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Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #20 1/13/01 First Navigation of 21st. Century taped 1/6 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Satoru Asako

Kenta Kobashi & Kenta Kobayashi vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Takeshi Rikio

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Vader & Scorpio

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #21 1/20/01 First Navigation of 21st. Century taped 1/6 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Tamon Honda vs. Takashi Sugiura

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Masao Inoue & Makoto Hashi

Jun Akiyama & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Kentaro Shiga & Takeshi Morishima

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Daisuke Ikeda

NOAH PPV Samurai! Special NOAH's voyage 1/28/01 First Navigation of 21st. Century taped 1/13 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

3 Way Match: Scorpio vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Naomichi Marufuji 4:43 of 12:01. Scorpio excelled at 3 Way Dances in ECW, and NOAH is more open to change than All Japan... Great moves abound, but the setup is obvious and execution is somewhat spotty. An exciting but flawed match.

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Jun Izumida 4:40 of 11:57

Kentaro Shiga & Makoto Hashi vs. Akitoshi Saito & Masashi Aoyagi 5:45 of 15:38. Hashi exchanged blows with the martial artists until they put him down. Shiga was more logical, trying submission, but Hashi got over better with the crowd as the overmatched youngster giving it his best shot. Passable.

Takeshi Rikio vs. Takeshi Morishima 6:34 of 30:00. Rikio and Morishima are something of a younger more intense version of No Fear: short on talent, but watchable for their enthusiasm and work ethic. What makes these two far more promising is they bring a great deal of intensity. They just kept plowing forward until one collapsed. They lack the offense for a match of this length, but they made the near falls come off credible and the match seem vastly more gruelling than even 30:00 match implies. Good

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue & Takashi Sugiura vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama & Satoru Asako 19:43. You can count on NOAH to hatchet an undercard match of some interest then start showing complete versions with a totally uninspiring turd. Sugiura showed some motivation since this was a month into his career, but aside from Inoue's final segment the rest was largely sleepwalking. Should one question the bookers when Takayama's big win over Taue propelled him to a tag against a rookie and two no hopers or just point out they are so lacking in mid to upper level talent that there aren't many options if you want him to win but don't want to waste another upset? *1/2

Shinya Hashimoto & Alexander Otsuka vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa 16:18. Hashimoto was about as good as it gets at fueling a rivalry and working his tough guy gimmick to build anticipation for a future big match. He called Misawa out as soon as he tagged in, laughing off the attacking gnat and constantly pressuring the man to enter. Misawa ignored Hashimoto at first, but could only watch his partner get pummelled for so long. Hashimoto chopped away at Misawa until he put him down then blasted him with a kick while Misawa was on one knee. Misawa was looking to regroup in the corner, but Hashimoto put the boots to him, refusing to break and tossing the ref when he didn't get the message. The NOAH seconds got onto the apron and had words with Hashimoto and Otsuka, distracting Hash enough that Misawa landed his running elbow and began stomping away, pushing away the finally recovered ref. They could have done a DQ from one of these spots, but that would just have pissed people off and made them feel like NOAH stole their money. They were smart enough to realize that Ogawa or Otsuka could job without any steam being taken from what people want to see, so Ogawa was not even worthy of Hashimoto's contempt as he just kept staring Misawa down though Ogawa scored points for never giving up, and Otsuka was an afterthought who did the selling for his team. The match was a great start to Misawa vs. Hashimoto because they recognized that was all anyone cared about, thus crafted the entirety to accentuate that rivalry and build to dream matches. This was essentially a tease, but it was riveting because they made you feel like any minute there was going to be an explosion, something would set Hashimoto off and he'd kill Misawa, or perhaps vice versa. The finish was quick and anti-climactic, but everyone from both sides was jawing and brawling after the bout. Tadao Yasuda was the only Z-1 second, and Misawa had guys like Izumida watching his back, so the focus on Misawa vs. Hashimoto was almost too clear, narrowing what could have been turned into a league vs. league feud if a few patriotic stars had been hanging around. The brilliance of this match is not only did they give nothing away, they did very little in actuality, yet they did so much to work the intensity and manipulate the audience's well founded anticipation you were left with the feeling of seeing a lot yet still craving for more. ***3/4

Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue vs. Vader & Jun Akiyama 25:38 of 29:40. Back to traditional NOAH where the stars do far more than they need to only to have it add up to far less, and fail to garner a fraction of the heat. They fought long and hard, but it lacked the killer spots of NOAH in addition to the story of vintage All Japan. It was an aggressive striking contest with a big effort from Vader. Vader wasn't so much hitting any harder, but did a good job of lending the air of viciousness. Kobashi and Akiyama fought a nonstop match, with Akiyama giving one of his best efforts thusfar in NOAH. The match was surprisingly one-sided with Taue getting beaten on for an extended period to preserve Kobashi while allowing him to impress with the hot tag, but Kobashi was also on the receiving end more often than not, and Kobashi having to sell so much for Vader wasn't necessarily to the benefit of the match, much less his health. Akiyama spent a few minutes recovering on the floor, but Vader was able to hold his own without him, with Akiyama being restored enough to interject himself as soon as Vader needed it. Vader was the most effective wrestler in the match, figuring out ways to get some of his offense noticed. For instance, he tossed the ref then proceeded to choke Kobashi out on the floor. Everyone did what was asked of them, and did it well, but beyond the obvious high quality ring work it didn't add up to much, almost coming off flat trying to follow the grudge match atmosphere set by Hashimoto and Misawa. I felt sorry for Kobashi having to lay there and take Vader's moonsault. When you know your opponent can't do it that well, it must be quadruply hard to lie patiently while they slip off the ropes climbing up. The eventual off-balance moonsault was almost more of a dangerous angle inverted headbutt to the face, which couldn't have been comfortable for either. ***1/2

AJPW & NOAH Mitsuharu Misawa ~Green Ark~ DVD Box Set
-17hr 35min. Q=Perfect. 12 DVDs

Disk One AJPW:

4/22/83: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Shiro Koshinaka

8/26/84 Tiger Mask II (debut): Tiger Mask vs. La Fiera

6/21/85: Tiger Mask vs. Kuniaki Kobayashi

11/27/85: Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid

3/13/86: Tiger Mask vs. Riki Choshu

6/1/86: Tiger Mask vs. Genichiro Tenryu

3/9/88: Tiger Mask vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

5/14/90: Tiger Mask II & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Yoshikai Yatsu & Samson Fuyuki. Tiger unmasks

6/8/90: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jumbo Tsuruta

Disc Two:

7/24/91: Mitsuharu Misawa & Tosihaki Kawada vs. Terry Gordy & Steve Williams

9/4/91: Mitsuharu Misawa & Toshiaki Kawada vs. Jumbo Tsuruta & Akira Taue

8/22/92: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Stan Hansen

10/21/92: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

3/5/94: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Giant Baba & Stan Hansen

Disc Three:

6/3/94: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

7/28/94: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Steve Williams

4/15/95: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue

12/9/95: Mitsuharu Misawa & Kenta Kobashi vs. Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue

10/21/97: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

Disc Four:

1/26/98: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama

5/1/98: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

10/31/98: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kenta Kobashi

5/2/99: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader

8/25/99: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Disc Five NOAH:

8/5/00: Mitsuharu Misawa & Akira Taue vs. Kenta Kobashi & Jun Akiyama

12/23/00: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader

1/13/01: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Shinya Hashimoto & Alexander Otsuka

4/15/01: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

4/7/02: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Kodo Fuyuki

1/10/03: Mitsuharu Misawa & Masahiro Chono vs. Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue

1/10/04: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Yuji Nagata & Hiroshi Tanahashi

Disc Six:

7/10/04: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Keiji Mutoh & Taiyo Kea

1/8/05: Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio vs. Genichiro Tenryu & Shiro Koshinaka

7/18/05: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Toshiaki Kawada

12/10/06: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Naomichi Marufuji

11/3/07: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. KENTA

5/6/09: Mitsuharu Misawa & Go Shiosaki vs. Kensuke Sasaki & Takeshi Morishima

6/4/09: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Masao Inoue vs. Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito & Bobby Fish

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #22 1/27/01 First Navigation of 21st. Century taped 1/18/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Highlights of 12/24/00 Tokyo Differ Ariake

Daisuke Ikeda vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 11:43

Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takeshi Rikio 14:55

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Kenta Kobashi & Akira Taue 11:52

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #23 2/3/01 First Navigation of 21st. Century taped 1/18 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Satoru Asako

Kentaro Shiga vs. Masashi Aoyagi

Tamon Honda & Takashi Sugiura vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #24 2/10/01 First Navigation of 21st. Century taped 1/18 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & Makoto Hashi vs. Haruka Eigen & Jun Izumida & Masao Inoue

Jun Akiyama & Takeshi Morishima vs. Vader & Scorpio

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #25 2/17/01 Navigation for Progress taped 2/10 Kanagawa Odawara Arena
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Takashi Sugiura

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Satoru Asako

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Vader & Scorpio

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Takeshi Rikio vs. Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga & Takeshi Morishima

PPV Samurai! Special Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's voyage 2/18/01 Navigation for Progress taped 2/11 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momoto & Takeshi Rikio vs. Haruka Eigen & Kentaro Shiga & Makoto Hashi

Takao Omori & Satoru Asako vs. Masashi Aoyagi & Akitoshi Saito

Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Scorpio

Vader vs. Daisuke Ikeda

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takuma Sano

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

Jun Akiyama & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takeshi Morishima vs. Akira Taue & Jun Izumida & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #26 2/24/01 Navigation for Progress taped 2/10 Kanagawa Odawara Arena
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Daisuke Ikeda & Kishin Kawabata vs. Masashi Aoyagi & Makoto Hashi

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Pro-Wrestling NOAH Noah's ark #27 3/3/01 Navigation for Progress taped 2/25 Kobe World Kinen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Daisuke Ikeda vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takuma Sano

Akira Taue vs. Jun Akiyama

Mitsuharu Misawa & Takeshi Rikio vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama

Pro-Wrestling NOAH Noah's ark #28 3/10/01 Navigation for Progress taped 2/25 Kobe World Kinen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Takeshi Morishima & Makoto Hashi

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Satoru Asako

Akitoshi Saito & Takashi Sugiura vs. Scorpio & Masashi Aoyagi

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Jun Izumida vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

Pro-Wrestling NOAH Noah's ark #29 3/17/01 One Night Navigation taped 3/3 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Takeshi Rikio vs. Makoto Hashi

Takuma Sano vs. Satoru Asako

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida & Akitoshi Saito vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Kentaro Shiga & Takeshi Morishima

Pro-Wrestling NOAH Noah's ark #30 3/24/01 One Night Navigation taped 3/3 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Jun Akiyama vs. Takashi Sugiura

Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Naomichi Marufuji

PPV Samurai! Special Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's voyage 3/25/01 Navigation for the Victory, GHC taped 3/18 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Takashi Sugiura vs. Daisuke Ikeda

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi vs. Masashi Aoyagi & Pitbull

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Vader & Scorpio

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue & Takuma Sano vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama & Satoru Asako

GHC Heavykyu Tournament Ikkaisen: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akitoshi Saito

Yoshinari Ogawa & Naomichi Marufuji & Takeshi Rikio vs. Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga & Takeshi Morishima

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's ark #31 3/31/01 Navigation for the Victory, GHC taped 3/22 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Daisuke Ikeda vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

GHC Heavyweight Championship Tournament: Jun Izumida vs. Yoshihiro Takayama

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Takeshi Rikio vs. Tamon Honda & Takuma Sano & Takashi Sugiura

NOAH di colosseo 3/24/03 Navigation for the Victory, GHC taped 4/11/01 Hiroshima Sports Center
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Satoru Asako vs. Pitbull 1 9:04

Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Jun Izumida vs. Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & Makoto Hashi 9:38

Daisuke Ikeda & Naomichi Marufuji & Takeshi Rikio vs. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takeshi Morishima 11:02

Akira Taue & Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & Takuma Sano & Akitoshi Saito 10:28

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Vader & Scorpio 8:49

GHC Heavyweight Title Tournament Semifinal: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama 13:35 + 1:30. Misawa vs. Akiyama has always seemed to be about getting the least out of the most, but this has to be the most egregious example. It's basically a condensed version of their previous matches with no real story or psychology at all. Misawa controls the early portion with Akiyama tossing in a couple of his requisite neck moves then they start sprinting to the finish halfway through, except they are interrupted on the floor. Misawa hits his Tigerdriver on the concrete, but Jun slips out of the emerald flowsion and counters with his exploder for a much booed double count out. The fans are literally standing and giving the double thumbs down, but Mitsuo Momota comes out and saves the day with a restart since someone has to advance to the final. You think the match is going to get awesome from here because after all it's Misawa and Akiyama, and they are two of the best workers in the world, and their other matches are really good even if really disappointing, but they just go right to the finish. Actually, it's even worse, as they resort to a flash pin. There's no denying the talent on display in the ring, but these guys are capable of so much more than simply doing and trying to put over impressive, well executed spots that go nowhere. ***1/4

AJPW 3/28/99 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan, '99 Champion Carnival League Match: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Vader

Battle Station Pro-Wrestling NOAH 7/10/01 Bucchigiri 3 Hour Special GHC Tournament Final Zenmen Han taped 4/15/01 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum
-2hr 55min. Q=TV Master. 2 DVDs

GHC Heavykyu Tournament 1st round digest

Masashi Aoyagi vs. Pitbull. Brutal...to watch. Poor work, shabby execution, no talent displayed. 1/4*

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & Makoto Hashi vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Jun Izumida

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Scorpio. It wasn't worked perfectly, but it was an exciting athletic match. Scorpio gave the match it's direction and provided a base for Marufuji to do all his flying. The big moves, which is what the match was built around, were worked in pretty well, and there was certainly a number of them. The highlights were Marufuji doing a super quebrada over the security rail and Marufuji doing a super Frankensteiner off the top. Scorpio has gained weight again and wasn't doing as difficult flying moves as he sometimes does, but he laid out a good match to make Marufuji look impressive. ***1/4

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Takao Omori & Satoru Asako. Asako looked good. He kept the match going and was able to raise the level of the opposition. Honda brought some energy to the match, but Omori & Inoue weren't impressive. The problem with this match is that Omori, Honda, & Inoue don't have many moves, the ones they do are rather bland, and they don't understand how to get around their lack of offense. **1/4

Vader vs. Akitoshi Saito. Saito was fired up. He got the crowd into it right away by unloading strikes on Vader then giving the big man a backdrop. Vader quickly came back and simply mauled Saito for the rest of the match. He gave him this nasty suplex that started out like a backdrop, but instead of holding onto Saito and falling with him, he simply heaved him down right onto his shoulder. I'm not sure how to rate this match since it was so short (could have been shorter if Vader wasn't pulling Saito up), but it was a very enjoyable high impact match even though there was no back and forth. Every move seemed meaningful and Vader came off as a true monster.

Yoshinari Ogawa & Daisuke Ikeda & Takuma Sano vs. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura. Lengthy match that seemed kind of random, but it was consistently good due to the work. Sano has a stupid hairdo as Takuma, but his wrestling is still quite impressive. He showed more athleticism here than I've seen from him in a long time. Sugiura was impressive with his explosive Greco-Roman suplexes. Kanemaru did the best moves, but isn't that smooth. Match should have been a lot better considering who was involved and the near 24-minute length, but it lacked direction. ***

Jun Akiyama & Akira Taue vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio. Mainly a showcase for the Takeshi's, who were in the biggest match of their career given the semifinal on the most important NOAH show up to this point in time. They are big and work hard, but I don't like their offense much and they are kind of plodding and mechanical. Morishima is clearly the better of the two. He's not a striker in the sense of having a bunch of different kicks and whatnot, but in the All Japan sense of using the same couple hard blows like the elbow a bunch of times. He's a better striker than Taue. Taue was probably the best in the match though. He worked a lot more and harder than Akiyama, doing a lot to help get the Takeshi's over. Akiyama did some good things when he was in, but it would have been a lot better if he mirrored the intensity and effort of his coworkers. Not a match I'd want to watch over and over, but the crowd got into it and the Takeshi's more or less came off as having arrived so it was successful. **3/4

GHC Tournament Heavykyu Kesshosen: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 21:12. This was worked like Misawa vs. Kawada except obviously Takayama is not in the same stratosphere as Kawada. Takayama was on offense most of the match, so the fans would believe in him and also so he didn't have to sell. His strikes were a lot stiffer than they used to be, but still not to the point where you don't mind that, with the exception of a couple suplexes and submissions, it's all he does. Well, keeping it simple is best for Takayama, but 17 minutes of his offense doesn't make for scintilating entertainment even in the rare instance such as today where he executed way over his head. He did make on crucial mistake, actually busting Misawa's chin open with a hard kick that was supposed to be to the chest. He improvised decently, opening the cut up further with some punches so Misawa had blood all over his neck, but as a whole Takayama's offense was very much unfocused. Aside from the accident, he did his best damage with suplexes onto a table and the ramp, but those were almost the only moves directed at Misawa's back. It was a little more submission oriented due to Takayama's shooter gimmick, but otherwise it was basically Misawa by numbers. It was a good tough long match that was very credible as a big match main event, but I didn't see anything clever or different here. Some good reactions from the crowd, but nothing close to sustained heat. Given Takayama, it was as good as you could have asked, but it was more lazy structuring from Misawa just taking his offense until he got bored and finished him off. ***1/4

NOAH Shodai GHC Heavykyu Oza Kettei Tournament Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

Note: the other tournament matches are edited down to 50 second clips or just a few stills are shown

4/1/01 Fukuoka Kokusai Center Tournament Ikkaisen: Jun Akiyama vs. Takao Omori. Akiyama's strengths and weaknesses were the same as they've been the past several years, particularly with his attack of Omori's axe bomber arm. Given that, Akiyama was excellent except for the closing segment and made it a good match on his own. It didn't seem like they could make up their mind how they wanted to pace the match, so instead of psychology points it just seemed muddled. Omori brought little to the table and was basically just along for the ride. He never got going or all that into it. The final minutes were disappointing and anticlimactic. 22:49. ***

4/8 Tokyo Differ Ariake Tournament Nikaisen: Jun Akiyama vs. Takeshi Rikio. Brief all action match. Rikio lost easily, but at least it wasn't one of those one move and done bits. 4:02. *3/4

4/11 Hiroshima Shi Higashiku Sports Center Tournament Junkessho: Jun Akiyama vs. Mitsuharu Misawa. This was the best match of the tournament, but easily worse than any match these two had against one another. At this point there's little story with all the emphasis on the spots, which get pops but alone kill the chance of sustained heat. Cool but not so intelligent segments like Misawa doing a running elbow then Akiyama turning one into an exploder before Misawa put him down with a running elbow and both sold a bit are the sign of the times. Misawa Tigerdrivered Akiyama on the floor, so Akiyama explodered him on the floor. They still took the time to sell the big spots, eventually, but the bar has been raised so much that I'm not really convinced like I used to be. Despite my gripes, the match would have been very good if it wasn't so much shorter than usual and had a better finish. They restarted after a DCOR because someone had to advance, but while the extra match was hot and inspired it was so short you almost felt more cheated. That partially goes back to them putting so many devestating moves into the matches and increasing the pace, resulting in the feeling they should always kick out rather than they should never be able to survive this that makes the near finishes work. 13:35 + 1:30. ***1/4

4/12 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukan Tournament Junkessho: Vader vs. Yoshihiro Takayama. These guys strengths don't play into each others hands at all, and Vader isn't the guy to carry Takayama at this advanced stage in his career. Most of the match was Vader striking, which would have been adequate if Takayama had a clue how to sell them. The rest was the very deliberate set a move up and do it type of sequenceless wrestling. Heated but awkward and contrived. Takayama's strikes were very fake with the exception of his knees to the gut. Sucky ripoff finish saw Scorpio throw the ref down after hitting Takayama with a chair. Back in the ring, Vader choked Takayama out for what appeared to the the submission, but the ref just took a while to reenter the ring and DQ Vader for Scorpio's actions. 9:29. *

4/15 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum GHC Tournament Heavykyu Kesshosen: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Yoshihiro Takayama 21:12. This was worked like Misawa vs. Kawada except obviously Takayama is not in the same stratosphere as Kawada. Takayama was on offense most of the match, so the fans would believe in him and also so he didn't have to sell. His strikes were a lot stiffer than they used to be, but still not to the point where you don't mind that, with the exception of a couple suplexes and submissions, it's all he does. Well, keeping it simple is best for Takayama, but 17 minutes of his offense doesn't make for scintilating entertainment even in the rare instance such as today where he executed way over his head. He did make on crucial mistake, actually busting Misawa's chin open with a hard kick that was supposed to be to the chest. He improvised decently, opening the cut up further with some punches so Misawa had blood all over his neck, but as a whole Takayama's offense was very much unfocused. Aside from the accident, he did his best damage with suplexes onto a table and the ramp, but those were almost the only moves directed at Misawa's back. It was a little more submission oriented due to Takayama's shooter gimmick, but otherwise it was basically Misawa by numbers. It was a good tough long match that was very credible as a big match main event, but I didn't see anything clever or different here. Some good reactions from the crowd, but nothing close to sustained heat. Given Takayama, it was as good as you could have asked, but it was more lazy structuring from Misawa just taking his offense until he got bored and finished him off. ***1/4

NOAH Navigation with Breeze GHC Heavykyu Senshukenjiai Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

5/12/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Akira Taue & Tamon Honda. Taue cleaned house to build him up for his title shot. 3:01 shown

5/18 Hokkaido-ken Sogo Taiiku Center GHC Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Akira Taue. Well executed match with heat and all Taue's big moves. Basically a lesser condensed version of their great 7/25/97 match. Of course, there were a few newer big spots like Taue giving Misawa a nodowa otoshi off the ramp onto a table. I still found the match exciting even though I could more or less tell how it was going to play out. I can't really fault this match without nitpicking, but clearly it's a far cry from it's inspiration. I didn't like the finish though. It was different than the traditional Misawa comeback, but I'd rather see that same old thing than Misawa take for 13 minutes then win with 3 finishers. ***1/2

5/12: Jun Akiyama & Jun Izumida & Kentaro Shiga vs. Akitoshi Saito & Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio. Like the NJ 6 mans where action and signature moves help make up for quality. Izumida fought like the Takeshi's here, which was an improvement. Morishima got a bloody nose. 5:32 shown

5/18: Kentaro Shiga vs. Takeshi Morishima. These two have very different styles, but they worked together pretty well. The much larger Morishima dominated with Shiga countering sometimes into a big move or potential finisher. Morishima got a bloody nose again. 3:30 shown

5/25 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan

Kentaro Shiga vs. Akitoshi Saito. Shiga has developed a decent submission game, and showed pretty good focus with it here. Saito was a pretty good sport about selling for Shiga most of the match, although Shiga's damage didn't add up. He didn't give Shiga a whole lot of respect, but part of this was storyline with Shiga using his speed and quickness to make Saito pay for his cockiness. Saito was pretty dull here, mainly chopping until the last few minutes. **

Takeshi Rikio vs. Jun Izumida. They beat on each other, but it was awkward, plodding, and not overly stiff. Rather dull and lifeless. Izumida was cut on the head. *1/4

Jun Akiyama vs. Takeshi Morishima. Morishima was sporting a new look with a shaved head. This was a good match because it had Morishima's stiffness, but Akiyama added skill and diversity. Morishima was more like a younger version of Taue here, which is what he should be rather than the very limited hard hitter he's become, with Akiyama carrying him much like he did Taue in their later AJ matches. The advantages of going against Morishima are that he can take better and he isn't so highly ranked that Akiyama feels he has to take and take. Technically, this was a better match than Misawa vs. Taue, but it wasn't exactly dramatic because there was never any doubt that Akiyama was going over. Again, this match didn't exactly impress me with its structuring; it was basically the moves and that they were well done plus it generated some excitement and had some heat. ***1/4

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's voyage 7/14/01 Navigation to the Bright Destination taped 6/9 Tokyo Differ Ariake
Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's voyage 7/21/01 Navigation to the Bright Destination taped 6/17 Oyama Yuenchi American Village
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

taped 6/9

Juventud Guerrera & Jardi Frantz vs. Naomichi Marufuji & Takashi Sugiura

Takao Omori & Satoru Asako vs. Kentaru Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Yoshinari Ogawa & Daisuke Ikeda & Takuma Sano vs. Akira Taue & Jun Izumida & Tamon Honda

Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Scorpio

taped 6/17

Mitsuo Momota & Tamon Honda & Daisuke Ikeda vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Takashi Sugiura

Takeshi Rikio & Takeshi Morishima vs. B.J. Whitmer & Matt Murphy

GHC Junior Heavykyu Tournament Nikaisen: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Makoto Hashi

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takao Omori & Satoru Asako

NOAH Navigation to the Bright Destination Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

GHC Jr. Heavykyu Oza Kettei Tournament Ikkaisen

6/9 Tokyo Differ Ariake: Kenta Kobayashi vs. Path Finder. Path Finder's choice headscissors included jumping off the middle rope in the ring and taking Kobayashi, who was on the apron, to the floor. 2:07 of 8:27

6/10 Yamagata: Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Masashi Aoyagi. Um, these guys haven't been juniors in a long time, if Aoyagi ever was. Kikuchi's head was bloodied. Bad match with a lame finish. 2:00 of 11:36.

GHC Jr. Heavykyu Oza Kettei Tournament Nikaisen

6/13 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Path Finder. Finder did an awesome twisting suicida. 1:40 of 12:15.

6/17: Naomichi Marufuji vs. Makoto Hashi. Exciting match. Lots of counters and they weren't all telegraphed. 3:26 of 15:02.

6/20 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Satoru Asako vs. Juventud Guerrera. Looked like it was good, though NOAH matches are better for their spots than the sum of their parts, but definitely not the match they're theoretically capable of. 1:56 of 11:04.

GHC Jr. Heavykyu Oza Kettei Tournament Junkessho taped 6/23 Tokyo Differ Ariake

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Juventud Guerrera. This should have been the final. Marufuji is the best wrestler in the tournament, and his matches were the only ones the fans seemed really into. Nice finish where Marufuji set Juventud up for a Frankensteiner off the top only to get Juvi drivered off the 2nd. Appeared to at least be good. 3:11 of 19:02.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Apparently a great way to get a new junior division off on the right foot is to put a washed up out of shape comedy wrestler in the semifinal of the establishing tournament. Kikuchi is still alright if they are doing brawling or a focused attack - neither are Kanemaru's strong suits - but he's way too slow and unathletic for junior sequences. Kikuchi's cut was reopened from Kanemaru's brawling attack, only to have Kanemaru leave it alone as soon as he succeeded in doing so. 3:16 of 13:34

6/24 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan GHC Jr. Heavykyu Oza Kettei Tournament Kesshosen: Juventud Guerrera vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru. This was just a spot match, which might have been alright given the competitors if they had any familiarity with one another. Juventud is a far cry from the great wrestler he was in '96, and Asako or Marufuji are the guys in this division you want carrying a new opponent. This was imprecise and sloppy, but it had enough nice spots to make it passable if we look past setting any standard for the new title or getting the division off to a good start. Highlight was Juventud doing a cool swandive body attck onto the ramp then a windsprint corbata to get Kanemaru back into the ring. Also, Juvi avoided "injury" by landing on the top rope when Kanemaru avoided his 450 splash. 17:17. **

6/20: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Daisuke Ikeda & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Very good talent, but mediocre motivation. It took 14 minutes for the match to take off, with Marufuji not surprisingly being the one to get things going, but at least they then gave us 8 pretty strong minutes. Marufuji vs. Kanemaru and Misawa vs. Akiyama were the standout combinations. 22:10. ***

6/24: Daisuke Ikeda vs. Takao Omori. Ikeda really took it too Omori. Unfortunately, in NOAH he's not allowed to be competitive, just to occassionally give a star some problems. Nonetheless, the fans were into this because Ikeda established himself early. Omori gets credit for unselfishness, but the match was good solely for Ikeda'a work. 4:02 of 13:33.

6/24: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito. Hot action for a hot crowd. The match was largely Misawa and Akiyama building to next month's GHC match. 7:47 of 23:20.

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE #7 8/18/01 & #8 8/25/01 Accomplish Our First Navigation taped 7/14/01 Tokyo Messe Akishima
-1hr 50min. Q=Ex

Superstar Steve vs. Makoto Hashi 12:18

Haruka Eigen & Jun Izumida & Kishin Kawabata vs. Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura & Takashi Sugiura 12:12

Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest vs. Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga 12:03

Jun Akiyama & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji 17:26

Bull Schmitt vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 4:56

Takuma Sano & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Akira Taue & Masao Inoue 18:14

Satoru Asako & Takao Omori vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Tamon Honda 18:22

Scorpio & Vader vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio 7:54

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE #9 9/1/01 & #10 9/8/01 Accomplish Our First Navigation taped 7/16/01 Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium #2
-1hr 50min. Q=Ex

Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Makoto Hashi 12:38

Bull Schmitt & Donovan Morgan vs. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru 18:03

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji & Takeshi Rikio & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Michael Modest & Scorpio & Superstar Steve & Vader 16:25

Haruka Eigen & Masashi Aoyagi vs. Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura 9:08

Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda vs. Satoru Asako & Takao Omori 17:02

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Kishin Kawabata & Takeshi Morishima 10:45

Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura 15:09

Pro-Wrestling NOAH accomplish Our First Navigation Commercial Tape 7/27/01 Tokyo Nippon Budokan
-2hr. Q=Master

GHC Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Mitsuharu Misawa vs. Jun Akiyama. Misawa debuted a Tigerdriver off the top rope. It was more like a doublearm suplex where the person was dropped forward rather than thrown overhead, but nonetheless it was innovative. Otherwise there was nothing I hadn't seen before. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it was here because they didn't bother to tell any story. Technically it was a great match. The moves, execution, transitions, smoothness, stiffness, counters, etc. were all top notch, but it lacked that hook that makes an All Japan match special. It just wasn't particularly dramatic, and it wasn't just me that felt this way. Well the crowd oohed and ahhed at some impressive moves, a few seconds later there was silence. So I can't criticize there performance in a sense, but it's what they didn't perform that left me with an empty feeling. The match wasn't a spotfest, but it would have been better if it was. This is simply because they didn't do anything psychology wise, so a spotfest could have masked that some and generated more excitement. Akiyama's suichoku rakka shiki no exploder is his nastiest version by far. The wrist clutch one that he won the title with just didn't compare to this one Misawa had just withstood, and to tell you the truth didn't even seem as good as the regular exploder. ****

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio. Two awkward teams working together isn't likely to come off well, and this was no exception. The Takeshi's always work hard and through that and charisma have developed their own cult following, but there wasn't much that these teams could do together in the ring. They actually worked pretty well together, but still it was mainly punches, kicks, and lariats. *3/4

GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Donovan Morgan 17:22. Morgan really stepped it up here, giving possibly his best performance in NOAH. They started with good technical wrestling, either countering or mirroring each other spots. The match picked up with Morgan catching Kanemaru's body press off the apron and turning it into a Michinoku driver II on the floor. From there they mostly did hot moves. It was interesting that Kanemaru played heel even though he was taking on a foreigner. Morgan hit a tope con hilo and a baseball slide, but when he went for his third consecutive dive, Kanemaru clocked him with the bell. Kanemaru also unravelled the tape around his wrist and choked Morgan with it. Both men were impressive, and the fans were really into this down the stretch. Morgan came up with some surprising excellent moves. For instance, when Kanemaru was punching him to set up an avalanche style Frankensteiner, Morgan just jumped off the top into a Liger bomb. Later Morgan seemed to have the Michinoku driver II again, but Kanemaru turned it into a reverse DDT and went to town with his best moves to finally finish Morgan off. Asako did a run in after the match to try to petition for the next title shot. ***1/2

Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Michael Modest. Modest did all these cool moves like a fisherman superplex only to have Ogawa win with like two of his weak moves and a crummy cradle. Ridiculous. 3:33 shown

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Vader & Bull Schmitt. Bad short match. Not only was no one impressive, but they basically didn't do anything. 2:34 shown

Daisuke Ikeda & Takuma Sano vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue. Short nothing match. Ikeda is good enough though to even pull some quality stuff out of Honda. 2:14 shown

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE 9/8/01 Accomplish Our First Navigation taped 7/16 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2
& Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE 9/22/01 One Night Navigation taped 8/15 Akita Minase Village Tokoton Yama Camp
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Takao Omori & Satoru Asako vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Takeshi Morishima & Kishin Kawabata

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura

taped 8/15

KENTA vs. Takeshi Morishima

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Takao Omori & Satoru Asako

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Takuma Sano & Naomichi Marufuji

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE 9/29/01 & 10/6/01 DEPARTURE 2001 taped 8/28/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-2hr. Q=TV Master

Scorpio & Super Star Steve vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi

Akira Taue & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Takashi Sugiura vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takeshi Rikio & KENTA

Tamon Honda vs. Takeshi Morishima

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga vs. Vader & Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Jun Izumida

Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa vs. Satoru Asako & Kishin Kawabata

Yoshinari Ogawa & Takuma Sano vs. Bull Schmitt & Matt Murphy

Masao Inoue vs. Bison Smith

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama


Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE 10/13/01 & 10/20/01 DEPARTURE 2001 taped 8/31 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Naohiro Hoshikawa

Vader & Scorpio & Bull Schmitt vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan & Bison Smith

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama & Satoru Asako

Makoto Hashi vs. Takeshi Morishima

Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. KENTA

Yoshinari Ogawa & Takuma Sano vs. Matt Murphy & Superstar Steve

GHC Heavykyu Chosensha Ketteisen: Daisuke Ikeda vs. Takeshi Rikio

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Akira Taue & Takashi Sugiura

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's VOYAGE 10/27/01 & 11/3/01 DEPARTURE 2001 taped 9/2/01 Twin Messe Shizuoka
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Daisuke Ikeda vs. Akitoshi Saito

Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Matt Murphy & Superstar Steve

Mitsuharu Misawa & Takuma Sano vs. Akira Taue & Jun Izumida

Vader & Bull Schmitt & Bison Smith vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama & Satoru Asako

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & Takashi Sugiura vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Makoto Hashi

Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa

Yoshinari Ogawa & Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA vs. Scorpio & Mike Modest & Donovan Morgan

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

NOAH DEPARTURE 2001 Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

8/27/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall: Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Makoto Hashi vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio. Digest

8/28/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall, GHC Heavyweight Title Next Challenger Decision Tournament: Tamon Honda vs. Takeshi Morishima. Digest

8/31/01 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan 2, GHC Heavyweight Title Next Challenger Decision Tournament: Daisuke Ikeda vs. Takeshi Rikio. Digest

9/1/01 Kyoto KBS Hall, GHC Heavyweight Title Next Challenger Decision Tournament Final: Tamon Honda vs. Daisuke Ikeda 12:16. Ikeda knew that amateur wrestlers work better in UWF style than in pro style, and actually did a technical match that took advantage of 3 time Olympian Honda's storied amaresu background. It was a rare match where Honda appeared both comfortable and serious, almost to the point of seeming a natural in the more realistic style. They kept it short and Ikeda, who was fired up for an actual important match, did an excellent job of carrying Honda. The result was a surprising, genuinely entertaining Honda match you wished would go longer. NOAH officials, of course, seeing this, promptly never put Honda in this situation again... **3/4

9/2/01 Twin Messe Shizuoka: Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue. Digest

9/5/01 Iwate Ken-ei Taiikukan

GHC Heavyweight Title Match: Jun Akiyama vs. Tamon Honda 17:58. Akiyama appeared to have watched the Ikeda vs. Honda match, and simply not have gotten it. He did tons of technical wrestling, but lacked both the ability to set it up and to make it meaningful. At best, they exchanged submissions you never felt had any chance without much setup. When Akiyama leg tripped Honda on the floor and DDT'd him on the ramp after a lengthy mat opening, you just saw the difference in Akiyama's attitude, as he clearly felt the out of the ring stuff was big and was able to put it over as such. The other big problem in this match is Honda was never really in it. Sure, Akiyama wrestled in what we could suppose was more Honda's domain, but Akiyama totally and consistently dominated him there and never seemed in any geniune trouble at any point in the match. I didn't take any of Akiyama's submissions seriously other than the front necklock, which sure enough was the move he won with. Honda wasn't exactly a dynamic opponent to be certain, but I blame Akiyama for putting together such a lazy match where hardly anything seemed important and Honda was never competitive enough to generate any drama. **

GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Satoru Asako 23:27. A rare high profile match for Asako, and unfortunately probably the last big match of his career as he sustained a neck injury 2 months later and was ultimately forced to retire the next year. Asako was heavier and not as athletic as he was in the mid 90's when he was one of the more underrated performers in Japan, and it shows in a match such as this with so much running. He never seemed at the top of his game, and the match wasn't as smooth or fluid as I felt it should have been. That said, it was certainly a major effort from both parties. They came out fast, and never slowed down. It was paced as though they were going no more than 15 minutes, but it kept going and going. Kanemaru came out flipping then worked Asako's arm. Asako came on big in the middle of the match (with the arm being forgotten about), and the fans were very supportive. They reacted well to everything, but you felt they were really pulling him to upset Kanemaru, who in many ways had seized the role Asako was groomed for in the mid 90's but was ultimately never given a chance at, as the young ace of a junior division that had consistently been allowed to be totally dominated by older, even past their prime wrestlers. Kanemaru was what you'd expect, a hard worker who rolled out a lot of hot flying moves. He was by no means ready for his role, but they really had no one better and allowing him to grow into an important role was a lot better than the alternative that kept Asako from ever being somebody. They horribly botched a spot where Asako was supposed to turn a Kanemaru flying move into a Diamond cutter, but while not without flaws, the match was always entertaining. ***

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's Voyage 11/10/01 & 11/17 Navigation, T "u" g of War taped 10/7/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura vs. Richard Slinger & Superstar Steve

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Yoshinari Ogawa & KENTA

Takao Omori & Shinjiro Otani vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio

Satoru Asako & Masashi Aoyagi vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Bull Schmitt & Bison Smith

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Vader & Scorpio

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Takuma Sano & Kentaro Shiga & Makoto Hashi

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's Voyage #21 11/24/01 & #22 12/1/01 Navigation, T "u" g of War taped 10/14/01 Tsukuba Cabio
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Takuma Sano & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Bull Schmitt & Superstar Steve

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & KENTA vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Masao Inoue

Yoshinobu Kanemura vs. Makoto Hashi

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Tamon Honda & Takashi Sugiura

Takao Omori & Shinjiro Otani & Satoru Asako vs. Vader & Scorpio & Bison Smith

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's Voyage #23 12/1/01 & #24 12/8/011 Navigation, T "u" g of War taped 10/16/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 50min. Q=Ex

Masashi Aoyagi vs. Superstar Steve 8:18

Bison Smith & Bull Schmitt vs. Kentaro Shiga & Makoto Hashi 14:07

Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest & Richard Slinger vs. KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji & Yoshinari Ogawa 12:26

Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Satoru Asako & Shinjiro Otani & Takao Omori 18:43

Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura 10:15

Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda vs. Jun Izumida & Kishin Kawabata 15:50

Mitsuharu Misawa & Takuma Sano vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio 16:03

GHC Tag Title Tournament Second Round Match: Scorpio & Vader vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura 6:53

NOAH STV 1/2/02 Navigation, T "u" g of War taped 10/19/01 Yokohama Bunka Gym
-2hr 55min. Q=Ex. 2 DVDs

Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 9:27

KENTA & Masao Inoue vs. Richard Slinger & Superstar Steve 14:35

Kentaro Shiga & Makoto Hashi vs. Masashi Aoyagi & Takashi Sugiura 14:47

Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Jun Izumida & Tamon Honda 13:25

Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji & Takuma Sano & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Bison Smith & Bull Schmitt & Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest 24:04

Daisuke Ikeda & Shinjiro Otani vs. Satoru Asako & Takao Omori 19:26

GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa 17:35

GHC Tag Title Tournament Final Match: Scorpio & Vader vs. Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama 11:39

NOAH STV 12/2/01 Navigation, T "u" g of War 1st GHC Tag Champion Decision Tournament
-1hr 55min. Q=Ex

10/6/01 Differ Ariake GHC Tag Team Title Tournament First Round Match

Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda vs. Bison Smith & Bull Schmitt 13:58

Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio 11:27

10/12/01 Chiba Park Gymnasium GHC Tag Title Tournament Second Round Match

Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama vs. Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest 16:40

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Shinjiro Otani & Takao Omori 19:58

10/16/01 Korakuen Hall, GHC Tag Title Tournament Second Round Match: Scorpio & Vader vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura 6:53

10/17/01 Yamagata Sports Center GHC Tag Title Tournament Semifinals

Scorpio & Vader vs. Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda 5:27

Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa 19:48

NOAH Navigation, T "u" g of War Commercial Tape
-2hr. Q=Master

10/6/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake, 1st GHC Tag Title Decision Tournament 1st Round

Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue vs. Bull Schmidt & Bison Smith. Digest

Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan. Digest

10/12/01 Chiba Koen Taiikukan, 1st GHC Tag Title Decision Tournament 2nd Round

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan. Digest

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takao Omori & Shinjiro Otani

10/16/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall, 1st GHC Tag Title Decision Tournament 2nd Round: Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura vs. Vader & Scorpio. Digest

10/17/01 Yamagata Shi Sogo Sports Center, 1st GHC Tag Title Decision Tournament Semifinal

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa. Digest

10/19/01 Kanagawa Yokohama Bunka Taiikukan 1st GHC Tag Title Decision Tournament Final: Vader & Scorpio vs. Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito

9/9/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake: Akitoshi Saito & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa. Digest

01 9/15/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake: Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa vs. Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Digest

10/19/01 GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa

10/16/01: Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Takao Omori & Shinjiro Otani & Satoru Asako. Digest

10/19/01: Takao Omori & Satoru Asako vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Shinjiro Otani. Digest

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's Voyage #25 12/22/01 & #26 1/5/02 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 11/18/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata

Akitoshi Saito vs. B.J. Whitmer

Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Naomichi Marufuji vs. Akira Taue & Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue

Jun Izumida & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura

Takuma Sano vs. Makoto Hashi

Jun Akiyama & Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio & KENTA

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama & Satoru Asako vs. Vader & Scorpio & Richard Slinger

NOAH di colosseo 4/29/02 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 11/20/01 Osaka Furitsu Taiikukaikan
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Haruka Eigen & Jun Izumida vs. Mitsuo Momota & Rusher Kimura 10:01

Daisuke Ikeda vs. BJ Whitmer 6:08

Masashi Aoyagi & Satoru Asako vs. KENTA & Takuma Sano 12:46

Takashi Sugiura & Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio vs. Kentaro Shiga & Makoto Hashi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru 13:59

Akira Taue & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Naohiro Hoshikawa & Tatsuhito Takaiwa 10:38

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Donovan Morgan & Michael Modest 9:42

Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama vs. Masao Inoue & Tamon Honda 15:47

Richard Slinger & Scorpio & Vader vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji & Yoshinari Ogawa 7:14

NOAH Kakutogi Hour The Ring 11/8/01 Navigation Tug of War taped 10/17/01 Yamagata Shi Sogo Sports Center
& NOAH Kakutogi Hour The Ring 12/6/01 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 11/25/01 Nagoya Aichi-ken Taiikukan
-1hr 45min. Q=Near Perfect

10/17/01

GHC Tag Title Tournament Semifinal: Vader & Scorpio vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue 5:27

GHC Tag Title Tournament Semifinal: Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa 19:48

Shinjiro Otani vs. Kentaro Shiga 11:21

11/25/01

GHC Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi 20:47

Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio 14:06

Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Takashi Sugiura 7:55

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's Voyage #27 & #28 1/12/02 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 11/27/01 Tokyo Korakuen Hall
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Masashi Aoyagi & Kishin Kawabata vs. Richard Slinger & B.J. Whitmer

Tamon Honda & KENTA vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Makoto Hashi

Naomichi Marufuji vs. Takashi Sugiura

Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida & Masao Inoue vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takeshi Morishima & Takeshi Rikio

Vader & Scorpio vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan

Jun Akiyama & Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa & Takuma Sano

NOAH di colosseo 5/20/02 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 11/30/01 Hokkaido-ken Sogo Taiiku Center
-2hr. Q=Near Perfect

Tatsuhito Takaiwa & Naohiro Hoshikawa vs. Naomichi Marufuji & KENTA 13:23

Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan 10:04

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura 11:12

Yoshihiro Takayama vs. Takeshi Morishima 2:13

Takao Omori vs. Tamon Honda 12:10

Jun Akiyama vs. Takeshi Rikio 14:35

GHC Tag Title Match: Vader & Scorpio vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa 16:35

NOAH NOAH's voyage #30 1/26/02 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 12/7/01 Sendai Miyagi-ken Sports Center
& NOAH NOAH's voyage #35 3/2/02 The First Navigation, 2002 taped 1/14/02 Kyoto KBS Hall
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

12/7/01

Yoshinari Ogawa & Takuma Sano & KENTA vs. Scorpio & Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan 8:35 of 12:26. Solid efforts with KENTA working the hardest, and Scorpio and Morgan making legitimate contributions. Hardly the advanced match they were capable of, but there was enough talent involved to make it worthwhile. **1/4

Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Segiura vs. Vader & Richard Slinger 8:40. Essentially an exhibition match with some comedy tossed in to help pass the time. Vader & Slinger warmed up by lariating each other, so Tamon Honda, who played Segiura’s mentor, followed suit by batting Segiura on the head, though Takashi didn’t take too kindly to the gesture. Vader was the wrecking ball here. He could have beaten either opponent at any time, but preferred to toy with them. Inversely, Slinger was the whipping boy, but the opponents were so lowly they even had to double team him most of the time to get any offense in, and the real purpose of their offense was to set Vader up to come in and bowl them over. *1/4

Akitoshi Saito & Kentaro Shiga vs. Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Jun Izumida 15:09. Your run of the mill, forgettable house show match. Izumida gives you nothing, and the others were fair. Shiga was the best, not only on talent but he’s also the only one who showed some actual energy. Kikuchi is a bit odd to watch because he can do every style passably, but since his body is shot he winds up halfway between Mr. Versatility and a comedy wrestler. He worked stiffly enough with Saito to be passable, but their wannabe toughguy interactions and mannerisms were difficult not to laugh off. *3/4

Akira Taue & Masao Inoue vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama 13:01. Well done basic work with a lot of striking, but not the kind that would excite anyone. No Fear always give a decent effort, but they weren’t able to get the crowd into the match until the final minute. Taue made a decent effort to carry the match when he was in, even pulling out the enzuigiri. Of course, Inoue carried the load for his team. **

1/14/02

Makoto Hashi vs. Yasuhiro Suzuki 10:23

Haruka Eigen & Kishin Kawabata & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi vs. Mitsuo Momota & Mohammed Yone & Rusher Kimura 13:33

Akitoshi Saito & Jun Akiyama vs. Michael Modest & Scorpio 13:37

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Mitsuharu Misawa & Naomichi Marufuji 13:25

Pro-Wrestling NOAH 2/3/02 Navigation in Raging Ocean taped 12/9/01 Tokyo Ariake Coliseum
-2hr 55min. Q=TV Master

Rusher Kimura & Mitsuo Momota & Masashi Aoyagi vs. Haruka Eigen & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi & Kishin Kawabata

Kentaro Shiga & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Michael Modest & Donovan Morgan. Spots were better than the work, but the work was good. Kanemaru did a cool move where he whipped Morgan into the guard rail so Morgan was bent over it, jumped on it, and gave him a guillotine leg drop. Morgan's corkscrew neckbreaker, which is like a swinging neckbreaker from fisherman suplex position, is cool. Should have been longer, but certainly entertaining while it lasted. ***1/4

Takuma Sano vs. KENTA. Sano kept it fairly simple and deliberate for KENTA. KENTA did most of the good moves including a springboard plancha over the guard rail and a swandive Frankensteiner off the top that's apparently called triangle style. KENTA is so scrawny that even Sano looks too big for him. Sano didn't give him much respect, but he was often on the recieving end. **1/4

Akitoshi Saito & Makoto Hashi vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Takashi Sugiura. Ikeda & Saito's kicks were the highlight, but they didn't exactly have the battle I was hoping for. Hashi & Sugiura didn't do much. **

Takeshi Morishima & Takashi Rikio vs. Scorpio & Richard Slinger. Scorpio is a good opponent for the Wild II because his offense masks their lack of it. He totally made the match, which had good action throughout. Scorpio & Slinger showed good teamworked. There was a nice spot where they jumped over the refs back for planchas. ***

Akira Taue & Jun Izumida vs. Tamon Honda & Masao Inoue. Good effort from Taue, but at this point he's obviously not going to be able to carry these slugs. He had even less help than I expected, plus the finish was lame. *1/2

GHC Junior Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Tatsuhito Takaiwa vs. Naomichi Marufuji 22:10. This match greatly exceeded my expectations. I know Marufuji has become one of the best workers, but I've never seen Takaiwa wrestle nearly this well or smart. This was a great match largely because what they brought complemented each other so well. Takaiwa had big time power offense, largely by doing more dangerous versions of his favorite spots. He did his repeated powerbomb spot, but to finish it he heaved Marufuji over the top rope onto the ramp. He injured Marufuji's knee by suplexing him over the top to the floor then swept it with his lariat to stop Marufuji from jumping off the top rope at him. Takaiwa's focus was excellent. Instead of doing his same old moves like the diving elbow drop, he did the diving elbow drop to the bad knee. He caught you by surprise, like catching Marufuji on an ultra huracanrana and powerbombing him into the turnbuckle then applying a cloverhold. This match had a number of great spots, but they made them fit the story they were telling. Marufuji saved himself from a deadly spider German by landing on his feet, but that shot his knee that much more. Marufuji took major punishment, but also put the knee over in other ways like purposely blowing a dropkick. The match looked like it was going to be over several times, but Marufuji would do something amazing at the last second like turn Takaiwa's powerbomb off the 2nd into a huracanrana well into flight or turn his backdrop off the 2nd into his Shiranui. ****1/2

GHC Tag Senshukenjiai: Mitsuharu Misawa & Yoshinari Ogawa vs. Takao Omori & Yoshihiro Takayama. No Fear are poor at long slow matches like this. Misawa was uninspired, and Ogawa didn't take it upon himself to carry the team. The last 4-5 minutes were better, but they never got me into it. It was the wrong style and a weak effort, especially from Misawa. **

GHC Heavykyu Senshukenjiai: Jun Akiyama vs. Vader. Akiyama has been relying so heavily on spots, but you can't do that against Vader and it seems like Akiyama has forgotten how to compensate. He worked over Vader's bad elbow, verging on taking Vader out of his element by making him take big bumps (Vader's always willing to take one or two), that was about it. Vader gave the performance you'd expect from him, so you have to lay the blame on Akiyama. He didn't utilize strengths and limit weaknesses very well. He sold a lot, doing a particularly good job of making Vader's hammers look good, but I didn't see much reason to get behind Akiyama. This wasn't a bad match by any means, they executed well and so forth like you'd expect. It's just that I know Akiyama is more than capable of displaying varying skill and showing some fire. The match didn't build at all, so when it ended it was the bad kind of surprise where you say "That's it?" because it looked like it was going to go another 10 minutes and you were holding out hope that in that time they'd make it a match that didn't pale even by '99 AJ standards. ***

Pro-Wrestling NOAH NOAH's Voyage #31 2/2/02 & #32 2/9/02 Joyful Gift from NOAH taped 12/24/01 Tokyo Differ Ariake
-1hr 50min. Q=TV Master

Takuma Sano & Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Daisuke Ikeda & Yasuhiro Suzuki. Suzuki looks quite promising. He's a very good athlete and already works pretty well. He does things like backflips from the corner and planchas. Ikeda did a nice spot where she spun out of a Dragon screw. Unfortunately, the talent involved was better than the final product. **1/2

Yoshinaru Ogawa & Takeshi Morishima vs. Mitsuo Momota & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi. Mainly serious, but not a lot of effort. Kikuchi & Morishima were decent. *1/2

Rusher Kimura & Mohammed Yone & Jun Izumida vs. Big Van Honda & Kishin Kawabata & Naomichi Marufuji. Lousy execution and poorly timed spots. I'm not sure if what Rusher does these days can even loosely be termed wrestling. Even Marufuji was unimpressive because there was no one for him to do anything with. Honda apparently thinks wearing headgear to the ring and doing a reverse splash sudddenly makes him Vader. Yone was the only guy that was pretty good, so of course he got pinned.

Mitsuharu Misawa & Masashi Aoyagi & Makoto Hashi vs. Akira Taue & Masao Inoue & Takeshi Rikio

Takao Omori & Kentaro Shiga & Takashi Sugiura vs. Mr. Xmas (Jun Akiyama) & Haruka Eigen & Akitoshi Saito

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