Pro Wrestling NOAH – N-1 Victory 2022 Preview and Prediction

N 1 Victory 2022 Pro Wrestling NOAH

On August 11th, Pro Wrestling NOAH kicks off its annual N-1 Victory tournament. It’s the spiritual successor to All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Champion Carnival and was formerly known as the Global League. It returns to the two-block format and contains eight competitors in each block. We will take a look at the N-1 Victory 2022 blocks, a few matches to look forward to, who to watch out for, and of course, our prediction for the tournament.

N-1 Victory 2022 Preview

A Block:

  • Kenoh
  • Kazuyuki Fujita
  • Go Shiozaki
  • Hideki Suzuki
  • El Hijo De Dr Wagner Jr
  • Masaaki Mochizuki
  • Masato Tanaka
  • Anthony Greene

B Block:

  • Katsuhiko Nakajima (2020 and 2021 Winner)
  • Takashi Sugiura
  • Satoshi Kojima
  • Kaito Kiyomiya
  • Kinya Okada
  • Jack Morris
  • Masakatsu Funaki
  • Masa Kitamiya

N-1 Victory 2022 Matches To Look Forward To

Katsuhiko Nakajima vs Kinya Okada – 08/28/22

Kinya Okada’s most intriguing bout in this N-1 Victory will no doubt be against the defending champion, Katsuhiko Nakajima. Nakajima has worked with Kinya in the dojo, and that is evident in his style of pro wrestling; it’s very kick-heavy, as seen in the Inamura match. These kicks are now packing rage and frustration behind them. If there’s anyone who’s going to bring the absolute best out of Okada, it’s going to be Nakajima. When they trade kicks on the 28th, it’ll be more than just a striking exchange. It’ll be Katsuhiko Nakajima assessing his pupil’s true feelings toward pro wrestling, and NOAH itself.

Hideki Suzuki vs Go Shiozaki – 08/28/22

This match is about three years in the making, with the only other meeting between the two taking place in 2019. The result of that match? A time limit draw. Thus, nothing was settled between the two men and is a big match that neither can afford to lose in this tournament. Both will be heavy favorites to come out of A Block, and that means it’s just as much of a must-win situation as any other match. It’ll also be interesting considering the roll that Hideki Suzuki has been on since returning to NOAH, and the slump that Go Shiozaki is currently experiencing.

Kenoh vs Kazuyuki Fujita – 08/28/22

Kenoh vs Kazuyuki Fujita is probably the biggest match to keep an eye on in A Block. Kenoh has been very vocal about the fact he doesn’t acknowledge himself as the true GHC Heavyweight Champion, the reason being that Kazuyuki Fujita never lost the belt, so he’s more of an interim champion, so once Kenoh beats him, he will be able to go forward as the undisputed GHC Heavyweight Champion. Not only that, but Fujita represents everything Kenoh hates: an older outsider coming into NOAH and using it as a launchpad to the top. While this will be Fujita’s first chance to have a singles match with the heavyweight champion, since forfeiting the belt, Fujita owns the singles series, as he defeated Kenoh for the National Championship last year. A win here almost guarantees him a future title match.

Kaito Kiyomiya vs Katsuhiko Nakajima – 08/14/22

Kaito Kiyomiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima are no strangers to one another. They’ve clashed over the GHC Heavyweight Championship, Tag Team Championship, and in N-1 Victory action in the past. This match very well could determine the winner of the entire tournament, as Nakajima is the defending two-time champion. Meanwhile, Kiyomiya is coming off a big singles victory over the legend, Keiji Mutoh. Both men are coming into this tournament with high expectations and they know how to win this tournament. This is a rematch of the 2020 N-1 Victory finals, and last year, they didn’t meet as they both were in different blocks; only Nakajima managed to make the finals.

Kenoh vs Go Shiozaki – 08/17/22

Kenoh and Go Shiozaki both met earlier this year when Shiozaki had his race back to the GHC Heavyweight Championship. Kenoh defeated Shiozaki and afterward told him, “crawl your way back up to me.” Now that Kenoh has vanquished Satoshi Kojima, who defeated Go Shiozaki for the GHC Heavyweight Championship, those words are all the more significant. Now, Shiozaki has his chance to crawl back up to Kenoh’s level. Will he defeat the current GHC Heavyweight Champion, or is he still a distance from being back at Kenoh’s level?

Masa Kitamiya vs Katsuhiko Nakajima – 08/11/22

This is both men’s first match of the tournament and will set the tone for how both men will perform. It’s no secret that there is nobody in this block that Masa Kitamiya wants to beat more than his senior, Katsuhiko Nakajima. Earlier this year, Nakajima was able to redeem his cage match loss to Masa Kitamiya by defeating him in the GHC Heavyweight Championship match. Both men will forever be tied to each other, even long before Kitamiya entered NOAH. It’s likely that this goes to a draw, as both men will refuse to let the other walk away the victor. However, if Masa Kitamiya loses to Nakajima yet again, he may have to do some reflecting on his career post-N-1 Victory.

Who to Watch Out For in the N-1 Victory 2022: Kinya Okada

Kinya Okada didn’t originally make the N-1 Victory cut. However, he earned his spot. Timothy Thatcher experienced visa issues and couldn’t participate. This led to Kinya Okada facing Yoshiki Inamura in a singles match for the spot. After a hard-hitting bout, Kinya came away the victor to a monstrous reaction. Kinya is the one to watch because he has everything to gain. He and Inamura both deserve better than what they’ve received in NOAH recently. However, Kinya has had the worst of it simply due to the fact he received few to no chances. Inamura has been in a few title matches, an N-1, and some marquee matches, but Kinya received nothing. The frustration is visible in those kicks that he threw that fateful night in Korakuen Hall.

This tournament is a chance not only for Kinya Okada to perform well and showcase his growth. It’s a chance for him to score some marquee wins, and arrive as a top star. NOAH’s President has spoken highly of Kinya and Inamura; could this be the start of a brighter future for both men and NOAH as a whole? There will be one litmus test for that, and that’s Kinya Okada’s N-1. He’s definitely the main one to watch this year.

N-1 Victory 2022 Prediction: Masa Kitamiya

Masa Kitamiya is our president, and there’s one good reason for that: no one in this tournament needs this win more than him. He’s always been on the bubble, as far as he’s so close to reaching that top star status. Yet, doesn’t have any singles accolades in NOAH to show for it. He’s consistently over the last year been one of the best performers in the company, and truly going for broke anytime he’s in the ring. Not only that, but his storytelling in the feuds with both Keiji Mutoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima was second to none. He’s the complete package and winning this tournament will finally put him in the same breath as other main event talents. Anyone can win and lose a championship, but if he wins N-1 Victory, that can never be taken from him.

Also, Masa would be the perfect first challenger for the brand new GHC Heavyweight Champion. He is a former member of KONGO, but the inclusion of Katsuhiko Nakajima angered him enough to leave. Yet, despite all of that, Masa was very thankful to Kenoh. Kenoh was also very supportive of Masa’s decision to leave. Them having a GHC Heavyweight Championship match would show Kenoh that Masa didn’t leave just to be a background player behind guys like Go and Kaito. He left KONGO to reach the top of NOAH and become the absolute best.

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.