Wrestling: Pro Wrestling NOAH
Pro Wrestling NOAH is a Japanese Professional Wrestling
promotion. It came into being after All Japan Pro Wrestling
owner and promoter, Shohei "Giant" Baba passed away in 1999 and its presidency was passed on to Mitsuharu Misawa
, then one of AJPW's biggest stars. However, disputes with Baba's wife over the direction of the company lead to him being ousted from the position a year later. This in turn lead to Misawa leading an exodus
of all but two AJPW's native roster and forming their own promotion where they have more freedom to do things they weren't allowed to in AJPW. The new company was established in 2000.
The company would become no.2 company in Japan, challenging New Japan Pro Wrestling
for the no.1 spot through the earlier 2000s
. During this time, NOAH built itself with matches with a existing Junior Heavyweight Championship division with the likes of KENTA and Namoichi Marifuji, and several interpromotional matches with NJPW and later AJPW. The main event was built around the likes of Misawa, Yoshihiro Takayama, Jun Akiyama and Kenta Kobashi
, putting on 5 star matches just as they had done in AJPW.
However, as the company progressed, its ageing NOAH stars were slowly starting to break down (Kobashi went out with cancer, Akiyama and Misawa were suffering from back problems), they needed to be replaced with new talent. However, every attempt to push to a new wrestler into the main event (Takeshi Rikio, Naomichi Marufuji, Takeshi Morishima) failed, and the company would soon plunge in popularity, losing their TV deal and their ability to draw huge crowds.
Due to the pressures of his failing company, Misawa would continue push himself beyond his physical capabilities. Despite suffering from several neck pains, and a knee injury that led to him becoming overweight, Misawa kept himself in the spotlight, hoping to get Go Shiozaki over, working the exact same style as the previous 25 years of his career. Sadly, on June 13th 2009, Misawa would push himself to far. During a tag match between himself & Go Shiozaki against Bison Smith & Akitoshi Saito, after a regulation backdrop from Saito, Misawa lost consciousness. Misawa was taken to the hospital, but it was too late. Misawa was pronounced dead at the hospital. The cause of death was speculated to have been a cervical spinal cord injury, which Misawa had been carrying for the 3 previous years, that caused cardiac arrest.
With the death of Misawa, Pro Wrestling NOAH would be passed into the hands of Akira Taue. However, despite his control, the company would continue its decline, becoming a shadow of itself. It is still considered an important member of the Global Professional Wrestling Alliance despite this.
This promotion contains examples of:
- Acrofatic: Takeshi Morishima. Despite being 330lbs, he can bust out moonsaults and missle dropkicks!
- The Apprentice: KENTA was this to Kenta Kobayashi. Also Taiji Ishimori -at least symbolically, as their styles are not very similar- to KENTA.
- Ass Kicks You: Takeshi Morishima's puts his in your face, likely after planting your ass in a seat, chair or bottom turnbuckle.
- Bash Brothers: KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji, and most recently, KENTA and Taiji Ishimori.
- Casualty in the Ring : Misawa's tragic in-ring death on June 13th, 2009.
- Determinator: Misawa wrestled long past the point he should've been in the ring and he paid dearly for it.
- Drop the Hammer: Hitoshi Kumano carries a giant mallet, ala Donkey Kong.
- Easily Distracted Referee: Subverted by Shuichi Nishinaga, thankfully
- Engrish: Takeshi Morishima's finishing move, Amaze Impact, for example
- Evil Foreigner: Team Kaos (Donovan Morgan, Michael Modest, Bison and 2 Cold Scorpio)
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Dual Force's mask, which supposedly represents light and shadow.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Taiji Ishimori.
- Lightning Bruiser: KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji.
- Masked Luchador: Straight out of AAA, Path Finder is one of the most magnificent examples ever, golden muscle suit, draping red cape and a mask resembling the sun.
- Retired Badass: Harley Race, who showed up as late as 2014 with a cane
- Ronin: In 2010, NOAH introduced a character named RONIN. He was not a samurai bandit, however, but a dark phantom samurai or something.
- Start My Own: Away from NJPW, though the two organizations would later "Go to war" (as in exchange talent so they could beat each other up)
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Maybach SUWA, Jr. to SUWA.