Beginner’s Guide To NOAH: The Championships

NOAH Stars

In the year 2000, Pro Wrestling NOAH was formed by Mitsuharu Misawa and for over 20+ Years, Pro Wrestling NOAH has become a staple of Puroresu across the globe. With wrestlers like Go Shiozaki, Naomichi MarufujiKatsuhiko Nakajima & Takashi Sugiura gracing the former green ring today. In this article, we bring you the first-ever edition of the beginner’s guide to Pro Wrestling NOAH. In this piece, you will see a basic explanation of what every championship is & means in Pro Wrestling NOAH.

A Guide To NOAH: The Titles

GHC Heavyweight Championship

Go Shiozaki (left) with the GHC Heavyweight Championship

The GHC Heavyweight Championship is the World Championship of Pro Wrestling NOAH. It is featured in the main event of all NOAH shows. With legendary champions like Mitsuharu Misawa, Kenta Kobashi, Go Shiozaki & Takashi Sugiura being just a few of the legendary wrestlers to hold this championship. The GHC Heavyweight Championship in recent memory has seen a focus on longer championship reigns. The last few champions have been an example of this with Kaito Kiyomiya’s 2019 Reign lasting over 384 Days to even the current champion Go Shiozaki. Shiozaki has held the championship for over 350+ days. While challengers appear out of nowhere for the belt occasionally, NOAH does have a yearly tournament known as the N1 Victory where the winner of that tournament faces off against the GHC Heavyweight Championship at a later date. This tournament usually happens in November.

GHC National Championship

Kenoh (right) with the GHC National Championship

The GHC National Championship is one of the newest championships for Pro Wrestling NOAH. The Championship made its first appearance at NOAH’s The Best in November of 2019. With Takashi Sugiura becoming the first champion. This championship is a mid-card belt for Pro Wrestling NOAH. It does occasionally main event the smaller shows that NOAH produces. But that doesn’t make this championship less important, however, as this championship already had a title vs. title match this year, with the match going to a timelimit draw between Go Shiozaki & Kenoh just this past August. Like most championships for NOAH, there’s even been a mini-tournament that crowned a contender for it. It’s unknown if it could be something that could be yearly as it was just introduced last year.

GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship

Harada (left) with the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship

The GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship is the junior championship of Pro Wrestling NOAH. It’s a championship with a long history with guys like KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Daisuke Harada, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Sugiura just a few of the legends to hold this belt. This belt could also be considered a stepping stone for NOAH stars as well. With KENTA, Takashi Sugiura & Naomichi Marufuji’s case. All three men were top stars of the junior divisions and eventually went to heavyweight becoming top stars in that division as well. In recent memory, Kotaro Suzuki & Daisuke Harada have been main-stays of this division.  This championship almost never main events and is usually right before the main event before the GHC National Championship arrived. NOAH also does have an annual tournament for this belt with the Global Junior League, The current champion is Daisuke Harada, who has held the title for 45 Days.

GHC Junior Tag Team Championship

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has been around for NOAH since 2003 and it’s NOAH’s Junior Tag Belt with KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji as the first champions. In recent memory, this championship has been part of what could be seen as a never-ending feud between the faction STINGER  and the remnants of the old RATELS Faction. This championship also has a tournament dedicated to it called the Global Junior Tag League. The current champions are STINGER and they’ve held these championships for 32 Days. But STINGER has held this belt multiple times this year, including in March, May & November.

GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship.

Sugiura & Sakuraba the current GHC Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

The GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship is the heavyweight tag team belt for Pro Wrestling NOAH with Akitoshi Saito & Bison Smith being the longest-reigning champions. But in recent memory, this belt built up two future main-eventers for the year 2020 in Go Shiozaki & Katsuhiko Nakajima. A tag team was formerly known as AXIZ. Holding these championships for most of 2019 and becoming one of the most memorable tag teams in NOAH in recent memory. NOAH has a yearly tournament to crown new contenders for the belt with the Global Tag League.

The Current Champions of Pro Wrestling NOAH (As of December 26th)

GHC Heavyweight Championship: Go Shiozaki

After winning a #1 Contender’s match against Katsuhiko Nakajima at NOAH’s final big show of 2019, Go Shiozaki would be Kaito Kiyomiya’s next challenger. After over four years without the belt. Go Shiozaki defeated Kaito Kiyomiya to start his historic 300+ Day reign as champion. In his reign, he has defeated men like Naomichi Marufuji,  Kenoh, Katsuhiko Nakajima, had an extremely memorable 30 Minute Staredown against Kazufuji Fujita, and most recently had a legendary match against Takashi Sugiura to end off the year’s title defenses. Go Shiozaki throughout the last few big bouts has dealt with the wear and tear of this long reign and even LONGER matches. With many of his bouts going over 40+ Minutes. With his last three title matches going that amount. Go Shiozaki has established himself as the face of NOAH with the phrase “I am NOAH”. Go Shiozaki next title defense is advertised against The Great Muta in NOAH’s return to Budokan Hall In February.

GHC National Championship: Kenoh

In what could be described as an upset. Kenoh would knock out Katsuhiko Nakajima to win the GHC National Championship. Already having a successful year with the start of his new faction of KONGOH. Kenoh has held this championship for over 6 Months and has faced off against guys like Kazushi Sakuraba, Kaito Kiyomiya and in August faced off against Go Shiozaki in a sixty-minute time limit draw with both the GHC National and GHC Heavyweight Championship on the line. While the match was a draw, Kenoh still continues to hold the championship. Kenoh’s upcoming title defense is unknown. It could be at NOAH’s first show of the calendar year.

GHC Junior Championship: Daisuke Harada

The feud between Daisuke Harada & Kotaro Suzuki is a staple of NOAH’s Junior Division. With Daisuke Harada eventually defeating Kotaro Suzuki not even a month & a half ago. Daisuke Harada’s win would signal his 5th reign with the championship belt. Daisuke’s recent feud ended with his friend turned rival Tadasuke. Other than that.  His next title defense is currently unknown. His next challenger could be decided on January 4th or on one of the smaller shows for NOAH.

GHC Junior Tag Championship: STINGER

As mentioned earlier in the GHC Junior Tag Championship has been in a never-ending feud from former RATELS members facing off against STINGER. With the current champions being STINGER, holding these championships for only a month in this current reign.

GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship: SUGIURA-GUN

NOAH’s Tag Division in 2019 consisted of many great tag teams, going into 2020 with the focus of AXIZ becoming Main Event Stars for the company, Takashi Sugiura decided to do a massive expansion on the Sugiura-Gun Faction. With his newest partner being Kazushi Sakuraba. This team would be at the forefront of the demise of the AXIZ team and won the tag titles for the first time in NOAH with not much time as a team. Since holding these championship belts, they’ve also brought in a custom title design alongside the belts. Sugiura-Gun has held these belts for over 110+ days, with his recent title defense being against Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura. The upcoming challengers for these belts are currently unknown.

With the year Pro Wrestling NOAH has had this year, it’s has been a massive success since CyberAgent bought them in January. With even more shows being produced for the company, Pro Wrestling NOAH continues to prove that it’s one of the best Pro Wrestling Promotions that doesn’t deserve to be forgotten about.  With them returning to Budokan in February, NOAH’s comeback might be a sign of things to come in 2021.

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 as well as DDT, TJPW, and more on Wrestle Universe.

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