Pro-Wrestling NOAH

N-1 Victory 2020 Night 6

October 4th, 2020

Korakuen Hall

Tokyo, Japan

Watch: Abema

N-1 Victory 2020 Block B Match

Shuhei Taniguchi [4] def. Yoshiki Inamura [0]

These two did not get a lot of time but makes sense given that this match has no implications for the final standings. This was a sprinty hoss fight, which is the best way to use Taniguchi. Inamura ends up losing out but his time will come in the future. He has a ton of potential to develop into a great hoss and fits the NOAH style perfectly. If he can continue to develop bigger things will come his way.

N-1 Victory 2020 Block A Match

Manabu Soya [4] def. Kazushi Sakuraba [4]

Sakuraba has been the biggest positive surprise of this tournament. He had some great matches against the likes of Go and Kaito, with his match against Go even being a candidate for match of the tournament. Hes clearly been more motivated than he normally is. Soya had a fairly low key run. He hasn’t been bad but I also struggle to think of anything memorable. This match was in line with that as it was ok but thats about it. At least it didn’t overstay its welcome since it was meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

N-1 Victory 2020 Block A Match

Masa Kitamiya [4] def. Masaaki Mochizuki [5]

Drawing with Kaito on Night 1 ends up costing Mochizuki as he is eliminated from contention with this result and the main event effectively turns into a play-off match to decide the block winner. Kitamiya was already eliminated before this match and has had an inconsistent tournament, which checks given who we are talking about. Mochizuki is dominating the vast majority of this match and is just tearing apart Kitamiya’s legs. He refuses to go down though and gets some nice fighting spirit spots. Kitamiya gets the win with a Saito Suplex off the second rope in good effort by both men. Match went the right time and it achieved what it was supposed to do.

N-1 Victory 2020 Block B Match

Takashi Sugiura [7] def. Kenoh [6]

Sugiura eliminates Kenoh and in the process most likely earns himself a National title shot down the line. Not only is Kenoh eliminated he will also finish behind Nakajima as well, which advances the storyline of these two wrangling for control of Kongoh. Sugiura works over Kenoh’s belly early on in the match but that gets abandoned later, which is a shame. I do love matches where non traditional body parts get worked over as it forces wrestlers to be creative.

Sugiura just continues to dominate Kenoh throughout the entire match who gets in very little offense. Thats not a bad thing though as its always fun to see Sugiura just destroying his opponent. He can still got even at over 50 years old but hes getting a bit cycled down now, which makes sense. Its nice to see the dominant Sugiura of old making a comeback every once in a while though. Really good match with a great finishing sequence that took a while to get going though, which kept the match from being great.

N-1 Victory 2020 Block B Match

Katsuhiko Nakajima [8] def. Naomichi Marufuji [5]

This match was not good at all, which is a massive shame. It sucks but I am starting to accept that Marufuji is just bad now. This was a boring slog that felt endless. It didn’t help that Nakajima was infected by Marufuji’s laziness and both men just felt like they were going through the motions. Marufuji will likely continue to slide down the pecking order from here as he continues to focus on his backstage role. I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t even in next years N-1 or if that will be his last. Maybe that will finally rise him from his long slumber but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Nakajima has had a great tournament otherwise and this was probably his worst performance in a while. Its a shame that it happened on the final block night but I am sure he will more than make up for it in the in the final.

N-1 Victory 2020 Block A Match

Kaito Kiyomiya [7] def. Go Shiozaki [6]

A very good match that was a worthy final for the A Block. Overall the A Block was the stronger of the two but this tournament as a whole was a slam dunk for NOAH. This was the present of NOAH vs the future of the promotion and it felt like an important match. Both men have had tremendous tournaments but especially Kaito has been a highlight. He has had good matches against all of his block opponents and he is really coming into his own now. He is still working from underneath in most of his matches but he feels on the level of his opponents now rather than like a kid getting his ass kicked.

Go was really taking it Kaito with some pretty hard chops but Kaito was giving it right back to him. He’s properly established now as some that is an equal to Go and he is poised to overtake him in the not to too distant future. He took control of this match in the second half and never looked back. Go got some hope spots and a deep two count on a thunderous lariat. Otherwise though this closing sequence was all Kaito who just dismantled Go. He dominated his opponent and put him away decisively to win Block A. With Nakajima’s focus still being on Kenoh, Kaito has to be the favourite to win it all and end Go’s reign to properly ascend to ace of the promotion. Regardless of who ends up coming out on top the final should be a tremendous match.

Final Standings

Block A
1. Kaito Kiyomiya [7]
2. Go Shiozaki [6]
3. Masaaki Mochizuki [5]
4. Kazushi Sakuraba [4]
4. Manabu Soya [4]
4. Masa Kitamiya [4]

Block B
1. Katsuhiko Nakajima [8]
2. Takashi Sugiura [7]
3. Kenoh [6]
4. Naomichi Marufuji [5]
5. Shuhei Taniguchi [4]
6. Yoshiki Inamura [0]

Overall Thoughts

Another good night of the N-1 as is to be expected at this point. This tournament has been a rousing success for the promotion. While Nakajima vs Marufuji was a massive disappointment Go vs Kaito more than made up for that. The rest of the matches were at least solid with Kenoh vs Sugiura delivering as well.