NOAH Global League 2018 Day 1 (30/10/18) Review

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It’s the start of NOAH’s big yearly singles tournament which sadly doesn’t have the same coverage that the Champion carnival or G1 Climax has, so a lot of it will end up unseen. But here’s day 1 that was aired by Nicopro which isn’t ideal but it’s alot better than getting nothing.
This day also features a Jr. Title Match between Daisuke Harada/Kotaro Suzuki which should be fun and there were also two opening tag matches which I shall be skipping to the straight to the main meat. Lets Go!

Block B Match – Cody Hall vs. Maybach Taniguchi

Not exactly a fire match to kick things off but still pretty decent. They keep it all fairly simple with Cody getting a fair bit of control and Maybach making a come back to eventually get the win. had a couple nice headbutts on the go was a perfectly fine match.
Winner: Maybach (via diving body press) **3/4

Block A Match – Akitoshi Saito vs. Masa Kitamiya

This was pretty solid. Looked like Kitamiya was starting to work on Saito’s arm at one point but that quickly got abandoned and turned right into a back  and forth clashing of compact beefy bodies which is always fun. Finish was a little unexpected with Saito countering Kitamiya’s attempted spear with a Sickle of Death which proved to be enough to knock Kitamiya out for the 3 count. Think it was mostly a surprise due to the lack of any real nearfalls, but that always makes for a nice change., so I liked it.
I also feel like Saito really doesn’t get a enough credit for being 53 years old and still managing to work at a very solid level.
Winner: Saito (via Sickle of Death) ***

Block A Match – Kenou vs. Kohei Sato

Very good match-up. Only takes a few seconds to turn into a battle of strikes with Kohei winning all the exchanges at first establishing his dominance, but Kenou soon gets Sato down and has his way with him before we get more stiff kicksexchanged. Kohei also delivers a brutal headbutt which busts Kenou wide open and then goes onto win with a lovely bridging german suplex hold. Very enjoyable stiff contest.
Winner: Kohei (via german suplex hold) ***3/4

Block A Match – Katsuhiko Nakajima vs. Naomichi Marufuji

Another really good match. Marufuji came prepared for prick Nakajima and during a nice little opening exchange manages to already hit a Ko-oh which Knocks out Nakajima on the outside gives him some control as he acts like a bit of a dick himself beating around Nakajima.
Nakajima is soon back in the fight though with his harsh kicks and despite Maurufiji coming close to victory, Nakajima manages to dodge an exposed knee Ko-oh and knock-out Maurfuji with a devastating high kick, followed up by a punt and spike brainbsuter to get the win.
Winner: Nakajima (via brainbuster) ***3/4

GHC Jr. Title Match – Daisuke Harada (c) vs. Kotaro Suzuki

This ruled and is definitely my favourite Jr. Title Match NOAH has had this year. Things start out nice and competitive until Kotaro hits a tombstone on the apron and gets control working on Harada’s head and neck which he keeps up throughout particularly since most of his big offence focuses on that area. Harada does his best to stay in the fight though so we get some really nice exchanges and a couple of good nearfalls. I then loved the finish where Kotaro goes for the La Magistral and Harada keeps trying to counter roll out of it but Kotaro keeps getting back into the pin position until he eventually manages to hold Harada down long enough for the 3 count to become the new GHC jr. Champ. Such a simple and very effective end sequence that really puts you on edge with the struggle. Happy to see Kotaro staying longer in NOAH too, guys been on a roll since coming in and the crowd are really loving it too. Really terrific match.
Winner: Kotaro (via La Magistral cradle) ****1/4

Block B Main Event – Go Shiozaki vs. Takashi Sugiura

Great little main event to end the day. The guys waste no time going for the hard hits which we love until Sugiura puts a stop to Go’s chopping with a couple of closed fists that the ref ain’t happy about. This gives Sugiura a portion of control that mostly consists of a simple chinlock so not that exciting, but after that’s over with the match picks up nicely and we get some big moves busted out as well as more hard strikes including some good elbows and chops. Go takes a fair brunt of the punishment but he manages to keep fighting and ends up with the victory after hitting a Gowan Lariat. Must feel good for him to get a big win over the GHC champ right off the bat, certainly gives him good momentum.
Think their GHC title match earlier this year was better, but this was still very enjoyable.
Winner: Go Shiozaki (via Gowan Lariat) ****

This was good a first day for the Global League delivering a lot of solid action as well as an awesome JR. title match that I highly recommend. Just a shame that we probably won’t be getting that many more matches aired as this looks to be a real good tournament.

Thanks for reading.

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