Pro Wrestling NOAH held ‘Great Voyage in Yokohama’ in front of 2,145 fans, and was shown on the 22.12.2018 on G+. It featured four title matches, the return of Doug Williams to NOAH for the first time in a decade, and main evented by Global League 2018 winner, Kaito Kiyomiya versus the reigning GHC Heavyweight Champion, Takashi Sugiura.
The show was opened by a tag team match, with Kinya Okada & Yoshiki Inamura, who are current NOAH trainees going up against DDT wrestler Mizuki Watase, who teams with Lin Dong Xuan, it was weird not seeing Watase wrestle in a suit as he has done for most the year in DDT but it was his partner Xuan who look the weakest to me in this battle, it was still a decent match with a good showing from Okada and Inamura. Boston Crab submission win for Watase & Xuan. The next bout featured the Hooligans triage of Cody Hall, KAZMA Sakamoto & Mitsuya Nagai teaming with Masao Inoue to go up against the 50 Funky Power’s, Quiet Storm & Mohammad Yone, Akitoshi Saito and Shiro Koshinaka. As expected with the Hooligans, there was a brawl outside the ring and implementation of heel tactics, but is was Shiro Koshinaka who got the win, pinning Inoue as he was left alone by himself. It was an okay match, but nothing too groundbreaking.
The next match was a lively affair with RATEL’S trio, YO-HEY, HAYATA & Tadasuke going up against Koji Kanemoto, Seiya Morohashi & Junta Miyawaki. Kanemoto is showing he can still go, Morohashi looked well and Miyawaki is developing nicely, RATEL’S as you would expect, are the more cohesive unit with plenty of tandem and trio offence thrown in. Decent and lively match, with Tadasuke getting the pinfall win on Junta Miyawaki. Next up was DDT vs NOAH, as Nobuhiro Shimatani, Kota Umeda & Kazusada Higuchi team up to face Atsushi Kotoge, Masa Kitamiya & Kenoh. Shimatani was more subdued than his usual DDT self, but the nuttiness was provided by Kotoge who doesn’t fail to deliver on that side of things, a decent match which makes me want certain singles matches to happen in either promotion, the size and power battle of Higuchi vs Kitamiya and the kicks and strikes of Kenoh vs Umeda, which would be incredible. Homefield advantage would see Kenoh get the win on the shortest man, Shimatani after a Diving Footstomp. Next up, was Doug Williams versus Yoshinari Ogawa, two great technicians, though singles matches are rarity for Ogawa these days, his last one being the 16th of July. This match told a great story, as both used moves to target and weaken limbs, Ogawa focused on Williams dodgy knee while Williams went after the arm. Doug would get a victory on his return to NOAH following a roll through German Suplex into a pinning bridge, was a good match.
The first of the title matches, sees GHC Junior Tag Team Champions, Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka defend against The Backbreakers, Hitoshi Kumano & Hajime Ohara. The champions would showcase why they are where they are, dominating the early stages of the match and isolating Kumano from his more experienced partner. Aspects of Hi69 and Tanaka favoured perhaps a heelish behaviour and perhaps a turn is soon. Ohara would help regain momentum for The Backbreakers but the match would come down to Kumano and Hi69, as Ohara ties up Tanaka in a lock, Kumano applies an Argentine Backbreaker for the second time, the first time Hi69 raked the eyes, this time Hi69 submits and The Backbreakers are the new GHC Junior Tag Team Champions. The next match is Kotaro Suzuki defending the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship against former champion Daisuke Harada, the man Suzuki beat on the 30.10 to win it, and following two successful defences against HAYATA and Tadasuke, Harada stepped up to reclaim his strap, but Suzuki wanted another stipulation, if Harada lost, RATEL’S must disband. This match was really good, not quite sure if its as good as their first encounter but it is certainly a good match none the less, Harada would vanquish Suzuki with a German Suplex Hold to reclaim the gold, and become a 3 time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion, and RATEL’S, the unit of Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY and HAYATA could remain together….. but YO-HEY turned on them, superkicking each of his former allies, only hesitating briefly on HAYATA. He joined up with Suzuki and Ogawa.
Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima defending the GHC Tag Team Championship against, Yuji Hino and Maybach Taniguchi. Shiozaki and Nakajima only won the belts on the 07.12 Winter Navigation show, following the vacating of the belts following Marufuji’s injury. This match was heavy on Hooligans interference, brawling outside and involvement from Nagai, Hall and KAZMA on the outside, Hooligans were cruising against a bloodied Shiozaki who was bleeding a lot, Nakajima got some momentum going but as the referee got downed, Taniguchi used the Satsumata, an old Japanese weapon, and Cody Hall double Chokeslammed both of them. Kotoge would run out to make a save but would suffer a similar fate, Hino with a FUCKING Bomb, that its name, on Shiozaki and the ref is revived in time to count the winning pinfall. Hino and Taniguchi are the new champions. And finally, we’re at the main event, as the Global League 2018 winner, Kaito Kiyomiya faces GHC Heavyweight Champion, Takashi Sugiura, in an absolute belter, he looked out for a lot of it, but was far more convincing than he was in their Block match, he was almost a different wrestler but very worthy of being at this level, if not a little too soon for some. Sugiura had an answer for much of Kaito’s offence early on but as the match progressed, the veteran tired and his rises and falls became sharper while Kaito seemed to recover and rise quicker, Kiyomiya would emulate a lot of his hero, and NOAH’s founder, Mitsuharu Misawa’s moves and style, green trunks, and using a move Misawa used, the Tiger Suplex Hold to get the win. Becoming the youngest ever GHC Heavyweight Champion in the process.
NOAH is sailing towards a new era.