Pro Wrestling NOAH
Navigation For The Future 2019 – Day 1
January 6, 2019
Korakuen Hall
Toyko, Japan

Masa Kiyamiya def. Kinya Okada

I enjoyed this thoroughly. Okada did his best to keep Kiyamiya down, but Kiyamiya absolutely decimated him. This was done to make Kiyamiya look like a killer, and they passed with flying colors. Kiyamiya looked excellent heading into his number one contendership match. His opponent on the other hand, not so much, as we’ll see later. At a little less than 3 minutes, this didn’t overstay it’s welcome. A good start to the show.

Takashi Sugiura def. Yoshiki Inamura

It has been made very clear that Inamura idolizes Sugiura. He had a chance here to prove himself against his hero, and I think he did just that. This was a very enjoyable beat down. Inamura fought like hell, even gaining the advantage over Sugiura at some points. Sugiura, already frustrated due to losing his title, resorted to locking a guillotine lock on Inamura and choking him out. A stiff little match, and Inamura’s most notable performance to date. Watch this.

Hi69 & Minoru Tanaka def. Atsushi Kotoge & Masao Inoue

I was surprised that they had Kotoge in this match, as he’ll have a very important match next month. They did lots of comedy here, mainly based around Kotoge’s cape. This did absolutely nothing for me and took extremely long to get going. Nothing of note happened here. Skip this.

Back Breakers (Hajime Ohara & Hitoshi Kumano) def. Junta Miyawaki & Seiya Morohashi

This was also very enjoyable.

This match was built around Miyawaki, and his efforts to match the tag team champions. Miyawaki looked very good here and almost escaped with the win on some occasions, leading to some fun drama down the stretch. It wasn’t enough though, and Kumano was able to pin him for the win. Miyawaki will (at least for now) not get his title match.

50 Funky Powers (Mohammed Yone & Quiet Storm) & Akitoshi Saito def. Hooligans (Cody Hall, KAZMA SAKAMOTO & Mitsuya Nagai)

The match started with your usual Hooligan brawl (I know, I too, am shocked). The brawl continued for a couple of minutes until the Hooligans got disqualified. Nothing of note here, you’re not missing anything by skipping this.

YO-HEY, Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa def. Tadasuke, Daisuke Harada & HAYATA

This was YO-HEY’s first match after leaving RATELS. this was very fun. The interactions between YO-HEY and his former stablemates were excellent, with the latter working with a sense of hatred. YO-HEY played the role of shit-stirrer to an absolute tee. While RATELS did their best to beat up their betrayer, the veterans were able to isolate Harada. YO-HEY got the pin over Harada and has started his new heel run strongly. I look forward to seeing more.

GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Yuji Hino and Maybach Taniguchi (c) def. Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima

This was the rematch of their Great voyage Vol2. Match. Although I liked their first match, I think I enjoyed this more. They match just felt more intense, and the louder crowd definitely gave the match the intensity that lacked in first last outing.

They worked a very stiff style (one chop sequence between Shiozaki and Hino had me wincing). Once again, Nakajima and Shiozaki looked to be in control, only for the Hooligans to cheat and eventually retain their titles. I don’t like the Hooligans, and even though that’s their whole point, they generally detract from my enjoyment of a show. I hope their involvement in championship matches is limited in the future. Nevertheless, Hino continued to look like a dominant force, and the champions lost no credibility in their defeat. Good stuff!

GHC Heavyweight Championship
Kaito Kiyomiya (c) def. Kenoh

While I’m not sure if this is better than their match last year, I seem to be leaning that way. The development of Kiyomiya has been so cool to watch. Last year he was the underdog, doing all he could to unseat Kenoh. In this match, he was firmly in control, with Kenoh only able to get brief sparks of offense in. They both brought it all to the table, but Kiyomiya just always had the upper hand, and eventually put Kenoh down with the Tiger Suplex. Kiyomiya is now the new face of NOAH, and I look forward to seeing his future battles with Kenoh. This has the makings of an epic rivalry. Go out of your way to watch this.

Other Notable events:

  • Naomichi Marufuji announced that he would make his in-ring return next month.
  • 50 Funky Powers challenged the Hooligans to a championship match
  • Kiyamiya and Kotoge will have a number one contenders match for the GHC title

Final Thoughts:

A solid start to the year for NOAH. The show had a (for the most part) enjoyable under card that flew by. Moreover, both title Matches delivered, the trainees performed well, Marufuji announced his return, YO-HEY shined in his new role, we have new tag challengers, and a number one contender ship match was also set up. A great outing by NOAH.