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Results From The Latest NOAH Tour
Encountering Navigation 2005 was a fairly large tour for NOAH. There were 15 shows during April and 3 of them were aired on TV. The final show at Tokyo Nippon Budokan was the biggest one. NOAH claimed an audience of 15,800 people, but many consider that to be exaggerated. The average attendance was at 2,740.

To begin with, there was some very exciting Junior Heavyweight action on the tour. On 4/17, there was a Captain's Fall Elimination Match. KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Kotaro Suzuki & Ricky Marvin vs. Takashi Sugiura, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Makoto Hashi & SUWA. The match ended at 46:06 when KENTA used his finisher - the Go 2 Sleep - on Sugiura. The biggest feud in the junior heavyweight division right now is between KENTA and SUWA. They had a singles match at the last show, but it ended when SUWA was disqualified. SUWA will probably get a title match for the Junior Tag Team Titles soon. The question is, who will be his partner? Sugiura might be a good choice, since he lasted so long in the elimination match.

Another Junior Heavyweight match worth mentioning: the Mask vs. Hair match between Tiger Emperor and Ricky Marvin. Tiger Emperor won after 25:29 with a Modified Tiger Driver. Too bad this was on a non-televised show. wassat I was quite chocked to see Marvin without his long hair though.

The main event for the last show was a singles match between Takeshi Rikio and Akitoshi Saito for the GHC Heavyweight Title. Rikio won after 25:06 with the Muso. The match was not received very well by the audience. Rikio probably needs more credible opponents when he is in the main event at a huge show like that. His drawing power alone can't sell out all the seats.

The most exciting match at the show was actually this one:
Jun Akiyama & Genichiro Tenryu beat Kenta Kobashi & Go Shiosaki (17:30) when Tenryu used a powerbomb on Shiosaki. Wow! We saw Kobashi and the old (but yet very tough) Tenryu trade chops with each other. In fact, the war was so brutal that Tenryu's chest was smashed bloody by chops alone! Shiosaki was the "face in peril" during the whole match though, with Kobashi continuously trying to save him. Eventually, the punishment from Akiyama and Tenryu was too much for the rookie, so he was pinned after a powerbomb. We're very excited about a potential singles match between Tenryu and Kobashi now!

Also, Minoru Suzuki & Naomichi Marufuji beat Mitsuharu Misawa & Kotaro Suzuki (20:00) when Marufuji used the Shiranui on Suzuki. This could mean that Suzuki & Marufuji are next in line for the GHC Heavyweight Tag Team titles.

Finally... NOAH announced two matches for their SUPERSHOW at Tokyo Dome this summer:
- Toshiaki Kawada vs. Mitsuharu Misawa
- Kensuke Sasaki vs. Kenta Kobashi
This is indeed two huge money matches. Considering that the Tokyo Dome can take somewhere around 65,000 in attendance, NOAH needs the to give away a couple of "dream matches". And they sure did! It was 6 years since we saw Kawada take on Misawa - which was probably the biggest and longest feud of the 1990's in Japan. Kobashi's upcoming match against Kensuke Sasaki also looks very promising. Kobashi is the biggest star of NOAH and Sasaki's recent push in AJPW made him victorious in the Champions Carnival tournament this year. I can't honestly pick a winner in either of these two bouts. Plus, there is a No Time Limit stipulation, so we won't see any 30 minute draws or similar.

2005-May-05 11:59 am by perkoff

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