REVIEW: Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘Navigation with Emerald Spirits’ (16/06/18)

Added by Luke Hickey

Only recently had time to sit down and watch this show which was aired on NicoPro around the beginning of July. Should still be able to find it on Puroresu Dream as it is worth a watch and it builds to the big 26/06 show at the Korakuen Hall, a review of that show should follow shortly, by Sunday at the latest I imagine.

This show took place at Yokohama Radiant Hall in the Kanagawa region of Japan, it was attended by just under 400 people and looked crowded. I imagine a recent earthquake may have affected attendance.

The show opened with Tadasuke vs Junta Miyawaki vs Masao Inoue, in a decent match that featured RATEL’S ‘mother’ Tadasuke, veteran Inoue and the young rookie, Miyawaki. Early showings was Tadasuke and Miyawaki going through some chain as Inoue watched from the side, Junta cleared Tadasuke from the ring after a dropkick, at which point Inoue sneakily kicked Junta from behind. Miyawaki and Tadasuke formed a brief alliance against Inoue but he comes back against the younger duo with a Lariat and a two count on Tadasuke. The early alliance is broken as Junta takes Tadasuke up for a Fisherman’s Suplex but only gets a two count. Inoue is out of action as Junta goes for a Schoolboy Pin on Tadasuke but once again only a two count, Tadasuke follows up with a Lariat that only gets a two count. He builds up steam by running off the ropes as Miyawaki rises before delivering another Lariat, this time getting the pinfall victory.

Cody Hall & Maybach Taniguchi vs 50 Funky Power’s, Muhammad Yone & Quiet Storm was another decent match as newfound stable in Hall, Taniguchi and Nagai look to cement their place in Noah, Nagai is absent from the card as Hall & Taniguchi face off against Yone & Storm, otherwise known as the 50 Funky Power’s, who as a team are former GHC Tag Team Champions for 161 days I believe, but it was the new duo of Hall & Taniguchi who had the most in-ring success on this given day, who dominated Yone before Storm came in all fired up but was snuffed out by a big boot to the throat by Cody Hall. Hall tags in his partner who ends up being double teamed by the 50 Funky Power’s, Hall returns in time to interrupt the Funky Buster Bomb. The match ends as Taniguchi gets the win on Quiet Storm via pinfall after a Maybach Bomb Zwei.

Atsushi Kotoge & Kaito Kiyomiya vs RATEL’S duo of YO-HEY and HAYATA who will be looking for momentum going into July’s Junior Tag League but Kotoge and Kiyomiya will be also after the win to bolster the confidence amongst the ranks of the Super Generational Army. This was better than the previous tag team match in my opening as one team never dominated too long and both got in meaningful offence. At the start, as Kotoge was offering Kiyomiya a cloak, YO-HEY and HAYATA jumped them and eliminated Kiyomiya and focused in on Kotoge, YO-HEY wore the cape for the next while as RATEL’S worked on Kotoge until Kotoge fired back, reclaimed his cloak and tagged in the impressive Kaito Kiyomiya. YO-HEY gets isolated as Kotoge was earlier, HAYATA comes in and the match speeds up as he faces off against Kotoge. HAYATA is down as Kotoge goes for his cloak and up top for a splash but misses, he tags in Kiyomiya who gets a Fisherman Suplex Pin on HAYATA but only gets a two count. He whips HAYATA off the ropes and YO-HEY blind tags himself in unbeknownst to Kiyomiya. Backslide pin attempt nearfall followed by another nearfall after a Cutter. Kiyomiya applies a Double Leg Crab on YO-HEY but as he increases the pressure, HAYATA comes in and breaks it with a Thrust Kick. After Kotoge and HAYATA are out of the ring, Kiyomiya goes for and hits a Tiger Suplex Pin for the win on YO-HEY.

Post-match, Kotoge still wants to form his own group but is once again rejected. This time by Kaito Kiyomiya.

Six man tag action follows as GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka team with Yoshinari Ogawa take on the team of Hajime Ohara with Ikuto Hidaka & Takuya Sugawara from ZERO1, who’ll be participants in this year’s Junior Tag League, which this match serves as a prelude too. Not my favourite match of the evening but worth a watch just for the story it tells as these competitors feel each other out before they face off in July as they learn their opponents and teammates strengths and weaknesses. The trio of Hajime Ohara and the ZERO1 boys worked well in the closing stages as they eliminated Hi69’s teammates from being able to break the Ankle Lock that Hidaka calls the Shawn Catcher on Hi69 as one half of the GHC Jnr Tag taps out.

Post-match, the ZERO1 lads put the others and especially the GHC Jnr Tag Team Champions on notice. They also form an alliance with Hajime Ohara and his Backbreakers partner Hitoshi Kumano.

Daisuke Harada vs. Hitoshi Kumano face off in non-title action, it was a quick match which Kumano dominated. He won in something like 6 minutes, matches like this can be detrimental but Noah was clever and this legitimises Kumano as a challenger for Harada’s GHC Junior Heavyweight title. Harada had offence but Kumano had an answer for much of it, his own offence was targeted on the back of Harada as he looked to weaken it for the Argentine Backbreaker. After a few failed attempts to submit Harada with it, Kumano unveiled a new variation with an Arm Hook Argentine Backbreaker which led to the tap out victory.

Post-match, Kumano declares himself the rightful challenger to Harada’s Global Honoured Crown. The match happened on 26/06.

The main event saw one of the first contests of the generational struggle that looks set to be the foundation of Noah in the coming months as the old guard face off against the new era, the veteran side of Naomichi Marufuji, Akitoshi Saito, Shiro Koshinaka and GHC Heavyweight Champion face off against the new era, the Super Generational Army, Kenoh, Go Shiozaki and the GHC Tag Team Champions, The Aggression (Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya). Usually in 8 man tags, I feel sometimes the story that is meant to be carried can be lost amongst the mayhem but this was a very good contest that saw Kenoh face off against the man he’ll challenge on 26/06 for the GHC belt, the re-emergence of Saito in the main event scene after he lost confidence in himself following the unfortunate death of Misawa, if anything he’s fighting for the old guard for reasons of being true to the Noah that Misawa founded. The interactions of Nakajima and Marufuji hinting that perhaps a special singles contest needs to be held between these two as they have an added spice when they strike each other. On the basic side of things, this featured classic tag team wrestling psychology as Shiozaki was isolated from his corner just as Marufuji was from his.

Momentum shifted back and forth from New Era to Old Guard, there was a nice ebb and flow to it that culminated in Akitoshi Saito facing off against Masa Kitamiya. Saito with an Enziguri after a Spear and pinfall attempt from Kitamiya, he follows it up with a Chokeslam and a kick to the back of the head that he calls the Sickle Death on Kitamiya which gave the win to the veteran side.

Saito & Marufuji will challenge The Aggression on July 28th for the GHC Tag Team Championship.

Luke Hickey
@PuroReviews on Twitter