Pro Wrestling NOAH’s final major show of the year, known as NOAH the BEST 2021, saw many noteworthy items. We had three major moments take place during the show. These included 1 new champion and 2 wrestlers making their NOAH returns. Let’s get into this.
NOAH the BEST 2021 – Synopsis
I mean SEE YOU at BUDOKAN #noah_ghc #njpw https://t.co/dpK9Fah1eb
— KENTA aka Lil’K (@KENTAG2S) November 28, 2021
KENTA Makes Pro Wrestling NOAH Return for January 1st’s Nippon Budokan Event
After the second match, a video package played, showcasing the announcement of the Pro Wrestling NOAH return of KENTA. KENTA is someone who is very synonymous with Pro Wrestling NOAH, known in the late 2000s as one of its top junior stars to even early 2010s to become one of the top heavyweight stars of the promotion. KENTA is famous for his rivalries within that promotion such as against Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Naomichi Marufuji, Katsuhiko Nakajima, and Takashi Sugiura, just to name a few rivals.
After leaving WWE, KENTA would join New Japan Pro-Wrestling in mid-2019; he continues to wrestle there to this day. In this video package, KENTA announced that he would be participating in the opening event of 2022, Pro Wrestling NOAH’s return to Nippon Budokan on January 1, 2022. His opponent for the event is currently unknown, but it is a major deal for KENTA to be participating. It showcases the partnership between NOAH and NJPW once more going into the latter promotion’s Wrestle Kingdom 16 Night Three. This could be a sign of things to come in the month of December as well.
#AndNEW: STINGER Captures the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
In one of the two title matches for the show, HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa would challenge Eita and NOSAWA Rongai for the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The match would end with a controversial count-out victory, resulting in HAYATA and Ogawa capturing the titles. Not only does this mark another double championship run for HAYATA, but the 7th reign with this championship for Ogawa. Ogawa and HAYATA have held this championship before, as recently as earlier this year, holding it for a total of 190 days.
After the match, two teams would come out to challenge the new champions. Those would be YO-HEY and Kotaro Suzuki of Los Perros del Mal de Japon & Atsushi Kotoge and Daisuke Harada as Momo No Seishun Tag. Both teams will face off on December 25’s Man Crush 2021. The winning team will challenge the champions at Nippon Budokan.
Time Limit Draw in the Main Event
In the main event of the evening, Katsuhiko Nakajima and Kenoh battled for the GHC National and GHC Heavyweight Championships. This has happened for the second time, in Pro Wrestling NOAH, in the past two years. The previous bout was Kenoh vs. Go Shiozaki last year for both championships with Shiozaki as GHC National Champion in 2020; this match ended via time limit draw. A year later, Kenoh and Nakajima would put an unforgettable performance, featuring some hard-hitting kicks, a brainbuster, and double stomps, among other techniques.
The competitors went the distance. Kenoh’s dream of main eventing Nippon Budokan was taken away from him, as Nakajima and Kenoh wrestled to a 60-minute time limit draw. Both men retained their championships as a result, which was very similar to the last double-title match in NOAH in 2020. A new challenger was revealed after the match.
「THE WARROAD 2021 in NAGOYA」
中嶋勝彦 拳王 vs 潮崎豪 清宮海斗#noah_ghc pic.twitter.com/4l0Q5Du35h
— プロレスリング・ノア ｜PROWRESTLING NOAH (@noah_ghc) November 28, 2021
Go Shiozaki Makes His NOAH Return; Challenges GHC Heavyweight Champion Katsuhiko Nakajima at Nippon Budokan
After the main event, Go Shiozaki would make his Pro Wrestling NOAH return. Shiozaki has been out of Pro Wrestling NOAH since early this year, with his last appearance of the company in March of 2021. Before Naomichi Marufuji and Keiji Mutoh, Shiozaki was regarded as the personification of NOAH as its GHC Heavyweight Champion. He held the championship for over 400 days, with six title defenses, eventually losing it to Keiji Mutoh in his last major singles match.
Shiozaki set his sights on GHC Heavyweight Champion Katsuhiko Nakajima, challenging him for the championship at Nippon Budokan on January 1. Nakajima would accept the challenge from the returning Shiozaki. In this segment, it was also revealed that Shiozaki would make his in-ring return on December 5th in Nagoya for THE WARROAD 2021.
Both Nakajima and Shiozaki were a former tag team known as AXIZ, with both men inseparable as well as Kenoh in the redemption of Nakajima. Now, both men considering themselves the personification of Pro Wrestling NOAH, Nakajima and Shiozaki will battle on January 1, 2022, with Shiozaki challenging Nakajima for the GHC Heavyweight Championship at NOAH’s THE NEW YEAR 2022.
NOAH the BEST 2021 – In Closing
NOAH the BEST 2021 could be regarded as one of the most important yearend events of 2021, with three major announcements coming out of this show. Another announcement has been revealed that Takashi Sugiura and Masato Tanaka will have a rematch on January 1’s Nippon Budokan event for Sugiura’s Pro Wrestling ZERO1’s World Heavyweight Championship. Their last title match took place this past August. More matches and potential announcements regarding the GHC National and Junior Heavyweight Championships for the event have yet to be revealed. The only thing that is certain that Pro Wrestling NOAH might hit a major peak going into the brand new year.
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. You can watch Pro Wrestling NOAH as well as DDT, TJPW, and more on Wrestle Universe.