Match Point is an on-going series at Last Word on Pro Wrestling, where we look at intriguing matchups in indie wrestling and beyond. They may be dream matches, first-time matchups, or hotly anticipated rematches. Today’s edition is about the N1 Victory final between Katsuhiko Nakajima and Kaito Kiyomiya.
Pro Wrestling NOAH for the past few weeks has held a tournament known as the N1 Victory. This tournament consisted of multiple events featuring two blocks of amazing action from the likes of Naomichi Marufuji, Go Shiozaki, and Takashi Sugiura. But all good things come to an end. The final of the tournament sees Katsuhiko Nakajima facing off against Kaito Kiyomiya. An important match that truly showcases the history of Pro Wrestling NOAH between the champions biggest rivals.
Before the N1 Victory began, Kaito Kiyomiya wasn’t having a good year. He lost the GHC Heavyweight Championship to Go Shiozaki and embarked on a major losing streak. Losing a National Contenders match to Takashi Sugiura, losing at the world tag league, and even losing to the Great Muta. All of this was in a span of five months. This was all to set up Kiyomiya’s redemption arc, getting back what was his, the GHC Heavyweight Champion. He even started to work with the world champion before the tournament and got some tag victories here and there. Kaito Kiyomiya went into this tournament with determination.
Before the N1 Victory began, Katsuhiko Nakajima was having a mixed year filled with major losses and major victories. He lost the GHC tag championships, lost in the final of tag league, then won the GHC Naional Championship, although the reign would only last a few months, all of this pain had to break at some point for him. It took until the KAWASAKI GO event where the turn of the year happened.
Katsuhiko Nakajima broke up AXIZ by hitting a brainbuster on his former friend Go Shiozaki and joined KONGOH. This would unleash a new personality for Nakajima who went into this tournament on B Block’s side. He lost only to Shuhei Taniguchi in the tournament, while even dominating fellow Kongoh compatriots Kenoh and Yoshiki Inamura and defeating a mentor of sorts in Naomichi Marufuji to enter the finals of his tournament.
In terms of history for this tournament, Katsuhiko Nakajima has never won this tournament. The same can not be said for Kaito Kiyomiya however. As Kaito, while being young into his career, actually won the 2018 Tournament and went on to win the GHC Heavyweight Champion in the next big show that year. He held that championship for over a year, before losing it to Go Shiozaki.
Both men have faced off against each other multiple times, especially when Kaito was GHC Heavyweight Champion. The last time they faced Kaito won the match., but that was a different Nakajima. Both men had some growing to do, while the morality in question for Nakajima was questionable, he knew what he had to do to finally become GHC Heavyweight Champion for the first time in over 4 Years. Turn on his best friend.
It truly leads to the question of “Who’s going to win this tournament.” Both competitors have solid cases to win. Nakajima would get his chance to take the championship from the man he turned on, which would be a pretty big match. While Kiyomiya wants to get his championship back from the man who took it from him. All will be known after the finals of the N1 Victory.
Stay tuned to 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. Make sure to watch Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Final of the N1 Victory through Abema TV and watch NOAH through Wrestle Universe.
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