My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Thursday, July 08, 2004

NOAH DEPARTURE Tokyo Dome Predictions

Two days away from the biggest show of Pro Wrestling NOAH's short four year history. I thought I'd give my predictions and thoughts for the card.

Mitsuo Momota VS Haruka Eigen
- This is the only singles match on the card that doesn't involve a championship. I would preferably have put these two in a tag match or not on at all, since singles matches between these two rarely even go 10 minutes, or even 5 for that matter. I say Momota wins at 6 min with a running backslide.

Tamon Honda, Jun Izumuda & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi VS Masao Inoue, Kishin Kawabata & Masaji Aoyagi
- This is definately not gonna be pretty. If there were 2 guys that didn't need to be on the show, it would probably be Kawabata and Aoyagi. Honda and Kikuchi have had high profile matches in the past, but both have seen that push dwindle. I definately would have booked Honda higher up on the card. Honda, Izu & Kikuchi win this one.

Kotaro Suzuki & Ricky Marvin VS Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan
- This should be interesting. Young rookie team of Suzuki & Marvin take on the veteran Pro Wrestling Iron team of Modest & Morgan. Like the previous three matches, this would have been no big loss to leave out of the show. The PWI team will get the win, Modest with the Reality Check on Marvin.

Akitoshi Saito & Makoto Hashi VS Scorpio & Richard Slinger
- Another match with nothing going for it. I don’t know if Hashi is still trying to prove his worth as a Sterness member. I would have preferred if Misawa brought back Vader to team with Scorpio for this one. Saito pins Slinger to give the Sterness team the win.

Akira Taue & Takuma Sano VS Daisuke Ikeda & Mohammed Yone
- This one should at least be interesting to watch. Ikeda is the only champion not defending his title. Taue may be aging, but can still step up when required, though I still expect Sano to work most of the match. I expect this to be the one match that has break out potential. Yone has improved a lot and this could be his night to shine. I predict Ikeda & Yone to win this, Yone pinning Sano.

Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA VS Kendo KaShin & Takashi Sugiura – GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- I have high expectations for this match. Three of the best junior heavyweights in Japan are in this match, and KaShin ISN’T one of them. I expect to see KaShin hanging back and letting Sugiura do all the work. It remains to be seen if KaShin’s cheap tactics would be the downfall of the unstoppable champion team. But I’ll still go with the champions to retain cause I don’t even want to fanthom KaShin holding a GHC title of any kind!

Jushin Thunder Liger VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru – GHC Junior Heavyweight Title
- Is NOAH’s junior ace, Kanemaru, the man to beat Liger and bring home the gold? Many say yes, but the few that don’t bring up the valid point of having Marufuji do it on a main event scale. But since Liger recently aligned himself with the rudo team of Jado, Gedo & Takemura, you can probably expect a lot of cheating if they accompany Liger on 7/10. I seriously hope they don’t turn this into a New Japan match with all the outside interference. And I still go with Kanemaru bringing home the gold.

Yoshihiro Takayama & Minoru Suzuki VS Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikioh – IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Titles
- New Japan are running a big show on 7/18, with the winners of this match scheduled to defend the IWGP tag titles against Kensuke Sasaki & Jushin Liger. Therefore, the chance of WILD II actually winning the titles and losing them a week later is a possibility to be considered. Takayama holds single victories over both Takeshis, and Suzuki would probably be weak link since he’s the smallest man in the match. I do think WILD II can win this and become the shocker of the night, but reality probably sees the champs retaining, which is what I’m going with.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa VS Keiji Mutoh & Taiyo Kea – GHC Tag Team Titles
- The main selling point of this match will definitely be the first ever in ring meeting of Misawa & Mutoh. Misawa has already squared off with the other two of NJPW’s Musketeers, and Kea is no stranger to Misawa & Ogawa. I don’t expect this to be fast paced, and I also expect this to go a while, probably as long as the main event. But my hopes for this one aren’t very high. The tag champs retain when Misawa Tiger Driver 91s Kea, but expect Kea to hit him with it first!

Kenta Kobashi VS Jun Akiyama – GHC Heavyweight Championship
- It’s pretty obvious Akiyama is gonna win this one, cause if he doesn’t, then there’s NO ONE left to stop Kobashi, save maybe Misawa, but I don’t see that happening. These two are one-and-one for singles matches in NOAH, and Akiyama never beat Kobashi in All Japan. The story of this match will definitely be how Akiyama beats Kobashi. And expect this match to go at least 25 minutes.

Final Thoughts: At the moment, NOAH’s first Dome show is not drawing the attention it should be. Why? Look at the undercard and it shouldn’t be too hard to tell. If you know NOAH’s history, this could be written off as just another Budokan event. Much like All Japan’s first Dome show in ’98 that was headlined by Misawa VS Kawada, only the main events are catching press. Everything else is forgettable. But I’m still looking forward to this, and hope it’s successful enough to warrant a 2nd Dome show in the future.



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