A crowd of 1,469 came out to the Korakuen to help Noah honour and remember their founder, Mitsuharu Misawa, commemorating 9 years since his unfortunate passing.
The balcony where Misawa’s portrait hangs in the Hall for the show is closed, no fans, no staff of Korakuen or NOAH go up there until after the show. No one is above Misawa.
YO-HEY vs Junta Miyawaki
YO-HEY controlled much of the match against the Noah youngster who had brief glimpses of hope but ultimately YO-HEY got the win following a Camel Clutch.
Mitsuya Nagai vs Cody Hall
The big gaijin faced off against the veteran Nagai. Nagai offered a handshake to Hall, as Hall went to shake his hand, Nagai sneakily kicked him in the bread basket. They brawl outside for a while, Hall whipped Nagai into the chairs, and Hall rolled Nagai back into the ring as the referee counted to 20. Nagai is standing in the corner and Hall charges at him twice with splashes and follows it up with a Scoop Slam, two count as Nagai kicks out. Hall goes for a rope assisted splash for another two count. Cody sets up up for a powerbomb attempt but Nagai reverses it and Hall goes over the top rope onto the outside of the ring. As they brawl outside the ring, the referee declares a count out draw as both failed to enter before the 20 count.
Post-match, they continue to brawl but back in the ring they shake hands and leave together.
RATELS (Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & HAYATA) vs Hi69, Minoru Tanaka & Seiya Morohashi
As with the previous matches, the coverage of this is edited. The Jnr Tag champions Hi69 & Tanaka have the run of it over Tadasuke but he manages to get both of them out of the ring, HAYATA comes in and flies over the top rope and takes them out. HAYATA gets some momentum for his team over Tanaka but Minoru Tanaka comes back with a dropkick and tags in Morohashi. Seiya Morohashi with two Lariats but then gets triple teamed. HAYATA goes for a Moonsault but misses and he finds himself in a Crossface from Morohashi, his teammates can’t rescue him as their in Crossface’s by Hi69 and Tanaka. He submits to Morohasi.
Post-match, ZERO1’s Ikuto Hidaka and Takuya Sugawara appeared after the match, making it known they want to be in Jnr Global Tag League. Morohashi said he wants in too but has no partner.
LEONA was later announced as Morohashi’s partner and the ZERO1 pair were confirmed.
Yoshinari Ogawa, Akitoshi Saito & Masao Inoue vs Maybach Taniguchi, Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano
We join the action as Akitsohi Saito faces Ohara, picking him up for a big Uranage. Ohara creates some distance for himself after sending Saito into the corner from a Shotgun Dropkick. Ohara tags in his Backbreakers partner, Kumano. Kumano gets Saito up for a Brainbuster. Ogawa and Taniguchi are tagged in. Ogawa gets powerslammed by Taniguchi, who goes up top but Inoue shakes the ropes knocking him off. Back Suplex from Ogawa. Inoue tagged in and he has Lariats for Taniguchi. Triple team on Taniguchi but the Backbreakers break the following pin attempt.
Inoue with nearfalls after a Schoolboy and a Small Package. Taniguchi gets a Chokeslam but Ogawa breaks the pinfall. Taniguchi gets the win after a Maybach Bomb Zwei.
Post-match, Hall and Nagai bump fists with Taniguchi signifying the formation of a trio.
Muhammad Yone vs Quiet Storm
The battle of the 50 Funky Power’s see former 1x GHC Tag Team Champions, Muhammad Yone go up against Quiet Storm. Neither held back in this contest, both went for it, unafraid to go for big shoulder tackles, chops and forearms against their friend. Both had a decent amount of offence in the match but it was ultimately Quiet Storm who got the win after his 50cm Arm Lariat.
It was interesting to see tag partners go against each other as both are on the veteran side in this generational war in Noah.
Masa Kitamiya vs Atsushi Kotoge
Before the bell, Kotoge offered Kitamiya a cloak, but Kitamiya threw it down and kicked it out of the ring. A decent match between these two lads on the younger generational side, both had meaningful offence and the match could have gone either way, in the end it was Kitamiya with a Saito Suplex that got the victory.
Afterwards, Kitamiya offered Kotoge the chance to join himself and Nakajima.
No 1 Contender for the GHC Heavyweight Championship: Kaito Kiyomiya vs Kenoh
Kiyomiya is on fire this year for me and Kenoh wants his gold back so he can live up to the promise of taking NOAH back to the Budokan. They fight here for the chance to challenge Sugiura on the 26th back in Korakuen Hall.
They start slowly with some chain wrestling, Kenoh finds himself outside the ring and Kiyomiya goes to the apron, Kenoh kicks out his leg and Kiyomiya lands on the apron. Back in the ring, Kiyomiya gets a missile dropkick, Kenoh rolls through and transitions into an Ankle Hold.
As the match develops the crowd and the action heat up, Kenoh had fought off much of Kiyomiya’s attempts at a Tiger Suplex but Kaito finally lands one but only gets a two count. Kiyomiya tries picking up Kenoh by his tights but he’s deadweight, looking for another Tiger Suplex which he eventually gets but Kenoh lands on his feet and delivers a vicious kick to the back of Kiyomiya’s neck, he follows it up with a Penalty Kick and goes up top for a Double Foot Stomp and gets the pinfall victory.
Mitsuharu Misawa Memorial Match: Takashi Sugiura & Naomichi Marufuji vs Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima
Both teams have recent history against each other, Marufuji challenged Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight title and Nakajima & Kitamiya reclaimed their GHC Tag Team titles over Shiozaki & Kiyomiya after brilliantly targeting Shiozaki’s leg. Coming in to this match, I’d have thought the veteran team would work best together.
I was wrong and Nakajima and Shiozaki would work well as a unit but the early stages were dominated by Marufuji and Sugiura in my opinion, Marufuji piledriving Shiozaki onto the apron as Sugiura did a spinning neckbreaker to Nakajima on the exposed floor, one would say that victory looked likely for the veteran team.
In the closing stages it would be Shiozaki vs Sugiura as Nakajima and Marufuji would pop in occasionally to break pin falls and go back outside for some brawling. A battle of chops and forearms between Sugiura and Shiozaki ensued which Shiozaki came out on top of and followed a Lariat, only to get a two count as Marufuji breaks the pin. Nakajima took care of Marufuji with a Spiked Brainbuster which more or less ended his involvement. Nakajima with a big kick to the side of Sugiura’s head as Shiozaki set up for the Gowan Lariat which gave the young generation the win.
Afterwards, Masato Tanaka, Muhammad Yone and Quiet Storm appeared to side with Marufuji and Sugiura as they stood across from the younger generation of Shiozaki, Nakajima, Kitamiya, Kenoh & Kotoge
I can’t wait to see where Noah continues to go with this, I’m loving Noah in 2018. Gone are the depressing days of Suzuki-gun in NOAH.
At the moment, title matches for the 26th are Kumano challenges Harada for the GHC Jnr Heavyweight Championship and Kenoh challenges Sugiura for the GHC Heavyweight Championship.