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. In this edition of Match Point, we take a look at the upcoming bout between Katsuhiko Nakajima and GHC Heavyweight Champion Go Shiozaki at NOAH the CHRONICLE vol.4.
Pro Wrestling NOAH has had one of its most most defining years of 2020, with the promotion’s heavy focus on the new Wrestle Universe. Almost nine months after the partnership started, Pro Wrestling NOAH showcased “the CHRONICLE.” Throughout most of these big shows, Go Shiozaki defended the GHC Heavyweight Championship against the best that NOAH had to offer. The fourth installment of this show will be a story one year in the making when he faces off against Katsuhiko Nakajima in the main event.
🗓November 22, 4:00pm (JST)
PRO WRESTLING NOAH 20th ANNIVERSARY 【NOAH the CHRONICLE vol. 4】is available to watch as PPV on @FiteTV ‼️
*PPV is not available in Japan
Don’t miss this chance to watch them all “LIVE” from Yokohama Budokan‼️
— プロレスリング・ノア (@noah_ghc) November 19, 2020
In 2019, an incredible tag team known as AXIZ was showcased. It featured Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima; both men would win the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship twice, becoming one of the most enticing tag teams of the year. They worked a great series of matches against KAZMA SAKAMOTO and Takashi Sugiura. AXIZ would become many’s favorite tag team in NOAH. In a match that went under many people’s noses at the very end of the year, Shiozaki faced off against Nakajima in an #1 Contenders Match for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. This would be an absolute war. Loud chops and kicks were exchanged in this brutal 29-minute bout. Ultimately, Shiozaki picked up the victory. The last time these two faced off was in December of 2019.
At the beginning of 2020, their career paths changed. Go Shiozaki would win the GHC Heavyweight Championship by defeating Kaito Kiyomiya. The next day, AXIZ lost the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship to Naomichi Marufuji and Masaaki Mochizuki. While it was something that was a detriment to AXIZ, Shiozaki still held a championship. In the Global Tag League for NOAH, AXIZ would go to the finals against Rene Dupree and El Hijo Del Dr. Wagner Jr. In a major upset, the latter team won. Following AXIZ’s humiliating loss, Shiozaki would have two title successful title defenses against Akitoshi Saito and Kazuyuki Fujita. Meanwhile, in the background, Nakajima was the one getting pinned in AXIZ’s tag bouts.
Nakajima would eventually go on to become the second GHC National Champion, defeating Takashi Sugiura. This reign would last almost 3 months, with his two title defenses being against Masao Inoue. Eventually, Nakajima entered a feud with the new KONGOH faction. He wrestled particularly notable matches against Manabu Soya and Kenou. This rivalry between Nakajima and KONGOH would be a big part of the former’s career. When Nakajima lost the National Championship to Kenou, Shiozaki would continue to establish his legacy as
GHC Heavyweight Champion.
— プロレスリング・ノア (@noah_ghc) November 20, 2020
Later, Nakajima defaeted Marufuji and Kenoh; two men he struggled to defeat in the past. When the GHC Tag Championship vacancy was announced, AXIZ faced off against Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba. In a match that went over 30 minutes, the only thing talked about on that show was the ending. Nakajima betrayed Shiozaki, stunning everyone. Nakajima would then join KONGOH.
This unfolded 3 weeks before the N1 Victory. This tournament showcased good and bad luck for the former AXIZ. Nakajima battled Kenoh in the opening match of the tournament and won. He would defeat Sugiura again and lose one match throughout the entire tournament against Shuhei Taniguchi. Meanwhile, Shiozaki received two major losses. The first was to Mochizuki and the second occurred against Kiyomiya. The match featuring Kiyomiya was the finals of A Block. The final match pit Nakajima versus Kiyomiya. Ultimately, Nakajima won the N1 Victory.
Go Shiozaki will enter this upcoming title match with revenge on his mind. Meanwhile, Nakajima seeks his own personal redemption. With a match almost a year in the making, Shiozaki looks to go for his fifth defense against his former best friend and AXIZ tag team member. In the history of NOAH, these two have an even record at 1-1. Nakajima won the first bout while Shiozaki won the second. However, the wear and tear of Shiozaki’s reign has been impacting him. Shiozaki has had 30 to 60-minute bouts with legit consistency. One can see the pain in his eyes and it’s a matter of time before the punishment becomes too much for Shiozaki. Even in the recent NOAH shows, in tag action, Shiozaki has had a few victories. He recently suffered a major loss against Kenoh and Nakajima.
— FITE (@FiteTV) November 17, 2020
Nakajima knows this wear and tear well. He will look to defeat his former partner and hold the GHC Heavyweight Championship for the second time in his career. Will Shiozaki continue his nearly one-year reign? Will we have a brand new GHC Heavyweight Champion at NOAH the CHRONICLE vol.4? All will be known on November 22nd.
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. Make sure to watch Pro Wrestling NOAH on Wrestle Universe. NOAH the CHRONICLE vol.4 will also be available on FITE TV.
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