[NOAH News] Pro Wrestling NOAH announced the next defenses for the GHC Heavyweight and GHC Tag titles.
First up is KENTA defending the GHC Heavyweight belt against Toru Yano on June 2nd. Following his 2nd defense of this past weekend against Sugiura, no one actually came forward to him face to face. Though earlier in the night Toru Yano, following his team’s successful defense of the tag titles, actually made a call out that he wants a shot at the GHC singles belt. Well that brings us to a day later, and KENTA announced that he will take Yano up on his offer on the condition that him and Takayama get a tag title shot soon following. So it seems things have been set in place to happen in early June. KENTA and Takayama of course won the Global Tag League in April and earned themselves the right to challenge for the tag belts, and KENTA has stated that he wants to not only bring the tag belts home where they belong, but to also be called a double crown champion. KENTA aims to continue this new chapter in NOAH by doing his best show after show.
Also following the shows this weekend, Takashi Sugiura has joined officially joined alongside KENTA and NO MERCY. There seemed to be a lot of respect between KENTA and Sugi following their fierce battle over the GHC and a partnership between the two was agreed upon in the ring right after the match. What this means for Sugiura and his ex-group in BRAVE is unknown, but the two groups will be facing off in the next tour later this month. It should also be noted that Sugiura is an officer in NOAH, and it should be interesting to see if anything comes in to play with his power within NOAH.
Below are the announced title matches that will take place in June.
NOAH “Southern Navig. 2013”, 6/2/2013 [Sun] 17:00 @ Hakata Starlanes
(-) GHC Heavyweight Championship Match: [19th Champion] KENTA vs. [Challenger] Toru Yano (NJPW/CHAOS) ~ 3rd title defense.
NOAH “Southern Navig. 2013”, 6/8/2013 [Sat] 18:30 @ Nasci Hall Umeda in Osaka
(-) GHC Tag Championship Match: [28th Champions] “CHAOS” Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka (NJPW) vs. [Challengers] “NO MERCY” KENTA & Yoshihiro Takayama ~ 2nd title defense.
Apparently Taue aims to retire this December at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo. No official date nor time has been set, but where it will happen has indeed been determined. Taue aims to retire and dedicate himself fully as the acting President of Pro Wrestling NOAH, or in other words he wants to concentrate on the future of the promotion. It seems that Taue was going to announce his retirement sooner, but due to Takeshi Rikio’s announcement to retire in November of 2011 and the news that Kobashi was going to make the following year, Taue decided to hold off on his own announcement. Taue has competed in the ring only a few occasions in the last couple of years and he stated that it is the right time for him to make the formal announcement.
Of course Kenta Kobashi just retired from professional wrestling a day ago, 5/11, and this makes 3 of the 4 “Corners of Heaven” officially done with wrestling as of the end of this year. I would say all 4, but Toshiaki Kawada has not formally announced a retirement of any kind. From what has gathered, Kawada has merely just taken some much needed time away to rest and run his own personal ramen shop.
Though speaking of Kawada, if he were to indeed return? Could we seen a last return of the “Holy Demon Army”? Kawada is one of the few remaining figures in Taue’s career and it would definitely mark a huge moment if Kawada made his return, at least for this final show for Taue.
[Kenta Kobashi’s Final Match from May 11th] Kenta Kobashi, Jun Akiyama, Keiji Mutoh & Kensuke Sasaki vs. KENTA, Go Shiozaki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Maybach Taniguchi, 5/11/2013 @ Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. ~ Full match including entrances and final ceremony.
[NOAH News] NOAH announced that SUWA will be unable to compete at today’s, 5/12, Korakuen Hall show as he is suffering from a cervical spine injury. There was no mention of the severity of the injury, but given it is so early in the day I doubt he has undergone an full examination at this time. Expect an update once the details are known.
His scheduled match has been changed accordingly with an interesting addition with a Maybach SUWA Jr., whoever that might actually be is unknown at this time.
Pro Wrestling NOAH “Ark New Chapter”, 5/12/2013 [Sun] 12:00 @ Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
(1) Ark New Chapter Opening Match: Taiji Ishimori vs. Hitoshi Kumano (2) Go Forward Tag Match: Naomichi Marufuji & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Genba Hirayanagi & Maybach SUWA Jr. (3) Battle of Spirits Single Match: Mohammed Yone vs. Maybach Taniguchi (4) Momo no Seishun Showdown Single Match: Atsushi Kotoge vs. Daisuke Harada (5) BATTLE THE SUPER HEAVY Single Match: Takeshi Morishima vs. Yoshihiro Takayama (Takayama Hall)
(6) GHC Tag Championship Match: [28th Champions] “CHAOS” Toru Yano & Takashi Iizuka (NJPW) vs. [Challengers] “TMDK” Mikey Nicholls & Shane Haste ~ 1st title defense.
(7) GHC Heavyweight Championship Match: [19th Champion] KENTA vs. [Challenger] Takashi Sugiura ~ 2nd title defense.
“The Absolute Champion” Kenta Kobashi’s closing ceremony for his retirement. Kobashi was in tears as he said his final goodbye’s to the fans in attendance and the wrestlers who stood around the ring. Kobashi made his way down the ramp to his theme song as the fans cheered “Ko-ba-shi” loudly. A fitting end to one of the all time greats of the sport.
[Match of the Day - Kenta Kobashi Series] Here is the tenth match of this eleven match series, as we countdown to Kenta Kobashi’s official retirement on May 11th.
Kenta Kobashi vs. Kensuke Sasaki from July 18, 2005 at Destiny 2005 at the Tokyo Dome.
Considered to be two of the strongest brute force wrestlers in Japan. These two are known for their brutal chops and their hard hitting lariats. Both are very similar in terms of their career rise and have held numerous titles throughout their careers. This singles showdown was the ultimate dream match for many fans who grew up watching these two throughout their careers. There is a lot of pride and determination from both to win and they go to great lengths to try and show that there is no quit between them. That includes taking whatever big maneuvers the other has and getting back up to their feet. This leads to one of the most noteworthy moments in the match as these two end up having the lengthiest, back and forth, chop battle in the history of puroresu. Both Kobashi and Sasaki would show their fighting spirit and manage to keep the fans in attendance enthralled throughout the match.
[May Event Updates for All Japan and NOAH] Both All Japan and NOAH released updates for their upcoming shows later this month.
All Japan also announced that KENSO will miss the upcoming tour as he has been told to relax for the month after he suffered from pneumothorax, or a partial collapsed lung, to his left lung. KENSO will be undergoing evaluation by physicians in the next few days and could undergo surgery depending on the severity of the issue.
All Japan announced the full cards for all of their shows, excluding the final show of the tour on June 2nd, among the outside talent involved is HUB from DRAGON GATE/Okinawa Pro who will be competing throughout the tour. The tour will be primarily headlined with LAST REVOLUTION vs. Burning, with the two groups facing off in a 10 man elimination tag match on May 26th.
On the NOAH side of things, they will have two back to back big shows this weekend with Kobashi’s final show tomorrow then Sunday with a big show at the Korakuen Hall. Later in the month they will be kicking off the “Northern Navigation” tour as they will be holding both standard and charity shows in the northern region of the country. This will mark Daisuke Harada’s first tour with NOAH and he will have a few high profile matches to kick off his new beginning. Among the outside talent involved in the tour will be Yoshihiro Takayama, who will be competing for a few shows, and Daisuke Ikeda who will be involved in a tag match on the May 17th show.
Check out the links below to see the full events that have been announced at this time.
[Michinoku Pro News] Michinoku announced the next defense for Fujita “Jr” Hayato and the Tohoku Jr. belt as he will be defending against his long time rival in Koji Kanemoto on June 9th. These two have met each other in very physical matches in the past, more specifically during the best of the Super Jr. (BOSJ) tournaments a few years ago in NJPW. Hayato has been looking to face against his stronger rivals during his current title reign (with current wins over Sasuke, Nakajima, Ikuto Hidaka), and looks to rekindle the heat between him in Kanemoto in what is sure to be nothing more than a physical and hard hitting match.
Also announced is Minamino’s return from injury and the Tohoku Tag belts on the line as Ultimi Dragon and Kesennuma Jirolamo defend against Jinsei Shinzaki and Super Delfin.
Below is the announced card as it stands right now.
Michinoku Pro Wrestling “Michinoku Pro Wrestling 20th Anniversary Year, Tokyo Show”, 6/9/2013 [Sun] 12:00 @ Korakuen Hall in Tokyo
[Match of the Day - Kenta Kobashi Series] Here is the ninth match of this eleven match series, as we countdown to Kenta Kobashi’s official retirement on May 11th.
Kenta Kobashi vs. Jun Akiyama, GHC Heavyweight Championship Match, from July 10, 2004 at the Tokyo Dome.
This event would be NOAH’s first event ever at the Tokyo Dome and this would be an explosive match through and through. Akiyama was the leader of the new generation heading into this match and was eager to finally topple the established star in Kobashi in a high profile match.. and you cannot get any more high profile than at the Tokyo Dome.
Kobashi on the other hand was on the verge of making history with his reign as champion by already knocking off 8 other high profile wrestlers… from Tamon Honda, Masahiro Chono, Bison Smith, Yuji Nagata, Yoshihiro Takayama, and others. Of all the opponents that Kobashi would face in his reign this match against Akiyama would go down as one of the best, if not “the” best.