Pro Wrestling NOAH
Premium Prelude 2020
October 28, 2020
Watch: Wrestle Universe
Kinya Okada def. Yasutaka Yano
This was definitely the best Okada vs. Yano match that I have seen all year. Okada gets to squash a young boy finally. One of the funniest things in wrestling is watching young Japanese wrestlers ascend up the ladder and their first big step is when they get to squash the new young boy that debuts after them. It’s a right of passage for them that they have moved on.
Yano seems to have gotten a nice good look gift from the dojo as his chest looks already beaten up before the match. He is also very much on the small side although obviously, his body will fill out more as time goes on. He does show some good fire here, which is very encouraging. Looks like he got busted open on the lip as well. Great debut for Yano overall and Okada gets to move up one more step.
Naomichi Marufuji & Hajime Ohara def. Mohammed Yone & Junta Miyakawa
A very one-sided match as Marufuji and Ohara have control for the vast majority of this match. This was Junta just taking a beating from his opponents. Seems like this might be Marufuji’s role going forward, which is probably for the best as he has declined a lot. He is now a NOAH dad and is another victim of the inevitable march of time. He dominated the match and just annihilates the Junta at the end and just kneels down on him for the pin.
Kongo (Tadasuke, Nio, Hao) def. Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
More NOAH juniors drama as this division really has all the hallmarks of a soap opera. Apparently, we can’t go a few weeks without a turn. It is really hurting this division as there is just no stability and factions don’t get a chance to develop chemistry before they get reshuffled. After this match is over Ogawa and HAYATA turn on Suzuki. Now to be fair it actually makes sense in the context of Suzuki’s story as a vulnerable champion. Him being left for dead by his stablemates actually enhances that story. The only problem is that we have already had approximately a million NOAH jr turns this year alone.
The match itself was fine. The Kongo juniors are actually the ones that have some stability and it shows as they have developed some pretty good chemistry with each other. Although I can’t get over how much Tadasuke looks like a junior version of late 80s Barry Windham.
Kaito Kiyomiya, Go Shiozaki & Shuhei Taniguchi def. Kongo (Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Yoshiki Inamura)
We get a short preview of the big title match next month at the start of this. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I have sky-high expectations for that match. If I don’t rank that match in my top 5 for the year I will be disappointed. I know that those are kind of insane expectations but these two men have earned these lofty aspirations with their stellar work this year.
This is a good tag match where everyone gets their chance to shine. Looks like Kaito vs Kenoh for the National Title as Kaito gets the pin on Kenoh here. That should be an excellent supplement to the GHC Heavyweight title match and will set up Kaito’s and Kenoh’s arcs for 2021. After the match, Inamura leaves Kongo. While he has a lot of potential, he is not ready for a singles run by himself yet. Looks like he’ll become Kiomiyas tag partner though, which is not the worst place to be in.
GHC Junior Tag Team Championship
Momo no Seishingun (Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada) (c) vs FULL THROTTLE (Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY)
I am on record of not being a big fan of the match where Momo no Seishhin gun won the titles and I liked this match a lot more. First of all, it had a much better connecting story. The previous match just felt like a necessity to get the titles on Harada & Kotgo, whereas in this Whereas this had a clear story as the respective teams had formed out of one of the most recent bouts of NOAH jr drama back in September. That gave this match some much-needed drama and made everything feel that much more personal.
Hayata and Ogawa attack post-match. I guess we go right back to this match. Given that they are wearing STINGER merch I guess it was Suzuki that got kicked out of his own faction. The lesson here is that you don’t want to become the leader of a NOAH faction as that is a prime recipe for getting turned on immediately. I hope that both teams take this upcoming opportunity to redeem themselves from their previous efforts.
GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Sugiura-gun (Takashi Sugiura & Kazushi Sakuraba) (c) def. Kongo (Masa Kitamiya & Manabu Soya)
This should slap and it did. Both teams really went in hard on each other and showed their determination to show their best effort. Sakuraba and Soya are quickly developing great chemistry as each time they face off in the ring is better than the last. They really are two guys who you wouldn’t expect to gel very well but that do anyway. Put that on top of Sugiura’s great chemistry with Kitamiya and you got yourself a great tag match.
This was a hard-hitting affair with a capital H as these two teams held nothing back and just beat the shit out of each other. Compared to some other old men tag teams on top of their division I really don’t mind Sugiura and Sakuraba holding the belts for a good while longer. They mesh very well with each other and tend to draw the best of their opponents.
NOAH really has been on fire since the return of fans. Not only did they have the best showing during tournament season they are also carrying on that momentum toward their biggest show of the year next month. Pretty much every match on this card is worth watching and we got a lot of interesting direction coming out of this card.