Match Point is an ongoing 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. This time, we take a look at GAIN CONTROL 2022, specifically the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match pitting Atsushi Kotoge and YO-HEY against HAYATA and Yuya Susumu.
Pro Wrestling NOAH has one of the most chaotic divisions in professional wrestling. In fact, the factions in this division have been changing drastically. In this vein, we will cover the upcoming GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match; the winning team will become the 49th champions at GAIN CONTROL 2022 on February 23.
— プロレスリング・ノア営業チーム (@noah_sales_) February 20, 2022
Atsushi Kotoge and YO-HEY vs. HAYATA and Yuya Susumu
A Primer Before the Match at GAIN GROUND 2022
The GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship had a rocky start this year. As part of STINGER, HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa’s reign would be cut short due to Ogawa testing positive for COVID-19. New champions were crowned with Seiki Yoshioka and Yuya Susumu, but the titles were declared vacant when Yoshioka sustained a heel injury.
HAYATA and Yuya Susumu have shown interest in gaining back the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. They were never pinned and their titles were stripped. Meanwhile, NOAH’s Main Unit has been incredibly busy as of late, with Daisuke Harada capturing the GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship and even bringing in new members to the faction; one such member was YO-HEY.
In the Step Forward tour, YO-HEY would cost his faction, Los Perros del Mal de Japón, a victory. NOSAWA Rongai was pinned by someone who was still relatively new in his career: Yasutaka Yano. This would result in YO-HEY being kicked out before he joined NOAH’s Main Unit. This was largely due to Atsushi Kotoge’s focus on reclaiming the titles, even if it did cause them to lose a member of their faction with Hajime Ohara.
A Deeper Dive Into the Competitors
Atsushi Kotoge is one of the top veterans of the division, holding the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship a record-setting 8 times. YO-HEY has been a staple of the junior division since the days of his former faction RATELS. Since said faction’s demise, YO-HEY has yet to find championship success. Meanwhile, HAYATA has become a polar opposite. Since leaving RATELS, he has become one of the most successful champions in the company’s history. This is illustrated by his defense record of the GHC Jr. Heavyweight Championship and multiple GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Championship reigns.
HAYATA’s success this year alone might not be a good result, as he did eventually lose both championships. However, his storied history as a tag competitor makes him a heavy favorite to win this match with Yuya Susumu. STINGER has a reason to get back their titles and work well as a tag team. Consider that this faction has a history of winning those titles and lose them soon after.
Meanwhile, YO-HEY and Atsushi Kotoge are still a relatively new team. They’ve also recently lost a member of their faction. If Kotoge and YO-HEY win the championships here, it would mark YO-HEY’s first time holding a championship since early 2020. Meanwhile, it would be Kotoge’s 9th time holding the championship; the last time Kotoge held it was in late 2021.
Atsushi Kotoge and YO-HEY vs. HAYATA and Yuya Susumu – In Closing
If HAYATA and Yuya Susumu win, defeating, Kotoge and YO-HEY, the former would capture the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship for the third time in a row this year. There may be a breaking point for STINGER, though. YO-HEY wants to prove he belongs in the Main Unit; this could be showcased by defeating their top rivals with Susumu and HAYATA. This is an important match to crown the 49th champions and is one of the three major championship matches for GAIN CONTROL 2022 in NAGOYA. Will STINGER recapture the GHC Junior Heavyweight tag team titles or will NOAH’s Main Unit capture the prize? We will find out the answer to that at GAIN CONTROL 2022 in NAGOYA on February 23.
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 and ABEMA