NOAH N1 Victory 2020 Block Finals
The NJPW G1 Climax has not been the only tournament taking place currently and although they may not have as much of an international following, Pro Wrestling Noah remains one of the top three Japanese promotions. The N1 Victory tournament is the pinnacle tournament on the Pro Wrestling Noah yearly calander and this year’s block matches have been incredible, with a final night of block matches deciding who will move onto the tournaments finals.
In Block A, there were still three competitors in with a shot at progressing to the finals, Go Shiozaki is on 6pts as is Kaito Kiyomiya with Masaaki Mochizuki close behind on 5pts. In Block B there was another 4 competitors with a chance to move on to the finals with Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima on 6pts as well as Takashi Sugiura and Naomichi Marufuji.
Block B Match: Yoshika Inamura (0W 4L 0D 0Pts) VS Shuhei Taniguchi (1W 3L 0D 2Pts)
Shuhei Taniguchi Def Yoshika Inamura
A Quick hard hitting affair, Yoshika Inamura came out like a man possessed charging at Shuhei Taniguchi and laying clubbing forearms desperate not to finish the tournament with no points at all. However he could not overcome the experience of Shuhei who put the younger Taniguchi down following 3 big punts to the head and picking up his second win of the tournament.
Block A Match: Kazushi Sakuraba (2W 2L 0D 4Pts) Vs Manabu Soya (1W 3L 0D 2Pts)
Manabu Soya Def Kazushi Sakuraba
A classic Strength Vs Technique match up, for sometime it looked like the experience and technique of Sakuraba would be enough to carry him to victory. Sakuraba was able to constantly take the bigger Soya down to the mat, however Soya was able to roll Sakuraba up for pin whilst trapped up in an arm-bar getting the three count to win finishing the tournament with 4pts equal to Sakuraba.
Block A Match: Masa Kityama (1W 3L 0D 2Pts) Vs Masaaki Mochizuki (2W 2L 1D 5Pts)
Masa Kityama Def Masaki Mochizuki
The Technical Striker Mochizuki tried to negate the power of Masa Kityama by working over his leg and locking in holds and submissions. However, Masa Kityama was able to dig deep, hitting a variety of Suplex’s including one final huge Saito Suplex allowing him to pick up the win. With Masa Kiyama victorious this meant Mochizuki was no longer able to qualify for the finals, whilst Kityama finishes the tournament with a respectable 4pts total.
Block B Match: Takashi Sugiura (2W 2L 1D 5Pts) Vs Kenoh (3W 2L 0D 6Pts)
Takashi Sugiura Def Kenoh
This match up swung back and forth constantly, with each competitor in with a chance of qualifying for the final, they both fought tooth and nail. Despite Kenoh being the more agile and mobile of the two, Sugiura had the experience and power advantage which took him to victory via a guillotine choke causing Kenoh to pass out. With this win, Sugiura had a great chance of making it to the final whilst Kenoh would crash out the tournament then and there.
Noah Jr 14 person Battle Royale
One Wrestler enters every 30 Seconds, Elimination by Pinfall, submission or being thrown over the top rope. The 14 Entrants were; Kotaro Suzuki, Seiki Yoshioka, Atsushi Kotoge, Yoshinari Ogawa, Tadasuke, Junta Miyawaki, HAYATA, Haoh, NOSAWA Rongai, YO-HEY, Nioh, Kaz Hayashi, Hajime Ohara, Daisuke Harada
Winner: Atsushi Kotoge
Block B Match: Katsuhiko Nakajima (3W 2L 0D 6Pts) Vs Naomichi Marufuji (2W 2L 1D 5Pts)
Katushiko Nakajima Def Naomichi Marufuji
The more experienced Marufuji looked to work over the younger Nakajima, but Nakajima found ways to out fox Marufuji before using his speed advantage to blister Marufuji with attacks when opportunity presented it self. Nakajima controlled most of match thanks to some thunderous kicks to Marufuji’s mid-secetion, Marufuji was still dangerous throughout thanks to his lethal strikes and submissions. In the end it was a Death Valley Driver from Nakajima following a punt to the head that would see him win the match by pinfall. With this Victory Nakajima goes on to final as the winner of B Block on 8Pts and Marfuji ends the tournament with 6pts.
Block A match: Kaito Kiyomiya (2W 2L 1D 5Pts) Vs Go Shiozaki (3W 1L 0D 6Pts)
Kaito Kiyomiya Def Go Shiozaki
The young up-start, Kaito Kiyomiya was fighting an uphill battle from the start against the vastly more experienced Go Shiozaki but the young man gave every bit he had, showing he was every bit as good as Shiozaki. Go Shiozaki controlled long periods of the match but was seemingly unable to put the younger Kiyomiya away, rising to his feet time after time and showing the heart of warrior his chest bright read from Shiozaki’s attacks. In the final few minutes the match swung back and forth several times, both giving everything they had till they were both spent physically, in the end Kiyomiya hit a second tiger suplex to win by Pin fall. Against all the odds Kiyomiya managed win the group with 7Pts to secure his place in the final.
After an incredible group stage that came down to the final day to decide each blocks winners it was Kaito Kiyomiya of block A and Katsuhiko Nakajima of Block B who would go on to win their respective matches and therefore their respective groups. All of the matches on the card were fantastic including the Jr’s Battle royale, but it was the final two matches that stole the show. The final is due to take place on the 11th October and I cannot wait for that match between Kaito Kiyomiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima looks set to be a fitting finale.
The Great British Otaku 82