Rising Sun Soliloquy #11

Rising Sun Soliloquy #11
February 12, 2009
By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com

All Japan

Hayashi Upsets Marufuji for All Japan Junior Championship

In what many feel might come as an upset of sorts, Kaz Hayashi defeated Naomichi Marufuji to win the All Japan Junior Heavyweight Championship last Friday night at the Korakuen Hall, in front of a sell out crowd of 2,100. The crowd was super hot for the main event, which is something All Japan events haven’t seen in some time.

Marufuji said he intends to challenge Keiji Muto somewhere down the line, so this may have been the first major step in that general direction. The match itself was pretty entertaining. Both men used the other’s finisher. Hayashi won the match a little after the 30 minute mark with a new match he’s calling the ‘power plant’, which in case you were wondering, is in ‘honor’ of the now defunct WCW Power Plant. Yeah, me too.

The deciding fall got a HUGE pop from the crowd, which is great to see in All Japan again. The biggest news of the night however, was the signing of former New Japan Junior Ace Minoru. He joined up with the heelish Voodoo murderers and cut a promo basically along the lines of Booker T’s Smackdown draft speech from 2004, where he said all the talent in All Japan was ‘D level’ talent and he was there to show them what ‘A-level’ talent looked like.
Brother Yasshi also retired on the show. He laid down for long time partner Shuji Kondo in what was a rather rough match. Yasshi rapped for the crowd as usual, both before and after the match.

Keiji Mutoh and Yoshihiro Takayama, who are scheduled to meet for the triple crown in the coming weeks, were in a trios match on the card.

AJPW, 2/6/09 (GAORA TV)
Tokyo Korakuen Hall
2,100 Fans
1. Masanobu Fuchi beat Nobutaka Araya (2:11)
2. Michael Faith & Lance Hoyt beat Seiya Sanada & Manabu Soya (8:12)
3. TARU, Hate & Minoru beat Suwama, Ryuji Hijikata & Hiroshi Yamato (11:43)
4. ?brother? YASSHI Tokyo Final: Shuji Kondo beat ?brother? YASSHI (7:07)
5. Satoshi Kojima & KAI beat Minoru Suzuki & MAZADA (14:30)
6. Keiji Muto, Osamu Nishimura & Ryota Hama beat Taiyo Kea, Yoshihiro Takayama & NOSAWA Rongai (13:48)
7. AJPW World Jr. Heavyweight Title: Kaz Hayashi beat Naomichi Marufuji (c) (32:25)

Champions Carnival Updates

The Champions Carnival will be returning to a tour schedule for the first time since 2006 this year. The show will culminate at he Tokyo JCB hall on April 12th.
4/5 @ Tokyo Korakuen Hall
4/7 @ Haibu Nagaoka
4/8 @ Act City Hamamatsu
4/9 @ Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2
4/11 @ Yokkaichi Memorial Australia Hall
4/12 @ Tokyo JCB Hall

All Japan Results

AJPW, 2/8/09
Kimitsu Aquamarine Studio
1,400 Fans
1. Michael Faith & Lance Hoyt beat Nobutaka Araya & Ryota Hama (6:56)
2. Osamu Nishimura beat Seiya Sanada (13:16)
3. Minoru beat Ryuji Hijikata (9:38)
4. Yoshihiro Takayama & NOSAWA Rongai beat Suwama & Manabu Soya (15:42)
5. Keiji Muto, Kaz Hayashi & Shuji Kondo beat Taiyo Kea, Minoru Suzuki & MAZADA (21:02)
6. Satoshi Kojima, KAI & Hiroshi Yamato beat TARU, Hate & ?brother? YASSHI (15:20)

Pro Wrestling NOAH

Upsets Keep Comin’. Nakajima wins GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship

In a week seemingly filled with surprises, Kensuke Office, a small independent company owned by Kensuke Sasaki, held a show last night at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo that, well, had a lot surprises. The main event pitted GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion defending his title against Kensuke Office prodigy Katsuhiko Nakajima. This match has been built up fairly strongly over the past year or so, with multiple tag team matches slowly building up the rivalry between the two. When KENTA defeated Bryan Danielson for the Junior title last October, many people thought that this match up would likely happen soon, and that it was just a matter of time. After his successful defense against Kotaro Suzuki last year, KENTA didn’t have much time to celebrate, as Nakajima challenged him on the spot to a match for the title, a challenge which KENTA accepted.

After nearly 40 minutes of action, Nakajima finally toppled KENTA with a high kick to win the title. The win is clearly Nakajima’s biggest of his career. KENTA has been looked to carry the wrestling end of the NOAH shows and is seemingly always featured in the longer, more work-rate oriented matches of the night week after week. In many ways, for the more hardcore fans, he’s turned into the pseudo top draw for the show. So a win over KENTA, at this stage in KENTA’s career, is a big deal for Nakajima.

The second surprise of the night came when the team of GHC Heavyweight Champion Kensuke Sasaki & Kota Ibushi defeated Jun Akiyama & Taji Ishimori. Now the result itself wasn’t as surprising as the actual ‘result of the result’ was, where champion Sasaki cleanly pinned challenger Akiyama to win the match. Japanese programs RARELY go that route. With Akiyama recently declaring that if he doesn’t win the GHC title at the next Budokan show in March, he’ll never challenge for the title again, it certainly makes things interesting. By American booking logic, we’d say Akiyama would be a clear cut choice to win the match, but with the sheer number of curve balls NOAH seems to be throwing, it could be a strong decision to put Sasaki over as THE guy in the promotion. It should make things interesting at least.

Global Tag League is Coming Back

The global tag league, which will be a round robin tag team tournament, will be taking place from April 11th to May 6th. Thus far, the dates and venues of the matches have been set as follows:

11/04 @ Korakuen Hall
13/04 @ Niigata City Gymnasium
16/04 @ Tottori Dome
19/04 @ Arifakto Dome Sapporo
21/04 @ Aomori Industrial Hall
22/04 @ Zepp Sendai
25/04 @ Korakuen Hall
27/04 @ Zepp Nagoya
29/04 @ Yonago Convention Center BIGSHIP
30/04 @ Kochi Prefectural Gym
02/05 @ Okayama Wholesale Convention Center Orange
03/05 @ KBS Hall
06/05 @ Nippon Budokan

Second Navigation Cards Announced

The majority of the matches for the ‘Second Navigation Tour’ have been announced. Rikioh and Mohommed Yone will be teaming up frequently on the tour in addition to being booked in a non-title match against GHC Tag Team Champions Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith on the 19th. Go Shiozaki will also be facing a new singles obstacle to overcome as he’ll be testing himself against Bison Smith in singles action.

NOAH 15/02/09
Differ Ariake
1. Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Kotaro Suzuki & Genba Hirayanagi vs Naomichi Marufuji, Atsushi Aoki & Akihiro Ito
2. KENTA & Ippei Ota vs Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara
3. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Ricky Marvin vs Doug Williams, Roderick Strong & Davey Richards
4. Kensuke Sasaki & Takashi Okita vs Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito
5. Takeshi Morishima & Makoto Hashi vs Takeshi Rikio & Mohammed Yone
6. Jun Akiyama & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Takashi Sugiura & Go Shiozaki

NOAH 18/02/09
Hiroshima Trade Center
1. Naomichi Marufuji & Akihiro Ito vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Genba Hirayanagi
2. Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura vs Takuma Sano & Shuhei Taniguchi
3. Bison Smith, Akitoshi Saio & Ricky Marvin vs Yoshihiro Takayama, Yuto Aijima & Masashi Aoyagi
4. Jun Akiyama & Atsushi Aoki vs Akira Taue & Ippei Ota
5. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs Doug Williams & Davey Richards
6. Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Kento Miyahara vs Go Shiozaki, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori

NOAH 19/02/09
Osaka Prefectural Gym #2
1. Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Go Shiozaki vs Buchanan, Doug Williams & Ricky Marvin
2. KENTA vs Roderick Strong
3. Naomichi Marufuji vs Davey Richards
4. Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito vs Takeshi Rikio & Mohammed Yone
5. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Jun Akiyama & Atsushi Aoki

NOAH 21/02/09
Takamatsu Symbol Tower Exhibition Hall
1. KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Ippei Ota vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Kotaro Suzuki & Genba Hirayanagi
2. Jun Akiyama & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Takeshi Rikio & Mohammed Yone
3. Go Shiozaki vs Roderick Strong
4. Kensuke Sasaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima & Takashi Okita vs Mitsuharu Misawa, Yoshinari Ogawa & Ricky Marvin

NOAH 22/02/09
Zepp Nagoya
1. KENTA & Taiji Ishimori vs Naomichi Marufuji & Akihito Ito
2. Jun Akiyama & Atsushi Aoki vs Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Sugiura
3. Kensuke Sasaki & Takashi Okita vs Akitoshi Saito & Shuhei Taniguchi
4. Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Davey Richards
5. Go Shiozaki vs Bison Smith

NOAH 26/02/09
Odawara Arena
1. Takashi Sugiura & Go Shiozaki vs Bison Smith & Davey Richards
2. Jun Akiyama, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Shuhei Taniguchi vs Buchana, Doug Williams & Roderick Strong
3. Kensuke Sasaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Yoshihiro Takayama & Atsushi Aoki

NOAH 01/03/09
Tokyo Nippon Budokan
1. Kenta Kobashi Return Match
2. GHC Heavyweight Title: Kensuke Sasaki (c) vs Jun Akiyama

New Japan

Quiet Week in New Japan Heading into the Sumo Hall Show

This week was a quiet one in New Japan as the company makes last minute preparations for the big Sumo Hall show this Sunday. Of course that’ll be headlined by IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his belt against Shinsuke Nakamura. Kurt Angle will also be facing the Giant Bernard in a war between two Gaijins.

Takashi Iizuka has been stewing of late, because he says he ‘misses’ his ‘friend’ Hiroyoshi Tenzan, who as many of you know, is sidelined with a detached retna. Their feud began last year when Iizuka turned on Tenzan and began the purge of the New Japan fixture from the heel GBH group, which is now led by Togi Makabe. The two worked the feud all over the country before having a big grudge match last October that resulted in Iizuka hanging Tenzan with a chain. Tenzan would return the favor, injuring Iizuka shortly thereafter, and with Tenzan down, we haven’t had the chance to settle it. We should see it soon.

Misc. New Japan Results

NJPW, 2/10/09
Ota City Nitta Gymnasium Ex Arena
1,100 Fans – No Vacancy
1. Tiger Mask, Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito beat Jushin Thunder Liger, AKIRA & Nobuo Yoshihashi (10:17) when Naito pinned Yoshihashi
2. Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt beat Jado & Gedo (12:21)
3. Takashi Iizuka, Giant Bernard & Karl Anderson beat Manabu Nakanishi, Milano Collection AT & Taichi Ishikari (15:33)
4. Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto vs. Togi Makabe & Tomohiro Ishii went to a draw (14:15)
5. Riki Choshu & Masahiro Chono beat Toru Yano & Tomoaki Honma (10:23)
6. Shinsuke Nakamura, Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada beat Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata & Mitsuhide Hirasawa (17:14)

NJPW, 2/11/09 (Samurai! TV)
Act City Hamamatsu
1,400 Fans – No Vacancy
1. Kazuchika Okada beat Nobuo Yoshihashi (7:24)
2. Yujiro & Tetsuya Naito beat Ryusuke Taguchi & Prince Devitt (12:58)
3. Jado, Gedo, Karl Anderson & Tomoaki Honma beat Manabu Nakanishi, Milano Collection AT, Taichi Ishikari & Mitsuhide Hirasawa (14:26)
4. Wataru Inoue & Koji Kanemoto vs. Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii went to a draw (15:36)
5. Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Giant Bernard beat Riki Choshu, Masahiro Chono & AKIRA (10:14)
6. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Hirooki Goto & Jushin Thunder Liger went to a draw (30:00)