NOAH "THE FIRST NAVIGATION" on 1/25/14
A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: January 25th, 2014
This event became available a bit out of order since it aired on G+, but it was shown in full. There are a lot of odd Freelancers on this card, but the main event sees Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls defend their belts against Morishima and Taniguchi which should be fun. We also have an ‘invading’ Nagata and Liger with a match as well. Here is the full card:
- Hayato Nanjo vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
Hayato Nanjo vs. Mitsuhiro Kitamiya
Match Thoughts: Awww shit, it’s Miracle Man! Haven’t seen him in quite a while, he has been actively wrestling still but generally in the smaller promotions. He is kinda old now. Anyway, This was a really odd match to see start off the card and it was certainly wrestled as a really basic opener. Mostly trading holds before a little action before Nanjo crushed Kitamiya’s face at the end with the Tornado Splash. Kitamiya is still young and learning of course, I am not sure what he learned from this match but I guess trading holds with an old vet is never a bad thing for growth. Not much to the match though, even if it is good to see Nanjo is still alive and kicking. Score: 3.5
Bobby Fish and Jonah Rock vs. Yoshinari Ogawa and Hitoshi Kumano
Irish whip by Ogawa to the corner, reversed, but Ogawa kicks Rock as he charges in. Ogawa dives off the second turnbuckle, Rock catches him but Ogawa hits a DDT. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ogawa goes off the ropes and goes for a sunset flip, but Rock grab shim around the neck. Eye rake by Ogawa, he goes off the ropes but Rock catches him with a side slam. Rock tags in Fish and Fish punches Ogawa in the stomach. Ogawa ducks a high kick and goes off the ropes but Fish kicks him in the chest for a two count. Fish drives Ogawa back into the corner and hits a Falcon Arrow, cover, but it gets a two. Fish picks up Ogawa and knees him in the stomach, Fish charges Ogawa but Ogawa hits a back elbow. Ogawa throws Fish shoulder-first into the corner and then hits a backdrop suplex. Ogawa tags in Kumano, Kumano goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover by Kumano, but it gets a two count. Kumano picks up Fish and hits a snap suplex, he rolls it over and hits another one. Kumano goes for a Fisherman Suplex but Fish gets out of it and kicks Kumano. Armbreaker slam by Kumano and he delivers the Fisherman Suplex, but it only gets a two count. Kumano goes off the ropes but Fish slides out of the ring and then trips Kumano from the floor. Rock comes in and knocks Ogawa off the apron, he then picks up Kumano and with Fish they hit a kick/Samoan Drop combination. Kick to the side of the head by Fish, cover, but Ogawa breaks it up. Fish picks up Kumano and gives him a kick combination but Kumano sneaks in small package for a two count. Back up, Fish hits a gutbuster, cover, but Kumano barely kicks out. Another kick combination by Fish ending with the Tombstone Kick, cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners: Bobby Fish and Jonah Rock
Match Thoughts: A few miscues here and there but generally a solid match. Kumano is fun to watch as he has a fair amount of fire and always seems to put everything he has into a match. Fish and Rock were serviceable here but Kumano was the one that seemed to be putting any real effort into the match as Ogawa generally just coasts along anyway. Not a bad match but not really good either, just average. Score: 5.0
MEN's Teioh vs. Xtra Large
Match Thoughts: Speaking of random matches, where did this match come from? Here are two random non-NOAH wrestlers with no connection to each other having a random mid-card match. I mean it wasn’t actively bad or anything but it was more just a WTF moment, I think my head was tilted slightly to the right the entire match. Very interesting pairing but not an exciting match. Score: 4.0
Genba Hirayanagi, Daisuke Harada, and Hajime Ohara vs. Nakajima, Taiji Ishimori, and Kotoge
Kotoge fights off Ohara and Harada but Ohara dropkicks him in the chest. Harada then hits a jumping elbow smash in the corner and Hirayanagi follows with a kick, cover, but it gets a two count. Hirayanagi picks up Kotoge but Kotoge hits an enzigieri. Kotoge tags in Nakajima, Irish whip by Nakajima and he knees Hirayanagi in the stomach. Ohara comes in the ring but Nakajima boots Hirayanagi and dropkicks both of them out of the ring. Nakajima hits a suplex onto Hirayanagi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Nakajima picks up Hirayanagi and applies a waistlock, Hirayanagi gets out of it but Nakajima kicks him back. Saito Suplex by Hirayanagi and he tags in Ohara. Ohara picks up Nakajima and goes for a suplex but Nakajima goes down his back. Backstabber by Ohara and he hits a swinging side slam. Ohara grabs Nakajima and goes for the Muy Bien but Nakajima gets away. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Ohara but Nakajima kicks Ohara in the chest. Nakajima tags in Ishimori while Harada is also tagged in, Ishimori throws Harada into the corner, reversed, but Ishimori goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Double knee strike by Ishimori in the corner and he hits a handspring cutter. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ishimori goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving double knee strike. Cover, but Harada kicks out at two. Ishimori picks up Harada and goes for the tombstone but Harada gets away. Elbows by Ishimori but Harada elbows him back. Harada goes off the ropes and he hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Kotoge comes in the ring to help but Hirayanagi comes in as well, Hirayanagi knocks Kotoge out of the ring but Nakajima runs in and knocks Hirayanagi out. Ishimori and Ohara get in the ring as well, but Ishimori hits an enzigieri. Harada goes up to the top turnbuckle and jumps off, but Ishimori dropkicks him in the chest as he jumps off. Ishimori picks up Harada and he hits a double knee to the chest, cover, but it gets a two count. Ishimori slams Harada in front of the corner, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Harada gets his knees up when he goes for the 450 Splash. Harada picks up Ishimori, Irish whip, but when Ishimori goes for the handspring strike Harada catches him on his shoulders and hits a reverse fireman’s carry into a slam. Cover, but both Nakajima and Kotoge break it up. Harada picks up Ishimori and applies a waistlock, he goes for a German suplex but Ishimori lands on his feet. Roll-up by Ishimori, but it gets a two count. Ishimori goes off the ropes but Ishimori moves out of the way and hits a snap German suplex. Henkei Knee Upper by Harada and he nails the Katayama German Suplex Hold for the three count. Your winners: Genba Hirayanagi, Daisuke Harada, and Hajime Ohara
Match Thoughts: Once the match got rolling it was pretty fun, even though it took some time to get there. The wristlock section near the beginning went too long and was just wasting time, trading wristlocks is fun and all but it shouldn’t be the focal move for several minutes. But once they got into the fast tag/flying around portion of the match it got much more exciting, Kotoge and Harada in particular are good at the fast paced action and the other wrestlers were able to keep up without any issues. There was some dead weight here but the majority was well done. Overall a solid match. Score: 6.0
Kenou vs. Mohammed Yone
Match Thoughts: I may have said this before, but still not thrilled that Yone is still winning/looking better against younger stars, he isn’t very good. There wasn’t much to this match, lots of kicks to the chest, a little cheating, and then Kenou had to get saved from losing which then led to the DQ. Kenou is quite good but didn’t show much here as the match was short and Yone was in control of a much of it. I have no issue with DQ wins, but this just wasn’t a very good match. Score: 3.5
KENTA vs. Shinya Ishikawa
Ishikawa applies a reverse chinlock but KENTA elbows out of it and knees Ishikawa in the stomach. KENTA goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving lariat. Cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA applies a facelock but Ishikawa gets into the ropes to force a break. Waistlock by KENTA, Ishikawa elbows out of it and KENTA goes off the ropes, but Ishikawa puts him in a cobra twist. KENTA gets into the ropes to force a break, Ishikawa picks up KENTA, Irish whip, and KENTA knees Ishikawa in the stomach again. KENTA goes out to the apron and hits a swandive missile dropkick followed by a running kick in the corner followed by a dropkick. KENTA goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a diving doublestomp. Cover by KENTA, but it only gets a two count. KENTA picks up Ishikawa and goes for the Go 2 Sleep but Ishikawa slides off his shoulders and hits a powerslam for a two count. KENTA picks up Ishikawa, elbow by Ishikawa but KENTA elbows him back. Uppercut by KENTA, he goes off the ropes but Ishikawa delivers a dropkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Ishikawa picks up KENTA, elbows by Ishikawa and he hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count hold. Ishikawa picks up KENTA but KENTA pushes him off, Irish whip by KENTA and he elbows Ishikawa in the stomach. Irish whip by KENTA and he knees Ishikawa in the stomach again. Cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA puts Ishikawa in a crab hold but Ishikawa inches to the ropes and grabs them to get a break. KENTA stomps Ishikawa but Ishikawa gets back up, and they trade slaps. KENTA goes off the ropes and hits a lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. KENTA hits a Tiger Suplex, cover, but he gets another two. KENTA picks up Ishikawa and he hits a Go 2 Sleep. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winner: KENTA
Match Thoughts: I would have liked for Ishikawa to do a bit more in the match to KENTA, but it was still entertaining. KENTA rarely has bad singles matches, he is just a really crisp wrestler that doesn’t really waste any time. The knees to the stomach were a bit excessive but I can’t fault him for targeting a body part, and he was consistent with strikes to that area during the entire match. Ishikawa really didn’t get any near falls that were at all convincing, everyone knew KENTA was winning but I wish Ishikawa had just gotten a couple solid near falls to add a bit more suspense. Still a good match though. Score: 6.5
Naomichi Marufuji and Ricky Marvin vs. Yuji Nagata and Jushin Thunder Liger
Crab hold by Nagata and he tags in Liger. Liger applies a stretch hold to Marvin, while Nagata and Marufuji trade elbows outside of the ring. Liger picks up Marvin and elbows him in the head before raking Marvin in the eyes. Liger and Nagata choke Marvin in the corner with their boots and Liger tags in Nagata. Nagata hits an overhead belly to belly suplex on Marvin, cover, but it gets a two count. Nagata stomps Marvin, he picks up Marvin and knees Marvin in the stomach. Nagata tags in Liger, Liger waits for Marvin to get up and goes off the ropes but Marufuji avoids the Shotei and hits an enzigieri. Marvin tags in Marufuji and Marufuji elbows Liger in the corner. Stomps by Marufuji but Nagata hits him from behind. Irish whip by Marufuji but Nagata reverses it and delivers a dropkick. Liger goes off the ropes but so does Marufuji and Marufuji hits a lariat. Marufuji picks up Liger and hoes for the Shiranui but Liger pushes him off. Kick combination by Marufuji, cover, but it gets a two count. Marufuji picks up Liger but Liger catches him with a Shotei. Liger tags in Nagata and Nagata kicks Marufuji into the corner. Irish whip by Nagata and he hits the big boot and goes for an exploder, but Marufuji blocks it. Boot to the face by Nagata but Marufuji fires back with an elbow and they trade blows. Marufuji goes off the ropes and hits a big boot, he goes for a lariat but Nagata ducks it and hits an exploder. Nagata grabs Marufuji and goes for a brainbuster but Marufuji gets out of it and hits a superkick. Marufuji tags in Marvin, Marvin goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a rope-running dropkick onto Liger. Marvin then hits a jumping elbow in the corner onto Nagata, big boot by Nagata but Marvin fires back with a springboard kick. Shining Wizard by Marvin, cover, but Nagata kicks out at two. Marvin picks up Nagata and goes for an exploder but Nagata blocks it and applies the seated armbar. Marufuji breaks it up and Marvin hits Nagata from behind with a backstabber. Double superkick to Nagata, Liger comes back into the ring and throws Marufuji out of it. Liger hits a Shotei onto Marvin, then Nagata hits a jumping knee in the corner. Brainbuster by Nagata, cover, but Marufuji breaks it up. Liger throws Marufuji out of the ring as Nagata picks up Marvin and hits the backdrop suplex hold for the three count. Your winners: Jushin Thunder Liger and Yuji Nagata
Match Thoughts: I wish this match didn’t have Marvin. Marvin is a fine wrestler but he was just such an obvious ‘fall guy’ in the match. Having a fall guy is hardly a new thing in wrestling but for an inter-promotional match such as this I’d have preferred it be a little less obvious. The action itself was fine, both teams worked well together and Liger is still fun to watch even though he is almost 50 years old. It didn’t have as much ‘heat’ as I would have expected but Nagata and Marufuji got into it a few times and overall it was a good match. Score: 6.0
(c) Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls vs. Takeshi Morishima and Maybach Taniguchi
Taniguchi stomps Haste in the head and the chest, Taniguchi applies a crab hold but Nicholls breaks it up. Taniguchi throws Nicholls out of the ring while Morishima hits a running body press onto Haste. Taniguchi puts Haste in a single leg crab hold but Haste gets to the ropes. Taniguchi tags in Morishima and Morishima pushes Haste into the corner. Morishima charges Haste but Haste boots him back and hits an uppercut off the second turnbuckle. Haste manages to make the tag to Nicholls, Nicholls knocks Taniguchi off the apron and goes off the ropes, Taniguchi grabs him but Nicholls elbows him off. Morishima charges Nicholls but Nicholls moves and Morishima falls out of the ring. Nicholls then goes off the ropes and jumps out of the ring onto Taniguchi and Morishima. Nicholls slides Morishima back into the ring, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a lariat. Irish whip by Nicholls and he hits another lariat, Irish whip, reversed, but Nicholls hits a third lariat which sends Morishima off his feet. Lariat by Nicholls to a seated Morishima, cover, but it gets a two count. Nicholls picks up Morishima but Morishima elbows him off and they trade strikes. Nicholls goes off the ropes but Taniguchi hits him from the apron, and Morishima tags in Taniguchi. Lariat by Taniguchi in the corner, Irish whip, and he hits another one. Taniguchi goes for the chokeslam but Nicholls elbows out of it, Nicholls goes off the ropes but Taniguchi hits a powerslam. Morishima comes in the ring and knocks Haste off the apron, Nicholls is thrown into the corner and Morishima hits a lariat. Spinebuster by Taniguchi, cover, but it gets a two count. Taniguchi picks up Nicholls and goes for the powerbomb, but Nicholls blocks it. Chokeslam by Taniguchi, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Nicholls has recovered and joins him up there. Superplex by Nicholls and he hits a spinebuster. Nicholls tags in Haste and Haste dropkicks Taniguchi. Haste hits a heel kick to both Taniguchi and Morishima, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and nails the corner to corner dropkick. Cover by Haste, but Taniguchi barely gets a shoulder up.
Irish whip by Haste, reversed, Haste runs into the referee and Taniguchi hits a low blow. Taniguchi tags in Morishima, Morishima goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a missile dropkick. Lariat by Morishima to Haste, cover, but it gets a two count. Morishima goes off the ropes but Haste levels him with a lariat. Sit-down powerbomb by Haste, cover, but Morishima kicks out. Haste picks up Morishima and lariats him in the back, he goes for another one but Morishima ducks it and hits a release German suplex. Back kick by Haste and he hits an uppercut, but Morishima fires back with a lariat. Morishima goes off the ropes and delivers another lariat, cover, but it gets a two count. Morishima hits the backdrop suplex onto Haste, cover, but Nicholls barely breaks it up in time. Taniguchi throws Nicholls out of the ring, Morishima goes for another backdrop suplex but Haste blocks it and nails the Bomb Valley Death. Cover, but Taniguchi pulls the referee out of the ring. Nicholls gets in the ring, they pick up Morishima but Kenou and Ohara run into the ring to help out. Taniguchi hits both Haste and Nicholls with a stick, but Jonah Rock comes in the ring and clears out Kenou. Meanwhile Taniguchi picks up Nicholls and chokeslams him from the ring down to the floor, through the table. Haste is back up and hits Morishima, but Taniguchi hits him in the back with his metal stick. Taniguchi then picks up Haste and drops him with a powerbomb. The referee is slid back into the ring, Morishima picks up Haste and drops him with a backdrop suplex. Cover, and he picks up the three count. Your winners and new champions: Takeshi Morishima and Maybach Taniguchi
Match Thoughts: For the bulk of this match, this is about as good as the Morishima Army can be. Lots of hard hits, lots of cheating, and great general destruction. Some parts were a little bit slow, I don’t know if crab holds fit into the rest of the action, but overall it was a good chaos-type match. The chokeslam through the table was sick and it just made the ending all the more… definite. You knew Nicholls couldn’t break up any pin attempts since he was dead on the floor, and Haste wasn’t kicking out of that, so you knew the Morishima Army had taken the belts. A really fun brawl. Score: 7.5
Best Match: Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls vs. Takeshi Morishima and Maybach Taniguchi. As far as controlled chaos brawls, this was a good one. It wasn’t a 100% crazy brawl but they did it enough that just as you got comfortable there was interference or weapons or something else. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but here it did. Haste and Nicholls are really fun and this is the right spot for Taniguchi to be.
MVP: Maybach Taniguchi. In the main event, Taniguchi left the biggest impression. This is his type of match, he isn’t the best wrestler and isn’t a young guy, but he is a bigger wrestler that can convincingly powerbomb people and chokeslam them through tables. He never really seemed to be in trouble in this match, he was just a dominating force. I hope he stays in this role as if he takes off the mask he is just going to turn into a bland babyface again.
Overall: The event started slow but picked up by the end. NOAH’s roster is a bit weak right now so filling up full cards can be difficult for them unless they get quality freelancers. Hayato Nanjo, Bobby Fish, MEN’s Teioh, and Xtra Large aren’t bad wrestlers but they don’t really add anything to the card. The last match ended the card on a positive note though, and there were a few other solid matches. As an entire event I wouldn’t really recommend it but there are some bright spots here.
review completed on 5/19/14