him, so Nakajima is eliminated.  Sabre and Captain NOAH kick Yone and they hit a double vertical suplex.  Captain NOAH punches Sabre in the gut but Sabre uppercuts him back and they trade blows.  Chops by Captain NOAH but Sabre hits a running uppercut followed by a kick in the corner.  Yone comes over and knees Sabre but Sabre suplexes him and applies the cross armbreaker.  Yone gets to the ropes, Sabre kicks Yone in the arm and he hits an uppercut.  Captain NOAH schoolboys Sabre from behind however and he gets the three count!  Sabre is eliminated and we are left with Captain NOAH and Yone.  Captain NOAH applies a short armbar to Yone but Yone gets to the ropes.  DDT by Captain NOAH, cover, but it gets two.  Captain NOAH goes for the punt but Yone avoids it, lariat by Captain NOAH but Yone kicks out.  Yone kicks Captain NOAH back and hits a lariat of his own, he puts Captain NOAH up on the top turnbuckle and he nails the Muscle Buster for the three count!  Yone wins the Battle Royal!  Nothing to this, just a short meaningless battle royal.  Down the road it may be somewhat memorable as Tomoyose’s unofficial debut but for now it is just time filler at best.

Kana vs. Sawako Shimono
Kana and Shimono start off trading holds, side headlock by Kana but Shimono hits a shoulderblock.  Shimono goes for a powerbomb but Kana gets away, Shimono picks up Kana and puts her upside down in the corner before hitting a lariat.  Scoop slam by Shimono but Kana avoids the seated senton and hits a running kick to the head.  Cross armbreaker by Kana but Shimono quickly gets to the ropes.  Kicks and elbows by Kana, Irish whip to the corner and she applies a short armbar and then a cross armbreaker but Shimono gets a foot on the ropes.  Octopus Hold by Kana but Shimono slams her into the corner to break it up.  Kicks to the chest by Kana but Shimono catches one, elbow by Kana but Shimono hits a body block.  Irish whip by Shimono, reversed, shoulderblock by Shimono and she hits two more.  Cover, but it gets two.  Shimono hits the seated senton, but Kana kicks out of the pin.  Shimono puts Kana in the Mexican Surfboard, she releases the hold and sits down on Kana.  Shimono goes off the ropes but Kana kicks her, they trade elbows and Kana kicks Shimono in the chest.  Samoan Drop by Shimono and she hits a few lariats, but Kana stays up and hits a release German.  Shimono fires back with a lariat, cover, but it gets two.  Shimono goes off the ropes but Kana applies a cross armbreaker.  Seated armbar by Kana but Shimono pins her way out of it, Kana applies a hammerlock but Shimono gets out of that too, but Kana gets Shimono’s back and she applies a Chicken-wing Face Lock.  Shimono struggles for a second but she has to submit!  This was like an abbreviated Kana match, she got most of her stuff in but Shimono didn’t bring a lot to the table here.  I enjoyed it because Kana is so smooth with her strikes and submissions but not the best I’ve seen from her this year, just not enough to put it to the next level.  Mildly Recommended

Daisuke Harada and Genba Hirayanagi vs. Taiji Ishimori and Atsushi Kotoge
Harada and Kotoge start off and they trade wristlocks with neither getting an advantage.  Harada tags in Hirayanagi, Hirayanagi and Kotoge lock knuckles and Hirayanagi gets Kotoge to the mat.  Cross-arm submission by Hirayanagi but Kotoge reverses the hold and tags in Ishimori.  Ishimori puts Hirayanagi in a stretch hold but he gets out of it, and Ishimori knocks Hirayanagi out of the ring.  Ishimori does a fake dive and waits for Hirayanagi to return, Ishimori covers Hirayanagi but it gets two.  Hirayanagi drives Ishimori back and tags in Harada, and Ishimori is stomped down in the corner.  Double Irish whip to Ishimori and he is hit with a double shoulderblock.  Hirayanagi applies a reverse chinlock but Harada reverses it into a camel clutch.  Kotoge dropkicks Harada to break it up, and Ishimori tags in Kotoge.  Kotoge punches Harada in the corner and he hits a jumping knee.  Kotoge elbows Harada in the back of the head and they trade shots, Harada wins the battle and he throws Kotoge out of the ring before sailing out onto him with a pescado.  Back in the ring Harada tags in Hirayanagi, and Hirayanagi rakes Kotoge in the face with his boot.  Irish whip by Hirayanagi and he hits a lariat followed by a second one for a two count.  Kotoge knocks back Hirayanagi and tags in Ishimori, Irish whip by Ishimori to the corner but Hirayanagi flips him out to the apron.  Swandive missile dropkick by Ishimori to Hirayanagi and he hits a jumping double knee.  Running double knee by Ishimori, cover to Hirayanagi but it gets two.  Ishimori goes up top but Hirayanagi recovers and goes to the other side of the ring.  Ishimori jumps down, Hirayanagi avoids his charge and he hits a vertical suplex.  Hirayanagi goes up top and hits a missile dropkick, but Ishimori hits a jawbreaker, he goes off the ropes but Hirayanagi grabs him in the groin and sends him for a ride. 

Hirayanagi tags in Harada, Harada and Ishimori trade elbows and Harada hits an overhead belly to belly suplex.  Vertical suplex by Harada, cover, but it gets a two count.  Harada goes off the ropes but Ishimori catches him with a dropkick and tags in Kotoge.  Kotoge dropkicks both Hirayanagi and Harada, sending them out of the ring, then Kotoge goes off the ropes and hits a tope con hilo out to the floor on both of them.  Kotoge slides Harada back in, Irish whip by Kotoge, reversed, Kotoge kicks Harada back and he hits a necklock over the top rope.  Kotoge gets on the apron and he rolls in with a cutter for a two count.  Kotoge goes up top but Harada hits the ropes to knock him to a seated position.  Harada then joins Kotoge and he hits a superplex.  Hirayanagi comes in and picks up Kotoge, double Irish whip to the corner and both Harada and Hirayanagi hit lariats in the corner.  Suplex by Hirayanagi and Harada drops Kotoge onto his knee.  Harada goes up top and he hits a diving elbow drop on Kotoge for a two count.  Harada picks up Kotoge but Ishimori slides in and hits a handspring kick on Harada.  Hirayanagi comes in and hits a backdrop suplex on Ishimori, then Kotoge hits an enzigieri on Hirayanagi.  Back to Harada, Harada drops Kotoge onto the apron, Kotoge rolls in but Harada catches him with a backdrop suplex.  Kotoge snaps off a DDT, Harada charges him but Kotoge hits a jumping kick.  Ishimori comes in and hits a double knee to Harada, Kotoge goes up top and he hits a diving body press on Harada but the pin is broken up.  Kotoge hits a leg kick on Harada, cover, but Harada gets a shoulder up.  Kotoge picks up Harada and headbutts him, jumping knee by Kotoge but Harada sneaks in a schoolboy for a two count.  The bell rings before they can do much else, and the match is declared a Draw.  This match was missing something.  The action was very solid no doubt but it almost felt like they were playing for the draw.  There were a few near falls but nothing overly convincing as they weren’t able to hit their big signature moves, and there wasn’t the level of urgency you’d hope for.  It was good but not as good as a match with these four should have been.

Maybach Taniguchi, Kenou, and Hajime Ohara vs. Takashi Sugiura, Akitoshi Saito, and Quiet Storm
Taniguchi and company attack before the match starts with Ohara staying in the ring with Quiet Storm.  Armbar by Ohara as Kenou comes in the ring but Quiet Storm fights them both off.  Quiet Storm tags in Saito and Saito clubs Ohara in the back.  Saito knees Ohara in the stomach but Ohara elbows him, kick to the chest by Saito and he tags in Sugiura.  Sugiura elbows Ohara and he Irish whips him, another elbow by Sugiura and he covers Ohara for two.  Sugiura tags in Quiet Storm, Quiet Storm clubs Ohara but Ohara fights him off.  Quiet Storm hits a backdrop suplex, cover, but Kenou breaks it up.  Quiet Storm lariats Ohara in the corner and he tags in Saito.  Saito knees Ohara in the stomach and he hits a delayed vertical suplex for a two count.  Saito tags Sugiura and Sugiura applies a crab hold to Ohara but Ohara gets to the ropes.  Irish whip by Sugiura but Ohara boots him back.  Ohara goes off the ropes but Sugiura knees him in the stomach for a two count cover.  Sugiura picks up Ohara and they trade elbows and then slaps, big boot by Sugiura but Ohara chops him to the mat.  Ohara tags in Kenou and Kenou boots Sugiura.  Quiet Storm comes in but Kenou hits a big boot on him also, Saito comes in but Kenou kicks him to the mat.  Jumping double knee by Kenou in the corner but Sugiura fires back with a spear. 

Big boot by Sugiura in the corner and he hits a running knee.  Kenou and Sugiura trade elbows back on their feet, Irish whip by Sugiura but Taniguchi tags himself in.  Saito tags in too and he hits a scissors kick on Taniguchi.  Powerslam by Taniguchi, cover, but it gets two.  Lariat by Taniguchi in the corner to Sugiura, Sugiura goes off the ropes but Taniguchi catches him with a lariat.  Taniguchi picks up Saito and goes for a powerbomb but Saito reverses it with a back bodydrop.  Side slam by Saito and he tags in Quiet Storm.  Chops by Quiet Storm and he hits a vertical suplex.  Lariat by Quiet Storm in the corner and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex hold for a two count.  Kenou comes in with a kendo stick but Quiet Storm moves when he goes to hit him and he hits Ohara by accident.  Taniguchi is thrown in the corner but he lariats Sugiura and Quiet Storm before suplexing Saito.  Kenou comes in and boots Quiet Storm in the corner and Taniguchi hits a lariat.  Kenou goes up top and hits a diving doublestomp on Quiet Storm and Taniguchi hits a chokeslam on him, but the referee is MIA so he can’t count.  Taniguchi picks up Quiet Storm and he hits a vertical suplex followed by a spinebuster for a two count.  Taniguchi puts Quiet Storm up top and he grabs him, nailing the Maybach Bomb for the three count!  I liked the ending but there wasn’t anything too exciting beyond that.  The beatdown on Ohara was uninspired and it felt like they were just going through the motions.  Then Taniguchi killed Quiet Storm which was cool but it didn’t make up for the pedestrian action that came before it.

Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi vs. Super Crazy and Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
Super Crazy and Kitamiya attack before the match starts but Sekimoto and Okabayashi regain the advantage as Okabayashi chops Super Crazy to the mat.  Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto and Sekimoto hits an elbow drop.  Irish whip by Sekimoto but Super Crazy dropkicks Sekimoto in the knee.  Kitamiya comes in and hits a senton for a two count.  Sekimoto scoop slams Kitamiya and he tags in Okabayashi.  Okabayashi chops Kitamiya in the chest and slams him before tagging Sekimoto back in.  They take turns slamming Kitamiya and Okabayashi covers him for a two count.  Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, chops by Sekimoto but Kitamiya elbows him back.  Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto and Sekimoto hits a standing dropkick.  Sekimoto tags in Okabayashi, Okabayashi stomps on Kitamiya but Kitamiya elbows him back.  Okabayashi drives Kitamiya into the corner and he goes for a vertical suplex, but Kitamiya blocks it.  Kitamiya hits a vertical suplex of his own and he makes a hot tag to Super Crazy.  Okabayashi chops Super Crazy repeatedly but Super Crazy hits a heel kick.  Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, Kitamiya runs in and Sekimoto gets thrown into the ropes, but he gives them a double lariat.  Sekimoto picks up Kitamiya and he throws him out of the ring.  Sekimoto chops Kitamiya outside the ring as they battle up into the crowd, Super Crazy gets up in the stands and hits a tope con hilo over the railing to the floor.  At least Super Crazy cares. 

Super Crazy and Okabayashi return to the ring and he covers him for two.  Super Crazy picks up Okabayashi but Okabayashi chops him and they trade blows.  Dropkick by Super Crazy but Okabayashi fires back with a lariat.  Super Crazy tags in Kitamiya while Okabayashi tags in Sekimoto, Sekimoto and Kitamiya trade elbows and Kitamiya hits a Samoan Drop.  He hits one on Okabayashi as well, Kitamiya grabs Sekimoto but Sekimoto pushes him back into the corner.  Release German suplex by Kitamiya and he levels Sekimoto with a spear, but Okabayashi breaks up the pin.  Okabayashi throws Super Crazy out of the ring, Sekimoto puts Kitamiya on his shoulders in an Argentine Backbreaker while Okabayashi does the same to Super Crazy.  Sekimoto drops Kitamiya and they trade elbows, Kitamiya goes off the ropes but Sekimoto boots him and hits an enzigieri.  Lariat by Sekimoto, cover, but it gets a two count.  Sekimoto grabs Kitamiya around the waist and he hits the German suplex hold, and he picks up the three count!   This was the best match on the show so far, however that isn’t a very high bar. And even then the match wasn’t very long for a tag match and the bulk of it was a somewhat lackadaisical attack on Kitamiya.  What saved it is Super Crazy doing the most with the few spots he had, and the hard hitting action between Kitamiya and either Sekimoto and Okabayashi.  So definitely a good match but still not very memorable.  Mildly Recommended

Naomichi Marufuji and Hitoshi Kumano vs. Yuko Miyamoto and Isami Kodaka
Marufuji and Miyamoto start off and they trade wristlocks, they go to the mat but neither can get an advantage. Miyamoto tags in Kodaka, Kodaka and Marufuji quickly end up on the mat with Kodaka applying a headscissors.  Marufuji flips out of it and he tags in Kumano.  Kumano and Kodaka tie-up, Kumano pushes Kodaka into the ropes and they trade elbows.  Side headlock by Kumano and he hits a shoulderblock, side headlock takedown by Kumano and he dropkicks Kodaka in the knee.  Kumano stomps on Kodaka, Kumano goes for a scoop slam but Kodaka blocks it and hits one of his own.  Kodaka tags in Miyamoto and Miyamoto applies a reverse chinlock.  Headscissors by Miyamoto but Kumano gets into the ropes, elbow to the back of the head by Miyamoto and he hits a neckbreaker.  Miyamoto tags in Kodaka, knees by Kodaka and he kicks Kumano down in the corner.  Running elbow by Kodaka in the corner, he goes for an attack in the other corner but Kumano moves.  Miyamoto runs in and knocks Marufuji off the apron, but Kumano dropkicks both of them and tags in Marufuji.  Marufuji chops Kodaka into the corner and he hits a jumping elbow in the corner.  Footstomp to the head by Marufuji and he superkicks Kodaka for a two count.  Kodaka slides away from Marufuji and he hits a dropkick, Kodaka boots Marufuji in the corner and hits a scoop slam.  Kodaka goes up top but Marufuji avoids the diving knee drop.  Superkick by Kodaka and he hits a vertical suplex on Marufuji, giving him time to tag in Miyamoto.  Miyamoto chops Marufuji but Marufuji chops him back.  Marufuji goes off the ropes but Miyamoto hits an overhead suplex. 

Miyamoto goes for a cobra twist but Marufuji hiptosses out of it, Marufuji goes off the ropes but Miyamoto grabs him and this time he gets the move applied.  Miyamoto picks up Marufuji but Marufuji slides away, Miyamoto goes for the Shiranui but Marufuji pushes him off and tags in Kumano.  Irish whip by Kumano from the corner and he hits a running elbow, kick by Miyamoto but Kumano hits another elbow.  Rolling verticals by Kumano and he hits a fisherman suplex hold for a two count.  Kumano charges Miyamoto but Miyamoto drops him on the second rope and Kodaka kicks him.  Double Irish whip to Kumano and he eats a double flapjack.  Cover, but Marufuji breaks it up.  Marufuji dropkicks Kodaka out of the ring, Kumano goes up top and he hits a missile dropkick.  Cover, but it gets two.  Kodaka sails out onto Marufuji with a tope suicida while Kumano rolls up Miyamoto for a two count.  Elbows by Kumano but Miyamoto hits the handspring elbow strike.  Powerbomb by Miyamoto, cover, but Kumano gets a shoulder up.  Miyamoto slams Kumano in front of the corner, he goes up top and he nails the moonsault, picking up the three count!  Like the other matches on the card, this was fundamentally sound but it just didn’t have any pop.  At first glance there is nothing actively wrong with it and these are all quality wrestlers (well I am not completely sold on Kumano yet) but there was never a sense that the match was important or the main event of the show.  Action was perfectly fine, just not the most exciting way to end the show.

Final Thoughts:

Overall this was just a flat show. Nothing was outright bad since the wrestler quality was high, but nothing felt special or important. I don't want to say they were all going through the motions as it wasn't that bad, but you could tell this was not a major event just by the way the matches were laid out. So a pretty ho-hum event, really only needs to be seen by hardcore NOAH fans.

Grade: D

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event reviewed on 5/29/15