The big news of the last few days came when Tokyo Sports broke the news that Jun Akiyama, Go Shiozaki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Kotaro Suzuki & Atsushi Aoki will be going freelance. In fact, AJPW president Uchida said he would welcome them with open arms if they wanted to join. No surprise given how much time Akiyama has been spending there and the great success he’s had.
Kenta Kobashi is also going freelance when/if he returns. However, the legend is in horrible physical condition from his health issues and mind blowing punishment he has taken over the years. Kobashi is expected to make an announcement at NOAH’s December 9th show and it could very well be about retirement plans.
This leaves KENTA, Vice President Naomichi Marufuji, Takeshi Morishima, President Akira Taue and Takashi Sugiura as really the only in-house top guys left. NOAH has been on a steady down hill run ever since their founder Mitsuharu Misawa passed away in 2009. Rumors of NOAH’s demise have come and gone over the year but it looks like it could finally be just a matter of time now.
We will keep you updated.
Kazushi Sakuraba scored some bragging rights over his Wrestle Kingdom opponent Shinsuke Nakamura at NJPW’s latest iPPV offering, World Tag League Finals. Saku and Shibata took out the IWGP Intercontinental champ and Tomohiro Ishii when the IQ Wrestler made Ishii say uncle to his legendary Double Wrist Lock.
Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson claimed victory in the hotly contested league finals. Defeating current tag champs Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. after taking out TenKoji in the semi’s. Goto & Anderson will now rematch Archer & Davey Boy this time with the titles on the line at Wrestle Kingdom.
While we’re on the topic of WK, here’s the full glorious card.
Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & BUSHI
Special Six Man Tag Match: Manabu Nakanishi, Strong Man & MVP vs. Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka & Yujiro Takahashi
NEVER Openweight Title: Masato Tanaka (c) vs. Shelton Benjamin
IWGP Tag Team Title: Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer (c) vs. Hirooki Goto & Karl Anderson
Special Singles Match: Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title, 3 Way Match: Prince Devitt (c) vs. Low Ki vs. Kota Ibushi
Special Tag Match: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Keiji Muto & Daichi Hashimoto
Special Singles Match: Togi Makabe vs. Katsuyori Shibata
IWGP Intercontinental Title: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Kazushi Sakuraba
IWGP Heavyweight Title: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada
GET WILD Takao Omori & Manabu Soya have conquered the AJPW Real World Tag League and won the AJPW Tag belts that they relinquished of their own will at the league’s beginning. GET WILD faced off against Suwama & Joe Doering in the finals and Soya built some big momentum by pinning Doering. GET WILD have solidified themselves as one of the greatest teams of the modern day and will face Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi on 9/12 with the gold on the line but it could be the teams last hurrah because just days later Soya will face Masakatsu Funaki for the Triple Crown and if Soya fails to win, GET WILD must disband.