This Monday, Pro Wrestling NOAH will be holding an event known as NOAH the Chronicle Vol.3. This will be the final event for Pro Wrestling NOAH at the old Yokohama Gymnasium, a venue that has seen it’s fair share of legendary bouts. With this old venue going out, in the coming future, we will be seeing the brand new Yokohama Budokan. This marks the event before the beginning of the N1 Victory. Also, it marks an important moment for Pro Wrestling NOAH as the stakes are incredibly high in the main event. This could possibly change the business of Pro Wrestling NOAH forever. Let’s get into this review of NOAH the Chronicle Vol.3.
KONGOH (Hao and Nio) vs. Yo-Hey and Tadasuke (NOAH the Chronicle Vol.3 Opening Match)
Yo-Hey and Tadasuke have been teaming for a bit in Pro Wrestling NOAH. They were once part of the faction RATELS alongside Daisuke Harada and HAYATA. However, in May, Hayata turned on RATELS to join STINGER. This led to the collapse of RATELS, which is why they don’t directly use the name any longer. Hao is one of the newest members of NOAH and showcased promise in his match against his leader Kenoh at the Kongoh Produce Diamond Show. It’s a very even match up here at NOAH the Chronicle Vol.3.
STINGER (Kotaro Suzuki, Yoshinari Ogawa) and Kinya Okada vs. FULL Throttle (Hajime Ohara, Atsushi Kotoge and Seiki Yoshioka)
When it comes to the new factions for Pro Wrestling NOAH, most people would point at KONGOH. However, another faction was created. Full Throttle consists of all former members of different factions within NOAH. Seiki is one of the newer members of NOAH who came from the W-1 Closing and joined in with Sugiura-Gun. Hajime Ohara was also part of the Sugiura-Gun faction. Finally, Atsushi Kotoge was part of the STINGER faction. They all branched out, with Kotoge as the leader as of the Who Is The Leader? show. To me, the potential makes this match more intriguing.
Kotoge is going to get in the ring with his former faction. This includes Kotaro Suzuki, who is the current GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion. Yoshinari Ogawa is part of the GHC Junior Tag Champions with Hayata of STINGER. Kinya Okada is truly the wildhorse of this match as he doesn’t belong to a faction. He’s a younger talent who’s still learning the ins and outs of the factions in NOAH. A new contender could possibly be crowned here for Kotaro Suzuki. We may even see contenders for the junior tag championships, too.
Maasaki Mochizuki, Naomichi Marufuji & Yuka Miyomoto vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima, Shuhei Taniguchi & Mohammed Yone
Maasaki Mochizuki and Naomichi Marufuji have been teaming for the past few months. They even had a reign as GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions. Yuko Miyamoto is one of the oddest parts of this match due to his involvement in AJPW Asia Title Scene and his history with deathmatch wrestling. Mohammed Yone hasn’t really been the same since the departure of fellow teammate Quiet Storm. Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima are both having a tough time, however. Nakajima lost the GHC National Championship to Kenoh on the first night of Departure, while Marufuji failed to capture the GHC Heavyweight Championship on the second night of Departure. There are a lot of mixed emotions in this match.
IPW Junior Heavyweight Championship: Daisuke Harada (c) vs. HAYATA
The rivalry between these two started on the May 9th show for Pro Wrestling NOAH. During a junior tag title match, HAYATA would turn on his former teammates of RATELS to join STINGER. A few nights later, HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa would defeat the makeshift replacement team of Tadasuke and Yo-Hey to become GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Champions. As I mentioned, RATELS broke up after this. However, the anger of Daisuke Harada for his fellow compatriot could be seen months after the betrayal. Harada wanted to get his hands on HAYATA and avenge RATELS.
Harada is the current defending IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion. This title became part of NOAH’s championships from IPW UK after they stopped producing shows. This is also weirdly Harada’s first-ever defense in his 200+ day reign as champion. This is a very important match for both of them. With Hayata, it can truly showcase the former leader being weak, while Harada looks to finally get his revenge on the snake of the STINGER faction.
Suguira-Gun (Takashi Sugiura, Kazushi Sakuraba and Kendo Kashin) vs. KONGOH (Manabu Soya, Masa Kitamiya and Yoshiki Inamura)
Before the two major matches of the card, two more factions face each other in trios action with KONGOH and Sugiura-Gun. To provide some background, KONGOH debuted for NOAH in May of 2020 after frustrations from Kenoh regarding the new ownership within Pro Wrestling NOAH. This team of KONGOH consists of one of NOAH’s newest stars, Manabu Soya. In July, Soya lost an opportunity at the GHC National Championship. In the same month, the leader of Suigura-Gun, known as Takashi Sugiura, also lost his National Championship. I expect conflict between those two. Kendo Kashin came from WWE after his release. This should be an interesting bout at NOAH the Chronicle Vol.3.
Special Singles Match: Kaito Kiyomiya vs. Keiji Mutoh
The semi-final of this show features a potential dream match between one of the top stars of the late 80s, 90s, 2000s to even now against someone who arguably the future of Pro Wrestling NOAH. Kaito Kiyomiya is a former GHC Heavyweight Champion; he lost his championship at the beginning of the year to Go Shiozaki. On that same tour, Keiji Mutoh would return to Pro Wrestling NOAH for a couple of appearances. He got involved with Naomichi Marufuji in a tag team. On July 18th, Kaito battled Mutoh in a tag match also involving Marufuji and Shiozaki. Mutoh is looking for one last championship in his career as he faces off against the future of NOAH in Kaito Kiyomiya.
Kiyomiya facing Mutoh is interesting because it showcases the evolution of puroresu: a past star facing off against a rising star of the promotion. Mutoh is looking to finish the trinity of world titles for the top promotions in Japan. Meanwhile, Kiyomiya wants his championship back, even if he has to defeat a bonafide legend to do it. This isn’t an established #1 contender’s match, however. This means both men have possibilities to gain a major high going into the N1 Victory later on in the month, even if none have yet to be announced for the tournament.
GHC National Championship & GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki (c) vs. Kenoh (c) (NOAH the Chronicle Vol.3 Main Event)
It’s time for the main event of the evening. This match is established as a double title match. Go Shiozaki has been the defending GHC Heavyweight Champion for 7 months. Kenoh is the brand new GHC National Champion, only winning it on the first night of the Departure tour after defeating Katsuhiko Nakajima. After Go Shiozaki retained his championship, Kenoh would come out and challenge him for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kenoh also holds the National Championship. Both will defend their respective championships in a double title match encounter. This is a trend that we have been seeing in mainstream wrestling, specifically puroresu. We saw this with EVIL in NJPW and now this match. In terms of singles matches, the last time these two faced off was in 2017 in a tournament match that Kenoh won. This is the second-ever encounter for both men.
Under these circumstances, it’s hard to determine who is stronger going on into this match. Both have been on highs since the beginning of the year, with Shiozaki as champion and Kenoh starting KONGOH. These wrestlers hit hard, too. Kenoh’s kicks are loud & brutal, but Shiozaki’s chops can make a man bleed. Shiozaki has been dealing with a damaged arm as of late, with this being his fourth title defense, right before the N1 Victory and so soon after the past title match. Both men are coming in damaged from both of their matches. This title match will change Pro Wrestling NOAH for a long time. We will see the first-ever double champion for the promotion. It could end in controversial fashion, considering how Kenoh has been knocking opponents out left and right as of recently. The only thing that is guaranteed is that Pro Wrestling NOAH will never be the same after this show.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch Pro Wrestling NOAH on DDT Universe.