Puroresu WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

NOAH New Year Navigation 2016 Night 1 Review

Tokyo Japan
Korakuen Hall
Before 1384 Fans

Following the big NOAH Destiny show, this is the first tour of the new year. It’s a very interesting tour for numerous reasons including the big heel turn of Takashi Suigura who is in the main event teaming with Suzuki-Gun founder Minoru Suzuki to take on Mayback Tanaguichi and Naomichi Marufuji. I am not the biggest NOAH fan but this card does look interesting and let’s hope the matches deliver.

No Mercy (Akitoshi Saito & Genba Hirayanagi) vs. Quiet Storm & Kaito Kiyomiya*1/2

Oh yuck, the thing about these entire show reviews is that I have watch stink like this. Well, I am typing this before I have seen the match so I will get back when I have viewed the bout.

Yeah it wasn’t good, Saito was the best guy in the match and did work as hard as a 50 year old Saito could, Genba is a terrible professional wrestler and his comedy is some of the worst I have ever seen. Nothing of note in this match, Saito pinned the very very young, young boy Kaito with a leaping enzugiri.

Cho Kibou-Gun (Kenou, Hajime Ohara & Mitsuhiro Kitamiya) vs. Taiji Ishimori, Yoshinari Ogawa & Hitoshi Kumano***1/4

This has some promise to be a smartly executed match, well I wouldn’t call this a smartly worked match. I would call it a great 11 minute sprint, this was an awesome match! With Ogawa involved I thought he would keep most of the match on the ground but no. Everyone was working insanely hard and taking crazy bumps. Cho Kibou-Gun are a heel stable I guess but the three guys are all such good workers it’s hard to boo them, Hitoshi Kumano really won me over in this bout. Never have I been a huge fan of his but he really made me believe he was going to win, so many near falls it was great. Kenou is a hell of a worker and would be a great fit in Big Japan, Kitamiya is a beast and has a bright future ahead of him. Kitamiya scored the fall for his team pinning Kumano after his spear.

Daisuke Harada vs. TAKA Michinoku***

This was pretty good, given more time I would think these men could put on a really excellent match. Taka who looks exactly the same if not younger from 20 years ago controlled the match early on with lots of holds and attempts of his face-lock. This match was only 9 minutes long so everything felt a tad bit rushed, Harada is very good and no longer just the flippy guy we saw in Osaka Pro. I liked no interference from Suzuki-gun. The GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion pinned Taka clean with a bridging German suplex.

Taichi vs. Atsushi Kotoge**1/4

This was just OK. Way too many gimmicks and ref bumps for my liking. I have really enjoyed Taichi’s NOAH run as he has put on some excellent matches and didn’t need to rely on Suzuki-gun for getting heat. Kotoge didn’t really shine at all in this match, I believe the match was designed to get Taichi over even more as a heel which didn’t work for me because he nearly made me fall asleep. The match was picking up towards the end but another ref bump and a low blow made me give no shits about the match. Gedo clutch secures the win for Taichi.

Mohammed Yone, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Suzuki-gun (Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Takashi Iizuka)*1/2

In the opening seconds of the match we get a face off of Iizuka and Takayama — a dream match for everyone in 2016. I’m shocked and at the same time pleased with how over Nakajima is. Lots of boring crowd brawling to begin, I’m so sick of SZKG brawling it’s the same stuff every time. 10 minutes into the match and Yone’s afro is the star of the match, more stupid gimmicks involving chairs and referee distractions for the second match in a row. Nakajima sold his ass off most of the match and whenever he got offence it was pretty, especially his missile dropkick. Nakajima got a quick roll up out of a hurricanrana (which looked bad) for the shock win, this is setting up the Nakajima and Yone vs. KES match on January 31st. Not a good match, no one except Nakajima seemed motivated.

Go Shiozaki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Suzuki-gun (Shelton Benjamin & El Desperado)**3/4

This is exciting, Kanemaru’s return to NOAH! joining up with his former AJPW roster member Go Shiozaki. Shiozaki is beloved by Korakuen, as is Kanemaru! Really fun as it was a Memphis style tag match with cool moves basically. For the third F***ING match Suzuki-gun bumped the ref and used a chair, seriously I am tired of this shit and don’t want to watch. Shiozaki feels like a the big fish in a small pond, he should really be in New Japan or WWE. I really enjoy Desperado and I think he would be a great babyface, he was pinned by Kanemaru following the spinning brain-buster.

Suzuki-gun (Takashi Sugiura & Minoru Suzuki) vs. Naomichi Marufuji and Maybach Taniguchi***1/2

This should be decent, with three great workers and MAYBACH. MAYBACH got zero reaction and I don’t blame Korakuen one bit, so weird to see Suigura as a part of Suzuki-gun. Long match as it went just under 20 minutes and I really did enjoy this bout, the first 8 minutes weren’t that great just a lot of brawling in the arena. But Takashi Sugiura was incredible in this match as was Suzuki, they worked their asses off and I think I maybe like heel Sugiura more than babyface Sugiura. NOAH is obviously building to Marufuji vs. Suigura and this match really made me want to see that match. Suzuki and Suigura gelled really well as a team, I really hope to see more of them together in future NOAH events. Taniguchi is the biggest geek and needs to go work sleazy indies or something because he does nothing for me. He actually did do something in this match I enjoyed and that was him getting pinned following a Gotch style piledriver and the olympic slam. The last 10 minutes were really great and this was the best match on the show. I’m hyped for Sugiura vs. Marufuji. It’s going to be lit.

This was a very meh show, I wouldn’t want you to watch the entire show. The main event and the second, third, and fourth match on the card were the highlights of the night for me. The total time of wrestling on this show was 90 minutes so I guess it was an easy to watch show. I don’t know man…I’m just really not excited for NOAH currently, half of their roster is very good but if it’s not a big time show they don’t always deliver which is why in my opinion they aren’t drawing crowds like 10 years ago. It was nice to sit down and watch a full NOAH show but if I wasn’t reviewing it I probably wouldn’t of watched the opener and the KES six man tag. I hope you liked my review. Let me know on Twitter @Izzacwrestles and check out the inaugural edition of the Puro in the Rough podcast where Lawrence (@lob_3) and myself discuss the non NJPW puroresu scene.

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